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Ryan Quinn

Staff writer
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Judge allows new DNA testing in 1996 Putnam rape case

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WINFIELD — A judge will allow new DNA testing that could exonerate a Hurricane man who’s spent more than 15 years in prison after being convicted of raping his 5-year-old daught...

Date set for MCHM landfill trial

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WINFIELD, W.Va. — A judge Wednesday set a Sept. 14, 2015, trial date for a proposed class-action lawsuit against the Hurricane landfill that accepted 228 tons of MCHM-contaminate...

Officials say school sustainability programs can save millions, promote health

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Mark Swiger, sustainability contact for Marshall County Schools, says his 13-school district has saved an estimated $7 million since 2000 through limiting energy and water use and improving environmental sustainability i...

Putnam schools have new leaders, expanded programs

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WINFIELD — As Putnam County students begin the 2014-2015 school year today, the entire school district, and particularly its leaders, may be in for a larger learning experience than us...

Judge won’t let parties out of train fatality suit

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WINFIELD, W.Va. — A judge on Friday rejected efforts by the Putnam County Board of Education and the city of Hurricane to get out of a lawsuit over a Hurricane teenager killed by...

Putnam fills school posts in time for start of school

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WINFIELD — The Putnam County Board of Education voted Wednesday to appoint the new assistant principal of Mountain View Elementary School — the last administrative position the ...

Winfield votes to request rate increase to design new sewer plant

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WINFIELD — The Winfield City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to pursue sewer rate increases to fund designing a new sewer plant.

The vote is another step toward replacing Winf...

Putnam commission to take over local access channel

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WINFIELD – Calling the local access TV channel an “embarrassment” and “disgrace,” Putnam County Commission President Steve Andes led other commissioners Tuesday in voting to take it ove...

Winfield sewer plant hit with proposed fines

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WINFIELD — The state Department of Environmental Protection is proposing fining Winfield’s troubled sewer plant more than $21,500 over 17 violations, including discharging more than seven times its allowed ...

Putnam health department reduces its debt

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WINFIELD – The Putnam County Health Department has reduced its debt to about one-fourth the amount it amassed during its financial collapse last year.

The county’s health board approved paying roughl...

Toyota: Fired worker was not protected by medical leave law

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Toyota has denied it wrongly fired an employee from its Buffalo plant for seeking medical leave to address her methamphetamine problem.

In an answer filed late last month, Toyota Motor Manufacturing of West Virgin...

Judge denies request to dismiss lawsuit against landfill

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A federal judge Wednesday denied a request by the Hurricane landfill that accepted 228 tons of MCHM-contaminated wastewater mixed with sawdust that a lawsuit against it be dismissed.

Chief Judge Robert C. Chambers&...

Airgas denies creating unsafe conditions for Putnam workers hurt in explosion

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Airgas USA and the plant manager at its now-shuttered Putnam County facility are denying allegations by two former workers suing the company over injuries they received in an explosion last May.

William Lee Parrig...

Hurricane gets bulk of parks dollars

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In the past six years, Hurricane’s Valley Park has received twice as much capital improvement spending as the three other parks operated by the Putnam County Parks Commission combined.

Some say the parks...

Putnam school board names new Conner Street Elementary principal

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WINFIELD — The Putnam County Board of Education named Kristi Barker the new principal of Hurricane’s Conner Street Elementary School Monday night.

Jana McGinnis, Conner S...

Man alleges neglect, abuse at Teays Valley nursing home contributed to wife’s death

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A Putnam County man is alleging that his wife died because of “serious injuries from a pattern of poor care, neglect and abuse” at a Teays Valley nursing home.

Chester Rutan, in a suit he filed last m...

Kanawha, Putnam officials accept pay raises

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All but one of the Kanawha and Putnam county officials approved for 12 percent raises effective this month have accepted the increases.

Ora Ash, deputy state auditor in charge of local government services, said th...

Putnam amends budget to account for lower surplus

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WINFIELD — The Putnam County Commission voted Tuesday to amend its current budget to account for almost $250,000 less in expected carryover from last fiscal year.

The county ...

Aldi, Five Guys plan Putnam locations

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WINFIELD — A grocer, burger joint and manufacturer have plans to open new Putnam County locations.

The county Office of Planning and Infrastructure has approved permits it receiv...

Putnam County Schools makes new hires

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WINFIELD — The Putnam County Board of Education approved several hires on Monday in preparation for the 2014-15 school year.

The board approved positions for about a dozen teachers, plus coaches, bus drivers...

Six-story building catches fire in downtown Huntington

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A fire at an apartment building in downtown Huntington Sunday required nearly four hours, almost all of the Huntington Fire Department and at least four neighboring volunteer fire departments to put it out, Cabell County...

Local government workplaces still not under WVOSHA oversight

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The quarter-century-old West Virginia Occupational Safety and Health program is finally funded to do unannounced safety inspections of state agencies, but it’s withdrawing 24 citations to various local government ...

Putnam commissioner says he lacks confidence in parks budget numbers

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WINFIELD — Putnam County Commission President Steve Andes said Tuesday he “absolutely” lacks confidence in the county Parks Commission’s accounting.

Andes qu...

Putnam schools in a time crunch to hire staff members

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WINFIELD -- The Putnam County school district’s superintendent says the water crisis, the tough winter and the relatively early start to the upcoming school year have put the district in a crunch to finish filling...

Eleanor mayor wants Putnam to fund pool

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WINFIELD Eleanor’s mayor asked Putnam County commissioners Tuesday for $30,000 to help pay pool expenses at a park that the county let the t...

