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Thursday, July 17, 2014

A not guilty plea, from a Sandusky man accused of stabbing and killing an infant.

20-year-old Denzel Castile entered his plea yesterday, in Erie County Common Pleas Court. He’s charged with aggravated murder, in connection with the May, 2013 stabbing death of 11-week-old Athena Castile of Norwalk. Authorities believe the infant was killed, after a brief disturbance at a Sandusky home. Castile originally entered a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity. He remains in custody, at a psychiatric hospital in Toledo.

 

Huron school officials are considering student drug testing.

A task force has been formed to explore the idea.

 

Teachers in the Perkins school district have agreed to forgo raises again.

It’s the fifth consecutive year that Perkins teachers have agreed to freeze base wages. In other news, the Perkins Board of Education is mulling whether or not to place a tax levy on the fall ballot. Voters have rejected four straight levies. The deadline to get an issue on the November ballot is August 6th.

 

A weekend assault has led to felony charges against two Willard women.

Rachel Hale is charged with felonious assault. An accomplice, Kelly McCoy is charged with complicity. According to reports, the two assaulted another woman, at a party near Willard. One held the victim, while the other hit her with a baseball bat. The victim suffered bruises and cuts to her face, head and chest. Hale and McCoy are due in court next week.

 

The number of plaintiffs suing Whirlpool alleging the company’s Clyde factory is responsible for cancer is growing.

A local TV station says there are now 46 plaintiffs in the case, nearly double the original number. Federal and state health agencies haven’t been able to find the source of a cancer cluster in the area, while the plaintiffs accuse Whirlpool of dumping toxic sludge and releasing dangerous chemicals at its former Whirlpool Park property in Green Springs. A company spokesperson has denied the allegations, and called the charges ‘unfounded and irresponsible.’

 

Friday, July 18, 2014

Major League baseball’s All-Star break is over.

The Indians will play four games in three days, in Detroit.

 

It’s festival weekend, in North Fairfield and Castalia.

The Peach Festival begins today, and runs through Sunday in North Fairfield. The 38th Cold Creek Festival also begins today, and runs through Sunday in Castalia.

 

First round interviews are complete.

Last night, the Norwalk Board of Education interviewed two more applicants for superintendent. Tuesday, the board interviewed three applicants. Board president John Lendrum said the school board will likely meet at least once next week, for second interviews. With current superintendent Dennis Doughty’s last day set for July 31st, the Norwalk Board of Education may need to hire a short term interim superintendent, to fill in until a permanent selection is made.

 

Groundbreaking is set for August 6th, for Borger’s USA’s new Norwalk manufacturing site.

The plant will be built in the Industrial Parkway. Once it’s up and running, the $60 million factory will employ about 230 workers.

 

Fire caused heavy damage to two Sandusky homes yesterday afternoon.

Flames consumed one Shelby Street home, then spread to a neighboring house. Sandusky, Perkins and Margaretta firefighters were at the scene. The cause is under investigation.

 

Firefighters from several departments were called on last night, to battle a large blaze at Norwalk’s Eagle Creek Golf Club.

The fire destroyed a large building that housed golf carts and other equipment. No one was injured. The cause is under investigation.

 

 

A northwest Ohio Sheriff says his office will begin investigating heroin overdose deaths as homicides, and pursue murder charges against dealers who provided the drugs.

Lucas County Sheriff John Sharp outlined his plan yesterday. He now has three full-time and one part-time detective to investigate overdoses.

 

Federal charges have been filed against a central Ohio postal carrier accused of stashing thousands of pieces of mail at his home.

55-year-old Charles Moore of Columbus allegedly squirreled away the mail between January of 2012, and July of last year. That’s when investigators searched his home, and found 13,000 pieces of undelivered mail. Moore resigned last fall.

 

Highway technicians from ODOT’s District 3 held their annual ‘Roadeo’ event this week.

32 ODOT workers from the district’s eight counties were at district headquarters in Ashland, operating snowplows, salt trucks and heavy equipment through obstacle courses. Winners will compete against their colleagues in ODOT’s other eleven districts in September.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The American League will have home field advantage in this year’s World Series, after last night’s 5-3 win, in the All-Star Game at Target Field.

