A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Opening of Castle & Key Distillery, $30m renovation, bring new life to former Old Taylor Distillery Co. site

At the opening of Castle & Key Distillery this week, Gov. Matt Bevin congratulated the company’s leaders on their $30 million renovation and welcomed the public’s return to the restored, long-dormant grounds of the former Old Taylor Distillery Co. in Woodford County. Gov. Matt Bevin cuts the ribbon to signal the opening of Castle & Key Distillery on the historic former site of the Old Taylor...

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

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 roadside make it that way. On that trip,...

Franciso’s Farm Art Fair May 19-20 to feature Arts Council’s ‘Makings of a Master’ traveling exhibit

The Kentucky Arts Council’s traveling exhibit “Makings of a Master” will be highlighted at the Francisco’s Farm Art Fair May 19-20 on the Midway University campus in Midway. “Makings of a Master” contains seven display cases housing a variety of musical instruments, tools and artworks made by master tradition bearers, interpretive panels, display photos and quotes, along with a push-button...

Annual unemployment data shows decrease in 80 counties; Woodford county records lowest rate

Annual unemployment rates decreased in 80 Kentucky counties in 2017 compared to 2016, rose in 24 and stayed the same in 16, according to the Kentucky Center for Education and Workforce Statistics (KCEWS). The annual jobless rate for Woodford County was the lowest in the Commonwealth in 2017 at 3.3 percent. It was followed by Oldham County, 3.5 percent; Fayette and Shelby counties, 3.6 percent each;...

Attorney General Beshear warns Kentuckians of vacation scam for travel to Florida, Bahamas

As many Kentuckians begin to plan their summer vacation, Attorney General Andy Beshear is warning of scam calls offering deep discounts on travel to Orlando, Florida, and the Bahamas. Beshear Beshear said his office issued a Scam Alert after Kentuckians in Bourbon, Boyd, Calloway, Fayette, Franklin, Jefferson, Lewis, Madison and Woodford counties have reported receiving vacation scam calls. In a recording...

February unemployment data indicates decline in 119 Kentucky counties; Woodford Co. records lowest rate

Unemployment rates fell in 119 Kentucky counties between February 2017 and February 2018 and rose in one (Metcalfe County), according to the Kentucky Center for Education and Workforce Statistics (KCEWS). Woodford County recorded the lowest jobless rate in the Commonwealth at 3.3 percent. It was followed by Fayette and Oldham counties, 3.5 percent each; Campbell, Marion, Scott, Shelby and Spencer...

Unemployment rates fall in 72 Kentucky counties; Woodford County marks lowest rate at 2.7 percent

Unemployment rates fell in 72 Kentucky counties, stayed the same in 17 and rose in 31 counties between November 2016 and November 2017, according to the Kentucky Center for Education and Workforce Statistics (KCEWS), an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet. Woodford County recorded the lowest jobless rate in the Commonwealth at 2.7 percent. It was followed by Oldham...

Unemployment rates drop in 88 Kentucky counties in past year; Woodford County best at 2.9 percent

Unemployment rates fell in 88 Kentucky counties, stayed the same in 10 and rose in 22 counties between Oct. 2016 and Oct. 2017, according to the Kentucky Center for Education and Workforce Statistics, an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet. 
Woodford County recorded the lowest jobless rate in the Commonwealth at 2.9 percent. It was followed by Oldham County, 3.1 percent;...

David Webster: October is Energy Awareness Month and reduced usage helps bottom line of KY schools

As we kick off what has traditionally been Energy Awareness Month, it is important to note the impact lowered energy usage can have on not only the environment, but also on the finances of public entities. Nowhere is the impact clearer than in Kentucky’s schools. The Kentucky School Boards Association has worked with local school districts since 2010 to better manage the energy usage in their buildings....

More than a pretty face, UK study demonstrates agriculture’s impact on Woodford County’s economy

By Carol Lea Spence Special to KyForward Very few would dispute the beauty of Kentucky farmland in the lushness of spring. But a study by the University of Kentucky’s Community and Economic Development Initiative of Kentucky shows that agriculture is more than just a pretty face. In Woodford County, agriculture and the businesses that support it are responsible for one out of three jobs and $565...

