Community Voices

Needle Hall the setting for ‘Desire for the Intangible’ digital video art exhibit

Submitted by ADVANCED DIGITAL VIDEO ART The Bowling Green State University Advanced Digital Video Art 2019 will present a two-day exhibit “Desire for the Intangible” in Needle Hall in City Park, 520 Conneaut Ave., April 25 and 26. A public reception will be held Thursday, April 25 from 6-8 p.m. Light refreshments provided. A public critique with guest critic Cameron Granger will be held Friday,  April 26, 5-7 p.m.“Desire for the Intangible” features the work of the Advanced Digital Video Art class at Bowling Green State University. This is an open invitation to explore the metaphysical. Through various media including video installations, photography, video, animatics, and illustrations, the artists have conceptualized their desire to connect with the ethereal. Is it possible to embody harmonious existence with nature, trauma, art, spirituality,capitalism, technology, alienation, and communication?In housing the exhibition at the historic Needle Hall, the artists challenge goers’ expectations by bringing them into a beautiful recreation hall. Celebrating this gallery’s gathering potential, many of the artworks will tread against the natural surroundings as digital pieces, forging a coalescence with electronics and earth within the subliminal space. A moment with each work will reveal an inclination for self-reflection: a conversation with the present image and one’s past and future.

Wood County library welcomes writer and editor for Marvel comics

By ABBY SHIFLEY BG Independent Correspondent BGSU alumnus Marc Sumerak returned to Bowling Green to present a comic book workshop. Sumerak started as a creative writing major at BGSU, then an intern at Marvel and has since written and edited hundreds of comic books. He now works as a freelance writer. Saturday, he led a comic book workshop in the Wood County District Public Library for the Bowling Green community, specifically targeted at children. The event was in partnership with the Batman in Popular Culture Conference hosted by the BGSU Department of Popular Culture and the Ray and Pat Browne Library for Popular Culture Studies, which took place April 12-13. “We wanted a component that spoke to a wider audience,” Sumerak said about the workshop. The conference as a whole was for academics; so, having an event for children was a nice contrast. “I am thrilled to have Marc as an addition to the Batman Conference. He provides a cool perspective for the younger generation,” Matthew Donahue, co-organizer of the conference, said. “I grew up reading comics,” Sumerak said. Sumerak took a semester off in his junior year at BGSU to intern at Marvel’s office in New York City. He said his early work on web comics made him stand out from the other candidates for the internship. “Web comics are what got my foot in the door,” Sumerak said. When he was in college, he and one of his friends would create seven web comics a month. After his internship, Sumerak went on to write his first book for Marvel by his senior year and was offered a job on their editorial staff two months before graduation. Since then, Sumerak has worked on The Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, Spider-Man, X-Men, as well as Star Wars, Harry Potter and The Walking Dead. Some of his works were on display at the workshop. Sumerak stressed that he was not an artist — that’s not what comic book writers do. But they also do more than most people think. “They do more than just put words in the balloons,” Sumerak said. “What a comic book writer does is craft the story behind the comics.” A comic book writer has to not only create the dialogue, but also describe the scene of each panel so the artist knows what to draw. Another large part of creating a comic book is collaboration, which is something Sumerak loves about the profession. “When I write a book, it’s just me,” he said. “It’s just me behind the computer typing and typing and typing until I’m done. When I’m working on a comic, it is a collaborative art form, and what that means is I work with lots of other talented people.” Sumerak then went on to describe the different components of a comic book, with lots of interaction between him and his young audience. One young boy was enthusiastic about the “staples” used to connect all the comic book pages together, and Sumerak confirmed this step is very important. Sumerak closed his talk with advice on how to create comics and get into the business, emphasizing the importance of storytelling and good character development. “You can tell great stories about super heroes fighting each other, but if people don’t connect to those characters, if they don’t care about the characters, they’re not going to come back,” Sumerak said. Steve Ammidown, an archivist for the popular culture library, was at the workshop with his daughter, June, who is 4 years old. “She’s a big comic book fan,” Ammidown said. “She’s a Wonder Woman fan, but she…

