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Clinch Valley Times
St. Paul , Virginia
August 28, 2014     Clinch Valley Times
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August 28, 2014

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Clinch Valley Times " 'The time has come,' the walrus said, 'to talk of many things...' "' Vol. LVI, No. 35 Thursday, August 28, 2014  Saint Paul, Virginia Vj i n i a PRESS Association 50 cents 8 Barbara Trent and Vickie Hobbs took care of the money at the Lyric Project event held Saturday, August 23 at the Farmer's Market. See pictures on page 8. Free Adult Ed classes to reopen in Wise County and Norton Free adult education with,the new, computer- (" classes provided by the based 2014 GED Exam Morning, afternoon and Regional Adult Education in January 2014. evening classes are, now Program of Lee, Scott, and "Because the new test is available at 5 classroom Wise Counties and.the City computer-based, we'll be sites conveniently located of Norton will reopen working with students on in Big Stone Gap, September 2 in Wise computer literacy, as well," Coeburn, St. Paul, Wise County and the. City of said Jan Stallard, Regional and Norton. Students can Norton with locations in Specialist with the Adult join at any class session. In Big Stone Gap, Coeburn, Ed Program. "We are addition, the Regional Wise, St. Paul and Norton. totally prepared to help our Adult Education Program These classes, which pre- students become computer offers free Adult Education pare adults to pass the test readyand2014GED classes at 5 other sites GED Exam and to com- test ready. Al[jnstruction is throughout the rest of the pete in the workplace, are now technology rich, with Lee, Scott, Wise and free of charge to adults internet activities and on- Norton region, as well as who are at least 18 years lifie lessons in eve/'y class. Distance Learning Classes old and are not enrolled in Adults preparing for the online or through the mail. public school. GED will be taught basic Students can register Adult Education computer literacy skills, and get more information Instructors have a special will gain familiarity with about classes and sched- focus this year on helping the popular new Adult Ed ules by calling Amy at 1- students prepare to take the Android App and can use 877 RACE 2 GED new GED Exam. The for- iPads to access over a (877.722.3243) or by mer version of the GED dozen free, online checking the program web- Exam expired at the end of resources available on the site at 2013 and was replaced Adult Education website Calendar of events... ' ' AASundays and Tuesdays: Big Stone Gap, 8 pm, Episcopal ,.C!mrch;. 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 figency 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 pm, Stated Communication; First Thursday, 7 pm School of Instruction. VFW POST #8652, DAV CHAPTER 12- 4th Tuesday, 7 pm, VFW, Riverview, Coeburn, 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, [ll[ll[l!l!jllJ!!t!l!l[lllll 6 pm, Lebanon. CLINCHFIELD LODGE #256-Stated Communication, 1 st Saturdays, 7:30; School of Instruction third Thursdays, 7 pm RECOVERY GROUP-The Wise County Mental Health Center conducts a recovery group fox sub- stance abusers and fam- ilies Fridays at 10 am Call 276-679-0810. ACOA MEETING- Adult Children of Alcoholics meet Mondays, 7 pm, Fffst Baptist Church, Coeburn. Call 762- 0016, 276-395-6588 or 276-679-7371. LITTLE LEAGUE- The Clinch River Little League Board meet at 4 pm third Sundays at the UMWA Building in Castlewood. All inter- ested persons are invit- ed to attend. H.O.P.E. HOUSE- H.O.P.E. House pro- vides emergency shel- ter for victims of domestic violence in Wise, Russell, Dickenson, Lee, Scott and Buchanan counties and the City of Norton. Volunteers needed- training available. Call 1-800-572-2278. SENIOR CITI- ZENS-The Castle- wood Senior Citizens meet at 1'0 am Wednesdays at the Castlewood Lions Den. Anyone 60 or over is invited. The Dante Senior Citizens meet each Monday and Tuesday at 10 am at the Dante Fire Department. Russell County residents 60 or older are invited. RUSSELL CO. LIBRARY-Hours at the Russell County Public Library, Lebanon, are M/Tu/W/F 10am- 5:30pro; Th 10am-8pm; Sa 10am-2pm. Sunday Closed. MATTHEWS LIBRARY-Hours at the J. Fred Matthews Memorial Library, St. Paul, are July 1-31: DAY-Appalachian Closed Monday; Agency for . Senior 10:30am-7pm Tuesday; Citizens recognizes 9:30-6 pm Wednesday; persons in Russell, 9:30-6 pm Thursday Dickenson, Buchanan and Friday. Saturday and Tazewell counties Closed. Sunday who are 100 years old Closed. or older. Call Dana D I C K E N S O N - Collins, 1-800-656- B U N D Y- T h e 2272, to adviseAASC Dickenson-Bundy Log' of any upcoming 100th House is open weekly birthday. Thursdays through S U P P O R T Saturdays, 10-3, and GROUP-Women sur- Sundays 12-4 pm. vivors of sexual assault SOCIAL SECURI- are invited to attend TY-The Wise Social Clinch Valley Security Office is open C o m m u n i c a t i o n Mondays-Fridays from Action, Inc./Family 9am-4pm. Phone num- Crisis Services' sup- bers are 1-800-772, port group meeting 1213 or 276-679-7633. with victims of similar L I B R A R Y situations Mondays, FRIENDS-Friends of 10:30 am-12 noon. For the J. Fred Matthews information call Rande Memorial Library, St. Hackler, 276-988-5583 Paul meet at the Library or Ranetta Davis, 276- on first Thursdays at 4 889-8206. pm. FREE ADULT ED- VFW POST 9864- Free adult education VFW Post 9864, classes are available in Lebanon, welcomes Lee Scott