Articles by David Dupont

As FCC auction nears end, future of WBGU-TV hangs in balance

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The fate of WBGU-TV may be known by early spring. After more than a year, the Federal Communications Commission’s incentive auction of spectrum is drawing to a close. The auction, which began last March, is nearing the end of its four-stage of bidding. This is expected to be the final stage. After that in about a month there will be another auction to determine what stations land where. Only after that is completed will we know where stations, including WBGU-TV, will land. In summer, 2015, officials at Bowling Green State University, which holds the WBGU’s license, announced they were considering participating in the process that is designed to reallocate broadcast spectrum for use by wireless companies. After a couple months of public forums, where the comments were overwhelmingly in favor of maintaining the station, the administration said it favored participating in the auction while still keeping the station on the air. That commitment to maintain WBGU was backed by the university’s trustees. That could mean the public TV station moving to the less desirable VHF part of the spectrum, or partnering with another station to share its spectrum. Charles Meisch, Jr., a senior advisor to the Incentive Auction Task Force, said doing that has required the FCC to come up with a unique auction format. The process started with each station being given an initial bid price. That was $188.4 million for WBGU. That would be a price if the station gave up its license, which the university has said it would not do. The price would be lower depending on where in the VHF spectrum the station ended up. And those are opening bids go down as the auction progresses. Industry media have reported that there was less demand for the broadcast spectrum than anticipated. Once the auction was underway, station representatives were not allowed to comment at all on the procedure, a stance recently reaffirmed by Dave Kielmeyer, chief marketing and communications officer, who as part of his position oversees WBGU. Meisch said he could not comment activity for a specific station, but could talk about the process in general. Each stage of the auction has involved two rounds. In one, the reverse auction, the FCC tried to find the lowest price at which stations would relinquish spectrum. In the forward auction it determines what carriers are interested in buying the spectrum…


BGSU Dance Program showcases local choreography in concert, Jan. 27 & 28

From COLLEEN MURPHY Staff and students of the BGSU Dance Program proudly present the Winter Dance Concert this Friday, Jan. 27,  and Saturday, Jan. 28, . The concert features choreography by Dance Program faculty Kristi Faulkner, Colleen Murphy, Tammy Starr, and Tracy Wilson, as well as undergraduate Dance major Courtney Alston. Dance majors and minors have been rehearsing for the performance since the fall semester. The concert highlights versatility in the BGSU Dance Program, with ballet, contemporary, jazz, and tap dances on display. In addition, a special work features Dance Program faculty Tammy Starr and Tracy Wilson, and BGSU Dance Program alumnae Samantha Stearns and Alexa Rittichier. The Winter Dance Concert is produced with generous support from the BGSU Department of Theatre & Film.  The concert will be held at 8pm in the Wolfe Center for The Arts Donnell Theatre. Tickets are $10 at the door. Contact Colleen Murphy cmurphy@bgsu.edu for additional information.    


BGSU arts events through Feb. 8

From BGSU MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS Jan. 25 – The Faculty Artist Series presents pianist Robert Satterlee. He has appeared on the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts in Chicago, San Francisco’s Old First Concert Series and the Schubert Club in St. Paul, Minn., among others. The recital will begin at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center. Free Jan. 26 – The Creative Writing Program’s Reading Series features graduate students Sam Adams and Dan Gualtieri. They will present their work at 7:30 p.m. in Prout Chapel. Free Jan. 26 – BGSU’s Jazz Lab Band I will perform with guest artist and saxophonist, Loren Stillman. Stillman has received praise in such publications as The New York Times, Downbeat magazine, Jazziz, Jazz Times, and on National Public Radio,marking him as an innovative voice of modern jazz. His original recordings have received critical acclaim from The New York Times and four star recognition in BBC Jazz Review, Jazz Man magazine and Downbeat. The performance will begin at 8 p.m. in Kobacker Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center. Tickets can be purchased from the BGSU Arts Box Office at 419-372-8171 or visit www.bgsu.edu/arts. Advance tickets are $7 for adults and $3 for students and children. All tickets the day of the performance are $10. Jan. 27 – Students in the BGSU dance program will present a concert at 8 p.m. in the Donnell Theatre of the Wolfe Center for the Arts. Tickets are $5 at the door. Jan. 27 – The College of Musical Arts Guest Artist Series features “Schubert, Songfulness and the Body,” a lecture/recital by pianist Arved Ashby, a professor of music at Ohio State University. Ashby focuses on 20th- and 21st-century art music within broader contexts of cultural history, critical theory, post-Marxist aesthetics, and media and communications. He is the editor of “Listening to Modernism: Intention, Meaning, and the Compositional Avant-garde” (Rochester, 2004) and author of “Absolute Music, Mechanical Reproduction.” In 1996, Ashby received the prestigious Alfred Einstein Award from the American Musicological Society. The lecture recital will begin at 2:30 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center. Free Jan. 27 – The Toledo Museum of Art and BGSU’s College of Musical Arts presents EAR | EYE Listening and Looking: Contemporary Music and Art. The performance and discussion series explores the relationship between contemporary music and art through music performances in response…


