Articles by Jan Larson McLaughlin

Ag use value renewal forms mailed to landowners

Wood County Auditor Michael Sibbersen has announced that the 2017 Current Agricultural Use Value (CAUV) renewal forms have been mailed to property owners currently enrolled in the program. Eligible property owners, who are not currently enrolled, may also apply for the program now. In accordance with Ohio law, CAUV applications are to be filed with the county auditor’s office by the first Monday in March, this year by March 6. Eligible property owners must reapply each year with no renewal fee. There is a $25 initial filing fee for all new applications. If renewal forms are not returned by March 6, the county auditor will be required by law to value the property at its market value and recoup the tax savings for the past three years. Current Agricultural Use Value authorizes the county auditor to assess farmland at its crop production value rather than its market value. It protects and preserves farming operations by gearing the tax base to the production of the land rather than its potential for development. Ohio voters approved a constitutional amendment which created the program and since 1974 most of the state’s agricultural land has been taxed at this value instead of market value. CAUV soil values are set by the Ohio Department of Taxation and are adjusted every three years for each county. New values were issued for all parcels in the CAUV program in Wood County for the 2014 tax year which was payable in 2015. Therefore, the 2016 tax year payable in 2017 is the third and final year in which those values will be used to calculate taxes. New values will be issued for the 2017 tax year which is payable in 2018. “Wood County has 9,606 individual real estate parcels on ag use,” Sibbersen noted. “A total of 318,785 acres in this program brought a tax savings to agricultural landowners last year of over $3 million.” If you are not currently enrolled in the CAUV program and you believe you may be eligible, contact the Wood County Auditor’s Office at 419-354-9174 for more information.


180th Fighter Wing to test response capability

Alert fighter jets from the 180th Fighter Wing will conduct a test of the Aerospace Control Alert system on Wednesday, Jan. 18, between 7:30 and 10 a.m. The purpose of the event is to exercise coordination between the Eastern Air Defense Sector, Federal Aviation Administration and 180th Fighter Wing. Those living in and around the Toledo area may hear and/or see fighter jets in close proximity to a Civil Air Patrol aircraft, which will be taking on the role of a Track of Interest (TOI). A TOI is an aircraft that has been identified as a potential threat. Although scheduled for the evening, the exercise flights could be delayed or canceled due to inclement weather. Aerospace Control includes maintaining air sovereignty and air defense through the surveillance and control of airspace over Canada and the U.S. These types of exercises are conducted on a routine basis as part of North American Aerospace Defense Command’s Operation Noble Eagle, which was initiated after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.


BG women fight to keep rights they already won once

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Many of these women already did their marching. They marched against the Vietnam War, for the Equal Rights Amendment, for reproductive rights, and for gay rights. But this weekend, they will be returning to the streets in Washington, D.C., and cities across the nation to fight the same battles they thought they put behind them years ago. “I’m stunned that we’re fighting this fight again,” said Ginny Stewart, of Bowling Green, who will be traveling to Los Angeles to join in that city’s march with her 87-year-old mom. Though billed as “women’s marches,” the gatherings are open to anyone worried about the direction of the nation under Donald Trump, who will be sworn in as president the day before. “We’re in peril. Our women’s rights are in peril,” Stewart said. “I hope the message is sent that we’re not going to sit back and let this happen. We will be heard. We won’t sit back.” A dozen women from Bowling Green sat down Monday to share why they will be marching on Saturday. They come from different professions – a teacher, a business owner, a realtor, an art gallery director, a librarian. But they share far more than their gender. They are deeply troubled by the direction of their nation and they aren’t going to sit quietly as the progress they fought for is lost. Debbie Dalke said the march has given her a positive focus beyond inauguration day. “This has made it more bearable.” “I remember protesting the Vietnam War, so I’m a regular,” Dalke said. “There are too many groups of people Trump has put in jeopardy. I just reached a point where I said, ‘I’m going.’” “In my mind, a great America is not sexist. A great America is not racist. A great American is not homophobic,” Dalke said. Like others around the table, Nancy Eames did not look like a radical feminist – just someone standing up for rights that she sees at risk of being lost. This will be her fifth march on D.C., starting in 1986 for reproductive freedom. “The feeling of being in that crowd is a transformative experience,” she said. “I just figured younger people would take over.” For others joining in on Saturday, this is the first time they have been compelled to march. “I just can’t stay silent anymore,” said Kathy Pereira de Almeida, whose husband and children are marching with her in Ann Arbor, Michigan. “I’m going in solidarity with other women and women’s rights. I hope voices are heard.” Pereira de Almeida has been channeling her energy to knit “pussy hats” like those being worn by many marchers. She and other members of a Bowling Green knitting club have been making many of the pink hats as a visual reminder of Trump’s language when talking about groping women. On Monday, Kim Sockman tried on one of the hats to wear on Saturday. She has been thinking about how to explain why she is marching for the first time in Washington, D.C. She found her words from iconic Civil Rights leader Congressman John Lewis, who Trump accused through Twitter of being “all talk.” “It was hard to put into words,” Sockman said. “But you have to speak up when you see…


