Bowling Green

Kevin Willis

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.

Health Summit Meeting in Bowling Green

Sep 16, 2013

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.

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. 

Kevin Willis

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.

Kevin Willis

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.

Secretary of State and U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes will be in Bowling Green Wednesay at noon, as part of what her campaign is calling the "Road to Fancy Farm" bus tour.

Grimes will be at the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge on Corvette Drive. Her campaign also has a meet-and-greet scheduled Wednesday at 5 p.m. in Central City.

WKU Public Radio will be at the Warren County event to interview Grimes. We'll have those stories throughout the afternoon during our local newscasts and here at our website.

A Meade County Democrat with nearly 30 years of military experience is entering Kentucky's Second District Congressional campaign.

Retired U.S. Army Major Ron Leach wants to win the seat currently held by Bowling Green Republican Brett Guthrie. Leach told WKU Public Radio he believes the majority of Kentuckians are "being left behind" by a Congress more interested in partisanship than solving problems.

He was asked how he would describe the kind of campaign he hopes to run.

"It's not left, it's not right. You know, the idea that we need leaders and not looters, that we need a Kentucky and an America that works, and works for all of us. That we need a functioning government that represents all Kentuckians---that's not left or right, and that's not partisan," said Leach, who also served eight years in the National Guard.

Kevin Willis

An airplane with an amazing local connection will make its public debut at the Bowling Green’s Aviation Heritage Park on Saturday, June 8. The F-111 joining the park took part in the 1986 U.S. air raid against Muammar Gaddafi’s regime in Libya—a raid led by a WKU graduate and native of south-central Kentucky.

Sitting in a hangar near the Bowling Green Regional Airport is a plane known  as the “Warhorse” because of its many years of service. If you didn’t know any better, you might assume this relic from the military’s not-too-distant past could take off and fly right now.

Not having an engine keeps this bird on the ground, but it sure looks nice.

For Arnie Franklin, seeing this F-111 look just the way it did back in 1986 brings forward a flood of memories.

“It brings all of those emotions that I remember from that mission back to the forefront, and even though it was 27 years ago, in a lot of ways it seems like it was yesterday," Franklin told WKU Public Radio.

This is the story of a Kentucky pilot, a war plane, and a mission.

A group of state, federal, and local law enforcement officers executed a search warrant Monday morning at the office of a Bowling Green cardiologist. The Bowling Green Daily News reports Dr. C. Fred Gott was not present during the search and has not been charged with any crime.

The Bowling Green-Warren County Drug Task Force issued a release saying the search warrant was the result of a joint investigation also involving Kentucky State Police, the state attorney general’s office, Medicaid Fraud and Abuse Division, the FBI, the DEA, and Cabinet for Health and Family Services.

The newspaper reported law enforcement officers carried computer hard drives and boxes of papers out of Dr. Gott’s office this morning and loaded the items into trucks. The federal search warrant is a sealed document.

South-Central Kentucky area House members from both sides of the aisle are teaming up to push legislation that could send millions of dollars to the Bowling Green-Warren County Regional Airport over the next five years to expand flights and services.

The Bowling Green Daily News reports the bill's sponsors include Democratic Representatives Jody Richards of Bowling Green and Wilson Stone of Scottsville, and Republican Bowling Green Representative Jim DeCesare of Bowling Green.

Yet to be determined is which airline route, either to Chicago or Atlanta, would best serve the airport's business customers if a commercial service is landed. Also under consideration is a less than daily flight with a leisure carrier.

If approved, the bill would direct $2 million for each of the next five fiscal years to communities that already have federal Small Community Service Grants. Bowling Green has received a $500,000 grant in that category.

The Bowling Green Daily News is reporting that a Rockfield man has been charged with second degree cruelty to animals after an online video clip of a man biting the head off a baby bird went viral. The same man previously told Warren County sheriff's deputies that the noise of birds chirping on his porch bothered him.

