WEEKEND HEADLINES

AMERICANS HITTING THE ROAD FOR MEMORIAL DAY
TUSCARAWAS - If you’re driving to your Memorial Day celebrations this weekend, travel officials have a couple tips to make the trip easier. AAA Community Relations Manager Jim Garrity says Americans are coming out in record numbers this year with more than 5-million people using a car to travel in our region alone. Garrity recommends carefully timing your departure. And he says everyone should have their car serviced before hitting the road, with the leading causes of rescues being flat tires, dead batteries and lockouts. There is also a 5.5% increase in the number of people flying to their destinations this weekend, a sign that people have increased confidence in the economy, with about 344,000 people flying to their destinations out in Ohio alone.

RESIDENTS REMINDED OF DROWNING HAZARDS
TUSCARAWAS - The U.S Army Corps of Engineers wants to get people to think about water safety this summer by presenting some eye-opening statistics.  Huntington District Park Ranger Mark Benson says men ages 18 to 35 years old are the ones most likely to drown from an accident. Benson says it’s safest too just to swim at their designated swim beach areas, as opposed to swimming in unsupervised open waters. He says 84% of drowning victims weren’t wearing life jackets, and many never intended to be in the water in the first place. Benson says 88% of the drowning victims in the past 10 years were men, which he thinks is because they are more likely to take unnecessary risks.  On average it takes an adult 60 seconds to drown, and just 20 seconds for a child to drown.  

EAA PANCAKE BREAKFAST
NEW PHILADELPHIA - The annual pancake breakfast hosted by the EAA Chapter 1077 is this Sunday at the New Philadelphia Airport. Spokesman Terry Henry says kids can come out to enjoy seeing planes up close, fly their own model airplanes and enjoy a breakfast or lunch for seven dollars a person. Henry says the funds raised will go to support the Right Flight Program. Henry says right flight is a great way to introduce your kids to something they’ve never done before, and may never have a chance to do again, fly a plane. The pancake breakfast and fly in begins at 7:30 in the morning and will run through 1:30 Sunday. 

MOTHER NATURE'S HOLIDAY PLANS
PITTSBURGH
- Forecasters have some discouraging news for anyone with outdoor plans for graduation parties and barbecues this holiday weekend. Pittsburgh National Weather Service meteorologist Lee Hendricks says the chance of showers and isolated thunderstorms for the valley will stick with us tonight through the weekend, though Memorial Day is looking good. He says the weather pattern we are in now is more like something we would normally see in the fall, but he says overall we have been fortunate as this spring has been warmer than usual. Hendricks is calling for above normal temperatures and normal amounts of rain for the remainder of spring and the summer months.    

CANAL DOVER FESTIVAL STARTING UP
DOVER - The annual Canal Dover Festival gets underway today. The midway opens at noon, with more than 30 food vendors this year. Musical entertainment on both stages begins at 4 p.m. Opening ceremonies with Mayor Rick Homrighausen are set for 5:30 p.m. Tonight's acts include the Good Guys and Badstone. On Saturday, the schedule begins with the parade at noon, then the plate auction at 1 p.m., and the Dover Marching Tornadoes at 1:30. The Canal Dover Festival continues downtown through Sunday night. 

RTY SHOWCASE REVEALED
NEW PHILADELPHIA - The arrival of Memorial Day weekend will mean the return of another RTY Summer Showcase Concert Series at Tuscora Park. Producer Sam Hitchcock says the shows begins this Sunday and continue through September 3rd. This is season number 20 for the concerts. Hitchcock says many of the popular and familiar acts will be back, such as the Dover Jazz and Steel Drum Bands, Jerome James, and LaFlavour. There will be as some changes too, with the Air National Guard Band of the Northeast coming June 27th. Scott Miller and the New Phila Jazz and Steel Drum bands kick off the season Sunday night. The Dominic Greco Band follows on Memorial Day. 

