Public bugged by Zika invited to program tonight

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   More than 20 Ohioans have been diagnosed with Zika Virus this year. But local residents need not worry about mosquitoes in their backyards or area parks spreading the virus. Local residents with concerns about Zika are invited to a presentation tonight at 7, in the Simpson Building, 1291 Conneaut Ave., Bowling Green. The program will be hosted by the Bowling Green Parks and Recreation Department, and presented by Wood County Health District epidemiologist Connor Rittwage and health educator Jennifer Campos. “It’s for anybody curious about it,” Rittwage said. “We’ll take as many questions as we can.” But Zika Virus is nothing for local residents to be stressed about, he added. “Our level of worry has not changed too much. It’s something to definitely watch. But the chances of it developing in Wood County are very low.” Zika 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. In fact, there is no evidence anywhere in the continental U.S. of the type of mosquitoes known to transmit Zika, Rittwage said. However, 934 cases have been reported in travelers returning to the U.S. from Zika affected countries – including 22 cases in Ohio. And 13 cases have been reported to have been sexually transmitted in the U.S., with one in Ohio. “Travel is still a huge component,” Rittwage said. Before traveling to another country, Rittwage advised checking with the Centers for Disease Control map. “It’s always important to check if there are any advisories.” The Centers for Disease Control has determined the Zika Virus is much more concerning than initially believed. It is the first time a mosquito bite can cause 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. So far in the U.S., seven infants have been born with defects associated with Zika. “If you’re going to travel to one of these countries and you can’t postpone it,” Rittwage suggested the following precautions: Wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants. Staying in places with air conditioning or that use window and door screens to keep mosquitoes outside. Sleeping under a mosquito bed net if outside and not able to protect against mosquito bites. Wearing EPA registered insect repellents.  All EPA registered insect repellents have been evaluated for effectiveness. Always follow the product label instructions. Reapply repellent as instructed. Do not spray insect repellent underneath clothing. Apply sunscreen to skin first, then insect repellent. Do not use insect repellent on babies younger than 2 months of age. Treating clothing and gear with permethrin or purchasing permethrin-treated items.  Treated clothing remains protective after multiple…

Dr. Arie Eisenman from Galilee Medical Center to speak

From JEWISH FEDERATION OF GREATER TOLEDO The Jewish Federation of Greater Toledo will present two free lectures by Dr. Arie Eisenman of the Galilee Medical Center. He will speak Thursday, July 14, at 7 p.m. in the University of Toledo College of Medicine and Life Sciences, Collier Building Room 1000a and Sunday, July 17 at 4 p.m. at Congregation B’nai Israel, 6525 Sylvania Ave., Sylvania. Dr. Arie Eisenman is head of internal medicine within the Emergency Department at the Galilee Medical Center in Nahariya, Israel and chairman of the Partnership2Gether Medical Task Force at the Jewish Agency. The Galilee Medical Center, located only 6 miles from the Lebanese border, is the closest hospital to any border in Israel and has a long history of being prepared for mass casualty events. GMC was the first hospital in Israel to build an underground hospital enabling it to provide continuous safe and secure care to patients in the event of warfare. It is now the model for medical institutions nationwide. The GMC has provided medical care for more than 1,000 Syrian casualties over the last three plus years, twenty-five percent of whom were women and children under the age of eighteen. It has been the case that every night, two or three severe multi-trauma Syrians arrive at the GMC for lifesaving care. The Galilee Medical Center is the second largest hospital in the north of Israel with 69 departments, specialty units and 700 registered beds above ground and, in case of need, 450 underground. The GMC is located on the frontline of the Israeli-Lebanese border and serves a demographically mixed population of Jews, Muslims, Christians, Druze and Circassians. The Medical Center community is an example of Israel’s diversity and coexistence. For more information contact Sharon Lapitsky or 419-724-0315.

