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News for September 15

Just a day after the fifth anniversary of his death, former trooper honored with road name

As family and the community remember Trooper Joseph Cameron Ponder five years after his death, the Elizabethtown City Council memorialized him in a lasting way last night.

The council paid tribute to the slain trooper Monday night, passing an municipal order that would name the roadway between the new East Hardin Middle School and KSP Post 4 after him. Many troopers were on hand for the presentation, including Ponder’s family.

KSP Post 4 spokesperson Scotty Sharp

Elizabethtown Mayor Jeff Gregory, who is a retired state trooper, knew Ponder and actually was involved in his screening process.

The city also voted to accept the roadway into city maintenance. The road was originally slated to be named excellence drive until a conversation between Gregory

Officials announce multi-year project for Dixie Highway in Elizabethtown

Residents and drivers through Elizabethtown can expect 2 years of roadwork on Dixie Highway. The transportation cabinet announced yesterday extensive repaving and roadwork in the near future, stretching from St. John Road to Hutcherson Lane.

Kentucky Transportation Spokesperson for District 4 Chris Jessie says the project will take place in 3 phases. Crews will also remove several traffic lights, installing r-turns in their place.

COVID Cases for state, local communities

Governor Andy Beshear announced 342 new cases last night. The Governor also announced last night that over one million tests had now been conducted in the state. Last night also saw five new deaths from the virus, bringing the total number of deaths to 1,065. Locally, Lincoln Trail officials announced 60 new cases, with 35 in Hardin, 5 in Meade and 1 in LaRue. Just over 300 patients are isolating at home and 14 are hospitalized.

Clarity Solutions claims success with this year’s Walk for Life

Clarity Solutions’ Walk for Life took place over the weekend, and Director Maegan Bennett says the event was a huge success.

Walkers were given staggered start times to ensure social distancing was in place, making the event safer. Bennett says that the money will go towards projects and programs with Clarity.

Cardboard Nation still set to take place this year

Warm Blessings Soup Kitchen’s annual Cardboard Nation Event, which sheds light on homelessness in the community, will still be held this year, though in a different format.

Executive Director Dawn Cash

More information regarding the event, as well as sponsorship and participation forms can be found on the Warm Blessings Soup Kitchen Facebook page.

News for September 14

Grayson County: 2 juvenile girls found safe in middle Tennessee

The weekend began with Grayson County officials announcing the abduction of two juveniles, and it ends with their recovery.

Officials announced the recovery of the two girls on Sunday following a traffic stop in middle Tennessee. Grayson County Sheriff Norman Chaffins said authorities had attempted to track the location of Ellen Maples, the suspect in question, throughout the weekend, finally pinging her location to Grundy County, Tennessee.

Chaffins said Maples had to be tasered multiple times before she was detained, with deputies having to call in backup. Chaffins said the two girls were safe, and were awaiting social workers to bring them back home.

Hardin Co. native, KSP Trooper killed 5 years ago

This weekend marked 5 years since the death of Hardin County native and Kentucky State Trooper Joseph “Cameron” Ponder. Ponder was conducting a traffic stop in Lyon County in 2015 when he was fatally shot by the driver of the vehicle he had pulled over. Ponder was just 9 months into his career with Kentucky State Police. Ponder was a graduate of North Hardin High School, and will soon have a roadway leading to KSP Post 4 named after him.

Elizabethtown Independent returns to classroom Monday morning

After starting school online in August, Elizabethtown Independent will return to in-person instruction today. The district’s Board of Education voted two weeks ago, August 31st, to have students and staff return to school buildings on September 14th.

EIS Superintendent Kelli Bush

Bush said the district will operate on a hybrid schedule, with students attending either on Monday and Tuesday, or Wednesday and Thursday. Those who opted to will remain in online learning through Panther Academy.

ECTC students get expanded mental health options with new partnership

Elizabethtown Community and Technical College has entered into an agreement with Spalding University to help with the mental health of students.

