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Friday, June 5, 2015

It was five years ago today when a powerful EF-4 tornado ripped through parts of Wood and Ottawa counties, killing five people, and injuring numerous others.

The June 5th, 2010 twister packed winds of 175 miles per hour, and at one point was 400 yards wide. The late night tornado first touched down in Wood County, and traveled a few miles before destroying Millbury Lake High School. The twister finally lifted near Clay Center, in Ottawa County.


Crawford County deputies are investigating yesterday’s fiery crash that claimed a North Fairfield woman.

The 25-year-old woman, whose name has not been released was killed yesterday morning on State Route 98 in New Washington. According to the a press release from the Crawford County Sheriff’s Office, she failed to negotiate a curve, causing her SUV to go off the road, roll over, and burst into flames. An autopsy is pending.


The Highway Patrol is investigating a motorcycle crash that sent a central Ohio man to the hospital with serious injuries.

66-year-old Paul Johnson of Grove City was hurt yesterday, when he failed to negotiate a curve on Toussaint Road North in Ottawa County’s Benton Township. He was thrown from his Harley, and was flown from the scene to St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center in Toledo. Troopers said alcohol may have been a factor in the crash.   


A Milan man was taken by Lifeflight, after a rear-end collision involving a semi-truck and a mini-van.

80-year-old William Taylor was injured yesterday afternoon, on U.S. Route 20 in Norwalk Township. According to the Highway Patrol, Taylor had slowed to turn, when he was hit from behind. His van rolled over several times, trapping Taylor inside. As a precaution, he was flown to St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center in Toledo. The trucker, 26-year-old Cody Flew of Willard was charged with following too closely.


It’s graduation weekend, for seniors at Margaretta, Western, Edison and New London.


Imagine Norwalk 2015 begins tonight in Uptown Norwalk.

It’ll feature plenty of music, dining and retail opportunities, sidewalk art and more. It came down in a hurry.


Burger King, on Norwalk’s north side was torn down yesterday.

A new “BK” will be built at the same location. It should be open by late July.


In sports…

Scott Truxell is broadcasting live from Progressive Field, ahead of tonight’s game between the Cleveland Indians and the Baltimore Orioles. Tonight’s game will start at 7:10, and you can hear it on 95.3, WLKR.

The Cavs will try to shake off last night’s overtime 108-100 loss to Golden State. The Cavaliers and Warriors will play Game 2 of the NBA finals at 8:30 Sunday night, and you can hear it on 95.3.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

The NBA Finals will tip-off tonight in Oakland, California.

The Eastern Conference champion Cleveland Cavaliers will take on the champs of the west, the Golden State Warriors, in Game 1 of the best-of-seven series. Pregame coverage begins at 8:30, and tonight’s game tips off at 9:24. You can hear the entire championship series on 95.3 WLKR. Something to keep in mind…Regular season and playoffs combined, the Warriors are 46-3 at home.


Jury deliberations resumed this morning, in the trial of a former Milan man accused of raping a young girl repeatedly for several years.

Prosecutors claim 42-year-old Andrew Schnee (Sn-AY) began molesting the girl when she was nine. He was tried, on 17 counts of rape.


A group called the Themed Entertainment Association says Cedar Point drew 3.2 million visitors last year.

That’s down four percent from 2013. The decrease was partly blamed on a water main break that shut down the park for two days in June. Even so, the Themed Entertainment Association said Cedar Point remained the top-attended seasonal park in the U.S.


With Ohio Bike Week in full swing, keep in mind that some streets in Downtown Sandusky will be closed at various times the rest of today, tomorrow and Saturday.

Best advice—plan to seek alternate routes.


The Highway Patrol continues to search for the driver of a semi-truck responsible for yesterday’s fatal crash on the Ohio Turnpike near I-280 in Wood County’s Lake Township.

Troopers said the driver of the rig hit and killed a New Hampshire man who ran out of gas, and was refilling his tank. The only description of the truck: it has a dented front fender.


To Columbus, where a push is on to toughen Ohio’s distracted-driving law.

Three different bills have been introduced to make using electronic devices while driving a primary offense. It’s currently a secondary offense, meaning drivers can only be charged if they’re pulled over for something else.House and Senate committees are discussing the various options.


