Business

Pipeline company donates $5,000 to BG Community Foundation

Pipeline project donates $5,000 to BG Community Foundation The Bowling Green Community Foundation received a donation Friday (July 1) from Kinder Morgan, developer of the Utopia East Pipeline project, to support its activities and initiatives to improve the quality of life of all Bowling Green community members. Allen Fore, vice president of public affairs for Kinder Morgan, presented a check for $5,000 to Bowling Green Community Foundation Board President, Tony Hetrick, during a meeting with foundation’s board of directors to learn more about its programs.


Easement granted for Brathaus expansion

By DAVID DUPONT BG INDEPENDENT NEWS The Bowling Green Board of Public Utilities approved an easement that will allow Brathaus on East Court Street to expand. Utilities Director Brian O’Connell said that Doug Doren, who owns the bar, wants to extend the bar, but that would place a building over a manhole. The city would redirect the sewer, which now heads north toward Oak Street, to connect with the line down South Main Street. While digging, O’Connell said, the city will bury the utilities lines. That will allow it to take down a large laminant utility pole across the street from Brathaus on East Court. O’Connell said that the estimate for doing the work was more than Doren had anticipated, so the expansion may be delayed until spring. O’Connell said he would discuss the project with the owner. O’Connell suggested that the city share the expense of the project by assuming the cost of burying the electric lines, which is not essential for the bar expansion to proceed. That work would benefit the city, he said. Doren controls most of the neighboring properties, but the Gavarone family, which owns Mr. Spots, would have to agree. In voting for the easement,…


Water & sewer district wants to know how it’s doing

From NORTHWESTERN WATER & SEWER DISTRICT The Northwestern Water & Sewer District recently launched a digital survey to its customers, contractors, vendors, and other organizations it deals with to gauge satisfaction levels and the quality of the work the District does. According to Jerry Greiner, President of Northwestern Water Sewer District, “We need feedback so we can see how we are doing, and just as importantly, find out what we could do better.” Greiner continues “Primarily we are focusing on our customers, but we also want feedback from organizations we do business with such as our contractors, other government agencies, and even media organizations.” The survey strives to create a baseline or current snapshot of satisfaction and quality, and then will proceed with a comprehensive analysis of the data and information. According to Gavin Smith, Director of GIS and IT at the District “We are going to intently study the results and communicate the results in a way that illustrates our current position across many measured factors, but then we will use this as a starting point to help us keep our strengths impactful while identifying and correcting weaknesses.” Additionally, the District plans follow up surveys, and maybe even focus…


Closing time for Jed’s but downtown still open for business

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Jed’s, home of chicken Fireballs, has flamed out in downtown. Still the owner of the Millikin Hotel building on downtown Bowling Green’s Four Corner is confident he’ll find a new tenant for the former Jed’s space. The sports bar and grill closed for business on Monday. A call to the owners has not been returned. Bob Maurer, who owns the building, said all he knows about why the business closed is “just economics.” The Jed’s restaurant in Perrysburg remains open. “Any time you lose a tenant you want to know what happened, what you could have done to avoid it,” Maurer said. “It’s a good spot. Somebody’s always looking,” he said. “Some people’s problems are another person’s opportunity.” He expects that given there’s been a restaurant in that spot for well over 10 years that another eatery is the most likely option. Maurer expects to have it filled in “four to six months.” Overall Maurer said downtown Bowling Green “is doing extremely well.” He said that compared to Fremont or Napoleon, or even Findlay, Bowling Green’s downtown is thriving. He praised Mayor Dick Edwards and Sue Clark, the executive director of the Community Development…


Applebee’s restaurant looks at location in BG

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar is interested in making Bowling Green its new neighbor. The casual dining restaurant has requested a variance from the city’s Zoning Board of Appeals to allow more parking spots than now permitted at a site at 1175 S. Main St., near Home Depot on the south edge of the city. “The city has definitely been in communication” with representatives of Applebee’s, said Bowling Green Mayor Dick Edwards. The city’s planning director, Heather Sayler, has been working with an Applebee’s representative to find a location for the restaurant, he said. “They definitely have been showing interest,” the mayor said Friday evening. “They were looking at different sites,” specifically along East Wooster Street near Interstate 75, Edwards said. But the restaurant chain seemed more interested in the South Main Street location, closer to U.S. 6 traffic. Edwards said he knows few details right now, with most of the discussions taking place between intermediaries. “It certainly piques my interest,” the mayor said, explaining that Applebee’s is a standby for some travelers. “As we travel around, we often stop there.” The arrival of an Applebee’s in Bowling Green could end the…


