Day: July 7, 2016

As GE Foundation gets new chief, its Louisville ties are less certain after Haier deal

Ann Klee

The GE Foundation, under fresh leadership today with the appointment of executive Ann Klee as its new president, last year donated $3.8 million to Kentucky non-profits, including $1.1 million to five Louisville health centers. And the company itself contributed another $417,000.

But it’s unclear how much of that support will continue in the future, after the conglomerate sold its GE Appliances division last month to China-based Haier for $5.6 billion. The deal included 6,000-employee Appliance Park in the city’s south end, a fixture since it opened nearly 65 years ago.

Corporate foundations tend to favor communities where they have employees. In April, GE  pledged to donate $50 million over five years to philanthropic causes in Massachusetts, as it prepares to move its corporate headquarters to Boston from Fairfield, Conn. In 2014, the foundation gave $85.9 million to charities, according to its most recent IRS tax return.

Klee, the new president, runs GE’s Environment Health & Safety. She’s replacing Deborah Elam, who’s retiring from the company at the end of the year.

Louisville 52 years ago: GOP backed Goldwater; ‘peachy ham balls,’ and pricey washer-dryers

By Jim Hopkins
Boulevard Publisher

Kentucky’s delegation to the 1964 Republican National Convention was solidly behind ultra-conservative Barry Goldwater, who eventually won the nomination only to get shellacked by President Lyndon Johnson the following November.

Goldwater campaign button“As many as 23 of the 24 voting delegates may line up behind the Arizona senator on the first ballot Wednesday night,” The Courier-Journal’s Richard Harwood reported on the front page from the convention city of San Francisco.

Inside the paper, newly-named food consultant Loyta Higgins suggested readers bake “peachy ham balls” from leftover ham and canned cling peaches in heavy syrup. (Remember, it was the ’60s!)

And on page 10, GE Appliances competitor Kelvinator was advertising washers for $179.95 with a trade-in — or $299.95 with a matching dryer. You could buy them at 13 Louisville retailers, including Bill’s Auto Stores at Broadway and Shelby Street.

Kelvinator washer ad

Fast-forward 52 years, and you can appreciate how incredibly expensive those appliances were. In inflation-adjusted 2016 dollars, the washer would cost $1,395, and the combo would be $2,395, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics inflation calculator.

At Home Depot in St. Matthews today, you can get an Amana 3.5 cubic-foot high-efficiency top-load washer for just $299. And a matching Amana dryer also is just $299.


Since the 1980s, the Kelvinator brand has been owned by Sweden’s Electrolux, which nearly bought GE Appliances before the Department of Justice blocked the deal on antitrust grounds. Last month, China-based Haier bought it for $5.6 billion, including 6,000-employee Appliance Park in the city’s south end.

Goldwater’s landslide loss to Johnson — 61% to 39% (he lost Kentucky, too) — brought down many conservative Republican office-holders as well, a pattern some GOP leaders fear will happen this November if Donald Trump gets the nomination.

Goldwater died May 29, 1998, at the age of 89 of complications from a 1996 stroke.

Trump’s June fundraising soars, but Clinton still does better

Trump and Clinton
Trump and Clinton

Lagging presumptive Democratic White House nominee Hillary Clinton in Kentucky and elsewhere, Donald Trump said he and the Republican National Committee raised nearly $51 million last month for his White House run and the RNC, after launching his first aggressive campaign to raise cash. The total disclosed yesterday dwarfed the $3.1 million he raised in May. Clinton, meanwhile, raised even more in June — $68.5 million — including $40 million for her campaign and $28 million for the Democratic National Committee, according to Reuters.

Trump’s and Clinton’s dollar figures weren’t broken down by state. In the last Federal Election Commission report, covering all of 2015 through May 31, the New York billionaire had taken in just $43,861 from Kentucky supporters. Clinton raked in 16 times as much: $709,377.

The fresh numbers come 11 days before the Republican National Convention, which will be in Cleveland July 18-21. The Democrats meet in Philadelphia the following week, June 25-28.

In a related development today in Cleveland, anti-Trump forces “are remarkably close” to getting past the first hurdle next week to force a vote on the party’s convention floor that would throw open the GOP contest again, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Tenn. woman arrested on Taco Bell assault charge; employee ‘got her bell rung pretty good’

The latest crime news across the world of 48,000 restaurants.*

Crime scene tapeIn Rogersville, Tenn., a 50-year-old woman was charged with assault and disorderly conduct, and spent the night in jail, after attacking a Taco Bell employee Tuesday night because there was something wrong with her order, according to local police.

Shortly after 7 p.m., Kim Renee Long entered the restaurant and “became irate and began yelling and cussing her,” according to a police report cited by the Times-News. “It was during this time that Ms. Long struck [the victim] in the face twice with her hand and then threw the bag of food at her and continued yelling and cussing.”

Kim Long

Officer Cambren Gibson told the newspaper he was “just dumbfounded that she punched out an employee over a messed-up order.” He added: “I never thought to ask the employee who got hit what was wrong [with the order] because she was so shaken up. She got her bell rung pretty good.”

Rogersville is 65 miles northeast of Knoxville.

* Yum has 43,000 KFCs, Pizza Huts and Taco Bells in nearly 140 countries; Papa John’s has 4,900 in 37 countries, and Texas Roadhouse has 485 restaurants in five countries. With that many locations, crimes inevitably will occur — with potentially serious legal consequences for the companies.

Taco Bell gave Indianapolis Colts long snapper Matt Overton a virtual “cake” yesterday for his 31st birthday, hopping on a tradition he started two years ago.

And the player returned the love right back:

Here’s what Overton built for himself last year . . .

. . . and in 2014.