BG Eyes $4 Million in Water, Wastewater Projects

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Nearly $4 million in utility projects for this year were approved Monday evening by the Bowling Green Board of Public Utilities. The projects will keep clean water pumping to customers, and improve wastewater treatment once customers flush their used water away. The biggest project, estimated at $1.25 million, is the construction of a new pump station on Conneaut Avenue and force main improvements. The current pump station is undersized and cannot keep up with demand. The board approved applying for a low-interest loan from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and the Ohio Water Development Authority for the funding. The city is also expecting to get some funding this year for road paving on Conneaut Avenue from Grove Street to Mitchell Road. So Brian O’Connell, director of public utilities for Bowling Green, suggested the pump station work take place prior to the paving. “Obviously, we don’t want to pave a road then tear it up,” O’Connell said. The board also approved the city going after $1 million in grant funding for upgrades to the sand filter system at the water treatment plant. O’Connell explained that the city is a good candidate for a zero interest loan since the upgrades will improve efforts to limit algae problems in water. The original estimate for the work was $400,000. However, it was decided to expand the scope of the project and create a longer term solution to the algae problem. The expanded project could save some money in another area since it could reduce the work at the backwash pumping station, O’Connell said. The board of utilities also approved the following projects go to bid for: $200,000 to replace the six-inch waterline with eight-inch lines on Troup Avenue between East Wooster and Scott Hamilton streets. The wider lines should increase the water pressure and improve fire protection. $400,000 for new valves on a 20-inch transmission main. $1,010,000 to improve sewer lines that are in poor condition or require regular maintenance. Those lines are on an alley from Pearl to Oak streets; West Wooster Street; Wolfly Avenue; Manitoba Drive; Dunbridge Road sewer manhole; and South Main Street pump station corrosion and odor control. $120,000 in chemical costs at water treatment plant. Several vehicles for the electric, water treatment, water distribution and water pollution control divisions, with a total estimated cost of $440,000.  

BGSU Eyes Possible Cuts of Courses, Programs With Low Enrollment

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Bowling Green State University is continuing its state-mandated assessment of courses and programs that have low enrollment. The reporting is required by House Bill 64, which seeks to increase efficiency on college campuses. Trustees approved the report, though because of the state deadline and the timing of trustee meetings, it has already been submitted. BGSU administrators, Provost Rodney Rogers said, identified 24 degree programs that graduate fewer than 20 students over a four year period. Rogers said that 15 of those programs were deemed not to require further action. Several of them were new and already seeing increased growth. Nine programs, however, were identified as possible candidates for major revision or elimination. The administration will work with department chairs and faculty to determine if “it makes sense for us to offer” these programs or whether they need to undergo revisions to make them fit more with societal needs, Rogers said. The six programs on the Bowling Green campus identified were: bachelor of arts degrees in Russian, Latin, classical civilizations and music, and bachelor of science degrees in statistics and electro-mechanical systems technology. Three associate degree programs at Firelands were also identified: electro-mechanical, EMT and manufacturing. “The hard work is just beginning as we work with deans and chairs to make the next step,” Rogers said. He noted that Venu Dasig, interim dean of the College of Technology, is already working with faculty to transition the electro-mechanical systems technology program into one with more emphasis on robotics. The report also identified hundreds of courses deemed to have low enrollment. The administration, Rogers said, identified 581 courses that met the low enrollment criteria. It deemed 193 courses as needing no further action because they were upper level or lab sections which are expected to have low enrollments. Administrators will continue to monitor them. Another 177 courses were identified where “there’s opportunity to better manage our curriculum,” he said. The question is whether there’s overlap with other courses. Another 158 appear because there are multiple sections of the same course. And 53 were seen as candidates for possible collaboration with Firelands or another institution. Rogers said talks are underway with the University of Toledo about collaborating for upper level sections of foreign languages where there is “robust” enrollment in lower level courses and in information systems. Deciding how many courses and sections to offer is a balancing act, he said. The administration needs to look at increasing the efficiency in course offerings in a way that “does not limit a student’s ability to complete a degree in a timely way.” Rogers noted that BGSU identified fewer under-enrolled courses than other universities because it had recently streamlined its general education requirements.

