April 4, 2003
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School Board Meeting
Shock and ‘Awe’ful!!
Widen Water Update


To Bid We Shall Go!!
        We’ like to report how well, how organized Clay Roane PSD has become. Of course, that ain’ the case. Clay Roane has been in trouble management wise for a number of years.
         Clay Roane met in regular session March 27 for another marathon meeting. Chair Melissa Postelwait called the meeting to order around 7pm with Boardsters Glenn Sutton, Larry White, Gary Whaling, and Dave Saulsgiver at her side. Around 30 watched the action.
                 Among the Board, there is a great divide. As was the case before she became a Board member, Postelwait remains outspoken and at times rude. It appears that Postelwait is on one side of most every issue and her fellow appointees are on the other. This meeting is a case in point.
                 First up on the 14 point agenda, Postelwait asked that water operators take a reduction in pay, to go from $12.00 or so an hour down to 10.50/hour. Postelwait said without cost reductions, another rate increase would be needed. She went on to say: revenues are down; in Jan 2002 the PSD received a 17.1% rate increase; in Nov 2000, the PSD received a 39.3% rate increase; the old Procious PSD received 20.6% in increases; employees are the biggest expense. Sounds like a nice idea to cut wages but Larry White would not hear of reducing wages and moved the item be tabled. So be that idea.
                 Next Postelwait asked to cut out all overtime. This item went over much better with the new man Larry White motioning to do just that, “Cut out all overtime after 8 hours…”Then the questions came, what about extra hours to do billing for Queen Shoals?; what about repairs and water leaks?; what about when I need to go potty on company time? Well that last one didn’ really come up but when it was all said and done, it appears overtime will continue right along readers.
                 Interesting enough, it was just three meetings ago that Ms Postelwait wanted to hire a full time maintenance man and two meetings ago the motion to hire a full time secretary passed unanimously. All of a sudden, her mood changed to expense trimming.
                 The meeting agenda switched to employee issues. Get this, both Mat Mullins and Jennifer Traub, both objects of contention, asked that the discussions be held in public, not behind closed doors. Boardster Glenn Sutton opposed any public deliberations. First up Ms Traub.
          Postelwait brought to the Board attention action taken by Traub. Records were removed from the water plant by Ms Traub prior to a new secretary coming on Board. Something about the file cabinet door being removed at the hinges. Traub explained she wanted to get the records up to date and at the time she was still secretary. Traub,”.. I was secretary… I did nothing wrong…. I did it on my own time, no charge….”White commented that instead of reprimands Jennifer should be thanked. Note: Something was different this time around with Traub. It appeared that she had had enough of recent accusations. Traub took no gruff from Postelwait during this meeting. With each accusation, Ms Traub provided an explanation which seemed to set well with almost all the Boardsters. Now for Matt Mullins.
                 Last time Matt Mullins brought allegations of sexual harassment to the Board’ attention. Much of those discussions were done in a 45 minute secret time. The person accused of improper conduct was Sherry Deems, Deems, Deems( I’l get it right this time or else!!!). Matt was back on the agenda but this time, the item was to fire his skinny little butt! In tow with Mr. Mullins was Elizabeth Coffee from WV Worker’ Comp. Mullins is employed thru Worker’ Comp at no cost to the PSD. Postelwait raised the issue of whether Mullins should remain “as an asset”to the PSD. Having not fallen off the turnip truck yesterday, Ms Coffee knew what was going on and wanted to know the reason for such talk since: Matt had been employed there for 1 ½ years without complaint; has passed his Class I operator test; Worker’ Comp has already invested $30,000.00 in him; and, there is only 6 months remaining on the program.
                 From that wired haired lady from Newton,”He’ your only free labor and you want rid of him?????????”
          Postelwait said the Board did not have to give a reason for a firing. That didn’ go over so good with the crowd and Coffee! After several snide remarks, Punkineer Celia Coon called down Chair Postelwait, “I ask that you quit being so rude!” Others in the crowd appeared in agreement with Coon. Boardster White asked to delay any action against Matt Mullins until they could talk with Worker’ Comp officials. Mullins, with the help of Elizabeth Coffee, had made thru the storm. For now at least!
                 Readers the bickering continued for three hours. Most of it seemed personality related. There was some big news.
                 Since the last meeting Larry White dug up five more rights of way signatures bringing the total for the Amma/Left Hand water line extension project to 120. That’ the magic number for those thirsty for municipal water service! . With 120 signed agreements, the for ever stalled Amma Left Hand project can go to bid. Hear that? GO TO BID!!!. Even as this good news was being conveyed, some questioned whether the existing system could handle the additional burden of 300 more customers. Of course the answer is, it can’. Something about: You can’ handle the existing customer complaints, how the heck can you handle 300 more? NOTE: all along prospective customers in Roane County have wanted little to do with water coming from Clayberry and instead want their water source to be from Spencer…. So much for what the people want. Somewhere in all this, a motion was made and passed to proceed with engineering and bids for the Amma/Left Hand water line extension project.
                 Remember last time when engineer Jim Hildruth got the nod to make public a need for a rate increase. During this meeting, a WV public Service Commission rep sat near the front table with her lap top aglow. The picture was similar to a Nov 2002 Queen Shoals PSD meeting where the leaders there dropped the rate increase bomb shell on customers.
         Larry White explained that the local PSD had an obligation to make enough money to cover all debts and provide a decent service to customers. People in the gallery started to squirm. White, “Everything is going up…. We can’ pay our bills….”Questions came up on whether employees even had hospitalization coverage since the premiums hadn’ been paid in so long. As for a rate increase, didn’ happen this meeting!
         In the back of the room sat Clay County Commissioners Jimmy Sams and Peter Triplett. Around an hour and one half into the gathering both Commissioners ( about the same time) told Clay Roane: the recently signed agreement to take over the Queen Shoals PSD would NOT allow Clay Roane to handle Queen’ finances and checkbook. What? Wasn’ that the whole purpose of the deal? Isn’ that what the PSC’ Nick “here did he come from”Ciccerallo say? Consensus from Clay Roane, if they don’ get the Queen $, they want nothing to do with Queen Shoals. NOTE: Watch for this one to grow readers.
         Does the PSD finally have property insurance? No, readers they’e lost it again and have been operating without liability coverage. According Postelwait, the Board of Risk will take them as soon as a premium is paid plus back due amount over $700.00.
         One fellow in the gallery was all torqued up over super high water pressure on his line; another guy said he had checked his meter recently and he was being charged for air running thru his lines; and as for those that no longer what the new water service, they can’ have their deposits back until after construction begins on the Amma line; and, if the PSD doesn’ pay a long overdue power bill NOW, they will be cut off from AEP service.
         One little fat guy asked if it wasn’ cheaper to buy water from the town instead of making water at the Procious plant. With the answer being yes, the question came: Then why don’ you just buy the already made water and cut costs. NOTE: Didn’ sink in readers. AW

          Clay Town Council met Tuesday April 1. Just the usual stuff. The next morning word spread that we had a new Chief of Police. We confirmed it with Mayor Jarrett April 2nd. Jarrett appointed Buckshot Butcher to the opening without mentioning it during the Council meeting. When asked about that, Jarrett responded, “It’ none of their d**** business.”Butcher was seen yesterday sporting his new blue trousers, belt and badge.
                 This past week, ex Mayor Joyce Gibson was seen having her usual lunch over at the historic Henry Clay Hotel. As that ace cub reporter entered the eatery, Gibson could be seen reading the latest edition of this rag. As soon as Ms Gibson eyed the reporter, the Communicator was quickly laid to the side, away from view. Gibson had the waitress Bonnie box up the eats and away went Ms Gibson
                 Talk about the talk of the town, Rose Cantrell’ article in the last edition of The Communicator is still being talked about. We received a darn good but unsigned Chatter opposing Ms Cantrell’ opinion as well as a hand written front and back from what appeared to be high school students in support of the Coaching staff. That letter was also unverifiable. For over 5 years, our policy has been, signed CHATTERS will be considered for printing. Try again kids and F.M.
                 Back a couple months ago and right after Mayor Jarrett let go town cop Tommy Myers, three nice big hand carved and painted, wooden owls were stolen from the Mayor’ front yard at Two Run. A reward was even offered for their safe return. Jarrett’ owls were returned to him Wed April 2.
                 Last edition we printed a picture of the new I 79 sign which proclaimed the county having three schools of excellence. Nice, pretty green, shiny. The sign lasted four days before being snatched by thieves.

