Good morning: Here is a roundup of news in and around Louisville you may have missed.
Terry Gill leaving Bevin administration, returning to private sector
Terry Gill announced on Tuesday that he will resign as secretary of the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development at the end of May, when he will return to the private sector.
Gill, who began serving as the cabinet secretary in January 2016 and received a $250,000 salary, previously was the vice president of Greater Louisville Inc.’s EnterpriseCorp and the president of the eastern division of OneTouchPoint in Cincinnati.
Gov. Bevin will recommend that the Kentucky Economic Development Partnership appoint the cabinet’s current executive officer Vivek Sarin to become the interim secretary once Gill leaves the position.
In a press release announcing Gill’s departure, he expressed that it was an honor to serve the governor and the state, adding that he leaves “with a great sense of satisfaction for what we have achieved, and I look forward with great excitement to determining what my next opportunity will be.”—Joe Sonka
Airbnb announces Kentucky Derby bookings, city to consider rule change
Nearly 6,000 Kentucky Derby Airbnb guests will generate more than $2.5 million in income for Louisville residents, based on confirmed bookings from May 3-5, according to an announcement this week from Airbnb.
The proceeds also generate tax revenue for the city as Airbnb collects and remits local Louisville sales taxes and occupancy taxes on behalf of its hosts.
On Thursday, Metro Council will consider a rule that would require short-term rentals to be 600 feet apart. Councilman Brandon Coan tweeted, “The rule would apply to new, investor-owned properties (not primary residences) in residential zoned districts.”
If passed, the amendment to city regulations would only apply to owners seeking new permits, meaning it would have no bearing on this year’s Derby. —Mickey Meece
Bernheim appointment, plus The Nature Conservancy’s big land grab
Andrew Berry, the longtime forest manager at Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest, has been named its director of conservation.
Bernheim officials said the new position aligns with the organization’s history of land protection. Bernheim calls itself the largest privately held forest dedicated to conservation and education in the eastern United States.
The organization’s executive director, Mark Wourms, said Berry has been instrumental in helping Bernheim protect even more land since he joined the team in 2008, overseeing environmental stewardship and land conservation efforts of the natural areas that make up a large part of Bernheim’s 16,000-plus acres.
“During Andrew’s tenure, Bernheim has acquired over 1,500 acres of land, adding to Bernheim’s protected forest,” said Wourms in the announcement.
Separately this week, The Nature Conservancy announced one of the largest land projects in its history. According to an article on Nature.org, the 100,000-acre property spans Kentucky and Tennessee, and is known as Ataya. “TNC’s management of the property will focus on maintaining and restoring forest health, protecting and improving water quality, providing outdoor recreation opportunities and supporting local economies.” —Mickey Meece
E. coli outbreak from ground beef continues
That mysterious E. coli outbreak from late March has now sickened at least 65 people in Kentucky and is believed to be tied to an unknown source of raw ground beef.
All told, more than 155 people have been infected with E. coli O103 in 10 states, and at least 20 people have been hospitalized, according to a federal update Tuesday.
Most of the sick individuals report having eaten ground beef at home and in restaurants, but investigators are still trying to pin down the meat’s source. The individuals bought or ate ground beef from several different stores and eateries, and many bought large trays or chubs of ground beef to make things like spaghetti sauce and Sloppy Joes.
An Illinois company, Grant Park Packing, is recalling about 53,200 pounds of raw ground beef products that may be contaminated with E. coli O103, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service. Although some of that product was shipped to Kentucky, the USDA indicated Wednesday that further investigation is needed to determine if the recalled products are related to the outbreak. There also was no immediately known link between the multi-state outbreak and a recent recall by K2D Foods involving more than 113,400 pounds of raw ground beef products suspected of being tainted with the same type of E. coli. The K2D recall is the subject of a lawsuit by a Kentucky woman.
Symptoms of being infected with the Shiga toxin-producing E. coli include severe stomach cramps, vomiting and sometimes-bloody diarrhea. Kidney failure is possible in those who develop hemolytic uremic syndrome.
To reduce your risk of getting sick, federal authorities recommend handling and cooking ground beef safely. That includes keeping raw meat separate from foods that won’t be cooked before eating; using hot, soapy water or a bleach solution to clean surfaces that have touched raw meat; washing hands with hot, soapy water; and avoiding raw or under-cooked ground beef.
Also, be sure to cook ground beef items, such as hamburgers, and mixtures, such as meatloaf, to an internal temperature of 160 degrees, and ask restaurants to do the same. —Darla Carter
Olmsted, award winner to be honored in celebration April 26
Olmsted Parks Conservancy will honor not only famed architect Frederick Law Olmsted but the first winner of an award in his honor in a special celebration Friday, April 26.
Olmsted, whose birthday is April 26 and was born in 1822, is locally famous for designing Louisville’s parks system and is renowned for his design work on New York’s Central Park and countless other park projects around North America. The conservancy this month named Earl F. Jones, long-time conservancy board member and two-year chair, the first-ever Frederick Law Olmsted Award winner.
On Friday, Olmsted representatives from the group’s Team for Healthy Parks will plant a swamp white oak in Jones’ honor in Rugby Field at Cherokee Park at 10 a.m. That will be followed by a birthday celebration at Frazier History Museum that will include an Arbor Day tree giveaway. —Kevin Gibson
The 2019 Best Places to Work rankings were released this week by the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce and the Kentucky Society for Human Resource Management. Among the 100 companies with that distinction were top winners in respective size categories: Edward Jones, L&N Federal Credit Union and Ward, Hocker & Thornton PLLC.
Greater Louisville Inc. says it has named Ameerah Palacios as director of marketing and communications. The Louisville native will lead teams to develop and implement GLI’s digital and social media strategy, advertising trade, video design and production, as well as serve as the point of contact for media relations, the chamber said.
For those keeping track at home, the city again outdid itself with more than 235,000 acts of volunteerism and compassion during the week that ended Saturday, April 20, 2019. The annual Give a Day Week of Service campaign surpassed Louisville’s own 2018 world record of about 205,000, according to Mayor Greg Fischer.
This column has been updated with information about two beef recalls.