Articles by David Dupont

Unitarian Universalists celebrate the art of moral revival

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The Maumee Valley Unitarian Universalist Congregation wants to raise money for and awareness of the Poor People’s Campaign. And they want to have fun doing it. On Sunday, Nov. 18 the congregation will hold an art-in from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. Rev. Lynn Kerr said that the Unitarian Universalist Justice Ohio has been working with the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival. That included helping people register to vote and then helping them get to the polls. “Though obviously we’re not encouraging them to vote any particular way,” she said. The proceeds from the art-in will be shared with the Poor People’s Campaign and the congregation. The art-in itself has two elements. Art supplies are being donated by local artists and businesses and will be sold at low prices so people can get the art supplies they want.  “The second thing is we have local artists who are sharing their talents where someone can come in do DYI project. But the artists will be there to show them how to do those projects,” she said. The projects include jewelry making, crocheting, holiday ornaments, and origami. Kerr will be showing how to make ornaments out of birch bark. “They’ll be doing cool things that don’t take a terribly long time to do,” she said. That way people will be able to complete several over the course of the afternoon. Food will be available including items from the Share Our Grounds cafe in Whitehouse. Poor People’s campaign is calling for a moral revival. “We’re just adding art to it to raise awareness.  What’s lacking in the country is we need to think about what’s a compassionate act,” Kerr said.  “What we’re missing right now is compassion through moral action.” During the congregation’s 11 a.m. service Melissa Jeter, who is studying to be a lay minister and often speaks on social issues, will give the sermon. Jeter said that the Poor People’s Campaign is a continuation of the work Martin Luther King Jr. was pursuing in the years before his assassination. So much of what she sees, from the Flint water crisis to concerns about violence in schools, goes against King’s belief in the need to build a beloved community. This new call for a moral revival is not a commemoration of the effort started by King. “This is to continue the work that’s not been completed,” Jeter said. All these issues from the growing income disparity to threats to the environment are part of a web. “We’re all in the same boat.” That there are still poor people who struggled for life’s basics in this wealthy country “does not seem right, does not seem moral,” Jeter said. That someone making minimum wage has to work 74 hours a week to afford a two-bedroom apartment makes one question how much value is put on a person’s life. Unitarian Universalists value every individual’s life. Tying this mission to the arts is fitting, she said. “It’s a way of reclaiming our own power to create.”  

Weather advisory cancelled

Brad Gilbert, Emergency Management Agency director for Wood County, has issued the following advisory: The Winter Weather Advisory has been cancelled for Wood County.  Temperatures have warmed into the mid 30’s and the heavier precipitation has moved to our east.  Light snow will continue on and off through the mid-evening hours.  Please keep in mind that temperatures will drop after sunset causing some surfaces to become slippery again.  Likewise, the overnight low will be in the upper 20’s, so anticipate some slippery surfaces on the morning commute…especially on bridges and on rural less traveled roads.  Ice and Snow….take it slow! Again, a slight warming trend back towards more normal temperatures is expected for Thanksgiving week.  No major storms are on the horizon at this point.

