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Rachel Molenda

City of Charleston Reporter
  • Phone 304-348-5102
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Molenda, Rachel

Women find drive in crowd-funded media project

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With fewer women working in newsrooms, television and radio than men, the greater sex can find itself left out of coverage and consideration. A survey given by two young women to a focus group confirmed those feelings an...

Charleston officials contemplate smoking ban in parks

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Charleston city parks could soon become smoke-free.

Charleston City Council’s Parks and Recreation Committee is putting forth a resolution that would prohibit smoking on the ground of municipal recreation c...

City of Charleston sues Ohio company over community center roofs

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An Ohio company is facing legal action from the city of Charleston after allegedly botched roofing jobs at two city community centers.

City officials sued Ohio Valley Spray Foam Inc. of Marietta, Ohio, last month ...

Demolition of historic South Hills cabins delayed

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The demolition of two historic cabins in South Hills has been delayed, following a vote by the Charleston Historic Landmarks Commission on Thursday.

Developer J.D. Stricklen

Charleston’s Holley Hotel site reopened for proposals

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Charleston’s development agency is seeking proposals once again for the former site of the Holley Hotel, following a presentation by developer Charlie Wendell at Wednesday’s meeting.

Wendell, who most...

Riverview Terrace tenant sues owner over condo conversion

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A resident of Riverview Terrace Apartments is suing the company that owns the building, following a decision to convert the senior living facility into condominiums.

Kelly George started leasing an apartment at Riv...

Sewer rate increase approved

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Charleston Sanitary Board customers will see an increase in their sewer bills next year.

City Council voted on Monday to raise rates, which will be effective after March 28, 2016.

The decision increases rates...

Fair trade shop at Charleston church opens for holiday shopping

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Bright colors and organic shapes are spilling out of the First Presbyterian Church of Charleston’s Hope Village.

The fair trade shop is open for the holiday shopping season.

Items featured there are ma...

Dia de los Muertos: Adventure and reflection in the heart of Mexico

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I woke up in Mexico City around 6:30 in the morning, stirred by our too-chilly hotel air conditioning. I could only remember Celsius versus Fahrenheit based on what our flight crew had told us the night before as we came...

New business to open in former Cornucopia location

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A South Hills boutique has come under new ownership.

Cornucopia, located on Bridge Road, has been purchased and will soon be known as Eclectics, according to a post on the shop’s Facebook page.

Cornuco...

Man charged with murder after Charleston woman shot through door, killed

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A Charleston man who fired through his front door, killing his uncle’s girlfriend, has been charged with first-degree murder.

Matthew Roohollahi, 30, of Lakin Street, sighed twice but remained silent as he w...

Bringing back Blossom Dairy: Downtown restaurant prepares to reopen

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Revamping the Blossom Dairy has been a labor of love for Valerie and Tim Street, who started renovations on the iconic downtown Charleston restaurant in August.

“Much more involved,” is how Tim Street...

Tattoo shop ordinance passes commission, moves to City Council committee

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Charleston is one step closer to allowing tattoo shops to open downtown.

The Municipal Planning Commission passed an amendment to the zoning ordinance Wednesday that would allow tattoo studios to open in the centr...

Committee to discuss zoning ordinance banning downtown tattoo shops

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Tattoo shops currently aren’t allowed in downtown Charleston, but that could change in the coming weeks if the city allows an amendment to its zoning ordinance.

Nick Quinn, owner of Black Eagle Tattoo in Kan...

Charleston proposes sewer rate increase

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Charleston residents could soon pay more for their sewer service. A bill was introduced at Monday night’s City Council meeting that would increase the Charleston Sanitary Board’s rates.

The proposal c...

Old-school barber shop coming to Charleston’s West Side

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Two Charlestonians, fresh out of barber school, are taking a chance and opening their own shop on the West Side next month.

“He’d lived out West, and I’d lived in Minnesota and Portland for a w...

Alliance organizes downtown pedestrian study

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A consultant has been taking notes and taking count of foot traffic on the sidewalks of downtown Charleston.

Peter Bruce, a consultant at Pedestrian Studies, was in town over the weekend and into this week studying...

Art taxi brings color to Charleston streets

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It’s possible you’ve seen a lively looking taxicab driving around Charleston for the past few months.

The art cab was part of a FestivALL design competition called “Driven by Design,” d...

Charleston council approves flooding settlement

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The city of Charleston will settle a case involving flooding following a City Council vote that approved the legal proceedings to settle and dismiss the case.

Terri Williams will receive $30,000 from the settlement...

W.Va. Book Festival returns

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After a two-year hiatus, the West Virginia Book Festival is back with a splash.


Toni Blessing, assistant director of Kanawha County Public Library, said that was intentional on the part of organizers.

Downtown Charleston Hilton hotel deal falls through

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A deal to develop another downtown hotel has fallen through.

Plans between the Charleston Urban Renewal Authority and Virginia-based developer KM Hotels to build a Homewood Suites by Hilton on Quarrier Street were ...

WV artist leaves treasures for others to find

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Nancy Muth wants to see you smile and she makes art with the hope it does.

Her painted garden stones are placed around Huntington and Charleston every few days. A photo of the stone and a photo cluing the viewer in...

Sugar & Spice Pastry Shop comes to West Side

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Dianna Strickland has scrubbed every inch of the ceilings and walls herself at the site of her bakery, coming soon to Charleston’s West Side.

She flexed her bicep inside one of the rooms at Sugar & Spice...

Herbert Hoover High students learn about city storm water challenges

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Herbert Hoover High School students got insight into the challenges communities face with urban runoff — pollutants from streets and streams that fill storm and sewer drains, and are either treated or flow directl...

