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News

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Today is Ash Wednesday.

 

While still a distant second, Ohio governor John Kasich fared much better in yesterday’s New Hampshire presidential primary.

Kasich finished second, with 16% of the vote, compared to less than two percent at last week’s Iowa Caucus. Donald Trump was first in New Hampshire, at 35%. Bernie Sanders easily won the Democratic race, with 60% of the vote.

 

A rollover crash shut down some of Seminary Road in Milan Township last night.

According to reports, a car went off the road and flipped into a creek. Two people suffered minor injuries. Both were taken to Fisher-Titus Medical Center.

 

The Willard school board is looking for a new head football coach.

Monday, the board non-renewed the supplemental contract of Mark Matula. Matula served as head coach for four seasons, and finished with 6 wins and 34 losses, including a 4-6 record in his first season.

 

Prayer before meetings is being addressed by the Norwalk City Schools Board of Education.

Last night, the school board saw the first draft of a measure allowing an invocation or a moment of silence before monthly meetings. Either would be voluntarily delivered by a certified clergy member, and members of the board and those in attendance could choose to participate, or not participate. The policy is being drafted, in response to last year’s request to refrain from prayer by the Freedom From Religion Foundation. In other business last night, the Norwalk school board saw the first draft of the 2016-2017 school calendar. In its present form, classes would begin August 22nd. The final day of school would be May 26th.

 

No charges will be filed against a Sandusky City Commissioner accused of sexual misconduct.

Special prosecutor Michael McNamara said yesterday there wasn’t enough evidence to charge Greg Lockhart. The alleged incident involving Lockhart and a 29-year-old Akron woman occurred in late November. She told authorities she thought Lockhart had sex with her, while she was under the influence of alcohol. No signs of sexual assault were found, and Lockhart claimed the encounter was consensual.

 

Parts Distributors in Norwalk has re-opened.

It closed last month, after the death of owner Tom Olak. It’s been purchased by Cleveland-based Car Parts Warehouse.

 

In sports…

The Willard Lady Flashes have earned a share of the NOL girls basketball title, with last night’s 44-38 win at Ontario. Willard’s unlikely run to the title came after an 0-2 start in league play. The winner of Saturday’s game between Bellevue and Shelby will get a share of the title. Bellevue is the five-time defending champ. And if the Norwalk Lady Truckers beat Ontario Saturday, they’ll earn a piece of their first-ever NOL girls basketball championship. You can hear that game live on 95.3 WLKR and wlkrradio.com.

 

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Snow is falling in other parts of Ohio.

The Cincinnati area and parts of southeast Ohio could wind up with six inches of snow. Four inches of snow is possible in central Ohio.

 

Ohio governor John Kasich is hoping for a better finish at today’s New Hampshire primary.

Kasich had a dismal showing, at last week’s Iowa Caucus. He did notch a victory in a tiny northern New Hampshire town. Dixville Notch has nine registered voters and they cast the first ballots of the primary as soon as the clock strikes midnight. Of the nine registered voters, five are Republicans. Three of them voted for Kasich, while two voted for Donald Trump. Dixville Notch has backed the eventual Republican nominee in every election cycle since 1968.

 

Norwalk mayor Rob Duncan will deliver his annual ‘State of the City’ address during tonight’s Norwalk City Council work session.

 

Yesterday’s fire that destroyed a home on Butler Road near New London may have started in the kitchen.

Firefighters from New London, Wakeman and Rochester were called on to battle the early morning blaze. Two residents got out safely, along with their two cats.

 

A Monday morning house fire in Norwalk did $125,000 damage.

The blaze at 27 ½ State St. broke out, when the homeowner tried to light his stove, causing gas to flash and set fire to nearby items. The resident tried to extinguish the flames, before calling 911. It took firefighters nearly 40 minutes to bring the blaze under control. No one was injured.

 

The Norwalk City Schools Board of Education will meet in regular session at 7:30 tonight, at Norwalk High School.

 

The City of Norwalk’s Planning Commission will meet at 7 tomorrow night, at city hall.

 

A Sandusky man remains in the Erie County Jail, accused of throwing a brick through the window of a temporary employment agency.

44-year-old Marvin Roberts was arrested early yesterday morning for felony vandalism and misdemeanor menacing. He’s accused of hurling a brick through a window at Flex-Temp Employment Services on East Farwell Street. Nearby residents heard glass shattering, and contacted police.

 

Monday, February 8, 2016

No one was hurt, in a house fire in New London.

