2020: Year in Review, July-December

Published 8:02 am Friday, January 1, 2021

The following is a recap of news stories from July through December 2020. A recap of January through June was published in the Dec. 29 edition of The Advocate-Messenger.


July 7, 2020

‘Real change now’: Citizens outline demands for racial justice at second community forum

Cheryl Burton, the moderator for the “Real Change Now” forum held in July, speaks to a gathered audience of 75 to 100 people at Pioneer Playhouse.

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Between 75 and 100 people gathered outside at Pioneer Playhouse July 2 for a community forum to talk about changes they want to see in the community.

The moderator of the forum, Cheryl Burton, read from a document that contained a list of demands that she said she and several others have been working on compiling over the last few weeks to address areas of racial injustice in law enforcement, healthcare, education, economic development, and agriculture.

July 7, 2020

African American historical society finds ‘permanent’ home on North Second Street

The Danville-Boyle County African American Historical Society now has a place to call home, and it’s located on North Second Street, which was historically an African American business district decades ago. Historical images were put on display at the new location.

The Danville-Boyle County African American Historical Society now has a place to call home, and it’s located on North Second Street, which was historically an African American business district decades ago.

Michael Hughes, president of the DBCAAHS said the room they’re leasing is at 108 North Second St., in the old Henson Hotel.

July 17-19, 2020

‘Words mean things’: Knight resigns from EDP and Constitution Square group due to anti-BLM post; GABBF will vote on his dismissal

After a local business owner, and member of various committees and boards, made a social media post accusing another business of “supporting terrorists,” it created a ripple effect throughout the community. The accused business is Harvey’s Restaurant, and the “terrorists” are those associated with the Black Lives Matter movement.

Steve Knight posted the following statement on his personal Facebook page, which has since been deactivated: “And by the way Harvey’s in Danville is putting hashtag blm on their sidewalk sign. F*** them. I’ll never eat that slop again either. Terrorist supporting as****es.”


Aug. 11, 2020

Boyle, Lincoln included in at-risk report: White House Coronavirus Task Force says area one of 17 in state placed in the ‘yellow zone’

A new weekly report from the White House Coronavirus Task Force placed the Danville Micropolitan Area into its list of Kentucky communities that are considered at-risk based on the number of cases per 100,000 and positivity rates.

The Danville Micropolitan Area, which consists of Boyle and Lincoln counties, was listed as one of 17 localities in the state of Kentucky that were placed in the “yellow zone.” That zone is for localities and counties that have 10-100 cases per 100,000 population and a positivity rate between 5-10 percent.

Aug. 28-30, 2020

Jail on COVID lockdown: Health director said jail officials are doing everything right, with what they’ve got to work with

Chief Deputy Jailer Chad Holderman prepares the health check forms every essential personnel visitor at the jail must complete before coming in. The jail was on lockdown in August due to COVID-19 cases there.

Although the Boyle County Detention Center confirms it has one inmate who has the coronavirus, the jailer says it’s not an outbreak. Which, even at one person, still creates a space problem for the jail due to how it’s laid out, Brian Wofford explained — something they must prepare for.


Sept. 1, 2020

Going mobile: Danville Housing Authority Community Service Center starts food pantry on wheels

During the COVID-19 pandemic, need for food and other economic assistance has heightened, particularly for the elderly, the disabled and those without a means of transportation. In response, the Danville Housing Authority Community Service Center started a mobile food pantry Aug. 24 to transport food directly to those in need in public housing, said Gwen Campbell, resident services coordinator for the Housing Authority of Danville.

Sept. 22, 2020

Mayor rescues 4 in car crash

Perryville Mayor Brian Caldwell moved quickly on Friday to help victims who had been involved in a traffic accident in Louisville.

Caldwell said he was in downtown Louisville Friday when he heard a loud collision nearby. He said a two-vehicle crash happened at an intersection where one of the vehicles was struck causing it to flip over and land on its side. Caldwell said he saw that the minivan’s roof had also been crushed after striking a light pole.

He said he ran to the scene and tried to talk to the male driver, who was trapped inside. Then Caldwell saw three children in the back seat, who were probably under the age of 10.

Sept. 25-27, 2020

Centre tracking virus ‘in-house’

Centre College students, faculty and staff are adapting to COVID-19 protocols and restrictions in ways that only a small college can do, and the low number of positive cases is a testament to their endeavors.

The college has its own trained contact tracers; it’s using a specialized COVID app developed by campus IT staff, and it conducts frequent testing of everyone on campus, according to Chief Communications Officer Michael Strysick. Of course everyone is also required to wear face masks, and are strongly urged to practice social distancing and frequent hand washing, he added.


