Athens County Humane Society works to end cat overpopulation

Rural counties tend to have high populations of stray and feral cats, and Athens County is no exception. One organization that works to help homeless cats and kittens is the Athens County Humane Society, an all-volunteer group with no physical location.

The ACHS holds four spay/neuter clinics every month with the goal of cutting down on cat overpopulation by providing services to the community at a low cost.

Most of the cats that have been rescued by the ACHS are kept at Petsmart, but others, like Ted E. Bear, are taken in by the volunteers themselves.

Be nice to the dude sitting next to you, he could be a bouncer at your favorite bar

He sits next to you in class and you can’t remember why he looks so familiar. It’s because you drank until you blacked out last night. And also because he was your bouncer.

Ohio University located in beautiful Appalachian, Athens County, making it feel like it’s isolated from the rest of the world.

For the students lucky enough to have a car on campus most major cities are about an hour away. Unfortunately students who don’t have cars rely on GoBuses, a popular shuttle bus that goes between major cities, with a few detours in between which makes any trip longer.

So it’s no surprise when students pick the bars on Court Street as their main source of entertainment on any given night.

They’re the unrecognized heroes of the night, bouncers.

You see them every night, you just don’t recognize their faces. You don’t care about their names, unless being friendly will get you into the bar quicker.

Bouncers are the underappreciated heroes—or, pesky villains, depending on how bad your fake I.D. happens to be—of the night.

Three brave bouncers came forward and shared their experiences from their time on the job. This is what they had to say.
Photo of Julian with a friend inside a barJulian Pelfrey, formerly at Lucky’s Tavern

 It was the summer before senior year and I needed a job if I wanted to live in Athens over the summer instead of going home to work in a factory. I went to most of the bars on Court Street and applied.

It was something I always considered wanting to do when I started college. And I never regretted working there once.

If I wasn’t on a set career path I’d definitely do the job again. It was great while it lasted. You learn people and social skills because you must interact with nearly everyone that comes into the bar.

Every night you deal with at least one overly drunk person but they aren’t usually too bad to coerce out of the bar but it’s like at least once a month there’s someone trying to fight.

Once a patron threw a glass mug at the bartender. This was midday. Another time, a guy sucker punched one patron and ran out of the bar. Once someone even tried to fight the owner.

Every Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday we would see at least 10-15 fakes per bouncer. Each state has its own holograms to set them apart. Some people would have sailboats on their holograms which no state has.

Other people don’t understand that height makes a difference, one time a guy, around 5 feet 4 inches tall, tried to use an ID for someone that was 6 feet 9 inches tall—someone I personally knew played on the football team.

August Oberdick in hockey uniform on rink Gus Oberdick, formerly at Jackie O’s

I found out about the job from one of my mod mates who was working there as well. He said they were hiring so I went in with him and talked to the manager who eventually invited me back for an interview.

The job was weird honestly. I loved the atmosphere but I didn’t enjoy the “bar life.” It was a different kind of world, the people who work jobs like this live a backwards life. You go into work at 8 p.m. and get off around 4 a.m. I’m an engineering major and I couldn’t make it work with my schedule and eventually just quit Jackie O’s.

I did like the job because the people at Jackie O’s are great. There’s not a lot of annoying underclassmen, no obnoxious music, and everyone is generally in a good mood. It just wasn’t the job for me.

At Jackie O’s you turn people away every now and then, it’s an older person’s bar so there aren’t as many underage people trying to get in.

The most uncomfortable I’ve ever been was when I had to kick out one of my TA’s because he had gotten into a fight with another patron. It was weird having that authority over someone who has some kind of “authority” over you.

Benny Lam with a friend at a party smilingBenny Lam, currently at Jackie O’s

I’ve always wanted to work at a bar and I knew Jackie O’s was a pretty established one so I called when they were hiring and they told me to apply online. I didn’t get a response until three months later.

Working at Jackie O’s is better than I expected. It’s a laid-back environment and the people who work with me are honestly down to Earth. Jackie O’s has a certain aesthetic when it comes to who works there and the patrons which is why it works so well as a bar.

I’ve had a few people get rowdy but it’s never gotten out of hand.

We do get fake I.D.’s, but fortunately because we have a reputation of not serving underage people like some of the bars on Court Street, it’s not a lot. Their fakes get denied and then it’s up to whoever is working to decide whether they want to take their fake I.D.

Before getting the job I frequently went out but once I got the job I had to cut back immediately. Working closing shifts every Friday and Saturday took a toll on me in the beginning because I had to sacrifice going out with my friends.

 

Responses have been edited for length and clarity.

