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Local News

KFC Looking to Sign Dwyane Wade

The NBA lockout is in its second week, and players are not working. And one local company is looking to hire the Miami Heat’s Dwyane Wade.

Amid the lockout, Dwyane Wade tweeted a question.  He asked if anyone was hiring.  It was probably a joke, but as it turns out, there is at least one company who would like to hire the shooting guard.

The General Manager of KFC US, John Cywinski, sent a letter to Wade in response to his tweet. Wade is a former employee of KFC, and Cywinski says the company would love to have him back on the team. Cywinski says KFC will make a donation in Wade’s name to Colonel’s Scholars, a scholarship program for young people, if Wade will serve as a drive-thru captain at a local KFC. Wade currently makes $15 million a year playing basketball.

Read the letter here.

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Local News

PETA Grills Yum Brands Execs Over Slaughterhouses

Calling on KFC to improve conditions at its chicken slaughterhouses, members of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals attended an annual shareholders meeting with Yum Brands executives.

The animal rights group owns stock in the fast food company in order to have a voice in shaping its policies and is allowed to have two representatives at shareholders meetings.

PETA spokesperson Lindsay Rajt says KFC continues to ignore recommendations from its own animal welfare advisors to change its practice of slaughtering chickens.

“KFC really is lagging behind other restaurant chains who have already improved animal welfare and have adopted purchasing preferences for this less cruel slaughter method,” she says. “We’re asking KFC just to step up to the plate and to take responsibility for animal welfare within their chain.”

In an undercover documentary, PETA activists filmed KFC slaughterhouse workers tearing the heads off live birds, spitting tobacco in birds’ eyes and spray painting birds’ faces. The group wants the fast food restaurant to switch to more modern and less cruel slaughter methods that would eliminate the abuses that chickens endure.

In the past year, other restaurant chains such as Quiznos, Subway and Ruby Tuesday have implemented more humane procedures.

“The bottom line is that there is no justifying a life of constant agony for any animal when it can be easily prevented,” says Rajt. “In some ways chickens are actually smarter than dogs or cats. And they certainly have the same capacity to feel pain like all animals do.”

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Local News

“Kentucky Meals” Rumor Used In Possible Attempt To Discredit Egyptian Protesters

In Egypt, word has been spreading that anti-government protesters have been eating food from KFC. But as the Los Angeles Times reports, the rumors may be an attempt to discredit the demonstrators.

“A meal at KFC can cost what locals make in an entire day or even a week, making it inaccessible to many Egyptians. And KFC became a proxy for anger about perceived Western interference,” writes Raja Abdulrahim. Abdulrahim’s story follows Rehab Salah, who went to Tahrir Square to find out the truth about the KFC rumors she had heard. If the protesters were indeed eating the expensive food (colloquially called Kentucky meals), it could cast doubt on their means and motivation.

But Salah found no trace of the Colonel in Tahrir Square. Abdulrahim notes, “Tahrir Square does have a KFC restaurant, but it has been closed since the protests began Jan. 25. Its glass doors are locked and graffiti has been spray-painted along the front: “No Mubarak.” A temporary clinic has been erected in front of the restaurant, and the sick and injured lay on blankets underneath the KFC sign.”

The article cites another example of the Louisville-based fast food chain symbolizing western society: a KFC in Pakistan was burned in the riots that followed the 2006 publication of a Danish cartoon depicting the prophet Muhammad.

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Local News

Yum Brands Selling Long John Silver’s, A&W

Yum Brands is putting its A&W and Long John Silver’s chains on the market.

The Fortune 500 company purchased the two chains in 2002, and is now looking for buyers. Yum officials did not return requests for comments, but in a press release, company officials said the sale is necessary as Yum focuses on expanding its KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell chains domestically and internationally, specifically in China.

Most of Yum’s profits come from abroad, and the company hopes to make 75% of its profits in China by 2015.

Officials say the sale of Long John Silver’s and A&W is not expected to hurt profits. Yum owns more than 37 thousand restaurants worldwide. The two chains account for just over 16 thousand of those.

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Local News Next Louisville

Six More Arena Sponsors Announced

By Rick Howlett

The Louisville Arena Authority has lined up more sponsorships for the new facility at Second and Main Streets.

Officials announced Monday that partnerships have been signed with Woodford Reserve bourbon, Kentucky Ale, OfficeWare, E.ON U.S, Klosterman Bakery and JBS Swift.

Woodford Reserve and Kentucky Ale will have their names attached to a lounge and sports bar in the arena; the others will have signage throughout the facility. OfficeWare will also provide copiers and printing services.

Arena Authority Chairman Jim Host says the latest deals are worth $4.6 million.

“There are still a number of signs to sell. There are still a number of naming opportunities inside to sell. But we’re much further that I ever thought we would be at this point,” he said.

So far the authority has secured about $44 million in sponsorships, including a ten year, $13.5 million agrement to name the arena the KFC Yum! Center.   

The facililty is scheduled to open in November.  

(Photos by Linda Doane/Louisville Arena Authority)

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Environment Local News

Forest Activists Tell KFC to Go Greener

Forest conservation group the Dogwood Alliance is taking issue with fast food chain KFC’s claims of environmental responsibility. The Alliance says KFC could be using more post-consumer content in its recycled packaging.  Spokesman Scot Quaranda says  KFC’s intent to use the Sustainable Forestry Initiative, or SFI’s, paper product certification program is misguided.

“The SFI certifies as sustainable practices such as large scale clear-cutting, the conversion of natural forests to plantations, the logging of endangered forests, widespread use of toxic chemicals in forest management, and has even said that they would be fine if we introduced genetically engineered trees to our forests,” says Quaranda.

Many environmental groups mistrust SFI, which was launched by the timber industry. Instead, Dogwood Alliance and others endorse the Forest Stewardship Council’s certification program.  KFC declined to talk to WFPL, but said in a statement that it’s committed to the environment.  KFC’s website says 90% of its paperboard packaging will be certified by SFI in May.

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Local News

KFC Moves Secret Chicken Recipe

One of the country’s most closely guarded business secrets was moved under heavy guard Tuesday to a temporary undisclosed location in Louisville.

The recipe for Kentucky Fried Chicken created 68 years ago by Colonel Harland Sanders will stay at the secret site during security upgrades at KFC’s Louisville corporate headquarters.

KFC hired New York security expert Bo Dietl (pictured) to modernize the vault that houses the recipe.

“We noticed that they could have some complementary security work that could be done in here,” Dietl said. “Sixty-eight years is a long time, there’s been a lot of security technology that we have and can implement, and are going to implement. But i’m not going to tell you what we’re going to do inside this safe.”

KFC officials wouldn’t say how long the security upgrade will take.