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Friday, April 17, 2015

Waterline work is done, and Old State Road, between Executive Drive and Akron Road in Norwalk is open.


A Willard man is in the Huron County Jail this morning, charged in connection with the alleged sexual assault of a child.

37-year-old Karl Lengyel was arrested late Wednesday night, after Huron County Sheriff Dane Howard’s Special Response Team forcibly entered his Bullhead Road home. According to reports, Lengyel tried to flee, but was captured by deputies. He was charged with sexual battery, and was taken to jail. He’s due in court next Thursday.


More news from the Sheriff’s Office…

It appears Russian hackers have attacked the Sheriff’s computers and server with a virus that infects and encrypts certain files. The hackers want the Sheriff’s Office to pay to restore the files. The FBI is now looking into the situation.


Sandusky City Schools superintendent Dr. Eugene Sanders has unveiled plans to launch the region’s only arts academy.

Sanders made the announcement, during yesterday’s “State of the Schools” speech. The Great Lakes Visual and Performing Arts Academy at Sandusky High will offer classes in dance, vocal and instrumental music, visual arts and theater. Applications are being accepted from students entering the 9th and 10th grades this fall. Also set to begin this fall: Blue Streak University, which will offer college credits to students at Sandusky High School.


A former northeast Ohio police chief is going to prison, for stealing $80,000.

57-year-old Gerald Smith Jr. served as police chief in Kirtland Hills from 1988 until last year. Now, he’ll spend two years behind bars for falsification and mail fraud. Federal prosecutors said Smith used village credit cards to fully furnish a home he owned in Florida. He also spent village money on other personal items, and a 2007 hunting trip.


A near month-long hunger strike at a supermax prison is Youngstown is over.

Prisoners at the Ohio State Penitentiary ate meals on Wednesday. More than three dozen prisoners began striking March 16th, to protest concerns over new programming and religious restrictions.


No change in Ohio’s unemployment rate.

According to figures released this morning by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, it was 5.1 percent last month, the same as February.  That means the state’s jobless rate remains at a 13-year-low and it’s lower than the U.S. rate, which was 5.5 percent.  During the month of March, 295,000 Ohio workers were unemployed.  That’s 50,000 less than March of last year.


In sports…

The Indians are in Minnesota for a weekend series against the Twins.  Tonight’s game begins at 8:10 and then 2:10 tomorrow and Sunday.  You can hear the first two games of the series on 95.3 WLKR.

Sunday, we’ll have Cleveland Cavaliers playoff basketball as the Boston Celtics come to Quicken Loans Arena.  Pregame coverage begins at 2:30 with tipoff at 3. 

And NASCAR Sprint Cup racing resumes Sunday on K96.  Coverage for the Food City 500 begins at noon.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Yesterday’s official high in Norwalk was 79 degrees.


Authorities in Sandusky County continue to search for clues in the death of 28-year-old Heather Bogle.

Her body was found inside the trunk of her car last Friday.  She had been severely beaten and shot twice.  She hadn’t been seen since leaving work at Whirlpool in Clyde the day before.  Yesterday, detectives executed a search warrant at the crime scene and they released surveillance photos of a white SUV that may be connected to the case.


Governor John Kasich said yesterday he’s “seriously considering” seeking the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.

Kasich’s remarks came, during a luncheon with about 300 business leaders in Detroit. He also said while others are declaring their intentions, he won’t rush his decision. Kasich is scheduled to visit two early primary states—New Hampshire and South Carolina—this week.


Double trouble, for a Sandusky woman.

19-year-old Sydney Simcox was arrested yesterday morning, in a stolen car. Inside the car: a mobile meth lab. Simcox was picked up near Ohio Business College. Perkins police said she was under the influence, and after her arrest, officers searched the car and found ingredients used to make crystal meth. State agents were called in to decontaminate the scene. Simcox is facing several charges, ranging from DUI, to possession of drug abuse instruments. She remains in the Erie County Jail.


Barring a delay, tomorrow is when Republican State Representative Steve Kraus of Huron will stand trial on charges of burglary, theft and breaking and entering.

His trial is scheduled to begin at 8:30am, in the Ottawa County Courthouse. He’s accused of stealing items from a Port Clinton-area home last spring. He’s denied wrongdoing. Kraus was elected to the Ohio House last fall. He represents the 89th District, which is made up of Erie and Ottawa counties.


Tomorrow is tax deadline day, and in terms of federal taxes, a new analysis reveals exactly where those dollars are going.

