By Alvin Engelke

The global warming folks must have high tailed it off to a climate conference in the Yucatan as the local temperature took a tumble and, elsewhere in the nation, records were set. The local area received a little snow to go with the cold.

Ray Cunningham, age 88, passed away after a bout with cancer. He was laid to rest at the Beatty Cemetery at Burning Springs. He had worked for Hope Gas in Parkersburg and loved working on his farm.

Rev. Juanita Lockhart filled her regular appointment at the Burning Springs M. E. church.

The Creston Community held their regular monthly meeting on January 6 to take up routine business. Some ATV enthusiasts had asked that the community hold a poker run during the winter, hopefully with snow on the ground. Vice President Eddie Norman shivered and said he would man a station while sitting in his pickup truck. It was decided that would be riders should contact either Alvin Engelke or Betty Bish and if there was sufficient interest it would be discussed at the February meeting. The calendar of events for the year was previewed and some indicated that they or friends had items for the June Community Building auction. A Creston homecoming was discussed along with other items including an automobile show.

Nancy and Jane Engelke spent the weekend at the Fairs & Festivals conference in Charleston. Wirt County Fair Queen Ashlee Small was one of the participants as was former queen Jennifer Baileys and Melissa Offutt, the beef queen. Melissa is the great grand daughter of the late Howard and Jane Shrader Cooper of Little Creek. Jennifer Baileys placed in the top 15 out of 74 contestants. Wirt County can be proud of all three girls as they did a wonderful job of representing not only their fair or festival but Wirt County. Twenty one people attended the conference from Wirt County.

It was learned that Deward Offut is on the sick list.

Some local residents were not happy campers when they received letters from Charleston, sent under the name of the local assessor, which increased the value of property eight (8) fold or more. Other properties were increased from 3 to 7 fold.

As an update on Mr. Dexterity's horror scope it was learned that "not everything he desired was attainable". But then the ample brunette fetched in pumpkin and apple pie, along with ice cream and cool whip topping. One feller asked if this was for Mr. Dexterity and a Left Reedy farmer but Katie said it was "for all the men". One might snuggle and keep warm in winter.

There will be an acquaculture workshop Saturday, January 17 at Jackson's Mills. Details can be obtained by contacting the county agent or Diane Ludwig at the Little Kanawha Development Office. Those who have attended prior meetings have had a positive learning experience.

Rodney Lynch was attending to business in Spencer.

Ralph Larson's kitty climbed into one of the tubular holes in the concrete that was placed behind the piling near his residence on W. Va. 5. Cap'n Spock and The Sassy Storekeeper were among the DOH workers who tried to rescue the lost kitty. At that point it was thought that she was in a space behind some rocks. When the actual location was learned, an 8 lb hammer was used for the rescue.

Telephones were hot the other evening when the flare on the big well at Gandeeville was burning. On Saturday evening both Halliburton and Schulmberger were on location and the latter was logging the hole. There were several perforating guns on location too.

The price for natural gas delivered in January rose to the $7 range while the local price of crude rose to $31/bbl. Oil for February delivery in New York City was $34.31.

Charles White and Holly Wayne Greathouse were among those calling on Denzil "Tinky" Hendrickson.

The Council for Independent Living health nurse was calling on Charles and Euell Russell.

Mr. & Mrs. Carl Ferrell & daughter were attending to business in Grantsville.

The legislators are gathering again down at the Mouth of the Elk River and local residents are worried as to what will happen next especially since certain "favored groups" have indicated that they must have more money in spite of the state's financial condition. Since it seems that the leaders of these "special groups" have struck fear in the spineless, the taxpayers will be in for a big tax increase which, of course, will give their "leaders" more power which is what the game is all about anyway.

It should be noted that now is the time to file for political office in West Virginia. The taxpayers are looking for a "few good men [and women]" as the recruitment ad said.

The roads have been hot with large loads of logs and toothpicks. The small stuff is mostly being taken from the former Westvaco land. One fellow asked if there were any regulations on clear cuts since there seems to be floods afterwards and was advised that there were no rules. Many are concerned that with immature timber being harvested for a "quick buck" the long term financial impact on the area will not be good. It was also noted that out of state outfits pay their fuel tax and other taxes on a voluntary basis which is, likely, one of the reasons that West Virginia is "so rich".

Speaking of crooks and shady deals, some of the Enron folks are back in the news although the big time media do not seem to understand what Enron did and who was affected. Nor do they seem to care that Enron transferred the real assets out of the bankruptcy and the firm is back to business as usual.

Some local folks had to chuckle when one of the presidential candidates, who said he had religion, noted that his favorite book in the New Testament was Job.

The Wirt County Farm Bureau will meet Tuesday, January 20 at 7 P. M. at the road garage in Elizabeth. Among other things, the annual trip to the legislature will be discussed. It is hoped that there will be a report from the Aquaculture meeting too.

C. Romeo Griffin, Sr. and son J. B. were amongst those calling on Boyd and Juanita Duskey and sons Bill and Will of the Cedar Grove vicinity. Boyd has suffered a couple of mini-strokes, but after consultations with some area physicians is recuperating at home with few adverse effects evident. He is engaging in a regimen of preventative treatment.

Hay for sale. Contact Alvin Engelke at 275-3578.