Owensboro

Liam Niemeyer | WKMS

A $69 million lawsuit over control of Owensboro-based hemp processing company Bluegrass Bioextracts has been settled amid controversy surrounding the company not paying out potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars in contracts to hemp farmers.

Plaintiff Gerald Edds is one of the former Bluegrass Bioextracts owners who sold his company last year to a Nevada-based limited liability company, DTEC Ventures. Edds, along with other former owners, sued DTEC Ventures last month for multiple reasons including not fulfilling contracts to hemp farmers.

Edds said the settlement will have former owners reacquiring hemp processing equipment owned by Bluegrass Bioextracts, with no money being exchanged between DTEC Ventures and the former owners. With the equipment, Edds said he’s planning on starting a new hemp processing company by this summer, called Precision Biotech, LLC.

Lisa Autry

Kentucky’s first anti-discrimination law protecting gays, lesbians, and transgender individuals was approved 20 years ago by the city of Louisville, ushering in a new era of LGBTQ rights. 

Since then, more than a dozen communities have passed what supporters call fairness ordinances.

Mark Twain once said “When the end of the world comes, I want to be in Kentucky, because everything there happens 20 years after it happens anywhere else.”

LGBTQ individuals and their advocates are hoping Daviess County joins the national trend of protecting members of the group through a change in local law. Often referred to as a fairness ordinance, it would protect the LGBTQ population in the areas of housing, employment, and public accommodations.  Gender identification and sexual orientation would be added to an existing law barring discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, and age.

BarLouie.com/Evansville

A national restaurant chain with several locations in our region has filed for bankruptcy and closed 38 of its gastropubs.

However, Bar Louie locations in Owensboro and Lexington, Kentucky and Evansville, Indiana will remain open.

Michael Frierdich and his wife launched the Bar Louie franchise in Evansville 10 years ago. Frierdich said he had recent discussions with corporate headquarters in Texas.

“I have heard of no franchise stores closing at this time. It’s just corporate stores that were nonperforming, and most of them were in malls where the traffic’s down and the sales are down," said Frierdich. "It’ll have no impact on our operation in Evansville. We just signed a new franchise agreement for 10 additional years.”

Facebook

One of the races on the ballot this year will feature a rematch for a seat in the Kentucky legislature that represents part of Daviess County.

DJ Johnson is challenging incumbent State Representative Jim Glenn in the 13th District House race.

The 13th District election in 2018 was one for the record books.  Democrat Jim Glenn held the seat for a decade before being defeated by Republican DJ Johnson in 2016.  Two years later, Glenn won the seat back by only one vote.  When a recanvass didn’t change the outcome, Johnson requested a recount, which ended in a tie.  That left a special committee of House lawmakers to decide the winner of the race. 

Owensboro Regional Farmers Market/ facebook

The Owensboro Regional Farmers Market is showing significant growth in the number of vendors and customers.

One reason for the increase is the new permanent structure.

This first full season with the permanent pavilion offers shoppers a comfortable place to relax and chat with neighbors, as well as an expanded choice of vegetables, fruits, meat, fish, and crafts. The permanent structure opened in late spring 2018, giving roots to the market that began 35 years ago.

Jim Gilles, president of the board of Owensboro Regional Farmers Market, said the market used to have an average of 30 vendors, and now it’s jumped to 40. He said customers like the increased offerings.


Oasis/facebook

Four men and 25 women in Kentucky were murdered by intimate partners between Sept. 1, 2018 and Aug. 31, 2019.  Some of the convicted or alleged murderers were no longer partners to those who died, but were an ex-boyfriend, ex-wife or ex-husband. 

The Oasis shelter in Owensboro will hold a candlelight vigil in honor of victims of domestic violence on Tuesday, Oct. 1 at Bridgepointe Church at 6 p.m. 

Oasis and a Daviess County family are among those reminding people that there is help to get out of abusive situations. 


Owensboro NAACP Facebook page

An Owensboro man says he was fired after reporting racial discrimination by a co-worker.

Jamar Jackson, an African-American told the local NAACP that he was fired after being called the n-word by a coworker, who is white, while working at a local Walmart.

