Alissa Widman Neese, The Columbus Dispatch

Alissa Widman Neese

The Columbus Dispatch

Columbus, OH, United States

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Past articles by Alissa:

Meet Frankie: The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium's Asian elephant calf has a name

A donor family chose the two-month old calf's name to honor their late mother. → Read More

For the first time in 531 days, Columbus reopens most of its schools at full capacity

Hugs, cheers and applause — and even Columbus Blue Jackets mascot Stinger — greeted Avondale Elementary School students Thursday morning. → Read More

Baby animal alert: The Wilds welcomes another adorable rhino calf to its pastures

The calf is the ninth greater one-horned rhino born at The Wilds, a 10,000-acre park managed by the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. → Read More

Read the forensic audit reports on the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium investigation

The documents conclude the zoo lost at least $631,000 due to the actions of Tom Stalf, Greg Bell and other former executives. → Read More

Columbus Zoo and Aquarium lost at least $631,000 because of misspending by former officials

Five months after former President and CEO Tom Stalf and chief financial officer Greg Bell resigned, new forensic audit reports reveal more details. → Read More

Here's how to watch 'The Conservation Game' big cat documentary in Columbus

The film calls attention to Jack Hanna and other celebrity conservationists' involvement in the unregulated big cat trade. → Read More

Conservation Game documentary ties Columbus Zoo, Hanna to unchecked big cat trade

The Conservation Game documentary claims zoo officials, including Jack Hanna, misrepresented where the animals shown on TV came from. → Read More

'We're getting spoiled': Upper Arlington showcases new high school before students head back to classes Wednesday

Golden Bears young and old toured the facilities Sunday, the culmination of a $230 million bond issue voters approved in November 2017. → Read More

9-year-old girl pulled from pond in critical condition on Southeast Side of Columbus

Columbus fire medics had been performing CPR, but the department couldn't confirm if she survived. → Read More

Will Columbus City Schools sell NPR station WCBE? It's still unclear, 2 1/2 years after financial scandal

District officials learned former WCBE general manager Dan Mushalko falsified invoices to hide the station's unpaid bills 2 1/2 years ago, but they still haven't decided WCBE's future. → Read More

'The Conservation Game' big cat documentary features Jack Hanna in its first trailer

The film, which will soon come to Ohio, focuses on where big cats like lions, leopards and tigers go when they're no longer featured on TV. → Read More

Columbus City Schools passes on proposal to use COTA buses for high school transportation

Instead, Ohio's largest school district will assess the efficiency of current bus routes and prioritize busing for students who need it most. → Read More

Columbus City Schools upholds principal's firing, after probe into altered attendance data

Michelle Milner manipulated attendance data for students with disabilities, violating the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. → Read More

Columbus City Schools to mandate masks in schools, on buses this fall

The state's largest school district announced the change for staff and students Thursday afternoon. → Read More

How will critical race theory arguments affect the next school year in Ohio?

In many states, including Ohio, Republican lawmakers are hoping to restrict what K-12 educators can teach about history, racism and sexism. → Read More

Columbus Zoo and Aquarium to vaccinate some animals for COVID-19

Just like humans, the coronavirus can infect big cats and great apes and make them sick. → Read More

What is critical race theory? The controversy has arrived at Columbus Academy and here's what we know

Moms Andrea Gross and Amy Gonzalez say the school didn't listen to concerns. Columbus Academy says they coordinated 'false and misleading attacks.' → Read More

Columbus Academy won't reenroll students after moms' 'attacks' over critical race theory

The private school in Gahanna, Ohio, told two mothers their kids can't attend anymore due to a campaign of public 'attacks' against school leaders. → Read More

Columbus Zoo drops some animal vendors after Jack Hanna's inclusion in documentary

A new documentary, as well as ongoing internal reviews, led the Columbus Zoo to cut ties with some animal vendors that don't follow certain standards. → Read More

As negotiations begin, Columbus City Schools union members rally outside board meeting

Lois Carson, president of the Columbus School Employees Association, said the demonstration was about "asking the district to respect our work." → Read More