Program on Zika Virus planned for July 12

Bowling Green Parks and Recreation is hosting a presentation by Wood County Health District epidemiologist Connor Rittwage and health educator Jennifer Campos on Zika Virus. The presentation will be held on Tuesday, July 12 at 7 p.m. at the Simpson Building Meeting Room at 1291 Conneaut Ave. in Bowling Green. The presentation will include an overview of Zika Virus: how it spreads where it is found symptoms and outcomes of Zika how it is transmitted how it is diagnosed how it is treated how it can be prevented The role of Wood County Health District in Zika surveillance and education.

Patient advocate bill signed in Ohio law

One of the most comprehensive patients advocate bills in the nation was signed into law at the Ohio Statehouse Monday, according to State Senator Randy Gardner, R-Bowling Green. Gardner sponsored Senate Bill 129, known as the Prior Authorization Reform Act, to require faster turnaround times for patients and medical providers to receive health care coverage decisions from insurance companies. “This bill begins a new era when patients can receive health care in a more timely manner – the same health care they expect, deserve and have paid for,” Gardner said Monday.  “We need a more modern, accountable and cost-effective prior authorization process in Ohio.  Soon we will.” Gardner said the Ohio State Medical Association had approached him to sponsor the bill. “I agreed with them we need a better system,” he said. “I’ve always been one who wanted to strengthen the doctor-patient relationship.” Nearly 80 health care providers and patient advocate organizations, including the American Cancer Society, the Multiple Sclerosis Society, several mental health organizations, the Cleveland Clinic and numerous other hospitals supported the bill. The lead supporting organization, the Ohio State Medical Association, said the bill is one of its top priorities during the current session of the General Assembly. “Senate Bill 129 has a number of provisions that will make the prior authorization process more transparent, more fair, and more patient-focused,” said Tim Maglione, senior director of government relations for the OSMA. Gardner said the bill was quite complicated, involving several medical organizations and tackling multiple provisions. “Most states have done one or two provisions at a time,” he said. Highlights of Senate Bill 129’s numerous reforms include: Requires a new electronic web-based prior authorization process designed to end the costs and time lost with the current fax and phone call system. Provides for a 33 percent reduction in the time allowed for insurers to decide prior authorization requests and a 67 percent reduction in decision time for appeals of denied requests. Mandates that insurance companies disclose to medical providers all necessary information and documentation that a provider must submit in order for the request to be considered complete. Prohibits the practice of insurance companies retroactively denying payment for approved prior authorization requests after the surgery, service or medication is provided. Requires that insurers provide a 12-month prior approval for medications to treat some chronic conditions. “The arguments that these reforms might increase insurance costs are unfounded,” Gardner said.  “A better, faster prior authorization process can be more cost-effective for everyone involved, and the bottom line is that it is better for patients.” The web-based prior authorization system must be established by 2018, while many of the other provisions of the bill will take effect in January of 2017.    

