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Friday, November 6, 2015

A new record high was set in Norwalk yesterday.

The official high temperature in the Maple City was 77, breaking the previous record of 74, set in 2008.


High school football’s postseason begins tonight on 95.3 WLKR and K96.

For the first time, the Edison Chargers will host a playoff game, and the Chargers are looking for their first-ever playoff win. In Division V, Region 16 quarterfinal action, the Chargers will take on the Galion Tigers, with kickoff at 7:30. You can hear the game on K96 and wkfm.com.

On 95.3 WLKR and wlkrradio.com, it’s a rematch at Whitney Field, as the St. Paul Flyers take on the Monroeville Eagles, in the Division VII, Region 23 quarterfinals. Kickoff is at 7:30. Tomorrow night on 95.3, it’s Division IV, Region 12 quarterfinal action from Wauseon, as the Indians take on the Bellevue Redmen. Kickoff is at 7.


Also of note…

The Monroeville Lady Eagles are in volleyball’s ‘Elite Eight.’ Monroeville will play top-ranked McComb in tomorrow’s Division IV regional championship match at Elida. It’ll begin at 2. The winner will advance to next week’s Final Four at Wright State.

Huron will play for a spot in the Division III Final Four. The Lady Tigers will play top-ranked St. Henry at 2 tomorrow, at Lake High School.


It was a bad few hours, for a Norwalk man.

First, 46-year-old Brent Bennett crashed his van early yesterday morning on Hickory Street. A police officer took him to his Norwood Avenue, where a fight ensued with his live-in girlfriend. According to reports, after she kicked him out, he walked down the street to Dave’s Food Mart, and tried to hold up the store. Bennett walked in, pulled a knife and demanded money from two employees at the counter. But they refused to hand over any cash, and Bennett fled the store. Norwalk police were called, and they were able to identify him through video surveillance from the store. He was arrested, and taken to the Huron County Jail.


Norwalk City Schools superintendent George Fisk said yesterday that contract negotiations are progressing, between the Board of Education and the Norwalk Teachers Association.

The two sides are scheduled to meet again November 18th. NTA’s previous contract expired over the summer.


Huron County Commissioner Gary Bauer will not seek a fourth term in office.

His current term expires at the end of 2016. Before becoming a commissioner, Bauer was a member of the Norwalk school board. Bauer is the second county commissioner to announce he won’t run again. Tom Dunlap recently said he plans to run for state rep in 2016.


Berlin Road, between Hill Road and Main Street in Berlin Township and Berlin Heights will close Monday, for a drainage improvement project.

No vehicles will be able to access the area. Work should be complete by the end of the month.


Target has announced plans to close 13 stores nationwide.

Two of those stores are in Ohio—one in Columbus, the other in Springfield. Target currently has nearly 1,800 U.S. stores.


Thursday, November 5, 2015

Plymouth village administrator Bill Sexton has been suspended for 10 days without pay, for using village property without authorization.

It’s not the first time Sexton has been suspended. He was placed on paid leave in the fall of 2013, after an arrest for DUI.


To Vermilion, where a police officer and a dispatcher have been fired for having sex while the officer was on duty.

Patrolman David Jones and dispatcher Katie Kovach were terminated last week, after a disciplinary hearing.


A deal has been reached between Norwalk officials, and unions representing the city’s police and fire departments.

Mayor Rob Duncan made the announcement Tuesday night. Details are expected soon.


Duncan also announced that Pat Catan’s is coming to Norwalk.

The popular arts and crafts store will open next spring, in the former Tops building on Whittelsey Avenue.


A Wakeman man will spend five years behind bars, for sexually abusing a 10-year-old girl.

30-year-old Louis Timms learned his fate yesterday in Huron County Common Pleas Court. After prison, he’ll be on parole for five years, and as a Tier III sex offender, he’ll be required to register his address every 90 days for life. The crime involving Timms and the victim occurred last fall.


The U.S. Coast Guard says divers haven’t found any active oil leaks from a sunken barge in Lake Erie.

