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When 2021 arrives, some familiar faces will be returning to the Dawson Springs Independent School district. But instead of serving in their past positions as faculty members, they will fill the seats vacated on the Board of Education by Kent Dillingham and Lindsey Morgan.

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In an effort to offset an upcoming budget cut, the Hopkins County Fiscal Court approved a lease agreement at their meeting on Tuesday with the Hopkins County Child Support Unit, which has office space in the former county courthouse on Main Street.

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Following the approval of an application to be a vaccine provider, the Hopkins County Health Department and other leaders are preparing for the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine.

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Following the Thanksgiving weekend, the Hopkins County Health Department has reported two new coronavirus-related deaths locally.

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Madisonville City officials have been pleased with the turnout of nearly 6,000 vehicles of people for the Deck the Park Christmas event that took the place of the annual Christmas Parade due to COVID-19.

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Removing over 1,000 chairs from the auditorium and grinding down the bolts in the floor is how the staff at the Glema Mahr Center for the Arts spent their summer.

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The Hopkins County Regional Chamber of Commerce had to cancel the Farm City Breakfast due to COVID-19 related concerns. The move was just the latest in a series of changes, adjustments and cancellations as COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc on most every community across the country.

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The Tiki bar is open at the Oasis Southwest Grill in Madisonville as the outside seating area has been modified to stay within the commonwealth’s coronavirus guidelines.

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Landon’s Hope’s annual Thanksgiving dinner had to be done via curbside and delivery this year due to COVID-19 but there was a definite increase in people that came by for food than expected this year.

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At Madisonville City Park work is being completed to prepare for “Deck The Park” — an alternative event for citizens of Hopkins County to celebrate Christmas in a safe way.

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Not only are the students of the Dawson Springs Independent Schools continuing to receive instruction virtually due to the county’s ongoing ‘red’ status in regards to COVID-19, the Board of Education pursues its meetings online as well, and did so on Monday night.

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The Hopkins County Health Department reported another fatality connected to the coronavirus Tuesday. The middle aged adult’s death brings the total number of COVID-19 fatalities to 49 locally.

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When COVID-19 hit in March and schools had to close, local school bus drivers started working with food service to deliver meals to children at home.

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A former Republican nominee for Kentucky Attorney General and past Hopkins County Attorney has been named in a lawsuit claiming he and his law firm committed gross negligence in handling assigned legal matters and withheld more than $300,000 from a client.

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Hopkins County Judge-Executive Jack Whitfield Jr. and Madisonville Mayor Kevin Cotton took to Facebook on Thursday morning in an effort to encourage the public to take the new COVID-19 mandates that were passed down from Gov. Andy Beshear on Wednesday seriously.

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Reaching out to people in need, especially during the holidays to let them know they are not alone is something Tammy Moore, founder of Landon’s Hope, has been doing for the past four years.

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The Hopkins County Fiscal Court has agreed to assist the Hopkins County Child Support Unit in their financial troubles by cutting the unit’s rent in half following a Budget, Audits and Personnel Committee meeting on Tuesday.

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Chris Morris said he remembers going to the Dawson Springs Mayor’s office and sitting in the mayor’s chair at 5 years-old when his grandfather, Bethel Morris, was mayor.

We're always interested in hearing about news in our community. Let us know what's going on!

Town Crier

Cell tower worker’s last picture was Harrison vista

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A wireless communications worker was killed at the top of a Verizon Wireless mobile phone tower on Waits Road on July 2 when the routine installation of a new antenna went wrong. Heavy equipment plummeted over 240 feet trailing a cable that caught and severed the worker’s right arm and then, tragically, decapitated him before the eyes of his crew.

The man was identified as 28-year-old Joel Metz, a father of three from Indianapolis, according to an account of the incident from the Indianapolis Star.

The other three men involved in the installation managed to escape physical harm in the accident, according to the report from Harrison County Sheriff Bruce Hampton.

According to the sheriff’s report, the four-man crew was nearing the end of a project to replace an antenna array at the top of the tower, which is owned by the Verizon Wireless Company.

The crew was employed by Fortune Wireless, Inc. of Indianapolis which contracts with Verizon Wireless to service its mobile phone towers.

Standard procedure is to have two men on the ground and two men harnessed in at the top of the tower to transfer the equipment, Hampton was told.

According to the testimony of the workers, the old antenna had been removed and a new one was within two feet of being installed when there was a “pop” sound and the equipment fell, Hampton said.

In the process of falling, Metz’s head and right arm were severed by the cable. The antenna array smashed into the ground.

Metz’s body was left in the harness while the other worker at the top of the tower slowly descended from the horrific scene.

At 2:20 p.m., Harrison County Fire and Rescue teams, Emergency Management personnel, and Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to the area.

After assessing the situation, the Cynthiana Fire Department was also called in to assist with retrieval of the body. The area was cleared of all but emergency response personnel, but it was soon determined that no Cynthiana or Harrison County first responder was appropriately equipped to attempt the climb.

Blue Grass Energy employees arrived to safely remove fallen cables that had draped themselves over the electric lines during the accident.

Later that evening, the Northern Kentucky Technical Rescue team was invited to implement a safe retrieval plan, Hampton said. The rescue team is made up of highly skilled fire and rescue specialists who could bring the proper equipment and experience to the scene, he explained.

The sheriff, who remained at the scene throughout the recovery effort, said the complicated retrieval lasted until the late night hours.

In an ironic twist, on Tuesday, July 1, the day before the tragedy, Metz’s Facebook page included a panoramic photo of the Harrison County countryside as seen from the top of the cell phone tower.

None of the workers involved in the accident were from Kentucky, Hampton said.

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