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Trump returns to White House

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump staged a dramatic return to the White House on Monday night after leaving the hospital where he received care for COVID-19. He declared that the nation shouldn’t fear the virus.

Landing at the White House on Marine One, Trump climbed the South Portico steps, removed his mask and declared, “I feel good.”

He gave a double thumbs-up to the departing helicopter from the portico terrace, where American flags flew in the sunset. He then entered the White House, where aides were milling about the Blue Room.

Trump left Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where his doctor, Navy Cdr. Sean Conley, said earlier Monday that the president wouldn’t be fully “out of the woods” for another week but that Trump had met or exceeded standards for discharge from the hospital.

Trump is expected to continue his recovery at the White House.

Trump indicated he won’t be kept from campaigning for long, tweeting before leaving the hospital, “Will be back on the Campaign Trail soon!!!”

Trump made a point of sounding confident earlier. He tweeted: “I will be leaving the great Walter Reed Medical Center today at 6:30 P.M. Feeling really good! Don’t be afraid of Covid. Don’t let it dominate your life. ... I feel better than I did 20 years ago!”

Trump left the hospital after receiving a fourth dose of the antiviral drug remdesivir Monday evening, Conley said. He will receive the fifth and final dose Tuesday at the White House.

Less than one month before Election Day, Trump was eager to project strength and to press his campaign effort across the country.

Vice President Mike Pence returned to the campaign trail moments after Trump announced he would leave the hospital. The vice president boarded Air Force Two to fly to Salt Lake City, where he is scheduled to face off against Democratic vice presidential nominee Sen. Kamala Harris on Wednesday.

Joe Biden’s campaign, meanwhile, said the Democratic presidential nominee tested negative for coronavirus Sunday.

Drive-thru flu clinics coming to region

The Barren River Health Department has announced locations and dates for five drive-thru flu shot clinics.

Drive-thru clinics are an easy, low-contact way for people to get vaccinated without leaving their vehicle, said Ashli McCarty, the health department’s public information officer and communications coordinator.

“By increasing the number of people who get vaccinated for the flu, we can reduce the number of flu illnesses, hospitalizations and deaths,” McCarty said. “Lowering flu-related impact can help reduce the burden on our medical system and reserve much-needed resources to care for COVID-19 patients.”

“With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it is important that we utilize ways to maintain social distancing as much as possible,” McCarty said. “Drive-thru clinics help decrease the amount of people who go into a clinic or doctor’s office for flu vaccination, which helps to minimize the risk of potential exposure to illness.”

McCarty said health department staff members will be wearing personal protective equipment while interacting with the public in order to protect themselves and those they serve.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said people can take three actions to prevent the flu – get a flu vaccine, practice everyday preventative actions and take antiviral medication to treat flu if your doctor prescribes it.

The CDC said young children, pregnant women, people 65 years and older and people with certain chronic health conditions are among those at high risk for flu complications.

The first drive-thru clinic will be Oct. 13 at the Hart County Fairgrounds at 2184 South Dixie Hwy., Munfordville. It will start at 9 a.m. and continue until vaccines run out.

On Oct. 15, a drive-thru clinic will be at the Logan County Extension Office at 255 John Pope Ave., Russellville, from 9 a.m. until vaccines run out that day.

Next, a drive-thru clinic will be Oct. 21 at Charles Black City Park at 363 Park Lane, Morgantown, from 9 a.m. until 12 p.m.

The fourth drive-thru clinic will be at Franklin-Simpson Jim Roberts Community Park at 795 North St., Franklin, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Oct. 20.

The fifth drive-thru clinic will be Oct. 22 in Metcalfe County from 9 a.m. until vaccines run out. The address for the site is 50 Fairground St., Edmonton.

Dates and locations for Edmonson and Warren counties will be announced in the near future.

The health department recommends that anyone over the age of 6 years old should get vaccinated for the flu.

– Follow reporter John Reecer on Twitter @JReecerBGDN or visit bg dailynews.com.

President Donald Trump stands on the balcony outside of the Blue Room as returns to the White House Monday, Oct. 5, 2020, in Washington, after leaving Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, in Bethesda, Md. Trump announced he tested positive for COVID-19 on Oct. 2. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Annual Great Teddy Bear Run now weeklong event

The Barren River Area Child Advocacy Center’s 21st annual Great Teddy Bear Run will start Saturday and end Oct. 17 at Harley-Davidson of Bowling Green.

