A healthy year for coal companies is an economic boon for many Kentucky counties. Higher than expected mining permit and acreage fees this year means nearly three dozen counties will share more than 612-thousand dollars in state refunds. Breathitt County gets almost 47-thousand. Judge Executive Jason Richardson already has plans for the money.
The proposed Museum Plaza project in downtown Louisville has been canceled. The tower at 6th and Main streets would’ve been the tallest building in Kentucky. It was put on hold three years ago when the developers could not find a suitable bond deal to finance the project. Hope for the $490 million project was renewed last yearwhen city and state officials announced their intention to seek a $100 million loan from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The loan required the developers to find matching funds in the private sector, which they could not.
Plans for a possible rail line connecting Louisville, Lexington and Frankfort are moving forward, but that progress could soon stop. The man behind the concept is leaving his job. Executive director of the Kentucky Capital Development Corporation Ralph Tharp first released his plans for the line earlier this year. But his contract with the corporation will not be renewed. Tharp says he has the support of mayors along the route and he will continue to work on the project until his contract expires in October.
Later this month, officials with University of Louisville Hospital, Jewish Hospital and Catholic Health Initiatives will address a General Assembly committee on the hospitals’ pending merger. The principals were called before state lawmakers over concerns that reproductive and end-of-life services will be changed once the Catholic Health Initiatives owns a majority of the other facilities. CHI will have a 70 percent share of University Hospital and the doctors will follow Catholic health directives.
For something that melts rather quickly, Mom Blakeman's Creamed Pull Candy has showed remarkable staying power. "It is really still the best kept secret anywhere," said Pam Williams, who runs the store and the company's day-to-day operations. "It's also one of the most unique candies anywhere." The secret was out Friday as those responsible for maintaining the legacy of Lancaster's buttery smooth signature confection celebrated the product's 50th birthday with a packed party at the current store where the candy is now made and sold.
Unemployment rates fell in 96 Kentucky counties between June 2010 and June 2011, while 19 county rates increased and five counties remained the same, according to the Kentucky Office of Employment and Training. Woodford County recorded the lowest jobless rate in the Commonwealth at 7.4 percent while Jackson County had the highest rate at 16.8 percent.
Hiring will begin early next month for about 275 temporary jobs at the Kentucky State Fair.The positions include maintenance and housekeeping staff, admission gate keepers, tour guides and tram drivers. Wages begin at $7.25 an hour. Hiring begins Monday, August 8 and continues through the fair’s ten-day run, which begins on August 18. Application must be made in person.
Boyle County has a new way to dispose of wood waste from both industries and individuals that should save the county money while helping power a Campbellsville company. Boyle Fiscal Court approved an agreement Tuesday with Cox Interiors Inc., a business that mills interior doors and windows, under which the company will chip and haul untreated wood to be used as fuel.
The state Wednesday announced the awarding of $773,447 in On-Farm Energy Efficiency & Production Incentives grants. The program is a partnership between the Governor’s Office of Agricultural Policy and Kentucky’s Department for Energy Development & Independence with funding from the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act through the U.S. Department of Energy.
Gov. Steve Beshear Wednesday announced a $500,000 Community Development Block Grant to the city of Loretto in Marion County to help renovate a city-owned, former nursing home facility to a new senior citizen’s center.
The U.S. Postal Service is considering close more than 10 percent of its retail locations nationwide. That means the post office will study the closing of more than 3,600 local offices, branches and stations for possible closing. Several dozen are in Kentucky.
Kentucky Fried Chicken is looking for your Colonel Sanders stories. Photos, videos, and anecdotes - all relating to KFC's iconic founder - will be collected at ColonelSanders.com. Friends and family say there's more to the colonel the famous image that's printed on KFC restaurant signs and chicken buckets across the world. The goateed entrepreneur was born in 1890 and went from rags to riches, founding the world's largest chicken restaurant chain. Now the company is eager to introduce him to a new generation.
The U.S. Postal Service released a list Tuesday of 3,653 post offices that could be closed, including three in Louisville. But local civil rights leaders are concerned about one of the sites being reviewed because it serves as the only retail store in the city’s West End. Thousand of offices are being studied for possible closure because of “lower foot traffic and revenue,” as the financially troubled agency continues to find ways to cut costs. In fiscal year 2010, the Postal Service suffered a $8.5 billion net loss and posted a loss of $2.2 billion in the last quarter, according to CNN.
Today marks the beginning of a series of public meetings organized by Kentucky's Cabinet for Economic Development to be held across the state. The meetings will focus on a hot topic in Kentucky and across the nation: job growth and investment. The idea is to identify emerging business sectors - and gather citizen input on how best to position those businesses for success. Holly Spade, director of the Office of Legal Services for the Cabinet, says the list of forums could grow longer.
Toyota Motor Corp. announced Monday that its production dropped 23.3 percent worldwide in the first six months of 2011. Company officials say the March 11 earthquake and tsunami severely affected the parts supply, leading to production slowdowns. The supply issue remains a concern at some North American and Japanese plants. But in Georgetown, Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky has been running at 100 percent production since June.
