JANUARY 7, 2005

No Permanent Friends
Christian Service Center News
Points to Ponder
Afternoon Court
Over in Magistrate Land
Drug Busts Left and Right
School Board Meeting
Letter to Brother Bill
2005 Resolutions

Leadership is action, not position.
        - Donald H. McGannon.
We won’ remember elected officials that don’ show up for work or who bail out of office early. Nor will the many instances of mismanagement and indecision make the history books. 2004 will go down in the annals of history as just another year with one exception. In 2004, one achievement will be remembered, used, and help Clay County West Virginia boast a brighter future. That tool for economic growth is the nearly completed B Run Dam near the Wallback exit of Interstate 79.
After stalling around for 10 years, and without the help of the county’ two economic development groups, the Business Development Authority and the Central Appalachia Empowerment Zone, one person set out to hold Fola Coal Company to task and build the 14 acre lake for the future of Clay.
For the many years of dedicated grass roots effort to improve this 342 square miles of mountain and poverty we call home, Delta Communications, publishers of the Communicator, proudly announce the recipient of the Clay County Citizen of the Year for 2004, Ivydale resident and community activist Fred Sampson.
Fred Sampson was born September 7, 1930 in Roane County, the youngest of the four sons of Herman and Bessie Sampson.He attended Roane County elementary schools and Spencer High School.He also attend the University of Akron, Akron, Ohio.
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Fred entered the U.S. Air Force in 1948 and after serving 4 years during the Korean War was honorably discharged.While in the military he was trained as an engine technician. He was also selected as an enlistee candidate for West Point but declined the appointment
He met and married Elizabeth Brannon, of Ivydale, in 1954 and they resided in the Barberton, Ohio area.He was employed at Babcock and Wilcox Corporation in Barberton, from which he retired in 1987, as aproject manager overseeing completion of multi-million dollar contracts
After retirement, he returned to West Virginia where he and Elizabeth reside in a modest home at Ivydale beside the Elk River.They had purchased that home in the early 1960s with the anticipation that oneday they would come home.
Since being retired from B&W, they have from time to time asked him to return to handle special projects in various states.He also is the Mid-Atlantic Region Representative for the Intrex Group which is madeup of retirees who expedite and troubleshoot for various manufacturing companies throughout the United States when there is a breakdown in the manufacturing process of getting goods to a construction job site in a timely fashion. Since his return to West Virginia, Fred has become an activist in areas that are designed to improve the quality of life for West Virginia residents as he works with state government agencies and activist groups.He currently is an officer on the West Virginia Environmental Council which is a statewide group who actively work with the government agencies,legislature, and other groups in protecting the environment of WV. He was one of the original members of the Clay Co. PSD and was instrumental in seeing water service extensions to various sections of the county He is a charter member and board member of Clay County Communications, WYAP radio station.He participates in the Adopt A Highway program and he and Elizabeth have received recognition for their participation He is an active member of the Big Otter Baptist Church in Ivydale where he serves as a trustee and is Sunday school superintendent as well as doing some teaching and bus driving.
One of his most recent examples of service to his community can be seen in progress where the lake is being built at Wallback. Back in 1994, WV Division of Natural Resources and Fola Coal Company had signed acontract that the lake would be built with mitigation monies Fola owed the State of WV for damage to its streams in the process of coal mining. For some time the contract was simply laying on the shelf until Fred was concerned because the long delay was not helping Clay County.He wentto work calling and meeting with various stage agency personnel, Fola Coal executives, legislators, etc., to insure that the contract would be fulfilled and Clay County residents would have an economic benefit fromthose mitigation fees owed the state by Fola Coal. There were times when there were clear threats that the funds might be used in some other county or by some other entityFred was instrumental in getting legislation passed that would assure monies paid for damage in a particular county would be used in that county oran adjacent county.In the case of the Wallback Dam, both Clay and Roane Counties will benefit from the project. At this time, weather has slowed progress of building the dam, with about another 25 feet in height to be completed to reach the desired height of 67 feet.Therefore, it will likely be spring before completion of this project. Without Fred Sampson, it is quite likely that the lake would not have occurred.
        More than a dam builder, Sampson can be seen at County Commission, Central Appalachia Empowerment Zone, and Clay County Business Development Authority meetings. It is often Sampson that reminds the assembled of past mistakes and issues the county wouldn’ want to repeat.
        “eal leaders are ordinary people with extraordinary determination.” – John Seaman Garns. For the reasons mentioned above and more, long on wisdom, experience, and energy, 73 year old Fred Sampson has been chosen as the 2004 Clay County Man of the Year.                 

Trying to make it through the daily hum drum of existence, we often forget about loss of life in other parts of the world. With the death toll estimated to reach 170,000, the tsunami stands out as a natural disaster never before known. Natural disasters are different from those we make ourselves.
Least we forget, there have been 1,495 coalition troop deaths: 1,344 Americans, 76 Britons, seven Bulgarians, one Dane, two Dutch, two Estonians, one Hungarian, 19 Italians, one Latvian, 16 Poles, one Salvadoran, three Slovaks, 11 Spaniards, two Thai and nine Ukrainians in the war in Iraq as of January 6, 2005.

??? DID YOU KNOW ???

    1.        Some mistakes are too much fun to make only once.
2.        The number of students receiving Pell Grants has increased 37 percent in the last decade to more than 5 million, according to the College Board, which owns the SAT exam.
3.        Seat belt use rates increased in 37 states this year.
4.        11,450 people work for Wal-Mart in West Virginia.
5.        There are more than 2 million millionaires in the United States.
6.        According to the Cremation Association of North America, the percentage of the dead who were cremated was nearly 28 percent in 2002.
7.        According to a Japanese study, the development of glaucoma and heavy computer use, especially among the nearsighted, may be linked.
8.        According to the National Candle Association, more than $2 billion worth of candles were sold in the United States last year.
9.        In 2002, there were about 659,000 violent crimes at school and about 720,000 away from school property.
10.         Almost 14 percent of families and 25 percent of children ages 0 to 5 were living in poverty in 2003.
11.         “plenda”dominates the $337 million U.S. retail market for sugar substitutes.
12.         Estimates are that 40 million cell phones in the United States are capable of downloading ring tones.
13.         More than 18 million nuclear-medicine imaging and therapeutic procedures were performed in 2002 according to the Society for Nuclear Medicine.
14.         The National Highway Safety Administration estimates there are about 30 million event data recorders in the 200 million cars and trucks on the road.
15.         Nationwide, real Christmas tree sales declined from 32 million in 2000 to 2.3 million last year.
16.         5oo people die in the United States every year between Thanksgiving and New Years from fires related to Christmas trees.
17.         Last year, Labor organized 400,000 new members, but 600,000 union jobs were lost because of company closings or relocations.
18.         Between 1994 and 2004, the number of inmates in West Virginia prisons doubled from 1,962 inmates to 3,942.
19.         About 2 million tons of E-trash was generated in 2001.
20.         Nearly 70 million people have signed onto the “o Not Call”registry since June 2003. LMM

Clay County Communications December 2004 went sour for our non profit community based FM station. During last Wednesday’ CCHS Lady Panther baskerball ball game, the almost new 100 watt transmitter went on the fritz. Prior to the blow up, the costly unit was limping along often erratic on output levels.
With the $2350.00 unit still under warranty, UPS hauled the steel cased carcass back to California for repairs. Between shipping and repair times, the group expects to be down almost two weeks. Almost.
Clay FM is still heard around the globe on the internet and, and, and… A station over in Ohio provided a much smaller transmitter for use. With that unit hooked up, close-by listeners can still hear the voice of the Appalachian Mountains.
Another first for the world, WYAP, 101.7FM is broadcasting home Panther and Lady Panther basketball games. Tune in for more.

