Community

BYOB – shoppers urged to bring your own bags

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   It’s the ugly sign of spring – the flimsy plastic bags blowing on trees and bushes. “I bet if you looked out your window wherever you are, you would inevitably see a bag in a tree,” said Wood County Administrator Andrew Kalmar. But we Americans like our plastic bags. It’s estimated we use 6 billion a year to carry home our groceries and other items. Though some are reused to line wastebaskets and pick up after pets, the vast majority are thrown out. During a visit to the Wood County Landfill, the county commissioners noticed the screens around the landfill caked with plastic bags. “It was incredible. There were bags in every tree, in every bush,” Kalmar said. So the commissioners asked the Wood County Solid Waste District to help the region clean up its act. And that has led Amanda Gamby, environmental educator with the county, to start a campaign called “Got Your Bags?” “We’re finding them in pretty large quantities when we go out to pickup,” Gamby said of the plastic bags. “It’s a horrible litter problem,” Kalmar said. “Everybody uses them, but we have to do better.” So local residents are being asked to either take their own reusable bags to stores, or bring their used plastic bags back to the stores to be recycled. If recycled, the plastic can have a new life as composite lumber, pallets, containers, crates or pipes. In talking to local residents, Gamby has found that they don’t object to bringing reusable bags to the grocery store – it just hasn’t become part of their routines. “It’s not that they don’t want to use the bags, they forget them,” she said. So Gamby has been handing out “Got Your Bags?” decals to put on car windshields to remind shoppers to either take their reusable bags or return their used plastic bags since most stores have bins to recycle them. Most local stores also sell the reusable bags at the registers for very cheap prices. Gamby suggested that shoppers could also make a difference by asking that some items not be bagged. “You can say, ‘don’t put my milk in a bag.’” And local stores will be approached about having baggers put more items in each bag. As another reminder, the solid waste district just held a billboard art contest. The winning student’s art will be asking motorists along Ohio 25 north of Bowling Green if they’ve “Got Your Bags?” On Wednesday, Gamby had a table set up at the Bowling Green State University Eco Fair. She wasn’t the only one asking people to reduce use of plastic bags. Nick Hennessy, campus sustainability director, was actually wearing a suit made of 500 plastic bags. Matthew Cunningham, a BGSU senior, said a trash audit on campus…


BG considers increased cemetery fees

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Bowling Green wants to dig itself out of its losing rate system that doesn’t cover expenses at Oak Grove Cemetery. So on Monday, council gave first reading of new regulations for the cemetery, which sits north of Bowling Green State University. The goal is to set rates that more reflect the actual cost to maintain the site. “It would get us closer to that,” Assistant Municipal Administrator Joe Fawcett explained. “But even the proposed changes wouldn’t get us to that point.” The city is taking care to keep the rates lower for city residents, with no price change recommended for the purchase of a plot for an adult resident. “We are giving the benefit to city residents,” Fawcett said. Some of the rate changes include: Grave lots for adult non-residents will increase from $425 to $850. Infant grave lots will increase from $115 to $150 for residents and $130 to $250 for non-residents. Adult internment for adult residents will increase from $350 to $600, and $460 to $800 for non-residents. Infant internment for residents will increase from $150 to $200, and for non-residents from $200 to $300. Rates are also set to increase for weekend burials, holiday burials, cremation burials, disinternments and reburials. Some of the other changes in the cemetery regulations include: Total height of new monuments may not exceed 36 inches. Any violation may result in the city issuing an order to remove. Prohibited items around the graves were expanded to ban mulch, glass objects, solar powered lights, wind socks, pinwheels, mailboxes and stepping stones. No grave blankets or flower containers may be placed where they impede mowing or maintenance. No shrubbery or rose bushes may be planted on lots. No trees or shrubbery will be planted in the cemetery except by the city. No additional graveside benches will be permitted after June 15. Existing benches may remain and are encouraged to be placed in a position that promotes ease of maintenance. The cemetery will be open to the public a half hour before sunrise and a half hour after sunset. Disinternments are only permitted Monday through Thursdays of non-holiday weeks. Indigent burials may only be done with prior authorization of the municipal administrator. Approximately 400 plots remain available in Oak Grove Cemetery. Municipal Administrator Lori Tretter told council she would send them information on other comparable cemetery rates. In other business, Public Works Director Brian Craft said the recent snow storm kept city crews busy, with seven plows on the road at once, and many calls coming in about limbs and wires down. Craft also announced that this summer a turn lane will be added on East Gypsy Lane Road at South Main Street. He gave updates on other projects, noting that the Clough-Third Street waterline work is continuing,…


