The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

February 20, 2013

Commission talks pit bull, infrastructure

By Mannix Porterfield
Register-Herald Reporter

BECKLEY — A Calloway Heights man appealed for help Tuesday from the Raleigh County Commission to deal with loose dogs in his neighborhood, relating a chilling tale of how a pit bull attacked an elderly woman while she was walking her dog a month ago.

In the same meeting, the commission revealed its list of priority infrastructure projects for the year ahead.

Chris Graham said the victim, in her 70s, was bitten by the pit bull and almost passed out, while slugging the animal with a fist in a futile bid to get it off her own pet.

“Several men hit the dog with sledge hammers but it wouldn’t let go of her dog,” he told the commission.

Graham said 911 was called numerous times and the incident escalated to the point where the pit bull was put down.

“It was a situation where it was either watch it kill or put it down,” he said.

Since then, he said, other dogs in the same neighborhood pose a threat. One neighbor fears walking to her mailbox and Graham said he worries about his mother being assaulted by canines.

Commission President Dave Tolliver said he has received a number of calls from concerned citizens and has taken up the issue with the animal control unit, supervised by the sheriff’s department. Graham said animal control advised him it makes routine runs through the neighborhood but hasn’t seen any dogs running loose.

Tolliver suggested that patrols be beefed up.

On another matter, the commission released its priorities for enhancing water and sewer service in several locations.

The list contains these projects:

— Bragg/Pluto water, estimated to cost $5.6 million, benefiting 224 people, with $378,000 already committed for design work;

— Crab Orchard Public Service District, sewer, $23 million, 600 people to benefit, with $700,000 committed, serving the Glen Daniel-Fairdale area; Shady Spring sewer project, $6 million, 300 homes, $1.1 million committed;

— North Beckley PSD sewer project, Phase III in Piney View, $5.5 million, 250 homes;

— Raleigh County Memorial Airport, water project, $4 million, no money committed; Stanaford Acres, North Beckley PSD, $2 million, 200 people to benefit, no funds yet targeted;

— Ameagle water project, $1 million, 138 people, no funds committed; Crab Orchard PSD sewer project, $4.5 million for 150 people in the Rhodell area, $1.6 million sewer project in the Amigo area, benefiting  60 people, and an $8 million sewer project in the Coal City-Pemberton area, for 1,100 people;

— Grandview Area/National Park, sewer, by the Shady Spring PSD, $12 million, for 500 people, with no funds committed.

Commissioners also:

— Approved $6,000 in a School of Harmony grant drawdown for a mobile music classroom.

— Approved a $1,000 drawdown for materials, supplies and equipment for West Virginia Dance, along with two other grants of $3,000 and $5,000.

— Awarded a one-year contract to Phillips Termite and Pest Control for $752.40 to provide its service at the judicial annex.

— Approved an $8,000 contract for the Lillian James Learning Center through the governor’s community participation program.

— Appointed Commissioner Linda Epling to the Raleigh County Community Action Association.

— E-mail: mannix@register-herald.com