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January 15, 2004     The Glenville Democrat
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January 15, 2004
 

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I Single Copy Price-50' (47' plus tax) (ISSN 0746-5890) Published by and for Gilmer County People Attn" Federal Disaster Flood Victims At 6:30 p.m. on Wed., Jan. 28, representatives from the Federal Disaster Assistance Program-Hazard Mitigation Grant Program will hold their first meeting in Gilmer County in the Commission's Room at the Courthouse. These grants include the elevating of houses out of the flood plain, their removal to other locations, or a federal buyout of the places. Applications, however, must be made. Moreover, if your property has been damaged in the past two years and you've received previous FEMA grants, you are still eligible. Contact Reta Kight, a Gilmer County Commissioner, at 462-5660 for details. Our County's Wish & Prayer for 2004 -- That our Gilmer " ~. County personnel in the military services in war-iorn Iraq will return back home safe and sound! fEditorial Page -- Commenting on the J relative to living in Gilmer Gilmer's Sports Scene : All local baske l teams wM & Elementary Schools' draws gigantic crowds. Pages4&7 i A Big Giimer Welcome t i M. L. King Holiday offers ideal opportunity to greet nty's| many newcomers, /: t gi,: Goings GIRL SCOUT COOKIES The Girl Scout Cookie Sale started Friday. We are now taking orders. If you would like to place a phone or- der, call Becky Bush at 462-8107. GILMER COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY MEETING The Gilmer County Historical Society will meet, at the History Center, Thurs., Jan. 22 at 6:30 p.m. The main item on the Agenda will be planning activities for the coming year. All mem- bers are urged to attend. All such meetings are open to the general pub- lic. For more information, contact the Society at 462-4295 or Hunter Armentrout, President at 462-8431. TANNER SCHOOL BIJILDING BOARD OF DIRECTORS will meet on Mort., Jan. 19 at 7:00 p.m. The public is invited to attend. TOPS TOPS Club would like to announce and congratulate its top "losers" for the month of December, as well as those for the quarter (Sept.-Dec.). For Dec.: First place, Euna Childers; Sec- ond Place, Rita McHenry; Third Place, Loretta Pugh. For the quarter:. First place, Euna Childers; Second Place, Linda Peggs. For information about TOPS (Take off pounds sensibly) call 462-7777 or 462-5017. GILMER CO RETIRED SCHOOL EMPLOYEES will have a meeting on Jan. 20, at 12:30 p.m. at the Gilmer Co. Recre- ation Center. For reservations, call Helen James at 462-5369 or Gloria Summer at 462-7587. (Continued on Page 10) The Gilmer County Economic Development Association will meet at noon on this Thurs., Jan. 15 to elect officers for the upcoming year. The general public is invited. For details, contact Pres. Reta Kight or Ex. Dir. Jim Fealy at 304-462-8098. The Gilmer County Commission will meet at I p.m. on next Thurs., Jan. 22 at the Courthouse for its second regular meeting of the month. To be placed on the afternoon agenda, any citizen must contact County Clerk Beverly Marks (462-7641) two days in advance. Inside This Week The Editorial Page ............................. 3 Sports .......................................... 4 & 7 Obituaries ........................................ 10 Society ........................................... 8-9 Courthouse News ............................ 11 Legals .............................................. 11 Classifieds .................................. 14-15 GGOs ................................. i ...... 1 & 10 GSC News ......................................... 5 King Holiday Page .......................... 16 il I The officers and directors of Calhoun Banks 800,000 range." are making good on one of their most impor- In addition to the lack of growing space, taut New Year's Resolutions for 2004-- they Calhoun Banks Chief Executive Officer recently made the major decision to construct James Bennett relates, "This current location a brand new bank in Glenville. has some flooding issues to be concerned "We're happy with Gilmer County and the with. We had over an inch of water in the people, so we're eager to make this investment building during the year 2000 flood and in the county for the benefit of our customers some near misses after that." and the general public," states Mr. Bruce Fitz- What the new bank will look like is still on water, the branch bank's manager, the drawing boards. "I've seen some prelimi- Currently, the Gilmer County Branch of nary sketches, but we will now hire an archi- Calhoun Banks is located in cramped quarters tect and engineer to make those initial ideas in a Foodland Plaza Parking Lot building -- more concrete for us," he says, quickly add- the former Huntington National Bank branch ing, "The final design will be appealing to the office. "In 