WJER WEEKEND HEADLINES
FAMILY CHARGED FOR DECOMPOSING BODY DISCOVERY
NEW PHILADELPHIA - A married couple and their adult daughter are facing felony charges after sheriff’s deputies discovered a decomposing body in their Wainwright home Tuesday. The corpse is believed to be 71-year-old Robert Harris, a Vietnam veteran. 49-year-old Brian Sorohan and 45-year-old Stacy Sorohan are accused of continuing to collect Harris’ Social Security benefits after his death from November up until this week. Charges include abuse of a corpse and theft of a credit card. Charges against 18-year-old Brianna Sorohan include failure to report a death. Bond has been set at $20,000 for both Brian and Stacy. Brianna was released on her own recognizance.
TRUMP ACCELERATION SLOWS
DOVER - the Wall Street Trump Bump was slowed down this week as traders were waiting for action on the republican led healthcare bill. Paul Gorgas of Edward Jones in New Philadelphia says it brought an end to a nice run. Gorgas says the results were to be expected. Gorgas says the big market drop Tuesday was the first in 110 trading sessions, ending the longest streak of its kind since 1995.
LIGHT PLANT EARNS HIGH RANKING
DOVER – Officials are celebrating national recognition for the city’s ability to provide power to its citizens. Superintendent of the electric field division Charlie Stull says the RP3 Diamond level designation goes to cities who excel in record keeping, reporting and safety training. Stull says Dover has come a long way to earn this honor. Stull says this achievement also acknowledges the proactive work of his employees. There are only 76 diamond level public power communities out of over 2,000 nationwide.
NEW PHILADELPHIA - Local authorities are reminding residents about the dangers of answering phone calls from unknown numbers. New Philadelphia Police Detective Captain Shawn Nelson says phone scams continue to circulate all over the nation, and Tuscarawas County is no exception. Nelson says the scammers are becoming more sophisticated and have even implemented answering centers to help convince potential victims. Nelson says the best thing to do is hang up. He says no government agency will ever demand money with the threat of jail time for not paying. He says residents should end any call they think may be a scam and contact their local police department to report it.
RUN FOR HOME APPROACHING
NEW PHILADELPHIA - Planning and preparations for the 2017 Run for Home races are heading down the home stretch. It is all happening April 1st and 2nd, with the half marathon, 10k, a Kids Run, and the Wellness Fair centered around Tuscora Park. Miss Ohio and Miss Clayland will be involved again. Race organizer Matt Ritzert says about 1,400 people are signed up for the races so far, and volunteers are still needed. Anyone interested can head to the Run for Home website to learn more. Run for Home is again sponsored by Union Hospital and benefits Habitat for Humanity of East Central Ohio.
SEMINAR TO HELP PARENTS MONITOR FOR DRUGS
DENNISON - Parents had the opportunity to learn more about the signs of addiction and drug abuse in children Thursday evening at the Tuscarawas County Anti-Drug Coalition's “Hidden in Plain Sight” seminar at Trinity Hospital Twin City. Coalition task force leader Jodi Salvo says the goal was to educate parents and give them the resources to talk to children. It also covered media and some of the different influences affecting kids’ decisions.
NEW PHILADELPHIA - Tuscarawas County’s Emergency Management Agency is preparing for tornado season. EMA Director Patty Levengood says every family should have an action plan for whatever severe weather may strike the area. Levengood says her department is also revising their action plan in case a tornado would strike the area. The statewide tornado siren test was held Wednesday. Levengood says the test lasted about 10 minutes and sounded exactly like it would if there were a real emergency.
DOVER COMMUNITY DISCUSSES NEW HIGH SCHOOL
DOVER - The Dover High School cafeteria filled with people and conversation surrounding the details residents would like to see go into the new high school. About 80 people came out to a meeting Monday with the project designers and school officials. Superintendent Carla Birney says the public’s ideas will now be examined and taken into consideration as contractors begin designing the new school. Many of the questions dealt with logistical issues, such as limited parking for contractors and whether local companies would be utilized for any of the work.
LIBRARY FUNDRAISER PROGRESSING
DOVER - The Dover Public Library is getting closer to the halfway point for a fundraiser to renovate the adult department. Director Jim Gill says the library’s capital campaign has brought in about $200,000. The goal is to raise $500,000. Gill says as part of the campaign, the library is also accepting contributions to sponsor items at the library in someone’s name. Gill says the Dover Public Library plans to wrap up the campaign at the end of the year and start on the remodel next year.
DENNISON COUNCIL MEMBER RESIGNING
DENNISON – Dennison is on the lookout for someone willing to fill the nine months left in the term of council member Patty Johnson. She has announced her resignation, citing personal reasons. Anyone wanting the council seat should send a letter of interest to the mayor’s office. Johnson is proud of her involvement over eight years, including 922 Day, Art in the Park, and Sundays in the Park.
ENGINEER CALLS FOR PLAN OF ACTION
NEW PHILADELPHIA - Tuscarawas County Engineer Joe Bachman has issued his 2016 annual report, showing his income has been stagnant for over a decade while expenses have climbed. He is using it to again ask the county commissioners to propose a plan of action to address his funding shortfalls. Bachman still wants the commissioners to impose a license plate fee, which he says has happened in 70 other counties. He points to how the county will raise water and sewer rates on customers without letting them vote on it. Voters overwhelmingly rejected a $10 license plate increase issue at the polls a year ago that would have funded Bachman’s department.
