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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Day baseball, on 95.3, WLKR.

It’s the rubber match, between the Cleveland Indians and L.A. Dodgers. Indians Warm-Up begins at 2:37, and game time is set for 3:10. The Indians won last night, 10-3.

 

The 28th annual Willard Festival in the Park begins today.

 Things will get underway at 4.

 

Investigators are working to find the cause of yesterday’s train derailment in Bellevue.

The Wheeling and Lake Erie Railway train was running over Norfolk Southern tracks, when it veered off near Kinney Street at approximately 8am. The train was pulling old passenger cars. In all, five cars went off the tracks. No one was injured.

 

A federal judge has dismissed a wrongful termination suit filed by the former head of Erie County Job and Family Services.

Aaron Voltz now has about two weeks to file what could be his last appeal. Voltz was fired three years ago, after being jailed for rape. He was never formally charged, but his dismissal stood. Voltz is Hispanic…He’s claiming racial and gender discrimination. He’s seeking a return to work, plus $75,000.

 

A former teacher at Sandusky Central Catholic has filed suit, claiming she was fired because of her age.

Tracy Fredrick was a 20-year employee when she lost her job in August of last year. She was a computer teacher for grades K-8, and a ‘lead teacher.’ School officials told her in August that her job had been eliminated, and there were no vacant teaching positions at the school. Fredrick claims there were vacancies at the fourth and fifth grade levels, and she was qualified for those positions. According to the suit, Sandusky Central Catholic officials hired two substantially younger teachers for the job. At the time, Fredrick was 44. She’s seeking damages, court costs and attorney fees.

 

We should know tomorrow how many people officially applied for the soon-to-be vacant Norwalk City Schools superintendent job.

North Point Educational Service Center is aiding in the search. Superintendent Doug Crooks said via email that paperwork will be completed and sent to the media tomorrow. Current Norwalk City Schools superintendent Dennis Doughty is retiring July 31st. He’ll take over as President of Norwalk Catholic School the next day.

 

In Norwalk, U.S. Route 250 resurfacing continues today.

No work is scheduled for tomorrow or July 4th.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Charges are pending, in connection with yesterday morning’s fatal crash in Fitchville Township.

27-year-old Scott Shuker of Bellevue was killed at the intersection of Fitchville River Road and Prospect Road. According to the Norwalk Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol, Shuker’s car was hit by one driven by 21-year-old Tyler Keathley of New London. Troopers said Keathly failed to observe a stop sign at the intersection. Keathly suffered minor injuries, and was treated at the scene.

 

For a change, some good news involving jobs in Norwalk.

Borgers USA will spend $60 million to build a new automotive components plant on 27 acres in Firelands Industrial Park. The plant will employ approximately 230 workers. Norwalk was in competition with 60 other sites in four different states. Groundbreaking is scheduled for next month, with construction scheduled to be complete in early 2015. Prospective employees will be interviewed later this year.

 

We should know in two days how many people officially applied for the soon-to-be vacant Norwalk City Schools superintendent job.

North Point Educational Service Center is aiding in the search. Superintendent Doug Crooks said via email that paperwork will be completed and sent to the media on Thursday. Current Norwalk City Schools superintendent Dennis Doughty is retiring July 31st. He’ll take over as President of Norwalk Catholic School the next day.

 

A Sandusky man is facing felony charges, for breaking into his ex-girlfriend’s house three times in one day.

44-year-old Kendrin Lockhart was arrested early Sunday morning, just after threatening to kill the victim with a brick. The first time, Lockhart climbed through a window to get in. The second time, he shattered a bedroom window to gain entry. The third time, the victim’s teenage son grabbed a baseball bat, while she dialed 911. Lockhart was taken to the Erie County Jail.

 

In sports…

The Indians have just 2 hits in their last two games…Not surprisingly, both games were losses. The Tribe will try to snap that streak tonight, against the Dodgers. Gametime is 10:10, and you can hear it on 95.3, WLKR.

Kyrie Irving is staying with the Cavs. He’s agreed to a contract extension that will keep him in Cleveland through the 2019-2020 season. He’ll sign the contract on July 10th. It’s believed to be a max deal, worth $90 million.

