MAY 5, 2002

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The Chafin Report

by Jim Chafin
A Massive Conflict of Interest?!!
     Everyone needs someone to whom he or she is accountable. Back in the wee hours of recorded history, the first thing wannabe emperors learned was that in order to assume the reins of power, he would have to court the favors of large numbers of influential people. The more people he could entice to his side the greater his chances of living a long full life in his chosen profession. Thus, political parties were born, not, as we were told, to provide for equality of the common man, but to provide an anchor of support for the Imperialist and to serve as an apologist for his administrative policies. In the 2700 years since the beginning of Rome, political parties have changed little except in the numbers of people under their control. The very first export that the king provided for America was his influence via his chosen political appointees who themselves would become rich and powerful in this new land.
AWe the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, ensure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and to our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.@ Our forefathers strived valiantly to secure a political environment that would be conducive for a governmental form that would Asecure the Blessings of Liberty@ for all the people; but to see just how well they succeeded, we must look at today=s social customs and practices.
     Article I, Section 9, says this:
ANo Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States; and no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.@ This provision was inserted in an effort to deny a lucrative source of income and power peddling by foreign States as well as from domestic sources. In the days of our infancy, Anobility@ was accomplished through the concentration of wealth and material possessions in the hands of a relatively few individuals - and a cursory look at today=s customs and practices will reveal, I believe, that little has changed in this respect as well. In the early days, titles of nobility were called kings, potentates, emperors, dukes, viceroys and such. Today, we call them presidents, senators, congressmen, judges, governors, commissioners, etc. Wealth, far above the means of ordinary citizens, is bestowed upon America=s elite which begets power through positions in high places. Even the title of magistrate was a highly coveted position in the Anew@ England, fought over by the rich and upwardly mobile politically correct. The local magistrate was an authoritarian who exercised control over, not only judicial matters, but legislative and administrative functions as well. He was a one-man power source that served at the will and pleasure of the President, no less. He was the common denominator by which federalists exercised control over political forces out in the boon docks. The notion of three branches of government was effectively side-stepped in the person of a politically appointed magistrate.
=s Note: This is the first installment of AA Massive Conflict of Interest@.

From the Clay County Health Department
Big Tobacco Behind Push to Curb Local Health Authority
by Kathryn A. Stone
     Now that three West Virginia circuit courts have affirmed local health department authority to regulate smoking, we should turn our attention to the upcoming primary elections. A bill to take away local health authority, Senate Bill 604, was introduced on February 15 by no less than eight state senators. Six of them are among the top 10 recipients of Big Tobacco campaign money, according to the People=s Election Reform Coalition, an affiliate of the West Virginia Citizen Action Group.
     SB 604 would nullify 45 local clean indoor air regulations adopted in West Virginia over the past 14 years. These regulations were passed by volunteer local health boards appointed by local elected officials and given responsibility by the Legislature to protect public health.
     Secondhand tobacco smoke is a potent mixture of over 4,000 chemicals, 60 of which are known to cause cancer. But the primary killer associated with tobacco smoke pollution is heart disease, which is connected to over 60,000 deaths per year in the United States. Tobacco smoke is thought to cause roughly half of all asthma cases in young children, and also is the leading cause of otitis media, an infection of a child
=s inner ear that often results in tube implants to relieve pain and pressure.
Why would these eight senators want to do away with clean indoor air regulations? Just ask the tobacco company lobbyists who contributed to their election campaigns. Philip Morris Tobacco has a long and lurid history of interfering with local clean indoor air ordinances and regulations in West Virginia and throughout the country. A Philip Morris presentation uncovered among millions of tobacco industry documents says:
AThe financial impact of smoking bans will be tremendous. Three to five fewer cigarettes per day per smoker will reduce annual manufacturer profits a billion dollars plus per year.@ There=s your reason.
     According to the PERC report, eight West Virginia senators received over $17,000 from tobacco companies, lobbyists and tobacco retailers who sell cigarettes (including to underage kids). Senators Herb Snyder, D-Jefferson; Billy Wayne Bailey, D-Wyoming; Ed Bowman, D-Hancock; Karen Facemyer, R-Jackson; Lloyd Jackson, D-Lincoln; Leonard Anderson, D-Summers; John Pat Fanning, D-McDowell; and Shirley Love, D-Fayette, all signed on to a bill that takes away local control over health regulations and puts it into the hands of tobacco company lobbyists. The biggest contribution for this group went to Bailey, who received $3,300.
=s not much money when you consider the resulting health problems that will cost many West Virginians premature death, not to mention millions of dollars in excess health care costs.
     (If you would like to help prevent another generation of tobacco addiction and disease, go to and send a smoke free EZ-letter to a key decision maker.
Stone, of Charleston, is active in several West Virginia social action groups.


     You know, my friends ask me, ADon, why don=t you drink or smoke a little dope? Why don=t you just relax a little like the rest of us?@ I tell them over and over to take a look at this state=s condition and then tell me that it=s not due to our relaxing tradition.
     But then they say,
ADon, why don=t you play some golf or watch a good ole ball game? Find yourself something to take your mind off the way things have always been?@ I tell them over and over to take a look at us compared to the rest of the nation. Then tell me that it isn=t time to start a brand new tradition.
     Our state comes in last, in nearly every aspect of statistical calculation. And what is causing that isn
=t beyond common sense detection. Our government isn=t doing right by its trusting, working population. Catering to the rich and feeding the bureaucracy is bringing this state to its knees.
     But then they will say,
ADon, you know you can=t fight city hall or oppose the powers that be. They operate on a level that=s beyond you and me. Just get yourself a hobby or maybe get some sort of religion. Then you won=t have time to worry about all that greed and hypocrisy.@ I tell them over and over, I can=t live in that condition. If something=s wrong, trying to make it right is an American tradition. The last time that I looked, we were still Americans, and that mostly means that we aren=t slaves to any governmental oppression.
     ABut that would mean jeopardizing our patronage jobs or taking the chance that we might have to compete with the rest of the nation. We would rather have our security, even if it means living our lives on our knees.@ I tell them over and over that slaves had that kind of security, and that means that you=re just as free as your master wants you to be. Our government is running off like a runaway train and figuring out what is wrong doesn=t take half a brain.
Our state needs all of us to raise the bar on our expectations. Government must serve the people, that is the only acceptable situation. Bringing our bureaucracy into rein has got to become a brand new tradition. Living without a ruling class has to become our legacy and tradition.       Don Greene

        I have written before about not smoking in restaurants, and I agree with that. I have smoked for thirty years, and I have enough manners in my life style not to smoke around large groups where most don’t smoke. I agree also about not smoking in stores, restaurants, malls, etc. I don’t even smoke in my own home. I go out on the porch. This is called good manners and caring about others especially our youth and children.
        One thing I don’t agree with is bars. Why ban smoking in bars where you sell liquor, which is more deadly than smoking especially if you drive after going to a bar and having a few drinks. I don’t go to these places any more, but to those who do, they have rights.
        This falls under the same catch 22 as stores who sell gas and liquor together. If our government wants to really protect the people, why not pass a law saying a store can sell gas and not beer and wine or sell liquor and not gas. Think about that. This is only common sense which apparently our state government does not have any. It’s like the state saying it’s OK to drink and drive as long as you don’t smoke!
What kind of people do we have running our government?
      Frank L. Kish, Jr.



