Man reports being robbed of his car at gunpoint in BG

A man has reported being robbed of his car at gunpoint in Bowling Green. On Tuesday, April 25, at 10:37 p.m., the Bowling Green Police Division took a report of an aggravated robbery that occurred in the 200 block of Baldwin Avenue in Bowling Green. According to the victim, he posted his white 2009 Mercedes GL320 for sale on Craigslist, Letgo, and OfferUp.  A potential buyer contacted him and they met in the 1500 block of East Wooster Street at approximately 10 p.m.  The victim described the subject as a 5’10”-6’ tall light-skinned black male in his 20s who was wearing gray sweat pants and a beanie-style hat.  The male requested to take a test drive of the vehicle.  The victim got in the passenger seat and allowed the unknown male to operate the vehicle.  The male drove to the 200 block of Baldwin Avenue, pulled out a black semi-automatic handgun, and pointed it at the victim’s head.  The male demanded the victim exit the vehicle, which he did.  The male then fled the scene in the vehicle.  The victim’s vehicle displayed Ohio temporary registration D259590. Anyone with information regarding this case can call the Bowling Green Police at 419-352-2571 or Wood County Crime Stoppers at 419-352-0077.  You may remain anonymous and if information results in the arrest and conviction of a suspect, you could be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.

Beware of police charity fraud phone solicitations

The Bowling Green Police Division received information regarding individuals calling area residents requesting money for the “BG Police Foundation.” The name Kirk Cowan will appear on the caller ID. Cowan is an employee of the police division; however, he is not making these calls. There are no police division employees calling residents to solicit money. Residents should not provide any information to these individuals. Unfortunately, charity fraud is quite common in today’s digital environment, according to the police division. For more information on how to protect oneself from this type of fraud, please visit the Federal Trade Commission’s website: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0085-fundraisers-calling-behalf-police-and-firefighters. If you receive a phone call of this nature, please report it to the Bowling Green Police Division at 419-352-1131.

BG man arrested for stabbing victim at Tubby’s Bar

The Bowling Green Police Division responded to a 911 call on Sunday for a subject who had been stabbed with a knife at Tubby’s Bar located 139 N. Main St., Bowling Green. Officers arrived on scene along with BGFD EMS. The victim advised that Arrian Michael McCorkle, 21, of Bowling Green, stabbed him in the lower left abdomen while on the dance floor. Witnesses confirmed that McCorkle was the assailant.  McCorkle fled the scene on foot prior to officers arrival. The victim was transported to St. Vincent Hospital in Toledo where he underwent surgery. Officers located McCorkle at his Bowling Green residence shortly after the incident. McCorkle was arrested and charged with felonious assault. McCorkle was transported to the Wood County Justice Center.

Five road fatalities reported in county this year; Safe Communities warns against distracted driving

From WOOD COUNTY SAFE COMMUNITIES Wood County Safe Communities announced today that there have been five fatal crashes in Wood County for calendar year 2017, compared to four for the same time frame in 2016. At some point, you have probably seen someone driving distracted; it’s pretty easy to spot. You may even be guilty of distracted driving yourself. With so many people constantly tuned in to their smartphones, texting from behind the wheel is all too common, but it is one of the most common causes of fatalities on the roads. That’s why Safe Communities of Wood County is teaming up with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to reach all drivers with an important warning: U Drive. UText. U Pay. According to NHTSA, in 2015 3,477 people were killed, and an estimated 391,000 were injured, in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers. That was a 9-percent increase in fatalities as compared to the previous year. Everyone knows that texting while driving is distracting and dangerous, but people often ignore the risks and do it anyway. Driving while distracted is more than just personally risky. When you text and drive, you become a danger to everyone on the road around you. Remind your family and friends to never text and drive: * No one likes criticism from a friend, but being caught by law enforcement and paying a fine is even worse. * Do not follow the pack, be a leader. When you get behind the wheel, be an example…

BG Police and DEA to accept expired, unused drugs

On Saturday, April 29, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the Bowling Green Police Division and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will give the public its 13th opportunity in seven years to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. Bring your pills for disposal to the 1st floor lobby of the Bowling Green Police Division at 175 W. Wooster St., Bowling Green. The DEA cannot accept liquids or needles or sharps, only pills or patches. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked. Last October, Americans turned in 366 tons (over 730,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at almost 5,200 sites operated by the DEA and more than 4,000 of its state and local law enforcement partners. Overall, in its 12 previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners have taken in over 7.1 million pounds—more than 3,500 tons—of pills. This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines—flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash—both pose potential safety and…

BG Police Division seeks info on 2 attempted breaking and entering incidents

The Bowling Green Police Division is currently investigating two attempted breaking and entering incidents, which occurred in the early morning hours of April 7. The businesses were Walgreens, located at 1013 N. Main St., and the PNC Bank branch, at 735 S. Main St.  No entry was made at either location. Anyone with information regarding these cases can call the Bowling Green Police at 419-352-2571 or Wood County Crime Stoppers at 419-352-0077.  You may remain anonymous and if information results in the arrest and conviction of a suspect, you could be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.

