Business

Downtown BG decorates for the holidays

From DOWNTOWN BOWLING GREEN As the holiday season comes upon us, Downtown Bowling Green is beyond elated to unveil the new seasonal décor.   Through fundraising and generous donations of our community we have been able to replace all the arrangements for the commercial planters that line the downtown as well as purchase four new banners to tout the new Bowling Green distinction of “Best Home Town” 2017-2018 for our region from Ohio Magazine. Norm Tolles who works at McKenzie’s Flower Basket was so eager to help create a beautiful selection with white birch poles, evergreen, ornaments and pinecones.  Tolles headed up a group of volunteers that pre-assembled some of the decorations and again instructed a group that installed the new arrangements.  In all 360’ of white birch was cut and bound, 500 pinecones and 500 ornaments wired and an immeasurable amount of evergreen will make for a beautiful seasonal setting in our downtown.   Many thanks Rick and Carl’s Tree Farm, Lewallen Construction for their donations and for all the volunteers.  In all we accumulate almost 200 volunteer hours from start to finish, not just assembling but also removal of the summer foliage and installing the new arrangements. The…


BG Council action to help Betco create 20 new jobs

 By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Bowling Green City Council helped pave the way Monday evening for a local manufacturer to add approximately 20 jobs. Council agreed to vacate about 90 feet of right-of-way adjacent to Betco Corporation on Newton Road. The vacating of the right-of-way will allow the company to proceed with construction of an additional facility at its location. Betco is planning a 20,000 square foot warehouse for the relocation of operations from another state – which will create an estimated 20 new jobs. Also at Monday’s meeting, Mayor Dick Edwards declared Nov. 25 as “Small Business Saturday” in Bowling Green. “Small businesses employ over 48 percent of the working population of the U.S.,” he said. Mary Hinkelman, managing director of Downtown Bowling Green, asked those present to remember the “Holly Days” and “Downtown Dollars” promotions while they do their holiday shopping. “We are working hard to promote our downtown,” Hinkelman said. “It’s so important for our downtown merchants.” According to Hinkelman, when people spend their shopping dollars locally, 68 cents of every $1 stays in the local economy. She also noted that local businesses are frequently giving back to the community. “They make a huge…


Cameron’s Comics turns the page with shop in downtown BG

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Jonathan Smith said he was something of a nerd when he was a kid. He loved Calvin and Hobbes and Mad Magazine. When Smith’s wife died three years ago this coming February, he needed something that he and his son, Cameron, could do together. Before then Smith traveled a lot selling and racing quarter-scale race cars. Reading comic books was just the thing. Together they’d travel to different shops in southern Michigan and Toledo, checking out what was available. That bonding experience blossomed into a store selling comic books and named after Cameron, 16, which opened in Adrian, Michigan, last year. The success of the Cameron’s Comics & Stuff took Smith, 42, by surprise. At first, he worked days at a factory and ran the store at night. But he found he could quit his factory job and devote himself to the store. Now Smith has opened a second Cameron’s Comics at 175 N. Main St. in Bowling Green. The shop officially opened Friday with a ribbon cutting. Over the weekend, Smith said, customers flocked to the store. Many were pleased to have a store devoted to comics and related literature, toys, and games…


BG gets tips on how to become ‘welcoming community’

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Bowling Green has declared itself a “welcoming community.” But what does that really mean? And how exactly can it be accomplished? Earlier this year at the urging of the city’s Human Relations Commission, Bowling Green City Council adopted a resolution stating the city was welcoming. “All communities say they are welcoming,” said Rev. Mary Jane Saunders, co-chair of the Human Relations Commission. “We always know any community can be better.” The commission wants Bowling Green and its residents to view immigrants as a benefit – not a detriment to the community – and to realize the economics of immigration. Several cities in the “rust belt” have started looking at immigrants in a different light than some areas of the nation. In many Midwest cities, immigrants are now seen as a solution to critical labor shortages and as ways to strengthen the local economy Several manufacturers in Bowling Green have expressed concerns recently about the labor force being too small to fill their needs. So last week, Bowling Green welcomed home Steve Tobocman, whose great-grandfather immigrated to this community in the beginning of the 20th century after fleeing the persecution of Jews in…


