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94 Second News Update

News for August 13th

Hardin County Schools to go forward with in-person instruction, online academy

Some students within Hardin County Schools will return to in-person instruction this month.

The district’s Board of Education made the decision last night at a special called meeting. Board Chairman Charlie Wise said that the decision to return on August 24th, as previously announced, was a chance to set an positive example for the state.

Superintendent Teresa Morgan, during her remarks, presented the board members with data to aid in their decision making. In the documents, Morgan detailed that one of the most pressing challenges is that the district might run into a staffing problem, noting that 23 teaching positions are currently open. Additionally, 7 out of the district’s 19 schools expressed that they didn’t feel confident returning to in-person classes at this time.

The vote was 4-1 in favor, with Kay Sharon being the only dissenting vote on the board. Students who signed up for the online learning academy will still receive their instruction in that setting.

Surrounding school districts plan to once again change their return plans

While Hardin County Schools will push ahead with their in-person plan, some surrounding districts are making a change to their calendar once again. Zach Epperson talked with the Superintendents of LaRue, Breckinridge, and Elizabethtown Independent Schools about what their districts are planning to do in regards to Governor Beshear’s recommendation on Monday.

Breckinridge County Superintendent Nick Carter
LaRue County Superintendent David Raleigh
Elizabethtown Independent Superintendent Kelli Bush

Governor Beshear recommended that schools postpone in-person instruction until September 28th.

Kentucky reports highest number of COVID cases in a day

The Commonwealth of Kentucky has set a new record for covid-19 cases. Wednesday saw the highest number of cases reported in a single day, with 1,163 new cases being confirmed. However, the new number comes with a catch, as part of it is made up of numbers delayed from earlier this week, when a glitch in the reporting system gave an unusually low number.

Locally, 20 news cases of the virus were announced in the Lincoln Trail District Health Department’s service area: 8 in Hardin, 5 in Nelson, 4 in Marion, 2 in Meade, and 1 in Washington County. 282 patients are in home isolation and 19 are hospitalized.

KSP: Hardin County man arrested after alleged sodomy

A Hardin County man was arrested Tuesday allegedly sexually abusing two minors.

During a forensic interview, Kentucky State Police say the two victims, both of which are juveniles, disclosed that the subject, Christopher Rogers, had sexually abused and sodomized them. The two stated that the incident happened at Rogers’ house, but could not tell officers exactly when it occurred. Rogers was brought to Post 4 to be interviewed, where he advised Troopers that they would need to speak to a lawyer.

Rogers was arrested and charged with Sodomy 1st degree, a Class B felony if convicted. He was lodged in the Hardin County Detention Center. 

Churchill Downs announces Derby health protocol

Officials with the Kentucky Derby have released their health and safety protocols for this year’s event. September 5th’s Run for the Roses will call for a 40% maximum occupancy. That’s 14% of the record attendance in 2015. Fans will be limited to reserved seating, meaning tickets for the infield and standing room only will not be allowed. Masks, temperature check, and social distancing will be enforced. The Derby is the country’s longest-running sporting event.

AG Daniel Cameron meets with family, friends of Brionna Taylor

While the investigation into the death of Breonna Taylor continues, Attorney General Daniel Cameron, for the first time, sat down with Taylor’s friends and family on Wednesday. The meeting, which was announced through Cameron’s office, was a chance for him to express his personal condolences to Taylor’s family and friends. Cameron has previously stated that his office is awaiting the results of a ballistics test from the FBI.

The FBI Field office in Louisville is conducting a separate death investigation.

News for August 12th

McGrath makes stop in Elizabethtown

U.S. Senate candidate Amy McGrath made a stop in Elizabethtown yesterday. The retired Marine Lieutenant Colonel held a meet and greet with prospective voters at the Elizabethtown Nature Park Tuesday afternoon. McGrath says the chance to get out and see supporters is something she looks forward to.

McGrath won the Democratic primary in June, and faces longtime Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in November’s general election.

Longtime LaRue County official announced retirement

A chapter of LaRue County history will close at the end of this month. Judge-Executive Tommy Turner announced Tuesday morning that he will be retiring at the end of August, bringing his 34-year run as the county’s leader to a close. 

