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94 Second News Update

News- March 19, 2020

In his now daily evening press conference, Governor Andy Beshear informed the public that the number of positive cases of COVID-19 in the Commonwealth of Kentucky is now at 35. Of those cases, one is that of an eight-month-old child who the Governor said is doing well, and is being treated at home. The Governor also announced continued steps to help those who may be in need. The department of community based services will be extending certification periods for recipients of all public assistance programs, such as food stamps or Medicaid, for three months. The Governor also announced the suspension of all commercial gaming licenses, saying that bingo halls presented a danger to those who are the most at risk, and announced that banks would more than likely begin imposing restrictions on lobby access and hours of operation.

Elizabethtown Community and Technical College have announced that they will be moving to online classes beginning today through March 27th. All lab classes at the college have been postponed until the threat of COVID-19 has passed, and will resume near the end of the term. The majority of personnel will work remotely during this time, however the college is open with limited staff and limited access to certain areas. Student services will be offered virtually or in a limited fashion on campus and all travel has been halted for staff members, including visits to other KCTCS colleges and the Versailles office. Before March 27th, ECTC leadership and the Kentucky Community and Technical College System president will determine if it is safe to return to regular instruction with staff on campus, or to continue online coursework and telework for staff.

Kentucky State Police Post Four assisted the Bullitt County Sheriff’s Office and Shepherdsville Police Department after a hit and run incident led to a high speed chase. Dispatch advised the pursuit was southbound on US 31W heading toward Radcliff with speeds close to 100 miles per hour. Troopers and deputies with the Hardin County Sheriff’s Office attempted to deploy spike sticks, but were unsuccessful. As the subject approached Veterans Drive, he attempted to cross the median and struck two Shepherdsville Police cruisers, ending the pursuit. The driver, Dakota Elliot (27) of Keyser Mineral, West Virginia, and a Shepherdsville Police Officer were taken to Hardin Memorial Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries and later released. Elliot’s passenger was also treated at a separate medical facility for non-life-threatening injuries. Both had out of state warrants, and the Shepherdsville Police Department will be handling charges.

No changes have been made to the Hardin County Jail visitations due to COVID-19. Jailer Josh Lindblom says that since interaction takes place over the phone or through glass, there was no need for a change. Lindblom also says that work release inmates will continue to work, and that there has been increased frequency in cleaning the facility.

The Elizabethtown Police Department responded to an automobile collision with a building on Tuesday night. A red pickup truck failed to stop at the intersection at College Street, and continued until it hit Brown Funeral Home. The driver and lone occupant, Brian Young of Elizabethtown, was transported to Hardin Memorial Hospital where he remains in critical but stable condition. The cause of the collision is still under investigation.

As COVID-19 continues to spread around the Commonwealth, a regional healthcare provider has taken steps to help limit the illness’s reach. Hardin Memorial Health announced yesterday the establishment of a hotline for patients experiencing flu or respiratory-like symptoms. Patients experiencing symptoms can call 270-979-7777. The hotline will operate Monday through Friday 8 AM to 4:30 PM.

Ford Automotive Plant have announced that they will be temporarily suspending operations effective this Friday. The plant announced that they would shut down after Thursday’s shifts, and thoroughly clean and sanitize facilities in preparation for employees returning to work on March 30th. Toyota, Fiat Chrysler, and GM are also halting production, according to statements from the manufacturers.

Despite initial worry on social media yesterday, Fort Knox has announced that there is no confirmed case of COVID-19 on post at this time. Medical officials on post are attending to the patient in question to make sure the strain is not present. Officials at the Ireland Army Health Clinic are screening individuals for COVID-19 as they enter the clinic.

News- March 18, 2020

Just a day removed from prohibiting gathering in restaurants and bars, Governor Andy Beshear announced a new executive order, this time ordering certain businesses closed. These businesses include gyms, movie theaters, sports facilities, and all forms of salons. Beshear did say that certain businesses will be granted exemptions, including grocery stores, consumer goods, and retail services. A full list can be found on the Governor’s website. As of last night, 26 confirmed cases of COVID-19 were in Kentucky.

