Articles by Jan Larson McLaughlin

Wood County Historical Center plans June events

Submitted by the Wood County Historical Center Following are the June events scheduled at the Wood County Historical Center. Mommy & Me at the Museum First Wednesday of each month from 10 AM – Noon. Tour, story, and snack. <http://www.woodcountyhistory.org/pr_mommyandme.html> Power of Yesteryear Farm & Tractor Show June 4 & 5 • FREE Family Event featuring “orphan-brand” tractors that are rare and unique plus farm-themed demonstrations, working oil derrick and blacksmith shop, and kiddie pedal pull. <http://www.woodcountyhistory.org/pr_demodays.html#POY> Julie’s Dance Studio Star-style Benefit Show for the Wood County Historical Society Accessibility Project Saturday, June 4, 7:00-8:00 PM BG High School Performing Arts Center (430 W. Poe Rd. BG) 100% of donations accepted and this star-style show will benefit the Accessibility Project. Thank you Julie’s Dance Studio and all of the dancers for your contribution! <http://www.woodcountyhistory.org/pr_juliedance.html> Monthly Tea Series – Second Thursday of each month Next Tea: “Collections Gone Wild: Hoarding” with Dr. Bill O’Brien, BGSU Department of Psychology June 9 at 2 PM at the Historical Museum! RSVP by June 3 – 419-352-0967 <http://www.woodcountyhistory.org/events_tea.html> Wood County Employee Picnic & Safety Fair Tuesday, June 14, 10:30-2 PM Lunch provided by SWIG, Pioneer Packing, & Belleville’s. All proceeds benefit the WCHS Accessibility Project….


Water main work will cause some one-day shut-offs

Isolated water main line work will be done within the next few weeks.  Affected residents of Pearl Street, between Maple and Brigham, Knollwood Drive, from Ordway to the dead end, Hillcrest Drive, and Parkwood Drive will receive notice one week prior to work beginning, and a reminder the day before. The work will require a one-day shut-off of water service followed by a 72 hour boil order advisory.  Once the boil order is in effect, a water boil advisory door hanger will be placed at affected residences and information will be posted on the city’s website.  Traffic will be affected during this work.  Additional information will be posted once a date has been determined. For questions or more information, please contact the Water Department at 419-354-6277.


ODOT buys 40 acres north of BG for $880,000

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   The Ohio Department of Transportation has purchased 40 acres north of Bowling Green with plans to build some type of “multi-use facility” there. The Wood County real estate transfers for May 12 showed that ODOT paid $880,000 for the property located on Ohio 582, east of Ohio 25, in Middleton Township. The cost of an average acre of farmland in Wood County is between $6,500 and $7,000. ODOT paid $22,000 per acre. Theresa Pollick, spokesperson for the ODOT District 2 Office in Bowling Green, said the agency is “looking into the possibility of a multi-use facility” being developed there sometime over the next 10 years. One of those uses could be a highway maintenance facility, Pollick said. When asked if ODOT is looking to move its offices from Bowling Green to the new site, Pollick just repeated that the acreage will be used for a multi-use facility. The newly purchased property, located on the north side of Route 582, is directly east of the Northwestern Water and Sewer District facility. The acreage, which is currently zoned agricultural, has easy access to Interstate 75 a couple miles to the east. ODOT is in…


Overgrown courtyard becomes oasis in middle of BGHS

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   The courtyard at Bowling Green High School is being transformed into a peaceful oasis in the middle of the classrooms and chaotic lives of students. There in the courtyard is the soothing sound of a waterfall, where koi fish glide back and forth, beautiful flowers and smooth stonework. But it hasn’t always been this way. A couple years ago, biology teacher Josh Iler looked at the courtyard and realized it could be so much more. “The bushes were overgrown, covering the windows,” Iler said. One bush was blocking the door into the courtyard, making it difficult for students and staff to use the area. “They would not come out here,” Iler said of the students. But on Thursday, the courtyard was full of students sitting at the patio tables, taking a breather before their last couple classes of the year. “Now you’ve got to get out here early to get a seat,” Iler said. A couple years ago, Iler decided to use the courtyard as a classroom tool, and turn it into the oasis at the same time. He asked North Branch Nursery to come up with a landscape design for the…


