Community

BGMS teacher inspires students in class and on court

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   This was no hum-drum history lesson. This was the story of the Boston Massacre told through hip-hop. Under attack by a mob of angry colonists, the British soldiers shot and killed several men – setting a spark for the American Revolution. This was a history lesson from 1770 set to a 2018 beat by a Bowling Green student inspired by her eighth grade social studies teacher, Mandy Pasley. Pasley, who has taught at Bowling Green Middle School for 19 years, was honored Thursday as an inspirational educator of the year by the Bowling Green Kiwanis Club. She played the Boston Massacre recording to the club to show the creativity of her students. “Mandy’s one of our best educators,” Middle School Principal Eric Radabaugh said after Pasley was given her award. “Her passion for students is what drives her to be the best.” But Pasley, who also coaches the varsity volleyball team, passed on all the credit to her parents, her husband, her “kids” at home and in the classroom – but mostly her favorite teachers who left lasting impressions on her life. “I was blessed to have some of the best teachers I’ve ever been around,” she said. Pasley, who grew up in Bowling Green, fondly remembered her kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Daly. “She was way ahead of her time,” using problem-based strategies that are popular in today’s classrooms. Some lessons stuck with Pasley, like the day the class made gingerbread men, then arrived at school the following day to find the cookies had disappeared. The students had to solve the clues to find the missing gingerbread men. Then in third grade at Crim Elementary, Mrs. Sullivan was her sweet, kind teacher with very high expectations. “We never wanted to disappoint her,” Pasley recalled. But one day Pasley and her friend did disappoint their teacher, when they wrote a secret note to a boy in their class. Pasley felt horrible, and Mrs. Sullivan knew her young student well enough to know she didn’t…


Towering elm comes down so sledders can use hill

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Limb by limb, the giant elm tree at the base of the Conneaut sledding hill is being taken down today. Sledding will resume on the hill either late this afternoon or Friday morning. The stump from the towering tree will be removed later. “We didn’t take this decision lightly,” Assistant Municipal Administrator Joe Fawcett said this morning. “Nobody wanted to remove an iconic part of Bowling Green.” But the risk from the rotting tree was too great, he said. “We don’t want to put people using city parks at risk,” Fawcett said. The towering elm tree on Conneaut hill had long provided shade in the summer and something for sledders to swerve around in the winter. But on Monday, yellow “caution” tape was stretched around the hill, warning sledders to stay away. “A very large crack has developed in the tree,” Municipal Administrator Lori Tretter told City Council on Monday. “This large part of the tree is separating from the rest of the tree.” Though city officials heard from only a couple people about the tree, they were aware that the issue was being hotly debated on social media. “There are some people who were concerned and wished another decision was reached,” Fawcett said. But the city’s decision was not rash, he said. “We’ve been monitoring this for years,” Fawcett said. “The level of risk is so great we had to close the park to remove the tree.” The giant tree was examined by Bowling Green’s city arborist and by an Ohio Department of Natural Resources arborist. The two came to the same conclusion. “We couldn’t have children on that hill with that tree there,” Tretter said. The city has tried for years to stretch out the life of the stately elm tree. Years ago, some limbs were cabled together in order to shore up the aging tree, Fawcett said. But that was only a short-term fix. The city faced some options. First, cut down the elm. Second, close the park until…


BG swears in fire chief; names charter review members

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Bowling Green has selected people who will be putting out literal and figurative fires in the city. City Council swore in a new fire chief and fire officers on Monday evening, plus appointed a team of people charged with updating the city’s charter. Bill Moorman was sworn in as fire chief, followed by David Hagemeyer as captain, and Aaron Baer as lieutenant.  The council chamber was packed with family and friends of the firefighters being promoted. After the swearing-in ceremony, city resident Mark Heider asked to address council. Heider described how his father recently had a medical emergency when he was riding in his son’s vehicle. A police officer arrived quickly on the scene and took over administering CPR. Soon after, the fire and EMS crew arrived and worked to revive his father. Though his father did not survive, Heider said he wanted to publicly thank the crew that responded. They showed great skill and caring in their treatment of his father and other family members who arrived at the hospital. In other business on Monday, members of the newly-formed city charter review committee were named, with Shannon Orr and Jeff Crawford as co-chairs. Other members include Evelyn Bachman, Les Barber, Julie Broadwell, Sylvia Chandler, Holly Cipriani, Bill Culbertson, Greg Dickerson, John Fawcett, Gary Hess, Mark Hollenbaugh, Sarah Klotz, Chet Marcin, Rachel Phipps, Andy Schocket and Tom Walton. The members selected present a cross section of city residents, Council President Mike Aspacher said. “We’re very eager for the committee to begin its work,” Aspacher said. The first meeting of the charter group will be Feb. 22, at 4 p.m., in the City Council chambers. The goal of the committee is to have its work completed by the end of May. Also at Monday’s meeting, Aspacher assigned council’s public lands committee to study the issue of food trucks operating in the city. The committee, which includes Bill Herald, Sandy Rowland and John Zanfardino, will study ways that food trucks or other mobile vendors…


