Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A Murder At Bowling Green, Ky's Ramada Inn-Strangely Bazaar

    The newspaper article posted below was published in the Bowling Green (Ky) Daily News today about a murder that happened four years-ago at the Ramada Inn, one of Bowling Green's oldest hotels on Scottsville Road.  Of course, the hotel has changed hands several times through the years as well has been remodeled a couple times too.  But to me, this was a strangely bazaar murder case that happened right here in Bowling Green.  It's just weird that a now convicted killer stalked another man who was a guest at the hotel.  Originally, the killer found the guest at the hotel's bar knowing that the guest had a wallet full of cash and then went to the front desk to get the guest's room number.  And then the desk clerk gave him the room number!  After the killer got the guest's room number, he knocked on the his door and as the guest opened the door, the killer barged his way  in and strangled the guest to death and then took his cash.  And to top it off, the hotel's video camera's recorded the killer in the lobby and the halls of the hotel as he walked to the guest's room.  Complete wacko nuts for real!  What was that crazy, stupid idiot thinking?!!!
    The Ramada Inn has had it's ups and downs through the years in Bowling Green.  Back in the 90's, a little girl who was a grandchild of one of the housekeepers climbed into a laundry chute, got stuck and died.  Also, in 1979 or 1980, when then governor of California, Ronald Reagan was running for President, he supposedly stayed in the hotel's suit with his wife Nancy while making a campaign stop in Bowling Green.  Now, the hotel has all of the former Greenwood Inn's nightlife business at its lounge called the "Crossroads Bar & Grill."  The Greenwood Inn was dubbed the 'Meat Market" because that's where everybody in Bowling Green and Southcentral Kentucky went to find a "date" for the night or to be "picked up" for the evening.  I suppose the Crossroads Bar and Grill offers that same type of clientele.  They've even have the same house band that played at the Greenwood Executive Inn for years.  And one of the band members who used to be a guy is now a woman through the transgender process as rumor has it.  I would advise if you go to the Crossroads Bar and Grill or stay at the Ramada Inn, don't flash any cash around and watch your wallet very carefully.

By JUSTIN STORY, The Daily News,

Murder suspect Troy Lee Rupe admitted Tuesday to killing and robbing a man in a Bowling Green hotel room four years ago.
Rupe, 50, of Glasgow, entered a guilty plea in Warren Circuit Court to murder and first-degree robbery, acknowledging his role in the death of Thomas L. Ward.
Ward, 38, of Glasgow, was found dead April 13, 2008, in a room at the Ramada Inn at 4767 Scottsville Road. An investigation determined that Ward had been beaten and strangled.
Appearing with his attorneys, Renae Tuck and Eric Clark of the Department of Public Advocacy, Rupe spoke with a slight rasp while answering questions from Warren Circuit Judge Steve Wilson.
Rupe has been sick from cancer, and his graying hair, glasses and thin frame gave him a much different appearance Tuesday than how he looked in his Warren County Regional Jail booking photo taken in 2008 when he was charged with the crimes.
“I just want to apologize to the family. I’m sorry for the loss of their loved one,” Rupe said Tuesday.
About 10 of Ward’s relatives were in the courtroom to hear Rupe admit guilt.
Ward’s mother, Mary Brooks, read a short statement describing the effect her son’s death has had on the family, calling the date of her son’s death “the worst day of our lives.”
“The emptiness you have left in our family will never be gotten over,” Brooks said while addressing Rupe, her voice rising as she struggled to avoid crying. “You took the most precious thing that God gives – life.”
The Bowling Green Police Department led the investigation into Ward’s death, viewing hotel surveillance video footage from the Ramada Inn taken on the night of the homicide that showed Rupe following Ward.
The footage was aired on television the following day, and several people called the BGPD identifying Rupe as the man following Ward.
Rupe himself called the police after the footage aired, came to Bowling Green to be interviewed by detectives and was charged with the crimes.
During the investigation, police found money in Rupe’s Glasgow home that was alleged to have been taken from Ward.
Wilson sentenced Rupe on Tuesday to 21 years and six months in prison. The plea agreement that Rupe, who had been scheduled to go to trial next month, reached with Warren County Commonwealth’s Attorney Chris Cohron recommended that amount of time to be served on the murder charge and a 20-year sentence for robbery, with both of those sentences to be served concurrently.
Additional charges of tampering with physical evidence and first-degree persistent felony offender were dismissed as part of the plea agreement.
Because the murder was committed during the course of another violent crime, Rupe could have been eligible for the death penalty, but Cohron filed notice after Rupe’s indictment that he sought a maximum sentence of life without parole.
Rupe will get credit for the time he has served in custody and must serve 18 years and three months of his sentence before he can be considered for parole.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Unofficial Parent's Night In Nashville: Ben Kweller and Sleeper Agent At The Mercy Lounge


