E'town Council recognizes tennis commission

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Group took Community Tennis Association of the Year at USTA awards

By Marty Finley

The Elizabethtown Tennis Commission left an impression on the United States Tennis Association Kentucky awards this year, and Elizabethtown City Council on Monday recognized the commission’s efforts to represent the city’s growing presence in the sport.

The commission was named Member Organization/Community Tennis Association of the Year award in late October when awards were distributed at a luncheon at The Galt House in Louisville. Commission Chairman Bo O’Brien was named Volunteer of the Year; local tennis fixture Bob Love was named Junior Team Tennis Coordinator of the Year; and Brett Atcher, a tennis pro at the Lexington Tennis Club that played high school tennis for Elizabethtown, was named Professional of the Year.

Of the 21 awards distributed, O’Brien said four had a direct impact locally and showed what the commission could accomplish in a season that lasts six months or fewer annually.

“That’s basically what we do because we don’t have indoors yet,” O’Brien said to the council. A pause by O’Brien served as more than a hint for the council to consider supporting an indoor facility. He was joined at the council meeting by Love, commission members Susan Simmons and Keith Barnes and his wife Kathy, also a member of the commission.

The city has shown a renewed interest in improving the quality of tennis complexes locally after investing around $1 million in 10 new tennis courts of tournament caliber — several of which are lighted for night play — at Freeman Lake Park. Development of the new complex allows the commission to host the Elizabethtown Youth Tournament, the State Farm E’town Open and the EtownApartments.com Heartland Shootout.

O’Brien thanked the city and tournament sponsors for their financial assistance, local media outlets for their help in promotion and tennis pros for their roles in advancing the sport locally. O’Brien said Elizabethtown is competing with larger cities such as Lexington on the tennis scene and is blessed to have experienced professionals locally to represent the sport.

As the small group departed, they were given a hearty round of applause and thanks by the council and attending visitors.

“Thank you all,” said Mayor Edna Berger. “Bo O’Brien is Mr. Tennis.”



In other business


Councilman Bill Bennett recognized Karen Sizemore, a former Lowe’s employee who was fired by the company Oct. 8 from its store in Elizabethtown after a supervisor told her she put herself and others in danger when she pursued a shoplifting suspect a week earlier. 

Sizemore worked at the home improvement store for 18 years. According to Sizemore and police, she pursued a suspect who removed a $579 Dewalt tool kit from the shelf Oct. 1 and fled the store. Bennett said Sizemore’s tenacity in pursuing the shoplifter showed an admirable courage in a time when most exhibit apathy toward acts of crime. 

Bennett said Sizemore represented those who are willing to stand up to “tyrants and thugs.” “Thank you, and you need a hug,” Bennett said to Sizemore. Sizemore, who has described support from the community as “overwhelming,” thanked the council.

n Elizabethtown Planning Director Ed Poppe singled out building inspector Randy Ray, who was named Code Administrator of the Year by the Code Administrators Association of Kentucky. Poppe said Ray has been working with the city for roughly a decade. When Mayor Edna Berger asked if Ray was in attendance, Poppe said, “No, he’s out making inspections.” Berger indicated this level of commitment is why Ray won.


The council approved a municipal order to sell a 1992 Pierce ladder truck to the city of Vine Grove for $50,000.


The council heard first reading of an ordinance to annex property at 2875 Shepherdsville Road into the city. The vacant property is owned by Pence Leasing LLC and TDA Properties, Poppe said.