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Clinch Valley Times
St. Paul , Virginia
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February 27, 2014     Clinch Valley Times
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February 27, 2014
 

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Clinch Valley Times " 'The time has come,' the walrus said, 'to talk of many things...' " Vol. LVI, No. 9 Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014 EXPLOSION, NO ONE HURT ... This vehicle, owned by Rick Phillips of St. Paul, exploded Monday around noon while he was working on the car. There were no injuries. St. Joseph's students returning to St. Paul BYJERRYCOUCH again. To make this trip possi- ble, students do their own fundraising to cover expenses. Their goal is to help others while experi- encing a small-town cul- ture much different from the urban culture which is part of their daily lives. The students', work projects will be facilitated this year by Kathy Ferguson. Glenda Lane will once again coordinate logistics. Students will be housed at Castlewood High School and their meals will be provided by com- munity businesses, organi- zations, individuals, and churches. Work projects can include almost anything people need - carpentry, painting, cleanup. For example, the students will be assisting me with the repair and reassembly of the 1948 coal furnace at my 1920's bungalow on St. Paul Hill. This is  job I can't do by myself and I am looking forward to. working with the students. In addition, I'll have the pleasure of seeing their reaction to what my friends and family refer to as "Jerry's House of Reverse Technology." See STUDENTS, Page 8 On Saturday, March 8th, a group of approxi- mately 25 students from St. Joseph's University in Philadelphia, PA will arrive in St. Paul where they will spend their spring break. These students are par- ticipants in their school's Appalachian Experience (APEX) volunteer com- munity service program. This will be the third year they have traveled to St. Paul and for several of them, this year's trip will be a return visit. They tell me they're excited about the prospect of seeing us Calendar of events... 6 pm, Lebanon. 5pm Mondays and CLINCHFIELD Fridays; and llam- LODGE #256-Stated 7:30pm Tuesdays and Communication, 1st Thursdays, Wed. Saturdays, 7:30; School 9:30am-6pm and Sat of Instruction third lpm-5pm. Sunday Thursdays, 7 pm Closed. RECOVERY DICKENSON- GROUP-The Wise B U N D Y- T h e County Mental Health Dickenson-Bundy Log Center conducts a House is open weekly recovery group for sub- Thursdays through stance abusers and faro- Saturdays, 10-3, and ilies Fridays at 10 am Sundays 12-4 pm. Call 276-679-0810. SOCIAL SECURI- ACOA MEETING- TY-The Wise Social Adult Children of Security Office is open Alcoholics meet Mondays-Fridays from Mondays, 7 pm, First , 9am-4pm. Phone num- Baptist Church,  bers are 1-800-772- Coeburn. Call 762- 1213 or 276-679-7633• 0016, 276-395-6588 or L I B R A R Y 276-679-7371• FRIENDS-Friends of LITTLE LEAGUE- the J. Fred Matthews The Clinch River Little Memorial Library, St. League Board meet at 4 Paul meet at the Library pm third Sundays at the on first Thursdays at 4 UMWA Building in pm. Castlewood. All inter- VFW POST 9864- ested persons are invit- VFW Post 9864, ed to attend. Lebanon, welcomes H.O.EE. HOUSE- new members. If you H.O.EE. House pro- served overseas during vides emergency shel- any war, write VFW ter for victims of Post 9864, P.O. Box domestic violence in 1419, Lebanon, VA Wise, Russell, 24266 and send name, Dickenson, Lee, Scott address' and phone and Buchanan counties number. Transfers wel- and the City of Norton. comed. Volunteers needed- HEALTH SER- Ixaining available. Call VICES-The Wise 1-800-572-2278. County Health SENIOR CITI- Department, Wise, is ZENS-TheCastle-wood open from 8am-8pm Senior Citizens meet at first Thursdays. 10 am Wednesdays at Clinics will be the Castlewood Lions offered in family plan- Den. Anyone 60 or over ning, pediatrics, school is invited, and adult physicals, The Dante Senior WIC, Paps and immu- Citizens meet each n i z a t i o n s . Monday and Tuesday at . Appointments are nec- 10 am at the Dante Fire essary for all but immu- Department. Russell nizations. For an County residents 60 or appointment, call 762- older are invited. 