Community Voices

Safe Communities has a message for those who text & drive

From SAFE COMMUNITIES OF WOOD COUNTY Wood County Safe Communities has announced that there have been three fatal crashes in Wood County for the calendar year 2019, compared to five the same time frame in 2018. *** Many of us have witnessed a distracted driver; they are often easy to spot. Some reading this article, may even admit to driving distracted in the past. With so many individuals, tuned into smartphones, texting from behind the wheel has become one of the most common causes of fatalities on the roads.That is why, Safe Communities of Wood County is teaming up with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to reach all drivers with an important warning: U Drive. U Text. U Pay.Every year, about 421,000 people are injured in crashes that have involved a driver who was distracted in some ways. Additionally, each year, over 330,000 accidents cause by texting while driving lead to severe injuries. Meaning, over 78 percent of all distracted drivers are distracted because they have been texting while driving.Driving distracted is a life or death issue. Many do not understand how dangerous it is to take your eyes off the road, hands of the wheel, and concentration off the task of driving safely it only takes a few seconds, to change your life or someone else’s. As a result, this April, the police presence on Ohio roads will increase. Anyone caught texting and driving will pay the price. “Too many drivers are ignoring their responsibilities behind the wheel,” said Sandy Wiechman, Safe Communities Coordinator for Wood County. “Do the right thing – put your phone away when you get behind the wheel.

BGSU hopes to Make a Splash with national grant to fund swim lessons

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS Bowling Green State University’s Department of Recreation and Wellnesswas chosen as one of 85 Make a Splash programs in the United States to receive grant money from the USA Swimming Foundation in early 2019. The awarded money will go toward continued efforts to provide free or reduced-cost swim lessons. The USA Swimming Foundation awarded a total of $507,461 to programs across the country that will provide swim lessons to an estimated 25,000 children. “Receiving this grant creates an amazing opportunity to provide swim lessons to over 60 kids who have never had that opportunity,” said Recreation and Wellness Assistant Director Chris Ballard. “Our program is about providing lessons, but also about teaching kids to be safe in and around the water, and I’m excited to impart swimming and safety skills to new swimmers.” BGSU’s Learn-to-Swim program has been serving the community for 40 years, offering swim lessons for all people, age six months through adult, and all skill levels, from beginning to advanced, taught by fully certified American Red Cross water safety instructors. The goal of the program is for participants to learn the fundamentals of swimming, the importance of safety and develop a love and passion for the water.? The USA Swimming Foundation vetted 241 applications through a competitive annual review process and chose 85 Make a Splash local partner programs to receive funding, 26 of which are first-time USA Swimming Foundation grant recipients. “It’s an incredible feeling to know that USA Swimming Foundation funding will be used to create a valuable swimming experience for tens of thousands of children who may not have had the opportunity to learn how to swim,” USA Swimming Foundation Executive Director Debbie Hesse said. “We are thrilled with the depth of this year’s Make a Splash local partner applicant pool and we couldn’t be prouder to support these exciting and lifesaving opportunities for children across the country. We owe a tremendous thank you to our partners and donors, who continue to make a difference.” The USA Swimming Foundation’s Make a Splash initiative is a national child-focused water safety campaign, which aims to provide the opportunity for every child in America to learn to swim. Through Make a Splash, the USA Swimming Foundation partners with learn-to-swim providers and water safety advocates across the country to provide swimming lessons and educate children and their families on the importance of learning how to swim. The USA Swimming Foundation has invested millions of dollars to provide grants to qualified Make a Splash local partner learn-to-swim programs, to spread national awareness and to bring together strategic partners to end drowning. To date, 7.5 million children have received the lifesaving gift of swim lessons through the USA Swimming Foundation Make a Splash Local Partner network, comprised of 1,000 qualified lesson providers across the nation.

