Lawsuit accuses Maker's Mark of false advertising

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A lawsuit filed in California accuses Maker's Mark of false advertising by promoting its Kentucky bourbon as handmade.

The suit claims the process of making the popular bourbon includes mechanized or automated steps requiring little or no human involvement.

The potential class-action suit filed recently in San Diego claims damages exceed $5 million.

Maker's Mark bourbon is produced at a distillery outside Loretto, Kentucky. The brand is known for its bottles sealed in red wax.

Clarkson Hine, a spokesman for Beam Suntory, parent company of Maker's Mark, said Tuesday the claims are meritless and predicted Maker's will prevail in court.

The suit says the Maker's Mark label promotes the whiskey as "handmade." It says the automated process includes grinding grains.

The story was first reported in Kentucky by the Lexington Herald-Leader.


Billboard campaign promotes Noah's Ark attraction

PETERSBURG, Ky. (AP) — The Christian ministry building a massive wooden ark in northern Kentucky has launched a billboard campaign promoting the project.

Answers in Genesis says in a release that the campaign is a response to opponents of the project, including "anti-Christian activists." Construction crews have been moving earth and pouring concrete at the Grant County site to make way for a 500-foot-long ship modeled after the biblical story of Noah.

The first billboard is up in Lexington, and others are planned in Frankfort and Louisville. Answers in Genesis, which also built the popular and controversial Creation Museum, says the campaign will include a digital board at Times Square in New York.

The project was announced in 2010, but slow fundraising stalled the plans until a groundbreaking was held earlier this year.


Yum: China sales slow to recover from food scare

UNDATED (AP) — Kentucky-based Yum Brands Inc. says its sales in China are recovering more slowly than expected after a food-safety scare, hampering its overall profits.

Shares of the owner of the Taco Bell, KFC and Pizza Hut restaurant chains fell 5 percent in extended trading Tuesday following the announcement.

Yum is trying to recover from a TV report in China this summer that showed a former supplier repackaging and selling expired meat.

The restaurant operator says its sales in China are not rebounding as quickly as expected. As a result, it expects earnings per share growth for 2014 in the mid-single digit range. Yum previously forecast a 6 to 10 percent gain.

Yum, which is based in Louisville, Kentucky, anticipates earnings per share growth of at least 10 percent for 2015.


New system speeds commercial vehicle inspection

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — A regional organization has given an award to Kentucky's technological screening program for large commercial trucks.

The Intelligent Transportation Society of the Midwest gave the 2014 Project of the Year award to Kentucky Automated Truck Screening, or KATS.

The Transportation Cabinet says the program uses a license plate reader, a U.S. Transportation Department and Kentucky Highway Use license number reader, and scene camera technology to collect and process information identifying a commercial vehicle as it approaches a weigh station.

The cabinet says the goal is to inspect trucks quickly and efficiently. Five KATS systems are already in operation, and four more are in the works to be in use by the end of this year.

The cabinet's Department of Vehicle Regulation, the Kentucky Transportation Center at the University of Kentucky and the Commercial Vehicle Enforcement division of Kentucky State Police are involved in the project.


Protected whooping cranes showing up in Kentucky

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources says the federally protected whooping crane has been showing up in Kentucky and warns hunters the species is off-limits.

The agency says wildlife biologists have confirmed presence of five whooping cranes in Hopkins County and a sixth in Barren County.

Whooping cranes are similar in silhouette to sandhill cranes, but sandhills have gray bodies and are smaller. Whooping cranes may associate with sandhills, so the agency advises caution in hunting.

Kentucky's sandhill crane season begins Saturday and runs until Jan. 11 or until 400 sandhills have been taken. The Courier-Journal says biologists have proposed extending the length of future sandhill crane hunting seasons to 60 days but maintaining the maximum harvest.


Civil War life on display at Land Between Lakes

GOLDEN POND, Ky. (AP) — Visitors to Lane Between The Lakes National Recreation Area this weekend can get a glimpse of life during the Civil War.

The program "Civil War Comes to The Homeplace" is included with paid admission, which is $5 for adults and $3 or less for children, on Saturday. The exhibit lasts from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. CST.

Land Between The Lakes says visitors will be able to walk around the farmstead and see it as it would have appeared after four years of war and learn what life was like for a yeoman farm family in 1864 living under martial law during the war. Civilian soldiers in a Confederate encampment on the farm will tell stories about the war and coping during their service.

Land Between The Lakes manages more than 170,000 acres in western Kentucky and Tennessee.


Auto dealer Swope dies in Louisville at 88

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Sam Swope, who founded a Kentucky car dealership group that handles 21 automobile makes, has died in Louisville. He was 88.

Spokeswoman Biz Ethridge released a statement from the family saying Swope "died peacefully at home" on Tuesday.

Swope's nephew, Swope Auto Group's retiring CEO and president Dick Swope, told The Courier-Journal his uncle had suffered several health problems recently. The company announced earlier this month that Dick Swope would retire at year's end and Sam Swope's daughter, current company board chairwoman Patti Swope, would succeed him.

Swope Auto has 16 locations in the Louisville metro area and Richmond and affiliated dealerships in Lexington, Radcliff and Elizabethtown.

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer praised Swope for his philanthropic causes, and University of Louisville President James Ramsey said Swope was "a generous man with a powerful affection for U of L and the people of Louisville."


Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

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