November 26, 2002

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Follow ups
Justice: Civil Procedure or Subject Matter?
School Board Meets at Lizemores

“ am bowing out”

Ten years is enough for our county prosecutor. Clay County Prosecuting Attorney Jeff Davis submitted his letter of resignation (dated Nov. 22) to the County Commission November 25, 2002. The letter in its entirety is found elsewhere in this edition. The resignation is effective December 31, 2002. According to Davis, the decision to move from public service to private was a financial one.
         The following interview was given by Prosecutor Davis November 25th.
         Davis, “y private practice has just been slashed by two thirds, basically. Out of three banks I was doing the most work for, two of them have their own attorneys now. I am going to get out and do something else.” As for keeping the $37,000.00 per year prosecutor position and increasing the private work performed by Davis, “ talked to both Judges before I made this decision and basically they agreed that a part time prosecutor is in name only. There just isn’ enough time to do much private work. Of course you are restricted a lot on what you can do. I made my decision, I had my mind made up probably last Monday.”Was there any one thing that forced the decision to quit? “othing other than the financial difficulties that I find myself in. I didn’ go to law school for seven years to live pay check to pay check. I am 38 and have been Prosecutor for 10 years.”As for the greatest court room victory, “ff the top of my head… probably the murder conviction on Cynthia Fitzwater. That stands out in my mind.”And the worst? “he absolute worst was a marijuana case that I had where two deputies were there to serve some papers and looked through the window seeing the guy weighing it out for somebody and the jury came back hung. That’ the worst. An open and shut thing like that and it gets hung up. It’ frustrating.”With our duly elected Prosecutor leaving December 31, 2002, will he pull a ‘im Butcher’ Are you going to stay on the job? Davis, “h, I’l be there. I have responsibilities and obligations. There’ a few more motion days… and other various hearings between now and the beginning of the year. Judge Facemire told me when he was working for the Child Advocate Office, a part time job and he had a private practice on the side, he told me it was one of the biggest decisions he ever made. To quit that steady pay check job…… I plan to practice primarily on family law. We have a family law court now that’ there every week on Wednesday. I think there is a need for a family law attorney.” As for leaving the job hanging with a bunch of cases in limbo, “ight now I guess there are six or seven open felony cases. When I came to the job it was 50 or 60. We had a big docket back then and we went through ‘m.”Asked about replacing an elected official, Davis, “he process to replace me would be for the County Commission to appoint somebody to fill the vacancy until the next election in 2004.”Davis confirmed that Assistant Prosecutor Barbara Schamberger has an interest in filling the vacancy. Davis, “ think the resignation is on the agenda for the next meeting…. I turned the letter in today.”Looking back, Davis couldn’ think of anything he would do differently, “ have learned a lot in the last 10 years. I rented an office space today beside Murphy’ Flower Shop. I’l be in there January 1. I don’ know if I’l have everything the way I want it then.” Davis said he planned to draw out his state employee retirement and use those proceeds to establish the business.
         Few elected officials go without controversy. Such has been the case with Jeff Davis over the last couple of years. Just a couple months back, the rumor went like wildfire that Davis had overdosed on drugs.
         As for the circulation of rumors affecting his decision to resign his position, “onestly it did. When you voluntarily put yourself out in the public you ask for rumors and nasty things to be said about you. I am tired of that stuff too. That did play a part in the decision. It has honestly been an enjoyable and valuable experience. I like the job. I just couldn’ afford to stay there and as you said, I got tired of all the malarkey that was unnecessarily said. The stuff people telling on you. I got tired of it.”As for the voters that affirmed Davis for 4 more years or service and only got 24 months of work, “hat was the only thing that caused any hesitation in my mind. I felt that in some way, I was letting people down. But the only contested race that I was ever in was 10 years ago. The voters got 10 years of public service and I feel comfortable with that.”
         Follow ups
                 During the November 12 Clay County PSD meeting, Ivydale resident Larry McLaughlin spoke out on the dismal water service in the Little Italy section of the county where little water pressure is routine and no water service is available after 11 pm nightly. The meeting turned confrontational as PSD Chairman Keith King all but told the water service customer to hit the road with comments like, “e’e just batting around the breeze….. We can’ help you!” McLaughlin asked that he receive a refund since he pays for 3000 gallons of water each month but is unable to get the service due to low or no service. The condition has existed for over 7 years.
         Since that encounter with those appointed to serve the public, McLaughlin has filed a formal complaint with the WV Public Service Commission. If there are others that would like to join in the complaint, contact Mr. McLaughlin post haste.
        BOB CLARKE Curmudgeon’ Corner
        In Pittsburgh a few weeks ago, a parade was staged to welcome the arrival of an obscure political figure, a New Englander who had transplanted himself into a Texan named George W. Bush. Lining the route were the strategically placed carefully monitored by a protective Secret Service. The affair was stage managed with the usual sentiment expected from an adoring public: “e love you, President Bush” “od bless our president” “ou’e doing a good job, George,”and other such rose-colored messages generated to create the illusion that the Chief Executive’ performance in office has been one of near perfection. It must have been a scene at which Bush’ famous smirk turned into a sunny smile.
        Unfortunately, it is pretty much accepted that, in every barrel of apples there will be found an occasional worm. The worm in this case was a senior citizen named Bill Neel of Butler, Pennsylvania. Mr. Neel, 65, appeared with a sign which had a curious message. His motive was to protest Bush’ policies, but the placard’ statement seems strangely oblique. It said: …The Bush family must surely love the poor, they’e made so many of us.
        It is an old line, the blame for making so many of the poor, usually, attributed to God. No doubt Mr. Neel’ motive was to launch a humble protest, but a more interesting part of the saga follows. Neel was directed to remove himself to a distant point occupied by other protestors, presumably a location where the President’ eyes might not be offended by the merest hint that he is not viewed with anything other than unconditional admiration.
        After refusing to remove his sign and his person, Mr. Neel was arrested for disorderly conduct. An investigation revealed that a county police sergeant and members of the Secret Service had instructed officers to remove anyone carrying signs critical of the President and remove them to a far off location. It is important to note here that there is no report of obscenity or the threat of violence in any of the dissenting signs. No European royal procession could have been arranged more successfully to shield a ruler from reality.
        The charges against Mr. Neel were dropped, and he was released. However, the President was at least momentarily removed from the troublesome and inconvenient aspects of that silly first amendment. It might not be a bad idea to provide mandatory classes for the entire Secret Service on the United States Constitution. There is some indication that the incomparable Senator Byrd and possibly a few of us suspect that most of the current administration haven’ read that noble document.
        In what may be considered one of the most stunning miracles of modern politics, the conservative wing, aided and abetted by the far right has virtually eliminated the stain of corporate scandal from the national consciousness. Bush and Cheney, who seem to have had some vague connection with the pillage and death of Enron and Haliburton have come through unscathed. It has always been thus with the elites. There has been a cosmic shift in the Golden Rule. The modern version goes: ‘e who has the gold makes the rules’ Columnist Molly Ivans once reluctantly observed that there are people who are too rich to go to jail. Does the name Ken Lay strike a familiar chord? It is almost beyond irony that the business world congratulated itself on having two top political figures who had been former CEOs. Lost in the not-so-remote national memory is the fact that these two titans had a prominent role in destroying their own companies.
        No man’ life ever became him so well as that of Jimmy Carter after leaving the Presidency. A man of consummate decency and honor, Carter refused to spend his post political career in the shoddy manner we have observed in so many other out-to-pasture politicians, grubbing for personal wealth, ferreting out overpaid speaking engagements, traveling the world with their hand out. Jimmy, (that’ what he tells people to call him), has the quaint idea that he should spend the rest of his life working for world peace. Carter is the rare human who gives Christianity a good name. It is altogether fitting that the believers and even the non-believers among us rejoice over the Nobel committee’ Peace Prize award. Perhaps honesty, humility and a well-lived life does occasionally pay off. In the meantime, collecting six figure or more speaking fees, ex-President or Senator Gasbag fattens his bank account, while Jimmy Carter helps build houses for poor people.
        The cherished ‘our Grapes Award’must go to the inevitable conservative columnists in response to Mr. Carter’ long-delayed and well-deserved acclaim. Chief among them is Robert Novak, the current darling of the right wing, nationally syndicated, and a particular favorite of the Elkins Inter-Mountain. On TV and in print, Novak raises the uncivilized sneer to the level of a fine art. It is tempting to speculate that when Novak is not spending his efforts to destroy the opponents of the power elite, he spends his leisure time out walking his rat. As a nominal Catholic who apparently forgot that envy is one of the seven deadly sins, Novak’ cheap shot response to the news of Carter’ award broadcast on Crossfire was a fitting testimony to his terminal smirk: …It’ one of those inevitable signs of autumn. Year in and year out we get the inevitable boomlet to give Jimmy Carter the Nobel Peace Prize, the admittedly incompetent president, who is supposed to be a terrific ex-president. Well, this year they slipped up and actually gave him the Peace Prize. So we are giving the peanut man from Georgia something else: our quote of the day. Novak continues, speaking to James Carville: …you know, James, the Nobel Peace Committee’ been making mistakes on that prize, giving it to people like Yasser Arafat and Le Duc Tho.
        It is interesting that he did not mention the reptilian Henry Kissinger in that short list, but Novak’ long career has been dedicated to toadying to the rich and powerful. It has always been a habit of the morally bankrupt to ridicule those who are truly good. Mr. Carter’ achievements, including the Camp David Accords, are well-documented: he seems secure in his own skin, and does not need approval from such creatures as the likes of Robert Novak.
                        Yours etc, Cur
P.S. – R.I.P. the Democratic Party

