June 13, 2003

??? DID YOU KNOW ???
Letter to Brother Bill
BOB CLARKE: Curmudgeon’ Corner
Timmermeyer, Clay County is STILL Waiting…
Widen News by Darlene Rogers


        It’ been a while since providing heavy duty County Commission, our three blind mice, action. We’l try to make up for the low coverage with this edition. County Commissioners Jimmy Sams, Mathew Bragg and Peter Triplett met in regular session June 12 at the Courthouse. The place was nearly full. Over 30 in attendance. Young, old, tall, short, from bald to hairy, the pews were packed.
        After waiting on Mathew Bragg to show, Yes he was late, and the normal opening stuff like Sams asking for prayer, action started with discussion on the Commissioners reviewing insurance coverage for the new fiscal year. With insurance costs on the rise, about $80,000 for the county policy, Commissioners heard various quotes from different companies. The boys up front were making plans to discontinue free insurance protection under the County wide liability policy. In the peanut gallery were reps from the Clay Volunteer Fire brigade as well as the Big Otter FD delegation ready to defend their turf.
        Insurance rep Jim Lively from Lively Insurance Co. provided the anointed ones with policy info from two providers. St Paul Co. came in at $80,707.00, including Fire Dept coverage with the second quote, WV Board of Risk, around $86,540.00. Sams explained his displeasure with the current coverage thru St Paul Insurance Company. According to Mr. Lively, insurance coverage minus fire department inclusion would save a bunch, nearly $20,000.00. Those Commission ears perked right up! Now here’ the kicker readers, if Big Otter, Clay, and Lizemore FDs go out and purchase their own policies, the individual coverage price is nearly double of an “umbrella”deal where the FDs piggy back on with the County Commission. Time is critical here. The current policy expires June 30th.
        One note. In addition to the fire fighters in the gallery, the wives and other female volunteers were in attendance. After 8 years on the throne, Jimmy Sams has learned one thing for sure, don’ get the women mad! Yes, many think Sams is a little thick between the ears, but he has learned one thing, don’ ever get the women mad!
        During the discussions, just after Clay Fire Chief Greg Fitzwater raised concerns over miscommunications “ou’e not telling us what you’e doing” Sams smarted Fitz right back. No we didn’ see Sams turn purple as in the past, but the curtness was directed smack dab at Greg         JW Hughes provided the CCC with another policy to consider. His coverage, underwritten by McNeil and Assoc., appeared to be much less costly. Hughes quoted on Fire Dept and Ambulance Service coverage only, There seemed to be resistance toward the offerings from Hughes.
        Although no decisions were reached, it appears that the CCC is dropping all Fire Department insurance coverage effective July 1 2003 but seems willing to donate some $ toward the local emergency service providers efforts to insure themselves. The vote will come during the next Commission meeting with the donation to the fire folks around: $9,392 for Clay FD; $6594.00 for Big Otter FD; and $5663 for Lizemore FD. The ambulance service will remained covered under the CCC policy. Sams, “[I’] not going to dump the fire departments!”After a 5 minute pee break which lasted one hour, Commissioner Triplett made the motion to drop FDs from Commission insurance coverage. As for the CCC requiring certain minimum coverage, Sams, “No. They can do what they want…[I’] confident in them..”        Dawn Whitely asked for and received financial help , up to $1100.00, to cover the cost of dumpsters during next month’ metal clean up days July 10, 11 and 12th. Yelp, you can even haul in old cars, appliances, and politicians.
        Still without water service readers? Better keep reading.
        Geert Bakker from the WV Public Service Commission (PSC) came forward and asked the blind mice about consolidating the local PSDs under one regional PSD to serve the entire county ( except for the Town of Clay). Bakker appears to be the pivot man on the plan. Bakker reminded our elected ones about the benefits of consolidation. The sales pitch didn’ go too well. Questions came on all the screw ups by the PSC, all the times the PSC did little to regulate the existing PSDs, and how one PSC hand didn’ know what the other PSC hand was doing. Bakker tried hard.
        The questions came not from the peanut gallery but from the boys up front. What about the audits? Why did no one [PSC] catch the 12 cash accounts at Clay Roane PSD? When will the audits actually be done. Sams, “Why consolidate if stuff goes on like the $8500 computer software purchase at Clay Roane PSD??”Triplett , “You all let them waste the $8500.00!”Sams and Triplett were talking about Clay Roane PSD buying high dollar computer gear and doing so without PSC approval. Bakker replied that things would improve after consolidation when a professional manager could be hired to run and oversee the regional operation. Now firmly in the hot seat, Bakker pressed on but not for long.
        Triplett , not just another pretty face and strong on memory, reminded the PSC rep about rate increases of past, Clay County PSD buying a $60,000 double wide trailer without PSC approval, and about the purchase of high dollar PSD trucks without PSC OK.
        Up to now quiet, Clay County PSD office manager, Cindy, opened up. With red showing from her neck to her forehead, Cindy, “IT’ NOT THE SAME THING!!! NO MONEY WAS BORROWED!!” She was talking about the double wide being purchased from an insurance settlement after the agency was burned out of their office space last June 13th. Sams, “IT IS THE SAME THING!”Sams was talking about Clay PSD buying the trailer against the wishes of the CCC and how the WV PSC made no effort to stop the wasteful spending.
        Showing uncommon good sense and sounding like he had finally caught on to what county water customers have been saying for 6 years, Sams, “The rates are so high people can’ pay it! …. They can’ afford the rates …. The spending has to STOP!….” Cindy, “That’ ridiculous. We’e not borrowing any money!”Sams. “We didn’ want you to do that! We’e not charging you a dime to stay there [ free office space in basement of old Courthouse readers]…. Why the big rush????”Cindy, “It’ [trailer] a free and clear asset that can be sold if you don’ want it.”Sams, “You’e not making any money now!! You’e in the red!” Cindy, “I don’ see where I am in the hole! Andy reports them every time!!”Sams, “The rates will raise if you don’ watch it.. I had a $65 water bill. How can they afford it??”        Bakker tried to step in and get things back on track. Didn’ work. Triplett, “All water plants are off now.”Sams, “Right!”Bragg, “Why do the rights of ways Cindy if there is no new plant?”Bakker seeing the stall was starting, “Not making a decision only makes it worse.”Triplett, “I blame this on Weimer talking out of both sides of his mouth!”Sams, “We have NO control over the PSD’. Bragg, “The CCC , years ago let this whole thing get in a mess…” With Bakker standing alone, the CCC dumped it all out: no one provides oversight to local PSDs; rate increases are the only thing the WV PSC looks at; why Clay Roane refuses to buy cheaper treated water from the Town of Clay; the Queen Shoals merger, done without local input; and a bunch more. As much as he tried, Bakker could make head way toward consolidation plans and the CCC providing a county wide PSD audit.        
        Fun Fun Fun readers! Out in the open came concerns that another moratorium may be imposed due to the old Procious Water Plant pumping too many hours a day and deeply hidden back door plans to build TWO not just one new water plants in the county. As for Bakker commenting on if the recent Town election went the way the PSC desired, Bakker, waffling, “I’ not privy to that.”Talk came on the Federal funds pulled from the Clay Water Plant project last year and now the talk is, the funds have magically rematerialized. Sams, “the money is there. It reappeared!”Triplett, “There might be a big rate increase… the town is talking to engineers about expanding their plant now.
