• Live Broadcasts

    Keep listening to find out where you can join WLKR Next!









    If you have a local band or are a local artist and would like more information on the Firelands Local Music Spot please email krose@wlkrradio.com





    Fox News





    Keep listening for your chance to win tickets!





News

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Gas prices took quite a jump yesterday.

At some area stations, the increase was more than 30 cents, to $2.45 per gallon.

 

State Route 99, a half-mile south of Mead Road in Ridgefield Township will close Monday for a culvert replacement.

The road is expected to re-open by April 24th.

 

A convicted sex offender from New London has been found guilty of not registering his address.

36-year-old Wesley Miller of New London is in the Huron County Jail, and will remain there until he’s sentenced next month. Miller had been living with a relative, but was kicked out. He’s considered a Tier I sex offender, which means he’s required to register his address with authorities annually, for 15 years.

 

To Sandusky, where police are investigating two sizeable thefts…

One is a black 2007 Chevy Cobalt, from Kasper Buick-GMC. The theft was reported Monday evening. Also stolen in recent days…$500 worth of instant lottery tickets from Speedway gas station, at Campbell and Perkins. Police checked surveillance video, but found nothing.

 

Appointments are being made, for kindergarten registration in the Willard City Schools.

Registration dates are scheduled for April 20th and 21st. To make an appointment, call Central Elementary School.

 

Around the state…

Gambling revenue high a new record high in March, topping $145 million. That broke the previous record by about $10 million. Ohio has four casinos, and seven ‘racinos.’

 

The varsity baseball coach at famed Massillon Washington High School has been placed on leave, after he was caught with drugs.

Various reports say 31-year-old Neall French was arrested March 9th, after he was found to be in possession of crack cocaine. His arrest just became public.

 

Two former University of Toledo athletes have been sentenced to three years probation, for point-shaving.

Keith Triplett and Kashif Payne are the final two former basketball players sentenced in the scandal, which dates back to 2004. In all, seven former Rocket athletes, including three football players, have been sentenced for conspiring with a Detroit-area gambler.

 

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Area law enforcement agencies are warning businesses to beware of counterfeit money.

In recent days, phony $100 bills have been passed at businesses in Norwalk, Sandusky, Huron and Perkins Township. Authorities should be contacted immediately, if an employee or business suspects someone is trying to use counterfeit money.

Norwalk businessman and former city councilman Dwight Tkach has picked up petitions to run for mayor.

According to Sharon Locke, Director of the Huron County Board of Elections, Tkach has until May 4th to file petitions.  If he does, he’ll sun as an independent and he’d face incumbent Republican Rob Duncan this fall.  No Democrats filed to run for the seat.  Tkach served five terms on Norwalk City Council, with 2011 being his final year.  He’s the owner of Nobil’s Sports and Trophies and Kenilee Lanes.

As expected, governor John Kasich has signed Ohio’s new 2-year, $5 billion transportation budget.

It includes money for work on some of the state’s biggest highways, and $600 million to local governments for road and bridge improvements.

No big surprise, but a new Quinnipiac University poll shows Governor John Kasich is the front runner in Ohio among potential 2016 GOP presidential contenders.

In a crowded field, Kasich is the only one in double figures, 20 percent.  After Kasich, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker got nine percent.  Florida Governor Jeb Bush received eight percent of the vote.

Starting Monday, the Fisher-Titus Patient Pavilion main entrance and Parking Lot C will be closed for renovations.

Work should last six months. During that time, the main entrance for visitors will be the Benedict Avenue entrance. Parking will be available in lots A and B.

Put-In-Bay has an interim police chief.

Former Sandusky Lt. Michael Frank is stepping in for Ric Lampela, who’s on paid leave, amid allegations of misconduct. Frank will earn $25 an hour. He also serves as a part-time police chief for the village of Rocky Ridge, and he works for the Erie County Probation Department.

Hot off the press….The newest edition of the Voice of the Firelands magazine.

The Spring-Summer edition has schedules for the Cleveland Indians, Detroit Tigers, Columbus Clippers, Toledo Mud Hens, and the Lake Erie Crushers, plus a chance to win four tickets to a Tribe game, and a limo ride to and from the game. It also has the complete 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule and roster. The free Voice of the Firelands magazine can be found at select businesses around the area. Limited copies are available at the Radio Ranch.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

The head of a fall, 2014 area crime spree is going to prison for 13 years.

