Business notes


State-mandated minimum wage increase to take effect

Kentuckians earning the minimum wage will receive a raise from $5.85 an hour to $6.55 an hour, effective Tuesday. The nearly 12 percent raise is the second of three state-mandated raises. The third raise will bring the minimum wage to $7.25 an hour and will take effect July 1, 2009. Many Lexington area employers who already pay above the minimum wage still plan to raise employee wages. ”We re-evaluate our wages every year and we're aware of the minimum-wage raises coming along,“ said Rich Johnston, general manager of the Radisson hotel. ”We try to keep ahead of the curve in order to stay competitive.“ The first raise was June 26, 2007, which brought the minimum wage up from $5.15 to $5.85. Tipped employees will see no change in their base wages.

Spindletop shares figure facing jail time

A Jessamine County woman known for selling ”shares“ in ”unpaid royalties“ from the 1901 Spindletop oil strike in Texas again faces 120 days in jail. The Kentucky Department of Financial Institutions on Monday filed a motion in Franklin Circuit Court to hold Jewell Robbins in contempt of court. ”DFI believes Robbins continues to defy the court's order to refrain from selling securities,“ the state said in a press release. A hearing is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. July 9. Since 1985, Robbins, 75, has sold fractional interests in anything she might recover from lawsuits filed on behalf of Spindletop heirs. In 2006, she signed a voluntary permanent injunction barring her from selling any securities; in 2007, she was found in contempt of that order and sentenced to 120 days but the sentence was suspended. Last October, Robbins was ordered to give the state her bank records and the names of potentially thousands of investors, many in Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, Michigan and West Virginia.

In-store post office opens on Southland

Lexington's newest in-store post office opened Monday at PIP Printing, 433 Southland Drive. The office, called a Contract Postal Unit, will provide a full range of postal services at Post Office prices with the exception of money orders, says Lexington Postmaster Clyde Barton. The PIP CPU will operate from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. It will also serve as a collection point for prepaid packages. Other CPU locations in Lexington include both Meijer stores, Rite Aid on Pimlico Parkway, Gleneagles Chevron on Polo Club Lane and Eastland True Value Hardware Store in Eastland Shopping Center.

Courier-Journal publisher to retire

The Gannett Co. has announced the retirement of Denise H. Ivey, president and publisher of The Courier-Journal in Louisville, and president of the Mid-South Group, which has been eliminated. Ivey, who will retire Jan. 1, will be replaced as president and publisher at the newspaper.


Chrysler to close plant in Missouri

Chrysler said Monday it will close one Missouri plant indefinitely this fall and cut production at another because of slumping demand for trucks and other large vehicles. Chrysler officials said it will shutter the St. Louis South plant, which makes minivans, effective Oct. 31. The St. Louis North plant, which makes full-size pickups, will reduce operations from two shifts to one. Chrysler said the moves would affect 2,400 jobs. That includes 1,500 at the minivan plant and 900 at the pickup plant.

9 in 10 expect pain from high fuel prices

Four-dollar gasoline has stolen a beach vacation from Julie Jacobs' family, ”little small luxuries“ such as exotic bath washes from Angela Crawford and dinners out from folks all over the country. Like a plague that hits every economic class, race and age, soaring fuel prices are inflicting pain throughout the U.S. Nine in 10 people are expecting the ballooning costs to squeeze them financially over the next half-year, says an Associated Press-Yahoo News poll released Monday. Nearly half think that hardship will be serious. To cope, most are driving less, easing off the air conditioning and heating at home and cutting corners elsewhere. Half are curtailing vacation plans; nearly as many are considering buying cars that burn less gas.

Compiled from Staff, wire reports