Community Voices

Library seeks nominations for Gibson Award for staff that go the extra mile

From WOOD COUNTY DISTRICT PUBLIC LIBRARY vvvAre there staff members at the Wood County District Public Library who always go the extra mile for you and your family when you visit the library? Say “Thank You” to library staff by nominating them for the John M. Gibson Award, a tradition which was begun by the library’s Board of Trustees in 2005 to recognize excellence in customer service. Since then it has been presented annually by the Trustees, who select the recipient from nominations submitted by both library users and WCDPL staff members themselves.  Any WCDPL employee (with the exceptions of the library director and assistant director) may be nominated for the Gibson award. The award was named after the late John M. Gibson in honor of his contributions to the library and his integral role in the library’s 2003 renovation. All nominees will be recognized by the Library Board of Trustees and the Gibson Award will be presented Friday, August 16. Since being established in 2005, the Gibson Award has been presented to 15 library employees: Mandy Hackley (2005), Mary Boone (2006), AJ Heilman and Donna Mertz (2007), Debra Born (2008), Kristin Wetzel (2009), Linda Conrad (2010), Maria Simon (2011), Nancy Weiland (2012), Katherine Lawn (2013), Anne Render (2014), Matt Mehling (2015), Victoria Forgette (2016), Tara Bahnsen (2017), and JJ Hofner (2018). Easy to use nomination forms will be available at the main library in Bowling Green, on the Bookmobile, and at the branch library in Walbridge starting Friday, May 3. Nominations may also be submitted directly from the library’s website, Deadline for all nominations is Friday, June 28. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to have your favorite WCDPL staff member recognized and honored. For additional information about the John M. Gibson Award, contact WCDPL at 419-352-5104.

State Patrol dispatcher of the year from BG post recognized

(Submitted by State Senator Theresa Gavarone) State Senator Theresa Gavarone, R-Bowling Green, on Wednesday presented a Senate resolution to Tara Barnhart of the Bowling Green Dispatch Center. Tara was recently recognized as the 2018 Dispatcher of the Year by the Ohio State Highway Patrol. “After only speaking with Tara for a few minutes, it becomes immediately apparent how passionate she is about her job and getting assistance to the people who need it most,” said Gavarone. “I commend her outstanding work in this very difficult and stressful position, and we are lucky to have such amazing people on the other end of a 9-1-1 call to help us.” “I just want to say thank you to the Ohio Senate and everyone who has supported me over the last 13 years. Thank you for having me and it was an honor to be here today,” said Barnhart.

Ghanbari inducted into Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame

(Submitted by State Representative Haraz Ghanbari) State Rep. Haraz N. Ghanbari, R-Perrysburg, joined 19 other Ohio veterans today during an enshrinement ceremony into the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame. The Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame celebrates the efforts of Ohio’s veterans who continue to serve their communities, state and nation through exceptional acts of volunteerism, advocacy, professional distinction, public service and philanthropy. “I was humbled to stand alongside my fellow veterans during this morning’s enshrinement ceremony,” said Ghanbari. “It is a privilege to continue my public service as the Ohio House District 3 Representative for Wood County.” Ghanbari was inducted into the hall of fame class of 2018 due to his strong commitment to service members, veterans and their families. He is the youngest inductee ever to the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame. Representative Ghanbari has more than 17 years of military service. He is a Navy veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and Operation Inherent Resolve, and an Army veteran of Operation Joint Forge in Bosnia. Currently, he serves as a Lieutenant Commander in the United States Navy Reserve.

