The Closing Bell: KyCAD becomes independent art college; UofL spinal research in national spotlight; JCPS budget passed; and more

Welcome to The Closing Bell. This is your last stop for biz scoops and big news before the weekend — a roundup of stories that can’t wait till Monday.

KyCAD becomes Kentucky’s only four-year independent art college

The Speed Mansion, located at 505 W. Ormsby Ave., will be the college’s home. | Courtesy of Laura Rice, Kentucky Select Properties

During its annual gala held Thursday night, Moira Scott Payne, president of the Kentucky College of Art + Design (KyCAD), shared the good news with everyone in attendance: KyCAD has officially become the state’s only four-year independent art college.

The Kentucky Council on Post-Secondary Education approved KyCAD’s application for licensure, and now applications are being accepted for the college’s first class, which will begin Jan. 7, 2019. According to a news release, admission criteria will be based on factors including a student’s portfolio of work.

“Louisville has a vibrant arts community, and for far too long, students seeking an independent art college experience chose to leave our state in order to receive the unique training that only a fully-focused art and design college can offer,” Todd Lowe, chairman of KyCAD’s board of directors, said in the release. “Now these talented individuals can stay right here at home, receive a world-class arts education and, after graduation, hopefully remain in Kentucky to put these critical and much-needed, design and creative thinking skills to use in our communities.”

Moira Scott Payne | Courtesy of KyCAD

Kate Adams, the advancement coordinator for KyCAD, told Insider that yearly tuition will be $24,000, and every applicant will be considered for both full and partial scholarships.

“For its inaugural class, KyCAD is excited to offer competitive four-year, renewable full-tuition scholarships for a select number of students,” she added.

In April, KyCAD separated from Spalding University, and in June, it acquired the Speed Mansion in Old Louisville, the former home of J.B. Speed and Harriet “Hattie” Speed. —Sara Havens

UofL spinal research gets national attention

Research participant Kelley Thomas, flanked, on left, by Dr. Susan Harkema and trainer Katie Pfost. | Courtesy of UofL

Medical researchers at the University of Louisville garnered national attention this week from CNNThe Washington PostThe New York Times and others because of a new medical implant and therapy that is helping people with spinal cord injuries walk again.

UofL said the ground-breaking research at the Kentucky Spinal Cord Injury Research Center involves intense physical therapy, aided by an implant that provides electrical current stimulation to the spinal cord.

The therapy has helped two of four paralyzed research participants walk again with the aid of walkers or horizontal poles, UofL said in a news release.

One of the participants, Kelly Thomas, 23, of Florida, suffered severe trauma in a car accident in 2014. The research has “truly changed my life,” she said in the release, “as it has provided me with a hope that I didn’t think was possible.”

“The first day I took steps on my own was an emotional milestone in my recovery that I’ll never forget, as one minute I was walking with the trainer’s assistance and, while they stopped, I continued walking on my own,” she said. “It’s amazing what the human body can accomplish with help from research and technology.”

Dr. Claudia Angeli, senior researcher at Frazier Rehab Institute’s Human Locomotor Research Center and assistant professor at UofL’s research center, said that the new research confirms that “the spinal cord has the capacity to recover the ability to walk with the right combination of epidural stimulation, daily training and the intent to step independently with each footstep.” —Boris Ladwig

JCPS board passes a working budget

The Jefferson County Board of Education passed the final version of the district’s 2018-19 budget Tuesday night, including millions in funding for new district initiatives and incentives for enhanced support teachers.

Jefferson County Public Schools’ budget has around $11 million more in expenses than revenue, with multiple new expenses being added since the tentative budget was passed in May.

Marty Pollio

JCPS is spending over $10.5 million to cover extra early childhood services after relinquishing its $15 million Head Start grant in May. It is a one-time expense since another provider will receive the Head Start grant and begin covering those students next fall, JCPS Superintendent Marty Pollio said earlier this month.

An Administration for Children and Families spokesman said they plan to open JCPS’s Head Start grant up for applications this fall with the goal of having a new grantee selected and working by fall 2019.

JCPS is spending around $2.9 million on incentives for teachers in enhanced support schools, which was added to the teachers union contract passed in late July.

Other expenses include around $1.7 million for 40 new bus drivers and 20 new bus monitors, $1.1 million to support extended learning programs in the summer and over $660,000 for 10 new ESL teachers.

