‘Every Dog Matters’ rally critical of county dog warden

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   More than 50 people carrying signs and holding leashes marched Friday evening in Bowling Green to profess their love of dogs and protest euthanasia at the Wood County Dog Shelter. Dwight Stinehart, of Portage, brought his three-legged boxer, Shrek, to the “Every Dog Matters” rally in the Wooster Green. The dog shelter is too quick to euthanize, he said. “We just want to raise awareness,” Connie Donald, of the Wood County Canine Alliance, said as she held a sign saying “If you’re not angry, you’re not paying attention.” “Things have been done the same way there for 20 years,” Donald said of the county dog shelter operation. The primary objection of the Canine Alliance members is that dogs are mislabeled as being aggressive and are needlessly euthanized. “We don’t think every dog can be saved,” Donald said. But she does think the county can do better. Last year, 74 dogs were euthanized at the Wood County Dog Shelter. That’s too many, according to members of the Canine Alliance. But according to statistics from the dog shelter, the percentages of dogs euthanized at the shelter have been dropping over the last decade. More than 40 percent of the dogs brought into the shelter in 2009 were euthanized. When Andrew Snyder took over as chief dog warden in 2001, nearly a quarter of the dogs brought to the shelter were euthanized. The number has been gradually dropping, hitting a low of 9.3 percent so far this year, Snyder said. Efforts have increased to return the dogs to their owners (47 percent), adopt them out to new homes (25 percent) and transfer them to rescue groups (19 percent). But Donald questioned those numbers, suggesting that Snyder isn’t counting the dogs declared “unadoptable” in the euthanized tally. Consequently, the protest signs calling Snyder the “Death Warden,” and stating “Stop killing our dogs,” “Silence = Death” and “Commissioners listen to your voters.” Members of the Canine Alliance believe that the evaluations conducted on dogs at the shelter are not fair, and do not take into account the stress the dogs are under in the facility. The dogs deserve enrichment, outdoor time and attention. “They are not meeting the emotional needs,” Donald said. “You can’t just get a dog and expect it to be perfect.” Karen Ash said shelter workers need more empathy for the dogs. “We want to give all the dogs a chance,” she said. Ash also said the shelter records should be open to the public. The public deserves to know how dogs are euthanized, and exactly how they are evaluated. “This is a taxpayer funded facility,” Ash said. Judging the dogs too harshly is resulting in needless euthanasia, she said. “It boils down to animal abuse,” Ash said. “It’s a stain on the community.”…

Project Connect begins hooking up volunteers & donations

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Project Connect Wood County is more than a one-day event. Project Connect provides direct services to people who are homeless or in poverty, or in danger of becoming homeless or in poverty. The benefits accrue to the guests all year, and to the volunteers who make it happen. “It’s very gratifying. I see people in the store, and they ask if we’re doing this again,” said volunteer Marisa Hutchinson. She’s happy that she can answer yes. And she’ll be there to help out again. “Once you volunteer,” she said, “you start planning for the next year.” Planning for Project Connect gets started months in advance. About 30 people gathered for the kickoff meeting Thursday morning at St. Mark’s Church. The church will host Project Connect on Oct. 17 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Project Connect was started in 2013, launched by the Continuum of Care Wood County. It was spurred by concern about homelessness. But shelter insecurity has many dimensions. People also need food, sanitary products, mental health services, legal assistance, and haircuts. Rhonda Stoner, a social worker with the Wood County Community Health Center, said she was surprised to see the change in people after they’d gotten their hair cut. The guests reported just that made them feel so much better about themselves, she said. Last year project volunteers cut the hair of 118 guests. Those seeking help are not clients, they are guests, neighbors stopping over for a helping hand from other neighbors. “We approach everything from the aspect of hospitality,” said Erin Hachtel, one of the co-chairs for the event. Each guest first talks with someone to determine what they and their families “need to be healthy, safe and secure,” Hachtel said. Then they are assisted by a host who guides them through a maze of stations to help find just what they need most. What brings them in varies. Last year, the biggest need was help getting through the holidays, Hachtel noted. That was the first time this was mentioned. The survey of the top reason they came included seeking employment, desire for more education or training, stress management, legal assistance, mental health treatment, housing, and internet connectivity. By having hosts and guest navigate the event together, Hachtel said, “we’re saying we’re all in this together. Let’s walk together to find what will help you and your family.” In 2017, Project Connect helped 574 individuals from 278 households. More than 200 people volunteers and 52 providers and agencies set up shop. During the day 235 bags of food were distributed. Also 44 people had their vision checked and 84 received blood pressure and blood sugar screenings. More than 200 hygiene kits were distributed, and 110 people were able to get birth certificates. The ability to get their birth certificates…