Fire will bring new life to park prairie

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Earlier today, the bright orange flames devoured the tall prairie grasses and left behind several acres of charred ground.  But in a matter of days, life will start bursting through the blackness. “Within three or four days new life pops up,” said Cinda Stutzman, natural resources specialist with the Bowling Green Parks and Recreation Department. As Stutzman watched the prairie burn in Wintergarden Park on Tuesday, she talked about the reason for the occasional controlled burns. “We are trying to minimize the amount of woody plants and invasive species,” she said. And that will help flowers germinate and grow in the prairie area. Without the burns every one to three years, the blackberry and sassafras plants take over, she said. The fire crew was led by Tim Mason, who has been doing controlled burns like this since 1970. To get rid of the woody plants, the crew was doing a backburn, followed by flash fires up the sides. “The fire has to work backward,” Stutzman said. Once new life starts returning, there should be sunflowers and a variety of other wildflowers in the meadow. “There will be lots of great wildflowers that are great for pollinators and butterflies,” she said. The meadow was designed with pollinating plants in mind. “The grasses are the backbone of the meadow,” and the flowers are the mosaic, Stutzman said. “The majority of the meadow has been reintroduced with a grass and flower mixture.” The acreage of the entire Wintergarden Park is about 100 acres, with approximately 30 of that being field and meadow. “I’ve been working pretty hard on this meadow for 15 years,” Stutzman said. “It’s been an honor and a privilege to work on this meadow.” Now all the public has to do is visit Wintergarden and enjoy the rebirth of the meadow. “I hope the people of Bowling Green come out to see their flowers and butterflies this summer,” she said.  


Wood County Library sets limits on unattended children

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The library is a great place for kids, a safe space for kids, but it’s not a day care center and the staff members are not babysitters. The Wood County District Public Library approved a policy Tuesday that clarifies just how employees will deal with unattended children. The policy, said Library Director Michael Penrod, was drawn based on guidelines from Child Protective Services. The library staff needs to know, he said, what to do if they have a 6-year-old running around and the parent is two miles away at home. Penrod said that in discussions with parents, staff has been told that there are no guidelines. Now there are. From birth to age 7, the parent or guardian, must be “in the immediate vicinity.” There was some discussion whether that should be more precisely defined, but Penrod said short of getting measuring tape out, that may prove to be too restrictive. “You’ve got to be able to see them,” Board president Brian Paskvan said For children 8 or 9, Penrod said, the parent needs to be in the building. Those 10, 11 and 12 years old can use it on their own. Here the issue becomes transportation. “If a child is not able to leave the library without an adult, they should not be in the library without an adult,” Penrod said. Also, if a child needs to wait for a ride at closing time, the staff will call the police to provide transportation if the ride hasn’t arrived within 15 minutes. Penrod said there have been instances when a staff member has had to wait 45 minutes for a parent to pick up their child. If a sibling is watching the children, that child must be at least 13 and know they are responsible. Teens over 13 can use the library on their own, and are treated as adults and are expected to act as adults. The board also set rates for the meeting rooms in the library, including the new one on the second floor. The biggest change is that fees will now have different rates for individuals and for-profit entities and non-profit groups. The fee will be $75 for three hours for individuals and for-profit entities with $20 for each additional hour. The rent for an entire day of at least six hours will be $300.The fee will be $20 for non-profit groups for three hours and $10 for each additional hour, and $100 for a full day. Renters will be charged $150 if the event requires staff to be there earlier or later than regular operating hours. The fee to use the Carter House, which is across Church Street from the library, will increase from $100 to $125. Penrod said the rate is reasonable enough that there is no price…


