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News- April 15, 2020

In his evening press conference last night, Governor Andy Beshear announced that there are now 2,210 cases of COVID-19 in the Commonwealth. Of those cases, 177 were newly confirmed. In addition, 653 people have recovered from the virus. However, there were 11 new deaths reported last night, bringing the state’s total to 115. In terms of updates, Governor Beshear lauded the public’s response to the Team Kentucky Fund, including from the Order of Kentucky Colonels, who donated the largest amount seen so far towards the fund; $1 million. In addition, the Governor applauded the public’s efforts in donating personal protective equipment, but stressed that more is still needed. An update was also given on unemployment from Josh Benton of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet who reassured those who have not gotten the service they need that the government assumes responsibility, and they are working on it. Benton said the top reason that claims are tied up in the system is that the claim is still within the 13 to 15 day window since filing.

As stimulus checks from the CARES Act begin to deposit across the country, residents are being cautioned about possible scams related to the CARES Act. 2nd District Representative Brett Guthrie says that the government will not contact individuals by text, phone, or e-mail requesting access to their bank account. Individuals who filed taxes last year are eligible for the $1200 check with $500 for every child under 17 years old; however, those who are claimed as dependents on last year’s tax documents are not eligible for the check.

The controversial voter ID bill that has seen much debate in the Kentucky General Assembly has passed. Yesterday, the Kentucky Senate obtained a 2/3 override vote in favor of the measure, which would require all residents to show their ID when attempting to vote. Proponents of the bill say it will help to shore up election security, but those who oppose it, including Governor Andy Beshear, say it promotes voter suppression. The Governor previously vetoed the bill when it reached his desk, but both the House and the Senate overrode the Governor’s veto. The law would go into effect before the November presidential election.

The Kentucky Community and Technical College system will receive approximately $34 million from the CARES Act. Each of the 16 colleges in the KCTCS will receive a portion of these funds. Locally, this means that Elizabethtown Community and Technical College will be receiving $2,426,734. This emergency financial aid can be used by students for course materials, technology, housing, food, healthcare, and childcare costs. KCTCS should receive further information and guidance on when and how the funds will be distributed to students.

A Hardin County business is doing something special to help spread some good will during this time of uncertainty. In a video posted to the Hardin County Schools Facebook page yesterday, District Spokesperson John Wright announced that Kat’s Mobile Kitchen had paid off the lunch debt of North Hardin High School. Owner Kat Hennemut says the act was a continuation of a previous donation to other schools in the north end of the county. Hennemut says the next step is to pay off the lunch debt at John Hardin High School.

Yesterday, the Supreme Court extended the suspension of in person court services to May 31st in order to ensure ongoing social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic. The order restricts dockets, jury trials, and jury service from taking place at court facilities, and requires court proceedings to be done remotely.

Southeast Christian Church is partnering with the American Red Cross in holding blood drives at many of their locations, and the drive for the Elizabethtown location is scheduled for tomorrow. Michael Kast, a preacher with Southeast Christian, says many precautions, including constant sanitation of the donation space, will be taken to ensure safety. Temperatures will also be taken before anyone is allowed to go into the building. Donations can only be made by appointment, and those appointments can be scheduled at southeastchristian.org. Times for the blood drive go from 1-7 PM.