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94 Second News Update

News- May 1, 2020

In his evening press conference last night, Governor Andy Beshear announced that there are now 4,708 cases of COVID-19 in the Commonwealth. Of these cases, 174 were newly confirmed. It is believed that 1,675 Kentuckians have recovered from the virus, however there were five new deaths reported on Thursday, bringing the state’s total to 240. Governor Beshear made the announcement that recipients of the SNAP program, which is food benefits, will be able to use those benefits online, including for delivery orders. This is in partnership with Wal-Mart and Amazon. There are over 500,000 people in the Commonwealth on SNAP, and the Governor says he wanted to make sure they could take advantage of this in their communities. In addition, Doctor Steven Stack announced that Kentucky hospitals will be using the Battelle Critical Care Decontamination System, which uses vapor phase hydrogen peroxide to decontaminate N95 respirator masks for up to 20 reuses without degrading filter performance.

A long-running tradition in Bardstown will not take place this year. It was announced yesterday that the Stephen Foster Story will forgo the 2020 season, along with performances of Mamma Mia and the Concert in the Park series. Marketing director Billy Bass says that it was proposed to have a partial season, but the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic led to the decision to cancel. Ticket holders to any of this season’s shows can request a refund, exchange for a date next year, or donate the ticket price for a tax deduction. The Stephen Foster Story has been performed annually since its inception in 1959.

Even with the conclusion of their annual fundraising event Tuesday night, Clarity Solutions is letting the public know that there is still time to donate. The organizations annual banquet was cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions. More information about donations can be found online at supportclarity.org.

Hardin Memorial Health are giving their COVID-19 patients access to a new treatment study using plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients. The breakthrough covalescent plasma treatment allows current patients to receive plasma from recovered patients, which contains antibodies believed to fight the COVID-19 virus and may help patients improve more quickly. Plasma donations are collected from recovered COVID-19 patients willing to support the study. People who have fully recovered from COVID-19 may qualify to donate plasma is they meet specific plasma and blood donation eligibility requirements. These requirements and information about plasma donation can be found at redcrossblood.org.

Mental Health Awareness Month begins today, and the Lincoln Trail Behavioral Health Department has statistics regarding how mental health has been affected since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. 67% of people globally are currently reporting higher levels of stress during the pandemic, and 54% are reporting feeling emotionally exhausted. However, despite all the uncertainty, the department has advice for how to manage your mental health. This includes getting enough sleep, exercising, and eating healthily, as well as limiting screen time. The department also reminds those who may be struggling to get help if they need it. The department recommends calling primary health care providers or mental health professionals if experiencing difficulty. Lincoln Trail Behavioral Health is also available to call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

News- April 29, 2020

 In his evening press conference last night, Governor Andy Beshear announced that there

are 4,375 cases of COVID-19 in the Commonwealth. Of those cases, 230 were newly confirmed. It is believed that 1,617 have recovered from the virus. However, there were 12 new deaths announced on Tuesday, brining the state’s total to 225. One of the deceased announced on Tuesday was Lillian Press, who was 95 years old. A personal friend of the Governor’s, Press was credited for organizing and directing the Governor’s Scholarship Program. In addition, Governor Beshear explained the ten rules to reopening a business under the Healthy at Work plan. These rules are as follows: continue telework where possible, phase returns to work, onsite temperature and health checks, universal masks and PPE, closing of common areas, enforcing social distancing, limiting face to face meetings, establishing sanitizer and hand washing stations, providing special accommodations to those who are at risk, and creating a testing plan. The Governor noted that by May 11th, everybody working for or visiting an essential business that is reopening should be wearing a mask.

The Hardin County Sheriff’s Office responded to an incident involving a car and a train in Rineyville last night. According to officials, the victims were two males whose ages are unknown at this time. Both were flown to U of L hospital, and their conditions are also unknown at this time. This is an ongoing investigation, and more information will be provided as it becomes available.

Kentucky’s Attorney General has called on Governor Andy Beshear to allow religious services to resume in the state. Attorney General Daniel Cameron made the announcement during a press conference outside the state capitol yesterday afternoon. Cameron went on to say that if Governor Beshear did not pull back the order that had prohibited in person services, the Attorney General’s office would file a lawsuit on whether Beshear’s order violated the first amendment. Cameron is already involved in a lawsuit against the Governor, which involves the constitutional basis of Beshear’s travel ban.

