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Louisa-Lawrence Co, KY

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August 8, 2018

With House Bill 263 now in effect, home bakers across Kentucky are firing up their ovens and whipping out their mixing bowls


The bill went into effect July 14, updating Kentucky’s outdated cottage food laws and allowing people to sell goods they baked from home without needing a license, health department inspections or a commercial kitchen.

Local artist and home-baker Jennifer Lea Bowman said she restarted her gluten-, soy- and dairy-free cookie business, the Urban Biscuit, once she found out she can legally sell her home-baked goods.

She posted pictures of her cookies and packaging on Facebook Aug. 2, proudly noting “this product is home-produced and processed.”

The bill went into effect July 14, updating Kentucky’s outdated cottage food laws and allowing people to sell goods they baked from home without needing a license, health department inspections or a commercial kitchen.The bill went into effect July 14, updating Kentucky’s outdated cottage food laws and allowing people to sell goods they baked from home without needing a license, health department inspections or a commercial kitchen.

“Now, I don’t feel like I’m going to go to bakers’ jail,” Bowman joked.

Although she was never reported to the health department for selling baked goods without a license or commercial kitchen, Bowman has a friend who was.

“I couldn’t believe someone would report a sweet woman making cupcakes from home,” she said.

According to Rep. Walker Thomas, one of the bill’s 14 co-sponsors, the new law takes out all of the red tape. Previously, home-based processors had to either be farmers or grow the main ingredient in the finished product. They also had to get their kitchen inspected by the health department and often times spend thousands to convert it into a commercial kitchen or invest in a brick-and-mortar bakery.

Now, anyone can be a home-based processor by acknowledging the product is made at home and as long as food they make is listed in the Kentucky cottage food law, which includes whole fruits and vegetables, mixed greens, jams, jellies, sweet sorghum syrup, preserves, fruit butter, bread, fruit pies, cakes and cookies.

Thomas said the new law might retain bakers who were planning to move in order to sell their baked goods — bakers like Yolonda Lynch from Cadiz.

Thomas appeared at the Cadiz-Trigg County Farmers’ Market July 18 to commemorate the legislation’s passage with Lynch, owner of Cravings by Yo’.

“This law is a game-changer for home bakers like myself,” Lynch said in a news release. “While I was going to move to Tennessee in order to expand my operations and make some extra income, I will now be able to stay in Kentucky and grow my business.”

Thomas said 47 other states had implemented a modern cottage food bill — Kentucky now makes 48.

“We felt we needed to get in there and actually help home bakers,” Thomas said. “They can now produce the product in their own kitchen and be able to sell at flea markets, farmers markets or online.”

Thomas noted that home bakers can profit up to $35,000 a year before they will need a commercial license.

For now, Bowman’s cookie business is a side hustle, but knowing there’s nothing stopping her from expanding it, feels good to the single mother and full-time artist.

“Commercial kitchens can cost a lot, and even to rent one would dip into an already low profit margin,” she said. “Everybody was excited that it had officially passed. We can now bake in our kitchen as long as we label it properly.”

The cottage food law still requires home-bakers to label the ingredients in their goods by weight, with the most-prominent ingredient at the top. Bowman found a website online that will generate the label for her from the recipe. She not only includes the ingredients but also the nutritional facts for her cookies.

“They are a baked good, so, of course, there’s sugar, but they are vegan, gluten-free and soy-free so people with those sensitivities can have a sweet treat,” Bowman said. “Even people who don’t (have gluten or soy sensitivities) have tried them and liked them.”

Her cookies are sold in twos, a half-dozen or a dozen, and flavors include chocolate chip, oatmeal almond cranberry, peanut butter and classic sugar.

Orders can be placed through the “Urban Biscuit” Facebook page, and are available for delivery or pickup.

“I’m also willing to ship if the customer pays for shipping,” she said.

Thinking about the possibilities, Bowman said she’d like to get into the baking business slowly, but if there is a demand she will expand.

“I love to bake,” she said, “and I love to experiment, so if someone did come to me and ask for something specific, I would welcome the challenge.

“More importantly, not just for me, I think (this new law) could help out people in my situation,” Bowman continued. “I’m a single mom and an artist full time so it helps me incorporate extra income into my lifestyle ... I think there are going to be a lot of really talented home bakers who are now not going to have to put in the overhead of renting a facility.”

