Articles by David Dupont

3B’s “25th Annual Bee” spells l-a-u-g-h-t-e-r

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Thirteen years after its Broadway debut, “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” keeps going without ever aging. The adolescent competitors vying for this bit of success are still amusingly awkward and distracted, and the host’s victory in the third annual spelling bee is still as bright as ever in her memory. So, just as school is ending, 3B Productions brings us back for a spelling bee at the Indoor Maumee Theatre. The show runs Thursday, May 24, through Saturday May 26 at 8 nightly with a 2 p.m. matinee Sunday, May 27. Visit 3B Productions.org for tickets. As with other musicals centered on competitions – including last week’s moving “Hands on a Hard Body’ staged by Perrysburg Musical Theatre – this show is really about the game of life. And these competitors are just out of life’s starting gate, but not so young as not to have acquired their first scars. Leaf Coneybear (Dylan Coale) is the spacey, lovable home school kid, who backed into his place in the bee. As he sings “I’m not too smart,” yet is able to nail some difficult words thanks to a sock puppet. Marcy Park (Courtney Gilliland) the driven Catholic school girl instead is burdened with her own expectations of prowess in all things – from languages, she speaks six, to sports, she plays several. She’s already placed in the top 10 in the National Bee, and seems to take her return as a given. Chip Tolentino (Quintin Boullion) also went to the finals, though, Marcy doesn’t remember him. She only remembers the top 10. He’s an upstanding kid, just a bit cocky, an Eagle Scout struggling with the emergence of puberty. William Barfee (Matthew Johnston) almost won the bee the previous year but had to withdraw for health reasons. He’s a doughy nerd who relies on his “magic foot” to spell out words, a routine that includes a vocal pop whenever he dots an “i.”…


BGSU ReStore sheds light on need to reuse material

Nick Hennessey, director of the Bowling Green State University Office of Sustainability, is all business as he gives a reporter a tour of the ReStore sale. We stroll down a long corridor that starts in the Sundial on the north side of Kreisher dorm, into the dorm’s lounge area. Lining the space are tables of stuff, lots of stuff, a variety of stuff from the makings of a Halloween party to books passed rows of clothes. There are microwaves, lamps, and electronics. This is a college-life version of Ali Baba’s cave. Then Hennessey stops. “I’m digging these green pants,” he said, picking up a pair of trousers from a stack. Setting them back down, he allows they probably won’t fit. Then he gestures to a nearby pile of blue jeans. In previous years, there were many, many more. “We used to get so many pairs of jeans,” he said. This year, “jeans seem relatively low for both men and women.” And that may be a good sign. “Maybe some people are hanging on to things longer. That would please me a great deal. Maybe people are having second thoughts about getting rid of stuff maybe they could reuse.” The ReStore is the culmination of his office’s When You Move Out Don’t Throw it Out (WYMO) campaign. It encourages students when they leave campus for the summer to donate what they don’t want or can’t fit in their vehicles. Some people misinterpret the treasure trove of castoffs, Hennessey said. “One of the things I like to clarify to people because we’re always hearing people come in and see all this stuff and say ‘I can’t believe students left all this stuff behind.’ The reality is they have to make intentional decision to donate it. They made the decision ‘I want to donate something to the WYMO program.’” That means hauling stuff to the lobby of their residence hall and putting it in the appropriate bids, even though the dumpster may be…


BGSU, UT to go separate ways with nursing programs

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS In order to meet the demand for more nurses in the region and across the country, The University of Toledo and Bowling Green State University will pursue independent nursing programs to educate additional health care providers. UT and BGSU currently partner in a joint nursing consortium. Moving forward with independent programs will provide opportunities for both universities to focus on separate strategies to educate and grow the supply of nurses, which is critical to meeting the future healthcare needs of the region. All current BGSU nursing students and new students beginning their studies in Fall 2018 will continue with the consortium program through graduation and will not be impacted by the change. Under the existing agreement, about 50 BGSU pre-nursing students annually go on to complete their required nursing coursework and clinicals through the UT College of Nursing after two years of pre-nursing studies at BGSU. While the students take their classes at UT during their junior and senior years, they remain BGSU students and are awarded their bachelor’s degree by BGSU. “Health care is a rapidly changing industry and universities need to continue to adapt to the changing environment in order to provide the best education for future health care providers,” UT President Sharon L. Gaber said. “The nursing profession is more critical than ever and this new organizational structure will allow both UT and BGSU to grow our programs to better meet the need for more high-quality nurses in Ohio and beyond.” The demand for nurses in Ohio and across the nation far exceeds the current supply. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, registered nursing is among the top occupations in terms of job growth through 2024. The nursing workforce is expected to grow by 16 percent to 3.2 million by 2024 with more than one million job openings for nurses due to growth and replacements. “We agree that the time is right to pursue new partnerships,” BGSU President Rodney…