Chief Student Affairs Officer Dale Buckles says that Spalding University reached out to the college, asking ECTC to partner with their doctoral program in psychological counseling. ECTC accepted, and Spaulding’s students will be used as an online counseling service for Elizabethtown students. Buckles says this is necessary, due to the increase in mental health issues among college students over the last five to ten years.

Chief Student Affairs Officer Dale Buckles

The program will allow for nearly immediate service, and will all be done via telehealth, meaning students will not have to make the drive to Louisville. The service is available now, and more information can be found on the Elizabethtown Community and Technical College website.

Kendra Stewart Scott tapped for HCCC leadership role

The Hardin County Chamber of Commerce has found its new Vice President of Operations, as last week Kendra Stewart Scott was announced to be taking on the role. Stewart Scott also says she is looking forward to continuing to improve the work and image of the chamber.

Stewart Scott says that she hopes to see the Chamber become the most dynamic they can be for the Commonwealth.

News for September 11th

19 years later: September 11th

Today marks 19 years since the terrorist attacks of September 11th.

4 flights were hijacked that morning, with two crashing into the towers of the World Trade Center, one into the Pentagon, and one in a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. All told, 2,977 people died, and more than 6,000 were injured. The attack was the world’s largest and the deadliest on American soil since the bombing of Pearl Harbor. At today’s annual commemoration at Ground Zero, a recording names will be played instead of live, in-person readings, in an effort to reduce the size of crowds amidst the pandemic.

Community still set to hold annual tractor ride

Though there was some concern about the event this year, organizers say the annual Louis Croiser Tractor Ride will still take place this Sunday.

Organizer Glenn Harrington says that while there is no entry fee to participate in the ride, donations will be accepted to benefit the Louis Croiser Memorial Scholarship fund. Croiser was the former fire chief in Cecilia before passing from esophageal cancer in 2008.

Preparations in place for EIS in-person return

Elizabethtown Independent School District is preparing for the return of students into the classroom. Curriculum and Instruction Coordinator Jessica Turner says that the beginning of preparing for a return to the classroom includes giving teachers extra support in unprecedented times. 

In addition, she says that the teachers are taking on more than just one type of learning with many students. 

Turner notes that the spring NTI learning will be looked at and used as a learning experience, and says that she believes that teachers will do their very best to provide the best possible learning experience for students.

Schools in the district will be adhering to a strict cleaning policy, as well as policies regarding masking and social distancing.

Fort Knox commemorates 9/11 on post

Fort Knox held a memorial event on post this morning, remembering the tragic events of September 11th, 2001. The event, which began shortly after 8 a.m. this morning, was open to the public.

Col. CJ King

A full replay of the event can be seen on the Fort Knox Facebook page.

RPD still searching for missing Radcliff teen

Almost 3 weeks after being reported missing, officials are still trying to locate 15-year old Rosalyn Velazquez.

Captain Willie Wells

Captain Wells says a photo and additional information on Velazquez can be found on the department’s Facebook page.

News for September 10

E’town City Council approves purchase of North Mulberry property

The City of Elizabethtown has purchased another plot of land along North Mulberry, with the possibility of a fire station being built there. The city council passed a municipal order following a closed session Tuesday night, authorizing the city to spend over $500,000 on the recently listed lot at 902 North Mulberry.

City of Elizabethtown spokesperson Amy Inman

Inman says the possibility another new fire station is not currently in the works, with it being a more long-term goal. The city is currently finishing construction on a new firehouse for Elizabethtown Fire Station 2.

Meade County set to unveil 911 texting program

Meade County emergency officials have installed a new program allowing texting to 911. Interim Meade County 911 Director Jeremy Miller says that this program could be useful for a number of reasons.

This program is intended to stay around as part of Kentucky’s next generation 911 plan. Miller notes that texting the number 911 will work, but you must be in Meade county to do so.

Man arrested after pursuit on motorcycle

A Hardin county man was arrested Tuesday after leading several agencies on a pursuit.

