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Clinch Valley Times
St. Paul , Virginia
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January 30, 2014     Clinch Valley Times
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January 30, 2014
 

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Clinch Valley Times " 'The time has come,' the walrus said, 'to talk of many things...' " Vol. LVI, No. 5 Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014 Saint Paul, Virginia V i r g i n i a PRESS Association 50 cents SEARCHING FOR SNACK ... These four remaining ducks walk across the frozen Oxbow Lake in search of a noon snack last Friday. Low bid still $1 million too high on sewer plant On January 10th, five contractors submitted bids on the plans for the Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant. The plant has been in the planning and design stages for several years. In the beginning, Dominion was participat- ing and the Town of St. Paul was planning for a million gallon per day facility. When the bids on that plant came in high, Dominion decided to apply for their own per- mit to bypass the treat- ment plant. The town of St. Paul, Castlewood Water & Sewer, and Wise County PSA decided to redesign the plant and downsize to a 500,000 gallon per day plant. Frizzell Construction is the apparent low bidder submitting a base bid of $6,!97,700 but it still came in more than 1 mil- lion dollars over the St. Paul town budget for con- struction. This week, engineers from Mattern & Craig and representatives "from the Town of St. Paul will meet with Frizzell repre- sentatives to discuss ways to lower the bid. Mayor Fletcher said the Town received a grant and loan from USDA Rural Development in the amount of $4,427,350, a $500,000 grant from ARC, and $150,000 from the Virginia Tobacco Commission, totaling $5,927,350. The Town will be seeking additional fund- ing as well as negotiating with Frizzell to reduce the cost of plant construc- tion. Phase I of the Castlewood Water & Sewer Line Project is under construction and Mayor Fletcher said he is hopeful that construction on the treatment plant can begin in the spring. Town officials attend legislative session At the council meeting held on January 23rd, Mayor Fletcher reported that he, Councilman Kelly, Councilman Bailey, Councilman Salyer, and IDA Chairman Bob Harrison attended the Virginia Legislative Session. The group met with several agencies, including Rural Development, Virginia Department of Health, Rural Development, VDOT, DHCD, and the Virginia Tobacco Commission to dis- cuss ongoing projects and possible grant funding for future town projects. They also met with state legisla- tors to discuss the needs of St. Paul and southwest xruginia. Tend Ann Funk asked the town council to consider joining or sponsoring a V'n-ginia Tourism Marketing Leverage Grant. She explained that the Virginia Tourism grant is available to agencies and/or businesses to assist with marketing recreation and tourism in the area. She is working with Kitty Barker in submitting the grant application by March. The grant requires a minimum of three groups (businesses, non-profits, or local entities) to be eligible to apply. The Heart of Appalachia, Clinch River Days, and Clinch River Adventures will be submit- ting a joint application. If the town joins the group, any Councilman Kilgore dis- advertising money spent in cussed a problem with apart- marketing tourism for the meat residents parking town would be matched dol- " downtown and taking up lar for dollar. The Town parking spaces all day in Council agreed to place this front of business establish- item on the February agenda for consideration. Kathy Stewart, Chairwoman of the Lyric Ad Hoc Committee, asked the Town Council to place a sign on the Lyric property stating the agencies that have contributed to the ongoing work and future work on the Lyric building. This requezt was also added to the February agenda for consideration. Chief Bo Phillips provid- ed council with data from the year 2013 on the police department activity. Mayor Fletcher and council asked him to put that in a format to report to the local newspaper so the public would have the information. The Town Council voted to write a letter to MNCC, Inc., the company who reno- vated the swimming pool, asking them to take care of several warranty items that are not working properly. The task order agreement with Mattern & Craig Engineering Services to complete' a comprehensive evaluation "of a regional water was approved. This $47,000 project is paid for by a grant from the 'n'ginia