Hardin County

Hardin County is one step closer to having its first ever YMCA facility.

A steering committee announced Thursday afternoon the selection of a 14 acre site in Elizabethtown where the YMCA will be built. Hardin County Schools Superintendent Nannette Johnston is chair of the committee, and says the project could have a positive impact on the community’s health.

“One of the alarming factors that I have seen is that when our student-athletes have physicals, the hospital has shared with us that they’re seeing an increase—even in our student-athletes—of cases of high blood pressure, weight problems, and some who are even on some kind of blood pressure medication,” Johnston told WKU Public Radio.

The Hardin County YMCA will be a branch of the Greater Louisville chapter of the organization.

The privately-owned land selected for the project is on Veteran’s Way in Elizabethtown behind the Best Buy store. Johnston says the property owner has agreed to make a sizeable donation to the effort, meaning the land will be bought below market level.

The Nielsen company says it is closing a call center in Radcliff where 237 people are employed.

The News-Enterprise reports Nielsen senior human resources partner Tamela Puckett said in a notice sent to city officials that the media statistics company will shutter the center on July 31. The letter said the closure is expected to be permanent.

A statement from the company says the move is part of a reorganization effort.

Radcliff Mayor J.J. Duvall said Nielsen had operated the Radcliff call center for more than 15 years. He called the announcement "unfortunate" for the community.

Members of a Hardin County music group got a big surprise Wednesday.

The North Hardin High School Marching Band has been selected to perform in next year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City. Macy’s Parade officials worked secretly with school personnel to surprise band members with the news Wednesday afternoon at the school in Radcliff.

Band members were called to the gym for the surprise announcement that they were selected out of hundreds of applicants to be one of ten marching bands to participate in the 2015 parade.

Lexington’s Paul Laurence Dunbar High School marching band is performing in this year’s Macy’s Parade.

Hardin County Schools

A financial gift from a corporation will allow a Hardin County high school to offer a curriculum designed to help students excel in the STEM fields.

Dow Corning Corporation announced Monday that it’s donating $25,000 to implement the Project Lead The Way program at John Hardin High School. Project Lead the Way is a non-profit effort that designs programs related to science, technology, engineering, and math that are used in over 5,000 schools in the country.

Hardin County Schools spokesman John Wright says Project Lead the Way will open doors for students who excel in the program.

“North Hardin, John Hardin, and Central Hardin engineering students will now get the prerequisites that they need at their home high schools that will allow them to go to our new Hardin County Schools’ Early College and Career Center that opens in August.”

The manufacturer of suspension systems and components for heavy-duty vehicles will create 75 jobs as a result of their $20 million investment. The company held a ceremonial groundbreaking for their plant Wednesday in Elizabethtown.

The site will manufacture products to supply the company's existing operations in nearby states at their new location in the T. J. Patterson Industrial Park. Construction of the 100,000 sq ft building is expected to be completed later this year. The company has two existing operations in Somerset and Lebanon employing 450 Kentuckians.

Kentucky Transportation Cabinet

This week’s snowfall and ice across parts of Kentucky are taking a toll on the Transportation Cabinet’s salt supply. Spokesman Chris Jessie says District 4 – which includes Hardin, Hart, Larue and eight other surrounding counties, has had to order reinforcements and borrow from the reserve stock in Louisville.

“We’re keeping close watch on the forecast through this upcoming week,” said Jessie.  “So while we have salt on hand in our District 4 counties, if we continue to get these rounds of snow and ice as we’ve had over the past week, our situation will become more critical.”

He says crews are currently using salt “wisely”, but if supplies continue to diminish they may have to resort to conservation efforts.  He says that means treating only main routes and those roadways with the highest volume of traffic.  

“We want to be sure motorists understand this potential conservation method before we have to implement it,” said Jessie.

As of last week, the Transportation Cabinet said that crews had spread more than 220,000 tons of salt across the state this winter.

An Elizabethtown woman is facing charges after police say she deliberately smashed her car into a Kroger store, and it's not the first time she's done it.

June Ann Blocker allegedly drove through the front door of the Dolphin Drive store Wednesday, injuring two people when she slammed into the checkout lane. She's charged with drunk driving, assault, criminal mischief and wanton endangerment. Police say Blocker was charged more than a decade ago with doing the exact same thing at another Elizabethtown Kroger. Friends say the incidents are related to a running vendetta she has with the company as a former employee.

Kroger isn't the only chain where Blocker has been blocked from entry. A court order demanded she stay away from all Hardin County Walmart stores and take her medication.

Emil Moffatt

Five months after Lee Daniels’ “The Butler” made its debut in theaters, residents of Elizabethtown will have the opportunity to see the film on the big screen this weekend. The State Theater in downtown Elizabethtown will show the movie Friday through Sunday. 

In August, Ike Boutwell, the owner of the town’s first-run movie theater and a Vietnam veteran, refused to show the film because it featured Jane Fonda as Nancy Reagan.  

Fonda’s actions during the Vietnam War have not been forgotten by many veterans.