Turner says Governor Beshear will appoint a replacement to serve until the next election, with one of the magistrate to serve in between retirement and appointment, if needed.

Hardin Co. School Board to vote on district’s start options for upcoming school year

Parents and students of Hardin County Schools will know later today what course of action the district will take with the beginning of the school year.

The Board of Education will meet tonight in a special called meeting to discuss whether or not to begin school as planned or to begin the year with NTI on August 24th. On Monday, Governor Beshear had only made a recommendation to postpone in-person instruction, not a mandate.

The virtual meeting can be viewed tonight at 6 p.m., and can be viewed on the Hardin County Schools website.

HCS Students to receive lanyards for masks, ID’s

Whenever students do return to in-person instruction, they’ll have special lanyards waiting for them. Hardin County Schools was gifted with around 17 thousands lanyards Monday, representing students within Central, John, and North’s systems. The items, provided to the school system by an area insurance agency, are beneficial for a student’s new “normal”. 

District spokesperson John Wright also said that elementary school students will receive school ID cards this year, as a way to promote more touch-free options in the district.

‘Blessing Box’ now available for Hardin County community

What started as an idea from one Hardin County Sheriff’s Deputy is now a resource for the community.

Officials with the office have unveiled the Blessing Box, a resource for those in the community who might face various food needs, outside of the Hardin County Government Building. Brooklynne Stillwell, a clerk with the sheriff’s office and a volunteer with the project, says the idea arose from the experiences of Deputy Rusty Johnson.

“He came into contact with people who were in need,” Stillwell says. “He figured that if he could help them out by getting them food… then we should have something central [for everyone].”

Stillwell says the entire process, from idea to finished product, took roughly a month to complete.

“He [Johnson] came to our financial supervisor and said ‘Hey, I’ve seen this this going around!’ It’s been around a month or so since we started working on this.”

The box is stocked with non-perishable items, a way to make sure that the food people are looking for is good at whatever time their need arises. Donations for the box are welcome, keeping in line with non-perishable standards.

Those who wish to donate non-perishable items to the location can do so by placing it inside the box or by dropping them off at the Hardin County Sheriff’s Office. An official dedication si expected at a later date.

News for August 11th

Beshear recommends September 28th as a return to in-person instruction3

Many have been waiting on the announcement for weeks, but Governor Andy Beshear finally made his recommendation last night regarding in-person instruction for schools this fall. Beshear said that, while the ultimate goal should be a return to face-to-face teaching, schools aren’t ready for that just yet.

Also announced at last night’s press conference was that bars and restaurants would once again be allowed to operate at 50% capacity. However, they will have to do so with a last call for drinks at 10 p.m., and will have to close by 11 p.m.

Traveling carnival provided Healthy at Work plan, health department says

It’s almost an annual occurrence.

A traveling fair sets up shop at the Towne Mall in Elizabethtown for a few days each the summer. But this seemingly ordinary event has been met with criticism from residents in a year where many attractions have shut down due to health and safety concerns. But health officials say they approved the business’ health and safety plan for operation. 

Lincoln Trail Health Environmental Director Bryan Carroll says the company outlined plans for sanitation of what was referred to as “major touch” area, as well as social distancing. The carnival will operate until August 16th.

Wildlife officials: report bear sightings to State

With numerous reports of bear sightings in Hardin and surrounding counties over the past several days, wildlife officials say residents should be cautious with the animals. 

ECTC provided with grant for TRIO program

On Friday, it was announced that Elizabethtown Community and Technical College would be awarded with yet another grant, this time for their TRIO program. According to Interim Chief Academic Officer Darren Powell, the grant, over $300,000, will be used by the college for their student support services under the program.

The program has been around for the last twenty years.

News for August 10th

KSP: Man arrested after troopers discover over 100 lbs of Cocaine, cash

An Eastern Kentucky man was arrested last week after police recovered over 100 pounds of cocaine during a traffic stop.

Trooper Scotty Sharp. The driver, Paul Branham of Paintsville, was released on a partially secured bond last week, and is scheduled for an appearance in Hardin District Court this morning.

