- Associated Press - Thursday, November 6, 2014

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - A southeastern Ohio college town is among communities around the country that voted to ban fracking in Tuesday’s election.

Athens overwhelmingly passed a Community Bill of Rights prohibiting the much-debated hydraulic fracturing drilling technique inside city limits. Similar bans are in place in Yellow Springs, Mansfield, Oberlin and Broadview Heights.

For now, such bans are mostly symbolic because Ohio law gives the state - not local communities - authority over oil-and-gas operations. That arrangement is being challenged in court.

Elsewhere in the state, Kent, Youngstown and the Cleveland suburb of Gates Mills rejected fracking bans. It was the fourth attempt for Youngstown activists, who said they’re evaluating their options.

Nationally, the Texas town of Denton, and San Benito and Mendocino counties in California also voted Tuesday to limit fracking.

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