The fundamental things apply in the market, even in the time of Trump, analyst says

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Nobody knows what President Donald Trump will do. Even the morning after his first address to Congress where his performance was deemed as more presidential, the new president remains an enigma. Yet when all is said and done, Clint Pogemiller, president of MWA Financial Services, believes the fundamentals of investing for the long term apply – a diversified portfolio and patience to stay the course over the long haul. Pogemiller spoke to local Modern Woodmen of America agents and customers last week for a breakfast time market forecast. “Overall 2016 was a very good year,” he said. The market was up 16 percent for the year. That included the “Trump bump” or “Trump jump” with the market rising 7.7 percent since the Nov. 8 election. That election, Pogemiller reminded the audience confounded the experts. They gave Trump a 1-percent chance of winning, and then when he won they predicted the market would tank. Indeed futures trading was off 1,000 points overnight. But then the day after the election, the market rose 257 points. The market has added $3.1 trillion in value since then. “Things are moving at a much faster pace these days,” he said. “You don’t want to react on a short term basis.” This continues the second longest bull market in history dating back to the recovery following the housing bust in 2007. Pogemiller said that even taking into account that bust and the earlier dotcom crash, if an investor had put money into the market in 2000 and just let it stay there, they would have earned back 9 percent. But many people weren’t that patient. “It’s time in the market, not timing the market,” he said echoing a truism used by J.D. Pugh, regional director for Modern Woodmen, earlier in the morning. “We don’t know for sure what Trump will do,” Pogemiller said. But many are anticipating a reduction in tax rates, especially for corporations, increased spending on infrastructure, and lessening of regulations. While the new president and the Republican-controlled Congress agree on a lot, including tightened controls on immigration, there are differences. Trump favors tariffs while congressional Republicans tend to be free traders. And they will like to focus more on fiscal restraint. Pogemiller said the test of the markets will come when we see how many of his campaign promises Trump is able to fulfill. One promise he made, a return to 4 percent growth in Gross National Product, is unlikely to come to pass, Pogemiller said. GDP is constrained by a lack of growth in the workforce as the population ages and people retire. The workforce is now growng by 1 percent. (Pogemiller did not address how immigration restrictions would affect the growth in the workforce.) Productivity is also trending downward. And even a return to the levels of productivity seen after World War II would not be enough to boost GDP by 4 percent. Pugh asked about other factors. He noted that the recovery, though long, had been tepid.Blue chip companies, he said, have been sitting on money, and corporations with money overseas won’t bring it back to the United States because they would face penalties. He wondered if these issues were addressed would that boost the market.. Pogemiller said that he’s seen estimates that addressing…

Wood Haven Health Care named a Top Workplace for 2017

Wood Haven Health Care has been named a ‘Top Workplace’ for the second year in a row by the employees who work there. Workplace Dynamics, a survey firm, teams up with The Toledo Blade newspaper annually to select the top 35 to 40 workplaces in the country. Employees nominate their companies, and those nominations along with company surveys are compiled to determine which are the most dynamic and supportive workplaces in the Toledo area. Workplace Dynamics has worked with more than 40 publishers and roughly 35,000 businesses. 4,387 out 7,135 Toledo metro area employees responded to the surveys last year.

Hanna Hall to get new name & purpose as Maurer Center, home for BGSU College of Business Administration

