October started on a high note for the staff and volunteers of CASA of the Heartland.

The Hardin County nonprofit, which focuses on child advocacy in the court system, was honored as the Kentucky CASA Network Program of the Year as Kentucky CASA Week came to a close Oct. 1.

CASA’s response during the COVID pandemic was phenomenal and certainly worthy of statewide recognition. In presenting the award it was noted the agency nearly doubled its training classes, offered in a safe, virtual platform while increasing its marketing and outreach almost 100%, cutting the child wait list by half and served more than 120 children in 2020 caught in the court system through no fault of their own.

A statement by Norma Hatfield, executive director, also shows the organization’s focus is not centered on outperforming the other two dozen court advocate programs across the state. It rightly remains devoted to the interests of the children it serves.

“Getting the recognition is really wonderful, but at the end of each day, we do what we do because vulnerable children need us and we want to make a difference in their lives,” Hatfield said. “We are so thankful to everyone and appreciate all the support.”

Well said.


It’s always encouraging when individuals and organizations see a need and step up to address it.

That’s what happened when a member of the Hardin County Farm Bureau’s board of directors watched as the local sheriff’s department searched a mature cornfield in search of a person. It was obvious to the director and to sheriff’s deputies that a drone flyover could simplify and greatly expedite the tedious process.

Now, thanks to the generosity of the Farm Bureau chapter, the Hardin County Sheriff’s Office is equipped with a DJI Matrice 300 RTK drone featuring forward-looking infrared, which allows it to use thermal imaging, plus GPS navigation, a 19-mile range and provides an eye in the sky. Its potential uses include recovering a lost child, searching for a suspect and accident reconstruction.

This is no toy. It’s a $31,000 high-tech device to serve real needs of law enforcement.

“It’s a vast amount of situations that it can be used for to make our job more efficient and to protect citizens lives along with deputies,” Hardin County Sheriff John Ward said.


For 50 years, Lincoln Days has provided a way to celebrate the impact of Abraham Lincoln for preserving the union, extending the promise of freedom and demonstrating wisdom and strength in the most trying of times.

The 16th president’s legacy is important to us all, but Hodgenville and LaRue County feel it most deeply since Honest Abe was born in a frontier cabin there.

Lincoln Days explores many aspects of the historical figure, but it’s exceptionally well organized and just plain fun.

Thanks to the current organizers and volunteers plus all those who enacted, expanded and shepherded this engaging tradition for a half century.

This editorial reflects a consensus of The News-Enterprise editorial board.

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