News

Thursday, March 26, 2015

There’s no shortage of basketball in Ohio.

The 2015 boys basketball state tournament tips off this morning at Value City Arena in Columbus. The tournament continues tomorrow and Saturday. NCAA Sweet 16 action tips off tonight, with two games set to be played at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland.

 

A Sandusky man who fatally stabbed his infant cousin has been found not guilty by reason of insanity.

21-year-old Denzel Castile will remain in secured treatment indefinitely. He could be released, if his condition ever improves. Castile stabbed 11-week-old Athena Castile of Norwalk in May of 2013. He was charged with aggravated murder, but doctors found he had mental health issues that led to the crime.

 

A space heater may have sparked a blaze that damaged a New London home.

Village firefighters were summoned to the East Main Street scene yesterday, after a neighbor saw flames coming from the house. No one was home at the time. We’ll have more, as details become available.

 

A Plymouth teen continues to receive treatment, after being electrocuted earlier this month.

15-year-old Kyle Brandt remains at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus. His condition is unknown. Brandt went to fix a sump pump in a flooded basement, when the shock occurred.

 

In terms of unemployment in February, Huron County’s rate was nearly twice the statewide average.

Figures released this week by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services show Huron County’s unemployment rate was 9.3 percent, or fifth-highest in Ohio. The statewide average was 5.1 percent. Rates in surrounding counties ranged from 5.7 percent in Sandusky and Seneca counties, to 7.2 percent in Erie and Lorain counties. The state’s highest unemployment rate was in Monroe County, 10 percent. The lowest was in Delaware County, just 3.6 percent.

 

A buyout involving two food giants could lead to job losses in Ohio.

The H.J. Heinz Company, makers of ketchup, pickles and much more yesterday announced plans to buy Kraft Foods, makers of mac and cheese, hot dogs, Jello, Miracle Whip and more. Kraft has a major bacon production operation in Coshocton and a sales office in Cincinnati. Heinz has operations in Mason, Massillon and Fremont. Experts say while shoppers won’t notice major changes, jobs could be trimmed, once the deal is finalized later this year.

 

Governor John Kasich is expected to sign legislation that aims to reduce toxic algae in Lake Erie.

The measure was passed yesterday by state lawmakers.  It includes regulations on the spreading of fertilizer and manure.  The new rules are meant to reduce the amount of phosphorus flowing into the lake, which are attractive to algae.

 

Supporters of a proposal to legalize marijuana are collecting signatures to put the issue on the ballot.

Members of “ResponsibleOhio” say petitions went out yesterday in major cities with statewide efforts starting next week.  The group wants to make pot legal for recreational and medical use through investor-owned farms and eleven-hundred retail dispensaries.  They’ll need more than 305-thousand signatures by July to place it before voters in November.

 


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

A Michigan man was arrested in Perkins Township, for his involvement in big scale thefts.

23-year-old Dontez Patton is accused of stealing $30,000 worth of Dyson vacuum cleaners from Meijer stores in three different states. He’s also facing federal ID theft charges. Patton is now in jail in Michigan, along with several co-defendants.

The speed limit will NOT increase, on the Ohio Turnpike and parts of interstate freeways.

A proposal to increase the speed limit from 70 to 75 miles per hour died in Columbus yesterday.

The city of Norwalk’s annual spring trash pickup is set for the week of April 13th.

Resident will be able to place three extra items out for pickup. Norwalk’s annual spring brush pickup is scheduled for the week of May 4th.

Bellevue and Norwalk police teamed up to arrest two Bellevue residents on drug charges.

36 year old Matthew James was arrested for marijuana trafficking, and 27 year old Kelly Rupp for cocaine possession. The pair was also charged with possession of criminal tools and drug paraphernalia. The pair is being held at Huron County jail. Norwalk and Bellevue police joined forces to conduct a drug trafficking investigation near Bellevue middle school, and expect additional arrests as a result.

 

 

A Kentucky man has been arrested in Erie County for sex crimes.

19 year old Travis Vartorella of Florence Kentucky was extradited to Erie County on Tuesday to face charges stemming from his involvement with a 13 year old Berlin Township girl. According to police, Vartorella began communicating with the girl through social media sometime in 2013. The girl’s parents later allowed the man to move into their home. In January of 2014, the girl’s father found questionable messages on the girls computer and reported the incident to officials. Vartorella allegedly gave the girl a laptop containing pornography and according to officials, asked the girl to send him explicit photos of herself. The case was presented to an Erie County grand jury earlier this month, and resulted in 10 felony indictments. Vartorella has been arrested on one count of disseminating matter harmful to juveniles, and three counts each of pandering sexually oriented matter involving a minor, obscenity involving a minor, and illegal use of a minor in nudity oriented material. He is currently being held in Erie County on $275,000 bond.

