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Mountain Messenger
Lewisburg, West Virginia
March 6, 1990     Mountain Messenger
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March 6, 1990

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4A The Mountain Messenger, Tuesday, March 6, 1990 March 10 -- just four days from today -- marks tile fifth anniversary of The Mountain Messenger. Over the years the news has sometimes been sad. sonwfimes it has been joyous. sometimes ~t has been controversial. Whatever the news has been. il has been in The Mountain Messenger. From our earlies| beginnings in a store-front building in Ronceverte the quest has been the same to let you know what is happening as quickly, as honestly and as objectively as is humanly possible. Over the years we have had wonderful support from the comnmnity. Our adver- tisers, many of whom started with the very first issue March 10. 1985, have come to lely.on "/'he Mountain Messenger as the very best way to get their message to the greatest number of people in Greenbricr, Monroe. and Pocahontas counties. When we first started, we hand-delivered 10,000 copies of our paper. Now. more lhan 22.000 copies of the Mountain Messenger ~e mailed directly to readers in our three-county primary area ABSOLUTELY FREE! We also havq readers in vtrtually every state in the nation and in a number of foreign countries. Those people who live outside our IYee delivery area nmst sub- scribe to The Mountain, Messenger at a modesi $15-a-vear rate. These arc the folks who work hard every day to try to bring you the very besl little newspaper they possibly can: Office Manager Dottle Brackenrich, who has been with The Messenger lot five years: l)ebnrah Price-McClung and Betty Lxm Morgan who create and produce the advertisements; [)ennis Worledge, our circula- tion manager; Troy Forren, Terri Boone and l)avid Poole. our sales people; tohnathan Wright, our staff writer; Lou Burroughs. who sets all the type; Brenda Ghennan, who "puts the paper together". And then there are are regular contribu- tors: Priscilla March. Leslie Price-Shaver, Helen Woodward Searle, James Crews. Shawn Austin. Jim, Shepherd. Andrea Gainer. area ministers, ix)liticians and many, many more. And the most important of all? You -- our readers. Thank you for your contri- txmuns ~M your suptx~n. Charles A. (;oddard Gary Aide of Ronceverte recently lost his friend and hunting partner, Tom Ocheltree of Rainetle. Mr Ochettree was a retired train d~spatcher from the Rainelle area. He worked for the C & O Railroad in Rainelle and was a World War II vet- eran. He died February 18 at the age of 63. Mr Aide wrote the follow- mg story in memoryof their good times together. "1 was at work when I took the phone call. A friend was relaying the bad news that Tom Ocheltree had passed away. Tom was a close friend and hunting partner for the past 22 years. After the call, t sat down and thought about the many ~unting seasons spent in the com- pany of Tom. Tom was 28 years my sen=or so a lot of my hunting education was due, in part, to him. He believed the actual taking of game was a distant second to the thrill of the hunt. But justmention the word turkey around Tom and his face would light up like a Christmas tree. I must have been around the age o~ 14 when we made plans to turkey hu.nt an area we had never tried be- fo~re. It was located in the National Forest, more precisely known as the A[teghany Mountain Trail. This trail, beginning at a point on the Sher- wood Lake Road, consisted of over four miles of crisscrossing logging roads that eventually paralleled Rbute 92 at Neqla. Our plan was to ht~nt until almostkdark, drop off the trail and hitchhike a ride back to our gobbler that walked point blank be- hind me not more than 20 yards away. A while later, Tom returned and I told him of my misfortune. He joked and kidded me for years about my indecision over whether to shoot a turkey or drink a Coke. Well, as with most great plans, our hunt hit a snag. Our yea was to intersect a public road coming off Route 92. Unfortunately, we were about a mile off target. Because it was getting late, the only alternative was to cross a private, posted field to reach Route 92. The owner of this field was famous for his reputation of shooting trespassers first and asking questions later. This was also a wide open, flat-as-a-pancake field; the kind where the cows had eaten the grass down to the roots. We figured our chances wold be best if we waited until it was really dark to cross. We had to cover about 300 yards and Tom and I figured it would be safest to crawl on our bellies. About halfway across, feeling pretty confi- dent of success, I noticed car lights stopping about where we would come out on the road. Easing closer, we realized Game Conserva- tion Officers had set up a game checking station. So there we were. tired, hungry, crawling through posted property af- ter dark which was inhabited by a herd of cows, headed squarely to- ward a platoon of law officers. Figur- ing things couldn't get much worse. a0d after a three-hour hike, we reached a promising