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April 22, 2004     The Glenville Democrat
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April 22, 2004
 

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Thursday, e April 22, 2004 -- Page 3 The good things going on at Glenville State College & more Although the bad news usually gets the headlines, Glenville State College has gar- nered more than its fair share of "good news" lately. In fact, the upcoming, multi-million dollar renovations of the Heflin Student Union and the Robert Kidd Library should more than overshadow last Thursday evening's deck col- lapse at the TKE House. It seems that TKE, an off-campus fraternity, was having a party for 40 when their relatively new deck on the back of the Linn Street house gave way, sending three students to area hospitals and the other injured people to Gilmer's EMTs for first aid on the scene. Based on the big city night club tragedy of several months ago when three decks col- lapsed under the weight of party-goers, TKE and GSC were fortunate that the drop was only about 14 feet. We trust that any future plat- forms there will he more sturdily constructed. Last weekend's events The College had a very successful Open House, I'm told. With nearly 100 applicants being welcomed to GSC, they could take advantage of a full day of academic-related activities, including some extra-curriculars -- the afternoon's exciting White-Blue Pio- neer Football Game. In the game, the Blues (the defense) out- lived the Whites (the offense), 32-29. Coach Paul Shaffner was pleased with the jobs his team players performed. "We're a team; we worked together," he told the players in the post-g .ame huddle. Afterwards, many spectators walked over to the new softball diamond to watch the Lady Pioneers softball game against WVU-Tech, which also had its exciting moments. Music: this upcoming weekend at GSC Moreover, if these young people would return on this next Fri. evening, Apr. 23 at 7:30 p.m., they could see local and state music legend, Mike Momingstar, perform in a Fine Arts Building Concert. This local Gilmer County artist is really popular with the State's youth and older folks, as he puts his heart and soul into his songs. His popularity has spread far and wide, performing in Beckley over the recent St. Patrick's Day celebration. GSC-CANA Internet project In spite of some roadblocks, Carnegie Mel- lon University's Center for Appalachian Inter- The Corcoran Column By Da~d H Corcoran Pub4isher-Edtor net Access (CANA) is pressing forward with its Glenville project which promises to make the city the first rural West Virginia commu- nity to have wireless broadband Internet tech- nology. Moreover, Mr. John Whitehih, a CANA spokesman, relates that if this pilot project works, the same high speed technology can be expanded all though the rural Appalachian region to bring in the world to these remote and economically left-behind areas. The CANA project intends to beef up the College and public schools' educational offerings, as well as to bolster county governmental units, area non-profits and, finally, local businesses. In a recent on-site visit, a CANA team of CMU graduate students, headed by Whitehill and grad student, Ozlem Armutcuoglu, com- mented that Glenville's businesses andeduca- tional institutions are missing out on many opportunities currently available through the wireless broadband technology. Whitehill, who is CANA's project origina- tor, tells us that the joint CMU-GSC project is being funded by a $250,000 Appalachian Regional Commission and Benedum Foun- dation grant. In addition, he's looking for additional grant monies to expand the project to other remote communities in the future. (I'd hope that they would take the next CANA project to a county, like McDowell, in the southern part of the state, along with our neighboring Calhoun County --- both of which have suffered from staggeringly high unem- ployment rates over the past couple of de- cades. Those counties, which are among the most isolated ones in the state, really need any link they can get to the outside world, to progress and to becomeeconomicaUy revived.) The new 'i-mail' program at GSC One new bonus of attending Glenville State College now is that all 1,400 students have been issued their own "i-mail" accounts. "This is a giant step forward here at GSC," affirms Mr. Larry Baker, GSC's associate vice-president for technology, noting that it keeps us up-to-date with Information and Communications Age technology. Like e-mails, "i-mails" are a method of sending messages over the lnternet. Mr. Baker: "Our students can be studying or traveling anywhere in this state or in the world, and when they find a computer with lnternet ac- cess, they can pull up our GSC website, click on the i-mail symbol and find their i-mail messages." This places the GSC students ahead of other college students who don't have access to this new service. Congratulations to Larry Baker and his Office of Technology staff for pressing