Articles by Jan Larson McLaughlin

BG eyes 2018 goals – neighborhoods, food trucks, downtown cameras and more

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Neighborhood revitalization, food trucks, more cameras in the downtown bar district, and code enforcement by police made the list of 2018 goals for Bowling Green city officials. City department heads listed their top priorities for the year during a work session held Saturday morning for city council. Mayor Dick Edwards set the tone. “This is going to be a very ambitious year, and if we think otherwise, we’ll get smacked right in the face with it,” Edwards said. The mayor repeated some of the projects he mentioned at last week’s council meeting, including progress on Wooster Green, East Wooster corridor, and new City Park building. Unlike those highly visible projects, the city will also be updating its charter – making sure the effort is “citizen-driven,” Edwards said. And efforts will be made to define the city’s goal of being a “welcoming community.” The mayor talked about the city’s goal to become more diversified industrially. Sue Clark, the city’s economic development director, has reported increased interest in the city. “The phone has been ringing off the wall,” Edwards said. “It spells a very promising picture for 2018,” Edwards said, noting the importance of…


BGHS hockey to be focus of ‘Fire on Ice’ event

(Submitted by BGHS Bobcat Hockey Team) The Bowling Green Bobcat Hockey Team will face the Findlay Trojans during the “Fire on Ice” game at the BGSU Slater Family Ice Arena on Jan. 27, at 9 p.m. The game is part of the return of Youth Hockey Day, said BG hockey coach Eddie Powers. “It’s an opportunity for us to showcase our youth hockey program and our high school program,” Powers said. The event will feature a pre-game tailgate time from 5 to 9 p.m. in the Ice Arena Lounge. Those attending can meet the Bobcat hockey players. A $10 ticket includes a burger or hot dog, favorite tailgate side dishes, and a ticket to the game. Tickets are $5 for Blueliner members and students. Other Youth Hockey Day activities include the “Chuck a Puck” competition, raffle baskets, plus an opportunity to skate with the Bobcat players after the game. The Madrigals are scheduled to sing, and students will be allowed in free to the game which will have a “Black Out” game theme. Bowling Green DECA students are helping to market the event. “We want to do this every year to make it a big event,” Powers said. Powers is…


Wood County Recorder reports transactions for last quarter in 2017

(Submitted by the Wood County Recorder’s Office) Wood County Recorder Julie Baumgardner has released a report covering the transactions of the recorder’s office for the fourth quarter, Oct. 1 through Dec. 31, 2017. 1,280 deeds were recorded for this quarter, compared to 1,480 deeds being recorded for the same quarter last year. 1,134 mortgages, with a valuation of $376,851,520.50, were recorded for this quarter, compared to 1,295 mortgages, with a valuation of $268,225,729.52 being recorded for the same quarter last year. Numerous other documents were recorded, in addition to the above, for a total of  4,324 documents being recorded for this quarter, compared to  4,807 documents being recorded for the same quarter last year. Baumgardner paid a total of $256,049.82 into the county for this quarter, compared to $292,262.61 for the same quarter last year. $112,581.42 of the total for this quarter was paid directly into the county general fund, compared with $128,845.31 for the same quarter last year. $126,588.40 of the total for this quarter was paid into the housing trust fund, less one percent back to the county general fund by the state for the timely distribution of the money to the fund, compared with $144,501.30 for the…


BG’s retiring fire chief challenged the status quo

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Tom Sanderson was driving home from work one night decades ago when he came upon an injury accident. The only help on the scene was a state trooper, so Sanderson offered to assist. After the victim was on the way to a hospital, an emergency responder approached Sanderson and asked, “have you ever thought about being a paramedic or firefighter,” he recalled. Sanderson had started his career at the other end of the emergency patient process, as a respiratory therapist at St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center in Toledo. “I was at the receiving end of a lot of trauma,” Sanderson said. But that encounter on the way home from work resulted in his life taking a different turn. That planted a seed that he could not squelch. Now, after 33 years in firefighting, with the last 3 ½ as Bowling Green’s chief, Sanderson is retiring on Jan. 25. Sanderson started out as a volunteer firefighter and paramedic in his hometown of Perrysburg. “I will always remember my first run, it was just a chimney fire. But I will always remember it,” he said. “I loved it.” Since then, he has been on…


Scholarships offered for graduating high school seniors

(Submitted by the Wood County Republican Women’s Club) The Wood County Republican Women’s Club (WCRWC) is pleased to announce applications are being accepted for two $500 scholarships for women who are Wood County residents and who are graduating high school seniors in the class of 2018. All Wood County graduating high school seniors are eligible to apply. Information packets have been sent to 30 area school districts. Interested members of the 2018 senior class should contact their guidance counselors for information or send your inquiry to WCRWC2016@gmail.com. WCRWC became active in 1935, and is part of one of the largest women’s political organizations in the country. The grassroots organization works to promote the principles and objectives of the Republican Party, elect Republican candidates, inform the public through political education and activity, and increase the effectiveness of women in the cause of good government.