But this morning’s blaze destroyed the Butler Road home. Two people in the home got out safely, along with the family’s pets. Firefighters from New London, Wakeman and Rochester were at the scene.

 

The Highway Patrol continues to investigate a weekend crash that left a Wakeman man dead.

48-year-old Joe Milks Jr. was killed late Saturday night on State Route 113, near Route 60 in Erie County’s Florence Township. According to the Sandusky Patrol Post, Milks was westbound on 113, when he went left of center, went off the road, then hit a ditch and a tree. He was pronounced dead at the scene. A passenger, 11-year-old Jason Milks suffered minor injuries, and was taken to Mercy Regional Medical Center. Alcohol and drugs are not considered factors in the crash.

 

Authorities have found human remains believed to that of a missing Mansfield woman in northern Richland County.

The remains of 62-year-old Patty Hudson were discovered yesterday at multiple sites near Shiloh. While not yet charged with her death, Hudson’s next-door neighbors were arrested last week for using her credit card, and for violating parole. More charges are pending.

 

Vandalism at Norwalk Theatre on East Main could cost thousands of dollars.

It happened late last week. A vandal or vandals damaged marquee letters and tore out rare neon tubing. Anyone with information should contact the Norwalk Police Department. A reward is possible.

 

An area newspaper says a Sandusky City Commissioner is under investigation, for alleged sexual misconduct.

Sunday’s Sandusky Register said a special prosecutor is looking into allegations against Greg Lockhart. Lockhart was elected in November. He told the Register that detectives recently questioned him about the allegations. He also said it was a personal matter involving his ex-girlfriend, sometime in 2015. It’s not known if charges will be filed.

 

An audit shows the former manager of Bowling Green State University’s Stroh Center has been accused of pocketing money associated with high school volleyball, basketball and wrestling tournaments held at the arena.

BGSU officials said Friday they may never know how much money was allegedly taken by Ben Spence, but they believe he stole at least $10,000 since 2012. University officials acknowledged the amount could be much higher. He was suspended last fall, and this week, a Wood County grand jury indicted Spence on five felony charges, including theft and tampering with records. Records show Spence used a personal bank account to deposit proceeds from State Athletic Association tournaments. Bank records also show a pattern of ATM withdrawals, checks written to himself, and questionable debit card transactions.

 

Sunday is Valentine’s Day.

Presidents Day is one week from today.

 

It’s still in the planning stages, but the Bellevue Fire Department hopes to begin carrying Narcan within the next couple of months.

Narcan is an overdose reversal drug for narcotics. The Bellevue Fire Department will operate under protocols of North Central EMS. The cost is being covered by a grant from the Huron County Health Department.

 

Friday, February 5, 2016

17 months in prison, for a Norwalk man who had sex with a teenage girl.

41-year-old Joseph Claus was sentenced yesterday in Huron County Common Pleas Court, on a single count of gross sexual imposition. Once out of prison Claus will be on parole for five years, and as a Tier I sex offender, he’ll be required to register his address once a year for 15 years. The incident involving Claus and the 13-year-old victim occurred last October, at his Williams Street apartment.

 

More charges have filed against five Sandusky teens accused of taking part in a recent armed robbery.

Along with attempted murder charges, the boys—ages 16 and 17—have been charged with aggravated burglary and robbery, and felonious assault. All of the charges are tied to the January 25th shooting and robbery of a Forest Drive man. Shots were fired, and the boys forced their way into the victim’s home. A bullet hit the man in the arm, and traveled into his chest. The victim was hospitalized, but has since been released. All five teens remain in the Erie County Juvenile Detention Center.

 

A collection agency may be hired, to help recoup unpaid traffic tickets in Greenwich.

Officials are considering using a collection agency, because over 400 speeding tickets issued via the village’s traffic cameras haven’t been paid. Greenwich Village Council is expected to consider the proposal in the coming weeks.

 

It happened late last month, but details are just coming out.

An Oregon man was arrested January 27th, after he was caught with 21 pounds of marijuana on the Ohio Turnpike, west of Fremont. 29-year-old Russell Hines was eastbound on the turnpike, when he was pulled over for slow speed, and a lane violation. A search of his car turned up nearly $200,000 worth of pot. He was charged with drug trafficking, and was taken to the Sandusky County Jail.

 

Kindergarten registration in Bellevue is scheduled for April 6th, 7th and 8th.

Appointments may be made by calling the Board of Education Office, 484-5000.