But they did find four open hatches on the wreckage between Sandusky and Kelley’s Island. Coast Guard crews began watching the site, after a petroleum-based substance was spotted on the surface late last month. The substance is believed to be coming from Argo, a barge that went down during a 1937 storm on Lake Erie. The Coast Guard is now waiting on test results from sediment taken from around the open hatches.


He was given the boot from the Ohio House after being convicted of felony theft, and now, he says he’ll run for Congress.

Republican Steve Kraus says he’ll run against longtime incumbent Marcy Kaptur, a Democrat from Toledo, and he says he’ll run on an anti-corruption platform. Kraus lost his seat in the Ohio House in July, immediately after he was found guilty of stealing items from a home near Port Clinton. Kraus, an auctioneer, said he took the items to appraise them. He also said the charges and his conviction were a conspiracy by Democrats, to get him out of office. Before his dismissal, he represented Erie and Ottawa counties. If you’re wondering, there isn’t any law against felons serving in Congress.


Backers of a push to legalize marijuana in Ohio say they’re not going away.

After Tuesday’s defeat of State Issue 3, officials with ResponsibleOhio said a different pot campaign introduced, and it could be on the ballot as soon as next year. Meanwhile, Republican leaders in the Ohio House say they’ll carefully explore the idea of legalizing medical marijuana.


In sports…

We’ll post Monroeville regional volleyball updates on our Facebook page and on Twitter, @953WLKR. Monroeville will take on Toledo Christian at 6 tonight, at the Elida Fieldhouse.





Wednesday, November 4, 2015

A few pre-election polls predicted it would win, while others said it would be close.

It didn’t win, and it wasn’t close. Voters throughout Ohio said ‘no’ to State Issue 3, a proposal to legalize marijuana in the Buckeye State. The margin was 64-36 percent. Voters did approve State Issues 1 and 2.


Norwalk mayor Rob Duncan has won a second term in office.

Duncan received 57 percent of the vote in yesterday’s election, to defeat challenger Ryan McDonnell. Duncan finished with 2,463 votes, to 1,830 for McDonnell. In the race for Norwalk City Council at-large, the winners were Chris Mushett, Steve Schumm, Steve Euton and Kelly Beck. Chris Castle won the race for Norwalk’s fourth-ward council seat.


Longtime Norwalk school board member John Lendrum was re-elected yesterday.

He was one of five people running for two seats. He’ll be joined by newcomer Lisa Wick. She’ll replace incumbent Ralph Ritzenthaler, who finished third. In the race for Willard school board, the winners were Chris Rothaar and Royden Smith.


Checking other results from yesterday’s election…

Kevin Strecker won the race for Bellevue mayor, ousting incumbent Don Berkey. New London will have a new mayor, John W. Martin, and in North Fairfield, the new mayor will be Joshua Radcliffe. Winners in the Wakeman village council race were Russell Dillon and John Nolan. In the village of Milan, Pamela Crosby won one council seat, while Richard Maloney won the other by just two votes.


Township trustee winners were…

Jeremiah Huffman in Greenfield Township, Mark Risner in Greenwich Township, William Chapman in New Haven Township, David Homan in Norwich Township, and Lorin Brown in Ripley Township. Stacy Dvorak won the Clarksfield Township fiscal officer race, while Krista Smith won the same race in Peru Township.


More Election results…

Christie Lane’s renewal levy passed by a margin of 73-27 percent. In Bellevue, voters renewed a school levy. A levy to maintain roads, streets and bridges in Fitchville Township passed, as did one in Wakeman Township. Also passing: An issue for the Huron County Community Library, one for the Firelands Ambulance District, two in the Huron River Joint Fire District, one in the Wakeman Fire District, two in the village of Greenwich, one in North Fairfield. Also passing yesterday: renewals for Plymouth’s parks and current expenses. But voters there said no to a cemetery levy. Two other issues failed: the Clarksfield Township fire, ambulance and EMS levy, and New London’s parks and rec levy. Local liquor options were approved in New Haven and Monroeville.


