Tuesday, December 5, 2017

College Town At Christmas: 2017, "My Top 10 Crazy Christmas Wish List Items For The City of Bowling Green"

I am sorry to admit but I have struggled with getting into Christmas spirit this year so far.
I did not make it to the annual Christmas parade in downtown Bowling Green this past Saturday morning nor to the annual Christmas Tree Lighting at Fountain Square Park this past Friday night either.  Like most Bowling Green citizens, I've been busy with work and life in general.  However, I have been trying to think of an idea for my annual "College Town At Christmas" blog for awhile now.  But I finally thought of idea today.  I thought, "What about if I wrote a blog based on my "My Top 10 Crazy Christmas Wish List Items For The City of Bowling Green?"  Yes, for our beloved City of Bowling Green located in Southcentral Kentucky! So here it goes.  It's some crazy, far out Christmas wish list items but I hope you enjoy them nevertheless! It's meant to be in all fun and for your amusement! I hope you enjoy them!

10.) An GM Corvette sports car themed Amusement Park like Disney World close to the Corvette plant, racetrack and museum next to I-65.  Bowling Green is the only place in the world where the Corvette is made.

9.)  A six to eight lane loop around the whole City of Bowling Green that will alleviate the heavy traffic problems especially on Campbell Lane and Nashville, Smallhouse, Three Springs and Scottsville roads.

8.) A Bowling Green and South Central Kentucky Rock & Roll Music Museum honoring the likes of Bowling Green based indie rock bands, "Cage The Elephant" and the former indie rock band "Sleeper Agent." Also, the hard rocking Kentucky rock band, "Black Stone Cherry" from nearby Edmonton, Ky., just down the road and Kentucky country cock rockers, "The Kentucky Headhunters," also from Edmonton.   Also, throw in "The Hilltoppers" from the early 50's who were from Western Kentucky University.  The museum would celebrate these bands who made an impact nationally and internationally and who have brought world-wide attention to Bowling Green and the region by national television appearances, newspaper and magazines articles, radio, internet and television interviews, albums, CD's, iTunes,  videos and concert appearances world-wide.  Also, include displays for Grammy winners "Cage The Elephant" and "The Kentucky Headhunters," as well as displays for all local and regional bands who have had an impact on the Bowling Green Music Scene.  And the museum, would feature a local beer brewery spotlighting Bowling Green's own regionally known and popular "White Squirrel" beer with a brew pub, full size restaurant and a large venue for indoor and outdoor concerts with lots of seating.

7.) Give "Cage The Elephant" and "The Kentucky Headhunters" keys to the City of Bowling Green for bringing world-wide attention to our city and region for their musical achievements with winning Grammys.

6.) A museum honoring some of Bowling Green most colorful and most recognized famous citizens, such as "Pauline Tabor," the famous madam who ran a brothel on Clay Street at one time, John Carpenter of Hollywood, Calif.,  the famous horror movie director of "Halloween" and other scary movies and the famous wrestler from Bowling Green, "Hillbilly Jim," just to name a few.

5.) A plaque somewhere downtown Bowling Green to honor and recognize the city's own local billionaire, "Brad Kelley," who likes to fly under the radar, incognito away from the public eye and press but for his founding of his former cigarette factory, "USA Gold" cigarettes and other brands.  As I understand he sold his business to Houchens Industries for a billion dollars and Houchens later sold for several more billions to a company in England.  Kelly is supposedly one of the top five landowners in the country.  We should all be proud he is from here.  "From farm boy to billionaire."

4.) A walkway bridge over University Avenue and the CSX railroad at the Old Morgantown Road entrance for the Western Kentucky University students to cross.  That's a very dangerous intersection for students to be crossing considering all of the automobile traffic and the amount of railroad traffic.

3.) A movie made about Ervin G. Houchens honoring the founder of Houchens Industries, based in Bowling Green, one the nation's largest employee stock ownership plans (ESOP).  It's basically a rags to riches story of a young boy who began working hard early life in rural Barren County, Ky.,  and later left a legacy of tremendous wealth in our community that still lives on today in many aspects and businesses.

2.) A monorail railway system for Western Kentucky University and the City of Bowling Green to alleviate all of the bus traffic.  Since we can't go underground because of karst cave systems, sinkholes and limestone underneath us, let's go above and beyond like Disney world!

1.) And finally but not least, let's create the world's largest dog park with hotels, swimming pools, cabins, lakes and pontoon boats with fishing included among other recreational things to do.  Since we have one dog park already in the city let's add new one out in the county somewhere.  Also local dog food manufacturers, Hills Pet Foods and Champion Pet Food Auburn could be major sponsors.  We could draw people in from all over the world!

Merry Christmas everyone and Happy New Year! I hope you had a wonderful 2017!

Sunday, November 19, 2017

The Story Behind The Story: 'Metros' Cars And Center Street In Bowling Green, Ky.

