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The Pocahontas Times
Marlinton, West Virginia
April 3, 2003     The Pocahontas Times
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April 3, 2003

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PAGE 2 POSTMASTER: Send address changes to T!Je 00ocabonta00 Times 810 Second Ave., Marlinton WV 24954 Telephone (304) 799-4973 Fax (304) 799-6466 www.poeahontastimes.com emaih editor@lmcahontastimes.com advertising@pocahontastimes.com subscriptions @ pocahontastimes.com Published every Thursday except the last week of the year. Entered at the Post Office at Marlinton, West Virginia 24954 as periodicals ISSN 0738-8373 YEARLY SUBSCRIPTION CHARGES (including tax) In County $14.84 In State $23.32 Out of State $25.00 WEEKLY ADVERTISING RATES Display-S4.50 column inch Classified-20 word W1LLIAM P. MCNEEL, Editor PAMELA E. PRITT, Managing Editor JANE PRICE SHARP, Editor Emerita THURSDAY, APRIL 3, 2003 March Weather by Jason Bauserman March was full of surprises. It came in like a lamb and out like a lion. Temperatures were up and pre- cipitation was down. The first 29 days were warmer than normal and then the lion showed up just in time to finish the month. For the last two days. mm- peratures dropped 40 and a foot of snow dropped to the ground. The average high was a very welcomed 52.1 , the average low was 27.6 . The mean of 39.9 was 3.1 above normal. That breaks a four-month streak of below average temperatures. The highest temperature was 71 o on March 25 and the lowest was 14 on March I 1. With the disappearance of El Nine, precipitation seems to be heading back to old habits. The 25.8" of precipitation was 1.52" below normal. Total snowfall for the month was 14,8". Total snowfall for the winter .'tow stands at 101.19" at Bartow. the third time 100" has been broken in the past 10 years. Peep frogs were first heard on March 23 and that is about normal. Last year, they were first heard March 13. Marlinton Water Plant Report for March by Dale McKenn 0 High temperature: 68 on March 26, with average of 52.5 . Low temperature: 12 on March 4 & 5, with average of 25.3 . Rain: 1.97". Snow: 7", Clear Female pris- oner dies in county jail A female prisoner was found dead in the Pocahontas County Jail Thursday morning. Gina Marie Jack, of Marlinton, was found at approximately 7:30 a.m., according to a press release from the West Virginia State Po- lice. The release said the cause of death is undetermined, pending a re- port from the State Medical Exam- iner's Office. The 32-year-old Jack was in jail because her bond had been revoked. She was awaiting sentencing on forgery and conspiracy charges and was scheduled to go to Pruntytown for a 60-day evaluation. The last death in the Pocahontas County Jail occtaxed nearly a decade ago and was determined a suicide. Set. J. P. Barlow is investigat- ing Jack, s death. Pledge Forms Pledge forms are available at The River Place for anyone wanting to make a pledge to purchase a drug dog for our county sheriff's depart- ment. Paving Contract The Division of Highways has given West Virginia Paving, Inc., of Dunbar, a $348,515 contract to days: 8, Snow days: 4, Rainy days: pave 1.9 miles of Rt. 219 between 9, Cloudy days: 10 ........... MillPoint and HiUsbrn:'-W  March 2002 Report: ing and new guardrails are also in- High temperature: 71 with average of 49.8 . Low temperature: 5 with aver- age of 22.6 . Rain: 4.45", Snow: 2". Fire Calls Marlinton Volunteer Fire Department on March 25 was called to Stillwell to a fire at the mobile home of Roy Hammons and then was called back a second time. Total damage was estimated at $2,000. Also on the 25th the Depart- ment went to help Hillsboro Fire Department fight a brush rue at the old town of Watoga. 10 to 15 acres. On Saturday. the 29th, a call came to go to Hunmrsville in the old bridge area to the trailer of Me- lissa Galford. The trailer was totally damaged. cluded in the contract. Green Box Sites Due to Daylight Savings Time, the'Green Box Sims will be open on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. beginning Wed- nesday, April 9. Snowshoe Institute Receives Grant " The West Virginia Humanities Council has announced the award of ten new major grants in the amount of $94,258. Among the grants was $10,000 to the Snowshoe Institute 2003. The Institute will be held July 30 - August at Snowshoe Mountain for the second year. Grand Jury indicts 13 men Tuesday The Pocahontas County Grand Jury indicted 13 men Tuesday, mostly on burglary and breaking and entering charges, according to Prosecuting Attorney Walt Weiford. An indictment is not a determination of guilL but rather a finding of probable cause that enough evidence exists to hold a trial. All indictments are felonies xmless otherwise noted. Alan Michael Arbogast. age unknown, of Loveland, Colorado. Failure to meet obligations to support minor child. Raymond J. Cochran, Jr., 32, of Verona, Virginia. Conspiracy to deliver a controlled substance (methamphetamines), delivery of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver. Wayne E. Garber, 29, of Verona, Virginia. conspiracy to deliver a controlled substance (methamphetamines), delivery of a controlled substance. Phillip C. Dean, Jr., 30, of Marlinton, burglary and sexual assault in the second degree Joseph Eugene Howard, 41, of Soperton, Georgia, burglary and grand larceny Keith O. Pondexter, 42. of Marlinton, delivery of a controlled substance, two counts Knits J. Ryan, 33, of Dunmore, conspiracy to manufacture a controlled substance (marijuana), manufacture of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver James P. Shipp, 37, of Dunmore. conspiracy to manufacture a controlled substance (marijuana). manufacture of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver. Greg Charles Sharp, 18, of Cass, conspiracy to commit breaking and entering, two counts, breaking and entering, two counts, unlawful taki'ng of vehicle, two misdemeanor counts Tommy C. Vandevender, 64, of Bartow, malicious assaulL wanton endangerment involving a firearm Anthony Allen Woody, 22, of Marlinton, conspiracy to commit breaking and entering, two counts, breaking and entering, two counts, grand larceny, two counts, conspiracy to commit burglary, burglary, unlawful taking of vehicle, a misdemeanor Stephen Lee Bennett, 23, of Marlinton, conspiracy to commit breaking arm entering, breaking and entering, two counts, grand larceny, unlawful taking of vehicle, two counts Vincent Aaron Malcomb, 20, of Buckeye, conspiracy to commit burglary, burglaryand grand larceny. Tim grand jury returned one no true bill, Weiftxl said. Arraignments will be held Thursday in front of Circuit Judge James Rowe and Frida],, in front of Chief Jud[te Frank Jolliffe. SBA grant received for PCHS Friel & Vance back on BOE; Friel re-elected president; staff cuts made The Board of Education was back to five members with the appoint- ment of Kermit Friel and Kenneth Vance to their former positions on the Board at its meeting on Mon- day. The two men had been re- moved from their positions by a panel of three circuit judges in a ruling issued two weeks ago. Their removal was sought in a lawsuit filed last year by Norman Alderman alleging Mr. Friel and Mr. Vance were in violation of state law that prohibits BeE mem- bers from holding other "public of- rices." The suit alleged that Mr. Friel's membership on the county Board of Health and Public Service District and Mr. Vance's employ- ment in the Assessor's office made them ineligible to be on the BeE. The judges agreed with Mr. Al- derman in the case of Mr. Friel and Mr. Vance, but did not go along with his request to also remove Ruth Taylor from the Board and School Superintendent James Phares from his position. However, last week Mr. Friei and Mr. Vance resigned from the posi- tions cited by the court in the re- moval order. The County Com- mission accepted the resignations in a meeting on Thursday. Dr. Phares gave the Board a letter from the Commission documenting its ac- tion. He also had letters from the two men requesting appointment to the BeE. Without hesitation the appoint- ments of Mr. Friel and Mr. Vance to their former positions were ap- proved. Howard O'Cull, Executive Direc- tor of the West Virginia School Boards Association, was at the meeting to answer any questions about their unique situation. He said due their break in service, they will have to attend the next orienta- tion session for new BOE mem- bers. However, they will not lose the credit for the training sessions they have attended this year. Mr. O'Cull also reported that the Legislature in its last session did begin to address some of the issues raised in Mr'.> Aide'S SUit and other counties, It made some clar- ification in the meaning of "public office" and provided a way for pros- pective BeE members to seek a ruling from the state Ethics Com- mission on possible conflicts. Following the appointments, Bernard King, who was elected BeE president after Mr. Friel's removal, resigned from this position. Dr. Phares temporarily chaired the meeting for the election of a new president. Mr. Friel was re-elected as Board president. After he took back the chair. Mr. Vance was re- elected as Board vice-president. Ms. Taylor expressed apprecia- tion for Mr. Kings's willingness take on the president's duties. Dr. Phares had two items of good news from the state School Build- ing Authority. He reported that the SBA met on Monday and approved the county's request for a $1.9 mil- ' lion grant for additional renovations at Pocahontas County High School. The money will be used to renovate the school's science labs; improve the fire and security alarm system, in-school communication t system; and do electrical upgrades. This is the fourth year in succes- sion the county has received fund- ing for projects at the high school. Dr. Phares also reported that the SBA agreed to provide the needed money to fully fund the new heat- ing and air conditioning system for the high school. Work on this pro- ject is already underway at the school. His report on the auditorium pro- ject was not as positive, however. He said the Penn National Insurance Company, the surety for the pro- ject's contractor, B&L Construc- tion, has filed suit in federal court for the Northern District to be re- lieved of its bond obligations