Only Six Have Life-Saving Devices
You're attending your grandchild's school activity. It could be an Open House, a PTO meeting, or an athletic event. "Johnny" scores the winning basket. You leap to your feet, cheering. Suddenly, you feel severe chest pain. You realize that you're having a heart attack.
Good luck with that.
Acting on a tip from Hurricane City Manager Benjamin Newhouse, PutnamLIVE.com has confirmed that only six Putnam County schools have life-saving Automatic External Defibrillators (AEDs), those "paddles" that you see on medical television shows used to shock heart attack victims back to life.
"Each minute that defribrillation is delayed reduces the chance of survival by about 10 percent," the American Red Cross states on its web site. "Therefore, the sooner the shock is administered, the greater the likelihood of the victim's survival."
PutnamLIVE.com contacted Putnam County Schools spokesperson Karen S. Nowviskie to verify the situation. Here is what she has to say, in an emailed response:
"The following schools have the automatic defibrillators: Hurricane High, Winfield Elementary, Winfield Middle, Winfield High, Putnam Career & Technical Center, Scott Teays Elementary.
"At this point, because of the level of training involved and particular needs at schools, the schools themselves have opted to pursue having the equipment. However, the city of Hurricane is looking for funding now to purchase additional ones. In addition, the county is looking for grants to provide them for all schools," Nowviskie adds.
However, the expense of AEDs is not that great-especially for a school district with a multi-million dollar annual budget. A simple online search found AEDs priced between $1,200 and $3,000 each. Adding an AED to the remaining Putnam County school campus would cost the district less than $35,000, a small price for saving a life.
Newhouse, who says one of his children has a heart condition, wants to find grant money for the remaining Hurricane campuses to buy AEDs. However, that only solves the problem in one Putnam County town.
PutnamLIVE.com sent a follow-up email to Nowviskie asking about budget reserve money. It's possible that the Putnam County Schools Board of Education could dip into that fund to buy the AEDs and have them delivered before school starts next month. We will let you know what happens.
Meanwhile, "Bo" Vance asked PutnamLIVE.com to tell you about this event:
1st Annual Maura Rae Kuhl AED Foundation 5K Run/Walk
Hurricane Wave Pool Park
August 20, 2011 - 9:00 AM
It begins at Valley Park in front of the Wave Pool. The course is run on pavement and partial trail. It has some rolling hills and finishes back in front of the Wave Pool.
$15 by August 12th (T-Shirt Guaranteed)
$20 August 13th thru Race Day
Elementary: 11 & under
Middle: 12 - 14
Adult: 19-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39,40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60 & over
Medals for Age Division Winners
T-shirts included in registration fee.
Center Lane Sparks New Business Construction
For years, the late Leff Moore tirelessly promoted a center turn lane on Teays Valley Road. He saw it as the key to adding new businesses on the busy thoroughfare. Years after his passing, his prediction continues to come true as more and more businesses are sprouting up, bringing temporary construction jobs, permanent staff jobs, and giving Putnam County customers a whole new set of choices of where to shop or see a doctor.
These jobs come with wages that usually surpass the pay of retail and fast food jobs that have been championed by Putnam County's leadership when Arby's, Dollar Tree, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Taco Bell, and Walmart were built.
Most importantly, whenever a new business comes to Putnam County, it keeps our economy strong and keeps revenue here. It used to be that in order to purchase goods and services, Putnam County residents had to drive to Charleston or Huntington, providing jobs and revenue to those areas.
Hurricane Mayor Wants Train Depot Restaurant
Now that he has been re-elected, and the Hurricane Independence Day Celebration is in the books, while the sprayground construction is moving forward, Mayor Scott D. Edwards can focus on his agenda for the next four years.
High on his priority list is improving the town's historic Main Street and its economic situation.
"The City of Hurricane has been looking into how to make some major changes to Main Street Hurricane," says Edwards. "The main push for this is to bring additional business to Main Street, while offering our residents more attractions and a better atmosphere for a great shopping experience."
