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Monday, January 26, 2015

The Norwalk Board of Education has scheduled a special session for Thursday, February 5th.

The closed-door meeting will begin at 7pm, at Norwalk High School. The topic: personnel.


Ohio Department of Taxation officials have released information about changes, during this tax filing season.

The state has increased the personal exemption for those earning less than $40,000. It’s gone from $1,700, to $2,200.


The other big change: new security measures that could delay refunds by up to a month.

The safeguards are aimed at preventing fraud. Some taxpayers may have to take a short quiz, to get their refund.



Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Slick road conditions led to Level 1 snow emergencies in Huron and Erie Counties.


A Norwalk man caught with child pornography on his computer is facing prison time after pleading guilty.

66-year-old Thomas Smith appeared in Huron County Common Pleas Court yesterday.  He’ll be sentenced in March.  In addition to possible prison time, he’ll be labeled as a Tier II sex offender, which means he’ll have to register his address with authorities every six months.


A top executive with Frisch’s Big Boy is accused of stealing more than $3 million from the company and gambling it all away.

The nation’s largest Big Boy franchisee claims former assistant treasurer Michael Hudson embezzled the money over a seven-year period.  The Cincinnati-based company has filed a civil suit against Hudson and the U.S. Attorney’s Office is considering criminal charges.


The Norwalk Economic Development Corporation has a new executive director.

Heather Horowitz is replacing Ellen Heinz, who resigned last fall. Horowitz is coming from EHOVE Career Center, where she had been employed since 2010.

A man accused of leading authorities on a high-speed chase from Norwalk to Clyde has been found.

46-year-old Terry Gritzan of Strasburg, Ohio is facing charges in Huron and Sandusky counties.

After receiving complaints of a reckless driver last Thursday night, the highway

patrol tried to stop Gritzan on U.S. Route 250, near 20. But he took off, and sped down 20, before turning around in Clyde. He fled along a county road, and the pursuit was called off, due to road conditions. Troopers were able to track him down, and arrest him on several charges. Gritzan remains in the Sandusky County Jail.

The Clyde Board of Education will meet in special session tonight, to consider the

investigation of charges, or complaints against a public employee.

No other information is available. Tonight’s special meeting will begin at 7:15, at the board office.

Governor John Kasich is on the road this week.

Kasich is visiting six states, to pitch support for a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution. He’s making stops in Idaho, Montana, North and South Dakota, Utah and

Wyoming. Support from 34 states is required to convene a constitutional convention.

38 states would need to ratify any amendment, before it becomes part of the U.S. Constitution.

A group pushing for a ballot issue to legalize marijuana in Ohio has released more

details about its plan.

According to ResponsibleOhio’s proposal, pot would be grown at 10 different pre-approved sites, and would be sold at more than 1,000 retail marijuana stores throughout the state.

Stores would need local voter approval before applying for a state license to sell

pot. The proposal also calls for a 15 percent marijuana tax at every level of the supply

chain, along with sales tax. ResponsibleOhio hopes to have the issue on the ballot this November.

Monday, January 19, 2015

The highway patrol says alcohol is suspected, in a weekend crash that injured a Bellevue man.

According to the Norwalk patrol post, 53-year-old Jewel Tickles suffered serious injuries Saturday evening, when his car went off Peru-Center Road and hit a utility pole. He was flown from the scene to St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center. He’s in critical condition.

A Monroeville teen injured in last Thursday’s single-car crash in Ridgefield Township remains in critical condition.

14-year-old Alexandra Schaffer is a patient at St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center in Toledo. She was a passenger in a car that slid on ice, and hit a utility pole on Halfway Road.

The highway patrol is looking for the person who led authorities on a high-speed chase from Norwalk, to Clyde.

