May 13, 2005

MEDICAID CRISIS IN CLAY
DID YOU KNOW
Meanwhile, Back at the Farm
Apple Blossom Fair Returns!
Life Advice About Selling A Home
How High’ the Water, Momma?
A Letter to Brother Bill
PSD CHAIR WELCHER!
BOB CLARKE
SHORT SHORTS
2 Million Reasons to Stop a RR
MAGISTRATE REPORT
BUSINESS FRIENDLY DOWNTOWN
Comments on My Democratic Party
EMS/AMBULANCE WOES
Christian Service Center News
School Board Meeting


MEDICAID CRISIS IN CLAY
Someone or some group will provide for the elderly, poor, disabled … Our government’ Medicare and Medicaid health care plans will provide for the needs …. Promises we hear all the time. At least one family in Clay County WV have fallen through the Medicaid cracks during what’ called a “pend Down”period.
        Norma Mitchell lives near the top of Camp Creek hill. Diagnosed with cancer last year, Ms Mitchell’ case is terminal. Doctors gave her until Christmas. Medical treatment, prescription drugs, doctors visits, CAT scans, and such are costly even with government. assistance. Mitchell received word April 30, 2005, the government was pulling the health care rug out from under her. Mitchell has to go it on her own until she incurs $9000 in medical bills before Medicaid will again cover expenses. With her prescriptions in short supply and little money to repurchase, her final months look bleak.
        What is a Medicaid Spend Down and how does it work? Some people have too much income to qualify for Medicaid.This amount is called excess income.Some of these people may qualify for Medicaid if they spend the excess income on medical bills.This is called a spend down. For example, a person over 65 is denied Medicaid because her monthly income is $50 more than the limit for Medicaid eligibility.If she incurs medical bills of $50 per month, the rest of her medical bills will be covered by Medicaid.The spend down in this case is the $50 of medical bills she incurs.
How does a spend down work? It works almost like a deductible for car insurance.When you have accumulated medical bills (paid or unpaid) greater than your excess income, you will get Medicaid for that month.You are responsible for the bills up to the excess amount; Medicaid will only pay those bills over the excess amount. If you have been hospitalized recently, you may qualify for Medicaid for up to 6 months.If you have been hospitalized within the past 6 months, be sure to tell your worker.
        Norma and her disabled husband Payne have little income, “ can’ even breathe. I am on oxygen and everything… That company has always been good to me but I don’ have a way of paying for my oxygen.
                        Continued on page 3
I don’ think they will take it away from me….. We got that Medical card for 6 months and then they take it away. They tell us when we get $9000 more in bills, we can get it back…. I ain’ using nothing right now. I used that card they give you up in Clay. That card paid for my hospital stay but it ain’ paid nothing on Payne’ bill.” 64 year old Mitchell says when her bills get up to $9000, the oxygen supplier can be reimbursed. Her concern is with the medical providers who won’ allow the bills to add up. “I don’ have $9000 to spend of my own money..”
In general, the following services are paid for by Medicaid, but some may not be covered for you because of your age, financial circumstances, family situation, transfer of resource requirements, or living arrangements. Some services have small co-payments. These services include: smoking cessation agents, treatment and preventive health and dental care (doctors and dentists), hospital inpatient and outpatient services, laboratory and X-ray services, care in a nursing home, care through home health agencies and personal care, treatment in psychiatric hospitals (for persons under 21 or those 65 and older), mental health facilities, and facilities for the mentally retarded or the developmentally disabled family planning services, medicine, supplies, medical equipment, and appliances (wheelchairs, etc.), clinic services, transportation to medical appointments, including public transportation and car mileage, emergency ambulance transportation to a hospital
        Mitchell’ income is about $400 from Social Security per month and, “e gets about $1000 because he is disabled. He also gets a $100 VA check. With bills piling up, Ms Mitchell, “he last time I was down at the doctor he said there ain’ no reason for you to come back. He said he wasn’ planning to give me any cobalt because it wouldn’ do no good. He told me I could make until December but I could go anytime. I am on daily medications for my heart too. I haven’ run out of medicine yet. I took that last medical card and went up and got my medicine…. I’l probably run out of medicine on the 29th. I’l have to do without. By the time you get your check, you go in and pay for those prescriptions and this and that, what have you got left?”
        American Cancer Society provided $200 toward prescriptions, “hat’ the only place I have found to help me.”
        “ have to go back and have a CAT scan to see how I am doing. They called me today and asked me if I could come up with $1000 and I told them, ‘God, no.’ I told them I was on a spend down. They said they would accept me. I went to a hospital several months ago and they wouldn’ take me in. They took everybody ahead of me . I told Payne, ‘Can’ you see what they’e doing? Lets go home!’… Saint Francis has been real good so far.”
        Mitchell has been through spend downs before but now, with a terminal illness, it’ different. When asked if bill collectors were calling, Ms Mitchell, “’ say so!”
        Currently WV DHHR is trimming the Medicaid program in an attempt to cut $115.7 million in expenses. Medicaid covers over 350,000 low income people or 1 in 6 West Virginians. More than half of Medicaid recipients are children. The elderly, blind, and disabled represent 65 percent of all funds spent in WV.
        In addition to treatments, drugs, and weakening condition, Mitchell is concerned her property will be seized after her death. “ don’ know what’ going to happen. That’ what they say they do. They’l run it in the newspaper for so long….”
        The Medicaid web site confirms Norma’ fear: if you receive medical services paid for by Medicaid on or after your 55th birthday, or when permanently residing in a medical institution, Medicaid may recover the amount of the cost of these services from the assets in your estate upon your death.
        
Mitchell plans to do without medical care and commented on end of life decisions, “ guess I’l lay here and die. They can call an ambulance and come after my body I reckon. That’ about all you can do. That’ awful to live like this. This Spend Down is affecting my health care. They say they are basing it on your income but…. Payne is on Spend Down, too He got a bill yesterday for $900 and Medicaid didn’ pay nothing on it.”
        Already the in-home caregiver services have stopped. So far, doctors have continued to see the 30 year resident of Clay. “t don’ do you no good trying to talk to the Governor down there. I don’ think old people should be done like this.. I am not the only one . It ain’ right.”
        It ain’ right is right!
                                                AW

??? DID YOU KNOW ???
         1.        It isn’ necessary to blow out the other person’ light to let your own shine.
2.        25 employees or less is the typical size business in West Virginia.
3.        Total residential construction rose to more than 2 billion last year.
4.        Analysis by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis suggests that good-looking people tend to make more money and get promoted more often than those with average looks.
5.        18 percent of the nation’s 1.1 million home-schooled students are enrolled at least part-time in public school.
6.        Nationally the percentage of male teachers in public classrooms is 25 percent.
7.        In the past five years, the state’s investment return has averaged 4.8 percent.
8.        West Virginia’ population is expected to increase by just 17,000 people between 1995 and 2005.
9.        West Virginia had 2,080 AID’ and HIV cases in June 2004.
10.         The United States produces 30 million tons of carbon products a year.
11.         Americans following any low-carb diet peaked in February 2004 and has fallen dramatically since.
12.         In 2001 the average jury award in an auto liability case was $323,000 according to the Insurance Information Institute.
13.         By last June, there were 48,000 inmates or 2.3 percent more than the year before.
14.         Research says only about 35 percent of people with asthma who are prescribed the everyday medication renew it even once.
15.         Reuters News Service reports that pregnant women who experience a traumatic event could pass biological signs of stress to their developing infant.
16.         According to the USDA, certified organic cropland in the United States grew nearly 75 percent between 1997 and 2001.
17.         Fourteen hundred college students between the ages of 18 and 24 die each year from unintentional injuries, including motor vehicle crashes.
18.         State Farm says it insures 30 percent of all automobiles and 25 percent of all homes in West Virginia.
19.         Two state-run internet programs that connect customers directly with foreign pharmacies have filled 13,000 prescriptions since early 2004.
20.         West Virginia will receive $5.7 million in federal funding for fish and wildlife conservation and hunting and fishing programs. LMM