BOWLING GREEN, KY _ I had been working in the newsroom at the Bowling Green Daily News for almost two half years by the time, that former Managing Editor, Don Stringer and Roger Jones, former advertising director, decided to create a local car section tabloid insert loaded with car stories and advertising for our popular daily newspaper.
   Back in those days, the Bowling Green Daily News and local television station, WBKO, dominated as the top media outlets in our community.  It was long before the days of the internet, Youtube, Facebook, Twitter and other forms of social media. Although, I was probably one of Don's least favorite writers or employees of the newsroom, he did actually utilize my writing skills from time to time.  This story "'Metros' Man's Fascination Of Bowling Green" was an easy story to write.  It was simple, clean, cut and dry.  It was written in November of 1993, so that was 24 years ago this month.  But I can't remember if I interviewed the main subject in person or on the phone.  Most likely it was over the phone because that's how we wrote most of our stories at the time because of a "lack of time."  We had a noon deadline in our newsroom.  But with the special insert tabloid sections, we always had a lot more time to get our stories done.
    Looking back now, I think this how I wrote this story. I interviewed Mr. Ken Marshall, the main subject, over the phone and then he had invited me to his wholesale and salvage warehouse that was located on Center Street at the time near Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green.  One of our newsroom photographers drop by and took some pictures for the story.  We used the best shot of Mr. Marshall using his elbow to lean up against one his blue and white Metro cars.  His warehouse used to be across the street from the old, former Jr. Food Store on the corner where the new High Tops Sports Bar and Grill is now located.  Of course, all those old houses and buildings have been torn down in the last few years and new fine brick structures have been rebuilt such as a hotel, a WKU alumni center, fraternity houses, apartments, restaurants and storefront shops.  And if I remember correctly, I did take up Mr. Marshall's invite to drop by to sneak a peek at his 'Metros' cars.  They weren't running but he had some really cool ones under covers and a couple stored up on some racks inside his warehouse.  Mainly, I just remember all the junk he had stored in his warehouse and that he was a real friendly fellow with a big smile.  I bet it took forever for whoever to get all that junk and cars out of that warehouse before they sold and tore down the building.
    Besides being an easy to write, it was a fun story with some interesting facts regarding the unusual cars and Mr. Marshall and his the junky warehouse. Also, reading the story over again, makes me take a trip down memory lane, remembering those long gone days of what Center Street in Bowling Green used to look like back in the early 90's. Very cool!

Sunday, October 15, 2017

A Young Classic Rock/Led Zeppelin Retro Sounding Band: Michigan's Greta Van Fleet Is Causing Black Smoke To Rise Everywhere

   I was at a Pizza Hut in Bowling Green recently and I struck up a conversation about music with a young man who was listening to Pearl Jam while he worked.
He said he really loved the sound of Eddie Vedder's voice, the lead singer of the band, and we talked about the fact that this young man was also a musician. Then he pulled out his iPhone and showed me a Youtube video of new young rock band who is exploding on the music scene currently called "Greta Van Fleet" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greta_Van_Fleetc and they hail from Michigan.
    I was blown away by the video who showed me especially since I am a baby boomer and I love classic rock and Led Zeppelin like millions of other people do in the world.  Greta Van Fleet formed in 2012 and they have that incredible sound of classic rock/Led Zeppelin to be exact and to be such a young musicians in my opinion.  Their style of music appears to us old timers especially.  Even the lead singer sounds exactly a young Robert Plant.  They have apparently tapped into a unique music niche market in order appeal to the masses of all age groups with their sound, music and style.
      The band members are Josh Kiszka, Jake Kiszka, Sam Kiszka, and Danny Wagner and in April of this year, the band released their debut studio digital EP on iTunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/black-smoke-rising-ep/id1226696489 called, "Black Smoke Rising."  The debut single, "Highway Tune," has topped the Billboard US Mainstream and Active Rock stations this past September. Currently,  Greta Van Fleet is touring the country to sold out clubs and venues everywhere. http://gretavanfleet.com/ 
      It appears that if Greta Van Fleet keeps stoking the fires that's causing black smoke to rise everywhere, they will stay on a fast track to fast fame and fortune.  They will go far in this brave, new digital world that we live in if they keep it up.  Greta Van Fleet's already quick success on the internet and in the social media realm of the globe, kind of reminds me of Van Halen's fast rise to world-wide recognition and instant riches in the late 70's during the vinyl record and analog recording days of that time era.  Great Van Fleet better fasten their seat belts because it looks like they are in for one hell of a ride!

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

President Trump At His Best During One Of The Worst Days In America After Vegas Mass Shooting

I think most of us in America as well as those around the world were probably shocked when saw the news yesterday morning when we woke up that over 50 people were slaughtered by a lone gunman shooting out of a Las Vegas hotel room with rapid fire at a Jason Aldean's outdoor country music concert on Sunday night.
    We were dumbfounded and thinking, "What the hell is going on?"  We were all searching for a meaning that such a horrible and senseless act of evil could take place in a place like "Vegas" where everybody is suppose to have fun and a good time.  The shooter, Stephen Paddock, 64, ended up killing 59 people and wounded over 500 more at the country music festival near the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino where the shooter had a room and where he was shooting from.  Police stormed his 32nd floor hotel room and found that he had killed himself after committing the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.
 However, a lot of us found comfort in President Trump's speech about the tragedy during his speech at the White House yesterday whether you watched it on television or on the internet. I watched President Trump's speech yesterday evening on Youtube (see video posted below).  In spite of President Trump's flaws and character defects, he is a man of conviction, passion and a believer and not afraid to use the words, "God, love, prayer, care" in his sentences. This is the kind of leader we need during times like these. He gives us hope for America and a feeling of security regardless of what's going on in the world.  After President Trump visit to hurricane devastated Puerto Rico today and he will fly to Las Vegas to visit with the victims and family members of the mass shooting on Wednesday.  We pray for all the innocent concert goers who lost their lives on Sunday night and for those who were injured.  We also pray for the victim's family members.  God Bless President Trump and America.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

The Citizens And Taxpayers of Bowling Green and Warren County In Kentucky Have A Right To Know The Absolute Truth Of The Downtown Parking Structure Wrap Financial Disaster

"We the citizens of Bowling Green and Warren County charge our political leaders and law enforcement officials to get to the bottom of this financial disaster regarding the downtown parking structure wrap. We trust that they will fulfill their obligations to do so and find whoever is guilty of misuse of public monies whether by indictment and jury trial or other means. On the other hand, we depend on the legal system to find those accused not guilty if that be the case. Regardless, we the taxpayers deserve the absolute truth."-Galen A. Smith Sr.

