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Newspaper Archive of
The Hinton News
Hinton, West Virginia
March 11, 2003     The Hinton News
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March 11, 2003
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! o i . The HINTON NEWS (Continuing the Hinton Dail' News & The Weekend Leader) Home of the W. Va. Water Festival 0 b 0 Volume 100 No. 48 Hinton, West Virginia Tuesday, March 11, 2003 50 Cents Progress Continuing on Avis Bridgc visits state Capitol By A1 Stone To those traveling in the area of the Avis Bridge, it is evident that construction has again resumed - you have only to look down along the railroad tracks and observe the progress. The large crane with its long boom is again busy driving pilings, and in the immediate vicinity of the old overheadbridge the footer for the abutment is being set. Pilings have been pounded into place, a metal grating has been laid and concrete walls have been poured on each side. Further down along the tracks you can see the tall pillar that has been erected and will act as a post on which the new bridge deck will rest. Deep gouges in the bank are visible and I have been advised that the digging along the tracks has gone about as far as it will go. Over the next several months, the banks wilI be smoothed to its maximum depth and terraced to provide the finished look. The large rock formations along Main Street will be blasted in order to widen it and allow ibr a proper entrance to the new roadway. I have been assured that the old cement block foundation located to the right of Ms. Sandra Mann's home will be removed so as to enhance the appearance of the bank. Efforts are continuing towards the removal of uninhabited and unsightly structures in the immediate area Starting where the old bridge ends, and extending about 200 feet towards the new pillar, fill dirt will be brought in for the new roadway to rest on as it works its way up onto the pillar. The bridge deck will then extend to the pillar on the other side of the tracks and down a gentle slope to pleasant Street. When asked about a date that the bridge deck will be in place I was told that it depends on many things, of which the weather is probably the most important. If we have favorable weather throughout spring, summer and fall, and if there are no unforeseen work stoppages, it may be possible for the deck to be on by late fall and the possible completion of the project about one year from Plea Entered For Harassing Phone Call A "no contest" plea was entered in Magistrate Court, Wednesday, for making an anonymous, harassing phone call to the Hinton News after the death of news contributor Phil Bagdon. Bluestone State Park Superintendent Philip Keith Cooper, 51 , entered the plea before Magistrate Jack Hellems for calling the press and saying "One down. Several more to go," Hellems said. "He admitted to making the call and making the statement," Hellems said. Bagdon was found dead at his home on Feb. 11 around 9 p.m. The call was made at 10:20 p.m. His body was sent to the medical examiner in South Charleston for an autopsy however the results of the autopsy have not been retemmd. Cooper, who is also a security guard at the West yirginia- American water plant at True, was fined $10 and court cost for a total of $125. He faced a possible penalty of a fine up to $500, or up to six months in jail, or both. now. When considering the harshness of the winter and its toll on our roads (especially the old Avis Overhead Bridge) the project completion can't come soon enough. I can't emphasis enough the care that each of us should use in crossing the existing Avis bridge. There is (and has been for some time) a weight limit and extensive repairs will not be done due to its being replaced. The faster cars travel on it, the more damage is done - please keep that in mind! Over the past several weeks, I've had the pleasure of working intimately with the City's maintenance department on several projects. During this time, I've observed not only their handling of the city's equipment, but I've also observed others handling needed and expensive heavy equipment to build roads and bridges or correct complicated situations brought on by the harsh winter. My hat is offto all these persons who perform so well and maneuver these large beasts with such dexterity. And my compliments to Hinton's other emergency personnel who have shown their true colors under the stress of rain, sleet, snow and just plain old winter weather. Express your appreciation next time you see them. And, I'd like to say thank you to everyone who took the time to vote in Saturday's election. The wise choice to c0ntitme the 29 year old levy will enstir'e'the Chirrent level of services witlMmt interruption. Had the levy been unsuccessful, many services offered by your city would have had to have been curtailed. The overwhelming support for this item gives a clear mandate for Mayor Mathews and her efforts. Indictment Returned for Murder3rd Time By Fred Long The grand jury, last week, issued an indictment against a Hinton man for the third time charging him with the October 1988 murder of Hinton business owner Harvey Pack. Don Garfield Galloway, who is also wanted on a felony complaint for violating conditions of his parole for an earlier drug conviction, and for fleeing from the custody of his parole officer; did not appear in court to answer the indictment and a bench warrant will be issued for his arrest, County Prosecutor Jim McNeely said. Galloway, 36, was first indicted with the charge in May 1992. Ten- months later the charge was dismissed, without prejudice, which meant he could be re-indicted. It wasn't until Sept. 2000 that a second indictment was returned; while, at the time, he was serving a prison +sentence for a guilty plea to a drug charge. Galloway was scheduled