DOVER (WJER) (Aug. 22, 2019) - Elementary school officials say it was a smooth start to the new school year Wednesday with the reconfigured buildings.  Staff welcomed pre-k, kindergarten and first grade students into their new home at South School for the first time. Principal Tracie Murphy says she was surprised how well everyone made the transition. She says the grade-leveling changes allowed them to have extra staff available to greet and direct the kids entering the building. Murphy says the arrival and dismissal procedures have also been updated to provide extra safety to the youngest students.  

(TUSCO TV) (Aug. 21, 2019) - The state fire marshal is investigating an early-morning blaze that ravaged Walnut Creek Amish Flea Market Wednesday. Fire Chief Kevin Miller says the fire broke out sometime during the early morning hours, with the initial call coming in just before 4:00 a.m. He says they arrived to find flames coming up through the rooftop, overtaking the main building. The situation had State Route 39 closed in both directions for most of the morning as crews from about 20 different fire departments battled the flames. Miller says even though one of the fire doors wasn’t working properly, they were able to keep the fire from spreading to the rest of the building. The main portion of the building was heavily damaged, with smoke damage to the rest of the building. No one was inside, and no injuries were reported. The market typically houses around 55 vendors and was scheduled to open to Thursday morning.

(TUSCO TV) (Aug. 21, 2019) - A dog that had been missing for two months apparently traveled more than 30 miles before being reunited with its owners by the Tuscarawas County Dog Warden. Assistant Dog Warden Ken Griffith Says a terrier named Dexter who went missing June 13th from Clay’s Park in North Lawrence turned up this week at an abandoned house in Dover. Griffin says they posted the dog’s photo on their Facebook page after discovering his microchip was registered to a disconnected phone number. The owner saw the post and came down to claim him later that afternoon, and Griffith says it was a joyful reunion. Griffith says they’re highlighting the story to remind pet owners to have their animals microchipped and properly licensed and to make sure their registration information is up to date.

(WJER) (Aug. 21, 2019) - Tuscarawas County’s sheriff is ready to offer support to Garaway following the school board’s decision to start arming teachers. Orvis Campbell says he feels this will keep students safer, as it takes safety forces longer to respond to an incident in a rural district like Garaway. Campbell says his deputies provide continued training to districts with armed staff members, which also include Indian Valley, Newcomerstown and Tusky Valley. Superintendent Jim Millet says this is something that has been under consideration for years, and the reaction from parents and staff has been extremely positive. Millet says there’s going to be a very detailed selection process and extensive training requirement for those who carry.

(WJER) (Aug. 21, 2019) - Some fire departments are starting to leave the scene of where a large blaze broke out overnight at the Walnut Creek Amish Flea Market on State Route 39. Holmes County Sheriff’s officials say the fire was first reported to them at 3:50 this morning. Dispatchers are unaware of any injuries. It’s still too early to know a cause. ODOT says State Route 39 is closed in both directions there between Township Road 420 and State Route 93.

– Congressman Bill Johnson was at Cleveland Clinic Union Hospital in Dover yesterday to learn about the facility’s telehealth services. Telehealth refers to using telecommunications and information technology for long-distance health care. Johnson says he heard about the challenges to providing this, such as regulatory and certification barriers.  Johnson says the federal government also needs to expand broadband services to eliminate a rural divide when it comes to health care access, as a large swath of eastern and southeastern Ohio remains unserved or underserved.  Johnson says he was not surprised by these staff member concerns, but he was impressed by level of telehealth services they are able to offer.

UHRICHSVILLE (WJER) (Aug. 20, 2019) - Tuscarawas County’s Community and Economic Development Director says Uhrichsville officials are trying to get funding in place for a major waterline replacement project. Scott Reynolds says the Twin City Water and Sewer District has applied for Community Development Block Grant funding that would cover most of the cost to replace 2,500 feet of the main waterline below East First Street. Reynolds says it’ll improve service while also taking care of health hazards with led fittings still attached to the 100-year old line. Reynolds says the project could cost up to 750,000 with the water and sewer district applying for CDBG funding up to that amount. Reynolds says it’s unclear at this point what construction will mean for residents in that area as well as traffic. He says the engineering is still being worked out. Work is expected to start in the spring if funding is approved

CLEVELAND (WJER) (Aug. 20, 2019) - Anyone who has served in the armed forces looking for work is being invited to a special event in Cleveland to meet with employers focusing on their unique skills.  The groups Recruit Military and Disabled American Veterans are putting on a Veteran’s Job Fair from 11:00a.m to 3:00 p.m Thursday at First Energy Stadium. Event Director Samantha Duncan says they are set to have about 50 exhibitors or so. Duncan says they recommend people before going should take a moment to practice your 30-second elevator pitch. You should make eye contact and confidently greet each recruiter with a smile and firm handshake. And know what to wear. Duncan says the latest list of participating companies and more can be found online at

