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.