Home » Fast Lane Business Briefs — October 2013

Fast Lane Business Briefs — October 2013

By Karen Baird


FLBB_Our_Lady_of_Bellefonte_Hospital♦ Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital has teamed with UK HealthCare to create a satellite multidisciplinary clinic for patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. UK currently conducts an ALS clinic at its Neuroscience Institute in Lexington, where patients are evaluated by neurologists and a team that also includes physical, occupational and respiratory therapists, among others. At the new satellite clinic, patients will be evaluated by a similar team of specialists on the OLBH campus. At the end of the appointment, the OLBH and U clinicians will consult on the patient’s status via teleconferencing. UK estimates that the satellite center will reach up to 50 patients in the Ashland region who would otherwise not be receiving regular checkups and could serve as a national model for treating complex patients who live far away from a tertiary care ALS center.

♦ AT&T has announced plans to add another 140 positions at its East Park Call Center in Ashland by the end of the year. The company has hired 195 so far this year and the additional 140 jobs will bring the total East Park workforce to 550.


FLBB_MedicalCenter-WKU HealthSciencesComplex♦ Western Kentucky University’s Center for Career and Professional Development has launched an executive apprentice program, designed to equip students with the skills, experience and networks necessary to transfer knowledge to a career. Twenty seniors will be accepted into the nine-month program, which will include workshops, practice interviews and business etiquette situations, along with mentoring from professional career coaches.

The Medical Center, a 337-bed hospital in Bowling Green, has partnered with Western Kentucky University to open a new $15.6 million healthcare facility that will provide space for advanced training for the hospital’s medical staff and a dedicated home for WKU’s nursing and physical therapy programs. Twenty percent of the space at The Medical Center-WKU Health Sciences Complex will be used by the hospital for a conference center and bed labs that feature electronic, interactive patient simulators. WKU will utilize the remainder of the new 73,471-s.f. space, which has enabled the university to double the enrollment of its nursing program to 80 students. WKU’s new doctor of physical therapy program opened this summer with 30 students.


♦ Kentucky Machine & Engineering has invested $1.6 million to add a new CNC floor-boring mill that the company says will allow it to handle larger jobs. KME founder and co-owner Chappel Allen told The Cadiz Record that the new machine, which allows for 20 feet of horizontal travel and 18 feet vertical, is the largest CNC computerized machine he knows of between Atlanta and St. Louis and is enabling the company to handle jobs in about 30 percent less time.


♦ Campbellsville University has a total economic impact of $101 million in Taylor County, according to a new study recently completed by Younger and Associates of Jackson, Tenn. The university supports 1,453 jobs, representing 13.5 percent of all jobs in the county and 15.7 percent of the wages paid to Taylor County residents. The economic impact of the university has grown 75.6 percent over the last decade, with the total dollar figure growing from $57 million to $101 million over that period of time. The university has added nearly 200 jobs in the last two years alone.


♦ St. Elizabeth Physicians has acquired three Hometown Urgent Care centers in Northern Kentucky. The three facilities – located in Florence, Hebron and Covington – will join St. Elizabeth’s current Express Care center in Highland Heights. St. Elizabeth Physicians plans to open a second Express Care location in Independence this winter and a fourth Urgent Care location will open in Ft. Thomas in early 2014.


♦ The printing of The (Danville) Advocate-Messenger, The (Stanford) Interior Journal and The Jessamine Journal is being moved from Danville to Winchester, where parent company Advocate Communications Inc. also publishes The Winchester Sun. The move will mean the closure of the Danville press and the elimination of nine full-time jobs and two part-time positions. Publisher Scott Schurz Jr. said it was simply no longer feasible to operate two presses and that the Winchester press is more reliable and offers additional color and quality elements for an improved product.


♦ Structures USA LLC, a newly formed manufacturing arm for VSI Sales LLC, plans to establish a manufacturing operation in Elizabethtown that will create up to 50 jobs over the new few years. The company’s primary focus will be the production of steel and aluminum tubular products for use in the transportation, light rail and utility/transmission industries.


 The U.S. Army Cadet Command Leader Development and Assessment Course (LDAC) plans to move its operations from the state of Washington to Fort Knox, bringing thousands of cadets and their training cadre to Kentucky for summer training. The Army announced in June it would inactivate the brigade combat team based at Fort Knox, which will remove nearly 10,000 military and dependents from the area. LDAC will bring approximately 7,000 Army ROTC cadets from across the country during summer for their advanced training. The move will also bring approximately 2,500 additional cadre personnel during the summer in support of the training. The move will take place for the summer training of 2014.