Pres. Trump signs four orders on pandemic relief

While talks on Capitol Hill stalled Friday evening, President Donald Trump took action on pandemic relief, signing 4 orders on Saturday. Most notably, the President reinstated unemployment bonuses, this time $400 per week through the end of the year. However, the relief comes with a catch, as states will be required to contribute 25% of the aid, $100, meaning it will be up to each state to sign off on the contribution. It is unclear at this time if a legal challenge to the President’s orders will happen.

Regional sites in the National Parks system set to receive overdue maintenance funds

2 National Parks sites in Kentucky will be receiving much needed funding after a new law was enacted last week.

Several billion dollars will now be funneled back into the National Parks system. President Donald Trump signed the Great American Outdoors Act on Tuesday, paving the way for much needed maintenance for national park sites across the country, including two in the region. Mammoth Cave National Park, located in Cave City, and the Abraham Lincoln Birthplace and Boyhood Home, located outside Hodgenville, are both set to benefit from the new law.

2nd District Representative Brett Guthrie. The legislation called for 6.6 billion dollars to address priority maintenance items in the parks.

The National Park Service is home to more than 400 sites on a combined 84 million acres.

ECTC awarded grant from UofL

Elizabethtown Community and Technical College announced that they are the recipient of the University of Louisville’s Modern Apprenticeship Pathways to Success Program grant. 

Chief Advancement Officer Megan Stith. This initiative will include nine programs currently offered by ECTC, with the possibility of future change and expansion. More information can be obtained by contacting Mike Hazzard at ECTC.

Attorney General: Report suspicious PPE

First it was mysterious seeds, now it’s unsolicited Personal Protection Equipment. Jake Richardson explains more about the mysterious packages that some Kentuckians have received through the mail.

News for August 6th

Former councilman Ron Thomas honored with plaque at Freeman Lake

During his 30 years on the Elizabethtown City Council, Ron Thomas has gone by many names. Now, “Mayor of the Lake” will forever be one of them.

The fishing dock at Freeman Lake Park was renamed in honor of former Elizabethtown City Council member Ron Thomas Wednesday afternoon. Thomas, who many said was never at a loss for words, clearly was.

“If I want to be remembered in a certain way by Elizabethtown, the lake is one of the things that is dearest to me,” an emotional Thomas said. “I’m truly honored to have my name associated with what is one of the greatest assets the city of Elizabethtown has.”

Councilmembers and former mayors were present for the plaque dedication, including former mayors Pat Durbin, David Wilmoth Jr., and Edna Berger. Berger who served on the council with Thomas and ran for mayor against him, says Thomas was a true public servant, and was never afraid to tell you what he thought. 

“He’s going to tell you exactly how it is,” Berger said, “And if you don’t agree with him, too bad. And if he doesn’t agree with you, too bad.”

“You’re going to have to work it out, and over time, you will,” Berger continued.

Councilman Tony Bishop, who served with Thomas for a number of years, said the former council member was all about doing what was best for the community.

“He just loves this city, and he’d do just about anything for it,” Bishop said of his former colleague. “[And] compassion for the people. That’s the two main things: the compassion for the city and the compassion for the people who live here.”

Thomas’ family was present at the event, helping to uncover the plaque, which stand at the foot of the fishing dock.

Thomas retired from the Elizabethtown City Council in 2018. 

Guthrie: COVID vaccine might be developed by October

While it wouldn’t be in mass production until early next year, 2nd District Representative Brett Guthrie says a coronavirus vaccine could be here as early as October.

Guthrie says that the rollout of vaccines would likely take place in January and February, and would be given to those who are most at-risk. That includes those in nursing homes, frontline works, and those who are immunocompromised.

51st Street Rod Nationals underway with COVID precautions

The Street Rod Nationals are scheduled to take to kick off this Thursday, with several precautions in place in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Spokesperson Jim Rowlett says that the event is taking many steps to keep attendees safe as the festivities kick off.

Rowlett also notes that there are expected to be around 6,000 cars in attendance this year. Tickets for the event will be $19 when bought at the gate.

Virtual Fort Knox Gold Rush event begins today

While the in-person event was canceled this year, a virtual version of the annual Fort Knox Gold Rush auction event will kick off today.  

Spokesperson Christie McGill. More information on the event can be found on the Ft. Knox Spouses and Community Club facebook page.