Scruci asks city to join in solution for school district

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Bowling Green Superintendent Francis Scruci invited city leaders Monday evening to get involved in school business. Scruci asked those attending City Council to put June 25 on their calendars. Since the school district’s bond issue has been rejected twice by voters, the board is taking a different approach. “Our board is committed to finding out what our community will support,” he said. So a community task force open meeting will be held June 25, at 6:30 p.m., in the school’s performing arts center. “It’s going to be turned over to the community,” Scruci said. City Council President Mike Aspacher thanked the superintendent for the invitation to join in the process. “We’ve all been supportive of your efforts in the past,” Aspacher said. Also at Monday’s meeting, Mayor Dick Edwards expressed regret that the “celebrity guest” expected to attend the meeting was unable to make it. But the mayor revealed his intentions to declare June 15 as Jerry Anderson Day in Bowling Green, in honor of the newscaster’s last day at WTOL-11. Anderson got his start in broadcasting 44 years ago at WFOB radio here in Bowling Green, Edwards said. Since then, he has helped many community groups with fundraising, either by acting as auctioneer or emcee. His generosity has been “totally amazing,” the mayor said. Edwards also mentioned all the positive national publicity Bowling Green is receiving since the general managers of both hockey teams in the Stanley Cup are Bowling Green State University hockey alums.  The men, both from the same town in Canada, both played under BGSU Coach Jerry York, and were roommates for three years. George McPhee is now with the Las Vegas Golden Knights, and the Brian MacLellan is with the Washington Capitals. Ryan Carpenter, a more recent BGSU hockey standout, is playing for the Golden Knights. And Mike “Doc” Emrick, who earned his doctorate at BGSU, has been mentioning the many BGSU connections during this play-by-play announcing. In other business, Public Works Director Brian Craft was asked to give an overview of the city’s new brush collection program. The pickups used to be every spring and fall, then were reduced to once in the fall. Now the brush pickups are upon request, with four options of April, May, September and October. In May, the city got 320 requests for pickups, Craft said. Though not always convenient, Craft said if people missed those months, the city will return in September and October. “We’ll come back around in the fall if you can hang onto it,” he said. Large item collections have also changed, with residents being eligible for two pickups a year, of up to five items, for no charge. These pickups are available any time of the year, as long as people call to request. This change…

Chamber seeking donations to support fireworks

From the BOWLING GREEN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE The Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce presents the annual Bowling Green fireworks. This is one of the great celebrations of the Bowling Green community. It is an intergenerational, family friendly and fun-filled event supported by many businesses and community members. The Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce has supported this celebration since 1935, and is proud to coordinate this event for 2018. On behalf of the BG Chamber of Commerce Fireworks Project Team and the community of Bowling Green, we are looking for donations of support for the annual community fireworks. The cost of the display is $18,500. Our goal is to continue to offer the quality show and celebration we have in the past and your donation would ensure this. Any amount is appreciated! The 2018 fireworks will take place on Tuesday, July 3 beginning at dusk, approximately 10 p.m., on the intramural fields at Bowling Green State University. Once again, the BG Area Community Band will provide a patriotic concert at the Mileti Alumni Center, at 8 p.m. A rain date for the fireworks only (no concert) is Thursday, July 5th. The Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce supports an environment for the development and success of business within the Bowling Green area. The BG Chamber of Commerce Celebrates, Educates, and Strengthens its Investors through business improvement events, grants, services, Leadership, Legislative Updates and group savings programs. We are your Community Connection via ‘The Morning Show’ radio program WBGU 88.1FM, Wood County Safety Council, annual Awards, Holiday Parade and Fireworks. The BG Chamber of Commerce is Celebrating 82 years, Est. 1936.

