FEBRUARY 20, 2004

Consideration and Terms of the Agreement of Sale
Vance Announces Run for BOE
School Board Meets in Bomont
A Mother Speaks Out - Salvation for 17 Year Old
OPERATOR GETS HOT Clay Roane Boardster Resigns
Just Thinking About: IDEAS
ALMOST HEAVEN: In a Cabin From H!
BOB CLARKE Curmudgeon’s Corner
Letter to Brother Bill

It all started last summer when Clay High School students working for the Human Resource Foundation rolled up their sleeves and began cleaning up trash heaps, old tires, and the like throughout the county. This summer paid workers will be on the job cleaning up the Elk River as a result of a new grant funded February 18th. We spoke with Clay County Solid Waste Authority Co-Coordinator Lynn Sizemore Romano Thursday to get the scoop.
“cott Bass, Bill Monterosa, DEP, and DNR and I submitted a $80,000.00 grant to clean up the Elk River. It will be split between Ritchie and Clay Counties. They [Ritchie] will clean the dam and we will clean on the Elk River. I am really excited!”said Romano. Even before the grant came through plans were being laid to bring the once pristine Elk back to its former beauty. The dollars will come from a WV Tourism grant with field work slated for June 7 through June 19, 2004.
Workers will receive T-shirts in addition to being paid for their efforts. “ith the grant we’l have some money for T-shirts. We’e having a logo contest for the T-shirt design. The biggest part of the money is for the youth that work through Scott Bass’program.”Students from all levels of education will be invited to participate in a T-shirt Logo Contest. The overall winner of the contest will receive a $200 savings bond while winners in each level - high school, middle and elementary, will receive a $100 bond. “he designs can NOT be computer generated, they have to be hand drawn.”
It’ not just minimum wage work either. According to Romano, “f the students finish, at the conclusion of the grant, there’ a $500 stipend for 25 students. We’e holding our organizational meeting soon to determine how the kids will get it. There is $25,000.00 for the stipends and $20,000 to hire two college interns,”commented Lynn. Two interns will be hired to organize and help plan the work sessions. Those interns will be employed for a longer period of time.
        Scholarships are also a part of the upcoming grant. Romano, “he scholarships are for post secondary opportunities. In addition to above mentioned items, there is money for job shadowing and more….. We’e working with HRDF and Ritchie County into two counties and putting the kids out in the field cleaning.”
        For the Elk River, the money comes in the nick of time. Romano, “ur plans are to clean up from the Braxton line to Kanawha County. We’e removing debris… tires, anything!…. We’e going to try and schedule a metal clean up so we can stock pile the metal, hopefully, so they can be recycled at the end of the clean up [June 19th] …. DEP has committed to bringing in boats and trucks plus safety equipment and help with things like river clean up seminars. For the kids to get their stipends they will have to do the field work plus the educational component.”
        In closing, Lynn Romano, “ think this is grand. It’ good…. No money is for keeping an office open. It’ all for the kids. The next meeting is March 4th at 10am followed by a Public Hearing March 11th , 6:30 at the Lion’ Club building. We’e also looking for volunteers. What we’ like to do is say… one 4H group would take one area after we get it all mapped. There is one place that has 120 tires… Lets get the garbage out of here!”
        A job this big hasn’ been tackled before. Last year the high schoolers worked to clean up just dump sites in the county. If all goes well, by the end of June the mighty Elk may once again shine and become a tourist destination spot attracting visitors to this economically deprived region of the West Virginia Appalachian Mountains.                        

        Near the end of 2003, Newton resident Bill Moss filed a formal ethics complaint against local attorney, and candidate for prosecuting attorney, Wayne King. A few weeks later Mr. King responded to Moss’State Bar Complaint and pretty much disputed everything Moss said. Moss contended that King owed him money which was ordered to him by an arbitrator in July 2003.
        We have a juicy follow up and it ain’ in Wayne King’ favor.
        On January 27th before Judge Thomas Evans, Moss and Wayne King were to appear. King was a no show. On the 26th attorney King faxed a letter to the Judge stating a prior engagement and he could not be present. Evans held King in contempt of court and set a new hearing date for February 10th.
        We spoke with senior citizen Bill Moss February 19th for the details. The following is from Moss and in his own words where quotation marks are present.
        “t was rescheduled for February 10 at 9 am. We didn’ really get back in court until about 10am. They were taking care of other cases… When Mr. King came in there, the first thing that Judge went and told him was ‘Mr. King we had a hearing here on the 27th day of January and you was a no show.’ The Judge said he was NOT excused and held him [King] in contempt of court. The Judge said King has to pay court costs for the other attorney’ expense. He wanted to know why Mr. King had not turned the money over to me.”
        According to Moss, Judge Evans’ face reddened as King tried to explain his way out of not giving the $6600 to Moss. Moss continued, “e used an excuse that Brandywine [mobile home dealer involved in the court case originally] had wanted that money held. After hearing that, the Judge said: That is NOT what the arbitrator’ decision said and that’ no excuse. That’ your fault! The Judge continued: I herby order you to have the money to Moss tomorrow at 1pm. Wayne said they can pick it up at my office. I said, Judge, I object to that. If I go to his office his secretary won’ be there and Mr. King won’ be there because he has lied to me time after time. He said he was going to give that money to me, $6600.00 and he failed to do so.”
         Mr. Moss continued, “he Judge looked at King and told him: I’l solve that problem for you Mr. Moss. Mr. King, you will have the money here to the Roane County Circuit Clerk’ office no later than 1pm tomorrow [Feb 11th]. Wayne jumped up and said he paid half of the arbitrator’ fee but Mr. Moss hasn’. I said, your honor, the reason it hasn’ been paid is Mr. King would never inform me of what my share was.”
        On February 11, Clay County businessman and Prosecuting Attorney candidate Wayne King showed up at 12:40 and gave Roane County Circuit Clerk Beverly

Greathouse the full amount of arbitrator fee with a check amounting to $1312.50. Moss, “e gave that to the Clerk for the full arbitrator’ fee. He counted out to me $5287 and some odd cents there in cash. He pulled it out in cash and he didn’ have no extra money in the pocket he pulled it out of.”
        The Judge also removed King from the Moss case and told him, right there in court, ‘I don’ blame the Mosses a bit for going to the Ethics Committee on you because it looks to me like you needed every bit of that!’ And finally from Bill Moss, “e went down the hall just stompin his feet like a little kid. When he handed me my money I never said nothing to him at all….”
        There you have it readers. Circuit Judge Evans sided with the Moss family, held King in contempt, ordered King to pay court costs and give Bill Moss the money owed him since July 2003. BUT! It ain’ over yet.
        Since the 11th, Moss has filed a second complaint against Arthur Wayne King and is trying to find an attorney to represent him in a court case against Mr. King.
        Anybody know of a good attorney willing to take on one of their own kind? Moss’telephone number is 565-7904.

??? DID YOU KNOW ???

    1.        When we seek to discover the best in others, we somehow find the best in ourselves.
2.        Women who drink five glasses of water a day are 41 percent less likely to die from a heart attack than those who drink two or fewer glasses.
3.        Nearly 5 million alcoholic parents have at least one child living with them at home.
4.        Nationwide, tea sales have more than doubled since 1990 when sales totaled 12 billion.
5.        Since 1994, the average cost of electricity in the state has increased 0.6 percent. The cost of 4,500 gallons of water has increased 59.3 percent.
6.        During the 2000-2002 seasons, a total of 305 buck deer have qualified for the state Big Buck Club.
7.        Between August and November, inspectors tested about 350 Charleston parking meters and found roughly 30 percent didn’ give the correct amount of time.
8.        According to preliminary data, a total of 1,691 wild turkeys were killed during the fall season, compared to 2,808 reported in 2002.
9.        Twenty-seven people died in ATV accidents last year, tying the record set the year before.
10.        The number of acres approved in 2003 for West Virginia surface mines tripled over 2002 to more than 22,000 acres.
11.        Black men in West Virginia are twice as likely as whites to die of hypertension or diabetes.
12.        A recent Detroit news study found that at least a dozen competitors have died nationwide since Tough-Man style fighting debuted in 1979 and that the fatality rate is more than quadruple that of amateur boxing.
13.        West Virginia is the only state where black adults have high school diplomas or GED’ at a higher rate than white adults.
14.        In a research report in mid-2003, Gartner Inc. predicted that at least one out of 10 technology jobs in the United States would move overseas by the end of 2004.
15.        Tax officials expect West Virginia tobacco retailers to sell 29.4 million fewer packs of cigarettes in the current fiscal year than they did in the last year.
16.        In West Virginia, there are currently 3,686 prison inmates, a nearly twofold increase from a decade ago.
17.        About 15,300 West Virginians were employed in coal mining in November.
18.        West Virginia was the only state to record four federal disaster declarations during 2003.
19.        West Virginia bear hunters killed a record 1,654 black bears during the 2003 combined archery-firearms season.
20.        In a new study, eating fish just once a week cut the risk of Alzheimer’ 60 percent.

