Articles by David Dupont

Tornado warning for Wednesday, Aug. 24 extended to 9:30 p.m.

Tornado warning issued  for Wood County.  National Weather Service has extended warning to 9:30 p.m.  The county has been under tornado watch for more than two hours. Residents advised to take shelter. Heavy weather including a tornado reported in Whitehouse. Tornadoes reportedly touched down in counties west of here.

Candy, the beloved spaniel, still smiling in Carole Sarkan’s new book

By FRANCES BRENT “And Candy Smiled” was Carole Sarkan’s first book about a wonderfully hyperactive dog that lost a leg to a passing car. Carole Sarkan’s simple words and Emily Christoff-Flowers’ lush illustrations  mesh to tell a story full of the joy and energy of life embodied by one cuddly and expressively noisy dog casually overcoming a real disability. In the just published companion book, “And Candy Lived,” the message of the power of love continues. Death is never mentioned and life goes on in settings created by love, imagination and memory.  The scenes and sentiments are “So North West  Ohio,” yet touch on the universal themes of love, family and transcending sorrow. These are books to be read aloud and then savored alone for the gorgeously romantic illustrations and the sheer dogginess that touches our human psyche. We love our dogs. Think how the New Orleans floods showed that bond. To say children’s author Carole Sarkan is local is almost to re-define the term. Born and schooled in Bowling Green, she graduated from BGSU and lives in Grand Rapids. Carole student taught in Bowling City  with her former sixth grade teacher and spent her entire public school career  teaching in the BG system. Keeping the local story going, Carole, then at Crim, taught three granddaughters of her 6th grade teacher (me).  Time passed – and Carole, the one-time second grader, joined her seco And Candy Livednd grade  teacher as a colleague  at the Liberty Building. Now they are both retired and friends. Of course the wonderful illustrator, a BG treasure named Emily Christoff-Flowers, is a former classmate of Carole’s now living in Virginia. The two creative friends teamed  up to produce lovely books, the first nominated for a Caldecott award in 2013. Teaching has a strong pull on Sarkan still. She will continue to do workshops at area schools, using the two Candy books as creative spring boards. She will soon be sharing the wisdom of her teaching years as a University Mentor…

Water & sewer district’s Operations Challenge team earns berth in national competition

From NORTHWESTERN WATER & SEWER DISTRICT “We are so proud of our Operations Challenge team here at NWWSD. Just like most folks in this area that we all call home, the team works hard at their regular duties here at the District, but on top of that, this team really knows their stuff in these challenges!” states Northwestern Water & Sewer District President Jerry Greiner. Recently the NWWSD Challenge team placed first overall (with first place finishes in three of five events), competing against several other Ohio teams in events such as process control, laboratory procedures, collection, maintenance and safety. Their effort qualifies them for the national competition held in September in New Orleans at the Water Environment Federation (WEF) annual conference. The District’s team consists of, and is in order from left-to-right in the photograph: Todd Saums Bryan Martikan Jarred Myers Tom McGrain Claud Barringer (Coach)

BGSU student, Eric Ward, dies

A Bowling Green State University freshman, Eric Ward, died unexpectedly Monday at his home in Castalia, Ohio. The 20-year-old was an  aviation studies major, according to an announcement from the BGSU Office of Vice President for Student Affairs and Vice Provost. 
 He began his studies at BGSU in the spring 2016 semester and was to have continued this fall, commuting from home. He was also a private first class with the Ohio National Guard’s Bravo Company, 237th Brigade Support Battalion, out of Youngstown. According to an online obituary a Celebration of Life will be held from 2-5 p.m.  Saturday, Aug. 27 in the Ransom Funeral and Cremation Service 610 S. Washington St. Castalia. In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to Teen Leadership Corps 12984 Ridge Creek Strongsville OH 44136 or the Seker Fund of EHOVE 316 W. Mason Rd. Milan OH 44846. The full obituary can be viewed at: Condolences can be sent to the family through Counselors are available to help the campus community cope with this loss. The BGSU Counseling Center is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday-Friday, or can be reached by phone at 419-372-2081.

