NOVEMBER 1, 2001

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Town $ Missing
Loacal Workers Get Clay County Ready
Stumbler of the Week
Kay's Cooking Corner
On the Soapbox
Clay Middle School Honor Roll
Atomic Agency Warns of Nuclear Terror Attack
911 Issues at County Commission Meeting
Fishing Trips and Illegal Meetings at Ambulance Authority
Last Word
Did You Know
Properly Store those lawn & garden Chemicals
WVU Ext. Services Offer Program
Anti-Terror Tolls include Hi-Tech
From Sen. Robert C. Byrd
Only in Clayberry
Chatter 2
Station Wins Award
Clay/Roane Board Split Hearing

Town $ Missing
     Town of Clay water account books are not jiving with the receipts, according to acting Mayor Betty Murphy. Ms Murphy is a fifteen year veteran of town leadership and commented October 30, that during her years of service, there had never been any concerns with the Abooks@ until now. The WV Auditors office has been called in to do an audit.
      So how was the loss found? Mayor Murphy,
@ I looked over the [water account] adjustments and then looked at the checks that were deposited as to when they were deposited and when they were posted to the account.@ It appears that checks made out to the town were not deposited into the town=s accounts, but rather, it is suspected, were used by an employee at Town Hall. As to how long this has been going on, Murphy was not sure, that she had only gone back through the records far enough to see a problem with the books. Murphy, A I want to wait and let the auditors do it.... I have never had this [happen] before... I wanted the auditors to tell me what to do.@
      The Mayor would not give an exact figure on how much she has determined is missing from the town
=s hoppers, but did feel that amount was Asubstantial@. Sources close have commented that the amount may exceed $5000.00.
     So what do you do when the finger is pointing at an employee and funds are missing? Mayor Murphy,
A I didn=t know what to do. The auditors are from Glenn Gainer=s office. I called one auditor before posting for the Special Meeting and he told me a little bit of what to do.. I talked to Lisa Thornberg last Friday. She said she would get somebody up here this week..... This is very, very upsetting! It is bad for the town.@ Could the missing money have been a reason for some of the financial woes that the town faced last winter. Murphy, APossibly@.
      After finding the problem, a special meeting was called last Wednesday, with
Apersonnel@ the only listed item on the agenda. Around the table were council members Wanda Chambers, Sally Legg, Dave Derby, Helen Morris and Recorder/acting Mayor, Betty Murphy. Additionally, seated at the conference table was town water clerk Tammy Duffield. Murphy asked if Council wanted to go into secret time and immediately Helen Morris asked for the public to be excluded. Ms Duffield asked if she was to stay at the table. No, came the reply and AYou=ll have to go where you can=t hear anything” from the Mayor. Translation: Out in the street with the rest of the peanut gallery. 15 minutes into the secret time, council person Sally Legg asked Duffield to come into the meeting. Immediately after the public was allowed back into the proceedings, Dave Derby called for a motion to turn all information over to a Alegal@ auditor for review. Motion passed unanimously. No mention of suspending anyone with or without pay was made.
The 38 minute meeting ended with Ms Duffield talking with Sally Legg and then with Helen Morris out on the parking lot of the town
=s water plant.
Shortly after the meeting , October 24, Ms Duffield commented that she was not resigning. Since the 24th, Ms Duffield has not returned to work.
      This paper spoke with Mayor Murphy October 30 for more details. According to Ms Murphy, office clerk employees are bonded for $5000.00. She went on to say that she had been advised that additional bonding coverage may be in force through the state
=s insurance provider, the Board of Risk Management. So what happens when money comes up missing and the employee is bonded? Murphy, A I=m not real sure. This has not happened before...I thought the bonding company would take care of it and they would go back on the person. That=s what I have been told.. It is a whole new ball game here.@
     Currently the town does not have a policy or ordinance in place that deals with employee theft, or allegations of employee theft, nor a policy on suspending an employee with or without pay during an investigation. According to Mayor Murphy, no one has been suspended and would not say who was the suspect of the audit. She did say ,
@... it is black and white... Let me tell you, when you pay your account with a check, where do you expect that check to go? ON YOUR ACCOUNT... That=s where it is, black and white. There is no ifs, ands, or buts about it. The checks were not applied to the account that was
@ The Mayor was referring to the clerk=s posting to the customers= accounts, the amount of payment by the customer, and doing so in a timely manner. She continued, A If it is just one check misapplied, it is totally
@ It appears that there is more than one check, one account, in dispute in the matter.
     The issue will be a part of the next regular meeting of Town Council in November.
      And finally, the town received a letter of resignation from water clerk Tammy Duffield Tuesday, October 30. The letter was dated October 29 and offered no explanation for the resignation.

Local Workers Get Clay County Ready
     The Clay County Emergency Preparedness Committee met again Thursday, October 25, at the Clay Fire Department Building. The Acommittee@ continued to be a random group, this time with several members from both the Clay and Big Otter Fire Departments present, along with the Clay County Health Department=s Karen Dawson and Clay County Director of the Office of Emergency Services, Barry Curry. No representatives from local law enforcement made it to this meeting.
     Curry presided over the meeting and first gave an update on progress he
=d made on two items discussed at the previous meeting. First, he=d contacted the Nicholas/Clay 911 and worked out how a possible biological incident (PBI) response would be activated in the county. Basically, local law enforcement will be notified to make the initial determination on how the situation will be handled, fire departments to contain the area if necessary, and then the health department and emergency health service if needed. Curry said Clay=s plan mirrored the state plan and passed around a copy of the state=s response plan.
Curry, working through the local WVU Extension Office, has been able to set up a State Terrorism HAZMAT class for Clay County on November 14 & 15. The class, most likely for law enforcement officers, fire fighters, and emergency health care workers, was available through state grants from WVU Extension Service. A Mr. J.T. Hodges will be coming from Morgantown to teach the class.
     Mr. Curry reported that he
=d recently attended the State Conference for Emergency Services and was told that over the next year $600 million will be available for training and personal protective equipment (PPE). He said Clay County needs a functioning preparedness council, especially to apply for grants to get the money needed for more training and equipment. Also, during meetings at the state conference, Curry said he=d learned that it appears that the fire departments will be stuck with containment and decontamination more often than not. Curry said he plans to approach the Clay County Commission about paying for protective suits for fire fighters.
     Back to the Emergency Preparedness Council, Curry said that 12 people are needed for it according to federal mandate. A council was selected several years ago, it was required, but has never been active, as there has never been a disaster. The names on that list are: Alex Fitzwater, Harald Fields, Karen Dawson, Jerry Linkinogger, Clinton Nichols, Clark Samples, Barry Curry, Jimmy Sams, Lynne Shaver, Jackie Pierson, R.T. Sizemore, and Craig King.
      Curry said that all have been notified, but expected that some replacements will be made. He said he
=d like to have a representative from each fire department on the council. All falls back on the County Commission, as they are ultimately responsible for the county.
Several fire fighters present said they felt that members of the school board should be more active and take part in the plans. They voiced concerns that the school system didn
=t communicate with them, and that plans at the schools needed to include more than the one senario they currently have to deal with a gunman in the classroom. Humorously, one fire fighter said, A To get them here, tell them grant money will be here.@
The group decided to meet again in about a month, presumably after they figure out who will be on the council for sure, and when they will be able to meet.
     The following are general guidelines for all parties responding to letters/packages with alleged threat of transmission of biological agents. It was provided to the Clay Health Department by the State Department of Health and Human Resources:
1. Remember that you are dealing with a crime but that the health of the public must also be protected.
2. If a suspicious letter/package is identified, shut down the facility or control the ventilation so that material cannot be aerosolized throughout the building.
3. Do not allow material to become airborne. Advise citizens not to disturb, touch, smell or taste the contents of a suspicious package.
4. Trained persons (not citizens) should double bag the letter or parcel, taking care not to disturb the contents.
5. Intact skin is an excellent barrier for most biological agents. Soap and water decontamination is adequate for biological agents if there is exposure to intact skin. Anthrax spores can enter the body and cause disease if they are inhaled or ingested. DO NOT place any contaminated articles near your nose or mouth.
6. Law enforcement will contain the scene.

