Thursday, March 23, 2017

FAMILY CHARGED FOR DECOMPOSING BODY DISCOVERY
NEW PHILADELPHIA - A married couple and their adult daughter are facing felony charges after sheriff’s deputies discovered a decomposing body in their Wainwright home Tuesday. The corpse is believed to be 71-year-old Robert Harris, a Vietnam veteran. 49-year-old Brian Sorohan and 45-year-old Stacy Sorohan are accused of continuing to collect Harris’ Social Security benefits after his death from November up until this week. Charges include abuse of a corpse and theft of a credit card. Charges against 18-year-old Brianna Sorohan include failure to report a death. Bond has been set at $20,000 for both Brian and Stacy. Brianna was released on her own recognizance.

SCAM CALLS
NEW PHILADELPHIA - Local authorities are reminding residents about the dangers of answering phone calls from an unknown number. New Philadelphia Police Detective Captain Shawn Nelson says phone scams continue to circulate all over the nation, and Tuscarawas County is no exception. Nelson says the scammers are becoming more sophisticated and have even implemented answering centers to help convince potential victim. Nelson says the best thing to do is hang up. He says no government agency will ever demand money with the threat of jail time for not paying… he says residents should end any call they think may be a scam and contact their local police department to report it. 

BADLY DECOMPOSED BODY FOUND IN WAINWRIGHT HOME
NEW PHILADELPHIA - Investigators searching for a missing man have made the gruesome discovery of a badly decomposed body in a Wainwright home piled with garbage. Tuscarawas County Sheriff Orvis Campbell believes it is possible three other people living at the 4th Street home kept the body there so they could continue collecting his Social Security benefits, though authorities have yet to identify the body because of its condition. Investigators were at the home Tuesday morning on a search warrant looking for financial and Social Security records of the missing man, who was an elderly veteran. The body was found uncovered in an area just feet away from where two people slept at the home. The three people at the home have been taken into custody for questioning, but no charges have been filed yet. The autopsy is being performed in Stark County to determine a cause of death.

SEMINAR TO HELP PARENTS MONITOR FOR DRUGS 
DENNISON - Parents can learn more about the signs of addiction and drug abuse in children. The Tuscarawas County Anti-Drug Coalition’s “Hidden in Plain Sight” seminar is tonight at 6 p.m. at Trinity Hospital Twin City. Coalition task force leader Jodi Salvo says it is meant to educate parents and give them the resources to talk to children. It will also cover media and some of the different influences affecting kids’ decisions. You can register for tonight’s free seminar at the Trinity Twin City website or by calling the hospital.    

SIREN TEST SCHEDULED
NEW PHILADELPHIA - Tuscarawas County’s Emergency Management Agency is preparing for tornado season. EMA Director Patty Levengood says every family should have an action plan for whatever severe weather may strike the area. Levengood says her department is also revising their action plan in case a tornado would strike the area. The statewide tornado siren test was held Wednesday at 9:50 a.m. Levengood says the test lasted about 10 minutes and sounded exactly like it would if there were a real emergency. 

DOVER COMMUNITY DISCUSSES NEW HIGH SCHOOL
DOVER - The Dover High School cafeteria filled with people and conversation surrounding the details residents would like to see go into the new high school. About 80 people came out to a meeting Monday with the project designers and school officials. Superintendent Carla Birney says the public’s ideas will now be examined and taken into consideration as contractors begin designing the new school. Many of the questions dealt with logistical issues, such as limited parking for contractors and whether local companies would be utilized for any of the work.

LIBRARY FUNDRAISER PROGRESSING
DOVER
- The Dover Public Library is getting closer to the halfway point for a fundraiser to renovate the adult department. Director Jim Gill says the library’s capital campaign has brought in about $200,000. The goal is to raise $500,000. Gill says as part of the campaign, the library is also accepting contributions to sponsor items at the library in someone’s name. Gill says the Dover Public Library plans to wrap up the campaign at the end of the year and start on the remodel next year.  

DENNISON COUNCIL MEMBER RESIGNING
DENNISONDennison is on the lookout for someone willing to fill the nine months left in the term of council member Patty Johnson. She has announced her resignation, citing personal reasons. Anyone wanting the council seat should send a letter of interest to the mayor’s office. Johnson is proud of her involvement over eight years, including 922 Day, Art in the Park, and Sundays in the Park. 

ENGINEER CALLS FOR PLAN OF ACTION
NEW PHILADELPHIA
- Tuscarawas County Engineer Joe Bachman has issued his 2016 annual report, showing his income has been stagnant for over a decade while expenses have climbed. He is using it to again ask the county commissioners to propose a plan of action to address his funding shortfalls. Bachman still wants the commissioners to impose a license plate fee, which he says has happened in 70 other counties. He points to how the county will raise water and sewer rates on customers without letting them vote on it. Voters overwhelmingly rejected a $10 license plate increase issue at the polls a year ago that would have funded Bachman’s department.  

DENNISON PASSES 2017 BUDGET
DENNISON
– The village’s spending plan for the rest of 2017 has been set. Council has approved the finalized $1.75 million budget. Fiscal Officer Kathy Norman says the layout allows for a large sum of the village’s revenue to go toward the Sherman Street upgrade. Money has also been appropriated to purchase a new police cruiser, which could cost as much as $42,000, including equipment. 