        Justice: Civil Procedure or Subject Matter?
By Jim Chafin
        The Constitution was barely ratified before attacks were being mounted against it from every side. The Federalist Papers speak eloquently to efforts of the framers of the Constitution in getting it approved by the colonies. These people knew first hand what tyranny felt like – they had experienced it personally. However, such is not the case today, and I am afraid commercialism has clouded the vision of bureaucrats, and of the government they represent, courts included.
        In my lifetime I have traveled around the world and back again. I have seen despots masquerading in cloaks of democratic government; nepotism looked upon as an honorable pursuit of men; injustice referred to as ‘ustice’ For the good of the people, don’ you know. And in each scenario, there were plenty of folks who became very rich with money and power. So, clearly then, prosperity is not a badge or symbol of equity or righteous judgments. Conditions today have had their parallels many times throughout history (faithfully recorded) so this nation should know better. Roman 1:18-19, in part: “…Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them (men); for God hath shewed it unto them.” Man suppresses the truth! The Kentucky State Attorney General was quoted in the media awhile back as saying, “y responsibility is to defend statutes from constitutional attack.” My, my! When I think about all those law producing bodies across this land laboring mightily to protect us from the onslaught of an arrogant, and all powerful Constitution – and when I see our poor office holders encompassed about and beleaguered by this ancient document – tears flow in torrents from my eyes. And here I have always thought the Constitution was an endangered species. Media pages are filled daily with statements such as this, giving notice to one and all of their real intentions – if we will only take heed. While on the one hand they portray a constitutional face (after all, they are under oath to defend the Constitution from all enemies) but, at the same time, and I am again quoting from media sources, “efending statutes from attack by the Constitution.”
        If one chooses to look, he will find the media filled with articles depicting misconduct in private industry, government bureaucracy, law enforcement, their agents and fellow travelers. While I have learned that one must be highly selective of what one believes, personal experiences have a way of welding certain pieces of information together into a frame of thought that gives credence to these varied sources, and causes us to sit up and take notice of happenings that, ordinarily, would pass unnoticed.
        Dateline Pittsburgh, the Associated Press and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: “rosecutors Break Law”newspaper says. Feds accused of “eceit, distortion, cover-ups, while pursuing convictions.” In a two year study, the newspaper says, it found examples of lying, hiding evidence, distorting facts, engaging in cover-ups, paying for perjury, and setting up innocent people to win indictments, guilty pleas, and convictions. Federal people rarely were punished for their misconduct, despite the fact they caused some victims to loose their jobs, assets, and even families. Some victims even went to prison, while some criminals walked free as a reward for their part in the conspiracy. Robert Merkle, U.S. Attorney in Florida from 1982 until 1988, and who is now a defense attorney, said, “t’ a result oriented process today; fairness be damned. The philosophy of the last 10 years is – whatever works is what’ right.” Bennett Gershmann, former prosecutor, said, “he courts used to be a buffer between prosecutors and rights of defendants. They are now just a rubber stamp.”
        Our three-tiered government, originally designed to provide balance and tone to the inner workings of each branch, now seem to be marching in lock step – a tactic that is most likely to produce more pain for Americans in the future.