                 Clay Town Council met in regular session April 1 beginning at 4pm. Mayor Arthur Jarrett chaired the event with Recorder Betty Murphy and Councilpersons Sally Legg, Dave Derby, Okey Burroughs, Wanda Chambers, and Helen Morris around the conference table. Four sat in the peanut gallery including Buckshot Butcher.
                 Just the usual blah blah blah, pay the bills, reading of the minutes and such.
                 Most eye opening of the meeting was a presentation done by Chief Sewer Plant operator Larry Chafin. Chafin’ 20 minute presentation centered around Council approving a CMON program. CMON is something put together by the Dept of Environmental Protection. According to Chafin, the program may soon be mandatory and if the Town would enter into it now, any future fines and penalties assessed the town may be reduced or eliminated. Much of what Chafin touched on were covered five years ago by then sewer operator Bonita Ketzel. Stuff like: Many town residents plumb their down spots into the sewer lines, the need to add Maysel area residents unto the sewer service lines, and many eateries do not have grease traps despite an ordinance mandating such.
                 On the down spout problem, Chafin said they normally treat 60,000 to 80,000 gallons in a 24 hour period. After a rain, it’ not uncommon to see 600,000 gallons going thru the now 6 year old Johnny Wooooofter log factory. The additional volume is costly to treat according to Mr. Chaffin.
         And then and then…. The mild mannered Larry Chafin suggested that the Town increase the sewer fee to pay for the multi faceted CMON program. Rate increase? That’ right readers, rate increase.
         In support of extending the lines to Maysel, Gene King commented that many of the people that fought the sewer line extension project 4 years ago would now be support of such. Gene, “They’ gladly pay $100.00 a month for sewer…You’ get all those people hooked up!!” Chafin, “ometimes you have spend money to make money.. Basically it’ in your hands to what you want to do with it [CMON]” With elections just around the corner, you could have heard a pen drop.
         Currently the sewer plant has $3760.00 to its name.
         As for Connie Sizemore wanting the Town to take over her water line, not going to happen. As for all the treated water running out of the Two Run booster pump station, it would take $3000 to replace the leaky pump and Town leadership is reluctant to do any maintenance until they see what will happen with Clay Roane PSD’ water line extension project.
         From the peanut gallery Buckshot Butcher asked about the poor service local Thompson Cable Company customers receive. Some around the table felt the TV cable provider was nearly bankrupt. One fellow in the audience asked that Council negotiate with a new provider before signing any new long term agreement. Jarrett said he would call the cable folks.
         You might want to go back and reread that sewer rate increase part. For the Maysel area readers, you too, Gene King says you’e no problem coughing up an additional $100 a month.                                AW
         Juror Arrested

