Articles by David Dupont

Gubernatorial hopeful Jon Husted stomps at Spots

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Secretary of State Jon Husted is a great believer in technology. That’s what allowed him to cut the cost of operating his office at a time when state spending was on the rise. That’s what allowed him cut the state’s incorporation fee from $125 to $99. That’s what let him to cut the workforce in his office by a third – through early retirement and attrition, he explained. His 7-year-old daughter will not have to learn to drive, he said, because she’ll come of age in a time of self-operating vehicles. And Husted wants to be in the driver’s seat in Ohio as it enters the age of driverless cars. The Republican candidate for governor was in Bowling Green Monday morning at a meet and greet with citizens at Mr. Spot’s, hosted by Ohio Rep. Theresa Gavarone (R-Bowling Green) and her husband, Jim Gavarone Theresa Gavarone used the occasion to formally announce her endorsement of Husted. She said she’s backing Husted to replace Republican John Kasich because in her tough fight to win her seat last fall, he stepped in and helped her. She also said she appreciated his cutting filing fees for new businesses and reducing the cost of running his office by $14.5 million. Husted said that people may not like change but it is coming. “We want to make sure every generation of people who graduate from Bowling Green have opportunities in Ohio. “The states that get this right are going to be the ones that are going to win, and the states that don’t are going to fall behind,” he…


College Credit Plus doesn’t always add up

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News As high school graduates step across the stage to receive their diplomas, more and more of them will be taking college credits with them. This is the end of the second year of the state’s College Credit Plus a program that allows students as young as seventh grade to earn college credit. The program replaced the Post-Secondary Options Program. Pushed by Gov. John Kasich, College Credit Plus greatly expanded the options, and required school districts to make the program available. Students can take courses in their home school taught by credentialed high school teachers as well as going to campus. They can also take online classes. And more and more students are availing themselves of the opportunity, said John Fischer, vice provost for strategic enrollment planning at Bowling Green State University. He expects that as many as a third of students who enroll in BGSU next fall will bring some college credits with them. Fischer has been the lead administrator overseeing BGSU’s participation in College Credit Plus. In the past school year almost 1,900 students were enrolled in at least one College Credit Plus course at BGSU, either on the Bowling Green or Firelands campus. More than half are seniors with juniors accounting for another 700 or so. The numbers by grade drop off from there – 175 sophomores, 41 freshmen, 13 eighth graders and four seventh graders. About 300 take their courses on the BG campus or online with 685 taking classes at high school sites under the aegis of the main campus “From an enrollment perspective it is robust and incredibly strong,”…


Fight against cancer continues under gray skies at Relay for Life

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Cancer hasn’t kept those involved in the Relay for Life down, so rain in the forecast certainly wasn’t going to scare them off. The annual Relay for Life for Southern Wood County was held Saturday from 11 to11 at the Wood County Fairgrounds. Liz Bostdorff, one of the chairpersons for the event, said that before the relay kicked off, it had already raised $50,000 toward its $80,000 goal. Fundraising continues through the summer. Speaking at noon she was expecting about 250 to participate. “Especially for the cancer-fighting community, this is a big event for us.” Julie Rehard, as a radiology therapist at the Maurer Family Cancer Center, is on the front lines of that fight. “This is another way to support my patients,” she said of her participation in the relay.  “It’s a way for the community to come together and show support for all the cancer survivors and those who have cancer.” Rehard said she’s been participating in Relays for Life since 1993 and in Bowling Green for three. She was on hand as a member of the Wonder Walkers, a team of people affiliated with the Wood County Hospital, both cancer survivors and hospital employees The team is organized by Cindy Rossow, who is both. She works as a medical coder. In 2005 she was diagnosed with multiple myeloma. On Saturday she was getting ready to serve the survivors luncheon. For her the relay is “a way to raise money to fight cancer.” Ann Avina is part of the BG Catholic Community team. A cancer survivor, she doesn’t know how many relays…


Popular culture scholars to mine the resources of Jerome Library during summer institute

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Lynn Bartholome first heard about Professor Ray Browne of Bowling Green State University when she was teenager in the late 1960s. She read a magazine article about Browne’s pioneering work at BGSU creating the academic discipline of popular culture. “This is incredibly cool,” she thought. Here was a way of explaining to her father why she spent so much time watching television. After raising her children, Bartholome went on to earn a doctorate in humanities, studying the popular culture of classical times. A former president of the Popular Culture Association-American Culture Association, she is directing the association’s Summer Research Institute that runs Sunday through Thursday at BGSU. Popular culture, she explained in a recent telephone interview isn’t just about what’s popular now, — that would best be called “pop culture” – but rather the culture of everyday life in any time period. Bartholome said she once talked to Ray Browne, and he said he regretted terming the phrase “popular culture,” thinking that the phrase “common culture” would be best. Bartholome never studied with Browne. Instead she attended Florida State, where she worked with one of his close colleagues Jerome Stern. “Popular culture is something we’ve had since the beginning,” she said. “It’s the culture of the average man and the average woman.” That means the scholar not only studies Van Gogh, but the street painters of his time. One of Browne’s own favorite topics was wallpaper because it reflects the way people thought of their lives and the times they were living in. Browne’s work, Bartholome said, is still “very pertinent.” “Ray Browne and…


