Articles by David Dupont

Canadian Alain Trudel to lead Toledo Symphony

by DENNIS BOVA Toledo Symphony Orchestra The Toledo Symphony Orchestra today announced the signing of acclaimed Canadian conductor Alain Trudel as its new Music Director beginning in the fall of 2018, the start of the TSO’s 75th season. Until then, Trudel, who will turn 51 on Tuesday, June 13, will serve as the TSO’s Music Director Designate. He will conduct two performances in the 2017-2018 season, including the music of Rachmaninoff, Liszt, Berlioz, and Mozart.He will be Music Director Designate from June 9, 2017 to June 30, 2018. His three-year contract as Music Director will run from July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2021. Toledo audiences saw Trudel, a Montreal native, two months ago. He led the Symphony in the April 7 and 8 Classics concerts, which featured Grammy Award-winning violinist Augustin Hadelich. Maestro Trudel earned standing ovations for his interpretation of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4. “Alain’s appointment concludes a two-year search for our next Music Director,” said TSO President & CEO Zak Vassar. “In his evaluation, he received unanimous support from the Toledo Symphony’s musicians, trustees, search committee, and staff,” Vassar added. “I look forward to working with Alain and beginning an exciting new chapter in the TSO story.” “The Symphony is extremely fortunate to attract a conductor as gracious and talented as Alain Trudel,” said Randy Oostra, chairman of the TSO Board of Trustees and President and CEO of ProMedica. “He quickly connected to the musicians and the audience when he was here in April. His joy for music is obvious, and he will share that joy not only with our audiences, but also with individuals and groups throughout the communities of northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan.” Trudel is delighted to join the team of the Toledo Symphony Orchestra. “I am very excited to join such a great family of artists who share my common goals of excellence, education, and community involvement,” Trudel said. “I am humbled to be entrusted with the leadership of the orchestra and look forward to leading us all to new heights of artistry and relevance in our community.” Trudel has a strong history of symphonic leadership. He is Music Director of l’Orchestre Symphonique de Laval (Quebec) and Principal Youth and Family Conductor of the National Arts Centre Orchestra (Ontario), Principal Guest Conductor of the Victoria Symphony Orchestra, and Guest Musical Advisor for the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra.In addition, Trudel led the Canadian…

Thayer Chevrolet gets excellence award

From THAYER CHEVROLET General Motors and Chevrolet recognized Thayer Chevrolet with the 2016 Mark of Excellence Award. The award is presented to Chevrolet dealers from across the country who achieve outstanding sales performance and customer satisfaction. Thayer Chevrolet has now been the recipient of this honorable award for 81 years. “The commitment that our Chevrolet dealers have made to deliver world class customer service is key to the brand’s overall success and continued growth,” U.S. vice president, Chevrolet, Brian Sweeney said. “The Mark of Excellence Award is recognition for the Chevrolet dealers who have grown their sales and gone above and beyond to ensure their customers are truly satisfied. We sincerely appreciate and applaud their efforts.” Awarded dealers met or exceeded criteria for sales, customer service, and facility maintenance within their competitive groups, and set an outstanding leadership standard for the Chevrolet network. “At Thayer Chevrolet, our goal is to earn customers for life and we are so honored to have our efforts recognized,” Tony Lake of Thayer Chevrolet said. “This award is a testament to the entire team’s dedication to making sure every touch point we have with our Chevrolet customers exceeds their expectations.” GM and Chevrolet recognized dealerships in the U.S. with the Mark of Excellence starting in 2000. Chevrolet’s current product portfolio is the best in the brand’s history, offering Bowling Green customers the latest technologies and safety features.

