News

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Could golf carts be allowed on Norwalk city streets?

This week, city council discussed proposed legislation that would give the green light to golf-carts and other “under-speed” vehicles on the streets of Norwalk. According to Councilman Chris Mushett, the legislation will be up for first reading next week. Mushett also said the measure could eventually be approved as-is, modified or voted down.

 

A Willard resident is in critical condition, after crashing her pickup truck in New Haven Township.

According to the Norwalk Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol, 65-year-old Joyce Zellner suffered serious head injuries, after driving off State Route 99 at Fisher Street late Tuesday night. Troopers said her truck vaulted over Fisher Street, and came to rest in a nearby yard.

As we first told you yesterday, Zellner was taken by ambulance to Mercy Willard Hospital, then was air-lifted to St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center in Toledo. The crash remains under investigation.

 

A vote scheduled for later today could have an impact on your electric bill.

The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio will decide if consumers should pay more to subsidize certain aging coal-fired and nuclear power plants, modernize the power grid, reduce carbon emissions and guarantee profits. First Energy and AEP want the PUCO to approve a plan that would charge customers higher rates over the next eight years. The average increase would be approximately $100 a year. If approved, the plan would take effect June 1st.

 

The Edison school board will meet in special session at 6 tonight, at Edison Elementary…Public action is expected.

 

She’s being called a serial thief of tip jars, and now, she’s in jail.

29-year-old Stefanie Eshack of Norton is accused of stealing tip jars from businesses in Rocky River, Garfield Heights, Fairview Park, Westlake, Parma, North Olmsted and Avon. Police were able to connect Eshack to the string of thefts, by reviewing video footage at each location. She was arrested Tuesday.

 

Scenes for the ‘Fast and Furious 8’ will be shot in Cleveland.

Filming could begin as soon as next month. The movie is scheduled to be released in April of next year.

Friday, April 1, 2016

State regulators have approved a plan that will lead to higher electric bills for many Ohio consumers.

Despite opposition from the Ohio Consumers’ Counsel, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio okayed the plan yesterday. FirstEnergy customers will pay more to subsidize the Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Plant, while American Electric Power customers will pay more to subsidize an aging coal-fired plant. The average residential customer will see an average monthly bill increase of about $10. The rate hike will begin in June.

 

Another victory, for supporters of medical marijuana…

The Ohio Ballot Board has certified a proposal to establish a comprehensive medical marijuana program in the Buckeye State. The group Ohioans for Medical Marijuana must now collect more than 300,000 valid signatures of Ohio voters by early July to qualify for the November ballot.

 

A $5,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest and indictment of the person or persons responsible for a recent fire in Clyde.

The March 6th blaze damaged the Clyde Car Wash on West Maple Street, and nearby storage units. Investigators quickly ruled the cause as arson. Anyone with information should contact the Clyde Police Department.

 

Perkins school officials appear close to hiring a new treasurer.

Out of 33 applicants, two are finalists. One is Daniel Bowman, current treasurer of the Parma Schools. The other is Cheryl Swisher, treasurer of Van Buren Schools. A decision could come this month.

 

The Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation has honored eight Huron County employers for their strong workplace safety records.

To receive an award, a business must have at least 500,000 hours and six months without an injury resulting in a day or more away from work.

Leading the list: David Price Metal Services in Norwalk…The company worked nearly 1.2 million hours without a serious injury. Also on the list: Delany Staffing Group, Kaiser-Wells, LakePark Industries, New Horizons Baking Company, the Norwalk Public Library, PolyOne, and Wiers Farm.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

By order of Mayor Rob Duncan, all flags in Norwalk are to fly at half-staff until 7 tonight, to honor veterans who served in Vietnam.

 

Yesterday marked 43 years since the final troops returned to the U.S. from Vietnam, marking the end of U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War.

 

 

The Ohio Department of Transportation Department is kicking off its 2016 construction season by announcing more than 1,100 projects across the state.

 

The cost of those projects will top $2 billion. 81 projects are planned for the eight-county region of District 3, which includes Huron and Erie counties. The total investment in District 3 will be $170 million.

 

 

A new report shows the number of pedestrians hit and killed by cars in Ohio during the first half of last year rose dramatically.