BGSU offers free training on how to comply with government regulations

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS Bowling Green State University will host a free training to address various aspects of compliance during the fifth annual Compliance Day on June 1. Community members and business professionals have the opportunity to receive training directly from representatives of government agencies. Sessions will be led by representatives from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC); Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services, Veterans Programs; Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs; the U.S. Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division; Ability Center and the Ohio Civil Rights Commission (OCRC). The open sessions will cover a variety of topics regarding new regulations, the Civil Rights Act of 1964; EEOC’s strategic enforcement plan for fiscal years 2017-2021; disability awareness and resources; the Fair Labor Standards Act; powers and duties of the OCRC as it relates to employment; types of unlawful discrimination (Ohio Revised Code 4112; advantages of hiring a veteran; overview of the military skills translator and new 503/VEVRAA regulations, and lessons learned since the regulations have been in effect. “Compliance Day is designed to provide additional knowledge from the subject matter experts, who serve as regulators in their respective fields,” said Lisa Dubose, BGSU director of employee relations, professional development and EEO compliance. “It is imperative that organizational leaders continually update their understanding of existing or new laws and regulations pertinent to the workplace. We are pleased to offer this prestigious, no-cost training at Bowling Green State University.” The training is recommended for federal contract holders; EEO compliance professionals; hiring directors; managers and supervisors; and professionals in the fields of ability/disability services, veterans services, law, human resources,…


Water & sewer districts honors employees

From NORTHWESTERN WATER & SEWER DISTRICT Northwestern Water and Sewer District (The District) has announced that employee Jarred Myers received the Collection Systems Award from the Ohio Water Environment Association (OWEA) Northwest Chapter in Napoleon, Ohio. This award recognizes Jarred for his hard work in wastewater management in the area. Jarred is a Water Sewer Construction Crew Leader at the District, holds an EPA Class II Water Distribution License and an EPA Class II Waste Water Collection License. On Tuesday, May 9, five District employees, Claud Barringer, Bryan Martikan, Jarred Myers, Tom McGrain and Todd Saums, competed in the Operations Challenge regional invitational in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The “Ops Challenge” is an intense competition involving timed events in wastewater treatment operations, maintenance, laboratory, safety and collection systems personnel. The team “Dirty Deeds,” took first place in lab, second in safety, third in collections and third place overall. The team is scheduled to compete in June in Cincinnati, Ohio in a statewide competition in hopes of advancing to the national operations challenge in Chicago this fall.


Library nurtures community in many ways

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Bowling Green students will be able to borrow digital material without even going to the library, and folks in Walbridge will be able to go to the library to get water. These were among the matters before the Wood County District Public Library Board when it met Monday. (See http://bgindependentmedia.org/community-tree-has-seen-its-last-christmas-new-tree-will-be-planted-in-place/ for story on board’s decision to replace community tree.) Children’s Librarian Maria Simon explained the new E-cards that were distributed to students in grades 3 through 11 this week. The cards will give students access to such online libraries as Hoopla Digital, TumbleBooks and The Ohio Digital Library. Because the materials borrowed using the cards are automatically returned, no fines are charged on the cards. Information is available both through the library and the schools on how to use them. Students cannot borrow physical material from the library using the cards. The E-cards are another way of encouraging students to read during the summer, Simon said. The library board approved an agreement with the Northwestern Water and Sewer District for the district to install one of its watershed units at the newly expanded Walbridge branch. The unit will be installed in a closet-size space with outdoor access. The district will pay for installation. In exchange for locating the unit at the library it will not charge the library for water or sewer service and will pay $$200 in rent. Library Director Michael Penrod said this will provide another service to the community. Also at the meeting, the board discussed the prospects for state funding. State library funding is provided based on a percentage of…