Wood County Hospital launches new website

(Submitted by Wood County Hospital) Wood County Hospital (WCH) has launched a brand new website that highlights the technology with a personal touch for which WCH is known. The new site has a new framework making the experience on the site faster, simpler and more user friendly. The site is intuitive with quick links that save time for the user. There is a new brighter color palette that accents the Wood County Hospital green. Users will find a simple, more robust physician search that provides contact info, office information and short bios of the providers available through Wood County Hospital. One of the biggest enhancements was the reworking of the site to be fully responsive making it mobile and tablet friendly. With the amount of information consumed through mobile phones and tablets today, it is essential to provide a site that will function on these devices. The look, design and structure of the new site were tested thoroughly before the completion and launch. A full website usability and experience study was conducted using a cross section of community members that have and have not had experience with Wood County Hospital. The study began with phone interviews and evolved into focus groups and finally neuro research that measured brainwaves, eye movement and emotional responses to the site design and structure. This information was then used to create a website experience that meets the expectations of the user. The new website is the place to go to find physicians and contact information, medical service information, maps, photos, account information and volunteer opportunities. Here you will find the most robust and relevant information pertaining to the Wood County Hospital.


What’s for lunch? Meatloaf wrapped up in red tape

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Meatloaf and turkey were on the menu Thursday for the 550 Meals on Wheels recipients in Wood County. The side dish – a big helping of red tape from the state. The Ohio Department of Aging created a new rule for all home-delivered meals supported by the state, requiring the recipients to sign for the meals each time they are delivered. That may not seem like a problem, but to those who deliver the meals and to those who receive them, it’s a bit of needless bureaucracy that clogs up a pretty efficient system. Denise Niese, executive director of the Wood County Committee on Aging, said the signature requirement adds time to the delivery routes, compromises the temperature safety of the food maintained by hot and cold packs, and makes some seniors uncomfortable that they need to sign for their meals each day. But State Sen. Randy Gardner, R-Bowling Green, said he is working to remove bureaucracy from the Meals on Wheels menu. Prior to the new rule, many seniors looked at the Meals on Wheels system as a dinner being dropped off by a neighborly volunteer, Niese said. Now it feels more like public assistance, she said. The rule is specific, stating that the meal recipient must sign – not a family member or caretaker. “It has to be the meal recipient,” Niese said. And that poses some other problems. “Some of these folks are pretty frail,” Niese said. Some seniors prefer that meals just be dropped off by volunteers if the seniors are sleeping or in the restroom. But that is no longer allowed. “Now they have to wake up and we have to get their signature,” Niese said. “We can’t leave a meal.” “It’s bureaucracy at its finest,” she said. Joe Hrabovsky, chef at the Wood County Committee on Aging Production Kitchen, is hearing concerns voiced by many of the delivery volunteers as they pick up the meals. “It’s hard to get signatures from some of the people,” since many have vision problems, are shaky and don’t understand the change, he said. But the Meals on Wheels state funding is tied to the signatures. Niese suspects it’s an over-reaction to concerns about fraud. “If there has been fraud in the state, you deal with it. Don’t penalize all seniors,” she said. Niese and one of the long-time volunteers have written to the state to try to have the change revoked. Volunteer Vickie Askins said the new rule has added time to her route, and issues for the seniors she serves. “One of my clients was upset because she couldn’t see well enough to sign the sheet today,” Askins wrote in a letter to state legislators. “Another client was sleeping.  Another client is very frail and hard of hearing.  One of my clients was just getting home from the hospital where she was treated for pneumonia – so I used my hand sanitizer on the pen, just in case there could possibly be any bacteria or germs that could impact my other clients.” “Several clients meet me at the door with their walkers so we had to go into their home to find a surface on which they could write.  Almost all of my clients were disbelieving that they would…