A bill banning the sale of powdered caffeine and powdered alcohol in Ohio is on its way to Governor John Kasich’s desk.

The Ohio Senate passed the measure yesterday. The legislation was introduced by State Senator Gayle Manning, after the death of an 18-year-old from Lorain County. If Kasich signs the bill, it would be a misdemeanor to sell powdered caffeine or powdered alcohol in Ohio.


Clearing up any potential confusion about the pending purchase of new stadium lights at Marsh Field in Monroeville…

The Board of Education is meeting right now, to approve a resolution allowing the district to purchase new lights. But the total cost will be repaid by the Football Alumni Association, over a period of time agreed to by the board and the association.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Testimony came to an end yesterday, and closing arguments began this morning in the trial of a former Milan man accused of sexually abusing a young girl.

42-year-old Andrew Schnee (pronounced Sn-AY) is charged with 17 counts of rape. The alleged crimes began when the girl was nine, and continued for several years. Schnee’s estranged wife Kimberly is facing charges as well. Prosecutors said she knew of the alleged crimes, but failed to act. She’s scheduled to stand trial later this year.


As planned, the Second Harvest Food Bank of North Central Ohio has moved.

Second Harvest began operating out of its new $5 million location on Baumhart Road in Lorain Monday. The new facility is triple the size of the old one—41,000 square feet in size, including over 6,000 square feet of refrigerated storage space, offices and a new volunteer work area. Second Harvest Food Bank of North Central Ohio serves Lorain, Erie, Huron and Crawford counties.


A hit-skip crash in northwest Ohio has left one person dead.

It happened at 5 this morning, in the eastbound lanes of the Ohio Turnpike in Wood County’s Lake Township. According to reports, a man ran out of gas and was filling up, when he was hit by a semi-truck. Troopers searched toll booths for signs of the rig.


One of Ohio’s largest newspapers has agreed to sell all of its print publications to a New York firm.

The sale to the New Media Investment Group includes the Columbus Dispatch, two dozen suburban weekly papers, seven magazines, the Dispatch printing plant and two office buildings. There’s no word on changes, and terms of the deal were not disclosed.


New waterlines will be installed this summer, along Norwalk’s Central Blvd and West Water Street.

If all goes as expected, new lights will be installed this summer at Marsh Field in Monroeville. The Board of Education is expected to approve the purchase and during tomorrow’s special 5pm meeting. The football alumni association will cover the cost of the project.


The Perkins Board of Education has scheduled a special June 10th meeting, to interview applicants for treasurer.

Next Wednesday’s meeting will begin at 5, in the Board Conference Room.


In a move designed to protect the state’s $2.3 billion poultry industry from an aggressive strain of bird flu, the Ohio Department of Agriculture has canceled all poultry shows, including those at all county fairs, and the Ohio State Fair….

Several other states have already implemented similar bans.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Risden Road, at its bridge over State Route 2 in Berlin Township, will close next Tuesday, for a bridge repair project.

A detour will be posted. The road is scheduled to re-open June 25th.


An overturned semi shut down the eastbound on-ramp of State Route 2, at U.S. Route 250.

The mishap occurred shortly after 6 last night. No other information is available.


EHOVE Career Center’s annual Senior Recognition Ceremony is set for this Friday.

Two sessions will be held at the Sandusky State Theater—8:30 and 11:30am.


An assistant Huron County prosecutor has been chosen to serve as acting prosecutor.

Davia Kasper will step in June 1st, a day after current Huron County prosecutor Russ Leffler retires. Kasper’s appointment was made official yesterday, by the Huron County Commissioners. Her term will run through 2016.


The Huron woman charged in connection with the December death of a four-year-old boy has had her bond revoked, and is back in jail.

Lindsey Gundlach was taken to the Erie County Jail Monday. She had been on house arrest at a relative’s home, but that person didn’t want her in his home any longer. She could be released from jail, if she finds a court-approved place to stay. Gundlach is scheduled to stand trial in September, on charges of aggravated vehicular homicide, DUI and child endangering. The charges are connected to the December 22nd death of Javin Jaques. The boy was a passenger in a car driven by Gundlach, when she backed into the Huron River in Franklin Flats. A seven-year-old girl in the car was rescued. Jaques was not.


