September 6, 2001

Click on the title of the story that interests you and then use your back button to return
3rd Clay Mayor Resigns
Follow Up
Did You Know?
Kay's Korner
Only In Clayberry
Stumbler of the Week
Congresswoman Capito's Words from Washington
Magistrate Report
Clay County Board of Education Meeting
Clay/Roane, Procious PSD Update
Finances and Tears at the CCEAA
Mrs. Eddie
Happy 6th Anniversary

3rd Clay Mayor Resigns
Small town America has a hard time finding and keeping elected officials. Such is the case again for the Town of Clay. Mayor Glenwood Nichols resigned from the position Friday August 31, 2001.
Keeping a Mayor on the job has made the news several times over the last 8 months. Nichols replaced S.S. Jamie after Jamie abruptly left the Mayor
=s job commenting that the Council had no confidence in him. Jamie left the $500.00 per month job in the middle of a meeting in early spring after being in office just one month. Before Doctor Jamie was the only elected-by-the-voters person of the three, Joyce Gibson. Ms Gibson left office for health reasons. During her tenure in office, much controversy surfaced over the then proposed for the Town, 4.5 million dollar new water plant project. Also, during Gibson=s last 5 months in office, the Town went nearly bankrupt resulting in employee layoffs including the policeman position, employee benefit cutbacks, and invoices going unpaid for months
According to state law, a town
=s Recorder, in this case Betty Murphy, is required to fill the vacancy. Ms Murphy assumed that position Sept 5, 2001 during a 16 minute meeting of Town Council.
We interviewed acting Mayor Murphy after the council meeting and provide the following excerpts from the conversation.
Will we have a new mayor shortly? Mayor Murphy,
AWe got to think about. I don=t want it. I hope to vacation for several months this winter.@ She went on to mention serious issues before the next mayor, @What are they going to do about that railroad? There are things that have to be done.@
Ms Murphy said that she had no idea that Glenn Nichols was resigning and she, as well as the office staff , were shocked at the news. Murphy commented that Nichols told the office workers the news Friday afternoon , August 31. His message was: he was resigning immediately to take a job in Ohio that Ahe just couldn=t turn down@. Murphy read the resignation letter to council during the September council meeting.
As for Mayor Nichols job, again Ms Murphy,
@He was doing a wonderful job of taking care of the everyday business. I didn=t agree with him on some things and he didn=t agree with me, but, that is life. On the everyday business, I thought he was doing very good.@
So what are you looking for in the next mayor? Murphy,@We=ll just have to find a person who is really interested in the town, someone that will benefit the town. Someone who will assume the responsibility. There are lots of responsibilities. You can=t just say I am Mayor and then go on about your own business.@
Is there anybody interested in the post or have you begun the search? Murphy,@ I haven=t talked with anyone yet. You have to be a resident of the town and be a registered voter as well. The pay is $500.00 per month.@ Although not mentioned specifically by Ms Murphy, Council person Arthur Jarrett appears ready to take the mayor spot and has the backing of at least one other council person, Helen Morris. Town Council will vote on Glen Nichols= replacement and do so during a public meeting although many in the community feel that much back room deliberation will be conducted away from the public=s eye.
Are there major problems that you will have to deal with in the next few weeks? Mayor Betty,
@ There are some letters that need answered but nothing really big now.@ How about immediate changes? Mayor,@ No, it is pretty smooth right now. Things are going pretty well right now. The water and the town [finances] are in pretty good shape. The sewer [account] is not. See... all those motors burned up at the sewer plant.... I am really concerned about the sewer... the expense...@
Murphy said she anticipated finding a willing person for the spot in early fall.
As for the new 260% sewer rate going into effect Oct 1, 2001 Ms Murphy
=s thoughts,@ You know I really don=t know for sure. I have been told it would, but I don=t really know. I haven=t talked about that to anyone from the WV Public Service Commission yet but I will. I don=t think that they have any paperwork yet on it.@
The mayor or acting mayor is responsible for hiring and firing the Police Chief, do you see any changes there? Murphy,@ I am not really acting mayor. I don=t want to think that. I just think I am Recorder and kind of filling in. Maybe I have to be called Acting Mayor, .... I don=t want to do that...We really do need a night watchman or policeman but I wouldn=t want to take all that responsibility [ the hiring] without Council taking a part in that.@
=s the AGuinea Pig @ to take the nearly impossible job of mayor? Stay tuned readers!

County Critic is a space reserved for roving opinions on long term or neglected problems around the county. Since this newspaper has been around over 6 years now, it seemed fitting that the following be located in this column
A lady emailed this paper in August with a request for a complimentary edition of the Communicator. She mentioned that she had visited our web site and was curious about the publication. With the thoughts of garnering yet another paying subscriber down the road, we obliged. Shortly after, we received this email:
Dear Newspaper Person,
Thank you for the complimentary copy of your newspaper. What an ingrate you will think me, to take the gift and challenge the giver. After reading it and your webpage, I would be interested to know your targeted audience. I searched the entire newspaper in hope of finding something that merited the privilege you have of offering the written word to a large audience. My, my, my, how I envy you that pleasure. Please don't tell me that any of the articles are used for educational purposes! You do have an editor and a proofreader, don't you? Am I too harsh, do I expect too much? When I hear people saying that they lowered their standards so they could relate to a certain level of people, I think about those wonderful teachers who said, "I will not lower my standards, I will bring them up to my level." Perhaps, you can justify using your newspaper, it is yours, for a personal platform, but what happened to presenting the story and letting each one make up his/her own mind? Are you so unsure of the intelligence and judgement of your readers that you don't trust them to think for themselves or are you afraid they might do just that? Answers, please, give me answers!! No doubt they will be delivered as a tirade of inarticulate vitrol - the same as you dish up to my beloved Clay Countains. Or, you could surprise me. Sincerely, Carol Hill-Jackson
Ouch Ouch Ouch Mustering all the patience we possessed we did not fire back some nasty ##@**!!! email. Instead , this was this papers reply:
Ms Hill-Jackson:
Obviously you did not care for the Communicator. Some do not. What you hoped or expected to find within it's pages was not clear to us.
After years of no news being available on many topics and concerns within Clay County, no information provided to citizens on the performance of their elected and appointed officials, and repeated mutterings of "someone should do something" - We Did! There are a few of us that have decided to stay in the county, roll up our shirt sleeves, and do our best to improve life for future generations. It is a pity that so many others have put their search for personal fame and fortune ahead of improving a place that is in such need.
We cannot help but feel that perhaps one of your "beloved Clay Countians" received unfavorable coverage in our newspaper and so caused the negative response from you.
If you have an opinion on a specific article or statement, you are welcome to send it and it will be printed. You apparently believe we use the paper as a personal platform. That of course, is not the case. We never fail to print opinions received that differ from our own.
And by the way, on that speeeellling and graammmmer thing, the word is spelled vitriol not vitril as you had it. And, it's countians not countains. Guess there is room for improvement in all of us.
Staff, Delta Communications
Within a day or two came Ms Hill-Jackson’s response

Dear Delta Staff,
Good for you! I so hoped that your proofreading skills were adequate and you could pick up errors. By the way, in your third sentence, would it have been better to use its instead of it's? We could have a urinating contest, but obviously, you are better equipped than I am so I will concede the victory to you. As for staying in Clay County, you go Communicator, may God bless all your efforts to keep it safe for those who want that kind of life. Each of us has different needs and the satisfaction of being a big fish in a little pond doesn't fullfill everyone's needs. Do those with the means to do so, still go far away from Clay County for their shopping, entertainment and cultural experiences? From your tone, I sense you feel I should apologize that some choose to live and earn a living where being a big fish isn't necessary in order to participate in things they enjoy. I also apologize if I have maligned anyone, especially the staff of a newspaper that has taken up the cause of making Clay a better place to live, work and grow.
Readers , being of the optimistic sort, we think that Ms Jackson will someday be a subscriber to our paper.