The Hatch provides opportunities for BGSU student entrepreneurs

By ABBY SHIFLEY BG Independent Correspondent At BGSU’s “Shark Tank”-like event called The Hatch, alumni were busy investing money in student entrepreneurs. Out of eight entrepreneurs, referred to as “hatchlings,” six received funding for their products. This year, the event was put on live TV for the first time with WBGU-TV. (See album of Hatch photos.) The investors were all successful BGSU alumni, including Nico Cottone CEO of SurfTech Inc.; George Heath, the retired group president at Sherwin-Williams; Earle Malm of HighMark Funds; falcon flames Matthew Yourkivitch and Michelle Drerup; and Mark West of Shared Clarity. “Tonight [the hatchlings] will get a chance to, in four minutes, try to overwhelm us with their business idea and the potential of it,” Malm, who is also the lead investor, said. “It’s sort of like ‘Shark Tank,’ but it’s not. “We’ve all been successful. We’ve all developed our own businesses. We all are putting in our own money. We don’t have any pull or capital that the university’s giving us — this is real-time money that we put in that we’ve earned, and that’s the same. Where it’s different is that the ‘Shark Tank,’ most ideas have already earned revenue and they’re operating businesses. We’re predominately looking at ideas.” Investor Mark West, on camera, makes an offer to student entrepreneur Jacob Clark. For the first time, The Hatch was broadcast live. The evening started out on a low note, because the first entrepreneur did not receive funding for her idea. Ramsha Rashid, senior management major, had an idea called Toybox — a website where parents could either donate old children’s toys or purchase bundles of used toys. Rashid’s main goals were to declutter people’s home and be environmentally friendly by sustaining a “circle of play.” However, investors found her idea too broad and thought she needed to review the market further. “It’s a great idea. My question is, are you familiar with Toygaroo?” Yourkivitch asked. Toygaroo was a very similar idea to Rashid’s and appeared on “Shark Tank.” “It was a great idea, it got a $250,000 investment from Mark Cuban, and it was bankrupt a year later,” Yourkivitch said. This comparison made many of the investors drop out. The next presentation was Spit-Pac, a double-sided backpack invented by junior management major Phillip Forest. Forest had visual aids to go along with his presentation, having one of his friends model the backpack for the investors. “This pack design can be applied to many other fields besides camping, such as travel ware, military, school bags and more,” Forest said. Investors had a few questions about the product, such as its cost and what the competition is like. However, they ultimately came to the conclusion that the product was extremely unique and the market for it was large. Forest walked away with $10,000 in exchange for 10 percent of the company, with his initial offer being $10,000 for 5 percent. Laura Dworning, senior dietetics major, presenting to the judges on a wristband for children with diabetes called Sevas. (Abby Shifley photo) Laura Dworning, senior dietetics major, presented the judges with a wristband for children with diabetes. The company’s name was Sevas (“saves” spelled backward), and the band uses a color-coded system to warn children if their blood sugar is low. “I have personally conducted interviews with parents whose children have type 1 diabetes and one response, I quote, ‘100 percent yes, I want my child to have this device,’” Dworning said. “Based on the other initial responses, I am certain there is a need for my product. “Back in March of 2018, Medtronic released their…

Community Earth Day Celebration set for April 28

(Submitted by City of Bowling Green) April is Earth Month and multiple agencies are collaborating throughout Wood County to provide events geared toward conservation, education andfamily fun. The 10th Annual Community Earth Day Celebration will be the culminating event held on April 28, from 2-4 p.m. This free family event is open to all and is filled with fun hands-on learning stations. Try your hand at archery hosted by the Wood County Park District, take a nature walk with the Bowling Green Parks & Rec Department, power a light bulb with the City of Bowling Green’s power generating bicycle, give the Solid Waste Management District’s giant Earth Ball a roll, and hold a crayfish at ODNR’s Scenic Rivers station. Interactive games will be provided by the Northwestern Water & Sewer District, BGSU, and others. The Wood County Master Gardeners will host earth friendly activities and the Wood County Library’s CNG bookmobile will be onsite providing earth friendly stories. The Montessori School of BG, located at 515 Sand Ridge Road, provides an ideal backdrop for this Earth Day Celebration. Enjoy 14 acres of land, visit a Learning Lab, play on the playground and spend some time at the Black Swamp Preserve and Slippery Elm Trail. We encourage you to get involved throughout the month of April to make Earth Day every day. For a full list of volunteer and educational activities, please visit