Because ‘Woodford County has so much
to offer,’ new advocacy group springs to life

Staff report   A group of Woodford County citizens and business owners have formed an advocacy organization to promote the link between quality of life and economic development in the county.   Billy Van Pelt, who has long been engaged in advocacy for quality land management, will serve as CEO of the group.   Woodford Forward is a nonprofit social welfare organization. Its mission:   By...

Despite Supreme Court ruling, Woodford, Clark, Madison counties remain smoke-free

  By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News   Three counties in Kentucky with unenforceable smoking bans continue to be smoke-free by the people’s choice.   Clark, Madison and Woodford counties have smoking bans that can’t be enforced because they are regulations of county health boards, which the Kentucky Supreme Court ruled in June do not have the power to ban smoking in public...

Versailles school's 'Writing on the Walls' project a 'community celebration of literacy'

‘The Writing on the Walls’ project at Simmons Elementary School in Versailles is aimed at showing students the importance of writing in all facets of life. (Graphic from Wikimedia Commons)   By Erin Grigson KyForward Intern   While some people may see “The Writing on the Walls” as a bad omen, at Simmons Elementary School in Versailles, it means preparing students for...

For a cool $30 million, Central Ky.’s landmark castle could be yours; it’s on the market again

Castle Post in Woodford County has been pegged ‘a luxury experience worthy of royalty.’ It’s on the market for $30 million.   Staff report   If you have an extra $30 million lying around, you might be interested to know that the iconic castle in Woodford County is on the market again.   The castle, a 12,118-square-foot structure punctuated by turrets on each corner...

Lex What Wear: This girl knows you can leave the South, but the South never leaves you

By Terri Darr McLean KyForward news editor & stand-in fashion editor – again   As the stand-in columnist for my daughter Alex – who is away on a three-week road trip for the clothing line Haute Hippie – I figure I can take a few liberties, especially when it comes to highlighting some of the really neat things she gets to do with her job and while living in New York City.   But...

Betsy Waters: A festive Fourth of July awaits you and your family in the Bluegrass region

  The Fourth of July is a great time to celebrate with family and friends. Many local communities have events planned that are ideal for children and adults alike. Check it out!   Downtown Lexington festivities   Lexington kicks off the day’s events with the Bluegrass 10,000. The wheelchair divisions hit the course at 7:20 a.m., with the foot race starting at 7:30 a.m. The Fun...

Seventeen districts in Kentucky apply to state to be Districts of Innovation, a school re-think

A total of 17 Kentucky public school districts have submitted applications to the Kentucky Department of Education to become Districts of Innovation.   The Districts of Innovation legislation, House Bill 37 (2012), provides Kentucky public school districts the opportunity to apply for an exemption from certain administrative regulations and statutory provisions in an effort to improve student...

Kentucky Afield Outdoors: Scenic bluffs, productive fishing draw paddlers to Pool 6

Cummins Falls, across the river from Cummins Ferry Marina, is one of the many features paddlers encounter while floating Pool 6 of the Kentucky River. (Photo from F&W)   By Lee McClellan Special to KyForward   James Harrod and a company of men launched their canoes in May of 1774 from old Redstone Fort on the Monongahela River in Pennsylvania, bound for the spring-rich meadow land of...

Everyday Heroes: Nabors’ ‘people ministry’
successful on professional, personal levels

By Steve Flairty KyForward columnist   Ron Nabors has wrestled with very few major personal failures in his life.   He was raised modestly in Versailles, but he was well-fed and enjoyed the blessings of a loving family. Turned down by his girlfriend the first time he proposed marriage, she later accepted and the couple have enjoyed a long and happy life together. He came up one semester...

Extension agents host free Pastures Please! event aimed at horse owners, farm managers

University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service and UK Ag Equine Programs will host Pastures Please! 6 p.m. Feb. 18 at the Fayette County extension office, 1140 Red Mile Place in Lexington. The public is invited to the free annual event; particularly horse owners and farm managers interested in the latest information about horse pasture management.   “We are pleased to offer our 6th...