Students to clean up reputations and neighborhoods at same time

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   BGSU students often get trashed for not being good neighbors to full-time city residents. In an effort to clean up their reputations and their neighborhoods at the same time, an Adopt a Block program is being started with the help of the City-University Relations Commission. Danielle Parker, vice president of the Undergraduate Student Government at Bowling Green State University, said the program will help students connect with the community. “This is a new and exciting way for students to give back, besides dropping off some canned goods and walking away,” Parker said. The program will work somewhat like the larger scale “Adopt a Highway” effort. Ten “blocks” have been established by the City-University Relations Commission. Student groups will be asked to adopt an area then head out once a month and pick up trash in the medians. The trash will then be disposed of in the dumpsters behind the city fire station and electric division on Thurstin and Court streets. The 10 “blocks” up for adoption are: North Enterprise from East Wooster to Frazee Avenue. North Summit from East Wooster to Frazee Avenue. North Prospect from East Wooster to Frazee Avenue. East Court Street from North Prospect to Thurstin Avenue. Pike Street from North Prospect to Thurstin Avenue. Ridge Street from North Prospect to Thurstin Avenue. Merry Street from North Prospect to Thurstin Avenue. Reed Street from North Prospect to Thurstin Avenue. Area bordered by Wooster, Biddle, Clough and South College. Area bordered by Wooster, South Enterprise, Clough and South Prospect. “Students will go out and take care of that block,” Parker explained to the City-University Relations Commission Tuesday evening. Each student group will have a community member contact, according to Julie Broadwell, a member of the commission. A “soft launch” of the program is planned for April, with the official start to be this fall when students arrive back to campus. If the program proves successful, with students showing commitment, the city could create signage recognizing the work of the cleanup organizations, according to Joe Fawcett, assistant municipal administrator. “It’s important that citizens see student organizations are picking up trash. You get beat up all the time for trash,” said Rev. Tom Mellott, a member of the commission.

Scooby Doo, Chief Wiggum, Professor Snape get votes for Wood County sheriff

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Some people take voting very seriously. Others, not so much. Some apparently see it as an opportunity to show their creative side. In the primary election earlier this month, Wood County residents voting on the Democratic ballot were given the chance to fill in a write-in candidate for sheriff. Retired deputy Ruth Babel-Smith was running as a write-in candidate, but many voters were thinking way outside the box. Some voters at least stuck with people with law enforcement experience – however questionable it might be. Getting one vote each were Barney Fife, the bumbling deputy from Mayberry RFD; Chief Wiggum, the lazy incompetent police chief in The Simpsons, and Roscoe P. Coltrane, the corrupt sheriff from the Dukes of Hazzard. “I was just disappointed Boss Hogg didn’t get it,” said Mike Zickar, of the Wood County Board of Elections. A few cartoon type characters garnered single votes like Alfred E. Newman, of Mad magazine covers; Fred Flintstone, of the prehistoric town of Bedrock; and Scooby Doo, the canine with the mystery solving gang of meddling kids. Mickey Mouse got 4 votes – 5 if you count the voter who just wrote “Mickey.” Garnering one vote was Disney’s Sheriff Callie, an animated cat who rides a blue pony enforcing the “Cowpoke Code” in the Old West. Some voters went big, writing national political figures like Barack Obama, Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden. Some preferred to stay local, casting votes for Chip Myles, of Myles Pizza; Daniel Gordon, a Bowling Green councilman; and Jim Weinandy, a local attorney. A few voters put their confidence in celebrity figures who had proven their power on stage or screen, such as Professor Snape, from Harry Potter’s Hogwarts; Jean-Luc Picard, captain on Star Trek: The Next Generation; and shock rocker Alice Cooper. Some write-ins had pizzazz, but seemed to lack any political seriousness, like Hypnotoad, the large toad with oscillating eyes and a droning hum from Futurama; Vermin Supreme, a presidential candidate who wears a wizard hat and long beard, and promises free ponies; and Deez Nutz, a satirical presidential candidate. By the way, Mr. Supreme and Mr. Nuts got two write-in votes each. Some voters preferred the more literate types, writing down George Orwell, author of Animal Farm; Hunter Thompson, of gonzo-journalism fame; and Rosa Clemente, community organizer and hip hop activist. A handful of voters revisited…

