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Lexington Herald-Leader

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has approved Gov. Andy Beshear’s request for individual assistance for 22 more Kentucky counties following severe flooding Feb. 27 to March 14, 2021.

“There will now be more resources available for Kentuckians and Kentucky communities to rebuild after the historic flooding,” Gov. Beshear said of FEMA’s Thursday evening approval. “We acted quickly to request federal assistance and appreciate FEMA quickly approving our request as our fellow Kentuckians continue to recover from the severe storms.”

Washington Post

Despite growing diversity in Kentucky’s workforce, Black and Asian employees still face massive income disparities when compared to white peers, even after earning a superior college degree.

That’s one of several findings released today as part of a new research brief from the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education. The analysis shows that, on a median basis, Black, Asian and Hispanic workers in Kentucky continue to earn less than white counterparts do over a lifetime. In many cases, the gaps are severe.

MPR News

Today, Gov. Andy Beshear said the state’s emerging economy is set for liftoff as final capacity restrictions related to COVID-19 will end Friday, June 11.

Gov. Beshear said the proven effectiveness of vaccinations and expanded vaccine eligibility to include 12- to 15-year-olds is allowing the commonwealth to safely and sustainably ease restrictions. With about 1.9 million Kentuckians vaccinated, the Governor said everyone who is eligible should be able to get a dose of a safe and effective vaccine ahead of June 11.

Community Groups Push Back on Energy Rate Hikes

Mar 12, 2021
The Municipal

Community groups are banding together to push back against increasingly frequent rate hikes proposed by Kentucky utility companies.

Each year, the Kentucky Public Service Commission receives hundreds of applications to change rates and services.

Josh Bills, commercial energy specialist for the Mountain Association, said most of the cases go unchallenged.

He pointed out last fall, Kentucky Power asked for a 25% rate increase, its third in five years, saying the change was needed to help pay for new meters.

St. Claire HealthCare

St. Claire HealthCare (SCH) President/CEO Donald H. Lloyd, II announced today the health system would raise its minimum wage from $8.51 to $12.50 per hour ensuring all SCH staff members earn a just living wage for the work they perform.

“Our leadership believes this action is prudent and necessary to ensure we recruit and retain the best talent possible for our ministry,” said Lloyd. “Furthermore, we believe this action is in keeping with our values of dignity, compassion, excellence, commitment, and collaboration.”

ABC News

Gov. Andy Beshear declared a state of emergency on Sunday evening, Feb. 28, due to extremely heavy rainfall across the commonwealth throughout the weekend. The Kentucky Division of Emergency Management (KYEM) State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) is activated and monitoring reports from county emergency services agencies.

WDRB

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear joined Herschend Enterprises Chief Executive Officer Andrew Wexler, state officials and community leaders to announce that Herschend Enterprises has become a majority partner and operator of Kentucky Kingdom and Hurricane Bay amusement and water park located in Louisville, Kentucky.

Georgia-based Herschend is the nation’s largest family-owned theme attractions and entertainment company. Herschend operates popular tourism attractions such as the Dollywood® Parks & Resorts in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee and the Newport Aquarium® in Northern Kentucky.

Omaha World-Herald

Today, Gov. Andy Beshear highlighted the great news that Morehead-based agritech business AppHarvest began trading on the Nasdaq stock exchange.

“AppHarvest opened the largest greenhouse in North America, one of the 10 largest buildings in the world, with the most sophisticated LED lighting system that’s ever been created, I believe. And they’ve just provided their first crop of tomatoes to grocery stores all across the East Coast,” the Governor said.

Energy.gov

Up to $38 million is available to local governments to help Kentuckians with overdue utility bills in their jurisdiction. Each unit of local government may request up to $200,000 for assistance in their communities.

“Even with our victory over COVID-19 coming into sight, times are still tough for our families,” said Gov. Beshear. “We are grateful to be able to provide these funds, because they will ensure many Kentuckians won’t have to make the impossible choice between feeding their family and keeping the lights on.”

