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News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Storms that were supposed to hit the area fizzled out yesterday.

However, parts of northeast Ohio were socked by heavy rains, and flooding.

 

The Norwalk Board of Education will meet again tonight.

The closed door meeting will begin at 7:30, at the Board office. Board action may follow the executive session. The school board has met several times recently, to interview applicants for superintendent. Current superintendent Dennis Doughty’s last day is this Thursday.

 

Cedar Point’s Skyhawk is closed indefinitely, after a weekend mishap that injured two guests.

A cable snapped on the ride Saturday night, hitting two riders. One was treated at the park, while the other was taken to Firelands Regional Medical Center. Cedar Point officials are investigating the malfunction.

 

Cory Barron, the 22-year-old Fremont man found dead at the Lorain County Landfill will be laid to rest today.

Barron disappeared July 18th, while at a Jason Aldean concert at Progressive Field. Cleveland police believe Barron fell through an upper-level garbage chute, into a stadium dumpster. A funeral service will begin at 11:30 this morning, at Sacred Heart Church in Fremont.

 

Authorities from three different counties were summoned to a New London-area home Friday evening, after a man allegedly assaulted his wife, destroyed her cell phone, then threatened deputies.

When the first deputy arrived at the Chenango Road home, Jason Kruki was on the front porch, armed with three firearms. According to reports, Kruki went back inside, then released a German Shepherd. The victim and the couple’s teenage son escaped from the home, as did Kruki. Mansfield SWAT found the home empty, about eight hours after the initial call. New London, Willard and Ontario police were at the scene, along with deputies from Huron and Lorain counties.

 

U.S. Route 250 in Fitchville is open.

It re-opened Friday. It had been closed since last fall, for a bridge replacement.

 

A plane crash in northwest Ohio has claimed two people.

The occupants were killed early yesterday morning, when the small plane went down near Findlay. The crash is under investigation.

 

A bizarre, slow-speed chase in southwest Ohio has led to charges against a Cincinnati-area man.

Christopher McFerron was jailed Saturday, after leading dozens of officers on a chase with speeds ranging from 2 to 30 miles per hour, while holding a gun to his head. The chase lasted over an hour. It ended, when McFerron ingested heroin, then gave up.

 

After a slow start, a $66 million state effort to help welfare recipients find jobs is picking up steam.

According to the Columbus Dispatch, nearly 2,400 Ohioans have found jobs through the ‘Ohio Works’ incentive program.  More than 90 of the placements were made in the past six months.

 

Friday, July 25, 2014

Weather should be good, for today’s ‘Imagine Norwalk’ event, in downtown Norwalk.

Things will get underway at 4. For more information, go to imaginenorwalk.com.

 

A winning lottery ticket worth $1 million was sold in Sandusky.

Tuesday’s Mega Millions ticket was sold at ‘Butts and More!’ It matched all five numbers, but not the Mega Ball number.

 

An arrest warrant has been issued for a Willard woman who showed up for sentencing for burglary, but left before the hearing.

24-year-old Rebecca Hale was in the Huron County courthouse Wednesday morning. She disappeared, after learning she was going to be sent to jail, for not cooperating during a pre-sentence investigation. Once found, she’ll likely face new charges.

 

Two people were taken to Fisher-Titus yesterday after a crash at U.S. Route 20 and State Route 601 in Norwalk.

Two SUV’s and a car were involved in the accident.  Injuries were not considered life-threatening.

 

A Clyde man is facing charges, after a high-speed chase that began in Sandusky County, and ended in Erie County.

The chase involving Brandon Cooksey began on State Route 101, and ended near the Castalia Quarry. Speeds reached 100 miles per hour.

 

One week from today, it’s ‘Stuff the Bus’ in Norwalk.

School supplies for public and parochial students may be dropped off August 1st, between 7:30am and 4pm, at the Norwalk Board of Education Office on Benedict Avenue. Supplies will be distributed August 13th, at the Salvation Army. Registration for supplies will be held between 5 and 7pm August 5th, and 10am until noon August 6th.

 

Norwalk Board of Education members will resume their superintendent search tomorrow morning.

The Board of Education will meet at 9am at the central office.

 

A name change, involving Mercy Willard Hospital’s parent healthcare system.

Catholic Health Partners will now be called Mercy Health.

 

Cedar Point is in the running to be named ‘Best Theme Park in the Country.’ 

The park is competing with 19 other sites for the top spot as part of a readers’ choice contest put on by USA Today and 10Best.  Online voting ends August 11th.

 

A popular Huron establishment is set to re-open.

I-5’s will be back in business August 1st.

 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Norwalk School Board will meet again tonight, to continue the search for a new superintendent.