WHAT WATER? Sunday evening January 2, the Queen Shoals PSD water storage tank went dry. The weekend before the same thing happened—customers without water. PSD Chair Jimmy Kearns commented on Jan. 6 that his system did not have a leak; on the 2nd, it was as if someone had turned their water supply valve off or the pump which feeds the tank had malfunctioned. Clay Roane PSD supplies QSPSD with wholesale water and maintains the tank and supply side booster pump.
With a Clayberry website posting that her PSD may be at fault, Clay Roane PSD Chair Postelwait responded via email: If it were true that there was no leak on the Queen Shoals system, then how do you explain their meter using 300 gallons of water in 13 minutes?That number was clocked and documented by 3 individuals.And how do you explain that when their valves were closed going to their distribution system that the tank started gaining water?Also, if the tank went dry on two separate occasions, then how come no BWO was called as required by the StateDepartment?
Ditto for the Clay Roane staff: Clay Roane is pumping water to Queen Shoals and we are turning the switch on.....its automatic...and when the timer kicks it off....we are turning it right back on. We do not know what the trouble is over there....but it’s not due to us not sending them water.
One thing is for sure, the customers sure need a steady supply of wa-wa. One last note from the Southern end of the county. Remember early last year when Queen Shoals PSD received a $60,000 grant through the Budget Digest office at the statehouse? Chair Kearns said they still have half of those funds available in case of an emergency making them the best bank rolled water supply in the county and possibly in the state. This year’ $600,000 request for a system upgrade and new tank fell on deaf Charleston ears.
BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY Clay County’ economic development agency got off to a new year January 6th. Not much has changed from last year or the year before or the one before that. 48 minutes of early evening discussion netted these observations: the BDA has control of the old State Road garage but can’ do much with it since there is an environmental hazard issue on the property; the group doesn’ have the $25,000 needed to tear down the old Filcon building near Ovapa on Route 36; without a tenant for the Ovapa site, there is little chance for state development dollars to get the swamp out of the flood plain and build a building; and, without a game plan (business plan), the BDA is a lot like the Bismarck with a blown out rudder going in circles ready to be sunk.
If there is a plus side to the BDA, it’ participation. On the 6th, 9 of the 12 members were in attendance and all participated in discussion.
CAEZ: THEY AUDIT DO SOMETHING Lets get this straight from the get go. Central Appalachia Empowerment Zone’ annual audit did NOT reveal any misappropriations, or fraud. OK? During the January 4th CAEZ gathering, CPA Bruce Lawson presented details of the recently completed 2003 audit. Lawson’ in-depth comments included: some earlier problems like not having double entry books has been taken care of; there is a need for the Board to see more detailed balance sheet and income dispersal statements monthly; there needs to be a separation of duties, (the office manager should not be the person writing the checks and also keeping the books); checks need to be properly made out and “ASH”written on them is a no-no; and, an independent audit committee needs to be formed to keep track of the CAEZ money.
After hearing the professional comments, CAEZ Chair Michael Martin appointed an audit committee and made himself Chair. Poof! One problem solved.
There are other problems. CAEZ was formed as a grass roots organization where the Board was supposed to run the agency and empower the people through hands-on duties. During this meeting, as with many other meetings, the majority of the committees don’ meet or perform any function. Housing Committee? Didn’ meet. Loan Committee? Didn’ meet. Finance Committee? Not even mentioned. Only the economic development committee meets regularly. For the most part, instead of committee meetings, committee efforts, and committee performance reports to the full Board of Directors, Director Jerry Sizemore makes most of the reports and provides the bulk of the work load on his part time basis.


No Permanent Friends… ? By Jim Chafin
“o permanent friends, just a permanent agenda.” Perhaps that better describes our government’ actions than just about any nanosecond sound bite I have heard in recent years. If this is a policy, then I think that its fruits are an abundance of opposition, while at the same time we seem to have fewer friends than usual. This administration has managed to single-handedly alienate just about the entire rest of the world with our belligerent and arrogant attitude on just about every issue one can name. Even some of our troops in Iraq are finally speaking out against Defense Department policies that result in less than adequate protection for those who are bearing the brunt of war – inadequate body protection, military vehicles that have not, after three years, been brought up to full-armor status. And Defense Secretary Rumsfeld didn’ help matters with his weak statement of, “ell, you start a war with what you have, and work up from there.” Though I sympathize with our troops who are being maimed and killed each and every day, I must agree with Rummy that there is no completely safe way to insulate our troops from the effects of those deadly car bombs and claymore mines that litter the roadways and fields of that battle-torn land. Against the advice of virtually everyone, this administration pushed our military into a no-win situation and still refuses to deal honestly with the consequences. Going back some fifty-four years, during another ill-conceived confrontation, Americans were fighting and dying on the battlefields of Korea with the same weaponry problems and the same incapability as in Iraq today. One would think that so called “rofessionals”in the art of warfare would have learned the procedures by 2002, but no, it seems nothing has changed. However, there was one characteristic of the Korean War that has not followed through to 2004; in 1953 this nation had a political candidate for president by the name of Dwight Eisenhower who campaigned with a slogan of “lect me, and I will bring our boys home – I will end that Korean War.” Today no such leadership exists within the political structure, no cry of indignation for the futility of lives being lost and families destroyed. America the humble has mutated into another Genghis Khan or Ivan the Terrible. No Dwight Eisenhower to remind us of the folly it is for our leaders to form associations with the military and industrial complex; no steady hand to heal our bruised nation and set its feet upon the path of redemption; no soft voice calling us back to our roots of greatness. Today only the voice of cynicism and violence. Is this the legacy we leave for our children and grandchildren? Is there any humility left in our soul?
Back during the years when Henry Kissinger reigned as Secretary of State, this nation developed a foreign policy in which food was to be used as a weapon; i.e., food was to be allocated to other nations based upon their usefulness to America. Meaning that this country would provide assistance to those whose public face supported whatever endeavors we were involved in. This policy found us, in many cases, favoring dictator states over truly needy societies. Dark Africa, for example, has for decades seen millions die of disease and starvation but, with few exceptions, this nation has turned a blind eye to its plight. The reason? Those starving people are of little strategic importance to the United States of America – no oil or other rich holdings. But withholding food supplies from needy people while giving aid and comfort to tyrants has not gone unnoticed, and had generated a lot of anger around the world for our inhumane actions. America, it seems, should not forget its own meager beginnings and never deny food to a starving people. In a recent report the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization said that during these past eight years the number of hungry people in the world hard hardly improved at all. In 2002, starving people of the world stood at 815 million according to that U.N. agency. While these figures are horrifying enough in and of themselves, reports gleaned from other sources paint a picture that is far worse. In a world of six billion people, fully 70% live in what can be described as ‘ave not’nations. In these third world countries lack of proper sanitation facilities are the norm and millions die of starvation, making food and sanitation THE number one issues in the world today.
How can we help? Well, for starters, we can begin right now to be wiser stewards over those things we, as individuals, have control over. That could mean denying ourselves of those harmful and/or wasteful practices upon which we expend so much of our income. If it won’ keep you warm in the winter, and won’ keep you cool in the summer, and you can’ eat it, then it’ a safe bet that we could do without it. And that’ a sensible place to start. Being a good steward over our private domain could provide our government and the commercial establishment with some solid incentives to reorder this nation’ priorities. This would almost certainly free up resources to help our needy neighbors.
Today’ political parties have honed the psychological art of deception to a razor keen edge. No longer is it possible to take “n faith”the word of any politician running for public office. Unless statements can be backed up with documented actions, most likely, the word of that person can be discounted as less than true. One way I have learned to deal with deceptive practices is to do a lot of reading. Historical books and manuscripts offer a lot of insight into current events and add to one’ perspective. Such issues as morality, family values and peripheral issues become easier to understand, and the underlying problems become less complicated as we seek out information relative to our universe. There is little reason for the citizens of this great nation to be deceived except that we do not fully utilize the information sources available to us. Sometimes this process may seem a little difficult. However, a consistent search will be well worth the effort, and the results downright satisfying. Do we want to base our decisions upon fact, or are we satisfied to take the word of people who have been proven not to be trustworthy? Do we want a better place for our posterity to live in? If so, then it is up to you and me to lay a proper foundation on which the next generation can build. There’ a whole host of local issues begging for solutions that would go far in changing the course of national priorities. Let’ do it!

