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Gov. Beshear Provides Team Kentucky Update

Bill Stephens

April 21st, 2022

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Governor highlights $30 million in economic investment, outlines next steps on medical cannabis

FRANKFORT, Ky. (April 21, 2022) – Today Gov. Andy Beshear updated Kentuckians on economic development, outlined steps being taken on medical cannabis and named new Team Kentucky All-Stars after a first-of-its-kind rescue in the Red River Gorge.

First Lady Britainy Beshear updated Kentuckians on the tulips from the Capitol grounds, the Month of the Military Child and the Team Kentucky Derby Week Kick-off event on Saturday, April 30.

Kentucky’s Economic Momentum Builds
Gov. Beshear highlighted four companies that are betting on Kentucky. Combined, they have invested more than $30 million this month in projects that will create 114 jobs.

Augusta Distillery LLC’s new operation in Bracken County – a $23 million investment – will create 14 quality jobs for Kentucky residents.

Ryan Edwards, founder and board member of Augusta Distillery, attended Thursday’s briefing and said, “We are excited to announce we have chosen to create our first full-scale distillery operation in Augusta, Kentucky. For anyone that hasn’t ever had the benefit of visiting Augusta: It’s a beautiful town located right on the banks of the Ohio. Bourbon was founded on the banks of the Ohio in Eastern Kentucky, and we are going to create a world-class distillery experience there.”

Lexmark International Inc. plans to invest $4 million to establish a solar panel array and educational greenspace area at its corporate headquarters in Lexington.

Ethos Laboratories, which provides laboratory testing services for the health care industry, will expand its presence in Campbell County with a more than $2.2 million investment.

Legacy Metals LLC, a building materials supplier and manufacturer, will grow its current operation with a $1.2 million, 24,000-square-foot expansion that will create 100 well-paying jobs for local residents.

Governor Provides Update on Medical Cannabis
The Governor said that despite wide public support, legislation on medical cannabis once again was not passed by the General Assembly.

The Governor said those suffering from Alzheimer’s, ALS, cancer, severe and chronic pain, epilepsy and seizures, post-traumatic stress disorder and other conditions in many other states can work with their health care providers to gain access to medical cannabis to help treat their symptoms. Medical cannabis is a popular treatment and often referred to as an alternative to highly addictive opioids that many are still prescribed to deal with their pain.

As of February 2022, a total of 37 states, Washington, D.C., Guam, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands regulate cannabis for medical use by qualified individuals.

With so many Kentuckians supporting moving forward on medical cannabis, including many in the state’s House of Representatives, today the Governor announced four steps his administration is taking on this important topic:

  • Gov. Beshear asked his general counsel to begin analyzing options under the law for the Governor to consider regarding executive action on medical cannabis;
  • Establishing the Governor’s Medical Cannabis Advisory Team;
  • He will ask this advisory team to travel around the state and listen to what Kentuckians have to say about medical cannabis; and
  • The Governor has established a way for Kentuckians to communicate with his office specifically on this topic. They can email the Governor’s Office at GovMedicalCannabisAdvisoryTeam@ky.gov.

Capitol Tulips Donation
The First Lady said while the beauty of the Capitol tulips is well known, fewer people know that it is a tradition for the First Lady to pick an organization to receive the tulip bulbs after they are dug up each April. If tulips are treated with proper care and attention, they can bloom again.

“Andy and I are honored to donate this year’s Capitol tulip bulbs to the communities in Western Kentucky that were impacted by the terrible storms,” the First Lady said. “Our hope is that these tulips help bring some of the joy that so many visitors experience here at the Capitol and that they serve as a sign of hope and renewal for our Western Kentucky families.”

The First Lady is working directly with local officials to distribute roughly 15,000 tulip bulbs. She thanked the Barren River, Green River, Pennyrile and Purchase Area Development Districts and the Capitol landscaping team for their assistance with the tulips’ donation and distribution.

Month of the Military Child
The First Lady said that across the nation and here in Kentucky, people are coming together to recognize April as Month of the Military Child: “To the military kids of Kentucky, we love you and are so grateful to have you on our team. Thank you for your service.”

Kentucky is the proud home of two crucial U.S. military installations: Fort Campbell and Fort Knox. Each serves thousands of students in active military families through their on-base school systems and provides kids in those communities with important resources through after-school opportunities and extracurricular activities and wraparound services.

Last week, the First Lady visited each of the four schools at Fort Knox with Stacy Davis, the wife of Fort Knox Garrison Commander Major General Johnny Davis. Tomorrow she will travel to Fort Campbell to visit their schools as celebrations continue this month.

Team Kentucky Derby Week Kick-off at the Capitol
Gov. Beshear and the First Lady are inviting Kentuckians to the Team Kentucky Derby Week Kick-off that will take place Saturday, April 30, from noon to 5 p.m. EDT on the South Lawn of the Capitol – the area directly behind the Capitol building and in front of the Capitol Annex. To view a map of the location with event details, click here. To learn more, see the full release.

Team Kentucky All-Stars
Gov. Beshear honored Team Kentucky All Stars: Kentucky State Police (KSP) teams, along with the Wolfe County Search and Rescue and Red STAR Wilderness EMS, who used a state police helicopter to perform a first-of-its-kind rescue in the Red River Gorge on Tuesday, saving two canoers amid freezing temperatures and heavy rain.

KSP recently installed a hoist on their aircraft, so this was a brand-new program for Kentucky State Police, and their first mission was a success. Two RedSTAR paramedics joined KSP Troopers aboard the aircraft, and from approximately 200 feet above the Red River, they located the couple and safely hoisted them up to an awaiting ambulance.

“This mission and rescue is extraordinary and this couple is alive today because law enforcement agencies showed some Team Kentucky spirit by working together with one goal in mind – like they do every single day – to protect and serve all Kentuckians no matter the emergency,” Gov. Beshear said.

Today’s All-Stars are: Hoist Operator KSP Sgt Jason Denny; Rescue Specialist KSP Trooper Todd Coleman; KSP pilots Captain Brad Austin, Trooper David Long, Trooper Zack Lusk, Kerry Salyers and Ken Abbott; David Fifer, the paramedic/rescue specialist who was lowered to the canoers; Jeremy Urekew, the paramedic aboard the helicopter; and Mike Hackett, nurse/rescue specialist, who assisted in mission coordination.

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