June 3, 2003

Letter to Brother Bill
From the Far South By Rose Cantrell
??? DID YOU KNOW ???
Board of Education Meetings
BOB CLARKE Curmudgeon’ Corner

         During the May 13th Clay County PSD meeting, office clerk Beverly Duffield received a pay increase raising her hourly rate to $7.15 per hour.
                 Here’ one to think about. The Clay County Solid Waste Authority Board, the appointed Board, is made up of Leawanda Whaling, Sheriff Harald Fields, County Commissioners Peter Triplett and Mathew Bragg, and recently appointed Sally Legg. All their dealings, for the most part anyway, have to have County Commission approval ahead of time. The Solid Waste Authority has two of our three County Commissioners as Board members. All County monies have to go thru the County Treasurer’ office. The County Treasurer is Sheriff Fields who also sits on the Solid Waste Board. When the Solid Waste Board decides to ask the County Commission for project money or matching project money ( as they’e doing right now), they vote as a Board to do so. When they get over to the County Commission meeting, the same two, Bragg and Sams vote again to do the same thing but from a different side of the table, the County Commission side.
                 At their most recent meeting, a little fat taxpayer asked for the Solid Waste gang to seek an Attorney General’ opinion on the issue of the Sheriff and two County Commissioners sitting on the Board. Bragg expressed resistance to even asking such a question and made mention of past lawsuits where the public always came out on the short end of the stick.
                 Do you think you live in a high crime area Clay County residents? Were you listening to the scanner May 21st. Fist fight on Main Street in front of the DHHR office between Jerry Cash II and Orville Hilderbrand. Officer Buckshot Butcher & TFC Bailey responded. Hilderbrand was arrested on battery, obstructing an officer and providing alcohol to a minor. Cash was arrested on obstructing an officer and released on $1000 surety bond. It appears it was a fight between two enameled in alcohol and when the cops arrived, Cash tried to run but did so in circles. While in the Magistrates office, Hilderbrand made a dash for freedom only to be caught at the bottom of the steps by Bailey. Mr. Hilderbrand lives across the street from the DHHR office and according to word on the street, was served with an eviction notice a few days later.
                 Do you think you live in a high crime area? Before answering , you might want to ask Mildred Bullard. While existing Bullard’ Exxon at the close of the day, with the money bag in her hand , thugs shoved her in her car and ran off with the money bag containing over $5000.00 Ms Bullard was not injured in the incident. Quick reaction by the cops netted an arrest but
         not for this crime. The guy was arrested on an outstanding warrant ( similar charges) in Kanawha County. Last we heard, the money had not been returned or found and a second subject had not been caught.
                 Do you think you live in a high crime area? Over Memorial Day weekend, the driver’ education car, parked at Clay High was vandalized. A passenger side window was broken out and the inside of the vehicle was pretty much trashed as well.
                 Congress woman Shelly Moore Capito made it to the Courthouse last May 29th. While there she discussed the funding for the Maysel Community Park and how , when completed, it could be an economic plus for the county. During a question and answer session, others brought forward other needs in the county. One guy sought funding to provide clean safe cheap water for the Widen area. According to that taxpayer, 2 million gallons of fresh free flowing water is going unused daily in the Widen area and for a very small price tag, a small treatment plant could be built to serve the 100 or so residents of that area. Capito seemed responsive to the idea.

                 Sometimes it’ hard to keep up with all the goings on at Clay Roane PSD meetings. One week they say they have enough new customers to get starting biding a new water line extension project and the next time, nope! Out of one side of a mouth comes, it’ cheaper to buy water from the Town of Clay instead of making water at the Procious Water plant. From the other side of the pie hole, we’e going to build a an addition to the existing water plant and pay even higher water rates while the Clay plant sets under used and with cheaper water.
                 Yes it’ confusing readers and getting worse. Here goes with highlights from the May 22 Clay Roane PSD Board meeting. Chair Postelwait was at the helm with Larry White, Dave Saulsgiver, and Gary Whaling at her side. Boardster Glen Sutton stayed home. The meeting agenda called for public questions during the beginning of the gathering and again at the end when all formal business was complete. And the questions came.
                 “hy are the water bills so high?….. Some Valley Fork customers got lower bills. Some in the Newton area got much higher water bills!…”From Punkineer Celia Coon, “Is Punkin getting water… Don’ we need an ad for the June meeting… Are we doing better financially?…. Is the over time down?” Few answers came during this part of the meeting.
                 In an effort to bring in more $ for the financially strapped water provider, termination notices will be sent out May 28th totaling over $9000.00 in past due charges. While talking about which bills to pay, Boardster Larry White questioned an entry of $3600 in mileage to be paid employees. Office manager Crystal Geiger made it clear some bills like the power bill MUST be paid NOW along with loan payments to the USDA and more back payments to PEIA, employee hospitalization.. As of meeting time, Clay Roane had $5800 in the bank while the old Queen Shoals PSD had mustered nearly $1600.00. Postelwait reminded the leaders, Bullard’ Exxon, the place they buy all their fuel, is still owed $1309.00 and “has been on hold since last year..”It appeared that Clay Roane needed to pay $14,000 in bills to keep their heads above water.
                 Note: Although Clay Roane is still deep in debt, it almost sounded like they’e making progress and reducing debt load each month. We could be wrong and often the Clay Roane ice cream turns to doo doo at the worst times.
                 Here’ something interesting. Somewhere right in the middle of a conversation Chair Melissa casually said something along the lines of “the upgrade we’e planning for Procious…”Upgrade? Raise your hands if you remember any public vote to go further in debt and add on. Mr. White asked the Board if any of them gave an OK for WV Water Co to do preliminary engineering work in the Amma section of Roane County. With No being the only response heard, White,”That is an illegal move. It is in our district!… We got to get going.. .. We need to get on the move..” White was referring to the long stalled Amma Left Hand water line extension project. Translation: Unless the project goes to bid real quick, another provider will come in and provide the service. Translation 2: If enough customers aren’ found post haste to justify the project lenders, the project will be down the tubes ( if it isn’ already).
                 As far as getting the Amma Left Hand project back on track, 33 rights of way contract remain unsigned to date and the WV Health Dept is now demanding a bunch more info.
                 During the last public comment period, it came to light: No one knows how much it really costs to treat water at the existing Procious water plant and that’ after months of the public asking for such figures. In attendance Commissioner Peter Triplett asked about paying overtime wages since the vote was taken four weeks prior to stop such payroll over runs. Ms Geiger said only 42 hours of overtime was paid in April compared to 75 ½ in March. After doing some more questioning and quick ciphering, Mr. T figured out, while the amount of overtime was indeed less, the amount paid to part time operators had gone UP by a nearly equal amount. Sort of a shell game, not if the money was going out, but rather, which shell is it being hid under. Part timers had received 50 extra hours of pay while being budgeted just 32 hours total. Rising to the occasion, Larry White, “We’e trying to run this place!”Firing right back, Commissioner, Mr. T, “We’l you haven’ been for a long time!!”There were chuckles in the peanut gallery. Triplett said the PSD was still behind $14,500 with another $16,000 in monthly bills to pay.
                 Write this one down readers. According to Chair Postelwait, that fresh to the public’ ears water plant upgrade will bring the Procious plant up to producing 500 gallons of water per minute and the upgrade will be FINANCED WITH ALL GRANT DOLLARS. Cut it out and hang it on your refrigerator with a magnet. All grant money!                
                 INTERNET UPDATE
                 Next time you are washing your hands and complain because the water temperature isn't just how you like it, think about how things used to be...Here are some facts about the 1500s:
          Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May and still smelled pretty good by June. However, they were starting to smell so brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odor. Hence the custom today of carrying a bouquet when getting married. Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water. The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water, then all the other sons and men, then the women and finally the children-last of all the babies. By then the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it - hence the saying, "Don't throw the baby out with the bath water."
          Houses had thatched roofs-thick straw-piled high, with no wood underneath. It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the dogs, cats and other small animals (mice, bugs) lived in the roof. When it rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof-hence the saying "It's raining cats and dogs." There was nothing to stop things from falling into the house. This posed a real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other droppings could really mess up your nice clean bed. Hence, a bed with big posts and a sheet hung over the top afforded some protection. That's how canopy beds came into existence.