 

Voters in the Monroeville school district will see a new combo tax issue this fall.

The Board of Education will place a combined property/income tax on the November ballot.  The 2.5 mill property tax would generate more than $220,000 annually and would cost the average homeowner about $90 a year.  The half-percent income tax would raise about $390,000 annually and would cost the average Monroeville household about $250 a year.  The money would go toward operating expenses.

 

A record amount of money, about $74.5 million was returned to Ohioans over the last budget year from unclaimed funds held by the state.

Officials with the Ohio Department of Commerce’s Division of Unclaimed Funds said yesterday the total was an increase of 7.6 percent from the previous year. The average distribution was nearly $1,600. Unclaimed funds are money, or the rights to money that have been dormant, including dormant checking and savings accounts, forgotten deposits and uncashed insurance policies. To see if you have funds coming, simply Google ‘Ohio Treasure Hunt.’

 

A convicted killer from Sandusky suffered a broken nose, during a jailhouse fight over LeBron James.

25-year-old Michael Milner was injured Friday, a few hours after LeBron announced he’s returning to Cleveland. According to reports, Milner was punched by 19-year-old Bryce Stokes on the basketball court inside the Erie County Jail’s recreation area. Milner was treated for his injuries. He’s awaiting sentencing next month, for killing his former girlfriend’s three-year-old son. He’s facing life without parole.

Stokes is facing charges of rape and gross sexual imposition, for the alleged sexual assault of a 13-year-old girl at Kalahari. He’s also expected to face charges tied to Friday’s fight.

 

The number of plaintiffs suing Whirlpool alleging the company’s Clyde factory is responsible for Cancer is growing.

A local TV station says there are now 46 plaintiffs in the case, nearly double the original number.  Federal and state health agencies haven’t been able to find the source of a cancer cluster in the area, while the plaintiffs accuse Whirlpool of dumping toxic sludge and releasing dangerous chemicals at its former Whirlpool Park property in Green Springs.  A company spokesperson has denied the allegations and called the charges ‘unfounded and irresponsible.’

 

Still no word from Cedar Point officials as to which of the park’s 17 coasters will be renamed ‘King James’, in honor of Lebron’s return to Cleveland.

 

The first round of interviews began last night, as the Norwalk Board of Education tries to find a new superintendent.

Five applicants made the cut, although others may be interviewed. Current superintendent Dennis Doughty is retiring at the end of this month.

 

Barring a plea bargain, a Norwalk man accused of cultivating a large amount of marijuana will stand trial next month.

Thomas Sterling is charged with illegal cultivation of marijuana, possession of marijuana, possession of criminal tools and tampering with evidence. His trial is expected to take two days. The former Monroeville man was arrested in March, after authorities found dozens of pot plants, and $10,000 worth of equipment inside the former Berardi’s Restaurant in Norwalk. Sterling is free on bond.

 

The fight is over between Toledo’s NBC affiliate and Buckeye Cable.

WNWO and the cable company agreed on a new, two-year re-transmission deal on Monday.  WNWO had been blacked out by Buckeye Cable for seven months.

 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Groton Township man convicted of kidnapping and repeatedly raping a Lorain woman last fall will spend 36 years in prison.

39-year-old Brian Jury was sentenced yesterday in Erie County Common Pleas Court. He was fined $15,000. Late last month, Jury was found guilty on two counts of rape and abduction, and a single count of felonious assault. The charges were connected to a November 1st incident. Jury abducted the victim at gunpoint, took her to his Strecker Road camper, raped her repeatedly, then left her bound and gagged. After Jury left, the woman was able to escape, and get help from a passing motorist.

 

An update, on storm clean-up costs in Willard.

The price tag is expected to soar to as much as $150,000. A severe storm with straight line winds, and an unconfirmed tornado hit Willard in mid-June. It left behind numerous downed trees and power lines, and damaged city-owned property, along with homes and businesses. The Willard City Park sustained heavy damage, and much of the city lost power for over 24 hours. Full cleanup is expected to take several more weeks.

