News Break

Two men charged for assault, racial slurs at BG Waffle House

See updated story. This past Sunday at approximately 3:26 a.m., officers were dispatched to Waffle House, at 1548 E. Wooster St., for an assault.  Officers arrived and spoke with the victims and witnesses.  During the investigation, officers learned the two suspects used racial slurs toward the victims after the victims had entered the restaurant.  The two suspects paid for their meal then assaulted the two victims.   The victims were treated by the Bowling Green Fire Division EMS and the Wood County Hospital for various injuries. The suspects were identified as Jacob Dick, 22, from North Baltimore and Zachary Keller, 21, from Custar. Jacob Dick was arrested Thursday for Felonious Assault and Ethnic Intimidation. He was lodged in the Wood County Justice Center. Zachary Keller was arrested on Friday for Felonious Assault and Ethnic Intimidation.  He was lodged in the Wood County Justice Center.

Controlled burn planned this spring in Wintergarden Park

Periodic fires have been conducted in the Wintergarden nature preserve since 2000.  These controlled burns have greatly enhanced the natural habitat for wildlife and assist with plant management – efficiently removing non-native invasive species that invade the local habitat and shade out native plants.  Controlled burns are considered a natural resource manager’s most cost-effective tool for managing a natural habitat. Given the correct weather conditions, the nature preserve will conduct a prescribed burn this spring to maintain the prairie grasses and flowers.  Questions about this may be directed to the Naturalist Office at 419-353-0301.

Gavarone’s bill to create Ohio Cyber Reserve passes Senate

State Senator Theresa Gavarone, R-Bowling Green, today announced passage of her legislation to create the Ohio Cyber Reserve—a new division of the Ohio National Guard that specializes in cyber security. “Cyber attacks are a growing threat, and will only continue to become more complex and dangerous,” said Gavarone. “I am proud to sponsor legislation establishing this new force, and I am confident that it will become a critical component for enhancing Ohio’s cyber security. I thank Senate leadership, Secretary LaRose and Adjutant General Harris for their support and efforts to make the security and integrity of our elections a top priority.”  The new force will consist of qualified, civilian cyber security experts and will maintain regional Cyber Response Teams capable of deterring, mitigating, and remedying cyber-attacks against our local governments, businesses, critical infrastructure and citizens. Additionally, the legislation includes language to give voters even more confidence that the results of elections are accurate, Gavarone said. In collaboration with Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose, Senate Bill 52 will also require post-election audits to be conducted in all years, not just even-numbered election years. A chief information security officer will also be appointed to advise the Secretary of State on matters of information security. Senate Bill 52 will now go to the Ohio House of Representatives for further consideration.

Gish Theater task force continues work

The task force charged with looking into whether the name of the Dorothy and Lillian Gish Theater  at Bowling Green State University should be changed is on track to present its report to university trustees when they convene in early May. At Tuesday’s Faculty Senate meeting, Provost Joe Whitehead said that the task force is made up of six students and six faculty and staff.  The task force was assembled by Arts and Sciences Dean Raymond Craig after members of the Black Student Union brought the appropriateness of the name to the fore because of Lillian Gish’s role in “The Birth of a Nation” in 1915. The film, a blockbuster at its time, includes dehumanizing depictions of African-Americans and celebrates the Ku Klux Klan. “The Birth of a Nation” has been lauded as a technical achievement and continues to studied in film classes. The Klan used the movie for recruiting, and it has been cited as an element in the rebirth of the Ku Klux Klan in the South and its spread to the North, including Wood County. Whitehead said the task force will “assess the impact of the naming on the campus and the community.” One key concern, he said, is to study the historical context of Gish’s career and her time as well as the context “of the time we live in.” Gish was a star in the silent film era, whose career continued on the stage, screen, and television. Throughout her life she advocated for an appreciation of silent movies and for film preservation. The Gish Theater was opened and dedicated to the Gish sisters in 1976. At that time it was located n Hanna Hall. It was moved to the Bowen-Thompson Student Union this fall because of the renovation of Hanna as art of the construction of a new home for the College of Business.