Come on in – the water is fine at city pool

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   The lounge chairs are lined up in rows, the snack bar is stocked, the lazy river has been activated, and the inner tubes are inflated. And even better – the weather forecast for Saturday is calling for a sweaty 88 degrees – perfect for taking a dip in Bowling Green’s city pool on its opening day for the summer. The forecast also calls for a chance of rain, but according to the white board on the wall by the pool entrance, there’s a “148 percent chance of having fun.” “Finally, good weather,” said Kristin Otley, director of BG Parks and Recreation, who has been knocking on wood for weeks in hopes of a hot weekend opening for the pool. This will be the third year for the new aquatic center, complete with a water park, slide, diving boards, lazy river, and picnic pavilions. The pool, located in City Park, opens for public swimming at 11 a.m. Josh Chatfield, manager of the pool, said the preparations went smoothly this year. “We’re ready. Everything fired up really well,” he said. And unlike some other community pools in the area, Bowling Green is not seeing…


North Summit Street to be closed for work

Columbia Gas of Ohio has been authorized to close a portion of North Summit Street at East Poe Road on May 31 and June 1 during the hours of 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. The closure is required for pavement restoration following the natural gas line replacement project. The closure timeframe is dependent on progress of work and weather. Questions may be directed to the Engineering Division at 419-354-6227.


Humane Society garage sale on steroids offers shoppers high volume for low prices

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Cathy Walters clung tightly to the pink pool noodle, the stuffed walrus, and the horned hats for her grandkids as she rooted through the plastic farm animals. She was a woman on a mission. “I came here for anything I can find,” said Walters as she rummaged for items at the Wood County Humane Society Garage Sale on Thursday. And this wasn’t her first load at the sale. “Two people had to help me carry it out,” she said of her first round which included an incubator for eggs, a vegetable steamer and glassware. “All I have to do is figure out where I’m going to put it,” Walters, of Bradner, said with a sly grin. “These are great deals. You couldn’t ask for better prices.” The monster garage sale filling the space under the grandstand at the Wood County Fairgrounds is a major annual fundraiser for the humane society, bringing in $15,000 last year for the organization. It is also a major undertaking for the 80 volunteers who accept donations from the community and organize them for the three-day sale that runs through Saturday. “The donations were incredible for three straight…


Bill makes public records more accessible to public

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Public records should be just that – public. For that reason State Rep. Tim Brown, R-Bowling Green, co-sponsored a bill making public records more accessible for Ohioans. Brown said he decided to co-sponsor Senate Bill 321 after hearing testimony from Ohioans who were blocked from getting public records by obstinate public officials. “No one should need to hire a lawyer to get public records,” Brown said. “It can be time consuming and costly to resolve these matters.” “We came up with a bill that works for people,” he said. Ohio already has a simple method in place for making an initial public records request that is not burdensome to a citizen. However, if the office or agency denies access to those public records, the person requesting them is “often faced with an uphill battle consisting of attorney fees and court dates.” Under Senate Bill 321, any person who believes that his or her public records request was improperly denied can file a challenge with the Court of Claims for $25 without the need to hire an attorney. The legislation also stipulates that the claim must be resolved within 45 days. If the matter…


Vic Gable named CEO of Wood Lane Industries

As submitted by Wood Lane The Wood County Board of Developmental Disabilities and Wood Lane Industries Board is pleased to announce that Vic Gable has been named the first Chief Executive Officer of WLI, effective May 29, 2016. The WLI Board is extremely pleased that Vic has accepted the position as they transition to becoming a fully functioning independent service provider. The WLI Board is confident in his abilities to lead WLI into the future. Vic has provided exceptional service in community employment to individuals served by Wood Lane for more than 24 years. Prior to his tenure at Wood Lane, Vic worked in restaurant management and was an integral part of community employment for WCBDD. It was then that he saw the value of employing people with disabilities and decided to make it his career beginning in 1991 with Community Employment Services. He has since worked in all aspects of community employment from Job Coach to Job Developer to most recently Project Manager. As the Project Manager, he has taken the lead in the planning of Wood Lane Industries privatization and the liaison between WCBDD and the WLI Board. WLI will truly benefit from his tremendous experience as they…


Garbage collection delayed one day due to holiday

The City of Bowling Green offices will be closed on Monday, May 30 in observation of Memorial Day. As a result, all refuse and recycling collection will be delayed by one day per the following: – Regular Monday collection will be collected on Tuesday – Regular Tuesday collection will be collected on Wednesday – Regular Wednesday collection will be collected on Thursday – Regular Thursday collection will be collected on Friday Questions about this schedule or the city’s refuse/recycling program may be directed to the Public Works Department at 419-354- 6227.