Elm on Conneaut hill has to go so sledders will be safe

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   For an unknown number of decades, the towering elm tree on Conneaut hill provided shade in the summer and something for sledders to swerve around in the winter. But on Monday, yellow “caution” tape was stretched around the hill, warning sledders to stay away. It’s not like Bowling Green has many sledding options for kids on snowy days. But on this rare occasion, the snow on the hill was not lined with new ruts from sleds going down and little feet climbing up. The stately elm, it appears, will have to go. And since sledding will not be allowed while the tree stands, the elm will have to go soon. “A very large crack has developed in the tree,” Municipal Administrator Lori Tretter told City Council on Monday. “This large part of the tree is separating from the rest of the tree.” The giant tree was examined by Bowling Green’s city arborist and by an Ohio Department of Natural Resources arborist. The two came to the same conclusion. “We couldn’t have children on that hill with that tree there,” Tretter said. So the tree will come down this week, she said. Not only will that allow children to keep sledding this winter, but the best time to take down a tree of this size is when the ground is still frozen, Tretter added. The city has tried for years to stretch out the life of the shapely elm tree. Years ago, some limbs were braced together in order to shore up the aging tree, according to Assistant Municipal Administrator Joe Fawcett. But that was only a short-term fix. No one has been injured by falling branches from the tree, Fawcett said. The city faced some options – with none of them being pretty. First, cut down the elm. Second, close the park. Third, aggressively prune the tree, removing about two-thirds of the tree and making survival very difficult. To make the loss of the tree a little more palatable, Tretter said the…


Landlords sue city for limiting renters per house

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   A lawsuit has been filed on behalf of 23 Bowling Green landlords and three student renters against the city of Bowling Green and its code enforcement officer. The landlords and the students object to a city ordinance that limits the number of unrelated people who can live in a rental property. The landlords reportedly own more than 161 homes that cannot be rented out to more than three unrelated people – even though the homes have four or more bedrooms and ample parking. The three students who signed onto the lawsuit were reportedly threatened with eviction. Leading the lawsuit is Maurice Thompson, of the 1851 Center for Constitutional Law in Columbus. Thompson recently represented rural Wood County residents who did not want Utopia pipeline running through their land. He won against the pipeline company. In this lawsuit, Thompson said the city’s ordinance violates the Ohio Constitution by suppressing private property rights and equal protection and imposing vague standards and excessive fines of $500 per day. Thompson is one of the landlords affected by the city ordinance. And the three students are his tenants at his rental property on East Merry Street. Bowling Green City Attorney Mike Marsh said the renter limit has been in place as long as the city zoning – and was upheld by the Ohio Supreme Court in 1974. “He’s claiming the limit is arbitrary,” that it doesn’t take into account the size of the home and the parking space available, Marsh said. That’s true, he agreed. The purpose of the law is to help maintain the density of single-family neighborhoods. “These are traditional single-family homes converted into rental housing,” Marsh said. A handful of other college towns in Ohio have similar ordinances, Thompson said. “Bowling Green is by no means the only city that has this,” he said from his Columbus office on Monday. “But one thing that makes Bowling Green’s unique is that the city claims it is to control population density, yet there are all kinds…