Vehicle crashes into house Sunday in BG (updated)

  Willard Misfeldt, 87, was taken to a Toledo area hospital after the car he was driving careened across four lanes of South Main Street and struck a house shortly after noon Sunday. According to the police report, Misfeldt, retired professor from the BGSU School of Art, was eastbound on Pearl Street when his vehicle began to accelerate rapidly. He failed to stop at the stop sign and headed across South Main, struck a curb, then an embankment, before crashing into the house at 303 S. Main St. Misfeldt was taken from the scene to Wood County Hospital, and then by air ambulance to St. Vincent’s. Police believe a health condition may have contributed to the accident. (Photos provided by Clint Corpe of The Morning Show.)  

Activists describe the heartbreak, terror of undocumented immigrants today

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News   The immigration debate is about more than walls. It’s about families trapped by laws and borders that separate them. Eugenio Mollo, Jr., managing attorney with ABLE has those difficult conversations. A father of three, here without documents, telling him his mother is dying in Mexico. If he goes to see her, he’s at risk of not be able to return to his wife and American-born children. What can he do? Mollo can explain the law, but he has no good answer to give him. The client loves his family in America and yet the law poses the choice of being separated from them or comforting his mother in her dying days. He asks: What kind of heartless system is this? This is the system we have, and it is a system that has become more unforgiving since Donald Trump has moved into the White House, Mollo said. Mollo and Beatrix Maya, director general of La Conexion de Wood County, took part on a panel Developing Strategies to Mobilize Our Communities as part of STRELLA: 7th Annual Conference of Student Research on Latino/A/X and Latin American Studies. “The current climate has created an environment of fear and alarm in the community,” Maya said. “The greatest challenge we are facing in organizing the community is the fact that the community is absolutely terrified.” The Trump Administration plans to add 10,000 new border agents, and to double to 80,000 the number of people it incarcerates for…

Don’t test your luck by driving drunk on St. Patrick’s Day

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News They won’t be wearing green beads, but you can expect local law enforcement officers to be part of the St. Patrick’s Day scene. All the local law enforcement agency are teaming up in expectation of a busy weekend. Lt. William Bower, of the Ohio State Highway Patrol, said with St. Patrick’s Day falling on the Friday of the first weekend of the March Madness tournament, he is anticipating a lot of partying. And state patrol officers and others are going to be out in force trying to keep those festivities from spilling out onto the roads where it can turn deadly. Last St. Patrick’s Day, two people died in Ohio in alcohol related crashes, he said. To keep that from happening the Wood County Safe Communities Coalition is offering Swallow Your Pride, Call for a Ride. The program, similar to what is offered on New Year’s Eve, provides free transportation from locations in Bowling Green to residences within 10 miles of the city. Sandy Wiechman, the Safe Communities Coordinator, said four vans will be available by calling 419-823-7765 from 6 p.m. Friday, to 2a.m. Saturday or “until the last person is home safe.” A drive in a warm van, she said, is better than a ride in a police cruiser wearing cold handcuffs. And that is better than having an officer show up at a home to inform a family that a loved one has been seriously hurt or dead because of drunk driving….

Verdict in – Chidester retires leaving secure courthouse

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   When Tom Chidester took the job as chief constable for the Wood County Courthouse 21 years ago, he had a tall order to fill. The Supreme Court order requiring courthouses to be made secure meant some unpopular decisions. But as he prepares to retire at the end of March, Chidester can sit back and rattle off the threats over the years that were stopped before they entered the courtrooms. In addition to standards knives and guns, there was a sword hidden in a cane, mace, plus knives hidden in phones and wallets. Oh, and then there was the six-pack of beer in a backpack. When Chidester, a former trooper with the Ohio Highway Patrol, took the job in 1996 there was little courthouse security in place. There were no metal detectors, no court security staff to keep an eye during emotionally charged trials. But there were orders in place that courthouses around the country were expected to obey. One of the biggest problems at the historic Wood County Courthouse was the number of building entrances that would need to be staffed. So county officials took the bold move of closing down all but one entrance. And former Wood County Commissioner Alvie Perkins came up with the idea for the atrium that would connect the courthouse and the county office building, which houses one of the common pleas courtrooms. “The elected officials were kind of divided on how the public would react,” Chidester…