Meanwhile, Back at the Farm… By Jim Chafin
A fellow up in Wheeling by the name of Al Blatnik says Jim Lees and the Mingo School Board are wrong in their consolidation stance: “r. Lees is now in defense of an educational system that is mired in politics, achieves far below acceptable standards, and is in need of a complete overhaul.” If we are to believe this prognosticator from afar, then someone owes an explanation, not only to the citizens of Mingo County, but also to the residents of this entire state. Because West Virginia ranks at the bottom percentile, among the lowest in this nation in the field of education. Does this mean that, under the auspices of our all-knowing WV Board of Education, this state’ educational facilities are in dire need of a fix by (who else?) those august federalists in Washington, DC? By way of answering Blatnik’ less than informed opinion of the Mingo School Board’ position on the consolidation issue, let’ point out that he needs another source of information other than the morning’ encapsulated headlines before issuing edicts on issues of which he knows little, if anything, about.
Meanwhile, here on the local level, our own Greg Smith (of courthouse fame?) touts “tate’ modern coal industry…helping a brighter future.” Smith goes on to state, “any people don’ understand…the extent to which we all benefit from mining.” Oh, yes we do, Greg! And he proceeds to outline his take on the coal industry’ value to our local economy.
What do these two seemingly opposite issues have in common? Well, in one sense Smith is half-right when he alludes severance taxes received by Mingo County help fund local activities. Isn’ that the duty of everyone, corporate and private? However, another more intricate look at the coal industry is much needed – and not coal only – but an indepth look at the political climate and legislative process that is, in large part, framed by the activities of big coal and its activist managers. Long having been a heavy hitter in West Virginia politics, this snarling beast has lately taken to bald-faced buying of political favors without fear of recrimination. Having so much money to throw around is, in itself, an indication of coal’ prosperity and its dedication to the proposition of corrupting the electoral process as much as it can. Yes, taxes paid by the coal industry do help. And why shouldn’ they, given that they have reaped so many rewards themselves? But, it’ help hardly in proportion to what the industry has received from public coffers in its history. And there lies the difficulties our state school boards find themselves.
Coal mining, by its very nature, is disruptive to any community in which it is located. Smith’ reference to this “tate’ modern coal industry”is, in fact, complicit to the problem. Big coal’ use of modern technology has enabled it to mine more mineral in less time, and with less human resources than ever before. Its decision to utilize ever-larger machines has reduced the ranks of coal workers by 90% since World War II, with tragic results for families and communities alike. Whereas people are the true of economic activity in any region (people pay taxes, buy goods and services, lining the pockets of both rich and poor,) machines do little of this. By design they are intended to replace people, and their use by the coal industry has decimated the ranks of coal miners from a high of 125,000 to today’ present 15,000. Big coal, like big business everywhere is a dislocating factor wherever it exists. Jobs disappear; people, those folks who are responsible for creating infrastructure in a community, move on to other political subdivisions and support economic progress there. That is where public education finds itself today.
Barely a day goes by without a decision by an administrative body that confers huge benefits on favored corporations at public expense. And West Virginia’ budget lies prostrate on the mat because state leaders refuse to face the task of providing tax equity on highly profitable industries to help such public entities as public schools. Whatever happened to Reicht’ decision about unfair funding schedules for poorer school districts? Congress itself provides billions in welfare for the coal industry in the form of a “ynfuel tax giveaway,”supposedly to provide research into alternative fuels, but which is in reality only spraying diesel fuel onto coal. The industry did that many decades ago to increase the BTU content of their product. Now the “iverment”enriches coal by the tens of billions for doing something that produces not one pound of “lternative”fuel. And the cost of coal mining continues to mount as never ending floods come cascading down those hills which have been stripped of their trees and vegetation, inundating homes, property, and the lives of people in the valley below. Still, government twiddles its thumbs.
Meanwhile, according to news reports, our current governor is applauding the astronomical rise in coal and natural gas prices; thinking, perhaps, it’ a good thing for coal to sell above $100 per ton, and for natural gas to rise 90% since 2001. Yo, man, I’ laughing all the way to the funny farm! Where is the objectivity of our officials? Who do they think is paying the freight here? Who foots the bill for their inconsiderate actions? I would guess that it is easier to let someone else heft the load than for these elitists to burden themselves.
Implementation of a consolidation plan along the lines proposed by the State School Building Authority is a blatant looting of both state and federal treasuries and a total waste of monies used to erect current buildings in many places. Being not satisfied with community and state leaders who were (are) advocating a further deterioration of our community, county residents removed two instigators of community chaos and replaced them with two new members who were willing to look at ways to keep our small communities intact. The two remaining voices for dismantling our towns still rant and rave to the high heavens, seeking to prevent the new board majority from accomplishing anything towards a better and more placid learning experience. May the next election see these two remaining obstructionists go back to wherever they came from and a renewed opportunity to salvage the only system that truly can know its constituents – the small local school.
I agree with Charlotte Saunders when she said: “ur officials should be thinking about little people.” Which would seem to mean schools, children, families, and small town West Virginia. The backbone of this state.

Apple Blossom Fair Returns!
The Apple Blossom Fair returns to Clay, May 19th through May 21st. Candy apples, cotton candy, rides, music, wrestling and fireworks are all on this year’ agenda. This year’ fair welcomes Myers Amusements. This will be the first year at the fair for Myers Amusements. Amusements ran the little train at the Golden Delicious Festival a few years ago and will be bringing the train to the fair along with their full service carnival with thirteen rides.
Group tickets are available for schools and church groups and will be honored during special fairway times.In addition to the low ticket prices for groups, the gate fee will be waived for those fairway times.Call 587-4455 or 587-7353 for ticket information.
Entertainment for the fair this year will include karaoke on Thursday night.Friday night’ entertainment includes Live Professional Wrestling at 6:30 p.m. and at 8:00 the WYAP-LP Clay County Radio Stage Jam (WYAP members receive free gate admission with membership card.)The WYAP Radio stage show brings blues, country and folk music sounds to the fair.Saturday night’ program includes “hick Singer”with Adam and Tammy Brown, and Tim and Jeannie Woods who will start up the stage at 6:00 p.m.Later in the evening, “ighway 23”will take the stage.“ighway 23”is the house band from the Paramount Art’ Center in Ashland, Kentucky. Finishing out the night’ entertainment will be Clay County’ own Farrah Facemire.Farrah has been performing shows with Highway 23 as her back up band and has found it to be a perfect match.If rain, shows will be performed inside the barn at the Clay County Park, in Maysel.Please bring a lawn chair. Saturday night also brings the “ow!”of fireworks blasting sparkle and color into the air.
Gate admission at the park is just $2.00 for adults and $1.00 for kids 5-12 and free up to age 4.All proceeds will benefit the Golden Delicious Festival’ fundraising efforts.
Ride Tickets will be available Thursday 6-10 p.m., Friday 9-2 and 6-10 p.m. and Saturday 11-4 or 6-11 p.m.Hand stamps will be available for mechanical rides for evening hours.
Bring the family and enjoy the Apple Blossom Fair at the Clay County Park on Maysel-Laurel Road, off Route 4/16 in Maysel.

