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News for July 28th

HCS to implement “A/B Schedule” for high schools

A return to school for Hardin County high school students has taken a drastic change.

During last night’s Board of Education meeting, it was announced that the district would split in-person instruction up into two rotating groups, in an effort to keep student interaction down. District spokesperson John Wright says the plan was pushed for by the principals of the schools, who felt is was the best option for those students returning to in-person instruction.

The district will host a live Q&A today at noon to answer questions from parents, teachers, and students. The change to an A/B schedule will only affect high school students.

Elizabethtown Independent to start school year online

After extensive discussion, the Elizabethtown Board of Education has decided on what course of action to take for their return to school next month. In the end, the board decided to adopt what was referred to as “Option 4”, which calls for students to begin the school year online for the first 3 week. Incoming Superintendent Kelli Bush says students without access to the online services at home would be able come to the school to complete the online instruction.

Elizabethtown students will now start online beginning August 25th.

2 Hardin County residents receive “mysterious” seeds in mail

On the same day that Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles warned residents about suspicious packets of seeds from China, several cases were reported in Hardin County.

Hardin County Extension Agent Doug Shepherd says 2 residents had contacted his office after they received the mysterious seeds instead of the ones they ordered.

“When they were delivered, they were marked as jewelry, but there were these mysterious seeds from China,” Shepherd said.

Shepherd says that if any other residents receive the the seeds, they should package them and send them to the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection in Hebron, Kentucky, where he said they will likely be grown in a controlled facility to see what they are.

Address: USDA-APHIS PPQ, P.O. Box 475, Hebron, KY 41048.

Kentucky is one of 4 states to report the packages.

KSP: Louisville man arrested after pursuit

A Louisville man arrested over the weekend after leading authorities on a pursuit.

According to arrest citations, Troopers observed alcohol in the vehicle of Jeremy Macklin, along with an odor of the beverage. Macklin gave officers false identifying information due to having previous warrants. When Troopers asked Macklin to step out of the vehicle, he allegedly put the vehicle in drive and fled the scene, almost striking a Trooper. After a short pursuit, Macklin exited the vehicle in a cul-de-sac and continued to run on foot for several blocks, hopping a six foot high fence at one point. He was pursued once more and apprehended, where he was finally identified. A search of the vehicle revealed open and half empty bottles of alcohol beneath the driver’s seat.

Macklin was lodged in the Hardin County Detention Center.

City construction projects near completion

Two significant projects for the City of Elizabethtown are nearing completion as the month of August draws closer. The Elizabethtown City Council was updated on the the renovation of Pritchard Community Center and the construction of the new Fire Station #2 at last night’s city council meeting. Facilities Management Director Scott Reynolds says that Pritchard, which received a major overhaul, was slated to move the Parks and Recreation staff back into the building by Friday. While not open yet to the public, the center is scheduled to host its first event this weekend.

Fire Station #2 is also nearing completion, Reynolds says, with construction being complete in mid-August. The Fire Department will then begin to move equipment to the new location, located on Dixie near the Western Kentucky Parkway, with the station becoming operational by September.

News for July 22nd

New details emerge about Hardin County family in quarantine

More details are coming out after a Hardin County family went viral for not signing documents for self-isolation.

According to court records obtained by WQXE News, the Lincoln Trail District Health Department petitioned 9th Circuit court judge Ken Howard for an Order for Quarantine, which he granted on July 16th for Isaiah and Elizabeth Linscott, as well as their daughter. In the order, the court made several conclusions from the evidence they were presented, among these:

  • The Lincoln Trail District Health Department had the authority to issue an order of quarantine to the family in question, and
  • The court had both jurisdiction and power to issue the injunction compelling the family to comply with the order.