        Although Bakker held up much better under the CCC onslaught, he could not get the CCC to vote on consolidation nor bidding the audit.
        Lots more stuff, like a letter of support for fixing the Elkhearst swinging bridge or building a new one, wills, paying of bills, and such. But here’ one more cutey.
        Prosecutor Grindo requested in writing for secretary Karen Amey to receive a $3000 pay increase. The comments came: Triplett, “e said he didn’ need an assistant…” Bragg,”… put him in Cindy’ double wide” Sams, “ don’ know if it is in his budget, He told us he would live in the county” Bragg, “.if he told us he was in county to live, he should do it, what’ his plan” Of course the CCC was remembering promises made when they appointed Daniel Grindo to the Prosecutor’ position five months ago. No decision made on the pay increase.        
        Readers, it’ summer time. Come on out to a public meeting. Doesn’ cost a penny, plenty of good cold air conditioning and even more hot air. AW

        For over 8 years, Central Appalachia Empowerment Zone (CAEZ) has been the great experiment for locals to run a government program. The program was the brain child of Bill Clinton & Al Gore and was set up to see if groups of local citizens could run a self help, grassroots effort to improve economic conditions in long troubled problem areas of the country.
        The road to improvement has been littered with failures for the five county service area of CAEZ. Can anybody say FILCON? Or the even more massive Harpeth Industries malfunction which resulted in a half million dollars in lost monies among several agencies.
        With all that history stuff out in the open, our CAEZ met in regular session June 3. With a quorum in place, the Board heard once again that the various committees had not met ( except for the Eco/Dev team). From the Eco/Dev gang: another tenant is ready to move into the Mt Hope Industrial site in Fayette County; the proposed Clay County Industrial Site ( Meadows property at Big Otter) is off the books with development costs way too high.
        As for the June 9th public auction of the Filcon filter making equipment, all is a go according to CAEZ Director Jerry Sizemore.
        OK readers, here’ the reason for the whole article. CAEZ received $45,000 to dole out as “ini economic development loans”a few months back. One $15000 loan was awarded to Steve’ Auto in Braxton County last month and during this meeting, under consideration was a loan request from a brand new Braxton business, Image Consultants. According to acting Chairperson John Gibson, the new to the business world Image Consultants, would secure the loan with a 1994 Chevy Suburban vehicle and a computer. Around the table was passed a picture of the owners’home, a very nice home, a very valuable home, and a home NOT being used as security for the $15,000 loan.
        Here’ the way the discussions went. Clay County rep. Darlene Morris, they need to secure the loan with property. Others seated agreed with Morris. Gibson, the state GAVE us the $45,000.00, if we loan it out by July 1, they’l give us another $100,000.00!…. we could be hard nosed like a bank … We’e empowering the people….. Who Cares???
        Clay rep Elizabeth Sampson, undaunted by the encouragement of Gibson, “ecure the house!”The motion came to accept the loan. Director Jerry Sizemore, this is a solid investment, I have reviewed their IRS forms. Chair Gibson, we don’ have anything in this!
        As more questions came, Gibson pushed hard for loan approval. Only after some heavy questioning by the Clay delegation did it come to light that the business under question was a brand new start up company, had no employees, and had no plans for hiring workers in the near future as a result of the loan. Lets see now, Director Sizemore said that he had reviewed their IRS form and now after questioning, it came to light, this was a brand new company. OK everybody, one big Hmmmmmmmmm.
        The CAEZ Board voted to proceed with the hand out loan with only Elizabeth Sampson voting no.
        Get in line Clay County, head over to the CAEZ for the next hand out. Just tell them you want to start a pet rock farm and agree to secure the loan with you ’2 Chevette. It worked for the folks in Braxton County, it’l work here. And, when those $ are gone, there’ $100,000 more coming! As for paying it back… just give them the Chevette.
        Now for the Filcon Inc update. During this June 3rd gathering, much time was given the matter. CAEZ loaned Filcon nearly $150,000.00 for moving expense to get the company to locate in Clay County. Much fan fare was given to the filing of a UCC agreement which was to protect CAEZ’ investment in the new to the area company. Filcon reneged on the deal and the grass roots organization went to court. In the mean time, Clay County Sheriff Harald Fields seized the run down, salvage quality equipment from Filcon to satisfy a past due back rent judgment.
        Getting confusing, it gets worse. With Sheriff Fields in control of the filter making equipment, an auction was held Dec 5 2002. There CAEZ paid around $7000 to get the Filcon gear back in their possession. Lets see now, CAEZ coughed up $130,000 or so to get the equipment in the county, and on the 5th of December coughed up more to get control of what they already had a lien on. That means they had bought it twice.
        After paying the Clay Sheriff, CAEZ had to move the equipment, there’ another big hunk of change. They moved it to the old Newton Fire House owned by Clay Roane PSD. Clay Roane decided to sell the building and once again CAEZ was in deep doo doo.
         On June 9th, the Roane County Sheriff, Todd Cole, held a public auction to get rid of the junk. Remember, just a couple years back, Director Jerry Sizemore told locals, he felt the equipment was worth around a million dollars. Two bidders offered to buy the Filcon empire. One bid $100 and the other bid $200.00. With no other offers coming, CAEZ Director Sizemore, for the third time none the less, bid $201.00 to once again purchase the scrap metal.
         It’ not over yet readers, remember, the owners of the building plant to sell the old fire house building late this summer which means, CAEZ will once again have to move their holdings if an offer to buy doesn’ come thru shortly.
         There you have it as best we can write. You’e update on the goings on in Central Appalachia Empowerment Zone land and don’ forget, they’e got money to hand out. Get in line.                                        AW
         Clay County law enforcement agencies have known for some time, we have a drug problem within our borders. By reading the weekly Magistrate Report in this publication, most readers can document the activities and the many repeat offenders. In our schools, police searches are common with many of our youth confirming the easy accessibility of illegal drugs, both store bought and home made and or grown.
                 Wednesday afternoon, June 11th, two “eth” labs went out of business. “eth”is the common word for those of us that can’ even spell methamphetamine. Trooper Marshall Bailey had the honors.
                 Scanner listeners heard just a tidbit of the action around 3:30 as Tpr Bailey was executing a search warrant at the head of Leatherwood where the pavement ends. There, just over the creek in a wooden house with missing pieces of vinyl siding , obscured by shrubs and growth, Bailey made the discovery as he opened a side room door. Additionally, near the house in small trailer, an older and already spent meth lab was discovered.
          Is someone in your neighborhood harboring such an operation? Most of us wouldn’ even know what to look for, or smell for, or for that matter, what to watch out for in our own neighborhood. TV 8 News recently did an in depth look at the nation wide problem. The dangers of meth labs spreading in our area is becoming a serious problem. Police say they're serious enough to start taking a team effort across the state to stop them. “e're researching and trying to find more assets and resources that we can bring to WV, to help make the quality of life for the citizens in WV better." said Agent Jeff Wallenstrom with the Drug Enforcement Administration. US Attorney, Kasey Warner said, "Only when we work jointly, share our intelligence, share our resources, share our personnel, we'll be successful in this or any drug effort …. the state are 'teaming' up to lay down the law in sending meth lab owners a word of warning. Upon the recommendation of a county prosecutor or any law enforcement officer, I won't hesitate one moment to make a federal case out of a methamphetamine case," said Warner. According to the United States Federal Court System, a person caught with 500 grams of illegal drugs, which equals about one pound, will be sentenced to a minimum of 10 years to life. Police have not found any direct connections between meth labs across the state so far. However, police say that doesn't necessarily mean meth users are not aware of each other's illegal activity.