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Another century-old property on the Bowling Green State University is about to get a make-over thanks in part to a lawyer who owns a lot of property around Bowling Green. The BGSU Board of Trustees Friday took the first steps to begin the $44.8 million project to convert Hanna Hall in the new home of the College of Business Administration. The trustees approved spending $5.7 million in design and pre-construction services. These services include moving a fiber optic cable. The trustees also approved the naming of the building the Robert W and Patricia A. Maurer Center in recognition of a “transformational gift” of $5 million toward the project. The design work will begin later this year with the 22-month construction phase beginning in 2018. The building will open in fall, 2020. Robert Maurer, who graduated from BGSU in 1965 with a degree in accounting before studying law at the University of Toledo, is a partner in partner of Maurer, Newlove, & Bakies. He and his wife own a number of commercial and residential properties in Bowling Green and the area. Maurer told the trustees that he viewed the gift as “an investment.” He expects that investment will pay dividends not just to the university, but to the city of Bowling Green, the state and even the nation. “We’re proud to be part of it.” Mrs. Maurer also attended BGSU.   The background information on the Maurer Center provided to the trustees states: “The over-arching goal of the building interior is to create an active space for faculty, students, and business professionals to engage, collaborate and grow. Interior spaces are visually accessible to each other, promoting interaction and awareness. Classrooms, labs, offices and collaboration spaces are intermixed on each floor in order to activate each level of the building and encourage informal and spontaneous learning.” “This is just going to be incredibly cool,” said Sheri Stoll, vice president for administration and finance. “This is not going to be your buttoned-down, blue-suited college of business building. Think Pixar, think Disney.” The current College of Business Administration will remain an academic building, said University spokesman Dave Kielmeyer. The university expects to fund the project in part with $16 million in private gifts. Three major donations by alumni were made for major spaces within the building. Peggy Schmeltz donated $2 million dollars for the William F. and Peggy L. Schmeltz Atrium. The late William Schmeltz had served as dean of the college. Paul and Margo Hooker donated $2 million to create the Sister Noreen Gray Student Success Hub. The hub is named for his aunt who after serving in World War II as a WAVE became a nun. She taught in the Toledo Public Schools and later worked in a Jamaican orphanage. Michael and Mary Lee McGranaghan, donated $1 million to create the dean’s suite in honor of current Dean Raymond Braun. The project will also benefit from gifts from four members of the board of trustees – Chair David Levey, Daniel Keller, David O’Brien, and Bruce Nyberg. Also donating to the project is R. Max Williamson, who chairs the BGSU Foundation Board of Directors. Following recognition of the donors, Levey said: “I want to assure everyone in the audience, there are still rooms in the building.” And…

Teachers give failing grade to Kasich plan requiring them to do business ‘internships’

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Buried on page 1,056 of Gov. John Kasich’s state budget is a proposed requirement that has teachers wondering if they will have to flip patties at burger joints or stock shelves at grocery stores. The provision basically turns teachers into business interns every five years as a new requirement for educator license renewals. The language reads like this: Beginning September 1, 2018, the state board of education’s rules for the renewal of educator licenses shall require each applicant for renewal of a license to complete an on-site work experience with a local business or chamber of commerce as a condition of renewal. Work experience obtained pursuant to this section shall count toward any required continuing education. Each local professional development committee established under section 3319.22 of the Revised Code shall work with its teachers to identify local work experience opportunities that meet the requirements of this section. Some local teachers have taken to Facebook to express their displeasure. They have questioned whether Kasich doesn’t realize they have full-time jobs. They have proposed that the governor should have to spend time working in a public school, or that legislators perform internships in classrooms. Bowling Green City Schools Superintendent Francis Scruci said he is trying to not over-react to some of the more unusual provisions in the budget bill. “I always try to keep my composure,” he said Thursday afternoon. “Whatever is proposed will probably not be the final product.” State Senator Randy Gardner, R-Bowling Green, said he suspects the provision may not make it into the final budget bill. “There are always things in the budget that experience the delete button,” Gardner, a former Otsego High School history teacher, said Wednesday evening. Scruci admitted that he is baffled by the “internship” requirement. “It’s confusing to me what the purpose would be. I’m sure in the governor’s mind this makes sense,” he said. Though the details of the requirement are sketchy, Scruci surmised teachers would be expected to perform these internships during the summers. “I guess he’s asking them to give up their summers,” he said. “I think our teachers have enough state mandates and national mandates. I don’t know where they would find enough hours in the day.” The budget bill also has language requiring school boards to have three non-voting members who represent business in their districts. Again, this requirement has superintendents scratching their heads. “We’re all confused,” Scruci said. “On our particular board, we have business people on the board,” Scruci said. Board members Ginny Stewart and Paul Walker come from the business community. Members Ellen Scholl, Jill Carr and Bill Clifford come from education backgrounds. “I don’t know what his end game is,” Scruci said of the governor requiring ex-officio board members from the business community. “I don’t see how that would benefit us either. I have no idea where he’s going with that.” Gardner also predicted that the board member provision in the budget bill won’t make it through the approval process. Scruci expressed his appreciation of Gardner’s understanding of education issues. “I do believe Randy does care about public education. We’re fortunate to have him on our side.” Gardner has proposed legislation which would help school districts like Bowling Green, which has not been able to access state…