BG Winterfest celebrates 10th year

From WINTERFEST BG CHILLABRATION  Bowling Green invites you to the Coolest Weekend of the Year during the 10th Annual Winterfest BG Chillabration full of winter themed activities for everyone. We will kick things off downtown with the merchants Chocolate Crawl Fundraiser for the United Way on February 9th. The Frozen Swamp Tent will be a Winter Market by day and host live music, beer, wine and refreshments by night on February 10th on the corner of S. Main St. and Clough. Also on the 10th downtown the Ice Garden will highlight ice sculptures and carving demonstrations with Mascots of all kinds on hand to greet the kids. This three-day fun-filled community event also features Horse-Drawn Carriage Rides, 1BookBG Trivia, Chili & Soup Cook-Off, Frostbite Fun Run, Cookie Creations, Youth Dodge Ball, the new Black Swamp Curling Center Learn to Curl, Window Youth Art Exhibition, Four Corners Gallery BGHS Art Exhibit and WC Library events to include Solar over Smores and I Heart Ohio Scavenger Hunt. The Slater Family Ice Arena will be hosting Bobcat hockey and public skating. FRIDAY • 10 a.m. -7 p.m. BGHS Art Show, Four Corners Gallery • 3:45 – 6 p.m. Youth Dodgeball, Grades 3-8th, BG Community Center • 5-9 p.m. Chocolate Crawl Fundraiser, participating merchants downtown funds going to United Way (tickets available at Downtown BG, Merchants and United Way) • 6 p.m. BGHS Bobcat Hockey vs. St. Johns, Slater Family Ice Arena (ticket required) • 7-8:50 p.m. Public Skate, Slater Family Ice Arena (skate rental available) SATURDAY • 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. I Heart Ohio Scavenger Hunt, WC Public Library Second Floor • 10 a.m. -2 p.m. Winter Market in the Frozen Swamp Tent offering vendors of all kinds, BIGGBY coffee & hot cocoa, Huntington Bank Parking Lot • 11 a..m 1 mile Frostbite Fun Run, City Park (pre-registration & fee) 10 a.m. -4 p.m. Ice Carving Demonstrations by Ice Creations, Huntington Bank Parking Lot • 10 a.m. -4 p.m. Mascots in Ice, meet & greet the mascots while they model for sculptures,…


Federal funding in limbo for community health center

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   The uncertain status of federal funding for community health centers across the U.S. has left some local public health officials with a sick feeling. After several delays and missed deadlines, Congress did pass funding for CHIP – the Children’s Health Insurance Program – which provides matching funds to states for health insurance to families with children. Public health officials understood that the CHIP funding would be approved along with the federal funding for community health centers that serve low income patients. “That didn’t happen,” said Joanne Navin, a retired nurse practitioner from Bowling Green, who serves as board president for the Wood County Community Health and Wellness Center. The health center, located at the Wood County Health District on East Gypsy Lane Road, Bowling Green, was expected to get the $1.1 million promised by the federal government for 2018. With those funds last year, the center served about 1,500 unduplicated patients, making more than 3,700 visits for services such as pediatric, immunizations, screenings, chronic diseases, lab services, plus seniors, women’s and men’s care. “It is just frightening that the federal government is denying health care to citizens of this country,” Navin said. “They are playing politics with it.” Though the community health center accepts private pay patients, the primary purpose of the facility is to provide health care to low income, Medicaid patients. Patients pay on a sliding fee scale, explained Diane Krill, chief executive officer of the community health center. The lack of federal funding for 2018 has led to the facility not filling the behavioral specialist position that was vacated after a person retired last year, Krill said. The looming funding question is very frustrating for Krill, who expected the federal government to live up to its promises. “I see the stats out there,” Krill said, referring to the number of people served across the nation at community health centers. The failure to act on the funding has put at risk 9 million patients’ access to health care, 50,000 jobs,…


