Ohio University students mooch off of parents for groceries

This past weekend was Dad’s weekend at Ohio University, and like any other weekend when students’ parents visit them, the Ohio University students let their parents buy them groceries.

The cliché of being “poor college students” is often times an accurate description. When parents come, it’s a highlight of college for a lot of reasons, one of those being that students don’t have to worry as much about spending their own money. This past weekend, almost every student seen around campus was accompanied by their father. The dads were seen buying food for their kids at restaurants on campus and up town, and also buying them groceries.

“It helps me because I don’t have to use my own money on groceries, and I can use it on things like books,” said sophomore english major Emily Griffith. “A lot of things I need aren’t on campus and I don’t have a car, so my parents can drive me up town to Kroger.”

To clear the air, we as students don’t use our parents, but if they offer to buy us things, we aren’t going to say no. Sophomore journalism major Caitlin Harrison said, “I have a job, but once in a while when my mom is in town and she wants to take me out and buy me things, it’s a nice treat.”

My dad came up to campus for dad’s weekend, and I would be lying if I said that I didn’t basque in the fact that I didn’t have to pay for a single thing. And then it was a sad reality when he left and I had to go back to paying for things on my own again. We as students love when our parents visit because they always make good company and we like sharing this world of ours with them, but we do especially appreciate them taking care of expenses for the time they’re in town.

Take a ride through Athens’ train history

Sammi Nelson | Court Street Stories

Imagine this scenario: you’re sitting in your dorm room late one night, either quietly doing homework, reading a book or simply lying in bed unable to fall asleep, when you hear a light sound from somewhere outside. It’s distant, but not terribly far away. It’s not a siren, and it isn’t a car alarm going off.

No, it’s a long, haunting sound that lasts a about two or three seconds before it starts again. The sound reverberates off the hills surrounding Athens.

For those who are unaware and have never experienced a moment like this, the sound belongs to a train which passes by Athens carrying various cargo between plants.

Trains were once upon a time the golden vehicles of the country, transporting both goods and passengers to from the West. Southeastern Ohio, originally the gateway to the Northwest territory, had a major role in railroad transportation. Athens County and the surrounding areas had several railroad lines passing through, many of which traveling to larger cities such as Cincinnati, Chicago and Detroit.

Athens County had several lines passing through its boundaries. Lines such as the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, the Toledo and Central Ohio Railway Co., the Marietta and Cincinnati Railroad (later absorbed by the B&O Railroad) and the Kanawha and Michigan Railway Co. were among these lines.

According to the Ohio Railroad Stations Past & Present station database, there are 45 past existing stations and six stations that are still present today. Because of the overwhelming amount of stations that are part of the history of Athens County, we will focus primarily on the stations in the city of Athens.

Modern day Athens B&O train.
Modern day Athens B&O Train Depot. Obtained from http://www.jouer-enligne.com/train-video-depot.html

Cincinnati Washington and Baltimore Railroad
Built in 1889, the CW&B Railroad passed through the station on Depot Street off of Union Street. The name of the line later changed to the B&O Railroad in the same year.

Dubbed the Athens B&O Train Depot, the station still stands today and is privately leased. On January 11, 1983, the station was listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Toledo and Ohio Central Railway Co.
This railroad supposedly stopped at a station that located on the property of the Athens Lumber Company. Without any solid documentation indicating that it was actually a T&OC station, although according to the station database, it “looks like a station.”

This supposed station would have stood on the corner of Union and Factory streets.

The freight station behind the former Athens Grocery Company, year unknown. Obtained from the Ohio Railroads Past & Present station database.
The freight station behind the former Athens Grocery Company, year unknown. Obtained from the Ohio Railroad Stations Past & Present station database.

Baltimore and Ohio Railroad
Apart from the Athens B&O Train Depot, the B&O railroad stopped at two different freight houses in Athens. One was located “behind the former Athens Grocery Company building near the intersection of Depot and West Union Streets,” according to the database; the other location was “near the former McBee Binder Company at the corner of West Union and Smith Streets.”

Obtained from the Ohio Railroad
The CHV&T Railway station, year unknown. Obtained from the Ohio Railroad Stations Past & Present station database. Photo by David W. Dupler.

Columbus Hocking Valley and Toledo Railway
The station database says that this company ran through a combination freight and passenger station on Schafer Street where University Commons stands today. Newspaper reports suggest that the station was built in 1899.