Life Advice About Selling A Home Seeking Legal Representation & Taxes

When selling your Clay County property, particularly if you are selling on your own, it's a great idea to be represented by an attorney. Look for a local attorney who has the expertise and the time to complete your transaction in a reasonable amount of time. When a potential buyer puts an offer in writing and you accept it, the signed acceptance becomes the sales contract. Your local attorney will be present at the actual closing to protect your interests and can assist you with the following elements of a sales contract:
l. The sale price
2. What is included in the sale price - draperies, carpeting, light fixtures, heating oil, etc. Make sure everything is spelled out. (Oral contracts are not visible!)
3. The amount of down payment
4. The date of settlement and possession date
5. Contingencies to the sale: inspections, required improvements, legal review of the contract by the buyer's or seller's attorney, etc.
6. The amount and length of the mortgage loan, interest rate and time limits to secure the loan
7. Determining which closing costs are to be paid by the buyer and which by the seller. (We would recommend that a HUD statement be prepared for all property sales)
Now that you have come this far let us not forget the federal and state tax implications. Selling a home can have a major impact on you next federaland state tax returns. Check with your tax consultant on the factors that may affect taxes resulting from the sale of your home. For example:
l. Whether you purchased the home or acquired it by a gift or inheritance
2. Whether you used your home partly for business or rental
3. Costs associated with selling your home
4. Home improvements or additions, which may help to offset capital gains
5. The sale of your home. In certain cases you can exclude up to $250,000 in gain ($500,000 for married couples filing a joint return) on the sale of property that was your principle residence for at least two years. Generally, you can use this exclusion every two years.
Finally, we have come to the end of the story. You have learned the advantages of timing your property sale. You have learned how to improve your house's curb appeal. You have learned the advantages of selling your home with an agent. You know why a fair market price is important and why you should qualify buyers. Last, you have been advised that legal representation and tax implications are important to the home seller. So why not sell your home this spring or summer? Either by yourself, or call a local sales agent to help you make the most for your property.

         These articles were brought to you by Dave Derby,
Sales Associate at Greenlee Properties Inc., Clay Office.
Have a great spring and summer.

How High’ the Water, Momma? DON GREENE WV RADICAL

        Whooey, Clayberry! I thought about addressing the recent spurt of physical attacks and threats but decided to see what the next Communicator contained before trying. So instead, let's talk about the status of our horrifying national deficit.
        It's almost impossible for common folks like us to even imagine the figure of $43 trillion. That would be 12 zeros following the 43 and it is just so far beyond the grasp of regular thinking as to boggle the mind. A comparable figure is the estimated net worth of all American families combined, which is $47 trillion. Scary, isn't it? Our national debt is about 90% of what all of us have put together. A recent estimate from the government said that it will take 75 years of double digit growth to pay it all off, which is impossible when you consider that even in the boom of the 1990's the growth rate was only 3.2%!
        To make things even gloomier, that $43 trillion doesn't even include many costs that the President is trying to add to it. It leaves out a trillion for his tax cuts for the rich and over $4 trillion for ruining Social Security and billions on his military operations.
        On the side of things that we can understand are the programs that improve the quality of life for millions of Americans that are being cut back. Education programs will lose 12% of their funding. Medicaid, which provides health care for the poor and disabled will drop 14% of its funds; Clean Air & Water, that has done so much to improve the quality of our air and water, will be cut 20%. The Head Start program, providing pre-schooling for the low-income, will lose $3.3 billion, cutting nearly 120,000 poor kids from its rolls. The WIC program, which provides nutrition for poor women and infants, will lose nearly three-quarters of a billion low-income mothers and kids.
        On an absolutely goofy note, the single biggest pork-barrel of this so-called budget is highway spending which will more than double, adding nearly $300 billion to its current $218 billion. Along the same line is the Farm-subsidy program which is aimed in reality at helping the giant corporate agri-businesses, which will go literally untouched, while real family farms are going broke left and right.
        Can it get worse? You betchum, Red Rider! The costs of this mess continue long after Bush has left office. The drug prescription program alone will be increasing nearly $100 billion a year from now on. Figure in the upward spiraling costs of Social Security and Medicare as the baby boomers begin retiring and it becomes obvious that we are facing national bankruptcy.
        Like the White Rabbit said, "What to do, what to do?" Somehow we must know the real costs of all spending and tax bills, long before they become part of the budget, like before they are voted on. The best idea would be to return to the "pay as you go" concept where any new spending or tax cuts are paid for by a corresponding tax increase or spending cut. We'll probably never see that though since it is so much fun to throw all that money around. Of course we could revise the tax code, then enforce it, collecting the hundreds of billions in dollars lost in back taxes, through tax evasion or hidden in twisted tax shelters. We could stop the run-away cost of health care but that would be almost like stopping a run-away train with a broom. But, hey, what do I know, I'm just an old Radical from the Hills.

A Letter to Brother Bill By Evelyne McLaughlin
Dear Bro. Bill: As you already know, Don passed away the 28th of April. He had been ill for some time and just drifted off to sleep. Brother Dennis Legg had been with Don in January, when he accepted the Lord into his life. Bro. Dennis did a wonderful job in preaching the funeral. Sorry you could not make it in, but I realize you aren't feeling well either. Ronald "Ramp" Samples also passed away. Ronald was the grandson of the late Squire Samples, a brother to our grandfather, Abner Jehu Samples. Also, a Mrs. Salisbury and Don Belt passed away. Death is something that is a given to all of us. There is no way we can escape it, unless we are standing when the Lord returns. Then we shall be changed. It seems the only time we see folks anymore is either at a wedding or a funeral. But, until you have been there, no one knows how much friends mean to you at that time. The phone calls, cards, flowers, visits, prayers, hugs and handshakes have meant so much to me. True friends are hard to find and I thank each of you for remembering me and the family at this time. Glenn, Helen and Jennifer King, Bobby and Misty Simmons were so thoughtful during this time. We appreciate them very much.
Melissa and I visited with Joe and Nell Foreman, of Kanawha City, last week. They are both quite frail and need our prayers. David Blankenship, of Harpers Ferry is recuperating from a broken arm. Mary Vaughn is home from the hospital. Marge Thomas, of Lakeview, Arkansas, is visiting with her son, Ben Thomas, of Kansas City, this week. She will also visit with James and Chris Smith, of Missouri, on her way home. Tanya Schoonover Morris, of Pinch, was visiting with her son and his family in North Carolina recently. Mike Schoonover, of Clay, was visiting with his daughter and family recently.
Congratulations to the newly weds, Ronnie and Vickie Eagle Dobbins, of Twistabout. Happy belated birthday wishes to Blaine Blankenship and Jessie McCoy, of Leon, WV. My friends, Richard and Carol Rockefeller Peterson, of Fernandina Beach, Florida, came by Sunday to visit with me. Carol and I have been friends since I taught in Georgia, many years ago. Hello to Mr. and Mrs. Omar Goad, Mary K. King, Prince Charming, the king, Rheenetta Bennett, Diana Moles and Karen Bird. Visiting Don and Shonette Shearer, of Phoenix, Arizona, this week are their children, Mike and his friend, of Virginia, and Mary Ann, of Florida. Their daughter, Sherry, lives in Phoenix also. Don and Shonette are planning a trip to West Virginia during the latter part of this month. JoAnn Legg Reed, of Ohio, e-mails me that Cline, her brother, is hoping to be able to attend the 1955 Class Reunion in July. Charlotte King Norman, of Spencer, also called and she plans to attend. July 2, 2005, isn't that far away. It will be so good to see our friends from "way back then."
A little joke: Maintenance - The power mower was broken and wouldn't run, and the wife kept hinting to her husband that he should get it fixed. But, somehow the message never sank in. Finally, she thought of a clever way to make her point. When her husband arrived home one day, he found her seated in the tall grass, busily snipping away with a tiny pair of sewing scissors. He watched silently for a short time and then went into the house. He was gone only a few moments. When he came out again, he handed her a toothbrush. "When you finish cutting the grass," he said, "You might as well sweep the sidewalks." The doctors say he will probably walk again, but he will always limp. (copied)
In closing, Bro. Bill, I shall write a few verses I feel appropriate at this time. "Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away." (James 4:14) "The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength, labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we shall fly away." Ps. 90:6). May God be with you and the readers of this letter. Until then, Help Us All To Be Brave. Love, Sis