Pollio said earlier this month that he expects the budget to be balanced next year. Stakeholders should expect “enormous changes” for the 2019-20 budget, with every central office position and program being evaluated, Pollio said.

With the working budget passed, the district will begin working on the 2019-20 budget. Pollio expects to share revised budget recommendations for next year in November.

Board members named, among other things, JCPS’s racial equity policy, Backpack of Success skills, a potential in-house security team and modernizing facilities as budget priorities in a work session earlier this month. —Olivia Krauth

Local financial advisor fired after dispute

Mark Lamkin

Louisville financial advisor Mark Lamkin was fired by LPL Financial last month following allegations that he benefited from loans from firm customers and participated in private investments without obtaining firm approval, according to regulatory filings.

Lamkin told Insider this week that he was discharged because he and the firm disagreed over whether he disclosed information about private investments in time.

The firm, based in Boston, declined to comment on the recent filings with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), a private corporation that self-regulates equities trading.

According to the filings, Lamkin was discharged from LPL on Aug. 17 after allegations that he “received and/or benefitted from loans from firm customers, failed to disclose and inadequately disclosed outside business activities, and personally engaged in and solicited other investors to participate in private investments without obtaining firm approval.”

Lamkin told Insider that he made some personal investments a decade ago that required disclosure and that he and LPL disagreed over whether the disclosures were made within the proper time frame.

While he said he regretted how the relationship with LPL ended, Lamkin said he is moving forward, and his firm, Lamkin Wealth Management, is now affiliated with Fidelity Investments and TD Ameritrade.

The FINRA website also noted a dispute from Aug. 13, in which a customer alleged Lamkin engaged in “excessive selling of annuities, misrepresenting or failing to disclose material facts, unsuitability of products and alteration of account profiles.” The latter allegation could involve a financial advisor pushing customers into investments that carry a risk beyond the client’s stated level of comfort.

The customer requested a damage amount of $153,554.

Lamkin said the complaint relates to actions taken about a year ago by two brokers whom he supervised and fired following the allegations. He said the dispute is lodged against him, not because of any action he took but because he supervised brokers Donald and Jason Woods, against whom the original complaint was filed.

The FINRA reports about Donald and Jason Woods, whom Insider could not reach, carry a complaint with descriptions and requested damage amounts that are identical to the complaint on Lamkin’s report. Lamkin filed a lawsuit against both brokers last year.

Interesting side note: Lamkin was one of the contestants of the NBC reality show “The Apprentice” in 2005. He heard then-show host Donald Trump’s famous phrase “You’re Fired” in week six. —Boris Ladwig

Aging conference coming to Louisville

Stock photo

Aging to Perfection is the theme of a conference that’s expected to draw about 500 people from multiple states to Louisville.

The Southeastern Association of Area Agencies on Aging will hold its four-day annual conference at the Louisville Marriott Downtown Sunday through Wednesday.

The event will feature a host of speakers and educational opportunities, including workshops on Medicare and Medicaid, elder-abuse prevention, Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, palliative care and best business practices for long-term care facilities.

Louisville’s status as a hub of aging expertise will be showcased through a number of workshops hosted off-site, including a panel discussion on aging-in-place technology innovations at The Thrive Center and a patient care-planning experience at the University of Louisville Institute for Sustainable Health & Optimal Aging.

Keynote speakers include Sandy Markwood, chief executive of the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging, and motivational speakers Vallie Collins and Brad Montgomery. There also will be an older adults panel discussion on the conference theme.

“This conference has something for everyone — including professionals and practitioners in the field of gerontology and aging-care, as well as older adults, caregivers and community members,” said Barbara Gordon, conference chair and director of social services for the Kentuckiana Regional Planning & Development Agency.—Darla Carter

In Brief

AccorHotels announced Thursday evening that, as of Sept. 26, it has officially acquired an 85 percent ownership stake in Louisville-based 21c Museum Hotels. 21c will join AccorHotels’ MGallery collection of boutique hotels in the first half of 2019.

Humana is providing a $15 million gift to the University of Houston over 10 years to create the Humana Integrated Health System Sciences Institute.

Mayor Greg Fischer has appointed Heidi Margulis, Humana’s chief corporate affairs officer, and Dr. Susie J. Riley, a dentist in private practice, to the Louisville Metro Board of Health for terms ending July 31, 2021.