BG passes food truck ordinance – time to get cookin’

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Phil Barone has already scouted out a great place for his food truck. And after Bowling Green City Council’s action Monday evening, he may finally get to set up shop. City Council voted in favor of the new mobile food vendor ordinance and declared an emergency to get things cooking. “We’re getting into good weather and want to get things moving,” said council member Bill Herald, who led the food truck ordinance effort. The fees set by council Monday evening are $100 for an annual mobile food vendor permit, and $40 for a special event permit. The ordinance was welcomed by Barone, who has owned Rosie’s Italian Grille in Toledo for 36 years, and has a food truck that serves customers in Perrysburg, Maumee, Waterville and Toledo. Barone, of Perrysburg, arrived early for the council meeting, so he drove around town looking for a good spot for his truck. His eyes zeroed in on Wooster Green with the new gazebo. “I think we could get enough trucks there to make a difference,” he said. Barone heads up a food truck association which has 11 members. Their menus offer items like grilled baby lamb chops, lobster mac and cheese, cauliflower crust pizza, Cuban food, steamed mussel salad, perch, cappuccino, and ice cream. Now he just has to find a day of the week that works. “It’s usually best to do it once a week, so people get used to it.” Some communities couple their food truck evenings with other events. Perrysburg pairs its farmers market with food trucks. Waterville links art exhibits with food trucks. Barone is thinking Bowling Green’s hook may be music. “We have some fantastic food vendors, we just need to get them down here,” he said. Earlier this year, Barone wasn’t so sure Bowling Green would get its food truck ordinance done. But he was hopeful, since both he and his wife graduated from BGSU and love the community. “Bowling Green is not known for doing anything really fast,” he said. “Bowling Green deserves a good shot, so I’m going to do my best.” Al Alvord, a retired Bowling Green police officer who operates “Weenie Dawgs” hotdog cart, is also pleased that the city now has a food truck ordinance. “This has been a long time coming,” Alvord said. He first introduced his hot dog cart idea in 2003 and again in 2012. “There was less than a warm reception,” he said. Alvord praised the work of the committee that worked on the ordinance for understanding the value of mobile vendors. “We’re not here to compete with the brick and mortar. We’re here to augment them,” he said. “It’s for the betterment of Bowling Green.”

BG site selected for medical marijuana dispensary

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   A Bowling Green location has been selected by the state as a provisional medical marijuana dispensary. The former Glass City Credit Union Building, at 1155 N. Main St., will be able to provide medicinal marijuana under the name Glass City Alternatives. The State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy today awarded 56 medical marijuana provisional dispensary licenses. A total of 376 applications had been received. A provisional license is a temporary license issued to an applicant for a medical marijuana dispensary license, authorizing them to begin establishing a dispensary. All provisional license holders have six months to demonstrate compliance with the dispensary operational requirements to obtain a certificate of operation. Once a dispensary is awarded a certificate of operation, it can begin to sell medical marijuana to Ohio patients and caregivers in accordance with Ohio laws and rules. The state had been divided into four quadrants for medical marijuana sales – with Northwest Ohio to have 10 dispensaries. The region was broken into districts, with Wood, Hancock and Henry counties being combined into one district to be allowed one dispensary. No applicants filed for locations in Hancock or Henry counties. So that left Wood County to host a dispensary. The three applications filed with the State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy were for sites at: 106 E. Napoleon Road, Bowling Green, with the business name of Debbie’s Dispensary, filed by Sara Presler. 1155 N. Main St., Bowling Green, with the business name of Glass City Alternatives, filed by Mark Jacobs. 2701 Woodville Road, Northwood, with the business name of Serenity Dispensary, filed by Deitra Hickey. House Bill 523, the Ohio law that in 2016 legalized marijuana for medical use only, tasked the Ohio Board of Pharmacy with determining which locations should be approved as dispensaries. A total of potential 376 sites were submitted, though just 56 were approved, according to Grant Miller, spokesperson with the Ohio Board of Pharmacy. The law requires 500 feet between any marijuana business and a school, church, public library or public playground. “We have to make sure they are complying with the rule,” Miller said earlier this year. “It’s an in depth process. Obviously, there’s a lot that goes into the application.” All the applicants were required to show the sites had proper commercial zoning, and that the community had not enacted a moratorium on the sale of medical marijuana. “When it comes to dispensaries and the way they interact with areas, it’s really up to the local areas. In the end, it’s down to the local town, township or city,” Miller said. “We are judging them on the merits we required.” In 2016, Bowling Green City Council considered a moratorium on medical marijuana, but decided against taking such action. The city attorney and city planning director suggested…