Suit outlines alleged effort to appropriate tax dollars (A Top Front Page News Story Published By The Bowling Green Daily News)

By WES SWIETEK wswietek@bgdailynews.com
Sep 13, 2017

Clinton(from left), Chris and Ed Mills pose for a photograph June 21, 2012, on the downtown parking garage. The city filed a federal civil lawsuit Monday in U.S. District Court in Bowling Green regarding the development. It names as defendants Mills Family Realty and its predecessor MR Group; the officers of that group, Ed Mills, Chris Mills and Clinton Mills; and Bowling Green businessman Rick Kelley. The lawsuit seeks a jury trial and unspecified damages.Miranda Pederson/Daily News

A lawsuit filed by the city of Bowling Green regarding the initial development of the wrap around the downtown Bowling Green parking garage, then known as Hitcents Park Plaza, paints a picture of businessmen looking to pad their pockets with taxpayer money.

The defendants, however, call the suit frivolous and a waste of taxpayer money.

The city filed a federal civil lawsuit Monday in U.S. District Court in Bowling Green regarding the development.

It names as defendants Mills Family Realty and its predecessor MR Group; the officers of that group, Ed Mills, Chris Mills and Clinton Mills; and Bowling Green businessman Rick Kelley. The lawsuit seeks a jury trial and unspecified damages.

A civil complaint represents only a plaintiff’s claim, and the defendants have the right to file a response in court. No formal responses had been filed as of Wednesday morning, according to court filings.

The suit accuses the defendants of “fraud, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, civil conspiracy and conversion. Defendants, engaged in – and conspired to engage in – a pattern of racketeering activity intended to defraud the Plaintiff out of millions of dollars. Defendants also committed fraud, violated their fiduciary and contractual duties to Plaintiff, and engaged in a civil conspiracy to enrich themselves at the expense of the Plaintiff.”

The suit alleges that “as a direct result of Defendants’ tortious and fraudulent conduct, Plaintiff has suffered and continues to suffer several million dollars in damages.” The suit alleges that the defendants “wrongfully diverted and illegally used bond funds ... to establish and operate their own private businesses.”

Mills Family Realty was chosen in 2012 as the developer of the project, which was financed by about $22 million in county bonds.

Mills Family Realty hired Kelley, the former owner of Mariah’s restaurant, as a consultant for the development. Mariah’s eventually moved into Hitcents Park Plaza.

The suit alleges that Bowling Green Mayor Bruce Wilkerson in May 2013 asked members of the Mills family whether Kelley was involved in the restaurants in the development, with Wilkerson expressly stating “that the bond funds are not a ‘Rick Kelley Bankruptcy Bailout Fund,’ ” according to the suit. In response, Wilkerson was assured that Kelly wasn’t involved in the project, according to the suit, but that “in fact, upon information and belief, Rick Kelley eventually earned as much as $2.07 million dollars from his involvement with the Project.”

The suit alleges that the defendants improperly commingled various revenue in the project, altered an operating agreement without the city’s knowledge to operate their own businesses and used and overspent Tax Increment Financing District revenue “on working capital for their own benefit, resulting in the project’s collapse.”

Ed Mills and his sons Clinton and Chris Mills are also affiliated with the project’s initial namesake tenant, the Hitcents technology firm.

Mills Family Realty had a subsidiary subtenant known as MR Group to operate restaurants in the development.

“MFR ultimately spent over $12.7 million on tenant improvements for restaurants and banquet space leased and operated by its subsidiary, MR Group. (An amount over $9 million more than the total allowance in the construction agreement, and over $7 million more than that allowed in the sublease agreements.) This was done for the sole benefit of Mills Defendants, who are all owners and operators of both MFR and MR Group,” the suit alleges.

The alleged mismanagement led to the project’s troubles and the city “did not discover – nor could it reasonably have discovered – this fraudulent conduct ... until sometime in 2014-15, when the Project unraveled and Defendants’s fraudulent conduct came to light.”

The defendants’ actions, the suit argues, amount to a violation of the federal racketeering statutes, common law fraud, breach of contract, conspiracy and five other related offenses. It asks for damage amounts to be determined, but says damages are “believed to exceed $500,000” on each of the nine counts.

Clinton Mills said Tuesday the Millses feel “confident that the city’s basis for the claim are inaccurate.”

It is “unfortunate that the city is wasting taxpayer money on such an exercise. We look forward to defending our position,” he said.

Kelley’s attorney, Alan Simpson, called the suit “frivolous” and “an outrageous waste of taxpayer money.”

The suit stems from issues related to the development of the wrap around the downtown parking garage, which became public when contractors filed more than $2 million in liens in February 2015 on the almost-complete project, saying they were not being paid for their work. Restaurants in the building also closed and several lawsuits followed. Ultimately, the county issued a new $30 million bond to pay contractors and finish the project with a new developer.

A review conducted by then-state Auditor Adam Edelen and released in December 2015 concluded that there was overspending on the project of $9.7 million, resulting in a $4.5 million deficit; poor oversight on the project by elected officials; and numerous, often contradictory, agreements guiding the project.

“The city, especially the mayor, have been trying to vilify Rick Kelley for years now. This is the latest attempt to do so,” Simpson said Tuesday. “This lawsuit is frivolous and they know it. Every one of the expenditures was approved by the bond counsel ... there is no mistake in that. Why wasn’t the city’s bond counsel sued? The city all along knew bond proceeds were being used for working capital.”

Warren County Commonwealth’s Attorney Chris Cohron said in December 2015 that his office is reviewing the state audit, but he has not since provided an update on the status of his investigation.

Simpson said Tuesday that the FBI had also reviewed the case “and has taken no action. For the city to file (a suit claiming violation of federal laws) flies in the face of law enforcement.”

Last month, the Bowling Green City Commission in a 4-1 vote approved allowing the Keating Muething & Klekamp law firm of northern Kentucky to file the civil action, with only Commissioner Brian “Slim” Nash voting no. Nash said he did not believe the city could recoup any money through the suit and that it would place a black cloud over continuing downtown development.

