August 23, 2001
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Did you know
Capito to Sponsor Resolution for Commemorative Coal Miner Stamp
Kay's Cooking Cornor
CAEZ Community Meeting at H.E. White
CAEZ to Hold Community Meetings
POOF!! BANKRUPTCY SETTLED
HEALTH DEPARTMENT CLOSES EATERY
WIDEN PARENTS CONCERNED OVER BUS DRIVER
FILCON: A Bridge is a Bridge is a
PROCIOUS $$$ UPDATE
FINGER POINTING AT COMMISSION
CLAY ROANE UPDATE
QUEEN SHOALS SUPPLYING NEW CUSTOMER
In last edition we reported that during the Clay Town Council meeting, town clerk Dwana Murphy left five minutes early from work. Murphy says she didn=t do that. We stand by our words.
This paper awarded a frowney face to Clay Development for the agency not letting the public know of their food voucher program via the print media. After our last edition came out, Janet Fitzwater called to say that they did advertise in that little paper over in Clay. We stand corrected. Heck, we didn=t even know that paper was still in business.
Been lot=s of school system bragging about how well we prepare students for life. Recently released figures from the WV Dept of Education indicate that less than 35% of our seniors go on to college. Clay, McDowell, and Summers share the rank of dead last in this category.
???DID YOU KNOW???
This year has been one of the worst for profits of glass makers. Sales are down at Fenton Glass 6.5 percent.
There are nearly 50 million mobile phone users in China.
In Vietnam there are no courthouses where ownership of land and buildings is documented.
More than 17,600 school age kids in West Virginia are gay, lesbian or bi-sexual, according to at least 3 government studies.
Bicyclists suffered 73,750 head injuries last year, compared with 66,820 in 1991.
The number of American school dropouts who received a GED dropped by 3.1 percent last year.
Motorists on US 60 in Cabell County are more likely to be involved in a traffic accident than on any other road in the state.
About 50 private trout farms in West Virginia produced about 300,000 pounds of trout in 1999.
Dr. Peter Ender, Chief of Wright Patterson Air Force Base Medical Center, concluding a study of germs on money, found everything from blood infections to food poisoning.
Marion County plans to use 20 percent vegetable oil and 80 percent diesel in its school buses this coming school year.
Governor Wise urges anyone who visits a state office during business hours and finds it closed to call this number 888-438-2731.
Of the estimated 6 million people in the United States with teaching backgrounds, only 3 million are actually teaching.
US Labor Secretary is urging the Postmaster General to issue a stamp commemorating and honoring America=s Coal Miners.
Where there is love, there is a touch of the divine. Make time for love in your life.
Candle related fire deaths rose from 20 to 170 in 1998.
There are only about 1,000 grizzly bears left in the lower 48 states.
20 percent of injuries from violent crimes are committed by strangers, most are from family members or partners.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 500,000 trampolines are sold in the US each year.
80 percent of graduating lawyers have stayed in the state for their first job.
Of the 20 persons on federal death row, only two are white.
Capito to Sponsor Resolution for Commemorative
Coal Miner Stamp
Labor Secretary Chao Endorses Idea at Local Mining Safety Event
Washington-Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) today announced that she will sponsor a resolution to issue a commemorative coal miner postage stamp, honoring the significant contribution of coal miners to the economic development of West Virginia and the rest of America.
Recognition for coal miners is long overdue, said Rep. Capito. Coal mining is a part of West Virginias history-it has made up much of who we are. The significant contributions of coal miners-past, present and future-deserves respect, honor and an act of commemoration. Its time we give these men and women full recognition through this stamp.
Requesting her assistance, Congresswoman Capito sent a letter to Secretary of Labor, Elaine L. Chao, urging her support in obtaining the stamp. Today, at the 25th anniversary of the National Mine Health and Safety Academy in Beckley, WV, Secretary Chao gave her verbal support for the idea, saying that she would join Rep. Capito in her efforts to issue this important commemorative stamp.
In her letter to Secretary Chao, Congresswoman Captio highlighted the integral role of coal miners to West Virginia and the rest of the country. She noted that coal miners represent nearly ten percent of all state jobs and the leadership that coal miners have provided in the struggle for a living wage and a safe work environment.
Coal miners were catalysts of much of the labor movement in the early part of the century-recognizing long before others that decent living wages and a safe work environment were not luxuries but necessities. Their struggle for workers rights continues to push the labor movement forward and inspires others to follow their lead, said Rep. Capito.
Since 1986 United Mine Workers of America has been petitioning for a postage stamp to honor coal miners. The United Postal Service (USPS) Citizens Stamp Advisory Committee reviews approximately 50,000 proposals submitted for commemoration each year. If passed, Congresswoman Capitos resolution would give special priority to the coal miner stamp with the Postmaster General.
KAYS COOKING CORNER
QUICK & EASY DIABETIC COOKING
Feeling daring? Go topless...with open-faced Sloppy Joes, I mean! Its a really tasty way to watch our carbs. Hope you enjoy this weeks recipe.
TOPLESS SLOPPY JOES
Serving Size: l Sloppy Joe, Total Servings: 6
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 pound ground turkey breast
1 medium onion, chopped
1 rib celery, chopped
1/2 medium-sized green bell pepper, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
3/4 cup water
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
3 hamburger buns, split
1) In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat and cook the turkey until browned, stirring to break up the meat.
2) Add the onion, celery, bell pepper, and garlic, and saute for 5 minutes, stirring often.
3) Mix in the remaining ingredients, except the buns, and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, or until thickened. Serve open-face-style over bun halves.
Exchanges: 1 Starch 3 Very Lean Meat 1 Vegetable
Calories...201...Calories from Fat...37...Total Fat...4 g
Saturated Fat...0 g...Cholesterol...47 mg...Sodium...522 mg Carbohydrate...19 g...Dietary Fiber...2 g...Sugars...7 g...Protein...22 g.
No matter if you roast it in the oven or on the grill, heres a new way to jazz up an old favorite while adding fiber to your diet. One taste and youll never put plain butter on your ears again.
