Community

BG citizens will get to vote on sculpture for Wooster Green

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Bowling Green citizens will get a chance to vote on another major component of Wooster Green – the sculpture that will stand opposite the gazebo. Those keeping an eye on the green space at the corner of West Wooster and South Church streets may have noticed that a circular sidewalk was poured on Monday. The sidewalk and benches will surround a sculpture yet to be created. A request will go out soon for local artists to submit concepts for sculptures that speak of the site where the artwork will sit – with Wooster Green taking the 1.2 acres that were previously home to the city’s senior high, then later the junior high school. “It will try to capture the history of the site and Bowling Green,” Mayor Dick Edwards said on Monday evening. “It’s a marvelous opportunity for something.” The sculpture should reflect the value of education and the learning that took place on that site, said Sharon Hanna, who is coordinating the fundraising for Wooster Green. Hanna said a committee will likely vet the sculpture designs then ask the public to make the final decision. Though some have suggested that a type of water feature would be attractive with the sculpture, Edwards noted water fountains as part of public art “can be problematic.” Citizens selected the layout of Wooster Green through a similar voting process. “We’re anxiously awaiting what will go there,” Hanna said. Two local families have donated funds for the sculpture. They remain anonymous for now. Later this week, the interior sidewalks of the Wooster Green should be installed, said Brian Craft, director of public works for the city. Later this fall, the space will have irrigation installed and grass planted. And next spring, the entryway will be constructed at the corner of West Wooster and South Church streets. The space will also include trees and other landscaping, bicycle racks, benches, streetlights and trash receptacles that match the style used downtown. Plans also call for places where people can plug in to charge their handheld devices. “It’s something that has been missing from our historic downtown landscape,” Edwards said of Wooster Green. Donations and grants are still being sought for the project, since no city money is going toward the construction of the site….


Gas pains – BG tells Columbia Gas to not leave streets a mess

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Bowling Green officials want Columbia Gas to clean up their mess when they are done ripping up downtown streets to replace natural gas lines. City council president Mike Aspacher expressed concern at last week’s council meeting that the street paving where Columbia Gas was done digging appeared to be substandard. “We’ve already told them to tear it out and do it again,” said Brian Craft, director of public works for the city. Though the city plans a street resurfacing job in downtown next year, that work won’t extend over the entire area dug up by Columbia Gas. The section of North Main Street located north of the Wood County Senior Center is not part of the city’s project. So, Craft told the utility company to do it again. “We’ve been on them,” he said. Aspacher said Columbia Gas is required to match the pavement so it is the same or better than it was before they tore up the streets. But that hasn’t always been the case in the past. Aspacher said Columbia Gas has previously replaced streets with substandard work after past jobs in the city. “It’s had a negative impact,” he said. Craft said once Main Street is repaved next year, it should all be smooth. A better type of asphalt will be used than during the Heritage 2000 project, when it was last paved. However, until then, the downtown streets will be a little rough, he added. In other business at last week’s meeting, council member Sandy Rowland noted how smoothly traffic seemed to move in the city over the previous weekend – despite the additional congestion from the National Tractor Pulling Championships, downtown construction by Columbia Gas, and the monthly Firefly Nights event downtown. “In spite of everything going on this weekend, traffic moved well in Bowling Green,” Rowland said. Craft noted the city gets to do it all again this weekend – with move-in at Bowling Green State University and annual soccer challenge event. In other business: Parks and Recreation Director Kristin Otley reported that as the summer comes to an end, the city pool will be open the next two weekends, from 1 to 7 p.m. each day. Craft said Manville Avenue, which had been torn up most of the summer,…


