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School Crossing Guards

August is here and with the new school year in full swing, 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.

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.

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.

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.

 

Tree Ring History

The City of Bowling Green owns a neat piece of our history in the form of a tree. In 2010, a Norway Spruce (picea abies) in Fairview Cemetery was struck by lightning and died approximately one year later. The tree had been planted in the old section of the cemetery in 1873.

City employee Jay Dougherty took the time to create a Bowling Green timeline on a cutout piece from the tree. This interesting and creative piece now resides in our Landscape Division and makes a yearly appearance at the City of Bowling Green Arbor Day Celebration.

The trees in our City are a very important part of our history. Bowling Green KY has been recognized as a Tree City USA by the National Arbor Day Foundation since 1994 and has received Growth Awards in the following years: 1995; 1996; 1997; 1998; 1999; 2007; 2009; 2010; 2011; 2012; 2014.

The following timeline highlights some of the important moments in Bowling Green’s history and is now marked on the tree. From most recent to oldest:

This tree was struck by lightning – 2010

Riverwalk Park was added – 2004

Russell Sims Aquatic Center added – 2000

Lovers Lane Complex was added – 1995

BG became a Tree City USA, the Tree Board was established – 1994

Hartland/Crosswinds Golf was added – 1991

Chevrolet Corvette Plant moved to BG and Crume Nature Park was added – 1981

Ogden Park was added – 1972

Kereiakes and Pedigo Parks were added – 1973

William Natcher parkway was finished – 1970

BG Mall opened – 1967

Hobson Grove was added (largest park at 223 acres) – 1965

I-65 was completed in BG and John F Kennedy spoke at City Hall during his campaign – 1960

Department of Parks and Recreation Division was established – 1957

2nd side of Fairview Cemetery was purchased – 1954

US 31W was opened – 1949

BG developed Parks and Recreation Board – 1941

Covington Woods Golf opened – 1933

KY Street Rail Depot was opened – 1925

City Hall was built – 1907

Reservoir Hill was made the first park in BG – 1896

First electric street car came to town – 1895

Arbor Day was made an official KY State holiday – 1887

This tree was planted in Fairview Cemetery – 1873

 

New Americans Reception

Do you know anyone who lives in the City of Bowling Green and has become a naturalized US Citizen between July 2016 and September 2017? If so, we would love recognize their outstanding accomplishment at our annual Reception for New Americans.

The City hosts the annual Reception for New Americans each September to recognize those individuals who have become naturalized US Citizens within the last year. Each New Citizen will receive a certificate of achievement signed by Bowling Green’s Mayor and be recognized individually by Bowling Green’s Mayor and City Commissioners at the event. Family and friends are welcome to attend, and light refreshments will be served.

Why promote citizenship? There are direct and indirect economic benefits to Naturalization. According to Cities for Citizenship report: “naturalization benefits local communities. When an individual becomes a citizen it raises the earning potential; much of the new earnings flow into local economies. Naturalization increases Local tax revenues and subsequently relieves local assistance programs. Naturalization initiatives connect immigrants to other city services and programs, fostering overall integration and creating an atmosphere of welcome and inclusion. When immigrants naturalize they make a permanent commitment to the community they live in. They more fully participate in democratic life. The result is stronger communities yielding benefits to all inside: employers, local government, and all residents.”

Newly naturalized citizens see a rise in income of 8-11% within three years of achieving citizenship status in the U.S. If eligible LPRs were to naturalize it could increase the U.S. economy from $37 billion to $52 billion within 10 years. (Cities for Citizenship, Citizenship: a Wise Investment for Cities, Summer 2014)

The average non-citizen in Kentucky earns $27,608 per year. If they naturalized, they could earn an average of $2,209 more per year. A $115.1 Million – aggregate additional earning if eligible non-citizens in Kentucky were naturalized. (New American Economy Contributions of New Americans in Kentucky, August 2016).

Promoting and pursuing citizenship is a win-win for all!

This year’s reception will take place Tuesday, September 12, 2017 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Sloan Convention Center at 1021 Wilkinson Trace.

If you or someone you know would like to be recognized, please contact Leyda Becker, International Communities Liaison at 270-393-3766 or Leyda.becker@bgky.org for more information. This event is sponsored by the City of Bowling Green and International Communities Advisory Council with collaboration from other community partners.

Adapted Sports Camp

The City of Bowling Green Parks and Recreation Department will host the inaugural Adapted Sports Camp at Kummer Little Recreation Center on August 4th and 5th, 2017.

The camp has been made possible through an Adaptive Sports Grant given out by the Department of Veterans Affairs. The camp has 25-30 open slots for Veterans from across the country to apply, attend and learn the sports of wheelchair basketball, wheelchair tennis, and goalball, which is a sport for athletes with little to no vision.