Gloria Gajewicz honored for home grown science teaching skills

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Bowling Green teacher Gloria Gajewicz was inspired through her career by her own teachers, and further by her mother’s pursuit of education. So it is fitting that she should receive an award named for the late Neil Pohlmann, an educator and BGSU professor who left his mark on science education. Earlier this month Gajewicz won the first Neil Pohlman Award given by Bowling Green State University at the spring conference of the Northwest Ohio School Boards Association meeting. Patrick Pauken, director of the School of Educational Foundations, Leadership and Policy, said the award “is given in recognition of valuable contribution to Educational Administration and Leadership Studies at BGSU.” Gajewicz is working on her doctorate in the program. The award carries a scholarship. Pauken wrote: “The faculty selected Gloria for the award because of her endless dedication to teaching, learning, and leading in our schools. She is an excellent graduate student, as well, inspiring her classmates with her professional stories of student success. Our classrooms and schools are special places, indeed, with teachers and leaders like Gloria Gajewicz.” Gajewicz has taught science for 20 years, the last 16 at her alma mater, Bowling Green High School where she teaches biology and honors physical science. Finishing her second semester of what she expects will be a four-year process, Gajewicz’s goal is to become a curriculum specialist with her particular interest in science. She said she was inspired to pursue science by the many great science teachers she had in the Bowling Green system. That included Roger Mazzarella, “the wizard of Mazz,” in seventh grade and Bob Rex in eighth. In high school she had Bev Anthony for chemistry and Beth Snook for biology. “I had awesome science teachers all the way through,” she said. And she was pleased that when she started teaching in Bowling Green, Anthony was still on staff so she had “one of my inspirational teachers as a colleague.” “They definitely inspired me to do something in science,” she said. Her inspiration to go into teaching came even closer to home. While she was in high school her mother, Randye Kreischer, went to BGSU to get her education degree. She worked at Woodlane for 25 years. “It was interesting to see her do that,” Gajewicz said. “Having watched her go through that process inspired me to become a teacher.” She got her undergraduate degree at…

Calico, Sage & Thyme turns over new leaf as founder retires, new owner steps in

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News   Customers of the retail institution Calico, Sage & Thyme will have plenty to celebrate in April. They’ll be able to wish proprietor Barbara Rothrock a happy retirement after 41 years operating the store. And they’ll enjoy a sale marking her retirement. Customers will also be able to welcome a new owner for the shop, Lisa Palmer, who is buying the business. The business, on the corner of South Main and Clay streets in downtown Bowling Green, had been slated to close when Rothrock’s previous efforts to find a buyer fell through. Palmer will take over as of April 29. She said she plans both to maintain the venerable business’ character, and add her own touches, including selling more arts and crafts on consignment. “I want to leave as much the same as possible,” Palmer said. “She has such a great following for the cards, children’s books, jewelry, teas and spices. All of that I plan to keep.” Palmer has been considering opening a shop for a couple years, and when she found that Calico, Sage & Thyme was still for sale, she decided to make an offer. She has worked in her husband’s business, Jim Palmer Excavating. Her only experience in retail goes back to working at Kmart when she was in high school. That’s no deterrent to success. All she has to do is look to Rothrock. She had little retail experience when she opened the shop in 1975. It grew from her love of herbs and necessity. She was a secondary school teacher when she moved to Bowling Green with her family. The State of Ohio would not recognize her Wisconsin teaching credentials. Faced with returning to school, she headed in a new direction. Back in Kansas where she earned her master’s degree in American diplomatic history, she’d maintained an herb garden. “I’ve always liked to cook.” In Northwest Ohio, she got involved in the fledgling Maumee Valley Herb Society, and grew herbs at her home on Buttonwood Avenue. She even started selling some. She also made herb blends, tea and potpourris. She sold those during sidewalk sales in downtown, and she and some friends held a Christmas bazaar for two weeks in a former church building on Church Street. All this proved valuable market research. “It gave us an idea of what would sell,” she said, “because that was the…

