Bowling Green

U.S. Marshals Service

Hoping to avoid a life sentence in prison, one of two Bowling Green Iraqi refugees set to be sentenced Tuesday for attempting to send weapons and cash to al-Qaeda in Iraq is alleging he was entrapped in a U.S. government scheme.

The Louisville Courier-Journal is reporting a lawyer for Mohanad Shareef Hammadi cites a study of more than 500 terrorism prosecutions since 9/11 that found an FBI informant led more than one-third of the plots and provided all the necessary weapons, money and transportation.

In a sentencing memorandum, Hammadi's court appointed lawyer James Earhart says his client was unemployed and had no money, weapons of means of transporting them when he was recruited by a confidential government informant.

Bowling Green police are investigating after an unidentified man robbed Service One Credit Union on the 31-W Bypass in the city Friday afternoon and made off with an undisclosed amount of cash.

Police say the man waited in line behind at least one other customer. When he got to the teller window, he implied he had a gun, demanded money and walked out of the credit union with the cash just before 3 p.m.

He was last seen on foot running south on the bypass.

The suspect is described as a white male in his mid-40s, unshaven and wearing a gray pullover hooded sweatshirt, a blue knit cap and black sunglasses. Police say they do not have any suspects at this time.

This is the second bank robbery this month in Bowling Green. The First Security Bank on Chestnut Street was robbed January 3rd. No arrest has been made in that case.

Bowling Green police have arrested a man for the June robbery of American Bank & Trust on Fairview Avenue who also could be responsible for multiple bank robberies in south central Kentucky and northern Tennessee.

Forty-seven-year-old Steven Paul Harston was arrested Wednesday afternoon on Shive Lane without incident and lodged in the Warren County Regional Jail.

In a written release, Officer Ronnie Ward said BGPD along with the FBI conducted an extensive investigation into other area bank robberies and consider Harston a strong suspect. Their investigation is continuing but they expect other charges to be lodged soon.

BGPD Photo

Bowling Green police received a call of a robbery in progress inside the First Security Bank on Chestnut Street Thursday afternoon. Witnesses say a man entered the bank, showed a handgun tucked in his waistband and demanded money. After receiving an undisclosed amount, the man exited the bank on foot.

He's described as a white male about six feet tall and 180 pounds. At the time of the robbery he was dressed in a black shirt, blue jeans and a black mask and sunglasses that covered most of his face.

Detectives have no suspects and are asking anyone with any information to call them at 393-4000 or Crime Stoppers at 781-CLUE (2583).

A federal judge has delayed sentencing until late January for a pair of Iraqi nationals who pleaded guilty to conspiring to send weapons, cash and explosives to al-Qaida in Iraq.

U.S. District Judge Thomas B. Russell rescheduled for Jan. 29 the sentencing of 30-year-old Waad Ramadan Alwan and his co-defendant, 24-year-old Mohanad Shareef Hammadi. Sentencing had originally been planned for Jan. 3 in federal court in Bowling Green.

Alwan pleaded guilty in December 2011. Hammadi bypassed a trial and entered a guilty plea in August.

An airport official says Bowling Green is closing in on bringing commercial air service to the area with a route to Atlanta a possibility. Bowling Green Regional Airport manager Rob Barnett told The Daily News that five airlines at a recent conference expressed interest in flying from the southern Kentucky city to a hub in Atlanta.

General Motors plans to idle Corvette production in Bowling Green for six months to prepare for the next generation of the iconic sports car. The automaker laid out its schedule for revamping its assembly plant in Warren County for the all-new 2014 model.

UPDATED: 10:15 a.m.

Bowling Green police spokesman Ronnie Ward tells WKU Public Radio the victim was shot but police are not saying that was necessarily the cause of death. An autopsy will be performed on the body in Louisville.

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul says he will use procedural tactics to delay future spending votes unless his bill on aid to Pakistan gets an up-or-down vote. The Bowling Green Republican is pushing a measure that would cut U.S. financial assistance to Pakistan, unless that country frees a doctor who helped the C.I.A. track down Osama Bin Laden.

An investigation is continuing into a bank robbery today at the BB&T branch on Nashville Road in Bowling Green. Police were notified at 11:05 Friday morning that the bank had just been robbed.

Advocates of a statewide smoking ban are taking their issue on a five day tour before Fancy Farm to drum up support. The Smoke Free Kentucky Coalition has pushed a statewide smoking ban law in the General Assembly for the last two years. And they are making next year’s legislative session a key moment in their fight.

The Kentucky Chamber of Commerce is taking a firmer stand on conservative issues. Republican legislators have criticized the chamber in the past for supporting Democratic-led proposals like expanded gambling and a higher dropout age while staying quiet on so-called right to work and prevailing wage laws.

Parts of southern and western Kentucky have nearly exhausted the 270 area code and are in line for an additional one. The Kentucky Public Service Commission is weighing a request to make the next area code available to all new phone customers throughout the region, rather than to apply it geographically.

The factory floor of Trace Die Cast in Bowling Green is loud—so loud, workers and visitors wear ear plugs anytime they’re on the premises. This is the sort of place that provides the blue collar manufacturing jobs that we keep hearing are in such short supply these days.

An auto-industry supplier is planning a $10 million expansion of a facility in Bowling Green, with plans calling for two new production lines and an add-on to the existing building. KIRIU USA President and CEO Mark Kimura says the expansion should be done by the time the company celebrates its 10th anniversary this fall.