Newspaper Archive of
Mountain Messenger
Lewisburg, West Virginia
July 26, 1990     Mountain Messenger
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July 26, 1990

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Vol. VI No.20 July 26, 1990 From the Greenbrier Valley of West Virginia Resort old To Japanese New Snowshoe Mountain Resort Danny Seme says he is about the recent purchase the resort by Japanese develop- For "the past three or four years been like a racehorse with the pulled back. The savings-and- groups that have run the resort put us in more of a caretaking le during that time. However, I be- tve the new owners will take lOWshoe where it can go--now we develop some good long-term iness plans." Development Company, known as Tokyo Tower Devel- )ment Company, purchased the County resort for $20 illion, according to an announce- July 19 from the office of Coy- nor Gaston Caperton. The corn- my is keeping the existing man- lement team and staff, he added. Seine was named president. He managed Snowshoe since 1986 the auspices of Ski Ventures, a group of savings- id-loan associations. "The developers decided to buy resort because they were im- ,~ssed with the management of the for the past three years," Mr }me said. "I'm happy that we'll now able to do more than simply the status-quo here. We're ted as one of the top ski resorts in Southeast, and one of the finest COuntry according to the num- of customers, the quality of our and our type of terrain." to the governor's infor- ~on, the new developers will' possible ways of expanding a year-round facility. g Change Dear Editor: Our environment is special to all --- or at least it should be. We Ist all Work together for the good COmmunity and its effect upon r day-to-day living. Things do not turn out as we would have ~m, but it doesn't mean that we Jld stop caring. Lewisburg City Council over- the action of the Zoning Board concerning Mountaineer COmpany's request for a zoning to move their business of- ' from downtown Lewisburg to the Road pipe yard. This allow for the construction of a office building in the predomi- ly residential neighborhood. perty owners in this vicinity out in force for the hearing at Board of Appeals on There was almost an hour debate which resulted in the Jest for the variance being lost of a second motion. A pet~- was presented to the Board ~ed by a large number of area )hbors in opposition to the fe- asted variance. Contrary to what said of the petition, all who ed it knew what it was about most attended the meeting of Zoning Board and voiced their one in the area surrounding gas property was notified that variance request was being before the Lewisburg City Campers chow down at Camp Minnehaha in Pocahontas County. Camp Minnehaha For Boys Draws Clients From Wide Area By Jonathan Wright The sounds of 250 boys at play reverberate among the mountains of southeastern Pocahontas County each summer. A quiet assortment of houses and farms for most of the year, the small community of Min- nehaha Springs comes alive each summer with the arrival of campers from throughout the eastern United States and several foreign coun- tries. The 150-acre campsite occupies what was once one of the many spring-based resorts sprinkled throughout the Virginias. The Indian name "Minnehaha," meaning "Laughing Blue Water," refers to Douthat and Knapp's creeks, which border the camp. A warm 69.8° min- eral spring is the focal point of the area, producing 1,000 gallons of wa- ter per minute to the pool and a nearby reservoir. It is the third larg- est spring east of the Mississippi River, according to-camp bpe'ratof ............. Jim Worth. ......... A disti0ctive feature "of Camp Minnehaha is the opportunity for participants to freely choose the ac- tivities they will become involved in during the course of their stay. A staff of 25 counselors and instruc- tors offers numerous recreational and instructional activities, including meteorology, archery, baseball, bas- ketball, photography, canoeing, fish- ing, golf, horseback riding, astron- omy, riflery, sailing, ceramics, scuba-diving, woodworking, soccer, swimming, rockets, tennis, wrestling, and cave exploration. Beginning, intermediate, and ad- vanced levels of instruction are pro- vided. Boys are encouraged to choose activities which interest them the most and to work on improving their skills in those areas. "1 learn so much stuff from here," l 1-year-old Jason Brant of Rockville, Maryland, said. "It's great to know so much more when I leave. I also like the mountains. They're freezing cold at nighttime--that feels good, since it's so hot where ! come from." "You get a large choice of activi- ties here." 11-year-old Ben Jordan of Washington D. C.. said. "The counselors are really good, too." Ben Freshman, 12, of Arlington, Virgima, said, "1 like all the activities. They're a lot of fun. and we get awards for achievement. I enjoy the camping and cave trips." The abundance of activities re- sults in some restful mghts for most campers. John Dragoo of Colum- on June 19. Therefore there bus, Ohio. said, "This place keeps SthenO immediaterepresentati°narea.fr°mco uncdany°ne us, busy. I like that. but sometimes it did not get a chance to any reasons for opposition so VOted unanimously to grant the area surrounding the Moun- Gas property is not condu- business. There will be an Inside Today About Herbs ..................... 