Newspaper Archive of
Mountain Messenger
Lewisburg, West Virginia
February 27, 1990     Mountain Messenger
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February 27, 1990

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// nb er Rusty Lett at Marlinton Hotel is learning what small- s like---and he loves it. Af- years with the Marri- in Charleston he set his sights on )urchased the 66- Hotel on Third is reminiscent most towns had at least one multi-story hotel building. The 16 rooms are small and inti- mate, and only four rooms have their own bathrooms. There are no televisions or telephones in the rooms--but that's part of the appeal of the place for many visitors. "It's a genuine homey atmos- phere," Mr Lett says. "Our custom- ers react positively to that. They like Sizemore College Trainee is a unique Student. Charlie unique College stu- is both. He is at Union High SeCond semester at College. He students n one course, general fall and he is cur- students to tutor, in developmental one student in chose to do this, on college." He to the commu- ~r his graduation in ~n general studies plans are to at- Institute of Tech- and pursue a :r,ng. got involved in with the help ernent of his father, and his older sister, Who both attend student en- with his fam- courses with We can study P each other if one question,, Charlie pg. 2-A In May 1989 the County Planning Commission discussed a county- wide property development plan. When news of this was brought be- fore Williamsburg Community Ac- tion, the local group decided the best way to communicate their prop- erty preferences would be to offer a plan of their own to the Commission. In January of this year a local plan, drawn up for Williamsburg Dis- trict, was shown to the Planning Commission at their monthly meet- ing. "They were pleased to see an organized presentation, including a map n color codes, and told the Wil- liamsburg group their plan would be highly useful in the development of the final land use plan," according to Williamsburg Community Action Secretary Carolyn Stephens. "The main concern for most area landowners is the preservation oi the natural beauty of the area, while offering opportunities for business development and expansion. Sev- eral companies currently operate in the area in harmony with neighbor- mg farm. They include Winfrey Trucking, Greenbrier Valley Solid Waste, British United Turnkeys of America, Wilson's Greenhouse, My Garden Greenhouse and Cobble- mead-Steading Natural Foods and Fibers. Other co mmercial operations include Jimmy Thomas Car Service,D. J.'s Store, Cornstalk Sup- ply and Riffe's Arcade and Video," according to Ms Stephens. The current status of the Property Development Plan for the Wil- liamsburg area is approximately 50 per cent complete. Applications for property preferences were distrib- uted through area~busmesses and notices were place~l in newspapers to inform residents' about the appli- cations. Nearly 200 applications were taken in the first phase of plan- ning last summer. The second phase includes defining the property labels using some legal language, then the plan can be properly com- pared to and incorporated with other plans developed by the County Planning Commission. These appli- cations will continue to be availabie until April 1. For information, call See "Plan" .2-A i sitting together in our downstairs lounge, watching television and making popcorn. I enjoy introducing them to each other and helping them get acquainted." Since taking over the hotel last November, Mr Lett has catered largely to skiers. "They like the cheaper rates and the atmosphere. rd say about ninety per cent of our guests this winter have been skiers. I am anticipating a large number of tourists in the spring and summer." Mr Lett was born in Charleston and earned a degree in hotel man- agement from West Virginia State College. While working with the Mar- riott Corporation in Atlanta he began considering the .!5ossibility of a slower pace back in his native state. '1 got tired of the congested atmos- phere of so many people in Atlanta," he says. "Some friends of my par- ents, C. P. [Charles] and Becky Far- ley, owned the hotel here and had it for sale. I thought it would be a good opportunity to apply the experience I got with Marriott. rm enjoying it " The transition has been a famity affair. Mr Lett's mother stays at toe hotel throughout the week and helps with its operation. Her husband comes to the hotel each weeker~ from Charleston to offer his help. A nephew from Poca also helps. "We do all the work ourselves," Mr Lett says. "We've also had a lot of fun fixing up the rooms. We're re- decorating one room per month." The people of Marlinton have been helpful, he says, assisting in a number of ways. "The third night I was here the hot-water tank blew up. It was late Saturday night, and the wife of the owner of McKenney Repair Service came down and opened up the store so we could See "Hotel", pg. 2-A Sharon Vance (left), Brian Hipes, Lisa Shar p, Jason Lane, Satellite Television e By Jonathan Wright The relative isolation of Pocahon- tas County High School, deep in the mountains of eastern West Virginia, is not stopping its students from tak- ing advantage of "high-tech" educa- tion. Classes which were unthought- of for this 420-student school are now available to interested pupils, thanks to its new "distance learning" program relayed oy satellite. The Dunmore school initiated the program in early 1989 and immedi- ately made available classes in soci- ology and marine science, taught live from San Antonio. This year has seen offerings in probability and sta- tistics, discreet mathematics, anat- omy and physiology, and first-year Russian. 