Improvements in service are planned for Kentucky Utility and Louisville Gas and Electric customers. The Kentucky Public Service Commission plan hopes will address numerous customer complaints. An independent audit found numerous faults with the utilities, ranging from mistaken meter reading to unresponsive call center. Commission spokesman Andrew Melnykovych predicts KU and LGE customers will notice an improvement.
The Cabinet for Health and Family Services Monday announced that $24 million in federal funding has been released to Kentucky to help low-income families heat their homes this winter. The U.S. Department for Health and Human Services released funding for states’ Low Income Home Energy Assistance Programs (LIHEAP), which help families pay their energy bills, particularly during the very cold and hot months.
The state of Alabama recently passed of the toughest immigration laws to date. As a result, both legal and undocumented migrants have fled the state in droves. Cassidy Herrington reports that Kentucky farmers and workers fear a similar measure would devastate Kentucky's 4.4 billion dollar agriculture industry. During fall harvest on many Kentucky farms, the majority of hands that will pick the crops these days belong to migrant workers; a group whose labor is no longer welcomed in some parts of the country.
A national effort to fight big banks led thousands of Kentuckians to move their money over the last month.The Bank Transfer Day movement encouraged Americans to withdraw their money from institutions such as JP Morgan Chase and Bank of America and put it in locally-owned banks or not-for-profit credit unions.
The Jockey’s Guild is asking Churchill Downs Incorporated (CDI) to reconsider the decision to stop making annual contributions to the guild. The guild provides life insurance and temporary disability insurance to its members. Recently it secured agreements with other racing corporations, but CDI announced earlier this year that it will not contribute in 2012. CDI previously made regular annual payments of $330,000 on behalf of its four tracks, said Terry Meyocks, the national manager for the Jockey’s Guild.
Anacomp, a document and business process management solutions company, will locate a new service facility in Somerset. The new facility will bring 200 new jobs and a more than $2.4 million investment. Founded in 1968, Anacomp offers document conversion services to support a variety of business applications, including human resources, claims management, retirement benefits and health records. Anacomp will lease space in the Enterprise Center, a multi-tenant facility located in the Valley Oak Technology Complex, which is owned by Southeast Kentucky Economic Development Corp.
Louisville Metro Government is facing a $6 million deficit based on early revenue projections. Mayor Greg Fischer’s budget allocates $504.2 million for the general fund, but despite higher receipts in the first three months of the fiscal year the city has another financial shortfall.
The project manager for the Rupp Arena, Arts, & Entertainment District Task Force says the group is at a critical point in its effort to re-think downtown Lexington. Stan Harvey says a second public meeting will be held later this month and the task force will release a preliminary district development plan. Harvey says architect Gary Bates is putting together possible scenarios and alternatives for the future of Rupp and the Lexington Center.
Jim Beam Brands Company plans to build about 17 new warehouses, and some of them may in the Boston area. Nelson Fiscal Court approved a resolution to offer the company a 30-year property tax exemption if it chooses to build any of those warehouses in Nelson County. Because Jim Beam’s parent company acquired the Maker’s Mark Distillery several years ago, the company is likely to locate its new warehouses in the Boston area and in Loretto, where Maker’s Mark has its distillery. Warehouses are used to store the oak barrels in which bourbon ages.
A move to create a more cohesive regional economy connecting Lexington with Louisville continues to churn along. Lexington Mayor Jim Gray and Louisville Mayor Greg Fisher are talking about ‘advanced manufacturing’ opportunities. It’s called the Bluegrass Economic Advancement Movement. Successful Lexington businessman Jim Host is project chair. He offered his thoughts to members of the Urban County Council Tuesday.
The just completed fall meet at Keeneland saw the largest number of race fans ever. Over its 17 days, just over 250-thousand spectators visited the Lexington track. The previous high mark was set in Spring, 2006 with slightly more than 244-thousand patrons for 15 days of racing. Keeneland spokeswoman Julie Balog adds the among of money gambled was up nine percent.
Several Kentucky electricity co-ops will begin using a new technology called “smart meters” soon.The devices send energy data to power companies—so there’s no need for someone to travel to read the meter. Smart meters also tell consumers more information than traditional meters. With a glance, ratepayers can see how much electricity they’re using, how much it costs and during what times in the day electricity is cheaper.
With wholesale natural gas prices changing little over the last year, Kentucky customers will be paying about the same for comparable quantities of gas this winter, the Kentucky Public Service Commission announced Monday. “Natural gas prices have remained fairly constant since late 2009, in contrast to the large fluctuations in prior years,” PSC Chairman David Armstrong said in a press release. “Increasing gas supplies should provide a measure of price stability in the coming years as well.”
The Buffalo Creek and Chisolm Energy coal-to-liquid plants are barely in existence, currently just plans on paper and a concrete pad at two Pike County sites. The projects, a pair of coal-to-liquid fuel plants proposed to be built in Pike County by the same company proposing a similar project in Mingo County, W.Va., have been on the drawing board since at least January. The plants, if built, will be the biggest economic development project undertaken in the county’s history. But, documents obtained by the News-Express show that the project is already plagued with problems and issues which raise questions about the level of involvement of the county government in the projects.
Several Kentucky electricity co-ops will begin using a new technology called “smart meters” soon. The devices send energy data to power companies—so there’s no need for someone to travel to read the meter. Smart meters also tell consumers more information than traditional meters. With a glance, ratepayers can see how much electricity they’re using, how much it costs and during what times in the day electricity is cheaper.
