• Melissa and Scott will be live Wednesday morning at Cedar Point for the unveiling of the all new ValRavn!










News

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

From Wakeman to Hollywood…

17-year-old singer-songwriter Emily Keener has auditioned for NBC’s top-rated show, “The Voice”. Her Facebook page reads “….tune in, starting Monday, February 29th to see what happens.” Emily has written dozens of songs, has recorded many of them, and has performed across Ohio for the past 5 years. She’s also appeared on Kelly Rose’s ‘Local Music Spot’, which airs at 1pm each Friday on 95.3 WLKR and wlkrradio.com.

 

New leadership responsibilities for State Senator Gayle Manning of North Ridgeville.

She’s been named Senate Majority Whip for the balance of this year. Manning has served Lorain and Huron Counties since 2011.

 

The primary election is March 15th, but people are already casting their ballots.

Statewide, more than 10,000 people cast ballots during the first three days of ‘early voting’.

 

A Tuesday afternoon rollover crash in Sherman Township injured three people.

Lifeflight and Monroeville firefighters were called in, after an SUV flipped over on State Route 547. Two people were flown to a Toledo Hospital. A third was taken by ambulance to The Bellevue Hospital. The occupants were from Crawford County. The Norwalk Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol is investigating the crash.

 

Nine local schools will share nearly $27,000 in grant money, courtesy of Fisher Titus Medical Center’s Health Education Grant Distribution Program.

Edison, Monroeville, New London, Norwalk, Norwalk Catholic, South Central, Wellington, Western and Willard schools will each receive about $3,000 from Fisher-Titus. The money will help fund various innovative educational programs in the areas of math, science and health. The Fisher-Titus Health Education Grant Distribution Program has been in place for 20 years.

 

Two men accused of taking part in over a dozen burglaries around Huron County and northern Richland County are in jail.

43-year-old Randy Ruff of Shiloh, and 38-year-old Jason Muhr of Willard were arrested early Monday morning, after a traffic stop in New Haven Township. The two had been under surveillance by Huron County deputies, and were arrested shortly after a home invasion in Peru Township. Both men face multiple charges. Ruff has previous felony convictions, while Muhr is scheduled to stand trial next month, in connection with a November burglary in Willard.

 

A South Central Elementary student could be charged, after he became upset and allegedly threatened to shoot other students and a teacher.

It happened yesterday afternoon. A deputy was called to the school to interview the boy, and to talk to school officials. The boy admitted to making the threat, and also said he had no intention of shooting anyone. He was released to his mother, and a report was sent to the prosecutor’s office for possible charges.

 

In sports…

Coverage of boy’s tournament basketball continues tonight on 95.3 WLKR and wlkrradio.com.

We’ll be at the Monroeville Athletic Complex, for Division III sectional semi-final action between Willard and Seneca East. Coverage will start at 6:45, with tip off at 7.

 

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Toledo is taking steps to address a $1.3 million budget shortfall for the upcoming fiscal year.

The measures–approved by Bishop Daniel E. Thomas–include a 20% reduction in expenses at the administrative offices of the Diocese, the ceasing of the Catholic Chronicle newspaper and website, and the elimination of the televised Sunday Catholic Mass on WTOL, Channel 11 out of Toledo. Other options are available for televised Sunday Mass. A national broadcast airs on EWTN at 8am and noon each Sunday, and Sunday Mass airs at 6am each Sunday on WJW, Channel 8 in Cleveland. The Diocese of Toledo covers all of northwest Ohio, and Huron and Erie counties.

 

It isn’t considered suspicious, but the investigation continues into a weekend barn fire in Erie County.

Berlin Township firefighters were summoned to the State Route 113 scene late Saturday night. They received help from the Milan Township, Huron and Norwalk Fire Departments. It took about 90 minutes to extinguish the blaze. The barn and its contents were destroyed. No animals were lost, but an ATV, two portable welders and three lawnmowers were consumed by the flames.