 

If you receive an email form ‘E-Z Pass Info’, don’t open it.

The Ohio Turnpike Commission says it’s a scam designed to steal personal information and money from unsuspecting customers.  The same scam has been reported in several other states and the District of Columbia.

 

Willard City Council will meet in special session this Thursday, to vote on a proposed tax break for a new flour mill.

A required public hearing will be held at 4pm at Willard City Hall, with a vote expected after the hearing. If all goes as planned, the Star of the West Mill will be built next to Pepperidge Farm.

 

Norwalk City Council will meet in regular session at 7:30 tonight, in the Norwalk Muni Courtroom.

 

The Norwalk Board of Education will meet at 7:30 in the Board Office, to interview applicants for superintendent.

 

Milan police are investigating a rash of car break-ins.

Cars were entered over the weekend, and the thief or thieves stole items ranging from money to GPS units.

 

A former Plymouth man accused of setting a fire at a Willard apartment has entered a guilty plea to a charge of arson.

19-year-old Christopher Barber will likely be sentenced to probation instead of prison.  But he will have to register on the state’s arsonist list.  Barber set the small fire last June at a Rae Court apartment.  No one was injured.

 

Ohio has been named a ‘Comeback State’ by CNBC.

From the state’s pre-recession peak and at the end of 2006 to the end of 2009, Ohio lost more than 400,000 jobs, mostly high-paying manufacturing jobs.  Many of those jobs are still lost and unlikely to return.  So the state has targeted new industries, including biotech, medical equipment and energy production.  Experts say job growth in those industries is powering a comeback.

 

A new poll suggests Republican Governor John Kasich’s lead over Democratic challenger Ed Fitzgerald is down to a single percentage point.

The poll by Public Policy Polling shows Kasich leads Fitzgerald, 45-44 percent.  Republican officials dismissed the results saying the poll was commissioned by the Ohio Democratic Party.

 

Monday, July 14, 2014

It’s not really a polar vortex, but unseasonably cool weather is coming.

Expect highs of just 72 tomorrow, Wednesday and Thursday. Lows tomorrow night and Wednesday night will be in the mid-50’s.

 

A mid-June severe storm that rolled through Willard was a costly one.

The city alone will pay more than $50,000 for clean-up.  Straight line winds and an unconfirmed tornado brought down trees and power lines throughout Willard.  Home and businesses were damaged as well.  According to city manager Brian Humphress, full clean up will take a few more weeks.

 

More than a decade of sexual abuse has led to 28 charges against a Sandusky man.

49-year-old Michael Walls is charged with 24 counts of rape and four counts of pandering obscenity.  He’s in the Erie County Jail in lieu of $500,000 bond.  The alleged abuse began when the victim was 4 and continued until she was 17.

 

The Norwalk Board of Education will meet at 7:30 tomorrow night, to interview applicants interested in becoming the school district’s next superintendent.

The meeting will be held at the Board office. Five applicants made the cut. A second round of interviews is expected. Current superintendent Dennis Doughty is retiring July 31st.

 

Cedar Point officials are mulling which coaster will be renamed ‘King James.’

Last week, the park promised to rename one of its 17 roller coasters ‘King James’, if LeBron James returned to Cleveland, to play for the Cavaliers. Spokesman Brian Edwards said Cedar Point will now make good on its promise.

 

An update, on roadwork along U.S. Route 250.

Instead of mid-August, 250 resurfacing in Norwalk is now scheduled to be complete by the end of August. And Route 250 in Fitchville is now scheduled to re-open July 24th, instead of July 22nd.

 

No one was hurt, after a boat capsized yesterday morning in Sandusky Bay.

Four teens from Fremont were in the 19-foot ski boat when it capsized between the Bay Point Sand Bar and the coal docks. Friends of the teens picked them up in jet skis.

 

Good news for Pioneer Career and Technology Center.

Pioneer is getting a $1.5 million state grant. The ‘Straight-A Fund’ money will be used to increase training in Robotics, Manufacturing and Engineering.