$60,000 Coming to the Rescue
        Few water service providers have had a more confusing existence than Queen Shoals Public Service District. Here’ one more installment on the never ending story: QSPSD, What’ Left?
        In the beginning, a bunch of locals in the Bomont-Glen areas of Clay County got their heads together and put in water lines and pumps to feed their communities. The installation was done without any official permission from the regulators. It just sort of happened and the water began to flow from the Procious water plant on Elkhurst Road and a mountain away. From the beginning, there were problems. Without the expertise from engineers, low pressure conditions were and still are common. Financially the PSD barely kept their heads above water so to speak.
        After two rate increases from their wholesale provider Clay Roane PSD in 2002 and after their own increase to cover the high cost of Clay Roane PSD water, the QSPSD Board resigned. They gave up. Without management in place and seeing an opportunity to grow more customers and a backhoe to boot, Clay Roane jumped at the chance to take over QS. On February 17th 2003, and after their own attorney advised against it, an operation and maintenance agreement was executed.
        For 10 months in 2003, life was good. Clay Roane PSD was happy since they were collecting the QSPSD money and reducing a long standing debt owed to them. That was until Fall 2003 when Clay Roane PSD found out their operation and maintenance agreement was no good. Government agencies that had loaned QSPSD and Clay Roane PSD money over the years said they would not allow such an O & M deal. In reality, those feds told Clay Roane the O&M was null and void sometime in April 2003 and that info was not made public until fall.
        Still, with no right to operate QS, Clay Roane continued until December 2003 when the ice cream turned to slush. Around the middle of December, and lasting through the end of the year, many Queen Shoals customers went without water followed by short periods when water was available but unfit to drink. Customers went ballistic. During Clay Roane meetings that month, QS customers brought in jugs of muddy oily brown crud that had come from their water taps. Along about then the finger pointed at Clay Roane employees doing less than a great job finding and repairing main line leaks within the QS system.        
        Clay Roane threw in the towel and limited what they would do for the struggling Queen Shoals. Our County Commission stepped in somewhere in there and appointed a new Board to manage and run QS. Jimmy Kearns was first to step up to the plate, followed by Ann Anderson, and to complete the three member Board, Dave Sizemore.
        With the original O & M agreement in shreds and Clay Roane not willing to take the heat from irate QS customers, Clay Roane offered in January 2004 to read meters and send out QS monthly bills but would no longer do any maintenance across the hill. They had had enough of those locals across the mountain. Seeing the downward spiral Boardster Kearns approached the internationally known American Water Company, AKA WV Water Company, to come and take over QS for 6 months and then look at purchasing the headache near the end of 2004.
        As late as Thursday, February 12th, WV Water Rep Dan Bickerton stood during a Clay Roane PSD meeting and told those in attendance everything looked good for them doing the 6 month operation period. Bickerton spoke on a bigger picture, a day when Boil Water Orders and low pressure conditions would not be an everyday occurrence. A day when customers could depend on water service being there when needed. He looked further down the road and spoke encouragingly on the chances of his mega company taking over the system lock, stock and barrel and almost said “prosperity is right around the corner”
        That all changed Friday February 13th when WV Water bailed out of Clay County. We spoke with Queen Shoals PSD Chair Jimmy Kearns on February 17th. Excerpts from that interview follow.
        What happened? Kearns, “verything was going along good. Then they said Clay Roane can’ supply enough water to us and Clendenin can’ supply either. They said ‘oo many problems’is exactly what they said”
        Kearns continued, “They said we needed a volume of water and we don’ have it. Clay Roane can’ supply us enough, enough that WV Water demands we have. They [WV Water] can’ supply us enough from Clendenin ‘ause Clendenin can’ pump enough for us and the people on Big Sandy Public Service District. So that’ where we’e at right now.”
        Kearns agreed that everything sounded so good just a few days earlier. “ really don’ know. All of a sudden they just bailed out. The main reason was they couldn’ get enough water from anybody. He also said we needed to get a lot of work done and it wouldn’ be beneficial to them to take it right now. He did say, if they [WV Water] could get it all, it would be different.”Chair Kearns was referring to the entire county when he said “et it all”
        Plans have been on the books for years for WV Water to run a huge water line from Charleston to Braxton County and serve the entire Elk Valley basin. Currently the huge water service line stops before the town of Clendenin with the Clendenin Water Plant serving that community and the WV Water customers north into Clay County on the former Big Sandy PSD service area.
        So what’ next? Kearns, “ don’ know. I’ at a loss. The Governor is supposed to call me today or tomorrow. They are going to give me $60,000 to get started. It’ earmarked to get me started . To get me a place for an office, hire a secretary, hire a maintenance man, buy some fittings and such that I need. It’l also pay off our debt to Clay Roane.” Kearns felt certain that the money was coming shortly, “hey called me Friday and said it would be this week some time and I’ come down there and get it. Now they say it’ a done deal…… I really thought WV Water was a done deal but they just dropped us like a hot potato. I had the draft O & M agreement and everything ready until they could take the whole thing over completely. Is there something there that I don’ know? Could be.” Politics involved? Kearns, “ould be.”
        In closing, Kearns, “his is not a profit making thing for anybody. I went up to Clay today and took all the money Queen Shoals PSD had. $116.00 and we’e setting up our own checking account. I have to do something quick… before a week and a half. I have to read meters and we don’ have any money to pay anybody with. That better come through down there. They could have helped Clay County. I don’ know why Clay Roane wouldn’ just let them [WV Water] have that over there, too. They could have upgraded that plant over there and made everybody happy.”        AW

Consideration and Terms of the Agreement of Sale

If you sign an agreement for sale (commonly called a "Sales Contract"), here are some important points to consider.
l. The real estate agent or sales associate will normally give you a preprinted form of agreement of sale. We call it a "Sales Contract" form. You may make changes or additions to the form agreement, but the seller must agree to every change made. You should also agree with the seller on when you will move in and all appliances and personal property that will be sold with the home.
2. Sales price. For most home purchasers, the sales price is the most important term. Recognize that other non-monetary terms of the agreement are all important.
3. Title. "Titlle" refers to the legal ownership of your new home. The seller must provide title, free and clear of all claims by others against your new home. Claims against your new home are known as "liens" or "encumbrances". You may negotiate who will pay for the title search so you will have a title that is clear.
4. Mortgage clause. The agreement of sale should provide that your deposit or earnest money be refunded if the sale has to be canceled because you are unable to get a loan. For example, your agreement of sale allows the purchase to be canceled if you cannot obtain mortgage financing at an interest rate you specify in the agreement. We normally refund the earnest money after loans are denied.
5. Pests. Your lender will normally require a certificate from a qualified inspector stating the home is free from termites and other pests and pest damages. You may reserve the right to cancel the agreement or seek immediate treatment repairs by the seller if pest damage is found.
6. Home inspection. It is a good idea to have the home inspected. An inspector should determine the condition of the plumbing, heating, cooling and the electrical systems. The structure should also be examined to assure it is sound and determine the condition of the roof, siding, windows and doors; the lot graded away from the house so that water does not drain toward the house or into the basement. Additionally, basements need to be checked for water leakage and molds. Most buyers prefer to pay for these inspections so that the inspector is them - not the seller. You may wish to include in your agreement of sale (sales contract) to cancel if you are not satisified with the inspection results. In that case
you may want to re-negotiate for a lower sale price or require the seller to pay for repairs. You may find local house inspectors who are qualified to do these jobs.
(More next week)
This article is brought to you by
Dave Derby, Sales Associate
Greenlee Properties Inc.
GMAC Real Estate : Clay Office.


