COSHOCTON PAIR CHARGED WITH ROBBERY
PORT WASHINGTON - Tuscarawas County Sheriff’s detectives say two Coshocton residents are in custody for allegedly assaulting and robbing a Port Washington man at his home. Detective Jeff Moore says 20 -year old Kasey Means and 27- year old Chaz Gillilan, formally of Newcomerstown, face robbery charges for the August 15th incident. Moore says the victim reported that the suspects forced him into his home and stole cash, guns, a television and two clocks. Moore says Gillilan has a lengthily criminal past and was released from prison 10 days before committing the robbery, while Means has no prior record. Moore says the crime was likely drug motivated as both allegedly use meth. They are both are being held in the county jail until their preliminary hearings. Moore says the robbery is unrelated to the June incident when three men fired at a U.S. 36 resident at his home and fled to Stark County. Those suspects are also in custody.
HOTEL ROBBERY SUSPECT’S CASE BOUND OVER
NEW PHILADELPHIA - The suspect in a Strasburg hotel robbery could soon face additional charges. 35-year old Juan Richards of the Jackson Township area in Stark County is accused of threatening the Ramada Inn clerk with a knife on June 11th, allegedly getting away with $47 from the hotel and $20 belonging to the clerk. Richards waived a preliminary hearing in New Philadelphia Municipal Court Thursday on his initial charge of aggravated robbery, sending his case to a Tuscarawas County grand jury. Richards remains in the Tuscarawas County jail on $200-thousand bond and was ordered to have no contact with the clerk if he is able to post bond.
COUNTY EYES WATER SYSTEM STUDY
NEW PHILADELPHIA - Tuscarawas County Metropolitan Sewer District officials are seeking a new solution to address the root of service issues effecting the Wilkshire Hills Community Water System. Director Mike Jones says the buildup of manganese within the system has led to many low-pressure complaints from homeowners, resulting in plugged service lines or meters. Jones says the situation is impacting several hundred homes to various extents. But Jones says the manganese concentration remains below any EPA advisory limit levels and is creating no health concerns. Jones says attempts since 2009 to sequester the manganese have failed, so the county commissioners are allowing him to seek engineering firms to study the system and offer suggestions for possible fixes.
NEW PHILA TO BID OUT FARM LAND
NEW PHILADELPHIA - Officials say farmers again have the opportunity to submit bids to lease city owned land. Council Monday approved legislation that allows the mayor to lease two properties, one at the airport and another that is east and west of Skinner Lane SE. Service Director Ron McAbier says Josh Lautzenheiser has farmed both properties over the last few years but the current contract is ending and others have a chance at obtaining the properties, with three people expressing interest so far. McAbier says the Skinner Lane parcel is about 44 acres, while the airport property contains 26 acres and farming fails to impede incoming or outgoing planes on the airport land. McAbier says the city currently leases the land for $120 an acre. He says the next contract will be for three years with an option to extend the agreement to five years total.
CITY RESEARCHES WAYS TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF FIBER OPTIC CABLES
NEW PHILADELPHIA - Leaders are looking into ways to take advantage of existing fiber optic internet cables. Mayor Joel Day says he and other economic development leaders recently traveled to New Albany to learn about the city’s fiber optic network and how New Albany was able to attract Amazon and other companies that rely on high speed internet. Day says he wants to see similar success in the city. Day says he also has hopes for New Philadelphia to become a Smart City” with residents, companies and government offices able to benefit from the fiber optics. He says the Hi-Tech Park is only one component of local economic development. Day says he is working with Frontier Communications, Time Warner and American Electric Power to understand New Philadelphia’s current fiber optic situation and its capacity.
FOUNDATION AWARDS NEEDED GRANTS
NEW PHILADELPHIA - The Tuscarawas County Community Foundation is again coming to the aid of area non-profit groups in various ways. The foundation has announced it is awarding more than $345,000 in grants this year to 30 organizations, including $10,000 to help the Tuscarawas county YMCA to purchase and install an in-house camera security system. YMCA director Keith Lands says it will ensure the safety of children and adult members. Out of the grant total, $245,000 comes from the Max and Erma Miller Fund, with $55,000 going for operations at the Park Place Teen Center. Director Sam Hitchcock says the late Max Miller made sure this amount would be pledged each year ever since the center’s founding. The Tuscarawas County Center for the Arts is receiving $25,000 to apply toward its mortgage. Director Jeannine Kennedy says she is grateful to rely on the annual contribution. Dress-A-Child, the Dover Grace Lutheran Church and the Tuscarawas County United Way each get $25,000 as well.