Not In Our Town stands in support of victims of racist attack

(Submitted by Not In Our Town BG) Not in Our Town BG (NIOT) has been made aware of a cowardly act of violence and hate against two people due to their ethnicity, while they were eating at the Waffle House in Bowling Green this past Sunday.  Two men taunted two other men (high schoolers) with racial slurs and then, without provocation, physically assaulted them.   The victims were taken to the hospital with injuries, thankfully not life-threatening.  We stand in support of those who were injured and are thankful for employees who were brave enough to step in as the situation escalated.   We are appreciative of the Bowling Green Police Division’s careful investigation and prosecution of those who have committed this terrible hate crime.   We encourage members of our community to reiterate that these actions are not tolerated nor acceptable in our community.  We encourage anyone experiencing hate, bias and/or abusive behavior to report them.   We call on our network and community to listen to fearful voices – those who are marginalized and vulnerable, to be aware of your surroundings at all times, to actively care for one another and to boldly speak up for our vision of a diverse, inclusive, safe, and supportive community.  We encourage the Bowling Green community to commit to providing a safe and inclusive environment for our friends, neighbors, and visitors. Please consider attending a community meeting called by La Conexion to formulate some pro-active responses. Please spread the word and come if you are available, Sunday, at 7 p.m., in First Presbyterian Church, 2nd floor, 126 S. Church St. (parking behind on South Grove).

Music experience offered at BGSU for kids with sensory processing challenges

From DEPARTMENT OF MUSIC EDUCATION, BGSU COLLEGE OF MUSICAL ARTS This Saturday, April 6, BGSU will be hosting a Sensory-Friendly Musicking Experience for children with sensory processing challenges. This event will include both music-making and an interactive concert, facilitated by undergraduate student Emma Stumpf in cooperation with her faculty advisors Dr. Lisa Martin and Dr. Alicia Mrachko. Various accommodations will be available for event participants, including noise-reducing headphones, fidgets, puzzles, and more! There will be two sessions, both held in the Conrad in the Wolfe Center on campus. The first session, from noon to 1 p.m., is for students that prefer more guidance and structure. The second session, from 1:15-2:15 p.m., is for students that prefer more independence and exploration. This event is free and open to all ages, and siblings are invited, as well. Videos and information about all of the day’s activities are available on the website, Pre-registration is required and is also accessed via website. Registration closes at 8 p.m. on Friday, April 5. 

Try your hand at blacksmithing during Demonstration Day at historical center

(Submitted by Wood County Historical Center & Museum) On April 6, the Wood County Historical Center & Museum will host a Demonstration Day featuring the Northwest Ohio Blacksmiths Association as they keep the art of blacksmithing stoked in heart of Wood County with an Open Forge Demonstration from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Watch seasoned blacksmiths or try your hand at this lost art. The Wood County Historical Center & Museum, located at 13660 County Home Road in Bowling Green, Ohio, will offer free admission from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Saturday. Also on Saturday, at 2 p.m., will be the Wood County Paupers Cemetery dedication ceremony, with a special monument dedication and unveiling. With the help of the Wood County Chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society, the identity of approximately 250 individuals buried on the grounds of the Historical Center will now be publicly recognized and identified. In case of rain, the event will move inside the museum. Feel free to bring your own lawn chair. The Wood County Historical Museum hosts historical demonstration days throughout the year with a full schedule and details at Demonstration Days showcase historic activities such as log cabin life, amateur radio, and farm & tractor demonstrations. The Wood County Historical Museum opened in 1975 after serving as the Wood County Infirmary from 1869-1971. The Museum is the home of numerous community and family friendly events throughout the year. Learn more about exhibits and events by calling the museum at 419.352.0967 or visiting the website at

