EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSMETH MOTEL
from Eyewitness News Online
5th Hotel Shut Down In Kanawha County After Meth Lab Bust
Reported by: Leslie Rubin
Web Producer: Leslie Rubin
Reported: May. 18, 2012 10:54 AM EDT
Updated: May. 18, 2012 9:36 PM EDT
Cross Lanes , Kanawha County , West Virginia
It's something we've seen happen quite a bit recently, hotels forced to close their doors and kick out their customers all because someone was making meth inside their room. A problem officials say is only getting worse.
"We're doing the right thing. We have to do everything we can to keep the public safe," said Kanawha County Planning Director David Armstrong.
Employees out of work, business lost, and customers turned away. It's troubling trend being found behind many hotel doors. Meth labs inside rooms, causing entire hotels to be shut down.
State-wide there have been 102 meth labs found this year. Ten percent of those have been found at hotels, according to the DHHR.
Another bust Friday in Kanahwa County after deputies arrested Jesse Moore and Amanda Fletcher for having meth making materials inside their room at the Comfort Inn in Cross Lanes. The owner refused to voluntarily shut down the hotel, forcing the Kanahwa-Charleston Health Department to revoke three of their permits, and order them closed.
"Once those rooms are tested and we get the test results back, we'll re-evaluate the situation," said DHHR Environmental Resource Specialist Brandon Lewis.
Meth motels are evident in Kanawha County. Just this year, five hotels have had to be shut down because meth labs or meth ingredients contaminated the rooms.
*Fairfield Inn - Washington Street, Charleston
*Motel 6 - Kanawha City
*Rustic Motel - Jefferson
*Super 8 - Dunbar
*Comfort Inn - Cross Lanes
Even if meth is found in just one room, every room has to be tested and deemed clean to reopen.
"We look at the incident at Super 8 motel, every room in that hotel came back contaminated, including the lobby," said Armstrong.
A matter of public health, that's not taken lightly.
"I see a toddler that was walking down the hall bare-footed and I'm thinking, this kid is walking, possibly walking through contaminated rooms and we've got to get this fixed," said Armstrong.
Comfort Inn General Manager Cindy Bagwell issued the following statement Friday:
"The Comfort Inn has suspended business to allow testing to begin at the hotel in compliance with an investigation surrounding meth exposure. The closure is temporary. We have requested and paid for the expedited testing of the room under investigation to ensure that results are available early next week. This is the first instance of suspected meth use at this hotel.
At this time, there is no evidence that there was a meth lab at the hotel, but we wanted to take every precaution to protect our employees and our guests. The man and woman that were arrested in their room with meth related ingredients had been at the hotel for just over 24 hours. The hotel will continue to cooperate with authorities during this investigation.
Once all testing has been completed and we have ensured the safety for future guests, the hotel will re-open."
The Comfort Inn in Cross Lanes is forced to shut down after Kanawha County deputies bust a meth lab in one of it's rooms.
The bust happened around 1:00 a.m. Friday after deputies were responding to a possible suicide call in room 215.
Deputies say they spotted meth making materials in the room and arrested Jesse Moore and Amanda Fletcher.
Kanawha County officials and the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department have ordered the hotel to shut down.
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