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News

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

A Flash Flood Watch is in effect for the entire area, until 10 tonight.

1-to-2 inches of rain fell in some spots yesterday, with more rain expected this afternoon and evening.

 

East of us, a tornado touched down in Brunswick yesterday.

It was most likely an EF1 or EF2 twister.

 

Norwalk’s Benedict-Elm widening project will take approximately two months.

Work began yesterday, which means the project won’t be complete until mid-to-late August.

Public Works Director Josh Snyder said yesterday that Benedict Avenue, or Route 250 will be open the entire time, but just one lane during working hours. Two lanes may be open nights and weekends. Snyder also said for the most part, Elm St will be closed during the project. It may be re-opened, during certain off-hours and weekends. All truck traffic is being re-routed.

 

State Route 61, between 601 and Old State Road in Norwalk was closed for several hours last night, after an SUV hit a pole.

The road was closed, due to low hanging wires. Two people in the SUV suffered minor injuries.

 

There’s a Red Cross blood drive in Norwalk today.

It’ll be held from 1 until 4:30, at the Huron County Administration building on Milan Avenue. If you can’t make it to today’s blood drive, two more are scheduled for next week in Norwalk. The first will be from 9 until 1 Monday at The Chapel South Campus on South Norwalk Road, and Wednesday, July 2nd, from 11:30 until 5:30 at the VFW on Milan Avenue.

 

The Bellevue-area man accused of kidnapping and raping a Lorain woman last fall said yesterday that sex between the two was consensual.

Brian Jury took the stand, in Erie County Common Pleas Court. He also claimed he agreed to pay the victim $40 for sex, and he said the woman stole money from him. Closing arguments are expected today.

 

The North Coast Community Emergency Response Team, or CERT, will continue to be available to help elderly and disabled Willard residents clean up from last week’s storm.

Residents can schedule help by calling 419-602-0758.

 

Life in prison with no chance of parole, for a Milan Township man convicted of repeatedly raping two young girls.

62-year-old Joseph Wagner was sentenced yesterday, in Erie County Common Pleas Court. The crimes occurred between 2011 and last year, at Wagner’s Mudbrook Road home. At the time, both girls were under the age of 10.

 

Former Sandusky City Manager Nicole Ard has is suing the city commissioners and the city.

She claims she was wrongfully fired, and is seeking a full year’s pay, nearly $130,000, along with health benefits. By a 4-3 vote, Ard was fired in March, for failing to meet expectations. The city commissioners declined to comment on the suit.

 

Local authorities and the State Fire Marshal’s Office are investigating a suspected case of arson in Wakeman.

A weekend blaze destroyed a home at Firelands Manor Mobile Home Park.  Someone also sprayed painted the phrase ‘home-wrecker’ on a shed behind the Linden Avenue home.  Detectives have interviewed several people, but no one has been arrested.

 

Monday, June 23, 2014

More road work, in Norwalk.

Starting today, Elm Street, at Benedict Avenue will be closed, for the planned widening project at the intersection. Vehicles will be allowed through on Benedict, one lane at a time, but locals should use Norwood or Linwood Avenues instead. All truck traffic will be rerouted, using Routes 20 and 18, to Schauss, Ontario and Republic Street.

 

Some delays, involving other road projects around the area.

According to ODOT, the re-opening of U.S. Route 250 in Fitchville has been delayed again. It’s now scheduled to re-open July 22nd.

Resurfacing work continues on State Route 13, between 250 and the city of Huron. One lane of traffic is being maintained in affected areas. The project should be complete by late August.

And State Route 99, between the Huron County line and Route 4 should fully re-open by late August. Crews are resurfacing the roadway. One lane of traffic is open at all times.

 

A chase in parts of Erie County had led to several charges against a Sandusky man.

23-year-old Robert Armstrong was arrested Saturday afternoon after leading authorities on a high-speed chase in Huron and Perkins Townships.  The chase covered about 15 miles and reached speeds of 100 miles per hour.  Along the way, Armstrong sped through several intersections.  It ended when Armstrong surrendered on Old Railroad Road.

 

Testimony will resume this morning, in the trial of a Bellevue-area man accused of abducting and raping a Lorain woman.

Brian Jury is being tried, in Erie County Common Pleas Court.

 

Sentencing is scheduled for July 30th for a New London man who stole his ex-father-in-law’s truck and then set it on fire.