37-year-old James Brant of Monroeville was sentenced yesterday, in Huron County Common Pleas Court. Between late October and late November, Brant and several others stole tens of thousands of dollars of items from Huron, Erie, Lucas, Ottawa, Richland and Seneca counties. Some of the stolen items have since been recovered. Last week, Brant agreed to plead guilty to several charges, including burglary. In exchange, nearly 20 other felonies were dismissed. Brant is currently serving a four-year sentence out of Erie County. That sentence will run concurrently with yesterday’s punishment.

A Norwalk man accused of severely beating his girlfriend’s seven-year-old daughter could be sent to prison for up to three years.

28-year-old Andrew Missler pleaded guilty yesterday to a single count of child endangering, along with a heroin possession charge. He remains in the Huron County Jail, pending sentencing in May. Missler was arrested in January, after school employees noticed the girl had numerous bruises.

The slogan “Lake Erie Love” has paid big dividends for Erie and Ottawa counties.

According to the Sandusky Register, Lake Erie Shores and Islands spent $1 million dollars to advertise “Lake Erie Love.” The result: visitors and tourists spent more than $150 million, and generated $4 million in local taxes.

Ohio’s former governor has support from a former U.S. President.

Bill Clinton has endorsed Ted Strickland, in Strickland’s 2016 bid for the U.S. Senate. The seat is currently held by Republican Rob Portman.

A new poll shows Hillary Clinton is favored among Ohio voters, but her lead is shrinking.

The Quinnipiac University poll shows Clinton has a five-point lead over other presidential contenders in Ohio. In a similar poll done in February, she led others by at least seven percentage points.

People served through the Second Harvest Food Bank of North Central Ohio will soon benefit from recent deer-culling in Avon Lake.

More than 600 pounds of venison have been turned over to Second Harvest.

An early morning crash in Ottawa County sent an Oak Harbor man to the hospital for treatment of serious injuries.

42-year-old Henry Gerschutz was flown to St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center shortly after the 2am crash on Russell Road, near State Route 2.  According to the Highway Patrol, his truck went off the road and hit several trees.  Troopers believe alcohol was a factor in the crash.

Hot off the press…The newest edition of the Voice of the Firelands Magazine.

The Spring-Summer edition has schedules for the Cleveland Indians, Detroit Tigers, Columbus Clippers, Toledo Mud Hens, and the Lake Erie Crushers, plus a chance to win four tickets to a Tribe game and a limo ride to and from the game.  It also has the complete 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule and roster.  The free Voice of the Firelands Magazine can be found at select businesses around the area.  Limited copies are available at the Radio Ranch.

K96 Country – WKFM 96.1 » News 2015-03-31 11:45:18

More accolades, for Monroeville’s Logan Stieber.

The Ohio State wrestler has won the Dan Hodge Trophy, considered the Heisman Trophy of college wrestling. Stieber recently wrapped up his collegiate career with a fourth national

championship.

 

There were no major injuries, in yesterday’s accident that shut down U.S. Route 250 at Omega Road near Fitchville.

According to reports, a semi hit a garbage truck. 250 was closed for several hours.

 

At least for now, a Sandusky man remains in jail with no bond, for allegedly dousing relatives with gas, and threatening to set them on fire.

44-year-old Kevin Bruster made his initial court appearance yesterday and was denied bail, pending the results of a mental health exam. During the hearing, he denied wrongdoing. He’s due back in Sandusky Municipal Court this Thursday. Bruster is facing several charges, including attempted murder, in connection with the Friday night incident at his home on Columbus Avenue. He’s accused of pouring gasoline on his wife and her eight-year-old granddaughter, before threatening to set them ablaze. Bruster fled the scene when they called for help. He remained at-large until early Sunday morning.

 

The city of Norwalk’s annual Egg Hunt will be held this Saturday, at Baines Park.

Activities are scheduled for 1, with the egg hunt at 2.

 

The Western Reserve Board of Education will meet this Thursday, to alter the current school calendar.

Due to excessive snow days this past winter, spring break will be shortened to this Friday through next Monday. Western Reserve Schools will be in session next Tuesday through Friday.

 

April 6th is the deadline to register to vote, or change voter information in time for the May 5th election.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

There’s no shortage of basketball in Ohio.

The 2015 boys basketball state tournament tips off this morning at Value City Arena in Columbus. The tournament continues tomorrow and Saturday. NCAA Sweet 16 action tips off tonight, with two games set to be played at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland.

 

A Sandusky man who fatally stabbed his infant cousin has been found not guilty by reason of insanity.