NAMI to hear personal stories from people affected by mental illness

(Submitted by National Alliance on Mental Illness) NAMI Wood County will be hosting the NAMI Mental Health Conference Series for adults who are wanting to learn more about NAMI Wood County and hear personal stories of people who have been affected by mental illness.  The conference is in Perrysburg on May 3, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at BGSU at Levis Commons, 1655 N. Wilksinson Way, Perrysburg.  The different sessions include NAMI Family and Friends session, panel testimonials, explaining NAMI Wood County and our marketing efforts in the community, and NAMI Wood County programs and our impact. The Family and Friends session is led by trained people with lived experiences of supporting a family member with a mental health condition.  The session will cover topics such as understanding diagnoses, treatment, and recovery, effective communication strategies, the importance of self-care, crisis preparation strategies, and NAMI and community resources.  The marketing session will showcase why NAMI Wood County markets to the community the way it does and compares local mental health advertising impacts.  The panel testimonial session is where individuals share their story, how they became involved with NAMI Wood County, its effect on them and the local community, and how they’re staying involved today.  The last session highlights NAMI Wood County’s educational and support programming and explores its lasting impact on our community. The NAMI Mental Health Conference Series is $35.00 per registrant and it includes lunch and CEU’s (pending approval).  The doors open at 8 a.m.  The deadline to register is April 26.. For more information or to register, go to or call the NAMI Wood County office at (419)-352-0626.

Master gardener volunteers host spring plant exchanges

(Submitted by Master Gardeners of Wood County) The OSU Extension Master Gardener Volunteers of Wood County will be hosting the annual Spring Plant Exchange on Saturday, April 27, in the Home and Garden Building at the Wood County Fairgrounds, 13800 Poe Road, Bowling Green. Plant drop off will start at 9 a.m. with the exchange of plants beginning at 10 a.m. Two free plants (subject to availability) will be given to everyone who attends and everyone is encouraged to bring plants to share. Each visitor will get one additional plant for each one they bring. Please label plants according to type if possible. There will be information booths, items for sale from local vendors such as honey, Alpaca Poo, and soil testing kits. Live music will entertain the crowd. Contact 419-354-9050 or the Wood County Plant Exchange Facebook page for more information. The May 4, Toledo Plant Exchange, will be held at Ohlman’s Farm and Greenhouse, 3901 Hill Ave., with plant drop off beginning at 8:30 a.m. with the exchange at 10 a.m. For more information contact 419-578-6783 or go to the Lucas County Plant Exchange Facebook page. Master Gardener Volunteers will be on hand to answer questions at both exchanges. This is a great opportunity to add new plants to your landscape and also be part of a wonderful community event.