Ohio’s cottage food rules focus of seminar, Sept. 26

From CENTER FOR INNOVATIVE FOOD TECHNOLOGY Implications to recent changes in Ohio’s cottage food laws will be the topic of discussion at a seminar hosted by the Center for Innovative Food Technology (CIFT), Monday, Sept. 26, 2016 from 4 – 5:30 p.m. at the Northwest Ohio Cooperative Kitchen (NOCK). Dennis Delong, R.S., food safety specialist, Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA), will discuss the new regulations and its relevance to local food producers. The new regulations primarily address the criteria and definitions for cottage food operations, labeling, sampling, food items allowed and prohibited.  Cottage food producers are prohibited from producing potentially hazardous foods.  They are allowed to produce the 20 items listed in the cottage food regulation. Ohio regularly ranks in the top 10 for most farmers markets in the nation, and Delong will also explain changes for such venues including what can and cannot be sold at farmers markets. These processing procedures will be explained within the NOCK – a kitchen-based setting that educates and advises entrepreneurs interested in starting a food business.  Food-related business owners, aspiring entrepreneurs, and those who are producing a product to sell at markets and/or other retail establishments are encouraged to attend. The cost is just $25/person or $20/person for group of two or more (pay online, or cash/check at the door) which includes great networking opportunities and light refreshments.  Advanced registration is preferred.  The NOCK/AIF is located at 13737 Middleton Pike (St. Rt. 582) in Bowling Green, Ohio. Visit to register and pay online, or contact 419-535-6000, ext. 140 or

Southern Avenue is Israeli bluesman’s street of dreams

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Growing up in Israel, blues guitarist Ori Naftaly dreamed of Memphis. He’d listen to the LPs. He decorated his room with the images. He read the stories. Now when he performs with his band Southern Avenue and looks over at his bandmates, he realizes he’s living that dream. In Tierinii Jackson he has found a true “church girl” whose soulful vocals “give me goosebumps.” In her sister Tikyra Jackson he has the drummer of his dream who delivers a soulful groove. In Daniel Mckee, he has bass player rooted in the fertile musical soil of Memphis. So on the bandstand sometimes he wonders: “How did I get here? This is pretty amazing.” Southern Avenue will bring its Memphis-based soul and blues sound to the Black Swamp Arts Festival for a Friday, Sept. 9, 6:30 p.m. Main Stage set. Naftaly’s journey started with his father, an avid music fan. His father had a large record collection. He had a friend at a record store and though him got the latest music magazines. In Israel, Naftaly explained, only American hits are available. His father dug deeper into the roots, and shared that knowledge with his guitar playing on. Naftaly had a following in his native land. He was “an ambassador” for the blues, he said. Then he had the opportunity to be an ambassador for his country, representing Israel in the International Blues Competition in Memphis. He was “weeded out,” Naftaly said. He was up against 50-year-olds who grew up on the music. But the experience was invaluable. The reception he received was good enough that he decided to return the following summer. It was an expensive proposition getting a visa and settling in Memphis, and he knew he had three years to establish himself or his artist’s visa would not be renewed. He toured with his own band, but he said he never liked being out front. He went through…

John Brown’s Body celebrates reggae’s roots & future

  By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The reggae band John Brown’s Body has hardly been molderin’ since its last appearance at the Black Swamp Arts Festival in 2003. The band delivered a percolating set of reggae that had the crowd on its feet and dancing, and then the band’s horns joined the closing act Chubby Carrier for a raucous jam that had members of the audience dancing on the stage. In the intervening years, says drummer Tommy Benedetti, the band has continued to evolve. “Any good band is on a journey,” Benedetti said in a recent telephone interview. John Brown’s Body will perform on the Main Stage, Friday, Sept.9 at the festival. For John Brown’s Body that evolution starts back in Ithaca, New York, with a band called The Tribulations, founded by Kevin Kinsella and Elliot Martin. Benedetti first heard them when he was a student at Berklee College of Music in Boston and became a fan. He then took over the drum chair in the band’s last year and a half. About 20 years ago, John Brown’s Body emerged from the remains of The Troubadours. The band took a “rootsier” approach. Kinsella was the main songwriter at that point. He wrote what Benedetti called “almost country reggae.” Tunes with strong harmonies and bridges that could easily be played just on guitar. But he also added the horn lines that are part of John Brown’s Body’s signature sound. Those horns are and were an integral part of the band, Benedetti said. European promoters have approached JBB about touring with a smaller ensemble, but the band isn’t interested. They want their fans to get the full experience. Benedetti said he recalls being disappointed in hearing some classic reggae outfits who replaced their horns with “cheesy keyboard sounds” for some live shows. That full experience also means traveling with their own front of the house engineer. “He’s a part of the band,” Benedetti said. That means…

