TUESDAY, OCTOBER 25, 2016
DAIRY QUEEN OWNER AGAINST NEW HIGH SCHOOL
DOVER - A small group of Dover residents is speaking out about its opposition to the Dover school bond issue on the November ballot. Dairy Queen business owner and architect, April Angel Yoder, who was also a member of the school task force, says she would rather renovate the high school than construct a new building. She says her store on Tuscarawas Avenue would be eliminated through eminent domain under the proposed plan and it would be too expensive to relocate. Yoder says she is also upset at the idea of losing the historic auditorium built before World War II. Others in her group say they will have trouble affording the new tax estimated at $9 a month when it is added with the tax approved by voters in March to hire new firefighters.
PARKS PLAN REVISED
NEW PHILADELPHIA - Tuscarawas County officials are unveiling a vision of the county’s park system into the future. The Tuscarawas County commissioners have approved the new 3-to-5 year strategic plan for to the county park department. Ohio and Erie Canalway Coalition President Dan Rice says this includes an updated map showing the 35 miles of recreational trails completed locally since the last plan in 2006, along with detailing the 235 miles of trails still being proposed for the area. Rice says the plan still calls for the completion of the Towpath Trail through New Philadelphia by the year 2020. Rice says he expects copies of the updated trail plan to be available to the public within a few weeks.
PLANTS TRIAL DELAYED FOR PSYCH TEST
NEW PHILADELPHIA - A Newcomerstown man’s murder trial start date is up in the air pending the outcome of a mental evaluation. Tuscarawas County Prosecutor Ryan Styer says a court-appointed psychologist will determine if 31-year-old Charles Plants is competent to stand trial for the July beating death of his mother with a hammer and assault of his sister. Styer says the psychologist will rule whether Plants’ condition is restorable, which means Plants could still proceed to trial eventually following a stay in a mental institution. Styer says he expects the mental evaluation results to take at least a few weeks to become available, but the defense or prosecution could still request a second opinion. Styer says there are no speedy trial requirements due to the evaluation, so he expects any trial start date to still be several months away.
MECHELKE GETS NEW LAWYER
NEW PHILADELPHIA - A New Philadelphia man facing child rape charges is getting a new defense lawyer. Attorney Adam Wilgus accepted the Tuscarawas County juvenile court magistrate position, making him ineligible to represent 38-year-old Brian Mechelke. His new court-appointed attorney is Aaron Kovalchik of Canton. Mechelke’s trial date of November 29th remains on the calendar, but court officials say the schedule could change depending on his defense team’s availability. Mechelke was indicted on five counts of rape and other charges for alleged incidents over the last four years. He is being held in the Tuscarawas County jail without bail.
PARK BOARD TO APPLY FOR GRANT FOR TENNIS COURTS
NEW PHILADELPHIA – City leaders are giving the go ahead for the park board to seek grant money to replace the tennis courts at Tuscora Park. Council approved legislation Monday that allows the group to apply for an Ohio Department of Natural Resources matching grant to cover up to half of the $392,000 project. Park Board President Don Kemp says the school district and park board have committed to donating $50,000 each, lowering the remaining matching portion to $96,000. Tuscora Park Assistant Superintendent Chase Hostetler says the money would go towards completely replacing six of the eight existing tennis courts, after $10,000 was spent this past summer to make the courts playable. He says that was just a temporary fix that will likely not last through the winter. The park board is also planning to apply for up to $20,000 in grant money from the U.S. Tennis Association, with construction planned for next summer if the funding goal is reached.
WATER, SEWER RATES READY TO RISE
NEW PHILADELPHIA - City officials are considering rate increases for water and sewer customers. Service Director Ron McAbier presented a proposal to a council committee Monday of 10% hikes for both services. He says the proposal would mean an additional $2.60 per month total increase for minimum-use customers. McAbier says the additional money is needed as costs continue to increase at both plants, despite using more loan opportunities. He says the changes would cover usage in addition to upkeep of the facilities, infrastructure projects, and repairs. McAbier says sewer rates were increased in 2012, but he says it was 2009 when the water rates were last adjusted.