21-year-old Denzel Castile will remain in secured treatment indefinitely. He could be released, if his condition ever improves. Castile stabbed 11-week-old Athena Castile of Norwalk in May of 2013. He was charged with aggravated murder, but doctors found he had mental health issues that led to the crime.

 

A space heater may have sparked a blaze that damaged a New London home.

Village firefighters were summoned to the East Main Street scene yesterday, after a neighbor saw flames coming from the house. No one was home at the time. We’ll have more, as details become available.

 

A Plymouth teen continues to receive treatment, after being electrocuted earlier this month.

15-year-old Kyle Brandt remains at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus. His condition is unknown. Brandt went to fix a sump pump in a flooded basement, when the shock occurred.

 

In terms of unemployment in February, Huron County’s rate was nearly twice the statewide average.

Figures released this week by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services show Huron County’s unemployment rate was 9.3 percent, or fifth-highest in Ohio. The statewide average was 5.1 percent. Rates in surrounding counties ranged from 5.7 percent in Sandusky and Seneca counties, to 7.2 percent in Erie and Lorain counties. The state’s highest unemployment rate was in Monroe County, 10 percent. The lowest was in Delaware County, just 3.6 percent.

 

A buyout involving two food giants could lead to job losses in Ohio.

The H.J. Heinz Company, makers of ketchup, pickles and much more yesterday announced plans to buy Kraft Foods, makers of mac and cheese, hot dogs, Jello, Miracle Whip and more. Kraft has a major bacon production operation in Coshocton and a sales office in Cincinnati. Heinz has operations in Mason, Massillon and Fremont. Experts say while shoppers won’t notice major changes, jobs could be trimmed, once the deal is finalized later this year.

 

Governor John Kasich is expected to sign legislation that aims to reduce toxic algae in Lake Erie.

The measure was passed yesterday by state lawmakers.  It includes regulations on the spreading of fertilizer and manure.  The new rules are meant to reduce the amount of phosphorus flowing into the lake, which are attractive to algae.

 

Supporters of a proposal to legalize marijuana are collecting signatures to put the issue on the ballot.

Members of “ResponsibleOhio” say petitions went out yesterday in major cities with statewide efforts starting next week.  The group wants to make pot legal for recreational and medical use through investor-owned farms and eleven-hundred retail dispensaries.  They’ll need more than 305-thousand signatures by July to place it before voters in November.

 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

A Michigan man was arrested in Perkins Township, for his involvement in big scale thefts.

23-year-old Dontez Patton is accused of stealing $30,000 worth of Dyson vacuum cleaners from Meijer stores in three different states. He’s also facing federal ID theft charges. Patton is now in jail in Michigan, along with several co-defendants.

The speed limit will NOT increase, on the Ohio Turnpike and parts of interstate freeways.

A proposal to increase the speed limit from 70 to 75 miles per hour died in Columbus yesterday.

The city of Norwalk’s annual spring trash pickup is set for the week of April 13th.

Resident will be able to place three extra items out for pickup. Norwalk’s annual spring brush pickup is scheduled for the week of May 4th.

Bellevue and Norwalk police teamed up to arrest two Bellevue residents on drug charges.

36 year old Matthew James was arrested for marijuana trafficking, and 27 year old Kelly Rupp for cocaine possession. The pair was also charged with possession of criminal tools and drug paraphernalia. The pair is being held at Huron County jail. Norwalk and Bellevue police joined forces to conduct a drug trafficking investigation near Bellevue middle school, and expect additional arrests as a result.

 

 

A Kentucky man has been arrested in Erie County for sex crimes.

19 year old Travis Vartorella of Florence Kentucky was extradited to Erie County on Tuesday to face charges stemming from his involvement with a 13 year old Berlin Township girl. According to police, Vartorella began communicating with the girl through social media sometime in 2013. The girl’s parents later allowed the man to move into their home. In January of 2014, the girl’s father found questionable messages on the girls computer and reported the incident to officials. Vartorella allegedly gave the girl a laptop containing pornography and according to officials, asked the girl to send him explicit photos of herself. The case was presented to an Erie County grand jury earlier this month, and resulted in 10 felony indictments. Vartorella has been arrested on one count of disseminating matter harmful to juveniles, and three counts each of pandering sexually oriented matter involving a minor, obscenity involving a minor, and illegal use of a minor in nudity oriented material. He is currently being held in Erie County on $275,000 bond.

 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

A Michigan man was arrested in Perkins Township, for his involvement in big scale thefts.

23-year-old Dontez Patton is accused of stealing $30,000 worth of Dyson vacuum cleaners from Meijer stores in three different states. He’s also facing federal ID theft charges. Patton is now in jail in Michigan, along with several co-defendants.