 

The North Fairfield Peach Festival is this Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Friday, July 11, 2014

It’s the Polar Vortex, Part II…sort of.

An upcoming mass of cool air, on its way from the Gulf of Alaska will bring unseasonably cool temperatures to the area early next week. Temperatures could be 15 degrees below average. Forecasters say it should warm up by the end of next week.

 

Norwalk police believe Wednesday’s break-in at Discount Drug Mart may be connected to similar crimes at businesses in plazas along the city’s north side.

An alarm activation just before 1 yesterday morning sent police to the Cline Street store. No one was there, and it’s unclear if anything was stolen. Officers are processing evidence collected at the scene. Anyone with information should contact the Norwalk Police Department.

 

Investigators say the cause of a mid-April boating incident that claimed four lives on Lake Erie is inconclusive.

A final report issued by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources says the circumstances surrounding the incident are unknown, because all four people on the boat died, and there were no witnesses. Investigators did note that alcohol was not a factor. There was no trauma on any of the bodies, and minimal damage to the boat. Two men, one woman and a teenage girl died in the incident. The cause of death was drowning for all four victims. The four were last seen fishing near South Bass Island.

 

The city of Sandusky has a new fire chief.

Captain Dave Degnan will take over next week.

 

Relay for Life is underway, at Norwalk’s Whitney Field.

The fundraiser for the American Cancer Society runs until 7 tomorrow morning. Kelly Rose will broadcast live from Relay, between 3 and 6.

 

Also underway…Huron River Fest.

The annual fireworks show will begin at 10:15 tonight. Carrie Danger will broadcast live from River Fest, starting at 1 tomorrow.

 

Huron County deputies are investigating an alleged sex offense in Wakeman.

It happened at Firelands Manor Mobile Home Park.We’ll have more, as details become available.

 

A former assistant football and track coach at Fremont Ross High School has been indicted on two counts of sexual battery.

36-year-old Johnny Alridge is accused of having sex with a 17-year-old female student on multiple occasions, dating back to February.

 

Retiring EHOVE Career Center treasurer Larry Hanneman will stay on, for the upcoming school year.

That’s because his replacement is unable to take the job, due to health and family concerns. Hanneman was set to retire July 31st.

 

When it comes to home and auto insurance, rates in Ohio are among the cheapest in the nation.

In 2013, homeowners insurance was 6th lowest in the country, averaging about $650, compared to nearly $1,000 nationally. Auto insurance in Ohio was 9th lowest in the U.S., with an average of $620.The national average was nearly $800.

 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

If you couldn’t stay up, the Indians lost in 14 innings last night.

Final score: the Yankees 5, the Tribe 4.

 

A one-car crash in Erie County has left one person dead, and another, in critical condition.

63-year-old Ralph Russo of Findlay was killed early yesterday afternoon. His wife, 68-year-old Nancy Russo was flown from the scene, to the University of Toledo Medical Center. According to reports from the highway patrol, Russo’s SUV went off U.S. Route 6, near Northwest Road in Margaretta Township, and struck a mailbox and road sign, before slamming into two trees. Russo and his wife were wearing seat belts, and troopers don’t believe alcohol was a factor in the crash. U.S. Route 6 was closed for about two hours, while crews cleared the wreckage.

 

Police are investigating an early morning break-in at Discount Drug Mart in Norwalk.

An alarm sent officers to the scene shortly before 1am yesterday.  No one was there, but evidence found at the scene was sent for processing.

 

Cedar Point is doing its part, to get LeBron James to return to Ohio.

Park officials said yesterday that if LeBron comes back to the Cleveland Cavaliers, they’ll rename one of their coasters “King James.” LeBron has not announced his decision.

 

A busy night is in store, for the Norwalk Board of Education.