COMMUNICATIONS DOWN FOR SAFETY FORCES
NEW PHILADELPHIA - Tuscarawas County safety forces have to temporarily use portable radios to communicate after the county-wide radio system began experiencing issues Wednesday. Sherriff Orvis Campbell says they are not sure what is causing the problem, but he says they are still able to maintain basic communication between 911 operators and safety crews. Campbell says the problem extends beyond the Sherriff’s office because everyone uses the same system to communicate. Again, Campbell says anyone trying to call 911 should not notice a difference. Deputies are also in service at the Sheriff’s Department, ready to respond to emergency calls if necessary.

THE GOOD NEIGHBOR PROJECT
STRASBURG - A Tuscarawas County resident is giving up his free time to lend a hand as part of a movement he is calling “The Good Neighbor Project.” 31-year-old Andrew Wilsterman of Strasburg posted an announcement on Facebook offering to mow anyone’s lawn for free, if they are unable to do it themselves, with a goal of mowing 100 lawns. Three weeks and 26 lawns later, Wilsterman says the project is going strong. He says he is enjoying the work as he goes. Wilsterman says even if he hits 100 lawns, he hopes to keep the project going somehow. You can find out more about the project on Facebook at “The Good Neighbor Project.”

FATAL ACCIDENT NEAR STONE CREEK
STONE CREEK - The State Highway Patrol says a Zanesville area man is dead following a rollover crash on I-77 near Stone Creek just before 5:00 a.m Thursday. 54-year-old Joseph Brock of Roseville was apparently driving north to work when his SUV went off the right side of the road, crossed back into the median, and overturned into the southbound lanes. Sgt. Bill Bower says the cause is currently unknown. Bower says Brock died at the scene. He says there were no witnesses, and two Stark County deputies passing through the area were the first to come upon the crash.   

UNION HOSPITAL TO JOIN CLEVELAND CLINIC
DOVER - Union Hospital’s search to become an affiliate of a larger company to stabilize its future appears over. Union Hospital officials have signed a letter of intent to join the Cleveland Clinic health system. Most details still have to be worked out. Union CEO Bruce James says the two sides will now begin the process to finalize a definitive agreement so the partnership can begin by the start of 2018. Union Hospital expects to be able to expand services and add physicians under Cleveland Clinic’s guidance and ownership. Union Hospital eliminated 20 jobs in 2016 as part of a $3 million cutback, due to years of having operating expenses increase way more than revenues. Future cuts would be likely without this move. Union Hospital also expects to retain its name.  

DENNISON COUNCIL HAS ANOTHER VACANCY
DENNISON – Officials are once again on the lookout for a new face to join village council. Council member Susan Edwards is resigning at the end of the month as her husband is taking a job in Georgia to be closer to one of their children. Council member Greg DiDonato says it is understandable, and she will be missed. Council hopes to choose Edwards’ replacement at its June meeting. Any resident willing to serve the remainder of her term through 2019 should write a letter of interest to council at village hall by June 9th. Edwards is the third council member to resign in the past year. Patty Johnson stepped down due to health reasons earlier this year. Mike Walker left last year when he moved out of town.   

NEWCOMERSTOWN MAN CHARGED WITH MURDER
COSHOCTON - A Newcomerstown man is one of three people in the Coshocton County Jail in connection to the apparent disappearance and killing of a Coshocton area man. Coshocton Municipal Court records indicate 31-year-old Jordan Green has been charged with murder. According to a Coshocton County Sheriff’s press release, the victim is 26-year-old Michael Hamm. Hamm was reported missing May 16th. His Ford Ranger was recovered three days later in Linton Township, in the southeast part of the county. Green and two other men were taken into custody late Sunday and early Monday. Later on Monday, authorities recovered what they believe was Hamm’s body from a creek in Linton Township. The Coshocton County Coroner’s office is working to confirm the identity.  

TRIAL DATE SET FOR COLAIACOVO
NEW PHILADELPHIA - A trial date has been set for the suspect in the beating death of a Dover man found dead in his garage in October. 58-year-old Jeff Colaiacovo of Dover has been charged with murder, robbery, and other charges in connection to the death of 72-year-old Arlie Gooch. Colaiacovo has changed his plea from not guilty by reason of insanity to now just not guilty after he was found competent to stand trial, and at the time of the murder, following psychological evaluation over the past two months. Assistant Prosecutor Mike Ernest does not expect a second opinion to be requested. The trial will begin August 16th in front of common pleas court judge Elizabeth Thomakos.  

