August 26, 2002

Follow ups
Board of Education Meeting
Capito Announces
No, No, George W.


         Since becoming law two years ago, Sunday hunting has been controversial to say the least. Economic development groups as well as pro-hunting organizations have rallied in support of the issue while religious rights groups have worked hard to eliminate the right to hunt, even on private property, on the generally accepted day of worship. The issue became heated during the August 13th County Commission meeting.
         Wording in the legislative bill itself was controversial almost as soon as the bill passed into law around the end of March 2001. Some legislators said they intended the new law to make hunting on Sunday legal ONLY if the county voted to do so. The WV Dept. of Natural Resources interpreted the wording in the document to mean that Sunday hunting would be allowed UNLESS locals in each county voted otherwise. Some legal scholars have said that the right to vote on a referendum in WV ( similar to what has been going on in California for instance) is not allowed under our Constitution. That issue is now before the court in WV.
         In 34 WV counties, county commissions have allowed the issue to be placed on the ballot, and in each case the right to hunt on Sunday has been shot down by the voter. In those counties where the right has been eliminated, property owners have cried foul since many property owners do not live in the county being affected by the local vote. Pro-hunting groups like the WV Bow Hunters Association have stepped up to the public stage and asked county commissioners to look at the economic impact of keeping Sunday hunting in the area. Their stance has been: many hunters have to work five or six days a week leaving just Sunday open for the sport, and the state can benefit from others coming into an area because they are attracted by being able to hunt the entire weekend instead of just Sunday.
         Here in Clayberry, and according to Commissioner Jimmy Sams, two folks asked him about putting the referendum on the May 2002 ballot.
                                                         At that time Sams commented during a meeting that he would consider putting the parcel on the ballot if there was a bigger showing of support for it. Sams also commented last spring that he personally was in favor of keeping Sunday hunting for the county.
         In June of this year, Rev. Dennis Legg from Fairview Baptist Church addressed the Clay County Commission on the issue. Although choosing not to show papers at that time, Legg said he had collected around 350 signatures on a petition asking the Commission to put Sunday hunting on the November 2002 ballot. After 20 minutes of discussion on the matter, Commissioners Mathew Bragg and Jimmy Sams decided to hold off making a decision until later in the summer. Note: Commissioner Tim (No Show) Butcher was absent from the public forum.
         With 10 or so in the air conditioned comfort of the commission room peanut gallery August 13, agenda item # 5 was read by Commission President Matthew Bragg: Address the issue of Sunday hunting - whether to place it on the November 5 General Election ballot to be voted on by the people. Motion by ______ To or Not To place this issue on the ballot Second by _________.
         As the discussion opened up, both Sams and Bragg appeared to be in agreement to put the issue to the voters in November. Bragg said he wanted to give the voter a choice in the matter. From the peanut gallery, a fat guy, “ut right now, Commissioner, we have a choice of hunting or not hunting on Sunday. If it goes to vote and is shot down, you have no choice. Right now we have a choice.”As for the need for written permission to hunt on private property on Sundays, Sheriff Harald Fields, “asically you have the same thing now, you have to have permission, as on the weekdays. I don’ hear any public outcry.”Sams agreed with Fields saying that he had not heard much from the public in the last couple months but admitted to seeing the signed petitions in various stores in the county. Sams, “here was more of an outcry last year. Let’ put it on the ballot.. I think we should give it to the people...They want the right, of course we have that right now.”Bragg commented that he had had a handful of people ask him to put it on the ballot, and that no petition had been turned in to the Commission for consideration.
         When Sams commented that he likes the right to hunt on Sundays, Sheriff Fields, “hy bring it to attention, it may hurt worse to put it on.”Patty Mallohan, “here’ nobody here asking for it!”Fat guy, “ell, there’ one preacher asking. Right now I do have the choice . In thirty some other counties, when it went on the ballot, and when all the property owners don’ get to vote on it... Right now I can hunt if I want to.”
         Bragg said he didn’ like the issue being dropped in commission hands. From another in the peanut gallery, “hat about those people that just get to come into the county for a weekend, they get to hunt a full weekend. We do have one business in the county that pushes hunting ( Central WV Outfitters) with guided hunting trips.”Bragg commented something along the lines of, “eah, and it’ our deer they are killing.”In response, the lardy retorted, “es, and I wish they would kill about 10,000 more of them!!! I can’ have a garden for all the deer. If it is on the ballot, because of the last 30 some elections, it will get shot down. Right now everybody has the choice. Don’ limit my choice.”
         From the other side of the issue, “ut the people will have spoken.”Sheriff Fields, “hose people should be in here speaking... There’ nobody here for it.... I don’ know about this... I have never heard the first comment, not one! Why would you put something on the ballot and nobody’ here?? If you got 10,375 people and one is against it,... I just don’ know. Don’ take the easy way out.”Paige Willis, “ost of those that vote don’ hunt and aren’ going to hunt. They are going to vote against it because it is religion. In the last year I haven’ heard a gun shot on Sunday, not anybody.”Fields, “ haven’ heard one shot on Sunday. Both of you are church goers, have you heard anything?”Jokingly Sams commented that the Sheriff couldn’ hear him shoot on Sunday because he was using “horts.”Bragg and Sams were standing firm with several in the gallery working hard to change their minds. Mary Hanshaw, “ight now we have the right to hunt or not to hunt. Right? You put it on the ballot and we may not have that choice.”Sheriff, “ou’e letting a minority tell the rest of the people what to do.”Bragg, “.. this was dumped in our lap..”Another voice, “here is no mandate to put it on the ballot!”Sams, “ight.”Willis, “ou’e agonizing over a decision you don’ need to make!... the majority in the county don’ vote.. They don’ hunt…” Sams admitted that he would hunt on Sunday if he was from out of state and just in a for a weekend. Call for motion. Silence.
         Mary Hanshaw, “eave it alone until there is a big outcry.”Mollahan, “here is more important things in the county…” Sensing he was in the hot seat, Bragg, “ think everybody in the county ought to have sit up here for one year to see what it’ like!”With that being said, from the gallery came, “ell there is an open seat right now (pointing at Butcher’ dusty chair) , bring somebody in... put Judy over there!!”Another comment, “ight now if you don’ want to hunt , you don’ have to hunt! If you want to hunt, do it!”Sams, “ want it on the ballot.”Sams admitted that if it were illegal to hunt on Sundays and he had an in-county farm, he would hunt illegally.
         With the gallery on one side and the CCC minus Butcher floundering, time for a break. This is normally the time the CCC steps aside and gets their thoughts together. Something changed. After the 10 minute break, Sams, “ want it on the ballot.” In response, both Hanshaw and Mollahan replied that no one really wants it on the ballot or they would have attended a public meeting like when they want water service or an ambulance service. Sams, “f they thought they had to be here, they would be here every week, I guarantee it!” Discussion turned to the issue being a church issue and one brought to the table by Fairview Church.
         Willis, “hen you said the majority ruled, there has never been an election in the history of this country where the majority of the people voted.” Hanshaw, “eave it alone! Until there is a greater opposition.”Several were talking at same time
         Bragg returned with a new idea. Bragg was in favor of tabling the idea. Bragg, “ say leave it alone.”What? What did he say? You heard him, something had changed Bragg’ mind during the break. Sams gave him one of those looks. A look like, ‘ thought we decided this before the meeting??????????’Bragg said that there was just 10 or 15 people raising the stink and “t’ not a big enough stink.”Sams commented that for it to get on the November ballot they had to decide the issue today. Something about a time line to get the ballots printed up. Sams called for a motion. Silence..... All quiet, not a whisper. Sams, “ got to vote for it.…”Bragg, “ can’. I thought we would just leave it alone…”Now with Sams throwing daggers at him, Bragg rocked back in his leather chair with his eyes closed. Sams, “ have heard both sides.”Bragg, “ow you can go out and say I made the motion and Matthew didn’ second it!” Sams, “T IS GOING TO BE ON THE BALLOT AS FAR AS I AM CONCERNED!! He has changed. It has to be put on today.”Mollahan, “hy don’ you have a public meeting? It could be put on the ballot later.” Another, “ don’ see anybody here supporting Preacher Legg’ position.”When Sams said that no one had gone on record in support of keeping Sunday hunting, the ace cub reporter asked to be on record as in support of keeping the law just as it is.
         Sams, “ made a motion.” Still no second from Bragg. Little blue lines were starting to show on Sams. Bragg , referring to the legislature making the rules, “t’ not fair...... I didn’ start this.... I am not touching it.... they threw it in my lap..”There you have it readers, with no second to Sams’motion, it died. It now appears that local outdoorsmen (and women) will be able to continue to hunt on private property until the next right wing thrust is mounted.