Health survey: More Wood County residents have insurance

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Many Wood County residents need to exercise more and eat fewer unhealthy foods. On the bright side, more of them have health insurance now to cover their medical needs. Every three years, Wood County has its overall health tested by the health district. Data was collected last year from health surveys mailed to a random sample of Wood County adults and students. A total of 513 adults and 489 adolescents responded to the surveys. The surveys showed some good and bad trends. “We did get a little better among adults,” but a little worse for adolescents with obesity and weight issues, according to Connor Rittwage, epidemiologist with the Wood County Health District. So reducing obesity is one of the priorities set in the new Community Health Improvement Plan. “It’s not going to be solved overnight,” Rittwage said. “It’s going to take decades.” Last year’s assessment also showed that more local adults have never smoked, and fewer youth are smoking. Some “major spikes” were seen in mental health issues among youth, with larger numbers purposefully hurting themselves and contemplating suicide. “Those are areas definitely to pay attention to,” Rittwage said. But a good trend was seen with health insurance. “A lot of people ended up having health care coverage,” compared to previous surveys, Rittwage said. Based on the survey results, Wood County agency partners set priorities as: Decreasing obesity. Increasing mental health services. Decreasing violence and bullying among youth. Increasing health care access and utilization. “Those are areas where we as partners can work together to make an impact on,” Rittwage said. Some interesting data found in Wood County 2015 Community Health Assessment for adults: Health care coverage 94 percent of adults have health insurance coverage. Since 2012, the number of uninsured adults in the county has decreased from 15 percent to 6 percent. Specifically, of Wood County adults, 95 percent have medical coverage, 90 percent have prescription coverage, 74 percent have dental, and 65 percent have vision coverage. Half of adults visit a health care provider for routine checkups. 68 percent travel outside Wood County for health care services. Heart health One in four have high blood pressure. One in four will die from heart disease or stroke. Obesity 58 percent engage in some type of physical activity or exercise for at least 30 minutes on three or more days per week….

Amidst green water woes, BG water gets gold star

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   The recent Waterkeeper conference on the health of Lake Erie spread plenty of blame around for the conditions that turn the water green and make it unsafe to consume – much of it directed toward the continued practice of spreading too much manure on farm fields. But one entity got a gold star from a member of the Lake Erie Waterkeeper board – Bowling Green’s water treatment plant. It isn’t that the water going into the plant is pristine – quite to the contrary. What’s notable is the treated water that the plant sends out to its water customers. Dr. Earl Campbell was presenting data on some very technical contaminants, when he happened to mention that in the last two years, Bowling Green’s reservoir water repeatedly had very high levels of the microcystin, from blue-green algae. The difference between how Toledo and Bowling Green handled the contaminant was major. “It just happened that Bowling Green tested it,” Campbell said. “The person running that plant stood between the people and disaster.” At that point, no standard orders were in place in Ohio to test for the microcystins. “A lot of people were paying absolutely no attention to this,” Campbell said. But Bowling Green officials, with their static reservoir water drawn from the Maumee River, tested and treated the water. “It was their own initiative.” Campbell said there are 146 Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations in the region, which each having either cows numbering 1,000 or more, and pigs numbering 2,500 or more. “There is more shit than the land to put it on,” he said. “The land can’t hold this all.” The result is phosphorous rates in the Maumee River and Lake Erie that have been “off of the charts,” Campbell said. When asked by an audience member about the safety of Bowling Green water, Campbell replied, “I think you’re probably safer there than most places.” The key has been the city’s investment in its water treatment plant. “Bowling Green has been very astute,” he said, listing off the reverse osmosis system at the plant as significant. “Bowling Green wisely invested in this fantastic water plant.” So last week, Campbell met with Bowling Green Mayor Dick Edwards and city utility department officials for two reasons. He wanted to praise them for their water efforts, and he wanted to ask them to join an effort…