 

 

 

Monday, June 30, 2014

So far, so good.

 The forecast for the July 4th holiday calls for sunny skies, and 74 degrees. For fireworks in Norwalk that night, clear and 55.

 

The annual Lions Club parade in Norwalk will begin at 10:30 Friday morning.

The parade route is the same, East Main Street to Benedict Avenue, then Norwood Avenue, Fair Road and the Huron County Fairgrounds. You can hear live coverage of the parade on Kool Gold 1510.

As we told you in news Friday, this year’s parade marshal is the Division II State Champion Norwalk High School basketball team.

Norwalk’s annual fireworks display will begin at dusk, at the fairgrounds.

 

You can see fireworks at the Willard Festival in the Park, at 10:30 Friday night.

The Festival begins Wednesday, and runs through Saturday. We’ll broadcast live from the Willard Festival in the Park, starting at 4 Wednesday.

 

For now, gas prices are falling.

According to GasBuddy.com, you’ll find self-serve regular in Norwalk for as low as $3.37 a gallon. But with the holiday weekend coming up, pump prices are expected to rise.

 

The results are in from Friday’s DUI checkpoint on State Route 4 in Perkins Township.

590 cars were checked between 10pm and 1am and only five people were arrested, including just one for drunken driving.  Two others were arrested for driving under suspension, while another was arrested for driving without a license.  One person was arrested for possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

 

It should help ease traffic a bit.

The Federal Aviation Administration has approved a request to allow Summit Motorsports Park to use the Huron County Airport runway as an exit this Friday, Saturday and Sunday, for the Summit NHRA Nationals. Summit Motorsports Park will pay the county $2,000.

 

The HEAP Summer Crisis program begins tomorrow and is scheduled to end August 31st.

It’s for households with a member 60 or older or someone with a qualifying medical condition.  The maximum amount for electric bill payment assistance is $350 or the same toward a window air conditioning unit.  For more information or to register contact Erie-Huron CAC.

 

It sounds like something from an action movie.

Passengers on a Sandusky Transit bus escaped danger, after it stalled on train tracks. It happened Friday evening, at a railroad crossing on Remington Avenue. The driver called Sandusky police, leading dispatchers to contact Norfolk Southern, in hopes of stopping a rapidly approaching train. The driver evacuated passengers, then pushed the bus safely across the tracks. A tow truck was called to get the bus.

 

Believe it or not, it’s been 20 years since the release of “The Shawshank Redemption.”

Much of the movie was filmed in Mansfield and the surrounding area.  To help mark the movie’s 20th anniversary, special events and location tours are planned for Labor Day weekend.  The tour includes the Ohio State Reformatory, the famous Shawshank Oak Tree, the Wyandot County Courthouse, Red’s Bus Ride along Route 95 and much more.  For more information, simply go to shawshank20.com.

 

 

Friday, June 27, 2014

A split verdict, in the trial of Brian Jury.

The Groton Township man was found guilty on two counts of rape, two counts of abduction, and one count of felonious assault. But an Erie County Common Pleas Court jury found him not guilty on four other charges, including attempted murder. The charges were connected to the November kidnapping and sexual assault of a Lorain woman. The crimes occurred at Jury’s Strecker Road property. He’ll remain in the Erie County Jail, until his July 14th sentencing hearing. He’s facing more than 35 years behind bars.

 

The July 4th holiday is one week away.

In Norwalk, finishing touches are being put on the annual Lions Club parade. This year’s parade marshals will be the 2013-2014 Division II state basketball champion Norwalk Truckers. The Lions Club parade will begin at 10:30 next Friday. You can hear exclusive live coverage, on Kool Gold 1510.

 

EHOVE Career Center superintendent Sharon Mastroianni has received a contract extension.

The five-year agreement runs through July 31st of 2019. She’ll be allowed to retire next July, but will be rehired for the remaining four years. Her salary will be just over $119,000, with annual increases. Mastroianni has been EHOVE’s superintendent since 2006.

 

15 people have shown interest, in becoming the Norwalk City Schools’ next superintendent.

The application deadline is the close of business today. Applicants will be screened and interviewed next month. Current superintendent Dennis Doughty is retiring July 31st.