In the final paragraph of the document, it was ordered that the Lincoln Trail District Health Department would bear, “the logistical and financial responsibility for all necessary expenses related to the confinement or measures necessary to ensure compliance.” A third-party, Envivo Health, was responsible for the location monitors. This comes into direct conflict with widespread belief that the Hardin County Sheriff’s Office, not the health department, was responsible for any tracking devices used for confinement.

The voluntary quarantine order, which was given to the family by the health department, was finally returned, with the recipients indicating that they declined the order. In various interviews, the mother reiterated the belief that she did not agree with the wording of the document. When the order was returned to officials, it was accompanied by a written statement:

“I will do my best to stay home, as I every other time I get sick. But I cannot comply to having to call the health department every time that I need to go out and do something. It’s my right and freedoms [sic] to go where I please and not have to answer to anyone for it. There is no pandemic and with a survival rate of 99.9998%, I’m fine. I will continue to avoid the elderly, just like PRIOR guidelines state, try to stay home, get rest, get medicine, and get better. I decline.”

The mother, Elizabeth Linscott, had tested positive for the virus around July 11th. It is possible that she had contracted the virus from attending church. In the court documents, the health department says the family’s church has seen 25 positive cases of COVID-19. The last in-person service was July 1st.

Officials caution motorists about driving through water

With more rain expected in the coming days, emergency officials are reminding residents to avoid flooded roadways. Meade county Emergency Management Director Ron Dodson says that motorist should avoid driving through flooded roadways for several reasons.

“It may not look very deep, but it may in fact it may be more than 1 foot or 2,” Dodson said.

The same guidelines apply to flooded parking lots as well.

“If they fill up with water, you really don’t know how deep it is.”

Dodson offers the simple phrase “Turn Around, Don’t Drown” as a useful reminder to motorists when faced with the decision of driving through flooded water.

“You really don’t know what you’re getting into until it’s too late.”

State officials provide more details for schools staff

Options will be available for school district in the face of COVID-19. Lieutenant Governor Jacqueline Coleman says district will have access to unlimited NTI days this year, and staff will be able to use as many quarantine days as needed if they contract the virus. A town hall, set for tomorrow, will feature Lieutenant Governor Coleman. Local districts are still finalizing plans, with Meade county just yesterday opting to move their start day back to August 25th.

Meade County moves back to school date

Just 2 weeks away from their start day, a local school district has changed the day students return. Meade County Schools announced Tuesday that the district is shifting course, with the Board of Education approving the new start date of August 25th. In a Facebook video posted yesterday morning, new Superintendent Mark Martin outlined the reason for the change.

“We must adjust to the virus,” he said, “the virus won’t adjust to us.”

Like many other district’s, meade will offer online, as well as in-person instruction when school returns. Meade county will return to school the same day as Elizabethtown Independent Schools, but at 50% capacity as part of a phased return.

News for July 14th

4th arrest made in Hardin County coupon theft ring

Another arrest has been made in a coupon theft ring in Hardin County. Police arrested Marry Dillion of Big Clifty on Sunday for theft of retail merchandise for resale, the same charges as Tara Lybeck, Lisa Williams, and Harley Miller last week. Officer John Thomas says investigations revealed the group was responsible for thousands of dollars in thefts over a 28-month period.

“This is part of a much larger problem in the United States, where the illegal manufacturing and use of fraudulent coupons costs our economy hundreds of millions of dollars annually,” Thomas explained.

The charges against the four women is a type of organized crime, which is classified as a Class C felony in the state of Kentucky. If convicted, the four could be sentenced to at least 5 years in prison.

Organizers say Vine Grove Bluegrass Festival is still on

After various city-sponsored events for Vine Grove were canceled this week, organizers of the Vine Grove Bluegrass Festival is still taking place. Festival chairman Jason Basham says organizers will follow all state and federal guidelines, including masks, social distancing, and sanitation.

“We voted in favor of having the Bluegrass festival,” Basham explained, “and we are devising a plan right now how to make it the safest for our attendees.”

