Local Headline News

8:30 AM - April 20th, 2018

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ODNR Reminds Hunters to Practice Safety
Ohio (WTUZ) -  Ohio’s spring turkey hunting season begins this weekend and officials are encouraging all hunters to keep in mind a few safety tips. Youth season, for ages 15 and under, runs this Saturday and Sunday from 30 minutes before sunrise to sunset. Ohio Division of Wildlife Spokesperson Jamey Emmert says spring turkey season is popular and the two-day youth season gives them a chance to bag a turkey. Youth must have a valid hunting license, a turkey permit, and be accompanied by someone 18 years or older. She also notes that hunter orange is not required but the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) recommends turkey hunters wear blaze orange when entering, moving, and leaving your hunting area. “Know your target. Be absolutely 100% sure of your target and what’s beyond that target, not just what your shooting at but what your shooting toward. Always treat a guns as if it’s loaded so crossing a stream or fence be extra careful on how to handle that firearm.” To see requirements and rules for turkey hunting season, go to - Mary Alice Reporting





Twin City Chamber of Commerce Awards Community Members
Uhrichsville, Ohio (WTUZ) - The Twin City Chamber of Commerce held their annual awards banquet Tuesday, April 17th. This year a brand new award was handed out called The Heart of Tuscarawas County Tourism. Twin City Chamber Executive Director Teri Edwards said this award was created for someone who promoted tourism in the area. “For the Tuscarawas County Tourism Award that was sponsored by the Tuscarawas County Convention and Visitors Bureau was Jane Clay of the Parks Department. Jane has spent a lot of time on the panhandle passage trail and is working on other trails in other communities that will connect all of us in the future.” Over 170 guests were on hand at the Knights of Columbus in Dennison to celebrate all of the winners. Other winners included: Dave Long – Twin City Award. John Ashbaugh – Golden Apple Award. Mako’s Pharmacy –  Business of the Year Bridges Excavating – Community Contribution Jill Wagner – Educator of the Year - Michele Spring Reporting






MWCD Gets Grant for Marine Patrol Units
Ohio (WTUZ) - Funding is set to promote safe waterways and enhance recreational boating on Ohio lakes. The Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District is one of 24 state organizations to receive money from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. Chief Ranger and Chief of Recreation Scott Barnhart explains they are awarded just over $32,000 to establish or maintain marine patrol units at their lakes in 18 counties. “It does covers the purchase of maintenance, operation of vessels, marine equipment, educational materials, personnel salaries, and the boats we use are marked patrol vessels and have a lot of safety equipment.” MWCD Rangers patrol their lakes by boat enforcing boating laws and assisting lake users. Barnhart notes that by having a presence, lake officers provide safety enforcement on busy waterways. - Mary Alice Reporting






Former Coach Pleads Guilty in Abduction, Assault Case
New Philadelphia, Ohio (WTUZ) - A 31-year-old man changes his plea in a case stemming from July 2017 through February 2018 involving a juvenile. Mario Lovrinic is facing charges including importuning, intimidation of a victim or witness, and unlawful restraint. Tuscarawas County Assistant Prosecutor Amanda Miller notes that he met the 13 to 17-year-old during a coaching tenure at a Newcomerstown School; however, the crime did not occur while he was coaching. “He was grooming a juvenile and ultimately he was arrested after he had kept the juvenile in a location and assaulted her, and kind of restrained her liberty temporally.” She says sentencing recommendations from prosecution include a reserved 30-month prison term for an additional 60 days in the Tuscarawas County Jail, to complete a program, and register as a sex offender for 15 years. His sentencing is scheduled for June 6th. - Mary Alice Reporting






Officials Propose Bill to Oppose Telemarketers
Columbus, Ohio (WTUZ) - Politicians statewide are aiming to put an end to telemarketers stealing local numbers. State Auditor Dave Yost supports new legislation that was initiated by State Representative Keith Faber that would protect Ohioans from deceptive telemarketers using misleading caller ID information. House Bill 597 would allow for a criminal penalty for telephone solicitors that spoof numbers. “You get a call coming in and it looks like it’s coming from your area, your hometown; a number you recognize. You pick it up and it turns out it someone wanting to sell you something. They spoof the number and fool you into trying to picking it up and fool you into buying what they’re selling.” Yost says this comes after friends of Representative Faber received calls from what looked like Faber’s number but, in fact, it was a telemarketer. Under this bill, stealing a local phone number would become a fifth-degree felony and providing misleading caller identification in order to sell something would become a fourth-degree felony. Yost says this bill is ultimately about having a fair and honest marketplace. “You shouldn’t have to fool your customers. When you go into the marketplace, you should be who you are and at the end of the day, we just want a marketplace that is fair, accessible to everybody – where consumers get to make their own choices. And that includes the right to not talk to somebody who is trying to sell you something.” This bill will now be assigned to a House committee for further review. There is only one Do Not Call Registry that is operated by the Federal Trade Commission. For more information visit - Michele Spring Reporting





