Articles by Jan Larson McLaughlin

Sheriff’s sergeant dies after apparently shooting self in side

Sgt. Alvin Adams of the Wood County Sheriff’s Office died Saturday morning after an apparent accidental discharge of his personal weapon, according to Sheriff Mark Wasylyshyn. Adams, 56, worked as a jail sergeant at the Wood County Justice Center and had been part of the force for 15 years, Wasylyshyn said Saturday evening. The sheriff said Adams was alone outside his home on River Road in Grand Rapids, when it appears he accidentally shot himself in the side, just above the hip. Adams was able to walk into his house where he told his girlfriend to call for help. He was pronounced dead at Wood County Hospital. Adams was off duty at the time of the shooting. “He will be greatly missed,” Wasylyshyn said.  “Al was very well liked, a very easy going man, well-liked by everyone in the office.” “Our hearts go out to him and his grown children and grandchildren,” Wasylyshyn said. The Wood County Sheriff’s Office, in conjunction with the Wood County Coroner’s Office and the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation-Crime Scene Unit, is investigating the incident.

Local voters write in Homer Simpson, Pedro and Santa for president

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Some Wood County voters were so dismayed with their choices for president this year that they wrote in votes for Queen Elizabeth, Santa Claus and Harambe, the gorilla shot at the Cincinnati Zoo. The deceased gorilla beat out royalty and Kris Kringle by getting two write-in votes. The extreme dissatisfaction with presidential political candidates was evident by the number of write-in votes cast in Wood County. Of the cartoon characters submitted, the big winner was Mickey Mouse with six votes. He managed to trounce Homer Simpson, Pepe the Frog, Snoopy, Donald Duck and Mr. Hankey the Christmas Poo from South Park. Some voters appeared tired of the status quo and clearly wanted to shake things up a bit in Washington, D.C.  Getting one vote each was self-proclaimed time traveler Andrew Daniel Basiago, the queen of England, and Vermin Supreme, who wears a wizard hat, warned of a zombie apocalypse, and promised a pony for every American. Other local voters cast their ballots for musicians, perhaps to soothe our savage nature of late. Getting one vote each was Dave Mustaine of heavy metal Megadeth, glam rocker Alice Cooper, smooth Caribbean flavored Jimmy Buffet, and contemporary recording artist Kanye West. The voter writing in Kanye West must have felt the musician could use some help, so Bernie Sanders was added in as the musician’s vice president. All those musical talents, however, were shot down by the 11 voters who wrote in Ted Nugent, the camouflaged-clothed gun rights activist and singer. Some voters felt the country would be better in the hands of superstar athletes. Tying for the top with two votes each were big time wrestler and former politician Jesse Ventura, OSU football coach Urban Meyer and retired Detroit running back Barry Sanders. They were followed by one vote each for Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott, disgraced Cincinnati baseball player Pete Rose, and Chicago Cubs president Theo Epstein. Other voters apparently wanted to relive the days of an actor in the White House. One wrote in Christopher Walken for president with Gary Busey as his wingman vice president. Another felt more secure with Kiefer Sutherland, who played a covert FBI role in the series “24.” Fictional characters also scored some votes. One voter preferred the mystical Gandalf character from the “Lord…

Dave Horger goes for knockout against cancer

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   It seems fitting that Dave Horger envisioned his cancer as a heavyweight boxer beating him to a pulp in the first round. The name of his opponent in the ring – multiple myeloma. It’s also fitting that Horger, the radio voice of local news and sports for decades here in Bowling Green, would pull a rope-a-dope on his opponent and then come out swinging. Horger, with WFOB radio for 27 years then the 88.1 morning show for another five years, had become the beloved voice of Bowling Green. He was the voice of local news in the mornings and play-by-play sports at night. He grew up in East Liverpool, on the other side of Ohio, listening to Bob Prince broadcast the Pittsburgh Pirates. Because of the time zone differences, once the Pirates were done playing, he and his dad could sometimes catch the last couple innings of Harry Caray announcing the St. Louis Cardinals. “I remember thinking, I could do this,” Horger said of doing play-by-play on the radio. “I never felt it was a talent as much as it was a knack.” It was a knack that Horger soon proved he had. In 1971, he started hanging out at the East Liverpool radio station. He would grab news off the Associated Press machine, get some sports copy and some records and give it a whirl. “They were kind enough in the evenings to let me go in and use their production room. I’d do my little show that nobody was hearing but me,” he said. He would then play it back, reel to reel, “so I could hear how bad I was.” One night, he was playing around, introducing the Carpenters’ song, “Rainy Days and Mondays Always Get Me Down,” – which by the way, he was not a big fan of. But one of the radio executives liked his voice and his style. “That’s just what we want for a disc jockey at night,” he said. To this day, Horger is sure the radio station just wanted to avoid the hassle of interviewing for the job. From there, Horger went on to combine his two loves of sports and radio. He covered BGSU football and basketball from coast to coast. “Just to be a part…

