law enforcement

Sheriff Wasylyshyn eyes putting more drones on duty

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   As special deputy Larry Moore walked across the lawn in front of the Wood County Sheriff’s Office, the hovering drone caught his every move. Even as he zig-zagged under a group of trees, the infrared camera showed the glowing image of Moore. “It could be pitch black outside and we could see him,” Sheriff Mark Wasylyshyn said. The new drone purchased by the sheriff’s office is an elite – and expensive – version of the small drones that buzz the skies. This is more of an “industrial drone,” that has an infrared and a regular camera, can withstand high winds, is water resistant, can fly at night, has a range of four miles, is able to fly 40 mph, can fly as high as 400 feet which offers a square mile of coverage, and has a collision avoidance system. The DJI Matrice M210 drone came with a price tag of $23,000. But a donation of $9,000 from Michael McAlear, a special deputy and friend of the sheriff, helped the department purchase the Cadillac of drones. “That made the difference, so we could get an upgrade,” Wasylyshyn said. The sheriff is now considering the possibility of purchasing multiple smaller drones that can be deployed quickly by each shift of the road patrols. “Eventually, drones will be issued with your shotgun,” he predicted. The smaller drones come with smaller price tags – about $1,000 each. They could be used in crises where time is critical, such as a river rescue. The smaller drones, that weigh no more than 1.5 pounds, can be deployed in…

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Safe Communities reviews five fatal crashes

Wood County Safe Communities held their quarterly Fatal Data Review on Tuesday, April 4. Five crashes were reviewed from the first quarter of 2017. The crashes reviewed were:  Rte 6 at Wapakoneta Rd.  2111 E. Wooster St. in Bowling Green  I-280 at Mile Post 1  Curtice and Wheeling in Northwood  I-75 at Mile Post 170 The countermeasures established as a result of these crashes are as follows:  Always wear your seatbelt  Do not drive at an excessive speed  Always be attentive when driving  Always obey all traffic control devices  Do not drive impaired  Always secure children properly in approved Child Restraints For more information, please contact Lt. Angel Burgos, Ohio State Highway Patrol, at 419-352-2481


Mazey to launch Task Force on Sexual Assault

Bowling Green State University President Mary Ellen Mazey has announced the university will form a Task Force on Sexual Assault. The task force will include “students, faculty, staff and a victim advocate to review our policies and procedures for Title IX and sexual assault, benchmark our efforts against best practices across the country, and provide recommendations to improve the campus culture and our policies. In addition, the task force will examine our services for supporting sexual assault victims and evaluate our awareness and prevention efforts.” In announcing the task force Mazey wrote: “I greatly appreciate the concerns you have shared over the past week regarding the issue of sexual assault on campus, support services for victims and the processes we have in place today to report and investigate assaults. I want you to know that I hear your concerns, and I, along with others, will address them. “I respect and understand that it takes tremendous courage to report a sexual assault. When a sexual assault occurs, it’s not only a crime perpetrated on the victim, but it’s an assault on our entire University family. As a community, we must all come together to prevent assaults from occurring, make sure victims are properly supported, and continue to ensure that our investigative processes are thorough, fair, equitable and respectful.” The task force will be co-chaired by: Meg Burrell, undergraduate student trustee on theBoard of Trustees; Alex Solis, a former student body president and current staff member in my office; and Dr. Maureen Wilson, chair of the Department of Higher Education and Student Affairs. The full statement follows. May 1, 2017 Dear Students, Faculty…


Seat belts are the best defense against crash injuries

From WOOD COUNTY SAFE COMMUNITIES Wood County Safe Communities announced today that there have been six fatal crashes in Wood County for calendar year 2017, compared to four for the same time frame in 2016. During a crash, being buckled up helps keep you safe and secure inside your vehicle, whereas being completely thrown out of your vehicle almost always leads to injury. Seat belts are the best defense against impaired, aggressive, and distracted drivers. In 2015, the use of seat belts in passenger vehicles saved an estimated 13,941 lives of occupants ages 5 and older. The Click It or Ticket campaign focuses on safety education, strong laws, and law enforcement officers saving lives. Though some believe airbags can replace seat belts in the event of an accident, the force of being thrown into a rapidly opening airbag could injure or even kill. Airbags were designed to work in conjunction with seat belts to maximize safety efforts. Your pelvis and rib cage are more able to withstand crash force than other parts of your body, which is why it’s important to secure your seat belt over these areas. If impact should occur, these areas will be able to take more of the pressure from seat belts and airbags to protect the rest of the body. There are several steps you can take to get the best seat belt fit for your safety. When buying a car, test the belts provided to see if they are a good fit for you. You can talk to your car dealer about options for seat belt adjusters and extenders if necessary. For those with…


Solidarity committee supports undocumented immigrants

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Between the words “illegal” and “undocumented” sits a gulf of misunderstanding. Reading stories on the concern and fear in the immigrant community, a number of people write: “They’re illegal.” For them that settles the matter. For those who work with and advocate for immigrants who lack the proper paperwork to continue living in a place that has become their home, that response neglects their history and day-to-day fears. Those fears are real, according to Beatriz Maya of La Conexion de Wood County. When La Conexion hosted a session with legal experts from Advocates for Basic Legal Equality in Toledo, some undocumented immigrants were unwilling to show up for fear of being identified. The meeting, though, was well attended by those who want to stand in provide the voice for their undocumented neighbors and want to work on their behalf. That Immigrant Solidarity Committee will hold an ice cream social including a silent auction Sunday, April 30 at 2 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church, 126 S. Church St., in Bowling Green. The event will spread awareness, discuss future plans, and raise money to help with expenses undocumented residents may have because of sudden deportations. “They are really afraid,” Maya said. “If they were afraid before, now it was just terror. They didn’t want to go to rally. We need people who can do solidarity work and be the voice of the immigrant community.” Margaret Weinberger, of Bowling Green, was one of those who attended the March session. The stories she heard about what is happening as close as Lucas County were chilling, she said….


April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, but what do we really know and believe about distracted driving?  We tell ourselves multiple lies every day when we drive:  I can multi-task without a problem; I have a Bluetooth so it’s no problem to talk and drive; talking on a cellphone is just like talking to a passenger in the car; I only use my phone at stop lights or stop signs; and a great deceiver – I use talk to text I’m all good!!   We are great at fooling ourselves to perceive that driving conditions are safer than they really are.  You just read the text – you don’t respond!  It’s just a quick call!  People who want to continue to use technology to stay connected while they drive are going to look for any evidence that it is okay to do so.  But it is not.   Your brain can keep track of only about four objects at any one time.  How many more things do we actually track while driving?  What thing gets deleted from our visual field and memory retention? It only takes once to miss a pedestrian, to not see the vehicle ahead of you slowing for a turn, or the red light at a busy intersection.  You need your brain drive, and when we overload the brain with two very difficult tasks, driving and trying to communicate, driving loses.     We need to stop fooling ourselves.  Thousands of people are dying for the sake of calls and texts probably none of which are worth a human life.     It only takes once.  Please…