(Tusco TV) (Aug. 19, 2019) - 
Public records are revealing the financial impact of the Claymont School District's 22-day strike involving the non-teaching union staff in March and April. Claymont paid the Michigan-based company Huffmaster more than $333,000.  That includes just over $260,000 to the company’s crisis management division for security services and nearly $71,000 for temporary replacement workers and related costs. Ohio School Board Association Senior Staff Attorney Van Keating says these types of expenses aren't uncommon because districts want to make sure they are hiring properly-trained professionals to prevent any sort of liability issues during pickets.  Claymont officials declined to comment about the strike expenses. Our partners at Tusco TV have a complete breakdown of the numbers by clicking here. 

(WJER) (Aug. 19, 2019) - A group that offers free legal aid to lower income individuals for civil cases is again making itself available for those seeking assistance.  Southeastern Ohio Legal Services is hosting a free family law clinic tomorrow from 2:00pm 4:00 p.m at the Emmanuel Lutheran Church on East High Avenue in New Philadelphia. Staff Attorney Jesse Moses says private attorneys will be available to give advice about family law. Moses says there’s an abundance of these cases in Tuscarawas County that can include divorces, dissolutions and custody disputes. Moses says there’s no registration. They’ll be talking to individuals who come to the clinic tomorrow on a first come, first served basis.  They should bring along any court paper-work relevant to their case.

(WJER) (Aug. 19, 209) - Tuscarawas County Sheriff’s officials are signaling the near completion of the radio communications upgrade approved by voters through a sales tax hike last year. Fiscal and Human Resource Officer Jim Torch says the Sheriff’s Office is working out the final details, that include installing up-to-date fail-safes at the county’s northwest radio tower. Torch says it’s part of a state requirement to ensure uninterrupted radio service in the event of a power outage. Torch says other preparations mainly include paperwork and lease agreements before they can get the new communications online. In 2018, voters approved a 0.5-percent sales tax increase to help afford the $11.6-million upgrade to the Multi-Agency Radio Communications System.

(WJER) (Aug. 19, 2019) - The State Highway Patrol is investigating a fatal wrong-way accident on I-77 involving an SUV that went airborne where a bridge has been removed for construction. The single-vehicle accident happened above US-36 near Newcomerstown about 2:25 a.m. Sunday. The victim was 33-year-old Kari Kerley of Cleveland. Sgt. Bill Bower says Kerley went left at the end of the US-36 entrance ramp onto 77 south instead of continuing forward, sending her north in the southbound lanes, which are closed off where the bridge is missing. The SUV then struck a bridge abutment and plummeted onto US-36 about 24 feet below, crashing into a guardrail face.  Troopers say Kerley was wearing a seat belt and died at the scene. 

(WJER) (Aug. 19, 2019) Dover’s fire chief says the new station on the north side of the city is already having a positive impact after being open less than two weeks. Russ Volkert says response times are faster on that side of town and the department is properly staffed to handle multiple calls simultaneously. He says the new $1.6-million station houses a pumper truck and an ambulance, with three firefighters on duty per shift. A police office there is not staffed but provides a convenient space for officers to work if they’re out in the field. He says the city will have a dedication and open house at the new station sometime in the future.

(WJER) (Aug. 15, 2019) - The Tuscarawas County Commissioners are preparing for the 2020 census with help from the federal government. Commissioner Chris Abbuhl says they’ve been in contact with a representative from the Federal Census Bureau about forming a local committee that will be charged with developing a plan to take an accurate count of everyone in the county. The “Complete Count Committee” will be comprised of local officials and leaders that will raise awareness and encourage census responses. Abbuhl says that is separate from the actual census workers who will be going out to take the count. Abbuhl says he’s hoping to form a committee that can facilitate an accurate tally of the county population. He says that process will affect their ability to secure federal funding for programs and services offered throughout Tuscarawas. 

(WJER) (Aug. 15, 2019) -  City officials are looking for responsible adults who want to help make sure kids are safe on their walk to school. Mayor Joel Day says the police department is hiring crossing guards for when students go back next Thursday. He says the part-time position guarantees 20 hours a week and pays over $9 an hour. People can contact Captain Joe Skinner at the police department to ask about one of the open positions. Applicants must pass a background check.