Wood County Hospital has its heart set on marking Heart Month in February with variety of activities

From WOOD COUNTY HOSPITAL The Wood County Wellness department offers classes and meetings monthly on a variety of relevant topics that are important to the community. “Our goal is to provide the highest quality preventive care, tools and resources that inspire employees, community, organizations, and businesses to develop skills to make positive lifestyle choices with the goal of improving overall health and well-being.,” according to Teri Laurer, Director of Wellness and Occupational Medicine, Wood County Hospital. February is American Heart Month and a great time to increase awareness of the dangers of heart disease. Heart disease is the number one killer of men and women over the age of 25. It kills one of every three women and one in every four males and claims approximately 600,000 lives annually. Fortunately, 80 percent of cardiac and stroke events may be prevented with education and action.* On Feb. 3, National Wear Red Day, at 9 a.m. and again at 10 a.m., Daylnn Badenhop, PhD, FACSM in cardiovascular medicine, will be speaking in the Wood County Hospital Meeting rooms about the importance of prevention, signs and symptoms as well as sharing facts and statistics and differences in heart disease in the genders. The community is invited to the presentation and there will be also be information tables, free health screenings, chair massages, refreshments and door prizes available from 8:30 am to 11:00 am. “Look Good Feel Better,” a free program designed for women dealing with hair loss and skin changes from chemotherapy and radiation will meet at 6 p.m. on Feb. 7, in the Maurer Cancer Center at 950 W Wooster Street in Bowling Green. Topics of discussion will include skin care, makeup application, tips on wig selection and care, ways to prevent or help dry skin and discolored nails, and how to use scarves, turbans and hats. This is an American Cancer Society event.  The program is free but registration is required.  Please call 419-354-8887 or email wellness@woodcountyhospital.org. The Positively Pink Women’s Health Series meets monthly and covers a range of topics important to women in the community. The next meeting will be held on Thursday, Feb. 23, at 6:30 p.m. in the meeting rooms at the Wood County Hospital. The topic for February will be “Emergency Preparedness” with speaker Bradley J. Gilbert, O.C.E.M, Wood County EMA Director.  Severe weather awareness and emergency preparedness are important topics for personal safety and are often overlooked…


Community Center to trim Friday night hours

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News It’ll be Friday night lights out a littler earlier at the Bowling Green Community Center starting Feb. 3. At Tuesday’s Parks and Recreation Board meeting, Director Kristin Otley announced the center will close at 7 p.m., instead of 9 p.m. A census of usage found an average of eight people using the facility from 7 to 8 p.m. and two using it from 8 to 9 p.m. Few people use the facility at that time, but the lights still have to be on and three staff members have to be on duty. It costs the center $91 an hour to stay open. The change will save the department about $8,100 annually. This will mean the center is open 91.5 hours from January through the day after Memorial Day, and 87.5 hours a week during the summer. Tim Stubbs, facilities coordinator, said the change “has been on the backburner for years,” and the administration finally decided “pull the trigger.” Some people question the reduction given the department just passed a levy, but Otley said “we still need to be good stewards of those tax dollars.” Mayor Dick Edwards asked if the department was looking at ways to increase usage. He noted that income is down even though the center always gets “glowing reports” from the public. Otley said that competition has increased as other fitness centers have entered the market, and “Bowling Green is the same size it was.” Ivan Kovacevic, the recreation coordinator, said a drop off in attendance is evident whenever a new center opens.   Stubbs said sometimes other facilities offer reduced rates to start. Once the rates return to normal, some people leave. “In my experience we’ll pick some of these people back up,” he said. Otley also said that the Silver Sneakers program, which encourages older people to exercise, is a good deal for the participants, but it can cost the recreation center revenue. If a senior citizen buys a pass to the Community Center, the center gets the money no matter how many times the member visits. With Silver Sneakers, the center only gets the $2.50 reimbursement whenever the senior swipes their card. If the senior visits eight times a month, that’s fine, but if they only come twice a month, that’s lost income. Otley said the department is looking at increased programming to attract seniors to the facility….


