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Tuesday, September 27th, 2016

Erie County Sheriff’s Office receives $37,000 in Federal Traffic Safety Funds

The Erie County Sheriff’s Office has received just over $37,000 in Federal Traffic Safety Funds. The grant will be used to conduct overtime high-visibility enforcement patrols in areas with an elevated-number of serious crashes,  including U.S. 250 and State Routes 2, 4, 60, and 61 with a goal of reducing the number of fatal crashes in the county.  The first safety blitz will begin in October during the Halloween and Homecoming seasons.


Driver accused in killing State Trooper still in jail under half-million-dollar bond

The driver accused of striking and killing State Trooper Kenny Velez of Lorain remains in jail under a 500-thousand-dollar bond. 37 year-old Joshua Gaspar of Columbia Station is charged with aggravated vehicular homicide and driving under the influence. Gaspar will be arraigned later this week.


Fake U.S. Marshall making bogus calls

The U-S Marshall’s Office that serves greater Cleveland is looking for someone posing as one of their own. They say, someone claiming to be a U-S Marshall is calling people and telling them, an arrest is imminent unless they pay a hefty fine. The U-S Marshall’s Office says, these are bogus calls.


Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony to take place Friday for new Edison Athletic Fieldhouse

Edison Schools will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony for their new fieldhouse prior to their Homecoming football game versus Sandusky St. Mary’s. The ceremony for the new Firelands Regional Medical Center Fieldhouse will take place this Friday at 6:30 pm at the 50 yard-line at Edison Stadium, with personnel from Firelands Regional Medical Center, school district members, and committee chairpersons.  All other-donors and volunteers are to join by forming a line at mid-field directly behind the ribbon-cutting.


It’s ‘National Voter Registration Day’

(From Ohio News Connection)- Today is ‘National Voter Registration Day’, but volunteers in Ohio already have been pounding the pavement to help get eligible voters on the rolls. The Ohio Organizing Collaborative has registered more than 140,000 voters in 2016, and aims to register 10,000 more before the Oct. 11 deadline. Spokesman Michael McGovern says it’s important that folks check to make sure their current registration is valid. “The state has been purging voters who maybe haven’t voted in a couple years and they’re getting knocked off the rolls and they’re not even aware,” he explains. “If you move between elections and don’t update your status, then you can’t vote at the proper polling location. There’s just a lot of barriers there.” According to the Secretary of State’s Office, more than 1 million people were removed for either moving or infrequent voting between 2011 and 2014.


Cleveland Indians clinch Division Title!

The 7-4 win Monday night by the Cleveland Indians over the Detroit Tigers in Motown clinched the Tribe the 2016 American League Central Division title. Outfielder Coco Crisp hit a two-run home run and catcher Roberto Perez had a solo shot, as the Indians won their first division championship since 2007. The Indians have six regular season games left, before the playoffs begin for the Tribe next Thursday, October 6th against a team to be determined.   Stay tuned to 95.3 WLKR for all of the latest information regarding broadcast dates and times for all of the Tribe playoff games. WLKR is your Firelands home of Cleveland Indians postseason baseball!

Monday, September 26th, 2016

Two Willard men die in Huron County crash Saturday morning

Two 21 year-old men from Willard were killed in a single-vehicle crash early Saturday morning in Richmond Township, just west of Willard.  Damien Lindsay was driving his pickup truck with passenger Austin Collins on Bullhead Road when the truck went into the ditch, and back onto the road, where it overturned several times, ejecting both men from the vehicle, who were not wearing their seatbelts.  Speed was a contributing factor in the crash.


New London woman killed in two-vehicle crash Sunday

A New London woman died in a two-vehicle crash Sunday evening in Lorain County. The Norwalk Reflector reports that 69 year-old Judy Pullin failed to yield at a stop sign in her Pontiac Vibe at the intersection of State Routes 162 and 511, when she was struck by a Ford F-150.  Pullin was pronounced dead at the scene.  The driver and two-passengers of the F-150, all of Louisville, Ohio; received serious injuries.


Port Clinton OVI Checkpoint Results

An OVI Checkpoint Saturday night in Port Clinton resulted in six drivers being arrested on OVI charges. The Ohio State Highway Patrol conducted the checkpoint on State Route 163, along with area saturation patrols. A total of 399 cars passed through the two-hour checkpoint near Maple Street.