Two injured in 3-vehicle crash on I-75 north of BG

Two men were injured in a crash on Interstate 75 Monday evening that closed down all the northbound lanes for about four hours. At approximately 6:10 p.m. troopers from the Bowling Green Ohio Highway Patrol Post responded to a three-vehicle injury crash on I-75 near milepost 189 in Perrysburg Township. Upon arriving on the scene troopers learned that a GMC Yukon driven by David Hass, 21, of Bowling Green was traveling northbound in the right hand lane of I-75, with Richardo Ballez II, 25, of Sylvania, as his front seat passenger. A semi truck driven by Leighton Stevens, 40, of Hopkins, Texas, was also northbound in the right hand lane when it rear-ended the Yukon. The Yukon went across the northbound lanes of I-75. A Ford F-250 driven by Katelynne Hall, 19, of Haskins was in the center lane when it swerved to avoid striking both vehicles. All three vehicles came to final rest in the center median. Haas and Ballez were flown by air ambulance to Saint Vincent’s Hospital in Toledo.. Stevens and Hall were not injured in the crash. The northbound lanes of I-75 remained closed for approximately four hours. The crash remains under investigation and alcohol does not appear to be a factor. The Ohio State Highway Patrol was assisted on scene by the Ohio Department of Transportation and Middleton Township Fire Department.

Three-vehicle crash closes down northbound I-75 north of BG

The Bowling Green Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol is investigating a three-vehicle injury crash, involving a commercial vehicle on Interstate 75 eight miles north of Bowling Green. Troopers on scene have reported that all three lanes of travel have been closed on the northbound side of the roadway, but the right berm is open and traffic is moving slowly.  Troopers are asking that motorists proceed with caution around the area. Lifeflight is now off scene. The patrol will need to keep the road closed for the wreckers to remove the vehicles. A detour has been established and traffic is being diverted at I-75 Exit 181 at Wooster Street and at Exit 187 at Ohio 582).

BGSU, faculty association reach agreement on 3-year contract

Bowling Green State University and the BGSU Faculty Association-AAUP have completed negotiations on a new three-year contract. The agreement was announced today (4-1-19) in a joint statement issued by BGSU President Rodney Rogers ad BGSU-FA President David Jackson. The agreement must still be ratified by union members.  The details of the contract will be circulated to faculty on Tuesday. If ratified, the agreement will be submitted to the university’s trustees for their review and approval at the May 3 meeting. According to the joint statement: “The proposed contract shows the commitment of the parties to empower and support faculty to achieve excellence, a key strategic objective of the University’s Strategic Plan. Both teams worked collaboratively and in good faith over the past year to achieve this goal. We continued to use the Interest-Based Bargaining approach, which allowed us to work in a collegial fashion to find creative consensus solutions that addressed the issues each party hoped to address.” This is the third contract since the faculty voted to unionize in fall 2010. The first contract took three years of often contentious negotiations to reach. The relations between the administration and the union have been more amicable since then. The full statement is below. April 1, 2019 Dear Colleagues,  We are pleased to share that the University and the BGSU Faculty Association-AAUP have completed negotiations on our third collective bargaining agreement which, when ratified by the BGSU-FA members and the BGSU Board of Trustees, will cover July 1, 2019, through June 30, 2022. As shared in previous joint communications on the bargaining process, and demonstrated by the agreements reached in our previous two contracts, both the University and BGSU-FA are committed to producing a fair contract that supports the broader mission of excellence in teaching/librarian effectiveness, scholarly/creative activities and service at BGSU. The proposed contract shows the commitment of the parties to empower and support faculty to achieve excellence, a key strategic objective of the University’s Strategic Plan. Both teams worked collaboratively and in good faith over the past year to achieve this goal. We continued to use the Interest-Based Bargaining approach, which allowed us to work in a collegial fashion to find creative consensus solutions that addressed the issues each party hoped to address. The proposed 2019-2022 Collective Bargaining Agreement between Bowling Green State University and the BGSU-FA will be distributed shortly. The timeline for both parties is to conduct the ratification vote by BGSU-FA members April 16-19; assuming ratification, the Collective Bargaining Agreement would be submitted to the BGSU Board of Trustees for its review and approval at the May 3, 2019, meeting. We extend our thanks to members of both bargaining teams for their hard work over the past year to bring us this proposed contract that we both believe will continue the strong relations between the University and the BGSU-FA to support the success of BGSU now and in the future. Regards, Rodney K. Rogers, Ph.D. President David J. Jackson, Ph.D. BGSU-FA President 

Public invited to open forum held by mayoral candidate Aspacher

The public is invited to join Mike Aspacher on April 8, at 6:30 p.m., for a meet and greet open forum at Wood County District Public Library, 251 N. Main St., Bowling Green. Aspacher, president of Bowling Green City Council, who is running for mayor, is inviting citizens to an evening of open discussion and collaboration. Citizens may stop by to hear Aspacher’s vision of the Bowling Green community, learn about his priorities as mayor, and share their feedback and ideas. No RSVP needed. E