It happened last Thursday evening. The patrol received a call of a reckless driver on U.S. Route 250, near 20. The driver briefly stopped, then took off, and turned west on 20. The 2009 White Chevy Silverado sped through Monroeville and Bellevue and into Clyde, where troopers tried to use stop sticks. The driver was able to avoid those, then did a U-turn on 20, before turning down a county road. The pursuit was then called off, due to road conditions. Troopers have a license number, and are working to confirm the driver’s identity.

Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a federal holiday.

No mail, but trash pickup will go on as usual.

Figures from the Sandusky Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol show traffic fatalities were down in Erie County last year.

Five people died in traffic crashes, compared to nine in 2013.

A Sandusky man missing since January 9th has been found, dead.

29-year-old AJ Fresch died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. His body was found yesterday, in a remote area of his home. Police previously searched the home, but found nothing.

State Representative Terry Boose has been chosen to chair the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

The Republican from Norwalk represents the 57th District, which includes all of Huron County, and portions of Lorain County.


Budget cuts, levy options and personnel will be discussed when the Perkins Board of Education meeting in special session this weekend.

The closed-door meeting will begin at 7:30 Saturday morning at the Administrative Service Center on Campbell Street.  No action is expected.

Friday, January 16, 2015

A Monroeville teen is in critical condition, after a Thursday afternoon crash on Halfway Road.
14-year-old Alexandra Schaefer is at St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center in Toledo. She was a passenger in a car that lost control on ice, then hit a utility pole. Schaefer was flown from the scene, to St. V’s. The driver, 16-year-old Paige Leitz of Monroeville suffered lesser injuries, and was taken to Fisher-Titus Medical Center. The highway patrol continues to investigate the crash.

Gas prices have climbed past $2.

Yesterday’s increase took pump prices up to $2.09 at most area stations.

The former Pamida store in Bellevue will soon be put to use.

The empty building on State Route 269 has been donated to Goodwill. Goodwill will use it for manufacturing, recycling and sorting and storing donations.

A longtime bus driver in the Vermilion school district has been fired, for allegedly falling asleep at the wheel while driving a bus full of students last month.

Gwendolyn Howell was dismissed earlier this week, after being placed on paid leave in early December. She had been employed by the district for over 20 years, and had no other issues. No students were injured in the incident.

A man charged with vehicular homicide, for causing a fatal crash on Thanksgiving Day, 2013 may never stand trial.

Andrew Gans was going 125 miles per hour on the Ohio Turnpike near Fremont, when he struck and killed two Toledo residents. Gans told state troopers he was on prescription medication and had been drinking, but blood tests showed nothing in his system. He was placed in a state mental hospital, and last March, a judge ruled that Gans was incompetent to stand trial. Ohio law allows a year for a defendant to become compentent. The deadline in this case is February 28th. If Gans isn’t ruled competent by then, criminal charges would be dismissed, and he could be civilly committed to a psychiatric facility.


The chances of booking a downtown Cleveland hotel room during next year’s Republican National Convention are slim to none.

Hotel managers say they’ve booked all but a few of their five-thousand combined rooms downtown, plus another ten-thousand in the suburbs.  ‘Destination Cleveland’ officials are referring would-be visitors to hotels as far south as Canton.


In sports…

It’s a boys basketball doubleheader night on 95.3 WLKR and wlkrradio.com.  At 7:30, live from the Big House at Sandusky High School, it’s the Blue Streaks and the Norwalk Truckers.  After that game, it’s Roundball Replay with Shelby at Willard.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Two Norwalk residents are in the Huron County Jail this morning, facing child abuse and drug charges.

27-year-old Andrew Scott Missler is accused of badly beating his girlfriend’s seven-year-old daughter. He’s been charged with assault, permitting child abuse and several counts of cocaine and heroin possession.

His girlfriend, 27-year-old Amy Holtz is facing identical charges. Both are due in court next Tuesday.

Missler is accused of using a belt to beat the girl multiple times, leaving the girl bruised all over. According to reports, Holtz knew of the beatings, but did nothing to stop them. Deputies and Children’s Services were alerted by school employees. The girl, along with two younger siblings are now staying with a relative.