Parks to Try for Larger Levy

  By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   For 16 years, the levy supporting parks and recreation in Bowling Green has been static. Meanwhile, the park facilities and programs have been anything but. So Tuesday evening, the Bowling Green Parks and Recreation Board approved a request to put a new, higher millage levy on the fall ballot. The park and recreation department has been operating with a 1.4-mill levy, which generated $638,500 annually for 16 years. The new levy would be 2 mills for five years, bringing in $915,000 annually. The reason for the increase is simple, according to the levy committee which recommended the millage. The department has continued to expand its facilities and programs to meet the needs of its citizens. “And the public expects this quality to be maintained,” said Jeff Crawford, a member of the park board and levy committee. “It’s overdue,” said board member Cheryl Windisch, noting that costs for everything else have increased in that 16-year period. Park board president Kent Strange said it was a “great feat” for the department to get by on the same millage for 16 years while offering quality services. “This will go a long way to continuing with that.” The levy recommendation will now go to city council for approval to be put on the November ballot. Park and recreation levies in Bowling Green traditionally enjoy at passage rate of about 60 percent at the polls, according to Kristin Otley, director of the city’s park and recreation department. She is hoping for similar results this time around. “The need is real and we feel we can communicate the need to folks,” Otley said. The additional millage will not be much of a difference to individual landowners in the city, but it will add up to a substantial amount for the parks and recreation programs, she said. “It’s obviously critically important to us,” she said, noting the care that is taken to spend the money wisely. “We are mindful of the tax dollars we get.” Much has changed with the city park and recreation services since the existing levy went into effect 16 years ago. Otley listed additions like the community center, Simpson Building and garden park, the skate park, new acreage at Ridge Park, the soccer fields on Dunbridge Road, and the new aquatic complex. Until recently, the levy accounted for 33 percent of the park and recreation budget. Last year, the levy dollars made up 30 percent of the budget, with more money coming in from such sources as fees, rental costs, grants, donations and the general fund. Mayor Dick Edwards voiced his support for the levy process Tuesday evening. “This is a big step forward,” he said. “This is a critically important issue.” Edwards cautioned that getting the levy past city council is just the first step. “The heavy lifting has only started,” he said. If the levy fails to pass, the park and recreation department would have to make cuts, since the existing park levy expires at the end of this year. “We would be in trouble,” Otley said. The levy committee is made up of Margaret Tucker, Jodi and Dave Anderson, Clif Boutelle, Brian Bushong, Bob Callecod, Pat and Lisa Carney, Lisa Cesarini, Jeff Crawford, Debbie Dorn, Nadine Edwards, Becca Ferguson, Joyce Kepke,…

