By Alvin Engelke

The Creston area got to participate in the big winter storm that set snowfall records where the "important" people live. The West Virginia panhandle received 40" but the local area "only" received something over a foot of fluffy snow that didn't break tree limbs, power lines, etc. It goes without saying that Creston residents didn't feel bad about missing out on all the wind, power outages, etc. that happened elsewhere. Locally, schools were closed, church services and other events were cancelled and many sat watching the logs burn in a Rumford heating fireplace and eating goodies fetched up from the cellar, fresh baked goodies, etc [rough life]. Cap'n Spock & John Bingman plowed Creston area roads and driveways so folks could get in and out. The full moon made for beautiful scenic vitas over the snow covered landscape.

Holly Starcher, age 79, who lived down in Buck Horn, passed away at WVU Hospital in Morgantown. He was preceded in death by his wife Earldine and burial was in the family graveyard.

Helen Petty Elliott, age 88, passed away in Athens, Ohio. She was the daughter of Jim & Delcie Jarvis Petty and for several years she and her late husband, Howard Elliott, a disabled WWII vet who worked and lived a normal life, lived on the family property just below Creston. Her grandfather, W. T. Petty, was in the Civil War.

Duane Whiting and Eugene Smith were attending to business in Creston.

Ted Grimm who now lives in Erie Pennsylvania is back home after suffering from a ruptured appendix. He is said to be minding doctor's orders so that he can come to the spring ATV poker run.

Local residents attended the Calhoun County special commission meeting concerning the allocation of payment in lieu of taxes for Columbia Gas Transmission's proposed White Oak compressor station slated to be built just south of the Ritchie County line. The commission made it clear that the intent was to pay down (and eventually off) the Calhoun school board's $2 million deficit. However, it became clear that the deficit was very "evasive" as "all bills are current and we have no debt". When asked about the deficit the explanation was that there was a shortage of income and that the questioners didn't understand accrual accounting. FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) approval of the project would be in July 2017 at the earliest so it will be a while before the proposed annual payments of $650,000 commence. A Columbia spokesperson noted "there was public input into the project" since the firm, part of the empire of John D. Rockefeller, held 'public meetings'. It was noted that if county taxes increase and the board gets more local money the state takes away 93 cents of each additional dollar of the increase. It would sound like just another good reason, along with the "voo doo" over the so called abolition of common core to do away with the State Board of Education so that the little wife Gayle will have more time to make cookies, etc.

The forced pooling promoters have been touting the Rogersville shale which comes from Kentucky and is in the bottom of the Rome trough. It was discovered that a significant amount of property in the trough, especially, to the south is covered by "1/8th leases" that define royalty as 1 1/2 cents/mcf. These are called fixed price leases and apparently they will be just fine under George Patterson's forced pooling bill that is being promoted by Chairman Woody Ireland, the silver tongued salesman.

Local residents are reminded that Creston Community dues ($1.00) are due and that there is still time to file for office on either the county, state or national level.

The price of local Pennsylvania grade crude rose to $31/19/bbl. with condensate (super drip) bringing $12.19, Marcellus & Utica light $25.19 and medium $31.19/bbl. Some high sulphur sour crude from Nouth Dakota fell to $1.50/bbl. from a high of $47.60bbl. with sour crude from Texas & Oklahoma fetching between $13.25 to $13.50/bbl. The tar sands bitumen from Canada dropped to $8.35/bbl. Needless to say there have been additional layoffs from area oil & gas producers.

February 9 will be Farm Bureau day at the Legislature. One can park for free in the parking lot adjacent to the football stadium (Laidley field) and there is free bus service from there to the capitol building. The Taste of W. Va. legislative reception will be that evening at the Marriott.

The Winter IOGA (oil & gas) meeting will be down at the Mouth of the Elk on February 2 & 3 at the Marriott.

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

Hur Herald from Sunny Cal
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