The campsites, both RV and primitive, will still be utilized this year. Basham says the only real changes to this year’s festival might come from the lineup, which might shift some acts to next year due to costs. The event is set to take place in late September.

E’town Wine Fest still planning to take place

With many local and regional events canceling plans this year, the Elizabethtown Wine Fest is pushing forward with their event.

City Events Manager Sarah Vaughn says organizers are confident in their ability to host the event, even with health and safety mandates in place.

“We are confident that even if restrictions change, we are going to be able to hold the wine festival with social distancing and if masks are required,” she said.

Tickets to the annual festival will go on sale in the coming weeks, with presale options available for tasting and non-tasting. Many wineries are scheduled to appear, including the new Water’s Edge Winery. The event is currently scheduled for September 19th at Freeman Lake Park.

Hardin Co. man arrested after allegedly setting fire on mother’s property

A Hardin county was arrested over the weekend after allegedly setting a fire at his mother’s residence.

Troopers with Kentucky State Police Post 4 arrived at the residence where the subject, Ryan Newton, was alleged to have destroyed various items belonging to his mother. Troopers made contact with Newton, who was upset and not responding when asked for his name and other information. Troopers observed damage to other items within the garage. At one point, Newton took gasoline and threw it on his mother’s car, with her and the fire nearby. Newton had to be forced to the ground after tensing his arms, refusing to put them behind his back while being arrested.

He was charged with wanton endangerment 1st degree, as well as criminal mischief and criminal trespassing. He was lodged in the Hardin County Detention Center.

ECTC open for distinguished alumni nominations

Elizabethtown Community and Technical College is seeking nominations for their Distinguished Alumni and Lifetime Achievement Awards. Institutional Advancement Officer Megan Stith says that applications for nominations must be received by Friday, August 28th. Forms can be found on ECTC’s website. Award winners for both categories will be celebrated at a ceremony on November 5th.

News for July 13th

Grayson County Sheriff announces COVID-19 diagnosis

As COVID-19 cases continue to climb in the Commonwealth, a local elected official is sharing his own personal battle with the virus.

Grayson County Sheriff Norman Chaffins revealed Sunday that he, his wife, and son had contracted the virus. The family had traveled to two Western states in late June, only showing symptoms around July 4th. Chaffins explained that while his wife and son’s symptoms have been mild, his have been severe, with fevers, intense stomach pain, headaches, and even hallucinations. Chaffins concluded the post, encouraging individuals to wear their mask, not simply because it’s required, but because he feels it could save others from the pain he is experiencing.

Kentucky announced a combined 730 new cases over the weekend.

Chaffins’ original Facebook post can be found here

With plateau in the past, Kentucky sees increase of COVID cases

Kentucky is starting to see a rise in COVID-19 cases. Over the weekend, Governor Beshear announced 453 cases of the virus on Saturday and 277 on Sunday for a combined total of 730 weekend cases. With his new statewide mask mandate in place beginning last Friday, Beshear urges the use of masks to help lower the spread of the virus.

“The more people that wear masks, the more leaders who model wearing masks in any region of this state are going to be safer,” Beshear said Friday. “Those who don’t follow it or don’t model it… you’re just risking the lives, the economy, and the schooling of the people of your region.”

On Friday, Attorney General Daniel Cameron announced that he would ask the Scott County Circuit Judge who issued a temporary restraining order against Beshear’s executive orders to inspect this latest one.

As temperature rises, officials offer tips to keep pets safe

Temperatures are expected to rise this week, leading officials to offer reminders to pet owners about how the heat can affect pets. Hardin County Animal Control Director Mike McNutt says that in the excessive temperatures, owners should be cautious about taking their pets on walks, especially if those trips include walking on asphalt.

“It gets hot, and they can feel it on their pads,” McNutt said. “It’s not a pleasant feeling for them, and in some instances, it can even burn them.”