       October 17th, five weeks ago, Judd Reid’ body was found near the top of Pisgah Ridge. Reid had been murdered. Around 3 am, October 22, Chuck Blankenship crashed his ‘8 T-bird into a rock outcrop and landed almost in the creek near the base of ‘urder Mountain’in the Ovapa area of Clay County. Locals at the crash site were adamant that the injuries sustained by Blankenship were not consistent with the type of wreck that had occurred. His face and head were unrecognizable to those that had known him since childhood. Deputy Belt responded to the scene. Adding to the events out Ovapa way, the vehicle used to transport the Reid body to Pisgah was found burned in Ovapa. Putting two and three together and coming up with 9, news organizations linked the murder of Reid to the Blankenship death. Something along the lines that Blankenship had been beaten, put in the vehicle, and the unconscious Blankenship rolled into the rock cliff.The day after the last edition of this paper was published, we received a letter from someone very close to the case. At that person’ request, no name has been included with the following excerpts:
       I spoke with the (licensed & board certified) doctor at the Medical Examiner's Office who was responsible for Chuck's examination.  I say "examination" rather than "autopsy" because there was no autopsy necessary in his expert opinion.  Based upon what he observed and by carefully studying hospital records (including the CT scan, x-rays, etc.), he determined that an "inspection" was all that was necessary and ruled Chuck's death as being caused by a "closed head wound with complications".
                According to this doctor, all his injuries were consistent with the type of accident he had.  Granted, the accident in itself didn't appear to be all that serious, but Chuck had a blood alcohol content of .09 and wasn't wearing a seatbelt.  This makes the whole thing even harder than believing there was foul play involved - it didn't have to happen. I asked if the "closed head wound" could possibly have been caused by a blunt instrument other than a windshield and was told no.  Any weapon leaves residual particles of itself behind & none were found other than glass.  Also, the wound itself didn't display any signs of being caused by anything along the lines of a ball bat or anything remotely close. So.  Having said all that, I'm satisfied with the ME's ruling that the wreck caused the injuries that led to Chuck's untimely death & that no foul play was involved.  In his death, that is.  There are still many, many unanswered questions and suspicious circumstances.
                For instance, I have been trying to contact Deputy Belt to ask him about the inconsistencies in his report.  Just this week, on Tuesday, I called only to be told he was "on a phone call" and to call back in 10 minutes and he would be available.  I did and was told he'd be back around 4, as he was "out on a call" & they'd have him call me.  He didn't call, & when I called back, Delk answered & said that Belt was off both Monday & Tuesday & that I'd have to call back Wednesday. Delk also said that the reason he didn't call back could have been because he just came into the office because he had been in court (since he had the day off). If he had the day off, why was he out on a call, why did they say I could call him back, why did they take a message to have him call me back at four? 
                Meanwhile, did you know that Deputy Belt confiscated a 9mm pistol at the scene?  This gun is registered to my brother and I informed Belt of this the day after Chuck wrecked.  He said he had the gun and when he was questioned about it 3 days later, he still hadn't turned it in - it was still in his personal possession.  As of today - over 3 weeks after Chuck's death - Deputy Belt still has not contacted me nor my brother regarding this gun. 
        As for the inconsistencies in his report, here are the highlights:
        1)  Belt classified it as a "fatality" - Chuck was alive and breathing at the scene.
       2)  Belt told me that Chuck was traveling at a "high rate of speed" but there's no way to have determined this, as there are no skid marks nor did the speedometer stick at any certain speed, nor does the damage to the car indicate excessive speed.
       3)  He lists the location as "9/10 miles E of Intersection 14 & 36/2" - this would put Chuck almost exactly at the base of Murder Mountain; it's off by enough to be significant.
       4)  He lists the Type of Injury as "K" (killed) - again, Chuck was alive & even spoke a few words at the scene.
       5)  He lists the Weather as "Clear" (it was supremely foggy that night & well into the morning) and the Roadway Characteristics as "Straight and Level" (have you ever driven this road??).
       6)  According to his Narrative, the accident occurred about "0300 hours" - that's 43 minutes before the EMS tones were sounded. 
       7)  Also according to the Narrative, the car "traveled 41 feet south, striking rock embankment", then traveled another "69 feet SW, going over the embankment into a creek".  That's quite some bit of traveling & some pretty specific measurements considering there were no skid marks and very little evidence of an accident even occurring. Especially since the state road people went in there and filled up whatever gravel had come loose at the edge of the creek. If there was an investigation going on, should that have been done so soon?  I considered that this may have been done out of respect for the family, as we had to pass the crash site to get to the burial site - but they didn't bother to pick up the headlight that was laying there in plain site.
       8)  Belt said he ordered an autopsy and I could have a "copy of everything" and specifically told me that once his investigation was done I could have a copy of that report as well. According to the ME's office, Belt has absolutely no authority whatsoever to order an autopsy - only an authorized agent of the Medical Examiners Office has this power.  He also said his reason for ordering it was that there was "an untended body" ... as I keep saying, Chuck didn't go from "accident victim" to "body" until at least 6 hours after Belt saw him - he was pronounced dead at the hospital at 10:30 am.
       9)  Belt told me the day I talked to him in person (10/23) that it was an "ongoing investigation" but I have yet to find out what's being investigated, why & by whom??
       10)  Brings us to the gun.  The gun that Belt took from the scene, didn't report and has yet to notify the owner of it being in police custody. 
        Also, throughout all of this, I've been trying to obtain a Death Certificate so I can take care of all the paperwork that accompanies a death.  I know that the MEs office does not release a body for burial without the DC, which means Wilsons had to have had it no later than 10/23, when the body was officially released to them (the MEs office has confirmed this).  On 10/30, ……Wilsons was given Chuck's vital stats (mother's maiden name, etc.) & said she'd send the info "the next day".  She didn't bother to mail it until 11/7 & her reason for waiting so long was that they "were waiting on additional information".  What information??  I'm wondering if this wait was perhaps initiated by Deputy Belt in some way.  I received a package from Clay on the 12th that was mailed on the 7th - am I to believe that a bulky package can make it's way across the country in less time than a simple envelope can find it's way from Clay to Charleston?
               Maybe all any of this boils down to is the fact that Clay County is overrun with incompetent fools.  I was given the run-around at the ambulance service, I was given the run-around by Jeff Davis, I was given the run-around by Deputy Belt, I was given the run-around by Wilsons ........ No wonder the whole county is being turned over to outsiders little by little.
       History Lessons Are Short-Lived
         Over in Calhoun County, Bob Weaver was elected to the office of County Commissioner promising to keep the county up to date on news within the county and beyond. After being elected, Weaver started the web site to fulfill that commitment. The following commentary is provided with Weaver’ OK and was posted November 24 on his site:
         Is it "drastic measures for drastic times" or is it the full-blown arrival of Orwell's "Big Brother is watching you!" Many historians believe we may have arrived, declaring the Patriot Act will have little to do with terrorism. Questioning the just passed laws and assumed powers, often leads to the questioning of patriotism. So for the record, I believe in America and its great constitution and believe myself to be a patriot, but feel compelled to express my vital concerns. Nationalism should never be confused with patriotism.
         The CIA is back in business spying on Americans, sharing sensitive information with other agencies without judicial review. The federal government in the "War on Terrorism" has assumed the summary power to allow the FBI to spy on Americans in their churches, on the internet, in bookstores and in their libraries. Does anyone remember the recent FBI history of J. Edgar Hoover, who kept tens of thousands of files on Americans he disliked, when someone said they were "suspicious?" Examination of the files indicated most of the information was gossip or contained information about people's personal life that had little to do with them being enemies of the state.
          Starting now, be careful what you read, investigate or complain about. The Homeland Security measure encourages TV installers, truck drivers and meter readers, people who have access to family dwellings, to report unusual or suspicious activity to authorities. The program is called TIPS, which could end in a crusade to turn in your neighbors. Supporters say it will only apply to the "bad guys," and if you are not doing anything wrong, you have nothing to fear. History does not hold this true. The "power" allows the government to instruct personnel or install equipment in libraries to watch patrons reading habits, and if librarians inform the patrons what is going on, they can be prosecuted. The Bush administration is giving itself the summary power to silence dissent by equating criticism with aid to terrorists, declaring public debate would "erode our national unity .... diminish resolve .... give ammunition to America's enemies."
                 The attorney-client privilege of communications, long a constitutional right, can be intercepted and monitored by the Justice Department and their lawyers. The establishment of military tribunals, which ignore the constitutional rights of citizens in civilian courts, described as necessary in high-risk times, with the implication it will only be used against our enemies. The new law allows the government to conduct secret searches, with notification being made after the fact in many cases. There is much, much more.
         It is shades of Japanese interment camps, blacklists, free speech restrictions and other powers assumed by the federal government in times of crisis. Nearly all have been viewed as an overreaction to frightening circumstances. Many constitutionalists believe the government already has ample powers to combat the threats at hand, and the new "tools" are unnecessary at best and, at worst, dangerous. The Homeland Security Bill also contained tax breaks, contracts and exemptions, many of which seem questionable. Where are the gun rights folks and the NRA on these issues which crush constitutional rights and civil liberties? These "powers" need continued deliberation and a watchful eye.                                                                Bob Weaver
         ??? DID YOU KNOW ???
1.        Between 20 and 30 percent of all US agriculture products are exported.
2.        Since 1982, 340 schools have closed in West Virginia.
3.        The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says 41,907 Americans lost their lives to vehicles in 1996 including 5,412 pedestrians, 761 bicyclists and 59,000 injured.
4.        Halloween has become the holiday when motorist are most likely to be killed in a car crash involving alcohol.
5.        According to the National Safety Council, about 27,718 injuries occur each year among the 6.2 million people who skateboard.
6.        Of the 125.6 million tax returns filed this year, 46.5 million were filed electronically.
7.        70 percent of the registered nurses now working in West Virginia are over age 39.
8.        The FBI reports murder, rape, armed robbery and burglary crimes were all higher in 2001.
9.        Since 1998, about 18 schools have closed that were at one time either a school of excellence, a blue ribbon school, or an exemplary school.
10.         Studies have found that people who take drugs to lower their cholesterol appear to reduce their risk of developing Alzheimer’.
11.         Men in China have the lowest rate of prostate cancer in the world. A diet rich in garlic, onions and shallots may be the reason.
12.         Babies have 270 bones—adults have 206.
13.         Twenty-five of the state’ 55 counties have only one high school and 12 have only one middle school.
14.         Dutch researchers say just one stiff drink is enough to impair some brain processes.
15.         In 2000 Diabetes was the sixth leading killer of West Virginians.
16.         Secretary of state Joe Manchin said he hopes to get 18,000 students to register to vote next year.
17.         Today more than one in four Americans choose cremation and by 2010, two of five are expected to, according to the Cremation Association of North America.
18.         World War II veterans are dying at the rate of 1,000 a day in America according to federal estimates.
19.         According to statistics from the 2001 “outh risk survey”one of every four high school students in West Virginia had at least one drink of alcohol before the age of 13.
20.        The ultimate aim of the human mind in all its efforts, is to become acquainted with the truth.                 - Eliza Farnham


