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Friday, October 23, 2015

A busy weekend is in store in Norwalk.

Along with football games at Whitney Field tonight and tomorrow night, there’s Rocktober Fest 2015. Rocktober Fest will be held in downtown Norwalk between noon and 6 tomorrow. It’ll feature live music, a chili challenge, a scarecrow contest, kid’s events, an art walk and the annual Pet and Pup Parade.


A former school employee accused of selling prescription drugs will spend 30 days in jail, then three years on probation, and must pay a $500 fine.

46-year-old Tricia Kuhlman of Monroeville was sentenced this week, in Huron County Common Pleas Court. Kuhlman was arrested this past spring, after illegally selling prescription medication in Norwalk. She’s also facing charges in Erie County, for allegedly selling prescription drugs while working as administrative assistant to the superintendent of the Margaretta Local Schools. She’s since resigned from that job, and found employment in the private sector.


Three arrests have been made, in connection with bomb threats at three Richland County schools.

An 11-year-old girl is charged with inducing panic, for allegedly making Wednesday’s bomb threat at Malabar Intermediate School. She was arrested yesterday, after a short investigation by Mansfield Police. Also arrested yesterday, a short time after leaving a note with a bomb threat in a hallway at Mansfield Madison High School: A 15-year-old boy. He’s charged with inducing panic, making terroristic threats, menacing and making false alarms. A 15-year-old Clearfork High School student is facing similar charges, for allegedly making a bomb threat this week. The boy told school officials and deputies it was meant as a joke.


It’s a chance to learn more about Huron’s upcoming school levy.

The Huron Schools levy steering committee will hold an informational night next Thursday, October 29th from 6-7 at the Culinary Vegetable Institute or Veggie U. on Mudbrook Road in Milan. School officials will be on hand to discuss reductions in state and federal funding, along with local budget cuts totaling $1.4 million.


A Sandusky man is facing charges of forgery and criminal simulation, for allegedly trying to pass a fake ID at the Sandusky BMV.

33-year-old Paul Swartz was arrested earlier this week, after BMV employees contacted Sandusky police. When questioned, Swartz admitted the ID was fake, and his wife said the two had obtained a title for a dump truck using the phony ID. He’s due in court next week.


Campaign finance reports show ResponsibleOhio has raised more than $15 million, in the fight to legalize marijuana in the Buckeye State.

Nearly $12 million has been raised since July 1st, and records show almost all of the money raised has come from wealthy investors. Meanwhile opponents of legalizing marijuana have collected just over $700,000, with much of that coming from the Ohio Chamber of Commerce.


Thursday, October 22, 2015

Wednesday was a busy day for police in Sandusky.

Among the calls: shots fired in two different places. Officers arrested 28-year-old Anthony Branch of Sandusky, after he allegedly fired a shot while standing in the middle of Columbus Avenue early yesterday morning. When questioned, he told police he fired the gun after a dispute with his brother. He’s in the Erie County Jail, and is facing charges of having a weapon under disability and discharging a firearm on a roadway. At 3 yesterday afternoon, Sandusky police were called to a home next door to Ontario Elementary, after a man fired a gun during a dispute with his mother. No one was injured, but 32-year-old Justin Sibley of Fifth Street is in jail on charges of discharging a firearm within a school safety zone, inducing panic and domestic violence.


Leaf pickup in Willard will begin Monday, October 26th.


During this election season, voters throughout Huron County will decide on a five-year, 1-mill renewal for Christie Lane.  


The November election is less than two weeks away, and the Ohio Secretary of State’s Office says voters have requested more than 200-thousand absentee-ballots.

61-thousand of those have already been cast.


Starting Monday, traffic on Norwalk’s Milan Avenue will be delayed, as crews begin work on the 2015 Milan Avenue Waterline Replacement Project.

Work will take place between Gallup Avenue and Republic Street. Motorists should use alternate routes when possible.


The city of Norwalk’s Trick-or-Treat will be held one week from today.    


State Senator Randy Gardner has been honored with a resolution from the American Legion of Ohio, for his sponsorship of legislation supporting veterans posts throughout the Buckeye State.

Gardner represents Senate District 2, which includes Erie and Ottawa counties.


November 5th is when an Erie County man will be inducted into the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame.

88-year-old Ernest Bowman of Castalia is a veteran of the US Army, having served in World War II. Bowman is past commander of American Legion Post 83 and was a member of the Sandusky Kiwanis for more than 20 years.


Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Tonight is when you’ll hear from each of the five people running for Norwalk school board.