Christian Service Center News

Hello again, hope that everyone had a good Christmas and a happy new year. The week of Christmas we gave thanks to some of the local guys for helping out with our Christmas tree. Well, we thought that it would be nice to let people know who our local people are; they need to be recognized and thanked for their help – God bless them all: Fola Coal Company, Tammy and Todd Dorsey, Dorothy and John Humphrey, Dorothy’ mom Imogene Stone, Mike and Sharon Holcomb, Elisha Holcomb, Tony and Angie Pyett, Mable Pyett, the girls at the Christian Center, Lora Holcomb, Terry Boggs, Jerry Roat, Gab Cottrell, Helen Moore, Amanda and Elaine Newland, the girls at the Clay Development Corporation, Boo and Ethel Mullins, Chad and Pam Boggs, and others that would rather remain unnamed. If we left anyone out, please let us know and we’l make it right. Again, thanks to all the local people that helped make a kid’ Christmas special.
We want to let you know how good our Clay County Sheriff’ Office was last week. Freda Auxier locked her car up at Foodland parking lot and she could not get back in. She called the Sheriff’ Office and, being the knight in shining armor that he is, within 10 minutes Randy Holcomb came to her rescue. Thanks to Randy and King’ Wrecker Service Freda was able to get into her car. God bless you all.
If you haven’ been through Lizemores lately, come over and see the new sign in the neighborhood. FREDA’ has a new sign that is on the building to let everyone know where we are located.
The Christian Service Center in Lizemores has a room in the back which Freda is cleaning out so that she can put in a youth center. She could certainly use all of the help she can get to get it up and running. Her goal is to have it opened by early spring. If there is anyone that has a pool table, foosball game table, or any sort of games that the kids could have fun with, they would be very much appreciated. Please call us at 587-7229 or 587-7293.
Freda is planning a Valentine’ party at the restaurant. We will let you know the date and the time soon. We’e asking for donations from the adults, parents and the community so that the kids do not have to pay a cover charge. All donations are greatly appreciated. Thanks for all the help and involvement in finding a safe, drug-free and alcohol-free place for the local kids to come to.
The Lizemores Christian Center is getting a new make over. Come and see what Angi Mitchell and Jane Bird and her husband, James, have been doing for the last two weeks. The work they have been doing is remarkable and they have cleaned up and made over the whole store. So, come in and see what you are missing. Thanks Angi, Jane and James!
Mike Holcomb is making some home-made furniture for the Center, and it also is for sale – made to fit your home. Just ask the girls at the Center for details.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to Carol Burrows. He had a fall around the second week of December and is now in Princeton Hospital getting better. Our thoughts and prayers, Carol. Also we are thinking of and praying for Mary Kincaid of Lizemores. We hope you are doing well; the kids say they miss you already.
There will be a benefit gospel sing at the Lizemore Fire Department, Saturday, January 15, at 7:00 p.m. Darrel Moore is the MC. Come and enjoy the singing; refreshments will be served.
Until next time…God Bless.

Points to Ponder By Dave Derby

"Learn to enjoy every minute of your life. Be happy now. Don't wait for something outside of yourself to make you happy in the future. Think how really precious is the time your have to spend, whether it's at work or with your family. Every minute should be enjoyed and savored." - Earl Nightingale

"When you do the common things of life in an uncommon way you will command the attention of the world." - George Washington Carver\\ Other thoughts on the New Year:
During this time of year many individuals make resolutions that are sometimes carried out and other times forgotten by February the first. I propose that you have a right and positive attitude all this coming year. Harvard and Stanford Universities have reported that 85% of the reason a person gets a job and gets ahead in the job is due to attitude; and only 15% is because of technical and specific skills. Interesting, isn't it? We spend much money on your education. And you spent how much money on building your positive attitude? So where's your emphasis? Skill building? Attitude building? Unfortunately, "neither" is the real answer for many people. Perhaps if more people knew how simple it is to develop and keep a positive attitude they would invest more time on our attitude. So here are five steps to staying positive in a New Year:
l. Understand that failure is an event, it is not a person. Yesterday ended last night; today is a brand new day, and it's yours. You were born to win, but to be an winner you must plan to win, prepare to win, and then you can expect to win. Pencils have erasers for all people who make mistakes. Don’ let little mistakes get you down.
2. Become a lifetime student. Learn just one word every day and in five years you will be able to talk with just about anybody about anything. When your vocabulary improves your I.Q. goes up 100% of the time. Just remember that each day gives you opportunities to learn something new. Each day is just 24 hours. Don't waste it. You cannot roll back the hands of time.
3. Read something informational or inspirational every day. Reading for 20 minutes at just 240 words per minute will enable you to read 20,200 pages of books each year. That's 18 more books than the average person reads per year. What a enormous competitive advantage.
4. The University of Southern California reveals that you can acquire the equivalent of two years of a college education in three years just by listening to motivational and educational cassettes on the way to your job and again on the way home. You will find thousands of cassettes on various subjects that you could listen to while you drive and learn, too. 5. Start and end the day with positive input into your mind. Inspirational messages cause your mind to flood with dopamine and nor-epinephrine, the energizing neurotransmitters, with endorphins, etc. Begin each day by reading something peaceful and inspirational such as the “hicken Soup”books, and others along that line, that enable you start and finish the day in a positive tone.
Remember: Success is a process, not an event. Invest time in building a personal positive mental attitude. It will pay off well in your skills as well as your career. You might surprise yourself and complete or meet some of your New Year’ resolutions. Good Luck.

