Community Voices

City explains the ‘why’ behind Conneaut Avenue water main replacement

(Submitted by City of Bowling Green) As the Conneaut Avenue water main replacement project comes to an end, residents likely are asking themselves – “What took so long?” and “Why did the City do this?” These are logical questions and frustrations about this project are understandable. Why did the water main line have to be replaced? The old water main on Conneaut was installed in the 1970s. The original service connections used to tap the water main and provide water to the homes were made of cast iron. The cast iron material was found to be deteriorating due to corrosive soils. Crews first attempted to maintain the existing water main and replace the service connections. Due to the age and condition of the water main pipe, fixing the service connections proved impossible. Re-paving of Conneaut Avenue is planned to occur in 2017 and because of the on-going problems with the service connections, finding a long term solution to the service line connections made the most sense – this led to the only remaining option which was to replace the water main. The City did not want to repave the road knowing the old water service connections would need to be addressed in the next few years and damage the new pavement. Why did the replacement take so long? Overall, the replacement of the water main itself was in line with the anticipated schedule. The project experienced significant delays due to defective service saddles from two different manufacturers. The saddle is the part used to connect a service line to the water main. City crews worked with representatives from each supplier…


Jeffery Jackson’s work directing Career Center earns Ferrari honors at BGSU

By BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS The criteria for the Administrative Staff’s annual Dr. Michael R. Ferrari Award include innovation and initiative, high performance and building relationships with the University community. Jeffery Jackson, the 2017 winner of the top Jeffery Jackson administrative staff award, exhibits all those and more, according to his nominators. Jackson, assistant vice president for student career success and director of the Career Center, received the award, which comes with a $1,000 cash prize and a reserved parking spot for a year, at the spring reception hosted by Administrative Staff Council. “Jeff truly embodies all three attributes of this prestigious award,” wrote Danielle Dimoff, associate director of the Career Center. “He is known for his energetic and optimistic attitude when working through student concerns, while demonstrating a sense of compassion toward every individual. He is an innovative leader who goes above and beyond the responsibilities of his position. He is a relationship builder who strives to strengthen University partnerships with stakeholders. He is a strategic thinker who approaches each new challenge as a new opportunity. Above all, he is an educator who recognizes and cares about the success and future of Bowling Green State University.” Jackson has been involved with creative new approaches to ensure the career readiness of BGSU graduates, Dimoff said. These include partnering with the Office of Pre-Major Advising to support students through the Deciding Student Program with such activities as Major Match-Up, the Career and Life Planning course and numerous others. He also helped develop the Falcon Internship Guarantee Program, designed to prepare first-year students experiential learning opportunities. And along with that,…


New fair exposition building work to begin in August

(Submitted by Wood County Fair) The Wood County Fair’s new Multi-Purpose Exposition Center will soon be coming to life. After spending the last few months working on details and responding to suggestions from the community, a date has been set for construction to begin. Site demolition of the 5 buildings along Brim Road is scheduled to begin on Aug. 24, with the new building completion to be July 1, 2018. Steve Speck, president of the Wood County Fair Foundation, the 501c3 running the campaign, commented, “We have spent countless hours the last few months to reconcile ideas from the community with cost effective construction and are pleased with the final outcome.” “We are excited about the project and are grateful to the community for all the input of ideas which helped us pull together a great final plan. This building will be a valuable asset to the fair and greater Wood County area for many years to come,” said Bill Kale, Wood County Fair Board president.


Not In Our Town offers educational series

(Submitted by Not In Our Town Bowling Green) Not in Our Town Bowling Green and the BGSU Office of Multicultural Affairs are hosting a program on Safe Zone Training: A Focus on LGBTQ+ and Ally Building. The program is Thursday, June 1, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Wood County District Public Library. The session is free and open to the public. The workshop will be conducted by Dr. Krishna Han, assistant director of the BGSU Office of Multicultural Affairs. The workshop provides education concerning LGBTQ+ issues and creating a positive environment for LGBTQ+ people. The purpose of the workshop is to strengthen and expand a support network of allies for the Bowling Green LGBTQ+ community. Safe Zone training is important because increasing numbers of Bowling Green community members openly identify as LGBTQ+. The political landscape has also created new challenges for LGBTQ+ persons. To learn more about the programs and the topics, go to the Not in Our Town Bowling Green Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/Not-In- Our-Town- Bowling-Green-411179839042009/). Posts and videos about the program topics will be included on the NIOT BG Facebook page.


