WAVE OF BOMB THREATS AFFECTS TUSCARAWAS COUNTY AGENCIES
NEW PHILADELPHIA
(WJER) - Tuscarawas County Sheriff’s officials say reports of bomb threats across the country have effected several businesses and government agencies here in Tuscarawas and neighboring counties as well. Lt. Brian Alford was at the county courthouse about 3:00 p.m Thursday locking down the building after the IT department reported they received a threat. Alford says the contents of that email or its origin are currently undetermined. 
For now, Alford says they will maintain security at the effected businesses overnight and he expects things should be back to business as usual, Friday. National news agencies are reporting the threats contained requests for bitcoin payments. The New York Police Department has issued a statement calling the threats a hoax. 

UHRICHSVILLE MAN ARRESTED ON CHILD ABUSE CHARGES
UHRICHSVILLE
(WJER) - Tuscarawas County Sheriff’s officials say a Uhrichsville man is now in custody for life-threatening injuries to his girlfriend’s two-year old child. The child has been hospitalized since November 21st for bruises, abrasions and at least one burn, but is improving in Akron.  Detective Adam Fisher says they have arrested 21-year-old Joseph Sanders on endangering children and felonious assault charges. The investigation opened after being contacted by Cleveland Clinic Union Hospital. Fisher says the injuries are believed to have occurred at the mother’s residence outside New Philadelphia. Sanders would have allegedly been caring for the child at the time. Tuscarawas County Job and Family Services could place the child with a foster family upon release from the hospital.

FARM BILL SURVIVES CONGRESSIONAL AND SENATE VOTE
WASHINGTON D.C
(WJER) - Ohio’s Republican Senator in Washington is touting the new $867-billion Farm Bill following overwhelming Senate and House approval. Rob Portman says it preserves the food assistance program known as SNAP, combats the opioid crisis by investing in community treatment facilities and telemedicine. Portman says it also attempts to protect Lake Erie from harmful algae blooms by providing $300-million a year in conservation funding. Specifically, the bill encourages farmers to adopt practices that protect soil and water quality using cover crops and streamside buffers that help prevent runoff responsible for producing high levels of harmful phosphorous. 7th District Congressman Bob Gibbs issued a statement after the house passed the bill Wednesday. He says he is pleased with this version, which includes his efforts to add anti-abuse provisions into the nutrition assistance program by reducing how long unused benefits are in an account before they are removed. 

NEW PHILA APPROVES TEMPORARY APPROPRIATIONS
NEW PHILADELPHIA
 
(WJER) - New Philadelphia’s Auditor says the city now has some breathing room while they work to craft the final budget for 2019. Beth Gundy says council passed temporary appropriations for the start of the new year after its first reading. Gundy says this will give council a chance to see what the exact carryover amount will be from this year, and work that into the full budget before it is up for approval. She says those appropriations could include some work on State Route 416 being spearheaded by the Ohio Department of Transportation. She says early signs show a healthy budget. Gundy says the main threat to the city’s finances continues to be funding cuts at the state level, which have totaled nearly $3-million over the past seven years.

CLAYMONT LIBRARY OFFICIALS SET RECORD STRAIGHT
DENNISON (TUSCO TV) - Claymont Public Library officials are having a battle trying to reassure the community that their Dennison branch is staying open. Board President Bob Michels says the branch reduced operating hours a few months ago due to a lack of patronage, and that’s apparently given off the false impression that it’s closing. He says a group has been circulating a petition asking the board to keep the library open and restore its hours. He even had to convince Dennison Council members that the library is staying open. Michels also points out the library just invested in a new roof for the Dennison branch.  

RAINBOW CONNECTIONS FUNDS ACCESSIBLE FISHING PIER
NEW PHILADELPHIA
 (WJER) - The Rainbow Connection continues to fund projects so all individuals can enjoy community recreational activities. Director Carmel Haueter says the board has approved funding the installation of a handicapped fishing pier at the Tuscora Park pond after Mayor Joel Day approached them with the idea. She says the pier will be able to accommodate wheelchairs from nearby handicapped parking spaces. The start of the nearly $15,000 project will be determined once engineering plans are completed.   

DOVER HIGH SCHOOL PRINCIPAL RETIRING
DOVER
(TUSCO TV) - The principal at Dover high school is moving on.  Teresa Alberts will be retiring at the end of July after this school year concludes. She’s held that job since 2014. She was at Garaway for 27 years before that, serving as an educator, coach, athletic director, principal and superintendent. Alberts says she hopes to do some traveling in her retirement, but it’s still a bittersweet moment. Superintendent Carla Birney says Alberts has served Dover high school well. The school board will first search for a new high school principal internally before seeking applications from outside the district.    

