Business and the Economy

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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2:00am

Wed August 24, 2011
Business and the Economy

Small KY Airports Weigh Costs/Benefits

EKU aircraft at Madison County Airport
Ron Smith WEKU News

Hundreds of aircraft take off and land every day at Kentucky’s 59  airports, and another one’s been proposed for Gallatin County near the Kentucky Speedway.  Only six are certified to offer passenger service… Lexington, Louisville, Paducah, Owensboro, Bowling Green and Northern Kentucky-Cincinnati. The remaining 53 are designated as general aviation airports. They don’t offer passenger service but are still costly to operate. 

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4:02pm

Tue August 23, 2011
Business and the Economy

40 New Jobs Created in Gallatin County

FRANKFORT – Gov. Steve Beshear Tuesday announced Core Molding Technologies, a plastics molding company, will establish a new operating subsidiary and manufacturing location in Warsaw. The operation, which will support a significant new business venture outside the company’s traditional heavy truck customer base, will create 39 new jobs and entail a more than $3 million investment.

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10:33am

Mon August 22, 2011
Business and the Economy

'No Major Market Gains In Near Future'

The U.S.stock market re-opens this morning after four straight weeks of losses.  Traders remain concerned about the European debt situation and fears that the U.S. is headed toward another recession.  Wall Street Journal MarketWatch columnist David Weidner says don’t expect any major gains in the market over the next several weeks.

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10:27am

Mon August 22, 2011
Business and the Economy

Lawmaker Has More Questions on Merger

The principals of three merging healthcare systems in Kentucky can expect more questions from state lawmakers.  Last week, representatives from University of Louisville Hospital, Jewish Hospital and Catholic Health Initiatives addressed the Interim Joint Committee on Health and Welfare. They fielded questions about how reproductive and end-of-life services would be protected after the entities merge and Catholic care directives are enforced at University Hospital.

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10:26am

Mon August 22, 2011
Business and the Economy

Future of Insight's Agreement is Uncertain

There are still a number of details to work out in Time Warner Cable’s pending acquisition of Insight Communications.  The sale was announced last week and a Time Warner spokesman says it’s too early to discuss possible changes to service. Many services can be regulated through franchise agreements, which cable operators sign with governments. Louisville’s agreement with Insight has lapsed, and the city has spent the last seven months negotiating a new deal.

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12:59pm

Sun August 21, 2011
Business and the Economy

Next Generation Camry Gets New Look

The wait will be over Tuesday afternoon when Toyota Motor Corp. reveals the highly anticipated, redesigned next-generation 2012 Camry to the public. The Japanese automaker is pulling out all the stops to introduce the vehicle, which will be built at Georgetown’s Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky. A Hollywood-style red carpet premiere that can be viewed online is planned Tuesday for Camry fans and automobile enthusiasts. The global launch will show the first vehicle coming off the assembly line in Georgetown.

10:39am

Fri August 19, 2011
Business and the Economy

Kentucky Unemployment Rate Decreases

Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted preliminary unemployment rate continued to fall going from 9.6 percent in June to 9.5 percent in July, according to the Office of Employment and Training.  The preliminary July 2011 jobless rate dropped .7 percentage point below the 10.2 percent rate recorded in July 2010 for the state. The state’s July 2011 rate is the lowest since the January 2009 rate of 9.2 percent.

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10:07am

Fri August 19, 2011
Business and the Economy

Central KY Home Sales Rise

July's increase in residential home sales in Central Kentucky was the first for the housing market in more than a yea
Charles Bertram Lexington Herald-Leader

For the first time in more than a year, monthly residential home sales rose in Central Kentucky. The 11.1 percent July increase also was notable because the effects of the federal homebuyer tax credit, which primarily ended in June 2010, were not a factor. "We do have good comparisons now year over year, which we did not have before this month," said Barb Curtis, president of the Lexington-Bluegrass Association of Realtors.

1:46pm

Thu August 18, 2011
Business and the Economy

Online Option to Find Seniors In-Home Help

Senior citizens across central Kentucky who are looking to hire someone for help around the house now have an online resource to connect with other seniors. The Bluegrass Area Agency on Aging and Independent Living is teaming up with the city of Lexington and the AARP to launch the new website, called the Bluegrass Help at Home Registry. 

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10:33am

Thu August 18, 2011
Business and the Economy

Mayors Gray and Fischer Explain Joint Plan

Lexington Mayor Jim Gray and Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer provided more details regarding a new Bluegrass Economic Advancement Movement that will require the two cities to collaborate rather than compete.  The two executives spoke during the Commerce Lexington Public Policy Luncheon on Wednesday. Mayor Gray says the Brookings Institution, a public policy think-tank, has identified Lexington and Louisville as communities uniquely positioned to create advanced manufacturing jobs for the region.