DENNISON PASSES 2017 BUDGET
DENNISON – The village’s spending plan for the rest of 2017 has been set. Council has approved the finalized $1.75 million budget. Fiscal Officer Kathy Norman says the layout allows for a large sum of the village’s revenue to go toward the Sherman Street upgrade. Money has also been appropriated to purchase a new police cruiser, which could cost as much as $42,000, including equipment.
BROWN BACKS TRADE SECRETARY CHOICE
WASHINGTON - Ohio’s Democratic U.S. senator is signaling his strong support for President Donald Trump’s nominee for U.S. trade secretary. The nominee is Robert Lighthizer, a lawyer from Ashtabula, Ohio. Senator Sherrod Brown has been outspoken about many of Trump’s picks but believes Lighthizer could help boost Ohio’s steel industry. Brown says Lighthizer would play a key role in forming U.S. trade policy and representing the U.S. in cases against foreign countries that cheat on our trade laws.
NEW TOWNE MALL TO LOSE JCPENNEY
NEW PHILADELPHIA - JCPenney will be closing its New Philadelphia location. The company issued a list of 138 stores it is closing, and it includes the one at New Towne Mall. A press release says most affected stores will begin the liquidation process April 17th and close in June. The release indicates this is part of a continuing effort to advance sustainable growth and long-term profitability. Approximately 5,000 positions nationwide will be impacted by the closures. JCPenney says it will provide outplacement support services for those eligible associates who will be leaving the company. New Towne Mall’s public relations company out of Florida tells WJER they are looking into what this will mean locally. JCPenney has yet to return a call from WJER.
$10 MILLION WINNER IN PHILA
NEW PHILADELPHIA - The rumors are true. The Marty’s Coaches Corner convenience store in New Philadelphia sold someone a scratch-off lottery ticket that won $10 million last week. Store employee Ben Cooley says it happened Monday when one of their regular customers bought a $30 ticket—the most expensive sold there. He and the customer were in shock when he scanned the ticket, confirming it did indeed win that much, although over a quarter of the winnings are usually taken out for taxes. The winner told Cooley he was unsure if he would retire or what he would do with the prize. Cooley says he had the winner fill out a claim form, trying not to make too much of a scene. The customer would have to take that form to a lottery office to redeem the winnings. Cooley says the biggest winning ticket sold at Marty’s Coaches Corner before this week was for $30,000.
SCHOOL SYSTEMS STILL UNDER DEBATE
COLUMBUS (AP) - Twenty years after the first ruling in Ohio's landmark school-funding lawsuit, new school buildings dot the landscape and the notion of what constitutes an adequate education is regularly debated in U.S. state capitals. Those are two of the lasting impacts of DeRolph v. State, first decided March 24, 1997, and revisited over 12 years before the high court relinquished jurisdiction. Justices ruled Ohio failed to provide the "thorough and efficient" public school system its Constitution required.
HOUSE FIRE KILLS THREE
COLUMBUS (AP) - Officials say a house fire in central Ohio killed a 16-year-old girl, her mother and her grandmother, and the teen's father was hospitalized in serious condition. Firefighters were called to the home on the west side of Columbus early Friday morning. There was no immediate word on what started the blaze.
TRUMP SENDS CONDOLENCES
CLEVELAND (AP) - The family of a Cleveland police officer hit and killed on a freeway has received a personal letter of condolence from President Donald Trump. Officer David Fahey's mother says the family was touched that the note from the president was personally written and not a form letter. Fahey was killed near downtown Cleveland on Interstate 90 in January while he was setting down flares after an earlier accident.
HEALTHCARE BILL PULLED
WASHINGTON (AP) - Republican leaders have abruptly pulled their troubled health care overhaul bill off the House floor. They are short of votes -- and eager to avoid a humiliating defeat for President Donald Trump and GOP leaders. A spokeswoman for House Speaker Paul Ryan says the speaker withdrew the legislation after Trump called him and asked him to halt debate without a vote. Just a day earlier, Trump had demanded a House vote and said if the measure lost, he would move on to other issues.
TRUMP PERMITS THE XL PIPELINE
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Donald Trump is calling this "a great day for American jobs and a historic moment for North America and energy independence." But environmentalists aren't welcoming the decision to grant a presidential permit for the Keystone XL pipeline, following a decision by the Trump State Department that the project advances U.S. national interests. The pipeline still faces some other major hurdles, including disputes over the route it will take.
STOCKS RECOVERING FROM HEALTHCARE FLOP
NEW YORK (AP) - Stocks recovered somewhat after the Republican-backed health care reform bill was pulled because of a lack of support in Congress. Investors hope the retreat will mean faster progress on business-friendly items on Trump's agenda including tax reform and looser regulations. The market wound up with its worst week of the year. Banks fell more than other sectors this week, giving back some of their gains since the election. Today, the S&P 500 rose seven points. The Dow gained 25. The Nasdaq composite rose 36 points.
NCAA MARCH MADNESS SWEET SIXTEEN WEST REGION: 11th-seed Xavier upsets 2nd-seed Arizona 73-71; 1st-seed Gonzaga beats 4th-seed West Virginia 61-58
SATURDAY: Cloudy, high 68
SUNDAY: Showers likely with an afternoon thunderstorm possible, high 66
MONDAY: Mostly cloudy, 40% chance of showers, high 68
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