Closing The Link may make sense – but it will be missed by those it served

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   The Link saved Melissa Kaiser’s life. So when she learned the crisis intervention center was being closed, she was furious. Last year, Kaiser was contemplating suicide when she called The Link. She was terrified of being hospitalized, but was convinced to go by the caseworker on the other end of the line. “They got me to a hospital and they saved my life,” Kaiser said. This wasn’t the first time she had turned to The Link for help. As someone dealing with depression, anxiety, bipolar issues – at the same time as juggling work, college and clinical  rotations – Kaiser has sought help there before. “They are able to understand me. They taught me coping mechanisms,” she said. “They talk to me. They calm me down.” The Link has been offering help 24/7 for about 40 years in Bowling Green. It started out as a crisis hotline staffed by volunteers. So when Kaiser heard that the brick and mortar site was being closed and the services were going mobile, she was livid. “I’ve called The Link several times. They’re not just crisis prevention, they are caseworkers. They listen and then they hook you up with services,” she said of the staff who are friendly, familiar faces. “It was really upsetting to me. Those people saved my life.” But those making the decision to switch over to a mobile crisis unit said the reason is for people like Kaiser. Stationary offices are an antiquated and more expensive way to provide crisis response, according to Tom Clemons, director of the Wood County Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board, and Chris Streidl, manager of clinical programs and quality improvement for ADAMHS. “That service doesn’t go away,” but it will respond to wherever the caller is – rather than making them come to an office here in Bowling Green, Clemons said. “We’re trying to bring our services to our clients,” Streidl said. The mobile unit is seen as the most effective way to deal with the “silent epidemic in Wood County,” Clemons said. Current suicide rates in the county are higher than the national rate, and are more than the number of people being killed by opiate overdoses. “This is not only a fiscal decision,” Clemons said. “We have to do something differently.” The number of suicides reported in 2015 in the county was 17, followed by 20 in 2016. That number dipped in 2017 to 11, but is on track to hit 24 this year. “These are the known suicides. There are always more,” Clemons said. “It’s a huge issue. I don’t think people realize that,” Streidl said. The mobile unit is believed to be more effective, Clemons said. “Mobile crisis response is the best practice – go where a person is.” Very…

