Business Notes


KHRA might lift suspension of veterinarian in cobra venom case

State racing authorities might soon lift an indefinite suspension of Dr. Rodney Stewart, the veterinarian involved in the cobra venom case that also involved trainer Patrick Biancone. But Stewart, of Saratoga Springs, N.Y., does not have a current racetrack license, so he wouldn't be able to practice any time soon, according to the state. At a hearing in Lexington Tuesday, an attorney for the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission said Stewart has produced computer and veterinary records requested in August 2007, so chief steward John Veitch might soon lift the indefinite suspension. Stewart was also suspended for five years for three vials of the numbing agent cobra venom, as well as other prohibited drugs, found in Biancone's barn at Keeneland in 2007. Stewart is appealing those penalties and a recommendation from a hearing officer is expected in February.

Ky. law firm acquires two offices in Ind.

The Louisville-based law firm of Frost Brown Todd, which also has offices in Lexington and Florence, is gaining two offices in Indiana in a Jan. 5 merger with Locke Reynolds, one of the largest law firms in Indiana. The new firm will keep the name Frost Brown Todd. It will have more than 450 lawyers and, in addition to its Kentucky offices, will have offices in Cincinnati, West Chester and Columbus, Ohio; Nashville; Charleston, W.Va.; and Indianapolis, New Albany, and Fort Wayne, Ind. The firm is expected to have more than $175 million in revenue in 2009. Frost Brown Todd is strongly identified with clients in insurance, health care, financial services, construction, manufacturing, energy, transportation and governmental services.

WinStar Farm to install Polytrack

WinStar Farm in Versailles announced a deal Tuesday to install a seven-furlong oval and uphill gallop with a Polytrack artificial racing surface. Farm vice president Elliott Walden said in a news release that WinStar runners Any Given Saturday, Bluegrass Cat, Colonel John, Court Vision and Well Armed trained on Polytrack at the HighPointe Training Center in La Grange. "We have seen our injury rate and vet bills diminish by 60 percent since the Polytrack at HighPointe was installed," Walden said. Polytrack is marketed by Keeneland in association with Martin Collins International.

Insight offering Fox Business Network

The Fox Business Network is now available in Lexington to subscribers of Insight Communications' digital cable lineup. It is available in standard definition on channel 415 and in high definition on channel 903. Launched in October 2007, the network boasts that it provides business news with a Main Street touch. It is based in New York City with bureaus in Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and London. Evening hosts and anchors include Neil Cavuto (6-7 p.m.), David Asman (7-8 p.m.) and Dave Ramsey (8-9 p.m.).


Credit card pact nets Delta $1 billion

Delta Air Lines Inc., the world's biggest carrier, said Tuesday it is getting a $1 billion boost after a credit card agreement it has reached with American Express Co. A company executive also said Delta expects to turn a profit in 2009. The agreement between Delta and American Express is a multiyear extension of their existing partnership. The companies have offered a portfolio of card products since 1996.

Documents show warnings ignored

Top executives at mortgage finance companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac ignored warnings that they were taking on too many risky loans years before the housing market plunged, according to documents released Tuesday by a House committee. E-mails and other internal documents released by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee show that former Fannie Mae chief executive Daniel Mudd and former Freddie Mac chief executive Richard Syron disregarded recommendations that they stay away from riskier types of loans.

Oil for January delivery drops to $42.07

Oil prices dipped to near $42 a barrel Tuesday amid new reports that the anemic global economy will lead to an even sharper falloff in energy consumption through 2009. There also were indications that internal divisions continue at OPEC, as member states pummeled by falling oil prices ignore promised production cuts that might boost prices. At the New York Mercantile Exchange, light, sweet crude for January delivery fell $1.64 to settle at $42.07 a barrel. Prices have rebounded from last week's intraday low of $40.50 per barrel, the cheapest oil has been since December 2004.


Sony cutting jobs, shutting plants

Sony Corp. is slashing 4 percent of its worldwide work force, reining in spending and shutting plants as it tries to ride out a looming worldwide recession that is battering Japan's export-reliant manufacturers. Tokyo-based Sony, which is cutting 8,000 of its 185,000 jobs, said Tuesday it will shut five or six plants — about 10 percent of its 57 factories. Sony also plans to reduce its electronics investments by about one-third by the end of March 2010, although it did not give specific numbers.

Compiled from Staff, wire reports