Stumbler of the Week
      It=s a beautiful fall day Wed, Oct 24. Sun is shining for all to enjoy. Traffic is backed up just before the Dundon Bridge, it=s 3:34 pm. School buses are lined up bumper to bumper. Crossing the old iron bridge is a state road truck with yellow flashing lights aglow. Behind the truck is a government issued Blazer with flashing blue lights on every corner. Across the side reads ‘State Fire Marshall’. And then another with lots of blue lights but this one is labeled ‘State Fire Marshall, BOMB SQUAD’. As buses backed up past the curves in the main road, the Sheriff Dept.=s camo-painted, tattered Chevy truck slowly, ever so slowly, crossed the bridge. Officer Kevin Delk was at the wheel. As he turned the corner heading toward Clay proper, you could see his white knuckles as he gripped the wheel. Delk had the look of someone trying to sit on eggs without breaking them. In the back of the pick up were many bales of straw. Bringing up the rear were two more state road trucks with flashers flashing.
All in the convoy were traveling 5 mph as they headed down Main Street during the peak rush time.
      A day earlier came word that sticks of dynamite had been located on mine property out Dog Run way. The guess is that Delk was carrying the dangerous cargo. With that in mind, caution, flashing lights, carefulness would certainly be the order for the day.
There is one small problem .... the truck passed within five feet of every fully loaded school bus in the county!


1/2 cup barbecue sauce
1 can (12 ounces) diet lemon-line soda, half full
1 tablespoon dried basil
2 teaspoons paprika
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 whole chicken (3-1/2 pounds), skin removed
1) Remove top oven rack. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Add the barbecue sauce to the half-full can of soda. In a small bowl, combine the basil, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper; mix well and rub evenly over the chicken.
2) Place the cavity of the chicken over the soda can so that the chicken is sitting vertically on the can, then place the can on a rimmed baking sheet and bake on bottom oven rack for 1-1/2 to 1-2/3 hours, or until no pink remains and the juices run clear.
        NOTE: This sure is a fun way to cook chicken,
        but be careful - the soda can is VERY HOT
        when it comes out of the oven, so use oven
        mitts when handling it.
Exchanges: 5 Very Lean Meat...l Fat...
Calories...218...Calories from Fat...73...Total Fat...8 g...
Saturated Fat...2 g...Cholesterol...90 mg...Sodium...409 mg...Carbohydrate...4 g...Dietary Fiber...1 g…Sugars...3
g...Protein...30 g…
Serving Size: l slice, Total Servings: 20
1 cup water
2 tablespoons instant coffee granules
1/2 cup raisins
l teaspoon baking soda
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup (l/2 stick) butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups whole-wheat flour
3) In a medium bowl, cream the sugar and butter. Add the vanilla, egg, and cinnamon. Alternately stir in the flour and the cooled raisin mixture, mixing well.
4) Divide the batter evenly between the two coffee cans. Place both cans on a baking sheet and bake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool for 15 minutes.

Exchanges: 1-1/2 Carbohydrate
Calories...113...Calories from Fat...25...Total Fat...3 g...
Saturated Fat...2 g...Cholesterol...17 mg...Sodium...91 mg...Carbohydrate...21 g...Dietary Fiber...2 g...Sugars...12 g...Protein... 2 g...

Hope that you have enjoyed this weeks recipes...the cans have it! Later,
Kay Kish


by Andy Waddell
      Hearings have all been held. Public comments have been taken. Court cases to stop the proposed zillion dollar regional water plant have all been tossed out. The WV Public Service Commission has publicly said that Aall@ is on track to build the debt laden plant. Our three blind mice Commission are walking in lock step with the PSC.
The well greased tracks have been smooth ( in public anyway ) for several months..... until now.
      During the October 24 special town meeting, acting Mayor Betty Murphy handed to Council members copies of an agreement she thinks Clay Roane PSD should agree to before Clay Roane PSD receives water service from the town
=s water plant. The PSC wants the town to supply water via Clay Roane PSD so new Roane County customers can immediately have water service and NOT have to wait for the new regional plant to be built. Murphy has voiced resistance to the plan to supply water to Roane County while Clayonians continue to wait for water service and do so at the town=s expense.
=s idea , now reduced to writing, includes : Clay Roane will furnish, pay salaries, taxes, and all benefits for 1 full time operator; Clay Roane will pay Clay Municipal Water Works the same rate per gallon that they are paying Procious PSD now ( higher than what Clay is supposed to charge); Clay Roane will purchase a 70 gallon per minute booster pump at the Maysel station; the town will have one member on the new regional PSD board; and Clay Roane will be responsible for maintenance of the infrastructure on the line that feeds them water.
     Watch for the WV PSC to go bonkers on this new development. Just as they thought they had smooth sailing ahead, nasty ole Murph is insisting that the town get a fair shake in the deal. How dare her! For some time there has been resistance to the town being forced to give away its operating plant and then have to buy water from the new regional plant. The vote to do away with the current plant was stormy last fall. The motion was passed only after then mayor, Joyce Gibson, broke the tie with her vote. Against the plan were Ms Murphy, Sally Legg, and Wanda Chambers.
     Watch for strong arming of Murph by behind the scene forces as she insists on the town at least breaking even while providing water to the folks from afar.
      For citizens that believe having the highest water rates in the state will stymie growth in the county, you have one last hope. That hope is Betty Murphy