          More than just the issue of Sunday hunting was discussed during the August 13 Clay County Commission (CCC) meeting. Present, CCC President Matthew Bragg and Jimmy Sams. Absent, again, Tim Butcher. The following are just the highlights...
         Nicholas County 911 Director and now our 911 Emergency Services Coordinator, Dave King, asked the three blind mice minus one for an advisory committee to be set up. Mr. King also asked the CCC about paying U.S. mail carriers for work they may do in completing the seems-like-forever delayed 911 addressing for the county. King said in Nicholas County, mail carriers are paid 25 cents for each address they provide. In response to the request, CCC voted in a new ordinance related to 911 addressing and gave the go ahead on paying mail carriers for their services as well. As for the advisory committee, Commission will revisit that item when members can be found for such a group. King was hired for the new spot at the $1500.00 per month rate July 1, 2002. On the agenda was Jeff Levesque who had a complaint about the 911 addressing process; he was a no show.
         Sheriff Fields said that he has a new policy and procedure manual for law enforcement officers. The policy is identical to the one adopted by the State Government folks in Charleston. Fields, “e can’ operate efficiently with out it..” CCC approved the manual request.
         With a new work schedule for Bragg, a Summersville police officer, County Commission meeting dates will have to be changed to accommodate his Sunday through Wednesday, 8 to 8 work arrangement. Decision will be made during the August 27th CCC meeting.
         Bill Dunn volunteered to repaint the Golden Delicious Apple historical marker in front of the courthouse.
         Commission agreed to pay Joe Beets $980.00 for his accumulated vacation and personal leave due him . Beets resigned from the ambulance service in December 2001.
         Additionally, Trooper Marshall Bailey was appointed to the Clay-Nicholas 911 Advisory Committee; Arlie Fulks, Clarence Williams, Leonard Williams, Gary King, Benjamin Boggs, Jim Williams, Jerry Linkinogger, Larry Legg, Dustin Fitzwater, and James K. Scott reappointed to be reserve deputy sheriffs.
         As for approving the new 2002 -2003 ambulance service budget, no decision was made. Currently the ambulance service has $15, 322 on the books. Sams, “e’e down $5000.00 from where we want to be.” Sams also commented that the county still could not afford to have two duty crews on the job in the county. Discussion included comments on all the bills not paid by the previous management team known as the Clay County Emergency Ambulance Authority. Note: that budget was printed in the last edition of the Communicator.
         Pam Haynes was employed, at the County Clerk’ request, to the position previously held by Cathy White at $5.15 per hour as a records preservation clerk.
         County Commission , feeling the pressure from local activists, agreed to pay water well testing of three sites in the Lizemores/Indore area. Testing will be limited to checking the safety of the water and not for iron deposits.
         All in all, a darn nice meeting. Always fun to watch the elected ones when they get their wires crossed. After the meeting, Sams did say that he was a little torqued at brother-Commissioner Bragg when he changed ores in mid stroke.                AW

         Last edition=s lead story centered on the resignation of Deputy John McKown. His resignation came after allegations of impropriety surfaced over the improper disposal of evidence. The evidence ended up in the hands of a female under the age of 21. According to Sheriff Harald Fields, and WV State Code 57-11-5, a judge has to order the disposal of evidence ( in this case 7 bottles of Jack Daniels sour mash) and in most cases, that means pouring the hooch down a drain.
         Right after that article was published, Joyce Holcomb, the female
=s mother, commented that she wanted McKown to never work in law enforcement again. Additionally, her intentions were to see that criminal charges be taken against the former Clay officer. She also said the rumor of a side deal being made that she would not pursue McKown in court (if he resigned) were simply not true. On Wednesday, August 21, Ms Holcomb agreed to an interview. The following are the highlights of that interview.
         What has happened since the deputy
=s resignation? Holcomb,@ [Deputy] Miles Slack just told me a while ago that the only way that he could do anything against John McKown is to write him a ticket, but if he wrote him a ticket , he would have to write my daughter one too.@ As for Prosecutor Jeff Davis following up on the allegations, A I went up there day before yesterday to talk to the Prosecutor. He was in there and I told him I needed to talk to him about the case . He said, “iles Slack just talked to me about 30 minutes ago.” Then he just turned and walked away. I haven=t seen the Sheriff....@McKown is now a police officer in Gassaway. The Town Council met last Thursday, August 15, 2002. Holcomb commented on her visit to council last week, Holcomb, A I went to the community meeting up Gassaway the other night and they said they were going to investigate it further. Then I read in the paper that they gave him an award for giving somebody a ticket and the guy was wanted in NY or something. I told them what I was there for and they just said they w ere going to investigate it and >We=ll take it from there=. That=s all they said. I got up and left.@ She was not aware of when the next meeting would be held.
         So what does Ms Holcomb seek from the Town of Gassaway? Holcomb,
@ I want them to put him on suspension until this case in Clay is settled. How easy would it be for him to go up there and give an underage kid .... What if they got in a car [driving]. My daughter is responsible enough not to drink it and drive. But there are kids out there that will pop the top off right now and go down the road driving drunker than a dog and maybe wreck and kill theirselves or wreck and kill somebody else. I don=t think it=s right. It=s not fair to the parents.@
         As for the comments made that young Ms Holcomb was seen many times in the Cozy Corner bar at Big Otter, Holcomb said,
A If he had seen my daughter in the Cozy Corner , is it not his job to ID kids? She is sitting right here and she swears that he has never been in Cozy and seen her. I am not saying that my daughter is an angel. And yes, she has been in Cozy.....@ As Mrs. Holcomb was explaining, the young Ms Holcomb could be heard in the background saying, A I=ve never been in the Cozy!!!@ Over the background noise, Mrs. Holcomb continued,@ I have jumped onto her over and over. And, I have finally got them to quit them from going to Cozy. But, there ain=t no sense in John McKown saying = I have seen her in this bar and saying I think she was 21 years old!.... It=s his job to check an ID if he sees a kid and thinks they are under age. And, John knows my kids and knows they=re underage.@
          Disputing the rumor that the female had a fake ID, Mrs. Holcomb,
@ No. No. No, she doesn=t have a fake ID. The camera crew that was here from Channel 3 News took a picture of her ID and showed it on TV. It was on TV! No, my daughter does not have a fake ID.@
         Also mentioned in last edition’ article was Deputy Kevin Delk, who was suspended, not for giving whiskey to someone under 21 years old, but for improper disposal of evidence. As for Delk
=s actions, Mrs. Holcomb commented, A John McKown is the one that did it. I don=t know what Kevin did with his. They suspended John and Kevin, but John with pay and Kevin without pay for doing the same thing. John has the charge against him for giving it to an under age kid. Kevin didn=t have that charge. I didn=t say anything about Kevin. And they still yet gave John pay and Kevin=s suspension without pay. That=s not right! The day he left for Pennsylvania is the day they suspended him with pay. He went to his mother=s house.@ Holcomb was referring to officer McKown taking his accumulated 4 weeks of leave time.
         In closing, Joyce Holcomb commented,
A I just don=t think it is right that Miles has to give my daughter a ticket for something that John McKown did. He is giving her a ticket for accepting a bottle of liquor, knowing she is under age. How can he do that? That don=t make no sense to me. He=s got it already wrote up for us. He just told me a little bit ago that he already had it and for me to have her come in and see him. I talked to (attorney) Wayne King this morning. Wayne said I had a civil case and we=re going to take it to court.@ As for the part about giving a ticket to Pisguah resident Mr. McKown, A As soon as he runs on to him he said. Miles has to wait until he runs into him instead of taking it to his house. It [the ticket] would be for giving it to someone under age 21. It=s not fair.. They=re letting John .... The day I was at that meeting [Gassaway], John drove by me, I was sitting on the street waiting for the meeting, John drove by me five times . All five times he drove by me he was on his cell phone laughing and carrying on. All five times! My daughters was with me. ... the meeting was right there beside the Post Office, I guess it=s the Town Hall/Community Center.@                        AW
         Follow ups
         Citizen Activist Melissa Postelwait filed three formal complaints against the Clay Roane PSD over the last 6 months. The hearing on the complaints was to be held August 28 before WV Public Service Commission Administrative Law Judge Tom Trent. Ms Postelwait is seeking the removal of the PSD board members, mandating that the PSD adhere to state Open Meeting Laws, and wants local resigned bank president J.D. Morris= allegedly illegal water service to his new home on the Ovapa cut off road disconnected until WV PSC rules are followed. Currently, the PSC is trying to negotiate a settlement with Postelwait out of the court room. Due to scheduling conflicts with PSD attorney Tom Whittier, that hearing has now been pushed back to September 9 at 10:00 am in the Clay County Commission room.