By Zirconia Alleyne
Kentucky New Era

August 1, 2018



The 8th annual Lawrence County Fair is in the books and fair board members say it was a success. “Anytime you have kids showing animals and the community supporting them, it is a success.”

The fair kicked off on Tuesday, July 24, participants dropped off their cultural arts exhibits at the extension office to be judged. At 6pm the Lawrence County Fair Pageant got under way at the Lawrence County Extension Office. Cashton Stepp won Prettiest Baby Boy and most Photogenic baby boy. Harlee Dotson won Prettiest Baby Girl and Jaqueline Jackson won prettiest baby girl 1rst runner up. Paislee Aldridge won most photogenic girl. Breanna Robinette won Jr. Miss Lawrence County Fair.

Wednesday vendors arrived and started setting up.

Opening Ceremonies occurred on Thursday at 5pm John Osborne, County Judge Executive opened up the fair. Chris Jobe, County Clerk, opened in prayer and Makayla Sparks, Lawrence county High School Junior and FFA Secretary, sang the National Anthem. The VFW lead the flag salute.

At 5:30 the first part of the livestock show got underway in the livestock arena. There were 35 exhibitions of rabbits, poultry, and goats. They were shown in 3 age divisions for the youth: Clover bud (under 9 years of age), JR (9-12), SR (13-18) ages are as of Jan 1. The following are the placings for the livestock show:


Open Class: Clover bud Division: 1. Sara Grace Brewer Jr Division: 1. Aliza Kendrick 2. Haleigh Hay 3. Kennedy Mills SR Divisions: 1. Caleb Martin 2. Caity Sammons 3. Breana Robinette
Market Class: Jr. 1. Breanna Robinette 2. Aaron Mills SR: 1. Rylie St. Clair 2. Breanna Buckner 3. Caleb Martin
Showmanship: Sr. 1. Caleb Martin 2. Rylie St. Clair 3. Caity Sammons


Open Class: Clover bud: 1. Sara Brewer SR: 1. Caity Sammons 2. Rylie St. Clair 3. Breanna Buckner

Market Class: Jr. 1. Wyatt Branham SR. 1. Caity Sammons 2. Breanna Buckner

Open Class: Clover bud: 1. Sara Brewer SR 1. Citori Branham

Market Class: Clover bud: 1. Sara Brewer JR: 1. Wyatt Branham SR. 1. Caity Sammons 2. Michael Blackburn 3. Caleb Martin

Showmanship: Cloverbud: 1. Sara Brewer JR: Wyatt Branham SR: Caity Sammons 2. Citori Branham 3. Caleb Martin.

These classes were judged by Gary Selby Agriculture Educator at Elliot County High School.

At 7pm Cowboy Church started under the Farmers Market Paviliion. Michael Horn, from New Friendship Church preached and Special singers included the Blanton Sisters, Rodney and Rita Parker, Warnie Pinson, and Brittany Horn.

Church nightChurch night

Friday the fair opened at 4pm with Free Inflatables courtesy of the Fair and sponsors. Inflatables were provided by Inflatation Station which included a double slide, monster truck, and large dog bounce house.

The livestock arena opened with Swine Open Class: Cloverbud 1. Kenslee Shannon Jr. 1. Wyatt Branham SR.: 1. Citori Branham 2. Belle Gee 3. Michael Blackburn
Market: JR: 1. Wyatt Branham SR: 1. Belle Gee 2. Caity Sammons 3. Citori Branham 4. Michael Blackburn
Also exhibiting were Whitney Moore and Ethan Salye


JR: 1. Weston Vanhorn SR: 1. Hailey Vanhorn

Market Jr: 1. Breanna Robinette 2. Wyatt Branham SR: 1. Caity Sammons 2. Michael Blackburn

3. Citori Branham
Breeding: JR: 1. Breanna Robinette 2. Wyatt Branham SR: 1. Caity Sammons 2. Citori Branham 3. Michael Blackburn