The case was assigned to the docket of U.S. District Court Chief Judge Joseph H. McKinley Jr., according to court records.

– Follow News Director Wes Swietek on Twitter @BGDNgovtbeat or visit bgdailynews.com.

Monday, August 14, 2017

The Total Solar Eclipse 2017 Will Be The Biggest Thing That Hits Bowling Green, Ky., Since American Idol Came To Town

Reading Sunday's Bowling Green Bowling Green Daily News, it appears that our state, county and city is again making some last minute preparations for the onslaught of hordes and throngs of people predicted to arrive and stay to our local hotels and eat at our local restaurants bringing in thousands of dollars for our local economy to view the total solar eclipse which is due to be here one week from today.  Although, emergency responders from the state, county and city did actually start making plans for the big event in the early Spring according to the Bowling Green Daily News which is a good thing.
      When I found out that all of our local hotel rooms were booked up from a customer who works in our hotel industry last week, I posted something about it on Facebook and the next thing I know, word is getting around in our community that we are going to be loaded down with people coming to our town on Aug. 21.  It's even all over the news now. I think for a lot of us here in Bowling Green, reality is just now setting in on how big this thing is going to be for us since American Idol came to town seeking local talent.  Or the time President Ronald Reagan came to town at the last minute in 1988 to stump for Vice President George H. Bush at Diddle Arena at Western Kentucky University or the time President Bill Clinton came to town in 1984 to attend longtime Congressman's William H. Natcher's funeral.  Natcher was from Bowling Green. 
      However, I think American Idol was a bust for Bowling Green because they only showed a disappointing couple short second clips of our hometown on the show.  Our city and county government spent hundreds of dollars providing security for the American Idol crew for the couple of days while they set up downtown on Fountain Square with their roped off areas and tour bus.  Yes, hundreds of singers showed up but was it worth it?  I think the city and county thought that we were going to get some good publicity out of the deal which did not happen as we all know now. 
 But no, this total solar eclipse thing appears that it will be much, much larger than American Idol will ever be.  I don't we really can imagine how big it's going to be.  Bowling Green is in the 100 mile wide band that runs across the nation where you are suppose to be able to see the total eclipse and it will start locally at 1:27:23 p.m. and end at 1:28:39 p.m.  So for just a little over a minute, this will be a historic, once in a lifetime event for a lot of us.  Supposedly, everything will go dark, just like it will be night time during this short time period frame  I would think if it's cloudy or raining, it will still go dark outside for this amount of time. Be sure to have your iPhones plus eye protection, to video the event, so that you can post it on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube or Instagram!
     Remember also, experts are saying to keep your vehicles fueled up, have plenty of water on hand (Huh? I'm not sure about this one. Maybe if you get stuck in traffic?) and be prepared for heavy traffic.  Also, have the right eye protection.  I am just a little concerned here.  I'm starting to think maybe I should take the day off work and wait it out on my front porch with my vehicles parked in the driveway, safe and tucked away.  Of course, I'll make sure that I have plenty of water, food and supplies.  But I don't have a generator.  Will I need a generator?  I hope not. But I will probably just work in the morning (if I can get around town in the Bowling Green heavy predicted traffic), come home, eat lunch and then go outside to view the total solar eclipse with my wife and Aussie dog. After the celestial event occurs and if I am bewildered enough or totally in awe, I just may take the rest of the day off until traffic dies down before I venture out into the streets of Bowling Green.  Because I surely do not want to get caught in traffic!

Monday, July 24, 2017

Ole Miss Needs To Get In Front Of The Eight Ball And Extinguish The Public Relations Disaster And Media Fires Over Former Football Coach Hugh Freeze Abrupt Resignation


We're all worthwhile fallible human beings. Although, I have been living away from Mississippi for 30 years now, I try to keep up with my Mississippi friends and my Alma Mater at Ole Miss mainly on social media these days. I am still a fan of Ole Miss football somewhat and I try to keep up with the program through the media and watch the games on television while living in Kentucky for all these years. I depend on the media to tell me what's happening with the program whether it be television, radio or social media. Being a former journalist and currently a blogger, I try to see the issues in an unbiased and objective fashion. It's what I learned in journalism school at Ole Miss in the early 80's. However, because I have to depend on the media these days to get my information of what's happening, a lot of times I will get the biased opinions. I feel sorry for

Coach Freeze and his family as well as the Ole Miss community, alumni and the major Ole Miss football donors and supporters. But obviously this is a major, big, world-wide news story and it's not going away anytime soon. Yes, the Christian element is there and a lot of people are bashing him over it including other Christians. But the university has to deal with this public relations disaster, get in front of it and try to get it under control so it will die down. Also Coach Freeze will have too somehow also. He will have to face the media again eventually. Whether the whole truth comes out of what's been going on for sure, I don't know. You have good journalists and bad journalist out there. By the time this thing is over with, I don't think it's going to be pretty either way. We all need to keep praying for Coach Freeze and his family. And also for the Ole Miss and its football program including team, coaches and players.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Until Hell Freezes Over, Hugh Freeze Will Likely Never Be Ole Miss' Football Coach Again

 I've been listening to the Sirius Radio College Sports Nation Channel 84 while working in the truck all day today. I've been hearing lots of ins and outs and insight from different radio hosts and callers regarding the big college sports news story about Ole Miss Football Coach Hugh Freeze's abrupt resignation last night. His character has come into question and now all of his years of coaching at Ole Miss are in question too by the university and the public. This mammoth news story has gone viral and world-wide.
At first when I heard the news last night that he has resigned from his position of head football coach at Ole Miss, I thought maybe Coach