BG high’s “Footloose” is about more than fancy footwork

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News This is not just some footloose and fancy free musical. The stage musical version of “Footloose,” a story told twice on the big screen, touches on some serious issues, said Jo Beth Gonzalez, who directs the theater program at Bowling Green High School. “There’s domestic violence,” she said, “loss of family, and death. … I actually think the stage play is richer.” And, of course, lots of dancing. It is, after all, called “Footloose.” “It’s a big dance show,” Gonzalez said.                     The musical will be on stage Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. in the Bowling Green Performing Arts Center. Tickets are available at the center’s box office Monday through Friday from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. The dancing is one of the reasons senior Logan Brown wanted to audition for the lead. He loves to dance and used to perform with his sister Lauren. Brown was excited that he would work with Bob Marzola, who is serving as choreographer. Brown has been in all the musicals during his high school career, he said.  He’s said he was “super excited” to be taking on the role of Ren Mac Cormack, a teenager from the east who ends up in a southern town where dancing has been banned. He’s an outsider “with daddy issues,” Brown said. He’s more than willing to push back against rules “that don’t make any sense.” “You just need to have fun with it,” Brown said. “There’s a lot going on.” When it was selected last spring, the musical team was in transition, Gonzalez said. Shawn Hudson was ready to take a sabbatical, so they would have to work with a new musical director. The technical director Carmen Rowlands was also leaving, and they didn’t know who would replace her. Ryan Albrecht, with lots of theater experience at the university where he studied and in community theater, was hired. But at the time, that slot was an unknown. Also, part of the production team are Jeremy Sison,  orchestra director, Beth Vaughn, vocal director, and Sarah Caserta, producer. Also the theater students were undergoing a transition with a lot of seniors graduated. So the team opted for a simpler show without flying or major technical challenges. Gonzales said the cast is on the younger side, but have picked up what they need to do quickly. Also in the cast are: Grace O’Hare, Micah Smith, Claire Wells-Jensen, Maddy Utz, Mo Kellow, Drew Kelly, Kyle Nelson,  Jani Shope ,  Mikayla Trimpey, Elaine Hudson , Rachel Amburgey, Tyler Cook ,  Jeremiah Williams, Michael Martin, Taylor Barnette-Clifford,  Allie Larson, Tucker Pendleton, Allison Swanka, Hudson Pendleton, Natalie Carty, Micah McKanna, and Chris Brickner. Also: Sydney Adler, Stephanie Bell, Sophia Bird, Alyssa Clemens,…


BG looks at plan to put city building and town square in same space

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   With the click of a power point, half of the green space planned for the city’s “town square” was gobbled up by buildings. The site analysis presented to Bowling Green City Council Monday evening showed a new city building and the current green space cohabitating on the 1.6 acres which formerly housed Bowling Green Junior High School at the corner of West Wooster and South Church streets. The 35,000-square –foot building left vacant 35,000 square feet of open green space – turning the “town square” into a “town triangle.” “Our charge was to integrate a beautiful building with a beautiful green space,” said Bill Steele, of Poggemeyer Design Group, which did the study. The plan wasn’t intended to be a building plan but rather a spatial concept to show if the two purposes could be happily wed on the site. “Is it possible for these two entities to co-exist on the site?” Council president Mike Aspacher said. To help envision the possibilities, the plan included office space, a glass atrium facing the green space, an overhead canopy which would create a natural amphitheater for music, theater or speaking programs, plus a building with public restrooms and storage for tables and chairs. “There were certain things we felt were worth saving,” Steele said, such as views of First Presbyterian Church and the historic house next to the site on West Wooster. On the remaining green space could include design elements planned by a task force for the site, such as a statue, gazebo, brick pavers area by the canopy, and walkways crisscrossing the grass. “The building is a background for the landscaping,” Steele said. The parking lot for the city building would be just south on South Grove Street, where the former Central Administration Building stood. The good news to green space supporters is that the park-like area could be made soon and not be disturbed when and if the city came up with money to construct its office building. “People are anxious to see a green space developed quickly,” Council member Bruce Jeffers said. “This allows us to go ahead.” The bad news is that half of the green space will be taken up by building. That did not sit well with many in the packed council chambers – some who had spent several months coming up with a “town square” plan for the entire site. “Once green space is given away or used up, it goes away forever,” said Jim Bissland. Bissland said the city office building will dominate the space, which was too precious to waste. He said he wanted to “defend this land on behalf of all of the people,” which was met by applause from other citizens. Council member Theresa Charters Gavarone suggested a public hearing be held…