Local Hospital Receives Over $200,000
Dover, Ohio (WTUZ) - Expanded patient care will be available after fundraising money is used to purchase new equipment for Cleveland Clinic Union Hospital. 
The Union Hospital Auxiliary works throughout the year to host projects to raise donations that go directly to the hospital. Community Relations Director Darrin Lautenschleger explains the all-volunteer group has presented over $200,000 for the fifth straight year. “This is the result of the members and their hard work, bottom line. They come up with the various fundraising activities and events. They receive outstanding community support because people recognize that this is a genuine effort.” The funds will go toward purchasing equipment for several patient care areas at the hospital, including the maternity center, stepdown care, surgical care, and the heartburn treatment center. Since the Auxiliary’s founding in 1949 they have donated over $4.2 million. - Mary Alice Reporting





Data Shows E-Cigarette Use Rising in Ohio
(WTUZ) - The health risks of e-cigarettes are still unclear, yet a new survey finds the nicotine products are growing in popularity in Ohio. In data released by Interact for Health, about half of young adults surveyed said they had tried an e-cigarette, as did nearly 30 percent of adults. That’s up from about 19 percent of adults in 2016. President and C-E-O of the Cincinnati-based foundation Dr. O’dell Moreno Owens adds that research on the correlation between e-cigarette use and smoking status is still evolving. “If you simply ask the current smokers, ‘Have you ever tried e-cigarettes?’, 67 percent said yes; former smokers, only 26 percent admitted to ever using the e-cigarette; and for people who never smoked 13 percent have used e-cigarettes.” Some contend that e-cigarettes are safer than regular cigarettes because they do not contain the toxins inhaled from tobacco smoke. But Owens says he doesn’t buy that argument because they still contain nicotine, which is addictive, and other chemicals that could cause lung damage. Owens notes 41 percent of all diseases are associated with smoking tobacco cigarettes, and there are concerns that e-cigarettes could be a gateway. “For some people, it’s part of that social scene, part of that coolness about smoking with the misconception that e-cigarettes is not harmful, but once people get into that pattern and want more nicotine, then they have to go to stronger tobacco products.” Owens says most smokers begin by the age of 18, and people who have never smoked before the age of 25 are much less likely to start. And he contends a higher tax on e-cigarettes and raising the legal smoking age to 21 are important youth tobacco prevention measures. The poll also found six-in-ten Ohio adults are in favor of taxing e-cigarettes at rate similar to the tax on tobacco cigarettes.






New President and CEO of BBBS Announced
New Philadelphia, Ohio (WTUZ) - A promotion is made in a local non-profit organization that serves children by providing them with a big brother or sister. After serving Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Central Ohio (BBS ECO) for nine years, Beverly Pearch is named as the President and CEO of the New Philadelphia based program. She graduated from Kent State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Justice Studies. Another BBBS promotion is the role of Development Director of Olivia Scally. This position is responsible for developing relationships between the non-profit and the community. Scally joined the BBBS in 2017 and holds a Bachelor of Arts degrees in non-profit and sociology. Big Brothers Big Sisters is a program that mentors youth by matching volunteers. Visit to learn more about the program. - Mary Alice Reporting






City Continues Efforts to Curb Opioid Epidemic
New Philadelphia, Ohio (WTUZ) - Safety forces are more vigilant when it comes to drugs and overdoses throughout the country, state, and in Tuscarawas County. Our local Quick Response Team was established in October 2017 consisting of deputies, counselors, and EMS personnel. New Philadelphia Mayor Joel Day praises the work the QRT is doing in their efforts to help those with an addiction problem. “What they have planned for this year to focus more on social media, to better educate the public about the services available to cure addiction, and to fight drug dealing.” He notes that, along with the police department, the city health department is assisting in the efforts through an opiate recovery treatment with Vivitrol, which can help prevent alcohol or drug abuse replaces. For more information about services the New Philadelphia Health Department provides, visit - Mary Alice Reporting