Renovations bring new life to the heart of the BGSU campus

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News To get a good view of the future of Bowling Green State University, all you have to do is arrange a tour of two of its oldest buildings. That will require donning a hard hat since University Hall, which opened in 1915 and Moseley Hall, which opened in 1916, are both construction sites. And it takes a little imagination to see what the future holds in the haze of dust, walls stripped to bare stone, metal girders and even gaping empty sections. Still a year from now, these buildings will welcome students, and prospective students, to their lives as Falcons. Brian Swope, assistant director of office of construction and design, said it was an honor to be involved in turning some of “the university’s iconic structures” into “dynamic and innovative educational spaces.” Among those at work on the projects are a number of graduates from BGSU’s construction management program. That desire to blend the new and the old means preserving some signature features. The marble staircase in University Hall will be refurbished. And the building will get a new entry on the east side with a facade that will be in the style of the existing façade. University Hall will house the admissions office on the second floor. What was the front of the Eva Marie Saint Theatre will be turned into a large presentation space for admissions, said Steve Krakoff, vice president, capital planning and campus operations. The lower floors will house a number of offices to help students, including study abroad programs and service learning programs. The upper floors will have classrooms spaces, and small conference rooms. One of the largest classrooms on campus will be built on the third floor, in the former fly space for the theaters. It will look out across campus to the east. Because of this dual use, Krakoff said, prospective students will get, within this one building, a vivid sense of the…

BGSU welcomes new & returning students

From BGSU MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS The 2016-167 academic year that begins Monday (Aug. 22) is already off to a strong start. The University today welcomes an incoming freshman class that is about 6 percent larger than last year’s, more diverse and with the highest average GPA in University history. BGSU expects close to 3,600 new freshmen on opening day, up from 3,405 in fall 2015, said Cecilia Castellano, vice provost for strategic enrollment planning. About 20 percent of this year’s freshman class comes from diverse backgrounds, and the class overall has seen growth of 8 percent in multicultural students compared to last year, including 27 percent more Latino students. Ohio is still the primary recruitment area for the University, Castellano said, but 15 percent of the new freshmen are from other states. The freshman class boasts a BGSU record-breaking 3.4 GPA. ACT scores of the incoming class match last year’s 22.6. Twenty-three percent of BGSU freshmen reported on their FAFSA applications that they are first-generation college students. New and returning students will be greeted by some outstanding new facilities. The School of Media and Communication moves into its new home, which also has a new name. The former South Hall has been rechristened the Michael and Sara Kuhlin  Center in honor of major funding from the alumni couple. The cutting-edge facility features two state-of-the-art audio and video production studios, a media convergence lab uniting all the Falcon media plus active-learning classrooms. The center will allow students to learn in settings mirroring today’s professional workplaces. The 10 new Greek townhouses along East Wooster Street will be home to 33 chapters. Students will live in an urban village setting, with plenty of outdoor walkways and seating areas conducive to social interaction. The living accommodations are comparable to BGSU’s newest residence halls, with one- and two-bedroom units, study spaces and numerous amenities.

Art Supply Depo opens up shop in Bowling Green

  By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Hardly two weeks after celebrating the fifth anniversary of the opening of the first Art Supply Depo in Toledo, Jules Webster and her crew has opened up shop in Bowling Green. The second Art Supply Depo will mark its grand opening on Friday with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 4 p.m. and an opening party. The store is open this week 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. As was the case in Toledo, the opening is timed for the start of classes at local universities. Opening up an Art Depo Supply in Bowling Green was a natural, Webster said. Faculty and students from the Bowling Green State University School of Art as well as artists from Bowling Green were already faithful customers. Webster saw “a gap in the market.” “Bowling Green has such a strong art program it seemed a little crazy that Bowling Green didn’t have a specialty art supply store,” she said. When considering the new store, she checked the numbers at UT versus BGSU. UT has 175 undergraduate art majors; BGSU has 625 undergraduate and graduate art majors. While artists from Bowling Green would travel to Toledo for supplies, it often wasn’t convenient especially for younger students who didn’t have cars. Webster said staff has been “hoarding supply lists” from BGSU students in previous years to help guide stocking the shelves. This location also better serves artists in the surrounding communities of Perrysburg and Waterville, some of whom were reluctant to travel to downtown Toledo, even though as Webster points out, it’s the safest part of the city. Here they’ll also have ample parking. With the School of Art less than a mile away from the shop at 435 E. Wooster St. and residential areas in the neighborhood, she said, “we’re in a more vibrant, active community.” Art Supply Depo, she said, sets itself apart from big box stores in its extensive inventory. Here artists can buy…

