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WJER News

VALLEY CELEBRATES MEMORIAL DAY

10:23 AM - May 23rd, 2015

TUSCARAWAS COUNTY - Area communities will pause Monday to remember the lives of fallen heroes. Dover’s Memorial Day activities begin at 9:45 AM with a parade and conclude with a ceremony at 10 AM at Maple Grove Cemetery. Mayor Rick Homrighausen says area students will again recite the war poem “In Flanders Field” and Abraham Lincoln’s “Gettysburg Address”. 16 year U.S. Army veteran Holly Lane of Dundee says its meaningful to see area residents pay their respects at Memorial Day ceremonies. New Philadelphia’s parade begins at 10:30 AM with services at 11 downtown. WJER’s Bill Morgan will serve as the master of ceremonies. Meanwhile, Uhrichsville will be the site of numerous programs, beginning at 8 AM. 

CANAL DOVER FESTIVAL

10:22 AM - May 23rd, 2015

DOVER - The 2015 Canal Dover Festival is officially in full swing as residents file in for carnival food and rides. Many visitors say it’s the deep fryer that attracts them to the event every year. Most Dover residents say the festival has become a yearly tradition for their families. Crowds can enjoy a buffet of food vendors selling funnel cakes, Stromboli’s and corn dogs, as well as carnival games and booths hosted by several local businesses. The festival will run through Sunday evening. 

TEEN CENTER MARKS ANNIVERSARY, SUMMER SHOWCASE OPENS

10:21 AM - May 23rd, 2015

NEW PHILADELPHIA - Two Tuscora Park staples are reaching milestones this weekend. The Park Place Teen Center marks 15-years Saturday while the RTY Summer Showcase kicks off its 18th season Sunday. Director Sam Hitchcock has been with both programs from their beginnings and says the public continues to support the popular attractions. Hitchcock says current RTY President Carey Gardner pitched the idea in 1997 following renovations at the amphitheater but Hitchcock says music in the park actually began years earlier. The concert Sunday features live entertainment by the New Philadelphia High School music program and continues on Memorial Day with a Dominic Greco Band concert. He says area residents are also invited to stop by the Teen Center Saturday from 12 PM – 6 PM for the open house. 

TROOPERS CRACKING DOWN ON SEATBELT VIOLATIONS

7:48 AM - May 22nd, 2015

NEW PHILADELPHIA -  State troopers are stepping up patrol efforts in advance of the Memorial Day holiday while also participating in the Click-It or Ticket campaign.  New Philadelphia post Commander Lt. Mark Glennon says nearly 80-percent of Tuscarawas County drivers wear seatbelts regularly, but excuses from others are unacceptable.  Glennon says troopers will be issuing citations rather than warnings to drivers not following the seatbelt laws this weekend.

CAMPING SEASON STARTS BACK UP

7:47 AM - May 22nd, 2015

NEW PHILADELPHIA - The Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District is getting ready to welcome the crowds back to its parks.  Spokeswoman Adria Bergeron says the district is opening up the beaches at the area lakes this Memorial Day Weekend while the summer camping season also gets underway.  Bergeron says the MWCD also has some special activities scheduled at each park for the occasion. Including live bands and DJ’s, along with fishing tournaments. Bergeron says something new visitors will see this year are some facility upgrades at the parks. Bergeron says the campgrounds are filling up and the cabins are going quickly for this weekend, so anyone wanting to make reservations can do so at the MWCD website.

BOMB THREAT EVACUATES NEW PHILADELPHIA HIGH SCHOOL

7:46 AM - May 22nd, 2015

NEW PHILADELPHIA - School officials say they’re taking Thursday’s bomb threat at the high school seriously. Superintendent Doug Spade says a note on a boy’s bathroom wall was found around lunchtime and lead to a full evacuation. Spade says police and firefighters found nothing but he says nearby surveillance video should help determine who wrote the threat. This is the second threat at New Philadelphia this year, while the school experienced a few last school year as well. Spade says any others could lead to a shortened summer break. Spade says students stood outside for nearly 40 minutes today. He says the person responsible will likely also be reprimanded by the school as well. 

