Business

Business
10:33 am
Mon March 18, 2013

Kentucky's AG Backing Federal Legislation on For-Profit Colleges

Kentucky’s attorney general is supporting federal legislation to curb recruiting abuses by for-profit colleges.

Jack Conway and 13 attorneys general are supporting the Protecting Financial Aid for Students and Taxpayers Act sponsored by Sen. Kay R. Hagan (D-NC) and Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA).

The bill restricts colleges and universities from using federal financial aid for recruitment, advertising, and marketing purposes. 

"I support higher education and students who seek a degree to create a better life for their families, but many times I see those dreams turn to nightmares when students fall prey to a fast sales pitch from a for-profit college with a questionable reputation," Conway said. "The students end up with tens of thousands of dollars in debt and no degree."

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Business
12:42 pm
Thu March 14, 2013

As Session Nears Close, Kentucky Legislators Grapple with Smelter Issue

With only two days left in this year's Kentucky General Assembly session, time is running out for supporters of legislation meant to keep two western Kentucky aluminum smelters—which employ about 3,000 people—from closing.

Under state law, the smelters are required to purchase electricity from the nearest company—Big Rivers Electric, in this case.  The smelters say lower aluminum prices have them struggling to pay the bills; they're asking for more options for where they get electricity.

Their legislative supporters want to let the smelters purchase electricity on the open market.

Opponents argue that giving the smelters lower rates or open market options would increase prices for the average customer.

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Business
1:33 pm
Tue March 12, 2013

Gov. Beshear to Lead Kentucky Trade Mission to Canada

Gov. Steve Beshear will lead an international business trade mission to Canada this summer. The trip will be the first-ever trade mission of the Kentucky Export Initiative, and will be aimed at boosting commerce between the Bluegrass State and America’s northern neighbor.

Canada already serves as Kentucky’s number one export destination, with the commonwealth exporting $7.3 billion in products and services there in 2012. That’s more than four times the total goods and services exported to Kentucky’s number two trading partner, Mexico.

The Kentucky trade mission will take place June 4-7 in Toronto.

Business
9:27 am
Tue March 5, 2013

Kentucky Bourbon Trail Honored by National Geographic

Bourbon barrels rest in a warehouse at Woodford Reserve, one of the stops on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.
Credit Kevin Willis

Kentucky’s signature spirit is getting some love from a well-respected publication.

National Geographic has designated the Kentucky Bourbon Trail as one of its top 10 "Best Spring Trips."

The Kentucky tourism attraction is showcased along with excursions and festivals in New Zealand, India, the Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, South Africa and Argentina.

Only three American trips made the top 10.

The Bourbon Trail attracted more than 500,000 visitors in 2012, the first time the tour has broken the half-million mark since its creation in 1999 by the Kentucky Distillers' Association.

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Business
6:47 am
Tue March 5, 2013

U.S. Labor Dept. Grants $5 Million for Kentucky Coal Miners

The U.S. Department of Labor has announced a $5.2 million grant for out-of-work coal miners in eastern Kentucky.

The grant will fund re-employment services for miners who have been laid off. A statement from the Labor Department Monday says the funding will also help spouses of coal miners in the region who are looking to re-enter the workforce.

This grant was awarded to the Eastern Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program. The program will train out-of-work miners and spouses to work in other industries in the region including business services, construction and health care.

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Business
12:11 pm
Sat March 2, 2013

That's the Spirit(s): Owensboro Bar Aiming for Biggest Bourbon Collection in the World

A Daviess County restaurant and bar is on a quest to offer the world's largest selection of bourbons.

The Messenger-Inquirer reports Spirits at The Miller House in downtown Owensboro currently has at least 200 types of bourbon in stock on a daily basis. That's double what it had a year ago.

General manager Aaron King said that number puts it among bars with the largest selection of bourbons in stock. He said there are about 250 different bourbons.

