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What’s All the Buzz About Bees?
As Tammy Horn tells it, she got her B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. before her real education began. It was 1997, and Horn had just graduated from the University of Alabama, when her grandfather introduced her to his bees. She was captivated. Eighteen years and two books on the subject later, Horn is now the state apiarist, otherwise known as beekeeper, for Kentucky. In her role, Horn is constantly traveling to assist other beekeepers throughout the state’s 120 counties. “My first priority is hive health and assessments,” she says, “and to document the losses.” The number of beehives in the U.S. has dropped from more than 5.5 million in 1950 to just over 2.6 million today. The dwindling number of bees has a direct impact on the economy, especially agribusiness, says Horn. To that end, she has been working with coal companies to restore former mine sites to their “natural bee-friendly state.” “A hive needs access to 252 million flowers to get through a year,” she says. Kentucky is one of at least 31 states that have a designated apiarist. Even though she’s been stung thousands of times, Horn says, “I have thoroughly enjoyed every day -- [even though] it never stops hurting.” Governing.com
Submitted 1 years 326 days ago

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Medicaid Expansion Dies in Louisiana
Legislative panels Wednesday killed yet another effort to allow Medicaid expansion in Louisiana. It marks the third straight year Medicaid expansion efforts by Democratic legislators have died at the hands of their Republican colleagues. The Senate’s Health and Welfare Committee voted 5-3 against the legislation, which would have provided health insurance to upward of 240,000 Louisiana residents. Governing.com
Submitted 1 years 326 days ago

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North Carolina Legislature Runs Out of Time
When the state House ended a 12-hour session at 2:26 a.m. Thursday, Speaker Tim Moore’s gavel sounded the apparent death for hundreds of bills filed this legislative session. Thursday marked the “crossover” deadline – an agreed date by which all non-budget bills must have passed either the House or Senate to remain alive for the rest of the session. “A late night,” the speaker tweeted moments after adjournment, “but a productive one.” Governing.com
Submitted 1 years 326 days ago

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HR Directors Get a Personnel Downgrade
It’s always been tough to run a state’s department of human resources. And since the beginning of the Great Recession, it’s gotten even more difficult as pay freezes, reductions in workforce size, and increasing co-pays for health and pensions have demoralized workers. With workforces under great stress, you might think that governors and other high-level state officials would be listening ever more carefully to the reports of their HR leaders. Governing.com
Submitted 1 years 326 days ago

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Actually, Immigration Can Create Jobs
When critics of immigration make their case, they often point to the labor market. The argument goes something like this: An increase in the supply of workers creates additional competition for jobs, and if immigrants are willing to accept lower wages than American-born workers, then it's the American workers who will suffer. It’s true that an inflow of new, able-bodied workers generally means an increase in the labor supply, though immigration patterns affect industries differently. And that can certainly have an impact on the wages of some workers. But there’s another piece to this puzzle that is often overlooked—and that’s the increased demand for services that comes along with a burgeoning population. The Atlantic
Submitted 1 years 326 days ago

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Central Kentucky auto products plant expanding
A central Kentucky company says it's expanding its operation in Paris, Kentucky, a move that's expected to create up to 30 jobs. Paris Machining LLC says it will invest $4.2 million to expand its automotive products facility. The State
Submitted 1 years 326 days ago

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Social Worker's Right-to-Work 'Research' is Shaky
Not only is there a real gap in economic growth between states with and without right-to-work policies, but the chasm between those who write papers from ivory towers and local leaders fighting in the trenches to bring jobs to their communities has never been wider. Surfky.com
Submitted 1 years 326 days ago

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Report: Kentucky lost more than 1 in 10 coal jobs during first three months of 2015
The number of coal jobs dropped sharply in both Eastern and Western Kentucky in the first three months of the year, hitting the lowest total on record. Preliminary data show mines cut more than 1,200 jobs statewide during the quarter, according to a report released Thursday by the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet. That was a drop of 10.6 percent, the steepest quarterly decline in more than two years. The job losses were split about evenly between the state's eastern and western coalfields, with more than 600 each, but the percentage decline was worse in Western Kentucky because fewer miners work there. Kentucky.com
Submitted 1 years 326 days ago

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How a Rebounding Economy Will Put More Pop in Your Paycheck
Yesterday’s GDP data made clear that the U.S. economy was in a winter lull over the first three months of the year, but today’s economic releases suggest that freeze has thawed some — and offer a few reasons for optimism over the rest of the year. The Fiscal Times
Submitted 1 years 326 days ago

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The most (and least) polluted cities in America
Every year for the past 16, the American Lung Association has released a State of the Air report, ranking the least- and most-polluted cities in the U.S. This year, as you might expect, the report contains bits of good news for us to cling to, but mostly, the state of the air in the United States is pretty dreary. I’ll start with the good: Grist.org
Submitted 1 years 326 days ago

 

 

 

Features & Opinion

 Randle Report - Business News in the South

For those who still languish over "losing to China" or believe that the economy is still in recession, wake up and smell the data. Economic development in the South was about as good as it gets in calendar year 2015 according to the data. And as for China, borrowing a quote from the late football coach Bear Bryant that he made in the half-time locker room down 15-0 to Georgia Tech in 1960, "We got 'em right where we want 'em." For those of you who don't know the rich history of Alabama Crimson Tide football, Bama scored all of its 16 points in the fourth quarter, kicking a field goal on the last play of the game to beat Tech 16-15.
 

 Randle Report - Business News in the South

 FEATURE  
By Mike Randle
Today, factories in the U.S. make twice as much product as they did in 1984. And they are doing it with one-third of the manufacturing workforce. In fact, the output of durable goods in 2015 was the highest in the nation's history. So, we do have a strong manufacturing base, at least in the South, much of the Midwest and parts of the West, and it is getting stronger because on a cost-basis, we can compete with any major manufacturing nation in the world.  
 

 Randle Report - Business News in the South

FEATURE     
The argument for or against a minimum wage hike continues between the reds and the blues, as well as within the economic development community in the South. Should we stay the course with a minimum wage under $8 an hour to better compete with Mexico, the South's biggest competitor for jobs, or set a minimum wage just over $10 an hour, a wage floor most centrists support? That $10 per hour is, according to the MIT Living Wage Calculator, about right in most states in the South for one adult to be able to cover basic expenses plus all relevant taxes.
 
 Randle Report - Business News in the South
Recent data from the Computing Technology Industry Association (Comp TIA) showed that the technology industry is one of the fastest growing job generators in the South and the nation. The report also indicated that technology job compensation is growing faster than any other sector.
 


 

 

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