ELKTON – Local, state and company officials in gathered in Elkton Monday to announce Glass Door Solutions LLC, a newly formed company, plans to lease a facility, create 110 new, full-time jobs and invest more than $3.5 million.
FRANKFORT – The economic impact of tourism in Kentucky amounted to more than $12.2 billion in 2012, Gov. Steve Beshear and Tourism, Arts and Heritage Secretary Marcheta Sparrow announced Monday. The economic impact figure is a 4.4 percent increase from 2011.
By early summer, an increased number of food trucks could be noticeable in downtown Lexington. But, their impact on the food scene remains uncertain. After much wrangling, a panel created by the city last week made recommendations. For the first time, they would allow food trucks in some metered parking spots during dayight. After ten p-m until three in the morning, the vendors could set up shop in any downtown, public metered area. There are other restrictions. The food trucks couldn’t operate within 100 feet of a residential area, and could occupy not more than half of the available metered spots.
The Kentucky Derby victory by ‘Orb’ represents yet another feather in the Commonwealth’s horse breeding hat. The central Kentucky Thoroughbred, which ran down several horses in the stretch at Churchill Downs, is expected to compete in the Preakness on May 18th. Kentucky Thoroughbred Association Director David Switzer says Bluegrass bred horses are on quite a run. “The past 22 triple crown races have been won by a Kentucky bred. It was 21 going into Saturday and Orb being a Kentucky bred made it 22. We are hoping for 23 and 24 with this horse coming up yet,” said Switzer.
Milliner Fielden Willmott in her shop with her hats
Credit Stu Johnson / Weku News
The Kentucky Derby is known for a lot of things. It’s the “Fastest Two Minutes in Sports,” “Millionaires’ Row,” and mint juleps. Then there are the Derby fashions. A major part of the derby tradition lies in the heads of women attending the races. It’s also a busy time of year for a Lexington artisan.
Nicer weather has a few more truckers travelling Kentucky’s interstates. Overall, the trucking industry remains flat, but the head of the Kentucky Motor Transportation Association says recent figures are promising. Jamie Fiepke says trucking tends to decline in November and pick up in March. “From that point forward, that’s when you really start seeing the industry pick up, especially in a good economy, you’ll see it really take off and you’ll see truck everywhere. And you’re gonna see more and more trucks,” said Fiepke.
For the first time since 1973, Kentucky's bourbon distillers produced more than 1 million barrels in 2012, the Kentucky Distillers' Association announced Monday. In 2012, 1,007,703 barrels were filled, topping the 1973 total of 1,004,877, the association said. "This is an incredible milestone that's been 40 years in the making," said Eric Gregory, president of the distillers group, which promotes and lobbies on behalf of the bourbon industry.
A bourbon distillery and event center is under construction at the Party Source in Bellevue.
Credit Patrick Reddy/The Kentucky Enquirer file photo
The growing popularity of bourbon has sparked big dreams along the Ohio River and among the state’s leaders in Frankfort. An idea that began when Ken Lewis saw a surge in bourbon sales at his Party Source liquor store in Bellevue has taken shape with the stainless steel fermentation tanks now standing in front of his store on Ky. 8. Gov. Steve Beshear and other Kentucky leaders hope to help Lewis and Kentucky’s other 16 distilleries with tax credits and promotion to foster Kentucky’s signature liquor industry.
Despite cutbacks at Mammoth Cave National Park, there still are plenty of opportunities for the more than 500,000 people who visit the park annually. “Except for our heaviest days, most people will be able to get a cave tour,” park Superintendent Sarah Craighead told a group Monday. As part of complying with federal automatic spending cuts, the park did, at least for now, eliminate the Grand Avenue and Snowball tours, but that still leaves nine other tours.
Following recent expansions at Ford in Louisville and the General Motors Bowling Green Assembly Plant, an announcement of Toyota’s expansion further augments the automotive industry’s place in providing Kentuckians with jobs. Toyota’s $360 million expansion to build the Lexus ES 350 will mean 750 jobs for the Georgetown plant but will have ripple effects in the automotive supply industry that could touch southcentral Kentucky. Toyota will spend an additional $171 million to refurbish other parts of the plant.
For the first time, a Lexus vehicle will be produced in the United States and it will be made at the Georgetown Toyota plant. The formal announcement came this morning from officials in New York and Scott County. Governor Beshear says it means 750 new Kentucky jobs at Toyota. “We realize the care and the pride that you take in that vehicle and that it requires the utmost in a skilled workforce, not to mention top quality components. Your confidence in the quality of Kentucky’s workers, especially our team here in Georgetown is appreciated and well placed,” said Beshear.
Kentucky Space, a nonprofit focused on space research and education, has announced plans for a program to assist businesses with similar goals. Called Space Tango, the program will see investments in as many as six companies from across the country. Among the resources offered are technical and ground operations centers at the Morehead State University Space Science Center and the University of Kentucky Space Systems Laboratory. Kentucky Space also offers the ability to work with various NASA sites.
