• Live Broadcasts

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














News

Friday, January 8, 2016

Mild winter weather caused by a strong El Nino has left Lake Erie 99 percent ice free in early January.

 

An ongoing investigation has led to the arrest of a Bellevue man accused of soliciting sex from minors.

71-year-old Lawrence Green is charged with importuning, a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison. More charges are possible. Green was arrested yesterday, after police executed a search warrant at his Monroe Street apartment. Bellevue police received assistance from the Huron County Prosecutor’s Office, the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office, and the Ohio Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. A couple of items were seized, and one was sent to a crime lab for analysis.

 

Ohio schools have dropped in national rankings.

Six years ago, Ohio schools were ranked 5th in the nation. Last year, schools were ranked 18th, but now, according to a new national report card, Ohio schools are ranked 23rd. Factors include test scores and student achievement, other indicators of student success, and school finances.

 

Sandusky native Orlando Pace is one of 15 finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

After starring at Sandusky High School and Ohio State, Pace was the first overall pick of the 1997 NFL draft. He was with the St. Louis Rams for 12 seasons, and was part of “The Greatest Show On Turf.” After that, he played one season for the Chicago Bears, and then retired from the NFL. Pace was a Hall of Fame finalist last year, but fell just short of the required votes to get in. Some other high-profile finalists: quarterbacks Brett Favre and Kurt Warner, kicker Morten Anderson and coaches Don Coryell and Tony Dungy. Inductees will be announced February 6th.

 

Another blow to Lorain County’s economy…

Republic Steel will idle its plant in Lorain until further notice, due to a lack of business. About 200 workers will be off the job by the end of March. To make matters worse…Next week, U-S Steel in Lorain will begin phasing in layoffs that could top more than 250.

 

Christmas tree pickup in Norwalk begins on Monday.

 

In sports…

It’s a basketball doubleheader night on 95.3 WLKR and wlkrradio.com. Live at 7:30, it’s Willard at Shelby. During that game, we’ll have updates on the game between Norwalk and Sandusky. After Willard and Shelby, it’s Roundball Replay, with Western Reserve at St. Paul.

 

Thursday, January 7, 2016

It’s now the biggest lottery jackpot in U.S. history.

We began the day with Powerball at $675 million. It’s sure to grow even more before Saturday’s drawing.

 

Westwind Drive, at Milan Avenue in Norwalk is closed until 2 this afternoon, for pavement repairs.

 

Time Warner officials believe more than 300,000 customers may have had their e-mail passwords stolen.

They said email and password details were gathered through malware, or through data breaches of other companies that stored Time Warner’s customer information. Time Warner is encouraging customers to change their passwords.

 

A Plymouth woman is scheduled to stand trial March 15th, on charges connected to a fatal drunk driving accident.

Records from Huron County Common Pleas Court show 35-year-old Mary Keene is facing charges of vehicular homicide, aggravated vehicular assault, DUI and failure to reinstate her license. The charges are tied to an April, 2015 crash on State Route 13 near Greenwich. Keene allegedly was under the influence when she went left of center, and hit an SUV driven by 56-year-old Donald Vasquez of Willard. Vasquez died about three weeks after the accident.

 

A Sandusky man accused of sexually assaulting two women is now in the Erie County Jail.

48-year-old John Clemens is facing nine charges, including rape and gross sexual imposition. The alleged crimes occurred December 27th, at the Coronado Motel on Venice Road. According to reports, Clemens allegedly raped a 39-year-old woman early in the day, and then tried to rape the woman’s 18-year-old daughter that night. The girl was able to escape. A short time after that, two men entered the room and severely beat Clemens. He was taken for treatment of serious head injuries, and then was booked into the Erie County Jail. His bond is nearly $90,000.

 

Water and sewer rates are going up in Norwalk.

Starting with bills received next month, water rates will increase from 78 to 84 cents per hundred gallons, while sewer rates will go from 86 to 98 cents per hundred gallons. Those rates are for people living within the Norwalk city limits. For those who live in the city but use 1,000 gallons or less per month, the minimum rate will increase from $3.90 to $4.20 per month for water, and $4.30 to $4.90 for sewer. For those who live outside the city limits, but receive water and sewer services from the city of Norwalk, water rates will go from $1.56 to $1.68 per hundred gallons. Sewer rates will increase from $1.20 to $1.37 per hundred gallons. The minimum monthly rate for those outside the city limits will go from $7.80 to $8.40 for water, and from $6.00 to $6.86 for sewer.