We now know exactly when the Republican National Convention will be held in Cleveland.

Officials said yesterday the convention will be held July 18-21 of 2016.

As expected, a division of Caesar’s Entertainment has filed for bankruptcy protection.

Caesar’s Entertainment Operating Company is trying to get out from more than $18 billion in debt. The filing won’t affect casinos in Cleveland or Cincinnati.

An ISIS supporter from Cincinnati was arrested yesterday, after federal authorities said he planned to bomb the U.S. Capitol.

FBI agents arrested 20-yearold Christopher Cornell, at a range and gun shop. He had just bought two semi-automatic guns, and about 600 rounds of ammo. According to the FBI, Cornell planned to build, plant and set off pipe bombs at and near the U.S. Capitol building. He also planned to shoot officials and employees trying to escape.

Between 9 and 3 today is when water service will be shut off along Norwalk’s Rosedale Boulevard.

Crews will replace a water line valve. The project was originally scheduled for Monday.

The search continues, for a Sandusky man missing since last Friday.

29-year-old AJ Fresch was last seen Friday afternoon, after parking his car in the downtown parking garage, then walking toward the Sandusky Library. Police have tried to track him via cell phone, but his phone has been off. Anyone with information should contact the Sandusky Police Department.


Elementary students in Vermilion will have to wait until next year to enjoy classes in the district’s new building.

Construction of the new Vermilion Elementary School has been delayed.  It was scheduled to be complete by early December with students moving in after the winter break.  Now, it appears construction won’t be complete until sometime in March.  Noting possible disruptions in a mid-semester move, school officials agreed to delay switching to the new building until the new school year.


If you’re expecting a tax refund, you may have to wait.

There’s word that federal income tax refunds might be delayed due to budget cuts.  And state income tax refunds may be delayed because of a new ‘fraud filter’ being installed to catch phony tax returns.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The Ohio State Buckeyes are champions of the college football world.

The Buckeyes topped Oregon 42-20 in the first-ever College Football Playoff national championship game. Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer.

Today’s the day Norwalk residents will be able to share their thoughts, as the Board of Education prepares to find a new superintendent.

A consultant with the Ohio School Boards Association will meet with community members at noon and 6 today, in the Fisher-Titus Learning Center at Norwalk High School. She’ll accept input, and discuss three main areas: major issues facing the district, performance expectations for the next superintendent, and personal and professional expectations to be sought in the next superintendent. The consultant will meet with meet with administrators, teachers and support staff during the afternoon hours.

Tom Dunlap will serve as president of the Huron County Commissioners in 2015.He was elected, during yesterday’s re-organizational meeting.

Gary Bauer was elected vice-president. The commissioners will continue to meet every Tuesday, and the first and third Thursdays of each month, at the Huron County Administration Building in Norwalk. If you plan to address the commission, you’ll need to sign in, and you’ll have three minutes to speak, during the public participation portion of each meeting.

Bill Monoghan will again serve as president of the Erie County Commissioners.

He’s been president since 2009. Tom Ferrell was chosen to serve as vice-president.

A water line valve replacement project along Norwalk’s Rosedale Boulevard has been bumped to later this week.

Work was scheduled to be done yesterday, but it was moved to Thursday. That means no water along Rosedale between 9 and 3 this Thursday.

A new contract has been approved between the city of Willard, and the police union.

The three-year deal calls for a three percent raise the first year, 2.5 percent the second year, and a two percent raise in year three.



Monday, January 12, 2015

It’s Game Day.

Ohio State and Oregon will play for college football’s National Championship. Tonight’s game kicks off at 8:30. Pregame coverage starts at 7, on 95.3 WLKR.


Snow shut down schools throughout Huron County today.

A few Erie County schools went on a two-hour delay.  Conditions promoted Level 1 snow emergencies in Huron and Erie Counties.

The Huron County Commissioners will meet this morning, to set up 2015.

