NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) (August 4, 2020) - The Tuscarawas County Board of Developmental Disabilities now has its plan for kids going back to Starlight School August 26th. Superintendent Nate Kamban says their Responsible Restart plan has students in kindergarten through 12th grade spending five days in class when the county threat level is orange, three days in class and one day remote when it’s red, and four days of remote instruction when it’s purple. Kamban says TuscBDD came up with this by looking at what other county boards and area schools are doing. He says the plan has an emphasis on getting the kids in the classroom as much as possible. Kamban says staff members will have to wear a mask, and its strongly encouraged, but not required, for students. There’s a separate plan for Starlight pre-schoolers that has them in two groups alternating in and out of the classroom. Their first day is August 31st.


NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) (August 4, 2020) - Tuscarawas County’s sheriff is looking for residents who have what it takes to become 9-1-1 dispatchers. Orvis Campbell says his office has four full-time positions answering emergency calls and dispatching all of the fire and ems and most of the law enforcement agencies in the county. Campbell says basic computer and typing skills are required, and candidates should also have the desire to learn and serve others. He says job benefits include excellent health insurance, a competitive wage, and opportunities to make a difference. A link to apply can be found on the Tuscarawas County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page.


NEWCOMERSTOWN (WJER) (August 4, 2020) - Village officials are making an offer on a former salon they hope to transform into the town’s new municipal headquarters. Council voted Monday to submit a $57,500 bid for the Systems III building on South Bridge Street. Mayor Pat Cadle says they were looking for ways to make the village offices more accessible when the single-story property came onto the market. He says this would allow the village to bring the mayor’s office, fiscal officer and council chambers under one roof, with the police station remaining and its current location. Cadle says if the owner accepts the offer, an inspection still has to be completed before the sale is final.    

NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) (Aug 4, 2020) - Area health officials want the public to know about rabies vaccines that could be falling from the sky soon.  New Philadelphia Health Department Environmental Health Director Lee Finley says the U.S. Department of Agriculture and other agencies are partnering to distribute oral rabies vaccine packets to immunize wild raccoons. Finley says helicopters should begin dropping baits Thursday in wooded areas in New Philadelphia and Uhrichsville, continuing for a few days. Baits will be dropped by plane through the rest of the county August 16-21.  The baits come in a blister pack covered in a waxy green coating. If you come into contact with the liquid inside, thoroughly wash your hands or any exposed skin with soap and water.

NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) (Aug 3, 2020) - Tuscarawas County courthouse officials are hoping the new safety precautions they’ve put into place will help ease the minds of residents summoned there for jury duty. Common Pleas Court Administrator Elizabeth Stephenson says they’ve been staggering the arrival times of prospective jurors to promote social distancing, with the court also supplying them with facial coverings to wear during the proceedings. She says they’ve been calling in twice as many jurors as they usually do and having them fill out a health questionnaire ahead of time, so they can excuse jurors with underlying health issues. Stephenson says they’ve also installed plexiglass barriers in the courtrooms, and they’re having jurors check in at the courthouse instead of the clerk’s office, so they aren’t having to travel back and forth between the two buildings. 

UHRICHSVILLE (WJER) (Aug 3, 2020) - Firefighters are being credited with saving a Midvale man’s life earlier this year.  Helen Sommers attended the last Uhrichsville Council meeting to thank the firefighters and paramedics who worked to resuscitate her husband, Rich, when he experienced a “widow-maker” heart attack back in February. She says it’s been a long road to recovery, but Rich is alive and well today thanks to their efforts. Chief Judd Edwards says the dispatcher gave Sommers instructions on how to perform CPR until the team that included
Captain Justin Beckley, Shayne Dorland, Curt McGarry and Bryce Welch arrived at the home to take over. Edwards says they got him into the ambulance and were able to resuscitate him on the way to the hospital. Sommers was taken directly to Mercy Medical Center where doctors placed a stint and had him flown to Cleveland for further treatment. His wife says he spent weeks in a coma, underwent six different surgeries, and was released to come home April 27, two days before his birthday.

