11:31 PM Jul 25, 2010
Special agents with U. S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) shut down the Casa Fiesta restaurant in Norwalk about lunch time Wednesday. Simultaneously, ICE authorities used nine search warrants to arrest 58 people on immigration violations at eight restaurants in the chain and the owners' home. About 12:45 p.m., ICE agents escorted at least two men from the Norwalk restaurant in plastic handcuffs into an unmarked, white conversion van parked outside the restaurant entrance. ICE spokesman Greg Palmore wouldn't say exactly why authorities were there, but said the people taken into custody may be facing criminal or immigration violations.
11:31 PM Jul 25, 2010
A Toledo man accused of helping ship about 160 pounds of marijuana from Arizona to Huron County is believed to have left several fingerprints on what the state calls the "elaborate packaging." Carlos C. Torres Jr., 31, faces one count of possession of marijuana in connection with a Sept. 20, 2007 traffic stop. His accomplice, John E. Nunley Jr., 36, formerly of Toledo, is serving an eight-year prison term for being the carpenter who built the crates.
11:31 PM Jul 25, 2010
City council members heard promising reports about the re-opening of Norwalk Furniture in a work session Tuesday night. "We all have great concerns about Norwalk Furniture," Mayor Sue Lesch said. "I'm optimistic we're going to be able to find some solutions."
11:31 PM Jul 25, 2010
Norwalk Furniture employees staged their own rally today to coincide with the informationals meeting at Norwalk High School for employees to learn about filing for unemployment and other options in face of the company's suspension of operations. "We're banding together. Our worst fear is it will fall apart and we won't have our jobs anymore," an employee helping organize the rally said. "We know we're not dead in the water yet, but I'm getting more information from the newspaper than I'm getting from my employer and my union."
11:31 PM Jul 25, 2010
First is was Fannie and Freddie. Then came Furniture. In case you haven't noticed, these are tough economic times. Norwalk Furniture Corp. employees were informed late Friday night not to report to work Monday. Operations at both the Norwalk and Cookeville, Tenn., plants were suspended until further notice. We all knew times were tough at Furniture. The company has been letting people go a few at a time. There were rumors out there the doors would close in August ... maybe even last until Christmas.
11:31 PM Jul 25, 2010
mlboose@norwalkreflector.com Though Norwalk Furniture officials are still confident restructuring and new investors can get the company back on its feet, some people remember when another premier employer, Norwalk Truck Lines, shut down local operations in 1968. "It was a big blow to the community," said Don Richards, now retired in Huron. "There were 125 that were employed in the home office," not counting drivers and mechanics that were relocated before the final local shutdown. For Richards' family, the move of Norwalk Truck Lines to Colorado meant the start of a long series of relocations that only ended when he retired in 2002.
11:31 PM Jul 25, 2010
One of the earliest merchants in Sandusky was one Andrew Brown, who had come from Ireland. He came to Sandusky as early as 1820 and opened a general store. Sandusky at this time was called by a variety of names such as Portland, or Portland on Sandusky Bay, and was also often referred to as Sandusky. In the year 1820 Mr. Brown was indicted by a Huron County Grand Jury (Erie County didn't then exist) for retailing merchandise "not the growth or manufacture of the United States." He had sold two different quantities of imported tea without first obtaining a special license from the Clerk of Courts. Upon being arraigned, Andrew Brown pled guilty and was fined $2.00 and costs. An early account of Sandusky history says that Brown was a dealer in Irish linen, but we do know he also sold tea illegally now and then. In April of 1822 the following ad appeared in the Sandusky Clarion newspaper, the forerunner of the present Sandusky Register: "The person, who was so much dissatisfied with the division of the money stolen from the subscriber's store, on the 20th of October last, is respectfully informed that if he will call at the store, the balance so wrongfully kept from him will be made up." This was duly signed A. Brown at Portland, April 23, 1823. It must have been rumored around the town that the thieves were quarreling over dividing their loot, and Andrew was spending money on the ad to let "them know that he knew." I find no Court record of anyone ever being arrested and tried for this crime, so I presume the allegedly aggrieved party never contacted Mr. Brown for his fair share.
11:31 PM Jul 25, 2010
MUNICIPALITIES Bellevue Kris M. Felder to Kris M. and Jolene R. Felder, 312 Goodrich Road. Carmalinda Asberry to Alice M. Maiani, 249 Madden St., $110,000.
11:31 PM Jul 25, 2010
akrause@norwalkreflector.com Sister Mary Cyrilla Hellman speaks in a reverential voice that at times falls almost to a whisper.
11:31 PM Jul 25, 2010
WAKEMAN Tuesday night's storm wasn't severe, but don't tell that to Bob Jackson. The Wakeman resident had a third of his tree fall on his neighbor's garage about 5 p.m. Tuesday. "The wife is always worried about it falling," Bob Jackson said. He had just come home when he heard that his tree had fallen.
11:31 PM Jul 25, 2010
The Huron County Job Store is expanding because between 80 and 120 people show up a day looking for work. "Our job store staff is tremendous," said Chris Robertson, workforce development supervisor. "They are job coaches."
11:31 PM Jul 25, 2010
NORWALK The following were the results of health department inspections of Norwalk-area food establishments and schools in June: No violations Rich Oil; 183 Milan Ave., Norwalk; operator, Speedway SuperAmerica LLC (June 23, regular inspection) No violations. Willard Pool; 561 W. Laurel St., Willard; operator, Dennis Hammond, City of Willard (June 23, regular inspection) No violations.