PSD CHAIR WELCHER!
MP REMAINS ON BOARD
Even under Court order, one appointed official refuses to pay debts owed a public agency. Yelp, it’ the continuing saga of: Melissa Postelwait, Ace Public Servant! First some background.
During the April 14th Clay Roane PSD meeting, Chairperson Postelwait went into a cussing rage followed with slapping the snot out of fellow Boardster Susan Beard just after the meeting ended. Charged with Battery, Postelwait was provided freedom via a $500 bond. Right after the SlapFest the CCC convened a Special Monday morning meeting and asked the Public SlapFest District (PSD) Queen to resign. Getting a “ot a Chance”reply, the Clay County Commission suspended her without pay and removed her check signing powers. Boardsters Gary Whaling, Glen Sutton, and Dave Saulsgiver resigned from duty.
         April 20th brought an Emergency CCC meeting where they appointed John Dobbins, Dave Grigsby and later Rose Cantrell after a Teresa Davis refused the appointment. During this gathering, Postelwait moved toward Commissioner Sams and told him another battery charge wouldn’ affect her one bit. After being called a “oonie” Sheriff Holcomb removed the irate Melissa and supporters from the meeting room.
         Trying to get a handle on the spiraling out of control PSD, the newbees convened an Emergency Meeting of their own April 21st where TV-3 cameras filmed the entire event. Postelwait was on her best behavior as the Board grilled her on the issue of pay advances. Postelwait admitted to taking pay advances while bills went unpaid but insisted, she had Board approval. NOTE: Meeting minutes do not reflect any such vote. Attorney Tom Whittier told the body , all their problems would be over as soon as a rate increase gets approved.
         Somewhere in the middle of this, the struggling Chair announced the Gov was going to reward the PSD with grant $ for the Punkin Ridge water line extension project. On a Friday. As that date came closer, the Chair was uninvited to the ceremony as other PSDs received $1000s in needed grant dollars. Clay went without a penny. Locals speculated the Gov didn’ want someone charged with battery of a government official near.
                 On April 27th, our Commissioners took the matter to Court and sought emergency intervention from Judge Ric Facemire. The Court complied with part of their requests. Although he refused to remove her from office, in the temporary injunction, he did order: Postelwait could not be on PSD property except for meetings, had to return all PSD property to the PSD, return all money owed the PSD, and refrain from intimidating PSD employees and Board members. Facemire also raised concerns over getting paid for work not done as he ordered no more cash advances to any Boardsters.
                         With new people in place, and under the watchful eye of no less than three Badges, Clay Roane held their own Emergency meeting Saturday May 7th. During this meeting Dave Grigsby was appointed Chair person and the PSD regrouped. All questioning pointed a finger at the dethroned Chair. Her responses were all the same, “his meeting is illegal and I abstain” During the meeting, The Board motioned and passed a request for Postelwait to resign. MP, “I abstain.”Cantrell was elected Treasurer. I abstain.
         During the meeting it came to light, Postelwait had been charging her entire long distance phone bill to the PSD. More cash advances were discovered. Postel said the unresolved advances were just calculation errors and she would pay back the full amount (around $300) at the regular meeting of the PSD in May 2005. Questions came up on a 2002, $50,000 loan. According to Postlewait, all bank records on how the $50,000 was spent, were missing and had been since she was appointed to office. The Board said they would investigate.
         Somewhere during this summit, Chair Grigsby announced he had fired Davey Deems with board approval. Also during the May 7th meeting, the new Board assured the public, they would not accept a 27% WV PSC approved rate hike. The Board then voted to expedite the rate increase!
                 With Melissa Postelwait refusing to step down, radio news talk shows made fun of Clayberry and laughed at the mess. TV-3 returned again and again for coverage.
                 May 12th SHE WELCHED!! Clay Roane PSD met in regular session on the 12th with a packed peanut gallery minus the TV crews. Assuring a safe meeting, Sheriff Holcomb stayed around. The meeting lasted well into the night. Even after being ordered to do so and even after promising to pay back the cash advances during an earlier meeting, one time Chair , Melissa Postelwait, REFUSED to pay her debt. She welched!
                 Other particulars from the 12th include: the PSD can’ pay its bills, without a maintenance person, the PSD will estimate monthly bills in May, and additional attempts will be made seeking Gov Joe’ support for a $50,000 grant to get the Punkin Ridge project off the back burner.
                 Postelwait’ day in Court for the Battery charge is slated for May 24th at 10:15 am before Magistrate Jeff Boggs.
                 Don’ get us started on MP getting paid to attend a Queen Shoals PSD meeting, or the actual number of cash advances, or who actually made out and signed many of the cash advance checks, or how the Office Manager’ signature was affixed while she was away on maternity leave, or………..
         One final comment, for her dedicated service and promoting public confidence at the PSD, Ms Postelwait will be paid another $75 for the May 12th meeting.                                AW
         
         
         BOB CLARKE Curmudgeon’ Corner
          There is no United Nations. There is an international community that occasionally can be led by the only real power left in the world – that’ the United States – when it suits our interests and when we can get others to go along.
         
          This excerpt is from a 1994 speech by John Bolton, an intemperate blusterer, with a history of shouting down or attempting to fire anyone in government who has the gall to disagree with him, depending, of course, on whether or not the victims of his abuse are subordinates. Of his vicious temper, former Assistant Secretary of State Carl Ford, a thirty year government employee and a conservative Republican said in the Congressional hearings that Bolton is a “iss-up, kick-down sort of guy,”and that he “buses his authority with little people.” It therefore follows, in the interest of fairness, that Bolton is the perfect choice for Ambassador to the United Nations. “hy?”you ask – from top to bottom the neocons have preached the doctrine of exceptionalism: this republic, because of its moral supremacy, not to mention its superior grasp of realpolitik, has been chosen to rule the world. This sense of what used to be called “anifest destiny,”impels us to spend much of our time mucking around the international affairs of other sovereign governments; a charming habit that has made us loved wherever we go.
          Bolton will probably be confirmed because the absence of corruption in the United States government enables him to occupy the higher ground when he rides roughshod over the poor, inept U.N. Vying for his minutes of fame, Bolton recently raised the alarm over Fidel Castro’ WMDs. Haven’ we heard this song before? Admittedly, this sort of claptrap will endear Bolton to the handful of Latinos in Miami who run the United States’Cuban Policy. Poor Fidel! Doesn’ he realize what this country has done for him? Where else in the world could a tin-pot dictator be raised to the villainous level of Ivan the Terrible, Genghis Khan, Attila the Hun, Stalin and Tom DeLay? Well: we did it with Saddam, did we not?
          It is a well-established fact that the decline of western culture began with the inflation of the inflated ball. A close second activity to that decline began when the networks began televising live sessions of Congress. Compared with the brilliant verbal tap dancing of Bush lap dog Tony Blair, the performances on the floors of the Senate and the House threaten to set the English language back at least two centuries. Consider the painful and redundant construction: “oint in time,”a favorite among the verbally-challenged solons. What’ the alternative? “oint in space?’ John Dean seems to have coined the pretentious construction, and everyone in public life seems to have been infected by it. As you suppress a yawn, here are two that demand public flogging. They are even worse than bad grammar.
         
         I would think… or I would hope…
         
         The following observation will really test your level of boredom. “ould”is a conditional verb: it is a statement of something that is intended, that has not come to pass, hence, when some important person, vainly attempting to sound grand, employs the clause, scream at the TV screen: “o ahead and think/hope.”
          On the same dreamy subject, the communication skills of teenagers and, to a large degree, people 30 and under echo the state of American English. Corey Clark, remarking on the much-reported alleged story of his romance with “merican Idol”judge Paula Abdul, clarified the issue in the following stately prose.
         
          …so she was like, “ou got to have better song choices and I want to help you do that. I want to look after you like I’ your mom.” And then she was like, “ell, more like your sister.” And I was like, ‘K, cool cool’… And then she was like, “ell, more like your special friend.”
         