Singers come from near & far to honor Jim Brown

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Those who knew Jim Brown will go the distance to honor his memory. Linda Gullufsen, who will direct the singers at a memorial for Brown Saturday at 11 a.m. at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Bowling Green, now lives in Tennessee. Others, such as Brandy Tell Mann who is now living in Youngstown, are traveling from far corners of the state. Others are coming from the East and West coasts and places in between. Gullufsen said that one singer arrived at the first rehearsal with an apology. She’d flown in from New York, but she was not able to come to the memorial service. Was it all right if she participated in the rehearsal? She wanted to do at least that to pay tribute to her former choral director. “That speaks volumes about the man being honored,” Gullufsen said. “He was revered enough in his life that they would make any sacrifice they could to be part of this choir,” she said.  And everyone comes with a story. Of course, many others are coming from Bowling Green where Brown was the high school choral director from 1966 to 2004 and an active member on the arts scene.“He was Mr. Music in this community,” said Ed O’Donnell who coordinated the music for the memorial service. Last Friday a handful of singers got together for more rehearsal on the music that will be sung. The four pieces, three sung by the full choir, were all chosen because they were closely connected to Brown. “Sing Me to Heaven” by Daniel Gawthrop is the most difficult piece and will be sung by alumni of Brown’s Yuletide Singers as well as alumni of the high school madrigals who sang it before. Brown had the piece performed at his mother’s and father’s funerals, Gullufsen said. Gullufsen, who worked with Brown as the junior high choral director, said the traditional Irish tune “Breathe on Me, Breath of God” has a special place in the history of the Madrigal Singers. She remembers the madrigals performing in a freezing cold church in Estonia while on tour. They could see their breath as they performed. “Alleluia” by Randall Thompson was “his favorite piece of choral music,” Gullufsen said. Brown learned it while on sabbatical and working with choral music legend Robert Shaw. “Hallelujah Chorus” from Handel’s “Messiah” is the piece he always closed his high school Christmas concerts with, inviting alumni of the choir to come on stage and others in the audience to sing. That tradition will be followed at the service. This is a “one-time opportunity for this community of voices to honor their mentor, teacher, friend,” Gullufsen said. “It’ll never come again.” Mann said growing up in Bowling Green and wanting to sing Brown’s tutelage was “really pivotal.” What she learned…


Citizens want Wintergarden Park to stay wild; Simpson to continue gardens

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   City residents want Wintergarden Park to stay wild, and Simpson Garden Park to get some more gardens. Overall, both parks are giving residents exactly what they need – places of peace and natural beauty. Citizens came together to talk about the city’s natural parks and programs last week as part of a series of public forums to help with the strategic plan for the parks. The consensus for Wintergarden Park was – leave it alone. “We want to keep it as a nature preserve,” said Martha Mazzarella. And for Simpson Garden Park – manage its growth as the funds become available. Citizens said Wintergarden is ideal for nature observation, multi-generational programs such as nature walks, and has great diversity with a prairie, swamp woods and oak savannah. The strengths at Simpson Garden Park include the diverse gardens, its accessibility to those unable to navigate wooded trails, its link to the hospital so people there can easily seek peace in the park, and its educational value with labeling of plants. Programming isn’t heavy at Simpson, but that’s OK, said Frances Brent. “Just its being is the most important part,” she said, explaining its value as a passive park. Both sites make good use of volunteers, including master gardeners at Simpson. Some citizens wanted to make sure Wintergarden wasn’t changed, while other wanted faster development of Simpson. “Don’t screw it up,” Lee Rockett said about Wintergarden. “We need a natural area.” Rockett questioned the use of pesticides in the park and the removal invasive plants like the black raspberries. “When you affect the flora, you affect the fauna,” he said. Others supported the removal of non-native invasive plant species, and complimented the park department for its efforts. All seemed to agree that no more trails were needed through the woods. Jeffrey Cullen said Simpson Garden Park is a secret to some city residents, since most of it stretches back behind houses, off Wintergarden Road, south of Conneaut Avenue. “I don’t think a lot of people know that it’s back there,” he said. Cullen said the park consists of too much grass, and not enough trees and plants. Others defended the garden park as a work in progress. “Things are being put in as money is available,” Brent said, with private and public dollars used to plant the park. “It takes money to do anything, to do everything,” Mazzarella said. Some concerns were voiced, including a complaint about too many dogs not on leashes in Wintergarden Park. “It affects wildlife,” said Kristin Vessey. Though some park walkers have suggested that that city get rid of unsightly fallen trees in Wintergarden, the consensus at the forum was the trees should be left for wildlife habitat. Gloria Gajewicz suggested that some “risk play” accommodations be made for…


