Jessamine County comes in as the 18th-largest county in the state of Kentucky when comparing populations of the 120 counties. But when it comes to calculating how much funding Jessamine County gets for child support from the state government, 30 counties are receiving more money than Jessamine, county attorney Brian Goettl said.
The initial planning for a super region between Louisville and Lexington has begun. The Brookings Institution is helping the cities put together a plan for an economic partnership centered around manufacturing jobs. In particular, it will look at how best to lure more auto industry jobs to Louisville, Lexington or nearby cities.
A new report says environmental controls on vehicles could help Kentucky’s economy. The study, conducted by the United Autoworkers Union, the Natural Resources Defense Council and the National Wildlife Federation, found that stronger fuel economy standards for cars and light trucks will help create thousands of clean energy jobs in Kentucky and around the country.
Kentucky's General Fund tax receipts for July, the first month of fiscal year 2012, were more than $638 million, a 6.9 percent increase compared to July 2010 figures. "Kentucky has seen a strengthening of General Fund revenue collections for the past five quarters and the Commonwealth’s economic recovery is continuing into the new fiscal year," state Budget Director Mary Lassiter said in a press release Wednesday. “The Consensus Forecasting Group last week affirmed that revenue growth is ahead of pace by predicting that General Fund receipts will exceed the budgeted levels by $192.0 million,” she said. “While we are cautiously optimistic about the revenue outlook, we still have a challenge ahead to balance the budget this fiscal year.”
With Texas Governor Rick Perry's recent prayer rally and a new deal guaranteeing Kentucky's Ark Encounters project property tax breaks, the sometimes tricky relationship between politics and religion is on display again. In the case of the bible-based theme park, some worry all the business incentives are signs that church and state getting too cozy.
Black Mountain Thunder, the zipline attraction at Harlan County's Outdoor Recreation Park, is nearing completion. Planners anticipate a "soft opening" toward the end of this month with a "grand opening" type of event during a fall color weekend in October.
Elizabethtown has captured the top ranking in personal income percentage growth in 2010. The Elizabethtown Metropolitan Statistical Area earned the top spot with 10.1 percent growth for last year compared to 2009, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis. That’s the greatest percent growth of the nation’s 366 metropolitan statistical areas.
Toyota Motor Corp. has been knocked from its spot as the world’s largest automaker. General Motors Co. said it sold 4.5 million vehicles worldwide in the first six months of 2011. Volkswagen AG of Germany claims the second spot with 4.13 million vehicles sold. Toyota fell to No. 3 with 3.7 million vehicles sold, a drop of 11 percent from a year earlier.
The city of Williamstown in Grant County has agreed to give a biblically themed amusement park a property tax discount of 75 percent over the next 30 years. Mayor Rick Skinner said the offer is laid out in a memorandum of agreement that will be followed by a formal tax-increment financing deal with Petersburg-based Ark Encounters LLC in coming months. The tax deal is in addition to almost $200,000 given to the company by Grant County's economic development arm as an enticement to keep the project located there, along with 100 acres of reduced-price land.
Hiring for temporary positions for Kentucky’s 107th State Fair began on Monday. Around 850 people lined up to fill 275 positions. As WFPL reported, applications will be accepted up until the last day of the fair on Aug. 28.“Some people can only work a couple days a week. We need to hire more people who can work throughout the entire run of the fair,” said Amanda Storment with the Kentucky State Fair Board.
Hardin County officials say expanded alcohol sales will help the area capitalize on future developments further north.
On October 4th, voters in Elizabethtown, Radcliff and Vine Grove will vote on whether to allow alcohol sales at package liquor stores and in restaurants.
“We become a more attractive location, I think, for some younger professionals and professionals when we’ve got more entertainment options and more restaurant options,” says Hardin County Chamber of Commerce President Brad Richardson.
Richardson hopes expanded sales will attract businesses and residents drawn to the area by Fort Knox. He adds that the appeal would also help the cities if Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer’s plans for a super-region with Lexington and a stronger I-65 corridor come to fruition.
The entire Kentucky delegation to the U.S. House of Representatives supports a bill to change the federal tax code to benefit the commonwealth’s bourbon industry. Lawmakers contend there is inequality in the Internal Revenue Service because bourbon is aged and must be carried in storage for extended periods compared to other distilled spirits. Introduced by Congressmen Geoff Davis and Ben Chandler earlier this year, the Aged Distilled Spirits Competitiveness Act of 2011 seeks to exempt the natural aging process in the production for distilled spirits. It would allow distillers to deduct the interest expense to pay for their inventory as those costs are incurred.
The saying goes, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” and perhaps that’s the concept Harrodsburg residents Harold and Audrey Lester kept in mind as they advertised their “classy trash" on Thursday during the first day of the World’s Longest Yard Sale. In the years they have participated in the continuously growing sale on U.S. 127, the Lesters have seen people from every state.
The state has awarded Clark County's Walle Corp. a $600,000 grant it applied for in February to help buy a $3 million press for printing labels, and the company was to receive the money Thursday. In February, Walle Corp., a label supplier for consumer packaged goods, applied for the money through the 2011 Kentucky Community Development Block Grant program.
Barren River Lake is finally down to its summer pool, meaning the Army Corps of Engineers beaches should be open. But Barren River Lake State Resort Park chose not to open the beach this summer, Park Manager Lisa Davis said. “We decided not to open because of the resources it would take,” Davis said. “To bring in sand would cost $7,000 and I didn’t think it would be fiscally responsible to do that with just a month left in the season and then have another flood in the spring and have to bring more in.”
Cincinnati-based Kroger Co. removed fresh and frozen ground turkey under the Kroger and Honeysuckle brand names from its store shelves in 26 states, including Kentucky, on Thursday and asked customers to check their refrigerators and freezers for the products in one of the largest U.S. meat recalls in history.
Judges can’t get enough of Hardin County Water District No. 2. The water utility once again nabbed first-place honors for best tasting water during the annual Water Professionals Conference, held July 24-27 in Covington, by the Kentucky-Tennessee Chapter of the American Water Works Association. Now, it's on to national competition.
A Corbin Main Street Program, funded by the local Wal-Mart store and designed to help encourage bike use in the area, has been shelved almost since it began for lack of interest, city officials say. Marlon Sams, director of Parks and Recreation for the city, says the program hasn't really drawn much interest - an idea that that may work in larger towns, but can't really be shoehorned into smaller, more rural towns, like Corbin.
A Bullitt County church was able to delay a vote on Tuesday to approve a large development project in its neighborhood. Members from Bardstown Junction Baptist Church filled the Bullitt County Courthouse, which approved a resolution to postpone a vote on whether to allow Red Rock Developments to develop a two-million square foot project nearby.
Changes in the operation of the American Red Cross have led to the dissolution of the Boyle County chapter director position and prompted the chapter board to take matters into its own hands. In a letter received by The Advocate-Messenger, Emanual Gray, board chairman of the Danville-based Central Kentucky chapter of the Red Cross, which serves Boyle and Mercer counties, detailed what he said are troubling financial and administrative changes over the past several years.
Fleming County Hospital officials are taking the next step toward hiring a full-time chief executive officer as the hospital board is set to interview candidates. It has been six months since former CEO Davie Lloyd resigned from her position in efforts to "pursue other career interests." Effective upon Lloyd's resignation, interim-CEO Joyce Hein took the position and the responsibility that came with it, and has since been working with the hospital board to cut losses totaling more than $3 million.
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.