for- ward with this innovation! Verizon Library grant While the chills of winter have given away to spring's warmth, the Robert F. Kidd Re- search Library is still an even "hotter spot." Not talking about the weather, "Hot spot," in this case, refers to the RFK Library's status as the first building on Glenville State Col- lege's campus to boast wireless Internet ac- cess. Mercer ".r, during a ceremony after this feat was accomplished, GSC President Robert Freeman affirms that this is the first of many future hot spots in Gilmer County. Kudos go to the students from the Calhoun- Gilmer Career Center and the associates from the GSC Office of Technology for installing the new technological apparatus. Working under Information Technology Assistant J.R. Etwin and Information Tech- nology Consultant Jason Phares, students like Jason Frymier, Evan Sandy, Shaun Laughlin and Brandon Sampson spent two days install- ing equipment and programming wireless ac- cess points in the library. Wayne Hardway, whose students from C- GCC were instrumental in this endeavor, re- lates that the Center's work-based programs give kids an opportunity to use skills learned in a classroom, while also gaining actual work- place experience. So, with the proper equipment, any com- puter with an Internet browser can hook into cyberspace within the library without being Continued on page 5A Don't Get Me Started. By Kristal Sheets, City Editor & Columnist No Ransom for ed Chief Before my yellow tomcat. Jay, returned home this morning after disappearing for five days, I was growing increasingly wor- ried about his status as a living inhabitant of Earth. My mother, too, was very upset, since she considers Jay the grandson she will never have. When I called my mother to tell her that Jay had returned, I could feel her relief, as well as the chance that she might start crying, all the way through the phone. It made me think of the last time I, myself, had gone missing, and the madness that ensued as a result of my mother's panic. I should start by saying that, while O. Henry has never been one of my favorite writers, "'The Ransom of Red Chief" is one of my favorite stories, maybe of all time. It tells the talc of a couple of con men who get a great idea to kidnap the only child of the wealthiest man in a small town. Their plan is to demand a ransom, return the child, collect the ransom. From there, they plan move on to the next con, which will he financed by the ransom for the little boy. But the little boy is so obnoxious and unruly that his kidnappers finally return him to his home and pay his father to take the child back. (Unlike other O..~enry stories, telling the twist at the end of'this one doesd't ruin the story at all. It's that funny.) It's hard to say if she ever read this story, but my mother used to joke with me, if I became lost in a department store or strayed too far away from her, that she never worried about my being kidnapped because she knew my captors would bring me back alter a while. I immediately thought of this the first time I read "The Ransom of Red Chief," and again during the time when the Kristal' s Gone Miss- ing caper happened. The father of one of my best friends from high school, Mary Beth, died in the spring of 2001. I knew that Beth would be traveling from England to attend the funeral, but I had no idea when she would arrive. At the time, I was freelancing for the public relations office at Glenville State College, and was set to start full-time within the next month. One evening at around 1 I:00, I was working on some copy for an academic pro- gram brochure when I heard a scratching at Continued on page 5A 1 Musings of an oldtimer -- Miss Mary Haw's Mansion By Frances Myers Schmetzer, Glenville Columnist Restoration of the old mansion was a pas- sion of the new owners. They studied photo- graphs, refinished original floors where pos- sible, acquired furniture suitable to the old English-style structure. I had been waiting stay. I first met him the summer he was 12 years old. As he grew up, it was his plan to buy the property when Miss Mary was ready to sell it. Eventually I got to know his wife and daughter, Susan. Miss Mary was in her 90s when she died, and distant relatives putlm unreasonable price years for an opportunity to see it, and this year on the property, which it from being sold the house and grounds were included on the for 20 years. DeeplY, d sappointed, Susan's I ')annual Virginia House and Garden tour. " fatherpurchased adjo' ni lg reageand named L) Built in 1810, the home was occupied by it, Lower Dundee, My lon, Charlie, and Su- descendants in the family for about 160 years, san, now my daughter-in-law, were pleased My parents became friends with Miss Mary with the restoration work when there were Hawin 1932. By then, shelivedalonemostof finally new owners. the time. Each summer one of her nephews An early Mr. Haw was an attorney and built visitedforaslongashisparentswouldlethim a separate building as a law office. Later it became home for