October 4, 2001

Click on the title of a story to read that story, then use your back button to return.
Sewer Rate Increase Denied!
CDC Director Says, "Rumors, Rumors, Rumors"
Did You Know
The West Virginia University Extension Service: What It Is and Who It Serves
Widen Water Update
Magistrate Report
Clay County Commission Meeting
Kay's Cooking Corner
Challenge West Virginia
Clay Students to Recieve Over $96,000.00
School Board Meeting

         Cash strapped Clay Town Council has been struck yet another blow to the road of financial solvency. This set back came as a result of the WV Public Service Commission (WV PSC) denying the long sought 260% sewer rate increase. But don=t get excited readers, it=s still coming!!
        Up until Sept. 28, 2001, Council leaders and Mayor Murphy felt that the sewer rate increase was a done deal and would be added to the September sewer bills. A phone call to the WV PSC on the 28th changed everything. According to information provided during the October 2 Town Council meeting, the Town, under the guidance of WV PSC engineer Jim Weimer, did not follow the rules in advertising the upcoming sewer rate increase to the public.
        Mayor Betty Murphy told Council ,
@ We are not getting the rate increase... Jim Weimer told [then Mayor] Glenn wrong.@ Murphy was referring to three months ago when Glenn Nichols was Mayor and oversaw the rate increase procedures. Murphy went on to say that the Town would have to start the entire process over again and the new higher rates, if approved this time around, would not be on the customer bills until Dececember.
        Currently the sewer plant operation has over $8000 in bills and received just $3872.00 last month. As to the urgency of the increase, Ms Murphy,
@ The lift station motors are down.... The plant is falling down faster than we can keep it up!!@
        She was referring to the numerous electrical problems that have plagued the three year old
Astate of the art@ facility, since it became operational. As a for a warranty on the new plant, not much help there. All electrical parts are on a Apro rated@ warranty and since it has been three years, the warranty will have little impact on reducing the cost when buying replacement motors, switches, boxes and the like.
         Specifically, the town erred when it provided public notice( in that little paper over in Clay) before the actual vote to ask for a rate increase was made by Town Council. They did it backwards the PSC ruled.
        In an attempt to get the rate increase as quickly as possible, Town Council started the whole process over again October 2 by voting and accepting the first reading of the Sewer Rate Increase Ordinance again.
Of course, in the background, are hard feelings on even the need for a rate increase. Just four years ago, the WV PSC found that the rates already established (with a hard fought rate increase) would be sufficient to operate the new plant as well as pay the debt load incurred during construction. PSD inspired plans called for the addition of 300 customers within the system to meet the ever growing and sprawling increase in business and residential demands of the town and county.
NOTE: Similar projections of growth are the basis of water rates for the proposed regional water plant soon to be under construction.
         As far as immediate plans to keep the sewer plant operating, the outlook is gloomy. Already the loan to build the sewer plant is in default and Mayor Murphy told office clerks NOT to make any more loan payments until the new rate increase becomes effective sometime this winter. Ms Murphy did not feel that any more of the Town
=s grant dollars should be used to make the loan payments.
        Currently all sewage from the town and the Two Run area of the town are not being treated at the plant but rather being dumped directly into the Elk River behind Telford
=s Chevy Garage near the old Pisguah Bridge site. That condition has existed since September 25 when two motors and pumps broke down at the lift station located there.
        Additionally, more expenses were added to the
Ain the red operation@ when Council voted October 2 to provide free hospitalization coverage to Sewer Plant Operator Larry Chaffin.
         It should be noted that during the last rate increase case request ( in July and August of this year) , not one letter of complaint or concern was received by Town Council and during the public hearing period. No resident of the Town spoke out against the 260% rate increase. It is expected that this new increase will sail thru the process easily since the entire town appears in support of higher monthly expenses. One other note, this rate increase will not be the last increase to be seen by area users . Then Mayor Glenn Nichols told an assemblage in August, after this increase goes on the books, the WV PSC will then do a cost study and most likely recommend an additional rate increase to make the operation financially sound.

