NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) – Council members are again aiming to finish the city budget in one shot sooner rather than later. Chair Darrin Lautenschleger says his Finance Committee is working out details in the 2018 spending plan to have it finalized before the new year. He says doing this eliminates the need for a temporary budget so department heads can have a better understanding of their needs earlier in the year. Lautenschleger says his committee is currently focusing on wages in the upcoming budget, as they iron out the details of a pay scale for non-union officials that was approved earlier in the year.

 (WJER) - With more books published on this topic than any other, the American Civil War remains a subject that evokes strong feelings and opinions. Dover Public Library Director Jim Gill says that has allowed them to continue hosting monthly Civil War Roundtable discussions, presenting an objective view of a war that defined us as a country while respecting views and providing opportunities for factual information. The next meeting Thursday at 7:00pm features Roger Pickenpaugh, author of “Johnson’s Island.” It is an island near Sandusky where captured Confederate officers were held during the war. The program is free and open to the public.    

DOVER (WJER) – Dover leaders are working on giving residents more mobility while improving the look of downtown. Mayor Rick Homrighausen says the 5-year, $7.5 million Dover Revitalization Plan will improve sidewalk access and riverfront availability as well as focus on alternative transportation with plans to put in bike lanes as well. Homrighausen calls it a worthwhile project that will span across a roughly 12-block area. He says the first part of the project could begin as soon as 2018 when they install an official entrance to the riverfront space just off Front Street. Homrighausen says that riverfront work will cost about $5000,000, which he plans to pay for using the city’s capital improvement fund. Homrighausen recently visited the county commissioners, who agreed to write a letter of support for the project.

DOVER (WJER) - Tuscarawas County Health Department substance abuse addiction counselors say help is available to stay clean and sober during the holidays. Derrick Jenkins says the high expectations and stress of the Christmas season, such as being unable to provide for loved ones or losing a job, can be enough to lead to a relapse. Jenkins says part of that is why their intensive outpatient counseling groups have been filling up quickly. The program lasts about 12 weeks, but the time can vary. Jenkins says the health department also offers help for addicts in the form of individual counseling, relapse prevention for people needing a lower level of care, and conjoint sessions for individuals and their families to attend.  

COLUMBUS (WJER) - The Tuscarawas County commissioners are getting to talk with colleagues from around the state about issues facing all counties in Columbus for the start of the annual two-day County Commissioners Association of Ohio Conference. Commissioner Chris Abbuhl says Tuscarawas County losing $700,000 in MCO tax monies is a topic that is sure to come up. The association as a whole can then have a stronger voice than any individual county when relaying these concerns to the legislature. Abbuhl, who is chair of the Agricultural Rural Affairs Committee within the association, will also introduce OSU professor Dr. Chris Winslow to speak about the farming impact on water quality, which is significant as agriculture is Ohio’s top industry.   

NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) - 4-H officials are getting ready for a new year of activities and making sure everyone can find what they need to find their own place. OSU Extension Educator Kiersten Heckle says the deadline to register for 4-H is April 15th, but she says there are a number of things happening before then while they get ready for the New Year, like advisor training in January and the installment of some new 4-H clubs. Heckle says while she finishes scheduling out the rest of 2018, anyone interested in joining 4-H or wanting to get a jump start on picking their project can find out more on the extension office website. Heckle says 4-H offers a number of creative and interesting projects in addition to farming related work, including photography, scrapbooking, citizenship projects, and more. She says there are always new projects being added as well. 

NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) - The group at the Little Theatre is getting into the spirit with its latest production that is happening now. It is called “A Tuna Christmas,” and it is described as a holiday comedy based on a town called Tuna, which in the play is said to be the third smallest in Texas, and the various yuletide activities and mishaps there. Director Josh Larkin says they have eight cast members playing a total of 22 characters. One of those performers is Annie Tipton, who plays two female characters and one male characterthe Sheriff. Those shows are going on through Sunday and then run again from Thursday to next Sunday at Little Theatre.

NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) - The courthouse dome will soon be covered in scaffolding as crews prepare for the restoration project. The commissioners approved bonds in the amount of $1.4 million to be taken from county funding for the work. Commissioner Chris Abbuhl says aside from a $50,000 grant from the Ohio History Connection Foundation, the project will be paid for by borrowing county funds. Abbuhl says with the money now in line, initial preparations will begin next month. The most recent estimate has the project completion date set sometime in the late fall of 2018. 

NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) – The Suicide Prevention and Support Group of Tuscarawas County is enlisting the help of community members to form a coalition to reach more people at risk and let them know help is available. Facilitator Christy Wilken says this will be different as they want to include representatives of a wide segment of organizations, along with churches, survivors, and others to brainstorm ideas. 

