APRIL 18, 2003
Sure can’t let an edition get past without coverage of our elected boys, the Clay County Commission. Our CCC met April 10 at 2pm in air conditioned comfort in the new Courthouse. 25 or so gathered in the peanut gallery to participate in government, a public meeting. Since we’re cramped for space, highlights only this time around.
CCC is applying for Fed $ for water projects. With the guidance of John Romano, we’re directing our request for $ to the Nebo area of the county and a water line extension project.
Custodian Ann Osborne is quitting. With less help to maintain the building, Osborne sees the handwriting on the wall and is bailing out April 17th. Get your applications in NOW for the $5.15 per hour job. Hiring will done April 24, 2003.
As has been the case for the last five years, Sams and Co. Oked CAEZ to be the lead economic development agent for the county and directed a $30,000 state grant over to the group.
Probably just two biggies during this meeting. First was the appearance of reps from Dominion Gas Co. Dominion is building a 30 inch high pressure gas line ( 17 miles) thru Southern Clay County beginning at the Cornwell Compression station at Corton. Many locals have expressed concern over the project since the potentially dangerous line runs close to many homes and Lizemore Elem. School. Dominion big cheese Bob Orndorff presented his case. According to Mr. Suit, there is nothing to worry about, they are regulated by a Federal agency that is very strict and this is a great opportunity for employment. As is the case with most peddlers of greatness, promises were made. Orndorff guaranteed all property owners would be taken care of. Clay County’s Cathy Shuller explained the serious issues on her hillside with slides and run off after heavy rains. Never Fear came the reply! An exact quote from Orndorff, I can guarantee we’ll fix it! Cut it out and hang that quote on your refrigerator readers.
In the fine print and in less verbose tones, Mr. Suit did say, locals could NOT be able to hook on to the line; there are no promises that locals will get any of the construction jobs, and the wide swath taken by the eminent domain rights of way are not available for any kind of housing or development. As for fears of a pipeline going within inches of a house or school? There are no Federal rules preventing such! As for additional revenues for the CCC? Not much. There is no transportation tax to garner nor any severance tax unless production takes place in the County. Translation: A nice big unusable gash in our hillsides that local will stay have to pay property tax on and be unable to use except to maybe graze a horse. Progress?
The second biggie from the meeting has to do with General Ambulance wanting to take over emergency transports in the county. Richard Thacker from General explained: they don’t want to tear anything done in the County but instead improve service; if they are allowed into the county, they would hire all existing employees and continue current benefits including hospitalization coverage; and We would guarantee our trucks are here 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Here it comes readers, having heard the story and after our local ambulance service has been bankrupt three of the last three years, Commission President Jimmy Sams with the backing of Peter Triplett and Mathew Bragg, Right now we don’t need you….. I think we can survive right now… Although polite, the door to improved emergency response service in Clay County was closed.
Commissioner Sams was asked about Clay County PSD buying a high dollar double wide trailer for office space. The height challenged questioner wanted to know why Clay County PSD didn’t buy a cheaper trailer like the one soon to be auctioned off from the old Big Otter Ambulance Station. Sams, It was mentioned to the Clay PSD to buy the trailer. As a note readers, CCC has filed a formal complaint against the PSD on the issue of spending gobs of money for a trailer when their current office space (in the basement of the old courthouse) is free, courtesy of the CCC.
As the meeting was ending, Clay Fire Dept volunteer Greg Fitzwater asked that his group be provided maps or something that reflect all the street and road name changes in the County. According to Fitzwater, 911 dispatch in Nicholas County uses the new names and local responders don’t have a clue what 911 means.
MORE FIGHTS IN CLAY
Talk about crime in small town America. We’ve sure got it in Clayberry and on a recurring basis. Add Tuesday April 16th to the police blotter.
It’s 4:15, warm spring time temps, a pretty day unless you happen to be in the Clayberry Rite Aid parking lot. With lots of people leaving the Courthouse, a black pick up pulls in the lot. Two men are in the truck. The driver waits while the second jumps out waving a crow bar. With James McCune Jr. the unlucky one, McCune takes it on the head. A gash opens up.
The scuffle begins. McCune wrestles the iron from the first guy and proceeds to play do re me on the other guy’s head. Blood comes as do knots and gashes. Somewhere in the middle of all this, an older man tries to break the fight up. Didn’t work. The other man gets a little in trouble and daughter Lisa Slack steps out of her car and gives the fighters a shove with all her might. Worked. With open wounds to prove the encounter, the first man gets back in the p/u and speeds away.
Seeing an ambulance on Main Street, Ms Slack flags the emergency service team down. McCune refuses aid.
Evening shift ( begins at 4pm) Deputy Miles Slack hears the call and responds. By arrival time the action is over and Lisa Slack has everything under control.
Does this sound like the Clay we know? Is it the water? Maybe the preservatives in the food? Have we been watching too much TV? Many locals are openly questioning the change in the normally sleepy town and county. Last August a bloody body is dumped out Pisgah way. Joey Crow Smith dies after a day time beating, Clay Elem got robbed, the list goes on. Locals often tell stories of those that have walked away from serious crimes without suffering any consequences in the Court system while some never even make it to the courts.
It’s a new century and so far, it’s not very pretty. AW
CROW SEASON IN CLAYBERRY
Now a full week after his burial, most in the county and many in the region know that 38 year old Joey Crow Smith died shortly after receiving a substantial thumping by local street thugs. He was the staggering, long haired, guy that most of us avoided. Crow was our town drunk. When he approached, we walked to the other side of the street when possible.
On Friday April 4th, Crow had just got out of jail and had been seen walking the Clayberry streets. Around 6:10 pm and in the Rite Aid parking lot, a band of thugs, four or five, kicked and beat the hapless Smith. With the kicks and rock beating in progress, Danny Workman alerted Rite Aid employees who came out and yelled that they were calling police. The hoodlums ran off. Unofficially, at least three of the monsters were young teenagers. Young, real young. Sometime later, Crow made it to the stone Courthouse pillars across the street. Early reports indicated that one the ruffians came from behind and gave one strong kick to the base of the skull sending Crow rolling into the street. That was Friday.
Sometime on the 5th, Joey Smith was drunk, at his shack at Pisgah and fell 10 feet banging his head with a thud. An ambulance took Crow to Braxton Memorial Hospital. Crow, bleeding in the skull and with black sunken eye sockets, died Sunday, April 6th, 2003 around 8pm.
Regional media picked up on the story. In the April 15th Charleston Gazette, new Town Cop Buckshot Butcher commented that the state medical examiner determined that the 10 foot fall was the cause of death, not the beating, and after doing 30 hours of investigation, Butcher turned over his findings to the Prosecutor. Locals contributed over $3200.00 toward funeral expenses. Troubling is the medical examiner determination. How can there be a 100% certain determination without a complete autopsy. An autopsy involves removing the skull cap, removing internal organs and such. That was not performed on Joey Crow Smith.
Smith is now resting in the best clothes he has had on in years. He’s the cleanest he has been in years. And even the linen he’s resting on, is the best Crow could ever imagine. Clay County feels better knowing that they gave a few dollars toward caring for him albeit after death.
Remaining behind are few fond memories of Mr. Smith but rather the thugs that took advantage of a helpless individual. Who’s the next victim readers? You? AW
What Can You Do?
About mid-day Saturday, April 12th Deputy Miles Slack arrested Danny Workman at the Prestera Center in Clay, where Workman lives. Danny was charged with trespassing, loitering on retail store or agency, and fleeing from an officer. Slack took him to the magistrate’s office after the arrest was made.
There, Magistrate Mike King called the emergency after-hours number in the phone book for Prestera. A person answered and gave King a ‘crisis intervention’ number to call, which he did. Since it was Saturday afternoon, the person that answered the crisis number said there was nothing they could do about going Danny’s bond.