Like most schools in the region, West Point Independent Schools made the decision to cut school short this year. At a board meeting Tuesday night, the school calendar was amended to make May 15th the final day for NTI instruction for students. Staff will still have to meet the days on their contract. While this is the final year of West Point Independent Schools, Breeding did say that end-of-year activities are still possible, but at a later date. The school announced that they would be merging with Hardin County Schools earlier this year. The city of West Point has been home to school since 1804.

An Elizabethtown man was arrested Tuesday after leading police on a brief pursuit. Officials were called to Panda Express on Ring Road around 4 PM in reference to a suspected impaired driver. Upon contact with police, the driver, Keith Ware, fled the area. Officers gave chase, and a police cruiser was struck in the chase. The suspect crashed into a fire hydrant at Towne Mall and fled on foot. After a brief struggle, Ware was apprehended in the parking lot of Towne Mall. Ware was arrested and faces several charges, including fleeing or evading police, wanton endangerment, and reckless driving. He was lodged in the Hardin County Detention Center.

Yesterday morning, the Elizabethtown Police Department responded to Freeman Lake in reference to a kayaker in distress. When they arrived, they observed an adult male in the water holding on to a kayak but unable to move. Officers jumped into the water and swam the victim to shore. Despite air temperatures being relatively warm, the water temperature was still cool and left the victim in a hypothermic state. The victim was transported to Hardin Memorial Health by Hardin County EMS and is expected to make a full recovery.

News- April 28, 2020

In his evening press conference last night, Governor Andy Beshear announced that there are now 4,146 cases of COVID-19 in the Commonwealth. Of these cases, 87 were newly confirmed. It is believed that 1,521 people have recovered from the virus, however there were five new deaths reported on Monday, bringing the state’s total to 213. Doctor Steven Stack talked about further anticipated phases for reopening of various healthcare services. The next phase is expected to begin May 6th. This will allow outpatient surgeries and other invasive procedures to resume, though there will be guidelines to be met. Facilities must have a fourteen-day supply of PPE available at all times, and must maintain a 30% bed capacity in case of a surge. Phase Three is scheduled to begin on Wednesday, May 13th, and Phase Four is scheduled to begin Wednesday, May 27th. Any COVID-19 resurgence may require adjustment to the phased reopening. Governor Beshear announced that more industry reopening dates would be announced soon. The state is preparing to hire 700 people across the state to help with contact tracing going forward.

Hardin County Schools has made the decision to hold high school graduations next month, albeit in a different way. The district announced yesterday that the three high schools would be holding virtual graduations for the outgoing class of 2020. The district’s television partner HCEC-TV, will edit the ceremonies together to air on their originally scheduled dates. The district does hope to hold a formal graduation sometime into the next school year. Each ceremony will take place outside the respective high schools. Students will be able to bring no more than six guests with them. Details on how the virtual graduations will be conducted can be found on the Hardin County Schools website. In addition, the district will be lighting up their football stadiums from 8- 8:20 PM tonight to honor students, and welcomes residents in the county to light up their homes as well during this time.

West Point Independent Schools will be hosting a virtual meeting tonight, adhering to the Healthy at Home guidelines. Public comments for the meeting can be submitted via the school phone line at 6:00 PM. These comments will be read to the board during the public comments portion. The meeting will be available to view on YouTube.

Local cases of COVID-19 were not as numerous yesterday. The Lincoln Trail District Health Department reported just one additional case in their daily press release yesterday, bringing the district’s total to 94 positive cases. The sole case came out of Meade County, the location of the only COVID-19 related death locally. The health department said that of the 94 cases, 86 are either participating in home isolation or have been released.

