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Friday, March 14, 2014

The Norwalk Truckers are one game away from the Final Four.

Last night, Norwalk topped Vermilion in overtime, 87-81 in the Division II regional semi-finals at Bowling Green State University. The Truckers will play for a regional championship tomorrow afternoon, back at BGSU. The opponent: Lima Bath. The Wildcats rallied from 14 down to beat Defiance, 50-49. Presale tickets for Norwalk and Bath will be available at Norwalk High School until 7 tonight, and 8am until 11am tomorrow. Presale tickets are $6, $8 at the arena. If you can’t go to the game, we’ll have it live on 95.3, WLKR. Pregame coverage will begin at 2, with tipoff at 3.


The Huron Tigers lost their Division III Sweet 16 game last night.

The Tigers fell to Ottawa-Glandorf, 63-45.


Traffic is moving on the Ohio Turnpike, but officials say it’ll take days to clean up from Wednesday’s massive accident.

Two different pileups in the eastbound lanes near Clyde involved 50 vehicles. Three people were killed, and a State Highway Patrol trooper suffered serious injuries.


A Galion man was taken to Fisher-Titus Medical Center after his car was hit by a snow plow, just south of Norwalk.

Chad Grix was hurt yesterday afternoon at the intersection of State Route 61 and Snyder Road.  His injuries were considered non-life threatening.  According to reports, Grix tried to pass the snow plow while it was turning left onto Snyder Road.  Charges are pending.


The Huron County Board of Elections is reminding residents that April 7th is the deadline to register to vote, or change voter information, in time for the May 6th primary election.

You may register to vote if you’re a U.S. citizen 18 or older, and if you’ve been a resident of Ohio for at least 30 days. You can register at the Huron County Board of Elections Office, the Norwalk License Bureau, the Huron County Treasurer’s Office, the Huron County Department of Job and Family Services and local libraries.


Formal charges have been filed against a Sandusky woman accused of stealing her car back from a repo man.

Deborah Lash is facing charges of felonious assault, grand theft, vandalism and tampering with evidence. The incident occurred last fall. Authorities said after the repo man hoisted the car onto his truck, she somehow backed it off, then hit his truck repeatedly, before hitting him with the car and driving off.


Skywarn spotter training is coming to Erie County.

It’ll be held from 6:30 until 8:30 next Thursday night at Castaway Bay in Sandusky.  Skywarn training in Huron County will be offered April 8th at Norwalk High School.


The Perkins School Board meeting that was snowed out Wednesday has been rescheduled for 7pm, March 26th, at Perkins High School.


More than 50,000 Ohioans could benefit from a bi-partisan bill that extends long-term unemployment benefits by five months.

Those affected lost benefits late last year.


A man accused of causing a Thanksgiving Day crash on the Ohio Turnpike that killed a Toledo couple has been ruled incompetent to stand trial.

The ruling follows a court-ordered evaluation of Andrew Gans of Kent. He’ll be transferred to a psychiatric hospital in Toledo, and will be re-evaluated in three months. Gans may have been traveling at more than 125 miles per hour, when his car hit a mini-van, near Fremont. He has a history of mental health issues.


Thursday, March 13, 2014

Icy and snowy roads led to more school closings and delays this morning.

Bellevue, Edison, Monroeville, Perkins and Willard were among the schools that canceled classes today.


Area authorities spent yesterday dealing with dozens of crashes, including a massive pileup on the Ohio Turnpike that killed three people, and injured a state highway patrol trooper.

Trooper Andrew Clouser of the Milan post suffered serious injuries, when he became pinned between two cars. He remains in intensive care at St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center in Toledo. Clouser was on the scene of a 50-car pile-up in Sandusky County’s Townsend Township.

Three people were killed in that crash. The victims were from Parma, Indiana and Illinois. Eastbound lanes remained closed overnight. One lane re-opened during the mid-morning hours.


A Massillon man responsible for a mid-September fatal crash in downtown Bellevue is going to prison.

24-year-old Morgan Jevec was in Huron County Common Pleas Court yesterday. He was sentenced yesterday to 15 years behind bars. Jevec was drunk, when his car slammed into an SUV driven by 36-year-old Tracey Albright of Bellevue. Both vehicles caught fire. Albright was pronounced dead at the scene. Jevec and three passengers suffered serious injuries.


