News

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

38 years ago today is when Ohio was the midst of the worst blizzard in the state’s history, and perhaps the worst storm of any kind in the Buckeye State.

The Blizzard of 78 was classified as a rare ‘severe blizzard.’ It paralyzed virtually all of Ohio with heavy snow, blowing snow and whiteout conditions, ice and extremely dangerous wind chills. People all over Ohio were trapped in their homes and cars. Many homes and businesses had no heat. 51 Ohioans died in the Blizzard of 78.

 

Ohio governor John Kasich has picked up a major endorsement.

The Boston Globe is urging New Hampshire Republicans to vote for Kasich, in the February 9th primary election. In pre-election polls, Kasich is running third there, trailing Donald Trump and Ted Cruz.

 

A chimney fire sparked a blaze that damaged a Fayette Road home.

According to Chief John Chapin, 10 New London firefighters were summoned to 5795 Fayette Road at approximately 1:45 Sunday morning. The Rochester Fire Department also responded, with a water tanker. New London firefighters removed part of the ceiling and some of the roof to extinguish the flames. There were no injuries, but the home sustained smoke and water damage.

 

A reminder…

Monday, February 1st is the deadline to buy 2016 Huron County dog and kennel licenses. The cost is $16 for one year, or $48 for three years. After Monday, the cost will double. Dog and kennel licenses may be purchased at the Huron County Auditor’s Office, the Huron County Dog Warden’s Office, the Huron County Humane Society and at Mapleview Animal Hospital, all in Norwalk. Other locations include Bellevue Animal Hospital, York Animal Hospital, Buck’s Hardware in Greenwich, Gilbert Hardware in New London, Country Counter Market in North Fairfield, Wakeman Hardware and Willard Fish ‘N Game.

 

Starting tomorrow, Remington Street, between Cleveland Road to Laurel Lane in Sandusky will be closed for 45 days, for a major sewer project.

 

It’s a merger, between two of Ohio’s largest banks.

Huntington Bank is buying First Merit bank, for $3.4 billion in stock and cash. The deal was announced yesterday.

 

We’re now paying between 20 and 25 cents more at the pump.

Yesterday, most service stations increased gas prices, despite the fact that supplies remain high, and crude oil prices remain down.

 


Monday, January 25, 2016

As expected, Winter Storm Jonas buried the east coast in snow, with some spots getting 30 inches.

The storm brushed some of southern Ohio as well. 16 inches of snow fell near Marietta, while parts of Athens and Lawrence counties saw more than a foot of snow.

 

It was 38 years ago today that the Blizzard of 78 hit Ohio, paralyzing the Buckeye State.

Between January 25th and January 27th of 1978, one to three feet of snow fell, and winds averaged between 50 and 70 miles per hour, pushing wind chills to 60 below zero. Thousands of people were stranded in their home and cars. Many homes and businesses had no heat or power. The Blizzard of 78 claimed 51 people in Ohio.

 

This weekend is Hall of Fame Weekend at Norwalk High School.

Six people will be inducted into the Hall of Fame Saturday: Bob Chappelear, Janet Conway, Jim Gregory, Jeff Phillips, John Schroeder and Skip Wilde. A banquet will begin at 5pm at Norwalk High School, and the induction ceremony will be held before the start of Saturday’s Norwalk-Bellevue boy’s basketball game. Tickets for the banquet are $15 each, and will be sold through Thursday at Norwalk High School. Reservations are required, as tickets won’t be sold at the door.

 

No felony charges, against a Sandusky man accused of accidently shooting and killing his fiancée.

Instead, an Erie County grand jury has charged 26-year-old Jermane Kennedy with negligent homicide, and using a weapon while intoxicated. Both charges are first-degree misdemeanors, punishable by up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine. The grand jury declined to consider other charges, including murder, involuntary manslaughter and reckless homicide. The misdemeanor charges against Kennedy are tied to the January 1st death of 25-year-old Katelin Castile. After a night out, Kennedy was showing a 9mm handgun to a friend when it went off, causing a bullet to hit Castile in the neck. Kennedy was originally charged with felonious assault.

 

The city of Vermilion’s Civil Service Commission has upheld the November, 2015 dismissal of the police department’s second-highest ranking officer.

Captain Michael Reinheimer was fired after wearing a pin supporting marijuana legalization, improper firearms training and driving under suspension. Reinheimer had been a member of the force since 1999.

