February 9, 2001

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Water Safety Answers
Did You Know
B&O Layoffs & Firings for Clay
Ambulance Struggles Continues
Filcon Proposal at BDA
School Board Meeting
Clay/Roane & Procious PSD Update
Late Breaking News
1.5 Gallons Up For Grabs
Weapons Permits

Water Safety Answers
         With Boil Water Orders posted on what seems like a regular basis, local water customers have raised health and safety questions on the water provided by county Public Service Districts and the town of Clay. Currently all customers of the Clay County PSD, town of Clay, and the users in the Varneytown are under a Boil Water Order (BWO) which was imposed Feb 1, 2001. Just two weeks ago, the State Dept of Health issued a Boil Water Order due to turbidity ( mud and yuck) in the Clay Municipal Water Plant system. That BWO was lifted after three days.
         For answers to the questions, Clay County Sanitarian Teresa Morton responded Feb 6. MS Morton said the reason for the current Boil Water Advisory now is because there are not Class II Operators. “That means we do need to continue to boil our water”, according to Morton. Morton continued,”I have been sampling the water on Fridays and (I) get the results back on Saturdays. I don’t think there is a need to boil your dish water to do your dishes in”. Ms Morton said that any water that is directly ingested should be boiled.
        There can be different reasons for the BWO. Ms Morton made mention of the last BWO two weeks ago. That order was posted due to yuck in the system. Referring to that situation, Teresa Morton, “In that situation, Yes, I would suggest that you boil your water even to the dishes.”
        Washing your fruits an vegetables? Morton, “Yes , you should be boiling your water to wash your fruits and vegetables because you are eating that fruit. That’s going directly into your body.” In the county school system, dishes are washed, rinsed and sanitized in a bleach system. There dishwashers get up hot enough to kill any germs.
         Brushing your teeth? Morton,”The Boil Water Order says that you need to boil your water for that.”
        Showers and bathing, what if you have an open cut or wound? Morton, “With this BWO, I wouldn’t be taking a shower or bath. A Boil Water Order is a BWO regardless of the reason. That’s the trouble we are having getting the message out. There is still the potential for the risk of contamination if we don’t have enough people to staff the water plant to make sure the water is being treated. However, the risk of contamination is not as high. I am doing sampling and the water plant is doing sampling to make sure the water is staying treated. There are still certain precautions.”
        Are there different kinds of BWOs. Morton, “ There are different reasons for the orders. Depending on the reason is how much precaution we should take. The water is still being treated even though we have one operator.”
        According to Ms Morton the county is now paying more attention to BWOs. Why? Morton’s agency is now notifying by letters and telephone calls to businesses and agency’s in the county that provide service to the public. After last Sept. Order, Morton said they realized that they needed to put in place a method and plan to notify folks during these situations. Morton,”we realized that we had to get a policy in order. There was no notification.. No way to notify the public. And that was a big problem. The public was not being notified. We can’t call everyone in the phone book but we did step up our efforts. We know have a call down list. We call every food establishment, everybody that serves the public, day care centers, the nursing home, all the schools, the fitness center. Anybody that serves the public. We notify them. of a Boil Water Order.”
        According to Morton the people are concerned about the water and are being cooperative. Teresa Morton, a 11 year veteran of the system and a Registered Nurse to boot, remembered just three years ago when a BWO was in place for months and months before anyone even knew about it. At that time School Superintendent Jerry Linkinogger refused to shut down the various water fountains and use bottled water until ordered to do so by the WV Dept of Health. To help reinforce the BWOs Morton has instituted memos, Morton,”What I’ve done is make up a memo and I send them a memo and a copy of the BWO to everybody... We are getting cooperation from the schools. They have tagged their water fountains and are supplying bottled water.”


1. The number of Internet sites with the word gift in their names numbers 46,071.

2. In America the most frequently purchased bra size, switched from 34 B to 36 B in 1991.

3. Tourism put 3.9 billion into the economy in West Virginia, creating 2,000 jobs last year.

4. American Red Cross blood processing centers have repeatedly failed federal inspections over the last 15 years and continue to have problems that present a “potential for harm” to patients.

5. More than half the country’s 2 million farm workers, acknowledged in 1998 that they were here illegally.

6. Statistics kept by Charleston Area Medical Center show 20 concussions and 25 neck injuries in the 1998-1999 football season.

7. From 1990 to 1998 the fitness club population has increased 45 percent nationwide, from 20 million to 29 million members.

8. A little over one half a percent of the US population is allergic to peanuts.

9. The average person takes 8,000 to 10,000 steps a day.

10. Harvard Medical Researchers have concluded that Americans with mental illness are twice as likely to smoke cigarettes as people with no mental illness.

11. In 1999 West Virginia received $6.103 per person in federal spending.

12. There are more than 7 million millionaires in the United States.

13. To enjoy freedom we have to control ourselves. Virginia Woolf.

14. The life you live will soon be past, but the things you do for love will last.

15. The state Supreme Court has agreed to hear Charlotte Pritt’s libel lawsuit against three Republican groups who ran ads and made false statements against her in 1996.

16. “The best thing that parents can do for their children is to love each other.” 