          The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt, hence the saying "dirt poor." The wealthy had slate floors that would get slippery in the winter when wet, so they spread thresh (straw) on the floor to help keep their footing. As the winter wore on, they kept adding more thresh until when you opened the door it would all start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed in the entranceway-hence, a "thresh hold."
          In those old days, they cooked in the kitchen with a big kettle that always hung over the fire. Every day they lit the fire and added things to the pot. They ate mostly vegetables and did not get much meat. They would eat the stew for dinner, leaving leftovers in the pot to get cold overnight and then start over the next day. Sometimes the stew had food in it that had been there for quite a while -hence the rhyme, "Peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old. " Sometimes they could obtain pork, which made them feel quite special. When visitors came over, they would hang up their bacon to show off. It was a sign of wealth that a man "could bring home the bacon. "They would cut off a little to share with guests and would all sit around and "chew the fat."
          Those with money had plates made of pewter. Food with high acid content caused some of the lead to leach onto the food, causing lead poisoning and death. This happened most often with tomatoes, so for the next 400 years or so, tomatoes were considered poisonous. Bread was divided according to status. Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle, and guests got the top, or "upper crust." Lead cups were used to drink ale or whisky. The combination would sometimes knock them out for a couple of days. Someone walking along the road would take them for dead and prepare them for burial. They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up - hence the custom of holding a "wake."
          England is old and small and the local folks started running out of places to bury people. So they would dig up coffins and would take the bones to a "bone-house" and reuse the grave. When reopening these coffins, 1 out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realized they had been burying people alive. So they thought they would tie a string on the wrist of the corpse, lead it through the coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell. Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night the ("graveyard shift") to listen for the bell; thus, someone could be "saved by the bell" or was considered a "dead ringer."
         It’ been pretty quiet during our County Commission meetings lately. Such was the case May 22 when CCC President Jimmy Sams, Mathew Bragg and Peter Triplett called things to order with Mathew’ prayer. 15 or so sat in the peanut gallery. Here we go with the highlights only readers.
                 Every year , the CCC applies for a Small Cities Block Grant (SCBG). For the most part, every year, they get shut down by the powers that be in Charleston. First up on this meeting’ agenda, OK to seek another SCBG. Again, as in 2002 and 2001, the nod was given to request funding for a water line extension in the Big Otter Nebo areas of the county.
                 Howard Tyree from the WV Housing Development Fund introduced himself to the elected ones. He informed all: his organization had financed over 85,000 homes in WV since 1968; they finance multi family units as well; their $ comes from bond sales and not tax dollars and they offer a bunch of programs most don’ even know about; his agency was the lender in the failed apartment complex just up from the old Dundon bridge; and they have cheap cheap interest rates. The well spoken man finished in about 6 minutes or so.
                 Melody Reed was given the nod to replace Joretta Gray on the Health Dept Board.
                 Commission President Sams said another oil producer had been caught by the state tax department and the company, Pine Mountain Oil and Gas Inc will have to cough up some loot and fines. Seems the producer failed to notify the State bean counters of their production in Clay County.
                 According to state code, every year County Commissioners have to agree which bank in the county will be designated to handle the banking services for the next 12 months. Often this part of the code has been over looked and at one time, about 6 years ago, County Commissioners showed great reluctance to even got thru the paces of bidding the service. During this meeting of the three blind, both the Bank of Gassaway and the Clay County Bank made a presentation. First up, Bank of Gassaway rep Rick Thorn. Thorn asked the boys up front to consider his $150 million bank as the county depository. He presented the CCC with his rate schedules for deposits. Although Mr. Thorn said his bank was committed to serving this county, and although the Gassaway bank is just a mile and a half from the Courthouse, the boys up front seemed unimpressed.
                 With Sams saying they want the best rates they can get on deposits, Mr. Thorn left. With Thorn gone, in came Clay Bank President Scott Legg, John Gency and Brett Stover all dressed in their finest and sitting up front on the front pew. Gency was the lead man with comments on: the convenience of just walking down the street, they put $1000s back into the community; they have over 100 years of banking experience in the county; and they are strong supporters of various schools in the county. All was sounding like cherries and ice cream. Didn’ last long though…. Greg Gency said they amount the Clay County Bank pays on deposits ( now 4 ½%) would have to be reduced to 1.75% and service fees for using the bank would be going up.
                 Even with the bad news of increased service charges and lower interest rates on deposits, Sams was supportive of keeping all the $ in the Clay Bank. Sheriff Fields raised concerns of higher costs with having to drive to a bank to make a deposit and someone having to pay for insurance coverage if an employee drives a personal vehicle. Hearing the strong words from the Sheriff, without discussion, the motion was made and passed to continue banking with the Clay County Bank.
                 Around 3 pm, during a pee break, we scadaddled. The second half of the meeting went on without us. Boy ain’ that scary!!                        AW
                 Clay County’ Board of Health met in regular session May 19th beginning at 7 pm. Chair Mary Lou Devlin handled the gavel work with boardsters Connie Harper and Loretta Bird at her side. Absent were Lynn Sizemore and Joretta Gray. Gray has not shown her face at a board meeting for over 9 months. County Medical Director Jim Boggs also sat at the conference table.
                 Health Dept meetings are for the most part pretty darn dull. This one was little different with a few exceptions. Mention was made that long time employee Kim Thomas had resigned. Director Karen Dawson commented on not filling the position and by doing so, the annual budget would be less in the red. According to Dawson, “im has moved on to greener pastures…” For our readers a couple of notes. One, Thomas recently completed her college degree and wanted to be certified as County Sanitarian last December. That didn’ happen as new employee Jay Carper got the nod for the training which resulted in Thomas being peeeturbed to say the least. Second, it was Thomas that lead the charge in 1998 for Health Dept employees to be covered by the civil service program in Charleston. That change, to civil service protection, cost the agency much in payroll increases and many feel, Thomas, the lead person for the change, felt the fall out from her actions until her recent resignation date.
                 What time is it readers? It’ pay raise time at the Health Dept. Director Dawson asked the Board to give serious consideration to giving her staff a small pay increase. Dawson informed all that it had been no substantial pay increases for 5 years. Dawson said some of the homemakers within her agency had been cheated out of benefits for years and that program was making some real profit . She also brought to light discrepancies in some pay scales for those that had been employed for s short period of time. Saying that $26,000 would cover a 3% increase, the Board looked sympathetic. By not replacing Kim Thomas, the increase could be made without major hardship to the agency. With Thomas off the payroll and with pay increases approved, the agency would finish the year $6000 in the red.
                 Exceptions were made. Remember back in 2001 and 2002, when all ‘’broke loose with nurses arguing over who got paid how much, who had been there the longest, and how newcomers were being paid heaps more dough? Before voting to increase salaries 3%, the Board was told, those that got hefty raises in the last 24 months would NOT receive one this round.
                 As for the roof leaking at the Health Dept building, Commercial Roofing Specialists got the bid to repair the flat roof for $28,500.00. Instead of tearing off the old roof and putting an entirely new surface on the roof, the company will simply add a new layer on top of the old. Dawson informed the Board of the recently found asbestos in the old roof covering and how the EPA advised her not to disturb the stuff by removing it and instead just cover it over. Cheaper too!
                 Ms Dawson clued the governing Board in findings of a recent state audit. Auditors found problems with the way travel reimbursement were documented and the less than timely manner for such paperwork, one duplicate payment for reimbursement was discovered by the auditors. To get away from being “ritten up”by the nosey bean counters, Director Dawson had to agree to implementing better internal controls.
                 With Joretta “o Show”Gray nowhere to be found and stating she no longer wanted to be on the Board, Dawson found a replacement. Dawson said she would ask the County Commission to appoint Melody Reed to the volunteer post. The Board seemed OK with the idea. As for Board elections, Connie Harper is the new Health Board President replacing Ms Devlin.