Follow ups
Last edition we reported the unhealthy findings of the Clay Health Department at one of Clay County=s most frequented restaurants, Tudors/Ginos, and the subsequent shut down order by County Sanitarian Teresa Morton. To cover one of the Anon critical violations@, the restaurant has installed a concrete pad under the dumpster. Now if they can just keep the mices away.
Ambulance Authority Chair Duane Legg has resigned the position. Legg commented to this paper that he was
Ajust tired of the B.S.@


  1. Courtesy Patrol drivers have assisted 60,000 stranded motorists in the state since 1998.
  2. 18 states impose a ban on execution of the mentally retarded.
  3. Kansas requires drivers older than 65 to renew their driver licenses every 4 years.
  4. The newest technology in cardiac defibulators and monitors is now in place in all ambulances operated by the Kanawha County Emergency Ambulance Authority.
  5. Prozac accounted for nearly 75,000 prescriptions last year for state Worker=s Compensation, Medicaid and Public Employees Insurance programs.
  6. Former president Clinton,s ABook of Memoirs@ is scheduled to go on sale in 2003.
  7. It is conservative to estimate that there are 500,000 new victims of AIdentity Fraud@.
  8. Adopted adolescents are more than twice as likely to attempt suicide than their non-adopted peers.
  9. More than 13.3 million immigrants settled in the US between 1990 and 2000.
  10. Over a period of the last 30 years, American business has spent more than a trillion dollars to improve the environment.
  11. In 1999 one daily newspaper was sold for every five people living in West Virginia.
  12. There are 600 nudist camps and resorts in the US and Canada, but only one is in West Virginia.
  13. One in four working age men is disabled in West Virginia.
  14. The beer industry generates 2.5 million jobs and produces goods and services totaling 55 billion annually.
  15. Nothing is more patriotic than defending America=s guarantee of free speech.
  16. At least 50 cities use the traffic system in which cameras snap photos of vehicles that drive through red lights and then the owners are sent citations .
  17. Seat belt use continues to increase in the US. A record 73 percent of front seat motorists buckle up.
  18. West Virginia has more than 9,400 non-profit groups that take in more than 5 billion a year.
  19. More than 125,000 bow hunters live in West Virginia.
Truth is a blinding light!

Not every county commission meeting can be laced with excitement but the August 28, 2001 was a dandy. Tension was in the air for the two County Commissioners, Jimmy Sams and Tim Butcher in attendance. But first we have to get through the blah blah.
Commissioner Sams opened with his usual personal prayer while sitting under his plastic 10 Commandments plaque and: minutes were read; purchases were approved, budget revisions Ok
=s, blah , blah, blah..., absentee voting will again be done at the Circuit Clerk=s office, Bob Ore appointed to the Ambulance Authority , wills probated, estates settled, etc, etc., etc. Hope that wasn=t too brief folks.
One interesting mention has to be made though. As for Roane County customers of the Clay Roane PSD receiving water service before the long waiting and thirsty folks in Clay, Commissioner Butcher opened the discussion. Butcher commented that if the town
=s existing water plant has excess capacity, enough capacity to serve Roane county, then Lizemore residents should get service first. Butcher mentioned that the county has the $2.9 million grant for water line extensions into Lizemore and, A I think we need to proceed. We should take care of people in our county.... If extensions are done, it needs to be done here in our county... let=s get our water lines laid.@ Commissioner Sams agreed and said he had already tried to contact Clay PSD Chair Keith (Mr. Happy) King about getting started. Sams, A Let=s get the ball rolling!@
And then ,and then......Entering into the Main Arena, the arena of doom, with trumpets flairing, came Gladiator Legalamus Maximus (aka Prosecutor Jeff Davis). At his side was Blondealot Hairamuch Lucy Cruickshank, his secretary. On the opposite side of the battlefront sat Caesar Sams wearing the colors of his hamlet of Procious. To his right was Ben Hur Butcher, Caesar Sams
= right hand warrior in financial battles of old. Still farther to their right was the goddess of reason, Athena (aka Judy) Moore, the high Commission scribe.
Coming late to view the battle were the 99 year old noble Sheriff of Harald and Grand Justice of the Court, Mitchell King. They perched in wait for the outcome, thinking spoils may be in the offing for them (and staff) as well.
Quiet fell upon the masses as the first words of combat were spoken. The battle was to be fought over Hairalot Cruickshank receiving a hefty ransom of gold, $1833.33 per month, for her labor in the Gladiator
=s office. Ben Hur Butcher slowly nodded his head side ways at the request of gold increase by Gladiator Davis. To convey warmth and avert bloodshed, Butcher,@ It=s nothing against you Lucy... We=re doing everything we can do to try and cut back...@ Standing tall without much armor, the skinny, smoke laced Davis questioned the authority of Ben Hur, A I hadn=t realized that it took County Commission approval?@ Still seeking a bloodless resolution, Butcher said that they couldn=t tell an elected hamlet official how to spend budget money and gave examples.
Seizing the opportunity to stand and deliver, the meek and usually quiet Blondeamuch Hairalot Cruickshank told the opposing forces her qualifications for more gold enrichment,
@I just completed my bachelor=s degree.. And am a paralegal. When I started, the County Commission decreased my salary $3000.00 a year ....@ The Gladiator reminded the noble ones that his staff had recently been cut a secretary position and Hairalot was doing more and working longer hours for a pittance.
The smokey Gladiator fired back,
@ I know there are different responsibilities here at the Courthouse... I AM NOT BACKING OFF OF THIS!! I don=t think the County Commission can dictate how I spend the money..@ Response from Ben Hur,@ I am not trying to dictate to you how you run your office.@
Sheriff of Harald and the others in the confines watched as a frown spanned the jowls of the empirical one, Caeser Sams. Creases covered his forehead above his sunglasses. The skinny one was challenging the reins of the powerful ones. Athena Moore sat in silence, scribing.
Ben Hur Butcher challenged the endeavors of the younger Gladiator. Butcher
@When we were doing our budget... you said you would rather have an Assistant Prosecutor than to replace Farah’s ( a former princess of scribehood) position. We gave you the $19,000.00 that was Farah=s salary and added the $6000.00 to it. We gave you the $25,000.00 for an Assistant Prosecutor position.@
Ben Hur and Caesar were beginning to realize the young Gladiator had hood winked them in the previous battle just two weeks earlier. Gladiator Davis had taken some of the $25000.00 in gold shillings and instead of using it for an assistant, he had double tracked and given a raise to Hairalot. Caesar was peed. Caesar,
AYou=ve not got the dollars in your budget for a raise!@ Word swords were flung. A left, then a right, then a left. Butcher, AHow come you even done this?@ The young one speared@ Are you not going to permit me to do this?????? Less than $22,000.00 is a minimal salary!!!@
And then from the underbelly of the Kingdom came talk of words kept from the public, words of a back door deal made away from the Grand Justice, away from the Sheriff of Harald and away from the peons sitting in the back of the arena. Young Davis let go of a secret, during a recent CCC meeting, during a break, and out back of the courthouse, a deal had been struck to give part of the $25,000.00 award to Lucy as a pay raise. Gladiator Davis had, in the heat of battle, let out a secret. Gladiator Davis,
A I told you I was going to do this.. I remember telling you and Commissioner Bragg that I was going to do this during one of OUR SESSIONS OUT BACK during that other fiasco.@
Uh oh... RETREAT, RETREAT, REPOSITION THE FORCES, The cat is out of the bag!!!!!!. Caesar and Ben Hur gasped, a near fatal blow had been struck by the young one. NOTE to our Gothic readers: The CCC and Ambulance Authority will be before the WV Supreme Court October 2 ,of this year , over similar back door dealings from a few years ago!!!
Recovering quickly , the bantering continued with Butcher questioning the Davis idea that County Commission does NOT have to OK the pay raise. A glancing blow by Davis on why the pay raise was even on the agenda to begin with. Strong return slice by Athena Moore as she explained, Davis had not turned in his budget on time and that a recent letter from him for the pay raise required CCC OK.
Getting hotter, Davis,
AIs it the Commission’s position that I need approval before giving the raise??@ Butcher side stepped the thrust. Davis,@Is the concern that others will be mad because Lucy (Hairalot) got a raise? That=s not a valid reason!!@ Caesar Sams had been quiet, maybe licking his Sunshine law wounds from a few minutes earlier. Caesar of Procious, @If you get anymore money, you have to have a contract.@ Bam went the sword!
Steamy, with Sams questioning why the now funded Assistant Prosecutor was not on the job now two weeks since the funding. Davis, “I
=ve got a job to do as I see fit.. No hard feelings.... We see things differently.” Sams, @We gave you money for a prosecutor. Now you=ve done something different. From now on you have to have a contract!!@
Halftime folks, Gladiator and Tim outback for a huddle. Time for a smoke!
Before Davis came back, but with Butcher and Sams back on the thrones, discussion on who was right and lots of little jabs to Davis. Moore,
AHe has a right to transfer that money around.@ Butcher, referring to the last $25,000.00 handed out,@ We did that in good faith.@ Sams, ADoesn=t sound like good faith to me... He has put us in an awkward situation.@ Sheriff of Harald, @What are you going to do when every office asks for a raise?@ Casear Sams admitting defeat during the last financial battle, @We goofed.@ Sheriff of Harald,@ You got problems... guarantee it!@
In closing, Sams and Butcher were in agreement that they were opposed to any pay raise. Upon hearing this with full battle armor on and sword in hand, so to speak, Davis with strong conviction, AI intend to file a Writ of Mandamus TODAY!!!!@ Davis and Blondalot left the arena hurriedly.
With Davis out of the room , County Commission decided to seek legal advice on the matter. Sheriff,
@He is going to force you to pay.@ Butcher, A the best thing to have a judge settle it.” Sheriff, A People will request raises. You need legal advice.@ Butcher,@ That=s suppose to be the Prosecutor!@ Sams,@ That=s the reason we=re in the shape we are in!@ The arena is now silent and it appears the next battle will be in the judges chambers. AW