a caretaker, and so the new owners renovated it into a guest cottage and moved into it while working on the big house. The original home was three stories, built with a central hall, reached by step~ in the front and rear. About the year 1840, wings were added on either side. The left wing had a schoolroom on the ground floor, with an English tutor hired to teach family children and neighbors. That had changed very little over the years, and it was one of my favorite places in the house. At this point, the work of 'restoration' needs to be modified and named 'renovation.' The room is now named the Hunt Room and decorated Continued on Page 5A i : ) / m m , 'Friends to Man' and a special water hole Dear Editor, .... dirty up the area. ism. I don't know these people and they don't I swing and sing and think of things. Every once in awhile, a kind friend from know me, but I, for one, would like to say I Today, I would like to introduce you to Braxton County brings me some of this dell- appreciate it. I know there are others who some unsung heroes. They live in the cdgc of cious water. These unsung heroes have put a take pride in these unsung heroes as well, Braxton County, so I've been told. They are bench and a pipe for easy water flow and have "who live by the side of the road and have definitely friends to both Gilmer and Braxton the water tested periodically at their own become a friend to man." Counties. Their water is a wonderful blessing expen~ to satisfy the critic who would find Phyllis Marks they share with their neighbors, some who fault with them. GlenvUle appreciate it and keep it clean and some who They have done this as a favor to their don't, because they leave their trash there and neighbors, not for publicity or commercial- More 'Letters to the Editor' on Page 5A Attention Political Candidates: Our 'Letters to the Edito ' Policy We are in need of more letters to the editor. Feel free to send them in to us. sign the letter via snail mail. Deadlines for letters are M~ndays at I 0 a.m. for Just remember our policy on the letters, that week's paper. After 10 a.m., they can be accepted tor that week as paid Local newspapers have long been the sounding boards for political, advertisements. However, it would appear for free in a future edition. ersonal, and patriotic views and this paper is no exception! Also, for writers who consistently send in Letters week after week, these Relative to writing responses, please keep in mind our Editorial Policy: we messages are constantly evaluated as to content and to purpose, so they may viii accept letters on a space available basis only anti they will be subject to he considered as an advertisement, especially if they are weekly, lengthy, and the Editor's scrutiny as to content relative to libel, good taste and timeliness, repetitious of previous letters. Nevertheless, you will be contacted if the latter A good length is generally one to one-and-a-half standard typing pages, is the case and will be charged only our regular advertising rate. double-spaced. The decision of the Senior Editor w~ll be final. Letters must For more information, contact either Dave Corcoran, Sr. or Jodi at 304-462- be signed in order to be published - e-mailed lette~ must include a phone 7309. numbe~, where your identity can be verified, but you may still he required to ~ Last Issue Before Election: News, Letters, & Ads ~ The long-standing policy of this newspaper has always been that if, in the issue before an election, one candidate or citizen makes allegations about another candidate or issue, that the other party be given the right of rebuttal. Readers of this newspaper know that we editors have had this policy in effect for the past eight years in k order to make certain that the journalistic and ethical principles of fairness and equality be assured on these pages relative to both the news and advertising side.;,/ Bon Voyage, Warden Bledsoe! After two years in Glenville, Warden Bryan A. Bledsoe has successfully overseen the concluding work on the construction phase of the new Federal Correctional Institution- Gilmer (FCI-Giimer) and the starting up of the prison for its first full year of operations. In a recent statement to this newspaper, Warden Bledsoe expressed great pride in this prison's maiden year and in his staffs accomplishments, but noted that with some regrets, he is moving up the administrative ladder to another federal prison in Kentucky. Being FCI-Gilmer's first warden, he forged ahead in uncharted waters in order to make the dream of U. S. Senator Robert C. Byrd (Dem.