Wood County land use plan up for public review

Residents of Wood County are invited to review and provide comments on the public review draft of the Wood County Future Land Use Plan. An open house will be held on Dec. 7, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Wood County District Library in Bowling Green for the citizens, township officials, and municipality officials to come review the plan and provide input and have questions answered. For more information, contact David Steiner or Katie Baltz at (419) 354-9128. View the plan at the website

How to survive … and even savor … the holidays

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Somewhere in the last few decades, our holiday seasons morphed from magical into manic. The movies reflecting our feelings toward the holidays turned from the simplistic “It’s a Wonderful Life” and “White Christmas” to the frantic “Christmas with the Kranks” and “Christmas Vacation.” So earlier this week, the Unitarian Church in Bowling Green hosted a program on “10 tips to surviving the holidays.” The tips were presented by Erin Wiley, a licensed professional clinical counselor. Her first bit of advice – make good choices on simple subjects like sleep, exercise and eating. “Our society encourages people to push it to the limit,” Wiley said. But sometimes those excesses take a toll on our bodies. During the holidays, people tend to get less sleep, eat much more sweet stuff, and have less time to exercise. Those traveling during the holidays may want to make sure they keep up on rest – even if it’s brief catnaps. “I’ve perfected the science of napping,” Wiley said. And find your “sleep number” – not the softness of your mattress – but the number of hours you need each night to be at your best. For most people, that number is somewhere between six and eight hours. Second, manage your expectations. Disappointments occur when we have unrealistic ideas of the holidays being perfect. “We expect certain things and when we get less than we expect it sets us up for a lot of anger and frustration,” Wiley said. Thanksgiving the Christmas this year may be more “emotionally turbulent” than usual, due to the strong and diverse feelings held about the presidential election this year. Wiley advised that people be prepared for some tension. When disagreements get heated, take charge. “Be the peacemaker,” she said, suggesting the use of food to soothe the conflict. “Who wants brownies?” may be best response when conversations about fracking begin, Wiley said. Above all, don’t expect perfection in the food, your family, or gifts. “Let it go,” she suggested. Third, practice moderation in this season of excess. Set aside one day for Christmas shopping, rather than trying to hit every sale. Don’t spread yourself too thin over every holiday event, even if you are a Christmas “junkie.” And one piece of pie will probably do – save…

BG Police Division gets CALEA Accreditation

The Bowling Green Police Division’s CALEA Accreditation has been officially confirmed. The CALEA (Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies) accreditation became effective on Nov. 20, and will remain in effect for four years. This is the eighth time over the last 23 years that the BGPD has received the CALEA Law Enforcement Accreditation. The process of CALEA Accreditation is lengthy and detailed – beginning with a self-assessment reviewing policies, practices and processes against internationally accepted public safety standards. Independent assessors, with public safety experience, conduct a site assessment which includes public feedback, agency interviews, and an assessment of the overall service delivery capacity. Public feedback is received to promote community trust and engagement. A governing body of 21 commissioners determines accreditation following a public hearing along with a review of all reporting documentation.

