Donations bring BG undocumented immigrant home – but 2 more arrested

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   On the same day that one Bowling Green man returned home on bond from ICE, another two local men were taken away. Few details are available about the two men picked up on Tuesday afternoon, other than they are being held in Seneca County Jail, which contracts as an immigration detention site in Tiffin. FBI Special Agent Vicki Anderson said Wednesday that while the FBI was involved in the search, the arrests were made by the customs and border patrol. No further information was available. The latest arrests come on the heels of a community fundraiser that helped bring home another Bowling Green man who has being held in a Battle Creek, Michigan, jail for undocumented immigration status. He had been turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement following a traffic violation in northern Wood County. More than 50 members of the community raised more than $3,000 during an ice cream social held Sunday at First Presbyterian Church in Bowling Green. That money was used to get a $5,000 bond for his release on Tuesday. According to Beatriz Maya, director of La Conexion, the man has worked as a skilled tradesman in the Bowling Green community for more than seven years and has no criminal history. “He is an asset for the community. We want him here,” Maya said. The man has a wife and three young children. The children are all U.S. citizens. The BG man had been held in Michigan for 25 days after being picked up for speeding north of Bowling Green, and being turned over to ICE. A hearing held on Monday found that he qualified to be released on bond. “They found he’s not a criminal of any sort,” Maya said. He has been in the U.S. for nearly 14 years, with half of that in Bowling Green, working locally. Maya brought him home from Battle Creek after bond was posted in Detroit. “He was very, very…

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BG trims fat off proposed food truck ordinance

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Some of the leftover crumbs from the food truck discussions were tidied up by Bowling Green City Council Committee of the Whole Monday evening. The ordinance allowing food trucks to operate in the city will be ready for City Council to vote on at its next meeting. The decisions made Monday evening favored making the ordinance the least restrictive as possible – with the understanding that if a problem occurs, council will then handle the issue. But council member Bill Herald, who was head of the committee tackling the food truck issue, brought up several issues that weren’t addressed in the ordinance, just to make sure they should not be included. In most cases, the Committee of the Whole preferred to keep the recipe for food trucks as simple as possible. For example: Trucks in the downtown area Herald noted that the ordinance did not require food trucks in the downtown area to have “visibility triangles.” Council member Sandy Rowland reminded that the goal was to “keep the regulations as free as possible. Those are things we can change as we live through the implementation.” Council president Mike Aspacher agreed that council can “adjust as needed,” when problems arise. If a food truck were to park in an unsafe location, the city will discuss the problem, Municipal Administrator Lori Tretter said. The city has a history of working with people and coming up with solutions that are agreeable. “We really do try to employ diplomacy,” she said. Hours and days of operation Herald pointed out that the ordinance does not limit food trucks to certain days or hours of operation. Aspacher said the city’s goal is to not place such limits. “My feeling is we should not do so,” he said. Council members Rowland and Bruce Jeffers agreed. Several food vendors have attended city meetings to explain that they only set up on days and times when they can get plenty of…


Community survey gives high marks to public library

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News A community survey done for the Wood County District Public Library turned out to be a love letter. “Levels of satisfaction were pretty high across the board on all the services we surveyed,” said Shannon Orr, whose public policy class at Bowling Green State University conducted it. “There is very high customer satisfaction for the Wood County Library system, and they would be willing to support the next levy.” That was true even among the majority who only use the library a few times a year. They still felt that the library was an important community service. Orr presented the results to the library’s Board of Trustees Monday. The library’s levy, which brings in $1 million a year, about 40 percent of the budget, will need to be renewed November, 2020. Orr added, that “children’s events were cited over and over again very highly.” On the other hand, “the level of dissatisfaction is almost nonexistent.” “We do a lot of these,” she said. “I run more than 100 community projects with my classes, and this level of satisfaction is very unusual.” Orr’s students sent surveys to 2,000 registered voters in the library’s service area. They got 346 back, or 17.3 percent. That’s an adequate response rate. An online survey with identical questions was sent to about 1,500 email addresses the library had on file. Those responses matched the random sample, but were not figured into the results. The answers to the open-ended questions included in the online survey were provided to the library. People did cite a few areas of improvement. Given the aging population, more large print books are needed. Also, people wanted better guidance on what the library offers, whether books or programs. Arts and craft programs would be nice. And the library needs “freshening up,” particularly the carpet on the stairs. “I might have written that myself,” said Library Director Michael Penrod. He said he’s also ready gotten some carpet samples,…