‘Drum Major for Peace’ marches on in BG

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Five years ago, Yannick Kluch’s efforts to research Bowling Green came up with next to nothing. “I looked up Bowling Green, Ohio, on the internet and I didn’t find that much,” said Kluch who was leaving Hamburg, Germany, to make BGSU his home for the next five years. “But the moment I stepped onto campus, I felt like I was home.” Since then, Kluch’s efforts have put BGSU on the map – earning a NCAA award for diversity and inclusion in athletics with the We Are 1 Team program. On Friday, Kluch was presented with the Drum Major for Peace Award by the Bowling Green Human Relations Commission. The name of the award is taken from a speech given by Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968. Though from Germany, Kluch understand the gravity of the award. “The first thing I did was jump in my apartment for 15 minutes,” said Kluch, who is now a third year doctoral student in popular culture. “This means so much to me,” he said as he accepted the award from Dr. Emily Monago and Rev. Mary Jane Saunders, co-chairs of the commission. Kluch is founding president of the WA1T program which promotes social justice through sports on the campus and in the community. The program operates with the belief that sports can unite diverse people. “We use passion and sports to make a change,” he said. This is coming from a guy who arrived at BGSU knowing nothing about one of its biggest sports – football. Shortly after arriving on campus, he was invited to a football game. He packed his soccer cleats, but soon found them not necessary. Kluch found himself at his first American football game, cheering when the crowd cheered, and making friends over a sport he knew nothing about. “I really believe at Bowling Green and Bowling Green State University, we really are one team,” he said. “I really think it’s the people.” For the upcoming NCAA award presentation, Kluch said he was asked to pinpoint his favorite moment working on WA1T. Though difficult, he said it was likely when a former student athlete, who is transgender, spoke about his experiences. “He said ‘I didn’t know that my story mattered,’” Kluch recalled, noting his plans to expand WA1T to a national level. “That’s when I knew this is what I had to do.” Efforts like Kluch’s are especially needed now, Saunders said. “Our nation is a divided place,” she said, noting the violence, racism and xenophobia across the nation. “It would be so easy to see this as someone else’s problem. It would be so easy to give up.” But Saunders looked back to King’s words, back to another troubled time in our nation’s history. “We do not despair of the future,” she said. Instead, “we see a bridge to the dawning of a new day.” Kluch agreed the drive behind movements like WA1T is what is now needed. “I think it’s that passion we need for the next four years,” he said. “Yes, there is work to be done,” Saunders said. But there are people like Kluch willing to take it on. “We are anticipating the things he will do in the years to come.” Rev. Gary Saunders, the community…


