Wood County Fair – fried up and put on a stick

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Forget fancy celebrity chefs. They’ve got nothing on fair food vendors who have figured out how to deep fry just about any food and put it on a stick for the convenience of mobile fairgoers. Pure genius. Sure, there’s more to the Wood County Fair than food. But few can walk through the gates without loading up on their annual favorites for the week. On the first day of the fair Monday, Nancy Grimm, Bowling Green, couldn’t walk past Mike’s Cheese Shack, where she placed her first order of the week for cheese curds. For those not familiar with fair food, that’s cheese cubes drenched in batter then deep-fried. “They’re soooo good,” Grimm said. “They are chewy and cheesey.” If eaten when still warm, the cheese stretches several inches. “I don’t know where else to get them,” Grimm said, so she gets at least a couple orders each fair week. Any guilt with that deep fried cheese? “Oh, no,” she said, walking away with her steaming hot curds. A few trailers away, Pat Snyder said she considered the cheese curds but decided on a corn dog (on a stick, of course) instead. “I can’t have that much grease in this heat,” she said of the fried cheese. “It’s a treat I don’t get very often,” Snyder said of the corn dog. “It brings back memories” of past fairs. Like many, Snyder spends much of her week at the fair. So she has to eat fair food in moderation. Her annual fare usually includes a Belgium waffle, Italian sausage and French fries or onion rings. “I try to choose one item a day.” The competition for hungry fairgoers is fierce. There’s good old farm food, like the butter drenched roasted corn on the cob, pork-a-lean sandwiches and burgers by the Beef Producers.  There’s food from south of the border, like tamales and “walking tacos” in a bag – since tacos don’t work well on a stick. “Taco Dave’s” is the mainstay for several of the county fair fire…


BG Council agrees on trash bin compromise

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   After months of talking trash, Bowling Green City Council took action Monday evening on a new garbage collection ordinance. The new rules require garbage bins to be stored within enclosed areas, in side or back yards, with lids closed. The ordinance was too tough for some, too lenient for others – but was passed as a compromise by unanimous vote. That common ground was recognized by council member Bob McOmber as a distinct difference between the nation’s government and communities like Bowling Green. “Not a darn thing gets done because no one will compromise,” McOmber said of federal government. “This legislation approximately splits the difference,” he said, noting that council members Daniel Gordon, Sandy Rowland and John Zanfardino wanted the ordinance to be stricter, while members Theresa Charters Gavarone, Mike Aspacher and Bruce Jeffers would have preferred looser rules. “This really is a compromise solution,” McOmber said. Rowland said she would have preferred tougher rules. “I think Bowling Green deserves better,” she said, voicing her dislike of trash bins sitting on the side of homes. “We don’t need to set the goals so low.” But Gordon said any change is progress. “It is the compromise that we worked out,” he said. “It’s a concrete improvement for residents of Bowling Green.” Council members also unanimously agreed Monday evening that the penalty for not following the ordinance will not result in the trash bins being confiscated by the city. Instead, civil infractions will be issued and fines will be levied. It was decided confiscating trash bins would be too labor intensive and could result in further trash violations by the residents. “We could be creating another problem,” Rowland said. The first infraction would result in a warning, the second a $25 fine, the third a $50 fine, and the fourth a $100 fine. “I like the fact that it’s incremental,” Zanfardino said. If the fines are not paid at leased homes by the renters, the fine will then shift over to the landlord. Aspacher said that city administration is…