Blanchard Valley Health makes management moves

From BLANCHARD VALLEY HEALTH SYSTEM Blanchard Valley Health System recently made several key management changes in order to focus on organization-wide, strategic initiatives. Linda DeArment was named the Director of Physician Services and Recruitment. DeArment will oversee all provider recruiting activities and the Medical Staff Office. Prior to accepting this position, Linda served as the Chief Development Officer of the Blanchard Valley Health Foundation for nearly 10 years. With the transition of DeArment to the Director of Physician Services and Recruitment role, Blanchard Valley Health Foundation associate Marie Swaisgood will assume the position of Chief Development Officer of the Blanchard Valley Health Foundation. Swaisgood has served as a BVHF Development Officer since 2013. In her new role, she will oversee all fundraising activities as well as BVHS volunteer services. “I welcome Linda and Marie to their new roles,” said Scott Malaney, president and CEO of Blanchard Valley Health System. “We are truly fortunate to have such extraordinary associates, volunteers, providers and community members supporting the organization’s mission of ‘Caring for a lifetime.’”

Gardner listens to concerns over state budget proposal

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   It will be months before State Senator Randy Gardner has to vote on the state budget. That’s why he spent Saturday morning at Wood County District Public Library listening to citizens. There was a long list of concerns. The room was filled with citizens worried about paying for health care, municipal leaders concerned about taking further funding cuts, and BGSU professors dreading state decisions. “The budget is many months away from my vote,” said Gardner, R-Bowling Green. So Saturday was part of the senator’s first steps. “The first responsibility is to listen,” he said. Gardner said he spent time Friday at a Toledo area hospital with parents of a toddler named Evelyn, who has cystic fibrosis. The state budget includes a provision that will shift the Bureau of Children with Medical Handicaps into the Medicaid program. It’s those kind of personal stories that Gardner said he needs to hear prior to casting a vote. The 3,512-page state budget is now in House hearings, where it will be voted on in early May. Then it moves to the Senate, where it will face a vote around June 21. Gov. John Kasich will then sign the budget by the end of June, so the fiscal year can start on July 1. The budget includes “hundreds and hundreds of line items,” Gardner said. He cautioned that the governor has the final say on some by invoking his line item veto power. “It’s not all about what the legislature puts in. It’s about what the governor can do,” he said. In response to a question from Bowling Green City Council member Bruce Jeffers, Gardner also explained that even though the Republicans have the majority of the House, the Senate, the governor’s seat and nearly every other state office, that doesn’t mean there is a united front on issues. “We have a lot of differing opinions of how to move forward,” Gardner said. Public school funding is always a battle, and is still being debated. Gardner mentioned Senate Bill 8, which he introduced as a way to help school districts that don’t rank high for the traditional school facilities dollars. Bowling Green City School District is one of those since the perceived wealth of the district makes it unqualified for much building money from the state. While it’s not as much as the school facilities funding, the SB 8 money can be used for technology or security costs, and can be accessed faster by districts. Other issues brought up at the public forum Saturday included the following. INCREASE IN SALES TAX, DECREASE IN INCOME TAX Gardner was asked about Kasich’s proposal to increase the state’s sales tax and decrease its income tax. “The governor has proposed this a number of times,” he said. Though the income tax decrease would be even across the board, Gardner agreed with one citizen that the benefits for lower income residents would be negligible. Gardner said he generally doesn’t support “tax shifting,” and added that “most of the Republican leadership doesn’t agree” with Kasich’s plan. BUSINESS INCOME TAX COLLECTION Bowling Green City Council member Sandy Rowland asked about the state’s plan to take over collection of income taxes from businesses. Before sending the tax revenue back to the local communities, state officials…

