Apr 15, 2014

What if Wal-Mart paid its employees more?

The Marketplace Wealth & Poverty Desk and Slate report on how much more Wal-Mart might have to charge for some products, if it raised wages high enough that a typical worker earned too much to qualify for food stamps. 

Learn more about their series called The Secret Life of a Food Stamp.

Apr 1, 2014

A Region Reflects: LBJ in Southeast Ohio - 50th Anniversary

You are invited to the “A Region Reflects” gathering, a two-day event to commemorate the 50th anniversary of LBJ’s visit to southeastern Ohio. 

All events are free, including a bus tour on Thursday, April 3 to the Little Cities microregion of Athens, Hocking and Perry Counties. The tour is limited to 50 passengers, so register soon.

There will be an opening symposium on Thursday evening, April 3, in the Baker Center Theater on the Ohio University Campus featuring music and LBJ era journalist and OU Alum Sid Davis. All-day sessions in Ohio University's McCracken Hall (Patton College of Education) covering eight thematic tracks relating to the region's quality of life will take place on Friday, April 4. Friday’s sessions will open with a keynote address from Ron Eller, author of “Uneven Ground: Appalachia since 1945.”
Although all sessions are free, attendees are asked to register so the organizers can project room size needs, handouts, etc. To find out more about the event and to register on-line, please visit:

As the event approaches, if you wish to follow details about the event and read provocative information about poverty in the region and nation follow the facebook page at:  www.facebook.com/lbj.aregionreflects.

Free parking will be available in Lot 104 on Stewart Street across the street from McCracken Hall during Friday's sessions.  A locator map is available on the web site. 

Hope to see many of you and your friends and colleagues at this historic event.

Athens County 211 Reentry Resource List

The Athens County 211 Reentry Resource List was created for individuals leaving prison and rejoining their communities, but this document might be useful to others as well. Please pass it along.

Mar 27, 2014

New office proposed for Jobs and Family Services

The Kasich administration has proposed a new office for the Department of Jobs and Family Services whose efforts are intended to help case workers at the county level spend more time with clients.

The Office of Human Services Innovation would look to coordiante services across all public assistance programs, revise incentives, standardize and automate eligibility determination and "other matters the office considers appropriate." 

Learn more from the Columbus Dispatch or directly from the bill.


Mar 10, 2014

Smokers may pay for Kasich’s tax cut

According to an article in today's Columbus Dispatch, raising the cigarette tax by $1 would help pay for Kasich’s plan to drop the top state income-tax rate below 5 percent, but it would hit the poor the hardest.

“It’s bad news for poor people, that’s for sure,” said Jack Frech, director of the Athens County Department of Job and Family Services, which is in one of Ohio’s poorest areas. “Let me say, no one should be smoking cigarettes. It’s unhealthy, and no one should smoke. But poor people are not going to be able to turn on a dime and stop smoking because (the state) raises the prices.”

Read more.