John Aschmeier, Bob Germond, John Lendrum, Ralph Ritzenthaler and Lisa Wick will offer brief comments, during tonight’s special pre-election program, which begins at 7 on 95.3 WLKR and wlkrradio.com. You’ll also learn more about Christie Lane’s renewal levy, and we’ll run down other area races and issues. Sharon Locke, Director of the Huron County Board of Elections will talk about the county’s new voting machines and early voting. At 7:30, we’ll air a special encore presentation of last week’s Q&A session with Norwalk mayor Rob Duncan, and challenger Ryan McDonnell.


Plymouth police believe they know who’s responsible for sending threatening text messages to a handful of Plymouth Middle School students.

Village police said last night a suspect is in custody. The boy is from the Cleveland-area, and according to reports, he has a co-conspirator who lives in Plymouth. During questioning, the boy told investigators the whole thing was a prank. Sunday night, the boy allegedly sent out text messages to five students. The messages said they would be shot and killed if they went to school. The school was placed on high alert Monday, with officers and deputies in the building. Classes in Plymouth were canceled yesterday, but school was back in session today.


Another threat, this time at Western Reserve.

According to reports, a teenage girl indicated she was going to kill two others and herself. The incident occurred yesterday morning. Western Reserve school officials contacted 911, and the girl was taken by ambulance for medical evaluation. No charges have been filed.


If it seems like threats have increased at schools in Ohio, it’s because they have.

A bomb threat recently cleared Furry Elementary in Perkins Township, and authorities in Richland County are investigating recent threats at Mansfield Sr., Mansfield Madison, Ontario, and at two elementary schools.


Lt. Governor Mary Taylor said yesterday she may run for governor in 2018.

Other high-ranking Republicans considering running include Attorney General Mike DeWine and Secretary of State Jon Husted.


The numbers are in, and officials in Toledo say they spent $50 million this year, to keep toxic algae out of the city’s water system.

That money was spent on an ‘early warning system’, water system improvements and treatment chemicals.


Tuesday, October 20, 2015

No arrest has been made, but the investigation continues into a gun threat at Plymouth High School.

Multiple sources said a handful of students received anonymous phone messages late Sunday night, saying they would be shot and killed if they went to school. After learning of the threats yesterday morning, school officials contacted parents of the affected students, along with Plymouth Police. The school was placed on high alert, and Plymouth PD, along with deputies from Huron and Richland counties maintained a presence at the school. All students were told if they didn’t feel safe, they could contact their parents to pick them up. By early yesterday afternoon, many students had gone home. Plymouth-Shiloh Schools were closed today, while police and deputies continued their investigation.


Ohio’s September jobless rate decreased slightly, but that wasn’t the case here.

Figures from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services show for the most part, area unemployment remained the same or increased by a small margin. Huron County’s jobless rate was 4.8 percent, compared to 4.7 percent in August, while Erie County saw a slight increase, from 4.1 to 4.3 percent. Lorain County went from 5.2 to 5.4 percent. There was no change in Ashland, Richland, Ottawa, Sandusky and Seneca counties. Only Crawford County saw a slight decrease, going from 4.9 to 4.8 percent. Ohio’s statewide unemployment rate was 4.5 percent.


Richland County Health Commissioner Martin Tremmel is back on the job, after being found innocent of domestic violence.

An Erie County Municipal Court jury came back with a ‘not guilty’ verdict yesterday. Tremmel was arrested July 10th, after he allegedly assaulted his wife at their home on Kelley’s Island. At the time, he and his wife denied the allegations. Both took the stand during his trial, and both said there was no abuse. Tremmel was placed on paid leave after his arrest, but he was reinstated after yesterday’s verdict.


Edison High School will host its annual Marching Band Review, beginning at 7pm this Saturday at Charger Field in Milan.

Bands from Arlington, Buckeye Central, Bucyrus, Mohawk, Monroeville, Norwalk, Toledo St. Francis DeSales, Western Reserve and Willard will perform, along with the Edison High School and Junior High bands, and the Edison Mini-Majorettes. Tickets are $5 each, and $4 for students and senior citizens. They can be purchased at the gate, starting at 5:30 Saturday. All proceeds will benefit the Edison Music Department. There will also be a canned food drive. You can get one free ticket with five cans of non-expired food, or two tickets with a donation of ten cans.


Huron Fire Chief Steve Osterling has been placed on paid administrative leave, but city officials aren’t saying why.

Huron city manager Andy White only said council is considering options with him. Osterling also works as Huron’s zoning inspector.


