9:00 am
Wed November 19, 2014

Owensboro City Commission Supports Issuing $25 Million in Bonds to Build Riverport Processing Plant

Owensboro City Commissioners are throwing their support behind a plan to build a new processing plant at the city’s riverport.

At a meeting Tuesday night, commissioners praised the plan that would be financed by $25 million  of city issued bonds. The Messenger-Inquirer reports an ordinance authorizing the bonds will likely come up for a final vote next month.

Under the plan, a new milling facility would be built in partnership with Solvay Chemicals. While the city would issue the bonds used to pay for the project, the Riverport Authority would be responsible for repaying the cost of the bonds over ten years.

The estimated economic impact of the new processing facility is between $45 million and $65 million.

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9:31 am
Fri November 7, 2014

Kroger Stores to Sell Kentucky Proud Products

Farmers and small businesses participating in the Kentucky Proud program have landed new venues for their products at Kroger stores across the state.

State Agriculture Commissioner James Comer said Thursday that Kroger will sell 125 products from 34 Kentucky Proud producers. The products will be sold at 88 stores throughout Kentucky.

Comer said the initial purchase filled a 10,000-square-foot warehouse and totaled $350,000. He said that's a record for a single transaction in the history of Kentucky Proud.

Tim McGurk with Kroger's Louisville division says the chain's Kentucky stores have offered a variety of locally sourced products. But he says the partnership with Kentucky Proud is taking the "Buy Local" initiative to a new level.

At the Lexington announcement, Comer also showed two television commercials that will support the Kentucky Proud launch.

5:51 pm
Wed November 5, 2014

Nearly 80 Tennessee Municipalities Approve Wine Sales in Groceries

Seventy-eight Tennessee communities OK'd a referendum this week to allow supermarkets to begin selling wine.

Seventy-eight Tennessee municipalities have passed a referendum for wine to be sold in supermarkets.

They collected enough signatures to place the referendum on the Tennessee ballot Tuesday. Final voting results show all the communities passed the measure.

Currently, wine can be sold only in liquor stores. Because of a state law passed earlier this year, wine can be sold by grocery and convenience stores starting in July 2016 in the communities where citizens vote for the change.

Supermarkets and convenience stores can sell beer containing up to 6.5 percent alcohol by volume. Anything stronger can be sold only in package stores, which, as of July 1, are able to sell items other than booze, such as beer, mixers, glasses, corkscrews, food and cigarettes.

12:17 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

Western Kentucky Manufacturer Breaks Ground on $350M Expansion

The largest employer in western Kentucky's Hancock County is breaking ground on an expansion so that it can begin manufacturing aluminum sheet for vehicle bodies.

Aleris officials say the company hopes to start shipping the aluminum sheet by early 2017. The company's 1.6 million-square-foot mill in Lewisport employs about 800 people and has been open since 1964.

The Messenger-Inquirer reports Governor Steve Beshear and U.S. Representative Brett Guthrie were expected to attend Wednesday's groundbreaking for the $350 million expansion.

Beshear said in September when the expansion was announced that it was the single largest investment by a company in Kentucky in more than a year. He said Kentucky's aluminum industry added more than $2 billion to Kentucky's gross domestic product last year and accounts for more than 20,000 state jobs.

10:57 am
Tue October 21, 2014

Distillers' Association, State Trumpet Rapid Growth of Kentucky Bourbon Industry

Credit Abbey Oldham/WKU Public Radio

Kentucky’s bourbon industry keeps growing by leaps and bounds.  Highly-anticipated numbers released Tuesday morning show the industry nearly doubled the number of jobs it supports in Kentucky, from just under 8,700 in 2012 to 15,400 this year. 

The study was conducted by the Kentucky Agriculture Development Fund and the Kentucky Distillers Association.

The study also shows the impact on the state’s agriculture industry. Bourbon makers buy 40 percent of the grain they use from Kentucky farmers, translating into 56 million in sales.  It also means 1,360 agriculture jobs are supported by the bourbon industry. 