                 Next meeting Wednesday, September 24, 2003
                 With the meeting coverage over and the approved budget printed in this edition, take a look at the figures. First, the approved 2003 – 2004 budget is in the red by $16,808.00. Next, take a look at what they’e calling ‘uto allowances- administration. Go ahead, look over there, about half way down the budget page. That column, the column to reimburse for using their own vehicles for travels here and there is $8000.00. Down at the bottom of that budget page, only $1600 is budgeted for use of the county paid for vehicles, a van, and couple of cars ( I think). Does that sound odd to anybody else? Paying the employees $8000 while the company vehicles set under used? Just a thought readers. Remember, it’ the budget that counts and the devil is always in the details.                                        AW
         Letter to Brother Bill

         by Evelyne McLaughlin

         Dear Brother Bill:
                 Hope this little note finds everyone in good health and enjoying life. We have been getting lots of rain and the grass just keeps getting higher and higher. Our step-sister, Donna Dawson Smyth, and her daughter, Shirley, of Charleston, dropped by on their way to the Markle Cemetery. We hadn't visited since before Christmas so we exchanged Christmas gifts. Better late than never. "Little" Ed Smith, son of Ed and Sandy Hanshaw Smith, of Horner's Fork, recently graduated from Concord College. Their other son, Jim, is in the Military and got married recently. Congratulations to both Ed and Jim. Mary and Norma, daughters of Richard and Inez DeMoss Samples, of Cressmont, were visiting their parents this month. The girls live near Elkview. Will Carr, of Twistabout Ridge, was honored with a birthday party last Saturday. Will turned 90 years old. Jeannie Davis and her family hosted the party. She said several folks came. I really wanted to go but was attending an auction in Clendenin and just couldn't leave. Don't forget our Gospel Sing at the Blue Knob Church, June 7th. The time is seven o'clock. Singers are Shirley Baird Butcher, The Joyful Hearts and God's Family Trio. Other recent birthdays were Derek Vaughn, grandson of Mary Vaughn. He was 8 years old. Caleb Ian McLaughlin, son of Rodney and Melissa McLaughlin, was 13 the 24th. Caleb's friend Michael Tanner spent the weekend at their house. Our friend, Lyle Shreves, of Terra Alta, was visiting his daughter, Betsy Shreves, of Charleston, during the holidays. He called and said he would be dropping by - didn't see him. Maybe he got lost in the tall grass????? Are you aware that the remote for the TV cannot be used as a telephone and you cannot turn the TV on with the hand held telephone? Something tells me I am in trouble. LeAnn Bennett, of Valley View, is home for the summer. She attends college at Montgomery. Well, brother, I guess that is about all for this time. We will be looking forward to your visit in a couple of weeks. Until then, help us all to be brave. Love, Sis
         DON GREENE: WV Radical WHY NOT HERE?
                 Another one of those little itches that just won't leave me alone is why isn't West Virginia the tourism draw that it seems it should be? I have noticed some phrases and words that keep popping up in describing places that are not only destinations for tourists but thriving successful communities also. These are in no particular order, as is my fashion, but all important.
         "Well groomed and beautifully maintained" - why aren't our public right of ways and public properties well groomed and beautifully maintained? “ree lined streets and boulevards" - how about those instead of a parade of franchise store signs? Then there are “lassic brick and cobblestone streets" instead of pot-holed, water-covered streets and roads.
         "Quaint, unique, intriguing shops and boutiques" - instead of bargain stores and beauty parlors. “ed and breakfasts", not just over East for the D.C. crowd, but all over the state. The same can be said for “ineyards and wineries". Shops for books, new and used, antiques, pottery, arts and crafts, all SMALL businesses that would enrich our state and our counties in particular. Acknowledgment of “ultural diversity, interesting and classic architecture" - instead of ignoring or rewriting the past and tearing down the old. Markers for historic sites, large and small - sometimes a then important event occurred which is long forgotten now or someone lived or died there that the tourist would be interested in.
         “ppealing local shops with homemade and handmade products" - why isn't West Virginia proliferating with these? “aried local eateries" - not just expensive but varied, offering the foods we grew up on or from our ancestral homelands. I know of a few, like “he Hillbilly Hot-dogs" on Route 2 going to Cabell County, or "Jan's" in Winfield, but there should be literally hundreds in West Virginia with a couple each in Clay and Mason Counties.
         “heatrical productions, concerts, festivals and fairs" not just the government funded ones but those that are totally handled by private groups. Add to that list “rt colonies", where I know one would-be writer and painter would spend a lot of time and have a chance to actually make a buck or two from his talents. “ Commitment to Preservation and Growth" - this is heard about in West Virginia but where are the examples? A dozen or so efforts for a state over one hundred years old doesn't mean much in the real world.
         I am going to add one more to this list. I've been told that our Department of Culture and History is the loneliest place in the state, under-funded and under-appreciated. We have a wealth of information and artifacts that need to be known about and seen by the public, and I think it is inexcusable that we don't furnish them the funding required to do so in a professional manner.
         05/13/03: Rider – Elvis Dawson, arrested 04/17 for malicious assault, preliminary hearing: Rec’ motion to continue; PA had to leave on medical emergency.
         05/14/03: Belt – James Michael Persinger, arrested 05/04 for driving under the influence 3rd offense and fleeing in vehicle while DUI, preliminary hearing: preliminary waived to the Grand Jury in the Circuit Court of Clay County.
         05/22/03: Elswick – Bradley Joe Stone, arrested 04/20 on warrants for forgery of other writing and uttering of other writing, pre-trial dismissal: Case d/m with prejudice upon motion of prosecuting attorney.
         05/12/03: Bailey – Robert W. Hall, possession of marijuana less 15 grams (09/17/02), appeared, placed on 6 months probation.
         05/13/03: Valarie Pritt – Rhonda Brown, phone calls-harassing/obscene/threatening, summons issued, appeared 05/21, ROB; Clay Supermarket – M. Jean Hurford, worthless check complaint, warrant issued.
         05/15/03: B.L. Murphy – Mark Cain, WC.
         05/16/03: Bailey – Shane C. Bonura, driving under the influence, arrested, Def. pled no contest 05/19, credit allowed for time served, assessed fine, cost and 24 hours jail; Slack – Eric Wayne Moore, obtaining goods under false pretenses, warrant issued.
         05/19/03: Big Otter Food Mart – warrants issued for worthless check complaints to Judith A Myers X 2, Dean Nichols, Bobbi Nichols X 2 (paid 05/27), Dale Cayton, Marie Boggs X 4, and Shari Bullard; Clay County Magistrate Court – Vickie Neeley, warrant issued for worthless check complaint; Wiseman’ Appliances – Judith A. Myers, warrant for worthless check complaint, appeared, ROB.
         05/20/03: Belt – Ivy Carr, driving under the influence, registration violations, and no POI, arrested, ROB; Bailey – Jerry W. Cash II, obstructing, arrested, ROB; Bailey - Orville K. Hilderbrand, battery, alcohol to minor, and obstructing, arrested, ROB; Chief P.D. Butcher – Jerry W. Cash, drinking beer under age 21, appeared 05/27, ROB.
         05/21/03: Belt – Glenn Tanner, violation of DV protective order, arrested; Slack – Ernie Pat Dawson Jr., destruction of property, arrested; Elswick – Raymond L. Wehrle, driving suspended, appeared, ROB; Workman – John W. Brumfield, driving suspended, appeared, ROB.
         05/22/03: Bailey – Donald A. Bishop, DUI, arrested, ROB.
         05/23/03: Slack – Gary Huston Bullard, domestic battery, summons issued.
         05/24/03: Hunt – Elizabeth F. Catts, reckless driving, fleeing from officer in vehicle, possession of controlled substance, no insurance, and MVI, arrested, ROB.
         05/27/03: Larry’ Grocery – Samantha A Johnson, worthless check complaint, warrant issued; IGA – warrants issued for worthless check complaints for Donnie Welch X 2, M. Jean Hurford, and Amy Brown; Sizemore – Joyce Larch, assault, summons.
         05/13/03: High Street Apartments – Debbie Grose, wrongful occupation, subpoena; High Street Apartments – Ronald Williams, wrongful occupation, 05/20 possession of property awarded to plaintiff; Bartlett Concrete – Allen Shaffer, money due, subpoena.
