BG police officers and firefighter promoted to leadership roles

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News Three Bowling Green police officers and one firefighter were promoted into leadership positions Tuesday evening. “Sometimes we get lost in the numbers,” of running a city and managing budgets, Municipal Administrator Lori Tretter said to City Council members on Tuesday. But the swearing in ceremony for police and fire, she said, provide a connection between the city budget and the people who fill vital roles in the community. “We’re very proud of all of you. Congratulations,” Tretter said. Promoted in the police division were Lt. Mike Bengela, Sgt. Adam Skaff and Sgt. Brian Houser. “They have gone above and beyond the call in so many ways,” Police Chief Tony Hetrick said. “These are the kind of people we look to” for filling leadership roles. Fire Chief Bill Moorman congratulates Tony and Sarah Zmarzly. Tony was promoted to rank of lieutenant at City Council meeting. In the fire division, Tony Zmarzly was sworn in as lieutenant. Fire Chief Bill Moorman praised his service, and recognized the firefighters who filled the back of the council chambers to honor their fellow firefighter’s promotion. Also at Tuesday’s City Council meeting, the new branding initiative for the city was unveiled by Wendy Chambers, executive director of the Bowling Green Convention and Visitors Bureau. The new branding is intended to reflect the city’s energy. “This city is not sleepy. It’s engaged, accepting and hungry for smart growth,” Chambers said. Bowling Green is not what many people think, she added. “We’re better, cooler and more progressive,” Chambers said. Bowling Green is a small city with a big city mentality, she added. The city welcomes diversity, is open-minded, offers a kaleidoscope of activity and is eco-minded. Part of BG branding initiative The new branding effort is intended to show that this is not the other Bowling Green – in Kentucky. “Bowling Green has the guts to break barriers and the heart to bring others with them,” Chambers said. In addition to pushing the message on social media, the Convention and Visitors Bureau plans to look into a series of wearables and branded merchandise, she said. “We can all be walking billboards,” for the community, Chambers said. “We all need to work together to spread the word.” Council member Bruce Jeffers said the branding proposal was “really impressive.” Council member Sandy Rowland said the effort captures the community. “It does a good job at saying who we are,” Rowland said. “We are busting at our seams to be better.” A “brand launch” party is planned for March 28, from 5 to 7 p.m., in the Four Corners office downtown.

BGSU Faculty Senate passes memorial resolution honoring colleague Dawn Glanz slain five years ago

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News More than five years after her death, Dawn Glanz, a professor emeritus of art history, was honored by the Bowling Green State University Faculty Senate. The senate approved a memorial resolution by an unanimous voice vote Tuesday (Feb. 19). Glanz, a professor emeritus who retired in 2003, was the victim of an unsolved murder in 2013. And that’s part of the reason the resolution was proposed, said Rebecca Skinner Green. Green said that Glanz was her colleague, mentor, and friend. “A few of us are following this through, hoping to get a resolution in the case.” The Glanz cause was picked up by the TV show “Cold Justice.” A crew from the show came to Bowling Green to tape and talk to people who knew Glanz and have some involvement in the case. That included Green and her husband, Ewart Skinner. They went to her home the day after she was found dead in her home on Kensington Boulevard, on May 9, 2013, to offer their condolences. They spoke to her husband, Robert Brown, before he talked to the detectives. Brown remains a suspect in the case. On Tuesday, Green said she did not want to get into the details. She’s concerned about “messing up” the ongoing investigation. The producers of “Cold Justice” told her and her husband that they felt there was enough evidence to go to trial. “The prosecuting attorney (Paul Dobson) wasn’t so sure, and I appreciate that as well,” Green said. “You only get one shot at these things.” She hopes “if we can get people to bring it forward so people think about it, maybe remember something about it, remember something they saw, somehow get that attention out there so it just doesn’t turn into this cold case that disappears forever.” Another motivating factor for putting the resolution on the agenda was the ill health of Glanz’ sister, Gail Lincoln. Glanz’ nephew contacted Lynn Whitney, another friend of Glanz in the School of Art, and urged her to get the memorial resolution finalized. The meeting was a second optional senate meeting of the month. The man business was a forum on proposed changes to the university charter. The sister is the last surviving of three close-knit siblings, Green said. Green said that the resolution didn’t get passed at the time of Glanz’ death because it was after the spring semester had ended, and senate wasn’t meeting.  The circumstances of the death aside, the resolution  outlines a distinguished career, starting with graduating magna cum laude from Ponoma College leading to her career at BGSU from 1978 through 2003. Glanz was highly respected in her field.  Green said that when she joined the BGSU faculty in 1996, Glanz opened up her home to her and let her stay there until she found her own place. “Dawn was my closest colleague,” Green said. “She did wonderful things in her classes,” she remembered. Toward the end of her career she was teaching a seminar  in portraiture. The final project was a potluck supper. Students each had to create a meal that reflected who they were. They had to talk about the dishes in relation to themselves using the concepts they’d learned over the course of the semester.  “Then they had this great meal together,” Green said. “She did some really fantastic things.”

