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Friday, October 24, 2014

Three people are behind bars, after a meth lab bust in Bellevue.

According to reports, Kara Hale, Michael Highlander and Shane Williams were arrested late Wednesday night, at a home at the corner of Hamilton and Kilbourne streets. All three were taken to the Sandusky County Jail.


Sears is disputing a report that says the company plans to close more than 100 stores and layoff more than 6,000 employees.

Seeking Alpha, a financial news and market tracker claims the company will close 55 Kmart Stores, 30 Sears Department Stores and 31 Sears Auto Centers.  The story says many of the stores are in the Midwest, including Ohio.  Sears Holdings currently owns nearly 800 stores and 1,100 Kmart Stores.  A sears spokesperson said store closing and layoff numbers are not accurate.  He declined to provide new figures.

A state board may reconsider a decision to allow a proposed wind farm in Greenwich.

The matter could be discussed next week in Columbus.

A verdict could come today, in the trial of a Monroeville man accused stabbing another man during a November, 2013 fight outside Daly’s Bar in downtown Sandusky.

The case involving 32-year-old Joseph Moffit was heard this week, in Erie County Common Pleas Court. Prosecutors told the jury that Moffit stabbed 32-year-old Joseph Dendy four times, causing serious injuries. Jury deliberations will begin this morning.

Ohio State University officials have released new allegations against former band director Jonathan Waters.

The school delivered new information to The Columbus Dispatch about sexual assaults Waters allegedly ignored, and nudity-filled videos of band members, including some with Waters’ involvement. The information was released in response to Waters’ wrongful termination suit against the university.


Federal health officials say Cleveland’s response to the Ebola scare will be a national model.

The head of the Centers for Disease Control’s Ohio response team told City Council yesterday the coordination between the city and hospitals made the crisis ‘manageable.’  People who had contact with nurse Amber Vinson were also celebrated for ‘staying put’ for monitoring.

Norwalk City Council has cancelled its Tuesday, October 28th meeting.

City Council’s next meeting is scheduled for November 4th.

In-person early voting will be offered tomorrow.

Hours at the Board of Elections Office will be 8am until 4pm.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

If you’re lucky, you might be able to catch a partial solar eclipse later today.

If you can see it, the eclipse will reach its peak at approximately 5:45pm.

Monthly Social Security benefits will increase slightly, starting in January.

Officials with the Social Security Administration say the average recipient will notice an increase of roughly $20 a month.

A weekend crime spree has led to several criminal charges against a Sandusky man.

35-year-old William Peabody is accused of swiping his father’s pickup and cell phone, stealing his parents’ credit cards, and breaking his girlfriend’s nose. He’s currently in the Erie County Jail, on charges of theft and grand theft, felonious assault, domestic violence and possession of drug paraphernalia. He’s also facing two outstanding Huron warrants for theft and burglary.

Huron County Deputies are investigating a burglary at a gas station on Norwalk’s north side.

It occurred at Shell, outside of Tractor Supply Company.  No other information is available.  Deputies are also investigating break-ins at Indian Trails Campgrounds in Fitchville and the former Lyme Elementary School in Bellevue.


Norwalk City Council has given approval to a request from Police Chief Dave Light to trade in the department’s existing guns for new ones.

The trade will greatly reduce what the city has to pay for new firearms.

The state has issued a warning about an unclaimed funds scam that’s making the rounds in Ohio.

A company called the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators is sending out postcards, asking people to call a toll-free number, to search for unclaimed funds. Callers are prompted to provide their Social Security number and other information. Officials say the company isn’t registered with the state, and isn’t authorized to do business in Ohio. To search for unclaimed funds for free, simple Google ‘Ohio Treasure Hunt.’

Coming up this Saturday in Uptown Norwalk—Monsters on Main.