Brown Bag Food founder, Amy Holland, honored as Hometown Hero

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Thursday was a good day for the Brown Bag Food Project, an endeavor that is usually the group doing good. At a Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours social, Brown Bag received two checks generated by the ACT BG’s recent Amazing Race fundraiser. The check from ACT BG was for just over $4,800, and the Modern Woodman matched $2,500 of those funds. Then Nathan Eberly, a member of the Brown Bag board and a Modern Woodman rep, surprised Brown Bag founder Amy Holland with a Hometown Hero award. “All this is because of what you do,” Eberly said. Her work inspired him to join the effort. The honor came with a $100 check for the charity of her choice, and there was little doubt what that would be. As usual Holland had little to say. She lets her actions speak for her. She got into action starting Brown Bag in early 2016. She learned that some of her fellow workers at Walmart were having trouble feeding themselves and their families some because they were out on medical leave. She took it upon herself to buy a few bags of food and deliver it to them. That has grown into a project that provides parcels of food to more than 300 people a month. Holland said that’s 60-70 families. The parcels have a value of about $60. The idea is to provide emergency food assistance to tide people over for five days, though often the parcels can last as long as a week, until they can seek assistance elsewhere. The food is given with minimal paperwork and questions. People are eligible for a parcel every six months, though that’s stretched in some extreme cases. And at the end of each week, clients can stop by for additional bread and sweet goods donated by the Panera restaurants in Bowling Green and Perrysburg and Jimmy John’s in BG. Peg Holland, the founder’s mother who is on the board, said she’s not surprised by her daughter’s actions. She remembers when Amy was in second grade at Crim. She sought out a girl everyone was ignoring and played with her. Her classmates told her if she played with that girl they wouldn’t play with her. She reported this to her mother who told her: “You play with anyone you want. “She’s always had a big heart, and…

BGSU grads, dean’s list available

Bowling Green State University has announced the undergraduate students who have been named to the spring semester dean’s list for achieving grade point averages of 3.5 or better on a 4.0 scale. To be chosen for the dean’s list, undergraduate students must carry no fewer than 12 letter-graded credit hours per semester. Candidates for spring commencement are also available. The names of graduation candidates and dean’s list honorees can be found online at Names are listed by county. Counties must be downloaded individually.

Gathering Volumes hosting Harry Potter House Party, June 26

In celebration of their one year anniversary Gathering Volumes invites you to a Harry Potter House Party on June 26 at 7 p.m. Gathering Volumes bookstore in Perrysburg will be hosting events throughout the day on Monday, June 26 to celebrate their first anniversary. The day will include special discounts throughout the day, children’s activities including an introductory class on coding, a special story time, and book giveaways. They will end the day with a special house-themed Harry Potter party at 7 p.m. During the party guests will be sorted into their house based on the color of their clothes, so if you know your preferred house, dress appropriately. “Many fans know what house they belong to based on personal preference or the quiz on the Pottermore site,” says Denise Phillips, owner of Gathering Volumes. “So we have encouraged them to attend the party dressed in the color of their house. For example, anyone wearing predominantly green apparel will be sorted into Slytherin. E ach house will compete in four competitions and one house will be deemed the winner of the house cup. Members of the winning house will receive prizes at the end of the night.” Additionally, the party will involve Hogwarts appropriate snacks, and The Glass City Mashers will be offering samples of beer brewed locally, possibly even a Butterbeer. The Glass City Mashers are a beer, mead, and cider homebrewing club of Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan, formed in 2011. The non-profit organization looks to find ways to raise awareness for homebrewed and craft beer along with helping other charities in Northwest Ohio. “Internationally the first book of the Harry Potter series Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was released this month in special house versions to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Harry Potter,” says Denise. “We are working with a Canadian company to bring those to our customers and thought it would be appropriate to host an anniversary party with that theme. We are currently taking orders for the house books. There is an option of a paperback or a hardcover for each house: Gryffindor, Slytherin, Hufflepuff, and Ravenclaw. They are very colorful versions of the first book in the series and are the original/international version of the book.” Gathering Volumes opened in Perrysburg on June 26, 2016. ( At opening they sold new books and book related items. Throughout their first year they have adapted to…