328-8000. RUSSELL CO. F A C I L I T I E S LIBRARY-Hours at the AVA I L A B L E - T h e Russell County Public Tacoma Community Library, Lebanon, are Center is available for M/Tu/W/F 10am- reunions, birthdays and 5:30pm; Th 10am-8pm; showers• Sa 10am-2pm. Sunday All proceeds reha- Closed• bilitate the Tacoma M A T T H E W S School as a Community LIBRARY-Hours at the Center• For informa- J. Fred Matthews tion, call 395-6398. Memorial Library, St. 100TH BIRTH- Paul, are 8:30am- DAY-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 advise AASC of any upcoming 100th birthday. SUPPORT GROUP-Women sur- vivors of sexual assault are invited to attend Clinch Valley Communication Action, Inc./Family Crisis Services' sup- port group meeting with victims of similar situations Mondays, 10:30 am-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 including resume, writing and interviewing. For details, call 1-800-422- 3433 or 276-386-2433. TRANSPORTA- TION- The Appalachian Agency for Senior Citizens provides disabili- ty transportation services in Buchanan, Dickenson, Russell and Tazewell counties to individuals with disabilities, regard- less of age. Call 1-888- 656-2272. GENEALOGY GROUP-The Russell County " Genealogy Group meets 5:30 pm first Thursdays, Russell County Public Library, Lebanon. Group purpose is "to learn, to share and to perpetuate family history." William T. Fuller, 276-623-3410 or fullerjr1942@ yahoo.com. See CALENDAR, Page 8 Church and church-related activities calendar on page 3 AA-Sundays and Tuesdays: Big Stone Gap, 8 pm, Episcopal Church. Wednesdays: Wise, 8 pm, Trinity United Methodist Church. Fridays: Clintwood, 7:30 pm, Clintwood United Methodist Church. COPPER CREEK ELEMENTARY PTA- 3rd Monday, 7 pm school cafeteria. ST. PAUL IDA BOARD-Fourth Mondays, 6 pm, St. Paul Town Hall. ST. PAUL TOWN COUNCIL-Third Mondays, 6 pm, Town Hall. CASTLEWOOD W&SA-The Castlewood Water & Sewage Authority Board of Directors, 6 pm second Mondays. ALZHEIMER'S SUPPORT-First Tuesday, 1 pm, Appalachian Agency for Senior Citizens office, Claypool Hill. Free. NARCOTICS ANONYMOUS- Tuesdays and Saturdays, 8 pm Presbyterian Church, Norton. CASTLEWOOD LODGE #231-Stated meetings will be held the third Saturday of each month. The School of Instruction • will be held on fourth Thursdays at 7. ST. PAUL LODGE #343-Second Thursdays, 7:30 pro, Stated Communication; First Thursday, 7 pm • School of hastruction. VFW POST #8652, DAV CHAPTER 12- 4th Tuesday, 7 pm, VFW, Riverview, Coebum. NEIGHBORS AID- Thursdays, 9:30 to' 12. St. Therese's Neighbors Aid Building, new & used clothing for sale. RUSSELL CO. BOARD OF SUPER- VISORS-First Monday, lll[l!l!Jll!l!l!! I!IIII v i. ri n i a P_RES Association Saint Paul, Virginia 50 cents i St. Paul council okays sewer plant contract the Tobacco Commission in the amount of $150,000. The town has voted to sub- mit another grant applica- tion to the Virginia Tobacco Commission for $370,000. The loan pay- ment will be made primari- ly by increased flow and customers• The Council approved placing a sign on the Lyric Theater to list the grantors and those who have made donations toward the reno- vation of the building. Councilman Kilgore dis- cussed the need to remove sediment that has built up in Oxbow Lake. His motion passed unanimously to spend up to $25,000 of funds reserved for mainte- nance of Oxbow Lake to remove the sediment. The Council voted to donate $400 to the Castlewood High School Wrestling Team to help with expenses on their trip to the state tournament. Following a closed ses- sion, Council voted unani- mously to advertise a cur- rent opening in the Street Department to all current employees for a period of seven days. Any current employee interested in the available position will be considered. Mayor Fletcher remind- ed everyone that the final date for filing to run for the mayor or council seat in the town election is 7:00 p.m. on March 4th. The election will be held on Tuesday, May 6th. All council members were present for "the meet- ing. Also present was Debbie Baca, Town Treasurer, Earl Carter, Public Works Director, Police Chief Bo Phillips, and Town Attorney Julie Hensley. At their monthly meet- ing, the St. Paul Town Council approved a con- tract award to Frizzell Construction of Bristol, TN in the amount of $4,967,600 for construc- tion of the regional waste- water treatment plant. The plant is designed for a capacity of 500,000 gallons per day, with 50% allocated to St. Paul, 30% to Castlewood Water & Sewer, and 20% to Wise County PSA, Once the final planning factors are presented to all three entities, the loan clos- ing with USDA Rural Development will proceed. The new sewer plant