Plymouth man seriously injured in ATV crash

A 43 year-old Plymouth man was seriously injured in an ATV crash late Sunday afternoon. Dennis Cunningham was driving his ATV on Olive Road in Greenfield Township, east of State Route 61 in Huron County, when he swerved to avoid running off the road, overturned, and was then thrown off his ATV.  Cunningham was taken by life-flight to a Toledo hospital.  Alcohol is suspected as a contributing factor in the crash

Friday, September 23rd, 2016

One dead, three others injured in crash west of Bellevue Thursday

A woman has died from injuries sustained in a two-vehicle crash involving an ambulance Thursday night in Sandusky County, west of Bellevue. Troopers say, 45 year-old Sandra Cline of Holland, Ohio was transporting a patient to a hospital when a man from Michigan ran a stop sign at the intersection of County Road 197 and State Route 19 in Green Creek Township, and rammed the side of the ambulance, knocking it on its side. Cline later passed away after being transported to a Toledo hospital. The other driver and two passengers in the ambulance, including the patient, were taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Alcohol does not appear to be a factor in the crash.


Grate could face death penalty in Ashland murders

The man wanted in the killings of two women in Ashland last week could face the death penalty. An Ashland County Grand Jury Thursday indicted 40 year-old Shawn M. Grate on 23 counts of criminal conduct including two counts of aggravated murder.  Grate is accused of killing two women, Stacy Stanley of Greenwich and Elizabeth Griffith of Ashland.  Their bodies were found in an Ashland house last week, after an unnamed woman escaped an attempted abduction.  If convicted, the two murder charges carry the possibility of the death penalty.  Grate also faces charges of rape, kidnapping, and burglary.


Speedway holding Hiring Event on Saturday

Speedway gas stations and convenience stores are looking to hire over 100 employees in their Ohio locations. Job Fairs will be held at Speedway Stores on Saturday (9/24) from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm in western Ohio communities including Sandusky and Fremont; as the company seeks to fill entry level leadership positions including co-manager trainees, and full-time field positions.

Those interested should attend the hiring events in person, but if you’re unable to be there, visit your nearest Speedway location or go online to www.Speedway.com for job information.


Norwalk City School District holding pizza fundraiser

The Norwalk City School District PTO is holding a fundraiser involving Domino’s Pizza “Dough Raising” cards. The cards are $10, and contain 16 ‘buy one – get one free’ pizza coupons, with an 80% profit for the PTO.  Order forms for the cards were recently sent home with students, and are also available at the Board of Education and Superintendent’s offices.


Police and firefighters in Amherst will be outside city hall tomorrow afternoon, accepting donations for the family of State Trooper Kenny Velez of Lorain.

Velez was buried yesterday after a service at Lorain County Community College and a funeral procession that featured hundreds of law enforcement officials from across the nation. Velez died a week ago on I-90 in Lakewood when he was struck by a passing motorist.


Thursday, September 22nd, 2016

Bellevue couple dies in crash Wednesday morning

A two-vehicle crash Wednesday morning in Sandusky County claimed the lives of an elderly Bellevue couple. 81 year-old Lucille and 88 year-old Donald Lepley were both killed when Lucille ran a stop sign at the intersection of Township Road 205 and County Road 308 in York Township near Bellevue, where her and her husband, the car’s passenger, were struck by a vehicle driven by 61 year-old Margaret Huff of Bellevue. Huff was also seriously injured and taken to a Toledo hospital.


Woman injured after flipping car in Norwalk Wal-Mart parking lot

A Norwalk woman received minor injuries, but it could’ve been much worse, when she flipped her car in the parking lot of the Norwalk Wal-Mart on Wednesday around 12 noon. Nancy Hetrick apparently lost her water bottle while parking, when her foot accidentally hit the gas, where she then struck at least two vehicles followed by two cement posts in front of the store’s garden center entrance.  Norwalk Police Chief Dave Light told the Norwalk Reflector that Hetrick’s car then flipped and was impaled through the windshield by the posts, with a post ending up just between her knees.  No one else was injured.


Flickinger Insurance helping with Norwalk United Fund campaign

Flickinger Insurance in Norwalk is helping assist The Norwalk Area United Fund with their annual fundraiser kickoff. Now through the end of October, for each new ‘like’ on their Facebook page, Flickinger Insurance will donate $1 to The Norwalk Area United Fund.  The 2017 campaign goal for The Norwalk Area United Fund is $360,000.


