A state lawmaker toured Greenbrier County last week to observe damages from June’s devastating floods and promising financial aid. Speaker of the House Tim Armstead, R-Kanawha, toured Rainelle and White Sulphur Springs with the towns’ respective mayors, Andrea Pendleton and Lloyd Haynes.
Armstead said that FEMA funding normally covers 75 percent of disaster damages and that the legislature will need to pay for the remaining 25 percent. He indicated that he hopes FEMA will increase its coverage to 90 percent. He also said that the state may have to dip into its Rainy Day fund to cover any outstanding balances.
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Crews are working to get Rupert Elementary School back in shape before school begins Aug. 22. According to Greenbrier County Schools Director of Facilities Maintenance Stephen Kirk, June’s floods damaged the school, which is located partially underground. Kirk said that proper asbestos abatement protocols are being followed, and that he hopes that the clean-up will be finished before the start of school.
If not, he said, students will be confined to the building’s second floor until the entire building is ready for students.
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Volunteers continue to lend their efforts to the flood-ravaged town of Rainelle, seven weeks after the historical flooding.
Students from the West Virginia University Student Government Association travelled to the west end town this week to aid in clean-up. Also, Indiana resident Larry Simms drove a semi truck full of building supplies to the flood-ravaged town.
Simms said that the building materials had been donated by Indiana businesses.
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A Senior Status Greenbrier County Magistrate has been publicly admonished for violating judicial ethics rules, including her endorsement of a judicial candidate in the May election.
Brenda Campbell, who served as a magistrate for 19 years, retired in October 2015, but was later sworn in as a Senior Status magistrate.
According to the Judicial Investigation Commission complaint, Campbell endorsed judicial candidate Fred Giggenbach in his campaign materials.
Giggenbach told the commission he thought Campbell was fully retired, and she never informed him she was a Senior Status Magistrate until he sought permission to use the quote in subsequent campaign ads.
The complaint said Campbell was not forthcoming with the disciplinary counsel about her quote for Giggenbach, nor did she respond to a letter requesting additional information.
“Respondent clearly abused the prestige of judicial office in an effort to advance the interests of Mr. Giggenbach,” the filing said. “Once again, Respondent is reminded that there is no family or friend exception to the rules.”