A now 79-year-old man who escaped from a prison work camp in Sandusky in the late 1950’s is back in Ohio.

Frank Freshwaters was brought back last night, after a Florida judge refused his request to fight extradition. State prison officials will now recalculate his sentence and parole date, based on the amount of time he spent as a fugitive. He’ll also likely face escape charges. Freshwaters was 21 years old when he was convicted of manslaughter, for killing a man in a crash in 1957. He was given a suspended sentence, but was later sent to prison for violating probation. After a few months at the Ohio Reformatory in Mansfield, he was transferred to the Sandusky Honor Farm. He fled from there a short time later, and lived a mostly quiet life in West Virginia and Florida, until he was found earlier this month.


A plane crash in southwestern Virginia has claimed a Mansfield Couple.

George and Pam Fonseca died Monday, when their small plane crashed into a mountain near Saltville, Virginia. They were traveling from Florida, to Mansfield Lahm Regional Airport when the crash occurred.


The city of Norwalk’s annual Memorial Day parade, sponsored by the DAV will begin at 9:30 Monday morning, at Water Street and Woodlawn Avenue.

The parade will proceed to the Woodlawn Cemetery. A program will be held there, immediately after the parade.


The holiday weekend is fast approaching and you know what that means…

Higher prices at the pump.  Wholesalers blamed ‘increased demand’ for yesterday’s 10-percent spike.  Critics call it ‘price gouging.’

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Willard’s interim city manager is now Willard’s permanent city manager.

Last night, city council voted unanimously to hire Shawn Tappel. Tappel was one of three applicants for the job. He had served as interim city manager since last September. Council president Josh Gerber said last night that Tappel will be paid $75,000 annually.


Also hired last night…a new South Central Local Schools superintendent.

By a 4-1 vote, the Board of Education hired Richmond Heights Elementary principal Martha Hasselbusch. The only ‘no’ vote was cast by board president Bob Morgan. Hasselbusch is replacing David Brand, who’s leaving for the same job in New Philadelphia. She was given a three-year contract, worth $93,000 annually.


The Ohio State Highway Patrol’s ‘Click It Or Ticket’ campaign is in full swing.

The annual seat belt enforcement push began yesterday, and will run through Memorial Day. Last year, 450 people died in traffic crashes in Ohio while not wearing a seat belt.


Erie County deputies continue to investigate last week’s crash that knocked out power to more than 7,000 Ohio Edison customers.

The driver slammed into a power pole on State Route 61, near Route 113 in Berlin Township. The car sustained severe damage, but the driver was able to flee on foot. A passenger in the car suffered minor injuries. The driver has been ID’d, and charges are pending.


The Highway Patrol is investigating a weekend fatal crash near Vickery.

Troopers said 55-year-old Kelly Dellinger of Fremont was hit and killed Sunday evening, when he failed to yield at the intersection of Sandusky County roads 260 and 247. Troopers said he wasn’t wearing a seat belt, and was ejected from his van. The other driver, Heather Huss of Fremont was flown to ProMedica Toledo Hospital. A passenger, Adam Huss was taken by Ambulance to Firelands Regional Medical Center. Alcohol was not a factor in the crash.


EHOVE Career Center’s annual Senior Recognition Ceremony is set for this Friday.

Two sessions will be held at the Sandusky State Theatre – 8:30 and 11:30 a.m.


A Detroit man found guilty of killing a Sandusky man in 2008 has won his retrial…Sort of.

After the retrial and nearly five days of deliberations, an Erie County Common Pleas Court Jury found Thomas Ricks ‘not guilty’ of aggravated murder and aggravated robbery.  But the jury was deadlocked on a third count, a lesser degree of murder.  Prosecutor Kevin Baxter is expected to pursue the case again.  In 2010, a jury found Ricks guilty of shooting and killing Calvin Harper Jr. during a drug deal.  But three years later, his conviction was overturned by the Ohio Supreme Court.  A co-defendant in the case, Aaron Gipson is serving life in prison.


The 79-year-old man who escaped from a prison work camp in Sandusky in the late 1950′s is set to return to Ohio.