Gas line hit during water line project

Some homes on the east side of Bowling Green had to be evacuated this morning when a gas line break occurred. As of 1 p.m., the break was repaired by Columbia Gas. A saw was being used to cut the asphalt on Clough Street to start trench work for excavation work for waterline work. According to Brian O’Connell, city utilities director, the gas line was fairly shallow in the area, and the saw cut into it. Just one person actually had to be evacuated, O’Connell said. During the repair work, some streets were closed, including Clough between South  Prospect and South Enterprise, and South Summit between Wooster and Lincoln. According to O’Connell, the waterline contractor continued work at the other end of the waterline project, so no delay are expected on that work.

BG church plants seeds for new ‘giving garden’

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   There is something magical about digging in the dirt, planting a seed, watching it grow, then savoring the result of all the work. The magic goes a step further when the harvest is given away to those in need. For that reason, First Presbyterian Church is starting its own “giving garden.” It will be the third community garden at Bowling Green churches, with the other two already in place at Peace Lutheran and First United Methodist. Though some community garden models operate with families given plats to grow their own vegetables, the First Presbyterian site will be a giving garden, according to Lyn Long, a church member who planted the seed for the new effort. The community and church members will be invited to plan, plant, water, weed, harvest, and feast on the produce. “I just thought, there’s a huge lot over there and we only use it once or twice a year,” Long said. “It just didn’t seem like good stewardship.” Long is being assisted by Megan Sutherland, executive director of the Common Good organization which has worked with the other two church community gardens for years. “I think gardening teaches you a lot of lessons, some are short term and some are long term,” Sutherland said. “There’s something special about working with people in the sunshine, in the dirt. Even picking weeds. It becomes really meditative.” Gardening teaches all ages about community building, healthy eating and delayed gratification, Sutherland said. Long is also hoping to find some expertise and hands-on help from area master gardeners and FFA students. A meeting will be held Tuesday at 7 p.m. for anyone interested in the Presby Community Garden, at First Presbyterian Church, 126 S. Church St. The meeting will be held upstairs in the church’s Green Lounge. Sutherland reminded that a giving garden is a time consuming project. “People like the idea of a garden, but they don’t realize it’s like a child,” she said. “It’s after it comes up – and the weeds do, too,” Long said. Long said she is far from an expert gardener. “I grew up in tiny little village, with a big garden,” she said. But she knows that a community working together in a garden can result in far more than harvest at the end of the season. “One person can make a really big difference,” Sutherland…

BG wants citizen input on park and rec plan

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Bowling Green residents will soon have a chance to talk about trails, chat about children’s activities, and gab about green spaces. The city’s parks and recreation department wants to hear what people want from their parks. “I’m actually kind of excited about this,” said Kristin Otley, director of the department. “We want to hear from the community.” The comments will then become part of the park and recreation department’s five-year master plan update. To get citizen input, five focus groups will be held – with each one targeting a specific topic. The comments will be restricted to the topics for each forum, which are: April 6: Youth programs. April 13: Natural area parks (Wintergarden and Simpson.) April 20: Fitness, aquatics and events. May 11: Active parks (City Park, Carter Park, etc.) May 18: Future directions. All the meetings will be held at the Bowling Green Community Center, beginning at 7 p.m. Free child care will be available. Anyone interested in a particular topic, who is unable to make it to that meeting may email comments to the focus group moderator, Shannon Orr, from Bowling Green State University at The last master plan for the parks and recreation department was a 10-year plan adopted in 2005. Otley said the board decided a five-year plan was more reasonable. “We think it makes more sense in this day and age.” Also at last week’s park and recreation board meeting, it was announced that the late Marjorie Conrad had bequeathed the park and recreation department annual payments between $4,000 and $5,000. It is unknown how many years the annual gifts will reoccur. “She wanted to make sure things she loved were taken care of after her passing,” board member Cheryl Windisch said of Conrad’s generosity. It was reported that the new workshop and restroom building at the Wintergarden/St. John Preserve was progressing. The foundation and underground plumbing were done, and the building should start going up next week. The park currently has a port-a-john for public use. The board was given a new field use policy and gym rental rates to review before next month’s meeting.  