News- April 27, 2020

In his evening press conference last night, Governor Andy Beshear announced that there are now 4,074 cases of COVID-19 in the Commonwealth. Of these cases, 202 were newly confirmed. It is believed that 1,511 people have recovered from the virus, however there were three new deaths announced on Sunday, bringing the state’s total to 208. Today marks the first easing of restrictions since the pandemic hit the state, with several healthcare practitioners being allowed to resume service. Governor Beshear says this step is important because people have not been able to go in to some types of visits and important appointments to keep themselves healthy aside from COVID-19. Also, the healthcare industry will need to be operating at a greater level in order to increase the testing capacity in the state. Non-urgent or emergent healthcare services and diagnostic radiology and lab services can be resumed in hospital outpatient settings, healthcare clinics and medical offices, physical therapy settings, chiropractic offices and optometrists, and dental offices. Each of these services will be required to use personal protective equipment, and to take extra precautions in order to remain in operation.

The number of cases in the region also increased over the weekend. According to the Lincoln Trail District Health Department, 85 positive cases of COVID-19 were reported on Saturday, increasing to 92 yesterday afternoon. Hardin still leads counties in the district with 36 cases. Additionally, the Breckinridge County Health Department confirmed an additional case on Saturday, bringing the county’s total to eight positive cases.

Bardstown Police are investigating after a man was killed over the weekend. According to officials, police were dispatched to a residence on Camptown Road early Sunday morning. When they arrived, police found the victim with multiple stab wounds. The victim was transported to Flaget Hospital where he died as a result of his injuries. Anyone with information is asked to contact Bardstown Police.

Members of the Elizabethtown City Council spent part of the day Friday handing out stimulus checks to various small businesses. The deliveries were part of the city’s economic stimulus recovery fund. Over 170 businesses were awarded the funds after qualifying for the program. The city granted up to $3,000 per small business that qualified.  

News- April 24, 2020

In his evening press conference last night, Governor Andy Beshear announced that there are now 3,481 cases of COVID-19 in the Commonwealth. Of those cases, 161 were newly confirmed. It is believed that 1,335 people have recovered from the virus, however six new deaths were reported on Thursday, bringing the state’s total to 191. Doctor Steven Stack outlined in some greater detail exactly which healthcare practitioners will be able to resume care this coming Monday. These facilities include hospital outpatient setting, health care clinics and medical offices, physical therapy settings, chiropractic offices and optometrists, and dental offices. It was noted that health care providers should still work to provide telehealth as much as possible. Certain practitioners must still take special care as they reopen. Those in high-touch clinical settings such as physical therapy or chiropractic must wear non-latex gloves in addition to enhanced hand hygiene practices, and sanitize objects and contact surfaces between patients. In the case of those in high-aerosol risk settings such as dentistry and oral surgery, the state is seeking additional input in order to assure the safety of both patients and staff. All facilities are asked to eliminate traditional waiting rooms, ensure social distancing, eliminate visitation except in end-of-life situations, screen all workers, patients, and others for temperature and symptoms upon arrival, and wear all required PPE while in the office.

United States Attorney Russell Coleman announced yesterday that Matthew Lyons, 33, of Elizabethtown was charged with several charges related to sexual conduct with a minor. Law enforcement officials became aware of Lyons’ criminal conduct after receiving a complaint regarding a minor posting on social media about engaging in sexual activity with an adult in exchange for money. Police in Radcliff interviewed two minors, seized and searched their mobile devices, and identified Lyons as the adult in question. Lyons had a prior conviction for attempted use of an electronic communication system to procure a minor for sex. Detectives obtained a warrant to seize and search Lyons’ mobile device, which revealed more than 1500 images and video files of the sexual acts, and communications with several underage boys. If convicted at trial, and due to his prior conviction, Lyons faces at least 60 years in prison.

A medical center in Bardstown is now in possession of much needed personal protection equipment. The Bardstown Family Medical Center, part of the HMH Medical Group, received a donation of masks and gloves for the clinic from Louisiana-Pacific. Clinic Physician Holly McCoy expressed the needs of her coworkers to her father-in-law, who is on the board for Louisiana-Pacific. The clinic received 320 N95 masks, as well as 3000 gloves. Donations of PPE can be made at giveppe.ky.gov.

The unemployment numbers for the month of March in Kentucky are in, and COVID-19 has certainly made an impact. According to the Kentucky Center for Statistics, the Lincoln Trail District, which encompasses Breckinridge, Grayson, Hardin, Larue, Marion, Meade, Nelson, and Washington counties, saw a non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 5.8% for the month of March, up from 4.4% in February. Breckinridge County has the highest rate with 7.8%. The U.S. compatible rate is at 4.5%.

