Community

Two BG curling teams to compete in nationals

If you didn’t get enough of curling in 2014 at the Sochi Olympics, then you are in luck—but you may have to drive to Pennsylvania. The Bowling Green Curling Club will be fielding both a men’s and a women’s team in the upcoming Arena National Curling Championships, set for May 10-15, at the Ice Line Arena in West Chester, PA. “We are very excited to have two teams representing our club at Arena Nationals this year,” said Shannon Orr, club president. “Both teams are highly competitive, and we look forward to a strong showing by all of them.” The championship games encompass 20 men’s and women’s teams each from around the nation, including other Great Lakes Curling Association teams from arena-based clubs in Lansing, Cincinnati, and Indianapolis. Tournament selection was made based on application and lottery. This event was initiated 4 years ago, in recognition that the ice in arena-based clubs poses more challenges than dedicated club ice, and the majority of club growth in the United States is occurring on arena ice. “Arena” ice is shared between hockey, skating, and curling. “We have a very supportive and encouraging club, and new members are always welcome,” Orr said. “We hope more folks will come and try one of our learn-to- curls.” Curling dates back to the 16th century, and is one of the fastest growing sports in the U.S., in part for its accessibility to curlers of all ages and physical abilities. A sport of precision, curling is sometimes referred to as “chess on ice,” and requires a combination of strategy, finesse, teamwork, and camaraderie. Teams must deliver each 40-pound curling stone across more than 100 feet of ice and assure it comes to rest in a specific location. In curling, mere inches can make the difference between loss and success. “Curling is a great sport,” said Orr. “It is easy to learn, but challenging to master.” Orr said curlers delight in the “thrill of throwing a great rock or hearing your rock crash into another one and knock it…


Here’s some advice – don’t forget Mother’s Day

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Most mothers consider it their duty to pass on wisdom to their offspring. And sometimes, to the annoyance of their children, they repeat that advice to make sure it sticks. Over and over again. So in celebration of mothers and the wisdom they impart, a few people around Bowling Green were asked to share the best and worst advice from their moms. On the younger end of the scale, the advice tended to be more practical. Nine-year-old R.J. Agosti pondered a bit then it came to him. “Well, my mom always tells me to never cross the road without holding an adult’s hand. You could get crushed,” he said. Then he thought a bit more. “When you check out a library book, you should bring it back on time.” Not lifesaving advice, but important just the same. His mom, Cathy Agosti remembered some deeper advice from her own mom. “Always treat others the way you want to be treated. That’s the best advice I got from my mom,” she said. Kevin Guimbellot said his family moved a lot when he was young, so he was always the new kid at school. His mom taught him a valuable lesson in survival. “The best advice she gave me was, if they’re laughing with you, they’re not picking on you,” he said. “So she’s responsible for me being a comedian.” Guimbellot had no trouble recalling the worst advice his mother gave him. “She said, ‘your father knows where he’s going.’ We not only got lost, we got stuck in water.” Tavion Torrez, 9, said his mom has never led him astray. “My mom hasn’t given me any bad advice.” Her best advice? “Ask before grabbing,” which Tavion said he always tries to do. Some people had trouble pinpointing the most memorable advice from their moms. A couple young women declined since they had “complicated relationships” with their moms. “My mother told me motherhood was going to be harder than I thought it was going to…


Adventure therapy to reach out to traumatized kids

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Children who have gone through traumatic experiences can’t always be reached with traditional therapy alone. So Wood County agencies will soon be trying Adventure Therapy to help children who have faced trauma in their young lives. Wood County Children’s Services has received a $15,000 grant to pay for training in Adventure Therapy, according to Sandi Carsey, Children’s Services director. Children’s Resource Center in Bowling Green, and Renewed Mind in Perrysburg will provide the therapy, Carsey said. Adventure Therapy will not replace more traditional therapy, but will offer kids aged 12 to 18 a chance to work as a team with other children to do something they may not feel they can’t accomplish, such as climb a rock wall. “Kids will be challenged to do something,” Carsey said. “It will help build up their confidence.” Adventure Therapy, which has been around nearly 20 years, blends experiential activities and evidence-based treatment, according to Janelle LaFond, executive director at Children’s Resource Center. “It won’t be sitting down like talking therapy,” LaFond said. “It will be things that really challenge kids.” “We want to increase their resiliency and their own feelings of confidence,” she said. Adventure Therapy is used primarily with kids who have a traumatic history, such as being removed from their homes and placed in foster care, LaFond said. Children’s Services has found over the years that oftentimes when children age out of foster care they are not prepared to be on their own. This type of therapy could be helpful to them, LaFond said. “This is really the gravy on the potatoes,” she said. LaFond explained that some children, such as those with attention deficit problems, respond best to very structured therapy programs. “But trauma kids, when you put up charts and rules, it doesn’t work as well.” Adventure Therapy is also designed to help children establish trust, social skills, a help seeking behavior. The goal of the therapy is to assess children’s needs and “meet them where they are,” by tailoring activities…


