It's said that every car has a story at the Corvette Homecoming
For 33 years, hundreds of the members of the very tight-knit community of Corvette owners make their way to Bowling Green for the Corvette Homecoming. It’s happened every summer since 1981 and heat can usually be the biggest weather concern. But this year, the problem was rain.
There was a steady drizzle all day Saturday in Bowling Green – not conducive to walking around and looking at Corvettes in a parking lot. The cars were still there, just not in the numbers as have been seen in past years. Most of the action was taking place inside, under the roof of the Sloan Convention Center where some of the most prized Corvettes were on display.
Fans of the car from all over the country were in attendance. For some, they make it a yearly pilgrimage.
“Just the camaraderieship. Mingling with people, having fun, talking Corvette stuff. Good stuff,” said Cedric Wingo of Clarksville, Tennessee.
Republican efforts to win control of the Kentucky House got a boost from a national figure Saturday.
The incoming U.S. House Majority Leader, Kevin McCarthy, was in Bowling Green to raise money for the Republican Party of Kentucky House Trust. McCarthy visited the commonwealth at the request of the state’s 2nd District Congressman, Brett Guthrie of Warren County.
Speaking to reporters before the fundraiser, Rep. McCarthy said what happens in state legislatures can often trickle up to the nation's capital.
“I feel states are able to show and be a generator of ideas greater than Washington--that you can do the pilot programs,” the California Republican said. “The whole concept of welfare reform came from states. States don’t get to print more money. States have to balance a budget. States have to move forward. They carry out agencies they didn’t create.”
Democrats have controlled the Kentucky House for over 90 years, and the party’s state leaders say they will continue to hold the chamber despite the amount of GOP money being raised ahead of the November election. Republicans would have to win a net gain of five seats this fall to take control of the House.
During his visit to The Club at Olde Stone in Bowling Green, McCarthy said he agreed with Kentucky Senator Rand Paul’s recent statements about Republicans needing to expand the party’s appeal to groups that haven’t recently voted for the GOP in large numbers, such as African-Americans, Hispanics, and young people.
Some retired military veterans are asking Kentucky lawmakers to commit funding for a new long-term care facility for veterans that would be located in Bowling Green.
The commonwealth currently has only three such facilities, with a fourth veterans nursing home scheduled to open next summer in Hardin County.
Dr. Ray Biggerstaff served in Vietnam as a Captain with the 101st Airborne Division, based in Fort Campbell. He told state lawmakers in Frankfort that the number of veterans in the south-central Kentucky region makes Warren County a logical location for a long-term care operation.
“When we take a look at the demographic data for Bowling Green and the Barren River Area Development District, we’re looking at a total of 20,000 veterans in that particular area. Surrounding the area, we have an additional 22,000 veterans that are in the perimeter,” said Biggerstaff.
Biggerstaff said he also thought a long-term care facility for veterans in southern Kentucky could attract veterans who live in northern Tennessee.
In testimony before a joint committee on State Veterans, Military Affairs, and Public Protection, Biggerstaff said backers of the proposed veteran’s nursing home in Warren County have identified a 30-acre site off I-65 near the Kentucky Transpark as a possible location for the facility.
The nursing home being built in Hardin County will sit on 195 acres of land donated by the Defense Department, and feature a dozen ten-person homes providing full nursing services to 120 veterans. It’s scheduled to open next June.
Kentucky’s three nursing homes for veterans currently in operation are in Hopkins, Jessamine, and Perry counties.
Veteran State Representative Jody Richards of Bowling Green is facing his first Tea Party challenger in the November election. Jenean Hampton is taking on the longest continuously serving state representative in Kentucky history.
"There was much prayer involved. This wasn't my plan," said Hampton in an interview with WKU Public Radio. "Sometimes you're screaming at the TV, you see things that need to be improved, and you're screaming that someone needs do something, well sometimes that someone is you."
Hampton serves as chair of the Bowling Green-Southern Kentucky Tea Party. The 55-year-old Republican is an Air Force veteran and businesswoman who wants to use her private sector experience to spur economic development in the commonwealth.
In her first run at public office, Hampton is taking on political heavyweight Jody Richards who was first elected to the legislature in 1975 and served as House Speaker from 1995 to 2009. Over that time, he's become the recipient of several plum committee assignments, including Appropriations and Revenue. Richards told WKU Public Radio that his influence in Frankfort could not be matched by a newcomer.
