TWO PHILA MEN DEAD IN MURDER-SUICIDE
NEW PHILADELPHIA - The Tuscarawas County Sheriff says two New Philadelphia men are dead as the result of an apparent murder-suicide Thursday afternoon. Walt Wilson says 47-year old Randy Wallick arrived at the scrap yard workplace of 49-year old Carter Ames off Seibert Hill Road, shooting Ames multiple times and killing him about 1 PM. Wallick’s wife then called 9-1-1 at 1:13 PM saying she had learned about the murder because her husband had sent her pictures of the victim over the phone. She also stated Wallick was going to the First Baptist Church in New Philadelphia to kill himself. Wilson says his deputies arrived a short time later to find Wallick still alive near the parking lot with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head and a 40-caliber handgun. Wallick was flown to Akron General Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 3:38 PM. Wilson describes the motive as a domestic-type issue.
DOUBLE SHOOTING STARTLES COMMUNITY
NEW PHILADELPHIA - First Baptist Church Pastor Jeff Bartell says he was returning from lunch soon after the apparent murder-suicide happened Thursday afternoon but saw a tow truck, a MedFlight helicopter and numerous emergency officials on scene when he arrived. Bartell says all other church employees were inside the building at the time, but he says the church was immediately placed on lockdown and no employees were injured. New Philadelphia Superintendent Bob Alsept says South Elementary School was also put on lockdown for a short time but he says the procedure was just a precaution.
SAFETY FORCES TRAINED FOR METH LAB AWARENESS
NEW PHILADELPHIA - Members with the Holmes County Special Response Team are sharing their knowledge about meth labs with Tuscarawas County safety forces. The team members led a training seminar for area police and fire departments Friday at Kent State Tuscarawas to detect the signs of meth labs and how to react when one is discovered. Holmes County Sgt. Tim Stryker says his team should also be contacted because the members are trained to dismantle and neutralize the labs. Stryker says heroin is still more prevalent in Tuscarawas County, but meth is gaining ground because of the relative ease in manufacturing the drug.
LOCAL REFLECTS ON OFBF TRIP
WASHINGTON - The 68th annual Ohio Farm Bureau Presidents’ trip to Washington D.C. wrapped up Wednesday but WJER’s Shyanne Carroll spoke with a Sugarcreek resident to conclude the experience. Tuscarawas County Farm Bureau Vice President Mike Yoder was on his first trip to Capitol Hill with the organization, but says he enjoyed being able to meet personally with lawmakers and hear their thoughts on the farming industry. Yoder says he especially liked the Congressional Ag Forum, which featured seven U.S. congressmen. The trip included tours of the city, a presentation by the Canadian Embassy and discussions about the recently passed Farm Bill. Yoder and other members also spoke at length about immigration reform, food quality safety and waterway infrastructure improvements.
ROBBERY PROMPTS SCHOOL LOCKDOWN
UHRICHSVILLE - Police say they are searching for the suspect who robbed the Short Stop Drive-Thru on North Dawson Street Thursday morning. Police say the lone white male suspect had his face covered and pulled out what appeared to be a semi-automatic handgun on the cashier about 7:30 AM. He then fled the store on foot with an undisclosed amount of money. No one was injured. Claymont Superintendent Ryan Delaney says he put his district buildings, except the high school, under lockdown for about a half-hour as a result. Police say they are interviewing witnesses to the robbery and reviewing store surveillance which caught the incident on tape.
PLANT TALK LIVE RETURNS
COLUMBUS - The Ohio Nurseryman is bringing his show back to the valley this weekend to have face to face interactions with area listeners. Fred Hower will have his annual Plant Talk Live broadcast from the New Towne Mall food court airing on WJER from 8 to 10 AM Saturday morning. Hower says it’s always a joy to get to host in front of a crowd as a change from his weekly show that airs Saturday mornings from a closed studio in Columbus. Hower says he expects the weather to continue being a popular topic while taking questions from the audience Saturday. Tickets to see Fred Hower Saturday morning are free and available at participating sponsors listed on the WJER.com homepage.
ENHANCEMENTS PLANNED FOR BOLIVAR DAM
BOLIVAR - The US Army Corps of Engineers is getting ready to conduct the next round of work to stabilize the Bolivar Dam. Project manager Ken Woodard says the $44.3-million project will involve the installation of a seepage barrier 44-hundred feet long and 145 feet deep. Woodard says even though the dam only holds back water during high precipitation and snow melt events, seepage observed through the dam foundation during historic flooding does present the slight risk of failure, which could then jeopardize the Dover Dam. Woodard says the work could begin in a couple months and take about four and a half years to finish. Woodard says during construction the playgound area near the project office will be shut down along with the access road across the dam, except for emergency situations.
FARMERS SEEK SUPPORT IN CAPITAL