Skip McDonald Sings the Blues and So Much More

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Skip McDonald may be the featured artist at “The Blues, The Hines Farm Blues Club and Beyond and 21st Century Blues with Skip McDonald AKA Little Axe” on campus, just don’t pin him down to performing what you may consider “the blues.” When he walks on stage listeners can “expect blues, expect some funk, expect some gospel, expect some jazz, expect a good time,” he said. McDonald will play during the event which will run Thursday from 4 to 5:15 p.m. at Bowling Green State University’s Student Union Theater and then Friday 7 to 10 p.m. at Oak Openings Metropark Lodge, 5230 Wilkins Road, Whitehouse. “I’m an in-the-moment kind of guy,” he said. He doesn’t decide what to wear until the last minute, or what to play until he hits the stage. “That makes it exciting for me.” Otherwise it just becomes “run of the mill.” He wants to be true to himself and the moment. “I don’t want to be the person who imitates me, I want to be me.” McDonald doesn’t care much for labels. All these different genres, he said, are just for marketing. “You call it something so you can sell it.” At various times he’s been  a folk musician and a jazz musician. He was a session player for Sugarhill Records and played on early rap records, including those by Grandmaster Flash. Disco, rock, house, folk, blues, jazz, the labels don’t matter. ”When it comes down to it, there are only two kinds of music – music you like, and music you don’t.” Growing up in Dayton, McDonald, 67, was surrounded by music of all types. His father was a guitar player, and he tagged along. Dayton was awash in music: touring acts such as B.B. King or Motown stars, and homegrown talent like guitar legend Robert Ward. “There was always a community of people who played together and jammed together,” McDonald said. McDonald believes he was destined to be a musician. “I had nothing to do with that decision. That decision was made for me, and I’m happy about it.” At about age 8 he started playing with a gospel group. He’s been an active performer since. About 30 years ago, he moved to England, when Bush was elected, he joked, suggesting the reviewer could join him if Donald Trump is elected president. The move, though, wasn’t prompted by politics; it was prompted by business. He finds more work over there. “They don’t like old people in America. You’ve got to be young and cute.” In Europe there’s still a strong live music scene. From his home in England, McDonald can cross the channel for gigs in France, Spain and Germany. While he usually performs solo, he collaborates with a number of other musicians. That includes performers from around the world, including Mali, Peru, and China. “We make good music and have fun.” The music scene has changed now, he said. People used to play together, now musicians are expected to do everything themselves. “I call it bedroom music,” McDonald said. “It’s the death of the band, the death of social interaction.” Those bygone days are part of what’s being celebrated the blues event. Hines Farm was a concert venue and music club where people gathered to have a…

Electric over-charges to go back to customers

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Bowling Green electric customers will get a boost in their bills the rest of this year. Over-collected electric charges will be reimbursed to city customers – to the tune of $2,325,049 from last year, the city’s Board of Public Utilities heard Monday evening. “The money has got to go back to the customers,” said Brian O’Connell, director of utilities for the city of Bowling Green. The city adopted an accounting standard in 2009 that allows deferral of unrecovered power supply costs that otherwise would have caused a default of the city’s bond agreement. The city often over-collects to ensure that it has enough to cover its bond payments. If there is money left over, it then goes back to local residents. “At the end of the year, we have to account for our power supply costs,” O’Connell said. About 10 percent of the $2,325,049 will be refunded each of the 10 months of March through December. After Monday’s meeting, O’Connell said the over-collected amount was actually running higher, but decreased when power costs were lowered and kilowatt hours dropped. A story will follow later this week on the water and wastewater projects approved by the board of public utilities for this year.

BGSU students advocate for solar array on campus

By BG INDEPENDENT NEWS A hill created by construction debris goes mostly unoccupied during the year. Except that is on Independence Day when people gather there to watch the fireworks being launched from the stadium to the southeast. A group of Bowling Green State University students have a different vision for the site – they’d like to see an array of solar panels erected there. Recently the Environmental Action Group and Environmental Service Club drafted a letter and had it signed by a couple dozen other student leaders urging the university to take the city up on its offer to put solar panels on the site. The city’s main solar array will be located on Carter Road, but it offered to also place some on campus. No site was designated. City officials confirmed Monday night that the offer was made, but they’ve yet to hear a response from BGSU. Lily Murnen, president of the Environmental Service Group, said the university hasn’t taken enough action to fulfill its climate action plan that resulted from president Mary Ellen Mazey joining other higher education executives in signing a Climate Commitment calling for campuses to become neutral in their greenhouse gas emissions. That plan, filed in November, 2014, sets out “a vision of the institution as a sustainable campus in the 21st century, operating economically and efficiently, and producing net zero greenhouse gas emissions. This is a vision to be realized by the year 2040.” The solar project would provide “great visibility for the university showing how we are taking some steps to realize our goals,” Murnen said. Matthew Cunningham, the president of the Environmental Action Group, said, the solar panels could also provide students with hands-on learning experiences. As much as the lack of action, Dan Myers, public relations officer for the Environmental Action Group, said the students were concerned that the administration is not communicating with students. “We’re pretty significant stakeholders in the university.” Cunningham said he did see Mazey at a Presidents Day event, and that she said she would be sending a response to the letter to student government. That the activists said would not be enough. Undergraduate Student Government leaders, Cunningham said, have too much on their plate. Murnen said that this issue also shows a need for more student engagement. “Maybe students need to take a more active role.” Students on other campuses are advocating for a variety of issues, she said. Though there is a consensus on campus that the university needs to take action on environmental issues, Myers said, “a lot of people believe they don’t have the ability to do something.” Cunningham said they have been in contact with members of faculty senate about bringing up the issue in that forum. “What it really comes down to transparency between students, administration and faculty.”