To Erie County, where voters approved renewals for the health department and senior services.

Other issues that were approved around Erie County: a levy for police protection in Berlin Heights, one for roads, streets and bridges in Castalia, four charter issues in Castalia, and three issues on Kelley’s Island. Ambulance levies were approved in Margaretta and Milan and Oxford Townships. Also passing in Oxford Township: a renewal for current expenses. In Sandusky, voters approved two charter issues. Voters in Huron rejected a school levy, 55-45 percent. Florence Township voters said no to a levy for roads and bridges.


As far as Erie County races…

Winners in the Sandusky City Commission race were Dave Waddington, Nikki Lloyd, Wes Poole and Greg Lockhart. Also in Sandusky voters, elected Martha Murray, Jeff Krabill and Tom Patterson to the school board. Winners in the race for Perkins school board were Andy Carroll, Jason Dulaney and Brad Mitchel. In the race for Margaretta School Board, the winners were Andrew Warner and Brian Sutorius. In Huron, voters elected Joe Dike, Rick Shaffter and Glen Ginesi to city council.


Overall, voter turnout in Huron County was 43 percent.

It was 45 percent in Erie County. Results were delayed last night. Problems at polling places in Hamilton County led to a late evening lawsuit, and a decision to keep polls there open 90 extra minutes, until 9pm. The ruling also delayed the release of results until 9.


All results are unofficial until certified by the board of elections.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

It is November 3rd, General Election Day.

The polls are open until 7:30 tonight. Throughout Ohio, the big one is State Issue 3 which if approved, would legalize marijuana. However, things could get complicated, if both Issue 3 and Issue 2 pass. Issue 2 would make it harder to amend the constitution to establish a monopoly in Ohio. It’s aimed squarely at Issue 3, and its plan to allow 10 commercial growers to supply the state with pot.


Today’s’ Election in Norwalk, there are four key races on today’s ballot.

In the race for mayor, incumbent Rob Duncan is being challenged by Ryan McDonnell. Five people are running for four at-large Norwalk city council seats: Kelly Beck, Steve Euton, Chris Mushett, Steve Schumm and Erin Smetzer. Two people are running for Norwalk’s fourth ward council seat: Chris Castle and Alan Furey. In the race for Norwalk school board, five people are running for two seats: incumbents John Lendrum and Ralph Ritzenthaler are being challenged by John Aschmeier, Bob Germond and Lisa Wick.


Also on today’s ballot: more area school board races, along with other races for mayor, city and village council, and races for township trustee.

One of the mayoral races is in Bellevue, where incumbent Don Berkey is being challenged by Kevin Strecker. Various local issues are on today’s ballot as well.


There is one countywide issue in Huron County: it’s a five-year, one mill renewal for Christie Lane.


Throughout Erie County, voters will decide on two renewals: a five-year, half-mill levy for the general health district, and a five-year, half-mill renewal for Senior Services.

In Sandusky, six people are running for four city commission seats. The list includes incumbents Wes Poole and Scott Schell, former city commissioner Dave Waddington, and newcomers Charlene Adams, Nikki Lloyd and Greg Lockhart. Again, the polls will be open until 7:30 tonight. We’ll have results from Huron and Erie counties starting at 8, on 95.3 WLKR.


Eight people have been charged, in connection with a $1 million drug trafficking operation in Ashland, Medina and Wayne counties.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said 116 charges have been filed against the eight individuals. They’re accused of selling cocaine, heroin, marijuana and prescription drugs.


Over the next few months, drivers will notice a change in traffic signals at railroad crossings that don’t have flashing lights or gates.

ODOT and the Ohio Rail Development Commission will replace yield signs with stop signs at 1,000 train crossings. The change is designed to increase safety for drivers and passengers. Drivers must come to a full stop at these crossings, or risk getting a ticket.


In sports…

Three area teams are ranked, in this season’s final statewide high school football poll. Clyde finished 8th in Division III, while Edison finished 6th in Division V. In Division VII, St. Paul finished 6th.


