MAY 16, 2003
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Board of Education Meeting
BOB CLARKE Curmudgeon’s Corner
Shock and ‘Awe’ful! By Jim Chafin

Fishing, Water, Goats, and Bailing Out
With Clay County Commission President Jimmy Sams at the helm and Peter Triplett along with Mathew Bragg at his side, our County Commission (CCC) met in regular session May 8, 2003 at the Courthouse. With 15 or so in the peanut gallery, at 2pm, and after opening, Prez Sams asked for a prayer and the pledge of allegiance.
        Danny Sizemore from the Golden Delicious Festival Committee addressed the CCC. Sizemore comments included: this will be the 30th edition of the Apple Festival; there have been cut backs in state funding for such events; and, their committee has also made cut backs. Sizemore was seeking $. In years past, the CCC has provided funding and paid for the janitor to keep the courthouse open during the Festival. Last year, with a budget tighter than a banjo string, the elected ones covered the cost of the janitor, $650.00, but nothing more. Sizemore went on to say, due to tight finances and lack of interest from amusement ride companies, there would NOT be a Fourth of July celebration this year.
        As far as budget cut backs from the Apple Committee, instead of two nights of fireworks, this year they will pay for just one. The cost will be around $4000.00 for the one display. Commissioner Sams admitted that many people in the county thought paying money for something that blows up and goes away in a few minutes was wasteful. He commented, for many kids in the county, the Apple Festival Fireworks display may be the only one available to them. Sams, some people can’t see spending money for fireworks but they don’t see the little kids’ faces… Motion passed to provide janitor services, open the Courthouse bathrooms to those with weak bladders, and give $1000 in additional funding. Sams, We’re in a little better shape than last year..
        Listed on the agenda was a Brent Boggs over a land dispute. Mr. Boggs didn’t show and there was no mention of the item.
        Scott Bass with Human Resource Development Foundation sought the wisdom of the three blind mice next. Bass runs a federally funded program that places high school age kids into work settings. The kids are paid $5.15 per hour plus benefits with the funds coming from his agency. The proposal called for placing 15 CCHS students into government service in and around the Courthouse. According to the mild mannered Bass, kids could be used to work the Little League program, Maysel Park, the Agriculture Fair and at the Courthouse proper. Part of the deal with the program calls for a Supervisor to be on hand whenever the kids are on the job. According to Bass, he has volunteer Supervisor’s available. Seeing the opportunity for free labor, CCC voted to proceed with the program. 15 kids just got jobs!
        Always a sticky mess, Sams, Bragg and Triplett wanted an update from each PSD in the county. Info on audits, condition of the various water service providers, what progress they are making toward water line extension projects and consolidation efforts. Only Clay County PSD provided such. No Clay Roane PSD rep nor a reason for the snub.
        On hand was Clay County PSD Office Manager Cindy Schoolcraft who provided the CCC with their recently completed 2002 Audit and their April financial statement. All County PSD’s have been told that current yearly audits are needed prior to any of the $13 million in water projects being started. According to Schoolcraft, things are moving with the Lizemore, Fola, Tucker’s Bottom water line extension project. They need 240 signed contracts in hand before any bidding can be done on the proposed line. As of meeting time, only 170 contracts have been completed and those are from the Lizemore area of the county with no progress in the Tucker’s Bottom and Fola areas. Clay County PSD needs a total of 670 customers to satisfy lenders before bidding can begin. With only 430 current customers and 170 signed requests for service, they have a long way to go. NOTE: That Audit provided the CCC by Clay PSD did not say AUDIT but instead read Water Utility ANNUAL REPORT. Back in the Fall of 2002, a rep from the WV Public Service Commission, a Jerry Bakker, said such annual reports were compilations of numbers and not Audits as required by project lenders.
         Commissioner Bragg had commentary on our last edition’s coverage of the CCC meeting. We reported that Bragg was absent from the last meeting and was fishing instead of tending to Commission duties. That info came from Commissioner Sams during the meeting. Bragg disputed those printed words and said he had been on an outing but had come back early to for family reasons.
         The CCC went thru the usual ritual of paying bills and budget revisions. During bill paying time, one bill was not paid. According to the mumblings from the front of the room, one fellow from Valley View Drive in the Southern end of the county , asked the elected ones to pay for goats killed by dogs.
         For those seeking a new driver’s license or ready to purchase a new firearm, better keep reading. Discussion turned to McKenzie Engineering and the contract to provide 911 addressing for the county. The contract calls for all residents in the county to have kosher addresses by June 30, 2003. According to those assembled, McKenzie Engineering has only completed a hand full of post office addresses. Without a good and proper 911 address, no post office box numbers please, WV Driver’s licenses cannot be renewed nor can an individual purchase a new weapon. All just part of the Dubbya’s plan to monitor every aspect of the common man’s life!
         No decisions, no news on the county insuring the failed Filcon Industrial site at Ovapa/Valley Fork nor any decision on county employees getting dental/eye coverage. Item 10 on the agenda was for Michael Shamblin, Clay County’s new 4H Agent to address the Commission concerning the resignation of Sarah Anderson from service
          According to Shamblin, Sarah was heading back to school in the Fall, was NOT bailing out as was reported by you know who, there are no problems in the office, and applications for Anderson’s replacement are not available as of meeting time. Sams commented that he had received a letter from Ms Anderson.
          Bailing Out? Shamblin was responding to a web site posting from a couple days earlier, which reported Sarah Anderson was bailing out from her Office Manager position. Prior to the meeting, Sarah’s Mother called the owners of the web site, Delta Communications, and raised a big time stink over the use of the word bailing. When asked if she had actually read the posting herself, Mother Ann Anderson said she had not. After this CCC meeting, Mr. Shamblin commented that the posting had called problems within his office. Now back to the meeting.
         After a pee break, County 911 Director Dave King entered the arena to update the boys on emergency service in the county. According to Mr. King, McKenzie had assured him all rural addressing would be completed on time, by the end of June. King also spoke on recent developments where Verizon Tele company will be coughing up $15 million to pay for 911 addressing in the state. The 15 million is a settlement for charging too much and the excess profits from high rates. King suggested that Clay might be better off scrapping the already paid for contracted work and starting over with Verizon. Long time peanut gallery participant Paige Willis, What do you mean SCRAP IT? King came back with the fact that 911 addresses are not done in Clay County. Willis, According to McKenzie, they are. To clarify, Clerk Moore said the current addresses are not tied to the US Post Office system. Moore, after hearing the problems with getting drivers licenses renewed, After 5 or 6 years, it seems we ought to be able to get an address… June 30th is going to be here pretty soon, who’s going to work on the PO Boxes Moore was referring to all the folks currently without any physical address and that work has not even begun in the county.
         Assessor Suzie Legg said she is receiving many requests for addresses and she may need additional office help to cover the work load. Sams, … It’s a mess..
         Readers, we left before the meeting was adjourned. So how did we get in this 911 fix? One big reason is Central Appalachia Empowerment Zone (CAEZ) dangling a $100,000 in front of our noses’ earmarked for county wide 911 service 6 years ago. Raise your hand, do you remember when the County Commission room was packed to the gills with taxpayers asking the then sitting CCC not to get messed up with 911 issues. They didn’t listen then and now our elected leaders are saddled with problems now 6 years later.                                         AW
         Board of Education Meeting

                 The Clay County Board of Education met for their regular meeting Monday, May 5 at their administrative office in Clay. Board members R.B. Legg Jr., Fran King, David Pierson, and Gene King were all present, Scott Legg absent.