Hate group posts fliers on campus

Bowling Green State University has issued the following statement about recruiting fliers for a white nationalist group that were posted on campus. “Bowling Green State University does not tolerate hate, racism, sexism or intolerance. Last night (March 6, 2017), a national hate group that has been targeting dozens of college campuses all across the country, posted fliers and white separatist symbols on our Bowling Green Campus and at other area universities. The offensive materials have been removed, and we are investigating. The perpetrators could face criminal charges. “These materials are not reflective of BGSU’s core values of showing respect for one another and supporting a culture of inclusion. We encourage members of our community to fight hate and intolerance by reporting incidents of bias – See it. Hear it. Report it.“

Free rides offered for St. Patrick’s Day revelers

From SAFE COMMUNITIES OF WOOD COUNTY Wood County Safe Communities announced today that there have been five fatal crashes in Wood County for the calendar year 2017, compared to three for the same time frame in 2016. St.Patrick’s Day rides offered St. Patrick’s Day has become one of the nation’s most popular times to celebrate and party. Unfortunately, too many people are taking to the roads after drinking alcohol, making this holiday also one of the most dangerous. In fact, 30 people were killed in drunk driving crashes across the nation during the St. Patrick’s Day holiday period (March 16-18) in 2015. To keep the roads safer, WCSC is reaching out with an important life-saving message and warning: Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving. Safe Communities is teaming up with local businesses and organizations for the annual Swallow Your Pride, Call for a Ride event. The coalition is offering free rides to those who are unable to drive. Don’t wait until you’ve already been drinking to make your transportation decision. There’s no such thing as being “OK to Drive.” Just one or two drinks can impair judgment and increase the risk of getting arrested or causing a crash; killing yourself or someone else if you get behind the wheel. If you find yourself unable to drive this St. Patrick’s Day, call 419-823-7765 for a FREE ride home anywhere in Bowling Green. Remember: Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving. If you plan to celebrate with alcohol this St. Patrick’s Day, follow these tips to…

BG Police Division sees drop in use of force

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Bowling Green Police Division has seen a steady increase in community relations efforts, and a decrease in force being used by officers, according to Chief Tony Hetrick. Hetrick presented an annual report during a strategic planning meeting with City Council on Saturday. “We don’t police the community. We police for the community,” Hetrick said. Poor police-community relations nationwide peaked the last few years, causing several police departments to examine their relationships with those they serve. “Community engagement is a hot button topic all over the nation,” Hetrick said. That’s something Bowling Green Police Division has done for years, but they are also making an increased effort. “We can always do better.” Last year the “Coffee with a Cop” program started, efforts are being made to engage with BGSU students more, and police participated in a panel discussion on minority relations. Police also met with students in a class teaching English as a second language. “It really helped us build trust with them,” Hetrick said. In August, when new international students arrive at BGSU, the police will meet with the group again. “I think we enjoy tremendous trust in the community,” Hetrick said. The chief also presented his annual report on police force being used. In 2016, there were 21 responses to resistance or aggression reports filed by office. That is a decrease from the 40 reports in 2015. The officers’ reports showed that in 19 cases, no weapons were used. In two…

BG Police Division is not an arm of ICE

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Bowling Green Police Division is not in the pursuit of undocumented immigrants. “People think the police division is an arm of ICE (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement),” said Major Justin White. “That misinformation breeds fear.” To try to calm those fears, Bowling Green Police Chief Tony Hetrick has met with members of the Latino organization La Conexion, and White has met with students and staff at the English Language Center at Bowling Green State University. “We are not out enforcing immigration, determining if someone should be here,” White said. “We are not stopping people driving down the street who look like immigrants to see if they belong here.” Across the nation, anxiety spiked recently after a series of raids made by U.S. immigration authorities. Hundreds of undocumented immigrants in several states have been arrested, according to President Donald Trump as part of his crackdown on immigrants living in the U.S. illegally. Officials said the raids targeted known criminals, but they also netted some immigrants without criminal records. Last month, Trump broadened the scope of who the Department of Homeland Security can target to include those with minor offenses or no convictions at all. That has led to fear throughout the country, and has led to a petition calling for BGSU to become a sanctuary campus. White said it is his understanding that international students have nothing to fear. “In order for them to get accepted into BGSU, they would have to have…