4 haunted dorms at Ohio University

SyFy’s Scariest Places on Earth deemed Ohio University as one of it’s spookiest locations in an episode titled “Satan’s Dormitory” in 2009, but the tales told in this 30 minute show continue to haunt the students of the University in multiple dorms today.


Wilson Hall
Wilson Hall, on West Green, is said to be the most haunted of all the residential halls because of its very precise location in the exact middle of five local cemeteries as well as a mysterious death that took place during the 70s. Since then, students have told multiple stories of room 428 and anyone who has lived there can tell stories of doors slamming and items moving around the room. One student died violently after practicing occult in that very room and now the room is locked off, deemed “unlivable” by the University.

Lauren Murphy, a current resident of Wilson, was studying at her desk one day with the door completely closed when it opened on its own. She got up to check if someone was there or if there was possibly a draft, but discovered nothing. Around the same time, a floor mate of Murphy’s was sitting in his room when his mirror fell, without being touched, and shattered everywhere.

Like Wilson, other dorms on campus have scary stories.

Washington Hall

Washington Hall
On the other side of campus, Washington Hall residents have quite a few chilling stories involving paranormal activity.

Haley Stultz, a senior, lived in Washington her freshman year during the 2012-13 school year. During her second semester her and her roommate would continuously wake up in the middle of the night to the sound of someone typing on a laptop. Both regularly checked to see if the other was up late working on homework, but every time they heard the noise, their laptops were securely shut and both girls were in bed asleep. The noise continued about 3 times a week for a few weeks when Stultz decided to make a move.

“I just figured if I said something nice maybe he would stop,” said Stultz. “So, I named the ghost Harold and told him we didn’t mind if he was there as long as he was nice and stopped waking us up!”

A few days later, Stultz was telling a few friends the story when another Washington resident overheard. She asked what was going on and Stultz explained the story.

“It was the weirdest thing. I told her we named the ghost and she asked what we named him. I told her Harold and it ends up she named him the exact same thing. I don’t know. It’s just really weird,” said Stultz.

Michelle Reinold, resident from 2012-2013: “I lived in Washington freshman year and this girl went to shower and locked her room after her and her roommate was out of town and when she came back her room was stilled locked but all her drawers and closets were open”

Rachel Caddey, resident from 2014-2015: “My microwave would go off in the middle of the night and there would be knocking at our door and no one was there. Our beds would shake and wake us up. Our dorm room door, cabinets, and closet doors would open on their own” 

Crawford Hall

Crawford Hall
About 22 years ago in 1993, a young student named Laura fell from her fourth floor Crawford window on to the pavement and died. Since then, every year residents have told stories tied to her death.

Maria Doll, a resident of Crawford during her freshman year (2013-2014), said she didn’t know anything about the hauntings of her new home until one night when her roommate went out on a week night but Doll stayed in. She set an alarm on her phone for 3 A.M. just to make sure her roommate returned safely. At three, she woke up, looked over and saw her roommates feet, noticing an ankle bracelet and a few minutes later fell back asleep.

Around 7 A.M., her roommate returned. Confused, Doll asked why she had come home and left again. But her roommate said she that this was her first time home since she had left the night before. Doll explained that she had seen her there at three when she woke up to check on her and noticed her ankle bracelet and everything.

“Then she lifted her pant legs and told me she didn’t wear an ankle bracelet,” said Doll. “I was so freaked out. I know someone was there. I was completely awake. That was our first experience with Laura.”

Doll explained that almost every floor had experiences with “Laura”. Eventually, Doll and her roommate accepted her as their third roommate when the TV would turn off and the doors would slam closed without help from a human.

jeff hall

Jefferson Hall
“I lived fourth floor Jeff my freshman year,” said Maggie Etherington.  “We always heard what seemed like marbles dropping and rolling across the floor above us, but we lived on the top floor so no one was above us.”

Etherington explained that it was nothing incredibly scary just strange things that would happen every once and awhile and made her and her floor mates question if the dorm had a few supernatural residents.

The historic tale of Jefferson Hall involves a group of students who decided to explore their dorm on a lazy night in 1996, when they discovered a schoolteacher hovering above her chair behind a desk, dressed in 1950s style clothing. The crew ran back to their Residential Assistant but by the time they arrived back at the empty room, the door was locked.