         Boggles the mind…it is almost tempting to believe that the infinite variety of grunts we might have heard in prehistoric caves would be preferable to this mindless pap. Thou hast conquered, valley girls!
          While the American foreign policy continues its imbecile blunders under the aegis of Donald [I love my toys] Rumsfeld, a man who maintains that machines are more important than bodies in the perilous occupation of Iraq, body counts continue, while the Secretary passes off the slaughter of American youth with a cavalier “tuff happens,”the White House control of the media continues apace. It is therefore time for a lighter note. Here is a poem by e.e. cummings [he avoided capital letters whenever possible] that says all that needs to be said about spring.
         
         Chanson Innocent
         
         in just –
         spring when the world is mud –
         luscious the little
         lame balloonman
         
         whistles far and wee
         
         and eddieandbill come
         running from marbles and
         piracies and it’
         spring
         
         when the world is puddle-wonderful
         
         the queer
         old balloonman whistles
         far and wee
         and bellyandisbel come dancing
         
         from hop-scotch and jump-rope and
         
         it’
         spring
         and
                 the
                         goat-footed
         balloonman whistles
         far
         and
         wee
         
         Who needs to say more than it’ “ust spring?”
         
         POTPOURRI
         
          You must become the change you wish to see in the world. – Gandhi
         
          He [Bush] and his party seemed to have subcontracted governance to certain fervid religious supporters. – George Will
         
          No sane leader of any nation in the world can trust America anymore. We have demonstrated that if we desire to attack a nation, we will fabricated attack it, despite international law and international opinion. – Charley Reese
         
          Advertising is part of the corporatized atmosphere that sucks the oxygen out of the newsrooms. – Norman Solomon
         
          In 1788, William Deacon Brodie had been found guilty of attempting to steal a fortune from the city of Edinburgh. He was sentenced to be hanged on the very gallows that he himself had designed.
         
          It is wrong to say that the Holy Spirit elects the Pope, because there have been Popes the Holy Spirit would never elect. – Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger [Benedict XVI]
         
          When asked what he thought of western civilization, Gandhi replied: “ think it would be a good idea.”
         
                 Write if you get work…
                         Cur
         
         SHORT SHORTS
         BDA: Our Business Development Authority met in regular session May 5th. Not sure what changed but something sure did. Maybe they took their Happy pills but something was different. During the meeting, Chair Williams kept his cool, held open discussions, answered questions without the bitterness evident over the last three months; and even discussed plans to tear down the old Filcon building in the industrial site near Ovapa .
                 Filcon talk centered around either tear down the half started building, tear it down and rebuild further away from the creek, or just sell the shell materials and be done with it. Williams revealed that there is an injunction against the site which mandates the building be moved from under high power lines. Did you know about the injunction? Few others did either. The bids for the removal and/or rebuild are now being sought.
                 Team Williams is considering building back a smaller building further out of the flood plain and away from the creek. From the peanut gallery, pesky Tommy Fitzwater asked stuff like: How do you know what size to build? Why have a big building if you don’ know what a tenant may need? You all are set in what you’e doing and not open for other suggestions. Why buy a horse if you’e going to operate a dairy?
                 Now normally, such questions would have ignited Leonerd Williams. During this meeting it didn’. Williams didn’ even go wild when Jan Derby asked: Why keep the place? Why not sell it? It floods. As a note, maybe the anxiety management pills are working.
                 Continued on next page
         After School Board member Dave Pierson formally resigns, the BDA will have 12 members. The group settled on the 12 member limit during by-law changes a few years back. In attendance County Commission Peter Triplett was told, there was no room on the BDA for him. State Code allows for 15 members.
         
         May 3 2005 METH LAB BUST County Badges were executing a military warrant for the arrest of AWOL Izzy Stephenson. At the Nathan Stephenson residence in Pisgah, Sheriff Holcomb and crew spotted an active meth lab in one room and another lab ready to go into operation. With four males running away, Badges arrested Anita Blankenship and Faith Triplett.
                 Thursday evening, May 12th, fire crews responded to a Nathan Stephenson trailer on fire.
          CLAY COUNTY PSD Hey! Ted Underwood is still on the Board. The PSD met for 17 minutes May 10th in their main street digs. With an ending balance of $351.50 for April 2005, it came to light that not all their bills were paid for the previous month.
                 In an attempt to keep a good man on board, future Clay County PSD meetings will be held at noon instead of 10 am to accommodate Ted’ work schedule.
                 During the field report, Sam Taylor told a story of two stolen water meters with one ending up where it wasn’ suppose to be. Stolen from Hartland Superette, the brass meter ended up at a private residence, hooked up, and with water running. The customer’ wa wa had been previously disconnected. After taking the meter from the premises, a few days later, Taylor returned to find a piece of plastic pipe spanning the gap and once again the customer was getting free water. Mr Taylor said the Sheriff’ office had issued a warrant for the water thief.
                 Some places they steal gold, money, BMWs. Here, people steal water!
         
         CLAY HISTORICAL SOCIETY Last week Jerry Stover’ group met at the Library to discuss summer plans. During the meeting, the group agreed to open the old Courthouse each Saturday morning between 9 am and 1pm. As part of the Get Away to Clay summer time tourism promo, the Historical Society will have someone on hand at the old Courthouse for tours and family tree research.
         
         POWER OF THE PRESS While some dimlits say, no one reads that Communicator, and, no one reads that Clayberry web site, the Court think differently. We understand, during a juvenile hearing, Thursday, May 12th, a trial was moved to Braxton County because of too much media coverage. Also, the words “urder Mountain”will not be allowed to be heard during the court proceedings.
                 Gosh, just think what would happen if we grew to weekly coverage of Clayberry. No one could go to trial here!
         
         
         
         2 Million Reasons to Stop a RR
         Co-Op rolls up its sleeves
         Here’ the latest on the newly formed railroad co-op ready to fire up railcars and ply the BC&G tracks between Dundon and Taylor Station near Widen. With right at 50 dues paying members, the group gathered during the CAEZ meeting May 3rd to hear a presentation by Frank Jorgenson from Bright Industries of Summersville. Bright Ind. owns the spur line up to Widen once the mainline for the Buffalo Creek and Gauley Railroad.
                 Jorgenson was not optimistic with his remarks. He spoke on the high cost of liability insurance, rail maintenance costs going thru the ceiling, federal regulations out the whazooo, and how many tourist trains had bit the dust in the last few years. “The minute you think of operating, you better look at the costs….[There are] Many storms in the path of this..”In attendance Delegate John Pino asked how Cass Scenic RR makes it and how the Legislature could help? He gave an example of how others had done the nearly impossible.
                 Those clad in RR hats and bibs listened. There was no mumbling. The hard core news would have taken the wind out of many sails but not this group. As they listened they heard the Bright VP give estimates on operating high dollar freight and Amtrak rail lines. With their plan calling for low cost, cheap to maintain, and even cheaper to maintain ties and rails, there was still hope for their plans to grow the county with tourist dollars. As the presentation ended, CAEZ Director Jerry Sizemore headed over to Jorgenson and asked: How much would $2 million buy? Jorgenson laughed. Sizemore came back with, We’e talking business here. How many miles of track would $2 million buy. Frank quieted and then: I’l find out.
                 The Co-Op met May 7th in the metropolis of Swandale. Over home made biscuits and coffee, they organized, made by-law plans, plans for the group’ name and Bd elections. Roger Nutter was elected President. A work party was planned for June.        
         As for the offer to purchase the needed rails, Sizemore and Connie Lupardus met with Bright Industries reps Tuesday, May 10th. According to Connie Lupardus in a written release: they made us an offer. $ 2 million with a buy back option for trackage use plus they would upgrade the tracks for their use if they were tothe rail and we can keep the Buffalo Creek and Gauley Railroad name.
                 Through out the Swandale community and beyond, smiles were seen as the news spread. After listening to Mr Jorgenson, the group knew, it they were to succeed, they needed to own the line to secure less costly liability insurance.
                 2 million dollars? From where……
                 Sometime back, maybe three months ago, word hit the street that the Co-Op had an anonymous donor ready to pony up $2 million. When Jerry Sizemore asked Jorgenson what $2 mil would buy, it sort of firmed up the rumor. Rumors… pesky rumors!!!!!!! We asked Lupardus about some secret donor. Her reply: Working on funding now....WE DO NOT HAVE an anonymous....I do not know where that came from....would be nice thoughand it would be tax deductible!!!
                 