Town Council was pretty interesting Jan 4 2004. Council person Sally Legg was no where to be seen and no resignation letter was sent. Trucks have been moving boxes from her Main Street apartment for three days. Council person Phil Morris advanced that they don’ have to show up for duty to get paid. Does that sound familiar readers? Council person Billie Zegeer is recovering from surgery and someone said she may return to duty in Feb 2005.
        One interesting agenda item dealt with “olice Issues”and volunteer Town Cop Buckshot Butcher. Yes, Mayor Jarrett said Buck remained the Chief. ( Two weeks ago Jarrett claimed to be the town’ police force). After handing out copies of a County Commission letter, Recorder Murphy provided: if Butcher sues the County for injuries sustained at the Courthouse while on duty, the county intends to sue the Town for damages; and, according to Sheriff Holcomb ( via Dwana), a cop cannot be a volunteer and the town should see the Prosecutor before “hey get into trouble” Phil Morris informed Council that outgoing Sheriff Fields allowed Butcher to ride along with deputies. NOTE: see the letter elsewhere in this edition.
        Council raised questions on Buckshot’ injuries. One thought he fell on a pine cone Dec 7th while in retrieving a FAX while another thought he wasn’ injured at all. Questions came up Butcher’ request to be covered by Worker’ Comp insurance and whether volunteers can be covered by the state plan. No decisions made.
        Do you have a high water bill? Tim Cooke does and wants to work the debt away by doing chores in Town. Mr Morris said Cooke plans to use the money earned to pay the water bill. Motion passed to use Mr Cooke around town as needed.
        Discussion turned to increasing the sewer plant operator’ hourly wage from $7.50 to $8 per hour. The vote will come during the Feb Council meeting.
        Council plans to purchase a metal detector and said they would shop around for a more efficient gas heater for the water plant. The meeting was held Tuesday and by Thursday Jan 6th, the old heater was already tossed out and replaced. Now that’ fast work!
        And, the Town is in trouble again with the State Health Department. In a review of water services dated Dec 23 2004, Clay Water Works has two significant deficiencies and a handful of lesser deficiencies. Did we mention Council didn’ discuss the serious report which requires a response within 45 days? They didn’!
        The significant stuff includes:
        The town has not completed a survey for cross connections nor installed any backflow prevention devices. Translation: Someone may have a well hooked up to the water supply contaminating the municipal water supply.
        The town exceeds maximum levels for five haloaacetic acids based on samples taken. Such disinfectants and disinfection by products ( DBPs) have shown to cause cancer and reproductive effects in lab animals and suggested bladder cancer and reproductive effects in humans. DBPs occur when chlorine reacts with natural organic materials present in water, high levels of DBPs are often the result of over chlorination.
        The lesser deficiencies centered around equipment needs to make the chlorine storage room safe for the workers and near by neighbors AND ….. the filter material needed replaced and during the first day of the Health Dept survey, high chlorine levels leaving the plant “ften result in eye/nose irritation and stomach discomfort” And you thought you had a virus!        
        In 20 minutes, the meeting was history.                         AW

