One week after slipping from a “Blue” advisory into the “Yellow,” Jefferson County on Wednesday saw its number of positive COVID-19 cases increase by 48 over a day earlier.
One week ago, Jefferson County had moved to a “Yellow” advisory — which indicates a moderate community spread — after spending several weeks under a “Blue” advisory indicating low community spread. Now the county has been “flagged” due to a large number of cases “attributable to congregate settings.”
Overall, the county has had 3,180 positive cases of COVID-19 and 80 deaths during the pandemic. Jefferson County’s seven-day positivity percentage is currently at 8.3% and the unique positivity rating is 19.5%.
Meanwhile, the Indiana Department of Health reported on Wednesday that Switzerland County had no new cases of COVID-19 with the total remaining at 769 total infections and eight deaths. The seven-day positivity in Switzerland County is 0.8% and the seven-day unique positivity rating is zero. In Kentucky, Trimble County has reported 694 cases of COVID-19 with overall seven deaths during the pandemic. Carroll County has reported 984 cases of COVID-19 with 19 deaths.
Jefferson County Health Department is providing vaccines in its building at 715 Green Road, Madison. Switzerland County Health Department is operating a vaccine clinic at the Switzerland County Technology and Education Center, 708 West Seminary Street, Vevay. To schedule a vaccine, visit https://ourshot.in.gov or call 211 if you do not have access to a computer or require assistance.
North Central District Health Department will be hosting a COVID-19 vaccination clinic at the Trimble County Board of Education from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday (today). Appointments are not necessary but a limited number of vaccines are available and will be given on a first-come, first-serve basis.
In Kentucky, visit vaccine.ky.gov to see all vaccination sites in the commonwealth and free transportation options to and from vaccination appointments.
When R.B. and Irene List opened their business at 631 West Main Street in downtown Madison, they decided to call it the Attic “because you don’t know what you will find in the attic, and they were selling a little bit of everything,” said Julie Truax, the current operator of the business along with Chip George and Brent Warren.
The Attic, now in its fourth generation of family operation, Tuesday celebrated the 50th anniversary of its opening on April 20, 1971. The milestone also signaled a transition for the Attic as Truax and George, grandchildren of the Lists, and great grandchild Warren, are selling the business to a new family, Megan and Brandon Hicks and Megan’s parents, Norm and RoseMarie Roberts, all of Madison.
Truax said family members are selling the business because they feel it’s time for them to move on.
“We aren’t selling the business because we have to. I am ready to retire,” she said, noting that George and Warren both have other interests to pursue and she just wants some time to enjoy retirement. “With mom, when she was done, I was done.”
Four months after the Lists opened the business in 1971, their daughter Judy George and her husband, Phil, moved from Texas to Madison in August and took over the business. Previously a housewife, Judy George quickly became the face of the Attic, working long hours and greeting every customer and person who came into the store.
“When my parents moved to Madison, my mother didn’t work and she hadn’t had any training in running a business. A lot of things she had to learn life lessons right in the store,” Truax said, noting her parents still developed a successful business.
Judy George continued to operate the business after Phil died on Feb. 21, 2010, and was actively involved right up to her death at age 85 on Sept. 7, 2020. “Even though she was not physically able to do as much the last couple of years, she was still very involved,” Truax noted.
Truax operated the business alongside her mother for many of the 50 years, a connection that went beyond that of mother and daughter.
“She and I could communicate without talking with each other,” said Truax, noting they just had a way of working together and knowing what needed to be done.
Prior to becoming the Attic in 1971, the two-story 1860 structure had been a grocery for many years. Thomas P. Vincent and his wife, Lottie, opened Vincent’s Grocery in 1925, and stayed in business for the next 45 years. Before that the structure served as Miller’s Grocery for several years.
The building has retained many of its historic features with cast iron that was added in 1901, and original store fixtures and shelves remain. Before the Lists purchased the building, there were four apartments in the building and when Phil and Judy George came to Madison, they moved into the upstairs.
“This whole building was home,” said Truax. “We lived and worked in the same building.”
One of the downstairs areas that had also been an apartment was repurposed, most recently as a kitchen.
