Welcome to The Closing Bell. This is your last stop for biz scoops and big news before the weekend — a roundup of stories that can’t wait till Monday.

Jewish Hospital | Photo by Tony Pacheco

CHI official: KentuckyOne asset sale news possible early next year

A Catholic Health Initiatives executive said that the fate of Jewish Hospital and other KentuckyOne Health assets in Louisville could become clearer early next year.

KentuckyOne, a nonprofit health system, has struggled to complete negotiations with New York-based alternative asset management firm BlueMountain Capital Management to sell Jewish Hospital and other Louisville assets — including Sts. Mary & Elizabeth Hospital, Medical Centers Jewish East, South, Southwest and Northeast and Jewish Hospital Shelbyville.

While the parties have said the negotiations are continuing, local sources have told Insider that the deal is in trouble and that some local officials are preparing for the closing of Jewish Hospital, which has been incurring operating losses exceeding $1 million per week.

J. Dean Swindle | Courtesy of CHI

CHI Chief Financial Officer J. Dean Swindle said this week in a conference with investors that conversations and negotiations with all key stakeholders are continuing.

“You know, I will tell you, In the last three months, we have seen a more integrated conversation between all the key stakeholders in Louisville, the community, the university and all participants there,” he said.

Swindle also said the stakeholders were gaining momentum toward a solution.

“I know it has gone on longer than any of us have wanted, but I do believe as we get to the end of this calendar year and more specifically possibly early in the first quarter calendar of 2019, there will be some news that we can have more clarity around the final outcome of the Louisville operations.” —Boris Ladwig

UofL to lead new startup hub

The state has tapped the University of Louisville and some local partners to manage a regional entrepreneurial hub that aims to foster startups, with a focus on health care.

The state will provide $1.3 million to help the university, the Louisville Healthcare CEO Council, XLerateHealth and Greater Louisville Inc.’s EnterpriseCorp to form the Louisville Entrepreneurship Acceleration Partnership.

Neeli Bendapudi | Courtesy of UofL

UofL President Neeli Bendapudi said in a news release that the collaboration will create opportunities for the Louisville area health care community.

“Together, we will commercialize university research, enhance the region’s reputation for innovation, grow jobs and economic development and build the next generation of leaders in the healthcare sector,” she said.

State and local leaders hope that LEAP, one of the state’s five Regional Innovation for Startups and Entrepreneurs (RISE) hubs, will attract and mentor entrepreneurs, support startups in other ways and encourage angel and venture capital investments. —Boris Ladwig

KMAC extends free admission for another year thanks to a donation

Admission into KMAC will be free for another year. | Courtesy of KMAC

Thanks to a $50,000 donation by local philanthropists Pam and Brook T. Smith, KMAC Museum will offer guests free admission for another 12 months.

The contemporary art museum in downtown Louisville re-opened in 2016 after a renovation and has been able to keep its admission free ever since. The donation by the Smiths will help support KMAC’s operational costs, exhibitions and education, as well as extend the free admission program.

“Supporting KMAC’s vision to keep their wonderful programming free of charge was a simple decision, because it’s a way of supporting the community at large,” said Brook Smith in a news release. “One of the great gifts you can give yourself is taking the time to enrich your perspective through art. … Accessible art is something everyone deserves.”

KMAC is located at 715 W. Main St., and its hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. —Sara Havens

[give] 502 awards $25,000 to UP for Women and Children

The giving circle [give] 502 on Thursday announced that its annual grant would go to UP for Women and Children, which provides homeless women and children a safe daytime space to rest, build community and find resources they need.

The $25,000 grant will go to the nonprofit’s case management and capacity building, according to [give] 502, which is a component fund of the Community Foundation of Louisville.

UP for Women and Children said it would use the proceeds to hire a case manager and buy equipment to serve more women and children directly and allow it to extend hours. Currently, the group says it offers services including access to showers and laundry on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

“Investing in the women and children of our community will ensure their future success,” said Amy Meredith, co-founder of UP for Women and Children in a news release.

“This marginalized sector of our community is often overlooked and receives less resources,” Meredith stated. “The need we are serving is evident in our record numbers. For the past week, we have welcomed at least 50 women and children through our doors daily.”

Daniel Mudd, [give] 502’s former chair, said the UP for Women and Children women-only shelter is the only one of its kind in Louisville and serves “a critical need in this community.”