        This one’s ideal for when the weather turns a little cooler, and it even comes with a bonus; you can use up almost any leftover veggies, chicken, or turkey that you have in the fridge to make it a truly stick-to-your-ribs meal. Note you can use leftover chicken or even turn to the deli case for thick-cut turkey breast - do what’s easiest!

Serving Size: l/8 recipe, Total Servings: 8

        CALORIES...221...CALORIES FROM FAT...72
  TOTAL FAT...8 G...SATURATED FAT...4 G.....
        CHOLESTEROL...46 MG...SODIUM...483 MG..
        CARBOHYDRATE...23 G…
        DIETARY FIBER...4G
        SUGARS...5 G...PROTEIN...14 G...

        CALORIES...131...CALORIES FROM FAT...53.
        TOTAL FAT...6 G...SATURATED FAT...4 MG...
        CHOLESTEROL...15 MG...SODIUM...244 MG..
        SUGARS...15 G...PROTEIN...1 G…


Only in Clayberry
by Andy Waddell In the August 9th edition of this paper , in the Clay Roane PSD article , we published the following:Boardster Roy Ellis commented that fellow Boardster Gary Whaling was quitting the Board. Whaling had tendered his resignation some months ago but agreed to stay on until the Clay Roane system is merged into a new regional system. Mr. Ellis said that Whaling had told him that the Clay Water Plant would not be built and he was quitting.
Immediately after the Special Procious PSD and Clay/Roane PSD meetings held August 24th, 2:00 pm, at the Procious Water Plant, Clay Roane Boardster Gary Whaling told the reporter, Andy Waddell, that Ellis did not say that, Mr. Ellis would not say such a thing, and he, Gary Whaling, did NOT say such a thing to his fellow Board member. Hearing the discussion, Roy Ellis came up and confirmed what Whaling had spoken. Ellis, with his finger pointing, was very firm in denying that he said such a thing. That it was absolutely a lie.
WOW!!! The paper
=s response was simple: If we have made a mistake or have made a misquote, as always is the case, we will issue an apology and do so on the front page of the Communicator.
On August 27th and after going through 6 years of micro cassette tape recordings, the August 2 Clay/Roane PSD meeting audio was found. Low and behold the wording in the paper was 100% accurate. The call was made to Whaling with an invite to hear the tape for himself, to be sure and bring Mr. Ellis along, and if need be, we could meet the two in the evening hours to accommodate the duo. Whaling said he would take us up on the offer.
Seems Mr. Ellis was not satisfied with an apology if warranted. Last week, Mr. Ellis told then employed field worker Ric Burdette (along with new contract laborer Dale Deems), that,
A Andy Waddell is nothing but a liar.@
So what exactly did Ellis say August 2? After Roane County Commissioner Larry White asked about progress on Roane County water line extensions and Mr. Ellis explained that there really wasn
=t anything to report, Boardster Roy Ellis made the following EXACT comments for all to hear,@ He told me that the Clay Water Plant wouldn=t be built. I don=t know where he got that, he said they are back in left field!@
Did anyone say apology? Yes an apology is due and it
=s not from the Communicator. We=re waiting, Roy Ellis.