Lead pipes long gone for city waterlines…but lines to some older homes may still be lead

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Flint residents will likely be suspicious for years to come about the water that comes out of their taps. Many continued drinking the discolored water after being reassured by authorities that it was safe for consumption. The crisis that will reverberate for years in Michigan has some Ohio residents wondering about the safety of their tap water. Any lead pipes used in Bowling Green city’s water delivery system have long ago been replaced, according to city officials. But the city has no control over the pipes used to tap into the lines and carry water into individual homes. “As far as our records go, we’re not aware of any lead service lines that are a part of the system,” said Brian O’Connell, director of public utilities for Bowling Green. In the early 1990s, the lead lines were replaced with copper lines, according to Mike Johnson, of the water division. But homeowners are responsible for that bit of pipe that brings the water from the street lines into their faucets. “We don’t always know what is in the house,” O’Connell said. Since some residents may unknowingly have lead lines in their homes, the Environmental Protection Agency has had the city test about 30 water samples each year from residences that may have older connections to the city waterlines. In the past several years, only a handful of homes have shown any detectable levels of lead, Johnson said. All the others have tested as “no detect” for any lead. Unlike Flint, Bowling Green uses anti-corrosive chemicals which deposit on the walls of the pipe and make it less likely the water will cause the pipe to deteriorate, noted Joe Fawcett, assistant municipal administrator. Local residents with concerns about possible lead in their drinking water can have it tested by the Wood County Health District. The tests can be done one of two ways, according to Pat Snyder, communications manager at the health district. The resident can pick up a bottle provided by a lab, get a sample of their water, then return it to the health district. That test costs $17.80. The health district can also send out a sanitarian to take the water sample for $63. Anyone interested, or who has questions may call the Environmental Health Division office at 419-354-2702. The risks of lead in water can be significant and long-lasting, according to health district officials. “High levels of lead in the drinking water can cause adverse health effects if the lead in the water enters the bloodstream which results in elevated blood lead levels,” said Amy Jones, director of nursing at the health district. “Especially vulnerable to the effects of lead exposure are children and pregnant women.” Two bills are currently being considered by state legislators in Ohio in an attempt to reduce the risks of lead in drinking water. The bills take such steps as require regular testing of drinking water for lead, set standards for pipes used in water systems, and require timely notice to residents of unsafe lead levels found in their water.      

Friends serve up support at benefit for Corner Grill staff (updated)