Simpson Garden hosts open air arts celebration

From BOWLING GREEN ARTS COUNCIL The Bowling Green Arts Council and Bowling Green Parks and Recreation Department will host Art in the Park on the grounds of Simpson Garden Park, 1291 Conneaut Avenue, on Friday, June 9, from 4:30-7:30 p.m. Festive fun in a beautiful garden setting with live music, dance, and theatrical performances, artists painting on easels, interactive art activities for children and light refreshments. FREE and open to the public. As they stroll through beautiful Simpson Garden Park, attendees will have an opportunity to view and vote for their favorite artist at work. They will also enjoy local musicians, music by students of the BGSU College of Musical Arts and performances at the Amphitheater by Julie’s Dance Studio, the Black Swamp Players, and Horizon Youth Theatre. Julie’s Dance Studio will kick off the performances at the Amphitheater at 4:45 with a presentation of a mix of difference dance styles from ballet to musical theatre. The Black Swamp Players will present an excerpt from “Dixie Swim Club” by Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope, and Jamie Wooten at 5:30 and at 6:30 in the Amphitheater. Horizon Youth Theatre will present two excerpts from Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella” at 6:15 and at 7:00. Strolling and stationary musicians throughout the grounds will include the Root Cellar String Band featuring Lucy Long, Dave Strickler, Steve O’Regan, and Tom Goodwin; Toraigh an Sonas featuring Mary Dennis, Kathy Moss, Bill Lake, and Bob Midden; the Grande Royale Ükulelists of the Black Swamp, a.k.a. GRÜBS, with Sheri Wells-Jensen, Jason Wells-Jensen, Anne Kidder and Geoff Howes; Fire Breathing Sloths From Mars featuring Henrique Battista, Hong-Da Chin, and Aaron Hynds; Aaron Hynds soloing on the tuba; and Hong-Da Chin playing the traditional Chinese flute. This event is sponsored by Bowling Green Arts Council and Bowling Green Parks & Recreation with additional support from Montessori School of Bowling Green, the Art Supply Depo of Bowling Green, the BGSU Fine Arts Galleries and BGSU School of Music. Biggby’s Coffee and BGAC members will provide refreshments.

BGSU students paint murals to animate Toledo neighborhoods

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Art students from Bowling Green State University have left their mark on the streets of Toledo’s Old South End and East Toledo. Each summer since 2010, groups of students, under the direction of instructor Gordon Ricketts, have made their way to these neighborhoods to paint murals that bring a burst of color and inspiration to the residents. This year, they’re at it again working on both sides of the river. In East Toledo, on East Broadway they contributing to a corridor of color started by previous students, visiting artists, and community members. Ricketts estimates the project has completed about two dozen murals in the southern end of the city. Driving down Broadway, headed west, you first encounter Martin Luther King Jr. on a wall, then nearby Cesar Chavez. Further down there’s the comic book character Green Lantern on the Green Lantern restaurant. Closer to the intersection of South Street, the murals multiply. On a recent morning 15 students had gathered on East Broadway in East Toledo. Ladders up, and transforming a drab viaduct into a vivid celebration of the neighborhood. Trains rumble over the nearby overpass. Traffic whizzes by. Sometimes drivers honk approval and give a thumbs up. Passers-by will express their appreciation and offer to pick up a brush. Ricketts points to a short wall where neighborhood children emulated the BGSU artwork. “This is something that’s visual evidence that positive things are going on in their community,” Ricketts said. “These images are respected,” he said noting those done in previous years have not been tagged with graffiti. “They don’t mess with us.” The first mural project was painted in summer of 2010. Ricketts was working with the Sofia Quintero Art and Cultural Center in the South End when discussions about murals began. Ricketts worked with the BGSU School of Art to bring in Mario Torero, an artist he knew from San Diego. Torero has been creating murals since 1974 in Chicano Park. The Toledo neighborhood “almost mirrors what’s going on in San Diego,” Ricketts said. “You end up with a neighborhood that’s split in two by a highway and marginalized. You have people trying to do good things for the neighborhood, to revitalize it.” He, Torero, and Charles Kanwischer from the School of Art met with business proprietors, and attended Spanish-language mass to meet the priest and parishioners. “We tried to integrate ourselves…