Over in Magistrate Land…
        Seems this paper is filled with crime stories. Here’ one more. Steven and Sheila Payne were to have their preliminary hearing before Magistrate Boggs Thursday Jan 6th. Didn’ happen. Mr Payne was charged with domestic assault times 2, domestic battery, and child neglect. Sheila Payne was charged with child neglect. “as”is the key word.
         Paraphrased from the criminal complaint: On Wednesday Dec 29th at 2215 hours, Cpl Bailey and Tpr Wriston responded to Roger Godsby’ residence on Elkhurst Road in Clay County in reference to a domestic with injuries. Upon arrival the officers were met by Sheila Payne and her three children. Mrs. Payne’ shirt was covered with blood from a cut on her left check. Mrs. Payne son was complaining of his left arm hurting and had bruises on both arms. Mrs. Payne gave the officers a signed statement saying her husband Stephen had caused the injuries by hitting her with the telephone and hitting and grabbing [son]. This complaint is based upon the statement by Sheila Payne and the visible injuries observed by the officers.
         Here’ what we saw Thursday afternoon before the planned 1pm preliminary hearing. Both defendants were lead into the old Courthouse in chains and placed in the Deputies’office. In Magistrate Boggs office, the place was packed. New Asst Prosecutor Terry Drake brought Badges in and out of the Magistrate’ court room. Jeff Boggs went left and right, in and out of the office. Assistant Vicky Gency ran in and out making copies. Wayne King stumbled around. Jerome Novobilski came to Boggs and asked why his client was in chains. No answer was heard but mumbles came.
         Tpr Wriston went in to talk with the Prosecutor. Neither men were smiling. There was a problem. With manila folders opening and closing, Wayne King provided commentary on WVU b ball. A couple of witnesses showed up and were told to wait outside. Sheriff Holcomb came in.
         With a grim face new Prosecutor Drake quietly said, We’e going to dismiss. The place got quiet for a second.
         With state code copies spread out on the old table, Wayne King protested something about the charges against the Paynes. Sounded like the offense couldn’ be found in the code or the charges didn’ match up to the ordinance. King, “I can’ even find that section of the code!”Looking over the Prosecutor’ shoulder, Novobilski, “What’ wrong?… You got it worded wrong?”Drake, “They are going to get out…”Within minutes, Asst Prosecutor Drake Magistrate asked Boggs for dismissal forms. Tpr Wriston asked about other warrants against the couple and why weren’ they being served.
         With his signature affixed Magistrate Boggs announced, No Hearing. They will refile on Friday.
         The accused were lead into the court room by the correctional officers. Drake commented that he planned to re-file stiffer felony charges.
         As this reporter left the old courthouse, the Payne’ remained in chains.        Just another day in law land!                        
         Afternoon Court
                 The first Monday of each month is Motion Day in Circuit Court land. We sat thru a couple hours of the most recent dealings on Jan 6th. Here’ what we picked up.
                 Earlier in the day Sam Murphy was sentenced to 2, 1year, back to back sentences for lead poisoning one of his buddies last year. In the end, Judge Facemire toned it down to 6 months in the slammer followed by 5 years supervised probation including pee testing.
                 After lunch, all the high dollar suits were back in court for the Mitch DeBoard vs. Parcell case. This is the one where the Clay County Bank and attorney Wayne King may have screwed up in some land dealings. The Kanawha Valley suits postured the case citing different court rules and case law. Back and forth they went. Standing , sitting, whispering back and forth….. as this reporter sat thru the ramblings, it came to mind, “hink how much an hour someone is paying for this!”
                 Not sure what it was all about, but JD Morris and Wayne King are still a part of the case and Judge Facemire denied the motion saying “no harm was done”. The case is now slated for a Dec 6 2005 trial.
                 Tall, slim, clean cut looking this day, Thomas Franklin King came before the Judge. King appealed an 8 year sentence from Magistrate Boggs court after being found guilty of the windshield bashing escapade on the back streets of Clay in 2004. At his side was defense attorney Wayne King who informed the court that a plea deal had been arranged with now departed from service, Prosecutor Daniel Grindo. It sounded like the deal would be one year in the clinker and one year probation for young King. With attorney King saying he hadn’ read the paperwork, sentencing was delayed.
                 As a note: Every day a criminal spends in Central Regional Jail, the county is charged almost $50. With an 8 year sentence, the county would have been invoiced $143,000.00+.
                 Sentencing time for Jamie Smith. After pleading guilty to battery last year, seasoned attorney John Mitchell went to work: this girl has meet all the requirements set by the court, she is in drug rehab now, she needs to finish the program and return to her life…… Almost on cue, Smith, “ am changing my life around… I regret this.”Prosecutor Samples said he had no position on sentencing. Facemire did.
                 Looking directly at her, 12 months in Central Regional Jail, you have to pay court costs. Smith seemed to go limp until the Judge said he was suspending the sentence and putting her on 5 years supervised probation, demanding her to complete her drug rehab program, pee test, do 150 hours community service, have no contact with the victim Rhonda Murphy, get a job and “Obey the rules and you don’ have any problems… or you’l be wearing orange!”AW
         Drug Busts Left and Right —Badges at Work—
                 The new year started off with a bunch of drug busts and meth lab arrests. Bruce Edward Bird and Douglas Craig Mitchell were arrested Tuesday, January 4th. According to criminal complaint: On Tuesday at approximately 1400 hours I was assisting Probation Officer Lucy Cruckshanks in looking for Bruce E Bird Jr for the purpose of a drug test to be conducted by the Prob. Officer. While on Rt. 28 known as Pisgah Ridge Road in Clay County Bruce Bird Jr. was found riding in a blue 1987 Plymouth car with Timothy B. Donahue operating the vehicle. Upon approaching the vehicle and asking Bird to exit the vehicle, a large bulge was showing in his front sweatshirt pocket. Bird was immediately searched for officer safety and a large glass lab beaker was found with a white crystal substance inside the lab beaker. The substance inside is believed to be methamphetamines.
Magistrate King found probable cause and off to jail Bird man did go for possession of a controlled substance. Bond was set at $3500. If convicted, Mr. Bird could receive 6 months in the slammer and a fine
                 Also busted Jan. 4th was Douglas Craig Mitchell on the more serious charge of possession of a meth lab. With probable cause found, he too headed to the pokey.
                 Just one day later on Wednesday, Jan. 5th, Green Shirt Officer B.G. Wriston nabbed Adam Arnold, Vickie Williams, and Okey Hodge on the far end of Pisgah on Leatherwood. Here’ some excerpts and in paraphrase from the criminal complaint filed in Magistrate Boggs office.
                 On Wed. Jan 5th, the undersigned officer received an anonymous tip that several subjects were at the residence of Adam Arnold on Pisgah Ridge were operating a clandestine drug lab and protecting the residence with firearms. At approximately 2006 hours Cpl Elswick [and Wriston] made a traffic stop on William Johnson and Adam Arnold at which time Mr. Johnson advised the officer that he Mr. Johnson brought Adam Arnold to town to use the phone. Mr. Johnson advised that they had been at the residence of Adam Arnold on Pisgah Ridge with a bunch of people hanging out. On the same date at approximately 2320 hours Sgt Wiles, Elswick, Holcomb, Ryder, Belt and Wriston went to the residence of Adam Arnold to follow up on the anonymous tip. Upon arrival Elswick and Wriston observed a rifle on the front porch. At this time Adam Arnold came to the porch standing in close proximity of the rifle. Elswick ordered him away from the rifle for officer safety.. For officer safety, the rest of the people were brought out of the residence as well. Adam Arnold was advised of his Miranda rights and Arnold signed a consent form giving permission to search the residence and curtiledge…. A clandestine drug lab was found behind the residence approximately 35 yards from the residence packed in three duffle bags. Prior to the search, Arnold advised that there was marijuana on the TV in the living room. Based on the findings of the search Adam Arnold and Vickie Williams were arrested for simple possession of a controlled substance or attempting to operate a clandestine drug laboratory.
Then there was Okey Hodge. From case 05F-1 dated Jan. 5th: at approximately 2355 hours Okey Hodge came to the location on a four wheeler. Mr. Hodge was stopped and for officer safety Mr. Hodge was patted down. Meth was found in the front pocket. At this time Mr. Hodge gave verbal permission to search the items on the four wheeler. A clandestine lab was located in the cooler located on the back of the four wheeler. Mr. Hodge was placed under arrest for simple possession of a controlled substance and operating or attempting to operate a clandestine drug lab.
All three were lodged in Central Regional Jail with bond set at $81,000 on each person. 2005 is starting out as a great year for returning the county as a safe place to live and raise a family.                                AW
         County Commission Meets Twice
         Man this was going to be a doozy of a story. Sheriff Holcomb promising a lawsuit if the County Commission (CCC) didn’ provide him a salary increase. Just hate it when a good story turns to mush! This one, at least the part about all elected officials getting raises, did. Here’ our coverage from the December 27, 2004 and January 3, 2005 CCC get togethers.        
