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March 7, 2017     The Hinton News
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March 7, 2017
 

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.... IU (Continuing the Hinton Daily News & The Weekend Leader) of "W. Va. Water Fes tival" Volume 114 No. 43 Hinton, West Virginia Tuesday March 7, 2017 50 Cents rs Cathy Jo McCoy went missing from Beaver, WV in June of 2000. During that time, McCoy's disability checks from Social Security kept getting cashed. Eventually, federal investigators stepped in. The investigation came to the conclusion that Mary Bowles the victims mother had been cashing her own daughter's checks. She did very little federal time for this part of her horrendous crimes. Ms. Bowels was also later charged with the murder of Cathy but the chargers were eventually dismissed for unclear reasons at this time. Sadly there will be no justice for Cathy, her children and those who knew and loved her. Her obituary reads as follows: Cathy Jo McCoy, 40 of Daniels, died March 30, 2011 in Summers County. Born December 26, 1970 in Beckley, she was the daughter of the late Billy John Lukach. Cathy was a homemaker and was of the Baptist faith. She loved her children with all her heart. Survivors include a son, Donovan McCoy of Beckley; two daughters, Jasmine Monroe and husband Michael of Wheeling, WV and Jessica McCoy of Clarksburg, WV; two brothers, Matt Lukach of Beckley and Johnny Lukach of Gatlinburg, TN; four grandchildren also survive. Memorial services will be held at 12:00 p.m. Saturday March 11. 2017 at Pivont Funeral Home Chapel in Hinton. The family will receive friends from 11:00 a.m. until time of services on the service date. JO by Chris Chanlett Summers County Residents Against the Pipeline (SCRAP) continues to stay on the trail of the proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP). Forty-five people heard three speakers at an informational meeting at the Graham House on February 28. A second important gathering happens in Hinton on March 7. The MVP proposes to chew a 300 mile swath from northern WV into central VA with 16 miles slicing eastern Summers County from Green Sulphur through Pence Springs. The 42" natural gas pipeline costing over $3 billion has stalled with current low gas prices and a hostile reception from many landowners in its path. The pipeline must be approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for its "public convenience and necessity" and the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) permits for over 600 water crossings including the Greenbrier River. WVDEP takes comments at the Memorial Building at 6 pm on March 7 and until March 19 by email at dep.comments@wv.gov.. Informed environmental groups will be present a hour before the formal meeting to help newcomers to the process. Autumn Crowe from the West Virginia Rivers Coalition described the three different permits that MVP must obtain from the DEP. She prepared people to make effective comments at the upcoming DEP hearing on permitting for (1) oil and gas construction stormwater control, (2) state water quality certification, and (3)the Natural Stream Preservation Act. Crowe said the first two permit applications require design of how a trench at least 5'x9' and rocky backfill will cross these mountains without setting off landslides and massive erosion into waterways. The applications have a drawing of a "typical stream crossing" to cover all the hundreds of situations. Highly erodible slopes are acknowledged but lack a credible engineering plan to negotiate. Crowe said the Greenbrier River is specified by name under a little known statute called the Natural Stream Protection Act. The act says five waterways in the state "shall be administered for the use and enjoyment of the citizens of West Virginia in such manner... as to provide for the protection and preservation of these streams in their natural character." The MVP proposes to blast a deep gouge through the river's wide bedrock at Pence Springs, weld an enormous steel tube into it, and restore the Greenbrier's stream bed and riparian shorelines to their "natural character." Crowe said, "Because the river has never been challenged in this way, we don't know how the DEP will enforce the law's spirit and letter." Anna Ziegler, attorney in Hinton with Ziegler and Ziegler, spoke to the crowd about property owner rights in relation the MVP. The pipeline developers have purchased easements for most of the corridor, even as it continues to shift alignment. Ziegler emphasized that many landowners have mgned away liabilities from a pipeline in perpetuity and that one should never do that without consulting an attorney. Reportedly MVP has surveyed all but seven miles of the right- of-way. The McCurdys in Monroe County and others have denied the pipeline access to their property. Judge Robert Irons in circuit court and then the WV Supreme Court upheld the landowners' right to deny access until the pipeline acquires eminent domain from FERC because the developers' private interests do not serve the people of West Virginia. Elise