Business and the Economy

10:44am

Thu September 8, 2011
Business and the Economy

ACS to Hire 700 in Lexington, London

ACS plans to hire 700 more employees in Lexington and London as it ramps up to temporarily field calls for companies enrolling workers in health care plans. But the plans that will be announced Thursday include hiring 200 permanent workers as ACS, which specializes in providing services to other businesses, is bolstering its call center operations for retail electronics companies.

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9:50am

Thu September 8, 2011
Business and the Economy

Federal Reserve Report Shows Slight Gains

The latest beige book from the Federal Reserve shows mixed results for the area. Louisville is in the Eighth District, which is centered in St. Louis. Overall, the district saw modest economic growth in July and August, but activity varied from sector to sector. Manufacturing, services and auto sales were up compared to the previous year. But residential real estate activity and non-auto retail sales dropped.

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1:38pm

Wed September 7, 2011
Business and the Economy

All American Camrys Made in USA

Akio Toyoda, president and chief executive of Toyota Motor Corp., unveiled the 2012 Camry during a webcast Aug. 23 at the Toyota plant in Georgetown. All Camrys sold in the United States will be made here, Toyota officials said.
David Perry Lexington Herald-Leader

Toyota no longer plans to import any Camrys from Japan for sale in the United States, ending a diminishing practice that had dwindled to just a few thousand last year. The announcement from the automaker came in conjunction with the launch of the latest generation of the sedan in Japan on Monday. The vehicle launched last month in the United States, where it is far and away more popular and has been the top-selling car for 13 of the past 14 years.

12:15pm

Wed September 7, 2011
Business and the Economy

NKY Industrial Expansion Provides Jobs

Community leaders and company officials from ZF Steering Systems LLC Wednesday celebrated the completion of its $95.8 million expansion in Northern Kentucky. The project entailed the construction of two new buildings totaling 175,000 square feet on its existing site and is creating 374 new full-time jobs over the next two years.

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11:03am

Wed September 7, 2011
Business and the Economy

Danville Manufacturer to Expand Facilities

Community leaders and officials from Denyo Manufacturing Corp. in Danville announced Wednesday that the company has chosen to invest nearly $6.9 million in its Boyle County plant to modernize its plant.  Denyo Manufacturing manufactures, assembles and sells industrial electric generators. The new investment will entail the construction of an additional facility to house a new, technologically advanced coating process. The new process will help to minimize errors, hazardous waste, air emissions, energy costs and flammable materials and increase the quality of products and productivity, according to a press release from the governor's office. The project is expected to be completed by March 2012.

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10:36am

Wed September 7, 2011
Business and the Economy

Ellis Park Wants to Begin Instant Racing

Ellis Park took a hit at the betting window at its just-concluded 2011 live racing meet and saw a significant drop in the number of horses per race, the racetrack reported Tuesday. Nonetheless, owner Ron Geary said he will ask for live racing dates in 2012. He says he also plans to make application in October to install Instant Racing machines at Ellis to generate more revenue and help it compete with racetracks in some neighboring states that have full track-side casinos. If approved, the slot machine-like devices would likely be installed this winter, according to Geary.

10:26am

Wed September 7, 2011
Business and the Economy

Troubles for City of Cumberland's Utilities

The City of Cumberland took steps to avoid possible foreclosure on delinquent bonds on Tuesday. A procedure that could have resulted in the city’s water and sewer facilities being put under receivership. Behind the foreclosure threat is a debt of $93,000 to the Department of Rural Water that came due on July 1.

