The economic and social troubles of eastern Kentucky were the topic today of two conferences Monday. In Pikeville, nearly a thousand people gathered to discuss strategies for improving the lives of mountain residents. And in Lexington, a preview of this winter’s general assembly session included talk of coal severance funding.
‘Cyber Monday’ is wrapping up, with many of the Commonwealth’s companies offering deep discounts to on-line shoppers. For Kentucky-based Café Press, nearly 99% of its business is conducted via the internet. The Louisville company started in 1999, creating specialty items, like mouse pads, coffee cups, and T-shirts. CEO Bob Marino says his inventory is based solely on demand.
Before heading into the throng of Holiday shoppers, it’s wise to have a plan. That's the recommendation of Jennifer Doom, Public Information Officer with the Kentucky Department of Financial Institutions. Doom suggests mapping out a gift buying budget and strategy for the entire month of December.
Vehicle exports have reached historic levels in Kentucky. They were up 43 percent through the first nine months of the year. It’s a state record. Gov. Steve Beshear said the state exported more than $3 billion worth of vehicles between January and September and will likely top $4 billion by year's end.
To develop the Interstate-64 corridor between Lexington and Louisville, a new report says the region must work with companies already based in Kentucky. Then, they can develop the highly skilled workers needed by advanced manufacturers.
The conversion from psychiatric care to classroom instruction continues at a site occupied by Bluegrass Community and Technical College. The B-C-T-C campus sits in Lexington, just off Newtown Pike. Currently, college President Augusta Julian says bulldozers are knocking down nearby buildings.
A call for a smoking ban inside Kentucky’s workplaces and public buildings has the support of the state’s largest business organization. Representatives of Kentucky’s Chamber of Commerce made a pitch before a legislative committee today. State Chamber Board member Brent Cooper says common health problems can be tied to second-hand cigarette smoke.
U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez will be in Louisville today to visit a technical training center and participate in a minimum-wage round-table discussion. The visit will begin in the afternoon at the Kentucky Manufacturing Career Center. Perez is scheduled to learn about the skills training initiatives going on there.
Thousands of teenagers will be sporting blue corduroy jackets in Louisville this week as the National FFA Organization Convention returns to the city for the first time since 2005. The Courier-Journal says the four-day gathering is expected to bring close to 60,000 people to the city, generating about $40 million for the local and state economy.
This time of year means additional job opportunities in Kentucky tied to the upcoming holiday season. It’s certainly the case in the bluegrass where three major employers are looking to hire. Winchester Clark County Chamber of Commerce President Cindy Banks says Amazon, General Dynamics, and Pearl Interactive are looking for workers.
The outgoing leader of a mainstay Lexington arts organization would like to see public art continue to flourish. Lexarts President Jim Clark announced his plans Friday to step down the end of June. While admitting he has no concrete future plans, Clark hopes consistent financial support for public art can be realized over time.
After a string of years in decline, housing sales in the bluegrass are moving in the other direction. Unlike other states during the recession, the central Kentucky housing market didn’t see a big drop in property value. But, there were sizeable reductions in the number of houses sold from 2005 until 2012. Then there was a pendulum swing according to Fayette County Property Valuation Administrator David O’Neil.
After much debate, Lexington city leaders have decided to spend a million dollars in economic development incentives. The final amount was much less than requested by Lexington’s mayor.In fact, the Council cut in half the amount of money intended for what the mayor calls a ‘jobs fund.’ Mayor Jim Gray has said the money would go for loans, primarily for local companies creating new jobs.
Sadieville might be considered a small place with big plans to become a regional adventure tourism powerhouse. Sadieville's goal is to meld its past with its future as a town noted for its opportunities for hikers, bikers and even horse riders at some of the area's private farms.
The partial federal government shutdown is hurting tourist businesses near Cave Run Lake. Boat ramps on the man-made lake, which are managed by the U-S Army Corps of Engineers, are closed. Kentucky House Speaker Greg Stumbo says businesses in Morehead and three eastern Kentucky counties are feeling the effects.