Tonight’s closed-door meeting will begin at 8, at the central office. The board conducted first round interviews with five finalists last week, then began second-round interviews on Tuesday. Current superintendent Dennis Doughty is set to retire one week from today.

 

An Erie County grand jury has boosted charges against a Groton Township couple accused of letting their son die of severe injuries caused by neglect.

A special grand jury has charged 54-year-old David Arthur Jr, and 46-year-old Deborah Arthur with murder and patient endangerment. They were originally charged with involuntary manslaughter. The charges are tied to the mid-June death of 33-year-old David Arthur Jr. Erie County deputies said Arthur was extremely malnourished and was covered in bed sores. Deputies learned the man had been bedridden for six months. The Arthurs remain in the Erie County Jail, in lieu of $500,000 bond.

 

A Monroeville man facing several charges for growing marijuana has accepted a plea bargain.

32-year-old Thomas Sterling pleaded guilty yesterday to a charge of cultivating marijuana. In exchange, prosecutors dismissed four other charges. He’ll be sentenced September 11th, in Huron County Common Pleas Court. Sterling was arrested in March, after police found dozens of marijuana plants, and $10,000 worth of equipment used to grow pot, at the former Berardi’s Restaurant on U.S. Route 20.

 

It may be weeks, before we know what caused the death of Cory Barron.

The Fremont man’s body was found Tuesday at the Lorain County Landfill in Oberlin. Barron was last seen four days earlier, at a Jason Aldean concert at Progressive Field in Cleveland. Police believe Barron may have somehow fallen from a fifth-level garbage chute, into a dumpster in the basement of the ballpark. Initial autopsy results provided no new information. Ongoing tests may take several weeks.

 

The Red Cross has put out an urgent call for blood donations.

Red Cross officials said donations are down eight percent, resulting in 80,000 fewer donations than expected. The number of donors continues to decline, and the shortfall is serious enough that the Red Cross could experience an emergency situation in the coming weeks. Eligible donors with types O-negative, B-negative and A-negative blood are especially needed.

 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Day baseball today, in Minneapolis.

The Cleveland Indians and Minnesota Twins will wrap their three-game series, starting at 1:10. You can hear this afternoon’s game on 95.3, WLKR.

 

Authorities are investigating the death of a Fremont man who disappeared during a concert at Progressive Field.

The body of 22-year-old Cory Barron was found yesterday, at the Lorain County landfill in Oberlin. Barron disappeared Friday night, during the Jason Aldean concert. Investigators say Barron may have fallen down a fifth-level garbage chute at the ballpark.

 

30 years in a federal prison for an Ashland man accused of enslaving a mentally disabled woman.

28-year-old Jordie Callahan was sentenced yesterday in U.S. District Court.  Federal prosecutors were hoping for a life sentence.  Callahan and his girlfriend, Jessica Hunt, held the woman and her young daughter captive for nearly two years, until late 2012.  During that time, the two stole the woman’s public assistance checks, forced her to have sex and stole painkillers prescribed by her doctor.  Hunt will be sentenced tomorrow.

 

The results are in from a weekend ‘under-21′ alcohol sting in Bellevue.

Out of 11 businesses, three sold alcohol to someone under 21.  Clerks at those three businesses were given misdemeanor citations.

 

It’s day one of the Ohio State Fair.

The opening ceremony will be held at 9am. The 161st state fair runs through August 3rd, in Columbus.

 

Jobless rates in Huron and Erie counties were unchanged last month.

According to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, Huron County’s June unemployment rate was 6.7 percent, while Erie County’s was 4.7 percent. Jobless rates increased in all other area counties. Among the state’s 88 counties, Monroe County had Ohio’s highest unemployment rate last month, 11.7 percent. Mercer County had the state’s lowest jobless rate, just 3.3 percent.

 

Sandusky voters will decide on a proposed, bundled tax increase this fall.

If approved, the city’s income tax would increase from one to 1.25 percent, while Sandusky’s admissions tax would increase one percent, to four percent. Combined, the two would generate $2.3 million annually.

 

Ohioans who bought health insurance through the Affordable Care Act could see premiums skyrocket, due to a federal court ruling.

An appeals court has ruled, low and middle income people who bought policies through the federal insurance exchange are not eligible for billions of dollars in tax credits.

 

Biologists with the Division of Wildlife verified 200 bobcat sightings in Ohio in 2013.

It’s the first time sightings increased to 200.  Bobcats were confirmed in 36 counties last year, but most of the sightings were in southeast Ohio.  In addition to the 200 verified sightings, there were 226 unverified bobcat sightings last year.  The bobcat was recently removed from the Ohio Endangered and Threatened Species list, but it remains protected in the state.