Kroger adds finishing touch to new marketplace

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The transformation of the Kroger Store on North Main Street into a Kroger Marketplace has been a work in progress for all, employees and customers, alike to see and experience. And that experience has been trying at times, conceded store manager Kim Richmond. Every day the store’s associates had to answer queries. Where’s the bread today? And for her it meant late night calls reporting problems at the store. Once it was even a fire. Turned out to be a minor blaze. As a bright new produce section opened up in the north end, in the south end other sections looked like a grocery store in a sci-fi dystopia. On Wednesday the Marketplace put those day behind it. Everything is bright and new. The shelves are packed, and the aisles lined with folks offering free tastes of some of the store’s new products – fried Japanese peppers, all-beef hot dogs and more. There’ll even be a new service starting Thursday that those befuddled customers of a few weeks back would have appreciated – ClickList, a service that allows customers to shop online, drive to the store and have their groceries delivered to them while they wait outside, never having to get out of their cars. The marketplace will also offer The Little Clinic, staffed by nurse practitioners, who will be able to diagnose, treat, and prescribed medications for common illnesses. The store features an extensive deli and cheese area. Roberts, who grew up in Pemberville, started her career at Kroger as a meat counter clerk in 1994. Times and expectations of customers have changed….


BGHS senior studio culminates in exhibit & awards

Graduating art students recently celebrated completing their Senior Studio, the culmination of four years of study in the Bowling Green High School Art Program. The students last week stage a one-day show of their work at Four Corners in downtown Bowling Green. At the high school awards assembly May 15 the annual honors were awarded. Senior studio, said Claire Wells-Jensen, “ allows you to explore what you want to do. It’s more exploratory.” The studio time also gives students a chance to more broadly try out ideas that may be used in outside projects. Wells-Jensen said her experience in senior studio played into her stage design work for the Drama Club’s production of “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe,” in the fall. She was the lead designer for the giant puppet of Aslan, the lion. Meghan Worthy, who with Wells-Jensen helped organize the senior studio exhibit, said the studio gave her a chance to explore different media. Students, she said, must often rely on their own research because teachers won’t necessarily have a lot of experience in a particular medium. Worthy said that the self-reliance, time management skills, and organization that senior studio encourages are skills that carry through to other non-art activities. Other students in senior studio were: Breann Burkhart, Ryan Cox, Alysa Grabowski, Logan Mannin, Tim Oakley, Madeleine Ross, Peter Wishart, Frances, Zengel, Alexandria Coppeler, Trevor Craft, Haily Kirchner, Kaila Miller, and Bryn Parker, Claire Wells-Jensen, and Meagan Worthy. Awards went to: Senior Studio T-Short design: Alexandria Coppeler PTO Award; Trevor Craft, “Tieing the Nation Together,” nails PTO Award: Maddie Ross, “Out of Focus,” acrylic. 2-D Award,…


Kroger makes donations at grand opening

As part of its ceremony opening the new Kroger Marketplace in Bowling Green, Kroger donated $10,000 to three local non-profits. Themoney divided based on an online poll. Wood County Humane Society received $5,000. The Cocoon received $3,000. The Black Swamp Arts Festoval received $2,000.


BGSU receives federal money to study migration

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS The movement of people from place to place is centuries old. As part of human history, migration is integral to the story of the human race and modern society. Bowling Green State University has been awarded major funding under a new grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. “Understanding Migration: Local and Global Perspectives,” co-authored by Dr. Christina Guenther, world languages and cultures, and Dr. Vibha Bhalla, ethnic studies, has been funded for the full amount of $100,000. The new Humanities Connections grant is designed to encourage undergraduate students across the country to develop the intellectual skills and habits of mind that the humanities cultivate. In this first round of grant awards, BGSU was the only recipient in Ohio. The grant provides for professional development for faculty members in summer 2017 to design four new one-credit “1910” freshman seminar classes offered in the fall: “Immigrant Ohio in the 21st Century,” “Changing Faces of Europe: Contemporary Voices of Migration,” “The Great Migration,” and “Searching for Memories: Mexican (Im)Migration to Northwest Ohio.” The four seminars will then be expanded into general education courses and may qualify students for a Migration Studies certificate for those who complete all four. A second set of courses will be developed and launched in fall 2018. Topics may include “Transnational Ohio,” “Negotiating the Mediterranean: France and North Africa” and “Contemporary African Migration to the US.” Also supported by the grant will be BGSU’s third annual “Immigrant Ohio” symposium in fall 2017, and a community film festival on the topic of migration. BGSU faculty have been studying migration for years,…


