Beginning Monday, Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky will resume plant tours that lead visitors from the birth of three models to viewing the finished product in the visitors center. The free tours will be offered at 10 a.m., noon, and 2 p.m. weekdays, and reservations are recommended. TMMK suspended tours last December as the plant began to transition to building the next- generation Toyota Camry, said TMMK spokesman Rick Hesterberg.
The Benham Power Board has paid off its large debt to Kentucky Utilities. Mayor John Dodd announced the payment at the Benham City Council meeting on Thursday. The large debt, that at one point had the city considering turning over its electric distribution system to KU, was paid with the help of a $100,000 grant from the Richard and Leslie Gilliam Foundation.
A baseball complex, amusement park, giant recreational vehicle facility and restaurants have all been among the ideas conceived or considered for parts of 965 acres along Interstate 65 near Franklin. Bowling Green entrepreneur David Garvin pieced together the property six years ago and hoped to develop Garvin World, based on a concept that featured all things recreational vehicles. Then the economy faltered and three of the major companies interested in the project filed for bankruptcy.
Gov. Steve Beshear announced Thursday that the state has fully paid a $28.2 million bill from the federal government for interest on funds borrowed for unemployment insurance. The payment preserves a critical federal tax credit for Kentucky businesses, prevents the loss of some $30 million in federal administrative funds, and avoids a costly special session for legislators.
The grand opening of the Black Mountain Thunder Zipline attraction at the Black Mountain Off-Road Adventure Park didn’t take place on Labor Day weekend as anticipated. Harlan County Outdoor Recreation Board Chairperson Kim Collier said the liability insurance necessary for opening “was taking longer than anticipated.”
Magnum Hunter Productions Inc., a Texas-based oil and natural gas company, has signed a five-year deal to lease a building from Harlan County government. The firm will move its pipe yard and regional headquarters to Coldiron and with them 50 to 60 new jobs, according to Harlan County Judge-Executive Joe Grieshop.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.