Following is a look back at 2019 from the pages of The Newcomerstown News. The first few paragraphs from the selected stories from each week are presented here.


Jan. 2, 2019

Christmas came early this year for 42 local organizations as the Reeves Foundation awarded $1,070,000 in grants for 2018, including $50,000 for the Newcomerstown Public Library.

The money awarded to the Newcomerstown Public Library will go towards expenses for a newly paved parking lot, conduit repairs and lighting for signage.

Founded 52 years ago by businessman Sam Reeves, Jr. with funding in part from his two sisters, the Foundation continues the Reeves family commitment to give back to the community it loved.

This year’s grants bring the total awarded by the Foundation since inception to $35,800,000.

Jan. 9, 2019

Newcomerstown Middle School students Olivia Valdez and Sam Cool are pictured with the school’s new therapy dog, "Otto." Thursday was the first day for Otto in that school and West School and didn’t appear to have any trouble adjusting. Otto is a trained facility dog from Freedom Paws Assistance Dogs in Marysville, Ohio. He will primarily be working at West School and Newcomerstown Middle School. Among other things school officials said is that they hope Otto will provide comfort to students who face difficult times. If there are any medical concerns the schools need to be aware of, call the office or school nurse at 740-498-4151.

Jan. 16

The annual state of the village summary was recently addressed at Newcomerstown village council, and others in attendance at the village’s first council meeting for 2019.

Mayor Pat Cadle stated in the summary that the village of Newcomerstown continues to strive for improvements in the village’s over-all status, departmental operations, economical growth, and also plans to address residential development opportunities for Newcomerstown.

The 1960’s were a time of social change and Joe William Trotter, Jr., was part of that change, changing all the way from being a black student at Newcomerstown High School during a time of racial unrest throughout the United States to becoming a noted author and professor at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pa.

And he credits the encouragement he received at Newcomerstown High School as part of the impetus behind his success.

Prof. Trotter just released his latest book, "Workers in America: Black Labor in the Making of America," but this publication is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Prof. Trotter’s literary legacy.

Jan. 23, 2019

Students at the Newcomerstown East School students learned about animals and mammals in their science classes and got a real-world experience today when Rainbow, a pet goat owned by a student of teacher Angela Stewart, visited all the classrooms.

Officials of the Newcomerstown Public Library have a message for patrons: "Please use the proper entrances and exits only and follow the directional signage and painted arrows in place."

Library Director Cody Addy said that since the parking lot at the Library has been redone and resurfaced, there have been problems with people not following the posted traffic flow.

Jan. 30, 2019

The Newcomerstown Mayor’s Office will be doing a test of the Towne All Call System on Thursday, Jan. 31 at 11 a.m.

Any resident who has registered and all businesses in Newcomerstown will receive a call, text, or email with the words "This is a test of the Towne All Call System. No response is necessary."

If you are registered and do not receive a notice, contact the village office. If you or someone you know receives a call and does not want to be part of this alert system, a contact to the office needs to be done. Contact number is 740-498-6313.

Members of the Board of Education for the Newcomerstown Exempted Village School District were recently recognized for their service. The school board consists of Arlene Mayhew, Randy Addy, Tom Addy, Dave Archer and Steven Brode.


Feb. 6, 2019

Newcomerstown and the surrounding region has weathered two major snowstorms and frigid cold with in the past two weeks, with temperatures dipping below zero and wind chill reaching negative double digits.

"The high temperature for Jan. 30 was at midnight at 15°F and by midnight, 24 hours later, the mercury had dipped to -4°F, local weather expert Don Keating said. "On Jan. 30 the daytime high reading was 0°F at 9:49 a.m. By midnight the temperature had dropped to that -4°F reading. Wind chill at my Newcomerstown station dropped to -21°F but some locations in Ohio, in particular a small town called Wauseon, Ohio in the far northwest corner had wind chills to nearly -40°F."