‘Little Shop of Horrors’ serves up large helping of musical comedy

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News A house plant. Not the most original present. Unless as is the case with the newest gift from the Bowing Green State University Department of Theatre the plant happens to be the flesh eating kind and expresses its appetite in such soulful dulcet tones. “Little House of Horrors” opens tonight (Thursday, Nov. 15) at 8 p.m. and continues  with shows Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. in the Donnell Theatre in the Wolfe Center for the Arts on campus. Click for tickets. Howard Ashman and Alan Menken, known for their later work on Disney musical animated films, turned a grade B horror film into a delightful romp on Skid Row with tuneful, Motown inspired melodies and a story that revels in its campy roots. This is a love story, and a weird celebration of neighborhood. “Downtown (Skid Row)” paints the scene, a place people want to flee, yet there’s a cheerfulness to the despair.  That neighborhood spirit is embodied by the three urchins, essentially a girl group from the 1960s. They are one of the show’s most inspired touches. Chiffon (Zayion Hyman), Crystal (Sherry White), and Ronnette (Gabriyel Thomas) are always on hand, a soulful Greek chorus, belting out reflections and advice, all in robust harmony and rousing rhythm. They are played as ageless sprites, always observing, and amused, but never intervening. Seymour (played by Michael Cuschieri at the dress rehearsal I saw and on Thursday and Saturday, and played by Noah Estep on Friday and Sunday) is a child of Skid Row, a hopeless kind of nerd. An orphan he was taken in by Mushnik (Isaac Batty) who owns a flower shop. As Seymour recounts he has lived in the shop since he was a child, sleeping under a counter and eating scraps. Even God isn’t sure what to make of him. But he loves plants and finds a peculiar species he can’t identify and brings it to the shop to nurture. He names it Audrey II after the shop’s clerk Audrey (Anna Randazzo) whom he has a crush on.  Audrey slut-shames herself and thinks all she deserves for a boyfriend is the sadistic dentist Orin (Noah Froelich). Orin’s treatment of Audrey is hard to stomach even in a comedy.  He’s a one-dimensional villian, but packed with all the minerals and vitamins a carnivorous plant needs. Audrey has her dreams of living in a tract housing development somewhere green, in an arch bit of foreshadowing. The song really sounds like a parody of a Disney heroine — think Ariel singing “Part of Your World” — except this came first. Randazzo invests the song with longing for Pine-Sol scented air, which makes it all the funnier. Once Seymour discovers what Audrey II (voiced with sinister relish by Michel Carder) needs for nourishment, the plant thrives and grows hungrier.  Audrey II’s fame brings the shop prosperity that spills over into the neighborhood. The urchins get busy with deliveries and helping where they can, but you wonder how much do they know? All this unfolds in a preposterous, wide-eyed way. “Little Shop of Horrors” leaves the audience feeling as satisfied as Audrey II after a generous meal. It’s a perfect gift.

Quilts memorialize migrants who die seeking refuge in the United States

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Migrants searching for a better life in the United States, a life free from violence and poverty, sometimes find a lonely death in the wastelands along the border. The Tucson Sector is the most deadly. And just as American economic and political policies have left many in Central America with little recourse but to flee, so American border policies have funneled them into the most deadly terrain. Since the late 1990s, an average of 150 migrants a year died in the area. Jody Ipsen, a quilter and writer, was backpacking in the area when she came upon what had been a camp for migrants. They’d left behind clothes and embroidered towels that are used to wrap tortillas. She found these traces of their passage through the area touching. That inspired the Migrant Quilt Project. Ipsen and curator and quilter Peggy Hazard visited Bowling Green State University this week as part of the annual Immigrant Ohio seminar. The quilts that have been produced by the project are on display through Dec. 7 on the fourth and fifth floors of Jerome Library on campus. Ipsen collects what the migrants throw away and then with the help of quilters, creates memorials to those who have died. Ipsen said she never  uses material from a site where someone has died out of respect and so as not to interfere with the medical examination of the site. As barriers have been put in place at the locations that are easier to cross, migrants have shifted into the harsher areas. This is part of US policy, she said. Officials say they hope the difficulty will deter migrants. That has not been the case. Thousands have died. “Death by deterrence,” Ipsen called it. The quilts serve as a reminder of their deaths, she said. Each quilt has an inscription for each person who has died, whether the person’s name or simply as unknown, or “desconocido,” for the many whose remains have not been identified. This is a reminder, Ipsen said, that these were people with families and friends. Ipsen told the story of three women whose stories she researched. Prudencia Martin Gomez headed north to find her boyfriend Ismael. He’d had to flee Guatemala because of lingering resentment over his father’s involvement in Army atrocities during the country’s 30-year-long civil war.  Prudencia was hoping to surprise him on his birthday. “She never made it,” Ipsen said. She showed an image of Prudencia’s body as it was found in the desert. While warning the audience of graphic nature, she said people also needed to see the reality  of the crisis. Ipsen choked up. She had talked to the families and came to know these women and what their loss meant to their survivors. “It’s really painful for me to talk about.” Yolanda Garcia Gonzalez left with her 18-month-old daughter when the local agricultural economy collapsed following the North American Free Trade Agreement in 1994. The agreement allowed a flood of cheap American corn, rice and beans into the country. Small subsistence farmers, Ipsen said, could not compete. Their centuries-old farm system collapsed in a matter of months. “It’s no wonder people are coming to the country that is unequivocally responsible for dismantling their small scale economies,” Ipsen said. Migration and death along…