BG school board talks open minds and meeting times

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Meeting times and mindsets were discussed Tuesday by the Bowling Green Board of Education. Superintendent Francis Scruci suggested that those citizens attending the first school task forces meeting should leave any negativity at the door. “There are no longer ‘yes’ people. There are no longer ‘no’ people,” Scruci said. “If you have preconceived ideas, my recommendation is – stay home.” The task forces will meet Aug. 28, at 7 p.m., in the high school cafeteria. More than 100 citizens have signed up to serve on two tasks forces looking at the school district’s future. The tasks forces will focus on school finances and on facilities. “You have to come with open minds and open ears,” Scruci said. Also at Tuesday’s meeting, board member Norm Geer made a motion that the time of school board meetings be changed from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. on the third Tuesday of each month. He suggested that the new time be tried as a trial run in September through December to see if it might allow more citizens to attend board meetings. “I’ve heard many people say the 5 o’clock time isn’t convenient for the general public,” Geer said. Board member Paul Walker said he believed the reasoning for the 5 p.m. meeting time was to make it easier for teachers and school administrators to attend. Geer noted the number of school staff in the audience over citizens present. Board member Bill Clifford said he had also heard from community members who liked the earlier meeting time. “We’ve had a large contingency at the 5 o’clock meetings,” though not at this Tuesday’s meeting, Clifford said. Board member Ginny Stewart said she understands the request for a 6 p.m. meeting time. However, she also noted that teachers and administrators get early starts and late meetings lead to very long days. But Stewart also said that community attendance is important. Board President Jill Carr suggested that the matter be tabled till the next board meeting, so board members can get more input from the public and so the matter can be placed on the agenda for discussion. The board voted in favor of tabling the motion, except for Clifford.


Mayor and BGSU president get neighborly on East Side

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Wearing her jammies and holding a blanket, Victoria Francetic opened her front door Friday afternoon to find the city mayor and university president on her porch. As they took their annual East Wooster Street stroll, Bowling Green Mayor Dick Edwards and BGSU President Rodney Rogers greeted Francetic, a political science major, and her roommate, criminal justice major Natalie Macquarie. The visits have a dual purpose – welcoming the students back to Bowling Green and asking them to be good neighbors to the permanent residents in the city. Though it came as a shock, Francetic said she appreciated Edwards and Rogers taking the time to stop by. “I think it really is a sign of respect, to know members of the community,” Francetic said after the dignitaries left her door. As for wearing her pajamas for the afternoon visit, Francetic said she was OK with that. “This is the outfit I’d want to wear to meet the mayor,” she said with a smile. This is the seventh year for the mayor and university president to team up for the Wooster walk. The surprise visits are intended to present a unifying message and encourage good behavior. A letter was left at each residence with some tips on being neighborly. “We try to enhance civility and encourage folks to be good neighbors,” Edwards said. “It’s been well worth the time and effort over the years.” As they rounded onto Troup Avenue, Rogers and Edwards arrived at a house rented by five university swimmers. One of them, Franziska Wohlert thanked Rogers for hiring a new swim teach coach. “I think it’s a great idea,” Wohlert said of the visit by the dignitaries. “I think it’s really cool.” A few houses down the block, the men started walking up the driveway when a shriek came from the backyard. “I know you,” Sammy Hajdu said as the university president approached her and introduced the mayor. “Oh wow, the mayor’s here,” Hajdu said, as one of her roommates videotaped the visit on her phone from inside the house. “We are welcoming you to the neighborhood,” Rogers said, giving Hajdu a high-five. “Be great neighbors. Keep everything under control.” Rogers had one more request for Hajdu, a senior communications and marketing major, who was wearing…


BG Schools losing teachers due to low salaries

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Bowling Green City Schools is starting the school year with 25 new teachers. During their exit interviews, many of the experienced teachers said they were leaving due to the low pay. That is raising troubling red flags, Superintendent Francis Scruci said Tuesday during the monthly school board meeting. “We have teachers leaving us because they can make more money someplace else,” he said. Scruci referred to a recent story in the Toledo Blade about area school salaries for 12 districts in Wood and Lucas counties. With the average teacher salary in Ohio being $58,849, only Bowling Green and Toledo City Schools were below that average. According to information from the Ohio Department of Education, the state median salary for teachers is $56,117. The median salaries at school districts in Wood County are as follows: Rossford: $75,766 Perrysburg: $60,412 Eastwood: $59,523 Otsego: $58,221 Northwood: $53,186 Lake: $50,544 Elmwood: $50,134 Bowling Green: $48,843 North Baltimore: $39,668 While Scruci said he is pleased with the 25 new teachers hired for this school year, he is concerned about the loss of quality experienced staff. The district relies on consistency in its teaching to continue improving the state report card grades. When the district loses seasoned staff, it loses the investment made in those teachers and then has to start from scratch with new staff. “If we start over with 25 new faces every year,” it will be difficult to keep making consistent improvements on state report cards, he said. “If that happens every year, we’re in trouble.” Scruci warned that raising BG salaries will require an increase in operating funds. The district is going into negotiations this year with staff, he said. Scruci also mentioned some troubling trends that could worsen the teacher attraction and retention issue. Nationwide a teacher shortage is being predicted. So low salaries will make it even more difficult to attract and retain good teachers. “If you’re not paying, they’re not coming,” he said. The shortage has already hit some areas in the western U.S. Some of those districts have been hiring people without education degrees to teach, and others are going to four-day school weeks to save on costs. Todd Sayler, a parent at the school board meeting, said Bowling Green’s low ranking in the teacher…