                 What gets Clayonians all fired up? Of course tax increases, or government waste, or an elected official getting caught but there’ something else. Nothing tingles in the county more than when a local gets caught up in the court system. Even better when a juror gets his you-know-what in the wringer! Peggy DeBoard, trained at the Clay County Bank and more recently,employeed at the Bank of Gassaway is known to many. DeBoard is charged with welfare fraud and obtaining money under false pretenses.
                 This is the story of Grand Jury indicted Peggy DeBoard, her most recent day in court, trial day, plus an amazing ringer at the end of it all.
                 On March 26, after jury selection, Peggy DeBoard with attorney Bernie Mauser, entered the Circuit Court room with Judge Jack Alsop at the helm. Prosecutor Daniel Grindo represented the state’ side. One cute thing happened during jury selection. Jurors are always asked a whole battery of questions, everything from do you know Ms DeBoard to what color are your socks. When the question came up, “ave you read about this case in any newspaper?”one juror responded that she had seen it in the Communicator but that would have no affect on her service in court.
                 The courtroom was packed. Besides Alsop, Grindo, DeBoard and Mauser up front, was court recorder Amy Cochran typing like mad on her mini keyboard and droopy-eyed bailiff Gene King. Over on the state’ side was a big fellow, a Richard Lane. Lane had a stack of file folders 8 inches thick along with a metal-bound ,8 ½ x 14 inch long book that looked like it was the outline of the case complete with neat tabs and index markers. Twenty-five or so sat in the peanut gallery ready for court action. Seen in the mix, old ones, young ones, bearded ones, those with tons of make up, those in need of make up, curly haired and straight haired folks but not one bald headed man in the lot. Lots of ball caps were placed on knees. Around 10:45am with the 8 men, 4 women jury in place, opening statements came.
                 Dressed in his finest, Daniel Grindo laid it out to the jury: Ms DeBoard was charged with welfare fraud; between Sept ‘9 and Sept ‘2 she applied for and received food stamps and day care assistance; during the application process, she was told to list all members of the household; ex husband Mitchell DeBoard was not listed but lived in the house; his income should have been reported; and the simple question before the court is: Was Mitch DeBoard living in the house? NOTE: If it could be proved that Mitch lived in the house, Peggy would have most likely be guilty of the charges before her.
                 Since many in this county are on public assistance of one kind or another, many in the courtroom knew about such under reporting. Most knew that the assistance checks could be cut off for such false reporting. For Clayberry, few knew of someone being taken to court over such. All were quiet.
                 Tall, trim Bernie Mauser stood and gave the rebuttal. DeBoard sat and chewed gum. Mauser told the jury: Keep on open mind; to hear all the witnesses; that Ms DeBoard was divorced in February 1989 and had custody of the kids; received around $7980 in child care checks and an additional $600 in food stamps; “itchell was NOT a member of that household” “e never lived in that house” that he lived in a nearby camper trailer; and the 12 jurors were reminded, the state (Grindo) had to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that she intentionally did this [intentionally left Mitch’ name off the applications]; and, “he sole question is: Was Mitch a member of this household?”        First up for the state was DHHR Income Maintenance worker Carol Buckner Vaughan. Vaughan explained that she had taken the DeBoard application. According to Ms Vaughan, DeBoard was asked about any additional income in the household. She explained the entire process, the questions asked, who signed the documents and so forth. According to the income maintenance worker, five were listed as members of the household with Mitch DeBoard not listed on the application. Ms DeBoard was the only person listed with income. The application had been prepared in December of 1998. Ms Vaughan commented that she had relied on Peggy for honesty in the application process.
                 As one juror rubbed his neck and two others looked fairly heavy-eyed, Judge Alsop asked about what constitutes a member of a household. Stuff like: What if someone comes to visit, is that a member of the household? How long does a visitor have to stay to be considered a member of the household? What if the kids leave for a while….
                 Seeing a crack developing, Grindo made sure that jurors knew that Ms Vaughan had covered all the application “ases”with DeBoard. She had.
                 After lunch, witness #2 was 12 year veteran DHHR Family Support Supervisor, Gail Dunn. Dunn testified that everyone living in the house MUST be listed on DHHR forms. Mauser had to make a mark. And he did just that. Mauser pressed for definitive answers over “ousehold”make up. Dunn held up although a little red/blue around the collar. Dunn said that if Mitch lived there 50% of the time he would be considered a household member. Mauser seized the 50% number and ran with it. Alsop entered into the questioning: What if he lived somewhere else and visited 50% of the time? Dunn stayed the course and replied something along the lines of: If he is there 50% of the time, he’ included in the [DHHR] benefits. After 20 minutes of strong questioning, Dunn left the courtroom. Up front Mauser, DeBoard, Grindo quietly conferred with Judge Alsop. For those of us in the back, it appeared that the Dunn testimony did not go well, something about that 50% mark just didn’ sound kosher.
                 Program Specialist Nancy Beth Hall followed next. Hall explained eligibility guidelines and income basis for such. She explained that household income figures into the composition of the household and benefits. Hall showed a blue DHHR folder. Hall made it clear, if the ex husband lived in the house with Ms DeBoard, his income would count in the benefit package.
                 Again Mauser went at the make up of the household angle and questioned about a parent that “ust comes to visit” Grindo made it to second base when he asked: At what point do the daily visits make him [Mitch] a member of the household? Here it is readers: Hall explained, if Mitch visited while the mother was at work, they don’ need childcare benefits during that time! Grindo had scored a point!
                 Another witness testified that DeBoard had resubmitted paperwork every 6 months or so and in each instance, no mention was made of her ex hubby being at home. The new witness, Phillip McClure, went into detail on what is asked during the interview process. Mauser asked more on whether Mitch DeBoard lived there. Along about then came first mention of mailing addresses used by Peggy and Mitch. Both used the same mailing address and telephone number.
                 2:05pm Grindo calls in Mitch’ aunt, Emma DeBoard. The senior DeBoard was bent with age and used oxygen. She explained that her home was located three houses away from Peggy DeBoard’. Grindo held what looked like a signed, sworn statement from Emma DeBoard. Trying to connect Mitch to Peggy, Grindo asked plainly: Who lives in Peggy’ house? And then the bomb fell, Emma, “ don’ know, I don’ get out much…”Looking a little frustrated, Grindo reminded the senior that she had talked with a fraud investigator, a Mr. Lane, and she had said at that time that Mitch lived in the house with Peggy. And then the bottom fell out. Emma replied that during her earlier testimony, she was not talking about Mitch in the house but someone else. Grindo’ head went down. He had a problem. At one point, he opened his mouth to continue but the words didn’ come.
                 After 3 hours of courtroom work, the state had NOT proved that Mitch DeBoard lived in Peggy DeBoard’ nice new home. With no proof that Mitch lived there, the state’ case was in jeopardy.
                 Break time 2:12 to 2:54.
                 After break,
         more witnesses came. Richard Harris from the WV Employment office testified that Mitch DeBoard had received unemployment benefits during the time period in debate and Mitch had used Peggy’ post office box address and phone number on the application. At one point attorney Mauser asked if someone could live in a post office box. Point made! There was no clue as to the physical location of where ex hubby DeBoard lived.
                 Gail Dunn came back with DHHR policies on the composition of a household. Alsop questioned her “0%”threshold statements from earlier in the day. Although Dunn did not back away from her earlier sworn remarks, she was not able to document with DHHR policy her 50% of the time living in the household statements.
                 Now, the heavy gun. Welfare fraud criminal investigator Richard Lane took the stand. Lane explained his office had received a complaint on Ms DeBoard and had investigated the case. Lane listed various reports of overpayments based on and only if Mitch had lived in the house with Peggy. Lane, “he main issue of the case, Mitch lived there…”Under cross, Lane was not able to link to Peggy’ house except by post office box. Grindo, knowing he needed the connection for the case to be made, got Lane to say, “t appeared that Mitch lived there.”
                 Oh, boy!!! Alsop, “he jury will disregard that statement!!”Now Grindo knew he was out on the limb, but the truth is the jury had heard the statement no matter what the Judge had instructed them to disregard. Chalk one up for Grindo. Peggy continued to chew her gum.
                 With the jury out of the room Daniel Grindo told the court he had a new witness he wanted to put on the stand, something late breaking, a witness that he did not have a written statement from. With Mauser objecting, that the witness (a Williams maybe) was involved in another nasty civil matter and had other motives, Judge Alsop said nope to the request. No, Grindo didn’ stomp his feet, but it appeared he wanted to do just that. Working it harder, Robert Lane was recalled to the chair. Again the mailbox address came back. Again Mauser countered with, “t’ just a mailbox!”
                 Here’ a cutey, as Bailiff King escorted a rotund Michael Lockheart representing the Bank of Gassaway into the court room, Lockheart asked, “o I walk up there?”The always quick with a response King, “es you walk up there, I doubt you can jump over the rail!”After making the stand, Lockheart testified that Mitch and Peggy had applied for various loans and in each case the couple had used the same address. In one loan Mitch applied for the loan with Peggy serving as a co signer. Again, attorney Mauser made his case that a post office box does not in any way indicate where a person lives. Lockheart agreed.
                 Now four o’lock in the day, and after many witnesses, the jury recessed while the court heard from Mauser who told the court that the state had failed to show any willful intent to obtain money using false pretenses and there was no evidence to show such. Alsop agreed. Something along the lines of: The state says Mitch and Peggy lived as a household. That state failed to show that. Alsop got into some heavy law thinking, something about the intent of the legislature when the welfare fraud law was put on the books. Seeing the game going his way, Mauser interjected stuff like: it’ a common practice to share a telephone number and post office box number, and “here’ not one witness that said Mitchell and Peggy lived together… That’ the issue!!…. [There’] no facts to support that… No one saw them …Where’ the fraudulent intent?!”and later, “hy a double indictment? … Willful, false statements? Prove it…. [Grindo] should have brought in neighbors…. Just shooting in the dark!”
         Grindo tried to rally but to no avail. Alsop said he didn’ buy Ms Dunn’ 50% assessment and questioned what “ousehold”meant. After reading from a green state codebook, count 2, the obtaining money under false pretenses was dismissed. It appeared that Alsop questioned why that count was ever brought in the first place.
         Now here’ the kicker. Alsop told the Prosecutor to “o his homework tonight”that Grindo needed to come up with a legitimate definition for “ousehold” Court recessed until the next morning at 8:45am. As the folks up front left the area, the whispers came. Those left in the gallery openly wondered why Grindo had not called one eye witness to the stand, not one person, that lived in the household, not one daycare provider that may have seen Mitchell DeBoard living in the home on a regular basis. Consensus among the peanutsters: Alsop would toss the lone indictment unless Grindo could come up with a miracle. DeBoard would walk away a free woman.
         Go get a cup of coffee readers. This gets better and better. Here comes the Eric Pierson part of the excitement.
         Around 8:30 am March 27th, Jack Alsop greeted all with a firm handshake and a howdy-doody. Cheerful, laid back, rested and ready for a another day of work.        
         Around 9:05 it all changed. Juror Eric Pierson sat on the left side of the room while the remaining 11 jurors occupied their normal spots on the right. Pierson had his head down. Now keep in mind the words were fast and these aren’ exact quotes… got it?
          A very upset and red around the gills Judge Alsop: there is a matter very disturbing to the court; the defendant received a call from juror Pierson this morning about this case; the defendant did the right thing and told the court; and, this case is declared a mistrial. The jury was dismissed except for Pierson who continued to wear his “UROR”badge on his chest. The clean cut looking, red shirt clad, blonde headed, Eric Pierson awaited his fate. He had violated the judge’ orders to not speak with others about the case.
         A hacked off Alsop ordered a special prosecutor be appointed to prosecute criminal wrongdoing! Alsop, “hat you did was WRONG!…”Shortly thereafter, Alsop ordered an investigation into obstruction of justice and contempt of court.        
         Ever see this happen readers? You have now. We understand that after much delay, Eric Pierson made bail.                         AW
         School Board Meeting at Clay County Middle School