Second man pleads guilty of attempted rape of teens at BG hotel; two others still at-large

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG  Independent News A man found by the U.S. Marshals Service, hiding under a bed in Lubbock, Texas, has pleaded guilty to attempted rape and abduction of two teenage girls last summer in Bowling Green. David Ramos Contreras, 29, of Lubbock, will be sentenced on Feb. 22, by Wood County Common Pleas Judge Matthew Reger. Contreras was one of four men staying at the Days Inn in Bowling Green while working in the area last June. The two teenage sisters, ages 13 and 14, were also staying at the hotel with family. Two of the suspects were apprehended within days of the charges, but a national manhunt ensued for the other two – Juan Garcia Rios Adiel and Arnulfo Ramos. Those men remain at large. “I do not believe either have been apprehended,” Bowling Green Police Lt. Dan Mancuso said this morning. Simon Thomas Simon Juan, 24, was arrested by Bowling Green Police Division the day after the mother of the two girls took them to Wood County Hospital. Juan has also pleaded guilty and was sentenced in November to 14 months in prison. A few days later after the assaults, David Ramos Contreras, 29, was apprehended by the U.S. Marshals Service, in Lubbock, Texas. Police initially received a tip that Contreras was seen at the Walmart in Spring Meadows, in Lucas County, shortly after the assaults. A store video captured images of Contreras walking with two women. Police were able to locate the women and determined they were not connected to the suspect. “They believed he needed some assistance,” Mancuso said last summer. “They believed they were doing a good deed helping someone out.” Information was then developed placing Contreras in Lubbock, after investigators for the U.S. Marshals Service and Bowling Green Police followed leads. Contreras, who was found by marshals hiding under a bed in Lubbock, was extradited back to Ohio. Nationwide warrants were issued for the remaining two men at large, and numerous law enforcement agencies, including ICE, are working to find them. The case received national attention, being posted on CNN news last summer. Bowling Green Police Division received calls from across the nation, Mancuso said last summer. According to BG Police Chief Deputy Justin White, all four suspects were found to have “fraudulent paperwork” documenting their status as immigrant workers. Contreras had previously been deported, White said last summer. Police don’t believe there was any connection between the victims and the suspects other than they were all staying at the hotel. “The information we’re receiving is the suspects were living at the Days Inn as well as our victims,” White said.

BG snowplow driver cited for driving while intoxicated after knocking down mailbox and signs

A Bowling Green city snowplow driver has been cited for driving while intoxicated on the job after reportedly plowing down a mailbox and a couple signs on Saturday. Richard Downs, 48, Bowling Green, was cited for failure to maintain reasonable control, OVI/refusal and commercial driver’s license prohibitions while he was driving a snow plow. According to the city, Downs has resigned and is no longer employed by Bowling Green. Police were notified of the snowplow driver around 8:50 p.m., after a BGSU student called 911 to report that he was driving behind the truck as it knocked a mailbox to the ground on Klotz Road. The student continued following Downs in the snowplow onto East Napoleon Road then north onto South College Avenue. As the student was speaking with police dispatch, he reportedly saw the truck strike what he believed was another mailbox, and knock it to the ground. That turned out to be a speed limit sign. The student continued following the truck as it turned west onto East Wooster Street, where he reportedly saw the truck strike another traffic sign in front of BGSU’s Founders Hall. As the police division was trying to locate the snowplow, the dispatch called Downs and tried to get him to stop. According to the police report, Downs acted like he could not hear and hung up the phone. Soon after a police officer saw Downs in his truck on East Poe Road near the Wood County Airport. The truck did not have its plow down, and it pulled up to the city’s public works fenced area. An officer reported Downs exiting the truck and trying to put a code in the code box. Downs reportedly was acting as if the police weren’t speaking with him. The police report said Downs’ clothes were disheveled and the front zipper was down on his pants. He reportedly could not stand without swaying, and sometimes grabbed the code box to maintain his balance. The report said Downs smelled like alcohol, his speech was slurred and his eyes were glassy and bloodshot. Downs told police he was tired and on medication. The police asked Downs to recite the alphabet. He tried four times and reportedly was unable to do so. He was also asked to perform a walk and turn test. Downs reportedly had trouble, stumbled to maintain balance, then refused to continue trying. Downs also reportedly refused to take a blood alcohol content breath test. According to city policy, Downs was taken to the hospital by his department supervisor. Downs, who has been employed by Bowling Green since 1994, is on leave currently with the city, according to Assistant Municipal Administrator Joe Fawcett.  “City protocols will be followed in response to this event and consideration will be made with regard to disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment,” Fawcett stated. 

BG resident says police recorded him & shared it with TV show

It has come to my attention that the Bowling Green police secretly recorded me and abetted in sharing this with a national broadcast without my permission. It was involved with the Dawn Glanz case. I was visited by the police in a large SUV.  Another woman came out of the van as I stood on my front porch. At no time did they admit they were recording me. I hope that all citizens will take this as warning when dealing with our police force. Dr. F. Scott Regan Bowling Green 

Truck crash closes lane on I-75

The Bowling Green Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol is investigating a one commercial vehicle crash on I-75 near mile marker 176(NB) in Wood County.  Troopers on scene have reported that one lane of travel have been restricted on the northside of the roadway.  No HAZMAT materials were spilled as a result of the crash.  Police are asking that motorists proceed with very extreme caution or avoid the area. They are also asking that motorist to turn on their headlights.