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Heather Willard

General Reporter

Location icon United States

I am a fulltime reporter for the Athens Messenger, covering beats that span Athens County, Ohio. I cover four school districts, two city governments, business stories and feature stories for the daily paper. I also help with the photography needed for both the daily articles and the weekly picture page.
Previously, I worked for the Sidney Daily News in Shelby County, Ohio. I covered school districts, city governments and municipal actions, as well as crime and court stories, including lengthy trials. I also covered spot news, such as crashes and fires.
Before graduating, I covered campus activism and Student Senate at Ohio University for The New Political under the guidance of Cat Hofacker. I was also one of the lead photographers for TNP during my tenure there, and had experience writing for its state and city beats. I also worked as OU's Environmental and Plant Biology department PACE writer, writing upwards of 3-5 articles a week for the department, and was a copy editor for College Green Magazine.

The Athens Messenger
Mill Fest 2019

Mill Fest marked the official start of fest season this year, with hundreds of fest-goers flooding Mill Street again for the annual parties. This year seemed calm, but mishaps still happened. Messenger photos by Heather Willard and John Halley.

The Athens Messenger
Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month kicks off with march

Hundreds of individuals and almost a dozen organizations took to Court Street Friday morning, laughing and walking hand-in-hand to celebrate the start of Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month. This happened during the 2nd Annual March on Court Street for developmental disability awareness, organized by the Athens County Board of Developmental Disabilities.

The Athens Messenger
Children Services applauds governor's intent to increase funding

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine wants far more state funding to be allocated toward children services and those with the Athens County Children Services are voicing approval for that suggestion. It will be up to state legislators to ultimately determine how much funding the state will provide to protect abused and neglected children in Ohio.

The Athens Messenger
OU trustees to address historic, on-campus 'houses'

One of the defining characteristics of Ohio University's campus core is the presence of old-fashioned houses. Scattered between traditional campus buildings, these houses are sometimes easy to overlook. There are 15 houses in total, with most of them surrounding the College Green.

Snapshot of Life
Photo Reel

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