                 The Clay County Board of Education, members R.B. Legg Jr., Fran King, David Pierson, Scott Legg and Gene King, met for their regular meeting at Clay County Middle School (CMS) on March 17, 2003. Following an excellent, if short, concert by the 6th grade band, the board conducted the business session in the school cafeteria.
                 Business conducted: approved minutes of the previous two meetings, and increased receipts of $249,597.00 (21st Century Grant money); approved transfers for H.E. White Elementary Principal Joe Paxton to assistant principal at CMS for 2003-2004 (Phil Dobbins former position), 3rd grade Clay Elementary teacher Gwen Adkins to 5th grade (Dale Mullins former position), CMS teacher aide Robyn Shamblin to autism teacher aide (Mary King’ former position), all successful bids, Clay County High School (CCHS) ALC Director John Lambey to ACL Director/Alternative Learning teacher grades 9-12 at the Standard Bryant Annex for 2003-2004, CMS ALC Director Sheila Paxton to ALC Director/Alternative Learning Teacher grades 5-8 at the annex for 2003-2004, and 2nd grade Clay Elementary teacher Shirley Slater to 3rd grade teacher (2nd grade teacher reduction); employed Mike Kearns as athletic trainer at CCHS pending certification; accepted the resignation of substitute teacher’ aide Kelly Flake effective immediately; approved an overnight trip to the State Conference at Cedar Lakes on April 3-5 for the CCHS/CMS TSA; placed 45 listed professionals and 32 listed service personnel on a preferred recall list for 2003-2004 – Superintendent Jerry Linkinogger explained that the people affected were employed with federal grants or under Title I, and the recall lists were a precaution in case federal dollars didn’ come, but said to his knowledge no one was losing a job; approved Clay Primary Care as the provider for required annual physicals for school bus drivers at $67.00 per exam or payment of $67 for any driver who chooses to go to another provider for the exam. Linkinogger said 4 or 5 other counties were already doing this, and a case on the issue was currently in Circuit Court. Fran King voted against this one, and R.B. Legg, as Chair, voted for it. All other motions passed unanimously.
                 Randy Shillingburg from the Education Alliance presented Melissa Stephenson with an award for receiving a grant from the Alliance. Education Alliance provides funds directly to classroom teachers and is celebrating its 20th anniversary. Shillingburg said, “lay County has developed a reputation in Charleston as outstanding…small rural systems succeed.”        The board then met with the CMS Local School Improvement Council (LSIC). CMS Principal Joan Haynie gave an informative explanation on the modified block schedule used at CMS and the positive results they’e had using it. She credited former principal, now Assistant Superintendent of Schools, Larry Gillespie for having the vision to pursue the change to block scheduling.
                 LSIC requests for the board were: an additional mathematics teachers to be paid for with Classroom Reduction Grant money, replacement of 9 cafeteria tables and 100 chairs, replacement of worn out band instruments, furniture for a classroom, installment of ceiling fans in the library, a new riser section for the chorus room, window blinds for 14 classrooms, white boards for 7 classrooms, and shelving units for 12 classrooms. The requests were followed with a video about the school.
                 Before adjourning, Fran King thanked Transportation Director Larry Legg for helping a Hardy County Schools bus, carrying FBLA students, which broke down. Legg got them a bus, and on their way. Next meeting will be at the administrative office in Clay on April 7, at 6PM. TK
         27 ARRAIGNMENTS
                 Clay County Grand Jury normally nets 6, 8 maybe 15 “rue bills” In years’past the Prosecutor’ office would make presentations and generally return 50% or so for indictments. Not so this year. Clay’ spring Grand Jury convened March 20, 2003 and returned 27 indictments. Following the work of Prosecutor Daniel Grindo, law enforcement and the jury, arraignment day was held March 25 beginning at 9 am. Here’ what we noticed during the arraignment action.
                 With Judge Jack Alsop on the bench promptly at 9 am, new Deputy Conard Workman outside checking bags and handling the guys clad in orange, the court room was quiet with many filling the pews. In a no nonsense way, the action moved along in a quick business like manner.
                 First up was Douglas Bottenfield. Something happened here, readers. From the pews it sounded like the fellow was surprised to be there and some kind of plea deal had been made several years prior by a previous prosecutor. Alsop mentioned that the complaint had been filed Sept. 2, 2001. With no lawyer in tow, the arraignment was rescheduled. NOTE: On the 26th Bottenfield appeared with attorney Tom Whittier at his side. During those discussions it came to light that the indictment was over a 3rd degree arson charge on a 1991 Pontiac Sunbird. Whittier asked for a dismissal. A conference will be held April 21 at 1 pm. With bond already posted, Mr. Bottenfield walked.
                 To the charges of wanton endangerment with a firearm, 42 year old Shawn Butler pled not guilty. The allegation is that Mr. Butler pointed and fired a shotgun at a Chris Butler. Attorney John Mitchell, Sr. asked that the trial be held during a later term of court. With Shawn Butler looking at 1 to 5 years in the pokey and hearing no objections, Mr. Butler and Big Mitch left the room.
                 41 year old Nancy Butler faced the Judge next. Complaint: DUIA and substance; twice convicted; facing 1 to 3 years plus fine. Ms Butler pled not guilty and the case was continued to the July term of court.
                 You’l notice that several of these folks face several charges and appear to be related since the offense dates are the same.
                 William Cottrell pled not guilty to three charges dealing with a bunch of Randall Lambey property given the ole “ive finger discount”treatment May 4 2002. Stuff like air compressors, air tools, tool boxes, welding machine and such, totaling $6200.00 in value. The separate charges were along the lines of transferring and receiving stolen goods, night time burglary and grand larceny. Cottrell’ day in court will be during the next term which begins in July 2003.
                 Dressed in his best orange jump suit and matching orange sandals, 23 year old Michael Fitzwater was escorted into the courtroom with shackles affixed at the ankle. With legal beagle Jerome Novobilski handling the court room considerations, Mr. Fitzwater pled not guilty to receiving stolen goods, grand larceny, and night time burglary of goods from the May 4 2002 thievery on Randall Lambey’ property. Fitzwater faces bars for 1 to 10 years and fines. After a brief, outside the courtroom review of the charges with his client, Novobilski asked for the case to be heard during the next term of court. No objections came from Prosecutor Grindo.
                 Boom-Boom-Boom was the action. After providing the accused with similar orders over and over, Judge Alsop went through the instructions and orders while looking out the plate glass window at the bright sunshine. Maybe in the back of his mind, and all the suits as well, what a great day to be on the golf course! Just an observation readers. Back to the court….
                 Michael T. Butcher II entered the court room dressed in orange with big REGIONAL JAIL letters emblazoned on his jump suit. After discussions with attorney Wayne King, Butcher pled not guilty to charges relating to an October 19, 2002 carrying a concealed weapons charge without a license, a possession and intent to deliver pot, crank and prescription drugs charge and altering and changing a serial number on a S-10 pick up truck. Butcher’ day in court will begin June 3, 2003 ( I think … sometimes hard to hear readers).
                 The Grand Jury fingers pointed at 21 year old Charles W. Greenleaf. His indictment stemmed from the May 4 theft as well. Dressed in tan pants and clean shaven, not guilty came three times. Grand larceny, receiving and transferring and night time burglary were the allegations. Greenleaf was represented by an attorney not seen often in this circuit. Be-speckled, tall and thin with a pig tail below his collar, the fellow’ name sounded to be Carson Bryant. Trial set for June 5, 2003.
                 By 10 am the pews were thinning out, Judge Alsop’ pace continued.
                 More on the May 4 Randall Lambey tools, air compressor, tool boxes, welding machines, etc. Aaron King was represented by Bill Martin. King was 18 on May 4 and currently is 19 years of age. Not guilty came three times followed by a June 10 trial date being set. Same stuff readers, burglary, receiving stolen goods, grand larceny….
                 Vincent A. King may be in deep doo-doo. After Bailiff Gene “oy do I need a nap”King called his name out three times without response, Judge Alsop issued a $25,000.00 bench warrant.
                 Did we mention that Bailiff King doesn’ know how to whisper? During much of the Michael Lanham proceedings, King was talking at about 90 decibels. Already incarcerated, Lanham, dressed in orange jumpsuit, was represented by Wayne King. Hearing set for March 31. Charges are Grand Larceny of a S-10 truck owned by a Terry White ( I think, thanks Gene!)
                 25 year old Anderson Wayne Keen pled not guilty to fleeing while under the influence. Something about skid-addling from Deputy Rider after he was told to stop on March 9, 2003. Trial will be held next term of court.
                 With the courtroom nearly empty, Grindo comes and goes, Circuit Clerk Asbury shuffled some papers inside the room and back and forth, King heads for cups of water.
                 For Rebecca Thompson and Gary Ray Thompson, it was bench warrant time after Gene yelled their names out three times. Bond set at $25,000.00. Not sure about the charges against them, not discussed.
                 18 year old Travis Welch made it to the front seat with charges of grand larceny of a $7000.00 Chevy Cavalier from Telford’ Chevrolet on Nov. 22, 2002. Welch faces 1 to 10 years in the slammer and fines. After pleading not guilty, trial date set for June 12, 2003. Ditto for the next Welch charge of grand larceny. Welch pled not guilty to swiping an ’9 Olds Cutlass Feb 1. The out on bond Welch was given a strong warning by Alsop. IF law enforcement finds even a hint of sufficient cause, the bond will be revoked! Welch, clad in a tan shirt with stripes and unruly hair gave no response to the warning.
                 With the cases all handled in quick order and done by 10:30 am another fellow came forward on his own, this guy was a David Burgess. After handing the Judge a green paper, Burgess explained that he had been arrested but never served to appear. A DNR officer spoke with Grindo. The Judge explained the arrest was over a Nov. 19 starting a fire without owners permission incident. Burgess did not enter a plea to the charges that could result in a 1 to 5 year prison term and fines up to $5000.00.        
         FOLLOW UPS
          Sometimes, right in the thick of things, when words and sentences look just right, a screw up occurs. Such was the case in the last edition in the reporting of the Clay Roane PSD meeting. In our coverage, we called the newly hired (and soon to be resigned from service) Sherry Deems, Sherry Mullins. Nothing intentional of course, but a big time mistake none the less.
                 After the paper came out, we saw Ms Deems and Deems was fuming to say the least. Almost sounded like she was saying we made the mistake intentionally. Something that sounded along the lines of being a Mullins was a slur.
                 Two things, first we make enough unintentional mistakes without trying to misname a person and second, being married to a Mullins for over 20 years, there ain’ no slur there.                                         AW
         ??? DID YOU KNOW ???