         The Board conducted the following business: approved the agenda with the addition of Paul and Brenda Truman to appear and the previous meetings minutes; after several minutes of perusal, approved payment of current bills; approved transfers for: Michelle Hamrick from 4th grade teacher at Ivydale Elementary to learning Disabilities teacher at Clay Middle School (Brian Collins former position), Jamie Oates from 4th grade teacher at H.E. White Elementary to same position at Ivydale, Karen Knopp from Pre-School at Clay Elementary to Kindergarten teacher at Valley Fork Elementary (Pam Mullins’ former position), Michael Mullins from Social Studies teacher at Clay County High School (CCHS) to principal at Ivydale pending certification, all successful bids; accepted resignations from school bus drivers Gary Rogers and Tim Butcher effective immediately – Superintendent Jerry Linkinogger noted that both were now getting disability – and Anissa Hamrick as cheerleading coach at CCHS effective immediately; adopt a resolution entering into a grant agreement with a federal government agency – Administrative Assistant Kenneth Tanner explained that the resolution was needed to apply for grant funds for distance learning which, if received, will provide extra technology equipment at each of the county’s seven schools; approved out of state travel for Cindy Willis to go to Washington, D.C. June 22-24 for the 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program Summer Institute, travel paid with funds from the grant; approved an overnight/out of state trip for CCHS music department members (band and vocal group) to go to Cedar Point in Sandusky, OH May 23-25; approved out of state travel for Joanne Exline to go to Nashville, TN July 7-8 for the High Schools That Work Staff Development Conference, travel funded through the grant; approved a $5000 contract with the Clay County Health Department to provide services to the Board as needed – Linkinogger said this was the standard agreement, they help as needed, like they did at H.E. White this year, and the Health Department gets matching funds; approved the transfer of a student from Clay Elementary to Geary Elementary; and, after a good bit of discussion on the topic, decided to bring the issue of adopting the school calendar for 2003-2004 back during their next meeting, when Scott Legg could be present.
         Member David Pierson voiced concerns with the calendar favored by a majority of employees who voted on the calendar (three versions were proposed). His concern was with coming back into school on January 2 for one day followed by two more days off. He felt it would be a wasted day as most students and more than likely many teachers would not come in for the one day. School bus drivers who voted unanimously voted against this calendar version.
         Board conducted a hearing in executive session, at the parents request, to determine the status of a CCHS student. After the ½ hour hearing, the board voted to expel for one calendar year and place the student in Alternative School. All motions passed unanimously.
         Business Manager/Treasurer Loretta Gray gave the financial update for April, telling the Board they were still in the black.
                 The Trumans appeared to complain about the punishment doled out following a shoving incident at the high school involving their child another student. Mr. Truman read from the student handbook and noted that the other student did not receive punishment for shoving their child into a pop machine as described in the handbook. He said the incident would have led to a fight at school if their child had fought back, which he said his child did not want to do during school time. Truman said the shoving had occurred earlier also, and the two had fought before off school grounds. The Trumans felt the punishment should have been more severe (the incident was witnessed by a teacher) to prevent further episodes during school. Assistant Principal Jim Haney said he’d not been made aware of the earlier shoving incident when the other student received 5 day suspension instead of ALC, and shoving was generally considered less of an offense. R.B. Legg told the Trumans he didn’t think there was that much shoving going on, and Truman responded, According to Cindy Willis (CCHS Principal), if all the students were suspended for that, there wouldn’t be any students in class. Legg told the administrators to do a follow up. Meeting adjourned at 7:10 PM.                                  TK
         For those that have been waiting for water service, this coverage of the May 8 2003 Clay Roane PSD meeting will be of real interest to you. For those that have water service, you too may have an interest in this item if you follow Clayberry politics.
                 With Gary Whaling, Dave Salisbury and Larry White at the front table in the CDC senior room on Main Street Clay, the question came: Where’s Melissa Postelwait? The answer came from acting Chair Gary Whaling. Whaling, no Boardster knew the whereabouts of Chair Postelwait. Ditto for missing Board member Glenn Sutton. With three in place and 10 or so in the peanut gallery the action started at 7 pm. As has been the case for months, bills and not enough money to pay them ( only $5000 in hand), took center stage. According to the office manager, the PSD needs $17,371 to cover current bills. Of the $17, 371.00, the Town of Clay is owed $3735 and PEIA insurance for the employees amounted to nearly $3000.00. As to paying the past due water bill to the Town of Clay, Larry White, We need to pay them…. They’re just like us… With a cut off notice in hand, trash pick up service was a priority as well.
                 After lengthy discussion the pecking order for bill payment went like this: employees and their mileage checks at the top of the heap followed by Town of Clay, Clay County Bank loan, 2 past due PEIA payments, trash service, AT&T, Clay Lumber, and Verizon. As for the outfit that supplies the supplies the PSD their water treatment supplies, Hughes Supply Co, a past due amount will be paid in hopes of staving off the wolves for a while longer.
                 Remember a few meetings back when discussion turned to taking the closet door off it’s hinges and records removed. At this meeting new security measures were put in place. No not a bigger 16 penny nail but rather a new padlock with just 2 keys. Chief Water Operator Bobby Burdette informed the Board that some water meters may be missing from the Procious Water plant storage area.
          The discussion of who gets the new keys got funny and along the lines of: The office secretary will of course receive one; Whaling wanted Chief operator Burdette to have the second. Burdette was hesitant of the responsibility; Burdette said he would rather not have the key. After Whaling said he would then give it to the absent from action Chair, Melissa Postelwait, Burdette, …Well, maybe I will take it after all.. There was laughter. And Yes, Melissa, most everyone in the room laughed!
         As for selling an old FAX machine and a copier, no decision.
          Put your re-memory hat on readers….. Remember back four meetings ago when we reported Larry White saying the Amma Left Hand water line extension project was a go, that they had enough rights of way signed to meet Federal guidelines for bidding? Remember all the times that wire haired lady from Newton questioned the logic of adding 250 more customers on the existing failure prone water lines in the Newton area? Over and over Ms Wire Hair has asked: How much sense does it make to add on to a line that breaks and has leaks every month? With those two remembrances in place, back to the meeting.
         On the going to bid issue, didn’t happened. At this meeting, White said more agreements had been signed but they were still under the mandated 80% threshold.
         As for the second part, Engineer Jim Hildruth gave Larry, Darrell and Darrell … I mean, Larry, Gary and Dave some first time open to the public information. After the usual blah blah blah background on bankruptcy and the Town of Clay quagmire of decision changes resulting in the Town loosing some of the money ear marked for a new water plant construction project, Hildruth said Clay Roane was without sufficient sources for their long planned Amma Left Hand water extension project. Hildruth , It’s a little difficult to add 200 customers to it… Hildruth said he had been working on the issue with the Town of Clay and the extension project MAY be able to proceed with a four inch line from the Town of Clay.
         Hildruth let the peanut gallery in on two interesting thoughts. One, the Town of Clay may get funding back and the City of Spencer has expressed some interest in sending water South. Translation: Instead of building a debt laden plant in Clayberry, Spencer may be able to supply the water needed for the Amma Left Hand project. How about Roane residents? Remember when many of you said you didn’t want water from Clay but rather you would prefer such service from Spencer? Better call Mayor Terry Williams over there and apply pressure!
         And here’s the kicker readers. According to Mr. Hildruth and after questioning by Boardster Larry White, EVEN IF ALL THE RIGHTSOF WAY WERE SIGNED TODAY, EVERY T WAS CROSSED, THE AMMA LEFT HAND PROJECT WOULD NOT BE OKed BY THE POWERS THAT BE FOR BIDDING!!!! Hildruth said he doubted if the Infrastructure (??? Maybe Infrastructure Council) would let it go to bid BEFORE the ELECTION! There was quiet as people digested what had just been said and what was meant by it. Get out a great big Hmmm……
         Just a note here. Hildruth was the fall guy back in Feb 2003. It was Hildruth that was selected to use the code words for a rate increase need. The code word was WV PSC Rule 42 adjustment request. He was smooth back then but after a few minutes, Chair Postelwait caught on to the wording and openly spoke against such increases. At this meeting, the seated engineer once again spoke slowly and with words chosen conservatively. Only after public questions much later in the meeting, did the real meaning of his utterances become clear. You’ll have to keep reading a little longer.
         An hour into the meeting, lengthy discussion on someone needing new water service in the Queen Shoals service area. The discussion centered around setting the tap prior to the future customer beginning home construction. Saulsgiver said the PSD had no choice in the matter, that if the guy wanted service, or called it temporary service, Clay Roane PSD had to hook it up.
         Mr. White reported to the Board that the local PSD had to follow WV Public Service Commission (PSC) guidelines before they could sell their building, the old fire dept building at Newton. Motion made and passed to proceed with the paperwork and prepare for the sell. Boardster White felt that they could garner around $30,000 from the sell and that $30,000 would get them out of financial doo doo.
         Remember that $8500 computer software purchase made after a secret meeting and done so without formal bidding for the cheapest price, something goofed up. With software installed, the printer messed up and the bills went out late.
         Making public more problems, a Mr. Paxton informed the Board that several land owners on the Left Fork of Sandy ( part of the Amma Left Hand Project) would NOT sign agreements for the line to run thru their holdings. Engineer Hildruth mentioned that there were extenuating circumstance there. Something about a big 24 inch gas line already in the area taking property rights from the taxpaying owners, something about placement of the proposed water line killing a bunch of maple trees and something about messing up driveways and creek crossings.
