NEWSPAPER ARCHIVE OF
The Pocahontas Times
Marlinton, West Virginia       More Newspaper Titles
June 8, 2000
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I PAGE 2 POSTMASTER: Send address changes to 810 Second Avenue, Marlinton WV 24954 Phone (304) 799-4973 Fax (304) 799-6466 www.pocahontastimes.com editor@ 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 $13.78 In-State $23.32 Out-of-State $25 WEEKLY ADVERTISING RATES Display---$4.50 column inch---Classified--20 word WILLIAM P. Mc, Editor PAMELA E. PRITI', Managing Editor JANE PRICE SHARP, Editor Emerita THURSDAY, JUNE 8, 2000 00ooaI Pioo% in Marlinton 'hx ,* July 6- 9, 2000  n . 100 years old ,..,i;' as County  us" Pioneer Days Badge The Town of Cnss is featured on the 34th Pioneer Days 2000 Badge fog its 100th birthday. The attractive badges--in purple and white--are now available for $3 throughout the county. Please buy a badge and help support this festival. Pioneer Days Notlee Please get your information in for the Pioneer Days Program as soon as possible---dendliue June 8. May Weather by Jason Bausevman May had above average precipi- tation and above average temper- atures. The fh'st 19 days of the month were hot and dry, with less than one inch of rain. The last week and a half was spring-like with cool and wet conditions. Six thunderstorms .produced nearly 4 indies of rain dnr- tag this period. Plants have a lush green color and the rivers and streams look excellent. Lawns and hayfields are keeping people busy. This was the first above average rainfall month during the growing season since |une of 1998. Precipitation did mensm-e 4.80" which is one half inch above nor- real The year-to,,te precipitation now totals 16.97.' Surprisingly, last year's five month total at this time was 16.73." For the seventh straight month temperatures were above average. The average high temperature was 71.4 and the average low was 45.4 . The mean was 58.4 . "Fnat is 2.6* above ntmml. Six days reached 80* or above. The  tempera- ture was 84 on the 18th. The low- est temperature was 29 on the 16th. Pea-sized hail was observed in the Arbovale area on the 13th. There were only two foggy morn- ings which came at the end of the month. Weather Marlinton Water Plant High Temperature" 82 on May 14, average 71.0 Low Temperature, 28 on May 1, 2, 16, and 17; average 41.8 Rain, 3.83" Rainy Days, 12 Cloudy Days, 9 Clear Days, 10. May, 1999: Rain 3.86 inches. High temperature, 78* average 69.7", Low temperature, 27 , average low 37.1" Dale McKenney Chamber of Commerce The Pocahontas County Cham- ber of Commerce would like all the citizens to have an avenue to collect infotmatkm and ask queatJons about the B &O Tax. Therefore, we would like you to have the following names and phone numbers to me at your emvenience: Lisa Thomberg, West Virginia Tax  1-304-558-2540. Town of Marlinton, 799-4315 If you have not received a copy of the first leading of the Marlintoa B&O Tax, stop by the town office for a copy. Let your town cmmcil members know your feelings on the issue. Brown's Mountain Area Preservation Auoclation On June 5, a humbug of COn- cemed citizens met at the old Pres- byterian Church in Huntersville. The purpose of the meeting was to form  Brown's Mountain Area Preservation Association, which will be active in opposing the new Waco qumy penmit ou the 24&acre tract along Re. 39 atDevil's Back- bone. William Howsare was elected President, Dan Terry Vice- President, and Marjorie Howsare Secretary/Treasurer. Anyone wish- ing to support the orgunizadou my obtain membership forms from Marjode Howsare, HC 82 Box 82, Marlintou, WV 24954. Dues are $2. Deputy sheriff dies from self-inflicted gunshot wound A Pocahontas County Sheriff's deputy died early Sunday morning, apparently of a self-inflicted gun- shot wound, according to Sergeant Jeff Bariow, of the Marlinton De- tachment of the West Virginia State Police. Lieutenant Ronald Simmons, who had served 14 years with the Pocahontas County Sheriff's Depart- ment, was on Droop Mountain at the time of the incident, Barlow sakL State Police are investigating. Simmons was a Democratic can- didate for magistrate. The Democrat Executive Committee met Monday, but reached no decision on filling the ballot Magistrate Court Derek L. McLaughlin, of Mar- linton, appeared in Magistrate Court on May 26 on charges of driving with his license suspended and reckless driving. He was released on $500 bond. The charges were filed by Marlinton Police Officer J. L. Clifton. County officers made several arrests on Thursday of last week. Wayne L. Burgess, of Marlin- ton, was arrested by Deputy Sheriff D. A. Walton and charged with domestic battery. He was released the following day on $500 bond. Jacqueline L. Combs, of Hills- boro, was arrested by Deputy Sheriff B. C. Totten for DUI and possession of less than 15 grams of marijuana. She was released on $11300 bondon the 2rid, Danny L. Lambert, of Bar'w,: was arrested