BG Police teach how to avoid becoming a victim

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Self defense is much more than learning to take down a purse snatcher. Much of self defense is planning ahead to avoid putting out a welcome sign for criminals. Post pictures from your vacations, but wait till you’re home. Criminals look at shots of you smiling on the beach as an invitation to burglarize your home. Walk with confidence with your eyes on your surroundings. Texting while you walk, with a purse hanging from your shoulder makes you an easy target for thieves. And when in danger, yell “fire” rather than “help.” People rush to help fire victims, but are likely to start recording video of other crimes. About 50 people attended a self defense class last week taught by Bowling Green Police Detective Andy Mulinix and patrol officers Scott Frank and Robin Short. The class, held at Wood County Hospital, was attended primarily by females ranging from young girls to senior citizens. The class started out with instruction, then moved to physical techniques. The officers stressed that no technique is foolproof. “Whatever works best for you. Whatever you’re comfortable with, use it,” Frank said. “Better to do something than nothing.” To set the mood, a video was played showing crimes against innocent victims – an attack in an elevator, the theft of a purse from a woman strolling down the street, theft from a car as someone pumped gas, and a home beating taped by a baby-cam. “We got a crazy world out there. We’ve got to be a little more vigilant,” Mulinix said. The officers warned that local residents should not be complacent just because they live in a small city like Bowling Green. “A lot of people think that Bowling Green is such a safe community,” Mulinix said. “Bad stuff happens in Bowling Green.” Every crime has three components – a victim, a criminal and an opportunity. So if a person narrows the window of opportunity for the criminal, then they are less likely to become a victim, Frank said. For example, don’t walk into a dark parking lot alone, looking down, unaware of the surroundings. “You look like a victim waiting to happen,” Frank said. Don’t leave doors unlocked. Criminals are lazy, Frank said, and will walk from car to car, or house to house, to find an unlocked entry. “They take the path of least resistance.” Simply wearing your purse strap over your head, can discourage thieves. However, if a criminal really  wants your purse, Mulinix suggested not resisting. “If they want it, give it to them. There’s nothing in there that can’t be replaced,” he said. But if you fear for your safety and decide to fight, don’t do it half-heartedly. “If you decide you are going to fight, you have to be 100 percent committed…

Inmates addicted to opiates will get drug to help them kick habits

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   For some opiate addicts, the most dangerous time is right after being released from jail or a treatment facility. They fall in with old friends, then old bad habits. The risks are even greater at that point, since their bodies are no long accustomed to the opiate amounts they used before. When that tolerance for the drug is gone, deadly overdoses are more likely to occur. So Wood County officials are looking at offering inmates injections of one drug, in order to help them beat the addiction of another drug – opiates, with heroin being the most notorious of the drug group. “Heroin is a different beast than we’ve dealt with before,” said Cary Williams, executive director of the Northwest Community Corrections Center located in Bowling Green. To give inmates a better chance at kicking opiates, they will be offered one dose of Vivitrol, an injectable drug that acts as an “opiate antagonist. It limits the body’s ability to get high,” explained Charlie Hughes, program director of the corrections center. By reducing the cravings and the pleasurable effects of the opiates, Vivitrol gives addicts a better chance of kicking the drugs. “So life without drugs seems possible,” Hughes said. Williams, Hughes and Joni Bretz, of Wood County Adult Probation Department, presented a program on Vivitrol to the Wood County Commissioners on Thursday, and asked for the board’s support of offering the drug at the community corrections center. The commissioners supported the efforts and agreed to spending up to $25,000 for one year, which would cover at least 19 inmates from Wood County who qualify for the Vivitrol.  Of the 54 Wood County residents in the corrections center, 35 percent have opiate issues. Just this week, Vivitrol also began being used at Wood County Justice Center, for Wood County residents with opiate addictions. “We are definitely on board with doing that,” Wood County Sheriff Mark Wasylyshyn said. The average opiate addict trying to get clean has seven relapses before being successful, according to Tom Clemons, executive director of the Wood County Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board. “It’s normal for people to relapse,” Clemons said. And relapse after being clean in jail or treatment is particularly dangerous. According to WCADAMHS stats, someone dies from an opiate-related overdose every 15 minutes. “How can we keep people from dying when they’re coming out of jail,” Clemons said. “The Vivitrol gives them the kickstart.” The Vivitrol will be offered on a voluntary basis, and to only those who pass the physical tests to qualify. The shot will be given before the inmates leave the facility, and will last about four weeks. Each inmate involved must agree to counseling, checking in with probation, and applying with Medicaid which will pay for the additional monthly shots….

