COMMUNITY CAN HELP HEALTH CARE WORKERS; OPEN COVID-19 TESTING NOT AVAILABLE
DOVER (WJER) (March 27, 2020) - Cleveland Clinic Hospitals are welcoming assistance from Northeast Ohio communities. Spokesman Darrin Lautenschleger says Cleveland Clinic Union Hospital and others are launching a campaign to allow area residents to lend a hand to health care workers fighting COVID-19. He says people can donate supplies like hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes, or gift cards for health care workers to buy meals. He says they can make facemasks, donate blood, or donate to COVID-19 research and treatment. Meanwhile, Lautenschleger says open testing for covid-19 is not available. Those who want to be tested need an order from a doctor. Lautenschleger says if they do not have a doctor they should call Cleveland Clinic primary care physician line at 330-602-0778, He says Cleveland Clinic Union Hospital is testing at three locations: the emergency center, the First Care Urgent Center in north Dover, and their Primary Care Center in north Dover.

CONGRESSMAN SUPPORTS COVID-19 RELIEF PACKAGE
WASHINGTON, D.C. (WJER/AP) (March 27, 2020) - Ohio’s Congressmen were among those voicing support for the 2.2-trillion-dollar rescue package approved by the House Friday. Marietta Republican Bill Johnson implored the House to support the measure to help families, businesses, and hospitals. The CARES Act tosses a life preserver to a U.S. economy and health care system left flailing by the coronavirus pandemic. The House approved the sweeping measure by a voice vote, as strong majorities of both parties lined up behind the most colossal economic relief bill in the nation's history. It will ship payments of up to $1,200 to millions of Americans, bolster unemployment benefits, and offer loans, grants and tax breaks to businesses large and small. Johnson says may Americans are in need, noting that a record 3 million applied for unemployment benefits. The measure also will flush billions more to states, local governments and the nation's health care system. President Donald Trump said he would sign it immediately.

DOG WARDEN MARKS 25 YEARS HELPING CANINES
NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) (March 27, 2020) - The Tuscarawas County Dog Warden is marking a quarter-century of helping area canines in need. Dog Pound staff celebrated Terry Warner’s 25th work anniversary last week. Warner started working at the County Dog Pound in 1995 and took over as warden when Karen Slough retired in 2017. He says finding homes for the dogs is the best part of his job.
Warner says he plans to retire down the road and spend more time with his wife and grandkids, but he hasn’t set a date yet. 


DOVER POSTPONES AUCTION OF OLD HIGH SCHOOL ITEMS 
DOVER (WJER) (March 27, 2020) - Dover alumni are going to have to wait a while before getting their hands on memorabilia from the old high school. Treasurer Andrew Bache says they are postponing the item auction that was set for April 11th. He says the tentative plan is to hold the auction in the late summer. He says they’re trying to save as much as they can, but storage space is limited. Bache says people should let him know if they’re interested in something specific to set aside for the auction by calling the treasurer’s office or sending an e-mail to bachea@dovertornadoes.com

ECONOMIC STRESS SQUEEZING DOVER-PHILA FOOD PANTRY
DOVER (WJER) (March 27, 2020) - Greater Dover-New Philadelphia Food Pantry officials say they are now hurting financially as more people depend on them. Board President Mike Finley says most donations come from churches, but they are currently closed.  The pantry went from serving about 750 families to 900 last week.  He says they have been buying twice as much food as that number should only climb, while the food is also becoming more expensive.  Finley says the pantry only has enough money for about three more months, so he’s asking the county commissioners to request about $25,000 from the state to get back on track. People can also donate by mailing a check to the pantry at P.O. Box 95, Dover Ohio 44622. 

ESSENTIAL BUSINESS DESIGNATION CREATING CONFUSION

DOVER (WJER) (March 26, 2020) - The Tuscarawas County health commissioner says some businesses are expressing frustration and others are stretching the definition of essential by staying open in defiance of the state order to close. Katie Seward says she has fielded complaints from both businesses that want to remain open and workers who want their employers to close. Seward says they have turned down applications to stay open for two specific industries: car dealerships and lawn care services. However, automobile supply and repair services can stay open. Seward is asking for company owners who want to stay open to get legal advice and send a letter to the county health department requesting the essential designation.