Park district offers opportunities to enjoy & help nature during May

From WOOD COUNTY PARK DISTRICT EcoLit Book Group Meeting Thursday, May 2, 7:00 – 9:00 pm W.W. Knight Nature Preserve: Hankison Great Room 29530 White Road, Perrysburg For this meeting, please read The Death and Life of the Great Lakes by Dan Egan.Group meets once a month. Register for any or all. Discussion leader: Cheryl Lachowski, Senior Lecturer, BGSU English Dept. and Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalist (OCVN). To register, visit, or call 419-353-1897 Join Hands Day Friday, May 3; 10:00 am – 12:00 pm Wood County Historical Center 13660 County Home Road, Bowling Green Participate in this National Day of Service. We’ll work as a community on a beneficial project. All tools and materials are provided. Leader: Stewardship staff (20) Register for volunteer opportunities at Open Archery Friday, May 3; 5:00 – 7:30 pm Arrowwood Archery Range 11126 Linwood Road, Bowling Green Come anytime between 5:00 and 7:30 pm to give archery a shot! All archery equipment provided, along with brief beginner-friendly instruction from our certified instructors. Leaders: Craig Spicer and Zeb Albert To register, visit, or call 419-353-1897   RAD Program                                     Saturday, May 4; 8:00 am – 5:00 pm W.W. Knight Nature Preserve: Friends’ Green Room 29530 White Road, Perrysburg Female self-defense lesson. Learn basic self-defense maneuvers, situational awareness, and verbal tactics that can assist before, during, and after an emergency. Leaders: Troy Bateson and Eric Shiffler To register, visit, or call 419-353-1897 Greenhouse Help Tuesday, May 7; 1:00 – 3:00 pm J.C. Reuthinger Memorial Preserve 30730 Oregon Road, Perrysburg Help grow native plants that will go into the parks and preserves. All tools are provided. No experience is needed. Leader: Stewardship staff (12) Please register for volunteer opportunities at Friends’ of the Parks Plant Sale Saturday, May 11; 9:00 am – 2:00 pm Park District Headquarters 18729 Mercer Road, Bowling Green Over 40 varieties of local genotype native plants are available for sale for $4 each. Native plants can create drought and flood resistant areas and pollinator habitat. Spatterwork Nature Prints Saturday, May 11; 1:00 – 4:00 pm Carter Historic Farm 18331 Carter Road, Bowling Green Take a stroll along the woodlot path gathering leaves, then create spatterwork leaf print art to take home.  Clothes and shoes that can get dirty recommended. Leader: Corinne Gordon….

Habitat for Humanity working to build two homes in Weston

(Submitted by Habitat for Humanity of Wood County) Professional homebuilders Ridge Stone Builders and Lakeside Interiors, are working alongside future homeowners, suppliers, contractors, and volunteers as part of Habitat for Humanity’s Home Builders Blitz build of two homes during Spring of 2019. “Habitat for Humanity’s Home Builders Blitz is truly a testament to the willingness of local builders, suppliers and contractors, to invest in their communities,” said Mark Ohashi, executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Wood County. The two Weston homes are the 41st and 42nd Habitat homes to be built in Wood County. To celebrate, Habitat For Humanity of Wood County is hosting a “Project Blessing.” The community is invited to attend the Project Blessing ceremony on May 16, at 8 a.m., at 13485/13495 Main St. Weston. The future homeowners, local dignitaries, lead builders, and faith based community leaders will participate in the blessing. “At Habitat for Humanity, we know that with just a little help, Habitat homeowners achieve the strength, stability and self-reliance they need to build a better life for themselves and their families. We’ve been thrilled to partner with Ridge Stone Builders and Lakeside Interiors to get these homes built,” Ohashi said.

Women’s Club of BG to kick off 100th anniversary of organization

(Submitted by the GFWC Women’s Club of Bowling Green) GFWC Women’s Club of Bowling Green will hold its annual May Breakfast meeting on May 11, beginning at 9:30 a.m. at First Christian Church at the corner of Haskins and Poe roads. This year’s celebration will kick off the upcoming 100th Anniversary of GFWC Women’s Club of Bowling Green, with the morning’s program featuring a fashion show representing decades from the 1920s to the present. GFWC State President Linda Crish will be present to install newly elected officers for the 2019-2020 year. A meal of a choice of four breakfast casseroles with fresh fruit bowls and assorted juices, Marilyn Reiwaldt’s homemade cinnamon rolls, coffee and tea will be served. President Mary Boone and members will begin the meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance, after which Norma Stickler will provide the day’s inspiration. Chairwomen Evelyn Bachman and Jo Sipes, along with social committee member Debbie LeGalley will serve as hostesses. Donna Schmidt will present the music scholarships and LeGalley will present the Non-Traditional Women’s Scholarships. A brief business meeting to plan upcoming club projects will follow. Evelyn Bachman and Kay Heffernan will share news about upcoming Garden Group and Literature Group projects. Kathy East and Barbara Applebaum will update information about the 37th annual Writing Contest. The morning concludes with the recognition of outstanding members through the “We Are All Wonder Women Award” and the recitation of the GFWC Collect for Clubwomen. Anyone interested in the GFWC Women’s Club of Bowing Green, or who would like to attend a meeting, can consult the Women’s Club website at

