Police

Safe Communities reports on fatal crashes

From WOOD COUNTY SAFE COMMUNITIES Wood County Safe Communities announced today there have been six fatal crashes in Wood County compared to seven last year at this time. This is a decrease of one crash to date. This month Safe Communities is highlighting National Safety Awareness. National Safety Month promotes four key aspects each week, including: emergency preparedness, wellness, falls and driving. By avoiding distracted driving and focusing on buckling up, you can increase safety on the roadway. Distracted driving is a public issue that affects us all. More than 40,000 people were killed on the nation’s roadways last year, and distracted driving is a major contributor. Each death is 100 prevention preventable. Cell phones, dashboard infotainment systems, and evolving voice command features all pose a threat to our safety. Taking just one second of your attention away from the task of driving is all it takes to change a life forever. Additionally, during a crash, being buckled up helps keep you safe and secure inside your vehicle. Being thrown from a vehicle almost always leads to injury. Seat belts are the best defense against impaired, aggressive, and distracted drivers. Let’s make this summer a fun and safe one!

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BG eyes 2018 goals – neighborhoods, food trucks, downtown cameras and more

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Neighborhood revitalization, food trucks, more cameras in the downtown bar district, and code enforcement by police made the list of 2018 goals for Bowling Green city officials. City department heads listed their top priorities for the year during a work session held Saturday morning for city council. Mayor Dick Edwards set the tone. “This is going to be a very ambitious year, and if we think otherwise, we’ll get smacked right in the face with it,” Edwards said. The mayor repeated some of the projects he mentioned at last week’s council meeting, including progress on Wooster Green, East Wooster corridor, and new City Park building. Unlike those highly visible projects, the city will also be updating its charter – making sure the effort is “citizen-driven,” Edwards said. And efforts will be made to define the city’s goal of being a “welcoming community.” The mayor talked about the city’s goal to become more diversified industrially. Sue Clark, the city’s economic development director, has reported increased interest in the city. “The phone has been ringing off the wall,” Edwards said. “It spells a very promising picture for 2018,” Edwards said, noting the importance of economic growth to city services. Edwards revisited a topic that consumed much of last year – the Nexus pipeline.  “That was gut-wrenching at times for all of us. That’s going to be a special challenge for us in 2018,” he said. City officials still have not been given a timeline for the pipeline construction. Concerns continue, the mayor said, about state legislation that could have negative effects on municipalities. Edwards has talked with State Sen. Randy Gardner and State Rep. Theresa Gavarone, both R-Bowling Green, about the state’s plans for 2018. “They keep talking in very positive terms about supporting local government,” Edwards said about state officials. “All the words coming out of Columbus are encouraging, but the proof is in the pudding.” The mayor also took time to try resurrecting the city historic preservation effort that was started and then dropped. “I would at least like to get something before you that you can address,” he said to council. Cities like Toledo are taking advantage of tax credits to revitalize downtown historic areas. Bowling Green could do the same, Edwards said. “Other communities have really been benefitting from this,” he said. Each of the city’s department heads also listed some goals for 2018. Municipal Administrator Lori Tretter said she would like to work on updating city regulations for permitting peddlers, solicitors and itinerant merchants. That includes regulations for food trucks. “We get many, many calls about this,” Tretter said. The current rules require 150 feet of right-of-way between food trucks and the roadway. “This ordinance has not been updated in a very long time.” Finance Director Brian Bushong will…


Safe Communities reports 4th quarter road fatalities

Wood County Safe Communities has announced that the Fourth Quarter Fatal Data Review Committee met on Tuesday, January 9, 2018. The following fatal crashes from the Fourth Quarter of 2017 were reviewed: • Route 6 between Wayne and Pemberville Roads • River Rd. Between Bates and White Roads • Route 6 at Rudolph Road. In all five people died in the crashes, including two sisters and their mother in the Route 6 and Rudolph Road accident. The following countermeasures were established: • Obey all Traffic Laws • Do not drive Left of Center • Obey all Traffic Control Devices For More Information: • Lt. Angel Burgos, Ohio State Highway Patrol: 419-352-2481 • Sandy Wiechman, Safe Communities Coordinator: 419-372-9353 or swiechm@bgsu.edu