         Readers, life for Clay Town Council has been double H for the last two weeks and no relief is in sight! To add to all the problems and miseries, Mayor Gibson has been away from the job due to major health issues and hospitalization.
        First things first. A very serious Boil water Order was issued during the last week of Jan. Details of that episode have already been covered in this edition of the paper. So serious were the concerns over the BWO and the performance of water operator Ray Jordan, Town Council called a Special meeting Jan 29 at the water plant/town hall. Two things were to be covered: finances and personnel. Immediately motion made to stop one employee from chocking up hours and hours of overtime. Filling in for the Mayor, Jeff Krauklis,” We’ve told him verbally, put it in writing.”
        Krauklis called for an executive session to discuss performance relating to the water operator and his future [here]”. After the closed door session Mr K said that no decisions were made and that they would have another Special Session when the Mayor can be there on Wed Jan 31, 2001. NOTE: With payroll due Feb 1 and with no money for the employees, this is very grave. NOTE: Payroll is twice a month and each exceeds $10,000.00.
        With Jeff Krauklis and Town Recorder Betty Murphy in a huddle and referring to financials, the Special meeting was called to order again by Krauklis with the Mayor still in the hospital.
        Krauklis told all the Council persons that payroll was due and there are no $ in the Water Plant account. Council voted to take money from the Town account to cover the next day payroll AND voted that it ( this town loan to the water plant) had to be repaid by Feb 14. NOTE: That’s’ the day before the next payday. Krauklis, “ That’s buying us some time..”
        As to firing water operator Ray Jordan and/ or laying off other employees in a cost cutting move, Krauklis read from a hand written letter he had received from the Mayor that told the Council ,” don’t make a move until I get back on my feet.” Krauklis said he would visit with Mayor Gibson soon and explain the “gravity” of the situation to her. As far as not obeying her letter, Krauklis,” I am not in the mood for a mutiny.” Krauklis mentioned that the Town had applied for an emergency rate increase from the WV Public Service Commission (PSC) but were turned down.
        Discussion on how to handle operating the water plant with only one operator and paying that person (Duane Reynolds) for the long hours worked. Krauklis asked Council about using street department employees Victor Dallaware and Hockey Keener to run the plant. Lot’s of laughter from Council. Stern faced, Krauklis said he was serious, that if we have to operate under a Boil Water Order (BWO), why not use them since no certified operator is required? More discussion on using employee Terry Traub who knows how to operate the plant but has NO certification to do so. As for what to tell Class II Water Operator Ray Jordan who was sent home after the last BWO (and without his office keys) six days earlier, Council person Wanda Chambers, “We don’t know what to tell him.”
    Fully Certified Water Operator Duane Reynolds did some explaining to the elected ones.
        Things like: “we’re losing a tremendous amount of water to leaks... Terry can run the plant if JD Douglas will let us..”; that when the State Health Dept puts a town on a BWO, it’s black mark on your record; and, “We don’t want to hide anything, it’s the best we can do to be honest.” In light of the financial crunch, Reynolds offered to allow the Town to delay paying him all but expense money. Krauklis felt that there would not be any financial relief until Spring time at the earliest.
        Get this, Mr Reynolds made it clear to Council that when the Jan 26 BWO was issued by the state, the water in the plant was very muddy. Reynolds went on to explain under those circumstances, micro organisms could be in the water and go undetected or untreated UNTIL THEY ARE IN THE INTESTINES AND THEN YOU ARE IN REAL TROUBLE!. He referred to an incident in Wisconsin where many people were affected by similar muddy water. NOTE: I think he mentioned deaths were involved.
        Council was now realizing two things: 1 Town is in real danger of going bankrupt and 2, that Jan 26 BWO, was very serious.
        Referring to the $ advance from the Town account to cover the cost of payroll Betty Murphy, “ We are going farther and farther in debt..”
        42 minutes into the meeting, Water Clerk Dwana Murphy asked, “What if Ray comes back in?” Krauklis, “ Tell him nothing until the Mayor comes back in.”
        With over 30 town’s people in attendance Clay Town Council met in regular session Feb 6 at 6:00pm. With Mayor Gibson still absent, Council person Jeff Krauklis made it clear he did not want to be Mayor, was not “Acting” as the Mayor, and if anybody else wanted to handle the meeting, do so. With no volunteers in sight, Krauklis ran the proceedings. Krauklis, “ I don not have the time or desire to be Mayor.”
        With lots to be covered at the meeting, first topic FINANCES!           Krauklis told all that the Town was in serious danger of going out of the water business.
        Water Clerk Dwana Murphy explained in pretty vague terms that the Town has lots of past due bills with some of them left over from Dec 2000. It appears that the Town has around $10,283.00 in back bills, they have to pay back the $5000.00 loaned to the water plant account, there is $7000.00 in payroll coming due real quick and Dec employee taxes ( FICA, etc) have NOT been paid. After some ciphering, Krauklis figured that they have over $22,000.00 in bills (and payroll) and only $12,000.00 coming in over the next month. There are also $2000.00 in checks made out but not mailed. The Town’s water treatment chemical supplier is still owed $5000.00
        To add to the woos, a sewer backed up in rental property owned by Bill Pierson and Mike King and the owners want the tenants compensated for the damages and aggravation. The apartments are located under Clay Auto Parts. As explained to Council, the Town failed to respond to the sewage problem for two days. Town will turned the matter over to their Insurance Provider.
        Krauklis announced that the applied for water rate increase would NOT be enough to operate the water plant. Krauklis,” We are not taking in enough to operate the water OR sewer plant. We can default on the sewer loan. The sewer plant has $76.00 in that account. There only 300 customers..” Understand readers, that rate increase that was to start out at just 30% up? It will now be higher!!
        Now one of the main events!! Council is again considering enacting a B & O tax on the few remaining, struggling Town businesses. Most of those in attendance were there to say NO to that idea. Gary Clifton felt that a B & O Tax is unfair and commented, “It will be a ghost town.” Chris Hemmelgarn, “Any additional tax and I’ll move out of town...” Leonard Williams explained that any tax levied on Elk Power will be sent right on to the customers and that too would be a hardship. Eddie Sizemore commented that all the water customers through out the county should pay for the service not just Town businesses. Chris,” A B&O tax hurts the Town more than it helps.. You will loose because I will move out... I can’t afford any increases..”
        Leonard Williams gave an example of when the town of Mullins enacted a B & O tax , it became a ghost town. When Wanda Chambers asked for suggestions, one such was implementing a payroll tax to anyone that works or lives inside Town limits. Another suggestion was for the Town to cut expenses and to bill for all the water treated instead of 50% as is the case now. Gary Clifton,”.. this did not develop overnight, what have you done to cut costs?” Krauklis, “Nothing. I...Council, was not aware of the magnitude of the problem ‘till 2 weeks ago.”
        Councilman Krauklis said that this was for discussion and a hearing would be held before a vote was taken. Betty Murphy replied that since the Council had already held a hearing and a first vote four years ago, they could vote the B & O Tax in this eve.. OH Boy Oh Boy.... No vote was taken but you could see the hackles raised from the local business leaders.
        Council received notice that the Town had been issued a citation from the DEP over dumping wet sludge into the river. No one even raised an eyebrow.
        In the peanut gallery was JD Douglas from the WV Dept of Health. Krauklis told Douglas that they didn’t know how to operate a water plant and all the years that Richard Williams ran the plant, there were no problems. Douglas, “When Richard operated ( the plant), he wasn’t allowed to do (it) that way, you’re catching up on your sins..” Krauklis mentioned that the Town was paying $3000.00 per week for an operator. Douglas, “No operator and running a plant is a time bomb.... how many times did people get diarrhea when Richard ran the plant?.... You are being forced to go by the rules....” As to letting anybody to run the plant , Douglas, “we’re letting you flush the commodes now, we’re bending over backwoods for you..”
        And then And then... Dave Derby asked about shutting the water plant down completely on the weekends. Douglas recommended against such a move, that it would be a big nightmare! Mr Douglas explained that his agency was trying to keep the Town from getting sued. Douglas also recommended that town reissue the BWO weekly so people will know not to drink the stuff. On the Jan 26 Boil Water Order (BWO), Douglas,”The turbidity was 20 times dirtier than it should have been, The operator hadn’t old anybody... someone could have gotten sick.. That BWO had the potential to be BAD. The water right out of the river was clearer than the water in the tank. Some things chlorine can’t kill, they get in your body. My purpose here is to protect you...” Douglas referred to the Milwaukee incident two years ago where a bacterial infection killed people. When Citizen King ( that’s O Gene of course) defended Richard Williams method of treating water, Douglas, “ Do you want your baby to be the first one to die?”
Getting the picture readers? It appeared that Town Council realized how serious and costly bad water could be.
Now to the MAIN EVENT.
        After nearly an hour behind closed doors Motions were made and passed unanimously to: lay off Town Police Chief Toni Childers effective Feb 9, 2001 due to no money; fire water operator Ray Jordan for misapplying chemicals at the water plant; stop rental on all pagers and uniforms; cut telephone service down to one line; stop all overtime at the Sewer plant; cut part time worker Gary Rogers back to a maximum of 30 hours per week; stop paying all vacation and holiday pay for part time workers ( IE Gary Rogers); cap all fuel purchases for the Town in any one month to $100.00. And And And here it is folks. What we’ve all been waiting for. Clay Town Council voted to increase sewage rates.
ACE CUB REPORTER’S NOTE: remember when we were told that the high dollar sewer rates would be enough to pay back the debt on the sewer? Those same rates just 18 months later are not enough to operate the plant not to mention pay back the debt. Think about that for the upcoming Feb 15 public hearing to build the new water plant!!
One last note, since there is not enough money to make the Feb 16 payroll, expect Council to again convene and do something.

