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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

A Flood Warning continues for the Vermilion River near Vermilion.

At 3 this morning, it was at 9.6 feet. Flood stage is 9 feet. The Vermilion River may fall below flood stage this afternoon. However, extensive ice coverage may slow the recession into tomorrow morning.


Some computer models now say we could get hit by heavy snow this Sunday.

Earlier models suggested Monday and Tuesday.


The Indians will open exhibition play this afternoon, against the Cincinnati Reds.

Tom Hamilton and Jim Rosenhaus will have the call at 3 o’clock, on 95.3, WLKR.


Ohio Bike Week will be featured on national TV tonight.

It’s part of a documentary series called ‘Road to Sturgis.’ The hour-long feature will air at 8 tonight, on the Destination America Channel.


Norwalk City Council may clarify the city’s bicycle laws.

Council members may consider allowing all bicycles to be ridden on sidewalks. Current city law says bike riders under 14 must ride only on sidewalks.


Union workers at AK Steel’s Mansfield Works have a new contract.

United Steel Workers Local 169 agreed to a three-year deal that runs through March of 2017. The agreement covers nearly 300 union employees.


The city of Cleveland has submitted a bid, to host the 2016 Republican National Convention.

Columbus and Cincinnati are expected to make similar bids. A decision could come this spring.


To kick off the competition season, EHOVE Career Center’s Robotics Team, Mavericks #2252 will host an Engineering Open House between 5 and 7pm tomorrow, at BGSU-Fireland’s EPIC Lab.

Students will unveil this year’s robot, named ‘Dark Horse’, along with a demonstration of the robot, and this year’s game. Last year, the Mavericks advanced to international competition.


Mother Nature has temporarily silenced sister station Kool Gold 1510 WLKR, along with online streaming of WLKR and K96, WKFM.

Station Manager Bill Forthofer also said Kool Gold 1510, and online streaming of WLKR and K96 will be up and running again as soon as possible.


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Some early models suggest another major winter storm could hit the area early next week.

If correct, heavy snow could fall Monday and Tuesday.


Boys sectional semi-final basketball tips off tonight.

The 2nd-ranked Norwalk Truckers will take on Galion at Bucyrus High School. Coverage begins at 8, on 95.3, WLKR.

And tomorrow night, it’s a Division IV doubleheader from Norwalk High School.  At 6pm, St. Paul will take on South Central followed by Monroeville and Fremont St. Joseph.  Both games will air live on 95.3 WLKR.

And at 3pm Thursday is when we will begin exclusive live coverage of the state wrestling tournament.


Perkins police are investigating allegations that a man was pistol-whipped and robbed in his motel room.

The alleged assault occurred early Sunday morning, at the Econolodge on Milan Road. The victim said an acquaintance showed up and used a gun to beat him, before making off with $1,500. So far, no arrests have been made.


As expected, the Sandusky City Commissioners voted yesterday to eliminate 4 full-time firefighter positions.

Other cost-cutting moves include less overtime and training and a six-month closure of Fire Station Number 7 on Sandusky’s west side.


More poll results, from Quinnipiac University…

87 percent of Ohioans support the use of medical marijuana. Just 11 percent oppose it. There are two medical marijuana proposals  in the works, but it’s unknown if either will be on the ballot in November. The poll also shows 50 percent of Ohioans now support gay marriage, with 44 percent opposed. The majority of younger voters—71 percent—support gay marriage.


The Wal-Mart Foundation is sending $75,000 to the Second Harvest Food Bank ofNorth Central Ohio.

Officials say, the donation will increase local outreach and make healthier food, more available. Second Harvest serves those in need in Huron, Erie, Lorain and Crawford counties.


Taco Bell is joining the fast-food breakfast scene.

Next month, ‘The Bell’ will go nationwide with several breakfast items, including the AM Crunchwrap, a Waffle Taco, Bacon and Egg Burrito and a Sausage Flatbread Melt. At some point, Taco Bell will offer specialty coffees too.

Monday, February 24, 2014

From the Erie County Sheriff’s Office….

State Route 113 West, between Ransom Road and Patten-Tract Road is closed, due to high water. O.D.O.T. will assess the situation today.


