GREEN PLEADS NOT GUILTY TO INDICTMENT
NEW PHILADELPHIA - A former Claymont Jr. High teacher accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a student has returned to court briefly on new charges in the case. 29-year old Sean Green of Dover was arrested in December for allegedly exchanging nude photos over a cell phone with a 14-year old student, and later resigned in January. Green plead not guilty Thursday in Tuscarawas County Common Pleas Court to the felonies from a March indictment that includes one count of pandering obscenity involving a minor and two counts of disseminating matter harmful to juveniles. Green will remain out of jail on his own recognizance but must continue to stay away from Claymont school grounds. He is also prohibited from using a cell phone and must have no contact with anyone under the age of 18.
CLAYMONT STUDENTS SUSPENDED FOR SHOOTING AIRSOFT GUNS
UHRICHSVILLE - Claymont school officials say nine high school students are suspended for an undisclosed amount of time for firing airsoft guns at students after school Monday. Superintendent John Rocchi told WJER the incident happened in the high school parking lot, though no one was injured. Rocchi says an internal investigation occurred this week and resulted in the suspensions. He says the involved students are also banned from their extra-curricular team activities for the time being, though he declined to state their specific involvements. Uhrichsville Police Chief Vince Beal says he was only notified of the incident Thursday and has no plans of investigating after consulting with the Tuscarawas County juvenile prosecutor.
JOB FAIR ATTENDANCE SLIPS
NEW PHILADELPHIA - The response to the most recent employment fair in the area is being interpreted as another sign that the job market is improving. Goodwill Industries hosted its 2015 spring Community Job Fair at New Towne Mall Thursday with 34 employers in attendance ranging from banks, nursing homes and oil and gas companies. Goodwill Program Specialist Penny Martin says more than 200 people registered for the event to see what was available, a number that has seemed to drop along with the unemployment rate in recent years. However Martin says the turnaround is making it difficult on some of the companies that are trying to fill skilled jobs. Jobseekers told WJER they had a variety of reasons for turning out, but most walked away feeling optimistic about their chances of landing work. Martin says the employers were looking to fill a mix of jobs such as home health aides, office positions, engineering and more.
DENNISON TO CRACK DOWN ON TRASH SITUATION
DENNISON - Leaders are working to enforce village laws regarding trash collection and payments. The village approved a single hauler contract with Kimble last fall, which mandates that all homes and rentals use the Kimble service. Council member Greg DiDonato says the company has halted pick up for some residents who have failed to pay their bills for at least three months, which he says breaks village law because they technically have no trash hauler. DiDonato says he feels delinquent residents have had enough chances to pay their bills and should be cited immediately. DiDonato says he’s also concerned about landlords failing to pay for their renter’s services, which is also mandated in Dennison.
COMMISSIONERS JOIN SUPPORT FOR FFA CAMPNEW PHILADELPHIA - A campaign to raise money for a new facility at the FFA camp in Carroll County is well on its way. Camp Muskingum Director Todd Davis says they have $1 million toward the $2.5 million goal and construction should begin this fall. He says the Leesville Lake complex has been getting by with a temporary set up since a fire at the facility in 2011. Davis says he is collecting letters of support for the project from groups, including the Tuscarawas County Commissioners Thursday, to include with grant applications. The new nature center will also accommodate 350 people with a stage, and a welcome center highlighting the oil and gas and other energy industries in the area.
FIRE RATINGS TO LOWER PROPERTY OWNER INSURANCE
NEW PHILADELPHIA – Fire officials say the city and area business owners should benefit from lower insurance premiums beginning in July. Fire Chief Jim Parrish says the department was recently re-evaluated by the Insurance Services Office, which improved the city rating form a Class 4 to a Class 3. He says they look at everything from the fire fighters’ ability to respond and fight fires to the city’s water system. He says it translates into better insurance rates for property owners. Parrish says he is inviting the evaluation crew back in the next few months to possibly improve the city rating even more. The last evaluation was completed in 1999.
ARTS COUNCIL RESEARCH PHASE COMPLETE
NEW PHILADELPHIA - An arts council in Tuscarawas County is one step closer to becoming a reality. The group researching the idea recently completed its information gathering attempt. Research sub-facilitator Diane Lautenschleger says volunteers looked into arts council’s across the nation and also took inventory of the local art scene. Lautenschleger says the research phase originally included 15 area professionals and community members but quickly grew to nearly 50 people, volunteering their time towards the effort. Lautenschleger says the group received approval from the Tuscarawas County commissioners last fall to conduct the feasibility study and she says the results will be presented in the coming weeks.
UPDATED PIPELINE MAPS AVAILABLE
TUSCARAWAS COUNTY - Residents who might be impacted by the proposed ET Rover Pipeline have a chance to view the latest route changes made by the company. Spokeswoman Vicki Granado says updated maps reflect the results of surveying work and are now available at the Tuscarawas County Public Library and online. Granado says following all permit approvals, construction on the unit could begin next year but she says it would take a few years before the entire 711-mile natural gas unit is complete. Granado says the $4.2 billion investment is expected to run through 29-miles of Tuscarawas County, passing through Fairfield, Sandy and Warren Townships.
ONLINE TAX FILING RELIEVES DEADLINE PRESSURE
DOVER - It appears fewer people waited until the deadline to get their taxes done this year. Tax forms were due with a postmark of yesterday (April 15). However, Dover Post Office head window clerk Jjerry Murphy says he was only bracing for an increase in traffic from people dropping of their taxes closer to the 5 PM closing time. No post offices in the region offered extended hours since the IRS expects 87% of filing to be done online. A Dover tax preparation business office owner Shirley Wallick says she had a busy day because many still seek the benefits of a professional to file taxes even at the last minute. A Dover woman says she was relieved to complete the process on time.
CHIP FUNDING AVAILABLE FOR HOME IMPROVEMENTS
NEW PHILADELPHIA - Qualified New Philadelphia and Uhrichsville residents could take advantage of funds to fix up their homes this summer through the Community Housing Improvement Program. Local CHIP Administrator Tony Danzo says Uhrichsville has about $275,000 available while New Phila has $320,000 but Danzo says he encourages residents to apply soon as the funds quickly diminish. Danzo says low income or elderly home owners can request money to fix up the inside or outside of their properties, in addition to accessibility needs. He says his office also helps choose a contractor to complete the work. Danzo says he expects all of the available money will be distributed soon as the busy construction season is already underway.
PORTMAN WANTS NUCLEAR FRAMEWORK DETAILS
WASHINGTON - The Ohio Republican in the US Senate is explaining why he feels Congress needs a voice in the Iranian nuclear negotiations. The White House has indicated that the president will sign legislation to allow Congress to reject the final deal to curb Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for lifting sanctions, if a deal is crafted ahead of the June 30th deadline. Senator Rob Portman says he believes having Congress involved only strengthens the chances of getting a deal to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power. However Portman says he first wants to see the framework for nuclear deal that was reached earlier this month since the White House and Iranian leaders have been giving conflicting details about it.