"No new person would have my committee lineup nor would they have the connections I do," he suggested. "I pride myself in working well with both sides of the aisle."
Albert Mbanfu, Executive Director, Bowling Green International Center; Dalton Workman, Chairman, WKU College Republican; and H.H. Barlow, Owner, Barlu Farms, Presidential Appointee to US Board for International Food & Agriculture Development speak in favor of national immigration reform during the press conference at the International Center in Bowling Green, Ky.
A coalition of business, political, and refugee-rights groups in south-central Kentucky is calling on Congress to pass immigration reform.
As part of a so-called national “Day of Action”, representatives from various backgrounds spoke Wednesday in Bowling Green about the need for Congressional leaders and the Obama Administration to get reform passed this year.
Barren County dairy farmer H.H. Barlow, a presidential appointee to the U.S. Board for International Food and Agriculture Development, said many Americans don’t understand the impact immigrant labor has on sectors such as the agriculture industry.
“I hate the word ‘criminals’, or ‘illegal aliens’—I don’t like that term. They’re workers. They’re performing an essential service to our country,” Barlow said.
The Barren County farmer said he speaks to his elected representatives about the need for immigration reform each time he sees them. Barlow believes that reform will not only benefit immigrants, but also the U.S. economy.
One way many Bowling Green families cool off in the summer is with a stop by Circus Square Park near downtown. But the water fountain at the center of the square that often serves as a playground for small children won’t be working for the next few weeks.
On Monday, crews discovered a hydrochloric acid leak that damaged some of the underground wiring for the pumps that operate the fountain. City spokesperson Kim Lancaster says a contractor is currently evaluating how much damage was done.
“It looks like we have a good chance of getting the fountain at least partially operational in the next couple of weeks,” said Lancaster. “It may not have all of the pumps running and it may not have the patterns that we like to run.”
Lancaster says an estimated timetable for a full repair is still unknown. She says the hydrochloric acid is used to maintain a pH balance of the chlorine, much like a swimming pool.
A new $150 million aluminum production facility in Bowling Green will create 80 new jobs.
Governor Beshear was on hand Wednesday morning at the Kentucky Transpark as ground was broken on the Japanese-European partnership. The joint venture between Contellium N.V. and UACJ Corporation will create finished aluminum body sheets for cars and trucks.
Construction on the 225,000-square-foot facility will begin this summer.
The next four days are a bargain hunter's dream as the 11th annual "400 Mile Sale" returns to the Commonwealth. It's Kentucky's yard sale, stretching along Highway 68 from Maysville to Paducah and into western Tennessee, and giving people a chance to show off their trash and treasures to anyone and everyone willing to stop and look.
This is the fourth year Wayne Wade has set up shop at his friend's yard in Warren County. He says he likes the spot since it's under two big trees that give them shade from the sun and cover from the rain.
Holley Performance Products says the research and development facility at their Bowling Green headquarters will bring a $1.3 million investment and create 20 new jobs. It's being described as a work cell for designing new exhaust systems.
The work cell will develop and prove new designs, processes and manufacturing techniques. It will focus on improving processes and methods in order to decrease production time, accommodate sales volume and maintain high quality of products.
The facility will allow Holley to expand its exhaust product lines under their Hooker Header and Flowtech brands including premium quality exhaust systems for late model muscle cars and trucks and classic vehicles.
Holley has been in Bowling Green since 1951. It employs more than 250 people at its Russellville Road facility.
Members of Bowling Green’s Bosnian-American community are uniting to help family and friends in Europe who have been impacted by flooding.
Bosnia-Hercegovina, Croatia, and Serbia have been devastated this month by the worst flooding to hit the Balkans in over a century. In response, Bowling Green residents of Bosnian descent are working to generate funds for those who have lost everything in the high waters.
Recent WKU graduate Mersiha Demirovic says the effort has allowed local Bosnian-Americans to look past ethnic divisions and unite under a single cause.
“Rather than just one group coming together to organize the event, we have members of several different ethnic groups from Bosnia coming together to help with this event,” she told WKU Public Radio.
A flood-relief fundraiser Saturday in Bowling Green is designed to generate money to purchase medical supplies for those impacted by the flooding.
“We found a company in Louisville that said they would ship six to eight tons of medical supplies to Bosnia, but we just have to pay for shipping,” said Djana Salihbasic.