FLBB_Appalachian Regional Healthcare logo♦ A partnership between Appalachian Regional Healthcare, Appalachian Heart Center and the UK HealthCare Gill Heart Institute will create an extension of the Gill Heart Institute in the Eastern Kentucky region. Three AHC cardiologists will join the Gill Institute team and will work out of Hazard, providing advanced cardiovascular treatment options that are not now readily available in the area. In addition, UK HealthCare and ARH have agreed to jointly administer and manage cardiovascular services at Hazard ARH Regional Medical Center, Harlan ARH Hospital, Whitesburg ARH Hospital, McDowell ARH Hospital, Mary Breckinridge ARH Hospital, and Williamson ARH Hospital.


♦ Delta Air Lines has announced plans to launch a direct flight from the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG) to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Flights will begin Dec. 21.


♦ HopFed Bancorp Inc., the Hopkinsville-based holding company for Heritage Bank USA Inc., has announced that Heritage has reached a mutual agreement with Sumner Bank & Trust of Gallatin, Tenn., to terminate their previously announced plans to merge. The termination was the result of Sumner’s failure to meet certain performance requirements under the merger agreement.


The First National Bank building in downtown Lexington will be transformed to the city's own 21c Museum Hotel.
The First National Bank building in downtown Lexington will be transformed to the city’s own 21c Museum Hotel.

♦ The founder and CEO of 21c Museum Hotels says the opening date for the company’s planned hotel in Lexington has been delayed until 2015 due to unforeseen infrastructure problems in renovating the historic site in downtown Lexington on which the hotel will be located. In an interview with the Lexington Herald-Leader, Steve Wilson said that while the issues will escalate the estimated cost of the project, the development “is definitely not dead.”

♦ Keeneland’s September Yearling Sale concluded on Sept. 21 with strong indicators of a resurgence in the Thoroughbred market. The sale ended with gross sales of $280.5 million, up 27.6 percent over last year’s sale and the highest since 2008. Eighteen yearlings sold for $1 million or more, also the most since 2008.

♦ Thoroughbred Times, a Lexington-based publication that ended operations last year after declaring Chapter 7 bankruptcy, is being revived as an online site, according to a report by the Lexington Herald-Leader. David Bradshaw, a breeder and owner who has purchased the Thoroughbred Times copyrights and trademarks as well as the domain name, is spearheading the launch. The website will utilize content gathered from news releases, freelance writers and fans rather than employing a paid staff of writers.

FLBB_the summit♦ Lexington’s Urban County Council has approved zoning for a new $92.5 million retail development on the city’s south side of town, in what the developers called “the bull’s eye of Lexington’s thriving retail hub.” The Summit, which is being developed by Alabama-based Bayer Properties, will be located on 50 acres at the corner of Nicholasville Road and Man O’War Boulevard and will encompass 1 million s.f. of residential and commercial space. The site has been the subject of much discussion over the years regarding its best usage and residents living on property adjacent to the site have expressed concern about the additional traffic the development will bring to an already congested area.

♦ Galls LLC, a Lexington-based company that is one of the nation’s leading distributors of public safety uniforms and equipment, has acquired Roy Tailors Uniform Co. Inc. for an undisclosed price. Roy Tailors is headquartered in Cincinnati and has been family owned and operated for more than 50 years, during which time it has become a regional leader in the distribution of public safety uniforms and equipment.

♦ After selling its campus and facilities earlier this summer to the University of Kentucky, the Lexington Theological Seminary has announced that its new campus home will be located at the Lexington Green Complex. Board of Trustees Chair Gary Kidwell said the new 16,000-s.f. space, which is located about four miles south of the site the seminary occupied for 63 years, “better meets the current needs of the seminary as we assess our future facility needs, whether that be a free-standing campus space or an existing facility such as this one.” In recent years, the seminary has shifted to a model that uses technology to connect students and faculty rather than requiring them to move to the campus.


♦ The Stites & Harbison law firm has committed $2 million toward the construction and support of the University of Louisville’s Academic Center of Excellence, a $14 million facility that will house the academic operations for the university’s athletic department. The center will provide a tutoring program, computer labs and classroom space where students can obtain additional instruction and guidance.