 

In a cost-cutting move, Macy’s has announced plans to close 40 stores nationwide.

The list includes two Ohio Macy’s stores—one in the Midway Mall in Elyria, and the other at Chapel Hill Mall in Akron.

 

A special honor, for Norwalk High School band director Will Kish.

He’s been named News Channel 5’s Teacher of the Week. Kish was nominated by a student, and crews from the Cleveland TV station came to Norwalk to film a segment. The taped piece will air next Monday, during News Channel 5’s 5pm newscast.

 

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Opponents of a proposed wind farm in southern Huron County are asking the Ohio Supreme Court for help.

An appeal was filed last week, on behalf of the Omega Crop Company. The Ohio Power Siting Board is named as the defendant. The state board gave Greenwich Windpark LLC the okay to build more than two dozen wind turbines across 4,600 acres of land in Greenwich Township. Detractors say the wind turbines would be a nuisance. However, some residents appear to be in favor of the project, because they’d be paid for the use of their land. It could be months, before the case is resolved.

 

The State Highway Patrol says 19 people were killed in crashes during the Christmas and New Year holidays.

Nine people were killed statewide between December 24th and the 27th. 10 more were killed on Ohio roadways between December 31st and January 3rd. Those numbers are down from 24 during the previous year-end holidays.

 

Ticket sales are brisk, for tonight’s massive Powerball jackpot.

Powerball is played in 44 states, including Ohio. Washington D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands also participate in the game. By the way…the odds of winning tonight’s jackpot: 1 in 292 million.

 

A Norwalk man could spend the rest of his life in prison, after admitting to child sex crimes.

In Huron County Common Pleas Court yesterday, 73-year-old Hershel Prater Jr. pleaded guilty to charges of sexual battery, gross sexual imposition and importuning. The charges were tied to the sexual abuse of three boys, dating back to 2012. Prater is now in the Huron County Jail, pending sentencing next month. If he gets out of prison, he’ll be required to register as a Tier III sex offender.

 

Willard City Council has a new leader.

Diana Olsen was sworn in as council president Monday night. She’s taking over for former president Josh Gerber.

 

 

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Norwalk mayor Rob Duncan has officially begun his second term in office.

Duncan was sworn in yesterday.

 

Also taking the oath of office—members of Norwalk City Council, including new

fourth ward councilman Chris Castle.

Longtime city council president Steve Euton will continue in that role, with Chris Mushett serving as president pro-tem. Norwalk City Council’s first regular session of 2016 will begin at 7:30 tonight, in the Norwalk Muni courtroom.

 

Unless there’s plea bargain or a guilty plea, a Bellevue man accused of severely injuring an infant will stand trial next month.

The trial of 24-year-old Tyson Charles is scheduled to begin February 2nd in Huron County Common Pleas Court. He’s charged with felonious assault and two counts of child endangering. He remains in the Huron County Jail. Charles was arrested in November. The victim, a 10-month-old girl remains hospitalized.

 

50,000 Ohio taxpayers’ personal information is at risk, because a key data disc is missing from the headquarters of the Regional Income Tax Agency.

The missing disc contained names, addresses and social security numbers. The Regional Income Tax Agency is sending letters to warn taxpayers about the potential security issue.

 

A new development, in the New Year’s Day shooting death of a Sandusky woman.

Police now believe 26-year-old Katelin Castile was accidently shot and killed by her fiancé, 26-year-old Jermane Kennedy, at the couple’s West Washington Street apartment. According to reports, Kennedy was showing a friend his 9mm handgun, when it went off, killing Castile. Kennedy left the scene, but turned himself in a short time later. He’s currently in the Erie County Jail, and is charged with felonious assault.

 

When it comes to best and worst cities for an active lifestyle, Ohio has one on each list.

According to a new study by WalletHub, out of 100 U.S. cities, Cincinnati is ranked as the fourth-best U.S. city for an active lifestyle. Columbus is ranked 92nd.

 

A small village in southwestern Ohio no longer has a police force.

The Lynchburg Police Department said all officers and commanders lost their jobs last Friday, by order of the mayor. It’s believed budget problems forced the decision. The village is now being patrolled by the Highland County Sheriff’s Department.

 

The U-S Department of Justice has announced that Kent State University has agreed to pay $145,000 to settle a civil rights lawsuit.