9A Agriculture ....................... 8A Briefly ............................... 3A Classified ......................... 7B For the Record ................. 3A Hand In Hand ................... 5B Joy of Farming .............. 12A Obituaries ........................ 6A Opinion ............................. 4A Saints ............................... 3B Sports ............................... 1 B Horoscopes ................... 10A Gbr. Co. Bd. of Ed .......... 4A in traffic and the streets in area are to narrow to handle any e traffic. r Gas says it will im- the looks of the property. ~s not the issue here. could improve the 13roperty without moving office. s are not trying to block prog- ;; ~ we are thinking of the See "Lewisburgers", Pg. 2-A seems there's not enough time to rest. That's all right, though, be- cause you're a lot more tired at n~ght. It makes it a lost easier to sleep--unless you hear a scarey story before going to bed!" Counselors tend to be regulars at t,~e camp. According to Mr Worth, 22 of the 25-member staff this sum- mer are returning from last year. The average age of staff me,n~ers is 33, he said; they come from the United States, Germany, England, and Mexico. Returning for his fourth summer is counselor Barry Ulbrich of Dan- ville, West Virginia. "This is one of the greatest camps in West Vir- ginia," he said. "Really, it's one of the top four camps in the United States---I've heard that mentioned often. The proximity of the Monon- gahela National Forest and the abundance of natural resources • . See "Ca..mp'.I,.Pg.,3:A. ,i Of Education Named Related Suit By Chas. A. Goddard A dozen Greenbrier County school students and ten individuals have are suing the County Board of Education -- demanding a writ of prohibition from the local courts con- cerning proposed junior high school consolidation. Greenbrier County Circuit Court Judge Frank Joliff has removed him- self from considering the case. Judge Joliff's office said he excused himself because his wife is em- ployed by the local school board. Special Judge John Ashworth of Mercer County will conduct a pre- liminary hearing on the school mat- ter August 8 at 10 a.m. Judge Ash- worth was earlier appointed by the State Supreme Court to hear cases in Greenbrier County due to Judge Charles Lobban's continuing hospi- talization and inability to perform his duties. The 11-page suit, filed in the Greenbrier County Circuit Clerk's of- fice July 19, charges the Board of Education and each of its four mem- bers individually, with failure to corn- ply with rules and regulations esta0- lished by the West Virginia Board of Education concerning school clos- ings and consolidation. The suit contends, among other things, that middle and junior high students would be subjected to travel times exceeding 45 minutes in order to get to school -- a violation of Policy 6200 of the state's "Hand- book On Planning School Facilities". The petitioners also charge that the Board of Education violated the r~ghts of working parents when it scheduled a public hearing June 12 at 5 p.m. at Greenbrier East High School and required that persons who wished to speak had to sign up, in person, between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. that same day. The petitions state citizens of Greenbrier County were denied "due process under the taw in direct violation of both Article III, Section 10 of the West Virginia Constitution and the due process provisions of the Fifth and Four- teenth Amendments of the United States Constitution. According to the suit, the Board of Education unanimously voted June 27 to close junior high schools in Williamsburg, Alderson, Renick, Lewisburg, Ronceverte and White Sulphur Springs in preparation for the proposed consolidation. The pe- titioners say this action is in direct violation of state taws and West Vir- glnia Board of Education guidelines. The implementation of the Greenbrier County Board of Education's consolidation plans " . . continues a(n) historical funding preference exhibited by the Board of Education of Greenbrier County for schools and school