A Hardin County Sheriff’s deputy observed the subject, Steven Kolley, driving a motorcycle on Ring Road that had no tail light. When the officer pulled Kolley over at Loves truck stop, he discovered Kolley had 2 active bench warrants. Kolley was instructed to step away from the motorcycle, but instead ran alongside it while pulling the throttle. A pursuit ensued, at which point two Kentucky State Troopers joined. The pursuit, which reached speeds above 80 miles per hour, ended near the intersection of St. John and Long Grove Road. As officials placed Kolley under arrest, they located what appeared to be marijuana dabs, as well as methamphetamine and pipes. A loaded handgun was also found in the saddlebag.

Kolley was charged with numerous items, including fleeing or evading police, wanton endangerment, tampering with physical evidence, among other charges. He was lodged in the Hardin County Detention Center.

LaRue County set to return to classroom September 28th

Students with LaRue County Schools will be return to in-person instruction at the end of the month. The district announced their return plan for in-person instruction earlier this week.

Superintendent David Raleigh

Raleigh says the district will return on that date, barring any mandates from the governor.

AG Cameron named as a potential Supreme Court nominee

Though he might have just arrived as Kentucky’s Attorney General, Daniel Cameron could find himself sitting on the nation’s high court.

The Elizabethtown native was one of twenty individuals who were included in President Donald Trump’s list of potential Supreme Court justices, if another vacancy occurred during his time in office. The president has gotten 2 nominees on the bench during his time in office, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh. Thurgood Marshall and Clarence Thomas are the only African Americans to have served on the court.

News for September 8

E’town shooting still under investigation

Police are still investigating after a deadly shooting over the weekend. As previously reported, police say they responded to reports of a shooting in the 600 block of Westport Road Sunday morning.

Officer Chris Denham

Anyone with information is asked to contact Elizabethtown Police or the Hardin County Crime Stoppers.

Health officials predict increase in cases after Labor Day

Local covid-19 numbers have seen an uptick in the two weeks following a holiday weekend, and health officials see that trend continuing following Labor Day.

Lincoln Trail District Health Department spokesperson Terrie Burgan

The department confirmed 30 new cases in the district on Friday.

Meade County judge/executive dies

Meade County Judge Executive Gerry Lynn has died.

The announcement was released yesterday by the Meade County Fiscal Court. According to the court, Lynn had suffered an undisclosed health issue back in late August, but was still fulfilling his executive duties, according to a social media post. Lynn was 68 years old, and has served the county since 2011. He was the first Republican Judge/Executive in the county, and the first to serve beyond 2 terms.

EPD: Man arrested after allegedly wrecking vehicle, assaulting passengers

The Elizabethtown Police Department arrested an Eastview man last week after he assaulted two people in a vehicle.

According to arrest citations, Brandon Medlock allegedly assaulted the driver and passenger of a vehicle he was in after getting into an altercation with the two over money. Medlock reportedly attempted to grab the steering wheel from the backseat and wreck the car several times. According to Officer John Thomas, it did not end here.

The vehicle pulled into the Elizabethtown Police Department’s parking lot, and immediately, Medlock was removed from the vehicle and detained until Hardin County EMS could treat the victims. Both victims were transported to Baptist Health Hardin for treatment.

Medlock was charged with assault and wanton endangerment, and was lodged in the Hardin County Detention Center.

Census Bureau sending out text messages for surveys

Residents may have recently received a text message from the United States Census Bureau asking them to take a survey regarding the impact of covid-19. According to Officer John Thomas, the department would normally tell people to ignore such correspondence, as they tend to be phishing scams. However, this is not the case for this message.

The department does have concerns that phishers will attempt to spoof this message as well, and asks those who receive these messages to confirm the number and link source before divulging any information.

News for September 7

Elizabethtown shooting leaves 1 dead

One person is dead and another injured after a shooting in Elizabethtown yesterday morning. Police arrived in the 600 block of Westport Road after reports of a shooting.

Officer Chris Denham

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Elizabethtown Police Department or the Hardin County Crime Stoppers.

LTDHD: observe health and safety guidelines with Labor Day

With Labor Day gatherings still likely to take place today, health officials are reminding residents to practice proper health and safety measures when at an event.