That’s because a Florida judge denied a request by Frank Freshwaters to fight extradition.  He’ll be brought back to Ohio to face escape charges.  Freshwaters was 21 years old when he was convicted of manslaughter for killing a man in a crash.  He was given a suspended sentence but was later sent to prison for violating probation.  After a few months at the Ohio Reformatory in Mansfield, he was transferred to the Sandusky Honor Farm.  He fled from there and lived a mostly quiet life in West Virginia and Florida.

Monday, May 18, 2015

The highway patrol is investigating a fatal crash near Vickery.

According to reports, it happened last night, near the intersection of Sandusky County roads 260 and 247. Troopers are expected to release more information this morning.


A bridge leading to a small cluster of homes on a tiny island along Lake Erie has reopened, a few days after it was shut down due to safety concerns.

Last week’s closure of the Harbor Island Causeway near Port Clinton meant the only way residents living in 30 homes on the island could get out was by boat or a pedestrian bridge. Repairs were made over the weekend.


Authorities believe they’ve found the getaway driver, in last month’s gas station robbery in Willard.

20-year-old Dalton Parrott of Greenwich was interviewed by Willard police last week, then was arrested for complicity to robbery. He was taken to the Huron County Jail. Police believe Parrott and 20-year-old Caleb Hale sped away April 30th, moments after Hale used a gun to hold up Hy-Miler on Tiffin Street. Hale was arrested five days later, in Mansfield. He’s in jail, for aggravated robbery.


A ski resort in Richland County is out of business.

Clear Fork Resort has shut down, and will be sold at a sheriff’s sale next month. The owners of the property owe about $2.5 million. The resort first opened in 1964, near Mohican State Park.


Starting today, U.S. Route 6, between Sandusky and Huron will be down to one lane of traffic, for resurfacing work.

The project should be complete by June 30th.


Edison Elementary School is currently accepting kindergarten registrations for the 2015-2016 school year.

Registration packets may be picked up at Edison Elementary between 8am and 3pm Monday through Friday, until May 29th. The Edison Local School District accepts open enrollment applications for all students in grades Pre-K through 12.


He was hired as a security officer and now, he’s facing charges, for allegedly stealing money and valuables from his employer.

21-year-old Remel Barbee of Sandusky was arrested Friday for safecracking and theft. Barbee is accused of swiping a diamond ring, two smartphones and over $400 from Kalahari. The ring and phones were stolen from lost-and-found. The cash came from other sources. Barbee was taken to the Erie County Jail.


Friday, May 15, 2015

After last night’s 94-73 win, the Cleveland Cavaliers are off to the NBA’s Eastern Conference Finals.

Dates and times have been set for the NBA’s Eastern Conference Finals.  The Cleveland Cavaliers will play the Atlanta Hawks or the Washington Wizards Wednesday May 20th, Friday May 22nd, Sunday May 24th and Tuesday May 26th.  If necessary, remaining games would be played on Thursday May 28th, Saturday May 30th and Monday, June 1.  All games will tipoff at 8:30 and all games will air on 95.3 WLKR. 


The latest on an overnight crash that knocked out power to a number of homes and businesses.

More than 7,100 Ohio Edison customers in the Norwalk area lost power at approximately 1:45 this morning…most had power restored before 3 am.  The crash that caused the outage occurred on State Route 61, near State Route 113 in Berlin Township.  Erie County Sheriff Paul Sigsworth said the driver lost control and went off the road and hit a power pole.  Route 61, between Arlington and Chapin Roads was closed into the late morning hours while Edison crews removed lines from the roadway.  The car sustained severe damage, but the driver suffered only minor injuries.


If all goes as planned, a new multi-million dollar youth sports complex will be built in Erie County.

A Georgia-based company called The Sports Force plans to build the $23.5 million complex at the former Griffing Sandusky Airport site on U.S. Route 6. It would feature multiple fields and would cater to various sports, including baseball, softball, soccer and lacrosse.  The proposal has the backing of Cedar Fair.  Cedar Point’s parent company would pay $3.5 million for land and contribute it to the project.  The Sports Force would chip in with $3 million and the remaining $17 million would come from a one-percent increase in Erie County’s hotel-motel bed tax.  Construction could begin this fall and be complete by mid-2016.


