Archives for March 2017

Henry County woman was institutionalized following an attack of a retired Catholic priest

A Henry County woman was institutionalized following an attack of a retired Catholic priest in Putnam County last year. On March 1, 66 year old Frances Wilhelm of Napoleon, was found not guilty by reason of insanity following the attempted murder of Father Herman Scherger. On Sept. 5, Wilhelm attacked Scherger with a hammer, striking him multiple times in the head at his home on Ohio 114 in Cloverdale. Putnam County Judge Randall Basinger ordered her recently to be institutionalized at the Northwest Ohio Psychiatric Hospital, Toledo, for a time period of no less than 60 days and up to six months for evaluation and treatment.

Hudson, Michigan man injured in single motorcycle accident

Two motorcyclists were injured Wednesday in two separate crashes in the area. In Paulding County, a Michigan man sustained serious injuries Wednesday evening. 32 year old Barron Elder of Hudson, Mich., was listed in serious condition at Parkview Hospital, Fort Wayne. The Van Wert post of the Ohio Highway Patrol responded to a motorcycle crash at approximately 8:15 p.m. on U.S. 24 in Crane Township, north of Paulding. Troopers reported that Elder was westbound, drove into the center median and overturned. Elder, who was reportedly wearing a helmet, was ejected from the motorcycle. He was flown from the scene to Parkview. The crash remains under investigation.

Defiance man injured in car-motorcycle accident

In Defiance County, 61 year old James Schappert of Defiance, was injured in a crash involving a van. According to the Defiance post of the Ohio Highway Patrol, at 1:45 p.m. on Ohio 15, north of Brunersburg, Schappert’s motorcycle swerved to avoid a van driven by 60 year old Richard Straka of Defiance, that pulled from a private drive. Schappert swerved to the left to avoid the van. That’s when Straka then turned left into another private drive, causing a collision. Schappert was taken by the Defiance Fire Department to ProMedica Defiance Regional Hospital, where a condition update was unavailable. Straka was cited for failure to yield. Damage was heavy to Schappert’s vehicle, while Staka’s was moderately damaged.

Road construction season is underway across Ohio

A second-straight near-record road construction season is underway across Ohio. This year, the Ohio Department of Transportation will invest $2.3 billion into the state’s roads and bridges, just shy of the record-$2.4 billion investments made in 2014 and 2015. This construction season will include 1,100 projects, 26 valued at more than $10 million. Workers will pave 6,900 miles of roadway – enough for a two-lane road from Seattle to Key West. The projects also include the repair or replacement of 1,300 bridges.

Guilty pleas were entered by a Bronson man who lead police on a high speed chase

Guilty pleas were entered by a Bronson man who lead police on a high speed chase earlier this year. Branch County Circuit Court officials say 43 year old Scott Calloway plead guilty to assault with a deadly weapon and third degree fleeing from a police officer. Two additional charges of assault with a deadly weapon are being dismissed as part of the plea agreement. The incident started January 8 in Angola, Indiana, then into Fremont, where more officers joined the chase. Calloway left the road and wrecked the car in a field when the chase made its way into Michigan on Southern Road in Branch County. Calloway is scheduled to be sentenced on May 15. A passenger in the car, 44 year old Diana Rodriguez, was arrested on fugitive warrants out of Elkhart County.

Ohio Highway Patrol Academy graduating class included three local men

The latest class to graduate from the Ohio Highway Patrol Academy class included three local men. The 161st class graduated 85 cadets Friday after they underwent 23 weeks of training. Black Chase of Antwerp was assigned to the Van Wert post, while Jarette Lutts of Liberty Center will go to the Defiance post and Austin Ashenfelter of West Unity was assigned to the Cleveland post. They began their new duties Monday with each new trooper receiving 60 days of field training with a veteran officer.

Plea agreement reached in manslaughter case

As a result of a plea negotiation, Jeremy D. Havens pleaded guilty to charges of manslaughter and trafficking in drugs to a Williams County resident who then overdosed and died as a result. Havens pleaded guilty to both Involuntary Manslaughter and Aggravated Trafficking in Drugs within the vicinity of a juvenile for the August 16, 2016, sale. Havens also pleaded guilty to Trafficking in Heroin for a sale of drugs that occurred on July 29, 2016. Havens will be sentenced on May 2, 2017, at 2:00, at the Williams County Common Pleas Court.

Bryan man was charged with a felony sex offense

A Bryan man was charged with a felony sex offense following an alleged incident Friday evening at a Defiance hospital. 45 year old Dan Mekus of N. Walnut St., Bryan, was charged with attempted rape. According to Lt. Scott Campbell of the Defiance Police Department, officers were called to ProMedica Defiance Regional Hospital, 1200 Ralston Ave., at 9:01 p.m. Campbell reported that Mekus, who was a patient, was arrested after an alleged attempted sexual assault of a female patient. Mekus was taken to the Corrections Center of Northwest Ohio, rural Stryker. He appeared Monday morning via video arraignment in Defiance Municipal Court. Bond was set at $500,000. He has an initial appearance today.

Deadline to register to vote in the May 2nd Primary and Special Election is on April 3rd

Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted is reminding voters that the deadline to register to vote in the May 2nd Primary and Special Election is on April 3rd. Voters in 74 counties may have a local race or issue on the ballot this May. There are 307 local issues appearing across Ohio. For information on local races, voters should contact their county board of elections. All Ohio voters may begin voting on April 4, 2017 (first day after the close of registration) using an in-person or mail-in absentee ballot. For more information, visit

Montpelier opposed to the centralized collection of income taxes

Montpelier has joined other villages and cities across the state after village council passed a motion in opposition to the centralized collection of income taxes. Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s two-year budget proposal would require businesses to file a total of about $600 million of municipal income taxes through the online Ohio Business Gateway. The Ohio Department of Taxation would process and distribute the returns and charge a 1 percent fee for the service. Municipalities say this means less money for them. Kelly Hephner, Montpelier director of finances, says the village just simply cannot afford this extra expense.