Local Headline News

8:09 AM - March 16th, 2018



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Raid Reveals Drugs in Coshocton Home
Coshocton, Ohio (WTUZ) - The Coshocton County Sheriff’s Office found drugs and cash while executing a search warrant on Thursday. Just before noon, detectives entered the home in the 300 block of North 3rd St., where they found drugs, drug-related items, and cash, all of which were seized. Taken into custody at the scene were 5 adults, two of which were female, and three which were male. The names of the suspects will not be released until formal charges are filed. This is the same home where drugs and cash were found during a search on February 23. Five individuals were arrested on that date. 






Juvenile Facing Charges Over School Threat
Magnolia, Ohio (WTUZ) -  A Sandy Valley student is facing charges as Tuscarawas County officials continue their mission of “no tolerance” for school threats. Deputies were called to the school on Thursday afternoon after students overheard a threat of a school shooting. When confronted about the statements, the student reported that it was merely a joke and was not intended to be threatening. The suspect has been suspended from the school district, with additional repercussions possible. A report will be sent to the Juvenile Prosecutor for charges. Sheriff Orvis Campbell had stated last month that school violence is a serious matter, and they will not tolerate any threats, real or not. Any student who does so will face criminal charges.






TEACH Act Focuses on Opioid Addiction
Ohio (WTUZ) - A State Congressman has introduced a bill that endorses advanced education for pain management and alternative treatments. Bill Johnson explains the goal of the Training, Education, and Community Help (TEACH) to Combat Addiction Act is to teach health care professionals about substance abuse and pain management. He believes there are two main areas that have attributed to the opioid crisis, one being the black tar heroin coming across the Mexico border. “The second was in large part due to misguided medical responses to pain management and misunderstandings about the addictive dangers of opioids.” He notes the bill would authorize the NIH Centers of Excellence in Pain Education (CoEPEs) program to enhance and improve how health care students are taught about pain and treatment. The TEACH Act will head to committee for review before going to the house floor for consideration. - Mary Alice Reporting






Lady Quakers Head to State Semi-Finals
New Philadelphia, Ohio (WTUZ) -  A local basketball team, with 23 straight wins, is making history as they head to the 2018 OHSAA Girls Basketball State Tournament. A crowd gathered Thursday morning at the Middle School/High School to send off the New Philadelphia girls’ varsity basketball team and Coach Tracy Payne as they travel to Columbus. “[the sendoff was] indescribable. That was just awesome. Our community, our school, everybody’s so great, and we’re excited to go down and compete tomorrow.” The girls stopped at the district elementary schools where they received a big welcome and send off from students and staff. Friday at 3pm, the Division II Lady Quakers (25–2) take on Toledo Rogers High School at the Jerome Shottenstein Center. Big Z Sports will have live play-by-play coverage beginning at 2pm. City and school officials are planning a community welcome home celebration on Sunday, March 18th at 2pm at the downtown gazebo. - Mary Alice Reporting







Farm Discussions Wrap-up in Washington D.C.
Washington, DC (WTUZ) - Around 100 Ohio farm bureau members are in Washington D.C. to hear and lobby legislative leaders. Ohio Farm Bureau Federation President Frank Burkett explains over the three days, they advocated national issues such as immigration, tax reform, regulations, and trade. Among the many leaders heard during the 72nd annual trip include U.S. Senators Rob Portman and Sherrod Brown, USDA Undersecretary of Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs Ted McKinney, and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt. - Mary Alice Reporting







Ohioans Divided Over Education Consolidation Bill
Columbus, Ohio  - An Ohio House committee continues to debate a bill that would change the oversight of education in the state. If passed, HB 512 would fuse the Ohio Department of Education, the Ohio Department of Higher Education and the Governor’s Office of Workforce Development into one agency headed by an appointee of the governor. The Ohio School Board Association is among the critics of the measure. Deputy director of legislative services Jay Smith said there are concerns that it would take away the authority of the publicly elected leaders of the Department of Education, who work directly with local school districts. “By creating what some would call a mega-agency, they feel that some of those direct services would be lost,” Smith said; “whether it’s dealing with complex issues related to our school funding formula or other areas that local school districts rely on resources from the Ohio Department of Education.” Supporters see the measure as a way of improving cooperation and communication between the agencies and aligning K-12 and secondary education with workforce development. 
Several career and technology centers support the proposal, while the Ohio Board of Education, the Ohio Education Association and the Ohio Federation of Teachers are among those who oppose. Smith said it’s troubling that the legislation was drafted without consulting these organizations or others who represent teachers and public school districts. “There was no collaboration; there was no stakeholder feedback from the field going into this proposal,” he said. “So I think that’s somewhat alarming.” There are also concerns that a cabinet-level agency would make it more difficult for educators, parents and students to have input on educational policies. But supporters counter it would ensure governors are held accountable for Ohio’s education laws.





