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The Hinton News
Hinton, West Virginia
April 4, 2000     The Hinton News
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April 4, 2000

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TON 00EWS HI N t (ConUnulng the Hinton Dally News & The Weekend Leader) ; Home of the W. Va. Water Festival "Hinton, West Vir00"gtnta" Tuesday April 4, 2000 Democratic Candidates " :40 cents, Explain Platform By Fred Long Summers County voters, Sat. night, had a chance to meet with, talk to, and learn from the various Democratic candidates just where • they stand in this election in order to make the right decision on May 9 when the field for each office is reduced to one. The auditorium in the Memorial Building was nearly packed for the reception that was sponsored by the Summers County Democrat Executive Committee; and, for nearly three hours, as if in a marathon, voters heard from 32 of the candidates, or a representative, while posteriors begar, to ache and backs became sore. Only once were people given a chance to stand up and stretch in the room that was hot and stuffy even . with the open windows. "I want everyone to get up," said Magistrate • Bill Jeffries, the 29th person to speak. "I want you to stand up as long as you want/ And after a pause, added. "You see. I care about . yOU.  It was a refreshing moment, and :a much appreciated moment, after hearing two and a half hours of so much rhetoric go drifting into the speech came from Anita Caldwell, a former Princeton mayor seeking to unseat Senator Homer Ball. Caldwell recognized the tourist potential for Summers County and the need for jobs throughout the 10th Senatorial District. She said she stood for, and would work for, "economic growth in the southern district/ She felt with her background as mayor she could bring new business growth to the area. Norris Kantor, of Bluefield, also a newcomer seeking to unseat Ball, has been a practicing attorney for 40 years. Summers County has the 2nd highest unemployment in the state, he said. "I pledge to do everything in my power to insure tha.t Summers County no longer has the 2nd highest unemployment in the state." Senator Homer Ball, a veteran in the State Senate, said he had "no personal agenda" and "would work for your interest alone.  He said he wanted to bring jobs here and "if I can" would bring jobs here. Del. Virginia Mahan, a two term veteran in the House, reminded the audience that she helped write %he strongest domestic violence law in night, into an audience that grew history." She spoke of many : But the 'opportunsty to hear ,the desire to make life better for people various candidates state their views in this county. . and opinions relative to therowth and security of Summers County made the entire procedure worthwhile. And while some speakers were more capable than others, all gave a Valid reason why they felt they would be the best person for the job they were seeking. Probably the best speeches came from Anita Caldwell, seeking to unseat Senator Homer Ball in the 10th Senatorial District; Del. WL,inia Mahan, Summers County's representative in the 27th Delegate District; former county prosecutor Joe Aucremanne and Greenville attorney Jim McNeely, both seeking to unseat County Prosecutor Mike Turner. McNeely, after both Aucremanne and Turner said they were not seeking the office for money, but the reward of seeing criminals punished, somewhat stole the show when he told the audience that he wanted the mopey. But that he would work for the money and "I will give you a prosecuting attorney that you can be proud of." McNeely, with energy and forcefulness in his voice, complained of too many plea agreements when cases should be going to trial. He said he would be in his office when the Courthouse is open and he would be a "medern  prosecutor, involved in any community task force concerning crime prevention. Aucremanne's approach was somewhat different, but no less dramatic. Aucremanne reminded the audience that 55 years ago, during WWII, men and women "across this great nation sacrificed, and some were willing to take a bullet" for the freedom %0 do what we're doing here tonight: Because of the sacrifice people made for the freedom we enjoy, Aucremanne said we had a right to safe schools, safe streets, feel safe in our homes and that he would work to see that we didn lose that right. He said he was not afraid to take a case before a jury, that he has tried a lot of cases, and as county prosecutor he knows the job and how to get the job done. Mike Turner, County Prosecutor, said I can think of no higher honor than using your education and law degree in service to your county as county prosecutor/ Turner reminded the audience about the numerous cases he has handled during the past seven years, including € triple murder case and a murder case where a teen was charge as an adult. He asked the audience to remember this when they went to vote. Probably the mot dynamic Del. Bob Kiss, our delegate from Raleigh County, was elected to the House in 1988 and has been involved in many local projects including funding for the Summers County High School and the Summers/ Mercer regional water project. Del. Warren McGraw, elected to the House eight years ago, told the audience he was committed to the county and that his experience "is extremely valuable, not only to me, but to you." Del. Sally Susman, elected to the House two years ago, has been involved in numerous ecucational programs and transportation programs in her two years and has a record for working for tourist development in Summers County. "I want to make this the number one tourist destination in the State," she said. "We're going to do this." Del. Ron Thompson could not