Norwalk City Council will begin tonight’s meeting with a public hearing at 7:15, to discuss legislation pertaining to permitted uses in the M-1 zoning district.

Council’s regular session will begin at 7:30, in the Norwalk Muni courtroom.


The state of Ohio has delayed all executions until 2017, because of problems finding supplies of lethal injection drugs.

Prison officials said execution dates of 12 inmates have been postponed through warrants of reprieve signed by Governor John Kasich. Ohio has run out of drugs used to execute death row inmates, and so far, officials have been unable to obtain new supplies.


Monday, October 19, 2015

The State Fire Marshal’s Office is offering a $5,000 reward to anyone with information about a suspected case of arson in Bellevue.

Officials believe someone purposely set fire to an abandoned house, and a neighboring garage, at Sandusky County Roads 309 and 214. Firefighters from Bellevue and Clyde, and Groton and Margaretta Townships were summoned to the scene around 3am Friday. They remained there for about 12 hours. Despite their efforts, the house and garage were completely destroyed. Anyone with information should contact the Bellevue Fire Department or the State Fire Marshal’s Office.


The Mansfield Correctional Institution was placed on lockdown yesterday, after a hostage situation involving an employee and an inmate.

The incident began at approximately 10:30 yesterday morning. In a statement released just before 10 last night, officials said the situation had come to a peaceful conclusion. Because of the ongoing investigation, prison officials have released no other information.


To Willard, where a special committee will meet, to decide Willard’s future in the NOL.

Willard athletic director Mike said Friday that a group, made up of school board members, administrators, coaches and community members will meet in November and December to discuss declining enrollment, along with all options available to the Willard City Schools.


Coming to the Maple City: Rocktober Fest, 2015.

It’ll be held this Saturday, in downtown Norwalk. We’ll have more in news later this week.


A reminder that Wednesday night is when you’ll hear from each of the five people running for Norwalk school board.

John Aschmeier, Bob Germond, John Lendrum, Ralph Ritzenthaler and Lisa Wick will offer brief comments, during a 7pm special pre-election program on 95.3, WLKR. We’ll also have information on Christie Lane’s renewal levy, and we’ll check other issues and races around the area. At 7:30 Wednesday night, you’ll hear a special encore presentation of this week’s Q&A session with Norwalk Mayor Rob Duncan, and challenger Ryan McDonnell.


It may cost more to go to the top of Perry’s Monument on South Bass Island.

The federal government is considering raising the fee from $3 to $7 per person.


The Vermilion High School Hall of Fame is accepting nominations for new members.

The hall was established in 2004 to honor alumni who have gone on to significant success in life, or to honor others who have made outstanding contributions to the Vermilion Schools. Nomination forms are available online or at Vermilion High School.


Friday, October 16, 2015

A Freeze Watch will be in effect from 3am-9am tomorrow for Huron, Ashland, Richland, Crawford, Sandusky and Seneca counties.


Testimony resumed this morning, in the trial of Richland County Health Commissioner Martin Tremmel.

Tremmel is charged with domestic violence, for allegedly hitting his wife in July at the couple’s home on Kelley’s Island. His wife took the stand yesterday, and said her husband did nothing wrong. The trial is being held in Erie County Municipal Court, with retired Norwalk Muni Court Judge John Ridge presiding.


Firefighters from Norwalk and Fairfield Township spent some of yesterday afternoon battling a field fire on South Old State Road.

A burn barrel and breezy conditions were blamed as the cause.


Ohio’s September jobless rate was 4.5 percent, down from 4.6 percent in August.


As it turns out, the village of Monroeville will not have three empty council seats to begin 2016.

According to Monroeville clerk-treasurer Bonnie Beck, village council has 30 days to appoint someone to the vacant seat left by Melissa Fries when she became mayor. If council members can’t find someone in that time, Fries will make the appointment. Beck also said current Monroeville council members Craig Franklin and Terry Reed did not file petitions for re-election, but Franklin has turned in a letter asking to be re-appointed to his seat. That means just one seat will need to be filled by appointment after January 1st.


An employee of Kroger in Sandusky is facing a felony theft charge, for allegedly stealing up to $2,400 from the store.

21-year-old Ryan Tice of Sandusky was arrested earlier this week, after admitting to police that he took the money to help pay bills. According to reports, Tice took the money in small amounts, over a period of time. He’s currently free on bond.


Mason Road, between Jeffries and Chapin roads in Berlin Township is closing for bridge work.

The project will begin Monday, and should last about four weeks. No traffic will be allowed to access the area.


Five people are running for two school board seats in Norwalk.

