EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSHuntington To Launch New Initiative In West End
from Eyewitness News Online
Reported by: Darrah Wilcox
Web Producer: Darrah Wilcox
Reported: Aug. 13, 2013 6:11 PM EDT
Updated: Aug. 14, 2013 9:42 AM EDT
Huntington , Cabell County , West Virginia
Ryan Bloss has lived in the same west Huntington house since she was five years old. "I've been here almost my whole life," she said.
That's why it she and her family have stuck by their west Huntington neighborhood, even when this house across the street turned into a haven for drug activity. "Then they finally raided it and got in out of there," she said.
Bloss sounded off her concerns about the neighborhood to Congressman Nick Rahall and Huntington city leaders as they took a trolley tour through west Huntington.
This area of town will soon be targeted through the River to Rail initiative, much like the Weed and Seed program that significantly reduced violent crime activity in the Fairfield area of Huntington. It's a community oriented initiative that they hope will not only decrease crime, but also encourage economic development and improve the quality of life in west end of town.
Huntington police Chief Skip Holbrook said, "We've got to engage the community and not think in single silos and approach this from a holistic standpoint."
The tour stopped at a couple Central City businesses to get more feedback about changes they would like to see.
Jill LaFear and her husband run Ackenpucky, a place that restores and repurposes unique household items. LaFear said, "Having other people come through here gives us a lot of hope to be able to grow even more."
It's a project aimed to build hope for the future, and restore faith from the past.
Bloss said, "It used to be a really good neighborhood. And it still is to an extent. "
Rahall told her, "It will come back. Patience. Persistence."
"Yeah," said Bloss, "That's right."
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