$1 million Paving Project set for Summer
New Philadelphia, Ohio (WTUZ) – Motorists shouldn’t be impacted too much for a paving project set to occur during evening hours. New Philadelphia City Service Director Ron McAbier says work will begin on State Route 416 beginning in June. “From general services at Commercial Avenue SE and travel all the way up S. Broadway, N. Broadway, and all the way out to Seven Mile Drive. We look forward to that starting and they will get out of town for a week because of First Town Days.” He notes that bids came in higher than expected at $1,605,884. The city will be paying just over $311,000. The remaining funds will come from the Ohio Department of Transportation since the project is an 80/20 split with the city. The contract was awarded to Shelly and Sands. - Mary Alice Reporting





Statehouse Fellowship Registration Open
Columbus, Ohio (WTUZ) -  College graduates are invited to apply for a Statehouse Fellowship position to learn more about the Ohio General Assembly. 98th District State Representative Al Landis urges people to look into the position and notes that throughout his term, three legislative aides were part of the Ohio Legislative Service Commission Fellowship Program. “They’re going to hire 24 folks to work with members of the Ohio House of Representatives and the Ohio Senate. This is just a great opportunity that’s just coming out of college that is interested in political science or communications to be up close and personal with state government.” Fellowship applications will be accepted until April 1, 2018 and the two telecommunication position’s deadline is April 30th. Landis notes that, along with fellows receiving full state benefits and $31,200 as a yearly salary, they also have the opportunity to earn a $2,000 bonus based on program service length. Visit or call 614-466-3615 for more information. Application material can be mailed to: Ohio Legislative Service Commission Fellowship Coordinators, Vern Riffe Center, 77 South High Street, Ninth Floor, Columbus, OH  43215-6136 - Mary Alice Reporting





Crime Cases Up at Prosecutors Office
Tuscarawas County, Ohio (WTUZ) – Property crime cases are on the rise for Tuscarawas County prosecutors with most of them related to drug addictions. Assistant Prosecutor Scott Deedrick says that, based on his 21 years of experience, he is seeing more offenses motivated  to get money for drugs. “That’s either by admission or other red flags, like they have lots of drug convictions and of course, it’s not unusual for folks to sell whatever they have, then unfortunately family members and friends are often next victims, even neighbors.” He notes that sometimes a person wanting money to buy drugs may approach people in parking lots with a tale asking for money and the promise to repay. Deedrick adds that theft and shoplifting crimes are increasingly putting a strain on first-responders and citizens. “Law enforcement, medical personnel, EMT’s dealing and responding to drug overdoses. People that we, of course, need to have in treatment facilities the waiting is longer, more people are in jail, in prison and this is increased stress on tax payers.” This increase is only related to property crimes and not the rise in drug trafficking or possession charges. In 2017, Tuscarawas County saw 132 theft/receiving crimes, 88 drug offenses, and 57 cases related to burglaries or B&E’s. - Mary Alice Reporting





Buckeye Students Qualify for National Competition
New Philadelphia, Ohio (WTUZ) – Buckeye Career Center students are heading to a national competition for the Business Professionals of America. Fifteen students recently placed in the top 3 during the state leadership conference.  Six individuals and 2 teams will have the opportunity to represent their school in May. Buckeye Public Relations Coordinator Shyanne Carroll says the school has three programs that compete. “Here at Buckeye, we have one program on campus and that’s computer technology/network systems; but we also have the Garaway Business Program that we operate out of Garaway High School. Their students are able to enroll in that and then we also have our Buckeye Business Academy which is at the East Holmes Campus and now we have many who have qualified for nationals.” Students who qualified for the national competition will travel to Dallas, Texas, May 9-13. “Buckeye takes care of that for them they’ll get to go and experience Dallas, Texas; spend a few days there exploring while they’re also competing, so we’re really excited for our students.” The BCC East Holmes Chapter was one of seven chapters in Ohio to earn the BPA Chapter Activities Award of Excellence. 

