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The first session of the 2nd annual Academy for New Americans launches this Thursday, February 23.  This year’s class features 27 participants from 13 different countries: Argentina, Burkina-Faso, Burma, Burundi, Costa Rica, Cuba, Guatemala, Iraq, Kenya, Japan, Mexico, Rwanda, and Ukraine.  And get this – combined they speak 18 different languages!

This year’s participants are geared up for an exceptional time!  The Academy for New Americans combines much of the same structure of a conventional Citizen’s Academy which takes an inside look at City Government services, but adds a leadership and civic engagement component.  The City has also partnered with Warren Co. Government to feature a session solely devoted to public safety and the courts.

The success of the City’s Academy for New American has created a ripple effect statewide.  At the end of June, 2016 the City of Bowling Green entered into an agreement with Louisville/Jefferson County Metro Government through its Department of Economic Development to use Bowling Green’s Academy for New Americans Curriculum.

But the greatest successes are seen right here in our own community!  Take for instance 2016 Academy graduate Ghung Om, who left his native country of Burma at 17 years of age with only two pairs of pants and two shirts. Leaving his Father, Mother and twelve younger siblings behind, he arrived in Buffalo, NY June 15, 2011 through the Refugee Resettlement Program.   He visited Bowling Green, KY in 2014 and having had difficulty securing employment in Buffalo, was enticed to stay in the City after a friend promised he could find a job immediately.  He applied and landed a job the next day in Portland, TN working at a distribution center for Kroger, Inc.  After working a year and commuting to Portland, TN, Ghung Om sought assistance from the Refugee Employment Program at Community Action of Southern Kentucky and was successful at securing a full-time job at Magna International in Bowling Green, KY.

Ghung Om learned about the launch of the City-sponsored Academy for New Americans through the City’s International Communities Advisory Council and was encouraged to apply.  Ghung Om became one of seventeen participants who made up the inaugural class of the Academy for New Americans, which met monthly from February 2016 until June 2016.

Since his graduation from the Academy, Ghung Om has been able to advance within his company, he now works as a welder making $17.61 an hour.  He has invested back into the community, in the last year he has purchased a vehicle and in November 2016 received the keys to his first home in Bowling Green.

On January 5, 2017 Ghung Om took the ultimately step of allegiance, he became a newly naturalized US Citizen.  He continues to be engaged and connected to the City’s International Communities Liaison office through Academy Alumni reunions and other City services.  He dreams of one day being a business owner and providing job opportunities for others.  When asked what his plans for the future look like, he says he wants to make Bowling Green, KY his forever home.

Ghung Om is one of many success stories we can share about our Academy for New Americans!  We are thrilled of what’s in store for our 2017 class.  For more information about the Academy for New Americans watch our Spotlight on Bowling Green video here or visit our website at http://www.bgky.org/new-americans

Most people would agree that training can save lives. Officers in the Bowling Green Police Department are continually training, adapting and learning new skills. In 2017, technology has grown to allow training to be high-speed and realistic, using real-to-life scenarios.

In December of 2016 the Bowling Green Police Department purchased and installed a system utilizing the latest computer technology and interactive software called The Training Lab.  Officers stand in front of a theatre-style simulator screen and participate in scenarios in which their actions dictate the outcome.  Officers learn and utilize critical thinking and verbalization skills to obtain the best possible result.

Along with the officer using knowledge and verbal skills, the system allows for interactions with various tools such as O/C Spray (pepper spray), a baton, Taser, pepper ball, a handgun and a long gun all through laser technology.  Our training staff can choose from over 800 scenarios ranging from traffic stops to mentally ill, from domestic situations to life or death decisions.  Officers must make the appropriate choice of what tool to use and how to use it for each of the scenarios that they encounter.

The Bowling Green Police Department values training which helps officers to hone their skills and communication.  When not in use for officer training, the BGPD hopes to utilize the system through educational programs, such as the Citizens Police Academy.  We see great value in helping the public experience the same situations officers experience on a daily basis.

 

 

You can now reserve one of our many park shelters online! 

Visit our online reservation page here.

You can also watch our Update BG to learn more.

GIS

Have you ever wanted more information about your property or any other property located in the Bowing Green/Warren County area?  Are you interested in buying or renting a new home?

The City of Bowling Green GIS online mapping application may be just what you need to obtain valuable information. To increase the usability of the online mapping services that the City offers, we offer a streamlined application at http://www.bgky.org/gis/.

There are many things that the average person may want to use this service for. The GIS application can be used to determine who owns a property, what police or fire district you are in, where to vote, what the acreage is on a property or what school district you are in.

In order to access information on a certain address you will click on the GIS Application link, click search, and enter the address. Please note that all street names are abbreviated and you will not use a period (i.e. St, Dr, Ave). For example, if you are looking up City Hall you would type the address as follow: 1001 College St – the system will not recognize “St. or Street.” Doing this will show you a view of the property and also allow you to access general property information.

