By Alvin Engelke

Rick Williams brought the message at the Burning Springs M. E. Church.

Pleasant weather continues to be the norm in the Creston area or what one might call an "open winter".

Brandon Ferrell spent the weekend visiting Mr. & Mrs. Carl Ferrell & family.

The Wirt road crew placed some cold mix in the worst of the potholes in the Richardsonville road. It was getting hard to dodge all of them and the work is much appreciated. The Gilmer road crew continues to cut down healthy trees along W. Va. 5 and seems to be leaving dead ones to fall later and block the road. The bridge crew was doing patching on the Latonia bridge across Tanner Creek in Gilmer County and the men said the bridge was "shot". There is no posting.

Talk continues locally about all the local candidates in both Wirt & Calhoun Counties. Also there is more interest in the supreme court judges, circuit judges and magistrates (J. P.s) that are now to be decided in the primary. On the national scene Madame Hillary couldn't define the difference between a democrat & a socialist and no doubt Thomas Jefferson is spinning in his grave as are many ancestors of this writer. Hillary made it clear she was for Dodd Frank which is the bill that protects the BIG banks and aims to eliminate the small banks that local folks use. Under the Dodd Frank rules fines (called administrative findings so they stay secret) start at $1 million and local bankers are not allowed to talk about the rules, mandates, etc.

One local fellow needed to have a colonoscopy and under the guidelines of the "affordable care act" he was told he had to have the $5,000 deductible and 20% of the balance paid up front. The insurance lady said she now is often in tears as she tries to deal with all the outrageous situations that have come about as a result of Obamacare and all the federal guidelines for prices, rules, regulations, etc. On a somewhat health related matter the former St. Joseph's Hospital in Parkersburg was sold to Siltstone, a business that had been buying mineral rights and leaseholds. Siltstone's spokesman said that oil and gas would be depressed for some time and the firm was going to pursue other avenues. Under Obamacare Parkersburg and the local area went from two hospitals to one which makes it clear that rationing and curtailment of care is in the works. The death panels that the "experts" said didn't [They called Sarah Palin a liar & crazy.] exist will now decree our fates as we peasants are expendable when no longer beneficial to the ruling elite. Is it any wonder Cruz, Dr. Carson & Trump have so much support?

There has been lots of talk about how the caucuses turned out in Iowa and obviously there were some serious problems with both sides. One thing of note that got no press though is that Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), the agribusiness giant that picks candidates in both parties and has for years in the grain growing sections lost as Sen. Cruz was opposed to the big subsidy ADM gets from the taxpayers to prop up the ethanol (corn likker) fuel business that uses more energy than it saves.

Ronald Hickman, the Mason County assessor, noted that he reads the Creston news to keep up on the area. His father grew up down in Beaver Dam.

Some folks from the Parkersburg area motored to the Mouth of the Elk to talk about the repeal of the federally mandated Common Core standards that little Jebbie Bush backs. The state school super and his flunkies trashed the local folks indicating that they didn't have sense enough to be allowed to speak anywhere on anything. With W. Va. having perhaps a $500 million deficit that whole crew could be laid off and local schools could purchase Ray's Arithmetic and the McGuffey readers and the state's scholars could then read, write and cipher and those fine feathered fellers with all the fancy pedigrees could look for meaningful employment, maybe teaching remedial reading in the federal prison system or some such.

Chairman Woody Ireland, the silver tongued legislator, reintroduced Atty. George Patterson's forced pooling bill as HB #4426. Some feel that it was introduced late in the session so there would not be time to correct the fatal flaws that put the shaft to both the citizens and the state (as concerns taxes). As has previously been made clear in the Tawney case, the big out of state outfits have no problems cheating royalty owners on sums due them and likewise the state and counties on severance and ad valorem taxes. This situation is ongoing as EQT sent out 1099s showing deductions from a 1906 South Penn Oil Company lease that has no provision whatsoever for deducting anything from royalties to be paid.

EQT, also known as Equitable announced that the firm was going to drill 10 more Utica gas wells in 2016. Antero's men have been out and about beating the bushes on proposed new wells in different sections and Mountain V has permitted two more horizontal wells on Cool Springs Run off Standing Stone in Wirt County. Earlier the firm had drilled on Owl Hill.

Charles Russell was attending to business in Spencer & was calling on Paris Parsons, Ray Gumm and brother Euell at the Miletree Center.

Stone Energy, a Louisiana based firm that drilled a number of Marcellus wells in West Virginia, sent out a letter advising that the state tax department sent out "tax increase letters" to people to whom Stone Energy had not yet paid royalties in 2014. This problem also impacted some Chesapeake leases, but of course, "the state man is always correct".

H. Wayne Nida spent some time at the V. A. Hospital in Clarksburg, He has not been well at all.

While not many folks locally plan to go to Brazil for the big sporting event the Zika virus has come from there to this country and can apparently be spread by "sharing bodily fluids". It was noted that the mosquito that carried it is a genetically modified organism. Do we have biological warfare with this? The border agents have been told to "stand down" just like Benghazi so lots of potentially infected folks can come and spread the contagion.

The price of gasoline has dropped below $1.50 in Elizabeth and Parkersburg while it remains 40 cents/gallon higher elsewhere. The price of local Pennsylvania grade crude fell to $29.89/bbl. with condensate fetching only $10.89 with Marcellus & Utica light bringing $23.89 and medium $29.89/bbl.

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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