|By Alvin Engelke|
The main news topic in and around Creston has been the Brent Butler murder in Elizabeth. At last report three fine gentlemen have been charged with murder in the first degree which is premeditated killing. He & his wife and child were living in a trailer court in Elizabeth that was, as reported in the Parkersburg newspaper, noted for drug dealing and domestic abuse. Not so many years back his cousin, Rocky Tucker, also met an untimely death in Elizabeth.
The son of Billy Butler and Sandy Butler, Brent had been living in North Carolina but returned to the area some while back. His widow is the former Devin Blankenship.
In addition to those charged, none of whom are known locally, there are several other names mentioned that are familiar to Creston area residents. For certain part of the blame for this unfortunate incident would properly be placed on the powers that be who have told law enforcement not to interfere in the narcotics trade.
On the local scene some brave young thieves have been gathering up gasoline and mountain high test (drip). Apparently they don't believe that they run the risk of being ventilated.
The Creston area had high water with roads that were blocked. Then Saturday evening & Sunday there was high wind with downed trees and such.
Rev. Juanita Lockhart filled her regular appointment at the Burning Springs M. E. church.
Boyd F. (Jim) Duskey, age 66, of Canton Ohio passed away. The son of the late Boyd & Virgie Duskey of Cremo, he was buried in the Wright cemetery.
Steve Duda, age 87 of Burning Springs, passed away after a round with cancer. He was known as one who went out of his way to assist his neighbors when they had problems.
Ralph Woodall, Sr., age 72 of Burning Springs passed away. He lived on part of the old Clark farm and loved his vehicles and politics.
Tammy & Denver McFarland were vacationing at Miami Beach. They reported it was in the 80s there and that they acquired sunburns and chartered a boat for an ocean trip although Tammy noted that she "lacked sea legs". They reported having a great time.
P. E. Graham was calling on Charles & Euell Russell.
Brandon & Andrea Ferrell were visiting Mr. & Mrs. Carl Ferrell & family.
Alvin & Nancy Engelke were among the Wirt County folks who participated in the State Republican convention down at the Mouth of the Elk. While Romney ended up with the most votes on the first ballot he did not have over 50% so a second ballot was required. In true Machiavellian style, McVain had his delegates support his buddy Huckabee (or Huckerbee/Huckleberry as was sometimes said there) to put it to Romney and the party. Thus, after it was all said and done West Virginia had no impact on the presidential race. Over on the other side it seems that some of the leading liberals have finally said what others have been saying for years that Hill & Bill will do anything, etc. It might even work out so that the contest won't be Hillary vs. Hillary Lite (McVain) but the fellow whose father was a Moslem had best be careful around parks, rail road crossings, etc.
The surface owners bill of rights is said to be scheduled for discussion this week in the legislature down at the Mouth of the Elk. Some oilmen have become apoplectic at the idea that they would actually have to be decent to the owners of the surface land and are crying wolf, doom and gloom. A careful reading of the bill indicates that landowners will have to be given timely notice and have an input into the location of roads, well sites, pits and such. With modern technology one no longer has to drill in the best meadows or other choice sites on one's land - in fact such technology has been available for decades and is now routinely used for deep holes in this part of the world. Next time one is in Canaan Valley State Park try to find the gas wells.
Abuses toward landowners and against the state's taxpayers by some oil and gas men are again reaching a breaking point. One fellow noted that in Upshur County D-9s are going up and down the blacktop roads, just like back some years ago Alan Gable Oil Development (Colorado Empire) had 'dozers pull drilling tubs down 4 lane US 50. Now, as then, the powers that be have advised law enforcement to "not bother the boys".
One Spencer operator refuses to deal with surface owners for damages caused by roads and locations and actually dammed up a stream on the land of others to get water to drill. His bulldozers also spread seeds of the noxious invasive pest garlic mustard over a significant part of Calhoun & Roane Counties. The seeds were carried in the mud from location to location and now they will also spread by flooding down the West Fork. Garlic mustard, like Japanese stilt grass puts toxins in the ground that kills other vegetation.
A well is being drilled on the John Menefee property on Burning Springs Run and while loads and loads of rock were hauled for the well road, residents who live on the state highway are dragging with automobiles. Much of the equipment is moved after dark and on Sunday a rotary drilling rig went up Route 5.
Chesapeake has staked a basement test on Vineyard Ridge at the head of Bee Lick. The stake is in a small meadow just north of the Vineyard Ridge road and east of the Bee Lick road and is just across from the entrance to the Hutchinson cemetery. This location is not far from the famous Parker well on Payne Ridge.
Dominion's well on the Leslie Maynard farm tested 307 MCF with 520 lb of rock pressure while their well on the Dobbins place on the West Fork made 750 MCF with 1200 lb of rock pressure.
Cabot & Equitable continue to obtain permits for horizontal wells and it is reported that "a mystery company" plans to lease up Wirt County for horizontal Marcellus shale wells. Some now think they know who the principals really are now.
An oil & gas job fair will be held February 20 from 2:30 to 7 P. M. at the Jane Lew Community Building. Those seeking employment should bring their resumes to the meeting. Employers who are looking for workmen include Dominion, Chesapeake, Key, Superior, Schlumberger, Weatherford, Halliburton & BJ Services. Jane Lew is north of Weston on I-79.
The price for February gas on the Dominion (Hope) system will be $8.53 while on Columbia (TICO) $8.29. The price of local Penn grade crude rose $3.75/bbl over the weekend to $85.50/bbl.
The dates for the Creston ATV poker runs will be April 19, July 12 & September 20. Some of the fine folks debating down at the Mouth of the Elk want to ban such but the likelihood of such happening would seem to be rather slim. Of course if one has thoughts on such one should discuss such matters with one's delegate & senators.
The Wirt County Farm Bureau will meet Tuesday, February 19 at 7 P. M. at the Fire Station in Elizabeth.