Articles by Jan Larson McLaughlin


BG fireworks and concert scheduled for July 3

(Submitted by City of Bowling Green) The Bowling Green Community Fireworks will be held on Monday, July 3, at dusk at the Bowling Green State University Intramural Fields. Prior to the fireworks display, the Bowling Green Area Community Bands will perform a free patriotic-themed concert near the BGSU Mileti Alumni Center beginning at 8 p.m. Those attending the fireworks should be aware that no sparklers, fireworks or sky lanterns will be allowed on the grounds of BGSU. Doyt Perry Stadium will not be accessible this year due to construction, with the exception of the restrooms. Following the event, the Bowling Green Police Division will implement a traffic exit strategy to aid in traffic flow. In order to maximize safety and efficiency of travel, the police will be directing traffic onto predetermined routes. After the fireworks, Mercer Road will be closed between Stadium Drive and Ridge Street. In conjunction, the police will be requiring traffic to exit via the following routes: • North Exit Route (Ice Arena lot, Stadium Drive): will be directed north to Poe Road or west to Merry. • South Exit Route (lots to the south of the stadium): will be directed to Wooster via Mercer or Alumni. In other cases, depending on traffic patterns, police may be directing vehicles to the “outer belt” of the city to aid in traffic movement. For example, Clough Street traffic will be directed to Napoleon in order to reduce traffic on Wooster Street. Event attendees, or those traveling in the Bowling Green area on the evening of July 3, are encouraged to utilize outlying routes and entrances to Interstate 75 at…


Fitness trail links Simpson park to Conneaut sled hill

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   From Conneaut Avenue, it almost looks like a new playground. But there are no slides, no swings, no climbing structures. This is a different kind of playground – one made for adults who want an extra challenge as they walk, run or bicycle past. On Wednesday afternoon, the Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce, Wood County Hospital and the City of Bowling Green officially dedicated the fitness trail and exercise station. The trail, which runs through hospital property, connects Simpson Garden Park and Conneaut sledding hill. The exercise equipment is located in the empty lot along Conneaut Avenue, just north of the hospital’s rehabilitation center. Representatives of the hospital, chamber and city parks talked about how teamwork made the fitness trail possible. “I’ve been here 20 years,” said Stan Korducki, president of Wood County Hospital.  “And I remember talking to people about how Bowling Green was different.” That difference was the desire to work together to make life better for citizens. “I hadn’t seen that in other communities,” Korducki said. The hospital decided to tear down the weathered big blue house that sat along Conneaut Avenue, which left a green space with old stone fences. Since one of the hospital’s missions is to encourage people to be more active, the decision was made to tie Simpson Garden Park and the sledding hill together. “This just seemed to be the right thing to do,” Korducki said. Kristin Otley, director of the Bowling Green Parks and Recreation Department, remembered checking out the fitness equipment for placement in a city park. “Literally the next day I…


Library outlives perceived threats from technology

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   In the 1950s, local librarians feared that libraries could soon be obsolete. “What are we going to do with these paperback books? Is this going to be the end of the library?” Michael Penrod, the current executive director of the Wood County District Public Library, said about his predecessors. But libraries survived paperbacks and so much more. Videos, DVDs, internet, e-books. None of that has doomed libraries, Penrod said earlier this week during a brainstorming session for the library board on the facility’s vision, mission, core values and core services. The library continues to be a place where people come for education and entertainment. “The library is still a destination,” said Brian Paskvan, president of the library board. Penrod said he didn’t want the board to experience “paralysis by analysis,” so he didn’t present lists of statistics. However, he did say the door counts and check-outs remain strong. “Library use has hit an all time high,” he said. So the question now is – how to keep those numbers strong. There are a lot of external issues that could impact the library. The senior center will be moving from next door to a new site. The city schools plan to consolidate the elementaries. And funding is never a complete certainty. “There are lots of external influences,” Paskvan said. To make sure the library remains a vital partner in the community, a survey will soon be conducted to determine community expectations and needs. Shannon Orr, a political science professor at Bowling Green State University, and her students will conduct the survey. Orr has…


