City workers wade into hornets' nest

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By Christopher Brooke


Eminence city employees neutralized a hornets’ nest on King Street Wednesday, after the aggressive wasps stung a resident of Hillcrest Street three times.

Isaiah Dixie went to the hospital in Shelbyville for treatment after the hornets inexplicably attacked him while he rode his bike.

Dixie and his friend had been heading to school with a planned stop to get a drink at the convenience store.

“When we was on the way up the hill, I felt a bunch of hornets crawling on my face,” he said. “When all of them got on my face, I was freaking out. I didn’t know what to do. I threw my bike down and took off running.”

When they stopped, Dixie got stung on his hand, above his upper lip and on the back of his head. It didn’t take long before the stings began swelling.

“When I got to the school nurse, she said I needed to go to the doctor,” Dixie recalled, “because she was afraid my throat and tongue were going to get swollen and it was going to stop me from breathing.”

After receiving medicine and an EpiPen at the hospital, Dixie’s swelling receded. Medical professionals also advised Dixie needs to get tested for allergies.

A neighbor who stopped to help the boys went to alert the police of the hornet problem.

Officer Kevin Kemper and Troy Popp of Eminence public works responded, said Police Chief Carey Duncan. Popp fixed a blowtorch to a long stick and burned the hive and Kemper hit the wasps with insecticide.

Popp also cut the branch with the hive and dropped it into his truck to dispose of it.

The way he heard the scene described, Duncan could picture hornets crawling all over the Eminence workers. He appreciated that the two had risked getting stung themselves to keep others from injury.“Troy, that was pretty brave of him — just think about it — those hornets all over, swarming,” Duncan said. 

A few individual hornets remained afterward, but Duncan didn’t think anyone else would be attacked.

Ronetta Vargas, Dixie’s mother, also appreciated the attention given to her son. She thought it was nice that while they were still at the emergency room, Officer Kemper called to check on Dixie a couple times.

A hornet sting could have been fatal to an older person or a person who was allergic, Vargas noted. “I believe the situation was addressed correctly and in a reasonable time.”