 

Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders is coming to the Cleveland area this week.

He’s scheduled to appear at Thursday morning rally at Baldwin-Wallace.

 

Governor John Kasich wants the General Assembly to convene in southeast Ohio, for his annual ‘State of the State’ address.

He’s requested a joint session April 6th, in Marietta. In previous years, Kasich has made his ‘State of the State’ speech in Steubenville, Lima, Medina and Wilmington.

 

The Huron County Commissioners are putting the finishing touches on the fiscal year 2016 budget.

Final budget numbers have been sent to department heads and elected officials, and approval is expected in the coming weeks.

 

In sports…

We’ll tip off coverage of boys tournament basketball tonight on 95.3 WLKR and wlkradio.com. We’ll be live at Ashland High School, for Division II sectional semi-final action between Norwalk and Mansfield Madison. Pregame coverage begins at 6, with tipoff at 6:15.

 

Monday, February 22, 2016

A new record temperature was set in Norwalk Saturday.

The official high was 69, breaking the previous record of 67 set in 1930.

 

A new poll by Public Policy Polling shows nearly three-quarters of Ohioans are in favor of amending the state constitution to make medical marijuana legal in the Buckeye State.

The issue could appear on the November ballot.

 

High winds led to multiple power outages around the area Saturday.

Parts of Milan, Huron and Perkins Townships, along with Sandusky and Norwalk were affected in the morning and afternoon.

 

A weekend fire destroyed a barn in Berlin Township.

Emergency crews were summoned to scene shortly after 10:30 Saturday night. State Route 113 was closed, between Arlington and Chapin roads. We’ll have more, as details become available.

 

Huron City Schools superintendent Dennis Muratori has a new contract.

He’s signed a three-year agreement, worth $129,600 annually.

 

Students at Bowling Green State University will pay more for room and board, starting with the next academic year.

BGSU trustees have approved increases totaling nearly five percent. Tuition rates and other fees have not been set.

 

Governor John Kasich will campaign in four different states this week.

Kasich will make stops in Virginia, Georgia, Mississippi and Louisiana.

 

A Wood County grand jury has charged two Norwalk men involved in bar fight that left one man dead, and another seriously injured.

52-year-old Kevin W. Knott is facing charges of involuntary manslaughter and felonious assault. His son, 27-year-old Kevin E. Knott is charged with felonious assault. The charges are tied to the mid-January death of 48-year-old Elwood Lock Jr. of Lorain. Lock was critically injured in a bar fight in Lake Township. He died about a week after the altercation. An Eastlake man was also injured in the fight. Knott and his son remain in the Wood County Jail.

 

News from Cedar Point…

Daily admission is going up this year. A single ticket will cost $65, up $3 from last year. However, tickets can be bought online for $39.99, plus a $5.99 processing fee. Also, discounted tickets can be purchased at Discount Drug Mart and other venues. Cedar Point has made it official—-Shoot the Rapids water ride will be removed, along with two rides in Challenge Park: Skyscraper and Challenge Racing. The park’s new attraction will be the record-breaking Valravn roller coaster. Cedar Point’s 2016 season begins May 7th.

 

Checking Ohio’s lottery jackpots…

Classic Lotto is up to $3.2 million. Mega Millions is worth $114 million, and the Powerball jackpot is up to $236 million.

 

The 2016 Huron County Chamber of Commerce Home and Business Show will be held this Saturday at Norwalk Middle School.

We’ll have more in news this week, and Carrie Danger will broadcast live from the Home and Business Show between 10 and 1 Saturday.

 

Friday, February 19, 2016

A Wind Advisory is in effect until 9 tonight.

Winds could reach 50 miles per hour.

 

A new poll suggests if Ohio governor John Kasich won the GOP nomination, he’d beat Hillary Clinton, but would lose to Bernie Sanders in the race for president.