Monday, November 2, 2015

An unseasonably warm week is in store, with highs in the 70’s through Thursday, and mid-60’s on Friday.


A former Milan woman is going to prison for three years for child endangering.

44-year-old Kimberly Schnee was sentenced Friday in Erie County Common Pleas Court. Authorities said Schnee knew her former husband repeatedly raped a young girl, but she failed to intervene. 42-year-old Andrew Schnee is serving consecutive life sentences, plus 60 years.


If you want to cast an early ballot, you can do it at the Board of Elections office until 2 this afternoon.

Otherwise, polling places will be open between 6:30am and 7:30pm tomorrow.


A Wood County man has been charged with aggravated attempted murder, after sending a Clyde man to the hospital with serious injuries.

36-year-old Mickey Spaulding of Bradner is in the Sandusky County Jail. He was arrested early Friday morning, a short time after he allegedly attacked 32-year-old Justin Pollard. According to reports, Spaulding allegedly hit Pollard in the head with a hammer, near the Arrow Café. Pollard was taken to The Bellevue Hospital, and then was flown to the University of Toledo Medical Center. He’s in critical, but stable condition. Clyde police are still investigating, and more charges may be filed.


It’s a smaller field this year.

Six young women will compete for the title of Miss Maple City 2016, this Saturday at Norwalk’s Main Street School. The winner will move on to the Miss Ohio competition next June.


Nine area teams have qualified for the state football playoffs. Locally, Divisions III, V and VII will play Friday night. In Division III, Perkins will play at Clyde. In Division V, Edison will host Galion…You can hear that game live on K96. In Division VII, Monroeville will be at St. Paul. That game will air live on 95.3.

Divisions IV and VI will play Saturday night. In Division IV action, Bellevue will be at Wauseon…That game will air live on 95.3, WLKR. Port Clinton will be at Columbus Bishop Hartley. In Division VI, Seneca East will be at Defiance Tinora.

Friday, October 30, 2015

The search continues, for a missing Norwalk man.

18-year-old Martin Del Ray Garcia was last seen Monday. He was reported missing by his mother Tuesday. Garcia is a 2015 graduate of Norwalk High School, and works for Flex-Pack, a division of Pepperidge Farm in Willard. Norwalk police were able to ping his cell phone Monday afternoon on State Route 61, near Townline Road 131. Anyone with information on Garcia’s whereabouts should contact the Norwalk Police Department.


Two central Ohio parents are facing charges of child endangering, for allegedly leaving their infant alone at an Erie County resort.

19-year-old Megan Pierce of Hilliard, and 23-year-old Justin Hicks of Columbus were arrested Tuesday night at Kalahari. According to reports, the two left their 11-month-old daughter in their hotel room, while they went for food, and to the arcade. Erie County deputies were notified by staff members, who heard the girl crying in the room. Pierce and Hicks told deputies they “lost track of time”, and said they left the girl alone because she “usually sleeps through the night.” Deputies also learned the two are under investigation by Franklin County Children’s Services, because the infant recently suffered a broken collarbone.


It’s the weekend we get an extra hour of sleep.

We’ll fall back to Eastern Standard Time at 2am Sunday.


There’s still time to vote ahead of next Tuesday’s election.

Statewide, elections offices will be open until 7 tonight, between 8 and 4 tomorrow and from 1 until 5 Sunday.


The Central and Executive committees of the Huron County Republican Party are endorsing State Issues 1 and 2, and urging a vote of ‘no’ on State Issue 3 in Tuesday’s general election.

Issue 1 deals with re-doing the way legislative districts are drawn, while Issue 2 would ban special interest groups from tampering with the state constitution to form monopolies. State Issue 3 would legalize marijuana in Ohio.


It’s being called, one of the biggest drug busts in the history of Fremont.

35 people have been arrested after a year-and-a-half investigation into the sale of cocaine and heroin.


The Erie County Sheriff’s Office has received nearly $40,000 in grant money, for federal fiscal year 2016.

