Wednesday, April 23, 2014

A top-5 ranking for Huron County, but it’s not a good one.

According to new figures from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, Huron County’s March unemployment rate was 10.4 percent, fourth highest in the state. Ottawa County was right behind, at 10.2 percent. Only Monroe, Morgan, Meigs and Pike counties in southeast and south central Ohio had higher unemployment rates. In nearby counties, March jobless rates ranged from 6.1 percent in Seneca County, to 7.6 percent in Lorain County.


An appeals court has upheld a ruling that says a Sandusky man must pay nearly $500,000, after making a phony distress call.

The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals said a lower court properly ordered 21-year-old Danik Kumar to pay U.S. and Canadian agencies involved in the March, 2012 search. His attorney may appeal. While flying solo from Cleveland to Bowling Green, Kumar radioed authorities, and claimed he saw a boat in distress on Lake Erie. The Coast Guard spent nearly 24 hours searching, but found nothing. Kumar later confessed to lying about the boat.


A state highway patrol trooper suffered minor injuries, when his cruiser was hit in eastern Huron County.

The collision occurred yesterday afternoon, at Zenobia and Butler Roads in Clarksfield Township. According to reports, Steven Lasky of Wakeman failed to yield at the intersection. Laskey, and trooper Steven Bacsi of Norwalk refused medical treatment. Both cars were towed from the scene. Troopers are still investigating the crash.


Tough Mudder is returning to Mansfield.

The endurance event will be held at Lahm Airport May 17th and 18th. It’ll feature a 10-12 mile hardcore, military-style obstacle challenge course. More information is available online, at


Columbia Gas is spending nearly $2 million to replace more than 16,000 feet of pipeline in Greenwich.

Crews will replace existing steel pipe with plastic.  The project will take several months and will involve a number of village streets.  Columbia Gas officials will discuss the project in more detail at 6:30pm next Tuesday at the village fire department.  The informational meeting is open to the public.


Former Ohio State head football coach Jim Tressel is one of three finalists for the University of Akron president position.

Tressel also applied at Youngstown State University, where he also coached.


More than 73,000 Ohioans have voted early so far, in the state’s May 6th primary election.

Secretary of State Jon Husted said well over 150,000 ballots have been requested, since early voting opened April 1st.


A major outage affected a number of Time Warner Cable customers in Norwalk yesterday morning.

So far, there is no other information.


Workers comp rates may go down.

The Board of Directors will consider a 6.3 percent reduction to base rates, beginning July 1st.


Erie County deputies continue to pay special attention to several busy thoroughfares throughout the county.

According to a news release, deputies are working high visibility traffic enforcement for DUI and speed enforcement, and ‘Click It Or Ticket.’ Heavy emphasis has been placed on State Routes 2,4,6, 60 and 61, and U.S. Route 250. The Erie County Sheriff’s Office is using grant funds to cover the cost.


In sports…

The Indians and Kansas City Royals will continue their series tonight at 7:05.  You can hear it on 95.3, WLKR.  Last night, the Tribe lost to KC, 8-2.

Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel is in Cleveland today meeting with Browns officials. 

And the 2014 NFL schedule will be released at 8 tonight.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Another meth lab bust, this time, in Monroeville.

Huron County deputies were summoned to a Dogtown Road residence late last week, after receiving information about a possible meth lab and drug abuse at the home. According to reports, the resident, 29-year-old Lindsey Salyers was arrested on drug charges. Three children, ages 4, 7 and 8 were removed from the home.

Also last week, deputies arrested and jailed two Plymouth residents, for allegedly running a meth lab out of their Route 103 mobile home.


U.S. Route 250 in Fitchville will stay closed longer a month longer than expected, due to weather delays.

ODOT says, Route 250 is now scheduled to re-open in late June. Crews are replacing the bridge over the Vermilion River. The project has been ongoing, since last fall.


More from ODOT…

U.S. Route 224, between State Route 61 and Bullhead Road in New Haven Township will close next Monday, for railroad crossing repairs. Route 224 should re-open by Friday, May 2nd.