Armed walkers’ aim to get concealed guns on campus

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Nearly 35 people with firearms expressed their Second Amendment rights Saturday in Bowling Green as they walked across the campus to downtown and back. Their purpose was to have a dialogue with people about allowing concealed carry on campus. But very few people engaged in conversation with those armed with handguns and rifles. The organizer of the walk, Jeffry Smith, from Cincinnati, towered above the group with his white cowboy hat on top of his 6-foot nine-inch frame. He calmly instructed the group on safety measures – keep long gun muzzles under control, keep chambers empty and safeties on  – and explained the purpose for the walk. “We want to advocate for concealed carry on campuses and spur conversations on gun rights,” Smith said. He has organized similar walks at the University of Cincinnati, Ohio State University, Akron University, and plans one soon at Miami University. “Right now students don’t have a legal choice to carry on campus,” he said. “People ought to have that choice.” But not everyone on campus believes concealed carrying of guns will make it more safe. “I’m here to protest people who I believe are coming to intimidate this community by carrying guns,” said faculty member Richard Anderson, who stood by quietly holding a sign reading, “Remember Trayvon.” “I don’t feel comfortable with people carrying guns on campus on a routine basis,” unless they are law enforcement, Anderson said. Some of the armed walkers tried to engage Anderson in conversation. “I’d be happy to dialogue with them if they came back without guns,” he said. None did. Armed walkers said they attended to protect their rights. “I just want to promote awareness and support the Second Amendment,” said Phil Hodges, of Toledo, who was armed with a WWII handgun and an AR-15. Chris Chapin, of Fostoria, was wearing his Glock 9mm as he carried his 2-year-old son and pulled his 5-year-old son in a wagon. “I’m here for gun safety,” Chapin said. “I’m all about safety because of them. I want to raise them up right with gun safety.” Chapin said he carries his gun almost everywhere he goes. “We need to keep the Second Amendment alive.” Meanwhile, silent protester Debbie Dalke, of Bowling Green, was more focused on keeping people alive. “When it gets to the point there are so many unarmed kids killed, that you can’t even remember their names, it’s too many,” she said. She held up a sign referencing Jordan Davis who was killed in Florida by an armed motorist for playing loud music. “Weapons can’t outweigh any other rights, like your freedom of speech,” Dalke said. As she carried her handgun, BGSU student Molly Musial, said she sees it differently. “I think it’s a good idea,” she said of concealed carry on…


