Community

BG to conduct overdue review of City Charter

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   It’s won’t be a glamorous job, but somebody’s got to review the nuts and bolts of the Bowling Green City Charter. Mayor Dick Edwards reported to City Council Monday evening that he would like the city government to tackle a City Charter review in 2018. The last time the charter was reviewed was 2001. “Too many years have passed by,” Edwards said, noting the job should be completed every 10 years or so. The mayor said he will work on coming up with a timeline and potential people to work on the process. He already has in mind a couple Bowling Green State University faculty members, who have expertise in the area of city government. Above all, the City Charter review must be “citizen driven” and have sizeable participation by city residents, Edwards said. Council president Mike Aspacher said he is looking forward to a charter review. “I certainly am glad this is going to be a priority for us in 2018,” Aspacher said. In other business, City Council approved the rezoning of three parcels at the southwest corner of Manville and Clough streets, from planned institutional zoning to single-family residential. The zoning change will allow for three Habitat for Humanity homes to be constructed on the site. “I’m very excited it’s going to Habitat for Humanity,” council member Bruce Jeffers said. “I look forward to families moving into that area of town,” council member Sandy Rowland added. Also at the meeting,…

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‘Gold Star’ banner leads to series of good deeds

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Air Force Major Phillip Donley was killed 46 years ago when a F4 Phantom fighter bomber crashed in Germany. Since then, a Gold Star banner has hung on his family’s front door in Bowling Green. For years, the banner on the Clough Street home has gone unnoticed by many. But on Veterans Day this past Saturday, a group of young men – some in their military uniforms – knocked on the door of Dave Donley and Karen Wood. “I was just sitting here reading,” on Saturday morning, Donley said. When he opened the door, there were 20 young men in a line on the sidewalk. The men, who are members of Phi Delta Theta fraternity at BGSU, had noticed the Gold Star on the front door. “We wanted to let you know how much we appreciate your family,” Donley said the members told him. The young men gave Donley, Phillip’s brother, a hand-written note and a gift card. “We have been living across the street from you for most of this year,” the letter stated. “As many of us have served or are serving, we could not help but notice your Gold Star flag on your front door. We aren’t all here for Memorial Day, but we are here on this day. Therefore, we would like to take a moment to honor you. While it may not be much, we hope you will take this gift and use it for whatever you…


36 immigrants take oath to join the ranks of Americans

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Ping Liu came to the United States 16 years ago from southern China. In the intervening year, she’s come to love her adopted home, and on Monday she sealed that by becoming a citizen. Now she wants to use her new power as a citizen to insure the openness to immigrants that she experienced is maintained. Ping, who has studied for a Master’s in Business Administration program at Bowling Green State University, was one of 36 immigrants from 20 countries from four continents who became citizens at the Naturalization Ceremony hosted by BGSU. As U.S. District Judge James R. Knepp told them: “You don’t just live here, now you own the place.” Liu, who is a senior development engineer in research and development at First Solar, said that the United States gave her, her husband, and her son, himself a newly naturalized citizen who studies at Ohio State, a chance to advance their educations. Both Liu and her husband came to study for doctorates at Michigan State. Liu said she’d already worked for about eight years in industry in China before she arrived not long before the 9-11 terrorist attacks. She worked in Arizona after getting her PhD before returning to the region to work first at Owens-Illinois and now at First Solar. “In this country, there’s a lot of opportunity and they’re open to foreigners,” she said before the ceremony. “Those are the two sides we appreciate a lot.” Still she’s seen in…


Not In Our Town extends support to those with developmental disabilities

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Not In Our Town heard last week that its members need to stand up with another population facing some discrimination in Bowling Green. During their monthly meeting, Not In Our Town members talked about the need to branch out and go beyond defending diversity in race, religion and sexual orientation. NIOT also needs to stand up in the community for people with different intellectual and developmental disabilities, members agreed. Emily Dunipace, from the Wood County Board of Developmental Disabilities, talked about the need for people with differing intellectual abilities to be treated without discrimination in the community. “They want to be included like anyone else,” Dunipace said. Last month, after Wood Lane announced plans to open a group home for children with developmental disabilities, they were confronted by some neighbors who had concerns about the group home. It’s disappointing that people think that way,” said Heather Sayler, a NIOT member whose oldest son uses some services from Wood Lane. Rev. Gary Saunders, who lives in the general neighborhood of the new Wood Lane group home, said he was disappointed to hear about reluctance of neighbors to welcome the new residents. Julie Broadwell, community co-chair of Not In Our Town, agreed that the organization is dedicated to defending all populations facing discrimination – including intellectual and developmental disabilities. “That’s a whole issue we haven’t tapped into,” she said. The organization discussed the possibility of hosting a forum on the inappropriate use of the…


