NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) (Mar. 7, 2021) - The Rainbow Connection’s 48th annual telethon Sunday was still an all-around success despite going from eight to three hours this year. Director Perci Garner announced the dozens of auction items and donations had brought in more than $272,000 as the scaled-back broadcast was going off the air. The 2020 telethon generated about $17,000 more, all to meet the needs of disabled and disadvantaged area residents.  


NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) (March 6, 2021) - Police have apprehended the primary suspect in the shooting death of a 22-year-old city man early Friday morning. 19-year-old Sajjaad Butler is charged with single counts of aggravated robbery and aggravated murder for allegedly shooting Gaven Carlisle in an alleyway near the 600-block of 11th Drive NW just after midnight. Detective Captain Shawn Nelson says they believe Butler fired the shot that ended Carlisle’s life from the passenger side of a vehicle that approached the victim and another city man in the alleyway for a drug deal. Detectives were able to identify Butler as the suspected shooter and charge him later that morning with help from the FBI’s Violent Fugitive Task Force in Stark County. U.S. Marshals arrested him in Canton around 3 pm. Nelson says they later recovered the AK-47 they believe was used in the shooting at an apartment in the Highland Park area. Officers also revisited the crime scene and found the bullet that killed Carlisle lodged inside a home nearby. Nelson says they will be sending those items along with the shell casing they found there earlier to the lab for testing. Police are still looking for three black males they believe were traveling with Butler, along with any security camera footage showing the vehicle, which witnesses described it as a light-colored Chevy Cobalt with a loud exhaust and one headlight. Butler was in the city jail this morning awaiting his initial appearance in New Philadelphia Municipal Court.

DOVER (WJER) (March 4, 2021) - The Dover First Moravian Church’s Sole Purpose program hopes to get closer to its fundraising goals this weekend to provide shoes to elementary students in need ahead of the new school year. The youth-initiated program has a pancake breakfast at the church Saturday from 8 to noon. The effort distributed about 600 vouchers this past year. Pastor John Wallace says they need to have $17,000 by Aug. 31st to maintain current levels for 2021. New Philadelphia senior Rachel Paden is part of the effort. She says the program has been going strong since 2011 and will be reaching all of the districts in the county with the addition of Strasburg.

NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) (March 4, 2021) - The Ohio Nurseryman is in town this weekend to answer gardening questions in person for WJER listeners with tickets. Fred Hower is hosting Plant Talk Live from New Towne Mall from 10 to noon Saturday here on WJER. Hower was telling Ryan and Michelle Friday he always looks forward to the opportunity, especially this year. Hower says he’ll again be offering advice for what gardeners should be doing this time of year. This is year number 16 for Plant Talk Live from New Towne Mall.   

NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) (March 4, 2021) - The head of the local charity that helps meet the medical needs of disabled and disadvantaged Tuscarawas County residents is encouraging people to make a pledge and bid on auction items during Sunday’s virtual telethon. The Rainbow Connection will be hosting a scaled-back version of its yearly fundraiser Sunday from 12 to 3 pm on Spectrum Channel 15 and online at Executive Director Perci Garner was telling WJER’s Ryan and Michelle Friday morning about some of 43 items in the auction. There’s a monthly date night package from Baker Florist, a private movie screening at Cinemark donated by McInturf Realty and a basketball signed by NBA star Kyrie Irving. Garner says he’s always impressed with the community’s generosity. Last year’s telethon raised just over $289,000. Garner says the goal for Sunday is to exceed that total, even if it’s only by a dollar.

(WJER) (Mar. 5, 2021) - Police say one person has died as a result of an overnight shooting. Police are not yet releasing the person’s name and they are trying to figure out who is responsible. Several calls were made to 911 just after midnight reporting gunfire in an alleyway near the 600 block of 11th Dr. NW. Chief Mike Goodwin says a 22-year-old New Philadelphia man was the victim. Goodwin would not describe the incident as a drive-by. He says it did happen outside with a handful of people present. Goodwin says they are trying to determine if the gunshot came from a vehicle that had approached the victim. Goodwin says they did not find a gun but do believe a rifle was used after recovering a shell casing and bullet fragments. Police who responded interviewed witnesses at the scene. He says detectives have some potential names they hope to speak with today. Goodwin also says he is unsure if the victim lived in that neighborhood where the shooting took place.