BG Council needs new member – applications due in 6 days

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Bowling Green City Council has an open seat and is looking for a Fourth Ward resident to fill it. Anyone interested has six days to submit a resume, and 13 days to prepare a speech. On Friday, Theresa Charters Gavarone submitted her letter of resignation as Fourth Ward council member in order to take her new appointment as state representative. So anyone interested in filling her council position has until Aug. 8 at 4:30 p.m. to submit a letter of interest and a resume to the clerk of city council, Kay Scherreik. The information can be emailed to kay.scherreik@bgohio.org or sent by mail to 304 N. Church St., Bowling Green. Applicants will then be asked to give a brief presentation before City Council’s Committee of the Whole on Aug. 15, at 6 p.m., in the council chambers. The presentations will be limited to about five minutes. City Council may then vote during its 7 p.m. meeting, also on Aug. 15, to select a person to fill the Fourth Ward seat. Council President Mike Aspacher thanked Charters Gavarone for her service to the city. “Obviously, we’re very thankful of Theresa’s contribution,” he said during Monday’s council meeting. Charters Gavarone was not at Monday’s meeting, but stated in her resignation letter that she would assist in the transition process for a new Fourth Ward council member. “In order to ease the transition, I would be happy to meet with you and any potential candidates for the council seat,” she wrote. “Working with each of you and serving the people of Bowling Green in this capacity has provided valuable experience that will strengthen my position as a state representative when I am sworn into office on Aug. 2, 2016,” Charters Gavarone wrote. “I am very grateful to have been part of a team that created nearly 1,000 jobs and addressed numerous concerns for our residents over the past 2 ½ years,” she wrote. “It’s been a pleasure working with you on City Council and I look forward to continuing that…


Diana Bibler wins People’s Choice Award as NowOH exhibit closes at BGSU (updated)

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Diana Bibler’s “Heart Breaking” got some love from visitors to the annual NowOH art exhibit at Bowling Green State University. Bibler’s acrylic painting won the show’s People’s Choice Award. The honor was announced Sunday after the last day of the show’s two-week run. Artists arrived at the galleries in the Fine Arts Center to collect their work. More than 100 ballots were cast for People’s Choice. “Heart Breaking” was an outgrowth of a family calamity. Bibler’s family had a house fire. In the aftermath, a 90-gallon fish tank was neglected and just kept freezing and thawing. They finally just “shoved it outside” where the bright plastic plants froze inside ice crystals. That was the image that inspired Bibler’s vivid abstraction. The title “Heart Breaking” refers, in part to the fire, but was as much inspired by viewer’s reactions to the art. “It reflects the mood you get from the painting,” Bibler said. Bibler, a graduate of Bowhser High School in Toledo, will be in her third year as a 3-D art major at BGSU. Having been encouraged to be creative by her mother, Bibler has known since age 5 that she wanted to be an artist. She’s already won awards for her felted sculpture “Hero.” She entered the painting into NowOH as a way of getting more visibility for her work, and winning People’s Choice, she said, gives her confidence as she moves forward in her career. BGSU Gallery Director Jacqueline Nathan said that was more than in the previous eight shows, and in line with what she saw as an uptick in attendance. “Every day we were open we had a pretty good number of visitors, and they were enthusiastic,” Nathan said. The Ninth Northwest Ohio Community Art Exhibition exhibit features the work of 56 area artists, from both the university and the community. Entry into NowOH is open to all artists who live in 12 Northwest Ohio counties. All work submitted is included. “This all came as a result of a class in arts administration,” Nathan said. “They wanted to…


Wood County asked to join the ‘Big Fix’ for dogs

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Wood County has been asked to join the “Big Fix” program to spay and neuter dogs. The pilot program in Lucas County last year resulted in more than 400 dogs being fixed, according to Steve Serchuk, a volunteer with the program. “It will make the county safer,” Serchuk told the Wood County Commissioners last week. “It will save the county money. It will lead to more people licensing their pets.” Serchuk said Lucas County started the spay-neuter program after determining that almost one-third of the 57,617 licensed dogs in the county were not fixed. “We were blown away,” he said. So Lucas County, Toledo and the Toledo Community Foundation chipped in $9,000 each to reach out to the areas with the highest population of dogs that hadn’t been spayed or neutered. The goal was to fix 350 dogs – but the program exceeded expectations and 409 dogs were spayed or neutered. The success led Lucas County to apply for a matching grant of $25,000, and ask Wood County to join the project by chipping in $7,500 to have the amount matched by the grant. Wood County has approximately 21,000 licensed dogs. The funding would provide for 200 to 225 dogs being fixed. Serchuk said the county would benefit from more dogs being fixed. He presented the following information: 60 to 90 percent of dog attacks involve intact male dogs. Spayed and neutered dogs are less likely to roam and their behavior is better. “This will deal with the cause of pet overpopulation, not the result,” he said. The average cost to fix a dog ranges from $100 to $250, with the costs being highest for large female dogs. “People will spay and neuter their dogs if the cost is cheap enough,” Serchuk said. “It’s not a macho thing. They don’t have the money.” The average cost to fix a dog with Humane Ohio is $75. Most people who take their dogs to veterinarians and can afford the cost, already have their dogs spayed or neutered, he told…


