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Glasgow looking to develop its brand

GLASGOW – The search is on to find a marketing firm to develop a brand and logo for the city of Glasgow.

The Glasgow Strategic Planning Committee agreed to seek proposals from marketing firms to do the work.

Committee Chairman Terry Bunnell shared information during the group’s Jan. 7 meeting about conversations he had with Somerset and Pikeville officials about developing brands and logos for their cities.

Somerset officials said they wanted a brand that would define their city’s identity.

“It was a process that took a number of months to do,” Bunnell said, but Somerset officials told him it was one of the best things they ever did because it “created an awareness for the community.”

Somerset is now referred to as the city that is “the spirit of southern Kentucky.”

Committee member Marna Kirkpatrick and Bunnell met Dec. 21 with officials from OOHology and Campfir3, two Louisville-based marketing firms. OOHology recently did work for the Glasgow-Barren County and Cave City tourist and convention commissions.

“We went over exactly what we were looking for and we talked about mission statements, branding, services (and) some goals,” she said, adding they also talked about whether to redo the city’s website.

Bunnell also reached out to two other marketing firms.

Kirkpatrick said she thinks it is time to talk to the city’s finance committee about funding for the project.

Committee member James “Happy” Neal questioned the difference between what a marketing firm could do and what the Kentucky League of Cities has already done.

“We’ve done spent like $10,000 to $11,000 on the strategic plan and we are going to spend another, I don’t know how much, on finding out our brand. I thought the brand we would come up with ourselves,” Neal said.

The KLC worked with the strategic planning committee in developing the strategic plan, which Bunnell said provides “nuggets of information” and identifies possible opportunities and challenges for the city.

“What you do with a brand is now you are going to frame the personality. It’s what you are going to build your city around,” Bunnell said.

The marketing firms provide professional expertise in helping define the city’s identity, he said.

“They are experts,” Kirkpatrick said.

If the KLC did brands and logos, he said, the strategic planning committee would absolutely want to reach out to that group, but that is not something the organization does.

Bunnell said the marketing firms would use the city’s strategic plan for the basis of developing a brand.

Kirkpatrick contended the city needs an expert to develop the city’s brand and logo, and she said she likes what OOHology did for the tourist and convention commissions.

“I feel like using the same company would be a benefit to Glasgow,” she said.

Bunnell said he has checked with April Russell, who is in charge of grant oversight for the city, about possible grant funding.

“I agree with Marna. This is a step (where) we need professional help,” he said.

Committee member Wendell Honeycutt said he thought the committee should get requests for proposals. “It’s a critical step on what we are planning on doing. I don’t see how we can do it all on our own, but we need to know what it’s going to (cost),” he said.

Bunnell asked about getting proposals from the two Louisville-based marketing firms, but Neal said he thought the committee should get proposals from at least three or four marketing firms.

Kirkpatrick suggested she and Bunnell look into other marketing firms and share what they learn with the strategic planning committee, which will then choose one marketing firm to make a presentation to the Glasgow City Council.

“If the council agrees, then we can send it to the finance committee,” she said.

The strategic planning committee agreed to solicit requests for proposals from three marketing firms.

Bond request denied for man in BG shots fired incident

A man charged with two counts of attempted murder after an incident outside a Bowling Green gas station saw his request for a modified bond denied Tuesday.

Efren Silva, 23, appeared via video conferencing for a hearing in Warren Circuit Court in his case, in which he is also charged with first-degree wanton endangerment.

Silva is accused of firing a gun at a vehicle as it drove away from Shell IGA Express on Aug. 30 on Russellville Road.

Court records said the gunshots occurred after Silva was struck multiple times by Morris Shelton, who is identified as one of the victims in the case.

Shelton was charged with a misdemeanor count of fourth-degree assault in the incident. Court records indicate he pleaded guilty to the charge in October and was sentenced to 180 days in jail.

An arrest citation said Shelton admitted striking Silva and claimed to have been upset with Silva for not paying him for beer.

Silva’s attorney, Dwight Burton, had filed a motion to modify the $100,000 cash bond keeping Silva in the Warren County Regional Jail.

Burton said Silva would be willing to comply with any bond conditions while living with his wife in Tennessee.

Burton also argued that Silva’s defense would be strong if the case is brought to trial, citing video footage collected from the incident.

“Looking at the video, (Silva) was beat up pretty badly,” Burton said. “We’re also dealing with a victim with a severe history of violence in the Warren County court system.”

Shelton is currently incarcerated in the Warren County Regional Jail, with court records showing he was placed on probation for a second-degree assault conviction in 2019.

The probation was revoked last year, and a five-year sentence was imposed after he pleaded guilty in another assault case, court records said.

Warren Circuit Court Judge John Grise denied the motion to modify Silva’s bond.

Warren County Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Alisha Russell said a plea deal has been offered to Silva that recommends a 15-year sentence in exchange for a guilty plea.

The incident at Shell IGA Express was investigated by the Bowling Green Police Department.

Police found apparent blood spots, two shell casings and broken glass that appeared to be from a car window in the parking lot. Police heard from a witness who reported seeing a man, later identified as Shelton, strike Silva multiple times as Silva sat in the passenger seat of an SUV.

The witness then reported that Silva got out of the SUV, retrieved a firearm from the vehicle and fired two shots at a Nissan Versa as it carried Shelton, according to a police report.

