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News

Friday, March 13, 2014

Area rivers and creeks remain at risk for ice jam-flooding, so a Flood Watch remains in effect until 4 Sunday afternoon for Huron, Erie, Lorain, Ottawa, Sandusky and Seneca counties.

 

Exclusive live coverage of State Wrestling resumes at 10 this morning on 95.3 WLKR and wlkrradio.com.

 

A construction worker was injured late yesterday morning, while working at the site of Huron County’s new License Bureau and Title Office in Norwalk.

36-year-old Steven Tucker of Green Springs was taken by ambulance from the Shady Lane site, to Fisher-Titus Medical Center. He was then transferred to a different hospital. Officials did not specify which one, and his condition is unknown. According to reports, Tucker was working on the roof of the building, when he lost his footing, and tumbled to the ground.

 

EHOVE Career Center has a new principal.

Erika Beckman, an assistant director at the school has been chosen to fill the spot. Since 2010, Beckman has managed EHOVE’s healthcare, technology, business and cosmetology programs.

 

May 21st is when Clyde-Green Springs superintendent David Stubblebine is scheduled to stand trial, on a charge of obstructing official business.

The trial date was set yesterday by Sandusky County Judge John Kolesar. Stubblebine was charged in January, a month after authorities said he blocked a marijuana investigation at McPherson Middle School. If convicted, Stubblebine faces up to 90 days in jail, and a $750 fine.

 

Charges have been filed against a Sandusky woman accused of driving to her probation appointment while drunk.

29-year-old Veronica Dwyre-Shaver was arrested late Wednesday morning, after her probation officer smelled alcohol, and called Erie County deputies. She also had her 18-month-old son with her. Dwyer-Shaver was charged with DUI, and child endangering. She was released to a sober relative. The boy was turned over to social workers.

 

Boys tournament basketball continues tonight on 95.3 and wlkrradio.com.

Live at 7, it’s Division IV District Championship action from Willard between Plymouth and Buckeye Central.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Due to warming temperatures, the National Weather Service says area rivers and creeks are at risk for ice-jam flooding.

Accordingly, a Flood Watch has been issued for Erie, Huron, Lorain, Ottawa, Sandusky and Seneca Counties.  It’s in effect until 4 Sunday afternoon.

 

The 78th annual State Wrestling tournament begins today in Columbus.

Action begins at 3 this afternoon, and we’ll have exclusive live coverage on 95.3 WLKR and wlkrradio.com.

 

Starting April 1st, tornado warnings in northern Ohio will change.

The Cleveland Office of the National Weather Service will begin using “Enhanced” Tornado Warnings. The warnings will include where a potential twister is, its potential path, and areas that may be affected. Warnings will also state if a tornado is actually spotted, or is radar-indicated. The enhancements will come, when a tornado has been observed. That’s when the warning will include a “Tornado Damage Threat Tag”, which will include one of two classifications: “Considerable” and “Catastrophic.” “Catastrophic” will be reserved for EF-4 and EF-5 tornadoes.

 

The Norwalk Area United Fund will be closed tomorrow, as officials there complete a move to a new location.

The United Fund is moving from East Main, to the corner of Seminary and Benedict. The new office will be open for business on Monday.

 

Former Huron City Schools superintendent Fred Fox is facing criminal charges, for allegedly not disclosing gifts received while on the job.

An Erie County grand jury has charged Fox with two counts of falsification, first-degree misdemeanors punishable by up to six months in jail, and $1,000 in fines. Fox is accused of not reporting approximately $1,000 in gifts he received from Kalahari, back in 2011. Fox was fired by the Huron school board nearly two years ago, amid allegations he turned in improper expense reports, had an inappropriate business relationship with a vendor, and had an extramarital affair on school time.

 

A two-month long investigation has led to a meth lab bust in Clyde,

Local, state and federal authorities raided a Mechanic Street home yesterday morning and found items used to make crystal meth.  Two men and two women were taken in for questioning.  A two-year-old found in the home was turned over to a relative.  Charges are pending.

 

A new report finds, thousands of Ohioans are living paycheck-to-paycheck.

According to the annual ‘State of Poverty in Ohio’ report, nearly half of the state’s households don’t have the financial reserves necessary to cushion a job loss or medical emergency.