Results from the newest Quinnipiac University Poll show Kasich would beat Clinton 47-39 percent, but would lose to Sanders 45-41 percent. However, Kasich continues to trail fellow GOP members Donald Trump, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz.

 

An early release, for a former Mansfield teacher imprisoned for having sex with a student.

45-year-old Dustin Powers is getting out ten months early. The former middle school teacher was sent to prison in 2009, after impregnating a 15-year-old girl. Powers is now on five years’ probation, and must attend sex offender treatment. He gave up his teaching license, after his conviction.

 

McDonald’s is testing a new product in central Ohio.

Chicken McGriddles are being offered at nearly a dozen McDonald’s locations in the Columbus area. It’s essentially a McChicken patty placed between two maple-flavored pancakes. The Chicken McGriddle will be tested until March 27th.After that, McDonald’s officials will analyze feedback and decide if it should be rolled out elsewhere.

 

A change, involving the Huron County Board of Elections.

The meeting scheduled for 7:30am next Tuesday has been rescheduled for 5pm the same day. The meeting will be held at the Board office, in the Huron County Administration Building in Norwalk.

 

Earlier this week, we told you about plans for Edison High School’s new $500,000 stadium field house.

Edison Athletic Director Tom Jeffery will talk more about the project, during tomorrow’s Locker Room show, which begins at 9am.

 

It’s a busy sports weekend at the Radio Ranch.

Tonight, we’ll close out coverage of the boys high school basketball regular season on 95.3 and wlkrradio.com. Live at 7:30, it’s the SBC championship game, with Perkins at Edison. After that, it’s Roundball Replay, with Mapleton at St. Paul. Tomorrow night, we’re back with two live girls sectional championship games. At 6:15, Willard will take on Wynford, then at 8, its Bellevue and Tiffin Columbian. At noon Sunday on K96, it’s the NASCAR Sprint Cup opener, the Daytona 500. And at 3:30 on 95.3, the Cavs will take on the Oklahoma City Thunder.

 

 

Thursday, February 18, 2016

11 years in prison for a Norwalk man who sexually abused three boys.

73-year-old Hershel Prater Jr. was sentenced yesterday, by Huron County Common Pleas Court Judge James Conway. In December, Prater pleaded guilty to charges of sexual battery, gross sexual imposition and importuning. Two of the incidents involving the victims occurred last summer. The third occurred in 2012. Once out of prison, Prater will have to register his address with authorities for life.

 

She began her career in school finance in Norwalk and now, she’s been hired as treasurer of the Norwalk City Schools.

Joyce DuPont hiring was made official during last night’s special school board meeting. She was given a three-year contract with an annual salary of $92,500. DuPont was one of 11 applicants. A Norwalk resident, DuPont has spent four years as treasurer of the Clyde-Green Springs Schools. She previously served as treasurer at South Central, and before that, worked under former Norwalk City Schools treasurer Kenneth France.

 

USDA funding is now available to western Lake Erie Basin Farmers in Ohio, to help improve water quality.

The goal is to reduce nutrients and harmful algae blooms in Lake Erie, by assisting farmers in installing conservation practices that benefit water quality in the western basin. This year, applications received from Ohio livestock farmers will receive priority for funding. Livestock farmers interested in applying for technical and financial assistance should contact their local USDA Service Center as soon as possible.

 

State Senator Gayle Manning has announced that the Ohio Legislative Service Commission is accepting applications for its prestigious 13-month Legislative and Telecommunications Fellowship programs.

The commission will hire 24 fellows to work with members of the Ohio General Assembly during 2017. Those hired will write press releases and speeches, assist in policy research, attend meetings and perform administrative duties. No political experience is necessary, but all applicants must have a four-year college degree. Fellows receive full state of Ohio benefits and are paid $31,200, with a chance to earn a $2,000 bonus. For more information or to apply, contact the Ohio Legislative Service Commission.

 

The University of Toledo has announced budget cuts.