        Oh they’e a quiet bunch. Clay County’ Solid Waste Authority is one of those quiet little government agencies rarely heard from. Yes, last Spring there was the flair up where the one part time employee quit and a Boardster followed suit by quitting in support of the fallen worker. But for the most part, the Solid Waste folks are a quiet bunch.
        Did you know they have money to work with? True. True. True. After doing some budget tightening last Spring and with monthly allotments coming in from the gang in Charleston, the one time recycling club now has a nest egg of $18,000.00. In addition to the nest egg, a recycling grant was secured 60 days ago for another $18,500.00.
        The Solid Waste Board meets monthly in their office complex on the second floor of the old King Jewelry Store building on Main Street. With notice posted of the meeting, Nov 21, 6pm, the public gathered. At 6 pm, Chair Kelly Fulkerson and Board member Pete Triplett waited for a quorum. Boardsters absent: Mathew Bragg, Harald Fields, and Lewanda Whaling.
        6:10pm No quorum
        6:15pm Pete Triplett comments that Sheriff Fields was tied up with a mental hygiene petition but Commissioner Matthew Bragg was suppose to show.
        6:20pm With people twiddling their fingers and toes, Chair Fulkerson announced that the meeting would be cancelled due to no quorum. With Triplett fine tuning the computer, the public left the office and Board meeting thinking a rescheduled agenda would be announced for later in the month.
        Sometime after 6:30pm the meeting was held. Boardster Matthew Bragg showed up and after announcing the cancellation of the public meeting, business was conducted. Prior to canceling the assembly, Chair Fulkerson commented that he was going to present to the Board details of the group’ fiancés and discuss a report submitted by Grant Coordinator Lynn Sizemore.
        The guess is, the agenda items were discussed and done so without the public’ scrutiny. Clayberry, got to love it!                                        AW


The following are gleaned from web site postings. The date corresponds with the posting entry. In Oct 2002, nearly 18,000 viewed the ever growing web site.
Nov. 5 am  Sunday night while church goers  attended services at Lizemore Methodist, thugs vandalized their vehicles out in the parking lot. Yelp, money, property, etc. swiped! Not just the sprinklin’Methodists either. The thugs made a run thru the southern end of the county hitting other spots like Ida Baptist and the Nazarenes !  Equal opportunity thugs, the steal from the sprinklers and the dunkers! Cops came quickly with eye witnesses providing the name of one man involved and a description of the vehicle he squealed out in. The cops went up Brown Hollow looking for the culprits.
    Nov. 13 am Sunday evening's destruction derby on the streets of Clay have lead to charges galore. Glenn Abbott did doughnuts in the GO Mart parking lot, ran into the Clay County Bank building, broad sided the Driver's Ed car at Clay High and bashed private business buildings. As of Wed mid day, Abbot remained in the slammer needing $8000.00 for bond and is charged with 3 counts of destruction of property, 1 court of striking an unattended vehicle, 2 counts striking fixtures on a  highway and 1 count of obstructing an officer. Abbott is in deep stuff.
    Nov. 13 am Yesterday's front page news in the Gazette reminded us all of the WV Supreme Court decision that “ivilian”bailiffs are not allowed in WVCourts.  According to news reports and based on a case in Putnam County, only the Sheriff or a Deputy can work the court room. Of course here in Clayberry, civilian Bailiff Gene King remains on the job, in uniform, and carrying a weapon.
    Nov. 16 am Back on March 13th , in the old Courthouse, outside the door of Magistrate King's office, James McCune Sr. went lethal and in the skirmish with Deputy Delk, managed to grab the officers pistol. As the wrestling match progressed, Magistrate King grabbed the weapon as Delk got the unruly man cuffed. The State vs James McCune trial ended today. The jury came back  at 2:55pm and found McCune guilty of disarming an officer and Battery. Chalk one up for Prosecutor Davis.
    Nov. 18 am Check out your water bill Clayberry. Based on the average family using 4500 of water a month, we ought to be living in Morgantown for cheap water service. Morganhole is $5.92 per month for 4500 gallons. They're the cheapest followed by Wheeling -$ 11.39; Elkins-$ 11.57; Logan-$15.10; Fairmont-$16.88... You might want to check out your water bill to see how you fair in the great scheme of things. According to the WV Public Service Commission, the average family in WV pays $41.86 monthly for electricity, $104.40 for gas heat, 24.99 for telephone, and $23.40 for water service or $194.65 a month on average.  Where do you fall into those prices Where is the cheapest to live in WV based on those categories? Logan at $174.89. The most costly? Hinton with $229.56 per month
    Nov. 19 pm Monday afternoon, Judge Jack Alsop sentenced Jay Pallock to the max for possession of pot, 6 months!
    Nov. 20 am  Well at least our County School Superintendent, Jerry Linkinnnoooggeger, can do one thing right, take out the trash!  According to Tuesday's Charleston Gazette, Associated Press article, our school system is so financially strapped, Link has to empty his own trash can and go without hiring a custodian
    Nov. 22 pm Brand new to Boot Camp Alex Davis could sure use a card or letter over the Thanksgiving and Christmas Holidays. Mail greetings  to:  RCT Alex Davis; PLT 2014, 2nd Battalion, G Company; Parris Island SC 29905.
         Nov. 26 am Sunday evening,  around 7:20 pm, 19 year old Janet Salisbury was pronounced dead at the scene of a head on collision as Salisbury crossed the center line and struck an SUV . The accident happened in the big turn on Rt. 4 near Elkhearst Road. Injured in the wreck and in an SUV, were Edward Wright of Charleston and Dianne McLaughlin of Clay.
         Nov. 26 am As we enter into the holiday season, a time when Government offices hold dinners and parties.... Last Feb. 1st, the State Ethics Commission ruled that using taxpayer dollars for such is a no no. The ruling was based on a Greenbrier agency which had held a dinner for over 30 years for Board members, family members of the Board and friends.