Herb-Roasted Corn on the Cob
Serving Size: 1 ear, Total Servings: 4
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 garlic clove, minced
1 scallion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon chopped fresh dill weed
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
4 medium ears fresh corn on the cob, husked
1) Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. In a small bowl, combine the butter, garlic, scallion, dill, and black pepper; mix well.
2) Place each ear of corn in a separate piece of
aluminum foil and brush with the butter mixture. Wrap each and seal completely, then place on a rimmed baking sheet.
3) Roast the corn for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the kernels are tender. Carefully open the foil and remove the corn. Serve immediately.
Calories...150...Calories from Fat...62...Total Fat...7 g.. Saturated Fat...4 g.. Cholesterol...15 mg...Sodium...75 mg.. Carbohydrate...23 g...Dietary Fiber...3 g...Sugars...3 g...Protein... 3 g...
||Exchanges: 1-1/2 Starch 1 Fat
CAEZ Community Meeting at H.E. White
The first in a series of community meetings was held at H.E. White Elementary School, Bomont, on August 21 by the Central Appalachia Empowerment Zone. The purpose of the meeting was to inform the community of services available, such as low interest loans for home repairs and small businesses, and to gather community ideas on what is needed. Most of the 20 people who attended had never heard of the CAEZ and were eager to hear about this miracle group who came to rescue them.
After introduction by CAEZ Director Jerry Sizemore, the questions began. It seems the greatest need in the Bomont and Glen areas is clean water, and lack of fire hydrants was a concern. A concern of most everyone is the new 911 addressing system. People wanted to know if they could be found if an ambulance or other emergency service was needed.
The CAEZ is preparing another grant request in the amount of three million dollars to provide services. The CAEZ has done some wonderful things. They have also made a few blunders.
The next community meeting will be at Ivydale Elementary School, in Ivydale, August 27 at 7:00 p.m. Here=s hoping the CAEZ will keep their promises if they do receive the grant money this time.
CAEZ to Hold Community Meetings
The Central Appalachia Empowerment Zone has announced a series of community meetings to be held throughout the empowerment zone.
A Round III Empowerment Application will be prepared with citizen input received at the community meetings. Public utilities, housing, economic development, education, and other citizen concerns will be discussed. We encourage all concerned citizens of this zone to participate. As meetings are scheduled in your community, please call the CAEZ office at 587-2034 for exact time and location.
Next meeting scheduled is : August 27,
7:00 p.m. Ivydale Elementary School
Thank you to all that read my bits and pieces. Just want to tell you a couple of my favorite things that I enjoyed so much growing up, as I say, in the beautiful mountains.
Many evenings we done our chores, cleaned up and went to church.....well, that was our story anyway. My best friend and I had to ask if we could go to a church that was a couple miles from where we lived....we worked hard all week and felt we deserved to get out. Dug mayapple and sold it for a few extra pennies - we had enough for hot dogs or marsh mellows. So, with them stashed, we headed out (out of sight, that is). Then there was a nice warm fire built and we roasted them. Someone always showed up with some Kool Aid or bottles of pop. Could always count on some cigarettes, sometimes home made, from home grown tobacco straight from my grandfather=s crop.
We sung hymns, talked loud, got sick a few times from smoking - I was really good at getting sick. Could have been from the hot dogs. Oh, well.
Gosh, those were the days. There were no drugs, no alcohol, and no cars. This was fun...
The Widen area of the county has been in need of a clean safe source of water for years. Over 18 months ago, resident Darlene Rogers made government officials aware of a 2 million gallon per day source of water in Widen. Early test results from the Dept. of Health indicated that the Amine water@ was safe to consume. Since the Rogers discovery, some area residents and various government agencies have been at work to establish potable water for the area.
Rick Proctor has been at the forefront of those efforts and on August 13 commented that things are moving along,... just not very fast.
Mr. Proctor said he is waiting on WVDEP water test results. Those test results have been slowed down due to extra work being done by the same lab technicians as a result of all the recent flooding.
Proctor said as soon as he gets those lab results , the public will be informed.
POOF!! BANKRUPTCY SETTLED
After years of wading through US Bankruptcy Court problems and procedures, Judge Ron Pearson made the final decision in less than 30 seconds August 15 in the Robert C Bird Federal Building in Charleston. Procious PSD is now officially out of Bankruptcy... IF IF IF one condition is met.
According to the settlement, Procious must forward to the Jackson heirs $250,000.00 plus $10,000.00 interest on the 18 year old debt and do so within 45 days. The 45 day time frame commenced on August 15th. The debt settlement stems from a $18,000.00 debt incurred by Procious during construction of the Procious water plant 19 years ago. $18,000. 00 was owed to Jackson Contracting for additional work completed during construction. After several court battles where our County Commission refused to pay the court ordered amount, the debt collected interest and in the end, totaled one million dollars. The bankruptcy avenue was employed in an attempt to get away from the financial obligation.
What happens if the $ are not paid in 45 days? According to the Judge, if the deadline is not met, the whole ball of wax starts over!
During the 30 seconds of court time, several attorneys (suits) were present along with many WV Public Service Commission officials as well as County Commissioner Jimmy Sams and Procious PSD Chair Garrett Samples. No one for Clay Roane PSD appeared at the proceedings.
According to WV Public Service Commission official Jim Weimer, the settlement is doable within the 45 days.
HEALTH DEPARTMENT CLOSES EATERY
Clay County Health Department was on the job August 14 doing routine restaurant inspections. As a result of those routine inspections, a long established eatery was closed down by County Sanitarian Teresa Morton.
Gino=s/Tudor located at Two Run was closed down to the public around 1:00 pm due to 6 critical violations along with 11 non critical violations. According to Sanitarian Morton , 5 critical violations mandates immediate closure of the establishment. Finding four such violations requires a 10 day correction time frame.
Teresa Morton commented that this was not the first time she had to close down a business for critical violations.