NAMI offers programs during Mental Health Awareness Month

(Submitted by the National Alliance on Mental Illness) The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to improving the lives of individuals and families affect by mental illness. The month of May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Throughout the whole month NAMI Wood County is dedicated to raising awareness about mental health and eliminating the stigma associated with it. Mental Health Awareness Month turns 70 this year.  Topics being explored and highlighted by Mental Health America will include animal companionship (including pets and support animals), spirituality, humor, work-life balance, and recreation and social connections as a way to boost mental health and general wellness. This year NAMI Wood County is focusing on the five components of self-care and throughout the whole month we have awareness events that you can attend.  These components include: The psychological such as meditation, self-reflection, and mindfulness.The emotional such as self-evaluating, removing negativity, and increasing self-esteem and confidence.The social, such as physical interactions and connections. The personal such as spirituality, hygiene, hydration, and nutrition.The physical things such as exercise, movement, sleep, and other activities. Mental Health Awareness Month Events to RSVP for: Mental Health Conference Series: May 3,  9 a.m. – 4 p.m. in Perrysburg (4 CEU’s available)KidShop: May 4 in Bowling GreenCookies & Canvas: May 9 starts at 6 p.m. in Bowling GreenLate Nite Out with NAMI: May 14, 7:30 p.m. in Bowling GreenEducation Series Event: “Bridges of HOPE” May 23, starts at 1:30 p.m. in Bowling Green How else can you participate in Mental Health Awareness Month with NAMI Wood County? Lime Green being the OFFICAL Mental Health Awareness color, be sure to wear this signature hue and utilize the hashtag #GoGreenForMentalHealth on social media. Stop in Perrysburg or Rossford to see our green ribbon displays. NAMI Wood County is also partnering with four local business to spread awareness in Wood County.  Our partners this year are The Blue Bakery in Grand Rapids, Grounds for Thought in Bowling Green, Maddie and Bella Coffee Roasters in Perrysburg, and The Flying Joe in Perrysburg. The Blue Bakery will be featuring a green baked good during the month of May while Grounds for Thought and Maddie and Bella Coffee Roasters will be featuring a green beverage. Don’t…

Water & sewer district marks silver anniversary with open house including regional water update

From NORTHWESTERN WATER & SEWER DISTRICT This year The Northwestern Water and Sewer District celebrates 25 years of Operation!  We would like to invite you to join us for fun, food and more at our annual Open House. WHAT: 25 YEARS OF OPERATION: THE DISTRICT OPEN HOUSEWHEN: SUNDAY, MAY 5, 2019 1-4 p.m.WHERE: The District, 12560 Middleton Pike, Bowling Green, Ohio 435402COST: FREE **UPDATE ON REGIONAL WATER** There will be a presentation at 2 p.m. featuring the latest on regional water discussions including the latest on the Toledo, Bowling Green, and Michindoh water options.Please RSVP, at publicinfo@nwwsd.orgJoin us for a tour of our main facility as our friendly staff shares how they take care of our water!  See a live demo from our ops challenge team, water tastings, and check out displays from The District and Ohio EPA on how you can help protect our water.  Alongside our fleet, the Historical Construction Equipment Association will showcase their equipment from back in the day! The entire family can enjoy the day having fun while they explore our bounce houses, catch fish in our pond, sit for a caricature portrait, and take part in the kiddie tractor pull from the Power of Yesteryear. If you are hungry, there’s plenty of food.  Join us for a barbeque style lunch, plus Mr. Melon’s smoothie treats are back.  New this year, enjoy some Olde Tyme Kettle Korn and Frank’s Famous French Fries.  Don’t forget the great door prizes.  Hope to see you at The District Open House!

Not In Our Town BG issues statement of solidarity

(Submitted by Not In Our Town Bowling Green) Today and every day, Not In Our Town Bowling Green stands in solidarity with the Jewish community.  With heavy hearts, we are sending love, and offer our sincere condolences to the families of the victims and everyone who is affected by this terrible tragedy. This past weekend we saw another horrific act of antisemitic hate at Congregation Chabad synagogue in Poway, California, six months to the day after the deadly shooting that killed 11 people at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh.   Today, please take time to reflect on this senseless act of violence toward innocent people in their house of worship.  Take time to talk to your family, friends and loved ones about the value of human life–no matter who it is.  Make a commitment to be respectful to each other regardless of age, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or ability.  And…make strides to recognize and celebrate the value and beauty of a diverse society.  Together we can create a society, specifically, the community of Bowling Green, that is welcoming and inclusive for all.

