Black Swamp Players’ “Baskerville” is more about laughs than logic

  By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Ken Ludwig’s “Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery” gives the whodunit a whole new twist. Figuring out the mystery take a back seat to figuring out what actor will appear where and as what character speaking in what accent. The cast’s coming and goings, all facilitated by a revolving stage whips up the kind of manic comedy that makes Ludwig’s plays so beloved of community theater troupes, including the Black Swamp Players. “Baskerville” opens the Players’ 50th season this weekend. Shows are Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. and Sept. 29 and 30 at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church, 1526 E. Wooster St., Bowling Green. Tickets are $12 and $10 at http://www.blackswampplayers.org or at the door. That the Players should open their 50th season with this comic take on a classic Sherlock Holmes tale is entirely fitting since Ludwig comedies and a variety of mysteries have been a staple of their seasons. They come together in “Baskerville.” The play, directed by Kistin Forman, takes the classic tale and surrounds Holmes (Eric Simpson) and his friend Dr. Watson (Lane Hakel) with a cast of  40 zany characters all played by three actors—Christina Hoekstra, Jordan Jarvis, Ben Forman, who also gets credit for the clever set design. Here the sleuth’s cogitation over the clues is  upstaged by their antics. They bounce from one character to another, sometimes in the same scene. Forman, at one point, keeps having to switch hats, literally, to play two different people. That also means slipping from a Texas…

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Former BG family visited by hurricanes Harvey & Irma

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   The Sorrells family had two unwelcome guests in the past month – the first named Harvey, followed by Irma. “Stay away from us, we seem to be jinxed,” Larry Sorrells said on Saturday. Larry and Janet Sorrells, longtime Bowling Green residents, moved to Punta Gorda, Florida, in April. Their daughter Jennifer and her family live in Houston, Texas. As Hurricane Harvey approached, Jennifer, her spouse and their daughter, went to Austin for safety. “They were very lucky,” and their home suffered no damage, Larry Sorrells said. But as Larry and Janet Sorrells were worrying about Harvey’s wrath in Texas, Irma showed up on the radar. “We saw this thing for a long time,” but forecasters were uncertain where Irma was headed exactly. “We were glued to the TV” waiting for updates, Sorrells said. “We were watching the storm, and it’s a monster,” leveling some Caribbean islands on its way to Florida. Sorrells is accustomed to preparing for emergencies and public health crises. As the former health commissioner for Wood County, he spent years making sure the public was safe. But this was different. “This is our first hurricane, and maybe our last. I wouldn’t mind that,” he said. “I have a lot of training in emergency preparedness,” Sorrells said. So he and Janet planned ahead and made hotel reservations in Atlanta, Georgia, and they prepared their home with storm shutters and other precautionary steps to be battered by Irma. “There’s a lot of stuff to get ready for these things so you don’t come home to an even bigger mess,” he said….


Best Western Falcon Plaza celebrates top to bottom renovation

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The Best Western Falcon Plaza is always ready with a warm Bowling Green welcome for guests. Doesn’t matter if you’re a rocker playing the Black Swamp Arts Festival, or a hockey player taking on the hometown Falcons, the welcome mat is out. That’s true for Tractor Pullers or someone who just pulled off I-75 for a good night’s rest. It’s true for a teacher from across the globe and someone from a half-mile away attending a business meeting. It’s true for someone who graduated from Bowling Green State University decades ago and a family dropping a student off ready to matriculate at BGSU. “We enjoy being the hometown hotel,” said Todd McGee, the hotel’s general manager. On Tuesday, Sept. 19 at 4 p.m. the hotel, at 1450 E. Wooster, right across from the BGSU campus,  will celebrate its recently completed renovation. The hotel has undergone many upgrades, remodels and additions since McGee’s grandfather Jacob Bishop bought what was then the Woodburn Motel. It had only about a dozen rooms, which went for $4.50 to $6. The name has changed to the Falcon Plaza, and become part of the Best Western chain in 1977. “This renovation we just went through was by far the most comprehensive,” McGee said. “We invested over $1 million.” That meant renovating every room from floor to ceiling, said Niki Carpenter, the desk manager. The hotel has 85 rooms, two meeting rooms, a breakfast room, lobby with 10-foot-tall water feature, and a fitness room – certainly not something Jacob Bishop had to worry about 50 years ago. McGee, who took over…