Last week, 27-year-old Elliot Shepherd II pleaded guilty to charges of burglary and auto theft.  In exchange, the prosecutor’s office dismissed charges of theft and arson.  He’s still facing more than five years in prison.

 

No meeting of Norwalk City Council tomorrow night.

City Council’s next meeting will be held July 1st.

 

Miss Montgomery County is now Miss Ohio, 2014.

22-year-old MacKenzie Bart was crowned Saturday night in Mansfield. She’s a senior at Ohio State, majoring in atmospheric sciences. She’ll now compete for the title of Miss America.

 

The world’s largest fencing tournament is underway, in central Ohio.

More than 4,300 fencers are competing through July 3rd, at the Columbus Convention Center.

 

Coming to Bellevue this Thursday, Friday and Saturday…

Bellevue Community Days at Robert Peters Park.  We will have more in news later this week.

 

Friday, June 20, 2014

Crews are working to restore power in Willard.

Officials with American Electric Power hope to have electricity fully restored by noon today. Hundreds of Willard residents remain without power, after a severe thunderstorm hit the city Wednesday evening. At one point, more than 3,300 AEP customers in Willard had no electricity. In other news, city officials are asking anyone who knows of serious structural damage or injuries to contact Willard City Hall.

 

The North Coast Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) will be available in and around Willard this weekend to assist the elderly, disabled and others who are unable to clean up storm damage on their property from Wednesday’s storms.

The team can remove branches and other small debris from yards and can carry limbs and other debris to the street.  CERT does not remove large trees or heavy debris and cannot haul debris away.  CERT is a volunteer team of specially trained disaster workers affiliated with the Huron County Emergency Management Agency.  To schedule volunteer help, call the CERT office at 419-602-0758 or contact the Huron County EMA at 419-663-5772.  The CERT Office will be open to take calls all weekend.

 

Resurfacing work IS taking p lace today on U.S. Route 250 along Norwalk’s north side. 

Officials previously said no work would be done today. 

 

Testimony resumes this morning, in the trial of accused kidnapper and rapist Brian Jury.

The Groton Township man is charged with abducting and repeatedly raping a Lorain woman at his Strecker Road property last November. The alleged victim took the stand yesterday, and told the jury about the events of November 1st, including escaping while bound, gagged and nude. It’s not known if Jury will take the stand.

 

Huron and Crawford counties are now sharing a health commissioner.

Current Huron County health commissioner Tim Hollinger will do the same job in Crawford County. He’s expected to average 20 hours per week in each county, and the two counties will share his salary. It’s a pilot program, with a six-month probationary period.

 

Ohio’s unemployment rate continues to fall.

According to new figures from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, it was 5.5 percent in May compared to 5.7 percent in April.

 

Ohio voters will not be asked to overturn the state’s gay marriage ban this year.

Officials with ‘FreedomOhio’ say they won’t have enough time to collect the signatures needed to put the issue on the November ballot.

 

Around Ohio…

Every student in the Columbus City Schools will receive free lunches this fall, under a new federal program for districts that serve high poverty areas.

Miss Ohio 2014 will be crowned tomorrow night in Mansfield.

She’ll represent the Buckeye State at the next Miss USA pageant.

Trustees at Youngstown State University have approved a contract for new president Jim Tressel.

He’ll make $300,000 annually. Tressel’s also getting a car and housing.

Kraft Foods is recalling Velveeta Cheese from Wal-Mart stores in 12 states, including Ohio.

The reason: the cheese lacks the correct amount of preservatives.

 

Summer, 2014 officially begins at 6:51am tomorrow.

 

It’s an important three-game series between the Cleveland Indians and the Detroit Tigers.

Game 1 is at 7:05 tonight.  Game 2 is at 7:15 tomorrow night and game three at 1:05 on Sunday.  You can hear all three games on 95.3, WLKR.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Cleanup continues in Willard, an area hit hard by yesterday’s storms.

Numerous trees and lines came down, during strong evening storms. After those storms rolled through, residents were told to stay indoors, for safety reasons. There was at least one unconfirmed sighting of a funnel cloud, just outside the city limits. Storms hit Norwalk as well. Trees hit at least two homes. Power remains out in spots around the area. Crews are working to restore service.

 

If they can play, day baseball is planned in Cleveland.