Parks and Recreation entered into the grant process in partnership with Louisville Metro Parks and Recreation as well as Frazier Rehab out of Louisville. The awarded amount given by the grant allowed BGPR Special Populations to obtain 8 basketball wheelchairs, 2 tennis wheelchairs, and a new set of goalball equipment.

This is the first time any organization or entity has received the VA grant in the whole state of Kentucky. The City of Bowling Green is very excited about the opportunities for expanded programming this grant will present moving forward.

Parks and Recreation will be hosting registration check-in and a welcoming reception in the SkyPAC Lounge on August 4th from 6pm-8pm. Veterans who are attending the camp will have the opportunity to mingle with other camp participants and staff, as well as take in views of Downtown Bowling Green. The main portion of the camp will take place all day on Saturday, August 5th.

Please contact the Kummer Little Recreation Center at 270-393-3265 for more information on how you can register for this event. While this event is geared towards Veterans, it is open to the community as a whole.

Sinkholes

Have you ever heard people talk about the “Karst” typography of Bowling Green? Have you heard anyone describe how we use our cave systems to move water rain water?

 

Bowling Green and the majority of Warren County are located in an area with the highest potential for Karst activity. A karst area is defined as being an irregular limestone region with sinkholes, underground streams, and caverns, and because of this our area has very few surface streams and rivers because most of our water is underground. Sinkholes are not new in this area they are simply a function and by product of the Karst area we live in.

 The most common type of sinkhole in this area is caused by sub-surface water eroding soil thru cracks in the limestone leaving voids just below the surface that eventually collapse that we call sinkholes. Heavy Rains, Construction, various land use changes and concentrated surface runoff may increase the occurrence of sinkholes in specific areas and one of the reasons sinkholes may appear more often in newly constructed areas.

 

On the surface sinkholes tend to appear rather suddenly and without provocation, but in general and in reality they have been forming slowly over time and finally appear when the surface can no longer support its own weight. Small areas can be examined with ground penetrating radar looking for anomalies in high risk areas but such methods are slow, laborious and expensive.

 

The City of Bowling Green provides guidance to builders and developers that govern how they manage areas of concentrated runoff that hope to avoid creating karst collapses.  Further we provide guidance on how to repair sinkholes properly so that they do not reoccur.  Please visit www.bgky.org  or our partners at underbgky.org for m

ore information

 

Citizen’s Police Academy

The 2017 Bowling Green Police Department Citizen Police Academy (CPA) is now accepting applications. This 11 week course begins September 7th and provides an opportunity to learn first-hand about police operations through a series of hands on demonstrations, interactive presenting and simulated activities. Participants will become better informed about the reality of police work and policing in our community.

Classes meet one night per week from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Bowling Green Police Department Community room at 911 Kentucky Street with off-site visits made to other locations such as the Justice Center, Jail, and BGPD Firing Range.

Any citizen interested in the City of Bowling Green and/or police operations who is 18 years or older with no prior felony convictions can apply for the CPA.

Academy curriculum and topics will include an overview of the department’s operations and organization, firearms training, a police ride along, mock traffic stops, K-9 demonstrations, mock crime scene investigations, undercover drug operatives, dispatch operations and much more.

All classes will be instructed by Bowling Green Police Department or other criminal justice personnel.

If you would like to apply for the 2017 Citizen’s Police Academy, please visit http://www.bgky.org/police/citizen-police-academy or contact Officer Ronnie Ward at 270-393-4596.

Neighborhood Watch

Summer Time is Prime Time for Neighborhood Watch

With beautiful summer weather comes an uptick in property crimes, including thefts from vehicles and other crimes of opportunity.  Unlocked vehicles, garages and outbuildings like tool sheds can quickly become easy targets for someone looking to grab something quickly.

The key parts to being a part of Neighborhood Watch?  It boils down to this:

Secure Your Stuff

This means locking vehicles and doors, even sometimes when you may be home or simply in the back yard.  It also means documenting the things that you own by logging or photographing serial numbers on equipment, firearms, sports paraphernalia and other items so that law enforcement can attempt to match your property back to you if it’s recovered.  You can even engrave or otherwise mark an item with a unique number yourself to identify it.

Know Your Neighbors & Your Neighborhood

Be able to recognize when something is unusual or out of place in the neighborhood.  This means knowing the general routines and vehicles of the neighbors who live nearest you and what kinds of activity is normal for them and for your area.  Some neighborhoods have more or less foot traffic than others at different times of day.  It also means being able to communicate with neighbors about activity you see from day to day and being connected so that you watch out for one another.  This can be accomplished through informal conversations, social media, neighborhood events and meetings, or any combination!

 

Recognize & Report Suspicious Activity

As a general rule, the sound of glass breaking or any other loud noise at an unusual hour is probably suspicious.  Strangers entering a neighbor’s home or loud conversation that includes shouting, screaming or crying is probably suspicious, as is anyone removing accessories or a license plate from a car.  But any kind of activity that seems unusual for YOUR neighborhood could be considered suspicious!

