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Clay County Girls Earn Medals at National Tournament
Patriotism Isn’t… By Jim Chafin
Rainy Day Heroes Awards
Festival Forecast
A Letter to Brother Bill

Central Appalachia Empowerment Zone (CAEZ) knows how to hold a dinner. Unfortunately, the grass roots agency isn’t that great at finding an industrial site for Clay County. CAEZ held their annual dinner and meeting Sept 2 in the CDC building on Main Street. Over 40 attended the event.
        Before dinner came the life is good speeches. Guest Speaker WV Delegate Pino was complimentary of the past year’s efforts, I applaud your achievements…. I encourage you to keep up the good work… Board Chairperson Michael Martin also told the crowd of the last year, of it being a fair success. He explained that because the agency covers a five county area, the structure is a little unwieldy and, We’ve stayed away from fist of cuffs.. In the way of accomplishments, Martin provided: The Global Contact company housed in the Mt Hope Industrial Site in Fayette County now houses 492 employees and the new Juvenile Correction Center and another new to the area business are both constructing buildings in the industrial site in Fayette County. He finished with comments on the micro loan program (administered thru the CAEZ) which has helped two new companies get started in counties other than Clay.
        Mr. Martin gave brief mention of Filcon Inc. with, It did not work out.. count that as a failure.. Our successes are far beyond our failures.. I am proud of what we’ve done.
        CAEZ was funded with $2 million in Federal grants and another $1 million from state coffers 9 years ago with the mission of empowering poor underserved people of the Clay, Braxton, Nicholas, Roane and a small part of Fayette County. The structure envisioned by the Clinton administration was for the people themselves to manage and run this new style of agency. The annual dinner is mandated by the group’s by laws as a time for the people, the owners of CAEZ, to participate in the process in a hands on way. Continued on page 3
        All by law changes have to be approved by the general membership ( that’s me and you) during the annual dinner. During this meeting two by law changes were made to correct last year’s botched efforts. The official explanation went: The By Laws Committee met and recommended changes to the By Laws of CAEZ at the Annual Meeting on Sept 10 2002. When the revisions were presented, it was discovered that an error was made on two of the revisions. Translation: During last year’s dinner/meeting the Board went ahead and voted to make changes to the by laws over the objections of the public in attendance.
        This year the by laws were changed to allow for County Commissioners who sit on the CAEZ Board and choose not to attend ( AKA Jimmy Sams and Mathew Bragg), for a letter to be sent to the County Commission and ask for a replacement Commissioner to sit on the CAEZ Board. Translation: to get rid of the dead wood and find someone to come to meetings!
        A second change was made that allows for emergency Board meetings to be called and if more than one person shows up, the two Boardsters in attendance can make binding decisions for the Board. Now that’s the way to run a grass roots organization!
        From the peanut gallery Ivydale resident, Fred Sampson spoke on the need for something to happen (improve) in Clay County. Sampson commented on: not sweeping the bad stuff under the table; he asked the CAEZ to keep a better eye on the needs of Clay County, and gave emphasis to the need for an industrial site for this county. Having seen much happen over the last 7 years, Sampson was positioned to remind all in attendance of the various boondoggled experiences with attempts to develop an industrial park. Sampson was the only person to offer such comments publicly. Applause came.
        Here’s an interesting twist. Many in the county have seen something change over the last four months. Chair Martin codified the change in the air when he commented that industrial sites are very expensive to develop and maybe instead, this county should concentrate on tourism as an avenue for growth. The winds of change are upon us readers.
        With many dressed in their Sunday best and with smiles beaming around the room, Legacy Caterers provided a roast pig feast and fixins fit for a King. Not even the pig complained …. of course, he had an apple stuffed in his mouth.
        After all the mouths were cleaned off with napkins provided, a brief regular Board meeting was held. And now for the part you’ve been waiting for. Are there plans for an industrial park for Clay County. Is there a plan in place to locate such an attraction to employers? Is there anything even on the back burner? Elizabeth Sampson asked just those questions. In response, CAEZ Executive Director Jerry Sizemore said he had some kind of a meeting planned for next week but as far as an industrial park for this county, As far as an industrial park, there’s no further action…. [there are] NO other potential sites at this time. Continued on the next page
There was quiet for a second as the info sunk in to Clayonians. No chance for a medium size employer to locate in an attractive manufacturing setting in this county.
        Are you from Widen? Read this next part. Always up for a good meal, especially if it’s free, Frank Murphy was in attendance and asked about the status of a Widen Water project and a scenic railroad tourism effort.
         Sizemore responded first on the Widen project. According to Sizemore, the lead agent in the project, RCAP, in the effort to get affordable potable drinking water for Widen, They dropped the project I think. Sizemore was asked why RCAP dropped the project, Sizemore, I can find out.
         For many in the know, the answer is simple and goes like this: RCAP had a deal where Widen/Dille residents could have clean drinking water for less than $5 per month according to their own figures. While the RCAPers were doing their work, the Birch River PSD gang decided they needed more customers for their already in the works, colossal water project and added Widen/Dille to their plan. Reason: Birch River PSD needed more customers to justify to the lenders the ability to pay back such indebtedness. Further, the most despised Widenette, Darlene Rogers, was helping the RCAP project and upper crust Widenettes wanted no part in anything Rogers was working on even if it DID make sense! The consensus from the coffee house crowd: When Birch River water gets to Widen, very few of the residents will be able to afford the water and will remain without a safe drinking water supply. Now off the soapbox readers….
         As for firing up a scenic railroad business similar to Cass or the Greenbrier River RR, Director Sizemore, It’s in the exploratory stage and he has had one meeting with Sonny Jergenson on the matter.
         Near the end of the assembly with many droopy eye lids around the room, it was announced that Clay County CAEZ rep Darlene Morris had resigned her position effective immediately.
         FOLLOW UPS
                 This paper has always been a platform for news and views. From around the state we gladly accept the works from individuals like Dr Bob Clarke, Jim Chafin and Don Greene for instance. More locally, poet Mrya Fitzwater, Evelyne McLaughlin and Rose Cantrell provide local news and commentary on a regular basis as do Chatters as we call them, a.k.a. Letters to the Editor.        The shooting death of Chad Salisbury last year and the more recent 2nd degree murder indictment of Tonya Salisbury, Chad’s wife, have been the topic of many Chatters over the last 10 months. Since that last publication which included such a chatter, we received yet another one which pretty much blasted the justice system in Clayberry. For identification purposes, one excerpt: They don’t give a D*** what goes on in this town. It’s time we stand up and make these people do their jobs…
That last chatter isn’t in this edition. Not because we refuse to print it because of content but rather because it went unsigned. Our policy for the last 6 years has been to print only the chatters with the author’s name attached. One other note, sometimes we do shorten a big long one and other times we edit in an attempt to keep our behinds out of legal trouble.
                 Keep em coming readers but they must be signed!
          We get emails from around the world, every color every size , some with virus’ others without. The below note was sent to us via email from Rob Kampia. Interesting to see what the rest of the world is up to!
         Dear Friend: In an historic decision on Friday, August 29, the Alaska Court of Appeals ruled that the privacy clause of the Alaska Constitution protects personal possession of marijuana. This ruling – which overturned the conviction of a North Pole man charged with marijuana possession -- re-legalizes the possession and/or cultivation of up to four ounces of marijuana in one's home anywhere in Alaska. The Alaska state government has vowed to appeal the case to the AlaskaSupreme Court, which will presumably rule on the matter sometime next year. In 1975, the Alaska Supreme Court ruled in "Ravin v. State of Alaska"that a fundamental constitutional right to privacy protects personal marijuana possession. Because of "Ravin," an individual could legally possess up to four ounces of marijuana for personal use after 1975. In 1990, a voter initiative changed state law to make possession ofany amount of marijuana illegal, even in one's own home. The appellate court decision on Friday deemed the 1990 voter initiative unconstitutional, on the grounds that a popular voter initiative cannot overturn a core constitutional principle. When this case is decided by the Alaska Supreme Court, Alaska could serve as a model for states to allow responsible adult use of marijuana without the fear of arrest or imprisonment.Sincerely, Rob Kampia, Executive Director, Marijuana Policy Project, Washington, D.C.
                 In response to the ‘Rumors’ article – about the body in the river – there was mention of local law enforcement and the Clendenin Volunteer Fire Department looking for the body in the river. There was nothing mentioned about the members of the Clay Volunteer Fire Department putting a boat in the high, muddy water, risking our own lives looking for a body that wasn’t there.
                 The community often overlooks the job that we do, until their house is on fire, or a loved one is in a car wreck, or a child is lost. Then, we can’t get to a scene fast enough!!
                 Captain Joe Young, C.V.F.D.
         CHATTER #2
         Cart Before the Horse?
                 Just a comment – here the State of West Virginia pays to have each road line-painted – taxpayers’ money. Then a week or so later State Road comes by and fixes the pot holes and the road edges that are torn up, so where do those newly painted lines go? Under the asphalt. Sound silly to you?
                 I thought the lines were there to help drivers at night know where the edges of the road are. Some of these patches go on for a hundred feet or more. So, ain’t that putting the cart before the horse?
                 Jeanna Dozer
          Over the past several years I haven't traveled to Clay County much. In my last venture to Clay I noticed the radio station and wrote down your web site address. I have looked at your web site and I am glad that Clay is making progress in advancing the technology. The radio station is only the beginning. Keep up the good work and one of these days people will have respect for Clay. I am glad to be from Clay and proud of all your hard work. Especially of Eric Greenleaf, and the other young people from Ivydale who have put a lot of hard work into this project. It is nice to see teenagers from Ivydale do something constructive. I am proud of all of you and all your hard work.
          Sincerely, Phillip Summers
         Clay County Girls Earn Medals at National Tournament        
         The AKJU Team America Karate National Tournament was held August 9, 2003, in Columbus, Ohio. People from all over the nation participated. You will see no trophies here as the Nationals award medals, just like the Olympics – gold, silver and bronze.
                 Star Kish and Montana Barker, both students of H.E. White Elementary School in Bomont, Clay County, brought honor to their school, county and state by facing a large number of competitors and bringing home medals. Star won two silver medals and one bronze medal, and Montana won two bronze medals. Both girls are students of WV Seiei Kan Karate Academy located in Clendenin, WV.
                 Pictured are more students from their karate class, and on the far left is Montana’s dad, John Barker. Barker was winning his match when, with 15 seconds to go, he suffered a separated shoulder and ligament damage. This shows that this sport is for real, and anyone, even the girls, could get hurt – they hit and kick very hard.
                 These girls proved they can hold their own with anyone. Way to go, girls, you’ve made us proud and let them know where
         Bomont, WV is!
         Patriotism Isn’t… By Jim Chafin
                 If we Americans want to know the truth, that’s very good. If we want to feel patriotic, that’s also good, to a point!! However, there is an essential difference between truth and patriotism, that being: Whereas truth is an unalterable fact concerning an occurrence, thing, or person – patriotism is an earthy concept made up of the dreams and aspirations of man that could, possibly, be truth, ‘the whole truth and nothing but the truth’, or, it could be mixed in varying degrees of ‘coloring’ that renders the whole of the matter in shades of darkness – thus causing the entire matter to be subject to error. Patriotism, to be worthy of man’s aspirations must be couched in the elements of truth-fullness as expressed in love, charity, justice, judgments (righteous), and a commitment to act out these characteristics as a testimony to those round about us that we want a nation that is under-girded by a morality based not upon man driven circumstances, but conceived in divinity and given expression by the framers of this uniquely American experiment in freedom – a government of the people, by the people, and for the people… But, to achieve these lofty goals, the citizens of this nation would be required to forgo their own selfish interests in favor of that which is in the best interests of the republic as a whole – one for all, and all for one. That, we believe, is the consummate totality of the meaning of patriotism. But it is a concept that must be learned; we are not born with it – we must desire it, search for it, and when it is found we must cultivate it, water it, and be protective of it, as a hen gathers her babies underneath her wings to shield them from danger. We believe that it is the highest pinnacle of love for one’s country by providing honest (truthful) facts to our countrymen. We maintain that it is the only way this nation can maintain any semblance of freedom and liberty for ourselves and, at the same time, export this God-given commodity to a hungry and needy world.
                 If one pays attention to the news and current events, we would have to concede that liberty as we know it has been taking a terrible licking these days. Truth, it seems, has been downsized into a place strongly reminiscent of the dungeons of antiquity when the attributes of charity and love were pillaged and burned by the tyrants of yesteryear. These days, we put it in the XXX files, commonly known as the trash can. We run it through the shredder and mutilate it in every conceivable way. We deny it, walk on it, add to it, take away from it; we spit on it, preach against it, and, in a massive effort to demean the very existence of justice, we accuse our Maker of being asleep at the switch, of not listening to our prayers – of, somehow, being indifferent to our concerns. Truth has fallen in the street, and justice has removed far from us.
                 In its stead, we have built a wall of lies. Good is now considered bad; and bad is now the in-thing to do. You know, as in: When she’s bad, she makes me feel real good; do your own thing; whatever makes you feel good, go ahead and do it. Lies have become a part of our motis operandi, it’s a standard procedure; our leaders lie because it’s for our greater good, and that’s a lie because they want to keep their constituents in the dark. Common people cannot understand the intricacies of government, they say. We know something that you do not know, and I’m not going to tell you, said George W. as he was raiding the Social Security lock-box, as he was putting $40 billion into the hands of the already filthy rich, as he was preparing to make war on a tiny nation with an economy about the size of West Virginia to rid the world of those weapons of mass destruction – yeah, right!
                 Look in every nook and cranny of the affairs of this nation and we will find lies piled upon lies. Every institution, every pillar, is cracked and crumbling from the on-slaught of the misconceptions, half-truths, and outright fabrications being woven into the fabric of this society. Yes, it is hard to find the truth – in man’s scheme of things – but the truth is there, we simply must search for it.
                 THE LIE: Bush is going to add prescription drugs to Medicare for seniors. TRUTH: Medical benefits under Medicare will be drastically changed and become more expensive, if Bush has his way. THE LIE: This administration will be one of compassion. TRUTH: The Bush team has cost this nation more than 2 million jobs, spent the ‘surplus’, run this nation into a $400 billion debt (in only two years) and has attempted to alter, change, or do away with entirely virtually every social program that aids people, developed over the last several decades. And, if allowed, the Social Security System and Medicare Program will be privatized out of existence if Bush and his cohorts have their way. If Americans persist in their intoxicating pursuit of wealth and possessions at the expense of watchful perseverance, then the stealth of tyrants will overtake us whilst we are the least suspecting. The comfort factor of which everyone wishes a portion can be beguiling and detract us from our duties and responsibilities as a citizen. To covet the easy road is a natural tendency for the human species and it has worked its way into our work (un)ethics so much so that, both price and quality of goods and services are directly affected. And in some cases, the character flaws can be downright dangerous. THE LIE: Katrina Leung is an employee of the FBI. TRUTH: Leung was, in fact, spying on the United States for China, while at the same time receiving a salary of $1.7 million from the FBI. At the same time she had carried on an affair with her handler, a Los Angeles agent, for 18 years. She also had a liaison going with another former FBI agent who became director of security for the Lawrence National Laboratory, with all those nuclear secrets. Does that shock you? It should!
                 Lying has become the hallmark of government policy as it deals with the citizens of this country, and it is accomplished via another building block of deceit, namely SECRECY, which we hope to revisit in future messages.
         Rainy Day Heroes Awards
                 As parents across the state celebrated the first day of school, a group of parents, professionals and state officials took time on Tuesday, August 26 to celebrate fourteen individuals who have been models of strength to children with emotional and behavioral disorders.
                 The first-ever Rainy Day Heroes Award was presented by the Mountain State Family Alliance and honored individuals from Cabell, Clay, Kanawha and Putnam counties. The recipients include an assistant principal, a psychiatrist and a juvenile probation officer, as well as child welfare and behavioral health workers, teachers and family friends. The Rainy Day Heroes were recognized at a System of Care Celebration Luncheon at Charleston’s John XXIII Pastoral Center.
                 The Rainy Day Heroes award was created by MSFA with parents who wanted a way to recognize individuals in child-serving agencies and in their communities who are models of strength for them and their special needs children. Over 400 families of children with serious emotional and behavioral disorders, who are part of the Mountain State Family Alliance children’s mental health project, were given the chance to submit nominations of individuals who have helped their children succeed in their homes, schools and communities.
                 Recipients from Cabell County: Cindy Bryant, Clinical Resource Coordinator for Prestera Center/Mountain State Family Alliance; Diana Jarrell, a Special Education teacher at Beverly Hills Middle School; Ralph Rood, Assistant Principal at Beverly Hills Middle School; Dr. Gupta Saurab, a psychiatrist for Prestera Center; and Barbara Shiley, a Special Education teacher at Huntington High School.
                 Mary Moore, a children’s respite worker with Braley & Thompson, Inc., is the Clay County Rainy Day Hero.
                 Kanawha County heroes are: Nora Garnes and Sue McDowell of the Department of Health and Human Resources; Ricky Smoot, Juvenile Probation Officer with the Kanawha County Circuit Court; Rick Workman, a Charleston therapist in private practice; Susie Huffman, a teacher at Bridge Elementary; and Elizabeth Hudnall of Elkview who was nominated as a family friend.
                 Putnam County recipients are: Rebecca Opimo, Intensive Care Coordinator with Prestera Center; and Diane Elkins, of Hurricane who was nominated as a family friend.
                 The Mountain State Family Alliance is a partnership of families, professionals, mental and behavioral health provider agencies, Bureau for Behavioral Health & Health Facilities (DHHR), Bureau for Children & Families (DHHR), WV Office of Special Education and the Division of Juvenile Services, and is partially funded by a federal Systems of Care Grant through the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.
                 For more information, contact MSFA at 304-526-9351.
         BDA: NEW BLDG COMING - Maybe
                 It’s been a while since we covered the Clay County Business Development Authority. Here’s our chance readers. Our BDA met Thursday Sept 4 at the Courthouse with Chair Paige Willis at the helm. Lots of nice topics covered plus a little secret time to boot. Here we go
                 After missing four meetings in a row, Clarke Samples has been expunged from the BDA membership roles.
                 Discussion turned to gaining control of the now vacant State Road Garage at Two Run. Negotiations have been taking place in the background. Morgan Gibson read from a letter recently received which stated that the property could be leased or bought by the county for $1. Gibson, [We’re] crazy not to buy it for a dollar! Discussion continued on whether to buy or lease. No one knew for sure when the building would be available for procurement but agreed that the place needed to be given a clean bill of health before proceeding. Willis, It can be done but things need to be checked and clarified. Some mention was made on possible restrictions placed on the land and building if the BDA took over ownership.
                 Many in the county feel that the stone structure with new roof and three phase power would make a perfect incubator, start up place for new business lured into the county.
                 Willis said one company is considering the building if the BDA takes control with CAEZ Director Jerry Sizemore chiming in , he too had a potential tenant. Boardster Arthur Jarrett, who lives right beside the old garage, I might be interested myself, [I’m] tired of handling the drunks. Laugher followed.
                 Member Jerry Sizemore brought the group up to speed on efforts to develop a hardwood firewood co-op for the county. Sizemore said for that to be successful: the raw material have to be available; you have to have a building and space; and there has to be a market for the finished product. Sizemore suggested they develop a firewood distribution site where trucks would haul dried and bundled firewood to the yanks up North. As far as material, due to logging in the area, cut tree tops along with other items normally sent to the chipper could be used. Willis, It’s feasible if the market is there.
                 Sizemore went on to say two other companies are already in the bulk firewood business and he planned to meet with an Elkins coming in the near future. Sizemore, It’s a means of a direct transfer of money into the local economy. Translation: Any local with a pick up truck could bring in a load of firewood and collect some much needed ready cash. No decisions made.
                 Citizen Activist Fred Sampson read from a letter he recently received which stated local entities and the public in general would be included in developing a coal mine land use plan. Sampson has been the pivot man in getting local input into the long range plans for spent mine lands in the county.
                 As far as tourism plans for the county, Jerry Sizemore commented that data is being collected and meetings are being held. Tourism opportunities need to be identified before proceeding with anything. Meetings have also continued with Widen Properties concerning the development of an ATV trail in the county. The idea is to promote the trail and bring in boo koos of tourists from the East Coast similar to the very successful Hatfield & McCoy Trail in the southern part of the state. That trail is a 50 foot wide easement thru several strip mine holdings which continue thru several counties. To date no decision has been made by Widen Properties. BDA member Jerry Nelson, It all comes down to convincing Matt Coronet. Sizemore, It’s up to the people that own the land..
                 The discussions continued for 30 minutes as the group waited on attorney Barbara Schamberger. At 6pm the group adjourned their meeting with Ms Schamberger no where in sight. After adjourning, and after several members skedaddled the courthouse, Scham showed up and the meeting was reconvened.
                 With just a hand full left, Ms Schamberger said they needed to discuss interrogatories before the Sept 23 date set for the next hearing in the BDA vs. Clay County Bank trial. She went on to explain the nature of interrogatories which is to pin down fine individual points in a case. At issue: BDA agreed to give Filcon Inc $90,000 worth of land near Ovapa if Filcon would build a building and hire 10 employees. After signing the deal with the BDA, Filcon used the land as collateral at the Clay County Bank. With Filcon long gone , the Clay County Bank tried to sell the property to get their money back. Just before the sale, BDA slapped an injunction on the bank and stopped the sale. That was last year and the case has been in court since. Schamberger represents the BDA in the case.
          During the Sept 5th meeting, Scham said she believes in the case so much, she may not even charge the county for services. As for her hourly rate if she chose to invoice the county? $14 per hour!
                 At 6:15, the motion was made and passed to toss the public out and go secret. While outside the large glass door of the County Commission room, twice laughter could be heard and after several minutes Chair Willis’ voice could be heard saying, All those I favor signify by saying Aye A moment later a loud Aye was heard. In secret, away from the public, the Clay County Business Development Authority voted a decision. No attempt was made to allow the public back in as provided for in Open Meeting Law.
                 As the members were leaving the building, this reporter commented to those exiting, that they had cast a vote in secret. Member Morgan Gibson replied that some mention had been made during secret time about the need to come out of executive session before adjourning the meeting and when that was mentioned, Arthur Jarrett retorted, Don’t tell him! I don’t want to hear his mouth!
                 It’s hard to break old habits readers. —AW
                 Back on June 3rd, Trooper Bailey busted two meth labs out Leatherwood way. On the 4th, Allen and Lorie McClain were charged, arrested and arraigned. Bailey uses a Clay County search warrant in the arrests. Turns out the property where the meth lab was seized was not in Clayberry but rather Nicholas County. All charges have been dropped against the McClains. With the evidence taken illegally, no valid search warrant, no valid evidence, the case is over.
                 When we spoke with Mr. Bailey, right after the arrest, he felt positive the meth operation was going on in Clay County. So what happened? The last time Leatherwood Road was paved, there was some extra black top left over and the paving crew continued paving into Nicholas County, a distance of about 1400 feet. So instead of the county line being at the end of the pavement…. It wasn’t. Since the tossing of the charges by the Prosecutor’s office August 23, 2003, several in the county have been handing Tpr. Bailey complimentary road maps, or so they say.
          Last month Town Council voted to change the scope of a $1 million grant and provide for water tank improvements and new distribution lines heading over thru Maysel. It takes two readings and votes for Council to OK such a plan. The second vote came Sept 2nd during a very brief meeting held at the water plant. It’s a go readers!
          Sept 4, 2:59pm: All fire departments were called into service by the 911 dispatch. Trucks roared through Clayberry as volunteer fire fighters raced to Scott Legg’s house. The scanner was a blaze with chatter. Town Cop Buckshot Butcher was heard saying he was directing traffic at the scene which is well out of Town jurisdiction 3:06pm: All fire depts. sent back home. No official word but the fire must have been a small affair. 3:17pm Over the scanner came word of an oil spill on the road near the mouth of Osborne Road with warnings given to bus drivers to be real careful in the area.
          For those in the Queen Shoals service area of Clay Roane PSD, the long standing low pressure boil Water Order was reissued by the WV Health Dept’s JD Douglas Aug 25th.
         DON GREENE: WV Radical
                 You may have noticed the banner saying www.shawnee-traditions.con/Names running in the last couple of issues. That's me folks. Yep, the Old Radical has interests other than taking our government to task.
                 A few years ago I decided to see how many of the Native Americans that were in the Battle of Point Pleasant I could find. The research quickly took on a life of its own as I began recording all the Natives I ran across. Of the 1,000-1,200 Natives in the battle, I now have about half of them.
                 But the work has became something more than that as I have found and recorded over 16,000 Natives from all the tribes east of the Mississippi in the 1700’s. My Shawnee site contains over 1,300 Shawnee and people affiliated with them. Since they were the major tribe in this area, they are of more interest to the history and growth of what is now WV, especially the Kanawha Valley. Very few even know that as early as 1778 the Natives offered to form a 14th state, basically the State of Ohio, composed of all the various tribes. Lewis Wetzel quickly murdered Custalogo aka White-Eyes, the leader of this effort, for his offer.
                 Most people with a passing interest in local history or the readers of historical fiction of this area have heard of Corn Stalk, Blue Jacket and Tecumseh. I call these men the Big 3, for nearly everyone that claims Native ancestry around here claims to go back to one of these three noted leaders. Unfortunately history doesn't show much likelihood of such descendants. Corn Stalk's family lived mostly in Ohio after the Treaty of Greenville in 1795, as did Blue Jacket and his family. Tecumseh was born and was based out of Chillicothe for most of his short life. This is not a genealogy site; there are plenty of them already. I want to show the numbers of Natives that we drove off, killed and betrayed. If the 16,000 represent only a percentage of those living here, you can get a better vision of the numbers of families and tribes wiped out and fragmented by the advance of the whites across the mountains.
                 Reading thousands of pages of history, it is dismaying to see the behavior of our ancestors. The practice of taking slaves, scalping and torturing were introduced to this continent by the whites. Similarly, it is eerie to see the close parallels of the dishonesty of the early American government with our current leaders. They negotiated and signed treaties, which the Natives took in good faith, only to be betrayed by our founding fathers and their agents. There isn't a single case of an honestly followed treaty in our history. An omen of things to come for the people of America, it might seem.
                 So please take a look at my Shawnee site and feel free to contact me if you have any questions about the Native Americans of the 1700s.
         BOB CLARKE Curmudgeon’s Corner
                 In moments of dark, suspicious, and perhaps fully-justified thought, the poor souls who are addicted to daily TV news coverage may come to feel that the opinions that are forced upon us might as well be issued straight from the White House. Why bother with the middle man? Even the legendary New York Times whose famous motto, All the news that’s fit to print seems relegated to report all the news that the administration will allow it to print, or rather, allow it to discover. Indeed, there are a few voices of dissent that can be found in some of the nation’s leading newspapers, but they are sprinkled sparsely in order to give the impression of a so-call fair and balanced presentation. This sad era in journalistic history is a direct product of the most secretive administration in our nation’s history.
                 Consider, for example, the now overlooked if not forgotten case of Vice President Dick Cheney’s infamous behind closed doors conference on the energy issue. Not only is the public prohibited from knowing what decisions were made; we are not even informed about the participants. Cheney even refused to divulge the proceedings to the Congress when so requested. Of course, our beloved U.S. Congress has deteriorated into such a stage of moral bankruptcy that its members even lacked the grit (less polite terms come to mind) to exhibit outrage over such shoddy and autocratic treatment. Integrity sinks into insignificance placed against the terror of not being reelected. On reflection, it should be mentioned that at least one person was in on the secret meetings that dealt with problems central to all citizens – that great American, Kenneth Lay. Cheney, it appears, makes Calvin Coolidge look like a blabbermouth. Like the seasoned old pol he is, the vice president knows that any risk of embarrassment can be avoided by the old standby executive privilege, and if real danger lurks, there is always the ever-popular national security.
                 As a substitute for actual thought or substantial meaning, most administrations, including this one, resort to what some call buzzwords. Mention the flag, mother, or even apple pie, and certain associations in the mind are almost inevitable. When the Reagan administration was helping the Contras kill more than 30,000 people, mostly civilians, as well as a few insignificant nuns and priests in Central America, the Gipper bestowed his blessing by calling them freedom fighters. With his warm smile and air of civilized amiability, Reagan even convinced an ingenuous and accepting public that the borders of Texas were in immanent peril of invasion by the communists. This was the sort of thinking that enabled our military forces to achieve a glorious victory over mighty Grenada; a small Caribbean island that former Secretary of State Alexander Haig said could have been handled by the Providence Town police. Such actions are always ones with a positive side. For example, it is imperative that we continue to support the Pentagon, with its out-of-control budget and criminally wasteful spending. After all, no politician if he hopes to keep his job wants to be accused of being soft on defense. Thus, a buzzword becomes a buzz phrase: Soft on crime, Soft on drugs, etc.
                 If it were not so sad, with the continuing loss of American lives, it would be amusing to keep up with the administration’s excuse of the week for invading Iraq. It appears that the old weapons of mass destruction rationale has been discarded. The next scenario was the constant reminder that we have rid the country of a hideous and brutal tyrant. There is some truth in that assertion, although Saddam has not been found along with Osama bin Forgotten. But in ravaging a country that had nothing to do with 9/11 we are waging a war on terror. And here is the new propaganda slant. Every time another American soldier is killed or wounded, it is designated as the act of terrorists, the word used endlessly by a media complicit with the government. Let us indulge in a bit of history here. When the French Resistance fought against the Germans, they were not designated terrorists. Similarly, the native Algerians fought to expel the French from their country. They may have committed acts of terror, but they were not terrorists. To labor the point, when an Iraqi kills a member of an occupying force he is acting as a nationalist, and the other Arabs who have joined in are probably motivated by sympathy for their Iraqi brothers as well as hatred for the United States. It might also be argued that many believe they fight for Allah, not for Saddam Hussein. This is not the first administration aware that constant repetition becomes perceived truth. Used as a blanket term, terrorist becomes applied to any action committed by an opponent. From one point-of-view, the Redcoats in the Revolutionary War might have used it to describe the colonials. And, what if the infamous Benedict Arnold, so useful in our textbooks as the very model of treason, was a Royalist, loyal to George III? They probably had a different term for him in London. Still, one must grudgingly give credit to the Bushies’ deft slight-of-hand. They have convinced a weary public that, in occupying a country, weakened by over two decades of sustained war, we have actually progressed in our so-called war on terror. Osama may be laughing in derision in his snug, inaccessible mountain cave.
                 There is an old German folksong entitled Die Gedanken Sind Frie. (Loose translation: Thoughts Are Free.) One of its verses reads as follows.
                 …No scholar can map them.
                 No hunter can trap them.
                 No man can deny
                 Die Gedanken Sind Frei.
         What comes to mind here is probably the silliest, time-wasting non-issue in the history of this republic – school prayer. Now, prayer is a fine thing. It can provide consolation and hope to troubled souls. But, even ignoring the admonition by Jesus in the Book of Matthew against public displays of piety – if memory serves, he calls such people hypocrites, the question arises: How can people be prevented from praying? You can do it before an examination, a job interview, even at the urinal. The posturing showboats who delight in public displays of their piety are generally an irritating lot. At the risk of waxing cynical, such people create a certain suspicion about their sincerity. An old psychological theory has it that, if a man tells you more than twice that he is honest, it is a good idea to check if you still have your wallet. The morons who love to proclaim They have taken God out of the schools don’t know what they are talking about. Even a brief exposure to English and American literature provides a list of some of the most religious figures in the history of the western world, many of them clerics: Gerard Manley Hopkins, whose poetry celebrates the Creator in objects great and humble, John Milton, who wrote the greatest religious poem in our language (Paradise Lost) explaining the nature of evil, and how to avoid it. The list is enormous, but the Anglican priest, John Donne should be mentioned, since he insisted on the designed interconnectedness of all humankind (No man is an island.) These inspiring creatures are not beyond anyone’s reach. Those who can read, that is, so if the public school teachers are doing their job, God will remain ubiquitous (look it up) in our education system. If prayer is in the human mind, it is unstoppable, and does not need to be presented as a public ritual.
                 May the Great Mongoose kill your Cobra! - Cur
         Festival Forecast
         By Terri Lively

                 The Clay County Golden Delicious Festival will be celebrating its 30th Anniversary this year as the festival opens on September 18, 2003 at 6:00 PM. The Board of Directors hopes this year’s event will be the most memorable ever.
                 There are several new events this year, which include the Golden Delicious Couple contest, which takes place after opening ceremonies on Thursday. Each couple entering the contest must have reached their 30th wedding anniversary and compete in the Not-So-Newlywed game. This game is a game of questions and answers that shows how well each couple knows their mate. The winner will receive overnight accommodations at the Charleston Marriot including breakfast. Another new event, just added to the schedule, is a Dog Show sponsored by the Clay County Humane Society on Friday at 10:00 AM. Several more new events have been added like the Oreo Stacking Contest, Aqua Launch, Diaper Derby, and the egg toss contest.
                 The music schedule has been updated to include a variety of musical interests such as Blues, Rock, and Celtic. These have been added to the most popular favorites of Bluegrass, Country, and Gospel. With such a large number of requests, Karaoke with Steve Mullins has been added to the schedule this year where anyone can sign up to sing their favorite tune starting Thursday at 8:00 PM.
        A new amusement ride company and a new fireworks company will be joining the festivities this year. Fayette Amusements will be providing rides and games from Thursday till Sunday. Dominion Fireworks, who have done fireworks for the Virginia Beach area and Disney in the past, will be showing a spectacular fireworks display on Saturday night at 9:00 PM.
        Many of the regular events held each year will continue this year. These events include the motorcycle show, antique car show, quilt show, baking contests, ox-roast, Solomon’s Secret outdoor drama, CCHS Alumni events, Golden Delicious Apple Bowl (CCHS homecoming game), chili cook-off, parade, vendor booths, and amusement rides.
        Souvenirs will be available at the information booth during the festival. These include T-shirts, hats, mugs, pins, commemorative plate, program books, WV bears, candles, and quilt raffle tickets.
        On behalf of the Clay County Golden Delicious Board of Directors, Thank you, to all the volunteers who help put this event together. We would also like to take this opportunity to thank all event sponsors, advertising sponsors, and supporters who make this event possible. Enjoy this year’s festival as we celebrate the Jewel of the Hills, our golden delicious apple heritage.

A Letter to Brother Bill
By Evelyne McLaughlin

Dear Brother:
         Hope this note finds the weather a little warmer up there (Penn.). I heard it was down to 40 degrees----yuck! We have had quite a lot of rain again. The gardens are about gone and the grass just keeps on growing.
         I have seen several of my former classmates lately. One familiar face was Walter "Bob" Pierson. I just put the wrong name to the face. He was one of our 1955 classmates. He quit school and joined the military. He told me he now lives at Jack's Bend. I also had a recent phone conversation with Shirley Sutton Ashworth (1955). She and her husband, Fred, live in Pedro, Ohio. I hear that Stephen Samples (formerly of Twistabout), of Pensacola, Florida, hit the BIG 60 last month. Stephen is retired from the US Navy. His mother, Maycle Samples lives on Twistabout. Brooks Burdette had a recent birthday also. Don hit a high number the 30th of August. You know what????? The other day Don was telling me about SlimFast having a candy bar out now to help you lose weight, and then he said, "Why don't you get you some?" Do you think he was trying to tell me something? Sylvia Brown Summers of Ovapa was visiting her sister, Arlene Brown Jett, of Little Hocking, Ohio, last week.
         I recently attended a real estate auction in Clay. Several folks were in attendance, but it is difficult for one to bid against a bank. Yep! The bank out bid everyone at the auction. Wanita Koch, of Blue Knob, brought me a bag of really good cucumbers. I planted some cucumbers, for late eating, but they fell by the wayside.
         There must be a lot of wealthy folks in Africa. I have received oodles of e-mails from Africans wanting to share their dollars with me. But, as always, there has to be a catch. I didn't bite on any of the offers.
         Jordan Varney of Blue Knob has returned home from the hospital. Poor Jordan, when school was just out he became ill and was hospitalized until a week before school started back. He has been attending church regularly since coming home. He does have to go back to Maryland next week. He needs some more treatments. His mother, Karen, has been ill. She needs our prayers.
         I noticed in the paper that Larry Vaughan (CCHS 1955) had passed away. So sorry to learn that news. Ruth Hardway Eagle, of Valley Fork, was buried Monday. Our prayers are with the families who have lost loved ones. Lee Hardway (CCHS 1956) of Florida was home to attend his sister's funeral. I hadn't seen Lee for probably 45 or more years.
         I know Allie must be enjoying her retirement. My animals are going down the drain. I have sold all the geese and ducks that I owned. The place is much quieter with the geese gone. I guess this is about it for this week. Take care and don't spend all of your Social Security check, just let a little of it pile up. Until next time, help us all to be brave. Love and Prayers, Sis.
                 SCHOOL BOARD MEETING
                 Clay County Board of Education held a regular meeting Tuesday, September 2 at the administrative office building in Clay. All board members were in attendance – Gene King, David Pierson, Fran King, Scott Legg, and Board President R.B. Legg – along with central office staff and about 15 others, mostly school employees and students.
                 The board conducted the following business: approved previous meeting minutes and the payment of current bills; approved extra curricular contracts with Patricia Taylor as a bus aide on Bus 35 (Dian Fields’ former position) and with Trish Triplett as volleyball coach at Clay Middle School (CMS) for the 2003-2004 school year; accepted the resignations of school bus drivers Joe Lanham, effective August 19, and Clinton Nichols, effective August 31; approved an overnight trip for Clay Ag Science students to attend a competitive event in Morgantown, WV (no date announced); approved Sue Boggs, Mary Lou Douglas, Pauline Hedrick and Norma Keith as Foster Grandparents; accepted the transfers of 129 students from surrounding counties into Clay County Schools: 12 from Braxton County, 18 from Calhoun County, 24 from Fayette County; 36 from Kanawha County, 23 from Nicholas County, and 16 from Roane County; approved out of county transfers for 3 students to Fayette County Schools and for one student to Roane County Schools. All motions passed unanimously.
                 Business Manager/Treasurer Loretta Gray presented the monthly financial update for August. Gray said they had collected final grant payments from last year for Title I and Gear Up, and a new grant for faculty senate. Expenditures included a payment on the wrestling building from money provided by the Budget Digest (the wrestling building got $20,000), payment for wiring that was done, and purchase of new computers. Gene King asked if a truck he saw hauling stuff away from the wrestling building was surplus. Fran King answered that what he saw was siding intended for the VFW that had been delivered by error to the building. Board had no further questions for Gray.
                 Ag Science teacher Bob Morris and WV State County Extension Agent Mike Shamblin gave brief presentations on the success of Clay County FFA (Morris) and 4H (Shamblin) students in state and national competitions. Both requested that the board allow and help send the FFA team and the 4H team to national competition to be held again in Oklahoma City, OK. Morris said West Virginia is sending four teams to the competition – 2 FFA and 2 4H – and that this was the first time he knew of two teams being asked from the same county. The students would be leaving April 30 and return on May 8, and Morris said they try to make the trip educational by stopping along the way at historical sites and points of interest. He said $1,900 had been budgeted for the trip, and that WV State would probably provide some money, but he wasn’t sure what the amount would be yet. The board was asked to help with additional expenses. Shamblin also reported on the success of the summer 4H camp and thanked the board for their support of it. The proposed trip will be placed on next meeting’s agenda.
                 Fitness Center Coordination Sue Jones gave an update on the center. She reported that everything was going smoothly, there are 150 members enrolled of which 35 to 50 are active, but was disappointed about the amount of money collected. Jones said she had tried to accommodate people by extending the hours the center was open, also opening some on Saturdays, had tried to start some classes and generate more income from the Activity room, but has had little success so far. Jones said she didn’t know what else to do, was considering running an ad in the Free Press to try to rent out the Activity room, and asked the board for any suggestions they might have. She reported they had received a $3,000 Budget Digest grant and one from COW, $1,200, mostly used for equipment. R.B. Legg and Scott Legg both commented that they hadn’t received any complaints.
                 Listed on the agenda to appear, but who did not show up, was local gas company owner Johnny Habjan.
                 Next meeting of the board is Monday, September 15, 6:00PM, at the administrative office building in Clay.
          - TK
         08/21/03: Slack – Donna Carte, wanton endangerment (08/14), preliminary hearing continued to 08/29.
         08/21/03: Slack – Roger L. Damron, driving suspended, arrested, ROB; Butcher – Raymond L. Brown, muffler noise violation, appeared, ROB; Clay County Sheriff – Sherry Jo Mullins, warrant issued for worthless check.
         08/23/03: Elswick – Edward Lee Adkins, domestic battery, arrested.
         08/25/03: Leonard Neal – Burley White, peace bond, arrested, ROB; Belt – Adam Joe Dancy, warrants issued for fleeing from officer, underage possession of beer, operator’s, registration violations, speeding, no POI, MVI, and seat belt violation; Simms – Roscoe Boggs, stream litter less than 100 lbs., appeared, ROB, trial 09/18; Bailey – Kevin F. Daniels, driving suspended, appeared, ROB; Cunningham Motors, Inc. – warrants issued for worthless checks for Mark Prince; Candice S. Murphy; Regina E. Ranson; Matilda Duffield; and M. Jean Hurford X 4.
         08/20/03: Frances Dobbins – Robert Scott Beckett, money due.
         08/25/03: Rental & Development Co. – Frank Earl Jackson III and Angela Marie Jackson, breech of contract, subpoenas issued.
         08/28/03: Tiffany Farmer – Dawson’s Service Center, money due, subpoena.
         08/29/03: Asset Acceptance Corp. – Maria Dawn Schoonover, money due.
         Worthless Checks
         Notices issued –
         08/21/03: Clay Supermarket – Michael L. Holcomb (paid 08/25) and Donna D. Ice (paid 08/29).
         08/25/03: IGA – Christine L. Risden and Loretta K. Rogers (paid 08/28).
         08/29/03: Carte’s Quick Stop – Mary A. Hickman.
         Citation Register
         08/07/03: State Police – Wesley L. Kiss, speeding; DNR – Roscoe Boggs, stream litter less than 100 LB.
         08/08/03: State Police – Micheal L. Greenleaf – operator’s, MVI and no POI.
         08/15/03: State Police – Kevin F. Daniels, no POI and driving suspended/revoked non-DUI; Wendy C. Barnes, no POI.
         08/18/03: State Police – Mark Anthony Stone, MVI.
         08/21/03: Sheriff’s Dept. – Roger L. Damron, driving suspended.
         08/23/03: State Police – Stephanie J. Rhodes, registration violations and operator’s; Sheriff’s Dept. – Paul Truman, reckless driving.
         Grindo Costs County $9000.00
                 Do you remember when you clobbered your brother up side of the head, turned around, and there stood your Mother? How about when you tried to sneak back in the house after a big party trying to act sober and there was your Father, in the hallway, patting his foot on the wooden floor. Remember the look they gave you? Something along the lines of: You’re caught red handed and man you’re in deep doo doo!!!
                 That’s the nature of this story with the guy in trouble seat none other than Braxton County native, Clay County Prosecutor Daniel Grindo
                 It’s Aug 26th in the Court room of Judge Richard Facemire. The place is packed at 10am. Jury selection is in process. Jurors are sitting in the jury box, alternates are in front and to the right side front as well. In the peanut gallery sits other potential jurors (not selected) as well as various attorneys suited up , ready for battle. With Facemire facing the crowd, our man Grindo sat. Little was heard during the jury selection process from the smartly dressed youthful prosecutor. He was quiet.
                 Scheduled for this day’s court were four cases , one being jury trial. Bailiff King escorted the selected ones in and out and back to their respective chairs. The squeaky main door opened and closed. Just as the Aaron King trial was ready to start, it didn’t. Judge Facemire explained, the matter is not ready for trial today…. , then something about, it was beyond this court’s control. The Jury was dismissed and filed out. Facemire waited until every last one of them was away from ear shot before saying anything else.
                 Looking squarely at Grindo, the robed one said the Prosecutor did NOT have his witnesses ready and that this was the third time court had been called and nothing happened! Grindo was wordless and the Judge wasn’t playing around. Got a little confusing here readers but here’s the way it sounded to those in the peanut gallery: As an excuse for not being ready, Grindo must have told the court one of his witnesses had been struck by lighting and was under doctor’s care. Unfortunately for Mr Grindo as he likes to be called, Facemire had seen the guy in Gilmer county, driving his car around just one day earlier! Oh Boy…
                 Now the Judge wasn’t yelling or even pointing his finger, but the eye contact was intense and absolutely unwavering. Driving the point home, the guy on the bench continued stating that on Aug 12th the state ( that’s Grindo of course) was not ready for trial and since then two felony cases ( a Metheny and Johnson it sounded like) had to be dismissed because no witnesses were on hand plus another felony case had been reduced to a misdemeanor. Bailiff King and Asbury had their heads down sort of like kids not wanting to see another kid get spanked. Kind may have been grinning.
                 Facemire made it clear to the young-looking Prosecutor, each and every time Court opens, the cost to the county is $3000.00. Facemire, I was ready for trial today… KaChing, another 3000 dollar down the rat hole. Grindo remained quiet.
                 The Chief Judge wasn’t done. With a piercing stare, Facemire informed our man Grindo, another case was in jeopardy. Attorney Tom Whittier had asked for a case to be dismissed because discovery work was not done. Discovery is the term for all the behind the scenes stuff like depositions done and provided all parties before trials. Mr Judge said he ordered Grindo to do the discovery, and Whittier told me the state has not done the discovery! Quiet. Grindo remained seated. From the back side, it didn’t even look like his ears were turning red. Speculation is that he may have much experience getting his arss chewed.
                 A break came. Grindo left the room to do some damage control. While out of the room, Ric Facemire came off the bench as this reporter peered over the divider wall where Grindo had been sitting. Looking left and right and then back again, the ace cub reporter said he was looking for little pieces of Grindo’s butt on the floor. Most of those remaining in the court room laughed out loud. The Judge barely grinned and said this had not been a butt chewing and that he just thought the taxpayer should get their money’s due, or something along those lines.
                 With five or six lingering, the Mel Gibson look alike asked: Raise your hand if you think Grindo got his hiney chewed. Hands went up. Even Mike Asbury’s hand started to go up before he thought better. Again laughter came.
                 Minutes passed before Grindo re-entered, the chit chat stopped as the spiffy Grindo told the court, the few witnesses in the building had been released. Ohhhh Boy again… Little teeny veins on the side of Facemire’s head started to show. Facemire, I wish you hadn’t done that…. [that] puts me in a bad situation…. Never excuse them without the Court’s OK… Now we’re not attorneys but it sounded like: If the witnesses had not been excused by Gringo, the Judge could have just ordered them back in a day or two and done so without the need for more summons or subpoenas or whatever they normally use. More summons, more cost to the county.
                 Again Grindo left to attend to something. Many minutes later, someone mentions that the prisoners waiting their day in court and housed in the next room were still setting there, Facemire, You mean he didn’t tell them????? Facemire attended to the detail. Still later Grindo showed up again this time wondering how to do a waiver I think he said. Got to hand it to Ric Facemire, he never yelled out loud over the many screw ups!
                 There are some days when it’ just better to stay in bed. Aug 25th was one of those for Daniel Grindo. But it didn’t end that one day.
          All of the above reporting was done first hand with our own ears. Two days later on Thursday Aug 28th, with attorney Whittier present, in front of Facemire, Grindo got it again. Once again Grindo was in the grease for not doing the preliminary work. This time, as we understand it, we weren’t there: Facemire to Grindo: If you don’t get your butt in gear and get the job done, YOU’LL be paying for the defendant’s attorney Tom Whittier.
                 While it’s fun to watch public official get raked over the coals, the truth is, in this case, justice is not being served plus as Judge Facemire stated, each screw up costs the county $3000.00. For any new guy, it takes time to grow into a job, any job. All the college training on earth can’t take the place of behind the desk and in this case, court room experience. Daniel Grindo has been on the job since Jan 1 20003. That’s 7 months.
         During those 7 months, his performance has come up on numerous occasions but mostly away from the public’s view. There was the trial back in Jan. where five witnesses testified they saw the defendant run over a lady with his truck and still the state lost the case. Sure can’t forget in May when a lady was on trial for welfare fraud and not one witness was called by the state to validate the charges raised by Mr Grindo during the trail. Maybe the cases were tougher than first blush or maybe the attorneys across the table did a darn good job. Whatever the folder, the state’s side, Grindo , came up on the short end of the stick.
         Others in the court system are now quietly mentioning other problems. According to our anonymous sources, there are problems with our man not showing up for early morning court duties over in Magistrate Court land resulting in dismissal of charges, problems with not being able to get in touch with Mr G because he spends much time practicing law in his Braxton County office, and concerns that the guy appointed to defend the laws of WV has little interest in the County of Clay duties.
         For $37,000 a year, many in the county are now wondering if we’re getting our dollar’s worth.                                                AW
         We’re asking you to be Fair
                 Clay Roane PSD met in regular session Aug 28. Present: Chair Postelwait, Larry White, Gary Whaling and Glenn Sutton arrived late, shame, shame. Absent: Dave Saulsgiver, shame shame shame! 20 sat in the peanut gallery to watch the action
                 Same ole same ole.. the PSD could only pay $15,190 in bills leaving a few past due, a little more past due. The PD will try to sell the old Newton Fire House building again and this time not require a minimum bid.
                 Lots of good discussion on giving full time employees a 2% pay raise. One exception. That exception being Bobby Burdette who remains on probation for misdeeds discovered last month. Postelwait commented that there is enough money budgeted for an increase. Where? From the outside looking in, it appears that the PSD will be using the funds set aside for a full time maintenance man position (unfilled) to foot the bill for pay raises. Motion passed. Raises are official with Burdett eligible for the same increase after successfully completing his probation period.
                 Glenn Sutton, Melissa Postelwait and Larry White will be attending training in Sept. With White staying in a camp ground for the three day deal, Postelwait and Sutton will hang out at the Days Inn, $70 per night. Now there was some mumbling, but it sounded like others will also be attending the training, maybe others related to Board members. Just a guess
                 Have you been waiting for water for years? Last meeting, retired Boardster Roy Ellis asked Clay Roane to extend water taps to two pieces of property he recently sold to PSD contractor Phillip Linger. That was last time. This time the request came to extend that same line to 8 to 15 new customers with the customers footing the bill. Chief Operator Jennifer Traub, Now others want water. Postelwait, He’ll have to petition the Board for a water project … then go from there.. Traub. They want to build it themselves. You could feel the emotions swelling. Punkineers in the crowd who have been waiting on water service for 20 years felt betrayed.
                 Postelwait, Just because they have money is no reason.. others need water who don’t have the money. Larry White,… they have right to put water in.. Postelwait, I want you to know, if they do that, I’ll file a petition against it! Keep in mind readers, Postelwait is a Punkineer without water service. Punkineer Darlene, I’ve wanted water for 10 years. Are we not fist priority? It’s not right, others want water, you should go by a list. Boardster Whaling tried to assure the crowd, doing the Linger extension would not affect the timeliness of the Punkin Ridge Project. Didn’t take!
                 Questions came up on costs not covered by the Linger community like inspecting lines during construction. White, We’re just adding on. It’s not costing the PSD anything. Punkineer
         and part time maintenance man Dale Deems, People are going to blow up when they hear about this! Darlene, HOW MANY FAMILIES ARE DOING WITHOU WATER ON PUNKIN RIDGE!! The rest of them aren’t being calm about it! We’re asking you to be fair! Postelwait, It’s not fair to the people wanting water [Punkineers]! White, I live at Amma, [I’ve] been looking for water for 10 years… You’ve got to have the money to do it. Don’t penalize the people with money.
                 Lively discussion lead by dale Deems, went back to old topics like when local politicians Don Samples, RT Sizemore and Clintooon Nichols got water service ahead of planned projects. TRANSLATION: Punkineers got left high and dry!
                 It got kind of confusing, but after the dust settled, it sounded like the Linger water project can proceed if they secure all the needed permits and such and cover the cost for pipe, connections, and labor.
                 And just after pay raises and new water extensions, time to discuss buying a new truck. Yelp, Glenn Sutton presented the board with new and used truck estimates. And the winner of the night, Mr. Sutton said the financially strapped water provider didn’t not have solicit competitive bids for the purchase since it would be under $25,000.00. White, We’ve got to have a vehicle. Clay Roane PSD will ask the WV Public Service Commission for emergency approval to buy a new truck.
                 Still in debt, pay raises given, Boardsters heading to training camp with family, considering buying a new truck and doing so without competitive bidding, and newbees getting water service ahead of those that have waited for years. Can it get any better than this? Sure!! Just wait till next time!                —AW
         CCC IN ACTION
          Clay County Commission met in regular session Aug 25th at 10 am. Commissioner Triplett announced that Commissioner Sams would be absent after tearing the bejeebees out of his knee which required surgery. No where to be seen was Mathew Bragg. We waited… and waited, and after several phone calls by Clerk Moore… around 11am, Commissioner Bragg showed and after opening prayer service, Bragg opened with: although he didn’t read the Communicator, someone told him of coverage from the last meeting where Bragg was a no show. According to Bragg, instead of coming to the CCC meeting, he went to OH for a physical where he checked out A OK, Bragg, I am not out lolli-gagging! He explained that he is planning to run for Sheriff next time and he wanted to make sure his health was good.
                 First up for discussion, Queen Shoals resident Frank Kish. Kish asked the elected ones to reimburse him for out of pocket expenses due to recent 911 addressing changes. He said that poor people don’t have the $ to change driver licenses, vehicle registration cards, and such. Kish, I take this to be a serious matter…. What are these people suppose to do?… I would like to get reimbursed… Frank referenced state code that make mandatory address changes on driver’s licenses and registrations, each of which has a fee involved. Driver’s for Food , Mr Kish’s non profit social service agency, also has to hire an attorney to reflect the recent address fee. The Kish plan calls for the CCC to set aside 911 funds ( $200,000 in surplus now) to cover costs associated with changes of addresses for low income residents of the county. Bragg, You requested $55.00. What worries me, what ever we do for you, we have to do for the other 3000 residents.
                 Kish reminded the elected ones that tickets and fines for improper registration and court costs for those that don’t update addresses take money used for feeding kids and buying medicines. Bragg, We’re opening a can of worms… Triplett, ‘ I don’t know… [we] need to do some real serious thinking.. Kish, Somebody has got to help the people somewhere. Bragg, That’s $1000s we don’t have.. We’ll take it under advisement.
                 And then the first volley came during discussion of giving the Prosecutor’ s secretary the 5% pay raise given other courthouse workers last month. Somewhere in there came this from Mr Bragg, I thought he didn’t need any help… Is he going to move down here? Finally, the raise was given.
                 With Grindo present, around noon:15, Discussion turned to the need for his office to have an Asst Prosecutor. Two months back Prosecutor Grindo asked the CCC to hire Webster County attorney Dan Dodson for the part time slot and offer him benefits like insurance. Currently Dodson is a part time Prosecutor in Braxton County. Then, and in subsequent meetings, the elected ones said no to the benefits but Oked the hiring of Dodson for $25,000.00 on a contract basis. To date, Dodson has not been on the job in Clay . Grindo explained the importance of Dodson having benefits since he has a family to care for. Questions came on earlier statements made where Grindo said Dodson would be loosing his Braxton benefits, Grindo recanted the earlier remarks but insisted on the benefit package. Triplett said no to the plan. Triplett referred to this county’s policy and procedure manual which does not allow for part timers to accumulate benefits and hospitalization coverage. Triplett, I’m not for changing the plan.
          And then the good stuff. Remember now, Bragg voted NOT to hire Grindo back in Dec 2002… Back in Dec candidate Grindo told the CCC: He would NOT need an Asst; he would move to Clay County if he got the job, he would NOT have a private practice, and he would run for office in 2004. Referring to the request for an Asst. Bragg, Refresh my memory, you said you didn’t need any help? Grindo, Circumstances proved me wrong.. Bragg, Didn’t you say no private practice? Grindo, No significant practice. Feeling the heat, Grindo, I don’t see the relevance!
                 Bragg pressed on, You told us you were moving to Clay. Grindo, I had a child. [we’re] not going to move right now. In other questions, Grindo, I didn’t say that either. The tension was there.
          Bragg drove it all home one more time, You didn’t pull thru with what you said… You told us you didn’t need any help…… Triplett, referring to hiring an Asst on a contract basis, It’s always been contract. Can’t you find anyone else? Then came the mumbles up front. Bragg wouldn’t look at Grindo, Grindo wouldn’t look at anyone, Triplett waited to see what would be said next. Bragg, Is that all we have Judy?
         Seeing that the battle was over and he had lost, Grindo, I’ll bring another candidate that will work for that salary and bring it back at that time. Grindo left.
         With the Commission room nearly empty, Bragg, I’m not really interested in helping this boy at all….. He lied to us like a dog …. Sounds like he pure lied…
         Motion was made and passed to use contract labor ONLY for the Asst Prosecutor opening.
         Readers, those last few minutes were worth the wait. Isn’t that always the case!                                                                        AW