Last year Charleston Gazette reporter Tara Tuckwiller provided a front page article and pictures of life in Clay County. Our coverage was part of Tuckwiller=s state wide assignment to give a glimpse into each of the counties in this state. Here, the reporter noted serious poverty and the primitive conditions as is the case. Needless to say, area residents were ready to string her up. Ms Tuckwiller has just won a first place award for her work and the award was for her coverage of nowhere else but ,you guessed it, Clay County!
*Also, last year, Scott Finn from the Gazette caught the wrath of School Board President RB Legg over his coverage of evangelical prayers during a sports banquet at Clay High School. During several Board meetings (after Finn
=s article appeared in print) Mr. Legg went ballistic on how inaccurate and wrong the coverage was. Finn won a first place award for his work on governmental affairs.
*Vandals have brought havoc to small town Clay over the last few weeks. For instance, one night, 11 parking meters had the glass busted out.
*Lots of Clay County Courthouse visitors have been parking in the next door Rite Aid parking lot. During the Stover vs. Vandalia Civil Case, Rite Aid employees were seen sticking pink slips of paper on vehicles parked on their lot. The slips read “the Rite Aid lot is for Customers only
*Seems the Town of Clay Chief of Police badge has legs. The badge was reported missing 8 weeks ago when newly hired officer Matthew Bragg reported for duty. The badge was gone and according to Council person Arthur Jarrett, Mayor Glenn Nichols accused Jarrett of stealing the badge. The badge was found in the desk drawer of Dwana Murphy. Jarrett also commented that the police car he has been seen riding around in was taken away from him by the Mayor and was parked at Matthew Bragg
=s home at Ovapa.
*Out in Milwaukee, city leaders have agreed to take down a granite Ten Commandments plaque after two costly court decisions went against them. Milwaukee City Attorney Linda Burke,
A We=re aware of the Circuit Court decision to resolve what should happen to the monument. We know what our obligations are.@ How refreshing! Elected and appointed officials obeying the letter and intent of the law
*There has been a lot of criticism of the Clay County Fair that was held two weeks ago near Schoonover/Bradley Field in Clay. Big complaints came from small kids as well as teenagers. The brunt of the complaints stem from only a few rides, lack of side show games of skill, and no concession stands.

Stumbler of the week
        Long time Procious PSD employee Ric Burdette was frustrated with actions and inactions of the PSD. Mr Burdette worked out of the Procious PSD water plant as a field worker with salary funding coming from Clay Roane PSD which buys water from the Procious Water plant. So frustrated with the whole mess, Mr Burdette asked both PSDs to lay him off.
Why? During the Clay Roane PSD August meeting, Burdette said that he had not had a pay raise in years and cries for a helper during that time had fallen on deaf ears .The PSD voted the motion to lay off Burdette. Ditto for the Procious PSD who said they would replace the veteran employee with a
Acontract labor arrangement@. After that Procious meeting, while all were sitting around chewing the fat, Mr. Burdette said he didn=t want to be around illegal doings and that was another reason for leaving his job. Burdette was referring to being ordered to hook up Filcon Manufacturing water service ahead of all the folks who have waited for years for water service.
Seems simple enough... a man gets laid off and life goes on.
Near the end of September, Clay Roane PSD Boardster Roy Ellis approached Burdette and said it
=s just as well he got laid off because he would have been fired because he [Burdette] , Atalked too much to Andy Waddell!!!@ Ellis appears to be stinging from recent coverage of his comments about what fellow Boardster Gary Whaling had told him.
Well, so what? Burdette has gotten his lay off and there are some smart remarks made. Big deal.
WRONG!!! Burdette
=s last day of employment was August 31, 2001. On Tuesday, September 4, Mr. Burdette went to the Procious water plant to get his written lay off notice from the office. There he was told that Gary Whaling refused to honor their motion to lay off and was refusing to give a written notice of lay off. According to Mr. Burdette, Gary Whaling is now saying that Ric Aquit@, not laid off. Most of us working class folks know that without a lay off notice, Burdette can not collect unemployment benefits. In the official minutes from the August Clay Roane PSD meeting, wording says that the motion to lay off Ric Burdette was made , seconded, and passed.

Congresswoman Capito’s Words from Washington
School Days Are Here Again
By: Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV)
        My husband and I entered into a new phase of “back to school” this year as we now have two of our three children attending college. Slowly, we are trading the traditional ritual of buying pens, notebooks and the newest ‘must-have” binders with another routine of furnishing bookcases, carpets and stereo systems in dorm rooms.
        But with children in elementary school, junior high and high school, the more traditional notion of the first day of school still holds true.
        Whether your children have already returned to the classroom or still have another week of summer vacation left to savor, pencil cases, backpacks and lunch money will undoubtedly be, once again, a part of your daily lives.
        If you’re like me, with a high school teenager, the beginning of the school year is likely to resurrect an old and familiar routine of multiple warnings to get out of bed. (“I mean it this, you’re really going to be late.”)
        In the spirit of new beginnings with the start of the new school year, take a few steps to ensure that this school year is particularly fun and effective:
        *Get to know your children’s teachers: Many of you may know the name or face of the person who is teaching your child; but chances are, you probably don’t really know the teacher as a person. Make an appointment to sit down and talk with the teacher. Tell them a little bit about yourself and your family and ask them about theirs. Learning more about the person who your child spends 7 hours a day with is a worthwhile task.
        * Block off specific “homework time”: Although children need to have some free time after the school day is done it is very important that they practice the lessons that they learned in the classroom that day. The amount set aside for “homework time” should be applicable to the child’s age and should enforce some type of basic skills. So, even if the child has no homework, have them read a book or do flashcards with them. Homework is essential to a student’s comprehension and retention of the subject material.
        * Volunteer to help with an activity in your child’s class or school: Aside for the basic benefits of volunteerism, helping serve lunch or chaperone a field trip or be a teacher’s helper for a day allows you to see your child in the environment where he or she spends a good portion of the day. You gain tremendous insight on your child, their friends and their teachers, as well as how all groups interact. It’s knowledge that every parent should have. (This tip may be a source of embarrassment and conflict with your child, depending on their age. But, take it from a mother who has chaperoned many field trips: the conflict will be minor and the embarrassment will fade.)

Magistrate Report
8-17-01: Slack-Oscar Lee Adkins for destruction of property, trial continued to 9-12-01.
8-21-01: McKown-Jerry D. Earwood III, possession/delivery of controlled substance, ROB, hearing set.
8-20-01; McKown-Toney J. Yates, driving on susp./revoked and failure to maintain control-defendant pled guilty, assessed fines, costs, and 10 in jail.
8-21-01: Bailey-Johnny D. Rogers, domestic Battery, ROB.
8-23-01: Foreman-Holly Ray Larch, violation of DV protection order, ROB
Belt-Scott D. Barker, driving on susp./revoked for, ROB.
8-25-01: McKown-Joshua Thacker, driving on susp./revoked for DUIA-ROB.
8-27-01: Delk-Dennis Leroy Snow, driving on susp./revoked- ROB
Jeff Davis-Jeremy G. McKenzie, reckless driving- pled no contest, assessed fine & costs.
8-28-01: McKown-Gelinda Skaggs, warrant issued for driving on susp./revoked and NPOI (2-24-01).
Slack-Oscar Lee Adkins, NPOI-ROB, trial set.
8-30-01: Mary Starcher-Elvis A. Dawson, Sr., Peace Bond summons set.
Sandra K. Starcher- Elvis A. Dawson, Sr. Peace Bond summons sent.
9-01-01: McKown-Angela P. Bartsch, Driving on susp./revoked -ROB.
8-17-01: Kimberly Lane-Eldis Lane , DV petition withdrawn
8-21-01: Cathy Bishop-Pete R. Bishop, DV petition withdrawn
8-22-01: Jennifer Dotson-Doshua Thacker DV petition dismissed.
8-28-01: Shari Bullard-Huston Bullard for DV petition.
8-29-01: Sue Ann Proctor-Brad Eugene Proctor for DV petition.
8-30-01: Dennis M. Shreve-Randall G. Bennett for Breach of contract.
Dennie Dobbins, Jr.-Alexandreia Dobbins for DV petition.
8-31-01: Billy Ward-Jack Ward for DV petition.
9-4-01: Opal Duffield-Andrea Moore for money due.
8-20-01: State-Anthony Comer for MVI.
State-Brad Haines for left of center.
DNR-Julia M. Holmes for illegal poss. Of wildlife and illegal burning of refuse.
8-21-0l: State-Mark Anthony Asbury for regis. Violation.
Sheriff’s-Dewey W. Kinser for speeding and no POI.
State-Thomas M. Lewis for speeding.
8-22-01: State-Charles Moore for failure to keep right.
8-25-01: Sheriff’s-Joshua Tucker for driving while revoked for DUIA.
8-26-01: Sheriff’s-Joseph Henry Boxley for speeding.
8-27-01: Sheriff’s-Christopher Coulter for seat belt violation.
Sheriff’s-Raymond G. Hersman for seat belt violation.
Sheriff’s-John L. Marling for seat belt violation.
Sheriff’s-Jonathan G. O’Dell for speeding.
Sheriff’s-Terry R. Rhodes for seat belt violation.
8-29-01: Sheriff’s-Ronald C. Adkins for def. Equip. x2.
DNR-Ronnie A. Holley for littering.
Sheriff’s-Tommy E. Young for no POI.
Worthless Checks:
8-30-01: J&S Grocery-Monica Legg for $25.40.