The City of Elizabethtown announced that they would be delivering stimulus checks today to a variety of businesses that applied and qualified for the COVID-19 Small Business Economic Stimulus Fund. The city will be awarding over 170 businesses checks, provided they met the criteria for the program. The city will be granting up to $3,000 per small business to aid in recovery efforts.

News- April 23, 2020

In his evening press conference last night, Governor Andy Beshear announced that there are now 3,373 cases of COVID-19 in the Commonwealth. Of those cases, 196 were newly confirmed. It is believed that 1,311 people have recovered from the virus, however there were 14 new deaths reported on Wednesday, bringing the state’s total to 185. In terms of new announcements, Governor Beshear announced the beginning of the first phase of reopening Kentucky’s economy, and it will begin with healthcare. Initially, this easing of restrictions, which will begin Monday, will allow for diagnostic and radiology testing, as well as non-urgent, emergent, in-person office, and ambulatory visits. The Governor reiterated that there is not to be a community waiting room in these facilities, noting that the new waiting room is the patient’s own car. In addition, Governor Beshear announced four new drive-thru testing sites that will be located in Louisville, Lexington, Owensboro, and Bowling Green. Those seeking to obtain a test can get location and registration details at the Kroger Health website. Governor Beshear had previously stated that a foundational basis for safely reopening the economy requires a massive scaling up of testing capacity in the Commonwealth.

The Elizabethtown Fire Department responded to a house fire at 508 Lee Road at around 5 AM this morning. The crew forced entry into the home and quickly extinguished the burning furniture in the front room of the home. Crew members located the resident, a 46-year old female, lying in the floor. She was given medical treatment by firefighters until Hardin County EMS arrived. The exact cause of the fire is unknown at this time.

While not a startling increase, the Lincoln Trail District Health Department continues to confirm more cases of COVID-19 in their service area. As of yesterday at 4 PM, 71 cases were reported, with 31 of those attributed to Hardin County. Additional cases were confirmed yesterday in Hardin, Meade, and Nelson. Breckinridge County also confirmed another case of COVID-19, bringing their total to 7.

Hardin County Schools is encouraging students and families to remember teachers and staff during teacher appreciation week May 4th through the 8th. Information on the Hardin County Schools website details how students and families can write a message to a teacher or staff member that has made an impact on their life. Some of these messages will be shown on Hardin County Schools social media. Messages or videos can be sent until no later than 5 PM on Thursday, May 7th. Whether the message appears on HCS’s social media or not, the district will send the messages to the particular staff member.

The Central Kentucky Community Foundation announced yesterday that their annual awards dinner, called Celebrating Achievement, will be held over a live broadcast this year. This decision was made in order to adhere to social distancing, but to still make the event special for the winners and staff working with the organization. The broadcast is set to air on Facebook and Youtube on Monday, April 26th at 6:30 PM.

News- April 22, 2020

Hardin County Schools announced last night that the contract of West Hardin Middle School teacher Robbie Thompson has been terminated, effective immediately. The Kentucky Attorney General’s office notified Hardin County Schools that Thompson had been arrested Tuesday on child pornography charges. Thompson was in his first year at West Hardin after coming to the district in 2018 to teach math at James T. Alton Middle School. The investigation is ongoing, and Hardin County Schools is fully cooperating with law enforcement officers during this time.

In his evening press conference last night, Governor Andy Beshear announced that there are now 3,192 cases of COVID-19 in the Commonwealth. Of those cases, 177 were newly confirmed. It is believed that 1,226 people have recovered from the virus. However, yesterday saw 17 new deaths reported, the single greatest amount in a day, bringing the state’s total to 171. The Governor also introduced the Healthy at Work initiative, which offers a phased approach to reopening Kentucky’s economy. During phase one of Healthy at Work, the Kentucky Department for Public Health will determine whether Kentucky has met certain public health benchmarks, which closely followed the White House’s guidelines. Phase two will see the Department of Public Health evaluating individual businesses ability to safely reopen. Each business proposal is required to explain its ability to provide personal protective equipment to employees, adequate access to hand sanitizer and disinfectant, and minimal direct contact between employees and the public.