 

Perkins Township is where a DUI checkpoint will be held tonight.

Tonight’s Erie County DUI checkpoint will be held from 10pm until 1am on State Route 4, Perkins Township.  It’s being run by the Highway Patrol along with Perkins Police and Erie County Deputies. 

 

In sports…

The Cleveland Cavaliers selected Kansas guard Andrew Wiggins with the first overall pick in last night’s NBA draft.  Wiggins is 19.  He played one collegiate season and averaged 17 points and six rebounds a game. 

Late night baseball on 95.3, WLKR.  The Tribe and Seattle Mariners will play at 10:10 tonight at Safeco Field.

It’s a big racing weekend at the Radio Ranch.  At 6:30 tomorrow night on K96, it’s the Quaker State 400.  At 3 Sunday, it’s the Houston Grand Prix 2.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

The next Republican National Convention could be held in Cleveland.

Republican officials named Cleveland and Dallas as finalists to host the 2016 convention. Kansas City and Denver did not make the cut. Earlier reports out of Colorado said Denver was in, and Cleveland was out. A final decision is expected in August. Cleveland is also one of six cities vying to host the 2016 Democratic National Convention.

 

If you live in New London or Fitchville Townships, you will be without power at times next Tuesday.

Firelands Electric Cooperative will perform maintenance work between 9am and 4pm.  Multiple outages are expected during the project.  Most outages should last approximately one hour.  Nearly 600 Firelands Electric Cooperative members will be affected.

 

AAA says 41 million Americans will journey at least 50 miles from home, during the July 4th holiday weekend.

That’s a 1.9 percent increase from last year. The Independence Day holiday travel period begins July 2nd, and ends July 6th.

 

New census data shows Hispanics are leading Ohio’s population growth.

In fact, Hispanic population has increased in 87 of the state’s 88 counties. Estimates show Ohio gained more than 32,000 new Hispanic residents between 2010 and last year. That’s an increase of nine percent.

 

No verdict yet, in the case of a Bellevue-area man charged with kidnapping and raping a Lorain woman.

Deliberations will resume this morning, in Erie County Common Pleas Court. Brian Jury is facing nine felony charges.

 

Perkins Township is where a DUI checkpoint will be held tomorrow night.

The exact location will be announced tomorrow morning by the State Highway Patrol.  Troopers, along with Erie County Deputies and Perkins Police will man the checkpoint.

 

Budgetary matters will be the focus of a special meeting of the Perkins Board of Education.

The board will meet at 7am Monday, at the Administrative Service Center on Campbell Street.

 

Starting next week, nearly 600 Erie County employees will pay about 20 percent more, for health insurance.

Other changes approved by the county commissioners include higher deductibles and co-pays.

 

A scrap-metal thief in Columbus will spend three years behind bars on federal charges.

Martin Eldridge was accused of stealing air conditioning units from buildings. Prosecutors said Eldridge violated the ‘Clean Air Act’ when he cut tubing to the a/c units, releasing freon into the air, and potentially damaging the ozone.

 

Bellevue Community Days begins its three-day run today.

We’ll have much more, as we broadcast live from Robert Peters Park. Kelly Rose will be on hand between 4 and 6. The 28th annual Willard Festival in the Park begins next Wednesday. It’ll run through July 5th.

 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Huron County is under a Flood Advisory until 9:45 this morning.

 

There are multiple reports of high water around the area, especially in Huron County.

South Norwalk Road, near Route 61 in Norwalk is closed because of high water. Old State Road, between Peru-Olena and Dublin roads in Bronson Township was closed as well.

 

It ended just before 3:15 Eastern Daylight Time this morning.

The interleague game between the Cleveland Indians and the Arizona Diamondbacks went 14 innings. Arizona won it, 9-8.

 

Following a statewide trend, Huron County’s unemployment rate continues to fall.

Figures from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services show the county’s May unemployment rate was 6.7 percent. It was 7.9 percent in April. May jobless rates in surrounding counties ranged from 4.6 percent in Erie County, to 6.6 percent in Lorain County. Around the state, jobless rates ranged from 10.8 percent in Monroe County, to just three percent in Mercer County. Ohio’s average was 5.5 percent.

