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Friday, November 21, 2014

AAA says more than 46 million Americans will hit the road for Thanksgiving.

It’s the largest number of Thanksgiving Day travelers since 2007. 90 percent of travelers will go at least 50 miles by car, and AAA says road trippers will likely pay the lowest price for Thanksgiving fuel in five years.


The cost for this year’s Thanksgiving dinner will cost a bit more than last year.

A survey by the American Farm Bureau Federation shows the cost of a feast for 10 is $49.41, an increase of just 37 cents. That includes turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, rolls, veggies, pumpkin pie, coffee and milk.


A reminder that Ohio’s youth deer-gun season is tomorrow and Sunday.

It’s open to licensed hunters 17 and under, with a non-hunting adult.  Normal bag limits apply.


Due to the snow, leaf pickup in Norwalk is running a bit behind schedule.

Leaf pickup should be complete next week.


The non-profit ASSE International Student Exchange Program is seeking representatives to work with volunteer host families and international exchange students locally.

Area representatives recruit and screen prospective host families, supervise the exchange students throughout the year, and interview American students who want to study abroad. Representatives are compensated based on the number of students they are supervising. For more information visit host.asse.com


A Wednesday night house fire in Bellevue has been ruled as arson.

The blaze destroyed the Bellevue home, despite emergency responder’s hour and a half battle with the flames. The Ohio State Fire Marshall’s investigators found the fire was intentionally set. As of Thursday, Bellevue police have not made any arrests.


An Ottawa County grand jury indicted Ohio Republican Representative Steven Kraus on Wednesday.

The newly-elected state lawmaker has been indicted on felony charges of burglary, breaking and entering and theft. A police report alleges 55 year old Kraus of Huron, took antiques, a shotgun and musical instruments from a home in Port Clinton earlier this year. Kraus, who is an auctioneer, admitted to taking the items, but said a real estate agent selling the home asked him to take them and inventory them for auction.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

No change…Huron, Erie, Richland and Seneca counties remain under Level 1 snow emergencies.

Roads continue to be hazardous, due to blowing and drifting snow, and ice.

Ice and snow led to numerous crashes around the area yesterday.

One of those crashes sent a man to a Toledo hospital, for treatment of serious injuries. That crash occurred at approximately 7:45 yesterday morning, on Peru Center Road, near Johnson Road. No other information is available.

Crews spent yesterday dealing with a train derailment, in Avery.

Several cars hauling grain went off the tracks, near Certainteed.

A Monroeville man is going to prison, for his role in a bar fight.

32-year-old Joseph Moffit was sentenced Monday to seven years. During a November, 2013 fight outside Daly’s Bar in Sandusky, Moffit stabbed another man, identified as Jason Dendy. Dendy suffered serious injuries, and was unconscious for several days. Moffit stood trial last month, and was found guilty of felonious assault and tampering with evidence.

The superintendent of the Clyde-Green Springs schools has been given a written reprimand, for engaging in a romantic relationship with a district principal.

David Stubblebine will face no other discipline, for his relationship with McPherson Middle School principal Rachael Aldrich. Aldrich was not disciplined. An investigation showed the two did not engage in inappropriate behavior on school grounds. Both were hired last year. Stubblebine previously served as superintendent of the Monroeville Local Schools.

A Tuesday evening mobile home fire in Galion has left three people dead.

The victims were 23, 5 and 3.

Numerous elected officials throughout the state may get their first pay raise in years.

A fast-moving bill in Columbus calls for outright pay raises for lawmakers, judges, county commissioners, sheriffs, township trustees and others. Future pay increases would be tied to inflation.


Advance tickets are being sold for Saturday’s Division VII, Region 23 championship game between the St. Paul Flyers and the Berlin Center Western Reserve Blue Devils.

You can buy presale tickets in the St. Paul Athletic Office until 6:30 tonight, between 8 and 3 tomorrow and between 8 and 2 Friday.  The game will be played at Copley Stadium near Akron.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Level 1 snow emergencies remain in effect in Huron, Erie and Seneca counties.

Level 1 means roads are hazardous with blowing and drifting snow, and ice. Drivers should be very cautious.

The father and stepmother of a disabled man who died will each spend 10 years in prison.

54-year-old David Arthur Sr., and 46-year-old Deborah Arthur were sentenced yesterday in Erie County Common Pleas Court, after pleading guilty to charges of involuntary manslaughter and failing to provide for a functionally impaired person. The two were arrested in June, after 33-year-old David Arthur Jr. died at their Groton Township home. Authorities said Arthur died of neglect. He required constant care and supervision, after being injured in a crash 15 years ago. At one point, Arthur weighed 300 pounds. When he died, he was just 94 pounds.