To Vermilion, where six families living on Riverside Drive had to be rescued, after they failed to heed evacuation warnings.

Ice jams along the Vermilion River caused extensive flooding, and led safety officials to send out text alerts warning residents to leave the area. Boats were used to rescue those who stayed behind.


A Bellevue man faces up to five years in prison, after pleading guilty to a charge of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor.

28-year-old Lee Gustafson Jr. entered the plea Friday, in Huron County Common Pleas Court. In exchange, the prosecutor’s office dismissed a charge of rape. Authorities said Gustafson had sex with a 15-year-old girl last April. He’ll be sentenced in two months. He’s also facing criminal charges in Erie County, for falsely telling police he was kidnapped.


Another weekend jump, in gas prices…

Saturday, self-serve regular rose as much as 30 cents, to $3.59 per gallon.


The highway patrol is investigating a wrong-way crash that sent two people to the hospital.

According to the Sandusky Patrol Post, it happened early Saturday afternoon on State Route 2, near U.S. Route 250 in Perkins Township. Troopers said 81-year-old Mary Fox of Sandusky entered 2 from 250, then made a u-turn, and drove east in the westbound lanes, before hitting another car head-on. Fox and the other driver, from Macedonia were taken to Firelands Regional Medical Center. Westbound 2 was closed for about one hour.


Governor John Kasich will be in Medina tonight, to deliver his annual State of the State address.

Nearly every member of the Ohio House and Senate will be on hand, to listen to his 7pm speech at Medina High School.


Later today is when the Sandusky City Commissioners could vote to cut as many as four-time full-time firefighters.


Clearing up some misinformation about the proposed Norwalk High School All-Sports Complex

Spokesman Joe Widman says NO taxpayer dollars will be used to build the complex. Once complete, the All-Sports Complex will be open to all Norwalk City Schools students in grades 7 through 12.


Friday, February 21, 2014

A Wind Advisory remains in effect for the entire area until 7 tonight and a Flood Warning continues for the Huron River in Milan.


High water made some area roads impassible this morning.

Among them:  State Route 61, between Routes 162 and 103 in southern Huron County.  One motorist became stuck in high water on Chapin Road in Berlin Township.  The driver was okay.


Game day, at Norwalk High School.

Tonight, the second-ranked Norwalk Truckers will host number one Ontario. The poll champion Warriors are 21-0. Norwalk is 20-1, with the only loss coming to Ontario, 63-61, back on January 29th. If the Truckers win, they’ll earn a share of their fourth-straight N.O.L. boys basketball championship. Tonight’s game is sold out…No tickets will be sold at the door. If you don’t have a pre-sale ticket, you can hear it live on 95.3, WLKR and wlkrradio.com.


Another busy night, for Milan Township firefighters.

They were summoned to a house fire on South Edison Drive home, after a wood-burning stove caught fire. The call came in at 11:30. The resident was able to run from the home.


The president and treasurer of the Big Red Music Boosters Association has been charged with felony theft, and misusing credit cards.

Jodi Kidd is accused of stealing more than $10,000 from the Plymouth Schools organization, between September of 2012, and May of last year. Authorities believe Kidd spent the money on herself.


Cedar Point officials have confirmed plans for a new ride this summer.

As we first told you at noon yesterday, ‘Slingshot’ riders will be secured in an open-air two-person capsule, before being launched 360 into the sky, at speeds up to 62 miles per hour. Slingshot will be located near the Gemini, and will open later in the summer. There will be an extra charge for the ride.


Republican State Representative Terry Boose of Norwalk has been named vice-chair of the House Finance and Appropriations Committee.

The committee works on all legislative matters that require state funding, including Ohio’s operating and transportation budgets. Boose represents the 57th District.


The Ohio Senate is close to voting on a proposed sales tax ‘holiday.’

The measure calls for a three-day period every August when parents are doing their back-to-school shopping.  Critics say the state would lose nearly $80 million in revenue.  Supporters say shoppers from other states might visit to take advantage of the tax break.


For the first time in 2 1/2 years, home sales activity fell in Ohio.

According to the Ohio Association of Realtors, January sales of new and existing homes decreased by 5.1 percent, compared to December.  However, the average sale price increased by 5.6 percent, to more than $127,000.