DOVER (WJER) (Aug 3, 2020) - Organizers say the local event for the world’s largest fundraiser in the fight against Alzheimer’s is adjusting for the pandemic this year. Spokeswoman Genevieve Bohnak says event day for Dover’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s is still Saturday, Sept. 12, but it won’t be a large in-person gathering; teams and participants can walk wherever they want. Bohnak says people can register at the Alzheimer’s Association’s website for the Dover walk, up until that day. Bohnak says they will also invite participants to join a virtual pep rally Aug. 6 at noon or 6 p.m. to learn about new tools and resources this year. Bohnak says walk day on sept. 12 will now have a virtual opening and Promise Garden ceremony that morning.

(WJER) (Aug 3, 2020) - While there won’t be nearly as many people at this year’s county fair, there will be plenty of horses, hogs, chickens, and other barnyard animals. 4-H advisor Kiersten Heckel says the Junior Fair schedule is about 90 percent the same as past years despite the difficulty of working around COVID-19 guidelines. She says there will still be livestock sales, a 4-H awards ceremony, a king and queen, plus a full slate of daily shows from Monday, September 21st, to Sunday, September 26th. There won’t be rides, grandstand events, or vendors. Junior Fair admission and parking will be free, with donations being accepted, but Heckel says they’re still working on details about allowing spectators.

(WJER) (Aug 3, 2020) - Dover Public Library officials are thanking patrons for their cooperation with all the library's new rules by giving them more opportunities to visit.  Director Jim Gill says the fourth phase of the library's five-part reopening plan starts today as they are now open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays and from 10 a.m to 2 p.m. on Saturdays. Visitors are still asked to maintain a six-foot distance from others, use designated book drops and limit their time in the library to an hour or less. Gill says curbside pickup remains available and can be arranged by calling 330-343-6123 or visiting the library's website.

DOVER (WJER) (July 31, 2020) - Dover council has filled its Ward 2 vacancy. Kevin Korns has been selected by the city’s six Republican Central Committee members to replace John McFadden, who recently stepped down from council to become the city’s building and zoning codes administrator. Council President Shane Gunnoe says the committee members liked Korn’s management experience and his substantial amount of community involvement with different organizations. He says the Ward 2 seat will be up for election again in November of 2023.

NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) (July 31, 2020) - A local high school senior is paying tribute to a loved one who lost her battle with cancer with a charity cookout this weekend. New Philadelphia student Breanna Shaw is hoping to raise at least $900 with her ‘Food for the Fight’ fundraiser, happening this Sunday from 1 to 4 pm at 735 Oak St. Shaw says she and her team of volunteers will be selling hot dogs, chips, cookies and drinks, with the money she brings in going to  patient aid and the American Cancer Society. She says she’s doing this in honor of her grandmother, who passed away in June from cancer. Shaw says people can also buy tickets for a wreath raffle during the event that’s being held in compliance with COVID-19 safety guidelines. She’s also accepting online donations through a link posted on her personal Facebook page and the ‘Food for the Fight’ group.


NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) (July 31, 2020) - City officials and staff are saying goodbye to the woman Mayor Joel Day calls a personal source of strength and encouragement as she heads into retirement. Mary Ann Otte worked her final day as the mayor’s secretary Friday after four and a half years in the position. Otte saying goodbye is never easy so she told everyone ‘see you later’ instead.  She says she’s looking forward to spending more time with her children and grandkids and also plans to devote more time to her charity, the Joe Otte Memorial Fund that promotes substance use prevention and education in honor of her late son who passed away from a drug overdose in 2013. Otte is being replaced mayor’s secretary by New Philadelphia resident Lacey McKain, who graduated from Kent State University with an education degree. 

DOVER (WJER) (July 29, 2020) – A Dover church is bringing the community some holiday cheer six months ahead of Christmas. St. John’s United Church of Christ Senior Pastor Tom Dunkle says members have been hanging face masks on a tree in front of the church on North Wooster Avenue. He says they’re calling it their ‘Christ-mask’ tree, and the masks are free for the taking through the end of the day Friday as part of the church’s ‘Christmas in July’ celebration. Dunkle says the response has been so great that they’ve already had to refill the tree seven or eight times already. He says Associate Pastor Dotty Hartzell suggested the tree as a way to help lift people’s spirits during the virus pandemic. 