Clay Middle School Honor Roll

     6th Grade Honor Roll: Jackie L Adkins, Jeanie M Adkins, Jordan Adkins, Stephanie Baughman, Jami A Belt, Melinda D Blankenship, Jessica S Braley, Anissa L Brown, Blake D Brown, Tyler M Caruthers, Wyndum P Childers, Brandy M Cummings, Ethan K Curry, Lee E Duffield, Toni S Fitzwater, Candice Gray, Mason Hamrick, Alysia Hively, Sean C Jarret, Joseph D Johnson, Jacob D Jones, Jared M Kleman, Christina L Koch, Eric A Lovejoy, Caleb I McLaughlin, Cayla J Moore, Charles M Moore, Ethan S Moore, Kayla Moore, Brianna L Morton, Jeremy B Mullins, Stephanie B Paxton, Johnny L Peck, Natasha Peck, Benjamin D Pierson, Stephany R Ratliff, William C Robertson, Jessie E Rogers, Sarah M Rogers, Holly R Samples, Jeremy S Samples, Danielle Sams, Jared A Sams, Justin S Sanders, Esther K Sizemore, McKenzie S Smith, Allen J Tanner, Michael Tanner, Jese H Vance, Dylan S Vaughan, Kimberly D White, and Thomas J Young
      7th Grade Honor Roll: Christina M Belt, Aric S Braley, Rebecca J Brown, Henry T Cercone, Samantha J Childers, Kacey M Childress, Meghan D Cole, Cherie N Cruickshanks, Felisha L Cruickshanks, Caitlin S Dalzell, Jeffery A Davis, Justin Delwarte, Joseph T Gilley, Jessica K Gray, Daniel J Hemmelgarn, Brian K Hodge II, Cory R Igo, Pamela A Isom, Randy L Johnson, Jamie B Kearns, Jennifer L King, Margaret J King, Sarah E Kirk, Alma Lee, Holly A Legg, Regina G Legg, Justin W Mahan, Matthew S McCourt, William G Miller, Amanda L Morris, Westley Mullins, Alison L Myers, Daniel E Neal, Angela N Nichols, Nauva W Perez, Karla D Phillips, Nikita Phillips, Gregory N Potasnik, Michael D Poteet, Sarah R Preast, Jackie L Ramsey, Shawn M Roat , Alisha J Samples, Erica D Schoolcraft, Sherry R Sizemore, Diana M Smith, Candice Stalnaker, Cory M Stricker, Rikki M Taylor, Samantha J Taylor, Gary B Tedder III, Lyndsie R Thomas, Sara E Triplett, Ashley D Walker, Holly M Walker, Tiffany M White, Ashley P Williams, and Megan C Woody.
      8th Grade Honor Roll : Phillip D Backus, Kaila H Brown, Shayna N Brown, Ashley M Burch, Matthew D Burdette, Brandon L Carte, Jerrica D Caudill, Chastity F Cottrell, Angela M Cummings, Samantha M Cummings, Kenneth A Davis, Jessica Dean, Rekai D Dennis, Cody L Dorsey, Cassandra C Duffield, Jeremy B Ferrebee, Jesica J Hamrick, Kelly D Hamrick, Danielle Hill, Candice R Holcomb, Michael J Kearns, Pamela L Kengla, Andrea M King, Derek A Knopp, Jeffery C Krauklis, Abbigail L Lantz, Mark A Linkinoggor, Scott M Martin, Trenton L McCommas, Krissie L McKinney, Alena M Mitchell, Cody B Moore, Jeana G Mullins, Samantha J Nichols, Amanda M Nottingham, David Paxton, Chastity F Perdue, Faith A Preast, Coleman P Price, Eric E Reed, Cory A Rogers, Beverly N Sams, Sophie L Schwartz, Jada A Sizemore, Hillary Taylor, Candice M Truman, Bryttany N Vanmeter, Dustin A Vaughan, Kelli B Walls, Emily R Wayne, Kelly R West, Misty Woodrum, Anthony M Woods, and Linn Zeh.

Atomic Agency Warns Of Nuclear Terror Risk

By Clive Cookson

      The September 11 suicide attacks have shown that the world faces a serious risk of nuclear terrorism, the International Atomic Energy Agency warned on Wednesday. It said the threat was most likely to come from the explosion of a conventional "dirty bomb" that would spread radioactive materials. Making such a bomb could expose the terrorists to life-threatening radiation. "The willingness of terrorists to sacrifice their lives to achieve their evil aims makes the nuclear terrorism threat far more likely than it was before September 11," said Mohamed El Baradei, IAEA director general.
     "We have been alerted to the potential of terrorists targeting nuclear facilities or using radioactive sources to incite panic, contaminate property and even cause injury and death among civilian populations," he said. The IAEA will hold a special meeting of experts on nuclear terrorism on Friday at its headquarters in Vienna. It is preparing a series of anti-terrorist initiatives, including measures to track down and dispose of surplus radioactive sources.
      Although the most spectacular act of terrorism would be to set off a nuclear explosion, IAEA experts believe it is "highly unlikely" that al-Qaeda or any other terrorist network has the expertise or enough uranium or plutonium to make its own atomic bomb. Nor do they believe rumors that terrorists might have obtained "suitcase bombs" - capable of one-kiloton explosions - from the nuclear arsenal of the former Soviet Union. According to the IAEA, terrorists are much more likely to use a "dirty bomb" that spreads radioactive material through a conventional explosion. There are tens of thousands of highly radioactive sources around the world, generating radiation for industry, medicine and research. Often they are left virtually unprotected against theft.
     "A large source could be removed quite easily, especially if those involved have no regard for their own health," said Abel Gonzales, IAEA director of radiation and waste safety. "The effects of a dirty bomb would not be devastating in terms of human life but contamination in even small quantities could have major psychological and economic effects."
     An example of the danger was the accidental contamination of Goiâânia in Brazil with a medical radiation source, caesium 137, that was stolen and broken up for scrap in 1987. Four people died, 14 received dangerous irradiation, 249 were contaminated and 110,000 required radiological monitoring.



10-09-01: Delk - Douglas Lee Bottenfield, setting fire to personal property, hearing continued to 11-14-01; Bailey - Paul A. Holcomb, possession/delivery of controlled substance, arrested, ROB, hearing continued to 11-14-01.
10-16-01: Foreman - Jimmy Koch, unlawful/malicious wounding, arrested, ROB, hearing set.
10-24-01: Guthrie - Amanda Lee Hunter, aiding and abetting, arrested, committed to jail in lieu of bond, hearing set; Guthrie - Jason LaDuke, aiding and abetting, arrested, committed to jail in lieu of bond, hearing set; Delk - Justin Allen Woods, sexual assault/abuse, forgery X 2, arrested, waived preliminary - to Circuit Court and abduction of child from school X 2, arrested, d/m by state without prejudice.
10-16-01: Bailey - Mable L. Wilson, warrant issued for destruction of property; Bailey - David Wilson, warrant issued for destruction of property.
10-17-01: Bailey - Jimmy D. Koch, possession of marijuana less than 15 gms, arrested, ROB, trial set.
10-18-01: Bailey - Jason R. Triplett, possession of marijuana less than 15 gms, ROB, trial set; McKown - Dennis Samples, speeding, no POI, driving on susp./revoked, registration violations, ROB, trial set.
10-19-01: Delk - Jonathan Gay O
=Dell, possession of marijuana less than 15 gms, released to appear 11-06, trial set; Guthrie - Mark Anthony Stone, defective equipment, loaded uncased firearm after dark, possession of alcoholic beverage under 21, providing false info to state police, arrested, ROB, trial set.
10-20-01: Guthrie - Timothy J. Grimmett, DUI, failure to maintain control, arrested, ROB.
10-22-01: McKown - Cindy M. Dotson, driving on suspended - 3rd, no insurance - 2nd offense, ROB; Belt - James B. Holbert, Jr., warrant issued for obtaining goods under false pretenses; Belt - Pam Lytle, warrant issued for obtaining goods under false pretenses; Belt - Maggie Falls, warrant issued for obtaining goods under false pretenses.
10-23-01: McKown - Andy G. Perez, driving revoked for DUIA, sentenced to 6 months jail, to be served on home confinement, assessed fine and costs.
10-25-01: Clay Supermarket - Mitchell P. Adkins, warrant issued for WC.
10-22-01: Angela Bartsch - Mike and Patty Holcomb, money due.
10-24-01: Justin Ramsey - Allstate and Mary Panaro, money due; Clay County PSD - James King, money due.
10-26-01: Ruth Bass - Scott and Judith Yost, money due.
Worthless Checks
Notices issued -
10-17-01: IGA - Eugenia M. Cook.
10-18-01: Cunningham Motors - Joshua M. Phillips, Brandy W. Nichols x 2, Telenia Starcher, Felicia Burkhamer, Tammy Swindler.
10-23-01: Sizemore
=s IGA - Alicia Schindler, Margaret White.
10-25-01: Eric
=s Tire - June Sampson; Gino=s - Faith Schafer, Nicole Smith, Cathy Stutler, Sarah Rogers, Angela Bartsch, Mary E. Ferrebee, Mary Alice Brown, Tammy Roop, Pam Lytle, Christina Williams x 2.
10-26-01: Carte
=s Quick Stop - Mary J. Truman (paid 10-26).
Traffic Citations
10-09-01: Cheryl Jedamski, speeding.
10-10-01: Joseph Murphy, no POI and registration violations; Janet Nichols, leaving the scene of an accident and driving suspended.
10-11-01: Jonathan Gay O
=Dell, possession of marijuana less 25 gms; Shane Winebrenner, no POI.
10-12-01: Samuel Townsend, defective equipment.
10-13-01: Dennis M. Samples, speeding, no POI, driving on suspended/revoked, registration violations.
10-14-01: Duane Ray Fox, driving while revoked for DUI; Ronnie Lee Smith, registration violations.
10-15-01: John David Cutlip, speeding; Adrian R. Thompson, failure to keep right.
10-17-01: Darius W. Grose, operator
=s, no insurance.
10-18-01: Jason R. Triplett, possession of marijuana less than 15 gms; Randall Woods, seat belt violation.
10-19-01: Andrew J. Rogers, no POI; Mark Anthony Stone, defective equipment, loaded uncased firearm after dark, possession of alcoholic beverage under 21, providing false info to state police.
10-20-01: Timothy J. Grimmett, DUI, failure to maintain control; Andy Perez, driving revoked for DUIA.
10-21-01: Cindy M. Dotson, driving suspended 3rd, no POI 2nd offense; Ronald D. Ramsey, speeding.
10-22-01: Sherri Renee Dotson, speeding.
10-25-01: Hermant Amin, speeding.
All citations were issued by either the Clay County Sheriff
=s Department or the State Police.


