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January 20, 2017

City of Huntington Files Lawsuit Against Opioid Drug Distributors

The City of Huntington filed a lawsuit in Cabell Circuit Court on Thursday, Jan. 19, against three distributors of opioid drugs.

“The citizens in our city, our region and our state are living a nightmare that was avoidable,” Mayor Steve Williams said. “Profits have been pocketed while our community has been left with the fallout and stigma of the opioid epidemic.”

Huntington is the first city and among the first group of political subdivisions in West Virginia to file this type of claim. The city retained Charleston attorney Charles R “Rusty” Webb to represent it in this action.

The lawsuit was filed against Dr. Gregory Donald Chaney, AmerisourceBergen Drug Co., Cardinal Health Inc., and McKesson Corp. It alleges the defendants have caused and contributed to the opioid epidemic and will continue to cause the City of Huntington to spend substantial sums of public funds to deal with the consequences of the opioid epidemic that is fueled by the defendants' illegal, reckless, and malicious actions in flooding the state with highly-addictive prescription medications. Huntington seeks damages for reimbursement of expenses related to public safety.

The City of Huntington retained Webb on a contingency fee basis, meaning it will not incur any costs unless the case is settled or a judgment is achieved.

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January 18, 2017

U.S. Conference of Mayors Recognizes HHS, City of Huntington for Wellness Academy

A program at Huntington High School that has worked with Mayor Steve Williams to promote and provide increased health and wellness activities in the community received national recognition Wednesday, Jan. 18.

The U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM), in partnership with the American Beverage Foundation for a Healthy America (ABFHA), has awarded the Huntington High School Wellness Academy with a $25,000 grant and the City of Huntington with a second-place award in the small city category (population less than 75,000) of its 2017 Childhood Obesity Prevention Grants Program. The grant and award were announced Wednesday during the 85th Conference of Mayors Winter Meeting in Washington, D.C.

The Huntington High Wellness Academy was formed in 2014 to educate students and their parents on how to adopt principles of well-being in one’s life. The program relies on the “wellness wheel” components, which include physical, nutritional, spiritual, emotional, financial environmental and intellectual health. This mindset has resulted in health fairs, exercise equipment, hiking trails and growing fresh fruits and vegetables at the high school.

“In 2008, our community’s health was called into question when it was labeled as the unhealthiest in the country, Mayor Steve Williams said. “Knowing that our community must become healthy if we are to have a healthy future, I engaged the Huntington High Wellness Academy after I was elected mayor in 2013.

“I am a firm believer that our youngsters should be placed in positions to lead our community, and it is evident that the students in the Wellness Academy have the creativity and the passion to address this challenge.”

The $25,000 grant will allow the Wellness Academy to expand its nutrition and exercise teachings to elementary schools; promote the farm-to-cafeteria concept; provide interaction and a stronger partnership among parents, schools and the community; and motivate individuals to take responsibility for their own health, according to Debbie Chapman, academy coordinator for Huntington High.

“Huntington High is extremely excited that the U.S. Conference of Mayors and the American Beverage Foundation for a Healthy America recognizes our efforts to improve the health of our community and to instill positive, lifelong habits in our students,” Chapman said. “This grant will enable the Wellness Academy to become a model that other communities can use to engage their young people in becoming productive citizens.”

 

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January 11, 2017

Public Works Projects Completed During Fourth Quarter of 2016

The following is a list of projects that were completed by the City of Huntington’s Public Works Department during the fourth quarter of 2016. This list does not encompass all of the work that was completed but focuses on the larger projects.

1) Bridges: Cleaned, primed and painted several bridges. This was part of a preventive-maintenance partnership with the West Virginia Division of Highways in an effort to extend the life of bridges.

2) Stamford Park: Removed and replaced approximately 200 feet of roadway that had been compromised by storm water and erosion.

3) Centennial Fire Station: Removed and replaced three 18-by-20-foot sections of concrete apron.

4) 8th Street sidewalk: Partnered with West Virginia American Water to remove a tree and broken sidewalk and poured new sidewalk near Colonial Food Equipment.

5) Highlawn sidewalks: Replaced more than 150 feet of sidewalk as part of the Public Works Department’s sidewalk replacement pilot program.

6) Sidewalk at 747 Jefferson Ave.: Removed a tree stump and replaced 15 feet of sidewalk.

7) Deitz Hollow Landfill box drain: Built retaining walls and lined a culvert with concrete to prevent erosion issues at the landfill.

8) 3600-3900 block of Crane Avenue alley: Alleys were graded and graveled to prevent water from backing up into property owners’ yards.