The critical violations and the state regulation numbers ( in parenthesis) found at Gino=s/Tudors August 14, included: mouse droppings present in storage areas (6-501.112); maggots present in mop and broom storage area (6-501.111); cleaner on floor next to liquid margarine (7-301.11); accumulation of dirt and food residue in ovens (4-601.11); mixer dirty (4-601.11); and, open bottle of water [employees] in refrigerator at food preparation ( 2-401.11)
The non critical violations included: dumpster lid not closed; dead decomposed mouse; mop and broom stored on the floor (maggots); dumpster not on concrete pad; container of margarine setting on the floor; no soap at hand wash sink; butter left out beside the ovens; water, dirt , food residue on floor; chlorine strips not available; and unnecessary clutter, lids, on shelf.
Ms Morton said that on the 14th she came back around 4:00 pm and conducted a re-inspection of the premises where she found all Acriticals@ were corrected and some Anon criticals@ were corrected as well. Notations on the official inspection read,@ mouse removed and disposed of, violation corrected@ Additional comments on the form indicate that the premises has also been cleaned.
Currently, regulations call for the Sanitarian to conduct inspection every 6 months or more often. As a follow up to the shut down order, Morton will again inspect Ginos/Tudors within 30 days.
WIDEN PARENTS CONCERNED OVER BUS DRIVER
Several Widen area parents have petitioned the Clay County School System with concerns of school bus safety and one bus driver in particular.
The petition lists several examples of concerns relating to Bus # 9 driven by Cary Salisbury. Those concerns, according to the petition, include: children not yet seated when the bus is moving; high school students laying down in the seats creating safety issues by putting their feet in the aisle; the words Ashut up@ used too many times by driver Salisbury; threats of being thrown off the bus by the driver when riders ask a question; vomit left on the floor; students having to wipe away mucus with shirt sleeves since no paper towels are provided on the bus; and, general displeasure with the driver over the conduct of his disciplinary actions and favoritism. Health and safety was also a concern with allegations of speeding on the twisty winding roads near Widen.
Additional issues raised by the 20 signers of the petition are: some parents are transporting children themselves to stay away from the bus conduct in question while other parents are taking their kids to Nicholas County Schools to avoid the situation.
The petition asked the school system to report the findings of the investigation and decisions made during a public meeting. That was not done according to citizen activist Darlene Rogers. Ms Rogers received a written response from Bus Czar Larry Legg in July of this year.
Excerpts from the Legg pinned letter include:
On June 29, 2001, this office received certified mail containing a list of parents who are displeased with the conduct of Cary Salisbury, bus operator of bus number 9. The safety, health, and well being of all Clay County students have always been and continue to be our first priority, whether in the classroom or while being transports to and from school each day.
An investigation was made to verify the allegations listed on the complaint against Cary Salisbury. Several measures were taken to determine the accuracy of these allegations.
After an extensive investigation, my conclusion is that Cary Salisbury operates a well disciplined bus. I find him to be fair and just in his dealings with all students. It is a very difficult job driving out Widen Ridge and Cary always makes the health and safety of his passengers his first priority
- A conference was held with Cary Salisbury concerning all complaints brought against him
- Bus conduct reports for the past two years were checked
- A video tape of his run was viewed
- Copies of discipline Summary Reports of students that ride bus #9 were made and reviewed
- Bus operators that substituted for Cary Salisbury throughout out the school year were interviewed
After reading the response from Mr. Legg, Ms Rogers feels that the parents A are being shafted by the School Board.@
08-13-01: Rider - Randy Owen Weese, DUI-3rd (8/5), waived to Circuit Court of Clay County.
08-15-01: Nichols - Justin William Jones, manufacture a controlled substance (7/25), d/m by State, plea agreement - pled guilty to possession more than 15 gms.
08-17-01: Slack - Oscar Lee Adkins, ROB for destruction of property.
08-06-01: McKown - Raymond Hersman, ROB for possession of marijuana less than 15 gms and MVI.
08-08-01: Foreman - Jason A. Dancy, ROB for DUIA, NPOI, MVI, and registration violations.
08-09-01: Clay Supermarket - warrants for worthless checks to Sharon Pringle x 2, George Sellards, and Phillip Bartsch x 2; Slack - Rhonda Nichols, warrant for obtaining goods under false pretenses; Slack - Monica Legg, warrant for obtaining goods under false pretenses; Slack - Ronald J. Legg, obtaining goods under false pretenses; Slack - Maggie Falls, obtaining goods under false pretenses.
08-10-01: Belt - Maggie Falls, warrant for obtaining goods under false pretenses.
08-11-01: Ellyson - Shella Dawn Grose, ROB for DUI.
08-12-01: McKown - Leon F. Holcomb, ROB for fleeing from officer in vehicle and driving on suspended/revoked; Belt - Danny Lee Sparks, ROB for DUI, operators, and no seat belt.
08-13-01: Slack - William Lanham, ROB for joyriding; Belt - Jeffrey A. Young, warrant for destruction of property; Guthrie - Daniel Woods, reckless driving.
08-14-01: Ellyson - Henry Lambert, ROB for domestic battery.
08-15-01: Nichols - Justin Jones, possession of controlled substances, pled guilty, assessed costs and 90 days jail with 60 days suspended, to run concurrent with 01M-244 (obstructing 5/27), after incarceration 1 year unsupervised probation to begin.
08-17-01: Guthrie - Timothy Graham, pled no contest to consumption of liquor under 21 and public intoxication, assessed fine, court costs, and 24 hrs jail (credit for time spent); Slack - Oscar Lee Adkins, ROB for unlawful assault.
08-18-01: Belt - Dencil Ray Pritt, ROB for operator=s, NPOI, fleeing from officer, and littering.
08-19-01: Foreman - Holly Ray Larch, arrested, ROB for violation of DV protection order.
08-20-01: Ellyson - James Michael Morris, ROB for driving on suspended/revoked.
08-06-01: Kimberly Stutler - Robert Stutler, DV, order signed 8/14 by family law master extending for and during the pendency of the divorce action.
08-09-01: Clay County PSD - Gary Thompson for money due and Patrick Blankenship for money due.
08-13-01: Melissa Cook - Elvis Dawson, Sr., DV, 180 day protection order entered 8/17 - appealed to Circuit Court by respondant.
08-15-01: Muriel Lewis - John Hunt and Glenda Skaggs for money due.