BGSU Arts Events through April 16

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS At the galleries –  The School of Art hosts the annual BFA Senior Thesis Exhibition through April 14. The exhibition is free and open to the public. Gallery hours are Tuesday-Saturday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Thursday 6-9 p.m. and Sunday, 1-4 p.m. April 3 – Cole Burger, a lecturer of class piano and piano pedagogy at BGSU, will present a Faculty Artist Series recital at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall, Moore Musical Arts Center. Free April 4 – The Creative Writing program welcomes spring 2019 Distinguished Visiting Writer Rebecca Morgan Frank, who will present a craft talk during the weekly Prout Reading Series. Frank is the author of “Sometimes We’re All Living in a Foreign Country” and “The Spokes of Venus,” both from Carnegie Mellon University Press, and “Little Murders Everywhere,” a finalist for the 2013 Kate Tufts Discovery Award. She has published poems in The New Yorker, American Poetry Review, Ploughshares, New England Review, Harvard Review and elsewhere, and her collaborations with composers have been exhibited and performed across the U.S. She is co-founder and editor of the literary magazine Memorious. The reading will begin at 7:30 p.m. at Prout Chapel. Free  April 4 – The International Film Festival presents “The Edge of Heaven” (“Auf der anderen Seite”), a 122-minute film that shifts back and forth between Germany and Istanbul. Directed by Fatih Akin, the film tells the story of Ali Aksu (Tuncel Kurtiz) who takes a Turkish prostitute, Yeter (Nursel Köse), into his German apartment to protect her in spite of his disapproving son, Nejat (Baki Davrak). When Yeter dies in an altercation with Ali, Nejat goes to find her daughter in Istanbul. Ayten, Yeter’s daughter, escapes from Turkey when her political activism threatens her life. In Germany, she falls for a girl, Lotte (Patrycia Ziolkowska), who follows her to Istanbul when she is deported. The film, which won the Best Screenplay award at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival, will be screened at 7:30 p.m. in 206 Bowen-Thompson Student Union. Free April 5 – The BGSU Opera Theater and the Department of Theatre and Film present the spring opera, “Semele,” the story of the ill-fated love of the mortal Semele and god Jupiter. Handel’s masterpiece of his mature period is considered something of an anomaly in his career: it is an English-language work with a secular text, written at a time when Handel was concentrating on the composition of sacred oratorios. Though never staged in Handel’s lifetime, the sensuous story, based on Ovid’s “Metamorphoses,” lends itself to an operatic treatment. The vocal writing is virtuosic, tuneful and thrilling, and the choral movements are some of Handel’s most beautiful and exciting. Advance tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for students and children. All tickets are $20 on the day of the performance. There is no charge for BGSU students with ID card. Tickets are available at or by calling 419-372-8171. April 8 – The College of Musical Arts welcomes guest artists Julian Ross and Samuel Rotberg on violin. Ross is a professor of violin and Rotberg is a lecturer in violin, both at Baldwin Wallace University, Berea, Ohio. The duo will perform a recital at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall at Moore Musical Arts Center.  April 8 – The College of Musical Arts presents guest artist Frank Lloyd, horn, who is known for his technical virtuosity, musicality and willingness to share his expertise. He has been on the faculty of the Guildhall School of Music, Trinity School of Music, Royal Northern College of Music, and since 1998, professor for horn at Folkwang Hochschule in Essen, Germany, following in…

Waterville Playshop staging ‘9 to 5!’

by Michelle S. Johnson Waterville Playshop Waterville Playshop is gearing up for its second “from screen to stage” show of the season, the stage adaptation of the 1980 movie “9 to 5!” With a score by Miss Dolly Partin , the show’s music and action move the story along without a hitch. One of the original female empowerment stories, “9 to 5” features such high-energy songs as “Shine Like the Sun,” “Change It,” and the well-known hit “9 to 5!” When the chauvinistic attitude at Consolidated becomes more than Violet, Judy, and Doralee can bear, the three decide to kidnap repulsive Mr. Hart and keep him prisoner in his own home. The trio then sets out to prove that they can run the company better than Hart ever could by empowering their workforce and providing benefits the “little guy” needs to feel valued.Director Michelle S. Johnson is assisted by choreographer Nicole Spadafore and musical director Tyler Strayer. Performances are scheduled for Friday April 12 and Saturday, April 13, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, April 14 at 2:30 p.m. at the Maumee Indoor Theatre. Tickets are on sale now at Tickets are $17, and student/senior tickets are $15. Tickets will also be available at the door. Attached photo (clockwise from front center): Chris Stack (Mr. Hart), Jess Mullins (Judy), Jill Reinstein (Violet), and Kristin Kukic (Doralee). Photo by Michelle S. Johnson.