EastPark Industrial Center

Gov. Andy Beshear has announced $2.5 million in Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) grants for two projects in Eastern Kentucky that will upgrade waterlines, create jobs and build a better Kentucky.

The grant funding is administered by the Department for Local Government (DLG). Grantees include the City of Cumberland and the Northeast Kentucky Regional Industrial Authority in Grayson.

Eater

Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted preliminary December 2020 unemployment rate was 6 percent, according to the Kentucky Center for Statistics (KYSTATS), an agency within the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet (EWDC).

The preliminary December 2020 jobless rate was up 0.3 percentage points from November 2020 and up 1.7 percentage points from the 4.3 percent recorded for the state one year ago.

The U.S. seasonally adjusted jobless rate for December 2020 was 6.7 percent, unchanged from November 2020, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Gov. Andy Beshear

The National Governors Association (NGA) has announced that Gov. Andy Beshear will lead a bipartisan task force to guide states in their economic recovery and revitalization efforts amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Shutter Stock

On Tuesday, Gov. Andy Beshear announced Kentucky hospitals will receive an additional $800 million to $1 billion annually to help advance the quality of care of Medicaid members and provide a stable base for hospitals that will extend beyond the financial challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rowan County Community Fund

No one knows a community better than the people who call it home. That’s what makes local community funds so effective—they leverage this knowledge to make tangible differences in the lives of their neighbors.

The Rowan County Community Fund is dedicated to progress and long-term prosperity. A volunteer Fund Advisory Committee works actively to increase charitable giving and award grants to local worthy causes and projects that are addressing emerging needs and future opportunities in our community.

The Lane Report

In collaboration with the Department for Local Government (DLG), today, Gov. Andy Beshear announced 15 Eastern Kentucky governments were approved for $3,891,092 in reimbursements from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act for local governments with expenses related to COVID-19.

“Our local governments have been lifelines in our communities during the COVID-19 pandemic, which is why this funding is so important,” said Gov. Beshear. “We are grateful for their hard work and dedication to keeping Kentuckians safe.”

FIVCO

Gov. Andy Beshear announced today the Department for Local Government (DLG) has been awarded an additional $6 million from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act through the Economic Development Association (EDA). Funding will reimburse Kentucky’s 15 Area Development Districts (ADDs) for costs associated with the novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19).

Appalachian Impact Fund

Eight organizations have raised and distributed more than $450,000 in private funding to support more businesses and nonprofits in rural and mountainous areas of Eastern Kentucky, an area among the hardest hit by the impacts of COVID-19 restrictions and social distancing.

The funding has helped more than 150 small businesses and organizations across 23 Eastern Kentucky counties representing a mix of restaurants, unique retail, amusement, personal services and others active in the broader downtown and tourism ecosystems. 

Kentucky Counties See Dark Days Ahead as Tax Revenue Drops

May 3, 2020
Forbes

Counties across Kentucky say they've already seen a drop in tax revenue due to the COVID-19 crisis, and are bracing for cuts to law enforcement, transportation and other critical public services.

Early indicators hint that the economic fallout from the global pandemic could be worse than the Great Recession of 2008.

So far, nearly a half million Kentuckians have filed unemployment claims, around a quarter of the state's workforce.

Warren County Attorney Amy Milliken says tax revenue from the tourism industry in the Bowling Green area has vanished.

Lexington Herald Leader

The Kentucky housing market continued its strong start despite March being the beginning of the “COVID-19 season”.

March home sales were up 3.6% over last year cresting at 4,194 (up from 4,048). Sales volume in March continued to climb, reaching $884.7 million. This bested the March 2019 figure of $773.9 million by nearly 15%.

Nationwide existing-home sales, completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, dropped 8.5% from February to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.27 million in March.

Tulsa World

Gov. Matt Bevin today announced that more than $15 million in excess coal severance tax revenue will be allocated to 49 counties and 122 municipalities that qualify to receive funds from the Local Government Economic Assistance Fund (LGEAF) coal severance program.