 

Next week is when the drive-thru will be open, for residents to make Huron County property tax payments.

The drive-thru is on East Seminary Street, behind the Huron County Office Building…Hours will be 8:30am until 4pm. There will be a change this year. Cash will no longer be accepted as payment at the drive-thru. All cash payments must be made inside the Huron County Treasurer’s Office. To avoid counterfeit money, all cash will be run through a ‘cash discriminator’ to scan the bills. Any money deemed ‘suspicious’ will not be accepted. Huron County property taxes are due one week from today.

 

Thursday, February 4, 2016

A man hauling construction debris suffered minor injuries, when his truck flipped on its side in Milan Township.

Timothy Dunlap of Monroeville declined treatment. According to reports, yesterday afternoon’s mishap occurred at Routes 250 and 13, when debris shifted during a right-hand turn, causing the rig to roll on its side, spilling the debris on the road. The intersection was closed for about two hours. Dunlap was charged with a load violation.

 

The Huron County Republican Party has scheduled a local debate for 6pm February 17th, at the New London Village Hall.

County commissioner hopefuls Bob Morgan and Skip Wilde will be there, along with four Republicans running for the Statehouse: Kathryn Frombaugh of Rochester, Timothy Opsitnick of Avon, Dick Stein of Norwalk and Lee Charles Waldrup of Bellevue. Also scheduled to participate: U.S. Congressman Bob Gibbs, and Republican challenger Terry Robertson. Huron County Republican Party officials will ask questions, and they’ll accept questions from the audience as well. Again, the debate is set for February 17th, at the New London Village Hall. Primary election day in March 15th.

 

State Representative Steven Arndt has been picked to serve as a member of the House Transportation Committee, and the Turnpike Legislative Review Committee.

In addition to those committees, he serves on the Armed Services, Veterans Affairs and Public Safety committees, the Commerce and Labor Committee, and the Economic and Workforce Development Committee. Arndt represents Ohio’s 89th District, which is made up of Erie and Ottawa counties.

 

A suspected drive-by shooter who targeted the wrong home is in the Erie County Jail.

18-year-old Jeremiah Velez of Sandusky was arrested yesterday afternoon on charges of felonious assault and obstructing official business. The charges are tied to a January 26th incident at a Fulton Street apartment complex. Sandusky police said Velez’s target was a resident who owed him money. Instead, he shot up the wrong apartment. A 25-year-old woman and her nine-month-old infant were in the apartment, but both were unharmed.

 

 

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

With temperatures in the mid-to-upper 50’s, a new record high could be set in Norwalk.

The current record is 55, set in 1931.

 

Firefighters continue to investigate a blaze that claimed a Sandusky man.

69-year-old Charles Purkeypile of Sandusky died early yesterday morning inside his Milan Road apartment. Officials suspect he was smoking in bed while using an oxygen machine. The blaze remains under investigation.

 

Officials with Michael’s craft store have announced plans to buy the parent company of rival and Ohio-based Pat Catan’s.

The deal between Michael’s and Lamrite West is worth $150 million. No stores will close, and no employees will lose their jobs. It’s not yet known if the sale will affect Pat Catan’s plans to open a new store in Norwalk.

 

Norwalk City Council has approved a lease-purchase agreement for new phones.

The new citywide phone system from Frontier will cost $81,000.

 

A change, involving Imagine Norwalk.

This summer’s three Friday downtown events—June 3rd, July 1st and August 5th will be coordinated by the Norwalk Jaycees. Imagine Norwalk’s third summer season will again feature music, food and more.

 

A Bellevue man accused of going online to solicit sex from a girl under 13 will undergo a mental health evaluation to determine if he knew right from wrong and to see if he can aid in his own defense.

71-year-old Lawrence Green is charged with felony importuning. He was arrested in early January, after a month-long investigation. Green remains in the Huron County Jail, in lieu of $30,000 bond.

 

Police in Fremont are looking for a man who robbed KeyBank yesterday afternoon.

The man walked into the bank just before 4 and gave a teller a note demanding money. He fled the scene on foot, and hasn’t been seen since.

 

A change, involving the Greenwich Township Trustees.

The trustees have changed meeting times to 5:30, the final Tuesday of each month.

 

Nearly a dozen people have applied to become the next treasurer of the Norwalk City Schools.

Three are from the area. Of the 11 applicants, three have experience in school finance. The Norwalk Board of Education hopes to hire a new treasurer by next month.

