New Philadelphia, OH
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WJER News

NEWS HEADLINES

8:06 AM - May 25th, 2017

 

 

 

UNION HOSPITAL TO JOIN CLEVELAND CLINIC 
DOVER - Union Hospital’s search to become an affiliate of a larger company to stabilize its future appears over.  Union Hospital officials have signed a letter of intent to join the Cleveland Clinic health system.  Most details still have to be worked out. Union CEO Bruce James says the two sides will now begin the process to finalize a definitive agreement so the partnership can begin by the start of 2018.  Union Hospital expects to be able to expand services and add physicians under Cleveland Clinic’s guidance and ownership.  Union Hospital eliminated 20 jobs in 2016 as part of a $3-million dollar cutback, due to years of having operating expenses increase way more than revenues. Future cuts would be likely without this move. Union Hospital also expects to retain its name.  

 

 

 

DENNISON COUNCIL HAS ANOTHER VACANCY
DENNISON – Officials are once again on the lookout for a new face to join village council.  Council member Susan Edwards is resigning at the end of the month as her husband is taking a job in Georgia to be closer to one of their children.  Council member Greg DiDonato says it is understandable, and she will be missed.  Council hopes to choose Edwards’ replacement at its June meeting.  Any resident willing to serve the remainder of her term through 2019 should write a letter of interest to council at village hall by June 9th.   Edwards is the third council member to resign in the past year.  Patty Johnson stepped down due to health reasons earlier this year. Mike Walker left last year when he moved out of town.   

 

 

 

NEWCOMERSTOWN MAN CHARGED WITH MURDER
COSHOCTON - A Newcomerstown man is one of three people in the Coshocton County Jail in connection to the apparent disappearance and killing of a Coshocton area man. Coshocton Municipal Court records indicate 31-year-old Jordan Green has been charged with murder. According to a Coshocton County Sheriff’s press release, the victim is 26-year-old Michael Hamm. Hamm was reported missing May 16th. His Ford Ranger was recovered three days later in Linton Township, in the southeast part of the county. Green and two other men were taken into custody late Sunday and early Monday. Later on Monday, authorities recovered what they believe was Hamm’s body from a creek in Linton Township. The Coshocton County Coroner’s office is working to confirm the identity.  

 

 

 

TRIAL DATE SET FOR COLAIACOVO
NEW PHILADELPHIA - A trial date has been set for the suspect in the beating death of a Dover man found dead in his garage in October. 58-year-old Jeff Colaiacovo of Dover has been charged with murder, robbery, and other charges in connection to the death of 72-year-old Arlie Gooch. Colaiacovo has changed his plea from not guilty by reason of insanity to now just not guilty after he was found competent to stand trial, and at the time of the murder, following psychological evaluation over the past two months. Assistant Prosecutor Mike Ernest does not expect a second opinion to be requested. The trial will begin August 16th in front of common pleas court judge Elizabeth Thomakos.  

 

 

 

FREEDOM FLIES THROUGH PHILA
NEW PHILADELPHIA - The Rotary Club is helping spread some national pride through town in time for the upcoming holiday weekend. Club members will be heading out in the coming days installing American flags in the front yards of people in their Salute Freedom program. The Rotary’s Tom Police says the cost to participate is $25 a year. For that, the club members put the 3-by-5 foot flags up on 10-foot metal poles, installed in PVC holders driven into the ground from Memorial Day through Veterans Day. It is just one way for the community to show its appreciation. Application forms for the Salute Freedom program are available at the New Philadelphia Rotary Club’s website.  

 

 

 

PHILA SOUTH PARK MASTER PLAN APPROVED
NEW PHILADELPHIA – City officials now have an outline of enhancements for the South Side Park to address. Council has approved a $6.3 million master plan for the park. Mayor Joel Day says the park board in the coming months will look into grants and local foundations to fund phase one, which will be construction of an $800,000 access road. Later phases would include baseball and softball fields, a dog park, a concession stand, and more. City officials hope to complete the work in five to 10 years.  

 

 

 

PRIMARY ELECTION RESULTS CERTIFIED
NEW PHILADELPHIA - This month’s Primary Election is now in the books. The Tuscarawas County Board of Elections certified the results from the May 2nd vote Monday, with some additional provisional and absentee ballots added to the election night totals. Board Director Allan Sayre says as expected, the outcomes were still the same. Sayre says they are already looking ahead to November, with the filing deadline for candidates in the school board and township trustee non-partisan races coming up August 9th
. Sayre says the county is also considering options to secure the new optical scanners for the return of paper ballots in the fall election.   

 

 

 

PUBLIC ASSISTANCE FRAUD CASES DROP
NEW PHILADELPHIA – Tuscarawas County Job and Family Services officials are taking time this month to bring attention to benefits fraud. May is Public Assistance Fraud Awareness Month in Ohio. JFS Fraud Investigator Tim Haswell says in 2016 his agency recouped about $94,000 in public assistance funds that were misspent or illegally obtained, spanning over 107 different cases. That is a significant decrease from just a few years ago, when the county had 204 fraud cases in 2013. 

 

 

 

FESTIVAL SEASON ARRIVES
DOVER - The annual Canal Dover Festival begins its three-day run Friday downtown. Dover Exchange Club treasurer Terry Auman says the midway opens at noon that day, with over 30 food vendors this year, followed by opening ceremonies at 5:30 p.m.  Entertainment chair Alan Page says they will have music on two stages through the weekend. Highlights Saturday include the parade at noon and the plate auction at 1 p.m., which this year features 100 years of the Dover High School band. Sunday’s schedule begins with a church service at 10:30 a.m., the big wheel race at 1 p.m., and music ranging from the Dominic Greco Band to New Wave Nation. 

 

 

 

DENNISON APPROVES EMPLOYEE RAISES
DENNISON – Council is hoping to keep the village’s 13 full-time employees from looking for work elsewhere. Finance Committee Chair Greg DiDonato says council has approved 15-cent raises for the workers. Other incentives approved include increasing longevity pay and boosting the clothing allowance from $350 to $600. The changes go into effect in July. DiDonato says keeping employees around will benefit Dennison in the long run because of the expense involved with hiring new people.

 

 

 

STATE NEWS:

 

PROSECUTORS REVIEW TV REPORTER'S CONFRONTATION WITH WOMAN
ELYRIA (AP) - Prosecutors in Ohio are reviewing surveillance video of a confrontation between a television news reporter and a woman who kicked him as he tried to interview her. The Chronicle Telegram reports that the woman called 911 Monday to say she had kicked a reporter in the knee because he was holding a microphone in her car and wouldn't let her close the door.

 

 

 

JURY SELECTION BEGINS IN OFFICER'S MURDER RETRIAL
CINCINNATI (AP) - More than 200 people are due to report to an Ohio courthouse as jury selection gets underway in the murder retrial of a white police officer who fatally shot an unarmed black motorist. Prospective jurors for Ray Tensing's case on Thursday will receive lengthy questionnaires to complete. Questions haven't been made public. Those for the first trial covered topics ranging from personal dealings with police to opinions about the Black Lives Matter movement. It ended in a November mistrial.

 

 

 

MAN SENTENCED IN DRUNKEN-DRIVING WRECK THAT KILLED 2
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - A Missouri who admitted driving drunk has been sentenced to more than 16 years in prison for causing a wreck in Topeka that killed a man from Ohio and a woman from Texas. Fernando De Jesus Osorino was sentenced Friday for two counts of involuntary manslaughter while driving under the influence of alcohol and one count of driving under the influence.