         05/14/03: Kate’ Florist ; Debbie and Raymond Brown, money due, and Roger Carper, money due, subpoenas.
         05/16/03: Silas Sattler – Michelle Pruyne, wrongful occupation, subpoena.
         05/20/03: James E. Taylor – Bessie Boggs, money due, subpoena; Nichols Furniture – Michael W. and Kelly Gray, money due; Angela Denise Lane – James Dozer Jr., money due, subpoena.
         05/23/03: Alexandria C. Dobbins – Joyce Holcomb, money due.
         05/24/03: Nina Ballard – Orville K. Hilderbrand, wrongful occupation, subpoena.
         05/27/03: Nichols Furniture and Appliance – Michael E. and Daisy M. Shoults, money due, and Melissa Hill, money due, subpoenas.
         Worthless Checks
         Notices issued –
         05/01/03: Clay Supermarket – Teresa Rock (paid 05/05)
         05/05/03: Big Otter Food Mart – Judith A Myers X 2, Dean Nichols, Bobbi Nichols X 2, Dale Cayton, Marie Boggs X 4, Shari Bullard (misdemeanor files opened 05/19 on all), Jennifer D. Grose (paid 05/16), Troy C. Grose (paid 05/16), April Arbogast (paid 05/14), and Michael Murphy X 3 (paid 05/16).
         05/06/03: Clay County Magistrate Court – Vickie Neeley (misdemeanor file opened 05/19); Wiseman Appliances – Judith A Myers (misdemeanor file opened 05/19).
         05/09/03: Clay Primary Health Care – Sandra G. Eagle (paid 05/20).
         05/12/03: Larry’ Grocery – Candy D. Adkins X 2 (paid 05/21), Samantha A. Johnson (misdemeanor file opened).
         05/13/03: Clay Supermarket – M. Jean Hurford (misdemeanor file opened); IGA – Rhonda Nichols (paid 05/23), Janet Naylor (paid 05/15), Randi J. Neal (paid 05/21), Jeremy Pierson (paid 05/23), and Donnie Welch X 2, M. Jean Hurford, Amy Brown, misdemeanor files opened 05/27.
         05/14/03: Clay Supermarket – Jessica Swift, Mary J. Adkins, April Fitzwater (paid 05/23), Melissa Swift, Janet Naylor (paid 05/15), Mary Adkins; Picture Perfect – Anna M. Hall (paid 05/22).
         05/16/03: Carte’ Quick Stop – Donald L. Morris Jr.; IGA – Jessica L. Swift, Donna Marie Smith (paid 05/21); House’ Market – Hollis Talkington, Marsha K. Eagle (paid 05/23).
         05/22/03: Cunningham Motors Inc. – April Arbogast, Paul W. Pinson, Kathy L. Cottrell, Rhonda Nichols (paid 05/23).
         Traffic Citations
         05/13/03: Sheriff’ Dept. – Jarrod Lanham, no POI.
         05/18/03: Sheriff’ Dept. – Darlene Joy Jackson, no POI.
         05/20/03: Municipal Police Dept. – Jerry W. Cash, drinking and possession of beer.
         05/22/03: State Police – Donald A. Bishop, driving under the influence; Stacey L. Nottingham, seat belt violation; Sheriff’ Dept. – Charlene L. Hamrick, no POI.
         05/26/03: Sheriff’ Dept. – Jearl Joseph McCune, speeding.
         From the Far South By Rose Cantrell
         Greetings from beautiful, downtown Bomont! IT’ OVER! The school year, that is! Seniors have been set loose in the Big Bad World, high school gets a whole new wave of young minds to bend and mold, incoming sixth graders will soon be learning just how sheltered they were in elementary school and SAT-9 is a thing of the past. Do you know about the SAT-9? It’ what used to be known as merely “chievement tests.” I guess the name changed because it’ no longer used to determine what kids have already “chieved,”rather what they can cram into the 2-month “ractice tests”that precede it. “AT-9”sounds so much more educational than “ere’ What I Crammed.”This year, the SAT-9 is being phased out to make way for the new, improved WES Test. The biggest difference is that the SAT-9 is a standardized, national test and the WES Test has been tweaked to be “tandard”for West Virginia only. Of course, these things must be field tested, so in addition to squandering valuable learning time preparing for and completing the worthless 3-day SAT-9, the kids were also treated to an additional 4-day “est test”to determine how realistic the WES Test results might be. The results will still say whatever they’e translated into saying, which, of course, won’ be truly “ealistic,”since the “est test”was taken without the requisite 2-month cramming session. The test scores have no impact on student grades, nor do they mean anything to many of us in the general public. Somewhere, somehow, this all makes sense to somebody who has the power to determine what our children learn in the education system that our tax dollars pay for. Yet we still have thousands of graduating seniors throughout the U.S. who can’ read and write halfway decently. I bet they can all define the word ASININE, though.
         There are even bigger changes in store for H.E. White students next year! In addition to losing Joe Paxton and gaining Bunny Taylor, we’e also losing Jamie Oates. Mr. Oates quickly became one of the favorite teachers at H.E. White and we’e going to sorely miss his impromptu singing, quick-witted humor and ready smile. Ivydale is very lucky to be getting him. The only upside to his leaving (other than his own personal gain, of course), is that the kids who loved April Kearns in 1st grade will once again have the opportunity to learn under her unique and energetic tutelage, as she replaces Mr. Oates, teaching grades 3-5.
         Have you checked out any of the baseball action at Dundon yet? Little League on one field, minor league and t-ball on the other. Admission is FREE and watching those little t-ballers, with their looks of concentration, is well worth the price! The Procious minor league team remains UNDEFEATED! A lot of the kids who played basketball for H.E. White’ #1 team under Jim Kearns’leadership are now being led to victory time and time again on the baseball field. Perhaps Jim should teach Coaching 101. At the very minimum, Sportsmanship 101.
         As a prime example, one of last week’ games almost had to be forfeited because the other team didn’ have enough players. Procious, in an excellent display of sportsmanship, “oaned”them enough to allow the game to proceed. The Procious kids played just as hard for their opponent as they would have for their own team and they’e all to be highly commended. Most importantly, fun was had by all. After the coaches and parents hogging all the limelight in basketball, minor league baseball is a welcome change. I’e only witnessed one minor league coach lose his composure and make a spectacle of himself (dragging others in on the action against their will) and honestly, judging from past experience, I doubt he had much to start with. There still seem to be some spectators who fancy themselves professional referees and are apparently harboring World Series dreams for Clay County kids. Frankly, if you want to rant and rave at your own child from the sidelines for something as insignificant as not catching the ball or striking out, that’ your business. Be fully aware, though, that you look ridiculous and bets are being placed on how old your child will be when he/she beats the crap out of you for causing such public embarrassment and humiliation. Constructive criticism should be left up to the official coaches – we can all do without the rest of it. Stay tuned! Thought to ponder: “ife is tough. Life is tougher if you’e stupid.”—– John Wayne
                 It’ always great to see a Clayonian do well. Such was the case two weekends ago as Clay County native and Duck resident Mack Samples brought home the top prize during the 27th annual Vandalia Gathering held at the statehouse in Charleston. The WV Division of Culture and History presents the lifetime achievement award for long time commitment and perpetuation of traditional West Virginia arts and crafts.
         Mack’ musical skill, square dance calling and literary works are well known in Clayberry. Mr. Samples is a member of the Samples Brothers band and performs solo as well.
          Almost as well known for standing his ground and getting his butt fired from his top administrative position at Glenville College after “histle blowing”on the college president, Samples knew taking a stand would cost him his job. The greed and corruption exposed by the Mack later resulted in the college president leaving office.
         Local school bus driver Dave Mullins made the front page of Charleston newspapers last week when he commented on low wages for bus drivers and the amount of skill and training needed for the job. Of course some in the community think differently on the subject of wages. Working 2 hours in the a.m. and two additional hours in the afternoon (some even less than that) for 10 months a year and netting over $20,000 a year plus benefits seems more than adequate according to the coffee house crowd.                                         AW
         BUDGET DIGEST $
                 The powers that be in Charleston dole out millions annually during what is called the Budget Digest process. For the most part it all boils down to who has the most political clout in the Legislature. This year the county of Clay netted over $175,000.00 with the help of Senators Shirley Love and Randy White along with Delegates Bill Stemple, John Pino, and Dave Perry. The 256 page report was made public May 23, 2003 and the following entries were found on the WV Legislative Services web site.
