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News

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Contract negotiations and the hiring of personnel will be the subject of next week’s special meeting of the Norwalk Board of Education.

The board will meet at 7:30 next Tuesday, at Norwalk High School.

 

A weekend altercation with his wife has led to a domestic violence charge against Richland County health commissioner Martin Tremmel.

He was arrested early Saturday morning, at his home on Kelley’s Island. According to reports, Tremmel and his wife had been out drinking with others before the alleged assault. After taking statements from both, officers arrested Tremmel, and took him to the Erie County Jail. He’s currently free on bond, pending court proceedings. Tremmel has served as Richland County Health Commissioner since January of last year. He previously served as Seneca County health commissioner from 1992 until 1995, and as Huron County health commissioner from 1996 until 2003.

 

State Route 547, just north of Dogtown Road in Lyme Township will close next Monday, for culvert repairs.

Work should last all week, and a detour will be posted.

 

A Norwalk woman is in the Huron County Jail, awaiting transport to Florida, to to answer to charges that she stole from a relative there.

27-year-old Esther Viock is charged with felony burglary, grand theft and dealing in stolen property. The alleged crime occurred in May.

 

It’s not often that you hear about a foreclosure involving a shopping mall, but it’s happening in Richland County

A federal judge says the Richland Mall in Ontario must be sold at auction immediately, as the result of a foreclosure action by Wells Fargo. The bank says the owner of the mall, Centro Richland owes more than $40 million, including daily interest payments of nearly $9,500.

 

It appears people who want to have a civil marriage ceremony in Guernsey County are out of luck.

According to the Columbus Dispatch, none of the county’s three judges are willing to any same sex or opposite sex marriages. The mayor of the Guernsey County seat, Cambridge won’t do them either. The four didn’t say they oppose same sax marriages. They gave different reasons, including busy schedules.

 

Monday, July 13, 2015

A confrontation over beach chairs has led to a misdemeanor battery charge against an NFL coach with area ties.

48-year-old Aaron Kromer was jailed briefly early yesterday morning, in Walton County, Florida. Multiple media outlets say Kromer pushed a boy to the ground, punched him in the face, then threatened to kill his family, if he contacted police. He’s also accused of taking the boy’s fishing pole, and throwing it in the water. Kromer is a 1985 graduate of Margaretta High School. He’s currently the offensive line coach for the Buffalo Bills. He’s previously served as offensive coordinator of the Chicago Bears, and before that was interim head coach of the New Orleans Saints.

 

State Route 18, near Vesta Road in Clarksfield Township is closed this week for a culvert repair.

Also closed until Friday: State Route 269, near Oxbo Road in Margaretta Township…Crews are removing a culvert.

 

Norwalk City Council will not meet this week.

The next meeting will be held next Tuesday.

 

Sandusky firefighters are investigating the cause of a Sunday morning blaze that did $60,000 damage to a home on the Cedar Point Chaussee.

A bedroom was destroyed, and the Willow Drive house sustained extensive heat and smoke damage. No one was home at the time.

 

Another Republican says he’s running for president.

Wisconsin governor Scott Walker made it official this morning. Ohio governor John Kasich will do the same next Tuesday.

 

More West Nile Virus has been found in Ohio.

Test results confirm West Nile has been detected in Richland, Franklin, Summit and Licking counties. Officials are blaming a wet summer for the recent increase in cases of the virus, which is transmitted by mosquitoes. State health officials are urging residents to protect themselves by using insect repellents, and by removing breeding sources, such as standing water.

 

Relay For Life is coming to Norwalk.

The annual fundraiser for the American Cancer Society will be held at Whitney Field between 11am and midnight this Saturday. We’ll broadcast live from Relay for Life.

 

Friday, July 10, 2015

Second-half Huron County property taxes are due by 4:30 this afternoon.

 

A man wanted in connection with last week’s shooting at a home on Perry Street in Sandusky has been captured.

29-year-old Alexander Harrigan was arrested this morning, and was taken to the Erie County Jail.

 

No one was injured, in yesterday’s bizarre train/semi-truck crash in Sandusky.

It happened shortly after 1, at the Remington Street crossing. The truck was driven by a contractor doing work at the scene. The driver was backing from the tracks, onto an access road, when the rig’s back tires became stuck in mud and gravel. That’s when the driver saw an approaching train. He was able to jump out of the cab seconds before the collision. The impact dislodged the truck’s engine, and pushed the semi a half-mile down the tracks. It also caused the train to derail. The Remington Street crossing was closed for about seven hours.

