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94 Second News Update

News- May 29, 2020

In his evening press conference last night, Governor Andy Beshear announced that there are 9,184 cases of COVID-19 in the Commonwealth. Of these cases, 113 were newly confirmed. It is believed that 3,181 Kentuckians have recovered from the virus, however there were nine new deaths reported Thursday, raising the state’s total to 409. More than 15,000 March and April unemployment claims were processed this week, and Deputy Secretary of the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet Josh Benton says that the department is putting their most seasoned staff on getting more of those unprocessed claims done. In addition, Benton discussed a security breach that took place in April. According to Benton, on April 23 at 9:17 AM, it was reported that some unemployment insurance claimants could have been able to view the identity verification documents uploaded by other claimants. The portal was taken down two hours later, and a security fix was implemented that night. To date, no reports of financial harm or identity theft have been received. In other news. Governor Beshear announced that Kentucky Kingdom and public pools can reopen on June 29th with a list of extensive precautions. The Governor said that local leaders may choose to keep pools closed based on their assessments of whether or not safety requirements can be met.

Nelson County reported its first COVID-19 related death yesterday afternoon. The Lincoln Trail District Health Department confirmed the death in their daily press release. Additionally, the department confirmed 9 new nine new cases of the virus in their service area, now totaling 197 cases. Of those cases, 163 have recovered, 23 are in home isolation, and only six are hospitalized. Elsewhere, the Grayson County Health Department confirmed one case, bringing their total to 133 positive cases. Breckinridge County currently has 19 total confirmed cases of the virus.

Thousands of residents in the northern part of Hardin County were without power for a time yesterday after a small airplane flew into a transmission line. Officials with the Vine Grove Police Department say that the plane, which had two occupants inside, took off from the Vine Grove airfield just before 2:40 yesterday afternoon. For unknown reasons, the plane descended rapidly and hit a Nolin RECC transmission line, then hit the ground. The two occupants of the plane received minor injuries and refused medical treatment on the scene. Mattingly says the investigation is still ongoing by the FAA.

The Historic State Theater in Elizabethtown will be reopening this coming Monday, and will be offering $1 movies. The sponsor for these movies, Paul Davis, will be fogging and sanitizing the theater after each showing. Concessions will be available during the show, and social distancing will be marked inside the theater, as well as the capacity only being allowed at 33%, allowing for 214 patrons within the facility. The movies will start this Monday with Abominable at 11 AM and 7 PM. For more information, visit thestate270.com.

News- May 28, 2020

In his evening press conference last night, Governor Andy Beshear announced that there are 9,077 cases of COVID-19 in the Commonwealth. Of those cases, 127 were newly confirmed. It is believed that 3,124 Kentuckians have recovered from the virus, however there were six new deaths announced Wednesday, bringing the state’s total to 400. Lieutenant Governor Jacqueline Coleman talked about the Team Kentucky Fund Assistance Application, which was launched a week and a half ago, as well as Kentucky’s Community Action agencies. The application for assistance from the Team Kentucky Fund can be found online at teamkyfund.ky.gov. In addition, donations to the Team Kentucky Fund can be made at donate.ky.gov, and donations are tax deductible. The Team Kentucky Fund has currently raised more than $3.1 million.

Additional cases of COVID-19 across the region were announced yesterday, though the number of cases reported seems to be facing a decline. Wednesday evening saw only two new cases reported in the Lincoln Trail District Health Department’s service area, with the new cases being announced in Hardin and Nelson counties. In total, 188 cases of the virus have been confirmed in the district with 159 recovered, 21 on home isolation, and four patients currently hospitalized. Additionally, the Grayson County Health Department confirmed no new cases of the virus, keeping the county’s total at 132.

Warm Blessings Soup Kitchen is looking for assistance on their cooking line to help lead cooks beginning June 1st. The soup kitchen assures those who are looking to apply that there are plenty of masks, gloves, and hand sanitizer in the facility, as well as active use of social distancing for safety. Those looking to apply should have previous cooking experience, and are asked to contact Maria Jones at the soup kitchen with any questions.