BG citizens invited to lunches & concerts in City Park

The Bowling Green community is again invited to lunches and concerts in City Park this summer. A community lunch will be held every Friday in June and July in City Park, in the Martin and Kiwanis shelters. The lunches, coordinated by the Parks and Recreation Department and sponsored by First Federal Bank, are held rain or shine. Food from local restaurants will be combined with musical entertainment. The bands will begin at 11:30 a.m., and food will be available for purchase from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Southside 6 served lunch last week with Tim Tegge performing on guitar. The lunch sponsor was the Bowling Green Community Foundation. Following is a list of the other lunches scheduled: June 8, food from Call of the Canyon Café, and music by Jeff Tucker on guitar. The sponsor is Bowling Green Exchange Club. June 15, food from Sundae Station, with music by the Gene Parker Trio. June 22, food from Beckett’s Burger Bar, with Dan Cadaret performing. June 29, food from SamB’s, with Chris Buzzeli performing on guitar. July 6, food from Qdoba, with Ragtime Rick and Banjo Betsey performing, sponsored by Brookdale Senior Living Solutions. July 13, food from Kabob It, with music by Tapestry performing on harp and guitar. July 20, food from Pita Pit, with Tim Concannon performing on guitar, sponsored by Montessori School. July 27, food from Pagliai’s, with Spittin’ Image performing, sponsored by Sandy Rowland of Danberry Realtors. The summer Concerts in the Park will be held Sunday evenings, at 7 p.m., at the Needle Hall stage in City Park. The title sponsor is BG Transit, supported by BGSU Student Affairs, Otterbein Senior Lifestyle Choices, and Edward Jones Investments. Following is a list of the concert schedule: June 10, featuring Bowling Green Area Community Bands. June 17, Jeff Tucker Band, with a variety of rock, pop, country and jazz. June 24, Joe Baker Band, with rock ‘n’ roll and blues. July 8, Swingmania, with big band and swing. July 15, Kerry Patrick Clark & Band, with folk and original music. July 22, Pride of Toledo Sweet Adeline & Voices of Harmony Barbershop music. Anyone wanting more information on the lunches or concerts may call 419-354-6223 or visit

Kling grows into job as county historical center director

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Kelli Kling wasn’t a born history buff – but she has definitely grown into one. Love of history was an acquired taste for Kling, who is the new director of the Wood County Historical Center. “I did not appreciate it when I was younger,” she said of history. But her 15 years as the assistant to the director and as marketing and events coordinator at the museum have turned her into a history geek. “I have learned so much working here,” Kling said. “Every day I learn something new.” It may have been the museum – which was formerly the county’s poorhouse – that lured her love of history. “There is really something magical being so connected to the community and understanding the history, and how it is connected to today.” As director, Kling is able to look back to the days of historian Lyle Fletcher, who made it his mission to preserve the old county infirmary for future generations. “I feel like from the very beginning people in the county saw the value of this place,” she said. Next year, the Wood County Historical Center will revisit the original purpose of the site – long before it was turned into a museum. The center will focus on all the county poorhouses in Ohio, with a photo gallery shot by photographer Jeff Hall showing the current status of all the sites. Wood County’s preserved poorhouse is quite a rarity, Kling said. “Some of them are empty fields or modern buildings,” she said of other counties’ former sites. “I’m very excited about the poorfarm exhibit because it delves into the history of this place,” she said. Then in 2020, the historical center will help celebrate Wood County’s bicentennial. “We do have a lofty plan in place for our exhibits and programs,” Kling said. The historical center is well respected for its exhibits, including the current World War I focus. “I do believe the museum is already a leader in the history field,” she said. “We want to continue on that path so that we are seen as a leader, not only in the county, but the region and the state.” The historical center also recently made strides to become more accessible to people with disabilities. The addition of an elevator has allowed senior citizens and others to once again enjoy the museum. “We have many people who haven’t visited for a long time, who have been able to come back,” Kling said. “They feel welcome.” But as with any historical site, the maintenance is demanding. The top need right now is fixing water damage in the “Lunatic Asylum” on the grounds. “We can’t afford to lose it,” Kling said. “All of the buildings are important.” One of the strengths of the museum is…