Department of Health. ments. Several council members echoed similar complaints. Following dis- cussion abOut 2 hour parking signs and other possible remedies, the issue was referred to the Street Department Committee for fiLrther review. A motion was passed to work on the alley that runs between Buchanan Street and Estonoa and to set a date to dedicate the Dean Vencil street signs previously approved by Council. Council accepted the res- ignation of employee Mike Jessee. Mayor Fletcher acknowledged appreciation of Mr. Jessee's 14 years of service to the town. There was a brief discus- sion abOut the dirt and coal dust on our town roads that is . coming from the Dominion truck traffic. Upon a motion by Councilman Kelly, the Council approved writing a letter to Dominion stating the environmental and safety concerns, asking them to address this problem. With the Wastewater Treatment Plant remaining on the agenda, Council iecessed until 6:30 p.m. on Monday, February 3rd. Calendar ofevents..-, " " ................. AA-Sundays . and 6 pm, Lebanon. 5pm Mondays and Agency for Senior Tuesdays: Big Stone CLINCHFIELD Fridays; and llam- Citizens recognizes Gap, 8 pm, Episcopal LODGE #256-Stated 7:30pm Tuesdays and persons in Russell, Church. Wednesdays: Communication, 1st Thursdays, Wed. Dickenson, Buchanan Wise, 8 pro, Trinity Saturdays, 7:30; School 9:30am-6pm and Sat and Tazewell counties United Methodist of Instruction third lpm-5pm. Sunday who are 100 years old Church. Fridays: Thursdays, 7pm Closed. or older. Call Dana Clintwood, 7:30 pm, R E C O V E R Y D I C K E N S O N- Collins, 1-800-656- Clintwood United GROUP-The Wise B U N D Y - T h e 2272, to advise AASC Methodist Church. County Mental Health Dickenson-Bundy Log of any upcoming 100th COPPER CREEK Center conducts a House is open weekly birthday. ELEMENTARY PTA- recovery group for sub- Thursdays through S U P P O R T 3rd Monday, 7 pm stance abusers and fam- Saturdays, 10-3, and GROUP-Women sur- school cafeteria, flies Fridays at 10 am Sundays 12-4 pm. vivors of sexual assault ST. PAUL IDA Cal1276-679-0810. SOCIAL SECURI- are invited to attend B O A R D - F o u r t h ACOA MEETING- TY-The Wise Social Clinch Valley Mondays, 6 pm, St. Adult Children of Security Office is open C o m m u n i c a t i o n Patti Town Hall. Alcoholics meet Mondays-Fridays from Action, Inc./Family ST. PAUL TOWN Mondays, 7 pm, First 9am-4pm. Phone num- Crisis Services' sup- C O U N C I L - T h i r d Baptist Church, bers are 1-800-772- port group meeting Mondays, 6 pm, Town Coebum. Call 762- 1213 or 276-679-7633. with victims of similar Hall. 0016, 276-395-6588 or L I B R A R Y situations Mondays, CASTLEWOOD 276-679-7371. FRIENDS-Friends of 10:30 am-12 noon. For W & S A - T h e LITILE LEAGUE- the J. Fred Matthews information call Rande Castlewood Water & The Clinch River Little Memorial Library, St. Hackler, 276-988-5583 Sewage Authority League Board meet at 4 Paul meet at the Library or Ranetta Davis, 276- Board of Directors, 6 pm third Sundays at the on first Thursdays at 4 889-8206." pm second Mondays. UMWA Building in pm. FREE ADULT ED- ALZHEIMER'S Castlewood. All inter- VFW POST 9864- Free adult education S U P P O R T- F i r s t ested persons are invit- VFW Post 9864, classes are available in Tuesday, 1 pm, ed to attend. Lebanon, welcomes Lee, Scott and Wise Appalachian Agency H.O.P.E. HOUSE- new members. If you counties and the City of for Senior Citizens H.O.P.E. House pro- served overseas during Norton. Daytime and office, Claypool Hill. vides emergency shel- any war, write VFW evening classes for Free. ter for victims of Post.9864, P.O. Box adults who want to N A R C O T I C S domestic violence in 1419, Lebanon, VA improve their basic A N O N Y M O U S - Wise, Russell, 24266 and send name, skills. Insthactors also Tuesdays and Dickenson, Lee, Scott address and phone assist adults with job- Saturdays, - 8 pm and Buchanan counties number. Transfers wel- related skills including Presbyterian Church, and the City of Norton. comed, resume, writing and Norton. Volunteers needed- HEALTH SER- interviewing. For CASTLEWOOD training available. Call VICES-The Wise details, call 1-800-422- LODGE #231-Stated 1-800-572-2278. County Health 3433 or 276-386-2433. meetings will be held SENIOR CITI- Department, Wise, is TRANSPORTA- the third Saturday of ZENS-The Castle-wood open from 8am-8pm TION- each month. The Senior Citizens meet at first Thursdays. The Appalachian School of Instruction 10 am Wednesdays at Clinics will be Agency for Senior will be held on fourth the Castlewood Lions offered in family plan- Citizens provides