HUNTINGTON - A public safety forum on many of the public health and crime issues facing Cabell County is set for 6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 10, at Christ Temple Church in Huntington. The event is organized by Cabell County Commissioner Kelli Sobonya and Del. John Mandt Jr. (R-Cabell).
Panelists representing a cross-cut of public safety, health, addiction and homeless services will be on hand for a two-way discussion with the public.
Panelists include Secretary Jeff Sandy of the West Virginia Department Military Affairs and Public Safety; Dr. Michael Kilkenny, physician director of the Cabell-Huntington Health Department; Cabell County Sheriff Chuck Zerkle; Huntington Police Chief Hank Dial; Gordon Merry and Connie Priddy of Cabell County EMS; Amanda Coleman, executive director for the Cabell-Huntington Coalition for the Homeless; Pastor Mike Greider of Kentucky Recovery; Craig Hettlinger of the Huntington Addiction Wellness Center; and Ryan Saxe, superintendent of Cabell County Schools.
The panel will be moderated by Chris Miller of the Dutch Miller Auto Group.
Major topics of discussion will include Cabell County's ongoing HIV cluster, the public health response (including the county's harm reduction program), homelessness in Huntington, property crime, and access to substance use disorder treatment.
As of Sept. 4, Cabell County has 76 confirmed cases of HIV, according to the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, and remains the only cluster currently known in the state. One death in June has been associated with the Cabell County cluster.
Christ Temple Church is located at 2400 Johnstown Road, right off the 5th Street exit in Huntington.