Mosaics to be removed later this month & returned by BGSU to Turkey

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS Last May, Bowling Green State University announced that it had reached an agreement to return 12 pieces of ancient mosaics in the University’s art collection, on display in The Wolfe Center for the Arts, to the Republic of Turkey. They will be formally returned to a Turkish delegation next week, removed, and packed for shipping. The University invites the community to view the collection before its return. The mosaics are on display outside the Eva Marie Saint Theatre at the BGSU Wolfe Center for the Arts. They may be viewed from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on: Thursday, Nov. 15 Friday, Nov. 16 Monday, Nov. 19 Editor’s note: At the time of the announcement of the return, the Turkish  government said it would provide replicas to replace the originals. (See related story.)  

Wintry mix forecast for Thursday (updated)

Brad Gilbert, Emergency Management Agency director for Wood County, has issued the following advisory: 2:45 p.m. Wednesday Updated forecast models indicate an influx of a little more cooler air at the surface and mid -levels of the atmosphere than originally anticipated on Thursday.  As a result, the NWS has issued a Winter Weather Advisory from 5:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. on Thursday.  Although total snow accumulations will be less than 1”, surfaces may become icy at times during the day especially on untreated surfaces.  Please use extra caution when traveling or walking outside on Thursday as the potential for slippery conditions on and off throughout the day will be possible.  Ice and Snow….take it slow! …. From earlier Wednesday A storm system moving from the south into the northeast on Thursday will bring a mixture of rain, sleet, and snow throughout the day and into the evening hours.  Precipitation will begin in the morning around or just after sunrise and continue through the day into the evening hours.  Accumulation of snow will be minimal, ½” or less, however surfaces may become slippery in the evening hours as temperatures drop, so use extra caution if traveling. Long range forecast models do indicate a slight warming (back towards normal temps) next week and into the last week of November.

Composer Sam Adler experienced Kristallnact as child, commemorates it in cantata to be performed Sunday

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News In the early morning hours of Nov. 11, 1938 Samuel Adler’s family heard an explosion nearby their home in Mannheim, Germany. The 10-year-old later learned that it was the chapel at the Jewish Cemetery being bombed. This was the night that would come to be known as Kristallnacht — the night of broken glass, when the Nazis launched their full scale their persecution of Jews, moving beyond harassment to state violence. Adler’s father, Hugo Adler, a noted cantor, was caught up in the arrests, but released.  He tried to leave the country but couldn’t. A few days after Kristallnacht he and his son went to the central synagogue, which had been destroyed, where they climbed to the loft to collect and rescue as many of the music books, which contained the musical legacy of the congregation. Nazis moved around below where the two worked. Later the family was able to flee Germany “on the last train,” Adler remembers. “We were scared to death until we left for America.” A half century after those traumatic events, Adler, now an internationally renowned composer, commemorated Kristallnacht in “Stars in the Dust” with a libretto by the late Samuel Rosenbaum, one of the chief cantors in conservative Judaism. To commemorate the 80th anniversary of Kristallnacht, “Stars in the Dust” will be performed Sunday, Nov. 18 at 4 p.m., at Temple Shomer Emunim, 6453 Sylvania Ave, Sylvania. The performance will feature Cantor Andrea Rae Markowicz, soloists Christopher Scholl, tenor, and Lance Ashmore, baritone, from Bowling Green State University as well as the university’s Collegiate Chorale, conducted by Richard Schnipke, and orchestra, conducted by Emily Freeman Brown, Adler’s wife. The award-winning actress and singer Michelle Azar, the composer’s niece, will narrate.  Adler, who is retired from the faculties of the Eastman School of Music and the Juilliard School, now lives in Perrysburg. The libretto, Adler said, chronicles what happened drawing on contemporary accounts, including that  of a cantor who sang Kaddish, the traditional prayer of mourning, after seeing the damage wrought on his community. “It ends in conviction that it must never happen again,” Adler said.  But given anti-Semitism dates back 2000 years, vigilance will always be necessary. “We have to work at it so it doesn’t happen,” the composer said. Adler, who turned 90 in March, is in the midst of a year-long celebration. He and Brown have just gotten back from a trip to Europe where his violin concerto and a new choral work “To Speak to Our Time” were performed in his native Germany. That choral work’s four movements each use a different language beginning with German poet Nelly Sachs’ “Chorus of the Wanderers.” That poem speaks to the plight of refugees who have “stars pinned to our hats,” a reference to the Nazis’ rule that Jews wear a Star of David at all times when out in public. The piece also sets Psalms in Hebrew and Latin, and ends in English with an admonition, Adler said. “We must work for a peaceful world.”