         ??? DID YOU KNOW ???
         1.        The U.S. Treasury says out there somewhere in safe deposit boxes, filing cabinets, and the bottoms of desk drawers are some 25 million bonds worth $9.4 billion that have matured and are no longer earning interest.
2.        The Red Cross is the only organization mandated by congress to provide special services to members of the armed forces and victims of disaster.
3.        Most scientists claim that the earth’ temperature has risen by one degree Fahrenheit in the last century.
4.        One fourth of vehicles sold by Chrysler is silver.
5.        Flooding is the nation’ costliest natural disaster, causing an annual average of $5.9 billion in property damage.
6.        775 miles of West Virginia roads were monitored, and an average 800 beer cans and bottles are discarded for each mile of road.
7.        NASA and the National Institute of Health reports the scent of Jasmine may allow people to get a better nights sleep and less anxiety during the day.
8.        In 2001 an estimated 3 million people died of AIDS.
9.        In West Virginia there have been two reported cases of people being struck by lightening in the last year according to the National Weather Service records.
10.        Fish eaters are less apt to be depressed, violent, suicidal, and anti-social according to researcher Julie Conguer.
11.        The Alliance of Professional Tattooists estimates that one in every 10 adults is tattooed.
12.         In West Virginia, more than 146,000 live in mobile homes.
13.        The average American today consumes about 15 quarts of ice cream each year.
14.        Each year about 220,000 Americans collapse and die of cardiac arrest.
15.        A survey of nearly 16,500 households last November and December determined that on any given day 19.9 percent of residents ages 19 to 64 have no health insurance.
16.        The number of people seeking U.S. citizenship has soared since the September 11 attacks.
17.        NPD Group, a marketing research firm, reports that Americans now eat 18 percent of their meals behind the wheel.
18.        The American Federation of Teachers is the nation’ second largest teachers union.
19.        About 80 percent of West Virginia’ residences are identified by rural routes and box numbers which often don’ register on 911 computer systems.
20.        In West Virginia 80 percent of physicians are at least 40 years old.
         Board of Education Meeting: Drivers Question Contract Changes
         The Clay County Board of Education met at their administrative office building in Clay August 19 for their regular meeting. Members R. B. Legg, Jr. (Board President), O. Gene King, Fran King, Scott Legg, and David Pierson, Jr. were all in attendance, along with central office staff, and approximately 10 people present to observe the proceedings. After offering prayer, R. B. Legg called the meeting to order at 6 PM, and the Board approved the agenda with one addition, contract bus driver Henson Legg to speak during discussion topics.
         Business approved by the Board: previous meeting minutes; increased receipts of $572,209.70 - Superintendent Jerry Linkinogger explained that the amount, for the current fiscal year, was the vocational education budget at Clay County High School (CCHS), the special education budget, and
Aa little Budget Digest money@; transfers for Bev Nichols to Learning Disabilities Teacher at Clay Middle School (CMS)/Extra Duty Assignment (Scott Gibson=s previous position) and Jackie Higginbothan from Special Education/Resource Teacher at H.E. White Elementary to Learning Disabilities Teacher at CMS (Bev Nichols= previous position), both successful bids. David Pierson asked if this would be the last round of switching around, and Linkinogger indicated they were about done and said there had been 29 changes; regular bus routes and contract bus routes for the 2002-2003 school year, pending enrollment numbers. Linkinogger said enrollment was up in the Roane County area and more transfers are expected; Scott Legg was appointed to represent the Board at the Executive Meetings of the West Virginia School Boards Association, and David Pierson was appointed alternate; the transfers of 14 Calhoun County students and 5 Roane County students into Clay County schools. Linkinogger told the Board this transfer list was just the beginning, noting more transfers come from Nicholas County than any other county, probably 30, which he hasn=t received yet. Looking over the new transfers, Scott Legg asked if they had been Achecked out@. CCHS Principal Cindy Willis responded, AYes - interviewed parents and school officials in every case.@ All motions passed unanimously.
         Under discussion items contract bus driver Mary Kincaid addressed the Board, as spokesperson for a small group of contract drivers present, on their concerns with recent changes made to their contracts. Of prime concern is a change in payment for days a contract driver does not make their scheduled run, such as a day when roads are too bad to travel due to weather conditions. Drivers, including regular bus drivers, have discretion as to whether or not they will run their route, depending on the road conditions of their routes. Up until now, contract drivers have been paid for a contracted number of days, regardless of whether or not the run was actually made. Beginning this year they will not be paid unless they actually make their run. Kincaid said they were worried the change could become a safety issue if a driver used poor judgment and attempted the run during bad road conditions rather than loose a day
=s pay. She pointed out that even on days they didn=t run their route, they still had expenses such as insurance and vehicle maintenance requirements for state inspections, and contract budgets were very tight. Kincaid said the loss of money could truly hurt some drivers as their contract route was their only source of income. She pointed out that the contract routes went into some of the worst areas, and although the main roads might be clear, road conditions on their routes could still be bad. She urged the board to look at the safety record of the contracts, and asked that they not punish the Anot-guilty with the guilty@. Driver Henson Legg asked why after 20 years things were changed this year and said, AWe=ve done everything you ask...including voting for the levy. I feel we=re getting short changed.@ Another woman said, AIt does hurt us...a bad winter and we=re going to be short on our budget for vehicle insurance and upkeep.@
         Linkinogger explained that Clay County was the only county that didn
=t pay by the day, and they were being questioned as to why. Clay County has more contract bus routes than any other county in the state at 17, carrying 275 students, followed by Nicholas County which has 11, transporting 152 students. Only 13 counties have contract routes at all, the others requiring that parents be responsible for getting their children to the main bus routes. R. B. Legg said, AWe have gotten away with it for years (referring to the large number of students transported on contract buses), eventually, someone will notice it.@ Linkinogger agreed, saying the contracts had gotten out of hand in Clay County. He said many of the routes were established during the years of former Superintendent Jim Dawson as a way to get Clay children to come to school, and noted Clay=s excellent attendance rate. It was generally accepted among those present that many Clay children would not attend school regularly if not for the contract routes. Linkinogger said the state wants parents to bring the children to meet the bus, but once a contract route was established, legally it can=t be taken away. Gene King said, AThe state people haven=t been up Beechy.@ Information was passed out to all that included a county by county comparison of regular and contract bus routes, a comparison of safety records and pay of contract routes in seven surrounding counties (only one accident in Wetzel County three years ago), and rates of daily pay in Clay and Nicholas - top pay in Nicholas was $45 a day, in Clay lowest daily pay was $53.52.
         Discussion turned briefly to the school budget. Linkinogger said,
AWe=ve been told to look for a 10% budget cut next year. We stand to lose 1 2 million dollars next year.@ Scott Legg said he=d heard the cuts may come this year, and Linkinogger responded, AIf they do it this year, we=re not ready.@ He said when they were cut (the budget) before years ago by then-Governor Gaston Caperton, Clay went into deficit $250,000 and never recovered. When asked about using levy money Linkinogger said, A[It would] take the levy money for three years if the cut comes for a year.@
         Kincaid said she understood the Boards position, but still worried the contract change might cause a driver to use poor judgment due to needing the money to pay their expenses. She also said she
=d heard hearsay that if a contract vehicle was broken down and they used the board=s van, they would be docked pay. Linkinogger said it was not hearsay, they would be docked half their pay if they used the van, it is written in the new contract. He said they would have no expenses when using the van, only their time. The board does not have to provide use of the van. Kincaid said they still have the same expenses (insurance and upkeep), and though some had abused using the van, all shouldn=t be punished.
         Transportation Director Larry Legg told the drivers it had been mandated this year that there was to be 180 days of school, and snow days would have to be made up. He said there should be no change in their pay as they would be paid for those make up days. Legg,
AThe way this was set up (the contracts), you won=t lose a dime on it, not a penny less.@ Kincaid, AThere will be days the big buses run and a contract can=t. Those will loose money.@ Legg agreed that safety had to come first, saying, AIt=s driver=s discretion and has to stay that way. But we have to meet some things this year we=ve never faced before - mandated 180 days, and 75% attendance or it doesn=t count.@ R. B. Legg, AWe=ll try it and see how it goes.@ Kincaid, AI just want you all to know my opinion...and it=s not just me.@
         Meeting adjourned 6:50 PM. Next regular board meeting Tuesday, September 3.                 TK
          (And, a belated Happy Birthday Gene King!)
