LEXINGTON – Gov. Steve Beshear and first lady Jane Beshear Tuesday joined Tiffany & Co. Chairman and CEO Michael J. Kowalski and Lexington Mayor Jim Gray to celebrate the grand opening of the company’s new jewelry manufacturing center in Lexington. Community leaders and guests were invited to breakfast at Tiffany to commence the opening, which is creating 125 jobs in the community.
An advocacy group is calling for legislators to take action in Frankfort to alleviate an increasing poverty rate among Kentucky children. One in four children in Kentucky lives in poverty, according to new statistics released by Kentucky Youth Advocates. Statewide, 262,760 children - 26.3 percent - live in families with incomes less than $22,050 a year for a family of four.
Emerson Power Transmission Solutions in Maysville is laying off 30 employees. The company told the workers earlier this month, noting it's a continuation of plans announced in January to consolidate operations in the city.
As Lexington's Urban County Council continues to explore the broad issue of best management practices for the Fayette County Detention Center, interim jail director Ray Sabbatine says moving some duties to the Sheriff's office could save the city money.
As Keeneland heads into the final day of its annual September Yearling Sale, the thoroughbred auction company is looking at gross receipts in excess of $220 million, up at least 12 percent from last year. By day eight of the 13-day auction, Keeneland had already surpassed the gross receipts of last year. Keeneland spokeswoman Amy Gregory attributes that to a stabilizing thoroughbred market and growing buyer confidence.
Gas-and-go service has taken on a negative connotation as some gas customers, without an old fashion attendant to pump for them, simply fill up and leave the station without paying. Other than the occasional forgetful driver, who usually returns red-faced, within minutes, fuel stations across the region have been experiencing continued drive-off gas thefts that are costly and often unsolved, Maysville area station operators said. In Maysville, the former Shell station on Second Street is often a prime target for theft, police officials said.
New data from the U.S. Census Bureau on Thursday painted a bleak picture of Kentucky's economic health. Household income is down. Poverty is up. Low-paying jobs are replacing higher-paying jobs. Use of food stamps and publicly funded health care is up. Median household income fell in Kentucky in 2010 from the previous year by $778 and the share of the state's households that earn annual incomes between $10,000 and $25,000 is increasing, according to the data.
Technology has delivered a blow to postal delivery in recent years, resulting in a decrease in first class mail customers. That was the message delivered Thursday night to residents of Dover during a town hall meeting about the local post office being targeted for a feasibility study to determine if it will be closed. United States Postal Service District Discontinuance Coordinator Bob Redden cited declining numbers of first class mail moving through the USPS by businesses, reduced walk-in traffic, and declining revenues due to online bill payments, as reasons for the study to the crowd of approximately 50 people who filled the Dover Baptist Church.
Child poverty in Jefferson County is increasing more quickly than Kentucky’s adult poverty rate and all areas of the state are contributing to some of the highest child poverty rates in the nation. Kentucky Youth Advocates (KYA) released information it compiled using data from the U.S. Census’ American Community Survey. The data shows Jefferson County’s youth poverty rate is still under the state-average, which is currently 26.3 percent. But it’s creeping up and being just shy of the state-average is not good enough, said Terry Brooks, executive director of Kentucky Youth Advocates.
The gap in household income between whites and African-Americans is wider in Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky than it is across the United States as a whole. New U.S. Census Bureau estimates released today show that the local median household income for blacks locally in 2010 was $29,705 compared to $55,277 for whites only (not including white Hispanics).
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Sept. 22, 2011) — Unemployment rates fell in 110 Kentucky counties between August 2010 and August 2011, while eight county rates increased and two counties remained the same, according to the Kentucky Office of Employment and Training, an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet.
An unconventional conference featuring speakers from a variety of backgrounds is returning to central Kentucky. It's called TEDxLex. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design. The non-profit organization started hosting groups of speakers in California back in 1984, and now there are TED events across the country.
As the U.S. Postal Service continues to lose money by the bagful, the idea of dropping Saturday mail delivery is gaining momentum again. President Barack Obama endorsed the notion Monday as part of his economic growth and debt reduction plan. At the Danville post office Tuesday, Holly Henson reacted passionately to the possibility of losing Saturday mail service. “Sometimes, America just needs to hang on to its traditions,” Henson said. “Even if it doesn’t make financial sense, it makes common sense. It may be broken but don’t fix it.”
People generally do not like to talk about how much money they make. That could explain why it took several weeks for the Kentucky New Era to obtain information about the salaries paid to local public officials working in Christian County. In almost every case locally, that information is not readily available. Most agencies do not list employee salaries on their websites, and a citizen who calls or walks into a public office to ask for the information often has to file an open records request. In some cases, they will be asked to explain why they want the information.
Omnicare’s decision to move its headquarters from Covington to Cincinnati will hit Covington’s economy hard and may spur Kentucky to change its tax structure and incentives, leaders said. Omnicare employs 500 people in Covington and Fort Wright. The Covington headquarters employs 335 people and accounted for hundreds of thousands of dollars in annual revenue for Covington that will now have to be replaced or cut out of the budget, said Covington City Manager Larry Klein.
FRANKLIN – Community leaders and officials from Premium Services LLC and Worldwide Technologies in Simpson County announced Monday that the two companies will add a total of 50 new jobs in Franklin. Premium Services has chosen Simpson County as the site of its new manufacturing facility, while Worldwide Technologies will expand its existing operations there. The companies will invest a combined $1.6 million in these projects.
