Mystery development gets approvals in Rossford

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The Rossford Planning Commission tonight (Dec. 12, 2018) approved key measures to allow the development of a project in the Crossroads area by an unnamed company. Mayor Neil MacKinnon responded “absolutely” when asked if the project would be game changing for the area in the southern reaches of the city. Presenting the proposal at the meeting was Nathan Harris of Duke Realty. He would not comment further on the project after the meeting. Wade Gottschalk, Wood County Economic Development executive director, said he and others involved were operating under the conditions of a non-disclosure agreement. An article earlier this week in the Toledo Blade provided informed speculation that it may be an Amazon fulfillment center. What’s not a mystery is the size of the project. Situated on 100 acres off between Deimling Road and South Compass Drive, behind the Giant Eagle, the site will have parking spaces for 1,800 cars and 300 tractor trailer trucks. The plans call for constructing a 2.8 million-square-foot , four-story facility. MacKinnon said the final announcement about the project will be left to the as-yet-unnamed company. “I would guess in spring,” MacKinnon said. Before the planning commission was a request to change the zoning of one of the four parcels to planned industrial, the same as the other parcels. Duke on behalf of its client also requested a variance to allow screening of the parking lots to be on the exterior of the lots and not on islands within the lots. It also requested a variance to allow an 85-foot-tall building. The limit in planned industrial is 35-feet. All three requests were granted unanimously.  Zoning Administrator Mark Zuchowski said that the final site plan might be ready by the Planning Commission’s next meeting.

Theater & research a natural fit for Chautauqua

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News History feels right at home in Rossford. Ohio Chautauqua presented by the Ohio Humanities council set up its tent this week along the Maumee, to present five nights of living history. It opened Tuesday night with Susan Marie Frontczak bringing the pioneering scientist Marie Curie to life on the stage. It continues with presentations every night through Saturday. Dressed in a black dress Frontczak took the audience from Curie’s childhood in Warsaw under the rule of the Russian czar to her scientific lab in a Paris apartment she shared with her husband. Along the way Frontczak was careful to make the science as clear as possible for those, she said, who had never studied chemistry or had studied it so long ago they had forgotten it all. She told Curie’s story with a few gripping details, occasionally injecting humor. Learning to cook as a young wife was “my most mysterious science experiment.” When Curie’s family had to take in 10 young male students as boarders, she declared “that’s when I learned to concentrate.” As with all the presenters, Frontczak has to be an actor who captures the audience’s attention and engages their imaginations. She has to be a writer who can encapsulate a notable life story within 50 minutes. And she has to be a scholar who must research her subject and master that research not only to create an accurate script, but also to be able to answer audience members questions both in character and out of character. On Tuesday Frontczak demonstrated how she could extemporize in character as she carried on exchanges with the audience. At one point, someone asked about the death of Curie’s husband. Without faltering, Frontczak described the circumstances of his death and Curie’s deep grief in the months afterward. As a researcher, she explained, that Curie was well accepted by her fellow scientists. Most importantly she was supported in her work by her father and her husband, who insisted the Nobel Prize be awarded in both their names, not just his. Dan Cutler, who appears Wednesday as Cornstalk (Hokoleskwa), a Shawnee Indian chief, said people have approached him about becoming living history actors, and when he tells them about the research involved they are shocked. The Chautauqua programs put that research to use during the day. Each day of the program one performer presents a workshop for children at 10 a.m. and a program for adults at 2 p.m., all the Rossford Public Library. On Tuesday, Cutler talked about how trade with Europeans changed the lives of Native Americans, and almost always for the worse. The Europeans introduced metal goods, glass beads for wampum – though the Dutch misunderstood the ritual behind trading it. The demand for furs led to overhunting. Some trade goods were useful; wool blankets hold in heat even when wet. Some devastating; natives had no tolerance for alcoholic beverages. When a trader brought a keg of rum into a village, some natives would assign themselves as protectors of those who imbibed, taking away their weapons and watching over them, though from afar lest they get involved in the fights that would ensue. Every generation or so, Cutler said, a holy man would arise and urged the natives to go back to their traditional ways…