But Emily West, the director of the State Theater says Elizabethtown residents deserve a chance to see the movie on the big screen.

“I appreciate his decision and I appreciate what he [Boutwell] did for this country,” said West. “I am in no way a Jane Fonda supporter, I do think what she did was wrong, but it was a very long time ago and this is a wonderful film that was not able to be shown originally and I’m just giving folks the opportunity.”

Elizabethtown Tops List of Military Boom Towns

Nov 6, 2013
Ft. Knox

Elizabethtown, in the shadow of Fort Knox, has been named the number one military boom town in America.

Military spending provides a major boost to the economies of communities like Elizabethtown, which ranks number one in the nation when it comes to population growth, per-capita personal income and gross domestic product.

Other cities in the top five of the list include Clarksville, TN, the home of Fort Campbell.

Police are searching for a man who tried to sell a large quantity of a famous bourbon to a Hardin County liquor store. The man—who was caught on surveillance tape—is wanted in questioning over a recent heist of Pappy Van Winkle bourbon.

Police in Franklin County started investigating last week when 65 cases of Pappy Van Winkle bourbon and nine cases of rye turned up missing at the Buffalo Trace Distillery, where the whiskey is bottled and aged. Pappy Van Winkle is routinely one of the most expensive whiskeys in the world, having gaining a cult-like status largely because there’s so little of it to go around each year.

The Courier-Journal reports that Franklin County Sheriff Pat Melton said the man who tried to sell the Pappy Van Winkle to the Hardin County liquor store appeared to be between the ages of 50 and 60, and was wearing what looked like a Bardstown High School pullover. Melton described the man as a “person of interest” and said authorities believe he drove a late model Ford F-150 that appeared to be green with a tan trim.

You can find a link to the surveillance video here.


When U.S. Air Force veteran Staff Sgt. Karl Edward Stempien was laid to rest Thursday, he became the 3,000th person buried at the Kentucky Veterans Cemetery Central since it opened just outside Fort Knox in June 2007.

Stempien had served 11 years in the Air Force.

The Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs oversees the state's regional military cemeteries. The cemetery in Radcliff contains the remains of 2,489 veterans and 510 dependent spouses and children. The total includes 11 service members who died on active duty, four of whom were killed in action.

The cemetery also serves portions of Ohio and Indiana.

Kentucky LRC

A Kentucky lawmaker who represents five counties in our listening area has decided two decades in office will be long enough.

Republican House member Dwight Butler announced he won’t run for re-election after his current term expires next year. Butler’s district covers Breckinridge and Hancock counties, along with parts of Bullitt, Daviess, and Hardin counties.

He told WKU Public Radio he plans to take a hands-off approach when it comes to who runs for the seat next year.

“If someone comes to me and asks advice about the district, or about what I’ve seen, or how the process works, I’d be happy to give that to them," said the Republican from Harned. "But I’m not going to have any hand-picked successor, at all.”

Butler’s successor will take over a more compact district than the one the long-time incumbent currently represents. Following the latest round of redistricting, Butler’s district picked up more of Hardin County,while losing parts of Bullitt and Daviess counties.

Kevin Willis

A new veterans center planned for Hardin County will be just the fourth such facility in the state, and will offer long-term care in a region known for its close ties to the military.

State and local leaders were in Radcliff Wednesday to honor the official groundbreaking for the center that has been seven years in the making. With a planned opening in June, 2015, the project will feature a dozen ten-person homes, and will provide full nursing services to 120 veterans.

Those who helped design the Hardin County facility say it will offer residents a degree of autonomy not often found in nursing homes.

“They will be able to design their own rooms as far as how they decorate the room,” said Gilda Hill, Executive Director of the Office of Kentucky Veterans Centers. “They are welcome to bring their own furniture if they like, if that will make them feel more at home. They will tell us when they want to eat breakfast, when they want to bathe, and when they want to go out of the building for visits.”

The Radcliff Veterans Center will sit on 195 acres of land donated by the Defense Department.

Speaking at Wednesday’s ceremony, Governor Steve Beshear pointed out there is a great need for the kinds of services that be provided at the Radcliff Veterans Center.

A nurse midwife has appealed a hearing officer's decision to deny a permit for a proposed alternative birthing center in Elizabethtown.

The News-Enterprise reports Mary Carol Akers filed the appeal in Franklin Circuit Court arguing that the decision to deny the permit was "arbitrary and capricious."

An administrative hearing officer denied the permit in July, months after a hearing that detailed support and opposition for what would have been the first such facility in the state.

Akers said women should be offered a choice while three area hospitals argued that the facility wasn't needed.

Hearing officer Kris M. Carlton ruled that the birthing center's business model and use projections weren't reasonable and that Akers hadn't shown a need for the facility in Elizabethtown.

Crews are cleaning up after a train derailed in Hardin County, sending 15 cars carrying coal off the tracks.

The News-Enterprise reports that no injuries were reported when the Paducah & Louisville train derailed early Thursday morning in northern Hardin County. The train had a total of 88 cars. No hazardous materials were involved.

The newspaper reports crews from R.J. Corman were cleaning up the site.