Common Good benefit celebrates diversity within community

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The Common Good of the UCF is what those it serves make of it. The house at 113 Crim St. is the vortex of activities aimed at bettering the lives of people, and the community they live in. That can involve picking up the exterior spaces with neighborhood cleanups, or it can mean the clearing of interior spaces through meditation. That can mean growing sustenance for the body at two community gardens and a food pantry, or providing sustenance for the mind through discussions about spirituality and current event. And at dinner dialogues those two missions meet. The Common Good of the UCF embraces this broad mission because that’s what people have told them their needs are. The organization’s own needs are simple, but real. On Thursday, April 7, at 6:30 p.m. the Common Good will present “Expressions of Arthenticity,” at the Clazel, 127 N. Main St., Bowling Green. Tickets are $25 and $15 with a student identification. One beverage and a dessert bar come with admission. The show includes a fashion show, live jazz and an auction. Tickets are available at Common Good and Grounds for Thought, 174 S. Main St., or by calling 513-314-4489. Caroline Dawson, the financial developer for Common Good, said that the fashion show, which will start at 7:30p.m., will feature clothing from local boutiques and hair and makeup by local salons. The models will be of all ages, body types and ethnicities. That reflects the philosophy of the Common Good, she said. “We offer diversity here and embrace diversity.” Those who participate range in age from kids in after-school art classes to someone in their 90s attending a dinner dialogue. They have, Dawson said, “different perspectives and different learning abilities.” “Our space is a space in which people embrace who they are, and learn about other people doing the same things,” said Megan Sutherland. “We’re all art work in our own way. We have all these different expressions, experiences and backgrounds and are able to come together as a community. That’s what makes communities rich. This fundraiser is reflecting that and celebrating that.” While the Common Good has had annual fundraisers in the past, Dawson said, this is the first time it has taken this form. “If this goes well,” Sutherland said, “we’d like to make it an annual event.” The fundraiser draws on the talents of the…

Health district may get Narcan for local law enforcement

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Efforts are being made to get Narcan into the hands of those who are often the first on the scene of an overdose – local law enforcement. Wood County Health Commissioner Ben Batey told the county commissioners Thursday that the health district is looking into getting Ohio Department of Health funding for Narcan, the drug that can reverse the effects of heroin and opiate overdoses. “We can probably get it to law enforcement agencies,” Batey said. And that could potentially help save lives since in rural areas of Wood County, sheriff’s deputies often arrive at scenes of overdoses before medical assistance. Most EMS and fire departments now carry Narcan, “but sometimes the sheriff is the first person in the door,” he said. The nursing staff at the health department could train law enforcement how to properly use the Narcan, which has to be injected into the muscle of the overdosing person’s arm, leg or buttocks. Batey said he has gotten requests for information on Narcan from the sheriff’s office, North Baltimore Police Department and the Wood County Park District. “We will open this up to everyone across the county,” he said. “Let’s start this conversation.” Narcan has the remarkable ability to bring a patient out of an overdose, Batey explained. “It almost immediately strips the opiates out of the system. It brings people back to life,” he said. Wood County Sheriff Mark Wasylyshyn agreed that in many rural areas of the county, his deputies are often the first on the scene of drug overdoses. “We certainly can get there a lot quicker.” However, Wasylyshyn said he is concerned since the Narcan has to be maintained at room temperature. That works for EMS departments, where the vehicles are kept out of extreme temperatures. The sheriff is also worried about the chances of an overdose patient becoming violent after being given Narcan, since the deputy may be the only person on the scene. “Those are things I need to do some homework on,” Wasylyshyn said. Batey said he is aware of those concerns and is looking for solutions to make it work.  The Narcan dose is quite small, and may be able to be worn on deputies’ duty belts, he said. As far as overdose patients reacting violently after Narcan, Batey said the health district may check with the prosecutor’s office about the possibility…