Few that live or have dealings in the town of Clay will fail to know who Danny is. Daily Danny travels the streets of Clay, in and out of the various buildings and businesses, usually present at any public gathering or happening. His frequent refrain - Have you got a quarter? As you converse with Danny, you soon realize that although this man is around 50 years old, you are really talking to someone that behaves and responds as perhaps an 8 to 10 year old would. As his home address at Prestera Mental Health Center in Clay implies, Danny is one of those folks we term ‘special’.
According to Miles Slack, he and Sheriff Harald Fields have attended at least two meetings (prior to this incident) with Prestera people over the ‘Danny issue’ and found out: Danny is not a ward of the state but rather has all his American rights and duties and can be arrested as anyone else can be arrested when laws are broken.
With Magistrate King not getting assistance from Prestera and Danny unable to go his $1200 bond (3 charges times $400 each), Danny was sent to Flatwoods Regional Jail Saturday night. Sunday morning Danny’s brother, (from Sissonville), came to Clay, went his bond, and nursed his ailing old car back to Sissonville. Danny was released from Flatwoods and brought back to Clay via jail transport, where Prestera did not think it was their responsibility to come to the Magistrate’s office and take him back home. Finally, they did come up and take him.
On Monday, April 14, the day after his release, Danny appeared beside himself, not smiling, not happy. And word spread of the incident. Many calls, most venting their outrage that Danny had gone to jail for doing what Danny almost always does – bombarding about everyone around with requests for money.
So what is the ‘Danny issue’? Basically, just that - Danny’s persistent pestering behavior often interferes with people conducting business, or shopping, etc. For the most part people in Clay tolerate his behavior. Many times I’ve watched the ladies in the courthouse offices, or the bank, or the stores, firmly, but not unkindly, order Danny on his way. I’ve admired their patience – they probably deal with him daily. But, on occasion business and activities are interrupted to the point that calls are made complaining about him. Calls to the local police, and probably Prestera as well. What to do? The ‘issue’ apparently came to a head on Saturday. The choices: ignore the complaints or do something about it?
Deputy Slack has said he did not want to arrest Danny. I don’t think anyone involved that day wanted that to happen. Especially sending Danny to jail. Prestera was offering no help. When the Clay Prestera was contacted about this episode a woman identifying herself as Chris, the program director, was unable to answer any questions about Danny – not even if he lived there or not, due to confidentiality concerns. She did acknowledge that she would have been the contact person in a theoretical situation, only she was out of town, so it would have been a supervisor, somewhere. At any rate, Danny spent a night in jail, on his own in a situation that would frighten most of us. I don’t know what exactly Prestera’s responsibilities to Danny are.
At the very least, we can hope that someone, maybe one of those mental health professionals that Prestera surely employs, will note that the ‘Danny issue’ has escalated to a point that may put him in harm’s way. Perhaps they’ll look again for a way to help this man modify his behavior, and local law enforcement won’t be forced to send this child-man to jail ever again.
Thursday April 16, 2pm, Danny sat quietly by himself. According to Danny, Prestera’s Chris Looney told him Don’t know how long you’ll be living here… Quotes from Danny on Thursday: I don’t have no place to live, Where are they going to put me? and I quit the bumming. TK/aw
IVYDALE FUED EXACLATES
There’s been one more chapter added to a long-standing feud in the northern end of the county. This chapter involves a shooting, the latest in the Dawson/Starcher Feud.
Putting it together as best we can from accounts provided by various witnesses, here’s the way it sounded… On a warm, breezy Wednesday, April 16th, around 7:30 pm. Still daylight. Big Otter resident Elvis Dawson has just returned from the gas station and readies the lawnmower for action. Up from his nearby home comes David Starcher carrying a large knife, a hog knife some would call it, bolts over Elvis’ fence yelling, I AM GOING TO KILL YOU! Seeing the threat imminent, Elvis heads for his pistol and blasts Starcher, striking him on the left side. The bullet, just under the armpit, passes on through. The blood comes.
Starcher makes it back home and returns with a vent ribbed shotgun ready to do Elvis in with an even more lethal weapon. A crowd of Elvis supporters assembled, Bobby Woods, Dawson’s sister Marna Killingsworth, and with the help of others in the crowd, wrestles the weapon from Starcher. Woods is somehow cut.
First on the scene was DNR officer Stewart Simms dressed in riot gear. With Elvis on the ground, the tempers settle to a simmer. Deputy Jeff Rider makes his presence known, as do several ‘green shirts’. The green shirts are told the county can handle the case and our state officers take a back seat. With an ambulance on hand, Starcher says no to being taken to a hospital. A big puddle of blood can be seen in the Dawson front yard. That’s Starcher blood. From a distance, Mary Starcher can be seen filming the whole affair. Another lady has a small tape player running to record the audio first hand. Later on Wednesday night Elvis is taken to a hospital to treat his bad back. This narrative comes from people who witnessed the action, albeit, one sided.
What’s going on here? The feud appears to stem from a long standing child custody battle. The tensions have been on red alert for over two years. Those passing by the Route 16 area of Big Otter have noticed big plywood signs erected in Elvis Dawson’s front yard, just across the bridge on 16. The signs make big time mention of a Mary Starcher. Something about being a liar, cheat and so forth. Mary Starcher is the mother of Dave Starcher and Mary has to pass by the Dawson home to get to her abode around the hill, up Sinnett Drive. Also in the background, from previous encounters, are standing charges on Elvis Dawson and a restraining order on Mr. Starcher barring him from being around Dawson.
According to the courthouse documents, Elvis Dawson, 45, has been charged with felonious and malicious wounding. An excerpt from the Deputy Rider write up reads: feloniously and maliciously shoot, stab, cut or wound one David Starcher and cause him bodily injury with intent to maim, disfigure, disable and kill the said David Starcher in violation of WV Code 61 – 2 –9 a. Dawson, if found guilty, faces 2 to 10 years in jail. With probable cause noted on the forms, Dawson was taken to Magistrate Court.
Even first hand accounts can be disputed. Such is the case with the official write up provided Magistrate King’s office Thursday, April 17, 2003 by Deputy Jeff Rider. From the Felony Criminal Complaint form, Deputy Rider wrote based on the statement from David Starcher of Rt. 16, Ivydale, WV, that Elvis Dawson did commit the offense of malicious assault while David Starcher was standing in the road, county route 37, Sinnett Road, and Elvis Dawson was in the yard yelling at David Starcher. Elvis pulled out a handgun and shot David Starcher in the upper left arm causing a bleeding wound to David Starcher’s arm. Deputy Rider signed the statement.
Notice the difference? No mention of a puddle of blood in Dawson’s front yard. Also, no write up was in the file on what evidence was secured by law enforcement. Nothing about a pistol, blood samples, a tape recording, a VCR tape, no mention of secured evidence.
Before noon, Thursday April 17th, Marna Killingsworth signed the $10,000.00 recognizance bond papers for Dawson, her brother. Noted on the documents: the defendant is to have no contact with the victim David Starcher.
Some in the county are concerned that with Dawson back home and Starcher just across the way, the feud will rekindle in the form of a torched home or bullet riddled walls. Many in the county feel the struggle will continue until A) law enforcement intervenes in some other way or, B) something even more tragic occurs. Keep your ear to the scanner for sure.
In last edition were the findings of the Clay spring Grand Jury proceedings. Since then we had a chance to speak to Clay Prosecuting Attorney Daniel Grindo. Although brief, it’s always good to hear from the chief law enforcement official of the county. With 27 indictments (true bills) under his belt, a new record for Clay County, how come so many? Grindo, That’s just the number that came up….mostly the old cases that needed cleaned up. Actually I would have had more but some of the officers were out due to illness and injury. He went on to say that he was absolutely satisfied with the Grand Jury’s work.
As for the actual number of presentations made to the Grand Jury this year, I don’t know if I am allowed to say that.
As for a trend toward seeking more indictments, Prosecutor Grindo, I don’t know that I can predict that… It’s just whatever needs presented, will be presented.
With fewer on his staff, less an assistant prosecutor this year, how can you handle the additional volume? I can just do what I can. It’s going just fine [after three months]. The office is running well. My staff is coming on line very nicely and I’ve had nothing but the best of help from law enforcement. I am thrilled!