 

A sales tax increase is in the works in Richland County.

If all goes as planned, Richland County’s sales tax will go up one-quarter percent, to 7.25 percent, effective July 1st.

 

State Wrestling coverage starts at 3, then at 8 tonight, it’s Division III boys district semi-final basketball from Ashland University as Willard takes on Col. Crawford.

 

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Dense fog caused more than a dozen area school delays this morning.

 

It’s official. East Palestine Schools superintendent George Fisk has been hired for the same job in Norwalk.

Last night’s vote by the Board of Education was 4-1, with board member Steve Linder voting no. Fisk was given a three-year contract that pays $125,000 annually. His first day will be August 1st.

 

As mentioned, Norwalk’s new superintendent will be paid $125,000 annually.

A check of area superintendents’ salaries shows the range is $85,500 in Monroeville, to over $161,000 in Sandusky. Fisk’s $125,000 salary is equal to that of new Perkins Superintendent Jodie Hausmann. Norwalk’s student population is about 2,900, while Perkins has 2,300 students. Also by comparison…Huron’s student population is slightly over 1,400, and the superintendent’s salary is more than $128,000. When other perks and benefits are factored in, Norwalk’s superintendent compensation still ranks 6th, out of 11 area schools.

 

Some of U.S. 250 near Olena was closed for an hour this morning due to downed lines.

It closed around 6:30 and then partially re-opened around 7:30.  The Highway Patrol believes a high-profile truck clipped a wire.

 

New figures show Huron County had one of the state’s highest unemployment rates in January.

Huron County’s jobless rate was 10.3 percent, fourth highest in Ohio, trailing onlyAdams, Monroe and Meigs counties. According to the Ohio Department Job and Family Services, Ottawa County’s January unemployment rate was 10.2 percent, or fifth highest. Erie County’s jobless rate was 8.4 percent, 13th highest in the state. No other area counties were in the top 30.

 

A Florida woman is in the Erie County Jail, accused of scamming thousands of dollars from local banks.

Shellanna Phillips was arrested Thursday. An alleged accomplice fled, and hasn’t been found. Phillips made off with nearly $17,000, by using a phony ID to cash phony checks at banks in Sandusky and Perkins Township. She was caught, when she tried to cash another check worth almost $9,500 at a bank in Castalia. Phillips was hit with a number of felony charges, including forgery, theft by deception and passing bad checks. She remains in jail, without bond. An alleged accomplice who was driving, fled the scene and hasn’t been found.

 

The State Fire Marshal’s Office is investigating the cause of an early Tuesday morning fire that did substantial damage to an apartment house in Bellevue.

Firefighters were summoned to 146 Kilbourne Street at 2:20 yesterday morning, after a resident saw smoke and flames. It took firefighters about two hours to fully extinguish the blaze. The Victorian-style home was built in the 19th century, and was turned into a triplex. Losses were placed at $125,000.

 

In Mansfield, an investigation is underway into the death of a man at a halfway house.

29-year-old Terrance Moxley died yesterday afternoon after being tased by Mansfield Police.  The incident occurred at the V.O.A. halfway house.  Police were called there after Moxley became violent.  The officers involved in the incident were placed on leave pending the outcome of the investigation.

 

Also in Mansfield, and all of Richland County, a sales tax increase is in the works.

If all goes as planned, starting July 1st, Richland County’s sales tax will be seven-and-a-quarter percent.

 

A new report finds thousands of Ohioans are living paycheck-to-paycheck.

According to the annual ‘State of Poverty in Ohio’ report, nearly half of the state’s households don’t have the financial reserves necessary to cushion a job loss or medical emergency.

 

In sports…

For the second straight year, Bellevue is back in the Elite Eight.  The Lady Red will play Toledo Rogers at 7 Friday night at Ontario High School with the winner advancing to next week’s Final Four.  Presale tickets will be available at Bellevue High School between 7 and 3 tomorrow.

Plymouth will play for a district title Friday night.  The Big Red will take on Buckeye Central at Willard High School.  Game time is at 7 and you can hear it on 95.3, WLKR.  The winner will claim a spot in next week’s Sweet 16.