         So what is Meth? According to the Methamphetamine Britannica, 2000 edition, Meth, crytal, crystal meth, ice, fire, croak, speed, crank, glass, crypto, white cross. Methamphetamine is used in pill form, or in powdered form by snorting or injecting. Crystallized methamphetamine known as "ice," "crystal," or "glass," is a smokable and more powerful form of the drug. Methamphetamine can elevate your mood, induce euphoria, increase alertness, reduce fatigue, increase energy, decrease appetite, increase movement and speech, and provide a sense of increased personal power and prowess.
         Unlike a cocaine high which is brief, the effect of meth lasts for six to eight hours or more depending how much you do.
          Meth is known for its ability to increase focus and mental alertness, eliminate fatigue and decrease the appetite for longer durations than cocaine. It enables people to work around the clock, often for days on end. Meth suppresses appetite, and in small doses is used by young women trying to lose weight. Meth is addictive, and users can develop a tolerance quickly, needing more and more to get high, and going on longer and longer binges. Some users avoid sleep for 3 to 15 days while binging.
          We had a chance to interview WV Tpr Bailey Thursday around 9 am for the details of the Leatherwood case and the involvement of Alan McClain.
         Tpr Bailey, “e didn’ find any actual methamphetamines. We did find the actual lab and all the chemicals to make it. It was out Leatherwood Road at the county line in Clay County.
         As for Alan McClain, again, Bailey, “I didn’ arrest the guy but I probably will today. I’l at least get the warrant today” Bailey estimated the man to be in his 30s.
         As for the product itself, Mr Bailey, “t’ something like cocaine…like an off white powder.”Prior to the arrival of law enforcement, the cooking part of the process had been completed. “We were serving a search warrant for the recovery of stolen property… You can smell it and plus you can see it when you open the door. During the search warrant we opened the door to one of the back rooms and there it was.
         Meth is a crystal-like powdered substance that sometimes comes in large rock-like chunks. When the powder flakes off the rock, the shards look like glass, which is another nickname for meth. It is usually white or slightly yellow, depending on the purity. Also called d-desoxyephedrine, Meth is a potent stimulant synthetic drug of the amphetamine series, used in medicine as an appetite suppressant in treating obesity and as a stimulant of the central nervous system in treating anesthetic overdose and narcolepsy. Methamphetamine was introduced into medicine in 1944 and sold under Methedrine and other trade names. Its action is similar to that of amphetamine. It may be administered orally, snorted, smoked or injected. If smoked or injected, users report increased energy and motivation often coupled with a false sense of invincibility. If snorted or swallowed, the onset is not as extreme and not accompanied by an initial "rush".
         Sound good so far, there is a down side. The ability of methamphetamine to overcome fatigue and provide increased energy has led to considerable abuse of the drug. Its untoward effects on the body (such as increased heart rate and blood pressure) render it a dangerous drug when misused; and because of the rapid development of tolerance common to the amphetamines (a condition in which the user requires increased doses for a consistent effect), it is unsatisfactory for prolonged use. The euphoria, excitement, and sleeplessness experienced by persons on the drug may give way to severe depression once the dose wears off. The excessive use of methamphetamine can eventually induce a toxic psychosis characterized by paranoid delusions and hallucinations. Psychological symptoms of prolonged meth use are characterized by paranoia, hallucinations, repetitive behavior patterns, and delusions of parasites or insects under the skin. Users often obsessively scratch their skin to get rid of these imagined insects. Long-term use, high dosages, or both can bring on full-blown toxic psychosis (often exhibited as violent, aggressive behavior). This violent, aggressive behavior is usually coupled with extreme paranoia. Bailey described what he saw in the room, “Acetone was there… all kinds of glass jars everywhere… he had a hot plate to cook it in. That’ what makes it so dangerous. Most of the stuff burns. You got to cook it. ” Tpr. Bailey felt that this bust was the first find by the State Police in the county this year. He also confirmed that the use and making of the illegal drug common in the area.
                 Bailey,“ctually we found two labs. There was an old one and the one they were using now. The old one was out in the camper next to it [house].”        A state team was brought in to clean up the hazardous site late Wednesday evening.                                        AW
                 There was a major goof up in the last edition of this paper. As you remember, we came out late and even after delaying the edition, in the wee hours of the night before printing, things went haywire. With eyes crossed and those little muscles in the bottom of the spine feeling like jack hammers working overtime, I completely deleted the conclusion of the Vince Golosow sentencing story. With that being said, lets get it once and for all, concluded.
                 The story was up to the part where Tattoo Vince was ready to tell the judge if he planned to appeal the guilty verdict and the life behind bars sentence. Here’ what we neglected to get in the last edition.
                 …… Without hesitation, without waiting one nanosecond and in a firm tone, as for appealing the verdict, 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’ cuffs.
                 Outside a 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 lilly livered 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-shirted 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 breifly, 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 sped 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?”                                        
         ??? DID YOU KNOW ???
         1.        Love is never having to say you’e sorry.
2.        In 2001 American’ spent $2.8 million on cosmetics that claimed to slow aging and undo skin damage.
3.        Some 13,000 additional West Virginian’ have started using “ood stamps”since 2001.
4.        About 300 cyclists are expected to participate in a “icycle week clinic”at the University of Charleston on July 17, 2003.
5.        According to new research by the National Safe Kids Campaign, the unintentional injury death rate for children under 14 has dropped by nearly 40 percent between 1987 and 2000.
6.        West Virginia has one computer for every 3.7 students, placing it at national average.
7.        According to the US Department of Agriculture, Americans eat 80 pounds of chicken per year.
8.        21 million Americans are without health insurance year round. 59 million are uninsured at least briefly in a given year.
9.        About 39 percent of West Virginia’ 6,821 bridges are either structurally deficient or functionally obsolete.
10.        More than half the people who moved to West Virginia between 1995 and 2000 came from a southern state.
11.        Only about 5 percent of the state’ 1.8 million people, belong to a minority group.
12.        There were nearly 932,000 black children living in extreme poverty in 2001.
13.        Statewide, about 3,000 fewer computers will be delivered to classrooms this year, because of recent legislative budget cuts.
14.        According to the Washington based Consumer Electronics Association, Americans will buy 11 million digital cameras this year.
15.        One of every nine manufacturing jobs in West Virginia has been lost since July 2002. According to a new report from the National Association of Manufacturers.
16.        In a review of 22 US schools during the 1998-99 academic years, the General Accounting Office found that three fourths of them were serving lunches that contained 34 percent fat.
17.        The Department of Health and Human Resources has awarded a $40,000 grant to a group of researchers from West Virginia University to study the state’ welfare system.