According to the report by the Governors Highway Safety Association, 56 pedestrians were killed in Ohio between January 1st and June 30th of 2015. That’s an increase of nearly 125%, compared to the same period in 2014. The average percentage increase for all states was 6%.

 

The “Price is Right Live!” is coming to the area this fall.

Based on the popular TV game show, the interactive stage show has given away more than $10 million in cash and prizes since its inception nine years ago. The “Price is Right Live!” will take place at the Sandusky State Theatre November 15th. Tickets will go on sale at 10am this Friday. For more information, go to sanduskystate.com or priceisrightlive.com.

 

The Huron County Board of Elections will meet at 8 this morning, to certify the results of the March 15th primary election.

 

 

Lorain city officials are working to hammer out a budget-plan by tomorrow’s state-mandated deadline.

 

Council members will get together tonight to review their options to overcome a projected deficit of $3.5 million. Those options include unpaid furloughs of city workers and a tax-credit-reduction for those who live in the city but work elsewhere.

 

 

In case you didn’t notice, gas prices have increased to $2.09 at many stations in Norwalk and Willard.

 

Monday, March 28, 2016

A one-car crash in northern Richland County has claimed a Willard man.

21-year-old Omar Delapaz died yesterday morning, a short time after his pickup truck flipped over on State Route 61 in Plymouth Township. According to the highway patrol, Delapaz failed to negotiate a curve, and may have been speeding.

 

Medical marijuana is one step closer to appearing on the fall ballot.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine has certified paperwork submitted by the Marijuana Policy Project. DeWine had rejected four previous attempts, due to wording issues.

Paperwork is now in the hands of the Ohio Secretary of State’s Office, and will go to the Ohio Ballot Board. If approved by both, supporters will need to gather more than 300,000 signatures on petitions by early July to qualify for the November ballot.

 

An Ashland County contractor is being sued by Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine.

The suit accuses Global Home Solutions and its owner, Jeffery Workman of Nova of doing incomplete and shoddy work for its customers. Four consumers have filed complaints against Global Home Solutions, reporting total losses of $8,400. They said they paid for home improvement projects, such as garage or deck installations that were not completed. DeWine is seeking refunds for those affected.

 

Governor John Kasich will spend much of this week campaigning in Wisconsin.

He’s scheduled to appear at Town Hall events today and tomorrow, and at a Republican rally Friday night.

 

Norwalk City Council’s Finance Committee will meet at 6 tomorrow night, in the Police Training room.

After that, city council will meet in work session. One of the items on the agenda is a resolution establishing a fire station construction fund.

 

The Erie County Sheriff’s Office has announced plans to step up patrols for prom season.

Federal grant money will cover the cost of overtime high-visibility enforcement patrols in traditionally high traffic crash areas, including U.S. Route 250, State Routes 2, 4, 60 and 61, along with Darrow, Mason and Strecker Roads.

 

 

Top honors, for two Cedar Point-owned properties…

The beachside Hotel Breakers has been recognized as one of America’s “Top 20 Hotels for Families” in TripAdvisors 2016 Traveler’s Choice Awards. In addition, Cedar Point’s Bay Harbor restaurant has been named one of OpenTable’s “Top 10 Diners’ Choice” winners.

 

The Spring/Summer 2016 edition of the Voice of the Firelands magazine is out.

The free magazine includes a Cleveland Indians season preview, plus game and promotional schedules, along with schedules for the Columbus Clippers, Toledo Mud Hens, Detroit Tigers and Lake Erie Crushers. It also includes the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Schedule, and a list of this year’s drivers. The Voice of the Firelands magazine can be found at select businesses around the area, and at the Radio Ranch.

 

Friday, March 25, 2016

A scam alert, from the Huron County Chamber of Commerce…

 

Area residents have received calls from someone claiming to be associated with

the local chamber of commerce, and seeking personal information. Huron County Chamber of Commerce officials said the caller is not connected to their agency, and is most likely a scam. The calls are coming from a 402 area code.

 

 

The Lake Erie/Heartland Chapter of the American Red Cross has a new executive director.

 

Lara Kiefer of Loudonville stepped into the role earlier this week. The Red Cross Lake Erie/Heartland Chapter serves Huron, Erie, Lorain, Ashland, Holmes, Richland and Wayne counties.

