The Wood County Planning Commission will be holding a community forum for all political entities within the county that are eligible for CDBG funding on Wednesday, March 7, at 6 p.m., in the Wood County Commissioners’ hearing room at One Courthouse Square, fifth floor, Bowling Green. The community forum is a required component of the Community Development Implementation Strategy, which is designed to identify and prioritize community needs in respect to infrastructure, public utility, transportation, housing, public services, ADA modifications, and park/recreational improvements. Failure to attend this meeting may jeopardize a community’s likelihood of receiving grant funding. Additional information and surveys required to be completed prior to the forum can be found at http://planning.co.wood.oh.us/home/grants/.
In light of recent protests and plans for protests at high schools, including in Bowling Green, over weapons in schools and gun control, Bowling Green State University is reassuring protesting students that their admission to the university will not be jeopardized. Cecilia Castellano, vice provost for strategic enrollment planning issued a statement Wednesday: “‘Free speech and the open exchange of ideas are bedrock principles of higher education. Bowling Green State University takes a holistic approach to our admissions process. Applicants to BGSU who have participated in lawful protests or other free speech activities have never been denied admissions or scholarships. We welcome their applications and look forward to considering them for the many opportunities at BGSU.” Ohio University issued a similar statement earlier this week.
The Wood County Sheriff’s Office is looking for information on the death of a teenager that occurred 12 years ago today. Kelly Norman Jr., 16, was struck by a vehicle while walking on Stearns Road near the intersection of England Road, west of Fostoria, in the early morning hours of Feb. 28, 2006. The driver of the vehicle has never been identified. The sheriff’s office is asking that if anyone has any information about this incident, they contact the Wood County Sheriff’s Office and ask for Sgt. Rod Smith at 419-354-9682. Callers may remain anonymous if they wish.
North Main Street in Bowling Green was blocked at the 200-400 blocks for about an hour Tuesday afternoon as firefighters worked to put out a fire in an apartment on the second floor of 326 N. Main St. Fire Chief Bill Moorman said he wasn’t sure how long the road was blocked. Firefighters were on the scene until 6:13 and he expects traffic resumed sometime before that. The fire started in the kitchen of the apartment, which had one occupant. The occupant had left about 15 minutes before the fire report was called in. Two trucks and an aerial ladder from Bowling Green Fire Division responded, as well as a truck from Middleton Township and an ambulance. Bowling Green police arrived first on the scene, Moorman said. He praised their efforts to clear people from the building. There are six units in the front and several more in the rear of the building. The apartment where the blaze took place was heavily damaged. The kitchen has extensive fire damage and adjoining rooms had heavy smoke, soot, and heat damage, including melted blinds. The apartment “is not livable,” he said, and the Fire Division was working with the resident to find other living arrangements. Other apartments in the building had moderate smoke damage. Moorman said it was up to residents to determine whether they would stay there. An investigator was on the scene Tuesday night to try to determine the exact cause of the blaze. That’s routine, the fire chief said. The information gathered helps in future fire prevention efforts.
Bowling Green City School District Superintendent and the Board of Education will hold a public open forum at the Wood County District Public Library Atrium, 251 N. Main St., Bowling Green, on Thursday, March 1, at 7 p.m. Students, parents, staff and the public are invited to join Scruci, the board of education members and Chief Tony Hetrick of the Bowling Green Police Division to discuss all aspects of safety in schools.
Another Bowling Green High School student is being investigated for allegedly making threats about harming people at school. Bowling Green Police Division received a call from a parent Sunday evening about her son being threatened by another juvenile male. The two high school students had been playing games on an X-box, when they got into an argument, Police Major Justin White said Monday afternoon. One of the boys said he would shoot his friend, who he was playing with, then he would “shoot up the school,” White said. The police talked with the boy who allegedly made the threat, and to the boy’s mother. The boy has no access to weapons in his home, police said. Superintendent Francis Scruci and Police Chief Tony Hetrick are working on the incident, and the boy has been referred to the juvenile prosecutor’s office. “We take this very seriously,” White said. “As a kid, you can’t make these kind of statements and think nothing’s going to come of it.” White encouraged other citizens to call the police to report suspected threats.
Fairview Avenue, between Newton and Van Camp roads, will be closed to through traffic from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., on Feb. 27 through March 2. The closure is required as part of utility work scheduled to occur in the area. Questions about this may be directed to the Engineering Division at 419-354-6227.
(From BG Chamber of Commerce) Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce, along with Wood County Commissioners Dr. Ted Bowlus, Dr. Doris Herringshaw, and Craig LaHote, present the 2018 State of the County Address. Live broadcast with DJ Clint Corpe of The Morning Show on 88.1 WBGU-FM. This event will take place on Tuesday, March 13 in the Alvin L. Perkins Atrium at the Wood County Courthouse. Doors will open at 7:30am, with the program beginning at 8 a.m. Light refreshments will be provided. This event is sponsored by the Northwestern Water & Sewer District, Wood County Economic Development Commission, McDonald’s, Panera Bread, The Morning Show 88.1, Wood County Commissioners and the Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce. Attendees are asked to park in the lot east of the Courthouse, off Summit Street. All spaces (except those with a meter) are free to people on county business. This event is free and open to the public and RSVP’s are appreciated. Please RSVP by Monday, March 12th by calling (419) 353-7945 or email MarissaMuniz@bgchamber.net.
