• Community Stories,  VR

    Beads (and Things) in Athens’ Backyard

    When other little girls were playing with dolls, Jo Merkle played with beads. “They all have stories, and they all have memories,” she said. “People have adorned themselves since they walked on two legs.” In 1990, Merkle turned her passion into profit and opened what is quite possibly the most culturally diverse craft store in Appalachia: Beads & Things. At first glance, the store is an explosion of color: beads and stones of every shape, size and shade hang from display racks, sit in baskets on the floor, and in small bowls on every available surface. As dazzling as it is, the true emphasis is on the “things,” as there…

  • Community Stories

    The Athens Historian Surrounded By OU Hooligans

    If you want any inkling behind the life and times of Mr. Whealey, all you have to do is look on his front porch. It’s cluttered. But… not necessarily in a careless way. Wrapped inside a vine-woven canopy, wandering eyes can catch a glimpse of a copy of “Alan Clark — Diaries,” and “The Guns at Last Light — The War in Western Europe, 1944-1945.” Not to mention a loose Athens block, tattered and stained newspapers from 20-30 years ago, stacks on stacks of boxes with files, and even a dusty photo scanner. The porch on 14 Oak St., personified, would be a doyen scholar — exactly what historian Robert…

  • Community Stories

    Welcome to Athens, Ohio!

    Take a dive into what makes this town so unique compared to the rest of Appalachia. Through this project, you will be able to take advantage of 360-degree video to immerse yourself in some of the main hot spots in Athens and get exclusive interviews from some of the employees in the town. You will have the pleasure of meeting three people who embody what Athens is all about. First, Thomas O’Grady is a part-time professor at Ohio University. Not only does he teach astronomy, but he is one of the main reasons why the Southeast Ohio History Center is filled with rich history. He definitely knows his facts. If…

  • Community Stories,  VR

    Ohio University Professor Uses Virtual Reality to Help Athletes Back to Sport

    ATHENS, Ohio – Virtual reality is leading to better ACL recovery, researchers at Ohio University say. Associate professor Dustin Grooms , who specializes in biomechanics, has researched how an athlete’s brain changes after a ligament injury during sport. With goggles, cameras, two plates and a six-inch drop-off, Grooms can measure a lot what the eye can’t see. “(The plates) take advantage of Newton’s Third Law of Motion, which is based on if you hit the ground, you get an equal and opposite reaction force that comes and hits you,” Grooms explained. “So we actually measure the force that the ground hits you with, but you hit the ground with the…

  • Community Stories,  VR

    The Athens Farmers Market, a Community Experience

    Ironically set between a chain steakhouse and a movie theater on East State Street, the Athens Farmers Market has developed into a community staple and a destination for foodies throughout Appalachia. When the market opened in the early 1970s, it was comprised of only three farmers. Since then, it has grown tremendously. Click HERE for a virtual representation of the farmer market with interviews of vendors A study conducted by the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs perfectly portrays the popularity of the market. When the study took place, the population of Athens was 23,832, and the average Saturday attendance to the farmers market was over 2,500 people. The…

  • Community Stories,  VR

    Ohio U Builds Pilot Community with its Graduates

    “I can’t see doing anything else,” Ohio University Aviation Instructor Eric Lee said, “I love it.” Lee, 34, grew up in Athens, Ohio, and after dabbling around in a few other occupations, fell in love with flying. The university and its aviation program seemed like an easy fit, and he doesn’t see himself leaving anytime soon. Many aviation graduates instruct to accumulate flight hours toward being certified to fly commercially, but Lee enjoys instructing. “I like passing on knowledge and the thought of building the next group of pilots,” he said.   Kevin Farrell, 29, is an OU aviation student from Dayton, Ohio. He bounced between careers before choosing aviation.…