Freeze was calling escort services and massage parlors for his players or new recruits. Now, I'm starting to believe Coach Freeze might have sex addiction issues. Since he makes five million dollars a year as a head coach, I'm sure he could afford to easily feed his sex addiction with those types of services. Money was not an issue apparently. By all means according to media accounts including his own Twitter account, Coach Freeze appeared to be a good Christian man, a good husband and a good father. However, I hate to see a man of his stature fall from a grace in such a public way. With all this happening with Coach Freeze and Ole Miss currently in the midst of a media firestorm and a shark news feeding frenzy, now I am thinking "Was it worth all this negative attention and bad publicity for Ole Miss to have a Sugar Bowl victory and two wins against Alabama under Coach Freeze?" Hindsight is 20/20 and only time will tell.  But from what I am hearing today on the satellite radio channel, it appears it's not going to take very long for us to find out.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Phillips Family IGA In Hiseville, Ky., Offers Fresh Hot "Charlie Biggs' Fried Chicken That Hits The Spot In Rural Southcentral Kentucky

     I remember growing up down in the Deep South in North Mississippi in the late 70's that there was nothing better than a thick cut piece of bologna slapped on two slices of Wonder white bread, a slice of thick cheddar cheese with mayonnaise on a hot summer day. Also, I always had a bag of Funyuns Onion Flavored Rings and a Nehi peach soda to go along with it.
    Nowadays, when I travel and work the back highways of rural Southcentral Kentucky, I always seem to find these nice little country stores that has a deli in the back that serves some sort of hot food.  One of my favorites is Phillips Family IGA http://www.phillipsiga.com/ in Hiseville, Ky., several miles north of Glasgow, Ky., just of U.S. 31-E and several miles east of Cave City.
     Of course, they can make you a fresh bologna sandwich if you wish. But I prefer their "Charley Biggs' Chicken and Sauce."http://charleybiggs.com/  It's a deli brand of fried chicken that I am sure that you can get at other similar types of rural grocery stores across the country.  To me, there's nothing better than a Charley Biggs' chicken breast and a couple of fried potato logs. I love their "I'm on Fire!" which is Charley Biggs' "Kickin' It Up Hot Sauce." It's hot but it's damn good and it goes great with the fried chicken breast and potato logs.  Usually, I''ll grab me a ice cold, 12 ounce can of Coca Cola to go along with it too.
The next time you are up that way, you've got to try Charlie Biggs' chicken and sauce at Phillips Family IGA in Hiseville.  The Phillips family are super, friendly people and apparently they have been serving the grocery needs of their little community for years.  But for an outsider like me from Bowling Green, who pops in every now and then, you can't go wrong with their Charley Biggs Fried Chicken at their deli in the back of the store.  You know, I think they may even be giving the Colonel a run for the money these days.  At least I know they are in their little town with a population of 240 citizens and the surrounding area!

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Remembering Bowling Green, Ky.'s "Kenny Rogers Roasters," "Backyard Burgers" and "Boston Market" Restaurants

    I am a restaurant fan.
If you live in Bowling Green, you almost have to be.  We have a lot restaurants to choose from in this town.  As a matter of fact, I think there's almost 300 restaurants located here with a population of 65,000 citizens-mom & pops, national chains and lots of ethnic restaurants (Chinese, Asian, Indian, Mexican, Bosnia and etc.) And if you love pizza, we also have tons of pizza restaurants in Bowling Green.  Especially, pizza delivery!  We also have several BBQ restaurants-the mom & pop and national chains too.
But what I want to know is what happened to our Kenny Rogers Roasters, Backyard Burgers and Boston Market?  Yes, we used to have those in Bowling Green!  Kenny Rogers Roasters was at Fairview Plaza Shopping Center on U.S. 31-W By-Pass where McDonalds is now and the Boston Market was on Campbell Lane where the strip shopping center is that houses the FedEx copy center and an ethnic restaurant as well as a retail shop or two.  And Backyard Burgers used to be located in front of Big Lots on Nashville Road where the strip shopping center that houses Dunkin Donuts and a Mexican restaurant and some retail shops.  (For a while, strip shopping centers were popping up all over Bowling Green.  Now, it seems apartment buildings are  popping up all over the place).
    I really liked all three of those restaurants and ate at them several times in the 1990's and 2000's.  I enjoyed their food, their service and the interior decor of all three.  However, they are all now in the boneyard of the Bowling Green restaurant scene.  It's a very tough market in our town and extremely hard for the small mom & pop restaurants to make a go at it.  I have lived here for 30 years and I can't tell you how many restaurants have come and gone through the years.  I always like to call it when I see this happen, "Another one bites the dust."
    If I can think of some more restaurants that have come and gone through the years in Bowling Green, I'll be sure to write about them in this blog later on.  And if you can remember any, please let me know.  Thanks and "Happy Dining" in our big town of good ole Bowling Green!

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Whatever Happened To The Wizard Staff And Tree Spirit Walking Sticks Little Yellow Shack In Summer Shade, Ky?