A Hardin County man was arrested earlier this week after police say he allegedly strangled someone. According to arrest citations, Radcliff Police responded to a call of a woman who was running from the site of the alleged incident. When officers contacted the victim, she advised officers that her boyfriend, Robert Bartels, allegedly came up behind her and placed his arms around her neck, which she said almost caused her to pass out due to lack of air. Bartels then took the victim to the ground, where the victim was able to wrestle away from him. Officers also discovered that Bartels had been ordered to stay away from the victim. Bartels was arrested and charged with strangulation, assault, and violation of condition of release. He was lodged in the Hardin County Detention Center.

Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell made an appearance in Elizabethtown yesterday. The Senate Majority Leader, joined by Hardin Memorial Health President Dennis Johnson and Hardin County Judge Executive Harry Berry, talked about the chances of another possible air bill, with McConnell voicing his opinion on what its top two priorities should be: a full return to education, and of the workforce. In addition, McConnell thanked HMH Staff and physicians for their work to combat the effects of COVID-19 in the region, as well as encouraged citizens, especially younger ones, to overcome whatever stigmas may be attached to wearing masks or social distancing. This was McConnell’s second public appearance he has made in Kentucky since March.

News- May 26, 2020

With the school year officially complete for area schools, one district will not reopen in the fall. As previously reported, West Point Independent Schools will officially merge with Hardin County Schools on July 1st. Not only will students become part of Hardin County Schools on that date, but many staff members and faculty will as well. Interim Superintendent Dr. Sally Sugg says that, as part of the merger agreement, tenured staff and classified staff with over four years experience in the district will find positions within Hardin County. Dr. Sugg will move on to Shelby County Public Schools to become their new superintendent. The City of West Point has been home to a school for over 200 years.

As the totals continue to roll in, the census rate for the state of Kentucky is just above the national average. The Commonwealth currently sits at almost 64% for self response, 4% above the national average of 60%. Locally, Larue leads the area with just above 70%, Hardin is at 69%, Meade County is just below 68%, Grayson is at 58%, and Breckinridge County currently sits at 53%. 7 of the top 10 cities nationally for response are located in Kentucky.

Even with many memorial services cancelled due to COVID-19, personnel at Fort Knox made sure to honor the memory of fallen members of the armed forces on Memorial Day. The post held a private service Monday to honor the fallen after a public memorial service previously scheduled to take place at the Kentucky Veterans Central was cancelled. The post also allowed the public to visit the 121 cemeteries located on post yesterday as part of its annual Memorial Day cemetery event.

Elizabethtown Community and Technical College is offering an opportunity to register virtually for summer classes online to all new and returning students. Students can participate in a virtual express enrollment on Thursday, May 28th and Friday, May 29th. Advisors will be available to help students enroll from 9 AM to 6 PM on each day. To reserve an appointment or get started on a free application, visit elizabethtown.kctcs.edu. Summer classes begin June 1st and 29th.

News- May 22, 2020

The suspect in last weeks double homicide in Elizabethtown has been arrested. Officials say that just before 5 PM Thursday afternoon, police in Versailles, Kentucky recognized the suspect, Tayandree Reed, inside of a local Kroger. Reed is charged with two counts of murder, as well as charges of robbery and assault, both in the first degree. He is lodged in the Hardin County Detention Center on a $500,000 bond.

In his evening press conference last night, Governor Andy Beshear announced that there are now 8,236 cases of COVID-19 in the Commonwealth. Of these cases, 135 were newly confirmed. It is believed that 3,008 Kentuckians have recovered from the virus, however there were ten new deaths announced on Thursday, bringing the state’s total to 386. The Governor announced more businesses and events that will be able to ease restrictions soon. Auctions can be held beginning June 1st. Horse shows can begin on June 8th. Bars and gathering with 50 people or less can reopen June 29th if guidelines are met. In terms of childcare, it was announced that in-home childcare can open on June 8th, and center-based licensed childcare programs will reopen to all families on June 15th. The maximum group size will be ten children per group, and staff will be assigned to the same children each day in order to limit exposure. Children five and under should not wear masks, but older children should, if they are able. Childcare programs will stagger playground time, eliminate center-wide family events, eliminate field trips, and use centralized drop-off and pick-up locations to eliminate unnecessary traffic to classrooms and reduce exposure.

