Articles by Jan Larson McLaughlin

BG ready for algae season in river water

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   It’s that time of year, when the recipe for algal blooms starts cooking in the Maumee River. Spring rains run nutrients from soil into waterways and the sun’s rays warm up the water to create algal blooms. “All those ingredients in the water that promote algae growth start to happen,” said Brian O’Connell, utilities director for the city of Bowling Green. Last week, an algal bloom in the Maumee River near Defiance’s water treatment plant prompted a “no contact” advisory. Defiance is located upriver from Bowling Green’s water intake which sits between Grand Rapids and Waterville. “Swimming and wading in the Maumee River is not recommended for children, pregnant or nursing women, those with certain medical conditions and pets,” a Defiance news release stated, according to the city’s newspaper. But Defiance officials said the drinking water supply was safe. The water is currently being drawn out of the city’s reservoir, not the river, they reported. And water from the reservoir had been tested, showing safe levels. Bowling Green’s drinking water is also safe despite algal blooms in the river, according O’Connell. Bowling Green draws its water from the Maumee River near its West River Road plant, and pumps it into a reservoir where it is treated for any algal blooms. That is just the first step, O’Connell explained earlier this week. “To top that off, there’s a small UV light system,” he said, and then chlorine treatment just in case anything slips past the processes. “Our finished water samples have always shown a ‘no-detect,’” level of algae, O’Connell said. Throughout the treatment…


BG Curling Club proud of teams at national championships

Submitted by BG Curling Club On May 10-15, Ice Line Arena in West Chester, Pennsylvania, hosted the United States Curling Association’s Arena National Curling Championships, which included both a men’s and a women’s team from the Bowling Green Curling Club, located in northwest Ohio. The men’s team finished 2-2, in a three-way tie for ninth place among a field of 20 teams from across the U.S., while the women’s team finished 2-4, in tenth place among 18 teams, after a tie-breaker. Both teams just missed advancing to the quarter-final rounds. “The Bowling Green Curling Club is very proud of both our teams and how they performed at Arena Nationals,” said Shannon Orr, club president. “As we move forward with our new dedicated curling facility, which will be opening this fall, we look forward to sending even more local curlers to regional, national, and international competitions. We hope more folks will come to the new club and try one of our learn-to- curls.” The move to a dedicated ice facility will mean, however, that the club will be unable to participate in this event again, which is reserved for curlers from arena-based clubs that share ice with skaters and hockey. The women’s team, consisting of Elizabeth Spencer of Toledo, Angie Jones of Sylvania, Beth Landers of Bowling Green, and Jen Henkel of Perrysburg, lost to San Francisco Bay III (11-2), lost to Lansing (8-1), lost to Palmetto-South Carolina (7-6), won against Dakota-Minnesota, (6-2, with alternate Jennifer Williams of Norwalk), and won against Kansas City (7-5). A second place result for their division in the team draw shot challenge, and sixth place…


BG transfers land for potential buyer, The Beat Dance Company

Bowling Green City Council authorized the transfer of 2.3 acres in Bellard Business Park to the Bowling Green Community Development Foundation, Monday evening, in lieu of dues for economic development purposes. The foundation has a potential buyer for the acreage, The Beat Dance Company, which offers youth dance and gymnastics programs. The transfer of this property to the foundation and sale would result in approximately $25,300 credit towards the city’s annual community development foundation dues.


‘Coffee with a Cop’ set for June 29 at Biggby

Bowling Green Police Division will hold another “Coffee with a Cop” on June 29. The public is invited to join police officers for coffee and conversation from 8 to 10 a.m. at Biggby Coffee, 215 E. Wooster St. Citizens are welcome to ask questions, voice concerns and discuss how the police can serve their neighborhoods.