         To Whom It May Concern:
         First of all, I
=d like to point out the fact that, in my opinion, the McKown incident has been blown completely out of proportion. Deputy John McKown was, and is, a great cop. Always willing to lend a hand, I=ve seen him out in the rain changing a tire on more than one occasion. His good name does not deserve to be dragged through the mud, and it definitely doesn=t need to be in the same sentence with the word Alies@. The mother of the twenty year old girl couldn=t be too concerned about her daughter=s drinking habits considering she threw a party for her youngest daughter, who is 18, and her graduating class, ages ranging from 17-18, on June 1, 2002, from 7:00 p.m. to the next morning of June 2, 2002 at Leatherwood Ballfield. How do I know this? I was there. The party had NO non-alcoholic beverages, and was actually labeled a Akeg party.@ The only other beverage there besides the beer was a bottle of Early Times, and some watermelon soaked in rum. Now, if Deputy John McKown can loose his job and have his good name dragged through the mud over one bottle of Jack Daniels Sour Mash given to a girl who stated to him on several occasions that she was twenty-one, what can happen to a person who knowingly served over 100 people, at least 90% being under the age of twenty-one, and some even under the age of eighteen? At least I can hand Deputy McKown one thing - he did not KNOWINGLY serve an underage minor. Now, as for the mother, I can promise her this: If criminal charges are filed on Deputy John McKown, I guarantee that criminal charges will be filed on both she and her husband, for serving my eighteen year old sibling at the AKeg party@ on June 1, 2002, and myself as well, considering I am only twenty. And we aren=t the only ones out here upset about what went down with this and how suddenly two wrongs became a right. My advice to the mother - you should have gotten a handle on your daughter(s) long before their eighteenth birthdays, and you definitely should learn to practice what you preach. Don=t forget, Clay County, in the end, the truth will set you free. But what exactly do these people, these wrongful accusers, know about truth?
                                 Christina Albright
         Who makes the legal system work here in Clay County? How does the law enforcement get their training and do they study the law? I think that when a man is hired to do this job, he should have to know the laws as they are written and each man on the force should know the same laws. If I was hired as an officer right now, put on a uniform, a badge and a gun would I know the law or could I make my own laws up like most officers do here in Clay. Does a uniform give these men the right to be......(I say most of you can fill in the blank.) does he have the right to actually make body contact with a person and push him because he says, "why don't you go after the one who is casing the trouble"?
         Why does one officer tell you one thing then another tell you something different? Is it because they make up their own law?
         On several occasions I and other family members have asked questions concerning a matter that we tried to take care of legally, but every officer and I mean everyone of them has told us a different law which is suppose to be right and still hasn't enforced any of them. Last night the law was called 6 times and when he finally arrived he took his anger out on the citizens who was trying to abide by the law, and when he did make the follow up on the subject, he was there a whopping 3 minutes and still nothing was done.
          I was told by a county officer, there is no such thing as disturbing the peace, well,... is their such a law? I was told that you can say anything you want to someone and as long as you don't pull a weapon on them...there is nothing the law can do...I know for a fact of a guy on bond right at the moment for saying he was going to kick butt because a person was threatening his sister and beating on her.
          If your husband or boyfriend beats on you and takes out a restraining order, and if they bother you again, they will be arrested...after that, they harass you and you have to go in again and file more papers which can take up to ten days to get back into court. What could happen in 10 days...threats...another beating...severe injuries...Murder. Then will the law do their job? How are we supposed to be protected in this town?
         If we would take it on our own, then we would be the ones who would be arrested for trying to protect ourselves, our families, and our property while the real criminals are left to go free. How can the officers enforce the law and at the same time break the law themselves? Is it because they wear a badge? Why don't they get arrested for the things they do? Because they wear a badge? Everyone in this town who is suppose to enforce the law stands behind them...they do no wrong. I just don't understand our law system. We reported the incident to the Sheriff and his reply was,
@... if it would have been one of the other officers, he would have believed it, but this officer ? He=s a good Church going boy.@ I know even Christians make mistakes but cussing was his first, then if he said he didn't do it, that was the next, 8 people heard him. If he's the good Christian as the Sheriff said, he will tell the truth and say he did what he did.
         Try and do right and you get in trouble. Do wrong and get a pat on the back. I bet if I was in the offenders shoes it wouldn't take a minute for me to be arrested...It's all in who you are and who you know.
                                         Ronda Carte
         It seems some locals are pretty tired of a local elected official continuing to be paid out of the tax coffers while staying away from his job and duties.
         Since the May 2002 election, Commissioner Tim Butcher has not attended a County Commission meeting while continuing to receive his $18,500.00 per year salary. Over the past two weeks, talk on the street has it that a petition is being drawn up to remove Butcher from office. The following is the wording from the WV State Code on how that is accomplished.
         '6-6-7. Procedure for removal of county, school district and municipal officers having fixed terms; appeal; grounds. (a) Any person holding any county, school district or municipal office, including the office of a member of a board of education and the office of magistrate, the term or tenure of which office is fixed by law, whether the office be elective or appointive, except judges of the circuit courts, may be removed from such office in the manner provided in this section for official misconduct, malfeasance in office, incompetence, neglect of duty or gross immorality or for any of the causes or on any of the grounds provided by any other statute. (b) Charges may be preferred: (1) In the case of any county officer, member of a district board of education or magistrate, by the county commission, or other tribunal in lieu thereof, any other officer of the county, or by any number of persons other than such county officers, which number shall be the lesser of fifty or one percent of the total number of voters of the county participating in the general election next preceding the filing of such charges. (2) In the case of any municipal officer, by the prosecuting attorney of the county wherein such municipality, or the greater portion thereof, is located, any other elected officer of the municipality, or by any number of persons other than the prosecuting attorney or other municipal elective officer of the municipality who are residents of the municipality, which number shall be the lesser of twenty-five or one percent of the total number of voters of the municipality participating in the election at which the governing body was chosen which election next preceded the filing of the petition. (3) By the chief inspector and supervisor of public offices of the state where the person sought to be removed is entrusted by law with the collection, custody and expenditure of public moneys because of any misapplication, misappropriation or embezzlement of such moneys. (c) The charges shall be reduced to writing in the form of a petition duly verified by at least one of the persons bringing the same, and shall be entered of record by the court, or the judge thereof in vacation, and a summons shall thereupon be issued by the clerk of such court, together with a copy of the petition, requiring the officer or person named therein to appear before the court, at the courthouse of the county where such officer resides, and answer the charges on a day to be named therein, which summons shall be served at least twenty days before the return day thereof in the manner by which a summons commencing a civil suit may be served. The court, or judge thereof in vacation, or in the case of any multi-judge circuit, the chief judge thereof, shall, without delay forward a copy of the petition to the supreme court of appeals and shall ask for the impaneling or convening of a three-judge court consisting of three circuit judges of the state. The chief justice of the supreme court of appeals shall without delay designate and appoint three circuit judges within the state, not more than one of whom shall be from the same circuit in which the petition is filed and, in the order of such appointment, shall designate the date, time and place for the convening of such three-judge court, which date and time shall not be less than twenty days from the date of the filing of the petition. Such three-judge court shall, without a jury, hear the charges and all evidence offered in support thereof or in opposition thereto and upon satisfactory proof of the charges shall remove any such officer or person from office and place the records, papers and property of his office in the possession of some other officer or person for safekeeping or in the possession of the person appointed as hereinafter provided to fill the office temporarily. Any final order either removing or refusing to remove any such person from office shall contain such findings of fact and conclusions of law as the three-judge court shall deem sufficient to support its decision of all issues presented to it in the matter. (d) An appeal from an order of such three-judge court removing or refusing to remove any person from office pursuant to this section may be taken to the supreme court of appeals within thirty days from the date of entry of the order from which the appeal is taken. The supreme court of appeals shall consider and decide the appeal upon the original papers and documents, without requiring the same to be printed and shall enforce its findings by proper writ. From the date of any order of the three-judge court removing an officer under this section until the expiration of thirty days thereafter, and, if an appeal be taken, until the date of suspension of such order, if suspended by the three-judge court and if not suspended, until the final adjudication of the matter by the supreme court of appeals, the officer, commission or body having power to fill a vacancy in such office may fill the same by a temporary appointment until a final decision of the matter, and when a final decision is made by the supreme court of appeals shall fill the vacancy in the manner provided by law for such office. (e) In any case wherein the charges are preferred by the chief inspector and supervisor of public offices against the county commission or any member thereof or any county district or municipal officer, the proceedings under this section shall be conducted and prosecuted by the prosecuting attorney of the county in which the officer proceeded against resides, and on any appeal from the order of the three-judge court in any such case, the attorney general of the state shall represent the people. When any municipal officer is proceeded against the solicitor or municipal attorney for such municipality may assist in the prosecution of the charges.