Scott Depot man admits killing brother

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WINFIELD -- A Scott Depot man admitted in court earlier this month to killing his brother.

Jonathan Facemyre, 26, of Thomas Drive, pleaded guilty on July 3 to the second-degree murder of Michael Facemyre, 36. The ...

Putnam PSD water customers paying higher rates to fund expansions

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SCOTT DEPOT — The Putnam Public Service District’s roughly 9,200 water customers began paying higher rates Monday to fund a slate of projects.

The monthly bill for an aver...

Hurricane, Putnam officials call EPA letter on MCHM ‘highly problematic’

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Lawyers for Hurricane and Putnam County are arguing that a federal judge shouldn’t give any weight to a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency official’s letter saying Crude MCHM isn’t a “hazard...

Poca mayoral race town’s only contested election

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The race for mayor of Poca will be the town’s only contested election Nov. 4.

Only one person, incumbent Carroll Westfall, applied to run for town recorder by the June 30 deadline, and only four people appli...

Police seek man as person of interest in West Side slaying

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Charleston Police have identified a person of interest in connection with a body found Saturday morning on Charleston’s West Side that is being investigated as a homicide.

Police are seeking Marlon “...

At Putnam pet cemetery, grieving owners must mow the grass

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WINFIELD — Side by side in a Putnam County cemetery stand two heart-shaped headstones, one for Ewok, one for Foxfire, both inscribed “We Miss You.”

Those would be s...

Winfield moving to demolish old town hall

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WINFIELD -- Sitting inside their new city hall, Winfield City Council members voted Tuesday night to allow their decades-old town hall to be demolished.

The council, which moved into the new building in March, retr...

Bond kept for Hurricane man accused of killing infant son

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WINFIELD — A Hurricane man accused of killing his 5-week-old son will remain in jail under a $500,000 bond, a judge ruled Wednesday.

Putnam Circuit Judge Joseph Reeder also accep...

Putnam schools plan to offer new double-credit classes

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WINFIELD — The Putnam County school district is planning to offer new double-credit classes.

The county school board unanimously...

Hurricane pays to settle former police officer’s lawsuit

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WINFIELD – The city of Hurricane has agreed to pay a former K-9 officer $77,500 to settle his lawsuit alleging the city didn’t pay him overtime for grooming, training and otherwise caring for his dog.

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Putnam building permits are up, but boom isn’t back

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WINFIELD — Building permit approvals suggest Putnam County’s real estate market has been improving since the recession of 2008, but the building boom of the 1990s and 2000...

Fast-growing Winfield planning new city park

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The quickly growing city of Winfield is planning a new city park along the Kanawha River after years without one.

Mayor Randy Barrett said he learned last week the city is a finalist for a roughly $150,000 grant fr...

Putnam Family Court judge candidates spend big on themselves

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In Putnam County’s May 13 primary, the Republican family court judge candidates were by far the biggest spenders — and much of the money was their own.

Candidates may contribute as much as they want t...

Trial over Hurricane teen killed by CSX train set for May 2015

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WINFIELD, W.Va. — The lawsuit over a Hurricane teenager killed by a CSX Transportation train in 2012 is back in Putnam Circuit Court and has a hearing set for 2015.

In January, Richard Dwayne Ball — ...

Local Mexican eatery expands

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The former home of a local restaurant shuttered in part by the water crisis is now filled by an eatery that survived and thrived despite it.

The second location of Mi Cocina de Amor, Spanish for “My Kitchen...

Judge will consider EPA letter saying MCHM not ‘hazardous waste’

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A federal judge Monday granted a request by the operator of a Hurricane landfill, facing a lawsuit for accepting 228 tons of MCHM-contaminated wastewater mixed with sawdust, to consider a U.S. Environmental Protection Ag...

Putnam prosecutor wants Plants’ deal amended

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Putnam County Prosecuting Attorney Mark Sorsaia says he’ll drop his opposition to Kanawha County Prosecuting Attorney Mark Plants entering a batterers intervention program in Putnam if lawyers amend a deal that co...

‘West Side Wonder Mural’ portrays half the town

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The “West Side Wonder Mural” isn’t finished yet — but it seems like half of Charleston is already portrayed in it.

The faces include politicians, like Mayor Danny Jones and Secretary of...

Evaluation says Hurricane man accused of killing infant son competent to stand trial

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WINFIELD, W.Va. — A psychiatric evaluation of the Hurricane man accused of killing his 5-week-old son has concluded that he’s competent to stand trial and states that he h...

Special prosecutor: Plants deal is legal

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The prosecutor appointed to handle the domestic violence case against Kanawha County Prosecuting Attorney Mark Plants says the second deal he and Plants struck is legal, despite another prosecutor’s belief that it...

Putnam prosecutor: Kanawha prosecutor’s new pretrial deal still illegal

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WINFIELD, W.Va. — Putnam County Prosecuting Attorney Mark Sorsaia believes the deal reached Tuesday for Kanawha County Prosecuting Attorney Mark Plants to enter a batterers interventio...

Former worker alleges Toyota violated medical leave act

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WINFIELD, W.Va. — A former employee at the Toyota plant in Putnam County is accusing the company of wrongly firing her for seeking medical leave to address her methamphetamine pr...

Putnam PSD approves 2014-15 budgets that include Poca’s $190K sewer deficit

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SCOTT DEPOT, W.Va. — The Putnam Public Service District’s board on Tuesday unanimously approved its 2014-15 fiscal year budgets, including one for Poca’s sewer syst...

Putnam business may miss out on tax break

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WINFIELD — A new Putnam County business may have to pay about $17,000 it could’ve saved on real property taxes this year had its representatives attended the third meeting...