When collecting crosses the line to become hoarding

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   The line between collecting and hoarding is not as fine as some might think. That news seemed to comfort some of the ladies dressed in wide-brimmed hats and lace gloves who had just finished sipping tea and eating scones Thursday at the Wood County Historical Center’s tea titled “When Collections Go Wild.” “I don’t want to be a party pooper, collecting is great. But sometimes it goes bad,” said speaker Dr. William O’Brien, a psychology professor at Bowling Green State University. As he addressed hoarding, O’Brien suspected that his audience members were thinking, “I wonder if this is going to be about me?” But there are distinct differences between collecting and hoarding, he said. Collecting is common and enjoyable. Those who collect feel proud of their collections and share them with others. “People don’t hoard out of joy,” O’Brien said. Collecting rarely interferes with social functioning, and those who do it are able to acquire items carefully and discard items they no longer want. In contrast, hoarders are often ashamed of the items they have compulsively accumulated. “They don’t want people to come over to their house.” Hoarders have great difficulty discarding things even if they have no value. They become anxious just thinking about getting rid of things, O’Brien said. Collecting to compulsion can be a slippery slope, he said. “The line is when the home environment is interrupted.” At that point, hoarding can lead to marital and family strife. “The non-saver tries to sneak things out of the home” to make it livable, which may only add to the stress….


Police seek information in Glanz homicide

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   More than three years after being found dead in her Bowling Green home, the homicide of Dawn Glanz is still unsolved. Investigators want anyone with a possible piece to the puzzle to step forward. Bowling Green Police Division issued a release Thursday asking that anyone with information about her death come forward – even if that information seems insignificant. Glanz, 66, a professor of art history at Bowling Green State University, was found dead in her home on Kensington Boulevard in Bowling Green on May 9, 2013. She was the wife of Robert A. Brown, of Toledo, and stepmother to Josh Brown, of Sylvania. In December 2013, Glanz’s death was ruled a homicide by the Wood County Coroner. The autopsy found that she suffered a sharp force injury of the scalp and was stabbed by an assailant. Bowling Green Police Chief Tony Hetrick said this morning that no new information has surfaced about the case, and that the police believe someone has details that could help them solve the case. “We want to keep this in the forefront,” Hetrick said. “We don’t want people to forget we have this unsolved homicide.” “We believe someone has information and for one reason or another hasn’t shared it,” the chief said. Hetrick said the police division will not give up on finding Glanz’s killer. “We’re not going to give up on this case. It’s been a couple years, but we’ve had cases go longer and then solved them,” he said. “Somebody out there knows something,” Hetrick said. “It may seem insignificant, but it might be…


Sign language – variance granted for hotel LED sign

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   A variance was granted Wednesday evening which will help a local business owner compete with the big flashy signs closer to the interstate. The Bowling Green Zoning Board of Appeals voted to grant a variance for a new larger LED sign for the Best Western hotel at 1450 E. Wooster St. The variance was requested by Harmon Sign to allow an 18-foot tall and 58.8-square-foot sign, which would encroach 17 feet into the 25-foot front yard setback. Nelson Pixler, of Harmon Sign, said the new electronic message sign is all part of a rebranding effort at the Best Western location. The new sign will not be any taller than the current sign, and will allow the owner to use the existing foundation. “It certainly will spruce up the area with the new look,” Pixler said. The hotel also has a very tall pole sign that was granted a variance in 1991, according to City Prosecutor Matt Reger. Paul Bishop, the son of Best Western owner Jake Bishop, explained the effort to rebrand the hotel, locally called the Falcon Plaza. Approximately $400,000 has already been spent on renovating the common areas, conference rooms, lobby and breakfast area. “I’m very proud of what we’ve done,” Bishop said. Next on the list is upgrading of all the individual hotel rooms, which should be completed next year. Though part of Best Western, the hotel will retain its local flair as the Falcon Plaza. “We intend to keep that as part of the identity,” Bishop said. Not only will the new LED sign be more noticeable to…


Green space still in limbo; BG offered Wood Lane home for expansion of city site

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   The city of Bowling Green is still looking for a home for municipal offices. That’s what worries some residents, who don’t want to see the city’s new home built on the green space where the old junior high used to sit. City council has not addressed the issue since mid-April, when a consultant presented plans for a new city building sharing the green space area. So Monday evening, citizen Carol Kinsey asked council where the plans stand for the open space. Council president Mike Aspacher explained that there had been “no development.” The mayor and city administration are looking at all the alternatives for a new city building. He asked that citizens “be patient,” and added that the citizens’ support of saving the green space has not gone unnoticed. “We get that. We understand that,” Aspacher said. Council member Sandy Rowland assured that once the issue moves out of the council committee, public input will again be sought. “There’s a lot of interest in what’s happening,” Rowland said. One option to give the city offices more space occurred recently when Wood Lane officials asked if the city would be interested in buying the house just to the north of the city building on North Church Street. The house is used as a group home for individuals with developmental disabilities. “That house is certainly available,” said Mayor Dick Edwards. But the city has no plans to purchase the property, he added. “We have no immediate need for it.” Aspacher said “a very brief conversation” was held about the property and an appraisal was…