It’s a chance for parents and children to enjoy Halloween fun. As Kristie Wert, Program Manager, Main Street Norwalk explains, there’s something new this year: a superhero parade. Other activities include merchant trick-or-treat from noon until 2, face-painting, food, a Fall Family Photo Spot, along with pizza and popcorn.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Unemployment in Huron County and the surrounding area was down last month, according to new figures from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.

Huron County’s September unemployment rate was 6.1 percent, compared to 6.6percent in August. Erie County’s jobless rate went from 4.7 percent in August, to 4.6 percent last month. Rates also went down in Lorain, Ashland, Richland, Crawford, Seneca and Sandusky counties. The state’s highest unemployment rate last month was in southeast Ohio’s Monroe County, 10.1percent. Mercer County, in western Ohio had the state’s lowest jobless rate, just 2.9 percent.

At least so far, in-person early voting is down in Huron County.

Sharon Locke, Director of the Huron County Board of Elections says early voting is slower than usual. Registered voters can cast ballots ahead of the November 4th election by mail, or at the Huron County Board of Elections Office, between 8am and 5pm Monday through Saturday and Sunday hours will be offered next weekend as well, 8 until 4 Saturday, and 1 until 5 next Sunday. Early in-person voting will be offered Monday, November 3rd between 8am and 2pm.

An update, from Norwalk Public Works Director Josh Snyder

Storm and sanitary sewer work on East Main is complete. Early next week, driveways should get poured, and new asphalt placed on the road. The next phase of the Wooster-Marshall Street project is well underway. The main line should be tied in over the next week. The final portion of Norwalk’s 2014 street resurfacing project will take place next week on Milan Avenue between St. Mary’s Street and Main, and on Linwood Avenue, between Chestnut and Forest streets. Expect traffic delays.


An Ohio man detained in North Korea for five months is back home.

56-year-old Jeffery Fowle of Miamisburg was abruptly allowed to leave yesterday.  He arrived at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton early this morning.  Fowles was arrested in May for allegedly leaving a Bible in a North Korean nightclub.  Two other Americans remain in custody.


State health officials are monitoring more people for possible exposure to the Ebola virus.

The Ohio Department of Health says 159 people are being monitored, but so far, no symptoms of Ebola have been reported.

The clock is ticking, on efforts to save world history for Ohio’s high school students.

Students need to learn world history to pass the current Ohio Graduation Test, but the test will be phased out next year, and replaced by exams that only cover American History and government. Corbin Moore with the Ohio Council for Social Studies says if the class is an elective, students won’t take it, and will miss out on learning about important global events. Senate Bill 96 would add World History to the list of social studies credits required for graduation. It passed the Senate in the spring, but has been in a House committee since then. The House has until the end of the year to act.

It’s a chance help Huron be named as one of the “Coolest Small Towns in America.”

The city is in budgettravel.com’s national contest, for 2015. As of yesterday, Huron was second among 70 cities, trailing Hillsborough, North Carolina. To vote, go to budgettravel.com.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Six area high school football teams are ranked in this week’s statewide poll.

In Division III, Norwalk is down one spot to #6, while Clyde remains 10th.  In Division IV, Bellevue is back in the poll at 14th.  In Division V, Huron has moved up one spot to number 9.  And in Division VII, St. Paul remains at #5, while Plymouth is ranked 11th.

District volleyball begins tonight at Willard High School.  In Division IV, two state-ranked teams, St. Paul and Buckeye Central will play at 6.  After that, it’s state-ranked Monroeville and South Central.

Mental health issues may have played a role, in a bizarre high-speed chase involving a semi-truck.

The driver, 61-year-old Ronald Weaver of Tennessee was hospitalized, after Sunday’s chase. Weaver fled Dollar General in Sandusky, after employees confronted him about shoplifting an armful of items. He drove his rig west into Ottawa, Lucas and Wood counties, before he was stopped on I-75 near Bowling Green. Law enforcement officers used ‘stop sticks’ multiple times during the chase. When it ended, some of Weaver’s tires were completely off the rims. All told, the chase lasted 75 miles and an hour and 15 minutes, with speeds up to 95 miles per hour. Weaver was taken to a Toledo hospital, for a mental health evaluation. He’s currently charged with fleeing and eluding, with more charges pending.