Wood County honors employees for service

The Wood County Commissioners recently recognized county employees who have reached five-year milestones with the county. Following are the employees honored last week for their service: Five Year Awards Adult Probation, Bo Gillian Board of Developmental Disabilities, Lynne Beard, Erin Brooks, Jennifer Cosgrove, Hal “Doug” Lee, Terrie Hunt, Danielle Perkins and Sarah Vestal Common Pleas Court #4, Kelley Hansen Court Security, Ron Dicus and Ed Kaplan Dog Shelter, David Webb Engineer’s Office, Joan Cherry Health District, Lexie Jacobs Job and Family Services, Laura Belleville, Sheri Chiarelott, Abigail Grieser, Brandy Thomas and Maricarol Torsok-Hrabovsky Information Technology, Meredith Nicholson Juvenile Court, Jenifer Bibler and Jesicca Sautter Juvenile Residential Center, Zac Cameron NorthWest Community Corrections Brandon Will Prosecuting Attorney, Stacy Bressler and Thomas Matuszak Public Defender, Carol S. Martinez Sheriff’s Office, James W. Knallay, Christina F. Patrick, Tyler J. Petree and Jeremy E. Sheeks Wood Haven Health Care, Lindsay Birkenkamp and Barbara Dunn Ten Year Awards ADAMHS Board, Britni Fackler Board of Developmental Disabilities, Doug Feehan, Renee Kapron, Katie Kramer, Greg Matheny, Laura Peterson, Sara Stalets and Henry “Hank” Taylor Buildings & Grounds, Jon Balser, Jeremy Murphy and Nicholas Wallace Building Inspection, Stephen O’Regan Clerk of Courts, Stephanie Wadsworth Dog Shelter, Justin Gallagher Emergency Management Agency, Bradley J. Gilbert Health District, Shari Bockbrader, Lisa Fork and Kathie Klauber Highway Garage, Isaac Bailey, Gary Britten and Chase Greulich Job and Family Services, Cathy Allen, Vicky Chandler, Mary DeWitt, Dawn Lauer and Marcy Schmeltz NorthWest Community Corrections, Teresa Webb Recorder’s Office, Gina Hineline and Vikki Jinnings Solid Waste Management District, Amanda Gamby Wood Haven Health Care, Annie Makula and Natasha Carr Fifteen Year Awards Adult Probation, Charity Bejarano Board of Developmental Disabilities, Melissa Amos James, Angelia Blake and Misha Williams Commissioners’ Office, Steve Puffer Common Pleas Court #4, Carol Graham Economic Development, Wade Gottschalk Engineer’s Office, Nancy Dennis Job and Family Services, Shannon Fisher Juvenile Court, Lora Graves Prosecuting Attorney, Lisa Levingston Public Defender, Justin E. Daler Records Center, Brenda Ransom Recorder’s Office, Jay Harris and Stephanie Vanmeter Sheriff’s Office, Alvin Adams (awarded posthumously), Lori Lynn Baker, Ricardo Cardenas, Michael A. Christen, Wesley Davis, Jill A. Holland and Sandy Snow Wood Haven Health Care, Stephanie Owens and Linsey Bechstein Twenty Year Awards Board of Developmental Disabilities, Cheryl Nagel Board of Elections, John Miller Court Administration, Joyce Metzger Court Security, Tom Chidester Dog Shelter, Nora Davis Domestic Relations, Pamela Heringhaus Health District, Julie Kauffman Highway Garage, Marvin Rife and Rodney Rhoden Job and Family Services, Maureen Veit Juvenile Court, Hannah Vollmar Public Defender, William V. Stephenson Twenty-Five Year Awards Board of Developmental Disabilities, Donna Beam, Cheryl Peters and Mary Sehmann Building Inspection, Lori White Common Pleas Court, #1, Kelly Burdue Common Pleas Court #4, Linda Cubberley Court Administration, Mary M. Bodey Probate Court, Cheri Rensch Recorder’s Office, Vickie Ulman Sheriff’s Office, Donna M. Spees Soil and Water Conservation District, James F. Carter, Jr. Wood Haven Health Care, Delia Warren Thirty Year Awards ADAMHS Board, Ken Glassford Commissioners’ Office, Pamela Boyer Common Pleas Court #4, Joan Woessner Job and Family Services, Karen Brogan Thirty-Five Year Award Auditor’s Office, Karen Young Engineer’s Office, Tim Murphy Solid Waste Management District, Jeff Wright    


Reviving King’s spirit of seeing ‘glorious opportunity’