Communities compromise to get block grants

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   In an era of political bickering and obstinance, Wood County Planning Commission saw a rare example of compromise and cooperation Tuesday evening. As usual during the annual awarding of Community Development Block Grants, the planning commission had far more requests than there was funding. Seven towns asked for a total of $307,800, but the county had just $162,000 to hand out. Each town described its request, with the mayor or other official giving their best pitch. “Now’s the hard part,” Dave Steiner, director of the county planning commission, said of the selection process. “The state puts us in the position of only selecting four and the money is finite,” said commission member John Alexander. The commission weighed the value of the projects and the amounts the towns were willing to pay on their own. And then they tried to shuffle the projects around to meet the winning combination of $162,000 – but with no success. So instead of digging in and defending their requests, the four towns on the top of the funding list all agreed to shave some money off their requests and try to come up with more funding own their own. So when the math was done, the following communities got funding: Bairdstown, through the efforts of the Northwestern Water and Sewer District, will get $40,000 to help low and moderate income homeowners pay for sewer lateral installation costs. The town had asked for $50,000. Bairdstown is the last village in Wood County to get public sewers for its 50 homes. “There are a lot of low income and…


BG puts park and rec levy on fall ballot

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Bowling Green City Council members seem to be worried the city levy on the November ballot won’t be a walk in the park. Council agreed unanimously Monday evening to ask for voter approval for a 2-mill property tax levy lasting five years for the city’s parks and recreation department. The levy is an increase from the current 1.4-mill levy. Each council member voiced strong support for the levy, but also concern about conveying a strong message to voters. “If it were not to pass, they would lose it all. It would pretty much be a disaster,” said council member Bob McOmber. The biggest hurdle to passing an increased levy amount is explaining to the public why it is needed, he said. “This has nothing to do with expanding the park system in any way,” McOmber said. Instead, the increased funding is purely for “critical” maintenance needs. Council member Sandy Rowland agreed that the levy campaign must convey the need. “It’s extremely important to make this crystal clear what the increase is for,” Rowland said. “This is what it’s going to take just to maintain our wonderful park system.” Council members Bruce Jeffers and Daniel Gordon spoke of the quality park system in place, and Theresa Charters Gavarone noted the park buildings “in dire need of repair.” Mike Aspacher echoed that concern. “Action is becoming critical to save some of these resources.” Mayor Dick Edwards complimented council for taking its time with the levy request. “You raised some very fundamental questions.” Now, the responsibility shifts to the park and recreation board and levy…


Parking meters expiring…BG eyes kiosks instead

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Before long, motorists will not have to pump coins into meters in parking lots in downtown Bowling Green. But that doesn’t mean the end of those pesky yellow tickets. Instead of feeding the meter, motorists will have to pay the kiosk. Municipal Administrator Lori Tretter reported to City Council Monday evening that as lighting and utility improvements were being discussed for Lot 2, located east of the first block of South Main Street, the issue of replacing the parking meters with kiosks was suggested. The idea had “numerous advantages,” according to Tretter. The lot would be more attractive aesthetically, easier to maintain, and fit the city’s long-term plan, she said. When discussing plans to resurface all the parking lots downtown, another question arose. “Does it make sense to pave this lot then punch holes in it,” Tretter said. And since the parking meters in Lot 2 are removed for the annual Black Swamp Arts Festival every September, it would make further sense to replace them with kiosks, she added. Initially, three kiosks will be spread throughout Lot 2. If it is determined that isn’t enough, the city will add more. The kiosks would accept coins, cash or credit cards. Motorists would have to enter their license plate numbers into the kiosk when paying. The time limits will remain the same, with two hours in the parking spaces closer to South Main Street, and 10 hours for those closer to South Prospect Street. Lot 2 will just be the first lot to lose meters, according to Tretter. “We plan to implement this in…


BG to ‘Pause for the Pledge’ and hear about elder abuse

The City of Bowling Green will hold its annual “Pause for the Pledge” ceremony on Flag Day, Tuesday, June 14 at 10 a.m., near the Wood County Senior Center, 305 N. Main St., in Bowling Green. During the program, Mayor Dick Edwards will read a proclamation and the Pledge of Allegiance will be recited. Additionally, the City will participate in Wood County Job and Family Services Elder Abuse Awareness program, which will also occur at the Senior Center. All citizens are invited to participate.