1997, Calhoun Banks purchased an people of Gilmer County." acre of land next to Rite Aid on SR's 33/119 The new bank will allow the current staff here in Hays City," Mr. Fitzwater, who has to serve "our growing customer base even been the branch's manager ever since it opened better," he stresses. No additional staff mere- in September 1997, said, adding, "The new bers are anticipated as being needed at first, bank will be larger, will provide for future but will be added as the business grows. expansion, and will cost in the $700,000- Continued on page 6 PSD up to 94 sign-ons for Stumptown waterline At the start of a nearly three-hour Gilmer County Public Service District meeting January 5, the board members used the occasion to have a "work session" for signing on potential customers to the proposed Normantown-Stumptown waterline project. To-date, 94 of the needed 167 customers have signed up for the new water service, according to PSD General Manager Brenda Lawson. In the absence of PSD President Bill Stalnaker who was on vacation at the time, Vice- President Ed Talbott chaired the meeting, initially stating, "We want and need this (waterline) project, but we didn't anticipate any problems in signing up people for the service. Nevertheless, it has been slow." Due to the reluctance of some residents and businesses to take the water service and to pay the $100 hook-up fee, V-P Talbott and the other board member, Mr. Nelson Smith, asked several community members from the affected western Gilmer County area to be present and to help out in the effort to sign up people for the service. The $2.9 million, 22-mile line will provide a reliable public water supply to the Cedar Creek, Normantown and Stumptown areas, and will be laid roughly along SR 33/119. "This has been in the works for five years," Mr. Talbott traces, mentioning that with two construction loans already having been approved at minimal interest rates and with the possibility of acqui~ mg a no-payback federal government grant, the time is right for local citizens to participate in this water project. Most importantly, if the 167 customers sign up, "we're ready to move the dirt and we can go to work," he outlines. To the contrary, he laments, "People aren't signing up and we need them to. Other communities in West Virginia would like to have this waterline money, but we're standing back from it now. I don't understand the problem." GM Lawson stresses that after the loans are closed, the hook-on fee of $ ! 00 will be increased NEW BANK BUILDING ANNOUNCED -- Driving over from Grantsville on this Monday, Mr. Jim Bennett (I-r), the Chief Executive Officer of Calhoun Banks, came to Gilmer County to point out the new location of an estimated 3/4th's million dollar branch bank in Glenvitle. The one-acre plot of high, flat land sets in the vacant lot fronting SR's 33/119 next door to Rite Aid. He explains to Branch Manager Bruce Fitzwater and Bank Board of Directors' member Larry Chapman that the new bank will provide expanded office space, allow for improved customer service and be out of the flood plain. Since buying out Huntington National Bank's Gilmer County office in 1997, the local branch's deposits have doubled and its loan business has mushroomed, he confirms, noting that this is another reason why the Grantsville-headquartered banking system wants a permanent facility in Gilmer County. "We're proud to be a part of this community," he adds in conclusion. (Staff photo by Dave Corcoran, St.) li rlmary ,s I some By Kristal Sheets, Staff Reporter Monday, Jan. 12, was the first day for candi- dates to file throughout the nation, state and county for tilt upcoming election season. The deadline to f'de is SaL, Jan. 31 -- filings by mail must be postmarked by that date, according to Gilmer County Circuit Clerk Lane Smith. Through the state, the W. Va. House of Delegates has 100 seats available this election year, and 17 seats in the State Senate are State Senate (four-year term): $150 House of Delegates (two-year term): $75 These candidacies must be filed through the W, Va. Secretary of State's office in Charleston. This year's Gilmer County ballot will include every elected office in the court- house; county magistrate positions; and one county commission seat (Glenville District). Each candidate who files pays a filing fee equal to one percent of the annual salary for to $250, making it more economical to sign up now rather than later. Iooking to be filled. Filing fees for these offices theposition, Thefollowingindividualshave Even in the Normantown area, people and businesses have been reluctant to sign on the dotted are: Continued on page 6 ~ine.~~~d~iket~see~at~east,~~sign-~nstherebecausethesch~~~rea~~yneedsare~iab~ewate~ (m #=..--,e..6.,~ Ai . -- ----.,J 13~$.. ~6~4,,L~,=.,~" " source,' Talbott argues, e During most of the meeting's first hour-and-a-half, the board members and public mainly tl.J~gJia[l:~O, l.-rlgapo~g-lle~lt~.