 

The jury has the case of Brian Jury.

Deliberations will begin this morning, in Erie County Common Pleas Court. The Bellevue-area man is accused of kidnapping and repeatedly raping a Lorain woman last November. He’s facing nine felony charges.

 

Norwalk’s historic Woodlawn Cemetery will offer two free guided walking tours this summer.

The first will be July 13th, and the second, August 3rd. Both will start at 1pm, near the public mausoleum. The tour guide will be local historian Henry Timman, who also serves as vice-president of the Norwalk Cemetery Association. Woodlawn Cemetery opened in 1854.

 

The Sandusky Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol has announced plans to operate a DUI checkpoint this week.

The exact location will be announced the morning of the checkpoint.

 

An update, on donations for July 4th fireworks in Norwalk.

According to Mayor Rob Duncan, the city is about $3,500 short of the goal of $18,000. Donations are tax deductible. Checks should be made out to the VFW, with fireworks in the memo, and can be dropped off at Norwalk City Hall.

 

Local authorities and the State Fire Marshal’s Office continue to investigate a suspected case of arson in Wakeman.

They believe someone purposely set fire to a home at the Firelands Manor Mobile Home Park early Sunday morning. The same person may have used spray paint to write the phrase homewrecker’ on a shed behind the home. Several people have been interviewed, but no one has been arrested.

 

The Mercy Willard Hospital Foundation golf outing at Eagle Creek has been canceled, due to high water at the golf course.

 

To New London where voters will decide whether or not to renew a half-percent income tax for police and fire services.

Village Council has approved a measure to place the issue on the fall ballot.

 

Bellevue Community Days begins its three-day run tomorrow.

We will broadcast live from Robert Peters Park between 4 and 6 tomorrow.

 

The 28th annual Willard Festival in the Park begins one week from today.  It will run through July 5th.

 

 

 

 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

A Flash Flood Watch is in effect for the entire area, until 10 tonight.

1-to-2 inches of rain fell in some spots yesterday, with more rain expected this afternoon and evening.

 

East of us, a tornado touched down in Brunswick yesterday.

It was most likely an EF1 or EF2 twister.

 

Norwalk’s Benedict-Elm widening project will take approximately two months.

Work began yesterday, which means the project won’t be complete until mid-to-late August.

Public Works Director Josh Snyder said yesterday that Benedict Avenue, or Route 250 will be open the entire time, but just one lane during working hours. Two lanes may be open nights and weekends. Snyder also said for the most part, Elm St will be closed during the project. It may be re-opened, during certain off-hours and weekends. All truck traffic is being re-routed.

 

State Route 61, between 601 and Old State Road in Norwalk was closed for several hours last night, after an SUV hit a pole.

The road was closed, due to low hanging wires. Two people in the SUV suffered minor injuries.

 

There’s a Red Cross blood drive in Norwalk today.

It’ll be held from 1 until 4:30, at the Huron County Administration building on Milan Avenue. If you can’t make it to today’s blood drive, two more are scheduled for next week in Norwalk. The first will be from 9 until 1 Monday at The Chapel South Campus on South Norwalk Road, and Wednesday, July 2nd, from 11:30 until 5:30 at the VFW on Milan Avenue.

 

The Bellevue-area man accused of kidnapping and raping a Lorain woman last fall said yesterday that sex between the two was consensual.

Brian Jury took the stand, in Erie County Common Pleas Court. He also claimed he agreed to pay the victim $40 for sex, and he said the woman stole money from him. Closing arguments are expected today.

 

The North Coast Community Emergency Response Team, or CERT, will continue to be available to help elderly and disabled Willard residents clean up from last week’s storm.

Residents can schedule help by calling 419-602-0758.

 

Life in prison with no chance of parole, for a Milan Township man convicted of repeatedly raping two young girls.

62-year-old Joseph Wagner was sentenced yesterday, in Erie County Common Pleas Court. The crimes occurred between 2011 and last year, at Wagner’s Mudbrook Road home. At the time, both girls were under the age of 10.

 

Former Sandusky City Manager Nicole Ard has is suing the city commissioners and the city.

