Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Ebola Drug From Tobacco Part of Promising Therapies

Ebola Drug From Tobacco Part of Promising Therapies 

Aug 5, 2014 8:55 PM CT, Bloomberg

On a small plot of land incongruously tucked amid a Kentucky industrial park sit five weather-beaten greenhouses. At the site, genetically-modified tobacco plants contain one of the most promising hopes for developing an effective treatment for the deadly Ebola virus.

The plants contain designer antibodies developed by San Diego-based Mapp Biopharmaceutical Inc. and are grown in Kentucky by a unit of Reynolds American Inc. (RAI) Two stricken U.S. health workers received an experimental treatment containing the antibodies in Liberia last week. Since receiving doses of the drug, both patients’ conditions have improved.

Tobacco plant-derived medicines, which are also being developed by a company whose investors include Philip Morris International Inc. (PM), are part of a handful of cutting edge plant-based treatments that are in the works for everything from pandemic flu to rabies using plants such as lettuce, carrots and even duckweed. While the technique has existed for years, the treatments have only recently begun to reach the marketplace.

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Friday, March 1, 2013

US Bank Announces Expansion of Mortgage Servicing Division in Owensboro

Governor Steve Beshear and Owensboro Mayor Ron Payne announced today that U.S. Bank National Association, a subsidiary of U.S. Bancorp (NYSE: USB), plans to expand operations in Owensboro, add 332 jobs and invest more than $15.2 million in the project. 

The project is a phase III expansion of the Home Mortgage servicing division in Owensboro with an addition to the campus in the Mid America Airpark.

U.S. Bank National Association originates loans nationwide through a network of more than 2,700 branches in 24 states. The U.S. Bank Mortgage Servicing Center, located on Tamarack Road in Owensboro, supports U.S. Bank’s national portfolio of 1.63 million loans totalling approximately $266 billion. The expansion in Owensboro will meet increased demand for U.S. Bank’s mortgage services.

This is the third US Bank expansion in Owensboro since 2009, the 500-job expansion in 2010 exceeded expectations and job targets.

“Simply put, this is a victory, not only for the Commonwealth, but for Owensboro and for U.S. Bank,” said Gov. Beshear. “U.S. Bank plans to add 332 employees and invest more than $15.2 million in this expansion, proving how successful this area has been for such a respected institution, and showing U.S. Bank’s commitment to a promising future here in Kentucky.”

U.S. Bank National Association originates loans nationwide through a network of more than 2,700 branches in 24 states. The U.S. Bank Mortgage Servicing Center, located on Tamarack Road in Owensboro, supports U.S. Bank’s national portfolio of 1.63 million loans totalling approximately $266 billion. The expansion in Owensboro will meet increased demand for U.S. Bank’s mortgage services.

“As we announced the 500 job expansion in 2010, we anticipated having capacity through 2014. What we did not expect was the rapid growth of our mortgage company in 2012, along with expanded requirements and regulations,” said U.S. Bank Home Mortgage Executive Vice President Robert Smiley. “In partnership with the state and city, we are pleased to once again bring additional jobs to Owensboro, expecting about 330 over the next 24-36 months.”

“The economic partnership the city of Owensboro has found in U.S. Bank has been a great success,” said Owensboro Mayor Ron Payne. “This third expansion will create approximately 320 more jobs within the city. Owensboro is proud to support this employer as they continue to thrive.”

To encourage the investment and job growth in Owensboro, the City of Owensboro Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) preliminarily approved the company for tax incentives up to $2,875,000 through the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based incentive allows a company to keep a portion of its investment over the term of the agreement through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments by meeting job and investment targets. 

“I am thrilled with the expansion of U.S. National Bank in the area,” said Sen. Joe Bowen, of Owensboro. “Owensboro is making its mark with many industries, and I welcome the growth of our financial services.”

“Daviess County Fiscal Court is pleased to see the expansion of U.S. Bank at its Mid America Air Park location,” said Daviess County Judge-Executive Al Mattingly. “The 320 new jobs will provide employment for the Owensboro-Daviess County community, and the expansion is an encouraging sign of continued economic recovery.”

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Wireless Broadband Critical Infrastructure

Third-generation (3G) wireless service was late coming to Owensboro.  The “Big Four” providers launched this service a few years ago.  We weren’t the last to get this service, but we sure weren’t at the front of the line, either.  With the recent introduction of AT&T 4G LTE in Louisville, Lexington and Bowling Green, offering wireless broadband speeds 10 times that of 3G, Owensboro is again behind the curve with regards to wireless technology.  Verizon is currently the only provider currently offering broadband speeds that exceed 3G capabilities in Owensboro.