We hope to see you at tomorrow’s Huron County Chamber of Commerce Home and Business Show.

The doors will open at 10am, at Norwalk Middle School. There’s free admission, and the show runs until 4. Carrie Danger will broadcast live from the Home and Business Show, between 10 and 1.


According to a Gallup Poll, Ohio is the 5th unhappiest state in the country. 

West Virginia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Alabama are before Ohio.  The happiest state is…North Dakota.


Monday, February 17, 2014

A Winter Weather Advisory has been issued for Huron and Erie counties, along with Ashland, Richland, Crawford, Seneca and Sandusky counties, from 5pm today, until four tomorrow afternoon.

4 or 5 inches of snow is possible, along with gusty winds.

The State is warning Ohioans to beware of potential floods as temperatures rise and snow turns to rain later this week.

The Ohio Emergency Management Agency says even a small amount of rain combined with heavy snow accumulation can cause flooding.

 It’s February 17th, Presidents Day.

No mail today, but trash pickup is on schedule. Many schools are closed today. Schools in Norwalk are OPEN…It’s a makeup day, due to excessive snow days.

Two teens have been arrested, in connection with last week’s fire at a Perkins Township hotel.

A 16-year-old Perkins boys, and a 14-year-old Sandusky boy are facing charges of arson and breaking and entering. They’re accused of setting a fire at America’s Best Value Inn, which is connected to the now-closed Roadhouse restaurant. The hotel is vacant during the winter months, which immediately led authorities to believe the blaze was intentionally set. Footprints in the snow, and surveillance video and pictures from nearby Wal-Mart helped police to identify the teens. They were taken to the Erie County Juvenile Detention Center. The older boy was charged with arson three years ago, after setting fire to a DeWitt Avenue home.

Governor John Kasich has extended Ohio’s energy emergency declaration through March 1, so that shipments of propane can continue to be expedited, and help ease tight propane supplies brought on by the recent extreme cold weather.

Kasich issued his original declaration on January 18th, allowing commercial vehicles transporting propane to more quickly deliver supplies. At the request of Kasich and other Midwestern governors, the federal government issued a similar declaration, expediting interstate shipments. Propane gas is a common home-heating fuel used in rural Ohio and delivered to both suppliers and homes by truck.

U.S. Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur is now running unopposed, in the May election.

That’s because Huron attorney Cory Hoffman has withdrawn from the race, because of flaws in his signature petitions. Kaptur, a Democrat, is seeking her 17th term in office. She’ll face one of two Republicans this fall—Robert Horrocks Jr. of Lakewood, or Richard May of Cleveland. She represents the state’s 9th district, which runs from Toledo to Cleveland.

It’s that time of year…

The 13th annual Huron County Chamber Home and Business Show will be held this Saturday, at Norwalk Middle School. The show will run from 10am until 4pm, and there’s free admission. We’ll more in news later this week, and we’ll broadcast live from the Home and Business Show, starting at 10am Saturday.

The figures are in and they show a decrease in new businesses opening their doors in Ohio during January compared to a year ago.

According to the Ohio Secretary of State’s Office, there were just over 77-hundred new start-ups last month, but a thousand other businesses went belly-up and closed their doors.

43 new state troopers will soon be hitting the highway in Ohio…

Graduates of the 155th academy class…after 22 weeks of intense, Para-military training.    The list includes Clayton Conrad and Trey Duplessie of Elyria and Thomas Gronsky of Wellington.  Also on that list is Justin Fleming of Norwalk.  He will be assigned to the Sandusky Post.

In sports…

If you are going to this Friday’s Ontario at Norwalk boys basketball game, you are encouraged to buy presale tickets.  The game is expected to be a sellout.  As of right now, Ontario is ranked 2nd in the state and Norwalk 4th.  Ontario could be #1 when the new poll is released in about one hour.  You can buy presale tickets tomorrow through Friday between 8am and 3:30pm in the Norwalk High School Athletic Office.

There’s more…

Anyone with a pass will be allowed into the game until the gym is full.  After that, no one else will be allowed in.  This includes teacher, classified and certified passes, student passes, punch cards, senior citizen passes, family passes and NOL passes.  The best advice:  get to Norwalk High early.  The doors will open at 4:45.

