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By wmadministrator

Bellarmine University is one of only 20 colleges selected by the Council of Independent Colleges to receive the Wal-Mart College Success Award, a $100,000 grant to help build on its successes in enrolling, retaining and graduating first-generation college students. Bellarmine will use the award to provide a new mentorship program with a first-generation student adviser who will work with first-generation students individually and coordinate services for them across the campus. Nationwide, only 24 percent of first-generation students succeed in earning a bachelor’s degree compared with 68 percent of students whose parents received a bachelor’s degree.

University of Louisville’s James Graham Brown Cancer Center will receive $10.1 million from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to explore new ways to treat and prevent cancer. The grant is a renewal of an $11 million NIH grant the Brown Cancer Center received in 2003 to fund a Center of Biomedical Research Excellence. As did the first grant, the renewal will provide five years of support. Of the first five young scientists funded by the first grant, four have competed successfully for individual NIH grants and two of those have discovered new cancer drugs that are being licensed for future commercialization, said Donald Miller, Brown Cancer Center director.

After serving Louisville International Airport for 16 years, Midwest Airlines has withdrawn from the market as part of a nationwide reduction of service. The cutbacks, prompted by the soaring cost of jet fuel, involve ending service to 11 of Midwest’s 43 destinations. On July 14, the airline announced the elimination of 1,200 staff positions – roughly 40 percent of the company’s payroll – as a result of grounding its MD-80 aircraft and the reduction of its regional jet fleet.

Faced with skyrocketing fuel prices, fierce competition and an $8.3 million lawsuit, the C.W. Johnson Xpress trucking company has closed, leaving some 146 workers without jobs. According to local reports, Indiana-based Celadon Group Inc. is in negotiations with the company to take on some of its accounts and possibly some employees.

Humana has signed a definitive agreement to purchase Cariten Healthcare from Knoxville, Tenn.-based Covenant Health for approximately $245 million in cash. Cariten is a health-benefits company serving commercial, Medicare and Medicaid members in multiple counties throughout the eastern half of Tennessee. The transaction is expected to close during the fourth quarter of 2008.

The University of Louisville’s College of Business has been awarded a $1 million grant from BB&T Corp. The college plans to use the grant to establish a professorship in free enterprise and to develop an economics course and lecture series based on the philosophy of objectivism and the moral foundations of capitalism as described by novelist Ayn Rand. The grant also will fund The BB&T Free Enterprise Lecture Series, faculty research and student travel in pursuit of the topic.

Advanced Cancer Therapeutics has signed two new collaborative agreements that will advance development of the company’s vaccine for human papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually transmitted disease that is the leading cause of cervical cancer. ACT’s agreement with the University of Louisville’s James Graham Brown Cancer Center grants ACT exclusive worldwide development and commercialization rights to certain HPV vaccines. ACT’s agreement with Owensboro-based Kentucky BioProcessing grants exclusive worldwide development and commercialization rights to Kentucky BioProcessing’s Geneware, a plant-based expression system for development of an HPV vaccine.

Dakkota Integrated Systems LLC has submitted paperwork to the state indicating that it plans to lay off 85 workers in Louisville, where it operates two facilities. The Michigan-based company produces interior automotive products.

Louisville-based Brantley Services has been acquired by SMS Holdings, a Nashville company that provides security and facility management services. The acquisition includes Brantley Security, a company that provides security services for commercial clients; Block by Block, a company that provides cleaning and safety services; and Brantley Usher, a provider of hosting and event management services. The Brantley companies have combined annual revenues exceeding $35 million and employ more than 1,700 people worldwide. The companies will maintain their names and continue to operate from their Louisville headquarters under President Jeremy Curran. Financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

OptionCare Enterprises, a specialty pharmaceutical and infusion services company, is cutting 106 jobs at its Louisville facility according to paperwork filed with the Kentucky Office of Employment and Training. OptionCare is a subsidiary of Walgreen Co., which acquired Louisville-based CuraScript Infusion Pharmacy in July. The cutbacks are the result of job redundancies following the acquisition. At the time of the acquisition, CuraScript employed approximately 250 people.

The University of Louisville School of Nursing and Owensboro Medical Health System (OMHS) are partnering to help address the area’s nursing shortage by offering a baccalaureate nursing program in Owensboro. The program will offer a combination of distance education and on-site clinical instruction and is intended to graduate 36 to 40 students annually. According to statistics from the American Association of College of Nursing, demand for nurses is growing at 2 to 3 percent each year, worsening an already acute shortage of nurses that is projected to reach 800,000 by 2020.