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Police and Fire Recruits

At its March 1st meeting, the Bowling Green Board of Commissioners approved the hiring of ten new police officers and seven new firefighters.  For the 17 rookies, this culminated a seven-month trek through the City’s extensive recruitment, testing and selection processes.

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Last August, the Human Resources & Risk Management Department began advertising for both police officer and firefighter.  The City typically recruits twice a year for police officer, and about once every 18 months for firefighter.  In order to make sure that the public knows about municipal job opportunities, the City spends over $60,000 a year advertising vacancies, and much of that is spent on public safety hiring.

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This Friday, May 27th at 6:00 p.m. at the Fire Administration Building, the City will have a ceremony for the 2016 Fire Recruit Class which will include a pinning of badges and the oath of office.  Afterwards light refreshments will be served.  Our Police Officer recruits will have a similar ceremony when their academy is completed.

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A total of almost 400 applications were received by the advertised deadlines in September.  Applicants were then tested, evaluated and put through a series of activities that narrowed the candidate pool.  This can include testing, fitness testing, personality assessments, polygraphs, psychological evaluations, background investigations, reference checks, interviews, and the medical physical.   Members of the seven-citizen Workforce Recruitment & Outreach Committee attended and observed the police officer interviews in order to provide the City with feedback about the hiring process.

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In addition to the extensive recruitment, City employment opportunities are posted on the City’s website at www.bgky.org/hr/jobs.  Potential applicants register to receive automatic emails when certain job openings are posted, including police officer, firefighter, and dispatcher. Applications are completed on-line.  The City of Bowling Green is an Equal Opportunity Employer and a Drug-Free Workplace.

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Fairview Cemetery

Did you know that there is more to Fairview Cemetery than meets the eye?

 

The City of Bowling Green Fairview Cemetery has a Veteran’s Section that is designated for burials of Warren County Veterans.  Its official name is the Brock E Beery Veteran’s Cemetery.  The City sells memorial bricks for $50.00 that can be placed in the Veteran’s plaza for any Veteran.

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This section is dedicated to men and women who have served our country in the armed forces and were honorably discharged. Graves are donated to the veteran, and their families pay a small foundation fee for the headstone or footstone and for the opening and closing of the grave. All Veterans are buried facing the East. The replica of the Eiffel Tower has a special meaning to veterans and their families in Warren County. It helps one to recall the price our fallen soldiers paid for their country’s freedom. It was moved from Fountain Square Park to Fairview Cemetery in 1979.

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Fairview Cemetery also has a beautiful grotto fountain that is surrounded by our cremation area.  We have a section in front of the fountain that is designated for in ground cremation burials and two cremation Niches with 48 doors in each one.  There is a beautiful scattering garden that borders this area.

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One additional part of our cemetery is the Bloch Chapel.  This chapel was built around 1938 in memory of the Bloch family by their children.  The chapel can be rented for $75 per hour, with a minimum of 2 hours for weddings, funerals, memorial services and other church functions.

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The cemetery administration office is located at 1209 Fairview Avenue in front of cemetery #2.  Our office hours are Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.  If you have any questions about Fairview or any other cemetery, please contact us at (270) 393-3607.

May 2016 Auction

The City of Bowling Green online auction is back and as always, is offering a variety of items that will rival any Flea Market.  You can begin bidding on all of our items starting May 9, 2016 at 8 a.m. at www.govdeals.com.

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The City of BG regularly posts online auctions in order to sell surplus items.  A complete description and photographs of the pieces, along with instructions on the auction process is available on govdeals beginning on the start date. The general public is encouraged to participate.

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To access Bowling Green’s auction, simply search for Bowling Green, KY on the govdeals website and all items will be listed with pictures and current bid amounts. Please note that items will not be available to view until May 9. The auction will close on May 16.

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The list below includes most of the interesting and unique items that will be open to bid on.  We really do have something for everyone.

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Shop till you drop – without even leaving your home! Please remember that all items are used and working condition is not always known. Partial list:

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Auction items include vehicles, tires, office equipment and supplies, bicycles, exercise equipment, tools, computer equipment and more.

Remember, the pictures in this article only include some of the items. Log on, to view and bid on all items.