To learn more visit these sites: Forgotten OhioHerCampus

Featured Image

Coffee-themed opera makes buzz at Ohio University

Voice students at Ohio University’s school of music performed “caffeinated opera scenes” in their quirky production of L’Esperesso D’Amore. They used a classical art form, opera, to explore contemporary, first-world experiences such as powerful caffeine addictions, “The Coffee Cantata,” crushing on the local barista, “Taylor the latte boy” and having your partner give more attention to his/her iPhone than you, “Telephone.”

“These are a few of my favorite things” about L’ Espresso D’ Amore:

1.) Culture Clashphoto

Act one was set in a mock Donkey Coffee, who helped sponsor the event. Act two took place in a young woman’s pink, Ikea-decorated apartment. These settings provided hilarious incongruity with the performers’ classical vocal training. Just imagine a Bob Marley-style beanie-wearing barista with mutton chops singing from Bach’s Cantata.

2.) Shameless Performances

Guest artist Melissa Brobeck stole the show with “Taylor the Latte Boy,” in her neon-yellow stockings, glittery dress and cropped, spiky, red hair (see feature photo). But it wasn’t just her outfit that drew all eyes and ears. She comically-swooned and literally fell over her crush, the beanie-wearing barista, played by Tyler Thress. Her rocker-inspired dance poses and comedic largess made this song both delightful and hilarious. She joyfully recalled the moment “at 8:11 this morning,” when she swore that the latte boy gave her “extra foam,” at which she suggestively slid her hands up her hips.

3.) Satire

In “The Coffee Cantata,” Anne Yuan sang about her hopeless love for coffee with comedic sincerity in the melodramatic style of opera. Her father, played by Bryan Daly, disapproved of her coffee habit, of course. Yuan’s character snuck shots of espresso with the same manic anticipation of a crack-cocaine addict. Yuan lamented her father’s disdain, woefully singing “what’s wrong with drinking coffee?” to which Daly responded in his tenor vibrato, “everything is wrong with drinking coffee.”

Yuan and Daly. Photo courtesy OU Voice Division.

4.) Relevance

Despite it’s light-hearted tone, L’ Espresso D’ Amore brought up some important questions about modern life and its strange quirks that we take for granted. In “Telephone,” the boyfriend of a woman who’s obsessed with her iPhone, finally gives up on getting her attention long enough to ask her to marry him, and leaves her apartment to catch his train. In a final, desperate attempt to breach her cellphone-bubble, he calls her at the train station. She picks up the Facetime call, asking him, “Where are you?” The boyfriend, who just spent an hour physically by her side, now present only on the screen of her iPhone, replies, “I’m very in front of your face.” The irony of his comment made the couple’s reunion more sad than joyful.

Perkins and Witmer. Photo courtesy OU Voice Division.

5.) Why It Matters

The incongruity of the production was not only hilarious, but made the opera feel more accessible. I always thought of opera as some fat lady in a Viking-helmet belting an outdated drama on a far-away stage in Europe. This production mixed and matched opera with a contemporary (and even local) setting, songs from musical theatre and even played with some satire for added fun.

Thress and Brobeck. Photo courtesy OU Voice Division.
Thress and Brobeck. Photo courtesy OU Voice Division.


In case you missed it: Dads’ Weekend

Last weekend was Ohio University’s annual Dads’ Weekend.  This was probably obvious to those of you who participated, or  if you just ventured uptown to see it flooded with Levi 559s and Nike Monarchs.  For everyone who missed the excitement, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

For a pretty vanilla recap of the weekend, check out this Post article.

Did you know Alden Library put in a mini golf course for students and their dads? Check out the Athens News’ coverage here.

And finally, the pièce de resistance.  Everyone is talking about an alleged fight that occurred this Dads’ Weekend at the Overhang on Court Street that ended in a bleeding dad and a shattered window.  The Post has the scoop here.

A Return to Roots

Tom Costello teaches his COMS 1100 class
Tom Costello teaches his COMS 1100 class

Each day is the same for Communication Studies Professor Tom Costello. He wakes up, brews a cup of coffee, and enjoys taking in the scenes around campus. However, Tom doesn’t sit on his porch while enjoying his mornings, instead he, like many of Ohio University’s freshman and sophomores, Costello lives on campus.