The commissioners will elect a president and vice-president, and will set meeting times and more. The special re-organizational meeting will begin at 9am, at the Huron County Administration Building.

If you live along Norwalk’s Rosedale Boulevard, you won’t have water between 9 and 3 today.

Crews will be replacing a water line valve. A boil advisory will be in effect for 24 hours, once water service has been restored along Rosedale Boulevard.


Governor John Kasich has his second inaugural today, the same day as the Ohio State Buckeyes take on the Oregon Ducks.

Kasich has beer, lasagna and chocolate Buckeyes on the line in a bet with Oregon’s governor.

A Sandusky woman is in trouble, accused of stealing money from her employer.

Surveillance video showed Michelle Price taking $500 from a safe at Denny’s Restaurant last Thursday night. She went back for more later that night, but was caught by a manager. Price is facing charges of safecracking, theft and attempted theft.


A new contract has been approved between the city of Willard and the police union.

The three-year deal calls for a three percent raise the first year, 2.5 percent the second year and a two percent raise in year three.  The previous contract expired last month.


A Norwalk man is facing a charge of felony voyeurism for allegedly using a cell phone camera to take pictures of an 11-year-old boy using the restroom at Wal-Mart.

27-year-old Matthew Ball was arrested last week after the boy told a parent.  Ball is due in court this Friday.


Thursday, January 8, 2015

A Wind Chill Warning remains in effect until 4 this afternoon, for Huron County, and points south and west.

A Wind Chill Advisory is in effect until 4, for Erie County.

Firefighters had to battle brutally cold temperatures, and a blaze at a home in Ridgefield Township last night.

Firefighters from Monroeville and Norwalk were summoned to the Field Road home  shortly before 7:30. They arrived to find flames coming from a second-floor window. Crews quickly contained the blaze. No one was home at the time. A chimney malfunction was blamed as the cause. Early damage estimates were placed at $100,000.

The Perkins Board of Education has canceled a special session, scheduled for this Saturday.

The school board was set to meet at 7:30am, to discuss personnel, levy options and budget cuts.


It’s a chance to offer input into selecting a new superintendent for the Norwalk City Schools.

The board of education has scheduled a series of focus group sessions for next Tuesday at Norwalk High School’s Fisher Titus Learning Center.  A consultant with the Ohio School Boards Association will meet with community members at noon and 6pm.  She’ll also meet with administrators, teachers and support staff during the afternoon.  Among the topics to be discussed: major issues facing the district, performance expectations and personal and professional qualities to be sought in the next superintendent.  The school board hopes to name a new superintendent in the spring.

Water and sewer rates are going up in Norwalk.

Starting with bills received next month, water rates for those living within the city limits will increase from 72 to 78 cents per hundred gallons, while sewer rates will go from 81 to 86 cents per hundred gallons.

For water and sewer customers outside the Norwalk city limits, water rates will increase from $1.44 to $1.56 per hundred gallons. Sewer rates will go from $1.13 to $1.20 per hundred gallons.

Minimum rates for water and sewer are going up as well. The new combined rate for city residents will be $8.20, an increase of 55 cents. For customers outside the city limits, the new minimum rate will be $13.80, an increase of 95 cents.


A trade newspaper has given Ohio’s educational system a ‘C’.

In its annual Quality Counts report, Education Week ranked Ohio 18th and gave the Buckeye State a score of 75.8 out of a possible 100.  That’s slightly higher than the national average of 74.3.  The national report card grades are based on factors such as educational financing, student achievement and graduation rates.

Monday, January 5, 2015

A Winter Weather Advisory has been issued for Ashland, Crawford and Richland counties from 9 tonight until 4 tomorrow afternoon.

Four to six inches of snow is expected there. Central Ohio will be under a Winter Storm Watch from 10 tonight, until noon tomorrow. That region will likely get four to six inches of snow as well.


Slippery roads caused a number of weekend fender benders.