The Indians and Angels are scheduled to play at noon. Last night’s game was rained out. A makeup date is pending.

 

It’s being called a case of medical neglect, and Erie County deputies say it’s one of the worst they’ve ever seen.

A 33-year-old Groton Township man is dead, and his father and stepmother have been charged in connection with his death. 54-year-old David Arthur, and 46-year-old Deborah Arthur turned themselves in yesterday. They were charged with involuntary manslaughter, and failing to provide for a functionally impaired person. Both are in the Erie County Jail. Deputies were called to the family home on Billings Road Sunday, and found David Arthur Jr. dead, severely malnourished and covered in bed sores. Once weighing 300 pounds, he weighed just 94 pounds.

 

A former Plymouth-Shiloh booster convicted of stealing thousands of dollars was in court yesterday.

41-year-old Jodi Kidd was sentenced to five years probation, and was told to pay back nearly $12,000. Authorities said Kidd stole the money between September of 2012, and May of last year. At the time, she was president and treasurer of the Big Red Music Boosters Association. She was caught, when another booster discovered discrepancies.

 

The U.S. Coast Guard rescued three fishermen from Lake Erie after their boat capsized yesterday morning near Kelley’s Island.

They were tossed into the water by strong waves.  None of the men were hurt.  All three were wearing life jackets.

 

A Sandusky woman who stole nine TV sets from Norwalk’s Wal-Mart will spend time in the Huron County Jail.

Vanessa Medina will spend two months behind bars.  Her probation officer will decide if she should serve two more months after that.  She’s also been banned from all Wal-Mart stores.  It’s Medina’s first felony offense, but she has numerous misdemeanor theft convictions.

 

Longtime Greenwich Mayor Lowell Etzler has resigned.

He stepped down Tuesday, for health reasons. Etzler served as mayor for 10 years. Before that, he was a member of Greenwich Village Council for 15 years.

 

State Route 60, near Lincoln Road in Wakeman Township will close Monday for a culvert replacement.

The road should re-open next Friday.

 



Wednesday, June 18, 2014

A jury has been selected, in the case of a Groton Township man accused of abducting and raping a Lorain woman last fall.

Brian Jury was arrested in November, hours after his victim escaped from a camper on his Strecker Road property. The woman was naked and bound with zip ties, when she was helped by a passing motorist. Testimony in the case will begin today, and jurors are expected to view the property where the alleged crimes occurred.

 

The weekend death of a Bellevue-area man is being treated as suspicious.

The man’s body was sent for an autopsy, after it was discovered in suspicious circumstances at his home on Billings Road, in Groton Township. Due to the ongoing investigation, no other information is available.

 

A substantial financial blow, for some teachers at Sandusky Central Catholic.

According to the Sandusky Register, a new pay scale would cut the salaries of veteran teachers by anywhere from 12 to 20 percent. Some less experienced teachers would receive modest pay increases. Teachers and others are emailing letters of protest to church officials.

 

Fundraising efforts continue for the city of Norwalk’s annual July 4th fireworks display.

Checks should be made out to the VFW and dropped off at Norwalk City Hall.

 

Norwalk City Council has approved an incentive program aimed at attracting big businesses.

It’ll provide a discount for businesses using more than 750,000 gallons of water per month.  Last night’s vote was 6-1 with fourth-ward Councilman Chris Mushett voting no.

 

New early voting hours have been set for upcoming major elections.

All 88 county elections boards will be open 8am until 4pm the Saturday before the election, 1 until 5pm Sunday, and 8am until 2pm Monday, the day before the election. Previously, voters were unable to vote on the Sunday and Monday before Election Day.

 

The Hollywood Casino, Toledo has been fined $4,000, for violations involving four slot machines.

The Ohio Casino Control Commission said those machines had not been verified or sealed by casino regulators. State and casino officials said the violation did not impact the outcomes on the machines.

 

Ohio education officials say most third-graders are mastering their reading skills.

The Ohio Department of Education says 88-percent of students statewide passed the third-grade reading test this year to advance to fourth grade.  The remaining 12-percent are in danger of repeating third grade if they don’t pass makeup tests this summer.

 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

For the seventh time in just four seasons, Sandusky High is searching for a new head basketball coach.