 

 

Weather should be fine, for tomorrow’s egg hunt in the Maple City.

The Norwalk Parks and Recreation Department’s annual egg hunt will be held at Baines Park. Fun activities begin at 1, and the egg hunt starts at 2. There will be four different age groups for the egg hunt.

 

An arbitrator has ruled the city of Vermilion acted properly when it fired police officer David Jones.

 

Jones was accused of having sex while on-duty with dispatcher Katie Kovach, who was off-duty.

Kovach was also fired…she too, is appealing her dismissal.

 

The choices were 30 days in jail, or wearing a sign saying “I am a thief. I stole from Wal-Mart.”

A Trumbull County man, 43-year-old Greg Davenport chose the latter. He stole merchandise from Wal-Mart in Girard, Ohio in December. Earlier this month, Davenport entered a ‘no-contest’ plea to a misdemeanor theft charge. The judge told him to chose: a month in jail, or wearing the sign outside the store eight hours a day for 10 days. Davenport said the sign option was better than jail.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Tornado sirens will go off at 9:50 this morning, as part of a statewide drill for Spring Severe Weather Awareness Week.

Ohio sees more than a dozen tornadoes each year. Just last week, a small twister caused damage near Dayton.

 

A reminder that SKYWARN spotter training will be held tonight, at Norwalk High School’s Fisher-Titus Learning Center.

The free class begins at 6:30.

 

New domestic violence legislation has been introduced in Columbus.

If approved by state lawmakers, the “Safe At Home” bill would require offenders to give up all firearms when convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence, or served with a civil protection order. It would also ban individuals convicted of domestic violence from buying or possessing firearms. Supporters said the ultimate goal of the bill is to save lives.

 

Huron County continues to rank high, in terms of unemployment.

New figures from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services show Huron County’s February unemployment rate was 9.3 percent, or 9th highest out of 88 counties. Rates in surrounding counties ranged from 7.1 percent in Erie County, to 5.8 percent in Seneca County.

 

Yesterday’s Sandusky Rotary Club Pizza Challenge was a big success.

In three hours time, more than 1,100 pizzas were served to more than 1,500 people. Proceeds will be used to help cloth needy children in the Erie County area.

 

The Norwalk Rotary Club’s 17th annual Pizza Bake Off will be held April 19th, at Norwalk High School.

 

 

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

A new report says Ohio is second in the U.S., when it comes to school bomb threats.

According to the Educator’s School Safety Network, Ohio schools had 59 bomb threats between August of last year, and this January. Only Massachusetts had more, with 75 bomb threats. In Ohio, nearly 60% of bomb threats occur in high schools. 21% occur in colleges or universities, 18% in elementary schools, and 3% in middle schools. According to the report, threats made to secondary and post-secondary settings usually come from a student seeking disruption or notoriety.

 

The Sandusky Rotary Club’s annual Pizza Challenge begins at 4, and until 7 tonight at Sandusky High School.

14 different pizza places will be on hand. All-you-can-eat admission is $12 for adults, and $6 for seniors 65 and over, and kids 12 and under. Proceeds will benefit Rotary Clothes Kids.

 

Provisional ballots from the March 15th primary election will be accepted or rejected, during a Monday meeting of the Huron County Board of Elections.

The Board will meet again next Wednesday, to officially certify results from the primary.

Both meetings will begin at 8am, and both will be held in the Board office, in the Huron County Administration building on Milan Avenue in Norwalk.

 

A consumer watchdog group is trying to block a merger between two of Ohio’s largest banks.

Inner City Press/Fair Finance Watch has complained to the Federal Reserve about the pending deal between Huntington and First Merit banks. The group claims the merger will hurt consumers and small business owners.

Huntington announced in January it would buy First Merit for $3.4 billion. The deal would create a bank with 1,100 branches in the Midwest. It would also lead to the closure of more than 100 branches, with half of those in northeast Ohio.

 

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine has rejected a fourth petition for a medical marijuana amendment.

According to a media release, DeWine found at least 11 defects with the summary language. Supporters are working to fix the wording. If eventually approved, the issue of medical marijuana could appear on the fall ballot.

 

Construction continues on Cedar Point’s newest roller coaster.

