The same kind of plastic cards used to track purchases at grocery stores will soon be used to track Lexington’s job seekers. Lexington Social Services Commissioner Beth Mills says the new cards will be issued to individuals who go to the Kentucky Jobs Center for help. Mills says they’ll then swipe the card whenever they return to the center.
A delegation from Kentucky is working to expand its business relationship with the state’s number one trading partner. The Governor, along with representatives from over 20 companies, meet this week with Canadian officials. Kentucky Economic Development Cabinet Spokesman Daniel Lowry says even a strong trade relationship can grow stronger.
Smithfield Foods is being sold to China’ largest pork producer. Saying it’s a great day for American farmers, Smithfield Foods President and CEO Larry Pope has announced his company is being sold to Shuanghui International Holdings Limited, China’s largest meat processing enterprise and largest meat trading company. It’s believed to be the largest takeover of an American company by a Chinese one. The purchase price is $4.7 billion.
Your online purchases could alleviate some of Kentucky's budget woes. The federal legislation that allows states to collect sales taxes from more online retailers would benefit the Kentucky state budget, argues a policy group focused on economic policy. If such legislation passed, Kentucky could gain $130 million to $200 million in revenue per year, the state's Blue Ribbon Tax Commission has estimated.
Unemployment rates decreased in 49 Kentucky counties between April 2012 and April this year, while 63 county rates rose and eight stayed the same, according to the Kentucky Office of Employment and Training. Woodford County recorded the lowest jobless rate in the state at 5.4 percent. It was followed by Oldham County, 5.6 percent; Fayette County, 5.9 percent; Ohio and Shelby counties, 6 percent each; Daviess and Scott counties, 6.1 percent each; Franklin and Hancock counties, 6.2 percent each; and Boone, Henderson, Madison and Spencer counties, 6.3 percent, according to a state news release.
A scheduled second reading of an ordinance that would open hotel and motel guest registries to inspection by public-safety officials was tabled by the Nicholasville City Commission during a special-called meeting Monday afternoon. During the meeting, city leaders heard from representatives from three Nicholasville lodging facilities who expressed concern over how the ordinance was written. Prior to the discussion, Mayor Russ Meyer had already told the managers that the issue would be tabled until a future date.
After Kentucky won the 2012 NCAA basketball title, Fan Outfitters employee Nic Johnson brought out an armload of championship T-shirts.
Credit Lexington Herald Leader
Fan Outfitters, a Lexington-based chain of sports clothing stores started by two members of the Dawahare family, has been sold to the Lids Sports Group, based in Indianapolis. The company, which operates Lids hat stores, including one in Fayette Mall, and other sports retail operations, announced the acquisition in a news release last week. The deal includes Fan Outfitters' seven stores and its online retail operation. The price was not disclosed. Read more...
Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted preliminary unemployment rate fell to 7.9 percent in April from 8 percent in March 2013, according to the Office of Employment and Training (OET), an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet. The preliminary April 2013 jobless rate was .3 percentage points below the 8.2 percent rate recorded for the state in April 2012.
A new collaboration between a bourbon distillery and the military will give soldiers a place to relax—and introduce them to one of Kentucky's signature products. Liquor producer Brown-Forman has teamed up with the U.S. Army to open a Woodford Reserve bourbon lounge at Fort Knox. Soldiers and Brown-Forman executives opened the Woodford Reserve Room on Wednesday afternoon. Read more...
CastlePost, open since 2008, is profitable but "could be more" so if it had a restaurant, general manger Charles Martin says.
Credit David Perry / Lexington Herald Leader
The CastlePost Restaurant is scheduled to open Friday to the public. Owner Tom Post said Monday that he wants customers to "have the most fabulous dinner that they would ever have." Translation: This won't be a beans-and-cornbread kind of place. Some of the menu items include butter poached lobster canneloni, foie gras-stuffed duck breast and lemon curd tart. And as you might guess, the food is not inexpensive. Read more..
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.”