NEWS in Brief – 9/13/09

Published 10:05 pm Saturday, September 12, 2009

Face of anti-drug campaign charged

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AP) — The star of a labor organization’s anti-drug television ad has been charged with what police call a “marijuana factory” in his Huntington home.

Wendell Searls was arrested Wednesday and charged with cultivating marijuana and possessing the drug with an intent to sell. He was held on $52,000 bond. It could not be immediately determined if Searls has a lawyer.

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Huntington Police Sgt. Darrell Booth says investigators found more than 100 plants and tools needed to grow the crop indoors in Searls’ attic.

Searls, a member of Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 521, appeared in an ad by the Affiliated Construction Trades Foundation espousing a drug-free work force.

United Way seeks funding applicants

Huntington, W.Va. — United Way of the River Cities is accepting applications for 2010 funding. Agencies that are not currently funded partners may apply for United Way support but must do so collaboratively with a current United Way funded partner.

To receive an application, or for more information, contact Laura Gilliam at or by phone at 304.523.8929, ext. 1. Applications are due by 5 p.m. on October 23. In fairness to all applicants, late or incomplete applications will not be accepted.

For more information about United Way call 304.523.8929 or log onto

ODOT updates work schedules in county

The following traffic advisory includes road construction and major maintenance projects requiring lane restrictions and/or road closures along the state and federal highway system within ODOT District 9.

All work will take place during daytime, business hours Monday through Friday only unless otherwise indicated.

C.R. 1 (Old U.S. 52) is closed between the 9.32 and 9.48-mile markers for a dual bridge replacement project. The project site is located just south of U.S. 52 and its junction with C.R. 144 (Charley Creek Road) at Sybene. Throughout construction, traffic will be detoured into the village via T.R. 276 (Sandusky Road), and all traffic will be maintained within the community. The scheduled completion date is Oct. 29.

S.R. 217 is closed at the 5.79-mile marker, just west of SR 378 at Linnville, for a culvert replacement project over Dick Creek. While the route is closed, motorists will be detoured via SR 141 and SR 378. (A local detour will also be in place.)

Construction for a bridge repair and resurfacing project on U.S. Route 52 continues, and contractors will be completing paving operations from the state Route 650 exit at Hanging Rock to the eastern corporation limit of Coal Grove. Traffic is reduced to one, 11.5-foot lane in each direction. The scheduled completion date for all work was Sept. 10.

A signalization project is under way on U.S. 52 at the Ashland, Ky., bridge, from just east of the S.R. 243/Coal Grove exit to just west of T.R. 268 (Hog Back Road). Traffic is being maintained in at least one lane in each direction at all times and in coordination with the U.S. Route 52 resurfacing project that is also under way.

Junior League hosts ‘Kids in the Kitchen’

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — The Junior League of Huntington will host Kids in the Kitchen as part of their international childhood obesity and nutrition education initiative.

Local children are invited to this free event Saturday, September 26, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 617 Ninth Avenue (Junior League Community Center).

Pre-registration is required due to space limitations. Visit to register children.

The Junior Leagues’ Kids in the Kitchen initiative is a response to the alarming statistics that nearly one-third of children and adolescents in the United States are overweight or at risk of becoming overweight and that childhood obesity has been shown to be the leading cause of many health issues including pediatric hypertension, Type II diabetes and coronary heart disease.

The Junior League believes education in local communities is the first step to raising awareness and attempting to reverse the growth of childhood obesity and its associated health issues.

The Junior League of Huntington will offer nutrition information, physical education games and activities, and healthy snack preparation demonstrations to children and families.

Greenbo arts, crafts, antiques shows Set

GREENUP, Ky. – Greenbo Lake State Resort Park will host an Arts & Crafts Show Oct. 3-4 and an Antique Weekend Nov. 7-8.

Browse through the aisles of handmade crafts by some of the Tri-State Area’s finest craft persons.  Show hours are Saturday, Oct. 3, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 4, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

 Vendors are needed. Anyone interested in setting up a table may do so by contacting the park.  Tables are $5 each if you pre-register by Sept. 27 and $10 each after that and day of the show.  Crafters must set up for both days.  Crafters may set up their tables on Friday, Oct. 2, between the hours of 2-6 p.m. There is no admission charge to view the show.

Greenbo will also host an Antique Weekend Nov. 7-8. At the Antique Weekend, browse through the many booths of antiques and quality collectables, located in the Jesse Stuart Lodge.  Show hours are Saturday, Nov. 7, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 8, 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. 

The show is free for the public to view. Vendors are wanted and may set up their displays Friday, Nov. 6, 1-6 p.m.  Booths are awarded on a first come first served basis and range in price according to size. 

 Contact for the shows is Paul Verespy at 606-473-7324 or 800-325-0083.

Greenbo Lake State Resort Park is on KY 1, 18 miles north of I-64 from Grayson exit or 8 miles south of U.S. 23, The Country Music Highway, on KY 1.  Greenbo Lake features the Jesse Stuart Lodge with 36 rooms, gift shop, and Anglers’ Cove Restaurant.  The park has a 225-acre lake for boating and fishing, tennis courts, 25 miles of multi-use trails for hiking, biking, and horseback riding. 

Newly renovated campground is open April through October. Greenbo Amphitheatre features musical concerts and plays during the summer and fall.

MCTC receives expansion grant

Huntington, W.Va. — MCTC’s Allied Health and Life Sciences Division has been awarded a $139,335 grant to fund the expansion of their Health Information Technology and Certified Coding Specialist programs.

The funding will allow MCTC to hire support staff, expand online curriculum, purchase computers and software, upgrade their existing facilities, as well as secure simulated clinical internship sites. The grant has been awarded through the West Virginia Community & Technical College System through a federal initiative concerning healthcare reform.

MCTC HIT and CCS programs have a long standing history and the HIT program is nationally accredited through the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education and received its ten year renewal in 2008. These programs are set up as career ladder programs with the CCS transitioning into the HIT.

“We are very pleased to be able to offer our students an even better program and are estimating that with this expansion we will graduate at least 25 new students through 2012,” says Janet Smith, MCTC Health Information Technology & Medical Assisting Program Coordinator and Associate Professor.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, jobs in HIT and CCS are expected to grow nationally faster than average through 2016, an estimated 18 [ercent.

According to Workforce WV, the projected employment needs for HIT is expected to grow by 34.8 percent by 2012 in West Virginia.

For more information about the Health Information Technology and Certified Coding Specialist programs please call 696-6282 or visit

Champion Industries reports low profits

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AP) — Newspaper publisher, commercial printer and office furniture seller Champion Industries is blaming a 97 percent drop in its third-quarter profit on the recession.

Huntington-based Champion said Thursday it earned $34,000 in the three months that ended July 31, compared with $1.06 million, or 11 cents per share, in third-quarter 2008.

The lone analyst polled by Thomson Reuters expected a profit of 4 cents per share, instead of the break-even number Champion reported.

Champion says revenue dropped 14.7 percent to $33.9 million in the period, compared with $39.7 million in third-quarter 2008.

Champion owns The Herald-Dispatch newspaper in Huntington and has operations in Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Tennessee and West Virginia.