Rise and grind: Meet the night owls of Athens who make late night cram sessions possible

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Bobcat Banter Ep1: Trumped up Charges

Donald Trump has polarized the political world, pitting liberals against conservatives with a newfound intensity that has consumed newsfeeds and disrupted Thanksgivings around the country. In liberal Athens, Ohio, conservatives are about as commonly accepted as Miami fans or teetotalers, but can you really judge a Trump supporter by his cover? I spoke to Cole Neuhart, a member of the OU College Republicans, and Dan Kington, a member of the International Socialist Organization (ISO), to find out more.

(Music courtesy of Martijn de Boer (NiGiD), ccMixter)

What happens to our favorite Bobcat bands after graduation?

College is a chance to discover the real person that’s been cultivating under the parental units for the last 18 or so years. For some it’s exploring the vices their parents attempted to curtail, others it’s the chance to think differently how they were raised, but in general it’s a time for self-discovery.

A few braves souls chose to do this in front of crowds atop one of the many stages in Athens. The music scene in Athens is unique as the influx of new blood from the university allows for a large diversity of musical acts to form and flourish.

The constant flow of new musicians is sadly accompanied by the older generation leaving Athens as they graduate or decide to move on. While the desire to play may linger on, it can be extremely difficult to continue when members may be scattered across the country. As their time in Athens comes closer to the end Wes Gilbert of Smizmar and Evan Amerio of Apemode spoke of their personal experiences.

Does your team have what it takes to make a run in the NBA playoffs? Listen to these NBA fanboys tell you why or why not.

With more than a quarter of the NBA season in the books, it’s about time for  sportswriters and basketball junkies alike to get together and start arguing about the impending NBA playoffs.

The amount of time my friends and I have spent discussing the landscape of the NBA is mind-boggling. While we may not be professionals, we certainly do know an awful lot about the teams and players that can shape the future of the league.

Not only do we love the NBA, but college football is wrapping up and that can only mean one thing: OSU vs. Michigan. With both teams seasons on the line, we wrap up the podcast with a short discussion on who we think has the edge in the biggest game of the season.

Find out below who we think will make some noise this season and reach the playoffs and who will win this years edition of “The GAME.”

Listening Guide:

2:15 – Picks for Eastern Conference Playoffs

12:50 – Can anybody stop the Cavaliers?

18:57 – Picks for Western Conference Playoffs

41:12 – Are the Jazz real contenders?

43:42 – Lakers or Timberwolves for first out of the playoffs?

48:52 – NBA MVP picks

54:28 – Picks for OSU vs. Michigan game

New “Counter Productive” episodes feature investigations of Ohio University’s odd fences, leaf problem

Junior Alexandra Greenberg is back with two new episodes of her hit web series, “Counter Productive.” The first installment — and the series’ namesake — showed the student on her mission to find Ohio University’s worst countertops. In her latest videos, she finds the weirdest fences and most annoying fallen leaves on Ohio University’s campus in Athens, Ohio. Watch and cherish these episodes, as they almost didn’t exist, and it’s unlikely a fourth installment will ever be filmed.

Counter Productive Episode 2: Offensive

Counter Productive Episode 3: Unbelievable 

 

The unexpected happened to Southeast Ohio Democrats on Election Day 2016. Now what?

Editors Note: This article incorporates audio and video to further tell the story of Southeast Ohio Democrats, click on the audio and video links from interviews I conducted throughout the story for full effect.


“Disbelief.” “Sadness.” “Distraught.”

These were just a few of the terms Nicholas Felt, a junior at Ohio University studying political science, used when describing his emotions after a wave of red candidates overtook the nation’s electorate on Nov. 8.

“I had been around a few people in the LGBT community that I’m close with and a lot of international students as well,” said Felt, also member of the Ohio University College Democrats. “They were all kind of distraught, for lack of a better term, about what had happened the night before.”

President-elect Donald Trump and a number of other successful Republican candidates were what had happened the night before.

Besides capturing the presidency, the GOP won 245 of the 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and held onto a majority in the U.S. Senate. More than two thirds of the nation’s governors are now Republican, and 68 of the country’s 98 state legislatures are Republican-run.

This left many Democrats like Felt puzzled. What had happened? How had no one, not the pollsters or political pundits, expected such a devastating blow to the Democratic Party?

Republicans now holds a super majority in the State House and Senate in Ohio, and of those seats that were up for grabs, only two Democrats of the 16 who ran won in the House. Ohio Democrats also held onto 33 of 99 seats in the Senate.

One of the most surprising Democrat losses in the Senate took place in the 30th  District of Ohio, where incumbent Lou Gentile lost his bid for reelection.