Ambulance Authority Struggle Continues
        Clay County Ambulance Authority (CCEAA) met in regular session Jan 29, 2001 at the Health Dept Building. Present: Chair. Larry Cole, Gene King, Joyce White, Arlie Fulks, and Duane Legg along with 6 or so in the peanut gallery.
In a nutshell, the struggle continues... Here we go.
        On the thorny issue of Randy Holcomb installing lights and sirens on the newest $50,000.00 ambulance last month instead of “already paid for” Dana Holcomb, Director Jackie Pierson explained, “I did not hire Randy,.. Paige (Willis) told me, We’ve ( the 911 committee) hired him, 911 is in charge not CCEAA..”
        The Authorities $900.00 per month contract with Dana Holcomb was approved for another year with Larry Cole asking Pierson to tell Holcomb that the CCEAA needs priority in getting repairs to ambulances done quickly. Currently, the county has 5 ambulances on the road and at least two setting by the wayside.
        Cole lead the charge on reducing costs at the cash starved agency. Motion passed to go ahead and cover training costs ($3000.00)for two employees getting their Paramedics certificate. Motion made and passed to transfer money from grant money to cover the training. Referring to stopping all unnecessary spending, Cole,”The dollars should be turned off.”
        CCEAA is still limping along in need of a computer and a program to do billing on. Decision made to move a computer from the dispatcher’s room to the back for duty. Employee Mitzi ( I got you) Adkins commented that mostly games were played on that ‘Puter anyway.
        Secret Time for personnel stuff. Cole referred to it as “Andy’s Coveted Secret Session. The secret stuff appeared to center around issue with Mitzi Adkins and Shawn Butler. First Adkins in fro 10 minutes followed by Shawn in for about the same amount of time. Cole reported that no action was taken by the Authority. In disbelieve, Shawn,” What was the Board’s ....?” Cole,” No Action.”
        Chair Cole asked Director Pierson to come up with a plan to cut costs for the next meeting. Sounds like lay off time readers.
        The $11,000.00 is still unaccounted for and employee Joretta Gray is leaving the ambulance service in August.
Decision made to change meeting times to 6:00pm and continue holding them on the last Monday of the month. AW