Friday, February 14, 2014

The city of Norwalk’s Board of Control will meet this morning, to award bids for upcoming projects.

 The list includes the Benedict/Elm Widening project, the city’s 2014 Street Resurfacing and Concrete Repair Program, and the city’s 2014 Sidewalk Repair Program. This morning’s meeting will begin at 11, at Norwalk City Hall.

An Erie County grand jury has charged a Florence Township man accused of sexually abusing a young girl.

 63-year-old William Marton faces six counts of rape, and 12 counts of gross sexual imposition. He remains in jail, in lieu of $300,000 bond. The alleged victim told investigators Marton sexually abused her, between the ages of 7 and 12.

The investigation continues, into allegations that a 29-year-old Huron County man engaged in sexual activity with two 16-year-old girls.

The alleged incident occurred last week, in Norwalk. No other information is available.

Longtime lawmaker Rex Damschroder is out, at least for now.

A problem with re-election paperwork has forced the Republican from Fremont to withdraw from the race for the 88th District. He said he’s checking to see if he can run as a write-in. The 88th District includes all of Sandusky County, and most of Seneca County.

It’s Friday, February 14th, Valentine’s Day, 2014.

Monday is President’s Day. That means most banks and government offices will be closed, but trash pickup will run on its normal schedule. A number of area schools will be closed for President’s Day. Norwalk City Schools will be open…It’s a makeup day, for excessive snow days.

With an eye on the next school year, the Norwalk Board of Education has approved the district’s 2014-2015 school calendar.

School will start early—August 20th—for students in grades 1-12. The final day of school will be May 29th, with graduation scheduled for May 31st, 2015.

Rumors persist about a ‘secret ride’ at Cedar Point.

PointBuzz and other blog sites have posted a filing with the FAA that calls for a 236-foot-high slingshot ride near the Gemini. Cedar Point officials deny plans for such a ride. Two smaller attractions are already under construction at the park.

Two brothers are accused of trying to sell baseball cards they didn’t have.

The feds say Steven Norris of Brecksville and Scott Norris of Pennsylvania used eBay to collect 60-thousand-dollars on supposed Babe Ruth and Mickey Mantle cards.  The brothers are charged with mail fraud and wire fraud.

Ohioans…caught cheating to get unemployment benefits…might lose their federal tax refund.

State officials say they will start seizing federal refunds from people who defrauded the system over the past year.  The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services believe they’ve been cheated out of 40-million-dollars.

Thursday, February 13, 2013

Pending approval by the feds, the nation’s top two cable companies will merge.

Comcast Corporation has agreed to buy Time Warner Cable, for $45 billion in stock. The boards of both companies approved the agreement yesterday. The deal should close by the end of this year.


Four people were taken to Fisher-Titus Medical Center, after a three-car crash at West Side Sunoco in Norwalk.

The crash occurred shortly after 4 yesterday afternoon. According to reports, one car tried to make a right hand turn into the business, when a second car hit it, while trying to pass on the right. The second car then hit a parked Jeep, forcing the Jeep into the south side wall of the West Side Store. Four people in the cars were taken to Fisher-Titus by ambulance. Their injuries were considered non-life threatening. No one inside the store was hurt, and business continued after the crash.


Relocating polling places will be discussed, during this morning’s special meeting of the Huron County Board of Elections.

The meeting will begin at 8, in the board office, in the Huron County Administration Building in Norwalk.


It was brought up while discussing cost-cutting measures—the possibility of closing Norwalk’s League Elementary School.

Superintendent Dennis Doughty is doing an analysis, but he said early on it’s not a recommended reduction.  He said he sees no significant savings and possible increased costs.


Still no decision on whether to give Ohio school districts more snow days.

The Ohio House delayed a vote yesterday.  Some lawmakers are concerned how adding four more calamity days would impact teacher contracts.


The reward in the George Martin murder case has doubled.

$10,000 is being offered for information leading to the arrest of the person or persons responsible for the Sandusky man’s death. The State Fire Marshal’s Office offered a $5,000 reward, and now, a donor has offered to match that. The 86-year-old Martin was stabbed to death in his Campbell Street home in early December. The killer or killers then set fire to the house. Anyone with information should contact the Sandusky Police Department.