Wood County Health District earns national accreditation

Wood County Health District is proud to announce that it has achieved national accreditation through the Public Health Accreditation Board, demonstrating the capacity to provide the highest quality of services to the approximately 129,000 people it serves. “This achievement validates the dedication and hard work of our staff, the extraordinary support of our community partners, and the commitment of our Board of Health to improving the health and quality of life in Wood County,” said Health Commissioner, Ben Batey. “Accreditation is the gold standard for health departments and it is an honor to be recognized for our commitment to quality and the incredible effort our staff puts forth every day to improve and protect the health of our community.” To receive national accreditation, a health department must undergo a rigorous, multi-faceted, peer-reviewed assessment process to ensure it meets or exceeds a set of public health quality standards and measures. “The work we’ve done to get to this point was an opportunity for us to examine our entire organization from the inside out,” said Amy Jones, Director of Health Promotion and Preparedness and acting Accreditation Coordinator. “It’s been an incredible process to be able to demonstrate our ability to provide Wood County with high quality public health,” she added. Public health departments play a critical role in protecting and improving the health of people and communities. Across the nation, health departments provide a range of services aimed at promoting healthy behaviors; preventing diseases and injuries; ensuring access to safe food, water, clean air, and life-saving immunizations; and preparing for and responding to public health emergencies. “Whenever you see our seal of accreditation, you will know that Wood County Health District has been examined and meets or exceeds national standards that promote continuous quality improvement for public health,” said Batey. Wood County Health District has a staff of approximately 60 full and part-time employees. A ten member Board of Health oversees the operations and sets the policies of the Health District. The Board appoints a Health Commissioner as its executive officer to direct the daily operations of the department and carry out all orders of the Board and the Ohio Department of Health. The Wood County Health District provides numerous services to the community, including comprehensive medical services for men, women and children. Our Health and Wellness Center welcomes all patients and accepts most third party insurances, including uninsured or underinsured clients regardless of ability to pay. The mission of Wood County Health District is to take the initiative to facilitate opportunities for Wood County residents to lead healthy lives. The Health District is located at 1840 E. Gypsy Lane Rd. in Bowling Green. Normal office hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., with late hours and satellite clinics available. The Wood County Board of Health meetings are generally held on the…

Brown Bag Food Project needs help to keep helping those in need

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The Brown Bag Food Project had a successful first year by the only measure that matters: 782 people fed, 104 of those in the month of April alone. The grassroots food effort has been so successful, it’s now finding itself short of resources to help those in need. This summer as it marks its first year of existence it has its work cut out for it. Still the founder Amy Jo Holland and the project’s board members are optimistic they will find a way to continue the work she started. The Brown Bag Food project helps meet the immediate needs of folks who find themselves in hard times. The project can offer four to five days’ worth of food, and does so without income checks or referrals. And that food includes fresh dairy, meat and vegetables not usually found at food pantries. The project also can provide toiletries, personal hygiene products and diapers that Food Stamps won’t cover. And the project can arrange the delivery of these items during off hours when convenient for people who are working. Project volunteers try to help their clientele find more permanent assistance. “We try to be a guide not just temporary help,” said board member Amy Jeffers. All this is done “no questions asked,” said board member Nathan Eberly. Holland started the effort a couple years ago. She works at WalMart and discovered that some of her co-workers were going several days without eating. So she started helping them out. The effort grew. For a while the project helped people in Toledo as well, but that “overwhelmed” the fledgling effort, Eberly said. So the Brown Bag Project concentrated on Wood County. There’s enough need close to home. In Wood County 13.7 percent of residents experience food insecurity – they don’t know where their next meal is coming from. In some families adults will skip meals so the kids can eat, Jeffers said. Eberly said he knew Holland from other social activism and decided to help her with accounting and money management. They were able to complete the paperwork to get non-profit status by July. Besides decreasing stocks and financial resources, one of the obstacles the Brown Bag Food Project faces is the lack of a permanent location to store its food. Right now Holland’s mother is storing it for them. If they had a permanent home, Eberly said, they would be able to purchase food from the Northwest Ohio Food bank for a deep discount. He said they are working with local landowners to try to find a place. The project also has some events planned for this summer to try to replenish its stocks of food and bank account. A food drive will be held at the Bowling Green WalMart June 3 from noon to 7…