Money is always a problem in Clayberry but based on the motivation shown so far and the worth to the county of bringing in thousands of tourist dollars, keep your fingers crossed. During that May 7th work party/meeting, Joe Nutter was asked: What happens if this plan falls apart? His response, “e’l come up with plan B.”
                 Sort of reminds me of that engine, I think I can, I think I can. AW
         
         MAGISTRATE REPORT
         Felony
         05/04/05: Belt – Faith Ann Triplett, operating clandestine lab, arrested; Belt – Anita Sue Blankenship, operating clandestine lab, arrested; Elswick – Joseph Daniel Mosley, fugitive from justice, arrested, forwarded to Circuit Court.
         05/05/05: Bailey – James N. Mullins, burglary (12/08/04), preliminary hearing waived, sent to Circuit Court; Wiles – Chadwick W. Muck, robbery (04/24/05), breaking and entering X 2(04/20/05 and 04/24/05) preliminary hearing continued by Def. And State to ?? ; Holcomb – Isaiah A. Stephenson, operating a clandestine lab, warrant issued; Holcomb – Nathan W. Stephenson, operating a clandestine lab, warrant issued.
         05/06/05: Holcomb – Ashley Nicole Graham, breaking and entering X 3 (04/20/05), ROB; preliminary hearing 05/24.
         05/10/05: Wickline – Ashley Graham, receiving and transferring stolen goods X 2, warrants issued; Bailey – Chadwick Muck, breaking and entering X 3, warrants issued.
         Misdemeanor
         04/28/05: Epling – Mark E. Cain, overweight- 20,100 lbs., appeared, ROB.
         04/30/05: Sizemore – James A. Neff II, possession of controlled substance X 2, arrested, ROB.
         05/02/05: Larry Legg – Kelly Chambers, failure to cause child to attend school, summons.
         05/03/05: Larry Legg – Sherrie Carte, fail to cause child to attend school, summons.
         05/05/05: Elswick – Michael N. Jarvis, battery, summons; Bailey – Ashley N. Graham, accessory after the fact, warrant issued, arrested, ROB; Bailey – Angel Cummings, petit larceny, warrant issued.
         05/08/05: Dale Legg – Danny Hinkle, passing stopped school bus; Bailey – Linda Ann Sherrick, DUIA causing injury, arrested, ROB; Wiles – Stephen Francis Hoey, driving suspended/revoked non-DUI 2nd offense, providing false information, no POI and failure to keep right.
         05/09/05: Main Street IGA – Terry L. Keenan, worthless check complaint, defendant came in and paid check and notice fee before warrant was typed, case dismissed; Belt – James Wayne Legg Jr., possession controlled substance less than 15 grams, appeared, ROB; Jason Conley – Robert Cummings, peace bond, summons; Holcomb – Larry D. Cobb, possession of marijuana less than 15 grams, appeared, ROB.
         05/10/05: Larry Legg – Tina Boor, failure to send child to school, summons.
         05/11/05: Slack – James Neff, sell meat without license, sell meat without inspection and sell meat without second inspection, summons; Clay Supermarket – Anna M. Hall, worthless check complaint, warrant.
         Civil
         05/05/05: Dawson’ Service Center – Wanda Brown and Paul Brown, money due, subpoenas.
         05/09/05: Betty Ann Husk – Phillip Bartsch, wrongful occupation, case dismissed by plaintiff, she no longer wishes to pursue; Julia Holmes – Paul J. Gross, money due.
         Worthless Checks Notices issued
         05/05/05: Billy Boggs – Kellie Greenleaf.
         05/09/05: Guardian Glass – Monty L. Donelson.
         Citation Register
         04/22/05: State Police – Shawn M. Duncan, registration violation and operator’.
         04/28/05: State Police – Justin C. Hamrick, no POI; Sheriff’ Dept. – Larry Dale Taylor, public intoxication.
         04/29/05: Sheriff’ Dept. – James Wayne Legg Jr., possession controlled substance less 15 grams; Kristy L. Neal, failure to maintain control; Jason Allen Hanshaw, seat belt violation.
         04/30/05: Sheriff’ Dept. – Larry Dale Cobb, possession marijuana less 15 grams and defective equipment.
         05/01/05: Sheriff’ Dept. – Cheryl D. Buvella, speeding; Jackie L. Leonard, speeding; Brandy Joan Tanner, no POI; State Police – Hazel L. Stewart, disregard to traffic control, registration violation and operator’.
         05/02/05: State Police – Connie F. Hypes, left of center.
         05/05/05: State Police – Joseph D. Marling, no POI; Linda A. Sherrick, DUI causing injury.
         05/06/05: State Police – Larry D. Cobb, speeding and underage consumption of beer; Carl R. Moore, underage consumption.
         05/07/05: State Police – Steven Francis Hoey, failure to keep right, driving suspended/revoked non-DUI 2nd offense and no POI; Valerie Taylor, MVI.
         05/08/05: State Police – Debbie Hutchinson, operator’; Charles O. McCumbers, speeding and no POI; Sheriff’ Dept. – Robert J. Morris, no POI.
         
         Comments on My Democratic Party By Dave Derby
          At the start of the 21st Century, the Democratic Party can look back on a proud history of not just a political organization but of a national vision. It is a vision based on the strength and power of millions of economically empowered, socially diverse and proactive Americans. Over two hundred years ago, our Party's founders decided that the social statusnot entitled to rule. They believed that wisdom and compassion could be found within every individual and a stable government must be built upon a popular base. The late Ron Brown put it best when he wrote: “he common thread of Democratic history, from Thomas Jefferson to Bill Clinton has been an abiding faith in the judgment of hardworking American families, and a cooperation effort to help the excluded, the disenfranchised and the poor strengthen our nation by obtaining for themselves a piece of the American Dream. We remember that this great land was settled by immigrants and slaves, their children and grandchildren."
          These ideals have somewhat faded into the past. During my life time I have seen: Hardworking families being denied medical care and drugs in order to live; employees fired from companies because they had fought for workers rights so they could make enough to feed their families; many individuals having to work two jobs (husbands and wives) in order to make ends meet because of no help from the government to increase the minimum wage. The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer; outsourcing hasa normal eventour localloose their jobs that executives of large businesses can get "golden parachute" deals; unwise environment decisions made that will take decades to correct; our Christian faith is being used by the Republican politicians as a tool of deception. We should have a government based upon the belief of separation of church and state.
          You ask me what does this have to do with me in Clay County? I'm just a little fish in the big pond of the world. You, as a citizen, need to become more alert to what is happening in our country. You need to state your opinions and suggestions to our politicians. The wheel that makes the most noise always gets the grease. So make some noise! Write to the president, U.S. senators, representatives, etc. Our country needs to go back to the old ideals on which the Democratic Party was established. Our future and the future of the whole world will depend upon you!
         