        In reply to the article in the Chatter on Thursday, August 9, 2001 about the ambulance calls in the Bomont area. There were five calls that came within about 45 minutes. The first call was the 11 year-old in the Bomont area in which the “Medic” crew from Clay responded. Then the second call came in, which you did not mention in the article that was in the Bickmore area. The Big Otter crew was on their way to this call, which was a “Medic” call when they were informed to pick up a “Medic” in route, to the patient’s residence, this is when the tones went off for the call at Procious. One of the crew members was taken off the Big Otter truck and placed on the truck going to Procious with a volunteer driver that heard the call coming in form work. The traffic you heard on the scanner that evening was EMT’s making sure this call and any other calls that came in were covered since both duty crews were out. Also when there is a trauma involved you always need extra personnel to help. The other personnel that responded were at home going to assist. The reason for Healthnet being put on stand by is that this is standard procedure for any type of trauma (car accident, shooting, falls and domestic accidents). After crews arrive on the scene the patients are evaluated and the decision is made to fly or not, the decision was made not to fly this patient. Note: This Unit also picked up a Medic at Clendenin. While this patient at Procious was being loaded, the tones went off for the second call in the Glen-Bomont area that you are referring to, a crew had t o be called out for this call. The crew coming in had to come from Bickmore and Bentree to the Lizemore Station to pick up a Unit; this was a Medic run. Calling out a crew does take time.
        As for the fifth call, which was in the Procious area, the crew that was returning from Charleston for the first run in the Bomont area responded to this call from the Clendenin area, because this call was also a Medic call. All the calls that came in on that Sunday afternoon were Medic calls.
        The people that work the EMS field also have lives; they like to spend Sundays with their families, just like everyone else in the county. But when something happens in the county, who are the first people that are called, the EMS and Fire Departments. You forget that the Fire Department is all volunteers and some EMS personnel are volunteers and if they aren’t there within a few minutes then we are criticized for our efforts to help the community. If people would stop criticizing and offer to help, the county would be a better place.
        NOTE: As for Mr. Lane being a county employee, he is not, he is a State Employee. And the people that responded to this call, they were either coming home from work or at home and heard the call, except for the one that was moved from another truck-two volunteers and one paid from home, 1 volunteer coming from work.
        Next time don’t believe everything you hear on your scanner, PLEASE get the facts straight!
Thank You
Beverly King, EMT-B
(that first responded)

Call Time Enroute On scene
Bomont 11yr chest pain 18:27 18:27 18:50
Leatherwood, chest pain 18:58 18:59 19:29
Maysel, fall from roof 19:15 19:17 19:26
Sycamore, chest pain 19:45 20:11 20:18

by EB Goode
These all happened in a two day period! We were witnessing & fund raising outdoors on a typically hot day! On one side of the sky it was dry & no clouds & on the other side there were larger rain-clouds forming, but they were blowing away from us! We prayed The Lord to change the wind to the opposite direction! We went down the street & got some burgers & as we were sitting under the outside eating place we noticed shadows of big clouds (It was about 15 minutes later)& it was then, by the flag blowing, we realized He had answered our prayer specifically, changing the wind to the opposite direction & giving us some nice cloud-relief. We Thank Him & realize, that this summer He has answered this request many times, but never so quick & specific! Our 78 year old friend had undergone serious open heart surgery & was in home recovery! He was up & around, so we paid him a visit & he seemed to be doing very well! At the end of our visit we laid hands on him just to help his healing along! During our following visit he told us that, unbeknownst to us, he was having some heart-beat problems (the scientific name escapes me) that would require Shock- Treatments to try to correct, but, he said that as we prayed (one of us had put our hand over his heart) that it was instantly healed & the doctors were amazed at his check up! He was afraid people would think he was crazy, so he only told us! Ha! Thank You JESUS! We had just finished our Witnessing day & it was getting dark! As we were getting into our car, a homeless guy came up & offered us three dollars to take him up the highway a few miles to a known truck stop! Of course we wanted to help, but are leery of strangers, as we should be! I shot up a prayer, asking the Lord! He said, "No"! So, we apologized & offered to pray for him but he became a little belligerent & refused, which confirmed our decision! Immediately, afterwards, we got the idea to visit our friend who told us of the heart miracle, so Praise God for His Faithfulness! Yours Truly IJN , Ivan EBG 915 373 4963
Note: Eric Goode is a missionary serving in Mexico and contributes via email. His web site is:

Clay County Board of Education Meeting Excess Levy Election Date: January 19
The Clay County Board of Education held their regular meeting Tuesday, September 4, at the administrative office building in Clay. All members in attendance - Gene King, Fran King, R.B. Legg Jr., David Pierson, Scott Legg.
Board President R.B. Legg offered prayer and called the meeting to order. The agenda, previous meeting minutes, payment of current bills, and increased receipts of $377,859.00 were approved with minimal discussion. Superintendent Jerry Linkinogger said the money received was for the special education budget. The only bill questioned was $8000 to Leggs Welding. Linkinogger explained that was for a one owner Chevy truck bought at auction, and Board generally agreed it was a reasonable price.
The board looked over the monthly financial report prepared by Business manager Loretta Gray. Gray reported that a little more than $300,000 had been collected from taxes, including excess levy, in August. $42,000 had come from the Budget Digest. Expenditures included $23,000 for summer classes and $18,000 for software at Clay Elementary, paid through a literacy grant. No comments or questions from the board.
Employment was approved for the following: Cora Neil, Stacey Wanner, Kimberly Naylor, and Bobbie Stover as substitute teachers; Mary Ann Triplett as part time Gear Up Coordinator, successful bid; Della Holcomb as half time Cook at Lizemore Elementary, successful bid.
Transfers were approved for the following: Debbie Shafiei from Clay Middle School (CMS) Art Teacher to Profound/Severely Impaired Teacher at Clay County High School (CCHS), successful bid; Melissa Stephenson from LD Teacher to Art Teacher at CMS, successful bid; Linda Truman from Cook at CMS to Cook at CCHS, successful bid; Robin Belt from half time Cook at Ivydale Elementary to full time Cook at CMS, successful bid; Jennifer Koch from half time Cook at Lizemore to the same position at Ivydale, successful bid. Linkinogger said that with these transfers they should be done with the shuffling around.
The following resignations were accepted: Beth Cercone as assistant softball coach at CCHS, effective immediately; Mike Mullins as head boys basketball coach at CMS. Board members noted that Mullins resigns every year, and Linkinogger explained that he wanted a break from coaching. Linkinogger said he would be posting 5 coaching positions.
The board also approved: Janette Gray
=s voluntary withdrawal from the substitute cook list; an extra-curricular contract with Ella Markle as Bus Aide for 2001-2002, successful bid; placement of Michelle Cottrell as a CWEP worker at the board office and Valley Fork Elementary pending a satisfactory report from law enforcement. Scott Legg had asked Gene King if he=d checked Cottrell out, and King said no, he=d been too busy. Linkinogger said he liked to have them (CWEP workers) at the board office before going to the schools.
Without discussion, board voted to place the excess levy election on the calendar for January 19.
Other action taken included approval of a gifted class at CMS, dates for meetings with the Local School Improvement Councils, and approval of student transfers - 54 into Clay County schools and 2 from Clay to Braxton County.
All motions passed unanimously.
Under discussion board met with foster parent Mary Martha Nichols to discuss her request that her foster child be allowed to go to CCHS. Nichols briefly explained the problems the child had to deal with in the past and noted the progress the child has made now that he is in a different situation. The child
=s case manager was also present and verified the turn around the child had made. Board was unable to allow the child to go on to CCHS as 3 half credits are necessary for him to complete his Middle school requirements, but administrative staff present offered to work with the child to help him start at the high school second semester.
Board met in executive session with Tim Butcher for about 45 minutes to discuss a personnel matter. Special Education Director Dixie Jarvis was asked into the meeting, and Butcher asked that Service Personnel Rep Dave Mullins also be present. No comments were made regarding the session when the board returned.
After brief discussion on a fall conference for board members, board returned to executive session for an update on out of school placement for special education students. Dixie Jarvis was again asked to participate, along with former CCHS Principal Kenneth Tanner.
As no other business was listed on the agenda, this reporter left before the session ended. -TK

Clay/Roane and Procious PSD held a combined Special Meeting at the Procious Water plant at 2:00pm, August 24, 2001. Jim Weimer from the WV Public Service Commission asked for the meeting so the long talked about merger agreements could be finalized by both groups. For years, elected officials have agreed that it would be best to merge the two PSDs together and have just one PSD Board of Directors.
All board members were present along with Weimer, Roane County Commissioner Larry White, Queen Shoals PSD Chair Tom Martin, and a hand full in the open air peanut gallery.
Maestro Wiemer did the directing with the first order of business being for Procious to give up all assets bought and paid for by the customers. Next up was for Clay Roane to sign an agreement to accept the assets. While both groups looked over the documents, Weimer explained that he felt this would be the last set of documents needing signatures before the Infrastructure Council lifts the long standing water moratorium.
Speed is of the essence according to Mr. Weimer. The recent bankruptcy settlement orders the money involved with the settlement to be in the hands of the recipient, Ms Jackson of Lincoln County, within 45 days of the August 15 date.
One short little fat guy did go on the record as opposing the
Agive away@ of the plant.
And then for a prediction from the fortune teller, Jim Weimer,
@ It=s almost a certainty, the moratorium will be lifted by the end of September.@
Both Boards read the documents and found changes were needed. Weimer suggested that they hand write the changes and initial each. Some of the changes centered around who actually owned some of the Procious PSD construction equipment, the PSD or the County of Clay.
Poof! In a matter of minutes, one of Clay County
=s newest infrastructure assets was turned over to a group headquartered in Roane County.
After the deal had been signed and sealed, Clay Roane PSD member Gary Whaling asked about Procious hiring contract laborer Dale Deems to replace Ric Burdette. Whaling,
AIsn=t he disabled? Can he cut grass and weed whack?@ Garrett Samples,@ He can do it.@ Whaling,@ Then he is not disabled!@ and@ Will he come out at 3 in the morning to fix a leak?@
From fellow Clay Roane Boardster TG Cruickshank came a tart remark,
@ The one we had wouldn=t do that.@
Mr. Whaling affixed the PSD seal to all the documents at 2:45 pm. For years the elected and appointed folks have fought hard to throw away a perfectly good 20 year old water plant. Today they got their wish

Over the scanner on Sunday morning, the 26th of August, many listeners heard a routine sounding transmission of a car wreck turn into a serious police investigation.
Johnny Lath Taylor was found in a vehicle out Triplett
=s Ridge, in Jerry Triplett=s driveway, early Sunday with head injuries, apparently from a tire iron beating. A juvenile was arrested at Clay High School, Tuesday, September 3. The juvenile is now out on bond
For first hand details on the investigation, this paper interviewed investigating officer Deputy John McKown September 5.
@ He was in his Dad=s truck, unconscious. The vehicle was pulled into a driveway. There was tire iron damage to the windshield, side glass, passenger front door, the head lights and tail lights were broken out. The tire iron was laying on the driver=s feet and it had blood on it. The ambulance took him away and HealthNet flew him to Charleston. He was unconscious but responding to pain.... He was beat up basically to the point of unconsciousness.@
As for official thoughts on what had happened, Mc Kown continued,
A There was a series of parties that Saturday night. One at Bickmore and one down on the river. There were several people at these parties. Several people have been feeding me information and I worked all day Sunday and Monday till midnight. All day Tuesday I interviewed people. I have interviewed 14 people. I am still getting phone calls who tell me so and so was there.@
As for the investigation and arrests, McKown continued, @There has been one arrest. A juvenile. There will be more arrests.@ According to the officer in charge, the charges against the juvenile include: malicious wounding, joy riding, and failing to pay for gas. McKown, A We first charged him with kidnapping. But that has since been rescinded. Now that charge may come back. There are still people that I need to interview and once it=s all said and done, I am sure of more arrests of adults. People over 18.@
The juvenile will not be charged as an adult according to Deputy McKown.
McKown continued,
A The public and the community have been so great to feed me and the Sheriff=s Department information.....@
And here is the kicker, readers. As to rumors that Johnny Lath Taylor dated Becky Parson
=s daughter and there maybe being a link to the suspicious death of Becky Parsons ? From McKown,@ The investigation is still under way.... It is a possibility..... I am receiving some more information about that. Of course the Becky Parsons investigation is a State Police one. I don=t want to step on their toes or enter their investigation, heaven knows I have enough of my own. But... there is a possibility.... I do know that Lath was dating this girl and I know there has been some problems. I was over there one other time when someone knocked his window out the day before Becky died ... on a Saturday. They knocked a window out of his truck and wrote some vulgar words on the hood of it. I was never able to put that on anyone. I ran into a dead end. It appeared that so many people are afraid to talk for some reason....@
Deputy McKown asked that anyone with any information to contact Deputy KcKown at the Sheriff
=s office at 587- 4260.

