Articles by Jan Larson McLaughlin

Two BG curling teams to compete in nationals

If you didn’t get enough of curling in 2014 at the Sochi Olympics, then you are in luck—but you may have to drive to Pennsylvania. The Bowling Green Curling Club will be fielding both a men’s and a women’s team in the upcoming Arena National Curling Championships, set for May 10-15, at the Ice Line Arena in West Chester, PA. “We are very excited to have two teams representing our club at Arena Nationals this year,” said Shannon Orr, club president. “Both teams are highly competitive, and we look forward to a strong showing by all of them.” The championship games encompass 20 men’s and women’s teams each from around the nation, including other Great Lakes Curling Association teams from arena-based clubs in Lansing, Cincinnati, and Indianapolis. Tournament selection was made based on application and lottery. This event was initiated 4 years ago, in recognition that the ice in arena-based clubs poses more challenges than dedicated club ice, and the majority of club growth in the United States is occurring on arena ice. “Arena” ice is shared between hockey, skating, and curling. “We have a very supportive and encouraging club, and new members are always welcome,” Orr said. “We hope more folks will come and try one of our learn-to- curls.” Curling dates back to the 16th century, and is one of the fastest growing sports in the U.S., in part for its accessibility to curlers of all ages and physical abilities. A sport of precision, curling is sometimes referred to as “chess on ice,” and requires a combination of strategy, finesse, teamwork, and camaraderie. Teams must deliver each 40-pound…


Here’s some advice – don’t forget Mother’s Day

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Most mothers consider it their duty to pass on wisdom to their offspring. And sometimes, to the annoyance of their children, they repeat that advice to make sure it sticks. Over and over again. So in celebration of mothers and the wisdom they impart, a few people around Bowling Green were asked to share the best and worst advice from their moms. On the younger end of the scale, the advice tended to be more practical. Nine-year-old R.J. Agosti pondered a bit then it came to him. “Well, my mom always tells me to never cross the road without holding an adult’s hand. You could get crushed,” he said. Then he thought a bit more. “When you check out a library book, you should bring it back on time.” Not lifesaving advice, but important just the same. His mom, Cathy Agosti remembered some deeper advice from her own mom. “Always treat others the way you want to be treated. That’s the best advice I got from my mom,” she said. Kevin Guimbellot said his family moved a lot when he was young, so he was always the new kid at school. His mom taught him a valuable lesson in survival. “The best advice she gave me was, if they’re laughing with you, they’re not picking on you,” he said. “So she’s responsible for me being a comedian.” Guimbellot had no trouble recalling the worst advice his mother gave him. “She said, ‘your father knows where he’s going.’ We not only got lost, we got stuck in water.” Tavion Torrez, 9, said his…


Adventure therapy to reach out to traumatized kids

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Children who have gone through traumatic experiences can’t always be reached with traditional therapy alone. So Wood County agencies will soon be trying Adventure Therapy to help children who have faced trauma in their young lives. Wood County Children’s Services has received a $15,000 grant to pay for training in Adventure Therapy, according to Sandi Carsey, Children’s Services director. Children’s Resource Center in Bowling Green, and Renewed Mind in Perrysburg will provide the therapy, Carsey said. Adventure Therapy will not replace more traditional therapy, but will offer kids aged 12 to 18 a chance to work as a team with other children to do something they may not feel they can’t accomplish, such as climb a rock wall. “Kids will be challenged to do something,” Carsey said. “It will help build up their confidence.” Adventure Therapy, which has been around nearly 20 years, blends experiential activities and evidence-based treatment, according to Janelle LaFond, executive director at Children’s Resource Center. “It won’t be sitting down like talking therapy,” LaFond said. “It will be things that really challenge kids.” “We want to increase their resiliency and their own feelings of confidence,” she said. Adventure Therapy is used primarily with kids who have a traumatic history, such as being removed from their homes and placed in foster care, LaFond said. Children’s Services has found over the years that oftentimes when children age out of foster care they are not prepared to be on their own. This type of therapy could be helpful to them, LaFond said. “This is really the gravy on the potatoes,” she…


BG erects two LED message signs

Bowling Green city officials have a new way of communicating with city residents. Two electronic message signs have been purchased, with one in front of the police station on West Wooster Street and the other by the public works area on East Poe Road. The signs will alert residents about such items as traffic changes for construction or special events in the community, and about seasonal services such as brush pickup. The sign in front of the police station may also make public service announcements on buckling up and not drinking and driving. The signs cost $10,250 each, according to Bowling Green Assistant Municipal Administrator Joe Fawcett.  