BG board studies preliminary state report card

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Ann McCarty stressed, then restressed, that the state report grades she would be showing Tuesday evening for Bowling Green City Schools were preliminary. The final grades, she said, wouldn’t be out until the end of September or early October. The preliminary grades showed mixed results – one being so good that McCarty is bracing for it to change in the final report. The district had languished in the “gap closing” category which measures the area between students with disabilities and all students. Last year, when the grade went from an F to a D, that was considered a “huge accomplishment.” This year – at least so far – the “gap closing” grade is B. “If this remains where it is, this is huge for us,” McCarty said to the board of education. McCarty also cautioned that since the district had received an A for progress the last two years, it was unlikely to hit that high grade again this year. “It won’t be an A,” she warned. In the “prepared for success” category, the district slipped from a C to a D. However, she mentioned that the school scored well on ACTs, Advanced Placement courses and graduation rates. Unlike many other high schools where students have five years to graduate, Bowling Green has a “fantastic” graduation rate after four years. The district’s overall grade is C – at least for now. “That could go up. That could go down,” McCarty said. McCarty went on to address some specific gains seen in the standardized tests for the students. Bowling Green saw “great gains” in high school algebra, along with reading improvement in several areas. Progress was also seen in biology and American government scores. McCarty credited teachers’ willingness to share lessons for the success. “That is a collaborative effort of all the teachers,” she said. McCarty then went on to report to the school board about efforts to provide equity to the district’s students. “We cannot treat all kids the same,” she said. “We meet them where they are, and we bring them to where they need to be.” An equity committee is in the third year of working to get all students engaged. To gauge feelings about school, a survey was given to staff, students and parents….


Opiate addicts find lifeline in local ARC program

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Fighting the opioid crisis can be like aiming at a moving target. Drugs get more potent, people are prone to relapse, and some proposed laws work against success. But it appears that Wood County’s Addiction Response Collaborative is having an impact. “We’re making inroads,” Wood County Prosecuting Attorney Paul Dobson told the county commissioners Tuesday morning. In the six months that the ARC has been up and running, the program has been alerted to 80 individuals who have overdosed. “Some of those have overdosed multiple times,” Dobson said. Of those 80, five died. While tragic, that number is far less than the 16 people who died of opiate overdoses in 2016 in Wood County. The ARC team, made up of Belinda Brooks and Det. Sgt. Ryan Richards, had contact with the 75 addicts who overdosed, three of whom refused help. Of the addicts, 55 cases were referred to ARC by law enforcement officers, and 22 were referred by family members. “Those are great numbers,” Dobson said of those referred by family. That means the word is getting out to more than just law enforcement. “I was pleasantly surprised. People are contacting the program.” Of those working with the ARC program, four overdosed a second time and are currently in treatment. “That’s a great number when you’re talking about 75 people.” The ARC Quick Response Team responds to overdose incidents and other addiction-related incidents and calls. The team initiates a conversation with the survivor and family members. The goal is to encourage and offer assistance in obtaining treatment and counseling through multiple local behavioral health providers. During the past six months, Brooks and Richards have made 611 contacts with the 75 addicts – following up with them, encouraging them, looking for any gaps in the services, Dobson said. In addition to the Quick Response Team, the program works with programs in the court system, including a diversion program, analyzing the current intervention process being used by the court and the implementation of a court docket specific to addiction. Initially, some of the law enforcement offices in the county were suspect of working with the ARC. “There was more law enforcement resistance,” Dobson said. Some police agencies feared the ARC would take over cases. “That’s not our intention. We…


