NOVEMBER 25, 2020

The Calloway County Health Department received notification yesterday of 35 new cases of COVID-19 and 1 COVID-19 related death. The total number of confirmed cases for Calloway County now stands at 1616, with 1356 cases recovered, 229 are isolated at home, and 8 are hospitalized. There have been 23 deaths in the county. The Graves County Health Department reported 49 new cases yesterday, while the Marshall County Health Department announced 39. Calloway County’s Incident Rate per 100,000 was 72.9 on Tuesday, which is down from the previous rate of 75.1. Other area rates include McCracken County at 101.1, Marshall County at 48.2, Graves County at 94.3, Carlisle County 84, Ballard County at 29, Hickman County at 39.1 and Fulton County at 43.1. Crittenden county at 19.5 has joined Rockcastle, Menifee, and Nicholas counties the only counties in the state that are not redzone counties.

Tuesday’s COVID-19 school report shows Murray State with 0 new staff cases and 6 new student cases. The total number of student cases at MSU stands at 380, including 96 over the past two weeks. There have been 31 staff cases, including 8 over the past 14 days. The Calloway County School District reported 4 new student cases and 1 new staff case. No students or staff are quarantined. The Murray Independent School District reported 7 new student cases and 1 new staff case. 3 students and 2 staff members are quarantined.

At Tuesday’s statewide COVID-19 update, Governor Andy Beshear reported 2,690 new cases and 17 deaths, raising the total to 1,809 Kentuckians lost to the virus. The deaths reported were aged 52-90. As of Tuesday, there have been over 2.67 million coronavirus tests performed in Kentucky with a positivity rate of 8.82%, which is lower than last Tuesday’s rate of 9.1%. There are 1658 Kentuckians hospitalized which is 137 more than last Tuesday, including 390 in ICU, which is 36 more than one week ago. At least 26,951 Kentuckians have recovered from the virus.

West Kentucky Star reports that Graves County Circuit Judge Timothy Stark is retiring at the end of the year. Stark has served as judge for 16 years in the 52nd judicial circuit. He was re-elected in 2014 to an eight-year term, which would end in 2022. A judicial nominating commission will nominate three candidates to fill the vacancy and then Governor Andy Beshear will appoint one to the position.

Gas prices in West Central Kentucky are four cents cheaper this week at $1.86 per gallon, according to AAA East Central’s Gas Price Report. At $2.10 a gallon, this Thanksgiving’s national gas price average is shaping up to be the lowest since 2015. The holiday weekend average that year was a nickel cheaper at $2.05. While in any other year, this would have been an incentive for people to travel during the holiday, AAA forecasts a decrease in Thanksgiving travel this year due to the ongoing effects of the pandemic. Nearly half of all states have gas price averages that are 50 to 75 cents cheaper than a year ago. West coast states are seeing the biggest year-over-year savings, while the majority of southern states’ averages are $1.99 a gallon or less. Americans can expect gas prices to continue to push less expensive heading into December.

It’s nearly Black Friday and the Kentucky State Police hope shoppers will include a Trooper Teddy Bear on their Christmas list this year. The bears go on sale Thanksgiving night at 6 and will sell for $15 through the holiday weekend. All proceeds from the sale benefit the Trooper Teddy Project, which provides teddy bears to children in traumatic situations such as a car crash, exposure to drugs, or domestic abuse cases which frequently result in the arrest of a parent. Trooper Teddy Bears will be sold for $15 plus shipping during the promotion, but you have the option to pick up their bear for free at any KSP Post. For those interested in purchasing a bear or making a tax deductible contribution to the project, visit

Kentucky State Police arrested a man on multiple charges Saturday related to an investigation into sexual abuse allegations. Troopers located 53-year old Kelly Setters of Paducah after he was alleged to have had a sexual relationship with a family member in exchange for drugs. Setters is charged with Incest and Prostitution Solicitation. He was lodged in the McCracken County Regional Jail. The investigation is ongoing and is being conducted by Eric West.

Kentucky State Police will step up patrols as part of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ‘Click It or Ticket’ Thanksgiving enforcement initiative. These efforts will target seat belt usage with an added focus on impaired driving and commercial vehicle safety. KSP Spokesman Sergeant Billy Gregory says the agency will utilize federal overtime funds to increase the number of troopers and officers on roadways.

With the 2020 general election over, Kentucky Secretary of State Michael Adams has turned his attention to development of legislation to make permanent several election reforms instituted temporarily this year through emergency powers. Adams’ first step was to consult the 120 county clerks who are Kentucky’s frontline election officials. Of 115 county clerks who responded to Secretary Adams, 79% want to keep in-person early voting, 92% support keeping “vote centers” where any county resident can vote if on a voluntary basis by county, and 63% support vote centers being required. 70% favor keeping a signature cure process for absentee ballots and 89% support keeping the absentee ballot request portal.

