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It was an unusually hot September day this past Saturday, but it did not stop thousands of people from coming out to celebrate our City’s ever-growing diversity.  September 24th, marked the 27th Anniversary of Bowling Green’s International Festival, held at Circus Square Park.

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As the City’s International Communities Liaison I have been actively involved in organizing this event for the past five years, serving as Secretary for the festival’s Board of Directors and hosting a Cultural display featuring information, arts, and crafts from my native Venezuela.  In addition to the overwhelming support and assistance from Parks personnel and Neighborhood and Community Services staff, this year the Bowling Green Police and Fire Department played an active role in the success of the festival.   BGFD Firefighters manned the First Aid booth provided to festival goers to deal with minor medical issues that might arise, it also provides an organic opportunity for Firefighters to interact directly with the International community.

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Likewise, Officer Willis and Detective Franks of the Bowling Green Police Department manned the City’s booth and interacted with the public who came by to get more information about City Services and of course to learn about Venezuela.  I was amazed at the positive reception that the Officers yielded, everyone wanted to take pictures with them, give them samples of their ethnic foods, show them their native country’s dance moves – everyone was eager to share!

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While stopping to visit the cultural display for Burma, where the top five ethnic Burmese groups were represented (Burmese, Karen, Karenni, Zo, and Zomi), Officers interacted with members of the City’s International Communities Advisory Council.  One young Karen girl readily approached the Officers and asked:  “When can I join the Explorers post?”  Officer Willis went on to explain that she had to be at least 14 years old to join, and when she was ready she could come by the Police Station and they would gladly walk her through the process.  At that point I remembered this young girl was one of this year’s Jr. Police Academy Graduates!  I could already tell the impact the program had on this young Karen girl, and how comfortable she felt approaching an Officer to share of her newfound desire. img_4368

We have a very proactive and intentional City Government, who wants its workforce to be representative of the Community’s make-up.  The 2010 Census reported Bowling Green’s foreign-born population at 10.9%, and 2015 Census estimates has shown a steady growth to 12.7%.  The growth is undeniable!  As a result, City Government is continually looking for opportunities to capitalize in our community’s diversity by focusing on its assets.   One of those efforts has been the formation of the City’s Workforce Recruitment and Outreach Committee, which was appointed by Mayor Wilkerson in September, 2015.  Part of the committees’ effort is to look for avenues to recruit, retain, and diversify our City’s workforce.  Events like Bowling Green’s International Festival provide a great platform to build relationships, and for Officer Willis and Detective Franks to share how great it is to be a Police Officer!

 

The Workforce Recruitment Outreach Committee (WROC) was formed in September 2015 in response to the Department of Justice’s inquiry into the hiring practices for City police officers.   As part of the City’s proactive approach to the allegations presented in the letter City Officials appointed and approved a seven member committee that are representatives of local communities and the City’s employment area (which include surrounding counties).  Each member is appointed by the Mayor and approved by the Board of Commissioners.  Members serve a 2 year term with the option of term renewals at the recommendation of the Mayor and Board of Commissioners approval.

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Bowling Green is home to approximately 60,000 citizens of which: 75% White; 14% African Americans; 6% Hispanic; 4% Asian; and 1% Other.  The ultimate goal of the City is to have a workforce that reflects the community it serves.   Currently (9/13/16) the City’s workforce totals 594 employees of which:  87% White; 10 % African American; 1 % Asian and 1% Other.   WROC will assist and guide the City in accomplishing its goal of community workforce representation, employee retention, and minority recruitment.   Initially the focus will be on increasing minority representation within the public safety workforce (police officers and firefighters).  Currently (9/13/16) there are 112 sworn police officers on staff:   88% White; 8% African American; 3% Hispanic; 1% Asian.

Committee members will observe the entire process from advertisement to hiring, including observing/participating in interviews.  City staff provides reports on applicants; recruitment sources; demographic information; national/regional location; those presenting for registration/testing and reasons why applicants did not attend a particular event/or why an applicant was not selected to move forward in the process.   Committee members, depending on availability, will participate/observe in the interview process for public safety positions.  The committee will make recommendations to the City about its recruitment efforts and hiring processes and suggest ways the City can enhance its current efforts.   The committee has been through two police officer recruitment cycles and have just begun a firefighter cycle.

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In light of recent national events surrounding the law enforcement profession, WROC has been tasked with not only aiding the City in increasing minority recruitment but also develop/find ways to improve the community’s image of policing.  WROC formed an outreach subcommittee as one way to begin changing the public’s perception.  The outreach subcommittee will identify and/or create events that will foster approachability between the citizens and police officers.  The subcommittee meets monthly and discusses upcoming community events and makes suggestions to the City about the events they should attend.   Opportunities within the community to sow seeds for the police officer profession will start to be explored.   Another avenue WROC strongly stresses, is the need for the volunteerism, good deeds, and day to day interactions of the Bowling Green Police Department to be featured more in media outlets.