BG seeking nominations for Bike Spokesperson of the Year

(Submitted by the BG Bicycle Safety Commission) The Bowling Green Bicycle Safety Commission is seeking nominations for the 19th annual Bicycle Spokesperson of the Year. The award will be presented to the nominee who best exemplifies the spirit of bicycling through involvement in bicycling, bicycle safety or bicycle-related activities. Nominees must reside in Bowling Green. Nominations must be submitted by May 1 to Kristin Otley, Bowling Green Parks and Recreation Department, 1291 Conneaut Ave., Bowling Green, OH 43402, or email to Phone is 419-354-6225, and fax is 419-352-2717.

Local Masons starting chapter of Order of DeMolay

Submitted by The Wood County Masonic Lodge What does Walt Disney, John Wayne, Neil Armstrong, Dan Rather, and you have in common?  Membership in a century old youth fraternity known as the Order of DeMolay. The Order of DeMolay is an international all-male youth organization (12-21yo) founded by Frank S Land in Kansas City, Missouri, upon seven principles: Filial Love, Reverence for sacred things, Courtesy, Comradeship, Fidelity, Cleanness, and Patriotism.  These guiding principles help young men to build leadership and team building skills, along with time management. Interested in finding out more information?  The Bowling Green Chapter of DeMolay is hosting an informational meeting / open house at Wood County Lodge on Monday, April 8 at 7:00pm – Address: 159 N. Main St, Bowling Green, OH – 3rd Floor.   Questions?? Check out or email or call/text (419) 348-0936

Health department’s annual report highlights public health services in county

(Submitted by Wood County Health Department) People are living longer and experiencing fewer diseases than 100 years ago, and Wood County Health Department is recognizing these major impacts during National Public Health Week, April 1-7. Wood County Health Department will highlight on social media the enormous benefits that have come from the past century of public health in Ohio. The health department is also releasing its 2018 Annual Report, which contains a wide range of information about public health services in Wood County. The report is available at The Hughes Act and Griswold Act, both enacted in 1919, established the modern organization of local health departments and laid the foundation for public health efforts still in effect today. Since then: – People are living an average of 25 years longer. – Smallpox, a once-common and deadly disease, has been eradicated. – Motor vehicle deaths have fallen by 90 percent, and death from sudden infant death syndrome has decreased 50 percent. Wood County Health Department officially began operations in early 1920 and will plan a centennial celebration for next year. The mission of Wood County Health Department is to prevent disease, promote healthy lifestyles and protect the health of everyone in Wood County. Our Community Health Center provides comprehensive medical services for men, women and children. We welcome all patients, including uninsured or underinsured clients, regardless of their ability to pay, and we accept most third-party insurance. For more information, visit

Triple music bill at Grounds

Tree No Leaves will host a triple bill of area bands Friday, April 5, at 7 .m. at Grounds for Thought, 174 S. Main St., Bowling Green. The line up for the free show is: Violent Bloom (7-7:45 p.m.) is a harmonic chamber pop band from Toledo, Ohio. Crossing the borders of multiple genres, Violent Bloom’s music puts you in a state of harmonic bliss with vibrant melodies and genuine and well-written songs. Honey Monsoon (8-8:45 p.m.) is a soul/fusion band from Detroit, MI featuring bright vocals, unique and eclectic songs, live painting, and fire solos. The band just released their new album, Opal Soul. Check it out! Tree No Leaves (9-10 p.m.) is a Heavy Psychedelic Soul band conceived and uprooted in Bowling Green, Ohio. Founding member Dustin Ray Galish has performed and recorded with a collective of musicians and has released multiple albums online at Tree No Leaves is currently performing live in support of their newest record Prophet Holographic.