DEPUTIES BATTLE EVOLVING DRUG CULTURE
NEW PHILADELPHIA - Tuscarawas County sheriff’s detectives say the local drug culture continues to change. Detective Phil Valdez says synthetic drugs are increasingly popular, with many people using a leafy vegetable that mirrors marijuana but is sprayed with meth-like chemicals to create Spice. Valdez says many users obtain the plant legally but have the chemical shipped illegally from China. Valdez says any Spice confiscated in Ohio gets sent to the state crime lab for testing. He says the list of man-made chemicals varies, so it can be hard to keep track of all the dangerous substances. Valdez says Tuscarawas County’s participation in a multi-county drug task force has helped authorities crack down on various drugs and traffickers who travel throughout the region.
NON-UNION WORKERS HAVE TO WAIT FOR RAISE
NEW PHILADELPHIA - A city council resolution that would grant pay raises to 27 city employees and four elected officials is receiving some resistance. Council member Cheryl Ramos says she would like to see the resolution amended to include raises for only the non-bargaining workers. Council member Aimee May joined Ramos and Rob Maurer in voting against suspending the rules to pass the 3% raises immediately. May says she would like to see a pay scale established as well. The legislation will be up for its second reading at the next council meeting in two weeks.
SENIORS TAKE OVER TUSCORA PARK
NEW PHILADELPHIA - The familiar sounds of oldies music and bingo calls were echoing throughout Tuscora Park for the area’s older population Tuesday. Tuscarawas County Senior Center Director Pam Ferrell says an assembly line of about 30 volunteers served up approximately 500 lunches for the center’s annual Picnic in the Park Tuesday. The event attracted a mix of new and returning faces once again, with attendees looking forward to the entertainment and the company. Donna Rothacher of New Philadelphia says she has attended every year since 2007 particularly for the bingo.
NOVEMBER ELECTION BALLOT CERTIFIED
NEW PHILADELPHIA - Tuscarawas County Board of Elections officials say they are talking one step at a time in preparing for the November presidential election. Deputy Director Sarah Kneuss says she is anticipating large voter turnout for local candidates and issues as well. The board certified all but three liquor option issues Monday. Sunday options for The Mustang in Mill Twp. and Kickin’ Country in Bolivar failed to have enough valid signatures, but no liquor license is available for Grinder’s in Dover, disqualifying its petition to appear on the ballot. Kneuss says printing the ballot, training poll workers, and more are still to come. Elections office staff have also been turning over with the retirement of Board Director Chuck Miller among other employee moves. The board is scheduled to name Miller’s replacement next week. The voter registration deadline is October 11th with early and absentee voting starting the next day.
SIDEWALK PROGRAM SOLD OUT
NEW PHILADELPHIA – The city’s service director says he is requesting more money for the city’s 2017 sidewalk replacement program. Ron McAbier says he distributed the allotted $12,500 among 13 applicants and had to turn a few residents away from the program. He says homeowners are responsible for the upkeep of the sidewalks on their properties, so free money helps encourage needed repairs. McAbier says officials score the applications to determine which should be selected each summer. He says high-traffic locations and areas near schools tend to score pretty high, though the repairs range in size. McAbier says the program helps residents fix up their walkways while also increasing sidewalk safety and appearance.
COMMISSIONERS PURSUE ARC GRANT
NEW PHILADELPHIA - The Tuscarawas County commissioners are hoping to lower the bill for the planned Sandyville wastewater treatment plant improvement project. The commissioners are applying to the Ohio Mid-Eastern Governments Association for a $225,000 Appalachian Regional Commission grant request. Commissioner Kerry Metzger says as part of the application, the county pledges to secure matching funds of more than $2.1 million through local contributions, loans, and other grants.
WOMAN OF THE YEAR NOMINATIONS SOUGHT
DENNISON - Dennison Railroad Depot Museum officials are asking for nominations to include with an elite list of volunteers. The group will be announcing its 10th annual Lucille Nussdorfer Tuscarawas County Woman of the Year at an October 13th dinner. The award is named for the World War II canteen founder and Ohio Governor’s Women’s Hall of Fame inductee. Committee member Connie Finton says the museum is accepting nominations for this year’s award through September 1st. She says nominees must have made significant contributions to the county in areas such as education, youth or senior services, and charitable work.
DEPUTIES SALUTE OVERDOSE SOLUTION
NEW PHILADELPHIA - Tuscarawas County sheriff’s deputies say a new program that allows deputies to treat overdosing drug users is working out well so far. Local deputies have been carrying a supply of Narcan since June. Detective Phil Valdez says it is useful not only for the patient but for anyone else who may be exposed unintentionally, like children or the deputies themselves. Although paramedics have had the opioid antidote for some time, Valdez says deputies may arrive before an ambulance and need at least limited medical training as first responders. He says a deputy administered Narcan to a Midvale couple who were both overdosing last week and saved their lives. Earlier that same day, a Mill Township man survived an overdose because medics used Narcan for him, too.
VENDING MACHINE BAN CONSIDERED
DENNISON - Council members say they want to determine whether the increasing number of residents putting vending machines out in front of their homes is appropriate. Village Solicitor JJ Ong says the situation started off as a single complaint, which has prompted village officials to dig deeper and consider taking action. Ong says council members have discovered a few other examples while investigating through town. He says he is researching if the village can limit the residential vending machines through zoning regulations or other options.