One person was rushed to Fisher-Titus Medical Center yesterday after a small, accidental explosion on a barn on Halfway Road in Ridgefield Township.

The man suffered blunt force trauma and other injuries while turning a large steel drum into a burn barrel.  According to reports, a spark lit accelerant in the bottom of the barrel causing it to explode.

Tonight’s meeting of Norwalk City Council has been postponed, until 7:30 tomorrow night.

Second ward councilman Bob Carleton passed away Sunday at home. His calling hours will be held between 6 and 8 tonight, at the Walker Funeral Home. Services will be held at 11 tomorrow morning, at the First United Methodist Church.

A priest who formerly served at Norwalk St. Paul has been placed on administrative leave, amid allegations of inappropriate, intimate relationships with adult women.

Rev. David Reinhart is not allowed to function as a priest, pending the outcome of an investigation by the Toledo Diocese. Reinhart had been serving at parishes in Delphos and Landeck, both in northwest Ohio. Reinhart was an associate pastor at Norwalk St. Paul between 1998 and 2002.

The Michigan Wolverines have dismissed starting defensive end Frank Clark from the football team, after his weekend arrest in Erie County.

Clark is charged with domestic violence and assault, for allegedly hitting and injuring his girlfriend in their room at Maui Sands. Each charge is a first-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to six months in jail. Clark was arraigned yesterday in Sandusky Municipal Court, and was later freed on bond. Court records don’t indicate when he’s due back in court.

The Norwalk Board of Education has scheduled a special meeting for 7pm next Monday, at Norwalk High School.

Board members will meet behind closed doors to discuss personnel. Action is expected after the executive session.

The  city of Willard’s annual Thanksgiving and Christmas Parade of Lights and Tree Lighting will be held at 6:30 this Friday night, in downtown Willard.


Crews were summoned to a train derailment in Avery this morning.

Monday, November 17, 2014

A Winter Weather Advisory remains in effect until noon.

Blowing snow is expected this afternoon.


Huron County is under a Level 1 Snow Emergency until further notice.

Level 1 means roads are slippery and drivers should be cautious.


Snowy conditions led to slippery roads and school closings this morning.

Christie Lane, New London, Pioneer Career and Technology Center and Willard canceled classes.  Any time schools delay or close, we’ll have the information on the air every ten minutes, on our website and on Facebook.

Just two area high school football teams remain in the playoffs.

Clyde will take on Toledo Central Catholic Friday night, at Millbury Lake High School. The St. Paul Flyers will travel to Copley Saturday, to play Berlin Center Western Reserve.

A member of Norwalk City Council has passed away.

Second ward councilman Bob Carleton died yesterday, at home. He was 72. Carleton first joined council in the mid-90’s, and missed just one term.

A University of Michigan football player remains in the Erie County Jail, in connection with the alleged assault of his girlfriend.

21-year-old Frank Clark was arrested by Perkins Township police late Saturday night. The starting defensive end for the Wolverines allegedly attacked the victim in their room at Maui Sands. She suffered facial injuries, but refused treatment. Clark is currently charged with domestic violence and assault. He’s due in Sandusky Municipal Court this morning. Michigan was off this weekend. The Wolverines will play Maryland Saturday, then Ohio State next weekend.

A Collins man has been charged, in connection with a drunk driving crash on Whittelsey Road, near Lais Road in Norwalk Township.

24-year-old Stephen Hahn of Collins was arrested late Saturday afternoon, for DUI and failure to yield. Additional charges are pending. According to reports, Hahn’s car hit a pickup truck driven by 45-year-old Francisco Martinez of North Fairfield. Martinez suffered serious injuries, and was flown to Cleveland MetroHealth Medical Center. His condition is unknown.

Leaf pickup is scheduled to begin this week in Norwalk.

Leaves will be picked up the day after your normal trash day.

From ODOT…

State Route 13, between Old Mudbrook Road and Hoover Road in Milan will close at 8am Wednesday, for pavement research. The road should re-open by 6pm.


In sports…

St. Paul and Berlin Center Western Reserve will play for the Division VII, Region 23 Football Championship this Saturday at Copley Stadium near Akron.  Kickoff is set for 7 and you can hear the game live on 95.3 WLKR and wlkrradio.com.  It’s a rematch of last year’s regional championship game, won by Blue Devils, 22-2.

It’s a busy week for the Cavs…They’ll host Denver at 7 tonight, the Spurs at 7 Wednesday and then will play the Wizards in Washington at 8 Friday.  You can hear all three games on 95.3, WLKR.