The highway patrol has released information, about a major drug bust, on the Ohio Turnpike.

260 pounds of marijuana, worth $1.3 million dollars, was discovered during a routine traffic stop last Thursday in Wood County. During the stop, a trooper smelled raw marijuana, leading to a search that turned up nine duffel bags full of pot. Two people, Tiffany Samuels of Pittsburgh, and Santos Romero of Las Vegas were jailed on charges of marijuana trafficking and possession.

A Perkins Township girl missing for several weeks has been found, in Dubuque, Iowa.

15-year-old Chyanne Crawford-Nickles was found, safe and sound Saturday. She had been missing since early September.


Ohio is getting much-needed funds to help fight the state’s Ebola crisis.

Lawmakers have approved spending $800,000 for protective clothing and the cleanup of places where the virus might be present.


Unemployment in Huron County and the surrounding area decreased in September, according to new figures from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.

Huron County’s jobless rate was 6.1 percent last month compared to 6.6 percent in August.  Erie County’s unemployment rate decreased slightly to 4.6 percent.  Jobless rates also went down in Lorain, Ashland, Richland, Crawford, Seneca and Sandusky Counties.

Election Day is two weeks from today.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Officials with Fisher-Titus Medical Center and the Huron County Health District have announced plans to hold a community forum, about Ebola.

It’s scheduled for 7pm tonight, in the auditorium of the Main Street School. During the forum, Huron County Health Commissioner Tim Hollinger and Dr. Shankar Kurra, Senior Vice President of Medical Affairs at Fisher-Titus will provide a brief update on Ebola, then will answer questions. The public is encouraged to attend tonight’s forum.


State health officials say there are NO cases of Ebola in Ohio, but the Ohio Department of Health is monitoring more than 150 people.

Three of those are being quarantined, but remain at low-risk.


This week’s in-person early voting hours at the Board of Elections Office: Today through Friday, 8am until 5pm, and Saturday, 8 until 4.


A Tennessee trucker is in jail, for leading authorities on a four-county, high-speed chase in a semi-truck last night.

According to the highway patrol, 61-year-old Ronald Weaver allegedly stole items from Dollar General in Sandusky, then fled in his Kenworth rig. Troopers and other law enforcement officers pursued Weaver through parts of Erie, Ottawa, Lucas and Wood counties. Heavy-duty stop sticks were deployed multiple times during the chase, until the semi went off the road on I-75 in Wood County. The chase lasted about an hour and 15 minutes, and reached speeds of 95 miles per hour. Weaver was taken into custody without incident. So far, he’s facing a single charge of fleeing and eluding, with more charges expected.


Two local fugitives on the run since late last week were found and arrested last night.

According to the Huron County Sheriff’s Office, 33-year-old John Youngless III of New London, and 24-year-old Brittany Fernekees of Greenwich were caught by a bail bondsman. Authorities had been searching for Youngless since Friday morning. He had slipped away from the Huron County Courthouse after declining a plea agreement on drug charges. Authorities said after fleeing the courthouse, he met up with Fernekees. She was wanted, on felony drug charges. Both were taken to the Huron County Jail.


It could be a big weekend at Whitney Field in Norwalk.

Friday night, the Norwalk Truckers can clinch at least a share of this year’s NOL football championship. Norwalk will host Shelby. The Whippets are coming off an incredible 83-82 overtime loss to Tiffin Columbian. Saturday, the St. Paul Flyers will host Mapleton. A win by the Flyers will give the defending Firelands Conference champs at least a share of this year’s title.


Old State Road, between Executive Drive and State Route 18 is scheduled to be closed today through Thursday, from 7:30am until 6pm, as crews begin work on a waterline replacement project.

Friday will be used as a special work or makeup day.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

No doubt you noticed yesterday’s sudden and steep increase at the pumps.