Bubble soccer – blow up suits cushion the blows

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   They are like human bumper cars. But rather than rubber bumpers, they are protected by giant plastic bubbles that surround their bodies from the knees up. The Bowling Green Parks and Recreation Department has human-size plastic bubbles for adults interested in trying out the non-traditional sport of “bubble soccer.” The community center recently hosted a game of bubble soccer for those interested in playing a sport from inside a bubble. The bubbles stay on by the player holding handles at chest height. “It’s almost like a backpack you strap on,” said Kristin Otley, director of the city parks and recreation department. The players’ legs are free to run or kick – unconstrained by the bubble. “So your legs are running around outside the bubble,” explained Ivan Kovacevic, city recreation coordinator. The plastic bubbles pay off during some of the more physical plays. “Some of the hits people take are pretty powerful hits,” Kovacevic said. “But the hits don’t hurt.” However, getting back on their feet can be a struggle for bowled over players. “It’s like being a turtle on its back,” Kovacevic said. “It’s awkward at first.” The protective bubbles do allow competitors to try plays they otherwise might not be brave enough to attempt, especially on an indoor court. Players dive to defend the goal, or throw themselves onto their sides to block a ball – completely cushioned with their bumper bubbles, he said. In addition to being fun, bumper soccer is also great exercise, Otley and Kovacevic agreed. “It’s a fantastic workout. You’re getting a really good workout as you are having fun,” Otley said. “It’s definitely a really good workout,” Kovacevic said. The parks and recreation department is hoping that the bubble soccer can become a regular sport offered at the community center, either for drop-in players, a league or special events. “I’m hoping to see if we can make it into some type of reoccurring program,” Kovacevic said. “We’re really trying to get some type of a league…


Book about tiny mouse is a big deal to BG students

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Two years ago, the school district’s first “1 Book BG” about Humphrey the hamster caused hamster sales to spike in the Bowling Green area. Parents should be warned that this year’s district-wide reading book is “Ralph S. Mouse.” Bowling Green City Schools has officially started its third annual 1 Book BG program, which engages all 1,700 of its pre-kindergartners through its fifth graders to read the same book. This year, the book is “Ralph S. Mouse.” The unveiling of the 1 Book BG title had students waiting for the big announcement Friday afternoon. The kids filled the gymnasium at Crim Elementary School, as third grade teacher Jonelle Semancik gave them some clues. First, the book heads back to school. Second, the main character is small but mighty. And third, readers should be prepared for an “a-maze-ing” time. Students cheered and gave a drum-roll as Semancik revealed the book they will all be reading – “Ralph S. Mouse” by Beverly Cleary. “I wonder if we can get Ralph to come and say ‘Hi’ to you guys,” Semancik shouted. With that cue, a staff member disguised as a mouse appeared on stage, with a small motorcycle. Those readers familiar with “Ralph” may remember the cute rodent from two earlier stories in Cleary’s “The Mouse and the Motorcycle” series. In this year’s book, Ralph has the ability to speak, but only to certain people – primarily those who are loners. The 1 Book BG program gets everyone in the three public school elementaries, plus Montessori and St. Aloysius, on board reading the same book – whether it’s being read aloud to the younger students, or being read themselves by the older students. The goal is to team up as a community to build a love of reading with the kids. So the program doesn’t stop at the school doors. The entire community is asked to get involved. Again this year, several Bowling Green businesses have gotten involved by becoming trivia question sites for the students….


Classroom is a stage for Conneaut’s Bob Marzola

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   The fifth grade classroom at Conneaut Elementary School is Bob Marzola’s stage. “There’s storytelling. There are props. There are costumes. At least when I teach there are,” Marzola said. Marzola, who teaches social studies and English language arts, knew his teaching style was reaching his young audience when a parent came in for a teacher conference. The student had told her mother that Marzola memorizes a new script every day. “‘Mom, I don’t know how Mr. Marzola does it,’” the parent explained her child said after school one day. “‘He puts on a different show every day.’” Ta-da. Lesson learned in a most pleasant way. Marzola was recognized Thursday by the Kiwanis Club as Bowling Green’s elementary inspirational educator. The organization honors outstanding teachers each year. Later this month, inspirational educators from the middle school and high school will be recognized. Marzola is definitely not a traditional type of teacher. His skills are known throughout the district, leading teachers from his own and the other elementaries to recommend him for the award. “He’s creative. We want kids to think outside the box,” Bowling Green Superintendent Francis Scruci said. “He brings the classroom to life. The kids love him.” And Marzola loves them back. “I’m here receiving this award because of them,” he said. “I have become a better teacher because of my relationship with them. They inspire me. Just as I’m teaching my students, they are teaching me.” Marzola gets to reconnect with a lot of his students when they get into high school, since he choreographs all the district’s musical productions. “Building on the relationships we had when we were in the elementary is amazing,” he said. “They truly are attached to your heart forever.” Marzola credited his parents with being patient with his love of dance as he was growing up. Their support was steadfast even when his first performance consisted of him standing on stage crying. He stuck with it, and they stuck by him. And that has helped…


