By Alvin Engelke

Rev. Keith Belt filled his regular appointment at the Burning Springs M. E. Church.

A big crowd was on hand Saturday evening for the Creston Community Christmas party. Ted Grimm came down from Erie Pennsylvania and fetched down some very tasty ham but a fellow in a red suit came all the way from the North Pole to give presents to the boys & girls although at least one of the younger set was not all too happy about the activities. Jerry Campbell brought his pineapple upside down cake, Ellen had her home made noodles, there pigs in a blanket, pickled deviled eggs, pickled beets as well as the usual macaroni salad, baked beans, mashed potatoes, turkey, cookies, cake, etc. Rev. Wm. Delmas Stutler told the story from the Bible concerning the Savior's birth [the reason for the season] and lots of folks had a great time visiting with friends, neighbors & family.

Mr.& Mrs. Chuck Richter stopped to visit with friends at the event after being to a benefit in Grantsville.

Wilma Mowrey was calling on Frankie Mowrey at the Miletree Center and helped her with her meal.

The Creston Area Neighborhood Watch had their Christmas Party on Monday, December 8th at the Creston Community Building. One of Suellen's friends from TOPS won the quilt that had been made by Bessie Arthur.

Black ice caused a lot of problems locally and, apparently, both I-77 & I-64 were closed down near the Mouth of the Elk. With today's sophisticated weather forecasting and night watchmen there is no real excuse for allowing roadways to become treacherous. Some thought the highway biggies let this happen so they could come to the legislature and beg for "more money". They, of course, could trim some of the excess management and obtain free brine to treat the roadways. However, the salt lobby apparently is part of the ruling oligarchy and obviously 'must be protected'.

Charles Russell was calling on Ray Gum, Mr. & Mrs. Paris Parsons and brother Euell at Miletree. Paris is still having thumb problems and Edith Kittle noted to 'Uncle Alvin' that 'Niece Sandy' was going on a trip to see Christmas lights.

Local residents were planning on watching the meteor show but Creston had overcast skies. On the warmer days dandelions were blooming and the rosettes of the hairy bitter cress appear to be growing. Some folks were fishing at the point over the weekend, it would appear.

As a result of little senator Unger's tank bill there have been lots of oil tanks cut up and sold for junk. The DEP said it was illegal to burn the bottoms of the tanks "as it results in adverse impacts on the environment and pubic health". In North Dakota and Nigeria millions of cubic feet of natural gas are burned every day but "that is different". The experts down at the Mouth of the Elk also allowed as how there might be asbestos in lots of oil tanks -- strange since local Pennsylvania grade crude is paraffin based and has no asbestos.

The "leadership" down in the swamps of the lower Potomac apparently missed the recent election as they went along with the Big Eared One and funded Obamacare and the money for the illegal aliens as well other pork, etc. It was felt that the nation said emphatically "Stop Obama" not 'compromise' [which there means give in] with him. The alien workforce is now obvious in Spencer and no doubt there will be more of the same -- too bad about American workers. The speaker of the U. S. House of Representatives needs replaced with someone who has spine. $22 billion is being spent to "fight global warming" which is twice what is supposed to be spent defending the borders. $22 million or so is being used to give the Charleston airport "solar power". There are those in government who feel that there is an unlimited amount of funds that taxpayers can cough up to the rulers with very, very expensive tastes.

Down at the Mouth of the Elk there is now discussion about the Big Eared One's "Common Core" and the new state sooper says he's all for it. He answers to Mrs. Broadway Joe who, of course, takes his cue from "Dear Leader" and his education advisor, domestic terrorist Bill Ayers.

Helen Nutter is home from the hospital and she has gained some weight. She now has to obtain new spectacles.

With the bumper grain crop the price of corn had dropped but it is felt that by March the price will go above $4/bu while (soya) beans will be over $10.50. The price war with the A-rabs continues with the price of local Pennsylvania grade crude dropping to $56.18/bbl. Drip (mountain high test) fell to $32.81/bbl. or just over 75cents/gallon. Marcellus & Utica light is worth $50.81 while medium fetches $56.81. Local natural gas is fetching local producers about $1.33/dth which is, of course, below the cost of production for small wells. Dr. Robert Chase of Marietta College noted that only 1/3rd of his seniors have jobs lined up because of the proposed cutbacks in exploration & drilling caused by the price crash instituted by Saudi Arabia. Some may remember that back when Jimmy Carter was running things he caused the domestic oil & gas industry to crash so that we could increase importation of hydrocarbons from his Arab buddies. His financial guru, Bert Lance, helped fund what is now known as terror networks (remember BCCI?). He, like our present 'leader' was & is hostile to Israel. Now, it is reported that Barry wants to remove and replace Bibi. Apparently there are several in power who do not believe what is written about those who are against Israel. It would seem that a while back Madame Hillary went to Iran on the sly and struck a deal with those "reliable" terrorists over their proposed bombs and Israel.

West Virginia made the national news again with Chief Justice Robin Davis being called the ringmaster in "a circus masquerading as a court." It seems that the chief justice who is also known as Mrs. Scott Segal did not recuse herself from a lawsuit involving a Mississippi lawyer who purchased hubby's Lear Jet, gave big money to her reelection and then brought a high profile case before her. In some instances that is referred to as "the best that money can buy."

In their filings with the Securities & Exchange Commission Chesapeake reported that the federal government and several states are looking into $billions that were skimmed off to repay hidden corporate debt. In Pennsylvania royalty checks were reduced by 97% to cover inflated fees and shady transactions. The governor of Pennsylvania was booted out over his part in the deal and it is hoped that the new leadership in the legislature down at the Mouth of the Elk takes proper notice.

It was noted that the outfits that have been building the new pipelines & infrastructure, fractionation plants, compressor stations will be asking to be called "utilities". That will give them the right to condemn property that they want & will be a big tax break for the firms as the present utilities pay at less than 10% of what non-utility taxpayers must pay. For decades United States Steel was a "utility" in West Virginia even though the company's function was to provide natural gas to steel plants in the Pittsburgh area. Since the firm had very little "income" in West Virginia the tax break was unreal.

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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