In the months to come, there will be enhancements to the City’s job advertisements, increased communication between the City and its citizens and vice versa; a City presence will be noticed in the schools at career fairs and fall festivals; throughout neighborhoods at block parties and neighborhood meetings; throughout the community at forums, and community events.

The Bowling Green Coalition of Active Neighborhoods (BGCAN) will host a candidates’ forum featuring the candidates for Bowling Green City Commissioner at the BGCAN Fall Rally of the Neighborhoods on Tuesday, September 27.

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The event will take place at Sloan Convention Center, 1021 Wilkinson Trace. The Rally will begin with light refreshments and networking at 6:00 p.m., with the program scheduled to start at 6:30.

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BGCAN is an umbrella organization for the City’s various neighborhood organizations, uniting neighbors from across the City to provide a centralized forum and collective voice for neighborhood improvement. To submit a question for the forum, please email: karen.foley@bgky.org.

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Attendance at this event also fulfills the training requirement for eligibility the City’s grant program for neighborhoods. This event is free and open to the public and we encourage you to come out and get to know your candidates for City Commission.

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Are you or your child interested in playing basketball this fall? If so, the City of Bowling Green Parks and Recreation offers adult and youth basketball!

Youth basketball is offered in cooperation with Southern Kentucky Youth Basketball and league play includes a separate division for boys and girls from age 6 to 18 as shown in the chart below. More information can be found at www.eteamz.com/skybl.

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Division Grade Level Fee
Beginners 1st & 2nd $55
Primary 3rd & 4th $60
Elementary 5th & 6th $60
Prep 7th & 8th $60
JV 9th-11th $60

 

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Registration Dates are October 5 and 6 from 3:30-6:30 pm, and October 8 from 10:00 am-12:00 pm at Bowling Green Parks and Recreation. The draft will take place on November 5 from 9:30-11:00 am for Prep League at Sid Carr Gym, and November 5 from 10:30 am-12:00 pm at Sid Carr Gym for JV. Practices Begin on November 7.

Adult Basketball is offered to the first 60 paid teams to register.  Fees include 10 league games and a single elimination tournament.  The team entry fee must be paid in full by the registration deadline of November 21 in order to be placed on the schedule.  There will be a mandatory coaches meeting on November 21 at 6:00 pm at BGPR.  League play will begin the week of November 28. The fee for teams is $425 with divisions as listed below.

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League Plays
Men’s Open I M, W, F
Men’s Open II M, W, F
Men’s Open III M, W, F
Men’s Industrial I T, Th
Men’s Industrial II T, Th
Men’s Church I T, Th
Men’s Church II T,  Th
2nd Shift T, Th
Women’s Open M, W, F
Coed Open M, W, F

 

 

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For more information see our Adult Basketball Registration Form or contact 270-393-3624.

 

 

City Government Month

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City Government Month is a grassroots awareness program implemented by the Kentucky League of Cities (KLC) to educate the public about local government.  It is the goal of KLC and City Government Month to raise public awareness of the role of local government in the lives of citizens.  This is particularly important because the local level offers its citizens the best opportunity to be heard and is the most likely to influence the progress of local communities.

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City Government Month has two primary goals:

  1. To educate elementary school children about the services offered by their city; and
  2. To increase public awareness of local government services.

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City Government Month strives to connect both elected and appointed City Officials with their local school principals, teachers, and children, all while furthering social studies academic standards for the state.

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This year, the City of Bowling Green Board of Commissioners will be traveling to two local elementary schools and working with students from 1st to 3rd grade to educate them on City services, how they can get involved in government, and to explain what the City does for them on a day to day basis.

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If you have interest in City Government Month or working with the City, please contact us at 270-393-3642.  Attached student documents and worksheets can be emailed to anyone who requests.

Text Alerts

Would you like to receive text messages from the City of Bowling Green? We have recently changed to a new, more effective service! Just a few simple steps will allow you to sign up, or to continue receiving text messages regarding general info, golf, aquatics, sports, or BGCAN. Sign up for as many categories as you like, or even sign up to receive messages in Spanish!

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Simply text one of the following categories to the number 555-888 to immediately receive notifications. See the screen shot below for more detailed instructions.