Helicopter crash kills two

Two men died this morning at 11:41 when the helicopter they were in crashed in Troy Township. A witness reported the crash to the Wood County Sheriff’s Office. The helicopter went down into field near Pemberville and Truman roads about a half mile from either road. According to Sheriff Mark Wasylyshyn the men were contractors for Toledo Edison who were inspecting power lines. No cause of the crash has yet been determined, and the sheriff refused to speculate whether the weather was a factor. The crash occurred as snow showers covered the area. The names of the deceased have not been released pending notification of next of kin. Inspectors from the National Transportation Safety Board will inspect the scene tomorrow morning. Wasylyshyn said that sheriff’s deputies will remain on the scene until the inspectors arrive, and the wreckage is removed.      


BG man linked to crimes by stolen panties and DNA on pizza crust

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Hundreds of bras and panties, DNA from a pizza crust and intricate handwritten notes have allegedly helped link a Bowling Green man to at least seven burglaries committed in the city over the last five years. Bradley Feasel, 33, of 236 S. Grove St., was indicted last week on 11 counts of burglary and one count of breaking and entering. Police believe there will likely be more charges as they continue to go through the evidence found at Feasel’s home. “It’s pretty alarming,” said Bowling Green Police Major Justin White. Police reportedly found a folder of handwritten notes at Feasel’s home, listing dates with names of females. Under the names were notes indicating the items that were taken and the method of entry into the residences. In one note under “Manville House,” it reportedly reads “all rooms masturbated.” At a home on Byall Avenue, a bullet point mentioned “red panties.” In some cases, women were sleeping at the homes when Feasel allegedly entered. On a few incidents when Feasel was seen by the residents, he was barefooted. Many of the victims reported to police that they believed their homes had been entered multiple times. Many were college students, who shared clothing with their roommates, so the disappearance of underwear was not initially noticed. Police said they also found a Google pin map, with handwritten notes on it. One notation reported said “65 enters.” After gaining search warrants for all of Feasel’s electronic devices, police found that Feasel had allegedly made Google searches for several of his victims. He also reportedly searched for them on Facebook, Pinterest, Linked In and MySpace. It also appears from the police reports that Feasel frequented a downtown bar where one of the victims was employed and other victims told police they often visited. This is not the first time for Feasel to face charges of illegally entering homes and taking women’s underwear. He served six months in 2004 after being found with several women’s bras and panties that he had stolen from a Bowling Green apartment. This time around, the search of Feasel’s residence in 2017 reportedly turned up “several containers” full of women’s bras, panties and clothing stored in the loft area of the garage. In addition to bras and panties (seemingly preferring Victoria Secret items), Feasel allegedly took hair extensions, vibrators, headphones, photos, and one woman’s copy of the book, “Fifty Shades of Grey.” Many of those items have been identified by women – some who reported the crime before, and others who didn’t even realize items had been stolen. Police were able to locate some of the women by using Feasel’s notes, his mapping, and sometimes by student names on sorority clothing that was stolen, they said. “Once we realized his mode of operandi…