Large farms must meet strict regs, ODA official says

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   The Wood County Commissioners often hear about problems with CAFOs – concentrated animal feeding operations.  So last week, they met with the person in charge of keeping track of those large farms and the manure produced by them. Kevin Elder, chief of the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s Division of Livestock Environmental Permitting, gave the county commissioners an overview of CAFOs in Ohio, including the regulations and the numbers in the state. Wood County has three dairy cow CAFOs and one chicken CAFO. Dairy cattle statistics for Ohio show the greatest number of operations with dairy cows as 39,000 farms in 1950. Those farms had more than 1.1 million dairy cows. “That was back when my grandpa taught me how to milk cows,” Elder said. And that was back when it was common for most farms to have their own dairy cows, Wood County Commissioner Doris Herringshaw said. “Everybody had cows.” By 2016, the number of farms with dairy cows had dropped to 2,671, and the number of dairy cows in Ohio had decreased to 266,000. Wayne County leads the state in dairy cows, followed by Mercer and Holmes counties. Ohio ranks 11th in milk production and first in Swiss cheese production. Ohio has the most robotic milkers, Elder said, with one dairy in Wood County being robotic. Cows are also producing so much more milk than in the past, with an average per cow output in the past of 4,000 pounds a year, increasing up to 40,000 pounds a year, he said. The only livestock group that has expanded in the last few years in Ohio is poultry. In 1963, the state had 5 million layer chickens and 10.7 million broilers. By 2015, the layers numbered 33 million and the broilers hit more than 80 million. Ohio ranks second in the U.S. for both laying hens and egg production. “Poultry is the only species that has increased in numbers,” Elder said. “Wood County was the highest beef cattle county in the state at one time, now it’s almost non-existent,” he said. Elder explained to the commissioners what qualifies as a large concentrated animal feeding operation in Ohio: 700 mature dairy cows 1,000 beef cattle 2,500 swine weighing 55 pounds or more 10,000 swine weighing less than 55 pounds 82,000 chicken, laying hens 125,000 chickens, other than laying hens 55,000 turkeys 500 horses There are a total of 230 CAFOs in Ohio: 40 dairy 5 beef 78 swine 103 poultry 4 horses “Either farms are getting bigger or they are getting out,” Elder said. When Senate Bill 141 was signed by the governor in 2000, the ODA was required to develop rules for CAFOs. Prior to that, the Ohio EPA issued permits to install for CAFOs, but had no permits to operate and no routine inspection program. “A lot of the facilities didn’t match the permits,” Elder said. “We had to make a lot of facilities meet their specs.” Permits to install require the following information: Local notification, siting criteria, geological report, sizing of manure storage, design of manure storage, construction specs, complete set of engineering plans, construction quality control, and final inspection. Siting criteria puts restrictions on how close a CAFO can be to private wells, streams, property lines, public roads and…

BG ready to chill out at Winterfest (updated)

