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.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The highway patrol is investigating a head-on crash that claimed a Norwalk woman.

According to the Norwalk patrol post, 37-year-old Holly O’Neal was killed shortly before 7 yesterday morning, when she lost control on Whittelsey Road, near Lais Road. Her car hit one driven by Mylinda Johnson of Norwalk. Johnson and two 14-year-old passengers, Kayla and Luke Johnson were taken to Fisher-Titus Medical Center. Troopers said there was no indication of drug or alcohol involvement, and weather conditions were not a factor. The crash remains under investigation.


Former President Bill Clinton is coming to the Buckeye State this summer.

He’ll headline an Ohio Democratic Party’s annual state dinner in Columbus, June 13th.


Republican officials will be in Ohio this month, to scout potential sites for the party’s 2016 national convention.

A small team of Republican National Convention staff and advisors will be in Cincinnati on the 29th, and Cleveland April 30th, to gather more information about each city and their bid to host the 2016 convention. The same team will make visits to Denver, Las Vegas, Dallas and Kansas City. Official visits from the full party delegation could take place in selected cities in late May and early June.


The former treasurer of the Norwalk Knights of Columbus has admitted to stealing more than $100,000 from the organization.

66-year-old Gerald Weisenberger pleaded guilty yesterday to one count each of felony theft, and securing writings by deception. Each charge is punishable by up to 18 months in prison. He’ll be sentenced June 11th, in Huron County Common Pleas Court. Authorities said Weisenberger skimmed the money between 2006 and 2011.


Attendance was down slightly, but profits were up, at yesterday’s Norwalk Rotary Club Pizza Bake Off.

Just over 900 people showed up to eat pizza from six different establishments. This year’s profit was nearly $11,000, or $2,200 more than last year. It’s also the largest profit ever. Proceeds will go toward local children’s activities, including D.A.R.E. and Safety Town, the library’s summer reading program, scholarships for Norwalk and St. Paul seniors, and similar programs.


Charges could be filed against a Sandusky man, after a raid of his home turned up suspected child pornography.

Secret Service agents and Sandusky police searched the man’s East Market Street home Monday, and seized laptops and memory cards. They’re being sent to a crime lab for testing. The man allegedly downloaded pictures from a site flagged by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. He returned home during the search, but wasn’t arrested. He declined to take a lie detector test.


Huron school officials have approved massive budget cuts.

Five teachers will lose their jobs by the end of the academic year. Also slashed: certain stipends, along with 20 supplemental contracts. Administrators will not receive raises during the upcoming school year. The cuts will save the Huron schools about $680,000 annually.


As high school prom season approaches, the Norwalk Police Department will dedicate extra patrols, to help ensure students are safe.

In days surrounding local proms, and nights of proms, officers will work overtime hours, looking for drunk drivers, speeders and aggressive drivers. Grant money will cover the cost of overtime.


In sports…

After getting canceled by the cold last night, the Indians and Tigers will try again tonight.  Indians Warm Up begins at 6:37, with game time at 7:08 on 95.3, WLKR. 

The Cavaliers will finish the season at home tonight against the Brooklyn Nets.



Tuesday, April 15, 2014

It’s Tuesday, April 15th, tax deadline day 2014.


It’s Pizza Bake Off day, in Norwalk.

Pizzas from six different establishments will be featured, during the Norwalk Rotary Club’s 15th annual event, at Norwalk High School. The doors will open at 4:30, and pizza will be served until 7. All-you-can eat admission is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and $5 for children 10 and under. Melissa Sharp will broadcast live from today’s Pizza Bake Off.


As expected, a federal judge has issued a ruling that says Ohio must recognize same sex marriages performed in other states.

U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Black also put a hold on his order. The immediate effect is unclear.


Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine has certified revised petition language to overturn the state’s ban on same sex marriages.

DeWine’s decision almost clears the way for supporters to begin collecting signatures, to place the issue before voters.


A Bellevue man remains at St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center, after a car-motorcycle crash on U.S. Route 20, near State Route 4.