Dear Andy,
        I noticed in the latest Communicator CDC President Earnest Sirk mentioned me. I felt I should respond to the bumbling behemoth's remarks. While it is correct that I quit attending meeting of the CDC board, it was because I was sent a letter informing me I had been removed from the board ( I assume the board voted); for missing three consecutive meetings. I didn't miss because of bad weather nor good weather for that matter, but rather because of a job , something that is obviously not an encumbrance for Mr. Sirk. As for my having answers to CDC employment programs, they were scardonicly scoffed at by Sirk. On another note, the biggest enemy of the CDC is not you Mr Waddell, but rather those who would try to hide public meetings behind closed doors and pursue frivolous law suits with CDC money or harangue former board members, if Mr Sirks IQ was as high as his body fat composition, surely he would know that!
joe murphy

        The Seniors and staff of the Clay Senior Center wish to thank everyone that donated for our Christmas party that was held on Dec. 15, 2000.
        We had lots of food, gifts, and great singing. Everyone had a wonderful time.
        Those who donated are......
Family Dollar, Dollar General Store, Elk Hardware, Clay Furniture, Cathy Samples, Rite-Aid, Sally Legg, NAPA Auto Parts, Clay Auto, Clay Lumber, Kevin Duffy, Jerome Novobilski, Mike Asbury, Jeff Davis, Freddie Davis, Clay Co . Bank, Gino’s Fitzwater’s Garage, Darlene Morris, Steve Hicks, Timothy Hopkins/State Farm, Gould’s Electric, Upper Cut Hair & Tanning, Hartland Superette, Angels & Heavenly Treasures, Murphy’s Flower Shop, Wayne King, Clay Foodland, William Eagle, Kate’s Bed & Breakfast, Peggy Stephenson. Wilson Funeral Home, Cunningham Motors, Boggs’ Trucking, Rick’s Body Shop & Helen Morris.

Thanks again for all of your help.
Seniors and Staff
The Clay Senior Center

        Clay County’s Business Development Authority (BDA) met in regular session Feb 1 at 5:00 pm. Just about every member present including news to arena Arthur Jarrett. In the back sat Manfred Kuentzer, owner of new to the area , Filcon Co.
        The business of the day was Filcon Manufacturing Co currently house in the old Rite Aid on the South end of Town. Mr Kuentzer announced that he had secured $400,00.00 in loans to build a new building to house his filter manufacturing business Additionally, Kuentzer asked that the county to deed him ( free and clear), the Ovapa Industrial Site where he said he would build the plant. Kuentzer, “It’s the only way.” A quietness feel on the assembled. The BDA recently purchased the Ovapa property for $90,000.00.
        After a moment, BDA Chair Paige Willis made an offer to Kuentzer. Willis’s plan included: Filcon will pay for all legal fees associated with a property transfer; the Ovapa site will be deeded to Filcon after one year for free if during that time Filcon builds a building there and hires 10 full time employees. Willis, “ We can’t just give it to you...” Kuentzer commented that the building was a major investment for him and responded to the offer,” I don’t think it will work.” Kuentzer went on to say, “ The only way is for the deed to me in the company’s name.” Willis, “ We can’t just deed you the property.” Tim Butcher, “If you put 9 to work, the property is yours.” Willis, “We will work with you 100%, anyway possible...”
  As he has said in the past, Kuentzer said that he could not wait months for the deal and “ I have a couple of other options...”
        It appears that the BDA will continue to negotiate on the deal and may call a Special meeting for a vote on the issue soon. BDA approved the hiring of an attorney to go over any agreements before signatures are affixed.
        As for trying to get money to get the Ovapa property out of the flood plain, that has stopped. AS for the county securing financing to build a building for Filcon, that too has stopped. All engineering and environmental studies have stopped as well on the property.