Downtown Bowling Green hopes to avoid gas pains at summer events

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Columbia Gas officials gave assurances Monday night that the installation of new gas lines in downtown Bowling Green would not interfere with the summer fun. The $1.3 million project to lay 7,500 feet of plastic pipe is scheduled to begin June 4, and continue until early September. It will extend down Main Street from Clay down to Lehman and Ordway. The existing metal pipes will be replaced by plastic pipes. The project is part of an ongoing effort by Columbia Gas to upgrade its service. The gas service will go from about a quarter pound of pressure to 50 pounds of pressure. “That gives us not only a safer pressure to keep water out of the lines, it allows for homeowners and residents to use more gas appliances,” said Raquel Colon, an external affairs specialist for Columbia Gas. “You’ll have more capacity to have more gas come into your home.” This will include generators for businesses, said Jim Simon, project leader for Columbia Gas. “This project will be a lot of open cut, there’ll be a lot digging, not boring as we’ve done in the past,” Colon said. “What we’re doing is a lot of digging, and it will be a little dirty but the goal is a much safer distribution of gas.” Alex Hann, who is site and logistics chair for the Black Swamp Arts Festival as well as being active in other downtown events, asked about what provisions would be made for the five events already planned. On the downtown calendar are the new Firefly Nights on the third Fridays of June, July, and August, the Classics on Main car show on July 7, and the weekend long Black Swamp Arts Festival, Sept. 7-9 as well as the weekly farmers market. Representatives for all the events were in attendance. Simon said he was aware and sympathetic to the concerns. He lives in Bowling Green and attends the arts festival. “Our goal is…


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,…


Shifting warm front increases chance of severe weather today

Brad Gilbert, Wood County EMA director has issued the following advisory: Forecast models are now indicating that a warm front will likely make it as far north as Central Wood County this afternoon, May 21,  (originally forecasted to move no further north than Findlay this morning).  As a result, the Storm Prediction Center has now included most of Wood County in the “Slight” risk category for severe weather this afternoon and evening.  Damaging straight-line winds, hail, and heavy rainfall will be the primary threats; however, near and just south of the warm front will have the potential to develop some rotation and an isolated tornado. At this hour, showers and some thunderstorms are developing across Indiana.  With the heating of the afternoon (and the more northerly position of the warm front), the atmosphere will destabilize and allow more thunderstorms to develop especially after 3:00 p.m. and into the evening hours.  Please monitor weather conditions closely this afternoon and evening.


BG Community Bands perform Cabaret Pops Concert May 24

From BOWLING GREEN AREA COMMUNITY BANDS The Bowling Green Area Community Bands present the annual Cabaret Pops Concert, featuring the Concert Band, the Jazz Band and guest musicians. After the traditional opening playing of the National Anthem, The Star Spangled Banner,  the Concert Band will draw from a rich tradition of orchestral transcriptions and band repertoire.   Light Cavalry Overture, Boys of the Old Brigade, and John Philip Sousa’s Gallant Seventh March are among the audience favorites. The Thursday evening concert, May 24, begins at 7:30pm in the Bowling Green Area Schools’ Performing Arts Center.  Located adjacent to Bowling Green High School at 530 West Poe Road, the PAC offers plenty of parking and is fully accessible for its patrons. A novelty tune set to the poem Casey at the Bat, narrated by Jeff Shellhammer of Gahanna, OH and Saxsational, a feature for entire sax section add a touch a humor to the program. Mr. Shellhammer, an alumnus of the BGSU College of Musical Arts, will also guest conduct the Gallant Seventh, as the BGACB pays tribute to the late Mark S. Kelly, professor emeritus of the CMA. The BiG Band BG, directed by Bill Lake, has programmed several feature tunes.   Henry Mancini’s Mr. Lucky features local resident Dan VanVorhis on soprano saxophone.   As Time Goes By will highlight the trumpet artistry of Brian Bushong, a long-time member of Bowling Green’s Tower Brass Quintet. Many band members will stand out on the Stevie Wonder hit Sir Duke. The Bowling Green Area Community Band Concert and Jazz Bands are comprised of nearly 80 adults from Bowling Green and the greater northwest Ohio area. Several were members of various Wood County high school band programs and many were involved with the band department at Bowling Green State University.  Among the bands’ conductors, two are BGSU College of Musical Arts alumni and one is retired faculty from the CMA. The concert is free of charge, with donations greatly appreciated. The BGACB is a non-profit,…


