Newspaper Archive of
The Glenville Democrat
Glenville, West Virginia
December 30, 1976     The Glenville Democrat
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December 30, 1976

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The lenvil le emocrat Published B And For Gilmer County People A Gilmer Graphics, Inc. Newspaper Single Copy Price lSc [Incl. Taxi 15 GLENVILLE, U COUNTY, WV 26351 Thursday, December 30, 1976 Gilmer County's '76 news in review With this our last issue of the year, we present a chronological review of Gilmer County's major news stories of 1976. The first big controversy of the year took place Jan. 26 when the Gilmer County Board of Education refused to re-hire Superintendent Ron Welty, Who had asked for a raise from $18,000 to $22,000. Several members of the community came before the board to express their support for Welty, but the board still refused to grant a raise. Board member Janet Deal resigned because of the affair. But the next day the board met in special session and agreed to hire Welty for one ydar at $20.0OO. On Feb. 2 Glenville Mayor Delbert Davidson bowed to pressure from councilmen and citizens and agreed to stay on as the city's mayor instead of running for magistrate. Eastern Coal Company donated 733 acres near Baldwin to Glenville State CoHeRe on Feb, 20. The college will use theland as a laboratory for its forestry, horticulture and land surveying programs. Ike Morris was named the first recipient of Glenville Rotary Club's "Service Above Self" award on March 11. Glenville got two new business in April when the Towne Bookstore and Go-Mart opened. Elizabeth de Gruyter Turner of Glenville was named recipient of the 1976 Glenville State College Alumnae award May 1, In the Primary Election on May 11 Clark James defeated Victor Kirk- patrick for the Democratic nomination for sheriff, Dick Stalnaker defeated Roger Kennedy for the Democratic nomination for assessor and Robert Minigh and John George Wolfe won the Democratic nominations for magistrate over Richard Burke. Vance Norman. Donald Porter and Nelson Reed. Diane Gerwig was valedictorian and Karen Rush was salutatorian of the 1976 graduating class of Gilmer County High School. Del. Billy B. Burke made quite a stir around the state in June following critical comments about public television, A water shortage at Cedar Creek State Park in July brought assurances from the state Department of Natural Resources that they would resume projects at the perk which were already budgeted for. that would alleviate the problem. The Gilmer County Farm Bureau unveiled a new show ring at the Gilmer County Recreation Center in July. They later honored Mr. and Mrs. Gilbert Reed with the bureau's fifth annual community service award. The Gilmer County commissioners voted Aug. 2 to build two tennis courts and a basketball court on the Recreation Center grounds. Glenville city council agreed Aug. 2 to provide water to residents on Mineral Road who said they would pay to have the line laid. An investigation by this news- paper on Aug. 16 revealed that the county Republican party did not comply with certain state statutes in the selection of their county delegates to the state convention. GlenviUe Elementary School PTA members got.their first official tour of the new grade school on Aug. 17. When school opened on Sept. 7 47 more students than were expected enrolled at the school. A fire totally destroyed the home of Clenville State College professor Joseph Wiseman on Sept. 9. On Oct. 14 the state gave permission for Orlando Coals Inc. to build a coal processing plant on the Litt le Kanawha River near Stout's Mill. Clark Wolfe. who had been Gtenville's postmaster for 15 years, resigned on Nov. 1 after a dispute with his superiors over staff cuts. Gilmer County began their swine flu vaccination program on Oct, 21. Glenville police busted a local man for possession and intent to deliver marijuana on Oct. 11. following an intensive investigation. Every Democrat on the ticket won lection during the General Election ,k,v. 2. Clark James defeated Davy Miller for sheriff, Dick Stalnaker defeated Dale Thrasher for assessor. Billy Burke and tlarold Long won reelection to the House of Delegates over Ron Gregory and Robert Minigh and John Ceorge Wolfe de[baled Willard "Hep" Wright and Logretha Keesecker for magistrate. John Freshour was named Nov. 8 m fill a vacancy on the Gilmer County qchool board following the death of toard member James McCartnev. A new ambuhmce garage built by he Cilmer County Commission for the Gilmer County Ambulance Authority was opened on Nov. 22. Del. Billy B. Burke lost his chairmanship of the House Finance committee in early December following reorganization of the House. Gflmer County native. Dr. WiLliam K. Simmons was named Dec. 7 to succeed Glenville Slate College president. Dr. D. Banks Wilburn who retires July 1. 1977. The Cilmer C'ountv Commissmn and Circuit ]udge William Kidd agreed on office space siltation for the new magistrates. They will occupy six offices in the courthouse annex. A school bond proposal was defeated in a special election c Dec. 17. It had also been defeated during the general election. rant, improved police protection top Glenville's 1976accomplishments and council kept several rove the 5 to four. Glenville continuation of a 'ch 9. The levy Per year for street paving. Additional revenue sharing' funds were also used for paving this veer. bringing the total amount spent On givirig to $4. This was the most money ever spent by the city for paving. Among the streets paved were Mineral Road. Elm, Jones. Hale. and Court Streets and Beverly and Bellview Ils Gazette story "nation far-fetched Burke. D-Gilmer. the Charleston Was nominated for Virginia Farmers "far-fetched" in th the Democrat/ l)ec. 21 the Gazette had learned that Gus Doug- Burke's name to Carter. They for the post Submitted to the far-fetched. I President is going to "I know I'm various positions I have no way of knowing what the governor or president is going to do." Burke added that nobody with any authority had released the news story. The current state director J. Kenton Lambert recently announced his retirement from the rural credit agency effective Dec 31, He was appointed to the post in 