School Board Meeting
        The Clay County Board of Education held their regular meeting Monday, February 5, 2001 at the administrative office building. Members O. Gene King, R.B. Legg, Jr., Fran King, Scott Legg, and David Pierson, Jr. present. Board President R.B. Legg offered prayer and then called the meeting to order at 6:05P.M.
        Board approved the agenda, the previous meeting minutes, and payment of current bills. Superintendent Jerry Linkinogger passed out additional information, concerning water use at the Clay schools, to the Board. The information he provided them appeared to show the gallons of water per month used at each school in the Town of Clay area for the past 3 months. Linkinogger noted that at each school the amount of water used decreased during the Dec.- Jan. month, when school is out for several weeks due to the holidays, except for Clay Elementary. At that school the amount of water used increased substantially during that month. Linkinogger said they don’t appear to have a leak, and, also pointed out to the Board that they had been billed for 16,000 gallons of water for the swimming pool meter during that same month, even though that meter had been shut off around Thanksgiving break. He said he’d questioned Dwana (at the Town of Clay office) about the charges and told the Board even though they approved payment tonight those bills would not be paid until the questions were answered. Board was also made aware that it is costing about $500 a week for bottled water at the schools due to the boil water advisory.
        Increased receipts of $125,583.86 was approved, and Linkinogger explained the money was CSRD money for Clay County High School (CCHS) and Title I money for H.E. White Elementary. He said they were able to get a grant for teachers, enabling them to get their master’s degree at H.E. White.
        Business Manager/Treasurer Loretta Gray presented the monthly financial report. Gray said tax collections were still down in January, but that was normal for this month. She said she expected collections to increase in February.
        The agreement with Mountaineer and Columbia Natural Resources was approved with the changes made that were suggested by the Board at their last meeting. Fran King voted nay.
        The mileage rate was raised to 32 cents per mile in the county. The Board had to raise the current rate (28 cents) at least 1 ½ cents to comply with county policy, which is based on the federal reimbursement rate, and which just went up to 34.5 cents per mile. Linkinogger suggested an even 2 cent raise to 30 cents, but Board again discussed paying the full amount allowed, 34.5 cents. Gene King has been a vocal proponent for this. Fran King noted that some mileage is paid by grant funds, written into the grant and she had noticed that most teacher travel expenses in recent months were paid by grants. Linkinogger estimated that at least 50% (of mileage reimbursements) are paid through grants, Title I, and Special Education, mileage often included in the budget. R.B. Legg asked what it would cost to pay the full amount. Pierson, “It would be a 16% increase...and we just gave a 14% increase last fall...cost about $3000 a year more.” Scott Legg suggested the raise to 32 cents, and then to look at it again at the end of the year.
        A hearing to determine the status of a Clay Middle School (CMS) special education student was held. Board followed the recommendation of CMS Principal Larry Gillespie, Linkinogger concurring, and placed the child in Alternative School. Specified criteria must also be met.
        Special Education Director Dixie Jarvis made a presentation on the Eddie Eagle gun safety program, seeking approval for special education students. Jarvis said the program teaches gun safety in the home, not how to use them. A statewide grant will pay for the program, and Jarvis said if the schools want to order it she has the information. The program has three levels for children pre-kindergarten through 6th grade. A video for preschool and 1st grade was shown. The theme: If you see a gun - STOP; DON’T TOUCH; Leave the area and tell an adult. R.B. Legg amended the motion to include all students pre-school through 6th grade for the program, which passed.
        Overnight trips were approved for the CMS Show Choir to compete in Wheeling, WV and the CMS Band to Pittsburgh, PA. Transportation cost to Wheeling was estimated at $600, and to Pittsburgh $1200.
        All motions, with the exception of the Mountaineer and Columbia agreement, passed unanimously.
        CCHS Principal Kenneth Tanner came to the Board with more information he’d gathered on modified block scheduling for the high school. Tanner said this topic had been discussed at both the curriculum meeting and faculty senate, and there was not much teacher support for a modified block, in fact many teachers were pretty negative about it. Tanner, “ We realize this Board can place any schedule you see fit...what’s best for the children. We’ll comply with what you decide.” He went on to give some of the reasons the teachers are against it and described different types of modified block schedules. Fran King and Gene King again brought up concerns over the amount of homework being given. Scott Legg, referring to a comment made by a teacher on a survey Tanner conducted on the issue, “ Krauklis (Assist. Superintendent) said the reason a homework policy was implemented was to appease the higher ups, North West Association...we come along and just want to look at the policy...there’s no room for a professional to act like that...my concern about the block schedule was not what was wrong, but, was it the best? Don’t they want the Board interested and involved?”
        Fitness Center Director Christy Conley presented the Board with information on concerns they’d voiced at an earlier meeting. She provided the hours she works, hours the center is open, and numbers on the usage of the facility. Conley said they are actually open 48 hours, when she or her employee work, with additional hours open when volunteers work for free monthly memberships. She said it was not economical to open on Saturdays as only a few ever came on that day. Linkinogger said he disagreed about the Saturdays and noted that the Board that governs the fitness center closed the facility on Saturdays until Labor Day when it was to reopen. He said they’d never had another meeting since then. Conley, “ The next point is touchy...I’m contract and I have the ability to set my hours that I work...I don’t want to work Saturdays, and if I hire Gina, I have to pay her.” Conley said the prior year she’d worked 60 hours a week getting the center going, but didn’t want to return to that. She also said that those most interested in Saturday hours were actually fitness center board members, and had their own keys to the facility. Scott Legg said Conley’s statements on setting her own hours were not entirely correct and felt she should have a little latitude noting that her contract is renewed yearly. Conley said, “That’s understood.” Pierson and Fran King both voiced their feelings that Conley had done a good job. Linkinogger told Conley to go ahead and get a few lockers so people could lock their things up while at the facility.
        Director of Transportation Larry Legg gave a status report on substitute bus driver Ryan Schoonover. In the fall Schoonover had been given 90 days to complete requirements to be a sub. Legg said he’d been unable to contact Schoonover and had not heard from him. Now, he said, Schoonover would have to start all over again, new drug test, etc. and that Schoonover had been given 90 school days. Fran King asked that the matter be placed on next meeting agenda.
        Linkinogger reported the county had been accredited, Lizemore Elementary the only conditional school due to test scores. Board was shown the state/county report cards that will be going out to parents.
  Board went into executive session at 7:54P.M. to discuss a personnel item, the last item on the agenda. This reporter left before they returned. Next regular meeting of the Board will be Tuesday (due to holiday on Monday) February 20, 6:00P.M. at H.E. White Elementary in Bomont. -TK

