LOCAL HEADLINE NEWS
8:05 AM - February 17th, 2017
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MISSING MAN FOUND DEAD
DENNISON - Police say they are not sure what killed a 29-year-old who was last seen leaving Trinity Hospital Twin City Sunday night and was found dead Thursday. Chief Todd Beeman says the death of former Dennison resident David Albright, Jr. unfortunate but not suspicious. He does not suspect foul play. Hospital surveillance video captured Albright heading towards the 700 block of Dennison, where he was found dead Thursday. The Stark County coroner is determining a cause of death.
WITNESSES TAKE STAND, CLOSING ARGUMENTS TODAY
NEW PHILADELPHIA - Witnesses took the stand this week to describe their accounts in the case against a homeless man from Florida who is accused of sexually assaulting and severely injuring a Mineral City boy. 32-year old Randy Vento is watching the trial from the county jail. Akron Children’s Emergency Doctor Narali Patel explained the 11-year old’s injuries included severe head wounds, when he arrived to the hospital June 2nd. Assistant County Prosecutor Mike Ernest also asked Sheriff’s Deputy Adam Fisher about when he located Vento near State Route 800 that evening. He explained Vento was calm and answered questions but he noticed dry blood on Vento’s shoulder. Detectives Cathy Bickford and Jeff Moore also explained how they collected and documented evidence in the case. Vento faces life in prison without parole if convicted.
UNITED WAY WRAPS UP CAMPAIGN FOR 2016
NEW PHILADELPHIA – Local United Way leaders say they are looking for new program ideas after wrapping up the 2016 fundraising campaign. Tuscarawas County United Way CEO Robin Waltz says donations totaled $544,333, which is 5% higher than last year. Waltz says many people helped the cause by pledging part of their paychecks throughout 2016. Waltz says this year’s total gives the organization room to grow within the county.
BURGLARIES REPORTED IN DOVER
DOVER - Dover Police are looking into two burglaries reported Wednesday on the same street. Police call records indicate a pair of homes in the 1900 block of Tremont Street NE were entered, though it’s not clear what was taken from either location. Police says detectives are investigating. A post on the department’s Facebook page says a number of break-ins have occurred in the north end of town in the last several days. Officers encourage homeowners to secure their houses and illuminate the exterior. They also say to secure valuables while away from home.
MAN CITED FOR OVI
NEW PHILADELPHIA - Police say a Midvale man had been drinking when he crashed into a guardrail on West High Avenue near the Interstate 77 interchange. The 41-year old was cited with failure to control and OVI. He was arrested and his vehicle was towed following the 8:50PM crash Wednesday. ODOT was also called to scene to repair the damaged guardrail.
COMMISSIONERS APPROVE 2017 BUDGET
NEW PHILADELPHIA - Tuscarawas County leaders say they are counting on public support to maintain the new 2017 budget. The commissioners finalized the nearly $27 million spending plan Wednesday. Commissioner Chris Abbuhl says the board looked to Job and Family Services to help reduce a large portion of the $2 million that had to be cut from the requests. Abbuhl says the sales tax renewal coming up on the May ballot is vital to maintaining the county’s economic health. Abbuhl says the budget accounts for a more than $600,000 loss in Medicaid sales tax as well. He says he hopes state officials will make up for that by providing more local government money.
CLAYMONT BEGINS TERMINATION PROCESS
UHRICHSVILLE - Claymont School officials are taking steps to fire the district’s athletic director. Scott Beckley has been on paid administrative leave since December, and the school board passed a resolution this week stating its intention to consider termination of his contract. A press release from the district states the board’s recent action suspends Beckley without pay pending the outcome of the proceedings. Beckley can also request a hearing with the school board before the termination is complete. Claymont Superintendent John Rocchi declined to speak on the matter when called by WJER News, and Beckley’s attorney, Brandon Trent, has yet to return a message for comment. The resolution to begin the process, passed by the school board, lists various reasons for the potential termination, including disrespectful conduct toward the superintendent, gross neglect of duty alleging Beckley mishandled athletic department and booster money, and mishandling of program fund records.
STARK MAN INDICTED FOR ILLEGAL DUMPING IN TUSCARAWAS RIVER
LAWRENCE TOWNSHIP - Federal officials are taking action against a Stark County man who is accused of violating the Clean Water Act last year. 45-year-old Adam Boylen of North Lawrence allegedly dumped wastewater generated from corporate facilities into the Tuscarawas River to avoid driving to a designated dump site in Pennsylvania last spring. The U.S. Attorney’s office in Cleveland says the wastewater contained a detergent that killed over 700 fish and more than 3,000 other native animals. Huff Run-Mud Run Watershed Coordinator Marissa Lautzenheiser says the offense is worthy of the four-count indictment handed down by a grand jury. Boylen allegedly dumped the white foam into the water numerous times, with it traveling up to four miles at one point. He was a driver for an unnamed Ohio-based trucking company.
AMBULANCE RATE LEGISLATION RETRACTED
NEW PHILADELPHIA - Officials are retracting the ambulance rate legislation that was believed to have passed Monday but actually failed to receive enough support. Council President Sam Hitchcock says two council members were absent that night, missing the amount needed to attend to pass legislation, despite an announcement that night declaring the passage. Hitchcock says the rate changes will not go into effect as the safety committee must again review the legislation and present it a second time for council’s official approval.