From BG CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU The BGSU Ice Arena is celebrating 50 years with Bobcat and Falcon hockey games, pregame party, post reception, skating show and a visit from Scott Hamilton and Alissa Cziny. Ice sculptures will be on display in the Huntington Bank Parking lot downtown along with our new Chillabration Tent serving beer, wine, snacks and entertainment from 4-11 pm on Feb. 11. The 9th Annual Winterfest held in Bowling Green Ohio is on Feb. 10, 11 and 12 which is always the coolest weekend of the year. This Three-day fun-filled community event features Ice Sculpting Demonstrations, Horse-Drawn Carriage Rides, Ice Skating, Chili & Soup Cook-Off, Frostbite Fun Run, Cookie Creations, Youth Dodge Ball, Snow Globe Co-ed Bubble Soccer, Window Youth Art Exhibition, Four Corners Gallery BGHS Art Exhibit and WC Library events to include Home Depot Break It Make It, Hot Chocolate Story time and I Heart Ohio Scavenger Hunt. Schedule of Events (subject to change) Schedule of Events, Feb 10-12, 2017 FRIDAY BGHS Art Show, Four Corners Gallery, 10 a.m. -7 p.m. Youth Dodgeball, BG Community Center, 3:30 p.m. ($8 fee includes pizza) 2 vs 2 Co-ed Snow Globe Soccer Tournament, BG Community Center, 6 p.m. ($15 per team, 3 games guaranteed,  final at 8 p.m.) BGHS Bobcat Hockey vs. Findlay, Slater Family Ice Arena, 7 p.m. (ticket required) Skate with the Bobcats, Slater Family Ice Arena, 8:30-10 p.m. (skate rental available) SATURDAY Ice Carving Demo by Ice Creations, Slater Family Ice Arena, 10 a.m. I Heart Ohio Scavenger Hunt, WC Public Library Second Floor, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. BGHS Art Show, Four Corners Gallery, 10-2 pm 1 mile Frostbite Fun Run presented by BIGGBY, City Park, 11 a.m. (pre-registration w/ fees) Ice Carving Demonstration by  Ice Creations,  Huntington Bank Parking Lot, noon to 4 p.m. Chili & Soup Cook Off, Vet Building at City Park, noon to 2 p.m. ($5 tasting) Cookie Creations for Kids, City Park, 1:30-2:30 p.m. BGHS Art Show, Four Corners Gallery, 2-6 p.m. Break It Make It with Home Depot: Cold Slushy Fun!, WC Public Library,  for all ages from 2-3 p.m. 50th Celebration Pre-Game Party, Slater Family Ice Arena, 3:30-5 p.m. (game ticket holders) Carriage Rides, Four Corners Center, 4-6 p.m. (free) Chillabration Tent offering beer, wine, snacks and entertainment, 4-11 p.m. (tickets at door) BGSU Hockey vs. Mercyhurst, Slater Family Ice Arena, 5:05 p.m. (ticket required) 50th Celebration BGSU Ice Arena Party Slater Family Ice Arena, 7:30-10 p.m. BGHS Art Show, Four Corners Gallery, noon to 4 p.m. (free) Celebration Figure Skating Show, Slater Family Ice Arena, 1:30-3:30 p.m. (ticket required) Hot Chocolate Family Storytime, WC Public Library, for all ages, from 2-3 p.m. (free) Public Skate, Slater Family Ice Arena, 3:30-5:20 p.m. (skate rental available) EVENT INFO: 50th Celebration BGSU Ice Arena Events: BG Parks & Recreation Events:,  or download the free app!