CDC Director says, “Rumors, Rumors, Rumors”
        Through out the county are rumors that Clay Development Corporation (CDC) is in deep stuff again. Stories that the Federal boys have been to the county last week and issued subpoenas left and right to employees. The talk is once again Medicaid/Medicare fraud.
It was just a little over two years ago that CDC made statewide news during a very stormy period of lawsuits, firings, taxpayer paid-for court challenges , throwing out the Board of Directors, and the like.
         Any truth to the rumors? As has always been the policy of this newspaper, we spoke to those in charge of CDC.
First rumors surfaced September 25 with reports of subpoenas being served on two CDC home care workers. The story went that a worker had been receiving pay and not performing the work for a senior citizen. By the 26th, word had it that the worker had actually been at a beach down south instead of on the job as time records indicated.
        On Thursday September 27th CDC Chair Earnie Sirk was interviewed. According to Sirk,
A The only thing that I know is...the rumors are going around. I really don=t know how to answer that now. I don=t really know what is going on other than Clay Development is not involved in it.... I don=t know what kind of investigation is going on. My understanding is one of the workers got caught out there involved in a .. a.. I don=t know what I am suppose to say or not suppose to say legally... it is just fraud between the worker and the client which don=t have nothin= to do with us.@
As to the Fed coming into CDC and removing a bunch of files Friday, September 28, Sirk,
@ No , no, there=s been nobody to Clay Development. The only word is, and I talked to a couple of them down at Clay Development, evidently, there is a family down there somewhere that is in a D*** fight or having an argument
        ....And someone turned in a time sheet and signed off on a work sheet for one of the workers. They all get in a big hair pulling...
Sirk stopped and commented that he had to be very concerned over what he or others may say in public since an investigation may follow. Sirk,@It=s not the FBI. It=s the Medicare fraud outfit. Now what I am telling you is just what I=ve received. I have not talked to anybody in authority. The organization has NOT been contacted. But I reckon the streets are full [of rumors].@
Sirk went on to say that he had done some investigation in the past himself to satisfy folks that had called him with problems. Sirk,@ I am telling you now, if they was anything going on ... I dug deeper than anybody will ever know.. so help me God I will not be a part of not one brown A** penny misuse or abuse!! I will never be no party of it. I have looked. Unless it is D**** well hidden. I will always defend CDC. There will always be rumors.... I will be no part of any crooked A** BS from any of them!@
If an employee is caught is that grounds for firing? Sirk, AIf one of the employees , one the staff, one of Betty Stalnaker=s staff, or Betty Stalnaker herself would be caught up in a conspiracy with one of the workers to defraud Medicare Or anything else that is not kosher... Damn Right THEY WOULD BE FIRED!!!... I will feed them to the lions. IF there is someone that knows something on CDC, I want them to step forward and burn their A**@
         By Monday, October 1, word had it that the Feds were over at the Prosecutor
=s office searching records.
        A search of the Federal records at the Robert C Bird Federal Building in Charleston, October 2, 2001, turned up no new court cases and only listed the one lawsuit against the CDC from two years ago when the removed Board of Directors appeared in Judge Haden
=s court room. As for subpoenas or outstanding warrants, not found either.
       But in Clayberry, the story is snowballing. For a further update on the matter, CDC Director Betty Stalnaker was interviewed by telephone on Oct 2. Stalnaker,
@ I can assure you that Clay Development has nothing to do with any of the rumors. I don=t pay attention to any of the rumors.@ Have any Federal people been there checking you out? Stalnaker,@ No sir they have not.. they have not.@ As for all the rumors,@ I don=t listen to the rumors and I don=t spread gossip.@
        According to a staffer at the US Attorney General
=s office in Charleston, on October 3 at 2:35pm, the Federal Grand Jury returned no Atrue bills= relating to Clay County. The jury concluded at noon on October 3, 2001.
        All rumors or just a slow Federal system? Time will tell.

1. The number of West Virginia inmates over the age of 50 rose 137 percent since 1991.
2. Social Security paid $31 million through the end of last year to dead people who were listed as deceased in the agency’s own electronic files.
3. West Virginia workers are 74 percent as productive as their counterparts nationwide.
4. There are 1,495 Americans still missing in action from the Vietnam War.
5. More toilets flush during Super Bowl halftime, than any other time of the year.
6. First offense bear poachers will receive fines totaling $1,000 to $5,000 and 30 to 100 days in jail and a two year hunting license suspension.
7. In a nationwide poll of 201 advertising executives, 66 percent found the morning hours most conductive to creative thought.
8. Malaria kills more people than any other tropical parasitic disease, at least one million worldwide each year.
9. Health-net sees about 2,500 people yearly.
10. About a million people suffer from Parkinson’s
11. According to the FBI’s National Crime Information
Center Database, 40,996 adults were missing as of June 30 2001.
12. A survey by the American Animal Hospital Association reports that 84 percent of animal owners consider themselves the animals Mom or Dad. 63 percent celebrated it’s birthday and 43 percent displayed its picture
at work.
13. Great Smokey Mountains National Park is considering a ban on ramp digging, based on the harvest level data. Harvest plots will require two or more decades to recover.
14. Recent census data showed that West Virginia has the highest rates of disabilities in the country.
15. School bus travel is four times as safe as an automobile, according to national statistics.
16. Millions of Americans have tattoos, but at some time 50 percent want to have them removed.
17. Nationwide an all time high of nearly 1.1 million
graduates took the ACT test, but just 11,857 students in West Virginia took the test.
18. The only people with whom you should try to get
even, are those who have helped you. Mary Maloo
19. Innocence and mystery never dwell long together.
Susanne Necker.
20. Since the program began in 1992, hunters have
provided 248,000 pounds of venison to hungry West Virginians. LMM

The West Virginia University Extension Service: What It Is and Who It Serves
Steve Zaricki, Clay County Extension Agent
       The mission of the West Virginia University Extension Service is to form learning partnerships with the people of West Virginia to enable them to improve their lives and communities. To these partnerships, Extension brings useful research- and experience-based knowledge that facilitates critical thinking and skill development.
        Through its Extension Service, West Virginia University provides a “mini campus” in each of the state’s 55 counties. The work at these locations addresses a wide variety of community issues via a nontraditional mix of learners, faculty, staff and volunteers. Part of an educational network of 105 land-grant universities, the West Virginia University Extension Service takes the helping hand of West Virginia University directly to thousands of West Virginians in communities scattered across the state.
        Drawing on the strengths of West Virginia University’s many academic disciplines, Extension educators target communities’ social, economic, environmental and technical problems. Working daily with local residents, Extension personnel are committed to helping people find answers that work. As they solve problems along with local citizens--individually and in groups--Extension personnel and staff translate West Virginia University’s research and knowledge into action.
         If you live in West Virginia, you probably have seen the helping hand of the West Virginia University Extension Service at work...
…as it helps volunteer firefighters learn to protect families and property.
…as it helps children learn skills that help them build character and plan careers through 4-H and school retention and enhancement programs.
…as it helps individuals learn new ways to produce income.
…as it trains volunteers to serve West Virginia’s communities and schools.
…as it helps farmers improve productivity. Through integrated pest management, farmers are increasing their savings by learning to control crop pests with fewer pesticides. Through total resource management, soil testing and other Extension programs, farmers are employing better production and management practices for livestock and produce.
…as it helps landowners learn to use natural resources more wisely. West Virginia’s natural resources are being protected as landowners use West Virginia University Extension’s water quality and timber conservation strategies and as homeowners adopt composting, yard waste management and recycling techniques.
…as it helps families become more resilient and healthy.
…as it helps managers and laborers improve relations and workplace safety.
…as it helps local governments learn strategies to tackle economic and community development issues. From throughout West Virginia, solid waste authority representatives turn to West Virginia University Extension for training on the latest developments in technology, regulation and program implementation. Similarly, West Virginia University Extension is helping communities plot their development for the next decade. Ten communities, for example, already have developed tourism plans.
        West Virginia University Extension programs are financed via a variety of funding combinations: federal appropriations and grants; state appropriations and grants; county commission, county school board and other governmental appropriations; and users fees and private grants.
         The Clay County Chapter of the West Virginia Community Educational Outreach Service is looking for new members. The group meets to conduct and participate in educational programs dedicated to helping members continue their education, gain leadership skills and inspire community involvement. Members have opportunities to influence home and community life; develop skills in working with and leading people; grow personally; develop homemaking skills; grow as a community volunteer and work with other organizations on common goals. If you are interested in joining please call the Extension office.
         The 4-H program is currently looking for volunteers to serve as leaders to a club in Clay and to the Clay County Action Livestock Club. If you or someone you know might be interested in serving as a volunteer to lend a hand to Clay County youth, please call the office.
        Programs and activities offered by the West Virginia University Extension Service are available to all persons without regard to race, color, gender, religion, age, veteran status, political beliefs, sexual orientation, natural origin, and marital or family status.
          The West Virginia University Clay County Extension Office is located on the second floor of the “new” courthouse in downtown Clay. Steve Zaricki is the Extension Agent and Sarah Anderson is the Office Secretary. Please feel free to call 587-4267 or stop by the office between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday - Friday.