Officials of the Thomas R. Little Memorial Fund have awarded nearly $20,000 to several community projects when the Foundation’s Board of Directors met Wednesday, Jan. 30, in the Newcomerstown Public Library Annex.

The Board of Directors reviews the applications and then makes recommendations to the officers of the Thomas R. Little Memorial Foundation.

The recommended projects included:

• Journey’s End Minstries — Replace furnace and duct work in a portion of their building at a cost of $5,220.

• ARTSNCT — $2,164.56 for a stage sound system.

• Newcomerstown Public Library — $5,000 as partial cost of replacing windows in the Library Annex.

• Newcomerstown Rotary Club —Purchase of 26 flower boxes for Main Street at a cost of $5,980.

• Everal’s Chapel Preservation Society — $1,080 for new front doors in the chapel. It was noted that this organization is not religious in nature. The Society’s mission is in preserving the building.

Feb. 13, 2019

WEST LAFAYETTE — A downburst with winds in excess of 70 mph is being blamed for extensive damage to a barn, as well as other structures and trees along state Route 751 and Coshocton County Road 9 between Newcomerstown and West Lafayette Thursday.

No one was injured as a result of the wind damage.

At 5:30 p.m. Thursday, the Coshocton County Sheriff’s Office received a call about a possible tornado east of West Lafayette, according to the Coshocton County Emergency Management Agency. Deputies responded, along with the West Lafayette Fire Department.

Pastor Mark Brodbeck, and his wife Barbara are emphasizing a four letter word at St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church in Newcomerstown.

They also have a special philosophy on the use of this four letter word! Now before anybody gets the wrong idea, the word is not a bad word, it is a good, and very appropriate four letter word that should be used each and every day. The word, "Love," and the Brodbecks’ philosophy of loving one another, and sharing the love is also most appropriate. It’s the perfect time to share it with everyone, just in time for Valentine’s Day!

Feb. 20, 2019

Ground was broken last week for the new Taco Bell in Newcomerstown. Located along US 36 across from the BP Station, Taco Bell is scheduled to be open in June.

MAGNOLIA — Indian Valley High captured the team title at the Inter-Valley Conference Wrestling Championships held at Sandy Valley High School on Saturday. In claiming fourth place, the Newcomerstown Trojans had three IVC champions led by Logan Hursey in the 138-pound weight class who was tabbed the I.V.C Wrestler of the Year after defeating three-time state qualifier and returning state placer Dalton Burtcher of Indian Valley by a score of 6-4.

Feb. 27, 2019

Newcomerstown Middle School held its annual Jump-a-Thon for the American Heart Association on Friday, Feb. 15. Students participated in different fitness challenges and activities during their "Related Arts" classes. Along with jumping rope and double dutch, students did wall jumps, vertical jumps, jumping jacks, broad jump, side to side, and front to back. The students had a great time trying to outjump their classmates. Students also participated in some fun dress up days ahead of the event. The students and staff raised $1029.60.


March 6, 2019

Workers from Shelly & Sands continue this bridge project on Interstate 77 just south of Newcomerstown. The bridge deck replacement project had a start date of April 1, 2018, with an estimated completion date of July 31, 2019. The project cost is set at $5,301,393. Work on the bridge was stopped over the winter months but recently re-started.

Newcomerstown High School hosted its annual science fair on Monday Feb 25 with Caitlin Green winning best of show with her project on... "How does the Slope of the Ground Affect Heartbeat When Running?"

Overall there were 16 students who received a Superior rating, 41 who received an Excellent Rating, and 16 who were rated Good.

March 13, 2019

Those who attend the annual Newcomerstown Chamber banquet know it’s less than a formal affair.

There’s just as likely to be more blue jeans than ties and hoots and hollers from around the room as there is to be polite applause.

Paulla Emery, Newcomerstown Chamber president and director of the Century National Bank office in Newcomerstown, presided over the free-wheeling event, handing out awards and even lending some reminders to award winners of some other reasons they should be recognized by those present.

