Articles by Jan Larson McLaughlin

BG considers policies for use of Wooster Green site

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   The design for the new Wooster Green has been determined, so the city is working to nail down rules for how the space can best serve its role as a public gathering place. The goal is for the open space at the corner of West Wooster Street and South Church Street to enhance the quality of life for Bowling Green residents, welcome visitors to the city, and increase commerce in the downtown. It has been recommended that the space be free and open to the public, except when previously reserved. The recommended rules (or policies) are as follows: – Amplified music or sound shall not be used unless previously authorized by the governing board. Such use shall not occur past 10 p.m. on weekdays (Monday-Thursday and Sunday) and 11 p.m. on the weekend (Friday and Saturday). These times may be amended by the governing board. – The sale and use of alcohol shall be done in accordance with applicable city ordinances and with the Ohio Revised Code. –  No one may use the space between the hours of 11 p.m. and 6 a.m., unless previously authorized by the governing board or the municipal administrator. –  Vehicles shall remain on the access road, or another designed vehicular point-of-entry, unless authorized by the municipal administrator or governing board. –  Those reserving or using the space shall not drive any stakes or rods into the ground unless authorized by the municipal administrator. Restriction of this type of activity is recommended to protect underground infrastructure. –  Any hanging or securing of displays and/or decorations should only…

Search for citizen study leads Harvard grad to BG

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Jamie Piltch’s search for the true definition of a good citizen brought him to Bowling Green. Piltch, 23, is on a trek through the so-called rust and sun belts of the U.S. to discover whether Americans still care about being good citizens. His journey started in Washington, D.C., in May, then on to Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh, then Bowling Green. From here, the recent Harvard grad was headed to Detroit, Saginaw, South Bend, Chicago, then onto Wisconsin and Iowa before heading south. Along the way, Piltch, is interviewing all types of people about their views on citizenship. Some of those interviews – including some done here in Bowling Green – are being posted on his blog He sat down at Grounds for Thought and talked with business owner Floyd Craft and city attorney Mike Marsh. While in Bowling Green, he also spoke with an Afghanistan war veteran, a soon-to-be naturalized citizen, and a secretarial assistant at BGSU. Their views on citizenship can also be found on Piltch’s blog. Piltch, originally from Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, hasn’t always fascinated by the meaning of being an American citizen. “Like most young people, I spent the first 20 years of my life mildly disinterested in politics. I voted in the 2012 presidential election, a moment of personal pride. But, outside of getting my license, I didn’t really interact with the government. I never voted in a local election and rarely thought about my town’s needs. I didn’t even consider doing those things.” However, he is the son of two teachers, steeping him in “nerd” genes. “During…

East Wooster sidewalk to be closed for day

The City of Bowling Green has authorized the day closure of the north sidewalk within the 100 block of East Wooster Sreet. The closure is required as part of a private roof replacement project. The work will take place Monday or Tuesday, Sept. 25 or 26 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. During this work, a brief closure of the westbound lane on East Wooster Street will be necessary.

Wood County DD selects service for adult work center

(Submitted by Wood County Developmental Disabilities) The Wood County Board of Developmental Disabilities (WCBDD) is pleased to announce ViaQuest Day & Employment Services has been selected to assume and increase development of the adult work center. The Board unanimously voted to collaborate with ViaQuest at the September 18, 2017 Board Meeting after an internal committee reviewed and evaluated all proposals, toured the facilities, and after rigorous discussion with Board Finance, Program, and Ethics committees. ViaQuest was selected for a variety of reasons, among them their Person Centered philosophy, commitment to community integration, a thorough nursing plan for medically fragile individuals, and a detailed, seamless transition plan. The transition will be led by Chasity Chamberlain, Executive Director of ViaQuest Day & Employment Services. Chasity and her team are responsible for providing opportunities, options, and outcomes to adults with disabilities that wish to increase their independence and be fully immersed in their communities. With ViaQuest, Chasity has successfully transitioned 11 day programs. She takes great pride in her leadership team and their person centered philosophy. They plan to hire experienced management and staff from the Wood County area. WCBDD Superintendent, Brent Baer said, “We are pleased with the wealth of experience and creative success ViaQuest brings with them. We look forward to the increased choice and flexibility this will create for persons served and their families.” WCBDD Board President, Ed Metzger added, “The board was extremely pleased with the professional and robust process used to select ViaQuest among seven other extremely-able providers. We feel the selection of ViaQuest helps the Wood Lane organization meet several objectives of our strategic plan and our…