Lindsay Koshgarian is the Research Director for the National Priorities Project. She says out of every federal income tax dollar paid last year, 27 cents went to the military, 26 cents went to health programs, and 15 cents went to interest on the national debt. Eight cents was spent on unemployment and labor and five cents on veterans benefits, leaving the remaining pennies for things like food, agriculture, transportation, housing and programs involving energy and the environment.


Norwalk City Council will meet in work session, at 7:30 tonight in the Norwalk Muni Courtroom.


The Norwalk Board of Education will hold its regular monthly meeting at 7:30, at Norwalk High School.


Members of Norwalk High School’s Robotics team left for Louisville, Kentucky this morning.

The Norwalk Engineering Robotics Department, or N.E.R.D. Nation will compete in the 2015 Vex Robotics World Championship tomorrow through Saturday.  Norwalk’s seven member team will be up against more than 800 teams and 15,000 high school students from over two dozen countries.


Edison High School senior Shelby Vartorella has won first place in the Fourth District of Ohio’s 2015 Congressional Art Competition.

Her winning piece “Mossy Landscape” will be displayed in the U.S. Capitol, along with other winners from around the country.  In addition to having her work displayed, she’s getting two plane tickets to Washington D.C. and she’s eligible for a scholarship.

Monday, April 13, 2015

A homicide investigation continues in Clyde.

Police are looking for the person who severely beat and shot 28-year-old Heather Bogle of Fremont. Before her death, she was last seen leaving work at Whirlpool early Thursday morning. Bogle was reported missing later in the day, when she didn’t pick up her five-year-old daughter from school. She was found dead in the trunk of her car Friday evening, in the parking lot of the Sumerton apartment complex. An autopsy revealed Bogle died of two gunshot wounds, and blunt force trauma throughout her body.

Authorities don’t have a prime suspect, but they do have some “persons of interest.” To help Bogle’s family, supporters have set up a “GoFundMe” account in her name.


U.S. Senator Rob Portman’s staff is coming to Norwalk.

Residents can meet with his representative between 10 and 11 this Thursday, at Norwalk City Hall. The staff member will listen to thoughts and concerns, and relay the information to Senator Portman.


Damon’s Bar and Grill is returning to Sandusky.

The popular rib-place will re-open next month at its former location, Battery Park Marina.


Lunch prices are going up slightly, in the Norwalk City Schools.

During tomorrow night’s meeting, the Board of Education is expected to approve a 10-cent increase. Lunches will range from $2.25, to $2.75. Breakfast prices are going up as well, to $1.30 for students in kindergarten through 8th grade, and $1.55 for high schoolers.


All-you-can-eat pizza is returning to the Maple City.

The Norwalk Rotary Club’s 16th annual Pizza Bake-Off will be held April 21st at Norwalk High School. Seven different establishments will showcase their finest pizzas. All-you-can-eat admission will be $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and $5 for children.



Friday, April 10, 2015

The Cleveland Indians will open the home portion of their schedule this afternoon.

The home opener against the Detroit Tigers will begin at 4:10, and you can hear it on 95.3 WLKR. Before that, we’ll broadcast live from Progressive Field, starting at 1. You’ll hear comments from Indians players and coaches, along with front office personnel, and we’ll have all the information you need to get you ready for the game.


If you’re going to the Tribe game, or tonight’s Cavs game, be ready for heavy traffic, and steep parking prices in downtown Cleveland.

City officials have issued a number of parking restrictions, and they suggest parking elsewhere, and using RTA trains or busses to get to Progressive Field or Quicken Loans Arena. In addition to back-to-back games, there’s also road construction downtown.


At least three twisters touched down in northwest Ohio yesterday.

The National Weather Service confirmed tornado touchdowns in Perrysburg Township, Walbridge and near Genoa. There were no injuries, and there was no major damage. Funnel clouds were spotted near Fostoria and North Baltimore, but neither one touched down.


His name is Lasso, and he’s getting credit for his biggest drug bust ever.

Lasso is Bellevue’s police dog. Wednesday, he sniffed out more than $10,000 worth of heroin, during a traffic stop near Family Dollar, on State Route 113. Two Cleveland-area residents in the car were taken to the Huron County Jail. A seven-year-old boy was turned over to his grandmother.


A $1,000 cash prize, and much more will be up for grabs this Sunday, during the 12th annual Spaghetti Dinner fundraiser for Cancer Services.

It’ll be held between noon and 7pm, at Sons of Amvets Post 17 on Putnam Street in Sandusky, and it’s open to the public. Drive-thru and carry-out will be available. Tickets are $8 each, and all proceeds will benefit Cancer Services, which serves Erie County, and northern Huron County.