West End Soccer Field

The City of Bowling Green will hold a Ribbon Cutting on Thursday, May 12, 2016 at 3:00 p.m. for the grand opening of the new West End Soccer Field located at The Foundry; 531 West 11th Street. This 330’ x 180’ Bermuda grass field will have multiple uses including free play, practices and tournaments.

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The size of the field will accommodate either one adult field or four fields for eight and under and will serve the boundaries of Main Avenue to Old Morgantown Road.

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The development of this soccer field is a joint project with the City of Bowling Green and The Bowling Green District of The United Methodist Church. Property for the park was provided at no cost to the City. The Foundry will provide daily maintenance of the property, parking lot and bathrooms. The City provided the cost for the construction of the field, will provide all major maintenance for the park property, will schedule usage, and will handle all renting procedures associated with the park.

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The total cost for this project was $315,000.

 

Parks Adventures

If you are looking for fun and free things to do this spring and summer then look no further. Below is five great suggestions for a variety of activities at City parks.

5. Take your mountain bike out for a ride along the trails at Weldon Peete Park on Old Louisville Road. With 54 acres of open space, greenways, bike trails and boat ramps Weldon Peete Park is sure to have something for everyone.

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4. Feeling adventurous? Strap on your skates, grab your skateboard or jump on your BMX bike and visit the Bowling Green Skate Park at 400 Center Street and try out our 22,000 square foot concrete park. A variety of rails, ramps, bowls and half pipes await you. Several bleachers are available for spectators and the park is open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.

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3. Interested in Civil War history? Take the time to visit Fort Webb Park at 299 Ft. Webb Drive. This 1.2 acre park is a Civil War Historical site known as one of the numerous fortifications in Bowling Green used by the CSA and Union forces. This park boasts stone terrain and lush vegetation and provides great views of Bowling Green’s country side.

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2. Have you been looking for a great place to walk in the City limits that still feels like you are far out in the country? Look no further then Chuck Crume Nature Park at 2035 Nashville Road. This hidden gem of a park has 20 acres and plenty of trails for folks to enjoy a run or a walk. With two picnic tables, this park is also a great place for an outdoor lunch.
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1. Is the heat getting to you? Are you looking for a great place to cool off? If so, Circus Square Park is just for you! Located at 601 State Street in downtown Bowling Green, this park not only has plenty of shaded green space but also has a large fountain that provides a refreshing way to cool off and have fun. Young and old alike are often found running through the water during our summer months.

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If you would like more information on these parks or any other great places to go in Bowling Green, please visit www.bgky.org.

FootGolf

FootGolf is a growing sports trend that has found its way to the USA from its origins in Europe.  Last fall, BGPR installed a nine-hole course at the Golf Course at RiverView and offered our inaugural event, “FootGolf Doubles Cup” in November.  We had a tremendous response and are now excited to announce that, beginning in April, we will offer regular opportunities to play more footgolf.

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Here’s the scoop on this new BGPR program:

“What is FootGolf?”

Footgolf is a pretty simple concept; the game combines soccer and golf.  All the equipment you need to play is a soccer ball and your foot.  No clubs!  The goal is to put the regulation size soccer ball (size 5) into a 21′ diameter cup in the fewest amount of kicks.

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“Where is the FootGolf course?”

The Golf Course at RiverView has installed a nine-hole FootGolf course within the nine-hole golf course.

“When can I play?”

The Golf Course at RiverView has set aside Monday and Friday evenings as FootGolf times.  BGPR will also look to offer routine Foot Golf special events! Riverview is located at 1200 West Main Street.

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“What’s the cost?”

The cost is the same as playing regular golf at RiverView (WHICH IS SUPER CHEAP!!).  18 holes with a cart = $17; 18 holes walking = $6; 9 holes with a cart = $12, and 9 holes walking =$5.

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“How long does it take to play 9 holes?”

FootGolf is roughly (no golf pun intended) at least twice as fast to play as regular golf.  Just consider that you are using the same club (your foot) around the entire course.

Want more information about this exciting new game?  Call BGPR at 270-393-3249 and we would be happy to answer any of your questions not listed.

Want to know more about BGPR, please visit www.bgky.org.

 

Have you been holding on to old paint, chemicals, fluorescent light bulbs, oils, antifreeze or other products that cannot be disposed of easily? If so, the City of Bowling Green and Warren County have partnered to provide one day only to dispose of these items for you.