1.5 percent will be trimmed from the operating budget this year, and three percent will be cut from the entire budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1st. The cuts will amount to about $600,000 this year, and nearly $8.7 million for fiscal year 2017.

 

Ohio Governor John Kasich is on the road again.

He’s campaigning in South Carolina.

 

North Fairfield has a new administrator and a vacancy on village council.

Tom Leto has resigned his council seat, after being named village administrator. It’ll be up to North Fairfield village council to appoint a new member.

 

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Early voting is underway throughout Ohio.

 

Exciting news from the Edison School district.

Officials have unveiled plans for a new 15,000 square foot stadium field house. It’ll feature an indoor practice area with turf, new locker rooms, new offices for coaches and more. In exchange for naming rights, Firelands Regional Medical Center will pay half of the estimated $500,000 cost over five years. The remaining half will be covered by the Edison Athletic Boosters and other donors. Edison school officials hope to break ground this spring. If all goes as planned, the new stadium field house will be ready by the start of the 2016-2017 school year.

 

The Edison High School Marching Band and Sound Dimension Show Choir are on the way to Florida.

The band and choir will perform at Universal Studios, and they’ll be featured at the Thomas Edison Festival of Light Parade. The trip is being made possible through the Edison Music Boosters, and various fundraising efforts.

 

The parent company of Cedar Point and Kings Island is reporting record revenues of nearly $1.25 billion and a profit of $112 million last year.

Along with Cedar Point and Kings Island, Cedar Fair owns several other amusement parks and water parks. Attendance at all Cedar Fair parks was a record 24.4 million, up 1.1 million from the previous year.

 

A week from Saturday, it’s the 15th annual Huron County Chamber of Commerce Home and Business Show, at Norwalk Middle School.

Hours will be 10am until 4pm. We’ll have more in news next week.

 

Police in Sandusky are searching for a man suspected of breaking into two businesses, and swiping tobacco products.

28-year-old Timothy Shannon is accused of breaking into Friendship Food Stores on Cleveland Road in early January, and stealing cigarettes. Days before that, he allegedly broke into Convenient Food Mart on Perkins Avenue, and stole nearly $1,300 worth of tobacco products. Both break-ins were caught on video. Anyone with information on Shannon’s whereabouts should contact the Sandusky Police Department.

 

The city of Norwalk’s Planning Commission will meet in special session at 6 tomorrow night, in the conference room at city hall.

 

Coverage of girls tournament basketball resumes tonight, with a live Division III doubleheader from Willard.

At 6:15, it’s Western Reserve and Col. Crawford, followed by Edison and #1 Ashland Crestview.

 

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Icy roads led to some area school delays and closings this morning.

Christie Lane Workshop, Monroeville, New London, Pioneer Career and Technology Center, Plymouth-Shiloh, Seneca East, South Central and Willard all canceled classes. Bellevue, Clyde-Green Springs and Margaretta went on a two-hour delay. Any time schools close or go on delay, we’ll have the information on the air every 10 minutes, starting at 6am. You’ll also find it online at wlkrrradio.com.

 

The Norwalk City Schools Board of Education will meet in special session at 7:30 tomorrow night at Norwalk High School.

The board is expected to hire district personnel.

 

Today is the final day to register to vote, or update voter information in time for the March 15th primary election.

You have until 9 tonight.

 

Tomorrow night is when Republicans will debate in New London.

The primary debate, hosted by the Huron County Republican Party will begin at 6pm, at New London Village Hall. Scheduled to appear: Two men running for Huron County Commissioner: Bob Morgan of North Fairfield, and Skip Wilde of Norwalk. Four people running for State Representative in the 57th District will be on hand—Kathryn Frombaugh of Rochester, Timothy Opsitnick of Avon, Dick Stein of Norwalk and Lee Charles Waldrup of Bellevue. Also scheduled to appear tomorrow: U.S. Congressman Bob Gibbs of Lakeville, and challenger Terry Robertson of Medina. Tomorrow’s debate will feature questions from the Huron County Republican Party’s Platform Committee, along with selected questions from the audience.