A Norwalk resale shop has won a nationwide contest, and $25,000.

When Pigs Fly is the grand prize winner of the ‘Make Your Idea Happen’ contest, sponsored by Staples. The East Main Street store generates donations to help struggling families affected by a terminal illness. When Pigs Fly was chosen from more than 16,000 entries. We’ll have more, in news later today.


Sandusky High School was placed on lockdown yesterday, after school officials and police received a report of man with explosives.

A caller claimed a Hispanic man in a dark trench coat was carrying two briefcases  outside the high school, at dismissal time. A search turned up nothing, but Sandusky police continue to investigate.


Enhanced speed control is coming to Greenwich.

Village council has approved a contract with Maryland-based Optotraffic, to provide lasers and cameras to detect speeders. Those caught by the automated speed enforcement program will be fined $100, with Greenwich getting $60, and Optotraffic, $40. The new system should be in place within two months.


It appears a Bellevue-area man accused of kidnapping and raping a woman last fall will stand trial next week.

That’s because Brian Jury has declined any sort of plea bargain from Erie County prosecutor Kevin Baxter. Jury’s accused of abducting a Lorain County woman at gunpoint last November, then taking her back to his Strecker Road property, where he allegedly bound and gagged her, and raped her multiple times. After Jury left, she was able to escape, and was helped by a passing motorist. He was arrested hours later.


For the most part, area unemployment in March was above the state average of 6.1 percent.

According to new figures from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, only Seneca County matched the statewide average.  Huron County’s unemployment rate was 10.4 percent, fourth highest in Ohio.  Lorain County’s March jobless rate was 7.6 percent, Crawford County 7.2 percent, Richland County 6.8 percent, Erie County 6.7 percent, Ashland County 6.5 percent and Sandusky County 6.3 percent.

Monday, April 21, 2014

A Port Clinton man is dead, the victim of a weekend crash in Margaretta Township.

22-year-old Leon McCoy died early yesterday morning, at Cleveland MetroHealth Medical Center. He was flown there, after crashing his car on Wahl Road late Saturday night. According to the highway patrol, McCoy failed to negotiate a curve, went off the road and hit a utility pole, a mailbox and a tree. He wasn’t wearing a seat belt, and was ejected from the car. Troopers said alcohol may have been a factor in the crash.


The search continues for two boaters missing in Lake Erie. 

Crews are trying to recover the bodies of Bryan Huff and Andrew Rose.  Their boat was found capsized last Thursday near South Bass Island.  The bodies of two women also on the boat were found a short time later.


Willard City Schools are in session today.

It’s a make-up day, from excessive snow days.


A controlled burn led to much more, in Norwalk.

Wind blew flames from the controlled burn to a nearby storage barn on Gibbs Road. The barn, and a nearby boat were destroyed by the weekend blaze.


You can blame Mother Nature.

U.S. Route 250 in Fitchville will stay closed longer than expected due to weather delays.  ODOT says instead of late May, Route 250 will open in late June.  Crews are replacing the bridge over the Vermilion River.  The project has been ongoing since last fall.


More from ODOT…

U.S. Route 224, between State Route 61 and Bullhead Road in New Haven Township will close next Monday for railroad repairs.  Route 224 should re-open by Friday, May 2nd.


New rules for Ohio’s county jails have gone into effect.

Among them: inmates receiving two meals instead of three on weekends, and hot showers every other day. Jail staff will be able review prisoners’ emails for security reasons, and monitor and record inmate visits.


Charges may be filed, in connection with a weekend bomb scare in Bellevue.

Emergency responders were summoned to a Northwest Street home Saturday, after a resident found an unexploded chemical bomb in his back yard. A suspect was taken into custody, and the incident remains under investigation.


A massive recall, by Kraft Foods.

Kraft is recalling 96,000 pounds of its Oscar Mayer hot dogs, because they may mistakenly contain cheese. The U.S.D.A. says packages of Kraft’s ‘Oscar Mayer Classic Wieners’ may instead contain the company’s ‘Classic Cheese Dogs.’