08-16-01: Sheriff=s Dept. - Sherri Young for money due.
08-17-01: West Tire Center - Goldie Woods for money due.
Notices issued -
Sizemore=s IGA - Cory Cottrell, $69.83; Ramona=s Pizza - Katherine Grose $25.00, Ruby Elkins $23.71 (paid 8/14), Warren Vines Jr. $10.00; Clay Supermarket - Bobbie K. Webb $204.09, Gary L. Stuber $40.57, Katherine Sears $32.71; Hartland Superette - Bertha R. Ramsey $10.00, Monica Legg $25.00; Samples Market - Maggie Falls $40.16, Brandy Nichols $15.00, Bobbi Nichols $24.13; Big Otter Food Mart - Rebecca Stanley $20.00, Joan C. Kniceley $25.00, Katherine Grose $40.00, Maggie Falls $75.00, Carol D. Cutlip $14.00, Bobby E. Deems $26.00, Gary Michael Wilson $10.58, Bertha R. Ramsey $30.00 & $24.00; Dawson=s Service Center - Jason Luke Butcher $18.85; Bullard=s Exxon - Jason D. Looney $20.00, Gary Michael Wilson $26.97, Anthony G. Ferrebee $4.42 & $7.69, Linda Coper $40.00, Darius J. Cummings $10.07, Wesley A. Adkins $10.00, Danny McCommas $45.00, Andrea J. Marling $10.00 & $10.00 & 18.11, Andrea L. Graham $56.01, Melissa Postelwait $33.58, Sue J. Hartwell $8.11 (paid 8/21), George Sellards $21.16, Jeremy Cummings $10.00, Warren R. Vines Jr. $21.01, Yvonne E Tyree $20.00.
08-06-01: State Police - Jason A. Dancy, driving while revoked for DUI, no POI, MVI, and registration violations; Sheriff=s Dept. - Matthew Gill, driving on suspended/revoked- 2nd offense and no POI.
08-07-01: State Police - Angela D. Bartsch, no POI and operator=s; James T. Cottrell, operator=s and seat belt violation; Tasha Ann Runnion, no POI; Sheriff=s Dept. - James Scott Breeden, speeding and no POI.
08-09-01: State Police - Jeffery Jumper, MVI and driving on suspended/revoked.
08-10-01: Sheriff=s Dept. - Randy K. Woods, operator=s and seat belt violation, Allen R. Stephenson, Eleanor Kay Sparks, Carlos Lee Adams, Candy D. Adkins, all for seat belt violations; State Police - John D. Coleman, no POI and registration violations; Robert V. Hinkle, no POI and registration violations; Charles K. Stone, operator=s and MVI.
08-11-01: Sheriff=s Dept. - Jeffrey H. Young, underage drinking (beer) and littering; George J. Yoxtheimer, no POI and seat belt violation; Bobby Wayne Wolfe, speeding, driving on suspended/revoked and seat belt violation; Anthony Vannorman, speeding and driving on suspended/revoked; Danny Lee Sparks, operator=s and seat belt violation; Frankie L. Glover, speeding; Allen Terry Sr., seat belt violation; State Police - William T. Bevins, no POI and seat belt violation; Shella Dawn Grose, DUIA and no POI; Jason Shawn Mullins, registration violation x 2.
08-12-01: Sheriff=s Dept. - Micha Tina Ash, speeding; Shannon Lea Hamrick, speeding; Robert D. Ramsey, failure to maintain control; Danny Lee Sparks, DUIA; Jerome P. Tobias, speeding; Toney J. Yates, driving on suspended/revoked - 2nd offense and failure to maintain control; State Police - Curtis Henry Koch, MVI and no POI.
08-13-01: State Police - Travis J. Bird, driving on suspended/revoked; John Bland Helms, seat belt violation; James D. Pizza, failure to keep right, no POI and driving on suspended/revoked; Sheriff=s Dept. - Michael E. Williams, speeding; William C. Stewart, no POI and seat belt violation; all for seat belt violations - Crystal D. Wine, Tony A. Noel, Robert Murphy, Christina Murdock, Jason M. Henry, Anita Rose Ferrebee, Billy Joe Deems, Travis Bird, Robert Geary Adkins, Edward Lee Adkins.
08-14-01: Sheriff=s Dept. - all for seat belt violations - David L. Catron, Larry A. Childers, Anthony W. Frazier, Terry Ann King, Marlene Lewis, Tony B. Morton; Woodrow Cutlip Jr., speeding and seat belt violation; State Police - Mitzi Gail Eagle, seat belt violation; Patricia Ann Fiel, no POI and registration violations; James Michael Morris, driving on suspended/revoked and no POI.
08-15-01: Sheriff=s Dept. - Robert P. Taylor, no POI and seat belt violation; Allen R. Stephenson, seat belt violation; Marvin W. Muck II, registration violations, no POI, and seat belt violation; Crystal L. Brown, seat violation; State Police - Gary Howard Keen, MVI x 2.
08-16-01: Sheriff=s Dept. - all for seat belt violations - Larry Adkins, Earnest P. Alderman, Darius Arnold, Joey H. Belt, William H, Burchett, David Catron, Patty Jean Caudill, Brandon K. Coleman, Jamie L. Happney, Carol Holcomb, Roger David Holcomb, Jerry Hubbard, James Justin, Trinia Neff, Jennifer R. Nichols x 2, Sidney Oliver Sr., Joe Ann Purvis, Preston E. Ramsey, Judy Rowe, Matthew R. Tanner, Tara B. Taylor; Willie Jarvis Jr., no POI and seat belt violation; Joe Wayne Duncan Jr., speeding.
08-17-01: Sheriff=s Dept. - all for seat belt violations - Fred Earl Criswell, Danny Dawson, Ada Jane Fields, Brad Jason Haines, Beth Ann Laxton, Travis Wayne Legg; Jonathan F. Stutler, no POI and seat belt violation; William P. Rogers, speeding; Robby John Douglas, speeding and no POI; Melissa J. Cummings, operator=s and seat belt violation; Scott D. Barker, driving on suspended/revoked.
