TWO VYING FOR COUNTY JUVENILE AND PROBATE COURT JUDGE
NEW PHILADELPHIA (TUSCO) (June 19, 2019) - Two familiar faces at the Tuscarawas County Courthouse are making a bid to become the next Juvenile and Probate Court Judge. Assistant Prosecutor Amanda Miller and Magistrate Adam Wilgus are both seeking the republican nomination in next year’s primary election in hopes of going on to replace Judge Linda Kate when she steps down at the start of 2021. Wilgus says he wants to partner with community organizations on getting treatment for parents with substance abuse issues, so they can work toward regaining custody of their children. Miller says she also wants to create new programs that bolster at-risk youth after seeing more and more juvenile offenders coming back through the system as adults. Wilgus says he’s announcing his candidacy now because it’s going to be an early primary. Miller says she’s been talking about running for a year and a half, since she found out Judge Kate would retire.
COUNTY LIBRARY WORKING TO START FOUNDATION
NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) (June 19, 2019) - Tuscarawas County Public Library officials say they are trying to gain more control over how donated funds are handled. Library Director Michelle Ramsell says they want to establish a foundation for the library system in hopes of being able to grow their funds more rapidly and utilize them as needs arise. Ramsell says donations to the library are currently under strict guidelines that she says limits how the money can be utilized throughout the system. Ramsell says work has already begun with fundraisers being planned, like the garden tour in July, that will establish seed money for the foundation. She says once the foundation has been established for several years, the library will be able to use that money for anything from improvement projects to general operating expenses, as they’ve seen through other systems that already have their own foundation.
EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY TRACKS FLOOD DAMAGE
NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) (June 19, 2019) - Tuscarawas County Emergency Management Agency Officials say residents should remain vigilant with the potential for flash flooding sticking around another day. EMA Deputy Director Gail Baldwin says the National Weather Service has extended a flash flood watch through Thursday evening, with parts of the county already dealing with overflown storm drains and streets. Baldwin says people need to understand the danger posed by even a little bit of water, saying just six inches is enough to knock someone over. She says high water over parts of SR 212 in bolivar had the road temporarily closed yesterday, and she says there were also reports of high water in parts of southern Tuscarawas County. Anyone with property damage because of the rains should contact the EMA. Baldwin says if enough people report property damage because of flooding, the county could be eligible for relief funds that would help mitigate the damage.
NEW PHILADELPHIA SCHOOLS UNVEIL MASTER PLAN
NEW PHILADELPHIA (TUSCO TV) (June 18, 2019) - New Philadelphia School District officials are revealing how they want to address the overcrowded buildings situation. The school board’s master plan calls for consolidating the district’s seven schools all into two new buildings. One would be a 7th through 12th grade building near Kent State Tuscarawas and Buckeye Career Center. The other would be a new pre-k through sixth grade building somewhere in the downtown area. Superintendent David Brand says there are still many specific details to work out before taking this to voters, possibly as soon as this November. School Board President Chris Weaver says this came out of six months of study and over 1,200 points of community interaction. The project could cost about $100-million with the state covering 55% of it. But this would also save the district $14.5-million in maintenance costs for the existing facilities over the next 10 years.
SHERIFF’S OFFICE CATCHES UNDERAGE TOBACCO SALES
NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) (June 19, 2019) - The Tuscarawas County Sheriff’s Office is back to making sure area businesses are following age restrictions when it comes to selling tobacco products. Detective Sgt. Phil Valdez says they recently sent undercover teens in to attempt to purchase vaping products at 11 tobacco shops and convenience stores in the New Philadelphia, Uhrichsville and Newcomerstown areas. Valdez says 3 of those 11 locations ended up selling to the teens. Valdez says those three clerks were cited and it’s up to the judges whether to fine them. But some of those stores will also fire any employee who sells to a minor. Valdez says the clerks also realize they messed up when caught. Valdez says this operation was funded through a grant with the cooperation of the Tuscarawas County Health Department and the local anti-drug coalition.