Sandusky’s city commission may be shrinking.

The current commissioners are expected to discuss legislation to reduce the size of the board from seven, to five. If approved, Sandusky voters would have the final say. A ballot issue could appear as early as this November.


It’s not something you hear about very often…

A meth lab, being run out of a million dollar home. But it happened, in Lorain County. A resident of the Sheffield Lake home was arrested on several charges. Neighbors say, they had no clue what was going on.


Ohio’s Wild Turkey season is underway.

Hunters must have a license and spring turkey hunting permit.  The season closes on May 18th.


Thursday, April 17, 2014

A meth lab bust in Plymouth has led to two arrests.

24-year-old Nickolas Arrendondo, and 19-year-old Miranda Burton were arrested Tuesday, at their State Route 103 home. They’re accused of manufacturing and selling crystal meth in the Plymouth and Willard areas. The arrests were made, after a long investigation by deputies from Huron and Crawford counties. Arrendondo and Burton are being held in the Crawford County Jail.


A Sandusky man accused fatally stabbing a Norwalk infant has been ruled competent to stand trial.

The decision was made yesterday, in Erie County Common Pleas Court. 20-year-old Denzel Castile is charged with aggravated murder, in connection with the May, 2013 death of his cousin’s infant, 11-week-old Athena Castile. Authorities said she was fatally stabbed, at a Sandusky home. While he’s been found competent to stand trial, doctors must now determine if Castile was legally insane at the time. He remains at a Toledo psychiatric hospital.


A Sandusky woman accused of injuring a motorcyclist during Ohio Bike Week 2013 has accepted a plea deal.

Christina Merlo pleaded guilty this week, to charges of DUI and aggravated vehicular assault. In exchange, prosecutors dismissed three other charges. Merlo was arrested last June, after a hit-and-run crash at Washington Row and Columbus Avenue. Police said after hitting the biker, Merlo backed over him, and fled the scene. The biker, from Illinois suffered serious injuries. Merlo will be sentenced in late June.


The U.S. Coast Guard spent the overnight hours and this morning searching Lake Erie for four missing boaters.

The boaters went missing last night near South Bass and Rattlesnake Islands.  According to reports, they were fishing.  Officials found their capsized boat this morning, Davis-Besse, near Oak Harbor.  One body was found this morning.


A sex offender from Bellevue is off to prison.

28-year-old Lee Gustafson Jr. was sentenced yesterday to four years behind bars for unlawful sexual conduct with a 15-year-old girl.  The crimes occurred last May and June.  Once he’s released from prison, Gustafson will be on five years of parole.  He’s been classified as a Tier II sex offender, which means he’ll need to register his address twice a year for 25 years.  Gustafson’s troubles aren’t over.  He’s facing charges of falsification, theft and cocaine possession.  Those charges were filed in February in Erie County after he claimed he was held up at gunpoint, and then kidnapped while working at a Sandusky hotel.  He recanted after he was questioned by police.


A Norwalk man is facing more than four years in prison after pleading guilty to three counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor.

23-year-old Stephen Erwin will be sentenced next month.  Erwin and a 15-year-old girl had sex in May and June of last year.


Back for a 10th year…Tool Time.

It’s a fundraiser for the Norwalk Area United Fund. It’ll be held between 1 and 4 Saturday, at the Expo Center at the Huron County Fairgrounds. Tool sets, generators and much more will available for auction or raffle. The list includes a basketball autographed by the state champion Norwalk High School basketball team. This year’s grand prize is a 2014 Polaris 4-wheel ATV. Again, Tool Time will be held from 1-4pm this Saturday at the Huron County Fairgrounds. Admission is $5.


U.S. Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur is coming to Huron.

She’ll be at BGSU-Firelands from 5 until 7pm next Tuesday, to discuss workforce development and education. The forum is open to the public. Kaptur is a Democrat who represents Ohio’s 9th District.


Afternoon baseball this afternoon on 95.3, WLKR.

The Tribe and Tigers will play at 1:08.  Indians Warm Up begins at 12:37.