• Community Stories

    Hockhocking Adena Bikeway Expansion to Connect More Communities

    The Hockhocking Adena Bikeway expansion project is going for another lap as the planning committee continues its attempt to acquire funding. After a failure to secure funds from the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) in a budget bill, a coalition created by the city of Logan, Hocking County Commissioners and Hocking Valley Scenic Trail committee, is attempting to gather funds by applying for a federal Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development, or Build, grant.  The funds, up to $25 million, would then be funneled through ODOT and given to the Hocking County Commissioners. Gary Silcott Jr. is an executive at Stantec, the engineering firm trying to build the addition, who,…

  • Jonathan Koons and his son Nahum - close to 1857
    Community Stories

    Spirit Room, Strange Beliefs

    Jonathan Koons and his family hosted public seances in the 19th century to spread Spiritualism and test reality In a dark, candlelit room, people crowd into seats hoping to see and hear the unthinkable. As the final candle is blown out, a presence is felt entering the room and a bodyless voice speaks through a trumpet. For the mediums sitting at the home circle, this is a common occurrence. Curious people have traveled to Athens County to test the supernatural for more than 160 years, predating the Civil War. Jonathan and Abigail Koons’ family was the first to hold public seances in 1852 inside their spirit room, which operated until…

  • Community Stories

    The Right to Read

    Athens Books to Prisoners fights the system to get inmates books Currently more than 2 million people in the country would have to go to great lengths to read the very article you are reading right now, if they aren’t totally restricted from accessing to begin with. There are no explicit discriminatory restrictions that bar specific populations in this country from accessing information. Yet there is a body of people, roughly equivalent to the population of Chicago, that has little to no access to information because they are incarcerated by the United States government. “It seems like some people want to believe that if someone is incarcerated, they don’t deserve…

  • Community Stories

    Hockhocking Adena Bikeway Cultivates Community

    The Hockhocking Adena Bikeway is 21 miles of asphalt that does not just bear the weight of tires and footsteps traveled but connects multiple communities and provides a common hub for small-town businesses. As you bike along the path, the scenery changes from the hustle and bustle of Athens and Ohio University, through miles of trees and farm land, to the historic district of Nelsonville. Some of the businesses along the way are Black Diamond Bicycles, Eclipse, Little Fish, and the Hocking Valley Scenic Railway. Black Diamond was established in 2014, and according to the manager, Sam Keiffer, a lot of the shop’s customer base is foot traffic off the…

  • Community Stories

    Keeping Skateboarding Alive in the Ohio Valley

    The Background The Ohio Valley is a surprisingly robust place for skateboarders to practice their extreme sport. Athens, Ohio, has a professional grade skate park built right behind the local community center. Forty minutes down the road in Parkersburg, West Virgina is another quality skate park and Meigs County, Ohio is home to one of the most notorious anarchist skate parks in the country.             The wide availability of skateboarding space has likely grown out of wider acceptance of skating. Some older skaters will say that skateboarding used to illegal. Back in the day, they had nowhere to skate but the streets, where it is illegal to ride. Due to…

  • Community Stories

    The Debate Between Local vs. Corporate Businesses Continues

    Is IHOP in Athens Affecting Union Street Diner’s Business? In recent months, the city of Athens has added multiple chain restaurants to their town, one being the infamous pancake house, IHOP. This has caused mixed emotions in the community since Athens has a strong foundation built on locally run businesses. Athens locals seem to really enjoy one local diner in particular, The Union Street Diner. Natalie Townsend, who has lived in Athens for a few years, says she would never prefer IHOP over USD, for several reasons. “Throughout my college career, I’ve had a lot of memories inside USD. I have a lot of good memories there with my friends,…

  • Community Stories

    Ohio University Professor’s Dual Passion: Research and Teaching

    Tornadoes form from the top to the ground, right? Think again. An Ohio University Meteorology professor’s recent research says otherwise. Dr. Jana Houser has uncovered data that supports the theory that tornadoes form from the ground up. Her findings have made national news, however some of the people she has inspired most are closer to home, here in Athens, Ohio. Her study used rapid scanning radar to investigate how tornadoes’ rotation evolves with time and height. “What we were trying to determine was whether or not the rotation that forms the tornado occurs higher up in the middle levels of the storm, or lower to the ground,” Houser said. The…

  • Community Stories

    Glouster Thrives During Phase One of Trimble Stadium Rebuild

    The main uncertainty surrounding Glouster Memorial Stadium in 2017 had nothing to do with poor attendance or lack of community involvement.  Rather, it was about that green piece of paper that everyone strives to get, money. In Fall of 2017, Glouster Memorial Stadium, the home football field of Trimble High School, was deemed “unsafe”, making the bleachers unusable.  All of the 2017-2018 football season was still played at the field, but temporary stands were all that the citizens of Glouster could sit on. “Most people in our town like to stand during the games anyhow,” Phil Faires, head coach of Trimble’s football team said. “It’s just how into the games…

  • Community Stories

    The Moonville Tunnel

    Home to chilling ghosts, community history The Moonville Tunnel is home to four chilling ghosts, each more haunting than the last. Moonville, Ohio was once within Vinton County but was officially abandoned in 1947 when the last family left. Named after a man named Moon who owned and operated a store in town, it was a thruway for railroads and coal mining. Today, all that remains are the cemetery and the Moonville Tunnel, infamous for haunted ghost sightings. Jannette Quackenbush, manager of the site dedicated to the Moonville Tunnel, said there are four legends that contribute to its haunting reputation: The Brakeman, the Engineer, the Lavender Lady and the Bully.…

  • Community Stories

    Food Hardships at Ohio University

    Bobcats helping Bobcats. It’s a phrase. It’s a hashtag. It’s a movement. But what does it mean? The phrase refers to the collective movement of Ohio University students, both past and present, bonding together to create change in the Ohio community. The phrase has developed into a program at the university as well. The program, under the Office of Student Affairs, has launched an emergency fund which allows Ohio students to apply for one-time funding to offset costs that could affect their academic pursuits at the university. But the program’s most widely known project is the Food Pantry located in Baker University Center. Ohio’s Assistant Dean of Students Kathy Fahl…