As was mentioned in the front page article last time around, some of the cases have been held over to the next term of court which begins in July 2003. Does that extra time give the Prosecutor’s office a breather, a better chance to prepare? Grindo, No. Anything I present, I am ready for trial. It doesn’t matter to me.
Daniel Grindo would not comment on the one indictment where the guy said a plea agreement had been worked out by a previous prosecutor. Finally, from Mr. Grindo, I can’t comment on the investigations and any negotiations or any workings on cases in my office.
DON GREENE: WV Radical DÉJÀ VU ALL OVER AGAIN
Man, it seems like things in West Virginia never change. I have been involved in the same old battles for over a quarter of a century and we are no closer to putting an end to them than when I started.
Problem # 1. Deals have to be cut. It is impossible to get anything done in WV without a deal being made with someone in order for somebody to personally benefit from the action being taken.
Problem # 2. Offices can be bought. No one likes to hear that but with enough money, and if you aren't a known convicted felon, a person can be elected to almost any office in WV.
Problem # 3. The longer a person is in office the harder it is to get them out. Of course this is masqueraded under the excuse that the sitting official has "more power" than the newcomer would and that is better for everyone.
Problem # 4. Politicians are two-faced. Well, duh!
Problem # 5. If it can't be crooked then it isn't worth doing. This isn't quite the same as the deal cutting. Sometimes our officials just don't obey the law/regulation simply for the sake of getting away with it.
Problem # 6. The public has to pay. If our politicians and bureaucrats are going to let their buddies have playhouses to rule over, it must be at the public's expense or it would take all the fun out of it.
Problem # 7. Where did all the money go? Patronage, administration, bureaucrats and a wealth of sins against the public are hidden here.
Problem # 8. Can we get a grant for that? If you can't get your buddies’ patronage jobs or playhouses into the regular budget, this is where your funding will come from.
Problem # 9. We're planning. So long as you are still working on a plan, nobody will expect you to get anything done.
Problem # 10. That's the way we've always done it. Well, Tories, slave owners, buggy whip makers and many more had to change to stay in step with the rest of the world and WV will have to also.
There they are - ten reasons why we aren't making any headway in West Virginia. In fact, they are the reasons West Virginia is falling behind. Isn't it time that we broke the cycle and corrected these problems? Every time I hear or read about these problems or their fallout it's déjà vu all over again.
$46,000.00 IN DEBTS
It’s hard to imagine how a water service providers debt load could increase by over $20,000 in just 30 days, but that just happened in Clay Roane PSD land. Even in a cost cutting mood over the last two months, expenses have increased without check.
Clay Roane PSD met in regular session April 10 at 7 pm in the CDC building on Main Street. 20 or so came to watch the action. First thing out of the shoot, Chair Melissa Postelwait announced that the playing rules had changed since the last rather boisterous gathering two weeks prior. According to the Chair, from now on, the public could only comment at the end of the meeting and not before! The 8 item agenda was deceiving. The meeting was eye popping. It got going quick.
Just four minutes into the gathering Boardster Dave Saulsgiver asked, How much money have we got? Before the public could hear an answer, new Boardster Larry White, after looking at three pages of financial ciphers, spotted something. According to White the figures being brought to this meeting did NOT jive with those from the last one. Something about the Board was told certain bills had been paid and now they appear as overdue and unpaid. White didn’t sound too happy. The debt load had increased from $21,672.00 on March 13, 2003 up to $46,782.92. White read from the sheet. He noted several overdue conditions. Postelwait said those had been paid from the recently found $13000.00.
White, $25,000 in the hole in a month????… [We’re] going deeper in debt each time! And then it came out. The new secretary (Crystal) had found more old bills! Since the beginning of April, Clay Roane PSD had taken in just $10,974.14 with Queen Shoals PSD (QS PSD) in arrears $18,895.63. According to Postelwait, Queen Shoals has but $10,000.00 to their name. Translation: The move to take over Queen Shoals, a supposed cash cow, in an attempt to gain some much needed capital wasn’t working.
PSD attorney Tom Whittier tried to explain the agreement with QS PSD. According to Whittier, QS PSD must remain as a water service provider complete with a Board of Directors. QS must continue to have meetings and pay bills. Whittier, They have to act like a PSD…. They retain responsibilities
NOTE: Keep in mind, when the deal was being struck two months ago, Whittier cautioned Clay Roane not to do anything rash, to take their time, and check all bases before entering into ANY agreement. Clay Roane PSD did not listen and penned the operation and maintenance contract with QS PSD on the spot!
With most of the Board ready to bail out of the agreement and Postelwait and White openly speaking against the already signed contract, Whittier came up with a plan. Here it is, so Clay Roane gets paid first by QS PSD, Clay Roane should prepare the QS checks, already made except for the signatures, and submit them to the overthrown QS Boardsters. Whittier pushed his plan hard. The assembled pushed right back. More arm twisting came from Whittier. White, We are maintaining their system.. How can we continue paying their bills???… We’re setting holding the bag!
The public tried to comment, Postelwait refused it. What the public was trying to say: Whittier’s plan may work but only if Queen Shoals PSD holds a meeting and has a quorum. No quorum, no decision can be made. No quorum, no one can pay the bills or sign the prepared checks.
As was the case last time, discussion turned to who gets first dibs on the dwindling cash on hand. After much talk, priority would be given to employees wages followed by paying past due and current Federal taxes, utilities and PEIA (hospitalization coverage).
As for buying additional water from the town of Clay, might not happen. According to Postelwait, attempts to contact town leaders haven’t gone so well, No one will call me back! According to the 18 month old agreement with the town (WV PSC imposed), Clay Roane is allowed to buy 5 million gallons a water per month from the source. So why buy water from the town of Clay? According to figures advanced during this meeting, the cost to make 1000 gallons of water at the Procious Water plant is $4.77 while buying water from the Town would be just $2.77 per 1000 gallons. Last month, Clay Roane purchased less than 50,000 gallons and instead ate up a bunch of overtime dollars paying their own operators.
Boardster Gary Whaling allowed Doris Summers to speak. Ms Summers was pretty steamed over not knowing when Boil Water Orders (BWO) are in place and when they are lifted. Summers, standing, Something needs to be done… I used it [water] a week before I knew the Boil Water Order was on!…. People should have a better way to get it [info]… the last three months, half the time there has been a BWO!! She also questioned why refunds were not given when the water is unfit to drink during BWOs. With other folks in the peanut gallery ready to voice a view, Postelwait used her new wooden gavel and HOLD ON, HOLD ON!!
How about a brief and partial run down on the debts? Bullard’s Exxon $1346.63 (Nov through Feb); Board of Risk (the insurance that was supposed to be paid last time) $771.00; CI Thornburg (water treatment chemicals, Jan through March) $1419.95; Town of Clay (for water already purchased) $4258.34; Hughes Supply (Feb and March) $1277.27; PEIA (all past due) $5878.67; Pitney Bowes (that mysterious contract mentioned last month) $1835.17; Teed Associates (CPA) $2350.00; AEP (electric service) $905.74 plus another $246.71; State Tax Dept (late fees) 135.60; attorney Whittier $1870.00
But wait, there’s more!!! Remember the Clay County Bank loan that was supposed to be used to buy more accurate water meters, the $50,000 loan? The loan that was diverted to operating the PSD instead of making improvements? Including late charges from two months, Clay Roane PSD owes $1,125.20! Can’t forget about the other folks that loaned them money, the USDA… chalk them up for $3,348.00. And nasty Bob Wise and Uncle Sam want their share and want it NOW! Amount owed, including penalties, $10,273.65! And finally in the way of big time debts, remember Phillip Linger? Linger is the contractor that has been working long hours fixing all the line breaks. Linger is the guy that has cautioned them in the past, that since he is a small outfit, he needs paid on time. Linger is owed $3,474.00! Now back to the meeting Think all that’s bad? It’s worse. Clay Roane PSD has but $12,119.14 to their name and the $3000.00 payroll is due shortly. Now back to the meeting.