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Howard’s Club H got to rocking a little early Saturday. At 2 p.m. the Mechanical Cat was on stage rapping about other worlds against a psychedelic background. The business at hand though was a centered on a very real world cause – helping the 10 or so employees of the Corner Grill, who have lost work because of the Feb. 1 fire. The Grill is a beloved part of the downtown scene, whether for folks people heading to work at dawn, the employees from the county courthouse down the block, or the late night revelers and the workers who serve them. It’s been that for decades. So Howard’s, another venerable downtown establishment, opened its doors to host the benefit that ran from early afternoon to early the next morning with a full slate of bands, as well as a buffet of home cooked food and raffle items. Howard’s employee Nikki Cordy who organized the benefit reported: “It was absolutely amazing. It certainly exceeded my expectations. We had perfect weather,everyone was in such a positive and fun mood,we ran on time,all the bands showed up & kicked ass,we raised over $4,000. I couldn’t possibly be happier.” Larry Cain, the owner of the Grill, said he was glad to see the turnout to help his employees. They’re a team, he said. He now expects the Grill will take three to four months to open its doors. A glance inside the diner shows a gutted interior. The linoleum counter, Cain said, has been saved. That’s good, given he wants to preserve as much of the eatery’s classic look as possible. He hopes when the Corner Grill reopens it will feature that old atmosphere but with a much improved operation for his workers, including space for another cook in the grill area. All that will take time working with disaster recovery, architects and construction crews. In the meantime, Patrick McDermott, the third shift cook at the Grill, said he was reaching out to places he used to work to pick up shifts. The other staff, many of whom worked multiple jobs, are doing the same. McDermott had said earlier in the week that he was so distraught about the fire he wasn’t even able to watched a video about it. Standup comic Dick Pretzel said he was saddened when he heard the news about the fire. He was among those donating their time Saturday. He was serving as master of ceremonies for show that included sets by about a dozen bands. Pretzel said he likes to host benefits. “It makes me feel really good to lend my voice for a really good cause.” He said he’s lived in many places around the country and as a truck driver has traveled to many more. “I’ll find this one place where I really feel comfortable, where I can have a really good conversation with the cook or the waitress or even the patrons.” For Pretzel, the Corner Grill was that place for him in Bowling Green. Before he would go perform at an open mic at Grumpy Dave’s, he’d have a meal at the Corner Grill. “It puts me a good place,” Pretzel said. “It had everything to put me in the zone.” A conversation, or overheard comment, may cause…

Pro Musica celebrates music students’ travels near & far

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Pro Musica sends university music students around the world so they can learn and perform. Sometimes those trips send them far from home; sometimes they bring them home. That was the case with Chi-Him Chik. Pro Musica help fund the Bowling Green State University student’s attendance at a music festival in his native Hong Kong. While there, the saxophonist said, he met composers and arranged to commission new pieces for saxophone. That will mean more concerts back home both in Hong Kong and in Bowling Green. Chik was one of five students who performed Sunday afternoon in the atrium of the Wood County Public Library in the annual Coffee & Classics concert. He played “The Jungle,” a contemporary piece for solo saxophone by Christian Lauba. Pianist Josh Wang, who performed two preludes by Sergei Rachmaninoff, also used a Pro Musica grant to travel home. In his case, Wisconsin. He put together a concert tour. Not only did it give him a chance to perform his repertoire in concert several times in a compressed period of time but it gave him experience booking and promoting the tour. It went so well, Wang said, that several venues have asked him to return. Singer Suzanne Pergal traveled to Nice, France, for a summer academy. For her, to be taught by French teachers and be surrounded by native French speakers was invaluable. Sunday, though, she sang in English – four selections from “Ten Blake Songs” by Ralph Vaughan Williams, performed with Robert Ragoonanan on oboe. Caleb Georges performed a prelude from a suite by J.S. Bach on viola. He said that Pro Musica funding helped him attend a chamber music festival in California where he was able study with internationally known musicians. Pianist Yuefeng Liu opened the concert with a sonata by Alexander Scriabin. She said she used her grant Music Teachers National Association national competition. The performers were among the most recent that Pro Musica has assisted in its 30-plus years. The group of more than 300 alumni, family, faculty, friends and students uses all its funds to support student activities as well as o sponsor the awards at the Douglas Wayland Chamber Music Competition in spring. For information, visit:

Ohioans’ turn coming to pick presidential favorites

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Soon it will be Ohioans’ turn to pick their favored candidates for this fall’s presidential election. In the March 15 primary election, local voters will help narrow down the field of candidates. Some voters get on board with their true favorite candidate, while some use their votes to derail the opposition. Whatever the case, voters in Wood County can choose the ballots they cast without being challenged by poll workers, according to Terry Burton, director of the Wood County Board of Elections. “They can pick any ballot they wish,” be it Green Party, Democratic, Republican or just an issues ballot, Burton said. In previous years, citizens with histories of voting with a certain party in primary elections were sometimes questioned when they wanted to switch parties for a primary ballot. Those voters were sometimes asked to sign a form stating they wished to align themselves with a different party. That all changed a few years ago, Burton said, when the Ohio Secretary of State’s Office under Jennifer Brunner redefined the rules. Poll workers were no longer to ask voters to sign those forms unless they had reason to believe a voter was being untruthful. “We told our poll workers to no longer use that form,” Burton said. But some counties in Ohio still question voters who wish to switch, Burton added. “There are some counties that still use that form,” in instances when poll workers believe voters should have to declare their allegiance when switching parties. “We tell our poll workers to let people use whatever ballot they want to vote. That should be the end of the conversation.” There are rare circumstances when official poll observers, assigned to certain precincts, can challenge voters. “That’s not something we see very often,” Burton said. Early voting for the primary is underway in Ohio, but so far it hasn’t generated a lot of interest in comparison to the previous presidential primary, according to Burton. “I will tell you, our early voting requests are down,” he said. That could be because so much of the focus has been on earlier primaries in other states. “Since we haven’t really seen the campaigns move into the area, the interest has been minimal.” Citizens voting Republican in the primary will notice that the field of presidential candidates includes names of those who have dropped out of the race. However, only one of those, Rand Paul, officially withdrew his name from Ohio ballots, Burton said. Also, Burton pointed out that Republican voters will get to vote twice for a presidential candidate, once for delegates-at-large for the national convention, and once for district delegates to the national convention. Following it a list of all the candidates and issues appearing on the primary ballots in Wood County: Democratic ballot President (delegates-at-large and alternates-at-large to national convention) Hillary Clinton Roque “Rocky” De La Fuente Bernie Sanders United State Senate Kelli Prather G. Sittenfeld Ted Strickland Fifth U.S. Congressional District James Neu Jr. Justice of Ohio Supreme Court John P. O’Donnell Justice of Ohio Supreme Court Cynthia Rice Second Ohio Senate District Kirk W. Halliday, Vermillion Third Ohio House District David Walters, Bowling Green Sixth District Court of Appeals Jack R. Puffenberger Sixth District Court of Appeals Mark L. Pietrykowski Wood County Common…

Students do the neighborly thing on East Side

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   With their rubber gloves and blowing garbage bags, the students scooped up sandwich wrappers, paper plates, and beer cans. But their primary prey was much smaller. “The two big contenders are cigarette butts and Taco Bell sauce packets,” said Sean Herman, who organized Saturday morning’s cleanup of the city’s East Side through The Common Good organization. By 9 a.m. nearly 50 students and a couple full-time residents were crammed into The Common Good house on Crim Street to load up on coffee and bagels before heading out for the neighborhood cleanup. They were given gloves, garbage bags and maps with instructions of streets their teams should cover.   Herman has organized several cleanups, but this one drew more volunteers – from fraternities, a student environmental group and honors students. The work focused in the Wooster Street area on the east side of the city. “This is where the most trash seems to accumulate,” he said. Through The Common Good, Herman has pulled together occasional cleanup crews for the past 18 months. “I just thought there was a need out there and no one was doing anything about it,” he said. Hollie Baker said the cleanups started after the East Side neighborhood group began talking about the negative effects of living in an area so populated by university students. “So this is a way to help the East Side become cleaner and show them that college students acknowledge it’s a problem,” Baker said. Megan Sutherland, director of The Common Good, said BGSU students canvassed the East Side neighborhood to ask how relationships could improve between campus and community members. “We were expecting something way more complicated,” than picking up trash, Sutherland said. “This is so simple. But the residents see there are students who care and the students get to know the residents.” The simple act of collecting trash is helping to build a bridge between the campus and the community, she said. Some of the residents have responded by asking if they can join the cleanup efforts, Herman said. “People ask if they can help out.” Gradually, distrust is being replaced by respect, Sutherland said. “When you start actually meeting your neighbors, it becomes a neighborhood,” she said. “It’s putting a face to a house. You watch out for each other.”