        That first step was a big one for Prestera client Danny Workman. A little before 10 am last Saturday morning, the 50 something Workman tore through the second floor screened window at the Prestera Center and fell 18 feet to the blacktop below. After laying on the ground dazed and without much movement, Workman was discovered and an ambulance was summoned at 10:14 and rushed him off to a hospital. It was reported he had broken bones. Many locals openly wondered if Danny “an I borrow a quarter”Workman had been locked in his room and was trying to escape. Others wondered how a challenged client could go unnoticed by the paid professional staff for so long.
        * Clay County Prosecutor Daniel Grindo has campaign signs up. Nice colorful ones, too. Those signs are posted in Braxton County where he is hoping to be a more successful public servant.
        * Tonya Salisbury stands accused of killing Chad Salisbury, her husband. Last summer Ms Salisbury was out on bond until she failed one too many drug tests and was ordered into custody. That changed Wednesday February 18th when she was once again let go on bond as she awaits her June 8th court day.
        Ah, yes, and then there’ Earnie Sirk. Within days of Judge Alsop ordering Sirk back on the Clay Development Corporation (CDC) general membership roles, the CDC gang of employees and friends of employees tossed him off again. Seems he’ much too devious a guy to have snooping around the private digs of the select few. Since the last printing of this paper, Wide Glide as we named him, has gone back to his attorney and is asking the Court system to force CDC to abide by the court order. This time around, according to Sirk, he wants everybody else that was illegally tossed from the CDC to join him in a class action type case. Interested? Call Earnie at 286-3312
        The County Commission Oked the purchase of $10,000 911 radio repeaters last December from the state purchasing contract. Those two units are scheduled for installation this spring. The goal was to improve radio coverage for emergency service personnel in the county. Some in the county are now saying the 125 watt repeaters will do little and instead, the CCC should have purchased 300 watt units if they really wanted to provide safety for officers and fire fighters alike.
        Anybody remember Sean Andrew Thacker? From the Hur Herald online newspaper: A Clay County man charged with the kidnapping and assault of a Calhoun woman and her four-year-old daughter, has faced sexual abuse charges in Clay, Continued page 15
in addition to other multiple charges. Clay County Circuit Court records show Sean Andrew Thacker, 28, of Maysel, was charged with third degree sexual abuse, otherwise known as statutory rape. He was charged after an incident with a 16-year-old female in that county. Records indicate Thacker was indicted for the offense, but the charges were dismissed in June, 2003.
Thacker is now facing charges in Calhoun for kidnapping, holding hostage and first degree sexual assault following a February 9 incident on Milo Road, which is a short distance from Minnora, State Route 16. Calhoun Prosecutor Matt Minney said Thacker is scheduled for a preliminary hearing next week in Magistrate Rick Postalwait's court.
Besides the sexual abuse charge in Clay, court records say that Thacker has been charged with disturbing a school activity, obstructing an officer, indecent exposure, driving while suspended or revoked (multiple charges), possession of alcohol under the age of 21, public intoxication, among other traffic violations.
A volatile hostage situation ended February 9 when Deputy Ron Bandy and State Trooper Jeff Hunt arrested Thacker, who had fled the residence. Bandy brought charges against Thacker after an 18-hour investigation. During the hostage taking, the charges say Thacker used a "knife, ropes and other restraints" on the young woman and her daughter, most likely a deadly weapon.
Thacker is charged with two counts of kidnapping or holding hostage, felonies which call for incarceration for life without eligibility for parole. He is also charged with sexual assault in the first degree, which calls for imprisonment of not less than 15 years nor more than 35 years. The suspect is being held in Central Regional Jail without bond until there is judicial review.

Vance Announces Run for BOE

Hello my name is Charles Richard Vance and I am announcing my candidacy for the Clay County Board of Education in District C. As some of you know, I ran for this office 2 years ago, and hope that I can help make a better school system for our children and their education.
As a 1994 graduate of Clay County High School I believe I can provide some useful and youthful insight to the board. There are many problems facing our youth and their parents today. Both are saying the school system just doesn't understand or care. If elected, I make this promise: to lend an ear of understanding for both the parents and our children. I also pledge to take every question, compliment, and/or complaint into consideration to get the most out of the situation for each and everyone.
There are many questions before the board right now: board members resigning, new schools, still not enough books to go around, students needing money for this or that, and there are many more. I may not have all the answers by myself, but, I will take everyone's input into consideration to make my decisions.
I make this promise to the youth, the board, and the people of Clay County to do the right things for all, not just for one. Also, I will make myself readily available
for your questions and concerns.
Now, a little personal information about me. I am the 27 year old son of Dennis and Beverly Vance of Lizemores. Dennis is an EMT for Jan-Care Ambulance and also a former candidate for the Clay County Board of Education. Beverly is a RN for Clay Development. I am the grandson of Charles and Carol Caldwell of Hurricane, formerly of Lizemores, and the late Charley and Hazel Vance of Charleston. I am the great-grandson of Edith and the late Guy Caldwell of Lizemores. I am a life long resident of Lizemores where I reside with my wife Sabrina, son Justin, and soon-to-be Zachary. Sabrina is a stay at home mother. Justin is a seventh-grade student at Clay County Middle School. I am also employed at Jan-Care Ambulance where I get to serve the public each and
everyday. So as you can see I will have children in school for the next 18 years.
I am by no means rich, just your everyday citizen wanting and willing to put forth the time and effort to help out. I wish to thank all my 600+ supporters from 2002 and hope they still have the same faith in me now as
They did then. Thank you for reading my announcement and your consideration for the upcoming election. Please help me make a "Youthful Change for Clay County Schools." Remember your vote does count.
Also, I have set-up a web page: \ulwww.geocities.com/vance4board\ulnone and an email: \ulvance4board@yahoo.com\ulnone for any questions you may have before hand.

        May God bless each and everyone.
        Again, Thank you for your support.

                Charles Richard Vance

School Board Meets in Bomont

On Monday, February 16, the Clay County Board of Education held their regular scheduled meeting at H.E. White Elementary School in Bomont before a crowd of around 70 that attended. All board members were present: R.B. Legg, Jr., David Pierson, Gene King, Kimberly Sams and Rick Tanner.
Students of the school entertained those at the meeting by demonstrating some of the skills they have acquired at school. Members of the 5th grade band performed several instrumental selections; preschoolers sang the alphabet, months of the year, days of the week and counting; 2nd graders read paragraphs they’ written on why they like to go to the school; 4th graders spoke on the importance of education and what they liked about school; kindergarten students each read a favorite book to the crowd; and, the 5th graders highlighted the character education program with a skit “ot Character?” All did exceedingly well.
The business session commenced and the board approved the following agenda items unanimously: the previous meeting minutes; removed the names of Timothy Gunther and Donald (Tracy) Dobbins from the substitute teacher list; the yearly Pre-School plan; and, to work with AbleSoft Solutions, of Beckley, to develop a software package for the Distance Learning Grant. Superintendent Jerry Linkinogger reported that they had received 4 bids for hardware, but only one, from AbleSoft, for the software. February 16 was the last day to submit bids. Apparently the bidder for the hardware will be selected later.
Ershia Hersman was on the agenda to appear, but was not present, so the board heard from the Local School Improvement Council (LSIC). H.E. White Principal Bunny Taylor made introductions and thanked the school’ Business Partners in Education – (apology here for not catching all the businesses named) Frank and Kay Kish, Frank Kerr, Poca Valley bank, Gordon Bird, Pizza Hut, and Giovanni’ Pizza. The LSIC had three requests for the board: new tile, to have the gym painted and (something) for the accelerated math program.
Last, the board held hearings to determine the status of two Clay County High School students. Only one student had representatives present for the hearing, and they chose to move into executive session. When the board returned they voted to follow the principal’ and superintendent’ recommendations to place the student in alternative school, continue counseling, and review the situation at the end of the year.
Next meeting of the board is scheduled for Monday, March 1, at the administrative office building in Clay at 6:00 PM. -