         Clay County=s Emergency Ambulance Authority met in regular session September 25 at the Health Dept. building in downtown Clay at 6:00 pm. All members present with new to the helm, Bob Ore, sitting in the hotseat as Chair person. For those that follow the endeavors of the volunteer board, this edition is particularly revealing. Grab a soda, sit back, and enjoy. Over thirty folks attended the get together with most of them there in support of fired employee Patty Mollahan. Also of note was the presence of Bill Pierson, husband of Director Jackie Pierson as well as Dave Pierson, Jackie=s son. Oh Boy folks!
           Ms Pierson reported that newspaper ads seeking a collection agency for long past due ambulance service bills didn
=t do too well. Only one responder. Ore suggested that the lone bid be held and the contract be re advertised. So done.
         As for resumes for the soon to be vacated Director
=s position..... no takers! Some controversy as to whether the job requires a college degree or not. Pierson felt that experience could be substituted for the college degree while the ad itself mandates that the applicants have a college degree and related work experience. No decisions, no answers.
          Here we go readers, when asked about the agenda item
Arotation of duty crews@ which was posted by member Fran King and to opening the discussion on her agenda item, Fran King,@ We=ll just skip it.@ With just those few words, the peanut gallery knew something was up with the tone of King=s voice.
Still a sore thumb, the CCEAA annual budget for this fiscal year has not been submitted to the County Commission in a legal format. The budget was to be submitted in March of this year for approval by July 1. Now 60 days into the new fiscal year, the CCEAA has no management tool, the budget, to guide them.
         As for finances, bookkeeper Marie Haynes reported that to date the CCEAA has billed out $91,441.00. After questioning, Joretta Gray reported that there is no way to show what is actually collected from the billing process that the figures
Aare not separated out.@. Member Larry Cole estimated that they will actually collect only $30,000.00 from the $91, 441.00 billed During the financial report, the attention was again directed to CCEAA Treasurer Fran King who was looking pretty uninterested with the whole matter. As Ms Gray handed out a computer read out, Ore, AThat=s it?@ Fran, AI guess so.@ After some prying by Ore, Fran , sounding a little whiney, retorted that she never sees the finances until the night of the meeting, and A No use having a Treasurer, I don=t write the checks and I don=t see the bills..@ Friction , friction, friction!! Director Pierson commented that she thought that Ms King would come in ahead of time and look at the figures ( translation: show some interest).
          And then ... Ms King opened up, she was upset! King commented on the group buying uniforms while Cunningham Motors of Ivydale was holding onto a long overdue CCEAA bill ($2500.00) for gas and services . She went on to discuss Budget Digest $ that was intended for a new ambulance now being used for radios and uniforms! Joretta pulled the
Awho=s on first@ bit with ,@ I don=t take care of em [bills].@ Pierson explained that a payment arrangement had been made with Cunninghams. Fran was ready to quit her newly appointed position ( Treasurer) with, A The books back there are ATROCIOUS!!@.
          There is less than $42,000 left in the life saving, end of the fiscal year ( July 2001) loan secured to be a
Acushion@ for hard times. Motion made and passed to pay Cunningham Motors.
           The financial nightmare continued with Arlie Fulks saying,
A We are $12,000 in the red this month...@ Member Gene King brought the discussion back to hiring a collection agent and doing so now. Discussion turned to how the CCEAA had previously turned to the Magistrate Court for collection to no or little avail. King had served most of the lawsuit papers and commented,@ They’re not afraid of me are they?@ Lots of laugher from the peanut gallery. Gene, A If we slide down another 9 or 10 [thousand]... getting scarey.@ Arlie,@ .. no more loans are available.@ To compound the problem, ambulance runs are down again this month and in October there are three pay periods.
         Another long standing money hole is Laurel Nursing at Big Otter. Laurel has received free ambulance
Ataxi service@ to doctor=s appointments for years. Recently the CCEAA has tried to get the private group to pay for such runs . To date, Laurel has not committed in writing to paying. At only his second meeting, Chair Ore understood the situation, A Cut them off!@ Member Larry Cole agreed with Ore and suggested that the ambulance service Apick and choose@ the non emergency runs for Laurel and if they won=t be paid for the run, don=t do it. Gene King, almost in one of those crying jags, A I am afraid to turn down some old person... we still do those up some of these hollers...@ Again Ore asked the committee to cut off the dead beats. Gene, A Let=s try to work with them. Some of them are our people up there. Results: Ore almost had them out of the dollar draining situation that has gone on for years.
During discussions, CCEAA agreed to pay contractor, Dana Holcomb Garage, additional monies for doing vehicle alignments at $35.00 per whack.
         Something odd here. Director Pierson asked the CCEAA to start attending Employee Fund Committee meetings. After discussion, CCEAA decided to have no part of the group made up of employees gathering private money. NOTE: read elsewhere in this edition about the
Aterrorism incident@.
As for the CCEAA paying for training of paramedics, nope. According to Ore,
@ Personally, I am in favor of paying for the classes, but we have to pull ourselves out of this hole first.@
         And now for the main event!! With nearly 30 folks there in support of fired employee Patty Mollahan and with Director Pierson backed up with husband and son, Gene King opened the discussion up on Mollahan being fired in a letter written by Director Pierson. In background, Mollahan had been disciplined in a secret meeting where she had asked to be removed from the work schedule for two months. Sometime after that meeting Pierson wrote the letter of termination to Mollahan. Also in background and discussed by the tense crowd was information that many other employees in the past had asked to be off the schedule for lengthy periods and those folks had not been fired. Getting good now folks!
         Chair Ore was solidly in support of the Director stating that the termination,
@was up to the Director.@ Ore tried to get the item first into secret session and then repeatedly tried to get it tabled until the next meeting. Molloahan , whose name was not listed on the agenda list, retorted that she had asked to be on the agenda ahead of time. Fran admitted that she had forgotton to add the name as requested. At the mention of tabling the discussion, from around the room, in unison, came A NO NO NO !!@ Mollahan ,@ I asked to be on the agenda!@ Mollahan went on to say that she wanted the discussion done in public. Fran quoted from the CCEAA handbook which, according to Fran, states that the Director only recommends a firing.
         From the peanut gallery, from a lady in the back,
@ This is HARASSMENT!!@ Ore, AWe don=t need to discuss this here!@ Gene King said she had the right to discuss the matter in open session but he wanted an attorney present. Again, Ore retorted that the Director has the authority to do firings. Fran now hot and reading from the manual, A [Director] makes recommendations for dismissal, not fired!@
         Ore suggested that Patty could come back to work after two months. That didn
=t set too well with the natives. From the back,@ YOU TERMINATED HER!! HOW CAN SHE COME BACK?????@ Fran, now getting emotional, said that other part timers of the CCEAA only work certain times of the year and are not fired, A Why the difference with Patty? You can= t pick one lady out!!@
          Again from the back of the room a lady echoed the sentiments of the masses,
@ That=s HARASSMENT!@ She was looking right at Ms Pierson. Director Pierson fired back that she would not be threatened!!! Folks are on the edge of their seats. Fran now seeking a secret session. Instead a cool down break was ordered. During the break discussions continued. The cool down time didn=t work. They were all right back at it! Ore again and again tried to get the matter tabled. Right in the middle of all the hollering, the meeting was adjourned. Still didn=t work. People still hollering with one man stating, A You put this in the paper. Big Otter will be back next month with twice as many!!@
         More more more. Joe Beets inserted that he had had a reprimand put in his files. Still more on Patty not being allowed on the agenda. One lady cautioned loudly that without Patty up at Big Otter, there may be bad experiences coming. Ore commented that he was trying to do what was right. Then something about a breach of confidentiality and phone log left laying open by the Director indicating that Mollahan had been fired and details. Pierson denied it and
A I take pride in my work!@ Hot hot hot Arlie Fulks, A If all employees take time off at the same time, that=s when we call JanCare.”
         Several stayed. Several began looking at various manuals. Gene,
A What the H*** are they looking for?@ The Big Otter delegation was over in the corner huddling.
          In closing: the CCEAA is having real troubles finding both a collection agent, a new Director, the Big Otter end o f the county is madder than ever at the administration of the Ambulance Service; Bob Ore barely got out of the room without being strangled; the government agency is in very grave financial straits and they don
=t have a budget to work with. Other than those few little things, life is good at the Ambulance Service.

