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

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Page 2 CLINCH VALLEY TIMES St. Paul, Va. Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014 Of shoes..and ships..and sealing wax.. Ann Gre00o00 January The longest month Reprinted from Feb. 9, 2012 It's actually only one of seven "longest" months, since there are five with just one day fewer than the "longest" ones contain, and another which has even fewer. But I stray from the point. We spend the end of each year immersed in wrap- ping paper, ribbons, evergreens, Christmas carols and all the other trappings of the, holiday season. It all begins the fourth Thursday in November with Thanksgiving, and "the holidays" don't stop until Christmas and all of the customs and traditions and wonderful times based on the year's most noteworthy holiday have been observed, and the New Year wel- comed just a week later. Holiday preparations and observations are stimulat- ing for most people who really enjoy all of the whoop- di-do of the holidays. Shopping, decorating, baking, wrapping are all part of the routine. The time between Thanksgiving and December 25 usually seems to fly by since there's so much to do and so little time in which to do it. After all, in addition to the holiday prepara- tions, one's regular life must still be lived, with the incumbent cooking, cleaning, eating, sleeping and so on that go with it. It all gets finished, however, and Christmas arrives. Packages are unwrapped, expensive groceries are roast- ed/baked/steamed/sautred, braised; and even, sooner or later,' the debris of opened packages and completed feasting is dealt with and tossed or washed or, in what- ever way, cleaned up so that everything's ready for the next time. New Year's Eve presents another excitement, and the first day of the New Year provides another day off from work--maybe to relax, or cook one more fam- ily feast to end the season in style--and some people even enjoy entertaining on New Year's Day. But then comes January 2, and...splafl That's when the longest month begins. Although we've been extremely fortunate this year, weather-wise, the 2011- 12 winter, at least so far, has been very unusual. Normally, January, which I consider to be the depths of winter (although the season didn't start til December 21), and the weather usually behaves like those depths. It's not at all" unusual to spend most of January with very cold temperatures and, more often than not, at least a little snow. We've had so little snow this year that I don't think it could even be measured, but again, this winter has been very unusual. Unless you have personal holidays, such as birthdays or anniversaries, January doesn't provide any opportu- 'nity, other than January 1, to celebrate anything. That's another thing about it, at least as far as I'm concerned, that makes it seem to be so much longer than any other month, even though six others have just as many days! It's occurred to me that one reason January seems like the longest month is that so much of the time, the skies are gray and the wind blows and there's nothing very festive about the way anything looks outdoors. I gues-she reaction to lack of sunshine and brighmess is what affects many people who live in those northern areas where the sun doesn't come out for several months at a time. The ailment is called light depriva- tion, and it's real. Light derivation can not only cause depression, but also can inflict lasting damage to the brain. We don't have to worry about anything that extreme where we live, but we still can suffer the ill effects of light deprivation. And it just seems that with the absence of holidays, and the occasional lack of sunshine paired with the cold weather that often are part of the month, January seems to be almost endless. I remember back in the days (a considerable number of decades ago) when I was a col- lege student. January was the final month of the semes- ter, and included final exams. That made the month even more depressing, as I remember. All of this seems to me to be very depressing, light deprivation or not. But there's one shining fact that overwhelms the rest of this information--and that's that January is gone for now--we don't have to worry about it for almost a whole year! February, after all, has Valentine's Day (I wish you a happy one, by the way). Even though 2012 is divisible by four, making this a Leap Year, February is still the shortest month and when it ends, there are only three weeks until the calendar will proclaim that spring has arrived. (Of course, the occurrence of the Spring Equinox is no guarantee that the elements will turn into spring right away, but it's a pretty good indicator that at least it won't be too long before the weather agrees with the calendar.) Also consider that Punxsatawny Phil, the Pennsylvania groundhog who is apparently the official weather-prognosticating rodent for the entire United States, saw his shadow on February 2, which means, according to that tradition, that we'll have six more weeks of winter. If you just look at the calendar, how- ever, there are about seven weeks of winter left, at least officially, between February 2 and March 21, which is normally the first day of Spring, so the groundhog did- n't tell us anything we didn't already know. However, there are a few positive elements to con- sider. We ARE into February, and looking at the big pic- ture, Spring isn't that far away. That means the trees will begin to show tiny leaves, the occasional crocus will show its head above the ground, and, sooner or later, the jonquils will show up. To tell the truth, the weather's been so unusually warm that some of those things have already begun to happen. If too much blooms now, however, and then if it should turn really cold and snowy, maybe we won't have that pretty Spring after all. In other words, speculation is just that. Even so, January seems to me to be the longest month of all! St. Paul, other departments respond to 17th house fire in Russell At 3:34 a.m. Jan. 26, Dante Volunteer Fire Department, Dante Rescue Squad, St. Paul Volunteer Fire Department, Russell County Emergency Management and Appalachia Power Co. were dispatched to the 17th home fire this season in Russell County. The fire at 465 Upper Bear Wallow Road caused major damage to the home and displaced the Phillips family The fire was caused by the overheating of a wood stove ventilation pipe, according to Jess Powers, Russell County Emergency and Hazardous Materials Coordinator.. Powers said the Phillips UPPER