Audits to save BG homes money and energy

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG  Independent News   Thousands of Bowling Green homes are letting cool air escape in the summer and heat seep out in the winter. So Columbia Gas is giving every homeowner, landlord and renter a chance to keep the air in their houses and money in their pockets. Bowling Green residents are being offered home energy audits for $20 by Columbia Gas, to identify how homes can be made more energy efficient. And if the residents agree to weatherization upgrades, the most they will pay per home is $300. “It’s because of Bowling Green’s interest in energy efficiency,” Jill McGinn, of Columbia Gas, explained last week to the Bowling Green Kiwanis Club. “Everyone in Bowling Green is eligible.” The subsidies through the program will pay for up to $4,000 in home improvements, but the residents will pay a fraction of that. “The most any Bowling Green resident will pay is $300,” McGinn said. “Those are some pretty huge and substantial savings.” The energy audits take about three hours to complete. An added bonus, McGinn said, is that experts also look for safety problems. McGinn knows all about that, since when she had an energy audit done on her home, it found a gas leak in her basement. “Safety is Columbia Gas’ first priority,” she said. The audits often discover leaks at gas line joints or at the appliance hook ups. The next priority is energy efficiency. The homes likely to benefit the most from the audits are those built before 1975, many which use more than 1,000 cubic feet of gas annually. Those homes are often found with very inefficient furnaces, and insulation that has settled over the years and no longer fills up space between the walls. “We run into a lot of houses that have no insulation whatsoever,” McGinn said of some of the older homes. Bowling Green resident Neocles Leontis is a believer in the audits as a way to say energy and money. “It’s a way to keep more of our money in our pockets and in…


The Sheepdogs: Rain or shine rockers

DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The Sheepdogs proved their rock ‘n’ roll mettle at last year’s Black Swamp Arts Festival. They took the stage as the closing act Friday night in a downpour that would have scared off many other artists. The Canadian quintet rocked out in the rain for a hard core crowd of several hundred that danced in the front of the stage, seeking refuge from the storm in the unrelenting backbeat and driving guitars. That’s just part of the deal when you’re a traveling rock ‘n’ roll band, said Ewan Currie, the lead singer and songwriter. “There’s a lot of sweat equity, a lot of travel, a lot of sucking it up… playing 10 shows in 10 days in unpredictable weather. That’s the price you pay for following the dream and playing in a rock ’n’ roll band.” The Sheepdogs will return to the festival this year as the Saturday night closing headliner. Currie hopes for better weather, but is ready to deliver “a good dose of rock ’n’ roll.” “We’ll come out with guns blazing,” he said. The festival runs Friday, Sept. 9. through Sunday, Sept. 11, in downtown Bowling Green. The band hasn’t had any off time since it last passed through Bowling Green. The Sheepdogs have been logging the miles in a tour to promote its latest album “Future Nostalgia.” The BG stop was at the beginning of a tour that will extend into November. That’s running close to 300 shows. “That’s missing a lot of weddings and other mundane life things,” Currie said. That’s being a rock ’n’ roll band. “The touring rock ’n’ roll band in 2016, we’re like the blue collar, working class musicians in a way,” he said. The music gets hardly any air play or coverage. “We’re almost like a boutique commodity.” But this is what Currie, his brother Shamus Currie, who plays keyboards and trombone, and bassist Ryan Gullen nd drummer Sam Corbett dreamed of growing up in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. They ditched their school band instruments, and learned rock listening to Creedence Clearwater…