         As of publication date, no petitions for removal from office have been noticed at area stores and businesses. On the web site, four have emailed their support for the idea as of Tuesday, August 21, 2002.                 
         Just mentioning that word, Filcon, either makes people laugh or cry. For most , Filcon Inc., Manfred Kuentzer, and the hoodwinking received by Clay County leadership is one of anguish.
         For three years, Kuentzer led the county along with promises of jobs and performance. From the beginning, a few in the county spoke out against tax dollars being used to finance the questionable operation and motives. After months of bad checks and no loan payments to the Clayberry Bank, the Business Development Authority, and the Central Appalachia Empowerment Zone, the local bank foreclosed on the private venture known as Filcon Manufacturing. Just as the assets were to be auctioned off , including the parcel of land given to Filcon by the Clay County Business Development Authority (BDA), attorney Barbara Schamberger, representing the BDA asked and received a temporary restraining order ( TRO) July 25, 2002 which prevented the sale of the property by the bank.
         Since the issuance of the TRO by Judge Rick Facemire, a hearing was held and the court has since ordered mediation by both parties in an attempt to resolve the issue. Retired Judge Danny Cline has been appointed to be the mediator in the process
         On August 22, 2002, Ms Schamberger was interviewed and the following are excerpts from that conversation.
         What can you tell us about the mediation process? Schamberger,
A We have met with the mediator, the Honorable Judge Danny Cline . We went into court ordered mediation with Judge Cline.@
         So what does mediation mean? Schamberger,
@ Mediation is an attempt to get the parties to find some common ground from which to work to perhaps resolve the matter without going through the full judicial process. It=s done regularly in Kanawha County. It=s called swarm. The word meaning mediation..... Up here because we don=t have as large a docket or as active a docket as Kanawha... we tend to have court ordered mediation rather than regular mediation.@
         According to the TRO wording,
A to halt the sale by the defendant seller [Bank] for lack of good title to and to remove the cloud upon the title of, real property subject of this petition and, in the alternative, request for temporary restraining order for the same.@ So why enter into mediation now? Scham.,@ Well, in theory, mediation is supposed to reduce the legal expenses for all parties. You save on attorney fees , save on appellate costs, on appealing process. People can generally find a balance where they both are able to feel vindicated and satisfied of the results. It is a little harder to do that in a judicial climate where generally you have a winner and a loser. It will be binding if we reach an agreement signed by all the parties. ... If there is no result, then we pick right back up in a lawsuit where we were. The mediator doesn=t issue an order . A mediator works between the two groups, sometimes you have one group in one room and the other in another room.....The idea is litigation and judicial action is very, very public. Sometimes what people really want, and what they will agree to, is not necessarily what they want to say publicly. Most commonly that is found in divorce or an estate settlement.... It gives people the opportunity to work with someone who is impartial , who is disinterested, and you can say to them, >What do you really want?=
          Ms Schamberger said Judge Cline is an experienced mediator. To date, there has been one mediation meeting between the two parties. Schamberger continued,
A We anticipate some more. Mr. Duffy [Clay County Bank attorney] and I are both working on an agreed mediation order. That=s where we lay out what we are trying to accomplish and file that with the court. .... It is always wise to reduce those agreements to writing. That way you don=t have to depend on someone=s recollection ... That agreement would be presented to the Business Development Authority.@
         As for what they are trying to settle with the process,
A There are actually a number of issues. As you know, the restraining order was to prevent the sale. There are other issues that people have to look at including but limited to dealing with any interest that Filcon may still have, sorting through a mutually beneficial result, the BDA is in the business of encouraging business development. We=re not simply looking to beat somebody. We want Clay County to win. It is not your typical mediation. Some of the other issues I would decline to discuss because they are the subject of the mediation that people don=t necessarily want to openly discuss. Some of it involves banking issues that can=t be discussed publicly.@
         As for the time line we can expect,
A I think we are looking at about 90 days to work through this from the date of the mediation.@
          As for the TRO, Ms Schamberger explained that the Temporary Restraining Order can last as long as the courts want it to be good. Schamberger,
A We=ve all agreed that it shall remain in affect.@
         So what happens if the mediation process is not successful?
A We have not defined what our success is going to be and that=s a little hard. The ideal scenario is that a third party comes in and wants to buy the property for an amount that is acceptable to both the Clay County Bank and the BDA. That solves everyone=s problems. If mediation fails, we go on with the lawsuit.@
         So is mediation progressing? Ms Schamberger,
A It is early in the process but I would say it is progressing. Everyone at the table wants to resolve this in a way that, quite frankly, assists the county.@ At the table is Scott Legg, Greg Gency, Paige Willis , and Mr. Sams.
          In closing, attorney Schamberger added,
A I think the public would be very pleased to know that all four of these gentlemen are working very hard to reach a solution and yet retain the integrity of their position. That is something that I would assume Mr. Duffy would concur with, that they are cooperative and want to do the right thing.@                                                                                        AW
         Capito Announces $54.4 Million for WV Rural Utilities
         Washington - Recently, Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) joined the Department of Agriculture Assistant Secretary Lou Gallegos and USDA-Rural Development State Director Jenny Phillips in announcing $54.4 million in Rural Utilities Service loans and grants to assist various rural communities throughout West Virginia.
         AI am excited to announce funding for these important West Virginia infrastructure projects. A consistent and clean supply of water should not be a luxury in the 21st century. These grants and loans help our local communities strengthen and expand our infrastructure so that West Virginia families can wash the dishes and brush their teeth with peace of mind,@ said Rep. Capito.
         Thirteen of the 30 projects announced are funded through the 2002 Farm bill passed by Congress and signed by President Bush in May. The remaining 17 projects have been funded through the Rural Utilities Service annual collection of funds to the state of West Virginia. The Rural Utilities Service is a program that is administered by the United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development. The program provides loan and grant assistance to rural communities to develop and/or improve water and wastewater systems.
         A brief description of the utilities projects in the 2nd Congressional District:
         Elkins Road Public Service District (Upshur County): $2,228,000 - new funding. Water loan and grant package ($500,000 loan, $1,728,000 grant) used to upgrade and extend the existing water distribution system.
         Mt. Zion Public Service District (Calhoun County): $2,400,000 - new funding. Water loan and grant package ($600,000 loan, $1,800,000 grant) used for waterline extensions and distribution improvements.
         Southern Jackson County Public Service District (Jackson County): $1,600,000 - new funding; $125,000 - continued funding. Water loan and grant package ($1,660,000 loan, $65,000 grant) used to construct waterline extensions to increase service area.
         Adrian Public Service District (Upshur County): $3,485,000 - new funding. Water and loan grant package ($1,200,000 loan, $2,285,000 grant) used for the construction of waterline extensions to provide service to additional users.
         Huttonsville Public Service District (Randolph County): $2,400,000 - continued funding. Water loan and grant package ($400,000 loan, $2,000,000 grant) used to construct a water transmission line from the City of Elkins along the Georgetown Road to service additional customers.
         Southern Putnam Public Service District (Putnam County): $7,078,000 - continued funding. Wastewater loan package used for the construction of improvements to the PSD
=s existing wastewater collection system, and for extension service to additional customers in various areas of Putnam County.
         Mason County Public Service District (Mason County): $4,222,000 - continued funding. Water loan and grant package ($3,222,000 loan, $1,000,000 grant) used to extend water service to additional customers in various areas of Mason County.
         Green Spring Valley Public Service District (Hampshire County): $761,000- continued funding. Water loan and grant package ($591,000 loan, $170,000 grant) used to upgrade the PSD
=s existing water treatment facility and distribution system.
         Central Appalachia Empowerment Zone (CAEZ) Board of Directors met in regular session August 6 at 6 PM. Representing Clay County were Ben Murphy, Lynn Drake, Linda Rhodes, Elizabeth Sampson and Darlene Morris. Continuing the tradition of poor representation on the CAEZ Board, Clay County Commissioner Matthew Bragg was absent again, as was Johnny Morris who has attended only one meeting since being appointed to the board four months ago.