BG erects two LED message signs

Bowling Green city officials have a new way of communicating with city residents. Two electronic message signs have been purchased, with one in front of the police station on West Wooster Street and the other by the public works area on East Poe Road. The signs will alert residents about such items as traffic changes for construction or special events in the community, and about seasonal services such as brush pickup. The sign in front of the police station may also make public service announcements on buckling up and not drinking and driving. The signs cost $10,250 each, according to Bowling Green Assistant Municipal Administrator Joe Fawcett.  


Communities caught in middle of tax tug-of-war

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   As Ohio Gov. John Kasich boasts about digging the state out of a deficit and cutting taxes, local government officials see little to brag about. To them, the state’s strategy was not tax cuts, but “tax shifts,” putting the burden onto municipal, township and county governments. The changes in tax revenue have affected every community in Wood County. On the larger side, Bowling Green has lost $964,764 in annual income, and Perrysburg has lost even more at $1,154,451. On the smaller side, Pemberville lost $43,924 a year, Weston lost $41,335, and Haskins lost $5,368, according to the Ohio Department of Taxation. “This is putting the pressure on communities to raise those taxes,” said Kent Scarrett, director of communications for the Ohio Municipal League. “The state says we are cutting taxes left and right,” Scarrett said. “The fact is, that burden is put on local communities.” The three changes made by the state are: Elimination of Ohio estate tax, which is also called the “death tax.” Eighty percent of this money had gone to local communities. Bowling Green lost an estimated $382,848 a year. Big cuts in the state’s Local Government Fund, which made up sizeable portions of county, municipal and township budgets. The LGF was created during the Depression when the sales tax was enacted to share money with grassroots government. Bowling Green lost $563,480 a year. Elimination of local property taxes on business machinery and inventory, also called the CAT tax. The state had a planned phase out of the tax over a period of time, but hastened the cuts. Bowling Green lost $18,436 a year. Those cuts have some communities struggling to keep vital services, such as fire stations open, and are considering more reductions in city services, Scarrett said. “That’s the disconnect that’s going on,” he said. “You’re just shifting the burden.” Across the state, communities are trying four main strategies to handle the funding cuts, according to Scarrett. The first is natural attrition, “especially in safety areas like…


Two BG students charged for bringing knives to school

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Two Bowling Green students face charges after bringing knives to their schools this week. The first knife was discovered at Bowling Green Middle School on Monday, according to BG Police Major Justin White. An officer was on routine foot patrol at the school when the assistant principal notified the officer that a student was found with a fixed blade knife. School officials searched the 13-year-old boy’s locker and found another knife in his bookbag. The student reportedly told school officials he had the knives at school “for defensive purposes.” “We had no indication he made any threats,” White said. The boy was taken to the Wood County Juvenile Detention Center and charged with conveyance of a weapon in a school safety zone. The second knife was found Tuesday when the father of the alleged victim called police to report that his 10-year-old son had been threatened by another 10-year-old with a knife. The victim told police that he and another 10-year-old boy were walking home from Conneaut Elementary School and engaging in an ongoing argument. The alleged victim said the other boy threatened him by showing him the knife and saying something like, “I’m going to get you,” White said. During the investigation, police discovered that the boy with the fold-out pocket knife had the weapon at school, with a school official reporting that they saw the knife when the student left school. The boy has been charged with aggravated menacing and having a weapon in a school safety zone. He was also taken to the juvenile detention center. No one was injured in either incident. The police are working with school administration, which will handle any school discipline. “Kids are making poor decisions,” White said. “They are potentially affecting the rest of their lives.”