When the public got to speak, Tracy Metheny did just that. Metheny normally has a $40 per month water bill. In Jan 2003 it soared to over $80.00 Mr. Metheny made it clear he wasn’t about to pay for air through his meter! Metheny, I’m not paying $82.00!!… Change my meter then!… It runs $40 and then $82.00… My average bill is $42.00! Metheny and family promised to do away with PSD water service and revert to using their well. He also said others in the community were going to do the same thing.
Others raised concerns over no BWO notifications, notifications coming real late. Newton’s white haired lady was back, YOU ALL ARE THE WATER PROBLEM.. YOU’RE WASTING THE TAXPAYERS DOLLARS! She went on to ask about the wisdom of adding on more customers when the existing line won’t handle the current load. Can you see why the PSD doesn’t want public comment? Those pesky tax payers always have a beef! Of course, Clay Roane also went into secret time and this secret time was to talk about computer software. One guy went on record protesting the illegal secret time. Now there was a bunch more but here’s one that affects all users. Phillip Linger made it clear, if the PSD doesn’t pay him, he would no longer repair leaks nor install new taps. Linger, So do you want me as a contractor? Can you pay me?? I shouldn’t have to wonder if I am going to get paid!.. It’s the same thing at every meeting!
Readers and especially Clay Roane customers and future customers, the PSD is still without a budget to live by, going further in debt each month, finding patches of money unexpectedly and in general operating without direction. AW
OVAPA HAYES ARRESTED
Oh, how we yearn for news on murders and investigations. Here in the county the deaths of Chad Salisbury, Joey ‘Crow’ Smith, Judd Reid and so forth remain the talk of the town. Over in the Braxton Democrat News comes the post, below. Sure to stir attention, who is the female murder victim mentioned in the article? Who is Billy Hayes?
Here’s the Braxton article published this week on their web site:
Braxton County Sheriff's Deputies and US Marshals arrested a Clay County man at John Skidmore's Truck Stop just after 2:30 p.m. last Friday afternoon. An in-depth investigation lead to the discovery of William Billy Hayes, 25, of Ovapa, WV. Hayes had eluded authorities on at least two previous occasions. Authorities said the April 11 arrest concluded one investigation and has rendered valuable information in at least two open murder cases. During questioning, Hayes supplied information that officers believe will lead to an arrest in the murder of two Roane and Clay county women. The apprehension utilized high tech equipment that allowed officers to track cell phone calls to room 11 of the Flatwoods hotel. Those calls were made between Hayes and his mother in the Charleston area. Hayes was wanted on federal parole violations. He is currently lodged in the Central Regional Jail without bond. He will be transferred to the state penitentiary, to serve an undisclosed sentence from the previous convictions, upon completion of the local investigation. Lieutenant Ron Clay, Chief Deputy Chuck Hosey, John Gainer and Richard Sellers of the Charleston US Marshals office cooperated in Friday’s arrest.
| Deputies, Federal Marshals|
Arrest Fugitive At Flatwoods
by Evelyne McLaughlin
Dear brother Bill:
The year's at the spring,
And the day's at the morn,
Mornings at seven,
The hillsides dew-pearled,
The lark's on the wing,
The snail's on the thorn,
God's in his heaven,
All's right with the world.
Robert Browning surely had a good taste of spring when he wrote this beautiful poem. There really isn't much to write about this week. We had a little snow recently. I imagine we got about two inches. Our good friends, Lyle and Sylvia Shreves, of Terra Alta, received over 12 inches of snow again. They were to visit with their daughter, Betsy, this week. She lives in Kanawha City. Lyle's brother, George, is considering moving from Florida. Mrs. Marge Bragg and her granddaughter, Hannah Little, were recently visiting friends in North Carolina. I hear that Mike Schoonover is retiring from the school system at the end of this term. I have worked with Mike and for Mike (he was my principal at Maysel), and I find him to be a SUPER person. My opinion is, that we are losing a good principal. His wife, Connie, is also retiring. I wish them the best of life in their future endeavors. We took Sugar Baby to the vet last week. Juanita Mays and her daughter, Kirsten, were there getting their pets checked out. Aunt Delphia O'Dell, of Ovapa, is feeling much better. Sam Goad, of Wallback, dropped by the other evening. He brought me a picture of his late wife, Corda Goad. Sam is experiencing some health problems and I hope he is feeling better real soon. He also visited with Frank and Connie Kerr, of Clay. Youth Services have resumed at the Blue Knob Church. Services begin each Wednesday at seven o'clock. Everyone is welcome. Our minister is Brother Robert "Bob" Walker. He and his wife, Jewel, are an asset to our congregation. Sorry you got kicked by a horse. Maybe since you have had eye surgery the horse won't be in your way. I know you are going to be eligible for Social Security real soon. I shall not mention the other names you gave me last week, like Shirley and Irene. We aren't getting any younger. It has been 10 years now since Mom became ill (Addie Samples Dawson). She commented on the "beautiful red bud" as I drove her to the hospital. Time passes so quickly. I guess everyone will be telling their children of the Easter bunny now, what a whopper, who would want their children to believe such a tale? Bunnies laying eggs—it is as ridiculous as the Santa Claus story (and we punish our children for lying). Jesse Nicholas, son of Burke and Karen Nicholas, Wallback, is serving with the Armed Forces over seas. We need to keep all of our troops in our prayers. Get well wishes to Judy Morris. Some folks begrudge the salaries that teachers make after many years in college, blood, sweat and tears. I feel that we deserve every dime we make. Actually, we should be making more. Can you name a job that is any more important that TEACHING? It is also a most rewarding job. Until next time, brother, "Help us all to be brave".
P. S. I didn't get your letter sent the last time so I will add a few items of interest. Betty Schoolcraft Perdue and family were recently visiting with her mother, Roxie Schoolcraft, of Procious. I had not seen Betty in years and she is just as pretty as she ever was. Betty lives in North Carolina and works for Sears. David Ferrebee of Pennsylvania, was visiting family and friends in Clay County recently. He saw me in the K-Mart and gave me a big hug. No, I did not recognize him at first. It has been a long time since he was in my second grade class. It was really nice seeing him again. Watch out for those horses, they can really kick up a storm I am told. Maybe you can come home for the ramp dinner at H. E. White School------they always have a super dinner.
In memory of J. Smith
Where are we at? Where has our decency gone?
A man has been murdered and we sit back and yawn...?
They say he was worthless, a drunken old fool;
I say dyin like that sounds unusually cruel.
They say he was beaten; stomped, kicked and knocked
down. "Surely that wouldn't do it!" Police dismiss
with a frown.
I'm not so sure we've done what we could, seeking
justice only for those deemed good.
He once was a child, born like any other, just like
you and I, he had a father and mother.
Where he went wrong, that I don't know, but anyone
deserves better than being killed blow by blow.
Take out your Bible and read up on sin, I think you'll
find murder listed in the top ten!
Crystal Coulter 04/11/03
Joe Crow, a bum some might say,
but where were we, by the way?
I am to blame, like so many others,
not a kind word to say,
we just wanted him to go away.
So now there's nothing to fear,
no more unkind words will he hear.
No more pain and sorrow will he bear, now
we can only feel sadness in our hearts for this man,
who himself had something to fear.
Who was this man they called Joe Crow,
did anyone bother to know?
This could have been the beggar man
knocking on our doors,
now he's at the pearly gate's ,
walking on the golden shores.
Heavenly Father, remind us each day that, of all the gifts you have given us, the greatest gift is love. It is not enough to share that love with those we hold so dear. Open our hearts not only to those who are close to us, but to all humanity. Let us be slow to judge and quick to forgive, show patience, empathy and love.