In the horse arena the 2nd annual horse show started at 7pm. (SEE separate Lazer story) There were 25 classes for competitors to show in. Classes included pleasure classes, fun classes like Baby bottle and toilet paper race, and Barrel Racing. Juvenile 12 and under class was won by Owen Pack. 13-18 youth class was won by Michael Blackburn. Speed Racking Championship class was won by Wilson Cyrus. Jason Marcum won Trail Pleasure Racking. Pleasure Championship class was won by Darren McCoy. Cole Chaffins won Open Spotted Pleasure. Brandi Blackburn won Open Ladies Pleasure. Shelby Taylor won bareback pleasure. Jenn Wilson won speed racking. Open Pole Bending was won by Alysha Carver. Youth Barrel Racing was won by Citori Branham. Open Barrel Racing was won by Melissa Blackburn. Other Blue Ribbon winners include: Drew Williamson, Caleb Martin, Caity Sammons, Sara Brewer, Aliza Kendrick, Cole Williamson, Brandon Sparks, and many others. Thank you to the Sponsors of the horse show and Tractor Supply which allowed each winner to receive a 5-gallon water bucket, nice bag, halter, and trophy , some championship classes also won additional gifts.

The fair concluded on Saturday the longest day of the fair. Fair goers could start early morning with a pancake breakfast fundraiser for the Lawrence County high school Dawgs football team. The farmers market opened at 9 am at the farmer’s market pavilion. Local farmers had farm fresh produce for purchase. Extension Services offered homemade goodies including tomato/watermelon salad, smoothies, and ice cream to sample. The car show and tractor show started at 10am in the Extension parking lot. There were several nice older cars, trucks, and tractors as well as newer ones. The winner of the Tractor show includes a farmall and reserve went to a John Deere owned by Mathieu. The car show winner was county judge candidate Phil Carter.

At noon, the fun began with 30 Mutton Busting entries. The cowboys and cowgirls had a blast while riding sheep. Top 10 riders got to ride during intermission of the Rodeo. Unfortunately, we were unable to get the list of riders.

In the outside arena, the Backwoods pulls began. The lawnmower and tractor pulls were awesome! We are looking forward to seeing some locals compete next year.

At 3pm the livestock auction began. Youth can sell their animal as market meaning the buyer takes the animal or as premium meaning the youth retains ownership of the animal. The high selling market animal was over $600 for Weston Vanhorn’s cow by Bluegrass Stockyards. Other buyers included Bridgeport Equipment, Representative Jill York, Representative Candidate Kathy Hinkle, Wes Vanhorn, and other local businesses.


As soon as the livestock sale was over the arena was prepared for the Greasy Pig Contest that featured pig wrestlers as young as 2 and classes up to Adult. Fun was had by competitors, and spectators.

At the conclusion of the greasy pig classes the livestock area of the fairgrounds was cleared of anyone not wearing an armband to prepare for the most exciting event the KING Brother’s Rodeo. Riders had to call in the Tuesday before the event to participate and several local riders did. This year the fair not only featured bull riding and barrel racing but this year they added Broncs also!

The rodeo concluded with 3 completed bull rides. Congratulations to all who competed in any aspect of the fair.


July 31, 2018

Company plans to move its headquarters office from Covington to Wilmington, Delaware

Ashland Inc. on Tuesday announced that its headquarters are moving from Kentucky, where it has for nearly a century been a major corporate presence.

Ashland, once an oil company and now a specialty chemicals company with operations in more than 100 countries, said in a statement that it plans to move its headquarters office from Covington to Wilmington, Delaware within the next 17 months. Ashland’s office in Lexington will be closed.

Ashland was founded in 1924 in Catlettsburg as the Ashland Oil Refining Co. by Paul G. Blazer. Ashland split from the automotive lubricants business Valvoline in 2015.

The Lexington office, which employs 58, will be closed as of Dec. 31, 2019. Ashland’s statement said that some jobs would be eliminated, others relocated to Dublin, Ohio or Wilmington, and some employees would be allowed to work remotely.

The Covington office will be downsized from 48 employees, with some roles eliminated and others relocated to Dublin or Wilmington. Around 15 jobs will remain in Covington “for a time after the headquarters relocation,” according to Ashland.

Employees whose jobs are eliminated are being offered “enhanced severance benefits,” according to Ashland’s statement. “Our company would not be where we are today without the commitment and support of these colleagues.”

“Decisions like this are always difficult, as they involve talented individuals who have contributed so much to Ashland over the years,” Ashland spokesman Gary Rhodes said in an e-mail.

Ashland’s statement said that it would continue to have workers in Kentucky. Its manufacturing plant in Calvert City, Kentucky in Marshall County employs 515 workers.

By Cheryl Truman
Lexington Herald-Leader