18.        State government is the largest user of telecommunications services in West Virginia.
19.        According to the National Highway Safety Administration, alcohol related deaths rose 3 percent to 17,970 in 2002.
20.        In the state, there are only six sexually violent predators and 1,621 registered sex offenders. LMM

06/06/03: Rider – Elvis Dawson, malicious assault (04/16), probable cause found; bound to Circuit Court; Bailey – Christopher J. Samples, manufacture of marijuana, warrant issued.
05/19/03: Ellyson – Shari Duffey Bullard, destruction of property and trespassing, appeared 05/28, ROB, trial set.
05/28/03: Clay Supermarket – Jessica Swift, worthless check complaint, warrant issued; Mary J. Adkins, warrants issued for worthless check complaints X 2 (06/03 – Def. Paid checks and costs); Melissa Swift, warrant for worthless check complaint; Carte’ Quick Stop – Donald L. Morris Jr., warrant issued for worthless check complaint; IGA – Jessica L. Swift, warrant issued for worthless check complaint; House’ Market – Hollis Talkington, warrant issued for worthless check complaint (06/09- Def. Paid WC and costs, case dismissed); Ronald D. Hamrick – Coleman Hamrick, peace bond, summons issued, appeared 06/04, ROB.
05/29/03: Slack – Krystal Thompson, overtaking and passing school bus, summons issued.
05/30/03: Sizemore – Matthew D. White, DWR/DUIA, registration violations and no proof of insurance, arrested, ROB.
06/02/03: Rider – Shane Bonura, domestic battery, warrant issued; Workman – Travis Welch, warrant issued for petit larceny, arrested 06/03.
06/03/03: Belt – Mary Louise Douglas, summons issued for fail to stop for school bus, pretrial dismissal 06/11- case dismissed with prejudice upon motion of Pros. Atty; Elswick- Jeff W. Simms, summons issued for battery, pretrial dismissal 06/06- dismissed by State with prejudice; Slack – David P. Tackett, driving under the influence and no POI, arrested, ROB; Cunningham Motors Inc. – warrants for worthless check complaints issued for April Arbogast, Paul W. Pinson, and Kathy L. Cottrell.
06/04/03: Bailey – Thomas F. King Jr., driving revoked for DUIA, appeared, ROB.
06/06/03: Judith Harper, WV Bureau of Employment – Michael L. Jackson, warrants issued for false representation X 5.
06/07/03: Elswick – Scottie Lewis Neal, fleeing in vehicle, reckless driving and driving suspended/revoked for DUI, arrested, ROB.
06/09/03: Butcher – Sandra L. Adkins, shoplifting, appeared, ROB.
06/10/03: Mike Hodges, Extra Health Producs – Sally Legg, worthless check complaint, warrant issued, Def. Paid WC and cost of notice; case dismissed 06/11; Market Express – Candy Adkins, worthless check complaint, warrant issued, pretrial dismissal 06/11- Def. paid WC and cost of notice, case dismissed; Butcher – Mary Lee White, shoplifting-2nd offense, arrested, ROB; Bailey – Vincent E. Samples, flee from officer, arrested.
06/05/03: Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital, c/o Booth & McCarthy – Ronald P. Rhodes, money due; Samantha Johnson – Chad Muck, money due, subpoena.
06/06/03: Clay County PSD – Rodney Jarvis, money due; Walter Adkins – Ronald Adkins, money due.
06/09/03: Donald Neal – Jeremy Floyd, wrongful occupation, subpoena.
Worthless Checks
Notices issued –
05/30/03: Mike Hodges, Extra Health Producs – Sally Legg (misdemeanor file opened 06/10); Market Express – Malena Stone (paid 06/09); Loretta Stewart (paid 06/09); Candy Adkins (misdemeanor file opened 06/10).
06/02/03: Clay Co. Middle School – Nancy A. Brown (paid 06/05); Gwendolyn M. Moles; Hartland Superette – Candy D. Adkins (paid 06/11); Samantha Johnson; Mark Asbury (paid 06/06); Jason Stalnaker X 2 (paid 06/11); Anita S. Blankenship; Teresa Tackett (paid 06/10); Samples Market – Teresa Tackett (paid 06/10); Bobbi Nichols (paid 06/09).
06/03/03: IGA – Margaret A Oxley; Rosalie Keen (paid 06/09); Jason Stalnaker (paid 06/11); Pamela Ferrebee (paid 06/06).
06/04/03: Big Otter Food Mart – Alicia Schindler.
06/06/03: IGA – Judith A. Myers X 3.
06/09/03: Dimple Rogers – Gilbert Wilson Jr.
Traffic Citations
05/20/03: State Police – Sandra L. Swindler, failure to keep right, registration violations and no proof of insurance.
05/22/03: State Police – Mitzi Gail Eagle, registration violation, seat belt violation, and no proof of insurance; Darlene D. Harlow, operator’; Allen D. Legg, seat belt violation; Robyn L. Lilly, seat belt violation; David L. Pritt, seat belt violation and no proof of insurance; Joshua Adam Vance, speeding.
05/23/03: State Police – Elizabeth F. Catts, no child restraint.
05/25/03: Sheriff’ Dept – Tony Howard Thorne, registration violation; State Police – Daniel M. Triplett, registration violations and MVI.
05/27/03: State Police – Jonathan A. Barlow, speeding; Keith Ellison, no proof of insurance; Bobby Ray Hanshaw, speeding; Wendell B. Hodge, speeding; Randolph S. Morton, operator’; Terri Williams, no proof of insurance and operator’; Sheriff’ Dept. – Ronald D. Williams, speeding and defective equipment.
05/28/03: State Police – Patrick W. Morris, speeding and MVI.
05/29/03: Sheriff’ Dept. – Justin L. Brown, operator’ and reckless driving.
05/30/03: State Police – April K. Fitzwater, operator’; Doy G. Hanna Jr., speeding; Thomas F. King, driving revoked for DUIA.
05/31/03: State Police – Kista Rhodes, sell cigarettes to person under 18; Municipal Police – Sandra Ray Guy, no proof of insurance.
06/01/03: Sheriff’ Dept. – Amanda B. Collins, registration violation.
06/03/03: Sheriff’ Dept. – Samantha Schafstall, no proof of insurance.
06/11/03: Sheriff’ Dept. – Cynthia D. Rose, registration violations and seat belt violation; Roger Woods, MVI.

        How do you get more than 50% of the voters out for an election? You field a full slate of candidates and give the voters a choice. That happened June 10 as Clay municipal residents went to the polls and cast their votes.
          Elections are big events in small town America. Social events. Such was the case June 10th as nearly 30 people eagerly awaited election results outside of the polling place, the Clay Fire dept building on Church Street. The crowd formed even before the polls closed at 7:30pm. With no rain in sight, the night air was clean and comfortable for standing around and chatting. Traffic backed up as cars and truck slowed to ask, “Who won? … Who’ ahead …. How many voted?”By 9pm, the tall metal garage door was lifted and poll worker Glady Lanham posted the hand written tally for the world to see. The brick exterior wall served as the bulletin board for the paper report. The bifocal crowd kinked their necks for a peek. With darkness near, there was quiet for a second. Finally as folks in the rear strained harder to see, someone started reading off the numbers. There was quiet as those dealt the losing hand studied the results. Others, not believing the choice of the voters, pushed closer for a better view of the hand written numbers.