Pemberville teen Isaac Douglass headed to Sumatra to commune with orangutans

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The fantastic worlds of Harry Potter, Percy Jackson and others fictional heroes weren’t enough for the Isaac Douglass. “I used to read a lot of fantasy books,” Douglass, 14, said. “I enjoyed having little adventures, and I wanted it to happen in real life.” Two years ago the Pemberville teen returned from a Winter Jam concert with a brochure and an idea. He wanted to take a 30-day trip to Australia. His parents, Shawn and Maria Douglass, weren’t ready for that, but as people who traveled themselves when they were young, they wanted their son to have the same opportunity. “We want him to see the world as much bigger than the microcosm of Wood County,” his father said. They found a shorter trip. So at 12 he ventured to Costa Rica where he helped build a road to a farm and painted the house the farmers lived in, and swam and hiked. That’s what he did at 12, now at 14, Isaac is ready to venture further, to Sumatra and Bali. Like the trip to Costa Rica, this trip, offered by ARCC Programs, is both a service trip and a recreational venture. The largest part of the 18-day trip will be working to restore orangutan habitat in Sumatra. The orangutan is the most endangered primate in the world, Shawn Douglass said. Afterward the teens will venture to Bali for some surfing. Isaac will be leaving in late June. Originally the family had looked at the trip, but decided it was financially prohibitive. Then the price was cut because they needed more teenage boys. It was still a lot of money, Maria Douglass told her husband. “But it’s a great opportunity,” he replied. The family has launched a GoFundMe campaign, to help cover the cost of the trip. ( Many of the young orangutans have been orphaned as the forest they live in are cut down. They are brought to a sanctuary where people try to save them. Isaac said he’s interested in interacting with them. They share a lot of DNA with humans, he said. That’s why he travels “to see all the different things going on outside our country.” He said many of his peers have fears about travel. They hear about terrorist attacks or problems in other countries. But the headlines are not all there is, he said. In Costa Rica,…

Young entrepreneurs counting on ZERO deodorant, other products, adding up to success

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Reid McEwen and Todd Platzer met while working up a sweat playing club tennis as kids in Bowling Green. Now the tennis buddies have launched a business selling a product they probably could have use back then – Odor Erasure, a natural deodorant. Like their friendship, the product also first started developing in Bowling Green. Now based in Wilmington, North Carolina, their original product ZERO deodorant is making an impression in the market. The all-natural product is even sold in a shop in Budapest, Hungary. The deodorant uses oxygenated African shea oil not just to mask body odor but to eliminate it by killing the bacteria that causes it. Now the partners have launched a Kickstarter campaign( to begin marketing an expanded line of skin care products – Odor Erasure, lotions, sun block, and bug repellant. These like the original ZERO deodorant will have a few simple ingredients, all easy to pronounce – shea butter, ozone, beeswax, essential oils, coconut butter. No baking soda, a common ingredient in other natural deodorants. And no aluminum that’s a common in traditional skin care products. Aluminum has been linked numerous health problems, including cancer, Platzer said. They noted that the federal Food and Drug Administration does not regulate skin care, deodorants, makeup and personal hygiene products. The skin, McEwen noted, soaks up whatever is put on it. As much as 64 percent of what’s rubbed on the skin ends up in the blood stream. ZERO’s marketing, he said, has a large educational component about all the harmful things in skin care products. According to McEwen: “Skin absorption should be a consideration for folks purchasing skincare products along the same lines as the regard that conscious consumers have for the chemicals and preservatives found in foods.” The products will be produced under the brand name ZERO3. The zero is for “zero bad stuff” and the O3 is for the ozone, a triatomic gas, that’s a key ingredient in the oxygenating process. Platzer has been experimenting with ozone therapy for a while. Living in Nevada, he developed an oxygenated oil that he marketed. The problem was while it generally promoted skin health, he didn’t have a specific selling point. Then one day he was talking to three young women and mentioned that the oil worked as a deodorant. They bought three bottles. It took a few years for the product to…