SUMMER SHADE, KY _ I still drive by here several times a month. But it's a mystery to me.
     And nobody seems to know what happened to the Wizard Staff and Tree Spirit Walking Sticks little yellow shack in Summer Shade https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Summer_Shade,_Kentucky on Ky. 90 between Glasgow and Burkesville. I know a few people who lives in the area since the shack has been razed for a couple of years now. But again nobody can tell me anything about it. There's another little shack still standing several yards away where the other one used to be.  There's also a small Church of Christ building across the highway not far from the shack used to be. Sometimes I think maybe the religious people of the community may have something to do with its disappearance. But that's just me thinking out loud.  I assume a lot like a lot of people do in society.
       The stick carving shop was the brainchild of Robin Bryan, a laid off drywaller, who made the Wizard Staffs and Tree Spirit Walking Sticks and sold them to the public out of the little yellow shack. Supposedly, Bryan said that some people claimed that the sticks had "magical powers and changed their lives" when I interviewed for my Youtube channel. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEEG7b-WZZvvFN23LFMWJEA?view_as=public After I purchased my own Tree Spirit Walking Stick from him for $10,
I used my old Kodak digital camera seven years ago in October of 2010 to interview him.  It's my highest viewed Youtube video still to date with over 13,000 views.  My video only has a few thousand views compared the millions of videos on Youtube with millions of views. But's that's okay, I'm still glad I had a chance to capture Bryan in a brief interview on video while cars and trucks were passing by us just a few feet away on the highway on a busy fall afternoon.
      I even had one complaint on my Youtube channel that the cars and trucks were way too loud and that they barely could Bryan hardly talk. Lol.  I had to explain to that person with a comment posted below his that we were only a few feet from the highway from where the little yellow shack stood and that camera was not of the highest quality.
     I also remember I asked Bryan what types of people purchase his Wizard Staff and Tree Spirit Walking Sticks and he said that all types of people purchased them.  I also asked him if any local celebrities such as the band members of the Kentucky Headhunters or Black Stone Cherry had purchased any of his sticks and he said, "Yes," but he was not a liberty to say which members had.
     So if you know why the little yellow shack was torn down or if you know what happened to Bryan, please let me know.  That's just the nosey reporter in me coming out who still likes to hang around apparently.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

"Bobaflex," Is Introduced To The World Through Their Social Media Sensational Video Cover of Pink Floyd's "Hey You"

     To to you the truth, I had never heard of "Bobaflex," before in my life, an Appalachian regional heavy hardcore rock band from West Virginia, until a couple of weeks ago when I woke up and got on Facebook early one morning. I was half awake, drinking my first sip of coffee and I was scrolling down my timeline when I saw where someone had posted a music video of this band with guys with long, dark hair, had done a cover of Pink Floyd's "Hey You."

      Pink Floyd's "The Wall" is one of my all time favorite classic albums and I still listen to it on CD just about every week in my work truck. So I clicked on the music video and "wow," I was blown away immediately by these guys! I was drawn into the video like watching a scary movie or something and then I reposted the video as soon as I watched it. Also, I went ahead "Liked" their band page and Googled them on Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bobaflex They have quite an interesting history and Bobaflex has been around since the 90's and they appear to be a hard working-class, heavy hardcore rock band with some dark undertones. It seems they have gone through some personnel changes and small record label deals but apparently have the ability to stick with their pursuit of happiness and success and making a living off their music through all the ups and downs. I read where they were also involved in some litigation with one of their former record labels. Also, all the band members have a dark appearance with black or brown hair and it appears that some of the guys wear black eyeliner, leather jackets and clothing such as black jeans with white T-shirts and etc. I also read on Wikipedia that a couple of the band members, Shaun and Marty McCoy, are related to the infamous "Hatfield and McCoy" feud families in which I thought was pretty intriguing.   I noticed that they have put out several albums through the years and some of their other videos I watched appear to touch of the social ills of society such as drug addiction to meth which seems is to be a major problem in the Appalachian region as well as other parts of the country according to news media outlets and law enforcement stats. On the video, their sound is impeccable and it is filmed in a creepy empty, outdoor  amphitheater out in the woods somewhere which appears to be taking place in the fall season too.
     Just recently, Bobaflex posted on their Facebook page that their music video cover of "Hey You" had reached a half million views in the first week! I thought that was incredible news for the band and I can really see how social media can help propel a group like like this that has worked so hard through the years and maybe help them perhaps get a big break with a major label record deal when they have a sensational music video phenomenon which occurred on social media.  Hopefully, because this band has been so persistent and worked so hard through the years, maybe a major record label will offer them a solid, hefty financial deal so they can step up to the world's music stage. I hope so because I think Bobaflex deserves it from all appearances on this music video! (Bobaflex will be on tour this Spring and Summer according to their official web-site.  Check out their tour dates!) https://www.theofficialbobaflex.com/

Sunday, March 12, 2017

The Murder Of A Vitamin and Herb Doctor At His Office By A Bowling Green, Ky., Man

Dr. Juan Sanchez Gonzalez
   I think it's a tragedy all the way around.

I did not know either man. The only thing I know about it is what I have read on-line and on Facebook. It looks like both of our local major news outlets, the Bowling Green Daily News and WBKO Television have done a good job of reporting about the murder.

Apparently, Omer Ahmetovic, 35, of Bowling Green, is accused of killing naturopathic doctor Juan Sanchez Gonzalez. At the time of Gonzalez’s murder, a lawsuit was filed by Ahmetovic against Gonzalez in Warren Circuit Court stating that Gonzalez guaranteed he could cure the man’s wife of cancer.
Omer Ahmetovic

In a Bowling Green Daily News newspaper front page article published, March 9, 2017, written by the fantastic crime reporter, Deborah Highland, states that Ahmetovic was charged with murder in Gonzalez’s death, according to his arrest citation and says that the citation doesn’t list a possible motive in the death.

Highland writes, "Ahmetovic’s wife, Fikreta Ibrisevic, died Feb. 27, according to the Warren County Coroner’s Office. Ahmetovic is being held in the Warren County Regional Jail in lieu of a $1 million bond. A hearing is set in the case for Wednesday in Warren District Court. The Natural Health Center for Integrative Medicine was open Friday evening when someone walked in and found Gonzalez unresponsive inside his business, Bowling Green Police Department spokesman Officer Ronnie Ward said. Gonzalez operated the center at 1022 U.S. 31-W By-Pass. His official date of death is listed as Friday, Warren County Deputy Coroner David Goens said."

Highland also writes, "Ibrisevic (Ahmetovic's wife) was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma, a soft tissue cancer, in late 2015 to early 2016, according to the lawsuit. The couple were interested in natural therapies while Ibrisevic waited to be scheduled for the beginning of traditional cancer treatments."

It turned out the natural medicine remedies did not work out for Ibrisevic. She ended up with seven large tumors according to the newspaper article. Then when she finally went to a traditional medical cancer doctor, the tumors were shrunk to just one. But by then, it was too late.