ridge overlook- in~j a stand of oak. Tom led me over the crest of the ridge about 25 yards arid told me to sit there and watch ddw.n the ridge. He explained that he w~s going to walk out the ridge and would be back to pick me up a little later. ?As you can imagine, after three hours of hard walking and hunting, my thoughts soon turned to that can of" Coke in my jacket I took it out and started reading its label, all the while debating whether to open it or wait until I was really, really thirsty. Before I could make up my mind however, I heard a norse in the leaves coming from the direction ;me~e iom nag o=sappeareo. Well, I thought, maybe Tom is thirsty tee so I'll just wait until he gets here and share the Coke with him. Still hold- ing onto the can, I noticed the noise was getting closer and closer but seemed to veer off behind me. I fig- ured Tom had miscalculated my po- sition so I turned uphill to wave at him. Just 20 yards away, where Tom should have been, stood the biggest turkey gobbler I had ever seen. There I was with a Coke in my hand and my gun lying uselessly at my side pointing in the wrong direc- tion, Needless to say, before I could put ,the can down and get my gun, the turkey had vanished. You can probably imagine my disappoint- ment: i had never even killed a tur- key before, much less a monstrous car. Even though it would be a long we angled off to one side of the hunt, the only ref~eshmentl I took checking station, I w~hispered to Tom w~as a can of Coke. that this must resemble being in the ~Our big hunt began about noon Army trying to avoid the enemy. I told him how lucky it was for us that we didn't have to contend with land mines. The words just barely cleared my lips when my hand came down perfectly on a "cow mine." It was also quite evident this cow mine had been set eadier that day, Well, at that point, I figured jail wouldn't h~, n,=anv a.~h~4 a- getting covered m more cow "mines" so we stood up and meekly walked over to the fence, climbed it and confessed our deeds to the officers on duty. You know, it's rare to see Conserva- tion Officers rolling on the ground laughing so hard. After composing themselves, one officer offered us a ride back to our car. Tom and the officer jumped in his pick-up and locked the doors. Rolling down a window only slightly, they suggested I ride in the back because there wasn't enough room up front. They also mumbled some- thing about wanting to stay up wind of "Bessie the Cow." Twenty-one years and hundreds of hunts and stories later, Tom and I sort of drifted apart. I guess as I got older, my work schedule became more hectic and demanding; but an occasional phone call would be all it would take to relive those happy times and promises to get together again. Even though I know how much I'tl miss Tom, the memories of our great hunts and the good times we shared wilt stay with me for a life- time. Th,-~nk~ T~t'n The Mountain STAFF Cnas. A. Goddard, Editor t ,attic Brackenrich. Office Manager l'roy Forren, Advertising Sales l'crri Boone, Advertising Sales l Jcbbie McClung, Ad Design hletty Morgan Ad Design Jonathan Wright, Staff Writer I l.xm Burroughs, Typesetting I Brenda Gherman. Production i 122 N. Court Street Lewisburg, WV 24901 304/64 7-5 72 4 Published every Tuesday Circulation: 22,595 Please observe the following deadlines: News Items: Thursday, 12 Noon Display Advertising: Thursday, 5 PM Classified Advertising: Friday, 9 AM ,er QUESTIONS COME TO MIND? By BIIIle Jean Hutsenplller The Greenbrier County Board of education has submitted a proposed project to the School Board Author- ity to build a new consolidated junior high school in the eastern end of the county. The School Board memoers have been led to believe that the $8,000,000 which may be given to Greenbrier County for the construc- tion of the building is an outright grant which does not require any matching funds. However, the School Board Au- thority Act passed by the 1988 legis- lature and amended by the 1989 legislature provides for the estab- lishment of a school building capital improvement fund. The Public SchooJ Support law states that 50 per cent of an n- crease in the local share of taxes for the support of public school above that of 1987 shall be paid into the school building capital improve- ments fund beginning on July t, 1988 and continuing thereafter. The School Board Authority Act which provides for the construction of new school buildings states that the money to pay for these projects shall come from the school building capital tmprovements fund. Green- brier County has been contributing money for this fund since 1988. Therefore it appears that local funds wilt be used to construct the proposed new junior high school. Is tins truly a grant? The School Building Authority Act also provides for the sale of revenue bonds to raise money to finance the construction of school facilities. Ex- perts in the bond business tell me that the very term "revenue bonds" means that the project which is fi- nanced from money raised from the sale of such bonds is supposed to generate income to pay off the debt for the sate of the