 

February 16th is the deadline to register to vote, or change voter information in time for the March 15th primary election.

 

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

It’s a split decision.

Famed groundhog Punxsutawney Phil didn’t see his shadow this morning, which, according to legend, means an early spring. But, his Ohio counterpart, Buckeye Chuck saw his shadow, which is supposed to mean six more weeks of winter.

 

A Grafton man has been sentenced to life in prison, for killing a Sandusky resident.

35-year-old Joseph Sandy will be eligible for parole in 20 years. Sandy was sentenced yesterday in Erie County Common Pleas Court, after pleading guilty last Thursday to a charge of aggravated murder. The charge was tied to the December, 2013 death of 86-year-old George Martin. Sandy stabbed Martin, and then set fire to his Campbell Street home. Authorities believe Sandy went to the house, to steal money for drugs. Sandy’s wife, 25-year-old Bethany Sandy of Norwalk was involved in the crime. She remains in the Erie County Jail, pending court proceedings.

 

Norwalk Mayor Rob Duncan will deliver his annual ‘State of the City’ address to city council one week from today.

Sandusky’s Polar Plunge was a big success. The annual fundraiser for the Special Olympics raised more than $25,000.

 

North Fairfield village councilman Tom Leto could be named village administrator.

Mayor Josh Radcliff has recommended that Leto fill the seat previously held by Bob Morgan. North Fairfield council could decide as soon as next week.

 

A special prosecutor has been named, to oversee a missing drugs investigation involving Sandusky County Sheriff Kyle Overmyer.

Delaware County Prosecutor Carol Hamilton O’Brien will decide if the matter should go before a grand jury. Overmyer has been accused of mishandling prescription drug boxes collected around the county. He’s denied wrongdoing.

 

After getting just 1.9% of the vote during yesterday’s Iowa Caucus, governor John Kasich is hoping for a strong showing in next Tuesday’s New Hampshire presidential primary.

Ted Cruz won the GOP Caucus. On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders finished in a virtual tie.

 

 

 

Monday, February 1, 2016

We just missed tying a record high in Norwalk yesterday.

The official high in the Maple City was 59. The record was 60, set in 1916.

 

Ohio Governor John Kasich has picked up a big endorsement.

The New York Times editorial board has endorsed Kasich to win the Republican nomination for president. Last month, he was endorsed by three New Hampshire newspapers. The Times also endorsed Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination.

 

Kasich’s campaign for the presidency has led to a lot of time outside the Buckeye State.

A study by the Columbus Dispatch shows Kasich has spent at least 130 days out-of-state during the past ten months…That equals 26 five-day workweeks. In response, the Ohio Democratic Party posted a help-wanted ad on Columbus Craigslist, seeking new leadership.

 

A Norwalk business owner who parked at the Huron County Jail with marijuana stashed in his car is going to prison for a year.

53-year-old Kenneth Green was sentenced last week. Last year, Green was serving a 90-day jail sentence with work release privileges, for selling marijuana. While in jail, pot was found in his car, during a random patrol of the grounds. Green is the owner of KG’s Automotive Repair on East Water Street.

 

Five Sandusky teens are facing serious charges, including attempted murder.

The boys, ages 16 and 17 were arrested Friday, in connection with a January 25th shooting on Forest Drive. Police believe the victim, a 22-year-old man was shot during a robbery attempt. He was taken to a Toledo hospital, and continues to recover. Sandusky police recovered three firearms used in the shooting. The boys remain in juvenile lockup, pending court proceedings. They could be tried as adults.

 

A high-speed chase through parts of seven counties has led to criminal charges against a North Ridgeville man.

33-year-old George Tiller was arrested at 2:15 yesterday morning, an hour after the chase began in Cuyahoga County. According to reports, police tried to stop Tiller for speeding and suspected drunk driving. Tiller fled into Medina County, then Wayne, Ashland, Richland, Morrow and Delaware counties, with speeds reaching 100 miles per hour. Along the way, Tiller hit a concrete barrier, and drove on at least one flat tire. Fortunately, traffic was light and no one was injured.

 

A reminder that off-site Huron County property tax collections will continue tomorrow and Wednesday.

Huron County Treasurer Kathleen Schaffer will be at the Willard Senior Center tomorrow, and New London Village Offices on Wednesday…Hours at those locations will be 9 until 12. Off-site Huron County property tax payments must be made with a check or money order, and the tax bill must accompany the payment.