Wood County Health District earns national accreditation

Wood County Health District is proud to announce that it has achieved national accreditation through the Public Health Accreditation Board, demonstrating the capacity to provide the highest quality of services to the approximately 129,000 people it serves. “This achievement validates the dedication and hard work of our staff, the extraordinary support of our community partners, and the commitment of our Board of Health to improving the health and quality of life in Wood County,” said Health Commissioner, Ben Batey. “Accreditation is the gold standard for health departments and it is an honor to be recognized for our commitment to quality and the incredible effort our staff puts forth every day to improve and protect the health of our community.” To receive national accreditation, a health department must undergo a rigorous, multi-faceted, peer-reviewed assessment process to ensure it meets or exceeds a set of public health quality standards and measures. “The work we’ve done to get to this point was an opportunity for us to examine our entire organization from the inside out,” said Amy Jones, Director of Health Promotion and Preparedness and acting Accreditation Coordinator. “It’s been an incredible process to be able to demonstrate our ability to provide Wood…


East Side asked to be patient with student misbehavior

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   East Side residents may feel like townspeople in “Groundhog Day.” Each year the students may change, but the behavior is strikingly similar – with recurring loud parties, litter and drunken behavior that go with sharing their neighborhoods with college students. But many students, who are fresh to adulthood and life away from home, have no idea what it means to be a good neighbor, according to Rodney Fleming, whose job it is to help educate students about being a positive part of a community. “To everyone at this table, this is not new. You’ve had the same problems for years,” Bowling Green State University Student Legal Services’ Fleming said last week during a meeting of the East Side Neighborhood Association. “But we all have to understand, this is new to these students.” Fleming sympathized with the residents but asked for them to approach student problems with patience and understanding. “Most of them are intelligent, reasonable people,” he said of students. “If you talk to them, they will listen. They’re humans.” One year-round resident revealed her secret to establishing a good relationship with her student neighbors – plates of homemade cookies. Even then,…


Street closures planned by Columbia Gas

Columbia Gas of Ohio has been authorized to close a portion of North Prospect from East Evers to East Merry on May 26 and May 27. The closure is required for pavement restoration following the natural gas line replacement project. The Bowling Green Sewer Division will be closing North Summit from Court Street to Pike Street during the week of May 31 in order to install a new sanitary sewer main line and manhole. The intersection of North Summit and Court Street will be closed on May 31. The intersection expected to re-open June 1. North Summit from Pike Street will be closed to through traffic, allowing access to the Wood County Courthouse parking lot off of North Summit Sreet. Both closures will be dependent on progress of work and weather.


Two in BG awarded for reaching out to those with mental health issues

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Two people were recently honored for reaching out to those with mental health issues and helping them navigate through life’s difficulties. Bowling Green Police Officer Scott Frank and Danielle Oetjen, of Family Services of Northwest Ohio, were both recognized by the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Wood County. Frank was singled out for his handling of an incident in March involving a barricaded suspect that was initially reported as a hostage situation. “Your efforts resulted in a safe conclusion to the crisis,” Bowling Green Police Chief Tony Hetrick wrote in a letter commending Frank. “During the incident you provided intelligence to the crisis negotiators and SRT (Special Response Team) all while compassionately providing for the needs of the family that was victimized during the initial incident. Your actions during this incident are indeed remarkable.” Jessica Schmidt, director at NAMI of Wood County, praised Frank for his willingness to learn more about working with people with mental illness, including taking Crisis Intervention Team training. “He volunteered to take the first training we offered,” Schmidt said. “That speaks to his character. He’s been very active when it comes to the CIT program and…


Century of stories shared by those over 90

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   There were centuries of stories in one room Monday during the annual 90s Plus Spectacular celebrating Older Americans Month in Bowling Green. More than 70 local residents aged 90 and older were honored for their longevity. One by one, they were recognized as stories were shared about their years gone by. “Longevity is something we can celebrate now as people are living longer and healthier,” said Danielle Brogley, director of programming at the Wood County Committee on Aging. Take John Searle, 90, of Perrysburg, who was born in Brooklyn, New York, and served in the 89th Infantry in Europe, crossing the Reine with General Patton. Searle was among the troops who overran the first concentration camp in Ohrdruf, Germany. After the war, he started classes at BGSU, where he met his future wife. They went on to 42 years of marriage, with four sons, four daughter-in-laws, and four grandchildren. Searle was the pastor at Trinity Methodist Church in Bowling Green for 42 years, during which he performed 632 baptisms, 728 funerals and 437 weddings. Now, Searle’s life is much less demanding. “What do I do? As little as possible,” he said with…