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…


Newbery Award winning author Katherine Applegate to visit Gathering Volumes, June 2

From GATHERING VOLUMES Katherine Applegate is the author of The One and Only Ivan, winner of the Newbery Medal. Crenshaw spent over twenty weeks on the New York Times’ children’s bestseller list. Home of the Brave continues to be included on state reading lists, summer and class reading lists. With the release of her latest middle-grade novel about embracing diversity, Wishtree, local bookstore Gathering Volumes participated in Nationwide Wishing Day with a day full of activities culminating in a children’s cooking contest. Gathering Volumes’ event was deemed the most creative and Katherine Applegate is headed to Perrysburg to help celebrate. Ms. Applegate will be at Gathering Volumes on Saturday, June 2. Seating for the event will begin at 4:30 p.m. After a presentation and discussion, Ms. Applegate will be available to sign books. Ms. Applegate won the 2013 Newbery Medal for The One and Only Ivan. This annual award, granted by the American Library Association, recognizes the previous year’s “most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.” The story is written from the viewpoint of a gorilla living in a glass cage in a shopping mall. According to the award committee, “Katherine Applegate gives readers a unique and unforgettable gorilla’s-eye-view of the world that challenges the way we look at animals and at ourselves.” Her latest novel, Wishtree, is narrated by Red, an unforgettable oak tree who is many rings old. Red is the neighborhood “wish tree” – people write their wishes on pieces of cloth and tie them to Red’s branches. The animals who seek refuge in Red’s hollows help Red grant a wish for a child that moves into the neighborhood. Funny, deep, warm, and nuanced, Wishtree is Katherine Applegate at her finest, writing from the heart and from a completely unexpected point of view. Denise Phillips, owner of Gathering Volumes says, “Ms. Applegate’s novel, Crenshaw, tells the story of Jackson, whose family has fallen on hard times, and his imaginary friend, Crenshaw. Crenshaw is a large, outspoken cat who comes into Jackson’s life when Jackson needs help. It…


Garden Group helps brighten up downtown BG

From DOWNTOWN BOWLING GREEN The day started out with lightening, thunder and a deluge of rain as the flowers were being delivered this morning by Sue Wolf and her people.  Over 1000 colorful healthy plants grown especially for Downtown Bowling Green by Wolfs Blooms and Berries, arrived at 6 a.m. Dedicated to the task, they were not able to avoid getting a little soggy.   More than a dozen members of the BGSU Women’s Garden Group meet at Grounds for Thought for complimentary coffee and donuts before starting on the planting of the flowers.  These women, some who are master gardeners, have volunteered to do this annual planting day for many years. They also tend to the pots throughout the season, trimming and dead heading the expired blooms.  They were all happy to be greeted by a few rays of sunshine as they set out down Main St. Mary Hinkelman, Managing Director of Downtown Bowling Green said: “We are so grateful.  So much goes into having the wonderful flowers that we have in our Downtown. We just can’t thank the community of Bowling Green enough for the donations to help us continue this service and our thanks continue to all who are involved in the growing, planting and care of the flowers.” The hanging baskets will be delivered and hung tomorrow to complete the planting project.  Be sure to take a stroll though the Downtown and enjoy the view.  


