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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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."
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:
A bill that would effectively block grocery stores from selling wine and liquor—and ban wine and liquor sales in new pharmacies—was approved today in a state House committee.
Under the legislation, grocery stores could still sell alcohol from an adjoined structure with a separate entrance.
Current law does not allow people younger than 21 to enter a place which sells wine and package liquor, which has prevented sales in grocery stores in the past.
Last year, a federal judge overturned the ban against wine and alcohol in grocery stores. U.S. District Court Judge John Heyburn said that it was unfair to ban grocery stores from selling wine and liquor while allowing sales in drug stores.
When the Academy Awards are presented in Los Angeles later this month, actress Jennifer Lawrence won't be the only Kentucky connection: Robyn Stuart of Frankfort is making candy for the Oscar Gifting Lounge--3,500 bourbon balls to be exact.
Stuart says she got her start watching her mom make bourbon balls around the holidays.
"That was her way of saying 'thanks' and so she gave them to the garbage man, the mail man, everybody she wanted to say thank you to," says Stuart.