disabili- Thursdays at 7. Den. Anyone 60 or over ning, pediatrics, school ty transportation services ST. PAUL LODGE is invited, and adult physicals,  in Buchanan, Dickenson, # 3 4 3 - S e c o n d The Dante Senior WIC, Paps and immu- Russell and TazeweU Thursdays, 7:30 pm, Citizens meet each n i z a t i o n s . counties to individuals Stated Communication; Monday and Tuesday at Appointments are nec- with disabilities, regard- First Thursday, 7 pm 10 am at the Dante Fire essary for all but immu- less of age. Call 1-888- School of Instruction. Department. Russell nizations. For an 656-2272. VFW POST #8652, County residents 60 or appointment, call 762- G E N E A L O G Y DAV CHAPTER 12- older are invited. 328-8000. GROUP-The Russell 4th Tuesday, 7 pm, RUSSELL CO. F A C I L I T I E S County Genealogy VFW, Riverview, LIBRARY-Hours at the AVAILABLE-The Group meets 5:30 pm Coebum. Russell County Public Tacoma Community first Thursdays, Russell .NEIGHBORS AID- Library, Lebanon, are Center is available for County Public Library, Thursdays, 9:30 to 12. M/Tu/W/F 10am- reunions, birthdays and Lebanon. St. Therese's Neighbors 5:30pm; Th 10am-8pm; showers. Group purpose is Aid Building, new & Sa 10am-2pm. Sunday All proceeds reha- "to leam, to share and used clothing for sale. Closed. bilitate the Tacoma to perpetuate family RUSSELL CO. M A T T H E W S School as a Community history." William T. BOARD OF SUPER- LIBRARY-Hours at the Center. For informa- Fuller, 276-623-3410 VISORS-FIrst Monday, J. Fred Matthews tion, call 395-6398. or fullerjr1942@ Memorial Library, St. 100TH BIRTH- yahoo.com. [[!llJl[[[ILjllU[]] Paul, are 8:30am- DAY-Appalachian See CALENDAR, Page8 Church and church-related activities calendar on page 3 S'IIR-OFF 1978 ... This photo was featured in the Oct. 5, 1978, edi- tion of the Clinch Valley Times. It was taken during a festive molasses stir-off at the Carl B. McNeil farm near Dungannon. Molasses stir-offs are tradition in Southwest Virginia homes BY JERRY COUCH This week we are pleased to present another essay by Charles Gordon. It con- cems what was once a necessary food item in every Southwest Virginia house- hold - molasses. Perhaps some of you have had the pleasure of being present for a molasses stir-off and can identify with the scenes described by Charles Gordon in this essay. If you have had the good fortune to partake of homemade molasses, then you know they bear little resemblance to what our parents' generation would have dis- dainfully referred to as "that old store- bought sorghum." And if you are a fan of the late Jerry Clower, you will recall Marcel Ledbetter being admonished by his mother to "Lick that sorghum off that knife before you stick it in the butter!" In my own case, I had the good for- tune to attend a molasses stir-off at the home of Gaines Helbert at Castle Run back in the 1960's. Mr. Helbert was an expert at this craft and his entire family gathered for the occasion. Just this morn- ing I enjoyed sharing memories of that long-ago day with my cousin, Roger Couch (Mr. Helbert was his grandfather). MOUNTAIN EMPIRE INDUSTRIES, PART I Dante, Va. -- In the tri-state area poet- ically referred to as the "mountain empire," embracing the most mountain- ous sections of Southwest Virginia, Eastern Tennessee, and Eastern Kentucky, two native industries peculiarly associated with the mountains have flourished in varying degree from the first settlement to the present day. And the two are similar in that both of them depend on "juice" in their manufacturing, and follow some- what related processes. These industries are the making of molasses, or sorghum, and the ancient occupation commonly known as moon- shining. A good deal of romance is con- nected with both, and the latter at least has been involved in many family feuds, bloody battles with the law, and a heavy sacrifice of human lives. Molasses making provides for the hill dweller a chance to enjoy a sort of festival such as the harvest fiestas that have been observed for centuries in many parts of the Old World. It is distinct from these celebrations, though, in that it is a neces- sary part of the season's work, while those festivals are purely social functions in which the peasants make merry over the past harvest. But the holiday feature of sorghum-making for the younger folks especially overbalances the practical angle. The "stir-offs" are anticipated with something of the eagerness of persons looking forward to a national holiday. A lot of hard work is behind every stir- off, but that is forgotten in the gaiety of the occasion. There has been the neces- See MOLASSES, Page 8