Two in BG awarded for reaching out to those with mental health issues

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Two people were recently honored for reaching out to those with mental health issues and helping them navigate through life’s difficulties. Bowling Green Police Officer Scott Frank and Danielle Oetjen, of Family Services of Northwest Ohio, were both recognized by the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Wood County. Frank was singled out for his handling of an incident in March involving a barricaded suspect that was initially reported as a hostage situation. “Your efforts resulted in a safe conclusion to the crisis,” Bowling Green Police Chief Tony Hetrick wrote in a letter commending Frank. “During the incident you provided intelligence to the crisis negotiators and SRT (Special Response Team) all while compassionately providing for the needs of the family that was victimized during the initial incident. Your actions during this incident are indeed remarkable.” Jessica Schmidt, director at NAMI of Wood County, praised Frank for his willingness to learn more about working with people with mental illness, including taking Crisis Intervention Team training. “He volunteered to take the first training we offered,” Schmidt said. “That speaks to his character. He’s been very active when it comes to the CIT program and continuing the efforts in the community.” A Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) program is a model for community policing that brings together law enforcement, mental health providers, hospital emergency departments and individuals with mental illness and their families to improve responses to people in crisis. CIT programs enhance communication, identify mental health resources for assisting people in crisis and ensure that officers get the training and support that they need. Schmidt explained the value of the CIT training. “It gives the officers another tool to use, in working with someone in a mental health crisis,” she said “They learn how to interact and de-escalate the situation.” Since 2013, Frank has been the police department’s CIT coordinator. For his efforts, Frank was awarded the Community Impact Award from NAMI. “Scott does a fantastic job communicating with persons who are struggling with mental illness or have personal problems. He is calm and compassionate and has a real knack for putting people at ease and getting them the help they need,” Hetrick said. Schmidt described another incident in which Scott kept in contact with a person in the community with mental illness. When he realized she was in declining health, he reacted. “Instead of waiting till it became a crisis, he contacted mental health professionals,” Schmidt said of Frank. He advocates for them, “to get them into services.” The other NAMI award for a local provider went to Danielle Oetjen, who works in the Bowling Green office of Family Services of Northwest Ohio. “She goes above and beyond for linking people for services,” Schmidt said of Oetjen. She checks on people being discharged from…

Hope is at heart of Relay for Life

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The walkers in the Relay for Life stepped off Saturday morning under cloudy skies but with hope in their hearts. “This is all about hope,” said Jerry Anderson, WTOL news anchor, as he started auctioning off gift baskets. The theme for the baskets was States of Hope. As for so many participants, Liz Bostdorff, one of the three relay chairpersons, was drawn to the event because of personal experience. Her mother and others in her family battled cancer. This is her fourth year participating. “It’s fun and festive,” she said, “yet you know you’re rising money for an amazing cause.” All the money raised goes to the American Cancer Society. The goal this year, she said, is $87,000. As of about noon Saturday, $53,000 had been raised. That’s a little ahead of previous year, Bostdorff said. Teams continue to raise money through the end of August. “This is the centerpiece of the fundraising efforts,” she said. This year, 24 teams are taking part. More than 300 participants and volunteers are involved in staging the Relay for Life. This year, Bostdorff said, the length has been cut back to 12 hours, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Some found the 18-hour rally with its overnight stay too long. Still “it means a lot of things to jam into that time.” The highlight, Bostdorff said, comes in the evening when luminaria are lit in honor and in memory of those who have had cancer. The relay has found a home at Bowling Green High School where the track offers a good place for the walkers, and with plenty of place to sprawl. That includes a classic car show in a parking lot. A committee member is involved in car shows and suggested staging one as part of the relay, Bostdorff said. This is its second year. “There’s something for everybody.” Gina Fernbaugh, of Bowling Green, was on hand for the auction. She had participated for several years as a member of a team from the Wood County Educational Service Center where she is treasurer. In 2014, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She’s now cancer free. “Once you are diagnosed,” she said, “it takes on a different meaning.” The event is both sad and happy. It’s sad, she said, to see how many people have been affected by cancer, those who have died, survivors and caregivers. Yet, it is uplifting, Fernbaugh said, “to see so many people out, raising money to hopefully find a cure for cancer one day.”