NEWCOMERSTOWN ROBBERY SUSPECTS APPREHENDED
NEW PHILADELPHIA 
(WJER) - Tuscarawas County Sheriff’s detectives say they’ve caught the last of the five suspects in the Newcomerstown area robbery where a teen was shot with non-life threatening injuries. Lt. Jeff Moore says the two suspected shooters, 29-year-old Douglas Casteel of the West Layfette area and 22-year-old Lucian Lambes of Newcomerstown fled after the incident last Wednesday described as a drug deal gone bad along Liberty Road. Lambes was arrested after a high speed pursuit through the Uhrichsville area Monday. Casteel went to Maryland for two days before coming back and also being apprehended Monday in Akron. 35-year-old Lisa Freetage of West Lafayette, whose vehicle was allegedly used during the robbery, has also been jailed. The five will appear for arraignment in Southern District Court Thursday on charges so far including aggravated robbery and complicity.

RED KETTLES CRUNCH TIME
NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) - Local Salvation Army officials are remaining confident with their Red Kettle campaign Christmas Eve deadline quickly approaching. Lt. Andrew Allen says they’ve raised about $75,000 so far, and he has no regrets about bumping up their goal to $125,000 this year. That total includes a recent $14,000 check from The Dover-Phila Federal Credit Union. Plus they are still looking for volunteer bell-ringers for two-hour time slots.  Allen says they’re also asking for people to stop by the headquarters and pull a tag from their Angel Tree listing gifts that can be purchased for families in need. 

SEARCH FOR NEW LAW DIRECTOR IN UHRICHSVILLE
UHRICHSVILLE 
(WJER) - Uhrichsville will soon have a new Law Director as the Tuscarawas County Republican Party Central Committee begins its search. Chair Joel Day says they will be holding interviews later this week to find a replacement for outgoing Brett Hillyer, who is set to take the 98th District State Representative seat in January. Day says they are looking for someone who understands municipal and contractual law with the professional certifications to hold the position. He says they must have a law degree and be a registered republican voter residing within the city limits. Again, those interviews will be held Thursday inside Uhrichsville City Hall beginning at 6:15 p.m. 

OIL PUMP FIRE CONTAINED AT DOVER CHEMICAL
DOVER (WJER) - Firefighters say there were no injuries and no evacuations necessary for a fire at Dover Chemical overnight.  Lt. Joe Minocchi says they were called at 12:43 am to a five-story building with smoke and fire visible, caused by a mechanical failure in a hot oil pump. Damage was limited to the pump and a small portion of surrounding equipment, though no immediate damage estimate was available. Minocchi says the sprinkler system kept the fire from spreading.  Firefighters used water and foam then to finish extinguishing the fire. He says all of the water and hot oil runoff went into the plant’s containment system as designed. Firefighters remained at the plant until about 3 am. New Philadelphia, Sugarcreek, Strasburg, Bolivar, Wayne Township, Mineral City and Uhrichsville departments also responded.  

PHILA OKs TWO RIVER RAMPS
NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) - City officials say work will begin soon to give canoers and kayakers more access to the Tuscarawas River by next May. Service Director Ron McAbier says the city received acceptable bids to install boat ramps at the Coniglio property behind the Water Works baseball fields and at the Carlisle Canoe Livery off State Route 416. The two projects will cost a combined $629,000, with most of that being covered by a Clean Ohio grant. 

FIREFIGHTER INJURED IN HIT AND RUN
WAYNE TWP.
(Tusco Tv) - State Troopers are investigating a hit-and-run crash that injured a Wayne Township volunteer firefighter. Sgt. Robert Simone says the 28-year-old firefighter was riding his bicycle eastbound on Trail Bottom Road when he was struck by a white Ford F-250 pickup truck traveling in the same direction just after 1:00 a.m Saturday. The firefighter was taken to Cleveland Clinic Union Hospital with minor injuries. Simone says the driver fled the scene. Troopers searched with the Sheriff’s Department, but were unable to locate the vehicle. Wayne Township Fire Chief Joseph Miller says the firefighter hit on the bike was on his way to a shed fire on Trail Bottom Road NW. They’re not releasing the firefighter’s name at this point.  

STATE PATROL INVESTIGATING TWO FATAL CRASHES
NEW PHILADELPHIA
(WJER) - State Troopers are still trying to learn more about two separate fatal crashes in the county in recent days.  24-year-old Joanna Sellards of Newcomerstown died after her car crashed into the back of a semi on 77 north of the village Thursday morning. 30-year-old Jacqueline Speer of New Philadelphia was killed when her car lost control around a curve on Crooked Run Road Friday night.  New Philadelphia Post Commander Lt. Mark Glennon says it could take some time to investigate the cause for both of these at once. Glennon says troopers aren’t observing any other similar factors yet. The driver killed in the crash on 77 was wearing a seatbelt. The driver who died in the Crooked Run Road crash was not.  

PHILA CITY MASTER PLAN PROGRESSING
NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) – The city master plan is coming together. University of Cincinnati Architecture Professor Michael McInturf and his graduate students have been studying the city for over a year to develop this master plan. They recently presented their findings to city officials and stakeholders to keep them involved.  Mayor Joel Day says this finished product will give them a road map to follow through 2030 addressing many areas such as transportation, revitalization and recreational opportunities to accommodate and attract residents and businesses.