An annual Memorial Day event at Fort Knox is still scheduled to take place. The on-post cemetery visit will take place as usual on Monday, but officials say visitors will have to adhere to health guidelines, including wearing a face covering and socially distancing up to six feet. Fort Knox is home to over 120 cemeteries, made up of former church and family graveyards from towns that existed before Fort Knox. Over 3,000 individuals are buried within the installation.

The Meade County School District has announced their plans and route for the Commencement Cruise taking place tonight to honor the class of 2020. Interim Superintendent Bill Adams says the district will try to mimic the procedure of a real commencement ceremony as best they can. The parade route, as well as guidelines for spectators, can be found on the Meade County High School Facebook page. The district will be releasing a pre-recorded graduation ceremony at 7 PM on the Facebook page.

Several graduation ceremonies from Hardin County Schools will be aired on HCEC-TV tonight and over the weekend. Tonight at 7 PM, the John Hardin High School graduation will air on the channel, as well as on HCEC-TV’s YouTube channel. On Saturday, Central Hardin High School’s graduation will air at 11 AM, and North Hardin High School’s ceremony will air at 7 PM. Hardin County High and the county’s GED program saw their ceremonies air earlier in the week.

Today marks the reopening of restaurants around the state of Kentucky. Restaurants are allowed to once again resume in-person dining, but with several guidelines. Most notably, restaurants are limited to just 33% of their normal capacity in an effort to practice social distancing. Party sizes will be limited to ten or less people. Additionally, restaurants are encouraged to maximize their outdoor seating options, and to discontinue the use of salad bars or buffets if possible.

News- May 21, 2020

In his evening press conference last night, Governor Andy Beshear announced that there are now 8,167 cases of COVID-19 in the Commonwealth. Of these cases, 166 were newly confirmed. It is believed that 2,919 Kentuckians have recovered from the virus, however there were ten new deaths announced on Wednesday, bringing the state’s total to 376. Governor Beshear announced a $300 million award to city and county governments as part of the CARES Act, which will serve to reimburse local governments for expenses gained in response to COVID-19. These can include PPE purchases, telework supplies, and payroll expenses for public health. The Governor expressed pride in the efforts of local governments, and thanked them for all the work they have done during this time. To apply, eligible local governments with related expenses from March 1st, 2020 to December 30th, 2020 must complete an application with expense documentation, which became available on the Department for Local Government’s website at 8 AM today. Funds will be allocated to city and county governments based on approximate population size as recorded in the most recent census data.

A Radcliff man was arrested after he allegedly strangled his girlfriend. According to arrest citations, Marcel Ditto became engaged in an argument with his girlfriend on May 16th in Radcliff. When the victim attempted to leave the residence, Ditto allegedly grabbed her, not allowing her to leave. After a minor altercation, the victim attempted to call 911 when Ditto grabbed the phone and threw it across the apartment. Ditto allegedly began to punch and grab the victim’s neck, which resulted in the victim’s breathing becoming impaired. Ditto was arrested and charged with assault, unlawful imprisonment, and strangulation. He was lodged in the Hardin County Detention Center.

Additional cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed by regional health departments. The Lincoln Trail District Health Department confirmed three additional cases of the virus in Hardin County, raising the district’s total number to 167. Seven individuals within the region have been hospitalized, 24 are in home isolation, and 132 have recovered from the virus. Grayson County Health Officials also confirmed two new cases on Wednesday, bringing the county’s total to 128.

Grayson County residents in need of masks have the opportunity to get some today, but supplies are limited. The Grayson County Health Department will be distributing cloth face masks today free of charge. The Department advises that masks will be given out on a first come, first serve basis, and to Grayson County residents only. Supplies will be distributed between 10 AM and noon central time today at the Health Department. The Health Department says social distancing guidelines will be required.