DO NOT CONFRONT but report suspicious activity, especially activity that you witness while it is happening by calling 911 or the non-emergency BGPD number at 270-393-4000.  Be prepared to say WHERE the activity is happening, WHAT is happening, WHO is involved (this is where descriptions of vehicles and/or persons comes into play), WHEN it happened (30 seconds or 30 minutes ago), and any other additional details that would be helpful to the officers responding to the call.

It’s also important to report delayed criminal activity.  Have a designated neighborhood watch person in your neighborhood who is willing to share with police any delayed reports of minor criminal mischief or thefts for which victims don’t want a report.  You never know when your neighborhood may identify a crime wave that is just beginning due to the same small ring of thieves!

For more information about Neighborhood Watch, visit our page here:  http://www2.bgky.org/neighborhoods/watch.php

Fireworks!

Many things come to mind when thinking about the 4th of July: freedom, summer, BBQ’s, pool parties and of course, fireworks!

There are those who love fireworks and those who loathe them. To help make sure that everyone has a great 4th of July holiday, the City of Bowling Green has offered some good neighbor courtesies as well as some safety guideline and regulations to keep in mind for the 2015 season.

Because not everyone is excited about the loud bangs and bright lights, notify your neighbors before using any large fireworks near your home and never put other people or their property at risk.

Fireworks are NOT permitted on public streets, and any debris left by fireworks should be picked up and disposed of properly. Never point or throw fireworks at another person, and always keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of a fire or other mishap. Consumer fireworks may only be used by individuals at least 18 years of age.

The city DOES NOT require a permit to discharge fireworks from June 27th through July 5th  from noon until 10 p.m., and on July 4th from noon until 11 p.m. All other dates require a Special Fireworks Discharge Permit from the Bowling Green Fire Department.

Keep in mind that enforcement of firework guidelines is a complaint driven process. Please call the Bowling Green Police Department non-emergency line at 270-393-4244 to file a complaint regarding fireworks. For more safety guidelines or to obtain a Special Fireworks Discharge Permit, contact the Bowling Green Fire Department at 270-393-3702, or visit their website at www.bgky.org/fire.

Most importantly, have a safe and Happy 4th of July!

If you are looking for a new gym home, please come down to 225 East 3rd Avenue to give Parks and Recreation a chance. Take a look at our excellent facilities, our great prices and friendly staff. And always feel free to call 270-393-3582

Thinking about getting back in shape?  Wanting to lose a few extra pounds for summer?  Looking to increase your strength and endurance?  Or maybe you just want to be more sound in body mind and spirit?  Then Bowling Green Parks and Recreation (BGPR Fitness) Is the Fitness Facility for you!

Along with the many reasons to keep yourself healthy and fit, the City of Bowling Green would like to provide you with the top five reasons to make BGPR Fitness your gym.

  1. BGPR Fitness has NO contracts, NO enrollment fees, No Initiation fees.  No fees whatsoever, no extra/hidden charges either.  Many other Gyms have additional charges or maintenance fees associated with your membership, not BG Parks and Rec, we only charge you for each month you keep your membership active and nothing else!
  2. Traveling out of town for a few days?  Have to miss the gym for a while due to accident/injury?  Too busy to get to the gym for a week or so, or maybe you just need a little break or some time away?  No worries, no problem!  At BGPR Fitness you can drop your membership card off and ask us to “freeze” it.  This way you will not have lost anytime on your membership while you were away.  Why be penalized for not using your membership?
  3. Like to dance….try Zumba!  Want to strengthen and tone your legs….then Lower Body Blitz is for you! Looking for a fun exercise class that increases coordination skills….try Silver Drums!  Needing a class to increase your strength, flexibility and coordination skills…..Join SilverSneakers!  Want to do Yoga but don’t like having to get down on the floor….then Chair Yoga is perfect for you!  BGPR Fitness has a variety of classes and activities for all ages and abilities.
  4. Need help with your fitness program?  Have a question about using equipment?  Need some motivation or new ideas?  Not really sure how to work out?   Wonder no more…….BGPR Fitness has qualified staff and instructors who can assist you as needed, whether it’s just a quick question about your program, or you needing some assistance using a piece of equipment or wanting some advice to help you reach your goals, BGPR Staff are available to help you with all your fitness needs.

Bowling Green Parks and Recreation offers a multitude of reasonable, affordable membership rates.  Whether you’re a single person, family, student, military/Government, or senior citizen, check out our many discounted membership plans available to you.  We encourage you to come visit us and see what we have to offer either in person or on the web at bgky.org/bgpr/fitness

Bowling Green Parks and Recreation Fitness Facility……A step in the right direction, join us for Fitness, Fun and Friends!  225 East Third Ave, Bowling Green, KY 42101.  270-393-3232.

 

Scam Tips

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.

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.

 

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.

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.

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!

The greatest of scams come 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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