NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) (Nov. 23, 2021) - Mayor Joel Day is extending his welcome to the new owner of the Times-Reporter building. Day says the ProVia company paid just over $1.4-million for the 70-thousand-square-foot mixed-use facility that became available when the T-R’s parent company, Gatehouse Media, acquired Gannett News and began consolidating its locations. ProVia hasn’t yet announced specific plans but stated in a press release that the property was purchased to support the company’s continued growth. Corporate Relations Director Joe Klink says the purchase was a logical next step for the company since many of its employees live in or near the city. He anticipates company officials finalizing plans for the building after the first of the year.

UHRICHSVILLE (WJER) (Nov. 23, 2021) - A former employee is suing the city and its service director for discrimination. Jeffrey Morris in a complaint filed with Tuscarawas County’s Common Pleas Court on Oct. 22, claims that Service Director Belle Everett mistreated him on the basis of his age and retaliated when he opposed the discriminatory treatment. He alleges the mistreatment occurred throughout 2020 when he was 58 and included threatening to withhold pay and replace him with a younger worker and requiring him to sweep the street in 90-degree heat for no discernable reason. Morris further claims that the city terminated his employment this past June due to him no longer being able to hold a Commercial Driver’s License because of a medical episode earlier in the year while similarly situated employees continued working without one. He’s seeking upwards of $50,000 in damages per claim and reinstatement to his former position. The city hasn’t yet filed its response to Morris’ complaint.

NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) (Nov. 22, 2021) - Recounts of a couple of close races in this past election are reaffirming the victories of two challengers. In the contest for Dover’s third at-large council seat, Gina Space maintained her two-vote lead over incumbent Don Maurer after the board of elections re-tabulated the results for two randomly selected precincts. Space says it goes to show that every vote matters, especially in local races. The elections board on Monday also recounted the Sandy Township’s trustees race that had Jeremy Lee two votes ahead of incumbent Marissa Lautzenheiser for the third seat. Director Gail Garbrandt says that outcome stands as do the results of Barnhill’s tax renewal, which remained tied at 7-7.  An affirmative vote is required for passage, although village officials can try again in the primary. The final step is the post-election audit where the board recounts the ballots cast in select races to make sure there are no discrepancies. Garbrandt says that will take place next Monday. 

DENNISON (WJER) (Nov. 22, 2021) – Claymont families will be getting a chance to help the board of education decide whether to expand the high school or the elementary building. Superintendent Brian Rentsch says they will be posting the details of both options, along with a community survey, the results of which will help guide the board’s decision. He says they’re planning to use between $2.7 and $3.5-million in COVID relief money to add three to four classes and a courtyard or indoor recreation area to whichever building the board decides to add onto. Rentsch says either option would enable the district to empty out and sell off the building on Trenton Avenue after the 2023-2024 school year, saving on maintenance and utility costs in the long run.

NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) (Nov. 21, 2021) - Hundreds of people packed into the Emmanuel Lutheran Church for a public tribute to Emmet Schwartz, an Army private killed in action during WWII whose remains were identified this past summer by the national POW-MIA Accounting Agency. Reverend Harley Wheeler of the Broadway United Methodist Church officiated the service, which was followed by a public viewing of Schwartz’s flag-draped casket inside the Tuscarawas County Courthouse. Mayor Joel Day issued a citywide proclamation declaring it ‘Private Emmet Wayne Schwartz Remembrance Day,’ and the addition to the New Philadelphia VFW’s Park Avenue headquarters containing its Veterans’ Food Pantry is now the Private Emmet W. Schwartz Memorial Annex. Schwartz will be laid to rest this week in Evergreen Burial Park alongside his only son, James, whose life goal was to bring his father home. 

(WJER) (Nov. 22, 2021) - Mayor Greg DiDonato wants to hold Uhrichsville’s administration accountable for obstructing payments owed to the village under a longstanding tax-sharing agreement. He says the fact that they stopped after the village rejected the Uhrichsville Fire Department’s offer to be the town’s primary EMS provider is no coincidence. DiDonato made the comment during Thursday’s council meeting. Members that evening also approved his request for $10,000 to put toward legal fees arising from the dispute since Solicitor JJ Ong is also Uhrichsville’s law director and cannot represent either party. Uhrichsville Mayor Mark Haney stopped the payments last year based on the opinion of a Columbus-area law firm that deemed the 1998 agreement entitling Dennison to 37-percent of the payroll taxes from Claymont High School invalid. City council ended up overriding Haney and authorizing payments for all of 2020, but DiDonato says the village hasn’t received the more than $16,000 dollars it’s owed for this year.