BGSU Arts Events through April 30

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS April 11 – The BGSU Creative Writing Program welcomes Thrity Umrigar, a bestselling author of eight novels, including “The Space Between Us” and the recent “The Secrets Between Us.” She will read from her works as part of the weekly Prout Reading Series. Umrigar has also written a memoir and a children’s picture book. A former journalist, she has written for the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Boston Globe and other publications. She is the recipient of a Nieman Fellowship to Harvard and the Cleveland Arts Prize. She is a professor of English at Case Western Reserve University. The reading will begin at 7:30 p.m. at Prout Chapel. Free April 11 – The International Film Series presents “The Farmer of Nathal: Not a Film about Thomas Bernhard” (“Der Bauer zu Nathal: Kein Film über Thomas Bernhard”). The 2018 film, produced by David Baldinger and Matthias Greuling, tells the story of Bernhard, a world-renowned author from Austria who is both acclaimed and sharply criticized. The documentary investigates Bernhard’s curious relationship to the community and its response to him. The film is, however, less about Bernhard and more about us; it is more about the impact of our community and environment on us and how we live and create. Viewing the poet as seismograph of society: even today, the confrontation with the contrarian Bernhard provides insights into the Austrian soul. The 7:30 p.m. screening in 206 Bowen-Thompson Student Union is co-sponsored by the Austrian Cultural Forum (New York) and is part of the Austrian Studies Conference being hosted at BGSU. Free April 11 – Praecepta, the student chapter of the Society of Composers Inc., promotes new music activities at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall, Moore Musical Arts Center. Free April 12 – The BGSU College of Musical Arts presents a recital by cello professor Brian Snow and piano professor Robert Satterlee for the weekly Faculty Artist Series. This event was rescheduled from March. The recital will begin at 8 p.m. in the Marjorie Conrad M.D. Choral Room in the Wolfe Center for the Arts. Free April 12 – BGSU’s School of Art and Creative Writing Program team up for a special presentation as part of the BFA Senior Thesis Exhibition. The two arts programs come together to showcase creative writing BFA seniors reading some of their works, including ekphrastic pieces that vividly describe visual works of art by the School of Art BFA seniors. The collaborative presentation will be from 6-8 p.m. in the Dorothy Uber Bryan Gallery at the Fine Arts Center. The BFA Senior Thesis Exhibition runs through April 14. Gallery hours are 11 am. to 4 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, 6-9 p.m. Thursdays and 1-4 p.m. Sundays. Free April 12 – EAR | EYE: Listening and Looking: Contemporary Music and Art features BGSU doctoral students performing contemporary music in the various galleries at the Toledo Museum of Art. This series explores the relationship of contemporary music and art through performances in response to specific works of art. The recital begins at 7 p.m. in the galleries of the museum, 2445 Monroe St., Toledo. Free April 12 – The BGSU Department of Theatre and Film’s Elsewhere Productions presents “Dog Sees God,” a play written by Bert Royal about a teenage boy, CB, who begins to question the existence of an afterlife after his dog dies. Unable to find solace from his friends after his dog’s death, CB turns to an artistic classmate, but their rekindled friendship pushes the bounds of what CB’s friends are willing to accept, forcing CB to consider who…

Holy academia, Batman! BGSU hosting conference on Caped Crusader

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS In celebration of the 80th anniversary of Batman, Bowling Green State University’s Department of Popular Culture and the Ray and Pat Browne Library for Popular Culture Studies will host the Batman in Popular Culture Conference April 12-13 at Jerome Library. March 30, 2019, marked the actual 80th anniversary of Batman’s first appearance in the 1939 Detective Comics No. 27, which was written by Bill Finger and penciled by Bob Kane. The story, “The Case of the Criminal Syndicate!” was only six pages long and introduced audiences to Batman and Commissioner Gordon and revealed Batman’s secret identity as wealthy bachelor Bruce Wayne. Registration is closed for the conference, which will feature more than 20 sessions on Batman, including Girls of Gotham, Batman and Popular Music, Batman and Modern Technology, and Batman and Villains. Keynote presentations are outlined below. The conference will also include an appearance by Marc Racop from Fiberglas Freaks, who builds authentic Batmobiles. In addition, Marc Sumerak, comic book writer/creator and BGSU alumnus, will present a community event, “The Craft of Comics,” from 1-3 p.m. Saturday, April 13, at the Wood County Public Library, Bowling Green. WHAT: Batman in Popular Culture Conference WHEN: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. April 12 and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. April 13 WHERE: BGSU Jerome Library, Pallister Conference Room and Room 142B KEYNOTE PRESENTATIONS: 3:20-3:55 p.m. April 12, Pallister Conference Room: Growing Gotham, Making Metropolis: Building the DC Universe – Dan Mishkin, comic book writer/creator11:20-11:55 a.m. April 12, Pallister Conference Room: Holy Bat Heartbreak: The Long Dark Knight of the Soul – Dr. Jenny Swartz-Levine, dean, Lake Erie College11:20-11:55 a.m. April 13, Pallister Conference Room: Batman and Sons: Family and Patriarchal Authority – Dr. Jeffrey Brown, BGSU popular culture faculty3:20-3:55 p.m. April 13, Pallister Conference Room: A Conversation with a Bat-writer – Mike Barr, comic book writer/creator

Not sure what kind of tree to plant? BG arborist can help

(Submitted by BG Arborist Grant Jones) The Bowling Green Tree Commission will be hosting a class on the “What Tree Should I Plant?” on Saturday, May 11, from 9-11 a.m. at the Urban Forestry Arboretum at 1060 Pearl St. – just west of the fire station. Do you want to plant a tree this spring but need some help deciding what to choose? Join Bowling Green’s City arborist to walk through the Urban Forestry Arboretum to discuss the pros and cons of the different trees that are growing there. All the trees growing at the arboretum are also planted along the city’s streets and in the parks. When matched with the right site they can do well. The event is free to the public. Contact the Bowling Green arborist at or419.353.4101 if you have any questions.