7 drug canines do sweep during lockdown at BGHS

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Bowling Green High School went on lockdown Thursday morning as seven drug-sniffing dogs searched the school. At 8:15 a.m., teachers were instructed to put all student book bags in the hallway, according to Superintendent Francis Scruci. The canines then did a drug sweep of all the bags, the lockers, and all the vehicles in the parking lot. The drug sweep inside lasted about 90 minutes. The dogs “hit on” 20 lockers and 20 book bags, but no illegal substances were found. “Nothing was found internally in the school,” Scruci said. The dogs also “hit on” 15 cars in the parking lot, all belonging to students.  Those students were brought out to their vehicles, then school administration and law enforcement searched inside the cars. Marijuana was found in one car. All cars in the lot, including employees’ vehicles, were part of the sweep, the superintendent said. Scruci said no one at the high school knew about the drug sweep until 8 a.m.  – even the administration. The superintendent said the search was not the result of a reported problem, but because he believes it is a good way to promote smart choices for students. “I’ve always done it as a practice,” at the previous school districts where he served as superintendent, Scruci said. “We’re going to continue to try to educate kids on the dangers of drugs,” he said. “We want to make sure they are making the right decisions.” Bowling Green Police Major Justin White said the seven canine units at the school included BG’s dog, along with two dogs from Hancock County Sheriff’s Office, two from Fostoria Police Department, one from Wauseon Police Department and one from Carey Police Department.  

Lionface one acts find comedy & drama close to home

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News That coffee shop could be in Bowling Green. That comic convention could be in Columbus. The Lionface Productions one-act plays – all three written for the troupe – have a sense of familiarity viewed through a different lens. The Lionface production of one acts opens tonight at 7:30 p.m. in the rehearsal hall behind the Performing Arts Center in the middle school. The show continues Friday and Saturday. Guests should enter through door M, near the patio area to the south of the Performing Arts Center. Tickets are $7 and $5 for students. Two of the plays were presented at a Wednesday night dress rehearsal. (The third “The Amazing Red Diamond” written by Jesse Koza got an early run through because of a scheduling conflict.) “Every Seven Years or So,” written by J. Benjamin and directed by Christina Hoekstra, traces the arc of the friendship between Eric (Cole Stiriz) and Fiona (Kathryn Gonda) from being artistically inclined and insecure high school students into young adults when the issues that first drew them together still resonate. We meet them mid-conversation as Eric is telling Fiona how his father, the high school art teacher, caught him in flagrante with another boy in the ceramics studio. The story sets up the relationship between Eric and Fiona as friends with no romantic interest. It also helps introduce the character of the father, as a fellow dreamer, who is never seen, but casts a shadow on the action. Stiriz and Gonda have good chemistry as friends so close they know just how to grate on each other. Eric is high-minded, and a snob. Fiona is interested in writing fantasy, which Eric mocks as these “fairy stories” and considers selling out. On a dare they push each other into new artistic territory that influences the way their lives unfold. The play addresses real life issues faced by creative people as they struggle to survive and find their muses. The characters also struggle with their relationship to home, and where that is. Fiona leaves for New York, while Eric becomes an advocate for the local Toledo scene. Benjamin manages to weave these topical concerns into sharp dialogue, and includes a tragic plot twist. Nothing tragic happens in “Pros and Cons” written by Rin Moran and directed by Griffin Coldiron. Here a quartet of roommates head off to a comics convention. They…