Al Landis, former state representative and recently elected as a Tuscarawas County Commissioner, was the speaker and said, "Tonight, let’s talk about Newcomerstown. Let’s celebrate where you are tonight and how far you’ve come."

COLUMBUS — Minutes after watching Logan Hursey wrestle his final state tournament match of the season, Newcomerstown coach Jericoe Jones was talking about his blessings.

One stood out. "God gave me this team," he said, with a slight nod of his head.

The Newcomerstown wrestling team, with its growing reputation and bright future, helped Jones with the fight of his life this year.

"I was diagnosed with colon cancer," he said. "I was down to 160 pounds — from 230 — and I needed help to get up off the mat."

March 20, 2019

Ray Booth, managing editor of The Daily & Sunday Jeffersonian and long-time editor of The Newcomerstown News, has announced he will retire on Friday, May 3, after 43 years with the company. Booth has also been associated with The Barnesville Enterprise and is one of the editors for the Ohio Gas & Oil Magazine.

"It’s just time for the next edition," Booth said. "I’ve had a long and productive career with The Jeffersonian and The News and look forward to being able to spend more time with family, especially my wife, Helen, and our grandchildren, Zoe, Sofia, Sam and Willa."

PORT WASHINGTON — Village council members heard that a tombstone was hit and knocked over in Union Cemetery - by possibly a four wheeler joy riding during a recent snow storm. The tombstone will be remounted as soon as possible.

March 27, 2019

COLUMBUS — A Newcomerstown native has raised the bar for women in the Ohio State Highway Patrol, as Major Marla K. Gaskill has been promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel by Ohio State Highway Patrol Colonel Richard S. Fambro during a ceremony at the Patrol’s Training Academy.

Lieutenant Colonel Gaskill is the first woman to hold this position in Patrol history.

Newcomerstown residents can remember when the State of Ohio declared the village’s finances to be a fiscal emergency. And they remember when village officials hosted a celebration for the village emerging from that fiscal emergency.

"But they may not see how far we’ve come since that fiscal emergency," says Kristie Wilkin, a Newcomerstown council member along with Heather Stein-Wells, David Shepherd, Jim Reed, Jim Friel and Randy Little.

And council members attribute part of that success to the efforts of Mayor Pat Cadle and Fiscal Officer Lisa Stiteler, who have instituted better financial guidelines and taken advantage of opportunities to save the village’s money.


April 3, 2019

During the Newcomerstown School Board’s recent session, two former Newcomerstown residents, husband and wife, the late Clarence "Pappy" and Mary Watts were approved by the Board for their names to be placed on the Newcomerstown High School Wall of Honor.

Clarence was the owner and operator of the former True Value Hardware. The establishment was known by many local residents as simply Pappy Watts’. The True Value was on located on West Main Street for many years. His wife, Mary, was the former Newcomerstown Historical Society president, a position she held up to the time of her passing. The Watts were long-time members of St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church, Newcomerstown.

Clarence’s name will be added to the Citizen Wall of Honor, while Mary’s will be added to the Newcomerstown High School Wall of Honor. Mary (Kohler) Watts was a graduate of the NHS Class of 1950.

For three consecutive years, Coshocton County Youth Leadership (CCYL) participants have been provided with $100 with the objective of using the money to pay it forward. One of the 2019 class members opted to donate to one of the local veteran’s organizations, an initiative that is supported by the Coshocton Foundation and its trustees.

Cale Roberts, a junior at Ridgewood High School, decided to forward his money to the Coshocton County Veterans Council as his Community Project. Cale said the reason he chose the County Veterans Council because his grandfather, Jerry Simmons, had military honors conducted at his funeral and he thought it was a great honor and was moved by the services.

April 10, 2019

Denny Ross was honored at the 19th Masonic District’s Grand Master’s reception on Friday, March 8, at the Lake Park Pavilion in Coshocton. The even was to honor Jess N. Raines, Most Worshipful Grand Master of Masons in Ohio. Ross was awarded the Grand Master’s Community Service Award: In recognition of outstanding service and commitment to your community the Grand Lodge of Free & Accepted Masons of Ohio is pleased to honor your dedication and zeal as a shining example of the great principles of Freemasonry- Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth.

