Articles by Jan Larson McLaughlin

Sheriff wants to buy drone to aid in searches

  By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Wood County Sheriff Mark Wasylyshyn is hoping to add an eye in the sky to help in searches in the county. The sheriff’s budget requests for 2017, presented to the Wood County Commissioners on Tuesday, included a drone with thermo camera. Wasylyshyn said there were 10 times just this past summer when a drone would have been useful to the sheriff’s office. The drone would be useful in helping to search for missing children, suspects hiding in cornfields, or seniors with dementia who wander off, he said. The equipment could even help when livestock escapes, he added. The drone would cost $13,580, and a thermal nightvision monocular would cost $3,833. The infrared camera would make the drone useful in night searches. The training of staff to operate the drone is included in that amount. Wasylyshyn said the drone would pay for itself since it would be less expensive than sending groups of officers out on searches. The sheriff said he is hopeful the department can share the equipment with neighboring law enforcement in need of help with searches. The biggest ticket item on the sheriff’s budget request was the expansion of the booking and medical areas of the county jail. The expansion has been on the list for a couple years, and was ranked top on his list for next year. The estimated cost is $4.8 million. Also on the list were seven new Ford Explorers for $189,000. The sheriff’s office previously used Chevy Impalas, but those are no longer being…


BG to earn revenue from pipeline, antennae

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Bowling Green is set to benefit from a pipeline buried on city-owned property and antennae put high on its water towers. The Bowling Green Board of Utilities learned Monday that Nexus Gas Transmission wants a 50-foot permanent easement and a two-year temporary easement to install the Nexus natural gas line on city acreage located north of Bowling Green. The gas line is making its way from southeastern Ohio to Canada, and has the power of eminent domain, explained Brian O’Connell, director of public utilities for Bowling Green. The 29 acres owned by the city are located in Middleton Township, a few miles east of the city water plant. The installation of the pipeline would have no impact on the operation of the water plant, O’Connell said. The city has no long-term plans for the property. The acreage is rented out for farming right now, which will have to be halted during the construction of the pipeline. The pipeline company will pay $9 per foot for the permanent easement, plus $25 per foot of damaged farm tile. That will add up to at least $151,000. An estimated four acres of the entire site will be affected by the pipeline. The board of utilities approved the easement. The board also approved two lease agreements with Amplex Electric Inc. Amplex is an internet service provider in Northwest Ohio. The company wants to use city water tower space to mount antennae, and will pay $250 a month for each attachment. Amplex plans to put three antennae…


Ohio Elections Commission reviewing possible violation by Gavarone campaign

The Ohio Elections Commission is currently reviewing actions by the “Citizens for Gavarone” committee for possible election law violations. The allegation filed with the OEC claims that the Theresa Gavarone campaign failed to properly disclose the source of their political publications and/or paid political advertising as required by Ohio Revised Code, on the Gavarone campaign’s Facebook. Gavarone, R-Bowling Green, is running to retain the state representative seat she was appointed to when Tim Brown resigned this past summer. The complaint was filed on Oct. 14 by Aaron Fisher, executive director of the Ohio House Democratic Caucus. The Ohio Elections Commission is scheduled to conduct a preliminary review of the issue on Dec. 1. “Any violation of the statute’s jurisdictions are important to this commission,” said Philip Richter, executive director of the Ohio Elections Commission. The law requires that disclaimers be placed on all materials circulated for campaigns, and this is “presumably a violation,” Richter said Tuesday afternoon. If the commission determines a violation has occurred, it has three options: Send the issue to a county prosecutor for criminal proceedings, impose a fine up to $500, or decide not to impose a fine due to “good cause.” Richter said as a general rule, fines are not issued for a first offense.        


Water main along Conneaut to be replaced

The City of Bowling Green’s Water Distribution Division has announced that the water main line located along Conneaut Avenue from Wintergarden Road to Mitchell Road needs to be replaced. The current water main, along with service connections, is becoming unserviceable, requiring numerous repairs annually. The replacement project has been scheduled to begin within the next few weeks – no later than Nov. 1. During this project, traffic restrictions from Wintergarden to Mitchell will occur. Once service line connections begin, boil orders will be issued; this may include customers east of Wintergarden. Affected property owners will be notified before any boil order is implemented. For additional information visit the city’s website or call the Water/Sewer Division at 419-354-6277.