‘Heroes among us’ honored for extraordinary acts

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   They were ordinary people, who when faced with extraordinary challenges did the right thing. The four people who heard screaming then gunshots and ran to aid the victim. The two people who stopped to help a man lying in the middle of the road. And the man who tried to save his uncle when a barn collapsed on him. The “heroes who live among us” were recognized Friday evening during the 29th annual Black Swamp Humanitarian Awards. Since 1989, a total of 412 awards have been presented to people who have made extraordinary efforts to help others. This year’s awards were given to Andrew and Kacie Engel, Chris and Rebecca Jordan, Jared Fouts, Halie Domer and Andrew Wilhelm. Life Risk Award On March 23, the Engels and Jordans heard a woman scream and gunshots being fired. They ran to the aid of a woman lying in the hallway of their Perrysburg Township apartment building – even though her estranged husband who shot her was still in the building. The woman, Kristine Keiser, had been shot four times. “These couples truly put their lives on the line to save mine,” Keiser wrote in a letter to be read at the awards ceremony Friday night. The four people put themselves in danger, Keiser wrote. “They never left my side – even with an armed man on the other side of the apartment door.” “I’m blessed to be alive today because of them,” Keiser wrote….


Wood County focuses on serving its 12,895 veterans

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   As the nation prepares to honor those who served on Saturday, the Wood County Veterans Assistance Center is working to serve the 12,895 veterans living in this county. Mary Hanna, a Vietnam War veteran and executive director of the county office, presented a program this week on veterans in Wood County. Though few in the room were veterans themselves, the majority were descendants of those who served. “Presentations like this are like preaching to the choir,” Hanna said. Over the years, the county has seen the age of its veterans shift. The current stats show the following numbers in each age group: 2,321 ages 17 to 44 3,901 ages 45 to 64 4,903 ages 65 to 84 1,770 ages 85 and older. The biggest share are Vietnam veterans (33 percent), followed by peacetime (23 percent), Persian Gulf (22 percent), World War II (12 percent) and Korean War (10 percent). Women veterans in Wood County total 850, accounting for 7 percent of the veterans overall. The number of veterans to die last year in the county was 111. Meanwhile, the number of new veterans registering here was 1,146. It’s that disparity that worries Hanna, since the federal government is eyeing cuts to the Veterans Administration’s budget. The federal stats put Wood County’s veteran population at 8,100 – but Hanna has proven that the number is actually 12,895. “We’re gaining veterans in this county,” and she wants to be able to give them the…


BG Community Tree Lighting set for Nov. 17

From DOWNTOWN BOWLING GREEN Downtown Bowling Green is decorated and ready to kick off the holiday season Friday, November 17 th as Mayor Richard Edwards officiates the throwing of the switch that will light the Community Tree. The annual Community Tree Lighting Ceremony, organized by the Downtown Bowling Green has grown enormously in recent years and proves to be a well attended event yet again. This year’s program will include a prelude of music by the Madrigals and refreshments from Qdoba, Meijer, and the American Red Cross. The Downtown Bowling Green office is also honored to announce the partnership with the BGSU International Program to bring the town and gown together on this community event. The week of the tree lighting is International Education week and to bring light to this, there will be ornaments on the tree representing over 80 countries. The ornaments have been handmade by the students who will also be volunteering to assist the day of the event. The Wood County District Public Library has been a community partner in this event for so many years. Michael Penrod, Executive Director of the library gave us free rein on decorating and program choices. The library opens its doors to everyone for a free concert by the Madrigals in the library atrium at the conclusion of the tree lighting. So many thanks need to be extended; To the City of Bowling Green for all their assistance with logistics, BG Fire Department for transportation, Bowling Green Electric for the…