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Clinch Valley Times
St. Paul , Virginia
February 26, 2009     Clinch Valley Times
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February 26, 2009

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:Vol, LI, No. 9 Clinch Valley Times " 'The time has come,' the walrus said, 'to galk of many things...' " Thursday, February 26, 2009 Saint Paul, Virginia ....... Illlllll Illl "" " II i./ Ill II ,ILL2 SCHOOL BOARD VISITS SPHS...The Wise County School Board held its monthly workshop session at the St. Paul High School Library on Monday, February 23. Pictured here are, left to right, Monty Salyer, Betty Cornett, Vanessa Perry and Board Chairman Barry Nelson. See photo at the bottom of the page for the other board members. The Board heard a presentation from construction management consultant Rick Ott, representing the M. B. Kahn Construction Co., Inc. The school board has hired M. B. Kahn at $95,000 to perform management tasks for the high school consolidation project. (continued in caption at bottom right...) Board of Zoning Appeals denies request St. Paul's Board of Zoning Appeals, meeting on Tuesday, February 17, at the Town Hall, discussed and then denied a request from Jesse Scarberry to allow temporary parking for RV vehicles in the space which he's leasing adjacent to the old Im- perial station on the old high- way. Wise County Building In- specter Robert Mullins, who is retained by St. Paul to serve the same function for the town, was present. He outlined the terms of St. Paul's zoning ordinance, which allows the Board of Zon- ing Appeals to interpret the text of the ordinance. He pointed out that the only place in St. Paul where any sort of mobile resi- dence may be parked, other than in a cetrd mobile hom park, is the R-4 section of South St. Paul. The nrooertv in question is zoned B:2, which is designated for general business. The Board questioned Mr. Scarberry, who said he intends to "fix up" the property, which already has water and sewer service available. He said he also plans to have a new roof put on the old Imperial building, and that he will either give the old ice house to the town or restore it himself. He told the Board that he's leasing the property with the intent of pur- chasing it. He assured the Board that he has appropriate liability insurance. Mullins said that the lot size, 100'xl00', would probably ac- commodate four units, each of which would have to have a water, amj sewer connection. When asked if he'd asked adjacent property owners their opinion of his request, Scar- berry said there weren't any. However, St. Paul property owner Richard Jessee was present, and told the Board that he has eight apartments in the building just across the street from the property in question, and he feels it would be beRer for his tenants if the request were denied. After discussing the issue, and pointing out that an appro- val for this request would proba- bly generate other similar re- quests, the Board voted 4-1 to deny the request. Voting with the majority were Frank Molina- ry, Monty Salyer, Lee Kidd and David Varney. Voting to ap- prove was Kenneth Couch. PAWS meets every third Thursday of the month, 6 pm at the Oxbow Center. Calendar of events... AA-Sundays and Tuesdays: Big Stone Gap, 8 p.m, Episcopal Church; Wednesdays: Wise, 8 p.m., Trinity United Methodist Church; Fridays: Clintwood, 7:30 Clintwood United Metho- dist Church CREEK ELEMEN- TARY PTA-3rd Monday, 7 school cafetmia .ST. PAUL IDA BOARD-Foarth Mondays, 7 p.m., St. Paul Town Hall. ST. PAUL TOWN COUNCIL- Third Mondays, 6 p.m., Town all. RUSSELL COUNTY W&SA- The Russell County Water & Se- lvage Authority Board of Direc- tors, 6 p;m second Mondays ALZHEIMER'S SUPPORT- First Tuesday, 1 p.m., Appala- bhian Agency for Senior Citizens office, Claypool Hill. Free. ARCOTICS ANONYMOUS- Tuesdays and Saturdays, 8 p.m, Presbyterian Church, Norton. CASTLEWOOD LODGE #231-Stated meetings will be held the third Saturday of each month. ]'he School of Instruction will be held on fourth Thursdays at 7. ST. PAUL LODGE #343-Se- Cond Thursdays, 7:30 p.m, Stat- ed Communication; First Thurs-  p:m., School of Instruction. POST #8652, DAV CHAPTER 12--4th Tuesday, 7 m., VFW, Riverview, Coebum. EIGHBORS AID-Thursdays, 9:30 to 12. St. Therese's Neish- Iors Aid Build-hag, new & used lothing for sale. RUSSELL CO. BOARD OF SUPERVISORS -First Monday, p.m., Lebanon.. CLINCHFIELD LODGE #256- Stated Communication, 1st Satur- days, 7:30; School of Instruction fltird Thursdays, 7 p,m,. RECOVERY GROUP-The Wise County Mental Health Can- ter conducts a recovery group for substance abusers and families lridays at l0 a.m. Call 276-679- 0810 ACOA MEETING-Adult Child- ren of Alcoholics meet Mondays, ? p.m., First BaptistChureh, Coe- burn Call 762-0016, 276-395- 6588 or 276-679-7371 LITTLE LEAGUE . The Clinch River Little League Board meets at 4 p.m third S'andays at the UMWA Building ha Castlewood. All interested persons are invited to