Business and the Economy

2:47pm

Thu January 26, 2012
Business and the Economy

Kentucky Horse Park Spared Cuts

As most state agencies prepare for a round of painful budget cuts, the Kentucky Horse Park could see more state money this year. The Lexington Herald-Leader reports that the Horse Park is slated to receive an increase of $3.5 million dollars this fiscal year, along with an extra $1.6 million dollars each year for the next two years - dollars state officials say are needed to cover operational shortfalls caused by utility costs incurred during the 2010 World Equestrian Games.

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2:43pm

Thu January 26, 2012
Business and the Economy

Unemployment Drops in Most Counties

The latest unemployment numbers for Kentucky have been released and most counties, Jefferson included, show an improvement. In Louisville, the unemployment rate is down to nine percent. It’s the lowest rate in three years. The numbers are from last month, which, aside from a spike in September, capped a year of steady declines. The unemployment rate in Louisville at the start of 2011 was around 11 percent.

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2:20pm

Thu January 26, 2012
Business and the Economy

UPS Facility Cuts Over 400 Jobs

United Parcel Service has notified Kentucky state officials it will lay off more than 400 workers at its Supply Chain Solutions warehouse in Hebron by April 1. UPS, which has operated the logistics operation in Hebron for more than a decade, is not closing the entire operation. The job cuts are prompted by the facility’s largest customer, Zulily, a Seattle-based ecommerce provider of baby items and clothing, deciding to bring its distribution operation in house. The company had been relying on the UPS facility to manage inventory and fill orders.

2:23pm

Tue January 24, 2012
Business and the Economy

Production Decline in Georgetown Toyota

The supply problems triggered by natural disasters in Japan resulted in 50,000 fewer cars rolling off the Georgetown Toyota assembly line than the year before. According to figures released last week by Toyota Motor Manufacturing North America, the automaker’s Georgetown plant produced 315,239 vehicles in 2011, down from 371,694 the previous year.

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10:44am

Fri January 20, 2012
Business and the Economy

Kentucky's Jobless Rate

Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted preliminary unemployment rate dropped to a three-year low of 9.1 percent in December from 9.4 percent in November, according to the Kentucky Office of Employment and Training.
The preliminary December jobless rate was 1.2 percentage points below the 10.3 percent rate recorded for the state in the same month a year earlier. The state’s December 2011 jobless rate is the lowest since the December 2008, when it was 8.5 percent.

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1:43pm

Thu January 19, 2012
Business and the Economy

Jobless Report in Kentucky

Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted preliminary unemployment rate dropped to a three-year low of 9.1 percent in December from 9.4 percent in November, according to the Kentucky Office of Employment and Training.
The preliminary December jobless rate was 1.2 percentage points below the 10.3 percent rate recorded for the state in the same month a year earlier. The state’s December 2011 jobless rate is the lowest since the December 2008, when it was 8.5 percent.

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2:29pm

Tue January 17, 2012
Business and the Economy

Study Estimates the Impact of Casinos on Economy

Allowing casinos at eight Kentucky racetracks would have an estimated $1.7 billion economic impact on the state during the casinos' first full year of operation, according to a study released Monday by the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce. That would include $464.7 million in gaming tax revenue, $164.6 million of which would go to racing-industry programs, according to the Kentucky Gaming Market Analysis and Impacts Report, which was paid for by racing-industry interests. Eight casinos also would create nearly 11,000 full-time jobs with a payroll of $289.3 million, the study found.

4:02pm

Wed January 11, 2012
Business and the Economy

Automotive Relationships

A trip to Detroit by Kentucky’s governor and mayors of its two largest cities could lead to advanced manufacturing expansion.   Governor Beshear, along with Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer and Lexington Mayor Jim Gray, spoke with representatives of Toyota, Ford, and General Motors Tuesday.  The three attended the annual car show in the motor city.  Lexington and Louisville officials are moving forward with plans to grow advanced manufacturing between the two towns.  Jim Gray says now is not the time to recruit specific firms.

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11:57am

Wed January 11, 2012
Business and the Economy

Increases in Free Lunch Numbers

In the crowded lunchrooms of Marion County's schools, there's a quiet but telling sign that the economy is taking a toll on local families.  Sixty percent of students are signed up for free or reduced lunches, a record high for the district. That number is even higher for two of the district's elementary schools, Glasscock and Lebanon Elementary, which both have a 75 percent free and reduced lunch population.

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3:13pm

Tue January 10, 2012
Business and the Economy

Local Sports Broadcaster Files for Bankruptcy

Wazoo Sports, a London-based company that broadcasts and Webcasts high school sports, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and anticipates being sold. In its court filings, the company said it had been unable to raise new financing. The move came about the same time the company lost its major television outlets: NBC affiliate WLEX (Channel 18) in Lexington and ABC affiliate WHAS (Channel 11) in Louisville dropped Wazoo's programming. Wazoo Sports filed for bankruptcy protection in London on Dec. 29, listing debts of more than $3.12 million to its top 20 creditors.