If you experience any issues or have any questions, you can email us at gis@bgky.org with a detailed account of your problem.

Over 50 Citizens Academy

There are still spots left in the Over 50 Citizens Academy! Apply by 2/16/17 to get a behind the scenes look at our local government.

The Academy will begin Thursday, March 2 and conclude with a graduation lunch on Wednesday, March 8. Each day begins at 9:00 and concludes by 4:00 p.m., with lunch and snacks provided. The Academy does not meet over the weekend.

Apply online here: http://www.bgky.org/ncs/over-fifty-citizens-academy

Early-bird season passes are now on sale for the Russell Sims Aquatic Center! Save money on season passes from now until May 5th, 2017.

Early-Bird Season Passes

  • $75-Individual
  • $175-Family of Four

Regular Price Season Passes

  • $100-Individual
  • $200-Family of Four

Right Tree, Right Place

The Right Tree, Right Place program serves to inform City residents about proper tree planting and the harmful effects of Tree Topping.

Watch our video about this important program, and go to www.bgky.org/tree for more information.

 

Smallhouse Road Update

The City of Bowling Board of Commissioners approved funding in Fiscal Years 2015 and 2016 for the improvement to a section of Smallhouse Road from Campbell Lane through the signalized intersection at Highland Way. These improvements include widening the road to three lanes, as well as the installation of curb, gutter, and an 8 foot multi-use path on one side of the proposed roadway. The ultimate goal is to continue these improvements to Scottsville Road in the near future.

Construction will include water line utility relocation as well as any roadway widening, sidewalk construction, and necessary traffic signal modifications. Construction is expected to continue through August 2017. Motorists are advised to take caution when traveling this area as crews will be working near the travel lanes and some delays should be expected. The roadway will remain open throughout construction with the exception of periods where utility and storm line crossing will be necessary.  Advance notice will be given if closures are necessary.

Construction began in December 2016.  Charles Deweese Construction, Inc. is the general contractor for Phase I.  Crews have begun excavation on the two major stormwater retention basins on the project and this work has continued throughout the month of January. Roadway widening and storm sewer installation will begin on the Campbell Lane end of the project corridor in the coming months.

While any modifications to the current roadway configuration will have impacts to adjoining properties and motorists utilizing the roadway, the City is confident that we are proposing the most cost effective solution that will minimize these impacts to the greatest extent possible.

Additionally, funding was provided in 2017 to begin design on Phase II widening.  This section will pick up near Highland Way where Phase I ends and continue through Ridgecrest Way.  Survey and design of this portion began in December 2016 and is anticipated to be completed in Spring 2017 with property acquisition to follow.

Watch this week’s Update BG to learn more about the Kummer/Little Recreation Center.

 

Bowling Green Special Olympics is a program that has existed here locally for over 30 years. Our program serves over 125 athletes and families, providing them year-round competitive sport opportunities in basketball, softball, bowling, track and field, flag football and cheerleading.

The program would not be successful if not for the hundreds of volunteers that dedicate their time and efforts each year to help provide a positive experience for our participants. To ensure that we continue to grow a solid volunteer base, we are hosting a Volunteer Drive on January 26th from 6pm-7:30pm. It will be held at the Kummer Little Recreation Center (333 College St.) in the multi-purpose room. The event will give interested volunteers the opportunity to come learn about our program, meet some of our athletes, and fill out all necessary paperwork to become an approved volunteer through Special Olympics Kentucky. All interested volunteers will need to bring a valid driver’s license along with them. All volunteer opportunities for the 2017 calendar year will be discussed in depth, allowing for those in attendance to sign up and plan ahead to serve with us this year. In addition, staff will be present to answer any questions or concerns you may have.

Often times, folks will go into a volunteer opportunity trying to make an impact in the life of someone else, and that is sure to be the case. However, in volunteering with Special Olympics and this population as a whole, we believe that the volunteer is the one left impacted by those they are able to interact with. Volunteers often leave with a better view of what it means to live life to the fullest despite the challenges we may face. There is a pure joy and love for life that is exemplified in Special Olympics that must be experienced firsthand to understand. The “Spirit of Special Olympics” is truly special, and we hope you all will join us and experience it for yourself!

If you have any questions regarding the upcoming volunteer drive or how you can be involved if you are not able to attend, please feel free to contact Cameron Levis at Cameron.levis@bgky.org or by phone at 270-393-3265. You can also contact our Coordinator, Holly Vincent, at holly.vincent@bgky.org or 270-393-3480. We hope to have you and some of your chapter join us on January 26th! Come see how you can play your part in helping the Bowling Green community see the abilities in ALL individuals!

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