Business

Bourbon
3:06 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

Kentucky Bourbon Festival in Bardstown Looks to Outperform Last Year's Effort

The Jim Beam distillery is in Clermont, about 15 miles from Bardstown, where the Kentucky Bourbon Festival is taking place.
Credit Kevin Willis

One of commonwealth’s signature industries will be celebrated this week as the annual Kentucky Bourbon Festival runs from Tuesday to Sunday in Bardstown.

The six day festival includes numerous events for both bourbon enthusiasts and teetotalers.

There are tastings, barrel-making demonstrations, cooking classes, and a 5-K run and walk.

The growth of premium small-batch bourbons and the spirit’s colorful history have contributed to its unprecedented growth in recent years.    

Festival executive director Linda Harrison says scores of people will line up for an autograph from Kentucky’s master distillers this week.

“Wonderful people, and they love to talk about bourbon and how much they love their craft,” Harrison said.

One of the more sought-after figures is Jimmy Russell, who’s been making Wild Turkey bourbon for 60 years at the distillery near Lawrenceburg.

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Business
11:54 am
Mon September 8, 2014

Major Appliance Maker To Open R&D Facility in Evansville

A Haier factory in Camden, S.C.
Credit Haier

A 30,000 square foot product research and development tech center is coming to Evansville. Haier America says the center will employ 50 new workers in what it calls “high-wage jobs”.  Haier makes home appliances and consumer electronics.

“Today’s announcement is also a symbolic victory for our region and signifies a re-emergence in the appliance industry in a city with a strong manufacturing history of producing refrigerators and large appliances,” said Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke in a written release.

The tech center in Evansville is expected to open by early next year. 

Business
9:21 pm
Tue September 2, 2014

Tom Hanks Typewriter App Created By Hitcents Team In Bowling Green

Stuart Westphal was the lead designer on the Hanx Writer app, a program that simulates a vintage typewriter for the iPad
Credit Hitcents

A new iPad app that attempts to recreate the experience of banging away at a manual typewriter is the brainchild of actor Tom Hanks and the creative minds at Hitcents in Bowling Green. 

Stuart Westphal was the point man for Hitcents on the project called “Hanx Writer”. Westphal says more than 20 members of the Hitcents team worked together to create the app. Designs for the project were inspired by actual manual typewriters.  

“It was actually a lot of fun,” said Westphal. “Tom sent three of his vintage typewriters to our Bowling Green office, which is our headquarters here at Hitcents. We unboxed them and it was kind of like a little holiday here at the office.”

Down to the smallest detail, the app is meant to replicate the look and sound of using a typewriter.

“Every opportunity that we get to go that extra mile, even if it’s something that not everybody would pay attention to, that’s important to us, and that goes all the way down to our code,” said Westphal.

Hear Tom Hanks’ interview with NPR’s Audie Cornish about the “Hanx Writer.” 

Business
1:23 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

Budge Industries Expanding Operations in Henderson County

An automotive parts manufacturer is expanding its operations in Henderson County.

Budge Industries creates protective covers for vehicles, and announced Friday that it will expand its 75,000 square-foot facilities and create up to 37 new jobs. The $650,000 investment by the company will allow it to add new production lines at its Henderson County operation, as well as new ultrasonic welding equipment.

The expansion was approved for $200,000 worth of tax incentives through the Kentucky Business Investment program.

Business
12:52 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

Princeton, Indiana Toyota Plant To Add 300 New Workers

Highlanders roll off the line at the Princeton, Indiana production facility
Credit Toyota

A southwestern Indiana city celebrated an announcement Friday morning, that promises to bring 300 new jobs to town.

Toyota says it will add 70,000 square feet to its production facility that produces The Highlander in Gibson County. Toyota says that means 300 new jobs and a $100 million investment. 

The Princeton Toyota plant already employs some 4,500 workers and turns out Highlanders, Sequoias and Sienna minivans.

12:09 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

"Bourbonism" Having Major Impact on Business, Tourism in Kentucky's Largest City

Angel's Envy, Michter's, and Evan Williams are just a few of the names highlighting Louisville's growing trade in bourbon.
The worldwide bourbon boom emanating from Kentucky has an increasingly Louisville address. At 120 N. 10th St., on the western edge of downtown, Corky Taylor is turning a former tobacco market and burlap bag factory into the Kentucky Peerless Distillery and visitor center.
10:39 am
Wed August 13, 2014

New York Times Profiles Partnership Between WKU and Bowling Green

Just below Cherry Hall, one of WKU's grandest buildings, sits nearly 200,000 square feet of new student housing, built at a cost of $24 million. There is also a 30,000-square-foot, $10 million alumni center, and a 72,500-square-foot, $14.5 million Hyatt Place hotel scheduled to open in 2015. The New York Times profiled the partnership between WKU and Bowling Green that has impacted both campus and community.
  • Source: Nytimes
  • | Via: New York Times
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. - When Gary A. Ransdell, the president of Western Kentucky University, invites alumni to view this city's redeveloping downtown from his university's hilltop campus, the response is almost always exclamations of surprise. Just below Cherry Hall, one of the 108-year-old university's grandest buildings, sits nearly 200,000 square feet of new student housing, built at a cost of $24 million.
Business
4:00 am
Thu August 7, 2014

Coal Production Increases in Eastern Kentucky, But Overall Trend Still Grim

Originally published on Tue August 5, 2014 4:12 pm

For the first time in a year, quarterly data shows an increase in coal production in Eastern Kentucky. But that doesn’t necessarily mean the industry is rebounding. 

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Business
12:46 pm
Wed August 6, 2014

TVA to Cut More than 2,000 Jobs

The nation's largest public utility is eliminating more than 2,000 jobs as part of a $500 million cost-cutting campaign. 

The Chattanooga Times Free Press reports the Tennessee Valley Authority is making the cuts this year to pare expenses and make electric rates in the Tennessee Valley more competitive with neighboring utilities.

Most of the staff reductions are being made by not filling vacant jobs and through retirements and resignations by the end of next month.

TVA President Bill Johnson said this week that the voluntary reduction offers were well received and avoided the need for massive firings, although some employees are being laid off.

The staff cuts are the agency's largest in more than two decades.

Business
5:00 am
Mon August 4, 2014

State Auditor Probing Fiscal Health of Kentucky's Rural Hospitals

Kentucky State Auditor Adam Edelen will visit Westlake Regional Hospital in Columbia, Kentucky on Aug. 12.
Credit Westlake Regional Hospital

State Auditor Adam Edelen is conducting a financial stress test of Kentucky’s rural hospitals.  He’s hosting a series of public meetings across the state this summer to get a better understanding of the challenges facing small, community hospitals.

"In a state in which 45 percent of people rely on rural hospitals for their hospital care, I think we have a moral and financial obligation to make sure we're doing everything we can to keep rural hospitals open," Edelen told WKU Public Radio.

Hospitals are expressing concerns about the expanding Medicaid rolls under the Affordable Care Act.  Also, Kentucky’s transition to Medicaid managed care in 2011 is still presenting problems.

"We're still seeing no pay and slow pay issues that are constricting the cash flow of rural hospitals which is making it more difficult to keep their doors open," added Edelen.  "Hospitals have also had to increase their administrative burden and that's something that can push a teetering hospital into bankruptcy."

Edelen cited the Nicholas County Hospital which declared bankruptcy and closed in May, laying off 80 employees.

The Auditor’s office is seeking the financial records of more than 60 hospitals in rural eastern and western Kentucky.  Edelen plans to issue a report this fall to the governor and legislature. 

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