BG to use drone for bird’s-eye view on city projects

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   The city of Bowling Green will soon be using a drone to help size up infrastructure projects. But city officials want to assure residents that the eye in the sky will only be focused on streets – not private property. The drone, which was seized during a criminal investigation, will be used by the city’s Geographic Information System (GIS) staff to prepare for infrastructure projects such as water line replacements and road repaving projects. The drone, which has made some test flights, is a Dji Phantom 4 Pro, which is approximately 6 inches tall with a wing span of 12 inches. According to Assistant Municipal Administrator Joe Fawcett, a typical flight for city projects will last up to 30 minutes with the drone mapping images captured at an altitude of 20–100 feet depending on conditions. The drone will fly the designated route at a speed of approximately 15-20 mph. Fawcett stressed that the drone will only operate over the public right-of-way, with images taken straight down. Private property will not be mapped or flown over. “This will absolutely not be flown over private property,” Fawcett said. The street images from the right-of-way will then have existing aerial photos stitched in. The benefit of having the drone images is that they will be “way more detailed and current,” than aerial shots that may be a couple years old, Fawcett explained. Before a flight occurs, residents along the street will be notified and the…

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County touts high economic development, low unemployment

Wood County continues to see high economic development successes and a low unemployment rate, according to the report presented Wednesday during the annual meeting of the Wood County Economic Development Commission. The report, from WCEDC President Doug Miller, talked about the great success achieved with limited resources. “Over the past several years, we have attracted a number of businesses to Wood County,” Miller wrote in his report. Those newer businesses include Home Depot fulfillment center in Troy Township, the CSX intermodal facility in Henry Township, the Harmon Business Park in Rossford, and the FedEx Ground Hub in Perrysburg Township. “Scores of existing businesses choose to remain in Wood County and have or are expanding,” Miller continued. Those businesses include Phoenix Technologies, Northwood Industries, First Solar, Principle Business Enterprises, Schuetz Container, IMCO Carbide Tool, and Pilkington North America. “As a result, unemployment hovers around an amazing 4 percent,” Miller stated in his report. Much of the credit should go to the spirit of cooperation among elected officials, those appointed by elected officials, and community volunteers, he said. “Feedback we receive from developers and others from outside the area remains positive and often hear that the process is Wood County runs so much better than in other places,” Miller stated. In an effort to work with local communities to meet their needs, Wood County Economic Development Commission Executive Director Wade Gottschalk and other executive committee members often hold informal monthly breakfast or lunch meetings with entities. “The meetings serve as a way…


BGSU Jazz Week guest, trombonist Alan Ferber, has reached out to create a successful career

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News For Grammy-nominated composer, arranger and trombonist Alan Ferber, his trip to Bowling Green is not a one-way street. He’ll work with students, and share with them the knowledge developed over a couple decades as a professional musician as they work to master his big band charts. That will give them “an intense experience of playing music with the guy who wrote it. I know it was like that with me when I was in college.” He’ll also get to hear some of his music written for a nine-piece group performed by local professionals. Hearing this nonet music played by a different set of musicians, most of whom he hasn’t met before, is fun, he said. He does know David Bixler, head of the Jazz Studies program at BGSU, who will play alto sax in the nonet. He and Bixler played in Toshiko Akiyoshi’s Jazz Orchestra together. It was Bixler who arranged Ferber’s visit to campus. Ferber is the guest artist for Jazz Week at the Bowling Green State University campus. He’ll perform a free nonet concert with the faculty and guests on Wednesday at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall, and Friday with the Jazz Lab Band I at 8 p.m. in Kobacker Hall. Tickets are $7 and $3 for students in advance and all tickets are $10 the day of the show. Call 419-372-8171 or visit www.bgsu.edu/the-arts/. See http://bgindependentmedia.org/bgsu-arts-events-through-april-4/ for a schedule of Jazz Week events. Ferber said in dealing with students, his…


‘The Common Good’ lives up to its name in BG

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   A lot of good comes out of the little house at 113 Crim St. in Bowling Green. The house is the headquarters of “The Common Good,” an organization honored at the Bowling Green City Council meeting Monday evening with an Honor Roll Award from the Human Relations Commission. The award is intended to recognize individuals or groups that promote respect for diversity in the community, according to Rev. Mary Jane Saunders, co-chairperson of the commission. The Common Good, she said, has helped make Bowling Green a more welcoming and inclusive community. “We have this gem in our town,” said Margaret Montague, of the human relations commission. “They do things that are really amazing.” The Common Good’s local efforts include organizing neighborhood cleanups and coordinating community gardens. Those efforts attracted Bowling Green State University student Morgan Hollandsworth to get involved. Coming from Cincinnati, Hollandsworth said she initially struggled to find her place in Bowling Green. “I wanted to make a difference in this new community I was a part of,” said Hollandsworth, who is a member of the BGSU President’s Leadership Academy and of the city’s human relations commission. So she started volunteering with The Common Good. She helped with neighborhood cleanups and with community gardens. She found a purpose in the community – and got the perk of taking home some really good kale, she told council Monday evening. The Common Good works to empower, educate, improve and unite the community, Hollandsworth…