04-20-02: Bailey - Robert J. King, malicious assault, appeared 4/22, ROB, preliminary hearing set.
03-11-02: McKown - Phillip M. Fox, possession marijuana less than 15 gms, appeared 4/17, ROB, trial set.
04-11-02: Delk - Shawn David Ramsey, failure to change address, appeared 4/25, ROB.
04-19-02: Bailey - Terry R. Rogers, DUI-2nd offense, arrested, ROB.
04-22-02: Slack - Chrissy Canter, joyriding, arrested, ROB; Slack - Christopher Canter, joyriding, arrested, ROB.
04-23-02: Barbara Harmon Schamberger - David Thomas, fail to appear, arrested, ROB.
04-25-02: McKown - Starlett J. Miller, trespassing, summons issued.
04-27-02: Delk - Harold Cummings Jr., battery on police officer, arrested.
04-28-02: Foreman - Harold Cummings Sr., DUI-2nd offense, arrested, ROB; Delk - Harold Cummings Jr., obstructing an officer, arrested.
04-29-02: Larry Legg - Charla Adkins, failure to cause child to attend school, summons issued.
04-18-02: Willard Legg - Tad and Robin Legg
04-19-02: Clay Foodland Pharmacy - Ruth Burnside; Willie Mosley; James H. Dobbins; Kathy Mullins; Mary Moore; Reba Bird; Emmie E. Gould; Regina Ferrebee; Fietta M. DeMoss; Teresa A. Bishop.
04-22-02: Tammy Pierson - Robert Cummings
04-24-02: Monica Legg - Bill West and Cathy Davis West.
Worthless Checks
Notices issued-
04-18-02: NAPA - Carmen L. Whitehurst (paid 4/29)
04-19-02: Clay Supermarket - Joseph Brown x 2 (paid 4/29); Brian M. Jarvis; Teresa Armstead; Arthur G. Samples II (paid 4/24); Larry
=s Grocery - Eric Wayne Moore.
04-22-02: House
=s Market - Tina R. Grose and Steven DeBoard.
04-25-02: Clay Magistrate Court - Stephen Lacy Hairston; Clay Supermarket - Emma DeBoard; Terrisa L. Sheridan; Marsha K. Eagle.
Traffic Citations
04-04-02: State Police - Raymond G. Hersman, speeding.
04-13-02: Dept. of Natural Resources - Doug Richard Jackson, illegal burning/restricted hours x 2.
04-16-02: Municipal Police Dept. - Edward Lee Adkins, defective equipment; George Duffy Jones, no POI; Charles R. Wable, no POI; Sheriff
=s Dept. - Joseph M. Brown, no POI; April K. Fitzwater, registration violations.
04-17-02: Sheriff
=s Dept. - Shawn David Ramsey, failure to change address.
04-18-02: State Police - Michael Wayne Moore, speeding and no POI.
04-19-02: State Police - Larry K. Adkins Jr., no POI and registration violations; Terry R. Rogers, driving under the influence-2nd offense; Tommy Young, no seat belt, child; Sheriff
=s Dept. - Mark C. Reed, no POI.
04-20-02: Municipal Police Dept. - Renea Lynne Bloom, driving on suspended operator
=s; State Police - Robert D. Cummings, leaving the scene and reckless driving; Sheriff=s Dept. - Thomas Aaron Vance, no POI.
04-22-02: State Police - Jarod James Dougls, speeding.
04-23-02: Municipal Police Dept. - Tina Ferrebee, no POI; Sheriff
=s Dept. - Billie E. Jarvis, passing in no passing zone.
04-24-02: State Police - Timmy L. Cartwright, driving on suspended/revoked, no POI, MVI, and seat belt violation.
04-26-02: Municipal Police Dept. - Joshua Matthew Jones, defective equipment and MVI; State Police - William E. Spencer, no POI and seat belt violation.
04-27-02: State Police - James Preston McCune, seat belt violation.
04-30-02: Municipal Police Dept. - Shari D. Bullard, registration violations and MVI.


     Hello, my name is Charles R. (Richard) Vance and I'm a candidate for the Clay County Board of Education from district C. First off, I would like to let you know that if elected to the board I pledge to take the money that I receive and set up a scholarship(s) to be given out to a Clay County student wishing to continue their education. I'm not seeking this office for personal gain, but to help better our school system. As a 26 y/o 1994 graduate of Clay County High School I believe I can provide some useful insight to the board. There are many problems facing our youth today, and they say the elders just don't understand. Yes, I've been there just a short time ago saying those same words. As a young candidate I believe that I can help address these problems, and maybe give a friendlier ear to our youth. As a board member I pledge to take every compliment, complaint, and/or question to heart and make it a personal task to help get the best outcome possible. There are many questions that have arisen during my campaign like the levy, different policies, why one child gets treated one way and one child another way, and the list goes on. I may not be able to change the world, but, I do promise to try to do the right things for the YOUTH, the board, and the people of Clay County. If elected I will make my self readily available to your questions.
     Now, a little personal information about me. I am the 26 y/o son of Dennis and Beverly Vance of Lizemores. Dennis is an EMT for Jan-Care Ambulance, and also a former candidate for the Clay County Board of Education. Beverly is a RN for Clay County Development. I am the grandson of Charles and Carol Caldwell of Hurricane, formerly of Lizemores, and the late Charles and Hazel Vance of Charleston. I am also the great-grandson of Edith and the late Guy Caldwell of Lizemores. I am a life long resident of Lizemores where I reside with my wife Sabrina and stepson Justin. Sabrina is a stay at home mom and Justin is in the fifth-grade at Lizemores Elementary. I am employed by Jan-Care Ambulance. I am also a member of the Lizemores Vol. Fire Dept. and Clay County Coon Hunters Club.
     I am by no means a rich person, just your everyday citizen just helping out my fellow man. Now I would like to have the opportunity to help the YOUTH OF CLAY COUNTY. I would like to thank you for taking the time to read a little about me. Although I may not have said everything that I would have liked to I hope my point came across. At this time I would like to ask for your help and vote to get elected to the Clay County Board of Education on May 14, 2002. Remember, your vote does count. Think about your children or your neighbors and help make a YOUTHFUL CHANGE TO THE CLAY COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION. Thanks in advance for your support. MAY GOD BLESS US ALL AND THOSE FROM 9-11-01.
      Charles Vance


     It=s not often someone at the courthouse gets their walking papers. It happened April 30 around 5:45 PM. Here=s the skinny of it.
     Clay County has a WVU Extension Agent oversight committee which is responsible for the hiring and firing of extension agents and the office of secretary. The committee meets about once a year and consists of, Chair Don Jarvis, Dave Derby, Ann Anderson, Roy Metheny, Jimmy Sams, Gene King, Barry Curry, and Nellie Stephenson. Stephenson was absent from the meeting. In addition to the committee present, Dr. Ken Martin from WVU was present as was County Agent Steve Zaricki and office secretary Sarah Anderson. The group sat around the long conference table in the upstairs jury room near the Judge
=s chambers. No one was grinning. No one was smiling. With Jarvis in charge, it was business only.
     During the reading of minutes mention was made of an incident during last year
=s summer camp which was turned over to Child Protective Services. That same volunteer has asked to be at camp again. Discussion on what to do with the volunteer=s application..
     Extension Agent Steve Zaricki presented a power point presentation on the year in review. The 10 minute presentation touched on the successes of the 4H program ( something about 350 members); Smoking Cessation and Baby Care a Lot programs; beekeeping, Ginseng, economic and community development projects, Emergency Preparedness Classes held; work in conjunction with the county Business Development Authority; and, efforts in the health issues area of service. For the most part, the committee members paid little attention to illustrations of achievement.
     Motion was made and passed to rehire Sarah Anderson for another year. Mother, Ann Anderson , did not vote.
Motion made by Dave Derby to rehire Steve Zaricki as extension agent. Silence. Some heads went down. Some looked skyward. Zaricki was motionless. Time passed..... and more time........ finally, to get the issue on the table, Barry Curry gave the second. All in favor, Dave Derby. All opposed, nay, from Gene King, Roy Metheny, Ann Anderson, Barry ( yes, the same guy that made the second) Curry. All eyes were on member Jimmy Sams. A little red was starting to show on Sam
= neck. Sams asked that they talk the vote over in secret before voting, A Can we do that?@
Motion by A. Anderson to go secret. At 5:30 the peanut gallery including Zaricki and Sarah were asked to leave. For nearly 15 minutes, the secret time continued.
     Out in the hall, Mr. Zaricki looked to be in a daze. When asked if he had any idea that this was coming, he replied,
A No.@
     The solid oak door was reopened and filled again. Zaricki sat motionless with leg crossed. None of the committee members looked him in the eye. Chair Jarvis asked they start where they had left off before the secret time. Again, Derby, “aye”. After a moment of hesitation the four nays became five as Jimmy Sams raised his hand as well. The motion to rehire did not pass. Steve Zaricki had been fired, Mr. Zaricki was in shell shock. As an observation, it appears that at no time during the past year did the committee meet with Zaricki and suggest areas that needed improvement or evaluated his performance.
     No one was grinning. They looked as if they wanted to bolt to the door and do it now.
Mr. Metheny asked Dr. Martin about paying a Mason County agent who had been paid from county funds. Martin suggested that the person
=s travel expenses would have to be provided for. Metheny questioned even that pay out since they had not asked the person to come an help out.
     As the discussion turned to hiring a new agent, no eyes crossed Zaricki. He was cast aside, ostracized and did not exist. He sat silent. As for hiring a new person, Dr. Martin said it would be based on the budget. Jarvis offered a more salty opinion, said it would take a full year to get a new agent. Most around the table nodded in agreement with Jarvis. 55 minutes after opening, the motion to adjourn was heard.
Steve Zaricki came into the county just about one year ago last month. As he made his rounds in the county back then, Zaricki made it known his expertise was in economic development. His experience with running any 4H program was about zilch. Judging from comments made by committee members and away from the table, there was disappointment in leadership in the 4H area of his performance and agricultural sectors as well. During his stint in Clay County, Zaricki sat on the Business Development Authority serving as secretary. His contract expires June 30 of this year.
After the meeting, and as all were leaving, there seemed to be relief in the air. Jimmy Sams said he hated to see a guy fired but after hearing the other committee members= comments, he agreed with them. The little red blotches of tension were still visible on Commissioner Sams’ neck. It was obvious that the just completed task was not something he liked doing. Ditto for the night for Steve Zaricki.                   AW