Black Swamp Arts Festival has been music to the ears of Best of Show winner Chris Plummer

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News For Kentucky printmaker Chris Plummer, a change of scenery shifted his gaze to the landscape. About two years ago Plummer quit his job at the Kroger bakery and moved with his family from the outskirts of Cincinnati to a more rural part of Kentucky. “I do a lot fields and barns because that’s what I see around me now.” Before he focused on woodprints that depicted slices of stories that reflected the angst of folks on the edge between the country and suburbs. Now he creates colorful monoprints, abstracted color landscapes, all inspired by scenes within a few miles of his home. “With woodcuts, for whatever reason, I tend to focus on what is wrong, and with monoprints what I’m looking at is the beauty around me.” Plummer had started to experiment with monoprints, as well as painting, before he moved. Now that has taken hold. Those prints were praised by the jurors at the 2015 Black Swamp Arts Festival when he won Best of Show honors. He also took the top prize at the festival in 2013. Plummer said he’s heard a lot of positive reactions to the newer work, though some people have said they prefer his older work. Still others noted that they like that he’s continuing to change as an artist. “I know a lot of people find what works and stick to that,” he said. “To me that would be boring.” Though he’s done as many as 20 shows a year, Plummer has settled into doing about a dozen. He particularly likes college towns with their bookstores and coffee shops, and younger buyers. As a music fan, Plummer enjoys the acts at the Black Swamp Arts Festival. In 2007, his first visit to the Black Swamp fest, he discovered Alejandro Escovedo and has been a fan ever since. This year he’s looking forward to seeing Pokey LaFarge live. His booth in the center of…

New home for media and communications the talk of BGSU

By DAVID DUPONT BG INDEPENDENT NEWS South Hall was an eyesore; the Kuhlin Center is a gem. Some people scoffed at the idea that South Hall with its facade pimpled with window air conditioning units should be renovated. Now three years later the new home for Bowling Green State University’s School of Communications and Media Studies including a new wing housing a suite of studios is ready to educate a new generation of professionals. About two weeks before the first day of classes, construction workers are still putting finishing touches on the $24 million project even as faculty and staff begin to move in. “These projects tend to go down to the wire,” said Steve Krakoff. “This one is no different.” Krakoff, vice president, capital planning and campus operations, was a prominent advocate for renovating rather than razing the former South Hall. It had good bones, he said. Now he and John Fischer, vice provost for academic affairs, and Brian Swope, assistant director of office of construction and design, three administrators closest to developing the project, are walking the halls of the nearly finished Kuhlin Center. The School of Media and Communication includes three departments: Communications, Media Production and Studies, and Journalism and Public Relations. Even for those who were familiar with the building’s previous iterations it can be hard to identify its features. What was a dank theater space on the fourth floor is now a conference room. The Kuhlin Center, Fischer said, will have “the nicest conference spaces on campus.” In a fourth floor hall is a display case packed with trophies won by the forensics team. Now they will have home to match the quality of their efforts. Previously, Fischer said, they were in a basement office. The building also has a room to which to conduct focus groups. The center is designed “to support the research agenda of the faculty,” Fischer said. The center is designed with plenty of informal lounges….