Kent State was accused of maintaining a policy of not allowing students with psychological disabilities to keep ’emotional support animals’ in university-owned student-housing.

 

In sports…

It’s a boys basketball doubleheader night on 95.3 WLKR and wlkrradio.com. Live at 7:30, it’s Northwestern at Norwalk, followed by Roundball Replay, with St. Paul at Huron.

 

Monday, January 4, 2016

Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam says he’s to blame, for the team’s dismal showing.

Haslam spoke last night, after firing head coach Mike Pettine and GM Ray Farmer. Pettine’s win-loss record over two seasons was 10 and 24, including 3-13 this year. Farmer was responsible for drafting such players as Johnny Manziel, Justin Gilbert and Cam Erving. Haslam named Sashi Brown as the Browns Executive VP of Football Operations. He’ll have full control over the team’s 53-man roster. Haslam also hired a firm to aid in the search for a new head coach. The new coach will help pick a new GM.

 

Alcohol is thought to be involved in two separate crashes around the area.

A Sandusky woman, 24-year-old Melany Kochensparger suffered serious injuries shortly after 2 this morning, when her SUV went off Mason Road near Ransom Road in Oxford Township. According to the Sandusky Patrol Post, she failed to negotiate a curve then flipped over. She wasn’t wearing a seat belt, and was ejected from the SUV. Kochensparger was taken to Firelands Regional Medical Center, and then was flown to Cleveland MetroHealth Medical Center.

 

The Norwalk Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol believes alcohol played a role, in a New Year’s Day crash in Wakeman Township.

Troopers said 23-year-old Samantha Reed of Norwalk lost control of her pickup truck on Auster Road, went off the road and hit a guardrail, shortly after 2am Friday. She was taken to Fisher-Titus Medical Center, for treatment of minor injuries. A passenger, 24-year-old Darren Burke suffered serious injuries, and was flown to St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center in Toledo. Charges are pending.

 

Norwalk City Council’s organizational meeting will begin at 7:30 tonight, in the Norwalk Muni Courtroom.

Council members will be sworn in, and elections will be held for council president and president pro-tem. Also tonight: members of Norwalk City Council will be assigned to various committees.

 

Willard City Council’s first meeting of 2016 will be held at 7:30 tonight, in council chambers at Willard City Hall.

Speaking of Willard City Hall…New hours are in effect there. Instead of 8 to 5, hours are now 7:30 until 5, Monday through Friday.

 

Governor John Kasich is back on the presidential campaign trail.

He’s in Iowa today, and then will campaign in New Hampshire. Also this week—Kasich will meet with the editorial board of the New York Times.

 

A man who gave millions to worthy causes in Erie County has died.

George Mylander of Sandusky passed away yesterday, after a lengthy illness. He was 83. Services are pending.

 

Thursday, December 31, 2015

A Green Springs man was killed shortly after 3:30 this morning, in a one-car crash in Fremont.

According to the Fremont Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol, 20-year-old Taylor Rhoads went off Hayes Avenue, hit Casa Fiesta restaurant, a fence, a house and two parked cars. He was thrown from his car, and was pronounced dead at the scene. It’s not yet known if alcohol was a factor in the crash.

 

A Willard man accused of abducting his estranged wife is in the Huron County Jail.

31-year-old Dustin Burton was arrested Monday evening, after the victim contacted Huron County deputies. She claimed he threatened her at her home in Greenwich, and then forced her into a car before taking off. The woman apparently jumped out of the vehicle, and was found at a Plymouth gas station, unharmed. Burton was found nearby, and was taken to jail. His bond is set at $15,000.

 

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources says hunters checked more than 9,400 deer during this week’s two-day deer-gun season.

The last time Ohio held a two-day December deer-gun season was 2012. More than 14,000 deer were taken then.

 

If you shop in Richland County, it appears you’ll pay a lower sales tax, starting in July of next year.

Commissioners there say they don’t intend to renew an emergency quarter-percent sales tax increase when it expires June 30th of 2016. That means Richland County’s sales tax will drop to seven percent.

 

No big winners last night, so Saturday’s Powerball jackpot will be at least $334 million.

For the first time in a year-and-a-half, someone has won Ohio’s Classic Lotto. Yesterday’s jackpot was worth $17.4 million.

 

It’ll be cold, for tonight’s Walleye Drop in Port Clinton.

Wyllie the Walleye, a 20-foot-long, 600-pound walleye will drop at midnight.