KENT TUSC OFFERING DISASTER LOAN ASSISTANCE

NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) (March 25, 2020) - The head of the Kent State Tuscarawas Small Business Development Center is letting area business owners know about funding that’s available to help them make ends meet.  Steve Schillig says the federal government is offering low-interest loans of up to $2-million to small businesses and non-profits impacted by the coronavirus situation. Schillig says it’s a fixed capital loan that can be used for payroll, loan payments and certain operating expenses but not expand or supplement lost sales and profits. Schillig says repayment terms range from several months to 30 years and come with an 11-month payment deferment. He says businesses should apply directly at disasterloans.sba.gov but they can contact him at the Small Business Development Center if they have any questions. 

 

CO-DEFENDANT SENTENCED FOR 2019 ROBBERY

NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) (March 25, 2020) - A former Uhrichsville woman has been sentenced to five years of probation for the robbery where a 23-year-old was stabbed and had his pickup truck stolen last year in Dover.  35-year-old Kimberly Jarvis was also ordered to complete an incarceration-based offender treatment program for the incident that took place October 25th on Oxford Street.  Assistant County Prosecutor Mike Ernest says Jarvis participated in the robbery with 41-year-old Arthur Ginier but didn’t know Ginier was going to stab the victim. Jarvis was found guilty last month of aggravated robbery, theft and grand theft of a motor-vehicle after changing her plea from not guilty to no contest.  Her sentence carries a reserved four and a half-year prison term. 

 

ODOT BEGINS SPRING CONSTRUCTION SEASON
NEW PHILADELPHIA
(WJER) (March 25, 2020) - The Ohio Department of Transportation is still moving forward on its first couple projects for the 2020 construction season.  District 11 spokeswoman Lauren Borell says the I-77 north bridge replacement project over U.S. 36 in Newcomerstown starts up this week, lasting through the end of October. And U.S. 250 westbound will go down to one lane for a bridge repair project west of the Schoenbrunn exit in New Philadelphia.  Borell says the 250 project will begin on Monday. It’s set to be complete around the end of June, weather permitting. 

CMH OFFERS CORONAVIRUS ANXIETY ADVICE
DOVER (WJER) (March 25, 2020) – Community Mental Healthcare’s director is offering some tips to combat the psychological stress or depression from the coronavirus outbreak. JJ Boroski says practicing self-care and setting aside time for yourself can help you cope. He suggests taking part in favorite activities and staying in touch with friends and family. Boroski says it’s also important for parents to check in with children and answer any questions. Boroski says people can still reach out to CMH for over-the-phone and in-person counseling services, and they can contact the agency’s 24/7 crisis hotline for immediate assistance.


NEW PHILA SIGNS OFF ON OPIOID SETTLEMENT ARRANGEMENT

NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) (March 24, 2020) – New Phila’s law director says the city is prepared for a potential settlement in the joint-opioid litigation between drug manufacturers and the cities, counties and the state who took the brunt of the drug epidemic. Marvin Fete says council passed legislation on an emergency basis Monday to accept a memorandum of understanding detailing how any money would be split up. He says their estimates show the city stands to receive between $600,000 and $1-million from a potential settlement. Fete says that would be put to good use as the city has already been working to curtail the addiction crisis through their municipal recovery court and Narcan program.

ANIMAL ADOPTIONS CONTINUE AT COUNTY HUMANE SOCIETY
NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) (March 24, 2020) – The Tuscarawas County Humane Society is letting people know they can still adopt a new best friend during the statewide stay-at-home order. Shelter Director Haley Predragovich says they were planning to suspend all adoptions until further notice but the health commissioner has deemed them an “essential activity.” Predragovich says adoptions are by appointment only for people with pre-approved applications. She says now is a great time to think about adoption, with more people spending time at home to help get their new pet acclimated.  Predragovich says the humane society is still accepting donations as well. She says they are always in need in cleaning supplies and paper towels, especially now.

NP RECORDS ITS 1ST CORONAVIRUS CASE
NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) (March 24, 2020) - Tuscarawas County has its third confirmed coronavirus case, a 36-year-old New Philadelphia man who is in stable condition. New Philadelphia Health Commissioner Vickie Ionno says this is the city’s first positive case. The health department is not releasing the man’s name, but they are working to identify anyone who could have come in close contact with him so they can also be monitored. 

FATAL CRASH UNDER INVESTIGATION
NEW PHILADELPHIA
(WJER) (March 24, 2020) - State troopers are investigating a single vehicle crash that killed the driver of a pickup truck north of Strasburg this morning. The victim’s name is not being released at this time. State Highway Patrol New Philadelphia Post Commander Lt. Mark Glennon says the truck was southbound on Strasburg-Bolivar Road when it went off the left side of the road, across a small creek, and struck an embankment. Glennon says troopers are unsure when the accident happened, but a passerby reported it at about 4:30 a.m.    