BG high students get in the act as directors in this weekend’s showcase

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Claire Wells-Jensen is trying to block a quartet of actors on the stage of the Bowling Green Performing Arts Center. The arrangement of actors just doesn’t seem to be coming together quite like she and co-director Lily Krueger envisioned. “This is the most stressful thing I’ve ever done,” she says. Maybe as frustrating as a mom trying to hustle a teenage daughter off to school. Maybe as frustrating as herding cats… on the internet. Wells-Jensen and Krueger are directing “The Internet is Distract – Oh Look A Kitten!” That’s one of four one-act plays on the bill Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday at 7 p.m. at the Bowling Green Performing Arts Center. The school’s Improv Troupe will also perform. Tickets are $8 and $6 for students and senior citizens. Seniors with a Bobcat Pass get in free. Jo Beth Gonzalez, the advisor for the Drama Club, said the program of one-act plays gives students a chance assume the director’s role. “Kids think directing is easy until they do it. They learn so much,” she said. Certainly that was the case for Krueger and Wells-Jensen. “It was not what I expected,” Krueger said.  “We’ve been in one acts directed by students, and you think you know what they’re going through, but it completely different.” The responsibility for the play from selection to staging falls on their shoulders. Wells-Jensen and Krueger realized their young cast needed a little more help concentrating so they did four focus exercises before each rehearsal. The other plays on the bill are: “Windmills and Millstones” by Louise Wade, directed by Meagan Worthy, a thought-provoking play about characters whose playwright has abandoned them. “Action News: Now With 10% More Action” by Jonathan Rand, directed by Rachel Amburgey, a comedy that spoofs local TV news. “Life as a Techie or Something Like It” by Christopher Fleitas, directed by Natalie Avery and Jessica Wilson, a comedy in which a student must decide which faction to belong to – the theatre techies or the actors – of a hilariously bad high school musical. Gonzalez said students must make a proposal explaining why they want to direct and what script they’ve chosen. She said she can give them some guidance as far as scripts, and they see some at the annual state thespian conference. But they often go online to find plays. “They’re sleuths,” the drama teacher…


North Baltimore motorcyclist dies in Saturday crash

A North Baltimore man has been identified as the fatality in a Saturday afternoon accident on East Wooster Street in front of the Meijer store. Donald W. Backus, Jr., 33, of North Baltimore, died when he was ejected from the Suzuki motorcycle he was operating shortly before 4 p.m. Saturday. According to Bowling Green police, Backus was driving at a high rate of speed and had passed a number of vehicles when he struck the rear of another vehicle. He was ejected and was struck by an oncoming car. He died at the scene.


Section of East Court closed Jan. 25

The Bowling Green Water Distribution and Wastewater Collection Division will close East Court Street, from North Summit to North Enterprise, on Wednesday,  Jan. 25 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The closure is required as part of sewer repair work along East Court Street. Questions about this work may be directed to the Water Distribution and Wastewater Collection Division at 419-354-6277.