Hawker and Parish reappointed to county park board

(Submitted by Wood County Probate Court) Wood County Probate and Juvenile Court Judge David Woessner has announced the reappointments of Mr. Robert Hawker and Mr. Dennis Parish to the Wood County Park District Board of Commissioners. Both appointments are for three year terms beginning January 1, 2017 and ending on December 31, 2019. Mr. Hawker has been a member of the Wood County Park District Board of Commissioners since March of 2013. He is currently completing his first, full, three year term on the Board. Mr. Hawker has been an active participant on the Park District Board and currently serves as its chairman. In addition to a wide variety of prior business work experience, Mr. Hawker has previously assisted the Friends of the Wood County Parks, the YMCA/JCC of Greater Toledo, Junior Achievement, and the Perrysburg Symphony Association. Mr. Parish has been on the Park District Board since March of 2015. He is currently completing an unexpired term. As with Mr. Hawker, Mr. Parish has been an active member of the Park District Board since his appointment. Mr. Parish has over 40 years of public service in a wide variety of professional and volunteer capacities. His professional experience includes having been a judge on the Ohio Sixth District Court of Appeals and serving as a Magistrate for both the Lucas and Wood County Juvenile Courts. Mr. Parish currently is an adjunct professor at the University of Toledo, College of Law. Mr. Parish’s past volunteer experience includes, but is not limited to, participating with the Baldwin Woods Advisory Committee for the Wood County Park District and being the past president of and a board member of the Wood County Historical Society. In reappointing Mr. Hawker and Mr. Parish, Judge Woessner noted: “I am happy to reappoint Bob Hawker and Denny Parish to the Wood County Park District Board of Commissioners. The experience brought to the Park District Board by Bob and Denny has and will continue to benefit the Wood County Park District in the future.” The Wood Count Park district is comprised of 19 parks covering 1,100 acres. The other remaining Park District Board members include John Caldernello, Christine Seiler, and Robert Dorn.

Thanksgiving feast feeds 600 guests in BG

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   The menu included 30 roasted turkeys, countless industrial sized cans of mashed potatoes and green beans, and of course, plenty of pumpkin pie with whipped cream dollops on the top. This Thanksgiving dinner was no place for timid cooks – not with 600 famished guests invited. As the guests filed by, their plates were heaped with the turkey and generous helpings of all the trimmings. “It’s just like a real Thanksgiving,” said Lynn Eck, who has coordinated the Community Thanksgiving Feast at the Bowling Green Community Center for the last six years. The meal, donated by members of Grace Church and Christ Church in Bowling Green, has been an annual tradition now for 25 years. The dinner welcomed the hungry, the lonely, the old and the young. “There are a lot of familiar faces,” Eck said as she looked out from the busy kitchen at the line of guests. “For a lot of people, this is their Thanksgiving.” “For me, it’s my favorite day of the year,” Eck said. “It’s like having your whole family over – a really big family.” The thought of serving 600 turkey dinners would be enough to make some cooks collapse. But for Eck, cooking mass quantities has become second nature. “By this point in the day, it’s like a well-oiled machine.” Planning for the community feast begins in October, with requests for help going out to each congregation. “They always step up,” Eck said. But others in the community also take their turns serving up the turkey and trimmings. “People hear about it and want to help,” she said. People like Jason Miller, who volunteered this year to take tickets and hand out plates. “It’s really good to give back to the community,” Miller said. “You see so many people who come through who just want a hot meal. It’s really fulfilling to me.” Out in the gymnasium, the tables were filling up with guests. Dorothy Bookman, of Perrysburg, brought six family members to the feast. “The more, the merrier,” she said. “I like the people here, the community.” Across from her was Sandra Uhlmann, of Bowling Green, whose favorite part of the meal is always the pumpkin pie. At the next table, Daniel Stump was finished with his meal. “It…

