AUGUST 20,2004

On the Soapbox
BOB CLARKE Curmudgeon’s Corner
A Night of Pageantry
Have You Been Scammed on the Internet
News from the Braxton/Clay FSA
School Board Meeting
Letter to Brother Bill
Magistrate Report

        The ring of high powered rifle slugs was heard Monday evening August 16th and into the early hours of Tuesday, August 17th . And no, this wasn’ deer season either! One man was seriously injured with four gunshot wounds. The rifle wars continued through Wednesday evening along Murder Mountain ridge. As of press time, one arrest had been made.
         Ovapa is a small community near the Roane County line. Lots of trees and a small creek meandering along the valley floor.
                    Nestled between the steep mountains, the homes are small, well kept, and the single lane winding road is a place for walking and bicycling with the kids. Or at least Ovapa WAS such a place before the most recent shooting spree!
     First the principal players: 37 year old Tommy Young, Sr. and Renee Boyd, his girl friend of many years; Richard Cummings and Sandra Khalaf, his girl friend; and, 17 year old Tommy Young, Jr. Location: 1 ¾ miles north on Ovapa Cut Off Road and on top of the hill known as Murder Mountain. The property is owned by Renee Boyd, a 24 year resident of the county.
     Here’ the way we’e got the story as of press time.
     In the evening hours of August 16th something got Richard Cummings and Tommy Sr. all riled up. Shots rang out. Neighbors near the mountain attested to hundreds of shots pinging through the trees overhead that evening. Some of the observers were military veterans and confirmed the sounds were from fully automatic high power weapons. According to a Richard Cummings oral statement, his trailer had been riddled with bullets. With the barrage coming in full force, Cummings covered his three daughters to protect them. When the salvo slowed, a wounded Cummings carrying an SKS assault weapon with a 30 round ammo banana clip grabbed the three girls and off the hill they went. With four gunshot wounds, Cummings went to a Sams residence and then a Dawson residence where the occupants refused entry or help. Cummings’ third try was more successful.
     Richard White awakened to the sound of someone banging hard on his front door. White allowed the three girls inside his Ovapa home and dialed 911. Cummings laid on the concrete front porch with three wounds at the top of his right leg and one shot in the right arm, bleeding profusely. Police came and set up a command center at White’ house and waited until daylight before heading up Oil Field Road to the top of Murder Mountain. Cummings was ambulanced to a hospital in Charleston.
     Over the scanner, 10:00am Tuesday August 17th, on the scene Town Cop Buckshot Butcher asked 911 for a stolen item check on a generator, a blue and white truck, a purple car, Dayton oil fired heater, Honda pressure washer, Sears Craftsman 3.3 chainsaw, and a 12 volt electric winch. The guess is, law enforcement had made it to the top of Murder Mountain and were investigating the shooting. At 10:20am, State Police had Tommy Young, Sr. in the back seat of a cruiser heading to Magistrate Court. By noon, Young, Sr. had been arraigned on two felonies, malicious wounding and wanton endangerment and carted off to Central Regional Jail. Cummings remained in CAMC.
            According to Magistrate records signed by arresting officer Tpr. R.E. Stephenson: On Tuesday Aug 17 2004 at approximately 0252 hours, the undersigned officer, Sgt CG Wiles and Tfc MA Elswick were dispatched to a shooting complaint at the residence of Tommy Young located in the Ovapa area of Clay County. While in route to the complaint, the above officers were advised by 911 that the victim later identified as Richard Cummings, was knocking on the front door of the Dawson residence on Ovapa Road at approximately 0302 hours. The officers were alerted while responding to the scene by a Mr. White, who advised the victim was at his residence.
             Upon approaching the residence, the officer observed the victim lying on the front porch with several gunshot wounds to his body. A statement was obtained from the victim who stated that Tommy Young Sr., Tommy Young Jr., and Jacob Young walked down to his residence and began firing rounds into his mobile home. The victim advised the rounds entered the interior of the residence and struck him on his body. The victim told the officers the three daughters ages 8,6, and 5 were present inside during the incident. He informed the officers that he had to cover his daughters up to keep them from being struck by fired rounds.
            While attempting to escape the residence on foot with his daughters, the victim advised the above named subjects shot at him and his daughters several more times in which he received additional gunshot wounds. The victim advised that the above named subjects had high powered rifles at the time the incident occurred. He told the officers that while being shot at, the above named subjects were making comments they would take care of him so he could not testify.
            The action continued Tuesday evening as more shots rang out from the ridge top and law enforcement went back to the mountain. Over the scanner came reports of gun shots around the Ovapa Church of God. One resident there said he and his wife were sitting in their basement Tuesday evening and thought the sounds were kids shooting off bottle rockets or firecrackers. A few minutes later another resident near the Church of God made for cover with his small son as the hail of bullets continued. The war had spread past Murder Mountain and down the road 1 mile. With Young Sr. in jail and Cummings in CAMC, the guess is, Tommy Young Jr. was doing the firing. No arrests came from the Tuesday night firefight.
            Wednesday August 18th, 3:30pm, Tommy Young Jr.’ red S-10 pickup was seen coming off of Murder Mountain. As it entered the paved road, a black Dodge SUV driven by a County Mountie was spotted by Jr. To avert the deputies, Jr. spun into the Dawson driveway as the deputy drove on past. Down the road, the Dodge waited by the side of the road. Didn’ work; Young turned his Chevy on a dime and high tailed it in the other direction.
            Cummings left the hospital mid afternoon August 18th. It didn’ take long for things to heat up again. Around 5:15pm on the 18th, Cummings, his long time girl friend Sandra Khalaf and an unidentified male were back in Richard White’ driveway calling 911. According to Cummings, Young Jr. had just let loose again with a volley of high powered shots. Cummings was still dressed in a hospital gown and pajama bottoms. He retold the story from the night before as he pointed to the gunshot wounds more near his crotch than upper leg and showed the quarter size entry wound on his right arm. At 5:25pm a red S-10 pickup was seen high-tailing past the White dwelling as it spun gravel all the way up Oil Field Road. Cummings yelled out that Tommy was carrying a truck load of automatic weapons and was going to shoot at him some more! The very agitated, and smelling of alcohol, Cummings said he was heading to “wistabout’to get his “utomatic”         He said if the cops couldn’ handle the situation with Tommy, he would become the FBI himself. 5:58pm Wednesday: The blue Cavalier owned by Renee Boyd was seen going past the White residence. 5:59pm: A motorcycle driven by a male without a shirt went past. Cummings said “That was Tommy’ Harley”
            With doors slamming on the white van, Cummings, Khalaf and the other male sped off down the road. Cummings gave one last look toward this reporter and Mr. White. 6:13pm Wednesday: a state police cruiser with two green shirts stopped in front of the White home and asked “earing any gun shots?”Richard White went over to the cruiser and pointed toward Murder Mountain directly behind his property. The cruiser headed up into the war zone.
            Sometime close to 7pm Wednesday evening, scanner traffic reported more gun shots. Later Wednesday evening badges reported having one in custody and later came a call for an ambulance on Reed Fork for a guy overdosed and not breathing. It is not known if the two incidents were related to the Murder Mountain battle. Sometime late Wednesday night came a report of a vehicle stolen from a Ron Starcher residence.         
             Thursday afternoon brought out law enforcement again as a road block was set up in Ovapa and vehicles were searched. Deputies were tight lipped on what they were looking for other than “ vehicle” Thursday night before dark, a white jeep registered in Ohio was driven down in the Bomont area of the county. The driver fled on foot as law gave chase. As of press time, no other info was available.
            So, what’ the war all about? Putting two and three together and coming up with seven, here’ the way we’e pieced it together.
     Tommy Young Sr. was found not guilty in the shooting death of a Huffman subject four years ago. During courtroom testimony it was publicly alleged: the night of that shooting, it was a drug deal gone bad, an SKS assault rifle was used in the shooting by Young Sr. In that trial, Roy Brown testified. During last year’ Judson Reid murder trial, Richard Cummings and Sandra Khalaf testified to the grizzly killing by Tattoo Vince of Reid. The vehicle used to transport the body of Reid was latter found burnt in the Ovapa section of the county. The investigation was high profile with many Federal law enforcement officials involved. Two years ago when Chad Salisbury was killed in Widen, courtroom testimony revealed that the principals at the crime scene were stoned out of their heads on crank. Present in the court room, Roy Brown commented that he had been in Widen when Salisbury was murdered.
            During this past two weeks, newspapers in Roane, Wirt, and Ritchie Counties have reported meth lab busts. Buried deep in the fine news print came the name Russell Davis. Remember Davis? Yep, he testified against Tattoo Vince. The most common link is, of course, drugs but most interesting is the emergence of the same names over and over again.
            As for this most recent shooting spree, sources close say that the local drug leaders have gone to war. The effort appears to be an attempt to silence an underling ready to turn states’evidence or recant earlier testimony.
            Thursday afternoon Trooper Elswick responded to questions. Elswick on the status of the investigation, “e are investigating the nature of the complaint, interviewing the witnesses and taking statements from them. That has been done. We have arrested Tommy Sr.” As for Tommy Jr., again Tpr. Elswick, “e intend on filing a juvenile petition … I guess his home confinement will be revoked and a pick order will be sent up on that soon. Miles [Deputy Slack] has already revoked his home confinement.”
            Elswick asked the public to call law enforcement when they see something. As for extra precautions, locking doors is always a good thing but , “A lock just keeps an honest man out. Just call us when you hear something. We'll get there when we can. I guess the county is pretty much aware that we’e the only ones out in the evening time now. There are five troopers here now and usually there are just two of us working the evenings. Sometimes three. The investigation is continuing. The crime seen has been processed… just like any major investigation that we do… we will photograph the crime scene and take any evidence that we can find….”
            Tuesday evening we interviewed Renee Boyd. Excerpts from that interview are following.
            Monday evening before the first volley of gunfire, Ms Boyd, “ommy Jr. was worn out. He came home from work and went to bed. He didn’ even take a shower. He’ working now with a masonry company…. The first shots rang out about 2:50 am. I dialed 911… I was hearing lots of gun fire. It sounded like an Army was here…. I woke big Tommy up, that was after the police showed up. They swabbed little Tommy’ face. It was black.. . he was filthy.”
            Tommy Young Sr. or Jr. didn’ wake up when 500 shots were blasting around their trailer? Renee explained, “Well, we’e so used to that. My brother Richard [Cummings] is such an idiot, he is constantly firing off shots. We’e used to it. I said call the law. Someone said he had called the law three times on little Tom, that little Tom was down there shooting at them. My house has a lot of bullet holes in it. The cops got here about 8 o’lock in the morning. I told the dispatcher that we were huddled in a closet and scared to death to even peep out my window…. It was the most frightening night in my life….”
            Ms Boyd said that Tommy Sr. nor Jr. returned the fire, “e don’ have a weapon. We’e not allowed to have any guns in here because of little Tom’ house arrest. Big Tommy did have a pistol that was outside for our protection just in case anything could happen. We didn’ have it in the house. They said no weapons on the premises… they arrested Tommy Sr. on wanton endangerment times four and malicious assault.He is now in jail on a $150,000 bond. Big Tommy had nothing to do with it…. They have asked him to sign a statement against his son…. This was all planned out. They thought Big Tommy would be so desperate to get out of jail that he would sign a statement against his own son!”
     So what got the war started? Who were they arguing over? Renee, “he argument that I heard was over Dennis Kotch….”
     So what happened Tuesday night? Was Tommy Jr. involved in that? Boyd, “o, Tommy Jr. was up here and I told Miles Slack to check his records. His house arrest should prove it. Anytime they are out of the 100 foot, doesn’ it read that?”
     Boyd said that her family was not involved in Monday night’ shooting, “hoever shot Richard Cummings Monday night is the same ones that shot my trailer… He said it was in self defense!… All the windows in the old farm house are shot out…. My point is, if this was Tommy Jr., if he had anything to do with it, his bracelet would show it.” Boyd was referring to her son’ home confinement locater ID bracelet.
     “he police told us Richard was high on something. They could tell, he was definitely high on something… See Richard has been making methamphetamine up here and Big Tommy found the mobile meth lab and he turned it in to the State Police the other day. They didn’ charge Richard with one iota. There is something going on with Richard and the State Police. I don’ know what it is. I am still trying to put my finger on it… they pulled up four marijuana plants down there. They were here on Sunday.”
     Renee Boyd confirmed that Richard Cummings shot her cousin Mike a few days before this most recent shooting spree. (See picture) Ms Boyd said she had no idea where her son was during the Tuesday evening interview.
     As for the truthfulness of Richard Cummings, Renee, “ichard Cummings is on drugs. He is making his own dope. He is the same person that made the bad dope whenever Chad Salisbury died. Richard made that and they were all on it and flipped out. They call it all wigged out. They started wanting to kill everybody and one person died.”
     The future for Tommy Jr. looks pretty grim according to Boyd, “t looks to me like someone is definitely going to get killed and it probably’ going to be my son… They want to kill my kid. He is my first born son. He is 17 years old and he does have problems and I will admit that. But he does NOT have to be killed these problems. It is a shame….. Someone other than Tommy and Richard came in and shot up the place. Bullets came flying through my front window and through the bathroom wall and through my daughter’ bedroom wall…. I am not sure where little Tommy is now……”
     “ got word that they are glad there is a feud up here, that they want everybody to kill each other. When all the shooting was going on, he didn’ have a weapon to protect himself. It was really torture…” Ms Boyd said she has no intentions of leaving her mountain, “’ like the captain of a ship….. I am going to ride it out.”
     “ichard is supposed to be such a big bad killer...he’ involved with all the killings… I’ scared…” Here’ one last quote from Boyd, perk your ears up, readers, concerning the disappearance two years ago of teenager Crystal Starcher, “ichard was involved with the Judd Reid killing. He told me, it was out of his own mouth, he and Sandy ate “**** Burgers”from that woman’ body. They ground her up in a wood chipper and they made B**** burgers and ate ‘m… That’ my own brother. When he gets geeked out, he comes up here and talks..”
     Tommy Young Sr. remains in jail pending making $150,000 bond and Tommy Jr. is on the run. Crime continues in Clayberry. On Murder Mountain, squirrels would probably die of lead poisoning if they bit into a tree. Keep your doors locked. It’ a mess!
            Last edition if this paper brought forth the front page article on loss of funds due to Commissioner Jimmy Sams hanging a black plastic Ten Commandments plaque in the County Commission room. Any time the issue of separation of church and state grace the print media, things heat up. Central to the story was the missed rental income from the Family Law Master Court’s use of the County Commission room totaling over $8000. Additionally, due to the Commission room being unsatisfactory for court use, an upstairs storage room will have to be remodeled to suit court mandates.
          With telephone calls rampant, many stood firm, the “0”should stay no matter what the cost. And, this county should embrace Christianity over all other religions. On the other side of the contentious issue, albeit less verbose, Clayonians quietly said that the County Commission should abide by the law of the land and remove the Ten Commandments plaque before a lawsuit brings the county to its knees.
                 Here’ our follow up.
                 That upstairs room served as a storage area and interview room for the deputies, quiet and away from interruptions. With the room soon to be taken over by the Family Law Master, Deputy Miles Slack decided to build a secure and private room inside the Deputy’ Road Patrol office in the old courthouse. Two Saturdays ago, Slack hammered and nailed left and right until a petition and locking door was built. Behind the door, the deputies could once again have a quiet space for meeting with patrons. That didn’ last long, about two days to be exact. With other law enforcement agencies in the county feeling left out of the process and on the other side of the locked door, Sheriff Fields got wind of the “Great Wall” and immediately ordered its removal. Needless to say, almost as fast as you can say POOF, it was gone.
                 With the “0”still hanging in the County Commission room, with construction set to begin on a costly remodeling project, and with the Deputies having no place to interview witnesses and bad guys, Clayberry marches on with less money in the coffers.
         ??? DID YOU KNOW ???
    1.        What we learn with pleasure, we never forget.
Alfred Mercier
2.        Of the 5,000 recalls last year most involved vehicles, tires and child safety seats and 280 were for household products according to consumer reports.
3.        President Bush’ visit in West Virginia cost the state $53,000. $37,800 covered the cost of security for the visit, which fell on Sunday, as well as a holiday.
4.        West Virginian’ spent 3 percent of their total income on prescription drugs in 2002.
5.        According to the state Alcohol Beverage Control Administration, WV sold a record amount of liquor in the just completed budget year 2003-2004.
6.        A study of more then 12,000 people found that death by heart disease was about 40 percent higher in people who didn’ take vacations.
7.        Of 197 credit reports surveyed from people in 30 states, 79 percent had some error.
8.        According to Forbes Magazine, Tiger Woods is the world’ highest-paid athlete and “ormula One”driver Michael Schumacher is second.
9.        Barry Pepper will portray Dale Earnhardt in the movie “”on ESPN in December.
10.         About 66 people die a year from falls in West Virginia homes, according to a recent Home Safety Council study.
11.         West Virginians paid more for auto insurance than people in all but 15 other states.
12.         In the fiscal year that ended June 30, 490 high school students had their drivers licenses revoked for too many unexcused absences.
13.         The Bush administration has announced plans to cut Medicare payments to cancer doctors, saying the taxpayers have been paying physicians up to twice what they should for certain medications.
14.         Last year West Virginia had 87 bear-vehicle accidents statewide.
15.         As of 2003, there were an estimated 3.6 million people who had been diagnosed with osteoporosis, compared with half a million in 1994.
16.         According to a Justice Department survey, more than 7,000 people who should have been barred from buying “uns”were able to buy them anyway in 2002 and 2003.
17.         Today, electronic entertainments other than television fill 5.5 hours of the average child’ day.
18.         A survey of 17,135 persons reveals an accelerating decline in the reading of literature; literary reading declined 5 percent between 1982 and 1992, then 14 percent in the next decade.
19.         Employers who screen job applicants and workers for drugs saw the number testing positive for methamphetamine surge 68 percent last year, according to the country’ largest testing company.
20.         Fewer West Virginians died in traffic accidents last year than in 2002 according to a report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
On the Soapbox
By Andy Waddell
        Five and a half years ago a new face was elected to the County Commission. With a clean look about him, Matthew Bragg was considered the bright hope for Clay County. That maybe the new kid would bring new ideas, the county’ most powerful elected body would get into gear and provide leadership and a new direction for our faltering economy and dismal projections for the future. With Bragg’ term of service nearly complete, those expectations have gone unfulfilled and the dreams for the future have become nightmares.
         Bragg went through a life threatening illness near the beginning of his term and it took a few months for him to get back up to full throttle. As Matthew went through surgeries and treatment, there wasn’ a complaint to be heard. Not one. People showed compassion and good will.
                 That wasn’ the case when young Bragg took off three full months to complete police training . While accepting his $18,500 a year County Commission salary, he was no where to be seen. His constituents had no rep on the Commission. After completing training, much of his time was spent working in Nicholas County as a Summersville police officer. Later he switched to the Gassaway police force where Bragg continued the trend of under serving his citizenry.
                 During the last three years, this newspaper has noted his lack of interest while at meetings, the many times he expressed views that indicated he had no idea what was going on in the county or at the courthouse, and his apparent desire to get in and out of meeting times as quickly as possible. Of course, all of that was when he showed up for public meetings.
                 In 2003, Bragg showed up for about half the meetings. Those missed meetings brought on a nickname for Mr. Bragg: Matthew “AC”Bragg. On a couple occasions when important decisions were about to be made, Bragg would pick up and leave. The HAC nickname came from readers during an online poll and abbreviated means “He Ain’ Comin.”
                 Just when you thought his track record couldn’ get worse, 2004 rolled around. Since getting thumped in the May sheriff race, Bragg has all but disappeared from public service. For all intents and purpose, our promise for the future has been absent while continuing to receive his salary and benefits.
                 During this year of courthouse layoffs and cutbacks, the right thing to do would be for Commissioner Matthew Bragg to resign and turn back the salary he’ collected from the people. The premise is simple - if you don’ show up for work, don’ call in with an excuse, and don’ show any interest in the job, you shouldn’ get paid. Already his fellow Commissioners have mailed a letter asking him to show up for meetings. That June letter has done little toward improving his truancy.
                 Matthew, do the right thing, if you’e not going to work for the county, save the county some desperately needed tax dollars and resign from office.
         BOB CLARKE Curmudgeon’ Corner
          Matthew Arnold, the great Victorian, called poetry the “est that has been thought and said,”but the observation could just as well apply to all important writing or even the nebulous, impossible to define area we call “rt.” A century earlier, Percy Bysshe Shelley, in a moment of unconstrained enthusiasm, called poets the “nacknowledged legislators of the world.” Shelley’ optimism probably led him to an assertion that he may not have completely believed, but he knew that great art could provide a path toward at least relative truth. In any case, writers of times past have occasionally provided us with startlingly accurate prophecies.
          In 1920, the Irish poet, William Butler Yeats, published a poem entitled “he Second Coming.” This short piece contains a message that resounds across the following years, never more so than in this perilous and frightening time. The echoes Biblical warnings of a new return, but Yeats turned it into a vague nightmare vision inspired by a state of global chaos.
          “…Things fall apart; the center cannot hold; mere anarchy is loosed upon the world. The blood-dimmed tide is loosed and everywhere the ceremony of innocence is drowned; the best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.”
          Many scholars, the types which are always searching after certainty, have identified those lines as a reference to the Russian revolution of 1917, but such a view is shortsighted. A work of art is larger than its creator, and transcends any interpretation that limits it to a specific time. Thus, the moral and spiritual messages of the Bible, the book of Mormon, and even the Koran, as well as the sublime heights of Milton’ “aradise Lost”are not only “or an age, but for all time,”as Ben Jonson said of Shakespeare.
          In 1933, James Hilton, an English novelist, published “ost Horizon.” A story familiar to many of us about a fabled paradise where there is little or no disease, where its denizens live virtually forever (or at least far beyond man’ normal allotment of three score and 10,) and where there is eternal peace and goodwill. As is well-known, Hilton called this place “hangri-La.” As it is always fun to borrow from Shakespeare, “hereby hangs a tale.” During World War II, when apparently asked by a reporter (an occupation viewed by our current administration as representing the enemy,) the location of our fleet in the Pacific, President Roosevelt, in a frivolous moment, replied “hangri-La.” Almost immediately a global radio report emanated from the land of the rising sun, “oday, the Imperial Japanese Air Force attacked the American fleet based in Shangri-La resulting in the complete destruction of the seventh fleet.” This newscast is transcribed from an ancient and fading memory bank, but the gist is essentially accurate. Americans had a good laugh from the episode, and it was a time when laughs were in short supply. Journalist Patrick Wright describes among the “ictions and mythologies of warfare”that we may be victims of the “antasies of Air-enforced domination.” We have been told repeatedly that the U.S. controls the air over Afghanistan, that the enemy Air Force is inoperative. In these unsettled times that may come as good news. However, it is not entirely clear that Afghanistan ever had an Air Force or it may be that the Afghans have run out of rubber bands to propel their warplanes.
          Whatever pictures of the air strikes the government allows us to view may have given the skeptics the impression that all we have accomplished so far is to blow up a bunch of rocks, and so far as in-depth research has shown, rocks hold no particular political position. It is true that only an idiot would think that there is a quick fix to this situation, and Americans have been warned against impatience. Still, in this fog of uncertainty there is the fleeting impression that the media is under government control, even that news people have been forced into a position where they have become little more than government stenographers.
          History has often illustrated that if we are to learn the truth of what is happening over there or even here, we are not likely to get it from the government. In a free society the press must constantly ask the question of authority, “o our leaders know what they’e doing and are we being told the truth?”
          If Governor Tom Ridge in his newly-created post as Director of Homeland Security is to have an effect on the criminal negligence and self-centered interest of our intelligence agencies he must be given the almost unlimited power once wielded by the late, highly-flawed tyrant, J. Edgar Hoover. A brief snippet of conservative Jack Kelly’ take on September 11 has it:
          “he attacks on September 11 succeeded because of gross collective negligence. The CIA failed to get wind of the plot. The State Department issued visas to the hijackers without doing requisite background checks. The immigration and naturalization service failed to monitor the whereabouts of the visa holders. The FBI failed to share with state and INS information that might have uncovered the hijackers.”
          The “ight haves”of Kelly’ speculations, and those of many others provide little help, but the phrase “ailed to share”is an indictment that applies to our 36-plus intelligences, and points to essential reform. This selfish and dangerous turf war must be stopped.
         Editor’ note: this column was originally published in the Buckhannon newspaper and is reprinted here with Bob’ permission.
          FIREWOOD CO-OP The first meeting of the Firewood Cooperative was held August 11th at the Courthouse. Around 15 attended the meeting. Here’ the skinny. CAEZ has rounded up $75,000 of $250,000 needed to get the for-profit business started in the county. The deal is to buy hardwood timbering scraps and convert them into bundles of marketable firewood bundles for export north. There the big city dwellers would purchase the nifty West Virginia product packages for home consumption and for those romantic evenings in front of the fireplace. Pretty good idea!
                 During the meeting, a video was aired showing a big red gizmo that takes logs as short as 3 foot long, cuts them into firewood lengths and then splits them all in one step. It did almost everything but light the match for the Yankee retail customers! Can we make money with the adventure? CAEZ Director Jerry Sizemore, “he potential does exist to be profitable. It can be successful. It probably takes about $200,000 or $250,000 to be successful.” Having heard similar claims from Sizemore in the past (don’ mention Filcon, please), one guy in the audience asked Sizemore to prove his statements with facts and figures. Sizemore will provide that report during a later meeting.
                 The way it sounds… anybody with a pick ‘em up truck and a chainsaw could join the co op and begin selling to the for-profit corporation. Upwards of 6 people would be employed at the processing center to be located at the old Filcon site near Ovapa . Those belonging to the co op would have a say in the operation and its goals. No date was set for the next meeting.
          BACK TO SCHOOL Parents in the county are all riled up over the way our school system is handling back to school schedules. Their beef is over not knowing when to send the little crumb snatchers back to the school house. Some parents complained that without a schedule they couldn’ get last minute vacation plans, doctors appointments and such organized. As of press time, only high school timetables have been announced
          WEST TEST Back in the spring, our kids went through a battery of tests known as the West Test. This new assessment replaced the long standing SAT 9 test and was an idea to make our kids look better on paper. The results of the exam have not been released. Many in the county and state are wondering about the tardy reports. In Charleston newspaper accounts, state school officials have said they want more time to evaluate the results. Often that is code for: We need time to put the best spin on dismal results.
          CLAY ROANE PSD This one is a winner, readers. Clay Roane Chair Melissa Postelwait called a special meeting August 16th at the Procious Water plant. There were two issues on the table
          After a thorough review of PJ Contracting invoices, the company that sets water taps, Postelwait reported that the PSD had been overcharged by $2345.00 According to the Chair, they had been charged at higher rates and for items not covered by the existing contract. Postelwait, “He’ been double dipping… You can’ charge an hourly rate and then a road bore charge, too!”There’ a hitch! The invoices have already been paid which means the Board oked the spending without checking things out. After big time discussion, Boardster Susan Beard abstained from voting on the matter, the board voted to pursue getting their money back. Before the meeting the contractor told the board he no longer wanted to work for the PSD no matter what the pay. Long time readers will remember an earlier contractor bailed out as well.
          With the contractor gone and the need for repairs and new water tap installations, the Chair told her fellow appointed leaders, she wanted to re-hire Dale Deems, a former part time employee, to do the work. Postelwait said that hiring Deems back at $8 per hour, using a $7.50 per hour helper, paying overtime for weekend work, renting a $30 per hour backhoe and purchasing fuel, etc., would be much cheaper than hiring another contractor for around $50 per hour. All was going well until Mr. Deems told the group he wanted nothing to do with the arrangement. Deems, “’ rather you just hire someone else.. I’e put up with that before…. I don’ want in the mess…”
          Not wanting to give up on the idea, names were tossed around. One guy was recommended for the job. Dave Saulsgiver replied, “id he ever get his driver’ license back?” Laughter was heard! The $8.00 per hour backhoe operator position will be advertised in that little paper in Clay.
          As the meeting was closing, one little short fat guy asked about financing the needed $1 million dollar loan for the Amma/Left hand project. The guy thought it might be a better idea to pay the money loan payment based on water usage instead of a flat monthly rate. Some of the Board had that deer in the headlights look while others didn’ even want to hear of such a suggestion. Mr. Round man advanced the idea: If you pay back the proposed loan based on the customers and water usage, no rate increase would ever be necessary. The suggestion fell on deaf ears.
          CLAY COUNTY PSD held their regular monthly meeting Aug. 17th. Beginning balance: $670; Income for last month: $22938.; Expenses for last month: $22,190.; Ending balance last month: $1418.69. Office Manager Cindy Schoolcraft provided the Tuckers Bottom/ Lizemores water line extension project update. The venture went to bid last month and construction bid opening will be held Sept. 21st. PSD Chair Keith King said he was scared to death the $3.9 million project would come in over budget. Of the $3,906,000.00, $623,00 will be in the form of a loan.
                 CLAY COUNTY COMMISSION As you can see we’e running out of space, but a couple quick notes from the Aug. 16th CCC gathering. A very disgruntled Jimmy Salisbury asked the CCC to remove Prosecutor Daniel Grindo from office for doing non-performance. Commissioner Sams agreed the performance was horrible but said they had talked to Grindo with no luck. Also from that meeting, where once again Matthew “HAC” Bragg was no where to be seen, reps from all three fire departments asked the CCC to rescind a motion which entitled the volunteer groups to charge for services. Clay FC Chief Greg Fitzwater commented that he had been getting a bunch of questions and felt that locals would stop calling. Greg, “e don’ want that..”The motion passed.
          On the issue of re-appointing Earl Long to the Clay County PSD, it didn’ happen. If past practices are any indication, the hold up on the appointment means the CCC is looking to find someone else to fill that position.
          The new race track opened on O’rien Creek and asked the Ambulance Service to be there in case anything happens. With funds tight and rolling ambulances in short supply, the Ambulance Service will ask the track to cough up some money for the service.        AW
         A Night of Pageantry
          Last Saturday evening, September 14, if you weren’ at the Clay County High School Auditorium you truly missed a lovely evening. It was the night of the Miss Golden Delicious and the Golden Delicious Teen Pageants.
          The 18 contestants who competed for the titles were beautifully gowned and poised. Justine Paxton was introduced as the 2004 Golden Delicious Belle. Master of Ceremonies Kennie Bass, of WCHS TV fame, did a wonderful job conducting the pageant and keeping the audience attentive throughout the evening. During the brief intermissions to allow the contestants to prepare for the next phase of competition, songstress Lindsay Legg took the stage. And if you haven’ heard Lindsay sing, please don’ miss her if you get the chance – this young Clay County lady can sing.
          Awards were presented to Whitney King as the 2004 Photogenic Teen, and to Amanda Lowers as the 2004 Miss Golden Delicious Photogenic. Chosen by their fellow contestants, Jerrica Caudill received the 2004 Congeniality Teen award, and Heather Hostutler the 2004 Miss Golden Delicious Congeniality Award.
          Judges Susie Rogers, Marilyn M?? (missed this name), Rick Lord and Christy Knott had the most difficult job of the evening. Heather Hostutler is the 2004 Miss Golden Delicious. Amanda Lowers is 1st runner up, and Stephanie Sue Bird 2nd runner up. 2004 Golden Delicious Teen is Felicia Cruikshanks. Whitney King is 1st runner up, and Jillissa Ryan 2nd runner up.
         The winners received their crowns from 2003 Miss Golden Delicious Sarah Hunt and 2003 Golden Delicious Teen Natasha Johnson.
          Connie Sizemore received the 2004 Pageantry Spirit Award, a well deserved honor for the dedication, work, and spirit she has infused the Golden Delicious Pageants with year after year.
          This evening was quite a professional affair, and the best part was that it was right here in Clay County. You may see these lovely young ladies during the Golden Delicious Festival activities, September 16-19.
          Good day, folks! We hope you are all doing well and enjoying another fine day the Lord has made.
          The Christian Service Center, Inc. would like to give a heartfelt thanks to the Clay Development Corporation for purchasing a new recliner for Kathy Runion. Kathy is very sick and the new recliner will allow her to rest much easier. The Lizemore Methodist Church had a cottage prayer meeting at Kathy’ home on Friday, August 13th; everyone had a good time. We love you, Kathy – God bless and get well soon.
          We are also sending a get well soon prayer to Vinnie Fitzwater. Vinnie has been sick for quite awhile, and we miss seeing her. We love you too, Vinnie.
          The Clay Development Corporation and the Christian Service Center, Inc. are sponsoring a concert to be held on Saturday, August 28, 2004, at the CDC. There will be a variety of singing – gospel, country, bluegrass, oldies but goodies – starting at 4:00pm and going till we just can’ carry another note. Everyone welcome, so come on down, listen and sing along.
          The Lizemore Methodist Church is having a homecoming August 22, 2004 starting at 10:30am. The Gospel Proclaimers are scheduled to sing. Everyone welcome – hope to see you there.
          The Lizemore Methodist Church had a very successful vacation bible school this year. We hope to see everyone again next year. Kids, encourage your friends to come along next year. The more, the merrier!
          The Bentree Church of God is having a 3-day revival starting August 19, 2004. Everyone welcome, come worship the Lord with us.
         The CSC, Inc. has had a great summer thanks to our friends who have donated so much terrific stuff, and to our shoppers. Due to these wonderful donations, we have been able to have a buy one – get one free sale. For example: buy one dress, get one free; buy one pair of shoes, get one free. With school starting soon – Monday, August 23rd for the teachers – this sale is sure to come in handy. Our fall/winter clothing is going on the racks now, so come in to see our new line of clothing and other useful items for your home. Things are going quick, so don’ miss the bargains.
          Congratulations to Victor and Tawny Jarvis on the arrival of their new baby boy. We don’ know his name yet, but he was born May 27, 2004 and weighed 6 lbs. He was in a hurry to get here and surprised everyone 4 weeks early.
          Thanks to Mr. Rodgers for all of the fresh produce he brings from his garden for our enjoyment. We appreciate his kindness and thoughtfulness. Thanks from all the volunteers and the “oss Lady.”
          Thanks to Kate Whitteker for her donations this past week, and always. God bless you, Kate.
          Our hopes and prayers are with the family of Roy McDaniels of Indore. Mr. McDaniels is still missing. We encourage anyone who thinks they may have seen this elderly gentleman to please contact the authorities.
          Until next time, may God bless and keep all of you. He loves you, and so do we.
                                  The CSC, Inc.
         Have You Been Scammed on the Internet?
         Dear Readers,
          Do you know if you’e being scammed on the net? Do these words sound familiar to you: “ingdom Investment! Dear beloved in Christ,”or “ooking for Business Partner!”?
          Hi, my name is Malisia. I’ a single mother with very little income coming in to support my son and myself. And due to certain circumstances, it’ difficult for me to get a regular job. Even though I’ currently studying to be a freelance copywriter so I can work from home, it seemed so far away, and I wanted income now. That is why I made the biggest mistake of my life. I have recently been involved in one of these scams on the net. I’ writing this to help anyone else from becoming a victim of these scams. This is my story…
          In the year 2003 I received an email that read “ingdom Investment!” I was curious of course, and read the email. The short version of the email is that this guy was a lawyer from Nigeria. His name is John Ibe and he was recently saved through Benny Hinn ministries, and he was dieing and wanted to give his money to a ministry or a person who would use the money for the Lord. A total of $20,000,000.
          Of course I emailed him back and told him I had no money for any transaction fees. He told me that he would pay for everything, and that he wanted me to accept his offer. So he emailed me a few times with what to do and why he was doing things the way he did.
          He said he needed 13,000 U.S. dollars to get the money out of the security deposit it was held in. So he sent me a check for close to $ 17,000 (rounded off figure.) I do not have the exact total with me. The Attorney General’ office has them.
          This is where all the big trouble started. I took the check to my bank, Bank One of Clendenin, to have them check it out to see if it was good. They said they could not locate the account number and gave a phone number to call and get it checked out for myself. I never could get through to this phone number, so the following Monday I took the check to the drive through bank. I figured I would deposit the check to see if it were good and ask them if they were going to put a hold on the check. They replied that it would automatically be put on hold if it needed to be on hold.
          So, to my surprise, the check went through. The teller told me that I could take the money out anytime. So I left it in the bank a couple days and withdrew some to send to John Ibe. I sent around $5000 altogether. The next day after I had sent the money to Nigeria I checked my account on line and it was coming up minus a certain amount. I called the bank and they told me the check was no good and that I needed to bring them back the amount that I withdrew.
          I didn’ have all of it. I brought back all that I still had. So the bank was going to pursue getting the money back from me. I was looking over my shoulder for a week after I found out the check was no good. Every time I heard a car outside I panicked and thought it was the police coming to arrest me.
          I had prayed for the Lord to forgive me and I put this situation in his hands. I messed up and asked the Lord to turn this situation around. Then to my surprise, I got a return call from the Attorney General’ office asking me to go on television and tell my story. I agreed, and I was also recently on channel 13 news.
          The Lord works in mysterious ways. The bank has decided not to take further action against me. I asked Jill Miles (from Attorney General’ office) why they weren’ going to pursue this. Her response was they have changed their minds.
          I believe the only reason why this did not continue was Jesus had answered my prayers and turned this situation around. I told the Lord if I could help someone else not go through what I’e been through, it would all be worth it.
          They are many different internet scams out there such as:
         ? Nigeria scams
         ? car scams
         ? work at home scams
         And many more. For more details on the list of scams go to your search engine and look up internet scams. You will find a lot of sites to choose from.
                         Malisia Seabolt
         News from the Braxton/Clay FSA
         USDA Announces CRP Sign Up Dates
          Braxton Clay Farm Service Agency announced a general sign-up for CRP will begin August 30 and run through September 24, 2004. CRP is the country’ largest conservation program on private lands with a current enrollment of 34.8 million acres.
          CRP protects fragile cropland from erosion and improves the nation’ natural resources. By reducing water runoff and sedimentation, the program safeguards surface water and helps improve the condition of lakes, rivers, ponds and streams, many of which are used for drinking water supplies. Acreage enrolled in CRP is devoted to resource-conserving vegetative covers, making the program a major contributor to more abundant wildlife populations in many parts of the country.
          CRP participants voluntarily remove environmentally sensitive land from agricultural production by entering into long-term contracts for 10 to 15 years. In exchange, participants receive annual rental payments and a payment of up to 50 percent of the cost of establishing conservation practices.
          USDA will use the Environmental Benefits Index (EBI) to rank the acreage offered. The EBI is based on costs and five other factors: soil erosion, water quality, enduring benefits, air quality and wildlife enhancement.
          Offers accepted under this sign-up will become effective October 1, 2005, or October 1, 2006, at the producer’ discretion. More detailed information on CRP and the general sign-up is available at Braxton Clay FSA Office 364-5103 and on FSA’ web site at:
         NAP Coverage
         The Non-Insured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) was designed to reduce financial losses that occur when natural disasters cause a catastrophic loss of production or prevented planting of an eligible crop by providing coverage equivalent to catastrophic (CAT) insurance. Statute limits NAP to each commercial crop or agricultural commodity, except livestock, for which CAT is not available and is produced for food or fiber.
          A summery of 2005 NAP crops and their application closing dates are listed as follows:
         September 1, 2004: Aquaculture, Christmas Trees, Floriculture, Ginseng, Mushrooms, Ornamental Nursery, Strawberries, and Turfgrass Sod.
         September 30, 2004: Alfalfa, Barley, Clover, Garlic, Grass, Mixed Forage, Rye, Wheat, and Triticale.
         November 20, 2004: Apples, Blueberries, Caneberries, Cherries, Grapes, Nectarines, Peaches, Pears, and Plums.
         December 1, 2004: Honey and Maple Sap
         February 15, 2005: All other annual crops.
          Producers who already have coverage on 2004 NAP crops may choose to continue coverage on the same crop or crops for 2005, if the applicable service fee is submitted by the application closing date. A new CCC-471, application for coverage is not required to be signed when applying for continuous coverage of the same crop or crops.
          Producers who choose to add a new crop (s) or delete a crop (s) from previous year’ coverage or changing crop shares must file a new CCC-471 with signatures and pay the applicable service fee.
          Producers with 2004 NAP coverage must remember to complete the following to qualify for benefits:
?        Timely file acreage reports and keep track of harvested production using acceptable methods. For example, bale weights or other means of determining quantities of hay are required.
?        File a “otice of Loss”within 15 days of when a loss is apparent, due to drought, hail, etc.

        I'm back at it with some more stuff that might blow you mind. Despite claiming to represent, in some distorted fashion, the “alues of America,”the GOP is always the first party to start name-calling, as in unpatriotic, wishy-washy, flip-flop, etc. It, of course, doesn't even have to be true; it's just enough to catch the ear of the less-informed person or the alumni of the school system of West Virginia. Too many votes are cast based on this brand of goofiness. Then there is the old standby, distorting facts. This tactic is what took us to Iraq when the real facts wouldn't have done so. I am sorry for the decent, honest people in Congress that trusted our president and his intelligence cronies, which is an oxymoron if there ever was one. Step three in any contested GOP campaign is to stoop to plain old lying. An example is good old Dickie Cheney still insisting that there are WMD in Iraq. To tell the truth, I fully expect them to find "planted" evidence before the election.
        You hear it every day, "The economy is improving, just look at the stock market." Well, maybe those moneychangers are doing better but you'll have to look long and hard to find any evidence of it around here. Which brings me to another thing that sticks in my craw. The constant crowing about how the unemployment numbers have dropped. I have yet to meet a politician, patronage hack or media slug that understands that those figures only show who is drawing unemployment. To draw unemployment you have to have had a job within the last two years. Those figures don't show the long-term unemployed that have depleted all their funds. To find out how many Americans aren't working you would have to add a look at the Welfare rolls to the unemployment numbers. Want to bet that a fourth of the workers in the U.S. are not working? Add school children, the disabled and the retirees that can get by on their pensions (if they still have a pension) and the number will be at least 50% of the country not working, not supporting their families, not buying homes and cars, not living the American dream. In other words, I feel that at least half this country doesn't have a job or a job that has a living wage, with healthcare.
        Mentioning my friend and yours, Smiling Dick Cheney, reminded me. Watching the media effort to make him more "warm" has been like watching a snake smile, just too weird to believe. It may have blown my mind!
        I was so glad to hear Kerry make the connection between our safety and stability and our dependence of foreign oil. The oil-producers could literally bring the U.S. to her knees if they so choose. If that's not enough to put alternative fuels on the front burner, I don't know what it'll take. Guess I'll wrap up this little tirade and coax some supper from my Mountain Mama.

The "Clendenin Little People" as our Mayor likes to refer to us, just got a boost in our fight against the Water Company.The Kanawha County Board of Education wrote a letter to the PSC supporting our Complaint
against the Water Works and went so far as to say:

"After reviewing the reports, there appears to be alack of fire protection due to inadequate storage, low flow, and low pressure.Herbert Hoover High School is a multimillion dollar facility that educates approximately 800 students a year.The safety of thosechildren is paramount.Obviously, there is a concern for everyone about the adequate fire protection in the event of a fire at the school.The Kanawha County Board of Education respectfully requests this matter be reviewed carefully to better serve the community as well as Herbert Hoover High School."

Maybe this would work equally well in Clay County especially is you have the same problem with fire safety that we have.
One other thing that might also work up there. Kanawha County Commission obtained a million plus grant for water expansion and worked with WV Water to provide the matching funds.WV Water is putting up
the money and the County Commission will pay it back over a period of years, interest free.This may be an option for the Roane-Clay people to get the additional money they need.It's worth a try, the most they can do is say no.
                        Connie Sloan

School Board Meeting
The Clay County Board of Education members met Monday, August 16 at their administrative office in Clay. All were in attendance: R.B. Legg, Jr., Gene King, David Pierson, Kim Sams and Beth Cercone.
The Board approved total increased receipts of $330,352.00, $250,000 of that from their 21st Century Grant, $45,000 from the Budget Digest, and $35,000 from the Community Service Grant.
The resignations of Trisha Triplett as volleyball coach at Clay Middle School (CMS) and Eric Cole as volleyball coach at Clay County High School (CCHS) were accepted, both effective immediately.
Transfers were approved for Shirley Baird from Cook II at Clay Elementary to the same position at CCHS; bus driver Aaron Belt from the Clay/Widen (#9) bus to the Duck/Horse Ridge (#45) bus; Sherry Ramsey from LD/MI Special Education Teacher at CCHS to Title I/LD Resource Teacher at Ivydale Elementary; and Jo Carver from part time Cook II to full time Cook II at Clay Elementary. All were successful bids.
Cheri Burdette was employed as a Special Education Supervisory Teacher’ Aide at CMS, and Glenna Triplett was hired into a new position as an Autism/Behavior Disorders Teacher’ Aide at Clay Elementary, both successful bids. Denese Murphy was employed as the new volleyball coach at CMS, and Gail Simons as the new volleyball coach at CCHS, both effective immediately. Steve Butler moved off the substitute bus drivers list and was employed full time as driver for the Widen/Harrison bus (#9).
Beth Cercone briefly interrupted to ask why some of the job openings, which they had just filled, hadn’ been posted on the school’ website. Administrative Assistant Kenneth Tanner answered that they should have been, but he’ been gone. He said that right now they don’ have a good system. Superintendent Jerry Linkinoggor indicated that job postings would be easier when they have the new Ablesoft system. He reported that the jobs had been posted at the open schools (those in the town of Clay) and at the bus garage. Transportation Director Larry Legg said that the bus drivers were called when a job came up.
John Gency and Crystal Curtis were added to the substitute teacher list for the 2004-2005 school year. Transfers were approved for a Nicholas County student to attend CCHS, and two Calhoun County students to attend Ivydale Elementary. All motions passed unanimously.
The last item on the agenda was discussion on a personnel issue, and the board voted to go into executive session for it. Next meeting of the board will be on Tuesday, September 7.                         TK

Letter to Brother Bill
By Evelyne McLaughlin

Dear Bro. Bill: How is everything in your neck of the woods?Guess you are still just "scraping by" - yeah, right. My garden has been slow in producing, but thanks to Helen and Glen King and Criss and Alyce Faye Bragg, I have had lots of good garden stuff to munch on.I'll try to send you a little of the local news.
Pearl Hanshaw Saare, of Youngstown, Ohio, has been visiting with relatives and friends in the Procious area.She also attended the Hanshaw Reunion.I hadn't seen Pearl for many years. Bragg Becker, of Ohio, has been visiting with her relatives in Ovapa. Miriam is Alyce Faye's granddaughter.Joe Paxton, of Valley Fork, had a bad accident at home.He broke his back.Diana Moles, of Bomont, has been ill. Alton Legg is also ill. Carmen Dawson Samples, of Twistabout, was hospitalized recently. We need to add these folks, who are ill, to our prayer list.
Joe and Bonnie Weese, of Procious, had their 28th wedding anniversary a few days ago.Also, Dennis and Rheeneta Bennett, of Valley View, celebrated their 24th wedding anniversary this week.Early birthday wishes to Alyce Faye Bragg and Don McLaughlin.They share the same birthday, August 30th.Melissa Weese, Ashley and Cody have returned home after spending several days in Maine.They were helping Melissa's mother do some painting.
The CCHS Class of 1954 held their 50th Class Reunion August 7th.I went there to see a friend, James Smith, and ended up seeing lots of friends.was good to see all those folks I hadn't seen for many moons.Next year the CCHS Class of 1955 will have their 50th reunion.It is scheduled for July 2, 2005.
So sorry to learn that Mary Katherine Taylor King's sister, Rose, passed away.Rose lived in Florida.Also, so sorry to learn of Rita Crawford Bee's passing.She was a 1954 graduate of CCHS and the daughter of the late Annis and Emma Crawford.
Emily Samples, daughter of Clifford and Debbie Hanshaw Samples, of Procious, has been working at the Foodland.She will be returning to college soon.She attends West Virginia Tech.
When I gathered eggs from my hen house recently, I found a turkey egg, a hen egg and a witch egg.Do you remember when we would find a witch egg when we were little? Mom would make us throw it over the house.A witch egg was supposed to be bad news.
It is so nice to see Clay County's own Aaron Starcher as he reports news on Channel 8. His parents, Delmar and Linda Stockwell Starcher, of Dunbar, must be so proud of him. Tom and Linda Love Scott were visiting with their daughter in Florida a week or so ago.
I told you in my last letter that I wanted to share some of Aunt Eva King's memories with you.Aunt Eva was one of Mom's older sisters.They were the children of Abner Jehu and Laura Alice Dodd Samples, of Big Laurel Creek.This is part of Aunt Eva's "Big Laurel Memories”- Good and Bad. The earliest things I can remember about Big Laurel life was the day we moved from the old log house where I was born.We first moved in the house called "The Cook House" where Eliku Cook had lived.We were afraid of "Liku" for they said he killed a man.Once we stayed at the Cook house near the mouth of Laurel till Dad built us a 4 room house.No match floor and no good ceiling, just plain planks.The Clay Lbr. Works were in full swing.The tram road had ties and steel rails and the men hauled the longs to the river by these rails.One team driver was Burton Samples, Darrell's great grand dad's brother.Len Given drove one.He married Alex Samples daughter, Ola, Nona Carper's mother.Cane Shaffer drove one, Luke Shamblin drove the other.We had a small push car and could ride on it after the trucks were all home.Ma would have to go to Clendenin sometimes by train and took her all day.Enos would care for us.She told him whatever he did, to not get on the car.And, as soon as she left he got all of us on the car and it wrecked. Threw us in a ditch and broke Verba's collar bone.She cried so much. Ma asked Enos what caused the knot on Verba's neck and one of us told Ma. I hope she whipped him.He was spike boy and picked up spikes and carried them for the section crew at $1.00 a day.We picked black berries.One hot, hot day while Maw canned them we went up near the graveyard and picked huckleberries.Ma told me and Addie (our Mom) to carry the cans to the cellar. Addie was 8 and I was 13.(This was 1918) I stepped in the dark cellar with a small door and stepped on a copperhead.It bit me on the ankle.It hurt worst then anything.They used turpentine, hot chicken guts and Pa cut the place larger and stood me in the creek.I was pretty crippled over a month. (These memories to be continued until my next letter.)
Now, a word to the wise: "When you are in deep water, it is best to keep your mouth shut." And, "The happiest of people don't necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the best of everything that comes along their way."Until next time, Help Us All to Be Brave, love, Sis.

Magistrate Report
08/07/04: Stephenson – Gerald M. Thompson, Jr., wanton endangerment.
08/09/04: Belt – Phillip Jerry Payne II, manufacture, delivery and possession marijuana, arrested 08/10, ROB.
08/10/04: Stephenson – Robert Weese, Jr., unlawful possession of firearm (08/01/04), defendant waived preliminary hearing, sent to Circuit Court.
08/12/04: Elswick – Bradley Joe Stone, petit larceny-2nd offense X 2 (07/21/04), preliminary hearing continued by defense to 09/09/04; Elswick – Malena Gayle Stone, accessory after the fact X 2 (07/21/04), preliminary hearing waived to the Grand Jury in the Circuit Court of Clay County.
08/17/04: Elswick – Tommy E. Young, unlawful/malicious wounding and wanton endangerment X 4, arrested.
08/04/04: Bailey – Christopher J. Samples, warrant issued for violation of temporary domestic violence protective order, arrested 08/06, ROB; Butcher – Lyndsey Nottingham, trespassing, destruction of property and battery, arrested, ROB.
08/05/04: Wriston – Edsel Westfall, Jr., destruction of property, warrant issued; Wriston – Rodney James Rhodes, domestic battery, warrant issued.
08/06/04: Bullard’ Exxon and Quick Stop – Michael D. Hill, warrant issued for worthless check complaint, 08/09 case dismissed, defendant paid check and notice; Bullard’ Exxon – Marsha K. Eagle, warrants issued for worthless check complaints X 2; Bullard’ Exxon – Tom F. Ratliff, warrant issued for worthless check complaint, 08/11 defendant paid check and costs; Bullard’ Exxon – Ronnie D. Beasley, warrant issued for worthless check complaint; Bullard’ Exxon – Tanya L. Hinzman, warrant issued for worthless check complaint; Bullard’ Exxon – Marilynn A. Taylor, warrant issued for worthless check complaint; Bullard’ Exxon – Terri J. Bass, warrant issued for worthless check complaint; Clay Supermarket – Roger B. Carper, warrants issued for worthless check complaints X 2.
08/07/04: Stephenson – Gerald M. Thompson, Jr., shoot within 500 ft. of dwelling, warrant issued; Stephenson – Charles Scott White, driving under the influence and driving suspended/revoked non-DUI, arrested, ROB 08/09, defendant pled no contest, assessed fine, cost and 24 hours jail.
08/10/04: Clay Supermarket – Leslie Gray, warrants issued for worthless check complaints X 8; Slack – Carlos Duncan, warrants issued for destruction of property, assault and reckless driving; Belt – Jeffrey Allen Conrad, driving while revoked for DUIA, arrested, ROB, 08/18 defendant plead guilty, sentenced to 6 mos. Jail to be served on home confinement, assessed fine and costs.
08/12/04: Slack – Earl Walls, trespassing, summons; Slack – Ronald Blankenship, trespassing, summons.
08/16/04: Simms – Carol E. Hager, conspiring to commit chapter 20 violation, appeared, ROB.
08/17/04: Renee L. Boyd – Sandra Guy, peace bond, summons; Belt – Tracy Shane Johnson, driving under the influence-2nd offense, failure to keep right, fail to stop at stop sign, registration violation, no POI and defective equipment.
08/09/04: King’ Trucking and Wrecker Service – Jonathan Pritt, money due, subpoena; King’ Trucking and Wrecker Service – Matthew Bragg, money due, subpoena.
08/10/04: Telford’ Chevrolet – John Bill Brown, money due, subpoena.
08/18/04: Elmer B. Taylor – David Derby, money due, subpoena.
Worthless Checks Notices issued –
08/10/04: IGA – Melissa G. Hill (paid 08/12); Lizemore Grocery – Cadet Jennifer S. Eagle; Ruby Elkins.
08/13/04: Carte’ Quick Stop – Tonia Wayne; Hazel Lou Stewart (paid 08/16).
Citation Register
08/02/04: State Police – Ruth B. Bass, speeding; Brenda Joyce Gilbert, no POI; Municipal Police – Samantha Dawn Gray, registration violation; Sandra Dawn Gray, operator’ and no POI.
08/03/04: Sheriff’ Dept. – Autumn Brooke Frame, registration violation and no POI; DNR – Christopher Johnson, under 18 no helmet and ATV on highway no operator’.
08/04/04: State Police – Richard D. Ross, MVI; Mary E. Smith, speeding.
08/06/04: State Police – Charles D. Nicholas, speeding.
08/07/04: State Police – Tammy Lanham, operator’ and registration violation; Sheriff’ Dept. – Clinton Michael Scott, speeding.
08/08/04: Sheriff’ Dept. – Christopher Craddock, registration violation and no POI.
08/09/04: State Police – Ryan Wesley Gilliand, MVI; Darrell Keith Jones, speeding; Sheriff’ Dept. - Paul Allen Holcomb, speeding.
08/10/04: State Police – Michael C. Mollohan, MVI and operator’.
08/11/04: Sheriff’ Dept. – Jesse Scott Adkins, no POI; Woodrow Ray Cutlip, speeding; Chadwick W. Muck, left of center, driving suspended/revoked non-DUI, no POI and MVI.
08/13/04: State Police – William L. Knicely, driving suspended/revoked non-DUI.
08/14/04: State Police – Charles E. Mullins, operator’.
08/15/04: State Police – Robert L. Hamrick, MVI.
08/17/04: Sheriff’ Dept. – Tracy Shane Johnson, driving under the influence-2nd offense; fail to keep right, fail to stop at stop sign, registration violation, no POI and defective equipment.