     Last week Prosecutor Jeff Davis, representing the state, lost a case in Judge Rick Facemire’s court room. The allegations were of statutory rape of a 13 year old and a 14 year old girl by a 21 year old male. The defendant in the case was James L Pawlak, Jr. Mr. Davis provided some commentary May 2 on the courtroom action and decisions of the 7 man, 5 woman jury. The following are excerpts from the interview. Keep in mind that Davis was answering the questions off the cuff.        
Davis, “He was charged with sexual assault in the third degree which is what people commonly refer to as statutory rape.. In this case, the jury found Pawlak not guilty.”
     Were you thinking you had a conviction? Davis, “Yes. I thought the victims were very creditable witnesses. I interviewed them and I thought they testified well on the stand. It clearly showed in their faces and their demeanor that it was an upsetting event . They appeared creditable to me.”
     So what happened? Did you screw up? Davis, “No. I don’t think there was anything that we could have done different. If I had it to do over, I don’t know of anything I would have done different. I don’t know what the jury hung up on.” Davis said he did not poll the jury but commented, “There was one juror that said there was two woman and one man, he didn’t tell me their names and he shouldn’t have either, that wanted a not guilty verdict.... I think the gentleman held out the strongest. I was told he said he would sit there six months before he changed his verdict. And, after 8 hours of deliberation, the rest of them caved. I would have much rather have had a hung jury than a not guilty. I would have tried it again. They came out after about 4 hours and the judge sent them back in to deliberate. After about two more hours, he brought them back the next morning and they deliberated for about 2 more hours.”
     Davis explained if the jury is hung, it is up to the State to try it again. The defense attorney representing Pawlak was Betsy Giggenbach.
     The jury came out and asked to see a medical record. What were they talking about? Davis, ‘When the girls came home in the morning hours of September 20, one thing led to another and the mothers got the truth out of them . The mothers took them on the evening of the 20th for a medical examination. It was never contested that this was consensual. It is the State’s position that they are too young to consent. The medical examination did not show any DNA from the male. Of course both victims said he used a condom. There was no ripping, tearing, bleeding, or anything of that nature. No venereal disease. No STD. So I decided there wasn’t anything here. It couldnt help or hurt. The medical examination did not show anything so I did not bring the doctor into court. From a tactical point of view, it would have been pointless..... She [the defense attorney] really made a lot of hay out of that. She tried to give them an impression that there was something there that I was hiding. I cannot argue facts not in evidence....She left them [jury] with the impression that there was something there. I think that may have played into it to some degree.”
     According to Mr. Davis, the Judge instructed the jury that they could not consider anything not already in evidence even though Giggenbach referred to the document repeatedly. Davis, “She was able to argue in closing arguments ‘why didn’t the state bring that in?’... It was a trial tactic on her part that worked well. I don’t think it was a major blow. I think it was very misleading but permissible under the rules.”
     On Tuesday, while the defense was talking, you didn’t object to anything. Why is that and why did the Judge ask the questions? Davis, “Every judge I have ever been before will always ask questions. He is permitted under the rules to ask questions to clarify any point that he feels the jury should understand because the jury ask the questions. If there is anything milky, in his opinion, the court is permitted to ask questions. If you didn’t hear any objections, it doesn’t surprise me because I was putting on the state’s case. It was my turn to call witnesses and to directly examine them. Her roll at that point was to cross examine the witnesses that I called. With cross examination, under the rules, you [defense attorney] are given a lot of leeway…”
     At one point did Judge Facemire get perturbed at the defense attorney for mentioning the medical records? Davis, “Yes, he did. We had a motion prior to the trial starting. I announced that I was not going to call the doctor and the defense attorney was instructed not to allude to it. He told her she could argue it in closing argument. She was not allowed to question anybody about it because they are not a medical expert... I believe she was trying to get one of the victims to announce to the jury the results. They [the victim] cannot do that.”
     Along about then, were you concerned about a mistrial? Davis, “No, I don’t think it is grounds for a mistrial. The Judge gave a limiting instruction to the jury that they were to disregard that. When she mentioned that [medical examination] I believe the court instructed the jury to disregard that remark.”
     Again, Mr. Davis, “The defendant is charged with similar acts in Roane County and going to trial in June. One of the victims in my case is a victim over there. He [ Pawlak] is scheduled to go to trial again in this county in July for possession of marijuana and intent to deliver. He might be 22 years old by now... I felt like we kicked butt on this trial. I didn’t understand the verdict. You never know what the jury is going to do. They are not trained in legalities. My job is to take the elements of an offense and match the facts to the elements. If the facts match all of the elements , it is a guilty verdict or it should be. You had to prove it happened in Clay County... You had to prove it happened on September 20th.... You had to prove that this defendant that was charged is the one who did it... You had to prove that he had sexual intercourse with the victim that you allege which in one case was a 13 year old and the other was a 14 year old... And, you have to prove that she was less than 16 and he was at least 4 years age difference between the two. Both victims testified that they were given alcohol and then had sexual intercourse with this particular defendant... All the elements were matched up. It just didn’t fly. The defense attorney’s job is to confuse the issue and distract the jury. ... to get them thinking over in left field like a medical report....They should not have considered it but apparently they did. The evidence was there and I thought the witnesses were creditable. It should have been a guilty verdict in my opinion. Once it’s over and the jury announces its verdict you got to move on. If you sit around and think about it too much, you’ll get ulcers.”
     Do you have ulcers? Davis, A Not yet.


