7:33 AM - August 22nd, 2017
PHILA INCOME TAX COLLECTION DIP QUESTIONED
NEW PHILADELPHIA – City leaders are curious about a reduction in income tax collection numbers. Mayor Joel day says the city is behind by three-percent compared to a year ago. Day says it’s hard to tell what this means just yet. This comes as the new state budget includes a plan allowing businesses to file local income taxes through a centralized state collection instead of the city. The state retains one-percent of the taxes it collects through this system before redistributing the rest back to the local governments. But Day says he still expects the city’s income tax collection numbers to pick up and possibly even exceed last year’s totals based on the activity he sees happening in the city.
FIRE DESTROYS RESTAURANT
DOVER – Dover firefighters say they will handle the investigation to figure out the cause of the fire that destroyed the Sunnyside Store restaurant in Parral early Sunday. Firefighters say a passerby smelled smoke and reported the fire at the North Wooster Avenue restaurant at 2:43 a.m. Sunday. Nobody was injured. The building was reduced to a pile of rubble. Firefighters were on scene and power was out in the area until late Sunday morning.
SUNNYSIDE OWNER HOPES FOR ANSWERS
PARRAL - Everyone is still trying to find out more about the fire that destroyed the Sunnyside Store restaurant in the early morning hours Sunday. John Miceli has been the owner for 18 years. It’s still too soon for him to say whether he will ever rebuild, or what he’ll do next. Miceli says the building, constructed in 1906, had a lot of history. The community has also been stepping up. JNG Grill and Hog Heaven owner Ron Rosenthal has been offering work for employees who lost their jobs at Sunnyside. Miceli says he appreciates it all. The cause of the fire remains under investigation. Miceli says he is also hoping for answers.
WATCH OUT FOR ECLIPSE WATCHERS
PITTSBURGH - Travel officials want people to be able to look back on the eclipse today with positive memories. Some people are hitting the road to view it in one of the states experiencing more darkness than Ohio. AAA’s Jim Garrity says pull off the road if you want to see the eclipse from behind the wheel. Plus keep an eye out for other drivers who could be doing the same thing and drifting out of their lanes. He reminds us to also treat it like nighttime driving by turning your headlights on.
CLASSES BACK IN SESSION
TUSCARAWAS COUNTY - Summer comes to an end for area students as school districts resume classes. Strasburg goes back today, while most others begin mid-week. Dover Superintendent Carla Birney says this year will be highlighted by celebrations marking 100 years of the Marching Tornadoes. New Philadelphia Superintendent Dave Brand says his district is becoming one of just 15 in the state offering new AP diplomas. Tusky Valley begins its new district-wide common start time of 8 a.m. this school year. Garaway has made improvements at all buildings, such as a renovated gymnasium at the junior high/high school building.
COUNTY PURSUES PRISON ALTERNATIVE FUNDS
NEW PHILADELPHIA - Tuscarawas County wants to access funding being made available from the state to help with its goal of reducing the prison population. The county has applied for a nearly $300,000 Targeted Community Alternatives to Prison grant. Community Corrections Chief Probation Officer Steve Pompey says this would be used to cover the expenses of prison alternatives for non-violent, lower level felony offenders, such as house arrest and treatment programs. Pompey says the county will learn by the end of the month if it has been selected for the grant.
NEW PHILADELPHIA - The Wainwright man whose family was found living with a decomposing body in its home in March has been found guilty in the case. 50-year old Brian Sorohan could get up to six months in jail and two years probation after changing his plea Wednesday to charges that include gross abuse of a corpse and theft. Investigators say the Sorohans kept the body of 71-year-old Vietnam veteran Bob Harris in their home for several months while they collected his Social Security and veterans benefits. Brian will be sentenced in six weeks. His wife, 45-year-old Stacy Sorohan, is set to return to court on the same charges as Brian next month. Their 18-year-old daughter Brianna was given six months probation for failure to report a death.
LIFE IN PRISON FOR COLAIACOVO
NEW PHILADELPHIA - A former Dover man has been sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 15 years for murdering 72-year old Arlie Gooch in October last year. 58-year-old Jeff Colaiacovo changed his plea to guilty unexpectedly this morning, to one charge of murder. One of the victim’s family members spoke during Colaiacovo’s sentencing this morning in Common Pleas Court Judge Elizabeth Thomokas’ courtroom. Assistant Tuscarawas County Prosecutor Mike Ernest says he was pleased with the guilty plea. Thomokas ordered the money found on Colaiacovo when he was arrested on a protection order violation be given back to the victims’ family after it was determined to be stolen from Arlie Gooch, totaling nearly $6,000. Colaiacovo originally faced a six count indictment, including two charges of murder and one charge of aggravated murder. Ernest says those charges were combined into one charge of murder. The robbery and tampering with evidence charges were dropped after Colaiacovo changed his plea today.
JFS INUNDATED BY DRUG EPIDEMIC
TUSCARAWAS COUNTY - The conversation surrounding opiates continues, and now its reaching into a non-negotiable demographic, children. Tuscarawas County Job and Family Services Director David Haverfield says his office receives daily calls about a child living in dangerous or unhealthy environments as their parents’ battle with drug abuse. Haverfield says the issue is no longer reserved for lower class, struggling families, he says the problem has truly become an epidemic. The JFS office has become a last line of defense for kids removed from their home with nowhere else to go. Haverfield says his department’s first role is to protect children, but he says they also try to play a part in solving the problem by encouraging parents to find help, and also steering kids away from the same paths their parents took. He says about half of the cases his office handles stem from drug abuse, with the rest boiling down to other individual issues.
PHILA EXAMINING NON-UNION RAISES
NEW PHILADELPHIA – The city’s non-bargaining employees could be getting raises soon. Council Finance Committee Chair Darrin Lautenschleger says non-bargaining employees such as the mayor, service director and other elected or appointed officials have gone years without pay increases. Council froze raises for those positions last year until a pay scale could be established. The committee is now crafting two pieces of legislation to grant raises retroactive to the beginning of this year and set a pay scale for the future. Council could give the legislation a first reading at its next meeting.