 

The speed limit will NOT increase, on the Ohio Turnpike and parts of interstate freeways.

 A proposal to increase the speed limit from 70 to 75 miles per hour died in Columbus yesterday.

 

The city of Norwalk’s annual spring trash pickup is set for the week of April 13th.

Resident will be able to place three extra items out for pickup. Norwalk’s annual spring brush pickup is scheduled for the week of May 4th.

 

Bellevue and Norwalk police teamed up to arrest two Bellevue residents on drug charges.

 36 year old Matthew James was arrested for marijuana trafficking, and 27 year old Kelly Rupp for cocaine possession. The pair was also charged with possession of criminal tools and drug paraphernalia. The pair is being held at Huron County jail. Norwalk and Bellevue police joined forces to conduct a drug trafficking investigation near Bellevue middle school, and expect additional arrests as a result.

 

A Kentucky man has been arrested in Erie County for sex crimes.

19 year old Travis Vartorella of Florence Kentucky was extradited to Erie County on Tuesday to face charges stemming from his involvement with a 13 year old Berlin Township girl. According to police, Vartorella began communicating with the girl through social media sometime in 2013. The girl’s parents later allowed the man to move into their home. In January of 2014, the girl’s father found questionable messages on the girls computer and reported the incident to officials. Vartorella allegedly gave the girl a laptop containing pornography and according to officials, asked the girl to send him explicit photos of herself. The case was presented to an Erie County grand jury earlier this month, and resulted in 10 felony indictments. Vartorella has been arrested on one count of disseminating matter harmful to juveniles, and three counts each of pandering sexually oriented matter involving a minor, obscenity involving a minor, and illegal use of a minor in nudity oriented material. He is currently being held in Erie County on $275,000 bond.

 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

From flurries yesterday, to 64 and possible thunderstorms tomorrow.

Some parts of western Ohio received three or more inches of snow yesterday.

 

An electrical problem is believed to have sparked a blaze that damaged a Lyme Township barn.

Bellevue firefighters were summoned to the Prairie Road site shortly after 4:30 yesterday afternoon.  Smoke and flames were visible when they arrived at the scene.  Firefighters were there for about four-and-a-half hours.  The barn housed a woodworking shop and an apartment.  Total losses were placed at $65,000.

 

The investigation continues into last week’s bomb threat that cleared MTD Products in Willard.

The South Conwell Avenue factory was evacuated last Thursday, while authorities from Willard and beyond searched one million square feet. No bomb was found. Once the person is found, he or she will face criminal charges.

 

A woman charged in connection with the December death of a friend’s four-year-old son is now on house arrest.

Records show 32-year-old Lindsay Gundlach of Huron was released from the Erie County Jail March 11th, after a relative posted 10 percent of her $100,000 bail. While out of jail, Gundlach must wear a GPS monitor, refrain from drinking alcohol, and not have contact with the victim’s family. She’s facing several charges tied to the late December death of Javin Jaques.

Gundlach allegedly was under the influence of alcohol December 22nd, when she backed from a driveway, into the Huron River in the Franklin Flats area of Milan Township. Jaques and a seven-year-old girl were in her car. Gundlach and the girl escaped from the sinking car. The boy did not.

 

A Marblehead man is facing several charges after being arrested for two DUI’s in two days.

40-year-old Scott Thompson was jailed Monday night after he hit and injured a woman in Portage Township.  He was also picked up Sunday evening after crashing his car in Danbury Township.  Thompson is facing two counts of DUI, aggravated vehicular assault and red light violations.

 

Willard residents will soon have a new option to pay utility bills.

Starting next month, the city will accept debit and credit cards for utility payments. More information will be included with April or May water bills.

 

Erie County deputies are investigating the theft of thousands of dollars worth of construction equipment.

The items were stolen from a box trailer and storage container on Route 4, near the Ohio Turnpike in Groton Township. The thief or thieves apparently used bolt cutters to gain access to the equipment. Among the missing items: three large generators, and three pricey power saws. All told, the missing equipment was worth $14,000.

 

Authorities in Summit County are looking for three people in a string of thefts from eyeglass stores.

They say one of the three, a man, doesn’t have a left arm, but had help from two women in distracting vision store employees while pocketing expensive frames. Employees at one store said the trio swiped 30 frames worth more than $3,000.

 

Thursday, March 19, 2015

It’s a great day for fans of college basketball.

