Berkeley County briefs

July 30, 2004|by CANDICE BOSELY

Dog declared vicious, to be euthanized

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - The Berkeley County Commission voted Thursday to accept a recommendation that a bull mastiff that bit a man three times earlier this month be declared vicious and be euthanized.

The dog, Thunder, bit Trevor Eccleston on the left ankle, right thigh and left bicep on July 18, according to JoAnn Overington, chairwoman of the Nuisance Appeal Board, which oversees cases involving dogs that have attacked people or other animals.

Eccleston was taken to City Hospital by ambulance.

The dogs' owners both spoke at the meeting and said Thunder is not vicious.

"He is a part of my family," said Stephanie Hamilton, who found the dog as a puppy and bottle-fed him.

Animal Control Officer Erin Webber, however, said Thunder has been aggressive while at her facility. She said it is not fair to release the dog to its High Street home, where neighbors are worried.


"I believe that it will happen again," she said.

Before voting to euthanize the dog, Commissioner Howard Strauss said he believes the Hamiltons are conscientious, since they bought a kennel Thursday morning, but that the conscientiousness came too late.

"We have a responsibility to protect the public," Strauss said. "It didn't have to come to this."

The Hamiltons can appeal the decision to Circuit Court and Thunder will not be euthanized until the appeal process is over.

Painting proposal for courthouse rejected

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A new look is needed for the Berkeley County Courthouse, but a proposal by Nu-Look Painting to do the job was rejected Thursday during the Berkeley County Commission meeting.

An employee of Nu-Look Painting, based in Stephenson, Va., wrote in a memo that it would cost $36,865 plus tax to paint the courthouse, at 100 W. King St.

Bids must be sought for any work that will cost more than $25,000, Berkeley County Administrator Deborah Hammond said. She said the contract with Nu-Look could be approved if deemed an emergency, but noted painting the courthouse is an aesthetic, not a health or safety, issue.

The commission voted to solicit bids for the project.

Several groups to meet in September

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A roundtable discussion will be held with a variety of agencies in September to discuss all-terrain vehicles, roads and raising the hotel/motel tax, the Berkeley County Commission decided Thursday.

The meeting likely will include Berkeley County Board of Education members, County Commissioners, Division of Highways officials, members of Martinsburg-Berkeley County Parks & Recreation and local legislators.

Commission President Steve Teufel said the state does not seem to be taking care of small road projects in the county, including areas by schools.

The commissioners hope legislators can help with that, along with giving counties more authority when it comes to regulating ATVs. Also, a statewide bill is needed for the county to raise its hotel/motel tax from 3 percent to 6 percent. Commissioners have pledged the extra money raised to Parks & Recreation.

A specific date for the meeting was not set.

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