DOVER (WJER) (July 29, 2020) - The Tuscarawas Valley Farmers Market is taking part in a nationwide competition being put on by an organization that seeks to preserve America’s farmland. Board President Mark McKenzie says the 12th Annual Farmers Market Celebration features a people’s choice contest by American Farmland Trust where people vote for their favorite market and the winner receives $1,000 to put back into their operation. McKenzie says by helping to prop up local markets through this type of event, American Farmland Trust creates avenues for area farmers to sell their product without a middleman. Patrons who want to vote for the market can go to the Tuscarawas Valley Farmers Market Facebook page to find a link, or go to markets.farmland.org and search for TVFM on the map. Votes can be cast until September 20th. 

NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) (July 30, 2020) -  Tuscarawas County Dress-A-Child organizers aren’t letting the pandemic stop them from making sure low-income students have some new threads to show off when they return to the classroom. Campaign Chair Brenda Jenkins says there will be no in-person signups or designated shopping days this year, with organizers choosing to hand out clothing gift cards to students enrolled in the county’s backpack programs. Jenkins says this will allow them to achieve their mission while protecting recipients, their families and volunteers. Jenkins says they’re still taking donations to purchase gift cards. People can contribute by sending checks made payable to ‘Dress-A-Child’ to 929 Third Street NE in New Philadelphia or 1210 Winkler Drive in Dover. Jenkins says donations are accepted year-round, but the cutoff is September 1st to have them go toward this year’s distribution.


CINCINNATI, Ohio (AP) — Officials say work on FC Cincinnati's soccer stadium has been paused because there have been two "racist incidents" by workers in the past week, and construction won't restart until everyone on the site undergoes anti-bias training. The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that David Spaulding, Turner Construction vice president and general manager, said the two "incidents" were caused by subcontractors on the work site. Spaulding said the company has zero tolerance for racism and hate and work will resume when the training is complete. He says those who caused the incidents will not return to the site. Construction officials did not disclose the details of what happened.

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio's Republican elections chief is backing legislative efforts to make plain who contributes to so-called dark money groups when politics is involved. The push by Secretary of State Frank LaRose follows the indictment of the former speaker of the Ohio House and four others in a $60 million federal bribery probe. Prosecutors allege ex-GOP Speaker Larry Householder shepherded money through a nonprofit organization called Generation Now to enact a legislative bailout of two aging nuclear power plants. Generation Now's contributors and spending are shielded under federal law. LaRose wants the original source of such money made publicly accessible.

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — Ohio lawmakers are facing calls to repeal a $1 billion nuclear plant bailout that's now entangled in a state bribery scandal. The bigger question is whether they are willing to find a new way to prop up Ohio's financially strapped nuclear plants or will abandon the idea altogether. Republican Gov. Mike DeWine wants the Legislature to repeal the bailout and replace it. He says he still believes the plants are an important part of the state's energy future. But some lawmakers say they don't want to reward what federal prosecutors say was an illegal scheme behind the plants' financial rescue.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration is awarding more than $35 million in Justice Department grants to nonprofit organizations that provide safe housing for survivors of human trafficking. The grants are being announced Tuesday at a White House event to be attended by Attorney General William Barr and the president's daughter and adviser, Ivanka Trump. The White House says more than 70 organizations in 33 states will share the grants. The money is to be used to provide transitional or short-term housing assistance to survivors, and can be used to pay rent, utilities or related expenses, such as a security deposit. 

NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (AP) — Hurricane Isaias has been downgraded down to a tropical storm after making landfall near Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina, according to an official with the National Hurricane Center. Robbie Berg, a hurricane specialist with the National Hurricane Center, told The Associated Press, "Now that the center has moved further inland into east North Carolina, the winds are now coming back down, so it has been downgraded back to a tropical storm."  Ocean Isle Beach Mayor Debbie Smith told WECT-TV that the storm set off flooding and sparked five home fires. Duke Energy reported hundreds of thousands of power outages as heavy rains and winds battered areas including Wrightsville, Kure, and Carolina beaches in Wilmington, North Carolina.

