Despite a few reservations, BG Council raises hotel tax

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Bowling Green City Council unanimously approved a tax increase that will have out-of-town guests paying to promote the city to more visitors. Council voted Monday to enact an additional 1 percent hotel/motel tax, with the revenues dedicated to the Bowling Green Convention and Visitors Bureau. Council also approved a three-year renewal of the current 3 percent hotel/motel tax, with the CVB continuing to get 60 percent of that tax revenue and the city getting 40 percent. Wendy Chambers, executive director of the Bowling Green Convention and Visitors Bureau, said the additional funds will help fill hotel beds, restaurants and stores. The hotel tax increase has the support of all the hotels owners in the city, according to Todd McGee, vice chairman of the CVB and general manager at the newly remodeled Best Western Falcon Plaza. The tax will be paid by visitors to local hotels and motels, and would have no impact on city residents, he said. Bowling Green is a big destination for sporting events, with regional youth athletics and BGSU sports filling up local hotels, McGee said. Events such as the Black Swamp Arts Festival, National Tractor Pulling Championships, and concerts also draw overnight guests to the city. But weekday business is lacking. Hotels are the concierge for Bowling Green, McGee said. They send guests out into the city with recommendations of restaurants to dine in and shops to visit. The timing for the tax increase is great, McGee said,…

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What’s happening in your community (updated Nov. 19)

  NEWLY POSTED: Four Corners Center hosts holiday event, Dec. 1 Join  the Four Corners Organizations at the Four Corners Center, 130 S. Main St.   Friday, December 1 from 5-7 p.m. for a holiday evet with fundraising fun and holiday spirits. A stuffed stocking raffle will be held with holiday gift themed filled stockings that will be the perfect gift for that special someone with the proceeds going to Winterfest BG Chillabration.  Four beautifully decorated holiday charity trees will also be given away at the event with the proceeds going to the Christmas Elves, United Way and BG Parks & Recreation.  The winners of the Holiday Tree Decorating Competition between BGSU Omega Phi Alpha Sorority and Beta Chi Fraternity will also be announced. The Four Corners have two pre-light trees donated by Wal-Mart that will be trimmed to help decorate the lobby and house our Visits with Santa that will be held on November 25 and December 15.   NEWLY POSTED: Mindless Matters celebrates new EP, Nov. 25 The Bowling Green band Mindless Matters will celebrate the release of its EP “Shiggy Diggy” with a show Saturday, Nov. 25, at 8 p.m. at Grounds for Thought, 174 S. Main Si, Bowling Green.   NEWLY POSTED: Free Thanksgiving Day meal at Grand Rapids church, Nov. 23 The First Presbyterian Church in Grand Rapids is hosting a free     Help Me Grow playdate, Nov. 20   Parents and caregivers with young children are invited to the Help Me Grow playdate at the Children’s…


BGSU & UT agreement boosts courses in world languages & cultures

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Before their respective football teams met on the Doyt Perry Stadium turf, the presidents of Bowling Green State University and the University of Toledo met to sign an agreement that promises to be a winner for both institutions. Meeting on the third floor of the Sebo Center overlooking the field where the teams were preparing for kickoff, BGSU President Mary Ellen Mazey and UT President Sharon Gaber signed an agreement giving more structure to the course exchanges in foreign languages between the two MAC rivals. That rivalry, Mazey said, is strong in sports, but when it comes to academics, BGSU and UT are committed to collaborating so they can to provide their students the most opportunities. In this case, those opportunities are in foreign languages. UT students already are taking online Italian course through BGSU, and in spring BGSU students will start taking Arabic courses at UT. In 2018 the two schools will share offerings in French and German. “We are pleased to enter into this partnership with The University of Toledo, which will provide exceptional educational experiences for both BGSU and UT students,” Mazey said in a statement announcing the agreement. “As one of BGSU’s core values, we welcome opportunities to collaborate. This agreement combines the strengths of both universities, resulting in efficiencies that support students’ degree completion.” The agreement was prompted by the Governor’s Task Force on Affordability and Efficiency that had state colleges and universities look at under-enrolled and duplicative programs…