Mills Jewelry closing shop after 69 years

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Saturday afternoon was like many others at Mills Jewelry on 192 S. Main St., Bowling Green. Someone stopped in to pick up earrings from her grandmother that had the posts reattached. Another woman picked up a necklace that had been repaired and was looking at rings. Another customer needed a battery for an older watch. And David Mills and his sister Diane Mills Haslinger were there to help them just as members of the Mills family have been for the past 69 years. On May 7, though, Mills and Haslinger will close up shop. A chapter of Bowling Green retail history will close. While the siblings agree they’re ready to take a break from the day-to-day grind of running the shop every day except Sundays and holidays. Haslinger said she’s looking forward to traveling and visiting grandchildren. Still she admits some mixed feelings. She raised her children here, she said. “It’s bittersweet.” As of Monday, the store will offer customers a last chance at the merchandise at sale prices for up to 50 percent off. The Mills family got into the jewelry business before World War II. Glee Mills learned watch repair working at Norm Crosby Jewelry in downtown Bowling Green in a storefront now occupied by the Busy Thimble. Glee Mills went off to serve in the Navy during the war and when he returned to Bowling Green he got back into watch repairs, working out of his home. When Norm Crosby decided to sell the business to move to California, Glee Mills and his mother, Clara, bought the jewelry store. In 1952 the jewelry store moved to 188 S. Main Street and became Mills Jewelry. It operated there until the 1970s when it moved a few doors south into the current location in the mini-mall built by Doug Valentine. Both David Mills and Haslinger went to work for the business in the 1970s. She had worked for Huntington Bank, and he’d come home after serving a two-year stint in the Army. Their father continued to come into the store every day even if it was just to sit and watched TV. He died in 1995. Their mother, Lois, also worked in the store until retiring 2½ years ago. Their Uncle Clare also worked for Mills Jewelry for a time. Those were the days when Bowling Green’s Main Street boasted three jewelry stores Klever’s, Dill’s and Mills. Now Waddington will be the sole jewelry store in the downtown. Vanderhoffs, which took over the Klever’s business, has a shop on Haskins Road. Mills said when his mother quit working he figured it was time to close the store. That left just him and his sister to run the store. The decision was made last December, he said “It’s tiring,” Haslinger said. The business climate…


Mosquitoes with Zika virus not in Wood County…but health district will monitor

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Northwest Ohio’s less than ideal weather may be its saving grace when it comes to the Zika virus. The shaded areas on a U.S. map showing states with the mosquito species carrying the Zika virus come very close to Wood County. The latest Centers for Disease Control maps don’t show the Zika carriers this far north. “I don’t think Northwest Ohio has enough heat,” said Connor Rittwage, epidemiologist with the Wood County Health District. The Zika virus is primarily transmitted by mosquitoes, and has spread through much of the Caribbean, Central America and South America. So far, there have been no reported cases of Zika virus transmitted by mosquito bites in the U.S. However, cases have been reported in travelers returning to the U.S. from Zika affected countries – including nine cases in Ohio. “There is no risk for Wood County residents just by being in Wood County,” said Wood County Health Commissioner Ben Batey. That means local residents can go about their normal summer activities without undue worry, Batey said. “People shouldn’t be concerned about limiting their summer activities,” he said. However, if traveling to affected areas, local residents should do some research first. “I’ve gotten questions from people planning their honeymoons,” Batey said. Those couples who may want to have children soon, might want to not visit areas where Zika is common. “I’d look at what country and what the risks are.” The Centers for Disease Control recently reported that the Zika virus is much more concerning than initially believed. It is the first time a mosquito bite can serious brain injuries to babies, including microcephaly, a birth defect which causes the infant’s head to be small and the brain to not develop properly. A majority of the adults who get Zika virus will not experience symptoms. “A lot will get it and never know it,” Batey said. But in some adults, the virus has been linked to Guillain-Barré syndrome, a rare disease that can cause temporary paralysis, sometimes leading to death. “It can attack the brain,” Rittwage explained. The virus can be spread from mosquito to human, from mother to baby, but also through sexual intercourse and blood transfusions. In order to respond to the issue in Wood County, the health district is shifting about $24,000 of its Ebola funding over to mosquito control.  That does not mean the health district will be spraying for mosquitoes since that is considered a very ineffective way to reduce the insect population. Instead, the funding will be used on educational programs to help residents reduce mosquitoes where they live. The district may also trap mosquitoes to make sure the species that carry Zika have not made it to Wood County. Because this area is naturally swampy, emphasis will be put on how individuals…