Renovation Plans Unveiled for Tuscarawas Library
New Philadelphia, Ohio (WTUZ) - Expansion and improvement plans are underway for a local library creating easier access and more room for patrons. The $5.2 million project will create an added space at the Tuscarawas County library’s main branch. Michelle McMorrow-Ramsell explains the renovation has been in the works for years and the goal is to accommodate costumers. “[The current garage] will become public space and a new entrance point. There will be a small addition added which will be staff space right at ground level so deliveries will be available to staff [at ground level].” Additional projects include a new garage at the library owned adjacent parking lot, new public meeting and conference rooms, 24/7 lockers, and a drive-up window accessible to pick up materials. McMorrow-Ramsell says they have budgeted money for this project for about four years and they expect to have $2.3 million by the project’s start. The library was built in 1936, an update took place in 1991, and the renovation project is expected to break ground in September. As the year-long construction takes place the library will remain open. Plan updates and floor-plan drawings can be found at - Mary Alice Reporting






Project Dawn Awarded Money
New Philadelphia, Ohio (WTUZ) - Project DAWN, a community-based overdose education and Naloxone distribution program, was recently awarded money through The Joe Otte Memorial Fund. The Tuscarawas County Health Department had received money last year through a grant from the Ohio Department of Health with a goal of distributing 350 Naloxone kits by June 30th. Project DAWN Manager Andrea Dominick says that goal will be met within the next couple of months, but leaves Tuscarawas County without a practicable option to fund this campaign. “I reached out to Mary Ann Otte to see if she knew of anyone who could help us and she thought that would be a great thing that her memorial fund could help. So we filled out an application, she and her fund committee met and then we were awarded some money to help with Project DAWN.” Otte lost her son in 2013 to a heroin overdose after a long hard fought battle with drug addiction. She founded The Joe Otte Memorial Fund in hopes to raise awareness about the causes and risks associated with addiction. The DAWN project teaches people to recognize the signs and symptoms of an overdose, as well as administering intranasal Naloxone, which is a prescription medicine that blocks the effects of opioids and reverses an overdose. For more information on Project DAWN, you can visit For more information on The Joe Otte Memorial Fund, you can visit - Michele Spring Reporting






Vet Bill Could Create Small but Significant Change
Columbus, Ohio (WTUZ) - A House Bill currently in committee would approve a name change for registered veterinarians and a local instructor is supporting the proposal. Bill 501, if approved, would change the name from registered veterinary technician to registered veterinary nurse. Kent State University at Tuscarawas Vet Tech Program Instructor Kinglsy Berlin notes that the description of “nurse” applies to the different things a registered vet will do in a clinic. “We do everything from draw blood, to monitor anesthesia, to assist with surgery. The simple stuff as well, running those laboratory tests, caring for the sick, the old, we release them, and talk to clients. Basically, when you describe out job we are doing a nursing care for animals.” Berlin points out this is a small but significant change with a bigger purpose putting all vets under the same name. She adds that the name change gives recognition of the work they do so the public can be more comfortable with the range of procedures law allows for registered veterinarians. - Mary Alice Reporting






AG’s Office Warns Ohioans about Repair Scams
Columbus, Ohio (WTUZ) - Ohioans are asked to be cautious when it comes to home repairs after flooding, high winds, or other natural disasters. Ohio Attorney General Spokesperson Dan Tierney points out that when natural disasters occur damage happens and con artists will try to take advantage and the offices encourages consumers to be vigilant. He notes one major red flag is when some claiming to be a contractor shows up at your house unexpectedly. “You can research that business carefully, ask for estimates, and get information in writing prior to engaging in any home repair. There’s certainly concerns that some of the repairs they’re trying to point out may not necessary and they’re trying to take advantage of the situation.” Tierney adds that Ohio has a law to help protect consumers should you get into this type of situation. “When a contractor sells from a door-to-door sale you generally have the right to a three-day right to cancel so that you have that extra protection in case something comes up.” Other steps to protect yourself against scams include getting multiple estimates, get a detailed written contract, and consider paying with a credit card to dispute unauthorized charges. Go to for additional information. - Mary Alice Reporting