Romantic comedy “Diana of Dobson’s” wears its age well

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Don’t be fooled by “Diana of Dobson’s.” The production of the 1908 play opens with some period song and dance. Dressed in turn of the previous century finery Anna Parchem and Geoff Stephenson invite us to go to the music hall. They deliver their invitation with a campy enthusiasm touched by cynicism. Something quite deeper and more satisfying awaits behind the curtain. “Diana of Dobson’s” by Cicely Hamilton will be presented by the Bowling Green State University Department of Theatre and Film opening tonight (Nov. 16) at 8 p.m. and running through Sunday in the Donnell Theatre in the Wolfe Center for the Arts. See details at end of story. Once the curtain rises, the glitter disappears. We find ourselves in the stark dorm of the shop girls who work at Dobson’s. As they disrobe for the night the young women played by Laura Holman, Lorna Jane Patterson, Hennessy Bevins, and Megan Kome talk about their lives and their troublesome co-worker Diana Massingberd (Camila Pinero). She’s a rebel who bristles at the petty rules and cruel economies of the company. She gets “five bob a week for my life,” and even then the company fines the employees for minor infractions. Diana has many of those. Diana wasn’t always in these straits. Her father was a country doctor, and she helped him until his death. He left her penniless. To her, even worse than being a fool “is being a pauper.” Her attitude not only…


Park district hands out grants to 11 community parks

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Thirty years ago as the Wood County Park District worked to pass its first levy, a promise was made to share the wealth with community parks throughout the county. That promise has been kept, and continued again this week as the park board approved $100,000 in grants to 11 Wood County communities. Over the years, the grants have helped municipalities add to park playgrounds and repair shelter houses – expenses many smaller towns could not afford on their own. The grants have also been used by several communities to make their parks more accessible to people with disabilities. Following is a list of those communities approved for grants for 2018, the projects funded, and the amounts approved: Bloomdale – $4,157 for six picnic tables with two being ADA compliant. Bowling Green – $4,332 for a scaler tunnel net on a playground. Bradner – $2,479 for an 8-inch balance beam and merry-go-round. Custar – $6,900 for a sway bench and rain garden. Cygnet – $7,835 for ADA sidewalk, and $1,176 for safety surfacing. North Baltimore – $9,873 for safety surfacing, and $4,999 for shelter house roof replacement. Pemberville – $6,150 for shelter house conversion, and $2,485 for safety surfacing. Perrysburg – $10,000 for shade structure for ballfields, and $1,949 for porch swing bench. Walbridge – $14,372 for new basketball court. West Millgrove – $9,991 for swing set and safety surfacing, and $4,997 for trash containers and safety surfacing. Weston – $8,305 for two…


BG Middle School earns state ‘Momentum Award’

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Bowling Green City School District has taken some heat for low scores on the state’s testing. But the State Board of Education has notified the Bowling Green Middle School that it will be receiving an award for student growth in reading and math. Now in its third year, the “Momentum Award” is the state board’s effort to recognize districts that have received “A”s on each Value-Added measure included on Ohio’s school report cards. That means the middle school’s report card for the 2016-2017 school year showed students made greater than expected growth in reading and math. That’s a big deal, according to Principal Eric Radabaugh. “It really is meaningful for our school,” Radabaugh said Wednesday afternoon. The “A” grade means that Bowling Green Middle School students made more progress over the year than most other students in Ohio. “To me the most important measure of a school is the growth from one year to the next,” the principal said. “We are honored to receive the award.” Radabaugh praised teachers for making the difference. “I credit our dedicated staff,” he said. The teachers use a team approach. “We have a learning environment where teachers share ideas of what’s working and what’s not working.” Bowling Green Superintendent Francis Scruci was pleased with the state recognition for efforts at the middle school. “This is another example of the great things happening in our district,” Scruci said. “We as a district are pleased and proud of…


UN official comes home to Ohio to address the plight of refugees

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Even as the global refugee crisis grows, efforts to resettle them have stalled. Anne-Marie McGranaghan, an associate resettlement officer for the United Nations High Commission on Refugees, reported that the number of refugees resettled this year will be about 70,000, less than half the number resettled in 2016, This comes, she said, after several years of increased numbers. That reflects the United States cutting the number of refugees it will resettle in half while other countries has so many now in the pipeline that have put a pause on their programs. The United States resettles the most of any country, though on a per capita basis other countries, particularly Nordic European nations, do far more. McGranaghan was the keynote speaker Tuesday (Nov. 14) at the Immigrant Ohio Symposium at Bowling Green State University. The focus was “Refugees Past and Present.” Resettlement, McGranaghan said, is just one solution for the world’s 65.6 million refugees. That’s the largest number ever, she said, and is expected to continue to grow. Three countries Syria, Afghanistan, and South Sudan account for half that number. Next year, McGranaghan said, she expects members of the Rohingya people fleeing to Bangladesh from Myanmar will join that list. Just since August more than 600,000 have left the country formerly known as Burma. McGranaghan said that according to the Geneva Convention on Refugees, passed in 1951 to deal with Europeans cast adrift after World War II, “a refugee is a person who has a…