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Old Town Hall-Four Years Later

Hurricane's Historic Landmark Remains In Disrepair

By Mark Hallburn
Publisher, PutnamLIVE.com

It's been four years since PutnamLIVE.com first gave you a tour of Hurricane's Old Town Hall. With missing
siding, broken windows, (one had a bullet hole) even a missing electrical meter, it was real ugly.

And it's owned by Hurricane Mayor Scott D. Edwards-who said he would run the city "like a business" during his campaign.

Edwards reacted to the report by having then-Hurricane Police Captain W. "Mike" Mullins ban us from the property. Except we weren't on the property. We used zoom lenses.

One year later, PutnamLIVE.com took its camera back, and found the same problems.

So we waited. And waited. We waited a few years.

Now Edwards is in his second term. So PutnamLIVE.com went back and took the pictures in this article.

As you can see, the Old Town Hall still looks terrible.

We couldn't find the broken window. And the weeds are gone. Everything else appears to be the same. And that's the problem. Once the pride of Hurrricane, Old Town Hall is anything but something to be proud of today.

The question remains. Why won't Edwards repair Hurricane's historic Old Town Hall?

greenhouse GO GREEN: PutnamLIVE.com is only available online. We do not publish a paper edition in order to protect the environment. Please do not print this article unless it is necessary!


RESPONDENTS: Republicans To Blame For Lousy Economy

Obama And Democrats Take Second And Third

By Mark Hallburn
Publisher, PutnamLIVE.com

When PutnamLIVE.com started our reader's survey about who is to blame for the lousy economy, President Barack H. Obama quickly took the lead. For weeks, our readers placed the blame at his feet. However, during the past week, Republicans took the lead-and kept it, passing Obama and the Democrats.

More than 700 readers voted in the non-scientific poll. We started it August 9th, 2011, and closed it September 27th, 2011.

Of those that voted, 244 blamed Republicans, 201 blamed Obama, 192 blamed "All of the above," and 13 said the lousy economy is the fault of The Tea Party.

Please keep checking PutnamLIVE.com for reader surveys tied to issues in the news.

greenhouse GO GREEN: PutnamLIVE.com is only available online. We do not publish a paper edition in order to protect the environment. Please do not print this article unless it is necessary!


Haynes Verbally Attacks Publisher

Doesn't Like Questions About Waves Of Fun Closure

By Mark Hallburn
Publisher, PutnamLIVE.com

When Waves of Fun was closed a week before Labor Day Weekend (to humanRaymond Joe Haynes
swimmers) in 2010, PutnamLIVE.com fought the Parks and Recreation Commission for information through multiple Freedom of Information Act requests. Eventually, after violating the law through delays and overcharging, the commission produced some documents that proved it cost more than $1,142 to maintain Waves of Fun for the Dog Swim that raised an announced $1,800.

During that Dog Swim, we asked Putnam County Commissioners Stephen H. "Steve" Andes and Raymond "Joe" Haynes how they justified preventing humans from swimming in the taxpayer-owned pool but let Haynes' wife, Karen, hold a dog swim. Andes ducked the question. Haynes rudely bellowed about how he refused to speak to PutnamLIVE.com.

That's a typical tactic for Haynes. He exhibited similar boorish behavior at Run For The Wall awhile back. And during a Parks and Recreation Commission meeting about moving commemorative bricks, Raymond "Joe" tried to get PutnamLIVE.com to say that former Parks and Recreation Commission President Sally Holliday resigned in this publisher's presence. Except that she didn't resign. Haynes, Andes, and former Putnam County Commissioner James "Jim" Caruthers signed a letter removing her from the Putnam County Planning Commission-where she never served. That's pretty insulting treatment of Holliday, who volunteered her services for 37 years and practically built the Putnam County Parks and Recreation system.