         It’ December 27, 2004. the last meeting of the Clay County Commission for the year. And you guessed it, dead beat, lame duck Commissioner Bragg was a no show. HAC was no where to be seen except for the time he picks up his check.
                 With the place packed, Commission President Triplett and Jimmy Sams went down through the three page agenda. Item after item, one after another, boom, boom, boom, motion made, seconded, and passed without comment. Without comment and fast paced, 26 items went through the CCC quickly. As required by state code, each official had to be re-bonded and each employee had to be rehired. The three page agenda included all the names and titles. It also included this passage: and hereby approve the rate of pay requested. Sounds tame enough doesn’ it? Wrong.
         Although the rehiring of the Assessor’ staff was worded just like the other agenda items, those four young ladies were getting pay increases. Only after a question came from the peanut gallery did that pay increase part become public. Neither Commissioner volunteered how much the raises amounted to. Keep in mind, the County Clerk’ office still is 1 ½ people shorthanded after the July 1, 2004 lay off and the Sheriff’ office is down one officer.
         On his second stab at adding a part time secretary to his staff, Prosecutor Elect Samples got his wish. He explained that he had found $13,000 in his budget. Terry Drake was hired as an assistant prosecutor.
         The big part of the meeting was Sheriff Elect Randy Holcomb’ demand for a higher rate of pay. Holcomb explained that when he paid his filing fee, he anticipated getting the Legislature approved rate of pay. We had all these great quotes from Holcomb: “ don’ want to fight with you!! …The money is in my budget! …. I have a child in college…. This is $3000 less … I am saving you money by not taking the insurance…. How can you argue with that!!… Your priorities are messed up …. $34,000 is not a big amount! …. You advertised the [higher] salary.”The quotes went on and on as the tension increased.
         Holcomb promised that he would get the money due him and, “ promise you, I’l fight you for four years until you pay me what I’ due!” Up front Commissioner Triplett, “ don’ know if the county can afford to pay it.”Sams came back with something along the line of: If we have to pay it, we may have to shut everything down. Holcomb promised a lawsuit even if an Attorney General’ opinion came back in support of the CCC stand on no higher salaries for elected officials. At one point Sams pulled a political move and said if ordered to pay higher salaries, he wouldn’ accept his.
          Tension was high. His quotes made for great copy for print. Nothing could be better than an opening volley fight and lawsuit among elected boys. That was then!
                 Then came the January 3rd meeting. This first meeting of the new year started slow. Commissioners were running in and out of the meeting room. Sheriff Randy Holcomb was up front dressed in his brand new uniform, all clean, neat and with shiny shoes. In the hushed tones you could hear them say that Holcomb didn’ have a leg to stand on with his threat of a lawsuit and demand for a higher wage. Clerk Moore was heard to say, “ingo!”Finally things got under way after Sams’prayer and introduction of Ms King as HAC’ replacement.
                 County Commission meeting times were changed to accommodate those with day jobs. New CCC meeting times will be the second Wednesday of the month at 10am and the 4th Monday of the month at 7pm.
                 Commissioner King explained to the many in attendance, the state auditor would not approve of the Holcomb inspired demand for higher office holder salaries. That, someday, if the budget allows for such, the higher paydays may happen, but for now, nope!
                 Dressed in his finest, Sheriff Randy started in with the apologies. He misunderstood this or that, blah, blah, blah. “I look forward to working with you… I apologize again ...”
                 In an attempt to increase police presence in the county, the Sheriff has instituted a new policy for night time call outs. The new deal will cost money, about $50 per night plus overtime wages if the deputy actually leaves his residence. Under the new plan, county deputies will be available 24/7 and scheduled on duty until midnight. The Commissioners supported the plan and added that they’e prepared to add to the law enforcement budget if needed. All seemed happy. As for State Police helping with the work load, Mr. Holcomb said he planned to meet with the green shirt sergeant and wave the olive branch.
                 With everyone feeling warm and fuzzy, outgoing Sheriff Fields received accolades and awards for his decades of service in law enforcement. It almost looked like a tear came to our 99 year old badge.
                 From the peanut gallery came questions on dangerous situations where ambulance crews went to a scene without police presence. Another man asked about all the stores selling ingredients for meth labs and could law stop the sale of such chemicals. In a nutshell: some store owners are quietly keeping lists of who buys what and in what quantities. Those secret lists are then turned over to badges.
                 As the meeting closed, Commissioner King told her buddy the Sheriff, “ really like those new scrambled radios. I think that was a good investment.”
                 So much for a good juicy lawsuit and word battles this time around.
         12/20/04: Stephenson – Alvin Ray Hardway, burglary (11/16/04), preliminary hearing continued by Defense to 01/18/05.
         12/22/04: Wriston – Rodney Lee Jarvis, unlawful/malicious wounding (10/29/04), preliminary hearing continued by Defense to 01/18/05.
         12/29/04: Bailey – Gary Lee Ramsey, fugitive from justice, warrant issued, arrested, released 12/30; pretrial dismissal 01/03, case dismissed without prejudice upon motion of prosecuting attorney.
         12/30/04: Wriston – Sheila Payne, child neglect, arrested; Wriston – Stephen L. Payne, child neglect, arrested.
         01/03/05: Bailey – Renea L. Bloom, burglary (12/08/04), Defense waived preliminary; case bound to Circuit Court.
         12/22/04: Simms – Jeremy Matthew Pierson, hunting without permission, appeared, ROB.
         12/23/04: Elswick – Terry Lee Harper, warrant issued for violation of DVP order, arrested 12/24, ROB; Wriston – Robert Earl Stutler, DWR/DUIA and defective equipment, appeared, ROB.
         12/24/04: Sizemore – Jason D. Proctor, driving under the influence, arrested, ROB, 12/27 Defendant pled no contest, accessed fine, cost and 24 hours jail; Slack – Keith Aaron Collins, warrant issued for domestic battery.
         12/28/04: Rider – James Ray Cummings, warrant issued for destruction of property.
         12/30/04: Wriston – Stephen L. Payne, domestic battery and domestic assault X 2, arrested; Bailey – Christopher Samples, warrant issued for violation of DVP order, arrested 12/31, ROB.
         12/31/04: Sizemore – Woodrow Cutlip, driving under the influence and left of center, arrested, ROB.
         01/01/05: Holcomb – Robert L. Nicholas, possession controlled substance-meth, arrested, ROB; Sizemore – Robert L. Nicholas, driving under the influence-2nd offense, driving while revoked for DUIA, left of center, registration violation and no POI; Stephenson – Joshua H. Taylor, possession of marijuana less 15 grams, appeared, ROB.
         01/03/05: Big Otter Food Mart – Charlene A. Shelton, warrant issued for worthless check complaint; Nicole Isley, warrants issued for worthless check complaints X 2; Clay County Middle School – Sherry Jo Mullins, warrants issued for worthless check complaints X 2.
         01/04/05: Clay County High School – Lisa Duncan, warrant issued for worthless check complaint; Holcomb – Bruce Edward Bird, Jr., possession of controlled substance, arrested; Holcomb – Douglas Craig Mitchell, possession of controlled substance, arrested.
         12/30/04: Kay Martin – Benjamin Grose and Marie Ramsey, money due, subpoenas; Lila Dulaney – Carolyn Nichols, money due, subpoena.
         01/04/05: Kate’ Florist – Joe Nicholas and Donna Nicholas, money due, subpoenas; Worldwide Asset Management LLC, Bank of America – Sarah J. Taylor, money due.
         Worthless Checks Notices Issued
         12/28/04: Clay Foodland – James Dozer X 2 (paid 12/30); Joseph A. Rhodes X 4; Amanda Marling (paid 01/04); Wanda Brown.
         12/29/04: Main Street IGA – Delores Rose; Christine Williams.
         01/04/05: Lizemores Grocery – Julie C. Hudson; Melanie Moore; Joyce R. Elswick.
         Citation Register
         12/02/04: Sheriff’ Dept. – Frances R. Ellis, registration violation and no POI.
         12/08/04: DNR – Jeremy Matthew Pierson, hunting without permission.
         12/10/04: State Police – Russell E. Copen, no POI and seat belt violation.
         12/16/04: DNR – Robert S. Foster, littering; State Police – Johnathan Sizemore, driving suspended/revoked non-DUI.
         12/17/04: Sheriff’ Dept. – Richard Lynn Cadle, speeding; Chazwick W. Reckell, driving while revoked for DUIA; State Police – Jillian Leigh Divita, speeding; Kirk Dale Ellis, speeding; Shane A. Hanshaw, loaded gun in vehicle and uncased firearm in vehicle; Alan W. Schoolcraft, no POI.
         12/18/04: State Police – Woodrow Ray Cutlip, no POI and seat belt violation; Russell A. Moore, speeding; Jonathan D. Sizemore, driving suspended/revoked non-DUI 2nd offense and firearm violation; Misty D. Sullivan, speeding and no POI; Lillie A. Swisher, speeding; Sheriff’ Dept. – Chester D. Lowther, speeding and no POI.
         12/20/04: State Police – Kenneth W. Rose, registration violation.
         12/28/04: State Police – Jonathan S. Samples, speeding; Tyler Lee West, MVI.
         12/29/04: State Police – Frankie Jo Asbury, no POI; DNR – Randall Lee Shearer, hunt without permission.
         12/30/04: Sheriff’ Dept. – Jesse W. Foster, following too close and no POI.
         12/31/04: Sheriff’ Dept. – Woodrow R. Cutlip, driving under the influence and left of center.
         01/01/05: Sheriff’ Dept. – Jerry Lee Rose, no POI; State Police – Joseph N. Taylor, no POI and operator’; Joshua H. Taylor, possession less 15 grams.
         School Board Meeting
         Still Some Distance ‘il Distance Learning