         Probably the most interesting discussion during the meeting came as the vote was taken to support a new race track in Braxton County. The 20 million dollar Thunder Ridge Track would be located within 500 feet of the Flatwoods Exit of I 79 and next door to the Flatwoods Outlet Mall. According to CAEZ Boardster and Braxton County Commissioner John Gibson,
A It looks real good... it would mean a lot for Braxton County@. The facility which would seat 10,000 is not located within the boundaries of the CAEZ confines.
         For Clay County, an update on the proposed Clay County Industrial Park now planned for property owned by Big Otter resident Wally Schwartz. After development on the 100 acre site, approximately 10 acres would be flat and suitable for development. The total cost to get the land ready for development: $3.487 million. Director Jerry Sizemore said the Clay County Business Development Authority has already located another site in case funding does not materialize for the Schwartz holdings.
         As for the CAEZ-backed Filcon fiasco, a suit was filed against Manfred Kuentzer July 5, 2002 and there has been no response yet. If default judgment is signed by the judge, then CAEZ can take possession of the Filcon equipment. CAEZ will be responsible for all moving and storage costs incurred by the Clay County Sheriff. According to Sizemore , five people have expressed an interest in purchasing the equipment to date including one who may be interested in operating the business here in Clay County. You could almost hear a groan as that was made public. In jest, CAEZ Board President Michael Martin,
A I have it on good authority, Manfred is pursuing the purchase of WV Water Co.!@ Fred Sampson reported that after the equipment is sold, the balance owed on the $140,000.00 CAEZ-backed Filcon loan will be pursued in a court of law.
         The annual meeting of the CAEZ will be held September 10 at 6 pm at the Clay Lion’ Club building with Legacy Catering providing the sit down meal. Since this is the
Apublic=s meeting@, CAEZ will cover the cost of the meal. During the Sept 10th meeting, a vote by the public will be taken on changing the by laws yet again!
         We=ve got a new band of dedicated folks standing up and demanding water service! For years the catchphrase has been, anything south of the Hartland bridge is no man=s land. That=s changing now.
         Well over 50 people attended the August 15, 2002
AWe Want Water@ meeting held at the Lizemores Methodist Church. Local resident John Humphry served as moderator for the assembly. This was the second gathering of the group. Are they getting anywhere? In attendance at this meeting was County Commissioner Jimmy Sams. Some in the county felt that Sams would get lynched if he showed up, since he has promised water to this region of the county for years. Didn=t happen, they didn=t even throw rocks at him!
         New to the public arena, Dr. Jim Cercone was first to speak. Cercone was appointed in July to investigate the facts and circumstances of the waterless dilemma. Since being appointed to the spot Cercone attended a County Commission meeting and asked a bunch of questions putting Commission President Matthew Bragg and Sams
Ain the hot seat@, so to speak. Additionally, Cercone has met with the Clay County PSD, the agency designated to provide water to the Lizemores/Indore section of the county, and talked with reps from the WV Public Service Commission. After his month of discovery, Cercone told the assembled:
         As for petitioning for water service from Gauley PSD instead of waiting on Clay County PSD to get something done, it is possible. According to an engineer at the WV PSC, to change PSDs, residents have to petition the Clay County Commission and the commission of the receiving county as well. Cercone,
@ It=s a problem to change PSDs.@ Translation - it would be a cumbersome process.
         The long stalled and already funded Lizemores/Tuckers Bottom waterline extension project has a high percentage of grant money that is an advantage for the area. As for why the years have come and gone without one foot of water pipe being laid, Cercone,
@ The town reneged on an earlier plan..@ As for starting a new project, again Cercone,@ That boogers up all the engineering plans, there are a lot of technical problems..@
          The community activist Cercone said he had asked for and received lots of background info like County Commission minutes, WV PSC and local PSD documents as a result of attending the County Commission meeting earlier this month. Cercone,
AThey gave us everything we asked for..@ As for requests for info from the Clay County PSD, not so forthcoming. Cercone mentioned that to date little info has been provided by the PSD but that may be due in part to vacation schedule conflicts. All documents were available for the 50 or so in attendance to view and comment on.
         As for having local water wells tested for unsafe levels of bacteria, the County Commission has agreed to pay to have three wells tested by the WV Health Dept.
         And then, the bomb shell from Dr. Cercone. The rumbling mumblings and side chatter came to a screeching halt as Cercone explained how soon municipal water service could be brought on line for his area of the county,
A We=re still 3 to 5 years away from water..@ People looked at each other, mouths gaped open just a little, and, Commissioner Sams prepared to bolt for the door.
         Another organizer of the ‘e Want Water’group, Cathy Shuller, reported her findings since the last gathering. According to Shuller, 607 homes have signed the petition and are supportive of receiving water service. She said the names include some from the Bickmore area and her goal is to have 1000 signatures on the paperwork shortly. After Ms Shuller reported her findings, Cercone stood again and made his recommendation,
A It is difficult to change PSDs, I suggest that we not jump ship yet.@
         19 minutes into the meeting, the public began to make their presence known. First Jimmy Sams commented that he had just learned that the funding for the new regional water plant had been spent elsewhere and the new plan is to go ahead with water line extensions and then later figure out a way to build a new water treatment facility. Sams,
A Be patient, it=s real close..@
         One lady from the room asked,
@What=s stopping Clay now??@ Sams came back with the lack of a WV Health Department permit for the Lizemores extension project and A It started with a lawsuit at Procious....... the town got the money and then they pulled it.@ Sams commented that there is another stumbling block and that=s the issue of being able to switch the new customers ( from the Lizemores extension) away from the current water plant, the town of Clay, to the new water plant if and when it gets built.
         A senior gentlemen,
A Clay water is not worth having!!!@ Many nodded in agreement. Another lady, A What happened to 3.7 million?@ Moderator John Humphry, A That=s what we lost,@ referring to the money taken away from the county that was committed for a new water plant. It appeared that over half of those assembled want nothing to do with water service originating from Clay County. Another lady,@ I=ll be honest, I don=t want Clay water.@ Side discussions on the numerous boil water orders and concerns on the quality of the water source. Sams assured all that the town would be Abypassed@ when a new water plant is built. It didn=t appear that fully appeased the masses in attendance.
         Getting the group back on track, Sams,
A We=re just trying to run some lines over here and get something started.. The contract will say you can switch later.@ As for switching later from the town of Clay water plant source to a new plant, from the peanut gallery, A What makes you think you can trust the town [ to do that]?@
         New to the meetings, Denise Taylor, from the Family Resource Network, commented that her agency, which is housed in the Health Department building on Main Street, sees the water issue as a health related issue and said the agency is ready to assist in any way they could.
         From around the room came comments on how nasty the wells in the area are, how even with expensive water filtration systems installed, the water is discolored and stinky in general, and for many residents, an oily film in the water supply is an everyday occurrence. One fellow,
A The wells are so bad you can=t even flush with it!..... The water stinks so bad you got to sneak up on it to get a drink!!!!!!@
         And then a plan of action was drawn up. The group agreed to attend County Commission and Clay County PSD meetings on a regular basis, to make their needs known, and to maintain a higher profile with the elected and appointed leadership in the county. The signed petitions will be forwarded to the elected state reps for the area.
         Attention was turned to Clay County PSD Chair Keith King. Consensus: King is less than forthcoming with information and often will not respond or answer questions from area residents. And then the bomb shell!!! Several in the group confirmed that Keith King does NOT NOT NOT live in the county. King lives in Fayette County with his new wife. According to WV State Code, PSD board members MUST live in the area that the PSD serves. Almost as soon as the new revelation was made known, a grin came across the faces of some in attendance. For years, Mr. King
=s dryness and tendency to make no details available to the public have been a source of friction in the community.
         From one gray headed lady,
A Keith lives in Dixie, he can=t be on the PSD!@ In support of King, the fellow that appointed King to the PSD, Sams, A These meetings have put a fire under him! This [the meetings] is the best thing you could have done.@ Shuller,@ I can=t get nothing from Keith King!@ Sams, A He may regret that.@ From another, A We can=t get anything from him!@
         As the meeting closed one hour after opening, locals felt that it may be time to start a letter writing campaign to grow some interest in their needs. Although no clear direction has yet to be agreed on by the group, the group has gelled into a working body and one finally dedicated to rolling up their shirt sleeves and getting to work on basic needs of the community. GREAT!!!!!!                                                AW
No, No, George W. – You Have It Wrong!!