McNutt also advises owners to bring their pets in during the hotter days of summer. But, if they cannot, urges owners to make sure their pets have plenty of fresh water and shade.

Vine Grove cancels Autumn Daze, August First Friday

COVID-19 has claimed another annual festival for a local community. The City of Vine Grove announced Friday that they had decided to cancel their annual Autumn Daze festival and August First Friday, out of precautions related to the virus.

We didn’t fell like it was safe for out citizens to come,” mayor Pam Ogden said. “We didn’t want them to come to our city and get sick.”

Ogden also said the decision was made out of concern for city workers who help control and coordinate the events.

“the mandatory mask also make it hard for our staff to be outside for hours at a time in the heat,” she continued. “Our police officers are wearing their uniforms, plus they’ve got their vests, their masks on.”

The Vine Grove Bluegrass Festival, a non-city sponsored event, is still planning to take place in late September.

Hardin Co. Fair pageants taking place

While the main event might have been canceled, the Hardin County Fair’s annual pageants will still take place.

Fair board president Marty Fulkerson says that while it wasn’t possible to have the complete fair this year, the board had actively pursued ways in which they could carry on other traditional events, like the pageants. Fulkerson says that those interested in taking part in this year’s pageants, which will all be held on the same day, will still need to fill out application forms on the fair’s website.

The three pageants will take place at the Fairgrounds on August 15th.

News for July 10th

Beshear issues executive order; masks are required in public

As was expected with the rise in cases around the Commonwealth, Governor Andy Beshear announced yesterday a new executive order mandating that masks be worn in public. All residents will have to wear their masks in public when social distancing is not possible.

“It’s no longer voluntary, it’s mandatory,” Beshear stated Thursday evening, “And I’m willing to take whatever criticism comes.”

Beshear noted in his press conference that the new mandate was, in part, to help keep the economy open. Kentucky now joins several other states that require residents to wear masks in public, joining neighboring states Illinois, West Virginia, and Virginia.

There are exceptions to the order, including children under the age of 5, those with disabilities, and physical or mental impairments. The entire executive order is scheduled to go into effect this evening at 5 p.m., and can be found on our website.

Ronnie Milsap rescheduled for December concert in E’town

The Ronnie Milsap concert that was scheduled to be held at the Historic State Theater on August 7th has been rescheduled to December 11th.

City Events Manager Sarah Vaughn explained that because of current capacity guidelines, the opportunity to hold the concert at full-capacity was not feasible. Vaughn says that those with their tickets can still use them for the rescheduled date, and those that no longer are wanting to attend due to COVID-19 concerns can contact the theater for a refund.

United Way cancels Power of the Purse for 2020

United Way of Central Kentucky’s annual Power of the Purse event has been cancelled for this year.

Events Manager Hunter Roberts explained that the efforts and resources needed to host the event, even in an online “virtual” format, would be extensive. Roberts said that those resources need to be used for campaigns that are ongoing right. United Way hopes to have the in-person event next year.

Donations to the organization can still be made at unitedwayck.org.

State continues to report large number of COVID cases

As Governor Andy Beshear announced the new mask mandate yesterday, he also announced 333 new cases of the virus. That brings the state’s total number so far to over 18,000 cases. The Governor also reported 4 new deaths, bringing that total to 612.

Locally, the Lincoln Trail District Health Department confirmed 19 new cases, 13 of which were from Hardin county. The district has 162 cases currently in home isolation and only 1 hospitalization. 306 patients have recovered from the virus so far locally.

Health officials push back against claims of false COVID results

Local health officials are pushing back against widespread social media posts claiming positive COVID-19 tests are being misrepresented in exchange for more federal funding.

“I would seriously doubt the falsification of positive results happened with healthcare providers,” Hardin Memorial Vice President and Chief Development Officer Tracee Troutt said. “No reputable healthcare system or group of providers would falsify positive results in order to receive more money.”

“As with almost everything, don’t rely on social media as your source of information,” she explained.