Thomas Edison statue unveiled at U.S. Capitol

A ceremony was held yesterday afternoon at the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington D.C. to celebrate the unveiling of the Thomas Edison statue, the newest addition to the National Statuary Hall Collection. The Edison likeness now joins a statue of President James Garfield as the two representatives from the state of Ohio depicted in the collection. The statue of the Milan-born inventor weighs 900 pounds, and stands nearly seven feet tall.


Perkins Restaurant hosting pancake fundraiser today

Perkins Restaurant in Sandusky is hosting a fundraiser today for ‘Give Kids the World’ a non-profit organization that assists families of children with life-threatening illnesses with everything that goes along with making their ‘wish’ come true – such as hotel stays, meals, and transportation. You can receive a free short-stack of pancakes today, for any donation made to ‘Give Kids the World’.

Wednesday, September 21st, 2016

Human Remains in New London believed to be female, according to Police Chief

The human remains discovered in a garage in New London most likely belong to a woman, according to New London Police Chief Mike Marko. The bones were found about a week before they were reported to police last Saturday, because they were initially believed to be from an animal. Before being purchased in July, the police chief of seven years told the Norwalk Reflector that the property on 118 East Main Street, where the remains were found, have been vacant for as long as he remembers.  It could be numerous weeks before test results on the remains come back from state authorities.


Norwalk Siren Run 5K to take place Friday, will benefit Safety Services

A 5K run/walk in Norwalk will benefit Norwalk Police and Fire Departments, as well as North Central EMS. The Maple City Siren Run 5K is set for this Friday in Norwalk at Suhr Park on West Main Street. Race Day Registration gets underway at 5:00 pm with the race starting at 6:00 pm.  Online registration is available through Thursday at 9:00 am. (http://www.hermescleveland.com/roadracing/events/maplecitysiren.asp). The course winds through Norwalk neighborhoods before ending in Uptown Norwalk on West Main Street, followed by a post-race party in the park.


Calling Hours are today for State Trooper from Lorain

Calling hours will be held today at Lorain County Community College for State Trooper Kenny Velez. He was killed last week by a passing motorist while working traffic-enforcement on I-90 in Lakewood.


Monroeville Schools seeking Feedback on Service Learning Program

School officials in Monroeville are looking for feedback on the district’s Service Learning Program. A link on the Monroeville Schools (‘Monroeville Eagles’) Facebook page is specifically designed for students, community members, or business owners to share their ideas on community service projects that would most benefit the Village of Monroeville.  You can find more information on Monroeville’s Service Learning Program online at www.monroevilleschools.org/ServiceLearning.

Tuesday, September 20th, 2016

Man involved in Ashland murders confesses to murder in Marion

The man charged in Ashland on two murders last week, including that of a Greenwich woman, has now admitted to a murder in Marion as well. WKYC-TV in Cleveland reports that Marion County Sheriff Tim Bailey said that Shawn Grate has confessed to a murder that took place in Marion in 2005.  Remains of an unidentified woman believed to be in her 20’s were found back in 2007 at a dumping site in Marion.  Grate is now linked to possibly five murders in Ashland, Richland, and Marion Counties, and could perhaps be connected to more, as authorities continue to investigate.


Likely human heart found in Norwalk could be linked to Pennsylvania case

Police are hopeful to do DNA testing on a human heart found in a Ziploc bag last month in Norwalk. Police Sergeant Jim Fulton in Norwalk told WOIO-TV in Cleveland that an officer from Pittsburgh saw news reports about the heart and contacted Norwalk Police to say they are examining a case in Pennsylvania that could possibly be linked to the heart, which is believed to be human. Back in late August, members of North Central EMS discovered a bag containing the human heart in a field near the Friendship Food Store on Milan Avenue.


Ohio Flags to be flown half-staff this week for Lorain Trooper

Governor John Kasich has ordered flags to be lowered to half-staff this week following the death of State Trooper Kenny Velez of Lorain. Velez was struck and killed on the job last week by a passing motorist in Lakewood.  Calling hours are tomorrow at Lorain County Community College.


