MAN CHARGED FOR CHILD PORN
NEW PHILADELPHIA - A preliminary hearing is scheduled for next week for a New Philadelphia charged in a child pornography case. 42-year-old John Barnish was arrested Tuesday by police acting a tip from an internet watch group. He is accused of disseminating or purchasing child porn over the internet. Police confiscated computers and other items from his home. So far, he is charged with two felony counts for pandering sexually oriented material involving a minor
CITY CASH FLOW BECOMES PROBLEM SOON
NEW PHILADELPHIA - City leaders say they will just squeak through 2015 financially. Auditor Beth Gundy says the city only has half the carryover balance as last year and will have nothing to use for 2016. Gundy says costs keep rising but revenues have remained flat. Mayor Dave Johnson says he is equally worried but feels Gundy’s projections are conservative and chances are good to get residents to approve a levy soon. Both Gundy and Johnson say they want to avoid any layoffs as departments are already operating with minimum staff.
CHURCH SPREADS HOLIDAY CHEER
NEW PHILADELPHIA - First Christian Church members are celebrating Thanksgiving today with a free meal for the community. Pastor Jim Borton says the church prepares a traditional holiday meal including 70 pumpkin pies for about 12,000 visitors throughout the day. Borton says the preparation requires the help of dozens. Borton says students from Buckeye Career Center’s Culinary classes helped to prepare the 29 turkeys, averaging 22 pounds each. He says anyone is welcome to enjoy the food today. Volunteers will also provide home deliveries to those unable to make the trip
GRANT EXTENDED, HOME ACQUIRED
DOVER - Tuscarawas County leaders say a grant extension request was recently approved to demolish homes near the Dover Dam. Flood Plain Coordinator Jill Lengler says the county requested more time to use the hazardous mitigation funds, as contractors were interested but unable to complete the jobs in time. Lengler says the new agreement gives the county through 2015 to acquire and remove the impacted structures. Lengler says a mediocre housing market hindered a few homeowners from participating, though four have agreed to give up their properties and move elsewhere. Lengler says she’s approached eight property owners in all north of Dover along Potschner Drive, State Route 800 and Canal Road.
MEMBERSHIPS AND RACE TO DRAW A CROWD
DOVER - Tuscarawas County YMCA leaders say local members now have free access to facilities across the state. Executive Director Keith Lands says the new reciprocal memberships give patrons the opportunity to access 100 other Y’s when away from their home building. Lands says he believes Tuscarawas County residents, visiting out of town family, will benefit the most. Meanwhile, Lands says over 800 participants will get their exercise in early Thanksgiving Day with the annual Turkey Trot 5K Run or Walk. Lands says the event has become an annual tradition for many. Lands says the race begins at 9AM.
CITY RESCINDS TAX AGREEMENT
NEW PHILADELPHIA - City officials say they are making sure their tax abatement offers are up to date by rescinding an agreement. Council committee chair John Zucal says Select Energy Services was given 50% tax abatement on the premise it would generate 100 jobs through a location on the west end of town. But the company closed that office well before achieving the goal. Zucal says the move by council Monday was really just a formality. He says a similar move was needed when GE Mobile failed to build a terminal off US 250 in New Philadelphia. Zucal says he feels Tuscarawas County is still waiting for the oil and gas boom to reach its full potential.
COUNCIL MEMBER CALLS FOR INCREASED INVOLVEMENT
UHRICHSVILLE - City leaders are asking for more resident input following low voter turnout in the general election earlier this month. Council member Joel Peterson says with only 38% of registered voters casting ballots, council has difficulty deciphering what is best for the city. Peterson is also urging council, including himself, to be more active during future campaigns. City finances are tight after voters again turned down an income tax hike, but less 1,000 voters made that decision.
MAYOR OFFERS DELAYED COMMENT
UHRICHSVILLE – Mayor Terry Culbertson says he wants to reassure residents that the salary issue involving the fire chief has been resolved. Culbertson addressed the media after Monday’s council session. He says an ordinance reverting Fire Chief Art Tripp to his regular salary also provides him overtime pay as Tripp serves as a fire fighter as well as chief. The state auditor is forcing Tripp to pay back $9,800 to the city for overtime received over a two-year period because at the time an ordinance had capped his salary. Culbertson also emphasized his support for the city and safety forces working under minimum staffing and a tight budget.