11:31 PM Jul 25, 2010
Law enforcement officials were at the Casa Fiesta restaurant in Norwalk at lunchtime today, preventing patrons from entering. Immigrations Customs Enforcement officers were inside, while a pair of Norwalk police officers were in the parking lot, telling would-be diners to look elsewhere for a meal. At least two men were led away from the restaurant in handcuffs. Look for the full story in Thursday's Reflector.
11:31 PM Jul 25, 2010
Jim Gerken, chairman of Norwalk Furniture, remains confident the 106-year-old company founded by his great-grandfather will rebound from the current suspension of operations at the Norwalk, Tennessee and Mississippi plants. "We apologize for any temporary inconvenience that this issue may have caused,' Gerken said. "We are committed to restarting operations as quickly as possible so that we may continue to provide our customers with the quality furnishings they have come to expect from Norwalk Furniture for more than a century.'
11:31 PM Jul 25, 2010
Norwalk Furniture employees are staging their own rally to coincide with the informationals meeting scheduled for 1 p.m. at Norwalk High School for employees to learn about filing for unemployment and other options in face of the company's suspension of operations. "We're banding together. Our worst fear is it will fall apart and we won't have our jobs anymore,' an employee helping organize the rally said. "We know we're not dead in the water yet, but I'm getting more information from the newspaper than I'm getting from my employer and my union.'
11:31 PM Jul 25, 2010
MILAN - Tenneco Automotive announced this morning it will be laying off 65 full-time employees starting next month. Steve Grilly, the regional plant manager, said the first 20 layoffs will be Sept. 22, with 20 more by December and the final 25 employees laid off by March 9. The layoffs, based on plant seniority, will affect a combination of hourly and salaried positions.
11:31 PM Jul 25, 2010
The suspension of operations for Norwalk Furniture is expected to be a discussion point at tonight's city council work session, but Mayor Sue Lesch said she cannot reveal many details of the efforts on the local, state and national level to help the company. "Everybody is just working feverishly on things," she said. "Now we need to focus on the positive side and on the progressive things that could happen." Norwalk took in $293,000 in withholding taxes from Norwalk Furniture employees in 2007, which works out to a taxable payroll of about $19.5 million.
11:31 PM Jul 25, 2010
The fallout continues from Friday night's announcement that Norwalk Furniture is "suspending operations" at its plants in Norwalk, Cookeville, Tenn. and Fulton, Miss. Everybody is scrambling. One Norwalk Furniture employee hopes the company has a future, but is upset with the way he found out he was out of a job, at least temporarily.
11:31 PM Jul 25, 2010
The Sandusky motorcyclist who died in a June 13 three-vehicle collision in Perkins Township had alcohol in his blood, state troopers said. The Lucas County Coroner's Office tested the blood of Paul C. Smith, 34, and determined his blood alcohol content was 0.09 just above the legal limit for drivers. Lt. Darryl Edge, the Sandusky post commander of the state Highway Patrol, said he believes Smith died from "massive trauma" on the way to St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center in Toledo or when he arrived.
11:30 PM Jul 25, 2010
The Great Depression lasted from 1929 to 1936 and was caused by excessive business and consumer debt, combined with de-regulation of the banking and investment industries and a rapidly growing wealth inequity. Sounds pretty familiar, doesn't it? It is exactly what Reagan started, and Bush No. 1 and Clinton continued. The Bush administration had done more damage than all three previous administrations as he jumped to the string-pulling demands of his wealthiest corporate sponsors. Yeah ... like "go shopping" is a rational suggestion to market woes, and the "industry will regulate itself" is a proven way to business restraint. All we need now is a massive inequity between the number of wealthy as compared to the 99 percent of other Americans. We now have that too, at a bigger amount than ever in American history, so the three main things that caused the Great Depression are in place. OK ... who gets hurt, who gets blamed, and who makes a profit. The investors, corporations and banks are "too big to fail" and will be bailed out by the government. The taxpayers will be the only ones to suffer from the mistakes of those whose arrogance kept them from learning from history. We, the taxpayers, as individuals are not too big to fail. We are the ones who will pay for the bailouts that will save the wealthy from their arrogant abuses of a system they insisted they could run without those pesky regulations that made America prosper from the end of the last time they were given free reign over the market. We are the suckers who are getting fleeced yet again by those of wealth and power, who could care less how they make their lives more comfortable at our expense. If you have a clue ... no amount of soap will wash you clean if you do nothing to change things.
11:30 PM Jul 25, 2010
AVERY The EHOVE Career Center school board hired staff members during its July 16 meeting. The board hired Jeffery Dawson of Huron as the part-time Spanish instructor and Karen Lehrer of Huron to fill the part-time secretarial position for the upcoming school year. The board also approved a personal services contract for lead mentor and consultant Joyce Leimbach for the 2008-09 school year. Others hired include: Kathryn Chudzinski of Fremont, David Degnan of Sandusky, Kimberly Go of Norwalk, and Wendilynn Osborn of Milan, all for adult education for this school year; and David Graves of Wakeman and Paul Hasenmeier III of Huron, both as substitute teachers for the school year.