All of Valravn’s track is in place and now, crews are focused on computer and electrical work. Valravn will debut when Cedar Point opens in May.

Monday, March 21, 2016

A head-on crash in Richland County has left a Greenwich man dead.

79-year-old Clarence Jackson was killed late Saturday morning, when he failed to negotiate a curve, and went left of center on State Route 545, near Pepper Road in Mansfield. His car hit an SUV driven by an Ashland man. The driver of the SUV and a passenger were taken to OhioHealth Mansfield Hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.

 

A Willard man accused of shooting and killing his neighbor last summer will undergo another mental health evaluation.

Separate doctors already found 50-year-old James H. Blair is competent to stand trial, and knew right from wrong when he allegedly shot and killed 62-year-old Linda Ciotto in late July. The findings mean Blair doesn’t qualify for a ‘not guilty by reason of insanity’ plea. However, Huron County Public Defender David Longo requested another evaluation. The request was granted by Judge James Conway. The evaluation will cost up to $3,500, and will be paid by the state. Blair remains in the Huron County Jail.

 

A recount could occur, in a primary race in Richland County.

Just 216 votes separate Darrell Banks and incumbent county commissioner Tim Wert.

That’s not enough to trigger an automatic recount, but that could change after provisional ballots are counted later this month. Banks is mayor of Bellville. Wert has been a Richland County Commissioner for 12 years.

 

The Bellevue Board of Education has made it official.

Bellevue will join the Sandusky Bay Conference, starting with the 2017-2018 school year. The school board okayed the move late last week. Norwalk, Willard, Sandusky, Shelby, Tiffin Columbian are expected to follow suit in the coming weeks. Ontario is leaving for the Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference. As we told you last week, the SBC is expanding to 18 teams for football and 21 teams for most other sports.

 

SKYWARN tornado and severe weather spotter training will be offered in Norwalk this Wednesday night.

The class will be held at Norwalk High School’s Fisher-Titus Learning Center. Registration starts at 6, and the free two-hour class begins at 6:30. Those who complete the class will be given a SKYWARN spotter ID card.

 

Two local schools have announced plans for kindergarten registration.

In Bellevue, kindergarten registration will take place between April 6th and April 8th, at the Bellevue Public Library. To make an appointment, call 419-484-5000.

Edison will conduct kindergarten registration in May. Appointments may be made starting April 10th, by calling Edison Elementary at 419-499-2471.

 

 

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

The city of Norwalk will dip into its Capital Improvement Trust Fund, to build a new fire station.

That’s because 75% of voters okayed a plan to use up to $3.5 million from the fund to construct a new fire station at the former Home Lumber site. The new fire station should be operational sometime next year. The current Norwalk fire station has been in use since 1912. You’ll hear comments from Norwalk Fire Chief John Soisson in news tomorrow.

 

A Norwalk man won yesterday’s primary, for the right to represent Ohio’s 57th House District, which includes all of Huron County and much of Lorain County.

Republican Dick Stein won the most votes, in a four-way race. Stein will face fellow Norwalkian and Democrat Tom Dunlap this fall. Dunlap was unopposed in the primary. Current State Representative Terry Boose is unable to run, due to term limits. He’s seeking the county commission seat currently held by Dunlap.

 

Skip Wilde of Norwalk won the Republican primary, in the race for Huron County Commissioner.

Wilde defeated Bob Morgan of North Fairfield, 4,277 to 3,858. He’ll face Democrat Michael Nottke of Bellevue this fall. Nottke ran unopposed in the primary. The winner will fill the seat currently held by Gary Bauer. Bauer is retiring at the end of the year.

 

Huron County will have a new engineer in 2017.

Lee Tansey of Wakeman won yesterday’s primary runoff, topping current deputy engineer Carlos Delafon Luna of Willard. Tansey will be unopposed in November.

Local liquor options in Norwalk’s first and second wards were approved, and the majority of voters in the Tri-Community Joint Fire District said yes to a three-mill renewal.

 

Once again, voters in Perkins Township have rejected a school levy.

Nearly 53 percent of voters said “no” to a five-year, 5.8 mill emergency operating levy. 2,774 people voted against the levy, while 2,514 voted yes. If approved, the levy would have generated $2.5 million annually.