A Mother Speaks Out - Salvation for 17 Year Old
        As reported elsewhere in this edition, in the school board article, mention was made of a Clay High student sentenced to ALC, the alternative learning center, for 12 months. Little else was provided the public after the closed hearing during the recent School Board meeting. At the request of the mother, we have more to report.
          Murder Mountain, shootings, court cases, and residents of Murder Mountain have graced the pages of this paper many times. The Tommy Young name has risen to the top as well. Now it’ time to hear from Renee Boyd, long time companion of Tommy Young Sr. and mother to the student disciplined to ALC earlier this week, Tommy Young Jr.
         Boyd, “I’ like the world to know the way I feel about going to a board meeting. There’ no sense for a parent even going to them. They already have you doing what they want you to do before you even go and say your part. Look at Gene King and what he’ done in his life. How can he actually judge someone?”She wanted to add for our readers, “ don’ think it’ fair to give a 17 year old boy a break. They have heard from Howard Jones of KVC. He’ been coming up here and seeing Tom. He sat in Tom’ room and told us, he had never seen an anger problem that was not brought on by drugs or alcohol and that ours had never even experimented with drugs…. He told us our boy was very intelligent and had a high IQ.”
         During the School Board meeting, Boyd and Tommy Sr. asked for the disciplinary hearing be held in private. Boyd provided some insight into what goes on during the secret time. Boyd, “ne of them wanted to give our son another chance….. The issue before the Board was CCHS Principal Dobbins wanted to expel Little Tom for a whole year on the grounds that he [young Tom] was making threats. That he had a threatening demeanor. He said it to Mr. Dobbins but it was toward Mr. Haynie. After our son got released from the Donald Kuhn Center, he went back to the school instead of ALC. He asked Mr. Dobbins if his time in the Kuhn Center would count toward the already mandated three days in ALC. Dobbins said no. Dobbins was walking Tommy back out to the school bus to get Tommy to ALC when Tommy made a remark.” Ms Boyd said her son asked Dobbins who wrote out all the negative disciplinary reports with the reply being Haynie.
         And then came the threatening remark by 17 year old Tommy Young Jr. According to Boyd, “ommy said Mr. Haynie would regret saying all the bad things about him. He DIDN’ say it in a mean tone of voice. He didn’ get loud or smart-alicky or nothing. My son told me and all the members of the School Board, when he said that, what he meant was, the Lord would deal with Haynie.” Boyd told this reporter that her son had gotten saved while incarcerated in the Donald Kuhn Center, “ou know the Bible plainly says pray for your enemies, that the Lord will take care of them, for you to not worry. To just pray for them, that the Lord will send his wrath. That’ what we’e been taught all our life, to pray for our enemies. That’ what he [Tommy Jr.] meant when he said that. Mr. Dobbins didn’ take it that way. He took it as a verbal threat
         During the secret time, Ms Boyd said many of Board members appeared to be sympathetic to her position, that the youth had been going through a bunch of emotional problems and maybe even have to go to jail. “ympathetic to it all, his girlfriend’ dad shooting his uncle in the face, all the things happening now. It sounded like they were going to give him another chance, something other than ALC. My son told them going to ALC is worse than going to jail. One Board member asked if Tommy felt he could handle going to ALC for the school year. The tears started swelling up in his eyes and then Gene King spoke up. Gene said we’e spent enough time here as he looked at his watch. In a real hateful tone he said this wasn’ the first kid we’e had at a Board meeting and the problems start in the home and the parents! He made hateful nasty remarks. It really hurt our feelings. My mouth dropped open when he started talking. He said we couldn’ let this threatening behavior happen in our Clay County Schools. We couldn’ take a chance on him hurting a student or hurting a principal. He made the bad remarks. Everything was negative. Legg [RB] before it was over said he would consider a review after the end of this school year. He said if Tom finishes up this school year and he does good, he would review the decision and consider putting him back in regular high school. When he said he would consider that in June, I could see a change in Tommy’ eyes.”
         Boyd went on to say that other Boardsters spoke up. Pierson asked if Tommy could handle ALC for the rest of this year. “ommy said it would be worse than jail. You have to sit there in a square thing like a box and you’e not suppose to look up at ‘m or you’l get in trouble.”Tanner encouraged Young not to look at this as punishment.
         Now most of us know that no kid is an angel and Mother Boyd agreed to that as well. She said she had gone to CCHS Counselor David Wayne and asked that Wayne provide anger management counseling for her son. His response was yes. During the Board meeting, it came to light, no counseling had been provided Tommy Young Jr. Tommy Jr. admitted that he had a problem during secret time. R.B. Legg assured Boyd that counseling would be provided the youth this time around.
         After coming out in the main room, the Board adhered to Superintendent Linkinogger’ recommendation: 12 months in Alternative School, with a review at the end of this school year and counseling.
         The mother ended the interview with, “e’e not happy with what happened. He was found guilty before anything was heard from us…. We feel like our son is being singled out [others just don’ get caught for similar infractions of the rules], ….. Out of all those kids that get caught, he was the only one gets suspended…… I work with a woman that used to live over here in Clay County, she said ‘Good luck’ with those people, you’e wasting your time going there. They will never side for you. It’ what’ the board members want.”
         There you have it readers, the other side of the coin. What one person says is interpreted 180 degrees different by another person. Even after finding salvation and back to school on his first day, Tommy gets in the grease. We report it and you get to decide it.                                                        AW
                 1. Did you know that Japan’ plan was to leave Pearl Harbor and go on to the west coast of the United States? But, one of Japan’ higher-ups talked to his advisors and one of the biggest advisors talked the Japanese leaders out of the invasion of the United States. Why you ask? The reason is that a couple of the officers were educated in the United States and saw first hand that the people were armed. Japan decided that the risk was too high for casualties on their side, with no guarantee of winning; that is why we don’ speak Japanese! (THE RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS)
          2. Germany under Hitler, during the same war, had planned to invade inner England by dropping troops on the countryside. They knew there would be no resistance because no one was allowed to possess a gun. While they were planning this, the British kept them busy in the air and found out about their plan to invade and asked the American citizens, in a full page ad that ran in the American Rifleman Magazine, begging the United States to help them by sending guns. Citizens of the United States answered this plea for help, and some of these weapons that U.S. citizens sent were actually carried when the U.S. and the British troops invaded the beaches. Once again! (THE RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS)
         These five words have kept the peace for us and other nations. Remember that word, PEACE. And the last couple of events to follow:        
         Canada politicians are trying to copy England by taking away every weapon in their country. They know and are confident, if they are invaded, we will be there for them, because we are to their south, and Alaska is to their west, water to the east, and nothing but ice to the north!
                 I feel sorry for the Australians because their government has completely disarmed their citizens, and left that country naked to the world, because it has no allies that are close that could help right away.
                 Has crime gone up in places where the government has disarmed the citizens? The answer to this is a definite YES!
                 If we allow our government to continue on what they are doing now, we will be without very shortly; then only the police and the criminals will have guns. They are using reasons such as the sniper shootings in the D.C. and Virginia area for their latest bill to get rid of all weapons on which a scope could be mounted. Wake up people - a scope can be mounted on anything! If you don’ take action now, then save this piece of paper to wipe your butt on after somebody has taken everything else you have! The police can not protect you and everyone’ home and business and you know this for a fact!
         THE RIGHT TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS is the only thing that is keeping some kind of order in the U.S. It is the armed, or can be armed, lawful citizen who isn’ a coward and has the guts to stand up and say, “nough is enough.” Just enforce the laws we already have, don’ make new ones, because of a few lawbreakers that use guns! What you must wake up and realize is the only thing stopping our government from doing whatever they wish, is YOU!
                                         Frank L. Kish, Jr.
         CHATTER 2
                 This being election year I believe that we all should be concerned about our country, state, and county. Seems that we have a committee for everything ad dozens of people running for office in our county. It should concern us to who we vote into office. Their past records should be examined closely to see if they are interested in the whole county or just a few close friends and relatives. We see crime rampaging, everything from breaking and entering, dope, sexual assault and murder while our judicial system and law enforcement officers do little or nothing to control those situations. A few years ago with crime running wild in the Lizemores and surrounding areas, the citizens tried to organize a neighborhood watch. Finally with help from police stationed in Charleston, we started a neighborhood watch. Needless to say we didn’ get much help from our county authorities.
                 We started with approximately 45 members, set up regular nightly patrols of the area. We had monthly meetings and volunteered to check Lizemores school when the alarm sounded. We were always told by the security system, when the alarm sounded, that law enforcement were on their way to assist. They never did show up.
