3:06 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

Kentucky Bourbon Festival in Bardstown Looks to Outperform Last Year's Effort

The Jim Beam distillery is in Clermont, about 15 miles from Bardstown, where the Kentucky Bourbon Festival is taking place.
Credit Kevin Willis

One of commonwealth’s signature industries will be celebrated this week as the annual Kentucky Bourbon Festival runs from Tuesday to Sunday in Bardstown.

The six day festival includes numerous events for both bourbon enthusiasts and teetotalers.

There are tastings, barrel-making demonstrations, cooking classes, and a 5-K run and walk.

The growth of premium small-batch bourbons and the spirit’s colorful history have contributed to its unprecedented growth in recent years.    

Festival executive director Linda Harrison says scores of people will line up for an autograph from Kentucky’s master distillers this week.

“Wonderful people, and they love to talk about bourbon and how much they love their craft,” Harrison said.

One of the more sought-after figures is Jimmy Russell, who’s been making Wild Turkey bourbon for 60 years at the distillery near Lawrenceburg.

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8:51 am
Fri January 10, 2014

Investigators in Bardstown Police Officer Killing Looking into Possible Connections with PA Murder

Kentucky investigators are looking into whether a recent murder in Pennsylvania could be connected with the May, 2013, murder of a Bardstown police officer.

The Courier-Journal reports a Kentucky State Police detective working the murder case of officer Jason Ellis has been in contact with Pennsylvania State Police regarding the shooting death of a man along I-81 in southern Pennsylvania.

Twenty-eight-year-old Timothy Davidson called 9-1-1 early Saturday and said someone in a pickup truck was shooting at him. Police say Davidson was forced into a median and disabled his vehicle before being shot to death.

Bardstown police officer Jason Ellis was gunned down May 25 after he got out of his police cruiser to move debris off a Bluegrass Parkway exit in Nelson County. Investigators have described that shooting as an ambush.

A Kentucky State Police spokesman says the two cases are being compared for any similarities. Over $200,000 in reward money has been offered for information into the Ellis murder.

2:57 pm
Fri September 6, 2013

In Bardstown, Residents Work to Keep Memory of Slain Officer Fresh in People's Minds

A poster in Bardstown remembering slain police officer Jason Ellis.
Credit Rick Howlett

It’s been just over three months since the ambush shooting death of Bardstown Police Officer Jason Ellis. The 33-year-old was attacked while on his way home from work on the Memorial Day weekend.

Police say they have not identified any suspects but continue to follow up on leads.  As the days pass without an arrest, many are working to keep the case fresh in people’s minds.

On a hot Saturday afternoon in late August, hundreds of motorcyclists gathered at the Jim Beam Distillery for food, drink and an auction. They were taking part in a poker run to raise money for the Jason Ellis Memorial Fund, established for the slain Bardstown officer’s wife and two sons, ages 6 and 7.

This event raised more than $32,000. Similar fundraisers have generated thousands more, some went to a reward fund set up to help find the officer’s killer or killers. It has grown to about $200,000.

Police believe the ambush of Officer Jason Ellis was carefully planned.

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3:43 pm
Mon August 26, 2013

FBI Announces Reward in Investigation of Slain Bardstown Officer

Officer Jason Ellis
Credit Bardstown Police Department

The FBI has announced it is offering a reward of up to $50,000 in the death of a Bardstown police officer three months ago. 

Officer Jason Ellis was ambushed and shot to death when he stopped to pick up tree limbs as he was driving home May 25.

Kentucky State Police Trooper Jeff Gregory said rewards in the case now total $218,000.

The FBI was holding a news conference Monday to announce the reward information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of whomever is responsible for Ellis’ death and to release a revised poster seeking information in the case.

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1:48 pm
Thu June 27, 2013

Possible New Development in Murder of Bardstown Officer

Officer Jason Ellis
Credit Bardstown Police Department

Kentucky State Police say there is new information in the investigation into the shooting death of Bardstown Police officer Jason Ellis. 

An outside K-9 group got involved in the case, according to State Police Trooper Norman Chaffins, and the dog led investigators from the crime scene to a nearby pond.  Chaffins says the Louisville Police dive squad is combing the pond for clues.

Chaffins adds, they're not sure what will turn up, but it's just part of the lengthy investigation in which they are leaving no stones unturned.

Officer Ellis was killed in the early morning hours of May 25, while he was cleaning tree limbs from a ramp on the Bluegrass Parkway.