NEWCOMERSTOWN (WJER) (Nov. 18, 2021) – The village’s mayor is telling residents not to be alarmed about council raising the monthly surcharge on their water and sewer bills after the first of the year. Pat Cadle says $6.50 is the total surcharge, which is $2 more than what customers pay currently, not the amount that it’s increasing. He says the additional revenue will help the village replenish its water and sewer fund that pays for system improvements. Cadle anticipates most of that money going to extend water and sewer lines to a couple of potential housing development sites. He says it will also help the village develop a plan for getting sewer service to people living in the Booth Acres and Mizer additions when the aging septic systems there start failing. 

DENNISON (WJER) (Nov. 18, 2021) - Community leaders are celebrating what’s about to become a new attraction to allow for extended visits to Dennison. The Dennison Depot on Wednesday showed off the 1920s Pullman railroad sleeping car that it’s been working to restore in recent years. They expect it to be ready for overnight stays by the late winter or early spring.  Dennison Mayor Greg DiDonato says this is welcomed as the village has no formal lodging right now. Tuscarawas County Chamber of Commerce President Scott Robinson says it will provide a unique experience that should become popular and boost tourism. Depot Director Wendy Zucal says this was close to a million-dollar project, made possible by a combination of ODOT funds, local foundation grants, and state and federal dollars.  

UHRICHSVILLE (WJER) (Nov. 16, 2021) -  City residents probably won’t get to set off fireworks in their backyards to ring in the new year. The ordinance committee is planning to ask council to keep the ordinance banning fireworks in place and opt out of the new state law allowing people to discharge them on certain holidays. Members in a unanimous vote Monday agreed to introduce a revised version of the ordinance stating that fireworks use is still prohibited on those occasions and request passage on its third reading. Law Director JJ Ong said advised the committee they could also add exemptions for specific holidays, but members felt the ban should stay. It applies to the larger fireworks people could previously buy in Ohio but had to discharge elsewhere, not sparklers, snaps, and similar varieties you can buy get at gas stations and grocery stores.

DOVER (WJER) (Nov. 16, 2021) - The superintendent of the Dover Light & Power plant is in danger of losing his job. Dave Filippi has been the plant superintendent for over 30 years. Council members Monday called on Mayor Rick Homrighausen to fire Filippi, saying he’s violated state laws by approving more than $700,000 on upgrades and other projects without authorization from council or Auditor Nicole Stoldt. Homrighausen said he would have to think about it. Homrighausen and Stoldt said they were unaware of the spending. Council President Shane Gunnoe says the mayor should act quickly. Filippi is apparently on vacation until the end of the year. Public records indicate Filippi sent an email from his work account accepting a job in West Virginia. Council members want him to come to a meeting in December to answer questions about the spending.

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio's final congressional map sprinted through the Legislature last week and was signed by Republican Gov. Mike DeWine over the weekend, all in less than five days. Because it received only Republican support, the plan will endure for only four years, not 10 as the process envisions. The new Ohio map includes six safe Republican seats and two safe Democratic seats. Republicans say the other seven seats are competitive, but opponents say they still lean the GOP's way. Lags in 2020 census data were blamed for the rush, but partisan angling also played a role in the missed deadlines and delays.
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Two of 17 members of a missionary group who were kidnapped more than a month ago are safe and "in good spirits" after being freed in Haiti. Ohio-based Christian Aid Ministries issued a statement Sunday saying it could not give the names of those released, why they were freed or other information. "While we rejoice at this release, our hearts are with the 15 people who are still being held," the group said. The missionaries were kidnapped by the 400 Mawozo gang on Oct. 16. There are five children in the group of 16 U.S. citizens and one Canadian, including an 8-month-old. 

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — Jurors are set to deliberate for a third day in the trial of white nationalists accused in a lawsuit of promoting and carrying out racially motivated violence during the "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville in 2017. The jury has deliberated for about 15 hours over two days. At one point Monday, jurors indicated they may be having trouble reaching a unanimous verdict on several allegations brought in the lawsuit by nine people physically hurt or emotionally traumatized by the violence. Jurors are being asked to decide if white nationalists are responsible for the violence and if the defendants are liable for damages.

NEWBURY, Ohio (AP) — Authorities say five people in a van are dead after an apparent head-on collision with a tractor-trailer on a state highway in Ohio. The highway patrol says the crash occurred on State Route 44 in Geauga County's Newbury Township, east of Cleveland. The van driver and four passengers were pronounced dead at the scene. Two other van passengers were taken to hospitals with serious injuries. The tractor-trailer's driver was treated for injuries that weren't life-threatening. The driver had no passengers. The collision remains under investigation.