 

Groton Township voters approved a five-year renewal for fire and ambulance services, and voters in the Vermilion school district approved a five-year renewal.

 

Erie County had two Democratic primary races for county commissioner.

Incumbent Pat Shenigo picked up 69 percent of the vote to defeat challenger Grant Harding. Shenigo will be unopposed this fall. Jim Lang also collected roughly 69 percent, to defeat Jeffery Ferrell. Lang will face Republican Matt Old in November.

 

After topping former Sandusky City Commissioner Dannie Edmon, Ottawa County Auditor Lawrence Hartlaub will face incumbent Republican State Representative Steven Arndt this fall.

The winner will represent Ohio’s 89th District, which includes Ottawa and Erie counties.

 

Also of interest…Sandusky County Sheriff Kyle Overmyer easily won yesterday’s Republican primary.

He topped challenger and Clyde police Chief Bruce Gower by more than 2,500 votes.

He’s expected to face two independent challengers in November.

 

 

In the presidential primary, John Kasich and Hillary Clinton were the big winners in Ohio.

Kasich collected 46 percent of the vote, compared to 34 percent for Donald Trump. Clinton picked up 56.5 percent of the vote, compared to roughly 43 percent for Bernie Sanders.

 

 

 

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

A break from the rain, but more is on the way.

Showers and thunderstorms are expected late tonight and tomorrow morning. After more than 1.6 inches of rain fell in the Maple City, the Norwalk Police Department issued a Flood Warning for the Norwalk Creek. The creek was expected to reach flood stage this morning. A Flood Warning was issued for the Huron River at Milan, due to minor flooding issues.

 

You may have heard tornado sirens in Norwalk this morning.

They went off around 7:30. It was a false alarm, caused by a malfunction.

 

At least one tornado touched down in western Ohio yesterday.

An EF-1 twister hit the small village of Phillipsburg in Montgomery County. It damaged at least one house and a barn. Funnel clouds were spotted in Darke, Preble, Shelby and Miami counties.

 

Bond is set at $80,000 for a Willard man accused of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl.

62-year-old Thomas J. McDaniel is charged with rape. He was arrested over the weekend, after a short investigation by Huron County deputies. The alleged incident occurred at McDaniel’s home on State Route 99. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for March 22nd, in Huron County Common Pleas Court.

 

According to Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, more than 417,000 Ohioans took advantage of early voting.

The deadline to cast early ballots was 2pm yesterday. More than 255,000 ballots were cast by mail, while 162,000 were cast in person.

 

It is primary election day.

The polls are open until 7:30 tonight, and we’ll have results, starting at 7:45. Along with the presidential primary, there are some local high-profile races and issues.

Voters in Norwalk are deciding on a proposal to use $3.5 million from the city’s Capital Improvement Trust Fund to build a new fire station.

In the Perkins school district, voters are deciding on a five-year, 5.8 mill emergency operating levy.

If approved, it would generate $2.5 million annually for day-to-day operations. It would cost the owner of a $100,000 home just over $200 a year.

 

As far as local races, Republicans in Huron and Lorain counties must pick one person to run for 57th District State Representative.

The list includes Kathryn Frombaugh of Rochester, Timothy Opsitnick of Avon, Dick Stein of Norwalk and Lee Charles Waldrup of Bellevue. The winner will face Democrat Tom Dunlap of Norwalk this fall. In the race for the 89th District House seat, former Sandusky City Commissioner Danny Edmon is running against Ottawa County Auditor Lawrence Hartlaub. Both are Democrats, and the winner will face Republican incumbent Steven Arndt later this year.

 

Huron County Republicans must choose of one two people running for county commissioner.

The winner between Bob Morgan of North Fairfield and Skip Wilde of Norwalk will square off against Democrat Michael Nottke of Bellevue in November.

In Sandusky County, incumbent Republican Sheriff Kyle Overmyer is being challenged by Clyde police chief Bruce Gower. The winner will appear on the fall ballot.

 

Of course, all eyes are on Ohio’s presidential primary.

Many polls suggest governor John Kasich is in a tight race with GOP frontrunner Donald Trump.

Bernie Sanders has closed the gap in Ohio, but Hillary Clinton is expected to win the state’s Democratic primary.