The list includes incumbents John Lendrum and Ralph Ritzenthaler, along with challengers John Aschmeier, Bob Germond, and Lisa Wick. You’ll hear comments from each of them, during next Wednesday’s special pre-election program on 95.3 WLKR. We’ll also have information on other races and issues, starting at 7pm. At 7:30 next Wednesday night, we will re-broadcast this week’s question and answer session with Norwalk mayor Rob Duncan, and challenger Ryan McDonnell.


Thursday, October 15, 2015

A Norwalk woman who stole drugs from a nursing home won’t go to jail, and won’t have a criminal conviction on her record, if she successfully completes three years of probation, along with treatment.

Tricia Costanzo was sentenced yesterday in Huron County Common Pleas Court. Court records show Costanzo was granted treatment in lieu of conviction, after pleading guilty to a felony charge of theft of dangerous drugs. Costanzo was charged this past spring, after stealing various prescription drugs meant for nursing home patients.


Still no resolution, but contract talks are ongoing between Norwalk school officials and the Norwalk Teachers Association.

The two sides have been negotiating for several months. Both sides have said they believe they’ll come to some sort of resolution. A large number of teachers showed up at this week’s school board meeting wearing black, to show unity.


The city of Norwalk has hired Mitch Loughton as the city’s new Planning and Zoning Officer.

He’ll address code violations, recommend changes to the codes, review plans for development, be responsible for various zoning items and more. He’s a graduate of St. Paul High School and Bowling Green State University.


Formal charges have been filed against two people accused of brutally beating a Sandusky teen earlier this month.

19-year-old Jonathon Trevino and a 15-year-old boy each face charges of attempted murder, felonious assault, aggravated robbery, and participating in a criminal gang. Investigators believe the two Sandusky residents attacked the victim, a 16-year-old boy at the Best Budget Inn on Cleveland Road during the early morning hours of October 3rd. They’re also accused of stealing a small amount of cash from the teen. The victim suffered severe facial injuries.


Melissa Fries has been sworn in as mayor of Monroeville.

She’s replacing Mike Adelman, who passed away September 30th. Fries took the oath of office earlier this week. She previously served as a member of village council.


More from Monroeville…

Village council could begin 2016 with three empty seats. As mentioned before, council woman Melissa Fries is now village mayor. Two other seats are up for election, but no one filed to run this fall.


Two Fremont women are facing prison time, for allegedly stealing more than $220,000 from the bingo account at the city’s VFW Post.

According to the Fremont News-Messenger, Investigators believe former managers Andrea Valdez and Jodi Martin swiped the cash between 2010 and last year. The money was supposed to go to veterans and their families and for scholarships for students of veterans. Fremont VFW officials said they now have new checks and balances for money.


The Edison Charger marching band will head to Athens, Ohio, and will join the Ohio University Marching 110 on the field at this Saturday’s OU-Western Michigan football game.

The Charger marching band, along with 28 other high school bands will be part of both pregame and halftime festivities. The following Saturday, October 24th, Edison will host its annual Marching Band Review. We’ll have more on that in news next week.


Wednesday, October 14, 2015

A number of people showed up for this morning’s ribbon-cutting ceremony and open at Borgers’ new $60 million facility at 400 Industrial Parkway in Norwalk.

Among those in attendance: Borgers executives, Lt. Governor Mary Taylor and local elected officials. Borgers manufactures textile products for passenger cars and commercial vehicles. The plant in Norwalk will employ over 200 workers.


Richland County Health Commissioner Martin Tremmel will be in court tomorrow.

His domestic violence trial will begin at 8am, in Erie County Municipal Court. Retired Norwalk Municipal Court Judge John Ridge will hear the case. Ridge recently issued two rulings…a gag order, and one throwing out body-cam video evidence taken at the scene. Tremmel was arrested in July, after allegedly assaulting his wife at their home on Kelley’s Island. He denied the allegations, and his wife also denied she had been abused. Tremmel has been on paid leave since the alleged incident. His wife, a school administrator in Worthington has been on paid leave as well.


A new poll finds State Issue 3 would pass, if the election were held today.

The WKYC-Kent State University poll shows 56 percent of voters planned to vote yes for Issue 3, which would legalize recreational and medical marijuana in Ohio. The Cleveland TV station and Kent State polled 500 registered voters throughout Ohio through an online survey between October 6th and 8th. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus four percentage points.


Experts say Ohio residents may pay anywhere between four and 10 percent less to heat their homes this winter.

That’s because natural gas prices are expected to remain low during the cold winter months.