Gardner and Brown talk about marijuana, wind energy and roundabouts

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Wood County’s state legislators fielded questions about marijuana, roundabouts and windfarms Friday morning from local residents. State Sen. Randy Gardner and State Rep. Tim Brown, both R-Bowling Green, presented a legislative update to members of the Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce. The talk covered a wide range of topics on health, energy and transportation. Gardner reminded those present that he and Brown value direct contact from their constituents and make an effort to be “very accessible” to citizens. Brown said it’s good for the public to be aware of state legislative efforts. “The more sunshine we have on these deliberations the better it is for all of us,” he said. Following are some of the issues discussed. Windfarms Brown talked about a wind energy bill that currently calls for setback requirements that make wind farms “next to impossible.” Under the current language in the bill, the majority of the wind turbines at Ohio’s largest windfarm would not be allowed. “Their right to have them has been stripped away,” Brown said, adding that he is working to change that. Some businesses are reluctant to locate in Ohio because the state doesn’t do enough to promote clean energy, he added. “We have businesses who want to be in our state and say, ‘No,’” such as Amazon, Brown said. “They demand renewable energy.” Gardner said Ohio needs to look at making use of renewable and natural resource energy. “I think there’s an ‘all of the above’ policy,’” he said. Orange barrels Ohioans should not expect relief from road construction anytime soon, Brown said. “I hear more about this from people than anything else.” The state has increased the annual funding to fix Ohio roads and bridges from $150 million to $175 million during the next five years, then up to $200 million after that. “The orange barrels aren’t going to go away,” he said. The goal with projects, such as the Interstate 75 widening here in Wood County, is to grow the economy and attract businesses. The state is also looking at more roundabouts as a way to keep traffic moving and reduce serious accidents. “It takes me a lot of getting used to,” Gardner said about roundabouts, but added that statistics show they are much safer for motorists. Medical marijuana The bill allowing medical marijuana in Ohio passed the House this week and is now in the hands of the Senate. Brown explained the bill does not allow people to grow or smoke marijuana. However, it will allow people to use it if they have medical conditions that can be helped with marijuana. “There are true medical needs for marijuana,” he said, noting testimony from a parent whose child had as many as 300 seizures a day but now has about five a day….

House to vote to allow medical marijuana

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Listening to families who could find no other help for their children convinced State Rep. Tim Brown to support a medical marijuana bill for Ohio. Brown, R-Bowling Green, served on the committee studying medical marijuana, and is co-sponsor of House Bill 523 which is being voted on by House members today. “It’s been very eye opening to me to hear from patients and parents with children with seizures who have found no relief from anything except marijuana,” Brown said. Some of the children were having as many as 300 seizures a day prior to being treated with marijuana. “It just really pointed out that we as a society are behind the curve on this,” he said. Parents desperate to help their children have to break the law to give them the only medicine known to reduce their seizures, Brown said. “It’s the responsible way to do this,” he said of the legislation. House Bill 523 would allow doctors licensed in Ohio to recommend marijuana to their patients. The marijuana can only be legally produced by state licensed growers. “It doesn’t allow people to grow in their basements or backyards,” Brown said. Though the bill is expected to pass today with bipartisan support, it is facing criticism from both sides – those who think it’s too restrictive and those who are opposed to any marijuana use. Those supporting medicinal use are concerned this bill will take two years to implement, and doctors are required to fill out so much paperwork that it may discourage them from participating. But Brown defended those measures. “We want doctors to be licensed to do this and have a definitive relationship with the patients.” On the other side of the issue, the Wood County Prevention Coalition has taken a stand against legalization for any purpose, saying the bill is “disappointing and frightening.” “States which have legalized marijuana for either ‘medicinal’ or recreational purposes have seen an increase in youth substance use and abuse, earlier age initiation and decreased perception of harm,” according to Milan Karna, coordinator of the Wood County Prevention Coalition. However, Brown pointed out that states with legalized medicinal marijuana showed a 25 percent reduction in prescribed opiates. “To me, that is an extremely compelling fact. Opiates are highly addictive,” he said, calling them a “four-lane highway to heroin use. They are killing substantial numbers of our citizens.” Brown said studies suggest that marijuana is not addictive to most people and can benefit patients with seizures, cancer, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and other conditions. “We have an obligation to try to shift people,” away from addictive and deadly opiates, he said. The Wood County Prevention Coalition supports research and science-based medicines that could be produced from marijuana plants, as long as they are held to the…