Rally to teach survival skills, firearm training

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Survivalist skills are the special this weekend at Woodland Mall. Classes will teach how to start a fire, set a snare, suture a wound, and reload a gun. “All the classes are basic survival classes,” said Nick Getzinger, state executive officer to the president of the Ohio Oath Keepers, which is holding a multi-state rally at the mall in Bowling Green on Saturday and Sunday. “If there’s a major disaster, these classes teach people to survive.” It’s not just natural disasters the Oath Keepers want people to prepare for. The group also trains for manmade, governmental or financial crises. “If someone attacks us, we want to make sure people can survive it,” Getzinger, of the Weston area, said earlier this year when announcing the rally. Some of the classes will also be geared toward “preppers,” or “homesteaders,” and will teach skills like food preservation and canning. The classes will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. The public is invited to attend. Getzinger said overnight camping will be allowed in the mall parking lot for Oath Keeper members. However, a city official said Monday evening that no zoning permit has been granted for the camping. Getzinger said Monday he is unsure how many members of the organization might attend, though he is estimating between 100 and 200. Originally, the Oath Keepers had hoped that members with permits would be able to carry concealed weapons in the mall. However, Getzinger said the mall’s ban will stay in effect during the rally. “We chucked…


BG Police teach how to avoid becoming a victim

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Self defense is much more than learning to take down a purse snatcher. Much of self defense is planning ahead to avoid putting out a welcome sign for criminals. Post pictures from your vacations, but wait till you’re home. Criminals look at shots of you smiling on the beach as an invitation to burglarize your home. Walk with confidence with your eyes on your surroundings. Texting while you walk, with a purse hanging from your shoulder makes you an easy target for thieves. And when in danger, yell “fire” rather than “help.” People rush to help fire victims, but are likely to start recording video of other crimes. About 50 people attended a self defense class last week taught by Bowling Green Police Detective Andy Mulinix and patrol officers Scott Frank and Robin Short. The class, held at Wood County Hospital, was attended primarily by females ranging from young girls to senior citizens. The class started out with instruction, then moved to physical techniques. The officers stressed that no technique is foolproof. “Whatever works best for you. Whatever you’re comfortable with, use it,” Frank said. “Better to do something than nothing.” To set the mood, a video was played showing crimes against innocent victims – an attack in an elevator, the theft of a purse from a woman strolling down the street, theft from a car as someone pumped gas, and a home beating taped by a baby-cam. “We got a crazy world out there. We’ve got to be a little more vigilant,” Mulinix said. The officers warned that local residents should…


180th Fighter Wing to do training exercises

The 180th Fighter Wing has been assigned a temporary Military Operating Airspace west of Findlay for Exercise Solemn Stinger, scheduled to take place from June 7 to June 17 and July 5 to August 6. This training exercise is designed to test the ability of 180FW pilots and maintenance personnel to perform multiple phases of training in multiple local MOAs and to provide high operations tempo basic fighter and air combat maneuver training involving abrupt, unpredictable changes in altitude and direction of flight. Those living in and around the Findlay, Ottawa and Defiance areas may hear and see low-flying fighter jets participating in the exercise from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Although scheduled for these times, the exercise flights could be delayed due to weather concerns. The temporary MOA covers a 400 square mile area and is approximately 50 miles from the Toledo Express Airport, 300 percent closer to the 180FW than the nearest permanent MOA in Southern Ohio and Northern Michigan. The proximity of the airspace allows the pilots to reduce fuel consumption while travelling, allowing them to spend more time training and more fuel for combat maneuvers. All aircraft participating in the exercise will be F-16 Fighting Falcons from the 180FW. Approximately four to eight sorties per day are expected to use the airspace during the exercise. The aircraft will fly between the altitudes of 5,000 and 19,000 ft. above ground.