 

Government offices and banks will be closed during tomorrow’s New Year’s Day holiday.

Trash pickup throughout the area will be delayed by one day.

 

Of course, New Years’ Eve means extra law enforcement officers will be out and about, looking for impaired drivers.

If you plan to drink, may sure you have a designated driver. If you see a possible impaired or dangerous driver, contact the nearest law enforcement agency.

 

The Ohio Turnpike will continue its decades-old tradition of offering free coffee at its service plazas.

Free coffee will be offered between 10 tonight and 7 tomorrow morning.

 

Norwalk Park and Rec’s annual Family First Night begins at 8 tonight, and runs until midnight at the Ernsthausen Community Center.

Fun stuff for all ages is planned. Admission is $5 per person.

 

 

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

The Sandusky Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol continues to investigate yesterday’s early morning double fatality on U.S. Route 6 in Margaretta Township.

Troopers believe 26-year-old James Metz of Fremont was under the influence of alcohol and was speeding, when his minivan veered left of center and hit a bread truck driven by 50-year-old Christopher Harrison of Bettsville. Both men were pronounced dead at the scene. U.S. Route 6 was closed for more than seven hours.

 

Curbside Christmas tree pickup in Norwalk will be the week of January 11th.

Trees should be free of all stands, lights and bags.

 

A change involving meetings of Monroeville Village Council.

Starting next month, council members will meet at 6pm, on the second Tuesday of each month. Monroeville council had been meeting on Mondays. The first meeting of 2016 will be held January 12, at the Ridgefield Township Hall on South Ridge Street.

 

The Huron County Administration Building in Norwalk will be closed all day tomorrow, due to water being shut off for repairs.

 

A Greenwich man who turned himself in on a warrant is in more trouble.

32-year-old Anthony Mitchell turned himself in Sunday evening on a contempt warrant stemming from a child support case. During processing, Huron county deputies found he had a substance used to wean addicts off opiates. Deputies said Mitchell was using it illegally, because he didn’t have a prescription. He was charged with conveyance of drugs into a detention facility. If convicted, he faces up to three years in prison.

 

Sportsmanship on the court will NOT be on display tonight, due to unsportsmanlike conduct OFF the court last night, outside Elyria High School.

Elyria School officials have cancelled the remainder of the Elyria Holiday Classic Basketball Tournament. The decision was prompted by a large fight after Lorain High School’s 78-to-62 victory over Elyria. No serious injuries were reported, and there’s no word if anyone was arrested. Sandusky and Toledo St. John’s were the other two teams in the Elyria Classic. The Blue Streaks were scheduled to play Elyria tonight. For Sandusky, it’s the second time this season a game has been canceled due to violence, or the threat of violence. The Blue Streaks’ early-season game against Fremont Ross was called off by school officials.

 

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

An early morning head-on crash in Margaretta Township killed both drivers.

According to the Sandusky Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol, it happened at 4:20 this morning on U.S. Route 6, near Maple Avenue. Troopers said 26-year-old James Metz of Fremont crossed the center line, and hit a bread truck driven by 50-year-old Christopher Harrison of Bettsville. Both men were pronounced dead at the scene. The Highway Patrol believes alcohol and speed were factors in the crash. U.S. Route 6 was closed for much of the morning.

 

New London mayor Darwin Anderson has died.

Anderson passed away yesterday, at age 79. He had served as village mayor since 2004. Despite failing health, Anderson sought re-election this past fall, but lost the race to council president John Martin. Services will be held at 11am Monday, at Eastman Funeral Home in New London.

 

The village of Plymouth has a new administrator.

William Hudson was hired last week, to replace Bill Sexton.

 

As the year 2015 draws to a close, here’s a brief look at some of the area’s top stories.

Huron County had two murders this past summer.62-year-old Linda Ciotto of Willard was shot and killed while mowing her lawn in July. Her neighbor, 50-year-old James H. Blair remains in jail, and is awaiting trial on several charges.

A Norwalk man is serving a 10-year prison sentence, for stabbing and killing a Florida man, during an August altercation outside a Bouscay Avenue apartment complex. 23-year-old Eric Carroll pleaded guilty last month to several charges tied to the death of 24-year-old Ronald Wisniewski.

A fatality occurred at Cedar Point. In mid-August, 45-year-old James Young of East Canton was hit and killed by a train on the Raptor. Young had climbed a fence to retrieve his wallet and phone, which he lost while on the ride.

