Articles by Jan Larson McLaughlin

Humane Society seeks donations for garage sale

(Submitted by Wood County Humane Society) Donations of clothing, household items, electronics, furniture, toys, collectibles and other good and useful items for the Wood County Humane Society Garage Sale will be accepted from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on May 22, 23 and 24 under the grandstands at the Wood County Fairgrounds.  Early bird donations will also be received at the same location from 5 to 9 p.m. on Sunday, May 21. All donations to the sale are tax deductible. The garage sale will be held at the same location May 25 and 26 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and May 27 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The sale features a wide variety of merchandise under the grandstand building at the Wood County Fairgrounds on West Poe Road in Bowling Green. Additionally, the sale will feature 10 cent clothing on May 26 and a $2 “Fill-a-Bag” sale on May 27. The garage sale, now in its 24th year,  is one of the Wood County Humane Society’s larger fundraisers and has raised more than $205,000 for the care of animals housed in the Minnebelle Conley Shelter, a no-kill humane shelter owned and operated by the humane society on Van Camp Road in Bowling Green. For more information about the sale, or to make an early bird donation of larger items, please call (419) 669-0701.

’13 Reasons Why’ gives parents and schools reasons to worry

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Across the nation, parents are checking their Netflix history to see if their adolescents have been watching the “13 Reasons Why” series. The show tells the story of a high school junior who commits suicide. Prior to her death, she records a series of audio tapes describing the 13 reasons why she chooses to end her life. The story has parents and school officials watching for the slightest sign of copycat behavior from young viewers. So they want kids to know this: When you die, you do not get to make a movie or talk to people anymore about how they wronged you. Leaving messages from beyond the grave is a dramatization produced in Hollywood and is not possible in real life. Bowling Green City School officials held a program Wednesday evening for parents who have concerns about “13 Reasons Why” and its effect on their children. “The reality is, students are watching this and we want parents to be equipped for it,” said Ann McCarty, executive director of teaching and learning. In addition to a very graphic suicide scene of the main character cutting her wrists in the bathtub, the show also shows instances of rape, bullying, sexual assault, violence, drug and alcohol use. “It’s a very graphic series,” said Jake Tapley, Bowling Green Middle School counselor. Glaringly absent in the series are school staff or parents who intervene appropriately, Tapley said. While some parents may have no idea that their children are watching the show, it is the talk of teenagers in the cafeteria, on the bus and on their phones. Many students have told Tapley that adults are over-reacting to the show, and that teens aren’t going to commit suicide just because they’ve watched the drama. But those are the kids who are talking about it, he said. The concern is that teenagers’ minds are already pretty messed up. “Puberty hits and hormones are kicking in,” Tapley said. Mental health professionals are worried the series could be misinterpreted by impressionable and developing minds. The show could be seen as glorifying suicide as a viable response to problems and as a form of revenge. The show also provides no helpful adults and no hope for depression. Worsening the impact is the fact that the Netflix series can be binge-watched in 13 hour-long episodes. “The series could influence someone already at…

BGSU buildings reopened after gas leak

Three buildings on Bowling Green State University’s campus have been reopened after being evacuated this afternoon due to a natural gas leak. Shatzel Hall was evacuated first, then due to a gas smell in the lower floors of the Administration Building, that structure was evacuated as well. Bowen Thompson Student Union was then added to the evacuation area. The problem occurred when gas was turned on for Moseley Hall, and a leak was found in the campus services tunnel, according to BGSU spokesperson Dave Kielmeyer. The leak caused a gas odor, leading to warnings on campus for people to avoid the southwest section of the campus, between Wooster Street, Ridge Street, Thurstin Avenue and University Hall. Columbia Gas and campus operations workers are working to fix the problem, Kielmeyer said around 4:40 p.m.      

More street closures planned for Conneaut water project

The Bowling Green Water Distribution and Wastewater Collection Division will be finalizing the necessary connections within the Conneaut Avenue/Wintergarden Road intersection by Friday, May 12. On Saturday, May 13, beginning at 8 a.m., Conneaut from Lafayette to Tamarac will be closed to through traffic in order to make service connections and other related work. Weather and progression of work dependent, Conneaut from Tamarac to Wintergarden may also be closed on Saturday for work. Beginning Monday, May 15, Conneaut from Lafayette to Beech will be closed to through traffic. Day closures in this area is planned to last until Friday, May 19. Following this work, isolated boil advisories will be issued. Affected residents will receive information before this occurs, and may check the boil advisory status on the city utilities webpage.