Health district to build dental center that won’t turn away uninsured

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Wood County Health District has given local residents something to smile about. The district’s Health and Wellness Center has been awarded $824,997 to build a dental center to serve Wood County residents regardless of their ability to pay, according to Wood County Health Commissioner Ben Batey. The district had applied for two projects, one to build a new center and one to renovate existing meeting rooms. The new center was funded. There is also still a chance the health district will receive funds to help pay for dental staffing needs. The health district has been trying for decades to address dental needs. “This is a huge leap forward in meeting this,” Batey said. “It truly will be a benefit to our residents who are uninsured for dental or who have Medicaid, but can’t find a dental provider who will accept them as patients. It will be a whole new challenge, but we look forward to continuing to expand services to give our residents the greatest options for good health.” The dental clinic will be an expansion of the existing Health and Wellness Center that is part of the health district offices at 1840 E. Gypsy Lane Road, Bowling Green. The dental clinic will have at least four patient chairs and will offer full services. “Just like your typical dental office,” Batey said. “It’s very exciting,” said Diane Krill, CEO of the health and wellness center. Krill said the need for dental services is great. “I just think with the community health assessment, it showed there was a dental need here.” Many Wood County families cannot afford dental care for their children, or cannot find dental offices willing to accept Medicaid patients. “We still see a lack of access for those individuals,” Batey said last year. “That’s still a spot where Wood County struggles.” About a decade ago, local officials who cared about public health and about children met at the county health department to discuss the lack of dental care for local…


Community ride promotes need for improvements for bicyclists

  By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Thursday’s community bike ride is more than a pedal to the park. The organizers have some serious points to make about the need to make Bowling Green a better place for bicycling.               The second Community Ride will begin Thursday at 5 p.m. at the fountain in front of the Administration Building on the Bowling Green State University campus.  The riders will head west toward downtown, traveling eventually to Main Street, before reaching their destination, the green space at the corner of Church and West Wooster streets. The first ride came after Lily Murnen, president of the Environmental Service Club, was talking to Rick Busselle, a BGSU faculty member and bicyclist. Busselle was upset by a couple incidents. A student was struck while bicycling near the CVS on East Wooster Street, and then was ticketed for riding on the sidewalk. Busselle himself took a spill while trying to navigate past that spot. His accident occurred in part because he was unsure at what point cyclists were allowed to ride on sidewalks. The city lacks both clarity in the rules governing bicyclists and the bike lanes needed to make riding in the city safer, he said. Yet, the city officials didn’t really seem to think it was a problem. He and Murnen discussed a mass bike riding event. These can involve a large group of bicyclists taking over the streets and, at times, violating traffic laws. Instead they decided that it would be best to have the bicyclists adhere to the rules of the road, which in some instances may cause a greater inconvenience to drivers. People, Murnen said, feel safer navigating the city’s streets in groups. Murnen was in charge of putting together a list of events for Earth Week, so she decided a community ride would fit right in. The first ride attracted 25 riders, despite a change in the day of the ride. Murnen said the ride attracted “a really nice mix” of students, faculty…


Four file for empty seat on BG school board

By  JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Four people are hoping to make the grade as the new member of the Bowling Green Board of Education. Filing for the seat are: Bill Clifford, retired Wood Lane superintendent; Joanna Craig, a parent in the district; Barbara Moses, a retired BGSU professor; and Bryan Wiles, a pastor in the community. The four are seeking to fill the seat vacated by Ed Whipple, who had served on the school board since 2014, but had to resign when he accepted a position in higher education out of state. The board candidates will all be interviewed by the board of education this evening. According to Bowling Green Superintendent Francis Scruci, the board intends to announce its decision on May 12, then swear in the new board member at the board meeting on May 17. The board is required to make an appointment within 30 days of the vacancy. If the board fails to fill the vacancy within 30 days, the probate court must fill the seat. Moses ran for a seat on the school board last fall. The initial vote count showed her winning by 10 votes. However, after the provisional ballots were counted, Moses lost the seat to Ginny Stewart by nine votes. Ed Whipple’s departure means just two of the remaining four board members have much experience. Paul Walker and Ellen Scholl have served multiple terms, but Jill Carr and Ginny Stewart are new to the board this year. “There’s something to say about the experience piece,” Scruci said. At the last board of education meeting, Scruci emphasized the importance of the board position. “This is a critical appointment because we’ve got some important issues coming up,” like teacher negotiations, facility discussions, and a levy to pass, Scruci said. “There’s some difficult things coming forward.” Those interested in being appointed to the board had to submit a letter of interest by April 29, addressing the following issues: Reason for interest in joining the board. Qualifications and experience that would add value to…