BG police and businesses rescue ducklings in storm drain

It was Bowling Green, not Boston. And four ducklings, not eight. And it wasn’t Officer Michael coming to the rescue. But Bowling Green had its own version of “Make Way for Ducklings” this past weekend. Four ducklings were rescued from a storm drain on South Main Street by Bowling Green Police officers, and employees from O’Reilly Auto Parts and Circle K South. An engine hoist from O’Reilly was used to lift the storm drain grate, then the ducklings were coaxed toward the opening with hot dog buns from Circle K South. Police officers then lifted the ducklings out. The young ducks were reunited with their mother, who then led them back to the wooded area near Kenwood Elementary School.  


Nothing old about these new senior center ideas

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   In the front room, bingo players listened as letters and numbers were called out. In the balcony area, ladies sat around a table playing cards. And in the dining room, anyone interested was plotting out the future of the senior center. “Today’s purpose is to talk about a dream,” said Denise Niese, executive director of the Wood County Committee on Aging, as she set the stage for the brainstorming session. Last month, it was announced that Bowling Green was giving the committee on aging land for a new senior center, and that Wood County would secure financing for the project. The property was formerly used for the school district’s central administration building, between South Grove and Buttonwood streets, south of West Wooster Street. For more than 35 years, the senior center has been housed in the postal service’s hand-me-down building on North Main Street. A new building offers the hope of a reliable elevator, ample free parking, and plenty of space so yoga classes don’t have to be held in the same room as seniors are getting help preparing their taxes. So on Tuesday, the first of two public input sessions was held. The next one will be June 27, at 6:30 p.m., in the senior center. The preliminary plans call for the new senior center to be two stories, with 25,000 square feet. That compares to the current center size of 14,500 square feet. Also unlike the current site, the new will have ample parking, with at least 87 spaces and none will be metered. “We’ve tried to have no preconceived…


Golf carts must pass inspections to be on city streets

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Bowling Green residents who like to drive golf carts on city streets may soon be able to do so legally. The first step in the process was accomplished Monday evening when City Council passed an ordinance regulating under-speed vehicles. The next step must be taken by the golf cart drivers, whose vehicles must pass an inspection process. As of Jan. 1, a state law deemed it illegal to operate under-speed or utility vehicles on public streets unless they are registered, Municipal Administrator Lori Tretter told City Council on Monday evening. The city ordinance will allow the golf carts on city streets with speed limits of 25 mph, except for Main and Wooster streets. The inspection program has been set up with the local police division. The vehicles must have proper brakes, lights, turn signals, tires, windshield wipers, steering, horns and warning devices, mirrors, exhaust systems, windshields and seat belts. Once an inspection is passed, the golf cart or other slow-moving vehicle can be registered and titled just like other vehicles. Stickers indicating registration will have to be placed on the carts. Police Chief Tony Hetrick said after the council meeting that two inspection events will be scheduled for golf carts. After that, the police will do inspections by appointment only. Also on Monday evening, council passed an ordinance authorizing the trade of property with First Presbyterian Church, and the donation of land to the Wood County Committee on Aging to be used for a new senior center. Former city administrator Colleen Smith praised council for its decision to donate the property for…