Parents told not to just dump kids at football games

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Friday night football games are supposed to be loud and busy and energized. But they are supposed to be controlled chaos – not risky for young students. So at this Friday’s game, parents will not be allowed to drop off young students by themselves. And those who do, will be called to come pick up their children. After the last home Bowling Green High School varsity football game on Oct. 7, Bowling Green Superintendent Francis Scruci expressed some concerns about the “free-for-all” atmosphere at the game. “Parents are dropping kids off at the game” as young as fourth-graders and not accompanying them. “Nobody’s watching these kids,” he said. Throughout the games, it turns into a “mosh pit of kids,” Scruci said. “There’s no supervision. There’s no accountability. We’ve got to tighten up what we’re doing.” Scruci was so troubled about the unsafe situation, that his normal jovial “Friday Message” videotape to students and parents took on a serious tone. “We want you kids to come to the game,” he said in the videotape. “But it’s important that they’re supervised by you, the parents.” When contacted after his video message was released, Scruci said that some changes would be enacted before the last home game, which is this Friday. The policies will continue to the next week if Bowling Green hosts a playoff game at home. Following is the letter being sent out today to school families: Dear parents and guardians, As I alluded to on the Friday Message two weeks ago, we…


BG Schools likely to try income tax renewal in May

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   In May, when Bowling Green School District Treasurer Rhonda Melchi showed the school board the five-year financial forecast for the district, the budget looked like a rollercoaster. Last week, when Melchi revisited the forecast, it looked more like a game of hide-and-seek – in a heavy fog. But one item was certain – the school district will need to renew its 0.5 percent income tax next year. After that, the forecast gets a little blurry again, but by 2020 the district could be $4 million in the hole unless something changes. “We will need some new revenue sources,” Melchi told the school board. “I’m very conservative. I don’t like to give you a best scenario.” The income tax for the district began in January of 1993 and has been renewed every five years since. It makes up 11 percent of the district’s general fund revenue. “That’s pretty significant,” she said. To place a renewal on the May 2017 ballot, school board members will need to take action at their December meeting. At that point, they will have to decide whether to stick with a five-year tax or ask for a continuing tax. Melchi predicted the district would receive an overall increase in foundation funding from the state. “We do expect to see a little more of an increase over last year,” she said. But doing accurate five-year planning is very difficult for the district, she added. “We really don’t know what’s going to happen.” The cost of supplementing charter schools continues to…


Former inmate’s run cut short by loose pants

A Bowling Green ambulance responded to a call this morning about a former inmate injured in the front yard of the Wood County Justice Center. The man had just been released from jail and started running across the lawn in front of the justice center on East Gypsy Lane Road. His pants fell, then he fell, injuring himself, said Wood County Sheriff Mark Wasylyshyn. The man was taken to Wood County Hospital. “We don’t know why he was running,” the sheriff said.  “The lesson is: No running in baggy pants.”


Ordinary citizens honored for extraordinary lives

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   They may have looked like an ordinary farmer, teacher, nurse and small town mayor. But the four were recognized for being so much more than that Sunday during the annual Spirit of Wood County Awards presented in the courthouse atrium. Recognized were Dan Henry, Janet Stoudinger, Brian Tucker and Jean Gamble. “So many times, we forget to recognize people who do outstanding things,” said Wood County Commissioner Doris Herringshaw at the beginning of the event. The Spirit of Wood County Awards changed that during the bicentennial of the Northwest Ordinance in 1987. And after that, the county commissioners decided to make the awards an ongoing effort to recognize ordinary citizens for doing extraordinary acts. Dan Henry, of rural Bowling Green, was given the Agricultural Leadership Award. Henry, a former industrial arts teacher at Anthony Wayne, worked part time at Riker Farm Seed starting in 1975, said Lesley Riker, who nominated him for the award. Upon retiring from teaching, Henry took over presidency and full-time management of Riker Farm Seed. He is active in the Ohio Seed Improvement Association, is on the educational committee, and is active in Ohio Foundation Seeds and Advanced Genetics. “Dan believes strongly in education,” Riker said. Riker Farm Seed hosts corn and soybean test plots, field days and hosts several hundred FFA members who come to the farm for education on hybrid corn and soybeans. Henry is now working closely with Farm 4 Clean Water, OSU Extension and Wood Soil and Water in hosting demonstration plots for cover…