Various colleges and universities have had their education courses altered due to the threat of COVID-19 in the state. Western Kentucky University, University of Louisville, and the University of Kentucky have both cancelled in-person instruction for the rest of the spring semester. Both universities have announced that they will be using alternative instruction to get the course load to those that need it. All in-person events for the rest of the semester must be cancelled, postponed, or virtualized. Degrees will still be given to those who completed all necessary coursework, but in-person commencement ceremonies will need to be postponed. As for Elizabethtown Community and Technical College, the college announced last night that spring break for students has been extended through March 20th, with no classes taking place before March 23rd. Employees will be working remotely, except for essential personnel. Also, the college’s walk-in enrollment service has been closed to the public, however these services are still available over the phone or through e-mail.

The Elizabethtown Police Department is encouraging caution after news of a scam. According to Officer Chris Denham, the new scam features someone saying that they are selling COVID-19 testing kits, which are only for use in medical facilities. As far as the department is aware, these kits are not for home use. The department advises those who believe they have been infected with the virus or show symptoms to contact health care professionals for advice.

Hardin County Judge Executive Harry Berry has directed all county facilities be closed to the public effective at 4:30 PM yesterday. Berry notes that all employees will continue to report for duty in order to conduct business for citizens. Additional information and direction will be available at hcky.org. Fiscal Court will continue as planned on March 24, 2020, but will be closed to the public. The meeting will be streamed live on the county government’s official YouTube channel, and a recorded version will be posted to the county’s webpage the next day.

The American Red Cross is urging the public to continue to give blood despite COVID-19. The organization says that over 1,500 blood drives have been cancelled, leading to over 46,000 fewer donations. Spokesperson Tiffany Taylor says that the Red Cross is taking all necessary steps to ensure that donors and staff are safe, and facilities are clean. Those who are healthy and eligible to donate blood are encouraged to visit redcrossblood.org to find a blood drive nearby.

News- March 17, 2020

As COVID-19 continues to spread around the world, Kentucky has reported 25 cases as of last night. In his evening press conference, Governor Andy Beshear confirmed 22 tests at that time, and alluded to several pending results from state labs that could turn out to be positive. One person has died due to complications from the respiratory illness, and one has made a full recovery. As part of his effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, Governor Beshear has ordered all child care businesses to close by the end of business hours on Friday. Beshear acknowledged the impact the decision will make, noting that it will be difficult for some, but it is a necessary step. There will be exemptions for those in the healthcare field, as well as some on-site employer exceptions. According to the CDC, children are not at a higher risk for the illness than adults.

Several things have had their course altered by the threat of COVID-19. The primary election for Kentucky that was scheduled to take place this May has been pushed back to June 23rd. Employees who have been made unemployed as a result of COVID-19 can apply for unemployment, and the waiting period and work search requirements have been waived. The time to reapply for an expiring Kentucky Drivers License has been extended to 90 days. Kentucky’s hospitals are to cease all elective surgeries as of tomorrow in order to ensure medical capacity for an increase in COVID-19 cases. A request has been submitted to the small business association to receive a disaster designation. This will allow small businesses to obtain loans to assist with the impact of the disease on their establishments. Finally, the state capitol will be closed to non-essential personnel, and state in-person services are closed. Continue to practice preventative measures such as social distancing and frequent handwashing.

Towne Mall in Elizabethtown has temporarily altered their hours of operation in an attempt to support the community. These new hours are 11 AM to 7 PM Monday through Saturday, and noon to 6 PM on Sunday. These new hours go into effect today. The mall notes that each store and restaurant may have their own operating hours, so check their individual websites for the latest information.

In a press release from Hardin County Government, the Solid Waste Department announced that due to updates surrounding COVID-19, the recycling drop off point will be closed until further notice. The department urges those who have recyclables to hold onto them, as they hope to have the drop off back open as soon as they can. Red River will continue to run on the same schedule as usual in the unincorporated area with no delay. Hardin County’s billing service will be open, however they are asking that the public not come into the office, but rather use the drop off box in the office parking lot, which is checked every hour during regular business hours to make sure all communication is processed. Additional information and updates can be found at hcoky.org.

Hardin County Schools are requesting assistance in paying for and delivering lunches to the elderly, the immuno-compromised, or those who are afraid to get out during the pandemic. Lunches can be paid for via the Hardin County Schools Performing Arts Center website, thepac.net, via the Support and Donate tabs.

The Elizabethtown Police Department has announced that due to COVID-19 in the Commonwealth, community outreach events will have to be cancelled or postponed. This includes the current Citizens Police Academy, Elizabethtown Police Foundation fundraiser, and Cultural Festival. This is designed to protect the health of the citizens of Elizabethtown. All police services will continue without interruption.