attend, but his spokesman told the audience that Thompson had "no special agenda" but to be involved in "public service." New on the election front for the 27th Delegate District is Frank Lavender, of Raleigh County, and Larry Meador, of Hinton. Lavender, elected sheriff of Raleigh County, told the audience that he wanted to work for this area and that he has a good track record as sheriff. "Judge me on the job I've done," he said. "Ask about me and, they have said, I've done a good job." Meador, a Hinton City Councilman, told of his long record of community service, both in the city and in the county, and wants a opportunity to extend his service by working in Charleston to bring jobs, health care and educational opportunities to this area. Arnold Ryan, a former member of the 27th Delegate District, was at the meeting but had to leave before he could speak. Del. Mary Pearl Compton , seeking re-election to the 26th Delegate District and running without opposition for the first time, told the audience that it has been an honor to represent Summers County and work with the delegates in Summers and Raleigh County. She also asked people not to forget that she is on the ballot for delegate to the national convention, pledged to Al Gore. Circuit Judge Bob Irons was elected to the bench in 1992 and told the audience if re-elected he would continue to "run the court friendly, firm and impartial." Bob Allen, seeking to unseat Irons, said he is a lifelong Democrat and a lifelong resident of Monroe County. He explained his background in law and his experience before the courts. He said he would be a fair and decisive judge. County Commissioner Dick Meador has been in office for 12 years and spoke of the need for water and sewage projects, for job sites, and an industrial park in the county. He said he has been involved in more projects then he had time to name and would continue to work to bring jobs to the county. Jerry Berry, seeking to unseat Meador, said his platform is "jobs and people/A county businessman with 40 employees, he said he would work every day, with anybody and everybody, to bring jobs to Summers County. Jackie Ward, employed at the county jail in 1983, is seeking the office of Sheriff. He said he would be bringing 17 years of experience to the Sheriff's Department, understanding the day to day operation. James Taylor, a county businessman, said if elected Sheriff he would "relinquish" his businesses to his wife and son and would be a full time Sheriff. Leonard Smith, Hinton Future home of the Children's Advocacy Center A goal of $2,500 to match a $10,000 grant to restore this five room cottage behind the Family Resource Center at 411 Temple St. took a giant step forward where the proceeds Were counted following a '[hste of the Town" fund raiser at the Hinton Moose Lodge. The goal was $700, Tracey-Foster.Carr, Children's Advocacy Center Coordinator said, but the total amount raised, including raffle ticket sales and donations, came to $1,300. The money will be used to make electrical renovations to the building, Carr said. "Overall the night was a huge success," she said. "Approximately 120 attended, including Congressman Nick Rahall, and nearly 50 people donated specialty dishes and supplies." The two winners of the decorative wreaths were Ron Patton and Pam Lilly. The Women of the Moose and the Moose Lodge also donated $50 each. a fttUtimeSheriffamt wouIds.k LI0000illIBIIgIBSI]IJr Elected' CVB00Officers after grants and surplus law mm=av =m=vw=v= Carla Leslie, wife of Hinton Mayor James A. Leslie, became President of the Summers County Convention and Visitors Bureau '(CVB) and County Commissioner Dick Meador Vice-President when the Board met for its quarterly meeting last month, it was announced today. During the meeting, held March 17 Leslie said, %ve were elected to a two-year term" and two new board members were elected to fill vacancies created by the W Va Birthday Celebration birthday cake for all in attendance. The cake will be presented to the public, noon Saturday, June 17, and cut by Lincoln following his signing of the proclamation admitting West Virginia to the Union. Also scheduled for the weekend celebration is a ghost tour on Friday evening, June 16, beginning at 7 pro; a traVeling Civil War museum will be set up for viewing on Saturday and Sunday, June 17 and 18, at the Hinton Area Community Center on 2nd Ave., battles scheduled for Saturday and Sunday afternoon, live music Saturday. and Sunday afternoons, children's games of the 1860's are set for Saturday afternoon, a grand ball with live music at 8 pm Saturday evening; Church services Sunday morning and a host of other activities. T4e feel the 2000 celebration will be the best ever and are looking forward to an even larger turnout than experienced in previous years,  Stone said. enforcement equipment. Bill Hersman, retired with 39 years of police work, said he would work to regain the confidence of the people and the respect of the community for the Sheriff's Dept. "A lot of work needs to be done to upgrade the Sheriff's Dept." Garry Wheeler, county businessman, said he wanted to get the Sheriff's Dept. back to the level it should be, the level it was, it shouldn't have changed." Curtis Shaver, a former police Officer and magistrate, would take a leave of absence from the railroad and be a full time Sheriff, he said. The Sheriff's Dept. has only one 19 year old deputy with little experience, he said. He said he has the experience and the qualifications for the job. Magistrate "Wootie" Beasley has held the office for two terms and is qualified for the job. He said he would continue to handle all cases before him fair and impartial. Magistrate Bill Jeffries has held the position for five terms. He