 

A 13-year-old Amherst boy is facing charges, for inappropriately touching two teenage girls at Kalahari.

Erie County deputies arrested the boy Friday, after two 14-year-old girls said he touched them in a pool. He’s facing charges of sexual imposition, gross sexual imposition and delinquency. He was taken to the Erie County Juvenile Detention Center.

 

In sports…

Girl’s tournament basketball tips off tonight and we’ll be live at Lexington High School for Division III sectional semi-final action between Willard and Huron. Tonight’s game tips off at 7. After Willard and Huron, it’s boys Roundball Replay, with Ontario at Norwalk.

 

 

Monday, February 15, 2016

In Huron County, a Level 1 Snow Emergency remains in effect until further notice.

 

A reminder from Norwalk City Hall…

It is the responsibility of the owner, agent, tenant or occupant of any premises in the city of Norwalk to remove all snow and ice from sidewalks and make them safe for travel within 12 hours after a snow event.

 

Today is President’s Day.

Schools and most banks are closed, along with most government offices. No mail today, but trash pickup is on its normal schedule.

 

If you’re taking the Ohio Turnpike and don’t use EZ-Pass, you’d better have some cash.

Until 4 this afternoon, credit and debit cards will not be accepted at toll booths. That’s because technology used on the Turnpike is getting an upgrade. If you don’t have cash, you’ll be issued an unpaid toll invoice.

 

Early voting begins locally and statewide on Wednesday.

Ballots may be cast in person at the Board of Elections Office, or by mail.

 

Governor John Kasich is campaigning in Michigan today and tomorrow.

His agenda includes three town hall meetings.

 

Democratic presidential hopefuls Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are coming to Ohio.

They’ll be in the Buckeye State March 13th, two days before the state’s primary election. Both will speak at the Ohio Democratic Party’s Legacy Dinner at the Columbus Convention Center.

 

A bill that would place sharp limits on Ohio’s unemployment benefits could be reworked in Columbus.

After criticism from Democrats and Republicans, a group of state lawmakers will meet to discuss House Bill 294. In its present form, the measure would slash benefits from 26 weeks to 12 to 20 weeks, depending on the state’s unemployment rate. Critics claim the proposed legislation would make Ohio’s jobless benefits program the most stringent in the U.S. The legislation is supported by several statewide business groups, because it would reduce employer contributions to the compensation fund by an estimated $313 million per year.

 

The Erie County Sheriff’s Office is looking into allegations that a Vermilion police officer assaulted a defenseless man during a 2015 arrest.

The alleged incident involving Sgt. Aaron Bolton and the man occurred in September, outside Rudy’s Bar and Grill. There is video footage from a body cam worn by Bolton, but the images are dark and fuzzy. The outside investigation was requested by Vermilion Police Chief Chris Hartung. A previous investigation was handled by Captain Michael Reinheimer, who was fired in November for unprofessional behavior. It’s not known how long the new investigation will take. Bolton was placed on paid leave last week.

 

Friday, February 12, 2016

A Wind Chill Advisory will be in effect from 10 tonight, until 10 Sunday morning.

 

Columbia Gas service has been fully restored to western Sandusky and Bay View.

And, after a water main break in Bay View, a boil advisory is in effect until 8 tonight.

 

A fight outside Kalahari has led to criminal charges against a Norwalk man.

27-year-old Michael Day is accused of assaulting a 28-year-old Huron man early Sunday morning. The victim suffered serious facial injuries. The fight broke out, after an argument over which branch of the military is better. Day has been charged with felonious assault and disorderly conduct by intoxication. He’s currently free on $5,000 bond.

 

A Norwalk city council member has scheduled a meeting to discuss a request to allow backyard chickens.