St. John’s Woods was hog heaven

By CHRIS GAJEWICZ BG Naturalist   Stephen W. St. John came to Bowling Green in the 1840s. He was an attorney from New York State and came to BG with the hope of developing a successful law firm in Wood County and of becoming what we would call today, a “Gentleman Farmer”. St. John owned much of what is currently Wintergarden/St. John’s Nature Preserve although its appearance in the 1800s was very different from what it is today. We know from land records, all of the meadow area was utilized for the planting of row crops and the St. John’s Woods woodlot was used as a pasture for hogs. We also know someone lived in the general area of the west side of St. John’s Woods, although no foundations or structures have been found to date. We have located a dump site within St. John’s Woods and it looks as if it was active for quite a long time leading us to believe that human habitation was not far away. From the plant record, (meaning plants that are currently growing in the general vicinity of the west side of St. John’s Woods), someone who had knowledge of medicinal plant use had a loose garden of healing plants. Perhaps the people responsible for these plants were share croppers of some sort and their dwellings were not built on foundations making it difficult for us to now determine where they actually lived. The St. John house still stands on Sand Ridge Road and is occupied. St. John’s Woods is a leftover from a time when farmers actively managed woodlots on their farms….


Communities caught in middle of tax tug-of-war

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   As Ohio Gov. John Kasich boasts about digging the state out of a deficit and cutting taxes, local government officials see little to brag about. To them, the state’s strategy was not tax cuts, but “tax shifts,” putting the burden onto municipal, township and county governments. The changes in tax revenue have affected every community in Wood County. On the larger side, Bowling Green has lost $964,764 in annual income, and Perrysburg has lost even more at $1,154,451. On the smaller side, Pemberville lost $43,924 a year, Weston lost $41,335, and Haskins lost $5,368, according to the Ohio Department of Taxation. “This is putting the pressure on communities to raise those taxes,” said Kent Scarrett, director of communications for the Ohio Municipal League. “The state says we are cutting taxes left and right,” Scarrett said. “The fact is, that burden is put on local communities.” The three changes made by the state are: Elimination of Ohio estate tax, which is also called the “death tax.” Eighty percent of this money had gone to local communities. Bowling Green lost an estimated $382,848 a year. Big cuts in the state’s Local Government Fund, which made up sizeable portions of county, municipal and township budgets. The LGF was created during the Depression when the sales tax was enacted to share money with grassroots government. Bowling Green lost $563,480 a year. Elimination of local property taxes on business machinery and inventory, also called the CAT tax. The state had a planned phase out of the tax over a period of time, but hastened the cuts. Bowling…


Two BG students charged for bringing knives to school

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Two Bowling Green students face charges after bringing knives to their schools this week. The first knife was discovered at Bowling Green Middle School on Monday, according to BG Police Major Justin White. An officer was on routine foot patrol at the school when the assistant principal notified the officer that a student was found with a fixed blade knife. School officials searched the 13-year-old boy’s locker and found another knife in his bookbag. The student reportedly told school officials he had the knives at school “for defensive purposes.” “We had no indication he made any threats,” White said. The boy was taken to the Wood County Juvenile Detention Center and charged with conveyance of a weapon in a school safety zone. The second knife was found Tuesday when the father of the alleged victim called police to report that his 10-year-old son had been threatened by another 10-year-old with a knife. The victim told police that he and another 10-year-old boy were walking home from Conneaut Elementary School and engaging in an ongoing argument. The alleged victim said the other boy threatened him by showing him the knife and saying something like, “I’m going to get you,” White said. During the investigation, police discovered that the boy with the fold-out pocket knife had the weapon at school, with a school official reporting that they saw the knife when the student left school. The boy has been charged with aggravated menacing and having a weapon in a school safety zone. He was also taken to the juvenile detention center. No one was…