A central Ohio woman has successfully changed her name to one she says fits her personality.

With the blessing of her husband and teenage daughters, Stella Crabtree went to court, to change her name to SEXY Crabtree.


A 16-year-old New London boy is facing drug charges, for allegedly selling pot to a fellow student at EHOVE Career Center.

The teen is charged with marijuana trafficking and possession. A 17-year-old Castalia boy is charged with marijuana possession. According to reports, the two were arrested Wednesday, after a teacher tipped off a school resource officer that a student was selling pot to other students. Deputies seized three bags of marijuana, then took both boys to the Erie County Juvenile Detention Center.


In sports…

Presale tickets for next Friday’s Ontario at Norwalk boys basketball game will go on sale Monday and will be on sale all week in the Norwalk High School Athletic Office from 8am until 3:30pm.  The game is expected to be a sellout, so buying tickets is highly recommended.


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Budget cuts were a topic of discussion, during last night’s meeting of the Norwalk Board of Education.

Officials said more cuts will be necessary, should the Norwalk City Schools ‘five-for-five’ levy fail in May. Superintendent Dennis Doughty says those cuts would be across-the-board. A list of recommended cuts includes 4 teachers, 2 librarians, 8 building aides, along with reductions in the central office. Athletic participation fees would increase to $200 per sport at the high school level, and $100 per sport at Norwalk Middle School. Doughty said the board of education and administrators are formulating campaign plans for the ‘five-for-five’ levy.


Margaretta Local Schools superintendent Ed Kurt is leaving.

He’s been hired for the same job in Findlay. His first official day will be August 1st. Kurt was given a three-year contract, with a starting salary of $138,000. Kurt has been superintendent of the Margaretta schools for 12 years.


Norwalk High School Director of Student Activities Ray Scheid is changing jobs.

Last night, the school board approved a transfer to Norwalk Middle School.  Scheid will teach technology and will serve as athletic director.  Former Norwalk High AD Dave Rehnborg will step in as interim Director of Student Activities.


A convicted sex offender from Monroeville will spend at least four years in prison, for having sex with a teenage girl.

22-year-old Brad Todd was sentenced Tuesday, in Huron County Common Pleas Court. Authorities said Todd and a 14-year-old girl had sex in a cemetery, near her home. Authorities also said Todd lied to the girl and her family, and claimed he was a 16-year-old home-schooled student. Todd is on parole for a similar conviction in 2011. Additional time for violating parole could be tacked on to Tuesday’s sentence. Todd is a Tier II sex offender, meaning once released from prison, he’ll have to register his address every six months, for 25 years.


A Bellevue man has been jailed in connection with a December home invasion. 

Jason Wiswell is facing charges of aggravated burglary, aggravated robbery, kidnapping and theft of firearms.  The charges are tied to an armed robbery at an Attwood Terrace home.  The victim was tied up before Wiswell and a second suspect stole several rifles, a crossbow and cash.  DNA evidence from a ski mask was used to link Wiswell to the crime.  The other suspect has fled the state.


Not one, but two fires in Perkins Township last night.

Firefighters were summoned to America’s Best Value Inn, at Routes 250 and 2. The vacant hotel is connected to the old Roadhouse restaurant. Few details are available, but that blaze has been labeled as suspicious. It remains under investigation. Before that fire, firefighters were summoned to a Shady Lane home, where one of two fireplaces may have sparked a blaze that did heavy damage. No one was injured.


No one was hurt in a minor crash involving an Edison school bus.

It happened yesterday in Milan.  The driver went off the road into a ditch.


A drug raid, in Huron.

Law enforcement officers swarmed a Westport Boulevard home late yesterday morning. They seized a small amount of drugs, drug paraphernalia and ammo. 10 people were detained, but none were arrested. Arrests are expected, once the items seized are tested by a crime lab.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Norwalk High School’s boys basketball team remains fourth in the state, in Division II.

No change in the Division II statewide boys basketball poll.  Columbus Bishop Watterson is ranked first, Ontario second, Dayton Dunbar third and Norwalk fourth.  The Truckers will host Shelby tonight and you can hear it live on 95.3 WLKR and wlkrradio.com.  Also tonight: The Cavs will host the Sacramento Kings and #20 Ohio State will host #18 Michigan.