Reading takes flight with launch of 1,000 Book Before Kindergarten

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Reading a 1,000 books to a child before they enter school seems on the face of it a daunting task. Those little ones who attended the kickoff for the Wood County District Library’s 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten got five books under their belts just listening to Denise Fleming. Fleming’s book “Alphabet Under Construction” was the free book given to each child signed up for the program. Since it was a day made for gardening, as Fleming declared at the beginning of her presentation, the books she read were inspired by nature. Before started she planted a flower in the hair of Children’s Librarian Maria Simon, and then donned a ringlet of flowers. Then she set about cultivating a love of reading in children. She did it by turning the letters in her name into a parade of creatures and flowers. She offered a simple drawing lesson turning a series of ovals into faces of different ages. She stretched the kids’ imaginations when she asked them what they saw in an oval inside a squiggly circle. It could be an egg, a flower, a flat tire, a pancake with a pad of butter in the middle – Fleming added a pool of syrup around the edges. It could be a hot air balloon in a cloud, or the reflection of the sun in water. It could be, the author illustrator said, a story if you sewed those elements together with a narrative thread. Fleming is a big believer in the goal of the 1,000 books initiative. Literacy is essential. Yes, there’s the fun of stories but there’s also the practical side. What if someone couldn’t read a menu or a recipe? She and her husband, David Powers, learned the skills they needed to build a studio from books. When she set about reading her books, she didn’t stop moving, and she got her audience moving as well. She read “Mama Cat Has Three Kittens,” and instructed those on one side of the room act out the parts of the two kittens who did everything their mother did and those on the other side act out the other kitten, who napped a lot. Napped, that is, until he awoke and pounced on his sleeping mother and siblings. “Pounce” is the kind of word Fleming likes. Words that convey action. Words that convey character. “Alphabet Under Construction” is all about…

Push to change the way congressional districts are drawn gets underway

From INDIVISIBLE DISTRICT 5 Indivisible District 5 will hold an information session and training for those seeking signatures on petitions in support of an effort to change the way Congressional District are drawn Thursday, June 8, 7-8 p.m., Grounds for Thought, 174 S. Main St., Bowling Green The Fair Congressional Districts for Ohio campaign is obtaining signatures to get redistricting reform on the Ohio ballot in 2017. When in power, politicians from both major political parties have drawn the district lines to favor their own political party—commonly referred to as “gerrymandering”—and created noncompetitive “safe seats” for members of Congress. This lack of competition leads to more extreme views in Congress and means that members of Congress increasingly do not reflect the views of most Americans. Redistricting reform will curtail gerrymandering by requiring a bipartisan commission to draw district lines according to specific rules. In order to get this initiative on the ballot, the campaign needs to collect more than 300,000 signatures. We are looking for volunteers to pledge to collect signatures at area events and around town. This information session will include an introduction to gerrymandering and why reform is needed, a short training session for those interested in volunteering, and a question and answer session. To sign up to volunteer to collect petition signatures, go to Volunteers will also be at Grounds for Thought all day on June 8 (9 a.m. – 8 p.m.) to gather signatures.

Organizers set gears in motion to stage Project Connect

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Shannon Fisher, co-chair of Project Connect, said someday she’d like the program to go out of business. Project Connect is one-day program that provides direct services and connections for the community’s most vulnerable residents. She told 30 or so people attending the kickoff meeting Thursday morning: “We would love not to do Project Connect Wood County because that would tell us everyone in our community has a safe place to live, enough food, and a job to support their family. Until we get there, though, we need to do this.” This is planning. This is putting the gears in motion to stage the multifaceted festival of community care. The kickoff meeting was held at St. Mark’s Lutheran where four and half months from now guests needing a plethora of services will arrive. Project Connect will be held at the church Oct. 18 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. When people arrive, Fisher said, they are not “clients” or “patients,” they are “guests.” Each guest is assigned a host, who helps guide them through the array of services. The aim is to breakdown the usual formality of a client on one side of a desk, covered with paperwork, and the service provider on the other side soliciting information. Project Connect takes a more personal approach to determining what someone needs, and then meets those needs if possible on the day of the event, as well as helping guests make connections that will assist them for the rest of the year. Jamie Brubaker, who chairs the provider committee, said, Project Connect is about being more than a resource fair where someone comes away with a fistful of pamphlets. It’s about getting help that day. That may be a bag of food. May be a new coat. May be a personal hygiene kit. Or it may be a haircut. “You wouldn’t believe the smiles coming out of haircut room,” Fisher said. “People are coming out with a fresh look.” Massages are also popular. Brubaker said guests can also get birth certificates. The Wood County Health District brings out a machine to print them on the spot. The cost for the project is $23 a certificate. Last year 110 were provided. Those certificates are a key to applying for other services. Last year, Project Connect served 773 people, who are either homeless or at high risk of becoming homeless….

