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88 active COVID-19 cases in county, says health department

As of Friday morning, the Hopkins County Health Department has reported 614 total cases of COVID-19 in Hopkins County since the pandemic began.

With 488 patients recovering from COVID-19 and 38 dying from the virus locally, there are now 88 active cases in the county.

The health department issued the following businesses citations this week for employees not wearing masks or not following the mandate requiring customers to wear masks, including the Ideal Market both in Madisonville and in Nortonville, Dixie Pan, Huddle House and Rural King.

Of the total cases, 78 of the cases were people ages 0 to 20 years old; 185 cases were people ages 21 years old to 40 years old; 189 cases are people ages 41 years old to 60 years old; 115 cases are people ages 61 years old to 80 years old and 47 cases are people 81 years old or older.

There have been 75 total cases of long-term care people and 539 marked by the health department as “other.”

There have been a total of 264 cases that were male and 350 cases that were female.

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Cancer survivor in need of liver transplant

Alicia Parish has been in a battle for her life for several years.

In 2018, she was diagnosed with a liver disease known as Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC).

“The only known cure for Hepatocellular Carcinoma is a liver transplant,” said Eva Renfro, Alicia’s sister.

Alicia, who lives in Madisonville, went to the doctor to look into severe migraines she had been having, while looking for the cause of the migraines the doctors found tumors in her liver. She under went surgery to remove the tumors from her liver.

“They had removed most of the tumor, but when they were in there they noticed that she had several other tumors and they were too numerous to remove them all, so they just sewed her back up,” said Brenda Parish, Alicia’s mother.

The doctors told them the best option to remove the rest of the tumors was TheraSpheres, where they would use radiation on beads and stick them in the liver to attach the tumors directly. The radiation was successful, but it caused severe damage to her liver.

“They were hoping that she would be able to rebound from the radiation and that her liver would be able to regenerate, but so far her liver hasn’t regenerated,” said Brenda. “That was when we realized she would have to have a liver transplant.”

Alicia’s last radiation treatment was July 2019. In January 2020, they were going to the University of Louisville Hospital for treatment, but the family said Alicia was not getting the help she needed.

“The doctor came in and said, ‘I didn’t expect to see you alive’,” said Renfro. “That just shocked us.”

Brenda said UofL wouldn’t even talk to them about a liver transplant. Eventually, the family was referred to Vanderbilt University by Alicia’s primary doctor. Vanderbilt also told them they couldn’t do a liver transplant and that Alicia’s best and last chance was the Mayo Clinic.

“They were going to transfer her from Vanderbilt to Mayo, but the cost of flying her there was so expensive that they stabilized her and we brought her home thinking that we would get an appointment right away. Of course, it didn’t happen that way,” said Brenda.

The Mayo Clinic said the cost for a liver transplant and the care after would be between $25,000 to $30,000. Brenda said it was confusing trying to get an appointment because it sounded like they wouldn’t even make an appointment for Alicia until they had the full amount, but after talking they realized the appointment could be made.

“It is just like we have battled and battled trying to get her a liver,”

said Brenda.

An appointment has been set up at the Mayo Clinic for Oct. 12-16 to run tests to see if Alicia is eligible for a transplant. Brenda said there are a lot of factors that go into determining eligibility — like age, health condition and how well the tests come out.

“They said by Oct. 16, they should be able to tell us if she is eligible or not,” Brenda said.

Once they found out there was a possibility they would need to travel to Arizona. So a friend of Alicia’s, Katie Gamblin, set up a GoFundme page to help raise money.

“It was something we had talked about before and none of us really wanted to do that,” said Gamblin. “We knew she would need money for hotels and travel.”

The original amount was $3,000 to help pay for travel, hotels and extras. Once they got the number from Mayo they raised the goal to $30,000.

“If she gets the transplant, that (amount) will pay for the surgery and the treatment and care a year after,” said Gamblin. “That is something we don’t have to get like right way.”

Alicia’s family said the best medicine and support getting her through this has been laughter and her friends. Renfro said many of Alicia’s friends are like family.

“If Alicia is craving something, you can put out an APB on Facebook and somebody will bring it over her,” said Gamblin.

Alicia is part of a local band known as Pat Harvey and the Wallbangers, who have been very supportive of her during this time. Renfro said they had a fundraiser in March to raise money for medical and everyday needs.

“Her love for people and peoples’ love for her has been the best medication for her,” said Renfro.

Both mom and sister have stopped working to take care of Alicia since she has lost strength after the treatments and occasionally gets confused when her ammonia levels are too high. Renfro has even moved in with Alicia to be there at night, while Brenda helps during the day.

If Alicia is not eligible for a liver transplant then all Brenda and Eva will be doing is keeping her comfortable. Eva said she noticed that if Alicia cannot get the transplant then the gofundme will help pay for funeral costs.

“Alicia, she is a top performer in music, In radiation, she is exceeding doctors expectations, so she has already had some miracles happen,” said Renfro.