  

Owensboro NAACP President Rhondalyn Randolph said her office has received three similar allegations this year about hate speech made while on the job.


owensborosportscenter.com

An Owensboro attorney is asking the city commission to reconsider allowing an upcoming gun show in light of the many mass shootings across the country.     

Owensboro attorney Clay Wilkey said he’s familiar with a law passed by the General Assembly in 2012 that prohibits city or county governments from passing legislation that infringes on a Kentucky citizen’s right to purchase or carry a firearm. But Wilkey said he has concerns about what’s called the “gun show loophole.”

“I thought it was perhaps in poor taste that the city would play host to a gun show where anybody that has $6 to buy an admission ticket and has a Kentucky ID can go into the Sportscenter, and walk out with a firearm, without any requirement that a background check be done,” said Wilkey. 


Becca Schimmel/WKU Public Radio

If you live in Owensboro or Daviess County and have thoughts about the area’s transportation needs, now’s the time to sound off.

Residents are being asked to fill out a seven-question survey that will help the local Metropolitan Planning Organization prioritize both short-term and long-term transportation goals.

Some of the questions on the survey involve residents’ opinions on the construction of new roads, bicycle lanes, and public transit options.

Tom Lovett is with the Green River Area Development District, which is overseeing the survey. He said he’s trying to cast as wide a net as possible to ensure he hears from as many residents as possible.

Owensboro Public Schools

Owensboro is launching a new public school with the start of the academic year on Aug. 7. Owensboro Innovation Middle School has 300 students who represent all of the elementary buildings in the Owensboro Public Schools district.

The only entrance requirement for Innovation Middle is the interest of the student and parents. This year is first-come, first-served, and there’s already a waiting list.     

Innovation Middle School for grades 6-8 opens four years after the launch of Owensboro Innovation Academy, a public high school that focuses on hands-on, project-based learning. That requires students to take the contents of a subject, like science, math or English, and work in teams to solve problems.


International Bluegrass Music Museum

An estimated 26,500 people turned out for Owensboro’s annual outdoor bluegrass music festival.

The Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame and Museum released figures Tuesday from the event held June 26-29 at Yellow Creek Park in Daviess County.

The attendance figure is about the same as the one from last year’s event.


Owensboro Public Schools

Owensboro Public Schools Superintendent Nick Brake has announced he will leave that position at the end of December.

Brake has been leading the school district for more than six years. During his tenure, the district created two new schools, Owensboro Innovation Academy, a high school that graduated its first class this year, and Innovation Middle, which will open in the fall.

“I have accomplished much of what I set out to accomplish during my time at OPS,” said Brake. “The district has very capable leadership at all levels and a great board of education. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time and tenure as superintendent and I would not want to hold that position in any other district. The time is just right for me to explore new challenges in the future. The timing will help in the transition process and set up the person who follows me for success.”

Colin Jackson

The leader of a Kentucky LGBTQ-rights group is optimistic another city in the state will pass a Fairness Ordinance by the end of August.

Chris Hartman, executive director of the Fairness Campaign, made the prediction on the heels of the Henderson City Commission adopting a Fairness Ordinance at its meeting Tuesday night.

Hartman said advocates in other cities are encouraged whenever laws are passed that expand legal protections for the LGBTQ community.

Owensboro Health

Owensboro Health has a model program that tackles two issues of concern to food aid organizations across the nation - hunger and food waste.

The health care organization is part of a collaboration that's bringing frozen meals to some of Kentucky’s homebound senior citizens.

The program recently won the 2019 Rurual Achievement Award from the National Association of Regional Councils.

The program arose from conversations among staff at Owensboro Health, its food service provider, Morrison Healthcare, and those in the Green River Area Development District who work with senior citizens.


O.Z. Tyler Distillery

Part of a bourbon warehouse in Daviess County collapsed during a thunderstorm.

The partial collapse of the O.Z. Tyler Distillery rickhouse in Owensboro was reported early Monday.

Master Distiller Jacob Call says around 20,000 barrels are stored at the location and it appears that about 4,000 were affected. He says it appears most barrels remain intact.

Call says engineers will be out later Monday to try to determine what caused the collapse. It's unclear if weather played a role.

Pages