They Do The Work But Do Not Get The Benefits
We've all seen the 15th Anniversary billboards. We've read the many articles about Toyota adding jobs at the Buffalo engine and transmission plant. And we've seen Governor Earl Ray Tomblin, Senator John D. "Jay" Rockefeller and other local politicians celebrating on Toyota's stage.
What we haven't seen is the other side of the story-until now.
"Jane Doe" won't give her real name. But she has plenty to say about Toyota's PR machine and her husband's six-year wait for a Toyota job-while working at the plant for Manpower. Because she was afraid of retaliation, we're hiding her identity-and she met with PutnamLIVE.com far away from Buffalo-so that no one would see her being interviewed.
"He does everything that the Toyota employees do," says "Doe." "But he doesn't get the benefits. When they have special events, he can't participate. And when the team goes to Japan, he has to stay behind. It isn't right."
The mother of school-age children says the lack of benefits is the biggest challenge.
"We can't get a health card," explains "Doe," "because they say we make too much money."
So, she says, her family isn't as well off as employees on the Toyota payroll. And, she says, they don't have the commitment for steady employment. "When the braking problem happened, and, later, the Tsunami, my husband didn't have work." That makes it hard to plan a family budget.
"Jane Doe" isn't alone. For years, PutnamLIVE.com has heard from other workers. But none of them would tell their stories for publication.
And you won't hear Putnam County's political leaders complain. Non-union Toyota is "sacred" in politically-conservative Putnam County. They are glad to have any jobs-especially in a recession. Despite the Manpower situation, Toyota has provided hundreds of jobs to the region, and invested more than $1 billion turning an empty field into a cash cow.
Toyota Manufacturing Adding 80 Jobs
Mayor Doing Business Out Of His Town, County
As the mayor of Hurricane, Scott D. Edwards regularly encourages people to do business in his town. However, PutnamLIVE.com has confirmed that he does not always "practice what he preaches."
Our camera took these pictures of one of Mayor Edwards' Netranom Communications vans parked outside his Virginia Street office. As you can see by the closup, the Chevrolet Astro Van was not purchased at Hurricane Chevrolet. Instead, it was purchased at Joe Holland Chevrolet, in South Charleston.
Another van was photographed in Scott Depot. It was also purchased at Joe Holland, according to the nameplates on each van. That means the City of Hurricane did not benefit from the revenue generated by this sale.
Putnam County Chamber of Commerce President Martin "Marty" Chapman was not available for comment when PutnamLIVE.com telephoned his office. We left a voice mail. Amanda H. "Mandy" Curry sits on the chamber and Putnam County Development Authority boards, alongside Edwards. Voicemails were also left for her on her business and cellphone lines. So far, she has not responded.
PutnamLIVE.com was tipped off to this situation by several different readers who telephoned us over several months. At first, we held off on publishing this article because of the perception that we were "picking on" the controversial mayor. Ultimately, we met the demand of the readers.
We wanted Mayor Edwards' reason for buying large-ticket equipment in another county even though he has a
Chevy dealership "in his own backyard." So an email was sent to Edwards. The following is his response, which may surprise you:
"What I do at Netranom is none of your business," says Edwards, "but, since you have nothing better to do, I have purchased many vehicles from Joe Holland Chevrolet for both business and personal use and will continue to do so as we have established a wonderful business relationship over the years. You should consider establishing good relationships with people and businesses instead of being an absolute a$$ to everyone you meet."
So, for the folks at Hurricane Chevrolet, and Turnpike Chevrolet, in Nitro, who would love to have Netranom's business, that is Mayor Edwards' stance on this issue.
You may recall that Mayor Edwards recently opened a computer store outside of the city limits, so his vehicle purchases may not be so surprising.
Gets Runaround Over Truancy Notification Letter
Putnam County's "YouTube King" is at it again-this time showing the absurdity of the truancy system in the school system.
Sexton video recorded the "runaround" that he received when trying to arrange a conference when his stepson, Benjamin Kent, missed five days of school, resulting in a threatening letter from Putnam County Schools.
Kent is an 18-year-old senior at Winfield High School.