In a world that is becoming more and more dependent on our wireless connectivity, the Greater Owensboro Economic Development Corporation’s goal is to do all we can to ensure Owensboro’s wait for this new technology is not a long one.

More than a third of Kentucky adults live in wireless-only households, while the number of smartphones and tablets in our Commonwealth continues to grow daily.   This technology is critical to Owensboro’s future because wireless broadband applications are driving productivity and changes in every segment of our economy.  It has become a major component in the way we address problems and opportunities in health care, education, commerce and more.  In order for businesses to compete in a global economy, they need wireless connectivity, so we must do all we can to better enable providers to bring this new technology to our community.  

Fortunately for Owensboro and other non-metro towns in the state, communications providers are among the leading investors in Kentucky, with AT&T, for example, investing $200 million per year over the past three years.  These providers are looking to invest even more to meet the explosive demand for broadband services and are working with legislators to modernize our laws to make Kentucky an even more attractive environment for capital investment.   Kentucky must compete for capital with states like Indiana and others who already claim to have one of the best business climates in the nation.

GO-EDC is one of more than 100 organizations and businesses representing thousands of Kentuckians who strongly supports this effort to modernize our laws to keep Kentucky from falling behind other states like Indiana, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida, and Tennessee.  We must update our monopoly-era laws for a world that thrives on competition.  Kentucky cannot afford to wait behind other states for investment, and Owensboro cannot afford to lag behind other cities in Kentucky.
The way we communicate has changed, and we must not handcuff our future growth with outdated laws.  The New Economy Communications Act is about attracting capital and investing it in the technologies of the future that consumers and businesses are demanding.  It’s about bringing new services and a better wireless infrastructure to our state as we become even more dependent on the Internet to communicate with each other and do business.  In a competitive world, providers have every incentive to continue to maintain existing wire line networks, but they must also look ahead to invest in new technology to handle this rapid change. We support legislation to build a better business climate in Kentucky that is conducive to addressing technological change and keep us from falling behind in the race to bring jobs, investment and innovation to Owensboro and Western Kentucky.  

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Owensboro Recognized as a Top MSA by Area Development

WESTBURY, N.Y., June 26, 2012 Area Development, the premier publication covering site selection and facility planning, recently ranked 365 MSAs across 23 economic and work force indicators, which were pulled from seven (7) data sets originating with the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Bureau of Economic Analysis, and U.S. Census American Community Survey. Based on these rankings, the publication has announced its Leading Locations for 2012.

Columbus(IN) ranks first overall, followed in the remaining top-10 spots by Odessa (TX), Lafayette (LA), Bismarck (ND), Fargo (ND-MN), Midland (TX), San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara (CA), Casper (WY), Morgantown (WV), and Columbia (MO). Based on overall results, MSAs were ranked across nine (9) regions, as well as according to size in three categories, “Big Cities,” “Mid-Size Cities,” and “Small Cities.” They were also ranked within the “Economic Strength,” “Prime Workforce Growth,” and “Recession-Busting” categories, with each category based on selected indicators used to establish the overall rankings.

Regional leaders are Boston-Cambridge-Quincy (MA); Pittsburg (PA); Morgantown (WV); Columbus (IN), which also led among Top 50 Small Cities; Lafayette (LA), which also led among Top 50 Mid-Size Cities; Odessa (TX); Bismarck (ND); Casper (WY); and San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara (CA), which also led among Top 50 Big Cities. The overall leader for “Economic Strength” was Lafayette (LA); for “Prime Workforce Growth,” the leader was Ithaca (NY); and for ““Recession-Busting” indicators Bismarck (ND) ranked first.

"The Leading Locations are MSAs that have managed to thrive and get back on their feet quickly after the recession," said Geraldine Gambale, editor of Area Development.“These MSAs are leaders based on their economic strengths; growth of their young, educated work forces; and recession-busting characteristics. They deserve special recognition for their efforts.”

The full report on the Leading Locations will be published in the Summer 2012 issue of Area Development andposted online at

Area Developmentis published bi-monthly and has 45,000+ executive subscribers. It also maintains several highly visited websites, which can be reached through