 


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

A Michigan man was arrested in Perkins Township, for his involvement in big scale thefts.

23-year-old Dontez Patton is accused of stealing $30,000 worth of Dyson vacuum cleaners from Meijer stores in three different states. He’s also facing federal ID theft charges. Patton is now in jail in Michigan, along with several co-defendants.

 

The speed limit will NOT increase, on the Ohio Turnpike and parts of interstate freeways.

 A proposal to increase the speed limit from 70 to 75 miles per hour died in Columbus yesterday.

 

The city of Norwalk’s annual spring trash pickup is set for the week of April 13th.

Resident will be able to place three extra items out for pickup. Norwalk’s annual spring brush pickup is scheduled for the week of May 4th.

 

Bellevue and Norwalk police teamed up to arrest two Bellevue residents on drug charges.

 36 year old Matthew James was arrested for marijuana trafficking, and 27 year old Kelly Rupp for cocaine possession. The pair was also charged with possession of criminal tools and drug paraphernalia. The pair is being held at Huron County jail. Norwalk and Bellevue police joined forces to conduct a drug trafficking investigation near Bellevue middle school, and expect additional arrests as a result.

 

A Kentucky man has been arrested in Erie County for sex crimes.

19 year old Travis Vartorella of Florence Kentucky was extradited to Erie County on Tuesday to face charges stemming from his involvement with a 13 year old Berlin Township girl. According to police, Vartorella began communicating with the girl through social media sometime in 2013. The girl’s parents later allowed the man to move into their home. In January of 2014, the girl’s father found questionable messages on the girls computer and reported the incident to officials. Vartorella allegedly gave the girl a laptop containing pornography and according to officials, asked the girl to send him explicit photos of herself. The case was presented to an Erie County grand jury earlier this month, and resulted in 10 felony indictments. Vartorella has been arrested on one count of disseminating matter harmful to juveniles, and three counts each of pandering sexually oriented matter involving a minor, obscenity involving a minor, and illegal use of a minor in nudity oriented material. He is currently being held in Erie County on $275,000 bond.

 


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

From flurries yesterday, to 64 and possible thunderstorms tomorrow.

Some parts of western Ohio received three or more inches of snow yesterday.

 

An electrical problem is believed to have sparked a blaze that damaged a Lyme Township barn.

Bellevue firefighters were summoned to the Prairie Road site shortly after 4:30 yesterday afternoon.  Smoke and flames were visible when they arrived at the scene.  Firefighters were there for about four-and-a-half hours.  The barn housed a woodworking shop and an apartment.  Total losses were placed at $65,000.

 

The investigation continues into last week’s bomb threat that cleared MTD Products in Willard.

The South Conwell Avenue factory was evacuated last Thursday, while authorities from Willard and beyond searched one million square feet. No bomb was found. Once the person is found, he or she will face criminal charges.

 

A woman charged in connection with the December death of a friend’s four-year-old son is now on house arrest.

Records show 32-year-old Lindsay Gundlach of Huron was released from the Erie County Jail March 11th, after a relative posted 10 percent of her $100,000 bail. While out of jail, Gundlach must wear a GPS monitor, refrain from drinking alcohol, and not have contact with the victim’s family. She’s facing several charges tied to the late December death of Javin Jaques.

Gundlach allegedly was under the influence of alcohol December 22nd, when she backed from a driveway, into the Huron River in the Franklin Flats area of Milan Township. Jaques and a seven-year-old girl were in her car. Gundlach and the girl escaped from the sinking car. The boy did not.

 

A Marblehead man is facing several charges after being arrested for two DUI’s in two days.

40-year-old Scott Thompson was jailed Monday night after he hit and injured a woman in Portage Township.  He was also picked up Sunday evening after crashing his car in Danbury Township.  Thompson is facing two counts of DUI, aggravated vehicular assault and red light violations.

 

Willard residents will soon have a new option to pay utility bills.

Starting next month, the city will accept debit and credit cards for utility payments. More information will be included with April or May water bills.

 

Erie County deputies are investigating the theft of thousands of dollars worth of construction equipment.

The items were stolen from a box trailer and storage container on Route 4, near the Ohio Turnpike in Groton Township. The thief or thieves apparently used bolt cutters to gain access to the equipment. Among the missing items: three large generators, and three pricey power saws. All told, the missing equipment was worth $14,000.

 

Authorities in Summit County are looking for three people in a string of thefts from eyeglass stores.

They say one of the three, a man, doesn’t have a left arm, but had help from two women in distracting vision store employees while pocketing expensive frames. Employees at one store said the trio swiped 30 frames worth more than $3,000.