COVID-19 RELIEF FUND NEARING $50,000 GOAL

NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) (April 7, 2020) - Local United Way officials say they're on track to shatter their latest fundraising goal to support essential services for community members whose lives have been upended by the coronavirus pandemic.  United Way of Tuscarawas County President And CEO Robin Waltz says the organization launched its COVID-19 Relief Fund just over two weeks ago, pledging to match up to $50,000 in donations. Waltz says the community rallied behind the cause bringing them within $5,000 of that goal.  Waltz says the United Way will continue accepting donations beyond what they're able to match. She says people can donate by mail or online, and every cent goes toward local human service and emergency assistance programs.

 

YMCA PROVIDING AFFORDABLE CHILDCARE TO ESSENTIAL WORKERS

DOVER (WJER) (April 7, 2020) - The Tuscarawas County YMCA is trying to ease the burden on people still going into work with limited options for daycare services. Child Care Director Jade Bofo says they’ve opened up their services to essential workers with children ages 3-to-12. She says they want to make sure the workers on the front-lines of this pandemic can focus on their jobs without the added stress of figuring out how to take care of their kids. Bofo says the service is offered from 6 am to 6 pm and costs $35 a day. Applications are available by contacting the Y or on their website at tuscymca.org.

VFW PROMOTES FINANCIAL RELIEF FOR VETERANS
NEW PHILADELPHIA
(WJER) (April 7, 2020) – The New Philadelphia VFW is reminding area military veterans impacted by the statewide stay-at-home order that relief is available through their Veterans’ Assistance Program. Commander Steve Chenevey says veterans can contact the post’s headquarters in New Philadelphia if they need help paying for food, gas, or medications. He says they just need to provide proof of their military service, and the post will issue them a pre-paid gift card. The post can also assist with rent and utilities on a limited basis. Chenevey says community members can support the effort by mailing a monetary donation to their headquarters at 441 Park Avenue Northwest in New Philadelphia. 

NEW PHILA MAN INJURED DURING ALLEGED ROBBERY-TURNED-SHOOTING

NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) (April 6, 2020) – Detectives are trying to figure out how a 20-year-old city man was shot in the knee late Sunday.  New Philadelphia Police Captain Shawn Nelson says they responded just before 10 pm to the 100 block of Front Avenue SW after multiple callers reported hearing gunfire in the area. Nelson says the alleged victim told police he and another man were walking through a parking lot when three unknown males drove up in a silver SUV and attempted to rob them, and when he resisted one of them shot him. Nelson says they searched but were unable to locate the vehicle or the men so now they’re now reviewing surveillance video and trying to confirm the victim’s story. He says there’s no danger to the public as this appears to have been an isolated incident.

 

ANNUAL RACE GOES VIRTUAL TO SUPPORT HABITAT FOR HUMANITY
NEW PHILADELPHIA
(WJER) (April 6, 2020) - Run for Home organizers say it was still a successful race weekend despite a much-different setting this year.  Race Director Matt Ritzert says they decided last month to cancel the half-marathon and other events.  He says those who had signed up were able to go out on their own for a virtual Run for Home race experience this past weekend, and about 100 people took advantage of that.  Ritzert says they still had about 350 people sign up before registration was cut off, with proceeds again going to Habitat for Humanity. He says they still have some bills to pay before they know how big their check to the organization will be.  Ritzert says they will still give all of the runners participant medals and t-shirts at a later date when it is safe.

WOMAN DIES OF APPARENT SUICIDE AFTER CRASH AT DOVER DAM
DOVER (WJER) (April 6, 2020) – Tuscarawas County Sheriff’s officials say it appears a suicidal driver crashed into a concrete barrier outside the Dover Dam and then fatally shot herself with a handgun as deputies arrived.  Detective Sgt. Adam Fisher says the driver, a 55-year-old woman from the Mineral City area, died at the Aultman Hospital emergency room.  He says a witness first called 911 around 6:50 Monday morning after seeing a black SUV at the dam repeatedly striking a barrier. Fisher says the woman appeared to have a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the abdomen, and a .380 handgun was recovered from her vehicle.  Fisher says at this point, there does not appear to be foul play or anything else suspicious.