Lincoln Trail District Health spokesperson Terrie Burgan

Burgan says all gatherings should be held outside if possible.

Grill safety tips for Labor Day holiday

With Labor Day one of the last big grilling holidays of the year, fire officials are offering up reminders about proper grill safety.

Radcliff Deputy Fire Marshal Tommy Crane says grills should be kept away from a house or residence, especially one with plastic or vinyl siding.

Hardin County Schools releases guidance on sports admission

With many fall sports beginning today, Hardin County Schools officials finally released their guidance on attendance policies.

The district’s guidance calls for several health and safety regulations. All attendees will be required to wear a mask during their time at the event. Student-athletes will only have the wear them while not participating in competition.

Social distancing of 6 feet is required, but family members can sit within six feet of each other.

Attendance will be capped at 20% of a venues capacity. As a result, no general admission tickets will be sold for any events. Parents and guardians will be given first priority on tickets, and no sports passes will be honored.

Authentic wins an odd Kentucky Derby

On a perfect September Derby day, a horse is perfect no more.

The Derby favorite Tiz the Law was defeated Saturday, falling in the stretch to Bob Baffert’s Authentic. Baffert is now tied with Ben Jones for most Derby wins as a trainer with 6. Baffert’s second Derby horse, Thousand Words, was a late scratch after rearing up and falling on its back. Training assistant Jimmy Barnes did suffer a broken arm from the incident.

News for September 3rd

So far, jail reports no COVID cases during pandemic

Months after the beginning of the pandemic, the Hardin County Detention Center has seen no positive cases of covid-19 among the inmate population, something Jailer Josh Lindblom says is due to the jail’s health policies.

Jailer Josh Lindblom

Lindblom says the jail’s population since the start of the pandemic has decreased, down from over 800 to around 615. Lindblom says the jail did have one positive case, but in a contracted employee.

Lindblom says inmates are tested if they exhibit covid-19 symptoms, but that they are not required. If testing needs to be done, Lindblom says the facility can handle testing capabilities.

Editor’s Note: This story has been updated for clarity in regards to testing

Search continues for missing Radcliff teen

Police are still searching for a missing Radcliff teen more than a week after she was first reported missing.

Radcliff Police Captain William Wells

Captain Wells says that anyone with information on Velazquez is asked to contact Radcliff Police.

HCSO: Man arrested after allegedly hitting deputy with car

The Hardin County Sheriff’s Department arrested a Louisville man after he allegedly hit an officer with his car.

The Sheriff’s office received a complaint of a car with loud music playing parked near a substation on Gilead Church Road in Glendale. Deputies responded to the scene and made contact with the driver of the vehicle, Abdullah Sami. As officers approached Sami’s vehicle, the suspect started the vehicle, put it in reverse, and backed up several feet. One responding deputy made commands for Sami to stop, but the suspect continued forward towards the two deputies on the scene. One shot was fired into the windshield of the vehicle as it approached, and Sami fled the scene, striking the leg of one of the deputies with his vehicle. The vehicle was pursued and stopped after being chased for around two miles.

Sami and two juveniles were detained as a result of the incident. Sami faces charges of wanton endangerment, assault, and fleeing or evading police. He was lodged in the Hardin County Detention Center.

Red River Waste extends personal cart usage

Red River Waste Management has extended the deadline allowing the use of personal trash containers. The extension was given due to an influx of requests for additional carts.

Vice President Steve Smith

Smith says residents can still request additional carts that will be delivered during the next rollout phase.

United Way’s ‘Community Mosaic’ now open for submissions

United Way of Central Kentucky is launching a new kind of community outreach. The organization announced their “Community Mosaic” project Wednesday.

Spokesperson Hunter Roberts

Roberts says pictures can be submitted through United Way’s website. Roberts says the mosaic requires 250 photos minimum to be complete.

News for September 2nd

Baptist Health Hardin introduced as 9th Baptist hospital

With a few strokes of a pen and a congratulatory elbow bump, the sale of Hardin Memorial to Baptist Health was complete. The finalization of the years-long deal was capped off with a ceremony Tuesday morning in front of Baptist Health Hardin. 