        All of a sudden.. POOF! The complaint against John Habjan and his gas companies disappeared. Clay County’s School System filed a WV Public Service Commission (PSC) complaint against Habjan, Valley Gas and Wagner Gas over lack of gas service to the school system last year. That complaint was scheduled to come to hearing last month. After hearing testimony during a recent school board meeting to continue the complaint, the School Board decided to withdraw.
Here’s the deal. Mr Habjan agreed to give the School System $10,000.00 every time that schools have to be closed due to lack of gas pressure. In a letter dated Jan 11, John Habjan told School Superintendent Jerry Linkinogger that an account had been set up to cover such costs. The correspondence from the Clay County Bank to the Board of Education explained that Habjan had been given “an irrevocable line of Credit.” The effective date of the credit line is Jan 29, 2001 and is for $150,000.00.
How does the system collect on the obligation? Send a signed letter over to the Clay County Bank! The letter of credit was signed by JD Morris
The town of Clay received a “Notice of Violation” from the Dept of Environmental Protection (DEP) Tuesday Feb 6, 2001. The citation was issued to the new state of the art, high tech 3 million dollar sewer plant for “violated the discharge limitation of your permit and allowed sludge to discharge into the Elk River.” According to the paperwork from the DEP, the Town must “ control the sludge at the plant by bagging and hauling to the approved sites in the county.” The situation will be monitor on a day by bases. Nick Lewis issued the citation .
In the long time running battle between Clay Development Corp (CDC) and the Board members they threw off the Board over a year ago, a new court battle looms. Now the round one himself, CDC Board Chair Earnie Sirk, is taking deposed Board Chairman Herschel Shamblin into Magistrate Jeff Boggs courtroom Feb 13, 2001at 1:00pm. The issue is over Shamblin allegedly not returning a Policy and Procedures Manual to the CDC after being thrown out of office during a quickly called general membership meeting made up of many CDC employees and family members. We’ll keep you posted.
Over in Big Otter Fire Dept land, after going into a closed door meeting, the group decided to take a loan for a new fire truck instead of trying for grant dollars. Their truck wrecked on I 79 during very icy conditions 6 weeks ago. They also holding an election for anew treasurer this month.
So what happened Jan 23 when the last Boil Water Order was issued? Here’s the way we’ve got it pieced together. WV Dept Of Health Director of Water and Waste Water JD Douglas received a complaint form a teacher over the water treated by the town of Clay Water plant. Douglas himself came to Clay to find the treated water in the filtration tanks was muddier than the water in the river. Douglas immediately issued a Boil Water Order. According to Douglas the water that was ready to go out into the system was 20 time dirtier than allowed by law. It appears that new chemicals being used by the Town were not working properly. The operator on duty was Ray Jordan. The reason fro the change in chemistry? The Town had not paid their debt to CI Thornburg which has supplied chemicals to the Town for years and Thornburg had “cut the town off”. With Mayor Gibson recuperating from major surgery, Town Recorder Betty Murphy accepted the call to correct the situation. After seeing what was going on and finding out that Mr Jordan had not called and alerted anyone of the dangerous situation, Murphy now assisted by Council person Jeff Krauklis told Jordan to punch out and leave his keys fro the plant at the plant. Jordan was in deep doodoo.
By noon time and with Jordan refusing to leave, other Government agencies were on the scene trying to get the water problem corrected. Procious PSD water operator Jennifer Traub was called in to provide testing equipment. The other town water operator Duane Reynolds was told to report to work. Sources close have indicated that Jordan may have “lipped off” to Jeff Krauklis during this time!
Jordan never did “punch” off the clock.
With Murphy in charge, a call was made to CI Thornburg and a promise to pay some of the past due bills was made. The $3800.00 paid to Thornburg was to cover past due Town of Clay bills. Douglas himself went around town and sampled water supplies.
Was that Boil Water Order serious. According to water operator Duane Reynolds and JD Douglas, YES, very serious!
So what happened Feb 7th when school was called off right after lunch? According to Town sources, the Town has five major water leaks and employee Terry Traub was using a back hoe to find one of the leaks behind the Clay County PSD building on Main Street Clay. Traub, while digging, hit a small abandoned 2" water line near a valve and a connection point and water went wild. Immediately the valve to the main storage tank was closed to prevent a major lose. The main line was not damaged and repair was made to the leaking area. Note: the original major leak in that area has not been found or repaired.
When asked, Magistrate Mike King said that the civil suit against BJ Cruickshanks had been settled by attorneys, Monday Feb 5, 2001. The suit was brought by the School System and asked that Cruickshank pay nearly $1000.00 toward damages done to Clay County High School during a vandalism incident. Two others involved in criminal proceeding, plead guilty, paid restitution, and faced incarceration as well.