Keaton from the Greenbrier River Watershed Association discussed the current attempt in this legislative session by the oil and gas industry to enact a law would allow developers to come onto private property without having even filed an application with FERC to begin the regulatory process. She also spoke about the current majority's efforts to allow more dumping of coal waste into the state's streanis (HB2506) and require the "forced pooling" of a mineral owner's gas rights. Dozens of audience members asked and received answers to their questions. For instance Maury Johnson of Monroe County asked whether the pipeline's proximity to a stream on his farm without actually crossing it would require proper design and specific approval by the DEP. This is the kind of question that the DEP may be able to answer in Hinton on March 7. Looming over all these issues is the dysfunction of FERC at this time. It must rule on all interstate pipelines. In approximately 70 years of its existence, it has very rarely denied an applicant, but now it has encountered comments from thousands of concerned citizens and has kept extending its comment period as MVP tries to address all reservations that this input and FERC's own responses have demanded. At the top FERC should be composed of five commissioners, appointed by the president and approved by the U.S. senate. The president's party is allowed a majority. Due to resignations and term limits, only two commissioners are presently in place. Thus no quorum exists to approve new pipelines.' President Trump, once he gets around to it, will undoubtedly nominate candidates sympathetic to the gas industry. But the senate could stalemate the "advise and consent" stage in the same manner that Judge Merrick Garland was denied a hearing to becomea justice on the US Supreme Court in the last year of President Barack Obama. Thus MVP could not proceed overturning that decision. Terming unless Steve Bannon succeeds in the bill the "Right toTrespass Law", the complete "deconstruction of the she said the proposal HB2688 administrative state." Attorney General Morrisey Discusses Coal, Substance Abuse with President Trump West Virginia Attorney General fellow state attorney generals and I discussed the need for a holistic Patrick Morrisey discussed efforts to reinvigorate coal mining and eradicate the state's opioid drug epidemic during a Tuesday meeting with President Donald Trump. The Attorney General visited the White House as part of this week's Winter Meeting of the National Association of Attorneys General. Morrisey stated, "It was a pleasure to meet with President Trump. His invitation and willingness to meet with myself demonstrates his respect for cooperative federalism and the role of states in the fabric of our nation. I appreciated the chance to impress upon President Trump the importance of eradicating the nation's opioid epidemic and rolling back unlawful regulations that have crippled coal mining communities in West Virginia - both issues that are critical to economic growth. Morrisey continued, "In regards to substance abuse, approach to reduce the supply and demand of prescription opioids, as well as an educational component necessary to prevent future addiction. 'Wqith regards to energy, I underscored the need to rollback eight years of job-killing regulation, including the in my opinion the so-called Clean Power Plan, all of which crippled investment in coal and devastated those who depend upon coal's success". Your state, Your district We continue to do your work here in the legislature. From the first day of session the focus has been on the budget, the governors plan, and how to reach agreement on both. He has presented an alternate to his first economic plan that now has the gas tax at about 4.5 cents and the .2% business tax receipts tax has been reduced to .0075% on gross sales. T hat tax would now be 7.5 cents per thousand dollars of gross sales His second plan also reduces the sales tax raise to .25%. In this new proposal he also wants to impose a 1 cent per ounce tax on sugary drinks and fifty more cents on cigarettes. He wants to impose a surcharge on the wealthiest citizens that would raise eight million dollars annually. He also in this second plan wants the tolls on the turnpike doubled but would offer E-ZPass annual passes for 85 per year. He still want s vehicle license renewals to go to 505 per year. However, his new plan calls for motor vehicle inspections to be done every three years. The house finance committee has formed several subcommittees to research his proposals as well as other means of developing a budget for the coming year. We have dealt with several pmces for legislation but so far none of our We continue to do your work here in the legislature. From the first day of session the focus has been on 'the budget, the governors plan, and how to reach agreement on both. He has presented an alternate to his first economic plan that now has the gas tax at abe{it 4.5 cents and the .2% business tax receipts tax has been reduced to .0075% on gross sales. That tax would now be 7.5 cents per thousand