Americans squeeze in leisure time between WWI & WWII

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Americans were ready for a break after World War I. Unaware of the impending Great Depression and then World War II, Americans were ready for leisure when their boys came home from “the war to end all wars.” They were ready to have some fun. During the decade after WWI, the first Miss America Pageant was held, the Little Orphan Annie comic strip came out, Kraft created a new version of Velveeta cheese, and the first loaf of pre-sliced bread was sold as “Sliced Kleen Maid Bread.” Life was good. The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade started using giant balloons, 7-Up was invented, and George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue was played at Carnegie Hall. This era of leisure is the focus of a new exhibit opening today at the Wood County Historical Center. The exhibit celebrates the 100th anniversary of the end of WWI with “The Return to Normalcy: A Life of Leisure in Wood County, 1920 to 1939.” The exhibit will run concurrently with the museum’s look at Wood County’s role in WWI. The WWI exhibit opened in 2017 to honor the 100th anniversary of the United States entering World War I, and both exhibits will remain on display until Dec. 1. The new exhibit was inspired by Warren G. Harding’s 1920 presidential campaign platform “The Return to Normalcy.” Visitors are welcomed to the exhibit by a recording of Harding reading his famous speech that was credited for helping him win the presidency. Holly Hartlerode, museum curator, is hoping visitors can relate to the images and sounds of those years. Old radios play hits from that era, like “Minnie the Moocher” by Cab Callaway, “Shim, Sham Shimmy” by the Dorsey Brothers Orchestra,” and “Red Lips, Kiss My Blues Away.” Radios became the family entertainment center in that era, playing programs like the “Jack Benny Show,” the “Lone Ranger,” and “The Shadow” featuring Orson Welles. Those programs kept families glued to the radio listening for the next adventure. The radio programs playing at…


BG school board defends decision to go back on ballot

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   The Bowling Green Board of Education was told Tuesday that the wounds from the last election haven’t healed. So rubbing salt in them by putting the same issue on the May ballot was not wise. Tuesday was intended to be a workshop for the school board to come up with levy strategies. Instead it turned into an opportunity for citizens to tell the board they need to listen to their voters. “The public just told you, ‘No,’” Richard Strow said. “Seriously. They looked you right in the eye and said, ‘No.’” “Show the public you aren’t tone deaf to them,” Strow said, suggesting the board slow down and look at other options. But the board and Superintendent Francis Scruci said they have to look in the eyes of students, who are still in crowded classrooms, still using modular units, still have inadequate heat and air conditioning, still lack technological advancements, and still don’t benefit from collaborative teaching. “We understand your frustration,” Scruci said to those in the audience who will be most affected by a property tax increase. But he defended the board’s decision. “We are convinced this is not only a good thing for kids, but it brings back benefits to the district. Their decision making is based on what is right for kids.” The board voted earlier this month to put a 5.7-mill levy on the May 8 ballot for bonds just under $72 million, spread over 37 years. The bonds would pay for construction of one consolidated elementary school, plus renovations and an expansion to the high school. Due to increased property valuations, the levy would cost the owner of a $100,000 house $199 annually, rather than the $210 last time it was on the ballot. “All of us are convinced there is a need,” new board member Norm Geer said. “This is the only way to do it. In order to build the buildings, we need to have a bond levy.” Board member Ginny Stewart said she was…


BG Council asked to encourage businesses to go ‘green’