Coverage of the 78th annual State Wrestling Tournament begins at 3 tomorrow on 95.3 WLKR and wlkrradio.com.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

The Norwalk school board has its man.

Tonight, the board of education will formally hire George Fisk, as the district’s new superintendent. According to board president John Lendrum, Fisk will be given a three-year contract, worth $125,000 annually. His first day will be August 1st.

Fisk has been superintendent of the East Palestine Schools, in Columbiana County since 2012. Before that, he was an elementary school principal in the Ontario Schools. Fisk was one of 21 applicants who applied for the job, and was one of four finalists recently interviewed by the school board. He will be at tonight’s board meeting.

 

An update, on yesterday morning’s school bus-SUV crash in Norwalk.

The driver of the Erie-Huron CAC Head Start bus, Marcella Felver was taken by ambulance to Fisher-Titus Medical Center. Her injuries were not considered life-threatening. Three students and two aides on the bus were not injured. The driver of the SUV, Pleasant Elementary teacher Olivia Gamble and her eight-year-old son went to the hospital in a personal vehicle. According to reports, Felver lost control on a patch of ice near Pleasant Elementary, and hit Gamble’s SUV head-on.

The bus went through a guardrail, and slid down a hill near Jaycee Park. The bus was tilting, but did not overturn. Firefighters used a cable and a fire truck to stabilize the bus. Feliver was later charged with failure to control.

 

Norwalk police chief Dave Light is set to recap 2014.

The chief will give his annual report, during tonight’s meeting of Norwalk City Council.

 

The South Central FFA is getting a financial boost, thanks to a local farmer.

Rob Seidel has been selected as a winner in America’s Farmers Grow Communities contest, sponsored by the Monsanto Fund. The program enrolls farmers for a chance to win $2,500, which is then donated to the non-profit organization of the farmer’s choice. Seidel picked the South Central FFA to receive the donation. A check presentation ceremony will be held at 1pm tomorrow, at South Central High School.

 

There’s new information about the Perkins assistant band director placed on paid leave last month.

32-year-old Joel Miller is accused of ‘sexting’ a former student from Newark, Ohio. He remains under investigation by police there, but has yet to be charged with a crime. Miller was placed on leave February 18th, the same day Perkins police executed a search warrant, and seized his phone. His brother, 33-year-old Anthony Miller was a music teacher in Newark. He was arrested in February of 2014, for allegedly having sexual relationships with at least three of his students. He pleaded guilty last summer, and was sentenced to five years in prison.

 

New figures show Huron County had one of the state’s highest unemployment rates in January.

Huron County’s jobless rate was 10.3 percent, fourth highest in Ohio, trailing only Adams, Monroe and Meigs Counties.  According to the Ohio Department Job and Family Services, Ottawa County’s January unemployment rate was 10.2 percent or fifth highest.  Erie County’s jobless rate was 8.4 percent, 13th highest in the state.  No other counties were in the top 30.

 

In sports…

Boys district semi-final basketball tips off tonight on 95.3, WLKR.  Tonight, we’ll be live in Willard for Division IV action between Plymouth and Mansfield St. Peter’s.  Pregame coverage begins at 6, with tipoff at 6:15.  Also in action tonight: The Bellevue Lady Red.  Bellevue will take on Akron Hoban in the Division II regional semifinals at Ontario.  That game will start at 7.

 

Monday, March 9, 2015

Some good news…Highs all week will be in the mid-to-upper 40’s.

 

A Monroeville graduate who won four state wrestling titles is now a four-time Big Ten champ.

Logan Stieber claimed his fourth conference title with yesterday’s 16-1 technical fall win, in the 141-pound championship. The 2010 Monroeville High School graduate will now try for his fourth straight NCAA title next weekend, in St. Louis. That feat has been accomplished just three other times, in 85 years.

 

Speaking of wrestling, the 78th annual State Wrestling tournament begins this Thursday at Value City Arena in Columbus.

37 area wrestlers have qualified for the tournament.  We’ll have exclusive live coverage on 95.3, WLKR and wlkrradio.com.

 

Norwalk Police were on the scene of a school-bus SUV crash this morning.