DOVER (WJER) (March 4, 2021) - Tuscarawas County’s sheriff was talking about the many ways scammers take advantage of unsuspecting residents during a virtual presentation Tuesday evening. Orvis Campbell was the featured speaker at a Zoom-based forum put on by the Dover Public Library called ‘Be Aware of Scams and Frauds.’ Campbell says the perpetrator may pose as a law enforcement officer or tax official or call you up saying a loved one is in trouble. He says one thing they all have in common is that the caller asks you to make a payment over the phone, which a legitimate agency wouldn’t do. Campbell says it’s important not to trust the number that comes up on your caller id, since scammers can make it appear as though they’re calling from a legitimate agency. 

DENNISON (WJER) (March 4, 2021) - Mayor Greg DiDonato is reminding residents about the town’s parking restrictions. Parking on Grant Street between First and Fourth is limited to two hours on weekdays and Saturdays from 9 am to 6 pm and 72-hours on all other streets in the village. DiDonato says if your vehicle has been parked in the same place for longer than that, you will get a ticket. There’s a $25 fine for each parking violation on Grant Street. It’s $5 for the first offense everywhere else and $50 for every subsequent violation.

DOVER (WJER) (March 4, 2021) – Auditor Nicole Stoldt says the city’s finances weathered the pandemic much better than early fears, finishing the year up $3.4 million. Stoldt says federal CARES Act money and the state’s workers compensation refunds helped dover overcome a $700,000 hit to income tax collections. he says the city’s 2021 budget projections are comparable to recent years – with $68.4-million in total appropriations. Stoldt says officials are taking a cautious approach, but there’s still a few noteworthy projects on the agenda, including grant-funded work at the riverfront park and roadwork in front of the new high school. City council approved the city’s 2021 appropriations Monday.

TUSCARAWAS COUNTY (WJER) (Mar. 4, 2021) - The Tuscarawas County and New Philadelphia health departments are among the roughly 1,200 providers across the state getting early access to the new Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. The county health department received 200 doses of that vaccine formula on top of its regular Moderna shipment. Spokeswoman Jennifer Demuth says their vaccine supply is still extremely limited, but it is the first time they have seen a noticeable increase in the size of their shipments. New Philadelphia Health Commissioner Vickie Ionno says the city health department will offer the vaccines at separate clinics so there are no mix-ups since recipients need two doses of the Moderna vaccine but just one from Johnson & Johnson. 


NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) (Mar. 3, 2021) - One of Tuscarawas County’s commissioners was sharing his reasons for getting the COVID-19 vaccine during a virtual town hall Tuesday evening. Al Landis was among the panelists in the Ohio Department of Health’s forum aimed at convincing rural residents to sign up for the shot. He says he and his wife got their first doses a couple of weeks ago because they want to be able to hug their parents and grandkids again. Landis encourages people to make sure they’re getting their vaccine information from reputable sources like the Tuscarawas County and New Philadelphia health department websites. He says he also relied on the advice of his primary care physician. You can watch Tuesday’s townhall session featuring Landis in its entirety on the Ohio Channel’s Facebook page.


LAWRENCEBURG, Indiana (AP) — Crews resumed searching the Ohio River for the bodies of two missing children, including a 6-year-old Ohio boy who police say died when his mother tried to abandon him at a park and drive away but he grabbed for a door and was dragged. Crews are hoping to find the bodies of 6-year-old James Hutchinson and 3-year-old Nylo Lattimore before another rain or rise in the river. Authorities said Sunday's search of the river and its banks in Indiana from Lawrenceburg to Aurora was expected to last until sunset. Preble County Sheriff Michael Simpson told reporters that the river looked "like mud" from the helicopter, which would pose a challenge for divers. 

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — An Indiana School for the Deaf teacher has been fired after he was charged in Ohio with felony sexual misconduct charges involving a student. WRTV-TV reports that Jerry R. Claus was charged last month in Ohio's Erie County for allegations from 2005. Claus taught at the School for the Deaf from 2013 until last month. According to his indictment, the girl was 13 years old and the incident happened off school grounds. Claus's attorney, Troy Wisehart, tells the station that his client is innocent. Claus's arraignment in Ohio is set for March 30. 

NELSONVILLE, Ohio (AP) — Police say a child died after sustaining a gunshot wound in Ohio. Police in Nelsonville, 60 miles (97 kilometers) southeast of Columbus, were dispatched to a home shortly before 1 a.m. Saturday. Officers performed CPR on the child until Athens County emergency medical personnel and fire department crews arrived and took over. Police say the victim was transported to O'Bleness Hospital and pronounced dead. An autopsy is planned. The child's age and other details weren't immediately released. Police say officers and the county prosecutor's officers "executed multiple search warrants" during the night.