BGSU opens its checkbook as part of state treasurer’s program

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News   If you want to know how much Bowling Green State University spends at the Cookie Jar, you now have the tool to tell you. BGSU became the first of its peers among state universities to post a list of the checks it issues on line. Tuesday President Mary Ellen Mazey and State Treasurer Josh Mandel announced that BGSU’s Ohio Checkbook page was live, allowing anyone to peruse the more than 27,000 individual transactions, amounting to more than $39 million that the university made in fiscal year 2015. Those do not include paychecks. “Starting today,” Mandel said, “taxpayers, students, and families will be able to follow the money.” “As someone who used to work with a lot of local governments I think it’s paramount for all of us to make sure we’re completely transparent,” Mazey said. “It’s not our funds; it’s the taxpayers’ funds and in our case, students’ and their parents’ funds.” Mandel launched the effort in 2014, posting the check information for state agencies, including his own. One agency, JobsOhio, a private economic development agency set up by Gov. John Kasich, is a holdout. Mandel, who is running for U.S. Senate, said he believes that information should be available. After the state, Mandel reached out to cities,villages, townships, and school districts. The program is not mandated, he said. He’s looking for “partners.” The move into higher education is the next step. He described BGSU as “the pointy edge of the spear” will help encourage other institutions to follow its lead and post on OhioCheckbook. OhioCheckbook sites for Central State and Central Ohio…


“This coming holiday season, we will gather together around a smaller tree that can serve as BG’s tree for another 30 years of memories” — Michael Penrod

The annual lighting of BG’s Community Holiday Tree has been a tradition for just over 30 years and the Wood County District Public Library is proud to host BG’s Tree. Because it is important to the Library that the tree remain a vital part of the holiday season for Main Street for many years to come, we have worried about the health of the tree for more than a few years. Branches have died, or lost many of their needles, and the tree is swaying more and more with every strong windstorm. Recently, the Library checked with an arborist who, when examining the tree in detail last week, found indications of a disease that causes branches to die from the ground upward. While the tree many live for a few more years, we do not want it to get into such a poor condition that it no longer looks nice as the community’s tree. BG deserves a beautiful tree filled with holiday lights. We also do not want to purchase a lot of expensive decorations for a large tree and then have to replace the tree with a smaller one. Therefore, after much deliberation – and reluctance – the Library has decided that it is better to replace the current tree with a new, healthy one that will be able to serve as BG’s tree for many years to come. Later this Spring, we will work with the City to plant a new tree in the same location. This coming holiday season, we will gather together around a smaller tree that can serve as BG’s tree for another 30 years…


Community tree has seen its last Christmas; new tree will be planted in place

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Downtown Bowling Green will be getting a new community Christmas tree, and it’ll be delivered well before the winter holidays. At Monday’s Library Board of Trustees meeting, Library Director Michael Penrod said he had asked city arborist Grant Jones to take a look at it. The arborist found clear signs disease. The 50-foot Colorado blue spruce’s days are numbered. Once the disease sets in, Penrod said, it cannot be reversed, though it’s hard to tell how long the tree would last. Conceding the tree’s uncertain future, the library board voted to have the tree removed and replaced as quickly as possible. Jones, Penrod said, felt a new tree, likely about 12-foot-tall, could be in place within weeks. It would cost the library about $3,000-$4,000. Penrod said he’d already been approached by Mary Hinkelman, the director for Downtown Bowling Green, to discuss the future of the tree. Downtown BG owns the ornaments that decorate the tree, and the years of stringing increasing lengths of lights to cover the tree has taken their toll. A couple ceremonial tree lightings, have suffered temporary blackouts. Faced with replacing the lights, she wondered how many Downtown BG would have to purchase. She said this afternoon, after being informed of the library board’s decision, that she’s hoping to be able to use the LED bulbs which are in good shape and expensive to replace with whatever replacement wiring is needed. She won’t know how much that would be until later in the year when the decorations are pulled out of storage and inspected. Penrod said Jones advised planting the tree…


“Build a Better World” is theme for library’s summer reading program

From WOOD COUNTY DISTRICT PUBLIC LIBRARY “Build a Better World” this summer with the Wood County District Public Library’s Youth Summer Reading Program.  Registration begins from the “Observation Deck” of the Children’s Place all day Wednesday, May 24th along with a “Touch a Truck” visit in the library parking lot between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Registration continues all summer and is also available online http://wcdpl.readsquared.com . Monthly calendars of programs and events can be found in the WCDPL Family Connect Magazine widely distributed to schools, organizations, and businesses as well as picked up from the library.  Calendars are also available from the library website http://www.wcdpl.org/CPCalendar. Youth registrants receive a one use pass to the BG Pool and Water Park as well a coupon for a McDonald’s Happy Meal.  Later in the summer, one day passes to the Wood County Fair will be distributed to participants. The Children’s Place is encouraging everyone to set their own summer reading goals.  As readers report their reading progress, they earn incentive prizes to be picked up at the library.  All participants qualify for a final end of summer raffle, but the more stories climbed, the more chances to win!  Levels are set at the tallest building in Wood County, the tallest in Ohio, in the United States, and the tallest building in the world.  Readers will identify and learn about these buildings and other skyscrapers and engineering feats from the “Observation Deck” and the world map display in the “Observation Deck.”  All summer, a “Bridge to Literacy and Better Understanding” will be constructed by a growing community of readers. Everyone is invited to explore…