New $70 million Rossford project ties into casino

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent Media ROSSFORD – A new $70 million project will provide hotel rooms, conference space, restaurants and shops across from the Hollywood Casino Toledo. Project RED, for Rossford Entertainment District, was announced this morning inside the casino by officials of NAI Harmon Group. Dallas Paul, the broker for the project, said it will include a 150-room hotel with connecting conference center. A major focus of the 100,000 square feet of retail space will be fine dining and fast casual restaurants with cuisine that complements what is offered across Miami Street in the casino. There will also be some boutique shopping available. ED Harmon, the company president, said the Toledo-based firm has the global connections to find the right tenants for the development. The project will take about two and half years to complete, Paul said. The land is currently an open field owned by Hunger Manufacturing. The first step will be a $1.3 million connector road that will be constructed by the Ohio Department of Transportation. That road has a completion date of spring, 2017. The project will also have a people mover transit system, which will be called the RED Skyway, to take people between Project RED and the casino. Paul said when completed the project will employ about 1,000 people in service jobs. Rossford Mayor Neil MacKinnon said the development furthers Rossford’s evolution into “a new live, work, play community.” The development that’s so closely linked to the casino, which is in Toledo, only strengthens Rossford’s ties to its neighbor to the north, especially the attractions in Toledo’s downtown, MacKinnon said. Beth Genson, the director of the Rossford Convention and Visitors Bureau, said Project RED fills a gap in Rossford’s offerings. Four new hotels have gone up in the Crossroads area to the south of the Rossford downtown, and she’s been trying to attract convention business. But while the beds are available, meeting spaces are not. Genson said those planning conventions want conference spaces to be just a few steps from the hotel rooms, restaurants, shopping and entertainment. She said she can’t wait to return to those potential clients and tell them about the new development. The timing is good because conferences are usually planned several years ahead of time. The completion date of the project will also coincide with the scheduled 2020 completion of the reconstruction of I-75.

Ohio Humanities Presents Ohio Chautauqua in Rossford

From ROSSFORD CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU   History comes to life  in Rossford June 28 through July 2 when Ohio Humanities brings its  Ohio Chautauqua 2016 tour to Rossford. The theme for 2016 is “The Natural World” featuring chemist Marie Curie, Iroquois leader Cornstalk, Frankenstein author Mary Shelley, President Theodore Roosevelt, and zoologist Dian Fossey. Building on the 19th-century tradition established on the shores of New York’s Chautauqua Lake, Ohio Chautauqua is a five-day community event that combines living history performances, music, education, and audience participation into a one-of-a-kind cultural event the entire community will enjoy. Daytime activities feature stimulating adult programs and hands-on workshops for youth hosted at the Rossford Library, 720 Dixie Highway. Each evening, family, friends and visitors gather as live music fills the air in Veterans Park at the Marina, 300 Hannum Avenue with convenient parking and buses from Rossford High School. Then, a talented performer appears on stage, bringing a historic figure to life through personal stories and historic detail. This enriching and delightfully entertaining experience is perfect for every generation. With its warm, nostalgic vibe, this truly unique experience is sure to open minds and start conversations. A daily schedule can be found online at or Sponsors of Ohio Chautauqua 2016 in Rossford, Ohio include Ohio Humanities, the Rossford Convention & Visitors Bureau, ProMedica Bay Park Hospital, Lake Erie Living Magazine, Welch Publishing, Wood County Cultural Arts Grant, TARTA, Northwestern Water & Sewer District, the Rossford Business Association, Meijer Rossford, Costco Perrysburg, Camping World, the City of Rossford and the Rossford Library. Daytime Programs Rossford Public Library 720 Dixie Highway, 
Rossford. Programs for youth begin at 10 a.m. Tuesday, June 28: Dan Cutler: Prehistoric People—How Primitive Were They? Wednesday, June 29: Susan Marie Frontczak: Once Upon a Time—Frankenstein Thursday, June 30: Dianne Moran: Animal Researchers Friday, July 1: Chuck Chalberg: Roosevelt as a Hunter & Explorer Saturday, July 2: Susan Marie Frontczak: Storytelling: Science and Engineering through Stories Programs for adults begin at 2 p.m. Tuesday, June 28: Dan Cutler: How the “Skin Trade” Changed Traditional Native Values Wednesday, June 29: Susan Marie Frontczak: Does a Clone Have a Soul – or – Grappling with the Monster Thursday, June 30: Dianne Moran: Dian Fossey, Passionate Mountain Gorilla Researcher and Defender Friday, July 1: Chuck Chalberg: Roosevelt’s Character and Roosevelt as an American Character Saturday, July 2: Susan Marie Frontczak: Marie Curie—What Almost Stopped Her Evening Performances Rossford Veteran’s Memorial Park and Marina 300 Hannum Ave., 
Rossford Performances begin at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 28: Susan Marie Frontczak as Marie Curie Wednesday, June 29: Dan Cutler as Chief Cornstalk Thursday, June 30: Susan Marie Frontczak as Mary Shelley Friday, July 1: Dianne Moran as Dian Fossey Saturday, July 2: Chuck Chalberg as Theodore Roosevelt Live local music at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 28 – Acoustic Penguin – Old time fiddle tunes along with some jazz and swing tunes. Wednesday, June 29 – The Grande Royale Ükulelists of the Black Swamp – A vocal/ukulele quartet that plays all kinds of music – from Bertolt Brecht to Harry Belafonte to James Brown to the Beatles and beyond. Thursday, June 30 – The Root Cellar String Band – Old time music of pre-1940’s rural America and the southern Appalachian mountains. Friday, July 1 – Tim Tegge – A lyrical…