      Clay County Commission President Matthew Bragg in charge and assisted by Jimmy Sams, the second meeting of the month got under way October 23, at 10:00 am after an opening prayer by Bragg. Tim Butcher was absent and few filled the peanut gallery to watch the action of government.
     Before the meeting, during the chit chat time, Ambulance Authority Chair Bob Ore asked E 911 Coordinator Paige Willis if the local dispatching service provided by the Ambulance Service was really needed in the County. Willis replied that the Nicholas County Dispatchers could handle the county duties and he saw no need for the local expense center. Some have speculated that doing away with the local dispatchers could save the county upwards of $18,000.00 per year.
       First up on the agenda was a Roy McDaniels to discuss with the County Commission (CCC) concerns about juvenile prisoners having to set in the main hallway of the old Courthouse awaiting their fate. McDaniels was a no show. Commissioner Sams asked about alternate arrangements for juveniles. Magistrate Mitchell King made mention that the old building did not have room for such accommodations that he could think of. Suggestions were again forwarded to move the Magistrate offices to the Elk Valley Hardware building situated just North of the new Courthouse on Main Street. Just talk readers so far.
     Doug McKenzie from McKenzie Engineering gave the Commission an update on all the hard work he and his company had been doing to complete the five year delinquent contract to provide mapping and addressing for the county
=s enhanced 911 system. Mr. McKenzie said that he has only completed the Nebo Post Office service area for addressing . McKenzie was complimentary of the Nebo PO staff and that much of the info provided by the Charleston PO was inaccurate. He went on to say that in Nicholas County, the Post Office furnished materials were much more accurate. As far as a time line for completion of the tardy contract, McKenzie could not give an answer. McKenzie,@ We=re starting from scratch.@ NOTE: McKenzie Engineering was paid in full for the contract years ago despite the work not being completed back then. It appears that McKenzie is just now doing the work and will start from the now completed Nebo section of the county and work south ward.
     With a motion from Mathew Bragg, County Commission gave the old Widen Fire truck to the Lizemore Volunteer Fire Department. Currently the Big Otter Fire Department has possession of the tanker.
     Thought we had one here folks but it fizzeled out. Without discussion, CCC OK
=D the hiring of Barbara Harmon Schamberger as Assistant Prosecutor for Jeff Davis. Locals will remember that it was Schamberger who ran against Commissioner Sams and nearly beat him in the Primary election. According to Prosecutor Davis, Ms Schamberger will handle Magistrate Court duties and Juvenile duties as well.
      The new absentee voting policy was implemented with wording as follows: adopted an emergency absentee voting policy for Clay County for all elections held in 2002. An absentee ballot can be delivered by the emergency absentee ballot commissioners to a hospital within Clay County or an adjacent county or within 35 miles of the county seat of Clay County or to a nursing home within the county.
      Sams brought to light the issue of the Ambulance Service purchasing a washing machine and billing it to the County Commission. That invoice ($300 +) is now well past due. Sams asked Mr. Ore if the CCEAA approves all such purchases ahead of time. Ore
=s response was in the negative. Sams ,@ Seems like the Board should OK before putting it on the County Commission tab.. Next time get an OK before doing it.@ CCC will cover the past due bill!
      From the peanut gallery came questions on all the new deep gas wells being drilled in the area with no decisions made. Note: Over in Calhoun County, Commissioners there have formally asked the Governor for legislation for taxing the deep well reserves ( 10,000 feet) and production.
      From the peanut gallery came questions on emergency response in the county if a major disaster occurred. General consensus from the CCC: the county could afford to cover overtime costs for emergency service personnel and materials for a small scale incident only and would rely on state and federal dollars for a major
Awhat if@ situation. Referring to September 11, Paige Willis,@ This is a flea bite compared to World War II when the smoke cleared.@
      Fun time at the Courthouse was over in just a little under 45 minutes. -AW