Although the building saw little change, the business evolved over the years. In the early years, they sold unique gifts and crafts, and offered picture framing and collectible prints. At various times, a room back behind the two front rooms has been used in various ways. For awhile, it had art and craft supplies with classes sometimes held there. Another time, it became a candle room and for a time it had Christmas items year-round.
With the expansion of Madison’s tourism industry, the room then became extra space for dining customers when the Coffee Mill Cafe was added in 1993 and the store began selling food and coffee made from beans roasted on site.
Truax said the business needed to evolve. “That’s the sort of thing we had to do to keep going,” she said. “When my grandparents bought this building in 1971, tourism was not part of what was going on in Madison. They opened to support the community.”
However, as tourism eventually became a greater focus, the Attic began to shift while still maintaining elements from its early years.
“We have always carried gourmet foods,” Truax said, noting that Cherchies Champagne Mustard has been on the Attic shelves for decades, and they’re still selling it. “My Dad bought it somewhere and loved it, and we started carrying it in the store.”
Truax most of all is appreciative of how the community has supported the Attic over the last 50 years — especially through the passing of her mother and months of dealing with a virus pandemic.
“In the past year, we have realized how much this community supports us. We’re a little ‘Mom and Pop” store, but with COVID, we could not have made it without the community support,” she said noting that even when they couldn’t have dine-in customers, the community continued to support the business with curbside pickup, special orders and deliveries.
Truax is happy that the new ownership will keep the Attic going and echoed a remark made by her brother, Chip, that “they are just the perfect family to take on the Attic.”
The Hicks and Roberts are local residents who are familiar with the community and the Attic. The new owners will take over on May 27 when the Attic will be closed for a few days and then reopen on June 1.
“I am really excited. I have loved the Attic for a long time,” Megan Hicks said.
She said her plans for the future are for the shop to continue to be the place that the community has loved the last 50 years.
The third annual Madistock Music Fest will be taking place on the sidewalk in front of the Buy-Sell-Trade store on Main Street, directly across from Greves Appliance. Due to the forecast for bad weather, the date has been moved from Saturday, April 24 to Saturday, May 1.
“This is something we do really just to contribute to the musical fabric of Madison,” says Shawn Coghill, owner of Buy-Sell-Trade. “We started small back in 2019, and then COVID kind of messed up 2020. This is our third event, but in some ways it’s our first time as an all-out effort with lots more musicians and better organized.
“This year we have Robert Reynolds, a Grammy-winning artist for those who don’t know, accompanied by local guitar ace Daryl Hewitt. We also have Jimmy Davis lined up, plus the Famous Amy Noel, The Jackson Bladen Band, Johnny & Sallie, Hannah Rose, Pocket Full of Change, The Old & Familiar, and Jake Taylor and BSP Nation.
“The format is classic busking, with the performers out on the sidewalk in front of the store. Each performance will be about one hour. We’ll have a few tables set up, and we encourage people to just come by, hang out, tip the artists, and enjoy the energy.
“Busking is kind of a cultural artform unto itself, and it’s very prevalent in larger cities like New York, New Orleans, and London. There’s a connection between the performer and the audience you can only get when both are on the same level, standing on the same sidewalk a few feet apart.”
“We want to bring that same energy to Madison,” interjects Dashawn Kelley, store manager. “In addition to Robert Reynolds and the other pro musicians, we have a bunch of younger artists who are just starting out and need to be included in the scene.”
“Robert Reynolds has kind of a special relationship with Buy-Sell-Trade,” explains Shawn. “He came in here several years ago when he first moved to Madison, and we discovered we had a lot of the same interests in music and especially vintage rock memorabilia.
“Robert at one time hosted a show on CMT called Raiders of Rock, which was a kind of American Pickers for old music stuff. Buy-Sell-Trade has a lot of old gear like that, and in fact the guitar amp Robert is using right now he found right here.
“If this is successful and the musicians are into it, this is something we hope to do twice a year, like Spring and Fall. We’re going to have food from Mad Dog Hot Dogs, and ice cream from Sallie’s By The Shore. Hopefully we’ll have good weather, and I encourage everybody to stroll on by and enjoy some great, live, local music.”