If you see a structure fire near Edison High School later today, it’s not an emergency, but instead, a training exercise.

Firefighters from Milan and Berlin Townships, and Monroeville will start the controlled burn at 5:30, at an A-frame house just west of Edison High School.


A couple of reminders…

Early voting continues, for the May 5th election. You can vote in-person at the Board of Elections Office, or request a ballot by mail. The city of Norwalk’s Spring Trash Pickup begins Monday. Residents can place three large items, or nine extra bags out for pickup.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Gas prices took quite a jump yesterday.

At some area stations, the increase was more than 30 cents, to $2.45 per gallon.


State Route 99, a half-mile south of Mead Road in Ridgefield Township will close Monday for a culvert replacement.

The road is expected to re-open by April 24th.


A convicted sex offender from New London has been found guilty of not registering his address.

36-year-old Wesley Miller of New London is in the Huron County Jail, and will remain there until he’s sentenced next month. Miller had been living with a relative, but was kicked out. He’s considered a Tier I sex offender, which means he’s required to register his address with authorities annually, for 15 years.


To Sandusky, where police are investigating two sizeable thefts…

One is a black 2007 Chevy Cobalt, from Kasper Buick-GMC. The theft was reported Monday evening. Also stolen in recent days…$500 worth of instant lottery tickets from Speedway gas station, at Campbell and Perkins. Police checked surveillance video, but found nothing.


Appointments are being made, for kindergarten registration in the Willard City Schools.

Registration dates are scheduled for April 20th and 21st. To make an appointment, call Central Elementary School.


Around the state…

Gambling revenue high a new record high in March, topping $145 million. That broke the previous record by about $10 million. Ohio has four casinos, and seven ‘racinos.’


The varsity baseball coach at famed Massillon Washington High School has been placed on leave, after he was caught with drugs.

Various reports say 31-year-old Neall French was arrested March 9th, after he was found to be in possession of crack cocaine. His arrest just became public.


Two former University of Toledo athletes have been sentenced to three years probation, for point-shaving.

Keith Triplett and Kashif Payne are the final two former basketball players sentenced in the scandal, which dates back to 2004. In all, seven former Rocket athletes, including three football players, have been sentenced for conspiring with a Detroit-area gambler.


Thursday, April 2, 2015

Area law enforcement agencies are warning businesses to beware of counterfeit money.

In recent days, phony $100 bills have been passed at businesses in Norwalk, Sandusky, Huron and Perkins Township. Authorities should be contacted immediately, if an employee or business suspects someone is trying to use counterfeit money.

Norwalk businessman and former city councilman Dwight Tkach has picked up petitions to run for mayor.

According to Sharon Locke, Director of the Huron County Board of Elections, Tkach has until May 4th to file petitions.  If he does, he’ll sun as an independent and he’d face incumbent Republican Rob Duncan this fall.  No Democrats filed to run for the seat.  Tkach served five terms on Norwalk City Council, with 2011 being his final year.  He’s the owner of Nobil’s Sports and Trophies and Kenilee Lanes.

As expected, governor John Kasich has signed Ohio’s new 2-year, $5 billion transportation budget.

It includes money for work on some of the state’s biggest highways, and $600 million to local governments for road and bridge improvements.

No big surprise, but a new Quinnipiac University poll shows Governor John Kasich is the front runner in Ohio among potential 2016 GOP presidential contenders.

In a crowded field, Kasich is the only one in double figures, 20 percent.  After Kasich, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker got nine percent.  Florida Governor Jeb Bush received eight percent of the vote.

Starting Monday, the Fisher-Titus Patient Pavilion main entrance and Parking Lot C will be closed for renovations.

Work should last six months. During that time, the main entrance for visitors will be the Benedict Avenue entrance. Parking will be available in lots A and B.

Put-In-Bay has an interim police chief.

Former Sandusky Lt. Michael Frank is stepping in for Ric Lampela, who’s on paid leave, amid allegations of misconduct. Frank will earn $25 an hour. He also serves as a part-time police chief for the village of Rocky Ridge, and he works for the Erie County Probation Department.

Hot off the press….The newest edition of the Voice of the Firelands magazine.

The Spring-Summer edition has schedules for the Cleveland Indians, Detroit Tigers, Columbus Clippers, Toledo Mud Hens, and the Lake Erie Crushers, plus a chance to win four tickets to a Tribe game, and a limo ride to and from the game. It also has the complete 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule and roster. The free Voice of the Firelands magazine can be found at select businesses around the area. Limited copies are available at the Radio Ranch.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

The head of a fall, 2014 area crime spree is going to prison for 13 years.