Tonight, the board will review applications from those interested in becoming the school district’s next superintendent. 11 people applied for the job, including current assistant superintendent Sue Goodsite, and former Huron City Schools superintendent Fred Fox. Board president John Lendrum said yesterday the board will likely set up interviews with four or five of the applicants. A second round of interviews will be scheduled later. Current superintendent Dennis Doughty is retiring July 31st.Lendrum said it may be necessary to hire an interim superintendent, for 30 to 90 days. In other business, the board will likely accept a bid of more than $222,000, to replace the boiler at Maplehurst Elementary, and the board is expected to approve a 10 cent increase in lunch prices. School lunches will be $2.15 for K-through-4th students, $2.30 for fifth-through-eighth graders, and $2.65 for high schoolers. Tonight’s Norwalk Board of Education meeting will begin at 7:30, at Norwalk High School.

 

For the second time in three weeks, someone has hit a huge lottery jackpot in Ashtabula County.

Yesterday’s only big winning Powerball ticket was sold in Conneaut.  It’s worth nearly $125 million.  In mid-June, a Classic Lotto ticket worth $72 million was sold in the city of Ashtabula.

 

It was one year ago today, that two small tornadoes touched down in Bellevue.

An EF-0 tornado hit Flat Rock Road, near Kilbourne Street, July 10th, 2013. An EF-1 twister initially touched down in Seneca County’s Reed Township, and continued intermittently for ten miles into Huron County. It lifted, near the Bellevue Reservoir.

 

Ohio is joining forces with other Great Lakes states to fight invasive, aquatic species.

Governor Kasich signed a mutual aid pact yesterday in Port Clinton with seven states and two Canadian provinces.  The agreement sets up processes to share research and resources to stop Zebra Mussels, Asian Carp and other non-native species.

 

 

 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Storms spawned three tornadoes in northeast Ohio yesterday.

One touched down in eastern Lorain County, and was on the ground for about seven miles, into northern Medina County. Another twister touched down in Medina County’s Hinckley Township. A number of trees were uprooted by the tornadoes, and some homes sustained minor damage, along with a water treatment plant.  A third tornado touched down near Canfield, in Mahoning County.  All three twisters were classified as EF-1 tornados, with 94 mile per hour winds. Closer to home, it was just rain, but a lot in a short amount of time. Norwalk and Bellevue received more than two-and-a-quarter inches.

 

Assuming successful contract negotiations and approval by a full panel of G.O.P. National Committee members, the city of Cleveland will play host to the 2016 Republican National Convention.

The party’s site selection committee picked Cleveland over Dallas. Cleveland officials are also hoping to host the 2016 Democratic National Convention.

 

The former treasurer of the Norwalk Knights of Columbus has been sentenced, for skimming.

67-year-old Gerald Weisenberger will spend 90 days in the Huron County Jail, then five years probation. During probation, Weisenberger must pay restitution. Weisenberger pleaded guilty to charges of theft, and securing writings by deception, for stealing over $100,000 from the organization, between 2006 and 2011.

 

A July 4th holiday boating accident at Holiday Lakes has led to a boating while intoxicated charge against a New York man.

32-year-old Sean Kelly was a guest of Holiday Lakes residents, when his jet ski hit a pontoon boat.  No one was injured. If convicted, Kelly faces up to six months in the Huron County Jail.

 

The Highway Patrol is investigating a rear-end crash that led to a car fire.

It happened late yesterday morning, on the Ohio Turnpike in Milan. A crash report is incomplete.

 

A Kalahari lifeguard is in the Erie County Jail, charged with rape and gross sexual imposition.

19-year-old Bryce Stokes of Sandusky is accused of sexually assaulting a 13-year-old Eastlake girl in March. According to reports the two met while Stokes was on duty. The alleged crime occurred in a vacant conference room, after Stokes was done working. The girl didn’t report the sexual assault, until several weeks later. Bond for Stokes is set at $50,000.

 

 

 

 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Bond is set at $100,000, for a Collins man accused of sexually assaulting a 28-year-old woman.

37-year-old Jeffrey Knox remains in the Huron County Jail, after the weekend incident at a home on Clinton Road. He’s currently charged with rape and gross sexual imposition. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for next Wednesday, in Norwalk Municipal Court.

 

A North Fairfield woman accused of stealing Little League funds is due in court next week.