Gas prices jumped by as much as 44 cents, to $3.19 a gallon. No real reason was given.


Today is National Grouch Day.

It’s also National ‘I Love Lucy’ Day in honor of the hit TV show that made its debut October 15th, 1951.


The State Highway Patrol is investigating a crash that left one person dead.

It occurred at approximately 7 this morning on State Route 99 in Groton Township.  A male driver was killed when his car hit the trailer of a semi that was backing into the driveway of Miller’s Poultry Products.  We’ll have more as details become available.


Yesterday, we told you about the Norwalk Police Department taking steps, to acquire new guns.

The department wants to trade in its current Sig-Sauers, to help defray the cost of 35 new Glock 9 mm handguns. Now, Sandusky police are getting new Tasers. The city commissioners have accepted more than $12,000 in grant money, to cover most of the cost of 13 Tasers.


The Red Cross has kicked off a campaign, in hopes of reducing deaths and injuries from house fires, by as much as 25 percent over the next five years.

While working smoke detectors are important, the group’s Anne Marie Borrego says an escape plan is equally important. Fire experts estimate people have as little as two minutes to escape. The majority of people believe they have at least five minutes.


The speed limit will soon change, on two heavily-traveled Norwalk streets.

Westwind Drive will go from 35, to 25 miles-per-hour. Republic Street will go from 25, to 35.


The Norwalk Board of Education is considering a proposal by the Ohio School Boards Association to help with the search for a new superintendent.

For $6,900, OSBA would accept applications, screen them by using active and retired superintendents and then offer a list of first-rounders, along with identical scripted questions to ask during interviews.  OSBA would also offer help during second-round and subsequent interviews.  Officials said the process should take roughly 3 1/2 months.  A decision on hiring OSBA could come next month.


There’s a new website offered by the state, designed to help Ohioans with disabilities find jobs.

The website—OhioMeansAccesibility—also provides potential employers with details about hiring incentives, workplace accommodations and employment law. Again, the website is OhioMeansAccesibility.


Northern Ohio families who use propane to heat their homes should get some relief this winter.

The ‘Ohio Propane Gas Association’ says more propane is being produced in the state this year and a better delivery system is in place.  Last year’s brutal cold temperatures and heavy snow resulted in propane shortages.


The clock is ticking, on Cedar Point’s Mantis.

This Sunday will be the final time riders can ride the roller coaster, before it closes, and is transformed into the new Rougarou coaster, in time for the 2015 season. Cedar Point will be giving all guests who ride Mantis on Sunday, a free limited-edition button. Special Mantis prize packs will be given to select guests.


In recent years, more and more stores are opening earlier and earlier…launching Black Friday Sales on Thanksgiving.

This year, Macy’s says they will open at 6 p.m. on Thursday, November 27th…two hours earlier than last year.


A Lancaster, Ohio man is in the Summit County Jail accused of impersonating a police officer.

David Scofield was nabbed on I-76 when he pulled over an off-duty police officer.  Investigators said Scofield’s car was disguised as a police cruiser, he had guns, a uniform and a bulletproof vest.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The Norwalk Police Department is warning businesses and retail shops that fake $100 bills are being passed in the Maple City and the surrounding area.

The counterfeit bills appear to be very well done, and can easily be mistaken for real $100 bills. Police are urging businesses to make every effort to ensure $100 bills are real. If there’s any doubt, businesses and employees should contact the Norwalk Police Department at 419-668-3311. 9-1-1 may be called, if a person trying to pass counterfeit money is present.


Speaking of the Norwalk Police Department…

Chief Dave Light is seeking approval from city council, to trade in the department’s current handguns, for 35 new ones. The department wants to replace its Sig-Sauer guns, with 9 mm Glock handguns. Many of the police department’s current guns are nearly 10 years old.


A problem at an Ohio Edison substation in Wakeman is responsible for an outage affecting about 3,000 people.

Crews are at the scene, but its unknown when power will be fully restored.


