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Louisa-Lawrence Co, KY

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Popular eating spot Papa Johns Pizza has moved to a new location at the Food City Plaza. See info in banner ad on The Lazer main page.

Louisa Papa Johns has recently been relocated to the Food City Plaza. The move took place from May 22nd to June 7th in case you wondered why nobody answered the phone when you tried to order on of their pizzas for pickup or delivery.

General Manager, Keith Boyd stated that the move was to increase foot traffic within the store and to better serve the community.

Boyd welcomes everyone to stop by and enjoy their favorite pizza. Weekly specials are posted on the Papa Johns' Facebook page. (See banner ad on The Lazer and click to the FB page.)

Volunteer firefighters would get $1,000 tax credit under Rep. Nelson's proposal

FRANKFORT – In small-town Kentucky, volunteer firefighters are part tradition, part public service. But it is becoming increasingly difficult for cities and counties to find volunteer firefighters in the Commonwealth.

“To become a volunteer firefighter, individuals must dedicate many hours of personal time for training and physical ability testing,” said Rep. Rick G. Nelson, D-Middletown. “Most volunteers do not get paid when responding to calls or for the required training. If payment is made, those payments may not cover the expenses of the volunteer.”

Nelson has proposed an individual income tax credit for certain volunteer firefighters to entice individuals to join volunteer fire departments and to partially compensate individuals for the costs associated with being a volunteer firefighter. He said the proposal calls for a credit to be created in January. It would be equal to $1,000 for each active certified volunteer firefighter.

An active certified volunteer firefighter is defined as a firefighter who:

*  volunteers for a qualified fire department;

*  is active with a qualified fire department for the entire taxable year for which the tax credit is claimed;

*  and appears on the list of certified volunteer firefighter provided by the Commission on Fire Protection Personnel Standards and Education.

“To become a volunteer firefighter, individuals must dedicate many hours of personal time for training and physical ability testing,” said Rep. Rick G. Nelson, D-Middletown. “Most volunteers do not get paid when responding to calls or for the required training. If payment is made, those payments may not cover the expenses of the volunteer.”  Rep. Nelson has always supported firefighters. In 2001, he was a cosponsor of House Bill 101, which says a volunteer firefighter could not be fired over being called away to fulfill firefighter duties.

Jeff Pohlman, president of the Kentucky Firefighters Association and the Chief of the Alexandria Fire District, said the legislation would be helpful to volunteer firefighters and departments across the state.

“I think it’s a great start,” Pohlman said. “Anything we do would be a plus.”

Nelson said he intends to pre-file his legislation this year to be introduced during the 2017 General Assembly.

“The state has more volunteer fire departments than cities,” Nelson said. “Staffing those departments are nearly 18,000 volunteer firefighters. There is no doubt about it; volunteer fire departments are a major provider of services in rural Kentucky and it is time the legislature acts to preserve these institutions.”

Nine counties will be certified as 'AiReady'

By Chuck Sexton

Prestonsburg, KY, July 7, 2016 – One East Kentucky announced today that the organization has contracted with a consulting firm to certify nine counties in the coal fields as “AiReady”.

“This is part of our ongoing recruitment effort. We identified aerospace as a target industry for the region due to multiple factors: skilled workforce, infrastructure, regional airports and proximity to other aerospace clusters,” said Chuck Sexton, CEO of One East Kentucky. “Many people don’t realize that the number one export in the state of Kentucky is aerospace. For all of these reasons and more, it becomes a natural fit for attracting those types of companies.”

Sexton also noted that educational programs related to aerospace are key advantages in recruiting new industry. Morehead State University’s Space Science Center was listed as a key partner in the study, as well as technical programs through KCTCS, the Aviation Mechanics program in Somerset and a new advanced manufacturing/CNC program in development.

The certification process was developed by two seasoned economic development consultants, Robert Ingram and Tucson Roberts, CEO’s of Common Sense Economic Development and Tucson Atlantic Consulting respectively. Their combined experience in attracting and locating aerospace related industries spans multiple decades.

Tucson Roberts stated, “We have visited the One East Kentucky region twice over the past month, and were pleasantly surprised with the quality of the four-lanes, industrial parks and airports. Our biggest wow moment though has been the friendliness and cooperation we are seeing among all the community and business leaders across county lines. Industry doesn’t see county lines, they look at regional opportunities for employment, training and infrastructure.”

The certification is designed to help rural areas showcase advantages to aerospace related companies, prepare marketing for recruitment, and give assurance to the companies that an independent firm has verified the region can support them. “Everything we have seen so far tells me that east Kentucky would be a great location for aerospace manufacturers, especially those who manufacture metal components and parts,” added Robert Ingram. “The key is going to be getting out and talking to these companies across the country and at industry trade shows.”

Allen Gillum, CEO of Appalachian Wireless and Chairman of the board for One East Kentucky, assures that is exactly what Sexton will be doing, “Between now and November, One East will be meeting with companies in Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Kansas, Texas, California and even in Canada. The organization was created for that purpose and this certification is going to give us added credibility, which helps get our foot in the door of companies around the country.”

During these recruitment campaigns, other target industries will be meeting with One East Kentucky to learn more about the region as well. Those additional industries include automotive, steel fabrication, wood manufacturing, food processing and more. All in an effort to bring more jobs to the region.

The AiReady Certification will be complete at the end of September in time for recruitment meetings. AEP/Kentucky Power has awarded One East Kentucky a portion of the KPEGG Grant to cover the study’s cost of $37,000.

