Local home sales up again in February

The local real estate market had another good month in February.

Matt Shown, communications assistant at the Greater Owensboro Realtor Association, said sales were up $3 million from a year ago — “setting a record for the last four years.”

And the number of homes sold was the highest in three years, he said.

Shown said the local inventory of houses — which has been a problem in recent years — has been up for the past five months.

Last month, 112 houses were sold — up from 88 in February 2018 and 80 in 2017.

The median home price was $126,950 — up from $125,300 and $126,500.

And total sales were $16.3 million — up from $13.3 million and $11.3 million.

• Burke’s Outlet is leaving Towne Square Mall.

The grand opening of its new store in Gateway Commons is set for March 21.

• Dollar Tree, which owns Family Dollar, said last week that it plans to renovate 1,000 Family Dollar stores, close up to 390 and rebrand 200 as Dollar Trees.

The list of stores in each category hadn’t been released last week.

• Site Selection magazine placed Kentucky at No. 2 for the most business and industrial projects among the states in 2018.

Bowling Green was tops among cities of 50,000 to 200,000 people.

Owensboro didn’t make the Top 10.

• Kohl’s stores are getting a little smaller.

The company says it saves money by carrying less inventory and employing fewer workers.

It said last week that the smaller spaces are easier for customers to navigate.

• Macy’s is also shrinking the size of some of its stores, the company said recently.

• says the average Kentuckian has $7,190 in credit card debt.

• Affordable Auto Sales, 624 W. Fourth St., is now a U-Haul neighborhood dealer.

A news release says it will offer U-Haul trucks, trailers, towing equipment, moving supplies and in-store pick-up for boxes.

Business hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to noon Saturday.

• The St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank says natural gas has replaced coal as the nation’s second-leading energy source in the past 13 years.

In 2006, a report said, coal and natural gas consumption were each supplying around 22 percent of the nation’s energy.

Today, natural gas supplies 29 percent and coal, 15 percent, it said.

Petroleum is still tops at just under 40 percent.

That’s mostly for vehicles.

Only 2 percent is used for heating oil.

• CareerBuilder says that 40 percent of employers plan to hire full-time, permanent employees in 2019 and 47 percent plan to recruit part-time workers.

Last year, it was 44 percent and 51 percent.

• More than 300,000 Kentuckians were employed in lightweight-related occupations, according to Detroit-based LIFT–Lightweight Innovations for Tomorrow, a national advanced manufacturing innovation institute.

That’s about 15,000 more than before the Great Recession, the report said.

The jobs include such things as industrial engineers and maintenance and repair workers

Keith Lawrence, 270-691-7301,