          On Monday, January 3, the Clay County Board of Education met at their administrative office building in Clay for the first of their twice monthly regular meetings. Members Beth Cercone, Gene King, Kim Sams, David Pierson, and Board President R.B. Legg, Jr., along with the central office administrators, were all present.
          Business Manager Loretta Gray provided her monthly financial report for December. She reported that in December they had received reimbursement from the insurance company for two break-ins, payments from E-Rate funds (the discounted amount for their telephone and internet service,) the first payment from Primary Care on the construction project the school system is doing for them, and vocational education funds from a state grant. Payments they had made in December included those for planning periods and extracurricular contracts, to the PAT programs, property and liability insurance, and two payments to Ablesoft, the company hired to set up and install the Distance Learning service. She also noted that fuel costs had hit them hard.
          David Pierson asked the question everyone’ been asking: “blesoft…wireless internet…how are they coming along? A little behind aren’ they?” Superintendent Jerry Linkinoggor said Ablesoft had given him a demonstration the week before and they should start installing hard equipment in the town of Clay area schools this month. He said they will be installing a Y-Max (?) that will reach all of the out-lying elementary schools, but that piece of equipment won’ be available to them until July; in the town of Clay schools it should be working in one to two months. He explained that the two payments made were not additional payments to Ablesoft, but the ones approved by the Board in November, which he’ held until they had given him the demonstration. Mr. Linkinoggor said no more payments would be made until the project was done, and they were holding back about $70,000.
          The Board approved the following agenda items unanimously: previous meeting minutes; payment of current bills; the transfer of Brian Collins from Special Education teacher to Health teacher at Clay County High School (CCHS) effective February 2 (the retiring Larry Holcomb’ position.) Collins is not certified, but the Superintendent said he was the most senior applicant and no applicants were certified, he had agreed to take classes, and he was the assistant wrestling coach. An overnight trip to Morgantown was approved for four CCHS students to take required Gear-Up training January 7 and 8, costs paid through the Gear-Up Grant. And, out of state travel was approved for Clay Middle School teachers Nada Waddell and Mary Beth Triplett to go to Charlottesville, VA, also paid through the Gear-Up Grant.
          Last, the Board moved into executive session at the request of the parents to conduct a hearing to determine the status of a CCHS student. Following the 50 minute hearing the Board reconvened in regular session and approved the Superintendent’ and Principal Phil Dobbins’recommendation to place the student in alternative school for 12 months, but the status will be reviewed following this semester.
          Next regular meeting of the board will be Tuesday, January 18, 6:00 p.m. at Clay Elementary School in Clay.                                         TK
                 Let me start by telling everybody that we've moved the Radical household to the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina. Just fulfilling a promise to the Missus to take her home someday. It's been wearisome but we're getting settled in and I'm hoping that the fresh mountain air will inspire me with some new insights on our Mountain State. We'll miss all of our friends from West Virginia but it'll be nice to see the Tarheel friends a little more.
                 Now back to tourism for Clay County. Whatever direction you decide to go with your tourism, I hope you don't just go totally into all ATV and Elk River things. There are lots of other angles that can draw people to the county. They may not sound like tourism, but anything that brings people to Clay for a weekend or a week or a day is tourism.
                 If you don't have a county museum I would recommend planning to have one. It could include the history of Clay County, both in display form and in a book, which then would be sold to help support the museum. You also should put together some books with the cemeteries and all the folks buried in them listed. The sale of these would also go to support the museum. I personally like the idea of a book on the pioneers of Clay County, those folks from the 1700s that helped settle your little piece of heaven, and a Clay County Hall of Fame. The Hall would be both a display in the museum and a book, whose sales also would go to supporting the museum. Once you start on it, you will be surprised how many people from Clay were noteworthy, or for that matter, infamous, for something they did. I suggest thinking about the Hall of Fame in three categories: pioneers which would be those from before the formation of the county; settlers, those from 1858 to 1900 or so; and, modern, which would follow on up to today. Once you have your first round picked out and placed in the Hall, which in turn would be in the county museum, you could have an annual ceremony to add new inductees. I believe you will be surprised at how popular it would be and how many people it would bring to the county.
                 For a fun thing to add to the Golden Delicious or to the 4th of July, I like the idea of having a Dryland Regatta. It would be doing things in the streets of Clay that would usually be done in the Elk River, like racing with mock kayaks, canoes, jon boats and such things as that. They would be fun to participate in, fun to watch and, again, draw a lot more people than you would think. If you involve the schools, clubs and groups like that it could become a highlight of the tourist season.
                 I have a proposal for a Hillbilly Festival and Hillbilly Village that I will address in the next column, as soon as I can relocate it after the move.
          I read (as I always do) your website and was concerned to see your reference to the disgusting website godhatesfags.comDuring my summer courses toward my PhD, I came upon this website.We were studying diversity and coping with diversity and racial tensions in the workplace.was shocked to see the outright racial and sexual orientation slurs that were on this site.As an adult, Irevulsion and disgust toward the authors of this tripe.I am not swayed in my beliefs by this propaganda.main concern is for any child who might access this site.Gone are the days when children should be protected from such filth. Parents are often more concerned with having quiet than to know what their children are reading or downloading from the computer or listening to on their headphones.
          While I realize that in our country the freedom of speech means that all people have the right to say anything they want about anybody.children are hypnotized by these filth mongers and teachers of hate.But where will it stop?The ridiculous controversy regarding the 10 Commandments and the separation of church and state---Do you not swear to tell the truth in court--so help you God?Does Congress not pray before meetings? Do Wide Receivers not cross themselves or send a prayer up to God after a touchdown?But you know these things.
          Thanks for listening.
                 Kate Whitteker
         CHATTER 2
         To OUR LEADERS: U.S. Senator Robert C. Byrd, U.S. Senator Jay Rockefeller, U.S. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, and President George W. Bush
                 With all the talk on the subject of Social Security and how to fix the problem, part of it is easy - stop taking money from the people’ fund every time somebody wants to throw a party. Thank goodness we don’ have another election next year or it would all be gone! So stop taking the money out, you can’ do anything about what is already gone, but you can stop what you’e doing and try to replace it. You can fix this a little bit by putting a freeze on all raises for our so called leaders from the capital of every state up to our senators and congressmen and the President of the United States. Stop giving yourself raises and put this money in the Social Security Fund where it came from in the beginning.
                 Concerning terrorism: there should be, and I know there is, some leaders in Washington who know about the Bible. You can get rid of every big wheel terrorist out there and there will be somebody to take their place. It has been like this since the beginning of time, and it will stay like this till the end. If you do not stay with Israel, on what they do and the decisions they make, it will be shorter time for the U.S. This country was founded upon the Laws of God, and no man or woman wearing a black robe, sitting in a big court room, has the right to dictate the words of God.
                 One quick thing on terrorists and how the countries who back them will have the United States: we have to keep borrowing money by putting out bonds, so pretty soon the head terrorists, who have all the oil to sell, are going to realize that all they have to do is buy up all the bonds and they will own the U.S., because other countries own a lot of it right now.
                 Thank you for your time.
                         Sincerely, Frank L. Kish, Jr.
                 On December 27th, members of last year’ dance team loaded up into a van and truck and started a long trip to Atlanta, Georgia. During performances and competitions last year the Clay County High School Dance Team was selected to perform at the Georgia Peach Bowl Parade, Pre-Game Show, and Half-Time. They were selected by Pamela Antista, Universal Superstars whom they would work with in Georgia along with Beau, a choreographer for Universal Superstars and many other talented assistants. The girls that went were Jerrica Caudill, Miriam Cliver, Ashley Walker, Holly Walker, and Ashley Williams, along with many parents and chaperones.