Former BGSU-standout Anthony Stacey was hired as head coach in late April. Yesterday, he announced he’s accepted a job as an assistant men’s basketball coach for the University of Toledo. He’s the third Sandusky coach to leave, without coaching a game. Two others were dismissed, for DUI. Three others worked for just one season each. School officials said they hope to have a new coach within two weeks.

 

For the first time in eight years, teachers in Monroeville are getting raises.

A new three-year contract between the Monroeville Teachers Association and the Board of Education calls for a three percent raise the first year, one percent the second and a ‘re-opener’ in year three.  The teachers’ current contract expires June 30th.

 

It’s being called the second-largest marijuana bust ever, by the highway patrol.

Troopers seized more than 2,300 pounds of pot, worth $11.6 million. It happened over the weekend, in southwest Ohio’s Preble County. According to reports, the marijuana was found in a U-Haul truck that was pulled over on I-70. Two men, one from Texas, the other from Mexico were taken to jail.

 

Closer to home, authorities seized $70,000 worth of counterfeit perfume,counterfeit cash and drugs, during a joint enforcement effort involving Seneca and Sandusky counties.

Last Thursday and Friday, authorities made 900 traffic stops, and 200 arrests.

 

New state figures show motorcycle fatalities have fallen 21 percent since 2010.

 

The Huron County Board of Elections will meet behind closed doors tomorrow morning, to discuss personnel.

Tomorrow’s special executive session will begin at 8:30am, in the Board office, at the Huron County Administration Building in Norwalk.

 

It may be close to 90 degrees today, but Norwalk City Council will discuss winter tonight.

More specifically, council members are expected to approve a measure allowing Mayor Rob Duncan to enter into an agreement with ODOT, to buy rock salt for the winter months. The cost of rock salt is expected to skyrocket this year.

 

Governor John Kasich has signed a budget bill update that includes two increased tax breaks for low-income Ohioans.

One of the breaks increases the earned income tax credit from 5 to 10 percent. The other includes larger personal exemptions for low-and-middle income workers. Those exemptions will increase by as much as $500.

 

Monday, June 16, 2014

Warm and muggy weather is on tap for much of this week.

Highs will be in the 80’s all week, including upper 80’s tomorrow and Wednesday.

 

To start a new workweek, gas prices are down.

After soaring to $3.95 last week, you’ll find self-serve regular as low as $3.77 per gallon.

 

Roadwork resumes today, on U.S. Route 250 in Norwalk.

Crews will pickup south of the railroad tracks on Benedict Avenue. Traffic delays should be expected, and motorists should consider using alternate routes.

 

Weather delays have stalled the re-opening of State Route 99, near 113 in Monroeville.

Instead of last Friday, the road will open this Friday. Crews are replacing a culvert.

 

After weeks of speculation, it’s now official.

Retiring Norwalk City Schools superintendent Dennis Doughty is set to lead Norwalk Catholic School. He’ll take over August 1st, a day after he retires from the city’s public school system. Doughty is a 1972 St. Paul graduate. He taught and coached there, and served as principal from 1989-1997, before leaving to become superintendent in Willard, then Norwalk. When he came to Norwalk, he replaced the retiring Dr. Wayne Babcanec, the same man he’s replacing in August.

 

It took over 2 ½ years, but someone has finally won Ohio’s Classic Lotto.

At least one ticket had Saturday’s numbers, 3-8-26-28-34 and 35. The jackpot was worth $73.3 million. It’s not yet known where the winning ticket was sold.

 

It’s Miss Ohio Week in Mansfield.

Various events are planned, leading up to Saturday’s scholarship pageant at the Renaissance Theater. Miss Ohio 2014 will compete for the title of Miss USA. The field of 25 includes Miss Maple City 2014, Sarah Clapper.

Friday, June 13, 2014

A full moon AND Friday the 13th.

That won’t happen again, until 2049.

 

A Monroeville-area boy was flown to St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center in Toledo, after falling from a grain silo.

Emergency crews were summoned to the Huber Road scene at 4:30 yesterday afternoon, after the boy slipped, then hit his head on concrete. The boy also suffered a broken leg. His condition is unknown.

 

No roadwork today or this weekend, on U.S. Route 250 in Norwalk.

Work will resume on Monday, when crews pick up south of the railroad tracks on Benedict Avenue.

 

It’s festival weekend.

There’s Bacon Fest today on Kelley’s Island, and the Duck Tape Festival in Avon today through Sunday.