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The United Nations chief says the COVID-19 pandemic has led to the largest disruption of education in history, with schools closed in more than 160 countries in mid-July, affecting over 1 billion students. In addition, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Tuesday at least 40 million children worldwide have missed out on education "in their critical preschool year." As a result, Guterres warned that the world faces "a generational catastrophe that could waste untold human potential, undermine decades of progress, and exacerbate entrenched inequalities." Even before the pandemic, the secretary-general said, more than 250 million children were out of school.

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Authorities say the number of passengers on a Norwegian cruise ship who have tested positive for the coronavirus has reached 43. The outbreak on the MS Roald Amundsen has raised new questions about safety on cruise ships during the pandemic even as the industry is pressing to resume sailings after shutting down in March. The ship's owner has halted all trips and Norway closed its ports to cruise ships for two weeks. Since the cruise line often acts like a local ferry, traveling from port to port along Norway's west coast, some passengers may have spread the virus to local communities.

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Three men have been rescued from a tiny Pacific island after writing a giant SOS in the sand that was spotted from above. The men had been missing in the Micronesia archipelago for nearly three days when their distress signal was spotted on an uninhabited island by searchers on Australian and U.S. aircraft. The men were found in good condition, and an Australian military helicopter landed on the beach and give them food and water. A Micronesian patrol vessel was due to pick them up. SOS is an internationally recognized distress signal that originates from Morse code.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration is awarding more than $35 million in Justice Department grants to nonprofit organizations that provide safe housing for survivors of human trafficking. The grants are being announced Tuesday at a White House event to be attended by Attorney General William Barr and the president's daughter and adviser, Ivanka Trump. The White House says more than 70 organizations in 33 states will share the grants. The money is to be used to provide transitional or short-term housing assistance to survivors, and can be used to pay rent, utilities or related expenses, such as a security deposit. 

MLB: Joey Votto hit a two-run, go-ahead homer, Nick Castellanos also connected and the Cincinnati Reds beat Cleveland 3-2 Monday night as the Indians played again without ill manager Terry Francona. Sonny Gray shook off a tough start to the game to complete six strong innings, and Cincinnati ended a six-game home losing streak against their in-state rival. Votto snapped an 0-for-11 skid when he followed Shogo Akiyama’s leadoff single in the sixth with a no-doubt shot off Zach Plesac. The 2010 NL MVP sat out a doubleheader Sunday after self-reporting coronavirus symptoms, but he was cleared to return to the lineup Monday and hit his third homer following a negative test.

Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona will miss at least the club’s next two games because of a gastrointestinal issue that has bothered him for months. Francona was scheduled to be checked Monday by doctors at the Cleveland Clinic. Team President Chris Antonetti said the team will “take it one step at a time” and that it’s too early to know when the 61-year-old manager will return. He’ll remain in Cleveland during the Indians’ two-game series in Cincinnati. Cleveland returns home Wednesday for two more with the Reds before a three-game trip to Chicago to face the White Sox.

NFL: Browns star wide receiver Odell Beckham has fully participated in the early stages of Cleveland’s training camp after expressing reservations whether the NFL should forge ahead and have a season with the coronavirus still spreading. Beckham reported to camp last week, passed the COVID-19 testing and has taken part in all team activities. On Monday, the flashy receiver was quoted in a Wall Street Journal story saying he wondered why the league was putting players' health at risk. The team posted a photo on Twitter of Beckham running in its training facility while wearing a surgical mask.


TODAY: Becoming sunny, 40% chance of showers, storms also possible after 2pm, High 76
TONIGHT: Partly cloudy, a chance of showers and storms, mainly before 8pm, Low 58
WEDNESDAY: Mostly sunny, High 78
THURSDAY: Sunny, High 82