Dog license registrations can be filed starting Dec. 1

Wood County Auditor Michael Sibbersen announced that beginning Dec. 1, applications for 2017 dog registrations may be filed. Ohio law provides that before Jan. 31 of each year all owners of dogs three months of age or older shall be registered in the county in which the dog is kept. The information necessary for registration is age, sex, spayed or neutered, color, length of hair, breed of the dog and the name, address and phone number of the owner. A registration fee of $14 must be paid with the application for each dog registered. As a convenience the Auditor’s Office mails renewal registration forms to owners of record. Owners who registered in 2016 through the internet will receive a reminder e-mail. A recent change is that dogs may be registered for a 1 year or 3 year term or a permanent license (for the dog’s life). When completing the application, choose your “Term”(1 year, 3 year or permanent). The 3-year and permanent license may only be purchased by mail or in person at the Wood County Auditor’s Office. Fees are: 1 year license is $14, a 3 year lLicense is $42, and a permanent license is $140. No refunds permitted. Every owner of a kennel of dogs is also required to register annually with the county auditor by Jan. 31 and must pay an application fee of $70. Ohio law provides that the penalty after Jan. 31 is the amount equal to the registration fee for each type of license therefore the penalty would be $14 for regular licenses and $70 for kennel licenses in addition to the regular registration fee. Persons acquiring dogs after Jan. 31 have 30 days after the date of acquisition or the date that the dog reaches three months of age to register with the auditor’s office. The 2017 dog registration may be filed by mail, in person, or on the internet. When mailing the application, include the license fee, dog information (as stated above) and a self-addressed stamped envelope for return of the license. Licenses can be purchased in person at the Wood County Auditor’s Office, second floor of the county office building between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday or at the Wood County Dog Shelter. Internet applications can be made at and do require…

BG Council debates building height rules

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   It was a tall order. By a split vote, Bowling Green City Council tidied up building height requirements … for the most part … Monday evening. Council was unanimous in its support of dropping the dual requirement for maximum height and number of stories limitations for new buildings. The change is intended to alleviate some confusion caused by the city’s current zoning rules which pose limits on the number of stories and the height of buildings, explained Bowling Green Planning Director Heather Sayler. But the five of the seven council members felt more comfortable keeping the dual limitations for the recently created B-5 zoning category. Architect and city planning commission member Kris Phillips explained that limiting the B-5 building height to 30 feet is essentially limiting it to two stories. But Mark Hollenbaugh, also on the city planning commission, said terms like “highly improbable” still left room for a third floor – which B-5 zoning was not intended for. The building heights conversation brought up other zoning issues looming before the city. Sayler said she often hears from city residents about their desire to attract more business to the city – such as a Target store. But that type of growth is less likely with some of the zoning restrictions in place. “We cannot attract any more amenities,” without adding the population to support them, she said. Council may want to consider allowing higher building heights in “mixed use” zoning areas, Sayler said. Some on council seemed to agree. “People might change their mind and feel that’s OK,” Council member Bruce Jeffers said. But it all depends on perspective. Density is good for business, but bad if it’s right next to a person’s home, he said. “When is density good? When is it too much?” he said. Sayler also reminded council about the Community Action Plan being worked on with a consultant. In order to make the city attractive to developers, the city may need to be more flexible and not discourage mixed-use buildings. Phillips said the city needs to consider not only density issues, but also how to allow developers to create attractive buildings. The current restrictions may be too strict and limit builders to flat roofs on structures. More people will be attracted to the…

Hunter Brown named new BG city prosecutor

Hunter Brown has been named the new Bowling Green city prosecutor to replace Matt Reger, who was elected common pleas judge earlier this month. Brown grew up in Bowling Green and is now working as Tiffin’s city prosecutor, according to Mike Marsh, Bowling Green city attorney. Brown will start working full time in the Bowling Green Municipal Court on Dec. 5.