DOVER (WJER) - Everyone involved with Wednesday’s WJER–Indian Valley FFA Toy Drive are thanking the community for once again coming through to help those in need have a Christmas to remember. The collection at the radio station brought in 19 truckloads of toys, $5,500 in donations, and a trailer of bicycles for Share-A-Christmas. Organizer Diane Glazer also praises the FFA kids who were running the event for handling the 12-hour day so well. T-4-C Director Louise Worsham says every year she is amazed at all the giving. Donations for the cause will still be accepted at the James-Fillmore Complex on Bowers Avenue in Dover from 8am to 4pm Monday and from 3pm to 6pm Tuesday and Wednesday.    

COLUMBUS, OH (AP) - Former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell is endorsing Democrat Connie Pillich for Ohio governor and will join her on the campaign trail. Pillich's campaign tells The Associated Press it will announce the Democratic stalwart's backing Tuesday. Rendell has been mayor of Philadelphia and chairman of the Democratic National Committee. Six Democrats are vying for the chance to succeed Republican Gov. John Kasich, who is term-limited.

COLUMBUS, OH (AP) - Ohio's adult and youth prison services agencies say they are merging back-office functions like payroll to improve efficiency and find some financial savings. The planned collaboration means the agencies will move to a single headquarters in Columbus. The Juvenile Justice Coalition, a youth advocacy group, is concerned about the increase in total rent. It says the extra money could pay for programs to decrease the number of kids entering the justice system.

COLUMBUS, OH (AP) - Beer sales at Ohio State University's football stadium increased 16% from 2016, bringing in a total of $1.35 million in net revenue this season. The Columbus Dispatch reports ejections at Ohio Stadium in Columbus have decreased since the stadium started selling beer last year. Public safety records show alcohol arrests have increased, but university officials say most are from people under age 21 attempting to buy alcohol.

CLEVELAND, OH (AP) - Federal prosecutors say a convicted Cleveland-area politician should remain behind bars despite a U.S. Supreme Court decision narrowing the definition of a corrupt act. Former Cuyahoga County Commissioner Jimmy Dimora says his conviction was based on a definition of an official act that the court rejected as too broad when it vacated former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell's bribery conviction. Prosecutors say he would have been convicted under the more stringent definition anyway.

NEW YORK (AP) - Commuters returning to New York City's subway system on Tuesday, one day after a would-be suicide bomber attack, will be met with heightened security. President Donald Trump renewed his call for close scrutiny of foreigners who come to the U.S. and less immigration following the Monday rush-hour blast. Akayed Ullah was arrested in the bombing near the Port Authority bus terminal.

BIRMINGHAM, AL (AP) - An internationally watched Senate election is down to voters in Alabama who will choose between Republican Roy Moore and Democrat Doug Jones. Polls open Tuesday morning. Multiple women have accused Moore of sexual misconduct when they were in their teens and he was in his 30s. Moore is now 70 and denies the charges. He says voters know his character already. Jones says "decency" must prevail. He is urging Alabama voters to see the race as a "crossroads" with a chance to improve the state's image.

MIDLAND CITY, AL (AP) - The wife of embattled Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore fought back against accusations that her husband does not support blacks or Jews, saying at one point one of their attorneys "is a Jew." Speaking at a campaign rally Monday night in Midland City, Alabama, Kayla Moore pointed out her husband appointed the first black marshal to the state Supreme Court. She said they also have many friends who are black.

PARIS (AP) - The European Union's top climate and energy official says the global shift to cleaner fuel is "unstoppable" and wants U.S. President Donald Trump's government to join in. Miguel Arias Canete told The Associated Press extreme weather in the U.S. such as hurricanes and heat waves is a sign that "nobody is spared" from climate change.

WASHINGTON (AP) - Donald Trump sailed past a raft of allegations of sexual misconduct in last year's presidential election, but the national spotlight has now turned back to him. Several of his accusers are urging Congress to investigate his behavior, and a number of Democratic lawmakers have demanded his resignation. On Monday, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders steadfastly dismissed accusations against Trump and suggested the issue had already been litigated in his favor on Election Day.

NBA: Cavaliers center Tristan Thompson could play for the first time since November 1st when Cleveland hosts Atlanta on Tuesday. Thompson has been out with what the team said was a strained left calf. However, Thompson said the injury was worse than the Cavaliers revealed. He also said the team's timeline for his return was incorrect. When he is back, Thompson will come off the bench for coach Tyronn Lue, who intends to keep Kevin Love as his starting center.

NFL: Browns coach Hue Jackson does not think Jimmy Haslam will change his mind about his future. Jackson dismissed a report that new general manager John Dorsey wants to hire his own coach after being brought in by Haslam last week. Jackson believes Haslam will stay true to his plan to bring him back in 2018. The Browns are 0-13 this season and 1-28 in two years under Jackson.

TODAY: Cloudy, snow showers likely with less than an inch of accumulation, breezy, temperatures falling in the 20s
TONIGHT: Mostly cloudy, a slight chance of snow, low 14
TOMORROW: Partly cloudy, flurries possible, high 25
THURSDAY: A chance of snow, mainly before 7am, high 28