                 In the Mayoral race, incumbent Mayor Arthur Jarrett, pictures at right, out distanced challenger Glen Nichols more than 2 to 1, Jarrett, 102 votes to Nichols 44.
                 With long time Recorder Betty Murphy not seeking reelection to the $400 a month position, three filed for the vacancy, Dwana Murphy, Cathy Butcher, and Linda Moorehead. Ms Murphy got the voters’thumbs up 75 votes with Moorehead garnering 45 and Butcher trailing the field with just 27 votes.
                 11 filed for the $100 per month , 5 Town Council slots. Dave Derby and Helen Morris chose not to run again for office. Of the three incumbents, Sally Legg, Wanda Chambers, and Okey Burroughs, only Legg made the grade. The results: Phil ‘atman”Morris, 84 votes; Betty Murphy, 82 votes; Billie Jane Zeeger, 78; Frank Childers III, 65; Sally Legg, 60; Wanda Chambers, 58; Paige Willis, 57; Rene Moore; Buckshot Butcher, 46; Joyce Gibson, 42; Okey Burroughs, 40.
                 Of course, the behind the scenes stuff is what makes elections zing in Clay County. As the crowd waited, two distinct camps formed. On the far end of the street were candidates Joyce Gibson, Rene Moore, Buckshot Butcher along with friends and family members. Nearer Clay Elem school and at the other end of the street was Camp #2. There, candidates Betty Murphy, Wanda Chambers, Okey Burroughs and Arthur Jarrett sat along with their supporters. Candidate Sally Legg leaned against the white retaining wall near the middle of camps.
                 Behind the scenes, incumbents fielded a slate and paid for advertisements supporting their ticket and record of accomplishment. After seeing the election results, the slate and the record of accomplishments did not hold water. In the Council race, the number one vote getter did not go to an incumbent but rather a complete newcomer to Clayberry politics, Phillip Morris. Morris outpaced long time in politics Betty Murphy. Another complete outsider to politics, Frank Childers III finished ahead of incumbent council person Sally Legg.        
                 Whispers came too. There whispers of vote buying and second hand talk of comments made by a prominent local professional. The comment, “I’l pay whatever it takes to see that Betty, Sally, and Wanda don’ get reelected!” As darkness came, and with election results in hand, the crowd dispersed as one irate candidate spun his tires while leaving. Another election cycle complete.
          Long time readers of this paper will remember comments made in April concerning future water project funding in the area dependent on the outcome of this ballot vote. With King Arthur at the helm and Dwana Murphy, Phil Morris, Frank Childers, Betty Murphy, Billie Jane Zegeer, and Sally Legg in office, only time will tell if the WV Public Service Commission and project funders approve of the decision made by residents of the county’ only municipality.                                AW
         “epresentation You Can Rely On”By Andy Waddell
                 Since setting foot in the County of Clay, Prosecutor Daniel R Grindo has been controversial. We now have one more installment in the saga. Grindo is now advertising for his Gassaway based law practice in Braxton County. Grindo first hit the Clayberry radar during his appointment to the Prosecutor’ position in December 2002. Since then, Mr. Grindo has continued to make “he news”as coverage of his courtroom losses played out.
         The Prosecutor’ spot was vacated by Jeff Davis who resigned from office on Nov 25th. Democrat Davis cited the need to make more money as his reason for leaving after serving 10 years in office. Several applied for the vacancy including Asst Prosecutor Barbara Schamberger, Kevin Duffy, Wayne King, Hiriam Lewis III and a Kanawha County law clerk named Minnick.
                 During the appointment process, it came to light, the young, soft spoken Braxton County native had just passed his bar exam four months earlier, and had little court room experience while serving as Judge Jack Alsop’ law clerk. State Code requires that a replacement for Davis to have the same political party affiliation. Grindo switched from the Republican party to the Democrat platform just prior to seeking the Clay County Prosecutor’ opening. So controversial was the appointment process, candidate Schamberger filed a lawsuit against the Commission’ actions and that suit is pending in Circuit Court.
                 In Dec , as then County Commissioner Tim “No Show”Butcher pushed hard for the Grindo appointment, the question was asked by Commissioner Sams,”If appointed to this position, will you move to Clay County?”Grindo responded, Yes. That doesn’ appear to be what’ happening.
          In last week’ Braxton Citizen’ News, a nice big half page advertisement was published. The ad informed readers of Grindo’ 218 Elk Street Gassaway law office and practice in Braxton. For the coffee house crowd, setting up an office in Braxton County was a tip off that Grindo has no plans to establish residency in Clay County as promised. The ad goes on to mention his areas of expertise, wills, deeds, personal injury, and worker’ compensation. In bigger print came the jingle, “Representation You Can Reply On!”And Yes even the exclamation mark was in the ad.
                 Whether Grindo had any intention of moving into the county of his employ was brought to light by Ms Schamberger during the confirmation process back in Dec. Schamberger told our three blind mice, Grindo was building a nice big home in Braxton and she doubted his intentions of moving into Clay County. Those Schamb words now appear to have been accurate.
         Letter to Brother Bill
         by Evelyne McLaughlin

         Dear Brother Bill:
         Sorry you were unable to visit as planned, and hope you are feeling much better. HAPPY BIRTHDAY wishes to you, 62 is a big hump. We have had another week of rainy weather. My garden is looking okay. It is about 4 feet by 15, and I somehow manage to keep most of the weeds whacked down. I had a problem with my onions. Something kept picking the tops off of them. I could not figure out what until I noticed Tom the Turkey snipping them as he strolled by. I like the turkey so I guess we will have to give up on the onions. Oh, well, Mom always said, "Them that has must lose and if you didn't have it you couldn't lose it.” Mom (Addie Dawson) was a character indeed. She has been gone ten years this month, and there isn't a day that goes by that I do not miss her. Those precious memories of one gone by, death does not erase.
         Mary Vaughn, of Blue Knob, and Ann Davis, of Pinch, were shopping at the K-Mart Wednesday. Randy Thompson, of Ovapa, underwent open-heart surgery this week. Get well wishes to Randy. Hope he has a quick recovery. The Gospel Sing at Blue Knob was very nice. Thanks to all the participants. Wanita Koch, of Blue Knob, was visiting with family in Ohio recently. I went to see our dear friend, Goldie "Pudge" Samples, of Horner's Fork, this week. She is a sweet 96 years old.
         So many of the e-mails I receive are just plain junk and I do not know how to get rid of them. Some offer refinancing, Viagara, Xanax, dating services, stocks and a horde of other items that I am not interested in. However, one offer was for wrinkle remover that makes one feel "young again". Do you think that might help me? One of the preschool students I was teaching recently said, "Mrs. McLaughlin, you are old". I told him I knew that. His response was "and old people die". Another student told her parents that she had a "grandma" for a teacher.
         Our Eagle reunion will be this coming Saturday at Stouts Mills in Gilmer County. We always have a good time when we attend. Don isn't feeling well so I doubt we will make the trip this year.
         We were sorry to learn that Will Carr, of Twistabout Ridge, passed away this week. Our condolences to the family.