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Arto Woodley isn’t big on labels. Not deadbeat dads. Not thugs. Not rednecks. Not baby mamas. He is big on respect. As a child, Woodley remembered when his family was the second black household to move onto Nebraska Avenue in Toledo. A woman from the heavy Polish neighborhood approached his mom and asked what she wanted to be called. Negro? Colored? Black? His mom stood tall and replied, “You can call me Mrs. Woodley.” Decades later, Mrs. Woodley’s son is now the one to stand tall. On Friday afternoon, he stood at the podium as the keynote speaker for the 28th Annual Rev. Dr. Martin Lutheran King Jr. Tribute in Bowling Green. Woodley also isn’t big on giving up. Where some see roadblocks, he sees glorious opportunities. Woodley, a scholar-in-residence for civic and social responsibility at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania, has served in higher education, social services, government and ministry. He received his first degree at Bowling Green State University, where he traveled around the country with then BGSU President Paul Olscamp to recruit first generation college students. “This place made me,” Woodley said. “I came here a young man, but I left here a man and a professional.” Woodley chose the title of a book by King for his talk: “Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?” “Aren’t we facing that very same thing?” he said to the crowd in the library atrium. “We look at these times and think we’ve never seen it before.” When people reflect back on King, they often remember his speeches and marches. It is sometimes forgotten that his house was bombed, he was stabbed, he was relentlessly harassed, and suffered from depression, Woodley said. “There’s always a sacrifice,” he said. While the Civil Rights movement made progress in the South, it lagged in the North where the discrimination was less overt. “We hadn’t changed the culture,” Woodley said. The flagrant abuses of the South, with attack dogs and water hoses, were ended. But the feelings of many didn’t change. “They really hadn’t mustered the will to change the culture.” Eventually, King realized the issue went beyond race. “It’s really about the ‘haves’ and the ‘have-nots,’” Woodley said. The enduring lesson King left behind was to never lose hope. What happened five decades ago and what is happening now can be seen as a “glorious opportunity.” “We have an opportunity together to forge a new day,” Woodley said. The speaker told his audience to focus on power – the power of purpose, community and leadership. First, the power of purpose. “We all want to be significant,” he said. “You have a purpose that’s planted in you. If you fulfill that purpose, our community is stronger.” Second, the power of community. “That does not just mean that you live together,” he said. A community shares values, vision and an ability to communicate civilly. “We are caught up in a bundle of humanity. We’re all connected.” Finally, the power of leadership. Children must be taught early to be leaders, in their homes, schools, churches, neighborhoods. Then they can ascend to be leaders like mayors or legislators. But right now too many of the nation’s leaders don’t feel that accountability to their communities, Woodley said. The speaker…


Dog registration deadline is Jan. 31

(Submitted by Wood County Auditor Michael Sibbersen) Wood County Auditor Michael Sibbersen reminds dog owners that January 31, is the deadline for 2017 dog registrations. A registration fee of $14.00 must be paid with the application for each dog registered. 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. **RECENT CHANGE** 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 =$14.00, 3 Year License =$42.00 and Permanent License =$140.00. No Refunds Permitted. A kennel fee of $70.00 must be paid with the application and additional tags are available for $1.00 each for kennels with more than five dogs. Penalty fees will be collected on registrations received after January 31, in the amount equal to the registration fee for each type of license. Therefore the penalty would be $14.00 for regular licenses and $70.00 for kennel licenses in addition to the regular registration fee. Persons acquiring dogs after January 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 please include the license fee, dog information (as stated above) and a self-addressed stamped envelope for return of the license with a postmark of January 3l or before. Licenses can be purchased in person at the Wood County Auditor’s Office, 2 nd floor of the county office building between 8:30 and 4:30 Monday thru Friday or at the Wood County Dog Shelter. Internet applications may be made at http://dogtags.co.wood.oh.us/ and does require an additional $2.00 processing fee per license which goes to the online firm processing the credit card purchase. Please do not send cash with your mail-in application. If you have questions regarding a dog license please contact 419-354-9150. The Wood County District Board of Health has adopted a regulation requiring all dogs be immunized against rabies. Please provide the rabies information in the application process. Mail applications to: Michael Sibbersen, Wood County Auditor, One Courthouse Square, PO Box 368, Bowling Green, OH 43402