dollars of gross sales. His second plan also reduces the sales tax raise to .25%. In this new proposal he also wants to impose a 1 cent per ounce tax on sugary drinks and fifty more cents on cigarettes. He wants to impose a surcharge on the wealthiest citizens that would raise eight million dollars annually. He also in this second plan wants the tolls on the turnpike doubled but would offer E-ZPass annual passes for 85 per year. He still want s vehicle license renewals to go to 505 per year, However, his new plan calls for motor vehicle inspections to be done every three years. The house finance committee has formed several subcommittees to research his proposals as well as other means of developing a budget for the coming year. We have dealt with several pieces for legislation but so far none of our work has made its way to the senate for their consideration. We are now getting some of their bills into our clerks office so I imagine es wii next week will be a mix of senate bills and house bills. As I have noted before I introduced several bills including a school calendar and accountability bill. When I introduced that bill I gave Senator Mann a copy of it and he introduced it as his bill in his committee. His committee has passed the bill with some changes and I hope we will have it in the house next week. I have not studied the governors Education Bill in detail but am hopeful it encompasses items and issues m his original outline on education under his administration His plan to a large degree focuses on more control within county boards of education and less bureaucracy at the state level. We have passed House Bill 2524 out of the education committee and referred it on to the Finance Committee for their consideration. That bill also deals with putting the focus back on the principal of eacb school as the educational leader and manager of his or her school. The bill was 72 pages long and dealt with reducing the size scope of beauracracy in school management. I continue to invite your advice and input as I sit in_your seat here in the legislature. My contact information is as follows: (304)340 3119, (304) 646 1209 and email at roy.cooper@wvhouse.gov. r in A train slamed into a vehicleRoad and Talcott Back Road. Jumping BranchFireDepartments, that was over the tracks in Around 6 p.m. Wednesday evening Summers County EMS, the sheriffs Talcott on Wednesday, March 1, dispatchers reported that the first office and state police all responded. on the railroad tracks near the call came in as a train verse vehicle Crews cleared the scene at about 9 intersection of Barger Springs collision. The Hinton, Forest Hill, o'clock. BARNS OF SUMMERS COUNTY-westvirginiaHeritage An extract from the book...for your enjoyment Phyllis Campbell Whitley Blumenstein and Wontrobski Barn This stately barn was built around 1930-33 for Clarence Flint by the Taylor brothers. They had a sawmill assembled at the site to cut the wood off the property and, the story goes, they worked diligently to have the structure finished by Christmas of 1933. It is believed the architect who designed the Memorial Building in Hinton as well as the gymnasium at the Talcott School designed the barn. Unfortunately the name of that person has yet tO be discovered. In the Barn Book you can see a view of the loft interior. Sometimes called a Gothic arch truss style barn, that photo provides a good look at the interior construction. With the roof starting as a wall it gave more useful floor space right to the edges of the building, when the barn was built the loft would be filled with loose hay. Today with round bales there is less of a need for a loft and at this barn it remains vacant. Some old timers in the area continue to call the property on Big Branch Road in the Talcott District "the old Clarence Flint place". More " recent owners of the property have been: George Smithson from 1940-70 and Riley Watson from 1970-1980 The current owners, Mark Blumenstein and Terri Wontrobski, came here in 1980 and have found it a perfect place to work. Mark is a sculptor and works with recyclable materials, making them into objects that are kinetic and work with the elements. Old farm machinery and springs, parts of old Wood burning stoves and bicycles are often used advocates for issues that pertain to the lower Greenbrier River. 'Terri is a retired Head StartJPre-k director who now consults with pre-k programs. Mrs. Whitley is a lifetime member of the Summers County Historical Society. The book can be purchased at the Summers County Public Library or IJy order at barnsofsummerscounty. com. Mrs. Whitley's latest book is entitled "Photographer on Horseback - John C. Wiker'. It details life of a photographer who lived along Little Wolf Creek in the early 1900s. It can be purchased from members of the Summers County Historical Society or by order at photographeronhorseback.com. to Create interesting works of art. Sale of the Barn book benefits Mark was the founder of "Friends the Library and sale of the Wikel of the Lower Greenbrier River". book benefits the Summers County This active organizationHistorical Society. ) |