President Dennis Johnson

Baptist Health CEO Gerald Colman painted a bright future for the newly-christened hospital, alluding to expansions and developments in the near future. 

Baptist Health CEO Gerald Colman

The Asset Purchase Agreement calls for Baptist to invest $235 million in capital and operating investments over a 10 year period. Collectively, the deal calls for $361.4 million in payments and future investments.

With state and district differences, school officials point community to their data

A quick look at the state of Kentucky’s COVID-19 school data would show that Hardin County Schools has 10 active cases. But in reality, the district has only 6 active cases.

As a result of the discrepancies, officials with Hardin County Schools are trying to direct attention to their own website, which they say is more up to date than the state’s data.

District spokesperson John Wright

The issue in question comes from whether or not some of the active cases are from in-person students, or online learning.

That is, those who have never been on a school campus this year.

Wright says the district’s website provides that information, unlike the state’s.

The state’s website includes a tally of a district’s total number of cases, but isn’t clear on which cases were in-person or not. Updated information can be found daily on the Hardin County Schools website.

State sees COVID cases rise from Monday

After a low number of cases on Monday, Tuesday’s numbers resumed where they usually are, with just over 800 cases of COVID-19 in the Commonwealth.

Governor Beshear announced the new cases yesterday, in addition to the 15 new deaths that were reported Tuesday. Locally, the Lincoln Trail District Health Department confirmed the presence of 13 new cases in Hardin county. LaRue county reported 4, and Meade county reported 2. The department has 240 home isolations and 11 patients in the hospital at this time.

Elizabethtown High School announces admission policies for fall sports

No general admission tickets will be sold for Elizabethtown Athletics this fall.

In a release Tuesday afternoon, admission policy changes were announced yesterday in response to state guidelines for sports. The biggest change is with vouchers, which must be presented with entry. The vouchers will be distributed by head coaches and athletic directors for home and away teams. Only those with vouchers will be allowed to purchase a ticket.

EHS Athletic Director Glenn Spalding

Spalding said that the lack of general admission is likely to place a significant financial impact on the athletic department. 

Spalding says the voucher process is to allow officials to control the amount of fans allowed at events. Fall sports begin their seasons September 7th.

LaRue County waits for new leader for county

With Tommy Turner’s retirement as the Judge/Executive of LaRue County, it is now up to the Governor to appointment a person to take over the position until the next election.

Former Judge/Executive Tommy Turner

Turner says that if an appointment is not made by next Tuesday’s Fiscal Court meeting, then the magistrates will vote amongst themselves who will temporarily lead until an appointment. Turner has served in the role of Judge/Executive for 35 years.

News for August 31st

Lions Club has record day, sells out of chicken

The Elizabethtown Lions Club knew they would sell some chicken on Saturday, but what they weren’t expecting was a sellout. The annual event saw lines through the day, which closed early due to the sellout. 

Club President Brian Dennis

Dennis says the club decreased the amount of dinners this year based off of last year’s numbers.

“We take the data that is provided, and make an educated guess on something that is reasonable,” he explained. “And that was 1,000 [chickens].”

The dinner was the first major fundraising event for the club this year.

HMH enters final day before merger

At times, it has seemed like it was years away, but the day is finally here.

Hardin Memorial Health’s final day of operation is today. The health care provider is finally merging with Baptist Health effective tomorrow. Over the past several weeks, signage and logos have already been changed to reflect the new ownership, which Hospital President and CEO Dennis Johnson says has a bright future.

President and CEO Dennis Johnson

The merger was originally scheduled to happen in December before it was moved up to September 1st. Hardin Memorial has served the community since its inception in 1954.

HCS adds COVID webpage to track district’s cases

There have been 6 positive cases of COVID-19 after one week of Hardin County Schools reopening. The district first announced the first case, a student at North Park, Friday afternoon. Later that night, another case, this time at Central Hardin High School, was announced, though officials say the student was never on campus. Regardless, the district has now created a daily reporting webpage on the district’s website to track the cases. 

