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Putnam County Commission Hires New Humane Officer, Fills Prosecuting Attorney Vacancy

The Putnam County Commission announced the hiring of a new chief humane officer to oversee the Putnam County Animal Shelter. County Manager introduced Jon Rutherford to the Commission and all in attendance at its August 8 meeting.

Young said Rutherford has experience at the Huntington Cabell Wayne Animal Control Shelter and the Cabell County Sheriff’s Office. “We are happy to have his leadership, his management skills, and I think he is going to work well with the public, the elected officials and most importantly, the animals,” Young stated.

Rutherford said, “I know there have been a lot of issues in Putnam County. I am happy to come up and try to take care of some of these issues. I feel like I can work with the members in this room.” One of the first things he would like to do is to make the Putnam County Animal Shelter a no-kill shelter.

“I know there’s been a lot of issues in Putnam County and I’m happy to come up and help take care of some of these issues,” Rutherford said. He also said he looks forward to transparency from the shelter with the community.

In other business, the Commission appointed Assistant Putnam County Prosecutor Kris Raynes to become Putnam County’s prosecuting attorney beginning August 31st. Raynes will fill the unexpired term of long-time prosecutor Mark Sorsaia who is now a cabinet secretary for Governor Jim Justice.

The Commission made the selection following interviews with Raynes and local attorney Brenden Long in executive session. Raynes will be sworn in at the Commission’s August 29th meeting and take the job on August 31st. Raynes had already filed pre-candidacy papers to seek the office prior to Sorsaia’s appointment as Homeland Security Secretary.

The Commission voted to modify the county’s existing noise ordinance. The new ordinance specifies an allowable decibel level between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. to be 99 decibels in 250 feet in a housing facility. The previous ordinance specified no more than 80 decibels within a 100-foot radius. Commissioner Skidmore stated that children playing often exceed the 80 decibel limit. Commissioner Deweese said that both lawnmower and leaf blowers register greater than the 80 decibel level.

The Commission approved the re-appointment of J.P. Owens to the Building Commission Board, Mark Smith to the Public Service Board, and James Bowyer, Allison Jones and James Vanoy to the Parks and Recreation Board.

The next Putnam County Commission meeting is 5 p.m. on August 29.

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