A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Sweetall named LexArts President and CEO; eight prominent business, civic leaders elected to board

LexArts has announced Ame Sweetall as President and CEO. Sweetall joined LexArts in February 2020 in an interim role and transitioned into President and CEO in October. Sweetall brings extensive nonprofit experience coupled with a strategic business focus. Her background in fund development and nonprofit leadership has focused on nonprofit marketing and fundraising issues, including serving for 10...

Popular tomato growers from Central Kentucky receive 2020 Bill Best Award on Dec. 4

By Carol Lea Spence University of Kentucky Central Kentucky growers Mark and Velvet Henkle, of Henkle’s Herbs and Heirlooms, will receive the 2020 Bill Best Award for Food and Farm Stewards from the University of Kentucky’s Food Connection at 10 a.m. Dec. 4. The award presentation will be part of a virtual First Friday on Facebook Live and YouTube. The honor is named after Bill Best, collector...

Kentucky by Heart: Historic Keene might not be fancy, but it’s home… and always will be

By Steve Flairty KyForward columnist For nice rides in the country, I often take Highway 169 in the central Kentucky part of the Bluegrass area from my home in Woodford County to Jessamine County. The grassy and rolling terrain of the area is one of my favorite scenic tours. Small farms with grazing Thoroughbred horses and cattle, an abundance of pretty homes, and historical stone walls along the...

Real estate sales spike to record high in July despite low inventory in Central Kentucky region

Despite record-low levels of homes for sale in the Central Kentucky region, real estate sales spiked to a new record high. Sales hit 1,583 in July, up 13 percent year-over-year when sales tallied 1,405, and up the same percent from the previous month. The monthly total was up 11 percent when compared to the previous sales record from June 2017 when sales topped out at 1,428. July’s total marks two...

It’s LEXARTS Day of Giving for the Arts — coming Wednesday — and they’re passing the virtual hat

On behalf of artists and arts organizations across Central Kentucky, LEXARTS is passing the virtual hat in a Day of Giving for the Arts on Wednesday, July 29. Every single gift matters to ensure the arts will greet you on the other side of the pandemic. No gift is too small and all are appreciated. Click here to give. Keep the flame of creativity burning by making a donation — and if you give...

Central Kentucky native Mike Inman inducted into Hall of Fame for National Association of Realtors

The Lexington-Bluegrass Association of Realtors has announced that Mike Inman has been inducted into the National Association of Realtors Hall of Fame. He joins an elite group across the country to earn such an honor as only a fraction of all realtors nationwide receive this honor and recognition. The National Association of Realtors Hall of Fame recognizes dedicated members who go above and beyond...

Sale of Hardin Memorial Health to Baptist Health accelerated; will be finalized by Sept. 1

The sale of Hardin Memorial Health (HMH) to Baptist Health has been accelerated, and will now be finalized by Sept. 1, 2020. The prior plan called for closing on or before Dec. 1, 2020. “We are pleased to share the news that HMH can begin reaping the benefits of joining Kentucky’s largest not-for-profit healthcare system sooner than expected,” said Harry L. Berry, Hardin County Judge/Executive....

University of Kentucky grain crops specialist offers soybean planting tips to help growers maximize yield

By Katie Pratt University of Kentucky As full-season soybean planting gets underway in Kentucky, Carrie Knott, University of Kentucky grain crops specialist, offers Kentucky producers some advice to help them get the crop off to a good start. “We know that to maximize yields of full-season soybeans, producers need to plant before early May in Western Kentucky and mid-May in Central Kentucky, but...

Land purchase approved for 47 acres to house new Fayette County Public middle, elementary schools

Amid the rest of the construction in the rapidly-growing area of Fayette County east of I-75, Fayette County Public Schools will soon build a middle school and a second elementary school to serve children and families in the area. These two schools have been listed as new construction priorities on the District’s Facilities Plan since 2017, but Monday’s unanimous vote of the Fayette County...

Dr. Koffi Akakpo: It’s clear that higher education matters to Central Kentucky and to our entire state

As we discuss budgets and goals, review accomplishments and meet with our governor and legislators, it is clear that higher education matters to Central Kentucky and to our state as a whole. Emsi, a national higher ed research firm, conducted a study in 2019 that determined Bluegrass Community and Technical College’s total annual economic impact on Central Kentucky is $419M in added income and 6,516...