She claims she was wrongfully fired, and is seeking a full year’s pay, nearly $130,000, along with health benefits. By a 4-3 vote, Ard was fired in March, for failing to meet expectations. The city commissioners declined to comment on the suit.

 

Local authorities and the State Fire Marshal’s Office are investigating a suspected case of arson in Wakeman.

A weekend blaze destroyed a home at Firelands Manor Mobile Home Park.  Someone also sprayed painted the phrase ‘home-wrecker’ on a shed behind the Linden Avenue home.  Detectives have interviewed several people, but no one has been arrested.

 

Monday, June 23, 2014

More road work, in Norwalk.

Starting today, Elm Street, at Benedict Avenue will be closed, for the planned widening project at the intersection. Vehicles will be allowed through on Benedict, one lane at a time, but locals should use Norwood or Linwood Avenues instead. All truck traffic will be rerouted, using Routes 20 and 18, to Schauss, Ontario and Republic Street.

 

Some delays, involving other road projects around the area.

According to ODOT, the re-opening of U.S. Route 250 in Fitchville has been delayed again. It’s now scheduled to re-open July 22nd.

Resurfacing work continues on State Route 13, between 250 and the city of Huron. One lane of traffic is being maintained in affected areas. The project should be complete by late August.

And State Route 99, between the Huron County line and Route 4 should fully re-open by late August. Crews are resurfacing the roadway. One lane of traffic is open at all times.

 

A chase in parts of Erie County had led to several charges against a Sandusky man.

23-year-old Robert Armstrong was arrested Saturday afternoon after leading authorities on a high-speed chase in Huron and Perkins Townships.  The chase covered about 15 miles and reached speeds of 100 miles per hour.  Along the way, Armstrong sped through several intersections.  It ended when Armstrong surrendered on Old Railroad Road.

 

Testimony will resume this morning, in the trial of a Bellevue-area man accused of abducting and raping a Lorain woman.

Brian Jury is being tried, in Erie County Common Pleas Court.

 

Sentencing is scheduled for July 30th for a New London man who stole his ex-father-in-law’s truck and then set it on fire.

Last week, 27-year-old Elliot Shepherd II pleaded guilty to charges of burglary and auto theft.  In exchange, the prosecutor’s office dismissed charges of theft and arson.  He’s still facing more than five years in prison.

 

No meeting of Norwalk City Council tomorrow night.

City Council’s next meeting will be held July 1st.

 

Miss Montgomery County is now Miss Ohio, 2014.

22-year-old MacKenzie Bart was crowned Saturday night in Mansfield. She’s a senior at Ohio State, majoring in atmospheric sciences. She’ll now compete for the title of Miss America.

 

The world’s largest fencing tournament is underway, in central Ohio.

More than 4,300 fencers are competing through July 3rd, at the Columbus Convention Center.

 

Coming to Bellevue this Thursday, Friday and Saturday…

Bellevue Community Days at Robert Peters Park.  We will have more in news later this week.

 

Friday, June 20, 2014

Crews are working to restore power in Willard.

Officials with American Electric Power hope to have electricity fully restored by noon today. Hundreds of Willard residents remain without power, after a severe thunderstorm hit the city Wednesday evening. At one point, more than 3,300 AEP customers in Willard had no electricity. In other news, city officials are asking anyone who knows of serious structural damage or injuries to contact Willard City Hall.

 

The North Coast Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) will be available in and around Willard this weekend to assist the elderly, disabled and others who are unable to clean up storm damage on their property from Wednesday’s storms.

The team can remove branches and other small debris from yards and can carry limbs and other debris to the street.  CERT does not remove large trees or heavy debris and cannot haul debris away.  CERT is a volunteer team of specially trained disaster workers affiliated with the Huron County Emergency Management Agency.  To schedule volunteer help, call the CERT office at 419-602-0758 or contact the Huron County EMA at 419-663-5772.  The CERT Office will be open to take calls all weekend.

 

Resurfacing work IS taking p lace today on U.S. Route 250 along Norwalk’s north side. 

Officials previously said no work would be done today. 

 

Testimony resumes this morning, in the trial of accused kidnapper and rapist Brian Jury.