What’s happening in your community (updated Nov. 15)

NEWLY POSTED: Library hosts homeschool hangout, Nov. 28 The Children’s Place of Wood County District Public Library is collaborating with local homeschool families to host a “homeschool hangout” each month at the library. Students of all ages and their parents/guardians are welcome to participate in this friendly get-together, with opportunities for conversation, resource sharing, and play. As hosts, the Children’s Place shares a variety of board games, as well as a Wii gaming system. This month’s “homeschool hangout” will be on Wednesday, November 28 from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm. For more information, please contact the Children’s Place staff at 419-352-8253. NEWLY POSTED: Work Leads to Independence hosting holiday fair, Dec. 7 Work Leads to Independence will present a Holiday Craft and Vendor Fair, on Friday, Dec. 7, from 5 to  8 p.m. at 991 S. Main, Bowling Green.  Admission is free.   More than 30 vendors and crafters will display a variety of gift ideas. We will have food available for purchase.  Santa and his elf will be available for pictures. Family pets are  are welcome to join the picture fun. Children can participate in the cookie decorating and a holiday craft during the fair.   Orders are being taken for live Frasier fir wreaths and fresh poinsettias for $25 each until Nov. 16.  We will have extra available for sale on the same day as the fair.  For more information, call 419-352-5059. Vendot openings are still available for $20.   Since 1985, Work Leads to Indedpendence has assisted the business community to meet their staffing and diversity needs by offering a pool of qualified and competent workers with disabilities.   NEWLY POSTED: Library presents Peanuts’ Thanksgiving marathon, Nov. 21 The Children’s Place of the Wood County District Public Library will be showing a Thanksgiving movie marathon all day on Wednesday, Nov. 21 from 10  a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Drop in anytime on Wednesday to enjoy popcorn while watching Charlie Brown and all his friends in this fall favorite film. For more information, contact the Children’s Place at 419-352-8253.   NEWLY POSTED: Register now for holiday nature crafts on Dec. 1 Join Bowling Green Parks and Recreation for some free holiday fun. Registration is now open for the Holiday Nature Crafts at the Wintergarden/St. John’s Nature Preserve. Make a variety of nature crafts to decorate your house for the holiday season or give as gifts with your 3- to 11-year-old children. Treats for toasting over the fire will also be provided. Choose between a morning session (10 a.m. until noon) or the afternoon session (1 to 3 p.m.) on Saturday, Dec. 1. Space is limited to 25 participants each session so sign up soon. For more information and to register go to the Parks and Recreation Department website at or call the Bowling Green Community Center at 419-354-6223.   BGSU arts events Check out all the arts events happening on campus. Wood County Park District events The Wood County Park District offers a variety of events throughout November.   Decoy carving and painting lesson offered, Nov. 17 Free demonstrations on how to carve and paint hunting-style decoys, shorebirds, and songbirds, and an opportunity for kids to paint duck head silhouettes are just some of the activities to be offered by the Ohio Decoy Collectors and Carvers Association, the Maumee Bay Carvers, and…