Roads and sidewalks remain slick in some spots.


Today marks opening day of the state’s 131st legislative session.

Republicans control 65 of 99 Ohio House seats, and 21 of 33 seats in the Ohio Senate. The House is under new leadership. Republican Cliff Rosenberger of Clarksville is replacing House Speaker William Batchelder. Batchelder retired, due to term limits.


Flu cases continue to skyrocket at Ohio hospitals.

Officials said hospitals saw a 51 percent jump, during the last full week of December. Nearly 1,000 people were hospitalized between December 21st and the 27th. During flu season, almost 3,000 people have been hospitalized statewide. Two teens, one from central Ohio, and the other from southern Ohio have died from the flu.


A trucker from Illinois is facing a DUI charge, after a recent traffic stop on the Ohio Turnpike, west of Milan.

According to the highway patrol, 39-year-old Adam Wrobel’s blood alcohol content was .249. That’s more than six times the legal limit, for commercial motor vehicle operators. The arrest was made on December 27th, but the information wasn’t released until last Friday. Wrobel was pulled over on the turnpike in Sandusky County’s Townsend Township, after troopers received reports of a rig driving erratically. He was taken to the Sandusky County Jail.


A change of plans, by a member of the Perkins Board of Education.

Andrew Carroll has rescinded his resignation, and will not leave the board. Last month, Carroll announced he would step down, because his family was relocating to Wisconsin. A notice issued Friday said Carroll will remain on the board.


If you’re a Time Warner Cable customer, heads up…Your rates are going up.

Monthly bills will increase anywhere between $3 and $15 a month, due to higher modem rental, and sports channel fees, whether you watch sports or not.


It’s a chance to chat with the interim superintendent of the Norwalk City Schools.

Coffee and conversation with Dr. Will Folger is scheduled from 9:15 to 10:15am this Wednesday, at Sheri’s Coffee House on Whittelsey Avenue. All are welcome.


Friday, January 2, 2015

Tomorrow morning could be a mess…

The forecast calls for rain, freezing rain and sleet, changing to all rain by afternoon.

After knocking off Alabama in the Sugar Bowl, the Ohio State Buckeyes will play for college football’s national championship.

Early this morning, OSU won the Sugar Bowl, by topping Alabama, 42-35 Next up for Ohio State: Oregon. The Bucks and Ducks will play January 12th at AT&T Stadium in Dallas.

Two people have been arrested, in connection with a pair of November robberies near Willard.

Anthony Hoover and Heather Graves, both of Collins, were arrested Wednesday, after confessing to entering a Holiday Lakes home twice, and stealing money and jewelry from an 80-year-old man. The two will likely face multiple felony charges. According to reports, Graves previously worked for the victim, and was familiar with his home. During the second robbery, Hoover allegedly knocked the man to the ground, while Graves stole cash and jewelry. Huron County deputies were able to crack the case, after offering a $1,000 reward, and receiving a tip.


The Norwalk Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol is looking for information about a heavily-damaged, abandoned vehicle that was discovered along U.S. Route 20 West.

The car was found shortly before 1:30 yesterday morning.  It had hit a pole and overturned.  It’s not known if the driver was injured.  It’s believed the car was last driven by a Norwalk man in his 30′s.  Anyone with information should contact the Norwalk Patrol Post at 668-3711.

89,000 Ohioans have signed up for Obamacare.

85 percent are getting financial assistance. Those numbers were provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

For the first time in nearly six years, Ohio’s average for gas is under $2 a gallon.

According to AAA, today’s average for self-serve regular in the Buckeye State is $1.94, the lowest since early 2009.

In case you missed the announcement Wednesday…

Norwalk Mayor Rob Duncan has named a longtime city employee as the city’s new Superintendent of General Services. Wally Ritchie is taking over for Dick Moore, who retired in late November. Ritchie has worked for the city in various capacities for 23 years. His most recent position was Maintenance Specialist.