2019 Hatchlings include Falcons from a variety of majors

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS Eight Bowling Green State University student entrepreneurs will present their business ideas to alumni investors during The Hatch on Thursday, April 11 at 6 p.m. in the Stroh Center, vying for funds to launch their businesses in a format similar to the popular television show “Shark Tank.” This event is streamed to Hatch Watch parties across the United States and to several countries throughout the world. This is the seventh year for the event in which alumni investors make equity investments providing real money for students to launch real businesses. To date, more than $500,000 has been committed to student startups. This year’s Hatchlings represent several colleges within the University, from freshmen to a graduate student. Their business ideas focus on everything from outdoor sporting, wearable health devices for children, recreation and entertainment innovation, creative storytelling to promote literacy, online apparel that supports women in ministry and a speech app. Jacob ClarkDecoil – Retractable Duck Decoy Weight Jacob Clark, of London, Ohio, is a senior in the College of Education and Human Development majoring in tourism, leisure, and event planning with a minor in entrepreneurship through the College of Business. Clark’s business idea is a retractable decoy weight that can be attached to any duck decoy, ideal for waterfowl hunters who want to shorten their time deploying and retrieving decoys. With this time-saving decoy weight, waterfowl hunters can spend more time in the field and less time untangling and retrieving decoys from the water. Laura DworningSevas – Diabetes Bracelet for Kids Laura Dworning, of Leroy, Ohio, is a senior dietetics major with almost five years of experience studying nutrition and dietetics. She will be graduating with a Bachelor of Science in dietetics in May 2019. Dworning’s business idea is to develop a product exclusively for children with Type 1 diabetes. Her device is a bracelet with an LED screen that will sync via Bluetooth to the child’s “site,” which is usually located on their arm. “Site” is a device that most Type 1 diabetes patients wear, which has a needle inserted into the skin and takes accurate blood sugar readings for seven days before having to be replaced. The site takes accurate blood sugar readings and sends easily understandable signals to the bracelet. The LED screen will show one of three colors – blue for low blood sugar, green for normal range, and red for high. The bracelet will also vibrate to alert the child’s caregiver and/or school nurse when blood sugar is low or high. Philip ForrestSplit-Pax – a backpacking rig designed for comfort Philip Forrest, of Cleveland, is a junior specializing in business management with a minor in military science. Forrest’s business idea is called Split-Pax, a backpacking rig that redistributes pack weight between the front and back of the body. This product is designed to promote proper posture and reduce back pain and fatigue. It also provides easy access to trail-essential items such as water, snacks, electronics and rain gear. Split-Pax will allow for a more comfortable and pleasant hiking experience in the great outdoors, whether for a day hike or a long-distance thru-hike. Blade Frisch Spoken – a mobile communication-assistance app Blade Frisch, of Toledo, Ohio, is a graduate student pursuing a dual master’s in special education and computer science. He earned dual undergraduate degrees in music education and computer science education at BGSU. Frisch’s project is a mobile communication-assistance app called Spoken. The app helps people with verbal deficiencies communicate effectively through a simple interface and a customizable experience. Savannah HindeEsther & Light – an online community to support young women…