to stand trial on the murder charge in July 2001, but on the morning of the trial outwitted the state by dismissing his court appointed attorneys and hired Lewisburg attorney Paul Detch. Detch argued th state premitted an unreasonable delay before returning the second indictment and argued that no new evidence had come forth to warrant a second indictment. In Nov. 2001 Galloway entered into a agreement with the state to dismiss the indictment and would waive all rights to pre-indictment delay should the state seek another indictment before Dec. 2003. ARer that date the state would be forever barred from seeking an indictment against him for the Pack murder. Last Wednesday afternoon, Circuit Judge Robert Irons signed an order for the agreement and dismissed the indictment. Minutes later State Police Sgt. Mike Spradlin, who specializes in old murder cases, was presenting the case to the grand jury. "We went in knowing one of two things was going to happen," McNeelysaid. "We were going to get a new indictment and a fresh start, or we would not get an indictment. We got the indictment." Pack was found dead at this lower 3rd Ave. bar Oct. 17, 1988. Detch has said new evidence suggests that Pack could have been killed during a time when Galloway can account for his whereabouts. Other indictments follow: Carlos Davis, 31, of Hinton, two counts of delivery of a controlled substance to a confidential informant, crack cocaine, on the testimony of Sheriff Chief Deputy "Butch" Worley. Toni Lynn Martin, 41, of Pipestem, one count of possession with intent to manufacture methamphetamines, on the testimony of Worley. Steven Ray Gill, 27, of Talcott, one count of possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, marijuana, on the testimony of Worley. Timoth Epperly, 25, of Nimitz, two counts of delivery of an imitation controlled substance to a confidential informant and one count of delivery of a counterfeit controlled substance to a confidential informant, on the testimony of Worley. Steven Albert Gill, 20, of Sandstone, one count of possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, on the testimony of Worley. Charles Nathaniel Brown, 51, of Hinton, 19 counts of possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, lorcets, on the testimony of Worley. Corbett Maurice Carter, 25, of Beckley, two counts of delivery of an imitation controlled substance to a confidential informant and one count of delivery of a counterfeit controlled substance to a confidential informant, on the testimony of Worley. Oscar McKinnley Adkins, 20, of Jumping Branch, and Jason Pittman, 19, of Hinten, four counts of breaking and entering and two counts of petit larceny, on the testimony of Worley. Joshua Steven Comer, 21, of Alderson, one count of breaking and entering and one count of petit larceny, on the testimony of Sgt. J. C. Miller. Paul R. Cyrus, 33, Jason E. Pittman, 19, and Adam Lee Gill, 25, all of Hinten, one count of breaking and entering and one count of grand larceny, on the testimony of Sgt. Miller. David Scott Dunbar, 18, Owen Bert Crowe, 21, and Brian Schilling, 21, all of Alderson, one count of burglary, two counts of destruction of property and one count" of casting away a floating craft, on the testimony of Sgt. Miller. Josh Steward, 18, of Jumping Branch, one count of sexual assault in the second degree, on the testimony of Sheriff Garry Wheeler. Paul D. Miller, 37, of Denton, N.C., one count of failure to meet an obligation to provide support to a minor, on the testimony of SHeriff wheeler. Elijah McBride, 22, of Pipestem, one count of burglary and four counts of uttering, on the testimony of Sheriff Wheeler. Paul R. Cyrus, 33, and Jason E. Pittman, 19, both of Hinton, one count of breaking and entering and one count of petit larceny, on the testimony of Sheriff wheeler. Jack Richard Givens, Jr., 41," of Dublin Va., one count of breaking and entering, on the testimony of Sheriff wheeler. Donna Mize, 47, of Hinton, one count of obtaining welfare assistance by making false statements, on the testimony of Brian Ballengee. Christopher James Cod3/, 25, Ballard, two counts of receiving stolen property, on the testimony of Trooper S. S. Keaton. John Arch Bennett, 42, of Hinton, one count of failure to meet an obligation to provide support to minors, on the testimony of Trooper First Class A. S. Reed. Terena Christian, 32, of Forest Hill, four counts of forgery and four counts of uttering, on the testimony of Sheriff's Deputy R. L. Bircham. Billy L. Furrow, 45, of Union, one count of third offense DUI, on the testimony of HintonAssistant Chief Jimmy Wills. Charles Dennis Ward, 26, of Hinton, one count of nighttime burglary, on the testimony of Patrolman Joshua Martin. House Page Ashleigh Obugune had the opportunity to visit the State Capitol. During her tour she met with Speaker of the House Robert Kiss (D) and state lawmakers Linda Sumner (R) and Ron Thompson (D) who welcomed her to the House chamber. After the floor session, the 27th. District representatives invited her to the podium to experience a different view of the House chamber. Pictured L-R: Speaker Kiss, Ashleigh Obugune, Delegate Sumner and Delegate Thompson. By Mayor Cleo Mathews Many, many thanks to all of you who helped with tle renewal of the City of Hinton Levy. This was a great community effort. Thank you to the voters, workers, people who helped recruit poll workers, and Brenda Bentley who took charge of the project and made it happen. The renewal of the levy indicates that the citizens care for this community. It is a go ahead signal for continued progress our community. I met with Wayne Ryan Sunday at the Bellepoint Park and finalized plans for refurbishing the basketball court and tennis court areas. While the Corps of Engineers has big plans for the entire Bellepoint Park area including two baseball