The full NCAA men’s tournament tips off early this afternoon. 16 games will be played today, with 16 more scheduled for tomorrow. Ohio State will take on VCU in Portland, Oregon. Pregame coverage will begin at 4, with tipoff at 4:40, on 95.3 WLKR. If the Buckeyes win, they’ll play again Saturday.

 

Once found, the person responsible for a bomb threat at MTD Products in Willard will likely face criminal charges.

The factory was evacuated yesterday, and was shut down for about six hours, while authorities searched more than 1 million square feet of space. No bomb was found. Willard police and firefighters were at the scene, along with the highway patrol  and the Ashland County Bomb Squad. Bomb-sniffing dogs were brought in from Bowling Green, Cleveland, Columbus, Kent and Toledo. As a precaution, the Willard City School District was placed under a controlled lockdown, meaning all doors were locked, and students and staff were told to remain inside. Anyone with information on yesterday’s bomb threat at MTD should contact the Willard Police Department.

 

To the east of us, police in Elyria have arrested 30 people, suspected of having a hand in a long-running cocaine distribution network.

Almost all are members of three related families. Police said they seized $400,000 worth of cocaine, plus $84,000 in cash and five guns.

 

No word yet, on when a Milan Township road will re-open to traffic.

McIntyre Road was closed Tuesday, after a developing sinkhole was discovered. Milan Township Trustees met last night to discuss ways to fix the problem, and re-open the road.

 

The fight over ‘first flight’ continues, between lawmakers from Ohio and Connecticut.

A resolution moving through the Ohio Statehouse challenges Connecticut’s claim that one of its aviators beat the Ohio natives Wilbur and Orville Wright to the first flight by more two years. If passed, the measure would reject Connecticut’s claim that Gustave Whitehead successfully flew a plane he designed in August of 1901. If true, that would predate the Wright Brothers’ famous flight near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina in December of 1903. Supporters say the Wright Brothers’ flight was witnessed and clearly photographed. They also said details of Whitehead’s flight are sketchy at best, with a very blurry picture, and a claim that Whitehead’s aircraft was a glider, and not a plane. There’s also a believe that Whitehead’s feat was achieved in 1905, in San Jose, California.

 

New figures show Ohio had one of the nation’s highest foreclosure rates during the month of February.

According to RealtyTrac, Ohio’s foreclosure rate was 9th highest in the country.

Monday, March 16, 2015

The Ohio River crested yesterday at its highest level in nearly 20 years, and forecasters say flooding problems will linger much of this week.

The river crested at 57.7 feet, or seven feet below the 1997 level that caused severe widespread flooding in the Cincinnati area. The Ohio River is expected to remain above its 52-foot flood stage most of this week.

 

Just one area boys basketball team is left in the tournament.

In Division IV Sweet 16 action, the Plymouth Big Red will take on Wayne Trace tomorrow night at Bowling Green State University.  Pregame coverage begins at 6, with tipoff at 6:15 on 95.3 WLKR and wlkrradio.com.

 

President Barack Obama is coming to Ohio.

He’ll appear at the Cleveland City Club this Wednesday, and will talk middle-class economics.

 

A Huron County grand jury has charged a Willard teen accused of hitting his mother with a baseball bat.

19-year-old Quinton Hinojosa is facing two counts of felonious assault, in connection with the January incident. The attack occurred, after a disagreement between the two. She was taken to Mercy Willard Hospital, for treatment of a large cut.

 

An open house will be held in Norwalk this weekend, for those interested in joining the Ohio Military Reserve, which includes the Ohio Army and Air National Guard, and the Ohio Naval Militia.

The open house will be held at the Norwalk Armory on West Main between 9am and 4pm Saturday and Sunday. The all-volunteer unit is open to men and women between the ages of 17 and 60.

 

If you drive along Campbell Street, between West Strub and West Bogart in Perkins Township, you’ll have to go a bit slower.

The speed limit on that stretch of Campbell Street has dropped from 55, to 45 miles per hour.

 

Bellevue, Norwalk and Willard police, along with the Norwalk Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol teamed up over the weekend, leading up to tomorrow’s St. Patrick’s Day holiday.

The group made 135 traffic stops, 7 DUI arrests and 9 driving under suspension arrests. Law enforcement officers also issued 46 seat belt citations, 165 warnings, and 4 citations for possession for marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

 

A proposal to legalize marijuana in Ohio is a step closer to being placed on the ballot.

Attorney General Mike DeWine has approved ResponsibleOhio’s revised proposal.  If the group wins approval from the State Ballot Board and obtains about 300,000 signatures on petitions, the issue will appear on the fall ballot.