TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 2014

MWCD REDUCES ASSESSMENT FEE
NEW PHILADELPHIA - Area residents can now expect to pay only half of the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District’s annual assessment fee. Director John Hoopingarner says the board voted to cut the fee by 50% starting next year as multi-million dollar oil and gas leasing deals have generated enough revenue to fill the gap and ensure flood protection projects go on as scheduled. Hoopingarner says 94% of district landowners will have their $12 annual fee reduced to $6, but large commercial operations, such as the Akron-Canton Airport and the Timken Company will benefit the most as their fees can top $30,000 a year. However, Hoopingarner says the district’s oil and gas revenue stream is still too unpredictable to determine if future assessment fee reductions are possible.


FIRE DISPLACES 7 RESIDENTS, KILLS CAT
DENNISON - Firefighters say the cause of a weekend house fire may never be known. Chief Dave McConnell says the State Fire Marshall was on site at 404 Johnson Avenue Monday and ruled the cause of the Friday fire as undetermined. McConnell says the split-level, owned by Tina Hart, was also home to six other people, who all got out safely. McConnell says damage to the home and contents is estimated at $130,000 as he believes the fire started in the basement. McConnell says the Salvation Army and the local American Red Cross are assisting the family. He says one cat died in the fire, while another cat and a dog survived. 

FLU CLINIC SCHEDULE ESTABLISHED 
DOVER - Tuscarawas County Health Department officials say they are preparing to begin flu shot clinics later this week. Nursing Director Judy Tornabene says the vaccine this year includes two A and two B viruses again, but she says the protection varies each year as the CDC makes adjustments to fight the most prominent strains at the time. Tornabene says residents in good health can get the nasal mist version, which includes a live virus. She says the department is also well stocked with the intradermal and common flu shots, along with the high dose version as well. Tornabene says the walk-in clinics begin this Wednesday and will run every Monday through Friday from 9-11 AM and 1-3 PM. She says the department will also have an evening clinic October 20th and a morning clinic Saturday, November 1st. 

DRIVER EJECTED DURING I-77 CRASH
NEW PHILADELPHIA - A Coshocton woman is recovering in the hospital after she was thrown from her vehicle during a wreck on I-77 Monday morning. 45-year old Jody Mobley told troopers she was driving northbound near Newcomerstown when she reached for a coffee, then lost control of her SUV and crossed over the median into the southbound lanes, where she hit an oncoming pickup truck driven by a Canton man.  Mobley was then ejected and landed in the grassy berm west of the highway just before her vehicle struck a fence and landed on its top.  Mobley was taken to Aultman Hospital for non-life threatening injuries.  Two passengers in the truck she hit suffered minor injuries. Mobley was cited for not wearing a seat belt and failure to control.

ADVOCATE OFFERS ID PROTECTION ADVICE
CANTON - The Better Business Bureau is telling people to keep their guards up after another data breech at a national company. Spokeswoman Kimberly Thompson says this latest example happened to a Tennessee company that serves as a consultant to health clinics across the nation, including Affinity Medical Center in Massillon, where names, addresses and social security numbers of patients were taken.  Thompson says she recommends for people at risk of fraud or identity theft to review their credit reports. Thompson says the Tennessee company involved with this latest breech is trying to make it up to patients by offering free identity theft protection services for a year.

WOMAN OF THE YEAR FINALISTS ANNOUNCED
DENNISON - Five Tuscarawas County women are one step closer to becoming the Lucille Nussdorfer Woman of the Year. Dennison Depot Museum Director Wendy Zucal says the committee narrowed the nominations down to Kris Moreland of New Philadelphia, Mary Hamilton of Dover, Becky Mastin of Dover, Joan Beorn of New Philadelphia and Carol Ault of New Philadelphia. The winner will be announced at a banquet October 16.  Zucal says the event celebrates volunteerism at its finest paying tribute to Nussdorfer, who was a World War II Canteen volunteer and advocate. 

UHRICHSVILLE AUDITOR TO RETIRE
UHRICHSVILLE – The city’s auditor is preparing to step down after 34 years of service.  Jody Dunlap announced her last day would be October 31st during Thursday night’s council meeting, giving the Democratic Central Committee more than a month to find her replacement. Dunlap says she feels now is a good stopping point for herself and the city, as she’s looking forward to spending more time in her ceramics shop. 

DEER ARCHERY SEASON BEGINS
TUSCARAWAS COUNTY - State hunting officials say deer season might require some extra strategy this year as warm weather reappears in the valley. Archery season started Saturday and Tuscarawas County Wildlife Officer Wade Dunlap advises hunters to head out in the woods early before the temperature begins to rise in order to have the best luck. Dunlap says hunters have no major changes to worry about this deer season but he still encourages all hunters to read the Ohio hunting regulations. 

CHARITY BIKE RIDE TO FEATURE 70s TV STAR

DOVER - An online protection organization is bringing Hollywood fame to Dover last weekend. Safe Surfin’ spokesman and former star of the 70’s TV series CHiPs, Erik Estrada says he stopped at Adventure Harley Davidson Saturday morning for a meet and greet and one hour ride-along. Estrada says the event benefitted the Safe Surfin’ foundation, which educates kids about online dangers and Internet predators through interactive computer programs.