The event is a call for motorcyclists to go on rides throughout the city with a teddy bear strapped to their bikes.

The center is also asking for $25 contributions from riders.

Usually hosted in April, the event was pushed back because of COVID-19 concerns and will now be a weeklong event to prevent any large gatherings in the area.

“We are encouraging people to either participate on their own throughout the week or at a scheduled time Oct. 17,” center Director Jennifer Bryant said. “We do expect some people to show up to Harley-Davidson on Oct. 17, but we are trying to limit the size of that crowd as much as possible. Last year, we had over 500 cyclists come and raise awareness. We hope we can still see those numbers spread out over the week.”

After their rides, cyclists will drop off their teddy bears at one of four designated locations: Harley-Davidson Bowling Green, Chaney’s Dairy Barn, Lost River Cave and the National Corvette Museum.

The bears will be given to children who have taken medical exams after coming forward with stories of sexual abuse.

Participants who do not chose to ride throughout the week are free to schedule a time to ride Oct. 17 anytime from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Bryant said the pandemic has caused a recent uptick in cases. Last year, the center saw a total of 879 children.

“This pandemic has caused what is a perfect storm for abuse,” Bryant said. “The increased isolation and stress families are under is not helping, and many of these kids aren’t able to come forward and tell outside people about their abuse.”

A silent auction will be held online throughout the week. Proceeds will go to the center.

– To participate in the event, register at https://give.classy.org/GTBR2020 and follow the instructions to sign up for a dropoff time if you plan to come to Harley-Davidson on Oct. 17.

Grants make it easier for farmers to be green

Being green is helping some local farmers earn more green at a time when traditional routes to profitability in agriculture are leaving many livestock and crop producers seeing red.

The latest round of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Energy for America Program grants in Warren County were announced Monday by USDA Rural Development State Director Hilda Legg and Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles.

Both said the energy efficiencies promoted by the REAP grants are powerful tools to help overcome a prolonged slump in commodity prices.

With corn prices hovering near $3.80 a bushel just a few years removed from $8-per-bushel prices and soybeans not faring much better, farmers need all the efficiencies they can find.

“Controlling your inputs is vital at a time when prices are depressed,” said Quarles, who appeared with Legg at the Howard Poultry Farm off Porter Pike. “When you can save $400 a month in energy costs, you can capture some profit and invest that back into your business.”

Quarles was quoting the savings figure cited by Howard Poultry Farm co-owner Rex Howard on a 2018 grant that allowed him to install LED lighting in his two broiler breeder barns that house about 25,000 chickens.

Better, more efficient lighting has led to that savings for a business that sells poultry to Perdue Farms, and it has Howard looking for more energy savings.

He thinks he has found it in a project to replace inefficient ventilation fans in his breeder barns. A REAP grant is paying $5,857 of the $23,428 total cost, an investment that Howard said will pay off to the tune of more than $3,000 in energy savings annually.

That grant was one of three in Warren County totaling $18,156 that Legg announced Monday. She said they are the latest in a total of $437,000 in REAP grants that USDA has funded in Kentucky over the past four years.

The others were a grant of $8,122 that Smiths Grove’s Bluegrass Vineyard has used to help install a 14.4-kilowatt solar array and an award of $4,177 that Oakland’s Edgehill Farms will use to pay for part of an 11.59-kilowatt solar array.

A USDA news release said the solar panels at Bluegrass Vineyard, which were installed in August, will generate $2,340.11 worth of electricity per year. Those at Edgehill Farms are expected to produce $1,526 worth of energy per year.

“It completely runs our winery and Airbnb,” said Brooke Wise, a Bluegrass Vineyard employee who attended Monday’s announcement.

Legg said a number of Warren County agricultural producers and rural small businesses like Jackson’s Orchard and Chaney’s Dairy Barn have benefited from the REAP program that was started in 2008.

“Lowering energy costs means rural businesses have more capital to invest in jobs and growth,” Legg said. “These are the kinds of investments that have long-term benefits.”

More information about the USDA Rural Development program and the REAP grants can be found at the rd.usda.gov website.

– Follow business reporter Don Sergent on Twitter @BGDNbusiness or visit bgdaily news.com.