Fast forward to 2011. Despite weather forecasts for rain on Labor Day, the Dog Swim was planned anyway. When it was (surprise!) rained out, it was re-scheduled for the following Saturday. This means it will likely cost more than the $1,142 from last year because the pool's pumps had to run for several more days. Again, humans were denied the right to swim in their pool for a week before Labor Day Weekend, including Sunday when it was 88 degrees.

So PutnamLIVE.com asked Haynes the tough-but fair question of how he justified closing Waves of Fun-to humans-before Labor Day Weekend. Then Haynes responded with a raging rant: "I don't have to talk to you," he repeatedly stated. "You're borderline psycho." Coming from Haynes, that's a compliment. "You've been arrested," he added. What he failed to state for everyone within earshot is that this publisher was acquitted-twice-of politically motivated charges based on lies. Twice. And one of those false arrests was instigated by the Putnam County Parks and Recreation Commission.

What Raymond Joe Haynes did not state was the answers to the tough, but fair, questions.

We don't blame Haynes for not liking tough questions. Few politicians would want to tell the world why they put the rights of dogs to swim ahead of humans that own the pool. Verbally attacking reporters is an old, tired, political defense game that most of the public can see through. And we doubt Haynes wants people to think that he is repeatedly using his political power to support his wife's "pet projects." However, as long as Haynes chooses to be a public official-and make such choices, such tough-but fair-questions are appropriate.

This year, it was announced that the Dog Swim only raised $502 dollars. That's less than half of the $1,142 that it cost to maintain the pool last year-which was a shorter period of time. (Which doesn't factor in AEP's increased rates. Did we mention that Haynes worked for AEP?)

Why the lower turnout this year? Maybe people are tired of the "Joe and Karen Show." Or maybe the Dog Swim should not have been scheduled on the same Saturday as a WVU home football game, a Marshall University home football game and the Putnam County Homecoming. Whatever the reason, the support wasn't there. But the expenses will be. Even though Haynes verbally attacked this publisher instead of answering a few tough-but-fair questions.

There is a way that Raymond "Joe" can avoid such questions in the future: Let the humans swim in Waves of Fun right up until the Dog Swim starts. Or he could resign.

Instead, PutnamLIVE.com is predicting that the Parks And Recreatoin Commission (which includes Raymond "Joe" Haynes) will attempt to ban our coverage of future Dog Swims and ban this publisher from visiting Putnam County Parks.

Stay tuned.

Related articles:

Putnam Pools Closed On Labor Day Weekend

Sprayground Won't Open This Summer

County Pool Finally Re-Opens

Hurricane Sprayground Breaks Ground

County Pool Repairs Behind Schedule

County Pool Fails To Re-Open

County Pool To Re-Open This Summer

Crowds Overflow Waves Of Fun

Waves Of Fun Opens, County Pool Doesn't

Dog Swim Cost Parks More Than $1,100

Dogs Enjoy Waves Of Fun, People Can't

OPINION: Putnam Pool Politics


greenhouse GO GREEN: PutnamLIVE.com is only available online. We do not publish a paper edition in order to protect the environment. Please do not print this article unless it is necessary!


McGehee Wants Water Leak Fixed

Says West Virginia American Water Refuses To Respond

By Mark Hallburn
Publisher, PutnamLIVE.com

For Doug McGehee, of Hurricane, it's a simple problem that's become a nuisance. A water main leak is tearing up his street, on Stewart Circle, sending water down the hill, and the water company refuses to respond to his complaints.

"They won't come out to fix it," says McGehee, of West Virginia American Water Company. "It keeps running down the hill, and the road is coming apart."

So he called PutnamLIVE.com for help. We met with McGehee September 2nd. Then we telephoned West Virginia American Water Company, in Charleston. That call has not been returned. McGehee says he isn't surprised.

"This leak has gotten worse," says McGehee. "Down the hill a guy has a pond in front of his house." Perhaps a swamp is a better word.

McGehee says the whole situation is ridiculous and that, ultimately, consumers will pay for the leak with higher water rates.

