COLUMN: Marshall School of Pharmacy Undertaking $55 Million Dollar Investment in Fairfield

Updated 1 year ago by Tony E. Rutherford, News Editor
COLUMN: Marshall School of Pharmacy Undertaking $55 Million Dollar Investment in Fairfield

Following a cold, misty, gray winter that did not want to let Spring enter, Huntington has been chalking up development success as the calendar swings to warm construction.

An area once the target of the ambitious weed and seed program has more than seedlings sprouting in the former drug infested Northcott public housing site a block from Hal Greer Blvd., the main interstate pathway to Huntington, Marshall University , and Pullman Square. 

After demolition of the project built during the WPA post depression era, the site awaits dirt flying.

Marshall University's School of Pharmacy announced Wed. May 2 a $55 million dollar investment in what chief of staff Brandi Jacobs-Jones called, "the medical research corridor."

A 50,000 square foot four story structure will move the School of Pharmacy to within walking distance of Cabell Huntington Hospital and the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine.

A 280 bed graduate living facility will also be built geared toward attracting advanced degree students to the Fairfield area. 

“That helps build synergy. It also provides people with disposable income who will patron along Hal Greer," she said during a WCHS TV interview, emphasizing that the expansion will bring about 900 individuals with disposable income to the area.

Construction begins later this month with a targeted Fall 2019 opening.

At the final April council meeting, interim police chief Hank Dial touted new statistics that continues enhancing his rep as the city's embodiment of Gotham City's honest cop Jim Gordon. Maybe Joe Friday would be a cool comparison too.

Violent crime in Huntington is down 9 percent for the first four months of this year compared to the first four months of 2017. Property crime is down 14 percent. Dial made that announcement with greater details at the aforementioned council meeting, following a multi-agency drug bust.

Speaking of the raid, U.S. Attorney Mike Stewart tweeted Wednesday: "Huntington Raid Update- Targets arrested in Huntington, Detroit (5), Jacksonville (2), Canton. All but one federal target remains or is in custody. NO REVOLVING DOOR! And we will fight hard to keep them locked up & off streets. Since raid, drug stats look far better. Not done."

On the other hand, many of those arraigned in Cabell County Magistrate Court have already bonded out. The chief complaint remains that the county can't afford the incarceration costs of inmates. 

However, an officer involved shooting in Guyandotte involved a suspect that had bonded out of jail. In addition, the man suspected in the robbery beating of Sam Torlone, owner of G.D. Ritzy's has an extensive record of violent crimes. 

A standing room only crowd packed the parking lot to hold hands and pray for Torlone's recovery. 

Two strong hints that reexamination of bond releases is needed, especially for users. One a source said managed to dupe the system into assigning home confinement to a known drug house.

Cabell EMS recently told the Herald Dispatch that a reoirted 62 overdose reports in April  was the lowest since 51 were reported in January 2016. 

And, the city has received planning and research grants to determine contamination in the surrounding soil of former manufacturing plants in Highlawn community. 

Hopefully, the city's blooming economic development will continue. 

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