Felt, also a campaign intern for Gentile, said his competitor State Senator-elect Frank Hoagland, a small business owner and retired Navy SEAL, was not expected to win as per data. At the end of October, Gentile had raised $420,000 versus Hoagland’s mere $35,000, according to The Post.

Gentile was the only incumbent Democrat running for reelection in the Ohio Senate, and the only Ohio Senate incumbent who lost in the state.

“We were really optimistic going into the election, we felt that we ran a very good campaign,” Felt said.

Gentile, a native of Steubenville, Ohio, has served as State Senator for the 30th District since 2011, when he was appointed to the seat by Senate Democrats after Sen. Jason Wilson’s resignation. In the 2012 election, Gentile held onto his seat with 52 percent of the vote.

“It was unfortunate but you can definitely expect Lou to be back,” Felt said. “I can’t speak on behalf of him, but I don’t think his time in public service is over. You can definitely expect to hear his name again.”

Infographic courtesy of The New York Times.
Infographic courtesy of The New York Times.

Athens County is widely known as a heavily blue district in Ohio.

On Nov. 8, 2016, 55 percent of the county voted for Hillary Clinton, 64 percent for Gentile and 53 percent for Sarah Grace, the candidate for the 95th District in the Ohio House of Representatives. But, the surrounding counties in Southeast Ohio thought otherwise, electing their competitors: Trump, Hoagland and Jay Edwards.

Jay Edwards won the 94th District seat in the Ohio House with nearly 58 percent of the vote, winning the majority of Washington, Vinton and Meigs County.

“I think Sarah Grace ran a really strong race for state house representative,” John Haseley, chairman of the Athens County Democrat Party, said on the night of the election. “But I think she got caught up in forces outside of her control outside of Athens, Athens County really gave her a strong vote.”

Grace and Edwards were both new to the political scene in their bids for the 94th District. As the current representative, Democrat Debbie Phillips, reached her term limit this year, Athens Democrats campaigned hard to keep the seat blue.

Grace out raised Edwards, with nearly $76,000 to his $48,600 in the general election, according to The Post.

Grace also had a recent precedent of Democratic control behind her as well. Even so, Haseley said he thinks Grace “got caught up in the national election outside of Athens County.”

Despite the upset in the 2016 election, Democrats are looking towards the midterm election for a chance to restore their liberal values in Southeast Ohio’s representatives.

There’s no way to sugarcoat it,” said David Pepper, chairman of the Ohio Democratic Party said in a press release on Nov. 9. “Tuesday was a terrible day for our country and for our state. We have a lot of work to do.”

Pepper continued by saying:

“Of course we have to dust off and rebuild to win elections in 2017, 2018 and 2020. One piece of good news is that thousands of people were passionately involved in this past election, so there remains a strong, durable infrastructure from 2016 which we can now build upon, and that we can only make stronger for future years.”

Haseley’s post-election message for Athens Democrats mirrored that of the state party chairman’s, both looking towards the future as a time to reinstate Democratic principles.

“We are looking forward to growing the Democratic Party here, and getting things done,” Haseley said. “We have a really strong Democratic Party that cares about issues that are important to this part of Ohio. We care about what people in Appalachia are going through we care about what students are going through with college debt.”

Felt anticipates a big fight coming up in the 2018 midterm elections, waiting to see the repercussions that a Trump presidency might have on the Appalachian region of the state.

“So I think a big thing, with how Ohio votes at least, in the next few years is going to be how Southeast Ohio gets jobs back and how everybody’s pocketbooks are going to be affected by Trump’s new tax plan,” Felt said.

Felt continued by saying he’s personally taken steps to mobilize voters and emphasize the importance of the future election.

But when it comes down to it he said, “we are really going to be pushing to make sure the country does not vote like it did a few weeks ago.”

 

7 reasons why one of the most feared creatures is also one of the best college pets

Meet Dr. Ervin a veterinarian at Ohio Valley Animal Clinic, “Serving the Southeastern Ohio Region since 2011.”

Dr. Ervin unearths the truth about rats. Explaining why these feared little critters are also a perfect college companions.

1. Adorable tininess

Okay, they did help spread The Black Plague during The Dark Ages. That fact combined with the masses’ general fear of rodents probably keeps rats out of the running for world’s cutest pets.

7. Fame

Source flick, Dennis Pope
Photo source: flickr, Dennis Pope

From Ratatouille to The Tale of Despereaux, rats have made appearances as cute, loveable creatures that largely come off as talented, smart and adorable. Speaking of famous, celebrities such as Jamie Lee Curtis and Rupert Grint have rats as pets!

So, the next time you’re trying to find yourself a personal pal don’t forget rats make the perfect sidekick.

Source: memegenerator.net
Source: memegenerator.net