         Clay Elem School art program, $3000.00; Clay High, $20,000.; Clay Middle School, $4000.00; Clay Board of Education, $5000.00; Clay Middle, $1000.00; Ivydale Elem for playground equipment, $8000.00; HE White Elem, library, $2000.00; Clay Fitness Center, $3000.00; Clay Primary Center for mortgage payment, $48,000; Clay County Communications, Clay FM, $2500.00 and $4000.00; Clay County Clerk $10,000.00; Town of Clay Police cruiser repair and equipment, $1000.00.
                 Also, Golden Delicious Festival, $5000.00; Clay Development Corp Senior Center, $10,000.00; Clay Nutrition Site at Two Run, $10,000.00; Lizemore Fire Dept, $5000.00 and a second $5000.00 listing on page 94 or the report. There is mention of Widen Days in Budget Digest this year but reference is made to Calhoun County. Not sure what that means but the guess is, a typo, and Widen Days will receive the $2000.00.
          Total take for Clay County Schools, $76,500.00. Total for Clay County, $175,500.00. AW
         Normally this column is reserved for some absolutely outlandish action taken by Clay County leadership or appointee. Not so this time. It’ Memorial Day weekend, Sunday afternoon. On foot, a stranger came walking through the county. With a full head of thick black hair, the wiry young man stopped and asked for smokes or something to eat as he made his way North on Route 4. From 5 feet way, it was obvious, the dark skinned man hadn’ taken a bath in weeks.
                 His name, Edward Danneman Hernandez. Hernandez had left Los Angeles, California May 3 in route to friends and a new start in Lancaster, PA. He ended up in this area without a dime and homeless. Town Chief of Police “uckshot”Butcher took note of the stranger and checked up on the guy. No charges pending and no outstanding warrants came the reply via police protocol. Buckshot listened to the guy. Hernandez explained, for almost a month, he had been sleeping under bridges, in culverts and anywhere he could safely get a little sleep. Along the way he collected aluminum cans for income. He carried no backpack and had nothing.
          Butcher took him under his wing and found a room for Hernandez to spend the night in and clean up. Seeing bleeding feet from days of walking, Butcher got medical treatment for the stranger and bought him clean new socks from the Dollar Store.
         On Monday, Officer Butcher called around and secured over $200 from locals to purchase a $103.00 Greyhound Bus ticket for the 20-something lad and some spending money while in route to PA. Those locals giving included: John Osborne’ church, Danny Sizemore and family, Don Gray and family, Jim Knotts, and Delta Communications. Late Monday afternoon, Memorial Day, Butcher loaded up the now smelling better and looking cleaner Hernandez and drove him to the Charleston bus station only to find it closed. Butcher was uncomfortable leaving the kid with a pocket full of money on the street, went to the Union Mission men’ shelter for help. There a minister took charge of the youth and promised: the boy would be at the bus station on time and would be given the spending money only when on the bus.
         One big “tta-Boy”award for volunteer Town Cop, Phillip David “uckshot”Butcher.                                                         AW
                 It’ never a dull moment for Clay County’ most news worthy social service provider. Over the last five years, Clay County Development Corporation (CDC) has made local and regional news coverage on a pretty much regular schedule. Such is the case again as tossed-from-power, past board president Earnie Sirk, took his concerns to the courthouse May 23 around 2:00 p.m.
                  In recent memory, news accounts have detailed blood drawing fights during a board meeting and the overthrow of two previous boards when actions did not suit the employees and friends of employee controlled, general membership rolls. There’ been police called to general membership meetings and restraining orders issued. Sure can’ forget to mention the numerous allegations of employees offering family members numerous benefits from various Federal programs and even Charleston Newspaper Christmas donations for the needy. At other times, folks interested in helping the CDC were tossed from the general membership rolls. Even the County Commission has been told their reps on the Board of Directors are not welcome.
                 Who’ getting sued this time around by Earnie “ide Glide”Sirk? The list includes: CDC Executive Director Betty Stalnaker and board members Eunice Thomas, Peter Triplett, Gary Whaling, Sharon Mullins, Reva Whaling, Kathleen Morris, James A. Duffield, Janie Patterson, Della Rider, Teenie Taylor, Ralph Lane, Maxine Lane, and any other unnamed board member.
                 Sirk is seeking his reinstatement as President of the Board, reinstated to the General Membership, invoke an injunction which enjoins and restrains CDC from conducting any business until a judge’ decision and, and, and, Sirk wants CDC to pay for his court expenses and lawyer bills. Jerome Novobilski represents ‘ide Glide’        
         Does this all sound familiar? It should. Three months back, without the aid of an attorney, Sirk filed similar charges against the agency. That suit went nowhere with the judge saying the paperwork was all out of whack.
          Sounding familiar? Just two years ago, when Sirk was the darling of the CDC tribe, and appointed CDC president, Sirk spent a great deal of time in court defending the dealings that got him in office.
         Does all this sound familiar? It should.
         When Sirk’ appointment was challenged and the Attorney General’ office said he couldn’ serve, Sirk engineered a new agency to handle his appointment.
         Does all this sound familiar? It should. Even before that, a prior board’ wangled a deal to toss the then current board from office and install employee friendly boardsters. Now tit for tat, Sirk is on the other end of the law seeking his reappointment to office. According to the paperwork at the Circuit Clerk’ office, Sirk contends the July 16 2002 General Membership meeting was illegal. Sirk was tossed from office during that meeting as voters removed the entire board. Also during that same meeting, the membership voted to toss this ace cub reporter from their rolls and continue the practice of holding secret meetings with the public barred from attendance. From the court document:
         At the time of the meeting, plaintiff ( that’ Sirk readers) was President of the Board of Directors having been appointed by the general membership approximately three years prior and said appointment ratified… Sirk states that four of the general membership that voted to toss his hinny from office were not members at all and therefore the tossing and meeting were illegal.
         Back to the paperwork: That at said meeting one Steve Hubbard made a motion to dissolve the Board of Directors of CDC. That said Steve Hubbard was not a member of the CDC. That at the said meeting the motion to dissolve the Board of Directors was illegally put to a vote since a member had not legally made the necessary motion.
         Here’ a cute part dealing with employee Faye Asbury. Faye Asbury seconded the motion to dissolve the Board of Directors and said Faye Asbury was not a member of the CDC General Membership. The aforesaid motion was illegally and unlawfully seconded. Despite the unlawful, illegal and irregular procedures referred to above, the aforesaid motion was put to a vote by the individuals present at the meeting. Pretty nice don’ you think? Some of the very tactics Sirk engaged, coming back to haunt him.
          In court battles and overthrow attempts of old , emotions came into play. This time something is different. The difference is attorney Novobilski. Attorney Novobilski is not fooling around with all that emotional, family connections, family grudge stuff. Jerome is going strictly by what the corporate bylaws demand, the rules they have to play by.
         Again from the paperwork and as presented to the court: The record of said meeting states the vote that followed tallied 39 approved the motion and 3 opposed. The record does not demonstrate that all 42 who voted were entitled to vote at said meeting as members of the CDC. That said vote was unlawful and illegal since there was no procedure to show or ensure that only members voted on said motion.
         That said vote was unlawful and illegal since there is nothing in the By Laws or the Certificate of Incorporation of the CDC that empowers a Special Membership Meeting or any membership meeting to vote to dissolve the Board of Directors.
         Mr. Novobilski goes on to list various by-law clauses with each entry vouching for his claims.