Hiroshima: 75 years later

Today marks 75 years since the bombing of Hiroshima by the U.S. Armed Forces. In a speech that was broadcasted from the U.S.S. Augusta, President Harry Truman informed the American People, and the world, of the events that took place in the Japanese city. 

The city of Elizabethtown has a connection to that day. Resident Gillen Nicely Sr. was the tailgunner on the Straight Flush, one of the planes part of the mission. The city of Nagasaki would be bombed next on August 9th.

News for August 4th

Elizabethtown City Council: Wifi for students; police department presented with award

The Elizabethtown Police Department was recognized for their excellence at last night’s City Council meeting. Chief Jeremy Thompson was presented with a plaque from the Kentucky League of Cities after the department’s policies and procedures audit once again came back 100%. Kentucky League of Cities liaison Mark Filburn said he’s asked often about the department’s performance, and said the reason behind it is simple:

“The standard stays high, the leadership stays excellent, and the support from the community is always there.”

In addition to the award presentation, the council also announced that Wi-Fi hotspots would soon be set up in locations around the community to assist students in their online instruction for the upcoming school year. Councilman Marty Fulkerson, who initially brought up the idea, said the service is a way to bridge the gap between students who might have the right devices but no internet access. 

“You can have all the computers you want, but if you can’t connect to  that Google Classroom, the kids still can’t learn,” he said. 

The service will start once the school years for both Hardin County and Elizabethtown Independent Schools begin.

Hodgenville PD asking public’s help in gathering their history

The Hodgenville Police Department is asking for the public’s assistance with a special project that will serve to chronicle the department’s history.

Hodgenville Police Chief James Richardson says the idea to gather information regarding the police department’s history came from the department having no photos of Chief John Cox, who had recently passed away.

Richardson says this will go a long way in honoring the department and the officers that have served it. I’m Jake Richardson.

Submissions to the Police Department can be made via their Facebook page, or by emailing Chief Richardson directly at policechief@cityofhodgenville.com.

Hardin County Schools releases “draft” of their Reopening Plan

Hardin County Schools has released a draft of their reopening plan to the public. Information regarding the upcoming school year is now available on the district’s website. District spokesperson John Wright says that the document isn’t final just yet.

Wright says that while the district is planning on only the two instruction models, the use of NTI learning could be implemented at any point.

FDA warns against using certain types of hand sanitizers

The next time you use your bottle of hand sanitizer, you might want to check the label on the back. The FDA released a list on Friday of over 100 hand sanitizers that should not be used, for two different reasons.

Lincoln Trail Health spokesperson Terrie Burgan says individuals can go to the health department’s website to see the full list of sanitizers the FDA recommends to not use.

Meade County man arrested after fleeing on stolen motorcycle

A Meade County man was arrested Sunday after allegedly fleeing from police on a stolen motorcycle.

On Sunday night, police were called to the area of West Lincoln Trail Boulevard in reference to a reported stolen motorcycle. A Radcliff Police officer located the motorcycle on the roadway near North Wilson Road, where the driver, Jason Poole, was operating it. When officers attempted a traffic stop, Poole fled with a passenger, who attempted to get off, towards Dixie Highway, eventually crashing and fleeing on foot through several parking lots. While being placed under arrest, officers located a metal shim and screwdriver in his pocket, fashioned into the shape of a key.

Poole was charged with Fleeing or Evading, Receiving Stolen Property, as well as Unlawful Imprisonment, among other charges. He was lodged in the Hardin County Detention Center.

News for August 3rd

Even with online instruction, teachers can look for signs of child abuse or neglect

Teachers are the number one reporters of child abuse and neglect. That might be one of the reasons reports of such activity have decreased significantly since March, when students left the classroom and headed home for NTI.

“We see that coinciding with teachers not being able to see their kids face to face everyday,” CASA of the Heartland interim executive director Natalie Cubbage said. “Calls to the state child protection hotline are down 19%, and that’s from February to June of this year.”

Cubbage says that even with students out of the classroom, there are still some signs teachers can watch out for, especially during online instruction this upcoming year.

Cubbage says that while not every indication may be abuse or neglect, she advises that if you see something, say something.

Beshear: ‘Facial covering work”; virus cases become steady as July ends

Governor Andy Beshear continued to report steady numbers of covid-19 cases this weekend, with 572 on Saturday and 463 on Sunday. On Saturday, Beshear said that, in comparison to other states, the Commonwealth was doing well.