fields, implementation,of tl plans may be eight years down the road. The City of Hinton will step up to the plate and make isme improvements to the play area now. It is not fair to make the children of the community to wait until the Dam Safety Assurance project is completed. A word about the Consolidated Fund in Charleston. State Law requires that funds that are not immediately needed by a governmental body be deposited in a State Consolidated Fund so they can draw interest. The governmental body can draw them down as they are needed. The City of Hinton has money on Voters Approve City 3-Year Levy Hinton voters, Saturday, approved a 3-year city levy by one of the largest turnouts in the recent past; but it was still less than 20% of the registered voters. Three years ago 193turned out to vote on the levy. That year voters at the Hinton Area Elementary cast a majority vote against it, but the levy went on to capture 150 votes to 43 keeping it in place for another three years. Saturday, 253 upstanding and progressive citizens voted for the levy while 88 individuals voted against it. It was approved in each of the city's four precincts. In the West End the vote was 64 to 22. At City Hall it was approved by 55 to 20. Hinton Area Elementary gave it 18 votes to 16 and Bellepoint finished with 116 to 30. Pre-publicity early Saturday morning is believed to have contributed to the larger than usual turnout of citizens for the levy. The levy has been. on the books for the past 29-years. The levy will add an estimated $83,287 to the city budget each of the three years beginning July 1. Distance-Learning Computer Lab The towering mountains surrounding Hinton will become less of a barrier this March as Mission W. Va., Inc., a statewide not-for- profit organization, and a unique group of southern W. Va. partners unveil a distance-learning and computer lab that will help the community bridge the digital divide though the Internet. The 15-computer lab is designed to give people access to new computers and the Internet while providing an option for youth and adult learners who would like to attend college or continuing education classes. Now, through the use of distance-learning equipment and partnerships with several area groups, they can do so without leaving their community. "This is one of the main goals of Mission W. Va. - to use technology to diminish the barriers to education and skill development which are so often caused by our state's geography," said Chris A. Wood, Executive Director of Mission W. Va. "With the help of forward- thinking sponsors like the Hugh I. Shott Jr. Foundation of Bluefield, and other partners including Concord College, Summers County High Schools and the Southern W. Va. Technology Association, we are finding ways to overcome isolation, promote communication and encourage the development of new ways of learning," Wood said. The Hinton site is the first of two Mission W. Va. distance-learning labs in southern W. Va. provided by , a grant from the Shott Foundation. The second site, located at Bluefield State College, will be opened in the coming weeks. Both sites are accessible to the public. A ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new distance-learning lab has been set for March llth., at 10:00 a.m. at the Summers County High School. Additional information may be obtained locally by calling Sarah Brown at the Summers County Board of Education or Jim Wallace of the Southern W. Va. Technology Association. deposit that the City does not immediately ave& We will need to draw money to repair damage incurred by this harsh winter, other projects we are committed to, and we may need to draw money for unemployment obligations that we were not aware had been incurred. I am also trying to accumulate money to help pay for the much needed fire station. TO service a loan for the $1.2 million dollar cost of a fire station, the City would have to make a payment of over $9,000 a month. The City cannot afford that. The strategy is this. We try to have $200,000 of City money to invest in the project. This will hopefully attract some grant money and the City will borrow the rest. Hydroelectric power at Bluestone Dam could make the task much easier, but we aren't there yet. Speaking of hydroelectric power at Bluestone Dam, we found out Friday the Secretary of the Army has given Colonel Rivenburgh of the Huntington District office to the U.S. Corps of Engineers authority to sign a memorandum of agreement with the Tri-Cities Power Authority to perform .such work as is necessary to approve the design of hydroelectric generating facilities at Bluestone Dam and comply with the National Environmental Policy Act. However, some changes have been made to the document Tri- Cities Power Authority had negotiated with the Huntington Office. At this point I do not know whether the changes are significant enough to break the deal. We will know by the end of the week. Regardless, we will keep on trying to make progress on this important project. Friday I, represented Hinton at a luncheon meeting held at the Huntington District Corps o Engineers Office. Lt. General Robert Flowers, Chief of Engineers for the Department of the Army, was visiting the Huntington District Office. He was thoroughly briefed on the Bluestone Dam hydroelectric project and feels that it is a good project that should be completed. He said call him if we needed help. It was a great experience. The County Department of Highways is always great to work with. Last ThUrsday I called Summers County DOH and asked them if they could give us some relief with the holes on the overhead bridge. Friday the holes were patched. We all thank you. ARH did a great job Friday with the Head Start school bus wreck emergency. The community is fortunate to have such a well- trained, competent group of people ready to assist in any emergency.