Norwalk police and Huron County deputies have shut down a large marijuana operation.

Armed with a search warrant, authorities found nearly 80 marijuana plants, and $10,000 worth of equipment used to grow pot. The discovery was made yesterday morning, at the former Berardi’s Restaurant on Cleveland Road. One arrest was made. So far, Thomas Sterling of Monroeville is charged with tampering with evidence.


The man accused of causing the Thanksgiving Day crash on the Ohio Turnpike that killed a Toledo couple has been declared ‘incompetent to stand trial.’

The ruling follows a court-ordered evaluation of Andrew Gans.  Gans will now be transferred to a psychiatric hospital in Toledo and will be re-evaluated in 90-days.


It’s become a weekly event…Gas prices going up.

Yesterday, pump prices rose to $3.75 for self-serve regular.


Columbus health officials say Ohio State University’s spring break is raising anxieties about a mumps outbreak on campus.

The health department says the number of mumps cases is up to 19 and officials are afraid the highly-contagious disease could spread across the country during spring break.


Coming up tonight on 95.3, WLKR…

Division II regional semi-final basketball, live from Bowling Green State University. The 25-1 Norwalk Truckers will take on the 19-7 Vermilion Sailors. Pregame coverage will begin at 5:30, with the tipoff at 6:15. The winner will play for a regional championship, and a spot in next week’s Final Four.


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

From 50′s Monday and Tuesday to rain, freezing rain, sleet and snow today.

As predicted, another winter storm rolled in early this morning.  It left roads snow-covered and slippery.  It also forced most schools to cancel today’s classes.  The main concern now: strong winds and blowing and drifting snow.  Tonight’s low will be close to zero with a wind chill of 10-below. 


Level 2 snow emergencies are in effect for Huron, Erie, Sandusky and Seneca Counties.

Level 2 means roadways are hazardous with blowing and drifting snow and ice.  Only those who feel it is necessary should be out on the roads.  Contact your employer to see if you should report to work.


Ironically, state lawmakers have approved a measure allowing four extra calamity days.

Many school districts have used dozen or more snow days this winter.


New figures show Huron County’s January unemployment rate was nearly twice the statewide average.

It was 12.4 percent, compared to 6.9 percent throughout Ohio. It was also sixth highest in the Buckeye State. Rates in surrounding counties ranged from 7.2 percent in Seneca County, to 8.5 percent in Erie and Crawford counties.


A look ahead…

A limited spring trash pickup in Norwalk will be held the week of April 14th. City households will be allowed to set out three large items or nine extra trash bags for pickup at no additional charge.


Under investigation by Huron County deputies: An alleged sex offense, at a home on Townline Road 12 in Willard.

It was reported yesterday. There’s no other information.


A change involving open enrollment in the Norwalk City Schools.

In previous years, the district would only accept students from contiguous school systems—Edison, Monroeville, South Central and Western Reserve.  Last night, the Board of Education approved a plan expanding enrollment to any student in Ohio.  The new plan could lead to new dollars.


The Ohio House is learning more about Governor John Kasich’s proposed changes to the state’s tax structure.

The governor’s proposal called for an 8 1/2 percent cut in income taxes over three years, while increasing taxes on tobacco products and oil-and-gas drilling.  Kasich also wants changes to education, including streamlined workforce development program and expanded vocational education.


Monday is St. Patrick’s Day, and law enforcement agencies across the state will be out in full force, in hopes of keeping roadways safe.

From March 14th through the 18th, Norwalk police will work overtime hours, looking for impaired drivers, speeders and those who violate seat belt laws. In Erie County, deputies will pay special attention to State Routes 2, 4, 6, 60 and 61, along with U.S. Route 250.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

A big weather change is coming.

From 52 today, to 20 and rain, freezing rain and snow tomorrow. The National Weather Service says this area could get 7 inches or more of the white stuff, along with a glazing of ice. A Winter Storm Watch is in effect from midnight tonight, until 8 tomorrow night. Of course, if there are closings or delays tomorrow, we’ll have the information every ten minutes. You’ll also find it on our website.


Huron County deputies are investigating the deaths of two Norwalk residents.