‘Real Men Wear Pink’ … for an entire month

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Some men are uneasy about wearing pink. Not Ben Batey. And that’s a good thing, considering Batey will be wearing pink every day during the month of October. Batey, Wood County’s health commissioner, has signed up for the American Cancer Society fundraiser called “Real Men Wear Pink.” Ten men from Northwest Ohio were asked to take the pink challenge to raise funds for breast cancer research. Batey is the only one in Wood County. In order to wear pink every day for the month, Batey is having to augment his wardrobe. “My wife went out and bought me a bunch of pink shirts,” he said. “I told her not to go too crazy, it’s just for one month.” Some days it may be a pink tie, or pink socks. So far he hasn’t purchased any pink pants or jackets. Batey was approached to take the “Real Men Wear Pink” challenge by Kami Wildman, outreach coordinator at the county health district. He agreed – and then he saw the rules. “I thought she just meant occasionally,” wearing pink – not every day. “But by then I was committed,” he said. Batey actually doesn’t mind wearing pink. “That’s never been an issue for me,” he said. Batey has decided to take the pink challenge a step further – well, many steps further. He has promised to walk one mile in Wood County for every $100 that people contribute to the cause. “If I’m going to be asking people to contribute and support this cause, I want to do something as well,” he said. The…


KEAR here to surround BGSU with electro-acoustic sound

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Joe Klingler didn’t spend a lot of time at Bowling Green State University. He studied composition with Marilyn Shrude for a year, 1990-1991, as well as taking courses with Burton Beerman. He already had several degrees in engineering and music from the University of Toledo and then founded a software company. That pulled him away from his graduate studies in music, and deeper in the world of technology. Now he lives in California and writes thrillers. Not surprisingly, those always have a musician as a character and technology figuring in the plot. He’s still plugged into BGSU. Five years ago, at the suggestion of BGSU composition professor and electro-acoustic composer Elainie Lillios, Klingler funded a residency program for composers of electro-acoustic composers. Once n fall and once in spring, a composer will come and spend two weeks on campus, working in the university’s Multichannel Ambisonic studio and working with composition students. Klingler says he’s a strong believer in the importance of these personal relationships in education. This weekend the BGSU College of Musical Arts is celebrating the fifth anniversary of the founding with performances and workshops. The event culminates tonight (Saturday, Sept. 16) with a concert in Kobacker Hall featuring work by the eight composers who have been residents as part of the Klingler Electro-Acoustic Residency. The composers are: Adam Basanta, Brad Garton, John Young, Jonty Harrison, James Andean, Louise Harris, Adrian Moore, and Robert Normandeau. Most of the compositions, Lillios said, will be multi-channel works. Using speakers arrayed around the hall, the composers will surround listeners with music. One piece will employ live…


What’s happening in your community (updated Sept. 18)

NEWLY POSTED: Chamber presenting opioid seminar, Sept. 20 The Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce presents “Fighting the Opioid Epidemic’, Sponsored by UBS Financial Services Inc., a seminar at the Stone Ridge Golf Club on September 20. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and speaker, Wood County Sheriff Mark Wasylyshyn, starts at 6 p.m. The educational seminar over the growing opioid epidemic that is occurring around the country and right here at home in Ohio. Topics covered include – education on warning signs, common trends and preventive measures. A complimentary meal will be served and RSVP’s are required by September 18 by 5 p.m.  Contact MarissaMuniz@bgchamber.net or call (419) 353-7945 to RSVP or to receive more information. NEWLY POSTED:Help Me Grow playdate at the library, Sept. 25 Parents and caregivers with young children are invited to the May Help Me Grow playdate at the Children’s Place of the Wood County District Public Library on Monday September 25th from 10:00 to 11:30 AM.  This session, open to everyone offers stories, playtime and community support resources. For more information, contact the Children’s Place staff at 419-352-8253.   NEWLY POSTED: Youth Basketball League Registration open now Bowling Green Parks and Recreation’s Youth Basketball League is now open for registration.  The league is for children in Kindergarten (or age 5) through 6th grade.  Divisions consist of K(5), 1st and 2nd grade, 3rd and 4th grade (boys/girls separate) and 5th and 6th grade( boys/girls separate).  Dates for the program run the week of October 16th-December 9th.  Players are required to attend a skills assessment date prior to participating in the league.  Program costs are $51 for residents and $60 for…


Scruci joins other districts questioning state report cards

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   The state may need a refresher course on how to do testing. Once again, Bowling Green City School District scored low in some areas on its state report card. But according to Superintendent Francis Scruci, that may say more about the tests than the school district. In the area of “achievement” – which represents the number of students who passed the state tests and how well they performed on them – Bowling Green scored a D. The sting from that grade is lessened a bit by the similar grades earned across the state, Scruci said. Of the 607 districts scored, only 22 got an A, 15 scored a B, 22 got a C, and 58 earned a D. The vast majority – 490 – earned an F. “As educators we know when we create tests for classrooms, there should be a bell-shaped curve,” Scruci said. The fact that most districts failed, raises “obvious questions.” “This is a pretty good illustration that this system is not working,” he said about the state grade cards. Scruci is not alone in his harsh opinion of the state tests. Many Wood County superintendents share his criticisms. “Everyone is frustrated with the system itself,” he said. “The system is flawed. If a teacher were to give a test and get scores like that,” they would do it again. In addition to the “achievement” area, the other grades given to Bowling Green schools include: D for gap closing. This shows how well schools are meeting the performance expectations for the most vulnerable populations of students in English language…