Study to see if sports complex could score big here

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Parents of young children often pack up the vehicles several weekends of the year to head out to travel ball tournaments. Local economic development officials want to see if they might be able to get a piece of that action. Four entities – Wood County Economic Development Commission plus the cities of Perrysburg, Rossford and Maumee – have invested $15,000 each to have a study conducted on whether or not this area could support a massive sports complex. “I think there is a demand,” said Wood County Economic Development Commission Executive Director Wade Gottschalk. “We all know parents who drive kids to tournaments every weekend. We want to see if there’s enough demand for something of this scope.” Perrysburg Mayor Mike Olmstead suggested the feasibility study after visiting the Grand Park sports campus near Indianapolis. That 400-acre facility includes more than 31 multipurpose and soccer fields, 26 baseball diamonds, and an indoor soccer and events center. “It’s a great idea,” Gottschalk said. That’s why experts in the field have been brought in to do impartial evaluations, he added. If the study finds that such a sports complex would be feasible in this…


BG Chamber: “Bowling Green district must expand, renovate and modernize its facilities”

The Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors has voted to endorse the upcoming Bowling Green City Schools Bond Issue and the Wood County Job & Family Services Human Services 1.3M Renewal Levy.  The high quality of life in the Bowling Green area is directly supported by the quality of our city schools and by the important services provided by the WCJFS. There are hundreds of articles stating how quality schools are an economic development driver. Communities wanting to retain and attract new economic development projects should know that corporate decision makers look hard at the local school systems. Do they provide a quality education?  Is the school competitive in the use of technology and facilities?  Will the school produce a future quality workforce?  Passage of the bond would make us more competitive with neighboring school districts, vastly improve technological instruction and classrooms, and would show our youth how much we value their education. There’s no question that the Bowling Green district must expand, renovate and modernize its facilities. The price tag will never be any cheaper than it is today. This project will create the best learning environment and opportunities for our youth.  The School Bond Issue is…


BG Chamber: Charter amendment will scare off businesses

As a representative of the business community, the Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce believes it is important for citizens to thoroughly read the proposed City Charter Amendment. If passed, there are real unintended consequences to our community. A portion of the actual ballot language reads “If the City of Bowling Green fails to enforce or defend this Amendment, or, a court fails to uphold this Amendment, any person may enforce this Amendment” and “City of Bowling Green law enforcement, and cooperating agencies acting within the jurisdiction of the City of Bowling Green, shall have no lawful authority to surveil, detain, arrest, or otherwise impede persons enforcing these rights.” The BGCC finds this specific language very disturbing. It implies anyone acting on behalf of this amendment, can break laws without consequences; our local law enforcement agencies are restricted from safeguarding our community from potential harmful activities ‘protected’ under this amendment; and even our court system is belittled. This proposed amendment would directly obstruct or stop any business/industry interested in locating or currently operating in Bowling Green who is affiliated with fossil fuel (whether used by residents or businesses). Passage essentially puts a sign on the city limits proclaiming “Bowling Green is…


The music plays on at the Clazel

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The new operators of the 91-year-old Clazel in downtown in Bowling Green are not looking to teach the old venue new tricks. This summer Darrin and Cierra Karcher, of Findlay, purchased the Clazel business from Ammar Mufleh, who retains ownership of the building and property. The vision for the venue spelled out by John Carroll, the general manager, follows along the lines of what Mufleh did from the time he purchased the old theater in mid-2008. He ran the club nights on Fridays and Saturdays until last December when he stopped them out of concern for the wear-and-tear on the theater and his staff. Now the late night lights and DJs are back. Carroll worked security and on other projects for the Clazel since 2011. “I have a lot of respect for the building and definitely want to make sure it’s taken care of.” The Karchers, Carroll said, who own several bars in Findlay and Upper Sandusky, were interested in branching out. This will be the first night club the couple will operate. The Clazel continues to be available for weddings, corporate meetings and parties, and fundraisers.  “The big one being Fire and Ice,”…