 

The State Highway Patrol says two Maryland men are facing drug charges, after being busted on the Ohio Turnpike.

Troopers said they found 40 pounds of marijuana worth $160,000 in a hidden compartment, after pulling the driver over for a routine traffic violation in Lorain County’s Henrietta Township.

 

Next month is when the Ohio House may vote on a bill that would drastically reduce unemployment benefits.

In its present form, House Bill 394 would cut unemployment benefits from 26 to 12 weeks, with increases possible, if Ohio’s jobless rate goes up. Construction workers would be capped at 20 weeks.

 

Norwalk City Council will meet in work session tomorrow night.

Items up for discussion include road work, a new tobacco policy, business signs and a new phone system for city-owned buildings.

 

Gas prices continue to fall.

Today’s Ohio average is $1.56.

 


Friday, January 22, 2016

An alleged armed robbery in Sandusky has led to charges against four people, including three from Norwalk.

18-year-old Melanie Frank, 19-year-old Marcus Lay and 20-year-old Alyah Valliant of Norwalk were arrested Monday, along with 20-year-old Kayla Corwin of Sandusky. According to reports, the four went to the victim’s Venice Road residence and forced their way in. Frank allegedly pulled a knife, and the group demanded money. The 23-year-old victim didn’t have cash, so the group took his cell phone and cigarettes, then assaulted him. The four fled, after a neighbor heard the commotion and called Sandusky police. They were caught a short time later. Lay, Valliant and Corwin remain in the Erie County Jail. Frank is free on bond.

 

New figures from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services show the state’s unemployment rate rose slightly in December.

It was 4.7 percent, compared to 4.5 percent in November. It’s still lower than the national average of five percent.

 

The final JV and varsity basketball games were played last night, at Monroeville’s West Street gymnasium.

The Monroeville Lady Eagles topped St. Paul 61-49. Teams will begin playing in the brand new Monroeville Athletic Complex tomorrow. The new building was made possible through an anonymous $1 million donation and private local fundraising efforts. An open house will begin at 11, and a dedication ceremony will begin at 12:10. At 1, it’s girls basketball against New London followed by boys basketball tomorrow night, featuring Monroeville and Lucas.

 

Oberlin College President Marvin Krislov has issued a statement on the college website, saying, he will not respond directly to 50 demands from members of the Black Student Union.

Two of the more controversial demands are creating “Black Safe Spaces” at Oberlin College, and paying black student leaders $8.20 an hour for organizing efforts.

 


Thursday, January 21, 2016

A murder suspect from the Cleveland area is behind bars, after his arrest near Berlin Heights.

According to the Milan Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol, 49-year-old Gregory Baxter of Warrensville Heights was apprehended shortly before 2:30 yesterday morning, on the Ohio Turnpike in Berlin Township. Troopers said he was caught driving a stolen car. When questioned, Baxter said he stabbed and killed his girlfriend, 49-year-old Tracy Bender about two hours earlier. He was taken to the Erie County Jail, and was later turned over to Warrensville Heights police. Baxter is facing several charges.

 

 

An Elyria woman who stole thousands of dollars from a Norwalk construction company will spend two months in the Huron County Jail, and must pay back the business.

39-year-old Michelle Dawley was sentenced yesterday, in Huron County Common Pleas Court. After jail, she’ll be on probation for five years. If she violates terms of her probation or fails to make restitution, she could be sent to prison for a year. Last summer, Dawley was employed by a company hired to clean at BOCA Construction, and while there, she swiped the cash. After company officials contacted Huron County deputies, she was interviewed and arrested. The Sheriff’s Office recovered about $6,000 during the investigation. Dawley still owes nearly $8,000.

 

 

A longtime Norwalk business is closing its doors.

Parts Distributors Inc, or PDI will cease operations in the coming weeks. The auto parts store has been in business since the 1950’s. The decision to close PDI comes on the heels of the death of the store’s owner and president, Tom Olak. PDI employed nearly a dozen workers.

 

 

A new federal grant of nearly $37,000 will allow Erie County deputies to conduct overtime high-visibility patrols in high-crash areas.

Target areas include U.S. Route 250, State Routes 2, 4, 60 and 61, along with Darrow, Mason and Strecker Roads. Enforcement will take place during Super Bowl Weekend.