~- reviewed each one of the 210 home and business owners' names, offering to contact those who : haven't signed up yet in order to explain the project's benefits. After the list's review and the citizens' taking on of specific assignments, a happy GM Lawson stated, "I think the project will be a go, but there is this timeline (prior to the loans' closings)." In other PSD business, the members re-elected the current officers of Bill Stalnaker as president and Ed Talbott as v-p, refunded $358 to the Otterbein Church on a leak adjustment Continued on page 6 GILMER WATERSHED'S POSITION -- Darren Felt (standing, left to right), a representative of the Gilmer Watershed Coalition, points out the benefits of constructing dozens of small water impoundments up the county's many hollows to the Gilmer Public Service District's board: Sherry Luzader, the utility's staff; Nelson Smith, a board member; Ed Talbott, board vice-president; and Brenda Lawson, general manager. In contrast to Mr. Felt, Mr. Talbott is a proponent of constructing a large dam at Sand Fork. (Staff Photo by Dave Corcoran, St.) Bob Butcher & Ed Talbott leading citi- zens campaign to get Sand Fork Dam By DavidH. Corcoran, proven himself an authority on the Little Meditati0 Publisher-Editor Kanawha River and its floods. n Although the opposing sides in the growing Interestingly, both of these sides are well Thought for the Week -- Sand Fork Dam controversy are working to- represented by articulate and persuasive ward the same goal -- to reduce flooding in speakers, civic-minded gentlemen and sin- "All pr~ogress is precarious, and Gilmer County, they are still taking completely cere advocates of flood prevention in the the solution of one problem different paths to reach that laudable goal. county. The similarities, however, end there. brings us face to face with Mr. Bob Butcher and Mr. Ed Talbott, two In general, the two camps are diametri- another problem." Iongtime Gilmer County leaders, are now corn- cally opposed in strategy. The Butcher-Tal- peting with the recently formed, yet politically bott group advocates the construction of a Martin Luther King, Jr. active Gilmer Watershed Coalition to win the large dam on the Sand Fork River io mitigate American clergyman & civil rights hearts and minds of this county's residents. The the county's flooding in contrast to Mr. Fiet's leader latter coalition's chief spokesperson is Mr. Gilmer Watershed Coalition, which recom. (1929-1968) Darren Fiet, another county resident who has Continued on page 13 FOOTERS NOT STRONG ENOUGH -- Mark Cve ho (I-r), Quality Control manager with R.D. Zande & Associates, appeared before the ounty Commission on January 8 to report that the shell footers locally constructed at an earlier date were not adequate for the proposed new Gilmer County Volunteer Fire Department's fire station. He, then, presented new plans for the proposed building on West Main Street. It set to be 11,000 square feet, have two floors, and cost about $500,000. Looking on are Gilmer County Commissioners Dave Hess, Reta Kight and Larry Chapman. At the Gilmer County Commission - Larry Chapman to serve another term as County Commission President By Kristal Sheets, ~ ii:~:~ii ii ! ; i i ilii i !ii:~iiiiiiii~!ii!~:!!i!~',!iliiiii! i i uue to a scheduling mix-up and a subsequent previous engagement, County Commission President Larry Chapman was re-elected --- in his absence- by Commissioners Reta Kight and Dave Hess during the first meeting of the year, held Thurs., Jan. 8. In addition to this Neff Year business, com- missioners were assigned seats on local com- mittees, and dates were set for regular commis- sion meetings. Again, the meetings will be held at 9 a.m. on the first Thursday of each month, and at 1 p.m. on the second Thursday of each month. The first holiday observance for courthouse workers and officials will take place Mort., Jan. 19, in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birth- day. Unresolved Errors in Tax Assessment? The Board of Review and Equalization is set for Jan. 22 to Feb. 5, beginning each day at I p.m. During this time, county taxpayers will have the opportunity to clarify disputes in tax assess- ments not resolved with the County Tax Asses- Continued on page 6 Claude Kemper dies A Newberne native, Claude R. Kemper, 93, never forgot his Giimer County roots in his quest for success. After earning agriculture and horticul- turf degrees at WVU, he worked for federal and state agencies until his retirement. He achieved much local and regional ac- claim by hand-carv- ing and painting the birds of the Tanner area, of which a com- plete collection is at MR. KEMPER GSC's Kidd Library. Moreover, he was an avid participant in the W.Va. State Folk Festival and a substantial donor to the GSC Foundation that provides scholarships to needy students. He died in Florida on Jan. 7 and for his Glenville Memorial Service's details, see his obituary on page 10.