Dr. Donald King and his wife Lucille were found dead yesterday morning, in the garage of their New State Road home. Both died from asphyxiation.


Make it 16 confirmed mumps cases at Ohio State University.

Health officials say they expect more mumps cases because those who contract the virus can be contagious for weeks.


No bond, for a man accused of shooting and killing three men after an argument at a Fremont bar.

33-year-old Igmidio Mista was arrested at a relative’s home yesterday, without incident. Mista is the sole suspect in Sunday’s early morning triple murder at the Last Call Saloon. Bartender Ramiro Sanchez and bar patron Daniel Ramirez were shot and killed, along with Jose Chavez. Chavez was an off-duty Elmore police officer.


At least for now, no indictment, in the 1988 death of Bellevue resident Isabel Cordle.

A grand jury that heard evidence last week declined to return charges. In late January of 1988, an unidentified person used an axe to kill Cordle in her home. The case was featured on TNT’s ‘Cold Justice’ program last fall.


Sandusky City Schools treasurer Kevin Robertson is leaving, for the same job in the Bay Village Schools.

He announced his resignation yesterday.


Two meetings in Norwalk tonight…

The Norwalk Board of Education will meet in regular session at 7pm at Norwalk High School. Norwalk City Council will meet in work session, at 7:30. That meeting will be held in the Norwalk Muni courtroom.


New figures show Huron County’s January unemployment rate was nearly twice the statewide average.

It was 12.4 percent, compared to 6.9 percent throughout Ohio.  It was also sixth highest in the Buckeye State.  Rates in surrounding counties ranged from 7.2 percent in Seneca County to 8.5 percent in Erie and Crawford Counties.


Monday, March 10, 2014

It appears another blast of winter weather is coming.

It’s expected to hit Wednesday with rain and freezing rain and then snow.  Snow could last until late Wednesday night.


Three area boys basketball teams made it to the ‘Sweet 16.’

In Division III, Huron will play Ottawa-Glandorf at 8pm Wednesday at Bowling Green State University.  

In Division II regional semi-final action, Norwalk will take on Vermilion at 6:15 Thursday also at Bowling Green.  We’ll have complete live coverage starting at 5:30 on 95.3, WLKR.  Pre-sale tickets for Norwalk and Vermilion are available from 8am until 3:30pm tomorrow through Wednesday, 5 until 7:30 tomorrow night and 8am until 2pm Thursday.  All pre-sale tickets are $6…They will be $8 at the gate.  Parking at Bowling Green is $5. 


An arrest has been made in connection with a weekend bar shooting in Fremont that left three men dead and one wounded.

33-year-old Igmidio Mista was taken into custody at 9:45 this morning in Fremont.  He’s currently charged with three counts of first degree murder.  Witnesses said Mista shot four men early Sunday morning after an argument at the Last Call Saloon.  The victims have been identified as:  28-year-old Ramiro Sanchez, a bartender at Last Call Saloon; 25-year-old Daniel Ramirez, a patron at the bar; 26-year-old Jose ‘Andy’ Chavez, an off-duty Elmore Police Officer who was at the bar.  A fourth man, 25-year-old Ramiro Arreola was taken by Lifeflight to St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center…He’s now out of the hospital.


A Sandusky County grand jury has heard evidence, connected to a 26-year-old homicide.

It’s not yet known if the grand jury will return an indictment, in the case of Isabel Cordle. She was found dead in her Bellevue home in January of 1988. Authorities said Cordle was killed by an axe blow to the head. An investigation turned up several suspects, but no one was arrested. The case was featured last fall, on TNT’s ‘Cold Justice’ show.


Due to the unusually harsh winter, the state has extended the Home Energy Assistance Winter Crisis Program until April 15th.

The program provides assistance to eligible households that are threatened with disconnection, have been disconnected, or are running low on bulk fuel. There’s a toll-free hotline, 1-800-282-0880, and a website energyhelp.ohio.gov.


A jury has found an Ashland couple ‘guilty’ of enslaving a mentally-disabled woman, and her daughter.

Jordie Callahan and Jessica Hunt now face life in prison. Two other defendants will be sentenced later this month, after pleading guilty.


The city of Norwalk’s Planning Commission will meet this Wednesday, at 7pm at Norwalk City Hall.