7:59am

Wed September 7, 2011
Business and the Economy

Testimony Given on Possible Rate Increases

About 50 people gathered at a middle school in West Louisville Tuesday night to tell the state’s Public Service Commission what they think about proposed utility rate increases. Louisville Gas and Electric and Kentucky Utilities have both proposed rate increases to help the companies recover the costs for new pollution-reducing technology that will soon be required by the federal government. If the PSC approves the increase, it’ll be staggered over four years. LG&E’s typical ratepayer (who uses about 1,000 kilowatt hours per month) will see their bill increase by about two dollars next year, and eventually by 2016 the bill will be about $16.00 higher. Most of those testifying to commissioners were against the rate increase. Reverend Milton Seymore of the Justice Resource Center says he thinks LG&E should have to absorb the costs without help from ratepayers.

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11:19am

Tue September 6, 2011
Business and the Economy

Hearings on KU/LG&E Rates Underway

One of the Kentucky Public Service Commission’s public meetings on proposed utility rate increases is scheduled for tonight in Louisville. Commissioners will give an educational presentation about the request, then take testimony from the public.Louisville Gas and Electric and Kentucky Utilities have requested that the PSC allow them to raise utility rates to pay for environmental upgrades to their power plants. LG&E estimates total electric bills will rise by about 19 percent by 2016 for their customers, and KU customers will see bills increase by about 12 percent.

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11:27am

Sun September 4, 2011
Business and the Economy

Toyota Plant Chief at Home in Driver's Seat

Wil James, center foreground, president of the Georgetown Toyota plant, shook hands with team members before a live webcast last month to introduce the redesigned 2012 Camry. After four years away from Georgetown, James is glad to be back at the plant.
David Perry Lexington Herald Leader

 When the first in the latest generation of Toyota's best-selling Camry sedans rolled off the lines in Georgetown last month, it was a sight that plant president Wil James hadn't expected to see. He had been at Georgetown more than five years earlier when planning began for the redesigned Camry, but the rising executive who had spent two decades in Georgetown was soon to be tapped to lead other Toyota sites, first in California and then in Indiana. "I went out there with the thought that one day I would be able to work my way back home," James recalled.

4:45pm

Thu September 1, 2011
Business and the Economy

Sign of Times...Burger Shake Prices Jump to 99 cents

Burger Shake, a longtime Lexington restaurant, has increased the price of its hamburgers to 99 cents. Photographed on Aug. 30 in Lexington.
Mark Cornelison Lexington Herald-Leader

When calculating inflation, economists look at the cost of products in thousands of locations across the United States. In Lexington, though, the easiest way to see how prices are going might be to look at the famous Burger Shake sign on East New Circle Road. As prices of everything from corn to clothing have soared this summer, the iconic local fast-food sign saw a change, too: The cost of a burger went from 84 cents to 99 cents this summer. "All of our costs started going up like crazy," co-founder Joe Isaac said. "We couldn't hold the line anymore.

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4:26pm

Thu September 1, 2011
Business and the Economy

Corvette Factory Marks 30 Years

GM Bowling Green Assembly Plant Manager Dave Tatman (center) speaks today during the plant's 30th anniversary celebration.
Joe Imel The Daily News

Linda Green has watched Corvettes roll off the lines in Bowling Green for three decades. Thursday morning, Green sat among fellow employees as she helped celebrate the General Motors assembly plant’s 30th anniversary in Bowling Green. Plant employees and community leaders gathered to commemorate the factory that has churned out Corvettes since 1981 and has become an economic powerhouse for Bowling Green.

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4:07pm

Thu September 1, 2011
Business and the Economy

Stability, Education Key to State Economy

A better educated workforce is a major key to helping Kentucky compete in the global manufacturing marketplace. That was the message put forth by the Kentucky Association of Manufacturers Thursday during an appearance before the Lexington Forum. K-A-M Vice President Ken Carroll told the civic and business group that Kentucky manufacturers need smart workers; and a lot more of them.

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4:06pm

Thu September 1, 2011
Business and the Economy

Direct Flight From Lexington to Vegas

With an Elvis impersonator singing "Viva Las Vegas" in the Terminal Lobby, travelers at Blue Grass Airport got a taste of Sin City Thursday. Allegiant Air announced new service between Lexington and Las Vegas beginning in November. It's the first time central Kentucky customers have been able to catch a direct flight to Vegas without having to first travel to Louisville or Cincinnati. 