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8:40 am
Tue June 18, 2013

Special Email Account Set Up for Tips on Slain Bardstown Police Officer

Kentucky State Police have set up a special email address for tips in the ambush slaying of a young Bardstown police officer.

Officer Jason Ellis, who was 33, was killed by shotgun blasts as he stopped to pull limbs from a ramp on the Bluegrass Parkway on May 25.

Tips can be sent to Anyone with information that could help solve the case is encouraged to email it to that address set up by KSP Post 4 in Elizabethtown.

10:44 am
Tue June 11, 2013

Bardstown Police Department Receives Threats Following Officer's Murder

The Kentucky police department still mourning the ambush slaying of one of its officers has received a threat warning that more officers will be killed.

Bardstown Police Chief Rick McCubbin said Tuesday his department received a recent letter threatening that "there are more to come."

McCubbin says that was a reference to the ambush of Bardstown Officer Jason Ellis last month.

The chief says the threat was turned over to Kentucky State Police and the FBI.

Ellis - a K-9 officer - was hit with shotgun blasts after he got out of his cruiser to pick up tree limbs strewn on a highway exit ramp in Nelson County.

McCubbin has said he thinks Ellis was targeted in the slaying.

McCubbin says Bardstown police officers won't retreat from doing their job.

12:57 pm
Wed June 5, 2013

KSP: At Least 10 Tips Received about Slaying of Bardstown Police Officer

A Kentucky State Police spokesman confirms investigators have received at least 10 tips since their appeal to the public Tuesday regarding the murder of a Bardstown police officer.

Jason Ellis was shot to death May 25 after getting out of his crusier to pick up tree limbs along a Bluegrass Parkway exit in Nelson County. KSP this week asked anybody in the region who had trees trimmed or removed to contact law enforcement.

KSP spokesman Norman Chaffins says the limbs found at the murder scene were not from trees near the exit ramp.

Ellis was shot to death with a shotgun after he got out of car at 3 a.m. on the morning he was killed. According to the Courier-Journal, investigators believer the shooter placed tree limbs on the exit ramp, then waited on a hill above the ramp.

Chaffins says the cruiser Ellis was driving did not have a camera, and police know of no witnesses to the incident.

Anyone with information about Ellis' murder is asked to call the KSP at 270-766-5078.

2:28 pm
Tue June 4, 2013

Bardstown Police Request Public's Help in Search for Cop Killer

Officer Jason Ellis
Credit Bardstown Police Department

Investigators looking for the killer of a Bardstown police officer are asking Nelson County-area residents to contact them if they had tree work around the time of the ambush.

Officer Jason Ellis was shot to death late last month after he got out of his cruiser to pick up debris on a highway exit ramp in Nelson County.

Police won't describe the debris on the ramp off the Bluegrass Parkway.

Kentucky State Police Master Trooper Norman Chaffins said Tuesday that Nelson County-area residents are asked to contact police if they had trees trimmed or removed from their property around the time of Ellis' slaying.

Chaffins said information indicates that tree trimming might be linked to the murder.

He said police have no suspects, and the reward is up to $125,000.

4:54 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

Slain Bardstown Police Officer Remembered as Fun-Loving Family Man

A K-9 officer and dog from Allen County came to Bardstown Thursday for the funeral of slain Officer Jason Ellis.
Credit Lisa Autry

Bardstown police officer Jason Ellis has been buried at a Nelson County cemetery following an emotional funeral service Thursday.

Ellis was shot to death last Saturday after he got out of his cruiser to pick up debris on the Bluegrass Parkway in Nelson County. The murder remains unsolved, with investigators not publicly identifying any suspects or motives in the case.

Hundreds of mourners--many of them police officers from across the state and nation--came to Bardstown Thursday for Officer Ellis' funeral. Friends remembered Ellis as a fun-loving family man who was proud of his work taking drugs off the street with his canine partner.

During the funeral service, a friend spoke of Ellis' previous life as a minor-league baseball player who decided to hang up his cleats and pursue law enforcement once he got married and became a father.

Ellis leaves behind a wife, Amy, and two sons, ages six and seven.

Meanwhile, a Louisville businessman is giving $50,000 to a reward fund set up to find the person or persons responsible for killing Officer Ellis.

Gus Goldsmith is also giving $10,000 to a fund to help the Ellis family.

Goldsmith says Ellis' death "hit home". Goldsmith's brother was murdered during a pawn shop robbery 38 years ago, and police never found the killer.

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