Friday, March 7, 2014

It’s a big basketball weekend in this area.

Tonight, the Bellevue Lady Red will play for a regional championship, and a spot in next week’s Final Four. Bellevue will take on Toledo Rogers at 7:30, at Ontario High School. Tomorrow night, the Norwalk Truckers and the Perkins Pirates will clash for a third time this season. The winner will head to the Sweet Sixteen. Tomorrow night’s game will tipoff at7, at Mansfield Sr. High School. You can hear both games, Bellevue and Rogers, and Norwalk and Perkins live on 95.3, WLKR.


It’s being called one of the largest heroin busts ever, in Huron County.

It happened yesterday afternoon, in Norwalk. 20-year-old Lewis Turner of Lorain was arrested after the controlled buy outside Dave’s Food Mart. Turner is accused of selling more than $5,000 worth of heroin to a confidential informant. Authorities said he was in possession of more heroin, and $7,000 in cash. He was taken to the Huron County Jail.


A jury now has the case of an Ashland couple accused of imprisoning and abusing a mentally-impaired woman and her young daughter.

Deliberations began late yesterday afternoon, and will resume this morning in the so called ‘slave labor’ trial. Prosecutors said Jessica Hunt and Jordie Callahan lured the victims into their home, stole their monthly government assistance checks, and forced them to do manual labor. If convicted by a federal jury, Hunt and Callahan could be sent to prison for life.


The longtime head of the Firelands Chapter of the American Red Cross is retiring.

Ron Rude will step down in July. He’s been with the Red Cross for nearly 40 years, 26 of them as director. After Rude’s retirement, the Firelands and Lorain County chapters will merge into a single unit.


It’s the weekend we lose an hour of sleep, as we ‘spring ahead’ one hour, to Daylight Saving Time.

The time change takes effect at 2am Sunday.


The nation’s largest office-supply retailer has announced plans to close 10 percent of its stores by the end of next year.

That means up to 225 Staples locations will shut down by the end of 2015. Staples officials said half of its sales are now generated online, so cuts will be made, to become more efficient. It’s not yet known how many jobs will be lost, or what locations will close.


Public health officials are investigating a possible mumps outbreak at Ohio State University.

As many as 11 students are said to have the contagious infection.


Ohio’s January unemployment rate was 6.9 percent in January, down from 7.1 percent in December, according to data released this morning by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.

The number of workers unemployed in Ohio in January was 395,000, down 16,000 from December.


The figures are in and they show Lake Erie is now 96-percent covered by ice.

NOAA’s Great Lakes Environmental Research Lab says in some sport, its two-feet thick.


Thursday, March 6, 2014

It’s Norwalk and Perkins, part III.

The two basketball teams will meet in the Division II district title game Saturday, at Mansfield Sr. High School, with the winner advancing to the Sweet 16.


In sports…

More boy’s tournament basketball tonight on 95.3, WLKR.  Willard will take on Huron in the Division III district semi-finals at Ashland University.  Coverage begins at 6, with tipoff at 6:15.


A house fire on State Route 601 in Norwalk has done at least $100,000 damage.

According to Norwalk Fire Chief John Soisson, crews were summoned to 4001 Route 601 shortly before 9pm.  They arrived to find heavy smoke and an extensive fire inside.  Townsend Township firefighters provided mutual aid.  It’s believed the fire began in the furnace room.


A train derailment in Willard led to train back-ups around the area this morning.

State Route 13, between U.S. Routes 250 and 224 was closed for a short time by a train blocking the tracks.  The road re-opened after the train was separated.  We’ll have more on the derailment as details become available.


The Second Harvest Food Bank of North Central Ohio has kicked off its annual‘Harvest for Hunger’ campaign.

They hope to collect enough in donations and food to provide more than one million meals to those less fortunate in Huron, Erie, Lorain and Crawford counties.


A portion of State Route 101 in Erie County has been renamed, in honor of a Sandusky native killed overseas.

Governor John Kasich has signed a bill renaming some of Route 101 the “Sgt. First Class Charles L. Adkins Memorial Highway.” Adkins was a 1993 graduate of Margaretta High School. He was killed in Afghanistan in April of 2011.


Huron County deputies continue to investigate an alleged sex offense, involving a 38-year-old man, and a 13-year-old girl.