Global Detroit leader to speak on immigrant & the economy

Building Global: Welcoming Immigrants and Economic Growth, a conversation with Steve Tobocman, of Global Detroit, will be presented Thursday November 2, 2017, 6-7:30 p.m. in the  Atrium of the Wood County Public Library, Bowling Green. Since 2009,  Tobocman has spearheaded Global Detroit, www.globaldetroit.com, and led the creation and growth of the Welcoming Economies Global Network , a regional Network of over a dozen regional economic development initiatives from across the Midwest working to address critical labor shortages and economic revitalization needs by tapping into the economic development opportunities created by immigrants as valued contributors to local economies. Tobocman served as the State Representative from Michigan 12th State House focusing his work on economic development. He earned his Juris Doctor, cum laude, from the University of Michigan Law School and a Masters in Public Policy from U of M’s Ford School of Public Policy. Event organized by the City of Bowling Green Human Relations Commission, the Welcome BG Task Force, the Bowling Green Economic Development, and the Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce. Opening remarks by Mayor Edwards.  


Wood County honors citizens for their contributions

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   The best of Wood County was honored on Sunday. Farmers who help educate city folks about agriculture. Pastors who build bridges, not walls. And a retired teacher who is still committed to learning, even if that means going to a “Godzilla” movie. Wood County commissioners Doris Herringshaw and Ted Bowlus led off the 2017 Spirit of Wood County Awards in the courthouse atrium. Following is the list of people recognized in each category: Agricultural leadership: Cathy Newlove Wenig, Gordon Wenig, Paul Herringshaw and Lesley Riker. Liberty through law/human freedom: Dan Van Vorhis. Self-government: Tim W. Brown. Education for Civic Responsibility: Mary Kuhlman. Religion and liberty: Revs. Mary Jane and Gary Saunders. Industrial/economic development: Barbara Rothrock. Lyle R. Fletcher Good Citizenship Award: Gwen Andrix and Amy Holland. “This is one of those things that Wood County does especially well,” said State Senator Randy Gardner, R-Bowling Green, about the recognition of community service by citizens. The agricultural leadership award was presented by Earlene Kilpatrick, executive director of the Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce. For the last 12 years of the BG Leadership program, the Wenigs, Herringshaw and Riker have welcomed city business people on…


Rudolph Libbe Official Supports Human Services Levy

Wood County voters on November 7th will be asked to RENEW the 1.3 Mill Human Services Levy. As Chairman of the Protective Services Levy Committee, I would like to share with you some very important facts about the Levy: This is not a new tax. It is a renewal of the same 1.3 mill levy that Job and Family Services has had since 1987. The number of mills has never been increased. Wood County is the only county.in the state to reduce or suspend collection of a levy six times over the last 30 years. We only take what we need and are responsible to the taxpayer. We need the levy because Ohio is the 50th in the country for state funding support of child abuse programs. Without local support, the program would be severely weakened. The levy will be in effect for ten (10) years and will cost the owner of a $100,000 house approximately $37.00 per year. This levy supports the investigation of reports of suspected child abuse and neglect, and elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation. Wood County Children Services investigated 894 cases of suspected child abuse and neglect in 2016. Adult Protective Services unit investigated 260 complaints…