The Child Nutrition Director for Fayette County Public Schools says nearly half of the district's 38,000 students could qualify for free or reduced meals. Michelle Coker oversees applications for the program, which has added students each school year.
Of Windstream's 10,000 employees in 29 states, including Kentucky, the telephone provider has just two focused on pay phones. Even that number might surprise some, though, as the phones and their 50-cent calling rates have virtually fallen off the landscape because of the prevalence of cellphones. In all of Lexington, the company has just 327 pay phones, down almost 50 percent from five years ago, said Barry Bishop, regional vice president of operations.
The American Jobs Act, which President Barack Obama rolled out this month, could create several thousand jobs in Kentucky if passed by Congress, according to White House estimates. However, it remains unclear how those new jobs could affect the Bowling Green area, where the unemployment rate was 8.4 in July, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The unemployment rate for Kentucky remained steady in August at 9.5 percent.
Facing a $10 billion deficit at the end of this fiscal year, the U.S. Postal Service is considering culling by 50 percent its processing centers, with Bowling Green among those being considered for elimination. Bowling Green’s center on Scottsville Road, which lost its outgoing processing services in July, is one of 250 centers being studied for closure in 2012. The cost savings plan, announced by the postmaster general Thursday, also includes changing first-class delivery standards from one to three days to two to three days, according to David Walton, a spokesman for the U.S. Postal Service in Louisville. Closing the Bowling Green facility would affect 56 workers, Walton said.
Community leaders and company officials from Florida Tile cut the ribbon Friday on the company’s new headquarters facility in Lexington. Florida Tile announced in July 2009 it was moving its headquarters from Lakeland, Fla., to Lexington. The opening will initially create 25 new jobs, growing to 51 over the term of the incentive agreement. Florida Tile’s capital investment in the project exceeds $3.7 million, according to a press release from Gov. Steve Beshear's office.
In the wake of stricter federal environmental regulations, Kentucky Utilities asked the state Public Service Commission on Thursday for permission to spend as much as $800 million to build natural gas-fired power generators to replace older coal-fired units. KU expects to eventually ask for a 4 percent increase in rates to pay for the new units.
Roughly 184 jobs at Lexington's postal processing center on Nandino Boulevard could be in jeopardy as the U.S. Postal Service tries to pull itself back to financial health. Lexington is one of 250 processing centers nationwide, and one of seven in Kentucky that will be studied in the next three to four months to see whether it makes sense to consolidate services, according to an announcement Thursday from the U.S. Postal Service. More than 35,000 jobs across the country could be affected, with savings of $3.5 billion.
For the fourth consecutive month, Kentucky's unemployment rate remained less than 10 percent, although it stopped declining. The unemployment rate stayed steady at 9.5 percent in August compared to July. The state lost jobs during the month, but a smaller civilian labor force "counterbalanced the job losses, causing the unemployment rate to hold steady," said Justine Detzel, chief labor market analyst for the Office of Employment and Training.
GLASGOW - Community leaders and officials from Akebono Brake in Glasgow unveiled a major expansion at its Barren County facility on Thursday. The $20.6 million project, which added 60,000 square feet to its existing facility, is expected to result in 224 new jobs. Akebono Brake, Glasgow Plant was established in Barren County in 1995 and supplies brakes and brake components to a variety of tier 1 automotive makers. Following the expansion, the Glasgow facility will total almost 400,000 square feet and employ more than 920 Kentuckians.
When an estimated 6,000 to 8,000 Corvette enthusiasts roll into Bowling Green in three years for the 20th anniversary of the National Corvette Museum, officials plan to have a new attraction to show off. Wendell Strode, executive director of the museum, discussed plans Wednesday for a $20 million-plus motorsports park to be built south of Interstate 65 near Exit 28, not far from the museum and General Motors’ Bowling Green Assembly Plant, where Chevy Corvettes are built.
With hunting and fishing opportunities, hills perfect for trail development for ATV's, horses, biking and hiking, Lewis County has the adventure -- now it needs the tourism. Tuesday evening, approximately 50 people attended the first ever Lewis County Tourism Summit. The purpose of the summit was to discuss opportunities in adventure tourism.
Hardin County has topped another list for financial growth, primarily because of Fort Knox's Base Realignment and Closure initiative. The Elizabethtown Metropolitan Statistical Area was first on a list of 366 statistical areas for percentage growth in gross domestic product, according to a report released this week by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. That measures the market value of goods and services produced by a community. The 14.4 percent increase for 2010 represents a 13.5 percent jump compared to 2009’s increase. The top ranking comes a month after the bureau showed the area in the top spot for personal income growth.
An independent review ordered by the Public Service Commission has found Kentucky Utilities and Louisville Gas and Electric’s customer service falling short of what is expected. The report was released today. The review found that satisfaction with the utility’s customer service has steadily declined since 2008, and that call centers around the state aren’t meeting internal goals for answering calls quickly.
An estimated 17.4 percent of people in Kentucky were living in poverty in 2010, and 17.5 percent had no health insurance, according to preliminary U.S. Census data released Tuesday. Nationally, 15.1 percent of people were in poverty and 16.3 percent lacked health insurance during 2010. Changes in the state's poverty rate and health insurance coverage rate from the previous year were not statistically significant, said Jason Bailey, director of the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy. For a family of four, the poverty line is an annual income of $22,314 or less for a family of four.