Clay County Emergency Ambulance Authority (CCEAA) met in regular session August 27 minus the Chair, Duane Legg, who resigned August 22. Arlie Fulks ran the show. The following are just some of the highlights, readers, so here goes!
As has been the case for over two years now, much attention was given to cutting costs and increasing fees to keep the financially troubled service provider afloat a while longer. Still no word yet from Laurel Nursing Home about signing an agreement to cover the costs of non emergency runs from the facility. The CCEAA has waited months for cooperation from Laurel. On doing a better job at collecting for services, CCEAA voted to purchase a $5,110.00 computer program. It now appears that the computer at the CCEAA is not big enough to handle the soon to arrive program.
CCEAA voted to advertise for a collection agency to retrieve way over $100,000.00 in past due bills some time back. To date, no Boardster took the time to send the info to the various newspapers in the area. Director Jackie Pierson was appointed to take up the slack and advertise for the collection agency.
While looking at the financial report, Boardster Fran King,
A Looks really, really, good!@ The group has $46,290.00 left to their names after securing a $100,000.00 loan to avoid shutting down at the end of the last fiscal year, June 30, 2001. From the peanut gallery came concerns that if you only brought in $28,000.00 last month, and you spent $39,000.00, then that isn=t to good. And if you billed just $82,000.00 last month and you only receive about 30% of that amount, then there isn=t even enough to cover payroll this month. Financial discussion opened back up, and this time, all around the table appeared to be at wits= end as to what to do. Acting Chair Fulks, AIt doesn=t look like there will be any pay raises this year and without hiring a collection agency to bring in old bills, AWe will be back like we use to be..... With a Collection agency, we might be able to survive@
Fran said that the 24 hour shift schedule instituted under the old CCEAA Board ,
@ started us on a downhill spiral.@ Fulks,@ We=re at the end of our rope as far as loans.@
General discussion on making employees pay more for benefits, saving by not purchasing new uniforms now, the ambulances are getting old with high mileage. Fran King,
@ I don=t know the solution.@ General consensus: NO ANSWERS for the tough decisions ahead.
Although employee Patty Mollahan asked that the executive session be held in public, the CCEAA did not oblige. Through out the secret time and as the peanut gallery sat out in the lobby, loud voices could be heard from within. After about 25 minutes, Ms Mollahan came out in tears and said,
@ I am not working here anymore.@ It is believed that behind the closed doors, Mollahan was questioned over taking an ambulance to the employee picnic August 17, 2001. Mollahan claimed that the unit had to come from the Big Otter station anyway since it needed to be gassed up in Clay before a long transport to Clarksburg to an eye center. When a call came in, Mollahan was on call from home while driver Morgan Triplett was at the station.
And finally, a special meeting of the CCEAA Board was called to elect a new Chair. Brand new to the group, Bob Ore was elected to the spot. Checks had to be signed that very day and without a Chair, checks could not go out.
Stay tuned folks AW

Special meetings seem to be the norm these days and such was the case for the Central Appalachia Empowerment Zone (CAEZ) August 29 at 2:00 pm. This was a hurry up meeting to deal with a hot new prospect for the CAEZ funded Mt Hope Industrial Site over in Fayette. From Salisbury, North Carolina comes a company called Global Connect Services which is willing to locate at the site. According to information supplied by the CAEZ, around 200 folks will be employed there. Gets a little sketchy here readers, but it sounded like the company fields calls for people interested in signing up for insurance coverage. Sort of a telemarketing firm, but on the receiving end of the works.
The Board voted on a resolution that included: the CAEZ securing a $1.8 million dollar loan from the Bank of Mt Hope to build a building for Global; agree to a lease agreement with Global for a building at the industrial site; giving Global $75,000.00 in
Aforgivable loans; and, securing a long term loan from the WV Economic Development Authority.
As with most transactions in this county, something is already up. Around the long narrow table were some stern looking faces. Boardster Red Derring opened it up with comments that this company had been negotiating with the Nicholas County folks to locate there, and all of a sudden , they changed over to Fayette County. CAEZ Chair Michael Martin assured all that he did not and would not
Araid@ one county=s efforts for development to help his county, Fayette. With face lines drawn tight and red looking in color, Boardster and Nicholas County Commissioner Burl O=Dell turned to Martin and retorted that up until yesterday, the Nicholas County deal with Global was A concrete@. Hmmmm...
Additionally, some Boardsters questioned the wisdom of acting without legal representation and acting without knowing if the WV Development Office would do their part in the deal. Red Derring commented that the WV Development Office would NOT loan one dollar if Global Connect didn
=t locate in Nicholas County. The vote of Anay@ for the resolution came from Red Derring, Burl O=Dell, and Elizabeth Sampson. The resolution passed.
NOTE: Clay County Representative Jimmy Sams was no where to be found!
CAEZ has been holding community meetings around the county. At the HE White Elementary meeting, around 20 or so folks showed up to give their ideas on what to do with additional funding, if it materializes, in the spring of 2002. Around $40 million will be doled out around the country. Things weren
=t so smooth at the Ivydale get together. There, only 12 or so showed up, and many of those voiced views that the CAEZ had done little to reduce poverty and done little of significance with the first $2.9 million in government funding.

Ms. Eddie
There seems to be a storm coming, the thunder is coming closer. Memories come to life of rain beating down on a tin roof after a hot day. It was so relaxing.
After one such evening, my mom and dad came to visit and brought along a couple of my friends. City friends. They wanted to do all the things we did.
We had a great dinner, but they were not too happy with that fresh ham, lettuce freshly picked from the garden with green onions, bacon grease and vinegar. Boiled potatoes and green beans, all really fresh - to me, this was an excellent dinner, and still is - just wash it good.
Well, about 6 p.m., everyone there knew it was church time. Good old revival. We got ready. Under our cute dresses were jeans and t-shirts, and of course a sweatshirt, to wear on the way home. This night was very special. It was very dark in the woods. We decided to take my friends snipe hunting...
After explaining everything (almost), we left them to hold the bag and went on out a ways to find and chase these critters in for a fast catch. Then we sat down to listen. We heard them talk about how we had left them - they were pretty mad. Then the yelling started, we felt sure it could be heard for 10 miles. Well, we went back and gave them heck for not being quiet. Everyone knows you must be quiet on a snipe hunt. My friend and I laughed so hard, don
=t want to say what happened, but it was great.
Do I have to tell you my city friends were not good sports after asking mom about snipe hunting? Mom being mom, had no sense of humor. Got my backside toasted. Grounded for a few weeks - only place I could go was church. My grandfather was blind, and he just sat there and smiled.
That smile was worth it all...Never heard from my city friends again. Spent a week with my WV friend last year. Still great friends after all these years. We share our problems, visit each other, love each other. We gave up snipe hunting for husbands, kids, grandkids. Imagine that!!
        Ms. Eddie