     County Commission met in regular session April 23 at 10 am. With Tim Butcher, Matthew Bragg and Jimmy Sams in the big brown leather chairs up front the meeting opened with a Jimmy Sams prayer. 8 or 10 including commission candidate Ronnie Haynes sat in the peanut gallery. As the meeting opened our three blind mice were whispering about a Fanny Seiler column.
     Meeting date for the next CCC gathering has been changed to May 15 to accommodate the May 14 election. The automated ballot counting machines will be tested May 7 10 am.
     On the agenda was a vote to put Johnny Morris in as a member of the Clay County Deputy Civil Service Board. Didn
=t happen. Commission instead will ask the county bar association to suggest three names.
      Polling places for the May 14 Primary Election will remain the same.
     Jeff Davis has resigned as Executor of the Last Will and Testament of the Albert B. Ferrebee. A hearing will be held May 28 to hear the issues.
     Since January 22, county ambulance workers have been in limbo over their employment status. Since WV EMS took over the financially challenged agency, all employees were reduced to contract laborers without benefits. Back a meeting or so ago, County Commission voted to restore their hospitalization coverage. At this meeting, the boys up front voted to return the remaining few emergency service workers to full county employee status. EMS Director B.J. Willis said the CCC either had to turn them into county employees or stop all the benefits. It is felt that much behind the scenes maneuvering has been going on away from the public
=s eye. Many locals have contended since January 22, the workers could not be considered contract workers according to IRS guidelines and the county was over stepping the boundaries of law. Sams announced that they will again get the ambulance service personnel will again get their holidays back.
     Still at issue is whether long time workers will get their saved up personal leave and sick leave benefits returned. The guess is, the law is on the side of the employees and those long time workers will again have the banks of unused time off.
And guess what? The Punkineers were back. Again the question popped up,
A Where do we stand on getting water service into the Punkin Ridge area of Clay County? Sams, AWe=re still trying to get water.@ When asked about the funding being pulled from the town of Clay , Sams,@ He told us, the plant was going to get built with or without the town!@
     When asked about concerns over Clay Roane PSD Chair T.G. Cruickshank staying on in that spot after all the allegations have surfaced against him, the boys got quiet. Punkineer Celia Coon,
A Have you all had your meeting with T.G. on the wrong doings?@ Quiet. Punkineer Melissa Postelwait,@ Why=s there no hearing on T.G.?@
     Commissioner Tim Butcher,
A I thought a complaint had been filed?@ Coon, A Didn=t Mr. Davis recommend a public hearing?@ Sams, A We took it under advisement...@ Postelwait, A You guys aren=t going to do any.......@ Sams, A They have not done anything wrong according to the WV PSC. After some haggling, the consensus: CCC will do nothing and instead punt until the WV PSC has a hearing to hear the complaints brought by Ms Postelwait.
Instead of buying a new 911 radio for the county
=s white jeep, one will be taken from an unused ambulance.
     With ten or so in the room, County Commission voted to apply for $1.5 million in grants for a water project in Nebo, money for the Lizemore Fire Department, and a canopy for housing the ambulances at the Health Department building. John Romano commented that the Governor
=s office decides who gets the loot and that decision is sometimes made just before the November elections. As for why the county has not received any new project dollars, Mr. Romano commented on the pulling of the town=s water plant dollars which may have an impact on additional dollars flowing into the county.
     Up for reelection Tim Butcher reiterated that the County Commission has always supported a new plant for the county. Sams,
A If the town doesn=t do it, then a PSD will.@ After commenting that he thought the town would vote down any attempt at selling the existing plant, he stopped cold in his tracks, saying he had said too much already. Although adjourned, discussion turned to the lack of fire hydrants from Two Run to Ivydale, and laughter in the gallery as discussion turned to how water service had been pulled from Punkin Ridge years ago to accommodate another.@


     Clay County
=s Business Development Authority (BDA) met in regular session May 2 at 5 pm in the county commission room. Chair Paige Willis moderated the affair. BDA Secretary Steve Zaricki was absent, as were about half the members. The following is a sampling of the discussion items covered during the meeting,
     The long sought after public rifle range is still on the table although little has been accomplished. The WV DNR has funding available for each county to have a public range if suitable property is available. The BDA has not found the needed land to date to either buy or lease.
     Paige Willis and Central Appalachia Empowerment Zone (CAEZ) Director Jerry Sizemore are now negotiating on a piece of property in the Big Otter area to build an industrial site . Willis said they are being very deliberate about NOT telling anyone who owns the property until an option to buy is in hand. Sizemore said they have already got an estimate on getting 3 phase power into the site and have asked the Department of Transportation for an estimate on road building costs. Sizemore also said a price has been set on the 100 acres. Willis felt that someone else may try to buy the land out from under them if the location was disclosed.
     BDA member Dave Derby asked about CAEZ finances. Sizemore said the financial picture has improved under his administration and CAEZ can operate for another year.
     Under new business, Mr. Willis commented that the BDA needed new ideas on what directions to pursue. He said something about sitting around talking about mushrooms and coon dogs won
=t accomplish much. He also said: the BDA has to work very closely with the CAEZ; they need to work on getting some kind of business that will create jobs; the BDA can not go out of business until AFilcon@ is settled; and, they need to come up with a new Authority secretary since Steve Zaricki would be leaving employment soon.
=s an interesting note. Chair Willis commented that he saw no reason to keep written meeting minutes since the meetings are recorded on cassette tapes. Member Glady Lanham,@ How would you approve meeting minutes?” Another member,@ Just do away with the minutes?@ Willis felt that everything that was said was on the tapes and if anybody was interested, they could just play back the tapes.
     NOTE: under Open Meeting Laws, there are very specific rules on keeping meeting minutes and what the minutes have to contain.
     Dave Derby commented on the number of big projects attempted by the group and suggested that they direct some attention on small business. During the discussions, the candle making company at Wallback was mentioned as a company needing assistance locating a larger building to serve as a show room.
     Attention turned to BDA backed Filcon Manufacturing Company. Member Morgan Gibson said that he had heard the bank was foreclosing on the outfit, while Willis commented that he had a recent conversation with owner Manfred Kuenster who informed him that Filcon was here to stay. Sizemore explained that the CAEZ has a UCC filing (lien) on the Filcon equipment and the Clay County Bank has the Ovapa land ( donated by the BDA) as collateral. Somewhere along about here, Mr. Sizemore asked if the County Commission had any money to help out an operation with. He did not say
Awhich@ operation. NOTE: Keep this in mind readers over the next week or so. Something may be up!
     Norman Wilson mentioned that Filcon was moving into Frank Murphy
=s property over at Maysel this week. Filcon is under court order to vacate the Main Street building by Tuesday May 7, 2002. Norman also contended that Filcon employees were standing on the street waiting to get paid Wednesday. When asked why they were there on Wednesday, Wilson said, A Because they didn=t get paid on Friday!@
Meeting adjourned around 5:45. AW