Widen Water Update

        Engineers of the National Drinking Water Clearinghouse of West Virginia University are currently reviewing preliminary test results of the Widen water source. Members of the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection, Abandoned Mine Lands Division, performed the water samples and testing.
         The purpose of the review of the testing is twofold. First, the determination must be made that there are no glaring characteristics that would tend to rule out the water as a source of drinking water. An example of this would be a large amount of aluminum or acidity which could require expensive treatment. The secondary purpose of the engineer
=s review will be to determine if the water is acceptable enough to be worthy of the full battery of testing which is required under the Safe Drinking Water Act. This battery of tests will cost approximately $1,000.
       If some characteristic of the water definitely will require expensive treatment, the $1,000 battery of tests obviously will not be performed. The option would be to drill a well, which also is not a guarantee of clean potable water, especially in a region that has been heavily mined for a long period of years.
        A white substance is visible on the rocks of the streambed below this water source for approximately one-quarter mile from the mine opening. This material apparently dissipates into the atmosphere after it has run for a distance downstream over rocks. Aluminum or gypsum are two possible sources of the white deposits. A sulfate reading of 151mg/l could indicate that aluminum is the source, as gypsum generally will not dissipate so readily, except at much higher sulfate readings. The DEP team has taken rock samples covered with this white deposit. The deposit will be scraped off and x-rayed for identification. This is the reason for such extensive testing. It must be known exactly what is in the water, in what quantities, and how these
Aingredients@ interact with one another and to treatment methods.
        The National Drinking Water Clearinghouse has tentatively agreed to pay at least a portion of the cost for the full battery of tests, once those tests are deemed necessary.
        The goal of the Rural Community Assistance Program is to provide clean, safe drinking water, which is affordable to the residents of Widen. This requires much cooperation among agencies, thought and planning, and the goal is still within reach.