Happy 6th Anniversary !
Hard to believe but it=s true, The Communicator is celebrating six years of bringing Clay County news and views to the world. Our first humble edition went on the news stands Sept 8, 1995. The goal back then and continues today: Provide the citizens of the county with accurate first hand news of the dealings in and around Clay that affects them. Something a little more in depth than who visited who or canned press releases from a far. Six years ago controversy centered around the Ambulance Service, the mandatory $25.00 Ambulance Fee, school closures, the County Commission in general, what was going on in Magistrate Court, and the uncaring attitude in general of our elected and appointed leaders. Many of those same issues are still with us today.
It wasn
=t but just a few years ago that other newspaper folks said,@ they will never make it a year.@ It wasn=t but just a few years ago we openly asked Afor a buck@ from each reader in order to keep the fledgling chronicle alive. Shortly after that plea, someone mailed us a picture of an 8 point buck.... very funny, very funny indeed. Well, we are still struggling and working most of the time for nothing, BUT, 6 years has to say something.
Controversy has surrounded this publication from inception. Lots of stuff that was labeled
Arumor@ is now truthfully documented or disputed in our pages of print. While many have labeled this endeavor a Awatch dog@ group, that just isn=t true. The truth is , county leaders and citizenry alike were just not accustomed to have honest reporting in print. However, there could be some truth to that watch dog thing. We honestly believe that some government agencies in the county have actually given a second thought before doing something questionable or down right silly for fear of having it known to our readers. Unfortunately, that is not the case for all of the agencies even today. There is work to be done, there are many more meetings to cover, and there are still a lot of folks that don=t even know The Communicator is around.
The last 12 months have been a period of expansion for the group. Within the last year, we have taken up a store front at Smith bottom, launched an up to the minute web site ( that is now viewed around the world by over 2800 people a month and growing. Additionally, in an attempt to promote the region, Delta Communications, LLC, the owners of The Communicator , have set up and operated Internet radio station Clay County Radio. The station airs lots of local musicians as well as national folks and provides up to the second advisories to the more than 900 people a month that tune in an average of 29 minutes per day.
The first six years have been a struggle and a whole lot of fun to boot. The next six should be even better for both the reader, Internet clicker, and radio station listener. We have set some lofty goals for ourselves and we intend to keep them as long as you , the supporters, are there. You are appreciated. Staff

As you have read from the coverage of the last County Commission meeting August 28, 2001, Prosecutor Jeff Davis is again at odds with our three blind mice, the Clay County Commission. Just last month Davis threatened to sue the CCC over funding for an Asst. Prosecutor in his office. Now the steamy issue is over giving a pay raise to long time Legal Assistant Lucy Cruickshank. Davis has promised to file a Writ of Mandamus to force the funding for the Cruickshank raise. So far, the CCC has said no. To get a fuller idea of what=s going on, this paper interviewed Davis Friday, August 31, 2001.
Did you file the writ? Davis,
@[I] have not filed yet. As I have told you before, I have called the Prosecutor=s Institute. They are checking on a few matters for me and will get a few things together for me. I actually decided a couple days ago, the way I understand the law,... the Commission sets your budget and once it=s yours and your=s to spend how you see fit; ... Since they cannot control the salaries I establish in this office, their inaction doesn=t mean anything....They don=t have to approve it anyhow. It=s not up to them@ Davis was referring to Commissioners Sams and Butcher refusing to allow a line item budget revision that would put more money into the Cruickshank account to pay for the pay increase. Davis feels that Ms Cruickshank should receive $1833.00 per month for compensation.
Well, did Ms Cruickshank get her rate increase on this week
=s payday without the CCC OK? Davis,@ Well, that was what I was waiting on to see ... And it looks just like it always did [no rate increase].@
Are you going to file the Writ? Davis,
@ Tuesday is a motion day and I am going to be in Court all day long with Judge Facemyer. I anticipate filing the Writ of Mandamus or what other appropriate pleading the Prosecutor=s Institute recommends on Wednesday [Sept. 5 ].@
So, if Mr. Davis is in charge and doesn=t need CCC OK for a pay increase, how come Lucy didn=t get it? Davis,@ They (employees) fill out a time sheet. I sign off on it and we send it down stairs. Judy [Moore] prepares the checks and it takes a signature of the Sheriff, who is the Treasurer of course, and I think the President of the County Commission signs the checks also.@ How does Judy know what the hourly rate or salaries are? Again, Davis, A... at the beginning of each fiscal year we send out a letter stating who we intend to employ and at a salary of.... This year, at the beginning of the fiscal year I did not send one of those in for Lucy because I did not know what the make up of the office was going to be . We were into that whole Asst. Prosecutor thing and who knows what was going on... We finally got that all ironed out and I sent my letter down. They decided to put it on the agenda [County Commission meeting August 28] so they could take a look at it and they declined to act on it. Her check that came is the same as it was last month.@
Can you live with your legal assistant not getting a pay raise? Davis, AThat won=t do.@ Is that a quote? Davis, AThat is definitely a quote! That will not do!@
What is a Writ of Mandamus? Davis, @A Writ of Mandamus is a legal document that you file at the Circuit Court asking the Court to order a public official to fulfill the duties. If the Sheriff refused to collect any taxes, I could file a Writ of Mandamus and the Judge could order him to do so. If Judy Moore refused to take a deed and record it, I could do a Writ of Mandamus. Just examples.@
When you left the Commission meeting, were you perturbed? Davis,@ I don=t know what you can call it... I was frustrated.... I was frustrated. I will put it like that.@
During that recent meeting with the CCC, you mentioned that a deal had been struck to give Lucy a raise out back during a smoke break. A decision made away from the public. Davis,
@ What I had told them during the smoke break,... they had denied me an assistant.,and out there at the smoke break I told him (Butcher), not only am I asking for an assistant., but I intend to give Lucy a raise in August, as soon as she completes and receives her Bachelor=s degree.@ Of Course that was not what was said during the meeting. Davis,@ That was my intention but sometimes when you are frustrated, things don=t come out right.@
Are your intentions to take some of the $25,000.00 for an assistant and give that to Lucy for a raise? Davis,
@ What I had asked for ... I would have to go back and look at the numbers... I believe that I only asked for $22,000.00 for an Asst. Prosecutor. Of course they denied me. When we got down there for that second meeting a week later, they asked me what was the least I could take and still get by? I said $6,000.00 more . The quote from the Commissioners was,=we=ll put that in contract services and he can spend it how ever he sees fit=. I remember that specifically being said.@
NOTE: Second meeting? Another meeting away from the public? One without an agenda? One where the public is nowhere around?
Davis went on to say that the County Commission tries to appease everyone but that can
=t be done when you are comparing apples and oranges. Davis was referring to Ms Cruickshanks’ years of experience in the legal arena. Davis, A You have to look at their duties and their responsibilities.@ Davis again mentioned that additional work had been added to his one office worker after Farah Facemyer left employment there. AIt means a whole lot of missed lunch hours and working here >till 5:00 pm instead of 4 when everybody goes out the door.@ Davis went on to say the raise would have been an issue even if the county was not strapped for funds. Davis,@ I attempted this once before when Lucy was hired to begin with.... I attempted to hire her in at the salary of the person she replaced. They wouldn=t do it.... That didn=t make sense but I was young and naive about how things work, I guess, and I let it by. And I Ashant@ do it again.@
And finally from Prosecutor Jeff Davis, A I am right and I am not going to back up.@ On the topic of Mr. Davis closing his private practice in the county and taking part time work in Charleston, Davis, @The private practice that I have had, I am still in the process of winding it down. On a part time basis I am going to work for another attorney on other matters. I really don=t want to spout off too much >till that is finalized. I intend to replace my practice with work for a law firm in Charleston.” Why the change? Davis remarked that it was strictly a financial decision. Davis, @I need money coming in.@ Did you pay your ambulance bill? Davis, @I don=t know if I did or not to be honest. I do good to pay my electric bill.@