TUESDAY, JANUARY 27, 2015 


COMMITTEE REVIEWS MENARDS’ ABATEMENT PLAN
NEW PHILADELPHIA - The pieces needed to bring a Menards home improvement store into New Philadelphia are coming together on schedule. The city council Public Works committee met Monday to discuss progress with Menards real estate representative Rodney Wekkin and a consultant with the firm crafting the Community Reinvestment Area plan to qualify for 50% property tax abatement for 10 years.  Wekkin says the city has been accommodating each step of the way. Committee chair Darrin Lautenschleger says the CRA designation could extend citywide, except for residential areas, so other businesses moving in could also receive the benefits. Wekkin says Menards hopes to break ground at the former K-Mart site later this year and open next spring with 125 employees.

FLOOD PLAIN DEMOLITION WORK ADVANCES 
NEW PHILADELPHIA - Tuscarawas County officials say a plan to alleviate flooding problems downstream from the Dover Dam can move forward as soon as a demolition company can make time. Flood plain coordinator Jill Lengler says the project will tear down four houses off SR 800 near Potschner Dr. She says the project called for companies to take the job twice and finally received two bids just last Friday. Lengler says three homes will be gifted to Dover Township for green space and the fourth will be cleared for the Dover riverfront parklands.  Lengler says originally eight properties were tagged for demolition but four homeowners changed their mind.

PLANNING CONTINUES ON SANDYVILLE WASTEWATER PLANT
NEW PHILADELPHIA - Tuscarawas County officials are putting the final touches on financial details for work enhancing the Metropolitan Sewer District’s operations.  Tuscarawas County Commissioners have approved a supplement to the existing service agreement with Stark County on the engineering and planning phase for the Sandyville Wastewater Treatment Plant improvements. District Director Mike Jones says Stark County will pay just over half of the cost for the approximately $1.5-million project. Jones says the work slated for next year consists of replacing old infrastructure since much of the equipment is beyond its useful life in the facility, which is more than 30 years old.

WINTER WEATHER HITS BACK
TUSCARAWAS COUNTY  -  County Engineer Joe Bachman says even after plowing and salting the nearly 1,000 lane miles Monday, the roads really need a healthy dose of sunshine and slightly warmer temperatures to completely clear. 
     The Highway Patrol responded to several minor fender benders and cars sliding off the road during the Monday morning commute, but the most significant was an apparent wrong-way driver traveling north in the southbound lanes in York Twp. south of New Philadelphia at lunchtime. No injuries were reported.

CHUMNEY FAMILY SEEKS ANSWERS
STRASBURG - There is still no word on suspects in the double murder of an elderly Strasburg couple found in Coshocton County last week. The family of Doyle and Lillian Chumney issued a written statement over the weekend pleading for anyone with information about the killings to come forward. The family also thanked the community for all the prayers and their privacy. The Chumney's bodies were discovered in a burned-out car in Bakersville Thursday. Police say the couple was kidnapped from their Strasburg home Tuesday. Right now, the task force investigating the case has yet to name any suspects.

TASK FORCE FORMED TO INVESTIGATE DOUBLE HOMICIDE
BAKERSVILLE - Strasburg police say two bodies found in a badly burned car in rural Coshocton County are those of a missing Strasburg couple, as confirmed Friday by dental records. Their deaths have also been ruled a homicide. Police Chief Bob Kutcher says a passerby spotted the charred car near Bakersville Thursday morning, which matched the description of a Pontiac owned by 88-year-old Doyle Chumney and his 79-year-old wife Lillian Chumney. The couple had been missing since early Wednesday. A special, multi-jurisdictional task force is now investigating the murders. The task force includes Strasburg police, the state Bureau of Criminal Investigation, Coshocton and Tuscarawas County sheriff's offices, Coshocton and Tuscarawas County prosecutor's offices, and the Coshocton County coroner's office. Meanwhile, nearly 100 people turned out for a candlelight vigil near the Chumney's home and a service at the Strasburg United Methodist Church Friday.The Bodmer Ave. home remains blocked off with caution tape with a small part of the side yard  filling with flowers and candles as a memorial. 

UHRICHSVILLE RETURNS TO BALLOT
UHRICHSVILLE - City voters will be asked again to approve a 1/4% income tax hike in May. Council President Mark Haney says the city still needs the $250,000 the tax would generate per year. He says many projects, including street repairs, have been put off because of declining state funding, and workers have also endured pay cuts and other measures to save money. Haney says gas and electric aggregation proposals along with a cemetery levy renewal are also schedule to appear on the May ballot.  

