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WKU Public Radio is part of a new regional journalism collaborative known as the Ohio Valley ReSource. It's made up of public media stations across Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia. The collaborative will focus on the changing economy in the region and its effect on jobs, healthcare and infrastructure. Each station taking part in the Ohio Valley ReSource is hiring a reporter to contribute to the effort. WKU Public Radio's reporter is Alana Watson, who will be based in the Bowling Green newsroom. The Ohio Valley ReSource is made possible by member stations and through a grant from the Corporation For Public Broadcasting.

Toyota Revs Up Hybrid Vehicle Production In Ohio Valley

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Toyota
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The automaker Toyota announced Thursday major new investments in facilities in Kentucky and West Virginia to increase production of hybrid vehicles. Toyota plans to invest about $750 million in facilities in five states with almost half of that going to its plants in Kentucky and West Virginia.

Toyota’s plant in Georgetown, Kentucky, already the largest Toyota facility in the world, will get a $238 million boost.

“It gives me much pleasure to announce that beginning in May, TMMK will begin producing the Lexus ES 300 Hybrid,” said Susan Elkington, president of Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky.

The facility will also increase production of the hybrid RAV4.

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Credit Eric Douglas, WVPB
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Toyota West Virginia President Leah Curry announces a $111M expansion.

At the same time Elkington made her announcement, her colleague in Putnam County, West Virginia, shared news of an expansion there. Toyota Motor Manufacturing West Virginia President Leah Curry said her facility will double production of the transaxles used in hybrid vehicles.

“And I’m also excited to announce that to meet these production needs we are going to add another 123 jobs,” she said.

The West Virginia facility will expand with a $111 million investment.

The announcements come on the heels of another Toyota investment in the region that reflects a shift to cleaner vehicles and greener operations. Toyota will purchase power from a large solar array to be constructed on a former surface coal mine in eastern Kentucky.

With reporting from Eric Douglas, WVPB, Sydney Boles, WMMT, and Mary Meehan, WEKU.

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