Airing out the arts in Simpson Garden Park

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Art in the Park allows the arts to blossom right along with the flowers in Simpson Garden. For the fourth year, the festival of arts will take place at the garden, at the intersection of Conneaut and Wintergarden, Friday, June 8 from 5 to 7 p.m. The event packs in a lot of activity into a two-hour span. It features plein air art – artists working in the open air, as well as strolling musicians, theater, at every turn, and children’s activities in the Simpson Building. That’s where performances will happen if the rain comes. But Alice Calderonello, of the Bowling Green Arts Council, urged people not to give up on the weather. Last year the rain threatened all afternoon, but then the skies cleared just in time for art walk. “For some reason heaven smiles on us,” she said. This year, said her husband, John Calderonello, there are more performers than ever. They will be spread from the upper healing garden where strolling performers from the university’s doctorate in contemporary music will do their musical version of plein air art, improvising to suit the mood. Also, new to the event will by the vocal ensemble Inside Voices, also near the healing garden. Down the way in the peace garden the Kaze No Daichi Taiko drum ensemble will perform. In stages closer to the building singer Tom Gorman, the old time ensemble Root Cellar Band, Irish tunes by Toraigh an Sonas, and the Black Swamp Drum Circle will entertain. In the amphitheater, Horizon Youth Theater will stage a preview of its summer musical, “Dorothy in Wonderland,” at 5:15 and 6:30 and in between the Black Swamp Players will read a section of Scott Regan’s original play “Peanuts and Crackerjacks.” The play will be part of the Players’ 51st season. Spread throughout the garden will be artists at work, though not so intently that they won’t take a time to chat with guests. Last year eight artists took part, but organizers are always hoping for more. Jules Webster of Art Supply Depo is again sponsoring a $100 gift certificate to go to one artist voted the favorite by those attending. While artists can sign up on the day of the event, Alice Calderonello encouraged them to register in advance to make sure the council can get their names on the ballot and has contact information should they win. Artists should contact Craig Blair at Art Depo is also giving young artist a chance to do plein air painting just like their elders. That will be offered in the children’s garden. The Bowling Green Montessori School and BG Parks and Recreation will have children’s activities inside the Simpson Building. Arts council member Nancy Stonerock is busy baking cookies for the event. Alice Calderonello said that…

BG embraces gazebo built by community dedication and family donation

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   As the band played, and the rain clouds respectfully waited, townspeople wrapped around the new gazebo in Bowling Green’s Wooster Green Friday afternoon with a community embrace. “Four generations of my family graduated from school here,” Wendy Novotny said of the green space that now sprawls where the Bowling Green high school then junior high stood. “I wouldn’t miss this for the world.” Others felt the same way, and by time the dedication began, the walkway surrounding the gazebo was packed with people. The gazebo is the first structure on the 1.2-acre space at the corner of West Wooster and South Church streets. “It’s a great beginning,” said Bob Callecod, who has worked on the Wooster Green project. “It’s really a great send off for the entire project. This is going to be a great addition to our community.” Tom and Dianne Klein believed so much in the value of the town gathering space, that they donated the $50,000 needed to construct the gazebo. Their contribution was in honor of their parents Meredith and Gloria Davis, and Milt and Ruth Klein. Gloria Davis, 92, was there for the dedication. “I think it’s beautiful. I love it,” she said. “I love to hear the band play, and the kids sing. I think it’s lovely.” The generosity was a payback to the community they cherish for Tom, a retired BGSU professor, and Dianne, a retired BGHS teacher. “This has become our hometown,” Dianne Klein said. “We would like it to flourish.” The green gathering place is consistent with Tom Klein’s philosophy, he said. “From the time I was 7 years old, I was an organizer and gatherer of people.” The gazebo and surrounding space will fulfill that purpose, he said. “This will bring people together to talk, to learn, to have fun, to support diversity,” Tom said. He’s hoping the space will go one step further. “Spaces like this make social change happen.” The idea for Wooster Green was born in 2013 with a letter penned by Diane Vogtsberger – another retired BG teacher – to Mayor Dick Edwards. The old junior high had been torn down, and the fate of the open space was unknown. In her letter, which the mayor had saved and displayed on Friday, Vogtsberger wrote about traditional American small towns that are defined by their public spaces. “Creating this town square is a once in a lifetime opportunity,” Vogtsberger said at the dedication. And what better place than the former site of a school, so it could be a tribute to all who attended and taught there, she said. “I just want to thank everyone for making this a reality,” she said. Her letter may have planted the seed, but others in the community then started nurturing the idea….

