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94 Second News Update

News- June 4, 2020

In his evening press conference last night, Governor Andy Beshear announced that there are 10,410 cases of COVID-19 in the Commonwealth. Of these cases, 265 were newly confirmed. It is believed that 3,283 Kentuckians have recovered from the virus, however there were eight new deaths reported on Wednesday, bringing the state’s total to 450. One of the deaths announced last night was the youngest victim so far, a nine-month old girl from Hopkins County. The Governor talked about the response from the state of Kentucky since the first case of COVID-19 appeared in the state, saying he believes Kentuckians should be proud of the work they’ve done so far, but the road ahead remains challenging and requires resilience. Kentucky is nationally recognized as among few states that are meeting the White House and CDC guidance for reopening the economy.

More cases of COVID-19 were confirmed locally Wednesday afternoon. The Grayson County Health Department confirmed just one case of the virus, bringing their total to 136 cases. 109 of those cases have recovered. The Lincoln Trail District Health Department announced eight new cases, bringing their total number of cases to 220, with nine patients hospitalized, 27 in home isolation, and 179 recovered. Breckinridge County Health Officials confirmed two new cases of the virus locally, bringing their total to 22 cases so far.

A Hardin County man has been arrested after police say he distributed sexual material involving a minor. According to arrest records, Kentucky State Police executed a search warrant on a residence in Elizabethtown where they discovered two instances of child sexual abuse material in the possession of Joshua Wagner. During an interview with troopers, Wagner admitted to possessing and distributing the material online. A search of Wagner’s phone yielded 17 additional images and videos of child sexual abuse material. Wagner was arrested and charged with possession of matter portraying sexual performance by a minor, as well as distribution of the material. He was lodged in the Hardin County Detention Center.

An Elizabethtown restaurant was evacuated yesterday after a fire on the roof. The Elizabethtown Fire Department responded to a reported structure fire at Hardee’s near Towne Mall shortly after 11 AM. Initial responders reported nothing showing, and the roof was accessed. The cause was reported to be a malfunctioning HVAC unit that had caught fire and self-extinguished. No injuries were reported in the incident.

News- June 3, 2020

In his evening press conference last night, Governor Andy Beshear announced that there are 10,185 cases of COVID-19 in the Commonwealth. Of these cases, 155 were newly confirmed. It is believed that 3,275 Kentuckians have recovered from the virus, however there were three new deaths announced Tuesday, bringing the state’s total to 442. In the midst of the ongoing protests taking place in the state, Governor Beshear said that he hopes to get together with leaders in the African-American community, and also health providers, to have a conversation about improving healthcare. In addition, Governor Beshear announced that on Friday, the United States Supreme Court issued a decision confirming that the Governor’s actions to protect public health were consistent with the United State’s Constitution. The Governor’s Office of General Counsel is making the various federal courts aware of the decision, which should resolve all current cases challenging the Governor’s executive orders.

John Hardin High School will be offering drive-thru COVID-19 testing once again this week, with today and tomorrow being the only days with slots still available. These slots can be signed up for via the Kroger health portal. The Kroger partnership testing was previously done in Elizabethtown last month.

Residents of Hardin County can now vote in-person for the upcoming June 23rd primary. Voters can come into the County Clerk’s office for a ballot until June 22nd. Residents will be able to vote in-person at the clerk’s office on June 23rd; however, voting that day will be similar to a normal election day, with the poll open from 6 AM to 6 PM.

The Hardin County School District is gearing up to begin its summer feeding program again this year. There are over ten sites this year that will be moving around via the Cruisin’ Café. Three sites will remain in one place, those being at Central Hardin High School, John Hardin High School, and North Hardin High School. Other sites and times can be found on the Hardin County Schools website. The program will continue until July 24th.

Cities across the country have instituted curfews in relation to ongoing protests in the communities, but no such action has been enacted locally. Contrary to social media rumors, the City of Elizabethtown has not enacted a curfew. Officer John Thomas with the Elizabethtown Police Department says that there are currently no plans for a curfew, and that residents should make sure to get their information from official sources. The City of Louisville does have a curfew in place until June 8th.

Local health departments still reported new cases of COVID-19 yesterday, although numbers have been trending downward. The Lincoln Trail District Health Department confirmed only four new cases of the virus: two in Nelson, one in Hardin, and one in Larue. The district has five patients hospitalized, 26 on home isolation, and 176 recovered. The district has now seen over 200 total confirmed cases of the virus.

Garbage services in Hardin County will soon resume bulk item pick-ups. Hardin County Solid Waste Director Stephanie Givans says that residents needing to get rid of bulk items can contact the collection company to schedule a time for the pick up. Givans also announced that the county will resume a portion of their recycling program starting next Monday, and will only accept cardboard at this time. More information can be obtained by contacting the solid waste department.

News- June 2, 2020

In his evening press conference last night, Governor Andy Beshear announced that there are 10,046 cases of COVID-19 in the Commonwealth. Of these cases, 131 were confirmed on Sunday, and 214 were confirmed on Monday. The number of those who have recovered from the virus remains at 3,232, however there were eight new deaths announced on Monday, bringing the state’s total to 439. The Governor reminded Kentuckians to light their home, places of business, and places of worship green for compassion; however another event was discussed in a separate press conference last night. In this press conference, Governor Beshear called it “unacceptable” that officers had their body cameras off on Monday morning, and also criticized the timeframe that Breonna Taylor’s family were given for justice. Governor Beshear pledged that, with the Kentucky State Police investigative force that has been brought on to examine the incident, the truth will be revealed, no matter what.

Voting for the 2020 primary election is now open for those wishing to vote in-person. In Hardin County, residents can drive to the Hardin County Government building and call the clerk’s office to request a ballot to vote in person. A secure lockbox will be in front of the government building for ballots to be deposited in. The primary, which was originally scheduled for May, was rescheduled to June in the wake of COVID-19.

Monday marked the first reading of the City of Elizabethtown’s next budget. The City Council met at the Historic State Theater complex Monday evening, where Mayor Jeff Gregory gave his budget recommendation for the fiscal year 2021. Mayor Gregory acknowledged that the recent COVID-19 pandemic impacted budgetary decisions, resulting in a budget that is intended to be more conservative in spending. The budget, which comes in a $60.5 million, is down almost $10 million from this year’s operating budget of $70.1 million. The budget also underscores the impact the tourism industry has faced in the wake of COVID-19, with a lack of revenue coming from places such as the Sports Park, which directly brings in money through restaurant and room taxes. The budget will be read a second and final time in the coming weeks.

After a weekend off from reporting, local health departments announced subtle increases in the number of COVID-19 cases in their area. The Lincoln Trail District Health Department confirmed nine new cases on Monday, bringing the department’s total to 208 positive cases with 175 recovered, 22 in home isolation, and six hospitalized. Elsewhere, the Grayson County Health Department announced two new cases from over the weekend, bringing the county’s total number to 135, with 109 patients recovered.

The Hardin County Sheriff’s Office is the latest service in Hardin County to get financial assistance courtesy of the CARES Act.  Over $45,000 was given to the Sheriff’s Office in order to update equipment in order to better respond to the pandemic. The CARES Act has also provided assistance to Elizabethtown Community and Technical College, as well as other local government, as the county continues to try and navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic.

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.