Health district to build dental center that won’t turn away uninsured

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Wood County Health District has given local residents something to smile about. The district’s Health and Wellness Center has been awarded $824,997 to build a dental center to serve Wood County residents regardless of their ability to pay, according to Wood County Health Commissioner Ben Batey. The district had applied for two projects, one to build a new center and one to renovate existing meeting rooms. The new center was funded. There is also still a chance the health district will receive funds to help pay for dental staffing needs. The health district has been trying for decades to address dental needs. “This is a huge leap forward in meeting this,” Batey said. “It truly will be a benefit to our residents who are uninsured for dental or who have Medicaid, but can’t find a dental provider who will accept them as patients. It will be a whole new challenge, but we look forward to continuing to expand services to give our residents the greatest options for good health.” The dental clinic will be an expansion of the existing Health and Wellness Center that is part of the health district offices at 1840 E. Gypsy Lane Road, Bowling Green. The dental clinic will have at least four patient chairs and will offer full services. “Just like your typical dental office,” Batey said. “It’s very exciting,” said Diane Krill, CEO of the health and wellness center. Krill said the need for dental services is great. “I just think with the community health assessment, it showed there was a dental need here.” Many Wood…


ATM in Meijer parking lot approved by city planning commission

Bowling Green Planning Commission approved plans Wednesday evening for a Huntington Bank ATM to be constructed in the Meijer parking lot on East Wooster Street. The standalone drive-up ATM under a canopy will be located in the southwest corner of the parking lot, behind the Meijer gas station. A Huntington branch is already located inside Meijer, but the branch further in town on East Wooster Street has been closed. Also at the meeting, the planning commission heard a request for the annexation of 6.2 acres between 1502 and 1518 Napoleon Road. The property is currently in Center Township. Petitioning for the annexation are Steven and Marcia Seubert. A public hearing on the request will be held at the next planning commission meeting on June 1. Planning Director Heather Sayler updated the commission on projects going on in the city, including the battery-wholesale store being built in front of Woodland Mall, the Burger King in front of Home Depot, and the Fairfield Inn on East Wooster that is expected to be open by October.


Clean Plate Awards to be handed out by health district

Wood County Health District is pleased to announce the presentation of this year’s Clean Plate Awards on Thursday, May 12, 2015 at 5:30 p.m. The presentation will take place at the Wood County Health District located at 1840 East Gypsy Lane Road, Bowling Green. The 2016 Clean Plate Award will be presented to forty licensed food service operations out of more than 800 food service operations in Wood County. These restaurants and other food service operations have been dedicated to upholding excellent sanitation and food safety knowledge within their facility. The recipients will receive a certificate of excellence and recognition of excellent performance in food safety from the Wood County Health District.  The winners of the Clean Plate Award will also receive a Clean Plate Award decal to display at their facility. This is the sixth year that the Wood County Board of Health will hand out the awards. “The Food Service Operations in Wood County that are presented with the Clean Plate Award have gone above and beyond in the practice of safe food handling,” said Lana Glore, Director of Environmental Services at the Wood County Health District. This year’s recipients include: American Table Family Restaurant, Bass Pro Shop, Bowling Green High School, Bowling Green Manor, Bowling Green Middle School, Carolyn’s Personalized Catering, Conneaut Elementary, Crim Elementary, Eagle Point Elementary, Eastwood High School, Eastwood Middle School, Edible Arrangements, Fernando’s, First Solar/Eurest Dining, Glenwood Elementary, Holiday Inn Express and Suites, Kenwood Elementary, Luckey Elementary, Marco’s Pizza #8, Nazareth Hall, Northwood High School, Northwood Elementary, Olney Elementary, Pemberville Elementary, Poppin George’s Kettle Corn of BG, Rita’s Dairy Bar, Rossford High School,…


Monthly siren test to be delayed for commencement

On Saturday, May 7, the Wood County Sheriff’s Office will conduct the monthly outdoor warning siren test at noon instead of the normal 10 a.m. test time due to commencement ceremonies at Bowling Green State University. The regular monthly outdoor warning siren test on the first Saturday of every month at 10 a.m. will resume in June.


Four file for empty seat on BG school board

By  JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Four people are hoping to make the grade as the new member of the Bowling Green Board of Education. Filing for the seat are: Bill Clifford, retired Wood Lane superintendent; Joanna Craig, a parent in the district; Barbara Moses, a retired BGSU professor; and Bryan Wiles, a pastor in the community. The four are seeking to fill the seat vacated by Ed Whipple, who had served on the school board since 2014, but had to resign when he accepted a position in higher education out of state. The board candidates will all be interviewed by the board of education this evening. According to Bowling Green Superintendent Francis Scruci, the board intends to announce its decision on May 12, then swear in the new board member at the board meeting on May 17. The board is required to make an appointment within 30 days of the vacancy. If the board fails to fill the vacancy within 30 days, the probate court must fill the seat. Moses ran for a seat on the school board last fall. The initial vote count showed her winning by 10 votes. However, after the provisional ballots were counted, Moses lost the seat to Ginny Stewart by nine votes. Ed Whipple’s departure means just two of the remaining four board members have much experience. Paul Walker and Ellen Scholl have served multiple terms, but Jill Carr and Ginny Stewart are new to the board this year. “There’s something to say about the experience piece,” Scruci said. At the last board of education meeting, Scruci emphasized the importance of the…