Residents Advised on How to Avoid Ticks This Spring
New Philadelphia, Ohio (WTUZ) - The Tuscarawas County Health Department is advising residents on how to avoid ticks this Spring. Ticks are most common in Spring, Summer, and Fall. environmental Director Caroline Terakedis says to avoid bushy wooded areas with high grass and leaf litter. She also recommends that if you do go out hiking, you’ll want to stay in the center of the trails. “Also we try to advise people to use an insect repellant with 20-30% deet. Wear long sleeves and long pants. After you’ve been out in an area where you may have been exposed to ticks, you’re going to want to check your body for ticks and remove them.” Ticks have been known to carry Lyme disease but Terakedis says Tuscarawas County hasn’t seen any cases yet this year. “If you think you have been bitten by a tick that could be carrying Lyme disease we recommend you go to your family physician. Don’t wait until you’re symptomatic, just go to your family physician and have them evaluate you.” Terakedis notes that if you have to remove a tick, you’ll need to use fine-tipped tweezers. Grab the tick as close to the head as possible and pull straight back. If you have any questions regarding ticks, you can call the Tuscarawas County Health Department at (330)343-5555. - Michele Spring Reporting






County Health Department Hosts Septic Systems Class
New Philadelphia, Ohio (WTUZ) - The Tuscarawas County Health Department will host a free class on how to maintain your Home Sewage Treatment System. Environmental Director Caroline Terakedis says all septic systems require maintenance, and they will discuss what is required for each system. “It’s a service we want to provide homeowners. We want to expand the life of septic systems because they are repair or replacement, so maintaining them can save you money in the long haul.” The first ever homeowner education class will be on May 11th from 1pm – 3pm at the Tuscarawas County Health Department. To RSVP email or call (330)-343-5550. - Michele Spring Reporting






Uhrichsville Man Leads New Phila Police on Pursuit
New Philadelphia, Ohio (WTUZ) - A 32-year old man is in custody after leading New Philadelphia police on a pursuit early Thursday morning. Stephen Weigand, of Uhrichsville, was speeding down Tuscarawas Avenue when officers spotted him. Weigand led police on a six-minute pursuit that eventually ended near Timken on East High Avenue. New Phila Officer Rocky Dusenberry says police, with the assistance of the State Highway Patrol, threw spike strips in front of the vehicle which eventually forced the car to come to a complete stop. Weigand was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the arrest. - Michele Spring Reporting






Congressman from Ohio Questions Facebook CEO
Washington, DC (WTUZ) - Ohio’s 6th District Congressman took a moment during a hearing to ask the CEO of Facebook how user accountability works. Mark Zuckerberg appeared at an Energy and Commerce Committee hearing Thursday to address data misuse. Congressman Bill Johnson recounted an earlier hearing point related to faith-based material from Franciscan University, in his district that had been taken down. Zuckerberg admitted that it was a mistake. Johnson asked how content on Facebook is filtered and determined to be appropriate, whether through an algorithm or a team. “Congressman, it is a combination of both. At the end of the day we have community standards that are written out and try to be very clear about what is acceptable and we have a large team of people. In order to flag some content quickly, we also build technical systems in order to take things down. So, if we see terrorist content for example, we will flag that.” Additionally, he questioned if someone is held accountable if they take something down that shouldn’t have been or leaving content up that is a “red flag”. Zuckerberg said that for content reviewers, their performance is measured if they do their job accurately. Johnson noted that while Zuckerberg is essentially an American success story, there has been an acknowledgement of a break down in responsibility. - Mary Alice Reporting





911 Dispatchers Recognized for Their Service
New Philadelphia, Ohio (WTUZ) - Tuscarawas County’s Sheriff is taking time to highlight the dispatchers for law enforcement, fire departments, and ambulance services. The second week of April is observed as National Telecommunicators Appreciation Week as a reminder to citizens of those behind a 911 call. Sheriff Orvis Campbell says emergency dispatchers relay information to first responders, talk with individuals over the phone, and in some cases, provide lifesaving instructions. “They are often dealing with serious injury, someone in danger, or death, and all these have a very personal effect on the 911 dispatchers. They very much become committed to the families they’re trying to help but the families don’t get to know them. We just wanted to take a short moment to make sure that they understand the job they do and appreciate what they are doing every day.” The Tuscarawas dispatch center has 20 employees, and he notes that all of them are trained to give lifesaving guidance over the phone. Our local 911 center not only dispatches for the Sheriff Deputies but also for smaller police departments throughout the county. - Mary Alice Reporting