         That wire haired lady from Newton was back at it. How dare her questions about hooking 300 new customers to a problematic water main line! They were mumblings of several dissatisfied people in her area of Roane County with mention that some folks have already drilled water wells and may no longer want water service if it ever comes along.
         And then, and then… around 8:23, during the public comment period, a question for clarification on the water project hinging on the Town of Clay Election results came. Keep in mind that Hildruth is already red headed and fairly pale skinned. When the questions came, his face turned red and knowing he was caught, a teeny tiny grin came to his redden face. After some foot dragging and legaleeze gobble de goop, engineer Hildruth confirmed, if the election on June 10 2003 did not go as the big boys in Charleston wanted, there would be NO water line extension project. Now firmly on the hot seat and with many grinning around the room, the fall guy, would not go into details on who the powers that be wanted in as Mayor and Council in Clay.
         Side step, side step, dodge, after a few minutes, the grin turned into a broad smile as Hildruth was accused of waffling. All laughed. After more prying, about all that we could get out of the red faced engineer was, the state folks would like to have in office people they could work with.
         The peanut gallery finally knew for certain what they had known for years. Politics everywhere you look. So what is the desire of the lenders? Remember when chief funder Randy Plumb said the Town of Clay wouldn’t get one more dime and that he had all the money he needed to build a water plant where ever he wanted and bypass the Town entirely?
         The meeting ended around 8:33. Now for the good stuff.
         When Joyce Gibson was Mayor, she did everything she could do to see that a multi million dollar debt laden water plant be built. After Gibson resigned and the Town was near bankruptcy, Glenwood Nichols was appointed as Mayor. During his tenure in office, Nichols was the tie breaking vote in the decision to get out of the water AND the sewer business. To give it all away. After Nichols resigned to take a job out of town, he returned and wanted his old Mayor’s job back. When he didn’t get it, he threatened to sue Town leadership. So, is it Gibson, Nichols and slate, the Big Cheeses want in office. They have a track record of supporting several ill conceived plans endorsed by the WV PSC.
         Or, is it Mayor King Arthur and court. Yes, we know King Arthur has on several occasions cussed out that aluminum siding salesman, Jim Weimer from the WV PSC and he surely ain’t the brightest bulb in the pack. BUT, since taking office, Town finances have improved and stability has returned.
                 There you have it folks, everything we can remember from the May 8 2003 Clay Roane PSD meeting and a little more. For those needing water, you’re going to be hauling water a little longer.                AW
         Ending months of speculation, Roane County resident Alex Vincent Golosow was found guilty of first degree murder by a 7 woman, 5 man jury of his peers Monday May 5, 2003. Tattoo Vince was found guilty of killing his friend and neighbor, Judson Reid. The jury’s verdict included the life without mercy provision which means the killer will spend the rest of his life behind bars unless and appeal overturns the verdict.        
                 As a wrap up to our original coverage from Oct 11, 2002 when the killing took place and the body was dumped on Pisgah Ridge, and after sitting thru a few hours of trial including opening statements, testimony of Sandra Khalaf, TFC Michael Baylous, Jeff Mollahan and others, the following tidbits are provided as a wrap up conclusion.
                 As is the case with many trials, some witness testimony conflicted with another. At one point during the trial, the lady that was told to clean up the bloody mess at Golosow’s home on Tariff Road in Roane County, Sandra Khalaf testified that she took the 45 caliber pistol from the crime scene when Golosow wasn’t around. Her live in partner, Richard Cummings testified that Khalaf was told to take the gun and have it for self defense while Cummings, Golosow, and Chance Towner took Reid’s body to Pisgah Ridge where they removed Reid’s clothing and covered the corpse with sticks, debris, and a little dirt. Remember the car that was found torched out Ovapa way, near Murder Mountain, shortly after Golosow was arrested? That car, towed by King’s wrecker of Clay, belonged to Mr. Reid’s daughter, Thera, and was the vehicle that was used to transport Reid’s body to Pisgah.
                 Richard Cummings and Sandra Khalaf live in the Ovapa in the area known as Murder Mountain. After dumping the body, the vehicle broke down and had to be towed thru the Town of Clay back to Ovapa.
                 Cummings provided an interesting bit of Vince insight during the trial. After dumping the body, Golosow licked the blood from the back of his hands, the blood of Judson Reid. A few seconds later, Golosow sucked the blood off of a bullet he had in his pocket. Sounds like a nice guy doesn’t he readers? The neighbor you’d want living next door?
                 So why did Golosow kill Reid? According to testimony from Cummings and others, there may be two reasons. From Cummings came testimony that Golosow felt Reid had brought an undercover cop to his house and later told Richard Cummings, I killed the bastard… During other testimony, it sounds more like a drug deal gone bad. Reid had given Golosow upwards of $1600 to buy pot for Thera Reid’s boyfriend, Russell Davis. Instead of buying the illegal drug, Vince purchased a pistol. From there , things went sour real quick. There was testimony that Reid was asleep in his daughter’s car, awoke, and tried to get the car keys from Vince a few minutes before shots were heard.
                 Who actually called police and alerted them? Chance Towner.
                 Away from the jury, or at least while we were in the court room, Jeff Mollahan told the judge that while he was lodged in Central Regional Jail for other crimes, Vince slipped him notes. The notes, presented in court, in Vince’s own handwriting, asked Mollahan to lie under oath and say that Judd Reid committed suicide. To say that Mollahan was present at Vince’s farm house when Judd Reid committed suicide.
         Instead, Mr. Mollahan testified that he wasn’t present when Reid died. Communicator readers will remember Mollahan’s name from our Magistrate Court coverage.
                 You should have seen security during the trial. Cops both plain clothed and in uniform were everywhere. Behind the scenes, something was going on. Rumors had it that a threat had been made. The big glass doors to all the Roane County Courthouse doors were closed and locked during the trial. Police of all shapes and sizes filled the hallways and courtroom. And maybe for good reason.
                 During early testimony, TFC Baylous testified Golosow threatened them saying something along the lines of, someone would shoot, pop, pop, pop. Later in the trial, court room officers caught Golosow making threatening gestures. Things like forming his hand to look like a pistol and once using his finger like a knife blade and a motion like slitting someone’s neck. During the trial, defendant Golosow was not in cuffs or leg irons. Judge Evans warned Tattoo Vince at least twice, that if he did such actions again, the trial would continue without his presence in the court room.
                 Vince may not win the Mr. Personality of the year award.
                 As for defense, only a few witnesses were called. The defense argued: no one saw their client shot Judson Reid, that everything was circumstantial and that in fact, Reid had committed suicide. Attorney Drew Patton called Dr Carroll Christianson to the stand who testified that Reid was suicidal, had been on prescription medication for depression, was a stressed Vietnam Vet, and had recently signed a contract for medical help with a mental health hospital just 30 days before his death. Didn’t seem to make a lot of sense to this reporter but if must have to the jury.
                 The jury deliberated for hours on the verdict. At one point they came out and said one juror had hung them all up and wouldn’t consider the testimony provided them. Finally, on Monday, and around lunch time, the verdict was reached. Guilty, first degree murder without mercy. Sentencing is set for May 29, 2003. Defense attorney Patton plans to appeal the decision.
                 Vince Golosow was immediately cuffed and remains behind bars. Another Clayberry story of drug deals, guns, blood, and death is nearly complete. Sleepy little Clayberry, a place without a stoplight, has experienced what is usually seen on TV from the comfort of an armchair. But this time, it was real and with much of the action taking place close to home.                                AW
         BROTHER BILL By Evelyn McGlothlin
         Hello Brother Bill: My last letter to you was signed "Evelyn McGlothlin". Yes, there is another Evelyn but we spell our names differently. The other one is "Ordinary Evelyn". She makes all sorts of goodies for sale. Her jellies and other canned goodies are wonderful. As you know tho, I am anything but ordinary. I have been called by several different descriptions but "ordnary" isn't one of them.*******Pulled into pick up my mail a few days ago and there just dangling from a branch was a beautiful green snake. This is the first green snake I have seen for many years. I am not afraid of green snakes. Don is afraid of only two kinds of snakes (dead ones and live ones).******Beulah White of Bomont has been experiencing some health problems. She has returned to her home after spending a few days with her daughter and son-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. Mike Bragg, of Winfield.*******Nancy Samples Fuller and her husband plan to attend several "pow-wows" this summer. Nancy is an artist. She paints and designs jewelry to sell at these pow-wows they attend.