The Erie-Huron CAC Head Start bus hit the SUV just before 8 this morning near Pleasant Elementary.  According to reports, the bus driver lost control on the ice.  The bus hit the SUV when went off the road, but didn’t overturn.  There were three students and two aids on the bus, but they escaped unharmed.  The driver was taken by ambulance to Fisher-Titus.

 

The Norwalk Board of Education is ready to hire a new superintendent.

George Fisk will be hired during tomorrow night’s school board meeting.  He’s currently superintendent of the East Palestine School District in Columbiana County.  Fisk was one of 21 applicants.

 

A weekend mobile home fire in Norwalk did $30,000 damage.

Firefighters were summoned to Midtown Manor at 5:20 Saturday morning. They arrived to find light smoke, and a blaze in the kitchen. Food left on the stove sparked the fire. No one was hurt.

 

A grease fire did substantial damage to a home in Sandusky.

The fire at the Fifth Street broke out shortly before 1am yesterday. Firefighters quickly brought the blaze under control, but not before it melted siding on a neighboring house.

 

The highway patrol is investigating a crash that killed two 23-year-old Sandusky men, and left a third in critical condition.

According to the highway patrol, Devin Richards and Christon Williams died at the scene early Friday morning on Bowling Green Road, just east of Bowling Green. Reports indicate both men were thrown from the car. 26-year-old Phillip Lemon suffered serious injuries, and was taken to St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center in Toledo. At last check, he was in critical condition. He was able to walk to a nearby home to call 9-1-1. Troopers aren’t sure who was driving the car. The driver lost control on a curve and hit a guardrail, causing the car to flip several times, before coming to rest in a nearby field. Alcohol is believed to be a factor in the crash.

 

A former area school superintendent is waiting to hear if a judge will grant his request for early release from prison.

Todd Helms has been behind bars since 2010, for stealing nearly $300,000 from the Clyde-Green Springs Schools. After pleading guilty to 10 different felonies, he was sentenced to eight years in prison. He was told he could apply for early release after five years, if he gave up his pension, to repay the stolen money. Last month, he filed paperwork to get out early, but he has yet to sign documents to turn over his pension to the school district.

 

The South Central FFA is getting a financial boost, thanks to a local farmer.

Rob Seidel has been selected as a winner in American’s Farmers Grow Communities contest, sponsored by the Monsanto Fund.  The program enrolls farmers for a chance to win $2,500, which is then donated to the non-profit organization of the farmer’s choice.  Seidel picked the South Central FFA to receive the donation.  A check presentation ceremony will be held at 1pm Wednesday at South Central High School.

 

Norwalk Police Chief Dave Light is set to recap 2014.

The chief will give his annual report during tomorrow night’s meeting of Norwalk City Council.

 

 

Friday, March 6, 2015

If you hear tornado sirens at 9:50 this morning, it’s not a twister.

It’s part of Ohio’s annual statewide tornado drill. Tornado sirens were scheduled to go off at 9:50 Wednesday morning, but the drill was postponed, due to severe winter weather in southern Ohio.

 

The State Fire Marshal’s Office is investigating the cause of yesterday’s blaze that destroyed a home in Berlin Heights.

Firefighters from Berlin, Milan and Florence townships, along with crews from Huron arrived at the Center Street home late yesterday morning, and found it engulfed in flames. It took firefighters nearly two hours to bring the blaze under control. Crews remained at the scene until just after 5. One firefighter was injured, and was taken to Firelands Regional Medical Center for treatment.

 

The Huron County Health Board has temporarily closed a Norwalk restaurant, due to repeated health-code violations.

Panda Buffet was shut down yesterday, and will stay closed for at least a week. Once the Chinese restaurant re-opens, it’ll be subject to at least one health inspection every two weeks. The Milan Avenue establishment has racked up dozens of health-code violations, with many of them considered ‘critical violations.’ A sign at the door of Panda Buffet says the restaurant is ‘closed for remodeling.’

 

Erie County officials have issued a boil advisory for county water customers on Harris Road, between Portland Road and State Route 99 in Oxford Township.

The advisory, caused by a water main break is in effect until 8 tomorrow morning. Affected residents should boil water for two minutes, before consumption.