Concerned Ohioans to rally at Latta’s office

Members of Concerned Ohioans will rally Friday, June 2, at noon at U.S. Rep. Bob Latta’s office, 1045 N. Main St., Bowling Green, to oppose the  American Health Care Act, the House Republicans’ inntnded replacement for the Affordable Care Act. Concerned Oioans contend the bill would take health coverage away from 23 million Americans and have a disastrous impact the AHCA would have on Ohio families and communities . Following the speeches, participants will visit Latta’s office and deliver letters, articles and fact sheets. Friday’s event is part of a week of action during the Congressional Memorial Day recess holding Republican Members of Congress accountable for their actions on health care. The attendees will send a clear message: Ohioans won’t let Rep. Latta get away with taking health coverage away from millions, gutting Medicaid, or cutting protections for those with pre-existing conditions.

BG police seeking suspect who passed counterfeit $100

The Bowling Green Police Division is seeking assistance in identifying a fraud suspect. On 5/30/17 at approximately 10:20 pm, an unknown male passed a counterfeit $100 bill at Circle K gas station located at 1602 E. Wooster Street, Bowling Green, Ohio.  The suspect is described as a late 20’s to early 30’s,  6-foot tall, 185-200 lb black male with chin hair.  The suspect was wearing all black and blue tennis shoes. If you have any information related to this crime, please contact BGPD at 419-352-1131 or Wood County Crime Stoppers 419-352-0077.  You may be eligible for a reward if the information leads to a conviction.

BGSU adds academies to its summer offerings

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Patrick Nelson and Bowling Green State University’s Conference and Events Services staff didn’t get the usual break after graduation this year. No sooner had the caps and gowns been packed away, then the university hosted three major events – Fire School, Alumni College, and the New Music Gathering. As Memorial Day approached, they did get something of a respite, but not for long – the BGSU campus will be a busy place this summer. Nelson, who serves both as director if the Bowen Thompson Student Union and Conference and Events Services, said despite the loss of Buckeye Boys State, he expects the university will host as many visitors this year as last. Nelson estimates campus will welcome about 5,000 guests. That, he noted, does not include those who come for weddings. This summer eight weddings are scheduled for campus, twice as many as last year. This year the university is launching a Summer Academy program. These academies will bring high school age students to campus to experience some of the new programs the university offers. Two will be offered in June – Forensic Science and Health Career Exploration – with two robotics camps – BGSU Robotics and Art and Robotics, a collaboration with the Toledo Museum of Art – offered in July. (See Assistant Vice Provost Andy Alt said: “These are exciting new programs we want to introduce to potential students locally and across the state.” “The university has facilities and great faculty and experts around in the summer,” he said. This allows the university to extend its offerings beyond the usual degree-oriented programs. Anytime pre-college students and their families come to campus, it’s a recruitment opportunity, he said. The programs give students a chance to work directly with faculty. Jon Sprague, director of the Center for the Future of Forensic Science, for example, is involved in the forensic scince camp, Alt said. Two of the programs are highly select. Only 10 students were accepted into the forensics camp, said Kari Storm, pre-college summer academic program coordinator. That was necessitated by the desire to make sure students had the best experience possible, including a chance to solve a crime, practice investigative skills in the crime scene house, and work in the labs. The forensics program is also the only one that’s a residential program. The other three are day camps. Art and Robotics…