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Nitro Finally Releases Police Checks

Chief Jordan's Son Paid $2,250 By Police Fund


Weeks after PutnamLIVE.com filed a Freedom of Information Act request, the City of Nitro finally Charlton Jordancoughed up police fund checks written to family members of Chief of Police Jack Jordan.

Those checks include $2,250 in three checks written to Jordan's son, Charlton, for music vocal performances at town events.

Getting copies of the checks proved to be a challenge. After City Attorney Richie Robb promised full cooperation, officials at city hall failed that mission. PutnamLIVE.com had to telephone Robb who expressed surprise that Recorder Rita Cox and Mayor Russell "Rusty" Casto failed to comply with the FOIA five-day deadline under West Virginia law. (We filed the FOIA request November 21st, 2011). Violating the state FOIA law is a misdemeanor.

"We'll get them to you, I promise," said Robb, during a December 6th, 2011 telephone call. The next afternoon, copies of the checks were faxed to PutnamLIVE.com.

It is important to report that these funds were raised privately and are not tax dollars. Still, some are questioning as to why some of the checks were made out to the chief's family members. The City of Nitro has not provided any evidence of a bidding system for Charlton Jordan's performances.

"The city is now controlling these accounts," says Casto. "Council is overseeing how the money is being spent, now."

Because the funds were privately raised, it does not appear that any laws were broken, though many are questioning the ethics involved in the situation.

Related article:

Nitro Examining Police Fund Checks 

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Hurricane Wants To Restrict Sex Offenders

Council Discussing Zoning Where They Can't Go


Years after PutnamLIVE.com reported that the City of Hurricane has the most lifetime registered sex offenders, and long after we reported that the problem got worse, the new city council is taking action.

During its December 5th meeting, council discussed creating zones where sex offenders would not be allowed, including schools and parks within the city limits.

According to the West Virginia State Police, 23 men listed Hurricane as their city of residence when this article was published. Another five work in the town. That's actually a slignt decrease from the 25 that called Hurricane home since PutnamLIVE.com last reported on the issue.

Chief of Police W. "Mike" Mullins got council's attention when he told them one of his officers spotted a sex offender sitting in a car in the parking lot at Waves of Fun. While the officer parked next to the sex offender and made it clear that the officer was watching his every move-nothing could be done to force the felon to leave.

If council passes the ordinance during its January, 2012 meeting, Hurricane Police will have the authority to remove sex offenders from certain areas.

Sex Offenders are required to register their home addresses and work addresses with the West Virginia State Police within 10 days. However, most local police agencies also keep a watchful eye on them.

Hurricane is a popular place for sex offenders to live because it has a city and county park, Walmart, and several schools. All of this is troubling to parents of children who would rather have the sex offenders live elsewhere.

When PutnamLIVE.com first reported the Hurricane sex offender issue, city officials lied and said West Virginia law prohibited the town from taking action. Now, fortunately, the town is taking action that it should have taken years ago.

Across The United States, many cities restrict sex offenders from areas around beaches, churches, parks, and schools. PutnamLIVE.com applauds such statutes and hopes that other Putnam County government agencies take similar action to protect our families.

In 2002, PutnamLIVE.com's (now) Publisher Mark Hallburn was instrumental in forcing the West Virginia State Police to comply with a 3 1/2 year-old law requiring the agency to post lifetime registered sex offenders, and their information, online. Until Hallburn took action, only about half the counties in West Virginia were published. Now you can see all of the information by clicking here. That link is also available every day on the home page of PutnamLIVE.com.

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Putnam Second Most Affluent County In WV

Jefferson County Has Highest Median Income Level


Life is good in Putnam County.

That's the word from the United States Census Bureau.

We have the second-highest median household income in The Mountain State. Jefferson County is the highest, at $63,156. Putnam County is second at $52,942 and Berkeley County comes in third at $50,923. 

McDowell County has the lowest income, at $24,133, and the highest poverty level at 33.6 percent comparted to Putnam County's poverty level of 10.4 percent. The West Virginia average poverty level is 18.2 percent.

Our border states' median household income and overall poverty rates are Maryland, at $68,933 and 9.9 percent; Pennsylvania,  at $49,245 and 13.4 percent; Ohio, at $45,151 and 15.8 percent; Kentucky, at $40,089 and 18.9 percent; and Virginia, $60,665 and 11.1 percent.

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A Season For Sharing Fire Safety

Fire Stops With You: Tips From The WV Fire Marshal


Each year fires occurring during the holiday season claim the lives of more than 400 Americans, injure 1,650 more, and cause more than
$990 million in damage, according to the federal government.