 

It’s the weekend we lose an hour of sleep.

We’ll ‘Spring Ahead’ to Daylight Saving Time at 2am Sunday.

 

No change in Ohio’s unemployment rate.

According to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, it was 5.1 percent last month, the same as December.

 

Speaking of jobs and employment, a reminder that Cedar Point will hold interviews between 9 and 3 tomorrow.

Park officials plan to hire more than 5,000 people for Cedar Point’s 2015 season.  If interested, fill out an application online at cedarpoint.com/jobs and then go to Breakers Express on Cedar Point Drive between 9 and 3 tomorrow.

 

Thursday, March 5, 2015

As expected southern Ohio was hit hard by snow yesterday.

Some spots received up to eight inches, with more coming. Winter Storm Warnings remain in place for much of the southern portion of the state.

 

The harsh winter has left the city of Willard with very little road salt.

Due to high costs, the city had limited supplies to begin the winter season. Willard officials learned this week there’s enough left for a couple more events.

 

Crews in Norwalk were out patching roads and streets yesterday.

The cold and snowy winter, and road salt has left a number of city streets in rough shape. Also a problem this winter: broken waterlines around Norwalk.

 

Perkins Township officials are seeking ideas for a new government logo.

Anyone can submit designs, and the winning entry may be used on township documents, vehicles and more. The logo can be drawn by hand, or designed on a computer. Entries must be dropped off at the Perkins Township Hall by April 3rd. A winner will be announced later this spring.

 

Girls district semi-final basketball tips off tonight.

We’ll check our broadcast schedule in sports.

 

Ohio is getting a new area code.

The 380 area code will be introduced in Central Ohio. That’s because phone numbers for the existing 614 area code are expected to run out next year. Also making its debut…the 220 area code, which is being intertwined with the existing 740 area code.

 

 

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Ohio residents living south of Columbus are under a Winter Storm Warning.

The forecast for areas like Chillicothe, Athens, Ironton and Cincinnati calls for up to a foot of snow later today and tomorrow.

 

Milder temperatures are expected to return this weekend and officials will be keeping tabs on the Vermilion River.

Vermilion residents have been warned to watch for flooding as snow melts and ice breaks downriver.  A thaw last winter caused the Vermilion River to rise over its banks flooding an entire neighborhood.

 

The city of Norwalk will soon add a new piece of equipment to its fleet.

Last night, city council approved a lease-purchase agreement for a new mini-Bobcat excavator. The cost: just over $80,000.

 

Embattled Put-in-Bay police chief Ric Lampela has been placed on paid leave.

Last week, after a lengthy investigation, Lampela was charged with four misdemeanors, all tied to allegations of misconduct. Among the allegations: Lampela held a gun to an employee’s head in 2012, and covered up allegations that a police cadet was raped in 2003. He’s also accused of lying to investigators. He’s due in court March 25th. Put-in-Bay officials are searching for an acting police chief to oversee the department.

 

Cedar Point is set to hire more than 5,000 workers, for the park’s summer season.

The first interview session will be held between 9 and 3 this Saturday, at Breakers Express on Cedar Point Drive. More than 70 different types of jobs are available, including positions in rides, food and beverage, games, maintenance, security and more. To apply, fill out a job application online at cedarpoint.com/jobs, before going to the interview session. Cedar Point’s 2015 season begins May 9th.

 

State Representative Steve Kraus has announced plans to hold district office hours this weekend in Ottawa and Erie counties.

Kraus will be at the Port Clinton Public Library between 10 and noon Saturday, and at the Huron Public Library from 1 until 3 Sunday. No appointments are necessary.

 

A reminder…Today’s statewide tornado drill has been moved to 9:50 Friday morning.

 

Ohio is getting a new area code.

The 380 area code will be introduced in Central Ohio.  That’s because phone numbers for the existing 614 area code are expected to run out next year.  Also making its debut…the 220 area code, which is being intertwined with the existing 740 area code.

 

Supporters of a constitutional amendment to legalize marijuana in Ohio are hoping their second draft meets the state’s approval.

ResponsibleOhio submitted new ballot language to Attorney General Mike DeWine yesterday after their initial writing was rejected for not being fair and truthful.  The group still needs to collect more than 300-thousand signatures to get the issue on the November ballot.

