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By wmadministrator

DesignIntelligence, a bi-monthly publication that promotes quality design education, has listed the University of Kentucky’s undergraduate landscape architecture program as one of the top 15 programs in the nation. The rankings are based on a survey of some 270 U.S. firms, including those that are leaders in their market sector and have won major national, state, local and market-sector awards. They were asked to indicate which accredited programs in the past five years produced graduates most prepared for real-world practices. This is the first time UK has been included in the rankings.

The last couple of months have brought both good news and bad news to Keeneland. On the up side, the racetrack recorded near-record attendance of 239,117 for its 2008 fall race meeting, held Oct. 3-25. The total ranks as the second-largest fall meet attendance in Keeneland history, just shy of last year’s record 239,296. However, on-track wagering was down 7.9 percent from last year, and all-sources wagering (including on-track and off-track handle and whole-card simulcasting conducted at Keeneland) was down 17.3 percent from 2007. The floundering economy was evident during the November Breeding Stock Sale as well, with gross receipts for the 15-day action down 45.6 percent from last year’s record figure of $340.8 million.

Three Lexington landscape architectural firms have merged to form the largest landscape architecture and urban planning firm in the state. The new company – M2D Design Group – is made up of Morgan McIlwain & Associates, DesignWorks and The Landplan Group. The group will focus on streetscapes, parks, trails and bikeways, and college campus planning.

Citing the country’s deep economic slowdown and the resulting need to reduce costs, restaurant franchise company Thomas & King has cut 17 of its 90 Lexington headquarter positions while also disposing of a number of non-core assets. As part of the cutbacks, Thomas & King CEO Mike Scanlon is taking a reduced salary and benefit package. Thomas and King began in 1988 with a single Applebee’s restaurant in Lexington and now operates 88 Applebee’s and seven Johnny Carino’s restaurants in Arizona, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

UK alumna and well-known Derby hostess Patricia Barnstable Brown has pledged funding to develop the Barnstable Brown Kentucky Diabetes and Obesity Center at the University of Kentucky. Proceeds from Barnstable Brown’s annual Derby gala in Louisville have long gone to further diabetes research, but the recent announcement means that the new UK center will be the sole beneficiary of gala proceeds for the next three years. Barnstable Brown’s husband, David Brown, died in 2003 from complications of diabetes. Current statistics show that one in seven Kentuckians has diabetes, with a third of those being undiagnosed. Another 600,000-plus are pre-diabetic, meaning they are at high risk of developing the disease.