The two men running for Norwalk mayor will be featured, during tonight’s special pre-election program on 95.3 WLKR and wlkrradio.com.

Incumbent Republican Rob Duncan and Independent challenger Ryan McDonnell will answer questions, starting at 7:30 tonight.


Ottawa County officials will test Davis-Besse warning sirens at noon this Friday.

The annual test will include 54 sirens covering a 10-mile area throughout Ottawa and Lucas counties. The sirens will sound for three minutes.


Tuesday, October 13, 2015

The Highway Patrol continues to investigate a crash that killed a man, and seriously injured his teenage son.

According to the Norwalk patrol post, 42-year-old Mark Lauer of LaGrange was killed at approximately 10am yesterday, at State Routes 18 and 60 in Clarksfield Township. Troopers said Lauer failed to yield at the intersection, and was hit by a semi-truck. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Lauer’s son, 16-year-old Nathaniel Lauer was flown from the scene to St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center in Toledo. State Route 18 was closed for about two hours after the crash.


Prayer before meetings will be discussed, during tonight’s meeting of the Norwalk City Schools Board of Education.

Over the summer, the Freedom from Religion Foundation sent a letter, asking the board to stop saying a short prayer before each meeting. Also on tonight’s agenda…hiring an interim treasurer. Former EHOVE Career Center treasurer Larry Hanneman is expected to step in for Sue Lehmann. Hanneman will be paid $45 per hour. Tonight’s Norwalk school board meeting will begin at 7:30, at Norwalk High School.


Borgers Ohio will celebrate its grand opening with a ribbon cutting ceremony and an open house at 11 tomorrow morning, at its new facility at 400 Industrial Parkway.


Changes are coming to Cleveland’s historic West Side Market, including armed guards soon, and some sort of pay-to-park in 2017.


It’s not common for people to be arrested at a funeral, but it happened yesterday in Toledo.

Police there said suspected gang members got into it at a cemetery. Most of the suspects were picked up on outstanding warrants.


7:30 tomorrow night is when you’ll hear from incumbent Republican Norwalk Mayor Rob Duncan, and Independent challenger Ryan McDonnell.

Both will answer questions and offer comments, during a special pre-election program on 95.3 WLKR and wlkrradio.com.


In sports…

Five area high school football teams are ranked in this week’s statewide AP poll. In Division III, Clyde is tied for 9th with Zanesville, and Perkins is 14th. In Division V, the Edison Chargers dropped from 6th to 9th, and in Division VII, St. Paul moved up to number 8, while Monroeville jumped two spots to number 12.

The Cleveland Cavaliers will “shoot” for their first preseason win tonight. The Cavs will take on the Milwaukee Bucks at the Q, with tipoff at 7. You can hear the game on 95.3 WLKR.


Monday, October 12, 2015

Today is Columbus Day.

There’s no mail, but trash pickup is on its normal schedule.


You still have time to submit questions for Norwalk mayor Rob Duncan, and Ryan McDonnell.

The clock is ticking though…The deadline is 5pm today. Questions may be emailed to us at wlkr@wlkrradio.com. Your name will not be used, when we ask the questions. You’ll hear their answers and more, during a special pre-election program that will air at 7:30 Wednesday night on 95.3, WLKR.


The Mansfield post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol continues to investigate last week’s car/semi-truck crash in northern Richland County.

The accident occurred late Friday morning on State Route 13, near Lattimer Road in Blooming Grove Township. According to reports, 29-year-old Kendra Ethel of Mansfield was killed, when her car went left of center, and hit a semi-truck head-on. The rig caught fire, but the driver, 53-year-old Edward Hodgkinson was able to escape without serious injury.


A cornfield fire near Clyde kept firefighters busy last night.

According to reports, the blaze was in a cornfield west of Clyde, near Sandusky County Road 236, and moving toward U.S. Route 20.


Bad news, if you get social security.

Federal officials will announce later this week that social security and SSI recipients, disabled veterans and federal retirees will receive no increase in benefits next year.


Ohio will receive nearly $10 million over the next five years, to help new and expectant low-income fathers, ages 16 to 24 become more effective and nurturing parents improve their long-term economic stability and build strong, lasting relationships with their children.

The federal grant will fund the “New Beginnings for New Fathers” program in Franklin, Clark, Cuyahoga, Hamilton and Montgomery counties. Participating fathers will receive job training, parenting classes, and marriage and relationship information.


Discussion of a new dispatch center at the police station is on tomorrow’s Norwalk City Council agenda.

Over the summer, police chief Dave Light told council members that the PD’s current dispatch system is 27 years old and needs replaced.