Published March 16, 2018

Why the Gibsons lawsuit is more than another town-gown dispute

A history that ends exactly where it began: in court.

While it’s tempting to categorize the lawsuit filed by the Gibsons Brothers against Oberlin College as typical of town-gown relations, precedent tells us the opposite is true. Despite serving “Oberlin and America since 1883,” the Gibsons family has earned a reputation for itself as an entity both a part of and apart from the community to which it belongs—one that certainly did not begin in, but that owes much to, the Ohio Supreme Court.
Lucas Fortney
Published March 15, 2018

Oberlin’s Sanctuary Status, Explained

A history that doesn’t begin with, but that owes much to, September 15, 2003.

Lucas Fortney
Published March 4, 2018


From finances to wildfires, an Ohio native learns what it means to move away—and come back home.

Mark Mahoney was just outside of Medina County, Ohio when his wife Amanda called to say she had touched down in Cleveland. For the past two days, Mark had been “scared to death” that he wouldn’t make it to the airport on time. Now, the map on his phone told him he was still more than 40 minutes away. That’s the way Amanda’s life in the Midwest began: waiting in Cleveland Hopkins International at 8:30 p.m. with her dog, her cat, and a winter coat that she was wearing for the first time. Although Amanda admits that she was also “scared to death,” she forgave her husband for being late—but only because he’d driven from Ventura County, California to pick her up.
Lucas Fortney
Published February 2, 2018

From out of left field

Avon High School baseball team loses time at Sprenger Stadium.

Lucas Fortney
Published January 30, 2018

Stopped Up

A Lorain couple’s year-long dispute with their Utilities Department.

Jim and Jan Mackert have always prided themselves on paying their bills on time. But that changed in March of last year, when the Lorain residents unexpectedly received a notice from the Lorain Utilities Department: “Our records indicate that your account is overdue by the amount of $300.” Nearly a year later, that $300 bill remains unpaid and has since grown to $395.40 with late fees. Not because the Mackerts can’t pay their bill, but because they refuse to.
Lucas Fortney
Published January 19, 2018

Hello Pyeongchang

A local international student’s unexpected road to the 2018 Winter Olympic Games.

Lucas Fortney
Published January 18, 2018

Bee Pee, Explained

How uncertain weather patterns in Northeast Ohio are adding stress to bees—and their keepers.

When temperatures drop below 40 degrees in fall and winter months, bees huddle together in their hives until temperatures rise again, typically in April or May. But when winter temperatures reach into the fifties and sixties, as is expected to occur this weekend, honeybee behavior is a different story—one that ranges from helpful to harmful, depending on the beekeeper you ask.
Lucas Fortney
Published January 15, 2018

The State of American Democracy is (Still) Old, White, and Male

A letter from the editor at the Hotel at Oberlin.

Lucas Fortney
Published January 15, 2018

This Week in National News: Us

It’s time to set the record straight about the Gibson’s Bakery lawsuit.

Lucas Fortney
Published January 15, 2018

A Plan in Action

Oberlin College’s buyout program, as told by those who were offered it.

Lucas Fortney
Published January 15, 2018

Craft on Draft

How tips at a local bar may point to shifts in wealth and privilege at Oberlin College.

Luke Fortney • The Oberlin Grape • NOV 2017