Articles by Jan Larson McLaughlin

Escaped inmate found in woods near North Baltimore

After nearly 24 hours on the run, an escaped inmate from the Northwest Community Corrections Center, on East Gypsy Lane Road, Bowling Green, has been captured. Franklin Paul Damon Jr., 39, who is now charged with felony escape, was apprehended at 3:53 p.m. today in a wooded area near Oil Center and Insley roads in southern Wood County. Wood County Sheriff Mark Wasylyshyn said a search of the woods was conducted by the sheriff’s offices from Wood and Hancock counties, and the North Baltimore and Bowling Green police divisions. The K-9 units from Hancock and Bowling Green were part of the search, along with a drone from the Wood County Sheriff’s Office. Franklin Paul Damon Jr. Damon was an inmate at the Northwest Community Corrections Center, on East Gypsy Lane Road, following his conviction from the Wood County Court of Common Pleas on a charge of gross sexual imposition. He reportedly walked away from his work release employer located along South Dixie Highway near Portage, on Tuesday, Nov. 21, at approximately 4:21 pm. Damon is classified as a Tier 1 sex offender. Wasyslyshyn said there is no evidence of any further crimes being committed by Damon during his escape.  

Man convicted of gross sexual imposition being sought after escape

The Wood County Sheriff’s Office is seeking assistance in apprehending Franklin Paul Damon Jr. on a charge of felony escape. Damon was an inmate at the Northwest Community Correction Center, on East Gypsy Lane Road, following his conviction from the Wood County Court of Common Pleas on a charge of gross sexual imposition. Damon is a white male, 39 years old, 6 foot, 260 lbs., with brown hair and blue eyes. He reportedly walked away from his work release employer located along South Dixie Highway near Portage, on Tuesday, Nov. 21, at approximately 4:21 pm. Damon is classified as a Tier 1 sex offender and has known associates in Northwood, Toledo and Bowling Green. Contact the Wood County Sheriff’s Office or local law enforcement if the whereabouts of Damon are known.

BG to conduct overdue review of City Charter

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   It’s won’t be a glamorous job, but somebody’s got to review the nuts and bolts of the Bowling Green City Charter. Mayor Dick Edwards reported to City Council Monday evening that he would like the city government to tackle a City Charter review in 2018. The last time the charter was reviewed was 2001. “Too many years have passed by,” Edwards said, noting the job should be completed every 10 years or so. The mayor said he will work on coming up with a timeline and potential people to work on the process. He already has in mind a couple Bowling Green State University faculty members, who have expertise in the area of city government. Above all, the City Charter review must be “citizen driven” and have sizeable participation by city residents, Edwards said. Council president Mike Aspacher said he is looking forward to a charter review. “I certainly am glad this is going to be a priority for us in 2018,” Aspacher said. In other business, City Council approved the rezoning of three parcels at the southwest corner of Manville and Clough streets, from planned institutional zoning to single-family residential. The zoning change will allow for three Habitat for Humanity homes to be constructed on the site. “I’m very excited it’s going to Habitat for Humanity,” council member Bruce Jeffers said. “I look forward to families moving into that area of town,” council member Sandy Rowland added. Also at the meeting,…

Law firm to meet with landowners about Route 582 widening project

Krause & Kinsman law firm will host an informational meeting for property and business owners to talk about the proposed Ohio 582 widening project between Mercer Road and Ohio 199, north of Bowling Green. Wood County property owners who may be affected by the Route 582 widening project can learn about the eminent domain process in Ohio. This educational workshop will focus on landowner rights will take place on Wednesday, Nov. 29, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., at the Best Western Falcon Plaza in Bowling Green. For more information or to RSVP, please call 844-212-7534.

Citizens ask Latta to stop deportation of ‘dreamers’

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Two months ago, Beatriz Maya sat in U.S. Rep. Bob Latta’s office waiting for answers on where the congressman stands on deporting “dreamers.” She is still waiting. Maya, executive director of La Conexion, was back in Latta’s Bowling Green office on Monday, this time asking to show the congressman the economic and human side of DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.) She and eight others delivered a letter encouraging Latta to talk to local employers who can’t find enough workers to fill jobs, and to families who are at risk of being torn apart. “If he hears their personal stories, we are confident that he will get a different story than what he is hearing in Washington,” she said. Maya wants Latta to meet the local young man who grew up in Wood County, learned carpentry at Penta Career Center, and now works for Rudolph-Libbe. He has no criminal record, yet he is at risk of being deported. “There is nothing you can find in him that would warrant deportation,” she said. Earlier this fall, President Donald Trump announced he would end the DACA program in six months if Congress doesn’t find a more permanent solution. Since it was enacted under President Barack Obama, about 800,000 immigrants who were children when they arrived in the U.S. illegally have received protections from the program. DACA allows young people brought to this country illegally by their parents to get a temporary reprieve from deportation…