BGSU to host Public Health Symposium on marijuana

By DAVID DUPONT  BG Independent News Bowling Green State University’s College of Health and Human Services will host the fourth annual Public Health Symposium on the topic “Is Marijuana Good for Public Health?”  The symposium will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 4 in 228 Bowen-Thompson Student Union. This year’s Ned E. Baker Keynote Speaker is Dr. Nobert Kaminiski from Michigan State University. He serves as the interim director of the Center for Research on Ingredient Safety, director of the Institute for Integrative Toxicology and professor of pharmacology and toxicology at MSU. Kaminiski will present “What Are Cannabinoids, How Do They Exert Their Biological Activity and What Role Might They Play in the Context of HIV/AIDS?” Kyle Clark and Milan Karna, OCPC, from the Wood County Prevention Coalition (WCPC) will begin the presentations. Clark serves as the project director for WCPC, Project AWARE and Prevention Education; and Karna is the coordinator of the WCPC, a year-five Drug Free Communities Support Program grantee.  Erin Reed, senior legal counsel of the State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy, who is responsible for coordinating the board’s efforts related to the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program, will follow the keynote presentation.   The event is free to all local health department employees in Ohio and Michigan. Continuing education units are offered for CHES, Nursing and Sanitarian. Seating is limited and registration is required. To view the full schedule and to register, visit 

International Film Festival opens at BGSU

From BGSU Program of International Studies For the next five Thursdays (April 4, 11, 18 , 25 and May 2), BGSU’s Program of International Studies is once again launching its annual International Film Festival. All screenings are at 7:30 p.m. in the Gish Theater in the Bowen-Thompson Student Union The event is free and open to the public, and we are particularly pleased that the film festival connects to the World Languages & Cultures Conference on “Austria in Europe: Migration, Immigration, Integration: Contemporary and Historical Perspectives,” which will be bringing colleagues from the Universität Salzburg and national scholars in the field to Bowling Green (April 11-14). The conference continues the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the agreement that has allowed BGSU students to study abroad at the Universität Salzburg; the celebration began this past summer in Salzburg and brought together around 80 alumni. (Please contact Dr. Christina Guenther ( for more information about the ASA conference.) The International Film Festival also connects to the annual Pallister French-Canadian Lecture Series made possible through the late Professor of French, Jan Pallister. This year’s Pallister speaker is Québécois film director Frédérick Pelletier who will be on hand to discuss his film, Diego Star (please see the attached flyer for more information).  This year’s theme of the International Film Festival is “Undoing the Single Story.” The title refers to Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Achidie’s well known TED talk about the “Danger of the Single Story”—where the complex richness of other individuals and cultures is reduced to the shorthand of a single story. She adds, “So that is how to create a single story—show a people as one thing, as only one thing, over and over again, and that is what they become. […] The Palestinian poet Mourid Barghouti writes that if you want to dispossess a people, the simplest way to do it is to tell their story, and to start with, ‘secondly’ … If, for instance, the story of the Boston Tea Party starts with the harbor scene where American patriots cast British tea into the Atlantic, the meaning of that story changes quite a bit. One way to move beyond the Single Story is to listen to stories told by film directors from around the world. Our film festival will begin with famous Turkish-German Fatih Akin’s The Edge of Heaven, followed by two Austrian films. The second film, Down There [Unten}, to be screened on Friday, April 12, will be introduced by the film director himself, Djodje Cenic. On April 18, we have included Timbuktu by Abderrahmane Sissako, and the following week will bring Frédérick Pelletier to Bowling Green with his film, Diego Star. The International Film Festival will end with Five Broken Cameras, a documentary put together by two film directors, one from Palestine, the other from Israel.  Each of the films will be introduced by a BGSU faculty member who will also linger after the film for an informal discussion with the audience. There will be a reception, open to the public, following the Pallister film on April 25th. All films will be shown with subtitles and will be screened in the theatre located in BGSU’s Bowen-Thompson Student Union 206. This event would not have been possible without the generous support of BGSU’s College of Arts & Sciences, the Departments of Theatre and Film and World Languages and Cultures, the School of Critical and Cultural Studies, and the Program of Africana Studies.

