KENTUCKY (WEHT) – Governor Andy Beshear held his weekly Team Kentucky update on January 12. During the press conference, Governor Beshear updated Kentuckians on a number of topics, including the following:

Here are highlights from the January 12 Team Kentucky update.

Economic development

Governor Beshear highlighted two economic development projects that are expected to create nearly 160 jobs and represent $54.8 million in new investment.

The governor congratulated Neogen Corp., a manufacturer of animal and food safety products, on its new facility in Montgomery County, a $9.8 million investment expected to create 79 full-time jobs and further the governor’s initiative to grow Kentucky’s AgriTech sector. Governor Beshear joined local officials and representatives from PACCAR Parts on Thursday for the ribbon cutting of the company’s $45 million parts distribution center in Louisville, which is expected to create 80 full-time jobs in the region. PACCAR Parts is a distributor of aftermarket parts for heavy-and medium-duty trucks, trailers, buses and engines.

Beshear also recently announced eight Kentucky companies receiving nearly $900,000 in state matching grants as part of the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer matching funds programs. According to a release, the eight companies are using technology to advance multiple fields from farming and pest solutions to Alzheimer’s disease care.

The following companies received matching funds:

  • 1109 Bravo LLC
    • Creators of the NeuroPak, a wearable neuromuscular training system queues the body to achieve correct postural alignment and stability. According to a press release, the NeuroPak increases neuromuscular activation, amplifies motor learning and maximizes mechanical performance across all movement patterns.
  • Adelphi Technology LLC
    • A release from the governor’s office says Adelphi is creating an integrated monitoring station to meet farmers’ current technology monitoring needs while integrating their ethylene monitor, which the company developed for NASA space missions.
  • CircCure Corp.
    • CircCure is creating antisera against proteins that are indicated of early Alzheimer’s disease development. The antisera will be tested as biomarkers to detect early stages of Alzheimer’s disease and follow disease progression and possible therapeutic interventions for commercialization as a diagnostic and research tool.
  • Covert Defenses LLC
    • Covert Defenses will move from West Lafayette, Indiana to Lexington, Kentucky to further develop the company’s Covert Cognizance technology. A press release says the technology ensures that cyberthreats that compromise business networks do not have a physical impact on the process and is well-suited for critical infrastructure that continue to provide life-critical services to millions of Americans.
  • Lepidext Inc.
    • Lepidext is developing a biopesticide for the reduction of the harmful pest Helicoverpa zea, also known as the corn earworm.
  • Thermisoln LLC
    • Thermisoln is developing a post-combustion carbon dioxide capturing technology to improve energy efficiency of carbon capture from a coal-fired power plant.
  • vCardio Inc.
    • vCardio is creating a noninvasive, real-time assessment of coronary stenosis for use in the catheterization lab.
  • Wicked Sheets LLC
    • Wicked Sheets specializes in bedding and sleep products, including the Wicked Smart Pad, a washable sensored pad that wirelessly transmits data to caregivers. In partnership with the University of Louisville, their Wicked Smart Pad will test application use in the Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias population.

Increased child care options for military families

Governor Beshear announced on Thursday that Kentucky has been identified as one of the first states to receive federal approval from the Department of Defense to help connect military families with quality child care through the Military Child Care in Your Neighborhood – PLUS program. According to a release from the governor’s office, the program provides child care fee assistance to eligible military families when on-base or installation care is unavailable; expands child care options for military parents by providing more quality child care providers and reduces their cost of care; and benefits child care providers by offering them the opportunity to increase their income and grow their businesses by including military families.

Beshear says there are currently 145 licensed childcare providers participating. Child care providers who are not accredited can apply for fee assistance through the Division of Child care or participate in the Quality Improvement program. For more information, click here.

“I am proud to be governor during a time when we are making child care more accessible to our hard-working military families,” Gov. Beshear said. “These are the heroes who put their lives on the line every day. We are always grateful to them and the sacrifices that their families make. And we want to support them in any way we can.”

Families taking part in the program will receive a $1,500 monthly stipend to help with child care expenses.