BGSU turns to Campbell to lead public safety

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News   Bowling Green State University has turned to an insider to fill the position of police chief and director of public safety. In a letter to BGSU faculty, staff and students, Vice President for Finance and Administration Sheri Stoll announced that Michael Campbell, who has been serving as the interim chief since last October, has been named as permanent chief. The university conducted a nationwide search, eventually selecting three finalists. In addition to Campbell, the search committee interviewed candidates from Northeast Ohio and Ann Arbor. Campbell took over as interim chief when Monica Moll left BGSU to become director of public safety at Ohio State University. It was Moll who hired Campbell as a patrol captain in April, 2011. According to Stoll’s message: “In his time at BGSU, his leadership has been critical in creating important training and professional development programs and opportunities for his officers.” He serves on a number of campus and town-gown committees, including Not in Our Town. Campbell takes over as the campus is being roiled by complaints about how sexual assaults are being handled by the university. Campbell participated in press briefings and interviews about the issue, explaining the department’s procedures. He said on the day of a protest that drew 200 people that he is always looking at ways to improve how the department does things. During another interview, he said, that his officers will do what they can to assist victims, including accompanying them to the Bowling Green City Police of the assault occurred off campus. Sexual assault cases, whether or not they are prosecuted, are also investigated by the university’s Title IX office. After graduating from Adrian College with a degree in criminal justice, Campbell started his career in law enforcement at the University of Toledo. He has a Master of Science in criminal justice from BGSU.

Community Employment Services names Employer of Month

(Submitted by Community Employment Services) Community Employment Services (CES) of Wood Lane Industries recently named Best Buy on Fremont Pike in Perrysburg, as its Employer of the Month. Best Buy has partnered with CES since August 2015. Currently they employ one individual as a merchandiser. This individual is responsible for stocking items on the store floor and answering customers’ questions.The employees and supervisors at Best Buy have played a supportive role for this individual served by CES. We appreciate their dedication in becoming a community placement employer. Since 1985, Community Employment Services has assisted the business community to meet their staffing and diversity needs by offering a pool of qualified and competent workers with disabilities. Community Employment Services is a division of Wood Lane Industries.

Mothers turn tragedy into efforts to help others hooked on heroin

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Sunday will be agonizing for sisters Kat Cordes and Lori Hanway. It will be the first Mother’s Day they spend without their children who both died from heroin overdoses. “She would have been 24 yesterday,” Cordes said of her daughter, Amanda Haas, who died in March at age 23. “We had a birthday cake for her and let balloons go.” Hanway’s son, Thomas Urhammer died in December at age 35. After years of battling heroin, both cousins lost to their fierce addictions. In an effort to find some hope in their losses, the two mothers have planned a memorial benefit and tribute to their children, this Saturday, at the Eagles Club in Bowling Green. The event will raise awareness and funding for Team Recovery, a group that helps opiate users beat their addictions. “It has to be done. It’s getting out of control,” Cordes said of the opiate epidemic. “It helps me. I feel like if I help one person turn their life around, another parent doesn’t have to go through what I did.” Earlier this week, the sisters took turns talking about their children and their heart wrenching losses as they prepared meals at A Taste of Amish Deli, owned by Hanway in Bowling Green. Cordes said Amanda first started taking heroin when she began dating someone around age 17. “It started as snorting. When that wasn’t a good enough high, they went to IV drug use,” she said. Cordes and her husband soon realized valuables were taken from their home. “I started noticing things missing to support their habits.” Gone were her jewelry, wedding ring, TV and tools. She also noticed a personality change in Amanda. “She was so smart. All her friends asked her to do their math,” her mom said, with tears rolling down her face. The family lives on a farm, and Amanda was a big-hearted animal lover. “She wanted to let the animals go.” “That happens. It turns them into different people,” Cordes said. “She would get clean for a little bit. She’d go to rehab and it always went back to the same thing. It was too strong for her. She couldn’t get away from it. It was heartbreaking. Still is.” “I always envied moms who had great relationships with their daughters. I haven’t had that for so long,” she said, wiping tears. Hanway’s son,…