Ice arena gets new name as part of golden anniversary celebration

  From BGSU Bowling Green State University will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the ice arena with a weekend full of activities. That includes: The ceremony officially changing the Ice Arena’s name to the Slater Family Ice Arena. Appearances by some of BGSU’s greatest hockey players and Olympian Scott Hamilton ’94 (Hon.) Mike “Doc” Emrick ’76 doing the play-by-play for the BGSU Hockey game. A free figure skating show featuring Hamilton and two-time U.S. national champion Alissa Czisny ’09. EVENTS Friday, Feb. 10 BGHS/Bobcat Hockey vs. Findlay, 7 p.m. Skate with the Bobcats, 8:30 – 10 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 11 Pre-game Party and Coaches Chalk Talk, 3:30 – 5 p.m. BGSU vs. Mercyhurst, 5:05 p.m. Ice Arena 50th Anniversary Celebration (emceed by “Doc” Emrick), 7:30 – 10 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 12 Figure Skating Show, 1:30 – 3:30 p.m. Community Open Skate, 3:30 – 5:20 p.m. To register: https://emsregics.bgsu.edu/IceArena50th


BGSU enrollment on a roll

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Bowling Green State University continues to see increases in enrollment. The university reported today (Jan. 23) that total headcount 15 days after classes started is 16,507, up 2.9 percent from the same time last year. That growth comes because of strong undergraduate enrollment on the Bowling Green campus. This spring there are 13,539 students taking courses through the Bowling Green campus. That’s up 3.1 percent from 13,127 in spring, 2016. Those numbers include secondary school students taking courses through the College Credit Plus program. Growth in that program has been strong, said Cecilia Castellano, vice provost for strategic enrollment planning. She said enrollment on both Bowling Green and Firelands campus was up 27 percent. The program allows students to take college courses that are presented in their home schools as well as to take courses on campuses that are not offered there. Castellano said growth was strong for both. College Credit Plus is also creating growth on the graduate level, said Graduate School Dean Peggy Booth. In order to teach the college-level courses, secondary school teachers must have a master’s degree and at least 18-credits in the subject they are teaching. That accounts for much of the growth in BGSU’s E Campus, she said. The Graduate College has put together programs for these teachers in biology, English, Spanish and history. Programs in art and math are in the works. She said they are also encouraging students who earn the needed 18 credits, to continue on to earn a subject master’s degree. The E Campus on the graduate level has grown dramatically from 134 students last year when it was new to 297 this spring, a 121.6 percent increase. The students are “primarily working professionals,” Castellano said. The E Campus offers eight-week sessions. Some of that growth is because students taking the more traditional 15-week distance learning programs are moving to the E Campus. Distance learning has 209 graduate students, down from 304 a year ago. Booth said that some graduate students are now moving to the E Campus. Some programs are moving to the E Campus, she said, while others are offering an online option. All new online programs will be offered through the E Campus, they said. Graduate enrollment is down to 2,140 from 2,201, 2.8 percent. Some of that is students moving to the E Campus, Booth said. That trend is evident…


Local readers pick their choice as best picture book (updated)

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News And the winner is… “What To Do With a Box” by Jane Yolen. That was the book selected about a dozen folks, kids through grandparents, who gathered to consider what should win the Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished picture book of 2016. The winner of the actual Caldecott Medal announced Monday morning at the American Library Association’s Midwinter Meeting is “Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat” by Javaka Steptoe. Kathy East, retired children’s librarian at Wood County District Public Library, said Sunday during the Mock Caldecott Election that the real committee has already made its choice. The press release was being drafted, and first thing in the morning the winner of the medal and honor books will get a telephone call. East has been through this before. She served  on the committee in 1987 when Richard Egielski won for “Hey, Al” and chaired the committee in 1998 when Paul Zelinsky won for “Rapunzel.” The award goes to the illustrator. The committee that awards the prize can start with a field of as many as 500 books. By the time they gather in January that’s been whittled down to 100 or so. Then each of those books must get a simple majority to stay in contention. East said usually 30 make the final draw. From there the best books rise to the top. The eventual winner, she said, must have more than a simple majority. It must have a significant margin of victory. That requires a number of rounds of balloting. “You want to make sure everyone on the committee is able to go out and say ‘this is the most distinguished children’s book,’” East said. Not that there aren’t those who later who will later kvetch about the choice. “There’s conversation,” she said. The rewards for having the image of the Caldecott Medal affixed to the front of the book are significant. “The guarantee for the artist is the book will always stay in print.” Those gathered at the public library Sunday had a much abbreviated version of the selection process. Library staff had pulled 49 picture books published in 2016. They split into two groups, each looking at a random sample of half the books. Each group picked their four favorites from what they had. Then they cast ballots. “What To Do With a Box” and Terry Fan’s “The…