Fishing Trips and Illegal Meetings at Ambulance Authority

     It gets real confusing readers but we
=ll try to get you up to date on all the goings on at the Clay County Emergency Ambulance Service and with the Ambulance Authority (CCEAA). Most already know that paramedic Cookie Johnson was selected to replace retired Director Jackie Pierson but this coverage will provide you with some interesting background info.
     CCEAA met in regular session October 22 with Chair Bob Ore present along with members Arlie Fulks and Gene King. Fran King and Larry Cole were no shows.
WV Credit Bureau will begin work on collecting long past due accounts from locals.
      Book keeper Marie Haynes told the group that she received training in PA on the new , recently purchased , computer software program . According to Haynes, the new billing software has been installed as has the new hard drive and other upgrades on the CCEAA
>puter. There is now a new problem. To make everything work just right, a new laser printer is needed. Decision was made to pay for the new laser printer out of the $20,000.00 Budget Digest grant. The grant was originally asked for to help pay for a new ambulance. That ain=t going to happen now folks!
       Seems to be some behind the scenes reluctance on the hiring of a supply officer. Director Pierson said that a previous CCEAA Board agreed to pay a supply officer $20.00 extra per week for the extra duties of ordering and maintaining inventory. Many people applied for the spot. Gene King explained that they may have to cut back like they did in the
Aolden@ days to stay afloat. No supply officer was hired and the spot remains open for the time being. On the issue of having enough supplies on hand to keep the ambulance service going, paramedic Mary Hanshaw commented that the supply room was looking pretty bare at this time.
       Joretta Gray provided a financial report to the assembled. According to Ms Gray, the books are off $6500.00 but they are off in favor of the CCEAA. How could this happen? Gray,
A[there was] so many hands back there in the computer in August and September..@ Gray also reported that again this month, as has been the case many times in past years, the ambulance service took in less than they spent this month. Here=s an interesting one folks, Ms Gray provided a written report on the many reasons to hire a Aworking supervisor@ instead of a full time director as had been the plan. Gray commented that it would cost the CCEAA $50,000.00 per year to replace the work of Director Pierson and there just wasn=t enough money for that now, Gray,@ To hire anybody that works just 40 hours per week, you are more than doubling the costs.@ Gray was making a push for the hiring of an in house person as opposed to someone new to the system.... someone that may Arock the boat@.
      Marie Haynes reported that billing for the month of October (so far) was $80,587. In response to another dismal month of collections, Arlie Fulks,
@ That=s not enough to meet outgoing..@ Haynes, A Our runs are way down.@ Pierson, AThey always are.@
=s something new. Ms Pierson presented the board with the bills that need paying right away. Ore, A Do these normally come before the Board?@ Pierson,@ Fran said she wanted to see them..@ After looking over the thick folder, Gene King,@ With those [bills], its looks worse...We can=t go on!@ Pierson informed the group that Governor Bob Wise had again been contacted for more money for the operation.
     As for hiring the Pierson replacement, an obvious rift was in place which may explain why member Fran King was absent. Gene King commented that he would not vote for anybody that lived outside of the county and referred to someone that lived in the Marmet area. The guess is, one of the recently interviewed applicants for the director
=s job lives in that area. King went on to say that he wouldn=t vote for anyone that wouldn=t work an extra 20 to 40 hours per week without pay! No decision was made on hiring the top administrator and it appeared they wanted to go secret to air out their differences.
      Bob Ore and Marie Haynes agreed to visit Laurel Nursing Home in an attempt to get them to start paying for the years
= old tradition of supplying them Ataxi service@ for the clients there for free.
     The meeting lasted just over 30 minutes when the call to adjourn was heard and passed.
Over? Not hardly!
      Ore, Fulks and Gene remained in the meeting room twiddling their thumbs as the general public left. Hmmmm... From the peanut gallery came the question: Is a quorum in place and are you having another meeting? Is there an agenda posted? All three of board members laughed at the accusation of an illegal meeting and said that they were going to talk about a fishing trip to Canada. Again the question was raised over the illegality of meeting away from the public but to no avail! For thirty some minutes the CCEAA quorum met in secret. Around 7:10 pm the trio left the room . Under questioning, Mr. Ore commented that a
Asomething@ would be in place by November 1 to replace Ms Pierson.
      Many in the crowd that waited outside knew that the Ore inspired illegal meeting was held to get
Atheir ducks in a row@ in private and make the decision to hire paramedic Cookie Johnson as Director Pierson=s replacement.
The legal meeting ended around 6:34 while illegal meeting ended around 7:10.
      So how could Ore go so far astray so quick? How could he so quickly fall into the pattern of holding illegal meetings just a few weeks after assuming the job of Chair of the CCEAA? A couple of days after the meetings, Ore was asked just that. Ore explained that he wanted to get something done for the ambulance service and if breaking the rules had to be done, so be it.
      As to the hiring done in private instead of in public as required by Open Meeting Laws.... At first Ore explained the hiring was actually done during the interviews of candidates. When it was mentioned that that too would be illegal , he gave no answer as to when the hiring was done.
=s still more. In a two week span, the CCEAA held a legal meeting , an illegal meeting and then, on Friday October 26, they held an emergency meeting.
     At this meeting Ore , Fulks, Gene King and Fran King were in attendance. Although Cookie Johnson knew many days before, the CCEAA made it public by voting to hire Ms Johnson as a working supervisor at the rate of $9.00 per hour. Johnson will be on a 90 day probation period and will have full responsibility of operating the emergency service agency. During general discussions, Jackie Pierson told the Board that the average ambulance director in WV earns $34,000.00 per year and some make over $36,000.00/ year. Ms King questioned the legality of hiring a working supervisor after advertising for a full time director.
And here it is folks, the little gem dandy! Chair Ore told his fellow Boardsters that at the next meeting, they will discuss doing away with local dispatching and use the Nicholas County 911 center! Long in coming folks but maybe, just maybe, it is finally here!
      The next legal meeting of the CCEAA will be at 6:00 pm November 12 at the Health Department building in downtown Clayberry on Main Street. Better not miss it!

Last word...

      **Has anybody been noticing the work or lack of work going on over at the Filcon plant at Ovapa? For a couple of weeks now, there hasn=t been a nail driven. Word on the street has it that the workers over there were paid with rubber checks and now they refuse to do anymore for owner Manfred Kuentzer.
      **You sure don
=t want to miss the courtroom action November 7 when Clay Development Corp once again enters the legal world and does battle with ex CDC Board President Herschel Shamblin. CDC is suing Shamblin over him not returning a board policy manual after he was ousted from power in 1999. Shamblin claimed that the meeting minutes from that May 18 , 1999 meeting have been Adoctored@ and he not responsible for returning the book to the CDC group. Should be a fun one to watch in Judge Jack Alsop=s court room. Please call the Courthouse for the exact time of the case. >Think it is around 1:15 pm but you better check it to be sure!
      **Hey looks like the new Subway Sandwich Shop at Two Run is about ready to start serving. The parking lot is paved, dry wall is up and many of appliances are in place.
      **Remember the flashlight throwing incident where a Big Otter Fire Dept volunteer damaged Patty Thompson
=s Mustang? Remember when the CCC said they would pay for all the damages and then later they backed off the offer? It=s official now! The Big Otter gang will have to pay for the actions of one of their own. A couple days back as another volunteer responded to a fire call over on Granny=s Creek in Roane County, his vehicle backed into a private vehicle at the scene. Wonder who has to pay for that?
     On Oct 23rd Mayor Betty Murphy commented that Matthew Bragg is again the Town
=s Chief of Police.
      **Sort of sad to see Ambulance Director Jackie Pierson packing her belongings in preparation for retirement. We did get one good last comment from her. When asked abut her last few weeks on the job, Pierson commented,
A I know what Gladys Lanham went through!@
**Talk about being tight lipped. Clay Development Corp (CDC) has become a super secret agency. Two weeks ago a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request was made to gain access to salary and compensation of their employees. The written response to the FOIA states that they do not have to give this info out to the public because they do not have to comply with the Federal Act. According to CDC Director Betty Stalnaker, and based on information they have, the group is not subject to a FOIA request unless half of their funds come from state or local government sources. Of course the statement begs for this: Who decides if half their funds come from those sources if the public can=t see the records? For sure, the CDC received $80,000.00 from the Governor=s Budget digest fund, plus another $40,000 in start up grant dollars for home repairs, and Ms Stalnaker announced just four months ago that they may be receiving another $10,000.00 from the Budget Digest.
      Also, it was just last year that the secret society of CDC did respond to a FOIA request and did provide salary figures from their IRS W-2 forms. So what changed? Why all of a sudden has the group gone under ground?
      Just five months ago the group also decided they didn
=t have to comply with WV Open Meeting Laws.
       Sure makes one wonder what they are doing that is so controversial that they have to hide behind closed doors to stay in existence.


