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Simpson County Detention Center/Facebook

Several inmates from the Simpson County Detention Center now have jobs at private companies under a new program called SCORE. 

Three men and two women are the first inmates taking part in the program called “Second Chance Offender Rehabilitation and Education” or SCORE.

Deputy Jailer Ashley Penn is program director for the jail. She said the inmates found their own jobs, went on interviews, got hired, and at the beginning of this month, began working at local companies.

Lisa Howlett

One of Logan County’s oldest manufacturers plans to expand operations in China with a business deal that’s expected to close June 1.  Auburn Leather is selling its leather laces division to ISA Tan Tec, which is an international tanning operation. 

Auburn Leather supplies many shoe brands that have factories in China.  President Lisa Howlett says the company needs a greater Chinese presence so it can get its products to market faster. 

Flickr/Creative Commons/Pete Prodoehl

A company that produces aluminum is adding more than 250 jobs and investing over $100 million to improve one of its smelters in Kentucky.

Gov. Matt Bevin announced Wednesday that Century Aluminum will invest roughly $116.5 million for improvements to the smelter in Hawesville and bring back more than 250 full-time jobs. In the fall 2015, Century closed three potlines and laid off about 320 workers at the smelter in a dispute over electricity prices.

Rhonda J. Miller

The Hub in the small town of Hartford in rural Ohio County is a co-working space, business incubator and training site. After getting a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to train eight county residents, at no cost to them, in a $12,000 coding boot camp, The Hub has a second offering - a chance to be trained as a virtual assistant, also at no cost to the residents. The deadline to apply is April 7.

A virtual assistant is someone who manages an office remotely, doing tasks like bookkeeping, scheduling appointments, research or posting products online for e-commerce.

Kentucky residents who use Facebook are among 50 million people asking if their personal information is part of what may be a massive breach of privacy. Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear said  he’s trying to find out.

The British political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica got information on 50 million Facebook users apparently targeted to influence voters in the 2016 election.

Public Domain

Kentucky’s attorney general is taking another opioid distributor to court.  Andy Beshear has now filed four lawsuits against pharmaceutical companies which he says are responsible for an influx of addictive painkillers into the state. 

In a news conference on Thursday, Beshear announced that he is suing AmerisourceBergen for what he alleges are deceptive business practices that have flooded the commonwealth with opioids.  In the lawsuit filed in Floyd Circuit Court, Beshear accuses the company of violating laws that require pharmaceutical companies to notify law enforcement of suspiciously large volumes of opioids coming into the state.

J. Tyler Frankin

Gov. Matt Bevin was non-committal when asked what he thinks of President Donald Trump’s proposal to institute tariffs on foreign-made steel and aluminum.

The policy could benefit Kentucky aluminum manufacturers like Braidy Industries — the company that Bevin helped attract to the state with a package of economic incentives — and Century Aluminum, which announced it would hire 300 new workers in Hancock County if the tariff went into effect.

President Trump made coal jobs a core of his presidential campaign, repeatedly vowing to bring back "beautiful" coal despite the industry's decades-long decline. And in pockets of the U.S. during Trump's first year in office, it may well have felt like a turnaround was underway.

A review of data from the Mine Safety and Health Administration shows 1,001 more U.S. coal jobs last year compared with 2016, although energy analysts say the reasons are short term and have nothing to do with White House policies.

Rhonda J. Miller

It’s Monday evening, the time every week when a few residents of Ohio County, Kentucky gather at The Hub in the small town of Hartford for coding boot camp.  Coding is a precise set of instructions that tells a computer what to do.

“I have to enter something in every field, but I should be able to put something in there, so if I skip over a field it still counts as a token somehow,” said Cindy Sandefur as she goes over her progress in the computer programming language Java in a two-way video conference with instructor Patrick Toner of The Software Guild.

"So what you’ll do is you’ll ask them to enter all of the fields." said Toner. "And you know how you’re calling the setters  on the fields, whenever you get the stuff. They don’t enter any information, just don’t call the setter." 


Bill to Preserve Liquor License Quotas in Kentucky Advances

Feb 14, 2018
Rick Howlett

In the world's bourbon capital, an effort to eliminate a quota system limiting the number of liquor licenses is getting strong pushback from some Kentucky lawmakers.

A bill that won initial committee approval Tuesday aims to block Republican Gov. Matt Bevin's administration from ending quotas on the number of licenses available for retail package liquor stores and by-the-drink liquor sales. That system determines how many of the licenses are granted based on the population of a county or community.

Kevin Willis

Kentucky’s bourbon distilleries continue to gain popularity as a tourist destination.

A statement from the Kentucky Distillers’ Association says nearly 1.2 million people visited the 23 members of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail and Bourbon Trail Craft tour last year.

The number of visitors has grown by 314 percent over the past ten years.

Rick Howlett

Alcohol regulators in Kentucky have filed a proposal that would repeal rules limiting the number of licenses available for retail package liquor stores and by-the-drink liquor sales.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports the proposed administrative regulations are stirring opposition. The Kentucky Alcoholic Beverage Control Board filed the proposal last month.

Retired Southern Baptist minister Donald R. Cole of Webster County says he fears "a bar or liquor store on every other corner" if the new regulations take effect.

Owensboro Riverport

The Owensboro Riverport is moving forward with a rail expansion in the new year that will add space for automobile frame manufacturer Metalsa as it steps up production.

The $1.5 million rail loop project at the riverport is getting the majority of funding from a federal grant to improve air quality. That’s because Mexico-based Metalsa Structural Products is investing nearly $37 million in an expansion that will add 113 jobs at its Owensboro plant. That means a lot more auto frames will be produced and have to be shipped by either by truck or rail.

Rhonda J Miller

South central Kentucky is expected to have 22,000 open jobs in the next five years. That’s going to intensify the current shortage of workers in the state - an issue that’s facing the entire country.

One Warren County company saw refugees arriving at the International Center in Bowling Green as the way to get ahead of the competition for quality employees. 


J. Tyler Franklin

The CEO of an aluminum mill slated to open in eastern Kentucky claims the company will be able to sell aluminum for 50 percent cheaper than its competitors, allowing it to pay workers $65,000-per-year starting salaries.

This spring, Braidy is scheduled to break ground on the $1.3 billion plant, which will be located in an industrial park that straddles Greenup, Boyd and Carter Counties.

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