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — Authorities say a 2-year-old child was seriously injured by a gunshot wound in an Ohio home over the weekend.The Montgomery County sheriff's office said deputies were called to the Harrison Township home Saturday night. Officials said the child was taken to Children's Hospital and was last listed in serious but stable condition. Detectives also responded to the scene to begin an investigation. Anyone with any information about the case was being asked to call the sheriff's office.

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden is set to sign an executive order directing the Department of Education to review policies implemented by Donald Trump's administration, including changes to Title IX regulations that prohibit sex discrimination in federally funded institutions. Biden focused on gender equity during his campaign and promised to strengthen Title IX if he won the White House. Administration officials say Biden also will sign a second executive order on Monday formally establishing the White House Gender Policy Council. The order directing the Title IX review could pave the way to a major shift in how colleges handle allegations of sexual misconduct.

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The fate of a former Minneapolis police officer who pressed his knee into George Floyd's neck as the Black man said he couldn't breathe will be decided by 12 residents of Hennepin County who will be picked after extensive grilling about their views. Jury selection begins Monday in the trial of Derek Chauvin, who is charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter in connection with Floyd's death. Picking a jury is expected to take at least three weeks, as prosecutors and defense attorneys try to weed out potential jurors who may have biases. Legal experts say the key will be finding jurors who can put aside their opinions and decide the case based on the evidence. 

TOKYO (AP) — Global shares are mixed after the U.S. stimulus package passed the Senate over the weekend. European benchmarks rose in early Monday trading, while heavy selling of shares in technology companies pulled benchmarks lower in Japan and South Korea. The Shanghai Composite index dropped 2.3% after China's foreign minister made ominous comments about the self-ruled island of Taiwan. Worries that a strong recovery might push inflation higher and prompt central banks to raise their ultra-low interest rates, making borrowing more expensive, also are overshadowing the markets. Oil prices rose after Saudi Arabia confirmed an attack on one of its oil facilities, though it did not cause significant damage. 

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel has started vaccinating Palestinian laborers who work inside Israel and its West Bank settlements after the immunization drive was beset by delays. Palestinian laborers who crossed into Israel at several West Bank checkpoints received their first doses of the Moderna vaccine on Monday. Some 100,000 Palestinian laborers from the West Bank work in Israel. Israel has administered over 8.7 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine to its population of 9.3 million, but faced international criticism for providing few to Palestinians living under Israeli occupation.  An Israeli military official said it was a shared interest to vaccinate Palestinians. 

LONDON (AP) — Britain and its royal family are absorbing the tremors from a sensational television interview by Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan. The couple said they encountered racist attitudes and a lack of support that drove Meghan to thoughts of suicide. The couple gave a deeply unflattering depiction of life inside the royal household, depicting a cold, uncaring institution that they had to flee to save their lives. Meghan told Oprah Winfrey that at one point "I just didn't want to be alive anymore." Meghan, who identifies as biracial, described that when she was pregnant with son Archie, there were "concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he's born." 

MLB: Cleveland Indians third baseman José Ramírez and slugger Franmil Reyes have been isolated from their teammates at spring training after breaking COVID-19 protocols. Manager Terry Francona says the two players have been sent to their temporary homes in Arizona as the Indians await word from the league as to when they can rejoin the team. Francona said Reyes initially went to get a haircut following the team’s exhibition game against the Chicago Cubs on Friday. He and Ramirez then went out to dinner and were indoors, which violated COVID-19 guidelines established by Major League Baseball and the players’ union. Reyes had a similar misstep last year when spring training resumed after the coronavirus-caused shutdown.

NFL: Cleveland Browns wide receiver Ryan Switzer said his 9-month-old son is stable after undergoing surgery to stop bleeding. Switzer chronicled son Christian’s medical situation over the weekend on Twitter, prompting an outpouring of public support. Switzer’s most recent post came after the operation and he said his son is “resting.” On Saturday, Switzer said his son had “woke up in his blood” and had tested positive for COVID-19. He said doctors were trying to determine the cause of the bleeding. Switzer was on Cleveland's practice squad last season. He was drafted by Dallas in 2017.

TODAY: Mostly sunny, wind gusts up to 21 mph, High 58
TONIGHT: Mostly cloudy, Low 38
TUESDAY: Mostly sunny, High 61
WEDNESDAY:  Partly sunny, High 63