        Procious PSD has a history of Board members not showing up for meetings, Boil Water Orders, bankruptcy and more. The tradition continues.
        Procious asked for and received an emergency interim water rate increase Jan 31, 2001. The new rate will appear on the Feb bills that were mailed out late to accommodate the new increase. Rates will increase to a base charge of $26.13. Additionally, the PSD will now be able to charge their wholesale customers ( Clay/Roane and Queen Shoals PSD) $2.56 per 1000 gallons. At recent meetings Procious PSD Board member Garrett Samples commented that the PSD was losing 88 cents on every 1000 gallons pumped to Clay Roane PSD. That increase was oked without a public hearing on the issue. Additionally, according to the merger agreement accepted by the WV PSC and signed just 8 months ago, Procious was not allowed to ask or receive a water rate increase for 5 years. Hmmmm..
         In addition to the increase just received, the water provider has another rate increase request into the WV Public Service Commission that will be advanced in early Spring. That increase is called a “19A” request.
        As for the financial situation in Procious land, “poor” is the battle cry. Payroll could not be met Feb 1, 2001 due to lack of funds. Clay Roane PSD buys their water from Procious and pays for that water the first of each month. In addition to the water used, Clay Roane also covers some of the labor costs. Clay Roane did not have enough money to pay the $8000.00 obligation Feb 1. In fact, Clay Roane did even have quorum available to hold their regularly scheduled monthly meeting on the first. At that time Clay Roane had a little over $2400.00 in their accounts and gave Procious a $2400.00 check which left less than $100.00 to their name. It is very questionable as to when and if Clay Roane can make good on their obligation to Procious.
        To make matters worse, with Clay Roane being charged a higher rate for water used, the financial picture should become worse in the near future. Translation: Clay Roane will now ask for and receive an emergency rate increase this month! It is anticipated that the Clay Roane customers will cough up an additional 30% when that rate increase is becomes effective.
What do you do when the employees have their hands out for their paychecks and there’s no money? Make ‘um wait!
        After realizing that Clay Roane was welching on their obligation, Procious PSD Chair. Debbie Samples went to the Clay County Bank and tried to transfer maintenance funds into the payroll account. Didn’t work. A transfer requires two signatures and fellow board member Garrett Samples told her he was too busy to stop his Kanawha County business adventures and run over to the bank and sign the required forms. The third Board member Harold Summers, can only sign payroll checks. Garrett finally made it to the bank on Friday the 2nd of Feb. and payroll was Finally met. Now with the maintenance fund nearly depleted, with Clay Roane not able to meet their financial obligation to Procious, the questions comes up: Can Procious make payroll Feb 15?
        Debbie Samples has now tendered her resignation effective Feb 13. County Commission will have to find another to fill that position.
        Bad management? Poor planning? Both and a lot more. Procious PSD customers are now a 100% higher base water rate than if water was supplied by WV American Water Co. And that’s before the next planned rate request is approved and also before the town of Clay adds more to the bills when they get their new water plant built next year.

Activate Daily Praise

         I know You'll never let go of me. I know You are always there and You always hold me. Please help me to stay in Your arms and not jump out. Help me not to run too far ahead or lag too far behind. I long to stay right here, snuggled in Your arms forever
        You are my anchor to whom I am tied. It doesn't matter when the seas get rough or troubled or stormy, because I know I have You. I'm tied to You .None of these things can move me; no troubles can alarm me. I love You and thank You, my precious Lord.
Thank You for understanding. Thank You for holding me tight, Jesus. I adore You. I need You. I want You.
Dear Readers...
         I am preparing to go to El Salvador, Central America to help our missionaries with earthquake victims & the work there! I also got a letter from a dear friend there asking me to raise donations for our volunteers there , so I need your help! Tks!
Send donations to E.B.Goode, Rt 4, Box 172a, Chas. WV.25312. Tks So much!
We love you!
Happy Valentines Day everyday! See ya!

        In an apparent attempt to keep the doors open at Central Appalachian Empowerment Zone (CAEZ), Director Jerry Sizemore recommended that he be employed on a part time basis beginning April 1, 2001 at a rate of $25,000.00 per year. Long time readers will recall as early as last summer when the USDA’s Jim Anderson warned the CAEZ Board of Directors of impending financial doom if they don’t get their “house” in order. Lot’s of details in the next edition and : will the last person out of Town please turn off the light bulb. Thanks!

1.5 million up for grabs
        Clay County Commission held a public hearing Jan 30 to gather ideas and comments on what to apply for on a HUD Small Cities Block Grant application for the year 2001. Eight or so showed up to add their two cents worth. Commission President Matthew Bragg was absent after undergoing surgery recently.
        Commissioner Jimmy Sams and from the State Infrastructure Council John Romano, explained that no decisions would be made this date but rather it was an opportunity to gather information on possible projects the CCC may want to apply for this year.
        Something was up! Readers will remember from the last paper that there was a since of urgency to get funding in place so Filcon Manufacturing could have a new building to be housed in. With information surfacing that Filcon was not current on the rent payments at there present site, Filcon seems to be out of the picture for HUD funding. Romano told the CCC that to apply for that money, a prospective tenant (Filcon) must be in place. Neither Commissioner Butcher or Sams would comment on the change going on with Filcon.
        Cookie Johnson suggested that requests be made fro a new building in the Lizemore area to house a Fire Dept and Ambulance office. Romano replied that such a project has not been funded in the past.
One fellow suggested that the county should seek funding to hire a person to lead the county’s grant writing and to plan out a strategy for growth in the county.
        Romano told the assembled that Central Appalachia Empowerment Zone (CAEZ) may be problem in getting new grants this year. According to Romano, CAEZ has three “lingering” grants where the money has not all been used and for the county to receive more HUD money a waiver has to be applied for. Romano, “They need to spend the money and get it out of the way..”
        This year there is $1.5 million available from HUD fro water projects. Last year CCC submitted a request for water line extensions in the Nebo area. It appears that same request will be resubmitted. In addition to water or sewer project requests, there is money available for non water and sewer projects as well.
        The question was asked about coming up with a back up plan in case the Clay Water Project falls through and is not constructed. Romano felt that would not be viable since so much money is already in place for that project and the water line extensions.
        Tim Butcher, after some prodding, announced that Filcon Co now had an option on a piece of property at Amma in Roane County. Mouths fell open with this first public announcement. Butcher said this issue and the land for Filcon over at the $90,000.00 Ovapa Industria Site will be discussed by the Business Development Authority and the CCC later.
More hearings are scheduled later this Spring. If you want to input, better attend