Shock and ‘Awe’ful! By Jim Chafin
As I sat watching the images on my television set – not wanting to believe that my country was actually doing what my eyes and ears were telling me it was doing, my mind cringed with each new roar of the exploding missiles and bombs. Reading the numbers of bombs dropped and missiles fired by American and British forces, I tried to come up with a dollar figure as to what all this war activity was costing the citizens of this nation. Let’s see, hmmm, 500 missiles fired at Baghdad tonight; that’s $500 million (?). 1500 ‘sorties’ with 5,000 bombs; say, another $500 million – what’s this war costing? But, quickly, my thoughts shifted to the lives of fire and flame and, the cost in terms of human suffering, pain and misery. I thought about the efforts of those who had sought, in vain, to stop this runaway conflagration from ever occurring – the protests of hundreds of thousands of loyal Americans, citizens of foreign nations, leaders and diplomats around this globe – all seeking to stop an arrogant man from involving a rich and powerful nation in a shameless display of wanton destruction of a small and unarmed nation that had become a substitution symbol of evil in the mind of George W. Bush and his junta. Saddam fit the image and was convenient, sure, but, in all likelihood, it would be the Iraqi people who would suffer the most – not Hussein. Anyway, here we are watching as the bombs fall, knowing in our mind that with each plume of fire and smoke more people are dying. And our heart cries out with indignation.
Why did Bush do this, one might ask? Is it because he had proof of an Iraqi threat to this nation or to the American people? Does he possess, as he says, something that we, the American people, do not know about? – And, of which he will not confide in? Well, there are a few things we do know about:
*The UN Resolution, of which Bush makes much ado, contains a requirement that all parties cooperate with the UN Inspectors (fully, that is). This, Bush has not done. In fact, when Secretary of State, Colin Powell, appeared before the UN General Assembly, he flatly refused to respond to Chief UN Inspector Blix’s request that, he, Powell, provide the inspectors with any such information as the Bush administration may have on the subject of Iraq’s hidden ‘weapons of mass destruction.’ His feeble arguments to the contrary, Bush has dealt with the UN Resolution in bad faith.
*Bush has a majority public opinion in exactly two countries, that of Israel and the United States – all dissenters being referred to as irrelevant, or worse.
*Bush seeks to humiliate those who do not agree with him. Jorge Casteneda, Mexican foreign minister, is quoted as saying, Most officials in Latin American countries today are not anti-American types. We have studied in the United States or worked there. We like and understand America. But we find it extremely irritating to be treated with utter contempt. Ditto also, for the way this administration deals with the American economy, it’s raiding of the Social Security trust funds and Medicare, the projected surplus – the way in which he assumed office and, consequently, his mockery of constitutional restraints, Homeland Security issues, etc. George W. has managed to walk on every social issue that has come before him in the last two years.
*Bush 1 and Rumsfeld delivered the weapons of mass destruction to Saddam in the 1980’, and since then Saddam has not used them against any United States citizens or troops.
*Saddam is significantly weaker today than he was in the Persian Gulf War.
*Iraq’s neighbors apparently do not fear him. If they did, they would be paying us to defend them, instead of the other way around.
*Hundreds of UN inspectors have had free reign in Saddam’s Iraq – forced out only because of Bush’s intense rush to war. Bush and company has pounded a fear of Saddam into the public’s mind. Its pure propaganda, folks.
Subject: Where did Mothers' Day originate?
Mothers' Day Proclamation: Julia Ward Howe, Boston, 1870 Mother's Day was originally started after the Civil War, as a protest to the carnage of that war, by women who had lost their sons. Here is the original Mother's Day Proclamation from 1870, followed by a bit of history (or should I say "herstory"):
Arise, then, women of this day! Arise all women who have hearts, whether our baptism be that of water or of fears! Say firmly: "We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies. Our husbands shall not come to us, reeking with carnage, for caresses and applause. Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn all that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.
We women of one country will be too tender of those of another country to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs. From the bosom of the devastated earth a voice goes up with our own. It says "Disarm, Disarm! The sword of murder is not the balance of justice." Blood does not wipe our dishonor nor violence indicate possession. As men have often forsaken the plow and the anvil at the summons of war, let women now leave all that may be left of home for a great and earnest day of counsel. Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.
Let them then solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means whereby the great human family can live in peace, each bearing after their own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar, but of God. In the name of womanhood and of humanity, I earnestly ask that a general congress of women without limit of nationality may be appointed and held at some place deemed most convenient and at the earliest period consistent with its objects, to promote the alliance of the different nationalities, the amicable settlement of international questions, the great and general interests of peace. -Julia Ward Howe, Boston, 1870
FROM THE SOUTH By Rose Cantrell
Greetings once again from beautiful downtown Bomont!
The community yard sale at H.E. White on the 4th was quite the success! Major kudos to the staff of H.E. White - almost every teacher and staff member showed up to either pitch their wares or cart home treasures. Mr. Paxton even took his place of honor behind the concession stand counter, flinging hot dogs like a pro. An excellent showing of school support!
On behalf of the H.E. White basketball teams, let me once again say Thank you! to Frank and Kay Kish, owners of Drivers for Food. The Kish’s presented every H.E. White basketball player and coach with a mega cool red athletic jacket, complete with their names embroidered on one side and H.E. White emblazoned on the other. The 3rd/4th graders also have their status as Champions proudly displayed across their backs. Frank and Kay have always been staunch supporters of H.E. White and we all have the utmost appreciation for them.
Next time you drive by H.E. White, be sure to notice the new split-rail fence! Our parking lot has always posed a problem, since there was no real barrier between it and the playground. Frank and Connie Kerr picked up the lumber and supplies over the weekend, then put in some serious building time. It may have been intended to be merely functional, but it looks great! The Kerrs are another couple of people who do more for H.E. White than we’ll ever remember to thank them for. Regardless of what we ask of him, Frank is always there, willing and able to get the job done and Connie’s there beside him, adding her artistic touch. It seems like those who do, do the most and it is greatly appreciated.
This Wednesday, the H.E. White students were regaled with a rare and special treat. Sam’s Club, one of our Partners in Education, sent up its basketball team to take on any willing parents in a rousing game of basketball. This wasn’t just any team - these guys all looked like NFL linebackers. They were enormous! They may have looked like pro football players, but they played basketball like the Harlem Globetrotters. With moms, dads, and teachers on the court, we turned those big bruisers into bawling babies! We clobbered them! We had them begging for mercy! Ok, that’s all a lie - the truth is, they whooped our butts in a big ol’ ugly way. The score was so lopsided, by the time they reached 100, it wasn’t even worth keeping track of anymore. To our credit, we did score around 50 points or so and our cheerleaders were great! They were a great bunch of people and fun was had by all. We’ve invited them back for a rematch - the comic relief far outweighs the aching muscles and humiliation of gross defeat.
The smell of ramps permeates the air at H.E. White! The diggers have begun to dig, cleaners have begun to clean . . . the process has begun. The dinner is May 4th and we’d be most appreciative of any help anyone would like to offer. Please call Tammy Myers (548-7620) or the school (548-7101) for additional information.
On a final note, in reference to last edition’s Short Shorts and the person (s) who sent in Chatter opposing my previous articles on team sports, I’d like to say this: Excellent! Especially to what was apparently a letter from the young men and women from the high school, who voiced their support of the Clay coaches. If this world revolved around the opinions of just one person, it’d be a sorry place indeed. Always embrace the opportunity to exercise your right to freedom of speech, always stand willing to defend whatever you believe in and above all, don’t ever let anyone else’s opinions get in the way of your own judgment. However, until you’ve reached a point in life where your goals can be accomplished on your own hard earned merits, keep this Pearl of Wisdom from Freddy Myers in mind:
Don’t step on the toes that belong to the arse you might have to kiss tomorrow.
??? DID YOU KNOW ???
| ||1. Love lights more fires than hate can extinguish|
2. The FDA, using national diet studies estimates that seven foods account for most of the population’s exposure to cancer, fries and chips have the highest levels.
3. When thirsty, a camel can swig down 25 gallons of water in less than 3 minutes.
4. Statewide, parents were paid $425,000 to drive their kids to private schools.
5. Over the last three years, state inspections to detect air pollution violations at industrial facilities have dropped by 30 percent.