BG at a crossroads with downtown parking

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Bowling Green is searching for just the ticket to solve its parking problems downtown. The city isn’t making enough from its downtown parking meters to pay for repaving the lots. Initially, a proposal was made to double the parking rates from 25 cents to 50 cents an hour. But on Monday evening, City Council’s Finance Committee discussed options ranging from offering all free parking, to charging more for tickets, to charging citizens a special assessment. Some downtown business owners and one citizen shopper weighed in on the issue. The discussion will continue Sept. 4, at 6 p.m., in the City Council chambers. “Probably everybody needs a little time to discuss this report,” said Bruce Jeffers, head of the finance committee. “I think we all understand there’s no parking that is free. It has to be paid by somebody,” Jeffers said. Municipal Administrator Lori Tretter explained the options Monday evening to the council committee members Jeffers, Mike Aspacher and Greg Robinette. The city’s downtown parking lots are struggling due to flat revenue, increasing costs and aging infrastructure. So the options are increasing the parking revenue, sharing the costs of maintaining the parking lots, or getting rid of some of the expenses. Other Ohio college communities such as Kent and Oxford charge up to $1 an hour for parking. Toledo charges at least 50 cents per hour. However, no parking meters are used in Perrysburg, Defiance, Waterville, Findlay or Maumee. Tretter presented the following ideas under each option. Increase parking revenue: Moving all the parking violation fees into the parking fund rather than sharing them with the city’s general fund. That move, however, would negate council’s efforts from last year to make up the general fund deficit with a garbage fee. Add parking meters and charge a premium rate for on-street parking on Main and Wooster. Increase the current parking rate as high as $1 per hour. Share the costs: Allocate the cost of maintenance to the downtown property owners. Share the costs with all city property owners through a special assessment. Reduce the costs: Remove meters and enforcement, resulting in all free parking. This still leaves maintenance costs. Go back to all meters. Use meters for parking at premium rates on the street, with free parking behind the…


Patients feel loss of Dr. Lavey at cancer care center

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


Bowling Green takes ‘green’ part of name seriously

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Amanda Gamby’s new job may fall short of being glamorous. It’s had her tagging garbage bins, going through recycling, and riding bike for the first time in eight years. But as Bowling Green’s first ever sustainability coordinator, Gamby doesn’t mind getting her hands dirty. She is a true believer in the city’s environmental sustainability – whether that involves energy production, recycling, bicycling or clean water. Gamby, who spoke Thursday to the Bowling Green Kiwanis Club, said the city has already made some serious strides toward sustainability. “We’re really already doing some pretty cool things,” Gamby said. “We’re just not telling about it very well.” So that is part of her job. Gamby, who previously served as the Wood County environmental educator, has expertise in public outreach and education for very young children to senior citizens, and everyone in between. And she wants them all to know that 42 percent of Bowling Green’s electricity comes from renewable sources. “That’s a pretty big chunk of the pie,” Gamby said. The city was the first in Ohio to use a wind farm to generate municipal electricity, starting in 2003. “The joke is that it’s a wind garden because it’s only four,” she said. But even though it’s just four turbines, some doubted the city’s wisdom and investment in the $8.8 million project. “Many people thought Daryl Stockburger was crazy,” Gamby said, of the city’s utilities director at the time who pushed for the wind turbines. But the turbines have been generating power ever since. The turbines are as tall as a 30-story building and generate up to 7.2 megawatts of power — enough to supply electricity for approximately 2,500 residential customers. Debt on the wind turbine project was paid in full in 2015, which was several years earlier than planned, Gamby said. And now, the city is home to the largest solar field in Ohio. The 165-acre solar field consists of more than 85,000 panels and is capable of producing 20-megawatts of alternating current electricity.  In an average year, it is expected to produce an equivalent amount of energy needed to power approximately 3,000 homes.  It will also avoid approximately 25,500 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year since the energy is generated from a non-fossil fuel resource. The…