Second ward councilman David Wallace will meet with residents at 7pm March 3rd, at the Norwalk Reservoir clubhouse. Wallace and other council members are seeking feedback from residents. The city currently has an ordinance banning backyard chickens. But at a recent meeting, retired Norwalk public works director Ralph Seward asked city council to reconsider the ban. He said he’d like to have four chickens at his Fair Road residence for the eggs. Since then, council members have received positive and negative feedback.

 

It appears another ride is coming down at Cedar Point.

Park officials wouldn’t confirm or deny it, but the Sandusky Register says ‘Shoot the Rapids’ is being torn down. The water ride debuted in 2010 in Frontier Town. In July of 2013, seven Cedar Point guests were on a Shoot the Rapids boat that malfunctioned. While ascending a lift hill, the boat suddenly went backward nearly 200 feet, then continued until hitting a concrete flume and overturning, with riders still inside.

 

In sports…

With just three games left in the regular season, Monroeville boys basketball coach Jeremiah Diebler has resigned, for personal reasons. The resignation took effect immediately. Monroeville is 3-16, and 2-10 in the Firelands Conference. Assistant coaches Ted Caldwell and Anthony Langhurst will coach the team for the remainder of the season.

 

An All-American wrestler from Sandusky has died.

Kevin Randleman passed away last night, at age 44. According to reports, Randleman died from heart failure. Randleman won a state wrestling championship in 1989, and then won two national championships at Ohio State. He later became the UFC heavyweight champion.

 

Thursday, February 11, 2016

A gas line malfunction is being blamed as the cause of last night’s and this morning’s Columbia Gas outage in western Sandusky and Bay View.

More than 900 customers were affected. Columbia Gas crews from the area and beyond were called in to fix the problem, and to go door-to-door to restore service. However, about 100 customers still didn’t have natural gas service this morning. Jackson Jr. High in Sandusky was opened as an emergency shelter.

 

The village of Bay View was without natural gas and water last night.

Along with the Columbia Gas outage, water service was shut off, after a water main break. A boil advisory is in effect in Bay View until 8 tomorrow morning.

 

Slick roads led to a number of crashes yesterday.

One was a rollover crash on Washington Road, near Drake Road in Norwalk. According to reports, Timothy Hovatter of Norwalk was taken to Fisher-Titus Medical Center for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.

 

One arrest was made, and more are pending, after a raid at a Whittelsey Avenue residence.

60-year-old William Schwab was the target of an investigation into illegal sales of the prescription painkiller oxycodone. He was charged with drug trafficking, after Norwalk Police searched his Key Estates home, and found drugs, drug paraphernalia, cash and guns.

 

Former President Bill Clinton will be in Ohio tomorrow.

He’ll appear in Cincinnati, for a ‘get out the vote’ event, and he’ll attend a fundraiser for his wife Hillary. The Clintons daughter Chelsea will campaign for her mother in Cleveland next Monday.

 

Meanwhile, Ohio governor John Kasich is campaigning in South Carolina, ahead of that state’s February 20th primary.

He held town hall meetings yesterday, and is doing the same thing today.

 

Next Wednesday, the Edison High School Marching Band and Sound Dimension Show Choir will depart for sunny warm Florida.

The band and choir will perform at the Universal Studios, and they’ll be featured at the Thomas Edison Festival of Light Parade. While there, the young musicians will tour the Universal Studios Theme Parks, the Edison Museum and estates of Henry Ford and Thomas Edison. They’ll also see ‘The Blue Man Group, tour Ft. Myers, and enjoy a dinner cruise. The trip is being made possible through the Edison Music Boosters, and various fundraising efforts.

 

Plymouth High School senior Laura Grube has been chosen as a National Merit Scholarship Finalist.

She’ll compete with 15,000 Finalists, to be selected as one of 7,400 Merit Scholars. Grube is the first Plymouth High School senior to be selected as a National Merit Scholarship participant.