A Germany-based automotive supplier is planning to build a new production plant in Bowling Green. The $120 million facility will be called Bilstein Cold Rolled Steel and will employ 90 workers. The company says it is building the 150,000-square-foot facility to better serve its North American auto industry customers.
A chocolate-nut pie by any other name may be just as sweet, but it won't be a Derby Pie. Kern's Kitchen, the Louisville-based company that makes the famous dessert, and Claudia Sanders Dinner House have settled a dispute over the trademark on the name Derby Pie. An agreement has been approved by U.S. District Judge Gregory Van Tatenhove.
Kentucky-produced Udderly Kentucky milk will be used exclusively at 11 central Kentucky frozen yogurt shops. The Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt shops will use all local dairy products. State Agriculture Commissioner James Comer made the announcement Tuesday at one of the Lexington shops and said officials expect the Udderly Kentucky brand to keep expanding.
Ground has been broken in Rowan County for construction of a new barrel making factory. It should be completed in about a year. The plant is expected to employ about 70 workers over the next few years. Independent Stave Company is investing more than seven million dollars in the facility. It will serve bourbon and wine distillers across the country.
‘Phenomenal’ is a word used to describe this month’s yearling sale at Keeneland. Gross sales over its 12 days were up more than 27% over last year. Director of Sales Geoffrey Russell says their new format worked well. It saw a broad cross section of yearlings sold at a variety of prices. Plus, buyers had more time to inspect the merchandise. Russell says they had their best number since before the recession.
Potential chefs received food preparation tips during this weekend’s first ‘Crave Lexington’ festival. The event at the MoonDance Amphitheater in Beaumont included restaurant dishes made from scratch, food demonstrations, and live music. Christina Robinson says students from the Sullivan College Culinary program attended the event.
The public got a chance to quiz architects about their concepts for rebuilding Rupp Arena. Participants at a hearing Wednesday evening at the Kentucky Theater reviewed preliminary plans for upgrades to Rupp, a new convention center, and a waterfront park along a resurrected Town Branch Creek. Architect Robert Mankin says upper arena in Rupp will offer more than chair back seats in place of bleachers.
The first-ever list of the nation’s top 25 amusement attractions by a well-know travel web site includes the Kentucky Horse Park. The facility dedicated to equestrian sports is on a list generated by TripAdvisor.com. The park’s director of marketing, Lisa Jackson says the website includes reviews from average travelers.
High tech battery developer make move to Lexington's Spindletop complex.
Another “next generation” battery company is making a move to central Kentucky. Over the next decade, NOHMs Technologies plans to create over 150 jobs and invest over five million dollars in the effort. Founder Nathan Ball says the company develops the liquids, powders, and pastes which go into lithium-sulfur batteries.
Assuming they plan ahead, a new study says the local economy can thrive, even after the chemical weapons clean-up is complete at the Bluegrass Army Depot. Currently, hundreds of people are employed building the needed infrastructure. Hundreds more will then go to work destroying the Depot’s chemical munitions. The clean-up work could take a dozen years, and afterwards, Congressman Andy Barr says there could be rough times.
A central Kentucky mayor believes economic gains in one community can mean benefits in other nearby towns. Winchester Mayor Ed Burtner is welcoming Amazon and its 20 million dollar investment to the Bluegrass. The on-line retailer expects to hire more than 500 people eventually for a customer service facility.
By and large, most Kentucky corn producers are experiencing a much better year compared to last summer. Drought conditions wiped out many corn fields across western Kentucky. With steady rains in 2013, University of Kentucky Agricultural Economist Will Snell says it’s been a different story.
State budget analysts are predicting ‘less than robust’ growth over the next two years in the Commonwealth’s general fund. A slight decline is projected in the state’s road fund. Government financial analyst Greg Harkenrider told a group of Kentucky’s top economists today collections from the individual income tax are expected to go up between one and a half and four percent in the next two fiscal years.