Friday, November 14, 2014

If you’re going to playoff football tonight, you’ll want to bundle up.

Tonight’s low will dip to 23. Our playoff football broadcast schedule goes like this: Tonight on K96, live from Fremont, it’s Bellevue and Wauseon. On 95.3 WLKR, live from Perkins, Norwalk will take on Clyde. Both games will kick off at 7:30. Tomorrow night on 95.3, live from Bellevue, it’s St. Paul and Mapleton. Game time is set for 7. If you’re going to St. Paul and Mapleton, keep in mind it’ll cost $2 to park. Also tomorrow night, updates on the game between Huron and Coldwater.


Slippery conditions caused a number of crashes last night, especially in Erie County.

All lanes of State Route 2, between Route 13 and Rye Beach Road in Huron wereclosed last night, after some of the freeway became icy. At least 10 crashes occurred on Route 2. The Milan Road overpass in Sandusky was closed for a short time last night, due to a wreck. No serious injuries occurred in any of the crashes.


Due to a shortage of road salt, things are changing in Willard.

The city will continue to salt main roads, including routes 99, 103 and 224. All other streets in Willard will only be salted at slopes or intersections.


The Lake Erie snow machine is cranking up in northeast Ohio.

Parts of the snow belt could get 7 inches today, 5 more tonight, and 2 more tomorrow.


The former finance director of a nursing home is facing charges, for allegedly embezzling public money.

Melinda Langston lived in Sandusky, but recently moved to Georgia. An Erie County grand jury has charged her with theft in office, and tampering with records. She’s accused of swiping approximately $8,000 from the Erie County Care Facility, now known as The Meadows at Osborn Park. The nursing home is owned by the county. Officials began investigating last fall, and she was fired shortly after the allegations surfaced. Deputies are making arrangements to serve her with the charges.



Ohio’s 12th annual youth deer-gun season is set for next weekend.

The youth deer-gun season is open to youths 17 and under, with a valid youth hunting license and deer permit. Youth hunters must be accompanied by a non-hunting adult. Deer bag limits are determined by county.


Earlier this week, we told you about a house fire in Greenwich.

It appears the blaze that destroyed the home on Route 13, near Omega Road was caused by an electrical problem in the kitchen. No one was home at the time.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

By a 4-1 vote, the Norwalk Board of Education has hired the Ohio School Boards Association, to aid in the search for a new superintendent.

Board member Steve Linder cast the only “no” vote, during last night’s school board meeting. OSBA will be paid $6,900, plus other expenses. Board members hope to hire a new superintendent by next spring. Interim superintendent Dr. Will Folger is under contract for the current school year.


Charges of aggravated murder, arson, burglary, robbery and tampering with evidence have been filed against a man accused of killing an 86-year-old Sandusky man, then setting fire to his home last December.

If convicted, 33-year-old Joseph Sandy faces life in prison, or death by lethal injection. Prosecutors believe Sandy fatally stabbed George Martin in his Campbell Street home, then set the house ablaze. The two are related, and a relative said Sandy was a pallbearer at Martin’s funeral. Since Martin’s death, Sandy has been in and out of prison.

Also charged: Sandy’s wife. 24-year-old Bethany Sandy is facing charges of complicity, arson, burglary, robbery and tampering with evidence. She may testify against her husband.


More trouble, for the Ohio Democratic Party, and its outgoing chairman.

According to the Plain Dealer, Democratic State Representative John Barnes Jr. of Cleveland has filed a defamation suit against the party, and Chris Redfern, for allegedly making false statements against him, during this year’s primary election. Barnes claims the party endorsed his opponent, as retaliation for his refusal to join the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus, an organization within the General Assembly. Barnes, who is black, said his views sometimes conflict with the Caucus. Barnes won the primary election, and was re-elected to his seat last week. He’s seeking $50,000 in damages, and said any award will be given to charities in his district.

After sweeping losses, Redfern announced he’ll step down as Democratic Party chairman by the end of the year.


State lawmakers are expected to consider two controversial new bills. State Senator Eric Kearney plans to introduce a resolution urging Congress to require women to register for military Selective Service. Currently, nearly all men between 18 and 25 must register.

The other proposal is Senate Bill 386, which would allow Ohioans to legally set off consumer-grade fireworks, including roman candles and bottle rockets. The measure would still allow local governments to ban such fireworks. Currently, Ohio residents may buy sparklers and other small novelty items. Consumers may buy larger fireworks as well, but must sign paperwork stating they’re taking them to another state within 48 hours.