        It’ rate increase time at the Queen Shoals PSD. Yes sir-re, just when they tell us the economy looks gloomy, job numbers down, and credit card debt is at record level, Queen Shoals PSD Chair Tom Martin made the news public.
        QSPSD held their regular monthly meeting Monday evening, Nov 18th. According to Martin, office clerk Judy O’ell was told to call customers and let them know of the rate increase and to attend the meeting. The meeting location was changed from the PSD office beside the Bomont Post Office to the gym at H E White Elem. With over 40 in attendance, the meeting was lively. WV Public Service Commission rate analyst, Susan L Brown, was on hand to answer questions. William “oon”Mitchell and Shirley Young are also on the QSPSD Board of Directors and were present.
        Martin explained to the masses that the Queen Shoals PSD water supplier, Clay Roane PSD, had recently been awarded a rate increase and QSPSD had to raise their rates to cover the cost of wholesale water from Clay Roane. According to Martin, Clay Roane doubled the price on wholesale water purchase. Martin, “We’e done the numbers, it has to be passed on to you…. We have no alternative but to ask for an increase…”Locals grumbled.
        “o excuses, it’ something that just happened,”explained Ms Brown. Brown said that Clay Roane needed additional funds to meet expenses. For many in the audience, this was the first word of higher water rates. Needless to say, without even knowing how high the numbers would be, locals started to grumble a little louder.
        From the peanut gallery came Fran Naylor, “So this has nothing to do with the quality of the water?”Brown replied in the affirmative and added that before the Clay Roane increase, Queen Shoals was being charged too little for wholesale water. Frowns started to show among the forty of so. Ms Naylor wasn’ done with the quality of water issue. Naylor,”….Our service is the problem, weekends, we have to do without water!”Naylor went on to remind the Board that QSPSD has a tank setting empty on her property, “The tank is there…. There’ no water pressure, and now the land is sliding in!” Naylor was fiery to say the least.
        Trying to hard to inform, Chair Martin gave a background on the water system, something along the lines of: Clinton Nichols got the water system; the people put in the lines; locals went house to house to set up the system; locals purchased the pipe; and, the tank referred to by Naylor, had been condemned by the WV Public Service Commission (PSC) before it could be put into service. Martin, “We need upgrades to fix the problem..”Naylor came back with the strong concerns over all the Boil Water Orders and the many days customers go without water service. Martin, “It was Procious that held things up for years.”        And then the bomb shell. Someone asked what the new rate would be for the average water customer that uses 4500 gallons of water per month. Are you ready readers? According to Susan Brown, QSPSD has asked for a 30B rate increase and for 4500 gallons of water, the new rate will be $47.90! First there was silence, then a gasp, then several normally pale white faces turned red. Blood pressure levels escalated .
        One guy, “50.00 A MONTH AND WE HAVE TO BOIL IT????”        Another fellow, “FOR THAT QUALITY??”        A large bellied, balding, State Road worker raised serious issues over the poor management at Clay Roane PSD. He went on to remind all that over at Clay Roane, a meter reader had gone months if not years without actually reading meters netting that PSD a huge loss. Referring to Clay Roane, “How can you go by those numbers? The problems are internal!”Many in the audience nodded in agreement. Brown explaining, “t costs money. The new dollars will buy computers, new meters….”The echo filled gym was getting louder. Several spoke out on the number of QSPSD customers who live on fixed incomes. Ms Brown assured the many that they could appeal the rate increase to the WV PSC.
        So when did Queen Shoals PSD motion and Ok the rate increase. According to Tom Martin, last month during their regular meeting. A couple of folks who attended that Oct meeting said that the PSD talked about a needed rate increase but no motion was made or passed to seek such. Hmmmm...
        When Martin asked if there were any questions, hands shot up everywhere.
                 Long time resident and organizer of QSPSD , Gene McClure asked why basic rate were more than doubling when wholesale rates were increasing just 50%? Gene went on comment on the many leaks in the system, “They’e too D*** lazy to go and fix the leaks!… The WVPSC is suppose t be working for the people!!”A lady in the back questioned any point of remaining a customer when they have to go to the store to purchase drinking water.
         Another woman,”Who is the watch dog for the PSD? Who is checking this for us??”Another, “Who do we take our water samples to show how bad the water is??”One portly fellow asked if Martin was in favor of the rate increase. Martin replied “o” When Martin said this was a public hearing on the rate increase, the round one asked if the meeting had been properly advertised in local newspapers. ANSWER: No. Ms Brown,”Without a rate increase, Queen Shoals will be insolvent…”From the back, “How will this rate increase improve water quality? Brown,”….. it only covers new costs.”With the gray cells in high gear, one lady immediately retorted, : SO ANY IMPROVEMENTS WILL COST MORE????”
         Are you getting the picture readers? Here’ the way it’ shaping up: Locals are peed because the quality of water supplied from Clay Roane PSD ; Locals are mad due to water pressure within their own system being often low; Locals are peed because in addition to paying high water bills each month, they still have to purchase bottled drinking water from retail stores.
         Based on comments from many of the QSPSD customers, it appears that some will disconnect from QSPSD and revert back to water wells and cisterns as they try to make small monthly retirement and disability checks stretch a little more.
         After the meeting, one fellow asked Chair Martin NOT to pay the full amount asked by Clay Roane PSD for the wholesale water and instead, just continue paying the old amount for water. At first, Martin resisted saying that they would get into debt and be in deep doo doo. When the guy said, “So what, What are they going to do ?”Martin, for a split second, grinned and appeared to be in agreement with the radical thinking .                