  • American Indians and Alaskan natives are 1.5 more likely to commit suicide than the overall population.
  • Roller Coasters and other amusement rides sent more than 10,000 thrill seekers into emergency rooms last year.
  • The average number of US restaurant meals eaten per person is down for the first time since 1990.
  • In 1999 nearly 44 percent of all murders in West Virginia were linked to Domestic Violence.
  • One in five motorist admits having fallen asleep at the wheel in the past year.
  • If you can’t convince them, confuse them… Harry S. Truman
  • Manic depression affects almost 2.5 million American adults every year.
  • There were 128.400 people over the age of 75 living in West Virginia in 20000.
  • Only 19 percent of West Virginia’s small businesses are using the Internet to sell products and services.
  • The United States actually spends about 0.3 percent of it’s budget on foreign aid.
  • West Virginia will get a grant of 250,000 to study “Northern Flying Squirrel”, the “Cheat Mountain Salamander, and a rare land snail.
  • Governor Bob Wise has a plan to offer teachers and other education employees low interest home loans.
  • Rite Aid pharmacy will not honor the Golden Mountaineer cards.
  • Most law enforcement agencies provide vest of body armor, and none require officers to wear them.
  • Breast Cancer risk increases by 8 to 60 percent for women who work night shift for many years.
  • People who eat 25 grams of soy protein a day can significantly reduce the amount of bad cholesterol that builds up in their arteries.
  • Of 150 million outpatient antibiotic prescriptions each year an estimated 50 million are unnecessary.
  • 2,500 people annually in West Virginia suffer brain and spinal cord injuries,
  • About 7,000 trucking companies operate in West Virginia.
  • The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. LMM

    Properly Store Those Lawn and Garden Chemicals

    by Steve Zaricki, WVU Clay County Extension Agent

            Before you start thinking about turkeys and dusting off decorations, take a little time to wrap up your lawn and garden season. Begin by asking yourself a couple of questions: “Do I have any fertilizer or pesticides left over?”, “Do I have any chemicals I am storing from past years?” If you answer yes to either of these questions, you probably need to be careful in the future when you consider your lawn and garden chemical needs.
            You may not be able to do it this year, but you should work toward not storing pesticides and other lawn and garden chemicals. Buy only what you need for a single application or season, and then buy the smallest package to meet your needs.
            Before you store those chemicals, see if a neighbor has a need for them. But don’t offer products that are outdated, have unreadable labels or are without labels.
            Check to be sure that your sprayers, spreaders and dusters don’t have any material left inside. If you have leftover granular materials or dusts in your spreader, you may be able to put the unused amount back into the original container. Scrape out solid deposits in spreaders. Rinse and dry the spreader. If you have leftover spray in your sprayer, spray it out on a labeled site on your property. Rinse and dry out the sprayer. Finally, oil parts of application equipment needing oiling. Check your owner’s manual for equipment care and storage.
            When you clean out your equipment and properly dispose of any chemical, remember to always wear pesticide resistant gloves and any other protective clothing called for on your product labels. Be sure any remaining chemicals are in their original containers, and seal these containers tightly. Check to be sure that screw-on lids are hand tight. Make sure the label is on any container you are storing and keep it readable. It’s also a good idea to mark the year the container was opened. Place containers in plastic trays, sweater boxes, dishpans or similar containers. Small containers and paper-bagged materials can also be placed in clear plastic bags.
    For bagged materials, fold or roll the top of the bag down and secure it with clothespins, binder clips or similar fasteners. Whether you are storing chemicals on shelving or on the floor, place a liquid proof barrier under them. This will keep them from getting wet from below and contain any leaks. Store your lawn and garden chemicals in a place where they will not freeze, be exposed to direct sunlight or get wet. Don’t store pesticides and fertilizers together. Don’t store any of these materials with food, feed or seeds. Store them separately from gasoline and other fuels and solvents. Wherever you store your chemicals you should have good lighting. This allows you to read labels easily, and to detect leaks. Keep insecticides and fungicides separate from herbicides.
    Baits, such as those for fire ants, do not store well, especially once opened. Always use these materials up in one season.
            Be sure to heed the six most important words on the product label: “Keep out of reach of children.” Place locks on all pesticide and chemical storage buildings or cabinets.
            For more information on the safe storage of lawn and garden pesticides, please contact the WVU Clay County Extension Office at 587-4267.

    WVU Extension Service to Offer Program on

    Risk Management to Farmers

            As an agricultural product producer, are you aware about the certain risks that are taken when you grow crops and raise livestock? These risks often involve production, marketing and finance. On the other hand, risk management, which includes crop insurance, could lead to increased farm profitability.
            Steve Zaricki, WVU Clay County Extension Agent, has a background in agricultural economics and he desires to work with Clay County farmers in their effort to increase farm profitability. Therefore, if you are interested in learning more about risk management, please come to the program that will be given by him on Thursday, November 8 at 6:00 p.m. in the County
    Commission room of the Clay County Courthouse.
            Hope to see you there.


    Letter to the Editor:
         My name is Connie Sizemore. I am Pageant Director and a Board Member of the Clay County Golden Delicious Festival. I am writing in regards to comments that have been made about the festival activities.
         First of all, the VFW was asked to lead the parade. I know that Commander Fred Patterson represented them. I stood on the upper end of town and watched him work with the Boy Scouts, and then put them in the beginning of the route. The understanding was put to the Festival that the VFW didn
    =t think they had enough to walk, because of age and ailing health.
         I commend Fred for being there to represent the VFW and for being such a mentor to the three Boy Scouts that proudly walked and carried the colors that day.
         As for the Festival, there is a small group putting our festival together for all to enjoy and keeping a tradition alive.
    Myself, the four years that we have been together, it has been pretty good. It takes a lot of time and energy to put something like this together. It takes a lot of man-hours and manpower. It
    =s not easy but we enjoy what we do.
         I do not believe anyone has the right to complain about any part of the Festival.
         Our organizational meetings are the first Thursday of the month.
    C       Connie Sizemore

    Anti-Terror Tools Include High-Tech

    By TED BRIDIS, Associated Press Writer
         WASHINGTON (AP) - The government's pursuit of terrorists is relying heavily on sophisticated technology, from software that automatically translates foreign communications on the Internet to a device that secretly captures every keystroke a suspect makes on his computer. President Bush signed new anti-terrorism legislation Friday that enabled law enforcement to rely on these tools more freely, and the Justice Department immediately sent instructions to prosecutors.
         ``A new era in America's fight against terrorism ... is about to begin,'' Attorney General John Ashcroft pledged. Over the weekend, top Justice lawyers in Washington e-mailed the most cyber-savvy federal prosecutors around the country, describing in more than 30 printed pages how they can use the government's high-tech tools in new ways. The e-mail, reviewed by the Associated Press, outlines new guidelines, for example, for operating the FBI's Carnivore computers, which capture suspects' e-mails in ways that require only perfunctory approval by a judge. Another section says that in rare cases police can now secretly search a person's house without telling the homeowner for up to three months.
         During one of these so-called ``sneak and peek'' searches, authorities would secretly implant a hidden ``key-logger'' device. The FBI acknowledged making five such secret searches before it installed its snooping device in a recent gambling investigation. The key-logger, hidden inside a computer, secretly records everything a suspect types on it. The device lets authorities capture passwords to unscramble data files in otherwise-unbreakable codes. Bush said this weekend that new anti-terrorism laws were needed because modern terrorists ``operate by highly sophisticated methods and technologies.'' The U.S. government has its own share of gee-whiz gadgetry - enough for a season of ``Mission: Impossible.''
          The CIA is rushing to teach its computers how to better translate Arabic under a young program it calls ``Fluent.'' Custom-written software scours foreign Web sites and displays information in English back to analysts. The program already understands at least nine languages, including Russian, French and Japanese. Another CIA breakthrough is ``Oasis,'' technology that listens to worldwide television and radio broadcasts and transcribes detailed reports for analysts.
         Oasis currently misinterprets about one in every five words and has difficulty recognizing colloquial Arabic, but the system is improving, said Larry Fairchild, head of the CIA's year-old Office of Advanced Information Technology. In a demonstration earlier this year at CIA headquarters, Fairchild showed early plans for ``CIA Live!,'' which lets CIA experts send instant messages and collaborate on reports and maps across the agency's ultra-secure computer networks.
          The FBI and police in Boston and Miami, Fla., are using powerful software called ``dTective'' from Ocean Systems Co. of Burtonsville, Md., to trace financial transactions linked to last month's terrorist attacks against New York and Washington. The software, which runs on highly specialized, $25,000 equipment from Avid Technology Inc., dramatically improves grainy video from surveillance cameras at banks or automated teller machines. It can enhance images, for example, that were nearly unusable because of bad lighting. ``Sometimes we're amazed at the quality of the image,'' said Dorothy Stout, a top specialist at Veridian Corp. in Oakton, Va., who teaches police how to use the video system. Other tools help her rebuild videotapes that have been burned, cut into pieces or thrown into a lake. ``It's quite time-consuming,'' she said. At U.S. computer-crime labs, including a cutting-edge Defense Department facility near Baltimore, technicians rebuild smashed disk drives from computers. They also use sophisticated commercial software, called ``Encase,'' which can recover deleted computer files and search for incriminating documents on a seized computer. Experts are hard at work in the FBI's headquarters in Washington, using Encase and other tools to examine computers seized after the Sept. 11 attacks.