Troutt said that the healthcare provider did not receive money for treating large numbers of covid cases, but did get funds through the CARES Act, as most healthcare facilities did.

News for July 9th

Beshear expected to announce mask mandate as COVID cases rise in state

For the second day in a row, the state of Kentucky has seen its second largest day of positive COVID-19 results.

On Wednesday, Governor Andy Beshear announced 402 new cases of the virus, which brings the state’s total to just under 18,000 cases. As cases statewide are seeing an uptick, Beshear says he will announce new mandatory steps and precautions during his update today at 4 p.m. A possible mandate on masks in public is expected, as several other states, including Texas and New Jersey, have already made the move.

Locally, 12 new cases were announced by Lincoln Trail District Health Department, bringing their total number to 460. And after several days of high case numbers, Hardin county saw only 2 new cases.

Payroll Protection Program provides boost to area small business

Small business around the region received quite a boost thanks to the Payroll Protection Program.

According to data from the U.S. Small Business Bureau, the area, which includes Elizabethtown, Radcliff, Vine Grove, Hardinsburg, Leitchfield, Hodgenville, and others, saw over $43.6 million in loans under $150,000 to small businesses.

Elizabethtown saw the largest amount of loans provided, with a combined amount of almost $25 million. Leitchfield was second with roughly $6 million, and radcliff was third at $5.18 million. The program is part of the $2 trillion CARES Act, which was signed into law this spring.

Elizabethtown$24,963,054.00
Leithfield$6,004,700
Radcliff$5,186,641.00
Hardinsburg$2,635,440
Hodgenville$2,335,776.53
Vine Grove$1,742,494
Upton$464,558
Sonora$289,405
White Mills$27,670
Data from the U.S. Small Business Bureau

Schools officials go over differences in learning options for upcoming year

As a very different looking school year approaches, officials with Hardin County Schools are answering questions about what the difference is between non-traditional instruction (NTI), and the online learning academy.

District spokesperson John Wright says that students taking part in long-term NTI will still be held to same expectations as in-person learning, with short-term NTI consisting mainly of review work from in-person instruction. The online learning academy, Wright says, will keep pace with in-person instruction.

The district says that plans for NTI may change depending on the state of public health and safety.

ECTC offers virtual Pathway to Enrollment event

Elizabethtown Community and Technical College will be holding several virtual enrollment events in the coming weeks.

The college opted to host the online events, Pathway to Enrollment, in an attempt to keep both students and staff safe and healthy. Students will signup through an online link and wait in a virtual queue before meeting virtually with an academic advisor. Enrollment begins this coming Monday at 9 a.m.

More information and a link to the enrollment can be found on the ECTC website.

Event aimed at addressing racial inequality begins tonight

RISE, a 7-week virtual series regarding racial issues of the day and in local communities will begin tonight.

Spokesperson Jerisia Lamons says that topics that the series will cover include education, workforce development, criminal justice reform, black owned businesses in Hardin county, and how to be a better ally. Those interested can register online on the events facebook page.

The event is being held virtually and is set to begin tonight at 7 p.m.

News for July 8th

Hardin County Fair was slated to take place this week; was canceled in May

The Hardin County Fairgrounds are unusually quiet this week on what is supposed to be fair week. The fair, a staple of the community, was canceled in may by a vote of the fairboard as the Coronavirus pandemic spread. Board member Bruce Reeves, an 18-year member of the fair board, says the decision was one of the hardest he’s had to make as part of the group.

Reeves said that no Fair this year also means finances have to be watched, especially for the offseason until they get back around to the fair nex July. Other county fairs, including Meade county, are still scheduled to take place, but with scaled down events and activities.

Woman arrested after running across I-65

A Campbellsville woman was arrested on I-65 after crossing several lanes of traffic on foot.