Oct. 2-4, 2020

‘A big kid at heart’: Danville man provides free ‘pumpkin patch’ for children

Ernest Gooch stands on his front lawn, where he has placed dozens of pumpkins. This is his second year providing free pumpkins in his yard for children and other members of the community. – Photo by Olivia Mohr

Pumpkins swarm the yard at 218 Candlewood Drive. A hay bale painted to look like a jack-o-lantern is perched by the house and seems to stare down at all the pumpkins. Plastic geese and other decorations adorn the yard. This is the yard of Ernest Gooch, who set up the “pumpkin patch” so families can come to his yard and pick up a free pumpkin. Even adults are welcome to them, he said.

Oct. 16-18, 2020

McConnell addresses Boyle County at distillery

On Oct. 14, Sen. Mitch McConnell visited Wilderness Trail Distillery to give a speech on the impact of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act nationwide and specifically in Boyle County. During his speech he also shared that he will be putting a new coronavirus relief bill on the floor of the U.S. Senate on Monday, Oct. 19.

U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell visited Danville in October. – Photo by Jeff Moreland

Protesters turn out for McConnell visit

A group of about a dozen people lined the route taken by U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell Wednesday afternoon as he made his way to Wilderness Trail Distillery for a speaking engagement.

The group was made up of members of Indivisible Danville, and they said they were on hand to make sure the senator knew how they felt about his policies and his action in office.

Oct. 30-Nov. 1, 2020

Amy McGrath makes stop at Pioneer Playhouse

Amy McGrath (D), candidate for U.S. Senate against Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R), made a stop at Pioneer Playhouse in Danville on Oct. 28 for a Boyle County Early Vote Meet & Greet and gave a speech. This was an official campaign event, according to an event description, where McGrath spoke on her plans “to rebuild Kentucky.”


Nov. 3, 2020

Early voting during a pandemic

Early voting took place in Kentucky from Oct. 13 to Nov. 2, with dates and hours possibly varying by location. Prior to Election Day, voters came to the Boyle County Courthouse to either drop their absentee ballots in ballot boxes or vote early in person. Voters could also cast their absentee ballots by mail. On Nov. 2, the Advocate-Messenger made a stop at the courthouse to catch a glimpse of early voting in person during a pandemic.

Nov. 13-15, 2020

Ephraim averaging 12 to 15 COVID patients hospitalized: Average has been stable over past few weeks

Ephraim McDowell Regional Medical Center in Danville had an average of 12 to 15 people hospitalized in its COVID unit on a daily basis in November. – Photo by Jeff Moreland

Even though the number of COVID-positive patients continue to climb in this area, the number of COVID patients admitted to the local hospital remains stable.

On average, Ephraim McDowell Regional Medical Center has between 12 and 15 COVID-19 positive patients in the hospital’s COVID unit on a daily basis, according to spokesperson Jeremy Cocanougher. “The number of COVID patients has been stable over the past three to four weeks,” he added.


Dec. 18-20

Shop with a Cop delivered this year

Casey McCoy, a captain with the BCSO, picks out a bike for the 10-year-old boy from Junction City he is shopping for. He said he missed seeing the children’s faces while they shopped with the officers and picked out gifts. – Photo by Olivia Mohr

This year’s Shop with a Cop event looked a bit different due to COVID-19. Instead of the children shopping with the officers from the Danville Police Department and the Boyle County Sheriff’s Office, officers had wish lists from the children and went to Wal-Mart on Dec. 17 to shop with $200 for each child’s gifts. One officer was assigned to each child. Then, the officers took the gifts to The Showroom on Lebanon Road to wrap them and personally delivered the gifts to the children’s homes.

Dec. 22, 2020

Cloud 9: Rebels win ninth state title

The Boyle County Rebels celebrate their ninth state championship Friday night after defeating Franklin County 31-28 in overtime at Kroger Field.. – Photo by Jeff Moreland

LEXINGTON — A little more than a year ago, Boyle County left Kroger Field under a dark cloud. On Friday night, the Rebels floated out of that same stadium on cloud nine.

Three hundred and seventy-eight days after a heartbreaking defeat in the state finals, the Rebels redeemed themselves by returning to championship form.

Boyle outlasted Franklin County for a 31-28 victory in the Class 4A championship, giving the school its ninth state title and giving the players who were part of last season’s loss the win they wanted more than perhaps anything else in the world.

Dec. 25-27, 2020

County gets first COVID vaccine: Local first responders, health care workers are vaccinated

When the line formed for Boyle County’s first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, Mike Wilder was exactly where he wanted to be — at the front.

Wilder is Boyle County EMS director, and he said he was happy to be the county’s ‘guinea pig’ and receive the first dose of the vaccine Wednesday morning at Woodlawn Elementary School.

Dec. 25-27, 2020

Northpoint records more than 700 COVID cases: One staff member dies, 23 active staff cases reported

As of Sunday, Dec. 20, Northpoint Training Center had 409 active COVID-19 positive inmates, according to the Kentucky Department of Corrections website. By Tuesday, the number of inmates with the virus jumped to 672.

On Dec. 20, there were 15 staff members reported to be infected with the virus at Northpoint, and the next day, the number had risen to 23. There was also one staff death reported that was due to COVID-19, according to the website.