 

State Route 598, near Route 61 in New Haven has re-opened.

It was closed, for railroad crossing repairs.

 

Fiscal year 2014 was a record-setting one for the Ohio Lottery.

Including all lottery games and proceeds from two new racinos, sales hit $3.6 billion. Instant tickets alone accounted for $1.5 billion. The Ohio Lottery Commission said it sent $990 million to K-through-12 Education.

 

Speaking of the lottery…

In case you missed it, there’s good news and bad news about Powerball. The good news: jackpots will likely become bigger. The bad news: it’ll be harder to win the big one. Powerball will add 10 more numbers to the mix, meaning odds of winning a top prize will go from 1 in 175-million, to 1 in 292-million.

 

A Cleveland man wanted in connection with an 18-month-old robbery in Bellevue is now in the Sandusky County Jail.

39-year-old Justin Mayes was arrested by Bellevue police Wednesday, on warrants charging him with burglary, kidnapping and theft of firearms. His bond was set at $350,000. He’s due in court next Tuesday. Mayes allegedly forced his way into an Attwood Terrace home in December of 2013, tied up the resident, then stole guns, a crossbow and cash, before fleeing the scene.

 

If you’re looking for something to do this weekend, check out the 2015 Huron River Fest.

Some highlights…The Queen’s competition begins at 6 tonight. The group Slowback Gin will perform at the Huron Boat Basin at 7:30 and fireworks will begin at 10:15. Tomorrow’s highlights include a car show and parade, and plenty of live music. Sunday’s schedule includes Pets on the Pier, and the St. Pete’s Duck Race. For a full schedule of events, go to huronriverfest.com. We’ll broadcast live from River Fest between 1 and 3 tomorrow.

 

An oceanographer with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says toxic algae on Lake Erie will be worse this year, compared to last summer.

Rick Stumpf and other scientists spoke yesterday at Ohio State University’s Stone Lab. The harmful algae expert said on a scale of 1 to 10, it’ll be an 8.7. His prediction is for the Western Basin, which stretches from Toledo to Huron. Despite his projection, Stumpf said he doesn’t expect drinking water problems, like last year.

 

Thursday, July 9, 2015

A Flood Advisory is in effect until 12:45 this afternoon, for Erie, Huron, Sandusky and Seneca counties.

A Flood Watch continues until 5 today, for Lorain County.

 

The Margaretta Township man involved in a recent standoff remains in jail without bond.

60-year-old Gary Moore was arraigned yesterday in Sandusky Municipal Court. Another hearing was scheduled for next Wednesday. That hearing will be canceled, if he’s charged by an Erie County grand jury. Moore was jailed Tuesday night, after undergoing treatment for a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He also underwent a mental health evaluation. Moore was arrested June 27th, after trying to kidnap his wife, firing a shot, taking off in her car, then holding police at bay for about 20 hours, before shooting himself in the chest.

 

An Akron man who led local authorities on a high-speed chase has pleaded guilty to two charges.

In Huron County Common Pleas Court this week, 19-year-old Damien Hester admitted to obstructing official business and DUI. The charges are tied to a mid-February chase that began in Greenwich, and ended near Plymouth. Police from both villages were involved in the chase, along with the Highway Patrol and Richland County Deputies. Hester had been drinking, and police detected marijuana after the stop. He’s scheduled to be sentenced next month.

 

Sandusky police are looking for a man involved in a recent shooting.

29-year-old Alexander Harrigan is considered armed and dangerous. Police said Harrigan and his brother, Zachary Rowe were involved in a July 2nd shooting at a home on Perry Street. If you see Harrigan, or know his whereabouts, contact 911 or local police.

 

A federal fugitive from Ashland remains on the run.

Authorities have been searching for Richland Lawless since June 29th, when he assaulted a Polk man. He was stopped in West Virginia yesterday, but sped off. He’s wanted on weapons and kidnapping charges. Lawless is considered armed and dangerous.

 

The Second Harvest Food Bank of North Central Ohio will show off its new home to the public, Friday July 17th.

A community open house will be held in the afternoon, celebrating the grand opening of their new food-distribution-center on Baumhart Road in Lorain. The Second Harvest Food Bank of North Central Ohio serves Crawford, Erie, Huron and Lorain counties.

 

A new bus and a van are being added to the Norwalk City Schools fleet of vehicles.