"They'll stick all of us with the bill," says McGehee. "That simply isn't right."

September 13th, PutnamLIVE.com telephoned West Virginia American Water again. We spoke to Laura Jordan. She says their customer relations department department will contact Mr. McGehee.

"I will make sure this is addressed as soon as possible," says Jordan. And she promises she will call PutnamLIVE.com back to follow up.

"It will surprise me if they call," says a skeptical McGehee. So we gave him Jordan's name and number.

Meanwhile, he's posting signs on U.S. 60 calling attention to the situation. He's hoping that between PutnamLIVE.com's coverage, and the signs, that West Virginia American Water will do something. 

"The sooner, the better," says McGehee. "This is a mess!"

McGehee got his wish. A few hours after this article was published, Jordan telephoned PutnamLIVE.com promising crews would be out Wednesday, September 14th. They did better. When we called the McGehee residence, Tuesday, we were told crews were already outside working.

"We heard this terrible noise," says Mrs. McGehee. "They were digging. Right now there's a huge hole with workers in it. Thank you so much!"

You're welcome.

When you're having trouble with a cranky commissioner, a mean-spirited mayor, or a neglectful utility, count on PutnamLIVE.com to turn up the heat, because West Virginians Deserve The Best!!!

greenhouse GO GREEN: PutnamLIVE.com is only available online. We do not publish a paper edition in order to protect the environment. Please do not print this article unless it is necessary!


Sprayground Won't Open This Summer

Hurricane Breaks Promise To Putnam County Children

By Mark Hallburn
Publisher, PutnamLIVE.com

It's been said that you can tell the worth of a person by the way that person treats a child.

Once again, the children of Putnam County get screwed.

For more than a year, Hurricane Mayor Scott D. Edwards has promoted the town's new sprayground-at City Park. He brought out a dozen children for the ground-breaking ceremony, and told the world the sprayground would open in August of 2011. He even stated that children could enjoy the facility at no-cost.

That won't be happening.

While Putnam County's children suffer through one of the hottest summers on record, the sprayground won't open until 2012, PutnamLIVE.com is told-by two city officials. The reason is the city is using staff workers to build the sprayground-to save money. Those workers are too busy doing their everyday jobs and haven't had time to finish the sprayground.

The city could use some of the hundreds of thousands of dollars that it has-in reserves-to hire workers from the sprayground manufacturer-at a minimal cost.

However, that isn't happening, either.

Now, instead of a park full of children having fun in the sprayground, and their parents shopping at nearby businesses, raising revenue for the busineses, the city, and supporting jobs, the sprayground sits partly finished, and children are disappointed.

The sprayground is funded through private and government grants. PutnamLIVE.com is wondering what those grant providers think of the unnecessary delay to build the sprayground.

As for Edwards, he isn't grandstanding anymore. Instead, he is not returning emails about the sprayground.

This isn't the first time kids have been dumped on by government officials. Several years ago, the Putnam County Parks and Recreation Commission turned down a $250,000 grant to build a kiddie pool at Waves of Fun. That situation was led by Putnam County Commissioners Stephen H. "Steve" Andes and Raymond "Joe" Haynes.

Why do Putnam County's political "leaders" continue to screw kids? One reason is that they aren't allowed to vote. If they could, they likely would kick out the "leaders" then run for office-and do a better job.

After this article was published, Hurricane City Manager Benjamin Newhouse responded, via email, with the following information: "Block will be started on Friday for sprayground, after that plumbing and roof."

That also didn't happen. 

PutnamLIVE.com went to the sprayground site Sunday to verify Newhouse's statement. There was no sign of brickwork or a roof.

Newhouse did say, "Nice cartoon."

Related articles:

Hurricane Sprayground Breaks Ground 

OPINION: Putnam Pool Politics

greenhouse GO GREEN: PutnamLIVE.com is only available online. We do not publish a paper edition in order to protect the environment. Please do not print this article unless it is necessary!


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