 

Friday, January 29, 2016

You’ll notice a change Monday morning, on 95.3 WLKR and wlkrradio.com.

Fox News will be replaced by CBS News at 6, 7, 8, noon and 5.

 

It’s an annual fundraiser for the Special Olympics, and it’ll take place tomorrow in Sandusky.

The official opening ceremony will begin at 12:15, and the Polar Plunge will take place at 1 at the Thirsty Pony. Dozens of people who secured pledges will plunge into a pool of cold water, to benefit the Special Olympics. Last year, $25,000 was raised at the Sandusky Polar Plunge. Participants may pre-register between 5:30 and 7:30 tonight, or 10 tomorrow morning. Those who don’t want to take the plunge, but want to support the Special Olympics can pay $30, and receive a ‘too chicken to plunge’ t-shirt.

 

A city of Norwalk employee accused of stealing a street sign will not face criminal charges.

The general services worker allegedly swiped a street sign and hid it where no one would find it. A special prosecutor assigned to investigate the theft found the employee wasn’t truthful during interviews, but he also found that proving theft beyond a reasonable doubt would be too difficult.

 

Sentencing is scheduled for Monday, for a man accused of stabbing a Sandusky resident, then setting fire to his house.

35-year-old Joseph Sandy of Grafton could be sentenced to life in prison, with a chance of parole in 20 years. He appeared in Erie County Common Pleas Court yesterday, and entered a plea of guilty to a charge of aggravated murder. In exchange, the prosecutor’s office dismissed several other felony charges, agreed not to pursue the death penalty. Sandy and his wife went to the Campbell Street home of 86-year-old George Martin in December of 2013, with the intent to steal. Instead, Sandy fatally stabbed Martin, and then set fire to the house. The case was under investigation for six months, before Sandy’s wife revealed her involvement. Bethany Sandy of Norwalk remains in the Erie County Jail, and is facing several complicity charges.

 

Dog owners…

If you haven’t done so yet, you don’t have much time to buy new tags for 2016. In Huron County, the deadline is Monday. In Erie County, it’s Tuesday.

 

In the coming weeks, you’ll hear more about a proposal to use $3.5 million in trust fund money, to build a new fire station in Norwalk.

The issue will be on the March 15th primary ballot.

 

Thursday, January 28, 2016

A Norwalk woman reported missing has been found.

19-year-old Raven Marvin was found yesterday. Previous to that, she hadn’t been seen since Sunday.

 

Huron County’s December unemployment rate was well above the statewide average of 4.7 percent.

According to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, Huron County’s jobless rate was 7.3 percent or 12th highest in the state. Except for Lorain County, all counties surrounding Huron County were higher than the state average as well. Erie County was at 6.1 percent, Crawford County was at 5.8 percent, Richland County 5.6 percent, Ashland County 5.1 percent, and Sandusky and Seneca counties, 4.9 percent. Lorain County’s December unemployment rate was 4.5 percent.

 

Plymouth-Shiloh Schools Superintendent Dr. James Metcalf will fill dual roles for the remainder of the school year.

Along with superintendent duties, he’ll serve as high school principal. Former principal Amanda Mahon resigned last month, after accepting a job at Mid-Ohio ESC. The Plymouth-Shiloh Board of Education will begin the search for a new principal in the spring.

 

A former employee of Lorain County JVS has been charged with sexual battery.

23-year-old Monique Overstreet of Elyria allegedly had consensual sex with an 18-year-old student last November. Records show she was a part-time classroom aide, before resigning in mid-November. She’s currently free on bond.

 

The state’s sales tax holiday on back-to-school items could become an annual thing, if bipartisan legislation is approved in Columbus.

Under Senate Bill 264, no local or state sales tax would be charged on clothing priced at $75 or less and school supplies that cost $20 or less. If approved, the annual sales tax holiday would take place during the first weekend of each August.

 

Ohio-based Wendy’s is investigating reports of unusual activity on debit and credit cards.

Officials with fast food chain said yesterday that fraudulent charges may have occurred on cards used at some locations. Wendy’s is encouraging customers to watch for unauthorized charges on their cards.

 

The Huron County Board of Elections will hold a special meeting at 7:30 tomorrow morning, to discuss the review of statewide petitions.

The meeting will be held in the Board office, in the Huron County Administration Building in Norwalk.

 

They’ll be ‘Freezin’ for a Reason’ Saturday.

The annual Polar Plunge, a fundraiser for the Special Olympics will be held in Sandusky. We’ll have more, in news tomorrow.