Rick Proctor
Technical Assistance Provider
Rural Community Assistance Program


        Federal and state law requires the legislature to redraw the boundaries of legislative districts after each census, which is done every ten years. The purpose of redistricting is to shift legislative representation according to shifts in population. The West Virginia legislature just finished its redistricting plan, which causes a change in Clay County
=s state senate district. I am writing to explain the process that resulted in this change.
        I made my views on redistricting clear to my Senate colleagues. I simply wanted to ensure that no county in my district was divided among two or more Senate districts. I also wanted to put all of Fayette County, which was divided into two Senate districts after the 1990 census, into the same district. These goals are in accord with the requirements of the West Virginia Constitution, which mandates that Senate districts: (1) be roughly equal in population; (2) be composed of contiguous territory; (3) be compact; and (4) run along county boundaries.
To my dismay, I discovered that the only goal of the Senate leadership was to protect the incumbents and not force any incumbent to run against another. The only way to do this and keep the population of each district approximately equal, was to carve strangely-shaped districts in total disregard of county boundaries. One senator jokingly referred to these plans as
AGerrymandering 101.@
        Due to the tremendous loss of population in the southern coal field counties, those districts had to expand geographically. The problem is that even though these counties are sparsely populated, there is an incumbent senator from each of them (Wayne, Lincoln, Logan, McDowell, Mingo, Raleigh, Wyoming and Mercer). Due to the desire not to force a race between two incumbent senators, the areas of possible expansion were limited. In fact, there was only one way to move.
       The 6th district of Wayne, Mingo and McDowell counties expanded into Mercer County, taking nearly one half of its population. This expansion caused the 10th district to lose about 25,000 people, which required it to expand. The only areas of expansion were into Fayette and Greenbrier counties.
       I did not want to see any county in my district divided, including my home county of Greenbrier. Unless you follow West Virginia politics closely, you may not understand the importance of keeping a county in the same Senate district. When a county is split, the people of that county lose political influence in Charleston. This particularly hurts small counties like Clay because it is tough enough for the smaller counties to have adequate representation when they are not split between legislative districts.
        After two days of looking at various plans and maps, it became clear to me that due to the Senate leadership
=s refusal to force two senators to run against each other, there was no way to draw the districts without carving up many counties, including Clay. There are simply too many senators in the southern part of the state. The only way I was going to keep the counties in my district together, and to put Fayette County together, was to offer to bow out of the legislature. This would allow a plan that would put all of Greenbrier County in the 10th district, to make up for the loss of population caused by the enroachment of the 6th district. It also permitted putting almost all of Fayette County in the 11th district. If I had not agreed to forgo a run for re-election next year, the Senate would not have agreed to this plan because it would have forced an election between me and incumbent senator Leonard Anderson (D-Summers).
       Thus, Clay County, in its entirety, will remain a part of the 11th senatorial district, along with Webster, Nicholas and most of Fayette counties. Additionally, part of Upshur County has been added to this district. All of Greenbrier County has been removed from the 11th district, and therefore I will no longer be representing Clay County when my term expires. The 11th district will be represented by Senator Shirley Love (D-Fayette), and there will be one open seat. I encourage someone from Clay County to run for this open seat.
       I was very disappointed in the conduct of many of my Senate colleagues who spent 10 days fighting, bickering and even threatening one another in an attempt to carve out districts that would ensure their self-preservation, in total disregard of the needs and wishes of their constituents. There were heated arguments about slicing precincts out of counties to help incumbent senators win re-election. I was not about to let anyone cut up Clay County, or any of the other counties in my district, even if it meant giving up my seat. The plan we ended up with is gerrymandered to protect incumbents and is clearly unconstitutional. For that reason, I voted against it even though I was pleased that the counties I represent were able to remain whole.
       Agreeing to give up my seat in the Senate was a difficult decision, but I know it was the right choice. I was elected to represent my constituents, not to represent myself. I very much enjoy public service, and I will miss the Senate. But my only regret is that I realize I may have disappointed many people who contributed a great deal of time and/or money in helping to elect me to the Senate. I hope you can understand my decision.
Sincerely yours,
Mark Burnette

Magistrate Report

9-20-01: Delk-Douglas Bottenfield for setting fire to personal property.
9-27-01: Bailey-Paul A. Holcomb for poss./delivery of controlled substance, ROB hearing set.
9-20-01: Donna Smith- Jackie Keener & Joyce Ann Holcomb both for peace bond ROB 9-26-01
9-24-01: Belt-Charles Brown for assault, battery, ROB
Belt-Danny Young, Jr. for dest. Of property, ROB 9-28-01.
Belt-Elizabeth Zae for assault, ROB.
King’s Wrecker Service-Christine Risden, warrant for wc dismissed- check paid.
Belt-Thomas Franklin King for petit larceny, ROB 9-25-01.
9-25-01: McKown-Thomas F. King poss. Of marijuana < 15grms, ROB.
9-27-01: Guthrie-Marvin C. Hively for disturbance of religious worship, ROB.
9-28-01: Forman-William J. Shaw for DUI, failure to maintain control, ROB.
9-29-01: McKown-Seth Fredrick Rucker for petit larceny, obstructing, ROB
10-01-01: Guthrie-Leonard Ray Morris for DB, dest. Of property, warrant issued.
9-19-01: Julia Holmes-J.R. Gill for money due, defendant filed answer denying claim- trial set.
9-20-01: James Dawson-Mike’s Clock Shop for money due.
9-25-01: King’s Grocery-Allen Hanshaw for money due
St. Francis Hospital-Brian Hodge for money due
Shirley Wolcheck-James Holsten for money due
Wanda Haines-Delma Fay Haines subpoena for UD.
9-26-01: Nichols Furniture & Appliance-Jason M. Smith-$2569.71
9-27-01: Gauley River PSD-Terry Jo Stone for money due.
Worthless Checks:
Buford’s Carry Out-Ricky D. Hall for wc x2.
Traffic Citations:
9-17-01: State Police-Russell W. Brown for seat belt violation & operators; David Shoults for seat belt violations; Jackie White for seat belt violation
Sheriff-Jeannie Sue Wood for NPOI, & no child restraint.
9-18-01: State Police-James T. Cottrell for def. Equip, regis. Violaitons x2; Larry N. Truman for seat belt violation; William Raymon West for MVI.
Sheriff-Waynette K. Dodrill for NPOI & MVI.
9-20-01: State Police-Melody D. Adkins for seat belt violation.
9-21-01: State Police-Samatha Schafstall-def. Equip, & regis. Violation.
9-23-01: State Police-Marvin Cris Hively for disturbance of religious worship.
Sheriff-Darrell A. Adkins for MVI.