        Fola Coal plans to do mountain top removal mining on 1700 acres in the Leatherwood area of Clay County. Area residents have raised concerns on the issue.
        An informal public hearing to discuss the Department of Environmental Protection permit process was held November 21, 2002 at the Clay Lion’ Club Community Building on Main Street, Clay. Over 100 attended the 6 pm meeting. The Fola coal officials were dressed in matching blue denim shirts with embroidered company patches while the DEP folks sported their green and tan, chrome name tag affixed outfits. County residents from all walks of life, from youngsters to those bent with age, attended. Here’ how the story went followed by an interview from state mining permit coordinator Larry Alt.
        First came Fola’ power point presentation with commentary from Fola President Gary Patterson. Even before the presentation got going, the tension in the room spewed out as locals asked if Fola was going to hog the time leaving little for public comments. State Mining Coordinator Larry Alt assured all the Fola side would last around 10 minutes. Alt stepped into it when he said he would hurry the hearing along because many had long drives home. Boom! One fellow challenged Alt to take the time and hear their side, “We’e trying to protect our homes here!… You just said you had to hurry back to Logan!!” Alt gave reassurances that he “ould stay until midnight”if need be.
        And then, and then… Mr. Alt explained the informal public hearing process which included: public comments would be taped recorded after the Fola presentation and after the question and answer session. That’ after the question and answer session, remember that, it’ important.
                 A “olished”Fola president, Patterson went into detail about the number of jobs his outfit provides the county, the tax base that comes as a result of the mining process, donations to charities, and other benefits of having Fola in business in the county. The power point slide show was colorful, well done, and picture of other operations showed high regard for land use after mining is completed. With 9 years of operation under their belts, Patterson: AmVest Corp is the parent company of Fola Coal; 339 work for Fola Coal; there are 100 contractors working; $270,000.00 has been paid in property taxes; annual wages amount to $14 million. Patterson, “e’e proud of what we do…..We hire locally, we train ‘m…”Mike Isabelle (it sounded like any way) came next with more engineering related details on the proposal to use mountaintop removal methods on the 1700 acres in Leatherwood. As Mike spoke , locals grew restless. His topic coverage included: the work will eliminate lots of existing high walls, a stream will be relocated, there will be NO valley fill techniques in the process, many varieties of trees will be planted during reclamation, and in other locations, Fola has been working with Ducks Unlimited in reclamation efforts. Isabelle, “e meet mining laws…. We have a good history of reclamation…”From a lady in the back, “o valley fills?”Another lady raised questions on the type of trees being used and the likelihood of the trees surviving after Fola pulls out. Isabelle said that the property will be returned to approximate original contour (AOC) after mining and that it is true, they have no long history on how the trees survive “own the road” From the left, from the right, from everywhere came questions, what top soil will be used; what about Judge Haden’ rulings; are the trees slower to grow?
         Isabelle explained that the mountain top removal (MTR) method will result in a 400 foot loss in elevation on the average. Isabelle comments were not “olished”like Patterson. Rather, Mr. Isabelle came across abrasive on several occasions during the presentation and especially when locals yelled out questions or challenged what he had said. Here’ an example. From the audience, “ow many of your workers came from out of the county?”Within a split second, Isabelle retorted,”About as many as you that’ here!!”He was referring to several in the peanut gallery from other sections of the state in attendance to speak out against mining. From the assembled came calls to “URN ON THAT TAPE RECORDER!”When Isabelle said that Fola would leave the mountains in better shape after MTR, one feisty lady from the back, “OD DOES A BETTER JOB!”Thoughtfully, Isabelle chose not to challenge the senior lady nor God’ work.
         Big concerns were raised over the existing blasting in the area, damage to homes and property like cemeteries, and damage to water wells serving the Leatherwood area. Although reassurances were made, based on the frown lines in the peanut gallery, few believed the long term commitment from Big Coal. One lady held up a white cloth heavily stained orange/yellow from the water in her well. Again, “URN ON THAT TAPE RECORDER!”A man and another woman yelled out at the same time,”You blasted my home pretty good!!”As Isabelle responded with. “he streams tested OK.” From the crowd, “E’E TALKING ABOUT OUR WELLS!!”As the powers that be explained that they have tested well water in the area and do follow up on local complaints in a timely manner, again a challenge from a white headed lady, “E WEREN’ THERE!!! WE DON’ KNOW WHERE YOU TOOK THE SAMPLES!”Quickly, Isabelle, “ou never called me!…”Again, “TURN ON THAT TAPE RECORDER.”As tensions mounted and with several commenting and questioning at the same time, Coordinator Alt, “HOA, WHOA, WHOA, ONE AT A TIME!”
         A tall lean military looking man spoke up with comments on blasting. He said the existing blasting which is a great distance from his home had already cracked foundation walls and driveway concrete, “our blasts shake my house.”With well over 100 in the room, “nd now you’l be blasting closer????”On the issue of destroying water wells, one guy asked if Fola was already hauling water for residents with dry wells. When Isabelle said they weren’, another challenge, “itzwater has hauled gallons of water. YOU’E NOT PAYING HIM????”Isabelle, “NO SIR!”Pretty much, locals and outsiders alike challenged the rough front man Mike Isabelle. As for native brown trout in the streams in the area, Mike, “one.”Local, “es , there were!”Mike, “o…. two years of testing, no native trout in North Fork….. ambient temperature is 68 degrees, they die in the spring….”Local, “BULL****”and “URN ON THE TAPE RECORDER!”Are you getting the picture readers? The long rift between big coal and local property owners is strong in Clay County. The underbelly of it all, with Fola’ big money and the Clay County Commission’ desire to gather more coal severance dollars, locals feel powerless and without any control.
         To sum up the hearing, after Gary Patterson said they would pay for any damages they are liable for, one lady commented, “ow can you put a dollar amount on a house that took a life time to build?”Many applauded the lady’ courage. Again, “URN ON THE TAPE RECORDER”
         Big cheese Larry Alt explained that once the tape player was turned on, they could not have discussion but rather just take comments. Finally, the recorder was activated. Get this, with the recorder on, many chose NOT to speak! Many said, ‘ have already said what I’ going to say.’And get this, many of those that did speak with the tape recorder on where employees of Fola Coal and were in favor of blasting and mining the crap out of Leatherwood! There were some comments, like from a Steve Brown. Brown questioned the validity of recent sampling among other things. Others questioned the statements made about the workers being from Clay County. Some felt that Fola had made misleading statements since they knew many of the workers came from Kentucky and only recently settled in the area. For Fola’ side, from workers and family members, “hat’ our livelihood!
         By 8:40 pm, the hearing was concluded. Many locals left the assembly with high blood pressure and few reassurances.
         We had a chance to interview Larry Alt on Monday November 25th in the afternoon. The following are excerpts from that conversation.
         Have there been any permits stopped by citizen protest in the last 5 years? Alt, “et me think… There has been permits that there have been objections. The one that comes to my mind is the Matike permit for long walling underneath a trout stream in the northern part of the state. We did deny the permit but then we were over ruled by the Board. Anything that this agency makes is appeal-able to the WV Surface Mining Board. Seven sit on the Board.”So, how do people fight a coal permit to mine? Alt, “hat we would look at is the permit application that they submit to us, is there any potential for acid mine drainage or any bad water discharges in the future because of the strata that is involved with this? The second part that we would look at is : Is it possible for the company to mine this and reclaim it back to the intended post mining land use? Also, is there any homes or structures within 300 feet of the permitted area? Or, is there any cemeteries within 100 feet of the permitted area? Those are the major things that will kill a permit. If there is a potential for acid mine drainage after mining, we will not issue the permit.”During the hearing, Mr. Patterson was talking about permitting for mining 1700 acres but in the paper the notice called for 800 acres. Alt, “ think he was talking about the 1700 acres he has already got permitted. Fola has two permits for this same area. They have one permit they call the #4 permit and then [now] we got the #4A permit. If the #4A permit goes through, then they will drop the #4 permit. They [the permits] are identical and for the same area, but for a different mining plan. Because of Judge Haden’ decision on valley fills they would drop the one with valley fills [#4] and go with this one [#4A]. This one [#4A] does not have any valley fills in it. They have a stream relocation but no valley fills. They will relocate the waters of the United States out of the hollow and then mine. Some of the streams, most of the streams in this area, are above the coal beds to be mined. They do not have a permit now, they have two applications and we had an informal conference on the #4A.”So what comes next in the process of permitting? Alt, “e took people’ comments there the other night. We will now take those comments back and compare those comments and look at the application. Then, we will make a decision on the permit. Here’ the big thing…everybody read the ad and sent in protest letters but they were pretty blanket protest letters. We received 50 some protest letters or comment letters. They were pretty standard protest letters, we object to this operation because of our water, no specifics…. We then gave those protest letters to Fola and from my understanding, they went back out with letters to those people and met with a lot of those people. They [Fola] are in the process of responding back to us…. Our next step, after we review the application, we make a decision… Whatever our decision we make, it is appeal able to the Board of Review if somebody is not happy. Then, the Board of Review’ decision is appeal able to the Circuit Court.”According to Mr. Alt, the DEP will give their recommendation in about 60 days, “nless somebody appeals our decision, let’ say I give a decision today. Whoever doesn’ like the decision….. has a right to appeal my decision within 30 days to the Board. Then the Board will place it on their docket and give a schedule for a hearing before the Board. Anybody who made comments the other night or wrote me a protest letter is already in my data base and they will receive our decision my certified mail….”Is it too late for people to send in letters? Alt, “he public can send in letters until a certain time. Any letters received after the public comment time would be placed in the application but would not be given responses [by the company, i.e. Fola]. Anytime a letter comes in, I will take it , out it in the file and read it. Somewhere I have to draw a line according to law….”For anyone wishing to mail in a comment or protest letter, mail such to: Attention PERMIT SUPERVISOR, #10 McJunkin Road, Nitro, WV 25143.
         So why an informal hearing instead of a formal hearing? Alt, “ccording to statute, it is called an informal conference, in a way it is a lot like a public hearing on the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System side….. An informal conference is a public hearing….WV and Federals call it that.”Earlier in this article was mention of taping the hearing and requests by the public to turn the thing on. Remember that? Alt said this is a new format that allowed the public to hear about the permit before taking public comments. Alt, “he whole thing is, the first part of it is supposed to be a question and answer [session]” Here it is readers, only the part that was taped will be reviewed prior to issuing the MTR permit. Get it? When locals choose not to repeat comments on tape, it was as if they were never there!
         Near the need of the interview, Mr. Larry Alt encouraged concerned citizens to call Fola and visit the operation to see first hand their workmanship and get answers.                                                                                         AW