9) 4606 Waverly Road: Two handicap-accessible sidewalks were installed.

10) 3300 Riverside Drive sidewalk: Removed and replaced sidewalk that had been damaged by a vehicle that hit a parking lot bollard.

11) 1700 11th Ave.: Brush was cut back and trash was removed.

12) 7 Hillendale Court: A curb was installed to direct storm water to a catch basin, thereby preventing property owners from having flooding and erosion issues.

13) 800 block of 5 ½ Alley: Partnered with property owners to remove existing roadway and replace with concrete to match the west side of the alley. A storm line was also added to eliminate water from flowing onto the property and preventing ice buildup during the winter.

14) Madison Avenue sidewalk: Partnered with City Councilman Bill Rosenberger and the Tri-State Transit Authority to install 367 feet of sidewalk. A new bus station was installed at the Park Street/Madison Avenue intersection.

15) Crossroads ditch line: Removed debris, cut back brush and relined ditch with rip rap on Norway Avenue between Norwood Road and Arlington Boulevard. This allows for proper water flow and keeps water and ice off of the roadway.

16) Norway Avenue ditch line: Removed debris, cut back brush and relined ditch with rip rap on Norway Avenue near Forest Road. This allows for proper water flow, keeps water and ice off of the roadway and allows for widening of the roadway.

17) Trees/Stumps: Various dead or dying trees were removed throughout the city.

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January 9, 2017

Huntington Among 5 Finalists to Receive Vacant Property Assistance

Huntington is among five finalists in a competition to receive one of up to three technical assistance scholarships from the Center for Community Progress, a national nonprofit that helps communities revitalize vacant, abandoned and deteriorated properties.

The other finalists are Albany, New York; Las Vegas, Nevada; Memphis, Tennessee; and the Steel Rivers Council of Governments in Pennsylvania.

As finalists, the five communities will receive no-cost site visits from national experts, as well as assessments of their current activities and systems to address vacant and abandoned properties. Assessments may evaluate some of the following systems, tools, or practices: parcel data systems and data management practices; code enforcement programs and strategies; land banks; tax enforcement and foreclosure laws and practices; and vacant land reuse strategies. Assessments will take place between January and March 2017.

From this pool of five, up to three of the finalists will be chosen as recipients of a full scholarship through the Technical Assistance Scholarship Program. The full scholarship consists of up to 400 hours of deeply subsidized technical assistance over the course of nine months in 2017 to help recipient communities break new ground in their efforts to address property vacancy and abandonment.

“We are honored to be in the company of the four other finalists for the technical assistance scholarships from the Center for Community Progress,” Mayor Steve Williams said. “We have been innovative in addressing our vacant and abandoned properties, and we intend to set a standard that others will follow.“The Center for Community Progress is a leading advocate on addressing distressed properties and has been an active partner with the City of Huntington. We hope to have the opportunity to expand that relationship further.”

These five finalists were chosen through a competitive application process. Proposed projects are reviewed on a range of criteria, including the potential for innovation from which other cities can learn; demonstrated leadership to implement reform; overall scale of vacancy challenges; and need for outside assistance.

“The five finalist communities reflect a wide range of sizes, geographies, and challenges, but all have proven that they are firmly dedicated to strengthening their community stabilization and revitalization work,” said Tamar Shapiro, president and CEO of the Center for Community Progress. “We look forward to working more closely with each through the site visits and assessments.”

The Center for Community Progress first launched the Technical Assistance Scholarship Program in 2014 in response to a need to make it easier for communities to experiment and innovate in their efforts to tackle vacant properties, and to do so in a way that is affordable and supports both the scholarship recipients and the national field of practice. Grant funding from JPMorgan Chase supports the program.

More information about the Technical Assistance Scholarship Program is available on the Center for Community Progress website, www.communityprogress.net.

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January 3, 2017

Huntington Improves Score in 2016 Municipal Equality Index

When it comes to creating an inclusive community for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, the City of Huntington ranks higher than many cities in West Virginia and across the country, according to a new report from the nation’s largest LGBTQ civil rights organization.

The Human Rights Campaign has released its 2016 Municipal Equality Index, which ranks 506 U.S. cities of varying sizes on a number of factors, including nondiscrimination laws, municipal employment policies, inclusiveness of city services, law enforcement with regard to LGBTQ persons and municipal leadership on matters of equality.

Huntington received a score of 85 on a 100-point scale, which is in the top 25 percent of cities that were evaluated. The nationwide average was 55.