Brenda wanted to thank everyone who has supported and helped Alicia during this time.

To help Alicia, visit her gofundme page, https://www.gofundme.com/f/hoping-for-a-liver-for-alicia.

Cates Scrap Metal closing doors after 42 years

Randall and Paula Boles, owners of Cates Scrap Metal near Earlington, are closing their doors and shutting down the business after 42 years.

“Our intentions are to retire. We are going to close Sept. 30,” said Randall Boles.

Cates Scrap Metal started in 1978 when Harold Cates bought Daniels Auto Parts, then located on South Main in Madisonville. Boles said he was disappointed that it sold because he was always interested in the parts store. A friend had suggested Boles talk to Cates about becoming a partner in the business.

“I went and talked to him that night. We sat up a deal, and we met at he salvage yard,” said Boles. “I told him that I wanted to own half of it, and I said I want to put something down, and then in a year I want to make up my mind about the full half or whatever.”

Cates told Boles that he could buy half then at the current price — or a year later when the price had gone up because Cates expected the business to grow.

Boles said he and Cates worked together for 17 years as partners, and in 1996 Boles bought Cates out so he could retire.

“He was the best partner I have ever had,” Boles said. “It is unreal how good a relationship we had, we never had a disagreement.”

In 2006 Boles’ wife, Paula, decided she wanted to leave her job and started working at the yard with her husband. In 2007 they moved the yard out into the county. Boles said they had seven acres of land in the city, but in the county they had 38 acres and were able to store 3,000 cars.

At 71 — and after 42 years in the business — Boles said he and his wife are ready to retire and enjoy life. He said he is tired and he can’t continue as he was.

“Sometimes, I wonder if I shouldn’t have done it earlier, but it has been good and I’ve never hated to come to work,” Boles said. “I don’t know how we are going to stand it because we are used to going 100 miles an hour, with seven phone lines, but we are so happy we are able to do it while we still can do some things, both in good health.”

Cates Scrap Metal will officially close on Sept. 30, but will remain active for at least 90 days to clean and get everything crushed and shipped. Once the land is cleared off, they will decide if they want to sell the property.

“I would give anything if somebody wanted to keep it going because I think the community needs it,” said Boles.

The Boles said they could not have gone this far with out the support of the community and wanted to thank everyone for the past 42 years.

Photo of MPD officer helping wheelchaired man in the rain goes viral

A photo of a Madisonville Police Department officer helping a wheelchaired man out of the rain on Thursday has circulated social media in the Madisonville area.

The photo, taken and posted by Jamey Harris, was shared 593 times.

“MPD pushing a man in his wheelchair home in the rain because the battery died. This makes me proud of our little town,” Harris wrote in the Facebook post.

The officer in the picture, Dustin Scott, is seen in the photograph pushing a wheelchaired man while it is raining, and the man’s wheelchair battery had died, according to social media posts.

After the photo was shared, Scott credited fellow officer Tyler Gunther for his assistance as well.

I know this post has been shared a lot in the past day,” Scott wrote in a Facebook post. “I’ve been tagged a lot, but I just wanted to say that Officer Tyler Gunther also was right there with me. Officer Gunther got in his patrol car and followed closely with his lights on to keep traffic off of us. Once the traffic was clear, Officer Gunther also helped push the rest of the way.”

Madisonville Police Chief Steve Bryan took notice of the officers.

“The actions of these officers are a perfect representation of the servant-based leadership principles that help our department earn the trust and respect of so many in our community,” Bryan said. “It’s about putting the needs of the community above our own needs. The unselfishness and compassion shown by these officers is something to be admired. Their actions bring great credit to the Madisonville Police Department and the City of Madisonville.”

City, airport approve agreement for MCC aviation program

The City of Madisonville and the Madisonville Regional Airport Board unanimously approved the lease agreement between the two entities and the Kentucky Community and Technical College System at a joint teleconference meeting on Friday.

The agreement, which is pending KCTCS approval, will allow Madisonville Community College to conduct an aviation program at the airport.

According to Jimmy Riddle, who is with the airport board, no major changes were made to the agreement, just some language clarification.

According to the lease agreement, KCTCS would gain 8,000 square feet of classroom and office space located in Hangar B at the airport with the right to the shared use of the community hangar space in Hangar B.

The lease also states that the KCTCS would have “sufficient space” in the community hangar for helicopters but did not specify how many helicopters would be housed there.

The lease states the city has incurred expenses of $48,000 that was used in constructing classrooms, office space, restroom facilities and electrical upgrades in order to make the facilities available for use by the KCTCS.

According to Madisonville Mayor Kevin Cotton, the $48,000 was spent to give temporary space until a completely new facility can be built at the airport for the aviation program.

Funding for the completely new space will be funded through a grant that was awarded to the city through the Delta Regional Authority.

According to Cotton, the award amount is around $500,000.

MCC President Dr. Cindy Kelley announced in August the school is building a new aviation program to help the community and grow enrollment.