BG turns to trash fee to beef up general fund losses

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Thanks to state funding cuts, Bowling Green residents will start paying for their trash pickup next year. City Council decided Monday evening to make up for state hits to the city’s general fund by charging a fee for trash pickup. The fee, which will go into effect in 2018, will average $12 to $13 a month for customers. The decision came after months of discussion of how Bowling Green could make up for a shortfall in the city’s general fund revenue. Five options that could bring in $800,000 a year remained on the table Monday evening: Redistribution of the city income tax – which would have to appear on the November ballot. Start charging for trash collection. Combination of assessing for tree trimming and redistributing income tax. Combination of tree trimming and garbage fees. Combination of trash fees and income tax redistribution. In the end, the garbage fee won out – but council warned that the city income tax revenue distribution was not a sacred cow, and may be the next victim when future funding shortfalls occur. Most communities in the region already charge for trash pickup. However, this option was the most expensive to the homeowners, since it has the narrowest base of payers. Apartment residents, most condominium owners, plus commercial and industrial sites would be excluded since they already pay for trash pickup from private contractors. “We’re selecting the homeowners to fix this,” council member Scott Seeliger said. In contrast, the income tax redistribution would be felt most by industrial and commercial customers. But council president Mike Aspacher said he…


Dogs from Qatar desert travel to BG to find homes

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Bea and Toro traveled a long way to find homes here in Wood County – nearly 7,000 miles from Doha, Qatar. It’s not unusual for the Wood County Humane Society to help find homes for dogs at area shelters, but this is the first time the organization has partnered with the Gulf Canine Connection. “They were found out in the middle of the desert,” April McCurdy, behavior and training coordinator at the Wood County Humane Society, said of the dogs. “It’s a pretty incredible organization, so we figured, why not.” Bea and Toro, both Saluki mixes around 6 months old, arrived in Bowling Green on Monday afternoon. They will be looked at by a local veterinarian, spayed and neutered, and later put up for adoption. McCurdy explained that the Wood County Humane Society helps other shelters whenever possible – this just happens to be a more long distance delivery than normal. “They reached out to us and asked for help. Since we were able to help, we figured we should,” McCurdy said. This will be a test case working with the Gulf Canine Connection, to see if the Wood County Humane Society wants to accept more desert dogs. “We’ll see how this goes,” McCurdy said. To reach Bowling Green, Bea and Toro endured a 15-hour flight from Qatar, a Middle Eastern nation neighboring Saudi Arabia. Born in the middle of the arid terrain that comprises most of Qatar, Bea and Toro were discovered by rescue workers who help the many hundreds of homeless dogs of the region. Workers set up a makeshift…


BG schools to hold public forum on bond issue

Bowling Green City Schools will hold a community forum Monday, June 26, from 6:30 to 8 p.m., at the Wood County District Public Library, 251 N. Main St., Bowling Green. The forum will give community members a chance to ask questions and get information about the school district’s November bond issue to build new schools.  


Families find solid, supportive homes through Habitat

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Two families who never believed they would be homeowners, were recently given keys to their new homes. They are very different families. Olivia Rice grew up in Weston, in the same town where her Habitat for Humanity home was built. Love Ezell and Addam Currie are from Cleveland, Detroit and now Bowling Green, and will be living next door to Rice. But they also share some fundamental similarities. They both dreamed of the day they would own a home, and they both look forward to raising their small children in their Habitat houses. And both families recently gave strangers tours of their new homes and thanked people who they grew to know as they worked side-by-side on their houses. “Without all of your help, we couldn’t be here right now,” Rice said, as she accepted the keys to her home. “Now I get to raise my son in this town that I grew up in.” Currie also offered his family’s gratitude. “Thank you for everyone’s efforts,” he said. “Thank you for all the blessings. I appreciate all of this.” The homes are modest, but they are solid. They are in a good neighborhood and come with family support from Habitat for Humanity. During the dedication of the two homes on Brooke Lane, the new homeowners were welcomed by Weston Village Council member Penny Taylor. “Welcome to Weston,” Taylor said. “We love Weston, and what a day to celebrate – gorgeous weather and brand new neighbors.” Donna Mertz, a Habitat volunteer, presented the families with Bibles that former volunteer Harriet Rosebrock made arrangements…