Charles Town (50), Lewisburg (49), Morgantown (46) and Parkersburg (20) were also included in the report. Charleston and Wheeling were listed in the report as well but their scores were not immediately available Tuesday.

Huntington was also one of only 87 cities from states without nondiscrimination laws protecting LGBTQ people that scored above the nationwide average of 55 points. These cities averaged 80-point scores.

Huntington improved its score of 65 in last year’s report because of an LGBTQ liaison being assigned to the Huntington Police Department, providing services to those living with HIV/AIDS, leadership’s pro-equality policy efforts, and a nondiscrimination policy for city contractors.

“A year later, our expectations are even more resolute. We expect to be known as a city of honor, respect and compassion,” Mayor Steve Williams said. “And while I am pleased to know that we have made strides to become more inclusive in Huntington, our work is not done. We are organizing our community so that every person has a distinct and vested responsibility to advance our city’s prosperity.

“My vision is that we embrace our diversity and actively seek inclusiveness as we learn to stand as one people celebrating our differences. We will be able to shape our future by assuring every person in our city has a seat at the table and has a voice to be heard.”

The city’s labor liaison, Teresa Ball, continues to work with the Mayor’s LGBTQ Advisory Committee, which was formed in 2015, on a number of initiatives to advance inclusiveness in Huntington, Mayor Williams said.

“As a resident of Huntington and as a member of the Mayor's LGBTQ Advisory Committee, I am so proud of the progress we have made in the area of LGBTQ rights,” said Kat Williams, the mayor’s liaison to the LGBTQ Advisory Committee. “Huntington is a diverse community and, as this report shows, we are also an inclusive one.

“For this city to grow and prosper, all of its citizens must have equal treatment and access. Under the mayor's leadership and with the hard work of our committee we are moving in that direction.”

The full report, including detailed scorecards for every city and a searchable database, is available online at www.hrc.org/mei.

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December 12, 2016

Mayor Williams to attend signing of 21st Century Cures Act

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December 7, 2016

City Prepared for Winter Weather

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December 5, 2016

Eastham Resigns as Fire Chief

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November 22, 2016

Public Works Completed 24 Sidewalk Repair Projects This Fall

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November 17, 2016

Festive Holiday Decorations Going Up in Downtown Huntington

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November 14, 2016

Free Holiday Parking Offered in Downtown Huntington

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November 14, 2016

Local Restaurants Teaming Up Again to Help Huntington Win America’s Best Communities Contest

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November 10, 2016

Electric Pedicab Service Begins in Downtown Huntington

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October 7, 2016

Williams resumes “Walks With the Mayor” this fall

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October 5, 2016

Mayor Launches Committee on Diversity and Inclusion

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October 3, 2016

Fall Paving Program Begins Wednesday, Oct. 5

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September 28, 2016

U.S. Conference of Mayors, Wells Fargo Foundation Announce $150,000 Grant

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September 22, 2016

Huntington Mayor Discuss Opiate Epidemic with Obama Administration Officials

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September 16, 2016

New and Improved Emergency Notification App Now Available

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September 14, 2016

Public Works Department Launches Sidewalk Repair Pilot Program

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August 8, 2016

Citizens Now Have Convenient Option For Reporting Minor Crimes

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July 29, 2016

City’s codified ordinances now online

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June 24, 2016

Update on Public Works Projects

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May 19, 2016

Cathy Burns Named City Manager

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May 11, 2016

Public Meeting to Kick Off Highlawn Brownfields Project

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May 3, 2016

Huntington Fire Department Now Carrying Life-Saving Medication For Opioid Overdoses

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April 28, 2016

Huntington Advances to Finals of America’s Best Communities competition

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April 22, 2016

Spring Paving Program to Begin April 26

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April 8, 2016

Drug Overdose Deaths Declining in Cabell County

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March 31, 2016

Citywide Street Sweeping Resumes Monday, April 4

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March 28, 2016

Vacant Buildings Now Must Be Registered With The City

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March 16, 2016

HPD Traffic Unit to Target Abandoned, Junked Vehicles this Spring

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March 8, 2016

Campaign signs

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March 7, 2016

Williams Named to National Task Force to Address Opioid Abuse

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March 4, 2016

Update on Highlawn Brownfields Properties

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March 3, 2016

“Open to All” Campaign Promotes Inclusiveness in City of Huntington

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February 23, 2016

Marshall Students Recognized for Banner Designs

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February 8, 2016

HFD receives donation of 175 carbon monoxide/smoke alarms

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February 3, 2016

Life-saving medication for opioid overdoses now available in Cabell County

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January 13, 2016

Huntington Advances to Semifinals in America’s Best Communities Competition

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December 22, 2015

Department of Planning and Development accepting CDBG applications for 2016

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December 17, 2015

Huntington ranks higher than state, national average on 2015 Municipal Equality Index