EX PARENT-TEACHER GROUP TREASURER GUILTY OF THEFT
DOVER - A former Dover Middle School Parent Teacher Group treasurer will be sentenced November 3rd for using her position to steal from the group. 42-year old Staci Angelo of Dover changed her plea to guilty this week in Tuscarawas County Common Pleas Court for the incidents that occurred between 2009 and 2013. Reports indicate Angelo used the group’s credit card to buy meals at restaurants, purchase large screen TVs and pay her personal insurance premiums, amounting to about $10,000 total. Angelo originally plead not guilty to the grand theft charge back in June. 

PHILA HIRES NEW SERVICES SUPERINTENDENT
NEW PHILADELPHIA - Officials say two new employees will now lead the city’s general services department. Mayor Dave Johnson says New Phila resident Ray Grewell began his duties as the new superintendent Monday and the new assistant will begin sometime in October. Johnson says Grewell made it through two rounds of questioning prior to getting the position. Johnson says Grewell formerly worked with a tree service company and has experience with unions and crew management. Grewell takes over for Interim Superintendent Jim Martin, who has filled in since Mark Henke resigned, following controversy over a trash truck wreck and delayed report.

SHARE A CHRISTMAS NEEDS WAREHOUSE
NEW PHILADELPHIA - The Share A Christmas program is turning to the community to help come up with a place spacious enough to sort and distribute this year’s toy drive collection. Tuscarawas County T-4-C Director Louise Worsham says her group is looking for a warehouse with at least 10,000 square feet to take what is collected at the WJER Toy Drive December 3rd.  Worsham says this is where the dozens of volunteers will do all the work to get the toys ready for pick-up by participating families the week before Christmas. Worsham says she is unsure what they would do if no warehouse is found, but it would drastically alter the toy distribution.  Worsham says the vacant warehouses used by Share A Christmas in recent years are now occupied with tenants.

STATE NEWS:

EARLY VOTING DELAYED
COLUMBUS (AP) -- Early voting will not start today across Ohio, after an order from the conservative majority of the US Supreme Court Monday. Justices granted a request from state officials to delay a judge's ruling ordering the early voting schedule to be extended. The high court put a ruling against the law on hold while it decides if it will take up the case. Voter registration ends October 6 and early voting can begin October 7. 

  

COLUMBUS (AP) -- Some Ohio educators say this year's mandate to hold back third graders who don't meet reading proficiency standards is putting pressure on students, staff and school resources. Florida pioneered the idea of mandatory third-grade retention in 2002 but Ohio is among at least 9 other states that have since made similar moves.

COURT CLERK SENTENCES
LANCASTER (AP) A former central Ohio court clerk who pleaded guilty to theft in office has been sentenced to 18 months in prison today. Former Fairfield County court clerk Deborah Smalley pleaded guilty to theft in office and attempted theft in office.

FOSTER TEEN GETS LIFE IN PRISON
PAINESVILLE (AP) A northeast Ohio teenager who killed her foster mother in 2012 at her foster father's urging has been sentenced to life in prison with a chance for parole in 30 years. Nineteen-year-old Sabrina Zunich pleaded guilty last month to aggravated murder in the stabbing death of 41-year-old Lisa Knoefel in their home in the Cleveland suburbs.

 


NATIONAL NEWS: 

WHITE HOUSE SECURITY SCRUTINIZED
WASHINGTON (AP) - The embarrassing White House security breach gets its first public airing before a congressional panel today when Secret Service Director Julia Pierson appears before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Her testimony comes as a congressman says the man who got into the building went a lot farther than just inside the front door.  

PACT KEEPS TROOPS IN COUNTRY
KABUL 
(AP) - Afghanistan's president says today's signing of a deal with the United States represents a fundamental shift in the country's relations with the world. The long-awaited security pact will allow US forces to remain in the country past the end of year. President Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai says it's "only for Afghan security and stability." 

TOBACCO COMPANIES AGAINST ADVERTISEMENTS
RICHMOND, VA (AP) The nation's largest tobacco companies don't want to go along with a court order that requires them to run advertisements saying they lied about the dangers of smoking. A judge ruled several years ago that the companies concealed the dangers of smoking for decades -- and the judge has since ordered them to pay for those statements in various ads in newspapers, on TV, on websites and on inserts in cigarette packs. They filed a court brief today arguing that the corrective statements would require them to "shame and humiliate themselves" and label themselves as liars.


SPORTS: 

NCAA: The Ohio State Buckeyes have scored 116 points in their last two wins and feel as though they're building some momentum heading into their Big Ten opener at Maryland on Sunday. Still, they know they have a lot of work ahead of them after allowing three touchdown passes of at least 60 yards in last weekend's 50-28 victory over Cincinnati. Coach Urban Meyer says the Buckeyes have shown great effort on defense, but mistakes are still being made. Co-coordinator Luke Fickell is happy with his players' development and also concedes there is plenty of room for improvement. Right now, the No. 20 Buckeyes are dealing with some dramatic positives and negatives.

WEATHER:
TODAY: 40% chance of afternoon scattered rain, Hi 73
TONIGHT: Mostly cloudy, Lo 53
WEDNESDAY: Partly sunny, Hi 68
THURSDAY: Mostly sunny, Hi 75

 

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