Huntington

Jan Rader Pinning Cermony
City of Huntington Facebook

Huntington has hired the first full time female fire chief in the state of West Virginia.

Jan Rader is the first woman in the state to lead a professional fire department. The one-time gemologist, who worked at a jewelry store in Washington, D.C. didn’t see this day coming.

Rader said one day while working in the Jewelry store, a woman had a heart attack and she couldn’t help. She said thankfully two women in the store were there and helped the woman. From there, Rader said her feelings on life changed and she wanted to help people.

Manchin Job Fair Huntington
Clark Davis / WV Public Broadcasting

Several job seekers from southern West Virginia traveled to Huntington Friday to explore employment opportunities.

Nearly 150 employers were at the Big Sandy Arena  in Huntington Friday, looking to fill job vacancies. United States Senator Joe Manchin’s office organized the three-hour job fair in downtown Huntington. Employers ranging from Wendy’s to state government were on hand, as well as local colleges like Marshall University that offered assistance for education options. Senator Manchin said he wanted to present job seekers with a variety of choices all in one place.

Cash Money
Psychonaught / Wikimedia Commons

A Huntington audit has uncovered the city's fire pension board failed to properly calculate retirees' pensions, resulting in overpayments for over 25 years.

City Manager Cathy Burns says the city overpaid about 50 fire department retirees. Burns says miscalculations started in 1990 when the city moved to a "confusing" state formula.

Huntington wins America's Best Communities comp
America's Best Communities Facebook

The city of Huntington is the first place winner of America’s Best Communities competition. The announcement came Wednesday night. Huntington officials in Denver, Colorado, received a $3 million award to be used on local revitalization efforts.

Huntington was one of the 8 finalists last April and has already received $100,000.

Huntington America's Best Community FInalist
America's Best Communities Competition

The city of Huntington will find out later today (Wednesday) if it’s one of the Best Communities in the country.

Last April, Huntington was announced as a finalist for the America’s Best Communities competition. The year-long event will wrap up Wednesday with the top 8 cities giving a final presentation in Denver, Colorado. The winner will be announced at 7:00 p.m. Wednesday night.

Jan Rader - Huntington Fire Chief
City of Huntington Facebook

Jan Rader has become the first female professional firefighter to attain the rank of fire chief in West Virginia after being sworn in as Huntington fire chief Wednesday.

The Herald-Dispatch reports Rader has served in the Huntington Fire Department for 22 years. She had been interim fire chief since December, upon her predecessor's resignation.

e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia / West Virginia Division of Tourism / David Fattaleh

On March 30, 1838, Marshall Academy was incorporated in what is now Huntington. The school had been established the previous year as a private school to educate the children of farmers in the region. The first classes were held in a small log church on the knoll where Marshall’s Old Main building now stands.

In 1858, the Virginia Assembly granted college status to Marshall. However, the school closed its doors a little more than two years later when the Civil War began.

Jan Rader - Huntington Fire Chief
City of Huntington Facebook

Officials in Huntington say the city has hired what is believed to be the first female fire chief in West Virginia.

The City Council approved Jan Rader's appointment Monday. She will earn nearly $77,000.

Catfish Gray
E-WV / WV Humanities Council

Herbalist and folk doctor Clarence Frederick “Catfish” Gray died in Huntington on March 13, 2002, at age 84. A native of Jackson County, he worked in various jobs, raised 10 children, and was a walking encyclopedia of traditional plant lore.

After a workplace accident in the early 1950s left him unable to do physical labor, Gray began gathering and selling wildflowers and herbs, while dispensing advice for using them medicinally. He sorted and packaged his unique blend of herbs in little bags at his home near Glenwood in Mason County.

On February 22, 1945, Justice Chambers was wounded in action on Iwo Jima. For his heroic efforts, he was awarded the Medal of Honor.

Chambers was born in Huntington in 1908 and attended Marshall College (now University) but moved to Washington D.C. before graduating. He attended law school at night, earned his degree, and worked for several federal agencies.

