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The Hinton News
Hinton, West Virginia
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July 29, 2003     The Hinton News
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July 29, 2003
 

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o 1--4 4 o The lo cb | HINTON NE W3" (Continuing the'Hinton D3ily tle,,s & The Weekend Le3der) Home of tlle.W. Va. Water Fes1:ival 101 No. 16 Hinton, West Virginia Tuesday, July 29, 2003 50 Cents Ethics Commission Asked to investigate Property Cleanup By Fred Long Former Hinton Chief of Police :Timmy Adkins called the Ethics -Commission in Charleston :yesterday questioning the city's : nvolvement in cleaning up privately :owned river front property in Avis i where the Water Festival's Batteau .Camp will be held. "It is a wonderful thing to see people volunteer like Robin Crawford has to cleanup the river bank and do the work they do, but I don't think it is the city's responsibility to use its equipment to clean up privately owned property. I think it is a miss appropriation of funds,"Adkins said. Adkins photographed the city maintenance crew using a back hoe "and a dump truck to gather tons of trash behind the former Mountaineer Sanitation office at 72 Grace St. yesterday and than called the Ethics Commission, he said. "This property is owned by Joe Bigony and he is a member of the Police Civil Service Board," said Adkins who has been on Workers' Compensation since January due to an injury to his back. Last month Mayor Cleo Mathews, by letter, told .him if he returned to the police department he would return as a sergeant and is currently looking for if-.  a newehief of police. "It's not the city's obligation to clean up personal property. When homes burned the city didn't go in and clean up the mess, the property owner had to do it," he said, adding that business owners have had to correct environmental problems "and they didn't get any help from the city." Mountaineer Sanitation closed in July 2001 when Cletis Pack sold the business to Philip Gwinn, owner of Southern Sanitation. The area had been used by Mountaineer Sanitation as its recycling location; however, Pack continued his lease on the property and Gwinn moved, the recycling portion of the business to another location. With the cleanup for the Batteau reenactment, the unsightly collection of old tires, huge bundles of cardboard and aluminum, metal objects and appliances; all packed against a fence at the river front, edge of the property and hidden from view by the brush, until exposed by the cleanup. "Out of sight, out of mind," one worker put it. Last week the state's Division of Environmental Protection (DEP) was called in to look at the site, but they were also asked to investigate Adkins' body and paint shop, a. private business he has behind his house. "Mrs. Mathews had me investigated," he complained, "and I find it appalling that she would do that and then go down and clean up someone else's mess. They found nothing here. I recycle everything, pop cans, paint. I clean up my mess." Math'ews said she did ask the DEP to look at Adkins' paint shop. "Someone," she said, "questioned if he was disposing of his hazardous waste properly. I told them, 'I have no idea.' I had a complaint and I followed up on it." She said she was glad to hear that he had a clean Meador's 20th Anniversary Turns Sour By Fred Long What began as a happy occasion, celebrating Councilman Larry Meador's 20 years on the City Council, ended in a sour note when Councilman Bobby Wheeler was accused of misleading HUD officials when a contract was signed for the property housing city police officers. Virginia Fitzwater, at the end of the council meeting last Tue., read documents pertaining to the acquisition of the 6th Ave. property that was purchased for one dollar from HUD in June 2000. The documents, she said, made no reference to using the house as a police barracks; although, one week prior to signing the contractual agreement with HUD the City Council agreed to use the property to house police officers. Falsifying the document is a felony, she said, punishable by a fine of up to $250,000 and]or a prison sentence of up to two years. In 2001 HUD officials again questioned the city concerning the house and again the city did not disclose that the house was being used as a police barracks, she said. She also questioned Wheeler's reappointment to the Senior Citizens Board, saying his term was a one year term that expired in Aug. 2001. No reappointment was approved by the Council at that time, she said, and he appointed himself to the term that expires next month. "This raises the question of the honesty and legality for Councilman Bobby Wheele,? she said. "Don't question my honesty," Wheeler told her. "I am sir," she told him, and tempers flared with Mayor Cleo Mathews slapping the gavel heavily and Councilman Pat Jordan saying: "We can't have a Council meeting." Mathews said the "house issue is being addressed." In the past officers did not pay any rent to the city or the utilities but officers in the house now are paying themboth. She said an audit finding complained that the city did not Continued on page 2 The Mayor's Report the DEP to look at the former Vo[uneerism is contagious. The Mountaineer Sanitation recycling site. "He told me he called them." "The city is ultimately responsible for letting it happen and not doing something about it," she said a DEP official told her, giving them 30-days to clean the site up or face a fine. "I didn't want to see the city fined." Mathews said the city is removing all the recyclable material and will be placing the revenue in the city treasurer. Philip Gwinn has volunteered to removed the cardboard and Roy Cooper has agreed to take the tires. Bigony, Pack and his father-in-law, Frank Continued on page 2 spirit of community pride is everywhere. The volunteers working on the Batteau Boat Frontier Campsite have started something very good for Hinton. More and more people are noticing places that need to be cleaned up and are doing so. The latest group is the Hinton Fire Department. Saturday morning a group of volunteers started painting the front of the fire station. This is what this community is all about. People caring for their community and working to make it a better place to live and work. We want to thank Joe Adkins, President of the Hollowell Foundation, Jesse Pictured from left to right are Commissioner O. Guills, Jr., presents check for $20,000 to Jerry Berry, Senator Jesse O. Guills, Jr., WVU Andrea Bennett with the WVU Extension Extension Agent Andrea