                 After a few monthly meetings, no law enforcement had time to attend our meetings. Crime rate had gone down 75% but with no law enforcement to back us up when we pointed out troubled spots, the neighborhood watch was dropped. Everyone was back on their own.
                 Seems like all the people serving on different types of committees or boards of directors are not for the whole county but just a select few. All the persons responsible for stealing, dope and these types of crimes, the police know by name. They say nothing can be done because if they pick up these criminals, they post bond, and are back on home in a few hours. We see in the news every day getting off with the help of a good lawyer or money at the expense of innocent victims.        
                 We the people should be concerned enough about our families to vote this fall in the general election for persons that want change instead of the same old politics of “cratch my back and I’l scratch your” Ask not what my country can do for me but what can I do for my country.
                         Concerned citizen Homer S Morton
         OPERATOR GETS HOT Clay Roane Boardster Resigns
                 Keep in mind this is coverage of the Clay Roane PSD meeting held February 12th and not a Queen Shoals PSD gathering. With Boardsters Melissa Postelwait, Larry White, Gary Whaling, Glen Sutton and Dave Saulsgiver present, the peanut gallery was loaded with locals from all over Clay and Roane Counties including Clay Commissioners Peter Triplett and Jimmy Sams as well as Roane County Commissioner Rodney Cox. Here’ the skinny.
                 Larry White provided an update on the two water line extension projects on hold. Before the Amma / Left hand project can get going, the Town of Clay has to move a little further along with their line and storage tank project, Clay Roane has to approach Katy Mallory with the Infrastructure Council for a go ahead and they need to get 27 more right-of-way easements signed. Has the Amma project in Clay County been funded? No one knows according to PSD Chair Postelwait as they wait on the word from Governor Wise.
                 On those easements and the Amma /Left Hand project… White explained that they had just enough signed documents to proceed with the bidding but now they have to have those 27 more before construction can begin. He went on to say that some absolutely refuse to sign a right-of-way and those people will be taken to court and forced to give up the land.
                 Clay Roane voted to begin having once a month meetings to be held the first Thursday of each month. Next meeting is March 4th at 7pm.
                 Postelwait announced that Queen Shoals PSD is opting to use WV Water for a maintenance and operation contract instead of Clay Roane. She raised real concerns over WV Water charging QSPSD $1000 per month for what this PSD had charged just $600. The concern is: if QSPSD gets behind in paying Clay Roane for water purchased, then Clay Roane could find itself in the red once again. Having heard that and Postelwait’ request to file a complaint against QS with the WV Public Service Commission, Commissioner Sams urged the group to forget the complaint for now because QSPSD was trying to get some Charleston money to get themselves out of the red. From the back, and on the complaint issue, Celia Coon, “t’ none of your business, they’e in business!”After hearing those two comments and with Commissioner Sams shaking his head sideways, Clay Roane PSD decided to pursue the PSC complaint process against Queen Shoals.
                 With talk of shutting off QS if they get behind in their wholesale water payments to Clay Roane, the word exchanges warmed up. Questions came up on the billing practices of Clay Roane with Sams telling Postelwait, “ou can’ shut no valve off!”Postelwait argued that QS would be forced to pay WV Water for their services before paying Clay Roane for water purchased from the Procious water plant. Office Manager Crystal Geiger suggested, ”t’ almost as if Queen shoals doesn’ charge enough for water.” Oh boy! That will fire people up.
                 With Postelwait leading the charge against any deal with WV Water, Commissioner Triplet fired back. Triplett contended: all the time Clay Roane was running the over the mountain PSD, the bills were paid, the repairs were being made, and the old $15,000 debt was paid down to almost nothing. With that in mind, QS PSD should be able to make it on their own with or without WV Water.
                 Consensus: QS could very quickly put Clay Roane back in the red if payments don’ come timely.
                 And then something came out…. No PSD has a written agreement or deed for the site the Queen Shoals PSD storage tank is on. The property is owned by Pat Schoonover according to Postelwait.
                 From the back, Jan Fernatti offered a parcel of land for a booster and storage tank to improve water pressure and reduce the number of Boil Water Orders.
                 By a unanimous vote by the Board, employees working long, long shifts will be paid a meal allowance of $5.
                 By a split vote, a change in check signing was made. With White voting no, Saulsgiver abstaining, Postelwait casting the deciding vote, Crystal Geiger will be allowed to sign checks.
                 Does the PSD need two new computers (cost over $1000.00)? No decision made with Triplett suggesting the PSD instead go to surplus properties in Dunbar and see what’ available.
                 With the PSD barely staying afloat, the suggestion was advanced to look into buying their own backhoe. No decision made with the Chair saying she will ask the Commission to force QS PSD to loan out their equipment for Clay Roane use.
                 In another attempt to spend more money, Chair Postelwait asked the board about buying or renting pagers for the employees. She mentioned that some employees were refusing to come out “n call” “O,” came the response. Now here it gets real interesting, readers. As discussion was in progress over employees not reporting for duty and the need to write them up for such transgressions, a fired up Chief Water Operator Jennifer Traub made it very clear when she yelled back to the Board, “HAT’ WHAT I WAS TOLD TO DO BY THE BOARD, ALL FIVE OF THEM!” Traub wasn’ taking it no more. She appeared to be fed up with the entire PSD. A few seconds later, if she hadn’ made herself clear, again Traub, “LL OF YOU ALL WERE TO BACK ME UP ON THAT!”It got quiet for a second. No one had seen the blonde headed supervisor so fired up.
                 Wasn’ over yet either. From the peanut gallery Bob Deems made some kind of performance comment. He shouldn’ have! Ms Traub turned to him real quick and laid him out, “ON’ SET OVER THERE TALKING ABOUT SOMETHING YOU DON’ KNOW ABOUT!!!”Again she looked the Board squarely in the eyes and reminded them of the deal, they were supposed to back her up. Then part timer Dale Deems got into the middle as he told the Chair he didn’ appreciate her saying he smarted Bobby Burdette off. Never able to calm things down, Postelwait, “ WOULD HAVE WROTE YOU UP FOR INSUBORDINATION!!!”
                         Now this reporter doesn’ know what happened, but the meeting went all to ‘H’ and real quick. After a 40 minute secret time things calmed down.
                 Dan Bickerton from WV Water thanked Clay Roane for their help, said they planned to help Queen Shoals although they had no written agreement yet; the work WV Water was doing for QSPSD was free; and he told the assembled, the best way to improve water service for all of Clay County was for them to get along better. Bickerton, “ueen Shoals should be your wake up call… the people of Clay County are falling behind… other counties have already dealt with water supply issues…. Identify your need and prioritize them…….. the entire QS system needs addressed, they don’ have enough water, even WV Water doesn’ have enough money to fix everything.”
                 From somewhere across the way someone yelled, “EEP DAN HERE. LOCK THE DOORS!!!”Boardster Sutton, “e makes sense!”Larry White recommended that the entire county be consolidated.
                 The round one spoke, “ months ago WV Water was here and said they could help this county but before they could step in the county needed a plan to go by, a plan that spelled out where future lines would go, where the county wanted industrial parks and housing developments. That was 8 months ago and now we’e ready to adjourn and we still even haven’ a start.”A small glimmer of hope was seen as suggestions for a county wide meeting was considered. Someone suggested this followed by someone suggesting that. How enlightening it was. Bickerton offered suggestions: decide water priorities; find all your resources; decide what’ critical, put it all on a big map and live by it. “ut it all together, maybe a 25 year plan, you all decide what you want.”
                 With the feeling of hope and WV Water pledging assistance as this lowly little county beside the Elk tries to find water, Larry White resigned from service. His resignation read:
          Recent occurrences demand that I resign as a member of the Clay Roane Public Service District effective Feb 13, 2004.
                 Disagreement with the goals and philosophy of the present Board has hindered my performance and negated my ability to assist with personnel concerns, financial concerns of the Board, and providing quality service to existing and future customers of the public service district. I regret the short notice of my resignation but the difference of opinion about Board policies, maintenance and operation and supervision of the facilities are problems that I am unable to overcome.
                 I thank you for giving me the opportunity to work for the people in Geary District in Roane County. I am convinced that public water will be provided this area some day and I anxiously await that moment.
                 Another enlightening meeting was adjourned with the Chief Operator more than a little ticked off, employee Dale Deems mad at the Chairperson and a Boardster resigning in frustration. Clayberry, got to love it!                                
         02/04/04: Bailey – Charles L. Hayes, warrant for forgery 01/29/04, arrested, ROB, case continued 02/13, parties are negotiating a plea.
         02/06/04: Bailey – James Mullins, warrant issued for burglary and receiving stolen property, arrested 02/11, ROB.
         02/10/04: Wiles – Richard L. Magly, registration violation (01/27/04), pre-trial dismissal: Case d/m with prejudice upon motion of Prosecuting Attorney, bond exonerated.
         12/15/03: Sizemore – Raymond G. Hersman, registration violation, no POI and defective equipment.
         02/01/04: Wiles – Gregory Lee Anderson, DWR for DUIA, MVI, registration violation and no POI, arrested, ROB.
         02/02/04: Larry Legg – Bonnie Duffield, failure to cause child to attend school, summons, appeared 02/11, ROB; Wiles – Tara B. Taylor, violation of DV protection order, arrested 02/03, ROB; Wiles – Debbie J. Grose, driving suspended, appeared, ROB.