         So sorry to learn of the death of our friend, Dolly Lyons, of Procious. Dolly was our family friend from way back.*****Also, condolences to Arlene Kay Brown Jett, of Little Hocking, Ohio. Her daughter, Crystal L. Fogelsong, of Little Hocking, Ohio, passed away suddenly last week. Our prayers are with these families at this time.****A Gospel Sing is being planned at the Blue Knob Church. The date is June 7th. Wish you could attend.****When you do decide to come home for a spell with your "new" truck, bring lots of "dough". We are making and selling cement yard ornaments.*****I hear that Carmel and Emogene Morris of Jacksonburg, Florida, and Nadine McKown of Roane County, are planning a vacation trip to Hawaii. ***** Those lonesome whip-poor-wills are back. I love to hear them but they do make me lonesome.******Will Carr, of Twistabout Ridge, is in ill health. We hope he gets to feeling better. The Eagle Reunion is scheduled for June 14, at Stouts Mills. Will and his daughter, Jeannie Davis, have attended this reunion. It is a very nice reunion. Don and I have been attending for several years. It seems each year we lose someone that is dear to our hearts.
         There isn't much else to tell you at this time. In the meantime "Help us all to be brave".
         Dear Editor:
         Due to statements being published incorrectly by Delta Communications as well as the comments made by Mr. Waddell, the following letter needs printed. The discrepancies in the statements have caused concern and confusion among the county, office staff and myself. The facts need to be gotten before damaging comments are made whether it be verbal or print. The following resignation letter was submitted on Monday, April 28, 2003 to the County Commission, Board of Education and the County Extension Service Committee.
                 Sarah Anderson
                 Office Manager
                 WVU/WVSC-Clay County Extension Office
                 I would like to inform you of my decision to resign from my current position as office manager of the Clay County Extension Office effective August 1, 2003. As you well know, I have been continuing my education on a part-time basis through WV State College and Clay County High School. When inquiring about taking classes this fall, it is not going to be beneficial to me to drive to WV State College every evening and still keep up a full work load in the office.
                 So, I have applied and been accepted to the fall term at Concord College. My basis for this decision to return to school full-time is simple. I cannot continue to live on the salary this position pays. I am 26 years old and still living at home due to my financial situation. Though I am more than welcome to stay in my mother’s home, I feel the need to be out on my own as well as finishing my degree. The only way to increase my living capabilities is to finish my management degree I originally started taking classes for in 1995 in the hopes of owning and operating my own business.
                 Through your hard work and persistence, the people of Clay County have two very qualified, dedicated and hard working extension agents in Debbie and Michael. If I felt the office and/or county could not work with these two individuals, and success could not be reached, my decisions for the future would be different. I believe the county youth program will grow in size, experience, reputation and knowledge under the direction of Debbie and Michael.
                 I would like to thank you for fighting for a salary increase as well as for giving me the opportunity to work with you and the youth of Clay County. The experiences I have gained by working here are immeasurable. I have increased my ability and patience in handling people, as well as running an office, coordinating activities and juggling problems as they arise. I hope to continue to be involved as much as I can in the happenings of the 4-H program as well as the county.
                 I suggest posting this position by late May. The transition from me to someone new needs to be as smooth as possible for the sake of the office and the extension agents. As you know, the summer is full with 4-H camp and the Ag. Fair. Working with someone for a few days before I leave would really help Debbie and Michael adjust to different ways of things being done.
         Thank you for your time and hopefully your understanding as I pursue my education.
         I am writing to inform your readers of the fact that the Clay County Sheriff’s Department and Prosecuting Attorney show grossly unfair favoritism to certain people that enter these offices. My uncle Elvis Dawson is suffering a great injustice because neither of these offices has shown the proper respect or compassion, let alone they impartially performed their public duty, which is a direct violation of the oath of office they swore to uphold. I believe that repeatedly David Starcher has violated the conditions of his bond, yet our prosecutor Daniel Grindo has no intention of prosecuting Mr. Starcher. There have been numerous times that evidence, which included a pair of gloves and several beer bottles, has been presented to Mr. Grindo which proved that Mr. Starcher was in fact at Elvis’s home and was in undeviating defiance of his restraining order which was issued by a magistrate the first time Elvis had to fire a warning shot over Mr. Starcher’s head. Elvis has gone to Grindo and repeatedly asked for help, that something horrid was going to happen if he incessantly ignored the situation. Mr. Grindo’s delay in responding to these pleas for help has inevitably resulted in the April 16th incident. Now as for the Sheriff’s Department, they are not off the hook yet either. The Chief Deputy Jeff Rider is as much to blame as Mr. Grindo. Mr. Rider ignored to take statements from other non-Starcher witnesses, ignored to take a blood sample that was approximately four feet inside Elvis’s fence that came from David Starcher’s bleeding arm, ignored to take the video tape that Mary and Martha Starcher used to tape the entire thing, and, to those of us with a brain is called OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE, he also stated that he climbed over the fence where Mr. Starcher was seen climbing over. Now did he or did he not just compromise the crime scene? And not only that, he covered for Mr. Starcher by stating that is was in fact himself (Rider) that bent the fence and not Mr. Starcher. Elvis has repeatedly asked for a blood test and that a substance called Luminal be sprayed on the yard to show exactly where Mr. Starcher was in fact standing. He (Rider) also confiscated a shotgun from Elvis when in fact Elvis shot Mr. Starcher with a 25 automatic. If someone was shot at point blank range with a shotgun full of double buck shot, there would be no arm left to even worry about, and our own Jeff Rider cannot even tell the difference. How many years has he been on the force again?? What a shame. Mr. Rider also knows to the present restraining order that stipulates that Mr. Starcher is to have no Physical, Verbal, Intentional, or Unintentional contact with my uncle. Yet Mr. Starcher is still out walking the streets and will probably continue to do so until Mr. Grindo or Mr. Rider decide it is time to perform the tasks of qualified, compassionate, intelligent officers of the law.
                 My uncle has been arrested numerous times over these incidents, and I feel that they are arresting the wrong person. I don’t understand why if Elvis is the one constantly being the trouble maker, then why when the Starchers drive by and someone is with Elvis at his home, nothing ever happens, and he always manages to do all these things to inevitably get himself into trouble. I also find it very peculiar that Melissa Cook, who lives at Moorefork, and Mr. Starcher, who lives down the road from Elvis, always seem to manage to be there at those exact moments Elvis decides to start a fight. It seems very suspicious to me. Now to me, that says the Starcher’s need to either be committed or just need to let things end now before someone does die.
         `        Also, I have enclosed with this letter a notarized statement that I feel you need to print along with this letter. I would also like to extend my firm belief that a deal has been made with the Starcher family for guaranteed protection from the Sheriff’s Department and from Mr. Grindo, in return for the Starcher family support to do away with Ms. Schamberger, whom is Elvis’s child custody attorney. Maybe this is why NO ONE FROM THE SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT OR THE PROSECUTOR WILL HELP ELVIS. Elvis spoke for Ms. Schamberger at the time of the CCC meeting when applications were being taken. Of course, this is just my opinion and could be wrong.
                                         --Holly Cunningham
         Two or three weeks before the primary election of 2002, I met with James Dawson, whom I was supporting for State Senate, at the Clay County Courthouse. James Dawson and I were out behind the courthouse talking when Elvis Dawson came out of the courthouse. Elvis and I spoke, and then I asked Jim Dawson if he knew Elvis and Jim said that he did; so Jim, Elvis, and myself talked a few minutes.
                 Then I went back in the courthouse and as I passed the pop machine that stands by the sheriff’s office door, I saw Sheriff Field and three or four others talking. They were talking about Elvis Dawson and the troubles him and Mary Starcher’s family was having. Someone in the group made the statement that sooner or later someone was going to get hurt. Then Sheriff Fields made the statement, that’s why we never get in a hurry when that bunch calls us out, with some good luck by the time we get there, they will have killed each other off.
                                 --Signed: Earnest H. Sirk
         Editor’s Note: This Chatter has been heavily edited to protect…well, us.
                 Hey – just a tip…the Trails people may want to check out these 2 web sites ( and ). There may be some tips or contacts on there of people who could give advice or help them in their quest. I would start by contacting someone at the Hatfield/McCoy Trail and ask for an information gathering meeting to see how they did it, what road blocks they had…and it never hurts to get their impact numbers (how much revenue has come into their area since they opened up? Has there been any property damage? How can the community get involved to make a profit for themselves?) Be prepared to answer all the protesters questions with positive answers.
