A1 A1
Tanyard Station plans for next phase

BARBOURSVILLE — While there has not been much visible activity lately at Tanyard Station, the new retail development in Barboursville, the developer says a new phase of construction is scheduled to start in the spring of 2020.

“We are excited to begin a new phase at Tanyard Station,” said Brent Roswall, a native of Barboursville and co-owner of Interstate Realty, the company developing the site.

Roswall says the proposed new phase includes a 107-room extended stay hotel; 31,600 square feet of retail space; 16,000 square feet of office space; and a 3,600-square-foot restaurant. He said his company is in talks with national tenants to build on the second phase of development.

“We are negotiating with a hotel developer and new restaurant to the area,” Roswall said. “We are not able to make announcements until the leases are signed. We hope to have announcements by the end of the year.”

Tanyard Station is located along U.S. 60 at the intersection with Big Ben Bowen Highway. It is on the 51.73-acre site of the former CSX railroad yard, off Exit 18 of Interstate 64, along the Mud River and Tanyard Branch Creek.

On Dec. 21, 2018, the first four businesses that opened at Tanyard Station were Aldi, Sheetz, Aspen Dental and Verizon Wireless.

On Jan. 22, 2019, LongHorn Steakhouse and Hwy 55 Burgers, Shakes & Fries opened, and then in March this year Sport Clips Haircuts opened.

Previously announced businesses, Menards and Zen Nails & Spa are still coming, but have not announced any projected opening dates.

“The nail salon is currently doing their buildout and Menards is expected to start construction any day,” Roswall said. “Menards did request the signage company contact so they could install their signs on the pylon. Hopefully, they get going soon.”

Roswall said Tanyard Station’s site plan has been updated showing the next phase of the development, but added that it can and will change many times before the project is completed.

“I have done multiple site plans from time to time, and this is used for reaching out to tenants to see if they are interested in Tanyard, but it does not mean the deals are done,” Roswall explained.

The Tanyard Station projected cost has been estimated at $100 million, with $9 million of that total for road and traffic upgrades.

For more information about the Tanyard Station retail development and latest site plan, visit https://ira-realty.com/commercial-development/developments/tanyard-station/.

Follow reporter Fred Pace at Facebook.com/FredPaceHD and via Twitter @FredPaceHD.

Republicans disrupt impeachment deposition

WASHINGTON — Republicans brought House Democrats’ impeachment investigation to a halt on Wednesday as around two dozen GOP House members stormed into a closed-door deposition with a Defense Department official. Democrats said the move compromised national security as some of them brought electronic devices into a secure room.

The GOP maneuver delayed a deposition with Laura Cooper, a senior Defense Department official who oversees Ukraine policy, until midafternoon. The interview began roughly five hours behind schedule, after a security check by Capitol officials.

As a series of diplomats have been interviewed in the probe, several of them detailing President Donald Trump’s efforts to persuade Ukraine to investigate a political rival, many Republicans have been silent on the president’s behavior. But they have been outspoken about their disdain for Democrats and the impeachment process, saying it is unfair to them even though they have been allowed to participate.

“The members have just had it and they want to be able to see and represent their constituents and find out what’s going on,” said Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, the top Republican on the House Oversight and Reform panel. That committee is one of three leading the investigation, and its members are allowed into the closed-door hearings.

U.S. Reps. Carol Miller and Alex Mooney, both from West Virginia, were among the Republicans who participated in the demonstration, and on social media echoed Jordan’s reasoning for the action.

Democrats deny that Republicans are being treated unfairly, noting they have had equal time to question witnesses and full access to the meetings. But they said the lawmakers — several of whom do not sit on one of the three committees — had compromised security at the closed-door deposition. The interviews are being held in what is called a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility, or SCIF, which is a totally secure room where members can hear classified information.

Several lawmakers leaving the facility said that some of the Republicans had brought their cellphones, even though electronics are not allowed. All members of Congress are familiar with the protocol of the SCIF, since they are often invited to classified briefings, and there are several such rooms around the Capitol.

Lawmakers described a chaotic scene. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., said she had just walked into the room when the Republican lawmakers blew past Capitol Police officers and Democratic staffers. The staff member who was checking identification at the entrance was “basically overcome” by the Republicans, she said.

“Literally some of them were just screaming about the president and what we’re doing to him and that we have nothing and just all things that were supportive of the president,” Wasserman Schultz said.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., criticized his Republican colleagues for the tactic, calling them “nuts” to make a “run on the SCIF.”

“That’s not the way to do it,” he said.

The Republicans decried that the deposition was happening behind closed doors and said Americans should be able to read the transcripts of any interviews being conducted as part of impeachment.

Democrats have promised to release the transcripts when it won’t affect their investigation, and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff has pushed back on the criticism of the depositions.

Schiff said in a letter to colleagues last week that “the majority and minority have been provided equal staff representation and time to question witnesses, who have stayed until the majority and the minority have asked all of their questions — often late into the evening.”

Several Republicans appeared to be tweeting from the secure room. North Carolina Rep. Mark Walker tweeted: “UPDATE: We are in the SCIF and every GOP Member is quietly listening.” Georgia Rep. Buddy Carter wrote that “my Republican colleagues and I just stormed the impeachment hearing room and finally got in.”

