KENTUCKY (WEHT) – Governor Beshear delivered his weekly address to the commonwealth on Thursday. During his Team Kentucky update, Beshear discussed the following topics:

Here are the highlights from the February 2 Team Kentucky update.

Economic development

Governor Beshear highlighted five economic development projects that are expected to create 633 jobs and represent more than $32 million in new investment.

Governor Beshear announced an expansion in Hopkinsville for White Drive Motors & Steering, a manufacturer of orbital motors and hydraulic steering units. The company will expand with an addition to its 124,000 square-foot facility in Christian County to create 25 full-time jobs with a nearly $16 million investment.

Governor Beshear also announced continued growth for Kentucky’s manufacturing sector with Water Solutions Unlimited’s new location in Grayson County. The new location represents a $3 million investment to create eight on-site jobs and four remote positions.

Governor Beshear congratulated SYGMA Network, a food provider and delivery service, on the company’s new 330,000 square-foot location in Burlington. The new location is expected to create 150 new jobs for north Kentucky residents.

The governor joined leaders at Ancra Cargo, a designer and manufacturer of cargo securement systems for transportation, to cut the ribbon on the company’s newly renovated headquarters in Hebron. According to a press release, the $8 million project has created over 50 new jobs with potential for further growth.

The governor also highlighted continued momentum of the state’s logistics and distribution sector as Whitehorse Freight cut the ribbon on a new $5.4 million facility in Crestview Hills, expected to create over 400 jobs in the surrounding region.

SAFE fund awards

Governor Beshear over announced over $1.9 million in awards from the Eastern Kentucky SAFE Fund. Those awards include $250,000 to the city of Jackson to fund a long-term recovery plan, more than $1.5 million to Letcher County Fiscal Court to fund a FEMA match and $150,000 to the village of Buckhorn for equipment for recovery efforts.

The governor also announced the award for the western Kentucky SAFE Fund for the communities impacted by the December 2021 tornadoes. More than $375,000 was awarded to the Marshall County Fiscal Court to help ease the fiscal strain of FEMA ineligible reimbursement.

Eastern Kentucky flood update

According to Governor Beshear’s office, the death toll for the floods in eastern Kentucky has now risen to 45. Vanessa Baker of Breathitt County was the latest death reported in connection to the flooding, she was missing since the flooding occurred in July.

The governor also said there are currently 226 families housed in travel trailer and Kentucky State Parks are now housing 24 people.

New addiction recovery facility

Governor Beshear announced Addiction Recovery Care closed on its Bellefonte Hospital purchase in Greenup County.

A release from the governor’s office says the site will create a new comprehensive treatment facility that will offer lifesaving treatment and recovery services for those struggling with addition. ARC is expected to create 200 new jobs at the center.

“This facility will transform lives for the better. It takes a lot of bravery and courage to take that step to overcome addiction and create a better life, and now those who take this step in this area will have the support needed to succeed,” Gov. Beshear said. “I want to thank Tim Robinson, the executive director of ARC, and his entire team for their commitment to our people.”

Better Internet Initiative tour

The governor announced the state will host a listening tour as part of the ongoing Better Internet Initiative.

Representatives from the education and labor cabinet will join Office of Broadband Development officials on the tour to solicit input on the development of the state’s digital equity plan. The tour starts on February 14 in Hopkinsville. On February 21, the tour will make a stop in Owensboro.

To learn more, and register for the event click here.

Safe streets and roads

On Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced that Kentucky will receive $25 million as part of the federal Safe Streets and Roads for All grant program. The program is designed to improve safety for drivers and pedestrians across the country by providing funding to build safer roads, sidewalks and crosswalks.

The funding awarded to Kentucky will go towards improving roads that currently pose safety risks in communities across the commonwealth including Ashland, Corbin, Danville, Elizabethtown and Louisville.

Juvenile justice update

During the press conference, the governor provided an update on the changes being made in the Department of Juvenile Justice.

Governor Beshear announced that Kentucky State Police will soon be placed at all three high-security facilities in Adair, Fayette and Warren counties until personnel reach a safer point. Governor Beshear also asked legislators to amend KRS 610.190 to allow public offenders to qualify bail as set by the detaining court, similar to what is provided to adults, and remove status offenders and Class B misdemeanants from detention, including for a violation of court orders.

“We’re committed to making strides that will produce positive changes to best protect our youth and employees,” Gov. Beshear said. “We are going to be asking lawmakers to support these efforts. This session we will be asking for additional funds to make these improvements.”

Pandemic state of emergency ending

With the national state of emergency for the pandemic ending, the governor says multiple funding programs will close in the coming months, including Pandemic Medicaid.

According to the governor’s office, approximately 240,000 Kentuckians who signed up for Pandemic Medicaid will need to have their eligibility redetermined. Some will transition to either regular Medicaid, Medicare or a private plan through kynect.

“We want to ensure all the Kentuckians impacted – every single one of them – are transitioned to one of the new plans,” Gov. Beshear said. “There’s much more information to come, but we want to let people know about these changes very early.”

Team Kentucky All-Star

Governor Beshear named American runner Yared Nugese as this week’s Team Kentucky All-Star. The DuPont Manual graduate set a new U.S. record last Friday running the indoor 3,000 meter race in 7:28.24.

“Yared, you have made all of Kentucky very proud and we can’t wait to see what you accomplish next. I am proud to name him as this week’s Team Kentucky All-Star,” Gov. Beshear said.