An economics researcher says a groundbreaking for an aluminum plant in western Kentucky sends a bigger message about economic recovery. Governor Steve Beshear, who was joined by other public and private sector officials, broke ground last week on a $150 million dollar aluminum production plant in Bowling Green.
A federal labor department report released Thursday shows higher than anticipated job creation for June across the U.S. State Economist Manoj Shanker is also seeing employment gains in many Kentucky counties. "Compared to a year ago, 111 counties out of 120 are doing better than they were a year ago,” says Shanker. “As the state economy improves, it's almost evenly split, except for some parts of eastern Kentucky.”
Motorists traveling from one end of Kentucky to another this holiday period could see a differing range of gasoline prices. GasBuddy-Dot-Com Petroleum Analyst Patrick Dehaan says the lowest-priced gas is found near Bowling Green at three dollars 34 cents a gallon. Compare that to Louisville where travelers may find prices hovering around four dollars a gallon.
The mayors of Kentucky's two largest cities continue to promote an advanced manufacturing economic agenda. A university economist yesterday cited the state's diverse business makeup as one of its strongest attributes.
NASCAR fans could get a taste of Kentucky honey this weekend. Honey produced in Letcher County will be part of the Kentucky Proud display on Saturday during the Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta.
In collaboration with the state agriculture department, Kentucky Proud products will be served at the Sparta track for the remainder of the racing season.
Ted Ratliff has been producing honey in eastern Kentucky for three years. Ratliff says he was approached by the state agriculture department about using his honey at the northern Kentucky track.
Lexington Mayor Jim Gray and University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto are scheduled to meet later this week to discuss the Rupp Arena Project. The meeting this Thursday came at the request of Gray. Governor Steve Beshear supports the reinvention of Rupp and construction of a new convention center.
A state lawmaker from Lexington isn't surprised by poll results questioning the use of state funds to help reinvent Rupp Arena and build a new convention center. The survey showed only 18 percent of those questioned approved of spending state money on the 351 million dollar project.
Lexington Representative Jesse Crenshaw says it can be hard to sell long-term benefits. "People look at things and look at it from the standpoint of we have a number of needs that are pressing now, so we should spend anything for the future," said Crenshaw.
Some Kentucky military veteran farmers say they will plant a crop of hemp seeds this week following a federal court hearing.
The Kentucky Agriculture Department had sued the Drug Enforcement Agency over the agency's seizure of hemp seeds imported for research. A judge ruled that the seeds can be released with the proper permits.
Central Kentuckians may be hankering for local produce, but the wait may be a little longer this spring. A rather strong winter in many parts of Kentucky put a delay on plantings and the growing season.
Lexington city leaders are examining branding options. This week, Mayoral Senior Advisor Scott Shapiro laid out a "blue horse" logo option. He says there is a proliferation of city-related logos with no standard. "There are things that the city does that you all as council members fund that people of Lexington don't know that the city is responsible for," said Shapiro.
The Centre Point commercial development in the heart of downtown Lexington is in full construction mode. It's a large scale project, recently redefined in scope, approaching a cost of 400 million dollars and including hotel-retail-office- and condominium uses.
Lexington city leaders are looking into expanding where food trucks can conduct business. A city council committee reviewed a proposal Tuesday to allow food trucks in professional office zones around the community.
Division of Planning Director Chris King says proximity to neighborhoods should be considered. "The only thing that does give me pause is that a lot of times P-1 are very close to residential and were set up and agreed to by neighborhoods as a step down buffer and if a food truck came in running a generator, generating smells, they might not be happy," said King.
Scott Clark is an online business consultant and owner of Lexington-based BuzzMaven Labs. He focuses on helping his clients find ways to improve the performance of their websites. And he offers guidance on internet marketing investments and social media activities.
The president of Lake Cumberland State Dock says all signs point to a tremendous season for tourism. Bill Jasper got good news this week when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced the water level at Lake Cumberland was at its full summer level for the first time in eight years. The water level was dropped in 2007 when repair work began on nearby Wolf Creek Dam.
The founder of a thoroughbred retirement center in central Kentucky hopes to one day meet some of horses racing at Churchill downs this week. The "Old Friends Thoroughbred Retirement" facility welcomed one horse just over a decade ago. President Michael Blowen says there are 150 horses on site today.
A Madison County official worries a just-released economic development plan for Madison County lacks on-the-ground support. Berea Mayor Steve Connelly says there could be a problem turning recommendations into action, saying most people never took notice, “There was never a conversation of people who would do anything.” He went on to say, “We have a plan but we don't have any implementers.” Connelly went on to express his skepticism about the plan.
In recent years institutions that we tend to take for granted: our airport, the library, the Kentucky League of Cities, the Kentucky Association of Counties, the Bluegrass Area Development District, have experienced controversies that have shaken faith in leadership, highlighted instances of lax board governance, and most painful of all, damaged reputations.
Plans for renovating 200 public housing apartment units in Lexington carry a whole new financing and construction strategy. The project involves the Pimlico Apartment complex on Centre Street. Federal Housing and Urban Development's Greg Byrne participated in the ceremony today.
"We've allowed them to work with private investors, and lenders, and all that, just like anybody else who owns multi-family real estate. Bringing public housing into the 21st century," said Byrne.
The proposed Bluegrass Pipeline, which would have crossed a dozen Kentucky counties over a 180-mile route, appears to be dead.
Williams Co. and Boardwalk Pipeline Partners, the two energy companies behind the controversial project, announced Monday that they could not put together a large enough customer base for natural gas liquids to make the project viable.
Following the 36th Kentucky Rolex Three Day Event this weekend, attention is focusing quickly toward this summer and the anticipated announcement of the site of the 2018 World Equestrian Games. The Kentucky Horse Park hosted the international horse competition four years ago. Veteran Equine Public Relations Specialist Marty Bauman believes central Kentucky is in a good position to host the event again.
The Kentucky Horse Park has an interim director to take over the reins following the quickly approaching retirement of its long-time director John Nicholson. The Kentucky Horse Park Commission has chosen Ted Nicholson, no relation to John Nicholson, to serve as interim director of the Horse Park.
Ted Nicholson will begin his tenure in May and serve until a permanent executive director is hired later this year. He is currently a partner with a horse racing consultant firm. Before that, the interim director was general manager of the KFC Yum Center in Louisville.
Discussion of funding for the Rupp Arena Project consumed parts of two city council meetings yesterday afternoon at city hall. Rupp Project Manager Frank Butler took questions during a committee meeting and then before the full Council.
Discussion centered on the state legislature's decision not to provide 80 million dollars in financial support. Butler says state lawmakers wanted some assurance about city and University of Kentucky support. He says the financing plan calls for UK to contribute almost eleven million dollars annually for 30 years.
A state economist says an uptick in the Kentucky unemployment rate is no reason for alarm. Kentucky's jobless average for March stood at seven point nine percent. It increased one tenth of a percentage point in both February and March.
Company officials and local leaders today celebrated the expansion and renovation of the Woodford Reserve Distillery visitor center in Versailles. Brown-Forman, owner of Woodford Reserve, invested more than $1.9 million into the 7,500-square-foot visitor center.
Ky. Agriculture James Comer says he has been given the go-ahead by the Attorney General to implement pilot projects in growing and producing hemp at six state universities.
Credit File photo
The Commonwealth is ready to move forward with plans for the first legal production of hemp in at least 50 years. Earlier this year, the State Department of Agriculture announced it was creating pilot projects in growth and production of the plant at six universities.