By Alvin Engelke

By Alvin Engelke

Rev. Paul Williams filled his regular appointment at the Burning Springs M. E. church.

Traditional cold winter weather with snow continues to be the norm in the Creston area with alternating slippery and then clean roadways, etc. The Big Boss finally allowed the use of abrasives during the zero weather since pure salt will not melt snow when it is that cold. Micromanaging of the road system from the Mouth of the Elk is supposed to save the taxpayers money, we are told.

Alvin & Nancy Engelke returned after attending the Farm Bureau national leadership meeting in Jacksonville, Florida. They then motored to Melbourne to visit Nancy's 99 year old father, Harold Martin, as well as her sister & brother-in-law, Betty Lou & Bill Welch. In the southern states (where there is no oil & gas), gasoline was almost 40 cents less per gallon than in West Virginia.

One of the main topics at the meeting was dealing with the new congress. It was noted that Mrs. Pelosi and her friends (who want a taxpayer funded 757 with wet bar to haul around family and fat cat donors) are committed to stopping global climate change, regardless of the economic consequences and in spite of convincing proof of the big hoax about change being the result of the use of spears, arrows, fossil fuels, etc. Also, it was noted that there are "new alliances" with fancy sounding names to fight agriculture & the rights of landowners.

As a result of the cold weather, cattle have been eating lots more hay and one sees lots of hay being moved on the road. Some calves arrived to a very cold world with nary a barn to be found.

Donna Sue Ferrell has been hunting for a new automobile. Brandon & Andrea Ferrell were visiting Donna & Carl.

Teddy Parsons & Alvin Engelke were calling on Billy McCumbers.

Anna & Nancy Engelke were visiting at the Schenerlein residence in Vienna on the occasion of Jane's shower.

Mr. & Mrs. Larry Webster were attending to both business & pleasure in Vienna.

P. E. Graham has been doing some plumbing work at the Charles & Euell Russell residence. He was also attending to business in Grantsville.

Diane Ludwig was attending to business in Creston.

It was learned that biscuits and gravy were served at the road garage out on the Mount Zion ridge the other morning. It seems that Sunshine wanted folks to know that she had not forgotten her culinary skills and that the men were hungry after fighting snow & ice.

The well-greased gambling bill is heading right for passage at the Legislature down at the Mouth of the Elk. To hear the shills talk this will cure every ailment the mountain state has ever had. However, others would point out that this proves that "it is business as usual" and that West Virginia has the best politicians that money can buy. Perhaps that is what "open for business" really means. The gamblers spent vast sums in both the primary and general election.

The price of local Penn grade crude rose $1.50/bbl to $55 over the weekend while East Resources sold natural gas from Roane County recently for $13.43/MCF.

Work continues on Ohio Oil Gathering's new tank at the old Eureka station at Brooksville. Mike McKee said the new tank would be used to hold oil & brine. It was reported also that one of the old tanks had grown thin with age and had to be emptied to avoid a problem.

Roy G. Hildreth, Jr. (Kimco, Kracrow, Little Creek Production, etc.) has sent out papers for royalty owners in his wells to sign giving him, apparently, broad powers to change original leases and allow for deductions that were found improper in the recent Columbia/Chesapeake class action lawsuit. Lawyers, familiar with the papers, have advised folks that they should not, under any circumstances, sign the papers.

In a press release to Oklahoma City newspapers, Chesapeake stated that there was a "legal reserve" set aside to cover the costs of the $404 million Roane County judgment against the firm, Columbia Energy & Nisource, although Nisource said they would appeal. One lawyer for the plaintiffs said, "Fine, appeal but the interest is accruing at $108,000/day."

A well placed individual who works in government down at the Mouth of the Elk stated that the companies should have settled for now they have major liability problems. The IRS & the state tax department can go after $800 million of apparently unreported gas income & county assessors can collect supplemental taxes on the production income. The Big Okie, Aubrey McClendon, Chesapeake's head honcho is apparently aware of the exposure his company now has and has decided to play "hardball bluff" giving West Virginia just six months "to fix the problem caused in a conservative Republican judicial hell hole" or else he will move his eastern offices to some more friendly place. The office of CNR/Columbia has been at the Mouth of the Elk for about a century now with an established workforce owning homes and having family in West Virginia. Someone suggested Hazard, Inez or Frenchburg Kentucky since they have operations in that state too. Another noted that since Chesapeake brought into West Virginia a large Mexican workforce [that does not speak English] there are lots of towns available in Mexican states or perhaps more friendly places where the government keeps better control like Byelorussia, Kazakhstan or Libya.

Although the Big Boss has been carrying the company water (just like he did for the out of state gamblers), local legislators have indicated that they are not interested in passing special legislation to set aside present state law and set aside the jury verdict to appease McClendon. One Spencer oilman who heard the CEO on the television said it "sounded like blackmail to me."

While the threats to "pull up the wells & leave" continue, their leasemen, along with those from Cabot, Carter, Penn Virginia & Dominion continue to lease property although, obviously, some folks did not read the papers they signed. Some may be like the movie star who realized she had cut off her hair and then (too late) ran to the hospital for help.