FILCON: A Bridge is a Bridge is a
Lots of folks in the county have and voice an opinion on, two years in the area, Filcon Industries. Some feel Acarpetbagger@ is in order. Others are still optimistic that the 300 jobs will materialize. Still others are perturbed at the amount of government money put into the private business concern, Filcon.
Since coming into the county from New York over two years ago, the Clay County Commission, the Clay Business Development Authority (BDA), the Central Appalachia Empowerment Zone (CAEZ) as well as various state government agencies, have shown financial encouragement for the private filter manufacturing venture now located on Main Street, Clay.
To encourage Filcon, owned by Manford Kuentzer, to build a new building in the county, a $50,000 grant was secured from Charleston for Industrial Site Development. During this month=s BDA meeting held at the Courthouse, Commissioner Jimmy Sams mentioned that no more money would go there ( Filcon) until things are done right. Sams and others mentioned site development grant dollars being used Aquestionably@. The issue seemed to center on grant dollars spent on bridge trusses and then the bridge trusses turned into roof trusses. Site development dollars cannot be used for the actual building, only for getting the land ready for a building.
Over in the County Clerk=s office is a three ring binder containing all the info on the $50,000 Site Development Grant. After looking the binder over, here=s what this paper has put together.
Commissioner Sams OK=d the WV Development Office Grant 9-26-00. That $50,000 grant from the Budget Digest was coupled with another $95,000.00 on Aother@ funds and was earmarked for @site preparation on property purchased for industrial development.@ As for paying wages out of the $50,000.00, Athe grantee will secure at his own expense personnel with the necessary qualifications and experience required to perform the services under this contract.@ It sounds like no labor dollars can be spent from the grant. The paperwork goes on to say that any labor involved ( paid for by someone else) has to be paid at prevailing wage or better.
The grant dollars had to be used by June 30, 2001 although Commissioner Sams has since said that the grant has been extended.
In a letter dated 3 -13- 01 Ms Angela Negley from the Development Office mentions that the property at Ovapa, the site of the Filcon building now under construction, had been used as collateral to secure a bank loan. Filcon owner Manford Kuentzer signed a Clay County bank loan for $225,000.00 March 9 with an interest rate at 16% and monthly payments of $2,436.91.
In a letter from Filcon dated March 14, Kuentzer wrote that it would take $97,000.00 to develop the Ovapa site including: $28,000 for an access road and bridge, $34,000 for leveling and compacting and $16,000.00 for stone and gravel.
On March 19 Commissioner Sams asked the WV Public Service Commission to allow Filcon to receive water service from Clay Roane PSD ahead of all others in the county. Sams,@ For this company not to get water would have a great impact on the whole county. This means jobs for Clay County. They plan to begin with 15 employees and increase to approximately 100.@
March 22, 2001: wording was changed in the grant synopsis. Although lots more words were added, it appears to read about the same as far as site development.
By July 10, >01, bills were piling up. Not because the money was all gone but rather because Mr. Kuentzer did not provide a Acover letter@ to document that the work was performed. To date, equipment rental bills along with invoices for corrugated culverts have not been paid because of Kuentzer.
Along about this date questions came up over paying equipment operator wages out of grant dollars ( a no no) and over purchasing 8 bridge trusses for $9,550.00.
July 20: A letter reading in part, @There is now less than $30,000.00 remaining from the grant money and NO more invoices will be paid. If you incur any, they are your responsibility.@ The letter was not signed.
At the same time, a note was attached to a two month overdue Bosely Equipment Rental bill reading in part, @ this invoice is being forwarded to Filcon, Inc. As you were informed, the CCC is not responsible for any contract with Filcon other than the one for $1870.00.@
By July 30, Clerk Judy Moore sent an urgent plea to Filcon seeking the company=s involvement so invoices could be paid. Moore,@ A copy of the invoices that need your cover letter are attached. These people are needing their money and cannot get it until your letter is received in this office.@
Now back to the bridge concern.
In a letter penned by Mr. Kuentzer, April 17, 2001,@ the materials purchased from Metals USA will be used in connection with the Site Development Grant to build a road access with a bridge across the creek.@ The stink began when Kuetnzer asked to be reimbursed for the bridge trusses he paid for out for out of his funds. Ms Moore asked that a copy of his canceled check by sent over. A copy of check ( # 1323) was sent, but, the check copy had not been bank canceled indicating the invoice had NOT been paid. Later the County Commission paid the $9550.00 bill with check # 7829. Sams Ok=d that check.
Many passers by of the Ovapa site are now commenting that the money appears to have been misspent since the bridge supports have now been converted to roof trusses for the building.
For the skeptics, there are a lot of unanswered questions. For the skeptics, remember this. The Clay County Bank is the most financially conservative of the conservatives. Filcon got the $225,000.00 loan. There must be more to this story.
We=ll try to keep you posted .
PROCIOUS $$$ UPDATE
As a Procious PSD update comes two items.
First, the monthly Board meeting held August 9 at the Procious Water Plant. Chair Garrett Samples, aided by Lefty Summers, convened the meeting at 7:00 pm. Mention was made that complaints are still coming over the new rate increase now in place. NOTE: Actually there were two rate increases over the last three months and the customers that refused to even attend a public hearing on the increase are now the ones complaining. Little late folks to protest. Next time try to pull away from the TV!
Long time employee Ric Burdette asked to be laid off. Burdette said he didn=t want to be a part of anything corrupt. Previous to this meeting, Clay Roane PSD OK=d the layoff. Lefty Summers felt that you couldn=t lay someone off and then turn around and hire a replacement. To get around that issue, PSD agreed to hire Acontract laborers@ so no benefits would have to be paid the new people. Dale Deems name surfaced as the contract laborer. OK given to hire Deems and Mat Mullins as a OIT. Mullins pay check will be covered by a government program at no expense to the PSD.