Marissa Saneholtz makes her mark as a woman artist to watch

By DAVID DUPONT BG independent News Marissa Saneholtz only has two smallish tattoos. The women she depicts on her jewelry, though, are covered with ink. Yet these women are depictions of the artist, proud assertions of her feminism. The copper and enamel broaches with decals fired into the surface that mix of social commentary, aesthetic grace, and technical mastery, have earned the Bowling Green native a place in Women to Watch Ohio – 2018. The show is now on exhibit in the Riffe Gallery in Columbus. The exhibit, which features the work of 10 women artists working in metals, is a collaboration of the Ohio Arts Council and the Ohio Advisory Group of the National Museum of Women in the Arts. Saneholtz honed her skills close to home, first in the Bowling Green High and then at Bowling Green State University, before heading to East Carolina University to earn her Master of Fine Arts. After stints in Italy, Vail, Colorado, and at Appalachian State University, she’s back home as an instructor in the metals and jewelry program at BGSU’s School of Art. Saneholtz, 32, said her art activity started from the time she came out of the womb. Her mother, Karen, did the arts projects for Plan, Do, and Talk. And when her daughter was a preschooler, she served as her “Guinea pig.” If she could do a project, the other kids could as well. When Saneholtz was older, she’d help her mother by demonstrating the projects. At Bowling Green High School, she started in art inspired by teacher Becky Laabs. As a freshman, Saneholtz won a prize in a state competition. She thought, “I can do this.” Academics came easily for her. “Art was good because I could challenge myself and research anything I wanted and turn it into art.” Metalsmithing was a good fit. The process jibed with her talents in science and math. It takes logic and organization. It’s “very planned out,” Saneholtz said. Science meets art…


What’s happening in your community (updated May 24)

NEWLY POSTED: Safety Council to meet June 5 “Continuity of Operations Planning (COOP)” will be the theme of  the June Meeting for the members of the Wood County Safety Council Tuesday, June 5, 7:30-9:30 a.m. at the Wood County Hospital – Bachman-Keil Meeting Rooms, 950 W. Wooster St., Bowling Green. A continental breakfast will be provided. The public is invited. Bradley Gilbert, director of Wood County Emergency Management Agency, will be the speaker. Those interested in joining the Wood County Safety Council should contact the BG Chamber of Commerce by calling (419) 353-7945 or email Sandy Kerr at SafetyCouncil@BGChamber.net. Wood County Safety Council is hosted by the Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce in partnership with Wood County EMA, the Ohio Bureau of Worker’s Compensation and Wood County Hospital. For more information contact the BG Chamber at (419) 353-7945 or visit www.bgchamber.net.   NEWLY POSTED: Brookdale hosting workshops on VA aid & benefits, June 5 Brookdale Bowing Green is hosting two free educational workshops about the VA Aid and Attendance benefit on Tuesday, June 5, at 2 and 6 p.m. These events are open to the public and will take place at the community, which is located at 121 North Wintergarden Road, Bowling Green, Call 419-354-5300 to register. There are 9.2 million veterans still living that served in World War II, Korea, or Vietnam. These soldiers and their surviving spouses may be eligible for the Department of Veterans’ Affairs Aid and Attendance Pension, which offers a monthly tax-free benefit, ranging from $1,176 to $2,169 per month. Veterans Financial is the Senior Living Industry’s leading provider of information about the Aid & Attendance Pension benefit. During our workshop, we review the eligibility criteria and show how thousands of families, even in cases of higher net worth, have become eligible for this benefit. If you are unable to attend the workshop, please visit www.VeteransFinancial.com or call 1-800-835-1541 for more information.   NEWLY POSTED: NAMI to hold annual golf outing, June 8 National Alliance…