         Until next time, HELP US ALL TO BE BRAVE. Love and prayers, Sis
         DON GREENE: WV Radical
                 I guess I was born to live in a different time or something. It has never occurred to me to lie or cheat for my own benefit or to take advantage of another person nor do them wrong for my benefit. I seem to be in a new minority though, the Honest Selfless Minority.
                 Somehow people that think just the opposite of me have eased into nearly every governmental position. These people seem to think that they live in the ‘ild, Wild West’ where they don't have to obey even the simplest law or regulation. I have heard everyone from local patronage workers to state agency employees say, "Well, let's do/not do it and see if anyone says anything." This is despite the fact that they know what they are doing is in violation of a law or regulation. They just do it because they can.
                 One example of this is a recently completed sewer line. Not one foot of this two-mile line was compacted to Federal standards as required by the grant/loan. However, the contractor was paid for compacting the material. So the public ended up on the wrong end of the sewer, so to say.
                 Another example is the continuing failure of the local highway department to do even its' own work in compliance with Federal regulations. This leads to sub-standard, narrow, un-ditched roads. This hinders the expansion of homes and businesses along these roads.
                 Another example is our multitude of development groups/agencies. Millions of dollars are spent on these people having meetings, going to seminars and such foolishness. Every cent of public money that is invested in these agencies has regulations attached that would seem to assure that the public would benefit from the spending of the money. But if these regulations are ignored the money is spent and nothing is accomplished.
                 The broad-spread violation of the ‘pen Meeting Law’is another example of our ‘ild, Wild West’mentality. This law is supposed to prevent our government from operating in a fashion that is not honest, forthright and beneficial to the public. But our elected, appointed and hired cowboys seem to feel it's better to fight to death for the right to be sneaky and secretive, than to even barely comply.
                 The education system is another example of this mentality. The desire to create new jobs and tap into more public money at whatever cost to the public or the children is also straight from the ‘ild West’ Sadly, the only time West Virginia looks better compared with the rest of the nation, is when the standards are lowered.
                 Until everyone involved in our government, from the voter to the bureaucrat, is able to break free of this ‘ild, Wild West’mentality the aspects of our beautiful state are doomed.
         BOB CLARKE: Curmudgeon’ Corner
                 With West Virginia laboring, as usual, in the throes of economic agony, it is time to consult the “xperts” We have already been graced by a seemingly endless parade of these feckless, (a word I have always wanted to use – look it up) though nauseatingly self-assured creatures inhabiting our TV screens 24/7.
                 It is time to consult the profound wisdom of the great philosophers, in this case, the Duchess of Fenwick. Leader of a small, economically deprived country, the majestic old dowager came up with a can’-miss scheme with a virtually unlimited potential for future prosperity. In her immortal words:
                 …There can be no more profitable venture than declaring war on the United States, and losing.
         Now before those of limited imagination and insight dismiss this unquestionably brilliant plan, it is well to be reminded of the post war restoration of Germany and Japan who benefited from a time when the United States still had deep pockets.
                 But, enough of vague generalizations: Here’ the plan. West Virginia secedes from the Union. In step two, we declare war on the United States. In all probability, we will lose, although some of those mountain people are extremely fierce warriors. In a final step, dazzling in its conception and promise, West Virginia, the world’ newest sovereign nation, applies for, and is certain to receive foreign aid. It is imperative that we implement this plan before the others think of it.
         In order to provide a fair and balanced view, the kind we have come to expect from the likes of Ari Fleisher, Don (Caligula) Rumsfeld and the rest of the Pentagon mob, as well as Jerry Falwell, it must be admitted that this splendid plan is fraught with peril. “he best laid plans of mice and men gang aft agley,”(often go astray) Robert Burns says. In “he Mouse that Roared,”the Duchess of Fenwick’ story, the unexpected happens: she wins. We must plan seriously to avoid that dreaded turn of events.
         Relying on the old P.T. Barnum maxim: “here’ a sucker born every minute,”the administration has sold its second major tax cut with the repeated litany of “obs, jobs, jobs.” This refrain sounds something of a false note, considering that, since we heard that song two years ago, 1,700,000 jobs have been lost, 500,000 this year alone. It is worthy of note that when the Bushies were pushing (the Brits would say “logging” the first tax cut, Alan Greenspan, the economic prophet in whom all things wise and good abide, praises it. Agreeing with the current administration is always a good career move. The few appointees who have voiced opposition or doubt have been consigned to obscurity. Non-toadies and non-sycophants need not apply. Anyway, Greenspan has observed that this second tax cut may not be a good idea. Suddenly, he is not so wise. The courtiers who wish to remain in the inner circle of King George II must keep in mind the dramatic moment when he thundered like an Old Testament patriarch: “f you’e not for us, you’e against us.” Such is the lesson learned, the hard way, by Colin Powell.
         It may be the time to call for a period of national mourning: Ari Fleischer has announced his immanent retirement. Those with a flagging memory may not recall that Fleischer is the administration spokesman who announced on national TV: “mericans had better watch what they say…and what they do.” No doubt he thought at the time that his world would be much simpler without that silly old first amendment. Ari will reap a rich harvest from his short-lived importance. Hangers-on in the corridors of power always do. There will be the usual high-paid lecture tour circuit, the profitable TV interviews, and, alas, the inevitable book. If his vapid and inane press conferences at which he manages to say nothing in infinite sentences are any guide, the book, as well as the inescapable book tour will stir up a great deal of apathy. As painful as it is to give such a creature grudging credit, he seems a loyal sort, so it is unlikely that literary efforts will be of a kiss-and-tell variety. George Stephanopoulos was not so squeamish. He betrayed the man who made him rich and famous.
         In the presidential campaign candidate Bush announced that he was going to restore dignity to the presidency and the White House. What was, of course implied here was: no more sleepovers in the Lincoln Bedroom, possibly, extremely expensive coffee and doughnuts in the Oval Office. As the old tune warbled: “he song is ended, but the melody lingers on.” Last week the word went out, that, if you had a consuming desire to have lunch with Karl Rove, all you had to do was put up $50,000 or more for the good of the party. Even if we had it, for that kind of loot the least we could expect would be Nicola Machiavelli, Count Bismarck or possibly the paragon of evil – Dr. Joseph Goebbles. Rove, by the way, is the unprincipled scoundrel who put out the word in the South Carolina presidential primary that John McCain, a legitimate hero, was the father of an illegitimate black child by a woman who, obviously, was not his wife. The rumor was untrue, but it lost the state – and possibly the Republican nomination for Senator McCain. Rove, by all accounts, is a master at this sort of sleaze. No wonder Bush calls him “oy Genius.” In any case, it didn’ take too long for the Bush White House to make the same discovery as its predecessors, the enormous money-raising potential of an incumbent administration.
         Get the job with Halliburton or one of its subsidiaries. You won’ have to worry about slack periods or losing competitive bios because the company has friends in high places. National Security prohibits identifying names but the initials of the company’ highest contact are R. Cheney, a government official in what the intelligence community calls “eep cover.”
         The Fruits of “iberation” Now that the Taliban is gone, Afghanistan is the world’ largest producer of opium.
         Plus ca change: The more a things changes, the more it’ the same.