Historical society seeks items for time capsule

The Wood County Historical Society is seeking items for consideration to include in a 2016 Wood County time capsule, which will be placed inside the museum as accessibility construction draws to a close, leaving a legacy for future generations to enjoy and experience. Selected items will be placed into the Time Capsule, sealed, and placed inside the framework of the Museum at a special ceremony later this year, not to be removed until 2075 when the Museum celebrates its 100-year anniversary. Items should be three-dimensional (not paper), have some connection to Wood County or community history, and should not exceed 14” x 16” x 24.” Not all item suggestions submitted may be selected. Donors must be from or live in Wood County. The deadline to submit items for suggestion is June 1, 2016. For more information about submitting items for consideration to the 2016 time capsule, visit woodcountyhistory.org or call the museum at 419-352-0967. The Wood County Historical Center & Museum is open for self-guided tours Monday – Friday, 10am-4pm and weekends 1-4 pm. Time Capsule handouts and applications are available at the museum. Other May events include: –      Mommy & Me Story-time and tour – May 4, 10-Noon, reoccurring monthly –      Paper Dolls Tea – May 12, 2 pm, reoccurring monthly –      Business in Boomtown Walking Tour with the Wood County District Public Library – May 21 The Museum is located at 13660 County Home Road in Bowling Green, about a quarter-mile east of  I-75 and Rt. 6 (exit 179).


BG honors Tim Dunn for going to bat for kids, and police officer for helping save life

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Bowling Green honored two people Monday evening – a man who has spent several summers giving kids the chance to play ball, and a police officer who help save the life of overdose victim. Tim Dunn, or “Mr. Baseball” as the mayor called him, was recognized for more than 40 years working to grow Little League in Bowling Green. Dunn started on the grounds crew in the early 1970s, moved into the role of umpire, and then worked his way up to leadership in the baseball program, Mayor Dick Edwards said. Dunn was instrumental in moving the former Pee Wee ball park from its two diamonds off Mercer Road, to Carter Park where it had room to grow. The ball fields have room for beginning T-ball players to adults who don’t want to give up America’s national pastime. The well-maintained fields at Carter Park have become “a regional attraction,” with several teams traveling to Bowling Green for tournaments, Edwards said. “You have clearly been the driving force,” the mayor said to Dunn. Several of the council members had personal stories to share about the ball fields and Dunn’s involvement. Council president Mike Aspacher said he has spent a lot of time at the ball park. “A number of families and a number of kids have been affected in a positive way by BG baseball and Tim Dunn,” he said. Every spring, the ball park seems to be on automatic reset and ready for kids to step up to the plate. “That’s because all of the work Tim does behind the scenes,” Aspacher said. “The city of Bowling Green is a better place because of his efforts.” Council member Bob McOmber said his son starting play ball out at the park at age 9. He continued, “till they tore the uniform off of him.” “He’s made Bowling Green a better place for a lot of kids,” McOmber said of Dunn. Like many parents watching games in the bleachers, council member Theresa Charters Gavarone…


Old tunes find new listeners at concert for young & young at heart

With an audience made up largely of kids age 4 through 7, the line between moving to the music and fidgeting is pretty fine. It didn’t matter that the music was not only before their time – because everything is before their time – but before their parents’ time, and likely even before their grandparents’ time. The beat was good. A few youngsters broke out the dance steps, a few swayed in rhythm in their seats and a few fidgeted. Teachers know the difference. For its Young and Young at Heart concert Friday, the Bowling Green bands threw open the doors of the Performing Arts Center to senior citizens and pre-school, kindergarten and first graders from Kenwood, Conneaut and Crim. The older listeners mostly took up the back rows, while the front of the house was packed with kids, and their outnumbered teachers. After some preludes on marimba, the concert got underway with the high school’s jazz band, the Jazz Cats. Their short set was devoted to swing classics from the 1930s and 1940s. But what’s 70 years when one of the songs is named “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy,” which is deliciously funny to say. During the switch between the Jazz Cats and Symphonic Band, Band Director Bruce Corrigan demonstrated how that bugle boy blew those notes. More funny sounds, more laughs. Corrigan knew his audience. Then the Symphonic Band stepped forward with Morton Gould’s “American Salute,” a fantasy on “When Johnny Comes Marching Home,” then a bit of musical magic, a piece featuring a flute solo by Lilly Rakas, and a musical tribute to bugs that included a couple of comically cavorting butterflies. The time just flew until the show ended up in a galaxy a long time ago. First graders trooped up to the stage to take positions within the band, and don the visages of Stormtroopers, Ewoks and Wookiees. Then with their masked associates at their feet,  the musicians played music from “Star Wars,” a preview of a May 10 at 7 p.m. concert when the winds…