         Remember why Sirk was tossed? During this questionable meeting last summer, Boardster Gary Whaling gave a couple of half baked reasons. One item was that Sirk used potty mouth language while talking to CDC staff. The second reason for Sirk being removed was “isconduct” Back during the meeting, Sirk said he had used potty mouth talk but never the F word or GD. As for misconduct, other than creating political havoc during election years, Sirk is too lazy to do much of anything! Uhhhhh,…. that last part wasn’ from the paperwork, just a reporter’ opinion and a darn good one too! Did we mention, in the winter of 2002, Sirk called Trooper Foreman in a meeting to remove this ace cub reporter? Just thought it worth reminding readers once again. As of Monday June 2, 2:45 pm, no hearing date has been set.        Fun, fun, fun!                                                                AW
         FOLLOW UPS
                 Last edition we printed that all waste haulers (garbage picker uppers) in WV are required to pick up those great big bulky appliances twice a month at no additional charge. Washers, dryers, and such, and properly tagged refrigerators and air conditioners. As a point of clarification, that is two (2) items per month.
         ??? DID YOU KNOW ???

1.        About 45,000 lumbermen were employed in the United States in 2001, down from about 85,000 in 1998, according to the Bureau of Labor statistics.
2.        J. A. Waddell will be 50 (Yes, that’ 50!) years old Thursday, June 5, 2003.
3.        Currently 21 percent of Americans use satellite dishes for their television, compared to 13 percent three years ago.
4.        Last year Americans consumed 1.85 billion pounds of potato chips.
5.        Since 1986, West Virginia’ smokeless tobacco use has declined from a high of 10.2 percent.
6.        About 12 million of the state’ 15.5 million acres are forest.
7.        Retired football players, who suffered three or four concussions, have twice the risk of later developing clinical depression.
8.        The 50,000th Corvette rolled off the assembly line in 1977.
9.        Only 26 percent of women nationwide have pension plans versus 44 percent of men.
10.        More than 75 million Americans suffer from chronic or acute pain. Most of it goes untreated, according to the American Pain Foundation.
11.        Women on average live seven years longer than men.
12.        West Virginia has 4,554 Alzheimer’ patients age 65 and older.
13.        A majority of drivers admit they routinely speed, eat or even read while driving. The survey was conducted by Volvo cars of North America.
14.        State tax revenues for the month of April were about $400,000 short of projections.
15.        In 2002, alcohol related crashes caused 32 fatalities among those under 18 in West Virginia.
16.        A new study finds that tea boosts the body’ defenses against infection and contains a substance that might be turned into a drug to protect against disease.
17.        A nationwide survey by the American Lung Association says one in four West Virginians breathes air so smoggy, that it fails federal quality standards.
18.        State law prohibits members of county boards of education from holding any other compensated public office.
19.        In 2001, More than 3 million elderly or disabled Americans received care from home health agencies certified by Medicare.
20.        Thomas Memorial Hospital scored 94 out of 100 on a survey by the nations biggest hospital accrediting group.

Board of Education Meetings
        The Clay County Board of Education has met twice for regular meetings since the last edition of this newspaper. Both meetings moved swiftly but a lot of business was conducted. Board members Gene King, Scott Legg, David Pierson, Fran King, and Board President R. B. Legg, Jr. were present at both, along with most of the central office staff.
        The May 19 meeting was conducted at Clay County High School (CCHS), in the library, prior to the National Honor Society dinner and induction ceremony. The Board approved the following: increased receipts of $33,978.00, about all grant money according to Superintendent Jerry Linkinogger; the school calendar for 2003-2004, which had been tabled at their previous meeting. Pierson and Fran King had questioned the employees’choice of calendar (they were offered three variations), #3, as it had teachers coming back to school for one day after the New Year, on Friday, January 2. Both said they felt attendance that day would be poor. After a short discussion at the board table (some of which couldn’ be heard due to background noise), Board opted for calendar #2; employed Michelle Samples, who previously taught at CCHS before taking a job at Glenville, as Social Studies/English teacher at CCHS (Mike Mullins’former position); employed teachers for summer school at Clay Middle School (CMS) pending enrollment: Vincent Young – Social Studies, Mike Smith – Science, David Ellison – Math, Nada Waddell – Reading, Beth Butler – English, and Steve Stanley – Math, all successful bids; employed teachers for summer school at CCHS pending enrollment: Greg Knopp – Driver Education, Frank Kleman – Social Studies, Joanne Exline – English, and Lewesla Linden – Math, all successful bids; employed teachers for summer school at Clay Elementary pending enrollment: Paul Adkins, J.B. Butcher, Marjorie Mullins, Patricia Underwood, and Vicky Walker, all successful bids; employed personnel for Camp Mustang at CMS June 13-19: Nada Waddell - camp director, Dawn Mullins, Rhonda Barber, Joyce Legg, and Joyce White as counselors, Tasha Pennington, Mike Smith, Joan Haynie, Carl Holcomb, Brian Collins, Evelyn Ellison, Mitzi Stephenson, Bev Nichols, and Doug Wayne as teachers, Linda Lambey – parent coordinator, Katie Walker, Corey Douglas, Jessica Ramsey, and Justin Holcomb as student counselors, Austin Mitchell- Jr. camp counselor; employed summer bus drivers and painters: summer school - Paul Edwards, Jim Mollahan, William Schoolcraft, Ronald Tanner, trip drivers - Clinton Nichols, Earl Tanner, painters - Tony Salisbury and Earl Tanner, activity buses – Jim Mollahan, William Schoolcraft, Ronald Tanner, and Mike Taylor, substitutes – Mike Taylor, Clinton Nichols, Ronald Tanner, Paul Edwards, Earl Tanner, Richard Talbot, Jerry Cunningham, Tony Salisbury, Delno Coen, Goldie Woods, Pat Legg, Mike Evans, Mary Kincaid, Randy Holcomb, David Belt, Brenda Griffin, Caroline Taylor, and Wyona Ramsey, all successful bids; employed summer cooks: Debbie Cantrell at CCHS, Dorothy Childers at Clay Elementary, Linda Workman at Clay Elementary ½ time pending enrollment, Ann Triplett – Camp Mustang, Frances White ½ time Camp Mustang pending enrollment, Frances White and Loretta Triplett at 4-H camp, Dorothy Childers at band camp, Debbie Cantrell and June Holcomb at CCHS football camp, and substitutes June Holcomb, Frances White, Robin Belt, Loretta Triplett, and Mildred Bullard, all successful bids; employed Shirley Barker, Mary Beth Dorsey, Edna Legg, Stacey Murphy, Cathy Shuler, Angela Taylor, Cynthia Varney, and Donna Williams all as substitute teacher aides; employed April Kearns as cheerleading coach at CCHS for 2003-2004, successful bid; approved transfers for April Kearns from 1st grade to 4th grade teacher at H.E. White Elementary (position paid through the Class Size Reduction grant), Erica Samples from gifted coordinator to 1st grade teacher at H.E. White for 2003-2004, Cary Salisbury driver from bus #9 Widen route to bus #44 Leatherwood route (Gary Rogers’former position), and Brenda Griffin driver from bus #41 Falling Rock Road to bus #33 Groves Creek route (Tim Butcher’ former position), all successful bids; approved a student transfer from Clay County to Nicholas County Schools; and approved for buses to transport 4-H campers to the Spencer pool during camp. All motions passed unanimously.
        CCHS Ag Science teacher Bob Morris gave a brief presentation on the results of the national competition some of his students participated in while in Oklahoma in May, noting that they had, “rought back a lot of hardware.” CCHS French teacher Dr. Mann asked for permission to start planning and raising funds for another trip to France for CCHS students in November 2004. Mann has organized four successful trips to France during the past ten years, the last in 2002. He received positive comments from the Board, but the request will have to be made an action item at a future meeting. Linkinogger reminded the Board he was still working on trying to get state Budget Digest money to help pay the increased salaries to teachers that took the grant funded Masters Program at H.E. White, noting that it would be awfully close this year on funds, and answering the Board, “es, it may get a little red,”referring to the school budget. Linkinogger also announced that test scores were back, received the previous Thursday, and said they were very good. He pointed out that this was the second consecutive year that Lizemore Elementary had been off probation, and no Clay County School is on either state or federal probation. He told the Board they would get a presentation on the scores in the future, but overall scores were two-thirds of one percentage point of last year’ scores.