BG woman puts needles to work knitting knockers

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Peg Cranny has knitted since a child, making afghans, sweaters, caps. But now her focus has shifted to making knockers – that’s right, knitted knockers. Cranny, of Bowling Green, works with the national Knitted Knockers program that provides prostheses for women who have had mastectomies. She has been donating the knockers to the Maurer Family Cancer Care Center at Wood County Hospital, where they are given to cancer survivors at no cost. Cranny has not had cancer, but she has friends who have had mastectomies. “I feel sympathy for the women who have had breast cancer. It must be devastating to lose a breast,” she said. “If I can help in any small way to make them feel better about themselves, then I’m happy.” One out of eight women will experience breast cancer in their lifetime. There are 50,000 mastectomies done a year in the U.S., and 90 percent of those women will wear breast prostheses at least for a while. Many of the women find the traditional breast prostheses to be hot, heavy and expensive, Cranny said. That’s where her knitting skills come in. “They have thousands of women who do this across the U.S.,” she said of the national program. Cranny learned to knit as a Brownie, “and I’ve knitted ever since,” she said. “I like to knit and I like to knit fast projects,” Cranny said. She makes knocker sizes from A to DDDD. “I can whip that out in an hour or two,” she said of the smaller A sizes. The national Knitted Knockers program has strict standards on the…

Salvation Army to accept applications for holiday help

The Salvation Army will be accepting applications for Thanksgiving and Christmas assistance from Oct. 2 to Dec. 1. Families can apply to receive a food basket for Thanksgiving and Christmas (limited assistance on a first come, first serve basis) as well as toys for children 14 years of age and younger. Applications for families living in Wood County will be taken Monday through Friday 9 to 11:30 a.m. and 1 to 3 p.m., at the Salvation Army office located at 1045 N. Main St., Bowling Green. Those who live in North Baltimore can apply on Nov. 10 at the North Baltimore Senior Center, 514 W. Water St. from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Applicants must bring the following documentation: – Photo ID for all adults in the household – Proof of age for all children in household: birth certificates, shot record, school papers – Proof of household income within the last 30 days – Proof of address within the last 30 days: copy of lease, utility bill, mortgage papers The Salvation Army is also looking for local businesses, churches and organizations to participate in the Christmas Adopt-A-Family and Angel Tree programs as well as our Red Kettle Campaign. To learn more about the Salvation Army or these programs, contact our office at (419) 352-5918.

Kale awarded for work with people with disabilities

(Submitted by wli, Work Leads to Independence) Melinda Kale, from Liberty Township, recently was awarded the 2017 Leadership & Advocacy Award by Governor John Kasich’s Governor’s Council on People with Disabilities. The council exists to advise the governor and General Assembly on statewide disability issues; educate and advocate for partnerships at the local, state and national level, promotion of equality, access and independence, and development of employment opportunities. Kale is the director of finance with wli “Work Leads to Independence” (formerly Wood Lane Industries). Prior to this position, she was the Laser Cartridge Express (LCE) supervisor (which is still a division of wli) and started her career with wli as a sales rep for LCE.

