FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Sept. 13, 2012
MAJOR FEDERAL-STATE-CITY DEMOLITION PROJECT RAZES BLIGHTED STRUCTURES IN HUNTINGTON’S FAIRFIELD NEIGHBORHOOD
Goodwin: Tearing down former ‘magnets of crime’ a huge victory for Huntington’s Fairfield
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin, joined by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, West Virginia National Guard Major General James Hoyer along with Huntington Mayor Kim Wolfe, Huntington Police Department Chief Skip Holbrook and several Fairfield community leaders, announced today a major demolition project aimed at removing blighted structures located in Huntington’s Fairfield neighborhood.
The project coincides with an ongoing commitment between local, state and federal government to revitalize the Fairfield section of Huntington.
U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin said that the demolition project is a significant victory for the entire city of Huntington. “The houses on this corner have been a magnet for crime for years,” Goodwin said. “Tearing them down is a huge victory for law and order, and it sends a very clear message: This isn’t a place that will put up with crime and lawlessness. If you’re a drug pusher or a street crook, you’re not welcome anywhere in the city of Huntington.”
The West Virginia National Guard, with assistance from the West Virginia Division of Highways, led the demolition efforts of the structures located on 18th Street in Huntington. Goodwin said that the project was a model for cooperation by all levels of government to solve community problems.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia has worked closely with city of Huntington officials over the past few years implementing a broad strategy which has included federal funding and a successful drug market intervention program that has helped drastically reduce crime in Fairfield. “Over the past few years, I’ve been honored to be a part of a comprehensive attack on the problems facing this community,” Goodwin said. “The city, the county, the state, and the federal government have all made it a top priority to get this neighborhood well again.”
Goodwin also said that the successful conviction earlier this week in a case against the former owner of the All-in-One convenience store on 9th Avenue has further helped turn the tide in Huntington. “A church or a school can lift a neighborhood up,” Goodwin said. “However, a place where criminals feel at home, like these abandoned old houses, or a store that welcomes drug dealers and thieves—those places drag the whole neighborhood down.”