BG may buy old BG Block & Lumber site for $500,000

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   With its water and sewer division building bursting at the seams, Bowling Green officials may spend $500,000 to purchase neighboring property. The Bowling Green Board of Public Utilities heard a proposal Monday evening from Public Utilities Director Brian O’Connell to purchase 1.57 acres at 315 and 325 N. Grove St. The property sits just to the east of the city’s water and sewer division at 324 N. Maple St. “This would save us from having to look for more space outside our area,” O’Connell told the board. “It’s a good long-term decision for water and sewer.” For some time, the water and sewer division has been in need of additional building space and parking. The city had budgeted $130,000 for concrete drive and parking improvements at the site to accommodate current staff. However, there was no ability to expand the building. Recently, a neighboring property owner, Alan Stoots, approached the city about buying his property – which was formerly the site of BG Block and Lumber. There are several buildings on the property, with some being rented to tenants for storage, commercial and residential uses. According to Stoots, the rental income is about $47,000 annually. Stoots was asking $520,000 for the property. The city hired a real estate appraiser, who said the value of the property was $450,000. After several discussions with Stoots, the city agreed to a purchase price of $500,000, O’Connell said. While that amount is 11 percent above the appraised value, O’Connell said the property is more valuable to the city because of the water and sewer division location and need for space. “We’re kind of at the seams right now,” O’Connell said. “This will get us some additional building space that we could use from day one.” The site would secure a long-term home for the water and sewer division, and possibly provide room for future growth, he said. The water and sewer division could use three of the buildings on the property, totaling about 10,000 square feet, for cold storage of materials, hydrants, valves, topsoil and sand. The city’s electric division currently has transformers and other equipment sitting outside on the North Maple Street property. “Anytime you have equipment outside, it’s additional wear and tear,” O’Connell said. The city plans to continue…


Think driving downtown will be clear after gas line work? Think again

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Bowling Green motorists and businesses counting the days till the Columbia Gas work is done downtown should brace themselves for a rude awakening. The gas line replacement work that has shut down lanes and parking in the downtown much of this summer is just the first round of work along Main Street. “You ain’t seen nothing yet,” said Bowling Green Public Works Director Brian Craft. It’s not the city’s intention to make driving and parking difficult in the downtown area – officials are just trying to get necessary work done in a timely fashion. The good news is the downtown streetscape should be good for years once all the work is done. The bad news is the downtown is going to be torn up for another year or so to finish the job. “It’s just a circle of time,” Craft said. And the gas lines, water lines and roadwork all reached the end of their lifespans at the same time. The Columbia Gas work is scheduled to be done in October. But then water and sewer line work is scheduled throughout the winter, followed by repaving and rebricking Main Street next spring and summer. It could be worse, according to Craft. Initially Columbia Gas was planning to do its downtown work in 2019 – which could have meant that Bowling Green would have to repave the downtown streetscape again soon after completing the work. “It isn’t a perfect situation,” Assistant Municipal Administrator Joe Fawcett said a couple weeks ago. “But we don’t have a choice in the matter.” All the work is necessary – and will result in a safer and better city for residents once it’s all complete, he said. Raquel Colon, external affairs specialist for Columbia Gas of Ohio, said the downtown project which started in June will not be completed until sometime in October. “We have brought some additional crews in to keep the progress moving,” Colon said. The gas line replacement project has taken so long because there are so many individual taps to replace in the downtown area. Unfortunately, the waterline work will be just as time-consuming, Craft said. The old lines are being replaced with new 12-inch lines. And those lines will be buried much deeper, he said. “Ours is going to…


Rudolph to lose old silos, get back Bob Evans sign

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   The small community of Rudolph is about to lose its five rusted grain silos, and gain back its sign noting that Bob Evans once lived there. The Wood County Park District board agreed Tuesday to have the unused silos removed along the Slippery Elm Trail, just south of Mermill Road. The park district had purchased the property years ago from Mid-Wood and for a while the silos were rented back to Mid-Wood for use. However, the two large and three small silos have been empty for years. The concrete at the bases is deteriorating, and the steel is rusting, Wood County Park District Director Neil Munger told the board. A company called All Excavating & Demolition approached the district about taking down the silos for a cost of $1,500. The concrete from the silos will be ground up and spread over the site. The steel will be salvaged by the company. The demolition should have no effect on those using the nearby Slippery Elm Trail, Munger said. While discussing the silos removal, board member Bill Cameron asked about the possibility of replacing the sign on the site that noted Bob Evans once resided in Rudolph. Though born in Sugar Ridge, north of Bowling Green, Evans apparently later lived for a period in Rudolph, south of Bowling Green. He went on to create the Bob Evans restaurant chain. “I miss the sign,” Cameron said. Munger said the sign had been taken down years ago when the park district had new siding installed on the old Mid-Wood building. The park district uses the building for storage along the trail. Munger said the sign is still in the building, and will need to be repainted – but it will be restored on the side of the building at the corner of Rudolph and Mermill roads. In other business, Park District Board President Denny Parish asked about the problem of people parking at Sawyer Quarry Nature Preserve and then walking to the neighboring stone quarry. “This is an ongoing problem,” he said about people trespassing at the privately-owned quarry to go swimming. Park police chief Todd Nofzinger said the park district has been considering the best way to stop people from wandering from its preserve to the stone quarry. “We’ve been…