The Groton Township man is charged with abducting and repeatedly raping a Lorain woman at his Strecker Road property last November. The alleged victim took the stand yesterday, and told the jury about the events of November 1st, including escaping while bound, gagged and nude. It’s not known if Jury will take the stand.

 

Huron and Crawford counties are now sharing a health commissioner.

Current Huron County health commissioner Tim Hollinger will do the same job in Crawford County. He’s expected to average 20 hours per week in each county, and the two counties will share his salary. It’s a pilot program, with a six-month probationary period.

 

Ohio’s unemployment rate continues to fall.

According to new figures from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, it was 5.5 percent in May compared to 5.7 percent in April.

 

Ohio voters will not be asked to overturn the state’s gay marriage ban this year.

Officials with ‘FreedomOhio’ say they won’t have enough time to collect the signatures needed to put the issue on the November ballot.

 

Around Ohio…

Every student in the Columbus City Schools will receive free lunches this fall, under a new federal program for districts that serve high poverty areas.

Miss Ohio 2014 will be crowned tomorrow night in Mansfield.

She’ll represent the Buckeye State at the next Miss USA pageant.

Trustees at Youngstown State University have approved a contract for new president Jim Tressel.

He’ll make $300,000 annually. Tressel’s also getting a car and housing.

Kraft Foods is recalling Velveeta Cheese from Wal-Mart stores in 12 states, including Ohio.

The reason: the cheese lacks the correct amount of preservatives.

 

Summer, 2014 officially begins at 6:51am tomorrow.

 

It’s an important three-game series between the Cleveland Indians and the Detroit Tigers.

Game 1 is at 7:05 tonight.  Game 2 is at 7:15 tomorrow night and game three at 1:05 on Sunday.  You can hear all three games on 95.3, WLKR.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Cleanup continues in Willard, an area hit hard by yesterday’s storms.

Numerous trees and lines came down, during strong evening storms. After those storms rolled through, residents were told to stay indoors, for safety reasons. There was at least one unconfirmed sighting of a funnel cloud, just outside the city limits. Storms hit Norwalk as well. Trees hit at least two homes. Power remains out in spots around the area. Crews are working to restore service.

 

If they can play, day baseball is planned in Cleveland.

The Indians and Angels are scheduled to play at noon. Last night’s game was rained out. A makeup date is pending.

 

It’s being called a case of medical neglect, and Erie County deputies say it’s one of the worst they’ve ever seen.

A 33-year-old Groton Township man is dead, and his father and stepmother have been charged in connection with his death. 54-year-old David Arthur, and 46-year-old Deborah Arthur turned themselves in yesterday. They were charged with involuntary manslaughter, and failing to provide for a functionally impaired person. Both are in the Erie County Jail. Deputies were called to the family home on Billings Road Sunday, and found David Arthur Jr. dead, severely malnourished and covered in bed sores. Once weighing 300 pounds, he weighed just 94 pounds.

 

A former Plymouth-Shiloh booster convicted of stealing thousands of dollars was in court yesterday.

41-year-old Jodi Kidd was sentenced to five years probation, and was told to pay back nearly $12,000. Authorities said Kidd stole the money between September of 2012, and May of last year. At the time, she was president and treasurer of the Big Red Music Boosters Association. She was caught, when another booster discovered discrepancies.

 

The U.S. Coast Guard rescued three fishermen from Lake Erie after their boat capsized yesterday morning near Kelley’s Island.

They were tossed into the water by strong waves.  None of the men were hurt.  All three were wearing life jackets.

 

A Sandusky woman who stole nine TV sets from Norwalk’s Wal-Mart will spend time in the Huron County Jail.

Vanessa Medina will spend two months behind bars.  Her probation officer will decide if she should serve two more months after that.  She’s also been banned from all Wal-Mart stores.  It’s Medina’s first felony offense, but she has numerous misdemeanor theft convictions.

 

Longtime Greenwich Mayor Lowell Etzler has resigned.

He stepped down Tuesday, for health reasons. Etzler served as mayor for 10 years. Before that, he was a member of Greenwich Village Council for 15 years.

 

State Route 60, near Lincoln Road in Wakeman Township will close Monday for a culvert replacement.

The road should re-open next Friday.