WBGU-TV sponsoring 5K run-walk as part of moon landing anniversary events

From WBGU-TV PUBLIC TELEVISION “The Great American Run: Ruby’s Race for Space,” is a new 5K fun run/walk blasting off April 6. It is sponsored by WBGU-TV in celebration of the upcoming 50th anniversary of the Moon Landing. The flight crew for the event includes the station’s mascot Ruby, the red-eye tree frog. The race launches at 10 a.m. (registration begins at 9 a.m.) and follows a flat, easy course through the beautiful campus of Bowling Green State University starting at the Recreation Center on Ridge Road. The race is in conjunction with the BGSU Wellness Center’s SAAM 5K and Dog Walk with support from Dave’s Running Shop.Walkers/runners of all ages and abilities are welcome. We’re shooting for the moon – let’s see if we can total 238.9 cumulative miles (77 participants) in honor of the 238,900 mile-trek from the earth to the moon! Proceeds benefit a new documentary in the works by WBGU-TV and featuring Northwest Ohio’s own Neil Armstrong – the first man on the moon. Cost is $25 for pre-registration and $10 – 1-mile fun run/walk ($20 day of race). Register at The 5K runners will receive a specially-designed race logo T-shirt while fun run walkers will receive a Moon Pie gift packet. Awards for first-third place in the various age divisions. For more information about the event, contact Cari Tuttle at WBGU-TV at 419-372-7024. WBGU-TV is a PBS affiliate and partner of Bowling Green State University serving a 19-county region with award-winning programming and educational resources. For more information, visit

Gnome decorating contest & raffle added to Art Walk (updated)

From DOWNTOWN BOWLING GREEN The 27th Annual Art Walk will take place throughout historic Downtown Bowling Green on Saturday, April 27 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., followed by a reception at the Wood County District Public Library starting at 3:30 p.m. This free event welcomes everyone to come experience the work of many local artists and participate in this year’s gnome raffle. As of Tuesday the gnomes are sold out. Anyone can stop by our Downtown Bowling Green’s Special Improvement Office at 130 S. Main St. located in the Four Corners Center to pick up their very own gnome for $15 (cash or checks can be written out to The Downtown Foundation, Inc.). After you pick up your gnome, you can decorate it and return it to our office before 5 p.m. on April 19 so we can have them ready to be showcased at The Wood County District Public Library during Art Walk. When you bring the gnome back, you will be entered in a drawing to win $50 in Downtown Dollars! The number of gnomes available is limited so please do not miss your chance to participate. All proceeds of the raffle will go toward the Downtown Foundation’s Flower Fund that is used to purchase and maintain the beautiful blooms that fill our historic downtown. For a chance to win a gnome you must purchase raffle tickets during Art Walk at The Wood County District Public Library. Raffle tickets cost $1 each or 6 tickets for $5! The Gnome Show will take place at The Wood County District Public Library (251 N. Main Street). The gnome raffle will be held after 3:30 during the Art Walk Reception. We look forward to having a great turn out! We recommend that you call our office before you stop in to make sure we aren’t in a meeting (419-354-4332). Please continue to check our Facebook page ( or our webpage ( to keep up with the latest news and updates.