for the project. The insurance compa- ny claims the paper work on bond was not properly handled. Dr. Phares said a suit against the contractor and bonding company is being prepared on behalf of the Board. He also reported that a letter had been sent to terminate the con- tract with B&L, based the compa- ny's abandonment of the project, non-payment of contractors, and failure to provide a bond. It was not all bad news on the auditorium project, however. Mr. Phares said the SBA will move to get a general contractor to complete the partially constructed facility while the lawsuits make their way, probably slow, through the court system. The building should be completed by the start of the new school year, Dr. Phares stated. Most of the Board meeting was spent on consideration of the super- intendent's personnel recommenda- tions for the coming school year. As the recommendations include a number of employee layoffs, Board members took their time in decid- ing on some of them, with several split votes. Balancing the desire not to lay off employees was the blunt financial data provided by Board Treasurer Alice Irvine. She noted that the county is losing $267,574 in state funds for the coming year due to a drop in enrollment. Ms. Irvine's report said projected revenue for 2003-04 is $9,402,364. " With the recommended staff cuts, the projected expenditures are '  il $10,151,896. With no staff cuts, projected expenditures are $10,616,829.  " The projected expenditures do not I,J include anything for long-term maintenance projects, custodial equipment, for summer custodial help, she told the Board. To help make up the difference is $195,000 as the Pocahontas Coun- ty share of a special appropriation by the Legislature for this county and Pendleton County, the two counties with fewest students per square mile; $110,000 from a Class Size Reduction Grant; and $68,000 in Step 7 money. However, there is still a $376,532 shortfall if all cuts are made and a $841,465 shortage if no cuts are approved. Ms. Irvine said the first amount is "doable" with carry-over and other funds that may become available. She made no such commitment for the larger rig- ure but said she and Dr. Phares will make whatever decisions are made by the Board to work. The Board was also facing an April 1 deadline for staff cuts; em- ployees can be rehired at any time. The first disagreement with the recommendations was to fill a long- term substitute position for teach- ing alternative education. Board members felt it would be better to wait until later to fill this position. A proposal t'amove Michael Knisely from from a part-time (0.4) position at Green Bank teaching science to a full-time position at PCHS was not approved. Dr. Phares recommended that the 0.4 time be used at the high school be used to teach basic skills and re- medial skills science, but Board members felt the possible negative impact on Green Bank would be greater than the positive impact at ' PCHS. (Mr. Knisely presently teaches physical education/health at the high school.) Moving Kristi Walton from a 0.5 physical education position at Hillsboro to a 0.5 art position at Marlinton Elementary was approved on a 3-2 vote. with Tom VanReen- en and Mr. Vance voting no. (Ms. Walton other 0.5 time is art teacher at Marlinton Middle.) The Board also rejected the rec- ommendations to cut two-'positions at. Green Bank, a half-time social studies teacher and a third grade teacher. The former was defeated on a 2-3 vote (Friel and King voting yes) and the latter on a 1-4 vote (only Friel supporting tl. rcom- mendation). In discussing the elementary po- sition, Board members were con- cerned with keeping classes small at this level, which has been a priority of the Board for a number of years. During the discussion Mr. Friel and Mr. King both commented that the superintendent is hired to man- ON SATURDAY OVER 150 people gathered at tl! Marlinton with flags and posters in support of t Iraq. Yellow ribbon was in plent'ful supply and filled with items for the service men and lected, photos by Cynthia SOME SNOW! March came in like the proverbiJl went out like a lion with snow measuring fro inches Sunday and Morning. "i'he snow came and exceeded the predictions. Snow covered trees terpieces of beautl. Power outages occurred in part of the county. Temperatures went down to Monday morning but in the 60s by Tuesday most of the snow gone. age the system and wondered to what extent the Board should mi- cromanage. (Had the recommendations been approved, Karen Murphy was to be transferred to Hillsboro and Mall Minter not re-hired.) Another proposal that was defeat- ed was to abolish one of the two reading specialist positions at Mr- linton Elementary and create one at Marlinton Middle, with the transfer of Lisa Sharp. This position is Title I funds. the Board that there Title 1 money to ing specialist positiot* data shows Marlinton the greatest need in this Mr. VanReenen ilag MMS now will problems in the dents getting less Continued to Announcing $2500 to be awarded in Education Scholarships Pick up an application at Pocahontas County High School or Citizens National Bank t, larlinton and Snowstme