                 Sorry – I work at Tourism and I get on a soap box sometimes.
                 Heather Engle, WV Division of Tourism
         Before I begin this rant, I would like to thank the fine folks in Clayberry for the excellent eatings at the H.E. White Elementary School Ramp Dinner. My wife and I had a great time, met some real nice folks, ate like a couple of pigs and enjoyed the scenic ride back into Clay County. Thanks again and look for us at the Golden Delicious Festival. You all are our kind of people and that puts you a step up on most people. Now back to our regular programming, as old Bos Johnson might have said.
         I am still stewing about the alleged negative image of West Virginians as hillbillies and just can't resist saying a little more about it. It has been just driving me wild that such a thing could even be said, let alone that some snake-oil salesman was paid thousands of tax dollars to say it.
                 Since I feel that WV is at this moment at the apex of a long buildup of servile bootlicking mentality, it's not too difficult to see why statements like this upset me. There are a couple of us old hillbillies that discuss such things as our culture and history. Amazing isn't it, we would rather talk than watch someone else playing a game or some other silliness? I am a strong believer in such discussions. They help a body sift through the barrage of ‘BS’ that is so prevalent nowadays and come up with something closer to the actual truth. Anyway we discuss the past, present and future of WV. One thing we agree on is that sometime around WWII our state began to lose its cultural identity and become a sort of orphan society, disconnected from our roots.
                 As I've said before, I take a lot of pride in being part of a culture that isn't as materialistic or dishonest as many. The people that I care for and respect the most say what they mean and mean what they say. I grew up around people that would do without before they would obtain it by stealing or lying. I still follow that creed today. It's a hard life but a person can always look anyone in the eye and go to bed at night with a clear conscience. To me, living like that is what being a hillbilly means.
                 A hillbilly may be poor but they are always honest. They may not live in a mansion now but will when they go to their reward. The opportunity to drift over to the side of the self-servers is always around us. All it would take to succeed in their way of living is to start lying, stealing and making excuses. A real hillbilly can't live like that though.
                 What I would like to see in West Virginia is a museum/tourist attraction that is devoted to honoring and acknowledging the real merits of the hillbilly lifestyle and mentality. Having worked throughout the eastern U.S. I am certain that such an attraction would draw visitors by the droves. In Michigan one time I filled a bar with former hillbillies and the sons and daughters of hillbillies, every one of them just thrilled to talk to someone that actually lived in the hills. I've sat like Grandpa Walton spinning tales of life in our great state from Maryland to Illinois and Pennsylvania to South Carolina. A huge portion of the population that is within a few hours driving has roots in our state. Hardworking hillbillies filled the plants, businesses and industries of our neighboring states and beyond. The descendants of those folks would love to come to see how their ancestors lived and maybe learn how they thought.
         So I still say we should honor our hillbilly culture instead of trying to sweep it under the rug, like the bureaucrats in Charleston would like us to do.
         BOB CLARKE Curmudgeon’s Corner
                 In the long history of man’s struggle for survival on this frequently hostile planet, few have provoked more interest than those depicting the revolt against authority. A passing observation should be made here that with Inquisitor General Ashcroft in power, it can be dangerous to speak, much less to write a term like revolt. Let us at least hope that the western world has progressed to the point where the rebel is no longer tagged with the often mindless, all-purpose term communist if he does not think like the masses. The nonconformist travels a thorny passage, but the portrayal of the truly individual character in literature and history provides us with lasting wonder and drama.
                 Aeschylus [525 b.c. – 456 b.c.] is traditionally called the father of Greek tragedy. He is credited with having written sixty plays, of which only seven survive. Prometheus Bound, the tragedian’s supreme masterpiece, is not only a dramatic triumph, it is a tremendous moral sermon, illustrating the consequences of disobedience. Prometheus, a name which means forethought or foresight in Greek, knows when Zeus/Jupiter will be overthrown. He will not reveal his knowledge even though he is a Titan, thus inferior to the king of the gods. He is one of the immortals. Moreover, Prometheus is more sympathetic than father Zeus to the plight of miserable, groveling, earthbound humans. In an act of compassion, he steals the Forbidden Fire and bestows it on man, a deed which arouses the wrath of Zeus. The firebringer, as he has come to be known, is sentenced to be chained to a rock on a peak in the Caucasus, where an eagle comes every hour and eats his heart. In another version, the predatory bird is a vulture, but we must accent that the eagle is a more magnificent image. Defiance of the gods is the ultimate sin, or hubris, and the firegiver’s punishment is eternal pain, since he cannot die. Through eternity, he roars his hatred of Zeus, the oppressor.
                 Although there are some versions of the myth that reveal the Titan is eventually freed by Hercules, the state in which Aeschylus left Prometheus was unsatisfactory to Percy Bysshe Shelley [1792-1822]. To Shelley, a heroic figure who resisted oppression and what he saw as mindless conformity being abandoned to endless failure was unthinkable. Consequently, in 1820, Shelley completed the verse play, Prometheus Unbound, a work which would be diminished in stature if one were to see it as only a sequel to his ancient Greek master. Shelley, who incidentally invented the term passive resistance, or so the pacifist Gandhi claimed, saw it as his task to proclaim the ultimate victory of rational thought and love. Prometheus, singing hourly his litany of pain, endless pain, and seething hatred of his oppressor, suddenly realizes that in his rage: I am become that which I hate: that in his fury, he has become a participant in evil. The moment that the Titan ceases in his hatred, maintaining that he now pities the tyrant, he is free. Admittedly, it takes a certain amount of confidence to think one can improve on the Greek masters, but Shelley apparently thought his work a more up-to-date treatise on the concept of freedom.
                  I am become what I hate. Any criticism of Israeli politics since 1946 is fraught with peril, and automatically draws the dreaded charge of anti-Semitism. No American politician would dare ask the leaders of Israel how much longer they can hide behind the mantle of the Holocaust to justify their brutality to a virtually helpless people. With the assistance of an enormously powerful, not to mention rich, American-Jewish lobby, the hardliner Sharon has been allowed a totally free hand. No reasonable person would condone the appalling suicide attacks, but it is passing curious the many and varied uses the politicians are applying to the word terrorist these days. What would it have been proper to call Ariel Sharon after he led an attack in Lebanon that resulted in the death of over 30,000 Arabs? It is a convenient fact in American political thought that yesterday’s terrorists often become today’s freedom fighters. Whatever Sharon does has America’s blessing, because he is, after all, the leader of a democracy. Whatever happened to the quid pro quo? After the untold billions of U.S. support to Israel over half of a century, why has no American leader had the courage to ask: What have they done for us? The pat answer among our beloved leaders is that Israel provides stability in the Middle East. If the news from that troubled region is any sign, we are witnesses to a strange definition of that term. A supremely ironic postscript to all this is the trumpeting of Bush’s famous new roadmap to the territory, considering that any political candidate advocating the establishment of a Palestinian state only a few years ago could be sure of inevitable defeat. More than a few politicians learned this sad fact in times past.
                 It may be proper at this point to offer a rather insincere apology for the following lengthy citation. The passage is from Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace by Gore Vidal. He is one of the great iconoclasts of our time, a man who spent his life tilting more windows than Don Quixote. Gore is one of the most brilliant essayists of this or any other time. His target is the establishment. He speaks from the relative security of a World War II combat veteran and cares not a whit who agrees with him.
                 …Representative government of, by, and for the people is now a faded memory.         Only corporate America enjoys representation by the congresses and presidents it         pays for in an arrangement where no one is entirely accountable because those         who have bought the government also own the media…
                 …Although we regularly stigmatize other societies as rogue states, we ourselves         have become the largest rogue state of all. We honor no treaties. We spurn         international courts. We strike unilaterally wherever we choose. We give orders         to the United Nations but do not pay our dues…
                 …Although we the people of the United States are a sole authority in this land, we         are no longer represented in congress assembled. Our congress has been hijacked         by corporate America and its enforcer, the Imperial War Machine.
                 Eureka! This is a man who has actually read and apparently understood the Constitution, or at least the founders’ intentions. Amid all the current blather and claptrap about what constitutes patriotism, this is a man subtle enough to know that criticism is an act of love, and has the courage to raise his voice in the belief that corruption is not an incurable disease. In the meantime, there is the hope that it is only a temporary condition when Americans today are victims of illusion if they still think by voting that they are actually participating in the political process.