     One thing is for certain in this county - word travels fast and the message gets bigger with each passing. Last week we got the first inkling of a school system story dealing with a school roofing job that the superintendent handed out and a local contractor not paying prevailing wage.
     During spring break two weeks ago, the roofing contractor began work at the Clay High School. Lots of folks noticed the new materials piled high, workers walking around up there, and the bright yellow used car lot banners around the edges. That job was properly bid and the contractor was paying prevailing wage. Not so obvious, at the same time, was another roofing job being done on the bus garage just south of the high school by a local crew. This job was the one that got the phones a ringing.
     To check out the story of the job not being properly bid, and being given to a relative of the school board president by Superintendent Jerry Linkinogger, and the workers not being paid the required higher wages, we called up WV Department of Labor Inspector Sam Boggs. After checking with his supervisor, Mr. Boggs agreed to answer questions on May 2.
A There isn=t much I can tell you. It is still under investigation and, of course, I am not the one doing the investigation on it. I did make the initial investigation on it. I relayed the information on to Charleston that it needs to be checked.”
     Is the issue you looked at Davis Bacon wages? Boggs,
A That still hasn=t been determined yet. It wouldn=t be Davis Bacon anyway. Regardless of the outcome there. It would fall under state jurisdiction which would be state prevailing wage. It varies from county to county. If the work is done in Clay County it might be a little bit higher in Gilmer County. It fluctuates from county to county.@
A It was the bus garage. I think the job is finished now.@
Does the WV Department of Labor deal with whether the contract was bid or not? Boggs,
@ The only thing that we impose on the school board is if the job exceeds the $25,000.00 mark, it has to be put out to public bid. If it is less than $25,000.00, they can get anybody they want to as long as they are satisfied with the contractor. I just drove by the high school to check that roofing job. There has never been a question raised about the high school. It was put out in the local papers and advertised for prevailing wage. It was the high school and the grade school. Boggs Roofing out of Huntington got the smallest job and Tri State got the high school. It was a Taylor that got the bus garage. I can=t think of his name right now.. Taylor Construction from Clay County.... somewhere over around ... Bickmore ... or Fola somewhere.@
     Did you shut down the job? Boggs,
A We had no right to shut the job down for prevailing wage. The only way we can shut a job down is if you don=t have a contractor=s license. I just seen that guy down there and I just questioned the boy about it . It is still under investigation. I don=t know what they have actually determined on it yet. The question is whether or not they will have to pay prevailing wage, whether it will be enforced on this job. That=s the whole question.@
While Mr. Boggs did not know what the total cost of the job was, sources close indicate that Jerry Linkinogger called up the crew and said they could have the job if they would do it for $13,000.00. During the last school board meeting, Mr. Linkinogger commented that a $30,000.00 grant for roofing had come in better than they thought and the extra money could be used for installing tiles at the high school.
Boggs, A If prevailing wage is enforced, someone is going to have to pay it. We would probably pursue the contractor in this case if it is determined to be a prevailing wage job. Someone is held liable for it... Next week I may know something on it.... It is up in the air right now. If it falls in a certain category they don=t have to pay prevailing wage... Call me back in a few days. All I know is his last name is Taylor.@ No real answers yet readers but the can of worms may be open.             AW


=s Joseph Mosley is a 30 something year old jack of all trades. He is also the father of a 58 pound son who, according to him, was beaten unconscious while riding home from school on a school bus April 29, 2002. Mosley asked that this information be made public so other parents would be made aware of what goes on inside the school system. Mosley provided the following commentary on May 2 after meeting several times with school officials, including school superintendent Jerry Linkinogger.
     AThis fight started at the bottom of Maysel hill... My son was sitting right behind the bus driver. You can clearly see it [the fight] in the video. My son was literally beaten unconscious. He was beaten that bad. When he regained consciousness, he tried to beat the boy off of him. The fight lasted 7 and 2 minutes. [The other boy] is about 40 pounds heavier... My son was sitting directly behind the driver... the driver is a pastor.@
     According to Mosley, while his son was getting his clock cleaned, the bus stopped twice and let kids off twice. Mosley,
A The bus driver said he didn=t see anything! The boy that did the hitting got suspended for the rest of the year. My son was kicked off the bus for three days for defending himself, trying to fight him off.@ Since the April 29 incident Mosley and school administrators have viewed the video of the fight, but the parent has been unable to get a copy of the film. Mosley, A Parents need to know, they need to be informed of this. I will, if possible, allow a public viewing of this tape! I want the other parents to know that their children are not being properly supervised at all! What if it was a little girl being sexually abused?@
     Mr. Mosley would not say as to whether the bus driver saw what was going on but did comment that his younger daughter did and yelled out, ‘Stop that! You
=re hurting him!!!!!’ “He [my son] suffered badly. This don=t need to happen.@ To date, the school bus driver has not been disciplined in the incident
     As for getting a copy of the video, hasn
=t happened yet. On the 2nd, Larry Legg told Mosley that since there were other kids visible on the bus, all the parents would to be notified of the video before a copy could be made. On May 2, Joseph Mosley pressed charges against the youth involved in the fight with Prosecutor Jeff Davis. According to Mosley, the prosecutor will subpoena the tape for court use.
     Mosley plans to appear before the School Board meeting May 6 with legal representation. AI have an appointment with an attorney in the morning at 11 am.... I am asking for discipline for the bus driver. I want him fired. He don=t need to be there if he couldn=t see that. If that is not possible, I want adult monitors put on the bus that will oversee our children. I want this to be for all parents and grand parents. Fran King said that the video will be viewed at the meeting [May 6th]. He [son] was knocked completely unconscious! You can see his face in the video.@ Mosley also stated that he wanted the discussions during the school board meeting to be done in public and not behind closed doors , A I just don=t want this to happen again. The beating was that bad.@                         AW


     After nearly two months of making the news over a controversial water connection, Clay County Bank President J.D. Morris resigned his position. First word hit the streets on Wednesday, April 24. It has been reported that the written letter arrived at the bank after several days of meetings in both Charleston and at the bank. Also reported, Mr. Morris was not back to the bank after his resignation was received.
     Surprised? Most are and most felt Morris would leave the bank when Wilson Funeral Home backed the hearse to the side door. Even before the bank’s Board of Directors met on Friday, April 26, Scott Legg has been selected as interim president. So is something up? Did the Fanny Seiler state wide coverage of Morris’ very questionable water connection at his new home have something to do with it? How about the continued coverage that came from this paper? Are there banking regulation concerns? Since it is a private business, the public may never know what brought on the sudden departure of the local community leader and WV Board of Education member. But isn’t it strange that a man of Morris’ stature would go out the back door instead of with awards banquets, plaques, and such?
Talk about a week of action!
     After a like amount of time in the limelight, long time Clay Roane PSD Chair T.G. Cruickshank resigned his position on that board April 25, 2002. Cruickshank was at the helm of the PSD as news surfaced of the questionable water connection of Jimmy (J.D.) Morris. For many, for those that had been waiting years for water service, the connection smacked of patronage and inequality for the masses. After admitting that Morris had gotten service in front of others, after admitting that Morris had never even filled out an application for service prior to getting service, and admitting that Morris had NOT paid a connection fee prior to service as all others have to do, the 35 or so in attendance at the March PSD meeting were ready to lynch the Chair.
     In his resignation letter, Mr. Cruickshank said he just didn’t have enough time to do the PSD work any longer and his resignation was effective immediately. During that March meeting, fellow PSD board members Gary Whaling and Lefty Summers said they too would resign if Cruickshank did so. A check with the County Clerk’s office, May 2, revealed no new resignations from the Clay Roane PSD.
A long standing politico in the county, J.D. Morris has gone into retirement and the much troubled Clay Roane PSD leadership of T.G. Cruickshank too is gone. Wow! Can’t wait to see what happens election day!           AW


Serving Size: 2 cups, Total Servings: 8

1 pound tri-colored twist pasta
l pound lean ground turkey breast
1 jar (26 ounces) spaghetti sauce
1 medium onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 carrots, thinly sliced
2 medium-sized yellow squash, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
1 large zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
1 large green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 pound sliced mushrooms

1) Cook the pasta according to the package directions, omitting the salt; drain.
2) Meanwhile, in a soup pot, brown the turkey over high heat, stirring constantly. Add the remaining ingredients and reduce the heat to medium-low; cover and cook for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally.
3) Add the pasta to the pot; mix well and cook until heated through. Serve immediately.
Exchanges: 4-1/2 Carbohydrate..2 very Lean Meat
Calories 431...Calories from Fat 50...Total Fat 6 g...Saturated Fat 2 g...
Cholesterol 39 mg...Sodium 535 mg…
Carbohydrate 71 g...
Dietary Fiber 6 g...Sugars 19 g...Protein 25 g..

“This is one of my favorite meals. It is quick, easy, and so yummy! What a great dish to use for big family gatherings. Get everyone to pitch in - it adds to the fun!”