BGSU, BCI researchers team up to analyze sex assault evidence

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News A paper published in a leading journal offers way to make the assessment of sexual assault kits more efficient. That could lead to more perpetrators bein identified and held accountable. The scholarly paper published in the Journal of Forensic Sciences late last year was the combined effort of the Ohio Attorney General’s Center for the Future of Forensic Science at Bowling Green State University and the state’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation. The work was funded by the Laura and John Arnold Foundation. Jon Sprague, director of the BGSU Center, said the foundation has a long standing interest in applying statistical methods to criminal justice and forensics science issues. The study, conducted at the BCI lab on campus, looked at the 14,000 sexual assault kits collected through the Attorney General Mike DeWine’s initiative that was launched in 2011. That initiative aimed to process sexual assault kits, known as SAKs, which had been collected in evidence rooms around the state. The BGSU project brought together a team from across the state to look at those 14,000 kits in the BCI database. Jaime Kerka, from the BCI lab in Ridgefield, was tasked with data mining, digging down into the numbers. She ended up compiling a spreadsheet with 3 million cells, Sprague said. That enabled the team to analyze what was in the kits. “What was significant was the application of statistics to the evidence,” Sprague said. That looked at a multitude of characteristics recorded by the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) during the initial examination of the victim. That would include evidence collected from swabs from various parts of the body, vagina, anal, ear, neck, as well as samples from clothing, including underwear.  “This can guide people where to you want to start and speed up the process and reduce cost,” Sprague said. The goal is to get DNA that’s eligible to be entered into the national Combined DNA Index System (CODIS). Data from 2,500 of the kits were studied to see the likelihood that they would yield usable DNA samples. The researchers made some important findings about how to do that, some of which confirmed what was already assumed. The seven recommendations made were: The sooner a sample is collected the better. The more time that elapses the probability of getting a CODIS eligible sample decreases. SAKs should go to a forensic lab as soon as possible. Kits not sent immediately to a forensics lab should be stored according to established procedures to preserve the sample. Areas of the body where the attack occurred should be tested first. If no specific areas are identified, vaginal swabs, tests of the crotch area of underwear, and skin tests from ear and neck are most likely to yield useful samples. The latter, Sprague said, was a surprise. Tests of…


Bitter cold takes toll on city workers and equipment

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Bowling Green residents count on city workers to plow snow off the roads, respond to car crashes, and keep the power on during winter weather. Doing that in bitter cold weather takes a toll on city equipment and on the people that operate it. Snow plow blades are more likely to break in this cold, police cruisers have to run continuously during shifts, and fire hoses have been known to freeze. “We subject our officers to being out in the elements for extended periods,” Police Chief Tony Hetrick said. That’s tough on people and patrol cars. Layering only does so much, and “they run constantly in the cold,” the chief said of the police cruisers. For the Fire Division, the frigid cold means EMS crews must move even faster for outside calls. “We need to move quickly to get patients out of the elements,” Fire Chief Tom Sanderson said. Firefighting is especially tricky in freezing temperatures. “We have to keep them flowing,” Sanderson said of the hoses. But that means the ground quickly gets covered in ice. The city’s public works department often spreads salt at winter fire scenes to try to give firefighters and their vehicles some traction. “We haven’t had to chisel our fire hose out of the ice yet this week,” Sanderson said. Public works crews face their own problems, with the extreme cold taking a toll on equipment, according to Municipal Administrator Lori Tretter. Snow plow blades tend to break very easily, she said. And trash containers become increasingly brittle and are more prone to breaking, she added. The city utilities department recommends its consumer-owners take the following precautions to help prevent water lines and meters from freezing this winter: Protect exposed pipes from cold air drafts by closing and sealing windows and openings in basements or crawlspaces. Protect your water meter by wrapping it with insulation or a blanket. Provide proper insulation for walls and pipes where necessary. If your water meter is in the garage, take precautions to protect it and keep the garage door closed. If pipes cannot be shielded from the cold or the residence has a history of frozen water lines or meters, run a small stream of cold water from an indoor faucet to keep water moving through your pipes. Make sure the drain is open and clear to allow water to escape. Keep your thermostat set above 55 degrees, even if you will be away for several days. Turn off water to your washing machine. Try to have a friend or neighbor check your home periodically while you are away to ensure the heating system is working and that there are no water leaks. If your pipes freeze despite these precautions, do not try to thaw them with a propane torch….