Clay County Commission Meeting
       The Clay County Commission (CCC) met Tuesday, September 25, in the courthouse for their regular meeting. All Commissioners were present - Tim Butcher, Jimmy Sams, and Commission President Matthew Bragg. Bragg, who is still recuperating from recent surgeries and lengthy hospital stays, looked a little thin, but otherwise good and ready to get to work.
        Bragg called the meeting to order at 10:10 a.m. and asked Sams to offer prayer. The CCC considered a request from Irwin Bishop that he be placed on the 911 call list for wrecker service. Sams said he
=d talked with Bishop, who=s starting a wrecker service somewhere in the Bomont area. Sams pointed out that Clay didn=t have a policy on requirements for wrecker service and felt, since the county is part of 911, that they should adopt the same policy the 911 uses. Requirements included having three roll-backs, 24 hour service, and a place of business. CCC voted to adopt the policy. Not clear if Bishop can meet those requirements.
        Next, Paige Willis from the Business Development Authority (BDA) asked the CCC to transfer ownership of some property in Ivydale to the BDA. Willis explained there was property the BDA was interested in for economic development in Dundon, and although the owner wasn
=t interested in selling, he was apparently interested in trading property for property. Bragg reported that the owner had looked at the Ivydale property, an old land fill site, and saw that people were starting to dump trash there again, and didn=t think he was interested in it anymore.
       Other action taken: approval of erroneous assessments, previous meeting minutes, payment of bills and purchase orders presented, budget revisions, ending the Litter Control Program September 28 until next spring, an addendum to the Mutual Aid Agreement between the CCC and the Nicholas County Commission for 911 dispatching which increases the monthly cost to &4,479.75 (Sams said they need to be told that the next dispatcher hired should come from Clay County), and the probating of wills and final settlements as presented.
The CCC granted permission for use of the polling places for a special election January 19, 2002 for a levy requested by the Clay County Board of Education. There will be no monetary cost for the county for the levy election.
CCC adopted a resolution supporting the President of the United States as he deals with the recent attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
       Goodwin and Goodwin were hired as bond council for the consolidation of the public service districts, having offered the lowest bid. No action was taken on appointing members to the Clay County Regional Public Service District - CCC said they weren
=t ready for that yet.
        CCC questioned Paige Willis on the 911 addressing for the county. Apparently problems continue, and CCC asked that McKenzie (hired to do the addressing) come to the next meeting to give an update on what he is doing. Sams said the Prosecuting Attorney was to have sent McKenzie a letter regarding the delays with the addressing, but as far as he knew, there was never one written. Sams said they may have to hire legal advice on what to do about the addressing.
All motions passed unanimously. Meeting adjourned at 10:50 a.m. -TK

Kay’s Cooking Corner


“Didn‘t think you could have such a rich and creamy main dish? Well, think again! Using ingredients with reduced fat and no-yolk noodles lets us indulge in oh-so-tasty dinners without cheating on our meal plans.”
Serving Size: 1/8 recipe, Total Servings: 8
1 1-pound boneless beef top sirloin, well trimmed and thinly sliced across the grain
1 small onion, chopped
1 pound fresh sliced mushrooms
1 can (l0-3/4 ounces) condensed reduced-fat cream of mushroom soup
1 cup dry white wine
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
l pound uncooked no-yolk egg noodles
1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1) Coat a nonstick skillet with nonstick cooking spray.
Add the steak and onion and brown over medium-high for 5 to 7 minutes, or until no pink remains in
steak and the onions are tender, stirring occasionally.
2) Add the mushrooms and cook for 3 minutes, or until tender. Reduce the heat to medium-low and stir in
the soup, wine, and pepper; simmer for 25 minutes,
or until the steak is tender.
3) Prepare the noodles according to the package directions, omitting the salt; drain, then set aside and cover to
keep warm.
4) Add the sour cream and parsley to the steak mixture,
and cook for 1 minute, or until heated through; do not boil. Serve over the warm noodles.
Exchanges: 3 Starch...2 Very Lean Meat...1 Vegetable
Calories...342...Calories from Fat...47...Total Fat...5 g
Saturated Fat...2 g...Cholesterol...38 mg...Sodium...212 mg
Carbohydrate...48 g...Dietary Fiber...4 g...Sugars...6 g...Protein...22 g
“Want to make a hit with the kids? Here’s a fun activity for them (and it tastes great, too): Instead of pouring the mixture into a mold, pour it onto a cookie sheet. After it firms up, let the kids at it with different shaped cookie cutters.”
Serving Size: 1/2 cup, Total Servings: 10
2 packages (4-serving size) sugar-free orange gelatin
2 cups boiling water
1 cup ice cubes
1 can (15-1/4 ounces) tropical fruit cocktail, drained
2 cups frozen light whipped topping, thawed
1) In a large bowl, dissolve the gelatin in the boiling water; add the ice cubes and stir until melted.
2) Add the remaining ingredients; mix until thoroughly
combined. Pour into a 4-cup gelatin mold or serving
3) Cover and chill for at least 3 hours, until set. Unmold,
slice, and serve.