         Timmermeyer, Clay County is STILL Waiting…
         Ms. Stephanie Timmermeyer, Secretary
         WV Dept. of Environmental Protection
         1156 Hansford Street
         Charleston, WV 25301
                 Re: Bee Run Dam, Wallback, Clay/Roane Counties
                  ID #80710, current “ertificate of Approval”expires 6/19/2003
         Dear Secretary Timmermeyer:
         This letter is to request your assistance in moving the above referenced project to its conclusion. For your reference, please refer to the following letters:
             1.        My letter to you dated February 25, 2003
2.        Governor Wise’ letter to me dated February 26, 2003
3.        Allyn G. Turner, Director, DEP Div. Water and Waste Management letter, to Fola Coal dated February 26, 2003
4.        My letter to Michael Callaghan, previous DEP Secretary dated January 15, 2003 confirming agreements made in our meeting with Fola Coal at the Capitol on March 19, 2002
Please note that Governor Wise in his letter of February 26th, advised me that I would be hearing from you soon based on his conversation with you. I am concerned because I have not heard from you.
         The completion of this Lake is viewed by many as an Economic Development project for Clay County. Surely, you and all the others who have been kept abreast of the status of the project are very aware of the poor economic condition of our County and understand that is why we continue to pursue this matter.
         The 1994 Mitigation Contract Agreement, signed by Fola Coal Company, states that this dam would be completed in 1995. The current “ertificate of Approval”issued by DEP in 1999 will expire June 19, 2003. Clay County has yet to receive any benefit from the damages caused by Fola Coal in Clay County. Citizens are concerned that DEP has not held that company responsible for completion of contractual agreements.
         The original mitigation fees amount to $2,000,000.00. To date, Fola owes approximately 1.2 Million. The difference between the quoted cost of the dam only and the 1.2 million owed is around $47,000.00. The difference between the quoted cost of building the dam and upgrading the access road is around $300,000.00. With the difference in cost in mind, DEP reported to me verbally on April 29, 2003 that there are “nencumbered”funds in the following accounts:
                 #3349 = $376,100.00
                 #3337 = $ 93,100.00
                 Total = $469,200.00
         Therefore, any statement by the DEP that there are no unencumbered monies to complete this dam, would be inaccurate.
         As stated above, the current agreement expires on June 19, 2003. Continued extensions of this project seem to be counterproductive. Therefore, I am requesting that you advise me, without further delay, of a construction start date, and of a scheduled completion date. I would suggest you put these dates into a binding contract with Fola Coal Company.
         For the past 10 years, the Management of Fola Coal Company has been trying to convince Clay County residents that they are eager to return something to Clay County for the damages done in the County. We want to see good corporate neighbors in Clay County who have the best interests of citizens at heart but we believe that Fola Coal’ failure to build the promised dam will tarnish any positive image they may have garnered up to this time.
         Should Fola Coal Company decide to exercise their option to pay your agency the mitigation fee for damages done to Clay County, instead of building the dam, it would be prudent that these monies be disbursed to Clay County since all the damages were done in this county. If this option is selected, I ask that DEP forward to me and to the Clay County authorities the following:
1.        The DEP Account number that will be used for these funds, earmarked for distribution to Clay County.
2.        The policy that you will use to distribute these 1.2 million dollars to Clay County.
         I will anticipate hearing from you very soon regarding this matter. Further, via copies of this letter I ask that our Honorable elected officials and other recipients of this letter assist in whatever way necessary to bring this matter to a proper conclusion that will benefit Clay County Residents.
         Thank you for your cooperation in this matter,
                                 Fred Sampson
         Editor’ Note - Copies of this letter were sent by Mr. Sampson to the following individuals: Governor Bob Wise, Senator Shirley Love, Senator Randy White, Delegates Bill Stemple, John Pino, Tom Louisos, and David Perry, Clay County Commission President Matthew Bragg, WV DNR Director Ed Hamrick, DEP Water Resources Div. Director Allyn Turner, Clay County Business Development Authority President Paige Willis, DEP Environmental Advocate Pam Nixon, and CAEZ Exec. Director Jerry Sizemore.
         Back in Dec of 2002, Commissioner Mathew Bragg felt that it would be cheaper to hold a special election ( cost about $10,000.00) for the Prosecutor vacancy than to go to court and fight a lawsuit brought by candidate for the Prosecutor’ opening, Barbara Schamberger. After finding out that the county’ insurance provider would not cover the cost of the suit, Commission President Sams stated that he didn’ feel the hiring of an attorney to defend them would be too costly. The County Commission hired attorney John Brown to handle the court room duties. As of last month, their attorney has charged the county, that’ you the taxpayer, just a little over $6000.00.
         Back in March of this year, juror Eric Pierson was charged with contempt of court after talking via phone to on trial for welfare fraud, Peggy DeBoard. Of course such is a real no no. After finding out about the Pierson inspired violation of juror conduct, Judge Jack Alsop was all peed off and Pierson was arrested. Since going the $10,000 bond requirement in Case 03-M-5, Mr. Pierson has had Jerome Novobilski appointed as his attorney. As of June 12th, no hearing date has been set.
         Stemming from a Nov 2002 indictment, Peggy DeBoard went to trial in March 2003 for welfare fraud. As mentioned above, juror Eric Pierson’ actions caused the case to be tossed and set for retrial. Ain’ going to happen now. The case has been removed from the docket and all charges have been dropped. In the order issued by Judge Alsop, May 23, 2003: The Court having received the motion of the State of WV to dismiss the above styled action and counsel for the defendant having advised that the defendant has no objections thereto, it is accordingly ADJUDGED and ORDERED that the action be and the same is hereby dismissed with prejudice and stricken from the active docket of this court.
                       So what happened? During the pretrial hearing ( after the first case was tossed, thank you Mr. Pierson) Prosecutor Grindo asked to introduce new witnesses. With the Judge disallowing such, Prosecutor Grindo dismissed the case against Ms DeBoard. By May 27th, the absolutely free and clear of all charges and with no chance of the charges ever coming back to haunt her, Peggy DeBoard returned to her Bank of Gassaway job.
         As for the Earnie Sirk vs. Clay Development Corp (CDC) lawsuit before the court, no hearing date has been set as of Thursday June 12. As for the story running around the county that Sirk tried to get the Judge to stop last week’ CDC General Membership meeting, there is no paperwork in Case # 3-C-26 to support the story. Word has it that efforts were made to stop the meeting but the Court would not hear the injunction.
         Not exactly Court room stuff but close. The County Commission fired off a formal complaint against the Clay County PSD to the WV Public Service Commission. The CCC is against the local water provider purchasing a $60,000.00 double wide trailer for their office space. A hearing on the matter is scheduled for July 17th, 10 am , at the Clay County Courthouse.
         WISH IT WASN’ TRUE…
          In the wish it wasn’ true department, County Commission heard some very disturbing statistics June 3. The CCC along with around 10 in the peanut gallery heard from reps from the WV Workforce Investment Board (WIB). The county level sessions are being held in each of the nine counties in our region of the state. The other 8 counties include: Calhoun, Wirt, Jackson, Pleasants, Ritchie, Roane and Wood.
                 The idea behind the meeting was to identify the most serious issues facing it county and make long range plans to correct the problem areas. And problem areas there are!