Arizona Rep. Andy Biggs retweeted some of his colleagues but followed up with a clarification: “All tweets sent out when I’m in the SCIF are being transmitted to staff for publication,” he wrote.

The standoff came the day after a top U.S. diplomat testified that he was told Trump withheld military aid to Ukraine until that country’s president went public with a promise to investigate Democrats. Democratic Rep. Ted Lieu of California said Republicans didn’t want to hear from Cooper because they were “freaked out” by what William Taylor told lawmakers.

“They know more facts are going to be delivered that are absolutely damning to the president of the United States,” Lieu said.

As some members remained in the room, Rep. Steven Lynch, D-Mass., said Democrats shouldn’t call security to remove the Republicans because it would be “theatrics.”

“Just having members hauled off, even though it might give some people great pleasure, I think we just have to handle it in a better fashion,” Lynch said. “Hopefully, with some deliberations, cooler heads will prevail.”

Pumpkin House returns as AutumnFest centerpiece

C-K AutumnFest, a one-of-a-kind seasonal celebration, is off to another hot start this year, returning bigger and better than ever for its 10th consecutive year.

While the centerpiece of the festivities is the renowned Pumpkin House, which is now well under development ahead of the weekend, the 2019 C-K AutumnFest is jam-packed full of fun for the whole family, including new and exciting events to celebrate a decade full of seasonal fun in the towns of Ceredo and Kenova.

AutumnFest has grown significantly since it began in fall 2010. Learn more about its past, plans for the present, and the full lineup of this weekend’s events in today’s Weekend section, page 7B.

— The Herald-Dispatch

Career civil rights advocate tapped to lead Huntington Human Relations Commission

HUNTINGTON — Marshall P. Moss, a longtime employee of the West Virginia Human Rights Commission, has been hired as executive director of the recently revived Huntington Human Relations Commission.

Members of the Huntington commission voted unanimously Tuesday to recommend Moss for the position, which followed a two-month-long process to interview and narrow down a pool of about 24 applicants. Mayor Steve Williams approved of the recommendation and then appointed Moss to the position, which becomes effective Dec. 1.

Moss has a long career in civil rights advocacy, spending the past 25 years with the West Virginia Human Rights Commission in various positions, most recently as an investigator/conciliator. In that role, Moss handled the agency’s compliance review and enforcement program and contributed to the agency’s education and outreach efforts. Before that, he spent five years as executive director of the Charleston Human Rights Commission.

Moss said he is excited to get the commission off the ground again and to further the city’s mission of diversity and inclusion. He’s also looking forward to local civil rights advocacy after spending so many years with the state.

“It’s been long known the fact that local commission has gone away. I myself have been the director of a local commission, so I know the value of one,” he said. “There are things that local commissions can get involved in and stay with the community in ways that the state is not able to.”

As executive director of the Huntington Human Relations Commission, Moss will lead efforts to investigate alleged violations of the city’s nondiscrimination ordinance and take action against those found to be in violation of it. He also will have an office inside City Hall and will be able to hire an administrative assistant.

“We want to be approachable. We have a very diverse commission makeup and there appears to me to be a lot of talent around the commission’s table,” he said. “So we should be able to provide a variety of counseling points to folks to help them do the right thing.”

Moss underwent a final interview with the full 11-member commission during an hour-long executive session Tuesday. After voting publicly for his recommendation, several members highlighted Moss’ long career in civil rights and said they are excited for the leadership he will bring to the recently revived commission.

The city’s previous Human Relations Commission was disbanded in 2011 amid a lack of funding. It was revived this year after City Council members set aside money in the city’s 2019-20 fiscal year budget. Bringing back the commission has been one of Williams’ goals for several years.

In addition to his experience with the State Human Rights Commission, Moss is certified as a “Professional Human Rights Worker” by the National Association of Human Rights Workers. He has also completed a five-week course offered by the National Fair Housing Training Academy.

In 2015, he was recognized as as an honoree at the Governor’s Annual Civil Rights Day program and also received recognition from the 11th Family Court Circuit during Black History Month in 2016.

Moss grew up in Logan County and received his bachelor’s in psychology and sociology from West Virginia State College, now known as West Virginia State University. He and his wife, Melissa, have two daughters and two grandchildren.

As executive director, Moss may make an annual salary up to $43,898. He may then hire a part-time administrative assistant, who is set to make up to $29,575 a year.

Huntington’s ordinance makes unlawful any discrimination in employment, housing or public accommodations on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, age, blindness, disability or veteran status.

According to the ordinance, any person who feels they are victim to discriminatory practices may write, sign and file a verified complaint with the commission. The complaint must state person’s name and address, the nature of the complaint and the name of those alleged to have committed unlawful discriminatory practices. This applies to employers, labor organizations, employment agencies, owners, real estate brokers, real estate salesmen or financial institutions.

The commission may then seek subpoenas in Cabell County Circuit Court to hear testimony in alleged discrimination cases. The commission would be represented by a city attorney and the case may be overseen by a Circuit Court judge. If probable cause exists to support alleged discrimination, the commission may seek to end the discrimination “by conference, conciliation and persuasion.” This may include cease and desist orders, fines, orders for back pay, orders to pay attorney fees, and other enforcement.

Travis Crum is a reporter for The Herald-Dispatch. He may be reached by phone at 304-526-2801.