BGSU taking a bite out of crime with forensic science

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Crime is paying off for Bowling Green State University, or at least the science of investigating crime. On Friday, the university’s Board of Trustees approved a new bachelor’s degree in Forensic Science. It’s the latest offering in forensic science, including a master’s degree. Five years ago, Provost Rodney Rogers said, BGSU had no students studying forensic science. Then the state Bureau of Criminal Investigation announced it would locate a new crime lab on campus, and that initiated the creation of programs related to the lab. Now the university has about 250 students studying forensics in some form. That includes forensic specializations in chemistry, biology and computer science. Rogers said that the university is looking to boost that number even more. As it is, he said, BGSU now has one of the strongest programs in the country. Betty Montgomery, a former state Attorney General, who was instrumental in getting a BCI lab located in Bowling Green, said the university needs to get that message out through major media. Having a new lab on campus is an example of the university engaging with society. Jon Sprague, the director of the Center for the Future of Forensic Sciences, told the trustees about some of the research being done through the auspices of the center. That research involves both faculty and students across disciplines. That includes research into how double pane glass changes the trajectory of a bullet, which involved physics, and an analysis into how to optimize the process of dealing with a backlog of rape kits, which requires advanced data analysis Greg Grecco, a junior in neuroscience, spoke about his research into how components of designer drugs effect hyperthermia in users. The work being done in the university, Sprague said, benefits both BGSU and BCI. The degree in forensic science as one of three new degrees approved by the trustees. Also approved were: • Bachelor of Arts Degree in Biology. The major, Rogers said, is designed for students who may want to go into science related fields, including health professions, who don’t need the daunting math and upper level courses. • Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy, Politics, Economics and Law. The disciplines have much in common, Rogers said, and the major would bring together strengths BGSU already has. The major is viewed as good preparation for public policy positions. Rogers said it would be a good major for students interested in studying law.

Student designs Alzheimer’s app with his grandpa in mind

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News Alzheimer’s Disease is like a melon baller, scooping out holes in memory banks of brains. After watching Alzheimer’s take away so much from his grandfather, Jacob Kielmeyer is working on a way to help people suffering with the disease. Kielmeyer, a senior at Bowling Green High School and the son of David and Diane Kielmeyer, presented his “Nostalgia” app that he created for his DECA class to the board of education Tuesday. The project earned Kielmeyer first place at the DECA district level and qualified him for state competition. And best of all, it could actually become a tool that families can use to help their member with Alzheimer’s regain enjoyment from their memories. The “Nostalgia” program offers a new approach to memory therapy by creating a first-person interactive world designed by family members. The program pairs familiar sounds with familiar photographs to help Alzheimer’s patients get past those holes in their memories. The student was inspired to create the program by his grandpa, Donald Kielmeyer, who died in 2008 after suffering many years with Alzheimer’s. The app he showed Tuesday was designed with his grandpa in mind. The computer screen flashed images of his grandpa’s favorite places – the Main Street of his town, the church he attended for years, a favorite restaurant, a treasured fishing spot, and the Ohio State University football stadium – which his grandpa frequented to cheer on the Buckeyes. The program, created by family members who know the patient best, can then be controlled by the person with Alzheimer’s, allowing them through touch to decide whether they want to go to church, fishing, or out for a favorite meal. Meanwhile, the music (also selected by family members) plays favorite songs personalized for the patient. The app designed for Kielmeyer’s grandpa even replayed a portion of an OSU game pitting Woody Hayes against University of Michigan’s Bo Schembechler. “It allows the family to make it familiar,” Kielmeyer said. “That’s the power of ‘Nostalgia.’” Kielmeyer was asked by the school board if he had considered taking his idea to the “Shark Tank” TV show for inventors. “I have thought about doing something like that,” he said. But Kielmeyer said he was instead working with Dr. Laura Landry Meyer, at BGSU, to possibly get a grant from the Alzheimer’s Association. “I think his idea has a lot of merit,” Meyer said when contacted about the project. Meyer explained that Alzheimer’s destroys the neurons that allow connections in the brain. She described it as the melon baller scooping out links in the brain. “There are actually holes there,” she said. “If I hit that huge pothole, I don’t know how to go around it.” But by using music and images of familiar faces and places, some neurons in the brain can actually be triggered. “It’s multi-sensory, so they are able to go around the holes,” she said. Even if they are unable to make the exact connections, the music and images from years gone by can be of comfort to Alzheimer’s patients. Meyer said Kielmeyer presented his “Nostalgia” project to her students at BGSU. “I’m so impressed with him,” she said.      