This week, the Norwalk Board of Education agreed to spend nearly $135,000 for an 84-passenger bus, and a nine-passenger van. Both are coming from Cardinal Bus Sales and Service in Lima.

 

 

 

 

July 8, 2015

The area man who shot himself after a lengthy standoff is out of the hospital, and is behind bars.

60-year-old Gary Moore was released yesterday, and was taken to the Erie County Jail. On June 26th, Moore allegedly tried to kidnap his wife from her Sandusky home, then fired a gun when she tried to flee. After that, he took her car and led authorities on a brief high-speed chase to his Margaretta Township home. He remained in the car, and held police at bay for about 20 hours, before shooting himself in the chest. He remained at Firelands Regional Medical Center for several days, and then was taken to a Toledo hospital, for a mental health evaluation. Moore is facing a handful of charges, with more charges expected.

 

Bond is set at $100,000 for a Wakeman man charged with rape.

Huron County deputies arrested and jailed 30-year-old Louis Timms on Monday. The alleged crime occurred last October, but no other information is available.

 

Despite concerns about traffic and spot zoning, it appears a new coffee house is coming to Norwalk.

Last night, city council approved a zoning change from residential to business, for a house at 147 Milan Avenue.

 

The Sandusky Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol is looking for the driver responsible for a hit-skip crash in Perkins Township.

It happened late yesterday afternoon, on State Route 4, near Bogart Road. Troopers said a blue flatbed commercial truck hit a 1984 AMC Eagle, and then fled the scene. The driver of the car, 29-year-old Nick Hamlin Jr. of Sandusky had slowed to turn into a private driveway when he was hit from behind. He suffered non-life threatening injuries, and was taken to Firelands Regional Medical Center. The crash remains under investigation.

 

A rather unusual court case is underway in Lorain.

An incumbent city councilman who lost by one vote claims the election was rigged, and he wants a judge to declare him the winner. Dennis Flores represents Lorain’s second ward. In the May primary, Flores lost by a single vote to challenger Ryan Horn. Flores claims Horn’s father somehow rigged the election. Horn has denied the allegations. Opening statements were heard yesterday, and then the case was adjourned for a few weeks, to gather more information. Voters and elections works could be called on to testify, once the trial resumes.

 

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

A former Milan man who repeatedly raped a young girl will spend the rest of his life in prison.

42-year-old Andrew Schnee was sentenced yesterday to two consecutive life sentences with no chance of parole, plus 60 more years. Schnee began abusing the girl when she was nine, and continued until she was 15. The crimes occurred at homes in Erie, Huron and Knox counties. He stood trial last month, and was convicted on eight counts of rape.

 

A major leak has forced officials to close the village of Plymouth’s swimming pool for the remainder of the summer.

Residents who bought pool passes and memberships will receive pro-rated reimbursements.

 

More road closures, in Huron and Erie counties…

The Ohio Department of Transportation says State Route 18 near Vesta Road in Clarksfield Township will be closed all next week, for a culvert repair. Also closed next week: State Route 269, just south of Oxbo Road in Margaretta Township, while crews remove a culvert.

 

This weekend brings with it the 2015 Huron River Fest.

It begins at 5pm Friday, and runs until Sunday evening. We’ll have more in news later this week, and we’ll broadcast live from the Huron River Fest Saturday morning.

 

Two meetings in Norwalk tonight.

City Council will hold a 7pm public hearing concerning zoning ordinances. After that, council will meet in regular session. The Norwalk Board of Education’s July meeting will begin at 7:30 tonight at Norwalk High School.

 

It was a busy July 4th weekend for the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

Statewide, troopers made nearly 700 OVI arrests, and nearly 400 more for drugs. Seven people were killed in crashes, compared to dozen during last year’s July 4th holiday.

 

Authorities in southwest Ohio say a shoplifting suspect was hospitalized, after jumping from an overpass, while trying to elude police.

Officers chased the man, after he allegedly stole from a Springfield supermarket Sunday night. While fleeing, he jumped the equivalent of two stories from an overpass, onto U.S. Route 68 Clark County. He was taken to a nearby hospital, for treatment of broken bones and a separated shoulder.

 

 

 

Thursday, July 2, 2015

State education officials are back to the drawing board.

PARCC tests have been axed from state and federal funding after dismal reviews from the public. Ohio students will still be tested annually in accordance with Ohio standards and the federal No Child Left Behind requirements, but tests will not be so lengthy and will have a quicker result turn-around time. There are several standardized testing companies state officials could use, including A-I-R and alternative tests, such as the A-C-T Aspire, but no decisions have been made. Researchers are trying to determine which shorter test will meet state and federal standards as well as align with Common Core. Ohio is one of 14 states that have rejected PARCC.