and Wise new members. If you counties and the City of served overseas during Norton. Daytime and any war, write VFW evening classes for Post 9864, P.O. Box adults who want to 1419, Lebanon, VA improve their basic 24266 and send name, skills. Instructors also address .and phone assist adults with job- number. Transfers wel- related skills including comed, resume, writing and HEALTH SER-' interviewing. For VICES-The Wise details, call 1-800-422- County Health 3433 or 276-386-2433. Department, Wise, is TRANSPORTA, open from 8am-8pm TION- The first Thursdays. Appalachian Agency Clinics will be for Senior Citizens pro- offered in family plan- vides disability trans- ning, pediatrics, school portation services in and adult physicals, Buchanan, Dickenson, WIC, Paps and immu- Russell and Tazewell n i z a t i o n s . counties to individuals Appointments are nec- with disabilities, essary for all but immu- regardless of age. Call nizations. For an 1-888-656:2272. appointment, call 762- G E N E A L O G Y 328-8000. GROUP-The Russell F A C I L I T I E S County Genealogy AVAILABLE-Th'e Group meets 5:30 pm Tacoma Community first Thursdays, Russell Center is available for County Public Library, reunions, birthdays and Lebanon. showers. Group purpose is All proceeds reha- "to learn, to share and bilitate the Tacoma to perpetuate family School as a Community history." William T. Center. For informa- Fuller, 276-623-3410 tion, call 395-6398. 100TH BIRTH- See CALENDAR, Page 8 Church and church-related activities calendar on page 3 l IDA ineets The St. Paul IDA Board met on Monday, August 25 at its regular monthly meeting. With all members pres- ent, plus their attorney and treasurer, the chairman gave an update on the Willis Building that said proposals for developnient were due in by the end of this month and that several proposals could be received at that time. The chairman also reported that the Lyric Theater restoration com- mittee had its first fundraising event at the Farmers Market area on Saturday night and it was a huge success. The T&L proposal was tabled until next month. Board member Harry Kelly discussed the ques- tion of the proposed park- ing lot on IDA property on Russell Street. He said that to grade it, put gravel and drains would cost about $28,100 and asked that thb project be tabled until next month to get more infor- mation. The board voted tO cash in their $200,000 CD and put $100,000 in another CD and put the remaining $100;000 in a money mar- ket account that would draw more interest. The chairman also reported that the first ever Clinch River Mandolin Festival will be held at the A.R. Matthews Park on September 26. It will be an all day event with competi- tions and prizes plus food vendors and other vendors will be present with a man- dolin band performing at about 8:00 pm that night. There was no business conducted after the board went in a closed session. Block Party a blast! The 100 or so people its former status, a place to who attended the Block have movies, plays, bands Party put on by the Lyric Theater Restoration Committee had a blast especially with the dance challenges. The committee had obtained the chili recipe that Ma Whitenack had used to put on the hot dogs when she and her husband, Fats, ran the Lyric. The purpose of the party was to kick off the fund drive to restore the Lyric to and other events. The event raised $1300 in donations with food, drinks, t-shirt sales and dance challenges raising another $1900. Expenses for the event will be paid for from the $1900 while the donations will be untouched except to be used with any and all grant funds redeived for the Lyric restoration. The History Byway a road less traveled by Jerry Couch There's a road in Northern Virginia which is designated as the "History Highway." It connects famous places' mentioned in our history books - homes of great Virginians, sites of great battles, and so on. What you are reading right now is the "History Byway." This week our "road less traveled" leads us to the fourth and fmal installment of the series of articles about the Greeno Mine disaster. I'd like to thank everyone for sharing their material and memories - and their positive comments. I'd also like to thank Iris Kiser Deford of Doswell, Virginia who contacted the Clinch Valley Times in regard to the photo of the small 1907 St. Paul souvenir plate we featured several weeks ago. Mrs. Deford said she has two small plates with the same pattern and date as the one pictured and also had a larger plate which she gave to a fam- ily member. Isn't it amazing these items survived all these years? Mrs. Deford is a former resident of St. Paul. Herparents were J. Lincoln Kiser and Mildred Marcum Kiser. J. Lincoln Kiser was cashier oftbe St. Paul National Bank many years ago. And now for our THE lriglO MINE DISASTER, PART FOUR The bodies and living men were found as designated on the sketch map accompany- ing this report. The explosion evidently started in the 7th East Entry. Mr. Rosenburg, the man who was burned, was in the Main Slope going after a shovel with which to work in the 7th East when the explosion took place. He had been sent to that place by Supt. Barrowman who desired him to do some cleaning up work in the 7th East preparatory to resuming work in that entry. Mr. Rosenburg was found, living but rather badly burned, on the Main Slope, about 75 feet outbye [the direction away from the coal face] of the mouth of the 7th East and about 20 feet outbye of him Lee Rowland, the Trip Rider, was found