Exchanges...1/2 Carbohydrate
Calories...53...Calories from Fat...14...Total Fat...2 g...Saturated Fat...2 g
Cholesterol...0 mg...Sodium...49 mg...Carbohydrate...8 g...Dietary Fiber...0 g...Sugars...5 g...Protein...1 g.

They say it’s easy to cook for those you love - - well, in this case, that makes perfect sense, because cooking good-for-us recipes is the best way to be good to ourselves and those we love.
Until next time, enjoy...


Dear Editor:
Did anyone else notice that there was something missing from the annual Golden Delicious parade ? Caleb, my youngest son, did notice...Pawpaw Dawson didn
=t march this year.
Ernie Pat Dawson, Sr. is my step-father. He may not be my biological father, but to my children he is and always will be
APawpaw Dawson@ or APawpaw B.B.@. He=s a veteran of the Vietnam War and a member of local Post 4419. About a week or so before the parade this year, he had called my house to say that he didn=t think that he would be able to march this year with the other veterans. He had been under treatment for his knees/legs and he was waiting on new leg/arm crutches to come in the mail any day.
When I explained this to my boys, I was a little surprised by Caleb
=s reaction. He was noticeably disappointed as he let out a heartfelt Aaaawwwhhh...@. Then, with all the wisdom and understanding of an eight year old, he simply told me to tell Pawpaw, AHe (Pawpaw) liked it last year.@ Pawpaw was touched. It was, at that point, when he decided that he would march in the parade with the other veterans.
We found out the night before the parade that Pawpaw would not be marching in the parade. Not because he couldn
=t or didn=t want to -- Local Post 4419 had not been invited. Caleb asked me, AWhy weren=t they invited ?@ I told him I didn=t know and that I would find out.
For as many years as I can remember, the veterans of Post 4419 have led and made a proud showing in the annual parade. I would have thought with all that has recently happened in America, we would have especially remembered the veterans. These men and women have seen and experienced atrocities which, unless you
=ve personally experienced them for yourself, we cannot even begin to comprehend. They have already fought the battle which we are still fighting today...injustice, inhumanity, etc. They served when they were called.
So, I do want to know who forgot to invite them...Mr. Bill Dunn ? Mr. Danny Sizemore ? Who ? I want to say to the veterans of Post 4419, as a Clay Countian, I am so very sorry. And to Pawpaw Dawson, your march of last year was remembered in the eyes of an eight year old boy.

Beth Duffield

* 2001 makes the fifth year in a row that WV high school students scored worse on the ACT college placement test than their peers across the country. Sixty one percent of high school students took the exam this year. The test has a maximum score of 36 with WV students averaging 20.2. The lowest area of scoring was in math
* Lots of rumors abound that Prosecutor Jeff Davis is resigning his elected position. Mr. Davis commented September 27,
AI am not quitting....I love my job.... I have heard that everywhere too.@
* WV State Police officers Sgts. J C Miller and T D Bradley along with Senior Troopers G J Reed and V S Deeds were cleared of all wrongdoing by an internal affairs board involving the July 10 shooting death of 21 year old Joshua Morgan. Morgan ran into the woods after a car chase by several police units and began firing at the officers. Troopers returned fire and Morgan was killed.
* More money for the local school system! Clay County along with Boone, Kanawha, and Putnam Counties will share $950,000.00 compliments of Sen. Robert C Bird. The $ will be used to provide more focus on American history and requires that the counties work with local colleges, libraries, museums, and non profit groups to develop history programs.
* Oracle Corp has agreed to donate computer software to set up a national data base system to fingerprint all Americans. The gift is in direct response to the Sept 11 terrorism events. The idea is identify anyone that might have terrorist ideas in the future. According to Congressman Tom Campbell,
@ It would essentially give the government the power to force everyone to show papers....@
* Over in Berkley County, State Police Troopers are riding school buses to deal with those ornery little crumb snatchers that may be tempted to become unruly. The program went into effect after a bus driver was yelled at by parents
* Our Federal government has been using a computer system known as
ACarnivore@ to look into private citizen=s email and web surfing habits in an attempt to locate future possible terrorists. Carnivore tracks email addresses of people a suspect corresponds with, collects copies of emails and monitors chat rooms and Web sites. So powerful is the Carnivore system that it can perform Akeyword@ searches on any and all emails. If you ever type the word bomb, anthrax, terrorist or the like, look out, Big Brother is watching you!

Challenge West Virginia We Support Small Schools

        All current research says that small schools are better for our children. Craig Howley of the Appalachian Education Laboratory has conducted extensive research in West Virginia and has shown that children have a greater chance of academic excellence in small schools and that the negative effects of poverty decrease in small schools. In spite of these findings the state continues to encourage consolidation of our small, community schools saying that we cannot afford them. We cannot afford not to maintain small schools. If our goal is the best education for all of our children we need to find ways to keep the schools open. Already in Clay County there are small children on the bus for more than an hour to and from school (longer than state recommended guidelines). Challenge West Virginia is not just interested in community schools, but in good community schools where each child gets a chance to participate in more than long bus rides. We will work to change education policy in this state so that it supports the small schools that meet the needs of our children. We must upgrade our community schools, not close them. We have to change our focus and insure that each child has the opportunity to receive an excellent education and that each parent has an opportunity to work with the local school staff. We do not believe that these goals can be accomplished by moving the schools further away from the families that they serve.
      Marge Bragg
      Clay Coordinator

