Below is the final report of the Kanawha County Substance Abuse Task Force, authored by Dr. Dan Foster, released Wednesday:
Posts Tagged ‘Kanawha County’
Last night, Charleston city council’s Committee on Redistricting met for the first time to discuss possible redistricting scenarios for wards in the city.
A 21-ward solution would keep the current number of council members, but could combine neighborhoods with dissimilar issues.
On the other hand, a possible 20-ward solution could better preserve neighborhood representation, council members said, but would result in the loss of one council member.
You can read more about the discussion of that committee and the reasons for redistricting in today’s story.
The city manager’s office sent us PDF versions of the proposed 20-ward and 21-ward options today, and I’ve posted them below. If the maps are hard to read, you can download them via the link near the bottom left corner.
Remember, these are only proposals, and nothing has yet been decided. The council committee could also ask to move some boundaries to differ from the proposals.
To see how these maps compare with the current setup, visit city council’s webpage. A map of current wards is found at the very bottom.
For the most part, the 21-ward plan looks similar to what exists currently, with the exception of Wards 1 and 2. Concerns were raised particularly about Ward 1, which would connect North Charleston and part of the South Hills via the Patrick Street bridge.
The proposed 20-ward solution, while generally keeping neighborhoods together, has greatly different boundaries in some part of the city than what exists currently.
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The Committee on Redistricting will meet next on Wednesday, Nov. 13, at 5:30 p.m. at City Hall.
For reference, here’s the early voting and regular election schedule concerning the special school/library levy election on Nov. 9. These dates/times were approved by the Kanawha County Commission on Oct. 8.
When: Saturday, Oct. 26, through Wednesday, Nov. 6 (no voting on Sunday, Oct. 27 or Sunday, Nov. 3)
Times: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Location: Kanawha County Voter Registration Office, corner of Quarrier and Court streets, Charleston.
When: Saturday, Nov. 9
Time: 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Location: All regular polling places, with the exception of Precinct 152 in Marmet. Voters in that precinct will be voting at Marmet Town Hall instead of the Marmet Recreation Center. For others, consult your voter registration card or call the Voter Registration Office at 304-357-0130 to find your polling location.
When: Friday, Nov. 15
Time: 7 a.m. until completion
Location: Kanawha County Voter Registration Office, corner of Quarrier and Court streets, Charleston. The canvass is open to the public.
The public test of voting machines will be Friday, Nov. 1, at 10 a.m. at the Voter Registration Office. Voting supplies will be reviewed on Friday, Nov. 8, from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Voter Registration Office.
Thursday, the Kanawha Valley Regional Transportation Authority (KRT) voted to spend $10,000 to get the entire KRT transit system on Google Transit.
For those who have used Google Transit when traveling or living in a different city, this tool has shown itself to be pretty useful. But for those who have no idea what this is, here’s a brief guide that will (hopefully) help you out a bit.
In a nutshell, Google Transit allows users of Google Maps or its related smartphone and tablet apps to plan trips and obtain directions using local transit services. Using Google Transit is very similar to using Google for walking or driving directions. But instead of hitting the car or pedestrian icon, you hit this bus (or train, I can’t really tell):
Clicking or selecting that icon will then switch your directions from entirely walking or driving to a combination of walking and the nearest transit line. To see how this works, we’ll use Morgantown as an example, since many Kanawha County residents are familiar with Morgantown and its one of the few cities in West Virginia that has Google Transit.
Let’s say we want to take a trip from Ruby Memorial Hospital to the Morgantown Mall. This is what that trip would look like on a standard computer browser:
Google Transit provides the next several bus arrivals and the time the trip should take (though it’s not perfect – this bus line actually does stop in front of the mall).
I also found that on the Google Maps iPhone app, the transit directions include the standard fare for the entire route:
If you would need to transfer, Google includes that information, too. You could also get really crazy and plan a trip between two different cities that have participating transit agencies and/or commuter rail or Amtrak.
As with everything, using Google Transit takes a little getting used to, and I’m not sure it updates in real time – like if a bus is late. But, having Google Transit in the area should make finding the best bus route to use a LOT easier.
But while we’re waiting for the mapping project to be completed (it won’t be ready until at least next summer), try Google Transit if you happen to be out of town and in a participating area. A list of those places can be found here.