HEALTH DEPARTMENT KEEPING TABS ON OPEN BUSINESSES
DOVER
(WJER) (March 24, 2020) - Businesses that have consulted with legal counsel and decided to stay open during the stay at home order that’s now in effect are being told to notify the Tuscarawas County Health Department and explain why they're still operating. Community Relations Director Jennifer Demuth says businesses should e-mail director@tchdnow.org, listing their name, location, line of business and the section of the state order that deems them essential. It could be a second-degree misdemeanor for non-essential businesses to stay open. DeMuth says it’s also about keeping our community safe. This request is for businesses outside of New Philadelphia only, as businesses in the city should be contacting the New Philadelphia Health Department. 

EMA COLLECTING PROTECTION FOR COVID-19 RESPONDERS

NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) (March 23, 2020) - Tuscarawas County’s Emergency Management director is asking the community to help make sure our doctors and first responders have what they need to keep themselves healthy during the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.  Alex McCarthy says the agency is seeking donations of personal protective equipment like surgical masks and gowns, nitrile gloves and hand sanitizer. McCarthy says they’ll take both surgical and N-95 masks but gloves must be medical grade. He says people can contact the ema if they have items to donate.  McCarthy says donated items will be distributed as needed to area hospitals and first responders.  

 

VIRUS SPREAD DECLARED COUNTYWIDE PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY

NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) (March 23, 2020) - The Tuscarawas County Commissioners are responding to the current coronavirus threat by declaring the situation a local public health emergency.  Commissioner Al Landis says they passed the emergency declaration Monday morning in support of the county’s public health and emergency management officials and others working on the frontlines. Landis says it’s largely symbolic but they’re hoping it reinforces the messages coming down from the state and federal level. Landis says they’ve been assured that even without the declaration, the county will still be eligible for any emergency funds and resources that become available, but he says they wanted to pass it just in case.  The county recorded its second confirmed case of the virus Sunday but health department officials say many others are likely infected.

2ND LOCAL CASE CONFIRMED, OTHERS QUARANTINED
DOVER
(WJER) (March 23, 2020) - The Tuscarawas County Health Department is confirming a second case of coronavirus in the county, a 41-year-old man who came into contact with the county’s first case. This second person is at home and recovering well. In a separate matter, Hennis Care Centre of Dover confirmed an outside healthcare professional from another county had direct contact with approximately 20 residents and three healthcare workers there on March 13. That person then tested positive a week later.  Hennis officials say the potentially affected residents are being quarantined and monitored, but so far they have no confirmed or suspected cases.  As a precaution, Hennis will not be accepting any visitors until at least April 1.

TIPPECANOE WOMAN DIES IN SUBMERGED CAR
NEW PHILADELPHIA
(WJER) (March 23, 2020) - The State Highway Patrol says a Harrison County woman drowned when her car got swept away by floodwaters in Mill Township. Trooper Leroy Bethel says 81-year-old Golda Ash of Tippecanoe died in the early Saturday afternoon incident on State Route 800 north of Stillwater after driving around a road closed barricade. She called 9-1-1 while trapped in her car alone before it filled with water, which allowed responders to eventually locate the vehicle in eight to 10 feet of water. She died at the scene. Ash told dispatchers she attempted to cross after seeing another vehicle make it through the high water. 

STATE NEWS
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio's health director says the state's efforts to slow the the coronavirus are showing positive signs. Dr. Amy Acton said Thursday that early modeling shows Ohio is on track to cut the impact on the state's health care system by 50% or more. But she says residents must remain committed to social distancing and staying home. The state is now up to 15 deaths and more than 860 cases of the virus. Meanwhile, Gov. Mike DeWine says he plans on Friday to sign a sweeping relief package to address impacts of the coronavirus after jobless claims skyrocketed last week.

RAVENNA, Ohio (AP) — A woman has been charged criminally in the death of a newborn found inside a trash bag at an Ohio college dormitory. The Ravenna Record-Courier reports 19-year-old Breyona Reddick, of Cleveland, was arrested Wednesday after being indicted in Portage County on aggravated murder, felonious assault, endangering children, tampering with evidence and abuse of a corpse charges. Reddick was a student at Hiram College outside Cleveland when the newborn's body was discovered in October. A medical examiner ruled the death a homicide and the cause as asphyxiation due to exposure and postpartum inattention. A message seeking comment was left with Reddick's attorney.