    A Victory for American Steel
         Two of West Virginia's largest private employers, Weirton Steel and Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel, are locked in a battle for survival. These companies, like so many other American steel producers, are fighting against a wave of illegal, below-cost, imported steel that has the potential to permanently cripple an industry that is vital to this country's economic base and national security.
    The force of this wave can be seen in some disturbing figures. According to U.S. Department of Commerce data, in 1998, the U.S. imported more steel tonnage than ever before. In fact, last year's import levels were 83 percent higher than the annual import average for the previous eight years. Across the country, at the height of the import crisis, more than 10,000 steelworkers were forced off the job. At least six steel companies have filed for bankruptcy. Much of this damage can be linked directly to illegally dumped steel imports.
         To help Weirton, Wheeling-Pitt, and other steel mills, I created a $1 billion loan guarantee program specifically designed to provide some short-term relief to the American steel industry. Most recently, the President signed into law my initiative that will help domestic steel producers by providing access to an infusion of capital to keep their furnaces burning and keep their employees on the job. The maximum aggregate amount of a loan available to a single company is $250 million, and the loans will be guaranteed up to 85 percent of their total. My legislation establishes a three-member oversight Board, consisting of the Chairman of the Federal Reserve, who heads the loan guarantee board, the Secretary of Commerce, and the Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission.
    The loan guarantees will not solve the steel crisis, however. There must be a long-term, permanent solution to this crisis to prevent waves of illegal steel imports from drowning the U.S. steel industry.
         For 50 years, I have fought for American workers, for the men and women who earn their livings by honest, hard work, and who are playing by the rules as they seek to achieve the American dream. The U.S. steel industry has made the sacrifices and investments necessary to increase efficiency and compete effectively against foreign makers. Our companies are willing and able to play by the rules. As a nation, we must protect the viability of our steel industry. To do so, we must insist that foreign competitors are held to that same set of rules.
    October 6, 1999

    Only in Clayberry

    by Andy Waddell
          Seemed like an ordinary enough news story two weeks ago. Someone was seeking donations for students at HE White and Ivydale Elementaries. Catchy title too,
    ALet=s Make a Difference@. Many folks read it in that little paper over in Clay. Something about: we are asking for your help; asking for everyone to make a donation of crayons, markers, paper, tablets, erasers, etc.; something about the need to help Amake academic packets@ and drop the donations off at the local Rite Aid store.
          Just after the newspaper story was published and as the little snot... I mean,.. the little toddlers, brought the same info home in a flyer (Oct 24), stuffed in their back packs, the parents got hot. In most places, a similar request would have resulted in many donations. Not here. Residents got heated over the request ( make that another request) for basic school supplies while our school system administrators have been cramming down our throats that the school excess levy had solved all the problems , provided for all the needs, and all students now were on the right educational path to glory.
         A soon as administrators read the article, they knew the dam had burst. Behind the scenes our paid, full time levy spokesmen went ballistic. The wording on the request made it sound like the supplies would be used at the two schools, and without the donations, the kids would not even have a crayon to work with during school time. The wording had neglected to mention that this was a multi county project of AmeriCorp and the supplies would be sent home for the kids to use there. Normally, such an error would not even be noticed. Normally, another little ad would be submitted to the paper for printing. Normally, someone would be told to try a little harder next time and that would be the end of it. Normally, the Big Cheese AmeriCorp folks in the district office wouldn
    =t have even paid attention to the ads.
          Normal has no place in this county during a levy renewal election year race. This is a year when every arm has to be twisted, every parent has to be stroked, a year when any miscue could be disastrous January 19 when voters go to the polls. Superintendent Linkinogger needs every vote. He knows that the last levy passed by just 31 votes. That means if 16 people had voted against it, it would have failed! For Mr. Link, passage of the School Excess Levy is a vote of support for his administration and for him personally. Failure of the levy would be considered a no confidence vote.
         AmeriCorp workers have issued a sincere apology to Linkinogger and the gang, have written that the levy pays for everything at the schools, and, ... and,... have now written that they support the levy, endorse the levy, and they will vote for the levy.
         Our $67,000 a year Superintendent can run the levy campaign as he sees fit, BUT... isn
    =t it a shame that these workers have done something they, by law, are forbidden from doing? We know that campaigning is forbidden by AmeriCorp workers on company time. Is it possible that these folks felt pressured from our pro-levy administrators, with whom they must work, to not only apologize for what was truly an error, but have to publicly voice their support for this levy? Sadly, I believe so.

    by EB Goode

          Here is the true story as told by my good friend Bowen. "I had a big Jack-rabbit attack me once. My cousin and I were out hunting. This monster was pretty close, I shot and grazed him. It made him mad, he squealed and came for me. I stood there in shock. He runs right to the front of me, jumps straight up in the air about head-high, then his back feet swipe across your throat!!! If I had not jumped back, he would have cut my throat with those big back claws on the ends of those long legs. He chased me around the car, my cousin, laughing, opened the door and I jumped in. That was scary. I have never killed another rabbit. In fact, I didn't kill that one. I'm probably the only person to ever run from a Jack-rabbit. This was a monster, and he was squealing at me in the most angry way. That rabbit gets bigger every time I tell it. I've taken a lot of people hunting since then, in many states for big deer and elk, in Canada for moose and on fishing trips. But I never have killed another animal. It just didn't seem fair to hide and shoot from ambush, then brag about my exploits. That rabbit let me see that, if they have a chance, they will fight back and fight to win. You see, I didn't even hit the rabbit, but I made him mad. He didn't care if I was bigger. He just attacked. However, I have no qualms about others hunting. Like I said, I've taken many hunting when I was entertaining." I laughed out loud about the rabbit attack! I hope you did too!
          A fulltime fisher of men, EBG 915 373 4963 e-mail Please check out my fantastic product support base


    Chatter is a space provided for the public to express their views and point of view on about any subject. Chatters are printed as space allows. Send your Chatter to:
    PO Box 14; Procious, WV 25164 or e-mail

    Dear Editor,
          As a grandparent of a child attending the Ivydale School and as Chairwoman of the Local School Improvement Council, I must take exception to the terminology used on your website when describing the students of HE White and Ivydale Schools. Name calling served no useful purpose and only detracted from the message you were trying to send.
          I also misunderstood and had questions concerning the memo requesting donations for the Make A Difference campaign and had the same questions you had concerning the levy. However, when I read the web item I no longer was concerned about the memo, I was angry with you for calling the children the names you did.
          You may not find the terms you used offensive, but I and many other parents of the children to whom you referred did. I am certain that you would be angry if we referred to your child in terms that you found offensive.
    I personally support you in your effort to be certain that levy money has been and continues to be used appropriately. But in the future please omit negative references to the children.
    Marge Bragg
    Ed. Note: Ms Bragg was referring to the use of Asnot lickers= followed by Abooger eaters@ in the web site coverage of the ALets Make a Difference A campaign at the two mentioned schools. Complete coverage on the subject , minus the term snot lickers, elsewhere in this edition of the Communicator.