Historical society seeks items for time capsule

The Wood County Historical Society is seeking items for consideration to include in a 2016 Wood County time capsule, which will be placed inside the museum as accessibility construction draws to a close, leaving a legacy for future generations to enjoy and experience. Selected items will be placed into the Time Capsule, sealed, and placed inside the framework of the Museum at a special ceremony later this year, not to be removed until 2075 when the Museum celebrates its 100-year anniversary. Items should be three-dimensional (not paper), have some connection to Wood County or community history, and should not exceed 14” x 16” x 24.” Not all item suggestions submitted may be selected. Donors must be from or live in Wood County. The deadline to submit items for suggestion is June 1, 2016. For more information about submitting items for consideration to the 2016 time capsule, visit woodcountyhistory.org or call the museum at 419-352-0967. The Wood County Historical Center & Museum is open for self-guided tours Monday – Friday, 10am-4pm and weekends 1-4 pm. Time Capsule handouts and applications are available at the museum. Other May events include: –      Mommy & Me Story-time and tour – May 4, 10-Noon, reoccurring monthly –      Paper Dolls Tea – May 12, 2 pm, reoccurring monthly –      Business in Boomtown Walking Tour with the Wood County District Public Library – May 21 The Museum is located at 13660 County Home Road in Bowling Green, about a quarter-mile east of  I-75 and Rt. 6 (exit 179).


BG honors Tim Dunn for going to bat for kids, and police officer for helping save life

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Bowling Green honored two people Monday evening – a man who has spent several summers giving kids the chance to play ball, and a police officer who help save the life of overdose victim. Tim Dunn, or “Mr. Baseball” as the mayor called him, was recognized for more than 40 years working to grow Little League in Bowling Green. Dunn started on the grounds crew in the early 1970s, moved into the role of umpire, and then worked his way up to leadership in the baseball program, Mayor Dick Edwards said. Dunn was instrumental in moving the former Pee Wee ball park from its two diamonds off Mercer Road, to Carter Park where it had room to grow. The ball fields have room for beginning T-ball players to adults who don’t want to give up America’s national pastime. The well-maintained fields at Carter Park have become “a regional attraction,” with several teams traveling to Bowling Green for tournaments, Edwards said. “You have clearly been the driving force,” the mayor said to Dunn. Several of the council members had personal stories to share about the ball fields and Dunn’s involvement. Council president Mike Aspacher said he has spent a lot of time at the ball park. “A number of families and a number of kids have been affected in a positive way by BG baseball and Tim Dunn,” he said. Every spring, the ball park seems to be on automatic reset and ready for kids to step up to the plate. “That’s because all of the work Tim does behind the scenes,” Aspacher…


County auditor mails out Homestead Exemption Renewals

Approximately 9,100 Homestead Exemption Renewals have been mailed according to Michael Sibbersen, Wood County Auditor. These renewal forms are mailed to all taxpayers who currently have the Homestead Exemption on their residence. If there are no changes in the Homestead applicant’s status the form need not be returned. New applicants wishing to apply for the Homestead Exemption for real estate and manufactured homes must meet the following qualifications: applicants must be at least 65 years of age on or before December 31, 2016 or permanently disabled as of January 1, 2016 and have an Ohio Adjusted Gross Income of less than $31,500 per year. Applicants must also own and occupy the home as their principal place of residence as of January 1, 2016. A person has only one principal place of residence, therefore, the law allows for only one exemption per person. Homeowners who were receiving the Homestead Exemption as of January 1, 2013 or prior are not subject to the income verification and do not need to take any action to continue receiving the exemption. Homeowners who were receiving the Homestead Exemption after January 1, 2014 are subject to income verification each year and should return the form if the 2015 Ohio Adjusted Gross Income is over $31,500. Homeowners needing assistance with the renewal form may contact the Auditor’s Office at: 419-354-1925, Toll Free: 866-860- 4140, wait for the operator and ask for extension 1925, or via email bgraber@co.wood.oh.us. Homeowners who need a new application form may visit the website at www.co.wood.oh.us/auditor to print a copy of the new application form or contact the Auditor’s Office to request one…