United Way joins forces with Blue Grass Community Foundation, Lexington for COVID-19 Response Fund

Kentuckians are strong, resilient and ready to do what is needed to help create and maintain a safe and healthy community. But the fact is, many friends and family members will experience hardships as a result of the shut-downs and closures during the COVID-19 response. Even though we are living apart, we can unite to help make a difference. To help serve more individuals and families across the Bluegrass...

UK entomologists report eastern tent caterpillar egg hatch now underway for Central Kentucky

By Holly Wiemers University of Kentucky Eastern tent caterpillars have begun to hatch, with the first instances being seen in Central Kentucky on March 12, according to entomologists in the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. According to Jonathan Larson, entomology extension specialist, after spending about nine months as eggs in masses on twigs of wild cherry and...

T. Marzetti Co. announces $93 million investment in Hart Co.; expansion to create 140 jobs in Horse Cave

Gov. Andy Beshear will join local officials and executives from T. Marzetti Co. today to celebrate the company’s substantial job creation in Central Kentucky. The company, which manufactures salad dressings, sauces and other food products for the retail and foodservice markets, plans to expand its Hart County plant with a $92.8 million investment creating up to 140 full-time jobs. “I want to thank...

Penn Station East Coast Subs launch campaign to support local Down syndrome organizations

Penn Station East Coast Subs is beginning a system-wide round-up campaign to support local Down syndrome organizations throughout the country. From March 1 to March 21, customers will be able to round up their change or their dollars as a donation to their local Down syndrome organization. Customers who donate $2 or more will receive a coupon for a free small sub with any sub purchase to use on a future...

Real estate market picks up where 2019 left off; pending sales indicate transactions to continue climb

The first month of a new decade saw a huge boost in real estate sales, jumping 20 percent versus 2019. Total home sales reached 828 in January compared to 691 during January last year. This is coming out of 2019, a record year in many ways, that ended up 7 percent over 2018 and, in December, posted an increase of 19 percent year-over-year. In January, single-family home sales saw an increase in sales...

New study shows BCTC’s significant impact on region’s economy, earning potential of graduates

A new study by Emsi, a national provider of research to educational institutions, shows investments in Bluegrass Community and Technical College (BCTC) during FY 2018-19 have had a significant effect on Central Kentucky’s economy. In addition, the average associate degree graduate from BCTC will earn an additional $9,900 each year, compared to someone with only a high school diploma. Furthermore,...

Home sales skyrocket to record levels in December, demand remains strong in Central Kentucky

Home sales surged in December, jumping 19 percent over 2018, to bring 2019 to a close as the highest year on record for real estate transactions. With 1,054 sales in the last month of the year, versus 887 in 2018, total sales for 2019 ended at 14,153, up 7 percent over the 13,278 sold last year. Single-family home sales saw an increase in sales of over 19 percent for the month, with 994 total sales...

Kentucky Artisan Center opens ‘Reveal’ exhibit, showcasing large format paintings by Bob Leo Jones

The Kentucky Artisan Center has announced the fifth “Reveal” exhibit, showcasing large-format paintings by Bob Leo Jones of Louisville. This exhibit will run Jan. 19 through April 30 in the Center’s lobby. Jones is an abstract artist working in acrylics on large-scale canvas and Masonite. He started creating large-scale paintings in 2015, and his works are free-flowing rather than linear. When...

State Rep. Russ Meyer announces he will not seek re-election representing 39th House District

State Rep. Russ Meyer, a former Nicholasville mayor and city commissioner who has been a member of the General Assembly since first being elected in 2014, announced Wednesday that he would not seek another term representing the 39th House District. “This wasn’t an easy decision, but after talking and praying with my family, it was the right one,” Meyer said. “Serving the community I love for...

LBAR’s November housing report: Central Kentucky real estate stays hot when the weather gets cold

The increase in demand for homes in Central Kentucky has largely contributed to the lack of housing inventory that has plagued the local market for many months. New listings were down in November by 2 percent compared to last year, but year-to-date the number of new listings is up 5 percent. The inventory issues are caused with the increase in sales throughout the year and the number of homes available...