         1.        The average American uses the equivalent of an 18-inch, 100-foot tree every year.
2.        The American Diabetes Association estimates that between 12,000 and 24,000 people loose their sight each year because of diabetes.
3.        Ninety five percent of restaurants fail in the first year.
4.        Nursing homes, department stores and sawmills are at top of the list of most dangerous places to work in the mountain state.
5.        16 percent more people visited the state in 2002 than in 2001.
6.        Glenville State College will get nearly $3 million in the new federal budget to build a community education center with 24 hour computer lab and public meeting rooms.
7.        The number of children taking medication to control their behavior jumped more than two-fold from 1987 to 1996.
8.        Since 1991 underground coal production in the state has decreased by an average of 2.2 percent per year.
9.        In West Virginia statewide air emission in 2001 remained the largest type of pollution with 59.3 million pounds, down from 73.4 pounds in 2000.
10.         For about 20 years, West Virginia has exported more electricity than any other state.
11.         Strokes affect 700,000 Americans every year, killing 165,000.
12.         Experts calculate that 13 percent of men and 21 percent of women get severe depression sometime during their lives.
13.         More than 700,000 Americans are arrested on “arijuana”charges each year, and 88 percent of those arrests are for simple possession.
14.         According to “hild Trends”twenty two percent of 12th graders reported that they never dated, compared with 14 percent in 1991.
15.         Nationwide, more than 1.8 million taxpayers have unclaimed tax refunds in the United States every year.
16.         Teenagers account for nearly 20 percent of the alcohol consumed in the United States every year.
17.         “ pint of sweat will save a gallon of blood…”General George Patton, Jr.
18.         Cardiologists at the Cleveland Clinic found that 11 percent of patients with irregular heartbeats after a stress test were dead within five years.
19.         You cannot fight hard unless you think you are fighting to win. - Theodore Roosevelt.
20.        Americans spent $281 million on lip balm in 2002.                                 LMM

