Daviess County

Wendell H. Ford GEC

Owensboro will be playing host this week to one of the most recognizable faces in Democratic politics. President Bill Clinton is attending a fundraiser to benefit a cause championed by an old friend.

President Clinton will be in Owensboro Wednesday to help raise money for the Wendell H. Ford Government Education Center. The fundraiser at the Riverpark Performing Arts Center costs $1,000 a person, and includes a VIP reception with President Clinton and dinner.

In addition to serving as Kentucky Governor, Ford served in the U.S. Senate from 1974 to 1999, and was Democratic Whip the first six years of Clinton’s presidencies.

President Clinton has appeared in Daviess County before: in 2000, he presented an education award to Audubon Elementary School, and he campaigned at Kentucky Wesleyan College in 2008 on behalf of his wife, Hillary Clinton, who was seeking the Democratic presidential nomination.

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.

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.

daviesskyschools.org

Schools in western Kentucky have started to consider options if federal funding cuts are implemented next Friday.

If Congress doesn't move to stop the cuts scheduled to take place on March 1, nearly $3 billion in education funding would be cut.

Daviess County Superintendent Owen Saylor told the Messenger-Inquirer that the district is trying to prepare just in case.

"Worst case, we're looking at $535,000 in lost funding for our district alone," Saylor said. "We don't want to scare anyone. We don't like giving bad news, but if nothing changes, we're like everyone else. Eventually you have to cut jobs."

Rogue Cinema

An independent filmmaker from Owensboro is wrapping up an effort to help spotlight other filmmaking talent in the region.

"Unscripted: An Indie Film Xperience" is the brainchild of P.J. Starks, and is a collaboration between his film company and the Daviess County Public Library. The series of short films written, directed, and produced by filmmakers in the Owensboro-Daviess County region concludes Friday night.

Starks says the series gives attendees the chance to see the local films, and then watch them again with the director offering live, interactive commentary.

"It gives the public and the community an opportunity to see the types of talent and artistry we have in the area, and the types of films being made, because it really does run the gamut," says Starks.

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.

Owensboro's "Blue Bridge" to Close for Six Months

Feb 5, 2013

A rusting a faded bridge that connects Owensboro, Ky., to southern Indiana will close for around six months while it is painted.

The Messenger-Inquirer reports Owensboro Mayor Ron Payne made the announcement Monday during a speech at the Owensboro-Daviess County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Payne said the $17 million paint job for the Glover H. Cary Bridge, known simply as the "blue bridge," would take up to two years if a lane is kept open for traffic, so officials decided to close it and get the job done quicker. He said the bridge would close in May after the International Bar-B-Q Festival and wouldn't "until they get it finished," which is expected to happen by November.

"I kind of like that," Payne said of the shorter schedule. "Knock it out all at one time."

The president and chief executive officer for Owensboro Medical Health System announced his resignation Tuesday.

Jeff Barber made the announcement during meetings with the the OMHS management team and medical staff leadership. His retirement will begin July 26, following a nearly 40 year career in health care.

Barber joined OMHS in 2004.

A news release from OMHS says a search committee consisting of current and past board members will lead the search process for Barber's replacement.

Rogue Cinema

Owensboro filmmaker P.J. Starks is set to launch a new film series called "Unscripted Xperience", which allows audiences to meet and offer live commentary with filmmakers and actors. Starks donates to charity most of the money raised from the events, and he hopes the "Xperience" will help raise the profile of independent filmmakers in the Daviess County region.

WKYU-PBS is planning to tape the Feb. 1 film series session and produce a piece for the program Main Street that will likely air in early March.

The Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer has this profile piece of Starks and his upcoming film series.

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