Just look at the music calendar! Thirteen live music shows for the week! Three shows in a row at Red Bicycle Hall. That almost never happens. The House Band is back at Mad Paddle, with even more eclectic and awesome songs from the classic rock era. And even Richwood Plantation across the river in Milton, Kentucky, is getting in on the excitement. If you are in the mood to get out on Thursday night you might want to check out Alex Meixner at The Bike. He is a Grammy-nominated musician and performer, and a huge promoter of polka music, in all its many high-energy forms. This kind of show doesn’t come to Madison often, if ever. I know I’ll be there! It starts at 7 p.m. so you won’t be out too late on a school night.
Charlie Rohlfing is a retired advertising man and partner in The Red Bicycle Hall music venue. Look for his distinctive fedora bobbing above the crowd, anywhere live local music is happening.
This Week in Music
Thursday, April 22
Mad Paddle Brewery — Tracy & Elaine
Elks Lodge — Robbie Davidson with Deano Crafton (open to public)
Red Bicycle Hall — Alex Meixner (Pop Funk Polka!) (7 p.m.)
Friday, April 23
Mad Paddle Brewery — Joe Perkinson & Friends
Off-Broadway Taproom — Robby Cox
Red Bicycle Hall — Ritch Henderson
Richwood Plantation — Zeb Haggerty & Charlsee Gandee
Saturday, April 2
Mad Paddle Brewery — The House Band
Off-Broadway Taproom — Joe Clark
Red Bicycle Hall — Sunny Sweeney
L&L Lounge — The Habit
Thomas Family Winery — TBD
Wednesday, April 28
Elks Lodge — Famous Amy Noel (open to public)
With activities and usage on the rise, Hanover Community Park is becoming a busy place and Hanover Town Council wants the park to safely accommodate all that is going on.
On Tuesday night, the Council voted to spend $59,215 for Sedam Contracting to repave all the walking trails at Hanover Community Park including an additional trail that has not previously been paved.
The need for work on the trails throughout the park is due to a renewed emphasis on Hanover Parks that is creating a resurgence of activity. Clerk-Treasurer Keith Mefford said the trails have “not been paved or capped for years” and the resurfacing is “long overdue.”
Mefford said for safety reasons the repaving needs to be done soon, particularly with the increased activity at the park. “We are three weeks away from boatloads of kids being here” for the summer parks programs, he said.
Mefford said two other companies expressed interest in the contract, but Sedam Contracting is the only company that responded. “Sedam is a local contractor that will do a good job, and time is of the essence,” Mefford said.
The trail paths, now 6-feet-wide, will be expanded to 8 feet. With the equipment pavers use, Mefford said it is actually more cost effective to pave eight feet than six. Additionally, Mefford said the 8-foot width works better for use by park equipment.
Park committee member Rick Schnebelt said trail should bring the park into better compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, and that could position them better to receive future grant funding for the park.
Funds for the project will come out of Hanover’s unappropriated general fund.
In other business, the Council:
• Approved spending $2,541.85 with Gold Medal Concessions from the unappropriated general fund to update equipment at the park concession stand, which hasn’t been used for several years. “We need equipment to get it started again,” said Mefford, who said once the concession stand becomes operational, it should pay for the equipment and operations.
• Agreed to pay $5,000 out the of water/sewer fund to Northside Security for security cameras that have been installed at Fireman’s Park. Mefford said the town was able to use money from that fund because water/sewer items are stored in the building there.
• Received a request from Susie Lawrence, 911 executive director, to increase Hanover’s contribution to Jefferson County 911. Lawrence requested that Hanover increase its contribution from $23,500 to $36,000.
Board members took the request under advisement and asked Lawrence for a copy of the 911 budget to help them better understand expenses and what the money is going toward. They agreed to consider the request during budget discussions later this year.
• Approved seeking bids on city-owned property at 132 Maple Street and 138 Ohio Avenue with a starting bid of $9,500.
• In a park board meeting that preceded council, parks director Scott Davidson said opening day for the summer baseball and softball youth leagues is May 22 with more than 200 signed up for 10 softball teams and 11 baseball teams. There are three new scoreboards in place at a cost of $18,000 paid by four sponsors. All three fields are being worked into shape including one field Davidson said hasn’t been used for several years. “We plan to use all three during the season,” he said.