A bus driver in Sandusky has been charged with driving under the influence, after crashing into a pole.

55-year-old Christie Plummer was charged yesterday, after the Erie Residential Living bus she was driving veered off Hancock Street, and hit a power pole. A handful of passengers were on the bus, but were not harmed.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Football fever continues in Norwalk.

The Truckers and the Flyers won their opening round playoff games, and will play again this weekend. 11-0 Norwalk will play 9-2 Clyde at Perkins Friday night. 10-1 St. Paul will play 8-3 Mapleton at Bellevue Saturday night. You can hear both games live on 95.3, WLKR and wlkrradio.com.

Also in action this weekend:  Bellevue and Huron.  Bellevue will play Wauseon Friday night in Fremont.  Huron will play two-time defending state champ Coldwater Saturday night in Tiffin.  Both games will air live on K96.

The highway patrol says alcohol may have played a role in a fiery crash that killed two men in northern Seneca County.

31-year-old Christopher Meyer of Republic, and 26-year-old Antony Ryon of Tiffin died late Friday night, on State Route 228. Troopers said Meyer failed to negotiate a curve, went off the road, then hit several trees before overturning multiple times. The car then burst into flames. Meyer and Ryon were pronounced dead at the scene.

Alcohol was not involved, in a Friday evening crash in Norwich Township.

According to reports, 23-year-old Kameron Kimble of Attica went off State Route 162, over corrected, and flipped over several times. Kimble was ejected from his Jeep. He was flown to St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center. At last check, he was in critical condition.

The Norwalk Public Library is closed today, tomorrow and Wednesday, for new carpet installation.

Sandusky police are looking into the events surrounding a large fight, at a Sweet 16 party.

Officers were summoned to the Knights of Columbus building Saturday evening. Dozens of people were outside, and began to run, when police arrived at the scene. The birthday girl told officers older boys started picking fights, when they were denied access to the party. A 19-year-old woman tried to break up the fight, but was hit in the head with a brick. She was taken to Firelands Regional Medical Center. One person found speeding from the scene was charged with DUI.

Norwalk’s leaf pickup begins next week.


Help in finding a new superintendent will be discussed during tomorrow’s meeting of the Norwalk Board of Education.

Last month the board heard a proposal from the Ohio School Boards Association.  The cost for OSBA’s help:  $6,900.  Also offering to help:  North Point Educational Service Center. The school board is expected to make a decision tomorrow night.  The meeting will begin at 7:30 at Norwalk High School.  It’s open to the public.

Friday, November 7, 2014

An Arctic blast is coming…

By next Wednesday, highs will only be in the mid-30’s, with nighttime lows in the 20’s. The snow belt could see several inches of the white stuff.


For the first time in the city’s history, back-to-back playoff games will be played at Norwalk’s Whitney Field.

Tonight, the Norwalk Truckers will host the Perkins Pirates. Kickoff is at 7:30. Tomorrow night, the St. Paul Flyers will host the Vienna Mathews Mustangs, with kickoff at 7. You can hear both games on 95.3 and wlkrradio.com.


The Huron Lady Tigers will play for a state volleyball championship.

Last night, Huron swept Frankfort Adena in the Division III state semi-finals. Huron will play Gilmour Academy tomorrow.


After 12 hours of deliberations, a Huron County Common Pleas Court jury found an 81-year-old Willard man not guilty of rape, kidnapping and sexual battery.

Howard Zerkle was charged in early April, more than three months after he was accused of sexually assaulting an 18-year-old mentally impaired Plymouth girl at his apartment. The victim took the stand during the trial. Zerkle did not.


Huron County health commissioner Tim Hollinger now has the power to authorize emergency quarantines, if warranted by a health menace.

The authority was granted by Huron County’s health board.


A federal appeals court has upheld a gay marriage ban in four states, including Ohio.

The decision by the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati was split, 2-1. The matter is expected to wind up before the Supreme Court.


Monday is Veterans Day.

Many government offices and banks will be closed. Trash pickup will go on as usual.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Tomorrow is when the speed limit will change, on two streets in Norwalk.

Republic Street will go from 25 to 35 miles per hour. Westwind Drive, from Wal-Mart to Whittelsey Avenue will drop from 35 to 25 miles per hour.

Jury deliberations are underway, in the trial of a Willard man accused of kidnapping and raping a mentally impaired girl.

81-year-old Howard Zerkle is accused of taking the 19-year-old victim from her home in Plymouth, to his apartment in Willard, where the alleged sexual assault occurred. The alleged crime occurred in late January. He was indicted in April, on charges of rape, kidnapping and sexual battery.