 

Approximately 150 jobs are up for grabs in Bellevue as Tower Automotive is expanding their plant.

There will be 2 assembly lines added to produce a new high tech frame for one of the big three auto companies.

 

Donations are still needed for the annual fireworks in Norwalk this Fourth of July.  

The show costs about 17-thousand dollars and about 2-thousand are still needed. The city of Norwalk hasn’t allocated funds for the show since 2010. If you’d like to donate to the July 4th fireworks at the fairgrounds, you can drop off your donation at city hall or mail a donation to P.O. Box 872, Norwalk, Ohio. Checks should be made out to the VFW with ‘fireworks’ in the memo.

 

Governor John Kasich made his belief that wealthier school districts should pay more in local taxes known on Tuesday night when he enacted 44-line-item vetoes on the new state budget.

While no district will lose any money in the 2015-2016 school year, one of the vetoes eliminated reimbursements for the 2016-17 year. Kasich killed $78 million dollars for tangible personal-property-tax reimbursements to school districts described at having a, quote, “higher local capacity to raise revenue to support their schools” through local tax levies. Some local schools will see virtually no change in the 2-year plan.  Some, like Norwalk, Monroeville, Put-in-Bay and Sandusky will see increases. Local schools that will see a decrease in state funding for the 2016-17 school year include Port Clinton, Huron, Perkins, Benton-Carroll-Salem, Vermilion and Edison.

 

And while local schools are in everyone’s minds, the Sandusky area Stuff the Bus will have close to a dozen drop-off sites throughout the month to try to meet its goal of distributing 1-thousand backpacks to school children, grades K-5.

An estimated 2800 children in Erie County will go back to school this fall without the supplies needed for their academic success.  Primary sponsors are the Ohio Business College, the Sandusky Mall, the United Way of Erie County, Vacationland Federal Credit Union and the Volunteer Center.  You can to the “Stuff the Bus Erie County” page on Facebook for more information on how to donate.

 

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Norwalk has lifted the “do not contact” advisory from its upper and memorial reservoirs.

Water Treatment plant chief operator, Rick Schaffer, says quote “Normal recreational activities may resume at all of the city’s reservoirs.” Tests on Monday concluded that algal blooms in the reservoirs were down to non-detectable levels. The lower reservoir, which is the city’s drinking water source and where no bloom was detected, will remain in isolation until further testing is done, per EPA protocol.

 

The family of Bryan Jones has asked the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals for a new trial in his 2010 shooting death following a call to the Sandusky County Sheriff’s office.

The Jones family claims the jury heard incomplete evidence last year in their 20 million dollar wrongful death lawsuit against the Sandusky County Sheriff’s office, sheriff Kyle Overmyer and deputies Jose and Mario Calvillo.

 

Sandusky officials sent a letter to federal authorities requesting full disclosure in their investigation of the city’s decade-old housing scandal, which cost tax-payers 1.4 million dollars and forced residents from their homes.

The letter requests a, quote, “opportunity to discuss the reasons for the determination” that evidence was insufficient to file a Federal criminal charge against potentially corrupt contractors.

 

A new report finds alternative tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, hookah, and little cigars, is becoming popular among Ohio youth.

A proposal that would have taxed these items was removed from the state budget at the last minute.  According to the CDC, between 2013 and 2014, use of electronic cigarettes tripled among US high school students – just over 13 percent use e-cigarettes, while about 9 percent smoke regular cigarettes. Ohio’s two year budget proposal included increased taxes on cigarettes and other tobacco products, but the tax on other tobacco products was removed in the final version.

 

The battle for the legalization of marijuana in Ohio just got a little more complicated.

Just hours after supporters submitted 6 hundred 95-thousand signatures on a petition for the legalization of the plant, state lawmakers approved a proposed constitutional amendment aimed at stopping anyone from creating a quote “monopoly.” The language is aimed at the 10 pre-selected sites around the state the proposed legalization would allow for growing of recreational and medicinal use. Voters will decide in November. If the anti-monopoly issue is defeated and the marijuana issue passes, pot will be legalized in Ohio.

 

 

 

Monday, June 22, 2015

A Huron County grand jury has indicted a Milan man accused of sexually abusing a four-year-old.