Clay Students to Receive Over $96,000 for
Foreign Language Program
        Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) today announced a $96,839 grant from the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) to Clay County Schools for a foreign language pilot project. Under the grant, over 600 local elementary and middle school students will benefit from expanded curriculum, helping them learn other languages.
A       I am pleased to announce this grant to the Clay County Schools and to all the students of Clay who will benefit from this expanded curriculum,@ said Rep. Capito. ALearning a foreign language is a key that can open many doors in a student=s future. This money will help equip our students with this tool for academic success.@
        The Clay County Foreign Language in Elementary-Middle School Project is a three-year pilot program that will serve two functions. First, the program will establish a K-4 language study exploration program, to begin to introduce the basics of foreign language to students, kindergarten through fourth grade. Second, the program will set up a sequence of seven semesters of language study for students in grades five through twelve.
       With these funds, Clay County Schools will hire a teacher to develop a professional foreign language curriculum as well as evaluation methods and procedures to provide feedback on the effectiveness of the learning tools.


by EB GoodeOne day I dug a little hole
And put my hurt inside.
I thought that I could just forget
I'd put it there to hide.

But that little hurt began to grow.
I covered it every day.
I couldn't leave it and go on;
It seemed the price I had to pay.

My joy was gone, my heart was sad,
Pain was all I knew.
My wounded soul enveloped me;
Loving seemed too hard to do.

One day, while standing by my hole,
I cried to God above,
And said, “If You are really there--
They say You're a God of love!”

And just like that He was right there,
And just put His arms around me.
He wiped my tears, His hurting child,
There was no safer place to be.

I told Him all about my hurt;
I opened up my heart.
He listened to each and every word,
To every sordid part.
I dug down deep and got my hurt;
I brushed the dirt away,
And placed it in the Master's hand,
And healing came that day.

He took the blackness of my soul
And set my spirit free.
Something beautiful began to grow.
Where the hurt used to be.

And when I look at what has grown
Out of my tears and pain,
I remember to give my hurts to Him
And never bury them again.
--Carol Parrott

NOTE: Mr. Goode is a missionary serving in Mexico and forwards articles from that location as time permits.

School Board Meeting
        The Clay County Board of Education met Monday,October 1, at the administrative office building in Clay for the first of their twice monthly regular meetings. Members Gene King, Fran King, R.B. Legg, and David Pierson were present, Scott Legg absent.
         After prayer, Board President R.B. Legg called the meeting to order shortly after 6:00 p.m. Without discussion, the agenda, previous meeting minutes, and payment of current bills was approved. Increased receipts of $922,838.42 received were Title I funds, Alternative Education funds, and part of the funds for the
>Gear Up= program.
        Business Manager/Treasurer Loretta Gray presented the Board with the monthly financial report for September. She reported that $283,000 was received from tax collection and $97,000 from the levy collection. She also pointed out that bus replacement money was received in full, as opposed to past years when payments were spread out over 12 months of state aid payments. Disbursements included faculty senate funds paid to teachers.
        Board approved employment for the following: James Russ Harper as assistant wrestling coach at Clay County High School (CCHS); Shawn Krajeski as assistant baseball coach at CCHS; Justin Shamblin as a substitute teacher, pending certification; and, teachers for the After School Tutorial Program, funded through Title I, at Clay Middle School (CMS) - Joyce Legg, computer and language arts; Rhonda Barber, math; Chasity Dawson, science.
        The transfer of Christy Fitzwater from 3rd grade teacher at Lizemore Elementary to Resource teacher at Lizemore/Ivydale Elementaries was approved. Superintendent Jerry Linkinogger told the Board that after this transfer, hopefully, there would be no more moves in the classrooms.
        The resignation of Band Director/Elementary Music Teacher Elizabeth Knight was accepted, effective immediately. Several members questioned why Knight, who was just hired August 6th, had resigned. Linkinogger said Knight was physically unable to continue due to a stress problem, and had told him she cannot deal with stress and would have to quit or go to the hospital. Both Linkinogger and the board members praised the great job Knight did. Assistant Superintendent Larry Gillespie said they are looking at three people for the position, interviews starting later in the week.
        A hearing was conducted to determine the status of a CMS student. No party representing the student was present for the hearing. Board transferred the student to Alternative School as recommended by Linkinogger and CMS Principal Joan Haynie.
All motions passed unanimously.
        Janet Fitzwater appeared before the Board unhappy with the punishment her child had received for fighting with another student at CMS. Both students were suspended for two days and still in ALC. She freely admitted her child was in the fight, but felt the punishment too severe as her child was fighting back after being
>sucker punched=, and after enduring what she described as 2 years of threats and harrassment from the other student. Fitzwater also expressed her concerns for the safety of her child while at school, and asked the Board to help her. Long discussion on the history between the two students leading up to the fight and the punishment dispensed. Board agreed with administration that the punishment couldn=t be changed for the fighting, but told Fitzwater they would increase monitoring of the two students. Principal Haynie said teachers had been made aware of the situation between the two, and every effort would be made to separate them as much as possible at school. Haynie also asked Fitzwater to report any future harrassment.
        Addie Cole appeared before the Board with complaints about the volley ball scheduling at CMS. Cole said parents were not notified in advance of scheduling changes. As example, she cited the recent Braxton County match that was scheduled as a single match. When they got there, she said they found it had been changed to a tri-match, and the kids did not get home until after midnight on a school night. Cole said there needed to be a policy on scheduling, as they
=d had the same problem last year. After a lengthy discussion, Principal Haynie told Cole they would work with the coaches on the scheduling and do their best to see the kids got home no later than 10:00 p.m. No more tri-matches will be scheduled
Meeting adjourned at 7:10 p.m. Next meeting Monday, October 15 at Ivydale Elementary School. TK