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Today’s Lane Links

By Lorie Hailey
Associate Editor

With the majority of Western Kentucky now in a severe drought, many corn and soybean producers are hoping for timely rains to maintain yields and the quality of their crops.

Shane Bogle, agricultural and natural resources extension agent in Caldwell County said corn development there ranges from a few inches tall to shoulder-high, and it’s also showing signs of drought stress.

Corn plants may be losing some of their potential kernel development, but this may not have much of an effect on yields at this point, said Chad Lee, grain crops specialist in the UK College of Agriculture.

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Central Kentucky’s state-backed provider of mental health care is enjoying remarkable prosperity even as budget cuts erode public funding for many social services, reports the Lexington Herald Leader.

The non-profit Bluegrass Regional Mental Health-Mental Retardation Board, which is based in Lexington and serves 17 counties, saw its annual revenue double over the past six years to $176 million as it expanded and won more state contracts.

In 2011, it reported having $33.7 million in cash reserves and similar assets — more money than 10 of the state’s 13 other regional mental health boards had in their entire budgets.

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Developers in Bowling Green have planned for or invested in more than $56 million in new multi-unit housing since 2008, reports the Bowling Green Daily News.

That represents nearly 1,000 apartments spread among 171 buildings, ranging from duplexes to large multi-unit buildings. A few other large apartment developments are being contemplated but not yet in the permitting stage.

The interest in building apartments is in response to a shift in attitudes toward apartment dwelling both nationally and locally, many developers and observers say, according to the newspaper.

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Toyota dominated the sales landscape in May, with sales up 87 percent, according to USA TODAY.

Last month, Camry and RAV4 sales more than doubled, Corolla/Matrix sales jumped 87.5 percent, and Prius sales tripled. Even sales for the Lexus RX gained 82.1 percent.

But Toyota wasn’t the only mover. The top seven automakers all posted double-digit sales gains, and Honda, Nissan and Chrysler clocked sales gains beyond 20 percent, the paper reports.

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Business has picked up. Yet American companies are too nervous to step up hiring, USA TODAY reports.

The economy seems so gripped by uncertainties that many employers have decided to manage with the staff they have. They aren’t convinced their customer demand will keep growing. Or they worry that Europe’s festering debt crisis could infect the global economy. Or they aren’t sure what Congress will do, if anything, about taxes and spending in coming months.

All that helps explain why U.S. employers added just 69,000 jobs in May, the fewest in a year and the third straight month of weak job growth, the paper says.

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