Great Climate March leader to speak in Bowling Green

(Submitted by FreshWater Accountability Project) Former Iowa State Congressman and Director of Bold Iowa, Ed Fallon, will be at Grounds for Thought in Bowling Green on Friday, April 12, at 6 p.m., to share his experiences as leader of the Great Climate March. Fallon will read from his book, “Marcher, Walker, Pilgrim,” and share candid reflections about the interpersonal drama of the march as well as his own recounting of his life and what compels him to work tirelessly to build awareness of climate change. Fallon will speak informally and engage the audience to discuss the imminent threat of climate change to build involvement and action through an informed public. On March 1, 2014, Fallon set out with 50 other marchers on the “Great March for Climate Action,” that would span eight months, starting in Los Angeles and ending in Washington, D.C. His book not only describes the daily challenges of such an undertaking, but shares deeply personal doubts and reflections. This makes the book an interesting read as well as stimulates thought about the place we all share on a planet that is increasingly challenged to support life as we know it. As Fallon shared with another marcher who was sobbing about species extinction and how little the march appeared to accomplish: “Remember, every little thing we do is important. Whether you are marching, protesting or campaigning for office, you’re making a difference. And if you and I have to compromise in the process, let’s not be too hard on each other, OK?” With most climate models predicting dramatic, if not disastrous, climate change effects, Fallon’s book relates how individuals can take action, along with the frustration that often entails. Recently, Fallon witnessed the effects of the flooding in his home state, which fuels his mission to bring the subject of climate change forward into public awareness, discourse and action. All are invited to meet Fallon, join in the discussion, and learn about his important work, which includes a radio show called the, “Fallon Forum.” Books will be available for purchase and donations will be accepted to support Fallon’s mission to “Walk the Talk.” More information about Fallon and his book can be found at: and

Novel races story of Japanese soldier in Vietnam

Submitted by RICHARD A. RAJNER Local author Richard A. Rajner has announced the release of his novel, Hiroshi’s Story: The Journals of a Japanese Soldier in Viet Nam, 1941-1968, published by Austin Macauley, New York, NY.  T During the next few weeks, Rick will be giving short presentations, followed by a question and answer period and a book signing at Gathering Volumes in Perrysburg (April 13 at 2:00) Waterville Branch Library (April 22 at 7:00) and Maumee Branch Library (May 6 at 6:30).    The book departs from the common themes associated with Vietnam’s twentieth century wars, chronicling the experiences of of a humble enemy private.  Hiroshi Watanabe was one of five thousand Japanese servicemen who volunteered to remain in-country at the end of World War Two, shifting their allegiance from Emperor Hirohito to the Viet Minh.  Two things separate Private Watanabe from his comrades in both armies:  he recorded his experiences in carefully-written journals, and he soldiered on for a remarkably long time, twenty-eight years, nine months, and four days.In addition to the conventional accounts of firefights and hardships, Hiroshi takes the reader behind the scenes, describing every imaginable element of life on the other side of the battle lines.  His scope is broader than any historian’s and includes hundreds of little-known (but incredibly interesting) aspects of the wars:  The day-to-day duties of an anti-aircraft gun crew at a backwater airbase; hundreds of miles from the front; The clever propaganda that persuaded thousands of Japanese servicemen to remain in Vietnam; The independence movement’s well-camouflaged base camps, its training regimen, its logistics systems, its rations; and the taxes that paid rebel soldiers.  Hiroshi also reveals how an ancient remedy used arsenic and other heavy metals to save his life when malaria swept through the ranks; how his unit sawed apart a dud aerial bomb and salvaged the explosives to hand-craft land mines in a jungle workshop; and how teams of locally-based soldiers used the cover of darkness to guide Communist troops and weapons along trail networks that stretched from the Cambodian border to the Mekong Delta.  Woven among the enemy’s secrets, Private Watanabe also tells the story of his love for Tam, a Vietnamese war widow he acquires in a marriage arranged by his commanders, adding another unusual element to this unique tale.  The 498-page book is available at Gathering Volumes in Perrysburg, local Barnes and Noble outlets, and Amazon. Richard A. “Rick” Rajner followed four career paths, all beginning with the letter “S.”  He became a soldier by volunteering for the draft in 1966.  Rick didn’t see the U.S. Army as a vocation; he simply wanted to avoid four years of undergraduate poverty by qualifying for educational benefits offered under the provisions of the GI Bill.  After his unit was attacked near the Korean DMZ, he volunteered to serve in Vietnam.  In 1968, he returned to school, then re-enlisted when he realized his younger brothers were likely to be drafted.  He served two more tours in Vietnam, earning more than two dozen decorations.  After leaving the Army, Rick entered Local 50’s apprentice program; four years later he became a journeyman steamfitter.  An unsuccessful surgery, which intended to repair a wartime injury, sent Rick back to college where he remained for ten years.  In his years as a scholar, he taught Anthropology and American History, and authored a number of popular, academic, and “history-for-hire” works.  A few years after he retired, he noticed an a news item announcing a Veterans Writing Workshop offered by Lourdes University and the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library.  There he found his fourth calling:  storyteller.  Hiroshi’s Story was inspired by one…