attend. NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH The Dante Neighborhood Watch. Pa'ogram will meet at 7 p.mon second Mondays at the Dante Community Building. Call 495- 7007 for information. H.O.P.E. HOUSE' H.O.P.E. House provides emer- gency shelter for victims of do- mestic violence ha Wise, Russell, Dickenson, Lee, Scott and Buch= anan counties and the City of Norton. Volunteers needed-train- ing avallahle. Call 1-800-572- - 2278. SENIOR CITIZENS ...The Castlewood Senior Citi- zens meet at 10 a.m Wednesdays at the Castlewood Lions Den. Church and Anyone 60 or over is invited. ...The Dante Senior Citizens meet each Monday and Tuesday at 10 a.m. at th Dante Fire De- partment. Russell County resi- dents 60 or older are invited. RUSSELL CO, LIBRARY Hours at the Russell County Public Library, Lebanon, are M/Tu/Th, 9 a.m,-8 p.m.; W/F, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sa., 10 a.m.-2 p.m. MATTHEWS LIBRARY Hours at the J. Fred Matthews Memorial Library, St. Paul, are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays/Wednes- days/Fridays/Saturdays, and 11 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. See Library for special program schedules. DICKENSON-BUNDY The Dickenson-Bandy Log House is open weekly Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, 11-4, and Sundays 1-5 pm SOCIAL SECURITY The Wise Social Security Office is open Mondays-Fridays from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Phone numbers are 1- 800-772-1213 or 276-679-7633. LIBRARY FRIENDS Friends of the J. Fred Matthews Memorial Library, St. Paul, meet at the Library on fourth Tuesdays at 11:00 a.m. VFW POST 9S64 VFW Post 9864, Lebanon, wel- comes new members If you served overseas during any war, write VFW Post 9864, P.O. Box 1419, Lebanon, VA 24266, and send name, address and phone number. Transfers welcomed. HEALTH SERVICES The Wise County Health De- partment, Wise, is open from 8 a.m..-8 p.m. first Thursdays. Cli- nics will be offered ha family planning, pediatrics, school and adult physicals, WIC, Paps and immunizations. Appointments are necessary for all but immuniza- tions. For an appoint-ment, call 762-328-8000. FACILITIES AVAILABLE The Tacoma Community Center .is available for reunions, birth- days and showers. All proceeds rehabilitate the Tacoma School as a Community Center. For information, call 395-6398. I00TH BIRTHDAY? Appalachian Agency for Senior Citizens recognizes persons in Russell, Dickenson, Buchanan and Tazewell counties who are 100 years old or older. Call Dana Collins, 1-800-656-2272, to ad- vise AASC of any upcoming 100th+ birthday. SCHOOL POLICIES ...The Wise County School Board maintains a Policy Manual which is available to the public in the library of each school and in each county public library. .... Copies of the Russell County School Board Policy Manual have been placed in the office and the library of each school, and at the Russell County Public Library. SUPPORT GROUP Women survivors of sexual as- sault are invited to attend Clinch Valley Community Action, Inc./ Family Crisis Services' support group meeting with victims of similar situations Mondays, 10:30 a.m.-12 noon. For information, call Rande Hackler, 276-988- 5583, or Ranetta Davis, 276-889- 8206. FREE ADULT ED Free adult education classes are available in Lee, Scott and Wise counties and the City of Norton. Daytime and evening classes for adults who want to improve their basic skills. Instructors also assist adults with job-related skills ha- cluding resume writing and inter- viewing For details, call 1-800- 422-3433 or 276-386-2433 TRANSPORTATION The Appalachian Agency for Senior Citizens provides disabili- ty transportation services ha Buc- hanan, Dickenson, Russell and Tazewell counties to individuals with disabilities, regardless of age. Call 1-888-656-2272. GENEALOGY GROUP The Russell County Genealogy Group meets 5:30 p.m. first Thursdays, Russell County Public Library, Lebanon..The Group's purpose is "to learn, to share and to perpetuate family history." Call William T. Fuller, 276-889-4894 or fullerir,com. JOIN THE FRIENDS Join the Friends of J. Fred Mat- thews Memorial Library and help promote the improvement of faci- lities and services of the library. Send name, address and phone number, with a $5 membership gift, to J. Fred Matthews Memo- rial Library, Att'n:Wilma Evans, PD. 