A number of Norwalk High School fall and winter sports coaches have been rehired.

Earlier this week, the Norwalk Board of Education approved supplemental contracts for head football coach Chris MacFarland, boys basketball coach Steve Gray, and girls basketball coach Brock Manlet. Last season, MacFarland led the Truckers to a 10-0 regular season, and an outright NOL football championship. The board also approved supplemental contracts for volleyball coach Angie Kalizewski, boys soccer coach Paul Lamb, girls soccer coach Michelle Sandor, and head wrestling coach Dan Helton.


Some good news for Erie County motorists…

State Route 4, a half-mile south of Bogart Road in Perkins Township has re-opened…It closed Monday, for a culvert replacement. Also open to traffic: West Strub Road, between Campbell Street and Old Railroad Road…It was closed for resurfacing. It re-opened more than a week ahead of schedule.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

South of us, in Richland, Ashland and Crawford counties, a Frost Advisory remains in effect until 8 this morning.


It’s a big sports doubleheader day on 95.3 WLKR.

At 12:10 this afternoon, the Cleveland Indians will wrap up their interleague series against the St. Louis Cardinals. At 8 tonight, it’s Game 6 of the NBA’s Eastern Conference semi-finals, between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Chicago Bulls.


Former Clyde-Green Springs superintendent Todd Helms is a free man.

After serving five years of an eight-year prison sentence, Helms was given early release yesterday. Helms was sent to prison in 2010, for stealing nearly $300,000 from the school system. Last month, Helms used over $240,000 from his pension account to repay the Clyde-Green Springs schools…He still owes about $32,000.


To Lorain County, where the former clerk-treasurer of the village of South Amherst will be arraigned today, on charges she stole more than $500,000 from the town’s coffers.

Investigators said Kim Green spent most of the money on lottery tickets. She handled the books for South Amherst from 2010, until she resigned last month.


10 years in prison, for a former Norwalk man accused of robbing and beating an 80-year-old man in his Holiday Lakes home late last year.

30-year-old Anthony Hoover of Ashland was sentenced yesterday in Huron County Common Pleas Court. Once released from prison, Hoover will be on parole for five years, and must pay over $9,000 restitution. An accomplice, 27-year-old Heather Graves of Norwalk, is in the Huron County Jail, and will be sentenced next month. The two stole money from the victim, to buy drugs.


It’s your chance to check out Norwalk’s Water Treatment Plant, and the city’s Wastewater Treatment Plant.

City officials have scheduled tours for both—June 9th for the Water Treatment Plant, and June 16th for the Wastewater Treatment Plant. Both tours will start at 6pm. It’s a chance to get a behind-the-scenes-look, and learn about what happens to water going down the drain, and how your drinking water is made safe. If you’d like to tour one or both, RSVP by calling Norwalk City Hall, or by emailing publicworks@norwalkoh.com.


Thursday, May 7, 2015

The Cavs bounced back from Monday’s playoff loss, with a resounding victory last night.

The Cavaliers topped the Chicago Bulls, 106-91. Game three of the playoff series is tomorrow night.


A judge has dismissed criminal charges, against former Huron City Schools superintendent Fred Fox.

Erie County Common Pleas Court Judge Tygh Tone ruled yesterday that the statute of limitations had passed. On March 11th, Fox was charged with two misdemeanor counts of falsification, for allegedly failing to disclose gifts he received from Kalahari in 2011. In Ohio, the statute of limitation is two years from the date the alleged crime was committed. Fox’s legal fight continues…He’s suing three board members and the Huron Schools for wrongful termination. He was fired in April of 2013.


A light ballot led to a very light voter turnout this week.

In Huron County, 10.8 percent of registered voters cast ballots. In Erie County, the number was 6.5 percent.


Huron County Sheriff Dane Howard announced yesterday that he’ll seek re-election in 2016.

He’s currently in his second term as sheriff.


State Route 4, a half-mile south of Bogart Road in Perkins Township will close on Monday, for a culvert replacement.

Work should be complete by next Friday.


The extreme endurance event known as Tough Mudder will be held in Lexington this weekend.

It’ll be held Saturday and Sunday, at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. For more information, go to ToughMudder.com.


An Ohio man on the run for 56 years has been found. 

