Economy

The Office of State Budget Director Mary Lassiter says General Fund Receipts in the bluegrass state increased 3.8 percent in February, compared to February of 2011. Total revenues topped 574 million dollars, compared to just under 553 million dollars for the same month last year.

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Owensboro leaders announced Friday a project that will invest 44 million dollars in the city's downtown area. A key portion of that investment will be a new convention class Holiday Inn hotel, to be located on the west side of the newly planned convention center. In addition,  Boardwalk Pipeline Partners LP has come to a preliminary agreement with the Riverfront Jam, LLC developers to relocate the Owensboro office to a downtown location.

Officials with the U-S  Treasury Department are trying to alert people who receive paper checks for Social Security benefits that they must switch to electronic payment by March first of 2013. Walt Henderson, the Director of the E-F-T Strategy Division of the U-S Treasury's Financial Management Service, says about fifteen percent of the recipients in Kentucky still receive paper checks and will need to make the change.

Second District Congressman Brett Guthrie of Kentucky says he's heard plenty of constituents expressing concern about higher gasoline prices in recent days. The Republican from Bowling Green says the higher prices at the pump are difficult for consumers to accept in an already troubled economy.

Second District Congressman Brett Guthrie of Kentucky says he's heard plenty of constituents expressing concern about higher gasoline prices in recent days. The Republican from Bowling Green says the higher prices at the pump are difficult for consumers to accept in an already troubled economy. He says the higher fuel prices are also being felt in the trucking industry, and he warns that increases in shipping costs  could lead to higher costs for numerous products, from manufactured goods to groceries. 

In a statement released today the US Postal Service says it will close eight mail processing centers in Kentucky, including locations in Bowling Green, Elizabethtown, London, and Somerset. The processing work currently done at those centers will be processed at facilities in other cities in the future.

Some petroleum industry analysts say the higher prices on gas pumps in the region may not have hit their peak yet. Upward movement was reported during the day yesterday, with retail prices hitting $3.75 per gallon at several stations in Bowling Green. Gasbuddy.com analyst Patrick DeHaan predicts the upward pressure could continue through the end of the week.

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James Barnett of the Daniel Pitino Shelter in Owensboro says his agency is seeing more "first-time" homeless than ever. Barnett says the difficult economy has forced people who had never sought assistance in the past to ask for help.

A nationwide foreclosure settlement with five major mortgage lenders means thousands of Kentuckians will receive direct payments, loan modifications, or principal write-downs. Kentucky was one of the last states to agree to the $25 billion deal with Bank of America, Chase, Wells Fargo, Citi, and Ally Financial. Attorney General Jack Conway says the Commonwealth will receive $58.8 million of the settlement.

More than 40 U.S. states have agreed to a nationwide settlement over foreclosure abuses. The deal would force the five largest mortgage lenders to reduce loans for about 1 million households.

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