Operator Jennifer Traub asked that the PSD start paying into a retirement plan for employees. Samples felt there wasn=t enough money to add that benefit. Summers commented on how poor the PSD still is after receiving two rate increases. Summers,@ After [the] increases, the checkbook don=t show it!@
As for a long over due $6900.00 bill to Daniels Electric for repairs, Jennifer Traub,@ They are getting a little mad..@ Last month a small portion of the bill was paid by the PSD but $500.00 in interest was added to the invoice making the payment moot.
Meeting adjourned around 7:30 pm
And now for the second part of the update.
Boardsters Samples and Summers both wondered out loud during the meeting where all the money is STILL going and why the PSD doesn=t have enough $ to even pay for repairs. Around the area have been rumblings of too many hours paid based on the number of hours the plant operates. This paper did a little checking and came up with some Hmmmms and certainly some questions.
Background: Jennifer Traub, Bobby Burdette are full time operators while Gene Mullins, Duke Roush and Ron Deal work as needed and are per time operators. Each operator keeps track of their hours worked and maintain the log on how many hours the plant operates daily. By comparing the two sets of records, which this paper did, questions pop up.
Like, on March 4 the plant was operated 16 hours according to the plant log but operator time was turned in for 32 hours. That=s 32 hours in one 24 hour period. On the 4th and according to operator time cards, Traub billed for 8 hours, Burdette charged for 8, Duke charged for 8, Deel charged for 8 while Mullins did not work.
Like, on March 17 according to the plant operation log, the water plant operated 16 hours while time card records indicate the PSD was charged for 24 hours of labor. That=s 8 from Traub, 8 from Burdette and 8 for Gene Mullins
On March 19th, the plant operated for just 15 2 hours but operators logged in: Burdette 12 ; Traub accounted for 8, totaling 20 hours of labor expense.
It=s hard to account for more than 24 hours in a day to operate one plant but on March 30, 28 hours of labor operation took place while records show the plant produced water just 16 hours.
Ditto for March 31. 32 hours of labor in a 24 hour period.
How could this be? So as not to point a finger at anyone , we asked water clerk Trina Neff about the discrepancy in the ciphering. After looking at just a couple of entries, Ms Neff said that part time operators go off the payroll when ever the plant is Adown@ and at other times it might take two operators on the job at the same time if there are mechanical/electrical problems at the plant.
Some operator time cards list notations indicating what they did during their shift, notes like A Operated plant@, ACamp Creek Timer works@, etc.
Each months= records raise similar questions with July questions totaling around $1000.00 . Just giving a quick look at the months including Jan thru June, around $5000.00 appears off.
Part time operator Gene Mullins made mention that power failures, equipment failure, technical problems can change the hourly costs. That additional people power may be needed to keep customers supplied with water.
Procious PSD Chair Garrett Samples was enlightened on these concerns August 15. Garrett said he would check into the issue. On August 17th, Mr. Samples commented that he would have his fellow board member Lefty Summers examine the records.
As of August 22 at 3:00 pm , there is no evidence that either Boardster has done so.
On the surface, it looks questionable. Are we pointing fingers? No, it=s much too early for such. But, according to time card records and plant log sheets, it looks questionable. Is there an explanation to the discrepancy? That=s up to Garrett Samples and Harold Lefty Summers.
Clay County Development Corp. Board of Directors met at the agency=s newly remodeled senior center office August 22 at 1:00 pm With barely enough for a quorum the meeting went thru the usual paces and this time without much gusto.
Mention was made of CDC receiving a letter from Senator Mark Burnette indicating an additional $37,500.00 was funded to the agency from the Legislative budget digest fund. CDC Director Betty Stalnaker was not sure whether this was new money for the group or was actually a part of the $80,000.00 already awarded them from the fund earlier this summer. CDC Chair Earnie Sirk said that the grant dollars would be used to pay back the Clay County Bank loan ( $80,000.00) that was used to build the new addition to their office. It has to be noted that CDC has lots of new desks, chairs, shelves, and more now than just a few weeks ago.
A hand written Finance Committee report was OK=D without question. No copies were available for Board review. Boardster Mr. Eagle commented ,@... I don=t need to know anyway.@
Director Stalnaker told the Board 10 seniors attended the CDC picnic at Summersville Lake and all had a nice time; bus runs are being made to take Seniors to the Farmers Market where they can spend $30.00 vouchers on fresh food products; and CDC now has a Medicaid Waiver Program for the County. Additionally, $40,000.00 in funding will be in place Oct 3, 2001 for a new program known as A Aging in Place.@ This program provides home improvements for Seniors.
Boardster Jimmy Duffield asked that the organization become active in securing the Bee Run Dam project for the county. No support for the idea expressed.
Ms Stalnaker read a letter from Drivers for Food organizer, Frank Kish. Kish was seeking funding ( from CDC) for his organization which supplies food to the poor and helps pay utility bills. Stalnaker, AWe already do that..@ Stalnaker was referring to emergency fund administered by her agency. The $40,000.00 fund now has just $2,000.00 left in it according to the Director. Seems Kish has made the request before. Stalnaker, AI have already explained that to him before.@ Chair Sirk questioned whether one agency could give to another, A You can=t give money away.@ And still later, A Mr. Kish bothers me sometimes,... when he donated to HE White Elem..@ It should be noted that CDC is starting their own food pantry according to Ms Stalnaker. Boardster Gary Whaling,@ Why give money to someone else to do the same thing we do?@ Motion passed to send letter stating that CDC has no funds to help him.
As for the new addition to the CDC office space, comes this: $65,000 has already been spent; there are more bills to pay; the kitchen is not done; and the new dishwasher has to be replaced.
The CDC Board held their annual election of officers. No changes made. Wide Glide remains at the helm as do all committee members and officers.
While reading financial information, Board member Peter Triplett noted that Earnie Sirk had received money from the CDC. Sirk said that was a reimbursement for work performed. Mr. Eagle commented, A I have never seen that man work a thing in his life.@ CDC deposited $197,221.37 in July.
A very tame meeting was had by all. All is well in CDC land.
FINGER POINTING AT COMMISSION
After opening with prayer, Commissioners Tim Butcher and Jimmy Sams held a regular meeting of the County Commission August 14, 10:00 am at the Courthouse. Commissioner Bragg was absent.
