Hardin County

Ford Media

Kentucky-based manufacturers and global companies with facilities in the Bluegrass State are accelerating production of components for electric vehicles. 

The latest example is this week’s announcement by Ford Motor Company of a $5.8 million battery manufacturing campus in the small community of Glendale in Hardin County that will produce batteries for Ford and Lincoln electric vehicles.

A statewide coalition is encouraging the creation of more charging stations, with the goal of eventually making recharging an electric vehicle as easy as stopping to fill up at the gas station.

Kentucky has more than 2,600 fully electric vehicles registered in counties across the state, according to 2020 data. The previous year, the state had about 1,800 fully electric vehicles registered. 

Governor Andy Beshear FB

Ford Motor Company is betting big on electric vehicles and on Kentucky. The automaker is making its largest single manufacturing investment in the company's 118-year history with plans to build two battery manufacturing plants in Hardin County.

In the midst of a global pandemic and national economic downturn, Kentucky leaders celebrated the good news outside the State Capitol on Tuesday.  Governor Andy Beshear said the project will make Kentucky the national leader for electric vehicle batteries.

“These enormous plants will capture the attention of the entire world," stated Beshear. "Every nation will know exactly where Kentucky is and who we are because we know horsepower and it's about to be generated in a whole new way.”

Electric Vehicles Energizing Kentucky Economy

Sep 28, 2021
Ryan Van Velzer

It’s National Drive Electric Week and corporations are making major investments in electric vehicle technologies benefiting Kentucky.

Transportation is the largest source of greenhouse gases in the U.S. and making the transition away from fossil fuels will require large investments.

To that end, Ford Motor Company is announcing its single biggest manufacturing investment in its history at the same time that utilities are working toward building a network of charging stations along major highways. 

Ford announced plans Monday to bring thousands more jobs to Kentucky to build batteries for electric vehicles.

Hardin Co. Chamber of Commerce

The Hardin County Chamber of Commerce has a new President and CEO. 

Following a three-month national search, Margy Poorman has been hired to lead the business organization. 

Poorman previously served as director of economic development for the city of Canton, Ohio.  Most recently, she was the public policy and legislative coordinator for AultCare, a health insurance provider in the Buckeye State.

During an announcement on Tuesday in Elizabethtown, Poorman said she looks forward to promoting a community where Fort Knox plays a significant role.

Baptist Health Hardin

Kentucky is now into phase 1-B of its COVID-19 vaccination plan, and that has triggered an overwhelming number of requests from people ages 70 and older who make up a large part of that priority group. 

Baptist Health Hardin, based in Elizabethtown,  serves 10 counties in central Kentucky. It's one of the healthcare providers that's been flooded with calls requesting a vaccination.

WKU Public Radio reporter Rhonda Miller talked with Steve White, assistant vice president of operations at Baptist Health Hardin, who says vaccinations are already scheduled into February. 

PEW/Associated Press/Ted A. Warren

Much of the Ohio Valley saw historic levels of voter turnout in the 2020 election, as election officials expanded voting options to reduce the risk from coronavirus. 

Compared to the 2016 election, voter turnout for the 2020 general election increased slightly in Kentucky and Ohio, while West Virginia —  which had some of the nation’s lowest turnout in 2016 — saw a substantial jump, bringing the state up to just above the historic national average.   

A data analysis by the Ohio Valley ReSource compared the percentage of registered voters casting ballots this year to turnout from 2016. The analysis shows West Virginia turnout jumped by 5 points to 62.5%, compared to 57.4% in 2016.


Creative Commons

On the same day that Kentucky hit a new record for the number of COVID-19 cases, the Hardin County Board of Education voted Wednesday evening to proceed with in-person classes.  

The school district, with 14,600 students, is planning to begin the academic year on Aug. 24 by offering traditional classroom instruction, as well as a virtual academy.  That was the district’s original plan before Gov. Andy Beshear advised districts to postpone in-person classes until Sept. 28. 

Interim Education Commissioner Kevin Brown has said school systems could face a state shutdown if they defied the governor’s recommendation.  John Wright, Director of Public Relations for Hardin County schools, says the board’s 4-1 decision reflected what most families in the district wanted.

Kentucky Man Acquitted in 4-Year-Old Foster Son's Death

May 23, 2019

A jury has acquitted a Kentucky man who was accused of killing his 4-year-old foster son.

News outlets report the Elizabethtown jury returned the verdict Wednesday for 34-year-old Billy Embry-Martin after deliberating for about five hours.

Hunter Payton died two years ago from head injuries. He was removed from his parents' home by the state just two months earlier over alleged drug abuse and neglect.

Lisa Autry

Doctors aren’t the only ones on call at Hardin Memorial Hospital in Elizabethtown.  So is man’s best friend.

A part Labrador Retriever named Baron; Pepper the Yorkie; Lola, a Rhodesian Ridgeback; and Lady, a German Short-Haired Pointer, reported for duty at the hospital on a recent Friday afternoon, and fanned out to patient rooms to offer some canine comfort. 

Elizabethtown Community and Technical College

The Hardin County Playhouse has a new home that’s actually one of its previous locations.

During its 48-year history, the Hardin County Playhouse has performed in locations that include Radcliff Park and the old Sears outlet building. Since 2005 the playhouse has been at the Plum Alley Theater at the Historic State Theater in Elizabethtown, but that lease expired last month.

That gave the Playhouse an opportunity to return to a venue where it was based quite a few years ago - Elizabethtown Community and Technical College.

Katrina Eicher is a theater professor at the college and said part of the mission of the school is encourage people from the community to come to campus.

Hardin Memorial Health

Louisville-based Baptist Health has agreed to purchase Hardin Memorial Health in a deal worth more than $361 million. 

The sale approved on Tuesday by the Baptist Health Board of Directors will build on an existing partnership between the two health care systems.  Hardin Memorial Health is owned by Hardin County, but Baptist Health has managed the 300-bed facility and system for the past 20 years.

U.S. Army Human Resources Command Public Affairs Office

A motorcycle ride this week in Hardin County is putting the spotlight on sexual assault awareness and prevention.

The U.S. Army Human Resources Command at Fort Knox is holding its annual Raise the Bars Motorcycle Ride Thursday.

Participants will start at Fort Knox and ride to Silverleaf Sexual Trauma Recovery Services in Elizabethtown.

A six-year-old boy from Hardin County is in the hospital after being struck by a vehicle while preparing to board his school bus. 

The accident happened Monday morning in the 500 block of Balmoral Road.  According to the Elizabethtown Police Department, the child was hit by a bus owned and operated by Communicare, which is a regional provider of mental health services. 

The police department’s public information officer, John Thomas, says it’s too early in the investigation to say if any charges will be filed.

Hardin County Schools

A man who allegedly killed his wife at home was fatally shot by police behind a Kentucky high school while it was in session Wednesday, authorities say.

Jesse Kilgus, 51, was shot in his van outside John Hardin High School in Elizabethtown, where he went to check his child out of school, Kentucky State Police said.

Trooper Jeff Gregory told news outlets the shooting happened around 1 p.m. Wednesday that no students or school employees were harmed.

Hardin County Schools

A former Hardin County Schools superintendent and chairwoman of the Western Kentucky University Board of Regents has passed away.

Lois Gray was 81. She died Tuesday in Florida.

She served as the superintendent of Hardin County Schools from 1992 to 2002.