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Three Rivers Medical Center’s ER on Alert for Enterovirus D68

Louisa, KY - News of hundreds of children in 43 states suffering respiratory distress linked to Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) is causing alarm among parents our local communities.

Dr. Mark Kingston, medical director of Three Rivers Medical Center’s Emergency Room, says EV-D68, also referred to as HEV 68 (Human Enterovirus 68), is related to the rhinovirus that causes the common cold.  Unlike a cold, however, it is creating severe respiratory distress for infants, children, and for people of any age who already have a respiratory ailment, such as asthma. Some of those most severely affected have been hospitalized, and a few have even required ventilator assistance.

“The symptoms are the same as the common cold—runny nose, sneezing, cough, body and muscle aches and fever," says Kingston. “This is especially stressful for parents because they worry about distinguishing a routine cold from this more serious virus.”

Kingston recommends closely monitoring individuals with asthma or a history of wheezing if they develop symptoms of a cold, and anyone who experiences difficulty breathing—whether they have a respiratory ailment or not—should be taken to the ER.

“People living in states where there have already been a significant number of cases should be on high alert,” says Kingston.  “But we also anticipate the virus spreading to all states, so everyone should be vigilant.”

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports there is no vaccine for the virus, although some experts say whooping cough and flu vaccines may offer some level of protection. The same prevention measures for avoiding the common cold apply to EV-D68:  wash hands frequently; avoid touching the eyes, nose and mouth; no kissing, hugging or sharing cups/eating utensils with people who are ill; and disinfect frequently-touched surfaces—such as toys and doorknobs.

“There isn’t an immediate test available to diagnose EV-D68, or a specific treatment for it,” adds Kingston, “but we’re aware of the situation and know what action to take should anyone arrive at our ER in distress.”

Three Rivers Medical Center has been awarded Joint Commission Top Performer distinction three years in a row.  The Emergency Department is an Accredited Chest Pain Center. 

TRMC is a 90-bed, acute care facility.  It is accredited by The Joint Commission.  With over 80 medical staff members, TRMC offers cardiology, general surgery, nephrology, orthopedics, urology, gynecology, ophthalmology, otolaryngology, gastroenterology, podiatry, 24-hour emergency care, diagnostic radiation, rehabilitative services and mental health.

Enterovirus D68: What Parents Need to Know...

By Brenda Goodman, MA Web MD

Health News Reviewed by Hansa D. Bhargava,MD

Editor's note: This story was updated on Oct. 6, 2014, with new case numbers.


A fast-spreading virus related to hand-foot-and-mouth disease is hospitalizing kids across the country.

The virus, called enterovirus D68 or EV-D68, was first discovered in 1962 in California. But until now, it has only been tied to smaller clusters of disease around the U.S.

This is the first time it’s caused such widespread misery, and it seems to be particularly hard on the lungs.
As of Oct. 6, the CDC has confirmed more than 590 cases of EV-D68 in 43 states and Washington, DC. All of the cases have been in children except for one adult case.

Some children with EV-D68 have died, but it’s unclear if the virus directly caused their deaths or was a contributing factor. Health officials are investigating.
A few children hospitalized with EV-D68 have also developed unexplained paralysis in their arms and legs, officials say. The CDC is doing further tests to figure out the cause of the paralysis.

“This could be just coincidental, so we can’t leap to the conclusion that enterovirus D68 is the cause of this paralysis,” says William Schaffner, MD, an infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN. “It’s right at the top of our list of suspects, but we haven’t nailed it yet.”

“Many of us will have EV-D68,” says Michael Fine, MD, director of the Rhode Island Department of Health, in a statement. “Most of us will have very mild symptoms, and all but very few will recover quickly and completely. The vast majority of children exposed to EV-D68 recover completely.”

We reached out to pediatricians and infectious disease specialists to find out what parents should know about this respiratory illness.

What are the symptoms of D68 infection?

Most viral infections start out with a fever, cough, and runny nose, but D68 doesn’t seem to follow that classic pattern, says Mary Anne Jackson, MD. She's the division director of infectious disease at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, MO, the hospital where the first cases were identified.

“Only 25% to 30% of our kids have fever, so the vast majority don’t,” Jackson says. Instead, kids with D68 infections have cough and trouble breathing, sometimes with wheezing.

They act like they have asthma, even if they don’t have a history of it, she says. “They’re just not moving air.”

Why so many cases now?

The typical enterovirus season runs from July through October, so we're in an enterovirus season, says Jackson.

What’s unusual about this one is that it’s a virus that hasn’t widely spread through the U.S. before.