Erie County deputies are investigating the theft of several thousand of dollars worth of Halloween and Christmas decorations, from Admiral Pointe Nursing Home in Huron.

It’s believed the items were swiped from a storage unit in early October. The theft could destroy the nursing home’s annual Halloween event. Anyone with information should contact the Erie County Sheriff’s Department.


This Saturday is when Edison High School will host its annual marching band review, featuring eight area marching bands.

Things will get underway at 7pm. This year’s lineup includes Buckeye Central, Clyde, Genoa, Monroeville, Norwalk, South Central, Willard, and of course, Edison, along with the Edison mini-majorettes. Tickets are $5 for adults, and $4 for students and senior citizens. They can be purchased at the gate, starting at 5:30.

The Edison Marching band is also hosting a canned food drive. Donations of five non-expired canned foods will receive one free ticket. This year’s Master of Ceremonies is Josh Boose, from Cleveland’s News Channel 5. Boose is a former Edison High School marching band member, and an alumnus of the school’s Show Choir and Theater Department.


There’s a new website offered by the state designed to help Ohioans with disabilities find jobs.

The website—OhioMeansAccesibility—also provides potential employers with details about hiring incentives, workplace accommodations and employment law.  Again, the website is OhioMeansAccesibility.


In sports…

The Maple City has two top-5 football teams.  Norwalk is up two spots to number five in this week’s Division III poll, while St. Paul is ranked 5th in Division VII.  Also in the poll:  Clyde is number 10 in Division III; Huron 12th in Division V and Plymouth 11th in Division VII. 

The Cavs’ preseason continues tonight at the Q.  The Cavaliers will take on the Milwaukee Bucks at 7 and you can hear it on 95.3, WLKR.



Monday, October 13, 2014

A reminder today is Columbus Day, a federal holiday.

Trash pickup is running as usual, but there’s no mail today. Government offices and many banks are closed for the holiday.


More hacking incidents…

Sears Holding Corporation, the parent company of Kmart said Friday that some credit and debit cards may have been compromised. On Thursday, Dairy Queen announced it had been hacked.


Early voting continues throughout Ohio.

This week’s in-person early voting hours at the Board of Elections office: 8am until 5pm. Weekend hours will be offered closer to Election Day.


If you’re looking for work, you may want to head to Willard tomorrow, for a job fair sponsored by Huron County Job and Family Services, and the Huron County Development Council.

It’ll be held between 9am and noon, at American Legion Post 514, on Conwell Avenue. Those attending will be able to meet with potential employers, fill out applications and interview on-site. If possible, job seekers should bring their resumes.


To Mansfield, where authorities looking for a wanted sex offender found him, in a different spot.

Justin Tucker of Columbus was found Friday, hiding in the ceiling, of a Motel 6. He had been on the run for a few weeks. His wife was with him. Tucker was taken to jail. His wife was charged with obstruction of justice.


$6.6 million dollars is up for grabs.

That’s the amount of tonight’s Classic Lotto jackpot. Mega Millions is up to $166 million, and Powerball is worth $90 million.


Speaking of lotteries, another multi-state game is coming.

Monopoly Millionaires Club will feature a weekly drawing, with players hoping to hit the right numbers for a top prize of $15 million, or 10 smaller prizes of $1 million each. Plans also call for a nationally televised Monopoly Millionaires Club game show, with its audience and players coming from those who registered their lottery tickets online. 22 states and the District of Columbia will offer the game. Nine other states, including Ohio, are expected to join as well.


Friday, October 10, 2014

A former assistant football and track coach at Fremont Ross High School is facing up to five years in prison, for having sex with a student.

36-year-old Johnny Alridge  was found guilty yesterday, after entering a plea of ‘no contest’ to a charge of sexual battery. Alridge was arrested in early June, after school officials and authorities learned he had sex with a 17-year-old female student. Sentencing is pending, in Sandusky County Common Pleas Court.