is being funded by a 1.8 mil- lion dollar ARRA loan and a grant from Rural Development in the amount of $4,048.00, a grant from ARC for $500,000, and a grant from The story of Bad Talt Hall PART HI THE EXECUTION BY3ERRYCOUCH A picture of the original extradition war- rant authorizing Tennessee law officers to apprehend and detain Talt Hall as a fugitive from justice. Tennessee officers handed Hall over to Sheriff Wilson Holbrook to be returned to Wise County. The document is the property of a local "friend of history" and we extend Our thanks to him for sharing it with us. tized for this purpose. Included in the group was the paramilitary Home Guard of Big Stone Gap which included elite dandies from the town's coal-prominent families. The murder trim of Talt Hall began on January 26, 1892. The testimony of numerous witnesses was heard. On January 30th, after deliberating for twelve hours, the jury filed back into the courtroom to deliver a verdict of murder in the first degree. After the Clerk of the Court had read the verdict, Judge H. A. W. Skeen polled the jurors individually to con- firm the verdict of each man. Judge Skeen then sentenced the prisoner to death by hanging, with March 14th set as the exe- cution date. Counsel for the defense presented a motion for a stay of execu- tion, which was granted. There was also a motion to set aside the verdict, which was denied. Additional motions to set aside the verdict would subsequent- ly be presented to the Circuit Court and then to the State Court of Appeals. While all this was tak- ing place, Hall was trans- ferred to the Lynchburg jail on February 4th for safekeeping. Sheriff Wilson Holbrook and two heavily-armed deputies guarded Hall during the train trip to Lynchburg, which passed without inci- dent. It was generally agreed that potential res- cuers from Kentucky would be unable to mount an effective attack on the Lynchburg jail. Wise County residents breathed a sigh of relief. No one wanted to see the town of Wise and its tiny jail become a modem-day Thermopylae. To Talt Hall's dismay, the courts upheld his con- viction and confirmed his death sentence. The Governor of Virginia was petitioned but declined to intervene. In June of 1892, Hall "was retumed to Wise County for re-sentencing. Judge Skeen set a new exe- cution date for September 2nd. Afterwards, Hall was returned to Lynchburg where he would remain until a short time before his execution. In the final analysis, it appears the "better class of citizens" in Wise County intended to draw a hard line where law and order were concerned. They were fed up. Hall's trial was intended to be an See HALL, Page 8 Following the death of law officer Enos Hylton in 1891, newspapers sensa- tionalized the exploits of his accused killer, Talt Hall. These stories helped lay the foundation for the profitable myth that moun- tain people were primitive, uneducated, and often vio- lent. If there had been such a thing as supermarket tabloids in those days, Talt Hall's case would have been exploited with screaming headlines - to compete side by side with Lizzie Borden. That same year, her trial for the grisly axe murders of her father and stepmother was taking place in Fall River, Mass. Newspapers all across the country carried accounts of Talt Hall's capture, trial, and subse- quent execution by hang- ing. Some of the reporters who claimed to have inter- viewed Hall probably never met him - never came close to him. Even reporters' descriptions of Hall's physical appearance varied widely. In common with some so-called news networks of today, these articles contained a few scattered crumbs of fact which garnished a weevil- infested loaf of conjecture, opinion, and misspelled names. But the reading public eagerly gobbled it all up and begged for sec- onds. After all, it was a spectacle. And spectacles will make money every time. Talt Hall spent Christmas of 1891 cooling his heels in the Wise jail. He was held there without bail to await his trial for murder. During his con- finement he complained bitterly of his ill-treatment and lack of privileges to anyone who would listen. His complaints were not without foundation. At that time he was only an accused person; he hadn't been tried or convicted of anything. The citizens of Wise County were concerned that armed factions from Kentucky might storm the jail either to liberate Hall...or kill him. To pre- vent this from happening, the jail was closely guard- ed by a large contingent of men who had been depu-