Dru attended Wheeling High School but, relocated to New York, where she worked as a model and cover girl.
E-WV / WV Humanities Council

Movie and television actress Joanne Dru was born in Logan on January 31, 1922. Originally named Joan Lacock, her father was a pharmacist in Logan.

The family moved to Huntington, where Dru’s brother, Ralph Pierre Lacock, was born. He later changed his name to Peter Marshall and was the longtime host of the Hollywood Squares game show.

It devastated communities along the entire 1000-mile stretch of the Ohio.
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia online. / WV Humanities Council

On January 28, 1937, the Ohio River crested in Huntington nearly 20 feet above flood stage. Days earlier, it’d crested at the same level in Parkersburg and 10 feet above flood stage in Wheeling.

The Ohio River had always been prone to flooding. Just 10 months before, the Ohio had hit record levels at Wheeling.

Nikthestoned / wikimedia Commons

Steel of West Virginia is challenging a sewer rate hike by the city of Huntington, saying it lacks legally required public notice.

The Huntington-based supplier of structural steel wants an injunction in Cabell County Circuit Court to block a 57 percent rate increase over two years.

e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia online.

Legendary political consultant Matthew Reese died on December 1, 1998, at the age of 71. His political career started in 1948, when he helped Huntington’s Maurice “Bernie” Burnside get elected to Congress.

Dollar Photo Club

An Ohio man was accused of distributing an elephant sedative to people, which, according to federal prosecutors, resulted in about two dozen overdoses in a West Virginia city.

On Monday, prosecutors charged 22-year-old Bruce Lamar Griggs of Akron, Ohio, with distributing carfentanil and fentanyl, local news organizations reported.

1970 Marshall University Football Team
Marshall University

On the night of November 14, 1970, a Southern Airways DC-9 approached a foggy and rainy Tri-State Airport in Wayne County. The airliner slammed into a hillside just short of the runway and burst into flames. All 75 passengers were killed.

On board were nearly the entire Marshall University football team along with the head coach, athletic director, and 36 other fans, coaches, announcers, and crew members. It is still the deadliest sports-related air disaster in U.S. history.

World War I Ends: Nov. 11 1918

Nov 11, 2016
The last-surviving WWI veteran was Frank Buckles died at Charles Town in 2011 at the age of 110.
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia online. / Frank Buckles, WWI, Charles Town,

On November 11, 1918, World War I ended after more than four years of brutal fighting. Nearly 39 million soldiers had been killed, wounded, or listed as missing. American soldiers arrived on the scene only during the last year-and-a-half of the war. Still, some 116,000 died in the conflict.

About 58,000 West Virginians served in the war. Of these, more than 1,100 were killed in action, and nearly 700 died in training. Many others died from influenza or other diseases.

Opening of The Huntington Museum of Art: November 9, 1952

Nov 9, 2016
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia / David Fattaleh / WV Division of Tourism (WVDT)

 On November 9, 1952, the Huntington Galleries opened in the Park Hills section of Huntington. It was West Virginia’s largest art museum. By the time the name of the galleries was changed to the Huntington Museum of Art in 1987, the collection had grown to more than 15,000 objects.

Libby Knight

In April 2015, they released their first full-length Snowflake Mandala. Less than a year later, they earned an entry into the 2016 International Blues Challenge with their second release U Can't Bother Me. And now, Huntington rockers The Shadowshaker Band are back with a bigger band and a bluer sound.

We sat down with The Shadowshaker Band's Eve Marcum-Atkinson and Michael Lyzenga in the #wvpublic studios to talk about the band's new record Heart on the Line and their blues-y beginnings.

Dollar Photo Club

Authorities say the heroin that led 27 people to overdose in a five-hour span in a single West Virginia city had been mixed with the powerful painkiller fentanyl.

The Herald-Dispatch of Huntington reports that investigators for the first time detailed the potency of the concoction in a federal indictment Tuesday.

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