Panel to take aim at gun violence in America

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   An NRA firearms instructor and the founder of a coalition against gun violence will sit on a panel together to discuss the number of shootings in the U.S. The result, organizers hope, will be a balanced discussion showing that wanting to end so much gun violence in America is not anti-gun. “I come from a gun family,” said Tom Klein, of Bowling Green. As a child, he often went hunting and skeet shooting with his father. “I grew up with guns.” But Klein’s appreciation of guns doesn’t equate to an understanding of gun violence. “The shootings are just too many to neglect,” he said. So Klein and others with similar concerns have gathered people with different backgrounds to examine ways to end gun violence. Klein said the topic came up at his book club at St. Timothy’s in Perrysburg, so the group decided to bring together a balanced panel to discuss the topic. The panel discussion is planned for Thursday, Oct. 27, from 6:30 to 8 p.m., at the Wood County District Public Library atrium, 251 N. Main St., Bowling Green. The public is welcome to attend. The panel will represent diverse backgrounds – an NRA firearms instructor, a public health professor, a sociology and criminology professor, and a woman who founded the Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence. “I think we’ll have a balanced experience,” Klein said. Toby Hoover, the coalition founder, has the perspective of someone who lost a family member to gun violence. Her husband was killed by an armed…


Keep recycling BG … but don’t bag up items

(As submitted by Bowling Green Recycling Center) The Bowling Green Recycling Center wants to remind Bowling Green curbside recyclers that recyclable materials placed in plastic bags cannot be recovered on the Sortline. The Sortline is designed to allow recovery of materials by separating them into their various types just like in the 24hr Dropoff. To do this requires materials to be easily separated by hand or machine. When materials are enclosed in plastic bags it is impossible to do this. The line runs too fast to tear open plastic bags and sometimes the bags contain garbage. (No garbage in recyclables is a given!) Plastic bags can also jam the mechanical equipment. Our policy like that of other sort facilities is to discard plastic bags no matter if they are empty or full. It is simply not cost effective or safe to tear open plastic bags. It has become apparent that many recyclers do not realize that materials in plastic bags are a problem. Materials being delivered to the sort facility by city collection trucks contain a significant number of plastic bags. A recent audit showed most of these bags contain recyclables. There is no doubt people have put forth the effort to recycle these materials. The problem is they don’t realize the materials must be put loose in their recycling carts so they can be separated at the recycling center on the Sortline. When these bags are thrown away it means everybody’s efforts to recycle are wasted. This is not what we want to do. Our mission is to recycle…


Dogs displaced by flooding looking for homes here

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   When Hurricane Matthew swept through South Carolina earlier this month, it displaced more than people. The flooding sent more than 10 dogs packing from an animal shelter in hard-hit Horry County to a shelter here in Wood County. Five of the dogs have already been adopted from the Wood County Humane Society in Bowling Green, but the others are still in need of “forever homes,” according to April McCurdy, behavior and training coordinator at the local shelter. As an emergency placement partner with the U.S. Humane Society, the Wood County Humane Society was contacted to see if it had room for any of the dogs at the South Carolina shelter. The dogs needed to be cleared out to make room for dogs displaced by the flooding. The local humane society officials offered space, and then traveled to Pennsylvania, where South Carolina workers were transporting dogs to meet up staff from five different shelters. They brought more than 60 dogs to divide up for lodging. “We told them we could pretty much take anything,” McCurdy said, noting that some shelters have breed or size restrictions. “It makes more work, but it’s all worth it in the end.” The Wood County Humane Society Shelter, on Van Camp Road, has 12 kennels and already had eight dogs at the time. Fortunately, the dogs were compatible with each other. “The dogs all managed to get along together,” McCurdy said. “So we could pair them up.” A few of the dogs seemed a little traumatized by the…