BG Schools to return with building levy on May ballot

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Bowling Green City Schools will be asking voters in May to reconsider the same issue they rejected in November. The board voted 4 to 1 this morning to return to the ballot in May with a bond issue for 37 years for a consolidated elementary school, plus renovations and an addition to the high school. “The longer we wait, the costs go up,” board member Ginny Stewart said during the special meeting. “We continue to put good money into inferior buildings.” The only difference to appear on the ballot may be a reduction in the millage due to the growth in the assessed valuation. That may drop the millage from 6 mills in November to 5.7 mills in May. That in turn would reduce the amount it would cost the owner of a $100,000 home from $210 a year to $199 a year. Board President Jill Carr reminded the board that their decisions included exactly what issue will go on the ballot, when it will go before voters, and whether the issue should remain as one or be split into two. The lone vote against returning with the same ballot request came…


Voter purge policy on hold while high court deliberates

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   The purging of any names on Wood County voting rolls has been suspended as the U.S. Supreme Court considers the legitimacy of the Ohio policy. The Supreme Court last week heard arguments on the appeal of a lower court ruling that found the state policy violated a federal law aimed to make it easier for U.S. citizens to register to vote. The 1993 National Voter Registration Act bars states from striking registered voters “by reason of the person’s failure to vote.” Ohio is one of seven states, along with Georgia, Montana, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, that erase infrequent voters from registration lists. Those opposing the purging called Ohio’s policy the most aggressive. Registered voters in Ohio who do not vote for four years are sent registration confirmation notices. If they do not respond and do not vote over the subsequent four years, their names are purged from the voting rolls. The Supreme Court’s ruling, expected by the end of June, could affect the ability to vote for thousands of people ahead of November’s congressional elections. The arguments in front of the Supreme Court focused on whether or not a state…


BG City Council to hold strategic planning session

The Bowling Green City Council will meet on Saturday, Jan. 20, at 9 a.m., in the Council Chamber at the City Administrative Services Building, 304 N. Church St., to hold a strategic planning session. No public input will be taken at that time.


Candidates sought for Boys State and Girls State

(Submitted by Bowling Green American Legion and Auxiliary) The Bowling Green American Legion Post 45 and the Bowling Green American Legion Auxiliary Unit 45 will begin interviewing candidates for the 2018 American Legion Buckeye Boys State and the 2018 American Legion Auxiliary Buckeye Girls State. The Boys State and Girls State programs are part of a national educational program for high school juniors to learn about and set up a working state government. Interviews will begin in February at the Bowling Green High School.  Juniors from the Bowling Green School District who are home schooled or attend private schools are also eligible for consideration. Home schooled and privately schooled students should contact David and Jane Ridenour at 419-352-5054 (or e-mail at djride@dacor.org) for more information. The Bowling Green American Legion and Auxiliary are also seeking outside sponsors for eligible boys and girls to send to Boys State and Girls State. Sponsorships allow our post to send more local students to these outstanding programs than we could otherwise.  For sponsorship information please contact David and Jane Ridenour.


Wood County jail to enter deal to take Toledo inmates

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Wood County jail is once again opening its doors to inmates from Toledo – but only misdemeanor offenders. The county commissioners will review the contract between the Wood County Justice Center and City of Toledo on Thursday morning. The agreement allows Toledo to “rent” 10 beds on an ongoing basis at the Wood County jail, on East Gypsy Lane Road in Bowling Green. The beds will be used for misdemeanor offenders sentenced under the Toledo municipal code. “They are the lowest level offenders,” Wood County Sheriff Mark Wasylyshyn said Wednesday. That’s good for many reasons, the sheriff said. “We’re tight when it comes to secure housing, but we have plenty of beds in minimum security,” he said. The misdemeanor offenders also pose the least risk. “They aren’t all altar boys, Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts,” Wasylyshyn said. But it’s nothing the jail staff isn’t accustomed to dealing with, he added. This is not the first time Wood County entered an agreement with Toledo to house inmates. In the summer of 2016, Toledo officials turned to Wood County for a solution to its inmate issues during an ongoing feud over charges to the…


Hull Prairie ditch cleaning supported – but cost details sought

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Landowners along Hull Prairie Road are in favor of the county cleaning out the ditch that runs along the road. But they have one big concern – how much will it cost them. The Wood County Commissioners held a public hearing Tuesday morning on the Hull Prairie ditch project, which covers 11.6 miles in Bowling Green, Plain Township, Middleton Township and Perrysburg Township. The project extends from south of Newton Road to north of Roachton Road. For years, clogged ditches along Hull Prairie Road only affected neighboring farmland. But now, with so many homes and housing subdivisions growing along the road, ditch drainage is necessary to keep water from creeping into basements. The estimated cost for the project is $422,000, according to Wood County Engineer John Musteric. The watershed area covers 6,749 acres, with 1,378 parcels. A preliminary cost per acre would be $62.53. However, no surveys have yet been conducted, Musteric said. Several neighbors of the ditch project attended Tuesday’s hearing to voice their support for the ditch cleaning. Carl Barnard said several of his neighbors get water in their basements with heavy rainfalls. One neighbor recently had $6,000 in damage…