bonds. This Would be similar to county bonds sold for the construction of Greenbner Valley Airport. What revenue will new school buildings raise? The School Building Authority Act permits the School Building Author- =ty to fix and collect rent for the use of all or any part of a school facility butlt with funds from the capital im- provements fund for the purpose of paying off the revenue bonds. Will Greenbrier County have to pay rent on the proposed new building? If so. where will the County Board of Edu- cation get the money to ~)ay ttle rent? Who will actually own the new school buildings? Our legislators, by enacting the School Board Authority Act, have enacted a state school bonding law which circumvents the voters and land owners of this state. They have taken away the right of the people to decide whether they want to accept a bond issue for the construction of schools. It has been said that the Board of Education proposal to consolidate lumor high schools in the eastern end of the County into one new modern jumor high school with an extenswe and varied curricula and the concurrent proposal of the board to consolidate Smoot Junior High with Rupert Junior High and Crich- ton Junior High with Rainelle Junior High in old, run down decrepit build- ings with the minimal curriculum re- quirement is for the good and better- ment of all the children of Greenbrier County. How does this double stan- dard benefit all the children in our county? Dear Editor: The 16,000 teachers who chose to stay in their classrooms on Febru- ary 15 rather than march on our state capitol made this decision be- cause they recognize that depriving children of their education is not the way to win public or legislative sup- port for their very real g rievances. Make no mistake. West Virgima teachers are very demoralized. Their rate of pay is 48th in the na- tion, their medical benefits have been reduced by increased deduc- tion payments, and their salary has been eroded by inflation. In addition, teachers are constantly told they are failing the children of our state whose educational achievements are not as great as any of us would like. No mention is made of the ef- fects of long hours of watching tele- vision or the lack of parental support to insure that students do their homework Also, teachers face more discipline problems today than ever before in the history of education. The lack of respect shown educa- tors by our society is certainly re- flected in the classroom. There are few redeeming features in being a teacher today. Even though teachers are feeling deeply oppressed, the vast majority recogmze that the strikes and col- lective bargaining advocated by the West Virginia Education Association are not the solution. Such activities create havoc in the classroom and serve to alienate both public and legislative support Although the one-day strike and descent on Char- leston captured momentary head- lines, in the long run it is the dedi- cated professionals putting the chil- dren first who earn public respect and support. We are confident that legislators do recognize the many dedicated professionals in our education sys- tem and that they will address the very real needs of teachers. If it is impossible to find the funding for a salary increase, at the very least ef- forts must be made to secure the teacher retirement system and to fully fund medical insurance so that claims can be paid in a timely man- ner. Elizabeth Mow, President West Virginia Professional Educators Dear Editor: I don't usually write to a newspa- ~3er, but two letters in your paper have been "following" me around for a couple of weeks and I feel the need to address them. One letter was from a young man of no apparent wealth, no stature in the community, no great physical beauty, yet he writes of his visit to a foreign country and he calls the people he met there his neighbors! They certainly don't look like any- one he knows in the Greenbrier Val- ley, they don't talk like anyone in the Greenbrier Valley, and they don't even eat the kind of things we in the Greenbrier Valley eat, yet, he calls them his neighbors! They are so dif- ferent, so strange, not like US at all. yet he calls them his neighbors. He even states that he is going to try to raise money to make another trip to that far off country to hemp them. What kind of a man is this? Here. in the Greenbrier Valley we have been greatly blessed. Yet, there are among us, those who do not look quite as WE look who may slobber a little as they eat, who may hold their heads a little oddly (or so we think) and there are people who don't and won't give them that title "neighbor." There are people who teach their little ones to fear these "different" people, people who say "Oh we're not against them, we lUSt don't want them here (in their "neighbor"-hood). What kind of men are these? It makes one ask oneself . . . "Who IS my neighbor?" As good Christians, we all know the answer to that one.., don't we??? Sincerely, Carol M. Hall White Sulphur Springs [ly l{obcrta Patton Ih), JOHN AND JENNIFER it up. The smiling John Patrick Corrigan and Jen- white