Tipping the scales – local fight against childhood obesity

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   When Diane Krill was a child, she spent summer days playing in the park – not parked in front of the TV. “We were there from sun up to sundown,” she said of days of non-stop activity. “We didn’t go home until the dinner bell rang.” But times are different now, said Krill, CEO of the Wood County Community Health Center. Parents afraid to let their children roam the neighborhood sometimes prefer to use the TV as a babysitter. And when they do activities – like soccer or baseball – busy parents often rush through a fast food drive thru to pick up dinner. “We are seeing trends that are leading from childhood to adulthood,” said Wood County Health Commissioner Ben Batey. The likelihood that an obese child will learn healthy eating and exercise habits as an adult is, well, slim. So on Tuesday, the Wood County Health Department held a meeting on childhood obesity for interested community members. A recently conducted Community Health Assessment showed that 72 percent of Wood County adults are overweight or obese – higher than the state average of 67 percent. That adds up to about 37,000 Wood County adults who can be labeled as obese. “That seems staggering,” Batey said. “What can we do about that?” The survey found slightly better results among local youth, where the number of obese youth dropped a bit in the last three years. “We’re seeing a positive trend with our youth, and we don’t want to lose that,” he said. A big problem appears to be that many Wood County adults are not modeling healthy exercise or eating habits for their children. And discussing people’s diets can be a potential minefield – like bringing up politics or religion, Batey said. When surveyed about exercise, many local adults said they don’t have time for physical activity. However, in the same survey, adults averaged 2.4 hours a day watching TV, 1.5 hours on their cell phones, and 1.4 hours on the computer for non-work items. “We’re not taking time to get up and move,” Batey said. “I’m not saying don’t watch TV. But get up and move while you’re watching TV.” Batey admitted to being a “couch potato” himself, and eating too much fast food – until…


Investigation into Dawn Glanz’s murder continues

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   The unsolved murder of Dawn Glanz may be closer to being cracked after the true crime TV show “Cold Justice” investigated the Bowling Green case. The episode aired last Saturday evening. The Bowling Green Police Division and Wood County Prosecutor’s Office picked up again where “Cold Justice” left off and spent the summer investigating unresolved questions. Though progress has been made, the prosecutor’s office is still not ready to press charges, according to Wood County Prosecuting Attorney Paul Dobson. But the investigation continues. “At this point, we haven’t made any decisions,” Dobson said Monday. Glanz, 66, was found dead in her home on Kensington Boulevard, on May 9, 2013. She had been a professor of art history at Bowling Green State University. Initially, it was believed her death was the result of natural causes, possibly a stroke. She was found on the bathroom floor. There were no signs of forced entry and nothing was stolen from her home. However, on the day Glanz’s body was to be cremated, police chief at the time Brad Conner received an anonymous phone call from a woman suggesting that Glanz’s death was not an accident. The cremation was halted. An autopsy found that Glanz had been stabbed in the scalp by an assailant using a weapon such as an ice pick or screw driver.  It was determined that the stabbing caused her to have a fatal heart attack. However, by this time much of the physical evidence of the crime scene had been cleaned up. Possible suspects were questioned, but there was not enough evidence to press charges. So five years later, Glanz’s nephew suggested a rather unorthodox attempt be made to find his aunt’s killer. Dehan Glanz said some new evidence might turn up if the show “Cold Justice” were to get involved. “The family approached us when the case stalled out,” Bowling Green Police Chief Tony Hetrick said. Kelly Siegler, a former Houston prosecutor, who leads the investigations on “Cold Justice,” was contacted. She worked with Tonya Rider, a Bowling Green State University professor and retired Toledo detective. The TV crew spent several days in Bowling Green in October, filming for the show. The primary Bowling Green police officers featured on the show were Det. Brian Houser and Sgt…