         02/03/04: Clay Supermarket – Cammie Cottrell, warrants issued for worthless checks X 2; Lizemore Grocery – James Mullins, warrant issued for worthless check complaint.
         02/04/04: Light – Daniel E. Smith, failure to pay for gasoline, arrested, Def. pled guilty, assessed fine, cost and 12 days jail; Larry Legg – Anita Summers, failure to cause child to attend school, summons.
         02/06/04: Tammy Swindler – Tommy Mechling, peace bond.
         02/10/04: Bullard’ Exxon – Nadeena Fugett, warrant issued for worthless check complaint; Wiles – Joseph Adam Cummings, trespassing, appeared, ROB; Waugh – Delbert Summers, hunting deer without blaze orange, warrant issued; Waugh – Charles Robert Casto, violation of DV protective order, person prohibited from possessing firearm and hunting without license, warrants issued.
         02/13/04: Slack – Samantha Schafstall, shoplifting, summons; Belt – Callota Spangler Jackson, harassing telephone calls, warrant; Clay Supermarket – David L. Pauley, worthless check complaint, warrant; Slack – Teria Leigh Grose, shoplifting, summons; Belt – Christopher Hackney, shoplifting, appeared, ROB.
         02/14/04: Bailey – Orville K. Hilderbrand, possession of marijuana less 15 grams, obstructing an officer, providing false information and possession of methamphetamine, arrested, ROB.
         02/04/04: Norma Mitchell – Lynn Barnes, money due, subpoena; Dorlene Workman – Lois Short, wrongful occupation, possession of property awarded to plaintiff.
         02/06/04: Kosmo Club – Tina Tanner, money due.
         02/10/04: Nichols Furniture – Billy J. Taylor, money due, subpoena.
         02/13/04: Discover Financial Services – Brandius Nicol Tanner, money due, subpoena.
         Worthless Checks
         Notices issued –
         02/04/04: Clay County Middle School – Mildred V. Bailes (paid 02/18), Arron R. Caperton (paid 02/13); IGA – Maria D. Thorne (paid 02/13); Hartland Superette – David W. Smith, Marilynn A. Taylor; Samples Market – Dawn S. Brown (paid 02/13), Judith Myers X 3 (paid 02/13), Ronnie Beasley X 2 (paid 02/18), Ressa Claypool (paid 02/09), Gary E. Nelson (paid 02/13), Maria D. Thorne X 3 (paid 02/13).
         02/11/04: Stephen Stalnaker – Ruth Ann Nida.
         02/13/04: Big Otter Food Mart – Virginia D. Snyder, Jaunita Boggs, Angel Neff, David Pauley X 2, Mrs. Esther Basham, Jennifer D. Grose X 10.
         02/18/04: Bank of Gassaway – Marilynn A. Taylor X 4.
         Citation Register
         01/26/04: State Police – Kerry B. Belton, no POI; Chadwick West, speeding and no POI.
         01/28/04: State Police – Douglas H. Drennen, no POI and registration violation.
         01/29/04: State Police – Christopher M. Neff, MVI; Rachel J. Thorne, speeding.
         01/30/04: State Police – Joie L. Dillon, speeding; Tan H. Lai, speeding; Melissa Richardson, speeding; Jillian Smith, no POI and seat belt violation.
         01/31/04: State Police – Mark D. Kovalcik, speeding and operator’; Robert O. Oqula, no POI; Adam Spencer Wilson, speeding.
         02/01/04: State Police – Gregory L. Anderson, MVI, driving revoked for DUIA, registration violation and no POI; David W. Bentley, speeding; Benjamin P. Driscoll, speeding; Penny P. Fiaravante, speeding; Nicole L. Fitzwater, speeding; Tristan T. Gray, MVI; William M. Jack, Jr., speeding; Lee R. McBryer, speeding; Jason Ezekiel Roma, speeding; Stephanie L. Sapon, speeding and seat belt violation; Sheriff’ Dept. – Jerry W. McClanahan, speeding.
         02/02/04: Sheriff’ Dept. – Christopher Stutler, failure to maintain control.
         02/03/04: Sheriff’ Dept. – Sherry M. Anderton, registration violation and no POI.
         02/06/04: State Police – Monica L. Legg, speeding, no POI, registration violation and operator’; Robert L. Pristash, speeding; Kevin Stover, MVI; Shirley A. Wilder, speeding.
         02/07/04: Municipal Police – Ronald Lynn Adkins, driving suspended/revoked non-DUI 2nd offense, registration violation and no POI.
         02/08/04: State Police – Lauren Haddad, speeding; Julie M. Scott, speeding; Frank Blair Yeigh, speeding, no POI and driving suspended/revoked non-DUI.
         02/09/04: Sheriff’ Dept. – Timothy L. Ferrebee, no POI.
         02/10/04: ? – Gary Lee Batten, no timering notification; Sheriff’ Dept. – Teria Leigh Carte, no POI; State Police – Joseph A. Cummings, trespassing.
         02/12/04: Sheriff’ Dept. – Christopher Hackney, shoplifting.
         02/15/04: State Police – Pamela S. Boggess, speeding; Bobby Loyd Hanshaw, MVI.
         02/16/04: Sheriff’ Dept. – Thomas E. Simmons, speeding and no POI.
                 Drivers For Food Inc., would like to thank James A. Duffield, (Jerry), for donating a 466# hog, ground up into sausage, for our emergency food pantry. This will go a long way to help the poor and the battered women and children of Clay County. We get very, very few donations from the people all over who could help, and other groups of all kinds seem to forget the poor exist, they live in their own world. Evil walks with evil, not with Christ.
                 So once again, a million thanks to Mr. James A. Duffield for helping us help the very needy. May God Bless you and yours.
                         Frank L. Kish, Jr.
                         Drivers For Food Inc.
         Just Thinking About: IDEASby J.T. Perkins
          I think this country has a history of not doing things until it absolutely has to. We wait until we have a problem, then react to it with a solution. You can watch television and see how many new ideas they have on new shows and movies. Whenever someone does come up with something new, every other film or movie maker jumps on it and uses it. Just look at all the new movies, if one is a hit, then they have a Part II coming out before long. Why? Money. That’ why people are in business. The most watched movie doesn’ mean the best quality movie. Personally, I think a movie should be like purchasing an idea at a store. If the idea doesn’ live up to what it’ advertised to do, then you are able to return it for exchange or refund. How many times have you heard movies advertised, The best movie of this year! That’ just advertising and for two movies to be declared The Best Movie Of the Year means to me, that one has to be false advertising. That’ just a matter of someone’ opinion. I have rented a lot of so called best movies, and watch 10 minutes or so and turn them off. I mean, I rent a movie to be entertained, not to just sit and watch it. I can be bored on my own without watching a movie to do that for me. New ideas are hard to sell to someone. When someone idea, people are reluctant to go along with them for the simple reason, they didn’ think of it. I have all sorts of ideas about things. I see things as being simple. People look at things made in history and wonder, How did they do that without all the equipment and machinery we have today? To me the answer is simple, they thought of a solution and did it though hard work. All it takes to get something accomplished is someone with the right idea and the manpower to get it done. Now here’ an idea about water. If the world can be supplied with oil that is mostly removed from wells, then why can’ the country be supplied water removed from wells? After all, people used to get their water to drink from a well, not a river. Just an idea.........
         ALMOST HEAVEN: In a Cabin From H!
                 The big sign outside of town reads “elcome to Clay County, Proud Home of the Golden Delicious Apple”It’ very heart warming to a newcomer like myself. It’ been a 15 year winding and odd road to get here via Florida to Alaska to Washington state to West “y God”Virginia, a trail of tears along the way filled with lots of adventures.
                 Arriving in Clay in December 2003 to comfort an old friend in need and vice versa. We had met in Alaska and hadn’ seen each other in 6 years. The reunion was wonderful and her new little daughter was a sweetie. Her extended family welcomed me with open arms. It was comforting
                 I awoke that first morning to see steep towering hills and beckoning hollows/ It was beautiful and I instantly fell in love with Clay County, West Virginia in winter. After spending a while in Parkersburg, then Huntington, I longed for the true heart of the state, the Appalachian mountains of WV. I searched to find the real down home country, God fearing, honest people. I soon left to pack up and come to Clay. I was convinced to try and stay here a spell.
                 After answering an ad in the Communicator newspaper for a nice house for rent, beautiful location, great fishing on the Elk River, I just knew I had found my country Shangri-La in a place called Procious. The landlady sounded very nice and accommodating. My friend went and had a look see before I could even get back to see it for myself. She called me that evening and said , “t’ more of a cabin than a house and it does need to be winterized and a lot of tender loving care. The land lady has a secure job in Clay and said she could do the winterizing job or you can do it yourself for a month’ rent (just like the ad said). After speaking with the landlady and working out that she would do all the winterizing with me paying the full rent, I arrived back in Clay just days before Christmas.
                 The next morning we headed for Procious and crossed the river over the quaint old bridge to see the cabin for myself. The location was indeed beautiful and rural. The calming Elk rolled past water maples, proud poplar trees and birds were everywhere. My heart swelled with love for this land. The West Virginia of my dreams and right here in Clay County.
                 The cabin itself wasn’ too good to look at. It needed a good cleaning and it definitely had to be winterized to say the least. There was absolutely NO insulation underneath the flooring. There was no skirting around it to block away the cold winds. No freeze protection what so ever on any of the plumbing.
                 Inside the cabin, the old wood stove and chimney pipe needed repair. It smoked the whole cabin up every time you fired it up or fed wood. But, there was going to be a small back up propane heater installed soon along with a big propane tank. By looking through the large 5 foot by 2 foot hole in the ceiling, I could see no insulation. By following another “raft”we found another 1 foot wide hole along the kitchen cabinet wall. The cabin was well ventilated for sure!
                 And then the mice. They came a plenty and at will through that hole. My cat sure liked the place right away. And so did my dog. I was out numbered
                 With the land lady there the first day with a couple of her family folk to work the winterizing project, there were lots of promises to fix it all up quickly, by New Years 2004. That all seemed fair enough to me so I said OK, I’l trust in that. I paid the security deposit. It was now my “il cabin in the H.”
                 Cold, real cold and hard times lay ahead at my cabin door. To be continued...                                        Vicky Kennedy