We lost one of our own in 2015. Mike Adelman passed away September 30th. Adelman had broadcast area high school games for many years. He also served as a Huron County Commissioner and Monroeville village mayor.

Monroeville native Logan Stieber won his fourth NCAA wrestling national championship at Ohio State.

The Monroeville Lady Eagles advanced to the state volleyball tournament for the first time in school history. Monroeville lost in the semi-finals to eventual state champ Jackson Center.

It was a record setting season for the Edison Chargers football team. The Chargers advanced all the way to the state semi-finals, before falling to state runner-up Canton Central Catholic.

 

Monday, December 28, 2015

Today’s outdoor conditions are not ideal for deer hunters.

Ohio’s deer-gun season is again open today and tomorrow, from one half-hour before sunrise, to one half-hour after sunset.

 

1.6 inches of rain fell in Norwalk, through 8 this morning.

 

Five Erie County natives killed overseas will be honored in 2016. The Erie County Heroes Bill, which renames roadways in honor of the U.S. Armed Forces members who died in combat was signed last week by Governor John Kasich. Four were graduates of Huron High School: Special Forces Sgt. James Fekete, Army Sgt. Terrance Mesenburg, U.S. Navy Fireman James Baumer, and Marine Corps Sgt. Michael Finke Jr. The other is Army Specialist Charles Odums II, a graduate of Sandusky High School. Appropriate ceremonies will be scheduled next year to place signs, and to pay tribute to the five men.

 

Ohio voters will have plenty of choices in 2016.

Republicans and Democrats will run for various local, statewide and federal offices next year. Members of the Green Party will run for certain offices as well. Missing from the ballot will be the Libertarian Party. That’s because the Party is not a recognized political party in the state of Ohio. To gain recognition, a minor party must collect at least three percent of the vote in the most recent race for president or governor in Ohio, or turn in petitions with signatures of at least 500 people who voted in the last major election.

 

The city of Norwalk’s annual Family First Night will be held this Thursday night, at the Ernsthausen Recreation Center.

It’s a safe and family-friendly way to ring in the New Year. It begins at 8pm and runs until midnight, and Family First Night includes swimming, bingo, bounce houses and inflatables, live music, laser tag, door prizes and more. Admission is $5 per person.

 

When it comes to high-speed broadband service, a new study shows Columbus leads the state.

Nearly 80 percent of homes had high-speed internet access in 2014. Youngstown had Ohio’s lowest broadband rate, 69 percent.

 

From Norwalk City Hall…

The city’s Income Tax Review Board will meet at 1pm tomorrow in the conference room at City Hall. Norwalk’s Records Retention Commission will meet at 11am Wednesday, also in the conference room at Norwalk City Hall.

 

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Four million Ohioans will hit the road, during the Christmas and New Years’ holiday travel period.

Nationally, more than 100 million Americans are traveling at least 50 miles for the holidays. 90 percent are going by car.

 

Heavy travel means more law enforcement officers are on the road.

They’ll be out in full force through January 3rd. Last year in Ohio, two dozen people died in 23 traffic crashes between Christmas Eve and New Years’ Day. Alcohol was a factor in nine of those crashes.

 

As we have for many years, we’ll air tonight’s Christmas Eve services, live from St. Peter Lutheran Church in Norwalk.

The first service begins at 7, and the second one starts at 11.

 

Of course, all government offices and banks will be closed for tomorrow’s Christmas holiday.

Trash pickup throughout the area will be delayed by one day.

 

Another mixed bag, in terms of area unemployment rates.

Two counties were at or near the statewide average of 4.5 percent. According to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, Lorain County’s November jobless rate was 4.2 percent. It was 4.4 percent in Seneca County, 4.5 percent in Sandusky County, and 4.8 percent in Ashland County. Richland County’s November jobless rate was 5.4 percent, and it was 5.5 percent in Erie County. Huron County checked in at 6.1 percent, and Crawford County, 6.5 percent. Monroe County had Ohio’s highest jobless rate last month, 9.7 percent. Geauga and Medina counties tied for lowest, 3 percent.

 

Figures from the Ohio Association of Realtors show the Columbus area has the highest average price, in terms of home sales.

Between January and November, the average cost of a house there was just over $193,000. The most affordable housing market is in Marion, just over $101,000. The average cost for a home in the Firelands area is just shy of $128,000.