limosine with a sun nifer Allynne Lawler were united in groom's fraternity broihers marriage in Perkins Chapel, High-decorating (and who land Park, Dallas, Texas --- Febru- ary 24, 1990 -- 7 p.m. reception held in Southern Methodist Univer- sity Alumni House. Jennifer wore her mother's wedding gown. Every- one was dressed appropriately -- the bride and groom attendants, relatives, from 3-year-old Molly to those in their late eighties (Uncle Jess). The wedding vows were per- formed by Reverend Garratuner of the Luthem Church. Jennifer was gwen in marnage by her brother, Rodgers Patton Jones, a handsome six-foot-tall, 13-year-old young man. John and Jennifer were guests for their marriage evening in a spa- cious suite in the Anatole Hotel--- which also served the rehearsal din- ner. The hotel was decorated with personal touches by Sylvia Rodgers Lawler Jones of Dallas, an interior decorator, mother of the bride, and by Eva Corrigan of Las Vegas, Ne- vada mother of the groom. else?) Farewells, hugs and exchanged as families for their homes in vada, and on the Frank and I (Jennifer's grandparents) and Ga Sizemore atten~ While we were in a tour of President John assassination route. The pointed out the home of ria Principal), formerly of~ television show. We Farmers' Market which hi vegetables, and pottery where. Flowers were in over Dallas. Judy and Beth a package for many hess, many days of especially the love they all who came in contact Judy and Beth also eon which was both Reverend Garratuner talked at but tastier than any about true love. A lesson we all experienced in many need to live by, to have a life of hap- pmess together, is to remember the vows "1 do" and "1 wilt." The couple promised to live together "tilt death do us part." It was a double wedding ring ceremony. Netted potpourri bags were picked up by all who chose to watch the couple leave. Thank goodness rice was not thrown, as it can cause lots of acci- dents, plus additional work to clean We took photo Dallas. --one was antk other new! Both and memories which I to add to. My flowers for you course) are tulips, rose babies breath. Don't for low, shaped to heighten my arrangements, a any container or place! IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO SUBMIT MATERIAL FOR Articles submitted to The Mountain Messenger written or clearly written In order to be considered for Please include your name and a telephone number may be reached during busine.ss hours. The Mountain Messenger reserves the right to edit and regrets articles cannot be returned. Letters to the editor must include a full signature and If you would like a photograph returned, please addressed, stamped envelope. Dear Editor: Something strange happened to me last month and I hope someone can explain it to me. I am as fright- ened by this as Alice was when she fell down the rabbit hole and as con- fused as Dorothy was upon discov- ering she had arrived in Oz. Last month I went to sleep in my house in Greenbrier County; in the Democratic State of West Virginia; in the Democratic Country of the United States el America where elected officials act upon the will of the people. East Germany officials were communists; Polish officials were communists; Czechoslovakian officials were communists. The people of these countries had to abide by the wishes of the political party. When I awoke (am I awake?) East Germany was free; Poland was free; Greenbrier County, West Vir- ginia was a dictatorship! Please; someone, wake me up! Better yet, let's all wake up! Demand the County Board of Education put the issue of consolidation to a popu- lar vote. isn't that the way it is done in a free country? Write to the Board of education! Demand a vote. Mrs Ellen McCoy Williamsburg Dear Editor: Mart Marshall's recent letter in the Mountain Messenger concerning the SRW, Inc. (Southwestern Re- gional Workshop) and its recycling program was comprehensive and enlightening. It is necessary for more people to get involved in recycling not only to help the disadvantaged but to keep the landfill from overflowing. It takes some work to get prod- ucts soi'ted and delivered to the plant but it is welt worth the effort. I was astounded when I compared the amount of donated material to the amount they had to pay for. If Whit~ idnhlir ~qnrintn,~ ~nrt I =wi'~- burg are donating, it is e~ most people are not uu Youth groups and s i depend on selling to erate but I feel that an not hard-pushed for donate. It can mean between this program keeping their head Dear Editor: On behalf of the combat-wounded and veterans of West Virgini! like to take this o licly express the tion of the Military 0 Purple Heart to Brackenrich. This senator has lation that will be most disabled veterans, quently be advanta! physically impaired state. The senato~ was one ers in obtaining the Heart" license plate ian veterans wounded He was also jointly indicating the ing the BarboursvillO Home. These efforts the governor's this proposal; the Home remainin I have worked for four years, and can he is a fine district, as well as a sonal friend. Sincerely, Military Order More to the page