Every one of those fires and tragedies are easily avoided.

With the winter holidays upon us, one of the best gifts that you can give your family isn't a present under the tree, it's a safe home in which to celebrate the season and its festivities.

  • Pick a “safe” tree. If you’re buying a cut tree for Christmas, check for freshness. A fresh tree has a good green color and needles that are hard to pull from the branches and do not break.  Shedding, brittle needles and a faded green color are signs of a dry tree.  Keep your tree fresh

by placing it in a stand that holds water. Check the water level every day.

  • Choose “Fire Resistant”-labeled artificial trees and decorations. This does NOT mean these items won’t catch fire—it does mean that they should resist burning and extinguish fairly quickly in the event of fire.
  • Pick a safe place for your tree. Keep your tree out of traffic areas and away from doorways— exits should always be clear.  Also, make sure there’s a “safety zone” all around your tree— at least 3 feet away from fireplaces, wood stoves and other heat sources (candles included).
  • Don’t overload circuits. With the extra lights and holiday decorations, don’t be tempted to plug too many items into your outlets.  Unplug items that aren’t in use, and never ignore a tripped fuse.
  • Before those lights go up: Check each set of lights, new or old, for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, or loose connections.  Don’t forget to check your extension cords, too. Throw out any damaged lights or cords.
  • Whether indoor or outdoor lights, use only lights that have been UL®-approved.  If the lights you’re using haven’t been tested by Underwriters’ Laboratories or another national testing lab, you run a very real risk of fire—your lights haven’t been manufactured in       accordance with recognized safety standards.
  • Never run extension cords through doorways, under rugs, or through any high-traffic areas. This can damage the insulation and wire inside, causing a fire hazard.
  • Always disconnect all decorative lights before you go to bed or leave the house. Lights can short out and cause a fire.
  • Don’t hang light strings in any way that might damage the cord’s insulation. Never use nails or tacks.  Use only insulated staples to hold strands in place, or run the strings through hooks.
  • Be careful with candles! Always display candles safely by keeping them in stable, non-flammable holders.  Keep them away from things that will burn, such as other decorations or curtains— away from children and pets.
  • Fireplace safety: Never burn gift wrappings. Flash fires can occur when gift wrap suddenly bursts into flame and burns intensely.  Burning papers and other improper fuels in the fireplace is a major cause of chimney fires.  Always use a fire screen to keep sparks from escaping onto nearby rugs, upholstered furniture or other combustibles.
  • Be extra careful when smoking. Careless smoking is a leading cause of fire deaths at any time of the year, but the risk goes up during holiday gatherings. Check carefully for any smoldering smoking materials (between cushions, under furniture, etc.) before going to bed.  Never smoke around the tree or flammable decorations.
  • Working smoke alarms save lives. Winter—and holidays--can bring increased risk of fire. If you haven’t changed the batteries in your smoke & carbon monoxide alarms this year, now is a good time. Your family might have only minutes to escape a fire.
  • Learn MoreRead the West Virginia Fire Safety Resource eGuide, a training tool to provide resources and guidelines to keep West Virginians safe; and, to address the specific needs of people with disabilities and the elderly as it relates to fire safety.

To learn more about living independently and safely, please visit MTSTCIL's fire safety online skills training class at: Fire Safety

For more information on home safety, please visit these Web sites:


Publisher's note: A news release from the West VIrginia Fire Marshal provided information for this article.

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RESPONDENTS: We Want A Rafferty's!

Steakhouses Top PutnamLIVE.com Reader Survey

PutnamLIVE.com readers want a Rafferty's to come to our community.

That's the result of our latest survey which has 17.2 percent of the voters (64) in favor of the Paducah, Kentucky-based steakhouse. In fact, steakhouses made three of the top four slots with Claim Jumper sliding in at number two with 51 votes/13.7 percent and Outback taking fourth place with 43 votes/11.5 percent. Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville took third with 46 votes/12.3 percent. Cheesecake Factory took fifth place with 36 votes/9.7 percent.

Most of the top finishers were restaurants that do not have a presence in West Virginia, which tells us that people travel and want to bring their favorite restaurants home to The Mountain State.

There were 373 votes placed during the survey's run from Tuesday, November 8th, 2011 until we closed the survey Saturday, November 26th, 2011.

Of course, this is a non-scientific survey for the enjoyment of our readers. However, it gives Putnam County officials a list of restaurants to start recruiting to improve our quality of life and bring more jobs to the region.

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