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Hospitals' relocation plans, Marion Co. murder top news in July

by J.R. Brammer

STAFF WRITER

United Hospital Center, in late July, continued pondering the possibility of moving closer to Interstate 79 to cash in on easily accessible hospitalization.

Fairmont General Hospital, to the north, and Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital, to the south, hopped on the bandwagon shortly after UHC paved the way. Each hospital cited the importance of quick access to motorists.

"Why does Wal-Mart get on the interstate," one hospital official says. "It's location, location, location."

Clarksburg City Council officials fired off a quick response, voicing concern that if UHC relocates, city residents stand to lose immensely because of greater difficulty in obtaining health care.

To this day, UHC officials, representing a private enterprise, remain mum about the details of the pending relocation.

On July 6, Marion County police announced that two teens have confessed to murdering a gay black man who allegedly told people he had had an affair with one of the suspects.

Jared Wilson and David Parker are later charged with beating Arthur "J.R." Warren, 26, to death and then running him over with a car to disguise the nature of his injuries. The high-profile murder trials for both defendants will be heard next year. Neither suspect will be tried in Marion County.

On July 20, Clarksburg City Council voted unanimously to switch city employee insurance plans to the state's Public Employees Insurance Agency. The change also covers retirees.

While PEIA is $60 million in debt, the move stands to save Clarksburg $400,000. Officials were adamant that the switch means no loss in benefits.

On July 14, the downtown Clarksburg telemarketing firm InfoCision announced plans to expand for the third time since setting up shop locally one year ago.

The call center, which opened as a 60-seat telemarketing office, opened an additional 24 seats in July and announced plans for another 48.

Also in July, union officials slammed Dominion Resources for publicly stating that layoffs in Harrison and Lewis counties will have no adverse effect on employment within the region.

Richmond, Va.-based Dominion merged with Consolidated Natural Gas, which has an office in Clarksburg, in January. An estimated 60 positions are eliminated in the region, reports say.

Also in July:

- Gerald Everett Jr., 34, is charged with murdering an Anmoore woman and setting fire to her house to cover up the evidence.

- Drug task force agents arrested four people after lengthy investigation.

- Bids opened for a Harrison County Courthouse renovation project.

- Dominion, union talks end.

- Mountaineer Hydraulics in Shinnston was a total loss after a fire swept through the building.

- The Clarksburg Water Board offered Richard Welch the position of general manager. Welch accepted.

- Officials chose a Randolph County location for the newest regional jail.

Staff writer J.R. Brammer can be reached at 626-1442 or by e-mail at jbrammer@exponent-telegram.com.

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