WIC Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program expanded to county

(Submitted by Wood County Health District) The Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) is expanding the program into two additional counties, bringing the total number of Ohio counties participating in FMNP to 61. The 2017 expansion counties are Trumbull and Wood. The Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program is administered by the Ohio Department of Health’s (ODH) Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program. Coupons are distributed to eligible WIC participants through local WIC clinics. Pregnant, postpartum and breastfeeding women and some children participating in the program are eligible to receive a one-time benefit of $20 worth of coupons to purchase fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs from authorized farmers between June 1 and Oct. 31. The benefits of the WIC FMNP are many. FMNP benefits farms by: Supporting local agriculture by increasing sales at farmers’ markets and farmstands. Promoting expansion and diversification of family farms by encouraging the production of fresh fruits and vegetables. FMNP benefits WIC participants by: Providing WIC participants with an opportunity to improve their health by eating more nutritious fresh fruits and vegetables. Introducing WIC families to farmers’ markets and farmstands and teaching them to select and prepare a wide variety of locally grown produce. FMNP benefits communities by: Helping revitalize downtown areas by supporting the farmers’ market as an activity that benefits the entire community. Promoting the development of farmers’ markets to communities lacking access to fresh produce. Providing income to farmers that in turn helps boost local economies. If you are interested in becoming an authorized FMNP farmer or want to learn more about the program, please call the ODH WIC program at 1-800-282-3435 or visit http://www.odh.ohio.gov/odhprograms/ns/wicfm/wicfm1.aspx. To…


BGSU offers free training on how to comply with government regulations

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS Bowling Green State University will host a free training to address various aspects of compliance during the fifth annual Compliance Day on June 1. Community members and business professionals have the opportunity to receive training directly from representatives of government agencies. Sessions will be led by representatives from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC); Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services, Veterans Programs; Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs; the U.S. Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division; Ability Center and the Ohio Civil Rights Commission (OCRC). The open sessions will cover a variety of topics regarding new regulations, the Civil Rights Act of 1964; EEOC’s strategic enforcement plan for fiscal years 2017-2021; disability awareness and resources; the Fair Labor Standards Act; powers and duties of the OCRC as it relates to employment; types of unlawful discrimination (Ohio Revised Code 4112; advantages of hiring a veteran; overview of the military skills translator and new 503/VEVRAA regulations, and lessons learned since the regulations have been in effect. “Compliance Day is designed to provide additional knowledge from the subject matter experts, who serve as regulators in their respective fields,” said Lisa Dubose, BGSU director of employee relations, professional development and EEO compliance. “It is imperative that organizational leaders continually update their understanding of existing or new laws and regulations pertinent to the workplace. We are pleased to offer this prestigious, no-cost training at Bowling Green State University.” The training is recommended for federal contract holders; EEO compliance professionals; hiring directors; managers and supervisors; and professionals in the fields of ability/disability services, veterans services, law, human resources,…


Water & sewer districts honors employees

From NORTHWESTERN WATER & SEWER DISTRICT Northwestern Water and Sewer District (The District) has announced that employee Jarred Myers received the Collection Systems Award from the Ohio Water Environment Association (OWEA) Northwest Chapter in Napoleon, Ohio. This award recognizes Jarred for his hard work in wastewater management in the area. Jarred is a Water Sewer Construction Crew Leader at the District, holds an EPA Class II Water Distribution License and an EPA Class II Waste Water Collection License. On Tuesday, May 9, five District employees, Claud Barringer, Bryan Martikan, Jarred Myers, Tom McGrain and Todd Saums, competed in the Operations Challenge regional invitational in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The “Ops Challenge” is an intense competition involving timed events in wastewater treatment operations, maintenance, laboratory, safety and collection systems personnel. The team “Dirty Deeds,” took first place in lab, second in safety, third in collections and third place overall. The team is scheduled to compete in June in Cincinnati, Ohio in a statewide competition in hopes of advancing to the national operations challenge in Chicago this fall.


Gardner’s school support bill passes Senate

(Submitted by Office of State Senator Randy Gardner) State Senator Randy Gardner’s bill to provide a new option for school districts to fund IT infrastructure projects, school security needs and other school improvements passed overwhelmingly in the Ohio Senate Wednesday. Gardner (R-Bowling Green), the Senate Majority Leader, sponsored the 1:1 Match School Facilities Option to allow school districts a new option outside of the traditional Classroom Facilities Assistance Program, that has awarded billions of dollars to school districts in compliance with Ohio Supreme Court decisions requiring improved school funding support. The sponsor of companion legislation in the Ohio House of Representatives is State Representative Steve Arndt (R-Port Clinton). “This new option for schools ushers in a new era of reaching out to districts to help them meet the needs of school children, whether it’s better technology, safer schools or other priority school needs,” Gardner said.   “Many districts I represent want this option.” Specifically, the bill allows school districts that have not accepted money in the traditional school construction program to accept smaller amounts of state facilities aid in exchange for a reduced local match.  The plan is to get funds to school districts faster while saving state tax dollars from the traditional classroom construction fund.   The Ohio Association of School Business Officials, the Ohio School Board Association and the Buckeye Association of School Administrators have all endorsed the bill. “I am pleased that school officials in the area and across the state have joined us in support of this bill,” Gardner said.  “We have a real opportunity to make a difference toward better support options for schools.”