"There are bars that claim they have 120 bourbons and say that's the largest collection and there are bars that say they have 250 bourbons," King said. "But when you go there, they aren't all in stock."

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Business
4:08 pm
Fri March 1, 2013

U.S. Bank Expanding in Owensboro, Adding 332 New Jobs

U.S. Bank plans to expand its mortgage operations in Owensboro, adding a new facility and 332 jobs to its operations in Daviess County.

The bank’s investment, announced Friday afternoon, comes at a time of increased demand for mortgage services in the area, and represents a $15.2 million commitment. U.S. Bank is the fifth-largest bank in the country, and currently has 1,900 employees in Owensboro.

As part of the expansion, U.S. Bank has been given preliminary approval for $2.8 million dollars in tax incentives through the Kentucky Business Investment program.

Business
8:06 am
Mon February 25, 2013

Owensboro Benefitting from Sports Tourism, with Several New Projects on Tap

The Owensboro Sportscenter
Credit visitowensboro.org

Sports tourism is expected to have a $20 million impact on the Owensboro community this year.

Jared Bratcher is sports marketing director for the Owensboro-Daviess County Convention & Visitors Bureau.

He told the Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer there will be more than 50 tournaments, including figure skating, hockey, baseball, running, soccer, softball, basketball, tennis, volleyball, fishing and football.

There's some type of tournament in town every month and they will fill every hotel room in the city on 10 weekends this year.

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Business
5:00 pm
Mon February 18, 2013

Maker's Mark Leaders "Humbled" But Ready to Move Forward After Recent Setback

Rob Samuels (left), and Bill Samuels, Jr. at Maker's Mark offices in Loretto
Credit Kevin Willis

Audio of WKU Public Radio's interview with Rob Samuels and Bill Samuels, Jr.

WKU Public Radio spoke Monday with two Kentuckians who were the key players behind a decision to lower the proof of Maker's Mark, one of the most famous bourbons in the world.

After being overwhelmed by negative reaction by fans, Maker's Mark Chief Operating Officer Rob Samuels and his father, Chairman Emeritus Bill Samuels, Jr., reversed course Sunday and announced they would leave Maker's Mark at 90 proof.

The Samuels initially decided to lower the proof in order to bottle more bourbon to meet growing demand in the U.S. and internationally.

Here are some excerpts of WKU Public Radio's conversation with the Samuels:

Rob Samuels, Chief Operating Officer of Maker's Mark:

"My father and I, and the team here at the distillery, spent a lot of time on... could we extend the supply and maintain the taste--and that's where we spent all of our time and attention. Because we received a lot of feedback from bartenders, restaurateurs, and package store owners that were having trouble getting Maker's Mark, and they were very unhappy and confused by that."

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Business
11:27 am
Sun February 17, 2013

After Fan Backlash, Maker's Mark Reverses Decision on Lower Alcohol Content

One of the world's most famous bourbons won't get watered down after all.

Maker's Mark announced Sunday in a Facebook post that the company is reversing course and will not change the alcohol by volume in its whiskey.

"(We) are reversing our decision to lower the ABV of Maker’s Mark, and resuming production at 45% alcohol by volume (90 proof). Just like we’ve made it since the very beginning," the company said in the Facebook message signed by Chief Operating Officer Rob Samuels, and his father, Chairman Emeritus Bill Samuels.

A representative from Maker's Mark told WKU Public Radio that the company's website crashed at one point Sunday due to the massive amount of interest in Maker's decision to reverse course and maintain its current alcohol by volume.

The representative said the company was able to get the website back up and running later Sunday afternoon.

The decision to change the alcohol content of their product led to a backlash by many bourbon lovers, who flooded the Loretto, Ky., distillery with negative comments. Maker's Mark officials said the lower alcohol by volume wouldn't impact the bourbon's flavor, but that wasn't enough to quell the controversy.

Here is a copy of the Facebook message posted by Maker's Mark Sunday:

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