The alleged offense occurred last week, at a home on Greenwich-Milan Townline Road in Norwalk. The Sheriff’s Office was notified by Huron County Children’s Services. The suspect has not been arrested.


17 months in prison, for a Willard man convicted of sexually assaulting a woman last June.

David Barnum was sentenced yesterday, in Huron County Common Pleas Court. He was originally charged with rape, but later pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of aggravated assault. The 17-month prison term is one month shy of the maximum.


Students at Margaretta Elementary may have been exposed to a suspected case of whooping cough.

School officials sent an e-mail to parents yesterday. Official test results are expected tomorrow.


If you’re on the Columbia Gas of Ohio budget payment plan, get ready to shell out more money.

Columbia Gas says budget plan customers will see bills jump by an average of $20 a month, due to an increase in the price of natural gas.  The increase will take effect immediately.


State Representative Terry Boose of Norwalk is inviting all Huron County business owners to a roundtable discussion with Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation Administrator/CEO Steve Buehrer on Monday, March 10th.

The event will begin at 9:30am, at the Huron County Chamber of Commerce Office on West Main Street in Norwalk. Attendees will learn about the Bureau’s ongoing initiatives, and will be able to ask questions and provide input for improvements. Business owners can RSVP by calling 419-245-3017.


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

A statewide tornado drill and test of the Emergency Alert System will take place at 9:30 tomorrow morning, as part of Spring Severe Weather Awareness Week.

Counties throughout Ohio will sound outdoor warning sirens. Schools, homes and businesses are encouraged to practice tornado drills and emergency plans.

A look ahead: 2014 Skywarn tornado and severe weather spotter training will be held Tuesday, April 8th, from 6:30 until 8:30pm at the Fisher-Titus Learning Center at Norwalk High School. Training is free. Those who attend and complete the program will be registered with the National Weather Service Office in Cleveland, and will be issued a Skywarn spotter ID card.


Norwalk City Council will meeting in regular session tonight.

It’s a very light agenda, with a few routine items. The meeting will start at 7:30, in the Norwalk Muni courtroom.


Around Ohio…

Allegations of hazing and alcohol abuse have led to the closure of a fraternity at Miami University in southwest Ohio. Beta Theta Pi closed its Oxford, Ohio chapter last week. It may be re-established in the 2016-2017 school year.


Six men have been charged in connection with at least 60 cell phone store break-ins around Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky. The Dayton-area men are accused of stealing more than $300,000 in electronics, in smash-and-grab thefts between April of 2012, and January of this year.


Richmond Heights Schools superintendent Richard Moore II has been placed on paid leave, amid allegations of bribery and extortion. He’s accused of shaking down a daycare business that contracted with the school system. The district’s building director has been charged too.


A benefit concert will be held March 14th, for former Perkins firefighter James Dickman. Dickman died in late January, fighting a blaze in Toledo. The March 14th concert will begin at 6pm, at the Kalahari Convention Center. The concert will feature Remembering Venice, a band Dickman played with. Video of Dickman singing with the band will be played during the performance. The cost is $10. Proceeds will benefit Dickman’s wife and children.


The infamous ‘caged kids’ case in Huron County is officially over.

Welfare officials in Stark County will pay $2 million to three children they placed with Michael and Sharen Gravelle, ending a series of civil lawsuits.  The Gravelles spent two years in prison in 2005 for locking 11 adopted and foster children in makeshift cages in their Clarksfield Township home.  Advocates for the kids sued agencies in several counties, including Huron County, saying there wasn’t enough oversight of their special needs.


In sports…

It’s a Division IV boys district semi-final basketball doubleheader night with both games LIVE on 95.3, WLKR.  At 6:15, St. Paul will take on Buckeye Central, followed by Plymouth and St. Mary Central Catholic.  Both games are at Willard High School.


Monday, March 3, 2014

It doesn’t look or feel anything like spring, but it’s Spring Severe Weather Awareness Week throughout Ohio.


Charges have been filed, in connection with a December 26th fatal crash in Huron County.