said he would continue to handle all cases as he has in the past-- fair and impartial. Catherine Wheeler, of Talcatt, seeking magistrate, said she wanted to work in the county and wanted to be a benefit to the county. Sheriff John Plumley, seeking the office of magistrate, said he has devoted the past 14 years of his life to public service; and, unable to seek another term as Sheriff, wanted to continue serving the people. He said he would conduct a fair and impartial court. Jack Kennedy Hellems, bank employee, is also seeking the office of magistrate. He said he knew what it is like working with people and believed in being fair with people. "We're receiving inquiries from up and down the whole east coast" said A1 Stone, referring to the fourth annual West Virginia Birthday Celebration that will be held in Hinton June 16 through June 18. "In addition to regular mail, my e-mail is flooded with requests by Civil War reenactors and suffers for information on the event, as well as those wishing to attend for the learning experienc e . And why not! This years speakers include not only President Lincoln, but a presentation of Harriet Tubman that is so realistic youql feel like you're in her very presence." Harriet "General Moses" Tubman, an escaped slave, performed by Ilene Evans of Tucker County, is the most famous West Virginian in the underground railroad system and helped hundreds of slaves escape to the northern states and Canada prior to the Civil War. A $40,000 reward was offered for her capture. The celebration will also include presentations by Stonewall Jackson and Col. George Patton (the great Grandfather of the famed WWII general)" said Stone, Secretary of the I-Iinton Area Community Center, the sponsor of the event. New to this event will be a giant Anyone interested in details for being a part of the event as a reenactor or sutler (vendor) should contact A1 Stone in Hinton at (304)466-4544, by mail at P.O. Box 1323, Hinton WV 25951 or by e-mail at °astoneasrelee@hotmail.cem'.WV Meeting Thursday on Dam Safety Project resignatioos of Bob Basham, former president, his wife Betty Jo Basham, a City Councilwoman, and Patrick McCurdy. Appointed was Dorothy Jean Boley, Director of the Hinton Railroad Museum, who was also elected SecretaryfPreasurer, and Bret MacMillion, the new Assistant Superintendent of Bluestone State Park. "The board felt that these two were outstanding choices," said Leslie. "Everyone knows Miss Boley has been extremely active in almost every facet of community service throughout the years; and she brings a great deal of expertise and knowledge to our organization. "Also newcomer Bret MacMillion, who is a graduate of WVU, came highly recommended to us to be considered as a potential board member. He possesses great understanding and insight into the tourism industry which is what we need." In other business before the Board last month, Leslie said she recommended that the CVB's financial accounting records be audited at the conclusion of the fiscal year on June 30. Also, the Board discussed the Visitors Center on Temple Street, which is presently undergoing major renovations. Progress is being made, Leslie said, and although reopening was scheduled for this month it is not known when the work will be finished. Leslie said the CVB has made plans to establish a Welcome to Summers County" booth at Pipestem State Park, and will also place tourist information in the newly established Chamber of Commerce Office on 2nd Avenue. The CVB Visitor Center at Sandstone will continue to remain open six days per week. "The Summers County CVB |ooks forward to working with new Chamber President Ralph Wilson," Leslie said. "He is an outstanding citizen who has done a lot to bring tourism into our county." For the past several years the CVB has "enjoyed an excellent working relationship with the City of Hinton and the Summers County Commission," said Leslie. "They have assisted us in our efforts to attract tourts and promote events occurring in our county. By adding the assistance of the Chamber of Commerce, we can all reinforce our commitment to do the best job possible." Another alternative to routing traffic for the first phase of the Bluestone Dam's safety assurance project will be discussed during a Public meeting called by the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers Thursday at 7. pro. Last month, during a public meeting called by the Corps, residents were told Miller Ave. is the suggested route for empty trucks hauling materials through Bellepoint during phase one and phase two of a $110 million dam safety assurance project. Both phases could last eight years. The, Corps plans to erect a temporary concrete plant near the face of the dam, which would require hauling materials through Bellepoint. According to Corps officials, construction calls for adding a 12 foot concrete wall at the top of the dam, concrete thrust blocks on each side of the dam, interior cables to anchor the dam to rock layers underneath and a flood wall and gate on W.Va. Rt. 20. • A 1978 law requires th improvements in order for the dam to holdup against a maximum flood. Residents are not opposed to the project but felt a better method of transporting materials could be found and following the earlier meeting a local task force, of five people, was appointed to consider alternative routing. The Corps is presently conducting a traffic pattern study on every street in Bellepoint and this is likely to be discussed during the meeting. The original plan called for running full trucks up Zion Mountain Road and across Observation Road. Empty trucks would use MillerAve, The new plan may be using Observation Read for both incoming and outgoing traffic which would eliminate Miller Ave. .! !