BG schools did not sanction gun raffle…club cancels fundraiser

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Student groups do all kinds of activities to raise funds – sell candy bars, wash cars, sit in dunking booths. But raffling off guns? Not in Bowling Green, says Superintendent Francis Scruci. Scruci sent out an email to district parents late Wednesday afternoon explaining that a raffle was being promoted by the Bowling Green Wrestling Club. The prize was two firearms, with one being an assault rifle, he said. As of Thursday afternoon, the raffle had been canceled. The superintendent explained he did not sanction the raffle and was not aware it was being conducted. He had been alerted by a parent earlier Wednesday. “The Bowling Green City Schools does not promote guns and is not affiliated with this type of raffle,” Scruci wrote in the email. “I can assure you that if the proper procedure had been followed the raffle would have been denied for distribution through the district.” The email continued to say the Bowling Green Wrestling Club is an outside organization raising funds for wrestlers from youth to university age and exists outside of school parameters. “It’s technically not affiliated with the school,” Scruci said when reached Wednesday evening. No flyers were sent out with students, but the high school wrestling coach did send out an email about the raffle to school staff, the superintendent said. “I knew nothing about it,” Scruci said. “They did not submit anything, nor did we distribute it.” But the superintendent decided to be proactive and send out a mass email to parents. “It has nothing to do with us, but I didn’t want parents to see it on Facebook” and think the school endorsed the raffle, he said. “It would have been rejected.” The raffling of firearms, especially an assault rifle just doesn’t make sense, Scruci said. “I and the Bowling Green City Schools are not promoting the raffle of guns as it directly opposes our zero tolerance policy for weapons,” he wrote to parents. On Thursday afternoon, Scruci said he wrestling club intended no malice by sponsoring the raffle. “The wrestling club has done many positive things for the district over the years including helping raise the funds to build the wrestling facility with no district tax dollars,” he said. Scruci also said the club and coaches had decided to cancel the raffle.  

Phoenix Technologies gets 1 out of every 20 plastic bottles recycled in US

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Bob Deardurff loves the scene in “The Graduate” when a character shares the secret of success with Dustin Hoffman. Just one word – plastics. That one word has proved to be Deardurff’s success at Phoenix Technologies in Bowling Green, which was named Wood County Corporate Citizen of the Year on Wednesday evening. In fact, the company has had so much success that one out of every 20 plastic bottles recycled in the U.S. comes to the Bowling Green company, Deardurff said. Phoenix Technology takes plastics full circle by using items from the recycling center on North College Avenue, washing the items at its plant on East Poe Road, then converting the plastic into pellets at its plant on Fairview Avenue. “We have an opportunity in Wood County and Bowling Green, so we can close the loop,” all within a half mile, Deardurff said. The recycled plastic is then returned to items for packaging food, beverages, pharmaceuticals, shampoo, soap and detergents. When introducing the Corporate Citizen of the Year, Wood County Commissioner Doris Herringshaw noted the company’s beginnings in 1985 in Toledo. “The business flourished,” she said, and by 1991 was manufacturing bottles for Palmolive dishwashing detergent. In 1992, the company opened in Bowling Green, and by 1993, the company had one manufacturing line and eight employees. Before long, they added two more lines. Then in 1999, they patented the technology to be able to serve larger markets. “All the while they were focusing on be environmentally friendly and green,” Herringshaw said. The company now employees 96 people at its two facilities in Bowling Green. “They are the key to making this company successful,” Deardurff said of the employees. Much has changed since 1973 when the technology was first developed to use plastic for making bottles instead of glass. “Much of that technology was done here in Northwest Ohio,” Deardurff said. The company continues to advance the value of recycling through technology, he said. Also at the annual meeting of the Wood County Economic Development Commission on Wednesday evening, speaker Jerry Anderson offered a tribute to former county commissioner Alvie Perkins who died in January. “We all knew he was a giant of a public servant,” Anderson said. “He always put public service before politics.” The economic development commission also installed new officers, with Doug Miller as president, Jerry Greiner as treasurer, Jack…