Monday, March 2, 2015

This is Spring Severe Weather Awareness week throughout Ohio.

 

This past February will be remembered as the coldest ever in northern Ohio.

The National Weather Service at Hopkins Airport says the month ended with an average daily temperature of 14-degrees, breaking the 140-year-old record.  Seven record low temperatures were recorded during February, including the coldest day of 2015 at 17-below-zero.

 

Snow days and spring break will be the topic of discussion, during tonight’s special meeting of the Western Reserve Board of Education.

A hearing will be held to gather input from residents, about this winter’s excessive calamity days. Western Reserve needs to make up five extra snow days, and school officials hope to do it during much of spring break, which is scheduled for April 7th through the 10th. Tonight’s public hearing will begin at 6, in the Western Reserve High School library.

A similar meeting will take place tonight in Castalia.

The Margaretta Board of Education will meet at the Board office at 6, to discuss modifying the school day.

 

The Norwalk Board of Education may meet again this week, to continue the search for a new superintendent.

The board met three times last week. During two of those meetings, the board conducted second round interviews. Board president John Lendrum declined to say if all six remaining applicants were interviewed a second time.

Lendrum did say the Board of Education hopes to hire a new superintendent at the board’s regular monthly meeting, scheduled for March 10th.

 

Allegations of misconduct have led to criminal charges against Put-In-Bay’s top cop.

A press release from Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine says police chief Ric Lampela is charged with a single count of aggravated menacing, two counts of falsification, and one count of dereliction of duty. All of the charges are misdemeanors, and they date back to 2003. Lampela is accused of threatening an employee with a gun, impeding an investigation into an alleged sexual assault, and lying to investigators. He’s due in court March 25th. There’s no word yet on Lampela’s current status.

 

 

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

Clocks will move ahead one hour at 2am Sunday.

 

Ohio is doing big business in the global economy.

The U.S. Commerce Department reports Ohio set a record for exports last year, shipping more than 52-billion-dollars in products overseas.  The Buckeye State ranked sixth nationwide while Texas came in at number one.

 

Monday, March 2, 2015

This is Spring Severe Weather Awareness week throughout Ohio.

 

This past February will be remembered as the coldest ever in northern Ohio.

The National Weather Service at Hopkins Airport says the month ended with an average daily temperature of 14-degrees, breaking the 140-year-old record.  Seven record low temperatures were recorded during February, including the coldest day of 2015 at 17-below-zero.

 

Snow days and spring break will be the topic of discussion, during tonight’s special meeting of the Western Reserve Board of Education.

A hearing will be held to gather input from residents, about this winter’s excessive calamity days. Western Reserve needs to make up five extra snow days, and school officials hope to do it during much of spring break, which is scheduled for April 7th through the 10th. Tonight’s public hearing will begin at 6, in the Western Reserve High School library.

A similar meeting will take place tonight in Castalia.

The Margaretta Board of Education will meet at the Board office at 6, to discuss modifying the school day.

 

The Norwalk Board of Education may meet again this week, to continue the search for a new superintendent.

The board met three times last week. During two of those meetings, the board conducted second round interviews. Board president John Lendrum declined to say if all six remaining applicants were interviewed a second time.

Lendrum did say the Board of Education hopes to hire a new superintendent at the board’s regular monthly meeting, scheduled for March 10th.

 

Allegations of misconduct have led to criminal charges against Put-In-Bay’s top cop.

A press release from Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine says police chief Ric Lampela is charged with a single count of aggravated menacing, two counts of falsification, and one count of dereliction of duty. All of the charges are misdemeanors, and they date back to 2003. Lampela is accused of threatening an employee with a gun, impeding an investigation into an alleged sexual assault, and lying to investigators. He’s due in court March 25th. There’s no word yet on Lampela’s current status.

 

 

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

Clocks will move ahead one hour at 2am Sunday.

 

Ohio is doing big business in the global economy.

The U.S. Commerce Department reports Ohio set a record for exports last year, shipping more than 52-billion-dollars in products overseas.  The Buckeye State ranked sixth nationwide while Texas came in at number one.