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The Annual Household Hazardous Waste and E-scrap Collection Day will be held on Saturday, April 23, 2016 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Greenwood High School (5065 Scottsville Road).  Warren County residents can bring items such as old paint, chemicals, household appliances and electronics to dispose of in a safe and legal manner.

This event is FREE and open to all Warren County residents.

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While most home computers and appliances are acceptable (most anything with a circuit board or a cord), Freon devices, yard equipment, radioactive materials and large appliances such as stoves, washers, dryers, etc. are not acceptable. Single containers larger than 5 gallons will require prior inspections and approval, and tires will not be accepted.

In addition, shredding will be available on site to dispose of and shred papers, cds/dvds, magazines, phone books, folders, etc.

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Arbor Day 2016

Arbor Day is a holiday in which individuals and groups are encouraged to plant and care for trees. Though usually observed in the spring, the date varies, depending on climate and suitable planting season. The idea for Arbor Day originally came from Nebraska. A visit to Nebraska today wouldn’t disclose that the state was once a treeless plain. Yet it was the lack of trees there that led to the founding of Arbor Day by J. Sterling Morton in the 1800s.

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On January 4, 1872, Morton first proposed a tree-planting holiday to be called “Arbor Day” at a meeting of the State Board of Agriculture. The date was set for April 10, 1872. Prizes were offered to counties and individuals for properly planting the largest number of trees on that day. It was estimated that more than one million trees were planted in Nebraska on the first Arbor Day.

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The Bowling Green Community Tree Advisory Board, in conjunction with the City of Bowling Green, organizes an Arbor Day celebration every year to help make the public aware of how trees benefit us. This year, the annual Arbor Day celebration will be held on Saturday, April 16, 2016 at Kereiakes Park from 9 a.m. until 12 noon.

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A variety of trees will be given away during Arbor Day including Red Maple, Kousa Dogwood, and White Pine. In total there will be 1,900 saplings available on a first come first served basis.

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In addition to free trees, there will be a tree planting and care demonstration, tree planting items, stormwater information, children’s activities, inflatables and more.

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Arbor Day is FREE and open to the public. We encourage everyone to spend time among trees and to learn about proper tree care and planting.

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Please come join us for this fun and educational day.  For more information about the Tree Advisory Board or Arbor Day, please visit http://www.bgky.org/tree or call 270-393-3111.

 

I met M’munga Ramadhani soon after his arrival to the City of Bowling Green in 2012.  A young father in his early 30’s, M’munga had already experienced more in life than most people do in a lifetime.  His eagerness to be involved and to learn compelled me to ask him to join the newly formed International Communities Advisory Council.   Soon after, I learned more about his life. He was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where he and his family were displaced because of Civil War and unrest.  In 2000 he finally made it to a refugee Camp in Tanzania where he lived for 10 years before being resettled as a refugee in the United States.

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Today M’munga and his wife along with his 7 children have built a new life in Bowling Green, KY far away from the dangers of war.  Both parents work at nearby factories and recently purchased their first home in Bowling Green and soon plan to pursue U.S. Citizenship.  M’munga is who we call a New American.

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Capitalizing on the skills and leadership capacities of individuals like M’munga, the City recently launched the inaugural Academy for New Americans.  The first ever initiative of its kind in the State of Kentucky, the Academy  is a free leadership-training program that empowers New Americans to understand and participate in City Government. The purpose of the program is to provide New Americans the tools necessary to successfully navigate City services, community information and resources in order to become key stakeholders in assisting their respective ethnic communities and neighborhoods.

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The Academy for New Americans welcomed 17 participants who collectively represent 8 different countries and speak 12 different languages.  The largest participant group comes from Burma, with representatives also from Chile, Colombia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ecuador, Peru and Rwanda.  Participants were selected through an application process on a first-come, first-serve basis.  To meet and learn more about the participants of the 2016 class follow this link: http://www.bgky.org/new-americans/2016

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Through the Academy for New Americans, participants will:

  1. Gain an in-depth understanding of City government services. Government services vary greatly from country to country; often times they may be non-existent or unreliable.
  2. Have greater accessibility to existing City and community resources. Language barriers, lack of knowledge, and lack of access are some of the obstacles that New Americans encounter in accessing services. The Academy for New Americans will help bridge the gap in accessing existing resources.
  3. Build leadership capacity. Leadership is viewed and interpreted in many different ways across the world. The Academy for New Americans will offer culturally appropriate pedagogy in leadership skills for the successful integration into American culture.
  4. Become part of the larger community network. Participants will connect to existing network in the community, broadening their opportunities to actively participate in leadership roles.