Shock and ‘Awe’ful!! By Jim Chafin

        Is there such a thing as corporate sin? Are individuals, perhaps not in the power structure and unaware of the consequences of corporate policy, are we (they) in any way responsible for wrongs committed by the corporation against people or property? If the actions of our employer, for example, embarks upon a course of action that is ultimately detrimental to the rights, privileges, immunities, health, welfare, and general safety of individuals or to the community at large, are we, or can we, be held responsible for the deeds of those over which we do not have direct control? Should we give any cognizance whatsoever to the misdeeds of a majority against lesser folks? Indeed, may we be held accountable for the actions of a government with which we do not agree, by whom any dissent is considered to be irreverent, unpatriotic, or worse, treasonous? Are we, may we, be held accountable for the actions of those we elect to represent our interests in the seats of power? If those we send to Charleston, Frankfort, or Washington choose to ignore our advice and consent, what consequence, in a moral sense, may we expect to be exacted at our hand? What can a disenfranchised minority do to makes its needs and wishes known, and felt, by a wealthy, powerful elite who only has half-vision and hears only that which pleases him?
        The idea that corporate sin, such as a government or a political party may not be held accountable for improprieties against others is rooted in imperialistic history dating back into antiquity. Since the very dawning of political actions tyrants have realized that they must have a core alliance around them to shield their person from the moral assessments of their subjects and a mechanism by which they can promote their self proclaimed, “ know better than you – what’ best for you; and I am under no obligation to submit to any lectures from the likes of you!!” Fortunately, however, moral law pre-dates any of man’ manufactured pronouncements concerning his exemption from the Godly precepts upon which this world order rests. More rightly, the question is not if a ruler (or leader) sins, but when. In most nations of the world today, leaders and government types are assumed to be fallible. In many countries they are known to be crooked, and in some cases they are regarded as just plain evil. That contrasts sharply with the ancient world where many nations considered their rulers to be gods whose pronouncements were considered to be sacred. And, we might add, we are hearing the same today, are we not? Religionists, spouting such theories as: “e can hasten Christ’ return by bombing Iraq and ridding the world of Saddam Hussein”– are doing their darnest to put God in their pocket, taking Him out at their convenience, and ordering Him around as if He is some lackey to serve at their will and pleasure. Please be assured that God is not captured by the likes of American televangelists or fundamentalists, whatever their political stripe. They have no inside track with God – neither do they possess knowledge of scripture above and beyond that of other mortals. Righteousness hath no fellowship with arrogance or hatred of any of God’ creation, and Moslem babies are just as precious in God’ sight as are those born to Christians, whatever their color or wherever they may live. God has not ignored the issue of corporate sin because He knows we are part of the whole scheme of thins devised by man to perpetuate his own desires, of which domination is the name of the game. Immorality, even when done in ignorance (?), is still immoral, and God has made provisions for dealing with it in his law. Wealth, as we know it in this nation, is not a symbol of righteousness because it is derived on the backs of the poor. Poverty is not a commandment of God – it is a decree of man. It is codified in man’ unrighteous and grievous decrees. Poverty is created by man as a direct result of his manipulation of earth’ resources. Poverty must be dealt with forthrightly in order that we may extradite ourselves out of our present dilemma. We cannot wash our hands of the problems our representatives (?) have created in our name!


Serving Size: 1/8 recipe, Total Servings: 8

9 lasagna noodles (8 ounces)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 yellow squash, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
1 medium zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
1 large red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 container (15 ounces) part-skim ricotta cheese
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 jar (28 ounces) light spaghetti sauce

1) Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Cook lasagna noodles according         to package directions, omitting the salt; drain and set aside. Coat a 9”x 13”baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
2) In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the yellow squash, zucchini, bell pepper, mushrooms, and garlic, and saute for 4 to 5 minutes, or until tender. Remove from the heat and set aside. In a large bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, 1-1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, the Parmesan cheese, egg, and black pepper;’mix well.
3) Spread one-third of the spaghetti sauce evenly over the bottom of         the baking dish. Place 3 noodles over the sauce, then spread one-third of the cheese mixture over the noodles. Spoon one-third of the         vegetable mixture over that. Repeat the layers two more times; top with the remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese.
4) Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the aluminum foil and bake for 10 to 12 more minutes, or until heated through and the cheese is golden. Allow to sit for 5 to 10         minutes before serving.
Exchanges: 1-1/2 starch...2 Medium-Fat Meat…
3 Vegetable… 1 Fat… Calories...377 Calories from Fat...142 Total Fat...16 g Saturated Fat...7g Cholesterol...66 mg Sodium...828 mg Carbohydrate...37 g
Dietary Fiber...5g Sugars...11g Protein...23g



1 prepared (10 ounces) angel food cake
1 pint fat-free vanilla-raspberry swirl frozen yogurt,
1/2 cup frozen light whipped topping, thawed
1/2 cup fresh raspberries
Fresh mint sprigs

1) Place the cake on a serving plate. with a serrated knife, slice the top 1 inch off the cake by slicing it horizontally all the way around; carefully remove the top of the cake and reserve.
2) Cut and scoop out a tunnel in the center of the cake, leaving a 3/4-inch border of cake on the sides and bottom. (Reserve scooped-out cake for another use).
3) Spoon the frozen yogurt evenly into the tunnel, then replace the cake top. Wrap with plastic wrap and freeze until firm; plan to garnish and serve anytime after 2 hours, or up to 3 days.
4) Before serving, dollop the cake with whipped topping and garnish with raspberries and mint sprigs.
Exchanges: 1 Carbohydrate Calories...86 Calories from Fat...4 Total Fat...0g Saturated Fat...0g Cholesterol...0mg Sodium...62mg Carbohydrate...18g Dietary Fiber...1g Sugars...13g Protein...3g


Widen Water Update

Thursday, February 6, 2003

        As Community Contact person for Widen I am providing you with this project update. As you will note, it is good news.
        Terradon Engineering has completed the feasibility study on the proposed water source. Based on a cost per customer basis the Widen source serving Widen is the most attractive plan. Total cost to install such a system would be about $9,021 per customer, or about $744,000 for the project. If funded by AML, they would likely cover all but $279 per customer. I will begin looking to find funding to cover that cost for the customers, if possible. At least I would like to reduce the cost per customer, if possible.
        We are not home yet! We have water when we have water! Terradon has submitted its study to the D.E.P. I will let you know what they have to say as soon as I can learn something. At any rate, this study had to be performed to see if the project is feasible. It is now known to be feasible. We will continue to pursue. Thank you.
                        Rick Proctor
                        Technical Assistance Provider
Letter submitted by Darlene Rogers, Widen

