Author Archives: Caitlin Cook

Caitlin Cook

Caitlin Cook, 22, is majoring in journalism and philosophy at Youngstown State University. She hails from Charleston, W.Va., where she graduated from Capital High School in 2007. At YSU, she is a member of the Women’s Swimming and Diving Team. Much like a swimmer in water, she feels natural and complete when writing and pursuing new journalistic endeavors.

Landowners to be hit hard with severance tax increase

Posted on in Archives, Inside Shale, News |
Tom and Sharon Bailey own 21.7 acres of land along state Route 441 in Columbiana County. They signed a lease with a 17.5 percent royalty rate with a gas company. Because this is a net lease, the Baileys will pay a portion of the severance tax as well as taxes on the royalties. – Caitlin Cook/

Gov. John Kasich’s plan to increase severance taxes on horizontal gas drilling may have hit a bump when the House failed to include it in its approved budget April 18, but that doesn’t mean the issue is dead.

Waste dumped in Mahoning finds its way to Beaver Falls municipal water plant

Posted on in Community, Environment, Inside Shale |
Mike Goffe, 36, prepares to deliver coffee while working for his parents at the Matty Goffe's Café in Beaver Falls. A fiiltered watr system is on the counter behind him. The restaurant uses filtered water because the city's water supply comes from the Beaver and Mahoning rivers. (Caitlin Cook/

State officials work to communicate spills downstream

Most mornings patrons at Matty Goffe’s Café in Beaver Falls, PA, sip their coffee and share the latest news. What they aren’t talking about is how much of the 250,000 gallons of suspected fracking wastewater dumped in Youngstown might have gotten into their cup of joe.

Despite possible increase in Ohio taxes, Pennsylvania Fears Drilling May Move West

Posted on in Community, Inside Shale |
Jim Barbour, a farmer in Susquehanna County, PA, is happy that a new compressor plant is being built on his property, near his produce stand. However, he is unhappy that the state just implemented a rule limiting air emissions from compressor stations. (Caitlin Cook/

Even with Gov. John Kasich’s proposal to increase the severance tax on gas and oil production, the Buckeye State remains one of the cheapest states for the industry to do business in.

Professor bemoans latest illegal dumping into river

Posted on in Community, Environment |

One day after news of the illegal dumping of 20,000 gallons of crude oil and brine into a storm drain that empties into the Mahoning, Schroeder went to the area to survey the damage.

Residents can leave nursing homes with help from HOME Choice

Posted on in Critical Care, Health |
Brienne Allison, 41, wouldn’t have been able to leave Essex of Salem I nursing home and get her own apartment without the help of the HOME Choice, Money Follows the Person program.

On a given day, Brienne Allison, 41, may be getting ready for a date with her boyfriend, entertaining a friend or listening to Van Halen on her stereo.

That she is doing these things at her own home was unthinkable just a few years ago when she was living in the Essex of Salem I nursing home.

Ruling of Super PACs felt locally

Posted on in Politics |

Election outcomes may be unpredictable, but one thing is clear, the biggest winners this year are local TV stations.

Pressure mounts for undecided voters to make up minds

Posted on in Archives, News, Politics |
Illustration by Andrew Bush/

When The News Outlet began following undecided voters in mid-August, the Columbus Dispatch reported that 10 percent of Ohio’s registered voters were undecided.

That number has dwindled as the presidential election approaches. About 5 percent of voters tell pollsters they remain undecided, according to The Atlantic magazine.

Debate lacks civility for both sides

Posted on in News, Politics |
Out-of-town construction workers Ryan Baltz and Ken Stohler talk politics on the job site of the Youngstown State University sports field. Stohler, a 60-year-old conservative business owner, and Baltz, a 26-year-old liberal college graduate, both agree that Ohio’s political atmosphere is unlike any they’ve seen. (Doug Livingston/

Wednesday morning, Ryan Baltz and Ken Stohler shared a coffee and fluorescent yellow vests at the Fifth Avenue McDonalds. Tuesday night, they shared a hotel room at the Comfort Inn in Austintown, where they watched the second presidential debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y.

Columbiana swing voter not sure if voters are tuning in

Posted on in Politics, Profiles |
Brian Brown, a political science graduate, talks about the future of the American dream in his video game store.
(Photo by Richard Darbey/The News Outlet)

Throughout the political conventions, Columbiana County resident Brian Brown found interesting points from both candidates, but his support for President Barack Obama hasn’t waivered.

He believes the conventions highlighted some of his concerns with the election and the role of government.

(Photo by Richard Darbey/The News Outlet)

Columbiana resident works two jobs, waits for Obama’s promise

Posted on in Politics, Profiles |
Brian Brown, a political science graduate, talks about the future of the American dream in his video game store.
(Photo by Richard Darbey/The News Outlet)

After graduating from Columbiana High School in 2003, Brian Brown started a journey no one in his family had embarked on before. Equipped with a positive outlook on his future, Brown moved to Washington, D.C., and earned a political science degree from American University.

That’s where the American dream faded.