EXPECTANT MOTHERS OFFERED FREE DIAPERS TO QUIT SMOKING
DOVER - Tuscarawas County Health Department officials are again offering incentives for pregnant women to stop smoking. Health Educator Nicole Dorsey says the Baby and Me-Tobacco Free program helps expecting mothers quit cigarettes during their pregnancy and rewards them with free diapers once a month if they remain smoke free. Dorsey says smoking during pregnancy reduces the chances of delivering a healthy baby. Dorsey says mothers enrolled must also participate in four prenatal quit smoking cessation sessions for tips on dealing with cravings and advice on staying smoke free after pregnancy. Dorsey says participants must be pregnant and a daily smoker or have been a daily smoker three months prior to becoming pregnant. She says they must also take a carbon monoxide breath test monthly to receive the diapers.
EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS INCREASE FOR DAY CARE
NEW PHILADELPHIA – Tuscarawas County Job and Family Services officials say state-licensed child care providers will soon play a role in preparing young kids to enter kindergarten. JFS Child Care Supervisor Adam Wilson says the state’s new Step Up to Quality program requires providers to help children with a variety of skills rather than merely making sure they are entertained all day. Wilson says a five-star rating system will ensure providers have the proper qualifications and training to advance through the program. He says the rate of pay also increases as their ratings improve. All child care providers will have to become part of the program by 2020. Wilson says there are 60 approved child care centers and in-home facilities in Tuscarawas County.
OVERDOSE DEATH HIT RECORD HIGH
COLUMBUS (AP) - Ohio's governor sees progress in the state's anti-drug efforts, despite a new report that shows another record death toll from accidental overdoses. Gov. John Kasich says he feels "terrible" about all the deaths, but he believes lives are being saved by steps taken including increased monitoring of drug prescriptions and crackdowns on "pill mills."
MAN ACCUSED OF IMMIGRATION FRAUD
CLEVELAND (AP) - Federal prosecutors say a man in Ohio hid that he had been in a special police unit in Bosnia and took part in the Serb massacre of over 8,000 Muslim Bosnians during the 1995 genocide. The U.S. government says 41-year-old Oliver Dragic, of Barberton, has been accused of immigration fraud in a three-count indictment. He was arrested Thursday.
JUVENILE CONVICTION UNABLE TO BE USED FOR ADULT SENTENCES
COLUMBUS (AP) - Ohio's Supreme Court has ruled that prior juvenile convictions can't be used to increase the severity of charges or the length of prison sentences those individuals receive as adults. Justices ruled Thursday that treating cases from juvenile court as prior convictions for adult-sentencing is unconstitutional." The Columbus Dispatch reports the ruling says prior juvenile convictions can't be used because juveniles facing delinquency charges have no right to a jury trial.
CLINTON SAYS TRUMP ENCOURAGES HATE
RENO, Nev. (AP) - A campaign of hate. According to Hillary Clinton, that's what Donald Trump is running. Speaking to supporters in Nevada today, Clinton said Trump is the first nominee of a major party to stoke and encourage racial hate. She highlighted Trump's support within the "alt-right" movement, which is often associated with efforts on the far right to preserve "white identity." And she says Trump is spreading hateful messages online by retweeting white supremacists and anti-Sematic tweets and images to his millions of Twitter followers.
RUSSIAN GUILTY OF HACKING TO STEAL CREDIT CARD INFO
SEATTLE (AP) - A Russian man has been found guilty of hacking into U.S. businesses to steal credit card information. A jury in Seattle today convicted Roman Seleznev of 38 charges. Prosecutors said he orchestrated an international online theft scheme that made millions of dollars. His lawyer says he will appeal. Seleznev, the son of a Russian lawmaker, was arrested by U.S. Secret Service agents in the Maldives in 2014. His lawyer calls the arrest a "kidnapping."
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - Authorities say two Catholic nuns have been found slain in a Mississippi home where they lived. An assistant police chief in Durant says an officer found them when they didn't report to work as normal. According to state police, it appears the nuns were homicide victims. Police in Durant say it's too early to say how the nuns died, but that it appears they were not shot. Both worked as nurse practitioners.
MLB: Oakland A's 5 - Cleveland Indians 1
NFL: The Cleveland Browns are trading disappointing linebacker Barkevious Mingo to the New England Patriots for a 2017 fifth-round pick. The Browns selected Mingo with the No. 6 pick in 2013. The former LSU standout has recorded just seven sacks in three seasons and spent much of last season on special teams. Mingo's size - 6-foot-4, 240 pounds - and speed have made him intriguing, but none of Cleveland's coaching staffs has found the best way to utilize him. The Browns moved the 25-year-old Mingo from outside linebacker to inside earlier this summer.