         Editor’ Note: Ms Kennedy is new to the area and has agreed to provide us with her first impressions of beautiful Clayberry in coming issues.        
         ELECTION 2004
                 Here’ the official list of candidates for local office for the May 2004 Primary election. In April 2004 look for the Mountain Party to add at least one more candidate from their roles.
                 Democrats running for County Commission: Fran Denise King, Harald Lee Fields, Brian Scott Holcomb, and Rodney Bullard.
                 Democrats for Sheriff: John Morgan Gibson, Joseph Brenford Morris (Joe), Randy Neal Holcomb, Matthew Bragg, Roger Hunt, Donny Triplett, Harold Robert Boggs, Philip Butcher (Buckshot), WS Scott Legg Jr., James Paxton, Jim (James R ) Paxton.
                 Democrats for Assessor: Suzanne Legg and Teresa Lane.
                 Democrats for Magistrate: Jeffrey Wayne Boggs, Mitchel Holt “ike”King, Russell Morris Whiteley, Denise Hopkins Taylor,
                 Circuit Clerk Mike Asbury and County Clerk Judy Moore are unopposed for their respective offices. County Surveyor Marshall Robinson is also running unopposed.
                 Democrats for Prosecuting Attorney: Wayne King, Jim Samples, Barry L Koerber, and Barbara Harmon Schamberger.
                 In the nonpartisan race for School Board and District: D. Llyn Drake (B); Kimberly L Sams (A); Ernest Sirk (A); R.B. Legg, Jr. (C); Beth Brown Cercone (C); O. Gene King (B); David Derby (B); Charles Richard Vance (C); Rick Tanner (A); Herschel Shamblin (A); Dawn Schultz (A); George Michael Workman (A); and Ben Murphy (C).
                 And on the Republican ticket , we have one lone candidate for Sheriff, Dave Mullins.
         BOB CLARKE Curmudgeon’ Corner
          A favorite line from Robert Burns’“och Lomand,”which, as were many of the pieces by Scotland’ national poet, set to music, exclaims: “’l take the low road.” Nowhere more than in the scurvy area of national politics do we see that road so frequently traveled. To borrow the title of Roger Miller’ hit song, the current “ing of the Road,”is Bush’ political guru, Karl Rove. Rove’ entire career is a modern testimony to the political philosophy of that old fox, Nicolo Machiavelli, namely, “he end justifies the means.” Working from the assumption that the only real immorality in political life is not to be re-elected, it follows that the successful candidate needs a hatchet man, to labor the point, a person assigned by another to carry out disagreeable or unscrupulous tasks. It may be only a matter of time before a cabinet level department is created which should be entitled the Department of Dirty Tricks. When that happy time arrives, Karl Rove will be its secretary.
          Rove’ journey to a top position in a White House that has proclaimed its mission to establish a climate of honor and integrity in public service began while he was a teenager. In 1970, Rove pretended to be a volunteer in the Illinois campaign of Alan Dixon, a Democratic candidate for the office of state treasurer. He stole a copy of Dixon’ letterhead, and sent out over a thousand copies of a letter offering free beer, free food, girls and a good time for nothing. When accosted with questions about this action, Rove passed it off as “ youthful prank.” Shortly, Rove became the virtuoso Bush was to call his “oy genius.” In 1986, while working on the Texas gubernatorial race, Rove made a public statement that he had discovered an electronic device [bug] in his office. He had called a press conference that “ust happened”to fall on the morning of the only televised debate between his candidate, William Clements, and Democratic governor, Mark White. White was forced to field questions about the bug, instead of the issues. According to Al Franken and the internet, the Travis County D.A.’ office and the FBI later concluded that the bug had been planted by Rove himself. The operative term here is “ater,”because the sitting Democratic Governor lost the election. In an ironic vein, Franken adds…The fact that the maximum battery life of the bug was a mere ten hours (meaning that a spy would have to sneak in and replace it at least twice a day) may have been something of a giveaway.
          In the 2000 presidential campaign, Rove fine-tuned his gutter politics in the South Carolina primary. After a strong finish in the New Hampshire primary, Senator John McCain, a man who had spent over five years in a North Vietnam prison, the ironically named “anoi Hilton,”seemed poised to wrest the Republican nomination from the vaunted Air National Guard warrior of Texas, and occasionally, Alabama. While Rove is many things, most of them vile, he is not stupid. He knew that Bush could never compete with McCain on the patriotic front; hence it was time to bring in the quality on which the Republican Party has signed a perpetual lease – morality. Rove, ever the master of slime, had his agents spread the word that McCain had fathered an illegitimate black child. It does not task the imagination overmuch to see how a rumor of this sort would play in the heart of Dixie: check and mate to McCain’ presidential aspirations! The rumor was, of course, libelous and untrue.
          Even the disgusting tabloid in South Carolina was only a prelude to the political destruction wrought by Rove’ Brown Shirts in Georgia. Senator Max Cleland, a combat officer in Vietnam, and a triple amputee, voted against Field Marshall Ashcroft’ so-called “atriot Act.” The hardliners may be short on vision, but they are fully aware of the power of words. A perverted kind of logic suggests that anyone who votes against something cleverly termed the “atriot Act”must, by definition be “npatriotic.” One is reminded here of the unforgettable “peration Enduring Freedom.” Who would be so base as to oppose such a glorious concept? After losing three limbs, Cleland must wonder at times how much else he had to give to his country. His rationale in opposing the Act was that it is a threat to the freedoms guaranteed in our Constitution. Moreover, the Homeland Security Force has now lost its civil service status, its personnel no longer protected by union status or seniority. Further, the White House mob is fully aware that most union members vote the Democratic ticket.
          With Rove pulling the strings, thousands of the Republican faithful and millions of dollars descended upon Georgia to defeat Max Cleland who was replaced by Saxby Chamblis, yet another of those chickenhawks whose service in Vietnam was distinguished by their distance from it, or anything military. But Rove had yet to play his trump card. A TV ad flashed across Georgia that may live in infamy in the history of odious political campaigns. Daily, on the screen appeared a picture of Senator Cleland, side-by-side with Saddam Hussein. Heavy-handed though it may be, the implications are clear: how can the people even consider putting back in office a man who is so obviously a supporter, possibly even a friend of the tyrant of Baghdad? Rove is the consummate master at playing on the post 9/11 hysteria. No concert violinist could have done it better. In a rational world Bush’ “oy genius”would be selling phony oil and gold stocks. And if we think Rove and his minions sank to a new low in their assault on Max Cleland, as Al Jolson used to say: “ou ain’ seen nothing yet!” Wait until you see what they do to John Kerry.
          A concept that has been mentioned before in these pages is that if something is repeated often enough, it takes on the semblance of truth. Day after day, newscast after newscast we are inundated by the cheery message: “he economy is rebounding.” The gross domestic product rating has swooped all the way up to 8.2. Somewhere in the distance Archie Bunker is blurting: “ell, whoop de doo!” In her book Bushwacked, Molly Ivins writes that we rely too much on the Dow Jones Average when we should pay more attention to what she and Lou Dubose call the “oug Jones Average.” It may be safe to say that old Doug, who has been a member of the army of the unemployed for over two years, has a certain amount of difficulty understanding what the rise in GDP means to him. The coupon clippers, who have seen the stock market begin its revival, are understandably optimistic. Nevertheless, what the economists are calling a “obless recovery”does not bode well for the average American. The old cliché: “ rising tide floats all boats”may not apply in the new economic era when outsourcing has virtually eliminated the career potential of skilled labor and middle management. Thanks to the “lessings”of NAFTA and the near-death of the union movement, it is difficult to imagine how the prospects of American workers could be more bleak. Hello, Mexico, India: Goodbye, U.S.!
          The talking heads on TV with their Armani suits, Dior frocks and lacquered hair-dos keep telling us that the economy is beginning to boom. It may be somewhat easier to be upbeat if you’e commanding a seven figure plus salary, and when your paycheck is only a portion of your earnings. Legend has it that, when told that the people had no bread, the compassionate Marie Antoinette replied: “et them eat cake.”
          Now we come to the tax cuts imposed by Bush, the friend of no millionaire or corporation left behind. The cuts are ostensibly based upon Reagan’ beloved trickle-down theory of economics. With the surging economy the “uits”keep telling us about, here is some of the trickle. The consumer spending the administration predicted has come to pass with some minor exceptions. Wal-Mart and Target sales were low during the holidays. This can be attributed to buyer ignorance. People were shopping at the wrong places. Neiman Marcus, Tiffany, Saks Fifth Avenue, Cartiers and other upscale companies experienced a boom in sales. Those in the market for a Cadillac, Hummer or BMW were active during the period. Neiman Marcus reported that sales of $5,000-to-$10,000 watches were up 16 per cent and sales of Chanel, Prada and Gucci handbags were “bsolutely miraculous.” An old blues song is entitled: “he Sun’ Gonna Shine ‘ound My Backdoor Someday.” The sun is shining on the high-rollers who benefit from Bush’ loony and disastrous fiscal program, and the reports we get on the state of the economy come from the selected few who profit from its skewed priorities. However, should you plan to sell your yacht, you will be happy to know, that, with the cancellation of capital gains, you will not be taxed.
         Tribute to the Presidential Campaign
          A good politician is quite as unthinkable as an honest burglar. – H.L. Mencken -
          One has to be a lowbrow, a bit of a murderer, to be a politician, ready and willing to see people sacrificed, slaughtered, for the sake of an idea, whether a good one or a bad one. – Henry Miller –
          Take our politicians: They’e a bunch of yo-yos. The presidency is now a cross between a popularity contest and a high school debate, with an encyclopedia of clichés the first prize. – Saul Bellow -
          In order to become the master, the politician poses as the servant. – Charles de Gaulle -
