Our monthly round-up of news from other outlets relevant to Athens County.
Arts and Culture
- An exhibit at OU’s Baker University Center celebrates the lives and histories of Black communities in southeast Ohio (The Post).
- Ohio Magazine named Athens one of the state’s best hometowns (Ohio Magazine).
- The Federal Valley Resource Center’s musical lending library makes art creation accessible (WOUB).
- Local historian David Butcher and Hans-Peter Rosenberger celebrated a family reunion of sorts, nearly 300 years in the making (The Post).
- Local heritage tourism program Appalachian Understories, run by Rural Action, gets recognized as a “hidden gem” of Southeast Ohio (Columbus Monthly, The Post).
- An exhibit at the Kennedy Museum of Art explores the effects of uranium mining contamination in the Navajo Nation (The Post).
- The second virtual historical marker from the local history podcast Invisible Ground has been installed outside Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Athens, coinciding with a new episode of the podcast focusing on the historic Black church (Invisible Ground Facebook, Invisible Ground).
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- Former Nelsonville-York School District coach Robert Cassady was indicted by the Athens County Prosecutor’s Office for alleged sexual contact with a female student. Prior to the indictment, he resigned from his job as a middle school math teacher with the Logan-Hocking School District (Logan Daily News).
- An Athens County judge dismissed part of a defamation suit against the Nelsonville Crackheads Facebook page administrator. The judge said that the subject of alleged nepotism in Andrea Thompson-Hashman’s hire as city clerk was “fair game for concern.” Her father, Greg Smith, was on city council at the time. Other aspects of the case will go to trial in December (Athens Messenger).
- The dismissal of a federal lawsuit against the Southeastern Ohio Regional Jail over the death of a detainee in 2018 has been appealed (court filing).
- Two Athens City School District parents have filed separate lawsuits accusing district employees of bullying, physical abuse and racial discrimination (Athens Messenger). Attorneys for the district deny the allegations and are trying to have both lawsuits dismissed (Athens Messenger).
- A civil lawsuit over the abuse of Serah Bellar will head to trial in spring 2024 (WOUB).
- A cyclist was mauled by three dogs while walking her bike near Lake Hope (Columbus Dispatch). The dog’s owners have asked for a jury trial (Athens Messenger).
- A career and life skills program for young people with disabilities celebrated its fifth anniversary with OhioHealth O’Bleness Memorial Hospital (The 360).
- Due to flaws in the state funding process, the Athens City School District is still awaiting money to build a long-needed new high school (WOUB).
- Conservative “classical education” charter schools are growing in Ohio, including one in Athens (WOUB). Read Dani Kington’s report for the Independent on the controversial proposed charter school Southeast Ohio Classical Academy.
- A new program aims to distribute free books to residents (Athens News).
- Local advocate Berry Dilley was awarded the 2022 Athena Award by the city Commission on Disabilities (WOUB).
- A coalition of environmental groups has filed a petition with the federal EPA to remove the state of Ohio’s ability to regulate fracking injection wells (WOUB). Athens County has some of the highest levels in the state of fracking wastewater held in these underground wells, which have caused controversy in the eastern part of the county for years (Columbus Dispatch, Athens News). A 2018 OU master’s thesis found that the wastewater could potentially contaminate local water supplies.
- Ohio University recently announced that it would use proceeds from the unitization of mineral rights at the Eastern Campus to fund scholarships for students from Appalachian Ohio counties (press release).
- The Athens Farmers Market moved from its location at The Market on State to a site on the campus of the Athens Community Center (The Post).
- The Southeast Ohio Food Bank has cut back its distribution after too little state aid was provided for full operations (WOUB).
- Funding for two small water district improvement projects from federal American Rescue Plan Act funds was approved by the Athens County Board of Commissioners (Athens Messenger).
- The City of Athens hired Lacey Rogers as its Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility training coordinator (The Post). Rogers, a queer Black woman, was previously dismissed from her role as interim executive director of United Campus Ministry in a controversial decision that angered many (Athens News, The New Political).
- Independent staff writer Isabel Nissley investigates Athens’s parking enforcement system, the bane of many local residents (The Post).
- Athens County EMS Chief Rick Callebs told the county commission that private and public insurance likely wouldn’t cover a potential community paramedicine program (Athens Messenger).
- OU’s board of trustees approved a housing plan that involves demolishing several dorms on campus and renovating other buildings to make up for the gap in student housing—which is currently at an “urgent” shortage (The New Political).
- The Athens County Land Bank demolished four properties in Glouster, Jacksonville and Trimble, and put its first in-house renovation on the market in Buchtel (Athens Messenger, Athens County Land Bank).
- The Baileys Trail System was used as a case study for boosting “local economic, health and conservation outcomes through outdoor recreation” (World Economic Forum).
- The county is inching closer to finalizing funding for the development of a spur of the Hockhocking Adena Bikeway to Chauncey (Athens Messenger).
State & Region
- An Ohio-based analysis found that paying people with disabilities the same as everyone else would reduce poverty (Ohio Capital Journal).
- Advocates are urging Ohio legislators to properly fund the new 988 mental health emergency number (Statehouse News Bureau).
- An investigation found widespread abuse and violence in Ohio’s youth prison system (Columbus Dispatch).
- Once again, Republicans are talking about defunding the Appalachian Regional Commission (Appodlachia).
- This American Life delves into the chaos that was the Ohio redistricting process this year (This American Life).
- A southeast Ohio newspaper editor was charged with felony wiretapping for publishing a recording of a murder trial (U.S. Press Freedom Tracker).
- A look at how Issue 1, the constitutional amendment requiring judges to consider public safety when setting bail (in response to the Ohio Supreme Court previously finding that practice to be unconstitutional) will change the state’s criminal justice system (Ohio Capital Journal/WEWS).
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