SEPTEMBER 3, 2004

BOARD HEARS OF DECIET
FOLLOW UP
DID YOU KNOW
“Moral Clarity”Claptrap By Jim Chafin
Letter to Brother Bill
IT CAME FROM BLOWS YOUR MIND
2004 Clay County Golden Delicious Festival Children’ Pageant Results
2004 Golden Delicious Belle
Changes to FSA County Committee Elections Proposed
SHORT SHORTS
CRIME AT CCC MEETING
JOBS MAY BE COMIN’
BOB CLARKE Curmudgeon’s Corner
The Christian Service Center, Inc.
PROTECTIVE DAD IN TROUBLE
ON THE SOAPBOX
TIDBITS
Magistrate Report
MURDER MOUNTAIN SAGA



BOARD HEARS OF DECIET
        During a little known to the public emergency meeting of the Clay County Health Dept. Directors, the Board heard news of deception and dishonesty before voting to lay off workers and reduce other programs. The move was made in an attempt to save the budget.
        An emergency meeting of the governing board was convened August 24th at 7pm. Before most board meetings there is chit-chat, maybe a story or two told, and sometimes even snacks. Not so this time. Around the table sat boardsters Joe Morris, Herman Rogers, new to the board Bobby Stover, County Medical Director Doc Boggs along with Health Dept. Director Karen Dawson and office manager Linda Klotzbach. Chairperson Connie Harper came late and Loretta Bird was no where to be seen.
        Putting on her cheeriest face, Director Dawson said there was one bit of good news that night. $29,000 had been received to purchase and install a backup generator for the building. And then the bad stuff hit! Dawson, “t’ tough to know where to start… the major problem is WIC…” Dawson explained WIC Director Marlene Helvey had run the six county WIC program budget in the ground by at least $50,000. She said she found out about the problem on August 17th. Dawson, “hey missed the budget by $50,000.00.” The explanation went like this: the Greenbrier County office rent went from $150 per month to $1600 per month when the agency moved earlier in the year; Helvey gave pay increases to her workers; Helvey had been making costly trips to country wide conventions and charging the expense to the WIC budget; and the independent minded WIC director hired 2 new employees after the Health Dept. Board approved the hires.
Helvey earned $4062.00 per month including benefits. Dawson admitted to her oversight short falls in the mess, “ was not monitoring close enough..”
The discussions were lively. Joe Morris, “hey missed budget by $50,000? They should have been in budget… They knew they had to pay that [rent]!”When asked about the hires, Morris, “he can hire without [our] approval?”Dawson explained that the board had approved the hires and pay increases on her recommendation.
When Doc Boggs asked whether Helvey had lied to the Director, Dawson shook her head “Yes.” Herman Rogers, “ounds like we’e got a little problem here.”Morris, “She mislead you to take the trips?”Ms Dawson responded that Helvey had assured her that all the travel expense, around $9000, was to be reimbursed from state funds and that didn’ happen. Dawson, “Her negligence will cost [her] a job… she has resigned..”
Readers, do you remember Ms Helvey? During a board meeting a few months back, the lady got all bent out of shape after learning that Morris and Rogers had gone to other counties and asked questions of other health providers. At one point Morris yelled back, “ don’ care what you think, lady!”That was then. Now, for now...
Remembering that outburst from an underling, Morris reminded the crew of Ms Helvey’ out of control mouth, demanded an apology from her and commented, “Her travel has always been excessive..”Morris went on to point out another little Health Dept. sore spot. While company vehicles sit in the parking lot, employees charge mileage on their own vehicles while doing their jobs. Morris, “O MORE TRAVEL MONEY IF COMPANY CARS ARE PARKED [outside]!”
Director Dawson said she had not accepted the resignation yet and hopes to train someone within the agency to do the job, and in the future, the WIC budget will be handled inside the Health Dept. instead of by the WIC Director. Office Manager Klotzbach, “ wasn’ monitoring the WIC money.. She lead us to believe the trips would be reimbursed.”
The strategy was laid out to reduce the red tape. The plans call for laying off three people by Oct. 1st , cutting hours of two more employees and a general belt tightening. Linda Klotzbach added they are cutting WIC expenses like telephones, county clinics may be cut back, and there will be no additional travel expenses. With the cutbacks in personnel and services, Dawson thought they could finish the budget year just $30,000 in the red.
The Women, Infant and Children Program falls under the Clay County Health Dept. umbrella as a pass through agency and in return, the Health Dept. receives a 105 administration fee.
By a motion of the board, pink slips were issued for Jay Carper, Kelly Shepherd and Susan Gonzales and cutback in hours for Amy Osborne, Lori Hypes and Carrie Adkins.
Dawson read off a six point list of program cutbacks which included: re-evaluate the “ight from the Start”program to reflect a salary for nurse Jeanne Perdue; reduce time for the Medicaid Waiver nurse to 60%; reduce the Threat Preparedness budget by 22% and lay off Jay Carper; give the in-house clinic program to Clay Primary Health; and, reduce the staff time (Sandy Graham) in the health promotion program.
Somewhere in the discussion County Medical Officer Doc Jim Boggs mentioned the county’ other health provider, Primary Health of Clay, is in deep stuff. Something about the in-the-red agency hiring three more doctors in Sept. He also mentioned that the local provider may be taken over by a larger provider. Remember that part for future reference.
So is the problem corrected with the resignation of Helvey, layoffs and program cutbacks? Maybe not. Klotzbach, “dditional cuts may be needed later.”
When it appeared that the meeting was about to close and without anyone getting a smack on the hand, a short fat guy in the back asked, “So, who gets the written reprimand - Karen Dawson or the Board?” It got quiet.
Joe Morris said that they didn’ know about the problem, “e was not aware…. 3 or 4 [board members] have been here less than 9 months.”Dawson, “ put too much faith in the WIC Director..” Herman Rogers, “We didn’ get enough data.”Doc Boggs, “We just accept the numbers.”

                                        AW

FOLLOW UP
        Nine years ago this week, the first edition of the Communicator made it to the news stands. The fledgling paper was just four pages and with few advertisers. Coverage included a very troubled ambulance service, lack of oversight in the county by the County Commission, and an educational system H bent on consolidating schools without public input. Before the Communicator, there was no county source for news on public meetings, courthouse wheeling and dealing, and atrocities in the court room. There was no place for the common citizen to voice their views and concerns. Old timers said, “his place will never change.”
        Our operation has grown over the years and cleared many hurdles including boycotts, financial woes, and attempts to silence the printed word. Somehow we made it through the tough times and today the parent company, Delta Communications, just about breaks even each month and covers the bills.
        Along the way we have made about as many enemies as strong supporters. The supporters and enemies change hats with each edition based on the articles printed that month. During those nine years, the articles were often hard to believe. Stuff like: temper tantrums at public meetings by appointed officials, cops called in to remove members of the public, when Senator Randy Schoonover got himself in the wringer that little paper over in Clay praised Schoony for a job well done while we reported his “ticky finger”plea, during early attempts to pass a school levy, this paper uncovered the crafty wording that said if your community doesn’ support the levy at the polls, you won’ get any of the money.                 

Sure don’ want to forget what news source broke the J.D. Morris scandal. While that other little paper was reporting on J.D.’ going away party, we were reporting on the stolen money from college loan funds and FDIC investigation and subsequent mandates just to keep the bank open. Can’ leave out the blow-by-blow Filcon, Inc. mess.
In this edition, we’e got the deceitful financials in the Clay County WIC program administrated by the Clay County Health Dept, the problems with sleepy heads at the ambulance service, and politics at the County Commission meeting. Last time we devoted four pages to the war/drug shooting at Murder Mountain. For a newspaper, Clay County West Virginia couldn’ be any more fertile!
As was the case in the beginning, Clay County still struggles with ineffective leadership and rampant apathy. There have been changes for the good in the county. We think having a free and independent press in the county has helped nudge those changes, and Clayberry in general into the 20th Century. Our policy has been a platform for change and a place for the taxpayer to be heard. We remain the watch dog of the county.
With your continued support, we can make it another 9 years. Thanks in advance. Teresa Kerns, Lindy Myers, and Andy Waddell, ace cub reporter.

??? DID YOU KNOW ???

         1.        Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old. - Frank Kafta
2.        An estimated 16.7 billion transactions a year take place using ATM and point-of-sale debit cards, up more than 27% from five years ago.
3.        The United Mine Workers of America Career Centers, Inc. in Beckley has won the first Work-Force WV outstanding partner of the year award.
4.        Only 32% of the 4,173 elevators accessible to the public in West Virginia were inspected during the fiscal year that ended June 30.
5.        No Northern Snakeheads have been found in West Virginia rivers or lakes.
6.        In 2006, state officials say about 26,000 West Virginians will turn 60 years of age.
7.        West Virginia currently has 37,902 predominantly female owned firms.
8.        West Virginia University Mountaineer football ticket sales are about 3,000 ahead of last season.
9.        The internet was 35 years old in August.
10.         Recent surveys suggest dogs are most often owned by people over 45.
11.         Spiderman 2 features a replica of the famous Robert Lepper mural that covers the front wall of the WVU auditorium; it can be seen in the background of a fight between Spiderman and Dr. Octopus.
12.         In U.S. universities, men receive 70 percent of all math doctorates.
13.         It typically takes 20 years of use for a new word to become prominent enough to merit a place in an abridged dictionary, such as the Collegiate.
14.         The largest diamond ever found was the Cullinan, the size of a bowling ball at 3,106 carats in the rough.
15.         Every year about 220,000 Americans die of cardiac arrest.
16.         42,643 people died in traffic accidents in 2003 nationwide.
17.         Motorcycle deaths are up 12 percent in 2003.
18.         Of the 277,199 children attending West Virginia’s public schools last year, 94.6% were white and 4.55% were black; the remainder were Hispanic, American Indian or Asian.
19.         The Census Bureau reports that between 1997 and 2002 the number of SUV’ registered in West Virginia grew from 87,000 to 159,000.
20.         “mokey Bear”is 60 years old.
                    
                                        LMM

“Moral Clarity”Claptrap By Jim Chafin
         If one understands the English language, even remotely, it would not be difficult to contrast the differences between fact and fiction concerning the rhetoric emanating from Washington as Campaign 2004 shifts into high gear. For those who have followed the actions of those who currently occupy the seats of power on Pennsylvania Avenue, it shouldn’ be difficult to discern between actions of the Oval Office and what those folks purport themselves to be. And, by golly, they really do expect the citizenry of this nation to “ake it in faith”– yes, they surely do. And you know what? Both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue have joined hands in one massive effort to take this nation down the slippery slope of a war that could last forever. Yes, dear reader, our august leaders have shucked their responsibilities and have joined the ranks of the con artists who have told one dirty lie after another in an effort to justify their taking this great country into the quicksand of “reemptive strikes”– meaning that the people’ arm of government (Senate and House of Representatives) have locked arms with those who, traditionally, have been at the forefront of those who have fought our Constitution from its very inception. Since the days when our forefathers first landed on the shores of New England, those folks represented the Imperial throne almost entirely. The king’ interest was paramount, and his goal was to fill his treasury with the bounty of this new land. Indeed, commercialism of the wealth of the colonies was the primary goal of this rag-tag bunch that landed on Plymouth Rock. Why? Well, because the king’ men were in charge, and those “uddled masses”were indebted to the king to do his bidding. Over the next 150 years only a handful of dissidents rose to protest the heavy hand of the king as he filled his larder on the backs of what can only be called slave labor.
Today, the Republican Party has inherited the cloak of commercialism and carries on the fight of those who in the 17th century were the standard bearers for the royal monarch. The writers of the Federalist Papers, as well as others, chronicled the difficulties of those who sought to bring this nation into being. My friend, those early days were lean and mean, what with those who supported independence for the thirteen colonies being singled out as traitors to the crown and death warrants placed upon their heads. Today there are still those who spare no effort to discredit and dismantle our institutions of freedom. Little by little, piece by piece, they poke holes in that precious document known as the Constitution, disregarding our Declaration of Independence and the deprivations suffered by so many during our War of Independence. The onslaught against constitutional rule of law is no less real today, and I, for one, am mad as hell!
Why so? Well, for starters, every one of those whom we elect is sworn to uphold, defend and protect the Constitution of this United States of America. A large portion of them are, supposedly, legal experts – lawyers, who have embedded themselves in the heart of this country’ system of laws, ordinances, statutes, rules and regulations. These people are in our legislative bodies. The judiciary is composed entirely of attorneys. They sit on thousands of boards and commissions. And they are elected to local and state offices routinely. So, if there is a problem with the direction in which this nation is headed, and there is, then lawyers are in the thick of things, so to speak. Through their fraternities and business associations, lawyers are required to uphold the Constitution. It’ also a requirement to practice their profession before the courts of this land. But, are they? As a group, lawyers are among the highest paid of all in this land. They command the highest salaries in the seats of government, and they should do a better job of protecting our institutions than they are doing.
Congress, itself filled with high-priced attorneys, has jumped ship, sneaking over to the corrupter who sits in the executive branch. They have forgotten their oaths of office and those for whom they are supposed to represent. And, they stand in violation of the very document they are sworn to uphold. One problem that stands out clearly as we attempt to sort out the wheres and whys of this perplexing situation, is that too often the elected has a very short memory span. So, when he/she is elevated to a seat in America’ power center, a metamorphosis of sorts takes place – changing from the “r. Nice Guy”who asks for his job politely into a lush who is quickly addicted to the perks handed out by the boss in his new-found society. Or else the guy is just plain greedy.
One thing for sure, our elected representatives have not fulfilled the separation of powers clause of the United States Constitution, and are in serious violation of its provisions. In my view, this separation is the key to keeping the executive branch honest, notably by controlling the purse strings and drying up what is usually the primary source of our problems with the Oval Office – that of too much money.
Congress is sworn to live by the rules of constitutional law, as are those of the judicial and executive branches. How much moral clarity, then, is there being demonstrated by the government of this nation? We can illustrate what we mean by briefly mentioning America’ best known patriot from the 16th century, Roger Williams, who preached tolerance and counseled his fellow colonists in the finer points of law. He so strongly insisted that his brethren pay the Indians for the land they took from them, that it infuriated the Boston colonists and they drove Williams out into the cold of a Massachusetts winter, in the dead of night, without anything save the clothes ha had on his back. “hey hoped I would die,”he recalled later, but “he savages of the forest were kinder than the savages of Boston Colony.”
Today, our supposed leaders say, “e do it all in Jesus’name.” Good grief, Charlie Brown.

Letter to Brother Bill
By Evelyne McLaughlin
Dear Brother: Sorry to hear that you ran your tractor over a yellow jacket’ nest. Those fellers do not take that lightly. Glad to hear your arthritis isn't bothering you. I have heard that bee stings are good for arthritis.
Well, our 50th Class Reunion (CCHS 1955) is scheduled for July 12, 2005. We hope to see lots of our former classmates. I was around to see Dixie the other evening. The ugliest old tobacco worm was in her driveway. She said, "That is the ugliest thing I have seen since Bro. Bill was here." Sylvia was recently visiting with her sister, Arlene Brown Jett, of Little Hocking, Ohio. Sandy Brown Potasnik went with her. Maggie Graham, of Powder Springs, Georgia, is experiencing some health problems. I heard that Clifford Samples was hospitalized. Please remember these folks in your prayers. We were sorry to learn of the death of Helen Thomas Samples, of Horners Fork. Our sympathies to the family.
I guess the gardens are about gone for this season. Wanita Koch, of Blue Knob, gave me some nice tomatoes and cucumbers this week. Miranda McLaughlin has enrolled in beautician school. She has moved to Kelly's Creek. Nikki O'Brien is very busy with the real estate business. She told me she had sold her first property recently. Way to go Nikki. Barbara Schamberger, attorney, is moving her office from the hotel to the old Pierson home across the street. Noel Braley and his family were recently camping on Williams River. Don always loved to go to Williams River. He isn't feeling well enough to travel there these days. Brad McLaughlin will be celebrating a birthday the 23rd of this month. I guess I have one coming up before too long. We'll talk about that later.
I told you the last time I would write some more of Aunt Eva's letter telling about her days as a young girl on the waters of Big Laurel Creek. She wrote: Dad cut timber for Hiram Young and he was cutting a tree and the axe slipped and cut his leg. It was cold and snowy and he almost bled to death. Later he cut his hand and got blood poison. A doctor came from Charleston and cut the place and bled the poison out. I remember hearing Pa say "Oh, doctor, don't cut me any more." At Christmas time Pa always killed a fat hog. One year he killed one in November and Ma saved the hog guts to make home made soap. She took the guts to the creek and washed them in cold water and got pneumonia and nearly died. We made lots of leather britches or fodder beans and strung them on twine to dry. Me and Ma picked a big wide mouth sack half full of beans in the Oat Bottom and when Ma poured them out for us to sort the yellow hull beans from the dry, there was a viper snake in the beans, but she killed it. Dick used to fix wooden spigots in the maple tree and let the juice come down in buckets. We made maple syrup and candy. We always raised cane for molasses and Uncle Squire sold his mill and pan to Dad. Grover was going to try to make the molasses and was called to the oil field to work, so dad tried but failed. I took over. I was 19 the year Jake and I were married and I really did a good job - made 120 gallon of molasses with very little help. We would can as much as 50 gallon of berries. Hallie and I would carry eggs to Elkhurst and cross a swinging bridge each Saturday. That was a nightmare. We was so afraid of storms. We carried them to Marne. One Saturday a terrible storm came and struck the trees near us. When we got home Ma and the other kids were in the cellar and thought we would stop at Grant McCune’. (To be continued) Aunt Eva's notes give us some insight as to how hard life was in the early 1900's.
News is rather scarce this week so I will close. Remember that God loves you and so do I. Love, Sis


IT CAME FROM BLOWS YOUR MIND
WV RADICAL DON GREENE
        
        There is so much weirdness during this election year that a person barely knows what to think. Some of these things simply blow your mind, such as the difference between being candidate oriented and issue oriented. The first group has only one goal, which is getting their candidate elected, mostly for no other reason than it is their candidate. Others, such as me, try to support candidates that are more aligned on certain issues with my line of thought. Of course I always vote Democrat, but sometimes must leave a blank on my ballot because the Republican seems to be the better person to address my issues.
        I've heard some of the silliest excuses for continuing to support Bush this year. They are all petty and some are almost beyond belief. One poor soul said he was voting Republican because he went to a poorly planned non-political function and saw some Democrat candidates there. In his little pea-sized brain that was enough to cause him to not vote Democrat. Another silly thing claims to be against John Kerry because somehow the Heinz people stole the recipe for catsup from China and got rich with it and never shared their fortune with the Chinese! Yet another dim bulb has the goofy logic that he can't support John Kerry and John Edwards because both of them are rich! Duh! Like the darn Bush's are what, poor?
        Another little thing that continues to bug me is the fact that the U.S. is still addicted to foreign oil. The effect on our economy and nation is similar to that of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, when the nation was hooked on coal. By the way, in addition to all of the pollution from the myriad of petroleum products, coal is still the pollution of choice for our sacred power companies. I keep hearing about how out of touch with the average American the Democrats are. Just exactly who decided that the ultra-right-wing, ultra-conservative, religious fundamentalist, evangelical hypocrites represent the majority of America? This is along the line of the constant bombardment we hear about a liberal media. I have a rather broad access to information and I'll be darned if I know where the liberal media is. Of course the fat-cat, elitist, conservative-controlled media is trying to turn the term liberal into a boogie-man. I prefer to think of myself and others of the same mind as progressives, in that we want this great nation to move towards a better and brighter future, instead of regressing into a classis, rich-poor, feudal-type system. In fact, if we don't move forward, we are by simple fact, falling behind. Hey, out of space. Guess we'll pick up again next time. Peace brothers and sisters, the Radical is out of the building.

2004 Clay County Golden Delicious Festival Children’ Pageant Results

        On Saturday the 28th of August, the Clay County Golden Delicious Festival Children’ Pageants took place. All winners will be introduced to the public on Thursday, September 16th, at the Queen’ Coronation in Courthouse Square, after the Opening Ceremonies.
Pretty Baby 7-12 months: Photogenic: Breanna Renee Lane, daughter of Shannon & Christina Lane of Indore; 2nd Runner Up: Serena Grace Neal, daughter of Erica &Carl Mark Neal of Indore; 1st Runner Up: Jason Lee Brown, son of Raymond & Debra Brown of Bickmore and the 2004 Pretty Baby 7-12 Months: Kalep Dale Cottrill, son of Melissa & Kevin Cottrill of Ivydale.
Pretty Baby 13-18 Months: 2nd Runner Up: Cheyenne Faith Humphrey, daughter of Matt &Chris Humphrey of Lizemore; 1st Runner Up: Bailee Danielle Weese, daughter of Benjamin & Kami Weese of Ovapa; 2004 Pretty Baby 13-18 Months & Photogenic: Lexie Shae Truman, daughter of Jamie & Darlinda Truman of Wallback.
Pretty Baby 19-23 Months: 2nd Runner Up: Michael Wayne Taylor, son of Joshua & Misty Taylor of Bickmore; 1st Runner Up: Emilea Lynette Holcomb, daughter of Dana & Bridget Holcomb of Ivydale; 2004 Pretty Baby 19-23 Months & Photogenic: Jayla Skye Cottrell, daughter of Dwayne & Melissa Cottrell of Indore.
Miss Tiny Tot: 2nd Runner Up & Photogenic: Hannah Elliott, daughter of Jason & Ashley Elliott of Lizemore; 1st Runner Up: Brooklyn Page Burford, daughter of Tracy Burford of Fola; 2004 Miss Tiny Tot: Bethany Lucas, daughter of Todd & Candy Lucas of Bomont.
Mr. Tiny Tot: 2nd Runner Up: Caleb Burns, son of Crystal Burns of Triplett Ridge; 1st Runner Up: Isaac Delaney, son of Carla Truman & Wayne Delaney of Ivydale; 2004 Mr. Tiny Tot & Photogenic: Joel Cruickshanks, son of BJ and Andrea Cruickshanks of Bomont
Mr. Apple Bud: Photogenic: Jarod Nottingham, son of Winston & Rebecca Nottingham of Clay; 2nd Runner Up: Douglas Mark Cook II, son of Doug & Crystal Cook of Clay; 1st Runner Up: Levi Carroll Ramsey, son of Jeremiah & Mary Ramsey of Indore; 2004 Mr. Apple Bud: Clayton Patterson, son of Marsha Patterson of Clay.
Little Miss Apple Blossom: 2nd Runner Up & Photogenic, Victoria Humphrey, daughter of Matt & Chris Humphrey of Lizemore; 1st Runner Up: Moriah Faith Day, daughter of John & Cheryl Day of Valley Fork;
2004 Miss Apple Blossom: Summer Rain Pierson, daughter of Jodie Pierson of Maysel & Jennifer Pierson of Clay.
Little Miss Golden Delicious: Photogenic: Leah Cottrell, daughter of Jeremy & Dawn Cottrell of Valley Fork; 2nd runner Up: Candice Thomas, daughter of Drema & Douglas Thomas of Indore; 1st Runner Up: Shiann Thomas, daughter of Michael & Maxine Tanner of Ivydale; 2004 Little Miss Golden Delicious: Brooklyn Boggs, daughter of Chester & Marie Boggs of Nebo.
Little Miss Preteen: 2nd Runner Up: Montana Shea Barker, daughter of Sissy & John Barker of Bomont; 1st Runner Up & Photogenic: Anna Caroline Day, daughter of John & Cheryl Day of Valley Fork; 2004 Little Miss Preteen: Sydnee Vance, daughter of Melissa & Gary Vance.
Miss Preteen: Photogenic: Megan Shaffer, daughter of Allen & Terri Shaffer of Wallback; 2nd Runner Up: Candace Mullins, daughter of Myra & Kermit Mullins of Bentree; 1st Runner Up: Amanda Mitchem, foster daughter of Jimmy & Sandra Taylor; 2004 Miss Preteen Tiffany Truman, daughter of Paul & Brenda Truman of Maysel.
Congratulations To All!
2004 Golden Delicious Belle

The Clay County Golden Delicious Festival Committee would like to announce that the 2004 Golden Delicious Belle is Euna Marie Cruickshanks. She is the wife of Everett Ray, of Harrison. They are the parents of six children: Ronita Sue Samples of Strange Creek, Daniel Ray of Otter, Timothy Lynn of Clay, Valerie Jean Facemire of Dille, Benjamin Joel of Gassaway and Joseph Creed of Dille. Grandparents of 10 and great grandparents of 6.
Euna Marie will be crowned at the Courthouse Square on Friday, September 17th, 2004 at 12:00. There is a luncheon in honor of Mrs. Cruickshanks, at the Clay Development and Senior Center, 172 Main Street, Clay, immediately following her ceremonies. We are inviting the public, as well as all past Festival and Fair Belles, to celebrate with us. Please RSVP with the Clay Development and Senior Center at 587-4251, ask for Pam Taylor. The luncheon is a donation of $4 for the public.
The following is one of the nominating letters:         
On the 28th day of September 1934, a beautiful baby girl was born to Creed and Daisy Truman of Swandale. They were both very proud of her and named her Euna Marie. As she grew she became liked by everyone. She was a very pleasant and thoughtful child, always willing to help anyone in need. The family grew and her parents purchased a farm and moved to Harrison. As a teenager Euna Marie would walk to church with her sisters and use one of the many talents God had given her by spreading the gospel in song. She married at the age of seventeen and lived in various areas of Clay County. Due to work shortages, Euna Marie moved to Ohio with her husband and six children for a few years with the yearning in her hear to always come home and raise her children in Clay County as she had been. After the death of her grandfather, Tanny Hill Bragg, Euna Marie and her husband purchased the Old Home Place at Harrison and were overjoyed to be home once again in Clay County. Euna Marie was very proud of how she grew up and where she came from. My mother sacrificed many things in her life for the benefit of others. She is always ready to lend a helping hand calling daily to check on her family and neighbors. Growing up as a child I will always remember that my mother made sure her children were fed and taken care of before she would eat herself. She taught us the importance of singing for Christ, and to always be a kind person and help anyone in need. My mother helped nurse her dying father and kept her mother and worked hard to make their final days on earth as happy ones as she possibly could. Euna Marie has been married to the same man for fifty-two years of her life. She has worked hard to raise six children and is very proud of them. She is the grandmother of ten and a great-grandmother. She lets her family know daily that they are what brings her joy. She is very proud of Clay County and loves the Apple Festival Festivities. She opens her home to family and friends that live out of state every year so that they can return home and enjoy the festivities with her. The Apple Festival becomes a time for them to reunite and reminisce about days gone by.
As her daughter I feel that God has blessed us both, her children and Clay County, with a mother that is beautiful both inside and out. I feel very honored when someone approaches me and tells me that I look like my mother. I am very proud of her and the many, many deeds she has done. I feel she would make Clay County a very beautiful 2004 Apple Belle.
                                                         Written by: Valerie Facemire        
         Changes to FSA County Committee Elections Proposed
          SED John B. Rader, Executive Director for USDA’ Farm Service Agency in Morgantown, West Virginia announced that USDA is proposing new guidelines designed to ensure that FSA County Committees fairly represent agricultural producers, especially socially disadvantaged (SDA) producers. The public has 30 days to comment on the changes published in the August 17, 2004 edition of the Federal Register. “he guidelines are some of the most proactive steps taken by USDA in recent history to ensure that the County Committee election process is fair and transparent,”said SED Rader. “he reforms clearly illustrate the FSA’ deep commitment to encouraging minority and underserved producer participation in our County Committees.” The 2002 Farm Bill gave the Secretary of Agriculture discretion to issue uniform guidelines governing the County Committee election process if she deems that such guidelines are necessary. The proposed guidelines were prepared with input from community groups and leaders, as well as USDA’ Office of Civil Rights. The public has 30 days to comment on the proposed guidelines published in the August 17 Federal Register. The guidelines will not become final until USDA has received and considered public comments. One of the most significant proposals allows the Secretary to nominate an eligible SDA producer to a slate regardless of whether any nominations have been filed. A nomination by the Secretary may include the current SDA advisor for the County Committee. Currently, one or more SDA producers may be appointed to be an advisor to a County Committee; however, these advisors have no voting authority. The 2002 Farm Bill gives the Secretary the authority to appoint an SDA producer, with voting rights, to a County Committee. After evaluating whether the proposed reforms described in the guidelines have resulted in an increase in minority and under-served producers on County Committees, the Secretary may exercise her authority to appoint SDA producers to County Committees. The following are several of the other proposed reforms to the FSA County Committee election process:
·        If no valid nominations are filed, the Secretary may exercise her authority to nominate up to two individuals to be placed on the ballot. If the Secretary chooses not to exercise her authority, then the State Committee may exercise its authority to nominate up to two individuals to be placed on the ballot. If neither the Secretary nor the State Committee chooses to exercise their authority, then the respective County Committee shall nominate two individuals to be placed on the ballot. If the County Committee has no voting member from a socially disadvantaged group whose term of office carries over into the next year, one of the nominees shall be the best and most qualified person to represent the interests of the predominant socially disadvantaged farmer and rancher group in that respective county.
·        FSA county offices shall actively locate and recruit eligible candidates identified as SDA farmers and ranchers as potential nominees for the County Committee elections using any reasonable means necessary.
·        County Committees shall determine whether redrawing the local administrative area (LAA) boundaries or increasing the number of LAA’ in a given area will assist in ensuring the fair representation of SDA producers in the area.
·        The number of consecutive terms that a County Committee member may serve will be reduced from three to two. This shall take effect with the 2005 election retroactively.
The FSA State Office shall deliver tha ballots in a sealed box to the respective county offices. There shall be a 10-day advance notice to the public of the date of the vote and counting. Ballot opening and vote counting shall be fully open to the public and be readily accessible to the public. The 2002 Farm Bill defines an SDA group as a group whose members may have been subject to racial, ethnic, or gender prejudice because of their identity as members of the group, without regard to their individual qualities. SDA producers have generally been defined to include: African-Americans; Hispanic-Americans; Native Americans; Asian-Pacific Americans; Subcontinent Asian-Americans; and women.
FSA County Committees help ensure that federal programs meet the needs of producers in their communities. Committees make decisions on commodity price support loans and payments; establishment of allotments and yields; conservation programs; incentive, indemnity and disaster payments for some commodities; and other farm disaster assistance. Individuals may nominate themselves or others as candidates for seats on County Committees. In addition, eligible candidates can be nominated by community-based, faith-based or other organizations in the county or area before the close of the nomination period, especially by groups representing socially disadvantaged farmers or ranchers. Nominations and elections are open to all eligible candidates and voters without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, marital status or disability.
The nomination period ends September 3, 2004. Nomination forms (FSA-669A)can be obtained from local FSA Service Center offices or online at http://forms.sc.egov.usda.gov/eforms/mainservlet. Details on FSA County Committee elections can be found on the Internet at: www.fsa.usda.gov. County Committee elections will be held November 8 – December 6, 2004.
         
SHORT SHORTS
        Clay Middle School made the news last week when they were listed as a school failing to make No Child Left Behind Act standards for two or more years in a row. With that black eye, parents can force the local system to pay for moving the kids to another better performing school. One such school is Geary in Roane County.
        Don’ let them whodoo you either by saying they failed the muster for some minor paperwork infraction or low attendance rates.
          According to media reports from Charleston: More than half of the 2004 schools that didn’ meet standards wound up on the state’ low performing list because special education students test scores were too low. Other schools were flagged because of low scores by minority and low income students. No schools missed the mark because of poor attendance. Many high schools escaped sanctions this year because only 10th graders were tested. Last year high school students in three grades were tested. Under federal standards, schools get flagged if a particular group of students have low test scores. But schools don’ have to meet standards if fewer than 50 students in one of the groups take the exam.
    Clay County parents are regularly told that the local system provides an excellent educational program and boasts that Clay Middle School is listed as a National School of Excellence.

WATER RATES
Are you’e water bills getting you down? They should. Clay County has some of the highest water rates in the WV. Clay County PSD charges $50.28 for 4500 gallons; Queen Shoals PSD charges $47.98 and Clay Roane tallies up to $46.60 for the same 4500 gallons of water per month.
State wide Clay County PSD ranks as the 7th most expensive water source in the state. It doesn’ have to be that way. Marianna PSD in Wyoming County charges just $2 for 4500 gallons. In Mercer County that rate is $3. In Mineral County at the Beryl Water Company locals pay $4.38 for 4500 gallons of wa wa.
Continued on next page
As for that nasty German Water Co,
the one we’e told to hate, WV American Water, the folks that charge an arm and a leg for the wet stuff, for the same 4500 gallons, the charge is $36.23.

Prosecutor Grindo
was in court Aug 24th for the Tommy young Sr bond reduction hearing. As it closed he stood and said he wasn’ ready for the next case. Without taking a breath, Judge Alsop, “Lets get it started”

        Remember Marina Lanham
? That’ the lady that wrote a Chatter in this paper about Deputy Kevin Delk harassing her and arresting her on possession of controlled substances. Lanham said Delk had charged her with the same thing before, and each time the charge was tossed because there wasn’ anything illegal about having prescription medications. Chock one more up for Lanham. On Aug 24th, Magistrate Boggs tossed the charge. On Kevin Delk. Did you know he is working as a Town cop in Richwood?

Wa Wa
A couple months back Clay Roane PSD had a bid opening for the Amma Left Hand project. The project came in over budget by 1.8 million dollars. After some arm twisting negotiations, more money was located but mostly in the form of costly loans. On Sept 2 the second part of the water line extension project was put out to bid again. This time the low bid came in $130,000 cheaper.
Here’ the catch. Even with the lower bid in hand, and the project now a go, it’ the grant money that will be reduced NOT the loan money!

Master Land Use Plan
was discussed during a non quorum meeting of the County Commission August 23rd. With around 20 in the peanut gallery and only Commissioner Peter Triplett present, this one got interesting. Over the last 6 months a group of citizens called a sterring committee worked on a plan where strip miners would not have to return the land to the approximate original contour as required by state code. Instead of spending the money for that, Big Coal would agree to leave roads, leave power lines, and other enhancements that might be attractive to economic development. Sound like a good idea?
Not to those in attendance at this public hearing! They were vocal too. Those that spoke out made it clear: they didn’ want Big Coal getting any free rides and the crummy puke coal barons already have a nearly free reign against property owners. Comments included: “ don’ want my property destroyed by the coal companies; the County Commission could over ride the wishes of the local people and then we’e got a problem; It’ the coal kings that benefit the most under this plan; How many members of that steering committee live near a coal site; the numbers used in that report are wrong and and and , since Barringer Trust Co owns nearly all the remaining coal property in the county, how come they didn’ participate in the Master Land Use Plan? I think that last comment came from a fellow named Sibert Osborne but not sure. Making darn good sense, an attempt to bring the folks of Barringer Trust to a meeting in the future are planned. One note, there are 4023 acres already permitted for surface mining in Clay County.
         
         
         CRIME AT CCC MEETING
         More Like a Political Rally
                 With Peter Triplett and Jimmy Sams ready for action and after opening an opening prayer. The Aug 24th County Commission meeting got under way minus sucking at the public trough Commissioner HAC.
                 Center stage was given to School Superintendent Jerry Linkinooger and crew of 10. Link was slated to speak on crime in the county. It turned into a political post haste. Around the room were school system employees Coach Ron “roopy Drawers”Sirk, Mike Pierson, Bruce Cunningham, Bob Morris, Brian Holcomb, Dave Pierson and one time school board member Fran King. Link got it started off with “e’e getting beat to death.”He was referring to the number of schools and school buildings that have been broke into and vandalized over the last 12 months. The Linkster said they have insurance but so many claims will cause their rates to go up. Then came the trump card: If we have to spend money on burglar alarms and replacing stolen equipment, the money will have to be taken from programs that will help the children. Link questioned the logic of laying off two deputies July 1st.
                 High School teacher Bruce Cunningham , also a small business owner in Ivydale reported being broke into 5 times this year with losses totaling over $20,000.00. Link, “I don’ know what needs to be done but someone needs to get started!”
                 From the peanut gallery came suggestions of forming community watch groups and a meeting with law enforcement and the court system.
                 One lady, maybe Karen Dawson, felt that the problem goes beyond law enforcement and straight to a Prosecutor’ office where criminals are routinely set free. Bob Morris on juveniles,”They have no fear… They have no worries of jail time…. People are sick of it!…”
                 Coach Sirk asked why the County Commission couldn’ fire the Prosecutor. Both Triplett and Sams said they couldn’ fire someone after an appointment. From the back Magistrate Boggs disagreed , “Yes you can” After discussion on the Sheriff having little get up and go, the Mel Gibson look alike suggested that the CCC declare Grindo and Commissioner Bragg dead and then stop sending out their checks.
                 Sirk asked the CCC to set a curfew for the Town. Bruce Cunningham, “imes have changed… I want to stay in business… I stay there now [his business place]. At what point do you strike back? .. We need help and we need it badly..”Bob Morris commented that Town Cop Butcher needs to stay within the municipality and attend to the problems there.
                 As Triplett and Sams were explaining they had applied for grant dollars to hire one deputy back and mentioning how they can’ tell the Sheriff how to do his job nor Prosecutor Gringo, Cunningham and Sirk almost at the same time : It’ the CCC’ job to provide police protection. Sirk, “was it the wisest thing to lay off deputies? I don’ think so.. It’ politics.. I only see two Commissioners.. Why pay somebody that doesn’ show up?????”
                 As the political discussion was petering out , Link reiterated that he just wanted to make sure the CCC knew there is a problem, they should pool their resources and do something, the school system will work with the CCC on this problem, and “e’e asking for help.”
                 So how come the headline calls this a political rally? ‘ause Jimmy Sams said so! With Jerry Linkinooger retiring from the Superintendent’ job just in time to run for office in 2006, it’ Sams who would be challenged by Link. With so many from the school system on hand and away from class time too, sort of looked like the boy’ club was assembling for an assault on Mount Sams in 2006.
                 And one other note from the Aug 24th gathering of the Clay Commission. The Commission chose NOT to reappoint Clay County PSD board member Earl Long to the post. Instead they replaced Long with Ted Underwood. Maybe that’ the fist sign of change in the works.
         So what came of the meeting? County Commission agreed to host a public meeting law enforcement Sept 13th at Clay High at 7pm. AW
         
         JOBS MAY BE COMIN’
         BDA Meets
                 We’e got some last minute news from the Sept 2 Business Development Authority meeting. Chair Leonard Williams informed the group there was a possible tenant for the old Filcon “on’ Say that Word”Industrial site near Ovapa.
                 According to Williams , a company may be interested in leasing a portion of the site to serve as a storage yard for the company. Williams provide some details: the company manufactures, sells and installs metal roofing products like carports, doors and roofing; could employee 10 to 15 people; and a BDA offer has already been extended.
                 Williams went on to say that the end of the property the guy wants to use (near the Ovapa Cut Off Road) would have to be raised out of the flood plain.
                 Around 5:30 pm , Clay County’ own Ron Summers showed up and gave more insight on the expansion plans of the company he works for, Quality Outdoor Products. He reported: he has been with the North Carolina based company for two years; is the state manager of operations for a little over three weeks; he currently has 6 people from Clayberry employed at the Nitro office; and, if they expand into this area as many as 10 or 11 people could be employed.
                 Currently his crews move around the state and installs commercial car ports for the most part. The jobs are not minimum wage work. A three man crew can make between $300 and $500 per day doing the installs. His company plans to expand into manufacturing components for the product in the near future and that could mean even more hires in the County.
                 Summers said he is also looking at other sites in the county including, Frank Murphy’ land at Wallback, the old rock quarry at Newton, and a place in Big Otter. Williams, “We’e real interested in this.” A meeting will be held in the near future with Quality Outdoor Products and BDA members in the county.
         
         BOB CLARKE Curmudgeon’ Corner
          It’ “éjà vu all over again,”remarked the noted American philosopher, Yogi Berra, and in this interminable political season we note the wisdom of his words. Old age prevents some of us from strolling down memory lane, thus we are forced to lurch. In 2000, as discussed in earlier efforts, with John McCain leading in the presidential polls and having won the primary in New Hampshire, the Bush group was understandably concerned about the forthcoming South Carolina primary: enter Karl Rove and his experienced character assassins. The sliming of McCain is well-documented, and needs only brief mention here. One charge was that the former prisoner-of-war had fathered a non-white child. Another, was the incredible accusation that he was anti-veteran.
          In Georgia, the Bush hatchet squad, whose unofficial motto should be: “o concept too vile”topped its previous efforts. Financed by bottomless right wing pockets, hundreds of Republican hit groups, went after Senator Max Cleland, a triple amputee and former infantry lieutenant. Decorated for valor for his service in Vietnam, Cleland suddenly found himself faced with the charge that he was not “atriotic.” The basis for this spurious accusation was that he had voted against the so-called “atriot Act.” “hat’ in a word?”Shakespeare asks. It is probably a unique brand of treason to suggest that the immortal bard could be wrong about anything. In this case, however, there is a great deal in a name. While it is true that “ rose by any other name would smell as sweet,”faced with an Act called “atriot,”the potential signee is backed into an untenable position. Cleland voted against the Act, and it cost him his senate seat. We now know that almost no member of Congress had read it before its hasty passage. The hysteria of the moment, combined with the abiding fear of losing political office in the midterm elections impelled our ever-craven Congress to rubber stamp generalissimo John Ashcroft’ grand scheme. There were a few exceptions. The splendid old lion, Robert Byrd, whose political star has never shone as brightly as it does now, was one. Cleland’ objection, in part, was based upon the fact that the Patriot Act threatens a number of protections guaranteed by the Constitution, and we all know how Senator Byrd feels about that noble document.
          The third act of this gripping saga involves the infamous swift boat controversy. For those of us following the presidential campaign it could be argued that Kerry has milked his Vietnam experience to the point of overkill. Perhaps so – the group attacking his record calls itself the “wift Boat Veterans for Truth.” How odd it seems that after thirty-five years these accusations about Kerry’ military record should emerge. What could these people’ motives be? Could the fact that the defamers are a group of Texas Republicans have any bearing on the matter? The questions involving Kerry’ veracity have even outdone the slimy ad on Cleland in Georgia in which his picture was shown, side-by-side with Saddam Hussein. An interesting sidelight to all this is that the same production company that did the ads on McCain in South Carolina produced the current ones smearing Kerry. Origin: Texas. Where else? Moreover, it is military procedure for someone else to submit a person for citations, not the candidate himself. We may never know whether or not John Kerry is a “ero.” What we do know, however, is that his detractors, some of them senior officers who attested to his behavior as in the “ighest traditions of the Navy”have changed their stories. We also know that some of the veterans who are casting doubt on Kerry’ integrity were not on the scene.
         
         Continued on the next page
         We know further that Kerry’ anti-war activities after his release from the service provoked resentment in some quarters. Payback can be emotionally satisfying. Lost in all this is the simple fact that John Kerry volunteered for service in Vietnam when he easily could have avoided it. The same could not be said about the many sons of the rich and privileged.
          The trouble is, as we all know, that once an accusation is made, it sticks no matter how many denials it evokes, no matter how fallacious it is proved to be. The question remains. Newspapers are particularly adept at this technique. A story appears on page one reporting that John Doe is suspected of murdering his wife. When the true culprit is found, or the “vidence”is found to be false, the retraction appears, buried on page eighteen. Meanwhile, in the John Kerry case, George W. Bush remains above the fray. Just yesterday, (August 23) he announced that he wishes both sides would stop producing these ads, the ones coming from “ndependent”sources, that is. Bush, however, does not condemn the attacks on the other side. He saw a good thing going in South Carolina, and he stayed out of it – theoretically.
          It may have been Nixon who invented the technique in this country, but it has an ancient pedigree. The leader tells his functionaries: “o whatever it takes, but don’ tell me about it.” Thus was the concept of “lausible denial”born. It is tempting to mention Reagan and Iran-Contra here, but diplomacy dictates. When King Henry II appointed his old friend Thomas Becket Archbishop of Canterbury he thought it a stroke of political genius. With an ally as Primate of England, Henry could confound the opposition of the clergy and control the church’ vast riches to help finance his various plans, including war. It was not to be so, at least for a time. Important leaders always seem to have a swarm of toadies and sycophants about them, and Henry was no exception. Becket was becoming a growing problem, having transferred his allegiance from the crown to the church – and his God. According to the most famous version of this tale, Henry’ impatience with Becket’ intransigence led him to exclaim: “ill no one rid me of this meddlesome priest?” As the king’ wish is father to the deed, some of Henry’ barons rode to Canterbury and murdered Becket in the great cathedral. There may be a parallel here in the world of dirty tricks that is modern politics. It was always thus. At least, so it seems among us reluctant cynics.
         
         Potpourri
         
                 Persistence in one opinion has never been considered a merit in political leaders. – Cicero –
         
                 By necessaries, I understand not only the commodities which are indispensably necessary for support of life, but whatever the custom of the country renders it indecent for creditable people, even of the lowest order, to be without. – Adam Smith – The Wealth of Nations
         
                 One of the strangest things about life is that the poor who need the money the most are the ones who never have it.
         – Finley Peter Dunne - (“r. Dooley”
         
                 Today the Bureau of Indian Affairs announced that they have found another Mohican. – George Carlin -
                 When asked what he thought about western civilization, Mohandas Gandhi replied: “ think it would be a good idea.”
         
                 I’ rather see a man wrap himself in the Constitution and burn the flag, than burn the Constitution and wrap himself in the flag.
          – Anonymous Texas Legislator –
         
                 The lightness of serious men is preferable to the seriousness of light men. – Leon Wieseltier –
         
                 A man cannot be too careful in his choice of enemies.
         – Oscar Wilde –
         
                 Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it…I am haunted by waters. I can’ explain it any better than that.
          – Norman MacLean -
         
                 A dog is the only friend you can have in life who will go with you wherever you want to go, whenever you want to go, without question and without putting on his pants. That is the quintessence of dog that secures our affection. – Padgett Powell –
         
                 The entire history of this investigation (9/11 Commission) raises the question of whether the administration recognizes any principle higher than re-election. – Walter Cronkite -
         
          May your house be safe from tigers.
                         Cur
         
         The Christian Service Center, Inc.
          Hello folks! It’ good to be here with you again. A good many of you have expressed your liking for these newsletters, and we enjoy sending them to you. If you have any comments or suggestions, or if you have news you would like to share, stop in and let us know, or give us a call.
          We have several people on our sick list this week: Cora Fugate and Mary Gray, both of Upper Sycamore, Vinnie Jackson of Valley Fork, Kathy Runion of Twistabout, Ed Mullins of Maysel, Clarence Fitzwater of Valley Fork, and our own Helen Moore of Adonijah. Our prayers and a heartfelt get well soon wish goes out to all. God Bless you all.
          Sympathy to the family of Roy McDaniels of Upper Sycamore. Mr. McDaniels was very ill and had been lost at the head of Sycamore, which is a very rugged area. His remains were only recently found. Our prayers go out to his family.
          We have a special prayer request and get well wish that we need to send out: Jim and Jeanie Perdue’ grandson, 2 ½ year-old Neal Wilkenson, has High QT, a heart condition that is also connected to hearing loss. He is very sick and may need a pacemaker put in. Everyone pray for this little boy, God’ listening.
          Another special prayer request goes out for the grandson of Barbara Davis. This young service man has some sort of adult onset leukemia. He really needs our prayers, folks, so let’ get to it.
          It’ school time! Now that the kids are out of the house and you have some free time, come in and see all the really nice stuff that we have. We have some great sales going on. You’e going to like what you find.
          We’e got a joke for you: school’ in and the children were in the cafeteria line. At the beginning of the line was a basket of apples. A teacher had written a note and attached it to the basket. The note read: “ake one only, God’ watching.” At the end of the line was a large bowl of chocolate chip cookies. A child had written a note and attached it to the bowl. This note read: “ake all you want, God’ watching the apples.”
          We are in need of a larger building. God and you, our donors, have been good to us. We greatly appreciate all of the donations and hope that you continue to support us with your gifts. If it wasn’ for you, the CSC couldn’ do the work and extend the help to others in need. Special thanks to Charles and Lois Dotson, and his brother Thomas A. Dotson, of Litchfield Park, Arizona, Mary Skolka of Stevensville, Maryland, Denise and Rachel Walters of Clay County, WV, and to these churches: Lizemore Methodist Church, Fairview Baptist Church (our very long time friends and supporters), and Laural Fork Baptist Church. Our prayers go out to all, and – THANK YOU FROM EVERYONE HERE!
          Sycamore Baptist Church is having their homecoming on September 12, 2004 starting at 12:00 p.m. Toby Mitchell will be preaching and there will be special singers. Everyone is welcome, so come on over and join the fun. God will like seeing you there.
          Homecomings mean FOOD, so here is a recipe for your enjoyment:
         
         Cornbread Salad
         Fresh or day-old SWEET cornbread,
         broken into small pieces (do NOT crumble fine)
         Chopped green pepper
         Chopped green onion
         Chopped celery
         Chopped tomato
         Crispy fried bacon, crumbled
         Mayonnaise
          The amounts in this recipe are based on your own taste. Use a little of any ingredient or a lot – as you like it. The only things that seem to be necessary is that the cornbread should be sweet and you should use mayonnaise instead of salad dressing. But, it’ all up to you. Experiment with different veggies also.
          Time to go, folks. We hope you’e enjoyed the news. We look forward to hearing from you and would love to have you come in and visit with us. God Bless you all until next time, and remember: God loves each and every one of you, and so do we!
         
         PROTECTIVE DAD IN TROUBLE
         FELONIES FOR SHOOTING DOG
                 A Clay County man received three felony wanton endangerment charges and one animal cruelty charge after shooting a dog that had bitten his daughter.
                 From the official courthouse criminal complaint filed August 31, 2004 by State Police TFC M.L. Bailey: On Tuesday 08-31-04 at approximately 1915 hours, Sgt Wiles and the undersigned officer received a shots fired at a dog complaint from Clay 911. The offense took place along Camp Creek Road near Procious within Clay County. At approximately 1925 hours both officers arrived at the scene and spoke to Walden Dennis (victim). The victim advised that a Thomas J. Flores shot at his dog while he was standing near the dog in J.B. Butcher’ yard. The victim advised that Thomas J. Flores (accused) fired three shots at the dog within 40 feet of the victim. The accused also hit the dog twice with the shotgun blasts.
                 The undersigned officer located 3 shot pattern holes in J.B. Butcher’ yard along with 2 shotgun waddings, Three shotgun hulls were in J.B. Butcher’ driveway. One shotgun shell hull was located approximately 170 feet North of the victim’ residence along the roadway.
                 At approx. 1940 hours the undersigned officer observed the dog in question. The dog appeared to have been shot.
                     At approx. 2021 hours after reading the accused his rights the accused admitted to shooting the dog three times and actually hitting the dog twice. The accused advised he shot the dog in J.B. Butcher’ yard.
                 
Magistrate Mike King found probable cause and released Flores on bond.
                 As is the case most of the time, there’ another side. According to the Flores family, Tuesday evening their daughters were playing on Scenic River Drive just across the Camp Creek bridge when a big hairy dog bit 9 year old Misti. After learning of the incident, calling for an ambulance and law enforcement, and fearing the dog might be rabid, Thomas, the dad, went to the neighbor’s house and shot the stray dog twice.
                 We spoke with Laura Flores Wednesday Sept. 1st. The following are excerpts from that interview
                 “hey got in my sister’ car to pick up the kids.. they could not get the dog. It snapped at them, too….The dog runs loose. We were afraid the dog had rabies. They came back down and Tommy got the gun. He said that dog is not going to run off without us finding out if it has rabies. She is not going to have to get 19 shots for nothing… He shot three times. One missed. The dog died. That was in front of J.B. Butcher’ old house. The person that supposedly watched the dog was Dennis Waldon. I was there when Tommy went back down there to shoot the dog. Waldon said he was within 40 feet of Tommy when he shot. He lied. He was way over in his yard. Tommy was at Butcher’ little shed building. The man was at least a basketball court away. He was far away. I couldn’ have picked up a rock and hit him with it….”
                 The 28 year old Ms Flores said that no one would do a rabies test on the animal and now the carcass is missing.
         As for the State Police performance, Flores was none to happy, “hey stayed down there for a half hour checking on the dog before they even came up and checked on my daughter. I called the ambulance. Granted it wasn’ a bad bite but it was a bite. There was five people that saw Misti get bit by this dog. She was so scared…”
         She continued, “We cleaned up all the blood. Then the police came. Bailey was so rude to my mom and sister. He was nasty… My sister told them that dog tried to bite her on Monday. He [Bailey] said he was not there to ask you them kind of questions. He wouldn’ question anybody. That other one that was with him came up. My mom told him, ‘You know, it’ pretty bad when you stay down there 30 or 40 minutes checking on a dog when a little 9 year old girl is up here bleeding.’ She said you have your priorities all mixed up. He [other green shirt] said ‘Mam, you don’ need to tell us how to do our job.’ She said, ‘Somebody needs to tell you!’ He was nasty. He talked to us like we were trash.”
         And then Ms Flores opened another issue, “When they got him up to the State Police headquarters, they asked him, ‘You’e a Mexican aren’ you….’ We went up to Magistrate Court…. We told Mike [Magistrate King] what happened…. The guy was over at his door. It was more than 40 feet. They released him [Thomas] on $5000 bond.”
         Flores asked Bailey, “To charge Waldon with child endangerment (he was supposed to be watching the dog for Butcher) and assault for the dog biting my daughter. Bailey laughed and said he didn’ think that was what really happened. In the past we never had any problems with Waldon. He even bought CherryDale stuff that Misti has sold. I think they care more what happened to that dog than what happened to a 9 year old honor student….. This is crazy. I was right there. She should be able to ride up and down the holler without getting bit by a dog. She told me last night, ‘ommy it’ my fault that Daddy’ going to jail.”
         Flores said there was no “ad”history between her husband and Waldon.
         Now readers, how could it be that an experienced law enforcement officer like Bailey charges a guy with felonies for protecting his family? An emotional Flores provided an answer, “e doesn’ like me. 5 or 6 years ago Tommy and I were split up and I called in a fake 911 call. That’ why he doesn’ like me. I made a mistake 5 or 6 years ago and I served time for it. 20 days. I have repented for that. All we was trying to do was protect our daughter. And we still don’ know if the dog had rabies.”
         We’l try to keep touch with this case as it develops. In the mean time, don’ shoot dogs in Clay County even if they bite you.                                                                AW
         
         ON THE SOAPBOX
         By Andy Waddell
         
                 Volunteer boards like the Health Department Board of Directors rarely make the news. For the most part, boardsters just sleep along for a few years and then resign from service. Insight is almost nonexistent. They show up for a few meetings and that’ about it. When a boardster takes the initiative and does some investigation, it’ often called snooping and they’e told not to mingle in the day to day operation of the agency. Of course, it is the Board that is ultimately responsible for the taxpayer funded operation.
         Newspaper coverage from other areas of the state has shown that board members can even be held personally liable for misspending. A case in point is the Bob Graham Wyoming County Senior program where Federal investigators are having a field day. There, the Board knew little of the operation and even less of the financials. Some of the board members told media sources that they were afraid to ask questions for fear of reprisal.
         During many of the stormy Clay Development Corporation Board meetings, board members were told to keep away from the day to day details of life in the social service organization.
         Here in Clay, the Health Department Board voted to lay off workers after finding out one program was in the red $50,000 and the WIC Director had been misleading them. This came to light not because some board member found the problem nor due to good fiscal management by Director Dawson, but only when the deceitful lady, Marlene Helvey, knew she was going to be found out and resigned!
         Here in Clay we have another medical provider, Primary Care of Clay. There the public is kept away from the meetings and the board members that do show up rarely ask questions. That agency is now operating so badly in the red there is talk of it being taken over by an out of county regional chain. Even in the red, additional personnel are being hired and plans have been laid to expand overhead expense by building a new wing on the Two Run facility.
         Here’ the point. The board is the responsible party, the watch dog for the public’ dollar. The board is responsible for the budget and seeing that the budget is met. In the case of the Clay County Health Department, hard working employees are loosing their jobs because the Board was asleep at the wheel.
         
         TIDBITS
                 Teresa Morton resigned from the Clay Health Dept. Wednesday, Sept. 1st. Morton made the news cycle sometime back when a special job description was created to accommodate her $44,000 salary. Ms Morton is a registered nurse and worked in the county sanitarian position which commanded just $21,000 per year. Somewhere along the way, last fall, Jay Carper, another registered nurse was hired and assumed the sanitarian slot. With Morton leaving, it looks like Carper will be kept on and at a higher salary than the $21,000 salary level.
         
                 Ask Buckshot Butcher about the arrest he made a few days ago when a young male bolted from a Two Run home stark naked. When apprehended, the man had found a garbage bag to partially cover himself up. That was the same night Butcher managed to pepper spray himself while subduing a thug in Magistrate Court.
         
                 School System letters were mailed out this week inviting select Clay agencies to attend a September 14, 4:00 pm meeting at the board office. The topic appears to be spending new grant dollars on community service projects.
         
                 Tuesday, August 31st, 911 dispatch toned out the ambulance service for a man with chest pains at 5:19a.m. They toned again and again… and again. Knowing full well that the crew was in station, long time ambulance service employee Morgan Triplett left his home and went over to awaken the sleeping crew. Around 5:36 the crew finally reported they were in route. That’ a 19 minute delay in service for a man with chest pains. The patient, Roger Holcomb, died that morning. Attempts to reach Ambulance Service Director Beverly King September 2nd were unsuccessful.
         
         Magistrate Report
         Felony
         08/19/04: Delk – John David Hickman, driving while revoked for DUIA 3rd offense (05/09/04), case dismissed without prejudice upon motion of defense attorney.
         08/20/04: Butcher – Joseph L. Henry, warrants issued for breaking and entering and grand larceny, arrested 08/23, ROB 08/24, preliminary hearing waived 09/02, bound to Circuit Court.
         08/23/04: Butcher – Jason R. Triplett, warrants issued for grand larceny and breaking and entering, arrested 08/24, ROB, preliminary hearing 09/09.
         08/24/04: Belt – Brandy Wayne Nichols, warrant issued for possession with intent to deliver, arrested 08/28, ROB.
         08/25/04: Stephenson – Jason Boggs, breaking and entering (05/27/04), preliminary hearing continued by Def; Belt – Phillip Jerry Payne II, manufacture, delivery and possession marijuana (08/09/04), Def. waived preliminary hearing, case bound to Circuit Court; Stephenson – Richard Cummings, manufacture, delivery, possession marijuana, arrested, preliminary hearing 09/02: probable cause found, bound to Circuit Court.
         08/31/04: Bailey – Thomas J. Flores, wanton endangerment X 3, arrested, ROB.
         09/01/04: Elswick – Tommy E. Young, unlawful/malicious wounding and wanton endangerment X 4 (08/17/04), order received Magistrate Boggs recused, Magistrate King appointed.
         Misdemeanor
         08/16/04: Wiles – Pauline Petry, driving under the influence and left of center.
         08/18/04: Elswick – Joseph Lee Legg, destruction of property.
         08/19/04: Belt – Michael Lanham, warrant issued for violation of protective order; Butcher – Thomas F. King Jr., warrants issued for intimidation of state’ witness X 4.
         08/20/04: Stephenson – Eric Wayne Moore, failure to maintain control and operators.
         08/23/04: Wiles – Carlos Lee Gray, driving under the influence and driving suspended/revoked non-DUI; Lizemore Grocery – Cadet J. Eagle, warrant issued for worthless check complaint; Lizemore Grocery – Ruby Elkins, warrant issued for worthless check complaint; Butcher – Joseph L. Henry, warrant issued for concealing/receiving stolen property.
         08/24/04: Carte’ Quick Stop – Tonia Wayne, warrant issued for worthless check complaint.
         08/27/04: Butcher – Michael E. Shoults, battery on a police officer and obstructing an officer.
         08/31/04: Bailey – Thomas J. Flores, cruelty to animals.
         09/01/04: Rider – James Larry Short, warrant issued for domestic battery.
         Civil
         08/20/04: Carbide Recreation – all for money due: Wayne Mullins, Jamie Morris, Teddy Estep, Ricky Woods, Bobby D. Mullins, and Jeannie Nottingham; Georgia/Lowes – John A. Walker, money due.
         08/23/04: Richard Cummings – Renee Boyd, ?? .
         08/24/04: Margaret Mayle – Thomas Danette, money due.
         08/25/04: Loretta Stewart – Dimple Rogers, money due.
         08/27/04: Connie Carte – John Woodrum, money due.
         09/01/04: Willard Legg – Phillip Stone, wrongful occupation.
         Worthless Checks
Notices issued –
         09/01/04: Clay County High School – Ellen M. Bailey; Jane Woods – Kenneth Eatmon; J & S Grocery – Ronald C. Pritt and Tonia Wayne; K & B Garage – Jeffrey Nutter.
         Citation Register
         08/01/04: State Police – Stanley Dean Ramsey, no POI.
         08/02/04: State Police – Tonya M. Conrad, registration violation; Maria D. Schoonover, no POI and registration violation.
         08/06/04: State Police – Justin B. O’rien, no POI and registration violation.
         08/07/04: State Police – Latasha M. Gray, speeding and operator’; Charles S. White, driving under the influence.
         08/09/04: State Police – Richard W. Triplett, MVI.
         08/11/04: Sheriff’ Dept. – Ross E. Setschell, registration violation.
         08/12/04: Sheriff’ Dept. – Elizabeth D. Holcomb, speeding.
         08/13/04: Sheriff’ Dept. – Billy Joe Duffield, driving suspended/revoked non-DUI and registration violation; State Police – Adam L. Thompson, following too close.
         08/14/04: State Police – Christopher S. Goode, speeding; Tracy D. Heiskell, speeding; Clint N. Hoskinson, speeding; Elsayed A. Mahmoud, speeding; Tracy A. Osborne, speeding and no POI.
         08/15/04: State Police – Garon Duane Johnson, driving suspended/revoked non-DUI, no POI, registration violation and seat belt violation; Russell L. Murphy, no POI.
         08/16/04: State Police – Tammy Kay Lanham, MVI; Pauline Petry, driving under the influence and left of center.
         08/19/04: Sheriff’ Dept. – William C. Belknap, possession marijuana- 15 GRS 2nd offense; Renea Boyd, operator’; State Police – Timothy W. Tryon, failure to stop/yield and operator’.
         08/20/04: State Police – Eric Wayne Moore, no POI, registration violation, failure to maintain control and operator’.
         08/21/04: State Police – Bessie Alice Boggs, driving suspended/revoked non-DUI and defective equipment; Municipal Police – William Lanham, no POI, no helmet, driving suspended/revoked non-DUI, defective equipment, and reckless driving.
         08/23/04: State Police – William F. Burdette, operator’.
         08/24/04: State Police – Jenny Rebecca Loving, no POI.
         08/26/04: Municipal Police – Dianna R. Carpenter, driving suspended/revoked non-DUI – 3rd offense.
         08/27/04: State Police – Keith J. Fitzwater, seat belt violation.
         08/31/04: Municipal Police – Jennifer Dawn Dwier, driving suspended/revoked non-DUI, no POI, defective equipment, and bad tires.
         
         MURDER MOUNTAIN SAGA
                 In the saga of ‘s the Bullets fly’we’e ready for our next installment. Now a word from our sponsor Remington Ammo Co… Just kidding.
                 From the last edition, in the war zone known as Murder Mountain Richard Cummings was shot four times and Tommy Young Sr was arrested on felony wanton endangerment. His bond was set at $150,000.00. Son Tommy Jr was evading police with pick up warrants at the ready.
                 Since then, here’ the skinny…
                 Bond Reduction Hearing for Young Sr Aug 23 2004, 1 pm With ten or so in Judge Alsop’ Courtroom attorney Jerome Novobilski made the plea to reduce Sr’ bond. His statements included: Sr doesn’ have the resources to go the $150,000 bond; he only collects $570 per month on Social Security; only his wife Renee has a job; during previous court appearances Sr has already showed up; there is little risk that he would run away; he has been a resident of the county for 8 years; he has kids here…. Novobilski asked the Court to reduce bond to $50,000.
                 Alsop wasn’ buying the plea and suggested that if Sr was out on bond he might try to assist his son who’ also wanted.
                 Novo wasn’ done yet. He worked it harder with: this case is one man’ word against another; there is no evidence that Sr did anything; Cummings was angry at Sr because Sr turned over evidence against Cummings; sr and his family were in bed asleep when the shooting started; and, Sr was a good citizen for turning over the evidence ( a meth lab) and now his good samaritian deeds are negatively impacting him.
                 Prosecutor Grindo came back with: this is extremely serious, there were a number of shots; Sr may already be on bond in New York and the son was involved there; they could be repeat offenders.
                 Alsop was firm, with five pending felonies, and with Tommy Jr violating his home confinement terms, with charges against Sr in NY, Nope Nope Nope. Sr remains in jail until he comes up with the $150,000.00
                 Aug 25th Preliminary Hearing Tommy Young Sr before Magistrate Boggs. The hearing was to begin at 3:30pm. Didn’ happen. While we waited…. Out in the hallway was Richard Cummings pacing the floor along with a boat load of others. Inside the office were several badges waiting for the hearing. Finally around 5:25 with Sr dressed in orange and chained down, the prelim got under way. After waiting nearly two hours, both defense attorney Novobilski and Prosecutor Grindo asked that Magistrate Boggs be recused from the case since he was involved with a skirmish with Tommy Young Jr and that case has never been decided.
                 Boggs wasn’ in favor of the deal but suggested the two attorney’ fax over the info to Judge Facemire for a quick decision and reconvene the hearing on Friday morning. Ahhhhhhh… No deal, Grindo had other commitments for Friday and the following week as well. Tommy would just have to wait in jail for his day in court.
                 Aug 25 2004 Here’ an interesting twist. The cops picked up Richard Cummings for manufacture, delivery, and possession of pot.                                         Continued on the next page
         From the police report signed by Tpr Stephenson: On Aug 14th Tpr Stephenson located 4 pot plants in bucketrs approximately 20 yards behind Richard Cummings residence in Ovapa . Tpr Stephenson was advised by Tommy Young children On Aug 17th while serving a search warrant on Tommy Young’ residence and searching the Cummings crime scene, Tpr Stephenson located another pot plant approximately 15 yards behind the Cummings residence. Magistrate Boggs set bail at $10,000.00 and to jail Mr Cummings did go. Note: Stephenson didn’ use the term ‘ot’ We did because it’ easier and quicker to spell than marijuana.        
         Aug 26 2004, late afternoon. Over the scanner came a report that Tommy Young Jr had been picked up in Braxton County and for Clay County Deputies to come over and pick him up. Within a minute or so came word that Clay Prosecutor Grindo and Judge Facemire were both in Braxton County that that he would be arraigned there. Facemire set Jr’ cash only bond at $400,000. Off to Salem he did go.
                 Jr was already out on a $75,000 bond for the incident involving Clay High Vice Principal Jim Haynie two months earlier. We understand Tommy Jr turned himself in to the bond company there in Braxton around 4pm on the 26th.
                 Lets take a break from the Court room action for a second. Wouldn’ you think that with Sr , Jr and Cummings in the slammer, things would be quieter on Murder Mountain? Not so according to neighbors who reported heavy artillery fire AFTER all three were locked up. One guy commented that the sound was not that of automatic weapons but rather the thunder of large bore ammo followed by the softer sound that a 22 caliber weapon would make.
                 Aug 30 2004 The clayberry.org web site found some pretty grizzly court documents relating to underage sexual dealings involving a gang near Cleveland Ohio and involving the Boyd family. Mention was made of a Sandra Kahlif in those records as well as prior arson and stolen vehicles convictions on Richard Cummings and several entries on Tommy Young Sr.
                 Sept 1 2004 Sandra Kahlif was none to happy with this reporter’ coverage of the Murder Mountain affair. In front of the Clay Post Office the thirty something lady made it clear, with her finger pointing, she did NOT appreciate the newspaper attention to her and her kids, that she brought those kids to West Virginia for a safer environment to grow up in, that she had changed her name from Kahlif to Guy to protect the children and on and on.
                 Sept 2 2004 Richard Cummings hearing before Magistrate King. Around 9:20 am the Central Regional Jail van pulled into the old Courthouse parking lot. A wobbly Richard Cummings emerged and limped his way to the building. As Richard walked by this camera toting reporter he commented, “Did you get my pretty side?”
                 Inside Magistarte King fiddled thru some yellow legal pads. Cummings sat quietly beside his court appointed attorney William Lester. On the other side, the clean cut ex coal truck driving Trooper Stephenson of the Clay County Green Shirt Detachment sat beside Special Prosecutor Brian Lanham. Yelp no Grindo to be seen. Neither Lester nor Lanham made opening statements but cut to the chase. After clearing up some screwed up paper work Stephenson reported: has been here since last Sept.; he responded to a “hoots fired”call on Murder Mountain Aug 14th; he talked to both Young and Cummings.; Tommy’ kids told the trooper about the pot growing nearby; Stephenson found a bucket of 8 inch tall pot plants growing 20 yards from the Cummings residence; on Aug 17th , the morning of the big shooting spree and found another pot plant, this one growing in the hillside about 10 yards from Cummings residence. In the questioning, Prosecutor Lanham seemed to cover every base.
         Continued on the next page
                 It was defense attorney Lester’ turn. How many containers? How big were the plants? Blah blah blah. As Lester worked it harder, Stephenson clammed up. Lester asked stuff like: Was there animousity between Young and Cummings, Could a kid have carried the bucket over to the Cummings place?, Has pot ever been grown on someone else’ property?; Could the bucket be seen from the Cummings window?; Did Cummings admit to even owning a bucket?; Could the pot been have been planted by someone else?; and on and on. Here’ the cool part. Stephenson wouldn’ say squat. Often he replied: I don’ know. … I just don’ know… or I couldn’ say sir.
                 Lester got nowhere with the rookie Trooper. If Attorney Lester had asked Stephenson if the sky was blue , the Badge most likely would have responded, I’ just not sure! All the time Richard Cummings didn’ move. Not like he was stoned or anything but rather, relaxed and at ease with the world.
                 Lester’ plea to get Cummings out of the charges included: there is no probable cause here; there’ no blood between Cummings and the Youngs and the kids could have placed the pot there to frame Cummings; this guy has got more holes in him than 5 pounds of swiss cheese, he needs medical attention, he has 2 or 3 bullets left in him; If you won’ set him free, reduce the bond so he can get out and get medical attention. Lester also mentioned something about it costing the taxpayer while Cummings is in state custody.
                 Although Lester was good, Magistrate King didn’ pause a second, Nope. Probable cause has been found. As for the Bond reduction plea, that should have been done before this hearing.
                 As for Cummings, he made bond later in the day on Sept 2, 2004. He is free once again.
                 There’ always room for conjecture in this paper! Lets get down to some speculation. What if the Young kids did frame Cummings on the pot charges. And, what if Tommy Young Sr and Jr really were asleep the night of the 500 round shooting spree on Aug 17th? It has been advanced by several in the community the relationship of the Youngs, the Cummings, and Tattoo Vince over in Roane County. A relationship to the meth labs. The death of Chad Salisbury, the missing and presumed dead Crystal Starcher, the Huffman man from Clendenin.
         Also advanced is the idea that someone was ready to spill their guts and recant murder related testimony and that person or persons has to be snuffed out. Look at all the players and all the same names that keep popping up. What if Clayberry and Murder Mountain is right in the middle of a drug related turf battle?
         We’l keep you posted as best we can readers. —AW