TUESDAY, OCTOBER 13, 2015
VOTERS COULD DECIDE LICENSE PLATE FEE INCREASES IN 2016
NEW PHILADELPHIA - The Tuscarawas County Commissioners are complying so far with a request from the county engineer for a plan that could boost revenue for his office. Commissioners have tentatively scheduled required public hearings November 9th and 12th, most likely at their boardroom, for the purpose of considering placing a license plate fee increase of up to $10 on the 2016 March primary ballot. Engineer Joe Bachman says his budget has been stagnant since about 2006 while expenses have continued to climb, and this would bring in approximately $737-thousand a year more. However Bachman says the total increases would be less for residents in municipalities with their own license plate fees in place that include Bolivar, Dennison, Gnadenhutten, Newcomerstown, Parral, Port Washington, Tuscarawas and Uhrichsville.
COUNTY HEALTH STATISTICS RELEASED
TUSCARAWAS - Tuscarawas County residents are making progress in improving their health but there are more hurdles to clear. The latest county-wide health assessment was unveiled by the group Healthy Tusc Tuesday morning. Chair Kim Nathan says 25 local agencies collaborated to survey kids and adults on their health status and habits that influence their health, including stress and violence. Nathan says the information in the 153-page report is comprehensive. Nathan says the attendees are forming new events and policies to sustain the good aspects, like diet and exercise, and tackle the bad like drug use and suicide rates. The statistics show 37% of adults and 16% of kids in grades 6-12 are overweight and 40% of adults have high blood pressure but 48% of the kids were bullied in the last month.
DEMS PREPARE FOR FIRST DEBATE
NEW PHILADELPHIA - Area Democrats are gearing up to learn more about the candidates seeking their party’s nomination for president next year. The Democratic presidential candidates’ first debate is tonight at 8:30 in Las Vegas. Tuscarawas County Democratic Party Chair John Beitzel says he is looking forward to hearing frontrunners, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, address issues such as immigration, the economy and terrorism. Beitzel says he also prefers that the Democratic race has been less heated than the Republicans at this time. Watch parties for tonight’s debate are taking place across the state, though Beitzel says nothing formal is planned locally.
NPBCA HIRES NEW DIRECTOR
NEW PHILADELPHIA - The head position with the New Philadelphia Business and Community Association has been filled after nearly a year. The board of directors recently hired New Phila resident Julie Levengood Stephon to fill the seat vacated by Debbie Aubihl-Knisely’s resignation last November. Levengood Stephon says she expects an easy transition despite, the time without a director. Levengood Stephon is working on a master’s degree in public administration and is also employed at the performing arts center but she believes she can conquer all of her responsibilities. The part time job requires Levengood Stephon to coordinate events, interact with businesses, increase memberships and perform administrative duties.
SEVEN ARRESTED IN TRIPLE DRUG RAID
UHRICHSVILLE - Police say at least three suspected drug houses have been shut down. K9 Sgt. Mike Hickman says a triple drug raid Saturday night resulted in seven arrests. Suspected drugs and cash were confiscated from homes on N. Dawson, E. Third, and E. First Streets during the simultaneous sting operation. Hickman says he is realistic more drug houses exist, but three at once is quite an accomplishment. He says neighbors complained for years about suspicious activity at the homes, so he is pleased several police and SWAT teams could work together on these cases. Three people remain held in the Tuscarawas County jail pending formal charges, and three others are free but facing misdemeanors. The seventh suspect arrived after the raid began and could be charged with concealed weapons violations for allegedly having a machete in his car.
SUGARCREEK TO START AMBULANCE SERVICES
SUGARCREEK - The village is taking action to begin offering its own emergency medical services. Fire Chief Kevin Miller says the village intends to withdraw from the Swiss Valley Ambulance District by December 31st and have the village fire department provide those services to the village and interested surrounding townships. Miller says as part of this plan the village expects to staff the fire station from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. six days a week with two part-time employees who will be available for ambulance runs as well as fire calls. Miller says the move became necessary as Swiss Valley has also been dealing with staffing issues due to increasing EMS certification demands. He says the village will purchase a used ambulance to provide the service and is looking around at prices.
AUTHOR TACKLES TEEN DILEMMA
NEW PHILADELPHIA – The One Book, One Community program concluded for the season by welcoming this year’s book author and New York Times’ bestseller Jay Asher at Kent State Tuscarawas. Asher says his fictional novel “13 Reasons Why” about a teenage girl who committed suicide has inspired conversations about depression and how others can influence teen decisions. He says he is honored many students want to discuss the topic with him at his appearances. Claymont Librarian Jan Warden says she was pleased with the dozens who turned out for Monday night’s program.
SHARE-A-CHRISTMAS SEEKS WAREHOUSE
NEW PHILADELPHIA - The improving economy has again put Share-A-Christmas organizers in a tough position while planning for the holidays. T-4-C Director Louise Worsham says the annual holiday charity has yet to secure a warehouse building large enough to service the toy and book distribution. Worsham says the warehouses she used to rely on are no longer available since manufacturing started picking back up after the recession, but Worsham says she still expects the number of families relying on the program to remain steady at more than 1,000. Worsham says Share-A-Christmas is seeking a space for three weeks in December with 5,000-10,000 square feet that is handicapped accessible and has adequate parking.