Also, in the newspaper article, it states, "Gonzalez’s office website shows he was a graduate of the Trinity School of Natural Health in Warsaw, Ind., and a U.S. Army veteran who retired in Fort Knox. He also held an MBA from Western Kentucky University, according to his website."

Personally, I have tried vitamins and herbs for different ailments throughout my lifetime. I have found what works best for me is just a daily dose of a plain multi-vitamin and 500 mg. of Vitamin C. They seem to be doing a good for me in my life at this point. However, I am strong believer in Western traditional medicine all the way around and I am one to run to the doctor like millions of other Americans and try to nip an ailment or sickness at the bud before it gets out of control. Especially, since I have health insurance through my employer. Yes, I can understand why someone might want to take the natural path of vitamins and herbs first especially if they do not have or cannot afford health insurance.  Maybe, Ahmetovic did have health insurance but wanted to try the natural remedies first like the newspaper article said.  But then again, I read where Ahmetovic paid $7,000 to Dr. Gonzalez's out of his own pocket to try to help his wife. Maybe that $7,000 could have gone a lot further in the treatment of the cancer with traditional medicine in the first place.  I don't know for sure.  I'm just saying.

But as far as Dr. Gonzalez's murder is concern, again, I think it's a tragedy for all parties involved. However, I don't have an opinion on the fate of Ahmetovic because I think it will be up to a jury during a trial to decide or there might be a plea bargain coming.  Who knows? Either way, nobody wins in this situation.

Friday, March 3, 2017

East Nashville Musician and Producer, Tony Smith, Hits A Home Run With Teem's "Afterglow"

     Okay, I will admit it right off the bat. I'm biased.
Yeah, I'm biased about my son, Tony Smith's new song, "Afterglow." I love it! Tony is a 2010 Graphic Design graduate of Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, Ky., a musician, producer, songwriter and recording engineer who now lives in East Nashville. He is also a former member of the Bowling Green based indie rock band, Sleeper Agent, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCCQwcSr0E0VyOMmf1KJVI3w who toured the U.S., four times playing major music festivals and performed in Mexico as well as Canada. They also produced two albums, "Celabrasion" and "About Last Night." Not to mention they performed on live television, Jimmy Fallon and David Letterman.
Now his latest music project is called, "Teem." https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuU1IXIwgr8HllDY4DnK6-g It's a collabrative effort among fellow Nashville muscians and artists such as Lincoln Parish, fomerly of Cage The Elphant, Nick Brown of Mona and songwriter and performer, Lauren Strange. There are several other Nashville musicians who have also contributed to Teem's projects too.
   Tony and his other fellow musicians at Teem are a creative force of nature among the likes of of the late David Bowie and this type of genre in the artistic community of the music industry. With each song and video that Teem creates and produces, it will strike you as being different and you'll always be in for a big surprise as such in the case with "Afterglow."

An introduction to Teem and it's home, https://www.patreon.com/teem

Instagram: @teem.music
Twitter: @teem_music


Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Congrats To Bowling Green, Ky.'s Own "Cage The Elephant" For Their "Best Rock Album" Grammy-"Tell Me I'm Pretty."

     I think there's a lot of people in Bowling Green right now who are extremely proud of our internationally known alternative rock sensations, "Cage The Elephant." Bowling Green has a big interest in their claim to fame! And we have been for a long time ever since their first album came out with their first hit song, "Ain't No Rest For The Wicked."
CTE at the Grammys, 2017,  in LA
My wife, Patty, Brad Shultz and me in Louisville 
     And now we are even proud of these young rockers with their latest and incredible accomplishment by winning a Grammy Sunday night for "Best Rock Album!" It's for their new album, "Tell Me I'm Pretty." These boys continue to be on a winning streak and I'm glad I got to know them through my son, Tony Smith of the now defunct Bowling Green alternative rock band, "Sleeper Agent." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sleeper_Agent_(band)
       Originally,  brothers, Matt and Brad Shultz were instrumental in helping Sleeper Agent get their start in the business by introducing them to their connections and Sleeper Agent even toured with Cage The Elephant for a while several years ago.  Matt also directed one of 
Sleeper Agent's videos for  "Get Burned."https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Qz0m5IYh10  I also know CTE drummer, Jared Champion's parents, Bill and Debbie Champion of Bowling Green.  They are super nice people! We go way back through some local church connections. I know they are proud of their son as well as all of the other parents and friends are of their sons in the band too.
    Anyway, again, all of us in Bowling Green are super proud of these fine musicians and for helping put Bowling Green on the map in the world of popular music and especially for keeping us in the international spotlight whether it be for GM, home of the Corvette, the giant sinkhole underneath the National Corvette Museum, Western Kentucky University or the Bowling Green Massacre. Again, congrats boys!
Matt Shultz and Galen several years ago in BG

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Liberal Democrats Are Making The "Bowling Green Massacre" One Big Joke And Taking It To The Bank

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. _  We have made world-wide news again.

    The last time this happened was a couple years ago when a giant sinkhole collapsed underneath the dome at the National Corvette Museum in our city where it swallowed several Corvettes, the General Motors expensive American made sports car.

    But this time it was something that United States President Trump adviser, Kellyanne Conway said in an interview with MSNBC's Chris Matthews this past Thursday night that got the world's attention.

“I bet it’s brand new information to people that President Obama had a six-month ban on the Iraqi refugee program after two Iraqis came here to this country, were radicalized and they were the masterminds behind the Bowling Green massacre. Most people don’t know that because it didn’t get covered," Conway said.