To Sandusky, where a grandmother is accused of stabbing her grandson.

56-year-old Stella Anderson was arrested yesterday morning, on charges of felonious assault, domestic violence, child endangering and obstruction of justice. She allegedly stabbed the boy in the leg, after some sort of argument. It happened, at Anderson’s East Perkins Avenue home. The 14-year-old boy was taken to Firelands Regional Medical Center. She was taken to the Erie County Jail.


A Carr Street man is facing felony and misdemeanor charges, after using martial arts on his girlfriend.

49-year-old Kennedy Wilkin was arrested Sunday evening, after he allegedly ‘karate-chopped’ the victim’s throat, then snapped her phone in half. He’s been charged with domestic violence, assault and disrupting public service.


The Norwalk Board of Education will meet in regular session tonight.

The meeting will begin at 7:30 at Norwalk High School. The public is welcome to attend.


The U.S. Census Bureau says thousands of families fled Ohio, during the latest economic recession.

Between 2007 and 2011, 26,000 people left the Buckeye State. Most moved to neighboring states.


More funding, for the METRICH drug task force.

METRICH has received a state grant, worth more than $110,000. METRICH is made up of law enforcement agencies throughout north central Ohio, including Huron County.


Three major Ohio cities may submit proposals to host the 2016 GOP convention.

Republican National Committee officials met yesterday with city leaders from Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati.  Other interested cities include Dallas, Kansas City, Denver, Phoenix and Las Vegas.


Today’s the day Indians pitchers and catchers report to spring training in sunny, warm Goodyear, Arizona.

Indians radio broadcaster Jim Rosenhaus was in Norwalk yesterday and he said the focus is on the pitching staff.  The Tribe’s first spring training game in February 26th against the Cincinnati Reds.  The season opener is March 31st in Oakland.  The home opener is April 4th against Minnesota.


A major shakeup in the front office of the Cleveland Browns.

CEO Joe Banner and GM Mike Lombardi are out.  Banner is stepping down while sources said Lombardi has been fired.  Assistant GM Ray Farmer will take over as general manager.


Monday, February 10, 2014

A manager at Taco Bell near Vermilion has been arrested for stealing.

Samantha Flesher is charged with theft and safecracking. She’s accused of swiping $500 from the restaurant’s safe, and using it to buy food, cigarettes and drugs. Flesher is being held in the Erie County Jail.


Felony charges have been filed against a Greenwich man accused of having sex with a teenage girl.

19-year-old Lawrence Hickman is charged with unlawful sexual contact with a minor, and tampering with evidence. The alleged incident involving Hickman and a 14-year-old girl occurred in late December. Also arrested: Hickman’s 17-year-old girlfriend. She’s charged with complicity, obstructing justice and underage consumption.


A heroin dealer from southern Huron County is off to prison.

33-year-old Scott Polachek of Greenwich will spend five years behind bars. He was sentenced Friday, in Huron County Common Pleas Court. Polachek was arrested in July, at his home on U.S. Route 224. A search turned up more than 100 packets of heroin, plus crack cocaine, prescription drugs, drug paraphernalia and various guns.


Police in Perkins Township are looking for two young women, who may have swiped almost $3,000 worth of designer eyeglass frames.

18 Ray-Ban frames, worth $160 each were stolen Saturday, from America’s Best Contacts and Eyeglasses on Crossings Road. Employees told police the two suspects were carrying large purses. Stolen frames are typically sold online.


Huron County Deputies are investigating the alleged sexual assault of two teenage girls.

The alleged incident occurred last week in Norwalk.  Because of the ongoing investigation, no other information is available.


Governor John Kasich has delayed the execution of a man scheduled to die next month.

Instead of March 19th, Gregory Lott will die by lethal injection November 19th. The governor’s decision comes, after last month’s lengthy execution of Dennis McGuire.


Pump prices—increasing over the weekend.

Today’s going rate: about $3.45 a gallon.


The U.S. Census Bureau says thousands of families fled Ohio during the latest economic recession.

Between 2007 and 2011, 26,000 people left the Buckeye State.  Most moved to neighboring states.