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Greater Louisville Inc., metropolitan Louisville’s chamber of commerce, has received two grants that will be used to develop the next generation of workforce talent. GLI will utilize the grants, which have been made available through the WIRED 65 initiative, to help launch new internship programs for students and create outreach/educational programs aimed at increasing the number of students graduating from high school and completing higher education degrees. WIRED 65 is a 26-county consortium that straddles I-65 in north-central Kentucky and southern Indiana. It was formed in to identify and address workforce-training gaps in the region.

The Speed Art Museum has received a gift of $10 million from Dr. Elizabeth Pahk Cressman and Dr. Frederick K. Cressman. The Elizabeth P. and Frederick K. Cressman Sculpture Garden and Cressman Piazza will be part of a large renovation and expansion project that the Speed Art Museum has been developing for several years. The museum plans to break ground on the project this summer, with a targeted completion date of 2014. The Cressman gift is among the largest donations ever made to the museum since its founding in 1927.

Louisville Water Co. (LWC) has sold $202.9 million in bonds to fund its capital program for the next three years. Proceeds from the bond issue will fund upgrades to the Crescent Hill Water Treatment Plant, construction of new transmission pipelines along Interstates 64 and 65, and completion of the riverbank filtration project at the B.E. Payne Plant.

MESA Foods is investing nearly $2.9 million to upgrade its Louisville food manufacturing plant, where it employs 182 workers. The upgrade will enable the company to increase production of its food products, which include tortillas, taco shells, pre-cut corn chips and flatbreads. The facility upgrade will create 35 new jobs.

Boyd Co. is acquiring Walker Machinery, a West Virginia heavy machinery distributor that is a Caterpillar dealer in West Virginia and southeastern Ohio. Louisville-based Boyd owns Whayne Supply Co., a Caterpillar dealer for Kentucky and southern Indiana. Financial details of the transaction have not been disclosed. Boyd plans to honor Walker’s union contracts and retain the Walker name.

Gov. Steve Beshear has announced the sale of $100 million in bonds for the Ohio River bridges project, which involves construction of two bridges over the Ohio River and the relocation and improvement of Louisville’s Kennedy Interchange, where Interstates 64, 65 and 71 converge. More than 300,000 vehicles go through the interchange daily. The bulk of proceeds from the bonds will be used to acquire and clear rights of way.

Dayton Carton, a Louisville manufacturer of stock and custom folding cartons, has been acquired by Chicago-based Colbert Packaging Corp. for an undisclosed amount. Colbert plans to retain the Dayton facility and will rebrand it under the Colbert name.

Porter Bancorp Inc. has withdrawn its exchange offer to acquire all of the outstanding common shares of Citizens First Corp. for $9 per share. “Porter Bancorp has elected to withdraw its tender offer to acquire Citizens First of Bowling Green due to our inability to fully evaluate the Citizens First transaction,” said Porter Bancorp President and Chief Executive Officer Maria L. Bouvette. “The distraction of proceeding on a hostile basis, continued softness in the economy and real estate markets, the current regulatory environment for financial institutions, and the lack of cooperation from Citizens First’s board and management created an unacceptable level of uncertainty for us in this transaction. As a result, we will not pursue the exchange offer at this time and will remain focused on managing Porter’s core operations in our existing markets.” Through its subsidiary, PBI Bank, Porter operates 18 full-service banking offices in 11 counties in Kentucky.

Louisville Arena Sports and Entertainment Properties (LASEP) has secured four additional partners with total new sponsorships amounting to more than $4.5 million dollars. The new sponsors include: McDonald Restaurants of Kentuckiana Co-op, Coca-Cola Enterprises, The Galt House, and the Homemade Ice Cream and Pie Kitchen. As announced previously, Norton Healthcare became the first Cornerstone Partner with a 10-year sponsorship incorporating a Norton Immediate Care Center open to the public year round via an exterior entrance off the arena plaza. Norton will also operate two permanent Norton-branded first aid stations inside the arena for all University of Louisville games and additional arena entertainment events. Other partners include Hilliard Lyons, Stock Yards Bank & Trust and Kentucky Employers’ Mutual Insurance.

Peak 10 Inc., a Louisville-based managed services company, has acquired 1Vault Networks, a South Florida business continuity and data services provider. “We have built a relationship with 1Vault over the last several years and respect the operating philosophy established by its management team,” said David Jones, the president and CEO of Peak 10. “With many Peak 10 customers already in South Florida, we sensed an opportunity that was the right fit for both our company and 1Vault.” 1Vault is now operating as Peak 10 South Florida. With the acquisition, Peak 10 now operates 17 data centers in 10 United States markets. Financial details of the acquisition have not been disclosed.

PharMerica Corp., a Louisville-based provider of institutional pharmacy and hospital pharmacy management services, has acquired Integrity Pharmacy Services in a cash transaction. Integrity has operations in Florida, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania and generates approximately $60 million in annual revenues.

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