                 Still slouching toward the voting booth,
         Shock and ‘Awe’ful! By Jim Chafin
                 Back in the foggiest reaches of centuries past, when man determined to put into action his plan for domination of his neighbor, his first weapon of choice was probably a rock. Later, he conceived the idea of using a long stick- that would extend his range beyond the length of his arms. The club served as a useful tool to subdue his foes and provide meat for his cave. That would last until barbarians beyond his border sensed a need to counter this tool of aggression so technology came up with the sword – it could cut both ways. The poor man’s sword was brought about by the need for subterfuge – it could be conveniently hidden under that ‘loincloth’ made out of bearskin, or whatever was available at that time. Then came the spear. With this long weapon one well-placed stroke would be all that was necessary to subdue his adversary. Later, there would be bows and arrows, the forerunner of the long gun.
                 Onward man pushed with the discovery of black powder, an explosive substance that, when used in conjunction with a long tube, could propel a projectile out several yards. Long guns and pistols would now dominate the warrior’s arsenal of weaponry. Next would be artillery pieces that could sink a ship or fell a dozen or so uniformed soldiers. Armies could now decimate each other from a long distance.
                 And just when it seemed that nations had reached the zenith of sophisticated weaponry- along came the airplane and bombs. Then one day in 1945, atomic bombs rained down on Hiroshima and Nagasaki killing more than 100,000 outright and injuring hundreds of thousands more. Many would die of cancer, induced by the radioactivity of the uranium-based material of which those bombs were made. It is said that Japanese people of that generation are still dying due to the consequences of the bombs that fell on that fateful day.
                 Each new round of sophisticated weaponry that is brought on line enlarges and intensifies the killing field for those who possess it. Enter now long-range missiles and aircraft that can deliver a massive people-killing device quickly and precisely. There is now no limit to the scope operations – no spot on earth that is not accessible to these monsters of bloodletting, so massive that the human mind cannot grasp all it’s gory details. Now, no one on earth can feel safe ever again. Man has now succeeded in threatening his own demise.
                 An example of the changing situation in tactical warfare would be this: During the First World War, 90% of those killed were of the armed forces. In the Second World War, 90% of the causalities were from the civilian sector and 10% were from the military. And as the level of technology progresses, the more efficient these weapons become in killing people. Facts are the only reason weapons of war are developed is for the express purpose of making money and killing those with whom nations disagree. These are weapons of intimidation that foster fear and hatred throughout the regions of the world, and common sense, it would seem, is the only quality that has any deterrence on the use of such killer devices.
                 However, where is that elusive quantifier known as common-sense? In the past few decades, that spirit of commonality has seemed to slip farther and farther from us – men everywhere seem to be isolating themselves from one perceived threat or another. Groping along in a cocoon of their own making, once communal groups, become bastions of suspicion, looking hostally in the direction of their neighbor. If my neighbor has a P-38 fighter plane, then I must possess a stealth bomber – such is the reasoning of arrogant men everywhere. Who is our present-day threat to peace –a tin-horned tyrant with no ability to produce massive weapons of destruction or, the country that has them in silo’s across the landscape and who has shown his propensity to use them? We, mankind, are less safe today because the mind can conjure up the need at will and proceeds to use them based upon his half-vision and deaf ears.
         FISHERMAN’S HARDWARE By Frank L. Kish, Jr.
                 OK, here we go again, another year of fishing and teaching our youth the sport! Teach them the proper way of taking care of nature. This sometimes means cleaning up after others who don’t care about anything – except themselves! Some think they own everything, or they have quite a lot of money, or know someone, or maybe just on drugs, who knows why? To make it short, some people just don’t care. The worst of all is people who break the law, and law enforcement looks the other way. This is where justice is really blind and these people are a disgrace to their office! We all have seen this in one way or another because most brag about it. Please don’t teach your children the wrong way, they are our future!
                 I guess the trout are still biting, but along with the fish starting to bite there are other things that have the bite on, too. These aren’t the bite you can eat, it’s just the opposite, they bite you! At the young age of fifty-four, I’ve found a company that makes a bug spray that really works well. The company’s name is NATRAPEL INC., also known as Tender Corporation. This insect repellant takes care of the worst for fishermen and campers. NATRAPEL comes in a green can and is safe for kids. As I spoke before about camping, this company also makes a product called After Burn, which is a must around a camp fire, and it works great. One other thing they make, and I’ll stop here, is a product called After Bite or After Sting. These items may not interest you, but for the ones who care about making a fishing or camping trip prepared, these items should be on hand because they really work and are affordable. I’ve used a lot of stuff that made claims about how good they were, but take the word of this old man – these work! And yes, these products are available at your local Wal-Mart stores. If you have any problems locating these products, just give me a call.
                 Back to fishing! If you haven’t by now cleaned up your rod and reel, it’s time, or really past time. If you read my column on how to store your fishing rod and reel last fall, you are 80% done. If not, I’ll give you some short cuts (which will work, but I don’t use them. I believe in the right way). First, check your rod for cracks around the reel seat. Run a Q-tip around the line eyes. If any cotton comes off on the eye, check very close for a crack which could fray or cut your line causing you to lose your catch. Now for your reel; if you can get the side plate off do so (don’t tear it apart unless you are very familiar with it), spray WD-40 inside to clear out dust, old oil, etc. Don’t hold it too close because it comes out with a lot of pressure, which could make a small spring or screw fly out somewhere. Now take some light oil, like 318, or very light grease and place on gears and shafts, etc. Replace side plate. Put on new line. Loosen drag system and make sure it’s working smooth and properly. If everything works properly you’re ready to tie a hook on!
                 What type of hook? It’s funny you should ask. Tru-Turn and Daiichi. If you see these names and BLOOD RED also written on the package get them!! Now some other companies have red hooks, but they aren’t the ones that have been tested for years until they meet the high standards of Tru-Turn before being put out for sale to the public. So you can’t go wrong with the names Tru-Turn or Daiichi (Daiichi is made by Tru-Turn). Remember, Blood Red Tru-Turn. One other thing which will make fishing much easier for kids is the circle hook, which has been used for along time in salt water fishing. With these hooks you don’t have to set the hook. All you have to do is, when you get a pick-up, just reel slowly until you really feel the weight, and then you start reeling a little faster when you feel the fish is hooked. The fish actually hooks itself. This will mean more catches for the young who haven’t been taught the proper way to set the hook yet.
                 I can honestly say I hadn’t used them too much (the circle hook) until this April 30th and May 1st. I had to then because all he used was the Daiichi X-Strong Blood Red Circle Hook. This was at Lake Cumberland in Kentucky with a pro-guide. This was a striper fishing trip, which I was lucky enough to get to go on, and it didn’t cost me much at all! If you want a guide on Lake Cumberland that will put you on fish (and is a country, laid-back person, like most of us are), his name is Gerald Bates Guide Service, telephone 270-866-8702, website: If you go out with him you will not be disappointed.
                 Like I said before, these circle hooks are all that Mr. Bates used, so I learned very quickly. I had used them before, but not too often, this will change. I also did something that I had never done before and that was using live bait, shad, and using a planer board. It was a new experience for me, but a very enjoyable one.
                 So, Mom and Dad, don’t forget June 7th. This is Take a Kid Fishing Day. This article is long, but it’s a new year and the products I spoke of really work. I will never use or tell about anything that doesn’t work for me and my family.
                 Remember, as always, practice: CPR – Catch – Photo – Release. Only keep what you can eat and release the rest for others to catch again another day. Feel free to send me some stories, or give me a call. If not me, this paper will forward your message to me. I’ll look forward to hearing from you. - Frank
         05/04/03: Belt – James Michael Persinger, driving under the influence-3rd offense and fleeing in vehicle while DUI, arrested 05/06, ROB, preliminary hearing set 05/14/03.
         05/06/03: Rider – Elvis Dawson, malicious assault (04/16), preliminary hearing continued by Defendant to 05/13/03; Elswick – William Lanham, fleeing from officer while DUI (04/30), probable cause found; bound to Circuit Court.
         04/30/03: Slack – Tress B. Moore, violation of protective order, arrested, ROB; Light – Joyce A. Holcomb, warrants issued for brandishing, destruction of property and battery, arrested 05/06, ROB.
         05/01/03: Belt – Cindy Mae Faircloth, driving suspended, summons issued.