Since [give] 502 was established in 2014, it has awarded grants totaling $100,000. Past grants have gone to Cabbage Patch Settlement House (2014), Paws with Purpose (2015), Americana Community Center (2016), and the Coalition for the Homeless (2017). —Mickey Meece

GE Appliances donates refrigerators, freezers

Wayne Van Dyke, left, and Trey Armstrong, of Mid Inc., deliver a GE Appliances refrigerator Tuesday to a Louisville area food pantry. The appliance maker had partnered with Dare to Care food bank to replace aging equipment. | Courtesy of GEA

GE Appliances and Dare to Care donated 73 refrigerators and freezers to 46 Louisville-area food pantries on Tuesday. The Louisville-based appliance maker also donated $25,000 to Dare to Care, according to a news release.

The food bank had told GEA officials in November that dozens of agency partners could not accept fresh or frozen foods because they had old or broken refrigerators and freezers.

“We know that food insecurity is a pressing issue for thousands of families in this community,” GEA Chief Operating Officer Melanie Cook said. —Boris Ladwig

Surgeon general: Protect children from e-cigs

U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams displays an electronic cigarette. | Screenshot

U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams declared e-cigarette use among youths an epidemic Tuesday and issued an advisory to parents, teachers, states and others to take steps to reduce the scourge.

Adams’ pronouncement came just a day after record increases in e-cigarette use by adolescents were revealed in an annual survey by the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research.

Accompanied by FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, who’s been cracking down on the e-cigarette industry and retailers, Adams said, “We will not stand for another year of exponential, unprecedented, historic rises in youth use of these products.”

Between 2017 and 2018, the percentage of 12th graders who reported vaping in the past 30 days nearly doubled to 21 percent from 11 percent, according to the Monitoring the Future survey.

Vaping also increased at a record rate among high school sophomores, rising to 16 percent from 8 percent, according to the survey.

Youths often are attracted by e-cigarettes’ sweet or fruity flavors, Adams said. He also noted that some youths have used marijuana in e-cigs.

Although e-cigarettes may have potential for helping adults to quit using traditional cigarettes, the devices pose several health dangers to youths that must be prevented, Adams said.

“We know that nicotine exposure during adolescence can uniquely harm the developing adolescent brain, impacting learning, memory and attention,” he said. “We know that exposure during this critical brain period can lead to further addictions and we know that the notion that e-cigarette aerosol is harmless water vapor — something even my 14-year-old son thought was true — is a myth.”

His advisory urges parents to talk to their kids about the dangers of e-cigarettes and to adopt tobacco-free rules for their homes and vehicles.

Parents also should familiarize themselves with the shapes and sizes of e-cigarettes, Adams said. Some of devices, such as the popular JUUL brand, resemble USBs and can be easily concealed.

Adams also is urging doctors to help by screening patients for e-cigarette use and educating them about the risks to young people.

States and communities should “implement evidence-based population-level strategies to reduce e-cigarette use among young people,” the advisory says. That might include making sure smoke-free indoor air policies include e-cigarettes, restricting young people’s access to e-cigarettes in retail settings, licensing retailers, implementing price policies, and developing education initiatives targeting young people.

Earlier this month, the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky released the results of focus group discussions with 9th through 12th graders in five Kentucky counties, including Jefferson. The discussions revealed that “Kentucky teen use of e-cigarettes is rampant,” that youths perceive the devices as safe and “cool” and that parents may be unaware, according to an alert from the foundation.

“Kentucky just can’t afford to addict another generation to tobacco products, and the fact that youth e-cig use is often a gateway to cigarette smoking makes immediate action imperative,” the foundation’s chief executive, Ben Chandler, said in a news release last week. “Kids may think e-cigs are safe for them to use, but they’re not.” —Darla Carter

In Brief

Ashbourne Farms in La Grange has promoted Patrick Roney to executive chef from chef de cuisine. Previously, Roney was chef at Harvest in Louisville. 

University of Louisville fired cheer and dance coach Todd Sharp this week for alleged fiscal misconduct of team funds to the tune of $40,000. 

Attorneys for Stites & Harbison, the UofL Foundation’s former legal counsel, asked a judge to dismiss ULF’s lawsuit against them Tuesday. They’re one of multiple defendants in a joint suit from UofL and its endowment manager over alleged fraud. 

The Kentucky Colonels awarded a $25,000 emergency grant for specific tangible items to the Coalition for the Homeless.

Hosparus Health, a nonprofit hospice and palliative care organization, has hired Scott Herrmann as its chief strategy officer. Herrmann most recently was director of economic development at Louisville Forward, which is part of Louisville Metro Government.

Louisville City Football Club said it has closed on the $50 million financing of its 11,300-seat stadium in a 35-acre Butchertown Development District. Lenders include Fifth Third Bank and Louisville-based Stock Yards Bank & Trust.

of its 11,300-seat stadium in a 35-acre Butchertown Development District. Lenders include Fifth Third Bank and Louisville-based Stock Yards Bank & Trust.

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