'Tm really glad to have the oppor- tunity to take Russian," Brian Hipes said. "There's no way I could have this expetii~~-~J if it weren't for our satellite program here." Over 1,000 students throughout the United States are enrolled in the class, which is beamed by satellite five times a week to participating schools from the University of South Carolina Educational Television Center in Columbia. Each day four or five schools are "on line" for the 50 minute class sessions, enabling students to speak directly to instruc- tors. Gifted education teacher Sharon Vance serves as coordinator for the satellite-based program. "My job is to supervise the kids," she said. '1 take care of any paperwork involved in the program and monitor the tests. Most tests are then sent to the teacher where the class is being taught from. We do a lot of discuss- ing back and forth, and there, is homework nearly every night." Principal Kenneth Vance, Mrs and Katie McGreal Vance's husband, is pleased with the program. "It's helped us offer classes we normally couldn't. Stu- dents who take them are sincerely interested. There are also a lot of workshops and half-hour programs available for staff development. We're not able to take advantage of nearly all of them because of the problems involved in getting all the.. staff together at the same time for them, but it's great having this avail- able to us. Many of our teachers are profiting from it." Students in the Russian class feel the subject and the approach are beneficial. Katie McGreal said, "With all the events going on with Russia these days relating to the United States and the other super- powers, this class has helped me understand these things a lot bet- ter." See "Space-Age", pg. 2-A Director Named Doyle Owens (left) Williamsburg folks say he's th~ "oldest bear cooker in the county." At 86, Rupert Spencer doesn't have too many contenders for that title. Now in its twenty-fourth year, the Williamsburg Bear Dinner has be- come nothing less than a Mountain State tradition in this remote Green- brier County community. Each year's event draws an average of 1200 to 1400 persons, according to Williamsburg School secretary Lau- rie Hedrick. Volunteers have been busy pre- paring for the dinner, scheduled for March 3. Crews gathered at the school February 17 to prepare the meat of eight bears, averaging 250 ~ounds each, for the meal. The heaviest bear weighed around 360 ~ounds. "1 enjoy being here and helping," and Rupert Spencer Mr Spencer said. "1 live alone rodS: of the time and enjoy being out in crowds. The bear dinner is a lot of fun--it's a good time of meeting friends coming and going. People come from all over West Virginia and Virginia, and a lot of old friends come in from way off." Mr Spencer does not minimize the work involved in preparing for the dinner. "It's a right smart job, but we have a lot of help over there." Working with Mr Spencer this years was Doyle Owens, maintenance supervisor at Greenbrier State For- est. Mr Spencer was born in 1903 and grew up near Frankford. Throughout his working years he has farmed, worked 17 years for the Meadow River Lumber Company See "Bear", pg. 2-A By Chas. A. Goddard A Charleston women, Ramona A. Goutiere, has been named Director of the Greenbrier Valley Economic Development Corporation -- a tri- county privately funded agency which will engage in encouraging new business in Monroe, Pocahon- tas, and Greenbrier counties. Ms Goutiere, who lives in Hurri- cane, leaves the position of Trade Representative with the Governor's Office of Community and Industrial Development in order to assume her duties here. She will begin active employment with the local develop- ment corporation April 1. A summa cure/aude graduate of the University of Charleston, Ms Goutiere has continued her studies in business-related courses at Marshall University in Huntington. While working at the Governor's Of- fice, Ms Goutiere was responsible for developing export markets for West Virginia products and counsel- ing more than 400 state companies interested in entering international trade from 1984 until the present. Previously, she was employed as a Strategic Planner in the Governor's Office. In 1982 and 1983, Ms Goutiere was a Technical Assistant with the West Virginia Coal Development Au- thority in Charleston. She prepared analytical reports and briefings to develop marketing, promotion and Inside Today About Herbs ... ................... 8A .......... .8A Deeds. .................... ............ 2A Garden Patch ..................... 7A Heart to Heart ..................... 8B ........ ; ............... 7A t. ....................... : ..... 4A r .................................. 8A Saints ............. .................... 8!3 Sports ................................ 1B Ramona A. Goutlere advertising of West Virginia coal while in that position. "What really sold me on this job were the people -- the level of e n- thusiasm and support is incredible. Good things are going to happen in the Greenbrier Valley," Ms Goutiere said. "The region offers a window of opportunity for economic develop- ment that we can't afford to miss. Warehousing and distribution, infor- mation processing and value-added manufacturing all have potential here. We need to develop projects that capitalize on these opportuni- ties, Ms Goutiere added. 'Walk America' Meeting To Be Held The March of Dimes, Walk Amer- ica, wil hold an organizational meet- ing at Fort Savannah Inn Lewis- burg, Thursday, March 1, at 6 p.m. Constance A. Witt, division direc- tor from Beckley, will conduct the meeting. Representatives of civic groups, schools, and church youth groups; 4-H clubs, Scouts, banks, individuals who wish to take part are encouraged to attend. Pledge sheets will be available and light re- freshments will be served. The Greenbrier Valley Associa- tion of Life Underwriters is sponsor of the March of Dimes Walk America outing.