Serving Size: 1 slice, Total Servings: 8

1 package (4-serving size) sugar-free cook-and-serve
vanilla pudding mix
1 cup fat-free (skim) milk
1 large ripe banana, peeled and sliced
1 9-inch reduced-fat graham cracker pie crust
1 container (8 ounces) frozen light whipped
topping, thawed and divided

1)        In a medium saucepan, combine the pudding and milk and cook over medium heat until thickened, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat, cover the surface of the pudding with waxed paper, and let cool.
2)        Place the banana slices on the bottom of the pie crust. Fold half of the whipped topping into the cooled pudding.
3)         Spoon the pudding mixture evenly over the bananas, then spoon the remaining whipped topping over the pudding mixture. Cover and chill for at least 4 hours, or until ready to serve. Serve as is or garnish as desired.
        Exchanges: 2 Carbohydrate..1 Fat..
Calories 208...Calories from Fat 59...Total Fat 7 g...Saturated Fat 4 g...
Cholesterol 1 mg...Sodium 283 mg…
Carbohydrate 31 g...
Dietary Fiber 0 g...Sugars 14 g...Protein 2 g...

This pie is so flavorful, it’s hard to believe that the whole pie has just one banana in it!
Hope that you have enjoyed this weeks
Until next time,

On the Soapbox
by Andy Waddell
     For years Clay Development Corporation (CDC) has wrestled with a public image problem. For the last five years, CDC has said that this paper lied and slanted the various stories written about CDC. The Communicator has reported on the fights during meetings, one family within the organization being a recipient of various give aways, and a bunch more. Over the years we have also raised issues with allegations levied at the agency and they sure didn=t like that!
     So intense was the effort to get away from public scrutiny, the Board called a general membership meeting two months ago and changed the by laws so the public is barred from attending future Board of Directors meetings. During the meeting to go secret, CDC Board Chair Earnie Sirk said that this paper could gets its information ‘from the streets’.
     Prior to the new locked door policy, the subject of Medicaid fraud came up. Both in meetings and out, management stated that there was not a Medicaid fraud investigation into CDC; that everything is just rumor, Chair Sirk commented that every one that has looked at CDC has given it a clean bill of health. Last Friday , that changed.
     Friday, April 26, in the Kanawha County Court system, CDC worker Melissa Drake was sentenced for felony Medicaid fraud. She was given 5 years probation and has to pay back $26,500.00 in restitution. Drake was a home care provider for CDC and reported to Pam Ramsey Taylor. Drake had fudged on her time sheets among other things. We
=ve been told there were a zillion counts of fraud against Ms Drake. Even while the investigators were in the county, checking bank records, and at CDC itself, the public was told nothing was going on. Last fall when Drake pled guilty to the felonies, CDC said nothing was going on, that CDC was clean.
     It is the understanding of this paper, that the investigation is continuing. It is also the hope of this newspaper that all wrong doers are snaked out and prosecuted. What the CDC Board and General Membership thought would happen, has not. They thought that by barring the public from meetings the look and smell of CDC operations would improve. In fact, the stories of workers resigning, going to Myrtle Beach on company time, lumber materials disappearing, and a general atmosphere of deceit have increased now more than ever. CDC will not pass the rotten fish test. It appears that this first court sentencing may just be the tip of the iceberg. For many, Drake was just the poor soul that got caught up in a much bigger quagmire.
     CDC provides a much needed service in the county. It must do some housecleaning before it can mend. Keeping the public away from their operations will not help. It is our hope Clay Development Corporation rethinks its position on secrecy and sheds itself of the refuse that acts as a boat anchor.


     Commissioner Matthew Bragg is a nice looking guy, well dressed, a family man, and has set lofty goals for a career in politics in Clay County. Even serious health issues have not been a set back for Bragg=s political future in Clayberry. It is no secret that Bragg=s heart is in the run for Sheriff two years away.
But..........Mr. Bragg is still wet behind the ears? Here
=s our story. Back four weeks ago, Bragg boo booed. A few weeks back Bragg called up fellow Commissioner Sams and asked for some help. Bragg wanted Bailiff Gene King=s job and wanted Sams vote on the matter. Along about then Bragg also commented something about, AGetting the Sheriff off his butt.@ Oh boy, do we need to mention the wet behind the ears part again? Bragg was in the hot seat!
     Needless to say, word spread quickly around the county. Seems Bragg, currently a Summersville police officer, had asked the Sheriff if he could work I -79 a couple days a week running radar. Something about making big $$$ for the county. Fields said his deputies would have to get the overtime wages if such a speed trap were to be established. Sheriff Fields shot down the idea of Bragg working 2 days a week and the radar part as well. With that police work idea gone , Bragg came up with the idea of taking the bailiff
=s job.
     Figuring out his political blunder, Bragg apologized on bended knee to the Sheriff and later to Gene King. Little did Bragg know that King
=s salary is drawn from Federal grant dollars and that Judge=s have a say in who the bailiff is for the court system. One thing is for sure, the county has a long memory and when they, Gene King and Sheriff Fields, get peed, they remember. Comments on the street included: all the visits locals made to his bed side when Bragg was hospitalized; all the tutoring given Bragg as a rookie in police matters, all the favors extended to the new guy, and all the time spent getting him elected to the Commission.
In Clayberry, trying to get Gene King
=s ,the number one vote getter, job... saying something about getting the Sheriff off his butt....has to go down as a REAL stumble and one that is likely to be remembered in 24 months.

More than just AChatter@
To: Clay County

     As a medical student I have made note of several issues that are concerning me regarding health care maintenance. While rotating in the Charleston area, it became apparent that the importance of many of these topics is not stressed, particularly in rural areas. My rotations started in obstetrics and gynecology where I first began to think about these issues. It is in that field where I will concentrate this letter and will focus on the importance of regular pap smears. An attempt to stress the basics and importance of this screening test, along with the provision of some quick facts will be the goal of this article.
     The pap test is a screening tool used for the detection of abnormal growth or cancer on the cervix. This test is usually performed during health maintenance visits. It is a relatively painless procedure that may be accompanied with some cramping. The health care provider (nurse practitioner, doctor, or physician
=s assistant) will insert a speculum into the vagina and will observe the surface of the cervix. They will then use a spatula or a brush to lightly scrape the surface to remove some cells which will later be observed under a microscope. Most times two brushes are used (one for the outside of the cervix and one for just inside the opening). The health care provider will then feel around for any types of abnormal growth or masses that may be present in the uterus or ovaries. This will conclude this portion of the exam and then other problems or issues will be addressed. You should be notified of the results of the exam within a few weeks.
     This test provides many women with some apprehension. However, these feelings should not keep them from obtaining the test. As mentioned, it is a relatively quick and easy procedure that is almost entirely without pain. Your health care provider should explain the steps of the procedure as they occur and will stop if you are experiencing pain. This test is taught throughout school, so your provider should have completed many of these tests before.
     The pap test screens for growth on the cervix that should not be there. This includes cancerous growths and growth that may turn into cancer. Cervical cancer is a
Acurable@ cancer when caught in the early stages. Generally, women will not Aknow@ when they are developing cervical cancer. A screening test, by definition, will detect this growth before it is known about. These few minutes can SAVE your life.
     Women should have pap smears yearly beginning with sexual activity or turn 18 (whichever is first). After three normal pap smears, many doctors will accept a pap smear every three years.
Fast Facts:
* Cervical cancer can actually be considered sexually transmitted in some, if not most cases. Condom use can help prevent transmission of the virus that can cause it.
* Smoking women are twice as likely to get cervical cancer as carcinogens are actually excreted into the cervical mucous.
* Women who have had a total hysterectomy cannot get cervical cancer.
* Pap is short for Papanicolaou (the last name of the man who invented it).
Finally, I helped treat and became particularly close to several women who died of cervical cancer. This is why I write. I can assure you that each and every one of these women would stare you in the eye and beg you as a woman to have a pap test.
      Chad Sizemore

More Savings, More Choice: Capito’s Fight for Prescription Drug Relief

DAY 6:
Congresswoman Named Vice Chairperson of
Rx Action Team, Outlines Core Principles
of a Rx Benefit with West Virginia Seniors

Rx Fact for the Day: The number of prescriptions dispensed in retail pharmacies has grown at an average annual rate of 6% since 1992, reaching almost 3 billion prescriptions in 2000. -study by the Kaiser Family Foundation

WASHINGTON-Joining West Virginia seniors at a press conference on the steps of the U.S. Capitol today, Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) was named Vice Chairperson of the Congressional Prescription Drug Action Team by House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) and, along with other members, outlined the core principles for a prescription drug benefit.