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…


Conversation about being a welcoming BG shows the work to be done

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The community conversation on how to make the city’s Welcome BG promise a reality had a lot of aspirations and some practical goals. It also had a number of reminders that for some people Bowling Green has a long way to go. The focus often is on welcoming immigrants. Judith Jackson May, who teaches at the university, though, said she was born in the city, grew up here. Still as a black woman when she goes into Walmart she’s always followed. She wonders why they think she’s going to steal something. And she stopped shopping at Kroger because of the unfriendly attitude she faced there. She loves her walk to work every morning, except for the black jockey figure decorating the lawn of a home on Haskins Road. And she and her husband seem to get stopped by police a lot. Still May said she loves Bowling Green. There’s something that keeps her there. Nicolas Cabanillas, who is of Hispanic descent, echoed May’s love of his hometown. Still as he’s walking, trucks will pull up next to him and then accelerate so then vehicle spews exhaust. Melba Conway, who recently moved here, said she’s been struck by how whatever activity she attends, whether a Tai Chi class or a service club meeting, all the faces she sees are white like hers. That lack of diversity, she said, leads to casual expressions of racism like a sign in the library’s women’s room that offered diapers “for those in need.” The baby depicted is black. Why associate the child “in need” as black, she wondered. Christina Lunceford, a special assistant to president for diversity at BGSU, said that the university needs to recruit a diverse faculty. Students are being educated as global citizens and need faculty who represent that reality. Those faculty are encouraged to live in Bowling Green. People want to live in a community where they can be engaged, she said Still, she said:…


Opera on Wheels’ ‘Big Bad Wolf” to help get summer reading program rolling to

From WOOD COUNTY DISTRICT PUBLIC LIBRARY The Wood County District Public Library’s Youth Summer Reading Program, “Libraries Rock!” begins Thursday, May 24. “Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf,” presented by The Toledo Opera on Wheels will be performed at 10:30 a.m. in the Atrium. This Opera on Wheels touring show is a full experience for all ages. In an engaging adaptation of Mozart’s opera “Don Giovanni,” the Don himself becomes the infamous Big Bad Wolf. Little Red Riding Hood and The Three Little Pigs work together to show the Wolf the error of his ways. Using the music and themes from one of Mozart’s greatest operas, young audiences learn the dangers of bullying, the power of friendship, and the ability of music to bring people together. This live performance is free to the public and will last approximately 40 minutes.  It is generously supported through a gift from the estate of Marjorie Conrad. Registration for the Youth Summer Reading Program begins on Thursday, May 24, and continues throughout the summer. Rock Star Readers receive a free one-day pool pass to the BG Pool and Water Park upon registration as well as a one-day pass to the Wood County Fair toward the end of summer.  Reading minutes can be recorded in the Children’s Place “Concert Hall,” or online at wcdpl.readsquared.com. Everyone is encouraged to set their own goals to becoming a Rock Star Reader. Incentive prizes and coupons from local businesses will be awarded at various levels.  A final end of summer raffle will include all registered readers with more chances to win to those with more minutes. The Children’s Place is challenging everyone to begin as soon as possible and consider completing a reading log designed as full piano keyboard. A complete calendar of events, movies, parties, and programs through August is available online at www.wcdpl.org/CPCalendar and can be found in the WCDPL Family CONNECT magazine. Preschool Storytimes on Tuesdays at 10:30am and again at 7:00pm as well as Baby & Toddler Storytimes on Thursdays at…


Perrysburg Musical Theatre hits high gear with ‘Hands on a Hard Body’

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The Perrysburg Musical Theatre is taking a detour with this summer’s musical. In previous summers, the troupe has presented big shows, often classics, musicals that employ large casts, including contingents of kids. This year, though, the troupe, moves to a different venue, the Owens Performing Arts Center instead of the Perrysburg High School auditorium, and a smaller, lesser known, but not lesser, show, “Hands on a Hard Body.” The musical runs Friday, May 18, and Saturday, May 19, at 7 p.m. and Sunday, May 20 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $15. Based on a documentary film of the same name, the musical, with book by Doug Wright and lyrics by Amanda Green who collaborated on the music with Trey Anastasio, of Phish fame, tells of 10 everyday Texans competing in a car dealership contest to win a car. The one who can keep a hand on red hard body of a Nissan truck the longest will win it. That truck becomes an embodiment of their aspirations. Ronald (Brian D. Jones) wants to win it so he can start his own landscaping business. He imagines it emblazoned with the name McCowan and Son. “First I get the truck, then I’ll work on the son,” he says. And as it becomes evident later in the show, there’s a few females vying for the role of mother. Greg (Jackson Howard) wants the truck so he can head off to California and become a Hollywood stuntman, and in fellow contestant Kelli (Eryn Brook), he thinks he’s found a traveling partner. Jesus (C. Jordan Benavente) wants it so he can get the money to complete veterinary school. A Texan of Mexican heritage, he faces the casual bigotry of many of the others. Cindy (Cynthia Blubaugh), the office manager of the dealership, informs him in broken Spanish that she’ll need to see a green card if he wins. He’s already made it clear, he speaks English perfectly well, and having…