Ohio County Commissioners Approve Hiring of Two Deputies | News, Sports, Jobs

Photo by Shelley Hanson – Lou Vargo, Director of the Wheeling-Ohio County Emergency Management Agency, and Ohio County Sheriff Tom Howard talk before the start of the regular meeting of the County of the County Commission of l Tuesday Ohio.

WHEELING — The Ohio County Commission approved the hiring of two new deputies for the sheriff’s department at their regular meeting Tuesday.

Commissioners Randy Wharton, Don Nickerson and Zachary Abraham also endorsed Sheriff Tom Howard to proceed with rebuilding the department’s hiring roster via upcoming civil service reviews.

Howard said the department recently retired four people. The two new recruits are people who already work as security guards at the City-County Building.

Two additional people will be hired from the future list of eligible candidates. With the new recruits, the department will have a total of 32 deputies.

“Thanks for the new recruits,” Howard said.

Howard noted that the department plans to take active shooter training at West Liberty University next week. The formation, known as ALICE, stands for alert, lockdown, information, counter and evasion. He is training ALICE at Ohio County Schools at later dates.

Howard said the department may also begin applying for various grants for necessary equipment, such as body cameras. Firearms recertification training for MPs will begin in May and last approximately three weeks.

The commissioners also approved the 2022-23 financial year. Commissioner Don Nickerson said the budget was $21.15 million.

Commissioners approved a request for a hotel-motel tax grant of $500 from Scramble for Scouts, scheduled for May 26 at Oglebay Park, and $500 for the Helping Heroes fundraising event scheduled for May 20 at River City Restaurant.

Abraham said a vintage transportation show was tentatively scheduled at Ohio County Airport on Sept. 24.

Nickerson said he received calls from people complaining about Mount de Chantal Road next to Kroger. He said the West Virginia Highways Division told him the street belonged to the city of Wheeling and would be patched by the city with a hot patch when the asphalt plants reopen.

Lou Vargo, director of the Wheeling-Ohio County Emergency Management Agency, said the EMA and the sheriff’s department recently had a meeting with Tunnel Ridge Mine. The company is expected to begin mining below Bear Rock Lake on May 5.

“They work closely with the Ministry of Natural Resources. They will monitor it daily,” he said.

Administrator Randy Russell said the county can apply for a $1.7 million bipartisan infrastructure legislation grant to help make improvements to the airport, including replacing the terminal and tower roofs and glass panels in the tower. The grant requires a match of 5% or $85,000, he said.

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