‘Ka-Bloom’ – Planting flowers therapeutic for seniors

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   There’s just something rejuvenating about digging in the dirt. Residents of Wood Haven Health Care got a little of that hands-on therapy during the annual “KaBloom” event at the facility last week. Dorothy Betts, who was planting some petunias in baskets in the courtyard, wasn’t particular about the type of flowers being planted. “I like them all,” she said. Filling up the flowering baskets brought back memories to Betts of the flowers she used to plant with her husband – impatiens, coral bells, daylilies, and bleeding hearts. “I think it’s therapeutic,” Betts said. “Then you get to watch them grow.” In addition to the flowers in the courtyard, there will also be tomatoes planted on the patio, where strawberries grew last summer. “It’s a good thing for them to get into the dirt,” said Wood Haven activity leader Cindy Dow. This summer, the residents will also be creating a fairy garden and a succulent garden. Those two garden plots are raised, making it easier for seniors to care for them, Dow said. “They love to nurture them,” Dow said of the seniors and the summer flowers. “There’s something therapeutic about watching them grow.” And spring is the ideal time for people to get outside. “After being cooped up in the winter, it’s so refreshing to come outside,” Dow said. The courtyard flowering benefits those who can’t travel to the courtyard as well. “They can see them from their windows,” Dow said. In front of Wood Haven Health Care, another planting crew was busy at work last week. Wood County Commissioners Doris Herringshaw, Ted Bowlus and Craig LaHote, as well as county administrator Andrew Kalmar and assistant administrator Kelly O’Boyle were digging in to plant flowerbeds with Wood Haven Administrator Jeff Orlowski. They came armed with their own trowels, gloves and sunscreen, to make the job more pleasant. Orlowki said the KaBloom program has several benefits for Wood Haven residents. “It’s been known that gardening has been able to lower blood pressure and increase brain activities and give a good general feel to whoever is doing it,” he said. “We are doing all kinds of different activities. The KaBloom  program pretty much came out of getting the residents outside on nice days in May and to get the employees involved and the families involved. The whole focus of these activities, and this is our overall goal at Wood Haven, is providing an outstanding experience, and activities are so much a part of that.”  

Project Connect holds kickoff meeting June 7

From PROJECT CONNECT WOOD COUNTY Community members and local organizations are joining together again to plan for the sixth annual Project Connect Wood County. On Thursday, June 7, event planners and interested community members will meet at 8 a..m at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church for breakfast and the start of the new planning year. It will be a time to highlight goals for the upcoming event, showcase past results, and recruit new community volunteers. A dedicated team of volunteers from the community, churches, and social service agencies are organizing Project Connect, which is scheduled for Wednesday, October 17 at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, 315 S. College Dr., Bowling Green. The event provides a broad range of free services to families and individuals at risk of or experiencing homelessness or poverty. The Wood County Continuum of Care Coalition began holding what was then called Project Homeless Connect in 2013. Since that time, hundreds of people in Wood County have received critically-needed services, and many others have been impacted through volunteerism. Commissioner Doris Herringshaw will again serve as the event’s Honorary Chairperson. For more information and continuing updates, visit our Facebook page:

County worried about taxpayer fatigue impact on levy

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Concern about taxpayer fatigue has led to a request that the Wood County Alcohol, Drug Addiction, and Mental Health Services Board reconsider its proposed levy. The Wood County Commissioners have asked the board to consider other options for its November ballot issue. “We just want to make sure that what they put on the ballot, people will be in favor of,” Commissioner Doris Herringshaw said on Wednesday. “Our concern is – what if it doesn’t pass?” The ADAMHS board had asked that a 1.3-mill replacement levy be place on the ballot. In order for the issue to appear before the voters, the county commissioners have to certify the need for the levy millage. Last month, Tom Clemons, the executive director of the Wood County Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services, made his pitch to the county commissioners for the agency’s levy request. At that point, Herringshaw said that the commissioners had to discuss the levy request. “We want to make sure it is the right fit for Wood County and for the ADAMHS board,” Herringshaw said. The current 1-mill levy generates about $2.9 million. The levy replacement plus addition of 0.3 mills would bring in an additional $1.3 million. According to a letter from Wood County Administrator Andrew Kalmar to Clemons, the commissioners aren’t rejecting the request for the 1.3-mill levy. However, they would like the ADAMHS Board to consider other options. Those options, according to the letter, plus the original request are: 1.3-mill replacement levy for 10 years, which would cost the owner of a home valued at $100,000 approximately $45.50 a year. 1-mill replacement levy for 10 years, which would cost the owner of a home valued at $100,000 about $35 a year. Replacement levy at an amount between 1 mill and 1.3 mills for 10 years. Two separate levies, with one being a 1-mill replacement levy for 10 years, plus a new levy of 0.3 mills for five years. That lower levy would cost the owner of a home valued at $100,000 about $10.50 annually. If the opiate crisis is still creating a big demand for services after five years, the ADAMHS Board can put that small levy back on the ballot, the letter stated. Clemons said the additional funding is needed to keep up with growing needs for services. Some of the biggest issues include dealing with the opiate epidemic, providing more mental health housing, and improving crisis intervention services. At the same time as seeing rising costs for services, ADAMHS is also seeing a drop in help from the state and federal government. A decade ago, state and federal money made up 60 percent of the ADAMHS budget. Now the local levy dollars have to bear the burden of 75 percent of the budget. “We have…

Area musical acts set the stage for Firefly Nights

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Michelle Elson won’t play favorites. When asked if she’s particularly excited about any of the action is booked for Firefly Nights, she says, “I’m truly stoked about everyone I could get into the lineup.” The lineups for the three summer street festivals on Main Street Bowling Green nave been announced. Firefly Nights runs 6-10 p.m. the third Friday of June, July and August with music, food, a farmers market, kids activities, and arts and craft vendors. Main Street will be closed from Court to Washington, with east-west traffic still able to cross at Four Corners. Stages will be set up on each end with performers alternating sets. Acts booked to perform in order of appearance. June 15 Boo Lee Crosser Sam Dell Chris & Shellby Amelia Airharts July 20 Vester Frey Dooley Wilson Ryan Roth & The Sideshow Minglewood Labor Camp August 17 A.S. Coomer Craig James Groove Canoe Freight Street Elson got involved when the organizers started asking around for support. She was enthusiastic about the idea and offered to help. She took on booking the music. That assignment was a natural. Elson operates Twin Owls Photography, specializing in photographing bands. She’s started branching out into promotion and booking. And she’s married to a musician. So she has a lot of connections on the scene. “Many of my friends are musicians in the 419,” Elson said. As soon as she started asking around for bands wanting to play Firefly Nights, she got an immediate response. “Everyone was very excited.” She said a lot of regional performers are interested in breaking into the Bowling Green scene. Elson wanted a variety of performers and leaned toward acts that performed at least some original material. “When someone does their own songs the art is coming from their soul,” she said. She’s passionate about music, and to see that same passion expressed by performers “is a great thing.” The June 15 lineup illustrates her pursuit of variety. It opens with Bowling Green singer-songwriter Boo Lee Crosser, who Elson described as “an up and coming musician.” He composes all his own material and has a distinctive delivery to match his original music. Next up will Sam Dell from Bryan. He will play a solo set. Elson described him as a “good old country singer” who will mix a few covers in with his original songs. The duo of Chris Sayler and Shellby Messmer will present more country, though with a more contemporary pop flair. Sayler who had been working with a band has been gigging more with Messmer, who sings and plays bass. Wrapping of the night will be the Amelia Airharts, a classic rock five-some. The all-female band won two rounds of the battle of the bands at Hollywood Casino. Elson felt they’d had the right energy…