WORKSHOP TENANT AGREEMENTS IN PROCESS
NEW PHILADELPHIA - The Tuscarawas County Board of Developmental Disabilities is still in the process of trying to lure replacements for SEI at its workshop building. SEI officials say they reluctantly moved out after operating as a service provider at the workshop since 1979, as the Tusc DD board tries to bring in a variety of service providers instead to fulfill new state and federal rules. Tusc DD board spokesman Nate Kamban says talks are underway, though it is difficult to predict when the board could reach a deal with any of the prospective tenants. Kamban says in the meantime the board still intends to have different offerings at the workshop that prepare clients for work opportunities out in the community. SEI has been operating for a couple weeks at a new location on E. High Avenue in New Philadelphia where it is still providing many of its same services.
OFFICIALS IMPRESSED WITH FUTURISTIC HVAC SYSTEM
NEW PHILADELPHIA - Tuscarawas County officials are moving forward with an automated heating, ventilation, and cooling system for the county administration building. Maintenance Supervisor Jack Hupp says parts of the previous system were controlled offsite, making it tough to diagnose and fix problems, but he says the new system by Gardiner can be accessed remotely. Hupp says he feels more connected because he can receive alerts at home and fix them from a laptop, if necessary. He calls it a huge improvement. The system has been installed in phases with more to come but so far has cost the county about $500,000 over several years. Commissioners approved a $14,000 maintenance agreement with the Gardiner company last week.
ARIZONA MAN FACES MURDER CHARGE
COLUMBUS (AP) - A man arrested in Arizona in the 23-year-old slaying of a rival furniture salesman will be arraigned on a murder charge tomorrow in Ohio. Records show that 67-year-old Sam Perone is being held without bond after waiving extradition. Warren County authorities announced last week that Perone was arrested at his Phoenix home in the death of 41-year-old Richard Woods.
BILL WOULD EXPAND WORKERS’ COMPENSATION
COLUMBUS (AP) - Emergency responders with post-traumatic stress disorder could be eligible for workers' compensation benefits regardless of whether they have suffered any physical injuries under legislation passed by an Ohio Senate panel. The bill would apply to police, peace officers, firefighters and emergency medical technicians with PTSD arising from work.
SEARCH FOR CHILD CALLED OFF
DAYTON (AP) - Police say an initial report that a 2-year-old child was in a car that was allegedly carjacked apparently was false and they have called off their search in southwest Ohio. Dayton police had said the car was reported stolen shortly after 7 this morning outside a McDonald's restaurant. Initial reports said the car's driver told police that two suspects fled in the vehicle with a 2-year-old inside.
JOURNALIST’S BROTHER WANTS U.S. ACTION
WASHINGTON (AP) - The brother of the Washington Post journalist who's been detained in Iran and has now been convicted in secret describes his imprisonment as "cruel and inhumane." And he's calling on the U.S. government to take "any appropriate actions" to win his freedom. Ali Rezaian says there's no evidence that his brother Jason tried to access security information. He described the charges against the journalist as "trumped up." Iran's judiciary spokesman confirmed the verdict on state TV Sunday, but gave no indication of what punishment the Iranian-American could face.
UKRAINE DEFENDS DECISION
NEW YORK (AP) - Ukraine's foreign minister is defending his country's decision not to close its airspace to passenger flights. Dutch investigators who today released their report into the downing of a Malaysia Airlines plane last year with 298 people aboard questioned why flights were still allowed over the area where rebels were engaged in battles with government troops. But the Ukrainian foreign minister says no one in Kiev knew that Russia had brought highly-sophisticated anti-aircraft missiles into Ukraine.
PLANNED PARENTHOOD ANNOUNCEMENT SPARKS QUESTIONS
NEW YORK (AP) - One critic of Planned Parenthood says the organization is making "an admission of guilt." Planned Parenthood announced today that it will no longer accept any sort of payment to cover the cost of programs that make fetal tissue available for research. The man whose undercover videos of Planned Parenthood officials focused attention on the fetal tissue program asks why the organization would now be refusing payments, if the payments had been legitimate.
NFL: The NFL has acknowledged an officiating error during final moments of Monday night's game between the Chargers and visiting Steelers. Eighteen seconds were incorrectly run off the clock late in the fourth quarter of the Pittsburgh Steelers' 24-20 victory at the San Diego Chargers, and none of the game officials noticed the gaffe and corrected it. After the Chargers hit a go-ahead field goal with 2:56 remaining, the ensuing kickoff went for a touchback, but the clock rolled down to 2:38 instead of remaining at 2:56.
TONIGHT: Mostly cloudy, low 45
WEDNESDAY: Partly sunny, high 60
THURSDAY: Sunny, high 65
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