Luck of the draw sends BG kindergartner to Disney

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   The Disney World video had the gymnasium full of children at Kenwood Elementary School glued to the screen showing costumed characters and wild rides. They had no idea that one of their school mates would be called to the stage to win a trip to the magic kingdom. Ryan Frankart, from Clubs Choice which runs the annual fundraiser at Kenwood, stopped the film and talked to the children about their efforts last year to raise funds for school technology, the school dance and fifth grade camp. Many of the children won prizes including lunch in a limousine. But Frankart had another surprise for the school on Tuesday. Each year, the fundraising company has a prize drawing covering all 40 states in which it operates. The prize – a trip to Disney World. The chances of winning – one in 75,000. When the company pulled one name, it was a Kenwood student chosen for the trip for four people over four days and three nights. The winner was kindergartner Hudson Karpuleon. When the curtain opened to the gymnasium stage, there sat Hudson’s family with Mickey and Minnie Mouse ears on their heads and balloons surrounding them. Hudson is quiet anyway. But put the kindergartner on a stage in front of 500 or so school mates, and she completely clammed up. “She’s just really shy,” said her mother, Colleen Karpuleon. Most of the questions to Hudson were met with a nod of the head and swinging legs. “It will be a totally different ballgame when you get home tonight,” her father, Steve Karpuleon predicted about Hudson’s excitement level. Her brother, Sebastian, on the other hand, was nearly bouncing off his chair with delight over the Disney trip. Colleen Karpuleon said she was just focused on Hudson selling enough fundraiser items – like candles, wrapping paper and frozen food items – to get a limo lunch ride. She had no idea that her daughter could win a trip for the family to Disney World. When the gym cleared out a bit, Hudson, grasping a bouquet of flowers and wearing a set of mouse ears on her head, was able to talk about which Disney characters she most wanted to see – Rapunzel, and her two favorite princesses, Ariel and Belle.

Public assistance fraud targeted

(Submitted by Wood County Job and Family Services) May is Public Assistance Fraud Awareness Month in Ohio, and Wood County Job and Family Services is spreading the word that “Fraud Costs All of Us.” Agency staff have spoken on a local radio show, car magnets have been placed on agency cars, and reusable shopping bags with the Fraud Awareness log and local phone numbers have been distributed to area thrift stores and food pantries. In 2016, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services disbursed about $2.4 billion in SNAP food assistance, $237 million in Ohio Works First cash assistance and $617 million in child care provider subsidies. Individuals who mislead caseworkers or lie on an application for benefits account for a very small percentage of funding disbursed, but the department takes even the smallest fraud cases very seriously. Wood County was recently awarded a Certificate of Recognition for Excellence in Claims Management by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. Wood County ranked 2nd among all county Job and Family Services of similar size, establishing 246 claims and recovering $178,163 in over payments in 2016. Applicants and recipients of public assistance programs are encouraged to report their circumstances accurately and timely in order to avoid facing potential criminal charges, program disqualification and repayment of benefits issues improperly. Residents of Wood County may report suspected public assistance fraud by calling Wood County Job and Family Services at (419) 373-6964 or (419) 373-6950.