Newcomerstown eighth grader Bladon Garland broke a long-standing school record for boys track in the long jump, with his first official jump of the year. On Monday, April 1, Bladon, son of Jason Garland, jumped 17’4", breaking the previous record of 16’5", set in 1980, by Mark Kellerman.

April 17, 2019

The Newcomertown Historical Society will host a meeting Tuesday, April 16, at 10 a.m. to discuss plans for a sculptor of one of Newcomerstown’s most historic figures, Chief Netawatees of the Lenni Lenape or Delaware Tribe.

The meeting is open to the public and meeting participation of historical societies and related organization from the Tuscarawas Valley are planned. This will be the first of many meetings as the Newcomerstown Historical Society works to coordinate volunteers to make the dedication of the statue a learning experience for students and educators of the area.

Alan Cottrill, nationally known sculptor with his studio in Zanesville, recently visited Newcomerstown and previously discovered he had roots here from his fifth-great-grandfather, Chief Netawatees. His interest in history and genealogy led Alan to assist the historical society in honoring the historic figure.

Player safety is a concern for the Newcomerstown Middle School football team, and thanks to a $1,000 Thomas R. Brown Athletics Grant from California Casualty, the school will be able to purchase safer helmets. The coach says headgear that actually fits team members will help prevent injuries. The grant was presented back on April 5 by California Casualty’s Beth Nagy.

Newcomerstown Middle School is one 64 public middle schools and high schools in 32 states being awarded a total of $67,000 to aid sports programs affected by tight budgets.

April 24, 2019

Mayor Pat Cadle and Chamber of Commerce officers welcomed new owner Danny McCauley recently at a ribbon cutting ceremony at Lock 20 Auto.

McCauley has been with the business for about two years as general manager and is taking the reigns from former owner Scott Welch, who still handles the vehicle purchasing.

For many area residents, the fire that destroyed most, but not all, of the Notre Dame Cathedral was simply news, something interesting that happened across the globe but didn’t impact their daily lives.

But for some, it was a deeply personal experience.

Manon Rondeau is the fianceé of Adam Hart, a native of this area, and is from France.

"For me, a deeply patriotic French woman who is such a lover of art and history, it’s a complete shock," Rondeau said. "Notre Dame was part of those things we thought would never die, that were untouchable. It’s linked to who we are as French and it feels like it was one of us who burnt. For me, it’s a building I’ve always seen and been able to picture in my head instantly. It’s also the scene of my favorite novel, ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame.’ This is a disaster and a tragedy."


May 1, 2019

NEWCOMERSTOWN - Superintendent Jeff Staggs knows how fortunate Newcomerstown Exempted Village Schools are to have the support from the Vernon and Edith Lee Trust Fund.

It was used to build Lee Stadium and has helped with other costs pertaining to Newcomerstown athletics over the years. Now another addition is in the works, a beautiful field house.

The cost of the Newcomerstown Fieldhouse is about $2 million and no taxpayer money will be used to build the facility, thanks to the trust fund.

"Our entire sports program will benefit from it (field house)," said Staggs. "We’ll have a practice facility year round."

Pastor Bracken Foster said it was "like the finger of God hitting Newcomerstown with a tornado."

That, to some, was the beginning of the building of the current Christ United Methodist Church structure on Oak Street in Newcomerstown. The tornado created extensive damage in Newcomerstown in the early morning hours of March 11, 1955, although thankfully no one was killed. And now, in 2019, the church is planning a 50th year anniversary of the building of the church.

May 8, 2019

The Tuscarawas County Historical Society has announced the 2019 winners of the Zeisberger Heckewelder Award — Chris Hart, Kerry Metzger, Jan McInturf, and the Rainbow Connection.