         By Jim Chafin

                 Despite your glib tongue; irrespective of your ability to align yourself with the super-rich, mega-force, world class conglomerates which insulates you from everyday, working in the factories, mills, mines, herding the cattle, operating the equipment, and doing the grunt work that makes this nation function properly. No matter the 30 second sound bites and the images presented on the tele’and in the print media – none of this can hide the fact that the executive branch of American government is walking all over the law-giving documents that are the mainstay of all United States liberties; those being the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and our Bill of Rights.
                 All government employees and elected officials are required to take a solemn oath to ‘efend, protect, these several States from all enemies, both foreign and domestic’ In earlier times, prevailing thought held that American citizens were innocent until proven guilty – but no more. Today, it is said that, because of our high technology society, that somehow, and they make up new rules just about every day – somehow, Americans must now find a new and better way of expressing old dreams of freedom ‘nder law’ Huh, what did he say? Are there any new ways to define our God-given liberties than those spelled out in our Declaration of Independence? We hear it all the time – America must ‘ind a way to ensure equal justice for ALL Americans’ as if that is some new idea dreamed up since September 11, 2001. Hello – that ‘ay’is called the United States Constitution, dummy, and it has been around for 226 years. Talking heads on television are saying it. I mean ‘rofessional’(and I use the word advisedly) legalists – judges, lawyers, college professors, journalists, they are all debating what should be, the most rudimentary element of all our national institutions – that of whether or not to keep or abandon America’ Bill of Rights. Folks, think about what all this demagoguery means for Mr. And Mrs. Middle America. Those people are talking about undoing what it has taken this nation 226 years to build, a body of law to protect human rights, and doing it based upon the whims of a power hungry bureaucracy that is using the 9/11 incident as a pretext to strip this nation of all its ‘mmunities’ crushing forever the hopes and dreams of a world searching for a better life.
                 Consider the way of power in America: The law, as spoken of by those in power, is a totally different animal from the way most folks look at ordinances, rules, statutes, custom, and practice. Whereas Abraham Lincoln said, “overnment is owned by the people” government considers itself as owner of the people and all their possessions. Government, comprised in large part by attorneys and their hangers-on, has wrapped our system of laws and jurisprudence tightly within the creeds and purposes of an entity whose objective(s) are to enrich its own hip pocket. Bar Association members have packed the legislatures of this nation; they possess the judiciary; and, they deftly guide the direction of administrative agencies and panels. They have free rein in the court houses, states houses, and, yes, even the White House. And, in so doing, these private businessmen are, by their policies, denying access to the judicial system for millions upon millions of Americans – even right now. Every once in a while, someone who has seen the insides of American ‘quality’will speak out on significant issues involving our judicial system which leads credence to the contentions of many who say that the corporate image of justice in this country needs a face lift. Bar members, we might add, are also required to take an oath of allegiance, but, just take a look at what is being done to the freedoms of all those less-than-wealthy people who are the majority in this country. Quoting former Judge Andrew Napolitano, “f our present Constitution isn’ protected; if this government isn’ reined in; then this nation will lose its freedoms.” To which I add: Justice is for sale in this country, and most of us are already priced out of the market
         Preparation Time: 20 minutes
         Servings: 5 - Serving Size: 2 wrap-ups
         Cost per Serving: $0.84
         Cooking Spray
         1/4 cup finely diced green pepper
         1/4 cup finely diced onion
         1 cup cooked white rice
         1-cup corn OR 1 8/34 -oz can corn, drained
         1/2 15-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed,
         OR 1 cup cooked dried black beans
         1 Tbsp. Red Hot Sauce
         Breast (bones removed) OR substitute 1 8-oz boneless, skinless grilled chicken breast, thinly sliced and warmed
         10 flour tortillas, warmed
         1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp salsa
         Fat-free sour cream, optional
         1) In a small nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray,saute green pepper and onion over medium heat until        onion turns clear (about 3 minutes).
         2) Add rice, corn, beans, and Red Hot sauce to pepper and onion-toss to combine. Warm over low-medium heat for 5 minutes.
         3) Divide rice mixture and chicken evenly among the 10 tortillas (approximately 1/3 cup filling per tortilla), spreading down the center. Roll up each tortilla, placing seam-side down on plate, and drizzle with 1 Tbsp salsa.
                 Exchanges: 4 Starch.. 1 Vegetable.. 2 Very Lean Meat.. 1/2 Fat.. Calories: 432.. Calories from Fat 72..
         Total Fat 8 g.. Saturated Fat 1 g.. Cholesterol 39 mg..
         Sodium 730 mg.. Carbohydrate 65 g.. Dietary Fiber 6 g.. Sugars 2 g.. Protein 25 g..
         Preparation Time: 10 minutes
         Servings: 8 Serving Size: 1/4 cup
         1 0.9-oz package sugar-free, fat-free instant
         banana-cream pudding mix
         3/4 cup fat-free (skim) milk
         1 8-oz can crushed pineapple in juice,
         drain and reserve juice
         1/2 cup fat-free sour cream
    1)        In a large bowl, combine pudding mix, milk, and reserved pineapple juice. Mix with an electric mixer until smooth (will be thick). Add sour cream and mix again until smooth.
2) Stir in pineapple and chill for 30 minutes.
Exchanges: 1/2 Carbohydrate Calories: 53.. Calories from Fat 5.. Total Fat <1 g.. Saturated Fat <1 mg..
Sodium 180 mg.. Carbohydrate 9 g.. Dietary Fiber <1 g.. Sugars 5 g.. Protein 3 g..

HELPFUL NOTE: Eating right is an investment in your health. The better care you take of your body, the less often you’l need to visit your health care professional. The money you spend on nutritious groceries is tiny compared to today’ rising
medical costs.
                        Until next time, Kay Kish


08-07-02: Rider - Charles Edward Keenan, arrested for malicious assault 08/03, ROB, hearing continued to 08/28.
08-13-02: Ellyson - William Edward Hayhurst, arrested for receiving/transferring stolen property 08/03, hearing continued to 09/17 by defendant.
08-07-02: Delk - Brett Cox, shooting within 500' of a dwelling, warrant issued.
08-08-02: Slack - Michael Sheets, petit larceny, warrant issued.
08-09-02: Clay Supermarket - Cassie Cunningham, WC, warrant issued; Pam Dalzell, WC, warrant issued (paid 8/15); Food Mart - Jeremy S. Burrows, WC x 2, warrant issued; Erika D. Mollohan, WC, warrant issued; Stacey A. Schoolcraft, WC, warrant issued; John Cunningham, WC, warrant issued; Slack - Jimmy Koch, harassing/threatening phone calls, warrant issued; Samples Market - John Cunningham, WC, warrant issued; Clay County Middle School - Pam Dalzell, WC x 2 (paid 8/15).
08-11-02: Guthrie - Chester K. Legg, domestic battery, arrested, ROB.
08-13-02: Foreman - Roger B. Smith, violation of DV order, arrested, ROB; Elizabeth Holcomb - Raymond Hersman, peace bond, summons, appeared 8/14, ROB; Elizabeth Holcomb - Ronald Blankenship, peace bond, summons; Rodney Mark Workman - Ronald Blankenship, peace bond, summons; Rodney Mark Workman - Raymond Hersman, peace bond, summons, appeared 8/14, ROB; Bailey - Teria L. Grose, failure to keep right, no POI, and failure to change name on operator
=s, received motion for jury trial, received motion for discovery, appeared 8/19, ROB.
08-14-02: Slack - David Allen Shoults, trespassing, arrested, ROB.
08-16-02: Hunt - James S. Morford, speeding, registration violations, appeared, ROB; Foreman - Robert L. Deal, driving on suspended/revoked, appeared 8/19, ROB.
08-07-02: Patti Holcomb - Franklin D. McKinney, money due; Rose Workman - Eric Raserio, wrongful occupation, dismissed 8/14 without prejudice, no appearance by plaintiff or defendant.
08-08-02: Jerry Tucker - Jason Looney and Debbie Looney, wrongful occupation.
08-09-02: Monogram Credit Card Bank - Brenda H. Catts, money due; Ramsey
=s Excavating - Linda Jarrett, money due.
08-13-02: Junior J. West - Chris Stutler, money due; Billy Adkins Jr., money due.
08-14-02: Freda Jill Legg - Chester Legg, money due.
08-15-02: Paul Greco - Ernie Biship, money due.
08-19-02: Cavalry Investments c/o Dennis M. Shreve - Sherry J. Mullins, money due.
Worthless Checks
Notices Issued -
08-07-02: House
=s Market - Stacey A. Schoolcraft; Jewell M. Wriston; John Cunningham (paid 8/19).