FREEDOM FLIES THROUGH PHILA
NEW PHILADELPHIA - The Rotary Club is helping spread some national pride through town in time for the upcoming holiday weekend. Club members will be heading out in the coming days installing American flags in the front yards of people in their Salute Freedom program. The Rotary’s Tom Police says the cost to participate is $25 a year. For that, the club members put the 3-by-5 foot flags up on 10-foot metal poles, installed in PVC holders driven into the ground from Memorial Day through Veterans Day. It is just one way for the community to show its appreciation. Application forms for the Salute Freedom program are available at the New Philadelphia Rotary Club’s website.  

PHILA SOUTH PARK MASTER PLAN APPROVED
NEW PHILADELPHIA – City officials now have an outline of enhancements for the South Side Park to address. Council has approved a $6.3 million master plan for the park. Mayor Joel Day says the park board in the coming months will look into grants and local foundations to fund phase one, which will be construction of an $800,000 access road. Later phases would include baseball and softball fields, a dog park, a concession stand, and more. City officials hope to complete the work in five to 10 years.  

PRIMARY ELECTION RESULTS CERTIFIED
NEW PHILADELPHIA - This month’s Primary Election is now in the books. The Tuscarawas County Board of Elections certified the results from the May 2nd vote Monday, with some additional provisional and absentee ballots added to the election night totals. Board Director Allan Sayre says as expected, the outcomes were still the same. Sayre says they are already looking ahead to November, with the filing deadline for candidates in the school board and township trustee non-partisan races coming up August 9th
. Sayre says the county is also considering options to secure the new optical scanners for the return of paper ballots in the fall election.   

PUBLIC ASSISTANCE FRAUD CASES DROP
NEW PHILADELPHIA – Tuscarawas County Job and Family Services officials are taking time this month to bring attention to benefits fraud. May is Public Assistance Fraud Awareness Month in Ohio. JFS Fraud Investigator Tim Haswell says in 2016 his agency recouped about $94,000 in public assistance funds that were misspent or illegally obtained, spanning over 107 different cases. That is a significant decrease from just a few years ago, when the county had 204 fraud cases in 2013. 

FESTIVAL SEASON ARRIVES
DOVER - The annual Canal Dover Festival begins its three-day run Friday downtown. Dover Exchange Club treasurer Terry Auman says the midway opens at noon that day, with over 30 food vendors this year, followed by opening ceremonies at 5:30 p.m.  Entertainment chair Alan Page says they will have music on two stages through the weekend. Highlights Saturday include the parade at noon and the plate auction at 1 p.m., which this year features 100 years of the Dover High School band. Sunday’s schedule begins with a church service at 10:30 a.m., the big wheel race at 1 p.m., and music ranging from the Dominic Greco Band to New Wave Nation. 

DENNISON APPROVES EMPLOYEE RAISES
DENNISON – Council is hoping to keep the village’s 13 full-time employees from looking for work elsewhere. Finance Committee Chair Greg DiDonato says council has approved 15-cent raises for the workers. Other incentives approved include increasing longevity pay and boosting the clothing allowance from $350 to $600. The changes go into effect in July. DiDonato says keeping employees around will benefit Dennison in the long run because of the expense involved with hiring new people.   

PHILA POLICE CHIEF APPEARS IN “PAWN STARS”
NEW PHILADELPHIA - The police chief is helping pull back the curtain a little bit on one of those staged reality shows on the History Channel. Mike Goodwin was visiting the “Pawn Stars” shop in Las Vegas in October when he was approached about being part of a taping. Goodwin and others were then directed to another building attached to the shop. It turned out to be a sound stage, designed to look like the real shop, where they actually film the show. He was in there about an hour for a segment that lasted only a few minutes on TV, featuring a visitor trying to sell Laurel and Hardy autographs to the shop. Goodwin can be seen in the background wandering around as a visitor. The show aired recently, but the network shows reruns frequently.  