Lexington may be Men's Health magazine's most sedentary city, but it's also the sixth best "value" city. That's according to Kiplinger magazine. In the newly published list, the business and finance magazine ranks Lexington number six in what it calls its ten best value cities.
While Lexington is still feeling the effects of the housing downturn, a new report issued by the Fayette County Property Valuation Administrator's office shows the city weathering the storm better than many. The report compiled by Fayette County PVA David O'Neill shows Lexington property values remaining relatively stable, despite a steady decline in home sales for the past five years. O'Neill says, while not immune to the downturn, the city's housing market hasn't seen the kind of fluctuations other cities have.
By Bill Estep, Lexington Herald-Leader and Linda J. Johnson, Lexington Herald-Leader
The percentage of people renting a place to live went up far more in Kentucky than those buying a home between 2000 and 2010, according to U.S. Census data. The downturn in jobs during the recession and tighter credit were key reasons, several real estate agents said. Statewide, the percentage of people renting their residence was 16 percent higher than in 2000, while the percentage of owner-occupied housing was up just 5 percent.
Community leaders and officials from Dynamic Fabrication in Beaver Dam announced Thursday the company will expand its Ohio County operation. The full-service steel fabrication facility, which currently serves the mining industry, will branch out to new industries as a result of the expansion – creating 22 new jobs and a $957,000 investment.
Big Sandy Power plant manager Aaron Sink told Southeast Kentucky Chamber of Commerce members Tuesday that his company will be forced to shut down half of the facility's production of electricity by 2014 and lay off nearly 100 of its 120 employees if changes are not made in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's new standards.
By Katheran Wasson, Frankfort State Journal and Paul Glasser, Frankfort State Journal
The Kentucky Institute for Aerospace Education may have to move to Southern Indiana if an agreement to build a 12,000-square-foot facility at Frankfort's Capital City Airport falls through. Tim Smith, a teacher at Frankfort High School and chief executive officer of the nonprofit organization, says he’s got a lease in hand for use of a hangar at the airport – but no signature. The deal was contingent upon a corporate entity signing on to occupy a second hangar, but no one bid on the project. That’s hindering the group’s fundraising chances for the project, he said, and it could force the institute to move to another airport.
Credit Miranda Penderson / Bowling Green Daily News
By all accounts, next week could be a watershed for automakers and the United Auto Workers when contract negotiations begin. The UAW will be negotiating with the nation’s Big Three automakers, including General Motors, which builds Chevrolet Corvettes at its Bowling Green Assembly Plant. GM and Chrysler were facing bankruptcy and Ford was saddled with debt during contract negotiations in 2009. All three were struggling to survive and many concessions were made by the unions just so workers would have jobs. But the landscape has changed.
Newly named Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport chief executive Candace McGraw believes airlines – those currently serving the region as well as those that might be lured here – will boost air service at the beleaguered airport. “We are poised for great things here at CVG,” she said on Wednesday as the Kenton County Airport Board unanimously voted to appoint her to replace former chief executive John Mok, who abruptly submitted his resignation this week.
A more than $28,000 grant from the Kentucky Arts Council is the largest award LexArts has received from the state agency in a few years. The arts council recently announced its funding allotments to 100 non-profit groups across Kentucky.
What will the cost of the Ark Encounter be for Grant County? To date, the project, which is estimated to bring more than 900 full and part-time jobs to the community, has cost a little bit of money, a 100-acre piece of property, some cooperation and a lot of time.
Microsoft is spending two million dollars in Kentucky and twelve other states in order to boost job training programs. The economy nationwide is still reeling from the economic downturn, but prolonged joblessness is nothing new to the Appalachian region. That’s why Microsoft announced its divvying up two million dollars to non profits from Pennsylvania to Mississippi. Company Vice President Fred Humphries says providing new computer software is vital to uplifting the economy throughout the region.
The Ark Encounter project is moving. Even though no dirt has been moved since the $150 million Grant County project was announced in November, there’s been much activity, mostly getting agreements signed, property purchased and data gathered. The project, which will involve a full-scale wooden replica of Noah’s Ark, as well as a bird sanctuary, a biblical village and animal shows, is on track for a ground breaking ceremony in late summer.
In a sweltering airplane hangar, Gov. Steve Beshear on Tuesday afternoon delivered refreshing news: Three Henderson industries intend to create up to 47 new jobs and invest more than $4 million here. “It’s a further indication that we are on the right track,” Beshear said, commending the “vibrant companies and smart entrepreneurs that are determined to not just survive the recession, but thrive and grow.”
One final test stands between Mine Shields Inc., and certification that could create more than 100 new jobs in Garrard County. But it's a big one. The test, which will take place Thursday in New Mexico, is the last of five necessary to get the company's mine refuge chambers approved by the Mine Safety and Health Administration, Mine Shields CEO Connie Hendren said.
For some, the Georgetown Goodwill store is a great place to bring jeans and old sweaters that no longer fit, purchase gently used furniture or to find old vinyl records. For Paula Kidd, the Goodwill store aided her in a time of need. Two years ago, Kidd started at the Georgetown store as a production clerk. Today, she's the store's assistant manager. Last year, Goodwill Industries of Kentucky employed more than 1,600 people at 59 locations.