1970. Burke said that if he is appointed to another position in government his successor would be chosen from nominees submitted to the governor by a committee made up of members of the democratic executive committees in the four counties he represents. "Right now I'm just trying to fulfill my duties as a delegate of this district." added Burke. Drive. Every mud hole along every street in the city was also filled with gravel. With all this paving done. Major Delbert Davldson was still disappoint- ed in the fact that he was unable to come up with enough money to pave Sycamore Road. He has made this one of his top priorities for next year. Davidson says he's most proud of the $155.000 HUD grant he and the city council obtained for the construction of a city water tank. The city also obtained nearly $40,000 from the Governor's Man- power program which was used to employ some city workers. The city revised their code of laws this year with the adoption of 75 ordinances, Most of these changes were necessary because of some conflict with the new magistrates and because many of the ordinances were out-of-date and open for possibl e legal challenge. The city had budgeted $5.000 for the revision of the code but Davidson was able to make the revisions from codes of other cities and advice from the state attorney general's office. A $100.00 law suit filed in 1973 by Rickie Wine of Stouts Mill against the city of Glenville was dismissed last May. The suit had been filed as a result of an injury Wine sustained while working for the city cutting and burning brush. Since that suit, the city has taken out a liability insurance policy. The city also made strides in their iuw enforcement efforts this year. All city polict officers Were sent to various special schools last year. During the West Virginia State Folk Festival 29 persons were arrested, but Davidson maintains that it was one of the most peaceful festivals in recent history. City police also arrested a local man for possession and intent to deliver marijuana. This arrest came after an intensive investigation. Davidson also maintains that crime in the city has dropped since a 24-honr patrol program was adopted by city police. Davidson also brought a possible economic boon to Glenville when he and Burnsville Mayor Johnny Moran were able to convince the U.S. Army Corps of Engeineers to relocate the marina at the Burnsville Dam from the Bulltown site to the Burnsville end of the dam. This could mean more traffic through Glenville as people approach the dam from the west end instead of the eastern end. The two mayors also obtained more campsites at the Riffle Run area of the dam. In one of their last acts of year the city applied for a $200.000 grant from the Economic Development Adminis- tration for the construction of a new city building. Davidson recently completed the task of filling out a mountain of application forms. JUST LIKE CHRISTMAS--A new layer of snow that fell Sunday night transformed most of Gilmer County into a picture perfect holiday scene. Pictured above, under more threatening storm clouds, is the Otha Conrad property on the right fork of Dusk Camp Run. [Democrat Photo] Christmas Eve jail fire Tank to claims prisoner's life tank TANK TO TANK--The Gilmer County Sheriff's office recently had this gas storage tank hauled from near Normantown to the rear of the Gllmer County Jail. According to Gilmer County Deputy Sheriff Hacker, Scott Kennedy slammed Into the tank In the pre.dawn hours of Dee. 14. Kennedy turned east on the Left Fork of Steer Creek Road after crossing the bridge over Hunter Run Road. He rounded a hairpIn curve and suddenly came upon the tank, which, aecorttlng to Hacker, was about five feet into the lane of traffic. Hacker estimated damage to Kennedy's car at between $200-$300. The tank had been leased by Allegheny Tank Service of West- on to Consolidated Gas Co. of Grantsville. A driver for Miller Construction Co., which was subcontracted by Consolidated Gas, was charged with obstruct- ing traffic. [Democrat photo] An inebriated prisoner died of suffocation from smoke inhalation Christmas Eve when he set his mattress on fire in the Gilmer County jail. Major injury to other inmates in the jail was averted when jailer. Vonda "Pedro" Montgomery rushed to the cell block area and released five other inmates. Mrs. Montgomery, Sheriff Clark James. inmates and other at the scene tried unsuccessfully to reach the victim. Robert Scott Bush. Mrs. Montgomery is currently in Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital in Weston suffering from smoke inhalation, She is reported in satisfactory condition. Bush. 37. Of Grantsville, was jailed at 8:45 p.m. Friday night after being arrested by Constable Ray DueUey for public intoxication. Bush was picked up allegedly trying to break into the residence of Genieve Summers near the mouth of Tanner. Bush had been released from jail Friday morning after paying Glenville Mayor Delbert Davidson a $40 fine after being arrested Thursday night for public intoxica tion. Mrs. Montgomery was alerted to the fire by screams from other inmates about one half hour tour after Bush was placed in a jail cell at the end of the hall. Sheriff James said that an in- mate told the state fire marshall that he had tossed a cigarette and part of a book of mathces to bush. Bush had been searched before he was jailed and his cigarettes, and other personal belongings were taken from him. An inmate also reported that Bush was threatening to burn down the jail when he was brought in. Sheriff lame added that this is not an unusual threat from a drunk prisoner. According to Sheriff ]ames the only flammable material in the jail cell were three mattresses, and these were supposed to be inflammable. The mattresses had been purchased a week ago from a jail supply firm in Ohio. They were approved by the fire marshal as being fire-proof. ]ames said the blaze from the mattresses produced a thick black smoke and smelled like rubber burning. The fire was put out by the Gilmer County Volunteer Fire Dept. After Dr. Lewis Manley viewed the body at the scene it was removed to the Chief Medical Examiner's office in Charh;s. ton for an autopsy. The official antosp, listed the cause of death as suffocation from the smoke.