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Friday, June 27, 2014

A split verdict, in the trial of Brian Jury.

The Groton Township man was found guilty on two counts of rape, two counts of abduction, and one count of felonious assault. But an Erie County Common Pleas Court jury found him not guilty on four other charges, including attempted murder. The charges were connected to the November kidnapping and sexual assault of a Lorain woman. The crimes occurred at Jury’s Strecker Road property. He’ll remain in the Erie County Jail, until his July 14th sentencing hearing. He’s facing more than 35 years behind bars.


The July 4th holiday is one week away.

In Norwalk, finishing touches are being put on the annual Lions Club parade. This year’s parade marshals will be the 2013-2014 Division II state basketball champion Norwalk Truckers. The Lions Club parade will begin at 10:30 next Friday. You can hear exclusive live coverage, on Kool Gold 1510.


EHOVE Career Center superintendent Sharon Mastroianni has received a contract extension.

The five-year agreement runs through July 31st of 2019. She’ll be allowed to retire next July, but will be rehired for the remaining four years. Her salary will be just over $119,000, with annual increases. Mastroianni has been EHOVE’s superintendent since 2006.


15 people have shown interest, in becoming the Norwalk City Schools’ next superintendent.

The application deadline is the close of business today. Applicants will be screened and interviewed next month. Current superintendent Dennis Doughty is retiring July 31st.


Perkins Township is where a DUI checkpoint will be held tonight.

Tonight’s Erie County DUI checkpoint will be held from 10pm until 1am on State Route 4, Perkins Township.  It’s being run by the Highway Patrol along with Perkins Police and Erie County Deputies. 


In sports…

The Cleveland Cavaliers selected Kansas guard Andrew Wiggins with the first overall pick in last night’s NBA draft.  Wiggins is 19.  He played one collegiate season and averaged 17 points and six rebounds a game. 

Late night baseball on 95.3, WLKR.  The Tribe and Seattle Mariners will play at 10:10 tonight at Safeco Field.

It’s a big racing weekend at the Radio Ranch.  At 6:30 tomorrow night on K96, it’s the Quaker State 400.  At 3 Sunday, it’s the Houston Grand Prix 2.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

The next Republican National Convention could be held in Cleveland.

Republican officials named Cleveland and Dallas as finalists to host the 2016 convention. Kansas City and Denver did not make the cut. Earlier reports out of Colorado said Denver was in, and Cleveland was out. A final decision is expected in August. Cleveland is also one of six cities vying to host the 2016 Democratic National Convention.


If you live in New London or Fitchville Townships, you will be without power at times next Tuesday.

Firelands Electric Cooperative will perform maintenance work between 9am and 4pm.  Multiple outages are expected during the project.  Most outages should last approximately one hour.  Nearly 600 Firelands Electric Cooperative members will be affected.


AAA says 41 million Americans will journey at least 50 miles from home, during the July 4th holiday weekend.

That’s a 1.9 percent increase from last year. The Independence Day holiday travel period begins July 2nd, and ends July 6th.


New census data shows Hispanics are leading Ohio’s population growth.

In fact, Hispanic population has increased in 87 of the state’s 88 counties. Estimates show Ohio gained more than 32,000 new Hispanic residents between 2010 and last year. That’s an increase of nine percent.


No verdict yet, in the case of a Bellevue-area man charged with kidnapping and raping a Lorain woman.

Deliberations will resume this morning, in Erie County Common Pleas Court. Brian Jury is facing nine felony charges.


Perkins Township is where a DUI checkpoint will be held tomorrow night.

The exact location will be announced tomorrow morning by the State Highway Patrol.  Troopers, along with Erie County Deputies and Perkins Police will man the checkpoint.


Budgetary matters will be the focus of a special meeting of the Perkins Board of Education.

The board will meet at 7am Monday, at the Administrative Service Center on Campbell Street.


Starting next week, nearly 600 Erie County employees will pay about 20 percent more, for health insurance.

Other changes approved by the county commissioners include higher deductibles and co-pays.


A scrap-metal thief in Columbus will spend three years behind bars on federal charges.

Martin Eldridge was accused of stealing air conditioning units from buildings. Prosecutors said Eldridge violated the ‘Clean Air Act’ when he cut tubing to the a/c units, releasing freon into the air, and potentially damaging the ozone.


Bellevue Community Days begins its three-day run today.

We’ll have much more, as we broadcast live from Robert Peters Park. Kelly Rose will be on hand between 4 and 6. The 28th annual Willard Festival in the Park begins next Wednesday. It’ll run through July 5th.


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Huron County is under a Flood Advisory until 9:45 this morning.


There are multiple reports of high water around the area, especially in Huron County.

South Norwalk Road, near Route 61 in Norwalk is closed because of high water. Old State Road, between Peru-Olena and Dublin roads in Bronson Township was closed as well.


It ended just before 3:15 Eastern Daylight Time this morning.

The interleague game between the Cleveland Indians and the Arizona Diamondbacks went 14 innings. Arizona won it, 9-8.


Following a statewide trend, Huron County’s unemployment rate continues to fall.

Figures from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services show the county’s May unemployment rate was 6.7 percent. It was 7.9 percent in April. May jobless rates in surrounding counties ranged from 4.6 percent in Erie County, to 6.6 percent in Lorain County. Around the state, jobless rates ranged from 10.8 percent in Monroe County, to just three percent in Mercer County. Ohio’s average was 5.5 percent.


The jury has the case of Brian Jury.

Deliberations will begin this morning, in Erie County Common Pleas Court. The Bellevue-area man is accused of kidnapping and repeatedly raping a Lorain woman last November. He’s facing nine felony charges.


Norwalk’s historic Woodlawn Cemetery will offer two free guided walking tours this summer.

The first will be July 13th, and the second, August 3rd. Both will start at 1pm, near the public mausoleum. The tour guide will be local historian Henry Timman, who also serves as vice-president of the Norwalk Cemetery Association. Woodlawn Cemetery opened in 1854.


The Sandusky Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol has announced plans to operate a DUI checkpoint this week.

The exact location will be announced the morning of the checkpoint.


An update, on donations for July 4th fireworks in Norwalk.

According to Mayor Rob Duncan, the city is about $3,500 short of the goal of $18,000. Donations are tax deductible. Checks should be made out to the VFW, with fireworks in the memo, and can be dropped off at Norwalk City Hall.


Local authorities and the State Fire Marshal’s Office continue to investigate a suspected case of arson in Wakeman.

They believe someone purposely set fire to a home at the Firelands Manor Mobile Home Park early Sunday morning. The same person may have used spray paint to write the phrase homewrecker’ on a shed behind the home. Several people have been interviewed, but no one has been arrested.


The Mercy Willard Hospital Foundation golf outing at Eagle Creek has been canceled, due to high water at the golf course.


To New London where voters will decide whether or not to renew a half-percent income tax for police and fire services.

Village Council has approved a measure to place the issue on the fall ballot.


Bellevue Community Days begins its three-day run tomorrow.

We will broadcast live from Robert Peters Park between 4 and 6 tomorrow.


The 28th annual Willard Festival in the Park begins one week from today.  It will run through July 5th.





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.