Family Advocate Hired at Claymont Schools
Uhrichsville, Ohio (WTUZ) - The Claymont City School District is being proactive in helping students by providing mental health services. The position is an extension of their counselors as an effort to help students succeed and address any needs. District Superintendent John Rocchi says that Brandie Fox, who has been with the school system for over 20 years, was appointed as the Family Advocate. “We posted the position mainly because of the behavioral mental health needs kids have today, and all of our school counselors and Ms. Fox in the past few years have worked very hard because without strong services it’s difficult for those kids to come every day and be productive in our classrooms.” The goal of the district is to have early intervention services at the elementary level. “Providing services to kids and making sure their mental health needs are taken care of when they start their educational career. As we know, mental health needs can pop up at anywhere in an individual’s development but we try to get services to those kids as soon as possible.” Fox has a background of working in the mental health service and working with families, as well as leading staff in training on ALICE and Crisis Prevention Intervention (CPI). - Mary Alice Reporting





New Ag Course Offered at High School
Uhrichsville, Ohio (WTUZ) - The Claymont City School District is adding a new science educational experience to students. The hire of a new position for Agriculture Education instructor was approved by the school board. District Superintendent John Rocchi explains students and parents have expressed an interest in this course and plans have been in the works for several years. Ashley Cromer was hired for the teaching position. She has earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Education and Extension from Ohio State University and is working to receive her Master of Science degree from Utah State University in May. Parts of this class will fit as a required science course for high school students. “As we’re getting started we’re looking at offering various agricultural and business classes. There are multiple pathways that you can take from basic agriculture all the way up to bio-diesel or bio-chemical. We are going to continue to expand based upon the needs of the kids.” Rocchi points out that they are applying for money for the career tech portion of the Agriculture Education class, and that monies will also be going toward the purchase of curriculum and supplies. - Mary Alice Reporting






Gemini Industrial Makes Move to Tech Park
New Philadelphia, Ohio (WTUZ) -  Construction for the first business to acquire property at New Philadelphia’s Tech Park is expected to begin in June. Gemini Industrial Machine Group, currently located in Dover Township, will be relocating to a 25,000 square foot building at the top of tech park hill. City Mayor Joel Day says this is an exciting time and an encouraging sign. “It all came about thanks to the hard work of the CIC and the collaboration of the city and the county. I’m very excited for what this means for the city. Hopefully, this will be a catalyst to encourage more businesses to follow Gemini’s lead.” Income tax money will be generated which he notes will help pay for services such as utilities and fire and police protection. With the move, Gemini will add 20 employees to their current workforce of eight. The enterprise zone agreement is still waiting on council approval, and if agreed on, the resolution would give the company a 75% property tax abatement for 10 years. - Mary Alice Reporting






ADAMHS Board Recognizes Local First Responders
New Philadelphia, Ohio (WTUZ) - This week across the state of Ohio, counties are putting forth an effort to recognize local first responders who are saving lives every day fighting the opiate epidemic. Natalie Bollen, of the Alcohol, Drug Addiction, and Mental Health Board, is encouraging residents to attend their event tomorrow that will be held in the atrium of the Tuscarawas County Courthouse Annex. “We’re going to have speeches from individuals that are in recovery and have been brought back with naloxone or Narcan. We’re going to present an award. And we’re going to discuss the process and progress of our county through the opiate epidemic, as well as honoring those that are on the front lines.” First responders make the initial impact when someone is in the middle of an opiate addiction. They are the ones who help those individuals connect with the proper resources to help get them on the road to recovery.  “We had some individuals write some thank you letters to first responders. These individuals are thankful for being placed in jail, they’re thankful for being picked up on probation violations, they’re thankful for being brought back with Narcan because even though it took them awhile they are now thinking clearly and differently.” Bollen says in her experience with first responders, they don’t feel that they need the recognition or the grand gesture but residents can still honor them by doing little things throughout the year to show appreciation. Baking a plate of cookies and taking them to your local fire or emergency service agency or even just a simple note of thanks goes a long way. Residents of Tuscarawas County are urged to stop by the event tomorrow at 1:30pm. If you have questions regarding, call the ADAMHS board at 330-364-6488. - Michele Spring Reporting