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1:25pm

Wed August 17, 2011
Business and the Economy

No Immediate Changes for Insight Customers

It will probably be six months before Insight Communication customers notice a difference in their service, following Time Warner Cable’s $3 billion purchase of Insight on Monday. Now, all regulatory approvals will be sought on the federal level and with local governments, according to Jason Keller, a spokesman for Insight in Louisville. Once the sale is complete, Time Warner will be the largest cable provider in Kentucky.

10:38am

Wed August 17, 2011
Business and the Economy

Tobacco Farms Continue Decline

Henry Stevens, left, and Marlon Waits helped hang tobacco at a barn off Ashgrove Lane in northern Jessamine County on Thursday, Aug. 11.
Mike Moore Jessamine Journal

A federal tobacco reform in October 2004 has changed the landscape of Jessamine County tobacco farming in 2011, Jessamine County Extension Agent Rob Amburgey said. “The tobacco buyout has significantly decreased the total amount of tobacco raised in Jessamine County,” he said. “It went from about 2,600 acres down to 400 acres now. We went from many, many tobacco farmers to about a dozen left in the county.”

10:33am

Wed August 17, 2011
Business and the Economy

Gas Company Considers Harlan Location

Magistrates gave Harlan County Judge-Executive Joe Grieshop approval to sign a lease agreement Tuesday with a Texas-based gas company, which has expressed interest into moving into a county-owned building in Coldiron. “This will bring somewhere between 50 and 60 jobs, and they plan on adding anything from 10 to 20,” said Grieshop. “This would become their headquarters and workers from four counties would be coming to Harlan."

1:36pm

Tue August 16, 2011
Business and the Economy

Major Savings for East KY Power Cooperative

East Kentucky Power Cooperative will save approximately $5 million per year after renegotiating the terms of a three-year $450 million credit facility, according to a statement released by the company. The cooperative closed on the credit facility in 2010 to provide “the liquidity from day-to-day to make sure we have the cash in hand that East Kentucky needs,” Nick Comer, EKPC representative, said in a recent interview. “We don’t have a group of shareholders like Microsoft or Walmart or Ford Motor Co.”

10:36am

Tue August 16, 2011
Business and the Economy

KY National Guardsmen Face Unemployment

Across the U.S., the unemployment rate sits at 9.1 percent. In Kentucky, it's 9.6 percent.  But among Kentucky's National Guard members, the amount of people without a full-time civilian job is 15-20 percent, depending on how many units are on active duty deployment. Brenna Angel reports on why it's hard for citizen soldiers to find and keep a job, and what the military is doing to help.

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10:24am

Tue August 16, 2011
Business and the Economy

Time Warner to Buy Insight for $3 Billion

National cable giant Time Warner Cable, which operates in many areas in Central Kentucky, announced Monday that it will acquire Insight Communications, the largest cable operator in Lexington and Kentucky, in a $3 billion deal. Many in the industry have long expected the deal, given that Insight's operations are so close geographically to some of Time Warner Cable's and that Insight's ownership shopped the company around in 2007.

10:21am

Tue August 16, 2011
Business and the Economy

Child Care Fees Rise in Henderson County

The local school board voted 4-1 to raise the weekly cost of child care in the Henderson County school district effective Sept. 1 to help meet state requirements that say the child care program must be self-sustaining. School board member Lisa Baird made the motion on Monday to raise the weekly charge from $85 to $100 for children in the 3- to 4-year-old program when they attend a full day of child care, which is essentially daycare.

5:41pm

Mon August 15, 2011
Business and the Economy

Crop Problems Persist

Western Kentucky farmers watched this weekend as chances of rain evaporated and their crops dried up even more. The Kentucky Agriculture Statistics Service reported last week that soybeans and tobacco were considerably behind last year’s development. Some soybean fields “aborted” their blooms due to the heat. The blooms are what produce the pods.

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10:50am

Mon August 15, 2011
Business and the Economy

Time Warner Buys Insight

National cable giant Time Warner Cable is purchasing Lexington cable operator Insight Communications in a $3 billion deal announced Monday.

 

11:12am

Sun August 14, 2011
Business and the Economy

Bowling Green Still Fights for Air Services

Officials at Bowling Green-Warren County Regional Airport are continuing to work to bring commercial air service to the city and region. Rob Barnett, airport manager, said the airport is constantly discussing options with several leisure destination carriers as well as business-hub connectors. “We’re still continuing to try to meet with air route developers and work with them,” Barnett said. He added that development of new routes at regional airports has come to a virtual standstill.

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