Lt. Gov. makes it her business to help Ohio businesses

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor was right at home talking to the Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce members, sharing their disdain for governmental red tape that bogs down businesses. “I was with you, fighting the bureaucracy,” Taylor said, speaking of her time as a CPA prior to entering government. That frustration led her to cross to the other side. “I discovered what I really wanted to do was serve,” Taylor said during the mid-year chamber luncheon this past week. “I wanted to be a part of writing the laws.” She started out small, running for a position in city government, then worked her way up to state representative, then state auditor, and finally to her current position as lieutenant governor under John Kasich. In government, Taylor said, she has been able to fight for taxpayers, bringing about regulatory reform. “The status quo is never acceptable for me. We hold every state governmental agency responsible for their regulatory impact on business,” she said. “If the answer is – ‘That’s what we did before’ – that is not acceptable.” Taylor described her approach as a “common sense” strategy, to look at how regulations such as those protecting the environment were affecting businesses. State rules were reviewed with a special emphasis on looking at the impact on business, she said. That analysis led to 60 percent of the rules affecting businesses being rescinded or amended, Taylor said. “We have to understand, what we do in government does affect business and job creation,” she said. Consequently, Ohio’s unemployment is down and wages are rising faster than the national average, Taylor said. “Everywhere we go, we are using common sense.” As lieutenant governor, Taylor sees her other role as making a sales pitch for Ohio. “My responsibility is to sell Ohio.” And that can be a tough job sometimes. “We don’t have a beach.” If people examine Ohio’s work record, they often take a second look at the state. “Once you get here, what a wonderful place it is to live,” she said….


Medium has a message about the complexity of delivering the news

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News It’s hard to get away from the gaze of the four-sided column of mirrors planted in the entryway of the Kuhlin Center. The artwork, Medium, will have students and professors reflecting on their vocations. Medium is a four-sided pillar with two-way mirrors on each side, and a projector as a hidden presence within. The mirrors will capture on the buzz of activity in the lobby of the center, and scrolling down the center of each mirror will be a randomly selected statement starting with either “we” or “they.” Recently artist Erik Carlson, who created the piece, was in the lobby putting finishing touches on the work in the new home for Bowling Green State University’s School of Media and Communication.  At this point what’s reflected is the mess of construction, ladders, buckets, drop cloths, packing boxes and the like. Assisting him is Nicholas Hanna, a Los Angeles computer programmer. Carlson, whose studio Area C is in Rhode Island, said the concept is to mediate the media experience and have students consider what their role as future professionals is in the process of gathering, disseminating and consuming information. The “we” is those who produce and deliver the news. And the “they” are those who are the subject of the news and the consumers. Smack in the middle will be the “I,” the students and faculty learning and teaching about this process. As they read the statement they can consider themselves on both sides. All the while they will be staring themselves in the face. Carlson said that the concept came about as he thought about what the building would be used for. When he discovered that the University Library had a digital archive of The BG News dating back to 1921, he knew he wanted to tap that rich resource. The archive became one of two sources for those “we” and ‘they” phrases. The other is the closed-captioning for the live feed of whatever is going out over WBGU-TV’s main station. On this Saturday, the station is broadcasting a show…


Bicyclists feel they are spinning their wheels in BG

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   The roomful of bicyclists was asked how many considered Bowling Green to be a bicycle friendly community. No one raised a hand. Instead, the 40 or so bicyclists shared stories of how unwelcoming the city is to two-wheel travelers. They told of streets marked as bike routes that have no berm for bicyclists, of road repairs that leave streets layered with loose gravel, of storm sewer grates positioned so they snag bike tires and of motorists hostile about sharing the road with bicycles. And they discussed bicycle plans adopted by the city nine years ago – with very little progress made to improve bicycle travel in the community. That transportation master plan update from 2007 recommended that the city consider bicycle facilities as part of all new or re-construction road projects, that all bike routes have improved signage, and that the city consider eliminating parking on streets for bicycle routes. When the bicyclists in the library meeting room were asked to identify the streets they would most like to see accommodate bikes, they listed the same streets that had been designated in the 2007 plan. Many felt that they were just spinning their wheels. Tuesday’s meeting was a joint effort of the city’s Bicycle Safety Commission and the City Council Transportation and Safety Committee members Daniel Gordon, Sandy Rowland and John Zanfardino. The goal was to gather input from bicyclists on what streets they would like modified in some way to improve safety for cyclists. The group also discussed options for making the streets more accommodating to bikes. Those options include: Widening some streets by extending the pavement. Giving bicyclists room by narrowing the width for motorized vehicles. Banning parking along some streets. Turning some streets into one-way routes. Many of the cyclists said the city’s current signage stating “share the road” with the image of a bicycle is worthless. If there isn’t some space dedicated for bicycles, most motorists don’t feel the need to share, they said. The number of car-bicycle accidents in the city is…