COURT CLERK RETIRES, REPLACEMENT APPOINTED
UHRICHSVILLE - The longtime Southern District Court clerk is handing the reigns on to another existing employee. Virginia Edwards began her 17-year tenure under former Judge Hudson Hillyer and currently works under his son, Judge Brad Hillyer. Edwards says she’ll miss the family atmosphere when she retires Friday. Edwards says the court’s volume has increased tremendously over the years but she says the variety of issues has also risen, especially with illegal substances. The county commissioners approved Missi Dillehay’s appointment to the position Monday. Edwards says Dillehay was most recently the court’s probation secretary
LIBRARY HELPS CHRISTMAS CHARITY AND LATE RETURNERS
DOVER - Dover Library is enticing its members to join the effort to collect food donations for Share-a-Christmas. Director Jim gill says people who owe overdue book fines can seek forgiveness by bringing in canned food instead of money. Gill says many libraries use a food for fines program. Gill says the fines are necessary to ensure items are returned to the library, but he says everyone is eligible to substitute food donations. Gill says each non-perishable food item will count for one dollar in fines through the end of this week at the Dover library. He says fines contribute up to $30,000 to the budget every year.
APPLIANCE FIRE DAMAGES HOME
NEWCOMERSTOWN - Firefighters say a malfunctioning dryer is to blame for a fire at a Pleasant Valley Road home early Tuesday. Fire Chief Bobby McGarry says the flames spread to the wall and ceiling but were put out before any excessive damage occurred at the John Hursey property. McGarry says no injuries were reported though crews remained on scene for about two hours. a damage estimate is unavailable.
STRONG WINDS WHIP THROUGH VALLEY
NEW PHILADELPHIA - Tuscarawas County Sheriff’s officials are assessing problems around the area resulting from Monday’s strong winds. The National Weather Service says winds hit 40 mph in the Dover- New Philadelphia area, and gusts up closer to 50 mph were reported in Sugarcreek and Bolivar. Tuscarawas County Sheriff’s Deputy Rod Knecht says most of the damage has been relatively minor with trees and limbs across roads. Dover Police also had to shut down Wooster Ave. for several hours south of town because the wind tipped over a power pole. No injuries were reported.
YOUTH HUNTERS BAG 220 DEER
TUSCARAWAS COUNTY - The smallest Tuscarawas County deer hunters are following in the footsteps of area adults. County Wildlife Officer Wade Dunlap says Tuscarawas County youngsters harvested 220 deer just behind first place COshocton County with 281. Holmes County came in third in the state with 218 this past weekend. Dunlap says the two-day youth season is about more than just numbers. He says many kids enjoy the experience with family and getting that first deer. Dunlap says weather generally dictates youth seasons as kids are less willing to sit still in the cold but he says Saturday’s early freezing rain failed to keep kids out of the woods. Dunlap says the short youth season serves as a preview for many before the regular deer-gun season opens Monday December 1.
FIRE STATION RESTORED
MINERAL CITY – Firefighters say they are happy to be home in a new station after working out of the parking lot for more than a year. Fire Chief Sam Moore says the $1.2 million facility replaces the station destroyed in a tornado in 2013. He says all the department trucks and ambulances fit inside the drive-through bays, and the village senior center has returned to the building as well.
THREE TEENS KILLED IN CRASH
MINERVA (AP) - State troopers say three teenagers are dead after their car collided head-on with a Malervn school bus on US 30 east of Minerva just inside Columbiana County. Troopers blame the 9 AM Saturday crash on icy roads . Troopers say none of the students on the eastbound bus were hurt, but the bus driver did have minor injuries. The westbound car's driver, 16-year-old Savannah Russell of Malvern, was killed along with passengers 19-year-old Storm Angione of Paris, OH and 18-year-old A'liyia Hancock of Minerva.
FIRE GUTS RURAL HOME
RUSH TOWNSHIP - Fire fighters say a faulty furnace has been ruled the cause of a house fire Friday at 12446 Ripley Road SE. Fire Chief Rick Poland told WJER that the Derrick DeMattio home was gutted inside, but the one story brick structure remains in tact. He says the state fire marshal's office investigator helped determined what sparked the blaze when they returned to the site Monday. No damage estimate has been set for the home that Poland says had a unique layout. Six fire departments were called to the blaze mostly to shuttle water to the rural location. He says a 12-year-old neighbor girl out walking was first to report the 5 PM fire.