Supt. says "tremendous gains" made, but still have a long way to go;

Blaine tops all Lawrence schools in test score improvement percentage; 

LCHS has 7.6 point increase on test...

Lawrence Supt. Robbie Fletcher explained the test scores and what they mean during an exclusive interview with The Lazer

Click pic for short video


By Catrina Vargo

Louisa, KY -- The 2013-14 Kentucky Performance Rating for Educational Progress (K-PREP), test scores have just been released by the Kentucky Department of Education. The news is good for the Lawrence County District who scored in the 28th percentile, doubled from last year's score of the 14th percentile.

KREP is the accountability system for the state, in which a variety of tests are administered primarily in the spring of each year.  Types of testing used are geared toward measuring 'college ready' and 'career ready' status of students.

College Ready testing varies, and is based on the student's learning type. Career Ready testing requires an academic component such as the ACT, Compass or other similar test, and a skills component, such as a nationally certification in carpentry, electricity, or health care.

Several years ago, the Lawrence County School District fell into the category of 'persistently low achieving schools,' along with 41 other schools in Kentucky. However, the district has been climbing steadily upward, meeting necessary criteria for the last two years to get themselves out of that group.

 "One more year and we will be out of priority status" said Superintendent Dr. Robbie Fletcher. "Provided they pass the tests."

 Of course the College and Career Ready scores do not impact the elementary and middle school grades, which are tested on appropriate grade levels.  

The test score, Fletcher explained, is very good, especially when you take into account that additional program reviews were added after tests were administered that were not reflected in the final outcome.  He said next year's scores will be even more accurate.

Following is the official press release from Superintendent Fletcher.  This is a broad overview of the test.  For a detailed description and comparison between districts, visit the Kentucky Department of Education website where the 'Kentucky School Report Card' may be viewed.

Here is Fletcher's official statement:

"The district made tremendous gains and even pockets of excellence, but we still have a long way to go.  The students, teachers, and staff are committed to make Lawrence County a model district, a 'lighthouse.'  We will be breaking down the test score data and making plans to continue success.  It's a very good day to be all in Lawrence County!"

 The Kentucky Department of Education recalculated the scores from the 2012-2013 school year to include program reviews, which are a new component for the overall accountability for the 2013-2014 school year.   Each school’s scores can be broken into two main categories: 

Next-Generation Learner and Program Review.  The Next-Generation Learner category is worth 77% of the school’s score while the Program Review is worth 23% of the overall score.   Each of these two areas has its own components.

Fletcher took over July 1 for Mike Armstrong and was not involved in the test score increases. He said he just wanted to help citizens here understand the results.

Welcome to Kentucky’s School Report Card.

Each year, School and District Report Cards are posted on the Kentucky Department of Education’s (KDE's) website. Not to be confused with student report cards, these Report Cards provide information about each school and district, including test performance, teacher qualifications, student safety, awards, parent involvement and much more.

The School and District Report Cards were established by statute, KRS 158.6453, and regulation, 703 KAR 5:140. Additionally, the Report Cards must incorporate the requirements of the federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act.

Please explore the links below to view or download the current school and district report cards or to understand more about Kentucky's School Report Card Project. While the KDE website is the most convenient and inexpensive way for the vast majority of Kentucky parents to receive this information, schools and districts are required upon request to print cards for parents lacking Internet access.To access School Report Cards for years prior to 2011-2012, Click Here

"As a special note, I am proud to report that our high school has taken another step in exiting priority status by meeting the annual measurable objectives set by the Kentucky Department of Education.  Finally, while we have room for improvement in different categories, our district deserves our congratulations because each school showed an increase in their overall combined index.  With these test results, it is good day to be “All In LC!”

For more information, all school report cards can be found at the Kentucky Department of Education website.

Comparing Lawrence County with the schools in the three county area.

Lawrence County's high school increase was from 58. 7 to  66.3

In Martin County SCHS went from 64.3 to 68.

Johnson Central went from 71.5 to 74.1.

None of the three area schools met their graduation goals.

Martin County celebrates!

"Our school district did a fantastic job on Kprep testing also.

The Martin County School District went from being ranked in the 26th percentile in the state last year, to the 55th percentile this year. That is a huge increase. We have a lot to be proud of, and a lot of hard work ahead of us. We need the Martin County Community to always support our kids.

With Warfield being distinguished and having a 50 percentile point increase, and Inez being nearly distinguished and having a 65 percentile point increase, our kids and system are well on the way to being a proficient or distinguished district. All schools showed increases. I am extremely proud of the accomplishments of our schools this year."