Gold Star mother tells Democratic convention about how she was inspired by Obama

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News When Sharon Belkofer, of Perrysburg Township, addressed the Democratic National Convention Wedmesday night, she didn’t feel alone. She could feel the presence of her son, Tom. A lieutenant colonel in the Army’s 10th Mountain Division, he died in Afghanistan in May, 2010, when a convoy he was in was attacked. His parents hadn’t even realized he was in Afghanistan. “I could see him smiling with his dimples,” Belkofer said, “and saying: ‘Go get ’em mom.’” And since his death, he and the president she met as a result of the tragedy have spurred her into action. Belkofer, a retired nurse whose two other sons also served in the military, gave a short introduction to a biographical video that introduced President Obama’s speech at the convention. In it she spoke of her encounters with Obama. The first was after her son’s death. At an event at Fort Drum in upstate New York where Tom Belkofer was based, the president asked to greet the Gold Star families. When he gave Belkofer a hug she told the convention audience, “I cried all over his suit. Tom would have been so embarrassed.” After that time, she got to meet the president twice more. Two more hugs. She attended his inauguration. “So warm and kind. So compassionate,” she said. “I was so inspired. Maybe this old lady could still make a difference. I knew my community’s schools needed more resources, so at age of 73 I took a leap of faith and ran for my local school board.” When going door-to-door in cold and dreary weather got tough, she told the convention, “I thought of my son Tom who never gave up and I thought of our President who never gives up. Why should I be any different?” She won the election last fall and received a handwritten note of congratulations from the president. “I don’t think any of this would happen since his death if it wasn’t for losing him,” she said of her son Tom in an interview on Thursday. “I think of…


BG policy makes sure city won’t get stuck with bills for political rallies in community center

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   As a swing state much sought after by the presidential candidates, Ohio may become a second home for Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump during the next three months. In preparation for campaign visits prior to the November election, the Bowling Green Parks and Recreation Board on Tuesday adopted a new fee for candidates wanting to hold events at the city’s community center. The new fee is intended to help pay the actual costs, since security for presidential candidates requires that the entire center be closed to the public. The $750 fee will be added on to existing rental fees for the gym, classrooms and floor coverings required for a campaign event. In the past, the community center has been used for campaign rallies by Mitt Romney in 2012 and Bill Clinton campaigning for Hillary Clinton in 2008. “We essentially had to close the whole building,” said Kristin Otley, director of the city’s park and recreation department. The community center brings in about $500 a day in the summer, and up to $1,000 a day during other times of the year from admission and class fees. So the new fee splits that in half, and asks campaigns to pay $750, Otley explained. “If we need to shut down the entire center,” then at least the city won’t be shorted on revenue, she said. The city will also require that campaigns pay the fee in advance of any rally being held at the center. In the past, the city has not required that, Otley said. Bowling Green did receive payments from the Romney and Clinton campaigns, but some cities have been stiffed by political campaigns in the past. “That’s what got us thinking,” Otley said. The Stroh Center at Bowling Green State University is the other site in the city with the capacity to hold large campaign events. And that venue is capable of holding more spectators, but the community center is better situated for security since it is also a National Guard center, Otley said. The city has…