Rebecca Singer, new leader at Center for Innovative Food Technology, is rooted in farming

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News In her new position as CEO and president of the Center for Innovative Food Technology, Rebecca Singer has to deal with the entire spectrum of the food industry, from seed to package. She brings just the right mix of experience the job requires. Singer, who took over the leadership role about a month ago, has a degree in agri-business and applied economics from Ohio State, and she managed the state’s Ohio Proud program before taking a position with CIFT 15 years ago. All that is grounded on the farm. She grew up on a farm in Defiance County, and when she moved back to Northwest Ohio to join CIFT, she decided settle back there. She and her brother now manage the operation while their father stays involved in the chores he enjoys like driving the tractor. They grow soybeans and ponder all the issues that farmers face. Do they have enough acreage for a viable soybean operation? Should they transition into vegetables and specialty crops? “It lends a lot of authenticity that these are the kinds of things that go through our minds on our operation,” Singer said. Like Ohio’s weather, the agriculture sector is ever changing. Recently “there’s been such a tremendous amount of interest in local foods,” she said. This effects the farmers who grow the food those who process it. That’s been seen at CIFT’s Northwest Ohio Cooperative Kitchen outside of Bowling Green on Ohio 582.  The facility serves as a launching pad for local food products. “A lot of people enjoy making food for other people,” Singer said. “They enjoy sharing recipes that’s been passed down for generations.” The cooperative kitchen has the equipment and expertise to help that make that happen. CIFT can serve as “a one-stop shop” for producers, helping them identify sources of ingredients, fine-tuning their processing to make it as cost effective as possible, and adhering to food safety procedures. Interest in using the kitchen increased with the local food movement. “It’s really exploded,” she said. More and more people want “a clean label,” she said. They don’t want to see an ingredients list laden with artificial additives and preservatives. Tastes will shift. It’s all about hot and spicy now. The desire for local ingredients is here to stay, she said. Growers are straining to meet that demand. Finding labor for those few weeks when they…


Cornel West sings the praises of Dr. King at BGSU

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Martin Luther King Jr. is no Santa Claus. Cornel West, an activist and philosopher, told his audience at Bowling Green State University Thursday night,  to resist efforts “to defang him,” to make King some lovable figure, a benign old man with a bag of toys on his back. “Don’t Santa-Clausify, my brother,” West said. “In a celebrity-scented culture, so obsessed with feeling comfortable … we just want to hear something that makes us feel good. If that’s the case you got the wrong Negro with Martin Luther King Jr. He wanted you to feel empowered, challenged, so you can straighten your back up.” As beloved as the civil rights leader is today, he was not in his time, West said. Right before his death, 72 percent of Americans disapproved of King, and that included 55 percent of African-Americans. FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover considered him “the most dangerous man in American.” King was a “love warrior,” West said. “Justice is what love looks like in public.” He fought against systematic racism, and also opposed the Vietnam War and militarism. He believed “poverty was a form of tyranny.” The indifference to humanity that led to dropping bombs in Vietnam was tied to the indifference to the poor in this country, whether they are poor blacks in the inner city, or Latinos in barrios or impoverished white in Appalachia. “There’s a connection between militarism on one hand and the indifference to the plight of our poor brothers and sisters on the other,” he said. That lesson has not been learned. Not when the U.S. has launched 512 drone strikes in the past year and dropped 26,171 bombs in the last year. West, who said he was breakdancing in 2008 when Barack Obama was elected president, has called the former president to task for not reining in the military industrial complex. The casualties – 750,000 in seven years – from those conflicts, mostly in majority Muslim nations, are what gave rise to “the gangsters and thugs” of ISIS. “They have gangsters and thugs in all traditions,” he said. If such a death toll had been experienced in America, the Ku Klux Klan would be on the frontlines. Africans Americans have shown another way. “We’re not a people of revenge, but a people of justice.”  If blacks had chosen revenge there would be a black American version of…


