Todd County Project Receives Spirit Award

Todd County Project Receives Spirit Award

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Aug. 25, 2016) - Gov. Matt Bevin, Lt. Gov. Jenean Hampton and Department for Local Government (DLG) Commissioner Sandy Dunahoo today presented the 2016 Spirit of Kentucky Award to the Todd County Career Path Institute. The institute was created through a partnership of local elected officials and community members that pooled resources to construct the regional technical training facility. The award was presented as part of the 41st Annual Governor’s Local Issues Conference.

“We commend the local officials and community members who made this dream a reality for our Todd County citizens. I am so proud of the unselfish teamwork that led to the creation of this Institute. What a great example of Kentuckians pulling together,” said Gov. Bevin. “The Todd County Career Path Institute provides training that is critical for developing a highly skilled and qualified workforce that will attract and retain jobs in southwestern Kentucky.”

Todd County’s Board of Education pursued resources to construct a technical training facility for over 30 years as Todd County High School vocational students commuted by bus an hour a day to the Russellville Vocational School. Financing soon developed through collaboration by local elected officials and with the help of the Southern Pennyrile Chamber Alliance, to focus the training facility toward high school and adult training opportunities.

The Todd County Career Path Institute project was funded utilizing a combination of public resources, including Economic Development funds, Community Development Block Grant funds and local funds from the Todd County Fiscal Court. The project was a cooperative partnership between the Todd County Fiscal Court, Christian County Fiscal Court, Todd County Board of Education, Todd County Industrial Foundation, the Hopkinsville Community College and the Southern Pennyrile Chamber Alliance. It is the first of its kind in Kentucky.

The Institute provides training for students and adults in key regional workforce needs such as welding, program logistic controllers, electrical circuit training, robotics, hydraulics and pneumatics. Equipment has been installed and the Institute opened May 10, 2016. Classes start in Fall 2016 and will be taught by Hopkinsville Community College faculty. The 16,000 square foot facility is located behind Todd County High School.

Todd County suffers from lower than state average educational attainment levels, lower than state average income levels, and higher than state average unemployment rates, at 9.3 percent unemployment. According to the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development, approximately 35.8 percent of the jobs in Todd County are manufacturing or trade/transportation/utilities. Over the past 14 years, Todd County has lost approximately 1,100 of these jobs due to plant downsizing, relocation, or closure. With continued large industry development adjacent to Todd County, some estimates for future job creation range from 2,000 to 5,000 new jobs in the coming years. With the addition of these new jobs comes the need for a highly skilled and qualified workforce.

“Congratulations to our Todd and Christian County colleagues on this exceptional regional partnership and on this well-deserved award,” said Commissioner Dunahoo. “Through partnerships across county lines between business and industry, educational institutions, and community leaders, this project could be replicated in our other communities to promote and maintain a quality standard of living for our citizens.”

Spirit of Kentucky Award
The Spirit of Kentucky Award is given annually to sponsors of a public project that demonstrate cost effective coordination of government resources among multiple government groups.
Nominations for the Spirit of Kentucky Award were submitted to DLG for consideration. Projects eligible for nomination include those of government, public service, private non-profit or quasi-governmental groups or agencies.

Governor’s Local Issues Conference
The Governor’s Local Issues Conference brings together over 800 county and city local government officials and community advocates from across the Commonwealth for education and networking through a variety of workshops and general sessions. The conference is currently being held August 24-26 at the Galt House in Louisville. For a detailed agenda and program, please visit www.kydlgweb.ky.gov/localissues.
 

Gigabit Technology Comes to Auburn, Lewisburg

Gigabit Technology Comes to Auburn, Lewisburg
 

Auburn, KY, September 20, 2016: Today General Manager Greg Hale announced that Logan Telephone Cooperative will now provide Gigabit broadband services in areas where the company has deployed their fiber-to-the-premise network including the cities of Auburn, Adairville, and Lewisburg, Ky. The Cooperative has made more than $20 million of new fiber investment since 2013. This investment has led to the availability of world-class Internet services including the new Gigabit offering. The Cooperative has a distinguished history of providing excellent services to members. Past achievements include being the first company in the state to provide broadband to 100 percent of members and helping to bring excellent 4G wireless services to the area through its partnership in Bluegrass Cellular. Hale stated, “Fiber-to-the-premise is just the next step to make sure the Cooperative helps our community remain a leader in terms of economic development and quality of life for residents. We are proud to bring Gigabit services to our communities, which we believe are some of the best places in the world to live, work, start a business, and raise a family.”

The mayors of the three new Gig-cities were presented with plaques to display at each city hall and State Representative Martha Jane King spoke about the impact that broadband can have on a community.

Gigabit service is available immediately to any Logan Telephone member that is served with fiber optic cable. The Cooperative plans to continue to invest to serve as many members as possible with fiber in the

Veterans to Receive Settlement Funds

Veterans to Receive Settlement Funds

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Oct. 4, 2016) – Attorney General Andy Beshear today announced Kentucky service members and their families targeted by retailer USA Discounters will share nearly $1 million in restitution from a multistate settlement to resolve claims the company preyed on service members with deceptive trade practices.

According to the suit, it’s alleged that USA Discounters sold overpriced items at high interest rates and used the military’s payroll deduction system to guarantee payment. Allegations involve the company engaging in abusive tactics when collecting on consumer debts, even contacting service members’ chains of command and causing some service members to lose security clearances or face demotions.

A total of 592 Kentuckians will receive a portion of the $922,041 in restitution from the $95.9 million nationwide settlement.

USA Discounters, also doing business as USA Living and Fletcher’s Jewelers, sold furniture, appliances, televisions, computers, smart phones, jewelry and other consumer goods principally on credit.

USA Discounters had no locations in Kentucky, but had a location in Clarksville, Tennessee near Fort Campbell. USA Discounters closed its stores in the summer of 2015 before later declaring bankruptcy.

USA Discounters typically marketed to members of the military and veterans, advertising that military, veterans and government employees would never be denied credit for goods purchased from the retailer.

Beshear said the investigation was specifically to address complaints by service members and veterans.

“I’m proud my office could work with other state attorneys general to help our military families who were the main targets of the company’s unfair, abusive, false and deceptive acts and practices,” Beshear said. “While our military and veterans weren’t the only consumers targeted by the company, they were hit the hardest. Many times service members were unable to travel to another state to defend themselves in court while stationed at a different state military base or overseas.”

Under the agreement, USA Discounters agreed to:

Write off all accounts with balances for service members whose last contract was dated June 1, 2012 or earlier, and correct the negative comment from the company on those service members’ credit reports. In Kentucky, it’s estimated that 260 service members will receive a portion of an estimated $865,000 for this provision in the agreement.
Apply a $100 credit to all accounts whose contracts were dated after June 1, 2012, which were not discharged in bankruptcy, and correct the negative comment from the company on credit reports. In Kentucky, it’s estimated that 327 Kentucky service members fall into this category for a total of nearly $32,700 in restitution.
USA Discounters filed suit and obtained judgements against service members in forums other than the location where the credit contract was signed or where service members resided.

Based on this, the agreement requires the company to: 

Reimbursed 50 percent of the original judgment in cases where service members had legal judgments brought against them. It’s estimated that five service members will share a portion of an estimated $24,000 for this provision in the agreement.
The settlement was signed last week by a federal judge. By mid-October, a detailed consumer list of Kentuckians will be available to an appointed administrator who will begin paying restitution.

Once an administrator has been appointed to handle the case, their contact information will be available on the front of the attorney general’s website for any consumer questions.