Ohio House passes bill sponsored by Gavarone

(Submitted by Ohio House of Representatives) The Ohio House today voted in favor of House Bill 115, which would establish a voluntary program through the Ohio Department of Public Safety (DPS) to help facilitate effective communication between law enforcement and individuals with communication disabilities, such as autism. Under the legislation, sponsored by State Representatives Theresa Gavarone (R-Bowling Green) and Scott Wiggam (R-Wooster), an individual may voluntarily submit a verification form, signed by their physician, to the local Bureau of Motor Vehicles to be designated as an individual with a communication disability. This information is then made available to state and local law enforcement only through the Law Enforcement Automated Data Systems, more commonly referred to as LEADS. “This comprehensive legislation greatly aids law enforcement and individuals with communication disabilities,” said Wiggam. “House Bill 115 should serve as a national model to support families and communities across the country.” Both Gavarone and Wiggam introduced this legislation after being approached by constituents in their districts who had teenagers with communication disorders and were beginning to drive. These parents were concerned that if their child was pulled over, they may not be able to effectively answer the officer’s questions, which could potentially be seen as a cause for concern. For these instances, this database helps law enforcement approach a driver knowing they have difficulty speaking, and allows that officer to immediately rely on their training for how to best serve disabled individuals. “The goal of this legislation all along was to improve communication between law enforcement and those with communication disabilities,” Gavarone said. “There’s no doubt we accomplished that and I look forward…


BGHS senior studio culminates in exhibit & awards

Graduating art students recently celebrated completing their Senior Studio, the culmination of four years of study in the Bowling Green High School Art Program. The students last week stage a one-day show of their work at Four Corners in downtown Bowling Green. At the high school awards assembly May 15 the annual honors were awarded. Senior studio, said Claire Wells-Jensen, “ allows you to explore what you want to do. It’s more exploratory.” The studio time also gives students a chance to more broadly try out ideas that may be used in outside projects. Wells-Jensen said her experience in senior studio played into her stage design work for the Drama Club’s production of “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe,” in the fall. She was the lead designer for the giant puppet of Aslan, the lion. Meghan Worthy, who with Wells-Jensen helped organize the senior studio exhibit, said the studio gave her a chance to explore different media. Students, she said, must often rely on their own research because teachers won’t necessarily have a lot of experience in a particular medium. Worthy said that the self-reliance, time management skills, and organization that senior studio encourages are skills that carry through to other non-art activities. Other students in senior studio were: Breann Burkhart, Ryan Cox, Alysa Grabowski, Logan Mannin, Tim Oakley, Madeleine Ross, Peter Wishart, Frances, Zengel, Alexandria Coppeler, Trevor Craft, Haily Kirchner, Kaila Miller, and Bryn Parker, Claire Wells-Jensen, and Meagan Worthy. Awards went to: Senior Studio T-Short design: Alexandria Coppeler PTO Award; Trevor Craft, “Tieing the Nation Together,” nails PTO Award: Maddie Ross, “Out of Focus,” acrylic. 2-D Award,…


BGSU receives federal money to study migration

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS The movement of people from place to place is centuries old. As part of human history, migration is integral to the story of the human race and modern society. Bowling Green State University has been awarded major funding under a new grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. “Understanding Migration: Local and Global Perspectives,” co-authored by Dr. Christina Guenther, world languages and cultures, and Dr. Vibha Bhalla, ethnic studies, has been funded for the full amount of $100,000. The new Humanities Connections grant is designed to encourage undergraduate students across the country to develop the intellectual skills and habits of mind that the humanities cultivate. In this first round of grant awards, BGSU was the only recipient in Ohio. The grant provides for professional development for faculty members in summer 2017 to design four new one-credit “1910” freshman seminar classes offered in the fall: “Immigrant Ohio in the 21st Century,” “Changing Faces of Europe: Contemporary Voices of Migration,” “The Great Migration,” and “Searching for Memories: Mexican (Im)Migration to Northwest Ohio.” The four seminars will then be expanded into general education courses and may qualify students for a Migration Studies certificate for those who complete all four. A second set of courses will be developed and launched in fall 2018. Topics may include “Transnational Ohio,” “Negotiating the Mediterranean: France and North Africa” and “Contemporary African Migration to the US.” Also supported by the grant will be BGSU’s third annual “Immigrant Ohio” symposium in fall 2017, and a community film festival on the topic of migration. BGSU faculty have been studying migration for years,…


