(WJER) (Apr 24,2019) - Tuscarawas County Health Department officials are marking a quarter-century of helping students the importance of safe driving. Safe Communities Coordinator Kelly Snyder says the 25th annual “Teen Driving Roadeo” saw nine school districts and dozens of teenage drivers participate in written and real world skills tests. Snyder says students were judged on maneuverability skills like the star, parallel left and right parking as well as backing up and lane changing competency. Snyder says after all the challenges, they ended the day with awards for top scores on all the tests, along with guest speakers like Kathy Clark from the Coroner’s office, Juvenile Court Magistrate Adam Wilgus and more who talked about the dangers of distracted and unsafe driving. This year’s third place winner was Strasburg. Garaway took second place and Dover came in first. 


 (WJER)(Apr 24,2019) - New Philadelphia Rotary members are singing the community’s praises after resetting the newly restored and tuned carousel organ at Tuscora Park. Member Carey Gardner says the organ was hauled back to the park this week and installed for its initial run in perfect pitch. Gardner says anyone familiar with how the organ’s condition last year is going to notice a large difference when they visit the park again this summer. He says the $45,000 project was paid using community donations ranging from smaller individual contributions to major donations from local businesses and organizations. So he says they are already planning a maintenance schedule that will keep the organ working for decades to come. Gardner says the community will get their first chance to hear the organ when the park opens for the season Memorial Day weekend.

(WJER) (Apr 24,2019) -  The Wisconsin group that threatened the city of Dover to move religious displays from public to private property last year is now going after the New Philadelphia School District. Freedom From Religion Foundation attorney Chris Line says they sent a letter April 12TH telling the district the plaque of the Ten Commandments at Welty Middle School near the auditorium entrance violates the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause. Line says a concerned parent notified the foundation about the plaque this month. The foundation’s letter asks the district to remove it immediately and explains what the legal challenges and costs could be for the district to fight this in court. New Philadelphia Superintendent David Brand says plaque was a gift from the class of 1926, and that the district is conducting its due diligence to make the best decision for its students, district, and community. 

(WJER) (Apr 23,2019) -  Kent State Tuscarawas officials are in the beginning chapters of a grade school-to-college level program that opens the world of advanced manufacturing to students. Engineering Technology Director Paul Dykshoorn says their rising Manufacturing Scholars Program will kick off at three local districts next year with a handful of sixth graders. Dykshoorn says the program is structured to allow kids who complete that program through 12th grade to earn a free ride to any Kent State regional campus. Dykshoorn says the program will use shared equipment between buckeye career center and Kent State Tuscarawas to create an Advanced Manufacturing Corridor educating students on all levels. Dyksoorn says the program has so far collected about $425,000 in grant money. The program will begin in the fall of this year.   

(WJER) (Apr 23,2019) - Tuscarawas county prosecutors say a Newcomerstown man who was wearing a court-ordered ankle bracelet while attempting a robbery in December has pleaded guilty to all charges in connection with the incident. Prosecutor Ryan Styer says 30-year-old Douglas Casteel of Newcomerstown on Monday pled guilty to ten counts, including aggravated robbery, felonious assault and attempted murder. Styer says GPS records from Casteel’s ankle bracelet made his whereabouts during the robbery virtually indisputable. Styer says Casteel’s plea deal is for 17 years in prison. He says his office would oppose parole, although Casteel won’t be eligible for a while. Styer says Casteel is one of several suspects charged in an attempted robbery followed by a car chase and shooting that injured a 17-year-old near Newcomerstown in December. One of the suspects, Ian Cultrona, faces a 38-year prison sentence after a jury found him guilty last month on charges similar to Casteel’s.

NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) (Apr 23,2019) - The Tuscarawas County Board Of Elections is responding to recent safety concerns raised about some area public-school buildings being used as polling places for elections. Director Allan Sayre says they’ve responded to concerns raised by local FOP President Bob Everett, saying the board has been utilizing public schools as polling places for years. Sayre says the board is already strictly regulated on where they can host polling locations based on the Ohio Revised Code, and he says it can be difficult finding alternatives that meet the American with Disabilities Act regulations. But Sayre says schools do have the option to adjust their schedules around election days if they feel the security concerns are great enough. Sayre says similar concerns have been making the news in Pennsylvania this year, where he says the consensus has become giving students election day off and hosting teacher in-service days at districts where elections are hosted.  

NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) (Apr 23,2019) - New Philadelphia’s Airport Commission chair says the city is asking the Federal Aviation Administration to keep its airport runway the way it is. John Zucal says the FAA initially contacted the city to lengthen the runway to address potential landing hazards. But the city refused that request, as it would require relocating several cemetery graves and closing off Delaware Drive. Zucal says the FAA now wants the city to shorten the runway by 300 feet so the airport could be reclassified and restrict which types of aircraft could be used there. Zucal says there have been no safety issues over the length of the runway, and about 10 pilots have also written letters to the FAA against shortening it. 

(TUSCO TV) (Apr 22,2019) - The owner of 77 Inn & Grill in Dover is speaking out about the social media controversy over a colony of stray cats and a group’s efforts to care for them.  Anjum Azhar says he's come under fire recently for putting up ‘Do Not Feed the Cats’ signs and asking a group known as “The Cat Ladies” to stay off his property on Commercial Parkway. Azhar says he appreciates what the group is trying to accomplish with their trap, neuter, and return program, however he also has a business to run and has seen negative reviews from customers online about the cats. Members of The Cat Ladies group say they haven't been back to the area since they were warned by police that they were breaking the law. Their leader says she’s worried the cat population is going to skyrocket if she can't go back to trapping this summer. Azhar has since taken down the signs that sparked the controversy.

(WJER) (Apr 22,2019) - The Stark-Tusc-Wayne Solid Waste District is telling everyone what they can do to help out the district beyond Earth Day today. Administrative Director Rachel Rothacher says they are asking people to help prevent recycling contamination, when items end up in recycling bins that shouldn’t be there. She says that can range from food waste left inside containers to electronics. Rothacher says they also want to keep people from throwing things into recycling that they call tanglers, such as hoses or a strand of Christmas lights. She says people can check with their municipality or the Solid Waste District website to learn more about what items are acceptable in their curbside recycling programs.

(WJER) (Apr 22,2019) -  The Tuscarawas County Sheriff’s Office says a Dundee man has died in a farming accident. 9-1-1 call records indicate 65-year-old Ronald Zahner was killed when he was struck by a large log rolling down a hill near his driveway at 10802 Lower Trail Road NW about 4:30pm Saturday. Zahner was moving the logs to create room in his driveway for Easter Sunday. He was trying to stop the log from rolling when it hit him. The coroner will rule on the exact cause of death.

WJER) (Apr 22,2019) - A Dover man is now in charge at the Ohio Department of Transportation’s local office. Tom Corey was recently appointed deputy director for the ODOT District 11 headquarters in New Philadelphia.  Corey’s 23-year history with ODOT includes a recent stint as deputy director for the Division of Operations in the Central Office in Columbus.  Corey now oversees about $42- million in road construction projects in seven counties in eastern Ohio while managing 327 employees.

WJER) (Apr 19,2019) - Traffic fatalities in Tuscarawas County are on pace with last year’s statistics about a third of the way through the year. The Ohio State Highway Patrol reports there were four fatal crashes with four deaths in Tuscarawas County between January 1 and April 14. In 2018, the patrol reported 11 fatal crashes with 12 fatalities for the entire year. Safe Communities Coordinator Kelly Snyder says the federally-funded Safe Communities grant is being used to keep those statistics down. Snyder says they are sharing several messages about safe driving through media campaigns, conducting speaking visits and hosting special events like the Teen Driving Roadeo next week.

DOVER (WJER) (Apr 19,2019) - The Tuscora Lodge Fraternal Order of Police president is calling attention to an elections practice that he says has become a security threat in the changing times. Bob Everett says he’s contacted the Tuscarawas County Board of Elections, urging them to find other places besides schools to host their precincts. Everett says he thinks there are other places the board could utilize for voting purposes such as churches and community halls. County elections officials were not immediately available for comment on these concerns. 