‘All Hands on Deck’ brings home-grown talent to Pemberville Fair

From PEMBERVILLE FREE FAIR Celebrate the USA as the Pemberville Free Fair proudly announces segments of The All Hands On Deck! Show to be performed Thursday August 18th, 2016, at 8:30pm on The Grandstand Stage. Admission is free and seating is open to the public. The show features the rerun of two local performers, the show’s creator Jody Madaras, formerly of Pemberville, and Patrick Scholl, a 2015 graduate of Bowling Green State University and Bowling Green High School. The All Hands On Deck! Show is a 1942 Roadshow & Radio Broadcast reproduction featuring a Live 9-piece Big Band that fills your hearts with 42 of the greatest American songs ever written including Chattanooga Choo-Choo; Atchison, Topeka And The Santa Fe; I’m In The Mood For Love; Pennsylvania Polka; I’ll Never Smile Again; Any Bonds Today?; Don’t Fence Me In; America The Beautiful; Deep In The Heart Of Texas; Thanks For The Memory, and a powerful Military Medley – a full-circle salute to America and to our servicemen and women! Pemberville native and 1989 Eastwood High School graduate Jody Madaras created, directed, and also stars in The All Hands On Deck! Show along with Branson cast members Valerie Hill (Les Miserables), Scholl, and Beth Conley (“I’ll Say She Is” Off-Broadway musical). With nine of the best jazz musicians in NW Ohio, including fellow Eastwood graduates Michael Sander (chair of Fine and Performing Arts at Owens Community College) and Keith Hamen (Director of Bands, Lake High School), The All Hands On Deck! Show brings Pemberville a fun-filled, true-to-life reproduction of the kind of USO show Bob Hope and Jack Benny would have taken to the troops 65 years ago: classic humor and great music from those special days of road shows, war-bond drives, and radio broadcasts. Inspired by the Hollywood Victory Caravan – a group of famous film stars who toured America by train in 1942 selling war bonds – The All Hands On Deck! Show has captured the hearts of veterans of all ages, active duty servicemen and women, and audience members young and old. The All…

New Greek Village creates common ground for BGSU’s sororities and fraternities

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The new houses for Greeks on the Bowling Green State University campus generated smiles from visitors, especially those looking forward to moving in a few days. While the amenities, large bedrooms, kitchens, and open spaces drew raves, it was the sense of togetherness the place would foster that seemed to most warm the hearts of future residents. Delaney Poor, a sister of Delta Gamma, said having the sorority back in its own house will mean “you always have a support system. There will always be someone here for you.” Her Delta Gamma sister Lauren Gillespie said it will allow them “to share their sisterhood in a special place.” One of the features of the new townhouse-style houses is each will have a chapter room, a place big enough to gather all the members of the chapter, including the majority not living in the house, into one place for meetings. Alyssa Karaffa, a 2010 BGSU graduate and member of Alpha Delta Xi, said in the past the larger chapters would have to use several rooms to hold meetings. “We won’t be scattered across campus anymore,” said Molly Post, who will live in the Omega Phi Alpha house. Greeks were given space in Kohl Hall after the old houses were torn down. “It will give us a chance to have a home place to gather have more a sense of sisterhood,” Post said. And, she added, the complex with its uniform look will serve another purpose, to create greater unity within the entire BGSU Greek community. Sarah Waters, director of residence life, said that was one of the goals. The university wants to build on the strengths that Greek organizations bring to campus, and the new housing is a major part of that. Fraternities and sororities focus on academic success, develop leadership skills, and promote philanthropy. All the chapters’ national units have charities they support and the local members rally behind those….

Arresting images portray intersection of policing & art

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Ben Schonberger’s art installation, “Beautiful Pig,” at River House Arts in Toledo couldn’t come at a more fraught moment coming as it does in a time when our reactions are color coded. The heart-felt cry of Black Lives Matter giving rise to the reaction of Blue Lives Matter. Schonberger collaborated with retired Detroit detective Marty Gaynor to create a portrait of the cop and his community and the relationship between the cop and the artist. “I think it’s an incredibly fragile moment,” Schonberger said. “I don’t think it’s ever been more relevant.” He sees the exhibit as an opening to an “alternate” conversation about policing and community, one “that doesn’t begin with a charged reaction.” In every incident, “everybody has an alternative story,” he said. This isn’t work, he said, that someone will see in the gallery and buy to hang in their home. “The best part about this work isn’t the art, it’s to be able to have an alternative conversation about people and process. If you can have a conversation about humans and feeling, identity, empathy, survival and history, if you can understand someone’s brain for a minute, that’s when contemporary art is so powerful.” Fittingly this is the first collaboration between the gallery’s owner Paula Baldoni and the nascent group Contemporary Art Toledo. Brain Carpenter, the founder, said the group is interested in exactly these kind of shows that are more about generating debate than displaying objects. The River House walls are lined with the pictures of suspects, and cryptic symbols, documentation of Gaynor’s 31 years on the streets of Detroit. They touch as well as his identity as a Jewish man, a rarity in law enforcement. They touch on the ethnic divide of urban policing – most of the suspects are African-American. The material at first seems unmediated, but looking closely, Schonberger’s shaping hand is evident. He didn’t just take the material and slap it…