Firearms, Cash, and Drugs Found in Minivan
Newcomerstown, Ohio (WTUZ) - A Newcomerstown man is facing charges after police found a firearm improperly transported in his vehicle. Newcomerstown Police Chief Gary Holland says officers found 22-year old Lucian Lambs passed out at the steering wheel. Lambs was parked at the BP gas station on Adena Dr, in the village. “On arrival, officers attempted to wake him up and after a period of time he does wake up. Then the individual exits the vehicle and at that point they noticed some drug paraphernalia and some other issues. There was a gun that was spotted in front of it and then the individual was taken into custody.” Officers found items such as a scale, a pipe, two knives, a loaded firearm, and an unknown substance. Chief Holland also notes that they are trying to determine whether the firearm is stolen because the serial numbers have been altered, which is a federal and state crime. Lambs is being held on charges for improper handling of a firearm in a vehicle but further drug charges are expected






City Denies Goshen Hill Application
New Philadelphia, Ohio (WTUZ) - New Philadelphia City Council is not approving a water and sewer connection application for a development project. The A1 Developers plan includes a section off of Goshen Hill Road; however, council says they need more information. Safety, Health, and Service Chairman Kelly Ricklic points out that the main reason council denied the application due to an acreage discrepancy. He notes that the developers can re-submit an application for utility services but Ricklic adds council would like to see more drawings to have a better understanding of how many units would be going up and to consider safety. “With engineer drawings with how they want to have their streets, how the water and sewer is going to be coming and going, and the number of people. When the city provides water and sewer it goes per person so they need to provide those numbers to see that the water and wastewater plant can handle that type of flow.” He says council would also like to see plans that include a retention pond for water run-off to be able to make an informed decision. - Mary Alice Reporting






Two Charged in Drug Bust
Coshocton, Ohio (WTUZ) - Formal charges are filed after a Friday arrest in Coshocton County. Five individuals were originally taken into custody after a search warrant was executed on Vine Street in the city. Coshocton County Sheriff Lt. Dean Hettinger confirms three individuals have since been released; however, 41-year-old Todd Pettis, from Columbus, and 48-year-old Linda Murray, from Coshocton, are charged with aggravated trafficking in drugs, a first-degree felony. Additional charges are pending as the investigation continues. - Mary Alice Reporting






Gradall Union Employees Reach Agreement
New Philadelphia, Ohio (WTUZ) - After nearly a month of contract negotiations, union members at Gradall Industries Inc. will be heading back to work. Union members went on strike on March 11th when they failed to come to an agreement during contract negotiations. President Mike Haberman says they reached a tentative agreement on Tuesday which was ratified by a vote of the full union on Thursday night. “We now have a contract that is for the next three years and our workers will be coming back to work beginning Sunday evening.” Almost 200 employees were on strike. - Michele Spring Reporting






Man Sentenced for New Phila Rape Appeals Case
Tuscarawas County, Ohio (WTUZ) - A man currently serving a life-term of imprisonment is asking the court to re-examine his case. Miguel Solis-Garcia was found guilty by a jury in the June 2016 rape of his girlfriend’s then 12-year-old sister. Tuscarawas County Assistant Prosecutor Mike Ernest says an oral argument was held Thursday at the 5th District Court of Appeals. “His argument is that the weight of the evidence is so great in his favor that the court of appeals should undo his conviction. His other argument is that the state of Ohio failed to prove each and every element of the crime of rape.” Ernest says the prosecutor’s office maintains they satisfied every element for the crime and that the evidence was overwhelming in favor of a guilty verdict. - Mary Alice Reporting






NP Police Cruiser Damaged in Pursuit
New Philadelphia, Ohio (WTUZ) - A New Philadelphia Police Officer and city resident sustained minor injuries during an early morning pursuit that ended in an accident. A 34-year-old man is in jail on multiple charges including operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated, failure to comply with an officer, and fleeing and eluding. Police Captain Ty Norris explains an officer initiated a traffic stop at the intersection of 2nd Street and Fair Avenue NE Thursday morning at 12:05am for a vehicle without headlights. “The vehicle initially had pulled over for the traffic stop. When the officer exited his vehicle to approach the driver then fled the scene of the traffic stop, initiating a pursuit.” Norris says that the two police car chase lasted about 15 blocks. “There was a third police car that was coming up 2nd Street toward the pursuit. [The officer] attempted to get out of the way. At this point, the driver of the vehicle being pursued intentionally struck that police car that was in front of him.” The vehicle, driven by Rufus Gillespie, then struck a tree and overturned onto its roof trapping him inside. The officer had a minor concussion and Gillespie was treated for minor injuries. - Mary Alice Reporting