Also getting underway today—The 48th annual Festival of the Fish. It begins at noon and runs until Sunday evening, in downtown Vermilion. For more information, go to vermilionohio.com. We’ll broadcast live from the 48th annual Festival of the Fish between 1 and 3 tomorrow.

 

It’s a chance to meet Sandusky’s new city manager.

The Sandusky Main Street Association will host a meet-and-greet with Eric Wobser from 5:30 until 7:30 June 24th, at the State Theatre. He’ll share his plans for Sandusky, and will answer questions.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

It’s a weekly event…gas prices declining, then rising sharply.

Yesterday, self-serve regular soared to $3.95. In some cases, the increase was more than 35 cents per gallon.

 

Sentencing is set for June 23rd, for a Milan Township man convicted of sexually abusing two young girls.

Yesterday, an Erie County Common Pleas Court jury found 62-year-old Joseph Wagner guilty of ten counts of rape. He had been on trial for several days. The crimes occurred between 2011 and early last year, at Wagner’s home.

 

17 years in prison, for a Bellevue man who assaulted his wife, held her against her will, then set fire to his home, while holding police at bay.

Lloyd Hicks was sentenced yesterday in Seneca County Common Pleas Court, on charges of aggravated arson, abduction and assault. The charges are connected to last September’s incident, at Lloyd’s County Road 29 home. After an argument, Lloyd held his wife hostage, burned down his home and fired at responding officers.

 

One ticket had the correct numbers, to win last night’s $260 million Powerball jackpot.

The winning ticket was sold in Tennessee.

 

More details have been released, about Tuesday’s emergency plane landing at Cedar Point.

The pilot, 24-year-old Eric Ryba of Huron was forced to land on the beach, after an airborne duck hit the windshield of his single engine plane. The impact shattered the windshield, and the small plane lost the ability to gain altitude. Ryba was able to safely set the plane down minutes later. Ryba and a passenger, 21-year-old David Carratola of Milan suffered minor injuries.

 

 

 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

A small plane made was forced to make an emergency landing late afternoon Tuesday on Cedar Point beach, after a duck hit the windshield mid-flight.

 There was no major damage to the plane injuries to anyone inside the plane. The highway patrol is investigating the incident.

 

Former EHOVE instructor, 48-year-old Michael Edwards, is going to prison.

 The former culinary arts instructor was sentenced yesterday to thirty months behind bars on three counts of felony sexual battery. He was labeled a sex offender for life. Edwards was arrested late last year after allegations that he had sex with a 16-year-old female student in multiple locations around Erie County. Edwards avoided the 15-year maximum.

 

An update on resurfacing along route 250 in Norwalk.
Traffic may be stopped at times due to construction. Motorists are encouraged to use alternate routes for the duration of the project. Weather permitting, the project is expected to last through late August.

 

Traffic may be slow-going on Whittlesey Avenue near the Norwalk Post Office beginning Monday.
Crews will begin construction on a sewer project between Monroe and Main Street. Traffic will be maintained in each direction, however, parking will be affected. Motorists are encouraged to use alternate routes.

 

Sewer lining work will begin next Monday in Norwalk.
Work will take place on Newton Street between West Main and Jefferson. When work is complete, the crew will move to Grove Avenue, south of Williams. Once again, traffic will be maintained as needed. Locals are encouraged to use familiar routes around the construction zone. All work is expected to be complete by next Wednesday.

 

Norwalk High School is searching for members of the class of 1994.

The 20th reunion is planned for August 9th. Registration must be made by June 20th. For more information, email n-h-s truckers ninety four at gmail dot com.

Around Ohio…

Charges are pending against a corrections officer accused of stealing cases of shotgun shells from a prison arsenal and then selling them online.  The guard lives in Grove City, but works at a state prison in London, Ohio.  He resigned yesterday.

One of five soldiers killed in a friendly-fire incident in Afghanistan this week was from Ohio.  He’s been identified as Justin Helton of Beaver, in southern Ohio.

Cleveland Police have arrested a man accused of fatally shooting his two-year-old son.  Police said the man was arguing with the child’s mother when he fired a shot that hit the boy in the head.  The man is a convicted felon.

Day baseball today in Kansas City.

The Indians and Royals will close their short two-game series at 2:10.  You can hear all the action starting with Indians Warm Up at 1:37 on 95.3, WLKR.  The Tribe lost last night’s game 9-5.