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Ohio University's class gateway at College Green, photographed on May 2, 2019

Ohio University Ending Year Strong Despite Pandemic, But Big Challenges Remain

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — Ohio University expected the pandemic to deliver a serious blow to its already fragile financial situation and leave it millions of dollars in the hole. Instead, just the opposite happened. The university’s board of trustees was informed at its meeting Friday that the institution expects to end its 2021 fiscal year… Read More

Ohio University's Cutler Hall on the first day of the semester.

Ohio University’s Top Financial Officer Announces Retirement

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — The leadership shakeup at Ohio University university continued Tuesday as its top financial officer announced she is retiring. Deb Shaffer, who as senior vice president for finance and administration has overseen the university’s efforts to balance its budget in the face of sharply declining enrollment, will step down in August. Shaffer’s… Read More

Ohio University's Cutler Hall on the first day of the semester.

Ohio University Will Refund Wages Lost Through Furloughs

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — Ohio University employees will be refunded all the income they lost because of the nine months of mandatory furloughs. President Duane Nellis announced the refunds in an email to employees Thursday morning and said they were made possible because the university is ending the fiscal year with a significant budget surplus…. Read More

Ohio University's class gateway at College Green, photographed on May 2, 2019

Former Business Dean Named To Two-Year Term As Ohio University President

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — The former dean of Ohio University’s business college will serve as the university’s president for the next two years. Hugh Sherman will serve out the remaining two years that President Duane Nellis would have served under the terms of his six-year contract. Nellis announced two weeks ago that he is stepping… Read More

Coronavirus Pandemic

Athens Co. Confirms 2 New COVID-19 Cases For May 27, Remains At Level 1

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — Athens County has had 5,215 total cases of COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic after two new cases were reported Thursday. The Ohio Department of Health confirmed the news on May 27, 2021. Analysis of ODH data indicates the cases involved one person aged 30-39 and one person 60-69. There… Read More

Athens County Courthouse

Bellar Case Raises Questions About Possible ‘Systematic Failure’

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — It took a long, angry post on Facebook to trigger a full investigation into allegations of sexual abuse within an Athens-area family. The post, made last month by a girl who had been hiding from her family for a year, accomplished what three previous reports made through official channels had not…. Read More

Athens County Courthouse

Mother Accused Of Covering Up Family Sexual Abuse Pleads Not Guilty

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — An Athens woman accused of trying to hinder investigations into alleged sexual abuse of her children pleaded not guilty to several felony charges Wednesday. Deborah Bellar, 49, was placed under a $1 million bond. She was arrested Tuesday after indictments were issued against her, her husband and two of her sons…. Read More

graphic of a gavel on a blue background

Family Of Previously Missing Girl Face Charges Related To Sexual Abuse

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — Four family members of a previously missing Athens County girl were indicted Tuesday on multiple felony charges that include rape and child endangerment. Serah Bellar, originally of Amesville, was reported missing in April 2020, a few weeks before her 17th birthday. She resurfaced a little over three weeks ago through a… Read More

Ohio University President Duane Nellis.

Ohio University President Resigns, Will Return To Teaching

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — Ohio University’s president is stepping down at the end of June after four challenging years marked by big enrollment declines and financial struggles. Duane Nellis, who is four years into a six-year contract, said Thursday he plans to stay at the university as a member of the faculty. “I have decided to… Read More

Ohio University's campus on March 10, 2020

Fired Professor Drops Lawsuit Against Ohio University

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — An Ohio University professor who recently lost his job over allegations of sexual harassment has dropped a federal lawsuit he filed against the university. A spokesperson for the university said there was no out-of-court settlement in the case. It simply was dropped. WOUB reached out to the attorney representing former journalism… Read More

A bar and restaurant in Athens with a "Now Hiring" sign in the window.

Plenty Of Jobs But Few Applicants As Business Picks Up

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WOUB Digital · Plenty Of Jobs But Few Applicants As Business Picks Up ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — Art Oestrike, who owns the Jackie O’s brewpub and taproom in Athens, is facing an unusual problem. With pandemic restrictions easing, business is picking up. But he can’t find enough employees to meet the demand. “I want to… Read More

Washington County on a map

Two Belpre Council Members Hold Off Challengers In Republican Primary

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — Two Belpre City Council incumbents defeated their challengers Tuesday in the Republican primary. Council President Larry Martin captured 270 votes, or 55.33 percent. His opponent, Donna Miller, drew 218 votes, or 44.67 percent. Council Member At Large David Ferguson held off his opponent, John Ruth, with 331 votes, or 56.10 percent,… Read More

Wellston City Council 1st Ward Incumbent Defeated In Republican Primary

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — Wellston City Council 1st Ward incumbent Keith Woolum lost to Angela Spangler Tuesday in the Republican primary. Spangler received 59, or slightly more than two-thirds, of the 87 votes cast. Just over 42 percent of registered Republicans in the ward cast ballots. Meanwhile, voters in Jackson County, which includes Wellston, rejected… Read More

Swank Defeats Incumbent Fahl For Athens City Council 4th Ward Seat

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — Alan Swank soundly defeated three-term incumbent Christine Fahl in the Democratic primary for the Athens City Council 4th Ward seat. Swank received 184, or nearly two-thirds, of the 282 votes cast. Swank moves on to the general election in November and is all but certain to claim the council seat given… Read More

Athens County Courthouse

Law Enforcement Investigating Whether Facebook Post Is From Missing Girl

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(UPDATE 4/28/21 1:22 p.m.) Athens County Prosecutor Keller Blackburn on Wednesday confirmed the Facebook post from Monday was made by Serah Bellar. _____________________________________ ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — Athens County law enforcement are investigating a Facebook post by someone who says she is an Amesville teenager who went missing a year ago. The Facebook post was… Read More

Athens County Courthouse

Board Tasked To Deal With Run Down Properties Not Without Its Critics

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — A relatively unknown government entity that has the power to foreclose on abandoned properties was drawn into the spotlight Tuesday at the Athens County Board of Commissioners meeting. Jill Thompson, the Athens County auditor, told the board she has concerns about the way the Athens County Board of Revision operates that… Read More

Ohio University's campus on March 10, 2020

Ohio University Will End Year With A Surplus, But Cuts Expected As Big Deficits Loom

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — Ohio University expects to end the fiscal year with a $14.5 million budget surplus, a dramatic shift from the big deficit projection just a few months ago. But this rare dose of good news on the university’s budget front, delivered to the board of trustees at its meeting last week, was… Read More