Conway said she meant to say Bowling Green "terrorists," not "massacre," in a Tweet yesterday with a link to a ABC News story from 2013. It references two Iraqi citizens who were arrested in Bowling Green in 2011 and sentenced to prison for trying to send money and weapons to al-Qaeda.  Meanwhile on Friday, millions of people including liberal Democrats in the United States and across the world were having fun with her mistake and making one big joke out of it on Facebook and Twitter. They have taken this one to the bank especially the liberal Democrats in our city.  I noticed this morning that even a Wikipedia entry has already been created about it. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bowling_Green_massacre
But I have to defend Kellyanne Conway. If all else fails for liberal Democrats, they grasp for the slightest, most insignificant thing they can find (like Kellyanne's failure to better prepare herself for an interview by not checking the facts properly or the fact that she misspoke) with the Trump administration and to try to make one big, humongous joke or mockery out of it. It's because they have nothing else on us and they know us conservative Republicans are right regardless.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

President Trump's First Week In Office Is A Major Success!


I'd say for the average, conservative hardworking man and woman in America who voted for President Trump and who is a taxpaying citizen, we view his first week in office as a major success.

At breakneck speed, President Trump signed several executive orders that will help restore law and order in our country and help protect our national security making good on some of his campaign promises already. On one of them, we are feelings the effects of it already here in Bowling Green, Ky. There was a front page story published this past Friday in our local newspaper, the Bowling Green Daily News, written by reporter Wes Swietek stating the fate of 40 Syrian refugees which were due to arrive in our city this year is now in limbo because our president signed an executive order restricting refugee arrivals, and of one our local officials said he doubted that the Syrian refugees would make it here.
Personally, I am all about our city, state and country helping people from war torn counties with our taxpayer dollars if necessary. I know in years past in Bowling Green that we have taken in Vietnamese, Cambodians, Bosnians and Burmese from war torn countries. They have assimilated here well and they are working, holding down jobs, buying and owning homes and businesses and raising their families in our city. And a lot of them have even become American citizens.

 However, if it's the new arrivals intention to sneak around like rats and chop our heads off or blow us up because of their anti-American and anti-Christian religious beliefs, then I have no use for them and I do not want them here either. Mainly, I probably think like a lot of other millions of other conservative, hardworking, taxpaying American citizens, we need to have an extreme vetting process especially for refugees coming from the Middle Eastern countries where ISIS and Muslim radical terrorist are known to live and originate. We cannot afford to have anymore slaughters and bloodsheds such as Boston, Orlando, Texas, Tennessee or Texas. We need to continue protect our American way of life and values, our states, cities, homes, jobs and mainly our families.

Official: Syrian refugees now unlikely to ever arrive in Bowling Green
WES SWIETEK wswietek@bgdailynews.com
Jan 27, 2017

The fate of 40 Syrian refugees slated to arrive in Bowling Green this year is in limbo as President Donald Trump is reportedly set to sign an executive order restricting refugee arrivals, and one local official said he doubts the Syrians will ever make it here.

In the coming days, Trump is expected to indefinitely bar refugees fleeing war-torn Syria from entering the U.S. The order is also expected to suspend issuing visas for people from several predominantly Muslim countries – Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen – for at least 30 days, according to a draft of the order obtained by The Associated Press and other news outlets.

The 40 Syrians were tentatively slated to come to Bowling Green this year through the International Center of Kentucky's Bowling Green office.

That office's executive director, Albert Mbanfu, said he doesn't think the Syrians will make it here at all "until (Trump) changes his mind" – a prospect he isn't counting on.

"I just pray they don't get killed by ISIS," Mbanfu said of the 40 Syrians, who are in refugee camps in the Middle East.

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., supports Trump's executive order.

"I think there are two reasons why we ought to put a hold on it. One, we need to make sure that the people coming to our country are coming with good intentions," said Paul, a Bowling Green resident.

"The other thing is we have a lot of poor people already in Kentucky," Paul added, saying he thinks government should focus on taking care of the needs of those who are already here.

Mbanfu said concerns that refugees are not thoroughly vetted are based on a misconception.

"My guess is he does not have an understanding of the process," Mbanfu said of Trump.

"Tell me one thing that's not being done," he said, noting that the vetting process for refugees takes several years and the 40 Syrians who were slated to arrive here have been going through the vetting process for more than a year.

The Washington Post first reported on the proposed order. The order states as the reasoning behind it that “hundreds of foreign-born individuals have been convicted or implicated in terrorism-related crimes since September 11, 2001,” The Post reported.

The newpaper noted that most terrorist or suspected terrorist attacks since 9/11 "have been carried out by U.S. citizens. The 9/11 hijackers hailed primarily from Saudi Arabia, as well as the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Lebanon – all U.S. allies, and none of which would be affected by the immediate ban."

In an interview with ABC News on Wednesday, Trump said of the refugee ban and his plan to build a border wall with Mexico: “It’s going to be very hard to come in,” to the U.S. “Right now, it’s very easy to come in.”

Public meetings about the proposed resettlement of Syrians here last year drew mixed opinions, but after the meetings and discussions with local school districts, the Barren River District Health Department and other community organizations, The International Center decided in April to resettle 40 Syrians here.

"It's so, so depressing," Mbanfu said of Trump's stance.

"It totally goes against what this country is all about," he said, adding that the first refugees to come to the U.S. were those aboard the Mayflower.

— Follow city government reporter Wes Swietek on Twitter at twitter.com/BGDNgovtbeat or visit bgdailynews.com.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Hollywood Grasping For Straws Against President-Elect Trump

"Well, I can see now that a lot of sorry ass Hollywood celebrities will take every chance they can get to dog President-Elect Donald Trump even on award shows holding their little statues in their little grubby hands. Also, I'm sure we'll be seeing them whine and cry in interviews, commercials, music, videos, documentaries and movies in the near future. Get ready for a fight. It's the hard working class people like us across
America who are the consumers of their garbage in the first place. I think the celebrities who are continually against Mr. Trump, it's going to come back and bite them in the ass. Because when the common, down to earth American people have had enough, we've had enough!"-Galen A. Smith Sr.