You might describe the Ben Kweller concert last Sunday night at the Mercy Lounge in Nashville as the "Unofficial Parent's Night," for the band members of the Bowling Green, Ky., based indie rock group, "Sleeper Agent."

Yes, all of us band member parents were there to show their love and support of our wonderfully talented and gifted children. Besides, we hadn't seen them for almost three weeks! It was great to see Tony, Alex, Josh, Scott, Lee and Justin again. And as usual they put on a awesome show, opening for Ben Kweller and his band during this particular leg of the tour. And as usual all of us parents-me, Patty, Marilyn, Teresa, Richard, Holly, Matt, Amy and Margie were all beaming with pride. Especially after these kids had just appeared on the "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon Live!" show on NBC on March 22. It seems like the whole city of Bowling Green and the community of Western Kentucky University has been buzzing about it for almost two weeks now. To be perfectly honest, it's a great feeling to see your children excel in something in life that you know one day in life that it will pay off for them big time. At least we hope, right? Let's hope so. It's already paying off for them in more ways than one. I would say more ways than we could ever imagine.

I think for our children to grow up to pursue their dreams in life, we as parents had to give them their space, unconditional life and support. They have to have the freedom to create or compose all sorts of things in their young lives while growing up. What helps them grow and develop the most is to pursue what they love with a passion. It's kind like a flower garden. If you give the garden lots love and TLC, (water, sunlight, good soil, plant food, etc.) it will grow strong and blossom beautifully just like our children.

Because believe me, the "road life" as a musician or band does not appear to be glamorous as people might think. Yeah, they get to travel all over the United States visiting big cities and see different regions of the country. They get to experience all sorts of new places and cultures. They also meet thousands of new people along the tour. However, on the down side of the things, they live in and out of hotel rooms and sleep in a different bed every night which is always not fun. They probably have some good hotel rooms and some bad hotel rooms as well as possible bed bugs along the way. Yikes! Then there's the terrible food and good food. But I know that they do get tired of restaurant and fast food. And they are always ready for mom and dad's home cooking when they arrive back in Bowling Green. Then there's the dirty (behind the scenes) dressing rooms and places like that. Not at all music venues but some. Not to mention that they have to wash their own clothes in strange laundry mats, getting sick of the road and riding in a crowed, stuffy van up to 18-20 hrs a day sometimes.

But on the flip side there's a lot of great things about the road life which can bring much success in life for musicians. Musician Ben Kweller has done it for almost 15 years now. He started when he was 15 or 16 years-old. He has has five albums out, he owns his own bus and owns a home in Texas and has a wife and two children already. And he is only 30 years-old. Kweller, who's father is a doctor in a small town in Texas gave his son lots of love when he was growing up and exposed him to music at early age.

From Wikipedia-"Dr. Howard Kweller taught Ben how to play the drums when he was seven years old. For the next year, they would play together almost every night after Howard got home from work. Howard sang and played guitar while Ben played the drums. The duo played songs by The Beatles, The Hollies, Jimi Hendrix, and other artists of the 1960s. Howard is also a longtime friend of Nils Lofgren, a neighbor of his. Kweller has mentioned in interviews that meeting Lofgren greatly helped his exposure to music. When Kweller turned eight, someone showed him how to play "Heart and Soul" on the piano and the youngster immediately began to create his own songs using the same chords. By the time he was nine, he had a dozen original compositions under his belt and entered a songwriting contest sponsored by Billboard magazine, where he won an honorable mention."

When Patty and I met Ben in his dressing room backstage, he was very nice and cordial as well friendly to all us parents. It was an honor to meet such a fine example of young successful musician in today's rock world as Ben Kweller. We wish Ben continued success especially all of the members of Sleeper Agent. We continue to pray for their safety along the path of reaching for their dreams! Keep up the great work guys and girl! We love ya!