Last week, the Kanawha County commissioners discussed over $12 million in unpaid property taxes owed to the county by various debtors. At the meeting, the commissioners directed Chief Tax Deputy Allen Bleigh to develop a way to aggressively go about collecting taxes owed the county. The plan is expected to be developed within the month.
By far, the largest entity to owe the county taxes is Martin Twist Energy, an oil and gas company based in Louisville, Ky. For tax years 2008 to 2012, the company owes Kanawha County over $3 million.
But there could be a problem – Martin Twist, 70, the owner of Martin Twist Energy, is already in trouble with the federal government for not paying taxes. Last month, Twist plead guilty to “a single charge of willfully attempting to evade and defeat the payment of employment taxes, interest and penalties totaling approximately $355,331.24″
According to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Kentucky, Twist told bookkeepers and controllers at each of his businesses “(which included Blue Flame Energy Col., LLC; Cherokee Drilling Co., LLC; and Martin Twist Energy Co., LLC) to stop filing employment tax returns and paying over employment taxes” beginning in June 2004. He also fired a bookkeeper who paid taxes to the IRS anyway and concealed assets of his companies from the eyes of the IRS. Meanwhile, Twist was using money from his business accounts to fund a lavish lifestyle, which you can read about in the release.
Twist could face “five years in prison, a $250,000 fine and a term of three years of supervised release” when he is sentenced on Oct. 18 in Louisville, Ky.
Commission President Kent Carper said he hadn’t heard of the Twist case in Kentucky, but he did say the county is continuing to move forward with its plan to collect back taxes. He said the county prosecutor’s office will be helping the county’s tax collection efforts, and the county’s plan could include hiring outside attorneys to assist, though nothing has been decided.
Here’s what’s been happening in local government from Aug. 26 to Aug. 30:
COUNTY: The Kanawha County Commissioners voted to spend up to $1.5 million toward a new bridge at Coonskin Park. They also discussed getting over $12 million in delinquent taxes owed the county; established a drug task force to look into ways the county can combat drug problems on a local level; gave East Bank and Cedar Grove $15,000 each to assist with repayment of funds the towns owed to Kanawha PSD (background story); and spent coal severance funds on new ambulances and the demolition of dilapidated buildings.
ST. ALBANS: Mayor Dick Callaway led a tour of city residents, officials and federal representatives to parts of the city that have experienced frequent flooding in recent years.
AIRPORT: Yeager Airport officials said they were pleased with the Coonskin Park bridge project. The airport’s board of directors also discussed the status of grant applications the airport has submitted.
EAST END: East End Main Street held its annual meeting at Moses Auto Group’s downtown location. Executive Director Ric Cavender updated attendees on the progress East End Main Street has made in the past year.
ANIMAL SHELTER: The executive director of the Kanawha-Charleston Humane Association, which runs the local animal shelter, officially resigned from her position at the Humane Association’s board of directors’ meeting. Three other board members also resigned their positions, with some citing “philosophical differences” or that they were unhappy with the direction of the shelter.
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Here are government meetings and related events for next week:
Monday, Sept. 2
Labor Day – government offices closed
Tuesday, Sept. 3
10 a.m. – South Charleston Property Board.
1 p.m. – Charleston Municipal Beautification Commission.
6 p.m. – Cedar Grove Town Council.
6 p.m. – Public hearing on proposed Kanawha Boulevard renovations and bike lanes, Charleston.
6:30 p.m. – Charleston Finance Committee.
7 p.m. – Charleston City Council (normally Monday).
7 p.m. – Nitro City Council.
7:30 p.m. – St. Albans City Council (normally Monday).
Wednesday, Sept. 4
3 p.m. – Charleston Municipal Planning Commission.
Thursday, Sept. 5
7:30 p.m. – South Charleston City Council.
I’ve noticed that for many of Kanawha County’s incorporated communities, finding the location of city and town halls and phone numbers for those communities can be tricky if you don’t have a phone book handy. So, I’ve created this map of the locations of city and town offices for each incorporated community in Kanawha County. Clicking on any of the icons will list meeting times for the municipality’s council; a main phone number for the municipality; and a website, if available.
View Kanawha County Local Government Offices in a larger map
Is there anything else you would consider helpful that should be added to this map?