As the state of Kentucky prepares to relax previously imposed restrictions on in-person dining and groups, so too are local municipalities. The City of Elizabethtown announced that, beginning tomorrow, recreational areas previously restricted will begin to reopen to the public. City park pavilions, as well as tennis courts, will reopen to the public with guidelines for use posted. Locations such as playgrounds, basketball courts, and soccer fields are still closed at this time.

News- May 20, 2020

In his evening press conference last night, Governor Andy Beshear announced that there are now 8,062 cases of COVID-19 in the Commonwealth. Of these cases, 164 were newly confirmed. It is believed that 2,826 Kentuckians have recovered from the virus, however there were 20 new deaths announced on Tuesday, the single highest in a day so far, bringing the state’s total to 366. With gatherings of ten or less being allowed beginning this Friday, Governor Beshear set out state guidelines for having a safe Memorial Day weekend while continuing to fight COVID-19. Guidelines put forth include maintaining social distancing of at least six feet, wearing a mask, washing hands frequently, and gathering outdoors instead of indoors.

The Breckinridge County Health Department has confirmed a second COVID-19 related death in their area. The Department’s announcement of an additional death from the virus comes just a day after their first death. Elsewhere around the region, the total number of COVID-19 cases in Hardin County has surpassed 80. The Lincoln Trail District Health Department confirmed four additional positive cases of the virus within the county, bringing their total to 82 total cases. The entire district has seen 164 total cases so far, of which 131 have recovered, 22 are in home isolation, and only seven are hospitalized. The Grayson County Health Department also confirmed new cases of the virus Tuesday, adding three to their total of 126.

The City of Elizabethtown’s Government officials have passed an executive order to help local restaurants as they begin to reopen to in-person traffic. The text on the order specifies that restaurants may utilize parking spaces and other outdoor areas for outdoor dining up to a capacity equal to the original indoor capacity of the restaurant. The area to be utilized must be clearly delineated with fencing, tape, or other city-approved barricades. Governor Andy Beshear authorized restaurants to reopen on May 22nd with 33% interior capacity, and unlimited outdoor dining.

A Radcliff man has been arrested after allegedly striking his wife with a handgun. According to arrest records, Radcliff Police were called to a residence off of North Street in Radcliff Monday night in reference to a possible domestic violence incident. When police arrived, they made contact with the victim, who had sustained a head injury. The victim explained that she and her husband, Timothy Carrington, had been engaged in an argument when Carrington pulled out a handgun and threatened to kill the victim. The victim turned her back to Carrington, and then he allegedly struck her in the back of the head with the handgun. Carrington was arrested and charged with wanton endangerment, terroristic threatening, and assault. He was lodged in the Hardin County Detention Center.

Graduation ceremonies featuring Hardin County Schools will begin tonight. Ceremonies featuring Hardin County High, as well as the county’s GED program, will air on HCEC-TV tonight beginning at 6 PM. The edited ceremony can also be found on HCEC’s YouTube channel. Ceremonies for the county’s other high schools will take place later this week.

According to a press release from officials, Towne Mall in Elizabethtown is readying to re-open today at 11 AM. According to the release, the center’s reopening plans include significantly enhanced cleaning and sanitizing protocols with a a focus on frequent touchpoints. Added signage and other safeguards will be in place to assure continued, appropriate social distancing and other precautionary measures.Not all stores and restaurants will be opened, and a full list of those that are open is available at TheTowneMall.com.

News- May 19, 2020

In his evening press conference last night, Governor Andy Beshear announced that there are 7,935 cases of COVID-19 in the Commonwealth. Of these cases, 122 were confirmed on Sunday, and 138 were confirmed on Monday. It is believed that 2,785 Kentuckians have recovered from the virus, however there were twelve new deaths over the last two days, bringing the state’s total to 346. As the state begins to attempt to safely reopen, Governor Beshear calls contact tracing the key to making it happen. The Governor reiterated that every step would be taken to protect the privacy of Kentuckians. Those who are contacted by health care workers will be notified that they may have been exposed to COVID-19, and are given instructions to follow in order to help stop the spread.