Parking free in city lots during month of December

Bowling Green Mayor Dick Edwards has declared that there will be no charge to park within city parking lots during the month of December. All other parking regulations will be in effect. The free parking will not include the on-street meters in front of the Wood County Courthouse on Court Street, between North Summit and North Prospect, or the meters in the county parking lot. Although the charge for parking will be removed during December in designated spaces, all other parking restrictions, such as the two-hour parking limit, parking in handicapped spaces, prohibition of on-street parking in the downtown from 3 to 5 a.m., and other regulations will continue to apply and will be enforced. The Mayor encourages businesses, proprietors, and people working in the downtown to share rides and park in long-term spaces to allow parking turnover for those shopping and/or dining in the downtown.

BG park board meeting date changed

The City of Bowling Green Parks and Recreation Board meeting scheduled for Nov. 28 has been moved to Dec. 5 at 7 p.m., at the Simpson Building. For questions or more information call 419-354-6223.

Despite a few reservations, BG Council raises hotel tax

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Bowling Green City Council unanimously approved a tax increase that will have out-of-town guests paying to promote the city to more visitors. Council voted Monday to enact an additional 1 percent hotel/motel tax, with the revenues dedicated to the Bowling Green Convention and Visitors Bureau. Council also approved a three-year renewal of the current 3 percent hotel/motel tax, with the CVB continuing to get 60 percent of that tax revenue and the city getting 40 percent. Wendy Chambers, executive director of the Bowling Green Convention and Visitors Bureau, said the additional funds will help fill hotel beds, restaurants and stores. The hotel tax increase has the support of all the hotels owners in the city, according to Todd McGee, vice chairman of the CVB and general manager at the newly remodeled Best Western Falcon Plaza. The tax will be paid by visitors to local hotels and motels, and would have no impact on city residents, he said. Bowling Green is a big destination for sporting events, with regional youth athletics and BGSU sports filling up local hotels, McGee said. Events such as the Black Swamp Arts Festival, National Tractor Pulling Championships, and concerts also draw overnight guests to the city. But weekday business is lacking. Hotels are the concierge for Bowling Green, McGee said. They send guests out into the city with recommendations of restaurants to dine in and shops to visit. The timing for the tax increase is great, McGee said,…

Holy Toledo – Tiedtke’s display planned at Beeker’s General Store

(Submitted by Beeker’s General Store) Beeker’s General Store in downtown Pemberville is eager to put together a Tiedtke’s display to honor and celebrate the late grocery/department store from Toledo. Many adults in Northwest Ohio reminisce of days past visiting Tiedtke’s and many still have keepsakes from the store and business. Beeker’s would like to memorialize items such as hat boxes, building signage, pastry boxes, wedding dresses, china sets, toys that were purchased from Tiedtke’s, photos of Tiedtke’s (along with written memories) and the like. The display “Holy Toledo, It’s Tiedtke’s” will be featured Dec. 1  – Jan. 6 as part of this year’s holiday season. If you can share such a memory/artifact; please drop off, postal mail, or email such stories/memories to: Beeker’s General Store, 226 E. Front St., PO Box 273, Pemberville OH 43450 or 419-287-3274 or . All items will be properly cataloged for proper ownership and returned promptly in January of 2018. Help us celebrate a Toledo tradition! Tiedtke’s is a former grocery and department store chain based in Toledo. At its peak, the store, which began life as a grocery, occupied a huge building at Summit Street and Adams downtown, maintained an annex store two blocks away, and a branch store in north Toledo. The family-founded store changed hands several times before all locations closed by 1973. The original store building was destroyed by fire two years later.

BG public meetings set for this week

Following is a list of the public city meetings this week: City Council is scheduled to meet Nov. 20 at 7 p.m. in the Council Chamber, 304 N. Church St. Tree Commission is scheduled to meet Nov. 21 at 4 p.m. in the Council Chamber. Bicycle Safety Commission is scheduled to meet Nov. 21 at 6 p.m. in the Council Chamber.

Pass the turkey – not food poisoning – on Thanksgiving

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Sure, Butterball has a turkey hotline for novice Thanksgiving cooks on Thursday. But it’s doubtful that their emergency operators have to tell many people not to use the hot cycle of the dishwasher to thaw out their frozen turkeys. That was one bit of advice dished out by the Wood County Health District to a local food establishment years ago. When asked last week for some tips on how Thanksgiving hosts can prepare a feast without poisoning their guests, the restaurant inspectors revisited some unforgettable turkey tragedies. In many cases, restaurants want to serve up all the holiday favorites, but just don’t have room to safely thaw out giant turkeys in their refrigerators. So they devise some creative methods. Registered sanitarian Julie Nye told about the turkeys thawing in a mop sink. That’s a no-no. Then there was the turkey in the dishwasher, with the appliance working double time to also wash all the vegetables for the trimmings. “They thought it would thaw faster,” Nye said. “There are creative ways to thaw that become a public health nightmare.” The best advice is to plan ahead, so the bird has time to thaw in the refrigerator. If you find your turkey still slightly frozen on Thanksgiving morning, don’t panic. It is safe to place a turkey under cold running water to help it thaw, registered sanitarian Jillian Bodey said. Following are more safety tips from the health district sanitarians, so your guests don’t…