BEAR WALLOW ... A family of six was displaced in this Jan. 26 fire in Dante. family, including four chil- dren, children, will be stay- ing with family members as they start recovery efforts to restore their home and per- sonal possessions. The American Red Cross Mountain Empire Chapter is helping the family with emergency needs such as food, clothing, shoes, and seasonal outerwear. Fields-Penn House Museum adjusts hours for January, February Sheriff's Report ABINGDON, VA-- Abingdon's Fields-Penn 1860 House Museum has now transitioned to a "Winter Hours" schedule. The museum will be open four days a week instead of seven through the months of January and February. Docent Amy Looney states, "This is an exciting time of transition for the Fields-Penn House. We are in the process of clean- ing the house after our annual 'O Christmas Tree' event, as well as planning some exciting new pro- gramming for 2014." As Virginia continues to com- memorate the sesquicen- tennial of the Civil War (1861-1865), the Fields- Penn House looks forward to several special events in 2014, including the Civil War weekend during the Virginia Highlands Festival in August and the 150th anniversary of General George Stoneman's raid through Abingdon in December. The Fields-Penn House 1860 Museum is located at the comer of Cummings and Main Streets in Abingdon's downtown Historic District. The museum is open for guided tours Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free, but donations are accepted. For more information, or to schedule a group tour, contact Amy Looney at the Fields-Penn house (276) 676-0216 or via e-mail at fieldspennhouse@ m. The Wise County Sheriff's Office reports the following activities for the period of 01/06/2014 through 01/12/2014. Wise Central Dispatch received a total of 1,497 calls for this seven-day period. Of the total calls received 262 were dis- patched to the Sheriff's Office. Total number of Domestic calls for this period was 7. Criminal Process for this period: Served 26 Felony Warrants, 48 Misdemeanor Warrants, 0 DUI Arrest. Civil Process Served: 472 Civil Papers Traffic Accidents: 11 9 Additional Criminal Investigations were initi- ated and 17 Cleared by Arrest. Sheriff's Office pro- vided 181 man-hours of Court Room Security. Unlocked Vehicles: 21 Escorted Funerals: 9 The Sheriff's Office Transported: 5 Adults In State; 2 Adults Out of State; 1 Mental Patients; 4 Juveniles. Total Transports: 12; Total Transport Hours: 110.75 Items of f r:terest --- AVOID FROZEN PIPES IN EXTREME COLD To avoid frozen pipes, St. Paul water customers are reminded to leave their water running dunng the extreme cold weather. PLANNING MEETING SET FOR FESTIVAL The Clinch River Festival will be held on May 29, May 30 and May 31, 2014. Chair Bob Harrison reports the com- mittee will have a festival planning meeting on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 5:30 pm at the Hillman House in Market Square. DOG TAGS DUE JAN. 31; The 2014 Wise County Dog License/Tags are due by January 31, 2014. In order to purchase a dog tag, any individual dog, whether male, female, or unsexed must be four(4) monthis old or over and verification of vaccination by a currently licensed vet- erinarian. You may purchase either a one year license at $5.00 each or a three year license at $12.00 each. Also available are kennel tags for up to 20 dogs at $25.00. For information, con- tact Wise County Treasurer's Office at (276) 328-3666. Office hours are 8:30 AM-5:00 PM Monday-Friday. LIBRARY BENEFIT FEATURES CLAY, ENGLE, 49 WINCHESTER A benefit concert will be held Saturday, Feb. 8, as a fund-raiser for the Friends of the J. Fred Matthews Memorial Library. Megan Clay and Charlie Engle will per- form along with the 49 Winchester band. Thne concert will be held in the St. Paul High School auditorium. Admission is $1'o. CHAFIN IN SESSION; HERE'S HOW TO REACH HIM Recently elected Fourth House District Del. Ben Chafin is in session with the General Assembly and asks that all constituents who have comments, concerns, or questions please contact his office in Richmond at (804) 698-1004. He can also be reached in the district at (276) 889- 0143 or via email at del- bchafin@ house.virginia.g OV. GOSPEL SINGING There will be Gospel Singing every Saturday night from 7 pm until 10 pm beside the Barber Shop on Fourth Ave. in St. Paul. For more information call Claud Derarnus 276-395- 1962 or Tammy Key at 276- 395 - 1169. Help for the Helper Set for March 12 at higher ed center The University of Vh-ginia's College at Wise Office of Economic Development is offering Help for the Helper on Wednesday, March 12 at 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center in Abingdon, Va. When it comes to self- care and preservation, help- ing professionals and care- takers are often the ones to neglect their own personal needs when caring for oth- ers. This can lead to poor physical and mental health, poor self-esteem, decreased job satisfaction, frequent absenteeism from work, and exhaustion. All too often, helpers believe that taking care of others is more important than caring for themselves. Truthfully, we cannot care for others if we do not take the time to invest in our own well-being. This workshop will increase participants' self-awareness and provide effective tools for managing the stress of being a helping professional or caretaker. Participants will learn how perception influences feelings, behaviors, relation- DEADLINES: EDITORIAL copy (anniversaries, birthdays, weddings, calendar items, press releases, .etc.) 4 p.m. Monday ADVERTISING (Classified and display) 12 noon Tuesday CLINCH VALLEY TIMES ships, and overall success. Identify common stressors and concerns of helping pro- fessional and caretakers. Instructor Rachel Rose will share tips on how to identify and prevent burn-out- Participants will develop tools for managing stress and actively engage in relax- ation and stress management techniques. Rose is director of the Center for Student Development and a Licensed Professional Counselor at The University of Virginia's College at Wise. She holds a Master of Science degree in Counseling and Human Development from Radford University. The cost of the class is $199 which includes mated- als, refreshments, and lunch. Pre-registration is required and enrollment is limited. For more informa- tion, call 276-889-8180 or visit Clinch -: .... Valley Times MEMBIR VIRGINIA PRESS ASSOCIATION Published weekly in St. Paul, VA 24283, by the CLINCH VALLEY PUBLISHING CO,, INC. 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