Business and the Economy

1:54pm

Tue April 23, 2013
Business and the Economy

Federal Spending Cuts Reduce Services at Mammoth Cave

Credit Creative Commons

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.

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1:18pm

Sun April 21, 2013
Business and the Economy

Toyota Expansion Could Boost Automotive Industry in Kentucky

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.

2:53pm

Fri April 19, 2013
Business and the Economy

Lexus Production Coming to Georgetown

Credit Creative Commons

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.

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10:14am

Fri April 19, 2013
Business and the Economy

Toyota to Build Lexus ES in Georgetown

The 2013 Lexus ES 350
Credit Dewhurst Photography

Toyota executives and state officials announced Friday morning that the automaker’s flagship North American plant in Georgetown will begin building the Lexus ES 350 luxury sedan in 2015. It will be the first Lexus model to be manufactured in the United States. The project is expected to add 750 jobs, which will include temporary and contract workers. State documents suggest 570 of the 750 new jobs will be full-time employees.

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4:03pm

Thu April 18, 2013
Business and the Economy

Nonprofit Kentucky Space Launches Program to Assist Businesses

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.

12:47pm

Thu April 18, 2013
Business and the Economy

Toyota Plans Georgetown Expansion

Credit Creative Commons

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.

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1:43pm

Wed April 17, 2013
Business and the Economy

Kentucky Support for Immigration Reform

Credit Wikipedia Commons

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.

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12:14pm

Mon April 15, 2013
Business and the Economy

74 Layed off at Depot, 108 more Likely

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.

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4:58pm

Wed April 10, 2013
Business and the Economy

Agency Approves $10-Million in Sales Tax Incentives for Kentucky Kingdom

Credit File Photo

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.

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12:00am

Mon April 8, 2013
Business and the Economy

Cleveland Label Joins Spirited Race For “Quickie Whiskeys”

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.”

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2:19pm

Sun April 7, 2013
Business and the Economy

Convergys Corp. to Fill 400 Jobs

At its first job fair in nearly a year, Convergys Corp. saw 40 to 50 applicants file through the doors of its Erlanger call site during the first hour of the event Thursday afternoon. About 400 full and part-time customer service advocate jobs are available at its Erlanger call center site.

12:58pm

Thu April 4, 2013
Business and the Economy

Eastern Kentucky Coal Production Hits Lowest Level Since 1965

Credit Decumanus / Wikimedia Commons

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.

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2:37pm

Tue April 2, 2013
Business and the Economy

Maker's Mark Charity Bottle to Honor UK Basketball Great Dan Issel

Keeneland and Maker's Mark announced Monday that the latest signature charity bottle will honor University of Kentucky basketball great and Hall of Famer Dan Issel. Proceeds, estimated to be about $175,000, from the bottle will benefit the Gill Heart Institute at UK HealthCare. An all-American his senior year, Issel played for UK from 1967 to 1970 and remains the all-time leading scorer in men's basketball.

12:26pm

Mon April 1, 2013
Business and the Economy

More Consumers Travel for "Locally-Grown" Produce

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.

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1:37pm

Wed March 20, 2013
Business and the Economy

Off Road Park Expansion

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.

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1:44pm

Tue March 19, 2013
Business and the Economy

Kentucky Native Purchases Lonely Planet Travel Guide Company

Credit Shutterstock.com

A billionaire Kentucky native is buying the travel guide publisher Lonely Planet for $77.3 million. Lonely Planet's current owner—British broadcaster BBC Worldwide—announced on Tuesday the sale to NC2 Media, which is run by Daniel Houghton, a Western Kentucky University alum. He'll become Lonely Planet's chief operating officer, pending approval of the sale by the BBC Trust.

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12:34pm

Thu March 14, 2013
Business and the Economy

Amazon's Winchester Center Listed Among Top Development Projects

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.

10:17am

Mon March 11, 2013
Business and the Economy

Ark Park Construction to Start This Year

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.

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12:27pm

Tue March 5, 2013
Business and the Economy

Magazine Ranks Kentucky 10th in Nation for Industry Activity

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.

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5:40pm

Mon March 4, 2013
Business and the Economy

Department of Labor Announces Emergency Grant to Help Coal Miners

Credit Decumanus / Wikimedia Commons

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.

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2:35pm

Thu February 28, 2013
Business and the Economy

Report Says 61 Percent of Recent Graduates from State Colleges are Employed in Kentucky

Credit Creative Commons

FRANKFORT — A new report from the Kentucky Center for Education and Workforce Statistics shows 61 percent of graduates from the state’s public or private colleges in 2006 appear to be employed in Kentucky five years later. “This information is important to policymakers because it provides a preliminary gauge for the return-on-investment for education programs, and it helps us understand how likely our college graduates are to remain in Kentucky after they finish their credentials,” Charles McGrew, executive director of KCEWS, said in a statement.