BANQUET STARTS WEEK WITH SMILES
NEW PHILADELPHIA - Dover-New Philadelphia Week activities are underway after Monday night’s Rotary Clubs’ Sportsmanship Banquet. The annual event honors senior football players, band members, and cheerleaders from both schools as well as the QT Dance Team from New Philadelphia. Tornadoes football coach Dan Ifft says he believes his team is playing its best football of the season. Quakers football coach Matt Dennison says he encourages his players to enjoy the game as well as all the week’s events. WJER Sports Director Bill Morgan served as master of ceremonies for the banquet held at the Buckeye Career Center.
THEME DAYS COUNT DOWN TO RIVALRY
TUSCARAWAS COUNTY - The Dover and New Philadelphia school districts are competing to inspire support off the football field leading up to Friday night’s rivalry game. Spirit Week for both high schools, which encourages students to dress up in different themes each day in addition to various community events, started Monday. Dover High School Principal Teresa Alberts says preparations have been underway for some time. New Philadelphia High School Principal Eric Jurkovic says Spirit Week has something for everyone. Other highlights include the Rotary Sportsmanship Banquet Monday at Buckeye Career Center and community pep rallies at both schools Thursday night. The annual Union Hospital “Blood Battle” blood drive is set for Thursday from noon to 7 PM at the Tuscarawas County YMCA.
EVENTS FOCUS ON WOMEN
TUSCARAWAS COUNTY - Breast Cancer Awareness Month is coming to a close with a couple of special events. Union Hospital is hosting a women’s health program Tuesday night that Dr. Chinyere Orafu says covers a variety of issues woman may be too shy to talk about. “It’s All About You, Girlfriend,” held at the Kent State TusCampus Founders Hall, not only provides information about breast cancer risks and screenings but also nutrition and the diet of the day. Trinity Hospital Twin City is hosting its annual “In the Pink” program. Outreach coordinator Kelly Bowe says the program starts at 5:30 Thursday and includes a seminar as well as a candlelight walk to celebrate breast cancer survivors and honor those who have passed.
BOARD TO PRINT EXTRA BALLOTS
NEW PHILADELPHIA - Tuscarawas County elections officials say they have to stay on their toes as the courts and state officials remain at odds over voter registration rolls. A federal judge ruled Ohio incorrectly took people off the registration list if they failed to cast a ballot in the last six years. To accommodate those possible voters, county boards of elections have to print extra provisional ballots in case those voters show up to the polls in November. Tuscarawas Deputy Director Sarah Kneuss says it is all part of the process. Kneuss says every election uses paper ballots for voters whose names fail to appear on the poll worker books, but the ruling means they have to print extra that may be wasted if unused. Kneuss says the county courthouse will serve as a provisional ballot-only voting precinct on Election Day.
CONGRESSMAN STANDS BY TRUMP
NEW PHILADELPHIA - Southern Tuscarawas County’s Republican congressman is making it clear he remains a firm supporter of his party’s nominee for president. Many prominent GOP lawmakers, including Ohio Senator Rob Portman, have withdrawn support or endorsements for Donald Trump following the release of recorded controversial statements uncovered from his past, but 6th District Congressman Bill Johnson says he hopes to keep this from becoming a distraction to the actual issues facing Americans, such as the economy and border security. Johnson says he also dismisses certain reports from national media outlets trying to determine the outcome of the race.
ONE BOOK ONE COMMUNITY EVENTS UNDERWAY
DOVER - A book that inspired giving across the valley following a crime at the Dover Public Library last year is now gaining even more readers. Book discussions have already started taking place around the area for this year’s One Book One Community selection, “Christmas Jars.” The book gained fame after a donation jar similar to one from the story was stolen from the Dover Public Library in September of 2015. Library Director Jim Gills says it only made sense to use the book for this year’s reading program. Gill says author Jason Wright was also more than willing to return to the area for the program after showing up last year and raising money to replace the stolen cash. Wright will speak and host a book signing November 7 at Kent State Tuscarawas and appear at schools and churches while in town that week.