and charged with receiving stolen property and providing false information. He was released on $1000 bond the next day. The arresting officer was State Police Tpr. B. R. Henderson. Matthew L. Swecker, of Bev- erly, was arrested by State Police Tpr. D. M. McMillon on a fugitive from justice warrant from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. He is charged with aggravated assault, simple assault, false imprisonment, and harassment. Swecker was placed in jail in lieu of $5000 bond. A charge of failure to send a child to school against Sheila W. McMillion, of Marlinton, was dismissed on Friday. Lucns M. Warner, of Bartow, was arrested on Saturday by Deputy Sheriff K. L. Sawyers on a charge of consuming alcohol under age 21. He was brought before Magistrate William Hevener and entered g plea of guilty to the charge. Warner was sentenced to 64 hours, in jail and freed $25 with $87 m court costs. Iturings oa Slaty Fork Qmarry next The Surface Mine Board has set hearings next week on the appeal of the issuance of a permit for the expansion of quarry near Slaty Fork. The Division of Envir- onmental Protection issued a permit to Waco Oil and Gas Company for this expansion but an appeal was led by Mountain/Valley Coalition, nowshoe Resort, and P. Pendle- ton Chapter of Trout Unlimited. A visit to the quarry site is set for June 13 at 3 p.m. The hearings are scheduled for June 14 and 15, beginning at 8 a.m. in the conference center at Snowshoe. Exceptional Children The project applicatic for the Individuals with Disabilities Educa- tion Act (IDEA), Part B- Flowthrough and Preschool funds have been completed and age avail- able for public viewing June 15 through June 26, at the Pocahontas County Board of Education Office. The office is located at 926 Fifth Avenue in Marlinton The federal funds from this pro- ject ate used to provide instructional activities and services to meet the ueeds ofdmb00 chUd00n. The project application for state aid to all exceptional children is also available for review and comment. Your comments and responses ate welcome. Pmlmsed anw.ndmems to the application are to be submit- ted in writing to Roger Trusler, Director of Special Education. The saggestions will be reviewed and, if agreed to locally, will be submitted to the State Office of Special Edu- cation for approval. Braxt0n County jury finds Beard not guilty of Rainbow A Braxton County jury defiberated two-and-tfchalf hours last Wednes- day before finding Jacob Beard not guilty of the k infamous Rainbow Mmde Benrd was on triai for the second time in connection with the 1980 slay- ings of Nancy Santomem, 19, of Huntington, Long Island, New York, and Vicki Durian, 26, of Wellman, Iowa. The jury heard eight days of testimony in the ease that began on a sum- met evening in 1980 when the bodies of Sane*met, and Durian were found shot to death at close range on Briery Knob, remote section in southern Po- cahontas County. "Truth wins in the end," the 54-year-old Beard commented after the ver- i dict. Beard said he would spend a few days relaxing and then celebrate with his daughters. "i don't know that this will wove it to everyone," Beard said. "People who know me know I didn't do this. My couscietwe is clear." Beard cannot again be charged with the crimes he was indicted foe in 1993 and convicted of that same year by a Cmeenbrier County jury. That jury recommended no mercy meaning Beard would never be eligible for parole; however, five and one-half years into his sentence, Senior Status Judge Charles Lobban set aside the jury's verdict and granted Beard a new trial based on the deposition of a convicted serial killer and the affidavit of Beard's former co-defendants. Serial killer Joseph Paul Franklin said he killed the women because one of them said she dated blacks and the other said she would have no problem doing so. Prosecutors disputed Franklin's confession, saying that his details of the crimes did not match the physical evidence in the case. Franklin also drew a map of the area which prosecutors called "vague" and defense attor- neys called "detailed." Arnold Cutlip, who was indicted along with Beard in 1993, testified he was with prosecution witness Johnnie Lewis on the day the women were mmdered and they saw neither Beard not the women. Beard's defense team was tearful, and at the same time jubilant upon hearing the verdict, public defender George Castelle openly shedding tears while others hugged Beard and his wife, Linda. Lead defense attorney Stephen Farmer, who represented Beard in his first trial, was happy with the verdict. "It's a great day," Farmer said. "The sys- tem took a long time to work. It's been eight years and now he gets to go home and live with his wife." Beard was arrested for the murders in 1992. Beard said he was "forever indebted" to Farmer, Miles Morgan and public defender George Castelle for the defense he was provided during his 11-day trial in Sutton and