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10:06am

Thu September 1, 2011
Business and the Economy

Ford Retires Crown Vic

Carrie Cochran Kentucky Enquirer

After a run of more than 30 years, the Ford Crown Victoria is retiring. The last one rolled off the Ford assembly line near St. Thomas, Ontario, on Wednesday, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

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4:53pm

Wed August 31, 2011
Business and the Economy

Jobless Rates up in 18 Counties

FRANKFORT — Unemployment rates fell in 99 Kentucky counties between July 2010 and July 2011, while 18 county rates increased and three counties remained the same, according to the Kentucky Office of Employment and Training.

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1:54pm

Wed August 31, 2011
Business and the Economy

Union Co. Livestock Creates New Jobs

A Western Kentucky-based business that operates Jim David Meats and Little Kentucky Smokehouse plans a product expansion that will add 25 new jobs at its Uniontown location.  Union County Livestock's expansion represents an $860,000 expansion.

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4:11pm

Tue August 30, 2011
Business and the Economy

2nd Hitachi Plant Announced for Berea

BEREA – Gov. Steve Beshear Tuesday joined Berea community leaders and officials from Hitachi Automotive Systems Americas Inc. to announce the company has selected the community for its third Kentucky manufacturing facility. The new plant, which will produce electric drive motors for hybrid and electric vehicles, will create 130 new jobs and a more than $74.5 million investment in Kentucky.

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1:35pm

Mon August 29, 2011
Business and the Economy

Nearly $155 Million for Small Business Loans

Gov. Steve Beshear Monday announced a major small business initiative that will provide Kentucky’s small businesses with access to nearly $155 million in new loans to help with job creation across the state.  The Kentucky Small Business Credit Initiative involves three new small business programs implemented by the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development to facilitate increased private lending to Kentucky’s small businesses. The programs include: the Kentucky Capital Access Program; the Kentucky Collateral Support Program and the Kentucky Loan Participation Program.

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10:10am

Mon August 29, 2011
Business and the Economy

Covington May Lose Two Major Employers

Officials in Covington, Northern Kentucky's largest city, are concerned two significant employers - Omnicare Inc. and The Nielsen Co. (formerly known as AC Nielsen) - may be lured across the Ohio River or to another part of Northern Kentucky, taking not only two prestigious firms from Covington's riverfront office towers, but also approximately $1 million in combined annual payroll taxes. Covington officials believe a combination of forces have increased the possibility Nielsen and Omnicare may move.

11:17am

Sun August 28, 2011
Business and the Economy

Scotsville's J.M. Smucker Plant May Expand

With Kentucky’s jobless rate at 9.5 percent, a possible expansion that could mean 80 new jobs in the area is good news for the entire region. The J.M. Smucker plant in Scottsville received preliminary approval Thursday for more than $5 million in state tax incentives for a possible $70 million expansion that would mean 80 new jobs within a few years. The plant currently employs 268 people full time and has some part-time jobs.

1:23pm

Fri August 26, 2011
Business and the Economy

Instant Racing at KY Downs

Bryan Pepper of Franklin works on some of the 200 instant racing machines Wednesday at Kentucky Downs.
Joel Imel Bowling Green Daily News

Workers should have the state’s first instant racing machines installed and working by the end of Friday at Kentucky Downs. And the 80 newly hired employees have been in training in preparation for instant racing’s launch at 10 a.m. Thursday. But owners are hoping that instant racing builds revenues for the track and purses for horse races. Kentucky Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association is confident enough that it will be a boon for the entire industry that it loaned Kentucky Downs $300,000 to help improve marketing and for operations.

9:44am

Fri August 26, 2011
Business and the Economy

Speedway Parking Fix Begins

Traffic creeps out of the infield about 1 a.m. 7/10/11 after the inaugural NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway, Sparta. The race ended about 11 p.m. All vehicles must exit the infield through a single tunnel.