News- March 13, 2020

Several events scheduled for the next few weeks have been cancelled by their hosts in an attempt to limit the opportunity for contagion. Elizabethtown Mayor Jeff Gregory spoke to this, saying the city itself is not mandating events be cancelled at this time, but rather leaving the decision to those managing the events. Mayor Gregory also notes that the city is staying in communication with health professionals for all the latest information. A list of cancellations and closings can be found on the city of Elizabethtown website.

Governor Andy Beshear gave his recommendation yesterday that all public and private schools in the state of Kentucky prepare to close. Beshear encouraged schools to cease in-person instruction beginning Monday. The alternative suggested is non-traditional learning, which would be over the internet. School districts are doing their best to respond, as several districts have called off school for the next two weeks as well as spring break, including Hardin County Schools. Hardin County Schools will be administering communication for future plans, as well as possible alternative learning methods, via the one call system as well as social media.

Hardin County government is attempting to offer alternatives for renewing vehicle registration for those not wishing to come into the office due to the threat of COVID-19. According to Hardin County Clerk Debbie Donnelly, registration can be renewed online at hccoky.org. Registration can also be mailed to P.O. Box 1030.

Nolin RECC will be closing their lobby temporarily in an attempt to contain the spread of COVID-19. The closure will begin on Monday, March 16, closing the lobby to all non-essential personnel. Members will be able to pay bills, start service, and all other necessary business through the drive-thru, the Nolin SmartHub app, the website, by phone, or the night deposit.

News- March 12, 2020

Hardin Memorial Health held a press conference yesterday afternoon to discuss the coronavirus in Kentucky, including symptoms, prevention, and how the disease is spread. According to John Godfrey, Hardin Memorial Health’s Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, there is an incubation period for the virus where symptoms may not appear.  Symptoms may be flu-like at first, with shortness of breath, a cough, and fever. As of right now, there are no known cases of the virus in Hardin County. Public health advice at this stage is as follows: Consult only reliable government agencies such as Centers for Disease Control or the Lincoln Trail District Health Department for information regarding the illness, cover coughs and sneezes- preferably in the elbow- and wash hands well and often. In addition, stay home if sick, except to get medical care.

The Radcliff Police Department arrested several suspects involved in a shoplifting spree at a Radcliff Wal-Mart Tuesday evening. Officers responded to the location of 1165 Walmart Way in regards to three suspects, Teressa Deweese, Amy McGrath, and Susan Pierce, all shoplifting clothing items while in the company of a sixteen-year-old juvenile. The three were actively assisting the minor in the stealing of the clothing, and together the crew had over $100 worth of merchandise on their person, and were attempting to take it to their vehicle, a Volkswagen that had been reported stolen out of Louisville in February. All were arrested and charged with unlawful transaction with a minor, receiving stolen property, and shoplifting. They were lodged in the Hardin County Detention Center.

The House Committee on Education passed legislation yesterday that will mandate financial literacy as a graduation requirement in Kentucky Public High Schools. The bill will require any ninth-grader to complete at least a one-half credit course that meets financial literacy academic standards. 25th District Representative Jim Duplessis said of the legislation, “The goal of this measure is to educate and empower youth on financial planning methods. By providing financial guidance in a classroom setting, we are teaching students how to make positive financial decisions, but also make them aware of the long term repercussions for poor decisions.” The bill will head to the house floor where it will be considered for passage in the 2020 Regular Session.

News- March 11, 2020

The Greater Hardin County Narcotics Task Force, the Leitchfield Police Department, and Kentucky State Police conducted a search warrant at Loflin’s Auto Parts and Repair Center on Monday. According to a release from the Leitchfield Police Department, while executing the warrant, several items were seized including marijuana, methamphetamine, guns, drug paraphernalia, and cash. Roney Loflin, 54, and Carissa Hafford, 21, were charged with possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia, while Loflin faces additional charges of possession of methamphetamine and possession of a controlled substance. A second search warrant was conducted on a property located on Bloomington Road. More charges are pending in this case.

The United States Census is going to be held on April 1st, and local officials are reminding citizens why the census is important. Census spokesperson Melissa Harrell-Nepi notes that the census is used to allocate federal funding and to determine Congressional representation in decision making. Citizens will begin getting postcards from the Census Bureau as soon as next week regarding how they can fill out the census, and online response is an option this year.