BG community asked to ‘adopt-a-door’ at schools

(As submitted by Bowling Green City Schools) Bowling Green City Schools is announcing an opportunity for community members to Adopt-A- Door. On Tuesday, October 18, 2016 the Bowling Green City Schools Board of Education approved implementation of “The Boot” security device. This will increase the safety and security of our students and staff in the event of a school lockdown due to a threat of an intruder. Once the Boot is engaged in a matter of seconds, it can withstand 16,000 lbs. of pressure preventing the door from opening. The cost of the Boot with installation is $200 per door. There are 344 doors within the district that will have a Boot installed. These devices can and will be moved to any new location at no additional cost in the future. The Adopt-A- Door program is designed to offset the cost of the device and installation for the district. If you are interested in sponsoring a classroom door, please contact the School Treasurer, Rhonda Melchi or School Superintendent, Francis Scruci. Your donation will be acknowledged with a name-plate attached to the Boot for that classroom. Checks can be made out to: Bowling Green City Schools and either mailed or dropped off at 137 Clough Street, Bowling Green, OH 43402. Please indicate which classroom that you are interested in sponsoring. Sponsorships will be assigned on a first come-first served basis. The $200 is a tax deductible contribution. The students and staff of the Bowling Green City Schools thank you for your continued support. Together we can make this district a great…


Purged voters being given second chance in Ohio

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   More than 3,400 registered voters in Wood County were purged from the voting rolls last year. But some are now being given a chance to vote this year. Following a directive from the Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, 3,424 registered voters were dropped from Wood County’s voters list in August of 2015. However, last month, a federal appeals court found that Ohio’s process for maintaining its voter rolls violates federal law. And on Wednesday, a judge ruled that Ohio voters who were improperly removed from registration lists can cast ballots in the presidential election. “I confidently predicted this was unconstitutional. Their votes will count,” said Mike Zickar, a member of the Wood County Board of Elections. The ruling means if a person shows up at the polls and believes they are registered to vote but they are not on the official list, they will be allowed to vote by a provisional ballot. A provisional ballot is a paper ballot that is held in a sealed envelope with the voter’s identification. If the identification information is verified by the elections board staff over the next 10 days, the provisional ballot is counted. It’s unfortunate the ruling came so late, and that the people will have to vote by provisional ballots, Zickar said. “But to me, it’s just exciting that no one is disenfranchised.” The provisional voting process for people not on the voter rolls has been an accepted practice in Ohio, according to Terry Burton, director of the Wood County Board of…


Complete Streets meeting changed to Nov. 1

The Transportation and Safety Committee of City Council has rescheduled the Oct. 25 meeting on Complete Streets to Nov. 1 at 6 p.m. in the council chambers at 304 N. Church St. The committee has been discussing bike lanes in the city, and plans to talk about East Court Street options.


Workers with disabilities contribute to BG

(As submitted by Wood County Developmental Disabilities) Inclusion works in Bowling Green, Ohio. From restaurants to retail stores, Bowling Green employers are inclusive of individuals with disabilities. With October being National Disability Employment Awareness Month, businesses are celebrating the many contributions of workers with disabilities. Businesses profit by having a wider variety of skills and talents to confront challenges, innovate, and create opportunities. The Cinemark Woodland Mall Cinema 5 in Bowling Green benefits from their employee, Geoff Dennis, through his caring and considerate attitude. Dennis has worked at Cinemark as an usher for over 20 years. He is a prompt employee, always ready to work on time. He is quick to act when he notices that people need help, whether it be finding the correct theater and seats within, or carrying trays of concession snacks. “I love helping others,” Dennis said. “I hope people think of our theatre as the perfect place to go because they know that we take good care of the theatre and its customers.” Similarly, Kroger on Main Street has employed Lisa Claybaugh for 27 years. With such a depth of experience, Lisa is able to share her knowledge of Kroger with incoming employees. Furthermore, customers have become familiar with Lisa and look forward to seeing her when they come in to shop. “Lisa has great personable skills,” said Claybaugh’s supervisor, Kim Bushman. “She knows customers by name and greets them with a warm smile.” These employment positions not only have a positive impact on the businesses, but also on the lives of the employees with…