ISAACS TRIAL DATE SET
NEW PHILADELPHIA - A trial date has been set for the Midvale teen arrested for the stabbing death of his father’s live-in girlfriend, 39-year-old Darlene Renner, in March of 2016. David Isaacs, who is now 18, pleaded not guilty to aggravated murder and other charges during arraignment Tuesday. Judge Edward O’Farrell then set a trial date of September 26th, after the defense waived Isaacs' right to a speedy trial to have more time to prepare. A hearing has been set for Friday to determine whether juvenile court or common pleas court will set his bail. Isaacs is being held in the Tuscarawas County Jail for now. Isaacs, who was 17 at the time of the murder, had his case delayed several months while it was being decided which court it should proceed in.


STATE NEWS:
HUMANE OFFICER FIRED AFTER KILLING BABY RABBITS
NORTH RIDGEVILLE (AP) - An Ohio humane officer has been fired after he was accused of breaching procedure in killing five baby rabbits. A man had asked North Ridgeville police for help after he accidentally killed a rabbit with his lawnmower and then discovered five more. The man said he thought the animals might be taken to a shelter. Instead, he said Humane Officer Barry Accorti grabbed them, took them to his truck, and quickly broke their necks.

CHARGES TO BE FILED FOR LEAD CONTAMINATION
TOLEDO (AP) - An Ohio city is filing criminal charges against owners of lead-contaminated homes where people, including children, continue to live, despite orders to vacate. Toledo housing prosecutors say they will file first-degree misdemeanor charges against three property owners Friday. The Blade newspaper reports the mayor will also seek an injunction against some landlords to force them to stop renting homes until lead hazards are removed.

CHICAGO COURT STAYS DEPORTATION OF PIZZA WORKER TO MEXICO
CHICAGO (AP) - A Chicago-based appeals court has halted the deportation of a Mexican immigrant in Ohio to assess whether his deportation might seriously harm his three children who are U.S. citizens. The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found this week that Ricardo Sanchez made plausible arguments he could not support his family on Mexican wages. One of his kids requires costly physical therapy. An immigration judge cited Sanchez's convictions for driving under the influence in his deportation ruling.


NATIONAL NEWS:
TRUMP READY FOR G-7 SUMMIT 
TAORMINA, Italy (AP) - President Donald Trump has arrived at the G-7 summit of wealthy nations in Sicily. Trump said on Twitter shortly after arriving that he is getting "ready to engage" his fellow G-7 leaders "on many issues including economic growth, terrorism, and security." He is also touting the trip so far, saying he "made and saved the USA many billions of dollars and millions of jobs."

KUSHNER WILLING TO COOPERATE WITH INVESTIGATORS
WASHINGTON (AP) - A lawyer for President Donald Trump's son-in-law and adviser says Jared Kushner is willing to cooperate with federal investigators looking into ties between Russia and the Trump campaign. News media report the FBI is investigating meetings Kushner had in December with Russian officials.

LONDON POLICE BOOSTING SECURITY
MANCHESTER, England (AP) - London police say extra security is being added for major sporting events this weekend, including the FA Cup Final at Wembley Stadium. Chief Superintendent Jon Williams said Friday extra protection measures and extra officers are being deployed throughout the capital because of the higher terrorist-threat level following the attack on a concert crowd in Manchester.

SPORTS:
MLB: Jorge Bonifacio's two-run double off Andrew Miller broke an eighth-inning tie and lifted the Kansas City Royals past the Cleveland Indians 6-4 on Friday night. The Royals entered the game with the lowest winning percentage in the AL, but rallied from an early 4-0 deficit.

WEATHER:
SATURDAY: Showers and storms possible early, otherwise mostly cloudy, high 76
SUNDAY: A chance of showers and thunderstorms again, high 76
MONDAY - MEMORIAL DAY: Mostly sunny, high 76  

 

HEAR COMPLETE NEWSCASTS ON AM 1450, 100.9 FM, AND
WWW.WJER.COM
THE VOICE OF THE VALLEY FOR 67 YEARS