BG Council approves plan for largest solar field in Ohio

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   The future is looking pretty bright for Bowling Green’s solar field project, with city council voting unanimously Monday evening to approve plans to install the largest solar field in Ohio. Concerns were expressed by a neighbor of the site about the loss of prime farmland. But her concerns were not enough to throw shade on the project. “This looks like a really good addition to the Bowling Green energy portfolio,” said council member Bob McOmber. “I don’t see any minuses with this.” The solar project had been stalled since last summer. Now, if all goes as planned, an estimated 2,900 homes in the city will be powered by sunlight starting next year. “I appreciate the project moving forward. Environmentally, it’s a good thing,” council member Bruce Jeffers said. “I’m really happy to see this happen.” The solar field is expected to produce more power than originally planned. The initial plan called for 110 acres to be used on the city’s 317 acres located at the southeast corner of Newton and Carter roads, northeast of the city limits. The city was in line to get 10.5 megawatts from the solar field, according to Brian O’Connell, director of utilities for BG. However, instead of fixed mounted panels, the new plan calls for single axis tracker panels, which will rotate and follow the path of the sun as it moves through the sky. The rotating panels will take up 35 more acres and cost more to install, but they will increase power production, he said. The solar field will generate 20 megawatts, with Bowling Green getting 13.74 megawatts of the power for its customers. With the addition of the solar power to the existing wind and hydro sources already used by the city, Bowling Green will get close to 40 percent of its energy from renewable sources starting in 2017, O’Connell said. “It certainly is a good thing for the city,” council president Mike Aspacher said. The solar field was initially planned for the western…


BG named among top 10 best cities for families

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Bowling Green has been named one of the 10 Best Cities for Families in 2016. The rating was given by Livability.com, which ranks America’s cities on scales for golf, foodies, college towns, most accessible and more. Mayor Dick Edwards announced the ranking Monday evening during a council meeting. “That bodes well for us,” he said, listing the parks, schools and safety services as some of the reasons for the city’s high rating. “I’m going to start using that tomorrow,” said council member Sandy Rowland, who is a Realtor. Assistant Municipal Administrator Joe Fawcett said the city did not apply for the award – the website selected it. “It communicates what kind of community we have,” Fawcett said of the award. Livability.com used specific criteria to select the cities considered best for families. “The communities we choose to live in as we raise children are arguably the most important, as they tend to be some of the places we live the longest,” Livability.com stated. So the website created this 10-best list to offer examples of cities that are good places to raise children. “Many of the key reasons Americans move revolve around doing what’s best for their families. We move at certain key stages – as we get married, as we have kids, as our kids become old enough for school, and as our kids head off to college,” the website said. The rankings are based on several criteria. “We crunched the data. We looked at the quality of the schools, the crime rate, and measures of the quality of healthcare and economy. We gave points to communities that are walkable, diverse, have lots of parks and active children’s sections in their libraries. We favored communities with shorter commute times (so working parents can be home more and on the road less) and larger populations of other kids to play with.” Bowling Green was also given high marks for affordability and accessibility. The city is “surprisingly affordable.” The average cost of a house is a…


Lisa Hanasono honored statewide & at BGSU for her work promoting diversity

From BG OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS Dr. Lisa Hanasono’s work is founded in the integration of research and teaching and lived out in her commitment to the community. In recognition of her engagement of students with such important issues as promoting unity, diversity and inclusion, Hanasono, an assistant professor of communication, received a 2016 David Hoch Memorial Award for Excellence in Service. The award was presented by Ohio Campus Compact, a nonprofit membership organization of 41 Ohio colleges and universities working to promote and develop the civic purposes of higher education. The Hoch award honors the outstanding work in service-learning and/or civic engagement by a faculty or staff member at an Ohio Campus Compact member institution. In addition to the Hoch award, Hanasono has also been selected to receive the College of Arts and Sciences Diversity Award for 2016, again in recognition of her putting into practice her research and pedagogical interests in diversity and inclusivity. Collectively, Hanasono’s teaching, research and service activities work together to strategically develop, deliver and evaluate the effectiveness of community engagement projects and initiatives that advance diversity at BGSU and beyond. Drawing from her research expertise on discrimination, advocacy and social support, she worked with community partners and students to design, launch and assess BG4Unity, a community-based service-learning project. BG4Unity encourages people to use social media responsibly to advocate against hate and engage in community building. Undergraduate students enrolled in Hanasono’s Persuasion courses partnered with local organizations and applied course concepts to raise community members’ awareness about the prevalence and danger of cyberbullying and online discrimination, motivate people to join BG4Unity to demonstrate their solidarity against hate, and inspire people to use social media to spread messages of hope and support to those coping with discrimination. She and her students used Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to encourage BGSU and community members to use social media to promote diversity and challenge stereotypes. Over the past year, Hanasono and her students partnered with BGSU and community organizations such as the Center for Community and Civic Engagement…