Fifty-eight percent of Kentucky manufacturers surveyed for the recently conducted 2011 Annual Manufacturing Wage and Benefits Survey said they are planning to hire between one and 19 employees in 2012, up 1 percent from last year’s results. The annual report, sponsored by the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet’s Department of Workforce Investment and the Kentucky Association of Manufacturers, was released Monday.
After 29 years of helping farm workers elsewhere in the state find steadier employment, a federally funded program is now available in 17 counties in Central and Eastern Kentucky. Kentucky Farmworker Programs Inc., a non-profit organization, opened an office in Georgetown in August. Its goal is to help migrant and seasonal farm workers secure full-time employment through job training and other services. Counties in the territory are Anderson, Bourbon, Boyle, Clark, Estill, Fayette, Franklin, Garrard, Harrison, Jessamine, Lincoln, Madison, Mercer, Nicholas, Powell, Scott and Woodford.
Teron Abdullah, a 2010 graduate of Kentucky State University, worked his way through college as a night stocker at a local Kroger store. After earning a bachelor’s degree in business administration, he hoped to work as a banker, but realized it wasn’t a good fit. So he entered the 25-week management-training program at Kroger, something he says fits his outgoing personality and penchant for problem solving. It isn’t what Abdullah expected, but he’s hopeful it will open the door to a variety of jobs with the grocery chain.
LOUISVILLE – A unique three-member partnership utilizing the state’s first active energy services biomass project will bring $22 million in investment and 14 new jobs to Louisville, Gov. Steve Beshear announced Wednesday. He joined community leaders and officials from The Lubrizol Corp., Zeon Chemicals and Recast Energy to announce the partnership will also keep 340 Kentucky workers on the job.
Next month’s Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Churchill Downs are expected to include a record number of the world’s top thoroughbreds. Officials announced today that 193 horses have been pre-entered for the two-day event, which features 15 races and some $26 million in purse money. This is Churchill Downs’ eighth time hosting the Breeders Cup since it was launched in 1984. It moves next year to Santa Anita, California.
At least 20 companies will be at a Bowling Green job fair Thursday looking to fill more than 660 jobs. The job fair will be from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. CDT at Greenwood Mall’s main walkway and is being sponsored by the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the Kentucky Office of Employment and Training.
Gov. Steve Beshear was in Florence on Wednesday for the re-dedication of Mall Road. The $13 million renovation project was paid for with state funds and Beshear joined Florence Mayor Diane Whalen and other state and local dignitaries for the ribbon-cutting ceremony that signaled the completion of the 17-month project.
As a downsized Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport prepares to consolidate all passenger airline service into Terminal 3, it will study whether to keep the remaining two terminals - or tear them down. In June, the airpoirt launched a $31 million renovation that will bring all of its airlines under one roof in Terminal 3 by mid-2012.
Looming health care reform is driving Trover Health System to seek an alliance with another organization to gain access to more capital and resources. “Regardless of what we do, there is a certain level of risk,” said Trover President and CEO Bert Whitaker. “What we are attempting to do by exploring a partnership, if we can find the right partner, ... is try to maximize our opportunity to be successful.”
Gov. Steve Beshear visited Propulsys headquarters Tuesday afternoon to announce a $9.5 million expansion for “next-generation” upgrades to the multi-national Hopkinsville plant. Propulsys is one of the largest manufacturers of high-speed, low-torque motors. It has offices in Europe and an additional plant in China. Overall, the company employs 520 people worldwide with 207 workers in Hopkinsville. The expansion is essential to Christian County families since it allows those 207 employees to retain their jobs, Beshear said.
Elizabethtown city officials agreed to consider declaring an economic hardship to relax alcohol sales in restaurants. Alcoholic Beverage Control Officer Tom Reynolds told Elizabethtown City Council at a work session Monday he does not expect a relaxation of sales requirements would lead to abuse or a significant increase in enforcement measures. Reynolds said it could reap positive benefits economically and attract new restaurants stifled by the previous requirement.
Elizabethtown Regional Airport was abuzz Monday as crews worked feverishly to finish roughly $5 million worth of infrastructure upgrades to the airport by next month. In addition to a deeper overlay on the 6,000-foot-long runway, the airport is making improvements to its lighting system and its weather service program, said Joe Yates, chairman of the Elizabethtown Airport Board. Elizabethtown City Council got an intimate look at the changes at the airport during its work session, in which the board and its consultant, Luke Schmidt, updated city officials on an aggressive plan to attract a major airline by the end of the year.
Flex Films USA will begin placing its stamp on Kentucky this week. The Elizabethtown operation, owned by Uflex Ltd. based in New Delhi, India, will hold a ground blessing and groundbreaking ceremony at 10 a.m. Friday in Elizabethtown. The company makes polyester chips, specialty films, coated and metallized film, laminates, pouches, holographic films and adhesives used in packaging.
Law enforcement officials from Elizabethtown, Radcliff and Vine Grove say it is hard to predict what is going to happen once expanded alcohol sales are available, but policing agencies are “absolutely” prepared for what lies ahead. Hardin County Attorney Jenny Oldham said policing agencies in the three cities are “well prepared” and “well trained” for increased alcohol availability and what that may bring.