CORONER SHEDS LIGHT INTO CHUMNEY MURDERS

7:00 PM - May 20th, 2015

COSHOCTON - Coshocton County Coroner Dr. Robert Gwinn says he was unable to determine the exact cause of death in the murders of Doyle and Lillian Chumney of Strasburg. His report indicates that Doyle was shot multiple times in the back seat of the couple’s car in Coshocton County, where suspects 29-year old Bobby Clark of Dennison and 21-year old Jeff Stewart of Barnhill allegedly drove the two after abducting them from their home in January. The report also says Lillian was shot once in the car before the vehicle was set on fire on a rural Bakersville road. The couple is estimated to have died at around 3 AM. The document states that Clark told authorities the couple was bound with duct tape, while Stewart said Lillian was still alive when the fire was set.  Both suspects pleaded not guilty when arraigned earlier this year. Court records indicate that Stewart’s trial is scheduled for December and Clark’s trial is planned for February. They are both being held in the Tuscarawas County Jail. Clark could face the death penalty if convicted. 

APPARENT MURDER WEAPON RECOVERED

6:59 PM - May 20th, 2015

CADIZ - Harrison County Sheriff’s detectives say they now believe they have found the weapon used in a Dennison man’s murder.  52-year old Wesley “Buster” Clark, formerly of Uhrichsville, is suspected of shooting and killing 26-year old Dustin Moreland earlier this month.  Clark was arrested after a three day manhunt near Dellroy last Friday.  Harrison County Sheriff’s Lt. Bill Jones says after two days of searching authorities have now apparently pulled the handgun used in the crime from a creek in proximity to where Clark had been apprehended. Meanwhile Jones says the murder case remains open and authorities from the surrounding counties will continue gathering evidence. Clark remains held in the Tuscarawas County jail on an unrelated escape charge and other warrants while authorities prepare to present his murder case to a Harrison County grand jury.  

MURDER SUSPECT IN COURT ON UNRELATED CHARGE

6:59 PM - May 20th, 2015

NEW PHILADELPHIA - Tuscarawas County authorities say they assure a former Uhrichsville man will remain in jail here as he awaits a possible murder indictment in Harrison County.  52-year old Wesley “Buster” Clark, who is the suspect in the shooting death of 26-year old Dustin Moreland of Dennison, pleaded not guilty Tuesday during arraignment on an unrelated escape charge in Tuscarawas County Common Pleas Court.  Assistant County Prosecutor Scott Deedrick says the bond amount that was set at $250-thousand is appropriate as Clark is a potential flight risk and threat to the community, in addition to the ongoing murder investigation. However Deedrick says even if bond is posted, Clark would remain held in jail on two other warrants out of Tuscarawas County.  Deedrick says his office will cooperate to make sure Clark is available if indicted by a grand jury in Harrison County, which is where the murder happened. Clark spoke only briefly during the hearing.  At one point Judge Elizabeth Thomakos ordered Clark to face her as he had his chair turned sideways, which he explained was because he doesn’t like cameras.  A pre-trial on the escape charge has been scheduled for June 15th. 

DETECTIVES QUESTION ANOTHER MAN IN MURDER CASE

6:58 PM - May 20th, 2015

BOWERSTON - The Harrison County sheriff’s office is expanding its investigation into the murder of a Dennison man.  Detective Lt. Bill Jones says his department was able to interview their primary suspect, 52-year-old Wesley “Buster” Clark of Uhrichsville, who was arrested last Friday following a manhunt in connection to the shooting death of 26-year old Dustin Moreland. Jones says he believes the right man was arrested for the crime, but no motive has been released. Authorities also served a search warrant at a Bowerston home Saturday gathering evidence and taking one man in for questioning all in connection to the murder, but Jones declined to reveal any more details. But he says the Moreland murder case could be presented to a Harrison County grand jury within the next couple weeks.