throughout the last eight years. Casteile has been a volunteer on the case for the past several months, Beard said. Farmer said he had no doubts about the outcome of the case, particularly since Beard himself believed so strongly in his innocence. "Mr. Beard was so patient and so believing in the system," Farmer commented. "His belief and confidence in the system never wavered so mine couldn't either." '`They poured their hearts into it," Beard said of his defense team. The pu3secution team left the court room quickly after the jury was re- leased. Later, lead investigator Robert Alkire, who has worked on the case since the evening of the murders, said he was disappointed, but accepting of the jury's verdict. "The system we have is the best system in the world," Aikire said. "You've got to accept what the jury says. There's still one more judge Mr. Beard has to go through." Although the outcome is not what Alkire said he expected, he was re- lieved that the case was finally over. Two members of the jury said Thursday a lack of evidence from the prosecution sealed their decision. "We looked at all the points of conten- tion," one jury member elaborated. "We went on the basis of the evidence. We felt the defense was correct and certain things were not convincing enough from the prosecudon to mexit a guilty veaxlict." Beard said he was "optimistic about this jury from the beginning" and wanted to thank them for sifting through the evidence. A few prosecution witnesses testified they withheld informmion from investigators because they had been threatened or felt threatened by Beard. "There's'not one witness the prosecution put up who has anything to fear from me," Beard said. The former Hillsboro man said he will stay in the Lewisburg ma with his wife for the next few weeks and return to farming, a former occupation. Beard said he will begin working for Chadie L_g and Bill Irons. Long and Irons were two of etee men who posted Bem'd s $100,000 bond in 1992. Beard said he will return to FlOrida for a time, but has not ruled out the Lewisburg area as a permanent home because his wife has employment near there; however, Beard's two daughters reside in Florida and he said he didn't know if he wanted to live so far from them. He will return to Florida later this month to tie up loose ends there, he said. "We have a lot of talking m do in the next few weeks," he commented. "I'm glad it's over." Over for Beard, but not for two families still grieving after 20 years and still looking for answers about the brutal murders of their daughters and sisters. Kathy Santomero-Meebaa said Thursday she was still numb after hear- ing the jury's decision. "I wish the evidence was strong enough the jury didn't have any doubt," SantometMeeban said. "I hope the future brings us more enlightenment Somebody killed her and it seemed like Beard was the Santomero-Meeban said she hoped someone would still come forward with answers about the murder of her sister, Nancy. She said her father was disaplxted at the yet'diet. Vicki Durian's sister, Mary  said she was in shock when she heard the jury's verdict shortly after it was rendered. Kanfhnan said from the evidedge she had seen and heard over the years she felt the prosecution had the tight man. "1 feel a guilty man is now walk- ing free" she said` However, she said she appreciated the people who had worked so hard and so diligently on this case for the last 20 y,e,s and "to the people who bad the courage to tesafy on Vicki's and Nancy s bebalf." "Your efforts will not be forgotten," Kauffman said. "My hope is that we, the family, will now be able to remember Vicki for the loving, caring person she was and all the fun we shared with her in her 26 years of life. Now maybe we will not have to be constantly reminded of the fear and terror Vicki and Nancy must have felt in their last hours on earth," she said` Kauffman said she had faith that God knows "exactly who was involved in this crime and the part they played." "God's judgment and punishment for this act will be more severe than any punislmtent the courts could have," she said. Santomero-Meehan and her mother traveled to Sutton for the first part of this trial. Kanffman attended a portion of Beard's 1993 trial, but was not able to come m West Virginia this year. Both SanMeeban and Kaufnmnn said their families had discussed Cook Needed A cook is needed for the Energy Express program for this summer. For information on the position contact Reagan Simms, County Extension Agent, 799-4852, or Karen McNeel at North Central Community Action, 799-4082. Marlinton Bmlaess Association update The Marlinton Business Asso- ciation's regularly scheduled meet- ing for June 13 has been postponed. "Une West Virginia Byways and Backways Program designation application has been sent to the state. "Une window dressing project for the Myers building is in progress. - --o New ER Physiclam arrive at Pocahontas MeamrlaL The Pocahontas