Magistrate Report

Traffic Citations
1-17-01: State - Billy J. Blankenship for no P.O.I. & no seatbelt.
State - Kathy L. Lloyd for no P.O.I.
State - Mickey L. McLaughlin for no P.O.I. & no seatbelt.
State - Scotty Nottingham for no P.O.I.
State - Rodney Runion for no operators & def. equip.
Sheriff - Margaret F. White for imp. regis. & no P.O.I.
1-20-01: State - Corey L. Metheney for def. equip x2, no seatbelt & imp. regis.
State - Steven R. Mosley - for no seatbelt & imp. regis.
1-21-01: State - Darrel Allen Jr. for no P.O.I. & imp. regis.
State - Omer H. Goad, Jr. for no MVI & no P.O.I.
State - David L. Halstead for being left of center & no P.O.I.
1-23-01: State - Wyatte Mullins for no P.O.I &no seatbelt.
1-25-01: State - Billie Jo Samples for no P.O.I.
1-26-01: State - Christopher Coulter for speeding & imp. regis., speeding & no P.O.I.
State - Jason S. Dancy for def. equip., no seatbelt, no P.O.I. & imp. regis.
Sheriff - Harley L. Davis for following too close.
State - Mark L. Ross for speeding & no MVI.
1-27-01: Sheriff - Jennifer S. Hill for no operators.
Sheriff - Charles R. Persinger for no operators.
1-28-01: State - Joshua A. Exline for speeding.
State - Bobby R. Hanshaw for speeding.
1-31-01: Sheriff - Joshua S. Balton for def. equip.
2-1-01: State - Bobby Davis for def. equip.
2-2-01: Sheriff - Charles E. Auxier for imp. regis.
Sheriff - Micky R. Fulks for no P.O.I. & no MVI.

Criminal Cases
1-24-01: IGA - Andrea L. Graham warrant issued for wc
1-25-01: McKown - Joe A. Kincaid, Jr. for DWS 2nd offense.
1-26-01: Guthrie - Johnny E. Brown for public intox.
1-27-01: Foreman - James Neff II for poss. of less than 15grms. of marijuana & providing false information.
1-29-01: Schwan’s - Sherry Taylor warrant issued for wc.
Belt - John M. Moore warrant issued for DWS 2nd.
1-30-01:Slack - Alva Woods for trespassing.
1-31-01: Guthrie - George F. Adkins for DWR/DUIA.
2-1-01:McKown - Alicia Nottingham warrant issued for obtaining goods under false pretenses x 4
McKown - John E. Hunt warrant issued for trespassing.
Foreman - Bobby J. Davis for def. equip.
2-2-01:Foreman - Jerry C. Howell for cruelty to animals
Guthrie - Michael T. Butcher warrant issued for DWS 3rd offense, reckless driving, fleeing from officer in vehicle, & speeding.
Guthrie - Anthony Martincak for DUIA 2nd offense & no P.O.I.
2-4-01:Rider - Michael D. Cadle for DB.
2-5-01: Clay Primary Care - Sandra L. Raynes for wc.

Civil Cases
1-23-01: Bank of Gassaway - Patti Reyolds for breach of contract.
1-25-01: Boothe & McCarthy - Christo Summerfield for professional services.
1-26-01: St. Francis hospital - Shawn Butler for professional services.
Bank of Gassaway - Scotty Bostic, Heath Coleman, Ronnie Beasley, Roger Grimmet, Kellie C. Greenleaf, Anita Ferrebee & Daniel C. Dennis for breach of contract.
1-31-01: Mylia Adkins - Virgil Adkins purged for DV.
Amy M. Beasley - Leonard E. Wyant for DV petition.
2-1-01: Mary J. Adkins - Oscar Sizemore for other.
Darlene Jackson - Fred Workman for DV petition.
2-5-01: Robert Hill - Ellen Hill for DV petition.

Worthless Checks
IGA - Sarah Roger 49.49 paid , Vanessa McGlothlin 175.00 paid 185.00, Kerry L. Stephens 25.47 paid , Andrea L. Graham 63.57 & 100.00
Ramona Grey - Thelma C. Barnett 23.00 paid
Schwan’s - Sherry Taylor 29.64
Procious Exxon - Christopher Samples 75.00 paid
Clay Primary Care - Sandra L. Raynes 30.00
Elk Valley Hardware - Kenneth H. Davidson 10.46 paid .
D/B/A House’s Market - Edna G. Neal 15.11/ 27.66 & 10.00
Andy Adkins - Patricia Taylor 108.00, Daniel C. Dennis 50.00 paid, Bobby G. Hall 35.00
Sizemore IGA - Sherry Taylor 139.00 & 88.72
Samples Market - Jennifer L. Brady 27.80
Hartland Superette Mary J. Adkins 15.00, Michael L. Dawson 40.00 paid, Sheila King 14.19

Weapon Permits
Larry All Rogers & Carl Alexander Brown

Marriage License
Barry Dirk Stewart, 37 of Bickmore and
Shela Kay Davis, 39 of Bickmore

Tony Michael Pyatt, 26 of Lizemore and
Angela Dawn Butler, 20 of Lizemore