Work on a bridge project along US 62 at the Hardin-Nelson County line will begin next week. This project, which will begin on Monday, March 16th, is a complete rebuild, offering a long term solution for a safe route over Rolling Fork River. A full closure option was selected due to foreseen complications that could arise from maintaining one-lane traffic during construction. Motorists will be redirected to Bluegrass Parkway to avoid the area. Signs are in place along the corridor to provide advance notice of the closure. The project has a specified completion date of December 1st, 2020.

Officials from Hardin County Schools and West Point Independent Schools have created a schedule of “Getting To Know You” type events that will introduce West Point students, families, and staff to Hardin County Schools students and staff. The first of these events will take place tomorrow when administrative teams from North Park Elementary, Vine Grove Elementary, and James T. Alton Middle School, which are the three Hardin County Schools that Elementary and Middle School aged children from West Point will continue to continue to communicate with families about specific times and other logistical information. A full schedule of events can be found on the Hardin County Schools website.

News- March 10, 2020

Hardin County Schools, in the wake of confirmed cases of coronavirus in the state of Kentucky, have been following information and guidance provided by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization, the Kentucky Department of Public Health, and the Lincoln Trail District Health Department. While there are no confirmed cases of the virus in Hardin County, the school district is monitoring the health and attendance of students and staff, and is working to keep soap dispensers and hand sanitizers fully stocked. Students will also review proper hand-washing procedures with school nurses.

Kentucky State Police Post 4 troopers conducted a traffic stop early Monday morning that led to three arrests. Bobby Lee Casey of Kalamazoo, Michigan was stopped near the 108 mile marker on I-65 around 2:15 AM. A search of the vehicle resulted in locating over six pounds of suspected methamphetamine hidden inside the vehicle along with marijuana and drug paraphernalia. Casey and two passengers, Tori Freeman, 24, and Stacy Williams, 19, were charged with trafficking in a controlled substance and possession of marijuana. Casey was also charged with DUI and reckless driving. All three suspects were lodged in the Bullitt County jail.

The Grayson County Sheriff’s Office made two drug related arrests over the weekend, also removing reckless drivers from the road. According to a press release from the department, the first arrest came on Friday, March 6th when officers responded to reports of a male subject, later identified as Leonard Miller, 52, of Leitchfield, passed out at the wheel at a department store. While officers were en route, the subject left and stopped at a convenience store. A sobriety test was administered, and Miller failed. Investigation revealed oxycontin pills and paraphernalia on Miller’s person. The second arrest came on Saturday, March 7th after Clint Clauss, 35 of Leitchfield, was found doing 81 in a 55 mile-per-hour zone. Clauss sped away from officers, but was eventually stopped and was found to be driving on a suspended license, as well as having no tags or insurance. He failed the field sobriety test, and admitted to smoking meth earlier in the day. Both subjects were charged with numerous drug and vehicle related offences and were lodged in the Grayson County Detention Center.

Elizabethtown Community and Technical College has released their annual report, helping to identify the impact that the college has on the community as a whole. According to the report, ECTC has 9,252 credit enrollments and 1,698 dual credit enrollments with over 2,100 credentials rewarded. The report states that 1 out of every 69 jobs in the ECTC service area is supported by the activities of ECTC and its students. The report also touted the University Center project coming to the college, which will see ECTC partnering with four-year universities to bring Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programs in subjects such as criminal justice and information technology. More information on the project can be found at ectcforbetterlives.com.

Lane closures begin this week as contractors start work on intersection improvements along US 31W between Elizabethtown and Radcliff. Designed to improve safety, these projects will eliminate some high-risk traffic movements which commonly resulted in collisions. According to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, the intersections of US 31W at KY 220, KY 434 and Blackjack Road will feature new “R-cut” traffic patterns. Construction will begin at KY 434 and then proceed to KY 220 and Blackjack road. Signs are posted for advance notice of changing lane configuration, and motorists are advised to pay close attention, limit speed, and minimize distractions while driving in the area.

News- March 9, 2020

The Lincoln Trail District Health Department distributed several press releases over the weekend as the coronavirus disease progressed into the state of Kentucky. A case of the disease was discovered in the Commonwealth for the first time on Friday in Lexington, and since then, several more cases have come to light. Lincoln Trail wants to remind their service area that the Health Department is in constant contact with the Kentucky Department for Public Health for any updates, and that a hotline for the coronavirus has been established at 1-800-722-5725. The department also notes that they have established procedures to prevent, identify, and contain negative impacts associated with communicable diseases.