--Warfield principal Terry Quillen

Adkins gets 10 years on meth charges;

Trial date set for Webbville man accused of domestic violence murder; Motions heard on Fitzpatrick case...

By Catrina Vargo

Louisa, KY -- Aaron Uhlmann, 44, of Webbville, KY, who was arrested and indicted earlier this year for brutally beating his wife, Jennifer Priddy, and leaving her tied up on Dec. 20 after a domestic incident and later charged with robbery and kidnapping. Uhlman will go to trial August 24, 2015 for these charges as well as murder, after Priddy died as a result of the injuries sustained from the beating.

UhlmannUhlmann is formally charged with Kidnapping -Adult and Robbery, and in a separate case is charged with Kidnapping -Victim Death, and Murder-Domestic Violence.  He will report for court on June 26, 2015.

Motions were heard in the case of Joshua A. Fitzpatrick, 35 of Paintsville, KY, who is facing a murder charge in which he is accused of causing the death of Johnny K. Maynard, 40, of Catlettsburg, KY who was operating a motorcycle near Rt. 644 and E Street in Louisa, when Fitzpatrick who was traveling at a high rate of speed, lost control of his vehicle and struck Maynard who died shortly after being transported to TRMC.

FitzpatrickIn addition to Murder, Fitzpatrick is also charged with Operating Motor Vehicle Under the Influence, Fleeing or Evading Police 1st Degree, Operating on Suspended or Revoked Operators License and Persistent Felony Offender.

Motions were heard to exclude evidence of defendant's activities in Johnson Co., to exclude any reference to statutory presumptions of intoxication, to exclude those portions of KSP reconstruction report which contain legal conclusions and reference the events occurring in Johnson County of the date of accident, and to redact certain portions of the statement given by defendant to KSP Detective Ben Cramer on the night of the accident. An order was signed granting the motions.

Other cases:


SpearsFrank Spears, 30, will report for court on January 9, and and a trial is set for February 10, 2015.  Spears is charged with two counts of 1st Degree Sexual Abuse.



AdkinsJohnathan D. Adkins, 39, pled guilty to a charge of Complicity Manufacture Methamphetamine 1st Offense and was sentenced to 10 years. The charge of Complicity Tampering With Physical Evidence was dismissed. Final sentencing October 24.



BowensRichard Aaron Bowens, 24, was arraigned and pled not guilty on charges of Burglary 1st Degree, Assault 4th Degree No Visible Injury and Persistent Felony Offender. A pre-trial conference was set for Oct. 24.



CastleCarl F. Castle, 27, pled guilty to charge of Complicity Theft By Unlawful Taking-Shoplifting and sentenced to 3 years, probation 5 years with 180 days home incarceration and other conditions.  The charge of criminal Trespassing 3rd Degree, was dismissed, concurrent to Johnson County cases.

CaudillThurman Caudill, 36, was sentenced to 3 years to serve on charge of Theft By Unlawful Taking-Shoplifting and on 2nd Degree Persistent Felony Offender, the sentenced was enhanced to 10 years, suspended after 1 year and other conditions. 269 days jail credit applied.




A Motion to Reduce Bond was denied for Tracy L. Diamond, 39, charged with Complicity Manufacture Meth.




EvansRobert Evans, 42, charged with Complicity Trafficking Controlled Substance, was sentenced to 18 months unsupervised, pre-trial diversion 3 years and other conditions with 67 days jail credit applied.




LaneyPamela Laney, 48, charged with Complicity Traffick In Controlled In Substance, was sentenced to 18 months to serve, pre-trial diversion 3 years and other conditions with 32 days jail credit applied.



A Motion to Reduce Bond was denied for William M. Muncy Muncy, charged with Complicity 1st Degree Possession if Cocaine and Complicity Drug ParaphernaliaBuy/Possession.



RiffeJessica Riffe, 31, charged with Complicity Traffick In Controlled Substance was sentenced to 18 months unsupervised pre-trial diversion, 3 years and other conditions with 60 days jail credit applied.



WattsJohnny H. Watts, 45, charged with Complicity Traffick In Controlled Substance was  sentenced to 18 months Pre-trial diversion, 3 years, 180 days home incarceration and other conditions with 48 days jail credit applied. 



WilliamsonPatrick Williamson, 44, pled guilty to multiple charges, including Complicity Receiving Stolen Property Under $10,000, and was sentenced to 2 1/2 years probation 5 years and other conditions. On Receiving Stolen Property Under  $10,000, he was sentenced to 2 1/2 years probation 5 years and other conditions, consecutive to count one. On charge of Complicity Receiving Property Under $500, he was sentenced to 12 months. Final sentencing Oct. 24.