BGSU hosting 14th annual Literacy in the Park

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS Bowling Green State University’s 14th annual Literacy in the Park event on May 4 will feature author and illustrator Lindsay Ward. Ward is an award-winning author and the illustrator of a series of children’s books about a lovable dinosaur that include “Don’t Forget Dexter!” “It’s Show and Tell, Dexter!” and her latest, “Vacation for Dexter.” She is also the author of “The Importance of Being 3,” “Henry Finds His Word” (a Choose to Read Ohio Book) and “Please Bring Balloons,” which was produced as a play by the New York City Children’s Theater in 2017. Her work has been reviewed in Kirkus Reviews, Publisher’s Weekly and the New York Times. Presented by BGSU’s College of Education and Human Development, Literacy in the Park will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 4 at Perry Field House. The event is free and open to the public. Last year, nearly 2,000 people attended. Literacy in the Park promotes the importance of literacy in the lives of children and features more than 40 interactive exhibitor booths and displays. Entertainment on the main stage will include musical acts and storytelling, and two presentations by Ward. The event explores the types of literacy important in our lives: in addition to reading and writing, it includes financial literacy, nutritional literacy, physical education literacy, digital literacy, science and environmental literacy, music literacy and much more. While there is no cost to attend, guests are encouraged to preregister to speed entry into the Field House. For more information and to preregister, visit

Love in the air at public library

From WOOD COUNTY DISTRICT PUBLIC LIBRARY The Wood County District Public Library will be celebrating the romance novel with a free day-long “Love is in the Air” event on Saturday, May 4. The event has everything a reader could dream of–authors, chocolate, door prizes and more. “Romance novels appeal to readers of all ages and interests,” said Kristin Wetzel, WCDPL’s fiction librarian. “We are looking forward to a really fun day, whether you attend part of the event or stay for the day.” Highlights of the day include a selfie station, an author meet and greet, and a panel discussion about the romance genre with writers from Maumee Valley Romance Writers, Inc. The event begins at 1 p.m. and includes many activities. 1 p.m.: Author Meet and Greet 1:15 p.m.: Author Patricia Rasey 1:30 p.m.: Author Susana Ellis 1:45 p.m.: Author Constance Phillips 2 p.m.: Stephen Ammidown, Romance Writers of America Cathie Linz Librarian of the Year, BGSU Popular Culture Library 2:15p.m.: First Gift Basket Drawing 2:15 p.m.: Author Elizabeth Vaughn presents “The Author Experience” 2:30 p.m.: Book Reading 2:45p.m.: Author Kill Kemerer 3p.m.: Q & A with Maumee Valley Romance Writers, Inc. members 3:45 p.m.: Second Gift Basket Drawing For more information about the event, contact Kristin Wetzel at the Wood County District Public Library at 419-352-5050.

Time to sign up for Firefly Nights 5K

Registration is underway for the Firefly Nights 5K Run & Walk on Friday, May 17 at 9 p.m. in downtown Bowling Green. The run and walk kicks off the street festival series, and serves as a fundraiser for the events. Registration is $25 and includes a reflective Firefly Nights 5K t-shirt. The t-shirt is guaranteed only for those who register by May 5. Already about 100 participants have signed up.  To register visit: Registration forms are also available at many downtown shops. Registration also includes illuminated running sticks. Registrations will be accepted the day of the event and cost $30. The run/walk will begin and end behind the Wood County District Public Library. There will be awards in Downtown Dollars for the first ($100), second  ($75), and third ($50) place male and female finishers.  Chip timing is provided by Dave’s Running. Snacks will be provided by Qdoba. Firefly Nights summer festivals will be held the third Friday of June, July, and August 6-10 p.m. with a Fall Festival planned for Oct. 18. Organizers will be working with city crews to insure safety on streets that are undergoing construction.