 

Today is National Hot Dog Day.

It’s also National Batman Day.  Batman is 75.

 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The head of Christie Lane School and Workshop in Norwalk is retiring.

Denise Zeffiro-Krenisky will leave, as the end of the year. She’s been with the Huron County Board of Developmental Disabilities for nearly 20 years. The Board will begin an immediate search for a replacement.

 

The Willard Police Department continues to investigate a rash of stolen cars.

7 cars were stolen in 10 days in the city. Some of those cars had keys left inside, and some were running. Anyone with information should contact the Willard Police Department.

 

The search continues for a Fremont man missing for several days.

22-year-old Cory Barron was last seen at last Friday’s Jason Aldean concert at Progressive Field in Cleveland.  Search efforts began Sunday when friends and family couldn’t reach him.  Cleveland Police have searched by foot, car and air.  Yesterday they searched rugged terrain near Progressive Field.  Friends have joined in the search and have posted hundreds of flyers.

 

Area unemployment rates stayed the same or went up in June according to new figures from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.

Huron County’s jobless rate was unchanged, 6.7 percent.  Erie County was unchanged as well, 4.7 percent.  June unemployment rates increased in Ashland, Crawford, Lorain, Ottawa, Richland, Sandusky and Seneca Counties.  Among the state’s 88 counties, Monroe County had Ohio’s highest unemployment rate last month, 11.7 percent.  Mercer County had the state’s lowest jobless rate, just 3.3 percent.

 

Ohio’s online sales tax collections are up…WAY up.

According to the Ohio Department of Taxation, this year’s collections have reached $45 million, an increase of 68 percent.

 

Taxes may be going up, in Sandusky.

Tonight, the city commissioners will discuss increasing Sandusky’s one-percent income tax, and the city’s three-percent admissions tax. The discussion will take place during a special 6pm meeting at City Hall. If the majority of commissioners vote yes, the proposed increases will appear on the ballot in November.

 

The State Highway Patrol has announced plans to operate multiple DUI checkpoints this week.

More information will be released later this week.

 

On tap this weekend:  The annual Shiloh Fireman’s Ox Roast.

It’ll take place Friday and Saturday in downtown Shiloh.  More than 8,000 pounds of beef will be served, along with over 300 pies.  Other food will be offered as well.  Proceeds will be used to buy new equipment for the Shiloh Fire Department.  Also featured at the Ox Roast: live music and a parade.

 

 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Ohio’s unemployment rate didn’t change, according to new figures from Job and Family Services.

It was 5.5 percent in May and June. County, city and metropolitan area unemployment rates will be released tomorrow.

 

Second round interviews will be held tomorrow, in the search for a new Norwalk City Schools superintendent.

The Board of Education will interview applicants behind closed doors, starting at 7:30 tomorrow night. The executive session will be held at the central office.

 

Norwalk firefighters were called on, to battle a weekend blaze, at a home on State Street.

The call to 18 State Street came in just after 3:30am Saturday. The structure is a three-apartment dwelling. The blaze was contained to a first-floor apartment, but the apartment and its contents were destroyed. Two other apartments sustained smoke damage. The cause of the fire is undetermined.

 

Firefighters are still searching for the cause of last week’s large fire at Eagle Creek Golf Club.

Last Thursday’s blaze destroyed a storage shed that housed 70 golf carts and golf course maintenance items. The fire caused about $500,000 damage. No one was injured.

 

The former head of Erie County Job and Family Services has filed his final appeal, in hopes of reclaiming his job and lost wages.

According to the Sandusky Register, Aaron Voltz is fighting a federal judge’s June decision to dismiss his wrongful termination case. Voltz was fired in July of 2011, after he was accused of raping a 26-year-old Huron woman. He was never formally charged. Voltz, who is Hispanic, is claiming racial and gender discrimination.

 

The 2014 Ohio State Fair begins this Wednesday.

It runs through August 3rd. This year’s concert lineup in includes Boyz II Men, Lady Antebellum, Scotty McCreery, the Beach Boys, Heart, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, and Aretha Franklin. John Stamos will join the Beach Boys on guitar, vocal and drums.

 

Tuition is going up at most public universities in Ohio this fall.

Tuition will rise at 11 of the 13 traditional four-year public universities.

 

The city of Cleveland has withdrawn its bid, to host the 2016 Democratic National Convention.

Cleveland will host the Republican National Convention in 2016.

 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

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

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

 

Huron school officials are considering student drug testing.

A task force has been formed to explore the idea.

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

Friday, July 18, 2014

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

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

 

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

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

 

First round interviews are complete.

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

 

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

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

 

Fire caused heavy damage to two Sandusky homes yesterday afternoon.

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

 

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

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

 

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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