        As difficult as it is to picture, the zany and endlessly inventive comedian, Jonathan Winters was a Marine in World War II who served in the South Pacific. One of his early routines is based, with a certain amount of artistic license, on that experience. The scene opens on a troopship, lying a mile or so off a tropic atoll. It is the night before the Marines are slated to make their amphibious landing. The lieutenant is speaking to his platoon.
        Men: It’ going to be rough out there tomorrow. There are some 25,000 Japs (a term that was not considered politically incorrect at the time) on that island, heavily dug in, with mortars, machine gun nests, flame throwers, pill boxes, tanks and heavy artillery. Intelligence tells us that there is also a brigade of Imperial Japanese Marines, the cream of the Emperor’ forces, who have sworn to fight to the death. The General estimates that our forces will suffer at least 40% casualties and that is an optimistic guess.
        There is a long dramatic and suspenseful pause. Finally, the lieutenant speaks: “I had hoped to be with you, but I shall be watching some 5000 yards offshore through heavy lenses.”
        It is not too much of a stretch to draw a parallel here between Winters’fictional (we hope) officer, and the think tank warriors and civilian chicken hawks who are sucking us into this war. These are clever hardliners who managed to avoid serious injury by securing numerous student deferments, defending their country in the hallowed halls of elite colleges and universities, while the sons of the less privileged were dying in Vietnam. Here we see a stunning reversal of an old cliché which becomes: “on’ do what I do. Do what I say.” Interestingly, our beloved Congress is part of this tawdry scene. Of its 535 members, only one person has a son in the armed forces, yet the White House flaks sneer at the suggestion that there is any such thing as ‘lass warfare’
        It seems obvious that, whatever motives may be ascribed to the current administration, this country has been maneuvered into a point of no return. Jefferson observed that, in order for a democracy to succeed it must have an informed citizenry. The degree to which Americans are informed was vividly illustrated last week when a poll revealed that 42% of the country believes that Iraq was responsible for the attack on the Twin Towers. An earlier poll stated that a majority of the people were convinced that some Iraqis were among the plane hijackers. Misinformation of this sort tends to have a snowball effect if the public relations machine (read: propaganda) is efficient, and the Bush-Cheney junta has one of the best, including the slimy and arrogant Ari Fleischer who would not provide a straight answer if asked the time. Fleischer, you may remember, said a few months ago: “mericans had better watch what they say.” Sadly, this alarming if unintentional glimpse into the fascist mentality did not raise the hue and cry it deserved from our newspaper friends, once watchdogs, who seem to have turned into lapdogs, much the same position for which Tony Blair has applied.
        The ‘id and comfort’gang has become a dominant part of the current political scene. Any one who questions the wisdom, or even morality of invading Iraq draws the charge of supporting Saddam. On this issue, as expected, ultra conservative George Will continues to be the shining exemplar of how glorious is our first amendment in a recent column he has, with his usual tact, called Secretary General Kofi Annan the ‘ervant’of Saddam Hussein. Not to be outdone, Will also called Representatives Jim McDermot and David Bonoir ‘addam collaborators,’in this case contributing to the ‘id and comfort to the enemy’gang aimed at political figures who criticize the administration while on foreign soil. Even the former moderate Colin Powell has contributed to the mindless twaddle, ringing in with the observation: “f these divisions continue, Saddam will be encouraged.” Presumably, Powell’ indictment of “hese divisions”suggests that the war party demands unquestioning groupthink. George Orwell warned us about that.
        Given the impression that little or no comprehensive post war plans seem to have been made for the future of Iraq, would it not be a good idea for the administration to give the American people a complete list of the dictators we are called upon to hate, as well as those of whom we approve? Representative Sheila Jackson Lee, surprisingly of Texas, has said that “e could probably list 30-31 despots equal to Saddam.” A comment of this sort probably infuriates Osama bin Ladin, who has been pushed out of the spotlight of late, bitter medicine for an egomaniac. The endless litany of Saddam’ crimes must be driving Osama into a frenzy of jealousy. In the palace of some Arab potentate or in his state-of-the-art cave, bin Ladin may be asking about his rival: “hat has he got that I haven’?”        Rudyard Kipling, (1865-1936) wrote a poem called “ecessional,”which has also been rendered as a well known hymn. The first stanza has a certain application in our time.
        God of our fathers, known of old
        Lord of our far-flung battle line,
        Beneath whose awful hand we hold
        Dominion over palm and pine.
The sentiment expressed here is not far removed from the intentions of the hard liner imperialists who are under the impression that they will be acting under divine guidance. A bit player in this expansionist scenario is one William Bennett, who passes as the administration’ intellectual. Bennett’ first effort, The Book of Virtues, a saccharine collection of Reader’ Digest sentimentality led to his now and future designation as “r. Virtue” As if this achievement did not sufficiently add to his luster, Bennett has now burdened readers with Why We Fight. The subtitle is brilliantly constructed to warm the cockles of every right wing heart: “oral Clarity and the War on Terrorism” The text of this sanctimonious claptrap argues that the United States is a uniquely virtuous country, and owing to its virtues, is hated and attacked by Islamic terrorists. Bennett even states, with stratospheric self-indulgence a song of the “uperior goodness of the American way of life, or American culture in the broad sense,”providing a whitewashing or ignorance of our country’ entire history and conduct. One is reminded of that old country song which warbles: “ord, it’ hard to be humble when you’e perfect in every way.” Is it any wonder that the Bushies love the virtue czar? This is the sort of brain dead drivel that sells! There is no need for a would-be philosopher to consider minor historical inconveniences such as Indian genocide, slavery or corporate corruption.
        Considering the oft-cited statement that Iraq’ population consists of 50% under 15, and that the United States is to rain 3000 bombs on Baghdad in a short period, it seems that we have arrived at another definition of ‘eapons of mass destruction’ In The Lathe of Heaven, Ursula Kroeber Le Guin describes one of her characters as follows: …He had grown up in a country run by politicians who sent the pilots to man the bombers to kill the babies to make the world safer for children to grow up in.
        Saying - “y country, right or wrong”is like saying: “y mother, drunk or sober.” - J.B. Priestly –
                                Yours, etc, Cur

        DON GREENE: WV Radical “T IS WAR”

        I felt like I had to suspend my tirade against the failings of the bureaucracy of WV to address the current war. I read volumes of magazines each week and have a reasonable grip on the situation. As always there are a number of things that have caused my poor wife to listen to hours of complaining. One is the fact that our media saved the enemy the effort of having to do any reconnaissance as to where our troops were at or the actions they would take. It has all been shown repeatedly in detail for the enemy to see, study and prepare for. Likewise the repeated listing of the sites we would not strike, giving Hussein plenty of time to move important targets into, around and under these off-limits sites. I am totally in favor of freedom of the press, but it is my opinion that this time we have let it aid a dictator. Since the war actually began, the media has continued to be a literal "fifth column" with its constant broadcasting. If we can intercept the enemy's cell phones and radios, it is beyond foolishness to think that they are not doing the same to us. Shame on our ‘ook at me first’media.
        Another thing that bothered me was the shortening and softening of the "shock and awe" campaign. What was supposed to be a bombardment of thousands of bombs for days on end became a series of drop a few then stop and give the journalists time to report sorties. I can't help but think that political pressure was put on the military to execute this war in a fashion that would be more easily reported, with gory or eye-catching backdrops. The result is that too many U.S. soldiers have been put in needless danger for all the wrong reasons. Shame on those responsible for this.
        While I am at it I want to say a word in support of the Dixie Chicks. They have the same right as you and I, to express their feelings and I for one am ashamed that country music fans let the corporate owned radio stations lead them in boycotting the Chicks. The fact that the Dixie Chicks just kicked their corporate butts in court, and got the money they deserved, is without a doubt the root cause that they alone, of all the performers that have expressed themselves against this war and this president, suddenly got boycotted. Shame on the country music fans on this one.
        The alleged surprise that the media has expressed that the Iraqis are fighting a guerrilla war is just plain foolishness. Any time you face a stronger foe in combat, you will take the best option. For Saddam and his crew of cut-throats, this is their best option, hoping to drag the war out, hoping to demoralize our troops, and hoping that the world media will turn against us. Shame on the media for misleading us by acting as if our military had not prepared for this aspect of the war.
        One more thing that irks me has been the protesters that have disrupted life and work for thousands by their actions. I am all for protesting and have done so on occasion, but fail to see what is accomplished beyond making a "statement" by these roadblocks and "die-ins". Our nation is involved in a war that has the potential of becoming a worldwide action that pits Islamic fanatics against everyone else. It is so far beyond naïve to think that these wife-killing, innocent-slaughtering extremists will hold hands with these protesters and sing "Kumbaya" that I am stumped to even find the words to express it. We all need to say a prayer for our troops, because if they fail we will all be buying prayer rugs at the nearest Arab owned convenience store.