According to arrest citations, Megan Keith was the passenger in a vehicle that was rear-ended by a tractor trailer after pulling into its path from the shoulder of southbound I-65. Once the vehicle came to a rest after the collision, Keith and the driver of the vehicle exited and crossed the northbound lanes, almost being struck by traffic before disappearing over the guardrail.

Kentucky State Police units attempted to locate the two, and the vehicle was searched. Narcan, several syringes, some loaded with Narcan, and a small digital scale were allegedly found in the search. Keith and the driver eventually called 911 because they were stuck in a ditch and too injured to walk.

Keith was charged with leaving the scene of an accident as well as possession of a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia. She was lodged in the Hardin County Detention Center.

Police: Stolen vehicle wrecked, driver in serious condition

After four vehicles were stolen from an Elizabethtown neighborhood last week, one of the suspects has been injured in one of the vehicles.

Officer Chris Denham says that the wreck happened in Louisville later that same day, and that the occupant was the only person inside the vehicle. They are listed in critical condition at this time. The identity of the driver has not been revealed. and no other details have been released.

Feeding America welcomes back volunteers

Feeding America Kentucky’s Heartland has now reopened to volunteers. However, restrictions have been put in place when it comes to who can volunteer and how.

Volunteers must be 18 years and older, and must call ahead to the center beforehand instead of showing up. Development Director Monica Ruheling says volunteers will be required to wear a facemask and will undergo temperature checks at the door before entering the building. More information can be found on the Feeding America Website.

State records high-number of COVID cases; largest since May 5th

The state of Kentucky has seen it’s second largest increase in COVID-19 cases.

Governor Andy Beshear announced 371 new cases yesterday, the largest single day increase since May 5th. In addition to the new cases, Beshear also announced 9 new deaths, bringing the death toll to over 600 since the beginning of the pandemic.

Locally, 21 new cases were confirmed by the Lincoln Trail District Health Department, with 13 coming from Hardin county. 131 are on home isolation and 306 have recovered from the virus.

News for July 7th

1 dead, 1 injured after wreck on US 62 Monday afternoon

Police have identified the victim from yesterday’s fatal collision on U.S. in Elizabethtown.

Officials say 19-year old Kaleb Fogle was traveling westbound on U.S. 62 when he drifted into the eastbound lanes, striking a pickup truck and an oncoming SUV. In turn, the pickup truck flipped, striking a Chevrolet truck. Fogle was taken to HMH where he was pronounced deceased. The driver of the SUV was airlifted to University Hospital with critical injuries.

The two occupants of the Toyota pickup, as well as the occupant of the Chevrolet pickup, were uninjured. No additional details are available at this time.

Patton Museum set to reopen today

The Patton Museum on Fort Knox is scheduled to reopen today.

Colonel CJ King says that visitors to the museum will be required to wear a mask, and wash their hands or use sanitizer upon entry. In addition, social distancing must be observed, and in-person interactions with museum staff will be limited. The hours for the museum will be 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and closed on Sunday and Monday.

Continued operation of the museum will depend on the health protection condition level on post going forward.

COVID-19 cases continue to rise around area

COVID-19 test results from holiday weekend have been released, and it appears that cases are on the rise.

Yesterday, the Lincoln Trail District Health Department announced 62 new cases within the service area, 41 of which were from Hardin county. As more cases continue to be confirmed, officials with the health department still urge residents to take preventative measures. Only 1 case within the district is hospitalized.

Elsewhere, the Grayson County Health Department confirmed a COVID-19 related death on Monday, bringing their total number to 11.

New Meade County superintendent takes helm of district

Meade County Schools has a new superintendent. Dr. Mark Martin recently began as the district’s new leader on July 1st. Martin, who has been with meade county since 2014, says the key to the district’s success is all about the culture.

“It’s a very blue-collar mentality,” Martin said, “and that’s what I would really pride myself on [having] as well.”

Martin is just the 7th superintendent in the district’s history. Previous superintendent Dr. John Millay retired in February.