37-year-old James Brant of Monroeville was sentenced yesterday, in Huron County Common Pleas Court. Between late October and late November, Brant and several others stole tens of thousands of dollars of items from Huron, Erie, Lucas, Ottawa, Richland and Seneca counties. Some of the stolen items have since been recovered. Last week, Brant agreed to plead guilty to several charges, including burglary. In exchange, nearly 20 other felonies were dismissed. Brant is currently serving a four-year sentence out of Erie County. That sentence will run concurrently with yesterday’s punishment.

A Norwalk man accused of severely beating his girlfriend’s seven-year-old daughter could be sent to prison for up to three years.

28-year-old Andrew Missler pleaded guilty yesterday to a single count of child endangering, along with a heroin possession charge. He remains in the Huron County Jail, pending sentencing in May. Missler was arrested in January, after school employees noticed the girl had numerous bruises.

The slogan “Lake Erie Love” has paid big dividends for Erie and Ottawa counties.

According to the Sandusky Register, Lake Erie Shores and Islands spent $1 million dollars to advertise “Lake Erie Love.” The result: visitors and tourists spent more than $150 million, and generated $4 million in local taxes.

Ohio’s former governor has support from a former U.S. President.

Bill Clinton has endorsed Ted Strickland, in Strickland’s 2016 bid for the U.S. Senate. The seat is currently held by Republican Rob Portman.

A new poll shows Hillary Clinton is favored among Ohio voters, but her lead is shrinking.

The Quinnipiac University poll shows Clinton has a five-point lead over other presidential contenders in Ohio. In a similar poll done in February, she led others by at least seven percentage points.

People served through the Second Harvest Food Bank of North Central Ohio will soon benefit from recent deer-culling in Avon Lake.

More than 600 pounds of venison have been turned over to Second Harvest.

An early morning crash in Ottawa County sent an Oak Harbor man to the hospital for treatment of serious injuries.

42-year-old Henry Gerschutz was flown to St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center shortly after the 2am crash on Russell Road, near State Route 2.  According to the Highway Patrol, his truck went off the road and hit several trees.  Troopers believe alcohol was a factor in the crash.

Hot off the press…The newest edition of the Voice of the Firelands Magazine.

The Spring-Summer edition has schedules for the Cleveland Indians, Detroit Tigers, Columbus Clippers, Toledo Mud Hens, and the Lake Erie Crushers, plus a chance to win four tickets to a Tribe game and a limo ride to and from the game.  It also has the complete 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule and roster.  The free Voice of the Firelands Magazine can be found at select businesses around the area.  Limited copies are available at the Radio Ranch.

K96 Country – WKFM 96.1 » News 2015-03-31 11:45:18

More accolades, for Monroeville’s Logan Stieber.

The Ohio State wrestler has won the Dan Hodge Trophy, considered the Heisman Trophy of college wrestling. Stieber recently wrapped up his collegiate career with a fourth national



There were no major injuries, in yesterday’s accident that shut down U.S. Route 250 at Omega Road near Fitchville.

According to reports, a semi hit a garbage truck. 250 was closed for several hours.


At least for now, a Sandusky man remains in jail with no bond, for allegedly dousing relatives with gas, and threatening to set them on fire.

44-year-old Kevin Bruster made his initial court appearance yesterday and was denied bail, pending the results of a mental health exam. During the hearing, he denied wrongdoing. He’s due back in Sandusky Municipal Court this Thursday. Bruster is facing several charges, including attempted murder, in connection with the Friday night incident at his home on Columbus Avenue. He’s accused of pouring gasoline on his wife and her eight-year-old granddaughter, before threatening to set them ablaze. Bruster fled the scene when they called for help. He remained at-large until early Sunday morning.


The city of Norwalk’s annual Egg Hunt will be held this Saturday, at Baines Park.

Activities are scheduled for 1, with the egg hunt at 2.


The Western Reserve Board of Education will meet this Thursday, to alter the current school calendar.

Due to excessive snow days this past winter, spring break will be shortened to this Friday through next Monday. Western Reserve Schools will be in session next Tuesday through Friday.


April 6th is the deadline to register to vote, or change voter information in time for the May 5th election.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

There’s no shortage of basketball in Ohio.

The 2015 boys basketball state tournament tips off this morning at Value City Arena in Columbus. The tournament continues tomorrow and Saturday. NCAA Sweet 16 action tips off tonight, with two games set to be played at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland.