Wood County residents are encouraged to properly dispose of their used farm and semi tires during a special collection event. This event requires pre-registration in order to participate. Residents may pre-register by calling the Wood County Solid Waste Management District office at 419-354- 9297, March 5 through March 9. A limit of 5 farm/semi tires per resident will be accepted at no charge. Prior to calling, please note the number, type, and size of tires you would like to recycle. After registering, you will be provided the date and location of the event and a scheduled drop off time. Proof of Wood County residency will be required and will be checked at the entrance. This event is for residential customers only. No agri-businesses. Limited Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA) grant funding is available. Registration will be handled on a first come, first served basis. This event is made possible through a grant received by the Wood County Solid Waste Management District, a Wood County Commissioners’ Department, from the OEPA. Partner agencies include the Wood Soil & Water Conservation District, the Wood County Health District, the Wood County Fair Board, and the Wood County Sheriff’s Office. Residents are discouraged from storing used tires on their properties as they create an ideal breeding ground for mosquitoes; become homes for vermin, insects, and pests; and have the potential of igniting fire hazards. Those unable to dispose of their tires during this event are encouraged to visit www.recyclewoodcounty.org for a list of locations accepting tires on a daily basis for proper recycling and disposal.
A joint meeting of City Council and the Planning Commission will be held Wednesday, Feb. 28, at 6 p.m., in the Wood County Courthouse Atrium. Camiros will present final recommendations and answer questions from City Council and the Planning Commission regarding the Community Action Plan. No public input will be taken at that time.
Brad Gilbert, Wood County EMA director has issued the following weather advisory: Light to sometimes moderate rain will continue through the morning hours before tapering off early this afternoon. Colder temperatures will also be moving into the area today and will mix with more precipitation from another storm system moving across Southeast Ohio tonight and tomorrow morning. A wintry mix will be possible late tonight and into the drive times Thursday morning. Conditions may become slippery with some freezing rain and sleet. Higher chances of mixed precipitation will be to our southeast (Akron to Mansfield to Lima). At this hour, the Portage River is cresting around 10.77 feet which is minor flood stage. Because of the current rain, the crest will likely last a little longer than normal; however, no major increases in river levels are anticipated at this time. At this hour, the Maumee River at Grand Rapids continues to rise. Mayor Berry reports that flood prone areas such as the campgrounds and park are beginning to fill with water. Forecast models indicate the river cresting in the minor flood stage; however, a lot of rain has fallen in the upper Maumee River basin in Northeast Indiana, so we will need to continue to monitor the Maumee River for days to come. Another weaker storm system will impact the area Friday through Sunday with mostly rain; however, Friday morning may also see a wintry mix at times. Please use extra caution when driving Thursday and Friday mornings.
A Bowling Green High School student reportedly made a threat on Instagram early Tuesday directed toward the school. Superintendent Francis Scruci said the threat was reported by another student and parent. The student who posted the threat was stopped upon arriving at school. There was no need for a lockdown. “We were able to handle the situation,” he said. The police were notified and the student will not be a school until the incident is thoroughly investigated, Scruci said. “None of these statements are being taken as a joke anymore,” he said. The reporting parent took the right action, he said. “If we hear something, or see something, we say something.” Scruci said the school district has a close relationship with the police division, which helps in situations such as this. “They do an unbelievably good job and we are blessed as a district to have their help,” Scruci said.
The Ohio Air National Guard’s 180th Fighter Wing is scheduled to conduct training flights at night beginning Tuesday, Feb. 20, through Thursday, Feb. 22, weather permitting. Area residents may see or hear F-16 fighter jets taking off and landing until about 9 p.m. this week. Training flights normally take place during daylight hours, but F-16 pilots and maintenance personnel are required to conduct night operations as part of their overall readiness training. The 180th Fighter Wing appreciates the continued support from the citizens of Ohio and Michigan during continued training.
Bowling Green police and fire divisions responded to a fire alarm at Crim Elementary Thursday around 11 p.m. There was no fire, but they found a barefooted man trying to kick in a back door at the school. The man, Joe Schmidt, 53, of Third Street in Bowling Green, told police he was looking for his fishing pole because he wanted to go fishing, Police Chief Tony Hetrick said this morning. Hetrick said there was evidence of drug use by Schmidt. Prior to trying to kick in the back door at the school, Schmidt apparently had gotten in the front vestibule area of the elementary where he pulled the fire alarm. He was not able to get past the vestibule area into the school, Hetrick said. Barefoot marks were found on the school’s front door, and the doorbell had been broken, the chief said. Schmidt was charged with criminal trespassing and jailed at the Wood County Justice Center.
From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS Bowling Green State University is ranked 32nd on the 2018 list of Safest Colleges in America, and one of only two universities in Ohio ranked in the top 100. The ranking was created using the most recent data from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting and the National Center for Education Statistics. The top-ranked colleges boast safe campuses with little or no crime and low overall crime rates (off campus). “We are pleased to again be recognized as one of the safest colleges in the country,” Interim President Rodney Rogers said. “This is a great reflection of the living and learning environment at BGSU and the quality of life in the city of Bowling Green.” Individuals can support this effort by being aware of their surroundings, by reporting criminal or suspicious activity and by getting involved in University-sponsored crime prevention programs. The BGSU Department of Public Safety provides around-the-clock protection and sponsors many crime prevention programs. The Campus Escort Service, University Shuttle, sophisticated outdoor lighting system and outdoor emergency telephones combine to provide a campus environment that feels safe and secure. For information about crime prevention, policies for reporting crime on campus and crime statistics for the most recent three-year period, see the BGSU Campus Security and Fire Safety Report. Four-year institutions with enrollment of 10,000 or more were accessed to compile the 2018 list of Safest Colleges in America. Alarms.org created the list after finding that campus safety contributed to anxiety about college.