Memorial Hospital would like to welcmne the new attending ER physicians from the Frontier Group LLC. The new attending physicians have replaced the previous ER physicians group as of June 1, 2000. More details are to follow at a later date. JACOB BEARD, FLANKED by defense attorneys Farmer, left, and George Castelle, right, Preimr for will be his final day in court. filing a civil suit, but had not decided to do so yet. During closing arguments, Farmer pointed to Alkire as one of d reasons Beard was innocent of the aimes. Farmer alteged that Alkire had orchestrated the case agamst coerced several witnesses into changing their stories to " ent. The defense attorney listed several prosecution witnesses changed their stories after spending time with Alkire, and Durian's traveling companion Elizabeth Johndrow, who left the women at 1 p.m. on June 25, 1980, the day of the murders, changed her testimony in 1993, saying she believed she parted from Richmond, Virginia, on June 24. "If Jao3b Beard goes to jail in this case then  of us are free. ( mities aren't free, our children aren't free. We'll all have to be years from now somebody is going to make up a story about us," file uey argued. The prosecution's case is like a puff of smoke, "every time you get hold of it, it slips through your lagers." Farmer said Beard's inability to recall exactly where he was on tl noon of June 25, 1980, was not a reason to fad him guilty. brutally honest about the fact he can't remember where he tomey said. "If he wanted to he could have made up a story. The should believe him is because he wouldn t do that. Beard, Farmer told the jury, was just a man who worked hard asl chanic and was taking care of a family,-while the state would "have lieve Mr. Beard for no reason at all, and totally out of character, women." Farmer asked the jury to recall the confession of Joseph Paul who "had the resume m do what he did. He traveled around the country it over and over," Farmer said. The defense attorney noted that Franklin had confessed to the 1984 and drew a map that detailed the area where the murders were ted. Farmer touched on the defense's other theory of the that mero and Durian were killed by Beard's former co-defendant' and his companion Bobby Lee Morrison, more during closing than he had throughout the defense case. Several people prosecution did so to protect Brown and Morris*n, the defense leged, including Mike and Odessa Hively, Brown's baif-btother and law, and Dale Morris*n, Grace Hanna, and Betty Bennett Pritt, Morrison's bather, mother and close friend. None of those people came forward when Brown and jailed for the murders in 1983, the defense attorney said, and did noel with investigators until 1992 when Beard was charged. Prosecutor Stephen Dolly, who took over closing arguments aftg Imatas County Plosecuting Attorney Walt Weifofd was day, told the jury the premise of a conspiracy against Beard able, noting that Alkire was "not out to get an innocent man. Foe J fmgerpointing at Bob Alkire, where's the evidence to back it upT" asked the jury. ''We wouldn't be here today if it weren't for that phone call Vicki Durian's father," Dolly advised the jury. "And that's where too far. (Alkire) was put on to the defendant because of the actions." Franklin's confession was not credible and didn't work, DOIly Franklin, the prosecutor said, had some information and knew what I wanted to hem'. "He's just like the guys who tell foaw.s and read Doily argued. "He'll give you what you want to hear, but nothing vrify. 9" Franklin's confession kept people coming to see him, bought him mote time on Missouri's death row. And allowed to travel to West Virginia to testify in this case, as the planned, he'd have some "windshield therapy." "He's not worth much belief," the prosecutor said. As for the Brown/Morrisoa theory, Dolly reminded the jury heard no evidence about them. Doily said Brown's former wife, mote likely the witness testifying to protect him. Dgeama her story in 1983, Dolly said, and "now she's stuck." The possibilites narrowed to Beard, Dolly said, reminding the prosecution witnesses had no stake in the outcome, while defense witnesses, Beurd and his wife, Lind& had much riding on tl veldk "It all comes down to the 'team,'" Doily said, using Linda scription of her marital relationship. "Tell me they don't have a this." "When you look at the face of Jacob Beard, you look at the man who has already committed murder twice," Dolly told is not much that would stop him now to koep his freedom." A female juror was dismissed Wednesday morning and replaced 1 male alternate, causing the jury to have exactly the same 10*ma woman make-up as the  Ceenty jury that convicted Beanl. The 20-year-old Rainbow Mmde are once o To the Pocahontas Community Club for its womlerful party at PCHS. Your support of youth is ted. "Nature is often hidden, sometimes overcome, seldom extinguished." -Francis Bacon Established 1898