The Award is given annually to those people and organizations who exemplify making Tuscarawas County a better place to live through the promotion of local history, service to the community, and in leadership roles that assist the citizens of Tuscarawas County.

With nearly three decades in the news business, Beth Bailey brings a wealth of experience to her new role as managing editor of The Daily & Sunday Jeffersonian.

GateHouse Media Ohio recently named Bailey to succeed the retiring Ray Booth in that role, which will also include overseeing The Barnesville Enterprise, The Newcomerstown News and as an editor of the Ohio Gas & Oil magazine.

"I am personally excited to have Beth step up to the role of managing editor at The Daily Jeffersonian. Her extensive experience in the industry and deep regional ties will be assets to the Jeffersonian and its readers," said Publisher John Kridelbaugh.

May 15, 2019

Everals Chapel recently received recognition by proclamation of the Ohio House of Representatives in honor of the Chapel’s 150th anniversary. The office of House Speaker, Larry Householder, presented the Proclamation April 15, 2019.

Everals is a small, one-time village with roots dating to the early 1800’s. It was originally settled in what was early Oxford Township, Tuscarawas County and later split off to become Oxford Township, Coshocton County. In 2018, Everals Chapel hosted a 150th anniversary celebration and recently was recognized by the State of Ohio.

WEST LAFAYETTE — It has stood at the corner of Main and Kirk Street for a little over one hundred and thirty years, an icon to the village of West Lafayette, soon to be no more than a memory.

The Brothers Hardware & Variety Store has held memories for many over the years with everything from hardware supplies to penny candy.

In January, 2019 the building was determined by the fire chief, and several building inspectors that the structure is deemed condemned. According to the owner, Ed Chapdelaine, the business ceased operation several years ago, and has slowly been falling into disrepair.

May 22, 2019

The Survivor of Suicide Loss Support Group of Tuscarawas and Carroll County has awarded nearly $6,200 in grants to three school districts for suicide prevention, according to Kristie Wilkin, facilitator of the group.

Tuscarawas Valley Local Schools received $4,000. Dover City Schools, in partnership with the East Central Ohio Educational Service Center, received $1,175. Newcomerstown Exempted Village School District received $1,000.

Newcomerstown Middle School announced that eighth-grader Marlie Meg Moner, daughter of Corey and Kelly Moner, was selected as the 2019 Ray A. Kroc Youth Achievement Award recipient. Marlie, accompanied by her parents and school administrators, was honored along with recipients from other area schools, at a banquet held in April, at the Tuscarawas County Senior Center in Dover. Also among those being honored was our NHS recipient for this year, Miss Katelyn Glazer.

This award recognizes and honors students who have demonstrated the characteristics exemplified by Mr. Kroc (founder of McDonald’s restaurants) - persistence, determination, hard work and all-around excellence. Generally, the recipients are students who have earned the respect of his/?her peers and teachers alike, and who replicate Kroc’s passion of helping others, and giving 100 percent in all they do.

May 29, 2019

MASSILLON — Newcomerstown and Ridgewood High had strong showings at the OHSAA Division III Regional Track Meet on Wednesday and Friday at Massillon Perry High School.

Newcomerstown High’ brothers Hunter and Dylan Garretson finished first and second in the pole vault as Hunter finished atop the podium with a leap of 15 feet followed by Dylan who went 14-6.

BIRMINGHAM — An Amish home on Beal Road in northern Guernsey County sustained extensive fire damage Saturday afternoon as firefighters from seven area departments responded to the blaze.

The family was reportedly out of the home at the time the fire was first reported to the Guernsey County Sheriff’s Office and no injuries had been reported, according to a sheriff’s dispatcher.


June 5, 2019

According to several anonymous Newcomerstown residents there has been report of several grave saddles, and decorations recently being taken from both the West Lawn and East State Street Cemeteries. One of the residents said that she had discovered her family’s grave saddle missing two weeks ago, shortly after she had purchased it. The grave saddle was valued at over $100.

