News in Brief

Published 3:35 pm Friday, November 17, 2017

Ky.’s jobless rate falls to 5 percent in October

FRANKFORT (AP) — Kentucky officials say the state’s unemployment rate fell to 5 percent in October.

The Kentucky Center for Education and Workforce Statistics says last month’s seasonally adjusted preliminary rate was down from the revised 5.2 percent reported for September.

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The October rate was up slightly from the 4.9 percent recorded for the state in October 2016.

State officials say Kentucky’s education and health services sectors added 1,400 jobs from September to October of this year. The information services sector gained 500 jobs, while the government sector increased by 300 jobs.

Employment in mining and logging did not change in October.

Officials say construction employment declined by 1,600 jobs from September to October of this year. The financial activities sector lost 800 jobs in October. Manufacturing employment dropped by 300 jobs.

City finalizes deal to move Confederate statues

LEXINGTON (AP) — Government leaders in Kentucky’s second-largest city have finalized an agreement to move two Confederate statues to a cemetery.

Media reports say the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council voted Thursday to approve the agreement with the Lexington Cemetery over moving the statues of Confederate General John Hunt Morgan and John C. Breckinridge, a Confederate secretary of war.

Both men are buried at Lexington Cemetery.

The city and cemetery were in negotiations for weeks over issues associated with moving the statues, including security and upkeep of the statues.

The cemetery will have access to a fund started at the Blue Grass Community Foundation for the upkeep and costs associated with moving the statues.

The statues were fixtures in downtown Lexington for more than 130 years. The city removed the statues in mid-October.

Former lawmaker faces new federal charges

LEXINGTON (AP) — A former Kentucky lawmaker sent to prison for a bribery scheme is facing new charges.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports ex-state Rep. Keith Hall was indicted on federal charges of using fake documents to convince a customer he had insurance so he could keep a contract. Hall faces up to 20 years in prison on the most serious of the new charges.

The 58-year-old Hall is serving a seven-year prison sentence for a 2015 conviction for bribing an inspector to overlook violations at his surface coal mines.

Hall now is accused of giving fake certificates showing a Pike County company had insurance. The grand jury Thursday charged Hall with three counts of wire fraud.

Hall was a longtime lawmaker until his re-election defeat in 2014.

Court documents do not list an attorney for Hall.

Bus manufacturer plans to create up to 550 jobs

FRANKFORT (AP) — Kentucky officials say a bus manufacturer plans to create up to 550 full-time jobs by opening a parts-production operation in Bullitt County.

Gov. Matt Bevin’s office said Thursday that New Flyer of America Inc. intends to invest $40 million to lease and upgrade a facility in Shepherdsville. Officials say the company expects to begin work on the project this month and to be in full operation by the end of 2019.

The Kentucky operation will support the company’s efforts to boost in-house production of components.

New Flyer of America is a U.S. subsidiary of New Flyer Industries Inc. The company offers a line of transit buses and is a player in the motor coach market.

The company is eligible for up to $8.5 million in tax incentives preliminarily approved by the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority.

University, Kindred partner to develop health care apps

LOUISVILLE (AP) — The University of Louisville says it has partnered with Kindred Healthcare Inc. to develop health care apps.

A statement from the university on Wednesday says Kindred employees are working with students and faculty on apps that are aimed at improving the lives of aging adults. The partnership is currently working on an app that would allow nurses to assess whether a patient is eligible for hospice care.

Kindred President and Chief Executive Officer Benjamin A. Breier said the initiative will help create “a culture of innovation and agility” and is an example of how companies and universities can work together on a project that benefits each as well as the community, patients and students.