As more businesses begin to reopen, local health department officials are doing what they can to make the reopening phase as safe as possible. It was announced Monday that health departments around the region will begin distributing cloth face masks to workers within the food service and distribution industries. Lincoln Trail District Health Department spokesperson Terrie Burgen says the masks will be given out by environmental staff at the health department during routine food inspections. Restaurants are scheduled to open to in-person traffic on Friday with a restriction on capacity indoors.

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the upcoming June primary will be much different than in previous years. Hardin County Clerk Debbie Donnelly explains that because of various factors related to COVID-19, voting will take place through mail-in absentee ballots this year. Residents will have to request a ballot, which they can currently do through the clerk’s office. The deadline for ballot requests is June 15th. Mailed ballots will include a pre-paid envelope for return. Additionally, in-person absentee voting will also be allowed. The County Clerk’s Office will allow residents to vote from the parking lot of the Government Center from June 1st to June 22nd. More information can be found online at hccoky.org.

WesBanco has made a donation to Elizabethtown Community and Technical College’s Student Emergency Fund. The donation of $2,500 will directly assist students with food, utilities, housing, and other obstacles that would otherwise keep them from successfully completing their college education. Donations are matched dollar for dollar up to $2000, and can be made online by visiting elizabethtown.kctcs.edu/studentemergencyfund.

News- May 18, 2020

In a quick update on Saturday night, Governor Andy Beshear announced that there are at least 7,688 cases of COVID-19 in the Commonwealth. Of those cases, 244 were newly confirmed. It is believed that 2,768 Kentuckians have recovered from the virus, however there were two new deaths announced on Saturday, brining the state’s total to 334. Though the update was short, Governor Beshear put out a brief call for compassion and safety, asking for Kentuckians to continue being Healthy at Home and Healthy at Work, as well as to look out for your fellow neighbor, and to continue to look out for one another in this difficult time.

The Hardin County Sheriff’s Office responded to a head-on collision late last night. The collision took place at Patriot Parkway and Deckard School Road. Both the north and southbound lanes were blocked for some time for cleanup and reconstruction, but both have since been reopened. More information on the collision will be provided as it becomes available.

After being closed for an extended period of time, government centers across the Commonwealth can begin to reopen. The Hardin County Government Center will begin reopening some of their facilities today. Deputy Judge Executive Daniel London says that while the main government office is set to open today, residents are still encouraged to use online services as much as possible. The Hardin County Animal Shelter will also open today, once again accepting stray animals. The Hardin County Attorney’s Office is planned to open on a limited basis on June 1st. A full list of openings can be found on the Hardin County Government website.

Hosparus Thrift Shoppe in Campbellsville and Elizabethtown will begin accepting donations again this week. Donations will be accepted between 10 AM and 4 PM Monday through Friday, and from 10 AM to 2 PM on Saturdays until further notice. Those with donations can come to the back of the building. In addition, those dropping off are asked to adhere to social distancing guidelines with staff. In addition, donations should be boxed or bagged in a container that will not be returned to the donor. The shop asks for patience as the donation turnout is expected to be high.

As the demand for meat continues to grow, Kentucky’s Attorney General and Agriculture Commissioner are asking for the assistance of the Department of Justice to investigate possible price fixes on beef. In a joint letter to US Attorney General William Barr, Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron and Agriculture Commisioner Ryan Quarles urge the Department of Justice to investigate possible anti-competitive practices within the beef packing industry. In their letter, the two called attention to the fact that Kentucky farmers are allegedly being paid less for the product, even as the demand for beef continues to increase. The letter asks the Department of Justice to conduct a study on the current economic status inside the cattle industry to see if anti-competitive practices are in fact taking place.  

News- May 15, 2020

Last night the Louisville FBI Field Office announced the recovery of a missing Texas child and the arrest of her alleged kidnapper in Elizabethtown. According to a release from the Louisville FBI Field Office, around 10 PM last night, special agents working with Kentucky State Police, as well as the Elizabethtown Police Department, arrested Austen Walker, 21, on a federal charge of unlawful flight to avoid prosecution. Walker had an arrest warrant out of Texas on charges of kidnapping. The arrest warrant alleges that on or about May 12, 2020, Walker kidnapped the victim from Grand Saline, Texas.