    **Before the US Supreme Court this week are oral arguments that the U.S. 1996 Child Pornography Law violates the First Amendment . Civil Libertarians argued that the law is far too broad and makes illegal ( 10 year prison sentence) the possession of computer generated images, paintings, or other art works of sexual situations between children under 18 years of age. In response the Federal Government contends that this law is necessary to keep pedophiles off the streets. Concerns that even mainstream films like Romeo and Juliet step over the line under the Pornography law, as well as safe sex manuals and textbooks.
    **Wonder why TV coverage of the war in Afghanistan has not included satellite photos of the action? Answer: Our Federal Government bought all the rights to the images from the private owners of the systems. Of course our military has much better, more detailed photos from their own satellites, so why buy from the private market? Answer: Control. With images in the public
    =s hands, there would have been an independent source for confirming what the boys in Washington were passing along. Apparently, the Pentagon feels we can=t handle the truth in matters of war.
    **11 months ago mention was first made that there might be enough clean, safe flowing water ( about 2 million gallons per day) to support an aqua culture farm plus supply potable water for the residents of Widen. Community activist Darlene Rogers, along with Rick Proctor and others, got the ball rolling but to date, no concrete plans have been made for either of the ideas. Over in Thacker Fork in Mingo County, a Mingo County Coal mine along with the County
    =s Development Authority have teamed up and such an endeavor is under way. The company, WV Agua is using coal mine water to grow arctic char (salmon) there. Speculation is that the company can capture a growing demand for fresh fish in the east and make a bunch of money. That same scenario has been planned for Widen. Here in Clay County, we are still waiting.
    **In the most recent installment of how great it is to pay extra taxes, (IE: Excess School Levy), mention was made that basketball, band, homecoming activities and activities buses all depend on the voters passing another School Levy this Jan 19, 2002. Of course, before there was a levy, the same needs were met in the county.


          Internet radio station Clay County Radio received the AEditor=s Pick A award October 22, 2001 from the world wide streaming agency, Live Currently Live 365, based in California, broadcasts more than 30,000 stations around the globe with millions of listeners.
         Clay County Radio is a privately held broadcast operation owned and operated by Delta Communications ,LLC which is based in Clay County, WV. The 14 month old endeavor operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and promotes local, Appalachian music and traditions; provides immediate emergency information, promotes local business through advertising; and provides an opportunity for locals to
    Aget their feet wet@ in the communications media.
    Aeditor=s pick@ award is bestowed on Internet radio stations around the world based on quality of programming, number of listeners, excellence in diversity and variety, and advancement in signal quality.
         Currently Clay County Radio
    =s programming includes: Gospel music every Sunday; Easy listening sounds on Monday and Tuesday; All Celtic, pipes, fiddles, and Irish tunes all day Wednesday followed by Bluegrass and a whiff of traditional country music on Thursday through Friday. Friday night is special since Aair time@ contains all West Virginia artists and musicians. Saturday operations round out the week with Doo Wop era music from the 50s, 60s, and 70s.
         To hear Clay County Radio on the world wide web, go to and type in Clay County Radio or go to and click the RADIO button on the left of the screen.
         A spokesperson for Delta Communications commented,
    @ Two years ago Internet radio did not exist. Now, through technology, folks with Clay County roots can catch up on the rich sounds of Bill Triplett=s Big Otter Bluegrass, Marvin Rose, Jess Hamrick=s Clay County Country, Benny Hodge, and Elk Valley Bluegrass every week whether they live in Florida or Europe. With Internet radio now available on some car radios, listenership should expand even further in the near future.@

    Clay Roane Board Split on Hiring

          Newly reconfigured Clay Roane PSD Board of Directors met in special session October 25 at the Procious water plant at 7 pm. The only item listed on the agenda was the hiring of a maintenance field worker for the two county water service provider.
         Chairman of the Board TG Cruickshank was not in attendance. Members present were Gary Whaling, Roy Ellis, Garrett Samples and Harold
    ALefty A Summers along with employees of the PSD.
         During previous meetings of the group, the issue of hiring Phillip Whaling, son of Boardster Gary Whaling, became contentious as concerns over
    Aconflict of interest@ surfaced. During a September board meeting, the old, non consolidated, Clay Roane PSD voted to hire Phillip over other candidates with more experience. Chief interviewer for the hire was Gary Whaling. Issues of legality cropped up over that September meeting and the group was told, to comply with WV law, the vote would have to be done over sometime after the new Board was appointed by the County Commission and the members were sworn into office.
         On October 11 the group tried again to meet and hire the young Whaling for the position. Again, legal issues popped up.
          At the October 11 meeting, TG Cruickshank and Roy Ellis had been appointed by County Commission but had not been sworn into office thus making them ineligible to vote. With Gary Whaling abstaining from the vote over conflict of interest issues, only Garret Samples and Lefty Summers could make the decision. Two board members does not a quorum make! Again no vote. To make matters worse, Phillip Whaling, feeling that he had the job, had already resigned from his previous position and was in the lurch job wise. To make matters worstest mostest and even more controversial, another candidate for the job, a Raymond Samples, felt that he had been given the position prior to the young Whaling action and he too had quit his current job.
    What to do... what to do....
         With all but Cruickshank present October 25, discussion ensued on hiring the maintenance person. Something was in the air readers. Samples , Ellis, and Summers said they would not vote to hire Phillip Whaling. Samples contended that he did not feel right about voting before a regular meeting of the Board since that had been stated at the September meeting. Get this... Mr. Samples even mentioned that the county has a nepotism policy in place that precluded the hiring of sons, daughters, etc!
    Does anybody else smell that fresh air?
         Roy Ellis commented that he didn
    =t want any hard feelings ( with Gary Whaling) but was hesitant to vote. Lefty Summers was much more blunt and responded that he had been mislead on the issue.
         Yep, sure enough, that was fresh air! Another first for the county. Open discussion on a controversial hiring.
         With all eyes on Boardster Gary Whaling, Whaling reminded the group that his son had already quit his job and was waiting to start his new position at Clay Roane PSD. Whaling went on to mention that he would quit his board spot if that would help get his son hired. That didn
    =t happen. Sources close say that the WV Public Service Commission has frowned on the hiring since Phillip has so little experience in water distribution and maintenance.
    Fresh air H*** ! This is a whirl wind readers. The local PSD did NOT vote to hire Phillip Whaling and instead walked away from the meeting without a decision being made.