BGSU faculty union faces facts about higher ed funding

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Bowling Green State University faculty association members and guests received an update on what to look for in the coming Ohio legislative session. The news presented by Sara Kilpatrick, Ohio Conference executive director of the AAUP and a BGSU graduate, and John McNay, the president of the AAUP Ohio Conference, discussed a range of issues from textbooks to the cost of intercollegiate athletics. Republicans, Kilpatrick said, have heavy majorities in both houses. That means they can override the governor’s veto. It also means they can pass bills as emergency measures. If approved as an emergency, that legislation is not subject to be challenged by a referendum. Still, Kilpatrick said, “it’s very difficult to manage a caucus with that many members.” While they are all Republicans, they represent a range of views. The key legislative players are State Senator Randy Gardner, who chairs the higher education subcommittee of the senate education committee. Kilpatrick said given his long service in both the Senate and the House, he is “well versed” on the issues. She advised those attending that as his constituents, they had “a good opportunity to bend his ear.” On the House side, Rick Perales chairs the subcommittee on higher education finance and Mike Duffey, chairs the Higher Education and Workforce Development Committee. Kilpatrick said Duffey is a moderate and “the most well-informed” legislator on higher education issues. Perales, however, is still learning the ropes. While everyone is in agreement that the cost of higher…


What’s happening in your community (updated March 29)

NEWLY POSTED: Candidates for BG at-large council to answer questions, April 4 Democratic and Green Party candidates for the two city council at-large seats will answer questions at a forum hosted by People of Engagement Bowling Green, Tuesday, April 4 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Wood County District Public Library. The candidates will field questions submitted by the community. Those wishing to  submit a question for the candidates should visit PEBGohio.com. Scholar to address Wilson presidency in Hess lecture at BGSU, March 30 Lloyd E. Ambrosius of the University of Nebraska will speak on “The Paradox of Wilsonianism: World War I and American Internationalism” during the the Gary R. Hess Lecture in Policy History Thursday, March 30, at 4 p.m. in Room 228 of the Bowen-Thompson Student Union on the Bowling Green State University. The lecture, scheduled to coincide with the centennial of America’s entry into the First World War, is presented by the Department of History. The annual lectureship series was initiated by Professor Hess’s former students to recognize his contributions to the profession and university during his forty-five years of service from 1964 to 2009. Lloyd E. Ambrosius is Emeritus Professor of History and Samuel Clark Waugh Distinguished Professor of International Relations at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, which honored him with the Louise Pound-George Howard Distinguished Career Award in 2015. Professor Ambrosius is one of the leading scholars of the Wilson Presidency. His forthcoming book on “Woodrow Wilson and American Internationalism” will be published by Cambridge University Press in 2017. Pro…


Local citizens fight to hang onto Affordable Care Act

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Minutes after news broke Thursday that the vote on a new health plan for the nation had been put on hold, local residents were celebrating the seventh birthday of the Affordable Care Act. Wearing birthday hats, holding balloons and blowing noise makers, the citizens presented birthday cards and decorated cupcakes to staff at U.S. Rep. Bob Latta’s office in Bowling Green. Others stood along North Main Street, bearing signs like the one stating, “Trump Care Doesn’t Care….it’s tax credits for the rich.” As cars drove, they sang “Happy Birthday,” with some following the last stanza with an optimistic “and many more.” One of the birthday party organizers, Sean Elliott of Bowling Green, said he was “relieved” that the Republican health care bill failed to advance on Thursday, though he realized the delay was likely to be brief. “It seems really unacceptable,” considering the millions of people it would leave uninsured. For Elloitt, it’s not just a matter of public policy. It’s personal. “It’s not just a statistic,” he said. Elliott’s 4-year-old son, Jacoby, has a rare chromosome disorder that has delayed his motor skills. He is unable to walk or to talk. The Affordable Care Act has helped with Jacoby’s medical bills – but the replacement bill could halt that coverage. “To see that program gutted would be devastating,” Elliott said. Inside Latta’s office, citizens asked Andy Lorenz, the representative’s district director, where Latta stands on the Republican health care bill.  Lorenz…