Murder prompts calls for violent offender registry

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   The murder of a 20-year-old University of Toledo student last week has spurred a call from Northwest Ohio citizens for a violent offender registry in the state. So State Senators Randy Gardner, R-Bowling Green, and Cliff Hite, R-Findlay, have begun working on a system that could better inform and warn the public about violent offenders in their midst. Citizens in the region asked legislators to consider such a registry following the murder of Sierah Joughin in Fulton County.  James Worley, the man charged with Joughin’s murder, was convicted of abduction in 1990 and served three years in prison. Gardner said he and Hite, who both represent portions of Fulton County, are responding to people outraged and horrified by the murder and the similarities to the previous abduction. “We are considering concerns and anxieties of citizens,” Gardner said. As of Wednesday afternoon, more than 10,000 people had signed the petition asking for the registry. “This person obviously is a sick, disturbed individual,” he said of Worley. “The question is, are there any other unsolved murders around the state.” A violent offenders registry would at least make citizens aware of such offenders residing in their neighborhoods, Gardner said. To determine the best way to set up such a system, Gardner said he has spoken with four sheriffs, the Buckeye Sheriff’s Association, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and county prosecutors. “We’re doing our homework,” he said. “We are thinking about the most practical, best way to do this.” The system would probably work similarly to Ohio’s existing sex offender registry law. Several other states have violent offender registries, including neighboring Indiana. The senators will gain information from Indiana and other states as they begin working on an effective public registry process for Ohio. In Indiana, anyone classified as a sex or violent offender must register for 10 years. Those classified as sexually violent predators must register for life. According to Gardner and Hite, Ohio lawmakers have taken significant steps to address the issue of violent crime by strengthening penalties for…


Costs to cool BG schools too hot to handle

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Three of the five Bowling Green city school buildings have no air conditioning – meaning the first and last weeks of the school season can be brutal for students. Superintendent Francis Scruci has referred to the sweltering students as pools of butter sitting in the heat. “We know our buildings are hot. We know our kids melt,” Scruci said during a meeting held earlier this month. At that same meeting, high school teacher Jeff Nichols said his classroom on the second floor of the high school reached 108 degrees one day last year. And Principal Jeff Dever asked people to come experience the temperatures. “I invite any Bowling Green resident to come to our school the second day of the school year,” Dever said. The sauna like temperatures don’t make for a good learning – or teaching – environment. Cooling the schools is one of Scruci’s goals as he talks about new or renovated buildings. “That certainly is one of the obstacles we have,” he said during Tuesday evening’s board of education meeting. The superintendent has been looking for a temporary solution that might provide some relief until school buildings are renovated or replaced. But fixes are few since no ductwork exists at the high school, Conneaut or Kenwood schools. “That presents a huge challenge,” Scruci said. But Scruci had heard of a district with a similar situation that cooled its schools with temporary air conditioning units. The company that handled the project was asked to calculate how much it would cost to cool Bowling Green’s schools for the first weeks at the beginning and end of the school year. The estimate for Kenwood Elementary called for 25 1.5-ton air conditioning units in the windows, costing $20,000 per month. That amount didn’t include the $3,500 for set up and tear down, or the added electric cost to run the air conditioning. The total for cooling the high school, Conneaut and Kenwood reached $101,500 a month. “I don’t think that’s a reasonable option,” Scruci said. “That’s not a…


Review of BGPD shows very low use of force, few citizen complaints

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News There were enough chairs set up in the Simpson building Tuesday to seat every citizen who had filed a complaint against the Bowling Green Police Dvision in the past three years. And there would be room for more. None of them showed up when a visiting accreditation team from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc.  set up shop to receive citizens’ comments. City Councilman Bruce Jeffers was there. He said the police force is “positively engaged with the community.” In a time when there are so many reports of clashes between police and citizens with violence “going in both directions,” he is “amazed” how the BG officers “deal with large number of partying students … without losing control or using excessive force.” Planning Director Heather Sayler was there as a resident to praise the department, especially the D.A.R.E. program. Fire Chief Tom Sanderson was there to lend his support to Chief Tony Hetrick and the officers. He and his crews see first-hand BG police officers’ ability to de-escalate tense situations, which allows EMS crews and firefighters to feel safe doing their jobs. That camaraderie between the fire and police divisions is not always the case, said Robert Johnson, a retired Illinois State Patrol lieutenant colonel. Also on the CALEA team was Capt. Brad Fraser, from Shelby, North Carolina. Lt. Daniel Mancuso serves as the BGPD’s accreditation manager. That wasn’t the only surprising thing they found in reviewing the BG police’s performance from 2013 through 2015. Over that period, Johnson said, Bowling Green officers never used their firearms, nor did they use their batons. He called that “pretty surprising… given the climate the police operate in.” “This is far better than I expect to see,” Johnson said. “I’m more used to seeing force used more frequently and use of greater force.” In that three-year period, BG police made 8,000 arrests, and used force in 71 of those. Not a single lawsuit related to use of force was filed against the department. In the same period, the police issued…