Norwalk Area United Fund Clothing Swap

The Norwalk Area United Fund is hosting a professional clothing swap next Monday through Thursday (September 26th through 29th) from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm at their office on East Seminary Street in Norwalk. The swap is intended for anyone that’s acquired a new job who needs more professional clothes, possibly grown out of their clothes, or just looking for different attire. They ask anyone participating to bring professional clothing in good condition such as suits, dresses, slacks, ties, and shoes. After the swap, all remaining clothing will be donated to a clothing bank.


Ohio gas prices up a little

Ohio gas prices have gone up compared to last week, while they have dropped slightly from the national average a month ago. The average price for a gallon of regular gas in Ohio was $2.17 in a survey from AAA Ohio Auto Club; an increase from $2.07 a week ago. The average price in Ohio at this time last month was $2.19 and was $2.31 at this time a year ago. The average national price a year ago was $2.30.


Latest High School Football Rankings feature six area teams

The second High School Football AP State Poll has been released.

Area teams ranked include:

Division 3: Sandusky (#7)

Division 4: Port Clinton (#9), Bellevue (#16)

Division 5: Edison (#4)

Division 7:  St. Paul (#4), Monroeville (#9)

Monday, September 19th, 2016

Human remains found in New London

Human remains that are at least 30 years old have been discovered in New London. New London Police responded to a call Saturday morning from an unnamed resident who found bone fragments and teeth in an upper level of a garage that was bought recently.  Mike Marko, New London Police Chief, told the Norwalk Reflector that the department believes the remains are from a female and have been in the garage’s upper level for “at least 30 years,” though no sex or timeline have been 100 percent confirmed. Marco also said that lab results could take many weeks; and that it’s unreasonable to guess how the person died; whether naturally or by foul play.


Calling Hours and Funeral to be held later this Week for State Trooper from Lorain killed by passing motorist

Preparations are underway for memorial services for State Trooper Kenny Velez of Lorain. Public calling hours will be Wednesday from 3:00 to 8:00 pm, and his funeral will be Thursday morning at 10:00 am.  Both will be held at the Ewing Activities Center of Lorain County Community College.

Velez was killed last week, struck by a passing motorist on I-90 in Lakewood. The suspect, 37 year-old Joshua Gaspar of Columbia Station, remains in jail under a $500,000 bond. Gaspar been charged with aggravated vehicular homicide.


Police in Norwalk issue warning about IRS Phone Scams

The Norwalk Police Department has been receiving complaints from citizens concerning phone calls from people claiming to be from the IRS. The callers then go to tell people to pay their taxes or they will be sued. Norwalk Police say that this is a scam; as anytime you’re contacted saying you’ve won money or owe someone, to please investigate before sending anyone any money. The latest number reported was from (202)239-2139, a Washington D.C. number, that’s been tied to other scams throughout the country.


Cedar Point HalloWeekends has begun

The 20th year of HalloWeekends at Cedar Point is now underway. Activities began Friday night which included the final rides on the wooden roller-coaster The Mean Streak.  New additions this year feature ‘The Great Pumpkin Parade’ – celebrating the 50th anniversary of ‘It’s The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown’, new skeleton key rooms, and a percussion music show, called ‘Blood Drums’.  Indoor haunted houses are open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday; while outdoor scare zones are open Friday and Saturday nights.  HalloWeekends run through October 30th.

Friday, September 16th, 2016

Man charged with Murder and Kidnapping in death of Greenwich woman

Two charges of murder and one of kidnapping have been filed against the man arrested in Ashland where two bodies were found this week. 40 year-old Shawn Grate is alleged to have purposely caused the death of 43 year-old Greenwich woman Stacey Hicks, also known as Stacey Stanley, and another victim who has not been identified, according to a statement from Ashland County Prosecutor Christopher Tunnell, per the Norwalk Reflector. Stanley’s murder took place between September 8th and this past Tuesday, according to the indictment.   Stanley has two sons and a granddaughter.


Sandusky man dies in accident in Perkins Township Construction Zone 

A fatal accident in a construction zone in Perkins Township early Friday morning claimed the life of a Sandusky man.  33 year-old Corey Reyes was reportedly driving his Ford Escape recklessly through an active construction zone, when he hit the back end of a front-end-loader, just south of the US 250/Route 2 overpass, where he was killed. No one else was injured.  The US 250 southbound lanes were closed for most of the morning, but have since re-opened to traffic.