Friday, the grand jury charged 21-year-old Kyle Matthew Taylor with two counts of rape, and two counts of gross sexual imposition. The charges are tied to an early May incident at a home in Norwalk Township. Taylor remains in the Huron County Jail, in lieu of $100,000 bond.

 

This is the week that paving crews will switch to nighttime work, along U.S. Route 6, between the cities of Sandusky and Huron.

Work will be done between 6pm and 6am, and one lane of traffic will be maintained at all times. Also scheduled for this week: work at the Rye Beach Road interchange. More from ODOT…Risden Road, at its bridge over State Route 2 in Berlin Township is now closed until next Monday. Crews are completing a bridge repair project.

 

A northeast Ohio woman has been crowned Miss Ohio.

24-year-old Sarah Hider of Wooster won the title Saturday night in Mansfield. It was her third and final attempt at the crown. She’ll now compete for the title of Miss America.

 

Thursday is when Clyde-Green Springs Schools superintendent David Stubblebine will stand trial, on a charge of obstructing official business.

His trial will be held in Sandusky County Court District 1. His original trial date was May 21st, but it was pushed back, because of scheduling conflicts. Stubblebine is accused of hindering a December, 2014 marijuana investigation at McPherson Middle School. If convicted, he faces up to 90 days in jail, and a $750 fine.

 

Norwalk City Council is off this week.

City council’s next meeting will be next Tuesday.

 

The Ohio Lottery may change how it pays winners.

Officials are considering paying prizes through payment cards, or by electronically transferring money to an account. The reason: many lottery retailers have less cash on hand, because of increased use of credit and debit cards. Retailers can redeem winning tickets of up to $599.

 

Governor John Kasich is on the road again this week.

He’ll make stops in Des Moines, and Council Bluffs, Iowa. Kasich is considering seeking the Republican nomination for president. An announcement is expected next month.

 

Two new school busses will added to the fleet in Bellevue.

Last week, the Board of Education agreed to buy the 78-passenger busses through the Ohio Cooperative School Bus Purchasing Program. The total cost: just over $160,000.

 

Fifth-Third Bank announced this morning that it closing or selling 100 of its 1,300 branches.

The Cincinnati-based bank didn’t say which locations will be affected by the cost-cutting move.

Friday, June 19, 2015

The 49th annual Festival of the Fish is underway in Vermilion.

We’ll broadcast live from the Festival, between 4 and 6 today.

 

A Norwalk man is facing up to three years in prison, after pleading guilty to a felony charge of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor.

41-year-old Mark Urbine entered the plea earlier this week, in Huron County Common Pleas Court. His bond was revoked, and he was taken to the Huron County Jail, to await an August 5th sentencing hearing. Urbine was arrested in January, a month after having sex with a 15-year-old girl.One other note…After prison, Urbine will be classified as a Tier II sex offender, meaning he’ll have to register his address every six months, for 25 years.

 

No change, in Ohio’s unemployment rate.

According to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, it was 5.2 percent in May, the same as April.

 

Barring intervention by the U.S. Supreme Court, it appears a four-year legal fight between Erie County officials, and former Job and Family Services Director Aaron Voltz is over.

A federal judge has denied Voltz’s appeal, in his wrongful termination suit. The Erie County Commissioners fired Voltz in July of 2011, after a woman accused him of rape. A charge against him was dismissed later in the year, after the alleged victim refused to testify. Voltz then tried to regain his old job, but was denied. He filed suit, and claimed he lost his job, because he’s Hispanic. But a federal judge disagreed, and said there were no signs of bias.

 

Smokey Road, north of Berlin Heights was closed yesterday afternoon, after a semi-truck got stuck on tracks at a railroad crossing.

Deputies closed the road, between Driver Road and State Route 61, while crews removed the rig from the tracks. All train traffic was suspended as well.

 

Sunday is Father’s Day.

And Summer, 2015 officially begins at 12:38 Sunday afternoon.

 

The State of Ohio’s increases to farmland enrolled in the Current Agricultural Use Value Program will be the topic of discussion, during an informational meeting hosted by Huron County Auditor Roland Tkach.

The meeting will be held at 6pm next Wednesday, at EHOVE Career Center. Representatives from Appraisal Research Corporation and Local Government Services will be on hand to discuss the program, and increases in values.

 

The homestand continues for the Cleveland Indians.

The Tribe will host the Tampa Bay Rays at 7:10 tonight and tomorrow night, and 1:10 Sunday. You can hear all three games on 95.3, WLKR.