HCS Spokesperson John Wright

Other schools with cases include G-C Burkhead, as well as East and West Hardin Middle Schools. 

Local businesses, destinations take home honors in Kentucky Living contest

Kentucky Living’s Best of Kentucky contest winners were announced this past week, and many local businesses and destinations took home the top prizes. In the category of best Farmers Market, the Hardin County’s Farmers Market was voted the best in the state. 

Market Manager Autumn Milliner

Many Hodgenville attractions and destinations were awarded honors from the publication. The Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Park was named the best historic site in the state.

Park Chief of Interpretation Stacy Humpherys

Other local winners included Hinton’s Orchard. 

EIS Board of Education to revisit topic of in-person instruction tonight

Elizabethtown students and parents might just know for sure tonight when they will return to in-person instruction. A special meeting to discuss reopening schools is set for 6 o’clock tonight. 

Superintendent Kelli Bush

Unlike meetings in recent memory, tonight’s is open to the public; however, limited seats will be available. The meeting will be streamed on the Elizabethtown Independent Facebook page for those not able to attend.

HMH Foundation receives grant for pediatric care

The Hardin Memorial Health Foundation received a $90,000 grant on Friday. The grant comes from Crusade for Children, which recently wrapped up their fundraising drive earlier this month. To date, the Foundation has now received over $1,000,000 from Crusade since 2002. The grant will go towards pediatric care in the hospital’s emergency room and NICU.

News for August 28th

Officials, public still searching for missing Radcliff teen

Police and members of the public are continuing their search for a missing Radcliff teen. 15-year old Rosalyn Velazquez was reported as missing to authorities earlier this week.

Radcliff police captain William Wells

A public search group for Velazquez is set to take place today. Anyone with information on her whereabouts is asked to contact police.

Post Office location returning to Glendale

Glendale residents won’t have to make trips to the Elizabethtown Post Office much longer.

It was announced this week that Glendale will once again be home to a post office. The new building will be located on Jaggers Road behind the Fire Department. 

Glendale Lions Club Treasurer Dan Linker says the postal service has signed on for a 20-year lease with the club, who owns the land. Linker says the money from the lease will be funneled back into the community. The building will be a single-module type structure.

BBQ Chicken still on menu Saturday for annual Lions Club dinner

Even with the possibility of rain Saturday, the Elizabethtown Lions Club is still hosting their annual BBQ Chicken Dinner at Elizabethtown High School. Unlike year past, health and safety guidelines have forced organizers to run the event as a drive-thru only service.

Lions Club President Brian Dennis

The dinner marks the first major fundraising event for the established organization.

Vine Grove announces new Halloween event

Halloween is still several weeks away, but officials in Vine Grove are already making plans for how the city will facilitate trick or treaters this october.

Vine Grove Mayor Pam Ogden says the city will still have an allotted trick or treat time on Halloween between 6-8pm, however another option, the new trick or treat parade, is debuting this year.

Vine Grove Mayor Pam Ogden

This is in lieu of the annual trunk or treat hosted by the city, which was cancelled this year. Details on the times that the parade will be happening will be rolled out closer to Halloween.

Hardin Co. man among 8 COVID deaths Thursday

A Hardin County man is one of the latest covid-19 related deaths in the Commonwealth.

Governor Andy Beshear announced the death of the 70-year old man, as well as 7 others during his daily press conference Thursday afternoon. The Governor also announced 775 new cases of the virus within the state. Locally, Lincoln Trail reported 17 new cases yesterday afternoon.

State Board of Education set to talk fall sports Friday afternoon

The Kentucky Board of Education will meet this afternoon to talk about high school sports.

The Board announced the meeting in a news release on Wednesday night. According to the meeting agenda, the Board will hear from KHSAA Commissioner Julian Tackett, as well as Public Health Commissioner Dr. Steven Stack. The Board is not expected to reverse the decision of the KHSAA. Governor Andy Beshear had previously said that while he did not agree with the KHSAA’s decision, he would not act against it.