Website Hometown Reads promotes locally sourced books

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News When Becky Robinson was young, she read voraciously and dreamed of being a writer. Now an adult with three daughters of her own, she cultivates their love of reading and works to help writers connect with an audience. Robinson recently launched a Bowling Green page in her Hometown Reads project. It’s the 43rd page devoted to locally sourced literature. “The vision of Hometown Reads is for local people to discover authors in their hometowns,” she said. The concept is simple.  First go to the home page ( and find and see a photographic listing of cities from Ann Arbor to Minnesota’s Twin Cities. Places as small as Grants Pass, Oregon to places as large as Los Angeles. Then click on the photo of the county courthouse and that brings you to: (Or of course you can go directly there.) On the page currently are links to half dozen books by local authors. Click on the link and that connects to more information about the book and author. Like what you see?  For most books there’s “Learn More” button takes you to the author’s home page and another button links to Amazon where you can buy the book. (Many of the books are also available locally.) Robinson said usually she wants more books to populate a page before launching it, but she felt there was enough market in Bowling Green to take a chance. She like to see more writers affiliated with Bowling Green State University avail themselves of the service. The service for writers is free. Robinson said at first it was free for the writer’ first book, with a charge for any subsequent volumes, but she is switching to make all listings free. At this point Hometown Reads is a passion project that’s funded by her core business Weaving Influence. That company provides marketing assistance, both online and traditional, for the authors of business books. The Lambertville, Michigan-based entrepreneur founded Weaving Influence in 2012, and she now employs about 30 associates. She launched the business after earning a bachelor’s degree in English from Miami University and a master’s degree in Intercultural Studies at Wheaton College in Illinois. No formal tutelage in business or marketing, she notes. Robinson spent nine years at home raising her daughters. She transitioned back into the workforce doing freelance marketing consultant work for business book authors and working as a social marketing director for a management consulting firm. Other authors approached her, but she was reluctant at first to take the offers because she was working full-time. Then having a vision of an enterprise larger than herself, she started Weaving Influence. Early on she had the idea for Hometown Reads as a division of the core company. She even bought the domain names. “I realized there were a lot of authors who cared a lot about their content and their books but didn’t know how to market.” But she also realized “I didn’t have time, staff energy to make a startup go.” By late 2015 she was ready to revisit the idea, and in early 2016 she started Hometown Reads. Toledo was the first city. “I know how much heart and soul people pour into their books, and I think they deserve to be recognized,” she said. And…

Chamber bestows honors on outstanding citizens (updated)

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Chet Marcin looked bemused at the question: Why is it important to do volunteer work? After chuckling, he said: “Because it’s good for your community, good for your family, good for the public in general.” On Saturday night The Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce at its annual Dinner Meeting and Awards honored Marcin and Shirley Woessner, the director of the Bowling Green Christian Food Pantry, as its Citizens of the Year. Marcin, an attorney, said he would tell young professionals “find the things that interest you and get involved and help the community. You don’t get paid for everything you do.” For Marcin that meant long involvement with curling in Bowling Green, first as a member and then through his son’s involvement in the junior curling. He has also served on City Council, as an elder and trustee of First Presbyterian Church, as a president of the Optimists and Exchange clubs, and on the Wood County District Public Library Board. Woessner became director of the food pantry after retiring from the university’s food service after the death of the previous director. She was reluctant. She wasn’t a public speaker. She would take the job for six months. She’s still at it, and still waiting for the public relations director she’d been promised at the time. Woessner said seeing people in the need keeps her working as much as 50-60 hours a week. “You never realize how big the need is.” She grew up on a farm, and though they weren’t rich “we had everything we needed.” Now people come to her for help who are sleeping in their cars. “It’s an ongoing need. People always are going to be hungry. So as long as God gives me the strength, I’ll keep running the pantry.” Woessner, who also delivers the Sentinel-Tribune, got involved because she’d been active for 25 years in the Salvation Army’s kettle campaign.  She schedules volunteers and rings the bell herself if someone doesn’t show up. The Chamber also gave its Athena Award to Becca Ferguson, retired vice president for Human Resources at Bowling Green State University, president of Kiwanis, member of the Wood County Hospital Foundation Board, and vice president of the county Board of Developmental Disabilities. She was also praised as a booster both of high school and university sports. The Zeus Award was given to Dan Craig, president of Rosenboom Custom Crafted Cylinders, who has been active in the Wood County Economic Development Foundation, the hospital board and in supporting the community fireworks and holiday parade. He was praised for his “no-nonsense approach to getting things done” and being “very supportive of the females working for him.”