The nine counties in One East Kentucky's region: Floyd, Johnson, Knott, Lawrence, Letcher, Magoffin, Martin, Perry and Pike.



One East Kentucky is a privately funded, non-profit regional economic development organization covering nine counties. If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Charles Sexton at 606-886-7333 or email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

More than a dozen Kentucky Wendy's on list of hacked locations


Kentucky Press News Service

DUBLIN, Ohio - Officials at the Wendy's corporate headquarters have released locations of stores in cities where hackers may have been able to access customer credit card information.

More than a dozen towns and cities in Kentucky are on the list, according to a company news release.

The Kentucky locations on the list include:

Beaver Dam, Bowling Green, Central City, Covington, Florence, Fulton, Glasgow, Hazard, Henderson, Maysville, Leitchfield, Owensboro, Pikeville, Prestonsburg and Salyersville.

Officials have also provided a contact number for information for customers who may have used their credit cards at a restaurant on the list.

Wendy's is offering a year of free credit fraud consultation and identity restoration to customers of hacked stores.

For information on the Wendy's hacking incident call a toll-free number, (866) 779-0485, 8 a.m to 5:30 p.m. Central Standard Time, Monday through Friday excluding major holidays to receive additional information regarding accessing the fraud consultation and identity restoration services. 

Officials also warned area residents to not be conned by fake callers who may use the hack announcement to attempt to gain personal information.

Wendy's representatives will not be calling customers about fraud protection nor asking for banking or personal information, officials said.



Factories such as Tarter Industries are having problems meeting current production needs because of a critical shortage of workers. And, expansion plans for 2017 may have to be put on hold if workers cannot be found, said Travis Cox, vice president and general manager for Tarter Industries.

“Lack of workers is now my No. 1 inhibiting growth factor, bar none,” said Cox. “My last shortage report shows we are about 75-80 people under full budget head count. That’s just trying to keep up, not growing and expanding.”

Cox said TI is aggressively searching within two counties on each side of Casey County to try and attract workers.

“Tarter announced in March new starting pay would be $10.10 an hour. Nobody in the company would make less than $10.10 an hour,” he said.

In addition, Cox said the company has “poured a ton of money” into health plans to make health insurance more affordable as well as upping vacation days and holidays to try and give workers more time off.

Work formula simple

Cox said both unskilled and skilled workers are needed.

“I’ve got so much work that doesn’t require any permanent skill. For unskilled workers, I’ll teach you what I need you to do if you’ll just come to work and pass a drug test. We’re failing about four of every 10 workers on pre-employment drug screens.”

Of the six remaining workers who apply, only one will still be on the job after a few weeks.

Cox said what he asks of potential workers — especially younger workers — is not complicated.

“I went to every vocational school last year in all the surrounding counties. I told those seniors if you can pass a drug test, and you’ll come to work every day, and you’ll work when you’re there, I’ll guarantee you a job for life.”

According to Cox, one problem affecting a lack of workers is young people wanting to start at a higher level and salary than warranted for the work.

“A lot of them are looking for a desk job or looking for us to give them a truck so they can drive around and supply people. We have a workforce that’s coming in that’s used to living at a very high standard of living so a lot of these kids coming in have a standard of living with their parents they can’t afford themselves if they come out and start at a workplace job. You offer somebody $35,000 a year and they can’t live like they’re accustomed to living like they did with their parents.”

Looking beyond central Kentucky

Darryl McGaha, director for workforce development with the Lake Cumberland Area Development District in Russell Springs, said his office is aware of the shortage of workers.

“Right now in the 13 counties with which I work, there’s about 42 percent of the people up to age 65 that are not working in the workforce. What we’re trying to do is find out who makes up that 42 percent. Unfortunately, that’s not been as easy as I thought it might be but we’re still working on it,” said McGaha.

If that 42 percent, or 80,000 people can be identified, then hopefully a small percentage can be lured back into the workforce.

“If we could find 5 percent, which is about as conservative as you can get, that’s 4,000 workers. That would go a long way to meet a lot of these companies’ needs,” he said.

One possible source of workers for factories could possibly come from veterans.

“What can we do to entice veterans because Fort Knox is the transition center. Every veteran coming out of the U.S. Army, they all go to Fort Knox. So what can we do to bring them to our part of the state? There may be some good old country boys who don’t want to live and work in Louisville.”

Another possible source of workers might be first time offenders.

“We don’t want them to become second-or-third time offenders. How can we work with them? The justice cabinet is willing to work with us so we’ve got to put this together.”

New training facility

Once new workers are identified and hired, they have to be trained.

Toward that end, Tarter is building a new training facility next to its corporate offices in Dunnville.

“One half of the building is for an expanded human resource department. I have hired recruiters to work on my staff in addition to using staffing agencies and employment services. I’ve also hired additional trainers to train people in job skills or supervisory skills or whatever skills we need,” Cox said.

The other half of the building will be dedicated as training and conference rooms, in addition to being used to demonstrate new products and train dealers concerning the products.

Still, Cox said the clock is ticking for industries like TI.

“I’ve been with the company 16 years. There were 300 people when I started; we’re 1,250 now. 2017 is looking to be better than 2016 because of things we’ve got going and I need folks. And it’s full benefits, a truckload of benefits that we offer.”

By Larry Rowell
The Casey County News