The runarouns is a graphic lesson in government bureaucracy not taught in the classroom. You can view the entire video by clicking on the image above.
"For the record, I don't condone missing school," says Sexton. "I think it's ridiculous when people miss school." He then cites his nearly perfect student attendance record.
PutnamLIVE.com sent an email to Putnam County Schools Spokesperson Karen S. Nowviskie seeking comment on the issue. A voicemail was also left on her office telephone extension. Her emailed response is, "We have no comment."
Mother Claims Son Was Forced To Sit In His Feces
Putnam County School officials are saying very little-citing privacy laws-about a mother's allegation that her son was forced to sit in his feces at Lakeside Elementary School, March 27th, 2012.
The mother, who PutnamLIVE.com is not identifying, sent the following emails to West Virginia Department of Education Superintendent Jorea Marple, Putnam County Schools Board of Education Member Debbie Phillips, and Mrs. Hayes, the child's teacher:
Hi Mrs Phillips.
I wanted to make you aware of a situation that occurred at Lakeside Elementary yesterday and the events that have followed. Below is a copy of the email I sent to my sons teacher. It outlines the events that occurred at school. I suggest stopping here and reading the below email first.Stop and imagine as an 8yr old how humiliating this situation is. Then imagine if it was your child how completely ticked off you would be.When I spoke with Mrs Lewis today she was very polite, professional, & understanding. I could tell she was upset by this. Yesterday I left both Mrs Lewis and Ms Nowviskie voice mails detailing what had occurred and expressed with out any question what an upset mother I was. Mrs Lewis called be back this morning before 8am. About 10am I had to call Ms Nowviskie again and leave another voice mail. She did call me back shortly and stated she had gotten my messages. However, she had spoken with Mrs Lewis and considered it to be taken care of. She was not planning to return a phone call to a mother who was clearly upset and with a situation where a child was left to sit in shit. She said Mrs Lewis was going to talk to the teacher and the staff to ensure this never happens again. Which is all well and good, however, I need to know disciplinary actions will take place and there will be a strict policy on this type of thing with disciplinary actions in place. I was told I could not be made aware of what would happen as its a personnel issue. I expressed that I don't need details but I need to know that more than a talking to is going to occurs. Ms N refused to give me anymore information then Mrs Lewis is addressing it. When I told her maybe the news could find out what happens in situations like this she said if that's what I think I need to do then go ahead. She seriously needs to be educated on how to deal with upset parents.!I really hope the Board will address situations like this that occur and set up a policy that will prevent any more students from suffering. The teachers need to be made accountable when stuff like this happens. I am a registered nurse and you better believe if I ignored a patient like that I would of been sent home!Please forward this email to all other school board members, I would have done so myself but yours is the only one listed on the county web page.SincerelyDawncc: C. Hatfield
Sent from my iPadHi Mrs H...
I wanted to touch base with you and let you know what occurred yesterday and how I feel about it, plus what I am doing bout it.
I first want you to know this is not a personal attack on you as I have had no compliantly so far this year.
Yesterday morning My son said he did not feel good. I told him there ws no diarrhea, puke, or fever so he had to try. As you know he has been really sick lately and has missed a lot of school. Plus he is getting his tonsils out over spring break.
When he got in my car yesterday he stunk!! My windows were tolled down and it was strong. How no one at the school noticed this is a complete mystery to me. He said he had diarrhea twice at school and that he told you he had and was not feeling good. However, he was told to sit down. Well that alone is unacceptable! If he can't come to school with diarrhea it should not be ignored at school.
But there is more. That morning he had an accident with those loose bowels and had diarrhea in his underwear. He was too embarrassed to tell anyone about that; as I can completely understand. So he told you he was not feeling good and had diarrhea. So my son sat in his own shit all day long!!! Can you even begin to imagine the humiliation this would cause an adult much less an 8yr old that doesn't realize these things can happen to anyone with diarrhea.
This is a completely unacceptable occurrence that I can not and will not be able to ignore.
NO CHILD SHOULD EVER EXPERIENCE SOMETHING LIKE THIS. He is scared to death to go to school because he is so afraid it will happen again.