SHERIFF’S OFFICE TAKING EXTRA PRECAUTIONS
NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) (April 6, 2020) - Tuscarawas County’s sheriff is letting the community know how his office is working to keep staff and inmates safe during the covid-19 pandemic. Orvis Campbell says they’ve taken steps to reduce person-to-person contact by closing their lobby to the public. Road officers are taking incident reports over the phone whenever possible and they’re wearing protective gear when responding to calls. The county jail has been another area of concern. Campbell says they’re monitoring inmates’ temperatures when they come in for booking and keeping them isolated for the first two weeks. He says they usually don’t have room at the jail to do this, but they’ve been able to reduce the population there with the help of our local judges. Campbell says they’ve only had one inmate arrive there sick since the pandemic started but he tested negative for the virus. 

GUARD’S MISSION TURNS TO LOCAL FOOD PANTRIES
DOVER (WJER) (April 6, 2020) - Akron Canton Regional Foodbank officials say they’re getting a boost from the Ohio National Guard as demand rises throughout their eight-county service region. Spokeswoman Katie Carver Reed says the guard has deployed a 30-member unit out of Stow to the foodbank to fill in for their regular volunteers.  Reed says they’ve been there putting together food boxes and delivering orders to organizations like Journey’s End in Newcomerstown and the Greater Dover-New Phila Food Pantry. Reed says several of the guard members have also been traveling to Dover to help with their new, drive-thru food distribution system. She says the guard will be helping them until at least April 22nd and possibly longer now that Governor Mike DeWine has extended the statewide stay-at-home order.

DENNISON MAKING TEMPORARY CUTS DUE TO CORONAVIRUS
DENNISON (WJER) (April 3, 2020) - Dennison’s elected leaders are making some temporary reductions to offset anticipated revenue losses related to the coronavirus response. Finance Committee Chairman Greg DiDonato says after much consideration, council has decided to no longer staff Village Hall on Fridays for an estimated savings of around $400 per week. DiDonato says with tax collections expected to decrease, they’re doing what they can to save money.  DiDonato says they’ll still be doing $362,000 in paving this year, but other projects are on hold temporarily. DiDonato says council recently approved three demolitions. One will go forward as planned but the other two are being postponed. 

CONGRESSMAN ANSWERS QUESTIONS ON SMALL BUSINESS LOANS
WASHINGTON, D.C. (WJER) (April 3, 2020) - Sixth District Congressman Bill Johnson has been getting answers to small business owners interested in financial assistance through the federal cares act. Johnson on Thursday held a webinar for about 300 small business owners. A couple of small business administration members joined him to field the questions. Johnson was addressing the loans available through the act’s paycheck protection program, which provides incentives for small businesses to keep employees on the payroll. Johnson was also asked if small business needs to bring back all employees to get the payroll protection program loan. He said the business by June 30 has to be back to its previous staff levels, otherwise the amount of their debt forgiveness will be reduced. Johnson says there’s more information online at sba.gov.

AUXILIARY’S RECORD DONATION TO FIGHT COVID-19
DOVER
(WJER) (April 3, 2020) -  The Union Hospital Auxiliary’s best fundraising year yet to assist the hospital couldn’t have come at a better time. Auxiliary President Kiley Kendall says they’re making their annual donation today, a record $265,000, for Cleveland Clinic Union Hospital to spend on COVID-19 treatment, diagnosis and prevention efforts. Kendall says this can be used to buy personal protective equipment, supplies and other technology to limit the spread in our community. Kendall says since the auxiliary couldn’t host its last meeting in person, members voted digitally and through the mail unanimously on how to use the funds.  

STATE NEWS
UNDATED (AP) — Colleges across the nation are scrambling to close deep budget holes and some have been pushed to the brink of collapse after the coronavirus outbreak triggered a series of financial losses. Scores of colleges say they're taking heavy hits as they refund money to students for housing, dining and parking that went unused after campuses closed last month. Yet college leaders say that's only the start of their troubles: Even if campuses are allowed to reopen by this fall, they worry that many students won't return. Officials believe the economic downturn will leave many Americans unable to afford tuition, and colleges are forecasting heavy losses among international students.

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Court decisions in two U.S. states Monday allowed abortions to continue after the procedure was caught in the crosshairs of governors' orders suspending non-essential elective surgeries due to the new coronavirus. The decisions in Ohio and Oklahoma responded to challenges by abortion rights groups. The U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals declined an appeal by Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost seeking to reverse a judge's temporary restraining order allowing abortion facilities in the state to continue performing surgical abortions. In Oklahoma, a judge issued a similar order against the administration, allowing clinics there to resume providing medication and surgical abortions.