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  • AmigosBG
  • BGCAN
  • InfoBG
  • GolfBG
  • GolfBGWeather
  • SportsBG
  • WaterBG

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Don’t forget that you can also like us on Facebook @ www.facebook.com/citybgky or follow us on Twitter @ www.twitter.com/cityofbgky. You can check out our blog @ www.bgky.org/blog or watch our videos on YouTube @ www.youtube.com/user/cityofbgky. And most recently, you can follow us on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/cityofbgky.

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The City is embracing user-friendly social media technology to promote 24-7 access to City services with the push of a button from the palm of your hand.

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If you have any questions about how to sign up for texting or any of our other social media platforms, please contact Kim Lancaster at 270-393-3642.

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2016 Puppy Paddle

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August has arrived and there are a lot of great things coming up in the City that we will work very hard to keep everyone up to date on. Over the next several months, we will have free Annual Report Calendars, leaf pick-up will begin, the Veteran’s Day Parade, Fire Safety Month and more.

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Saturday, September 10th marks the 13th Annual Puppy Paddle in Bowling Green. Russell Sims Aquatic Center will be open from 10 a.m. until noon for you and your pooch to come out and take a dip one last time.

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The fee for each dog is $10 but humans are FREE and there will be activities and contests for the pups as well as plenty of playmates. And speaking of playmates, please make sure that your dog is sufficiently socialized in order for everyone to enjoy this event. Basically, if your dog thinks that other dogs are a chew toy, you may want to re-consider coming out.

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All dogs must also have proof of current rabies vaccine either through a tag or documentation in order to join in the fun.

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The weather will hopefully be sunny and beautiful so mark your calendars now to come out and enjoy the last bit of summer while donating to the Bowling Green Humane Society and taking advantage of the City’s beautiful facilities.

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Russell Sims Aquatic Center is located at 2303 Tomblinson Way.

School Crossing Guards

August is here and with the new school year just beginning, it’s important that motorists pay special attention to crosswalks and school crossing guards outside of local schools.  Although a large number of students ride the bus or are dropped off at school, many still walk daily.

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Crossing guards direct pedestrian crossings and traffic flow in order to ensure the safety of children by staying alert to traffic hazards.  Crossing guards typically work one hour before and one hour after school hours and are essential in assisting students in getting to school safely.

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Please remember to use caution when going through a school zone and obey all traffic signals, speed limits and crossing guard directions. In the event that a crossing guard is unavailable to work, a Bowling Green Police Department employee will be monitoring the school zone.

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City Crossing Guards are located at T.C. Cherry, Potter Gray, Parker Bennett/Curry, Dishman McGinnis and Lost River Elementary Schools.

If you are interested in becoming a school crossing guard or for more information about the program, contact 270-393-3642.  Help keep our streets and our students safe.

Special Populations

The City of Bowling Green Special Populations Division offers a variety of programs for youth and adults who face mental and/or physical challenges. One of the main programs offered is the Area 5 Special Olympics.

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Area 5 Special Olympics is a twenty-county region surrounding Bowling Green and is dedicated to providing the following quality events: Area 5 Bowling Tournament, Special Olympics Kentucky Regional Softball Tournament, Special Olympics Kentucky Regional Basketball Tournament, Area 5 Power lifting Tournament, and Area 5 Spring Games.

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Now through September, Softball Registration is open to all Special Olympics Athletes. Practices will provide training for upcoming games and ages 8 and up are welcome to participate. There is a $30 registration fee per season and games and practices take place at Lampkin Park.

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Beginning August 24th, Special Olympics bowling will begin, and all athletes are invited to dust off their ball and pack their shoes! Practices will take place every Wednesday from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. and the cost is $3 for two games. Practices are located at Southern Lanes on Scottsville Road.

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The Special Populations program is always in need of volunteers.  Volunteer opportunities exist through many programs and special events. If you or your group would like to make a difference in our community, please contact Special Populations.  All volunteer applications are now online at www.bgky.org/hr/jobs.

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In addition, the Speciation Populations program also offers many activities for senior citizens. If you are interested in more information or volunteering, please contact the City of Bowling Green at 270-393-3480.

Online Auction

The City of Bowling Green will hold an online auction at www.govdeals.com beginning August 1, 2016 and closing on August 8, 2016.

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Auction items include vehicles, dump truck, zero turn lawnmowers, computers and computer equipment, tires, office supplies, bikes and more.

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A complete list and description of all items along with photographs are available at govdeals.com starting on the 1st.  Instructions on the auction process are also available on the govdeals website.

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The general public is encouraged to participate.

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Currently, featured items can be found at www.bgky.org/government/auction.

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To access Bowling Green’s auction, simply search for Bowling Green, KY and items will be listed with pictures.

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