Pipeline protesters pack BG Council meeting

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Bowling Green City Council chambers overflowed into the hallway Monday evening as people urged city leaders to not buckle to a pipeline company. More than 20 speakers implored City Council to continue their commitment to green energy, rather than take steps backward in their environmental efforts. Once the meeting room exceeded its 66-person capacity, Fire Chief Tom Sanderson had to ask 40 others to listen to the meeting on the hallway speakers. “I think this is a moment in our history” when Bowling Green has the opportunity serve the greater good, Laura Sanchez told council. Monday was the second reading of an ordinance to grant Nexus Pipeline an easement to cross 29 acres of city land located in Middleton Township, about 2.5 miles east of the city’s water treatment plant. The third and final reading will be given on Dec. 5, when city council will vote on the ordinance. The proposed natural gas pipeline would run 255 miles from fracking fields in eastern Ohio, across the state, to Michigan and end in Canada. Along its route, it will pass through Wood County, north of Bowling Green, then go under the Maumee River downriver from the city’s water intake. Once it gets to Waterville Township, a compressor station is proposed. One by one, citizens stood up Monday evening and asked the city to fight the pipeline plans. Lisa Kochheiser said the pipeline would intersect with a fault line, run near a quarry where blasting takes place, and be dangerously close to the city’s water reservoirs. “This scenario is a recipe for disaster,” she said. During a council meeting earlier this month, pipeline protesters were told that fighting the pipeline would ultimately cost the city money in legal fees, and do nothing to stop the natural gas line. But on Monday evening, Aidan Hubbell-Staeble urged council to look beyond the monetary costs. “I would hope council does what is right for the community.” Some of the speakers traveled from other communities fighting the same pipeline on the other side of the state. Rev. Sharon Kiesel, from Medina, said physicians in many states have called for a ban on fracking.  Kiesel talked about “shale gas syndrome” causing many illnesses, and fracking wastewater being injected into wells. “You have an opportunity…

Extra caution urged when driving during holidays

(As submitted by Safe Communities of Wood County) Thanksgiving is one of the busiest travel times of the year, with more people on the road increasing the likelihood of a crash. During the 2014 Thanksgiving weekend 341 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes nationwide, with 50 percent not wearing seat belts at the time of the fatal crash. Thanksgiving weekend crashes that occurred at night, the percentage of unbuckled occupants killed jumped to 58 percent. In Wood County there were 52 crashes in 2015’s Thanksgiving period including one fatal crash. With the excitement of holiday parties and celebrations, drivers may be tempted to take the roadways after drinking. Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that any decision to drive while impaired can have serious and even deadly consequences. Nationally in 2015, 35,092 people were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes, and 29 percent (10,265) died in crashes where the driver had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) over the legal limit of .08. In the entire state of Ohio, there were 4,007 total crashes in the same Thanksgiving period, resulting in nine fatalities, four of which were alcohol related. Safe Communities of Wood County extends a friendly reminder to stay safe this upcoming holiday season by buckling up, driving sober, and staying attentive on the roadways.

BG businesses warned of billing scam

The Bowling Green Police has been made aware of a billing scam involving several phone calls to a local business in which the caller stated they were with Toledo Edison. The caller claimed that the business risked a shut down of service if payment was not immediately received. The business was not a Toledo Edison customer and recognized the calls as a scam . The numbers and names associated with the scam are as follows: 1-800-872-2202 1-800-677-4032, extension 202 The City of Bowling Green Utilities Department does not rely exclusively on phone calls to warn of past due accounts and utilizes a more formal process of notification. If your business receives a similar call do not provide them with any information. If you have a question about your business account call the Bowling Green Utilities Office at 419-354-6258.

County businesses to get help fighting drugs in workplace

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   For years local manufacturers have reported difficulty with drugs in the workplace. Employers have said they have trouble filling some positions due to applicants failing drug tests. Companies have struggled with how to handle employees who show up on the job high or intoxicated. So Wood County is going to try a different approach. A $20,000 grant from the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services will help start a program working with local employers on the issue. Chris Streidl, manager of clinical programs and quality improvement for the Wood County Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board, presented information on the program recently to the Wood County Commissioners. The goal of the program will be to connect with local employers to provide training and resources so they can recognize substance abuse and respond appropriately, Streidl said. The program will help employers decide how and when to get help for an employee, or how and when to sever the relationship with that employee. Businesses will also learn to develop policies to protect both themselves and workers. The legalization of medical marijuana in Ohio makes it even more difficult for businesses to be drug-free, Streidl said. “Finding people to fill positions has been difficult. It’s been an issue in our community,” he said. The program will be designed to meet the needs of Wood County businesses. “It will be tailored to our community. It won’t be cookie cutter,” Streidl said. Streidl asked for the county commissioners’ support – not financially – but in getting the word out to area businesses. “We want to make sure we get this to everyone who can benefit,” he said. “We want to make it accessible to all businesses, big and small.” A final needs assessment will be conducted as part of the grant. Streidl said he expected the first meeting of those involved in the program will be held before the end of the year.