I wanted you to hear from me about this situation & how completely and totally pissed off I am. Like I said please do not take this as a personal attack but I have to make sure stuff like this never happens to another child. There needs to be a policy in place for this. Kids that are habitual fakers need to have signed letters from parents with guidelines outlining win to call them and when not to call...that is if the school doesn't want to call every time.
Last year My son went to the office telling them he was sick. Mary Jo took his temp, which was normal, and sent him to class. By the time he got home he had a fever which was shortly followed by projectile vomiting. He missed several days of school after she told him he was not sick. I told them then to always call me it was not their call to make.
So you should know that I have contacted: Mrs Lewis, Karen Noviski(spelling?) at the board... Who by the way did nothing but make me madder, & chuck Hatfield. I am also planning to contact the school board members, the wv state board, and the news media. Karen Noviski said if I felt the need to contact the news then I should do that. So, she she doesn't care neither do I.
I really hope My son does not receive any backlash from this. He is a good kid, he stays out f trouble, and he is already upset.
PutnamLIVE.com left a message for Lakeside Principal Lewis, and voice mails for PCS Spokesperson Karen S. Nowviskie and Superintendent of Schools Harold "Chuck" Hatfield. Lewis and Hatfield did not return the calls. Nowviskie sent the following email message: "As you probably know, Putnam County Schools declines to comment on student and personnel matters. I will say, however, that we take seriously any allegations involving our students and investigate any such allegations, taking appropriate action when necessary."
Reached by cellphone, Phillips says, "I wish I could comment. However, with privacy laws, I cannot say anything about a personal student matter or a personnel matter."
Marple has not returned an email message from PutnamLIVE.com seeking her comment.
Though you may not want to look at it, the mother emailed the following photograph to PutnamLIVE.com which she says is evidence of what her son had to endure:
Here is what she tells PutnamLIVE.com regarding her feelings about the situation:
"I am an adult who understands when you have diarrhea like that accidents can happen and I wouldn't of told anyone either. I can't imagine as a young child, with out a full understanding, how you would feel. He is scared to death to go back to school, scared it will happen again or that if he gets sick again he won't be able to come home."
He has been sick a lot lately. He will be getting his tonsils out soon. The diarrhea has been coming and going for a couple months. Now he has blood in his stool so the family doctor is sending him to a specialist for a colonoscopy. With the amount of absences he has had the teacher should of known not to ignore him. When a child says I have a headache then you say try putting your head down and see if it gets better. You don't do that when a child says I had diarrhea, especially a child who has missed do to illness.
Children Get Another Disappointing Announcement
There's no concrete, there's no water spouts, there will be no Hurricane Park Sprayground for spring break.
Sorry, boys and girls, the politicians have failed you again.
Last year, Hurricane Mayor Scott D. Edwards held a groundbreaking for the new attraction with a group of children. He promised an August, 2011, Opening Day.
That didn't happen.
Then the city announced that the Sprayground would be open in time for Spring Break, 2012.
That won't happen either.
Now, City Manager Benjamin Newhouse tells PutnamLIVE.com that he is shooting for a Memorial Day Weekend opening.
"We're pouring the concrete Monday," says Newhouse. "It's going to happen."
When it does open, Putnam County's children will be cheering. They've been waiting years for this, after the Putnam County Parks and Recreation Commission turned down a $350,000 grant to build a kiddie pool at Waves of Fun. At the time, PutnamLIVE.com was told that the project was postponed until the commission's finances were stabilized. However, money was never the issue. It became clear that the commissioners that replaced Sally Holliday and her board had no interest in the kiddie pool project-so it will never be built.
So the City of Hurricane took matters into its own hands. The trouble is, city officials have not delivered on their self-imposed deadlines.
Through the months, the name of the attraction was changed from Splashpad to Sprayground. We don't think the kids will care. The adults can call it whatever we want, as long as the children are having fun while splashing around!
Newhouse is sticking to one important promise: Whenever the Sprayground opens, admission will be free.
"We want people to be able to bring their families and not worry about the cost," says Newhouse.
Progress Made On Splashpad
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