Kentucky State Police Post 4 arrested a Breckinridge County man after a domestic incident with his parents. According to arrest citations, officers were called to Pierce Mill Road in Constantine after an altercation between the parents and their son, Bradley Horn. Reportedly, Horn had flipped several items during the argument, and had begun yelling at his mother. When his father stepped in to intervene, Horn punched him in the face, causing swelling to his left eye. The parents left the residence, but Horn followed, throwing items including a machete out of the home. Horn fired a rifle into the ground in front of the two when his mother attempted to call police. The parents left the residence to get away from Horn, but when they returned, he left the residence, returning to collect different items. Horn was arrested and charged with wanton endangerment and assault. He was lodged in the Hardin County Detention Center.

With testing sites starting to increase around the Commonwealth, Attorney General Daniel Cameron is cautioning individuals about testing scams. In a PSA, Cameron explains that those seeking testing should contact their healthcare physician for testing information. Residents can also call their local health department to check the validity of a testing site. Fake testing sites should be reported to the Consumer Protection Hotline at 1-800-432-9257.

News- April 21, 2020

Following the guidance from Governor Andy Beshear, Hardin County Schools and Elizabethtown Independent Schools have laid out their plans for the rest of the school year. Both districts will continue non-traditional instruction for the rest of the school year, however the date of the last day of school is different for the two districts. For Hardin County Schools the last day of school will be May 15th, and for Elizabethtown Independent Schools, the last day will be May 8th. Navigating through this tough time has proven to be a challenge, but the hopeful plan is to return to normal by next school year. Hardin County Schools spokesperson John Wright reiterates that the district loves and cares for the students, and the good of the community and the students come first. In a post on the Elizabethtown Independent Schools Facebook page, the district thanks the families of students for their patience and perseverance during this time. In his evening press conference last night, Governor Beshear acknowledged the difficulty, saying that the accomplishments of students this year are no less important than any other year. The Governor said that even though an in-person graduation or prom won’t happen, he thanked students for making the sacrifice in order to save lives. This step is in accordance with White House guidance, and is being followed in other states including Ohio, Indiana, and Tennessee.

In his evening press conference, Governor Andy Beshear announced that there are now 3,050 cases of COVID-19 in the Commonwealth. Of these cases, 102 were newly confirmed. It is believed that 1,144 people have recovered from the virus, however there were six new deaths reported Monday, bringing the state’s total to 154.

With warmer weather starting to stay, officials with the Elizabethtown Police Department are reminding the public that break-ins usually increase during this time of year, even in the midst of a pandemic. Officer John Thomas says not to leave valuables in vehicles at all costs, and to lock doors of vehicles in order to prevent things such as wallets, purses, or firearms from being stolen.

In an attempt to better care for COVID-19 patients and protect other patients and staff, Hardin Memorial Hospital is introducing new negative pressure rooms. These rooms keep germs or viruses from flowing out into the hallway and hospital, rather exhausting it out of the room, claims Assistant Vice President Steve White. Ten beds in intensive care and ten in critical care have been converted to these negative pressure rooms.

News- April 20, 2020

In his evening press conference last night, Governor Andy Beshear announced that there are now 2,960 cases of COVID-19 in the Commonwealth. Of these cases, 273 were newly confirmed, which marks the highest number of new cases thus far. In addition, it was reported that 1,122 people have recovered from the virus, however there were also four new deaths reported on Sunday, bringing the state’s total to 148. Governor Beshear praised Kentucky’s heroes, and all the forms they come in including frontline heroes such as grocery store employees and first responders, everyday heroes, including those who are staying healthy at home, and health care heroes, who put themselves in harm’s way everyday in order to help the public. Governor Beshear also reported details about announced benchmarks that the Commonwealth must meet in order to start safely reopening the state’s economy while keeping Kentuckians safe. These seven benchmarks reflect White House criteria and include 14 days of decreasing cases, increased testing capability and contact tracing, personal protective equipment availability, ability to protect at risk populations, ability to social distance, preparedness for possible future spike, and status of vaccine and treatment.