BG to get needed warehouse space for manufacturers

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Bowling Green manufacturers will soon have a place to warehouse items, rather than shipping them outside the city or using their own valuable production space. Ground was officially broken Wednesday morning for a 200,000-square-foot warehouse in an expanded area of the Wood Bridge Business Park on the east side of the city, off Dunbridge Road. “This is one of the most collaborative projects I’ve ever worked on,” Bowling Green Community Development Foundation Executive Director Sue Clark told City Council on Monday evening. The project called for teamwork with the Wood County Port Authority, Ohio Department of Transportation, JobsOhio, Poggemeyer Design Group and others, Clark said. And it called for the expansion of the business park into the next 100 acres to the east. “This is a really big event,” Mayor Dick Edwards said of the groundbreaking. “It’s fascinating how the warehouse is already underway,” Edwards said, praising Clark for her skill in navigating through the “minefields.” The warehouse is being built by Mosser Construction, which will own the site and lease it to Ohio Logistics. Clark said the additional warehouse space in the city will free up room at manufacturing sites to be used for production. “For many years, on our economic development visits, companies have relayed concerns about warehousing,” a legislative package given to council stated. “We’ve learned that, in many cases, companies are warehousing out of town.” City officials have also been told by local manufacturers that finding adequate warehousing is important because companies want to find space for new equipment or processes within their existing plants, and moving inventory…

What’s happening in your community (updated Sept. 23)

NEWLY POSTED: Vive Ensemble to perform Stravinsky Debussy at museum, Oct. 8 The Vive Ensemble, conducted by Maria Mercedes Diaz Garcia, will perform chamber music versions of Debussy’s “Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun” and Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring” on Sunday, Oct. 8,  3 p.m. in the Toledo Museum of Art’s Great Gallery as part of the museum’s Great Performances series Formed in 2016 VIVE! Ensemble has presented new and creative versions of revived classics, and has premiered new works by composers across the spectrum of the contemporary scene. Its members are a collective of performers connected to Bowling Green State University, including faculty, doctoral candidates, alumni and guest artists connected to its internationally acclaimed program in contemporary music. Great Performances is supported in part by the Dorothy MacKenzie Price Fund.     NEWLY POSTED: “Bella and the Bully” event, Oct. 22 Jan Schmidt will be reading and signing her children’s book,  “Bella and the Bully,” Oct 22 at 1 p.m. at Gathering Volumes Bookstore , 196 E South Boundary, Perrysburg. The book includes history of  Grand Rapids, Ohio.   NEWLY POSTED: Youth Basketball League Registration deadline Oct. 11 Bowling Green Parks and Recreation’s Youth Basketball League is now open for registration.  The league is for children in Kindergarten (or age 5) through 6th grade.  Divisions consist of K(5), 1st and 2nd grade, 3rd and 4th grade (boys/girls separate) and 5th and 6th grade( boys/girls separate).  Dates for the program run the week of October 16th-December 9th.  Players are required to attend a skills assessment date prior to participating in the league.  Program costs are $51 for residents and $60 for non-residents for participants…

Grand Rapids Applebutter Fest set for Oct. 8

(Submitted by Historical Society of Grand Rapids) Visitors to the 41st annual Applebutter Fest Oct. 8 will be treated to lots of shopping, demonstrations, food, crafts, children’s activities and music in a historical setting along the Maumee River. In its 41st year, the festival annually draws tens of thousands of people to downtown Grand Rapids.  Hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. The Historical Society of Grand Rapids sponsors the event, which stretches through town from the community park through downtown. It originally started as a way to demonstrate Maumee River Valley pioneer crafts and skills. Today, the fest has grown to include historical reenactments along the river, live music on several stages, children’s entertainment with jugglers and magicians, classic cars, a World War II encampment, antique farm equipment and farm life demonstrations, handmade juried crafts and collectibles, and of course, apple butter made on site. To kick off the event on Saturday evening before official start Sunday morning, Abraham Lincoln portrayed by John Cooper of Baltimore, Ohio, is to be featured in a Civil War-era church service that culminates in cannon fire. The services takes place at 7:15 p.m. at the Wright Pavilion on the towpath between Old Gilead Side Cut Canal and the river. Bring lawn chairs or blankets for seating. Participants can visit with Lincoln prior to the service. Festival organizers are volunteers and the proceeds are returned to the Grand Rapids community. Many local nonprofit organizations are supported by or have the opportunity to generate funding during the festival including youth softball and baseball programs, Grand Rapids Volunteer Fire Department, Otsego High School FFA, a local book and…

West Gypsy Lane sewer work to close road

The Northwestern Water and Sewer District  announces the following update to the work on Gypsy Lane Road.  Effective Thursday, Sept. 21, from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m., West Gypsy Lane Road, between Rudolph Road and Sand Ridge Road will be closed for sewer maintenance.  Detour: Rudolph Road to Sand Ridge.  All work is weather permitting.

