8:24 AM - April 26th, 2017
COMMISSIONERS STRESS IMPORTANCE OF SALES TAX
NEW PHILADELPHIA - Tuscarawas County leaders are making the final push for the 1-percent sales tax renewal on Tuesday’s ballot. Commissioner Chris Abbuhl is reminding voters the sales tax represents 57-percent of the annual general fund budget, generating about $13-million every year, with much of that coming from tourism. He adds that relying heavily on the sales tax has allowed the board to keep other taxes low. He encourages residents to visit the Tuscarawas County website to see exactly how their tax dollars are being spent.
ROTARY RAISES FUNDS FOR CLOCK CONSTRUCTION
DOVER - Fundraising efforts continue for the Dover Rotary’s Historic Clock Project. The illuminated historic post clock is set to be 16 feet tall with four faces on it. The plan is to put it up at the square downtown when all the money is raised. The Dover Rotary is one of the groups behind the project. Rotary President Jim Gill says they’re having success so far, with about half of the $26,000 raised so far. Gill says other service clubs are involved including the historic Canal Dover Association. They are also pursuing bed tax funds and other grants they hope to have installed by September by the police department quadrant. Gill says a First Friday fundraising event for the clock is set for the evening of May 6th at bead head bistro. Profits from the downtown Dover Chocolate Walk May 20th will also go towards the clock.
POLL WORKERS NEEDED
NEW PHILADELPHIA - County Board of Elections officials are getting ready for the May Primary coming up next Tuesday. Director Allan Sayre says it won’t be as busy as the presidential election, but he says there is still a need for poll workers to keep lines flowing smoothly. Sayre says anyone who can vote in Ohio can help man the polling locations, which will be equipped with new electronic poll books this year instead of the paper sign in sheets. Board of Elections Deputy Director Sarah Kneuss says with fewer issues on the primary ballot, it’s the ideal time for first time poll workers to come out. Anyone interested in helping out at their polling location can contact the board of elections office. Polling locations will be open May 2nd from 6:30 a.m until 7:30 that evening.
STRONG START FOR TURKEY SEASON LOCALLY
AKRON - It was a strong opening day to turkey season around the state, especially in the region. Monday was the first day for the spring season for all but the five most northeastern counties in the state. Coshocton and Tuscarawas County topped those that did open Monday. Hunters took 123 turkeys in Coshocton and 115 in Tuscarawas County Monday. Jamey Emmert with ODNR says those other five counties have their own opening day May 1st, which is new this year. Hunters took over 3,100 turkeys on opening day this year compared to about 2,500 last year. Emmert credits the good weather Monday and a higher overall turkey population now.
PHILA HANGAR PROJECT HITS SNAG
NEW PHILADELPHIA - New Philadelphia leaders say a single paragraph in the city’s annual financial statement has delayed the process of building new airplane hangar space at the city’s airport. Mayor Joel Day says part of the statement falsely reported the city did not own the airport, which was keeping local banks from offering a loan for the $400,000 project. He says the project will move forward if approved by council but will take longer than expected. The paragraph has been included in the financial statement since 1999. The new statement should be available by July.
COURTHOUSE DOME ARCHITECT HIRED
NEW PHILADELPHIA – Tuscarawas County leaders have more upgrades slated for the county courthouse dome. County commissioners have selected a design architect for $124,000 for the dome restoration project. Commissioner Joe Sciarretti says $50,000 of that has already been secured without using tax dollars. Plans include replacing the eagle on top by the end of next year with “The Three Ladies of Justice,” which was the original statue perched on top of the building in the 19th century until its removal in 1959 over safety concerns.
OHIO GOV TALKS TRUMP
COLUMBUS - Our governor has been making the rounds on the network TV news shows to talk about his new book and President Trump’s first 100 days in office. John Kasich was on CBS, where he was asked by host Charlie Rose whether we took the wrong direction in 2016. Kasich praised Trump for the strike in Syria but criticized him for targeting immigrant families in this country illegally. Kasich was also asked about another presidential run, which he responded to by saying he will unlikely run for any office again. Kasich was the last Republican standing against Donald Trump in the Republican primary race in 2016.
FIREHOUSE SUBS DONATES AEP
NEW PHILADELPHIA - The local police union is giving thanks to the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation. The foundation has awarded a $250,000 grant for 263 automated external defibrillator devices nationwide. One of them is going to the Fraternal Order of Police Tuscora Lodge #4. Lodge President Bob Everett says they are fortunate to receive one of these life-saving tools for treating sudden cardiac arrest. Everett says the only stipulation is that there is only one AED to give to local police, and it must be kept in a cruiser. They will decide which department receives it at Wednesday night’s FOP meeting. These AEDs are valued at about $950 a piece.
GIBBS ON TRUMP’S FIRST 100 DAYS
DOVER - Republican lawmakers continue backing President Trump’s decisions and pointing to his accomplishments as he approaches 100 days in office. 7th District Congressman Bob Gibbs says he believes the president has improved relations internationally, which he says will help as tensions increase with North Korea. Gibbs says he is pleased with the steps Trump has taken to be prepared, like strengthening our military and striking Syria in response to the chemical weapons attack on its civilians.
