Community

Patients feel loss of Dr. Lavey at cancer care center

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   When Barbara Forbes got the news Dr. Robert Lavey was leaving the Wood County Hospital cancer center, she was certain he had taken a job at a bigger hospital. “He’s so gifted,” said Forbes, who was diagnosed with stage 4 Non Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in April 2017. “His expertise, his intelligence, his knowledge, his compassion, his communication are above and beyond.” Then Forbes was informed that Lavey had been terminated at the cancer center. “I’m being brutally frank – I was absolutely devastated when I heard he was leaving,” she said. “We’ve lost a gift and someone else is getting a gift.” Lavey, who had been medical director of the cancer center since its opening in 2014, said he was terminated in July at the Maurer Family Cancer Care Center after the number of patients being treated at the center dropped. He had been hired in November of 2013 to help design the center, select the staff, choose the equipment, and set the policies and procedures. His was the smiling face associated with the cancer center. “I feel a real pride in what we’ve done for the community and the services we provide for the patients and their families,” Lavey said during one of his final days at Wood County Hospital. “I am very much invested emotionally in the services.” Lavey said he was told the decision to end his employment was “just business.” “I was simply given notice I was being terminated.” Wood County Hospital President Stan Korducki declined to answer questions about Lavey’s departure. “I can’t comment on any personnel matters,” he said. Korducki stressed that the Maurer Family Cancer Care Center continues to provide quality patient care. “I can’t make any comment about Dr. Lavey,” he said. “We continue to have excellent physician services at the Maurer Cancer Center. Nothing has changed in terms of that.” Lavey said he was in the middle of a contract set to expire on March 30, 2019. The hospital has replaced him with Dr. Dhaval Parikh, who is board certified in radiation oncology and has practiced for more than 20 years. According to the hospital, Parikh provides care for patients “with all types of cancers through highly conformal radiation therapies, which matches the radiation beams to the shape of the tumor for precise treatment. He is well-versed in a…

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Steeplejack takes rare skills to wuthering heights

By JAN LARON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Bill Meyers has spent much of his life looking down on Northwest Ohio. As a steeplejack for more than 40 years, he has climbed up clock towers, church steeples, radio towers and nuclear cooling structures. Originally from Napoleon, Meyers has done much of his work here in Bowling Green –  from lighting the courthouse clock to renovating the historic dome at Trinity United Methodist Church. Just gazing up at tall structures is enough to give some people a twinge of panic. But Meyers is quite comfortable working and walking at great heights. “I always liked being up in the air,” Meyers said recently as he took a break from working on the bell tower at St. Aloysius Catholic Church in Bowling Green. As a child he had a treehouse with no ladder or rope. “Nobody could come up unless they could climb.” By age 15, he was doing freefall skydiving. “I should have been a bird.” Meyers was a student at BGSU in the 1970s when he started doing odd jobs for local landlords and government officials. It quickly became known that the young Meyers could handle heights, so his skills were tapped for putting up the first outdoor sirens in the county and helping install water towers in the city. As if that weren’t enough of a thrill, Meyers also took a side job wiring explosives and detonating them on a blasting job. Now at age 67, Meyers still free climbs and still appreciates a good challenge. Phil Whaley, an engineer with Poggemeyer Design Group, has worked on more than 100 jobs with Meyers over the years and considers the steeplejack to have rare skills. “That’s putting it mildly.” Whaley distinctly remembers Meyers walking the ridge of the towering St. Patrick’s Church near downtown Toledo. “It was like he was walking down a sidewalk,” Whaley said. As valuable as his handling of heights is Meyer’s ability to come up with inexpensive solutions to seemingly impossible to solve problems. “He’s never met a problem he couldn’t figure a way around,” Whaley said. “He’s got quite a creative mind when it comes to solving problems.” Take for example, the microwave towers installed on top of AT&T silos. Meyers devised some “weird fabrications” to hang the microwave dishes off the side. “Almost everything he does has a weird twist…


Murder of Dawn Glanz to be featured on ‘Cold Justice’

