Falcon 4 News: Week of March 21

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Falcon 4 News Graphic

Abigail Muth and Abigail Muth

Local

BG water developments

The City of Bowling Green’s Board of Public Utilities met last week and voted to speed up an increase in wastewater rates and delay a proposed water rate increase. After selling more water than projected last year while receiving less wastewater than planned for treatment. According to Public Utilities Director, Brian O’Connell, most Bowling Green consumers will not be affected. According to O’Connell in a BG Independent News article, “Businesses and people are using more water”.

St. Patrick’s Day arrests

Fifty-four warnings and one DUI arrest, along with one person arrested for criminal damaging and numerous noise complaints were issued last weekend around St. Patrick’s Day. Students were taking advantage of the nice weather and many people were out celebrating, although Lt. Adam Skaff said, “From looking at the incidents… I would say it wasn’t out of the ordinary.” According to the Sentinel-Tribune, the Bowling Green Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol also made three drunk driving arrests.

Graffiti found at Perrysburg High School

Last week, an investigation began surrounding racist graffiti found in a Perrysburg High School restroom. The district is calling this a hate incident and has been following policies by contacting the Perrysburg Police Division and beginning an investigation immediately. “It is heartbreaking to share this news, but it is important for us as a school community to be transparent about the incident, publicly state there is no tolerance for this behavior and work collectively to confront hate whenever and wherever it reveals itself,” said Perrysburg Schools superintendent, according to the Sentinel-Tribune.

BG COVID-19 relief fund

The Bowling Green Parks and Recreation Department agreed last week to ask City Council to use COVID-19 relief funds to lower rates for patrons at the city pool. “Hopefully if everything works out, this would give some relief to families,” said board President, Jodi Anderson. If these funds are not able to be used for the pool, rates may be increased this summer. According to statistics in a BG Independent News article, the biggest new expense is the 50 cent an hour increase to Ohio’s minimum wage, up to $9.30.

State

Man goes to jail for mask refusal

A Youngstown city police officer has been sentenced to jail time by Municipal Court Judge, Carla Baldwin, for refusing to wear a mask in court. 36-year-old Thomas Wisener was in court Feb. 23 to testify as a witness where he failed to wear a mask and was sentenced to 10 days in the county jail and to pay a $250 fine. Youngstown Police Staff Inspector, Lt. Brian Butler, released a statement saying, “Officer Wisener will face disciplinary action for being found in contempt of court,” according to an NBC4 article.

Body recovered from West Chester pond is identified

A body recovered from a pond in West Chester, Ohio, has been identified, according to WCPO-TV in Cincinnati. The Butler County Coroner’s Office says the remains are those of 31-year-old Alexander Enslen, who had been missing since February. Enslen was last seen in the late-night hours of Jan. 31 near a local Wal-Mart. The coroner ruled the cause of death as accidental drowning. 

Ohio’s fracking industry

A 2012 prediction made by Cleveland State University stated that Ohio’s then-growing fracking industry would grow $5 billion a year along with adding 66,000 direct and indirect jobs. A decade later, these findings are hard to prove as different viewpoints show fuzzy numbers. As Ohio ranks sixth in the country for natural gas production, any job growth will likely be short-lived as the industry matures and relies less on workers. A Cleveland.com visual shows oil production hit an all-time high in 2015 and has stayed relatively high in comparison to 2010, although it is unpredictable.

National

COVID-19 relief fund pulled

Last week, lawmakers removed a $15 billion COVID-19 relief package from a spending bill and now the need for federal funding may be greater. This money, pulled from a $1.5 trillion government funding bill Congress passed last week, may not be enough according to some Democrat leaders. This money is currently stalled in Congress but could be used to fund a new antiviral pill to slow the spread of COVID-19 and potentially stop any new variants, according to the Ohio Capital Journal.

Supreme Court Justice hospitalized for infection

Supreme Court Justice, Clarence Thomas, was admitted to a hospital in Washington last week and has been diagnosed with an infection after experiencing flu-like symptoms. Thomas is the longest serving of the current justices and will participate in the consideration of cases on Monday through audio of the oral arguments, transcripts and briefs, according to Reuters.com. Separately, hearings will begin soon for Federate Appellate Judge, Ketanji Brown Jackson, to serve on the Supreme Court.

Arkansas shooting

A shooting on Saturday outside a southeast Arkansas car show left one dead and over 20 others wounded, including children. Although there may have been multiple shooters, one person is currently in custody and the condition of the wounded is still unknown. The car show’s organizer, Wallace McGhee said, “For something like this to happen, it’s a tragedy. We did this for 16 years without a problem.” According to NPR an Arkansas Governor Candidate, Chris Jones, tweeted, “I am deeply saddened (and greatly angered) by this tragedy.”

Time to retool census?

Many minority residents in the US have been undercounted in the last two years and many think that it is time to rethink the census. The most comprehensive survey had to be mostly scrapped due to inadequacy because disruptions caused by the pandemic have been producing fewer responses. Although the pandemic and other natural disasters did put a hitch in the 2020 census, undercounts of racial and ethnic minorities have been persistent for decades, according to AP News.