Water boil advisory planned during work on Conneaut

On Wednesday, Jan. 18, the Bowling Green Water Distribution and Waste Water Collection Division is scheduled to continue work on the Conneaut Avenue water main. This work will result in a scheduled boil advisory for certain residents of Conneaut Avenue as well as those in the Waterside subdivision on Gorrill Road and the Church of the Nazarene. Affected residents will be notified by the city once the boil advisory is in effect. Information may also be found on the city’s website, www.bgohio.org. Please call the Water Distribution and Waste Water Collection Division at 419-354-6277 for questions.


Citizens urged to support ‘sanctuary campus’ plan

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Undocumented immigrants protected under President Barack Obama’s administration now face uncertainty when Donald Trump is sworn in as president next week. Across the country, approximately 800,000 people have registered under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy that allows certain undocumented immigrants who entered the country as minors to receive a renewable two-year period of deferred action from deportation. But that status is now at risk. “These undocumented youth are stuck in the middle of this,” said Luis Moreno, who teaches Latino studies at Bowling Green State University. Based on Trump’s stance during the presidential campaign, those previously protected are now exposed. Since DACA was an executive order by Obama, Trump could revoke it as soon as he is in office. “Students might be detained next week,” said Michaela Walsh, who also teaches Latino studies at BGSU. People who previously signed up for DACA gave the government information, “which makes them even more vulnerable.” Moreno and Walsh led a community meeting Thursday evening about efforts to create a “sanctuary campus” at BGSU. More than 350 signatures have been collected on a petition that will be presented next week to the BGSU Faculty Senate. The goal is to garner support and convince BGSU President Mary Ellen Mazey and the university trustees to consider the sanctuary concept. “We want to provide buffers from people being deported,” Walsh said. Bowling Green has a large immigrant population, including those undocumented. “There is a community here of undocumented students and employees at the university,” Moreno said, though no numbers were known. “As citizens, it’s our duty to protect those people,” Walsh said. A woman in the crowd at the community meeting at Grounds for Thought agreed. “It’s time for people in this community who feel safe to stand up,” she said. Moreno noted how BGSU’s president has worked to promote diversity on campus, and added that he hoped that her dedication to students would extend to undocumented students. Other universities across the nation are considering similar actions. A student in the crowd asked how they could help. It was suggested that students make their opinions known to Mazey as she begins a “listening tour” on campus. “You have a lot of power,” Walsh said. Another person in the crowd asked if BGSU would lose federal funding if it became a sanctuary campus. The organizers said that is possible, but “there’s time to mount resistance to that,” Walsh said. Another audience member, Raymond Gomez, said the issue extends far beyond campus. He talked about a co-worker who is an undocumented immigrant. “He’s been here almost 50 years,” Gomez said. “We have to take this further than the university. I’m going to be God darned if I let them be ripped out of the country at gunpoint.” Wood County has an estimated 6,000 Latino residents, according to Moreno. “I’m still questioned today if I was born here,” he said, noting his family has been in the U.S. for generations. “There assume we are undocumented. Those stereotypes also affect me.” Those organizing the sanctuary effort are hoping that the campus concept can be expanded to the city and the county to offer greater protection. Those in the audience were encouraged to attend Bowling Green City Council meetings. “The more…


Fire at Kroger closes store until Friday morning

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News The Kroger store in Bowling Green will be closed overnight after a fire started in the expanded area of the store. The small fire on the roof of the grocery store on North Main Street in Bowling Green this evening led to the store being evacuated. Bowling Green Fire Chief Tom Sanderson said it appeared the fire may have been started by welding in the area. The portion of the store affected is on the northeast corner of the building, in an area that it still incomplete and not open to the public. There was no danger to those in the store, the chief said. But to be safe, the store was evacuated. The fire call came in at 5:50 p.m. Two fire engines, the ladder truck and 11 firefighters responded to the scene. The fire was being fought by firefighters inside spraying water and firefighters outside pulling off the roofing material. A person answering the phone in Kroger around 8 p.m. said the store would be closed overnight until 6 a.m. on Friday. No additional information was available.