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Bowling Green’s only unsolved murder will be focused on in an episode of “Cold Justice,” a true crime series on Oxygen cable channel on Saturday. The murder of Dawn Glanz, who was found dead in her home on Kensington Boulevard on May 9, 2013, will be examined in the show that attempts to solve cold cases. The autopsy found that Glanz, 66, a professor of art history at Bowling Green State University, suffered a sharp force injury of the scalp and was stabbed by an assailant. “The family approached us when the case stalled out,” Bowling Green Police Chief Tony Hetrick said. They suggested finding a TV show to profile the cold case. Hetrick said he consulted Wood County Prosecuting Attorney Paul Dobson, and contacted Tonya Rider, a Bowling Green State University professor and retired Toledo detective. They contacted Kelly Siegler, a former Houston prosecutor, who leads the investigations on “Cold Justice.” The TV crew spent several days in Bowling Green in October, filming for the show. The primary Bowling Green police officers featured on the show are Det. Brian Houser and Sgt Scott Kleiber. During their 10 days in Bowling Green, the “Cold Justice” crew re-interviewed witnesses and brought in their own technical experts. Hetrick has viewed the episode and was pleased with its adherence to the truth. “I’ve seen it. It’s very accurate,” he said. “Sometimes these crime shows take licenses – this does not.” Hetrick and the Glanz family are hoping the “Cold Justice” episode jogs some memories. “Hopefully somebody has some information we do not,” Hetrick said. “We’re hoping this will bring some closure for the family and some justice for Dawn.” The family has offered a $10,000 reward for information leading for the resolution of the case. If the case is solved, it would clear up Bowling Green’s sole unsolved murder. “This is the only one we have,” Hetrick said.


BG Board of Education studying school safety options

By JAN LARSON McLBAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Bowling Green City School officials met this week to discuss how to keep students and staff safe. A special meeting was held Tuesday afternoon, with the board going into executive session to discuss safety issues. In addition to the board and superintendent, Police Chief Tony Hetrick, Fire Chief Bill Moorman, plus some teachers and administration members were included in the discussion. “We’re looking at people who are on the ground floor of the issue,” Superintendent Francis Scruci said. “We want to try to be proactive,” he said. “It’s not something you can put on a shelf and forget about.” Because the discussion took place in executive session, Scruci did not reveal any specific details of the safety plans being considered. “This is going to be an ongoing situation,” he said. “We’re going to continue to look for ways to improve safety.” The district plans to explore grant opportunities that will pay for safety measures, rather than attempting a levy for safety expenses. However, grant funding has its limitations. “The problem with grant money is sometimes it’s only for one year,” Scruci said. The district is studying changes to its buildings as well as personnel for safety. “We will explore every part of our partnership with police to improve the safety,” he said. As the district had the new middle school designed and constructed, new safety measures were put into place. “We looked at the original designs and we made some changes to improve safety,” Scruci said. For example, the locker bays in the new addition do not stick out into the hallway, but rather are straight down the hallways. The new doors to the bus area are solid, not glass. And ballistic shields will soon be installed on the cafeteria windows. “We did things intentionally with the design,” he said. As with the other school buildings, “The Boots” will be installed on each doorway to keep out intruders. Scruci said the district will continue discussing increased safety measures with the police and fire divisions. “We’re fortunate to live in a supportive city.” “Safety is one of those things that’s going to be an ongoing conversation,” Scruci said.


Living history – Kazoos, ‘marriage mill’ and speakeasy raids

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   During Prohibition, Lizzie Fuller led raids on local speakeasies. During the Great Depression, Wallace Kramp and his farmer friends started the local “penny auctions” to save neighboring farms after foreclosures. And Georgia Sargent Waugh led the Kitchen Kazoo Orchestra of a local homemakers group. Their stories and more will be part of the 15th annual Wood County Living History Day on Sunday, Aug. 26, at 2 p.m., in Oak Grove Cemetery in Bowling Green. Local residents will portray citizens interred in Wood County cemeteries or those who had an impact on Wood County’s leisure time of the 1920s and 1930s. The citizens selected this year were chosen to coincide with the “leisure time” exhibit at the Wood County Historical Center & Museum, “The Return to Normalcy: A Life of Leisure in Wood County.” The annual Living History Day draws a crowd to the cemetery because it gives a glimpse into everyday people who lived in Wood County, said Kelli Kling, director of the Wood County Historical Center. “I think it’s popular because the people being portrayed are real people,” Kling said. “It’s not necessarily the celebrities. It’s people just like us, who made an impact on Wood County.” This year’s portrayals include people with intriguing hobbies or occupations. For example, Georgia Waugh and her kazoo orchestra. “That’s such an unusual thing,” Kling said. “There will actually be a performance at the event.” Also portrayed will be Paul Fuller, who had a role in the Bowling Green “marriage mill.” “Bowling Green was an area where a lot of people passed through to get married,” Kling said. “There was a bit of a competition going on” to see who could marry the most couples. Then there’s Lizzie Fuller, who grew up in a strict Christian household in Grand Rapids, where travelers frequented on the canal boats. She was a member of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union, which considered alcohol an evil. So she led raids on speakeasies, where alcohol was sold on the sly during Prohibition. “She felt it was her duty to protest against them,” Kling said. Following is a list of all the people being portrayed, as well as the people taking on their roles for the Living History Day event. “I love the fact that they’re all being portrayed by local folks,” Kling said. Raymond George (1889…