Class offers chance to dance through Parkinson’s disease

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The dancers in Tammy Starr’s class at The Beat Dance Company studio are getting a step up on their struggles with Parkinson’s Disease and other related neurological diseases. Moving and exercising are widely viewed as beneficial in forestalling the onset of symptoms.  So this is serious business. It’s also fun. Starr teaches the weekly one-hour classes on Sunday. This class, offered through the Wood County Committee on Aging, runs through Dec. 9, and another starts in January. It will meet the second and fourth Sundays of the month at the Beat studio, which provides the space for free. Spouses are welcomed to participate.  Contact the Wood County Committee on Aging for details. Anyone is welcomed to stop by to get an introduction in what the classes offers. Starr is a trained dancer who has performed and taught. She’s also a physical therapist, a profession she took up after years as a dancer and choreographer. “These days I really enjoy working with that older adult population,” she said. She also works through the committee on aging with people with dementia. Starr’s philosophy was expressed by a Salt Lake City troupe she danced with:  “Dance is for everybody.” As a modern dancer, she said: “I look at every movement and see dance. … Being a dancer I have something to offer especially in group setting. I’m used to teaching a group.” When she was studying physical therapy at the University of Toledo she learned about the Lee Silverman Voice Treatment, LSVT, which was originally designed as speech therapy, before being applied to movement. When Starr read about this approach, she realized: “This sounds like dance to me.” People with Parkinson’s make small, rigid movements, and have balance issues. “In dance we work on moving big and fluidly. We certainly work on balance.” Describing the class, she said: “It’s an opportunity to move in an environment where they feel supported and safe with people who are dealing with the same things. It’s a positive experience with movement because they’re fighting that all day.” It’s fun, said Pat Smith, of Wayne, one of the participants. She also participates in the Delay the Disease sessions at the senior center.  That’s been helpful, but the Dancing with Parkinson’s is “so different. It’s much more fun.” Smith has taken dance lessons in the past and appreciates Starr’s approach. “She’s a wonderful therapist.” The classes offer a rare combination of dance and physical therapy, noted Larry Brach of Perrysburg.  He has progressive supranuclear palsy, which has many of the same symptoms as Parkinson’s.  He appreciates that Starr conducts the class in such a way that everyone can participate based on their ability. Starr said the class can be done by people with a range of mobility. “It is appropriate for people who are more comfortable just seated. If you walk with a walker, fine. Walk with a cane, fine.” Brach who cannot move his feet, said: “It keeps me active.” The camaraderie contributes to the upbeat experience. Starr said patients are encouraged  “to find your pose. Find your support. Find your community. You have that support to keep you motivated.” A dance class “seems a natural fit.” A recent session begins with dancers introducing themselves by saying their names, and accompanying that…

Black Swamp Players casting ‘The Music Man’