Results listed from National Employee Health & Fitness Day

(Submitted by Bowling Green Parks and Recreation Department) The Bowling Green Parks and Recreation Department recently held the 20th annual National Employee Health and Fitness Day event. This event was held on May 10 near the Kiwanis and Martin Shelters in City Park. This year, 151 employees of various organizations participated in the event. Special recognition is given to the local businesses that brought the most participants. Businesses are categorized into three groups by total number of employees: small (less than 100), medium (100-499) and large (more than 500). The results of this year’s event are as follows: Large Business Champion – Wood County Government Medium Business Champion – City of Bowling Green Small Business Champion – Marathon Special Products Other agencies that participated were: Bowling Green State University, Wood County Hospital, and First Insurance Group.


“Build a Better World” is theme for library’s summer reading program

From WOOD COUNTY DISTRICT PUBLIC LIBRARY “Build a Better World” this summer with the Wood County District Public Library’s Youth Summer Reading Program.  Registration begins from the “Observation Deck” of the Children’s Place all day Wednesday, May 24th along with a “Touch a Truck” visit in the library parking lot between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Registration continues all summer and is also available online http://wcdpl.readsquared.com . Monthly calendars of programs and events can be found in the WCDPL Family Connect Magazine widely distributed to schools, organizations, and businesses as well as picked up from the library.  Calendars are also available from the library website http://www.wcdpl.org/CPCalendar. Youth registrants receive a one use pass to the BG Pool and Water Park as well a coupon for a McDonald’s Happy Meal.  Later in the summer, one day passes to the Wood County Fair will be distributed to participants. The Children’s Place is encouraging everyone to set their own summer reading goals.  As readers report their reading progress, they earn incentive prizes to be picked up at the library.  All participants qualify for a final end of summer raffle, but the more stories climbed, the more chances to win!  Levels are set at the tallest building in Wood County, the tallest in Ohio, in the United States, and the tallest building in the world.  Readers will identify and learn about these buildings and other skyscrapers and engineering feats from the “Observation Deck” and the world map display in the “Observation Deck.”  All summer, a “Bridge to Literacy and Better Understanding” will be constructed by a growing community of readers. Everyone is invited to explore…


Memorial Service for fallen police officers, May 18

From THE WOOD COUNTY FRATERNAL ORDER OF POLICE The Wood County Police Memorial Service will be held on Thursday May 18, 2017 at 12:00 Noon. This service will be held on the front steps of the Wood County Court House. The Wood County Fraternal Order of Police will be paying special tribute to Ohio State Highway Patrol Trooper Jon Birchem. This year marks the 50th year Anniversary of when Trooper Birchem was killed in the line of duty. Here in Wood County, there has been 12 law enforcement officers that have died in the line of duty dating back to 1896. The most recent officer killed in the line of duty in Wood County was back in 1984. Ohio House Representative Theresa Gavarone will provide our Memorial Address. Further, Wood County Commissioners Doris Herringshaw, Craig LaHote, Ted Bowlus, and Bowling Green Mayor Dick Edwards will present Proclamations for this annual Wood County Police Memorial Service. Officers from all police departments from Wood County will be participating in the service. This service is a combined effort of the Wood County Fraternal Order of Police and the Wood County Commissioners. In case of inclement weather, this service will be head in the Atrium Room at the court house. This service is open to the public.  


Wood County Park District opens Bradner Interpretive Center

(Submitted by Wood County Park District) Wood County Park District introduces the grand opening of the Bradner Interpretive Center. The Bradner Interpretive Center is a new hands-on nature museum with interactive exhibits and informational displays. The public is invited to the grand opening of the Interpretive Center which will feature science and nature-based activities, light refreshments, guided nature walks and a ribbon cutting. Join the fun on Saturday, May 20th from 1 to 4 p.m. at Bradner Preserve on 11540 Timmons Road, Bradner. The interpretive center will be free and open to the public. The purpose of the Bradner Interpretive Center is to provide interactive educational experiences that foster an understanding of our natural resources in Wood County. The Interpretive Center also features a classroom available for community groups in Wood County to meet in at no charge. Along with the interpretive center, there is a lot to explore at the 233.7 acre nature preserve. There are 2.6 miles of trails, a playground, sand dune, pond and pollinator gardens. The park and the Interpretive Center will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. The Wood County Park District is proud to preserve and highlight our natural and cultural resources for all Wood County citizens to enjoy. For more information, please visit www.wcparks.org or call the Wood County Park District Headquarters at (419) 353-1897.