Toyota is planning an ambitious new project for its flagship Georgetown plant that might see it producing a new vehicle and adding 750 jobs. The news came Wednesday when the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority gave preliminary approval to $146.5 million in tax incentives for the project, which is shrouded in mystery. Katie Smith of the state's Cabinet for Economic Development told the KEDFA board that the project is a vehicle model that is new to the plant, which would produce 50,000 of them annually beginning in fall 2015. She declined to name the vehicle model.
Kentuckians concerned with agriculture, business and education spoke out in favor of the latest federal immigration proposal during a phone conference organized by the Partnership for a New American Economy. The immigration proposal is being considered in the U.S. Senate, thanks to a compromise by a group of eight senators from both political parties. The plan would create a 13-year path to citizens, expand work visas and attempts to tighten border security.
Weapons storage igloos at Bluegrass Army Depot, near Richmond.
Layoffs were announced today at the Bluegrass Army Depot near Richmond. Within a few months, at least 74 workers will lose their jobs, but another hundred are likely. In a sense, Colonel Brian Rogers is returning his command to a peace time footing. As America’s military commitment to Iraq and Afghanistan has shrunk, so has its need for munitions. The combat veteran says laying off workers is the hardest thing he’s ever done.
The group working to re-open the Kentucky Kingdom amusement park has gotten $10-million in sales tax credits from the Kentucky Tourism Development Finance Authority. The Kentucky Kingdom Redevelopment Company will release details of their plans for the park, including information on refurbished and new rides.
A close-up of the Cleveland Whiskey label. It debuted in early March across Northeast Ohio
Credit Brian Bull)
On a recent Friday night, Clevelanders squeeze shoulder-to-shoulder inside the Market Garden Brewery and Distillery. They’re here for the launch party of Cleveland Whiskey. It’s available straight on the rocks, or in a number of cocktails. Sam McNulty is Market Garden’s proprietor. “People are loving it. The only problem is, we’re running out of it right now. So we’re running to the store and getting some more.”
New data from the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet shows that coal production is down in Eastern Kentucky from previous years, and the region’s workforce is suffering. Coal production dropped more than 27 percent from 2011 to 2012 in Eastern Kentucky. This is the lowest production has been in the region since 1965. And as expected, coal mine employment fell in Eastern Kentucky too, by nearly 30 percent from the 2011 levels.
Summertime customers inspect produce offered by Berea College Farm.
Credit Berea College Farm.
Three roadside markets in Madison County have been added to a list created by the Kentucky Farm Bureau. The Farm Bureau program helps consumers find roadside stands that offer fresh produce and good customer service. Kentucky Farm Bureau President Mark Haney runs such a retail outlet.
Off-road parks are expanding into a new region of Kentucky. The privately-owned “Rush Off-Road Park” is situated just outside Ashland. The seven-thousand acre facility opens April 20th. Besides traditional off-road vehicles, Kentucky Adventure Tourism Assistant Director Seth Wheat says such parks also accommodate more recent designs. “And then, they also have trails that can accommodate your newer style side by side vehicles like Polaris Rangers and things of that sort. They’ve got trails for jeeps and four by four trucks that have been modified and customized to climbs rocks and climb hills,” said Wheat.
Amazon’s decision to build a customer service center in Winchester earned an award from a national magazine for investment and community impact. Trade & Industry Development magazine listed Amazon, General Electric in Louisville and Berry Plastics in Madisonville among the nation’s top 30 economic development projects from 2012 and winners of the magazine’s Corporate Investment & Community Impact Awards.
Michael Zovath, senior vice president and co-founder of the Ark Encounter, in the collection room of Answers in Genesis with animals whose ancestors he said would have been on Noah's Ark. The company plans to build 510-foot-long replica of Noah's Ark on a site in Grant County. The project is being planned by Answers in Genesis, the organization that built the Creation Museum in Boone County.
Credit Patrick Reddy/The Kentucky Enquirer file photo
Developers of the Ark Encounter theme park expect to begin construction this year at its Grant County site. The attraction, which developers estimate will draw 1.6 million visitors the first year, is envisioned as a full-scale wooden ark that would ultimately include museums, theaters, amenities, event venues and outdoor parking.
FRANKFORT – Site Selection magazine’s annual Governor’s Cup rankings have placed Kentucky 10th in the nation for new and expanded industry activity in 2012. In 2012, Kentucky announced 354 location or expansion projects, resulting in 14,075 projected new full-time jobs and a capital investment estimated at nearly $2.7 billion.
The Department of Labor is sending more than $5 million to Eastern Kentucky to help laid-off coal miners and their families. $5,192,500, to be exact. The federal government announced the emergency grant today. In a press release, the agency said the money would go to providing re-training for miners and their spouses.