From BLACK SWAMP PLAYERS The Black Swamp Players will hold auditions for the second production of its fifty-first season, “The Music Man,” during the week of Nov. 18. Open auditions for the production will be held on the following dates: Sunday, Nov.  18 and Monday, Nov. 19. Audition times for both dates will run from 6:30 until 9 p.m.. The script calls for a large cast of both children and adults of various ages. All auditions will be held at the First United Methodist Church on East Wooster Street in Bowling Green. Those who want to audition should prepare 16 bars of a Broadway showtune, and should bring copies of their music to the audition. Additionally, individuals who audition will be asked to cold read from the script and learn some dance/movement sequences. All who are interested in auditioning should dress comfortably for the audition. “The Music Man” follows fast-talking traveling salesman, Harold Hill, as he cons the people of River City, Iowa, into buying instruments and uniforms for a boys’ band that he vows to organize–this, despite the fact that he doesn’t know a trombone from a treble clef. Hill’s plans to skip town with the cash are foiled when he falls for Marian, the librarian, who transforms him into a respectable citizen by curtain’s fall. Written by Meredith Willson and Franklin Lacey, “The Music Man”  has been entertaining audiences since 1957, when it premiered on Broadway. The musical earned eight Tony-award nominations in 1958 and went on to win six Tonys, including nods for Best Musical, Best Performance by a Leading Actor, and Best Performance by a Leading Actress. The Black Swamp Players production of “The Music Man” will be directed by Amy Spaulding-Heuring. “The Music Man” will open on Friday, Feb. 16 15 at 7:30 p.m. Additional performance dates include: Saturday, Feb. 16 at 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, February 17 at 2 p.m.; Friday, Feb. 16 22 at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, Feb. 16 23 at 7:30 p.m.; and Sunday, Feb. 16 24 at 2 p.m.. All performances will take place at the First United Methodist Church, Bowling Green. Tickets for all performances are $15/adults, $12/seniors and students. All tickets can be purchased on the organization’s website and at the door on the day of the performance. “The Music Man” is the second of three productions to be mounted by The Black Swamp Players for its 2018-2019 season. The Players will close their 51st season with the world premiere of an original play by local F. Scott Regan, titled “Peanuts and Crackerjacks. “Regan’s play will be performed in April/May 2019. Black Swamp Players is nonprofit corporation that exists to provide opportunities for area residents to experience quality, amateur, live theatre in all its many aspects. Founded in 1968, Black Swamp Players has been providing community theatre to the Bowling Green and surrounding areas for the past fifty years. Those interested in volunteering for the organization should send an e-mail query to  

BG Holiday Parade to step off early

From BOWLING GREEN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE The start of the holiday season in Bowling Green is official when the Community Holiday Parade makes its way down Main Street through the historic Downtown on Saturday, Nov. 17.  The tradition continues and is especially exciting with WTOL broadcasting live through the support of our Presenting Sponsors; Julie’s Dance Studio, Rosenboom Custom Crafted Cylinders, Regel Beloit and the City of Bowling Green. This parade is billed as the largest holiday parade in Northwest Ohio and those that attend can look forward to seeing floats, marching bands, baton twirlers, antique tractors, dancers and so much more.  The parade will be emceed by Jerry Anderson and Jordan Strack and the WTOL Defender vehicle will be a part of the parade.  We have worked really closely with WTOL members to make sure we bring excellent broadcast of this parade to those that can’t be here.  This will be a three hour broadcast starting at 9 am with a listing of all the area holiday activities.  At 10 am the commercial free coverage of the entire parade will start and will conclude at noon. Because of this live broadcast we would like everyone to be aware that the parade will step off at 9:50 am to provide time for the first units to make their way to the four corners close to the start of the 10 am broadcast. This year the parade is chaired by Greg Esposito, InTech IT Solutions.  Greg is the At-Large representative of the Chamber of Commerce Executive Board.  Project Team members for the parade help in many capacities and the chamber can’t thank them enough for the roughly seven months they have been working on the parade.  These team members include:  Jerid Friar, Melinda Kale, Julie Setzer, Brian Paskvan, Wendy Headley, Marissa Muniz, Wendy Chambers, Pam Fahle, Jacquelyn Gaines, Greg Kegler, Atonn Smeltzer and Mary Hinkelman. Judges for this year’s parade are Earlene Kilpatrick, Francis Scruci and Abby Paskvan.  They will be looking for units that have adhered to the theme of the parade, creativity, performance and other features that make their appearance in the parade exceptional.

Toledo Symphony & youth orchestra to join forces in concert commemorating the end of WWI