10/07/02: Foreman – Nathan Toler, grand larceny (6/25/02), hearing continued to 12/10/02.
11/17/02: Delk – Aaron C. King, arrested for burglary, receiving or transferring stolen goods, and grand larceny (10/18/02), ROB, preliminary hearing set 12/10.
11/19/02: Delk – William W. Cottrell, burglary, receiving or transferring stolen goods, and grand larceny (10/18/02), arrested 11/13, ROB, preliminary waived to Circuit Court 11/19; Delk – Charles W. Greenleaf, burglary, receiving or transferring stolen goods, and grand larceny (10/18/02), arrested 11/13, defendant waived preliminary hearing to Circuit Court 11/19, bond reduced; Bailey – Thomas Ray Holcomb, retaliation (11/12/02), arrested, ROB, preliminary hearing set 12/03.
11/21/02: Delk – Michael E. Haines, DWR/DUIA (11/09/02), preliminary hearing: probable cause found – to Circuit Court.
11/08/02: DNR K.W. Bingaman – William Cody Burdette, spotlighting with firearm and loaded gun in vehicle, appeared 11/18, ROB; DNR Bingaman – Randy Lee Runion, spotlight w/implement (gun) and loaded gun in vehicle, appeared 11/18, ROB.
11/13/02: Ellyson – Tonya Salisbury, warrant for petit larceny, arrested 11/21, ROB.
11/15/02: Delk – Timothy S. Miller, DWR for DUIA, arrested, ROB, trial set 12/10; Light – Eric J. Nottingham, possession of marijuana less 15 gms and operator’, appeared, ROB.
11/16/02: Foreman – Michael Lanham, battery and destruction of property, arrested, ROB.
11/18/02: Belt – Ronnie L. Hamrick, warrant for battery, to appear 11/25; Belt – Coleman Hamrick, assault, summons issued, to appear 11/25; Belt – Michael Hunt, fail to deliver title to transferee, warrant.
11/19/02: Cunningham Motors, Inc. – Joyce B. Moore, WC, warrant; Marilyn Taylor, WC, warrant.
11/14/02: William McCallister – Earle Dunlap, money due, subpoena.
11/21/02: 84 Lumber Company – Damon Grose, money due, subpoena.
Worthless Checks
Notices issued –
11/14/02: Clay Supermarket – Jerry W. Quinn (paid 11/15); Lizemore Exxon – Anita S. Blankenship (paid 11/18), Michael B. Harvey (paid 11/22), Sandra G. Eagle, and Jacqueline R. Keener.
11/18/02: Clay Supermarket – Arthur G. Samples II.
11/19/02: IGA – Eric Wayne Moore; Clay Lion’ Club – Billy J. Deems.
11/20/02: Pennington Auto Supply, Inc. – Verna Pringle (paid 11/22).
11/25/02: Lizemore Exxon – Eric Wayne Moore X 2; Clay Supermarket – Thomas M. Eagle.
Traffic Citations
11/03/02: State Police – Eric J. Nottingham, possession of marijuana and operator’.
11/08/02: DNR – William C. Burdette, spotlighting with firearm and loaded gun in vehicle; Randy Lee Runion, spotlight w/implement (gun) and loaded gun in motor vehicle.
11/13/02: Sheriff’ Dept. – Charlene McLaughlin, speeding; State Police – Wesley C. Murphy, speeding.
11/19/02: State Police – Clara Cadle, failure to keep right; Larry Copen, no POI; William W. Pringle, no POI.
11/22/02: State Police – name missing (Eagle, Mit), speeding.