         BUSINESS FRIENDLY DOWNTOWN
         Smokers Rights Restored in Town
         Who says you can’ change City Hall? It just happened in the county’ only municipality. After the 5 member Clay County Board of Health voted in a controversial smoking ban February 14th on a 3 to 2 vote, town business owners asked Mayor Arthur Jarrett to come up with an ordinance for those doing business in the town. He did just that.
         During the regular meeting of council, May 2, Jarrett presented an ordinance which basically said it’ up to the business owner to decide whether the establishment would be smoker friendly or smoke free. The May 2nd vote was approved 3 to 2. Frank Childers, Phil Morris and Billie Zegeer vote ‘Aye’ with Betty Murphy a strong ‘Nay’ and Jerry Stover abstaining. Council person Morris said he would vote for the ordinance if, and only if, smoker friendly business owners were required to put a professional looking red sign in the front window or door alerting patrons of smoking allowed inside this building.
         With the new county ordinance ready to go into force May 18, Mayor Jarrett called a special Town Council meeting May 10th at 4pm. With Recorder Dwana Murphy and councilpersons Frank Childers, Billie Zegeer, Phil Morris, Jerry Stover and Betty Murphy present, the discussion opened. Betty Murphy made reference to a WV Attorney General’ opinion which said county ordinances take precedence over local laws. Mayor Jarrett reminded all that an attorney general opinion is no different than anyone else’ opinion and does not have the effect of law behind it.
         New-to-council Jerry Stover offered that he had been investigating the issue; he didn’ vote the last time and his lack of voting came out as a no vote; he should have a right to go into any business that he wants to; with his medical conditions, smoke filled rooms are a problem for him; he was concerned about employees in smoker friendly establishments; secondary smoke causes cancer; an attorney general’ opinion stands up in court; and, businesses allowing smoking, “akes my freedoms.”
         Responding to Stover and her support for the new ordinance, Ms Zegeer, “s there a more fair way?”Lobbying against the Jarrett initiative, Betty Murphy, “f they would just be more respectful to nonsmokers!”Non-voting Recorder Dwana Murphy raised issue with those that use spit tobacco, “hat about the people that chew??… They leave cups setting around everywhere.”
         Trying to soothe Big and Little Murph, and steering away from the non-issue of chewers, Mayor Jarrett, “here will be no smoking in here [Town Hall]...in this office!”
         And then the vote. With Childers, Morris, and Zegeer voting aye and nays from Stover and Big Murph, the new ordinance passed and goes into affect immediately.
         Almost as soon as the meeting ended, TV-3 News crews were in town providing a news segment for their viewers. For once they didn’ pick up the dirtiest, toothless people in the county to put on air.
         It is now up to each municipal business owner to decide whether smoking would be allowed in their establishment or not. With news of the vote, business owners outside of municipal limits are crying FOUL! With Smoking Czar Jay Carper ready to fine them if they allow smoking or even allow ash trays inside the building, outside the town diners feel their clientele may migrate to the smoker friendly area , downtown Clay.
         One last note from thee May 10th council meeting. Before and after the meeting, Council was investigating $5740 in past due water bills. It sounded like they were ready to head to Magistrate Court for the non-payers.        
                                                 AW
         
         EMS/AMBULANCE WOES County Commission Meets
                 For those of us that listen to 911 scanner traffic, we know the many issues surrounding our local ambulance service. We’e heard the missed calls, misdirected runs, lack of crews available for duty and problems getting Health Net landed and back out without delay. We’e also heard good efforts by employees under jagged conditions.
          Its been a long time since the many ambulance problems, communications issues, and woes of operating emergency response operations in Clay were discussed in public. With 15 or so in the peanut gallery, the Clay County Commission met May 11th and the tip of iceberg was exposed.
                 On the 11th, newly appointed $750 per month 911 Director Pat Beets addressed the Clay County Commission on a couple of topics. Beets asked the folks up front for $600 to purchase a laptop computer . The $ would come from the $200,000 to the good, $2 per month voluntarily paid 911 fund. The ‘uter would be used to program 911 radios. After discussion on the need for a warranty, $750.00 was Oked for the purchase.
                 Beets also wants to look at building another 911 tower and repeater service for the Northern end of the county to better serve emergency needs on I-79. Commissioner Sams, “It’ important to get communications better.”No decision on pursuing a tower site as the conversation turned to identifying landing zones (LZ) for helicopter use. Commissioner King asked that existing sites be identified with map coordinates and new sites be located. Beets agreed that more sites need to built.
                 Earlier in the week a Health Net helicopter ended up landing at Birch River in Nicholas County instead of an LZ closer to the Harrision accident site.
                 With the exception of the much too often “We don’ have an ambulance crew available at this time”scanner traffic, our ambulance service has been operating under the radar for a number of months. Long gone are the days of public meetings of the now defunct Ambulance Authority where twice a month revelations kept the public fully informed of the shortcomings in Clayberry.
                 Patty Mollohan spoke for the ambulance Service on the 11th. 12 runs were lost to other services in April 2005. Each lost run is lost revenue for the county’ only emergency service provider. Mollohan said the absent from the meeting Ambulance Director Bev King wants to institute a voluntary call out list where employees would be paid $2 per hour to sit beside the phone and wait for a call out. Once called out, they would go on regular pay scale unless overtime wages applied ( after a 40 hour work week).
                 Last month the Sheriff’ office set up a similar policy.
                 Mollohan said the service tried the call out plan last week and during one night, 3 calls were handled. Those three runs garnered the service $3500. Mollohan said the call out pay would be an incentive to the employees. Commissioners Triplett and King questioned the worth of the added expense and noted an evening last week where 6 calls came in and only one response was provided. Questions came up on Medicaid paying small set amounts. Mollohan countered that car wrecks pay 100% of the billed amount.
                 Commissioner King brought the CCC around with an OK to try out the call out pay plan thru June with regular reports back to the Commission. Under the new plan, ambulance employees will be paid from the time they leave their homes. Commissioner Sams noted the service was doing better financially and “hey need to keep the cushion”
                 Next on the Mollohan list was purchasing cell phones for the agency. She said there was a need to keep prying ears (us scanner listeners) from hearing who what when and where stuff. She tried the confidentiality needs angle but was stopped in her tracks by Commish Prez Triplett. He challenged why “ed base”would ask any questions that violated confidentiality rules and reminded EMT Mollohan that med base wants all traffic kept on the airwaves.
         
         Continued on the next page
                 Discussion turned to scanner listeners hearing too much and, is listening to scanner traffic illegal. Sheriff Holcomb said listening was illegal. One little short guy informed the gathering that American citizens have every right to monitor any and all frequencies. Someone asked how scanner frequencies are made public? One fat guy said Radio Shack hands out the lists to anybody interested.
                 As for the ambulance service getting a gasoline credit card, that’l have to wait until the next meeting.
                 Did you know one of the ambulances bashed into a gate causing $700 in damages? Neither did the County Commission or other employees of the agency. Triplett was a little steamy over no incident report being filed for the accident more than 6 weeks ago, “ev forgot to tell us about that.”Ditto for Fran King. Tom Dawson has already repaired the damage. Here’ the kicker, with a $2500 deductible, the $700 repair bill has to be dealt with locally.
                 There was also another incident in Feb where a car bumper was ripped off a parked car by an ambulance.
                 After hearing all this, Commissioner Sams, “Put Bev [King] on the agenda for next time.”
                 Here’ a cutey. The Circuit Clerk’ office employees purchase big containers of bottled drinking water. The Prosecutor’ office has been coming over and partaking. When sent a bill, the Prosecutor forwarded it to the CCC for payment. Triplett, “ope.. we don’ do that. There’ a water fountain up there!”
                 County Commission serves as a pass thru agency for Legislative Budget Digest grants. During this meeting, the CCC Oked 2004 grants for the Sheriff Dept $5000, Big Otter Fire Dept $5000; the Health Dept for $10,000 and Clay County Communications ( WYAP-LP Radio Station) $5000. With the motion on the table for the vote, Paige Willis said he was against taxpayer dollars going to promote religion. Sams, “What religion are they promoting?”Willis, “hristianity” Sams, “I have no problem with that.”Willis continued with mention of roughing up the Ten Commandments and being against any taxpayer dollars to promote anything religious. Triplett explained that the WYAP Budget Digest Grant is to be used to purchase a trailer for fair, festival and other remote broadcasts.
                 Are you still reading? Here’ another interesting part readers. While discussing the new Health Dept Smoking ban, Commissioner Sams, “e’e not going to enforce it.” OK all you smokers and hackers, Sheriff Holcomb also provided an opinion on arresting people smoking in the privacy of their business establishment, “hen it goes to the Supreme Court, we’l enforce it and not until then.”
                 And talk about juicy!!! We’e got a couple attorneys, one in particular, using the Courthouse for long distance phone calls and making 1000s of copies. Fran, “ne attorney made over 1000 copies up stairs.”Sams, “mployees have to wait to do official copies.”Fran, “his was private copying, I’e seen 40 page FAXs [sent out too]…. One was at Mike’ [Asbury] desk on the phone for over an hour. Decision made to send out nasty grams to the offending lawyers.
                 The CCC is getting tough with Fola Coal. Each coal operator is required to pay $3 per month per employee fee for ambulance service or provide their own ambulance fleet. Fola Coal hasn’ paid any fees in years ( since 2002). Fran said Fola used the Clay Ambulance Service 13 times in 2004. Currently Fola Coal employees around 400.
                 We have a new Fola deal! Motion made and passed to force Fola Coal to pay $1000 per month for ambulance service and back up the fee to July 2004. How tough can the CCC get? If Fola doesn’ pay the $, Federal over site regulators will be notified of the breach in mandated emergency service arrangements.
                 County Commission is ready to purchase a $50,000 ambulance. $17,500 in grant dollars is available for the purchase. With three bids in hand for Ford powered products, CCC voted to go after a new unit.
                 As the meeting ended, someone mentioned the BDA and no room on the committee for Commissioner Peter Triplett. With 12 already on the group, the Commission rep is out.        AW
         
