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Berkeley Co. briefs

May 22, 2009

Berkeley Co. has new warrant system



MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -- Berkeley County's Central Dispatch director gave a PowerPoint presentation Thursday to the Berkeley County Commission showing how the new countywide warrant database file works.

The system has been in operation for about two months, Mary Kackley said.

Instead of the Martinsburg Police Department, Berkeley County Sheriff's Department and West Virginia State Police in Martinsburg having to call each other for information on possible outstanding warrant holders, the new system is available to each entity, Kackley said. The system can be checked quickly and efficiently, and each entity is color-coded to show where the warrant originated, she said.

Jefferson County also is participating in the new system, said Gary Wine, Berkeley County information technology director.

Wine said there are about 7,000 active warrants, which automatically are updated.

Wine said time and materials must be calculated to provide a cost, but it could be about $1,200 per agency.

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"The costs are extremely nominal for other agencies to join," he said.

Martinsburg Police Chief T.C. "Ted" Anderson, Berkeley County Sheriff Kenny Lemaster and Sgt. Tom Kerns, detachment commander of West Virginia State Police in Martinsburg, praised the new system.

"It is an asset to our department," Anderson said.

"It saves money and manpower, and gives us the assistance with the other agencies and more of a cushion for safety," Lemaster said.

Kerns did not need to add anything.

"It was said by Kenny and Ted very well," he said.

Berkeley County Commission President Ronald Collins said he was proud of the fact the county was at the forefront of the program and of the cooperation between the departments and the county, city and state to make the new system happen.

 

Commission endorses two National Scenic Byway grants



MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -- The Washington Heritage Trail received the Berkeley County Commission's endorsement Thursday for two National Scenic Byway grants totaling $378,650.

A $231,450 grant will be used for the Washington Heritage Trail Orientation DVD, said Jim Castleman, executive director of the Washington Heritage Trail. The DVD, which will introduce visitors to the trail, will be shown in the Caperton Station Orientation Gallery, he said.

The other grant for $147,200 will go toward a preservation project for the Washington Heritage Trail's Miller Tower. The tower is the last working human-operated switching railroad tower in the U.S. and was moved to the Roundhouse Center in 2001 from Cherry Run, W.Va.

"We need to attract people to downtown," Castleman said. "We have an excellent history of that tower from people who worked there."

Castleman said after the tower is restored, the trail board will apply for historic landmark status.

"We want to make it a landmark," Washington Heritage Trail President Kim Reid said.

-- Trish Rudder

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