A Sandusky man who fatally stabbed his infant cousin has been found not guilty by reason of insanity.

21-year-old Denzel Castile will remain in secured treatment indefinitely. He could be released, if his condition ever improves. Castile stabbed 11-week-old Athena Castile of Norwalk in May of 2013. He was charged with aggravated murder, but doctors found he had mental health issues that led to the crime.


A space heater may have sparked a blaze that damaged a New London home.

Village firefighters were summoned to the East Main Street scene yesterday, after a neighbor saw flames coming from the house. No one was home at the time. We’ll have more, as details become available.


A Plymouth teen continues to receive treatment, after being electrocuted earlier this month.

15-year-old Kyle Brandt remains at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus. His condition is unknown. Brandt went to fix a sump pump in a flooded basement, when the shock occurred.


In terms of unemployment in February, Huron County’s rate was nearly twice the statewide average.

Figures released this week by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services show Huron County’s unemployment rate was 9.3 percent, or fifth-highest in Ohio. The statewide average was 5.1 percent. Rates in surrounding counties ranged from 5.7 percent in Sandusky and Seneca counties, to 7.2 percent in Erie and Lorain counties. The state’s highest unemployment rate was in Monroe County, 10 percent. The lowest was in Delaware County, just 3.6 percent.


A buyout involving two food giants could lead to job losses in Ohio.

The H.J. Heinz Company, makers of ketchup, pickles and much more yesterday announced plans to buy Kraft Foods, makers of mac and cheese, hot dogs, Jello, Miracle Whip and more. Kraft has a major bacon production operation in Coshocton and a sales office in Cincinnati. Heinz has operations in Mason, Massillon and Fremont. Experts say while shoppers won’t notice major changes, jobs could be trimmed, once the deal is finalized later this year.


Governor John Kasich is expected to sign legislation that aims to reduce toxic algae in Lake Erie.

The measure was passed yesterday by state lawmakers.  It includes regulations on the spreading of fertilizer and manure.  The new rules are meant to reduce the amount of phosphorus flowing into the lake, which are attractive to algae.


Supporters of a proposal to legalize marijuana are collecting signatures to put the issue on the ballot.

Members of “ResponsibleOhio” say petitions went out yesterday in major cities with statewide efforts starting next week.  The group wants to make pot legal for recreational and medical use through investor-owned farms and eleven-hundred retail dispensaries.  They’ll need more than 305-thousand signatures by July to place it before voters in November.


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

A Michigan man was arrested in Perkins Township, for his involvement in big scale thefts.

23-year-old Dontez Patton is accused of stealing $30,000 worth of Dyson vacuum cleaners from Meijer stores in three different states. He’s also facing federal ID theft charges. Patton is now in jail in Michigan, along with several co-defendants.

The speed limit will NOT increase, on the Ohio Turnpike and parts of interstate freeways.

A proposal to increase the speed limit from 70 to 75 miles per hour died in Columbus yesterday.

The city of Norwalk’s annual spring trash pickup is set for the week of April 13th.

Resident will be able to place three extra items out for pickup. Norwalk’s annual spring brush pickup is scheduled for the week of May 4th.

Bellevue and Norwalk police teamed up to arrest two Bellevue residents on drug charges.

36 year old Matthew James was arrested for marijuana trafficking, and 27 year old Kelly Rupp for cocaine possession. The pair was also charged with possession of criminal tools and drug paraphernalia. The pair is being held at Huron County jail. Norwalk and Bellevue police joined forces to conduct a drug trafficking investigation near Bellevue middle school, and expect additional arrests as a result.



A Kentucky man has been arrested in Erie County for sex crimes.

19 year old Travis Vartorella of Florence Kentucky was extradited to Erie County on Tuesday to face charges stemming from his involvement with a 13 year old Berlin Township girl. According to police, Vartorella began communicating with the girl through social media sometime in 2013. The girl’s parents later allowed the man to move into their home. In January of 2014, the girl’s father found questionable messages on the girls computer and reported the incident to officials. Vartorella allegedly gave the girl a laptop containing pornography and according to officials, asked the girl to send him explicit photos of herself. The case was presented to an Erie County grand jury earlier this month, and resulted in 10 felony indictments. Vartorella has been arrested on one count of disseminating matter harmful to juveniles, and three counts each of pandering sexually oriented matter involving a minor, obscenity involving a minor, and illegal use of a minor in nudity oriented material. He is currently being held in Erie County on $275,000 bond.