         05/02/03: Clay Supermarket – Orville K. Hilderbrand, warrant for worthless check complaint, costs paid 05/07, case d/m.
         05/04/03: Light – Earl A. Stone, driving suspended, arrested, ROB; Belt – James Michael Persinger, no POI and DWR/DUIA 2nd offense, arrested 05/06, ROB.
         05/06/03: Slack – Randy Vance, DWR/DUIA 2nd offense, arrested, ROB.
         05/07/03: Bailey – Jay Carper, summons issued for battery, appeared 05/08, ROB.
         05/12/03: Sizemore – Burley White, warrant issued for brandishing deadly weapon; Belt – Ernie Pat Dawson, fleeing from officer, arrested.
         05/05/03: Dencil Dink Fugate – Pat Schoonover, DBA Schoonover’s Garage, money due.
         05/08/03: Marsha L. Baker – Thomas Bailes Contracting Co., money due, subpoena.
         05/12/03: William L. O’Dell – Jimmy Keith and Charlie Hubbard, money due, subpoena.
         Traffic Citations
         04/16/03: State Police – Don Tinney, Jr., failure to stop/yield.
         04/19/03: State Police – William Lanham, driving under the influence, and Stephanie D. Taylor, no POI.
         04/20/03: State Police – James R. King, fail to report accident; Samantha Jo Legg, no POI; and, Raymond L. Wehrle, MVI and driving on suspended/revoked.
         04/21/03: State Police – Buddy Euel Thorne, no POI.
         04/26/03: State Police – Larry A. Duffield, operator’s and no POI; and Jeremy S. Rogers, operator’s.
         04/28/03: State Police – David Allen Shoults, MVI and registration violations.
         04/29/03: DNR – Richard L. Cadle, hunting without permission.
         04/30/03: DOH – Jack Ray McCroskey, overweight, overwidth, overlength.
         05/01/03: Sheriff’s Dept. – Garron M. McKinney, registration violations; Steven Lee Robinson, registration violations and no POI; and, Matthew Scot Taylor, no POI.
         05/02/03: Sheriff’s Dept. – Tad Henson Legg, no POI and registration violations.
         05/03/03: State Police – Timothy V. Gibson, failure to keep right; Sheriff’s Dept. – Freddie A. Hardway, no POI and driving suspended/revoked.
         05/06/03: DOH – Michael Lee Groah, overweight, overwidth, overlength; State Police – Amy Lynn Holcomb, speeding.
         05/07/03: DNR – Angela Marie Harris, unlawful disposal of refuse; Public Service Commission – Bradley M. Hoover, driving after placed out of service; Sheriff’s Dept. – David R. Ramsey Jr., no POI.
         05/08/03: Sheriff’s Dept. – John W. Brumfield, driving on suspended/revoked, no POI, registration violations and MVI.
         05/09/03: Sheriff’s Dept. – Becky J. Arthur, operator’s; Freddy Allen Ramsey, driving on suspended/revoked; and, Shawn P. Winfree, driving on suspended/revoked and registration violations; State Police – Andrew B. Cash, operator’s and no POI; Brian F. Legg, operator’s and registration violations; and, Samantha J. Legg, littering.
         FOLLOW UPS
                 It’s always good to see the powers that be around the county sit up and take notice. In our last edition, the front page lead story centered on the Federally mandated cease and desist order given and agreed to by the Clay County Bank. Mention was made of the poor record keeping, inflated management salaries, mandates to change lending practices, the need for management to be replaced or trained, and the need for an impartial oversight Board of Directors and so forth.
          Just four days later and in that little paper over in Clay came a glowing public relations front page story mentioning all the recent improvements and changes at what once was the nation’s 9th strongest bank, CCB. We can’t help but wonder what affect The Communicator’s coverage of the serious issues had on the decision to make public the many management and operation changes implemented.
                 Clay County’s Ambulance Service has been the center of media attention for over seven years. We’ve all read about the misdeeds and exploits of the outlandish Clay County Ambulance Service (CCAS) which operated the agency of 30 or so employees for over 6 years. Over the years questionable operating loans made regional news outlets as the CCAS plunged deeper into debt. Many locals had a hard time believing the accounts of in-house fighting, runs missed, runs made and never paid for, preferential treatment given some and denied others, the misuse of county funds, and how so much money could come through their doors and the agency still be operating in the red.
         As recent as 18 months ago, even members of the County Commission expressed concerns that the emergency service provider may have to be closed down due to bad finances. In January 2002, a professional management firm was hired to operate the service. Two ambulance sub stations were shut down. That corporation, WV TNS, was released from responsibilities last fall and long time employee Mitzie Adkins was hired as Director by the Clay County Commission.
         During the years of turmoil and after Fed’s came in and forced the Ambulance Service to pay back billing overcharges, both the WV Auditors office and WV TNS conducted in depth reviews and recommended major changes and thorough analysis of our problem agency, CCAS. From the Auditor’s office came findings of criminal activities. TNS recommended three courses of action for funding and operation. To date, nothing has been done about the alleged criminal activities nor has any of TNS’s findings been implemented.
         With all that being said, the last 6 months of operation have been remarkable. It has been quiet. The doors remain open. Employees are being paid regularly. Fewer complaints have surfaced over missed runs, slow response times, improper employee conduct, and vehicles breaking down.
         In an attempt to keep the taxpayer up to date on CCAS, the following interview was conducted May 15. Director Adkins had no prior briefing and her answers were as they say, off the top of her head.
         You’ve been on the job for about 6 months, what changes have you made as director of CCAS? Adkins, Not really a lot of changes, we’ve just been trying to update. We had to do our ambulance inspections… we had to get our licensure…. That went real well. Our units are updated. Our monitors are updated…. Like the cardiac monitor, we had to have them come in and run it through tests to make sure it was giving out the right .. waves, or what ever you call it. You have to do that every year.
         Adkins confirmed that the equipment is all in good working order and all licenses are in place, I am real pleased with that. The paramedics and EMTs have to keep their updates…. We have about five that have to re-certify before December.
         As Director other areas have needed attention like those that haven’t paid for services rendered, Ms Adkins, There is a lot more to do. I’ve been working on old bills. Right now we are sending out letters and giving them a chance to start paying on their old bills. We can go back two years to get [collect]. We’re starting to get quite a few coming in to pay. We have quite a few private payers {no insurance coverage}. They pay so much on their bill every month. According to Director Adkins, the next step is Magistrate Court. After Magistrate Court and if the recipient of service still doesn’t pay, an abstract of judgment is secured.
         Adkins was pleased with the County Commission’s support of the ambulance service. I really can’t explain this. I just tell them my situation, tell them we need help and they help us.
         Additional in service training has been a priority this last 6 months. Before, we weren’t having in-services. Now we’re having two a month. We have a new squad training officer, Brent Slack, and we still have Cookie [Johnson] as assistant. Our new Medical Director, Dr. Givens, requires our full time paramedics to be at an ALS meeting once a month. They’re starting to get their training up there. Brent is starting ALS training here. Additional classes may soon be offered for ambulance drivers’ emergency vehicle operator certification, EVOC.
         For an ambulance service, or any business for that matter, the costs associated with inventory can be financially crippling in more than one way. Without necessary supplies, paying services cannot be performed. With too many supplies on hand, inventory costs can consume any end of the month profits. At times in the past, inventory has been non existent at CCAS. At other times, costly inventory was running out their ears. Adkins, We have a new supply officer, Beverly King, who works real close with Kanawha County. She keeps a real close eye on that. Everything has good dates on them {Nothing expired}…. There is nothing run out like on the drugs… We keep one stocking in a room in here. If we make a run, everything that has to be restocked is kept in there. The rest of the supplies (bulk) are locked up. At any time Beverly or I will come down and get out whatever they need. We have three trucks on the road and they are all stocked fully by state requirements….
         So what’s different now? Certainly one major change has been the discontinuance of non emergency transports. Those trips to dialysis, the ones to chemotherapy, the trips that traditionally were made and done without compensation. Under Adkins’ watch, non-emergency transports are done by other agencies that come into the county. Adkins, If we do do them in the future, they will be screened. They’ll be scheduled transports… They will have to have an insurance that will pay. They’ll have to be screened. One of the big users of non-emergency transports in the past has been Canadian based, for profit, Laurel Nursing Home at Big Otter. According to Ms Adkins, Laurel now has their own van to haul clients to doctors and treatment centers in addition to using private ambulance services when needed.
