By Alvin Engelke

By Alvin Engelke

Rev. Juanita Lockhart and a Gideon lay speaker gave the message at the Burning Springs M. E. church.

The Creston auction will be held Saturday, March 31, starting at 6 P. M. at the Creston Community Building. This will be instead of April 7 since the next day is Easter.

The Creston Community Building business meeting will be on April 3 and the Neighborhood Watch will be on April 9.

Euell Russell was undergoing tests at the Minnie Hamilton Health Care Center.

Ramps are now up, buds are swelling and the birds are singing, adding their voices to the various amphibians who have been announcing spring. The deer look sleek and healthy and some turkey gobblers have beards that drag the ground.

Julia Joyce's daffodils provide a splash of beauty along the Richardsonville road and the forsythia will soon be in full colour. Elm trees are in bloom and other early flowers are well on their way.

Joan Satterfield the state road supervisor out on the Mount Zion ridge has received a good report from her medical team at the Cleveland Clinic. Her genetics are such that she can better fight the cancer and she was even able to shower herself one day last week. Family members report that she maintains her usual positive attitude and since her chances went from 20% to 70% she has lots to be thankful for.

Sunshine reported that she received a letter from the Big Boss and she reported that she was real proud of that letter.

There were lots of motorcycles and four wheelers on Creston area roadways over the weekend. It was a beautiful time to be out and about. C. Glen Arthur was even able to be out on his porch.

Cap'n Eddie & Gloria Norman have a new addition to their family; little Travis Norman now makes their happy home complete.

It has been learned locally that the Department of Highways plans to sell off most of their heavy equipment, as well as new FWD pickups, at a monster auction that is to be held May 12 at Buckhannon. Almost all hydraulic excavators, bulldozers and many tandem dump trucks, end loaders, grass mowers and road scrapers will be sold as the new plan is to have most work, including pipe installation and emergency removal of slips and slide repair done by contractors. At the moment there is said to be no plan for layoffs as the local crews can still cut brush, ditch & berm main roads, fill potholes and pick up trash.

Some time back it was announced that surface treated roads would be allowed to return to gravel and apparently, under the new plan, "dirt" roads are not to be maintained. Of course all this is to save money "as money is tight". A certain newspaper correspondent also has ocean front property for sale in Spring Valley.

Not so long back a large rock fell into and blocked W. Va. 5 at the lower end of the dePue (Creston) straight. Now if contractors had to submit bids and come from Elkins, Charleston or wherever, the road might still be closed but the Wirt County crew was out there before daylight and traffic was only stopped for a few minutes.

This major change in the way things are done was to be kept a secret and it was learned that even Earl Ray Tomblin, the president of the W. Va. State Senate, was not informed by the powers that be. While all this change has been "hush hush" it was noted that the contractors had already been advised that the equipment they would need will be on the sale line for them.

According to press reports, Ruble's Sternwheelers who have been taking folks to Blennerhassett Island for 30 years or so, also were on the wrong end of fickle finger of the new approach to state government. They were always required to have a backup boat but the state park system leased one boat from a well-connected resident down at the Mouth of the Elk & Rubles are OUT.

Local residents are pleased to learn that the state police were returned to Elizabeth. It would seem that pressure from irate (but calm, cool & collected) citizens had an effect.

Alvin & Nancy Engelke motored to Amish country where they picked up some tasty bread, pie and other goodies.

The price of 'fertilize' has gone up reflecting the prices paid last year for natural gas. An additional impetus to the price is the additional corn acreage that must be planted to provide for the government mandated ethanol (corn whiskey) for automobiles. While some claim the poor will starve as a result of the increased amount of grain used for alcohol, it might be noted that few (of those who claim to be poor) bother to plant a garden, apparently preferring to use food stamps paid for by those who work.

The price of local Penn grade crude rose Saturday to $57.50 and the price of propane was $1.02/gal, n-butane $1.151/gal. and drip gasoline (mountain high test) $1.441/gallon. March gas on the Columbia system is $7.75.

Mike John, VP of Operations for Chesapeake Energy Corp., reported the company plans to drill 4 deep wells this year as well as 7 horizontal wells and, 400 total wells, all of these in the east. He noted that there are 250 employees in the Charleston office and that number will increase significantly. With the purchase of Yost Drilling they obtained 19 rigs and 300 more employees. He noted that the company had 26,000 drill sites and that most were very low risk. Overall the firm has 130 rigs operating and the closest competitor is Enron with 60 rigs. They have 25,000 square miles of 3-D seismic and plans to do much more.

Of interest to those who have been following the class action lawsuit he noted that when Chesapeake bought CNR from NISOURCE, they paid $2.2 billion in cash and set aside $900 million to cover litigation. Gas production in the eastern division presently is 135 million/day.

Some local residents attended the Ohio Oil & Gas Association meeting in Columbus and a speaker there noted that because of the sharp decline of Gulf of Mexico gas production, the present drilling boom will not keep pace with the demand for natural gas. One speaker noted that political decisions made during the J. Carter administration caused the crash of the oil and gas business in 1981 and he also noted that because of high gas prices and uncertainty, the chemical plants that once were in the Big Kanawha valley that left for Texas & Louisiana are now in the process of relocation in Kuwait, Dubai & Saudi Arabia where there is plenty of cheap natural gas to use as a feedstock. Some politicians just don't understand that there are consequences of their short-term actions. Once upon a time West Virginia had many glass factories but now they are few.

It was learned that Lippizan Petroleum plans to drill some new wells at Munday including one right along the highway.

The little fat boy was hobnobbing with the who's who at a posh place in the Buckeye state.