Geologists agree more data needed on Nexus pipeline

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   The probability of a local catastrophe with the proposed Nexus pipeline is quite low – but the magnitude of the damage it could cause is quite high. And Nexus engineering and geological data have failed to instill a lot of confidence with local officials. A panel of geology experts answered questions Monday from Bowling Green officials concerned about the close proximity of the proposed 36-inch natural gas pipeline to the city’s water treatment plant and water intake on the Maumee River. The geologists all agreed on one point – more study is needed before the pipeline is buried near a fault line and under the river. The panel consisted of Dr. Charles Onasch, retired professor emeritus of geology at BGSU; Dr. Andrew Kear, assistant professor of political science and environment and sustainability at BGSU; Mark Baranoski, retired geologist with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources; and Stephen Champa, a senior hydrogeologist for Eagon & Associates. Steve Kendall, from WBGU and host of the Northwest Ohio Journal, acted as moderator. Though the council chambers was full, the bulk of the questions were asked only by Kendall. The panel discussion was arranged by Mayor Dick Edwards after City Council kept hearing a wide variety of answers to basic questions about the pipeline risks. Edwards hoped the panel could focus on the science – not propaganda from pipeline protesters or the pipeline company. But the geologists, to varying degrees, said more data is needed before science can give a stamp of approval to the pipeline. Council President Mike Aspacher asked if the pipeline poses a real and credible threat to the city water treatment plant. Given the current information available, Champa said it does not. Onasch said it all depends on the engineering and construction. Kear said it does pose a threat, “in perpetuity.” And Baranoski said the “wild card” is the geology that needs more exploration. Baranoski compared the panel to four guys using a stethoscope to figure out what’s underground. “We need a CAT scan. We need an MRI,” he said. The big question mark in the plan is the Bowling Green Fault, which the pipeline will cross north of the city. “It’s an ancient structure,” Onasch said. “It was very active.” But there’s no evidence of “recent” activity in the last 20,000 years, he said. Champa agreed. “There’s been no movement since…

Pemberville to host series of garden parties

(Submitted by Beeker’s General Store) Garden enthusiasts are going to “dig” it – that is, Pemberville’s Garden Parties (a play on the very popular Farmer’s Markets)! Hosted by three of Pemberville’s Front Street businesses (Beeker’s General Store, Riverbank Antiques, and Higher Ground Cafe) this event will feature everything “Garden.” The Garden Parties have been expanded this year to be held the fourth Tuesday of each month from May – September. The first party is Tuesday, May 23rd from 5-8 p.m. We are excited to announce that customers will find the following products when they visit the Garden Parties: Country Grains Bread, Mrs. Miller’s Homemade Jams, farm fresh eggs, local raw honey, homemade noodles, kettle corn, alpaca fertilizer and fiber, garden art/hypertufa pots, fresh floral bouquets, succulents, shrubs, perennial flowers, annual flowers, local baked goods and candies, crocheted and knitted items, vintage gardening tools and watering buckets, hanging baskets, spring season produce (of course) and more! There will be lots of food to snack on or make a whole dinner of it… hot beef and hot chicken sandwiches both with Country Lane BBQ sauce, salads, wraps, bratwurst, strawberry shortcake, and hand-dipped ice cream. Surely something delectable to eat for all ages! We are seeking enthusiastic vendors to sell fresh produce, plants and shrubs, fresh florals, garden art, antiques, fresh baked goods and the like. Outdoor vendor spaces are available and approximately 10 feet by 10 feet. Interested vendors should call Beeker’s General Store at 419-287-3274 to request more information. A small monthly nominal fee is required in advance to hold your space. Spaces for one month or all five months are available. Call to reserve your space today…419-287-3274.

Gavarone to attend Emerging Leaders Program

(Submitted by State Rep. Theresa Gavarone) State Representative Theresa Gavarone (R-Bowling Green) recently was selected to participate in the 2017 Emerging Leaders Program at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. “I was honored to have been selected to participate in this program,” Gavarone said. “Having the opportunity to meet and communicate with legislators from around the country is beneficial because it will help me address the needs of Wood County and shed light on how other states respond to similar challenges.” Gavarone will be among 50 legislators from 46 states to attend the program, which runs from July 10-13. The Emerging Leaders Program is a collaboration between the State Legislative Leaders Foundation and the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. It is funded by grants from Advance America, Altria Client Services, Comcast, Entertainment Software Association and Walmart. The Emerging Leaders Program is held every year on the campus of the University of Virginia. Since 2005, more than 500 legislators have participated in the challenging classroom discussions and other coursework that make up the program. Gavarone is serving her first term in the Ohio House, after being appointed in August of last year. She serves all of Wood County.