Islamic Center, BGSU partner to document history of area Muslim community

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS Community members are invited to bring personal items documenting the history of the Islamic community in the Toledo area to Community Scan Day Sunday, May 5. Bowling Green State University’s Center for Archival Collections (CAC) and the Islamic Center of Greater Toledo (ICGT) are partnering on the event, which was made possible by a $12,000 Common Heritage Grant supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). “We are excited to partner with the Islamic Center of Greater Toledo to work toward the ongoing preservation of materials documenting the region’s Islamic heritage,” said Michelle Sweetser, head of the Center for Archival Collections. “Muslims have been an important part of the cultural and religious fabric of the area and it is important that we document and preserve that history while we are able to do so.”  The Community Scan Day is the first in a series of three events that the CAC and ICGT will present as a part of the grant, which is one of 20 awarded by the NEH this year to preserve and make accessible materials important to family and community histories by supporting digitization events and public programming at local cultural organizations. It will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Islamic Center, 25877 Scheider Road, Perrysburg. CAC staff members, who will set up digitization stations at the ICGT, will scan materials. Community members who bring materials will go home with their originals as well as digital copies and free supplies to ensure the preservation of the original. With permission, the CAC will add digital copies to its holdings to preserve and make them accessible to the public. CAC staff members will be able to digitize a wide variety of materials, including photographs, letters, newsletters, scrapbooks, 3D artifacts and audio tape, and can record personal stories documenting the rich history of the Islamic community in the northwest Ohio region. “Well-organized archives bridge generations, paying tribute to those who have gone before, connecting their contributions to the current life of our mosque and providing important resources for both the present and the future,” said Nadia Ashraf-Moghal, ICGT president. “Scan Day will be an important step in making that happen.” The grant also supports…

Contest looking for next Ohio signature food

From CENTER FOR INNOVATIVE FOOD TECHNOLOGY With an emphasis on new and innovative food products, Ohioans have the opportunity to land their product on store shelves with the Ohio Signature Food Contest! Sponsored by the Center for Innovative Food Technology and Ohio Farm Bureau Federation, the contest helps facilitate economic growth and job creation in the Ohio food/agriculture industry – the number one industry in the state that already contributes more than $107 billion to the economy. Contestants complete a simple online form outlining the basic details of their product, and food industry experts will judge based on viability of the product, commercialization potential, business strategy, marketability and overall appeal to the marketplace. Products do not need to be fully designed or ready for market, rather an ability to communicate a specific vision.  Click here to complete the online entry form!  Deadline to submit the completed application is Friday, May 31, 2019.

Two music faculty recognized for excellence

Two faculty members, Myra Merritt-Grant and Elaine Lilies, in the College of Musical Arts were honored recently during the 2019 Faculty Excellence Awards. Merritt-Grant honored for teaching excellence Professor Myra Merritt-Grant’s dual focus on vocal technique and conveying the character and message of text has successfully helped her mentor hundreds of vocal students since 1995. Her passionate approach to building confidence in performers and extra, late hours of vocal coaching for recitals and performances have earned her the title of Professor of Teaching Excellence.  Bowling Green State University bestowed the title upon her at the 2019 Faculty Excellence Awards on April 16. The honor is designated for BGSU faculty members who hold the rank of full professor and whose extraordinary achievements as effective teachers in their discipline or in interdisciplinary fields deserve special recognition. Merritt-Grant will hold the title for three years and receive an annual stipend of $5,000, which includes $2,000 per year for professional development. Merritt-Grant received her bachelor’s degree from the Peabody Conservatory of Music and her master’s from the Catholic University of America before making her Metropolitan Opera debut in 1982. As a full professor on the voice faculty in the Music Performance Studies Department at the College of Musical Arts, she has used her deep knowledge of healthy singing techniques, repertoire and musical styles, languages and performance tradition to give her students a transformative learning experience. Her dedication to bringing out the artistry and musicianship in her students caught the eye of her nominator, Dr. Laura Melton, Department of Music Performance Studies chair. “A large part of teaching excellence in music performance is building confidence in performers, and Ms. Merritt’s expertise in developing the careers of young singers does exactly that,” Melton wrote in her nomination letter. “In her 23 years in the College of Musical Arts, her students have won many competitions and awards including the National Opera Association Convention Vocal Competition and the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) Competition,” Merritt-Grant’s former student Tammie Bradley made her Metropolitan Opera debut in 2017 following her three-year residency in the Lindemann Young Artist Program. In 2018, Bradley was featured in the title role of “Aida” for the Opéra Nationale de Lorraine in Nancy, France. According to Melton, “These are…