Bill on Every Student Succeeds Act passes Ohio House

(Submitted by State Rep. Theresa Gavarone) State Rep. Theresa Gavarone, R-Bowling Green, today announced that the Ohio House has passed legislation that would give the legislature additional oversight regarding the state’s education plan under the federal Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 (ESSA). House Bill 235, sponsored by Gavarone, requires the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) to submit a written copy of the state plan required by ESSA to each member of the House and Senate education committees. This plan must be submitted no later than 30 days before it is implemented. “Giving the legislature more oversight over something as important as the state’s education plan is one of the best things we can do for our constituents,” Gavarone said.  “This will allow the people of Wood County and the rest of Ohio to play an even bigger role in the state’s education policy and I applaud my colleagues for passing this legislation out of the House.” The bill also includes a measure that would prohibit ODE from putting the plan into effect should the legislature disapprove the plan through a concurrent resolution. House Bill 235 now awaits consideration by the Ohio Senate.

O-I employees team up with Habitat to build playhouses for children

(Submitted by Habitat for Humanity of Wood County) As part of Habitat for Humanity of Wood County’s Project Playhouse program, O-I employees will join together to fundraise for and construct two brand new playhouses for children in need. The playhouses will be dedicated on Sept. 22 at O-I. The playhouses will be donated to The Cocoon Shelter in Bowling Green and the North Baltimore Community Learning Center. Habitat for Humanity of Wood County partners with people in Wood County, Ohio and all over the world to help them build or improve a place they can call home. Habitat homeowners help build their own homes alongside volunteers and pay an affordable mortgage. Since its inception, Habitat for Humanity of Wood County has built 37 homes. For more information, visit Owens-Illinois, Inc. (NYSE: OI) is the world’s largest glass container manufacturer and preferred partner for many of the world’s leading food and beverage brands. The Company had revenues of $6.7 billion in 2016 and employs more than 27,000 people at 79 plants in 23 countries. With global headquarters in Perrysburg, Ohio, O-I delivers safe, sustainable, pure, iconic, brand-building glass packaging to a growing global marketplace. For more information, visit

BG fifth graders take learning from classroom to camp

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   For one week, the fifth graders left behind their classrooms, their parents, their cell phones. But they found nature, social skills and how to learn without being tied to technology. The fifth grade teachers and principal from Crim Elementary School talked with the Bowling Green Board of Education Tuesday about the experiences of the nearly 250 fifth graders who traveled to Heartland Outdoor School last month. The best explanations perhaps came from the students themselves, who wrote letters to people in the community who helped pay for the week-long learning adventure. “I learned that fear was just a word,” one student wrote after reaching the peak of the rock wall. Another student talked about the different environments they observed and the different types of rocks they studied. “We learned so much, I could fill the whole page,” the child wrote. And another told of learning how to tell the difference between healthy and unhealthy streams, how to shoot arrows, make candles and throw a tomahawk. Not typical classroom lesson plans. This was the first year of camp for Crim’s new principal Alyssa Karaffa. “It was a great experience,” she said. And for the teachers who return year after year, “they are absolutely saints,” Karaffa added. Science and social studies teacher Tyler Nye said it’s easy for him to explain when people ask why the students go to a week of camp every year. Where else can they have hands-on learning about crawdads in the creek, food chains, and adaptation of animals. “In my opinion, it’s the best way to learn,” Nye said….

Wolfly sewer improvement project planned

The City of Bowling Green has contracted with Underground Utilities, Inc. to conduct a sewer improvement project on Wolfly Avenue, from Main Street to North Grove Street. The project is scheduled to begin during the first week of October and last until November. Throughout the project, day closures to through traffic will occur. Local traffic and access to driveways will be maintained. The project scheduled is dependent upon weather and progress of work. Questions about this work should be directed to the Engineering Division at 419-354-6227.