Bradley Heard was cited on a charge of second degree cruelty to animals after the Warren County Sheriff's Office became aware of the video footage which was posted on YouTube. Heard has pleaded not guilty.

The 45 second clip shows a man outdoors biting the head off a bird then walking towards the camera with the head in his mouth. A man's voice can be heard saying "That's just awful Bradley." The video was posted on YouTube last June.

Sheriff's deputies were able to identify the person biting the bird's head through comments made during the video as well as the poster's information and by obtaining information from the Warren County Humane Society.

About 80 citizens gathered in Bowling Green over the weekend for a public meeting on the future of the Capitol Arts Center downtown. Tom Tomlinson is executive director of the Southern Kentucky Performing Arts Center, which now operates the Capitol.  Asked if the historic venue can continue to compete with SKyPAC and WKU's Van Meter Hall, Tomlinson said "yes."

"I think it's a matter of size," said Tomlinson.  "There are activities that are appropriate for our (SKyPAC) 1,800 seats.  There are activities appropriate for the 1,100-seat Van Meter Hall, and then there are activities more appropriate for the 600 or so seats currently at the Capitol."

Based on community feedback, Tomlinson says there's a strong desire to see the Capitol used as an independent and/or foreign film venue, as well as an expansion of youth programs. 

Other public meetings are planned in the coming months.

Kobe Automotive Products plans to invest more than $66 million in their plant at the South Industrial Park for both a building expansion and new equipment.

In November, the company announced an $11 million investment for an additional 39,000 square feet of space and up to 20 new jobs. That expansion is now complete.

Most of Kobe's new investment, $44.2 million, will go toward purchasing new equipment to expand their product line of forged aluminum suspension products. In addition, $20 million will be spent on a new building project. There was no mention of any new jobs being created by the expansion.

Two Iraqi citizens living in Bowling Green who admitted sending weapons and money to Al-Qaeda in Iraq were sentenced yesterday in U.S. District Court in Bowling Green. Both Waad Ramadan Alwan and Mohanned Shareef Hamaddi admitted taking part in insurgent activities in Iraq prior to arriving in the U.S. in 2009.  Federal authorities found Alwan's fingerprint on an unexploded bomb in Iraq and launched an investigation.

The Iraqi men were arrested in 2011 after they agreed to help a government informant load cash and weapons into a tractor-trailer they were told was destined for Al-Qaeda in Iraq. 

Over the course of five hours, each man separately received his punishment. First to enter the courtroom was the 31-year-old Alwan. Wearing prison orange, he sat next to his interpreter, and appeared unmoved by the piercing stares from the courtroom audience. Justice Department Attorney Larry Schneider said Alwan was interested in becoming the leader of a terrorist cell in the U.S. and that he recruited Hammadi, describing him as "worth his weight in gold," and as an "experienced" insurgent.

A federal judge sentenced one Iraqi man accused of entering into a terrorist plot in Bowling Green to a life sentence in prison, with a second man given a 40 year sentence.

Waad Ramadan Alwan and Mohanad Shareef Hammadi appeared at the William H. Natcher federal courthouse in Bowling Green Tuesday to receive sentencing for a serious of charges related to a plot to send weapons, explosives, and money to Al-Qaida in Iraq.

The 30-year-old Alwan was given 40 years in prison for his role in the plot. He could have received a life sentence, but Judge Thomas B. Russell went along with the recommendation of prosecutors to give a lesser sentence since Alwan cooperated in the case.

Hammadi received a life sentence. The two were arrested in Warren County in 2009.

Both men had previously pleaded guilty to attempting to provide material support to a terrorist organization, and conspiracy to send Stinger surface-to-air missiles to Iraq. Alwan and Hammadi also pleaded to making false statements when they applied for admission to the United States as refugees.

The terrorist plot was actually a government sting operation. This led the Iraqis' lawyers to claim they were victims of entrapment.

Join WKU Public Radio Wednesday during Morning Edition for recaps of the sentencing handed down Tuesday in Bowling Green's federal court.

Pages