03/20/03: Delk – Aaron C. King, arrested and ROB 11/17/02 on warrants for burglary, receiving or transferring stolen goods, and grand larceny; indictment returned by Grand Jury; file to Circuit Court.
03/26/03: Slack – Jesse Lee Dwier, warrant issued for escape from custody.
03/28/03: Elswick – Bradley Joe Stone, warrants issued for forgery of other writing and uttering of other writing.
03/13/03: Bailey – Christina S. Gibson, possession of marijuana less 15 grams, appeared 03/20, ROB.
03/14/03: Bailey – Kathy A. Gill, possession of marijuana less 15 gms, appeared 03/25, ROB.
03/18/03: Larry Legg – Carlos Gray and Barbara Gray, fail to cause child to attend school, summons issued; Light – Larry E. Hall, warrant issued for domestic battery, D/M 03/24 by complainant and prosecuting attorney.
03/19/03: IGA – Judith A. Myers, worthless check complaint, warrant issued; Clay Supermarket – Teresa Rock and Judith A. Myers, worthless check complaints, warrants issued.
03/22/03: Slack – Roy Brown, driving on suspended/revoked, arrested.
03/24/03: Workman – Dara Stephenson, battery, summons issued; Workman – Alexandreia C. Dobbins, destruction of property, summons issued; Workman – Ashley Jarvis, battery, summons issued; Lizemore Grocery – Sherry McKown Taylor Adkins, worthless check complaint, warrant issued; C.E. Sizemore – Martha Browning, battery, summons issued.
03/26/03: Gino’ – E. Joe Mash and Donna Tryon, worthless check complaints, warrants issued; Slack – Christopher Pritt, destruction of property and petit larceny, no probable cause found, case D/M; Slack – O.J. Hickman, domestic battery, warrant issued.
03/28/03: Daniel Grindo – Thomas R. Holcomb, intimidation of witness, arrested, ROB; Elswick – Bradley Joe Stone, obtaining goods under false pretense, warrant issued; Elswick – Jarrod Lanham, destruction of property, warrant issued; Workman – William Joey Smith, indecent exposure, arrested.
03/31/03: Big Otter Food Mart – Stacey A. Schoolcraft, worthless check complaints X 5, warrants issued.
03/19/03: R.B. Legg, Jr. D.D.S. – Brenda Kinter, Judy Grose, and Kevin Cook, all for money due.
03/21/03: Clay Furniture & Appliance – Larry Childers, Janice DeBoard, Dorothy Childers, Jason L. Pringle, Michael W. Gray, Jr., and Daisy Shoults, all for money due.
03/25/03: Moore & Miller – Rena Bloom, wrongful occupation.
03/28/03: King Trucking & Wrecker – Chris Hemmelgarn, money due.
Worthless Checks
Notices issued –
03/12/03: Sheriff of Clay County – Ronnie D. Beasley (paid 3/21) and Bobby Jesperson (paid 3/21).
03/13/03: Gino’ – Marjorie E. Barnett (paid 3/21), William L. Myers (paid 3/26), E. Joe Mash (misdemeanor file opened 3/26), and Donna Tryon (misdemeanor file opened 3/26).
03/19/03: Big Otter Food Mart – Shannon L. Cavender (paid 3/28), Jennifer R. Cutlip (paid 3/21?), April A. McGlothlin (paid 3/28), and Stacey A. Schoolcraft X 5 (misdemeanor files opened 3/31); Clay Auto Parts – Candy D. Adkins (paid 3/31).
03/21/03: Clay Supermarket – Sabrina Rogers (paid 3/25), Marie Boggs (paid 3/31), and Christina K. Albright (paid 3/31); Clay Furniture & Appl. – Eric Wayne Moore.
03/24/03: IGA – Malena Stone and Candy D. Adkins; Dawson’ Service Center – Judith A. Myers and Tammy K. Swindler.
03/26/03: Clay Supermarket – Michael L. Holcomb and Candy D. Adkins.
03/28/03: J & S Grocery – Candy D. Adkins X 2; IGA – Donna D. Ice, Cathy Smith, Teresa Rock, and Rodney Johnson.
Traffic Citations
03/13/03: State Police – Christina S. Gibson, possession of marijuana less 15 GRS; Shanai L. Holtz, speeding.
03/14/03: State Police – Micah D. Anthony, speeding; Kathy A. Gill, possession marijuana less/15 GRS.
03/24/03: Sheriff’ Dept. – Randolph S. Morton, no POI; Alonold Samuels, no POI.
03/25/03: State Police – Noel N. Hash, failure to maintain control.
03/26/03: Sheriff’ Dept. – Delmer L. Shultz, speeding.
03/27/03: State Police – Anthony A. Osbourne, no POI ; DOH – Donnie Welch, uncased gun in vehicle.
03/28/03: State Police – James L. Rapp, MVI.

Happy Spring from beautiful downtown Bomont! The Easter lilies are in full bloom, merkles (molly-moochers, muggles, morels) have started to show their pointed little heads and oh, joy of joys, ramps are starting to shoot up.

In last edition’ article, I offered my own personal opinion about the basketball coaches for Clay Elementary. I guess this is the point where the disclaimer needs to be made that the opinions expressed herein are not necessarily the opinions shared by any other human being on this planet. In fact, my own opinions have been known to fluctuate depending on various phases of the moon.

Specifically, I offered an award to these coaches for their wild antics and excitable natures. Just because there was only one award offered, this should in no way mislead anyone into thinking these guys were the only ones deserving of it. Absolutely not! In fact, the conduct of some of the other coaches and the parents was just as bad at times. There were chants of “ill him!”from the stands, fathers flying from the bleachers across the court, and mothers threatening to whoop up on people (or at least smack them quite soundly - to our credit, we did neither). Despite a propensity toward dementia triggered by exhilarating basketball games, Bob Morris is an articulate, level-headed, generally nice guy.

The moral of last edition’ article is this: If you’e in a public facility at a public gathering, assume there’ somebody there who is going to notice your conduct and probably talk about you, so it’ always a good idea to be on your best behavior. Especially if they have a video camera . . .

Did everyone tune in to PBS’ Outlook on Thursday to watch H.E. White on TV? It was actually quite a nice little segment. The Office of Performance Audits declined to show the H.E. White portion of the video at the banquet held for principals of exemplary schools, though. Part of the “uman interest angle”PBS was focusing on was school consolidation. Evidently, this was considered too controversial to show some of the principals from other counties. Even after receiving the go-ahead from our own Superintendent, who wasn’ the least bit ashamed or scared of the video, they still declined. Interesting, isn’ it? The majority of Clay County has fought tooth and nail against consolidation at some point and quite frankly, I think we’e all pretty darn proud of it.

Speaking of fighting tooth and nail, which is exactly how we got that Excess Levy passed to keep H.E. White open, I previously voiced some serious concerns about H.E. White’ gym floor. You’l remember that the request was accepted by the Board of Education on March 3 to have this floor replaced, yet apparently no money was available at that time. I’ quite pleased to report that the new floor should be polished to a glistening sheen just in time for the ramp dinner! THANK YOU, Mr. Linkinoggor, Mr. Paxton and everybody who voted YES! for the Levy!

The H.E. White ramp dinner is scheduled for Sunday, May 4. Just like in years past, the PTO, who works their collective tails off to feed over 900 people, is looking for volunteers to dig ramps, clean the stinking things, bake desserts, and perform lots of other thankless chores. With the demise of the high school’ ramp dinner, H.E. White is the only show in town. Help keep Clay County on the map in a positive way - volunteer your time, efforts and talents! The list of chores is virtually endless and all donations of time, food and money are greatly appreciated. Please call Bob Casto (548-8385) or Tammy Myers (548-7620) for additional information.

The Open House Community Yard Sale is right around the corner! We’e expecting a huge selling crowd and some of these folks have some fantastic stuff for sale! PTO will be hosting a concession stand to help fund a picnic shelter at the school for all to enjoy. Come on out Saturday, April 5, from 8 a.m. till 2 p.m. to browse the merchandise, pick up some cool treasures and help support the H.E. White PTO.

Quote of the Day: “ar doesn't determine who's right, just who's left.”
                        Stay tuned!