08-09-02: Carl
=s Carpet - Teresa Rhodes.
08-12-02: IGA - Christina R. Woods (paid 8/16).
Traffic Citations
07-27-02: State Police - Robert J. Murphy, registration violations and no POI.
07-28-02: State Police - Freda Jill Parsons, no POI.
07-29-02: State Police - Ronald Adkins, operator
07-30-02: State Police - John F. Johnson, failure to use signal.
08-01-02: State Police - Ronald L. Adkins, Jr., operator
=s; Charles E. Keenan, possession marijuana less 15 gms.
08-02-02: State Police - Michael John Green, unsecured load.
08-03-02: State Police - Jason B. Bass, no motorcycle endorsement, no helmet, and registration violations.
08-07-02: Sheriff
=s Dept. - Wesley A. Adkins, no POI and duty to give info at accident; State Police - James Scott Morford, speeding and registration violations.
08-08-02: DOH - Richard D. Boggs, overweight, over width, over length; Lyle Edward Neal, registration violations.
08-09-02: State Police - Teria L. Grose, failure to keep right, no POI, and failure to change name on operator
=s; Jody Pierson, driving suspended and defective headlights; Clinton N. Salyers, speeding and no POI.
08-10-02: State Police - Delmar F. McCune, operator
=s and unsafe vehicle.
08-16-02: Sheriff
=s Dept. - Timmy L. Cartwright, no POI and registration violations; State Police - Robert L. Deal, driving on suspended/revoked.


By Don Greene
        As WV continues its downward spiral in nearly every aspect except the number employed, directly or indirectly, by the government or dependent upon the government, many are seeking solutions to the myriad problems WV faces. Here are what I see as solutions to some of these problems, though I don't expect to live to see them become reality.
        First, we should implement drug testing and a background security clearance for everyone that files for election to a public office, as well as for those being appointed or hired to handle public funds, deal with public programs, or carry responsibility to and for the public. I had to do both to work in the nuclear powerhouses. Why would it be unreasonable to expect our public officials to do the same? Having drug-free, trustworthy people of integrity in these offices would have to improve our government.
        Second, whatever laws, rules or regulations that keep the same unproductive, fish-handed, pencil-necked bureaucratic geeks on the public's payroll need to be eliminated. This would improve our chances of having a responsible government by one hundred percent.
        In line with that, we need to develop some system that ascertains which teachers are actually educating our children and not just meeting the minimum expected. Without quality teachers in the classroom the future of WV is dim.
        Another step that is long overdue is a drastic decrease in the size of our government. Successful businesses and industries learned long ago that you can't afford to carry deadwood just because of their name or connections. They have also learned that hiring more people or merely spending more money solves few problems. WV has to do the same. We need to reduce the number of employees, change our approach and focus the savings on our core goals, eliminating poverty, ignorance and disease. WV has wasted billions of dollars on paper-shuffling, buck-passing, excuse-making and tub-thumping. It's time to start serving the whole public and improving the state of this State.
        A fifth step towards living in the real world would be to give the citizens the rights to initiate Referendums and Recalls. It is moronic to expect the good old boy, back room government we suffer under to ever become more responsive without these two rights.
        There are many more steps that could and should be taken, but don't hold your breath. The current system is very popular among the bootlickers and back-stabbers that seem to proliferate like weeds in this state. It will be a long uphill battle to bring WV into the 21st century. Heck, I'd settle for just catching up to the 20th.

Activate by Eric B Goode
         After reading "the Communicator" I was struck with the compassion to pray for you all! Ha ha! Well, it never hurts right? And I think we'd better grow in prayer and hearing from the Spirit more everyday so we can make it through the dark days ahead in style and as shining examples, right?
         Here we go! Dear Wonderful JESUS! You are the Resurrection! You have all the answers and many times you're jus' waiting for us to ask or get desperate
         enough! We call on Your Heavenly Keys for every situation and soul in West Virginia and the World! Help them be tapped into Your Power Lord! To move with You, to obey Your leadings! Great and small, Lord of thy people! We claim Psalms 91 over them Lord and all our loved ones and believers! Help us all spend enough time in Your Secret Place! Your Pavilion of Refreshing in the Spirit! Times to just admire and be filled with the wonders of heaven and of simple things, too! Help us know that we can come to You anytime , anywhere, and just slip into Your Presence and hear your voice and see Your visions to bring us back into faith and communion with you and our spiritual family! You know all the details and needs Lord! The choices each one must make! Even the birds and the bees! All things consist because of You! Please rebuke the evil spirits and negative things! Those which we might listen to which deceive and want to cause us hurt! Thanks for wisdom and leadership from You JESUS! The leadership of Your Kingdom Children where ever and whoever they may be! Hallelujah! Thank You JESUS! Thanks for supplying basic necessities for the poor and even things we want to help in each one's mission for You! Amen!!!
         I know the Lord wants to speak also, but, for now, I will leave that up to you! See ya........
         Editor’ Note: Eric Goode is an evangelist serving in Southern California and is a regular columnist . Contact Mr. Goode at:
         P.O. Box 2207, Tulare, CA 93275
         LABOR DAY
                 The observance of Labor Day began over 100 years ago. Conceived by America's labor unions as a testament to their cause, the legislation sanctioning the holiday was shepherded through Congress amid labor unrest and signed by President Grover Cleveland as a reluctant election-year compromise.
         Pullman, Illinois was a company town, founded in 1880 by George Pullman, president of the railroad sleeping car company. Pullman designed and built the town to stand as a utopian workers' community insulated from the moral (and political) seductions of nearby Chicago.
         The town was strictly, almost feudally, organized: row houses for the assembly and craft workers; modest Victorians for the managers; and a luxurious hotel where Pullman himself lived and where visiting customers, suppliers, and salesman would lodge while in town.
         Its residents all worked for the Pullman company, their paychecks drawn from Pullman bank, and their rent, set by Pullman, deducted automatically from their weekly paychecks. The town, and the company, operated smoothly and successfully for more than a decade.
         But in 1893, the Pullman company was caught in the nationwide economic depression. Orders for railroad sleeping cars declined, and George Pullman was forced to lay off hundreds of employees. Those who remained endured wage cuts, even while rents in Pullman remained consistent. Take-home paychecks plummeted.
         And so the employees walked out, demanding lower rents and higher pay. The American Railway Union, led by a young Eugene V. Debs, came to the cause of the striking workers, and railroad workers across the nation boycotted trains carrying Pullman cars. Rioting, pillaging, and burning of railroad cars soon ensued; mobs of non-union workers joined in.
         The strike instantly became a national issue. President Grover Cleveland, faced with nervous railroad executives and interrupted mail trains, declared the strike a federal crime and deployed 12,000 troops to break the strike. Violence erupted, and two men were killed when U.S. deputy marshals fired on protesters in Kensington, near Chicago, but the strike was doomed.
         On August 3, 1894, the strike was declared over. Debs went to prison, his ARU was disbanded, and Pullman employees henceforth signed a pledge that they would never again unionize. Aside from the already existing American Federation of Labor and the various railroad brotherhoods, industrial workers' unions were effectively stamped out and remained so until the Great Depression.
         It was not the last time Debs would find himself behind bars, either. Campaigning from his jail cell, Debs would later win almost a million votes for the Socialist ticket in the 1920 presidential race.
         The movement for a national Labor Day had been growing for some time. In September 1892, union workers in New York City took an unpaid day off and marched around Union Square in support of the holiday. But now, protests against President Cleveland's harsh methods made the appeasement of the nation's workers a top political priority. In the immediate wake of the strike, legislation was rushed unanimously through both houses of Congress, and the bill arrived on President Cleveland's desk just six days after his troops had broken the Pullman strike. 1894 was an election year. President Cleveland seized the chance at conciliation, and Labor Day was born. He was not reelected.
         In 1898, Samuel Gompers, head of the American Federation of Labor, called it "the day for which the toilers in past centuries looked forward, when their rights and their wrongs would be discussed...that the workers of our day may not only lay down their tools of labor for a holiday, but upon which they may touch shoulders in marching phalanx and feel the stronger for it."
         Almost a century since Gompers spoke those words, though, Labor Day is seen as the last long weekend of summer rather than a day for political organizing. In 1995, less than 15 percent of American workers belonged to unions, down from a high in the 1950's of nearly 50 percent, though nearly all have benefited from the victories of the Labor movement.
         And everyone who can takes a vacation on the first Monday of September. Friends and families gather, and clog the highways, and the picnic grounds, and their own backyards -- and bid farewell to summer.
         This information was collected from: