OCTOBER 21, 2003

School Board Meeting
Clay Roane PSD Meets
Letter to Brother Bill
Helpful Hints
Oh Danny Boy
County Commission Meets


“ forgot…I don’ remember..”        It’ nothing new for our County Commissioners to be sued over Open Meeting Law violations. Such was the case again Oct 30th when one time Asst Prosecutor Barbara Schamberger laid out her case in front of special Judge Ronald E Wilson. Schamberger brought the issues to court in Jan 2003 just after Daniel Grindo was appointed Prosecuting Attorney by Commissioners Jimmy Sams, Mathew Bragg and Tim Butcher. In her suit, Schamberger alleges that the selection of Grindo was all planned out ahead of time by the Commission ( Tim Butcher in particular) and after a meeting was held away from the public, in Judge Jack Alsop’ chambers, on Nov 21 , 2003 a decision was made to hire Grindo over all others interested in the Prosecutor’ job soon to be vacated by Jeff Davis.
        On July 21st of this year, a hearing was held where many of the charges brought by Schamberger were tossed out by Judge Wilson. Before the Court on Oct. 30th were the Sunshine Law allegations, the heart of the case.. The case was heard in the County Commission room due to the upstairs courtroom being used by Judge Facemire. Here’ the way the morning went from the peanut gallery
        Tall and gray, Judge Wilson was up front. No rope worn. Over on the left, Commissioners Sams, Bragg and Triplett sat with attorney Molly Underwood. To the right, dressed in red, was Ms Schamberger with her 12 inch tall stack of manila folders stuffed with paperwork and yellow legal pads. No Tim Butcher was in sight. New to the case was attorney Molly Underwood. Up until this date, attorney Johnny Brown represented the CCC. Brown was no where to be seen.
        NOTE: Since July 1st of this year, taxpayers have doled out $4194.05 for Brown’ efforts to keep the CCC butts out of trouble.
        So what do you do first if you’e the defense attorney? Right! Ask the whole case be tossed. Underwood did that to no avail. Schamb brought to the front her first witness, Commission President Jimmy Sams. During the testimony Sams provided: He was at the Nov 21st Thanksgiving luncheon at the Courthouse. From the luncheon, Sams could just remember eating Mexican cornbread. Sams said he didn’ eat lunch with Judge Alsop who was in attendance, “I asked Judge Alsop if I could come up and talk to him… I wanted his ideas on replacing the Prosecutor [Jeff Davis]….”Sams said others had been replaced in the past but he needed direction. Sams said he met with Jack Alsop in the Judge’ chambers after the luncheon for about 15 minutes, In addition to Sams, Mathew Bragg and Commissioner Elect Peter Triplett were present. Outside the chambers were Sheriff Fields and Bailiff Gene King.
        Questioning by Schamb revealed: Sams had asked the Judge if he had any recommendations . According to Sams, Alsop replied that he “ord get the word out” When asked if local attorney Wayne King would make a good Prosecutor, Sams stated that the Judge replied, “He is well qualified.”Eyebrows went up!! Schamb showed Sams an earlier signed sworn affidavit where Sams had not mentioned the conversation. Sams, “That wasn’ in there?”Schamb, “nything else not in there???”Sams, “I must have forgot!”
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Jimmy said that during the away from the public meeting with the Judge, Daniel Grindo nor Barbara Schamberger’’names did not come up.
        Defense attorney Underwood worked equally hard to make certain that the casual meeting was just that, and was not planned ahead of time. Sams confirmed that angle. Sams said he just needed advice from the Judge on how to do the appointment of Jeff Davis’replacement. Sams went on to say: Résumé’ for the job started coming in just one day after the meeting with Judge Alsop; Tim Butcher helped with the interviewing applicants Dec 12th; Commissioner Elect Triplett was in attendance during the interviews; after the interviews and during the regular CCC meeting Dec 12th, the Commission ( minus Triplett) went into Executive session to discuss the applicants; Upon existing the secret time, Commissioner Bragg motioned to hire Barbara Schamberger as Prosecuting Attorney; that motion died for lack of second; then Commissioner Tim Butcher motioned to hire Grindo; Sams, “I didn’ second the motion… We were still at odds… I wanted Wayne King, 30 years of experience” and finally, Sams said seconded the motion and the hire was complete.
        As Schamb was cross examining Sams, Molly Underwood tried to get the line of questioning stopped. Didn’ work. Judge Wilson, “ver ruled, Who knows what’ relevant here!”As Sams was squirming a little, Schamb, “You’e changing your testimony!”Molly, “I OBJECT!”Wilson, “Over ruled. We’e moving along nicely here..” Sams stepped down .
        Middle man Mathew Bragg was next to testify. Questioning by Schamb got little from Bragg, for the most part, over and over, the response was the same from Mathew Bragg, “ can’ remember much of what was said…. I don’ remember….. I have no idea…. I just listened ….. I don’ know..” Something was up readers. Bragg during the hiring process was a supporter of Schamb and since the suit was filed, has come out and said much much more than during this court appearance. It was almost like, someone had turned off his rememory!
        Schamb read from Bragg’ signed sworn affidavit. Bragg didn’ even acknowledge he signed the document! Schamb asked about a direct conversation she had with Bragg after the Nov 21st meeting. Once again, Bragg had bailed out with amnesia. Even the basic questions from the meeting in question… What did you talk about? Bragg, “I don’ remember.”What did you have for lunch? Bragg, “I have no idea…”Schamb referred to 10 different items said during the away from the public meeting by Bragg and attested to in the affidavit. Bragg , “Not really…. I don’ know…”Schamb, “DO YOU PLAN TO RUN FOR OFFICE???” Underwood, “I OBJECT!”Schamb, “Withdrawn.”        Schamb had made her point. Her main witness had had a change of heart! He wasn’ talking.
        Underwood did the best damage control she could but even with his own team asking the questions, Bragg was listless. Did he even know that affidavit was a sworn statement? Bragg, “I guess… I don’ remember.”At one point Bragg wouldn’ even acknowledge that he had read County Commission meeting minutes!
        New man Peter Triplett took the hot seat next. By the way readers, Triplett may hold the record for an elected official getting sued. Triplett came to office Jan 2 2003 and was served the lawsuit within 24 hours! As for Pete’ testimony, much of the same, “ don’ know.”Triplett did firm up: the Judge told them they could appoint Jeff Davis’replacement before Davis left office; the meeting in question lasted about 15 minutes; and Pete was present for the Nov 21st meeting and the interviews; Commissioners asked him to attend the meetings; the meetings in question were closed to the public;
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he asked no questions during the interviews; and Tim “o Show”Butcher came to very few CCC meetings and was not present when they met with Judge Jack Alsop. Triplett, “I couldn’ have voted. I wasn’ [on the] Commission..”        How often do you see a Judge be subpoenaed and testify? Happened Thursday morning! Judge Alsop entered and went up front. Now keep in mind this isn’ word for word from Alsop but is about as close as we can get. Alsop: Had lunch Nov 21st; during the lunch he talked with Sams; Jeff Davis had already told him he planned to resign from office; Bragg and Sams wanted to talk; Alsop said he was asked about filling the vacancy and replied, “It’ not my appointment, the CCC appoints..” Alsop said he wouldn’ comment on candidates; Alsop, “I was aware Daniel Grindo was interested in being a Prosecutor..” Commissioner Tim Butcher called the Judge later at home and during that conversation with Butcher, Alsop said he wasn’ getting involved; and ,Judge Alsop considered Tim Butcher a friend.
        Schamb worked the judge. Sounded like way back in the deep deep recesses, some angle was being worked. Schamb asked whether Daniel Grindo had asked permission to apply for the opening. Alsop,”He told me he was going to apply.”Alsop said the Commissioners started mentioning names to him. Schamb, “Did you laugh at any names? Alsop, “I chuckled and said I’ not getting involved.”        All this legal mumbo jumbo gets confusing readers but maybe Ms Schamberger’ closing will help clear up the mud. From the closing stuff: the CCC intentionally held the meeting; such meetings are illegal under WV Open Meeting Laws; Sams changed his testimony; He and Bragg wanted to talk about public’ business away from the public; Alsop said that he wasn’ asked any specific questions but the CCC gang testified specific questions were asked and responses were given by the Judge; The CCC said they didn’ talk about candidates but then Alsop said they mentioned Wayne King; The CCC intentionally violated state law. And she made strong mention of what the folks in the peanut gallery had been hearing for the entire 2 hour hearing, The Commissioner has a bad case of amnesia or at the least were “isingenuous” “he planned this …. There was new stuff today NOT in the affidavits ….the purpose of the Open Meeting laws is to stop this kind of business!!!!’
Schamb said she was troubled by Judge Alsop’ statements, that the hiring was to be a quiet thing, that the ad for the job was for one week only; Peter Triplett was being indoctrinated for this new position, Judicial canons prevent such advice from a Judge; “They wanted the ‘le boys’together, to get on board, to appoint Grindo; even the Judge’ testimony differs, the judge said they asked for recommendations; “This is an intentional violation of Open Meeting law.. You honor, They did it!”She wasn’ finished yet, “Their discussions were specific… They were making up their minds….The public vote was cursory … There’ not a whole lot of truth out of these witnesses today!!! There actions are more revealing than their words today!”        Wow! Talk about burning a bridge! Schamb better hope she wins the case!
        For the Commission, Ms Underwood disputed every element presented by the plaintiff. Underwood reminded the court that Schamb had made a bunch of allegations unsubstantiated by facts.
        The room was quiet for a second. Wilson looked at the parties up front and asked them to represent some kind of paperwork to him by Nov 21 2003 and he would rule on the matter around the first week in Dec. Judge Wilson, “Thank you and job well done.”All shuttled out.
        So what can the Judge Wilson do? Well, he could toss the whole case out, he could rule that the CCC broke Open Meeting Laws and fine the beejebees out of them; and to add icing on the cake, Judge Wilson could even force Prosecutor Grindo out of office and force the whole process to begin again!
Outside the court room , there were smirks. The star witness, Mathew Bragg, had had a change of heart. For those in the peanut gallery, Bragg had bailed out. As for Sams and Triplett offering little info. They had done just as their attorney had instructed: Don’ offer anymore than you have to! And then finally, Judge Alsop’ testimony. Based on what Schamb introduced, if Alsop was offering advice, he too may have something in the wringer.
        Dec and Judge Wilson’ decision is just around the corner. Stay tuned. AW

        Sometimes even the smallest poof starts an avalanche. Last time off the press came hushed word of turmoil within the county’ only medical provider, Clay Primary Health. Word on the street had been circulating of plans to enlarge the already in the red operation, the addition of high paid consultants, and the new part time interim Director being away from the operation for much of the time. Since that edition, more to tell..
        Locals have raised concerns over, “What happens if Primary goes under? What would I do? And, “I don’ have good enough transportation to make it to Charleston or Summersville. What am I suppose to do when I get sick?”All worthy discussion items.
        The emails have started to roll in. The number of patients having a hard time getting appointments with the Doctor they want to see and trust. The number of patients being denied service even with a new high dollar doctor on site. Coming from some “n the know” are concerns raised over the medical provider covering the cost of room, board and travel expense for personnel living outside of the county.
        One other time we had similar amounts of emails. When? Just before Director Gary Johnson was tossed out. Back then and again now, employees moral took a nose dive. Most administrators know, when employees are unhappy, business goes to pot and does so real quick.
        Most interesting for this paper is the tradition of secret Board meetings. Secret Board meetings where even those with an interest in the future and success of the operation are barred from attendance. Just last Monday night was such a gathering. It is our understanding that without a quorum, the meeting continued and decisions were made. The blind being lead around with “ound good wordage”( just made that up readers) allowing more hires with little or no Board oversight.
        Keep em coming readers. Government and quasi government organizations work best when people are watching their every action.        AW

??? DID YOU KNOW ???

         1.        A man always has two reasons for what he does, a good one, and the real one. J. P. Morgan
2.        There were nearly 700,000 violent crimes in America’ schools in 2000.
3.        There were 505,000 unemployed West Virginian’ in August, according to the Bureau of Employment Programs.
4.        Shut down since 1999, The “eorge Dickel”whisky distillery is operating again.
5.        About 20 percent of patients who get cornea transplants totally reject the donated tissue.
6.        West Virginia has only about 1,700 licensed waterfowl hunters.
7.        According to the Amputee Coalition of America, about 3000 people a week loose a limb.
8.        American’ now eat an average of 52 pounds of chicken a year.
9.        Firearm injuries were the second leading cause of injury deaths, killing 28,663 people in 2000.
10.        10 percent of US children suffer from high blood pressure.
11.        Smoking kills 1,495 West Virginian women each year, more than 26 percent smoke.
12.        From 1996 to 2000, nearly 175,000 nurses left the profession. By 2005 experts predict more nurses will be leaving than entering.
13.        Traditional-games such as Trivial Pursuit, Monopoly, and Twister sales jumped 18 percent the first six months this year.
14.        Nearly one in five American’ speak a language other than English at home; most speak Spanish, Chinese or Russian.
15.        Halloween is the best selling holiday of the year for candy followed by Easter.
16.        West Virginia has lost 5000 factory jobs in the last five years.
17.        Through the first nine months of 2003, State Police have seized and destroyed 73,079 Marijuana plants, more than double the number of plants seized in all of last year.
18.        According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 400,000 children go to hospital emergency rooms each year because of bicycle injuries.
19.        He who falls in love with himself has no rival. Benjamin Franklin
20.        According to a recent study by the Lewin Group if people older than 65 took a multivitamin every day the Federal Medicare program could save more than $1.6 billion during the next five years. LMM

        Mary May Walls White made the news last time around. According to Clay County Humane Society records, nearly $900 was spent caring for mistreated dogs and cats in her possession. Ms White had her day in Court on Animal Cruelty charges Oct 23 in front of Magistrate Jeff Boggs. Boggs fined the local resident $500, court costs, has to pay the $899.00 back to the county, got one year probation, told NOT to harbor any other animals, and was given 6 months in jail unless she coughs up the $. Animal cruelty charges are nothing new for Mary May Walls. Back in the early 90s, similar charges were plead down.
        Ruth Simmons from Heart to Heart asked for word to be spread around. Ms Simmons wanted to make it clear, her social service agency is alive and well and providing for the needy from their Main Street Clay basement location under the IGA store. Ms Simmons. “We help people all the time by selling donated items…” Heart to Heart is open Monday thru Friday 8 am to 2 pm and Saturday’, all day. Look for a write up on Heart to Heart in the next edition of this paper.        
        And from local attorney Kevin Duffy Oct 30th just after getting a case dismissed from a Roger’ fellow after the B        Sunday morning Oct 26th, Henry Wetzel headed off to go fishing in Birch River. Wetzel was driving a blue mini van with dealers plates. Since leaving Ivydale Sunday morning at 5:30am, Wetzel has not been seen or heard. For all intents, Henry Wetzel has vanished. Law enforcement brought in the choppers, land based crews searched Rt 4 to Gassaway and back down the interstate. Nothing. Wetzel has a history of mini strokes . Family members fear that Wetzel may have suffered another stroke and driven off the road in some obscure location. Still others raise the possibility that Wetzel was knocked in the head and a victim of thugs. The search continues as of press time. Anyone with information on 67 year old Wetzel , please contact the Clay State Police Detachment at Maysel.
Some stories never seem to end. Heaps of newsprint has been devoted to Filcon. Clay’ “”word. Filcon Inc was given a $90,000 chunk of land to build on and to house ten full time workers. As most everybody knows, Filcon owner Manfred Kuentzer high tailed it out of the county with pockets full of money. Taxpayer money. Bank money. Workers money…. Left behind is the court battle over who will get control of the property out Ovapa way. The Business Development Authority says they own the acreage at the same time the Clay County Bank says they own it. The bank has a lien on the holdings, the security for a $225,000 loan. For months, the Courts have tried to mediate the quagmire. Neither side appears ready to fold.
Scheduled for Nov 3, 1:30 pm, is the hearing. Behind the scenes, most say the Bank doesn’ want a trial. A place open to the public. A place where the questionable details of the mess could be made public. A place where questionable legal maneuvering may even come to light. A place where land swapped by felon JD Morris may shed ill light on bank practices. A place where…. Well you get the picture. It’ doubtful the Nov 3 trail will happen. BUT!!!!!!!!!!! If it does, bring your own popcorn. Should be very educational.
The Logan County Bd of Education was ordered to reinstate carpenter/mason Bruce Roberts. Roberts was fired Nov 22 2002 after testing positive for drug use. In a 9 page administrative law judge decision dated Oct 14 2003, the judge ruled: the Board had no right to test Roberts in the first place and even if the board had such a right, dismissal was too harsh a punishment for a first time offender. According to board policy, only employees who deal with transportation can be randomly tested. The board has 30 days to appeal the decision.
        Clay County is just like the rest of the world except we have a bunch fewer zeros. Yep. When the rest of the world hands out $2.5 million, Clay County hands out $2500. Our local Business Development Authority handed out a few thousand dollars to Filcon Inc well over a year ago. CAEZ handed out over $140,000 to help Filcon move to Clayberry. WV has had equally dismal economic development actions. The WV Eco/Dev Authority doled out $2.5 million to Aurora Casket Company in Clarksburg less than 3 years ago. Last week Aurora Casket announced they we’e pulling up shop here in WV and heading south. Ahh … there is one big difference. Aurora has been making it’ low interest loan payments and says it will continue to do so even after it leaves WV. Can’ say as much for our effort, Filcon.
        When the state school board gang hands out shiny awards to under achieving schools in WV, the goal is to fool the parents into thinking, kids are getting a great education, the kids are getting prepared for the new world. Of course here in Clay, our National Schools of Excellence Clay High and Clay Middle are listed as failures under the No Child Left Behind Act. So what do we do locally to cover that up? Call in the Governor to tap dance and hand out pretty certificates. Our Core GPA and Overall GPA were below average, Our ACT was average and our SAT was well below average.  But it IS a School of Excellence...
ank of Gassaway went after him, “ didn’ know Daniel Grindo’ Dad was on the Board at the Bank of Gassaway!”Cohort in Magisjurial justice system, Wayne King grinned and confirmed the new revelation.

80 Students Less Countywide School Board Meeting

        The Clay County Board of Education met for their second regular meeting this month on Monday, October 20 in the Ivydale Elementary gym. Beginning in October of every year, the Board travels to one of the county’ schools each month to hold a regular meeting, usually their second one, and meet with that school’ Local School Improvement Council (LSIC) which they are required to do at least once a year.
        Clay Schools Superintendent Jerry Linkinogger conducted the meeting, at Board Vice President Gene King’ request, filling in for Board President R.B. Legg, Jr. reportedly absent due to a death in his family. Linkinogger in turn asked Administrative Assistant Kenneth Tanner to fill in for Legg and offer the pre-meeting prayer. Board members Fran King, David Pierson and Scott Legg were present and about 25 people sat in the bleachers for the meeting.
        Before getting down to business the assembled were entertained by Ivydale student Ashley Lambey singing “e’ a Rebel”and a television newscast, WIVY News, produced by Ivydale’ 5th grade students.
        The Board approved the following during their short business session: the agenda; previous meeting minutes; transfers for bus drivers Pat Legg (from bus #40 to bus #36, Mike Taylor’ former position) and Dallas Hanshaw (from bus #2 to bus #40, Legg’ former position), both successful bids; the request of the CCHS Drama Club for an overnight trip to Lewisburg on November 7 and 8, the Board picking up half the cost (wasn’ clear if the $1086 amount mentioned was the full cost or the Board’ half); an overnight trip for the CCHS and CMS TSA students to go to Cedar Lakes November 10 and 11; and , employment for Linda Jarvis and Danny Fitzwater at Valley Fork Elementary after school program, paid through the 21st Century Grant. All motions passed unanimously.
        Delno Coen, president of Clay’ service personnel association, presented the Board with a proposal to allow bus drivers the choice to have comp time instead of pay earned for extra duty trips. Due to the poor acoustics in the gym it was difficult to hear a lot of the discussion on this. Pierson had questions on how the proposal would affect the attendance bonus the Board is offering employees this year and concerns that it wouldn’ be fair as no one else in the school system can build up comp time. Gene King was surprised that no one had talked to him about the proposal but said he didn’ want to favor bus drivers and not do something for other service personnel like custodians. Linkinogger said that most (employee) categories didn’ have an opportunity to make extra money and the proposal could cause a stir among other personnel, but didn’ think it would harm anything else. Linkinogger was asked to check and see how others (counties) were doing it.
        Ivydale’ new principal this year, Mike Mullins, addressed the Board on behalf of the LSIC. Mullins introduced the LSIC members and then indicated to the Board that they realized there are financial concerns caused by enrollment going down and the costs incurred due to the H.E. White Elementary Master’ Program. He said the LSIC had two requests – a T-1 line for the school (he suggested that funding maybe could come from a technology grant) and that the computer lab be finished so that everyone in the classroom would have a computer to use. Mullins praised Linkinogger for getting maintenance men out when needed. On behalf of the LSIC a plaque was presented to be given to Danny Lambey, of Elk River Foodland, in appreciation of the snacks he donates to Ivydale students every Thursday.
        Linkinogger announced that the 2nd month report to the state had just been sent in and the bad news was that Clay County was down 80 students this year, even though 143 students from surrounding counties had transferred into Clay schools. He said that would mean $346,000 less in state funding the county will receive next year. As good news he reported the ½ million dollar grant Clay is getting for distance learning. Linkinogger praised Ivydale Elementary for consistently having the most improved test scores since the Stanford 9 test was started.
        Linkinogger was asked how the $325,000 in federal Medicaid money Clay County Schools is to receive will be used. He said the money will go to pay the increase in teaching salaries for those teachers that earned their Master’ through the program at H.E. White. The Medicaid money is a one-time payment to county school systems in West Virginia this year, a reimbursement for costs incurred for special education students. An error was discovered in how West Virginia was billing the federal government several years ago.
        Next meeting of the board will be at 6:00 p.m. on Monday, November 3 at the administrative office building, behind the old courthouse in Clay. TK

        Man, the goings on in Clay County have left me thinking, "How in this world can this stuff go on?" The one thing that literally left me breathless was the slight mention of a PUBLIC waterline being choked with DEBRIS like wood! That is water for people, children and babies to drink and bathe in! There is no amount of post-plant treatment that will make water with that amount of DEBRIS and WOOD in it safe to consume or use. You might as well drink from a puddle! There was nothing said about CLEANING the darn pipe, just another plot to get money for nothing.
         Then there were the stated desires to raise the rates. Why of course raise the rates instead of learning to live within your budget. It is little wonder that no landowners want to get involved with having a water facility on their hilltop. As to the much discussed but slow-as-a-snail moving new lines and extensions, is anyone surprised that there is still more work to be done? Is there anyone locally that is actually RESPONSIBLE for seeing these projects through and people ever actually GETTING water?
                 So now you are going to reactivate the Queen Shoals PSD? Is operating, maintaining and repairing the system, answering queries and collecting the payments too much of a burden? Just exactly how did the non-existent QSPSD recently lose $124,000? Wouldn't that have also been passed over to their new lords and masters? How come that wasn't mentioned by one of the army of PSC officers that seem to live in Clay County?
                 Did I hear a good word for your new and quickly changing-his-deal Prosecutor? Drugs, run-away kids, unapproved expenditures by appointed bodies, no-work-no-show days, an assistant that wasn't needed when politicking for the job, boy, you got a deal with that one. At least his assistant did drop-kick one into the end zone on the ATV case. Is an ATV a motor vehicle? Well, duh! It may be beyond the minds at the Capitol but here's how it is. You ride on it, making it a vehicle. It is powered by a motor, which makes it a motor vehicle. You all may think they are the greatest thing since sliced bread but they are dangerous, to themselves and the drivers of real cars on the highway. The analogy to farm tractors is so spurious that it hardly needs mentioning but if it held true, then everything from combines to lawn mowers could be used for regular or occasional transportation on the PUBLIC highway.
                 Have to get a quick word in about all the doofus Boards & Bodies that make high-impact decisions for the citizens without ever putting their name on a ballot. You all have CAEZ, BDA, CDC, CCPSD, CRPSD & a Board of Health. When have any of these bodies moved along, in a timely fashion, getting anything done to improve life in Clay County? Or maybe the better question is, when have they ever done ANYTHING for the people except have meetings, miss deadlines, make excuses and get loud with you if they are questioned about it? Oh - be sure to have at least one illegal or nearly illegal closed-door session in any PUBLIC meeting. How in this world can this stuff go on?
                 They say that a journey of a million miles begins with one small step. I must now start my journey. Funny I should mention one small step. Remember your parents talking about your first step and how proud they were? I can remember the first step my son took and how proud I was of him. He is growing so fast. I was dreaming of the times we would be in the back yard playing and sharing the old traditions of fathers and sons. Footballs flying through the air, playing tag or hide and go seek. Wonderful days in the sun, these realities only exist in my mind.
                 Recently I have been through a divorce and have come to one conclusion. Regardless of how the current custody and visitation laws are painted or looked at through rose colored glasses they still provide little to help fathers who are being denied access to their children. Money is the most important aspect in the ways the laws are utilized in West Virginia.
                 The State has created a system whose sole purpose is to assure that child support is paid. The role this office plays is important in providing for the children. The Child Support Office has been charged with a monumental task, and I take my hat off to each and every person who works to assure the children have funds for a better life.
                 The system has flaws. Once the parent receives this money there is no assurance the money is being used for the intended purpose – the child. The system assures the money is there, but what kind of assurances do fathers have that the money is used properly? The money taken out of my paychecks should be used for food, clothes, school, or utility bills, not cigarettes, drugs or booze. There is no way to audit how the money is being spent. But rest assured, if the child support payments fall in arrears, the enforcement arm would be there to either collect the money or go directly to jail. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200.
                 I attended a court mandated mediation and a parenting class where I was told that we would not discuss money issues. The purposes of these programs are to protect the best interest of the child. So I go back to an earlier statement. Money far outweighs the importance of visitation where children are concerned. The state and federal government has created a system which provides money to parents to be used for children, a flawed system with no guarantee of proper use.
                 I ask why the state cannot create an enforcement arm to protect the minute amount of visitation which is given to fathers? The average non-custodial parent spends on average 74 days a year with their children. That is when the custodial parent does not interfere with the visitation. I am not advocating jail time for mom, no child deserves to be taken from their mother. But until an enforcement agency is in place mothers will be allowed to interfere with visitation without ramifications. The courts see no benefit in punishing mom, but fathers are being punished in every way. We are punished legally, financially, morally, but mostly emotionally – we are deprived of adequate contact with our children.
                 This is an outrage and we need to let our government know we demand equal treatment. Child support is important. However, much less important than our rights to be a part of our children’ lives.
                 Much anger has been directed at the Child Support Office. This office is only enforcing the rules and guidelines set by our elected delegation. Instead of being angry at the enforcement arm join me in changing the laws. Anger does not bring about change, action, however, does.
                 They say that a journey of a million miles begins with one small step. The miles can be covered quicker with many pairs of feet. dadsareparents2@yahoo.com
         Jerry Dwayne Craigo Cedar Grove, WV
         NEW MAN N TOWN
         Clay Roane PSD Meets
                 Things must be quieting down in Clay Roane PSD land. Only 6 spectators showed up for the Oct 23rd meeting. Up front Chair Postelwait, Gary Whaling and Larry White were in attendance while sleepy head Glenn Sutton and Dave “’ in deep stuff now”Saulsgiver stayed away.
                 Part time employee Thomas Coon came up with a plan to get more hours. Coon said he could get hooked up with a Federal Program , Human Resource Development and that group would cover the cost of 20 hours of labor per week. Couple that with at least 20 hours a week currently being paid and Clay Roane has a new full time worker. Motion passed to proceed with the plan. Postelwait will sign all contracts.
                 All you public meeting groupies, the Nov 25th meeting has been cancelled.
                 As for finances, there isn’ enough money to pay the bills. Employee identification cards will be passed out and they will be worn at all times, when reading water meters, while chasing trains, taking a dump.
                 It was announced, all you folks that use fire hydrants to wash off your streets and such, not no more. And Clark Samples, this new ruling applies to all your state road crews. That’ no no from now on. Here’ another one to cut out and post on the frig. If the meter reader can’ get to your meter, say your gate is locked, more than just once in a while, your water service will be disconnected.
                 With finances on thin ice, Clay Roane PSD voted to purchase a shiny new Dodge Dakota pick em up for $15,300 plus loan interest, total somewhere around $19,000.00
                 Chair Postelwait asked for an OK to set up a web site so meeting minutes, Boil Water Orders , general notices and such could be posted for the world to see. The idea got shot down by White and Whaling. Postelwait said she may set the site up anyway and at her own expense. Instead of modern technology, Boardster Whaling suggestions a calling circle where each customer would call 5 more customers when BWOs are placed on the system.
                 It was obvious Chief Water Operator Traub was peed, real peed off at Boardster Dave Saulsgiver. Seems Saulsgiver has been giving Jennifer Traub grief around every turn. At issue this turn in the road, Saulsgiver wanting supplies purchased from one supplier with Traub finding a cheaper source elsewhere. Know what time it is boys and girls? It’ Secret Time! Don’ want any of this out in public! 40 minutes later and stating that no decision had been made, meeting adjourned.                 
         WV HISTORY
                 Just found this 1910 edition of West Virginia facts. Real interesting to see what changes and not so changes have come along in 93 years. Enjoy.
                         The production and value of leading crops in 1910 were as follows: hay, 810,000 tons, value $12,150,000; corn, 23,290,000 bushels, value, $16,226,000; wheat, 5,125,000 bushels, value, $5,228,000; oats, 2,520,000 bushels, value, $1,260,000; rye, 155,000 bushels, value $140,000; buckwheat, 575,000 bushels, value $443,000; potatoes, 3,772,000 bushels, value, $2,527,000; tobacco, 12,800,000 lbs., value, $1,318,000. The fruit crop aggregated over $1,000,000 in value. Stock raising is also an important industry.
          West Virginia is richly endowed with a high grade of oil or crude petroleum. During the year 1909 the production was 10,745,092 barrels, valued at $17,642,283. This state is also very rich in high-grade coal, containing every variety except anthracite; during 1909 there were 51,466,010 tons mined, thus ranking second, after Pennsylvania, in the production of coal; coke was produced to the amount of 2,637,132 short tons. In 1908 the production of natural gas was valued at $14,837,130; and in this year the clay products amounted in value to $3,261,756.
          There are a number of manufacturing industries within the state, most of which are located along the Ohio River. In 1907 there were 2150 manufacturing establishments, with a combined capital of $41,175,913, turning out a product valued at $94,584,091, and employing 45,871 persons whose annual wages were $24,268,502. The leading industries in this year were iron and steel, thirteen plants, product valued at $20,095,000; lumber and planing mills, product valued at $10,359,615; coke, product valued at $5,074,403; glass, $6,322,223; leather and harness, $6,623,567; machinery and castings, $6,521,374; brewing and distilling, $2,650,895; flour and feed, $2,664,012; pottery, $1,826,745; wood pulp and paper, $1,735,967; brick and tile, $1,064,710.
          Although the state is of comparatively recent development, an efficient free school system has been established of which a state superintendent has general supervision, and a county superintendent and board of three commissioners for each school district have local jurisdiction. In 1908 there were 351,966 children of school age; of these 336,279 were white and 15,657 were coloured. Separate schools are provided for white and coloured persons. There were 7021 public schools with 8282 teachers, with property of an estimated valuation of $7,705,768, while $3,979,125 was expended in maintenance. Other state institutions are: six normal schools, two preparatory branches of the State university, two coloured institutes, a school for the deaf and blind, the State Reform School, the Industrial School for Girls, the Weston Hospital for the Insane, and the West Virginia University. This university, situated at Morgantown, originated by virtue of the National Land Act of Congress of 2 July, 1862, the subsequent action of the Legislature in accepting its provision, and from the foundations of an educational institution which had already been laid at Morgantown for half a century. Its sources of revenue are: first, an annual productive endowment of $115,750; second, the Morrill fund, which amounts to $25,000 a year; third, the Hatch fund, amounting to $15,000 annually; fourth the biennial appropriations of the Legislature; and, fifth, fees and tuitions paid only by students of other states
          No appropriation of school funds to support any sectarian or denominational school is allowed. A clergyman is incompetent to testify concerning any confession made to him in the course of discipline enjoined by the Church to which he belongs. Ministers of the Gospel regularly in charge of a congregation are exempt from military duty, labour on public roads, and jury service. No religious or political test or oath can be required as a prerequisite or qualification to vote, serve as a juror, sue, plead, appeal, or pursue any profession or employment. No person can be compelled to attend or support any particular religious worship; the Legislature may not prescribe any religious test whatsoever, or confer any peculiar privileges or advantages on any sect or denomination; it may not pass any law or levy any tax for the erection or repair of any house for public worship, or for the support of any Church or ministry; but every person is free to select his religious instructor and provide for his support. Marriage between whites and negroes is prohibited.
         Letter to Brother Bill By Evelyne McLaughlin
         Dear Brother Bill:
         Here we are once again with a little news from the hills of Clay County. I hope this note finds everyone enjoying "October's Bright Blue Weather".
         I had a good visit with your wife, Allie, last week. It was good to see the folks with her, Larry "Pouch" Boggs, Sally Boggs and Linda Boggs Cunningham, all of Pennsylvania. I hope their visits down here were good ones. The passing of Brooks Burdette, of Twistabout Ridge, was sad. For as long as we can remember, there has always been a Brooks. Several people attended his graveside services. Lots of relatives and friends were there. I visited with Imogene Stalnaker a few days ago. She celebrated her birthday October l3. Hugh Boggs, Jr., a resident at the Laurel Nursing Home, was honored with a birthday dinner October l3. Burke Memorial Church congregation sent him a beautiful cake (delivered by Randy White). Several friends and family members attended this celebration, including Mr. Bogg's children, Debbie Saunders, of Leesburg, Virginia, and Hugh III, of Great Falls, Virginia. Happy 83rd Birthday Mr. Hugh. Another birthday was that of Randall Roy "Tony" Samples, of Procious. His birthday was the l2th. I am a week older than Tony. Sister Charlotte Eagle Steed will be a year older the l9th of this month. Bob and Carol Paxton, of Florida, are visiting friends and relatives in Clay County. Anna Mae Brown Payne, of South Charleston, and Nancy Brown, of Ovapa, were recent visitors of Butch and Nina Faye Brown Whittington, of Harmony. Mike Bragg, of Winfield, was visiting with his parents, Criss and Alyce Faye Bragg of Ovapa, this week. I was at their home to visit with Aunt Delphia O'Dell. She appears to be doing quite well. Mary Vaughn, of Blue Knob, and Shonette McLaughlin Shearer, of Phoenix, Arizona, have been on the sick list. Get well wishes for better days for them.
         As I drove along Oak Hill Ridge on my way to Steve and JJ Townsend's home this week I noted the beauty of the West Virginia hills. The views from the hilltops are simply breath taking at this time of the year. Remember when we were kids and would rake up the leaves that had fallen from the hickory trees? We would pile them up in big piles and then run and jump into them. Of course, our job was to rake the leaves but it was fun to play in them also. Those days are gone forever. For one thing, we do not live on top of the hill anymore, another - if we had the strength to rake the leaves, we'd be too tired to jump into them. Or, if we jumped into them some one would have to pull us out. Oh, well, we can still think about the good old days. So I will close for now. Help us all to be brave.
         Love, Sis
         PS: Sister Donna Dawson Smyth and her daughter, Shirley, came by this evening with a belated birthday gift. It was a big bag of fish from Long John's - yummy, yummy.
         10/21/03: Delk – Roger Dale Rogers, warrant for DWR/DUIA 3rd offense (11/04/02), arrested, ROB 10/22.
         10/22/03: Elswick – Roger Dale Rogers, driving revoked/DUIA 3rd offense and receiving/transferring stolen property, arrested, ROB.
         10/23/03: Light – Chaston T. Liming, fugitive from justice, arrested, case sent to Circuit Court.
         10/24/03: Barbara Harmon Schamberger – Walter L. Burdette, fail to pay child support (08/22/03), preliminary hearing: dismissed without prejudice; state witness failed to appear for hearing.
         10/17/03: Thaxton’ – Thomas M. Eagle, worthless check complaint X 2, Def. paid checks and costs 10/27, cases dismissed; Delk – Jennifer Dwier, warrant issued for shoplifting, arrested 10/18, ROB.
         10/20/03: Dustin Fitzwater – Roger D. Holcomb, owner of vehicle-fail to stop school bus, summons, appeared 10/24, paid bond.
         10/21/03: Bailey – Michael Taylor, possession of marijuana less 15 gms, appeared, ROB.
         10/22/03: Elswick – Roger Dale Rogers, possession of marijuana less 15 gms, arrested, ROB.
         10/23/03: Delk – Danny Workman, battery, arrested; Belt – Angela Kendra Ramsey, possession of marijuana less 15 gms, appeared, ROB.
         10/24/03: Cunningham Motors Inc. – Telenia Starcher, warrants issued for worthless check complaints X 2; Michael L. Holcomb, warrant issued for worthless check complaint; Earl C. Ferrebee Jr., warrants issued for worthless check complaints X 2.
         10/27/03: Sizemore’ IGA – Christie G. Wright, warrant issued for worthless check complaint; Delk – Jeffrey A. Conrad, DWR for DUIA, appeared, ROB; J & S Grocery – Mary J. Adkins, warrants issued for worthless check complaints X 3.
         10/20/03: Nichols Furniture – Goldie F. Woods, money due; April A. McGlothlin, money due; Gregory S. Mullins and April Mullins, money due; William L. Adkins Jr., money due; Cora G. Crinker, money due.
         10/21/03: Ferrebee’ Auto Body – Rick Canfield, money due, subpoena; Professional Medical Ultra – Trina Adkins and Chris Adkins, money due.
         Worthless Checks
         Notices issued –
         10/17/03: J & S Grocery – Mary J. Adkins, misdemeanor files opened X 3; IGA – Jason Adkins (paid 10/27); Bruce Fugett (paid 10/27).
         10/23/03: Sizemore’ IGA – Kerrie A. Young X 2.
         10/24/03: Cunningham Motors Inc. – Forrest Jones; Sizemore’ IGA – Bruce Fugett (paid 10/27).
         Citation Register
         10/03/03: State Police – Rebecca E. Woodrum, MVI.
         10/06/03: State Police – Lora Griffin, registration violation.
         10/07/03: State Police – Jesse R. Gill, MVI; Michael Taylor, possession of marijuana; Anthony W. White, failure to give signal.
         10/09/03: Sheriff’ Dept. – Benjamin T. Legg, MVI.
         10/10/03: Sheriff’ Dept. – Donnie Allen Friend, reckless driving.
         10/12/03: Sheriff’ Dept. – Gregory N. Hager, speeding; Victor D. Regalado, speeding; Michael Shoults Jr., registration violation and no POI; Terry R. Skaggs, registration violation and no POI.
         10/16/03: Sheriff’ Dept. – Shannon Kay Morris, failure to obey stop sign; State Police – Brandi Thorne, speeding.
         10/17/03: Sheriff’ Dept. – Bambi Jill Tanner, failure to pay for gasoline.
         10/18/03: DNR – Larry D. Moore, hunting from motor vehicle.
         10/19/03: Sheriff’ Dept. – Kevin Dye, registration violation and no POI.
         10/24/03: Municipal Police – Michael Greenleaf, reckless driving and failure to stop/yield.
          Drinking two glasses of Gatorade can relieve headache pain almost immediately-without the unpleasant side effects caused by traditional pain relievers.
                 Did you know that Colgate toothpaste makes an excellent salve for burns.
                 Before you head to he drugstore for a high-priced inhaler filled with mysterious chemicals, try chewing on a couple of curiously strong Altoids peppermints. They'll clear up your stuffed nose.
                 Achy muscles from a bout of the flu? Mix 1 Tablespoon of horseradish in 1/2 cup of olive oil. Let the mixture sit for 30 minutes, then apply it as a massage oil, for instant relief for aching muscles.         Sore Throat?? Just mix 1/4 cup of vinegar with 1/4 cup of honey and take 1 Tablespoon six times a day. The vinegar kills the bacteria.
                 Cure urinary tract infections with alka-seltzer. Just dissolve two tablets in a glass of water and drink it at the onset of the symptoms. Alka-Seltzer begins eliminating urinary tract infections almost instantly-even though the product was never been advertised for this use.         Eliminate puffiness under your eyes.....All you need is a dab of preparation H, carefully rubbed into the skin, avoiding the eyes. The hemorrhoid ointment acts as a vasoconstrictor, relieving the swelling instantly.
                 Honey remedy for Skin Blemishes......Cover the blemish with a dab of honey and place a band-aid over it. Honey kills the bacteria, keeps the skin sterile, and speeds healing. Works overnight.         Listerine therapy for toenail fungus....Get rid of unsightly toenail fungus by soaking your toes in Listerine mouthwash. The powerful antiseptic leaves your toenails looking healthy again.
                 Easy eyeglass protection....To prevent the screws in eyeglasses from loosening, apply a small drop of Maybelline Crystal Clear nail polish to the threads of the screws before tightening them.         Coca-Cola cure for rust...Forget those expensive rust removers. Just saturate an abrasive sponge with Coca Cola and scrub the rust stain. The phosphoric acid in the coke is what gets the job done.
                 Cleaning liquid that doubles as bug killer....If menacing bees, wasps, hornets, or yellow jackets get in your home and you can't find the insecticide, try a spray of Formula 409. Insects drop to the ground instantly.         Smart splinter remover.....just pour a drop of Elmer's Glue-all over the splinter, let dry, and peel the dried glue off the skin. The splinter sticks to the dried glue.         Hunt's tomato paste boil cure....Cover the boil with Hunt's tomato paste as a compress. The acids from the tomatoes soothe the pain and bring the boil to a head. Balm for broken blisters..…
                 To disinfect a broken blister, dab on a few drops of Listerine....a powerful antiseptic.
                 Heinz vinegar to heal bruises...Soak a cotton ball in white vinegar and apply it to the bruise for 1 hour. The vinegar reduces the blueness and speeds up the healing process.         Kills fleas instantly. Dawn dishwashing liquid does the trick. Add a few drops to your dog's bath and shampoo the animal thoroughly. Rinse well to avoid skin irritations. Goodbye fleas
                  Rainy day cure for dog odor....Next time your dog comes in from the rain, simply wipe down the animal with Bounce or any dryer sheet, instantly making your dog smell springtime fresh.
                 Eliminate ear mites....All it takes is a few drops of Wesson corn oil in your cat's ear. Massage it in, then clean with a cotton ball. Repeat daily for 3 days. The oil soothes the cat's skin, smothers the mites, and accelerates healing.
                 Vaseline cure for hairballs.....To prevent troublesome hairballs, apply a dollop of Vaseline petroleum jelly to your cat's nose. The cat will lick off the jelly, lubricating any hair in its stomach so it can pass easily through the digestive system.         Quaker Oats for fast pain relief....It's not only for breakfast anymore! Mix 2 cups of Quaker Oats and 1 cup of water in a bowl and warm in the microwave for 1 minute, cool slightly, and apply the mixture to your hands for soothing relief from arthritis pain.
         Oh Danny Boy
                 It’ been a while since our local panhandler Danny Workman has made the paper. Months actually. Back in the Spring, Prestera client Workman managed to get himself arrested for begging on the streets of Clayberry. About anyone in town would see his grinning face advancing and knew “Can I have a quarter”was ready to be blurted out. Workman was arrested and spent the night in jail before his brother made bond for him. Of course Danny promised to do better.
                 He didn’!
                 Just a few weeks later, Town Chief of Police Buckshot Butcher arrested Workman for whizzing in front of the Clayberry bank in broad daylight as passer Byers gasped. According to Butcher, Danny resisted arrest and put a thumping on Butcher during the process. Danny got lucky. All charges were dismissed by the Prosecutor when Officer Butcher quit, left, resigned, got fired from his post. Again, Workman promised to do better.
                 He didn’.
                 The funny wienie waiver part and the panhandling part are long gone. According to Court records, on Oct 23rd : Based on a written statement of Patricia Bodkins, Danny did strike her about the head and face and scratch her on the chest” Charged with battery , Officer Kevin Delk took Workman off to the slammer. Bail was set at $500. His keeper, Prestera, nor a church group, nor his family would go his bail. That was Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday….. We understand , that Workman was not put in with the general jail population but rather kept separate in a holding cell away from the mass. Thank goodness for that.
                 Serious charges for serious actions were now upon the usually happy Danny Workman. With his hearing set for Nov 5th, on Wed Oct 29th, Danny was brought back to Clay and plead “o contest”to the battery charges and his time spent in jail was applied to the offense. Prestera came to the Magistrate’ room and took Workman back to their Main Street handling center.
                 With the latest offense in hand, it now appears that Danny is spiraling out of control and if not careful headed for some even more serious jail time. It is also apparent that the people in charge of his well being are not willing to even go his bail or send him to a center better suited for his needs. At first many gave Sheriff Fields double H for having Workman arrested. Later, everybody gave Buckshot even more H.
         Some in the County of Clay have a better handle on the problem. The problem may not be Danny Workman, but instead, Prestera. The taxpayer pays handsomely to see that his needs and welfare are covered. Prestera is the institution responsible for Workman staying out of trouble and learning social skills.
                 This latest exploit was documented on Delta Communication’ web site, www.clayberry.org as it unfolded over the last several days Since the postings there, emails and phone calls have came in. Emails from both sides of the subject. One in particular came from a Mother who has a daughter at Prestera. The following are excerpts from a conversation with Kathy Lloyd, a person who knows first hand the alarming problems within the county’ only mental health center. Ms Lloyd’ daughter is mentally and physically challenged and has been a day time patient there for over 8 years.
                 “y daughter is my concern. I told them in the beginning, never to let her out by herself anywhere. If she goes to the bathroom, they don’ know. She could be gone 15 minutes…. I am very upset over the way they do things….Over the issues they never call and tell me about.”        As far as Prestera’ biggest problem, communications it number one. Ms Lloyd, “Definitely! They don’ want things known even to the parents and guardians. [there was] an incident the other day. A boy was trying to show his privates to my daughter. They didn’ call and tell me about it. They said they just asked him about it. He said he didn’…. A year ago, a boy walked up and put his hands on her. She was without ANY supervision.”        Lloyd suggested some of the problems in the provider’ program, Lloyd, “They don’ have any activities for those kids still down there. There standing in a room and that is it. There isn’ any arts and crafts going on. They’e too short of staff…. Some go outside and they don’ know where they are at. There is a difference. The ones that live there can go outside. I have asked them, Why can’ you take her [my daughter] outside on a pretty day. Their comment to me was , We don’ get paid for doing that because she is in a different program.”        Complaints have gone to Center Director Chris Looney. Prestera took over from Shawnee Hills over 18 months ago. Lloyd, “I take my complaints to Chris. I tell Chris about it. I don’ know where else to go…… I never had a problem until about a year and a half ago. I first complained about why they don’ have something for the kids to do. They use to have computers. They use to do arts and crafts. They use to have a lot more going for them. They used to have a washer and dryer there. I believe they did laundry for area beauty shops. They don’ have anything there now. All that’ in her [my daughter] class is a row of tables and chairs. There is nothing going on to improve them…. Chris says there’ no funds available. The lunch program is not even there anymore. What happened to that??”        Ms Lloyd also spoke on Danny Workman, “e’ slow and mental…. I don’ know why they put him in jail… he’ asked me for money many times… I say no Danny I don’ have a quarter. He says ‘k’ I don’ know why he was put in jail since he is a mentally retarded. He should have been put in a place to be evaluated. That’ crazy! Someone can kill Joey “row”and not a thing is done! .. They take a little person and put him in jail.”        The Mother questioned whether the Prestera employees are trained, or “Are they just hired off the street? I want to know if they are qualified. It is a shame that my daughter has to stay at home because there isn’ enough supervising going on over there. Chris told me there isn’ anything she can do. She said we are understaffed…..It’ a mess!”        There’ no easy answers for Ms Lloyd or Danny Workman. In the mean time , our man Danny is out of jail and back within the confines of Prestera and on the streets. Did jail time do Workman any good? Is Danny capable of understanding his actions and that of the Courts? It’ doubtful.
          Just as Ms Lloyd is looking for answers and some oversight for Prestera, so are the law enforcement and judicial systems in Clay.        
         Queen Shoals Back, $15,000 SPENT on CD
         County Commission Meets
                 It’ always a great day when the Clay County Commission is in session. Our latest installment comes from the Oct 27th public meeting where Commission President Jimmy Sams, Peter Triplett and even Mathew Bragg sat up front. Around 10 or so plopped down in the peanut gallery.
                 There was the usual, pay this, pay that, approve the bills, blah blah blah. And then came a keeper or two.
                 CCC approved the appointments of Jimmy Kearns and Bob Caldwell to a new and improved Queen Shoals Public Service District. Here’ the keeper readers, according to Prez Sams, the new Board is in control!. Sams, “We’e appointing a Board”referring to the current operation and maintenance agreement with Clay Roane PSD, “You all will work it out with them..”        Doesn’ sound like much of a keeper does it? It is. Here’ the poop. Last Feb WV Public Service Commission thumb screwer Nick Cicerallo pressed hard for Clay Roane to take over the operation of Queen Shoals. Against the advice of their attorney, Clay Roane provided the signatures and the deal was made. Clay Roane insisted they have full and complete control of QS PSD. Clay Roane (behind the scenes) thought they had a cash cow. Additionally, they took possession of a perfectly good backhoe from the old Queen Shoals.
                 As they thought thru it, they said Hot Dang! We’l get all the money coming from QS and be sitting pretty. Just three months before the agreement Queen Shoals customers took it on the nose with a humongo rate increase. With rate increase and backhoe in hand, how could the ice cream turn to doo doo! Well it did readers. After just a few days of operating the southern end of the county water provider, Clay Roane PSD realized, there wasn’ any cash cow to be had.
                 During the last County Commission meeting, Clay Roane asked the CCC to appoint a QSPSD board. At that meeting, new Commissioner Peter Triplett made it clear, he would be in favor of a new Board if and only if the newbees were given full rights to QSPSD. Seems Triplett got his way with Sams saying Kearns and Caldwell will have full control.
                 And then more action in small town America. CCC voted to appoint Dave Pierson, Leonard Williams AND Clark Samples to the Clay County Business Development Authority. In attendance BDA Chair Paige Willis asked about a Commission rep to be on the Board. After a pause, Sams said that after the Barbara Schamberger lawsuit is over, the CCC may once again be back to BDA meetings. Sams, “It might be settled this Thursday..”referring to the latest Court date for Schamberger vs. CCC. See front page lead story.
                 Clark Samples has been absent from the monthly BDA meetings for at least four months. During past meetings, Willis expressed reservations on reappointing a guy who won’ show up. Willis said nothing on the subject this time around. Triplett told Sams that Clark had agreed to go back on the BDA Board. Motion passed unanimously.
                 How can you spend $15,000 on one 4 and ¾ inch piece of plastic? Our Commissioners just did. Here’ the skinny. Back 6 years ago Clay County residents were told, with the new 911 emergency service system, response times would be greatly improved. That, when a call comes into the 911 Dispatch center in Nicholas County, almost instantly, a map would be sent to emergency responders giving directions to the location of the caller in need. That was then and to date, no such map can be generated. According to Doug McKenzie, the fellow that engineered the whole computer program, Clay County is now ready to use his $10,000 software program and soon, responders will have maps in hand for quicker response.
                 Now ole Peter Triplett ain’ no computer dummy. Triplett asked McKenzie questions about software already bought and paid for in 1997 and asked about what this new $10,000 would do differently from the county already has on hand. At one point you could hear Pete say, “mmmmmm.”        McKenzie explained that back in ’7, county mapping wasn’ done and there was no need for the high dollar image software. McKenzie,”Now is the right time..”McKenzie assured the boys up front, when the call comes in, a map “ops up” More questions came about training people how to use the new program and what happens when something goofs up. Doug explained that the only hold up is with naming a few more roads.
         Continued on the next page
         From the gallery came discussion on more than one road in this county named the same thing.
                 The $10,000 went to $15,850.00 when a yearly maintenance contract is added on. As for down the road, the need to buy more software, McKenzie, “I can’ imagine that happening.”        During all the discussions, Peter T kept reading the contract. It looked like he wasn’ agreeing to everything being said. Something to do with Doug’ software CD looking amazingly like program easily purchased on retail store shelves.        
                  Having been down a few roads herself, County Clerk Judy Moore reminded the crew, all the addressing wasn’ done in the county and PO boxes hadn’ even been touched.
                 Take a breather readers, here’ some more background. They keep talking about these high dollar computer gizmos improving emergency service response times, but something else has also been improved. The Assessor’ ability to raise your property taxes from aerial photography maps! With the new photos, the assessor can zero in on every new dog and outhouse you build.
                 Doug gave a demo of the new software. With just a click or two of the buttons, pretty decent pictures could be seen. Not quite as good as TV’ X File images, but certainly good enough to catch every new building in the county and every pot farm to boot!
                 During the demo, Engineer McKenzie informed the CCC that every street address in the Town of Clay will have to be changed. One other thing readers, when the Assessor issues you a new road name, you have but 30 days to challenge the name before the County Commission. Better be alert or your family names sake road may be changed to Whistle Puke Lane and Booger hole may be Blowing Oaks Valley or some such crap. Did you know Rt 4 ain’ Rt 4 any longer? It is the Procious Maysel Road. And up Rt 16… nope that’ Big Otter Highway! The deal is to make our area and our roads kosher, sound like all the other streets in sub division America.
                 Back to Pete. Four times during the discussions and demo, Triplett made sure that an actual original CD would be provided not just a program installed on the computer. Not sure what this was all about, but Pete was intent on this subject. Each time McKenzie assured the broad Commissioner: You will get an actual CD!
                 Mathew Bragg shagged out in the middle of the demo.
                 Are you still reading? Here’ a couple other little notes. Do you use a PO Box instead of an actual mail box in front of your house? As all this addressing and addressing changes get going ( this week maybe) you MUST have to a new 911 street address BEFORE you can renew your PO Box rent. Ditto for those that use General Delivery. Are you still reading? This one will get your bowels in an uproar. Our US Post Office sold your new 911 addresses to bulk mailers for a profit BEFORE you even got the new address! That’ right, you can expect gobs of new junk mail coming to your new address before it’ even assigned to you, before you even have time to complain about some stupid name given your road, and junk coming to you without the County Commission approving squat! How do you like them apples folks?
                 On other issues….. Triplett asked if Clay County PSD had provided current financials for their operation. Response: Nope not since last March . As for the long delayed audit from Clay Roane PSD, Clay Roane Chair Melissa Postelwait assured the CCC that the audit was coming and done soon. Something about their CPA being on military leave. While Postelwait had their attention, she asked that the CCC appoint a Chairman for the new Queen Shoals PSD. After discussion, Jimmy Kearns was given the heavy burden.
                 On the subject of a Clay Roane PSD Boardster giving employee Jennifer Traub grief , “We’e getting an abuse of power toward the employees…. We [the Board] can’ discipline Board members. During questioning by Sams, Postel said the Board member [don’ tell anybody but they’e talking about Dave Saulsgiver] had been told and he was still doing it. She asked that the Commission take the complaint to the WV Public Service Commission. Peace Maker Triplett will be dispatched to the next secret time at Clay Roane and try to straighten the mess out. Postelwait, “[he] needs to act appropriately…. It’ getting out of hand.”        And then for our Queen Shoals readership…. According to Postelwait, if the new Queen Shoals PSD Board doesn’ continue the existing Operation and Maintenance agreement with Clay Roane, Clay Roane will petition the WV PSC and force ANOTHER RATE INCREASE ON QUEEN SHOALS CUSTOMERS! Hard to believe isn’ it? Queen Shoals pays about the highest water bill in the state of WV , has some of the crappiest water conditions, and will soon be forced into even higher rates.
                 How could this be? The old Queen Shoals service areas owes around $15,000 to Clay Roane for water purchased months back and never paid for. Clay Roane wants their $ and now that a Board is in place down there, they have some one to raise H with.
                 And there are always a few good quotes to be had at a CCC meeting. The blue ribbon this week goes to Postelwait when she identified fellow board member Larry White and attorney Tom Whittier as the “onspirators behind the upcoming rate increase” And the quote did you ask? While discussing the Clay Roane operation and her fellow Boardsters, “OU GOT TO UNDERSTAND THE MENTALITY OF THE OTHER BOARD MEMBERS.” When she said it, the Commission room roared. Another keeper!
                 There you go folks, the best we can offer this time around. Rate Increases coming, $10,000 spent to better see what you’e worth, new appointments to the BDA and some soon to be famous quotes. Only in Clayberry.