Hardin County

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.

The Carl Brashear Foundation

The new Radcliff Veterans Center will be named for a U.S. Navy deep sea diver who overcame social and physical challenges during his 30-year military career.

A dedication ceremony will be held Thursday to name the facility the ‘Carl M. Brashear Radcliff Veterans Center.’

Brashear was the son of sharecroppers and grew up on a farm in Sonora in Hardin County. He joined the Navy 1948 and became the first African-American master deep sea diver.

Brashear overcame racial discrimination and the physical challenge of losing half of his left leg in a shipboard accident. He became the Navy’s first amputee diver.

Brashear retired in 1979 with the top enlisted rank of master chief petty officer. He died in 2006 at the age of 75.

Creative Commons

The Hardin County School district is adjusting its spending habits in anticipation of budget cuts at the state level. The News-Enterprise reports it's in reaction to Gov. Matt Bevin telling state agencies to cut 17 percent from their budgets.

 

Hardin County schools are temporarily freezing spending for professional development. Education Commissioner Stephen Pruitt doesn’t expect the Support Education Excellence in Kentucky (SEEK) funding to be affected. That funding makes up a large portion of the school’s revenue. State lawmakers haven’t increased SEEK funding in several years.

Students at a Hardin County elementary school will have access to a unique behavioral health program this fall. The program is a partnership between Meadow View Elementary and Communicare, a mental health clinic in the region.

The program will accept up to ten students who have severe mental or behavioral health problems. Raquel Strickland, manager for Communicare, said participating students will take their classes separately from other students for an average of nine weeks.

kytourism.org

The Kentucky Veterans Cemetery in Radcliff has reached a milestone.

The Hardin County facility held its 5,000th interment Friday.

Louisville native Gisela Nagel was laid to rest at the 49-acre cemetery. She’s the wife of Specialist First Class Willard Nagel, a 20-year Army veteran who is also buriedthere.

Norman Arflack, commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs, says it's a bittersweet occasion.

“Clearly, this is the least pleasant of our obligations to do—is provide a burial service for any service. But clearly we want to provide them the opportunity to be buried with the dignity they so richly deserve.”

City of Elizabethtown

Shane Howard loves Elizabethtown.

He says living in Elizabethtown — just 45 miles south of Louisville — allows him to remain in close proximity to a bigger city without having to deal with city problems like rush hour traffic.

He’s only 35 minutes away from downtown Louisville. Arguably, Howard says, for someone living in the East End, it can take them the same amount of time to get to downtown. But the cost of living in Elizabethtown is much cheaper.

“The new restaurants popping up, new entertainment things, sports bars and those things popping up, it’s becoming more and more attractive,” he says.

Howard is founder of Custom College Recruiting. The service matches high school student-athletes abroad with sports scholarship opportunities in the U.S. He founded the company in 2009 and received funding in 2014. Prior to that, he bootstrapped. But Howard said he knew if he was going to expand his business from something he was doing at home alone on his couch, he was going to need help.

On a peaceful hillside in Hardin County stands Kentucky's September 11th memorial.

It was first unveiled on the tenth Anniversary of the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington. With some additions, the memorial is now complete for the fifteenth anniversary this weekend.

Chuck Heater is director of the Kentucky Veterans Cemetery in Radcliff which is home to the memorial. “It’s a reminder that the freedoms that we enjoy every day—we don’t always sit back and think about where they come from, and we sometimes taken them for granted. But this is a reminder that the freedoms we enjoy have been paid for by a great price.” 

The latest additions to the memorial include a pair of winged walls.

“The right one depicts the scenes from that day, and the far left is a granite wall with names inscribed of all the Kentucky veterans who have been killed in action since 9/11 defending America against terrorism," Heater said.

Kentucky's 9/11 memorial will be dedicated Sunday at 2:00 p.m. at the Kentucky Veterans Cemetery in Radcliff. The public is invited to attend the event.

Flickr/Creative Commons

Two dozen Hardin County area nonprofits are trying to gain a better picture of the local homeless population.

The groups are hoping to draw 300 to 400 families to an event Wednesday afternoon in Elizabethtown.

Megan Stith, President and CEO of United Way of Central Kentucky, says the groups are reaching out to those who may have been missed during a statewide homeless count conducted earlier this year.

According to Stith, those could be people “who are living with relatives, in between housing situations and staying with friends, or have family staying in multiple locations, or staying in a shelter or some kind of temporary or transitional housing.”

Stith says the event will be a one-stop opportunity for those who are housing or food insecure in Hardin County to learn more about local programs that can help. Feeding America is providing food distribution at the event.

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