National qualifiers include:

Buckeye Career Center Computer Technology/Network Systems students Alex Mann (Claymont) – 4th place in System Administration with Microsoft and Zane Robertson (New Philadelphia), Aaron Albaugh (New Philadelphia), and Sydney Sinkovich (New Philadelphia) – 2nd place Network Design Team. Garaway Business Program qualifiers include: Peyton Miller – 3rd in Payroll Accounting; Karson Schrock – 4th in Payroll Accounting; and Bethany Rider – 4th in Banking and Finance. Buckeye Business Academy East Holmes Campus qualifiers include: Josh Garber, Thomas Troyer, Micah Troyer, Kerri Miller, Mary Beth Mullet, Anson Troyer, Treva Beachy, and Joshua Yoder – 1st place Parliamentary Procedure Team.

Students who placed in the top 10:

BCC Computer Technology/Network Systems: Tristan Steinbach (Indian Valley) – Cisco Systems; William Abel (Dover)- Computer Security; and Robert Dotson (Garaway) – Computer Security. Buckeye Business Academy East Holmes Campus: Josiah Miller, Caleb Miller, Abe Hershberger, and Chris Miller – Top 10 in Small Business Management Team; Grace Miller – Top 10 in Administrative Support Concepts; Joshua Yoder and Josh Garber – Top 10 in Business Meeting Management Concepts; Treva Beachy, Josh Garber, Micah Troyer, Thomas Troyer, and Joshua Yoder – Top 10 in Parliamentary Procedure Concepts; and Josh Garber – Ohio BPA Merit Scholar Top 10.

Statesman level Torch Awards from BCC East Holmes Campus: Rachel Weaver, Annie Shetler, Karlin Yoder, Diane Sclabach, Chris Miller, Josiah Miller, Treva Beachy, Micah Troyer, Thomas Troyer, Mary Beth Mullet, Josh Garber, and Joshua Yoder.





New Philadelphia Man Sentenced for Fraud
New Philadelphia, Ohio (WTUZ) - After pleading guilty to six felonies for fraud in January, a New Philadelphia man will pay more than $90,000 in restitution. Keith Elsesser, 51, was sentenced on Monday afternoon for selling fraudulent securities to two victims. The two grand theft charges and four counts of unlawful securities practices stem from a scheme where Elsesser lead the victims to believe they were investing in an energy drink venture between 2011 and 2013. Elsesser, instead, spent the money on groceries, movies, rental cars, and entertainment. $10,000 of the restitution was repaid during sentencing on Monday, and $1,500 will be paid monthly until his debt is paid. Along with restitution, Elsesser will spend 7 days in jail and be under community control for 5 years. Elsesser was prosecuted through the Ohio Attorney General’s Special Prosecutions Section.





Seven Paving Areas Set for Uhrichsville
Uhrichsville, Ohio (WTUZ) – With budget constraints in mind, city officials are getting ready for paving season and they have chosen to begin with roadways in the downtown area. hrichsville Mayor Rick Dorland says that the city entered into a county paving program and originally they chose 13 streets for paving. “We set a budget and we started adding up the 13 streets so we figured we better start whittling it down. I concentrated on the downtown area and we got down to seven streets, and it’s about $343,000.” City administration estimates that a street levy will have generated about $240,000 and the city will cover the remaining cost of around $1,000 from the Capital Improvement fund. He notes the plan is to repave the seven roads from curb to curb. “Just about the whole downtown is going to be done. All of E. 3rd Street, N. Main, N. Uhrich, N. Dawson, Thompson Street, and then we’re going to do a little piece off of Indian Hill Road, out by the high school.” Dorland adds that getting the streets paved is a work in progress and that the city also had to consider the cost of striping for the newly paved roads. - Mary Alice Reporting





Wind Turbine Legislation Discussion Continues
New Philadelphia, Ohio (WTUZ) – Regulations for wind turbines is now in the hands of the New Philadelphia Zoning and Annexation Committee to talk about legislation details. Mayor Joel Day explains that previously, the planning commission approved recommended wind turbine guidelines. “Basically, what it does is it would restrict the construction of future wind turbines to just industrial areas in the city. There would have to be a fall zone, there would have to be noise studies, and a number of other technical specification in order to get a building permit.” The first committee meeting for legislation discussion is Monday, March 12th at 6:45pm in council chambers. - Mary Alice Reporting