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The Academy for New Americans consists of day-long sessions meeting the third Thursday of every month, culminating with a graduation at the end of June.  Sessions focus on the following topics, in no particular order: City Government Services, Public Safety and the Courts, Citizenship and Civic Engagement, Leadership Development, and Volunteerism and Community Engagement.

If you are interested in learning more about the Academy for New Americans please contact Leyda Becker at (270)393-3766 or email me at leyda.becker@bgky.org

Scam Tips ~ Ronnie Ward

So, let me tell you a story.  A teenager makes a phone call to his grandmother and says “Grandma, this is Johnny, I’ve gotten into trouble.  Me and one of my friends went to Mexico for the weekend and got in a car accident.  My friend had some marijuana on him and we both got arrested.  I need money for bail.  Please don’t tell mom and dad because they don’t know I’m gone.”

Frightening words, right?  What would you do?  We all want to help our family as much as we can and would do anything to get them out of a bind.  You see, as this story unfolds, Grandma wires money to a person who calls later and says they need more money for the court costs.  When Grandma gets suspicious and calls her daughter to ask about Lil’ Johnny only to find out Lil’ Johnny is at work.   After all is said and done, Grandma could be out a thousand or more dollars because of this scam.

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Scams have become a way of life.  We are bombarded with scams over the phone, email, texts and even the mail.  We find them on auction sites, trading sites and for sale by owner sites.  We all love the “too good to be true deal.”  I know a percentage of our population grew up in a different time; a time we didn’t say “no” to our neighbors or friends.  We offered help wherever we could.  Times have changed.  The scammers who call us are not our friends.  These scammers could care less what happens to you when you lose your hard-earned money.

I want to share some scams with you.  The best advice I can give is “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”   Here are a few to watch for:

IRS Scam – Someone posing as an IRS agent calls and says you owe money to the IRS.  If you don’t pay, a warrant will be issued and you will be taken to jail.  Folks, our government can’t and doesn’t work this way.  Firstly, you will receive a letter from the IRS if you owe money, not a phone call.  After a few correspondences with the IRS, they will work out a payment plan or something similar.  The first phone call you have with the real IRS will not include a conversation about you going to jail.  HANG UP immediately.

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Warrant Scam – Someone posing as a police officer calls and says you have a warrant but if you take care of this over the phone, you won’t be arrested.  In the Commonwealth of Kentucky, a police officer will not call you and tell you there is a warrant for your arrest.  Your first notification will generally be a knock on the door.  HANG UP immediately.

You’ve won the Nigerian Lottery – An email comes to you notifying you of a winning lottery number in a foreign country.  If you pay so much money the taxes will be covered and you can claim your winnings!  Did you play the lottery in another country?  It does not seem like a very good deal if you have to pay for something you “won.”  DELETE and empty your recycle bin.

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Mystery Shopper Scam – You receive a check in the mail with instructions to deposit the check, keep a certain dollar amount and send the rest back to the company.  Your instructions are to shop at a particular store and fill out some paperwork as to your experience in the store and mail everything back to your “employer” along with the extra cash.  The problem is, the check is a fake and you have to cover the money.  Several scams are designed this way, meaning, you cash a check and send money to someone else, work from home, etc…. SHRED!

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The greatest of scams comes in the form of Phishing.  Your personal identity can be compromised in a number of ways.  In the past, someone would go through your trash or a dumpster and take documents with personal information.  Now, the computer is the fastest for identity theft.  Your computer can be “hacked” and you are completely unaware.  Don’t open an attachment in an email form anyone you don’t know.  Make sure your virus software is up-to-date and your email is protected.  There are local computer repair companies who can educate you on the best way to protect your information in your computer.  Computers are a way of life but we need to take steps to protect ourselves.

If you become the victim of a scam, file a report with the police department.  For more information and ways to protect yourself, go to https://www.usa.gov/scams-and-frauds

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