Rebecca Singer, new leader at Center for Innovative Food Technology, is rooted in farming

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News In her new position as CEO and president of the Center for Innovative Food Technology, Rebecca Singer has to deal with the entire spectrum of the food industry, from seed to package. She brings just the right mix of experience the job requires. Singer, who took over the leadership role about a month ago, has a degree in agri-business and applied economics from Ohio State, and she managed the state’s Ohio Proud program before taking a position with CIFT 15 years ago. All that is grounded on the farm. She grew up on a farm in Defiance County, and when she moved back to Northwest Ohio to join CIFT, she decided settle back there. She and her brother now manage the operation while their father stays involved in the chores he enjoys like driving the tractor. They grow soybeans and ponder all the issues that farmers face. Do they have enough acreage for a viable soybean operation? Should they transition into vegetables and specialty crops? “It lends a lot of authenticity that these are the kinds of things that go through our minds on our operation,” Singer said. Like Ohio’s weather, the agriculture sector is ever changing. Recently “there’s been such a tremendous amount of interest in local foods,” she said. This effects the farmers who grow the food those who process it. That’s been seen at CIFT’s Northwest Ohio Cooperative Kitchen outside of Bowling Green on Ohio 582.  The facility serves as a launching pad for local food products. “A lot of people enjoy making food for other people,” Singer said. “They enjoy sharing recipes that’s been passed down for generations.” The cooperative kitchen has the equipment and expertise to help that make that happen. CIFT can serve as “a one-stop shop” for producers, helping them identify sources of ingredients, fine-tuning their processing to make it as cost effective as possible, and adhering to food safety procedures. Interest in using the kitchen increased with the local food movement. “It’s really exploded,” she said. More and more people want “a clean label,” she said. They don’t want to see an ingredients list laden with artificial additives and preservatives. Tastes will shift. It’s all about hot and spicy now. The desire for local ingredients is here to stay, she said. Growers are straining to meet that demand. Finding labor for those few weeks when they need to harvest is a challenge, one they share with larger processors. “We hear all the time that they can’t find help,” she said. Finding folks who want to work hard, in the heat of summer is increasingly difficult. Mechanization can help, but harvesting still needs the human touch, she said. The ag incubator located at the cooperative kitchen site demonstrates new technologies and methods for growing food, as well as new varieties, Singer said. Right now the incubator is demonstrating a trellis system for growing berries, hydroponics, and hops. The growth of micro-brewing, which also values locally sourced products, is increasing the demand for hops. “We’re trying to show growers what’s involved so they can make a decision whether this is something they want to do.” Processing the hop crop “so it is ready for a brewer to use” is also a challenge. That’s also something CIFT can help…

The Andersons announces it will exit retail business

From THE ANDERSONS INC. / PRNewswire The Andersons, Inc. (Nasdaq:ANDE) announces today (Jan. 15)  its plans to exit the retail business and close its remaining four retail stores in the second quarter of 2017. The retail closings will have no impact on the Company’s grain, ethanol, plant nutrient and rail operations. “The decision to close The Andersons stores was not easy for anyone involved,” says CEO Pat Bowe. “Choosing to cease a business that has spanned 65 years and employs about 1,050 people is tremendously difficult.” The closing will eliminate approximately 650 positions in the Toledo area and 400 positions in Columbus, of which approximately 75 percent are part-time positions. The Company will provide employees with severance packages and outplacement services to assist them in their career transitioning. During the past eight years the Retail Group has incurred pre-tax losses, including previous asset impairments, in excess of $20 million and closed three stores. The full financial impact of this closure has not been determined. The Company expects to record pre-tax impairment charges on long-lived assets related to the Retail segment of approximately $6.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2016. The Company expects to record a pre-tax charge in the range of $9 to $14 million in the first half of 2017 for severance costs and other costs associated with the closure. The Company also anticipates that the full carrying value of its inventory may not be recoverable during the store liquidation process. Gains or losses are anticipated on individual properties upon sale, however the Company is uncertain of the timing and amount of those sales. Subsequent to the impairment charges noted above, the Retail Group’s assets at their December 31, 2016 carrying values include: Inventory and other assets       $21.0 million Long-lived assets                     $9.8 million About The Andersons, Inc. Founded in Maumee, Ohio, in 1947, The Andersons is a diversified company rooted in agriculture conducting business across North America in the grain, ethanol, plant nutrient and rail sectors. For more information, visit The Andersons online at The Andersons Stores Facts: Original Warehouse Market opened in Maumee in 1952 Stores average 140,000 square feet Stores average 125,000 different SKUs   SOURCE The Andersons, Inc.