MOBILE MEALS SEEK ASSISTANCE
DOVER
- The non-profit group that delivers 180 meals to 90 Tuscarawas County residents every day is seeking new volunteers. Mobile Meals Coordinator Kim Nay says the group packs up coolers at Union Hospital and drives them out to people who can't cook for themselves. She says most volunteers put in about one hour a week, but many are retiring soon and need replaced. To volunteer, call the Mobile Meals office at 330-364-0870.
 

 

STATE NEWS: 

REPUBLICANS PLEDGE TO LIBERATE MEDICAID ROLLS
COLUMBUS (AP) - State House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger says that with an expansion of Medicaid already in place, his Republican caucus will focus this session on ensuring that low-income recipients can lift themselves off the safety-net health program. Gov. Kasich's administration extended Medicaid eligibility in 2013 to cover thousands more people, as allowed under President Obama's health care law. 

AG SUES HEALTH CARE TAX
COLUMBUS (AP) - State Attorney General Mike DeWine is suing the federal government over what DeWine calls an unconstitutional health care tax levied on state and local governments. The lawsuit argues that there's no precedent for allowing the collection of $6.25 million last year from government entities and nothing in the federal health care law that allows such a tax.

SOS CALCULATES VOTE COUNTS
COLUMBUS (AP) - Ohio's top election official is reminding residents that every vote matters after a review of recent election results found some nail-biting contests. Secretary of State Jon Husted (HYOO'-sted) says 70 local issues and races have been decided by one vote or tied. That's based on a review of recounts conducted by his office following last year's primary election and the general elections of 2013 and 2014.


NATIONAL NEWS: 

STORM IMPACT EASES
BAR HARBOR, ME (AP) - Maine's governor has declared a state of emergency as a major winter storm pounds the state this morning. The storm, packing blizzard conditions, spun up the East Coast early today, but Maine and Massachusetts were expected to get the worst of it, with one to three feet of snow.  The National Weather Service says Providence, RI, could get about two feet of snow. Gusty winds have been blowing through the northeast, with sustained winds of 15 to 25 mph. Millions of people heeded advice to get home before the weather hit. Roads and transit systems shut down and thousands of flights were canceled. 

OBAMA MOVES ONTO SAUDI ARABIA
NEW DELHI (AP) - President Obama heads to Saudi Arabia today to pay his respects to the royal family following the death of King Abdullah. Obama cut short the final day of his visit to India to make the trip, leaving New Delhi Tuesday afternoon without making his planned visit to the Taj Mahal. A bipartisan delegation of lawmakers will travel to the kingdom, including senior U.S. officials and two former secretaries of state. 

FACEBOOK EXPLAINS OUTAGE
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - Facebook says a widespread, roughly one hour outage was its own fault and not a cyberattack. The glitch reported in Asia, the United States, Australia and the UK affected access from PCs and Facebook's mobile app, as well as Instagram. A Facebook statement says it was a technical change gone awry. Lizard Squad, a group notorious for attention seeking antics online, claimed responsibility for the outages. 


SPORTS:
NCAA: Kentucky and Virginia remain first and second in the latest Associated Press men's basketball poll after both teams improved to 19-0. Gonzaga remains third, followed by Duke and Wisconsin. This week's second-five in the men's poll consists of Arizona, Villanova, Notre Dame, Kansas and Louisville. Ohio State missed the list by three spots.

NBA: Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant will have surgery tomorrow on his torn right rotator cuff, likely ending his 19th NBA season. Bryant was averaging 22.3 points, 5.7 rebounds and 5.6 assists when he injured his shoulder during a dunk in a loss at New Orleans last week. The Lakers declined to offer a timetable for Bryant's return but discouraged speculation that his career might be over.

NASCAR will keep its new championship format, which chairman Brian France says is "overwhelmingly popular" with fans. The Chase was revamped last year into an elimination-style system that created a winner-take-all final race among four drivers. Kevin Harvick won the season finale at Homestead in November to claim his first Sprint Cup title.

WEATHER:
TODAY: Mostly cloudy, scattered light snow possible, Hi 25
TONIGHT: Cloudy, Lo 5
WEDNESDAY: Sunny, Hi 28
THURSDAY: 60% chance for a rain-snow mix, Hi 38

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