6. Union membership dropped last year to the lowest level in almost two decades.
7. There are 143 firms writing auto insurance policies in the state.
8. There are 222 Americans listed in Forbes magazine as billionaires.
9. The state Supreme Court has ruled a local school board can send buses across county lines, even if the neighboring county’s school board has not agreed to the arrangement.
10. Women are expected to account for 57 percent of the growth in the US labor force between 1992 and 2005.
11. Statewide, more than 19 percent of students are enrolled in special education programs.
12. The state has 65,000 Masonic lodge members.
13. Seventy percent of students go to a four-year college after high school, but less than 30 percent finish with a degree.
14. Enrollment in Girl Scouts has been climbing slowly from 2.6 million in 1997 to 2.8 million in 2002.
15. The highest paying sector in the state is the utility industry.
16. Supplements and prepackaged meals, reported sales growth of 81 percent to $50 million last year.
17. 40 million adults in the United States are functionally illiterate.
18. Airline ticket prices are at their lowest since 1987.
19. Of the 50,000 children of all ages placed in US homes through public adoptions in 2001, 32 percent were adopted by single women.
20. Internet users receive an average of 110 unwanted e-mails weekly. LMM
WHAT THEY MAKE
Our Clay County Health Dept. is one of the largest employers in the county. The following are employee salaries obtained from 2002 IRS W-2 forms after a Freedom of Information Act request was made earlier this week. Total income for the Clay County Health Dept. $904,555.38 with $77,876.00 withheld for Federal Income tax and $58,504.98 held for Social Security.
Carrie K Adkins 11,801.64; Linda K Adkins 5080.37; Wanda K Bostic 17,181.00; Judy F Brown 17,477.47; Jay R Carper 5954.30; Angela G Carter 1536.00; Peggy Cash 9614.89; Sharon A Coen 7926.72; Cellesta G Copen 288.40; Nancy J Cottrell 16,377; Sandra K Cronin 82.16; Charlotte A Davis 8900.16; Karen A Dawson 12,893.37; Karen H Dawson 42,112.56; Maysel L Douglas 454.15; Jeanna Dozer 5506.28.
Cynthia L Eagle 27,095.39; Patsey M Ferrebee 11,778.79; Jack Fields 20,856.64; Susan L Fields 11,187.37; Ruby D Fitzwater 22,113; Angela L Fugate 11,831.20; Mary A Gibson 17,694.19; Sandra J Graham 36,569.44; Lora M Griffin 11,878.06; Susan D Guthrie 22,797; Barbara H Hacker 8029.79; Camilla S Hamrick 8854.86; Kelly R Hamrick 4654; Sharon Hanshaw 4553.56; Darlene J Harlow 13,326.11; Bobbie J Harmon 2673.67; Vida M Helvey 33,861; Stephanie Henderson 5107.64; Dana L Holbrook 31,761; Victoria D Howes 15,374.82; Rena R Hubbard 12,365.99; Sharon K Hubbard 19,017.00; Jill J Johnson 29,661; Linda K Klotzbach 26,421; Emma R Lafferty 3376.79; Fonda G McClung 18,729; Blanch G McCraken 7,466.83; Wilma L McCune 12,182.56.
Debra McKinney 2683.44; Angela Moore 2433.44; Teresa L Morton 31,168.50; Christina M Moyers 5502.57; Naomi Mullins 9179.52; Deborah E Nichols 18,963.61; Amy J Osborne 3477; Sherri A Paxton 10,012.09; Glenna J Perdue 32,445; Sandra G Perry 21,465; Amy D Pritt 13,366.80; Sharon S Ramsey 28.39; Regina M Reed 8956.95; Debra S Rhodes 12,893.54.
Stephanie J Rhodes 11,016.77; Delores A Rose 42491.29; Sharon S Shafer 962.63; Lara K Stover 3594.95; Phyllis Tanner 963.05; Tammy Taylor 11,445.45; Sandra K Taylor 10,922.02; Sarah J Taylor 4478.83; Kimberly B Thomas 20,721; Brenda L Truman 14,060.40; Lucie E Truman 5666.73; Teresa J Truman 2346.86; Bonita M Weese 8422.52; Anita M Wilson 13,802.10; Mary C Wingler 5206.91; Beverly Workman 12,878.35; Nancy S Workman 19,350.50.
Jim Hightower is a threat to America’s favorite pastimes – not baseball, Monday night football, not even molding our lives on the advice of the world’s foremost philosopher – Oprah Winfrey, but to the pervasive and seductive self-certainty that we have been chosen from on high to direct the world how to think and how to behave. Put on a more basic level, the unquestioning belief in our moral superiority gives the United States the right, even the obligation to muck around in the internal affairs of other nations, particularly if we disapprove of their behavior. Hightower, who was once the Texas Secretary of Agriculture, is spending his post-political life agitating the political and corporate elite as publisher and columnist of The Lowdown.
Perhaps there is some truth in the old maxim: Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come. ’tis a consummation devoutly to be wished, Hamlet observes. In any case, one of Hightower’s tempting, though impractical ideas is that, since it is clear that every important political figure is in bed with Big Money, all elected officials should be forced to wear badges similar to the ones displayed on the clothing of NASCAR drivers so that the public can tell who owns them. Such a move would simplify ballot decisions for both voters and those who have chosen to abandon all hope, a temptation against which a few of us are fighting.
One of the splendid maverick Hightower’s 2002 headlines designated as a memo to the aimless democrats proclaims: IF YOU’RE NOT USING THE PARTY, LET US BORROW IT. The columnist’s witty but unstated parallel here is an anecdote well known to students of history. Union General McClellan, in command of a huge army, was seemingly frozen in place, either by excessive caution or indecision. An impatient and exasperated President Lincoln wired the immovable general, asking that if he did not plan to use the army, might Lincoln borrow it? Whatever effect the rebuke might have, it is not strong enough. A once vital and storied political party has willingly contributed to its own demise, a parade of lemmings hurtling toward the cliff of obscurity. Once the infamous blank check was handed to Bush and his hardliner cohorts, the loyal opposition we have heard and read so much about became virtually nonexistent. There have been a few courageous blips on the radar screen, the intrepid Senator Byrd, Bonoir, McDermot and others, but the minority party, cowed by Bush’s incessant trumpeted popularity, caved in, terrified by the prospect of failing reelection. What, after all, is a little thing like conscience and personal honor, compared with the unimaginable horror of being out of office? Even the prospect of hitching one’s wagon to a huge corporation, consoled by an obscenely high salary as a lobbyist cannot compete with the heady experience of a residence, even a humble one, in the corridors of power.
Much, but not nearly enough has been written or commented about is the almost indescribable degree of American historical illiteracy, as well as the brevity of public memory. Consider a short list of the rogue’s gallery now in the inner circle. Hal Crowther, in an op-ed piece entitled: Twilight’s Last Gleaming, some of us may regard as an apt label for these dark days, writes:
…Does Middle America in its endemic amnesia know who they are, the architects of the new foreign policy that appoints the United States judge, jury and executioner of nations? Does it recognize the names Perle, Abrams, Reich, Rumsfeld, Noriega, Poindexter, et al, as the same names we heard during the Iran-Contra scandal, the names of men who skirted high treason and long prison sentences and seemed to have ended their careers in disgrace? Of all Iran-Contra players, it seems that only the convicted bag man, Ollie North, has failed to find work in the new Bush administration.
It is difficult to imagine that many of the current administration would be likely to be conversant with Shakespeare, but they certainly know the answer to: What’s in a name? Homeland Security: How could anyone in his right mind be against that? Some of us may have toyed with the notion that the title once applied to the police force, the Coast Guard and the F.B.I. Former Governor Ridge now heads up a department of 170,000, now consisting of employees who no longer have the right of collective bargaining. Republican thinking is dazzling in its simplicity here. People who belong to labor unions tend to vote the Democratic ticket. Thus, another nail is pounded into the coffin of the rapidly dying union movement. (A curmudgeonly aside here: the pompous and pretentious custom of addressing people by the titles they no longer hold is irritating.) And then there is the ever-popular repetition, coalition. The term is endlessly repeated in the media, with news programs shilling for the war. Today, some handsome young man with perfect hair or a sweet young thing will report: Coalition forces attacked Basra. The coalition is the United States, Britain and Australia, with the latter providing 200. All the other members enumerated for public relations purposes will provide psychological support and no money. However, the die is cast, as that other Caesar remarked.
