Can Johnson Help Reign In Opioid Epidemic In WV?

Jim Johnson has been named director of the West Virginia’s new Office of Drug Control Policy.
Department of Health and Human Resources Secretary Bill Crouch announced Johnson’s appointment Thursday. The Office of Drug Control Policy will combat substance abuse and will be overseen by the Bureau for Public Health. West Virginia has the nation’s highest drug overdose death rate, with 41.5 deaths per 100,000 people in 2015. State health officials say overdose deaths rose nearly 18 percent last year.
Johnson was director of Huntington’s Office of Drug Control Policy from 2014 until his retirement this year. He was a police officer and interim police chief in Huntington.

Missing Monroe County Man Located

A Monroe County man missing since Monday is back home with his family. Police say Harley Mullins surfaced Wednesday night. He had been reported missing after leaving his grandmother’s house in Lindside and not being seen through Tuesday and most of Wednesday. Police are saying only that Mullins is back with his family, safe.

WVU Frosh Enrollment Sets Record

West Virginia University freshmen enrollment has hit a record 6,224 as classes started at its three campuses. The university said there were 5,241 first-day, first-time freshmen in Morgantown, up 55 from last year; 364 at West Virginia University Institute of Technology in Beckley, an increase of 49 from last year; and 619 at Potomac State College of WVU in Keyser, down 46.

Measure Cracking Down On Bad Stuff Happening At Homes

West Virginia cities are considering ordinances targeting property owners for repeated illegal incidents on their premises. Local news outlets report similar proposals in Huntington and Nitro follow the model of a drug house ordinance that went into effect in May and has since produced several busts.
The law would see the declaration of properties where two or more illegal incidents occur within a year as public nuisances, resulting in the eviction of tenants involved in the illegal activities and possible fines for the property owners.

Woman Dies In Greenbrier County Crash

A Greenbrier County car crash has killed a woman from Marlinton. Police say the 34 year old woman died when a car coming in the other direction on Route 19 crashed into her car head on Monday afternoon. The driver of that vehicle was 19 year old Carlton Black of Covington. Police say Abigail Hannah was pronounced dead at the scene. Black reportedly had no injuries. The Greenbrier County Sheriff’s Office continues its investigation.

Mike Hall

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice has appointed state Sen. Mike Hall as his new chief of staff. Justice says in a news release that the Putnam County Republican “has a reputation for being able to work with everybody.” Hall replaces Nick Casey, a former state Democratic Party chairman. Justice switched from Democrat to Republican on Aug. 3.

Greenbrier Crash

The Greenbrier County Sheriff’s Office got a call Monday afternoon about a crash on US Route 219, just south of the Pocahontas and Greenbrier County line. WVVA TV reports that Carlton Reed Black, 19 of Covington Virginia hit Abigail Hannah, 34, of Marlinton head on. Hannah died at the scene. Sergeant R. B. Baker, of the Greenbrier County Office, was the investigating officer.

Free Eclipse Viewing

A free solar eclipse viewing event is being planned for next Monday at Marshall University. The doors will open just after one o’clock with the best viewing time expected to be at 2:34 p.m. The event will be held at Buskirk Field. Solar eclipse glasses will be provided, and those who attend will also get a moon pie.

Ordinance on Cats

A city council in West Virginia has approved the second reading of an ordinance that would stop people within its limits from keeping cats that create a nuisance. The Bluefield Daily Telegraph reports the Princeton City Council unanimously approved the second reading of the amended ordinance Monday.

Mike Hall New Chief of Staff

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice has appointed state Sen. Mike Hall as his new chief of staff. Justice says in a news release that the Putnam County Republican “has a reputation for being able to work with everybody.” Hall replaces Nick Casey, a former state Democratic Party chairman. Justice switched from Democrat to Republican on Aug. 3.