Firefly Nights set to begin a summer of fun in downtown BG

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Firefly Nights, a new series of street festivals in downtown Bowling Green, got off to a running start Friday night. About 200 runners and walkers toed the starting line on North Church Street near the library and at the signal marked what organizers hope will be a summer of fun in the business district. The 5K race and one mile walk started at 9 p.m. The participants in fluorescent shirts and glow bracelets. The evening start was meant to set it apart from all the other charity runs, said Stacie Banfield, one the organizers. “We wanted to make it a fun event for kids.” The after-dark start was also fitting given it promoted and raised funds for evening events Banfield, owner of Mode Elle, was one of a quartet of women business proprietors – Kati Thompson, of Eden Fashion Boutique, Gayle Walterbach of Coyote Beads, and Laura Wicks, of Grounds for Thought – who organized Firefly Nights. Thompson said to get 200 registrants for a first time race was a great response. “A hundred is considered a success.” Banfield said it was exciting to watch the registrations increased as race time approached, Banfield said. That included folks who signed up on Friday night. She and Thompson are optimistic that this is a sign of the enthusiasm for the three scheduled street festivals. The race will help fund three nights of downtown activities set for the third Friday of each month – June 15, July 20, and Aug. 17 – from 6 to 10 p.m. Main Street will be blocked off from the intersection of Court Street to the intersection of Washington with music stages at each end. Four bands will play alternating sets each night. All the bands have been booked, Banfield said. The lineup of talent from Northwest Ohio will be announced on June 1. Thompson said that 30 downtown businesses have signed up to participate and be sponsors. They will have sidewalk…


Flavorful e-cigs target vulnerable teen users

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Decades ago, public health officials realized the lunacy of using a cartoon character to promote cigarettes. That was the beginning of the end for Joe Camel, the cool pool-shooting, cigarette-puffing character. The big colorful camel had become as easily recognizable as the Disney logo to youth, according to Dr. Megan Roberts, from Ohio State University, who spoke about adolescents and new tobacco products to the Wood County Prevention Coalition last month. As the use of traditional cigarettes has dropped among teens, the use of alernative tobacco products is up. Those new products include vaping – the inhaling and exhaling of aerosol produced by e-cigarettes or similar devices like vape pens. While cartoon characters have been banned from tobacco marketing, fun flavors are allowed – 7,764 flavors in fact – ranging from chocolate, to “mango tango,” to “cinna-MMM.” “Adolescents respond to tobacco marketing,” Roberts said. Despite restrictions, tobacco products are advertised heavily in places like convenience stores or gas stations. “They are plastered with tobacco ads.” The tobacco industry spends more than $9 billion a year on marketing, she said. A study of adolescents and cigarette advertisements showed that flashy tobacco ads increase activity in youths’ brains. Ads for flavored tobacco created brain activity in kids who weren’t tobacco users. An eye-tracking study showed kids focused longer when flavored tobacco ads were shown. The colorful ads combined with the fruity flavors create the perception that e-cigarettes are harmless, cool, even fashionable, Roberts said. “These are chemicals that can be dangerous when inhaled,” especially for developing brains, she said. Though smoking regular cigarettes is no longer as popular with adolescents, there are many other options out there for them now – cigarillos, e-cigs, hooka, juuls. In 2014, e-cigarette use surpassed cigarette use in middle and high school students in the U.S., Roberts said. Many teens and adults consider these newer options as safe, but Roberts disagreed. Hookah, she said, which involves tobacco being smoked…