A particular darling of the conservatives whose enduring message is that all things good, wise and intelligent reside in that political persuasion is George Will. On the Sunday This Week program, he is assigned the last few minutes on camera with no opposing views. It might be suggested that, in his enthusiasm for the party line, poor George has taken leave of his senses. (Can an ambassadorship be far behind?) Here is a curious observation, fresh from one of his latest columns. …Democrats can always outbid Republicans in a spending contest, risking only bigger deficits, which they will blame on Republicans anyway. George! What have you been smoking? Oh yes, the old Republican mantra about the Democrats: tax and spend, large government. And the Republicans? Smaller government? This is illustrated by the creation of the largest department in U.S. history (Homeland Security). No doubt, Will is convinced the surplus in 2000 was only a devious and false lie spread by the liberals, who are also responsible for spreading the falsehood that this republic had achieved the first balanced budget in decades. A true believer must never be confused by mere facts.
Have we been present at the historic moment when the motto of the United States, e pluribus unum (one out of many) has been changed to oderint dum
metuant (let them hate us as long as they fear us)?
Through a glass darkly,
Cur, Seaman 1st Class (Ret.)
03/11/03: Ellyson – Elvis Dawson, arrested and ROB 08-29-02 for wanton endangerment, preliminary hearing continued by State to 04-28.
04/08/03: Bailey – Jeffery Mollohan, burglary, arrested, ROB, preliminary hearing 04/14: Def. waived preliminary; bound to Circuit Court.
04/09/03: Bailey – Travis Welch, warrant issued for grand larceny, arrested 04/10, ROB 04/12.
11/20/02: Simms – Donnie Welch, uncased gun in vehicle after 5PM, trial set 04/28.
03/17/03: Ellyson – Fabian G. Brown, failure to maintain control.
03/31/03: Slack – Ernie Pat Dawson Jr., receive/transfer stolen property less 1000, warrant issued; Sizemore – Renea L. Bloom, battery, arrested 04/02, ROB; Simms – Tonya R. Salisbury, maintain open dump, appeared, ROB.
04/01/03: Sizemore – Mildred Hinkle, domestic battery, arrested, ROB.
04/02/03: Rider – Brent Boggs, warrant issued for trespassing, arrested 04/12, ROB.
04/03/03: Light – Terry Lee Harper, domestic battery, arrested, ROB 04/07; Light – Daniel B. Grose, violation of domestic violence protective order x 2, brandishing deadly weapon and battery, arrested, ROB 04/04.
04/04/03: Sizemore – Adam Dancy, warrant for battery, arrested 04/11, ROB; Dawson’s Service Center – Judith A. Myers, worthless check complaint, warrant issued; Larry Legg – Cindy Dotson, summons sent for failure to send child to school, appeared 04/14, ROB; Larry Legg – Teresa Bird, summons sent for failure to send child to school.
04/06/03: Butcher – Martha K. Keenan, DUI, arrested, ROB.
04/07/03: Slack – Dale Lee Cayton, warrant issued for domestic battery; Slack – James McCune, warrant issued for receive/transfer stolen property less 1000, arrested 04/10, ROB 04/11; Slack – Ronnie Dobbins, warrant issued for receive/transfer stolen property less 1000; Bailey – James L. Paugh, speeding, appeared, ROB; Bailey – Clifton Butcher, possession of prescription medication, appeared, ROB.
04/08/03: Bailey – Bradford T. Lane, warrant for domestic battery, arrested 04/09, ROB; Bailey – William C. Belknap, petit larceny, arrested, ROB.
04/10/03: Light – Mary E. Rogers, summons sent for assault.
04/11/03: Hunt – Robert F. Stutler, summons sent for DUIA under age 21, unsigned registration card, defective equipment, and fail to drive right of center.
04/12/03: Slack – Danny Workman, loiter on retail store or agency, trespassing and fleeing from officer, arrested, ROB 04/13; Clay Furniture & Appliance – Eric Wayne Moore, warrant for worthless check complaint.
04/14/03: Light – Alvin R. Hardway, warrants issued for assault, shooting 500 ft. of dwelling and shooting across road.
04/15/03: Clay County High School – Sherry Jo Mullins, warrant for worthless check complaint; Cunningham Motors, Inc. – James F. Nicholson Farm, warrants issued for worthless check complaints x 2 and Valerie L. Brown, warrant for worthless check complaint.
04/08/03: Larry’s Grocery – Ann Peck, money due; Holcomb’s Auto Repair – Joyce White, Leah Adkins, Pauline Grose, Starlett Miller, and Jennifer Pierson, all for money due.
04/14/03: Cellular One – David Falls, money due.
Notices issued –
04/01/03: Clay County High School – Angela Williams (paid 04/14), Sherry Jo Mullins (misdemeanor file opened 04/15), Michael W. Cummings (paid 04/10), and William R. Whitteker (paid 04/08).
04/02/03: Cunningham Motors, Inc. – Chester E. Boggs Jr. (paid 04/14), Marie Boggs (paid 04/14), James F. Nicholson Farm x 2 (misdemeanor files opened 04/15), Kelcey Nicholas (paid 04/14), and Valarie L. Brown (misdemeanor file opened 04/15); Janetta May – Phillip L. Bartsch (paid 04/11).
04/03/03: Sizemore’s IGA – Orville K. Hilderbrand x 2, and Cathy A. Smith (paid 04/04).
04/07/03: Clay Supermarket – Mary Sue Murdock (paid 04/14), and Judith A. Myers x 2; Dixie Used Cars – Candy Adkins.
04/09/03: Clay County Middle School – Anita S. Blankenship and Brian L. Fearby; IGA – Mark E. Tarr x 3.
04/10/03: Connie Brown – Wanda Scott and Joseph Mollohan.
04/14/03: Market Express – Sandra Eagle x 3, Deanna F. Lowery, and Brian L. Fearby.
03/15/03: State Police – James Denver Criner, destruction of property.
03/17/03: State Police – Fabian G. Brown, failure to maintain control.
03/25/03: State Police – Robert E. Humphrey, seat belt violation; Della Kay Jackson, public profanity; John F. Johnson, no POI; Elmer R. Murphy Jr., no POI.
03/27/03: State Police – Tyler L. West, failure to maintain control.
03/28/03: State Police – George Blankenship, speeding.
03/29/03: State Police – Adam F. Wood, no POI.
04/01/03: State Police – Mark A. Asbury, no POI; Sheriff’s Dept. – Dennis Dale Keener, no POI, MVI, and registration violations.
04/02/03: State Police – Misty D. Barker, speeding and operator’s; Billy Joe Duffield, speeding; Sheriff’s Dept. – Lisa Skiles Mullins, speeding.
04/03/03: Sheriff’s Dept. – Richard L. Lefever, operator’s; State Police – Joseph D. Marling, MVI; Tressy B. Moore, illegal burning refuse; Ronald D. Williams, operator’s.
04/05/03: State Police – Brian M. Murphy, speeding; James L. Paugh, speeding.
04/09/02: Sheriff’s Dept. – James L. Davis, possess/marijuana less 15 grms, 2nd offense.
Clay County Becomes Collaborative Member
The Collaborative made up of service providers who care about children and families from Braxton, Nicholas, and Webster Counties announced that they have now included Clay County. The name of the group has been changed from the Tri-County Collaborative to the 4C Collaborative.
The Collaborative is working on improvement in the areas of family preservation, foster care, and child advocacy. One of the issues in the forefront of the group is the establishment of Child Advocacy Centers in all four counties.