QUINCY, Mass. (AP) — Grocery stores across the U.S. are installing protective plastic shields at checkouts to help keep cashiers and shoppers from infecting one another with the coronavirus. The see-through barriers are going up this week at supermarket chains including Stop & Shop, Giant Eagle, Kroger, Walmart and Publix. Grocers say they're trying to protect employees and consumers, since bagging and paying for food takes place well within the minimum 6-foot distance public health experts are urging people to maintain. Some grocery stores in France also installed similar barriers last week when that country went into lockdown.

CINCINNATI (AP) — Political campaigns in some U.S. states have been switching gears or in limbo awaiting decisions on voting plans after elections were postponed because of the coronavirus outbreak. Candidates lacking cash and prohibited from rallying supporters at mass gatherings have been forced to turn to phone banks or online digital forums. The situation was especially uncertain in Ohio, where the health director called off in-person voting hours before the March 17 primary. Now the state is poised to finish the primary by April 28 with only mail-in voting. One congressional candidate calls it "unexpected overtime in a game that's never had overtime before." 

NATIONAL NEWS:
TORONTO (AP) — The United States' caseload of coronavirus infections surged to the most in the world and its capital reported more infections as Italy shut most of its industry and masses of Indian day laborers received food rations after a lockdown put them out of work. Increases in the number of cases have been expected as testing becomes more available. The U.S. passed China with more than 85,000 cases, and Italy also exceeded 80,000, the three countries accounting for almost half of the world's infections from the new virus. Most of China's patients have recovered, while places where the virus arrived later are now dealing with overwhelmed hospitals and converting public spaces for treating the sick.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Washington is about to deliver massive, unprecedented legislation to speed help to individuals and businesses as the coronavirus pandemic takes a devastating toll on the U.S. economy and a health care system straining to keep up. The House is set to pass the sprawling, $2.2 trillion measure on Friday morning after an extraordinary 96-0 Senate vote late Wednesday. President Donald Trump is eager to sign it into law. The relief can hardly come soon enough. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell says the economy "may well be in recession" already and the government has reported a 3.3 million burst of weekly jobless claims, more than four times the previous record.

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iranian state TV says the military has set up a 2,000-bed hospital in an exhibition center in the capital to shore up the local health care system as it battles the worst coronavirus outbreak in the Middle East. It said Thursday the new facility, which includes three units and several isolation wards, was set up in just 48 hours. It will be used for patients who are recovering from the COVID-19 illness caused by the virus. Iran has reported more than 2,200 deaths among nearly 30,000 confirmed cases. Authorities have urged people to stay home but have not imposed the sweeping lockdowns seen elsewhere in the region.

NEW YORK (AP) — The coronavirus outbreak is taking its toll on New York City's civil servants. Two people who helped keep New York moving during the crisis were killed by the virus Thursday. Transport Workers Union identified the victims as bus operator Oliver Cyrus and train conductor Peter Petrassi. The New York Police Department also announced its first coronavirus death. The city's police commissioner identified the victim as department janitor Dennis Dickson. COVID-19 has attacked New York with increasing force. The number of people hospitalized with the virus rose by 40% between Wednesday and Thursday.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The federal Bureau of Prisons is struggling to manage the growing coronavirus pandemic as advocates and even prison guards call for major reforms to head off a potential outbreak behind bars. Ten inmates and eight staff members have tested positive for COVID-19. Inmates, correction officers, lawyers and advocates tell The Associated Press there's widespread fear among inmates and staff members that the virus could spread rapidly within the prisons. The bureau has been plagued for years by violence, misconduct and staffing shortages. The bureau's director says the low number of confirmed cases is a testament to "effective planning and execution."


SPORTS:

OHSAA’S CANCELATION ENDS QUAKERS PLAYOFF RUN
NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) (March 27, 2020) - The OHSAA’s decision to cancel high school winter sports tournaments means the New Philadelphia boys basketball team’s run at a state championship is over. The Quakers were district champs and were anticipating a sweet 16 matchup with Columbus St. Francis DeSales when the OHSAA first postponed the tournaments March 12. New Philadelphia Athletic Director Matt Dennison says the cancelation was expected, but still disappointing. Dennison says with the cancelation the OHSAA stands to lose $1.5 million, about 80 percent of its revenue. Dennison says they may still find a way to recognize the athletes, and the OHSAA is still planning to have a spring season, even if it starts in May. 

WEATHER:
TODAY: Cloudy, High 60
TONIGHT: Showers likely, storms possible after 3am, Low 52
SATURDAY: Showers likely, storms possible before 8am, High 70
SUNDAY: Showers, mainly before 9 am,  High 65
MONDAY: Partly sunny, High 53