Art Walk set for downtown Bowling Green

Downtown Bowling Green and the Bowling Green Arts Council will present the 24th annual Art Walk, a celebration of the arts in the community, on Saturday, April 23. This free event showcases art from artists of all ages and disciplines including the visual and performing arts and also features art-related activities for children. The galleries throughout downtown are open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Demonstrations, activities and performances continue throughout the day. As part of the event, The Busy Thimble is hosting its third annual quilt exhibit featuring the Black Swamp Quilter’s Guild on Art Walk day, with some of the best examples of the quilters’ art at The Four Corners Center, 130 S. Main St. The exhibit will feature dozens of beautiful handmade quilts of varying sizes from small baby quilts to large bed sized quilts and wall hangings. Guild members will be working on new creations and doing appliqué, hand quilting, and machine piecing demonstrations throughout the day. The Downtown Foundation is raising funds to beautify Downtown Bowling Green with hundreds of beautiful blooming plants for the community at the Fashion Food & Fine Art Luncheon at Sam B’s. The fashion show and luncheon will be held on April 23rd at noon during the Art Walk. Attendees may choose from a menu of chicken salad or vegetarian lasagna. During lunch models will showcase spring fashions in clothing, accessories, and more provided by Ginny’s Inspired Fashions, Coyote Beads, Farm Girl’s Boutique and For Keeps. Tickets are $20 and are available now at Ginny’s Inspired Fashions, Coyote Beads, Farm Girls Vintage Boutique, Bliss Salon and Spa, Grounds For Thought, and at the Downtown Bowling Green and Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce in The Four Corners Center. The After Party and Awards Ceremony will be hosted at The Four Corners Center. The party is from 6-8pm and will feature music by some favorite local groups.


“Getting Sara Married” tells of match made in mayhem

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News “Getting Sara Married” has just about everything you’d want in a romantic comedy: two reluctant suitors, a meddling aunt, a bout of amnesia and some serious food allergies. All those get comically twisted into a plot that not surprisingly ends up with the male ready to move his recliner into the female’s apartment. The fun is in the way the characters are manipulated in ways unlikely and comic into reaching that conclusion. The Black Swamp Players’ production of “Getting Sara Married,” written by Sam Bobrick and directed by Willard Misfeldt, a 40-year community  theater veteran, opens tonight at 8 p.m. at First United Methodist Church, 1526 E. Wooster St., Bowling Green. The show continues Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. and April 22 and 23 at 8 p.m. and April 24 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $10 at the door or from Grounds for Thought or online at http://www.blackswampplayers.org/tickets/. Having a well-meaning, interfering aunt always benefits such a plot. In this case Aunt Martha (Fran Weith) fills the bill nicely. At once ditsy and single-minded, she’s concerned that her 30-something lawyer niece will “walk that long road of life alone.” “Left to your own devices,” she tells her niece in one of their hilarious telephone chats, “I’m afraid you’ll end up an old maid. By your age I had been married twice.” Isn’t that embezzler that Sara is representing single? But the niece, the Sara (Caris Cloyd) of the title, professes no interest in matrimony. She’s more concerned with preparing the defense for the embezzler. “Marriage,” Sara says at one point, “is not the way to happiness. Actually divorce usually does the job a lot better.” So Aunt Martha resorts to extraordinary, and illicit methods, to hook her niece up with financial advisor  Brandon Cates (played by Joshua Cloyd, Caris Cloyd’s husband). So, much to Sara’s dismay, an unconscious Brandon is delivered to her apartment by Noogie Malloy (Leroy Morgan), as amiable a shady character as you’re likely to meet. As Brandon comes to with his memory scrambled, the hijinks hit high gear. What follows is a lot of misunderstanding, and plenty of opportunities for Brandon to utter the phrase “that didn’t come out right” to his fiancée Heather (Hali Maleki). The play is a tightly scripted farce that plays fast and loose with reality. It’s up to the actors to make the audience believe in this amusing nonsense. This mix of new and veteran players does a good job at it. Even Andrew Varney, in the non-speaking role of Martha’s chiropractor, makes the most of his stage time. Weith shows why she’s the go-to actress in the company for these comic lady characters. She’s never less than fully invested in her character’s harebrained schemes. And Morgan makes you believe in…