BG dinner to toast poet Robert Burns

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Elliot MacFarlane of Bowling Green, found an unusual partner in his celebration of the birth of Scottish national poet Robert Burns, Bulgarian chef Boyko Mitov. For the second year, they are teaming up to present Robert Burns Night dinners , Thursday, Jan. 26, and Friday, Jan. 27, at 6 p.m. both nights at Naslada Bistro, 182 S, Main St., in Bowling Green. Dinners in honor of Burns, around the time of his Jan. 25 birthday, have been celebrated since the poet’s death in 1796, MacFarlane, a member of the St. Andrews Society said. He has been involved in organizing such events for decades in Toledo, Detroit, Frankenmuth and elsewhere. The closest to home was years back when there was one presented at Nazareth Hall. Now, he has to drive miles, to enjoy and help others enjoy this mid-winter festivity. Last year, after working with Mitov on a Scotch tasting dinner, they decided to present a Burns Night celebration. Held one night in January, 2016, the restaurant was packed and had dozens on the waiting list. This year, the Burns dinner will be presented twice. MacFarlane said he’s had people approach him to make sure there’s room. As of Thursday noon, Mitov said there were places for a few more. Each dinner accommodates about 40 people. Only the back part of the restaurant is used. The large tables up front are needed for staging. The event offers a full evening of entertainment, as well as a four-course meal of Scottish specialties. The festivities begin with the arrival of the traditional meat pudding, the haggis, accompanied by a piper. Mitov uses grass-fed beef and fresh lamb to make the traditional dish. MacFarlane said he provided Mitov with Scottish recipes, and he’s tweaked them in his own style. “It’s great working with a good chef,” MacFarlane said. Though the cuisine was new to him, Mitov said, he had no problems adjusting the recipes and the preparation. The format, with paired drink and food, is similar to traditional dinners served in Bulgaria. In both cases, specially selected liquors are serve with complimentary entrees. The haggis will be accompanied by 12-year-old Cragganmore, Speyside Single Malt. The other courses are Cock-a-leekie Soup with 14-year-old Glenfiddich U.S. Exclusive Bourbon Barrel Reserve; Scotch Collops of Beef with Rumbledethumps with 18-year-old Aberlour Highland Single Malt; and for dessert, Cranachan (cream, berries and oats…


Community group wants to hear from Bob Latta on plans to repeal Affordable Care Act

From INDIVISIBLE DISTRICT 5 A new community group called Indivisible District 5 is calling on Congressman Bob Latta to hold a public forum with his constituents about his recent vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act — a plan that will lead to nearly one million Ohioans losing their health coverage. Eight members of Indivisible District 5—from Bowling Green, Findlay, and Cygnet—met with Latta’s district director yesterday afternoon at his district office in Bowling Green to share their stories about how the Affordable Care Act has benefitted them and their families and to advocate for the millions of Ohioans who received coverage for the first time, have access to free preventive care, and receive help paying their premiums based on their incomes. “Latta’s staff listened to our stories and the facts we presented and promised to share them with the congressman. But we really need to hear from Latta first-hand about why he is voting to hurt hundreds of thousands of Ohioans,” said Melissa Wynemia Kritzell, a founding member of Indivisible District 5. “Although we learned that Latta intends to hold tele-townhalls in the coming months, we do not know whether that will happen before the next vote to rip away health coverage from thousands of his constituents.” “We agree with Governor John Kasich, who wants to know what will happen to the 700,000 Ohioans who have gotten covered under the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion. Unfortunately, we have received only platitudes, but no plan from Congressman Latta,” said Becca Klaver, a visiting professor at Bowling Green State University who was able to come to Ohio in part because she could get insurance through the Affordable Care Act’s individual marketplace. But, she added, “I am far more concerned about those workers, in Wood County and around the country, who are cobbling together several part-time hourly wage jobs, none of them providing benefits, than I am about my own position.” According to an Urban Institute study, 964,000 Ohioans will lose their health coverage if the Affordable Care Act is repealed.