        School Board Meets at Lizemores
        The Clay County Board of Education met at Lizemore Elementary School for their regular meeting on Monday, November 18. All the members were present: R.B. Legg, Jr. (president), Gene King, Fran King, Scott Legg, and David Pierson, Jr. The Board was greeted by a large crowd of Lizemore parents, students, staff and supporters, well over 125 people. Shortly after 6 PM, R.B. Legg offered prayer, introduced the board members, and called the meeting to order.
        Entertainment was provided for the crowd by the Lizemore Lionettes Baton Corps (state and national champs this year!), followed by songs and poems performed by the various classes of Lizemore students, all celebrating the Thanksgiving season. After the 30 minutes of entertainment, the Board quickly proceeded with the business on their agenda. As the meeting was held in the school gym, where the acoustics are terrible, most of what was said or discussed at the Board table couldn’ be heard across the gym. The following is the business approved by the Board taken from their agenda, and I believe all motions passed unanimously:
        Previous Meeting minutes; employment of Geoff Hamrick as assistant wrestling coach at Clay Middle School (CMS), Paul Johnson, Jr. as assistant boys basketball coach at CMS, Mike Mullins as assistant girls basketball coach at CMS, Jason Nichols as assistant girls basketball coach at Clay County High School (CCHS), Teresa Morris as after school tutor at Lizemore, Clinton Nichols as after school activity school bus driver at Lizemore, Steve Stanley as after school tutor as needed at CMS – all successful bids; advertise for a substitute bus operator. A hearing was conducted to determine the status of a CMS student. The students parents were not present for the hearing, and it was noted that they had been informed. Board accepted the recommendations of CMS Principal Joan Haynie and Superintendent Jerry Linkinogger. The student will attend alternative school.
        Discussion topics included a Major Improvement Grant of $500,000 for central air and heating in the old part of Clay Elementary School. Linkinogger explained something to the Board, possibly concerning bids, but the discussion couldn’ be heard. Also, a letter from legislator John Pino, apparently in response to the Board’ letter requesting help with money to pay the increased salaries of teachers that completed the Masters program offered at H.E. White Elementary, was briefly discussed, but again nothing could be heard.
        Speaking for the Lizemore Local School Improvement Council (LSIC) Lizemore Principal Teresa Morris gave a short presentation on Lizemore Elementary. She said test scores are up where they should be at the school, and will go up again this year. She highlighted the reading programs and praised the Foster Grandparents that work the students. No Child Left Behind federal dollars are expected, and plans are to use it for computers. Meeting adjourned at 6:55 PM. TK


        Read a doozy the other day that just has to be relayed. There's a big debate going on about whether or not the yet to be created Homeland Security Department should use a satellite service that is being used by the Pentagon. This company has a $200 million annual contract with the U.S. government. The problem, it seems, is that even though this company is allegedly based in Bermuda or one of the islands, it is owned by Iraq, Iran, Syria and Libya. Duh!
        It really doesn't make much sense to me that we place our military and other communications in the hands, literally, of nations that oppose the U.S. with a vengeance. The degree and levels of incompetence within our bureaucracy that has allowed this situation to exist is incomprehensible. I am sure that some silver-tongued devil will blame it on the Unions and the competitive bidding process, both of which have been despised by our benevolent corporate leaders for generations. If it were happening in Clay or Mason County I would think there were kickbacks involved.
        Another burr under my saddle is the bombardment of advertising tied in with the attack and deaths at the WTC. I am so disgusted and so tired of seeing the flag waved, hearing drums roll and sometimes even flutes a tootling in the name of commercialization. All of a sudden it is patriotic to Spend, Spend, Spend. We've been told to buy cars, homes, furniture, fast food and beer, just to show our patriotism. Heck, it is even patriotic to take out loans or refinance your existing loans. I find the whole thing disgraceful to the lives lost, in America and around the world, to replay this horrible incident for the sake of making another buck.
        Yet another sad, silly example of the failure of our bureaucracy is that after a year of sort of probing, we still can't come up with a believable reason why our FBI, CIA, N.S.A. and a zillion other agencies couldn't have prevented this tragedy. The best excuse that has been put forth is that our various agencies "failed to work together". I hate to be redundant but, duh! It is alarming to discover that our Federal bureaucracy is nothing more than a better paid version of our own doofless, buck-passing, excuse-making counties and state bureaucracies. We had better hope that a higher power comes to our rescue because if all we have are our bureaucrats to protect us, then we have literally built our homes on shifting sands.
        Finally if you render the problems of this nation, this state and our counties down to their base elements, all you have left is greed and ignorance.

        In regard to the Delbert Davis note to the Communicator, I too knew Mr. J.D. Morris was crooked. Back in 1996, month of May, he took 1 hundred dollars out of our account, Melba Butcher and Hope Butcher, so I think the bank should put this back into our account of five dollars, which I leave in my account at Clay County Bank. Hope and I can use our 1 hundred at any time. Honest men, women, boys, girls, are hard to find these days, scarce as hen’ teeth.
                                Melba Butcher, Clay

        To the owner or owners of this paper, I'm writing to you because of your recent entry regarding the links to Big Bang and Recipe. To place no warnings above these links of what might happen if you view them is seemly like entrapment. Yes, I clicked on them to see if you were making a joke, but after seeing some of the information I quickly exited out. It wasn't until after I continued to read down the page that I saw such a warning. I'm sure that many local citizens will be upset with you for this, as I am.
        I'm proud to be an American and would die to defend our nation. What you have done was inappropriate and entrapment of many of our citizens who view your website. I will NOT purchase any future newspapers or visit your website again. If someone gets this information from your link and they cause any type of damage, you will no doubt be responsible for supplying it and I hope you are judged accordingly.

David Hughes
Clay, WV

NOTE: Mr Hughes is referring to and the posting from last week referring clickers to sites giving the recipe to make “rank”and another with complete instructions on how to build an atomic bomb. After the link entries came mention that such looking raises a red flag to the Federal Government under the new Homeland Security Act signed into law by President George W Shrub. All comments by subscribers to this paper or web site are appreciated and encouraged.


Serving size: l hen, Total Servings: 4

4 Cornish hens (1 pound each)
1 medium orange, quartered
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 package (4-serving size) sugar-free
orange-flavored gelatin
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup orange juice

1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat a roasting pan with nonstick cooking spray. Place the Cornish hens in the pan; place an orange quarter into the cavity of each. Season with salt and pepper.
2) In a small bowl, combine the remaining ingredients and pour the mixture over the hens. Roast, uncovered, for 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 hours, or until no pink remains and the juices run clear, basting every 20 minutes.
3) Serve whole, or cut in half; drizzle with additional glaze from the pan.

Exchanges: (no skin eaten)
1-1/2 Carbohydrate - 3 Very Lean Meat
Calories 198. Calories from Fat 31. Total Fat 3 g. Saturated Fat 1 g. Cholesterol 94 mg. Sodium 404 mg.
Carbohydrate 20 g. Dietary Fiber 0 g.
Sugars 19 g. Protein 22 g.

Exchanges: (skin eaten) 1-1/2 Carbohydrate - 6 Medium-Fat Meat - 1/2 Fat Calories 573. Calories from Fat 312. Total Fat 35 g. Saturated Fat 10g. Cholesterol 249 mg. Sodium 469 mg. Carbohydrate 20 g. Dietary Fiber 0 g. Sugars 19 g. Protein 44.
“hese little birds are big on taste, thanks to the sugar-free gelatin and honey. Want to jazz’m up a bit more? Sprinkle a little orange zest over them just before serving.”
Serving Size: 1/2 cup, Total Servings: 4

1 tablespoon canola oil
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup fat-free milk
1 package (16 ounces) frozen peas and onions, thawed

1) In a medium saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the flour, butter, nutmeg, and pepper; whisk until smooth.
2) Slowly add the milk, whisking until smooth and thickened. Stir in the peas and onions, and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until heated through. Serve immediately.

Exchanges 1 Starch. 1 Fat
Calories 137. Calories from Fat 61. Total Fat 7g. Saturated Fat 2g. Cholesterol 9mg. Sodium 102mg. Carbohydrate 14g. Dietary Fiber 3g. Sugars 9g. Protein 5g.

        OK, Sure we can buy a pre-made dish like this in the supermarket frozen food section, but look at that nutrition label! We’e much better off making it at home. And things always taste better coming from our own kitchens!”
Enjoy your Thanksgiving Dinner
Until next time,