Donors have established a faculty fellowship to support the nonprofit leadership studies program, now housed in the Department of Organizational Communication and Leadership within the Bauernfeind College of Business at Murray State University. The Patricia and Robert Long Endowed Faculty Fellowship will be endowed with a $105,000 donation from the Longs to recognize and support the program director for the Murray State University Nonprofit Leadership Studies Program. Dr. Long said the NLS program provides real-world opportunities to apply leadership and management competencies throughout its curriculum.

LEXINGTON—UK HealthCare is preparing to temporarily close five operating rooms at UK Chandler Hospital. UK officials say the closures will begin Monday and are intended to make more room for COVID-19 patients. Officials also say the move will free up personnel and resources needed in other areas of the hospital. The Executive Vice President for Health Affairs says elective procedures will continue and employees won’t be furloughed.

SOMERSET—Southern Kentucky is seeing an increase in COVID-19 patients. Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital serves an eleven county area and is treating just under 30 COVID-19 patients. Space in the COVID-19 unit at Ephraim McDowell Hospital in Danville is full for the second time since October. Officials say there is additional space that can still accommodate patients with the virus.

LEXINGTON—Police are searching for a suspect in an armed robbery that happened at a Lexington Subway restaurant. Police say a man entered the restaurant in the 600-block of East New Circle Road and used a gun to demand cash. The 18 to 20-year-old was last seen running across New Circle Road toward an apartment complex nearby. Authorities say the man was wearing a mask and dark clothing. No other details are available.

LOUSIVILLE—Louisville’s mayor is calling for body camera footage of a deadly officer-involved shooting to be released. Mayor Grege Fischer says video of Sunday’s shooting of a man by a Louisville Metro Police Department officer should be released by tonight. The department has typically released video of shootings, and identified officers involved within 24 hours. However, a policy change has Kentucky State Police handling the investigation.

LOUSIVILLE—State officials won’t recommend taking over Kentucky’s largest school district. Kentucky Commissioner of Education Jason Glass says Jefferson County Public Schools has fulfilled the terms of a deal to avoid a state takeover. The deal was negotiated in 2018 with former commissioner Wayne Lewis. JCPS Superintendent Marty Pollio said yesterday, he’s glad this issue is behind the district, but there’s still a lot of work to be done for the district to get where it needs to go.

LOUSIVILLE—The Kentucky National Guard is being deployed to a Louisville nursing home. The Guardsmen are working inside Seneca Place. The long-term care facility requested the help when three-fourths of its residents tested positive for COVID-19. A facility in Oldham County has also asked the state to help with a COVID outbreak.

TENNESSEE—There are over 13-hundred new coronavirus cases in Tennessee. The Tennessee Department of Health reported one-thousand-304 new COVID-19 cases yesterday, bringing the total since the outbreak began to nearly 346-thousand. Over 70 additional COVID-related deaths were reported. There have been over 43-hundred deaths attributed to COVID-19 statewide since the outbreak began.

TENNESSEE—State health officials say they expect to get doses of a COVID-19 vaccine soon. Tennessee Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Lisa Piercey says the first doses are expected to be delivered to the state in the middle of next month. During Governor Bill Lee’s press conference yesterday, Dr. Piercey said the Pfizer vaccine is expected to be delivered first followed by the Moderna vaccine a week later. She said the first people to get the vaccine will include front line healthcare workers and first responders.

TENNESSEE—Hospitals across the state are asking Tennesseans to help slow the spread of the coronavirus. The Tennessee Hospital Association issued an open letter yesterday asking Tennesseans to celebrate the holidays safely. The letter said only people living in the same home or people who are already in close contact should celebrate together. The letter said taking precautions during the Thanksgiving holiday is important as the state has a declining number of available hospital beds.

TENNESSEE—Governor Bill Lee is announcing new legislation to support the Tennessee National Guard. The Reemployment Act announced by Governor Lee’s office yesterday is part of his administration’s package for the 2021 General Assembly. The bill will provide reemployment protections to state National Guard service members who are called to state active duty. Lee says members of the guard have been an important part of the state’s COVID response and the bill will support them and ensure the best continue to serve in the Tennessee National Guard.

TENNESSEE—Sevier County-native Dolly Parton is up for another Grammy Award. There Was Jesus was nominated for Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song yesterday. The song is a collaboration with Zach Williams. Dolly posted to Facebook that she’s happy the song has touched the hearts of so many people.