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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 8 CLINCH VALLEY TIMES St. Paul, Va. Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014 THE RICHMOND REPORT Sen.Phillip Puckett -- Molasses----- From Page 1 sary planting and tending of the cane patch through the summer. It has been necessary to strip the cane of its succulent blades, which make excellent stock feed, and to cut the stalks and haul them to the spot where they will be converted into the ultimate liquid delicacy to spice the mountaineer's simple meals. The cane must be har- vested before, frost has a chance to nip it, which will spoil the flavor of the sorghum. The grower always has a weather eye out for early frosts that may catch his crop. The methods used in the actual molasses making are extremely primitive. They follow the same process today that the first settler used, with scant modification only in the vessels utilized in cooking and handling the cane juice. The first requisite is a cane mill which extracts the juice from stalks. While these mills have gone through a mechanical change, they still adhere to the basic principle of oper- ation and use the same kind of motive power employed by the pioneers. The appa- ratus is very similar in operation to the old-fash- ioned coffee grinder. It consists of two upright drums or rollers set in a frame and operated by a kind of long-handled crank which rotates over the top of the frame. This causes the two rollers to rotate in the same direction, against each other. Stalks fed between these rollers are thoroughly crushed. The extracted juice is caught in a pan set below for this purpose. The motive power is connected to the long han- die and consists of either a horse or a mule, which plods in a never-varying circle about the mill to keep the crank turning. It tramples underfoot the dis- carded pulp of the crushed stalks, which will also be used for feed. Naturally docile animals are used for this task, since this deadly routine is certainly not for a skittish or fractious ani- mal. A feeder, very often a young boy, crouches under this turning rotator to feed the stalks by hand into the crude apparatus. He must be on guard so as not to allow his hand to be fed into the mechanism. There is some danger attached even to this simple process, as a number of one-armed persons living in the moun- tains can testify, they hav- ing had a hand mangled in one of these mills and which of necessity was amputated. The grinding will require many hours and may take all day or longer, depending on the amount of cane raised in the patch. Several growers may pool their cane crops when each has only a small amount. This simplifies the work of molasses-making. As the juice is extracted it will be collected in a large "fur- nace," or boiler, and started cooking sometime before the grinding operations are finished. The cooker is a metal receptacle, of copper or iron, of many gallons capacity, firmly placed over an oven made of rocks. A strong fire must be kept going during the boiling process. This will be close to the site of the mill, for convenience. No synthetic flavoring will be -- Calendar----- From Page 1 JOIN THE FRIENDS- Join the Friends of J. Fred Matthews Memorial Library and help promote the improvement of facilities and services of the library. Send name, address and phone number, with a $5 membership gift, to J. Fred Matthews Memorial Library, P.O. Box 1976, St. Paul, VA 24283. Make checks payable to Friends of the J. Fred Matthews Memorial Library. EASTERN STAR- Clinch Valley Chapter #152, Order of Eastern Star, meets each fourth Tuesday, except for March and December, when the meetings are on the second Tuesday. All meetings are at 7:30 p.m. VETERANS' CLAIMS- Coebum-A Dept. of Veterans Services represen- tative will assist clients and answer questions at the Coebum VFW Post from 9am-3:30 pm third Thursdays except June. COMMUNITY CEN- TER-The West Dante Community Center meets at 7 pm first Mondays. Call 495-8473. FREE HIV TESTING- Health Departments in the Lenowisco Health District offer free confidential" HIV testing throughout the year. For information, call Wise County 318-8000; Lee Co. Health Dept. 276-346-2011; or Scott Co. Health Dept. 276-386-1312. FREE GED CLASSES- Free GED classes are offered at the Oxbow Family Investment Center, St. Paul, Mondays and Wednesdays from 8:30 am-I2 noon. Glenna McReynolds is the added for none is neces- sary, since the sorghum has a flavor all its own. The cooking process requires many hours, and it" is necessary to stir the mix- ture as it cooks. Fresh juice must be added at intervals as the extract "cooks down," for there is a great deal of evaporation as the juice is slowly thick- ened to reach the proper consistency and flavor. It is the "stirring off" process that forms the chief social attraction, since the stir-off will frequently last late into the night. People are formally invited to attend the final rite. Romantically inclined young blades and shy maidens, as well as older persons, will congregate in the glow of the furnace fire and a gay holiday spirit will prevail. There will be plenty of assistance in tending the sorghum vat as well as in sampling the "skimming" when this bubbly, yellow- ish sediment is removed. The scene may well become one of wild frolic. Some famed banjo pickers of the hills, or the "fid- dlin'est" fiddler in those parts will likely be there, by invitation or his own inclination, to supply "hill- billy specials" and lustily, if off-key, accompaniment to the old-time mountain ballads sung by old and young in hearty chorus. In the friendly shadows, guarded "sparking" will be carried on among the youths and maidens of choice, and many a romance has had its culmi- nation at a molasses stir- off. Truly this the moun- taineer's special holiday." Next Week: Mountain Empire Industries, Part H "'Another Industry" teacher. Call 1-800-422- 3433. GED TESTING-GED Testing is available Monday through Thursday and on Saturdays at the Wise Co. Altemative Education Center, Wise. Call 276-328- 8612 for