LOCAL MAN CHARGED WITH MURDER FOR STARK COUNTY SHOOTING DEATH

CANTON (WJER) (June 1, 2020) - Stark County Sheriff’s officials say a 22-year-old from Mineral City has been charged for the shooting death of another man in Pike Township. Austin Friend is charged with one count of murder, an unclassified felony, for the shooting of 22-year-old Josh Beshore early Saturday morning in the 6600-block of Maplehurst Avenue SE. Sheriff’s officials say Beshore was shot in the head and later succumbed to his injuries. Sheriff George Friend is being held in the Stark County Jail. He’s scheduled to make his initial appearance in Canton Municipal Court this morning.

 

AGENCIES TEAMING UP FOR RABIES BAIT DROP

TUSCARAWAS COUNTY (WJER) (June 1, 2020) - County health department officials say residents shouldn’t to be concerned if they see some low-flying planes and helicopters in the area this week.  Environmental Health Director Caroline Terakedis says pilots will be dropping oral rabies vaccines, known as baits, over the next week in Tuscarawas and neighboring counties. She says it's part of a collective effort between the USDA and state and local health departments to immunize the area's raccoon population to help stop the spread of the virus. Terakedis says the baits look like frozen ravioli and are coated in a fishy-smelling substance to make them more attractive to wild animals. She says they're not dangerous, but people should still try to avoid touching them and wash their hands if they do happen to pick one up.

 

MUNICIPAL COURT REOPENS WITH ADDED SAFETY MEASURES

NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) (June 1, 2020) - The New Philadelphia Municipal Court is opening back up to the public this week, but visitors are going to wear a mask when conducting business there.  court administrator Judee Dzigiel says they’re strictly adhering to the state’s guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19, so only 10 members of the public will be allowed in the building at a time. Dzigiel encourages people to first check the court’s website to see if they can conduct their business or make payments online. Eviction hearings are resuming this month, as are the municipal and inmate work programs. Dzigiel says small claims and other civil matters are low priority and will be scheduled at the discretion of the court.

 

DRIVING TOUR TAKES MOTORISTS AROUND THE COUNTY
NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) (May 29, 2020) - Area festivals, events and museum tours may be on hold for now, but the Tuscarawas County Convention and Visitors Bureau is making sure visitors and residents can still experience springtime in our area.  The CVB’s Diane Lautenschleger says they’ve created a driving tour so families can pack into the car and take an evening or weekend drive with some specific destinations in mind. The tour includes some walkable sites in downtown New Philadelphia, Historic Zoar Village and Fort Laurens, so Lautenschleger says it could even be pieced together over several trips. Maps for the driving tour are available at the cvb’s kiosk so people can just walk in and grab on their own. Lautenschleger says they were compelled to keep people active even with so many places temporarily closed down. Other sites include the Dennison Railroad Depot Museum, and the World’s Largest Cuckoo Clock in Sugarcreek. The kiosk at the CVB is open seven days a week from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. 

 

STATE NEWS
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A police officer escaped injury when his helmet was struck by a bullet during a Cincinnati protest amid a third day of protests in Ohio following George Floyd’s death. The officer was working to disperse a crowd near the University of Cincinnati early Sunday when several shots rang out. The Columbus Dispatch reported that a fire at the four-story Residences at Topiary Park burned for hours, causing part of the roof and several floors to collapse. A fire official told WBNS-TV that an attempt was made to set fire to other apartment building under construction next door. Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said Saturday he was calling out the state’s National Guard and highway patrol to help enforce laws in Columbus

COLUMBUS (AP) — The governor of Ohio said he was calling out the Ohio National Guard and also asking the highway patrol to help help enforce laws in Columbus as the mayor of that city and Cleveland both announced 10 p.m. curfews following damage to businesses amid protests over the death in Minneapolis of George Floyd. Gov. Mike DeWine said the vast majority of protesters wanted “simply to be heard” and focus attention on the death of Floyd, a black man who died after a white officer pressed a knee into his neck, and other injustices. But he said their voices “are sadly being drowned out by a smaller group of violent individuals."

NATIONAL NEWS:
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — America’s cities are boarding up windows, sweeping up glass and covering graffiti after the country’s most significant night of protests in a half-century. The demonstrations are spilling into another day of unrest Sunday, fueled by killings of black people at the hands of police. The turbulence was sparked by the death of George Floyd after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed a knee into his neck for several minutes. Dozens of protests are underway or expected Sunday, from Miami to Kansas City to San Francisco. They were largely peaceful, but sparks of crime persisted. In Philadelphia, people robbed stores in broad daylight.

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. officials are seeking to determine whether extremist groups have infiltrated police brutality protests across the country and deliberately tipped largely peaceful demonstrations toward violence. Officials are also investigating whether foreign adversaries are behind a burgeoning disinformation campaign on social media. Federal law enforcement officials insist far-left groups are stoking violence, but experts who track extremist groups also report seeing evidence of the far-right at work. Officials have seen a surge of social media accounts with fewer than 200 followers created in the last month, a textbook sign of a disinformation effort.

SPORTS:
NHL: The league has a coronavirus testing plan for players and staff if it returns to play. NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly says players would be tested for COVID-19 daily while games are going on. That could require 25,000-30,000 tests at a cost of millions of dollars. Players insisted on regular testing in the name of keeping themselves safe and healthy. The league does not expect that amount of tests to interfere with the needs of the general public. 

WEATHER:
TODAY: Sunny, High 71. 
TONIGHT: Mostly cloudy, Low 55
TUESDAY: Chance of showers and storms, High 81.
WEDNESDAY: Chance of showers and storms, High 86.