          Anybody that wants the presidency so much that he’l spend two years organizing and campaigning for it is not to be trusted with the office. – David Broder –
         Support our dissenters, Cur
         Letter to Brother Bill By Evelyne McLaughlin
          Hello Brother Bill: I hope this note finds you and yours enjoying our February weather. We have had some nice weather this week. The Easter flowers are coming up and I thought maybe I heard a spring bird the other morning (maybe I was just hoping). Anyway, spring always comes around; that is in God's plan.
          I have a message from Sylvia Brown Summers for you. She said "I am ugly but I can't help it. But it's what is inside a person that counts". Sylvia is a wonderful friend and a very compassionate person.
          Several sick folks around. Imogene Stalnaker was taken to the hospital this week. She has since returned home. Roland Eagle and Virginia Boggs were visiting Aunt Maycel Samples recently. They also visited with Hugh Boggs at the nursing home. Laura Gay Starcher (I do not know her married name) is a patient in the Charleston General Hospital. She may have to have surgery. Marie Chapman Blankenship, of Maysel, is a patient in a Charleston hospital. Also, Lewis McLaughlin is quite ill. All of these folks need our prayers.
          Delbert Davis, of Bomont, dropped by Saturday morning for a little chat. He is the son of the late Jess and Pearl Davis, of Maysel. We had a very nice conversation.
          I noted in the Charleston paper that Maxine Schoolcraft Starcher, of Kentucky, had passed away. She was Tony and Stephen Samples sister in law, sister of Jerri and Betty…our condolences to the families. We were sorry to learn of the death of Jimmy Reed. He will be sorely missed in our county.
          Monday evening I attended the school board meeting at the H. E. White School. Many of my friends were in attendance. This school has a wonderful parent group. It will be a real shame if H. E. White (and the other small schools in our county) are to close. Not only does the community lose a lot, but also the children. What wonderful memories we have of attending that little one room school at Twistabout. We made friendships that have lasted down through the ages. AND…when we left there, we knew how to read.
          Glenn Samples of Virginia sent me some information concerning the Samples Family. It is very interesting. Brad and Diana McLaughlin have been vacationing in Myrtle Beach. Arthur Holcomb, of Bickmore, came by yesterday with a male guinea for me. Now I won't have to keep buying eggs to put under Mrs. Guinea. Hopefully we will end up with lots of little guineas. I need a female turkey, in case anyone has one for sale. Charlotte Eagle Steed is in Florida this week. Aunt Delphia O'Dell was visiting with Jim and Jeannie Perdue recently. Alyce Faye tells me Auntie is fine. I was about to forget this - we took Champ and Sugar Baby to see the vet last Monday. Sugar is growing old and needs some serious attention. Champ was fine but after that visit I am broke. You got any change?
          Until next time---HELP US ALL TO BE BRAVE.
                  Love you Bill, Sis
          AT CCC: Excess Levy Vote Delayed and What Radios?
                 Our three blind mice, the Clay County Commission, held a public meeting February 10, beginning at 11am. After opening followed by Jimmy Sams’prayer, the 10 or so in attendance were treated to an hour of entertainment value. Here we go readers, life in Clayberry.
                 Jim Gragg from WV Project Recovery informed the CCC his group’s work was continuing on schedule. WV Project Recovery is handling flood related issues from the November 2003 high water. They will remain in the county through the summer months. His paid staff is now dealing with crisis and emotional problems and have already helped several residents. The time to register for federal flood relief has passed but in extraordinary circumstances, Clayonians may still be able to apply.
                 The Commission will auction off excess office equipment March 8 at 11am.
                 As for plans to try and float an Emergency Service Excess Levy during the May election, ain’ going to happen. According to Commissioner Sams, state law prevents such and the levy will instead be tried November 2 during the General election.
                 Lots of folks are upset over the recent road name changes mandated by 911 addressing. Fred Davis is such a person. Davis feels the name given to Route 4 between the Kanawha County line and Clay (Procious/Maysel Road) should be changed. With all the residents already in the process of changing addresses on drivers’licenses, magazine subscriptions and such, Davis is out of luck. Not going to happen, the name will remain. He was successful getting “partment #1 removed as his address for his business, Little Country Feed Store.
                 During the encounter with the big three, Town Cop Buckshot Butcher asked for funds to cover a winter jacket, new boots, a bullet proof vest totaling $1600.00 Butcher was back but had little luck convincing the folks up front to turn loose of any county funds. Butcher told the County Commission the town has no funds for such a purchase and if they or the town didn’ purchase the needed items, the Town would be looking for a new cop. As a note, Buckshot’ request included a breathalyzer for the town at $409.00, along with new lights for the top and back of his cruiser. The request will be added to the meeting agenda.
                 Here’ the serious part readers. During the discussion with Butcher, Commissioner Bragg let everyone know how seriously depleted the County’ reserves really are. According to Bragg, unless the budget improves, employee layoffs may be coming this year. Adding on to the misery, County Clerk Judy Moore added that property evaluations are lower and the county could be reduced to a lower rate from Class 9 to Class 10. Translation: fewer tax dollars coming through the door. To add on more misery, Moore said during the budget making process, the elected ones estimated $100,000 from coal severance taxes this year and with over 7 months already under their belt, only $27,000 has been realized.
                 In the never ending struggle to provide emergency service volunteers with 911 radios, county 911 Director Dave King said he had visited the various fire department and asked them to inventory the radios and pagers already assigned to them. With some of the results already back, several radios are missing and feared gone for good. Lizemores FD has misplaced 3 units while Big Otter FD can’ locate 5 pagers (about $400 each). The ambulance service has lost 5 $700 radios. From up front and before purchasing any new equipment, a more thorough search will be conducted. One time Emergency Service Director Paige Willis commented that stealing a $700 radio is a felony. Willis, “t’ ridiculous to hand them out like popsicles . The chargers cost $400 apiece.”Dave King will try again to find the hard to locate communications tools.
                 On the agenda: to approve the consent and approval of local franchising authority to transfer Thompson Cable Company to Cequel III Communications. Thompson cable serves the Town of Clay for the most part and has been the subject of much apprehension over the last few years as service and reception went to pot. From the peanut gallery a short little fat guy asked the CCC to take a second look at the request before voting. According to the rotund one, other counties ( Webster for instance) have negotiated with the big boys and came out with enhancements for their constituents like local cable stations which could come in handy during emergency situations. Clerk Moore questioned whether the Commission has any say in the matter since the Town originally ok’d the franchise with Thompson Cable. CCC agreed to take a second look before voting into the county Cequel III.
                 And the name game continues as locals ask the Commissioners to change new 911 names given their roads and streets. This time around: Oakmont Road (Harrison area) to Tanney Hill; Pinehurst Lane to Campbell Orchard Lane; and, Payne Road to Shawnee Drive.
                 Absentee Ballot Commissioners for the May Primary will be: Paige Willis, Democrat and Don Jarvis, Republican; and alternates, Jerry Linkinogger, Democrat and Frank Murphy, Republican.
                 To spearhead the push to vote in the excess levy, George Jones was appointed Chair with committee members to include: Morgan Triplett, Bev King, Greg Fitzwater, Joe Young, Trinity Vance, Bob Mullins, Marlin Starcher, and Bud Keen.
                 The state regulators, WV Public Service Commission, asked the CCC for an update on the county consolidating all three water PSDs into one mega unit. Sort of summing up for the others, Peter Triplett, “e don’ know.”Discussion turned to all the water line leaks and Matthew Bragg added comments on the number of times water storage tanks went dry over the last few months. Triplett, “’ not for consolidating right now.”Roane County’ Larry White sounded in favor of consolidating and provided an update on plans around this county. According to White, Engineer Jim Hildruth is making progress with the Town’ storage, line and pump upgrade and when the Town’ project goes to bid, the Clay Roane PSD Amma/Left Hand project funds will be “urned loose.”White felt both would happen this Spring.
                 For our Queen Shoals area readers, Larry White informed the guys up front about the looming problems with Queen Shoals PSD not being able to pay Clay Roane for water purchased. With QSPSD owing Clay Roane around $8000, “hat puts Clay Roane in a hard spot… if they can’ meet the debt service, we will go under…”Sams or maybe it was Triplett explained that QS had asked the boys in Charleston for $65,000.00 and things look good for them getting the money very soon.
                 Adding to the discussion, Don Gill said his home water service remained off and, “ haven’ been able to brush my teeth without boiling it first for 2 months.”He added that the water in his lines was good enough to just wash his feet! There was laughter heard around the room.
                 As for an answer to the WV PSC question on consolidating the PSDs, from Pete, “ell ‘em, it’ still on hold.”
                 Discussion turned to WV Water and their plans to provide short term service to Queen Shoals PSD and removing them from the consolidation plans. At issue: If QS PSD bails out of the consolidation plan and buys water from WV Water, how will that affect the water line extension projects which have been funded and on hold for years? The answer came from Larry White. White felt the projects would be allowed to proceed but with fewer customers paying the debt load, the rates charged remaining customers may go up.
                 And finally from, Wilbur Holcomb will repair the ladies bathroom doors providing them with a little more privacy as they do the county’ business.                                                AW