(WJER) (Aug. 14, 2019) - The Tuscarawas County Public Library is getting right back to work on their main branch renovations without much down time from the initial phases of work. Director Michelle Ramsell says they’ve completed updates to the building’s parking lot and entrance, updated their drive-thru drop off and turned the former garage into the new lobby space. Ramsell says they will now begin updating their adult sections upstairs and the children’s section down below, while using the lobby as a catchall for library operations in the meantime. Ramsell says while the work is ongoing, their programs will be moved to different locations around the city which will be posted on their website ahead of time for those wishing to attend. Children’s programs will be held at the New Towne Mall for fall story times. These phases work include new public meeting spaces, exterior improvements like new windows and brickwork, and completion of the new 24/7 lockers. Ramsell expects work to finish sometime in December.

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — West Virginia University President Gordon Gee and former Ohio Gov. John Kasich are creating a nonprofit that will fight to steer money from any national opioid settlement to hospitals and health-based research. Gee and Kasich will announce Citizens for Effective Opioid Treatment on Thursday. Their plan is the latest in a tug-of-war over what to do with the potential billions from a settlement with drugmakers and distributors, if one's reached.

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — A history organization says it will preserve and archive items left at a temporary memorial to victims of an Ohio mass shooting earlier this month. Brady Kress is president and CEO of Dayton History. He said Wednesday that the group accepted the items at the request of city officials and hopes the effort will bring a measure of comfort to the community. Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley has previously announced plans to create a permanent memorial.

LORDSTOWN, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio electricity company says it is canceling plans to build a gas-fired power plant because of the state's recent nuclear bailout. The Vindicator reports that the plant would have been Clean Energy Future's third in Lordstown in northeastern Ohio. The company had already spent more than $1 million in development and permitting costs. The company's president says the gas-fired plant would have produced $29 billion of economic benefit over its 50-year lifespan.

SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. (AP) — Members of Congress are planning a tour of the Soo Locks complex in Michigan's Upper Peninsula to learn about a proposed $1 billion upgrade. They'll be led by Democratic Rep. Marcy Kaptur of Ohio and Republican Rep. John Moolenaar of Michigan. The Soo Locks raise and lower ships traveling between Lakes Superior and Huron. The Corps plans to build a second lock that can accommodate 1,000-foot freighters, which haul most of the iron ore used for U.S. steelmaking.

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — One Planned Parenthood official in Minnesota says "there will be a public health crisis" in the wake of the organization's decision to quit a $260 million federal family planning program. Planned Parenthood clinics and several other providers withdrew from the program rather than comply with a new Trump administration rule barring clinics from referring women for abortions.

WASHINGTON (AP) — A possible payroll tax cut has come off the table as President Donald Trump assesses the U.S. economy. Just a day after saying he was considering such a move, Trump said Wednesday he had decided a payroll tax cut is unnecessary because the economy is already doing well _ even though economists are warning of an economic slowdown if not a recession on the horizon. Trump also defends his trade war with China, saying someone has to take on China and he is "the chosen one."

WASHINGTON (AP) — With the federal deficit expected to swell to more than $1 trillion in the next fiscal year, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office says the federal debt is on an unsustainable course. The CBO issued its latest projection on Wednesday, taking into account for the first time this summer's big budget deal reached by President Donald Trump and Congress. CBO director Phillip Swagel says lawmakers will have to increase taxes or cut spending or both to get the country on a sustainable footing.

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — A former Danish prime minister on Thursday lashed out at U.S. President Donald Trump for his tweet about military spending, saying defense willingness is not just about the amount of money spent. Lars Loekke Rasmussen's comment is the latest in an escalating spat between the U.S. and Denmark after Trump scrapped a visit to the country, saying current Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen was "nasty" when she rejected his idea of buying Greenland as an absurdity.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — The late financier Jeffrey Epstein may have set up his will so that any women who accused him of sexual abuse would have a harder time collecting damages. Two days before Epstein killed himself in his jail cell, he signed a will that puts more than $577 million in assets into a trust fund. And by putting his fortune in a trust, he shrouds from public view the identities of the beneficiaries.

MLB:  J.D. Davis lined an RBI single with two outs that capped a two-run rally in the 10th inning and the New York Mets, helped moments earlier by a huge Cleveland mental lapse, beat the Indians 4-3. All-Star reliever Brad Hand's failure to cover first base on a potential game-ending double-play grounder cost Cleveland. Davis made the Indians pay with his first career game-ending hit. The Mets won their fourth in a row and for the 20th time in 25 games, moving a season-high six over .500.

TODAY: Mostly cloudy, showers likely with storms possible, Hi 77
TONIGHT: Mostly cloudy, still a chance of showers before 2am, Lo 58
FRIDAY: Partly sunny, Hi 75
SATURDAY: Sunny, Hi 76