3:04pm

Tue January 10, 2012
Business and the Economy

Beshear Promotes Kentucky's Auto Industry

Gov. Steve Beshear Tuesday joined company leaders from Kentucky’s three automakers, Toyota, Ford and GM, to promote Kentucky’s booming auto industry at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The auto show brings together the industry's top leaders and thinkers from the global automotive community to catch up on the latest news and events. More than 5,000 journalists from 55 countries attended last year's auto show.

4:04pm

Mon January 9, 2012
Business and the Economy

Mount Sterling Company Adds 40 Jobs

FRANKFORT – Gov. Steve Beshear Monday announced Olympic Steel will expand the scope of its plans to locate in Mount Sterling. The company first announced last summer it would locate a new steel service center there, creating 20 new jobs. As a result of increased growth, Olympic Steel will purchase an additional 100,000-square-foot facility and create another 40 jobs, bringing its new employment to 60.

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12:53pm

Sun January 8, 2012
Business and the Economy

Raised Rates Threaten Aluminum Smelters

In mid-2009, the future looked promising for two of the biggest industries in northwestern Kentucky — the Rio Tinto Alcan and Century Aluminum smelters. They had secured a new long-term contract for the enormous amounts of electricity they need at prices the companies thought could keep them competitive; that power is vital, accounting for one-third of their cost to produce aluminum. Further, power producer Big Rivers Electric Corp. didn't anticipate a need to raise rates until 2016. But after sales of surplus electricity to other power companies came in lower than expected, Big Rivers requested an increase in rates last year.

10:52am

Fri January 6, 2012
Business and the Economy

Kentucky Invited to Workforce Program

The Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet and Kentucky Workforce Investment Board announced Friday that Kentucky is among the first states to be accepted into the national ACT Certified Work Ready Communities Academy. Membership will help Kentucky be a national leader in developing the local workforce skills necessary to meet current employer demands and attract businesses to the state in the future.

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10:52am

Fri January 6, 2012
Business and the Economy

Kentucky Invited to Workforce Program

The Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet and Kentucky Workforce Investment Board announced Friday that Kentucky is among the first states to be accepted into the national ACT Certified Work Ready Communities Academy. Membership will help Kentucky be a national leader in developing the local workforce skills necessary to meet current employer demands and attract businesses to the state in the future.

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10:44am

Fri January 6, 2012
Business and the Economy

Hewlett-Packard to Close Winchester Center

Winchester is losing a company that at one time was one of its largest employers. Officials with the Hewlett-Packard company in early December informed employees at its Winchester call center, located on Bypass Road, that it would be closing the center sometime this year. The closure affects about 150 employees.

3:36pm

Wed January 4, 2012
Business and the Economy

Winchester Warehouse Will Create Jobs

A new warehouse and distribution center in the Winchester-Clark County Industrial Park could bring as many as 30 new jobs to Clark County, Industrial Development Authority Director Todd Denham said. The Winchester-Clark County Planning Commission approved preliminary development plans Tuesday submitted by Rocky Mountain ATV for a 13-acre facility.

6:00am

Wed January 4, 2012
Business and the Economy

New Business Model for Solar Energy

In December, billionaire Warren Buffet made his first move into solar power, buying one of the world's largest solar farms, which is in California. Market watchers wondered if this was a sign that solar was coming of age, that it was no longer a "feel good" nod to environmental correctness but a sensible investment. Still, California isn't Kentucky and Buffet is hardly an average ratepayer. So, we looked at how solar was faring in the Commonwealth.

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2:24pm

Tue January 3, 2012
Business and the Economy

State is Offering Lowest Interest Rates Ever

Gov. Steve Beshear Tuesday announced that the Kentucky Housing Corporation, the state housing finance agency, is offering the lowest rates in its 40-year history. “With rates this low and down payment and closing costs assistance, Kentuckians who thought they would not be able to own a home now have an opportunity,” Beshear said in a press release from his office.

9:21am

Mon January 2, 2012
Business and the Economy

Factory Builds Energy Efficient Houses

Dennis Reynolds' new house isn't just a place to live. It's an experiment. The 1,000-square-foot modular home is one of two prototype structures built during the past year in a project to develop highly energy-efficient, relatively low-cost houses that may be built at southern Kentucky factories that ordinarily produce houseboats. Those factories have been hit hard by the recession. Several have closed, and employment is down significantly from before the economic downturn.

