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Intoxicated people sometimes forget where they park their cars and consequentially report them as stolen, when in reality, frequently they end up towed in a lot, like Autotech Service Center's lot, photographed on September 13, 2016. (EMMA HOWELLS | PHOTO EDITOR)

New business opens on Union Street, APD officers involved in shooting over the weekend

The top stories from the past week included the opening of new businesses on Union Street, Athens Police Department reports and a local debate between two candidates running for the Ohio House of Representatives. Here’s a recap of the week’s news.

Officials notice string of car thefts

A pattern of car thefts during the past few months has caught the eye of local authorities, and organized crime is possibly the source of the problem.

Eight alleged vehicle thefts were listed in the crimes of the month news release from Athens County Crime Solvers Anonymous. Athens Police Chief Tom Pyle said it’s likely that certain groups are moving through the area, stealing cars and selling them for scrap metal.

The thefts have occurred in both the City of Athens and Athens County, though Athens County Sheriff Rodney Smith said they haven’t been as much of a problem in the county.

Other similar crime strings have only occurred for a few months, and Pyle expects those alleged thefts to stop soon.

New German beer hall

A new restaurant opened on 120 W. Union St. in the spot formerly occupied by W.G. Grinders.

Starting Gates Bier Halle will serve German-style beers brewed in Ohio.

Owners Daniel J. Gates and Terry Smith saw that Athens needed a German restaurant, and they decided to fill the void.

“We saw there was a missing equation to the Athens restaurant community, and that was German food,” Gates, who was also a founder and former director of Ohio Brew Week, said. “And also with good German food comes good German beer.”

The new menu will feature pizza, subs and salads, as well as traditional German fare, such as brats and sauerkraut.

West Union Street Construction

The first of many new businesses has opened in the previously fire-damaged area of West Union Street.

10 WEST Clothing Co., a unisex clothing store, opened at 10 W. Union St., a space formerly occupied by Uptown Dog before the store perished in the fire. Uptown Dog owner Mary Cheadle relocated to 9 W. Union St. during reconstruction, but decided to open a new business in the renovated building complex.

The new store will include a “nearly new” section, offering customers the chance to buy gently used garments for 50 to 70 percent less than the original prices.

“Most of the other clothing stores in town are a little more upscale and dressy and a little higher-priced so I’m trying to offer this more casual type of clothing at a reduced rate,” Cheadle said.

Other businesses will occupy the newly built storefront. The Ohio University Credit Union will be in one spot, and an unnamed restaurant will take another, property owner Guy Phillips said.

Police Shooting

A suspect was shot by Athens Police Department officers during a vehicle pursuit Saturday morning after a reported vehicle theft.

The suspect, 18-year-old Samuel Lott of Nelsonville, was transported to Columbus for gunshot wound treatment. He has been charged with receiving stolen property and eluding law enforcement officers.

Nineteen-year-old Jacob Bowens of Carbon Hill was also charged with receiving stolen property. Both are currently being held in Southeastern Ohio Regional Jail.

Student Senate Debate

OU Student Senate hosted a debate Tuesday night between candidates for the Ohio House of Representatives.

Sarah Grace, the democratic candidate, and Jay Edwards, the republican candidate, expressed their thoughts on the economy, healthcare, education, environment and community.

The event was hosted in conjunction with the College Democrats and Republicans.


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