28-year-old Brandon Green was injured Sunday night, when he slowed to turn left, and was hit from behind. His condition is unknown. The highway patrol continues to investigate the crash.


A Sandusky clergyman says race and sexism were factors in the recent dismissal of City Manager Nicole Ard.

The Rev. Thomas Darden spoke, during yesterday’s commission meeting. He claimed Ard was fired, based on the color of her skin, and gender. Ard is black, as is Darden. Darden is a former Sandusky City Commissioner. The late March vote to fire Ard was 4-3. Two of four votes to dismiss were cast by black city commissioners, one of whom is female. All three votes to retain her were cast by white city commissioners. The commissioners denied Darden’s allegations, and said the decision was based on Ard’s job performance.


Norwalk’s annual egg hunt is set for this Saturday, at Baines Park.

The Easter Bunny will be there, and various activities, including fire truck tours and games will begin at 1, with the egg hunt after that. Ages 2 and under will begin at 2, preschools at 2:15, kindergarten and 1st grade at 2:30, and 2nd through 4th graders at 2:45. Well over 3,000 eggs will be filled with candy and prizes. No child will leave empty handed.


After 10 seasons, Monroeville boys basketball coach Zac Reer is out.

Despite pleas from players and supporters and a recommendation by Superintendent Gregg Elchert to re-hire, the board of education declined to renew the coach’s contract.  Last night’s vote was 4-1.  The decision means Monroeville is now looking for a boy’s basketball coach and head football coach.

Friday, April 11, 2014

The 600 block of Birchwood Drive in Perkins Township is closed until further notice, due to an active house fire.


A nice weekend is in store…

70 tomorrow and mid-70′s Sunday.


A final reminder…

The city of Norwalk’s limited spring trash pickup is next week. Residents may dispose of nine extra bags, or three large items, or any combination at no cost. One large item equals three bags.


Family Dollar has announced plans to cut jobs, and close about 370 stores, as it tries to reverse sagging sales and earnings.

It’s not known how many jobs will be lost. The discount store operator said the move should reduce annual operating expenses by as much as $45 million. Family Dollar currently has more than 8,100 stores in 46 states, including several locally.


The owner of a Sandusky restaurant has been sentenced to federal prison, for tax evasion and cash smuggling.

Three family members were given probation. Haralambos Gonos will spend 18 months behind bars, on multiple counts of bulk cash smuggling and conspiracy. His sons each received two years probation. The family owns Dianna’s Deli, and the Depot Family Restaurant in Sandusky. Prosecutors said family members engaged in a complex scheme to hide income from those establishments.


The Ohio Wildlife Council has approved new white-tailed deer hunting regulations.

Among them: decreased deer bag limits in many counties. The council also approved dates for 2014-2015 deer hunting seasons. Ohio’s deer archery season will begin September 27th, and will last until February 1st. The youth deer gun season will be held November 22nd and 23rd, while regular deer gun season will run from December 1st through the 7th. The deer muzzleloader season is January 2nd through the 5th. The Ohio Wildlife Council also removed bobcats from the state’s endangered and threatened species list. Bobcats are still considered a protected species, with no hunting or trapping season.


Tax Day is rapidly approaching.

It’s next Tuesday.


A new state report shows well over 100,000 low-income Ohioans have signed up for expanded Medicaid, while thousands of others are waiting to hear if they’re eligible for the taxpayer-funded health program.

The new program took effect January 1st.


If you’re a fan of local sports or know someone who is, listen up…

To help raise funds for the Norwalk High School after-prom and senior activities, head basketball coach Steve Gray and members of the Division II State Championship Basketball Team have donated two signed basketballs.  One will be given away by raffle.  Tickets will be sold in front of Norwalk’s Wal-mart between 10 and 6 tomorrow and April 19th at Sheri’s Coffeehouse.  Tickets are $1 each or six for $5.  Another signed basketball will be sold by silent auction.  It’s open to individuals and businesses with a minimum bid of $500.  You can email your bid to  Winners will be drawn April 26th.