Pedestrian hybrid beacons to be added on Wooster Street

Due to the amount of pedestrian traffic crossing East Wooster Street, the Ohio Department of Transportation, City of Bowling Green, and Bowling Green State University conducted a joint safety study funded by ODOT to determine if more crosswalks were needed. As a result of this work, four additional crosswalks were recently installed – also funded by ODOT. At two of these locations, pedestrian hybrid beacons (PHB) are scheduled to be added within the next few months. The PHBs will be located across from Founders Hall (east of Troup, near BGSU Lot Q) and at the Stroh Center. A pedestrian hybrid beacon is a pedestrian-activated warning device located on the roadside or on mast arms over midblock pedestrian crossings. The beacon consists of three lights – two red lights over one yellow light. The beacon is dark until a pedestrian hits the activation button, at which time the yellow light will begin blinking followed by a solid yellow light – alerting motorists to prepare to stop. Solid red lights will then be displayed telling drivers that they must stop while pedestrians cross. Once the red lights begin to blink, motorists may proceed if the crosswalk is clear of pedestrians. At the…


BG to get a new look – and new smell – in 2018

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Bowling Green will be getting some makeovers this year. People entering the city from Interstate 75 will encounter a new look on East Wooster Street and less odors from the wastewater plant. In the downtown area, the new Wooster Green is scheduled to get a gazebo this spring. Mayor Dick Edwards, one of the main forces behind the Wooster Green project, reported to City Council Tuesday that in late April or early May, the gazebo will be built on the Wooster Green at the corner of West Wooster and South Church streets. Edwards also noted that more than $230,000 had already been pledged for the project. A sign has been erected in the green space, showing the proposed entry for the community gathering space. The East Wooster Street corridor is getting multiple crosswalks, which should be completed this spring, Public Works Director Brian Craft reported. Preliminary work will begin for the roundabouts at the Interstate 75 interchanges. Public Utilities Director Brian O’Connell said odor control measures will be installed at the wastewaster plant this spring. The plant, which sits along I-75, has been the source of many complaints about unappealing odors. And…


What’s happening in your community (updated Jan. 20)

NEWLY POSTED:  Toledo Symphony plays live to ‘Singin’ in the Rain,’ Jan. 20 Voted the greatest movie musical of all time by the American Film Institute, beloved classic “Singin’ in the Rain” comes to life on the big screen with live orchestral accompaniment by the Toledo Symphony, Saturday, Jan. 20, at 8 p.m. in the Stranahan Theater. The movie features award-winning onscreen performances by song and dance legends Gene Kelly, Donald O’Connor and Debbie Reynolds. Sara Jobin will conduct the orchestra. NEWLY POSTED:  Violinist Maria Sampen returns for Great Performance recital, Jan. 21 Violinist Maria Sampen and pianist Thomas Rosenkranz will present violin sonatas by Johannes Brahms along with contemporary works in a Great Performances concert at the Toledo Museum of Art, Sunday Jan. 21 at 3 p.m.This is the first of two concerts featuring Sampen, who grew up in Bowling Green and is now a professor of violin at the University of Puget Sound and Rosenkranz, associate professor of piano at Bowling Green State University. Program includes the Sonatas no. 1 and 2 for Violin and Piano by Brahms, Clara Schumann’s Three Romances and William Bolcom’s Second Sonata for Violin and Piano.   NEWLY POSTED:  Toledo Opera staging ‘Rigoletto,” Jan….


Beeker’s General Store to host ‘Sampling Saturday’

(Submitted by Beeker’s General Store) In honor of the “Big Game” in February, Beeker’s General Store is pulling together its best food vendors for a taste testing extravaganza. Join us on Saturday, Jan. 27 from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. for “Sampling Saturday.” This unique event provides ample opportunity to try our Amish edibles, local honey, homemade baked goods, Gianno’s Chocolates, Sechler’s pickles, Faro coffee, and more! Not only will guests have a chance to sample many items, but they will also have a chance to “Meet the Maker” and ask questions of the purveyor. Vendors include: Cook’s Delights baked goods, Country Grains breads, Poppin’ George’s Kettle Corn, and SoBee Honey just to name a few. Recipes incorporating products that we sell will also be available. Of course, the shelves will be brimming with your edible favorites for you to stock up and take home to create delicious appetizers, savory main dishes, and sweet treats for the “Big Game” and beyond. An additional highlight of this event, includes the opportunity to vote for the “People’s Choice” recipe that best tantalizes your taste buds! Local “celebrities” and residents are participating in a contest in which Beeker’s will provide a product that…