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December 3, 2015

Public Works Prepares for Winter

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November 18, 2015

Several Events Scheduled to Celebrate the Holidays

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November 16, 2015

New Christmas Decorations Installed in Downtown Huntington

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November 6, 2015

Short appointed to fill District 9 City Council seat

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November 3, 2015

Mayor Williams, others to attend reopening of Cabell County Adult Drug Court

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November 2, 2015

City can help get rid of bagged leaves

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November 2, 2015

City Offering Amnesty for Warrants Older Than 5 Years

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November 2, 2015

City Council to Appoint New Member

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October 29, 2015

‘801BAM’ to focus on land development, crime reduction plan for downtown Huntington

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October 27, 2015

City Unveils Community Revitalization Plan

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October 21, 2015

Neighborhood Institute to conduct workshops

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October 14, 2015

Applications sought for vacant City Council seat

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October 13, 2015

City conducts warrant sweep for repeat offenders, establishes amnesty program

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October 12, 2015

Downtown street sweeping begins Tuesday, Oct. 20

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October 6, 2015

Safe Routes to School Project Completed at Southside Elementary

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September 30, 2015

Neighborhood Institute of Huntington offers training to new groups

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September 30, 2015

City Service Fee takes effect at new rate Oct. 1

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September 29, 2015

What You Need to Know About the Fire Prevention Parade

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September 1, 2015

Cabell-Huntington Health Department launches syringe exchange

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August 31, 2015

Public Works Department Establishing Job Applicant Pool

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August 24, 2015

City Releases Fall 2015 Paving List

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August 24, 2015

District 2 Councilman Schedules Morning Meetings To Connect With Constituents

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August 20, 2015

Walk With the Mayor comes to Guyandotte on Aug. 25

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August 19, 2015

Partnership becoming model for reducing number of sexual assault kits

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August 19, 2015

Efforts Underway to Dispose of Dirty Syringes

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August 11, 2015

Water Quality Board aims to improve customer service

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August 7, 2015

Walk With the Mayor comes to Walnut Hills on Aug. 11

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August 5, 2015

Solutions to drug epidemic discussed among Huntington, Charleston officials

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August 5, 2015

Update on Revitalization Plan and America’s Best Communities Competition

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July 27, 2015

Encore performance of “Collis P.” to serve as fundraiser for city’s revitalization plan

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July 23, 2015

Citywide Street Sweeping Begins in Huntington

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July 16, 2015

Appalachia HIDTA provides funding for life-saving equipment, training

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July 13, 2015

Drug-Testing Kits to Provide Conversation Starters, Resources for Parents

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July 8, 2015

More Walks With The Mayor Scheduled This Summer

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July 8, 2015

Street Closures for WV HOG Rally

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July 8, 2015

City of Huntington Ticket Payment Procedures

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July 7, 2015

Huntington awarded EPA grants for cleaning up brownfields sites

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June 29, 2015

Stormwater Utility receives DEP award for environmental partnership

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June 10, 2015

HPD Reserve Unit seeking new recruits

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May 1, 2015

‘1100 BAM’ Offers Visioning Process for Downtown Huntington

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April 30, 2015

Second community conversation to focus on drug crimes, addiction, neighborhood safety

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April 29, 2015

Huntington named quarterfinalist in America’s Best Communities competition

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April 24, 2015

‘Walk With the Mayor’ Outreach Initiative Starts April 28

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April 15, 2015

Huntington in Bloom springs into action

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March 25, 2015

Downtown Live announces two exciting initiatives

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March 17, 2015

Mayor, UFI to host small business forum

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March 16, 2015

City officials announce action plan for drug epidemic

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March 12, 2015

Rik Edgar hired as new GM of Big Sandy Superstore Arena

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March 9, 2015

Huntington to receive EPA grant to clean up brownfields properties, launch advanced polymer center

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February 10, 2015

Williams named 2014 HPD Officer of the Year

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January 28, 2015

Henderson Named Municipal Court Judge

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January 14, 2015

New Exterior Home Preservation Program Offered

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January 13, 2015

Dogwood Arts and Crafts Festival accepting vendor applications

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January 13, 2015

City Council Leadership Selected for 2015

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January 13, 2015

Insco, Damron appointed to new positions

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January 8, 2015

Traffic crash reports now available online

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January 7, 2015

2015 Holiday Garbage Pickup Schedule

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