A lawyer and Ohio University alum, Costello returned to campus when he was asked to be a Faculty in Residence. The Faculty in Residence program allows for professors to come to campus, teach, but also live in and assist with the Residence Halls,

“The faculty in residence has two responsibilities. First is to the staff, so there to interact with the staff, provide any guidance, advice, counseling, Costello said,“the second piece is interacting with residents, getting to know them, serving as a resource.”

Costello’s background in law has allowed him to host programs in the complex about how to avoid trouble with the law and how to stay out of jail. He has also hosted meals and programs, while also using his appointed budget to help residential assistants plan programs of their own. Costello also volunteers his time to assist in big weekends such as Halloween.

“I think It’s really helpful because they come from whatever background, that they have, especially like Tom, he was a lawyer for a while so having his insight on a couple topics and things like that., having him just share his experiences is really cool and he just helps a bunch” said sophomore RA Erin Walsh.

Costello was a resident of Detroit for over 20 years and this past summer, he sold his home for most of that time, fully committing to life in Athens.

“The first two years I still had a residence in Detroit so the summers we’d go back, this summer we sold the house so this is really home now”

Costello has one more year left on his contract and is excited to continue to experience on campus life, while being able to give life lessons outside of the classroom,

“It’s teaching outside the classroom in a way that, if you are doing it correctly, students are learning without knowing they are learning so by giving examples, counseling, advice and the like, as opposed to standing in front of a classroom and lecturing on a topic,” Costello said.

Uptown Athens welcomes Heady Beans Coffee to its food truck family

The bricked streets of Uptown Athens, Ohio, would never be the same without the many food truck businesses lining the way, ready to serve up unique cuisine at all times. A new food truck business has joined the club and has been parked on Union St. across from Schoonover Center since the week of Halloween.

Heady Beans Coffee Espresso Bar & Smoothies is the first of its kind Uptown, as a fully operative coffee shop and smoothie bar for students and Athens locals on the go. Unknown by many, Heady Beans Coffee started as a storefront in Loveland, Ohio, a suburb of Cincinnati. The company then decided to expand to the festival scene in order to grow its business.

“This is our mobile trailer, which we typically take to other festivals, and now that Festival season is over we decided to throw it up here and see if we could dig into this business,” Heady Beans employee and operator of their food truck, Travis Gates said.

As the first mobile-only coffee cart close to Court St., Heady Beans wants to build a coffee niche within the Athens food truck industry. “Our goal is to supplement the coffee scene and bring it something that it doesn’t have,” Gates said. Athens does keep quite a few coffee shops close to its heart, but OU students gladly welcome any caffeine source they can get on their way to campus.

“I plan on stopping there on my way to class from now on since it’s right across from Schoonover, and the coffee was fantastic,” Taylor Maple, third-year journalism student said.

Because Heady Beans is new to the area, business has gotten off to a slow start. However, Gates has hope that his Heady Beans family will grow here in Athens. He said that Halloween may not have been the best weekend for the grand opening because people were more into slowing down then getting amped up on coffee. But he also said that people saw them in action and that business is gathering steam.

Heady Beans puts a lot of time and effort into finding the best coffee beans available for its customers. All coffee that is brewed under the Heady Beans name is fair trade and is customarily roasted by a roaster in Cincinnati. The beans are then sent to Athens, where the company is headquartered, and the roast is tweaked to perfection. Anyone can purchase his or her own bag of Heady Beans at the food truck location in Athens.

No matter the time of day, Heady Beans is most likely available to provide a caffeine fix or a smoothie break. It’s open from 7 a.m. to “darkish,” Gates said.

At the Athena: ‘Experimenter’ review

Runtime: 1 hr. 48 min. | Rated PG-13 | $6.50 at Athena Cinema

How and why can good people be influenced to do bad things? How does the average German citizen allow something like the Holocaust to happen?  In the 1960s, American social psychologist, Stanley Milgram, conducted experiments that proved how easy it is for authority figures to force ordinary people to harm others.

Experimenter (starring Peter Sarsgaard and Winona Ryder) is a biopic of Stanley Milgram’s later life and focuses on his controversial “Milgram experiments.” In over 1,000 separate trials, he found that people would usually administer fatal shocks to a stranger if an authority figure told them to. The person thought to have been in pain was a confederate, an actor in on the experiment.  They would scream, demand to leave and would bang on the walls. Eventually Milgram did a variation of the experiment where test subjects would forcibly hold down the confederate’s hand on a shock panel. Still the subjects overwhelmingly obeyed the authority figure –  just an actor pretending to be a psychologist.

