By Bob Weaver|
VERIZON WILL SPEND $15 MIL ON 911 - Kanawha County could be developing a pilot
project for 911 mapping and addressing for the rest of West Virginia. Dozens of West
Virginia counties are struggling with the problem, while others have developed
systems that are not uniform.
Verizon, the telecommunications company, has given $15 million to improve the
state's dispatching systems, much of it linked to upgrading to cell phone
West Virginia's addressing board has hired the Michael Baker, Jr. firm to map the
entire state and assign new addresses in counties where addressing systems are
incomplete or inconsistent.
HIGHER ED REPORT CARD - West Virginia scored second worst in the nation on a
higher education report card. The National Center for Public Policy and Higher
Education gave negative marks to the state system in areas from affordability to
benefits, but indicated several improvements have been made. It's the only state
where fewer that one in five have a bachelor's degree.
FOREIGN CORPORATION BUYING AMERICAN WATER - The Thames Water Company,
owned by a German multi-national company, is buying water companies in West
Virginia and around America, formerly West Virginia Water Company and now
American Water Company, with a few whispers of dispute.
The company has been the United Kingdoms worst polluter in two of the past three
years, while raking in giant corporate profits.
Within two months West Virginia's PSC will approve the sale and 160,000 families in
17 counties will depend upon a German mega-conglomerate for their water, water
improvement and development of systems in rural areas.
Some public outcry has raised concern the for-profit company will not invest in costly
upgrades in rural areas like West Virginia.
STATE RANKS 45TH IN CAMPAIGN STUDY - Low scores were awarded the state in the
way it requires parties to report campaign finance openness. The low score was
mostly linked to loopholes because parties were allowed to have special accounts,
such as administrative or building funds that don't have to be reported. The state also
failed the Pew Charitable Trust (Center for Public Integrity) funded report because of
a lack of categories.
KANAWHA CANDIDATES WANT COUNTIES CONSOLIDATED - Republican candidate
"Brud" Warner says there are too many counties to run government efficiently. He
wants centralization through consolidation, as does Delegate Ray Keener (D) who
said "We need to look at that to consolidate costs and expenses."
Calhoun County should take a serious look at annexing Kanawha County and
Grantsville becoming their county seat, since the Calhoun Commission has critical
expertise in squeezing efficiency out of every dollar.
Down in centralized Charleston, they don't even know how many cars are in the state
car pool, and forbid one looks at the Kanawha County budget.
THREE 13-YEAR-OLDS KILLED IN ONE WEEK - Three 13-year old children were killed
on ATV's in one recent week, in a state that does not have minimal requirements
regarding safety and use of the vehicles. For the past eight years, the West Virginia
Legislature has declined to develop safety standards or define where the vehicles
can been ridden. Seventeen have been killed this year, mostly boys, the highest
number in any state.
FUN TURNS ARROGANT - Speaking of hillbilly down and dumb images, Charleston's
Capital High thought it was a fun idea to have "Logan County Hick Day" before the
schools had their homecoming game. The game has been known to generate fist
fights, name calling and jeers.