programs in the Eastern District of the county to the detriment of those schools and school-age children in the Western District of the county." By allocating $8 million in state and federal funds for proposed con- struction of a new school near Le- wisburg, the suit states equal pro- tection has been denied residents, taxpayers and school children who live in the Western District. They fur- ther contend children in the Western District of Greenbrier Cotmty will be denied access to an equal educa- tion under the proposed consolida- tion plans. Katz, Kantor and Perkins, attor- neys from Bluefield are representing the petitions. The Board of Educa- 4ion has retained Lewisburg attorney Jesse Guills as legal representative, according to Superintendent Stephen Baldwin TWo Pocahontas Development Authority Officers Resign" One Cites Prison Differences As Reason Two of the officers of the Pocahontas County Development Authority resigned last week, Bob Mann, president of the authority~ and Fred Burns vice president, resigned during a special meeting called to update Development Authority members concerning the proposed use of Denmar State Hospital property as a private prison. Mr Burns stated in a letter of resignation he could not work with Commissioner Norman Alderman. Both Mr Burns' and Mr Mann's resignations were a~:cepted, with regret, by the County Commission.The Development Authority derives its power from the County Commission which appoints members It was re-organized as a 15-member board September 28, 1989. In addition to being vice president of the Development Authority, Mr Burns was chairman of the authority's "Denmar Committee". The committee was charged with investigating alternative uses for the Denmar State Hospital facility. i i ,,, /CF " I~,,',r ,,,1~, , i~1 ii i i: f~ " it i i i By Chas. A. Goddard "There are a few questions we'd like to have answered," Pocahontas County Commissioner Guy Fultz said regarding the fate of a proposal from Private Prisons of America to take over the Denmar State Hospital property and install a privately- owned prison there. "Next week we ht to have this whole thing cleared up. I'm sorry I can't tell you anything more than that right now," Commissioner Fultz added. The private prison concept has caused a swirl of controversy -- reaching to the West Virginia De- partment of Public Safety, on to the front page of a Charleston newspa- per, and back to mainly rural Poca- hontas County. Paul Nyden, an in- vestigative reporter for The Char- leston Gazette, reported July 20 that Carl "Sonny" Emerson, vice president of Private Prisons of America (a Texas-based firm) had served, in 22 months of a three- to five-year sentence at the Colorado State Penitentiary and a; tl~e Colo- raclo State Reformatory, Mr Emer- son was indicted on 50 criminal counts, In June of 1965 ne pleaded guilty to receiving stolen property, according to The Gazette front page article. Commissioner Norman Alder- man, a prime supporter of Private Prisons of America, was unavailable for comment concern=ng any future plans the Pocahontas County Com- mission might have in conjunction with Mr Emerson's firm. Mr Alder- man was, however, quoted in Mr Nyden's article as saying "1 am very discouraged. I was trying my best to do something for the county. I have failed. I see no further reason to continue negotiations with Private Prisons of America." At a specially-called meeting July 18 at the Marlinton Middle School, Mr Alderman told the approximately 250 persons attending "1 conducted a computer search, using 'lnfoTrack' and 'Newsbank'. I found them (Pri- vate Prisons of America officials) to be bona fide people. I checked Kid- der-Peabody (the underwriter); Jack Lackey, the architect. I checked with the sheriff of Walker County, Texas." 9 Major General Joseph Skaff Earlier in the meeting, at about 7:08 p.m., Mr Alderman introduced Mr Emerson, his wife Eileen and their nine-year-old son Michael to the au- dience. He then introduced the evening's speaker, West Virginia Secretary of Public Safety, Major General (retired) Joseph Skaff. General Skaff told the group "1 will make the decision (whether the Private Prisons of America proposal would be acceptable to the state) based upon the recommendations of Director of Public Safety Ron Gre- gory and the (,newly formed seven- member) Regional Jail Authority. I intend to gather all possible informa- tion," General Skaff said. In a rather lengthy discussion concerning prisons and prisoners in West Virginia, General Skaff said 'Tm very deliberate and make sure I make the right decision. I attended West Point. I was taught it was best to choose the harder right rather than the easier wrong. We'll do everything we can to expedite that See "Prison" .2-A O