Deputies will use the grant to conduct high-visibility enforcement patrols in areas that have a high number of serious traffic crashes. That list includes state routes 2, 4, 60 and 61, U.S. Route 250, and Darrow, Mason and Strecker roads. The planned enforcement effort will take place during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.


Thursday, October 29, 2015

A South Central Middle School student will remain in juvenile lockup, until at least November 5th.

As we first told you yesterday, the 14-year-old North Fairfield girl was arrested by Huron County deputies Tuesday night, after posting comments on Facebook that she was going to harm people in the school cafeteria. She’s currently charged with inducing panic. Huron County Juvenile Court administrator Chris Mushett said the girl was at a detention hearing yesterday, and was told she’ll remain in the Seneca County Juvenile Detention Center until her next court appearance, November 5th. South Central Schools were closed yesterday, but classes began as scheduled this morning.


Some Bellevue officials are set to make more money.

This week, Bellevue city council approved pay raises for the mayor, auditor, law director and city prosecutor. Effective January 1st, the auditor will earn $37,000 annually, the law director will make $33,000, the mayor $32,000 and city prosecutor $27,000. They’ll receive a two percent raise each year, until changed by Bellevue City Council.


Firefighters in Perkins Township are investigating an early Wednesday morning blaze at a home on Bogart Road.

Firefighters were called at 6:30 yesterday morning, and the area was sealed off, while emergency crews worked at the scene. According to reports, no one was home at the time.


A bit of good news, for Ohio schools.

The Ohio House and Senate have approved a bill restoring some funding previously struck from the state budget by Governor John Kasich. The measure adds nearly $44 million to schools. Kasich is expected to sign the bill.


It’s a very popular question: When is tonight’s Trick or Treat time?

The answer: 5:30 until 6:30 in Willard, and 6:30 until 8 tonight in Norwalk.


Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Another school threat—this time, in Huron County.

A South Central Middle School girl has been charged, after posting a series of threatening statements on Facebook. According to Huron County Sheriff Dane Howard, the girl posted comments last night, implying a shooting would take place today in the school cafeteria. Deputies were sent to question the girl, and she was taken into custody, after admitting to posting the comments. As a precaution, all South Central Local Schools were closed today. Classes will resume tomorrow.


Opponents of a planned wind farm in southern Huron County will get another chance to express their opposition.

The Ohio Power Siting Board has agreed to a request for a rehearing, concerning Greenwich Windpark. It’s not yet known when the rehearing will take place. Two groups, Omega Crop Corporation and Greenwich Neighbors United are strongly opposed to a plan to build about two dozen wind turbines across 4,600 acres of land in Greenwich Township. Both groups have threatened to go to the Ohio Supreme Court, if necessary.


Norwalk finance director Diane Eschen says it’s time to create a payroll stabilization fund.

During last night’s meeting of Norwalk City Council, Eschen used 2016 as an example, saying the city will pay approximately $100,000 to retiring employees. Eschen suggested placing between $30,000 and $50,000 in a payroll stabilization fund each year.


It appears two of the biggest U.S. chain drug stores will merge.

Multiple reports indicate Walgreen’s has agreed to buy Rite-Aid, for about $9.4 billion. Based on store count, Walgreen’s is the country’s largest chain drug store, while Rite-Aid is third.


A Clyde man has been banned from all Clyde-Green Springs school property, after threatening a school principal and the superintendent.

According to the Fremont News Messenger, the alleged threat was made last Friday. 28-year-old Chad Grimes came to the board of education office with a woman whose child was suspended from riding the bus. When told he wasn’t welcome there, Grimes allegedly threatened to snap the necks of Superintendent David Stubblebine and elementary principal Randy Stockmaster. Clyde police were called, and while no charges were filed, they told him to stay off all school grounds.


Good news, for race fans in north central Ohio.

NASCAR and its Xfinity series signed a five-year agreement to keep racing at Mid-Ohio near Lexington. Also, IndyCar officials announced MidOhio will once again host a race next summer.