BGSU & UT to host sold-out Women in Leadership conference

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS More than 600 women will participate in the 2017 Women in Leadership conference co-sponsored by Bowling Green State University and The University of Toledo to learn strategies for professional advancement. The sold-out conference titled Step Up to Step Out: Strategies for Distinguishing Yourself to Advancement will take place from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 20 at the Hilton Garden Inn at Levis Commons in Perrysburg. BGSU President Mary Ellen Mazey and UT President Sharon L. Gaber will participate in the conference that features talks from several business leaders, including: Abha Bhandair, director of equity administration and benefits accounting for Brown & Brown Insurance; Kelly Hyne, senior vice president of strategic partnerships for the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA); Whitney Johnson, author of “Disrupt Yourself: Putting the Power of Disruptive Innovation to Work”; Debby Peters, founder and instructor for Connext Nation, a word of mouth marketing training program; Aly Sterling, founder and president of Aly Sterling Philanthropy, a national consulting firm based in the Midwest; and Maryrose T. Sylvester, president and CEO of Current, powered by GE, which blends advanced energy technologies such as LED and solar with networked sensors and software. The annual conference…


Girl Leadership Summit set for Oct. 22

From TOTAL PACKAGE GLOBAL Total Package Girl, a tween and teen girl confidence and leadership brand based in Toledo, Ohio, announces Be The Force II,  the second Girl Leadership Summit to be held Sunday, October 22, 2017, from 1 – 4 p.m. at the Toledo Museum of Art Peristyle. Kristi K. Hoffman, M.S., confidence and leadership expert and CEO of Total Package Global, the brand’s professional and personal development parent company, is the brainchild behind the event. “Our goal truly is to discover how amazing each girl is and for each attendee to leave feeling empowerment, inspiration, and the desire to be the force in her world.”  Hoffman continued, “It’s time we look outside of ourselves and lead the charge. Doing that starts with each of us being the force.  We have unstoppable power when we all come together and now is the time.” That is why Hoffman — a 24-year veteran of mentoring and speaking with girls and young professionals — along with a plethora of partners, has developed event hashtags #BeTheForce and #BeTheTotalPackageGirlForce — to take action and make positive change.  The Teen Girl Leadership Summit partners include: The Blade, WTOL-TV, iHeart Radio, ProMedica, Taylor Automotive Family, Toledo…


Aldi customers brave rain to celebrate store’s reopening

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News More than 100 customers lined up in on dank, grey, rainy morning to be the first to see the bright new interior of the Aldi store in Bowling Green. The supermarket reopened Wednesday (Oct. 12) morning after having been closed for a remodeling since Aug. 14. All Aldi stores in the United States are getting upgraded said district manager Nathan Terhark. “It’s all part of accompany initiative to improve the look of every store.” The store features a brighter look, with new signs, and wider aisles. The store’s footprint remains the same. “We made it a better customer experience to be able to maneuver through the store,” he said. Store Manager Maria Croninger said she especially liked that the store now has refrigerated produce area, the major addition to the product line. Also, wine will have a new display area. The store, said Terhark, focuses on efficiency. It carries a wide variety of items and brands, but only in a couple types of packaging. He said the chain tried to work with customers to help them while the store was closed. Other area stores in Rossford, Sylvania, and Findlay did see a bounce in…


BG students make the most of manufacturing day

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   There were robots scooting across the floor, fresh packaged green beans and a guinea pig named “Lil Poundcake” – all part of National Manufacturing Day. Nine Wood County manufacturers set up shop in the Bowling Green Middle School on Friday to show students that manufacturing could be a great career choice. “We want to get this age to consider a career in manufacturing,” said Sue Clark, executive director of the Bowling Green Economic Development Foundation. “When you start in high school, they already have preconceived notions. So you have to start earlier.” This is the first time the middle school has held a manufacturing day, said Jodi Anderson, secondary curriculum coordinator. “There is a crisis in manufacturing for skilled workers,” Anderson said. Friday’s event was intended to help students see that “old school traditional factories” are not the same as today’s manufacturing. Clark agreed. “We need young people in the pipeline” for manufacturing jobs, she said. Many students have archaic ideas of manufacturing jobs. “This is so kids see what modern manufacturing looks like,” Anderson said. “It’s changed drastically.” This manufacturers’ fair had students using virtual reality goggles and turning soap different…