The report also says Kentucky farmers have the capacity to provide up to 80 percent of the bourbon industry’s grains.

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2:12 pm
Wed October 8, 2014

Kentucky Shares in Nationwide Settlement with AT&T

Kentucky will benefit from a $105 million national settlement with AT&T over fraudulent billing practices. 

The settlement resolves allegations that AT&T Mobility placed charges for third-party services on consumers’ mobile phone bills that had not been authorized by the consumer, a practice known as “mobile cramming.” 

Consumers who have been crammed often complain about charges for premium text message subscription services such as horoscopes, trivia, and sports scores that they have never heard of or requested.

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4:25 am
Mon October 6, 2014

Lake Cumberland Reports Strong Summer

Credit U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Tax revenues and tourist spending were up during the summer at Lake Cumberland thanks to water levels that returned to normal after being down for several years.

Carolyn Mounce, the head of the Somerset-Pulaski Convention & Visitors Bureau, says marina operators were happy this season with the lake traffic.

The southern Kentucky lake's dam underwent major repairs beginning in 2007. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which operates Wolf Creek dam, lowered lake levels by 40 feet to ease pressure on the leaking structure. The repairs have since been completed.

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1:00 pm
Thu October 2, 2014

Leader of Kentucky Distillery Association Hints New Report to Show Major Growth in Bourbon Business

Woodford Reserve in Versailles is one of the eight members of Kentucky's Bourbon Trail.
Credit Abbey Oldham

With Kentucky’s bourbon industry continuing to expand, the head of a distiller’s association says the state could soon become “the next Napa Valley.” He also believes bourbon-related tourism could someday help economically-challenged counties in eastern Kentucky.

Every two years the University of Louisville produces an economic impact study focusing on the bourbon industry. The last study, in 2012, showed the industry was responsible for over 9,000 jobs in Kentucky, with over $125 million dollars in taxes going to state and local governments.

Speaking to CN-2 Pure Politics, Kentucky Distillery Association President Eric Gregory said the preliminary numbers he saw from the latest report were so incredible that he asked researchers to double-check their findings. Then he asked them to triple-check the numbers.

Gregory says the report will be made public soon.

He adds that he hopes someday bourbon-related tourism will stretch into Appalachia, with distilleries someday opening in the region. But first, Gregory said, counties wanting to be home to a distillery will have to vote to become “wet”, meaning that alcohol can be legally sold there.

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7:31 am
Mon September 29, 2014

Report: Audio Feature on New Corvettes May Be Illegal

Another glitch in the new 2015 Corvette, built at the Bowling Green Assembly Plant, is coming to light. General Motors is warning owners not to use the "Valet Mode" of the Performance Data Recorder to secretly record audio in their cars because many states have laws against recording someone without his or knowledge.

GM posted a notice to dealers on a website for Corvette owners last week explaining the problem and saying a software update due next month should take care of the issue.

USA Today is reporting that, in the meantime, if owners choose to use the surreptitious recording system, they must tell everyone in the car a recording is taking place and obtain their permission.

Earlier this month GM asked dealers to stop delivery of about 2,000 cars until a part that attached the air bag to the steering wheel was fixed. Another 800 Corvettes, mostly already at dealerships, were being held because only one of the rear parking brake cables may have been fully engaged.

Both problems have been taken care of and those cars were released last week.

9:21 am
Wed September 24, 2014

Aleris Announces $350 Million Expansion in Hancock County

Aleris has an aluminum rolling mill in Lewisport, Ky.
Credit Aleris

An aluminum manufacturer says it will invest $350 million to expand its facilities in Hancock County.

According to the Governor’s Office, the announcement Wednesday by Aleris Corporation is the largestsingle project investment in Kentucky in over a year. The expansion in Lewisport will include the additionof new technology that will help create parts for the automotive industry as it shifts to broader aluminum use to make lighter vehicles.

The 1.6 million-square-foot facility in Hancock County employs approximately 800 people.

Construction is set to begin this fall, and Aleris hopes to begin shipping automotive body sheet to customers by early 2017.