State Patrol explains what qualifies as ‘distracted driving’

April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and the Bowling Green Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol is are reminding drivers to keep their eyes and their focus on the roadway while driving. Last year, 5,147 people lost their lives in Ohio as a result of a distracted driving crashes. Sending or receiving a text message takes a driver’s eyes off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, the equivalent of driving the length of an entire football field when traveling at 55 mph. “Every time someone takes their eyes off the road – even for just a few seconds – they put their lives and the lives of others in danger,” said Lt. Angel Burgos, commander of the Bowling Green post. “Distracted driving is unsafe and irresponsible. In a split second, its consequences can be devastating.” In 2018, Ohio passed House Bill 95, a law which broadened what is considered distracted driving and increased the fine if it was a contributing factor to the commission of the driving violation. Distracted driving is any non-driving activity with the potential to distract a person from the primary task of driving and increase the risk of crashing. Distractions can be visual, taking eyes off of the road; manual, taking hands off the wheel; or cognitive, taking the mind off driving. Texting while driving is an example that results in all three types of distraction. As a reminder, Ohio law bans all electronic wireless communication device usage for drivers under 18. Texting while driving is illegal for all drivers and is a secondary offense for adults 18 and above.

BG supports fair housing efforts to eliminate discrimination

The Fair Housing Act was signed into law on April 11, 1968, one week after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in the sale, rental and financing of housing based on race, color, national origin, religion, gender, disability and familial status. April is National Fair Housing Month, and the City of Bowling Green proclaims endorsement and commitment to the policy of fair and equal access to housing. The City of Bowling Green further encourages the citizens of the municipality to acquaint themselves with their rights that are protected under the law, and join in reaffirming a commitment to Fair Housing for all regardless of race, color, religion, nation origin, sex, familial status, or handicap (disability). The city is undertaking various additional marketing campaigns throughout the month in an effort to ensure all residents know their rights under the Fair Housing Act, and how to seek assistance with Fair Housing matters. The City of Bowling Green supports fair housing efforts to eliminate discrimination in housing by providing education to seekers of housing, rental property owners/managers and others regarding state and federal fair housing laws; monitors local advertising for potential fair housing violations; and reports violations of the fair housing acts to the Ohio Civil Rights Commission. If you are a resident of Bowling Green, the city is ready to help you with any problem of housing discrimination. If you think your rights have been violated you may contact the city at 419-354-6221 or

It’s raining on Brad Gilbert’s last day on the job

Brad Gilbert, Emergency Management Agency  director for Wood County, has issued the following advisory: A lingering stationary front in the area will bring several rounds of rain today, tonight, and Saturday.  Rain could be heavy at times.  Low lying areas will likely see some flooding issues and area rivers may go into the “Minor” flood stage by Saturday night.  Use caution when driving as water will be ponding on area roadways. For those of you who don’t know, this is my last day at Wood County as I am retiring with 32 years of public service.  It has been my honor and privilege to serve the citizens and officials of Wood County for the past 12 ½ years and I hope this information has been helpful to you.  Mr. Jeff Klein will be taking over as EMA Director and he will assume control of this email list to keep you informed of critical events.  I am sure Jeff will put out an email next week explaining how he will use this email list and the type of information and frequency that you may experience from him.  I hope that you will continue to support, and work with, the EMA in the future as I think we have built a good partnership to keep Wood County safe.  THANK YOU EVERYONE!  All the best to you!  BE SAFE OUT THERE!

Downtown construction, road closures move north

The next phase of the water and sewer line installation downtown will be focused on North Main Street, from Wooster to Oak Street.  It is anticipated within the next few days, that contractor will begin work within the 100 block of North Main. As a result, West Court Street will be closed to traffic from the entrance of City Parking Lot 4 to Main Street.   It is anticipated that the contractor will close West Oak Street, from the entrance to the Wood County Senior Center to Main Street next week.  This closure will require the removal of on-street parking along West Oak. The utility portion of this project is anticipated to last through the spring of 2019. Once complete, a contractor will repave the downtown. Questions about this may be directed to the Engineering Division at 419-354-6227.

Time for BG residents to schedule brush collection

The window to schedule a April brush collection will be open from April 1 to April 8. Residents requesting brush collection should call 419-354-6227 no later than April 8 so that they may be added to the list of locations where crews will stop. Collection is scheduled to begin on April 15. Current restrictions for brush collection remain – such as the size of tree limbs and no yard waste (grass clippings). Residents are encouraged to visit the Public Works Division webpage or call 419-354-6227 for program details.