Police have released the identities of the two men found dead inside of a car in Elizabethtown Wednesday night. According to police, 32-year-old Shawn Fox and 37-year-old Michael Buckner Thomas, both of Hopkinsville, were found deceased when police responded to a call on Patterson Street Wednesday night. A third individual, an unidentified female, was airlifted from the scene to University Hospital, where she was listed in critical condition. The investigation is still ongoing at this time.

A Hardin County man and woman accused of murder will appear in court this morning. As previously reported, Kentucky State Police arrested Jacob Lugmayer and Krystal Erbelding earlier this month after police found Erbelding’s mother, Kathy Erbelding, dead from two gunshot wounds in a home off of Wise Lane in Elizabethtown. Both Erbelding and Lugmayer are charged with murder, abuse of a corpse, and robbery. Lugmayer is also charged with tampering with physical evidence. Both are being held on a $250,000 bond.

In his evening press conference last night, Governor Andy Beshear announced that there are now 7,225 cases of COVID-19 in the Commonwealth. Of these cases, 199 were newly confirmed. It is believed that 2,712 Kentuckians have recovered from the virus, however there were two new deaths announced on Thursday, bringing the state’s total to 328. Governor Beshear talked about the next steps in easing restrictions in Kentucky, saying that May 22nd will see allowance of gatherings of ten or fewer with guidance to continue to try and social distance. In addition, the travel ban will be lifted on the same day. The Governor noted that if a second spike were to present itself, some of these eased steps may have to be taken again. Also, the Governor announced that the Kentucky Board of Education and Workforce Development Cabinet has been awarded more than $43.7 million from the CARES Act, which will fund the needs of students and schools in Kentucky, including technology and food programs.

Today marks the last day of an unforgettable school year for Hardin County students, and the district is already asking for feedback on the final weeks of instruction. Surveys regarding NTI are available on the Hardin County Schools website for students and parents, and instructors will receive their surveys through district email. NTI was utilitzed by area schools since Governor Beshear urged schools not to return to in person instruction on March 12th.

Meade County has issued a Boil Water Advisory for those who were out of water due to a leak that took place on Wednesday. The Meade County Water District has advised that any water that is to be consumed should be boiled for three minutes beforehand in order to disinfect. The Water District says it will let those affected know when the advisory is lifted.

News- May 13, 2020

In his evening press conference last night, Governor Andy Beshear announced that there are now 6,853 cases of COVID-19 in the Commonwealth. Of these cases, 191 were newly confirmed. It is believed that 2,546 Kentuckians have recovered from the virus, however there were ten new deaths announced on Tuesday, bringing the state’s total to 321. Doctor Steven Stack talked a bit about two children who had been diagnosed with COVID-19, as one had a rare complication related to the disease. A ten-year-old patient was announced as being on a ventilator after becoming ill. On Tuesday, it was announced the child was improving. The child was diagnosed with a rare syndrome causing an inflammatory response in the body due to their immune systems becoming overactive. The second child, a 16-year-old has been hospitalized, but is not relying on a ventilator to breathe. Dr. Stack also noted that summer activities should not be expected to run as usual this year, stating that early reports suggest warm weather will not help with the virus.

An annual Fort Knox event will not take place this summer. Yesterday, Major General John Evans Jr. announced that Cadet Summer Training has been cancelled. General Evans noted that, while he believed the decision was the correct one, a summer without cadets on post will be strange. Training for cadets will instead take place at their colleges or military installations near them during the fall and spring. Fort Knox sees over 10,000 cadets pass through each summer.

A Breckinridge County Pharmacy is now offering COVID-19 testing. Save-Rite drugs will be conducting drive-thru tests of certain patients in Irvington. Only patients who meet the criteria of an online application will receive testing. A voucher for a test kit must be present at the location. More information on testing can be found at doineedacovid19test.com.

The virtual field day put on by Hardin County Schools is being called a success by officials in the district. There were more than 1,000 videos submitted to the flipgrid app, and over 20,000 views of those videos. The district notes that the turnout for the event was much higher than expected, and that the excitement from the parents and students was encouraging to see.