The state’s positivity rate is expected to be updated later today. Beshear announced 2 additional covid-related deaths on Sunday.

While state numbers steady, local levels see increase

State-wide numbers might have become steady following July’s rise in covid-19 cases, but local health officials say that’s not the case within the region.

Lincoln Trail Health spokesperson Terrie Burgan says the rise in cases locally likely indicates a pocket, which is normal with an easily transmittable virus. Burgan says that the state as a whole has done well against the virus when compared to other states. While cluster data is not yet available, Burgan says it is being compiled, and should be available in the near future.

Breckinridge County changes Return to School date

After Governor Andy Beshear recommended schools not begin in person instruction until the third week of August, Breckinridge County Schools has made a change to their school calendar. The district announced Friday that students would now be returning on August 25th.

Superintendent Nick Carter says that the district will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation as the beginning of the school year approaches, and will make adjustments if necessary.

Space X astronauts return from ISS

Yesterday, it was history in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Florida. For the first time in 45 years, a U.S. Space capsule landed in a splash down, this time returning home Space X astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Benhken. This was the completion of Space X’s first full test flight to space. The two astronauts spent the last two months in space aboard the International Space Station. More missions to the space station are planned for the near future.

News for July 31st

With Cruisin’ canceled, economic impact for the area expected to take a hit

The streets of downtown Elizabethtown will look much different this weekend than in years past. With Cruisin the Heartland, events and tourism officials say the area looks to lose around $300,000 in economic impact for the surround area.

Elizabethtown events manager Sarah Vaughn says it’s unclear right now how much the area will lose out on collectively when considering all the events that have been canceled. But, she says, there’s no doubt that the impact will be felt.

Cruisin’ was one of the first major events canceled by the city back in May.

EPD: Man arrested after allegedly threatening officer during medical treatment

An Elizabethtown man was arrested Wednesday after allegedly threatening an officer while receiving medical treatment.

Officers with the Elizabethtown Police Department were called to the Motel 6 on North Mulberry Street due to Jason Cunningham receiving complaints in relation to being intoxicated

Officer Chris Denham says officers contacted EMS after determining that Cunningham needed medical assistance, being transported to Hardin Memorial. On route to the hospital, Cunningham allegedly threatened officers, even spitting in the face of one. He faces charges of assault, disorderly conduct, public intoxication, and terroristic threatening. Cunningham was lodged in the Hardin County Detention Center.

Elizabethtown opens state’s 7th REAL ID office

The Real ID Office in Elizabethtown has finally been given the green-light to open. The Kentucky Department of Transportation announced the location’s opening Thursday. While they are limited to only a few services at present due to COVID-19, the regional Real ID office is ready to meet those needs for the public.

The office does ask that those interested in the real ID make an appointment to get one, though these appointments are currently booked up in early August.

The office is located in the former Kentucky State Police Post 4 building at 1055 North Mulberry Street, and will be open Monday through Friday, 8 AM to 4 PM.

Bluegrass Cellular kicks off 10th edition of “Don’t Miss the Bus”

While not all students will return to the classroom next month, Bluegrass Cellular’s “Don’t Miss the Bus” campaign is still taking place. Spokesperson Mackenzie Riordan says the donations, which are online this year, will be accepted even after the August 7 deadline.

More information can be found on the Bluegrass Cellular website.

News for July 30th

Bardstown teen arrested for attempted murder

A Bardstown teen was arrested WEdnesday after allegedly shooting another. The Bardstown Police Department responded to the Speedy Mart at 603 Bloomfield Road on a report of shots fired. The 17-year-old victim, who had arrived at Flaget Memorial Hospital, had been shot in the left chest area. Following an investigation, suspect Tyran Maddox was located and arrested during a traffic stop a little before 1 a.m.

Maddox was taken to the Nelson County Jail and is being held on a $100,000 cash bond. He is charged with attempted murder, as well as wanton endangerment, 1st degree.