Tammy Ward will be arraigned next Friday, in Huron County Common Pleas Court. She’s facing a single felony theft charge. While serving as treasurer of the South Central Youth League, she allegedly took several thousand dollars.

 

The state highway patrol says 12 people were killed in 11 traffic crashes, during the July 4th holiday weekend.

Four of those fatal crashes involved alcohol. Statewide, troopers made 749 DUI arrests, between July 3rd and the 6th.

 

We’ll find out today, if Cleveland will host the 2016 Republican National Convention.

The party’s site selection committee will announce a recommendation today. The choices are Cleveland, or Dallas.

 

It’s considered the ‘World Series of the Shooting Sports’, and it’s underway at Camp Perry in Port Clinton.

The nation’s finest civilian and military marksmen square off for five weeks of rifle and handgun competition in a variety of formats and events. This year’s National Rifle and Pistol Championships will run until August 15th. The National Matches have been tradition at Camp Perry since 1907. For more information, go to NRA.org.

 

New figures show revenue declined, at five of six Ohio casinos and racinos in June.

Only the Hollywood Casino, Toledo enjoyed a slight increase.

 

A published report says maggots were found in food at two Ohio prisons.

According to the Columbus Dispatch, maggots were found at the Ohio Reformatory for Women in Marysville and at the Trumbull Correctional Institution in Leavittsburg.  Prison officials are investigating.

 

This Sunday is when the first of two free guided walking tours will be held at Norwalk’s historic Woodlawn Cemetery.

Sunday’s tour will begin at 1 near the public mausoleum.  The tour guide will be local historian and Norwalk Cemetery Association Vice-President Henry Timman.  The second tour will be held August 3rd.

 

 

Monday, July 7, 2014

A northeast Ohio man remains in critical condition, after crashing his motorcycle in Berlin Township.

42-year-old Chad Rhoades of Cuyahoga Falls was injured Saturday evening on Smokey Road, near State Route 61 in Berlin Township. He was flown to St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center in Toledo. According to the highway patrol, Rhoades was ejected from his Harley, after hitting a utility pole. Troopers said Rhoades wasn’t wearing a helmet. It’s not known if alcohol played a role in the crash.

 

The Highway Patrol is investigating a second motorcycle crash.

It occurred just before 6 this morning, at SealMaster Pavement Products and Equipment on Campbell Street in Sandusky. The motorcyclist was leaving work, and lost control while rapidly accelerating. The man wasn’t wearing a helmet, and was ejected from the bike. He was taken to Firelands Regional Medical Center, for treatment of series injuries.

 

A Collins man was jailed yesterday, after being charged with rape and aggravated burglary.

37-year-old Jeffery Knox is accused of breaking into a Clinton Road home, and sexually assaulting a 28-year-old woman. He was arrested hours later, near the scene of the crime.

 

A Roman Catholic priest convicted of killing a nun 34 years ago will receive a funeral mass.

The Rev. Gerald Robinson remained an ordained priest after his conviction, and will receive the standard funeral for a priest. Robinson died in prison Friday, at age 76. He was serving 15 years to life, for stabbing and strangling Sister Margaret Ann Pahl at a Toledo hospital, where they both worked. He presided at her funeral mass. Robinson was arrested 24 years after her death, and was convicted in 2006.

 

Two events this weekend…

Relay for Life is coming to Norwalk’s Whitney Field, Friday and Saturday. And Huron River Fest 2014 begins Friday, and ends Sunday.

 

Maplewood Acres took top honors in two categories, during Friday’s Norwalk Lions Club July 4th parade.

The comic book hero float was named best Commercial Float, and best Theme Unit. Best Business Float honors went to Gaymont Nursing Center, while the Norwalk Eagles Riders took top honors in the Most Unusual Entry category.

 

A Willard man who stole jewelry worth thousands of dollars is facing up to 18 months in prison.

24-year-old Tyler Branham will be sentenced August 20th, in Huron County Common Pleas Court.  He appeared in court last week, and pleaded guilty to a felony charge of theft from the elderly. Branham shoveled snow for the 89-year-old victim.