Kentucky Wired Project

Gov. Matt Bevin and Congressman Hal Rogers today announced a major milestone achievement for the Commonwealth’s high-speed fiber optic network – KentuckyWired.

The first portion of the network, known as Ring 1A, is now complete and includes Louisville, Lexington and Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky. Additionally, a key backbone segment from Lexington to Somerset has also been completed, allowing for expansion of the network into Eastern Kentucky as the project moves into the next phase.

The Business Journals

Gov. Matt Bevin has signed an Open Investment Proclamation recognizing the significance of foreign direct investment (FDI) to Kentucky’s economy.  Approximately 7.4 percent of the state’s total employment is a result of FDI, and FDI is responsible for employing over 117,000 workers in the Commonwealth.

Grayson RECC

Grayson RECC employees helped provide more than $13,000 in donations of money and supplies for the Ronald McDonald House Charities in Lexington and Louisville.

Donations totaling $13,282 came from employees of Grayson RECC and other Kentucky’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives to support Ronald McDonald Houses in Lexington and Louisville, which provide lodging and resources to families while a child is in a nearby hospital.

Motion City

Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes is visiting Taiwan next week on an international trade mission to Asia with a delegation from the United States.

Grimes is one of four secretaries of state selected to participate in a trip the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO) is coordinating and funding. Grimes made a similar visit in 2013, making the trip her second in office.

Kentucky.org

  The Kentucky Main Street Program (KYMS) announced this week that 39 participating communities reported cumulative investment of $109,741,515 in their commercial downtown districts in 2016, a number that includes $75,070,029 of private investment matched by $30,920,494 in public improvements. This total was up significantly from the $76 million of cumulative investment reported by 44 communities in 2015.

Improper Politics

In a statement released today, Kentucky Treasurer Allison Ball has announced her support for Governor Bevin’s budget proposal.

"As the State Treasurer, my office knows more than most about the importance of fiscal responsibility,” Treasurer Ball said. “I believe the Governor’s proposal is fair and it addresses the very real budgetary issues the Commonwealth is facing.”

Earlier this week, Treasurer Ball appeared in front of the House Budget Review Subcommittee on General Government, Finance and Public Protection and discussed the Treasury’s budget.

Morehead State University

The MSUCorps AmeriCorps Program and their partners are gearing up for their sixth annual Morehead Build-A-Bed Project to provide beds to children who are living in homes with not enough beds or none at all.

The goal is to give beds to children PK-12th grade who are forced to sleep on floors, couches, or in beds with multiple other children or family members. This regional Build-A-Bed Project has provided more than 500 beds to children in Eastern Kentucky since it began in 2010. This year the committee set a goal to build 160 beds.

CBS News

Gov. Bevin has activated the state's prohibitions on price gouging to protect consumers during the winter storm that has affected most of the Commonwealth. The price gouging emergency order is effective as of 7 AM EST, Saturday, January 23, 2016.

Morehead State University

Morehead State University accepted a donation of $2,000 from State Farm Insurance and local agent Stephen W. Barker of Morehead for the Build-A-Bed project.

“This donation will make a drastic impact on our ability to provide even more beds to children in eastern Kentucky that do not have a bed of their own. As the project grows every year we receive more applications from children in our service region. We appreciate State Farm for enabling us to continue this worthy project,” said Mary Claire Williams, program director for MSUCorps/AmeriCorps.

Gov. Bevin Claims Medicaid is Imploding Financially in Kentucky

Jan 2, 2016
Kaplan and Grant

Saying cost is the "primary" concern, Gov. Matt Bevin says his administration will seek federal waivers to change how Medicaid is delivered in Kentucky.

The new governor has been critical of Medicaid expansion, which has provided coverage to more than 400,000 uninsured Kentuckians as part of health-care reform. Bevin claims the current system, in which nearly 30 percent of the state's population is now on Medicaid, is "imploding financially."

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