Public safety

Governor Beshear thanked the Kentucky State Police and the Warren County Drug Task Force for stopping a vehicle on I-65 south of Bowling Green and discovering 80 pounds of methamphetamine. A release from the governor says this represents the largest seizure of methamphetamine in Warren County’s history.

The governor also applauded the KSP Post 12 troopers in Franklin County for locating two pounds of methamphetamine inside a vehicle during a routine traffic stop for a speeding violation.

“Both of these operations are incredibly significant, but it’s important to remember that operations like these occur in our communities every single day,” said Gov. Beshear. “So thank you to our law enforcement for taking dangerous drugs off the streets and making our communities safer.”

Department of Juvenile Justice

Beshear announced on Thursday that all male juveniles, 14 or older, who have been charged with a violent or serious offense (Capital, Class A, B or C felony) are now housed at one of three high-security detention centers in Adair, Fayette and Warren counties. Male juveniles younger than 14 or who have been charged with a lower-level offense (Class D felony or lesser offense) are being housed at facilities in Boyd, Breathitt, Jefferson and McCracken counties. Female juveniles will continue to be housed at a facility in Campbell County as the governor announced in December.

“I am proud to say that our juveniles are now separated by crime – and females are housed separately – for the first time in the commonwealth’s history,” Beshear said. “Thank you to all the staff at the Department of Juvenile Justice for caring about our youth, for being willing to make quick changes for their benefit.”

Beshear says more changes and requested legislative action are forthcoming, which the governor will announce next week.

Eastern Kentucky flood update

Beshear says there are currently 249 families impacted by the eastern Kentucky flood are now housed in travel trailers. The governor said Kentucky State Parks are now housing 36 people, down from the 360 people sheltered on September 1.

Beshear also announced nearly $4.6 million in awards from the Eastern Kentucky SAFE Fund was approved for communities, including the following:

  • $70,242 to the city of Jenkins to fund the FEMA match
  • $24,707 to the Johnson County Fiscal Court for the FEMA match
  • $1.5 million to the Magoffin County Fiscal Court to help ease strained fiscal liquidity
  • $3 million to the Perry County Fiscal Court for strained fiscal liquidity

Eastern Kentucky has received $23.8 million in SAFE fund payments since September.

Weather update

Governor Beshear encouraged Kentuckians to stay alert of severe weather and thunderstorms impacting the commonwealth. On Wednesday night, there were multiple thunderstorm warnings across western Kentucky, and severe weather has continued Kentucky, including multiple tornado watches and warnings.

“Watch your local weather and follow social accounts like the National Weather Service or Kentucky Emergency Management for the most up-to-date information. And most importantly, stay safe Kentucky,” Beshear said.

Public health update

Beshear said the spread of influenza appears to be declining, but remains at elevated levels in Kentucky. According to a release from the governor’s office, eight children have died from the disease, making it this the deadliest flu season for Kentucky children.

Beshear also said RSV activity appears to be declining in the commonwealth. People of any age can become infected with RSV, but it can be serious in infants and older adults.

The goveror said the most recent COVID-19 data shows the virus is creasing nationwide. The CDC estimates that the XBB.1.15 omicron subvariant is now causing an increasing proportion of cases in the United States. Beshear encouraged all Kentuckians who are eligible to get their COVID-19 vaccine booster.

Team Kentucky All-stars

Gov. Beshear named Fahe Housing, a group that brings people, resources and organizations together to rebuild homes and communities, as this week’s Team Kentucky All-Stars. Following July’s historic floods in eastern Kentucky, Fahe members and Kentucky Habitat for Humanity responded to the immediate shelter needs of affected families. So far, they have moved nearly 200 Kentucky families back home.

In October, Fahe launched the Housing Can’t Wait Campaign. The program is a collaborative effort between Fahe, Habitat for Humanity, Kentucky Housing Corporation and the Kentucky State Office of USDA Rural Development. Through the initiative, 60 new homes have been completed or are under construction and 175 additional homes have received major rehabilitation.