KSP hosts ‘Cover the Cruiser’ campaign in E’town

Kentucky State Police Post 4 took part in a unique fundraising campaign this week. The Cover the Cruiser campaign was used to raise money for the Kentucky Special Olympics. Trooper Scotty Sharp says the 1-day event, which was held at the Five Star at the corner of St. John and Ring Road, raised over $1,000 for Special Olympics. The event was used as a substitute for the annual Torch Run, which had to be cancelled due to covid-19.

Officials provide update on new trash cart roll-out

Waste officials are continuing to answer the public about new trash carts. Officials say that while the orange trash carts continue to appear across Hardin County, the old carts aren’t ready to be picked up yet. Red River vice president Steve Smith says that crews are still working to get the new, bright orange carts distributed to customers within the Hardin County system. Smith says the old carts will be picked up as soon as distribution is complete.

The new carts are part of the new, 8-year franchise agreement with the county.

Work detail fills 5,000 bags of trash in July

After roughly 3 months off due to covid-19 restrictions, Hardin County’s Inmate Work Crew was back out on the road in July, and they picked right back up where they left off, collecting 5000 bags of trash over 400 miles of roadway within the county. Jailer Josh Lindblom says the workers look at the task as a competition between the crews, saying, “it’s like a pride thing for them.”

Lindblom said that the time off also brought collection numbers down just slightly. Officials remind motorists to slow down when driving around work details.

ECTC launches Mobile Information Station

Elizabethtown Community and Technical College will be offering yet another creative way to reach out to prospective students ahead of the 2020-21 academic year. The college will be using a Mobile Information Station for those who would like to meet with college representatives, but cannot get to campus. 

The mobile station will also be at the Elizabethtown-Hardin County Industrial Foundation on August 11th from 7-9 AM and 2-4 PM, as well as visiting various schools around the region. All activity will be outdoors, and face coverings and social distancing will be required. More information and a schedule of where the bus will be can be found at Elizabethtown.kctcs.edu

News for July 29th

Local businesses proceed with caution after latest order

Today marks a full month since bars were allowed to reopen in Kentucky. And in that same timeframe, they’ve already been told to close once again. Bourbon Barrel Tavern co-owner Stacy Reynolds says that Monday’s news did come as a shock. Reynolds says the bar was prepared, going ahead and filing all documents needed to provide food to customers, thus allowing the business to remain open.

Reynolds says the bar will operate this way as long as the closure lasts. Which, he says, might be longer than 2 weeks. But, if another shutdown occurred, Reynolds is concerned that the bar might not be able to reopen.

KHSAA says sports will happen this fall

High school sports will take place in Kentucky this fall. The KHSAA voted yesterday to delay the start of the fall sports season until September 7th, with golf being the only fall sport not affected by the vote. The schedule of a return to high school sports is as follows:

Cross Country, Soccer, Volleyball, Field Hockey

  • August 24th: Practices begin but with time restrictions
  • August 31st: Practices return fully with no time restrictions
  • September 7th: Regular season begins

Football

  • August 24th: Helmet only practices
  • August 31st: Full pad practices
  • September 11th: Regular-season will start (9 week season)

Commissioner Julian Tackett says football will still conclude the season with the state finals taking place December 11 through 12. 

Warm Blessings seeks volunteers for packing meals

With an increased need and less volunteers available, Warm Blessings Soup Kitchen is hoping to get entire families involved with their mission. Spokesperson Donielle Lovell says that the Kitchen needs about 3-5 people to be able to put the boxes together. Altogether, Lovell says the commitment isn’t a time consuming one.

Those interested in volunteering can contact the soup kitchen.

Knob Creek Tavern to receive overhaul with year-long rehab

A significant Larue County tourism site is receiving a facelift. The Lincoln National Birthplace is planning to begin the Knob Creek Tavern Rehabilitation Project on August 3rd. The park’s Chief of Interpretation Stacey Humpherys says that the project has been in the works for a while, and that the nearly 90-year old structure needs it now more than ever.

“There will be a metal skeleton … inserted in to the structure,” Humphreys says. “That way, people can go in safely. Right now, currently, in it’s current condition, it is not safe for visitors to go in.”

The structure, which was built in 1933, was one of the first tourism sites dedicated to the legacy of the Lincoln family, Humphreys says. Once the project is complete, guests will be able to enter the building to see various exhibits about the Knob Creek farm.

The Park plans to celebrate with a grand reopening ceremony when work is completed in August of 2021.