Ohio State Highway Patrol Trooper Struck and Killed on Interstate 90 

Friends, family and colleagues are mourning the death of State Trooper Kenny Velez of Lorain. The father of three was struck and killed Thursday-afternoon on I-90 in Lakewood, outside of his patrol vehicle on the berm. So far, no charges have been filed.


State Report Cards released

The state of Ohio has released its latest report cards on primary education, reflecting new tests, higher benchmarks and new areas of measurement. Norwalk City Schools received a ‘B’ in Graduation Rate, a ‘C’ in the Prepared for Success category, ‘D’s’ in Achievement and Progress, and ‘F’s’ in K-3 Literacy and Gap Closing.


Drug-Free community event in Norwalk October 2nd

An event geared towards making the Norwalk-area drug free, is set for early October. “Imagine – A Drug Free Community – An Afternoon of Hope and Inspiration” will take place from 12 noon to 3:00 pm on Sunday, October 2nd in Norwalk; featuring a recovery walk at the Fisher Titus Hospital Patient Pavilion, and a Resource Fair and ‘An Hour of Hope and Inspiration’ program at Norwalk High School.

Thursday, September 15th, 2016

Fire causes $100,000 in damage to Norwalk Mobile Home, everyone safe

A fire on Wednesday morning damaged a car port and destroyed a shed at a mobile home park in Norwalk. The fire, which was controlled by the Norwalk Fire Department in about an hour, took place at Midtown Manner on Milan Avenue.  Norwalk Fire Department Captain Dan Hunt told the Norwalk Reflector that everyone inside was able to get out, along with pets. The blaze began in an outside shed and spread into the home.  Firefighters do not believe the fire to be suspicious, with approximately $100,000 in damage done to the property.



Norwalk Area United Fund announces 2017Campaign Goal of $360,000

The Norwalk Area United Fund has announced that their campaign goal for 2017 is $360,000. The money raised for next year will benefit 37 local grants and programs in the areas of health, education, and community services within Norwalk, Monroeville, Collins, and Wakeman.  For those interested in more information and/or donating, visit their website at www.norwalkunitedfund.org.   Over $2,500 was brought in for the fund earlier this week during the Norwalk Community Spelling Bee. The organization has met their monetary goal for the last three years.



Gaymont 5K Race Saturday to benefit Norwalk Police Department in finding K9

Gaymont Nursing Center in Norwalk will be hosting the ‘Paws for a Cause’ 5K this Saturday at their location on 66 Norwood Avenue. Event proceeds this year will go to the Norwalk Police Department in acquiring a new police dog. Registration, which is $18 on race day, begins at 8:00 am with the walk starting at 9:00 am. Dogs are welcome.

Wednesday, September 14th, 2016

 One of the bodies found in Ashland is that of missing Greenwich woman

It has been confirmed by family that one of the two bodies found at Covert Court in Ashland Tuesday is that of 40 year-old Stacey Stanley of Greenwich, who had been missing since last Thursday, and last seen in Ashland. The Norwalk Reflector says Stanley’s sister posted to Facebook last night confirming the tragic news. The bodies of three women were found in Ashland and Richland Counties on Tuesday, with two of those bodies first discovered at a home in Ashland, after police responded to a woman’s call that she had escaped an abductor. Another body, related to the case, was found near Mansfield behind a burned-down house.  40 year-old Shawn Michael Grate was charged with kidnapping that’s linked to the incident.


Missing Brunswick girl located, father charged

The man who triggered an amber alert out of Brunswick faces charges after being arrested in Summit County. 40 year-old William Roberts, a convicted sex offender, was accused of driving off with his 15 year-old daughter, who has been in foster care, from the K-Mart on Center Road, Tuesday night. The girl was taken to Akron Children’s Hospital for evaluation.


Drive-thru Flu Shot Clinics to take place in Huron County next Month

Huron County Public Health will be hosting drive-thru flu shot clinics in the towns of Norwalk, New London, Wakeman, and Willard throughout October. Dates, times, and locations can be found on their website, www.huroncohealth.com or on their Facebook page; and you must be 18 years-old or older to attend a drive-thru clinic. For children under 18 and for those unable to attend, call Huron County Public Health to schedule an appointment.