Norwalk Law Director Stu O’Hara has charged 20-year-old Jordan Zartman of Tiffin with vehicular homicide, a second-degree misdemeanor, punishable by 90 days in jail, and a $750 fine. The highway patrol said Zartman’s car slid on ice, causing a head-on collision on U.S. Route 20 in Wakeman. The crash killed a 19-year-old Canfield, Ohio resident.


Fuel sales are suspended at two Ohio Turnpike service plazas, while the fuel systems are upgraded.

Filling stations at the Commodore Perry and Erie Islands service plazas in Sandusky County will be closed until April 11th. Restaurants, restrooms and other services will remain available at both plazas, during the fuel outage.


Ready or not, this weekend is when we ‘spring ahead’ to Daylight Saving Time.

Clocks will move ahead one hour at 2am Sunday.


More than 145,000 concealed carry licenses were issued in Ohio last year.

It’s the largest number since state licensing began in 2004. According to Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, county sheriffs issued nearly 97,000 new licenses, and more than 48,000 renewal licenses.


Jail officials in two southwest Ohio counties will allow inmates to meet with lawyers, family and friends, using remote video access.

Officials in Montgomery and Warren counties plan to use the technology, to reduce security risks and improve the use of jail staff. Warren County may charge inmates or other users $10 for 20 minutes of video visitation. Montgomery County plans to add the service at no extra charge, through an existing contract for inmate phone services.


From the ‘not-so-smart’ category…

Sandusky police believe they have the man who robbed Dollar General Thursday night. Mark Phillips of Oak Harbor was arrested Friday morning, after he hit the store AGAIN. Officers were still in the area, investigating the Thursday night hold up. He’s facing two counts of robbery. His driver, Matthew Baker of Norwalk is facing charges as well.


A drug raid in Norwalk turned up drugs and drug paraphernalia, and led to one arrest.

Jason Bryant was arrested Thursday night, after Norwalk police searched his Concord Court apartment. Officers found marijuana and heroin, scales, plastic bags, and a gun. More arrests are expected.


Friday, February 28, 2014

It just won’t go away…

We are talking about snow.  The National Weather Service says snow will begin tomorrow night and could continue until Monday afternoon.  Some spots could get 10 inches of snow.


Resuming at 10 this morning on 95.3, WLKR…

Exclusive live coverage of the 77th annual State Wrestling Tournament, at Value City Arena in Columbus.


Huron County deputies are tight-lipped about a body found inside a burning car in Ridgefield Township.

Deputies and firefighters were called to the Jacobs Road scene just after 9 last night. According to reports, a charred body was found, after the blaze was extinguished. State crime investigators were called in, to aid in the investigation. So far, no other information has been released.


You’ll notice higher gas prices this morning.

At most area stations, gas is now $3.65 a gallon.


A Sandusky woman will spend 11 years in prison, for her role in her son’s death.

23-year-old Danielle Flannery was sentenced yesterday in Erie County Common Pleas Court. Her son, three-year-old Owen Barker died in July of 2012. At the time, the boy was in the care of Flannery’s then-boyfriend, Michael Milner. Authorities said the toddler died from a blow to the chest. Flannery pleaded guilty in December, to a charge of permitting child abuse. She received the maximum sentence allowed by law. Milner remains in jail, awaiting trial.


An 81-year-old Greenwich man has been sentenced to four years in prison, for sex crimes involving a teenage relative.

Robert Shultz learned his fate yesterday, in Huron County Common Pleas Court. The sentence was a year shy of the maximum for unlawful sexual conduct with a minor. He was also labeled as a Tier II sex offender. Greenwich police began investigating the crime, after the girl claimed having sexual contact with two men. The other man, 76-year-old James Basham Sr. of Nova is facing 15 felony charges. He’ll stand trial in April.


Police in Sandusky are looking for a man who robbed Dollar General last night.

The man entered the Venice Road store just before 6pm, and slid a note to the cashier, demanding cash. He fled, with an undisclosed amount of money. It’s not known if he was armed. Police arrived quickly and searched the area, but were unable to find him. However, clear surveillance footage is being looked at by investigators, along with evidence found at the scene.


A nurse’s aide at the Ohio Veterans Home is in hot water for allegedly stealing from a resident.

Kelli Corder of Norwalk is charged with theft and theft in office.  She’s accused of swiping a $100 Visa Gift card from an 84-year-old man and then using it at area stores.  Corder is due in court next week.