9:44am

Fri December 30, 2011
Business and the Economy

Kmart and Sears Announce Closings

The Kmart stores in Winchester and Hazard and a Sears hard-lines store in Middlesboro are among those that will be closed, according to a list released Thursday by the struggling Sears Holdings Co., which controls the two retail chains. The announcement includes 79 of the planned 100 to 120 stores that will be shuttered on the heels of a disappointing holiday season. The list, which is not complete, identifies 38 Kmart and 41 Sears stores. In addition to the Winchester store, Kmart operates Central Kentucky stores on Nicholasville Road in Lexington and in Georgetown, Versailles and Frankfort. Sears has a store in Fayette Mall in Lexington. Those stores were not on Thursday's list of closings.

9:40am

Fri December 30, 2011
Business and the Economy

Sales of Paper Savings Bonds End

For 76 years, parents and grandparents have purchased paper savings bonds as Christmas, birthday and graduation gifts for children and grandchildren. Schools and organizations purchased bonds to present as prizes for contests. Patriotic Americans bought Defense Savings Bonds — informally, "War Bonds" — during the World War II. Savings bonds became a means for families to invest and help their country. Messages about buying savings bonds and stamps appeared in television programs such as "Father Knows Best" and "Lassie." Later, they became a popular item on the Henderson Lions Club annual TV auction.

12:51pm

Thu December 29, 2011
Business and the Economy

Last Minute Tax Deductions

For some area residents, the end of the calendar year means making sure income tax deductions are in line. Otherwise, they won’t benefit fully from charitable contributions and other qualifying deductions until 2013. Krystal Williams, manager of Accounting and Tax Professionals in Elizabethtown, said business gets hectic in December with people trying to get in last-minute deductions. Many regular clients make such arrangements near the end of the calendar year, especially deductions for money given to charity, she said.

6:00am

Thu December 29, 2011
Business and the Economy

Buying Quiet in a Noisy World

John Cremons The Abbey at Gethsamane
  • An error occurred ingesting this audio file to NPR

Walking through the mall during the holidays makes you long for noise-canceling headphones. But the soundtrack of our everyday lives is far from quiet with ringing cell phones, pinging email notifications, and a workday that, for many of us, never ends. Quiet is no longer experienced after dinner or on the weekends. For many people, quiet is a rarity, even a luxury item.

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12:56pm

Wed December 28, 2011
Business and the Economy

Charities Make Year End Push

As 2011 winds down, many charities are hoping an eleventh hour push for donations will keep their services up and running through new next. On average, charities receive about 41 percent of their donations during the last few weeks of the year. Erin Gold, Vice President of Goodwill Industries of Kentucky, told WKYT that donations made to her organization are turned into cash, which helps put the jobless back to work.

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3:39pm

Tue December 27, 2011
Business and the Economy

Family Finances During the Holidays

Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the day after Christmas don’t have a patent on holiday shopping activity.  Shoppers were out the day after the day after Christmas Tuesday, even in the cold rain.  Debbie Dix of Lexington says she was out with a return and was looking for ski stuff for a youth outing.  Dix feels her family had a little more to spend this year, compared to 2010.

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3:36pm

Tue December 27, 2011
Business and the Economy

August Storm Damage Recovery

Although we’re entering the heart of winter, officials with one of Kentucky’s best known utilities are thinking about a summertime storm.  Louisville Gas and Electric has been given public service commission approval to set up a separate account to deal with costs tied to a wind storm last August.  State Public Service Commission spokesman, Andrew Melnykovych says L-G and E says it storm damage costs for 2011 exceeds 14 million, nearly triple the annual amount budgeted.

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9:52am

Fri December 23, 2011
Business and the Economy

UPS Holiday Business Exceeds 2010

United Parcel Service says its worldwide holiday season package volume is expected to be up about six percent over last year, and the company expects a record number of parcels to be processed at the UPS Worldport sorting hub in Louisville. UPS relies on an army of part-time workers to handle the holiday rush. The massive Worldport facility was braced to sort some three million pieces on Thursday.

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11:55am

Thu December 22, 2011
Business and the Economy

Jobless Rates Down in 114 counties

FRANKFORT — Unemployment rates fell in 114 Kentucky counties between November 2010 and November 2011, while six county rates increased, according to the Kentucky Office of Employment and Training. Woodford County recorded the lowest jobless rate at 6.3 percent. It was followed by Ohio County, 6.6 percent; Fayette County, 6.7 percent; Caldwell and Daviess counties, 7 percent each; Oldham and Warren counties, 7.1 percent each; and Calloway, Franklin, Hopkins and Madison counties, 7.2 percent each.

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6:30am

Wed December 21, 2011
Business and the Economy

Busiest Time for Changing Shipping Industry

Owner Mark Weber behind the counter at The Mail Center.
Eleanor Boudreau WKNO Radio, Memphis, TN

At The Mail Center on Madison Avenue, Mark Weber pours foam peanuts into a box of Christmas gifts. Weber is the only one working this Saturday. He’s also the owner. There’s a steady stream of customers, but Weber can handle it. He says years ago the shop was more frenetic.

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