information (on- ceming GED testing. IN CONTROL PRO- GRAMS-In Control, a free diabetes program, meels at Oxbow Center, St. Paul, 5-6 pm 2nd Mondays. BOOK DISCUSSION- Book Discussion Group One of the J. Fred Matthews Memorial Library naeets fourth Thursdays at the Riverside Diner at 6 prin. DANTE LIVES ON-The Dante Lives On Board meets at 6:00 pm 3rd Tuesdays at the Dante Museum with the Community Meeting fol- lowing at 7:00 pm. SHOP L 0 CA L It's the right thing to do!! MORGAN McCLURE Saint Paul, VA i0000m.cc0000-00ford, (276) 762-5535 I IIII f IIIIIIIIIII IIIII IIIIId I I I IIIII ................. The 2014 General Assembly Session is in full swing and the committees are considering the many l--bills and resolutions that are being introduced. I am pleased to announce that I have introduced several bills that are of significant importance to Southwest Virginians. As of today, January 27th, a total of 2,365 bills and resolutions have been introduced. Out of that amount, 251 have passed, 135 have failed the Senate and 51 have been contin- ued until the 2015 General Assembly Session. As you can see, a vast majority of the bills and resolutions are still going through the committee process. Upon consideration of Senate committee, the bills and resolutions then pro- ceed to the House side for the same review and process. The pace will continue to quickly esca- late here at the Capitol dur- ing this 2014 General Assembly Session. I would like to highlight several legislative items of interest and importance that I have introduced dur- ing this session. Senate Bill 154 Hunting on private prop- erty on Sunday. This bill allows hunting on Sundays under certain circumstances on private property. A person may hunt on private land, subject to restrictions imposed by the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. They must obtain written per- mission from the landown- er and may hunt or kill any wild bird or wild animal, including nuisance species, on the landowner's private property. However, the aforemen- tioned hunting activities cannot occur within 200 ,yards of a house of wor- ship. This bill will provide the working folks an extra day to hunt which is cur- rently restricting and limit- ing hunting participation. Furthermore, with the additional weekend day, more youth could partici- pate in deer and spring gobbler hunting, two of Virginia's most popular hunting seasons. Additionally, suburban landowners and rural farm- ers agree that greater opportunity to harvest nui- sance wildlife is desirable. This bill was submitted due to the numerous requests received from local con- stituents in Southwest Virginia. This bill passed out of committee in the House last Thursday and is on its way to the House floor for vote. It is expect- ed to be heard in the Senate Agriculture committee this week. This is the most progress ever made on a bill to allow Sunday Hunting in Virginia. Senate Bill 293 (Andrew's Law)-Reckless driving resulting in death or serious injury to emer- gency medical services personnel, firefighters, highway workers or law enforcement o .ff3_cers. This bill was introduced on behalf of the family of Virginia State Trooper Andrew Fox who was struck and killed while directing traffic at the state fair in 2012. The bill will make it a felony offense to seriously injure or kill a law-enforce- ment officer, emergency worker, firefighter or a highway worker in the state of Virginia. Along with the felony charge, the bill would irhpose a $2,500 mandato- ry minimum fine and sus- pend the offender's driving privileges for one year. In addition, the court may impose a civil penalty of up to $10,000 and the pro- ceeds would go into the state's general fund. This bill will be presented in Senate Committee today and the Fox family will travel to Richmond to speak for the bill. Senate Bill 549 Donations to charitable institutions and associa- tions, volunteer and non- profit organizations, chambers of commerce, etc. This bill provides that a locality may make gifts and donations to any non- profit tax-exempt organiza- tion that is engaged in pro- viding emergency relief to low-income residents, including providing the repair or replacement of private property damaged or destroyed by a natural disaster. This bill passed the Senate and will now travel to the House for vote. Senate Bill 561 Relating to the condition- al release of geriatric prisoners; persons sub- ject to protective orders ineligible. This bill provides that a prisoner who was convict- ed of a felony act of vio- lence and who was subject to a protective order at the time of the offense, is inel- igible for conditional release from prison due to age if the victim of the felony offense was the pro- tected person under the protective order. Senate Bill 661 Parole Hearing Rights for Non- Violent Prisoners. Allows a parole hearing for nonviolent offenders whose crime was commit- ted on or after January 1, 1995, and who have served 50% of their sentence. If the incarceration is the offender's second felony incarceration in Virginia or another state, the offender must serve 75% of the sentence before becoming eligible for a parole hearing. The aver- age cost to house a prison- er in the state of Virginia correctional system is $26,000. per year. This bill would help reduce the number of prisoners in the system, many of whom are t'u'st time offenders, model prisoners and have accrued good time release while incarcerated. I am hopeful and opti- mistic that this legislation will be approved in the 2014 General Assembly Session. I will certainly be working diligently for its passage. We have a great ltion. As life changes, so do your needs, Let State Farm Bank  help with a mortgage that fits your life and your budget, Let us help you make the r/ght move, Bank with a Good Neighbor CALL ME TODAY FOR MORE INFORMATION. 00Bank I'IEGRN AY  CHARL, IE - ENGE 49 WINCHESTER CONCERT SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 8 7.00 P.M. SAINT PAUL, HIGH SCHOOL A00ITORIUM ADMISSION: $10.00 A FUND RAISING EVENT FOR FRIENDS OF THE J. FRED MATTHEWS I'IEI'IORIAL, L, IBRARY