Toledo Air National Guard performs night flying

The 180th Fighter Wing of the Ohio Air National Guard will be conducting training flights at night beginning Monday, May 8, through Thursday, May 11, weather permitting. Area residents may see or hear F-16 fighter jets taking off and landing until about 10 p.m. this week. Training flights normally take place during daylight hours, but F-16 pilots and maintenance personnel are required to conduct night operations as part of their overall readiness training.

Water & sewer district eyes BG as expanded water source

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   As the water wars continue in Toledo, the Northwestern Water and Sewer District is looking for the best partner to do business with in the region. The more officials study the issue, the better Bowling Green water looks. “What we’re seriously looking at now is Bowling Green,” NWSD Executive Director Jerry Greiner said Sunday during an open house at the district headquarters located on Ohio 582 between Bowling Green and Perrysburg. Bowling Green’s value in water services rose to the surface nearly three years ago when the algal bloom crisis prevented Toledo water users from consuming their water. Bowling Green’s water had no problems. Since then, concerns about Toledo’s water quality and expense has led many areas of the region to reconsider their contracts with Toledo. In addition to large surcharges, surrounding communities are also being forced into tax sharing agreements if Toledo water leads to economic development. “That’s sometimes difficult to swallow,” Greiner said. The dissatisfaction has led to a great deal of study on alternative water sources – with Bowling Green being one of the options. Earlier this year, Waterville switched over to Bowling Green water. Now the water source is being eyed by three other regions – the Northwestern Water and Sewer District, Perrysburg and Maumee. According to Greiner, Bowling Green currently has enough water capacity at its existing plant to supply one of the three entities. To supply more, the city would need to expand its plant, Greiner said. And the Bowling Green reservoir space has to expand regardless of whether or not more customers are added, he said. In addition to Bowling Green having quality water to supply, it also may have more reasonable leadership to contract with, Greiner said. “I have a long-term relationship with Bowling Green,” and the Board of Public Utilities is well established, he added. “Toledo was easier to deal with years ago,” but that is no longer the case, Greiner said. The Northwestern Water and Sewer District is already the largest water customer outside the city for Bowling Green water – using more than 1 million gallons a day. Bowling Green water is already sold to many communities outside the city, some supplied through city lines and others through district lines. Those towns getting BG water include Tontogany, Haskins, Grand Rapids, Portage, Rudolph, Weston, Milton Center, Custar, Jerry City, Cygnet, Hoytville, Bloomdale…

Wood County to direct growth with new land use plan

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   The new Wood County Land Use Plan does more than give lip service to organized development – it’s added some teeth. Recently the Wood County Commissioners voted unanimously to adopt the new land use plan, which will direct growth to areas with the roads, waterlines and sewer lines to handle it – while maintaining the agricultural and natural areas that are also important to the county. “It’s nice because you have zoning, and zoning is great for directing growth, said Dave Steiner, director of the county planning commission. But the land use plan takes it a step further. “Without a plan, you don’t have something to fall back on.” So if a developer wants to rezone some acreage in the middle of prime farmland for industrial use, the land use plan helps back up the rejection by the county and townships, Steiner said. The plan takes into consideration the latest census information, demographics and development. The plan also looks at “reinvestment areas,” where previous development has “fallen by the wayside” and may need a jumpstart with brownfield development, Steiner said. And the plan defends agricultural areas that are still vital to the county’s economy. The county had outgrown the last land use plan, which had been adopted in 2007. “It was not nearly as comprehensive as this one,” Steiner told the commissioners. The guiding principles of the land use plan are as follows: Support sustainable land use and development patterns, and identify and protect natural and environmental resources. Protect prime agricultural land and support agricultural production. Target economic development areas to support and attract employment generating uses. Identify sensitive natural areas for protection, possible areas for recreation in coordination with these natural areas, and historic or cultural sites to protect. Make efforts to promote redevelopment and reinvestment in areas with existing infrastructure and services and strategically manage the outward expansion of suburban development particularly in townships with the greatest growth pressures. The land use plan was developed by McBride Dale Clarion from Cincinnati, after multiple public meetings to gather citizen input. “I feel we have really addressed the issues” that impact land use in the county, Steiner said. The plan is available for public viewing at the county planning commission, at the county commissioners office, and online at The land use plan can be used by other governmental entities in the…