Silva was identified as the alleged shooter after the BGPD released information about the case on South Central Kentucky Crime Stoppers, and he was arrested in Gallatin, Tenn.

– Follow courts reporter Justin Story on Twitter @jstorydailynews or visit bgdailynews.com.

Business continues in downtown Glasgow on Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021, as the Glasgow Strategic Planning Committee works to find a marketing firm to develop a brand and logo for the city. (Grace Ramey/photo@bgdailynews.com)

SKY Rehab expansion plans move forward

Bowling Green’s Southern Kentucky Rehabilitation Hospital has moved a step closer to an expansion that will add more than a dozen beds to the facility at 1300 Campbell Lane.

The City-County Planning Commission of Warren County on Jan. 7 approved a rezoning that could allow the rehab hospital to add 8,000 square feet and 15 beds.

The rezoning of 15.36 acres from general business and multi-family residential to highway business will go to the Bowling Green City Commission for final approval.

SKY Rehab’s expansion plans were approved last summer by the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services, which granted a certificate of need to allow the rehab hospital to add 8,000 square feet to a facility that is now 65,761 square feet.

Total cost of the expansion is estimated at $3.4 million, according to records on file with the CHFS.

The extra space would be added as a new wing at the rear of the current rehab hospital, which the CHFS application indicates was designed for such an expansion.

Planning commission documents said SKY Rehab will add 15 beds and relocate the ambulatory services drop-off area from the front of the building to the rear, where the expansion will be built.

The original application made to the CHFS said SKY Rehab plans to add 16 beds to its current total of 60 as a strategy for addressing the growing demand for its physical therapy and rehabilitation services.

“The bed need has been determined by the current delays in patient access to inpatient rehabilitation services provided by SKY,” the hospital’s leaders said in the CON application. “While the past 12 months’ average occupancy at SKY has been 89%, SKY has experienced 100% occupancy at times, thus delaying patient access.”

SKY Rehab officials indicate in the application that the extra beds would allow the hospital to respond to an occupancy rate that has been growing steadily and jumped from 80% in the 2018 calendar year to 89% in 2019.

The application said an increase of only two patients in SKY Rehab’s average daily census would be sufficient to break even by covering the additional expenses, but it forecasts a much greater increase.

For the 16 proposed beds, the occupancy rate is anticipated to be 65% to 70% during the first two years of operation.

The proposed addition would allow SKY Rehab to add staff, including two physical therapists, two occupational therapists and five nurses, according to the CON application.

Having the extra beds could also benefit Bowling Green’s acute-care hospitals, the application said. The expansion “will allow improved access for individuals with acute inpatient rehabilitation needs. It will allow for expedited patient discharge from acute care hospitals ... due to the increased availability of rehabilitation beds.”

SKY Rehab, which has been operating in Bowling Green since 1992, is a subsidiary of Mechanicsburg, Pa.-based Vibra Healthcare, which has 65 health care facilities across 19 states.

– Follow business reporter Don Sergent on Twitter @BGDNbusiness or visit bgdailynews.com.

KCTCS partners with Nappy Roots member B. Stille to promote Work Ready Scholarship

After tens of thousands of Kentuckians were put out of work amid the coronavirus pandemic, the Kentucky Community and Technical College System is partnering with rapper Buffalo B. Stille of the Grammy-nominated Nappy Roots to promote the state’s Work Ready Scholarship.

“My story wouldn’t exist without higher education,” he said, noting Nappy Roots’ origins as a hip-hop group that Western Kentucky University students created in the early 1990s.

B. Stille spoke during a live-streamed event Tuesday to promote the scholarship.

After cutting his college education short to pursue a career as a musician, B. Stille returned to college and earned his organizational leadership degree in 2019, fulfilling a promise he made to his mother.

To students who question whether they can go back to school and earn a degree, B. Stille said “I did it, and trust me, I’m on tour every day trying to get my assignments in. If I can do it, y’all can do it.”

Kentucky stands to gain by boosting degree completion, B. Stille said. “It helps us grow, too. As you grow, so do we,” he said.

The Work Ready Scholarship’s official website said it was established in 2017 and provides up to 60 hours of tuition for those who qualify. It targets high-demand job sectors, including health care, manufacturing, business and information technology, construction and skilled trades and transportation and logistics.

Funded by the Kentucky Lottery, more than 5,600 students have received nearly $17 million in Work Ready Kentucky Scholarship dollars, according to Kentucky Lottery President and CEO Mary Harville.

In November, Gov. Andy Beshear announced a new campaign to promote the scholarship program in light of the major job losses Kentuckians experienced in 2020, a news release said.

As part of the awareness campaign, B. Stille penned a rap that is used in its advertising.

“B. Stille’s rap says: ‘Never underestimate you!’ This is because many of our current and prospective students often underestimate what they’re capable of,” Paul Czarapata, Kentucky Community and Technical College System interim president, said in a news release. “Stille’s message is: ‘You can go to college, and you can be successful.’ He believes if he can do it, anyone can.”

In addition to any KCTCS school, courses are available at Campbellsville University, Eastern Kentucky University, Galen College of Nursing, MedQuest College, Northern Kentucky University, Sullivan University, University of Kentucky and Western Kentucky University, the release said.

To qualify, students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid before completing the Work Ready application.

A hotline (833-711-WRKS) and a live web chat offer assistance from college advisers on how to enroll in the program, the release said.

– Follow education reporter Aaron Mudd on Twitter @NewsByAaron or visit bgdailynews.com.