• Community Stories

    The Scoop on the Town Store

    The Scoop on the Town Store Campbell's Market ended a four-year trend and started improving a community calling for help A food desert is defined as an area lacking a full-service grocery store within a 20-mile radius. They afflict areas as populated as urban Cleveland, according to Campbell’s Market co-owner Rick Campbell, and as rural as McArthur, where his newest market resides. “Everybody was just tickled to death when they heard [Campbell’s Market] was coming in,” McArthur resident Forney Harper said. As an outlet for fresh meat and produce for the first time in more than four years, “it really is a big asset for the community,” Harper said. Since…

  • Community Stories

    The ‘Dog Pound’: A Home for Athens Bulldog Fans

    Sam Smathers is a big believer in the importance of location in real estate. “I think I have the most valuable property in town because of that,” he said, with a finger pointed at the Athens high school football field across the street. “I’ve been watching games here since I graduated,” said Caleb Moon, one of the many Athenians who enjoy the tailgate in Smathers’ garage for every Athens football game. Smathers spends most autumn weeks thinking of the next food to prepare for the affectionately named “Dog Pound.” “I’ve made chili, smoked ribs, jambalaya, you name it,” Smathers said, pride gleaming across his face. “The food is phenomenal,” said…

  • Community Stories

    How does Athens County handle athletic records from consolidated schools?

    Closing two schools to form another can cause an interesting dilemma: What happens to athletic records? It was a problem that occurred for Trimble as well as Nelsonville-York High School and Athens High School, all three located in Athens County. Trimble was established in 1964 with the current building put into place in 1973. It consolidated Glouster High School and Jacksonville-Trimble High School. Facing a decision of how to integrate the communities, Trimble kept the Tomcat mascot from Glouster High and the red and white colors from Jacksonville-Trimble. The answers aren’t so easy to come up with. Because record keeping was not always a top priority, those past performances can…

  • Community Stories

    A Community for Gamers

    A booming gaming industry coupled with unprecedented technological availability has given gamers of all ages and backgrounds a chance to enjoy a variety of virtual experiences. Unlike urban regions of the United States, Appalachia is trailing in terms of gaming popularity and appreciation. To combat the discrepancy, a gamer hub has been created in Appalachia with the surrounding community in mind. JesterLine, a gaming center complete with virtual reality headsets, consoles, and computers, is in Buckhannon, West Virginia. The center is also a place for tournaments, educational gaming, and family game nights. Jarod Ramsey and his wife Lacy took note of gaming’s rising popularity and hoped to establish a hub…

  • Community Stories

    Escaping the Concrete Jungle

    Athens Bike Path offers outdoor experience Growing up on the east side of Cleveland, I used to fear going outside. Being outdoors meant walking to the car and driving to the grocery store or downtown. An outdoor activity was a simple sporting event held just outside a cul-de-sac, hoping that a parent didn’t go off on a drunken rant yelling at the umpire. Going to the Cleveland metro park meant potentially running into a drug deal, looming child abductor or random act of violence that was so promptly shown on our newscasts at 7 p.m. For me, and many others, the outdoors was something that we saw on our TV…

  • Community Stories

    A mission to save historical landmarks most overlooked in Marietta

    Even more than two centuries after the town’s founding, local residents still try to preserve the town’s history. At a secluded table in the local history and genealogy archives of the Marietta Public Library, an aged woman sits surrounded by stacks of tattered articles and photos. Jane Young was born in Marietta, Ohio, but her family left the town when she was an infant. Right now, many of Young’s days have been spent researching local residents who worked for the Red Cross during World War I. Local history can help people focus on the contributions of ordinary people. “We know how strong communities can be when they come together and…

  • Community Stories

    Coach Frank Solich’s Impact on Southeast Ohio

    What makes a college football coach stand out? Is it his success on or off the field?... It’s both. This is exactly what Ohio University’s Head Football Coach has done. Frank Solich hasn’t been successful with just the football program alone, he has made a great impact on the Athens community and Southeast Ohio as a whole. “He really has brought more awareness to Athens and the surrounding areas,” Chris Rodgers, assistant athletic director for football operations said. “Prior to Coach Solich there was no brand recognition.” Taking over the program in 2005, Solich has led his team in several community service and charity events. They have served at local…

  • Community Stories

    Why Don’t “Big Bands” Come To Athens?

    What is a “Big Band?” “When I think of (a big band) I think of a band that can sell out an arena.” That’s Chris Pyle. He’s a band member and the owner of Donkey Coffee.  Pyle has lived in Athens for more than two decades and has seen a shift in big bands coming to Athens.   Athens lacks the infrastructure to support thousands of fans, he said.  The largest venue in Athens is the Convocation Center at Ohio University and that can only hold 13,080 attendees.  Arenas like U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati can hold up to 17,556 people, and Nationwide Arena can hold up to 20,000. Big bands…

  • Community Stories

    Bookstore Owner Immerses Herself and Her Business in the Community

    A school teacher that lived across the street from her taught Leanne McClellan to read at a young age. She was hooked from the start. “I read pretty much anything I can get my hands on,” she said. “I read everything. Dictionaries… everything.” Now, she helps children that are excited to read. “If a child comes in here and tells me that they love to read, of course, I’m going to do everything I can to help them find the books that they’re looking for. There’s a book out there that’ll spark everybody, but it’s just a matter of finding it.” Leanne McClellan, owner of Paperback Exchange McClellan has owned…