Police are investigating back-to-back burglaries, at a Bellevue car dealership.

The break-ins occurred at Caranfa Ford Sunday evening and Monday night. The thief or thieves made off with four tires and four older scooters. Anyone with information should contact the Bellevue police department.


From Norwalk City Hall…

State Street, between League and Clifton Street will be closed from Monday until October 29th for repairs to the St. Mary Church steeple.


Greenwich Village Council has a new member.

Ralph Wilson was appointed early this week. He’s stepping in for Travis Wilson, who recently moved out of Greenwich.


Charges of felonious assault and domestic violence have been filed against a Sandusky woman accused of stabbing her boyfriend.

52-year-old Tina Gebard was arrested early yesterday morning, after the incident at her Reese Street home. According to reports, during an argument, Gebard stabbed the victim in his shoulder. He was treated at Firelands Regional Medical Center. She was taken to the Erie County Jail.


Norwalk High School is accepting applications for the Hall of Fame Class of 2015.

Nomination forms for the Athletic Hall of Fame and Academic or Distinguished Citizen Hall of Fame are available on Norwalk High School’s website, and the high school office.


It’s a big night for high school football.

Tonight on 95.3, WLKR and wlkrradio.com, we’ll have two games featuring four state-ranked teams.  Live at 7, its 10th ranked Bellevue at #7 Norwalk.  After Bellevue at Norwalk, it’s Pigskin Playback from Mary Fate Park in Plymouth as the 9th ranked Big Red host #5 St. Paul.



Thursday, October 9, 2014

The Sandusky police officer involved in a controversial traffic stop is now on paid leave.

Officer Christopher Denny is off, until an investigation is complete, which could take three weeks. The Lucas County Sheriff’s Office is handling the investigation. It centers around Denny’s actions, during a recent traffic stop involving Andre Stockett and his girlfriend. Denny is white, Stockett is black. After they were pulled over October 1st, Stockett argued with Denny about whether the stop was justified. Denny wanted to see Stockett’s ID, claiming he matched the description of a man wanted on felony charges, a request Stockett refused. Stockett used his cell phone to record the exchange. He’s claiming racial profiling.


An argument over their relationship may have led to the stabbing death of a Norwalk native.

42-year-old Yosanda Grandberry of Lakewood was killed one week ago, inside a Cleveland apartment. Police learned she and 52-year-old Gregory Hart had been arguing about their on-and-off again relationship. Hart is in the Cuyahoga County Jail, charged with aggravated murder. Grandberry was a 1990 graduate of Norwalk High School.


Police are investigating back-to-back burglaries at a Bellevue car dealership.

The break-ins occurred at Caranfa Ford Sunday evening and then again Monday night.  The thief or thieves made off with four tires and four older scooters.  Anyone with information should contact the Bellevue Police Department.


The intersection of Foster and Monroe streets in Norwalk will be closed all next week, for gas line repairs.

Locals are encouraged to use alternate routes around the intersection.


A Cleveland-area firm has been hired by the Perkins Board of Education, to help the school board with its superintendent search.

Finding Leaders will be paid $7,500. Current superintendent Jim Gunner is retiring next June. The same firm is helping the Sandusky City Schools find a new treasurer. That search has been suspended for two months. Earlier this week, board members agreed to advertise the vacant position for a third time, in hopes of finding new, qualified applicants. The board will accept applications from December 1st, to January 9th.


If you have AT&T cell service, you may have some money coming your way.

AT&T has reached a settlement with Ohio and other states to resolve allegations that it placed unauthorized third-party charges on customers’ cell phone bills in a practice known as ‘mobile cramming.’  As part of the settlement, AT&T Mobility has agreed to pay $105 million of which $80 million will be used for customer refunds.  Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said hundreds of thousands of Ohioans may be affected by the settlement.  If you think you have a claim, go to ftc.gov/att.


Monday is Columbus Day, a federal holiday.

Government offices and most banks will be closed. No mail, but trash pickup will go on as usual.