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 meet- ings are on the second Tuesday. All meetings are at 7:30 p.m. VETERANS' CLAIMS Diekenson County--Oscar Silcox helps file veterans' claims. For appointment, call 276-835- 8847 nights. Cocburn--A Dept. of Veterans Services representative will assist clients and answer questions at the Coebum VFW Post from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. third Thursdays except June. Russell County--DAV Service Officer Perry Johnson assists veteran filing claims third Tues- days from 2-3:30 p.m., at the Russell County Public Library, Lebanon. Russell County--American Legion Post 208 Post Service Officer Todd Salyer can assist with veterans' claims, records and family assistance. Call him at 276-889-5884 or 276-274-6588. FOOD BANK First Baptist Church, St. Paul, operates a Food Bank each Tues- day from 9-11 a.m at the church. Donations are welcomed. All in need of food are welcome. COMMUNITY CENTER The West Dante Community Center meets at 7 p.m. first Mon- days, For more information, call church-related activities calendar 495-7026 or 495-8473. CLOTHES CLOSET "l]ae Women On Mission group at First Baptist Church, St. Paul, opens a Clothes Closet from 9-1 I a.m. Tuesdays. Anyone who needs clothing is welcome. FREE HIT TESTING Health Departments in the Leno- wisco Health District offer free confidential HIT testing through- out the year. For information, call Wise County, 318-8000; Lee Co. Health Dept., 276-346-2011; or Sxorr 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 a.m.-12 noon. Gleuna McReynolds is the teacher. Call 1-800-422-3433. C/RADD MEETING A meeting of C/RADD will be held at 5:30 p.m. on the second Thursday of each month. The meetings will be held at the Dante Museum. GED ONLINE The Regional Adult Education Program is offering free GED Classes online. This service is for qualifying and adult learners, with or without their own home com- puters, in Lee, Scott and Wise cottnties and the City of Norton. For more information, call GED On- line Co-ordinator Marci Gore, 1-800-422-3433 (in Scott County, 386-2433). GED TESI'ING GED l"esting is available Mon- day through Thursday and on Saturdays at the Wise Co. Alter- native Ed.ucation Center, Wise. Call 276-328-8612 for more informatioa concerning GED testing. IN CONTROL PROGRAMS In Control, a free diabetes program, meets at Oxbow Center, St. Paul, 5-6 p.m, 2nd Mondays. DANTE LIVES ON The Dante Lives On Board meets at 6 p.m. on Ist Mondays at the Dante Museum. A Commu- nity Meeting is fottrth Tuesdays at 6 p.m., also at the Musenm. BASKETBALL CAMP Appliations re being evaluated for the Ten Star All Star Summer Invitation only Basketball Camp For a free brochure for the camps, call 704-373-0873 anytime or visit GOSPEL SINGING A Gospel Singing will be held at 7 p.m. the first Friday of each month at The Celebration Center, 16607 Broad Street, St. Paul All are welcome--admission is free. BOOK DISCUSSION The Book Discussion group of J. Fred Matthews Memorial Lib- rary. meets fourth Thursdays of every month (except November and December, which are combined into one holiday meeting the first Thursday in December) at the Riverside Diner. The next meeting is Thursday, February 26, at 6 pm The discussion on The Shack by William Paul Young during the January meeting will be continued dtuSng the February Session on page 3 50c Council hears school update; VDOT says no to Russell's request ,for trash center The St. Paul Town Council on Tuesday, February 17, heard District 4 School Board member Monty Salyer report on the status of the school consolida- tion issue; The Council was also told by Mayor Kyle Fletcher that Russell County's place a trash collection center on a site near the entrance to St. Paul has been denied by the Virginia Department of Trans- portation, who owns the site. Monty Salyer, responding to an earlier invitation by the Council to address the issue of school consolidation, appeared to report and answer questions. "I'm still very concerned about the St. Paul High School situa- tion," Salyer said. "The majority of the Board continues its effort to consolidate." When asked about possible sites, Salyer said that all site selection has been discussed in closed session, so he was not at liberty to share any information. "My most immediate concern, however" Salyer said, "is equitable sites. It's important that the town government attend the March 9 meeting and request that the School Board make every effort to look at equitable sites." He did comment that the Wise County Administrator has been quoted as saying that the county could manage the $92 million expenditure for three new schools without a tax increase. He also said he will encou- AWOL apprehended, found with controlled substances A native of the area, James Ray Preston, who has long been a resident of Detroit, Michigan, was reported to St. Paul Police recently as being Absent With- out Leave from the Army post at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, where he was stationed. According to St. Paul Police Chief Donald Church, it's customary for the Preston has been arraigned on charges of possessing sche- dule 3 and 4 drugs without a valid prescription. Pending an inquiry, Chief Church said an attempt will be made to charge him with intent to distribute. In the meantime, Preston has been released and has returned to Fort Sill. rage an examination of the $787 billion federal stimulus package. "I've been overwhelmed with e- mails from VSBA (Virginia School Boards Association) to embrace this source of fimding since there is renovation money in the package, as well as money for sewer and general