BG set to grow by another 103 acres on east side

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Bowling Green is on the verge of growing by another 103 acres on its northeast edge. Annexation petitions have been filed for acreage to join in the Wood Bridge Business Park. The annexations from Center Township to the city came up at a recent Bowling Green Planning Commission meeting. The request comes from two owners: 43 acres on the south side of East Poe Road by petitioner Susan J. Ragan. 60 acres on the north side of East Wooster Street by petitioners Richard and Judith Carpenter. The annexations meet the city’s desire to expand Wood Bridge Business Park, according to Sue Clark, director of Bowling Green Economic Development. Plans call for Moser Construction to build a 100,000 square foot warehouse and connecting roadway this summer, Clark said. “This is a need that has been in the community for the last three to four years,” she said. Several manufacturers in Wood Bridge have already committed to renting the warehouse space, “so they can have more room for manufacturing” in their own facilities, Clark explained to the planning commission members. Clark said the warehouse is coming just in time – especially for one of the factories that was talking about moving to Michigan in order to get more warehouse space. If the annexations are approved, the acreage will be divided into 20 and 15 acre sections and sold to prospective manufacturers. Clark said she believes the first building is already filled with tenants. The city will install necessary water and sewer services, and roadways. The annexation will also allow for the construction of another…


BG pool has ‘number two’ shut down this season

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Last week, as the weather was sweltering and people were flocking to the pool for comfort, the Bowling Green city pool had to shut its doors. This was not the first time for the unexpected closure, according to Kristin Otley, director of the city parks and recreation department. “No, that was number two,” she said. “No pun intended.” The latest fecal incident occurred Wednesday, when a teenager with special needs had an accident. The consistency required that the pool be closed into Thursday, Otley said. In the summer of 2013, the city pool experienced several fecal accidents which required the aquatic facility to close. It was then that the term “poopetrators” was coined to label those responsible. The closures created frustration for pool patrons and staff, plus cost the city an estimated $5,000 in revenue. Otley said the incidents so far this year appear to be purely accidental. The first involved an infant wearing a swim diaper, which leaked. Last week’s also appears to be accidental, she said. “Obviously, we never want that to happen,” but occasionally it appears unavoidable. Wednesday’s incident happened to affect a lot of people since it was such a hot day, she added. How the pool staff handles the incidents depends on the consistency of the fecal matter. If solid, the area can be “shocked” with chemicals, Otley said. If not, it can take up to 24 hours to clean the water. “We follow the letter of the health district guidelines,” she said. “We want to keep people safe.” Otley also mentioned that announcements are made during…


What’s happening in your community (updated June 20)

NEWLY POSTED: Family Fun Wacky Olympic Picnic, June 22 Families are invited to City Park, Thursday, June 22, from 6 to 7 p.m, at the Martin & Kiwanis shelters.  Families are invited to come to City Park, bring their picnic dinner and participate in some fun and wacky competition against other participants.  Program is free to attend.   NEWLY POSTED: Lunch in the Park features food from Pita Pit, June 23 Bowling Green Parks and Recreation along with title sponsor, First Federal Bank will be hosting Lunch in the Park on Friday, June 23.  Food from Pita Pit will be available for purchase from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., at City Park’s Martin and Kiwanis shelters. There will be a live performance by Gene Parker Trio throughout the lunch.  This lunch is sponsored by the Bowling Green Exchange Club. The Exchange Club will also have its mascot, Timeout Teddy on site.  Please note, additional handicap parking spaces have been added close to the site for the convenience of those who are in need.  These spaces are located in the parking lot near the Veteran’s Building and Scout Building, facing the restroom building. For questions or more information call 419-354-6223 or visit our website at www.bgohio.org/parks.   NEWLY POSTED: Joe Baker Band to play concert in City Park, June 25 Bowling Green Parks and Recreation along with title sponsor, B.G. Transit and supporting sponsors, BGSU Division of Student Affairs, Otterbein Portage Valley, and Modern Woodmen Fraternal Financial will be hosting the Concert in the Park on Sunday, June 25.  There will be a live performance by the Joe Baker Band beginning at…