-W. Va.) and many local economic development boosters come true. In fact, right now the large federal facility includes approximately 309 employees and 1,502 inmates, while its annual budget is $25.7 million, of which $21 million is allocated to staff salaries -- a substantial new economic force within the county and region's business communities. Moreover, while preparing to leave Glcnville for the more challenging post as warden of the high-security United States Penitentiary in Lee County, Va., he remarks, "FCI- Gilmer has been a great project, and I am amazed at how well the local community has accepted our institution." And, as to the new jobs that it provides, he stresses, "Gilmer Countians are new to corrections, but we're pleased that quite a few residents qualified for jobs here, even correctional officer positions." He estimates that while 100 percent of the 9crsonnel live either in the county or the surrounding counties, 60 percent would be considered local hires, coming from within this 10-county Central West Virginia region. On that latter point, he wants to emphasize that the federal prison system's hiring procedures are not made up locally, but come from Washington, D.C. As a result, local applicants must meet certain high qualifications and score well on their knowledge and skills test to land the jobs there. Most importantly, he encourages young people, who desire prison employment, to get as much education and experience as they can. Then, they'll he better qualified to apply. That's good advice! We editors have enjoyed seeing his interest in our community grow, in that he's attended Gilmer County Economic Development Association and Historical Society functions, among others. Why? He likes this community, wanted to learn more about it and to help it, if he could. The fact that he encourages staff members to be active in their Gilmer County communities was a real bonus for the local area, too. Although we will soon be welcoming the incoming warden, Mr. Kevin Wendt, we Gilmer Countians should never forget the dedication, hard work and sincerity that Warden Bryan A. Bledsoe showed to this community in establishing the new federal prison near Glenville. Good luck, Bryan, in your next assignment, and remember that you will always have friends here in Gilmer County! DHC, Pubfisher-Editor Another successful Easter Egg Hunt/ About 75 area children immensely enjoyed the gala 19th Annual Dr. John Westfall & Staff's Easter Egg Hunt at the Gilmer County Recreation Center's Shelter Area on Sat. morning, Apr. 10. Although organizing and pulling off this major event by a small business isn't an easy task, we editors are certain that Dr. Westfall, our local dentist, and each member of his staff got an abundant reward by just seeing all of the happy little faces at this annual festivity. The quest for Easter eggs, which were hidden everywhere around the shelter area, provided both the children and their parents with a very pleasant and exciting moment to remember about Easter 2004. Moreover, the plastic eggs (each one with a number inside) were turned in for corresponding prizes which were supplied by many of our area's business and professional people. The value of this Easter Egg Hunt is that it is a colorful tradition worth preserving. In this sad day and age when many parents divorce, single parents may not have a place or the wherewithal to have a traditional Easter Egg Hunt for his or her child or children. The Dr. Westfall Community Hunt provides that platform, not to mention a chance to talk with a live "Easter Bunny." So, for Dr. John Westfall and his staff, we editors say, "Thanks a bundle! Your time- consuming and difficult efforts are very appreciated." DHC, Sr. Back on the farm ... Edge of the by George Harper WEAH. IT'S MY VERSION OF ACUPUNCTURE; I CALL IT 'CATUPUNCTURE.' IT SURE RELIEVES THE SYMPTOMS OF. MEADOW BACK" THE 'CATUPUNCTURE' TREATMENT--- Takin'g a break from politics this week, GSC Art Professor Emeritus George Harper looks out his window at the "Edge of the Fence" this week, finding a typical, yet thought-provoking scene. For all of you cat lovers out there (and I'm one of them, too), here's your farm "cow-toon." I, likewise, have noticed a lot of farm animals, mainly horses and cows, just standing m one place in the field when driving through the countryside. Certainly, our farm cats would enjoy digging their claws into the furry backs of cows just as much as they like using our front room sofas as scratching posts. Our Corcoran family's cats traditionally prefer our ancestral antique furniture's upholstery for scratching into shreds -- a practice that I abhorred for many years. In fact, it used to get my blood pressure up. But, that all changed on a trip to England about 20 years ago when we toured Castle Howard which had inspired Evelyn Waugh's Brideshead Revisited novel. There in those regal qoarters, I noticed that the cats had free-reign of the palace, with all of the furniture and drapes having been shredded by their cats for about "600 years." As a result, I concluded that if English royalty could live in a cat-trashed mansion, I could put up with the cats in my humble home. And, that's no 'cat-tale' either! DHC, Sr., Publisher-Editor The Glenville Democrat~Pathfinder David 14. Corcoran, Sr., Publisher.Editor P.O. Box 458; 108 N. Court St., Glenville, WV 26351 PHONE 304-462-7309 i . FAX 304-462-7300 E,MAIL-- glenvillenewsadQ/fol.net Y i J i VISA& Mastercard m now accepted