During regular business, the decision to pay Clay Fire Dept.=s gas bill for April came up again. The issue was over the County Commission paying to paint the Coon Hunter=s building and refusing to cover the heating bill for volunteer fire protection. Butcher motioned to pay the bill but Sams refused to second. Motion died for lack of second. Coon Hunters 1, Clay Fire Dept. 0
County Commission (CCC) will send a letter of complaint to Adelphia Cable Co after receiving several complaints from Ivydale area customers.
In an unusual move, CCC went into secret session to discuss a petition for guardianship filed by a juvenile.
After the juvenile matter , CCC called for a break. Upcoming on the agenda was the matter of the Prosecutor threatening to sue the CCC if funding is not provided for an Asst Prosecutor. Now out back and all smoking cigs, it appeared all ducks were put in order before going public.
Commissioner Sams made mention of what appeared to be a annual budget for the Clay County Emergency Ambulance Authority. Sams confirmed that the two sheets of paper did not say ABUDGET@ or AANNUAL BUDGET@ nor did it have a date, or was the name of the organization even mentioned. Sams asked that the CCEAA clarify what the papers said. The CCEAA budget for this year is $478,650.00.
When asked if it was alright for the County Dog Catcher to just shoot dogs instead of picking them up, Commissioner Sams jokingly said, @The Dog Catcher picks them up and holds >em. Then Tim Butcher shoots them.@ Lot=s of laughter except from Butcher. Butcher,....@ I didn=t say a word... and I deny that too.@
Now with Prosecutor Davis in the room and after a smoke break that allowed them to get their ducks all lined up, Mr. Davis again asked for additional funding for an assistant. Davis said that if he didn=t hire a secretary back he could use that salary ( $19,000.00), and with just $6000 more from the CCC, an Asst. Prosecutor could be hired as contract labor. Davis went on to say that the new man would work around 20 hours per week including prep time for the $25,000.00 per year.
When Prosecutor Jeff Davis was asked if he would continue to be here on a nearly full time basis in the future, Davis commented that AA@ prosecutor would be here. When pressed harder about being here five days a week as has been his practice since being elected, Davis, A I am not sure.@
As has been said several times before, Jimmy Sams again cautioned all that there is enough money in the budget for only 6 months of payroll with the current level of staffing. Translation: Looks like some Courthouse workers may have an unhappy this Christmas.
And now for the finger pointing. County Commission met with the US Postal Service and Doug McKenzie of McKenzie Engineering at 1:00 pm August 14, 2001. Many were in the peanut gallery to watch the festivities. The meetings were called because the county=s 911 addressing system has been on hold for four years due to no addressing in the county. McKenzie was contracted thru a CAEZ $100,000.00 grant to do mapping and addressing for the county. For months now fingers have been pointed at both the US PO and Doug McKenzie for dragging their feet. After questioning by Prosecutor Davis, Mr. McKenzie stated that his contract for addressing was complete and fulfilled. Reps from the US PO disputed that wholeheartedly. From the Post Office gang came complaints that the maps supplied them by McKenzie were unusable and incomplete. McKenzie fired back that the maps had set in the corner of the post office for two years without them being touched by the USPO. Back and forth . Back and forth. McKenzie claimed that all the maps had been done years ago although he only brought maps of the Nebo area with him. Disputes rose on the accuracy of the maps. Disputes popped up on whether McKenzie has actually furnished the PO with the needed info.
For you the reader, mention was again made that no new addresses can be handed out in the county until addressing is complete. As for the results of the lengthy session, as far as we can tell: much of the map work has to be done over because the info is now dated; McKenzie will have to supply additional info to the USPO before the USPO can assign the new addresses for the entire county; mail carriers are not responsible for the addressing duties, and no time frame was given as for as a completion date.
Clay County Emergency Ambulance Authority (CCEAA) met August 13 at the Health Dept building in Clay at 6:00 pm. Present: Chair Duane Legg, Arlie Fulks, Gene King. Absent Fran King and Larry Cole. Around 12 or so sat in the peanut gallery.
Lots of territory was covered during this assembly. The following are the highlights.
Dana Holcomb=s garage will keep the vehicle maintenance contract with the CCEAA for the next four months. Discussion at recent meetings raised concerns over whether the CCEAA was getting their money=s worth ( $900/month) with the contract as well as whether the contract was even legal since there was no bidding involved at the time of award. Legg, ALet=s let it ride.@
It appears that a long standing thorn in the public=s side is about to be plucked. According to Chair Legg, Laurel Nursing has agreed to start paying for their patients rides to various doctor=s appointments. The free service has been known as Athe free taxi service@ around the county. The free service has bankrupted the Ambulance Service over the last two years. CCEAA is expecting a reply letter from Laurel Nursing, owned by DiversiCare , shortly. Arlie Fulks, A No more free gratuitous work.@
In yet another long standing issue, the CCEAA received and opened three bids to supply a billing program so insurance companies can be properly billed for ambulance runs. Up until this time, the invoices for service have been done by hand. Bids were: DynaLink-$4744.00; Sweet Comp Service- $7455.00; and, Ram System-$5110.00.. And like a breath of fresh air came this from Arlie Fulks,@ Someone with computer sense needs to go over this!@ CCEAA listened to Fulks and no decision was made as to who will get the bid.
In an attempt to keep the satellite stations operating a little longer, discussion turned to paying volunteer fireman to be drivers for the ambulances. Some fireman could run calls at night with an EMT in the vehicle. Fulks, A Do we need them?@ Director Jackie Pierson, AWe=re in pretty bad shape this week.@ Employee Mary Hanshaw questioned the costs of training the firefighters on medical equipment.
Something is up here folks. Jackie Pierson sounded as though she was ready to give up the battle. Pierson comments included,@ We=ve tried this before.....they wouldn=t even buy their ( volunteers) lunch.... it=s up to the Board (Authority).. I don=t want anything in it.@ Pierson may have just been tired or maybe she has given up on the CCEAA. Employee Patty Mollahan commented that Big Otter Fire personnel volunteer for no pay and are happy to do so. Duane Legg suggested that the volunteers be paid $10.00 per run. In yet another breath of fresh air, again from the tomato picker himself, Arlie Fulk,@ We=re getting right back in the situation you don=t want.@ As for adding another $ burden to the CCEAA and after looking at the monthly financial disclosure, AIt don=t look too good now...That=s getting pretty small.@
Mention made that 10 more past due bills have been taken to Magistrate Court for lawsuits.