A variation to the original experiment – asiandrama.me

The movie depicts these experiments masterfully with convincing performances and great pacing. During each trial, Milgram narrates to the audience the most important thing that he notices and each is philosophical and interesting. Every different outcome is presented and each variation to the experiment is showed which furthers our understanding of it.

While the focus of the film is on these experiments and what came of them in the succeeding decades, there is time dedicated his family life and other similar experiments that he did and did not conduct.

These similar experiments were interesting in themselves but their purpose in the movie is uncertain, other than Milgram further philosophizing directly to the audience that people are conformists and obey authority. Perhaps they are only there to drive home what the Milgram experiment already told us.

Another curious thing about the film is its sporadic use of green screen to make it look like a play. Still images, black and white footage and paintings made to look like a set will sometimes command the background. Then the next scene will be on location at an airport or a nice looking set. Also, an Elephant will sometimes follow Milgram as he monologizes down a hallway (referencing the idiom “Elephant in the room” maybe?).

One of many green-screen shots – thisislandrod.blogspot.com

These quirky parts of the film are stylistic choices, but ultimately they’re unnecessary. Everything else is played so natural and convincing that intentionally bad looking backgrounds and other abstract visuals are jarring.

Experimenter is full of great performances and has interesting subject matter. But, once the Milgram experiments end the remaining movie is jumbled and unfocused. A better screenplay and more realistic look could have really made the theme and Milgram’s life much more entertaining to watch.

Experimenter is currently at the Athena Cinema and plays daily at 5:10, 7:40 and 9:40 with Saturday & Sunday matinees at 3:10. It is also available on demand.

The DraftKings debate: the scoop on online gambling

Gambling comes in many forms, legal and illegal. When I was in high school, I played the part of “bookie” for one year, making little profit but having fun. Tragically, my empire crumbled all at once and without warning when those names in my little black book realized we were doing this on the honor system, and the losers decided not to pay up. Lacking the necessary enforcer most in my trade kept in employment, I had to close up shop.

These days, things are more sophisticated than a black book and a threatening associate who doesn’t mind getting rough. Online fantasy (or gambling, depending on your stance) websites such as FanDuel and DraftKings have had an explosive year, bringing in throngs of new members who gamble every week on different sports, with the NFL being the current frontrunner.

These sites have also drawn criticism from the public, trying to fight off claims that they’re illegal online gambling sites and not strictly for fantasy sports use.

They have not been successful in this endeavor.

The New York attorney general declared Wednesday that they were in fact illegal gambling sites and that they were to cease taking bets from New Yorkers. While both sites told ESPN they’re optimistic about getting the decision repealed, the future isn’t as bright as it was before.


Regardless of legal trouble, business has been booming for both fantasy sites. Forbes reported that DraftKings entry fees, which totaled $45 million in 2013, rose to $304 million in 2014. That kind of growth has drawn criticism, but it’s safe to say their fans outnumber their enemies.

Protestors rallying outside the New York attorney general’s office


“I love winning, and the time I put into my teams every week is fun, too,” said Jett Maurer, a resident of Dennison, Ohio, and one of the many users of FanDuel.

Maurer, who started playing this football season, also talked about how his involvement in FanDuel  led him to be a more devoted sports fan.

“My favorite part is scouting players for next week’s team,” Maurer said. “It actually makes me pay more attention to the sport.”

The sites, which operate differently from most season-long fantasy sites, allow the gamblers to choose a new lineup each week or day, which creates a more flexible environment to bet in. This is undoubtedly one of the main draws of the sites. The leagues also vary by size, amount of money won.

As the seasons change and basketball becomes the main focus, Maurer said the game isn’t the only thing that changes.

“There are more basketball games every week, so that means you have to pay more attention, and it also means there’s more at stake,” Maurer said.

Not everyone is a fan of the sites, however. Some people don’t like how the system is set up and believe the sites leave a gray area in how the winner is chosen that leaves the outcome arguable.

Nick Merrick, a senior at Ohio State University, is one of the people who aren’t impressed.

“I like gambling when there is a clear winner, when you either win or lose.” Merrick said. “This seems like fake gambling.”

Other, larger entities aren’t huge fans either.


Regardless of naysayers and future concerns, both DraftKings and FanDuel are enjoying another impressive year. Whether or not their good fortune will last is still up in the air.


Featured Image