WELLSBURG -The Brooke County Commission on Tuesday accepted a bid for the demolition of two houses adjacent to the county courthouse and agreed to help a local club promote awareness of breast cancer prevention.
The commission agreed to hire Mike Pusateri Excavating of East Liverpool, Ohio, to demolish the Charnock and Pertko houses between the courthouse and the former county museum.
The county's building commission recommended the commissioners accept the bid of $26,455 submitted by Pusateri, noting it was the lower of two received.
PROMOTING AWARENESS — The Brooke County Commission granted the Community Educational Outreach Service club permission to place a wreath and flag outside the county courthouse to promote Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which is October. Attending Tuesday’s county commission meeting were, from left, Commissioner Tim Ennis; Kathryn Roush, CEOS member; Carol Donohue, CEOS vice president; Shelly Dusic, health information specialist for the West Virginia Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening Program; and Commissioners Norma Tarr and Jim Andreozzi. -- Linda Harris
Both owned by the commission, the Charnock house was built in 1790 and the Pertko house was built in 1849.
Their removal would allow the commission to pursue long-range plans of expanding the courthouse to accommodate the county's magistrate and family law courts.
The two courts were moved from the courthouse's first floor to the third floor of the Progressive Bank building following the 2004 flood. But the commission has since discovered that area of the building, which is separate from the bank's first floor lobby and offices, don't comply with the state fire code.
The commission is pursuing funding for the expansion.
Commissioner Tim Ennis said the poor condition of the two houses was the primary motive for their removal, however.
The commissioners agreed again to post a pink flowered wreath and flag bearing a pink ribbon at the entrance of the courthouse to promote Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which is October.
The move was made at the request of the Brooke County Community Educational Outreach Service, a club that each year marks the occasion by placing wreaths at public places in Follansbee and Wellsburg.
Carol Donohue, the group's vice president, thanked the commission for their support and Follansbee officials for allowing the club to place a wreath near the city's softball field along state Route 2.
Donohue said city crews also have helped to maintain the area around the wreath, pulling weeds around it.
The group agreed to place a wreath in Beech Bottom also this year at the request of Beech Bottom Mayor George Lewis, who attended the commission meeting.
Also on hand was Shelly Dusic, a health cancer information specialist for the West Virginia Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening Program.
A proclamation prepared for the commission with Dusic's help stated an estimated 1,324 women in West Virginia will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year and about 282 will die from it. It added one in eight women have a chance of developing breast cancer and one in 36 have a chance of dying from it.
But Dusic noted the good news is it is a slow growing form of cancer, and, if found during its first three stages, is 95 percent curable.
The American Cancer Society recommends yearly mammograms for women 40 and older, a clinical breast examination every three years for women in their 20s and 30s and every year for women 40 and older.
Women in their 20s are encouraged to perform self-examinations following the instructions of their health care providers.
Commissioner Jim Andreozzi said he underwent a mammogram to address concerns about a lump and feels more men should be aware they also can develop breast cancer.
Dusic said breast cancer is less common in men but does affect about one in 1,000 and early detection also is vital for them.
She noted that free or low-cost clinical breast exams, mammograms and exams to detect cervical cancer are available to women who meet certain income levels.
Funded through the state Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening Program, they are available locally at the Brooke and Hancock county health departments and the Family Medical Care healthcare facility operated by C.H.A.N.G.E., Inc. in Weirton, among several others in the Northern Panhandle.
For information, call (304) 737-3665 in Brooke County, (304) 546-3343 in Hancock County or (304) 723-2192 in Weirton.
Dusic added Bonnie's Bus, a mobile mammogram unit operated by West Virginia University's Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center, will be coming to Brooke High School, Nov. 5.
Appointments may be made between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. For information, call the Brooke County Health Department at (304) 737-3665.
The vehicle offers digital mammograms to women 45 and older who may not have easy access to them at area hospitals. Results are sent to the patients and their physicians for their analysis.
Because it takes about 30 minutes to register and screen each patient, appointments are limited to 15 per a visit, though the bus' visit has occasionally been extended to meet high demand for its services. Financial assistance is available to eligible participants.
In other business, the commission:
Agreed to sign with Assure America for its worker compensation and liability insurance coverage. Ennis said the commission met with a few insurance providers, and Assure America offered the lowest price, with about $63,000 for worker compensation and $128,000 for liability.
Ennis said the commission hopes to reduce that cost further by doing an inventory of its vehicles to ensure the county isn't paying for coverage of vehicles it no longer owns.
Set Halloween trick or treat hours as 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 31. Lewis noted the same hours have been adopted for Beech Bottom.
Approved the hiring of Emily Collins as a part-time employee of the county's animal shelter.
(Scott can be contacted at email@example.com)