Trick or Treat in Willard will be held between 5:30 and 6:30 tomorrow.

In Norwalk, Trick or Treat will be held between 6:30 and 8 tomorrow night.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

A new national study finds the average student will take more than 100 standardized tests in his or her public school career.

The results of the study mirror what local and state educators told the Ohio General Assembly about last year’s statewide tests. The average Ohio student spent about 20 hours taking standardized tests, and between 20 and 25 hours preparing for those tests. Protests from Ohio educators and parents have led to changes, as testing time will be cut by as much as half in some subject areas and grade levels.


Divers are trying to pinpoint a petroleum leak from a decades-old Lake Erie shipwreck.

T&T Salvage is working with the U.S. Coast Guard between Sandusky and Kelley’s Island. Divers are using cameras to help find the source of the oil leak, which is believed to be coming from Argo, a barge that sank in 1937. If and when they find the leak, divers will try to seal it.


Ohio State University’s Public Safety department sent out a mass email to students and staff early this morning, after the school received an online threat of violence.

The email did not go into detail about the threat, but it did remind everyone to be observant and aware. Classes were not canceled, and the campus was open as usual. Campus police and other law enforcement agencies are investigating the threat.


A mayoral debate will be held tonight in Bellevue.

It’ll begin at 6:30 at Hirt Theatre inside the Bellevue Society for the Arts. It’s free and open to the public. Current Bellevue mayor Don Berkey and challenger Kevin Strecker will answer various questions during tonight’s debate.


The state of Ohio is expanding its automated prescription reporting system.

It allows pharmacists to go online and track a patient’s history of drug purchases. The goal is to prevent painkiller addicts from ‘doctor-shopping’ to get more drugs.


In sports…

The Cleveland Cavaliers will begin their brand new season tonight. The Cavs and Bulls will play in Chicago. The Tip-Off Show starts at 7:30, and game time will be at 8 on 95.3, WLKR.

The next-to-last statewide football poll of the season is out, and four area teams are ranked. Three of them are SBC teams…Clyde is number 9, and Perkins is number 12 in Division III, while Edison is 7th in Division V. In Division VII, the St. Paul Flyers are ranked number 6.


Monday, October 26, 2015

The Highway Patrol believes alcohol was a factor in a weekend accident that sent one person to the hospital with serious injuries.

According to the Norwalk Patrol Post, the crash occurred shortly before 2am Saturday on Chenango Road, near State Route 18 in Clarksfield Township. Troopers said 19-year-old Nathan D. King of Wakeman failed to negotiate a curve, went off the road, hit a guardrail, then went down an embankment into a ditch. King was flown from the scene to Cleveland MetroHealth Medical Center.


The feds are sending experts to Ohio, in hopes of finding solutions to the state’s heroin epidemic.

Experts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are now in the Buckeye State, and they could be in Ohio for several weeks.


Crews are working to find the source of what appears to be a petroleum leak from a 1937 Lake Erie shipwreck between Sandusky and Kelley’s Island.

According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, divers and underwater contractors are assessing the situation. Once they have more information, they’ll decide what to do next. The U.S. Coast Guard believes the leaking petroleum is coming from Argo. The barge sank during a storm nearly 80 years ago in western Lake Erie. It’s believed the vessel may still hold more than 125,000 gallons of volatile oil in its corroding steel husk.


Extended hours are being offered to anyone wishing to cast a ballot ahead of next Tuesday’s general election.

You can vote at the Board of Elections Office between 8am-7pm through Friday, 8-4 Saturday, or 1 until 5 Sunday.


Norwalk’s Trick or Treat will be held this Thursday, between 6:30 and 8pm.


From ODOT…

State Route 2, between routes 60 and 61 in Erie County is down to one lane of traffic each way, for bridge repair work at several locations. Work is scheduled to be complete in September of next year. Also, State Route 99, between Strecker Road and State Route 113 will be closed this week for railroad crossing repair work.


This is the weekend we ‘fall back’ one hour, to Eastern Standard Time.

The time change will occur at 2am Sunday.