COMMISSIONERS UPGRADING THEIR MEETING ROOM
NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) (June 18, 2019) - The Tuscarawas County Commissioners are adding their courthouse annex board room to the to-do list for improvements. The commissioners recently approved a contract to update the cabinetry and countertops in the William E. Winters Board Room and replace the podium with a conference table at a total cost of just under $23,600. Commissioner Joe Sciarretti says the project has been on their radar for quite a while. He says they’re only tackling it now because the county is in such good shape financially. Sciarretti says the project includes the installation of an enclosed display case to protect delicate artifacts including the county’s first journal and the heads of the metal Ladies of Justice statues that sat on top of the original courthouse. Sciarretti says the entire project is expected to take around two days to complete.
DOVER OKs FERAL CAT TRAP AND RELEASE EFFORT
DOVER (WJER) (June 18, 2019) - Dover City Council is approving a new program to help control the feral cat population in the city. Council President Shane Gunnoe says they have changed city ordinances to allow the Tuscarawas County TNR Project to trap feral cats, neuter them and return them to the same property. The changes to city ordinances mean volunteers with the TNR Project will not be found in violation of city rules regarding leashed animals and abandoning animals when they are trapping and releasing cats. There are also new rules that say only representatives of the TNR Project can trap cats, and they must have written permission from the property owners on hand. TNR Project volunteer Marilyn Graef says the group is happy with the city’s decision.
JFS DISCUSSES ELDER ABUSE INTERVENTION DURING AWARENESS MONTH
NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) (June 17, 2019) - The Tuscarawas County Job and Family Services Department is raising awareness about elder abuse for its special prevention month in June. Adult Protective Services Supervisor Lisa Wodkowski says the most common form they see is self-neglect, with a senior citizen showing signs that can include an unkempt appearance, weight loss and deteriorating home conditions. Wodkowski says they can set up home services to help the person in need, but a licensed physician has to rule that person incompetent for JFS to be able to force them into a better living situation. Wodkowski says one change making a difference is a new state law requiring certain employees who work with the elderly to report any signs of abuse or neglect they detect or learn about. She says her office has two caseworkers for the county to investigate elder abuse allegations.
BWC GRANT SAVES VILLAGE WORKERS’ BACKS
NEWCOMERSTOWN (TUSCO TV) (June 17, 2019) - A safety grant going to the village of Newcomerstown could be saving water department employees from a sore back or more. Mayor Pat Cadle says they’re getting $30,000 from the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation to cover about half the cost of purchasing a valve exerciser, making it easier and reducing the risk of opening the valves on these underground waterlines. He says this will allow them to keep up on the lines that have become stuck, or that have become rusted, over the years. He says getting to do this annual maintenance should prevent some of these issues in the future. Cadle says in addition, the water department will be getting a backup generator for their building courtesy of AEP.
LITTLE THEATRE DEBUTS NEW SEASON
NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) (June 17, 2019) - The Little Theater of Tuscarawas County will present seven shows in its 2019-2020 season featuring characters familiar to a wide-ranging audience. Marketing Chair Alison Morris recently helped announce the new season. Morris says the titles include many recognizable names such as Sherlock Holmes, Anne Frank and The Little Mermaid. Morris says people can buy tickets for individual shows or the whole season by calling the Kent State Performing Arts Center, or at the door the night of the show at the Little Theater on Carrie Avenue Northwest in New Philadelphia. Meanwhile, before the next season begins, the current season concludes with “Mama Mia,” which opens next week.
MOTHER CHARGED IN TODDLER’S BEATING AT HANDS OF BOYFRIEND
NEW PHILADELPHIA (Tusco TV) (June 17, 2019) - A Barnhill area mother has been charged in the case where her live-in boyfriend severely beat her 2-year-old son last November. Charges against 22-year-old Shania Woods include child endangerment and obstruction for leaving her toddler in the care of 22-year-old Joseph Sanders of the Uhrichsville area. Sanders is serving seven years in prison after pleading guilty in March to felonious assault and endangering children for the beating that left the young boy with life-threatening injuries. Tuscarawas County Assistant Prosecutor Amanda Miller says they believe Woods failed to protect her child and lied to investigators. Woods is out of jail on her own recognizance and is due back in court July 1st for a pretrial hearing.