UNDATED (AP) — Twenty current and former inmates are suing over what they say are inhumane and dangerous conditions at a troubled county jail in Cleveland. Many of the inmates say they've been denied medication or mental health treatment. The newly amended complaint filed this week comes after seven corrections officers at the Cuyahoga County jail and an associate warden were indicted. County officials say they're reviewing the latest complaints but didn't offer any comment on specifics of the lawsuit.

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The National Veterans Memorial and Museum in Ohio has installed fresh flags outside its building after a U.S. Navy veteran complained that the facility was disrespectfully displaying frayed versions of a U.S. flag, a POW/MIA banner and service flags. Museum officials told The Columbus Dispatch the flags were damaged during recent bad weather and replacements were immediately ordered. They apologized for any feelings of disrespect caused by the wait for the new flags, which were installed Monday.

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — Federal and local officials in Ohio are discussing how to prevent and respond to hate crimes at a public meeting ahead of a Ku Klux Klan-related group's rally planned next month. The Dayton Daily News reports Wednesday's meeting is part of scheduled programming by the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office. The sheriff said he expected a larger turnout than usual because of concern over the May 25 rally planned in Dayton by a Klan-related group from Indiana.

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A judge won't let school districts intervene in Ohio's civil case seeking to recoup millions of dollars in public funding from the founder and leaders of a now-defunct online charter school. Dayton and Toledo were among eight districts that sought to be part of the case involving officials from the massive Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow. The districts argued the state wouldn't adequately represent their schools' interests. A Franklin County judge rejected that argument this week.

VLADIVOSTOK, Russia (AP) — North Korean leader Kim Jong Un says he had "candid and meaningful" talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin about how to promote peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and in the region. Kim said at the start of his dinner banquet with Putin in Vladivostok before making a toast that the two countries share a valuable friendship and "deep understanding" that their ties not only serve mutual interests but are also indispensable for securing the region's peace and stability.

HOUSTON (AP) — Former Vice President Joe Biden has long maintained strong support in the African American community, but his expected bid for president is frustrating some Democrats who have been hoping for a nominee who reflects the diversity of the party and the nation itself. Some people in Houston who are attending the She the People political forum for women of color say they are underwhelmed by Biden's decision and point to alternatives. Biden is expected to make his bid official on Thursday.

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lanka's former navy chief says the father of two of the Easter suicide bombers has been arrested on suspicion of aiding his sons. Jayanath Colombage, who now is a counter-terrorism expert, confirmed the arrest to The Associated Press on Thursday. Sri Lankan police could not immediately be reached for comment. Sunday's coordinated suicide bombings targeted three churches and three hotels, killing at least 359 people and wounding 500 more.

HUNTSVILLE, Texas (AP) — A man who orchestrated the Texas dragging death of a black man in 1998 has been executed. John William King, who was white, was given a lethal injection Wednesday at the state penitentiary in Huntsville, Texas. Nearly 21 years ago, James Byrd Jr. was chained to the back of a truck and dragged for nearly 3 miles in Jasper, Texas. Byrd was alive for at least 2 miles before his body was ripped to pieces.

TOKYO (AP) — A Japanese court has approved the release of detained Nissan ex-chair Carlos Ghosn on bail. The Tokyo District Court said the money was paid within hours, signaling he would likely be released soon. Ghosn was arrested in November, released on bail in March but re-arrested in April on new allegations. He has been charged with underreporting his compensation and with breach of trust. He says he is innocent.

MLB: Jose Ramirez homered and drove in four runs, Jake Bauers' eighth-inning single scored the go-ahead run and the Cleveland Indians defeated the Miami Marlins 6-2. Martin Prado's two-out homer for Miami tied the game in the top of the eighth. The Indians responded by scoring four times to snap a three-game losing streak.

TODAY: Cloudy with showers, storms also possible after 3pm, Hi 66
TONIGHT: Showers and possibly a thunderstorm, Lo 54
FRIDAY: Showers, mainly before 2pm, Hi 60
SATURDAY: Sunny, Hi 58