Opinion: ‘Her Choice’ does not offer all choices

Opinion piece as submitted by J. Murphy One day I noticed a bright, cheery yellow building with big windows encasing the front with what appeared to be a lotus flower under the words “Her Choice” on them. Wondering what this organization does I decided to speak to a staff member. I found out that Her Choice is a Christian, Pro-Life clinic which offers limited services. While this is itself is not an issue, I do take issue with the fact that the center provides false statistics, inaccurate medical information, and hides behind a façade of a neutral, safe place that educates women on all their choices. While they claim to provide guidance and support for women in need, according to the staff member I spoke with, they also talk to women about certain medical aspects of pregnancy, emergency contraception, and all their options with the exception of abortion. Upon further research I discovered the information they provide in these capacities is medically inaccurate, irrelevant, and/or falsified. The location of Her Choice across from campus and the name “Her Choice” is as strategic as its veiled attempts at “offering choice” and “empowering women.” They may not explicitly say “You cannot have…


Falcon helped roll out Oval Office carpet

By MATT MARKEY BGSU Office of Marketing & Communications The next time the news cameras are rolling from inside The White House and relaying video from the Oval Office, skip the ornate window dressings, the massive desk and the stoic portraits on the walls, and just focus on the floor. The elegant carpet that President Barack Obama is standing on in his official workplace as he greets foreign dignitaries or huddles with his closest advisors – that carpet has a Falcon imprint on it. There’s no visible logo, no orange and brown threads, but 1978 BGSU graduate Michael Ruggeri leads the company that produced the distinctive piece of floor covering, as well as many others. Ruggeri’s Michigan-based Scott Group Custom Carpets has carved out a unique niche as the leading producer of high-end, one-of-a-kind, ultra-premium carpets. The firm has created a variety of rugs for The White House, including the prestigious Oval Office rug for two different administrations. “In our industry, the Oval Office is the pinnacle,” Ruggeri said about Scott Group being selected to work with The White House interior designers for both the Obama and Clinton presidencies. Each president decorates the Oval Office to suit his tastes, and…


New $70 million Rossford project ties into casino

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent Media ROSSFORD – A new $70 million project will provide hotel rooms, conference space, restaurants and shops across from the Hollywood Casino Toledo. Project RED, for Rossford Entertainment District, was announced this morning inside the casino by officials of NAI Harmon Group. Dallas Paul, the broker for the project, said it will include a 150-room hotel with connecting conference center. A major focus of the 100,000 square feet of retail space will be fine dining and fast casual restaurants with cuisine that complements what is offered across Miami Street in the casino. There will also be some boutique shopping available. ED Harmon, the company president, said the Toledo-based firm has the global connections to find the right tenants for the development. The project will take about two and half years to complete, Paul said. The land is currently an open field owned by Hunger Manufacturing. The first step will be a $1.3 million connector road that will be constructed by the Ohio Department of Transportation. That road has a completion date of spring, 2017. The project will also have a people mover transit system, which will be called the RED Skyway, to take people between…


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…


BG auto dealership receives top award from Ford & Lincoln

From BOWLING GREEN LINCOLN AUTO SALES Bowling Green Lincoln Auto Sales is among an elite group of Ford and Lincoln dealerships to be recognized with the 2015 President’s Award by the Ford and Lincoln Motor Companies. The prestigious award honors dealerships that have excelled in automotive retailing in 2015, by providing exceptional customer service and satisfaction. “Earning this award is a reflection of our entire staff’s commitment to delivering the best customer experience possible,” says John Heffernan, Bowling Green Lincoln’s General Manager. “I couldn’t be more proud to receive this recognition, especially since it comes from the people we value most – our customers. They’re the reason we were able to achieve this award. And hats off to our talented and hard-working employees who embody the virtues of teamwork and integrity in everything they do. We are extremely fortunate to have such a great group of people who really make our family dealership shine.” The President’s Award was established in 1998. Dealers become eligible through survey responses from customers related to their sales and service satisfaction. Bowling Green Lincoln Auto Sales is one of only 2 Lincoln-specific dealerships in the Great Lakes Region to earn this exemplary honor. BG Lincoln…


New business park planned in Crossroads area

A new business park, promising hundreds of new jobs, is being planned in the Crossroads area of Wood County. NAI Harmon Group today announced its plans to purchase an 87-acre piece of land from the carpenters union for development of a Class “A” business park, the Harmon Business Park, located within Crossroads property. The announcement was made at a Wood County Economic Development meeting this morning. “It’s a great opportunity for Rossford and the Crossroads,” said Wade Gottschalk, executive director of the Wood County Economic Development Commission. “It’s going to provide some much needed development up in that area.” NAI Harmon Group is looking to attract at least 10 end users, totaling hundreds of new jobs for the area in the coming years. The first tenant to the park is slated to break ground in the third quarter of this year. The entire investment is projected to cost more than $75 million upon completion. The Harmon Business Park sits alongside Interstate 75, Ohio 795, and the Ohio Turnpike to attract warehouse/distribution and light manufacturing users. Also, the park will be within an existing TARTA route that will make it easier for employees to access their new jobs. “I am committed…