Bennett, Service to be used for facilities Commissiner Lonnie Mullins, and imProvements at Camp Summers 4-H Camp. Commissiner Bill Lightner. $20,000 Gift to Summers 4-H Camp Commission in partnership with the WVU Extension Service. Each year the camp hosts a variety of youth programs primarily serving children and adults from Summers, Monroe, Greenbrier and Mercer counties that includes 4-H camps, church camps, youth opportunity camps and school band camps. The Hollowell Foundation was established in 1975 by Otto and Margaret Ford Hollowell. The Foundation's mission is to promote and enhance the quality of life for citizens in the Greenbrier Valley. The Foundation supports charitable, scientific, literary, cultural, and educational endeavors. A $20,000 grant has been awarded to the Summers County Commission and the WVU Summers County Extension Office for facilities improvement at Camp Summers 4- H Camp by the Board of Directors of the Hollowell Foundation, Inc., based in Lewisburg. Jesse O. Guills, Jr., President of the Hollowell Foundation announced the grant award during a meeting with the Commission recently. County Commission President Lonnie Mullins and Andrea Bennett with the WVU Extension Service bth indicated that this charitable t;ift would be used towards the construction of new bath house facilities at Camp Summers. "This large and very generous contribution from the Hollowell Foundation puts us at the hail-way point towards the total costs for new bath house and septic facilities at Camp Summers," explained Andi Bennett. "The Hollowell Foundation award combined with the funds already secured," she said, should allow us to begin construction on the girls' bath house this year.  Camp Summers 4-H Camp located on the scenic Greenbrier River near Forest Hill is operated by the Summers County Bennett, Billy Dan Gill Johnathan Adkins, Mark Ratliff, Roger Williams, John Adkins, and Johnny Wygal who organized the effort for working several hours in the hot sun to improve the appearance of the Hinton Fire Station. This is Water Festival Week and the City will once again be hosting the Fireman's Parade. This activity attracts visitor's from at least 25 communities. While we don't yet have a new fire station in which to host our visitors, our present fire station has a clean, new face. The Public Works Department has again jumped in without being asked and cleaned streets and cut brush to make the City inviting to Water Festival visitors. The Department of Highways has cleaned the overhead bridge and patched the pavement coming up Park Avenue. Thank you to all. What we hope to call Bellepoint Landing has been cleared and trash cans have been put in place to encourage folks fishing in that area to pitch in instead of leaving their trash behind for the City to pick up. It would be nice ifsomeene would volunteer to plant some flowers in the area. We are going to ask the DNR to help us improve the Landing and add it to our tourist attractions. Imm Happy One Hundredth Anniversary to the Hinton Elks Lodge No. 821. This past weekend the Hinton Elks Lodge celebrated this awesome milestone in a grand way with a picnic, banquet, golf tournament, and other activities. This organization has always beer an important part of our community. The Elks Lodge has provided many forms of public service including scholarships youth activities, and patriotic activities. I recall that in 1962 when I first became sponsor of the Hinton High National Honor Society, I asked the Hinton Elks Lodge for money to buy 25 stoles for National Honor Society seniors to wear with their caps and gowns. They gave me the money. The next year I asked for money to have a banquet for the members of both the National Junior and Senior Honor Societies. This meant feeding fifty to sixty people. Again, the answer was yes. The Hinton Elks Lodge has survived floods, a fire, and many years of existing in a weak economy. Yet, it continues to be vibrant organization due to the efforts of a few dedicated individuals who just won't give up. I am constantly taking the pulse of our community. Our community is alive and well. Thank you to all who make it so. "ervinga00 Cran d !ra00 'e Mar00h a// Andrew "Jack" Whittaker has been selected to serve as marshal for the annual W. Va. Water Festival Grand Parade scheduled for 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 2, in downtown Hinton. Jack was born in 1947 and grew up near Jumping Branch. He was raised by his parents, Jack and ruby, and has two siblings, Bill and Margaret. After attending school in Summers County, he began working in the construction industry. Jack who enjoys being outdoors found construction work to be a natural and has been very successful in the construction arena. His company, Diversified Enterprise, Inc., currently has more that $15 million under contract and employs 130 workers. His construction sites are located throughout West Virginia, and he's looking to expand his business into other parts of the United States in the near future. Jack has been married to Jewell, his childhood sweetheart, for 37 years and they have one daughter, Ginger, and one grandchild, Brandi On Dec. 25, 2002, Jack won the largest Powerballjackpot in history. He has established the Jack Whittaker Foundation to help people help themselves, especially his fellow West Virginians. His generosity has been felt many times over in Summers County. Make plans now to attend the grand parade and help say a "big" thank you to Jac Business Planning The WVU Tech Small Busine@ Development Center will sponsor "Business Planning & Financing." This seminar will help start-up business Development of Financial Projections, Loan Packaghg, and Start-up Issues. The workshop is especially designed for the person thinking about going into business, the owner in business less then five years, or someone looking for a business loan. The workshop will be held on Mon., Aug. 4, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Memorial Building. Pre- registration, $20, is requir'd. Call: 1-800-766-4556 to register. [ $500 Grant for Youth Football During the Annual Grants Reception recently held by the Hinton Area Foundation in the Catholic Church Fellowship Hall, Mary Lou Haley, a member of the Board of Directors of the Foundation presented a check to Jack Scott, Area Director of the Summers County Youth Football, in the amount of $500.00. The money will be used to establish a youth football squad made up two teams. One team for 8 and 9 year olds and one team for 10, 11 and 12 year olds. This is an activity that has not been available for youth for over 11 years.