The story goes like this…Frank Freshwaters was involved in a crash that killed a pedestrian in 1957.  He was sentenced to 1 to 20 years for voluntary manslaughter.  But, the sentence was suspended and he was placed on five years’ probation.  In 1959, he was found guilty of violating probation and his original sentence was imposed.  He spent a few months at the Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield and then was transferred to the Sandusky Honor Farm.  In September of 1959, Freshwaters escaped.  In October of 1975, he was caught in West Virginia but was released when the governor refused to send him back to Ohio.  Now 79 years old, Freshwaters remained free until Monday when U.S. Marshals found him living in Melbourne, Florida, under the name William Harold Cox.  He’s being held in Florida, pending extradition back to Ohio.


Officials with Dublin, Ohio-based Wendy’s have announced plans to sell 640 restaurants to franchisees to generate cash and reduce expenses.

The first-food giant will also sell its bakery operation, based in Zanesville later this month.


Afternoon baseball will hit the airwaves this afternoon.

The Cleveland Indians and Kansas City Royals will wrap up their three-game series starting at 2:10.  You can catch all the action starting with Indians Warm-up at 1:37 on 95.3 WLKR.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Heavy fog caused a number of school delays and a couple of school closings this morning.

Anytime weather closes or delays area schools, we’ll have the info on the air every 10 minutes and post it on our website and on Facebook.


The only countywide issue in Huron County failed, during yesterday’s election.

A 20-year bond issue to raise $5.5 million for a new building for Senior Enrichment Services went down, 1978-1832, or 52 to 48 percent.

It was a different story in the Monroeville school district. Voters there approved an emergency 10-year, 4.95 mill levy. Totals from Huron and Erie counties show it passed 729-478, or 60 to 40 percent.

Also passing yesterday: an income tax renewal in the city of Bellevue, a one-percent income tax in the Seneca East school district, a 5-mill renewal in the Firelands school district, plus natural gas aggregation issues in Wakeman Village and Township, New London and Vermilion.


As mentioned, Huron County’s voter turnout was just under 11 percent.

Due to just four issues in outlying areas, only 338 total ballots were cast in Erie County, which led to a 6.5 percent turnout.  Lorain County’s turnout was 11.6 percent.


The man believed responsible for last week’s gas station robbery in Willard is behind bars.

20-year-old Caleb Hale was arrested without incident early yesterday afternoon, in Mansfield…According to reports, he was found napping in a home. Hale is charged with aggravated robbery, in connection with an early Thursday morning robbery at Hy-Miler on Tiffin Street. Willard police said he used a gun to rob the store of several hundred dollars, and cigarettes.


Officials from Destination Cleveland now say, hotels in Sandusky are being included in discussions with the Republican National Convention committee.

Officials say, some people will arrive a week BEFORE the convention, and some of them might want to stay in Sandusky and make Cedar Point a vacation-destination. The Republican National Convention will be held in downtown Cleveland in July of next year.


Cedar Point’s 2015 season officially begins this Saturday.

Single-day admission is $62, or three percent more than last year. However, discounted tickets are available at cedarpoint.com, Meijer and Discount Drug Mart. Cedar Point will unveil Rougarou to the media this Friday. We’ll broadcast live from Cedar Point, starting at 6 Friday morning.


An Ohio man on the run for 56 years has been found.

Frank Freshwaters was involved in a crash that killed a pedestrian in 1957. He was sentenced to 1 to 20 years for voluntary manslaughter. But, the sentence was suspended, and he was placed on five years’ probation. In 1959, he was found guilty of violating probation, and his original sentence was imposed. He spent a few months at the Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield, then was transferred to the Sandusky Honor Farm. In September of 1959, Freshwaters escaped. In October of 1975, he was caught in West Virginia but was released, when the governor refused to send him back to Ohio. Now 79 years old, Freshwaters remained free until Monday, when U.S. Marshals found him living in Melbourne, Florida, under the name William Harold Cox. He’s being held in Florida, pending extradition back to Ohio.


An important game for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

It’s Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals between the Cavs and Chicago.  The Bulls won Monday’s series opener.  The Tip-Off Show begins at 6:30 with game time set for 7 tonight on 95.3, WLKR.