Lack of skilled labor slows some local manufacturers

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Graduating high school students have long looked at college as the route to financial security and prestige. But more and more, it’s a ticket to great debt and frustrating job searches. For years, parents have propelled their offspring toward professions needing college degrees. “That’s where you make money,” said Sue Clark, executive director of the Bowling Green Economic Development Foundation. “But that just isn’t true anymore.” “Parents want kids to be something other than in manufacturing,” Clark said. But those parental dreams are based on outdated beliefs that industry is hard, dirty work with little reward. Today’s manufacturers are “very high tech, very clean, and very well-paid,” she said. During her annual report on economic development in Bowling Green, Clark talked about healthy growth in the city. Manufacturing jobs had reached 4,000 – the highest ever in the city. “Our companies keep reinvesting in themselves,” she said. “We now have more employees in the manufacturing sector than the university does.” But that growth, along with the low 3.7 percent local unemployment rate, poses a problem of its own. “While I paint a rosy picture, we’re not without our concerns,” Clark said. “Finding…


Mary Hinkelman in driver’s seat at Downtown BG

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Mary Hinkelman arrived in her new job as executive director of Downtown BG at the right time. Starting in early spring, she was ready to dig in to help with the planting that’s part of downtown beautification efforts. Keeping downtown BG looking bright and welcoming is the prime mission of the organization. The Special Improvement District is funded by assessments paid by downtown landowners. The goal is to encourage visitors and shoppers to discover and return to the area. Hinkelman feels there’s plenty of reason for them to do just that. “You can really shop local,” she said. “I love BG. There’s always something happening here in downtown. … There’s clothing, jewelry, restaurants – good restaurants – and Ben Franklin is a staple.” Shop owners “know you when you walk in,” she said. “The center of the town gives you the personality,” Hinkelman said. It makes a city more than “just a name.” “This little town makes a big impression on people and a lot of that has to do with the downtown,” Hinkelman said. And, she said, the property owners are keeping their buildings up. All the more reason “to show our appreciation…


Summit brings women in philanthropy into focus

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Learning how to manage money and learning the value of sharing that wealth with others go helping hand in helping hand. For the past 15 years, Auburn University’s Women’s Philanthropy Board has entwined those lessons in programs geared toward elementary school students through adults. Bringing those values together is essential, said Sidney James Nakhjavan, the executive director for the Cary Center for the Advancement of Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies at Auburn. She was the keynote speaker at the Women in Philanthropy Summit Saturday at Bowling Green State University. The summit was convened by the presidents of BGSU, Otterbein University and the University of Findlay. “When you talk in terms of money management, you talk in terms of one thing,” Nakhjavan told those in attendance. “When you talk in terms of philanthropy and building a legacy, you certainly are talking about one thing. When you blend it then you get this powerful force that really effects change within people. …  It becomes this burning passion.” While teaching money management may seem fairly dispassionate, said Nakhjavan every semester she gets “criers.” One male student became apoplectic in a session talking about money management. He was angry…


Library offers variety of adult activities

A tour of downtown Bowling Green highlighting the city’s historic past, coloring for adults, job coach sessions, and book discussions are among the programs being offered for adults at Wood County District Public Library in BG. Saturday, May 21 Join WCDPL’s Local History librarian Marnie Pratt and Kelli Kling of the Wood County Museum at 10 am and discover downtown BG’s historic past with a “Business in Boomtown Walking Tour.” The tour leaves promptly at 10, rain or shine, from the Carter House parking lot. Light refreshments will be served in the Carter House at the tour’s conclusion. Registration required. Call 419-352-5050. Monday, May 23 Coloring It’s Not Just for Kids. Come, join friends and neighbors who have rediscovered coloring—a relaxing and creative pastime for adults. Coloring sheets ad colored pencils provided, but feel free to bring your own supplies. “Coloring: It’s Not Just for Kids” takes place in the library’s newly renovated 2nd Floor Meeting Room starting at 7 pm. Tuesday, May 24 Just the Facts, the library’s popular nonfiction book group led by Anne Render discusses Going Clear by Lawrence Wright at 10:30 am in the 2nd Floor Meeting Room. Thursday, May 26 Meet with retired HR expert Frank…