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The Paducah Sun from Paducah, Kentucky • 19

The Paducah Suni
Paducah, Kentucky
Issue Date:
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1C Sunday, January 2, 2005 A A SUN o) O) BUSINESS section editor: Uf Walker, 575-8656 Fax: 270442-7859 e-mail: nvestment Area Mortgage Rates First Horizon Home Loans 5.375(1) Paducah NA yiii 1) Jl U.S. Bank Paducah 5.375(1) 5.375(1) Union Planters Bank All branches 5.375(1) 5.375(1) BanterraBank Paducah 5.625(1) NA Paducah Bank Paducah 5.375(1) NA Paducah NA 5.50(1) Fifth Third Bank Eddyville' NA NA C-Plant Credit Union Paducah NA NA Landmark Partners Draffenville' 5.25(1) NA VIP Mortgage Paducah 5.50(1) 5.375(1) Anchor Residential Lending Marion, Ky. 5.50(1) 5.50(1) Countrywide Home Loans Paducah 5.375(1) 5.375(1) Jackson Purchase Ag Credit Kevil 5.50(1) NA Pathway Financial Services Paducah 5.375(1) NA Waterf ield Finance Paducah 5.50(1) NA South Pointe Bank Paducah 5.50(1) NA Hey, hey, hey: Fat Albert (Kenan Thompson) and in an amusement park scene in the movie, 'Fat Ssta new market 2 Movies help 2004's success but Paducah-based company takes aim on grocery stories and foreign markets in 2005. Doris (Kyla Pratt) look at a Dippin' Dots that opened Christmas Day. pin' Stix combining ice cream balls, vanilla cookies and fudge sauce.

Reeves said the goodies sprang from focus groups last May in three key cities that called for more products. The Dippin' Dots location in Kentucky Oaks Mall soon will have the new line of sweets, he said. New pasteurization equipment at the plant off Coleman Road will allow Dippin' Dots to be mixed with regular ice cream for sales in selected groceries in 2005. Reeves said Nashville, will probably be the first target market. "It's basically our first venture in the conventional ice cream market," Reeves said, adding that Dippin' Dots products have not previously been sold in groceries.

The company entered mainstream retailing in 2002 when Dippin' Dots showed up in McDonald's restaurants on the West Coast. In recent focus groups in Nashville and Cincinnati, taste tasters told Dippin' Dots representatives that Dot-laced ice cream was premier and more flavorful. despite having less butterfat than leading premium ice cream. Reeves said Dots also cause ice cream to freeze faster. The next big venture, slated for 2005.

is the planned formation of Dippin' Dots Global jointly with Alltech, a Nicholasville-based microbiology firm for which Jones worked in 1987 when he invented Dippin' Dots. Reeves said an agreement is expected to be signed within the next few months Alltech, a world leader selling nutrient-enhanced cattle feed, is a strategic partner because of its global contacts, particularly in the daily and cattle zgets Dtpptn' Dots phoo cart (lower right) industries, Reeves said. "By the end of 2005. we should have a new production plant built in Canada near Calgary," he said. "We should also be very close to having a production plant built in Brazil.

Mexico is on the horizon, probably beyond Besides Paducah's, the only other Dippin' Dots manufacturing plant in the world is owned by run by a South Korean licensee called Dippin' Dots Korea. That facility opened two years ago. In October, Dippin' Dots settled the second copyright-related phase of Jones' federal lawsuit in Dallas claiming patent infringement by two competitors. Reeves said the settlement allowed the company to continue with its appeal of a jury verdict a year earlier regarding the patent. The jury decided in October 2003 that that there were mistakes in how the patent application was processed la years earlier The patent itself which covers the super-freezing process but not the products 'was not affected and lasts until 2009 Jones founded the company in 1992 after perfecting the process in his garage Grand Cham, 111.

on a sour note f-tpH'1 lVi By Jo Walker Sun Business Editor With a key spot in a new movie, new products and improved rankings as a leading franchise, Paducah-based Dippin' Dots has finished one of its most successful years with plans to open foreign production plants in 2005. "Santa has been pretty good to us this year," said corporate communications director Terry Reeves. A Dots cart is shown in a scene in "Fat which opened Christmas day. The segment shows Fat Albert (Kenan Thompson) and Doris (Kyla Pratt) in an amusement park setting. Earlier this year, the tiny, super- frozen ice cream balls were shown in two other films "Mickey," starring Harry Connick and "First Daughter," starring Michael Keaton and Katie Holmes.

"I think more than anything it offers validity to our branding and puts us up there with other huge names in the (ice cream) industry," Reeves said. "People do what they see other people do and if it's in the movies or on TV, I think there's an assumption that wow, that's cool stuff to have." The movie scene coincides with the January release of California-based Entrepreneur magazine's annual list of the top 500 franchises. Since last year, Dippin' Dots has moved up from 101st to 93rd, and from fourth to second among top new franchises, based on a five-year average. Dippin' Dots was the leading new franchise in 2002 when it first made both lists. Dippin' Dots opened 50 franchise locations this year, giving it 255 spots in malls and stores worldwide.

