Kentuckians share their memories of John F. Kennedy
Eighteen-year-old Gerald Givens was a member of the Butler County High School Band in 1960 when then-Massachusetts Senator John F. Kennedy made a campaign stop in downtown Bowling Green.
“We were in front of his car, so when I got through with the parade I grabbed my camera and ran back up the street so I could get a good picture of him, which I did,” said Givens. “After that, we just disbanded, got on the buses and went back to Morgantown at that time.”
Givens captured a picture of the future president, riding in a red car with a Kennedy/Johnson sign strapped to the side.
“I was 18 years old and politics and all that didn’t register a whole lot. But I knew it was a big event because the streets were packed up one side and down the other,” said Givens.
A German company plans to invest $120 million dollars to bring a production plant to Bowling Green.
The Bilstein Group says the plant will bring 90 new, full-time jobs to the area. Governor Steve Beshear was on hand for the announcement Wednesday at Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce headquarters. Beshear, who just returned from a trip to Europe said he met with Bilstein executives on a previous trip.
The company makes cold-rolled strip steel products for the auto industry. It will be the Bilstein Group’s second facility in North America.
“At the end of a long and thorough decision making process," said Bilstein CEO Marc Oehler. "I can say we are absolutely certain that Bowling Green is the perfect spot for our new [facility] being both sufficiently close to our customers and suppliers as well as within reach from Europe and any place in North America.”
A federal appeals court is scheduled in November to hear the case of an Iraqi man sentenced to life in prison after pleading guilty to terrorism charges.
The attorney for Mohanad Shareef Hammadi, 25, will get to argue why he thinks his client's prison sentence should be reduced. Prosecutors oppose any reduction.
A co-defendant, Waad Ramadan Alwan, 32, received a 40-year sentence in January.
Hammadi and Alwan pleaded guilty in 2011 and 2012 to conspiring to ship thousands in cash, machine guns, rifles, grenades and shoulder-fired missiles to al-Qaida in Iraq in 2010 and 2011. Prosecutors said the two were working with a confidential informant.
Both were arrested in May 2011 in Bowling Green in a federal sting operation.
Hammadi is being held in a maximum-security prison in Colorado.
A Bowling Green man accused of international gun trafficking is no longer in custody. A federal judge on Friday morning granted bond to Adam Joseph Bunger.
Adam Bunger is accused of shipping firearms to England, Sweden, and Australia, all countries with stringent gun laws. He allegedly used a website called Black Market Reloaded to sell the weapons and used aliases to ship them overseas. The firearms were supposedly disassembled, and the parts hidden in video game consoles.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jo Lawless argued before U.S. District Judge Brent Brennenstuhl that Bunger should remain behind bars, claiming he was a flight risk and a danger to the community. She added that the government anticipates bringing additional charges.
“We have truly only scratched the surface,” said Lawless.
Not only was Bunger allegedly shipping firearms in illegal in other countries, Lawless said he was stripping the weapons of serial numbers. She also contended the investigation had turned up evidence of Bunger also trading in marijuana, fake IDs, and stolen credit cards.
A new hotel is being called a bridge that will bring WKU and downtown Bowling Green closer together.
City and university leaders Tuesday announced that a 108-room Hyatt Place hotel will be built adjacent to the WKU Augustein Alumni Center. Construction on the four-story building will start this fall, with a scheduled opening in fall of 2014.
WKU President Gary Ransdell described the effort as a "cornerstone" that will help unite the school's campus and the city's downtown.
"This is what begins to marry Western Kentucky University--our physical campus--with downtown Bowling Green. This project is going to be the bridge which begins to bring these two very important variables in our community together."
The hotel will be owned by Dellisart Wellspring, LLC, the same group behind the Staybridge Suites Hotel in Bowling Green at the intersection of Nashville Road and Campbell Lane.
Leaders in business, health care and government are assembling in Bowling Green for a summit designed to improve health information technology in Kentucky.
The annual e-Health summit begins Tuesday at the Sloan Convention Center.
Noted speakers include Judy Murphy, deputy of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology and Cabinet for Health and Family Services Secretary Audrey Tayse Haynes.
The event draws hundreds from around the state who come to present ideas and listen to state and national leaders speak about new initiatives in health information technology. It is sponsored by the Governor's Office of Electronic Health Information.
WKU Professor Stu Foster talks about his summer in the broadcast booth
The next time you listen to a baseball game on the radio, notice how many times the weather is referenced.
"The weather is certainly one part of trying to convey to the listener the scene of what's happening and the setting for the game and what might turn out to be an important component that affects the way the game turns out,” said Stu Foster, WKU professor, Kentucky state climatologist and part-time color commentator for the Bowling Green Hot Rods.
"Whether it's a clear, deep blue sky that might be a problem for outfielders, whether there's a strong breeze blowing in or out,” said Foster. “We had a game recently where there was a heavy dew that came on the field as the game went on that could've come on to affect the game."
Foster said a few conversations last winter led to the opportunity to sit in on a dozen games as color commentator for the Midwest League affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays. He says his weather expertise wasn’t the only part of his “day job” that helped ease his transition into the broadcast booth.
He says in both broadcasting and being a professor, the goal is the same: communicate a message with a large audience.
Bowling Green Mayor Bruce Wilkerson says that while it feels like "slogging through mud", the area economy is slowly starting to turn around.
However, Wilkerson told WKU Public Radio the city is still subject to manufacturing job losses that can have a big impact on its labor force.
"In a community our size, when something like Eagle Industries shuts down and puts 275 people out of work, we feel that hit. Fruit of the Loom has decided to reduce its workforce by close to 100 this year, and those are 100 good-paying jobs that are very meaningful to our economy. So when they're gone, we notice it," Wilkerson said.
Recent data compiled by the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet show the Bowling Green Metropolitan Statistical Area with a seasonally unadjusted unemployment rate of 7.5 percent for the month of July, which is two-tenths of a percentage point below the national jobless figure.
The leader of the Kentucky High School Athletic Association says he’s pleased with the job WKU has done in hosting the state football finals. That might quiet any talk about the finals moving from Bowling Green to Louisville.
WKU has hosted the state high school football finals since 2009, and is under contract to remain host through 2014. Before that, the city of Louisville hosted the events stretching back to 1979.
In a text message to a Courier-Journal sports reporter, KHSAA commissioner Julian Tackett said his group is happy with Bowling Green as the location for the football finals, saying WKU’s L.T. Smith Stadium gives fans and player a more intimate setting than the larger Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium in Louisville. Tackett says WKU “appears to maximize all desired factors.”
The U of L Cardinals’ upcoming move to a new athletic conference means the team won’t be playing at home the first weekend in December, the weekend the high school football finals are traditionally held. Because of that availability, some have speculated the KHSAA might consider moving the high school finals back to Louisville.