COLUMBUS — The local area had multiple athletes qualify for all-Ohio honors on the opening day of the OHSAA State Track Meet in Columbus on Friday.

Eight different athletes from Newcomerstown, Ridgewood and Indian Valley competed in the opening day field events and five of them received all-Ohio honors.

Those athletes include Newcomerstown’s Hunter Garretson in the pole vault (3rd/?14-04); Ridgewood’s Alexis Prater in the long jump (2nd/?18-04) and JJ Durr in the shot put (5th/?53-06.50) and Indian Valley’s Kitanna Rakestraw in the high jump (3rd/?5-05) and Zach Love in the pole vault (4th/?14-10).

Also competing on the opening day was Newcomerstown’s Dylan Garretson in the pole vault (8th/?14-00) and Caitlin Green, also in the pole vault (10th/?10-00) as well as Ridgewood’s Abbey Kellish in the long jump (12th/?15-09.50).

June 12, 2019

AKRON — Connor Kunze lived a dream scenario on Saturday night.

The Ridgewood junior walked to the plate in the bottom of the seventh inning with an opportunity to deliver victory.

Kunze came through in the clutch, singling home Kaden Smith with the winning run and sending the Generals to the Division III state championship game with a 6-5 victory over Canton Central Catholic.

One of Newcomerstown’s own sons has recently received a most honorable military recognition, the Ohio Medal of Valor of the United States Army.

Freeman Davis, born in Newcomerstown in 1841, served in the 80th OVI Co. B at Lookout Mountain, Tennessee. In November 1863 during the battle of Missionary Ridge, Davis while in his regiment recovered the color guards’ flags after seeing the color guards shot down under fire. Davis later saved the flags from capture. The Governor of Ohio later sent Sgt. Davis a commission as a Second Lieutenant, then later commissioned him to a grade of Captain in October, 1890.

In March 1898 the Congress of the United States awarded Davis the Medal of Honor.

Davis died in Butler, Missouri, in 1899.

June 19, 2019

"Kristie, Michelle, and Robyn have some great ideas for what they want to accomplish as part of the cemetery board. They want to fundraise, and get local people involved, as well as anyone else that has a loved one in any one of the three cemeteries in Newcomerstown. They said they have a plan to be a very active board, and I have no doubt that they will be just that," said Newcomerstown Mayor Pat Cadle.

During village council’s regular session on May 6, the first Newcomerstown cemetery board was approved. The board is comprised of three Newcomerstown residents; Kristie Wilkin, Michelle Mozena, and Robyn Hickman. All three women are life-long residents and have a genuine compassion for residing, maintaining, and preserving their beloved hometown of Newcomerstown, and the final resting place of her people.

Randy Jones will be the guest of honor at the 2019 Cy Young Days Festival. Jones, nicknamed "Junkman," is a former National League left-handed pitcher for the San Diego Padres and New York Mets. He won the Cy Young award in 1976 with the Padres.

June 26, 2019

Consider it a testament to faithfulness.

Elizabeth "Betty" McMullen, 95, was honored at a 10 a.m. service Sunday, June 23, at Calvary United Methodist Church in Newcomerstown, recognizing her having attended the church, and only that church, for 93 of her 95 years. While currently in a care center, she has been a faithful member of the church for all that time.

WEST LAFAYETTE — Residents of the village of West Lafayette were cleaning up after heavy rains last Tuesday night and Wednesday morning brought extensive flooding to the community.

About 30 families had to be rescued by boat from the Lafayette Mills apartment complex on state Route 93 south of town. According to Mayor Stephen R. Bordenkircher, a combination of three fire departments, the Coshocton County Sheriff’s Office and ambulance units performed the rescue.

The sheriff’s office had to use its military vehicles to get through because cruisers, SUVs and even the fire department’s trucks couldn’t get through the water, said Sheriff Tim Rogers. Cars were stranded in the road and people were huddled on the roof.

July through December will appear in next week’s edition.