        CCHS Principal Cindy Willis, speaking for the CCHS Local School Improvement Council, presented the Board with a list of requests for the school. They were: move the office reception area and add more inside and outside cameras, due to security reasons; put restrooms at the end of the auditorium; update radios; put up an auxiliary gymnasium, maybe a metal building, to provide more practice area, and increase participation; update other bathrooms. Scott Legg suggested that they add placing lights over the steps leading to the auditorium stage to their list.
        Meeting adjourned around 6:30PM, and the Board went on to attend the National Honor Society induction ceremony and dinner.
        Board met again, Monday, June 2, at their administrative office in Clay. With little discussion the Board approved: previous meeting minutes and payment of current bills; employed technology model specialists (paid through the technology grant) Amanda Grose – Ivydale Elementary, Donna Abel – Lizemore, Garland Tenney – Valley Fork Elementary, and April Kearns – H.E. White, all successful bids; employed student tutors (paid through the 21st Century Grant) Melissa Koch, Ashley Legg, Lindsay Legg, Julie Linkinogger, Leslie Pierson, Kristen Sirk, Kelly Tanner, Kacie Taylor, and Trever Wayne for summer school at Clay Elementary (only 9 applications were received for the 12 positions open); employed Dallas Hanshaw as bus driver for the bus #9 Widen route (Cary Salisbury’ former position), effective immediately, successful bid; employed Norman Ramsey as bus driver for the bus # 41 Falling Rock/Camp Creek route (Brenda Griffin’ former position), effective immediately, successful bid; employed as substitute cooks, effective upon successfully completing training, Janelle Boggs, Betty Frazier, Julie Horrocks, Tamera Jones, Robin Mullins, and Shelia Stone; employed Dallas Hanshaw and Norman Ramsey as summer substitute bus drivers; approved transfers for Megan Paxton from teacher at Lizemore and Ivydale to pre-school teacher at Clay Elementary (Karen Knopp’ former position), and driver Paul Edwards from bus #23 Bell Creek/Bentree route to bus #10 Adonijah/Lizemore route for 2003-2004, both successful bids; accepted the resignation of CMS cheerleading coach Lucy Cruickshanks effective immediately; and approved a student transfer from Clay County to Kanawha County for 2003-2004. All motions passed unanimously.
        Business Manager/Treasurer Loretta Gray gave a very brief financial update for May. Fran King and Pierson had some questions on mileage reimbursement payments made to a parent transporting their child back and forth from home to alternative school.
        Linkinogger wants the Board to adopt a cell phone policy for students, and told them he’ soon have several policies used by other school systems for them to look at.
        Administrative assistant Kenneth Tanner asked the board members to complete a survey he provided to assist the Hall of Fame musical department in selecting music for the annual Hall of Fame Ceremony.
        Meeting was adjourned by 6:30PM. Next meeting of the board will be Monday, June 16, at the administrative office in Clay.                         TK
         BOB CLARKE Curmudgeon’ Corner
        “hy of course the people don’ want war. Why should some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally, the common people don’ want war…But after all it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship…Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked (and) denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger.”        The origin of this rather lengthy passage will be revealed somewhere near the conclusion of this column. Cynical readers (if there any left to pour over the bi-monthly drivel that emanates from this source) may dismiss this approach as a cheap rhetorical trick to force the reader to plow through the entire essay. It (the above) may be considered an example of what journalists are fond of calling realpolitik, the sort of statement people in power might make behind closed doors to their cronies, but never in a press conference or a campaign speech.
        It seems fitting, at this dramatic point, to turn to a truly global topic – sweatshirts. Three of the world’ most prestigious universities: Oxford, Cambridge and Harvard, are mind-numbingly rich. However, (and there is always a ‘owever’ similar to the corporatists who are currently running this country, enough is never enough. “hat does this have to do with sweatshirts,”I heard you query. Relief is at hand. The three universities named earlier offer summer school courses, as do most other institutions of higher learning. The usual high standards for entrance are suspended. All that is required is the money, but the rewards are significant, even if you have only studied advanced basket weaving or the philosophy of Frisbee. The point is that now you will be technically entitled to wear a sweatshirt advertising that you are a product of one of these majestic institutions. The summer school experience provides the added opportunity of remarking casually, for the rest of your life: “hen I studied at Oxford,”etc. This will give you lasting pleasure when you impress and occasionally bore your friends. And, as old Polonius observes: “t follows as the night the day,”you must have a sticker on your car (discreetly small) announcing your educational achievements. Be the first on your block or in your neighborhood. In the interest of fairness, it must be mentioned that there may be a certain amount of danger in this approach. The day may come when other think: “f he mentions Harvard one more time, I’l: 1. Throw up 2. Kill him.”
        There is a parallel here which may be labored, but is irresistible: the triumphal landing of G.W. Bush on the deck of the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln with his usual subtlety he reminded us that he is the commander in chief by having it printed on a tag adorning his flight jacket. To give the impression that the ship was engaged in standard flight operations the ship was turned so that the open sea provided the background for our First Warrior’ landing as well as deleting the coast of San Diego. Senator Byrd, who is struggling with the heavy task of getting the country to understand, follow, perhaps even to read the U.S. Constitution, drew considerable flak by calling Bush a “esk bound warrior” It was a moment of show business hyperbole that not even the Hollywood P.R. types could match. With an eye firmly fixed on the ’4 election, Dubya, and Karl Rove, the political guru knew exactly what they were doing. A photo op is, after all, a photo op, and we can look forward with joyous anticipation to seeing endless repetitions of this event in the coming campaign.
        What boggles the mind in the face of this grotesque hypocrisy is the actual story of Bush’ military record. Lest we forget, his family and political connections enabled him to avoid Vietnam by being pushed to the head of a list of 10,000 applicants for the National Guard. He qualified for his wings by training in a jet fighter that was obsolete, not fit for contemporary combat. Generally known, but widely ignored is that Bush was absent from his Air National Guard duties for at least a year. This dereliction, for an ordinary military person, is designated as AWOL. In time of war such an action can draw the charge of treason. Bush was merely grounded, and ultimately received a general discharge. There was a time when such a document could seriously hamper one’ future job prospects, not, we assume, if one aspires to become “ommander in Chief” a title, we are told, over “r. President”
        Once again the question arises: “here is the outrage?” Where are the WWII, Korean and Vietnam veterans who have earned the honor and the right to wear that uniform? How can a man who has risen or rather suspiciously been appointed to the nation’ highest office engage in an act so tasteless and ignorant given his personal history? Various sources have reported that not a single American president since George Washington, many of them military heroes, have worn any type of military uniform while occupying the presidency. An interesting and ironic corollary to Bush’ showboating is the “ush Doctrine”is busy making sharp cuts in veterans’benefits, illustrating a callous attitude resulting, according to retired Colonel David Hackworth, a man who has combat service in three wars, in withdrawing medical support from 180,000 Gulf War I veterans who are sick or dying from toxic exposure in that adventure. Such, it seems, is the ultimate fate of the veterans when they are no longer needed. The bands will play, trumpets will blow, and drums will beat when Johnny and Jane come marching home, but they will be of no practical use when the crisis is past. Look what happened to triple amputee and former Senator Max Cleland. The right-wingers decided he was unpatriotic.
        The passage beginning this essay is from former Reich Marshall Herman Goering, head of the Luftwaffe, and number two below Adolph Hitler. He made this statement during the war trials at Nuremberg in 1946. It sometimes appears that in life, and especially in politics, there is nothing new under the sun.
                        Seditiously yours, Cur

Note: Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini and Saddam Hussein loved to appear in uniform.

        March 29th was a day that Vince Golosow will remember the rest of his natural days. Judge Evans sentenced convicted killer “attoo Vince”to spend the rest of his natural life in the custody of the WV Dept. of Corrections for the murder of Judd Reid in October 2002. Here’ the way it went that morning.
        It’ 9 am. The courtroom is packed. The Roane County Spring Grand Jury had just finished its work and many of the indicted were present for the first round of hearings. Young people with babies, old folks with toddlers, those with lawyers and those without, in the hallway the same thing. People everywhere. This morning was different from the trial held last month. This morning, other than a token deputy beside the judge, and a uniform near the double entrance doors, law enforcement was all but nonexistent. No metal detectors to go through and no badges to be seen in the hallways, court room, down stairs nor outside.