BROWN BACKS TRADE SECRETARY CHOICE
WASHINGTON - Ohio’s Democratic U.S. senator is signaling his strong support for President Donald Trump’s nominee for U.S. trade secretary. The nominee is Robert Lighthizer, a lawyer from Ashtabula, Ohio. Senator Sherrod Brown has been outspoken about many of Trump’s picks but believes Lighthizer could help boost Ohio’s steel industry. Brown says Lighthizer would play a key role in forming U.S. trade policy and representing the U.S. in cases against foreign countries that cheat on our trade laws.

NEW TOWNE MALL TO LOSE JCPENNEY
NEW PHILADELPHIA - JCPenney will be closing its New Philadelphia location. The company issued a list of 138 stores it is closing, and it includes the one at New Towne Mall. A press release says most affected stores will begin the liquidation process April 17th and close in June. The release indicates this is part of a continuing effort to advance sustainable growth and long-term profitability. Approximately 5,000 positions nationwide will be impacted by the closures. JCPenney says it will provide outplacement support services for those eligible associates who will be leaving the company. New Towne Mall’s public relations company out of Florida tells WJER they are looking into what this will mean locally. JCPenney has yet to return a call from WJER.

$10 MILLION WINNER IN PHILA
NEW PHILADELPHIA - The rumors are true. The Marty’s Coaches Corner convenience store in New Philadelphia sold someone a scratch-off lottery ticket that won $10 million last week. Store employee Ben Cooley says it happened Monday when one of their regular customers bought a $30 ticketthe most expensive sold there. He and the customer were in shock when he scanned the ticket, confirming it did indeed win that much, although over a quarter of the winnings are usually taken out for taxes. The winner told Cooley he was unsure if he would retire or what he would do with the prize. Cooley says he had the winner fill out a claim form, trying not to make too much of a scene. The customer would have to take that form to a lottery office to redeem the winnings. Cooley says the biggest winning ticket sold at Marty’s Coaches Corner before this week was for $30,000.   

STATE NEWS:
ATTORNEYS OPPOSE SECOND EXECUTION ATTEMPT
COLUMBUS (AP) - Attorneys for a convicted Ohio killer who survived a botched execution attempt in 2009 are opposing a request to set a new execution date. Death row inmate Romell Broom was sentenced to die for abducting, raping, and killing 14-year-old Tryna Middleton in Cleveland in 1984. Broom's attorneys said in a Wednesday filing Broom has important appeals pending and the state should not be in a hurry to set a new date.

MEDIA REQUEST FOR SLAIN FAMILY AUTOPSIES REJECTED
CHILLICOTHE (AP) - An appeals court has rejected a newspaper's request for access to coroner's office evidence regarding eight Ohio massacre victims. The Cincinnati Enquirer asked the Pike County coroner for preliminary autopsy and investigative notes and other material for the victims of last year's still unsolved killings.

GRAND JURY TO CONSIDER STATE REP’S OVI CASE
HAMILTON (AP) - An Ohio state lawmaker accused of impaired driving and mishandling a gun has waived his right to a preliminary hearing. Rep. Wes Retherford waived that right Wednesday in Hamilton in southwestern Ohio. The case will now be sent to a grand jury for consideration. The Republican lawmaker from Hamilton is charged with driving under the influence and improper handling of a firearm in a vehicle. A message was left for his attorney.

NATIONAL NEWS:
CONTENTION STALLS HEALTHCARE VOTE
WASHINGTON (AP) - Republican infighting has stalled today's planned vote to repeal and replace the health care law. The failure comes on the seven-year anniversary of President Barack Obama signing the Affordable Care Act. Both GOP hardliners and moderates bailed, giving a stinging setback for House Speaker Paul Ryan and President Donald Trump in their first major legislative test. The bill could still come to a vote in coming days.

BRIDGE ATTACK
LONDON (AP) - London police say a 75-year-old man injured in Wednesday's attack on Westminster Bridge has died. Police said life support was withdrawn from the man and his family has been notified. That brings the number of victims to four. The man identified as the driver of the car that mowed down pedestrians on the bridge was also killed by police after he crashed the vehicle into a gate outside Parliament and stabbed a police officer to death.

ISIS SIDING GROWS
WASHINGTON (AP) - The United States is deepening its involvement in the war against the Islamic State group. There's been an American airlift of Arab and Kurdish fighters to the front lines in northern Syria. The effort was supported by the first use of U.S. attack helicopters and artillery in the country. The U.S. forces didn't engage in ground combat, but the offensive suggests the Trump administration is taking an increasingly aggressive approach as it plans an upcoming assault on the extremists' self-declared capital of Raqqa.


SPORTS:
NBA: Denver Nuggets 126 - Cleveland Cavaliers 113; Kyrie Irving led the Cavs with 33 points, but LeBron James had just 18, and the two stars sat out much of the fourth quarter with Cleveland trailing by double digits.

WEATHER:
TONIGHT: Cloudy with a chance of light rain overnight, low 43
FRIDAY: Light rain possible early, otherwise cloudy, high 70
SATURDAY: Rain, high 68
SUNDAY: Possible thunder storms, high 66


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