Appeal Heard in 2016 Mineral City Attack
Tuscarawas County, Ohio (WTUZ) - A man serving a life prison term for the attempted murder and rape of a Mineral City boy is arguing that the presiding judge committed two errors. Randy Vento filed the appeal within 30 days after his February 2017 conviction for the crime. The Thursday oral argument hearing was in the 5th District Court of Appeals and Tuscarawas County Assistant Prosecutor Mike Ernest explains that Vento believes Judge Edward O’Farrell committed two mistakes during the trial. “By discussing with the jurors what the potential penalties could be during the time period when the jury was being selected, and his second argument is that he believes Judge O’Farrell essentially did not swear in a witness in the case.” The prosecution maintains that no errors were committed by the judge. The 5th District Court will now go through the trial recordings, however, Ernest notes a decision should not take long since these are straightforward issues. - Mary Alice Reporting






Municipal Court Releases Annual Report
New Philadelphia, Ohio (WTUZ) - Cases continue to rise in the New Philadelphia Municipal Court. The annual report was recently released and show a 4.4% upsurge over last year. While the cases heard at Municipal Court increase, staff remains the same. The report shows that the load on New Philadelphia judges can range between 21% to 41% higher than cities such as Akron, Canton, and Massilon.
While the statistics show an increase over a variety of different cases, illegal drugs have factored into the equation. The Court is able to continue offering the Municipal Recovery Court, after receiving re-certification in October. The program allows defendants charged with a misdemeanor that has opioid dependence to receive medication-assisted treatment, inpatient or intensive outpatient therapies, and attend support groups. Court Administrator Judee Dzigiel says the program has been an asset for those that want to turn their life around. “What we’re able to do with that program is put them in a pretty arduous 24-month hold-you-accountable recovery court, where they are meeting with the Judge, the Judge is meeting with the treatment team, people are receiving ancillary services besides just court and probation services but also substance abuse treatment providers.” The probation department also saw an increase in those ordered to be monitored by Community Control Sanctions. Four probation officers maintained an additional 593 probationers added in 2017, totaling 752 for the year.






BCC to Hand Out Breathalyzers before Prom Admittance
New Phiadelphia, Ohio (WTUZ) - Students who will be attending prom at Buckeye Career Center this Saturday will be required to pass a breathalyzer test before entering the event. Public Relations Coordinator Shyanne Carroll says that this is a way to encourage students to stay sober and drug-free on one of the most memorable nights of their high school career. “This is just another safety factor. We want to make sure our kids come to prom and they are sober and drug-free, that way they can enjoy their evening while they’re here at prom.” They will have a number of small  breathalyzers that each student must blow into before entering. “We have staff who are trained. Usually, it’s the same people who do it each year for us. They’re trained to use them and run the tests and they can get their answer right there. The students know, the staff know that obviously if there is an infraction they will not be able to enter the prom. But if they blow and everything is great, they can go right in.” New Philadelphia Police officers will be on hand to handle any violations. Students are asked to refrain from chewing gum, breath mints or using mouthwash as this could cause a false-positive test result. Students can still purchase tickets for the prom at the school. Public viewing of the student-made decorations will take place from 6:30-7:10 before the promenade beginning at 7:15. - Michele Spring Reporting






Corridor Committee Look Over Possible E. High Plans
New Philadelphia, Ohio (WTUZ) - A recently created committee is looking into infrastructure and recreation growth in the area surrounding E. High Avenue. The corridor committee was created by Tuscarawas County Commissioner Joe Sciarretti (Sure-Ready) who notes the idea began with the plans Kent State University at Tuscarawas is working on related to a gateway entrance. He points out that Kent Tusc and Buckeye Career Center are further developing their walking trails around campus; however, E. High Avenue and Reiser Avenue does not have any sidewalks. Trail plans are in the works to connect the Village of Tuscarawas up to Reiser Avenue, and the corridor committee is discussing ways to connect E. High Avenue to Reiser for local and outside bikers and walkers. “The county play a larger role because not only do we have some of those areas as townships but when we have outsiders come in and use our resources it’s good for the county because there’s outside sales dollars that come in.” The committee is now looking at ways to have a study conducted. - Mary Alice Reporting