July 22, 2002

Animal control officers to keep firearms

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Animal control officers will continue to carry firearms, the Berkeley County Commission agreed Thursday.

The commission reversed a decision made one week earlier that animal control officers will rely on tranquilizer dart guns instead and give up their firearms.

Berkeley County Sheriff Randy Smith said dart guns aren't effective if there's an immediate danger because tranquilizers take several minutes to kick in.

Animal control officers sometimes respond to calls of animal attacks in progress.

Last summer, Officer John Ramos shot at a Rottweiler three times as it attacked him. One bullet hit the dog, then Ramos's foot.


County Administrator Deborah Hammond said the commission agreed last week to buy four more tranquilizer guns for the animal control officers, who now share one. Until the new guns came in, the officers were to keep their firearms.

County to hire two new animal officers

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - The Berkeley County Commission agreed on Thursday to hire two new animal control officers.

Brian Edward Mulligan will work full-time - 40 hours a week - at a salary of $14,520.

Dane S. Hampton will be paid $8 an hour to work part-time - at least 20 hours.

County Commission President Howard Strauss said the pay is "woefully low" and should be reconsidered when the next county budget is prepared.

Including Mulligan and Hampton, the county has five full-time animal control officers and one part-time officer. Another part-time position is vacant.

Architect hired for building expansion

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - The Berkeley County Commission agreed Thursday to pay architect Robert T. Eckels of Martinsburg $5,000 to come up with a plan for expanding the Berkeley County Health Department building on South Queen Street.

In a proposal to County Administrator Deborah Hammond, Eckels said he will prepare a report with design criteria and a preliminary cost estimate.

Firm to develop database for county

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - The accounting firm of Cox Nichols Hollida, CPAs and Consultants, LLP of Martinsburg was hired Thursday to develop a database of Berkeley County's fixed assets.

The Berkeley County Commission approved paying the firm $12,000 for the work, which includes advice throughout the year.

Phone book recycyling event Saturday in Pa.

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Sprint Yellow Pages and the Franklin County Literacy Council will host a Recycle for Literacy event Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon at the Southgate Shopping Center parking lot near the Washington Street entrance.

Area residents can raise money for adult literacy programs by bringing their old phone books to the event. Sprint will donate $1 for every phone book received - up to $3,000 - to the literacy council.

The phone books are then receycled into bedding for an area farm.

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