                 The girls were faced with eight hour practices and long days of preparation, all to stand in front of 90,000 people live in the Georgia Dome on Friday the 31st of December, and the largest crowd turnout for a Peach Bowl Parade. During the week, although the girls had long practices, they also had some free time to relax and see the city. The girls went shopping in Lennox Square one night enjoying what every girl does. On Thursday night the girls were asked to get dolled up for a formal dinner and awards banquet. The girls dressed in their formal gowns and headed to the Georgia Conference Center. After a long night they were finally able to get some sleep to get right back up at 6:00 a.m. to get ready for a day in the spotlight.
         The girls got to see the city up close and personal. The Parade took them through two miles of the heart of the city. They then spent the day at FanFest in the Georgia Convention Center located next to the Georgia Dome. When they entered the Dome for the game it was a whole different atmosphere then the day before at practice. During practice there was only about 50 people in the stands, now there was almost 90,000, live and TV cameras everywhere broadcasting to America. There is no way to explain the feeling that rushes over you when you step onto the field. It is truly a dream come true. During the game the girls got on the wrong elevator but was welcomed by the staff and helped to where they needed to go. Because of the wrong turn they got to see the inside workings of the Dome. Their detour took them through the kitchen of the Dome where not too many people see or think about walking through.
         When the game was over the girls headed to Centennial Park to see the lights for New Year’s. Three of the girls still feeling the excitement from the game ran through the lighted sidewalk fountains, which were very cold, but the girls knew it was a chance of a lifetime and may never get the chance again. When they got back to the hotel they fell fast asleep to wake up in the morning and leave this special time behind but to take the memories of a lifetime with them.
         The Dance Team would like to thank everyone in the community for their help, donations, and support. Without your backing this trip and many others would never be possible. You have helped these girls to shoot for the stars and live their dreams. The girls would also like to thank their parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters, and anyone else who helped them get to where they are today along with their chaperones. They would also like to thank their coach, Darlene Cliver. She puts in long hours and deals with lots of headaches, which many times go without formal thanks. Again thank you all.
                 Written by Miriam Cliver
         Letter to Brother Bill By Evelyne McLaughlin
          Dear Bro. Bill: First of all, I want to thank you so much for the dollar that you sent me for Christmas. But, as you know, a dollar doesn't go as far as it once did - but I shall try to spend it wisely. I received the following by way of an e-mail from my friend Dotty, of California, and thought I would share its message.
          2004 has sped by quickly, now we need to face 2005. There may be risks involved. We may need to face roadblocks, so stay alert. Share time with friends. Jump over obstacles, with care and caution. Face challenges and remember to laugh. Cooperate, discover and make new friends. Above all, be ready for adventure. Stick together and you will be able to go far - very far...well, not quite that far. Always take time to smell the flowers, especially the roses. Don't forget to relax and enjoy. And, never forget to love those closest to you and be sure and TELL them so.
          A few belated birthday wishes: Harold Lee's birthday was sometime in December. Those celebrating their birthday on January l included: Miranda McLaughlin, of Kelly's Creek, Vivian Samples Maynor, of Elkview, Charlotte Landenberger, of Nevada, Justin Harding (Kelly's son) and Jim Steed, of Charleston. Hoping that they enjoy many more birthdays.
          So sorry to learn of the death of Mrs. Harold (Janet Samples) Burdette, of Elk River Road. She will be greatly missed by everyone who knew her. Also, Erie Igo Bragg, of Harrison, passed away recently. She will also be sadly missed. Our sympathies to both families. On the sick list we have Eddie Igo, of Ovapa, Rheenetta Bennett, of Valley View, Mary Vaughn, of Blue Knob, Linda Deems, of Pumpkin Ridge, Alyce Faye Bragg, of Ovapa, (broken ankle), and Don is also ill. Please remember these folks in your prayers. It was good to see Cathy Runnion, of Twistabout Ridge, up and about last week. She has been quite ill.
          Sylvia Summers, of Ovapa, had her family home during the holidays. She fixed a big dinner for her sons, Ronnie and Chester, and their families. Marge Smith Thomas, of Arkansas, visited her son, Jeff Thomas, and his family during the holidays. Jeff lives in North Carolina. Miranda McLaughlin, of Kelly's Creek, was visiting relatives in New York during the holidays. Jim Steed, of Charleston, is in Florida working with a Christian Mission for a month or so. Justin and Sara Harding have been visiting with their "NaNa" Charlotte Eagle Steed. I had several phone calls from far away friends. Judy Grose Sexton, of Columbus, Ohio, called to tell me that her family had visited over the holidays. Other calls were from Darlie Wiseman Norton, of Lost Creek, WV., Carol Rockefeller Peterson, of Fernandina Beach, Florida, Donald Shearer, of Phoenix, Arizona, and Glen Samples, of Virginia. It is so good to hear from our friends, far and near, especially those we seldom see. I heard it through the grapevine that Smith's will be opening a grocery store in the old Kroger Store Building at Clendenin.
          A few words from the wise old bird: ham and eggs - a day's work for a chicken, a lifetime commitment for a pig; he who dies with the most toys is nonetheless dead; a journey of a thousand miles begins with a cash advance.
          Happy New Year, Brother, and in the mean time - Help Us All to Be Brave. Love, Sis
                 For Jack Rose, 2005 started out great with a new state fishing record. Rose caught a 32 inch walleye on Saturday, January 1st. Although the length isn’ the record, the weight is! Just shy of 19 pounds. Now that’ a whopper!
                 Winners of the Main Street IGA Grand Opening Drawing include: Mary Ellen Boggs – DVD player; Linda King, Steven Childers, Stacy Dawn Morris, Angela Dennis Lane, Jerry Helms Jr., and Barbara Osborne – shirt and hat; Vickie Neeley, William Miller, Kelley Sirk, Ronnie Holley, Jennifer Mullins, and William L Collins – shirt. Congratulations!
                 During the courtroom blow out when Tonya Salisbury pled guilty to misdemeanor charges in the death of her husband, Chad, there was talk of Ms Salisbury’ involvement with witness tampering. We understand the now out of jail woman was arrested in Nicholas County on those charges.
                 Elsewhere in this edition is coverage of the County Commission meeting where pay raises were oked by Commissioners Sams and Triplett. The raises went through lickity-split without a pause and without a comment. While some employees remain laid off, the luckier folks include: Arlene Tucker from $1434.30 per month increased by $215.70 per month; Mary Beth Samples earning $1434.30 per month increased by $15.70 per month; Trish Triplett can add $140.16 to each month’ draw of $1109.84; and the big winner is Misty Jones who netted a $347.00 a month pay raise. Over in the Prosecutor’ office Karen Amey moved from $12605.28 a year to $15000.00 annually.
                 We asked Commissioner Triplett what his New Year’ resolution would be. His response, “ry not to get sued.”
                 Randy Schoonover wrecked his 4 wheeler in 2004 and darn near killed himself. Schoony settled some of his personal injury claims for $300,000.00 on December 7, 2004. Look for a lawsuit and much, much bigger settlement later this year. The ex-senator claims that the land owner was negligent with ‘No Trespassing’ posters and the poor road conditions were a big part of the cause of him wrecking.
         2005 Resolutions
                 With the help of the community, each year we come up with new year resolutions for Clayberry’ public figures, those elected, those appointed, and those others that make it into the spotlight of life in small town America. Here’ our installment for 2005.
                 Out of office Prosecutor Daniel Grindo: to put more criminals behind bars by becoming a public defender.
                 Sheriff Randy Holcomb: to work as hard after getting elected as he did getting elected.
                 Commissioner Fran King: To explain a new way of explaining how she wants a pay raise, you know what I mean.
                 Superintendent Jerry Linkinoggor- to resolve to check with Gene King first.
                 Town Chief of Police Buckshot Butcher: cut down all the pine trees around the Courthouse
                 Commissioner Sams: to spend his raise money to buy a nice 10 Commandments display for the Courthouse and his hot dog stand and pawn shop AND, AND, AND to get as many jobs for the county as he has for his family.
                 Commissioner Triplett: To get an opinion
                 Mayor King Arthur Jarrett: to never live down river from the sewer plant.
                 Clay Development Corporation: to find more lost members of their family to put to work.
                 Business Development Authority: take the Filcon site and make it a protected wet land.
                 Clay County PSD Chair Keith King: to get a job with the CIA so he really would have something to keep secret.
                 School Boardster Kim Sams: to resolve to never make a motion unless she knows she has a second.
                 Murder Mountain residents: to become better shots
                 Sheriff candidate Scotty Legg- to stop relying on the school system for election support.
                 Clay County Demorat Committee: to come up with even more underhanded dirty election tricks
                 CCHS Principal Phil Dobbins: to find a copy of the national anthem
                 Coach Sirk: to resolve to win a championship
                 Harold Fields: to actually retire this time around.
                 And finally for 2005 resolutions, one for Republican Sheriff Candidate Dave Mullins: to actually join the ACLU so he can quit.                                                                
                                 AW and friends