                 During the presentation a statistician contracted through Marshall University, a Mr. Ed Strong, provided a power point presentation. His research was alarming and chilling. The following are some of the findings by Mr. Strong.
                 Clay County can expect a population decline over the next 20 years with more people over 65 years of age entering the local population.
                 In the 9 county WIB region, Clay County has the highest percentage of people unable to function. Strong said an example of being unable to function as: not able to keep a checkbook.
                 Clay County has the highest percentage of people in poverty in the 9 county region.
                 We have a much lower per capita income which is less than 50% of the national average.
                 As of March of this year, only 465 people in our whole darn county want or are seeking a job. Clay County has the lowest percentage of people ( above 16 years old) looking for work. Only 465!
                 75.2% of our public school students are eligible for free or reduced lunch which puts us at the head of the pack once again.
                 As for the kids getting an education on the college level? Not much hope there since less than half of our kids ( 49.7%) take the ACT test which is required before being admitted into college. That’ puts Clay County in the second worst position in the region.
                 And finally from Mr. Strong, in the 2000 –2001 school year, those that took the ACT exam scored an average of just 19.6 on the composite score. Once again, the second lowest in the region. So much for our kids getting a good well rounded education!
                 With stats flowing like water, and the stats dismal in every category, those in attendance found the info sobering to say the least.                AW
         Widen News by Darlene Rogers
         Coming to Widen in the future is a Youth and Adult Center – 6 months to a year. SOONER if we had volunteers and supplies to to finish the center with. The Center will be run by the youth, with supervision by adults. Possibilities that are being discussed are: Technology room with after school programs, college courses, use of computer, or learn how to use a computer, etc.; classes such as (but not limited to) CPR/First Aid, bookkeeping, taxes, payroll, time cards/sheets, cash registers, community services, arts and crafts; meetings, conference room, etc; movie room; store: whatever that’ sellable, etc; kitchen – hot dogs, chips, pizza, drinks, etc; office space for business; recreation area/playground.
         Jerry Sizemore of the CAEZ office in Clay has volunteered to assist the Center. Also assisting are Dorris Morris and Charles Johnson of Dille, WV; Connie Lupardus from the Welfare to Work Program of Charleston, WV; Dr. Sarita Bennett and husband Terry of Marlington, WV, and all of Dr. Bennett’ staff; Donna Shearer, Danette Condon, Lisa Abigail Tanner, Steve Richardson, Erica Green, Rejeana Belt, Lorraine Snyder, all of Widen; Sarah Anderson at the WVU Extension office in Clay; Nancy Holcomb from the DHHR office in Clay; Widen Postmaster Eva Tinney; and Rachel Truman of the Clay County Free Press.
         Many thanks to Helen Rhine of Birch River and Widen’ Lorraine Snyder for their donations of kitchen supplies, curtains, etc., for the Center. THANKS GIRLS! Thanks to everyone who is assisting in making a dream come true.
         Our youth in Widen and their activities are the reason for this business getting started. There is almost nothing in Widen except houses and people. Our youth need something to do to further their experiences and knowledge, and our adults need something for themselves. So, here we are folks, working on creating jobs, recreation, improving skills, and much more.
         Anyone interested in assisting can call 332-5020. We need grant writers, office supplies, good movies, a large screen TV, tables and chairs, people who know how to run a business – doing taxes, payroll, etc. – to teach classes to those who are interested in learning these skills, windows, siding, any construction materials. We HELP others, and in return we help ourselves.
         Daphene Belt has company from Michigan this week – she is doing good, but she’ not recovered from the strokes and heart attack completely. We know our Heavenly Father can do all things, be much in prayer for Daphene and all the sick ones we know.
         Remember our service men and women, our president and all that are in office making decisions about our country. God’ people will one day be the rulers over this earth. Everyone get out, vote, and ask for guidance from our Heavenly Father and He will let you choose the right person for the job.
         On May 24, three youth from Widen were in Summersville and had a headlight out on the car. The police asked for driver’ license, insurance, etc. The one driving did not have driver’ license; the other two got out of the auto at Go-Mart and ran into the bathroom. They were scared. The police kept the children until their parents came to get them – they were 16 years old and under. Another reason Widen NEEDS a Youth and Adult Center. Let’ give the children something to do here so they won’ be out illegally driving to other areas for things to buy or something to do.
         Patty Harris, the wife of Andy Harris of Harold, was driving their 4-wheeler down Widen hill on June 1, and got into the gravel and flipped the 4-wheeler. Health Net from CAMC Hospital landed in Punk and Ruth Young’ yard, and Patty was flown to CAMC. Andy said Patty broke her collar bone, and at present is in stable condition. Two ambulances and two fire trucks were at the scene. We want to thank everyone for such a quick response, and remind everyone you need to drive slow coming through Widen. Patty wasn’ driving fast, if she had been she might not be here today. Be much in prayer for this family.
         Mamie Rogers received a softball signed by her team, the Phillies, for outstanding performance striking the first three batters up out and helping to win the game for the first time in the three years this team has played. WAY TO GO, MAMIE! Mamie is my daughter, 9 years old, and I’ very proud of her. She’ one GOOD softball player.
         Anyone who steals or destroys anything on Anthony and Melissa White’ property at 147 Braxton Street – Brush Fence, Widen, if caught will be turned over to the authorities. This is private property, and since December 10, 2002 the bathroom sink, kitchen sink, and cabinets have disappeared. Now the windows and commode have been broken, busted up into small pieces, holes knocked in the wall, sheetrock torn off the walls and ceiling. We would appreciate it if everyone would stay off of our land and stay out of our house. How can we fix this place up for a home when you’e tearing it up? You know who you are and so do we. Warning this time, next time authorities.
         Larry and Barb Green were blessed with a visit from Larry’ oldest son Nathan this week (may God bless with many more visits). My children’ grandparents, Paul and Ruth Rogers of Huntington, were here on Sunday, and blessed us with their presence. It had been almost 9 months since they visited us. They do lawn service and don’ get away very often. We all went up the hollow to work on the old Keen place and had a very enjoyable day cleaning, mowing, and repairing the old place. Soon to be a home again. We want to thank Katrina Sprouse and Nate Malick Jr. for their help.
         Eddie Gray is a resident of Nicholas Street now. Welcome to the community, Eddie. Nicholas Street is getting a new face lift, it seems everyone is sprucing their places up, it’ starting to look GOOD again. Way to go Nicholas Street residents!
         Widen has some of the richest soil – it grows such good crops. Everything that I see in the gardens is doing very good. We are blessed here.
         The Widen Community Center will have its next meeting on July 7, 2003 (the first Monday of every month). Everyone welcomed. Direct Action Welfare Group (D.A.W.G.) are supposed to be there if nothing happens. Come out and see what this group is all about.
         The water update is that the DEP is going over the plans, and when they’e finished we will find out if Widen gets the money and the ‘o’sign. Be much in prayer for this project, it’ badly needed. The sewer clean up is tied into this project also. Thank you again Theresa Morton, for not giving the residents who don’ have septic systems a fine in our town for now. Theresa knows we’e working to clean up things here. She is being patient with us until we get the word ‘ea’or ‘ay’from DEP. Pray for ‘ea’.
         Until next time – the more you give, the more you get. Amen.