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   A group of environmentally-conscious students would like to see Bowling Green businesses going more green. Members of the Environmental Action Group at Bowling Green State University approached City Council at its last meeting about encouraging local businesses to adopt environmentally-friendly policies. The organization has worked to lessen waste and increase sustainability on campus, and now would like to extend those efforts to more of the community. Julia Botz, a senior biology major, suggested such practices as: Green composting by restaurants. Recycling at Main Street businesses. Restricting the use of disposable plastic foam. Adding more electric car charging stations. Businesses could be encouraged to participate with the awarding of a “Green Bowling Green Business” designation to those that make efforts to help the environment, Botz suggested. Council President Mike Aspacher thanked Botz for making her presentation. “I appreciate your efforts,” he said. Aspacher suggested that members of the BGSU Environmental Action Group meet with Municipal Administrator Lori Tretter to discuss ways the city can assist with the organization’s efforts. Mayor Dick Edwards complimented the student organization for the changes that are being put into place at BGSU. “You’re really accomplishing some amazing things on campus,” Edwards said. “Pretty amazing.” The mayor asked the students to bring a report to City Council of the successful programs on campus, so city officials and the general public can be made aware. On a related matter, the city recently created the new position of “sustainability coordinator” and is in the process of hiring a person to fill that spot. That position was established to help the city develop sustainability programs and work on public outreach on items like refuse/recycling, solid waste diversion and reduction, storm water management and assist with an urban forestry program. “It has become evident that the city needs a position like this to educate, inform and work with residents on the services provided and responsibilities of residents when it comes to refuse and recycling,” Assistant Municipal Administrator Joe Fawcett said.


New Wintergarden Park fireplace has stories to share

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   The new fireplace at the Wintergarden Park Rotary Nature Center tells a story – many stories, actually. As part of the renovations at the nature center, the building got new kitchen, drywall, lighting, insulation, and new floors. But the focus of the facelift is the fireplace. The Bowling Green Park and Recreation Department sent word out that it wanted the fireplace to have personality – not like the former 1970s red brick façade. So local residents were asked to donate interesting rocks for the fireplace front. To create a conversation piece, park patrons handed over stones and items collected from around the world. The fireplace includes rocks from Nome in Alaska, Rome, Normandy in France, and Michigan. There are also fossils, a snail from Germany and a mollusk from Texas. Some items came from close to home, like the piece of green Bowling Green glass. There are also a few flat stones shelves jutting out on the fireplace front, making homes for a taxidermied owl and mink, and a set of deer antlers. “The fireplace is amazing,” Chris Gajewicz, natural resources coordinator with the parks, said recently at a park and recreation board meeting. The new kitchen will also be a welcome renovation for those who rent the facility. There is now a new refrigerator-freezer, plus upgraded electric service, with crockpot plugs lining the walls. The interior renovations are the second phase of improvements to Wintergarden Park. The first phase involved the construction of a maintenance building with restrooms for public use. That part of the renovations was completed last year. Both phases were paid for by the fundraising efforts of the Bowling Green Parks Foundation. The nature center still needs new furniture, but Cinda Stutzman, natural resources specialist with the parks, is looking forward to showing off the renovations. “Hopefully we can get people in here soon,” she said. “It’s a lovely facelift. We’re hoping, obviously, that it will be rented more frequently.”


Disabilities melt away for Ice Frogs hockey team

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Off the ice, they are kids with autism, cerebral palsy or attention deficit disorders. But once they leave the bench, their disabilities melt away and they become part of a team. They are the Black Swamp Ice Frogs, an ice hockey team for players with disabilities. The team makes room for people to play the sport regardless of their abilities. “It’s really neat to watch the kids play,” said Heather Sayler, whose son, Ethan, plays with the Ice Frogs. “It’s making them fit in.” “No one is looking at you and judging you,” said Ethan’s father, Todd Sayler. The Ice Frogs’ current players range from age 4 to 35. Some of the common disabilities are autism, Down syndrome, respiratory problems, physical impairments, cerebral palsy, and attention deficit disorders. The Ice Frogs hockey team was formed in 2012, and has about 15 players. All the teams in their league play no-contact hockey. Sue Kepling’s grandson, Dylan, 18, is non verbal and has 13 disorders. But that doesn’t keep him off the ice. “To see him stand on ice skates, with all his disabilities, is amazing,” Kepling said. But ice hockey is expensive. And ice hockey for kids with disabilities can have crippling costs. The parents are not asked to help with expenses, since that would make it impossible for some of the players to participate. “We want the kids there,” Kepling said. Ice time alone at the BGSU Ice Arena costs the team $2,600 a year. The team has never had new equipment. They started out five years ago with hand-me-downs, and continue trying to make do. It became glaringly obvious last year at a tournament game that the Ice Frogs looked like the rag-tag Bad News Bears of hockey. “We’ve been using used hockey equipment since we started,” Heather Sayler said. Shoelaces are missing from the skates. Pads are falling apart. Helmets are far from the latest technology in protection. Then there’s the unpleasant factor of incredibly sticky equipment, with a mouse…