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Anti-Fracking Item Won't Be On Athens City Ballot

The fall ballot in one southeastern Ohio city won't include an initiative seeking to ban the controversial high-pressure oil and gas drilling technique of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. The Athens County Board of Elections rejected the ballot initiative without elaborating, and supporters of the proposal tell The Athens Messenger it's too late to make the Nov. 5 ballot. The proposal would have banned such drilling and related waste-disposal work in Athens, which is home to Ohio University. Similar bans are slated to be on fall ballots in Youngstown in northeast Ohio and in Bowling Green in northwest Ohio after protests against those initiatives were unsuccessful or were withdrawn. A spokesman for the group that backed the Athens proposal says it hasn't decided on any next steps or possible appeal.