BGSU trustees hike room & board costs, & add Greek fee

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The cost to eat and sleep at Bowling Green State University is going up in fall. The university trustees approved an increase that averages 2.4 percent for room costs at their meeting Friday. The 11 options, organized in three tiers, have varying costs, and varying rates of increase. This schedule, said Sheri Stoll, chief financial officer, is being compressed from four tiers. Previously Greek housing had its own tier, but with the opening in August of the new Greek Village, now under construction, the administration moved Greek housing to the top tier. Even that, Stoll said, does not cover the cost of the new housing. In order to avoid having other resident students subsidize Greek housing, a new “parlor” fee will be assessed to members of sororities and fraternities whether they live in the chapter house or not. Chapters will determine how they are assessed. The trustees also approved an average 2.5-percent increase in meal plans. That would raise the cost of the recommended Bronze plan by $2.44 a week. Stoll was asked about a ranking that showed BGSU’s room and board costs are less than at most other Ohio schools. She noted it has been three years since board fees have increased. She also noted that rents for off-campus housing are among the lowest in the nation. That puts additional pressure on what the university can charge.

Black Swamp Players bring the marvelous world of Seuss to life

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The fantastic world of Dr. Seuss tells of many amazing feats and fanciful places. Is any of that as wondrous as the Black Swamp Players managing to fit his fantastical world onto the small stage at the First United Methodist Church? That stage is bursting with color, melody and dance as the Players, in collaboration with Horizon Youth Theatre, present “Seussical the Musical” Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. returning Feb. 26 and 27 at 8 p.m. and Feb. 28 at 2 p.m. in the church at 1526 E. Wooster St. Tickets are $15 and $12 for students and seniors from Grounds for Thought, 174 S. Main St., Bowling Green or online at The show, by Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens, shapes a plot around several famous Seuss tales. As fun as it would be, this is not The Complete Works of Dr. Seuss (Abridged). Instead with The Cat in the Hat (Jeff Guion) as the Lord of Misrule, the script focuses on the adventures of JoJo (Maddox Brosius), a thoughtful kid from Who, the smallest planet in the sky, and the dutiful elephant Horton, who discovers Who on a puff ball. Among the three they tap into the key themes of the world of Seuss. Each is his own person at odds with society. The Cat in the Hat celebrates a sense of playful anarchy, and encourages JoJo, a boy whose great fault is he thinks too much, to be true to himself even if it means trouble for others. Horton is thoughtful in another way. Deeply empathetic, he cares for that world of people no other creatures can hear. He’s faithful despite the derision and bullying of most of the other residents of the Jungle of Nool. “A person’s a person no matter how small,” he declares. His only supporter, though he doesn’t notice, is Gertrude McFuzz (Sarah Buchanan). She’s a bird with a single tail feather, who wants more luxurious plumage. Her tale is another one about accepting oneself. This mashup approach works well and serves to put characters barely glimpsed in the books in the spotlight. JoJo’s parents are Mr. Mayor (Nathaniel Naugle) and Mrs. Mayor (Cassie Greenlee). They dote on their son, but also worry that his “thinking” so often gets him into trouble. So they send him off to a military school run by General Genghis Khan Schmitz (Matthew Johnston) and he ends up fighting the Butter Wars that pit those who butter their bread on opposite sides of the slice against each other. That tale shows Seuss creator Theodor Seuss Geisel’s anti-war passion. Mayzie LaBird (Allanah Lucas Reisling) plays a major role as the vain mother who entrusts, through deceit, Horton with her egg. Poor Horton now must care for the egg and the mote of dust on which Who resides. “An elephant is faithful 100 percent,” he says. Logsdon’s Horton is a very sweet character, yet one unmovable even in the face of taunting and isolation. He bears all manner of abuse with dignity. His melancholy rendition of “Alone in the Universe” marks the second act’s turn toward more emotionally touching territory. Not that anything can dampen the spirits of the Cat in the Hat, who is ever the mischief…