Daylight Savings Tips for Pedestrians and Drivers
Ohio (WTUZ) – AAA is sending out a safety message for drivers and pedestrians after the clocks moved one-hour ahead over the weekend. AAA East Central Director of Legislative Affairs Theresa Podguski explains that morning commuters may be driving in the dark and your visibility may be reduced. “Time change comes a change when the sun rises and sets. AAA is asking motorists to slow down and be extra alert, especially in the morning hours when it will be darker for a later period of time.” She asks for drivers to be careful of any children walking to school and to slow down when approaching a crosswalk. “You have children who are going to bus stops, walking to school, crossing at corners so it’s important for motorists to be extra alert during those hours as well.” Podguski adds for you to leave room between your vehicle and the crosswalk so other drivers can see pedestrians crossing in front of you. - Mary Alice Reporting




Shot Fired, No Injuries
Coshocton, Ohio (WTUZ) – Deputies are actively investigating a report related to a home being fired upon. According to the Coshocton County Sheriff’s Office, they received several 911 calls for possible gunshots in the area of S. 7th and Vince Street around 8:25pm on Saturday, March 10th. Deputies search the immediate area and were unable to locate a gunman; however, several witnesses were interviewed and officials discovered bullet holes going into a home. No injuries have been reported. The Sheriff’s Office is asking anyone with information referencing this on-going case to contact their office at 740-622-2411. - Mary Alice Reporting




McDonald’s B&E Suspect in Custody
New Philadelphia, Ohio (WTUZ) – Not many details are being released, but the New Philadelphia police department reports a burglary suspect is in custody. Law enforcement responded Thursday night to a robbery at McDonald’s, on 4th Street, and employees noted that a man came through the drive-thru window, took the cash drawer, and then left through the window. Detectives went through surveillance video and conducted interviews, and on Friday, they were able to obtain a confession and recover most of the money. A name is not being released at this time until charges are officially filed. - Mary Alice Reporting




Sheriff’s Office Encourages School Involvement from Law Enforcement
Wooster, Ohio (WTUZ) – The Wayne County Sheriff’s Office is encouraging all law enforcement agencies to make a known presence at schools in their communities. Sheriff’s Captain, Doug Hunter, explained he is working to visit local schools more often. “Spent the entire day at the Northwestern Middle School,” he said. “As I was speaking with these students, some of them expressed concerns for their safety. [I] did my best to assure them that school is a safe place and that’s exactly why we were there to keep it that way.” Captain Hunter stressed that it’s important all law enforcement agencies have a presence in schools. “I’m going to encourage you to do the same. You probably have some time that you can take your paperwork into the school,” he said. “Clear off a spot there and do business and bolster relationships as well as providing security within that particular environment.” He added its important students understand that law enforcement is there to keep them safe and that trust is formed between police and kids. - Michaela Madison Reporting




Easter Basket Items Needed for Children Battling Cancer
Ohio (WTUZ) – Non-Profit Project Ed Bear is asking the community to help fill 85 Easter baskets for children battling Cancer. The volunteer-led organization has been working closely with Akron Children’s Hospital and UH Rainbow Babies to provide comfort to kids with cancer since 1994. Dr. Jeffery Hoard with Akron Children’s Hospital says the organization has been great for the kids and the hospital as a whole. “Over the 13 years that I’ve been here now, I’ve worked very closely with Project Ed Bear throughout that time,” explained Dr. Hoard. “Our program has expanded and so has the help that Project Ed Bear has given us, from helping us renovate our clinic lobby so that it’s much more child-friendly.” The community is asked to donate items like handmade cards, Amazon gift cards, Easter stuffed animals, crayon sets, journals, and more. The donation deadline is March 23rd and can be mailed to: 656 Chilham Circle, Uniontown, Ohio 44685, Attn: Susan Summerville - Michaela Madison Reporting




City Receives Sate Funds for Community Park
New Philadelphia, Ohio (WTUZ) – A park development project could get underway in the third quarter of 2018 after funds were approved by the state. City of New Philadelphia Mayor Joel Day commends the work Senator Jay Hottinger and Representative Al Landis did to secure money from the State Capital Budget to go toward the development of the Southside Community Park. “That’s always a tough fight because about every community across Ohio wants a piece of that state capital budget and for us to get $400,000 that huge.” Day explains the money will get the project started sooner than expected but notes Phase I is estimated at around $1 million. “We’ve applied for Clean Ohio grant money, around $600,000. We’re hopeful we’ll be able to get that so we can start developing the front-end of the park and get the roadway in.” A timeline for when Phase I will begin determines when the state will release the funding. The architects project the entire park master plan will cost around $6.4 million. - Mary Alice Reporting