“I am honored that the Speaker has given me this leadership role and responsibility,” said Rep. Capito. “The men and women of West Virginia sent me to Washington to lower drug cost for seniors. I plan on using this action team as part of my war chest in my fight on this important issue.”

“The time is ripe for real prescription drug relief,” said Rep. Capito. Our seniors are feeling the pinch, and all of us are becoming all too aware of the skyrocketing costs of drugs.”

“More savings and more choice is what we’re fighting for.”

At the press conference, Speaker Hastert said he appointed Congresswoman Capito to this leadership position because she has shown tremendous energy, passion and urgency on the issue of prescription drugs.

Congresswoman Capito also introduced West Virginia seniors from the Martinsburg area including Betty White, who echoed the need for immediate and real relief for seniors.

“I know that I need help-my monthly prescription drugs cost 340 dollars-but there are others who need help even more,” said Ms. White.

Core Principles for a Prescription Drug Benefit Unveiled TODAY:
Principle 1-Lower the Costs of Prescription Drugs Now:
A fair and responsible Medicare plan must lower the cost of prescription drugs now so senior citizens can better afford the medicines they need to live healthier and improve their quality of life.
Principle 2-Guarantee All Senior Citizens Prescription Drug Coverage: A fair and responsible Medicare plan must guarantee a prescription drug benefit under Medicare for all senior citizens and provide additional assistance for low-income seniors and those facing runaway drug costs because of a long-term, sever illness.
Principle 3-Improve Medicare with More Choice & More Savings: A fair and responsible Medicare plan must give senior citizens more power to choose what’s best for them. It would promote preventive medicine, include an affordable and voluntary prescription drug benefit, strengthen the Medicare+Choice program, and lower overall health care costs.
Principle 4-Strengthen Medicare for the Future: A fair and responsible Medicare plan must strengthen Medicare by ensuring the program can deliver necessary health care services, including the addition of an affordable and voluntary prescription drug benefit under Medicare.


     Shawnee Hills Mental Health Services officially filed for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy protection Wednesday May 1, ending for good the efforts of the often financially troubled corporation. Locally, Shawnee Hills provided a whole host of mental health consumer services. With news of the shutdown of the agency, consumers of the services, employees, and supporters alike have expressed concern over the much needed services.
     In an attempt to provide for the needs of the clients, the State of WV has provided $500,000.00 to Prestera Center for Mental Health and $250,000.00 to Highland Behavioral Health Services to take over the operations of the now defunct Shawnee Hills operation. Prestera and Highland will work together in the endeavor.
     For a more detailed look at what is in store for the Clay County facility, Prestera Director for Adult Services, Paul Hall, was interviewed May 2 in his Charleston office.
      Hall, “It’s the Prestera facility in the county now. We are working with the bankruptcy trustee to get all this worked out.”
     Will the current services remain? Hall, “We have taken over responsibility for the residential program , the day treatment program and jointly with Highland Hospital for the clinic.” Before going to Prestera 2 years ago, Mr. Hall worked for Shawnee Hills for 21 years. Hall was formally director of the county programs. Hall, “I realize that a lot of the services for the people had been cut back in the county. In time, after we understand what we are doing here better, after we get through this initial confusing time of picking up the services , our goal is likely to be improve and increase the services in the county.”
     Will the other services be picked up by other agencies? Hall, “Someone told me that there is a diversified business group, that somebody is working with the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation. It is my understanding that maybe Seneca Mental Health may be interested in that, or maybe do what is called service coordination. There are about seven residents that have Medicaid Waiver funding and I think they will be doing the service coordination for those folks. Prestera will be responsible for the about thirteen people in the residential program and the day program that they participate in, along with people from the community, so we are going to keep that going . We have Dr. Thorton, who is now an employee of Highland Process Strategies, who will continue. I think he goes there about two days a week and he will continue to do that. Highland Process Strategies and Prestera , even though we are different organizations, will operate as a seamless organization.”
     And the future? Again, Mr. Hall, “Everyone will just continue providing services and operating as they have been even though one person may get a pay check from Highland and another may get one from Prestera Center. That will be immaterial. We will work together as one organization. We have discussed coming up with a new name in the near future that would reflect the close working relationship that we have from working together. Shawnee Hills does not exist anymore. As of yesterday about 4 PM. The official name is Prestera Center for Mental Health Services, Inc. out of Huntington, WV.”
      How about our local employees, will they remain? Hall, “I think we have retained everybody but maybe one part time clerical person.” Director Hall indicated that both new providers are in it for the long haul. “Traditionally, Prestera has provided comprehensive mental health service for Lincoln, Wayne, Mason and Cabell Counties. Now we are responsible for those plus the counties that Shawnee Hills served. For now, our goal is to maintain services. To serve clients and to hopefully do that without disrupting their care or causing any undo hardship on the clients. The long time plan for the future is likely to build back some of the things that have been cut, like have a therapist or something. They don’t have a counselor anymore there now that Regina Stephenson and Robby Updegrave left.”
     Hall said that a time line for new services will be set once they are sure of the current services they must meet and when. “We are doing that well, and we have all our processes in place and folks are cross trained on the transition from the way Shawnee Hills did things to the way Prestera and Highland want things done.”
     Will the center remain in Clay County? Hall, “For the foreseeable future , yes. We always have to consider the lack of funding for behavioral health services over the past years. All the centers, not just Shawnee Hills, that continue to try to provide behavioral health services still struggle with paying for those services. Actually we end up providing more services than we get paid for. We have to continually evaluate what we are doing. Unfortunately we have had to reduce services, that is true for most of the behavioral health centers in the state of West Virginia.”
As for soothing those stressed out over the future of the much needed services, Paul Hall finished with “Our plan is to get out and meet with staff and consumers and answer questions and do some reassurances. It is coming as soon as possible.”


follow ups

     Back four weeks ago this paper made mention that teenagers down in our southern border colony of Clendenin were having a tough time just walking down the streets. According to our sources, kids had been arrested for walking down a sidewalk without a clear destination in mind and standing too long in one spot. Additionally, Mayor Evelyn Robertson ordered the posting of ‘NO LOITERING’ signs at the town’s gazebo. The jist of our story centered on democratic laden youth signing a petition asking for the ‘No Loitering’ sign to come down and how the night the petition was to be presented to Town Council, council persons cowered away. Police officers were also called to the meeting just in case the petitioners got rowdy!
According to the Clendenin Herald, Mayor Robertson has responded to the petition. The Mayor said that the petition was invalid since 99% of the signatures were from those kids not registered to vote and not tax paying residents! Well Duhhhhhhhhhhhh. They’re kids!
We also understand that the ‘No Loitering’ sign has been taken down. It is not known whether the town took the sign down or was removed unofficially.
     Last edition many of our readers went running over to West Tire Center for their bi-weekly prescription on all the news in Clayberry. When they arrived they were told by new owner Todd Osborne that the Communicator is no longer sold there. Osborne took over the operation from Junior West. West was one of those supporters that came along during the Clay Elementary ‘alter call’ days and was a stead fast defender of printing the whole truth and anything less was unacceptable. Junior West, one of a kind and greatly appreciated.

??? DID YOU KNOW ???