ODOT reminds drivers to slow down for construction zones

(Submitted by the Ohio Department of Transportation) To kick off National Work Zone Awareness Week, ODOT wants to remind drivers that work zone safety is as much their responsibility as it is the workers’ responsibility. Last year in Ohio, there were 4,662 crashes in work zones. Of those crashes, 1,131 were injury crashes and 13 were fatal crashes resulting in 14 deaths.  Of the 14 fatalities, four of the deaths were roadside workers. “Have you ever been on a road and hit the rumble strips that have been placed to prevent you from going over the line?” asked ODOT Highway Technician 3 James DeSelms. “Imagine working on the Interstate and hearing that noise while you’re outside a vehicle. It’s a scary feeling,” DeSelms shared with examples of drivers nearly striking ODOT crews. “It’s really important that you slow down, and move over for us, because we’re out there and we’d like to go home like you do every night.” ODOT wants to get the message out that people need to be cautious in work zones, so we’ve created a memorial representing the four workers killed in Ohio’s work zones in 2018. This memorial will rotate throughout Northwest Ohio this summer/fall. It is our hope that seeing a visual representation of the four workers will emotionally affect the community, and drivers will remember to drive safely in work zones so everyone can return home. “We really want to stress that those decisions that drivers make on the roads have a direct impact on whether workers get home safely that night,” said ODOT District 2 Deputy Director Patrick McColley. “We really want people to slow down. We want people to pay attention. We want people to get off their phones and really make an extra effort to pay attention in those work zones.” Work zone safety is important for workers, but it’s also important for drivers. Last year, 10 people killed in work zones were drivers or passengers. Rear end crashes are the top type of work zone crashes and following too closely is the top contributing factor. Ohio law requires motorists to move over a lane for all roadside workers. If they cannot move over, drivers should slow down.

Arts festival seeking poster designer

From BLACK SWAMP ARTS FESTIVAL The Black Swamp Arts Festival has great posters. Every year, the poster receives media hype and community admiration. This year, the Festival is opening the opportunity to create the poster to all interested artists. The festival is asking for artists to submit a sketch or mock-up by April 29 to: for consideration. For full details, please visit the Black Swamp Arts Festival Facebook page. Timeline: April 5: open call of concept April 29: submission deadline for mock-up April 30- May 3 : Selection process June 15: final Poster Design delivered The Black Swamp Arts Festival is a three-day, free live music and arts festival committed to providing quality art and music experiences. Held in downtown Bowling Green, Ohio the first full weekend after Labor Day, there are three stages of music, two art shows, Youth Arts, Artists at Work, Chalk Walk, and more.

City leaders condemn racist attack at Waffle House

(Submitted by BG Mayor and City Council) In the wake of the March 31 incident at the Waffle House in Bowling Green, which resulted in charges of felonious assault and ethnic intimidation, the City of Bowling Green vehemently condemns this type of behavior. We, as a community, have worked long and hard to foster an atmosphere of tolerance and welcoming. This type of behavior is not representative of Bowling Green or its residents. While much work has been done by this community, more work remains. Namely, in helping to educate those visiting Bowling Green that while they are here, as a community we expect they exhibit the same tolerance we espouse. While the two perpetrators were not residents of Bowling Green, their awful behavior should not and cannot be tolerated. Further, that we help educate the community on how to identify hate and when to contact law enforcement. As a city government, we encourage all residents of Bowling Green and those visiting this city to continue to stand together in order to present a united front against hate, violence, intolerance, and biased behavior. We call on our community partners, including but not limited to – Not In Our Town, the Human Relations Commission, and Bowling Green State University – to continue our efforts and remain committed to stamping out hate in all forms.