         So what else changed? In just a few months, the ready to close down service now appears to be operating smoothly—how? Adkins, Well… I don’t know other than just working together….a close eye on costs, there’s no overstock bought, we just watch our money situation….
         Probably the most important issue to the funders of Clay County Ambulance Service, the taxpayer, are response times and availability of units. Adkins, When our duty truck goes out, I am on second out truck. That means, if another call comes in, I find a driver, and we take the second ambulance out. If we [both trucks] are out, and it has happened, 911 is advised to call the closest one, whether it is Roane County, Jan Care, Kanawha County, to come in and take care of our patients. General is included on that too. The Director was not aware of how many runs were made by other providers in the county, You have those days when you have ambulance runs back to back to back.
         As far as finding employees to work part time, Adkins has been able to keep up with the demand in spite of low pay scales within her agency. Once we get in a financial situation that is better, hopefully, our pay scales will go up. ….. It’ll take more money……
         Many Clayonians have concerns over the way tax dollars have been handled in the past and some speculate that a proposed ambulance service levy would not win voter approval. As far as money today within the ambulance service and accountability, For one thing, I don’t handle the money. The only thing I do is deposit the checks that come. Everything is documented on everything that comes. Judy [Moore] has a copy of every bill that comes in here. It’s open.!
         In closing, Director Mitzie Adkins explained CCAS is in compliance with new privacy rules which went into effect April 15, 2003, HIPAA. Under the new regulations not even law enforcement is allowed medical information without a court order. CCAS has also received training on HIPAA. We are not allowed to say anything about your run to anybody other than giving someone information that is taking care of you like a hospital, another paramedic or EMT….
         With the great ship of emergency services still floating in the county, Adkins added reassurances to the county, The reassurance is, we’re still here. We’re still here and our bills are paid. We have a little money, not a big lot, but we have some, we are surviving.                                                AW        
         Did you know that your garbage collector would pick up appliances, couches, and bulky goods at no extra charge? In 1999 the West Virginia Public Service Commission placed into effect a rule that requires every private commercial hauler of solid waste to establish a regularly scheduled monthly bulky goods curbside pickup for all residential households located in the hauler’s operating territory. Bulky goods are defined as residential solid waste which is too large to be placed into suitable waterproof containers and shall include household furniture, larger appliances such as washers and dryers, as well as other such material which cannot be bagged.
         Any paying customer for garbage service in Clay County can call 1(800) 834-5019 for curbside bulky goods pickup. Each customer can have 2 scheduled per month at absolutely no charge. Air conditioners and refrigerators have to be tagged and drained by a certified technician. Also, construction waste is not included. An extra pickup for construction waste is available for a charge. No tires or hazardous waste will be collected.
                 There is no reason for appliances and other items to be thrown over hills anymore. Please work with the Clay County Solid Waste Authority to clean up our county! For more information, call Lynn Romano at 587-2125. Call 1(800) 834-5019 to get those appliances and unbagable garbage collected. You have 2 free pickups per month!
         ???DID YOU KNOW???
1.        Kindness in feeling creates Love. Lao Tzu
2.        The number of people in US prisons and jails last year topped 2 million for the first time.
3.        Searching is the second most popular online activity after e-mail.
4.        The average consumer ate 428 pounds of vegetables in 2000 compared with 387 pounds in 1990.
5.        A recent federal report found that 21 out of every 1000 West Virginia children were abused or neglected.
6.        Two thirds of all families with children between age 8 and 18 have the TV on during meals, according to the Kaiser Foundation.
7.        According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, alcohol is implicated in 50% of all homicides.
8.        Emily and Jacob is still at the top of the list of most popular baby names in 2002.
9.        The state will spend $200,000 on toilet paper this year and $1 million for light bulbs.
10.        Heinz has sold more than 25 million bottles of Blastin Green ketchup since October 2000.
11.        Starting June 1, a new point system reduces from three to two the number of strikes required to suspend your fishing license.
12.        A West Virginia University study showed that among state employees with salaries above $50,000, men out numbered women by a 17 to 1 ratio.
13.        The rate of adolescent suicide in West Virginia is higher than the national average.
14.        Men and women who undergo stomach surgery to lose weight may be losing bone, even when they take daily calcium supplements.
15.        Six billion people live on earth today. One out of every five does not have clean water close by.
16.        This winter was the most costly ever for the State Dept. of Transportation, with final bills totaling $45.6 million.
17.        Government agencies have spent $18 million in West Virginia over the last 20 years to combat the gypsy moth.
18.        According to a national Center for Disease Control study, more weapons were found in schools in West Virginia than New York, Los Angeles and Detroit.
19.        At the peak of their popularity in 1971, more than 50 million smiley face buttons were sold.
20.        Kanawha County’s population on July 1, 2002 was 195,790, a 2.1 percent drop from April 1, 2000.                         LMM

        As you are probably aware, the Town of Clay has an election coming up June 10, 2003 . We have had four long trying years. I would like to recap some of the ups and downs and give you a little background of the candidates we hope you can work with for four more years.
        Four years ago Joyce Gibson was elected Mayor, Betty T. Murphy, Recorder, Council was: Wanda Chambers, Sally B. Legg, David Derby, Helen Morris and Jeff Krauklis. A new water plant had been approved some years back , but because of the Procious PSD bankruptcy it had been on hold. After one year Recorder Betty T. Murphy retired from the office but stayed on as Recorder. Long time clerk Dwana O. Murphy replaced her in the office. By 18 months into Mayor Joyce Gibson’s term the water and sewer was virtually bankrupt. The new water plant was downgraded because of the long wait. The Public Service Commission became involved and decided the town was not stable enough to run the water plant. They came up with the deal for the town to build the plant and let the Public Service Districts run it. Then they came back with another plan to take over the plant, supposedly call it the unneeded assets, let the town keep the customer base but buy water from the Public Service Districts. Mayor Joyce Gibson agreed and it was in the works; she became ill and Jeff Krauklis stepped in to try to pull us out of near bankruptcy. He worked very hard and acquired grants, loans, and much free help from WV American Water Company for their operators, and much assistance from Rural Water Association. Mayor Joyce Gibson was forced to resign.
        Jeff Krauklis resigned, Dr. Jamie was appointed Mayor, and Arthur Jarrett to Council, to replace Jeff; when Council disagreed with Dr. Jamie, he resigned. Then Council appointed Glenwood Nichols. They felt since he had been mayor in Ohio he could be depended on to work for the best interest of the town. He continued to work with the Public Service Commission for the Public Service Districts to take your water plant. Then he abruptly resigned, leaving only a note stating he was going back to Ohio for a job. It took several months to get everything back on track and do away with the take over of your water plant.
        Time came to appoint yet another mayor; by that time Glenwood Nichols was back in town and wanted to be mayor again. Council appointed Arthur Jarrett as mayor and Okey Burroughs to the council in his place. Glenwood Nichols became very upset and threatened to sue the town for not taking him back.
        Again there was peace and harmony at the council meetings. We are all working together. We have pulled the water and sewer plants up and paying all the bills. We have managed to keep your water plant and have the respect of the lending agencies and the Public Service Commission again.
        We have two local people in training for water and sewer plant operators that should have their license soon. We are working with Hildreth Engineering on an upgrade to the water plant that will be very feasible and will possibly get all the grant monies back, but we need a group that can continue working together.
        ARTHUR JARRETT for MAYOR - Arthur is a lifelong resident, has never been kicked out or asked to resign as mayor in any town over monies, has never declared bankruptcy, is very honest, is not running because he needs the salary , does not have his home for sale, intends to stay here the rest of his life and will continue to work with council for the best interest of your town.
        DWANA O. MURPHY for RECORDER.- Dwana has worked for the town since 1995, is familiar with all the workings of the water , sewer and town. Knows all the agencies to contact, works well with the Mayor and Council and does a remarkable job.
        Since Arthur came into office the town is solvent, we have monies in the bank, saving accounts and unspent reserve account. We have reduced leaks to be able to sell water to Clay Roane, have a policeman and police car at no cost to the town . The Mayor regularly comes out at night to check on the town and helps patrol the streets. We would like to continue working for you and hope you can help this very workable group keep your water plant, upgrade it, keep the lowest water rates in the county and possibly the state, and continue our conservative approach to your tax dollars and keep your town out of financial trouble.
                                Signed, Arthur , Dwana, Wanda, Okey, Billie Jane, Sally, and Betty

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