The firm has targeted 75 new spots for 2005, focusing on tourist sites such as boardwalks and other high-pedestrian areas in places like southern California, Florida and New Jersey, Reeves said. Projected wholesale revenue for next year is $42 million, up from about $38 million in 2004 pending December's sales figures, he said. Employment has increased by 20 during the past year to December marks the first full month for new products aimed at diversification from the tiny cryogenically frozen balls of ice cream, sherbet and yogurt on which Dippin' Dots was built. Exclu- sively at participating franchise stores, the company launched a line of ice cream cakes and sandwiches, plus Dip 30-year fixed-rate in effect Friday. Bated on $100,000.

Pants andor fees in parentheses expressed as a percentage. CD Interest Rates THIS LAST WEEK WEEK THIS WEEK LAST WEEK MidCountry Bank 2.27 NA Metropolis 2.78 NA Banterra Bank 2.02 NA Paducah 2.52 NA C-Plant Credit Union 2.53 NA Paducah 2.79 NA Annual. percentage yield; $500 minimum; $500 minimum not offered; rate is for $1,000 minimum Treasury Rates 2.23 Dn.05 2.71 Up .05 Usually indicates the trend of local CD and other rates. Most common index setting adjustable mortgage rates. Aft Job Market as From State Employment Services.

Three towboat workers needed, on 21 daysoff 21 days. Apply in person at Paducah Career Center from 3-8 p.m. Jan. 11 or from 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Jan.

1 2. This is the only time to apply. Positions available: Cook Pay is per month. Must be able to swim and have valid driver's license. JobKY0160130.

Deckhand t-Pay is per month. Must be able to swim, lift 90 pounds and have valid driver's license. Job KY0160131. Pilot Pay is per month. Must have USCG masters of towing certificate and be able to swim.

Job KY01 60526. Automobile detailer needed for general cleanup, detailing cars, cleaning up lot changing hubcaps and batteries. Will work Monday through Friday and some Saturdays. Pay is $6.50 per hour. Job KY01 61 41 3.

pmmmk fair, all For area workers, year started and finished By Jo Walker Sun Business Tf lthough 2004 was a year of economic recovery iA and job gains, it began and ended with word that JkA the region is losing a big chunk of its best-paid factory workers. USEC Inc. announced Jan. 12 that will gradually close the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant starting in 2010 and replace it with a gas centrifuge plant in Piketon, Ohio. The decision ended months of efforts by community leaders, state officials and the Kentucky congressional delegation to vie for the replacement technology.

Many still wonder if Bethesda, USEC can perfect the process and pay for the $1.5 billion plant. If not, that will prolong the life of the Paducah plant, which opened in 1952. Speculation about the future of the company grew in December with the abrupt announcement that founding Chief Executive Officer William (Nick) Timbers had left the firm without expla-, nation. USEC is one of area's highest-paying employers with estimated annual payroll and benefits of about $100,000 per worker. Continental Tire North America ceased production Dec.

15 at its Mayfield plant; robbing 730 people of wages averaging about $20 an hour. The shutdown culminated a plan announced June 29 and was the latest blow to a regional tire industry already on its knees. Year-end job losses the Mayfield plant followed about 300 furloughs in two waves during the previous 12 months. In early October, Goodyear Tire Rubber Co. announced another 250 job cuts at its Union City, plant.

Effective Nov. 1, those layoffs raised the total number there to about 1,500 during the past two years. About a third of the plant workers are from western Kentucky. Tire plant cutbacks in 2004 were at the heart of 2.500 manufacturing jobs lost in far western Kentucky during the past two years. Collectively, the losses created the biggest business news story of the year, followed by the USEC development.

Other top stories: 3. Sick nuclear workers. Congress passed legislation in October to vastly improve compensation for sick nuclear workers and give the sickest Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant employees as much as $10.000. The bill ended months of wrangling on Capitol Hill and gave optimism to thousands of current, disabled or retired Paducah workers, many of whom have waited four years under a heavily backlogged claims system that ultimately couldn't force workers' compensation insurers to pay. The new system requires the U.S.

Depart- ment to Labor to pay claims. 4. Tobacco buyout. On Oct. 11, Congress approved a buyout of the Depression-era tobacco quota system that is expected to reap $2.6 billion for Kentucky farmers, including about $179 million for those in the 13 westernmost counties.

The new law requires cigarette companies to fund a 10-year program paying tobacco quota owners $7 a pound and growers $3 a pound to quit producing the crop. Those who both own the quotas and grow the tobacco would receive $10 a pound. Legislation was desiped to compensate farmers for drastically declining tobacco bases in hopes of stimulating growth of other specialty crops. 5. Job gains.

Several area firms announced expansions and other companies committed to locate in the region. Paducah got word of 865 job gains over the next Please see PLANT CLOSINGS 4C.

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