Media: Andersons stores closing

Multiple media sources including WTOL and the Blade are reporting that The Andersons will close its retail operations, including stores in Maumee and Toledo. (See company press release:

Fire at Kroger closes store until Friday morning

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News The Kroger store in Bowling Green will be closed overnight after a fire started in the expanded area of the store. The small fire on the roof of the grocery store on North Main Street in Bowling Green this evening led to the store being evacuated. Bowling Green Fire Chief Tom Sanderson said it appeared the fire may have been started by welding in the area. The portion of the store affected is on the northeast corner of the building, in an area that it still incomplete and not open to the public. There was no danger to those in the store, the chief said. But to be safe, the store was evacuated. The fire call came in at 5:50 p.m. Two fire engines, the ladder truck and 11 firefighters responded to the scene. The fire was being fought by firefighters inside spraying water and firefighters outside pulling off the roofing material. A person answering the phone in Kroger around 8 p.m. said the store would be closed overnight until 6 a.m. on Friday. No additional information was available.

‘The Shed’ property in line for rezoning to B-5

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   The building by the tracks at 510 E. Wooster St. has had a colorful – even checkered – history. To the old timers in Bowling Green, it was the Burger Chef, where you could get a burger and fries for a quarter. Later it became a Hard Body’s Co-Ed Gym, then The Shed which sold hippie paraphernalia just this side of legal, and finally Eclipse Salon. Its most recent role has been that of an eyesore, sitting empty for more than a decade after a fire. But it appears the shop – or at least the location – may be resurrected again. A request to rezone the 0.2235-acre site just to the east of the railroad tracks was approved Wednesday evening by the Bowling Green Planning Commission. The request was made by new owners Charles & Kenneth Holdings Ltd., of which Ammar Mufleh is a partner. Mufleh is owner of the ClaZel in downtown Bowling Green. The site will be changed from B-2 general commercial zoning to B-5 transitional central business district zoning. The new zoning will allow for more flexibility with the odd-shaped location. “This property was the original property that was the reason for B-5 zoning,” said attorney Bob Spitler, who was representing the new owners. “The ongoing appearance in recent times has been horrible.” The plans for the property are unknown, Spitler said. Also approved for the same zoning change was 0.0924 acres just to the east of the old Shed property. Jay Williams requested B-5 zoning at 516 E. Wooster St., formerly Myles Pizza and now Pizza Pub 516. Again with this site, the B-5 zoning will allow greater flexibility, said Bowling Green Planning Director Heather Sayler. “It’s really difficult to do much with B-2,” given the irregular shapes of the lots and the lack of parking, Sayler said. The addition of more B-5 zoned properties to the stretch of East Wooster Street between Bowling Green State University and the downtown area is great news to Sayler. “This fills in the corridor nicely,” she said Wednesday evening. “It builds upon a vibrant downtown. We’re excited filling in this piece of the B-5 corridor.” Nearly every parcel on Wooster Street between BGSU and the downtown is now B-5, except for one residence, Taco Bell, a Butt Hut shop and the city electric division building. “They embrace the B-5 zoning changes,” Sayler said of all the other sites. Planning commission member Judy Ennis praised the planning staff for focusing on the city’s land use values with the zoning changes. “This rezoning request clearly meets several goals of the Land Use Plan, along with the wishes of the university and city to create a vibrant corridor between the university and downtown,” the planning office report stated. “Creating a vibrant area not only increases the economic vitality of the community as a whole, but also helps to attract additional visitors and potential staff, faculty and students to the university when the cohesiveness of community is clearly evident.” The B-5 zoning is the newest classification in Bowling Green’s zoning regulations. The zoning is designed to meet seven principles of: Making positive, appealing first impressions. Having a strong business base. Offering a broad housing spectrum. “Good neighbor” neighborhoods. Easy access to health and fitness….