  1. Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. Psalms 30:5
  2. Everything has a beginning, has an ending. Make your peace with that and all will be well.
  3. Taxpayers are cheating themselves out of about $1 billion in overpaid income taxes, because they fail to claim itemized deductions.
  4. Twenty-six percent of Medicaid beneficiaries between the ages of 18 and 64 report being unable to afford to get a prescription filled in the last year. Only 8 percent with employer sponsored coverage said they couldn’t afford their medication.
  5. Ornithologists and US Fish and Wildlife Service officials have warned that many common songbird species including Blue Jays, Wood Thrushes and Baltimore Orioles are steadily declining because of global warming.
  6. The United States imports $300 million worth of “hemp” annually.
  7. Fibremyalgia occurs in approximately six million US patients, mostly women.
  8. Women who graduate from college are less likely to divorce in the first year of marriage than those who just have a high school education.
  9. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, more than 1.5 billion pounds of PCB’s were manufactured before the 1976 “Toxic Substance Control Act” banned them.
  10. Christian music had its best sales year in 2001.
  11. The IRS says that under reporting of income and fabrication of deductions, the Treasury loses an estimated $250 billion annually.
  12. Counting state bridges, railroad underpasses, non-highway bridges, city owned bridges, turnpike bridges, and railroad bridges, the state has about 7,000 bridges available for naming.
  13. Nearly 200,000 Veterans live in West Virginia.
  14. West Virginia ranks fourth in the nation in terms of the percentage of occupied housing units that are “mobile homes”.
  15. A gazebo costing approximately $15,000 will be built at the State Capitol for “smokers”.
  16. Most emergency rooms are full or overflowing. American Hospital Association’s national survey found that one in three are so crowded that ambulances are diverted to other hospitals.
  17. According to a major study, a daily baby aspirin modestly reduces the risk of colon cancer by preventing the growth of ominous polyps.
  18. West Virginia has 87 daily, Sunday and weekly newspapers with a grand total of 772,709 paid circulation.
  19. About 80 percent of sexual assaults occur while the victim is under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
    • There are now more than 100,000 independent voters in West Virginia. LMM

    ELECTION 2002: Last Call

         With the primary election just a few days away, candidates are busy shoring up every possible vote they can. Posters have to be in the right spots, in the right yards. Election Day drivers to haul voters have to be firmed up.
         So what else is left to do? Getting on the
    Aslate@. Clay County is notorious for slates, a way to band together, a team effort, a way to ride in on coat tails, so to speak. So how do you know who=s on what slate and will the slates drop you in the final couple days before an election?
         An early indicator of the slate is what signs are up in which yards. Driving through the town of Clay reveals some grouping of candidates. Here ten days before ballot day there is no doubt the blue bloods in the county are walking in lock step with senatorial candidate Jim Dawson and incumbent Delegates Perry and Pino. Now take a look at where the ‘Randy White for Senate’ posters are. They
    =re there! Around the county. To have a Randy White poster up is an indication of resistance to going with the flow. The slate certainly has Dawson, Perry, and Pino on it, but what about on a local level?
         While it
    =s true posters don=t vote, they sure say a lot. Take the Tim Butcher reelection campaign for County Commission. Butcher, feeling the ouster movement, is finally working hard on something, keeping his job! Wooden signs and posters are conspicuous through out the county. With strong family backing of mother Joyce Gibson and Morgan Gibson, isn=t Butcher a shoe in? Nope, not this time. Six years of dismal performance has the race wide open. The push is for candidate Peter Triplett. Not so much because Triplett has any strong credentials for the job, but more along the line of a new start, a new beginning, a change, and/or Awe=re tired of no leadership.@ Over the last few weeks, Mr. Butcher has worked the little paper over in Clay hard. His picture on the campaign trail, his mug shot with a cute little kid, and with just a few days left, watch for more. Certainly Butcher will try and take credit for securing a $10,000.00 grant for the town from the Governor=s office which town recorder Betty Murphy and clerk Dwana Murphy secured many months back.
         Because of his family
    =s decades long involvement in politics, Butcher will certainly be on the slate for reelection, but will that change a day or so before May 14 as has happened in the past when the deals are made? Will the deal be cut to toss Butcher for, say Humphreys or Capito? Will Butcher be cast aside the night before the election to shore up support for school board candidate Scott Legg? If candidate Peter Triplett keeps his nose clean and continues to knock on doors, watch for a heck of a showing at the polls. Butcher is on the official slate today with Dawson, Perry and Pino, but watch for the winds to change a day or so before the 14th.
         The powers that be have to keep Scott Legg on the school board along with Dave Pierson. Fran King has always been the wild card and considered, at best, expendable. Unfortunately for the blue bloods, Fran King remains poplar with the masses. Although she has done little more than sit on her thumbs over the last several years, Ms King is considered the
    Apeople=s candidate@. Due to his short temperament and sometimes abrasive personality, Scott Legg is vulnerable but, as the new Clay County Bank president, Scott has to be kept! Watch for last minute wrangling on the slate to keep Legg in office. Who comes out on the short end then? It could be Butcher. And then there is those pesky Aoutsiders@ like Fran Naylor and Charles Vance. A vote here, a vote there, and the election is changed. Five years ago, just after the first School Excess Levy election, 15 people ran for the School Board and two incumbents ( Osborne and Allen) lost handsomely. Watch for the slate to cut Tim Butcher loose in the waning hours in an attempt to keep Scott Legg. You might want to check out long time school board member Gene King=s signage posted in his blue Chevy as you come into Clay. Three posters there, one for Scott Legg, one for Dave Pierson, and one for Jim Dawson. No Fran King.
         The powers that be have Butcher, Dawson, Perry , Pino, Dave Pierson and Scott Legg on the slate. Watch for Butcher and Pierson to get bumped May 12th. Will that insure a victory for Triplett? No, but by dumping Butcher, the Butcher/Triplett race will come down to neck to neck. Can Fran Naylor get elected to the school board because of the change in the slate? Maybe. Maybe not.
    Speaking of powers that be, money talks. According to campaign records from the middle of April, candidate Jim Dawson has spent $7,309.40 and has $5,310.60 on hand. Here
    =s a brief list of contributors and the amount contributed.
         Wayne Clutter-$100.00; Patricia Blischak-$25.00; Kenneth Grogg-$100.00; Gene King-$100.00; Jeffery Kraulkis-$100.00; Kevin C Duffy-$250.00; Buck Harless-$500.00; Jinks Hinkle-$500.00; Anita Stephenson-$50.00; Alan Exline-$25.00; Ron Sirk-$100.00; Jimmy Morris-$100.00; Michael Olivero-$100.00; Joe Minard-$100.00; Hiram Lewis-$500.00; Betty Murphy-$200.00; Mike Schoonover-$200.00; June Holcomb-$50.00; Belinda Carper-$50; Harald Fields-$50; Judy Morris-$50; James E Boggs-$250.00; Patsey Lambey-$25; Carrie Belt-$100; Brenda Parcell-$20.00 Sara Coon-$130; Richard Jarvis-$250; Judy Moore-$100; Ron Haynes-$100; Elizabeth Sampson-$100; Jerry Linkinoggor-$100; Jimmy Schoonover-$100; Agnes Davis-$25; Ron Samples-$100; Jennifer Sirk-$100; Reva Morris-$100 Shirley Young-$100; Telford Cruickshank Jr-$200.00; Joyce Gibson-$500; Suzanne Legg-$500; RB Legg-$500; Geraldine Legg-$ 1000.00; Richard K. Taylor-$ 300
    =s election time and here=s the absolutely worthless predictions that don=t amount to a hill of beans. There will be 2150 votes cast in Clay County with Randy White garnering 400. White will take the Senate nomination. Fran King and Dave Pierson finish first and second respectively and very close together. Scott Legg and Fran Naylor will be neck and neck with Legg edging out Naylor for the third place opening. In the County Commissioner race, tight!!!! Look for Butcher to secure 1050 votes against Triplett=s 1000. If there is to be an upset victory it is with Triplett. Keep an eye peeled on Naylor=s showing.
    Web Site will post election results late-late May 14 and early May 15th.           AW