dead. Mr. Rowland's body was burned and badly mangled and one leg was broken. The three men in the 7th East were burned and mangled. A second rescue party of 12 men went into the mine about 10:00 p.m. of December 14th. On their way inbye they left 7 men at the mouth of the 1st West while the remain- ing 5 went down toward the face of the slope to search further. While the 7 men were sitting at the mouth of the 1st West they were surprised to see John Swede come walk- ing out of the 1st West his naked lamp [a lamp with an open flame] on his head. Charles Williams and Arch Leslie were found dead at the point indicated on the map about 40 feet outbye Room No. 1. Mr. Lehman was found at the point indicated, partially conscious. Williams and Leslie could have saved themselves had they taken the same route as John Swede and Lehman, or had they cut the 1-inch rubber hose connect- ed with the compressed air pipe. This hose was only a yard away from the place where their bodies were found, and the compressor was running all the time. Presumably John Swede, Lehman, Williams, and Leslie found a leak in the air line which enabled them to exist when the after-damp [air in which life-supporting oxygen has been burned by an explosion] filled the entry immediately after the explosion, but in the darkness became bewildered and lost the location of the leak in the air line. Lehman and John Swede, who were in the 1st West with Williams and Leslie, saved themselves by going down a room which was driving through to the entry below. The four talked with each other after the explosion and shook hands with each other in the darkneas before they separated. Williams and Eeslie were evidently too much exhausted to follow John Swede and Lehman. The room down which these two went to the No. 2 Room or Parallel Heading was opposite No. 2 Room on the 1st West, and they remained there until the movement of the trip on the slope, while the bodies were being removed from the mine gave them a small amount of fresh air. Gussie Ritchie, the 15-year-old driver, was found 60 feet inbye of the door across the Main Slope Air Course which door was about 16 feet inbye of the 1 st West. This door opened up the slope or outbye and was not damaged by the force of the explosion. John Ritisky passed Gussie Ritchie as he was making hN way out toward the fresh- er air on the Main Slope beyond the door, and the boy was fast being overcome by the after-damp and was crying out for assistance. John Ritisky was found alive at the pump on the Main Slope, his face lying in a small stream of water which was running down the slope. The water doubtless assisted in saving his life. A dead mule was found inbye the door on the 1st West, which door opened inbye and prevented his escape to the slope. The mule had been pawing the door in an effort to escape. The rescue party found a dead Slavish miner (Miller) at the bottom of the "6th East Hill" on Main Slope at a point about 20 feet inbye of the small pump where Ritisky was found alive. The helmet men from Dante, Va. Arrived about 2:00 p.m. on the day of the explo- sion. Their pai'ty came about 7:00 p.m. of the day of the explosion. Another rescue party went into the mine about 10:00 p.m. and came out about 2:00 a.m. December 15, Messrs. Brown and Own from the Knoxville Station arrived a short time later, but after all the bodies had been removed. Messrs, Brown and Owen made an inspection of the mine on the 15th and then returned to Knoxville. They wore no helmets, I was told, as it was not necessary, since ventilation had been partially reestablished. CONCLUSIONS: The explosion was a local gas explosion, originating in the 7th East and probably caused by the naked light of one of the three men whose bodies were found in thatentry, igniting the gas in a pocket in the roof. The primary cause may have been the blowing of the gas in the cavity in the roof down onto the naked lights of the men below in an effort to brush the gas out of the entry by means of a compressed air hose or pipe. This practice should be forbidden by law. I know of one gaseous mine in which the explo- sion was undoubtedly started through this practice, and in another recent explosion, there is strong evidence that the same practice caused the initial explosion. The explosion came across the slope from east to west as was shown by the stop- pings blown down from right to left across the Main Slope. There was little coking of coal or dust since the Main Slope was quite wet and the explosion had little pure coal dust to feed and propagate it. Five of the bodies were bumed and mangled; three were suffocated. Had it been possible to reverse the fan, Williams and Leslie might have been saved and possibly Gussie Ritchie and the Slavishman just inbye of the pump on the Main Slope. Williams and Ritchie would undoubtedly have saved their lives had they cut the air pipeonly one yard away from them. That the Mine Foreman, William Ritchie, knew the mine was gaseous is evidence bykthe number and variety of safety lamps which were found in the conunissary, and by the establishment of a checking board on the Main Slope where he met all the employ- ees when they entered the mine at the beginning of the shift. The State of Virginia has no mine inspection services and consequently the small- er mines are not operated in accordance with the best mining practice. Mr. R. P. Bruce gave all possible assistance during the examination of the mme. Respectfully submitted, J. J. Rutledge Mining Engineer Pittsburgh,Pa. Augus t 12, 1911