The rows of tobacco and corn growing on land across from Kentucky Speedway will be replaced next year by rows of cars. This week the speedway bought a large tract near Ky. 35 in Gallatin County from Jo Wischer. The 84-year-old Florence resident did not say Thursday how much the speedway paid for the "couple hundred acres," but said she knows how it intends to use the property. "The speedway will be taking care of parking with it," Wischer said.

9:41am

Fri August 26, 2011
Business and the Economy

Changes for Blue Grass Airport

In the years since the crash, Blue Grass Airport replaced the shorter runway with a longer general aviation runway. The site of Flight 5191's crash is at the bottom of the photo above.

Inside and out, Lexington's Blue Grass Airport has undergone a major overhaul since Aug. 27, 2006, when 49 people lost their lives in the crash of Comair Flight 5191. But most of those changes — in facilities, personnel and customer offerings — have nothing to do with the crash.

9:37am

Fri August 26, 2011
Business and the Economy

Auto Company Provides Jobs in Berea

Hitachi Automotive Systems Americas in Berea, which recently secured a contract to manufacture components for the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid vehicle, will soon begin hiring for about 100 new manufacturing jobs. Depending on the success of the contract, that number could eventually increase to 500, Berea Mayor Steve Connelly said. Berea City Administrator Randy Stone said Hitachi is expanding into a former Panasonic plant in an industrial park off Exit 77 near Interstate 75.

9:37am

Fri August 26, 2011
Business and the Economy

Auto Company Provides Jobs in Berea

Hitachi Automotive Systems Americas in Berea, which recently secured a contract to manufacture components for the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid vehicle, will soon begin hiring for about 100 new manufacturing jobs. Depending on the success of the contract, that number could eventually increase to 500, Berea Mayor Steve Connelly said. Berea City Administrator Randy Stone said Hitachi is expanding into a former Panasonic plant in an industrial park off Exit 77 near Interstate 75.

10:40am

Thu August 25, 2011
Business and the Economy

$12 Million Expansion at Augusta Plant

A fixture in Augusta for more than 50 years, Clopay Plastic Products Company is a large contributor to employment opportunities in the region. On Wednesday, Clopay officials met with Bracken County Fiscal Count in executive session to iron out details of a proposed $12 million expansion project, which includes tax concessions and property acquisition assistance on behalf of the county.

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12:09pm

Wed August 24, 2011
Business and the Economy

CBO Projects Slow Growth, High Jobless Rate

Projecting slow growth and high unemployment over the next six years, the Congressional Budget Office released its updated report Wednesday that paints a dire economic picture for the foreseeable future. The nonpartisan agency forecasts the country’s jobless rate will remain above 8 percent until 2014 and economic growth will be 2.7 percent next year. President Obama’s critics pointed out that the projection breaks a promise by the administration, which said the stimulus package would reduce unemployment.

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10:19am

Wed August 24, 2011
Business and the Economy

Toyota President on New Camry

Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda got into the driver's seat Tuesday before the live webcast began introducing the 2012 Camry.
David Perry Lexington Herald-Leader

During his visit to the Georgetown plant Tuesday to commemorate the launch of the new 2012 Camry, Toyota President Akio Toyoda gave an exclusive interview, through a translator, to the Herald-Leader.

7:56am

Wed August 24, 2011
Business and the Economy

Toyota Unveils 2012 Camry

The revamped 2012 Camry made its debut at Toyota's Georgetown plant Tuesday. Company executives hope the new design, its first in five years, will jumpstart sales after a series of setbacks in recent years. Georgetown Toyota plant president Wil James unveiled the latest version of Toyota's top sedan to a large gathering of employees. Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky chairman Steve St. Angelo was also hand to generate enthusiasm for the redesign, which he hopes will send a clear signal to the industry.

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