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5:58am

Mon February 25, 2013
Business and the Economy

Gamers Abound in Lexington

Lexington is becoming a city known for its gamers.  Actually, it might be more appropriate to say the bluegrass town is a home to a significant number of on line game creators.  Jenna Greathouse is with Commerce Lexington, the city’s primary business collaborator.  “We’ve got an awful lot of young people here that are developing on line software games, so we’re trying to help build that cluster of companies.  So, we want people outside of Kentucky to know that we have the ability to do it here in Lexington and it’s actually taken place now,” said Greathouse.

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3:03pm

Fri February 22, 2013
Business and the Economy

Lexington's Peanut Butter Factory Improvements

The almost age old smell of roasting peanuts along Lexington’s Winchester road is expected to continue for years to come.  J.M. Smucker is investing more than 40 million dollars in Lexington’s Jif plant.   Daniel Lowry with the Kentucky Economic Development Cabinet says the investment is important for the state’s economy.  “They’re gonna make the plant better, you know they’re upgrading machinery.  They’ll expand their production line to meet increased demand.  So, things are going great for Jif.  That’s what we want to hear.  We want to make sure they can continue to compete and stay here in Kentucky,” said Lowry.

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1:11pm

Tue February 19, 2013
Business and the Economy

Grocery Stores Fighting Proposed Ban on Sales of Liquor and Wine

The Kroger Wine & Spirits store at Lexington's Hartland Shopping Center is separate from the Kroger grocery store. Liquor and grocery stores are waging a public relations battle over a legislative proposal that would prohibit wine and liquor sales in the actual grocery store.
Credit Lexington Herald-Leader

Kentucky grocery stores are fighting a proposal in this year's state legislature that would block their longtime goal of selling wine and liquor alongside other groceries. Some stores are distributing fliers to customers, urging them to tell their lawmakers to oppose House Bill 310. A consortium of grocers also ran full-page ads during the weekend against the legislation in newspapers in Lexington, Louisville, Ashland and Owensboro. Pushing the bill is a group formed late last year by independent liquor stores called Fighting Alcohol Consumption by Teens, or FACT.

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1:00pm

Tue February 19, 2013
Business and the Economy

State Agriculture Council Creates Five Year Strategic Plan

Credit Creative Commons

Kentucky's agriculture leaders are supporting a new five year strategic plan to help the industry in the state. The plan, put together by the Kentucky Agriculture Council, puts emphasis on agriculture education, creating new markets and recruiting new people to farming.

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3:38pm

Mon February 18, 2013
Business and the Economy

Bluegrass Army Depot Project Under Roof

Work on a plant that will neutralize chemical weapons at the Bluegrass Army Depot has hit a major milestone.    The Munitions Demilitarization Building is now under roof.  But work there could slow, unless Congress acts.  Site Project Manager Jeff Brubaker says the money could run out next month.  "We believe that additional funding will be made available shortly there after to keep the project moving forward.  However, we cannot with 100 percent certainty say that there may not be some impact later in the year,” said Brubaker.

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12:41pm

Sun February 17, 2013
Business and the Economy

Maker's Mark Decides Not to Reduce Alcohol by Volume

Credit Creative Commons

In response to criticism, Maker's Mark has decided not to reduce the alcohol by volume of its bourbon after all. The distillery had move to a 42-percent alcohol by volume; the switch back to the traditional 45-percent alcohol by volume is immediate. The Loretto, Ky., distillery has posted this statement to its website—which Sunday afternoon wasn't loading properly—and Facebook page.

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11:46am

Fri February 15, 2013
Business and the Economy

Keeneland Aims to Build Quarter Horse Racetrack Near Corbin

Credit Creative Commons

Imagine a top-flight racetrack in Eastern Kentucky with all the glamour and prestige of a premier entertainment venue married to the speed and electricity of Quarter Horse racing. Keeneland is envisioning just that. The Lexington Thoroughbred racetrack and sales company is teaming with Nevada-based Full House Resorts to buy the Thunder Ridge harness track in Prestonsburg for an undisclosed price and reinvent it as a Quarter Horse racetrack in the Corbin area, according to an exclusive story in Friday's Lexington Herald-Leader.

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12:39pm

Thu February 14, 2013
Business and the Economy

Lexington Home Sales Up 17 Percent in 2012

Credit Creative Commons

Since the recession that began in 2007, Lexington's housing market has been seeking a bottom from which to build. The market found it in 2012. Last year marked the first time since the mid-2000s that home sales grew compared to the year before, according to data released recently by the Fayette County Property Valuation Administrator's office. "That should be considered very encouraging," PVA David O'Neill said.

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12:52pm

Tue February 12, 2013
Business and the Economy

Kentucky Kingdom Group "Encouraged" By First Impressions

Ed Hart speaks to media outside of the Kentucky Kingdom amusement park.

Officials leading to group that’s expected to reopen the Kentucky Kingdom amusement park say their team is on the ground and money has been spent. The state fair board approved a lease agreement last month with the Kentucky Kingdom Redevelopment Company led by local businessman Ed Hart, who once operated the park before Six Flags took over. Hart's group agreed to spend $45 million in private funding over the first few years to reopen the park that’s been closed since 2009.

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