Last Thursday, the Leitchfield Police Department received a report of a hit and run. According to a release from the department, the incident occurred at the intersection of William Thompson Byway and South Main Street. The vehicle, a white Chevrolet pickup truck, matched the description of a vehicle that was reported in an earlier incident in which the driver had been in a verbal altercation with road workers at another location. An officer observed the vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed and attempted to conduct a traffic stop, but the driver fled. The vehicle continued onto public square and then struck an oncoming vehicle. He continued on to South Main Street, and struck several more vehicles at a stop light, then several more parked vehicles in the lot of a business. The driver, Christopher Bell of Mammoth Cave, Kentucky, was arrested and charged with operating a motor vehicle under the influence, fleeing or evading police, wanton endangerment, resisting arrest, and careless driving, with additional charges pending.

Hosparus Health will be hosting a tea and auction at Pritchard Community Center later this month. The event will take place on March 21st from 2-4 PM. The money from the event will go to the various programs Hosparus sponsors including Courageous Kids and grief counseling. Tickets are $30 for adults and $15 for children eleven and under. Seating is limited.

News- March 6, 2020

The Elizabethtown Police Department captured a wanted man at a local hotel. Officers reported that Brian Walden, 35, who had an arrest warrant for absconding parole, was staying at a Motel 6 in Elizabethtown. Because of a violent encounter an officer had previously with Walden, the Special Response Team was called in. When officers arrived at the Motel 6, Walden surrendered peacefully and without incident. Walden is lodged in the Hardin County Detention Center.

On Wednesday, Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear provided an update on the status of his executive order that automatically restored the right to vote to many Kentuckians who were previously denied the right. According to a release from his office, Governor Beshear unveiled a website to help Kentuckians who are unsure determine if they qualify. The website, civilrightsrestoration.ky.gov, features a searchable database where those visiting the site enter a first and last name and date of birth, then their county of conviction or supervision, and then receive a result. If the displayed result is inconclusive, there is an e-mail and phone number to contact for more information. Individuals currently in custody or on supervision will be reviewed for automatic restoration prior to their completion of sentence and told if they qualify. Previously, the Governor had signed an executive order on his third day in office restoring the rights to vote and hold public office to Kentuckians who were convicted of most non-violent crimes who have repaid their debt to society by completing their sentences.

Hardin County Schools is seeking the opinion of Seniors in the district in order to plan for future career fairs. The district is offering a survey where Seniors can weigh in on which career pathways they would like represented so there can be more emphasis placed on fields students want to pursue. These surveys can be found on the Hardin County Schools website under the News and Announcements tab.

News- March 5, 2020

The Elizabethtown Police Department is making residents aware of a change to an intersection in town. It was found out that the Kentucky State Highway Department decided that the intersection of North Mulberry Street and Helm Street no longer qualifies for a traffic signal. Therefore, in an attempt to prepare for the removal of the signal in three weeks, there is a flashing traffic signal and stop signs that will be in place until then. North Mulberry has a flashing yellow light, meaning thru traffic does not stop. Helm Street has a flashing red light and stop signs, meaning vehicles coming from that direction must stop and yield to Mulberry traffic. This is not a four way stop intersection, and the department urges extra caution as motorists adapt to the new traffic pattern.

Elections took place on Wednesday, March 4th for the officers of the Elizabethtown Tourism and Convention Bureau. Todd Pollard was nominated as Chair of the Commission, and Carl Swope, the former Chair, was nominated as Treasurer. Pollard said of his election, “I am honored to be the Chairman of the Elizabethtown Tourism Commission. I am excited to work alongside Elizabethtown Tourism as we continue to showcase our wonderful town.” Pollard served on the commission since 2016 when he was appointed by Mayor Edna Berger.

A Fort Knox soldier appeared on The Voice this week. Samuel Woodberry, stage name Samuel Wilco, will now be a part of Team Nick Jonas on the program after auditioning at his wife’s willing. Woodberry says The Voice is his wife’s favorite show, and she continually encouraged him to audition for the program. Woodberry is an instructor at the Army Recruiter College, and has been at Fort Knox for a little over three years. Next on the show for Wilco is the Battle Rounds.