A Sandusky police officer fired for exchanging nude pictures with his then-supervisor’s fiancée, and dishonesty may be back on the job soon.

According to the Sandusky Register, a visiting judge and an arbitrator agree that former officer Todd Smith was wrongfully dismissed in 2012. In addition, the judge strongly recommended that Smith be reinstated with back pay, which could top $100,000. Smith was fired for dishonesty, insubordination and conduct unbecoming an officer. Another officer, former Sgt. Stephen Ritterbach was fired for his involvement. He was later reinstated, but was demoted to the rank of officer.

According to reports, Ritterbach’s fiancée at the time told Smith she and Ritterbach had an open relationship, and wanted to have sex with both men. Smith and the woman then exchanged nude pictures, something Smith initially lied about to investigators. He later changed his story. The Sandusky City Commissioners will decide Monday if they’ll bring Smith back, or fight the ruling.

Odds and ends from Tuesday’s election…

Voter turnout in Huron County was higher than expected, 40 percent. In Erie County, it was 44 percent.

Statewide, 3.1 million voters cast ballots. That’s about 40 percent of Ohio’s registered voters. Officials say it’s the lowest voter turnout in a gubernatorial election since the Secretary of State began tracking it in 1978. They also said it could be lowest in Ohio

The Ohio Secretary of State’s office says more than 813,000 Ohioans voted before the polls opened Tuesday morning.

Voters across Ohio approved 65 percent of school issues on Tuesday’s ballot. Locally, several renewals passed, but new school levies in Monroeville and Sandusky failed.

Local results came in fairly quickly Tuesday night. That wasn’t the case in Lucas County…Final results there came in at 2:34am yesterday morning. All election results are unofficial, until certified by the board of elections later this month.

Perkins police are looking for the person who broke into a Milan Road business, and tried to cut open the store’s safe.

It happened late Monday or early Tuesday, at the Dollar Tree. The intruder was unable to access the safe.


Best of luck to the Huron Lady Tigers Volleyball Team.

The team is in tonight’s Division III State Semi-Finals at Wright State University.  Huron will play Frankfort Adena at 6.  The winner will advance to Saturday’s State Championship match.

Monday, November 3, 2014

In sports…

First-round high school football playoff pairings are set.  Friday night, it’s Perkins at Norwalk, Mansfield Madison at Clyde, Keystone at Bellevue and Port Clinton at Kenton.  Saturday night, it’s Vienna Mathews at St. Paul, Lucas at Plymouth and Columbia Station at Huron.  Speaking of Huron, the Lady Tigers’ Volleyball Team is in the Division III State Semi-Finals.  Huron will play Frankfort Adena at 6pm Thursday at Wright State University.

An early Sunday morning crash has claimed the lead singer of the popular regional band, the CoCoBeano’s.

Just hours after performing at Sawmill Creek in Huron, 30-year-old Scott Gast was killed, when his van rolled over, after going off I-90 near Avon. It’s believed Gast fell asleep at the wheel, while driving home to Fairview Park. The highway patrol continues to investigate the crash.


Two 21-year-old Norwalk men have been arrested in connection with a number of recent car break-ins.

Matthew Buffington and James Bailey are accused of breaking into as many as 30 cars in a single day.  Police recovered a number of stole items.

It’s a chance to chat with the superintendent of the Norwalk City Schools.

Dr. Will Folger will host “Coffee and Conversation” tomorrow, at Sheri’s Coffee House on Whittelsey Avenue. The event will be held from 9:15 until 10:15am, and it’s open to anyone.


State Street, between Clifton and League Streets in Norwalk will be closed this Thursday for the installation of the steeple at St. Mary’s Church.

If you’d like to cast a ballot ahead of tomorrow’s election, you have just hours to do it.

You can vote in-person at the board of elections office until 2 this afternoon. If you’re waiting until tomorrow to vote, the polls will be open between 6:30am and 7:30pm. We’ll have complete election results tomorrow night.

A published report say Chris Redfern may be on his way out, as chairman of the Ohio Democratic Party.

According to the Fremont News-Messenger, discussions about the future of the party’s leadership have been taking place for months. Redfern has been chairman of the state Democratic Party since late 2005.


Health officials confirmed yesterday that 42 Ohioans are no longer being monitored for Ebola.

122 people are still on the contact list, but are expected to be cleared tomorrow.

Tomorrow’s multi-state Mega Millions jackpot is worth $321 million.

Powerball is up to $178 million, and Ohio’s Classic Lotto jackpot is worth $7.8 million.