Recently the group secured a grant that sent representatives from Braxton, Nicholas, and Webster Counties to a national forensic interviewing training in Cincinnati, Ohio. One of the participants remarked that it was one of the most intense and productive sessions she had ever attended. Lori Milam has been hired by Children’s Home Society to coordinate the Child Advocacy Centers. A grant has also been secured to establish a center in Clay. The Collaborative was very appreciative of Bill and Patty Bright of Summersville for hosting the fund raiser in February to benefit the centers. Locally, thanks also go to Jeannie’s Kitchen and to Simplicity – The Haven Inn for their support of this project.
After the January meeting, Linda Casto and Connie Fitzgerald from Highland Hospital did a workshop on assessment of teen suicide potential. This was open to the public and more than 40 people attended. On May 12 following the regular Collaborative meeting, there will be a Public Deliberation Forum on the topic of domestic violence. Debbie Cottrill from Women’s Aid in Crisis will be facilitating the forum. The meeting and forum will be held at the Municipal Building in Webster Springs with the meeting starting at 10:00 and forum starting at 1:00.
School Board Meeting
The Clay County Board of Education met at their administrative office in Clay for a regular meeting Monday, April 7. Board members Fran King, David Pierson, R.B. Legg (president), Scott Legg and Gene King were present along with a room-packing crowd of about 40 people, many Clay County High and Clay Middle School technology education students smartly attired in their TSA jackets.
R.B. Legg invited the crowd to join him in prayer and then called the meeting to order shortly after 6 PM. The following business was conducted by the board: approval of the agenda with two additions, Terry Rhodes and Rhonda Truman to speak to the Board; approval of previous meetings minute; payment of current bills, with a short discussion on the cost of the auditor going up to $8,500. Superintendent Jerry Linkinogger said the firm Sullivan, Ware and Hall provided the second lowest bid for the work, but was chosen because the cheaper firm had only one person and not mush experience; approved the transportation and food service program for the summer 4-H camp July 7-11. WV State Extension agent Mike Shamblin, who is in charge of the camp this year, was present to answer questions; accepted the resignation/retirements of Valley Fork Elementary Principal Mike Schoonover and CCHS Vocational Director Connie Schoonover, both effective June 30, 2003; transfers for CCHS drivers education teacher Lavern Taylor to principal at H.E. White Elementary, CCHS LD teacher Scott Gibson to drivers education teacher there, and CMS LD teacher Brian Collins to LD teacher at CCHS, all for 2003-2004, successful bids. On the Collins transfer Scott Legg questioned how many had applied for the position. Linkinogger said five applied, but Collins was the only regular employee and had bidding rights. Gene King said he had nothing against Collins, but favored somebody born and raised in the county, and had known Ms. Taylor (Caroline) along time (Taylor was an applicant). Other board members pointed out to King they had to hire Collins according to state laws. King, We never had to follow laws… (Everyone had a laugh following this comment, including King); approved employment for Roger Miller, formerly an administrator in the Roane County Board office, as principal at Valley Fork Elementary, and Vickie Perdue as Special Education classroom aide at CMS (Robyn Shamblin’s former position), both successful bids, for the 2003-2004 school year; approved an out of state overnight trip for CMS band students to go to Kennywood Park in Pittsburgh on May 10-11, the Board paying transportation costs; approved an overnight trip for CMS concert choir students to go to Cedar Lakes May 30-31, with the Board paying transportation cost; approved assigning a CMS student to alternative school for the remainder of the school year following a 15 minute hearing held in executive session at the request of the parent.
Business Manager/Treasurer Loretta Gray gave the board her monthly financial report for March. She said payments had been received from the 21st Century grant, Title I and a vocational grant, but noted that March tax collections were down $14,500 from last year. Concerning expenditures she reported that utilities had gone up $11,000 over last year due to the harsh winter, but they had savings in the student transportation line item due to the change in policy made last year on payments to contract bus drivers. Supply costs were down, but substitute costs had been high as several employees were out with long term illnesses. Board had no questions for Gray.
Technology teachers Warren Mullins (CCHS) and Lisa Dolan (CMS) presented the Board with results from the recent conference their students attended at Cedar Lakes on April 3. They read a list of awards won by Clay students who competed against students from 9 schools in the state competition. Clay has two state officers this year. The teachers are hoping to take the students to the national competition in Orlando, Florida this year.
Diana and Tracy Lyons, parents of a CCHS student, appeared on behalf of their son with complaints that he had been discriminated against and picked on by bus driver Gary Tanner while riding on his bus. Ms Lyons acknowledged it was hearsay, but said they’d been told of statements Tanner allegedly made that ‘he couldn’t stand those hippies’. She said they felt this might be the reason their son, who she described as pierced with long hair, had been picked on by Tanner. Lyons described some incidents of how her son had been treated by the bus driver, such as driving by without picking him up, not talking to him or responding to his questions, placing his name over the window of his bus seat, etc. Lyons said she’d talked with CCHS Principal Cindy Willis about the problem, who in turn sent her to speak with Transportation Director Larry Legg. Legg, she said, had already spoken with Tanner about it by the time she met with him, formed an opinion of the problem based on that, and that nothing was done. Lyons said her son was an honor student, had not missed any school, but avoided riding the bus, always trying to find another way to school. She said this was his last year of school, and they had let the problem go on for 4 years but wanted the Board to be aware of it.
Bus driver Gary Tanner was present, and R.B. Legg asked if he’d driven off and left the student. Tanner, Not that I’m aware of. Tanner went on to say that he had two radios he had to listen to and needed the kids to talk softly, that talking had to be driver’s discretion. Tanner said he had no reason to pick on the kids on the bus, noting that he is a foster parent. Tanner, I just ask the kids to follow rules. Larry Legg offered some rather general information on bus procedures and practices and Fran King asked him if they’d had a lot of complaints about that bus more than others. Legg said, Gary does exceed the others. (Apparently Legg was referring to conduct forms filled out by the drivers.) After going on a while about looking at those forms Legg said he couldn’t explain why his (Tanner’s number of forms) was excessive. R.B. Legg asked Tanner if he’d had more trouble with this boy. Tanner, No, sir. Pierson asked Larry Legg if any particular offense stood out on the forms, and Legg said, Being loud and excessive talking, and then went on a while about undesired behavior. Tanner read off offenses from forms he had with him, most having to do with talking and seating. Tanner said the boy had put a sign on his chest that said ‘Discrimination’, and admitted that he had not answered him.
Linkinogger said he’d talked with Diane (Lyons) and she had wanted to come to the board meeting. He pointed out to them that the episode with Larry Legg Lyons referred to had happened last year. Lyons, Yes, and I refuse to go to him again. Linkinogger, We need a chance to work it out… Lyons, We’ve attempted that several times. I’ll provide transportation. The child has lost respect for his bus driver. Gene King said, I don’t want anybody to leave with the idea Gary is mean to kids… King went on a bit defending the bus driver. A man seated in the crowd (not identified) stood and said, I don’t dispute his safe driving. There’s a lack of social skills here…and Gene, you know what I’m talking about. He’s using other means that are not working.
Terry Rhodes, who had asked to be put on the agenda, questioned a recent incident on Tanner’s bus involving his son. After discussing the incident with Tanner, Rhodes seemed satisfied with the result.
Ms. Truman described an incident on the bus involving her child which she said there was ‘conveniently’ no tape of (referring to bus video cameras), ending with, Some kids are treated differently. A lot of back and forth that was difficult to follow between the board, Tanner, and the parent. Scott Legg commented, Sounds like sexual harassment going on (between some students), and R.B. Legg said, This should be handled in Mr. Legg’s office. Gene King asked the woman, Why don’t you take her to school in a wheelbarrow? The woman, already up and heading for the door, shot back, You don’t follow any other laws or policies, so why should this matter?
After several more minutes of discussions going on throughout the room R.B. Legg told Larry Legg to try to set up a meeting with Ms Lyons and Mr. Tanner. The meeting adjourned at 7:35 PM as discussions continued between many of those present. TK