♦ The Louisville-Jefferson County Metro Government has granted a one-year extension on its agreement with The Cordish Co., which is working on a $245 million mixed-used project in downtown Louisville. The Baltimore-based company, which also developed Louisville’s Fourth Street Live entertainment district, plans to build a 600-room convention hotel, 200 apartments and 55,000 s.f. of retail space, including a grocery story. Cordish initially announced its plans for the City Center project in 2008, but the project stalled in the midst of the economic recession. The city is continuing to work with Cordish to complete financing for the project that would allow construction to get underway.

♦ Clariant Corp., a subsidiary of Switzerland-based Clariant International, is expanding its operations in Louisville, where the company produces industrial catalysts used in the chemical and petrochemical industries. Clariant currently employs more than 380 people at three facilities in Louisville and plans to build a new $65 million manufacturing facility that will add another 34 jobs. The expansion is tied to a new partnership Clariant has formed with polypropylene technology licensor Lummus Novolen Technology to develop improved polypropylene catalyst and donor technologies. The new plant is expected to be operational in 2015.

FLBB_Republic Bank Logo♦ Louisville-based Republic Bank has expanded its presence in Tennessee with the opening of two new locations in the Nashville area. Republic entered the Tennessee market in January 2012 with its acquisition of Tennessee Commerce Bank in Franklin.

♦ Alleghany Capital Corp. has acquired an interest in Louisville-based R.C. Tway Co., the parent company of Kentucky Trailer. Tway President and CEO Gary A. Smith said the partnership will enable Kentucky Trailer, a manufacturer of customer trailers and truck bodies for the moving and storage industry, to accelerate planned growth initiatives. Alleghany Capital Corp. engages in strategic investments and acquisitions.

NHK Spring Precision of America Inc. has completed a $19 million expansion of its facility in Louisville. The expansion added a 57,000-s.f. facility to the existing 93,000-s.f. plant, where the company produces low-cost, high-precision compression and tension springs for automobiles, industrial machinery and hard-disk drives. The company is adding 50 full-time jobs as part of the expansion project, bringing its total workforce to 120.

♦ Lubrizol Advanced Materials Inc. is investing $108 million to expand its operations in Louisville, where it makes chlorinated polyvinyl chloride products for pipes and fittings. The expansion will include the construction of a new chlorinated polyvinyl chloride resin and compounding facility at the company’s current Bells Lane location, which currently employs about 140 people. The expansion will create 25 new jobs.


♦ An 18 percent drop in enrollment this fall has resulted in faculty layoffs at Midway College. The layoffs affected approximately a dozen of the college’s 54-member faculty. Sixteen staff positions were eliminated prior to the start of the academic year in an effort to “resize” staffing for the best fit. The college’s board of trustees has also authorized suspending the employee retirement match for the remainder of the academic year in order to help balance the budget.


♦ Tegrant Diversified Brands Inc., a company that produces foam-based and safety products for the automotive industry, has announced plans to open a manufacturing plant in Shelbyville that will create 51 full-time jobs. Tegrant is owned by Sonoco Products Co., a global company that produces a broad range of packaging products and packaging supply chain services. Sonoco has more than 19,600 employees in 34 countries, including 250 at plants in Louisville, Winchester, Morganfield and Henderson.


♦ The City of Somerset is moving forward with plans to construct an $8.5 million energy center designed to monitor the city’s extensive natural gas pipeline network. A pipeline already connects with a Texas Eastern Transmission Corp. terminal, which also has a connection with Tennessee Gas Transmission Corp., and the city’s future plans include reconnecting with Columbia Gulf Transmission, which would provide access to three national gas transmission distribution systems. In addition to housing the energy center, the 36,200-s.f., four-story facility will also serve as home to city hall offices and an emergency command center with police department space. According to The (Somerset) Commonwealth Journal, Somerset has been approved for an $8.5 million loan through the United States Department of Agriculture’s Community Facilities Program.


♦ The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services has signed contracts with Anthem, Humana and Passport to provide healthcare services to more than 300,000 Kentuckians who will be newly eligible for coverage under the expansion of Medicaid. The three providers join Coventry and WellCare, which are currently serving the area. Beginning in July 2014, the 540,000 who are current Medicaid recipients will also be able to choose Anthem, Humana or Passport as their managed care company or may choose to stay with Coventry or WellCare.