BG tries to sweeten smells from sewer plant

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Doug Clark takes it personally when people complain about the foul smells coming from the wastewater plant on the east side of Bowling Green. As superintendent of the Water Pollution Control Plant on Dunbridge Road, Clark is intensely proud of the violation-free operation that treated 2.2 billion gallons of wastewater and stormwater last year. He takes pride in the fact that nearly every step in the treatment is done with biological processes, not chemicals. Improvements at the plant have resulted in a 50 percent reduction in the total solids left from the process – creating a product the EPA has approved for sale to a local landscaper who blends the solids with topsoil and sand. None of the solids are applied to farm fields anymore. The finished liquid product looks like crystal clear water and meets EPA standards as it is sent down Poe Ditch to the Portage River. But there’s one thing that Clark gets prickly about – complaints about the stench from the plant. “It’s pretty amazing,” Clark said as he held up a cup of the clear finished liquid product that was the result of the very complex biological process at the plant. “We get it right a lot more than wrong. Yet the only thing we’re known for is odors every once in awhile.” Clark concedes that the odors are particularly pungent on some days, especially when the wind is coming from the north, sending the smell toward businesses along Dunbridge Road. “Typically, it’s wet heavy mornings when it’s most noticeable,” he said. “It’s those days when you smell it, it’s really bad. There’s no way to know if it’s going to be one of those days.” Though Clark said the staff at the plant does get accustomed to the smells, some days “we do notice it.” The wastewater plant has made several attempts to sweeten the smells emitted. It uses an aerobic digestion process with bacteria that helps consume the waste. “Our job is to provide the best environment for the bacteria to absorb it,” Clark said. “We have done a lot of work” to reduce the odors since Clark took over as superintendent in 2007. To lower the ammonia content, the wastewater is run through filters layered with large rocks, then smaller porous rocks, then root material. That process gets rid of some odors, but “quite frankly, not the most offensive ones.” “We have done just about everything we can,” Clark said. Just about. But now Clark and Brian O’Connell, director of public utilities for the city, want to try one more fix. The two recently visited the wastewater plant in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, which uses activated carbon to take out all the remaining odors that aren’t stopped by the aerobic digestion process. “It’s the belts and…

Dr. Terrence Fondessy joins BG Family Care

Dr. Terrence Fondessy has joined Dr. D. Wayne Bell and Nurse Practitioner Tina Jaworski at Bowling Green Family Care. Dr. Fondessy is a native of Northwest Ohio and graduated from Toledo’s Medical College of Ohio. He completed residency training at the W. W. Knight Family Practice Program in Toledo and most recently came from the Fostoria Community Medical Hospital where he practiced family medicine and focused on quality management. Dr. Fondessy is Family Board Certified and his clinical interests include family practice, intensive care, surgery and outpatient medicine. Dr. Fondessy will provide general health care for patients of all ages. For an appointment, call 419-353-6225.

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 that engage them and achieve outcomes that will allow them to function more successfully with family, school and work.