JURORS REPORT FOR TENSING TRIAL
CINCINNATI (AP) - Potential jurors are due in court for the murder trial of a white former university police officer charged with killing an unarmed black man during a traffic stop in Ohio. Twenty-six-year-old Ray Tensing has pleaded not guilty to charges of murder and voluntary manslaughter in the shooting of 43-year-old Sam DuBose near the University of Cincinnati last year. Jury orientation and the filling out of lengthy questionnaires are planned for Tuesday.
CYPRUS GOVERNMENT OBJECTS ART SALE
TOLEDO (AP) - The government of Cyprus is objecting to an Ohio museum's sale of antiquities from the east Mediterranean island. The Toledo Museum of Art also had pieces from Egypt, Greece and Italy among 68 to be sold in a New York auction Tuesday and an online sale closing that day. The Blade newspaper reports Cyprus' ambassador asked that the museum reconsider keeping the items. Its director says the museum respects others' viewpoints but sometimes sells items to maintain a high-quality collection.
OHIO GETS CAMPAIGN ATTENTION
CLEVELAND (AP) - Swing-state Ohio is getting lots of campaign attention this week, with visits from Republican Donald Trump and both vice presidential candidates. GOP vice presidential candidate Mike Pence had several events scheduled Tuesday. Trump and Democratic vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine plan stops on Thursday. Democrat Hillary Clinton's campaign also announced that rapper Jay Z will perform at a Get Out the Vote concert in Cleveland on Nov. 4, days before the election.
RYAN TELLS PENTAGON TO STOP TRYING TO GET REPAYMENT
WASHINGTON (AP) - House Speaker Paul Ryan wants the Pentagon to immediately stop trying to recover enlistment bonuses that were paid to thousands of soldiers in California when they signed up to serve in Iraq and Afghanistan. Ryan says those soldiers earned more than "bureaucratic bungling and false promises." The Pentagon demanded the soldiers repay their enlistment bonuses after audits revealed overpayments by the California National Guard -- which had been under pressure to fill ranks and hit enlistment goals.
JUDGE APPROVES VOLKSWAGEN SETTLEMENT
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - A federal judge says the goal is to clear the roadways of Volkswagen vehicles that exceed U.S. emissions standards -- and he says the settlement he approved today will accomplish that. Under the nearly $15 billion settlement, most Volkswagen owners are expected to sell those cars back to the company. In addition, they can each get cash payments of as much as $10,000. VW admitted last year that about 475,000 Volkswagens and Audis were programmed to cheat on emissions tests.
POLLING PLACES MOVED FROM SCHOOLS
FALMOUTH, Maine (AP) - Some communities around the United States are moving polling places out of schools, or canceling classes where voting is taking place. The moves are prompted by talk of fraud, vigilante observers and angry voters. Parents and officials fear there could be confrontations or even violence that could endanger students. Some of those anxieties are being stoked by Donald Trump's appeal to supporters to stand guard against fraud at the polls.
MLB: The World Series opens tonight in Cleveland, with Corey Kluber set to pitch Game 1 for the Indians against the Chicago Cubs' Jon Lester. Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis' sprained left ankle could keep him out of tonight's game. Kipnis injured the ankle in last week's celebration after they clinched the AL pennant in Toronto. Kipnis says the ankle is better but it is not "exactly a mild sprain."
Former Cleveland stars Kenny Lofton and Carlos Baerga will throw out the ceremonial first pitches for tonight's Game 1 and tomorrow night's Game 2. Lofton, the Indians' center fielder through much of the 1990s, will have the honor ahead of tonight's game. Both played on Cleveland's 1995 World Series team.
TONIGHT: Partly cloudy, Lo 33
WEDNESDAY: Partly cloudy, Hi 53
THURSDAY: 70% chance of rain, Hi 58
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