PHILA BOAT RAMP NEARS COMPLETION
NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) (June 17, 2019) - The city’s mayor says the wait is nearly over for canoers and kayakers hoping to get an extra leg of the Tuscarawas River under their belts. Joel Day says the boat ramp behind Waterworks baseball fields is just about finished with grass being planted. He says they will announce a date for the ribbon cutting soon. He says the city also needs to install some safety features at the ramp and on the river, like signage for directional purposes and to point out hazardous areas on the river. Meanwhile, Day says he recently signed an agreement with American Electric Power to use a portion of their land as a portage area a few hundred yards downstream from the ramp, so paddlers can get out and around a concrete encasement that blocks the river when it’s low. Day also says the SR 416 boat ramp at the former Carlisle Canoe Livery is expected to finish up by mid-July.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio House committee has scheduled a vote on legislation allowing individuals to carry concealed weapons without having to receive training, undergo a background check or obtain a license. The House Federalism Committee meets Wednesday on the bill sponsored by Rep. Ron Hood of Ashville and Rep. Thomas Brinkman Jr., of Cincinnati, both Republicans. The FOP and the Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police oppose the legislation.
COSHOCTON, Ohio (AP) — Authorities say four children and two adults have died in two separate fires in Ohio. Authorities say three children died and a fourth juvenile was injured in a Coshocton County barn fire early Tuesday and two adults and a child died later Tuesday in a Licking County house fire. Authorities were trying to determine what caused both fires.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — State data shows the Cleveland Clinic has surpassed Walmart as Ohio's largest private-sector employer. The Cleveland-based hospital system has 50,825 employees, compared to Walmart's 49,330. That's according to the Ohio Development Services Agency's annual report on major employers in the state. It was released earlier this spring.
DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — The return of the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds highlights this weekend's Dayton Air Show in Ohio. The Army's Golden Knights demonstration team will also take part in the annual show Saturday and Sunday at Dayton International Airport. Vectren Dayton Air Show organizers said the 2018 show drew an estimated 62,000 people, after falling to 44,000 in 2017 after cancellation of the Thunderbirds' appearance when two Thunderbird team members were injured while preparing for that show.
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — President Donald Trump has officially kicked off his reelection campaign with a grievance-filled Florida rally that focused more on settling scores than laying out his agenda for a second term. Trump spoke at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida. He says he has been "under assault from the very first day" of his presidency by a "fake news media" and "illegal witch hunt" that had tried to keep him and his supporters down." And he is accusing his critics of "un-American conduct."
BAGHDAD (AP) — Israel is holding its largest military drill in years, with thousands of troops from the army, navy and air force simulating a future war with Lebanese Hezbollah militants. The military says it's wrapping up the four-day exercise on Wednesday.
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Chinese President Xi Jinping is praising North Korea for moving in the "right direction" ahead of his visit to Pyongyang beginning Thursday. In the essay published by both countries' official media, Xi said nothing on the stalled nuclear talks between Washington and Pyongyang. Experts believe Xi will endorse North Korea's calls for an incremental disarmament process in which North Korea's actions are met with U.S. concessions.
GENEVA (AP) — The United Nations refugee agency says a record 71 million people have now been displaced worldwide by war, persecution and other violence. That's an increase of more than 2 million from last year and an overall total that would amount to the world's 20th largest country by population. The annual "Global Trends" report was released Wednesday and counts the number of the world's refugees, asylum-seekers and internally displaced people at the end of 2018.
PHOENIX (AP) — Police Chief Jeri Williams has promised change in her department after being booed by some of hundreds of people gathered to discuss a videotaped police encounter that has caused a national outcry. The Tuesday night meeting was called after the release of the video of last month's incident involving police officers who pointed their guns and shouted obscenities at a couple who say their 4-year-old daughter stole doll from a store without their knowledge.
MLB: Cleveland rookie Zach Plesac allowed only two hits pitching into the eighth inning and the Indians had four home runs to overwhelm the Texas Rangers 10-3. Jake Bauers, Roberto Perez and Tyler Naquin started the Indians' seventh with consecutive homers. It's the first time in nearly 15 years they hit three homers in a row. The only run allowed by Plesac on Tuesday night came on a homer by Rougned Odor in the fifth inning.
TONIGHT: Mostly cloudy, showers and storms still possible, Lo 67
THURSDAY: Occasional showers and possibly a storm, Hi 74
FRIDAY: Mostly sunny, a slight chance of showers before 9am, Hi 75
SATURDAY: Mostly cloudy, chance of rain throughout the day, Hi 76