Bowling Green

Abbey Oldham

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.

Emil Moffatt

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.

Joe Corcoran photo

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.

visitbgky.com

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.

City of Owensboro

The mayor of Owensboro says the city should consider trying to annex nearby subdivisions in order to boost its population.

Ron Payne made the comments following the release of census numbers showing Bowling Green has grown at a faster pace than Owensboro.

Those figures from the U.S. Census Bureau reflect populations on July 1, 2013.

Bowling Green retained its position as the state’s third-largest city, with a population of 61,488 people. Owensboro remained fourth-largest, with just over 58,416.

That 3,072-person advantage by Bowling Green is more than the gap between the two cities during the 2010 census. Four years ago, Bowling Green had just an 800-person advantage.

The Messenger-Inquirer reports Owensboro Mayor Ron Payne and City Manager Bill Parrish are talking about meeting with homeowner associations in subdivisions along Kentucky 54 in order to gauge their interest in being annexed by the city.

A hearing officer in the non-resident student dispute between the two school districts recommended Tuesday that the city schools continue to be permitted to enroll 750 county students for the next school year. Those students have to apply to city schools to be accepted and pay a tuition.

“The WCPS Board is committed to doing what is fair and equitable for all kids and this belief remains steadfast," Warren County Superintendent Rob Clayton said in a news release.  "Our Board is not in position to enter into a nonresident contract unless the agreement is transparent, fair and equitable for all students and the Hearing Officer’s recommendation is in stark contrast to this position."

Hearing officer Mike Wilson's recommendation now goes to Kentucky Education Commissioner Terry Holliday for his final ruling, which could still be appealed to the Kentucky State Board of Education.

Wilson's recommendation on the number of county students accepted was virtually identical to a decision he handed down last year. Among the findings in the 40 page report were the opinions that there's no evidence to suggest the non-resident process that Bowling Green uses is unfair. The recommendation did not suggest any guideline or deadlines for future negotiations.

The two school districts have been at odds for more than a year regarding the non-resident student cap.

Abbey Oldham

Warren County voters have set the field for some important local November matchups.

David Lanphear emerged at the top vote-getter in a five-way primary for Warren County Family Court Judge. Rebecca Adams Simpson came in second place, only one point behind Lanphear.

Lanphear and Adams Simpson both move on to the November general election. The judgeship was formerly held by Margaret Huddleston, who died from cancer in January.

Of the nine candidates for Bowling Green City Commission, eight will compete in the fall, and ultimately four will be elected. Incumbent Joe Denning received the most votes, followed closely behind incumbent Melinda Hill and challenger Sue Perrigin.

Rounding out the field that will appear on the November ballot are Rick Williams, Slim Nash, Mike Clark, Mark Bradford, and Don Langley.

ShopHQ

ShopHQ is expanding its distribution and call center in Bowling Green.  The governor’s office says the $25 million investment is expected to bring 150 new, full-time jobs to Warren County.  

ShopHQ, which originally moved to town in 1997, is planning to start work immediately to expand its 260,000 square foot center on Nashville Rd.

When it’s complete in 2015, the center will be 600,000 square feet.  ShopHQ is receiving up to $480,000 dollars in tax incentives from the state.

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