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Gov. Mike DeWine says 10 Ohio inmates at two prisons and 27 staff members at four prisons have now tested positive for the coronavirus. DeWine says the state is examining which nonviolent inmates could be released to create more space. DeWine on Monday also authorized 26 members of the Ohio National Guard to go into the federal prison in Elkton in eastern Ohio to help now that seven inmates there have tested positive. Meanwhile, the governor named six sites that will convert to temporary hospitals if needed. The state says 142 people have died as of Monday.

CLEVELAND (AP) — Authorities say a man who started shooting randomly at people and cars at a Cleveland gas station fatally shot an 81-year-old man. The suspect, identified only as a 36-year-old man, was captured shortly after the shooting occurred Sunday afternoon when a witness called 911 and followed him from the station. It's not yet known what charges he will face. The man walked through the gas station parking lot and shot at various people and vehicles. Anthony Watkins was shot several times in the head and body and was pronounced dead a short time later. It's not yet known what sparked the shooting.

NATIONAL NEWS:
LONDON (AP) — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been moved to the intensive care unit of a London hospital after his coronavirus symptoms worsened. Johnson's office says Johnson is conscious and does not require ventilation at the moment. Johnson was admitted to St. Thomas' Hospital late Sunday, 10 days after he was diagnosed with COVID-19. Johnson has asked Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab to deputize for him. "Over the course of this afternoon, the condition of the Prime Minister has worsened and, on the advice of his medical team, he has been moved to the Intensive Care Unit at the hospital," his office said in a statement.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin is asking hundreds of thousands of voters to ignore a stay-at-home order in the midst of a pandemic to participate in Tuesday's presidential primary election. The National Guard will help run voting sites across the state after thousands of election workers stepped down fearing their safety. Dozens of polling places will be closed, but those that are active will open at 7 a.m. CDT. The Election Day chaos that loomed over Wisconsin underscores the lengths to which the coronavirus outbreak has upended politics as Democrats seek a nominee to take on President Donald Trump this fall.

TOKYO (AP) — Global shares are rising, fueled by hopes the peak of the coronavirus pandemic surge may come soon. Benchmarks in France, German and Britain advanced in early trading on Tuesday. In Asia, Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 gained 2.0% to finish at 18,950.18, as the nation awaited the announcement of a financial aid package to alleviate the blow to the economy from the outbreak. Shares in South Korea and China also rose. In a positive sign, China reported no new deaths from the coronarivus. Encouraging signs also emerged from Europe and the U.S. on the illness. 

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Cardinal George Pell is welcoming Australia's highest court clearing him of child sex crimes and says his trial had not been a referendum on the Catholic Church's handling of the clergy abuse crisis. Pope Francis' former finance minister Pell had been the most senior Catholic found guilty of sexually abusing children. He described himself as "suffering from a serious injustice" before being released from prison and driven to a monastery. Church officials called for an end to the pursuit of Pell in the courts, and Francis said he was praying for the unjustly accused in his morning homily. The father of one of the two choirboys says he's in "utter disbelief."

LAPLACE, La. (AP) — Authorities in Louisiana said a man kidnapped a woman and fatally shot her when she escaped. Corrie Wallace was charged Monday with first-degree murder in the death of 25-year-old Ja'Riel Sam. St. John the Baptist Parish deputies said Sam and Wallace were acquaintances and sometime Sunday morning Wallace went to Sam's apartment. Deputies said the pair argued and Wallace later put Sam in the trunk of her own car and drove off. Deputies said Sam managed to open the trunk and jump from the car but Wallace also jumped from the moving vehicle, catching up to Sam and shooting her in the head. It's unclear whether Wallace had an attorney.

SPORTS:

OHSAA: New Philadelphia has accepted an invitation to join the Ohio Cardinal Conference beginning with the 2022-2023 school year.  

NFL:  The NFL is delaying the start of its offseason workout program while formulating a plan with the NFL Players Association on how to proceed during the coronavirus pandemic. At least for the time being NFL coaches won’t be allowed to communicate with players via videoconferencing. Normally, Monday would have signaled the start of the nine-week offseason workout program for the five NFL teams with new head coaches: Carolina, Dallas, Washington, Cleveland and the New York Giants. However, due to the coronavirus, players are not allowed at team facilities. At some point, teams are expected to communicate with players as part of what will be a “virtual” offseason program.

WEATHER:
TODAY: Showers and storms, High 68
TONIGHT: Occasional showers and storms, Low 56
WEDNESDAY: A chance of showers and storms before noon, then gradual clearing, High 66
THURSDAY: Showers, mainly before 8am, High 50