infrastruc- ture development. I hope the county looks into that for future development." In response to a question from Council member Grant Marshall, Salyer said that a meeting of the "inter-com- miRee" (two members from each Board--Ted Thompson and Barry Nelson from the School Board; Bob Adkins and Dana Kilgore from the Board of Supervisors) have reported that they will give the "ultimate" figure for construction in March, although Dana Kilgore is reported as having said $92 million is too much. "Where the Supervisors actually stand," Sal- yer said, "I don't know." He said that Dr. Perry, Wise Coun- ty's superintendent, has said he will bring a total package to the Supervisors in June. The Council held a public hearing, necessary in order to increase the budget to accom- (Continued on page 8) military to notify areas where AWOL members have previous- ly lived. Acting on a tip February 9, Chief Church apprehended Pres- ton at Clinchview Apartments. Preston admired to being AWOL, and said he was on his way back to Fort Sill. The Chief took him into custody to await instructions from the Army, and during that time, discovered ten pills in Preston's possession-- five containing schedule 3 con- trolled substances and five con- taining chedule 4 slihstar,o, Neva Bryan to read from her debut novel; will sign copies St. Paul native Neva Bryan will be hosted by the Friends of the Library at J. Fred Matthews Memorial Library on Thursday, February 26, at 6 p.m., for a reading and book signing. Bryan will read excerpts from her debut novel, St. Peter's Monsters. She will also have copies of the book avail- able for sale and signing. An alumna of St. Paul High Guest editorial Wise County public hearings and school consolidation School, the University of X/ir- ginia and Chatham University, Bryan has had her poems and short fiction published in various magazines throughout the South. She has received a dozen writing prizes, including a James Still Award for Poetry. The public is invited to attend this special event at the Library. Light refreshments wilt be served. property taxes, reassessments, (Editor's note: While it's unusual to place any sort of editorial on the front page, the subject of this one by Frank Kilgore is of such importance that we wanted to be sure all taxpayers concerned with the real estate tax rate and the announced closing of St. Paul High School see it.) by Frank Kiigore l saw in the Coalfield Pro- gress where Dr. Perry, Wise County's school superintendent, called the recently published tax Increase information by Moun- tain Heritage as being "irrespon- sible." Has he produced any specific information to the board of supervisors to rebut those numbers? If so, I am pub- licly asking him for a copy. Also, in the same article a supervisor seemed to suggest that the recent county property reassessment will raise new tax revenue but not the current tax rate. Maybe I misunderstood that comment but Virginia law does not allow a reassessment increase to raise tax REVENUE more than 1 percent without a public hearing and public dis- closure, by percentage, of the "effective tax rate increase." In other words, Virginia aw will not allow a governing body to hide behind an upward property value reassessment to raise taxes more than 1 percent without a public hearing AND disclosing the effective tax rate increase. For instance, if a current tax rate of 50 cents per hundred dollars in value will result in a 20 percent increase in tax reve- nue due to an overall property value reassessment, the effective tax rate increase is 20 percent, which means that taxpayers are paying, in reality, 60 cents per hundred based" on the pre- assessment valuations. To be more clear, the board of super- visors will have to advertise and hold a public hearing separate from a regular board meeting and tell the public exactly what the new reassessment will cost them in new taxes if the current tax rate is not reduce& The Mountain Heritage ad gave specific numbers on tax in- creases if the school consoli- dation cost 100 million to 150 million and how the projected Dominion tax revenues will be offset by reduced state funding through the index formula, tax rebates to Dominion and the loss of state funds due to stu- dents going elsewhere because of consolidation. If anyone can specifically challenge those numbers other than just simply saving_ they are not so, then I (Continued on page 8) SCHOOL BOARD VISIT CONTINUED...Ott's presentation proposed that the School Board turn over the design, architectural details, and construction for the proposed three new consolidated high schools to his company, without putting the individual elements of the project out for bids. As this was a workshop session, no decisions were made. Pictured here, left to right, are the other four board members: Mike Mullins, Philip Bates, Ted Thompson and Mark Hutchinson. Also present were the superintendent, Dr. Jeff Perry; School Board Attorney Scott Mullins; and School Board Clerk Judy Ciawson.