         Christian Service Center News
          Greetings everyone, from the Christian Service Center. We hope that all you mothers had a wonderful Mother’ Day. Lizemore Methodist Church had a catered Mother’ Day Dinner on Saturday evening that was truly a success. Nearly 100 people attended, and it was wonderful to see so many come.
          Jomayne Holcomb graduated from West Virginia Tech with a Master’ Degree, and her family held a surprise dinner for her at her mother’, Charlotte Taylor, home. Congratulations, Jomayne!
          The ramp dinner at Freda’ Restaurant was very successful in spite of the bad weather. There was a good turn out and we are looking forward to doing it again next year. Thanks to all who helped and attended.
          We are all saddened by the recent loss of two members of our community. Terry Phillips left us quite suddenly in an auto accident. He will be truly missed. His family and friends are in our thoughts and prayers. And Cheryl Neal, good neighbor and friend to all who knew her, a loving wife, mother and grandmother whom we will greatly miss. Her family also are in our prayers.
          We’e praying, too, for Jerry Fugate who is still recovering from surgery. Spring is in full swing and we know he wants to get out and enjoy it.
          Happy birthday wishes to Tom Auxier, May 9th, and Beverly Vance, May 7th. Happy anniversary wishes to Bob and Charlotte Taylor, May 9th, and Kathleen and Bud Brown, May 11th. Sabrina and Richard Vance took son Zachary to the circus and they all had a lot of fun.
          On a sad note, the Christian Service Center was broken into last week. Someone pried the door open, but nothing was taken. Last month the Lizemore ?? was robbed of money. All this added to the previous break-ins of local churches that were robbed. What has happened to our community? We used to be able to leave our doors unlocked and the keys in our cars!
          We are still trying to get our Youth Center off the ground. It’ needed now more than ever before. Let’ get together and help our youth find some place to go and enjoy themselves, and maybe find projects to use some of their energy on.
          Freda’ Restaurant has plans soon to add steaks and ribs on the grill, and host a gospel sing, so watch for our ads.
          Last Sunday our pastor told of a minister who would put a breath mint under his tongue before ministering – to time his sermon. One Sunday, his wife put a button in his pocket instead…
         
         Until next time, may God bless you and keep you,
          Your friends at the Christian Center
         
         School Board Meeting
          The Clay County Board of Education met for their regular meeting at the administrative office in Clay on Monday, May 2. Members Beth Cercone, David Pierson, Kim Sams and Gene King were present; R.B. Legg, Jr., board president, was absent. The board’ vice president, Gene King, asked Superintendent Jerry Linkinoggor to conduct the meeting in his stead.
          After the Board approved the agenda, previous meeting minutes and paid current bills, Business Manager Loretta Gray provided the financial update. Highlights for the month included receiving $400,000 from RESA for a software program, a $10,000 math and science grant, and $400,000 for food services. Payments mentioned were the $400,000 food services contract, coaching contracts (not employees,) and fuel bills. Gray reported that fuel has been costing about $4,000 more a month.
          Summer school teachers employed for Clay Elementary, as needed depending on enrollment, were J.B. Butcher, Paul Adkins, Marjorie Mullins, Vicky Walker, Patricia Underwood, and Mary Stanley, all successful bids and based on summer school seniority. Nancy Preast and Dorothy Childers were hired as cooks for the week long Charleston Catholic summer camp June 12-17, successful bids. About 40 Charleston Catholic students plus 20 teachers and parents will be working on housing in the county, and they will pay the costs. They will sleep in the wrestling building (fitness center?) and band room at Clay County High School (CCHS.)
          Student tutors were approved for the Clay Elementary Summer School, the 21st Century Grant funding 10 positions. The tutors had to be either a junior, senior, or going to attend college to qualify. Those approved are: Ben Harper, Candice Holcomb, Alex Johnson, Michael Kearns, Christina Legg, Mark Linkinoggor, Jacqueline Mollohan, Mika Pierson, Samantha Simons, and Kelly Tanner.
          Transfers were approved for Elizabeth Simmons from Title I reading teacher at H.E. White Elementary to Title I reading teacher at Valley Fork Elementary, and Erica Samples from teacher at H.E. White to Title I reading teacher at Clay Elementary (not certified, but most senior and will work on permit,) both successful bids. These positions were newly created and federally funded.
          Advertising will commence for 5 substitute teacher aides to replace some that will be removed from the list for not working the required 33% of call-outs.
          New math text books were approved for grades K-12. Assistant Superintendent Larry Gillespie reported that this is the first time that all of the elementary text book committees had recommended the same text book. He said this will benefit students that transfer from school to school, help the middle school teachers as the elementary students coming to them will all have been taught from Saxon’ Standards Based Math, and make data collection uniform. Four books were chosen for Clay Middle School (CMS) and eleven for CCHS. Text books cost approximately $50-$60 each, and all have software with them.
          The building design for the new Big Otter school was approved. Mr. Linkinoggor said there had been 2 or 3 meetings with the Valley Fork and Ivydale Elementary communities – parents, teachers, business people – to gather input regarding the design. Changes they requested included adding a bathroom next to the gymnasium (note: the SBA doesn’ allow it to be called “ym,”so don’ call it that if they are around) and combining the planning and work rooms into one room. The new classrooms will have sinks and lockers in the rooms.
          All motions passed unanimously.
          Rick Canfield, pastor of Lighthouse Baptist Church and a Director of Disaster Relief for WV Southern Baptist Association, offered the Board a presentation on the Association’ interest in buying the Ivydale Elementary School. He said they would use the building for various purposes such as a food pantry, housing disaster relief teams, provide literacy and job training, etc. If they purchase the building he said they would probably pay $35,000-$40,000 for it. The Southern Baptists would own the building, but it would be administered by Lighthouse Baptist and a Summersville church (Mark McClung, Pastor.) Since Lighthouse Baptist is a new church (he said they are hoping to break ground in July, somewhere in the Big Otter area) they must have a sponsoring church for one year and the Summersville church has agreed to do that. David Pierson pointed out that another group formed of Ivydale community members, I.C.A.N., was exploring uses for the building when the school closes in 2007. Jerry Linkinoggor explained that the presentation was just to provide the Board with information.
          Meeting adjourned after about 50 minutes. Next meeting of the board will be at CCHS on Monday, May 16, starting at 6:00 p.m.
         
          TK