FINANCIAL COACHING FOR VETERANS
DOVER - Help is available for veterans needing financial advice as they transition from military to civilian life. Lori Mann is a regional financial coach for veterans. She says coaches offer counseling, literacy training, and encouragement for veterans to achieve their financial goals through a one-on-one, client-centered program. She says every veteran she encounters brings their own unique situation. Mann says the need for counselors keeps growing as there are 250,000 service members leaving active duty each year. More information is available through the Veterans Service Office in New Philadelphia.
MOUNTAIN OF TIRES, MOSQUITO BREEDING GROUNDS, REMOVED
NEW PHILADELPHIA - Area health officials recently joined an effort to clear up an eyesore and also perhaps put a dent in the mosquito population for that area. A contractor recently removed nearly 35 tons of scrap tires that had been dumped over the years at a property in the 2100 block of Crooked Run Road. Tuscarawas County Environmental Health Director Caroline Terakedis says this was funded by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency’s Scrap Tire Abatement Fund. She says thousands of mosquitoes can be generated from just one tire over the course of a breeding season, so imagine what 35 tons could do. The collected tires are all recycled and re-purposed.
DeWINE SPEAKS AT WELTY MIDDLE SCHOOL
NEW PHILADELPHIA - State officials are stepping down to a local level to address the drug crisis in Ohio; specifically, the rising number of heroin overdoses. Attorney General Mike DeWine says reports from last year estimate eight people were dying of an opiate overdose every day, and he believes that number has risen this year. Speaking at Welty Middle School Thursday, DeWine says the rise in opiate abuse began in doctors' offices. Now in 2017, first responders are being called out to overdoses daily, and DeWine says we have a responsibility to save them in both the short and long term. Sherriff Orvis Campbell says addicts need our help, even if they don’t want it. DeWine is now calling on schools to install age-appropriate K-12 education to help stop heroin addiction before it starts.
THREE SUSPECTS CONNECTED TO EAST SIDE DRIVE THRU ROBBERY
NEW PHILADELPHIA - Police say heroin addiction continues to fuel crime locally. Detective Captain Shawn Nelson says three suspects have been connected to the East Side Drive Through robbery late Monday night. The primary suspect who actually committed the armed robbery, Brian Vitt of New Philadelphia, is currently in custody while his brother Nicholas Vitt and Nicholas’ girlfriend, Terry Bederka, both of New Philadelphia, will now face a grand jury after they admitted to the crime that led police on a late-night man hunt. Nelson says key evidence helped lead investigators in the right direction, leading to the arrests of Nicholas and Terry, who admitted to their involvement and also identified Brian Vitt as the one who robbed the drive thru. Nelson says information was corroborated with security camera video. Nelson says all three suspects admitted the theft was an attempt to get money that would then be used to purchase heroin. Brian will be officially charged Friday while Nicholas and Terry will be bound over to the Tuscarawas County Grand Jury.
ARREST FOR METH LAB DUMP
TUSCARAWAS - Authorities have made an arrest for the five meth labs dumped two weeks ago near the intersection of Hammersly and Main streets. While executing a search warrant at 204 S. Main Street in the village, police found five more one-pot meth labs and took 18-year-old Zachary Miller to the county jail. Charges against him include meth manufacturing and assembly of chemicals to manufacture meth. The L.E.A.D. Task Force, the sheriff’s office, state troopers, and Tusky police worked together on the case.
ONE HURT IN HOUSE FIRE
UHRICHSVILLE - Firefighters say one occupant in the house at 7825 Kilpatrick Drive SE had to be transported by helicopter for injuries sustained in a house fire Thursday morning about 8:30. Fire Chief Judd Edwards says the house, which the auditor’s website reports is owned by Jeannie Albaugh, may be a total loss. He says crews were on scene for nearly eight hours securing the scene. The State Fire Marshal’s office is assisting with an investigation into the cause, although Edwards says he does not believe it to be suspicious.
PAPER BALLOTS RETURNING
NEW PHILADELPHIA - Tuscarawas County voters will soon be using paper ballots again. County commissioners have approved the purchase of new scanners to replace the current electronic voting machines that are nearing the end of their useful life. Board of Elections Director Alan Sayre says there will be one scanner per precinct. The scanners will read paper ballots that are like the ones sent through the mail now for absentee voting. Once voters at the polls fill out the ballots, they will take them to the scanner machines to be counted. Deputy Director Sarah Kneuss says the new system also fulfills Ohio voting paper trail requirements. However, the current electronic machines will still be in use for next month’s primary election as usual.
POLICE OFFICER LIED ABOUT BEING SHOT
NEW PHILADELPHIA - There has been a shocking update in the shooting of a Newcomerstown police officer last week. Officer Bryan Eubanks’ claims about how he was shot the morning of April 11th were all fabricated. He never pulled over a black Geo Tracker, which authorities have been looking for, and he was never shot in the arm by a passenger described as having neck tattoos. Sheriff Orvis Campbell says Eubanks has been dealing with some mental health issues following a murder case and admitted he shot himself in a failed suicide attempt. Eubanks’ story began to unravel when investigators interviewed witnesses who were logged into the automatic license plate reader inside Eubanks’ cruiser. Eubanks has been released to his family and is seeking psychological treatment. Eubanks has also been fired from the police department. The county prosecutor’s office will consider charges against him