Sexual Assault of Women with Disabilities Plaguing College Campuses
Ohio News Connections - Nearly one in three women with disabilities on college campuses has experienced sexual assault. That’s according to a new report from the National Council on Disability, an independent federal agency. The report, called “Not on the Radar,” also found colleges aren’t prepared to respond to cases of sexual assault against students with disabilities. Wendy Harbour, an N-C-D member, says campuses should be thinking of disability the way they think of discrimination. She wants people to imagine what it takes to survive this situation and deal with the long process of reporting assault. “Now imagine a barrier at every single step of that process, and it’s really placing an incredible burden on the student.” Harbour also says stereotyping of students with disabilities is widespread on college campuses, and estimates that about 450-thousand have been sexual-assault victims. She also notes the study doesn’t look at the entire college population. It includes only undergraduate women – not men, graduate students or staff. Harbour says although the report reveals an epidemic of sexual assault on college campuses, the response from colleges has been encouraging. “The bad news is that disabled students are not on the radar of colleges, related to sexual assault. The good news is that the report found that the minute disabled students were on the radar, colleges took action.” Harbour also says student-led groups are an effective way for students with disabilities to push for better policies and make sure their voices are heard.




Sheriff’s Office Encourages Firearm Safety
Canton, Ohio (WTUZ) – Just north of Tuscarawas County, a Sheriff’s Office is urging residents to safely store and secure firearms inside the home. Stark County Sheriff’s Sgt. Jeremy Novelli stressed that it is critical that anyone who owns a firearm understands how to keep it out of the reach of children and others unfamiliar with how to handle a weapon. “Many of us have loved ones, little children, elderly people in our homes,” explained Sgt. Novelli. “It’s extremely important to secure our firearms and make sure the ammunition is separated from the firearms.” In a video published to the office’s Facebook page, Sgt. Novelli demonstrated how to use a gun lock to render firearms inoperable. The Stark County Sheriff’s Office has purchased gun locks and made them available to any Stark County resident. Residents can get a gun lock at no charge by stopping by the Stark County Sheriff’s Office on 4500 Atlantic Blvd. NE in Canton, or by calling the office at 330-430-3800. -Michaela Madison Reporting





Breakfast Program Fueling the School Day in Ohio
Ohio News Connection -  This is National School Breakfast Week (March 5-9), and districts in Ohio are educating students and families about the breakfast options available before the school bell rings. Each day, more than 440-thousand Ohio students get a healthy, nutritious meal before they start their day through the federal School Breakfast Program. Diane Pratt-Heavner with the School Nutrition Association explained that for some kids, school breakfast and lunch are their only opportunities to have a complete, healthy meal. And she adds that the benefits cannot be underestimated. “Children who eat breakfast at school perform better on standardized tests. Kids who eat a healthy school breakfast are more likely to be able to pay attention in class and concentrate on their school work. And they also show improved attendance and behavior.” Pratt-Heavner explained that as they look to expand school breakfast participation, many districts are finding ways to make the meals more accessible. “It can sometimes be hard for kids coming off the bus to get to the cafeteria in time for school breakfast. So, many schools are offering unique serving options. They’re setting up grab-and-go kiosks or they’re offering breakfast in the classroom.” She added that the meals served at school meet federal nutrition standards that limit fat, calories and sodium. And she says many school cafeterias are serving fun options that include a wide assortment of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. The theme of this year’s National School Breakfast Week is “I Heart School Breakfast” – and students, parents, and educators are encouraged to show their love for the program on social media.







Vehicle Strikes Wheelchair-Bound Man Crossing Street
Coshocton, Ohio (WTUZ) – The Coshocton County Sheriff’s Office is investigating after a 69-year-old man in a wheelchair is struck while attempting to cross the street. Officials confirm that just after 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday Grady Martin was attempting to cross the South 2nd Street near Cashland when a vehicle operated by a 43-year-old man traveling South on South 2nd Street struck Martin. Martin was initially transported to the Coshocton Regional Medical Center and was later taken to Grant Medical Center in Columbus where his condition is unknown. Deputies note Martin was not wearing any reflective clothing when he tried to cross the street. The accident remains under investigation. - Michaela Madison Reporting