Future Ronald McDonald house gets rezoning OK

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Members of Charleston’s Municipal Planning Commission agreed Wednesday to rezone land for the new Ronald McDonald House in Charleston.

The commission approved a rezoning request for the land at 910 Pennsylv...

Councilman to air grievances in writing

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Charleston Councilman Cubert Smith submitted a letter to the City Clerk on Monday notifying Council and the mayor that h...

Marketing firm Charles Ryan gets new owners

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Local marketing firm Charleston Ryan Associates has new owners.

Managing partners Susan Lavenski and Caryn Foster Durham bought the company from its prime investors last week. Lavenski and Durham have been with the...

Review: Grace Potter is a witch and we’re not worthy

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Grace Potter opened her show with flashing lights, church bells and the sound of horses on cobblestone. That psychedelic, Pink Floyd vibe was laced throughout her show Thursday at the Clay Center, where she cast her spel...

Traffic slows to a crawl in Charleston

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The big event on Kanawha Boulevard might be a “Rod Run,” but it’s causing local traffic to move at a snail’s pace.

Water company plans meter upgrade, advocates disapprove

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West Virginia American Water plans to undertake a $17 million project to replace older water meters with new automated technology over the next five years.

In a news release Thursday, the water utility company st...

Soccer field shortage sidelines WV kids

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The Kanawha Valley has a shortage of places for kids to play soccer and Charleston teams are struggling to find open fields.

Cody Freas, league and tournament coordinator with Quantum Sports Center, said there are...

Mountain State foliage bursting into color

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Leaf peepers who want to get an early start on taking in the state’s fiery fall foliage should head to higher elevations this weekend to do so.

The first fall foliage report, issued by the West Virginia Divi...

Highland Hospital’s fence request tabled

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Highland Hospital’s plans to install a privacy fence along the perimeter of its Kanawha City facility were put on hold when the Charleston’s Board of Zoning Appeals asked for a landscaping plan to be includ...

Clay Center plans museum makeover

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The Clay Center is planning to revamp its museum so it can better serve not only the city, but also the region, as an exploratory destination.

Clay Center President ...

Charleston Council makes way for needle exchange

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Charleston City Council voted unanimously to decriminalize possession of hypodermic syringes and needles, making way for a needle exchange program.

About 45 minutes before the Council meeting began, the Ordinance a...

Walking path construction underway at East End park

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Earth is moving at the East End community park, as work gets underway to construct a walking path there.

The path is part of the park’s second phase. The Charleston Urban Renewal Authority issued its request...

Commission approves Ott Building demolition

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The Ott Building will soon be a thing of the past.

The historic brick island that sits on Dunbar Street, near Quarrier Street and Leon Sullivan Way, will be demolished.

The Charleston Historic Landmarks Commi...

Charleston drug bill to be rewritten

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A City Council committee wants to rewrite a bill that regulates the sale of drug paraphernalia and makes allowances for a needle exchange program.

The Ordinance and Rules Committee decided Wednesday the proposed or...

Kanawha City hosts district-wide yard sale

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The Kanawha City Community Association wants to better showcase its neighborhood with its first district-wide yard sale.

Martina Huson, an association board member, said the Village Yard Sale is meant to bring neig...

Demolition of iconic Top-O-Rock underway (video)

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Gnarled steel was lying before the remaining thirds of the iconic Top-O-Rock residence Tuesday as a demolition crew was beginning its lunch break.

Drug bill goes before Charleston council committee

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A city committee will consider a bill regulating the sale of drug paraphernalia, as well as permitting a needle exchange within Charleston.

“The only thing the city code is doing is allowing us and the city ...

Loft Walk to offer sneak peek of Riverview Terrace condos

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Riverview Terrace — formerly an independent senior living facility — will be open for viewing during this week’s Loft Walk.

Those who are registered for the event &...

Conference to gather state’s housing providers

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One percent of West Virginians do not have complete plumbing systems in their homes, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

The state’s elderly population — those age 65 years and older — was 15 ...

CURA issues loan to West Side developers

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The Bullock family is expanding its work on the West Side. Crawford Holdings, owned by Tighe Bullock, has received a loan from the Charleston Urban Renewal Authority for the purchase of two buildings.

Commissioners...

City officials have no plans to remove Charleston councilman

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City officials do not have plans at this time to remove a Charleston councilman from office following an investigation related to a woman’s drug overdose death earlier this year.

“I don’t see t...

Charleston needle exchange bill introduced in City Council

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A bill was introduced at Tuesday night’s City Council meeting that would, among other things, allow a needle exchange program to take place in Charleston.

There are no details in the bill that layout how it ...

Proposed zoning amendment targets downtown sale of 40s

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City officials want to dry up downtown, and they’re proposing changes to Charleston’s alcohol laws in order to do so.

A bill that would amend the city’s zoning ordinances so that bars, nightclu...

Process Strategies lays off nearly 40 workers

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Process Strategies is eliminating nearly 40 jobs as part of a restructuring decision.

Highland Hospital spokesman James Strawn said employees were notified during a meeting early Tuesday evening. The decision elimi...

Solid Waste Authority approves DEP grant proposal

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The Kanawha County Solid Waste Authority board passed its grant proposal to the state’s Department of Environmental Protection for more than half a million dollars worth of equipment during an emergency meeting on...

Local couple to reopen Charleston’s iconic Blossom Dairy

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Blossom Dairy is on its way to another renaissance.

Tim and Valerie Street, owners of the EZ Street bar in St. Albans, got the keys to the iconic Quarrier Street eatery on Wednesday, Valerie Street said Thursday mo...