County discusses new highway garage, jail booking area

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Every fall, the Wood County Commissioners listen to funding requests from county offices. And every year, the commissioners weed through the requests and reject the ones they feel aren’t necessary or can wait. This year, they have discussed yanking a couple biggies – $8.3 million to expand the county jail booking area, and $2.5 million for a new county highway garage and office space. It’s not that the commissioners don’t see the value in those projects – they just don’t see room for the nearly $11 million in the county’s 2018 budget. But in both cases, the commissioners are planning ahead for the possible building projects. The county engineer’s highway garage, located at the corner of East Poe Road and Thurstin Avenue, is at least 60 years old. “Things are showing their age out there,” Wood County Administrator Andrew Kalmar said. “We’re at the point where we’re going to have to do some work there – or move.” Over the decades, the open space around the highway garage, which sits on the edge of Bowling Green State University, has been gobbled up for other uses. So there is no land left at the current site for expansion. The commissioners and Wood County Engineer John Musteric discussed the possibility of moving the highway garage out to county land in the East Gypsy Lane complex. That location already has a fuel facility, and it has good access to county roads. It would also allow…

Downpours drench hopes for annual BG Holiday Parade

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   A dismal forecast for drenching rains was the Grinch that stole the Christmas parade in Bowling Green Saturday morning. “It’s very disappointing,” said Earlene Kilpatrick, executive director of the Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce which organizes the annual Holiday Parade. “We don’t want to make this call.” It was just drizzling at the parade start time, which had been pushed up to 9:30 a.m. in hopes of avoiding the heavy rains. But the window between heavy rains was just not big enough for the two-hour parade. “There’s a huge red, orange and yellow mass heading our way,” Kilpatrick said of the weather radar. “We would be in the middle of the parade and hit by a massive downpour.” This is not the first time that the annual parade down Main Street has been cancelled due to weather. A couple years ago it was an ice storm that shut it down. Kilpatrick realizes that means several organizations and businesses built floats that won’t be seen, that bags of candy were collected that won’t be tossed out to crowds, and that children and adults are disappointed. But rescheduling the parade is just not an option, she said. “I don’t think people realize the logistics it takes,” Kilpatrick said. That would mean rescheduling 96 parade units, six marching bands, 70 volunteers and city crews. “It is just difficult to have another successful parade if we had a rain date,” she said. “It’s a logistics nightmare…

Supporters of Dream Act to meet at Latta’s office

(Submitted by La Conexion Immigrant Solidarity Committee) What: The La Conexion Immigrant Solidarity Committee is calling for a day of action on Monday, November 20th to urge Rep. Bob Latta to support the passage of the Dream Act (S.B 1615 &H.R. 3440). Supporters will be meeting with Rep. Latta’s office as well as making phone calls to his Bowling Green office to deliver our message.When: Monday, Nov. 20, at 11 a.m.Who: The La Conexion Immigrant Solidarity Committee is joining with United We Dream ( who are calling on allies and partners around the country to make constituent visits to their members of Congress over the Thanksgiving session break. This visit will be a follow up from our previous two visits to the Representative’s office in which we delivered letters and signatures, collected at our “Lights on for Dreamers” rally, which expressed the need for a legislative solution for those impacted by the administration’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in September. About: The Dream Act  (SB 1615, HR 3440) was first introduced in Congress in 2001, but since that time has been re-introduced, revised, and updated to include bi-partisan provisions which ensure that this bill finds a real solution for Dreamers, but also satisfies security and stability concerns. It allows undocumented people who were brought to this country as children by their parents, to find a path to full legal status through gainful employment, higher education, or through military service. Here in Ohio, DACA recipients…

Start time for Holiday Parade moved up to 9:30 a.m.

The new start time for the Bowling Green Holiday Parade on Saturday, Nov. 18, is 9:30 a.m. The decision to move forward with the parade at 9:30 a.m. is based on the weather forecast providing a window of drier weather. The parade organizers wish to take advantage of this earlier start, to enable the community to enjoy the annual tradition.  Should the weather pattern change and a cancellation is warranted, please go to the chamber’s social media and BG Independent News. Due to the 9:30 a.m. start time, street closures and procedures will commence one-half hour earlier.  Parade units are to arrive one-half hour earlier than originally scheduled.  Volunteers are to arrive one-half hour earlier than originally assigned.