Gavarone named vice chair of House Health Committee

Today, Speaker of the Ohio House Clifford A. Rosenberger, R-Clarksville, appointed Rep. Theresa Gavarone, R-Bowling Green, as vice chair of the House Health Committee. “With so many great members in this caucus to choose from, I feel honored that Speaker Rosenberger and caucus leadership has appointed me to serve as vice chair of the Health Committee during my first full term,” Gavarone said. “I am also extremely excited to work with Chairman Huffman and look forward to working on legislation important to the people of Wood County.” Gavarone is serving her first term in the Ohio House of Representatives after being appointed in 2016. She represents the 3rd Ohio House District, serving residents of Wood County.  


Area National Guard called to duty overseas

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   As the soldiers marched into the gym, the families rose to their feet and let the wave of pride push aside their fears for the moment. “Ladies and gentlemen, if you’re wondering what our nation’s finest look like, look no further. They are sitting in front of you,” said Major General John C. Harris, assistant adjutant general for the Ohio Army National Guard. The “call to duty” ceremony, held Wednesday afternoon in the Stroh Center at Bowling Green State University, bolstered the soldiers being deployed for Jordan, and fortified their families preparing for their absences. “I’m really proud of him, and he’s really proud to serve,” said Melissa Krieger, of Bowling Green, about her son Logan. Logan Krieger will turn 22 next Wednesday. “He’ll miss his birthday here,” his mom said. But she is certain of her son’s service. “I know they’ve been very well trained. And I’m confident they are going to look out for each other.” Krieger was one of about 360 soldiers from the Ohio National Guard’s 1st Battalion, 148th Infantry Regiment, headquartered in Walbridge, being deployed overseas to help train the Jordanian Army. The troops are expected to spend nine to 12 months overseas. “I’ve been preparing for this for eight months,” said Kristin Russo, Findlay, as she waited for her boyfriend James Preble to march past her seat in the stands. “I don’t think it’s real until they actually leave. It’s pretty surreal right now.” But like so many others, Russo was overwhelmed with pride for her boyfriend, for whom this will be his third deployment. “I’m really proud of him,” she said. Josie Shaheen, of Syracuse, New York, is familiar with serving overseas, having been deployed to both Afghanistan and Qatar. But this time it’s her husband going, and this time they have a little girl, Emma, 1 ½ years old. “He’s going to miss her second birthday. He’s afraid she won’t recognize him when he gets home,” she said of her husband, Mahdey Shaheen. As he spoke to the soldiers and their families, Harris said those being deployed will miss countless birthdays, anniversaries, proms, graduations, failed furnaces and broken down cars. “I know it’s you who will have to bear that burden,” Harris said to the families. But their loved ones are needed overseas, to support Operation Inherent Resolve in Jordan, and Operation Spartan Shield in the United Arab Emirates. “You represent our nation’s finest, which means you are the world’s finest,” Harris said to the soldiers. Of those headed to Jordan, 58 have already been deployed once before. For 30 this will be their third deployment, for 10 it will be their fourth, and for three this will be their fifth tour of duty. “This is the best led and most experienced battalion,” Harris said. Harris had three orders for the troops. While the mission is not to destroy an enemy, Harris told them to keep their skills at the ready. “Stay razor sharp,” he said. He also advised them to work tirelessly to stay in touch with their families and their employers back home. And finally, he told them to execute their mission well. “The world is watching the 148th Infantry.” “This is no easy task,” Harris said. “Our nation is eternally grateful.”…


BG trash and recycling delayed next week due to holiday

The City of Bowling Green offices will be closed on Monday, Jan. 16, in observation of Martin Luther King, Jr. 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.