        After hearing from several of the indicted, those sitting out in the peanut gallery pews, Tattoo Vince was brought into the courtroom in chains around his wrists and shackles at his feet. Three brown-shirted Correctional Officers stayed near as two others rattled in as well. Instead of cleaned up and in a long sleeved shirt, Vince wore an orange jump suit, short sleeved, which exposed his tattoos from his wrists to above his collar line. Now bearded and with longer hair, Vince was starting to look the look neighbors and Newton area residents had known for years. Beside Golosow was a thin young man in orange with shaven head, sort of looked like a cross between Gandhi and Charlie Manson without the hair.
        Also different were his actions. During the April trial, Golosow looked sedated. His actions were slow. When a noise was heard in the court room, slowly, ever so slowly, Vince would turn his head for a look. Not so now. On the 29th, Vince’ eyes blinked rapidly as he peered out from his pew. Twice he talked with Gandhi and smiled broadly.
        The no nonsense judge kept the action quick. He sat in his high back tan leather swivel chair without expression ready to handle the duties before him, the duty of locking a killer up for life. The others in orange went first.
Boom-Boom-Boom went the caseload.
        One young lady stood before the Judge charged with killing her young baby.
        At 10 am Vince came before the Judge with attorney Drew Patton at his side. Vince whispered to Patton. The defense team went to work. As they said during previous court action, they motioned for a new trial. The question was over the way evidence had been admitted into the trial and the way it was handled by police, and issues over the search warrants used to procure the items. Evans listened and asked questions. Responses came. Back and forth came the details. Judge Thomas Evans didn’ buy it, Evans, “ will deny the motion.”        Looking squarely at Golosow, the robed one read the charges of first degree murder and the findings of the jury. He asked Golosow if he wanted to speak. Vince did indeed. “ just want to say that I was convicted before I came to Court….”He went on to say, “nly my friend Judd Reid and I know that I am not guilty.”One request was made by Mr. Golosow. Now it was a little muffled, but it sounded like he asked the court to move him to another prison. Not sure readers, but that’ what it sounded like.
        Here’ a cute note, readers. During the trial last month and as the jury was deliberating that Friday night, Vince was seen reading a copy of the Communicator. Right there at the courthouse! Now, back to the sentencing.
        After hearing from the convicted one, Evans made it clear that nothing was a foregone conclusion. That the jury was properly selected. They were carefully questioned and some of the questioning was even done in private to assure the utmost candid responses. Evans, “ou were judged by jurors … the evidence is plain….[there’] no preconceived notions of guilt…” Without personal comment or expression, Judge Evans sentenced Alex Vince Golosow to spend his natural life behind bars without any chance for parole. The only thing missing was the banging of a gavel.
        He went on to explain the appeal process and time limits for such to the shackled Vince. Evans, “Do you intend to appeal?”        Without hesitation, without waiting one nanosecond and in a firm tone, Golosow, “es, your honor.”Immediately all the orange clad were escorted out of the room and away from the public. Total time for the sentencing: 10 minutes. But don’ stop reading, there’ more.
        The way the Roane County Courthouse is laid out prisoners are held in a back room with a glass entrance door. A crowd gathered out back to see a last glimpse. Outside were three Correctional Officers (CO’) carrying 12 gauge shotguns with a no non sense expression on their faces. Three gray vans with tinted windows pulled close. Two more CO’ came into view. Outside in the alleyway a dozen people waited. One lady had her very young child in a stroller as she puffed on a cigarette. Two other 20-something woman chatted with the mother. Russell Davis, a fellow who had testified against Vince, stood in the alley. He stood tall, thin, and dark headed with a ball cap on top.
        We waited and waited. As we stood in the alley Vince could be seen through the glass doors. An officer put on latex gloves and checked each prisoner.
        Outside the local bank president came over to watch. So did economic development specialist Mark Whitely. The CO’ kept looking up to roof top level. Their eyes darted back and forth. Russell Davis was overheard, “e got what he deserved…” After being introduced to Davis, and while we waited even longer, Davis spoke up. He explained, “ only met him for a minute…. [I] was just trying to help him out…”He went on call Golosow a punk.
        Looking through the door, Vince was saying something to the crowd. His lips were moving as he looked at Davis, the women, and this reporter. We peered harder. One lady, “an’ you see what he’ saying? Watch! Look! There again…..” Davis, “hat is he saying?”Thin lady, “ee it? He said it again…. I’ going to eat that M.F.’r.”        The banker went behind Whitely, who went behind the banker, who went behind Whitely, who stood behind Russell Davis. There was laughter. This reporter gained the corner position at the edge of the building, perfect for running, just in case.
         Finally the glass door opened. Fingers went to the edge of the trigger guards. More quick turns with eyes looking at roof tops. Two in orange went to the lead van. One new guy in jeans and tee went into a van. With a blue-shirt badge on the sidewalk, two 12 gauge toting CO’ on the front and side of the new mini van, and two CO’ behind Vince, the convicted man came out. With leg irons in place, walking was slow. Vince made the three steps down to ground level, turned, and for a second, ever so slightly, slowed a little and gave an icy stare at the small crowd. His lips did not move and no gestures were seen. His stare was enough.
         With Golosow inside, the three vans hurried away. Vince’ vehicle was the middle in the convoy. Once out of sight, all seemed to breathe easier. But who was that icy stare for and who was convicted murderer Vince Golosow wanting “to eat?”                                        AW
          I just thought you, the readers, would enjoy this true story. While reading this remember, don’ let anyone take our rights to keep and bear arms away. We are free, let’ keep it that way.
          This true story was taken from “he Dillon Press”by John Marshall.
         ‘THE RIGHT AND THE GUTS...’        As regular readers of THE BLUE PRESS may recall, I recently wrote an article entitled “he Second Amendment IS Homeland Security.” In that article I related an anecdote in which a former WWII Japanese officer stated that it would have been foolish for his country to invade the U. S. after the Pearl Harbor sneak attack. He said, in essence, that the U. S. was in fact a nation in which the civilian population was well armed, and the Japanese high command recognized this. I have heard and read this story enough times to regard it as true, but I had not been able to pin down the exact circumstances of this statement.
                 Imagine my surprise recently when I received a phone call from the very man to whom this former Japanese officer had talked! He went on to explain that he had read my article, wanted to spell out the facts of that encounter, and that he would try to relate the exact words that were spoken at the time. The man who called identified himself as Harold Leonard, and gave me his contact information. Here is his story:
                 During the time of the Korean War (in either 1952 or 1953), Mr. Leonard was in the U. S. Navy, an enlisted Machinist’ Mate. His ship had pulled into Tokyo Bay for repairs, and in the process, he had occasion to speak with the leader of a Japanese work crew. This man told Leonard that he was a former Japanese naval officer and had been involved in the planning of the Peal Harbor attack. The two men then struck up a friendly conversation about the circumstances of the early part of the war in the Pacific. Leonard was curious about why the Japanese did not invade the west coast of the U. S. following the near-destruction of our Pacific Fleet, and he went on to tell the Japanese man that “hey had us on our knees”at that time.
          The former Japanese officer related that he had gone to school in the U. S. prior to the war, and knew the makeup of the U. S. populace quite well. The reason the Japanese did not invade (and a direct quote as near as Mr. Leonard could recall) was because in the U.S., in the opinion of this officer: “veryone has a rusty gun behind the kitchen door, and they have the right and the guts to use it.”
                 This from the mouth of an officer of one of the most warlike enemy nations we have ever faced! They were deterred from attacking us because we were, all of us, armed and ready. We had the right and the guts to face down any enemy in our homeland with privately-owned firearms!
                 Today we face a similar threat. And let our enemies know that we are still armed, and that we still have the right and the guts to use
         our arms to defeat them whenever found.
                 Thanks, Mr. Leonard, for your first-person story. It made my day. From me to you. Hope you enjoyed reading this true story.
                                         Frank L. Kish, Jr.
         Editor’ Note: Frank is interested in hearing any comments you might have, or questions. You may contact him at 304-548-4459, 140 Queen Road, Clendenin, WV 25045, or email deltacorporation@hotmail.com , and we’l get your message to him.