When people thing of Hurricane's Main Street, unique shops, artisans, landmarks, and colorful parades come to mind.
One of those landmarks is the train tracks that run parallel to the businesses. Edwards wants to capitalize on the train theme.
"I would like to construct a replica of the Train Depot that sat there many years ago, but inside this depot would be a nice restaurant, a visitor center with community rooms and some additional retail space," Edwards states. "This would involve moving the fire department and making other changes on Main Street, but at the end of the day, it would be a destination for folks from all over, not just from Hurricane, which is what our Main Street businesses need so they can prosper. Everyone I have spoken to about this is in absolute agreement that this would be a great project for downtown Hurricane."
Now that Edwards doesn't have to fight former councilmembers Lana Call and Donald Chaney, who often voted against him, he has the political support for Main Street upgrades. The business support has long been there. Now Edwards sees nothing but green lights.
Hurricane City Manager Benjamin Newhouse says the town wants to build the new fire station at the corner of Route 19 and Route 34 (across from Fruth Pharmacy) where the State of West Virginia has a yard to store gravel.
"We can't get the DOT to even consider our plan," says Newhouse. "That would be a much better location that is centrally located."
Edwards did not say what his plans are for the former A to Z Supermarket site-which brought many customers to Main Street. The six-decade business folded two years after Edwards helped bring Walmart to Hurricane.
PutnamLIVE.com will keep you posted on how Edwards moves forward with his Hurricane Main Street plans.
Bathroom And Shower Facility 50 Years Old
Nitro Mayor Russell "Rusty" Casto is proud of his town's swimming pool. Each summer thousands of patrons hit the water, including many from Putnam County.
Unlike the Putnam County Pool, in Eleanor, Casto pro-actively maintained the aging pool with a resurfacing project that kept it open.
On any given summer day, the Nitro Pool is overflowing with adults and children having a great time, in and out of the water.
However, the pool's restroom and shower building is literally falling apart.
"It's 50-years-old," says Casto. "We put a huge amount of money into maintaining it every year. We're looking at replacing it soon."
When Casto makes that move, he plans on a sunbathing deck on the roof, taking advantage of now-unused space.
"We've run out of room around the pool deck," Casto explains. "There are so many people that enjoy catching rays, they're practically stacked on top of each other."
Casto hasn't explained how how will pay for the demolition and new construction. However, Nitro recently announced a $175,000 budget surplus for the 2010-2011 fiscal year. That could pay for most-if not all of the construction.
Newhouse Fires Back About Online Article
There's a question of whether or not the City of Hurricane has been keeping funds from recycling that is supposed to benefit college and 4H scholarships.
Putnam County Solid Waste Authority Executive Director Charity Fellure says Hurricane City Manager has not provided enough tonnage reports. Newhouse says that the Solid Waste Authority hasn't provided reports about how the money is being used.
Newhouse denies any wrongdoing and is angry about a report, linked below this article.
"This is the report that we get from Rumke," says Newhouse, referencing the graphic below this paragraph. "As you can see, we had 20 hauls with North American @ $150 per haul. North American is a Hurricane company. This is a cost of $3,000 for six months. Cardboard goes for $100 per ton, plastic is half a cent a pound, aluminum is 70 cents per pound, and news is $80 per ton. Total revenue for the six month period for these materials is $4,530. That’s clears $1,500 for the six month period. We have a laborer that works for $10/hour for 64 hours per month for a total of $640. For 6 months, we spend $3,840. Subtract $3,840 from the excess revenue of $1,500 and the city is in the hole for $2,300 every six months."
"Somebody needs to do their math," Newhouse adds.
This is the latest of many accusations of unethical conduct leveled at Hurricane city officials.
Newhouse resigned as a board member of the authority in July, 2011. He says he left because there is not a strong accounting of how money was spent and he was tired of not getting legitimate questions answered. "That's one of the most screwed up agencies in Putnam County," Newhouse says.
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