From  TOLEDO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA On Friday, November 16 and Saturday, November 17,  at 8 P.M. at the Toledo Museum of Art’s Peristyle Theater, the Toledo Symphony Orchestra (TSO) joins Toledo Symphony Youth Orchestra (TSYO) members on stage in a massive orchestra to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, paying tribute to the courageous men and women who served their country and the rest of the world. “This concert brings together heroic themes and programmatic music about courage and triumph,” says TSO President & CEO, Zak Vassar. “As we celebrate our 100th Veteran’s Day, it’s important to remember the stories of those who fought and defended our nation. I think this music does that in a really beautiful and appropriate way.” The program on Friday and Saturday evening features great American favorites—including Battle Hymn of the Republic, John Williams’ Summon the Heroes, Ellen Taaffe Zwilich’s Symbolon, and Richard Strauss’ masterpiece, Ein Heldenleben (“A Hero’s Life”). Written in 1898, Ein Heldenleben is one of Richard Strauss’ most monumental tone poems and is among his most autobiographical works. Each movement tells the story of the hero (Strauss) and his struggles with mankind, love, and most importantly, the enemy on the battlefield. Last performed by the TSO in 1999 under the direction of Andrew Massey, this is the first time the orchestra will perform Strauss’ stunning music under Music Director Alain Trudel’s baton. “This is a very important concert that reflects on a very important time in history,” says Alain Trudel, Music Director of the Toledo Symphony. “It’s a big piece, and it’s a piece I love. More than 100 musicians of varying ages will join together on stage to perform Strauss’ famous Ein Heldenleben, one of his great symphonic works.” “What a wonderful opportunity for the TSYO Philharmonic Orchestra members to perform side-by-side with their professional TSO counterparts,” says Joan Weiler, Toledo Symphony Youth Orchestras Coordinator. “These types of performances serve a greater educational purpose and it gives these students added confidence to perform with such high caliber musicians.” A Hero’s Life will take place Friday, November 16 and Saturday, November 17, 2018 at 8 PM at the Toledo Museum of Art’s Peristyle Theater. Tickets are available at or by calling the Toledo Symphony Box Office at 419.246.8000.  

Being your own first responder key to surviving active shooter attack

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News There’s no place to hide it seems from mass shootings. Bowling Green Sgt. Mike Bengela, a 28-year veteran, gave a presentation on how to survive an active shooter just days after a gunman killed 11 in the Tree of Life congregation in Pittsburgh and another gunman killed two people in a Kroger store in Jeffersontown, Kentucky. And earlier in the year, 17 died at Stoneman High School in Parkland Florida. Since his talk, the nation was sent reeling again when a gunman killed 12 at a country-western bar in Thousand Oaks, California. Praying, shopping, studying, line dancing — that’s what people were doing when they became targets of armed assailants. Since Columbine in 1999, more that 350 people have died in such incidents. Law Enforcement and safety official have not been standing still. The advice for both people under attack and for law enforcement has changed. Bengela’s talk, sponsored by the Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce and UBS Financial Services, was based on the ALICE protocol — alert, lockdown, inform, counter and evacuate, or a simpler variation — run, hide and fight. Bengela said at Columbine victims took shelter within the library, even though there was a door through which they could have exited. They hid under desks as they had been taught. That made them easy targets. The “kill rate” for “static targets” is “astronomical.” If they had exited, he said they would have headed to a rallying spot. That location was known to the shooters — who he refused to name rather than to give them more notoriety.  They had rigged propane bombs in the trunks of their cars and parked them where they knew people fleeing the building would assemble. But because the watches they used had plastic parts, not metal, the bombs failed to detonate. Otherwise hundreds more would have died. What these killers want, he said, was a high body count. But, as a retired teacher attending noted, police tactics have also changed. At Columbine they waited outside until the SWAT team arrive.  In such attacks, someone dies every 16 seconds. So now officers go in solo to try to stop the vicim. At the Thousand Oaks club shooting, a sheriff’s deputy died doing that.  Each instance has taught law enforcement something. The first option should not be to duck and cover, but to flee. If that’s not possible, do what you can to blockade yourself and others,  and if possible resist, he said. Bengela went through the shootings at Virginia Tech, looking at what happened in each room. Those they were passive died. In other rooms people jumped out windows. In one a professor, who was a Holocaust survivor, and one of his students, blocked the door of the room. They died in their efforts, but everyone else in the room lived. “You are your own first responder in the situation,” Bengela said. “You have to buy time to save your life.” First, he said, “if you can get out, get out.” A person with a concealed carry permit may decide to handle the situation. “That may save lives.” But if that person has family, including children, present, “that may that may not be go time.” If someone enters a building, and someone with CCW has a weapon…

