By Alvin Engelke

Robins & bluebirds have been in the Creston area and there was a "heat wave' causing the snow to melt. However, more snow & cold is predicted for this week.

I. J. Lynch, Sr. and son Tim were calling on Euell Russell at Miletree.

Nathan Belt has had an extended "vacation" at the Camden Clark Hospital as the result of complications of a strangulated hernia. Those things are not to be fooled with.

Jenny Belt went back up to Cleveland to visit with her cardiologist. If all goes well she should be back on Straight Creek for a spell.

Ted Menefee was attending to business in Elizabeth.

Dean Miller who is president of the Calhoun County Farm Bureau made the tee vee during a report of the Farm Bureau's food drive for the Ronald McDonald houses for parents who have to stay with sick children in the hospital.

Nancy Engelke was consulting with her surgeon.

A fellow who has a strong connection to the Maze Bend (locate it on your map - it is upstream and across from the Sixteen Bend) says that he reads the Creston news every week and shares it with his coworkers, all of whom slog through the swamps down along the lower Potomac. He made it clear that many there are not for the "fundamental transformation".

In West Virginia the EPA has threatened chicken farmers with daily fines of $37,500 (just under the price paid by the Wall Street and Movie folks for dinner with the Big Eared One's fundraisers) and has made it crystal clear that there is a war on coal & petroleum but they outdid themselves out in Wyoming when the EPA (citing, one would assume rules known to no one else) gave one million acres of land and a town of 10,000 to the Wind River Indian Reservation.

The Wood County road crew continues to repair the monster potholes in Parkersburg. Apparently, someone important must have bent a Bentley rim. During the last snow storm it was learned that a dump truck got hung on a steep hill while treating icy roads and instead of sending out a road grader and end loader to rescue the truck, driver & shotgun rider, they were obliged to spend the night in the truck & wait 'til morning when a commercial wrecker came to help.

Travelers on I-77 north of the Mouth of the Elk can now see the results of work by the Shoddy Paving Company that was allowed to have "cold joints". There are now strings of potholes where the water & salt got between the lanes of paving. Often the inspectors are not allowed to make the work be done correctly.

Chevron, one of the Rockefeller companies (formerly called Standard Oil of California) had an explosion & well fire at one of their Marcellus wells in Greene County Pennsylvania & the big oilfield fire boys had to be called in. Nine days after the fire the remains of one of the workers was finally found.

Cabot Corporation and another firm are abstracting property in Clay & Elizabeth districts in Wirt County & the Pleasants County record room is reported to be packed. While Cabot gets 25% royalties on properties they lease to others, they still believe they are picking the "low hanging fruit" , folks who have no clue about terms, conditions, etc. Mineral buyers are also about offering "big money" for oil & gas rights. While the amounts may seem large, the usual result is a mere fraction of the actual worth since the buyers know what the owners do not know. It is believed that actually the Utica, more than the Marcellus is in play.

The forced pooling legislation that the big out of state boys had introduced in the legislature hit hard times when several folks got wind of it and many down there really wanted to get re-elected & did not want to face a hostile public that had just been robbed by their elected officials. With billions of dollars on the line there is no doubt that the issue will continue to fester. There is much to be made by a few in, once again, getting West Virginia's resources for pennies on the dollar, avoiding taxes and such & generating wealth in foreign nations and other states. Just like in Reconstruction days there are scalawags who help out the carpet baggers. When ordinary citizens get involved the legislators do pay attention.

Speaking of the "Mouth of the Elk" the saga continues with the cleanup & coverup of the chemical spill by the company "run" by the gents who drove around the city in the fanciest of automobiles, etc. Some feel that the Goodwin boy who is the Big Eared One's U. S. Attorney is to make sure that "none of the good old boys, including the one whose mommy gets puppy money from the taxpayers" get fingered. Reminds one of the time when an oil company was drilling wells in Roane County and the firm was injecting the produced brine in the fresh water aquifers. The state field people were working around the clock gathering the evidence which was then taken to Charleston to be destroyed.

Another scandal there concerns the State Department of Agriculture & its long time ex boss Gus Douglass. While some seem shocked that referrals have been made to various prosecutors, those who have followed the doings there are not at all surprised. At one time a veterinarian who was a full time state employee only worked for one or two well connected farmers. Problems there have been open secrets for decades including the state payments to the mistress.

After being found out the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) decided not to have "minders" in radio & tee vee stations and at newspapers to see what stories they decided to cover, ignore, etc., at least for now. A current example of such is the sudden stop of the reporting of the3rd world conditions existing at the Olympics but instead of reports on water that one could not use to bathe there were glowing reports of wonderful things. Reminds one of when Stalin the then dictator there took the food away from the Ukraine and millions starved to death. Time to reread Animal Farm & 1984. While the FCC can take away licenses of those who they oppose on radio & tee vee, the agency has no right whatsoever watching and bullying newspapers. Mr. Soros is said to have been a backer of this plan.

Alvin Engelke attended John Broschart's funeral at Jimtown near Norton, a town that recently lost its post office. John was a retired miner who came to the Creston ATV poker runs. He was one of the main movers in the Belington Farmer's Market which provided fresh local produce for local residents and cash for local growers. His mother, Edna, is 96 and aside from vision problems is still going "full bore". A fresh can of Copenhagen was put in John's casket and the church was full for the funeral.

The Creston Community Building business meeting will be Tuesday March 4 at 7 P. M. at the old school house.

The price of local Pennsylvania grade crude is $101.20 with Appalachian light sweet (drip) fetching $82.60, Marcellus & Utica light $90.68 & medium $100.20/bbl. The price of gasoline jumped 25 cents/gallon at many stations and the report is that diesel will soon be $5/gallon with gasoline following close behind. Because of the cold weather and the drawdown in the storage fields the price for natural gas delivered in March rose to over $6. Most local natural gas had been selling in the $3 range or sometimes lower putting a pinch on "legacy producers" who have no Marcellus or Utica wells.

The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Hur Herald.

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