The Chairman Emeritus of Maker's Mark blames himself for the company's recent decision to lower the proof of its famous bourbon. Bill Samuels Jr., the son of the founder of Maker's Mark, tells the Courier-Journal he failed to foresee the worldwide surge in demand for Kentucky's famous spirit.
Maker's Mark has announced it will dilute its bourbon from 45 percent alcohol by volume, to 42 percent, so that more whiskey can be bottled to meet demand.
"I was the forecaster in chief around here...I must have been asleep at the wheel," Samuels told the newspaper.
State economic development officials say auto transmission products supplier U.S. Tsubaki Automotive plans to expand its facility in Portland, TN, adding 70 jobs in the process. The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development says the company's expansion in Sumner County represents a $1.9 million investment.
Tsubaki Automotive offers state of the art power transmission products. The company supplies complete chain drive systems for engines and transmissions, including cam drives, balancer drives and oil pump drives. The systems typically include chains, tensioners, guides and sprockets.
Tsubaki's customers include General Motors, Ford, Toyota, Nissan and Honda. The company plans to host a job fair February 11th at the Sumner County Career Center.
Legislation introduced in both the Kentucky House and Senate is designed to help keep aluminum smelter jobs in the northwestern Kentucky region of Daviess, Henderson, Hancock, and Webster counties.
The Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer reports Sen. Joe Bowen and Rep. Tommy Thompson, both of Daviess County, have introduced identical bills in their respective chambers. Bowen told the newspaper the legislation is aimed at allowing Century Aluminum in Hawesville to buy electricity on the open wholesale electricity market.
That is currently not allowed under state law.
Last summer, Century, which employs 700 workers, announced it would shutter its smelter unless either the price of metal went up or its electric rates dropped. The smelter terminated its contract with Henderson-based Big Rivers Electric Corp. Before that, Century was Big Rivers largest customer.
SERVPRO of Pulaski and Laurel Counties will establish its headquarters in London, create ten new, full-time jobs and invest $666,500 in the area.
The company specializes in in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial properties after fire, smoke or water damage. SERVPRO, in London since 2005, has constructed a 15,000 square foot facility to serve as its regional headquarters.
To encourage the investment and job creation in London, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority preliminarily approved tax incentives for the company of up to $300,000 through the Kentucky Business Investment program.
South-Central Kentucky area House members from both sides of the aisle are teaming up to push legislation that could send millions of dollars to the Bowling Green-Warren County Regional Airport over the next five years to expand flights and services.
The Bowling Green Daily News reports the bill's sponsors include Democratic Representatives Jody Richards of Bowling Green and Wilson Stone of Scottsville, and Republican Bowling Green Representative Jim DeCesare of Bowling Green.
Yet to be determined is which airline route, either to Chicago or Atlanta, would best serve the airport's business customers if a commercial service is landed. Also under consideration is a less than daily flight with a leisure carrier.
If approved, the bill would direct $2 million for each of the next five fiscal years to communities that already have federal Small Community Service Grants. Bowling Green has received a $500,000 grant in that category.
Another western Kentucky aluminum smelter has given notice that it intends to shut down in a year because of increasing electric rates.
Media reported the Rio Tinto Alcan aluminum smelter in the Webster County town of Sebree gave notice Friday of its intention to follow the lead of Century Aluminum in Hawesville. Century filed its notice in August.
The notice from Rio Tinto Alcan comes as Big Rivers Electric Corp. seeks a substantial rate increase citing the impending loss of Century, its biggest customer.
Rio Tinto Alcan spokesman Kenny Barkley said Big Rivers is seeking a rate increase from $50 per megawatt now to $60 per megawatt, and that rate isn't sustainable. The smelter has 488 employees.
Kobe Automotive Products plans to invest more than $66 million in their plant at the South Industrial Park for both a building expansion and new equipment.
In November, the company announced an $11 million investment for an additional 39,000 square feet of space and up to 20 new jobs. That expansion is now complete.
Most of Kobe's new investment, $44.2 million, will go toward purchasing new equipment to expand their product line of forged aluminum suspension products. In addition, $20 million will be spent on a new building project. There was no mention of any new jobs being created by the expansion.
Another change in Kentucky’s financial outlook has the state’s business leaders calling on the General Assembly for immediate pension reforms.
Standard and Poor’s has changed Kentucky’s outlook to negative, citing the state's large unfunded pension obligations as the main reason.
In response, the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, as well as 50 other business groups, held a news conference to demand that lawmakers pass the recommendations from last year’s pension task force as they were presented.
Chamber President and former Owensboro mayor David Adkission said the change is the best reason for why reforms need to happen soon.
Supporters of a bill to allow supermarkets and convenience stores to sell wine are scheduled to unveil the details of their legislative proposal Thursday. State Senator Bill Ketron of Murfreesboro and fellow Republican Representative Jon Lundberg of Bristol are the main sponsors of the measure that would end the exclusive right of liquor stores to sell wine in Tennessee.
The measure is expected to seek to put the option of whether to allow wider wine sales o the voters in local cities and counties. The Republican House and Senate speakers support the change. But opponents argue the change would unfairly disrupt the existing business rules that liquor store owners invested under, and that the measure would make higher-alcohol drinks more widely available to minors.
General Motors is enhancing its footprint in Bowling Green. Officials gathered at the Corvette plant Wednesday to announce a $3.5 million investment. The automaker is moving its performance built center from Michigan to Bowling Green.
The center specializes in building high performance engines. GM Manufacturing Manager Arvin Jones says the move is expected to create or retain 20 jobs.
“We’re working out the details with the international union and ourselves on how we’re going to bring those folks down, but they have the right to follow the work," said Jones.