JAMES HAVERFIELD HONORED ON PEARL HARBOR ANNIVERSARY
UHRICHSVILLE (WJER) - Residents braved the cold this morning to honor James Haverfield, a local who paid the ultimate sacrifice aboard the U.S.S Arizona 77-years ago on this date. Guest speakers talked about Haverfield’s legacy, the navy destroyer that was named in his honor, and the importance of remembering those who served. Uhrichsville Council Member Eric Harmon says it was humbling to be a part of the longstanding tradition. John Grinvalds of Tappan, New York served on the U.S.S Haverfield which was named in honor of the Uhrichsville native. The ship was decommissioned in 1969, but Grinvalds says it lives on through those who served on it. The ceremony included an honor guard demonstration, numerous guest speakers and a moment of silence at the time the attack on Pearl Harbor started, December 7th, 1941.                   

STATE NEWS:
DAYTON, Ohio (AP) - A judge has appointed a classified information security officer in the case of an Ohio man accused of trying to fly overseas to train with an Islamic State-affiliated group. The accused defendant has pleaded not guilty to a federal charge of attempting to provide material support and resources to a foreign terrorist organization. Federal Judge Walter Rice on Wednesday appointed the officer, a frequent occurrence in terrorism-related cases.
 
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - State regulators have given the green light to the first medical marijuana dispensary in Ohio. Officials announced Wednesday CY+, located in the village of Wintersville, is the first of 56 state-licensed medical marijuana outlets to receive a certificate of operation. The dispensary will not be able to sell medical marijuana until their products are tested at state-certified testing labs.
 
TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) - Federal authorities have charged a second person in connection with a domestic terrorism investigation in Ohio. The FBI and Department of Justice say 23-year-old Vincent Armstrong of Toledo was charged with making false statements. He lived with a woman who has been charged with buying bomb-making supplies. Armstrong appeared in court Wednesday and waived a preliminary hearing. His attorney says it's too early to speak about the case, adding it was possible more charges could be filed.
 
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - The Ohio Senate has approved a highly restrictive anti-abortion bill despite indications it has little chance of passage this year. The GOP-controlled Senate on Wednesday passed the measure banning abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected, usually within a few weeks of conception. The legislation must return to the House for agreement with changes made by the Senate in committee. Outgoing Republican Gov. John Kasich has promised to veto the bill as he did with a similar measure in 2016.
     

NATIONAL NEWS:
BEIJING (AP) - China has confirmed it has detained two Canadian men, saying they were being detained on suspicion of "endangering national security." The Foreign Ministry spokesman says entrepreneur Michael Spavor and former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig were taken into custody on Monday. The spokesman says Canada has been informed of the detentions, but declined to say whether the men have been provided with lawyers. He says they are being handled separately.
 
LONDON (AP) - The Associated Press has found that a hacking group often nicknamed Charming Kitten has spent the past month trying to break into the personal emails of more than a dozen U.S. Treasury officials. Also on the hackers' hit list: high-profile opponents, defenders and enforcers of the nuclear deal struck between Washington and Tehran, along with Arab atomic scientists, D.C. think tank employees and Iranian civil society figures.
 
LONDON (AP) - The German parliament has approved a motion stating that the Brexit deal can't be renegotiated, underlining the stance of the government and European Union allies. The largely symbolic motion was approved hours before Chancellor Angela Merkel and the other 27 EU leaders gather in Brussels.
 
WASHINGTON (AP) - Senators enraged by the killing of a Saudi journalist and the White House response are expected to vote on a resolution that would call on the U.S. to pull assistance from the Saudi-led war in Yemen. The Senate voted Wednesday to open debate on a measure that would rebuke Saudi Arabia and is expected to vote on it Thursday. U.S. intelligence officials have concluded the Saudi crown prince must have at least known of the death plot, but President Donald Trump has been reluctant to pin the blame.
 
FATUKOKO, Indonesia (AP) - A trafficking network has descended upon an impoverished corner of Indonesia to hunt for teenage girls. Possibly hundreds of girls have died or disappeared from East Nusa Tenggara province after being lured from their homes by illegal recruiters promising work in neighboring Malaysia. The girls are part of an army of Indonesians who migrate every year to wealthier countries in Asia and the Middle East for work. Thousands of these migrants come home in coffins, or vanish.

SPORTS:
NBA: Jordan Clarkson scored 28 points and a basket by Rodney Hood in the fourth quarter gave Cleveland a late lead as the Cavaliers defeated the New York Knicks 113-106 on Wednesday after squandering a 22-point lead. Hood added 23 points, rookie Collin Sexton scored 19 and Matthew Dellavedova had 15 points.

WEATHER:
TONIGHT: Mostly cloudy, Lo 35
FRIDAY: Increasing clouds, showers likely, mainly after 4 pm, Hi 47
SATURDAY: Cloudy, showers likely, mainly before 9 am, Hi 46
SUNDAY: Cloudy skies, slight chance of early morning rain, mainly before 2am, Hi 47