County trying to keep up with bridge repairs

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   It takes an awful lot of bridges to crisscross the drained Great Black Swamp’s ditches and creeks – 441 bridges to be exact. And it takes an awful lot of money to keep those bridges in good repair. So once again Tuesday, officials from the Wood County Engineer’s Office came to the county commissioners to seek funding for bridge design. Since the county began receiving casino tax revenue, the commissioners have dedicated those funds to bridge design. Last year, $615,997 was put toward design costs. The actual bridge construction is then funded by the engineer’s office. Even with that, it’s difficult to keep up with repairs, according to Joan Cherry, of the engineer’s office. All bridges in the county are inspected annually and then appraised on a scale of 0 (failed) to 9 (excellent), she explained. Last year’s inspections found one bridge in failed condition; 4 critical; 15 serious; 52 poor; 45 fair; 78 satisfactory; 110 good; 88 very good; and 48 excellent. “I would love for all of them to be a 4 or higher,” Cherry said. The rankings continue to slip as the years pass. Once they hit the “serious” 3 ranking, “they start to go on the replacement list.” Construction costs also continue to rise each year, with a small box culvert bridge costing about $150,000. The average bridge costs $350,000 to replace, while the larger structures can cost close to $1 million, Cherry reported. With the minimum lifespan for a bridge being 50 years, and more than 70 bridges currently ranked at “poor or worse,” Commissioner Craig LaHote asked if the county needs to plan accordingly. “Should we be anticipating we will have to fund this at a higher level in coming years?” That’s hard to determine, Cherry said. “Some years you may only get a handful that drop down” in the ratings. Top on the list of structures needing replacement are the following bridges. The estimated cost for designing all these bridges is $995,000. Poe Road east of Rangeline Road. Mermill Road, west of Huffman Road. Huffman Road north of Mermill Road. East Broadway north of Ohio 795. Hammansburg Road east of Roundhead Road. Pemberville Road south of Latcha Road. Anderson Road south of Ohio 199. Stony Ridge Road north of Ohio 582. Bays Road west of Rudolph Road. Rangeline Road north of Kellogg Road. Weston Road south of Ohio 65. Bridges designed or being designed with $615,997 in casino tax revenue last year include: Luckey Road south of Strail Road. Long Judson Road west of Milton Road. Jerry City Road west of Milton Road. Bays Road west of Liberty Hi Road. Insley Road south of Needles Road. Kramer Road west of Shinew Road. South River Road east of Wayne Road. The engineer’s office encountered some problems…


BG community calendar, map, app available

Community calendar, interactive map and app for everyone! Have you ever tried to pick a date for an event without having to peruse multiple calendars?  Do you want a place to post weekly specials for your business?  Are you listed on an interactive map to help your customers get to your location?  The Bowling Green Convention & Visitors Bureau saw the need for all the above and through partnerships we are officially launching GoBGOhio.com for both visitors and our community. GoBGOHIO.com is a one-stop website for community events and business information to highlight what your business has to offer!  With one calendar for everyone, it will be much easier to learn about what is happening without having to navigate many other calendars when planning your next outing or your event.  This calendar, interactive map and downloadable app will help visitors and our community find your exact location and the particulars on an offer or event!  The app is available on both I-Phone and Android and is currently available in the app stores. Businesses and organizations are invited to add their events for free or for photos & links to your event or business join us at the $100 level intro offer good through 2017.  Any business in BG is eligible to participate from retail, restaurants, attractions, churches, banks, doctor offices, insurance companies, clubs, organizations you name it you can participate.   You can post deals on the calendar, add your business listing, add promotional articles to the newsroom and so much more!  After the $100 level intro offer expires, it will only be $100 per year to be a part of this great community effort and the whole community and beyond will have access to your organization’s information. The site was created by Agile Oasis and along with the bureau; the following partners participated in the GoBGOhio program.  Those founding  partners are BG City Schools, City of BG, BG Chamber of Commerce, BG Economic Development Office, BG Convention & Visitors Bureau, BG Parks & Recreation, Bowling Green State University, First Federal Bank, Wood County Park District and Wood County District Public Library.   The bureau and the community thanks the founding sponsors for seeing the need and supporting this program. For more information on how to participate or how to use this program please contact the Convention & Visitors Bureau at (419) 353-9445.