BG police & citizen save life of man in cardiac arrest

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Richard Hill, 54, got to thank three people Monday evening for saving his life. Two are Bowling Green police officers, and one is an apartment resident who initially called Hill, a maintenance man, to help with a leaky dishwasher. On June 11, Hill responded to a maintenance call at Danica Motes’ third floor apartment on South Mercer Road in Bowling Green. Though Motes and her husband were new residents to the city, they had met Hill before when they needed help at their apartment. “Rich is always smiling and happy,” Motes said. But on this day, when Motes opened her apartment door, instead of his customary joke, Hill collapsed in the hallway. “For the first few seconds, I was in shock,” Motes recalled. “I thought he was going to make a joke, but he fell over.” Motes called 911 and was instructed by a Wood County Sheriff’s Office dispatcher how to do chest compressions. When Hill started turning blue, she called 911 again and asked them to hurry. Within a couple minutes Bowling Green police officers were at the scene and took over. “After the police came, I fell apart,” Motes said. Sgt. Michael Bengela and Ptl. Ryan Sehlhorst stepped in, with Bengela doing check compressions and Sehlhorst breathing into Hill. “I kept checking his pulse, and he didn’t have one,” Sehlhorst said. Within one to two minutes, BG Fire Division had paramedics at the scene. They worked on Hill at the apartment building and then transported him to St. Luke’s Hospital. “He was never responsive before they took him in the ambulance,” Motes said. Hill’s wife, Cheryl, said her husband had no serious health problems until that day. “It was out of the blue,” she said. “It was a total shock.” Cheryl Hill arrived at St. Luke’s just as her husband was being taken into surgery, where they put in three stents. “They’re saying he should recover completely,” she said. Her husband is home recovering, and is impatient about getting back to work. “He’s one of those people who likes working,” his wife said. “He’s ready to go. This is really difficult.” Cheryl Hill said she and her husband were glad they had an opportunity to thank the two officers plus Motes during the Bowling Green City Council meeting Monday evening. “We were wanting to meet…


Public hearing planned on county landfill expansion

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Local citizens will get to weigh in Wednesday on a plan to expand the Wood County Landfill. A public hearing will be held at 6 p.m., in the fifth floor hearing room of the Wood County Office Building, on the plan to grow the landfill which has been submitted to the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency. The county landfill originally opened along U.S. 6, west of Bowling Green, in 1972. The current permitted area of the landfill has an estimated six years of space left. It takes anywhere from three to five years for the Ohio EPA review process, said Kelly O’Boyle, assistant administrator for Wood County. “It’s a long process,” she said. The proposed expansion will add an estimated 105 years to the landfill, based on current use. For a period of nearly 15 years after 2000, the Wood County Landfill averaged about 35,000 tons a year taken in. Then Henry County closed its facility, and for three years, Wood County Landfill took in about 48,000 tons a year. Last year, that tonnage jumped to 58,000. The current footprint being used is 42 acres, reaching almost 100 feet high. The expansion would take place on approximately 59 acres to the north of the existing acreage being used. “We want to keep it as a public asset, so people can bring their stuff here,” O’Boyle said. The bottom of the landfill has an EPA-approved liner, and once an area is full, it gets an EPA-approved cover. Methane gas is monitored with a series of wells, and leachate is captured so it doesn’t move off site. Those same monitoring standards of groundwater, surface water and methane will be required for the expanded area, O’Boyle. The proposed expansion will allow the landfill to extend upward 180 feet. The existing landfill area is approved to reach 120 feet high. The county owns a total of 350 acres at the landfill. Staff from the Ohio EPA will be present at the public hearing on Wednesday. “By law we’re required to have a hearing for people to ask questions,” O’Boyle said. County officials have been talking about the need for a landfill expansion for years, and have not heard any complaints from citizens, she said. “It shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone,” O’Boyle said.