Cooperation between two local law enforcement agencies resulted in the arrest of two men suspected in an Iowa homicide. On Friday, the Elizabethtown Police Department was contacted by Radcliff Police, who were seeking assistance in serving two felony arrest warrants. The suspects, Elijah and Milton McAbee, were wanted for a 2019 Iowa homicide. Milton McAbee was taken into custody at a residence in Radcliff while Elijah was apprehended in Elizabethtown. Officer Chris Denham says the arrests were made without incident. Both men were lodged in the Hardin County Detention Center.

A Hardin County man was arrested yesterday after leading police on a high-speed pursuit. According to officials, a Kentucky State Police trooper observed a vehicle make an improper turn on Bacon Creek Road shortly after midnight on Sunday. When the trooper activated his lights, the vehicle fled, allegedly reaching speeds of up to 80 miles per hour. When attempting to make a turn, control of the vehicle was lost and the car came to a rest. The driver, Prentice Wheeler, exited the vehicle and fled on foot into the woodline. Troopers were able to apprehend Wheeler a short time after. Wheeler was arrested and charged with fleeing and evading police, wanton endangerment, and reckless driving among other charges. He was lodged in the Hardin County Detention Center.

The Lincoln Trail District Health Department has announced that there are 64 total cases of COVID-19 in the district. The case breakdown is as follows: 28 in Hardin, 13 in Marion, three in Meade, 13 in Nelson, and three in Washington. Currently, 57 cases are on home isolation or have been released from monitoring. For reliable information and updates, visit the Health Department’s website, ltdhd.org, or the Kentucky state website, kycovid19.gov.

News- April 17, 2020

In his evening press conference last night, Governor Andy Beshear announced that there are now 2,429 cases of COVID-19 in the Commonwealth. Of those cases, 159 were newly confirmed. It was also reported that, in total, 956 people have recovered from the virus. However, there were seven new deaths reported on Thursday, bringing the state’s total to 129. In terms of new steps, the Governor announced four new testing sites coming online next week, part of the state’s partnership with Kroger to provide drive-thru testing. These sites will be in Madisonville, Paducah, Somerset, and Pikeville. Again, these tests are for those exhibiting symptoms, health care workers, first responders, and those who are high risk who may have been exposed to the virus. For location details, or to register for a test, visit krogerhealth.com/covidtesting. The Governor also announced the opening of state shelters in Lake Barkley and Lake Cumberland State Parks to house people ill with, or who may have been exposed to COVID-19. The facilities will be made available to patients or guests who can care for themselves with minimal medical intervention.

An annual summertime tradition for children in the area has been postponed. The annual Children’s Fair, sponsored by Heart of Kentucky Association of Realtors, announced that the 25th edition of the event would be postponed until a later date. The event was postponed due to concerns and health guidelines set forth regarding COVID-19. The fair has run annually since the summer of 1995.

Hardin County Schools will release earlier than previously expected this year. The Board of Education voted last night to amend the school district’s school year calendar. May 15th will now be the final day of instruction for students. Teachers will still have to work their contractually obligated dates, with a closing day scheduled for May 22nd. Graduation dates for the three high schools are still on schedule at this time.

With the Kentucky Derby officially moved to September 5th, people can get their hands on what is sure to be unique pieces of Derby memorabilia, and the proceeds go to a good cause. The Kentucky Derby Museum’s online store is now selling dated Derby merchandise from what would have been this year’s Run for the Roses, May 2nd. 20% of proceeds from the purchased items will go to two local COVID-19 funds. The sale runs until May 3rd.

The list of cancellations due to COVID-19 continues to grow as the Forecastle Festival, which was scheduled to have its 18th edition this year, has been called off. In a statement from event staff, disappointment was expressed, but it was also noted that the safety and health of fans, artists, staff, and community was a higher priority. Tickets will be automatically refunded at point of purchase, and purchasers will receive an e-mail with details on timing and processing. The event promises to be back even stronger in 2021.

The BBQ, Blues, and Bikes Festival in Elizabethtown has been cancelled for this year due to COVID-19. According to Executive Director of the Heritage Council Stacy Reynolds says the Council attempted to find a reschedule date for the event, but the lack of open dates paired with the current uncertainties made it necessary to cancel the event, citing that public safety is of the utmost importance. Refunds will be issued on all vendors and ride registrations. Sponsorships will also be fully refunded or be given the option to sponsor next year’s event.