WAUKESHA, Wis. (AP) — Police say the suspect in a deadly Christmas parade crash in suburban Milwaukee was in a domestic disturbance just minutes before he killed five people and injured 48. Waukesha Police Chief Dan Thompson said Monday there's no evidence the man knew anyone in the parade. He says police were preparing five charges of intentional homicide against Darrell Brooks Jr., 39, of Milwaukee. Three of the five people killed were members of the "Dancing Grannies," and a fourth was a man who volunteered for the group. An employee of Citizens Bank was also killed.

WASHINGTON (AP) — A committee investigating the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol insurrection has issued subpoenas to five more individuals, including former President Donald Trump's ally Roger Stone and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. The subpoenas include demands for documents and testimony from Stone and Jones as well as three people accused of organizing and promoting the two rallies that preceded the deadly attack on the Capitol on Jan. 6. The committee has already interviewed more than 150 people across government, social media and law enforcement, including some former Trump aides who have been cooperative.

BRUNSWICK, Ga. (AP) — The trial of three white man charged with killing Ahmaud Arbery could soon be in the hands of the jury. Prosecutors seeking murder convictions in the 25-year-old Black man's death planned to wrap up their legal argument to jurors Tuesday, getting the final word as closing arguments spill into a second day. Then Superior Court Judge Timothy Walmsley will give legal instructions to the disproportionately white jury before it begins deliberations. Arbery was chased and fatally shot Feb. 23, 2020, after he was spotted running in a neighborhood outside the Georgia port city of Brunswick. Father and son Greg and Travis McMichael and neighbor William "Roddie" Bryan are charged the murder. 

UNDATED (AP) — Shares have opened lower in Europe after a mixed session in Asia, as countries impose lockdowns and other restrictions to fight flare-ups of coronavirus cases. Benchmarks dropped in London, Paris, Hong Kong and South Korea. The Shanghai composite index edged higher, while Tokyo was closed for a holiday. U.S. futures were lower. On Monday, the S&P 500 lost 0.3%, the Nasdaq fell 1.3% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average eked out a tiny gain after President Joe Biden said he would ask Jerome Powell to serve another term as chair of the Federal Reserve. That signaled confidence in Powell's handling of central bank policies during the brutal disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — Authorities and local media say a bus carrying people home to North Macedonia from a tourist trip to Istanbul has crashed and caught fire in western Bulgaria, killing at least 45 people. They say the accident happened early Tuesday. Photos taken shortly after the crash showed the bus engulfed in flames with plumes of thick, black smoke rising from the scene. Bulgaria's foreign minister, who visited the scene, said that he had "never in my life seen something more horrifying." Seven survivors were taken to hospitals for treatment. The cause of the crash was not immediately confirmed, but it appeared that the bus hit a highway guard rail, crashed and caught fire.

NBA: Kevin Durant returned to Brooklyn’s lineup and scored 27 points, James Harden added 14 points and a season-high 14 assists, and the Brooklyn Nets beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 117-112. LaMarcus Aldridge had 21 points and 11 rebounds off the bench for the Nets, who won for the sixth time in seven games. Darius Garland scored 24 and Jared Allen had 20 points and 15 rebounds and Lauri Markkanen scored 22 in his first game since Nov. 1 for the still short-handed Cavs, who had chances down the stretch but missed some shots and made critical mistakes. Cleveland has lost four straight.

NFL: Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield said frustration with his own performance — not being booed by Cleveland fans — caused him to head straight to the locker room following the game and not speak to the media. Mayfield threw two interceptions in Sunday’s 13-10 victory over the winless Detroit Lions, a sloppy, penalty-filled affair for the Browns. They survived and kept their playoff hopes intact. After the game Mayfield didn’t acknowledge teammates or the Lions as he walked off the field. He declined postgame interviews, required by the NFL unless a player is getting medical treatment.

MLB: Doug Jones, a five-time All-Star reliever who had his best success closing for the Cleveland Indians, has died. He was 64. Jones spent seven seasons with the Indians and ranks third on the club’s career saves list with 129. The club, which officially transitioned to Cleveland Guardians last week, said Monday it was “saddened by the loss of one of our organization’s all-time greats.” The team said Jones died in Arizona. A cause was not immediately known. One of Jones’ former Indians teammates, pitcher Greg Swindell, posted on Twitter that his friend had died. Swindell called Jones “one hell of a pitcher.”

TODAY: Sunny, High 39
TONIGHT: Mostly clear, Low 25
WEDNESDAY: Increasing clouds, High 48
THANKSGIVING DAY: Showers, mainly after 2pm, High 47