Now more on money issues. Many of the ambulance runs are not being collected on because employees are not properly filling out Arun sheets.@ Book keeper Marie Haynes listed some of the problems with the forms: No Social Security numbers; No Insurance info; No symptoms listed; Birth dates and telephone numbers missing; and the use of nick names instead of legal names. Book keeper Haynes also noted that they had gone back and re-billed many of the folks that have outstanding bills from years past in an attempt to get in some much needed moneys.
On the issue of collecting old debts from folks that refuse to pay for an ambulance run, motion made and passed to advertise for a new collection service for the CCEAA.
FINANCIALS: On July 1 , 2001 the CCEAA had $2,238.54 to their name. With the addition of the $100,000.00 loan from the Bank of Gassaway plus $43,508.08 collected, the CCEAA had receipts for July for $143,508.08. CCEAA spent $96,145.29 in July leaving an ending balance of $49,601.33. Where did the $43,508.08 come from you ask? Here: receipts from billing-$33,208.08; $25.00 fee- $5,575.00; Mining/delinquent- $4,725.00.
CLAY ROANE UPDATE
From out of the blue came a public meeting August 22 at the new Newton Fire Dept building. Notices were hastily put up in Roane County. The word must have got out because over 60 folks showed up to discuss water service in that area. In addition to the 60 or so, Roane PSD Boardsters Gary Whaling and Roy Ellis and Roane County Commissioner Larry White were present.
The meeting was called to discuss the $3.2 million water line extension project in the Left Hand / Amma areas of Roane County. Moderating the meetings were Clay Roane PSD Engineer Jim Hildruth and Attorney Tom Whittier. Commissioner White commented that the Roane County water line extension project had been in the works for 6 years and now that the Procious PSD Bankruptcy had been settled, the long standing water moratorium could be lifted. Engineer Hildruth said the next step for Roane county to get water service is the signing of water line right of way agreements which Tom Whittier had with him.
Not all the folks in the 60 plus crowd were supportive of Clay County supplying them water. Several questions centered around why WV Water had been left out of the process and why couldn=t WV Water still be the water supplier. Concerns were raised over all the Boil Water Orders that had been in place. Sounding a little agitated, Mr. Hildruth explained that no one has to take the water service. Commissioner White explained that the grants and loan dollars have to be used in a certain way and that it is too late to turn around and start over at this point.
For all the Clayonians that have said from the start: Roane County will get water before one new tap is set in Clay County, here=s a quote from Jim Hildruth,@ Everybody now agrees that there is capacity in the Town of Clay plant.@
Get it? After years of hard sell of the existing Clay plant being all worn out, ready to fall apart, and in desperate need of replacement, Hildruth is now saying the current plant will supply water to many new customers in Roane County!
Several in the peanut gallery expressed concerns over the PSD, Commission, and PSC not communicating with the residents and over how long it had been since their tap fee deposits were taken. Still others appeared upset that the planned extension project would not actually go and serve where it was originally intended.
The buzz word for getting water service was A density@. Hildruth explained that as a rule, if there are not at least 8 to 10 customers per mile of road funding could not be obtained for extensions.
And then the kicker folks. From the back came this question: Do we have to wait >till the new Clay Plant is built for water? Answer: A No, Clay has excess capacity.@
See what has happened? Just as our ole timers have said for years, Roane County residents will get water before anyone in Clay County does. Roane will have Elk River water before even Lizemore is served. Before any of our extension projects are begun. Before, before, before...
From the back came questions over all the records stolen from the Procious water plant some time back and do they have copies of who paid for taps so many years ago. Answer: Yes they have records.
As the questioning subsided, most lined up to sign their John Henrys on the right of way agreements.
There you have it readers. A hastily called meeting and the word is out. Roane is first in line for new water service. First to get new water from that rusty ole plant that we were told hardly operates.
Raise your hand if it sounds like our local elected ones dropped the ball yet again.
QUEEN SHOALS SUPPLYING NEW CUSTOMER
It doesn=t take long for word to spread that a new customer has been hooked to the Queen Shoals PSD system. For several years the PSD has been forbidden to hook up new customers due to a WV Public Service Commission moratorium on such. The WV PSC determined that the supplier of Queen Shoals water, Procious PSD, was unable to keep up with any new demands.
On August 21 word surfaced that a new connection had been made for Connie and Joe Gandee in spite of the moratorium. To confirm this we spoke with Queen Shoals PSD Chair Tom Martin.
Is the Gandee hook up legal? Martin, A It=s probably not.... I am sick and tired of this mess. I am going to tell you something. I have tried to do this thing for thirteen years. But when we had that meeting up there and when she told me it would be another five months [to get water] ... into December.... We=ve got good people coming into here that are paying county taxes for their new homes. And they want water. Their kids are going to go to school . I am tired of this bull.@
As to providing an illegal hook up, again Mr. Martin,@ If I have to go to Court, fine and dandy. I haven=t done anything wrong but I am going to start hooking people up that have got families that need the water.@
Mention was made of Filcon Industries receiving water service despite the moratorium. Martin, A This thing has been drug out too long. We have people that want to develop the community and we can=t develop the community if we don=t do so something for the people.@ As for the Gandee family and hook up, @ They have got good jobs. They just put in a new double wide up here and I said >I am going to do it!! It=s the first time I have gone out of the realm with anything. I am sick and tired of the PSC screwing around like they are. All we hear is we can=t do anything because of the lawsuit up there...@
Mr. Martin went on to say the Gandee water line is now being installed and they will be hooked up shortly and ,@And I don=t care if you print it or whatever . I have tried to run a clean ship for 13 years. This is getting to be ridiculous... If it is within my power, I am going to do it.@
For those needing water, maybe it=s time you moved to Queen Shoals