James Edward Cook

James Edward Cook, age 70, of Tavares, Florida passed away on Saturday, November 3, 2018. He was born in Toledo, Ohio January 19, 1948. He graduated from Otsego High School and Penta Career Center in 1967. Jim was a proud member of the Future Farmers of America, the Otsego High School Chapter and also received his pilot’s license at a very young age. Jim was a 3rd generation farmer and operated Cook Farms, Inc. with his family until 1989 in Weston, Ohio. He was also co-founder of Sun Seed, Inc, also in Weston. Jim was 32nd degree Mason with the Weston Lodge #560 and a member of Zenobia Shrine Temple in Toledo Ohio. In 1989 Jim and his family moved to Lake County Florida where he operated a rental business in Ormond Beach, Florida. Jim graduated from the Lake Technical College Institute of Public Safety and received the Top Gun award for his shooting skills. On February 10, 1999, Jim was hired as a deputy sheriff for the Lake County Sheriff’s office working in the Lake County jail, eventually transferred to run the Sheriff’s work farm. Jim retired from the Sheriff’s office after 16 years of service on July 18, 2015. He is survived by his wife, Sandra Donnells Cook of Tavares, Florida; brother, Rodney Cook (Shannon) of Custer, Ohio; sister, JoAnn Guida (Jim) of New Philadelphia, Ohio; daughter, Chelsea (Cook) Andrei (David); son, Skyler James Cook; daughter, Sarah Ann Robinson (Keith); grandchildren, Avory Andrei, Logan Andrei, Landon (Ty) Andrei, Blaize Andrei, Marley Huelskamp, Jackson Huelskamp, Luke Huelskamp, Ben Huelskamp, Emily Robinson, Jeb Robinson, Wyatt Robinson. He was preceded in death by his mother, Thelma (Petteys) Cook; father, Blythe Cook; daughter, Andrea Blythe Huelskamp; maternal grandparents, Charles and Ruby Petteys; paternal grandparents, James and Bertha Cook. He was dearly loved by family and friends in Ohio as well as in Florida where he has resided for the past 30 years. A Celebration of Life Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, November 10, 2018 from 10:00AM until 1:00PM at Hickory Point, Tavares. All are welcome to attend. Arrangements have been entrusted to Steverson, Hamlin & Hilbish Funerals and Cremations, 226 E. Burleigh Blvd., Tavares, FL 32778, (352)343-4444. Online condolences may be left on the Tribute Wall at

Physicist Joe Whitehead named provost at BGSU

Bowling Green State University has hired Dr. Joe B. Whitehead as  Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at Bowling Green State University. In a letter to the university community, President Rodney Rogers stated: “He will lead and support our faculty, implement academic priorities and oversee our academic programs and resources.” Whitehead will assume his new duties on Jan. 22. He currently is professor of physics at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical University (NCAT) and senior adviser for research with the University of North Carolina System, North Carolina’s state office of higher education, where he manages an extensive portfolio of research initiatives. He has served as provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at NCAT, and as dean of the College of Science and Technology at the University of Southern Mississippi. Rogers wrote: “As provost at NCAT, he was successful in growing enrollment and retention, improving student success and raising the university’s research profile. As dean at Southern Mississippi, he led the development of new programs in engineering, science and logistics, and innovative initiatives to support students and increase research, scholarship and creative activities.” Whitehead is a physicist specializing in liquid crystal and polymer materials and  has held faculty appointments both in physics and chemistry. Whitehead earned both his master’s and doctorate in physics from Kent State University. Rogers served as provost at BGSU until he was first appointed interim president upon the retirement of President Mary Ellen Mazey. The BGSU Board of Trustees appointed him president on Feb. 28. John Fischer has been serving as interim provost. Rogers wrote of Fischer: “He has helped us not only to maintain our momentum but to launch promising new programs that raise our national profile and support our mission as a public university.”