By Alvin Engelke

By Alvin Engelke

The Creston area received a few inches of snow Sunday morning as a reminder that although Easter flowers had been growing winter is still here. Since it was cold when the snow fell it did not melt and the "master plan" for treating highways hatched down at the Mouth of the Elk "where all the smart people live" did not work costing lots of time and causing wrecks. Apparently some counties were able to contact authorities and were then able to use standard, proven means to treat roads for snow and ice. Travel plans, including attending church services, were modified for local residents.

Anna Engelke, Jessica, Keith & Matt went skiing over the weekend.

Brandon and Andrea Ferrell were visiting friends & relatives in Creston over the weekend.

Mary Reno was visiting Austin Westfall.

Euell Russell received a good report from his medical tests as, apparently, he "only" had pneumonia.

Charles D. Powell, Jr., age 76, passed away in Parkersburg. He is survived by his wife of 58 years, former Creston resident Hazel Vandall, daughter of Allen & Virginia Merrill Vandall. He had been having health problems for some time.

Sam Davis, age 89, of Spring Creek over in Roane County passed away. He formerly played music at the Creston Community Building with Roger Miller (who lived on Left Reedy) and they would both talk with Glenn Campbell. Sam would jokingly talk about "his son" Sammy Davis, Jr. and with a wink speak of "his wild youth", all in jest of course.

When Underwood was elected to his first term Sam, was asked to stay on with the State Road in Roane County and when "the powers" resumed full force 4 years later Sam was fired. He asked why as he said he had continued to vote the required straight ticket but he was told, "You worked for those SOBs and we don't tolerate that; take your dinner pail and git."

Within a few days Sam found that the Spencer post office was looking for a good man and he stayed there until he retired. Of course he had a better job with higher pay and better benefits.

Some of the big windbags in Washington have been talking about raising the minimum wage "to help the poor" even though in certain West Virginia towns McDonalds' employees make $11/hour and workers are scarce at any price. According to federal numbers 60% of those who only make the minimum live in homes whose incomes range from $46,326 to $63,344 and only 0.6% of the "working poor" earn the minimum wage. One state that raised the minimum wage saw the dropout rate from high school increase 2%.

Local residents as well as many from elsewhere are concerned about the closure of the Parkersburg livestock market. It was noted that the Spencer livestock market has had its share of problems as well. One might say there is an available opportunity for someone who has the insight, foresight and access to the wherewithal to succeed.

The price of local crude was $47.50 over the weekend and had been lower during the week. While natural gas prices had been trending lower drilling and exploration seems to continue unabated. Experts note that the demand for natural gas will grow at a faster pace than for crude oil.

The class action lawsuit against Columbia and Chesapeake continues in Spencer with large numbers of lawyers, etc.

Meanwhile the consequences of "alternative energy" policy continues here and abroad. With the federal mandate for ethanol in motor fuel the number of new stills has exploded and the seed companies are breeding higher yielding corn for growth in the upper Midwest which is the site of most of the new distilleries. Those who feed corn have found that the increase in corn price is likely permanent and down in Mexico the cost of tortilla meal rose so much that price controls were imposed. Talk is cheap about making fuel from biomass but there is not even a pilot plant on line to determine how to do it even with government subsidies. After all the years of the revenuers fighting white lightin' it is almost humorous to see how important it has now become.

Dominion which formerly was known as the Hope Natural Gas Company, another part of the Standard Oil trust announced that they are increasing their capacity for natural gas storage by 73,502 dekatherm/day of storage delivery and an increased storage of 4,410,120 Dth. Dominion gathers a significant percentage of Creston area natural gas and has a storage field which begins on W. Va. Route 47 along the Gilmer/Ritchie county line and extends over to at least Bridgeport.

Meanwhile, down at the Mouth of the Elk where the legislators are legislating all seems to be quiet and slow although it is understood that the out of state gambling interests are going to explain how casinos, and likely saloons and brothels will solve all that ails the state and if unlimited gambling is allowed everything will be wonderful, roads will be repaired, teachers will get richer, the children will actually learn (phony tests will no longer have to be used to fudge) and strip mined land will automatically revert to its natural contours covered with virgin timber. Also coal mines will be safe, cancer will be cured and all the state's debt will be forgiven and the capitol cafeteria will reopen with a clean bill of health.

Alvin & Nancy Engelke attended the Parkersburg Big Reds wrestling fund raiser in Vienna Saturday evening. Jane's husband is the wrestling coach and his team currently is rated #1.

The following is the first installment of observations made when the Creston news writer drove to the west to attend the American Farm Bureau meeting in Utah.

It had been a while since we had been in Kentucky and the change there was startling. What stood out was all the abandoned tobacco barns in the heart of what was once burley tobacco country. While some rightly disapprove of cigarettes that is only part of the story as there are many uses for tobacco including a very safe and effective insecticide. Of course tobacco is still smoked and used and cigarettes, cigars, chawing terbaccy and snuff are still made. A decision by a prior administration in Washington to look after Brazilian tobacco growers (or perhaps their distributor or lobbyist) did a number on American farmers. Some of the objection was against smoke while others were promoting cocoa and cannabis usage instead.

It should be noted now that there are active, well funded groups out to eliminate the dairy business and the production of hogs, cattle and poultry. While some may prefer tofu it should be noted that the soya bean crop is also the basis for biodiesel and the soya bean price will reflect the new market reality.

The rice fields in Arkansas were impressive and there many fine horses and lots of good cattle to be seen. The travelers did not stop in Little Rock to see the "fancy double wide trailer" that doubles as a sink for contributions and donations that need to be kept secret.