The recent selection of former state trooper P.D. Clemens as Chief of Police for the town of Logan has been met with widespread approval by all of those folks who know him, including myself. As I recall, P.D. had not been a member of the state police force long when he took a bullet from a guy police were trying to apprehend in the hills of either Whitman Creek or Holden back in the 1970's he continued working as a trooper until his retirement and then did some work as an insurance investigator, which included the fire investigation in Logan a few years ago that sent local businessman and former councilman Greg Glick and Guy Miller, a former candidate for Logan mayor, to prisonover the years, Clemens participated in men's softball, basketball and even the flag football leagues, when those local sports existedalong with now retired troopers Glen Ables, Don Bush, Bill Gibson, David Belcher and others, Clemons helped take care of Logan County when there were many more residents and 20 times more beer joints and clubs; plus, the legal drinking age back then was just 18despite all of the bars and other establishments that existed then, Logan County was far better off than it is today.....yeah, there was plenty of marijuana around and a few idiots that fooled with now virtually extinct drugs like Quaaludes, black beauties and LSD, but there were not nearly the zombie-eyed drug problems that law enforcement faces todaythe bottom line in the hiring of Clemens is simply that the people of Logan get a local person, who has already earned the respect of his peers and others...with Clemens' hiring, along with numerous street paving projects slated and a new bridge scheduled for the boulevard, it appears the slumping town of Logan just might be making a comebacknow, if we could next spring hang some flower baskets along the streets, and even look into obtaining a nice street clock for Logan, we just might wind up with a much more welcoming town
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Speaking of flower baskets, a friend tells me the Hemlock Garden Club of Man does a great job of acquiring and attending to flower baskets in Mayor Jim Blevins' trail riding townin my traveling about the state, I can tell you there are very few towns, small or large, that do not place flowers in their localities anybody know what happened to the Logan Farmers Market that operated on Route 10 on the hill near Corridor G?was it a victim of the state's economy, or a lack of farming that closed the place down? ... Joseph Browning, a grandson of Devil Anse Hatfield, and a friend who communicates with me via e-mail, said a recent story I wrote brought fond memories back to him concerning his pool shooting days while skipping class at Logan High during the 1950's Joe, now a North Carolina resident, wrote that he spent a lot of time in what was "Ma Murphey's" pool hall in downtown LoganJoe said he remembered several times seeing his great-uncle Tennis Hatfield, former Logan sheriff in the 1920's, passed out there from drinking.....he noted that one day while smoking a cigarette, cursing with the rest of the gang, and playing pool, he looked up to see one of the people watching his antics to be his dear mothera few other times later, he said his mother sent the preacher to "drag him out" of the pool hallfact is, there used to be many so called pool halls throughout Logan Countyand the truth is that some "pool sharks" made a living traveling from city to city as professional gamblerswhen I was in Huntington during the early 1970's, I got to briefly know one such fellow who usually traveled by train and was known as the "Cincinnati Kid"
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Attention coffee drinkers: a new study shows that if you average two to three cups of coffee per day, you are 18% likely to live a longer life...of course, if you're having a cigarette with that coffee, you may want to discount the study ... the West Virginia legislature, in my opinion, was this year nothing more than a comedy of errors that accomplished very little to help the average West Virginian ... the special session that was held during parts of May and June cost taxpayers a reported $856,592, and from it came a budget the governor refused to signhowever, one good bill that became law and just took effect, will help to get rid of dilapidated housing, which is a problem specifically in the town of Logan the law no longer requires municipalities to get written consent from the property owner in order to demolish structures that harbor illegal drug activities; present a health hazard; create a risk of fire, or are a danger in any other way to safety ... there are other parts of the new law that should be adhered to by responsible parties, but the law does not address funding for demolition, which generally comes from grant programs
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DID YOU KNOW that John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, both of whom helped draft this nation's Declaration of Independence, died just hours apart on July 4th, 1826?local baseball enthusiasts should be happy with the new look Logan Banner's (Williamson Daily News too) sport pages, which for the first time in many years, now have professional baseball standings on a daily basisjust wondering, why hasn't the new road from Man to Logan not opened yet? ... my understanding was that it was to open in Julywhile on this subject, if one thinks about all of the money that hard-working coal miners have generated over the past 100 or more years just in Logan County, there is no reason why the road should not have been constructed many years ago, saving an untold amount of livesspeaking of coal, it irks me to no end as to why our legislature could not come to an agreement on how to fund a budget, when the vast majority of our state is owned by out-of-state land and mineral owners, whose families/companies do not live or operate in West Virginia and give very little back to us in any form of economic investment ..... I say, "If you're going to rape me, at least kiss me." ... in other words, tax these people and corporations, not the struggling residents of our beautiful state
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CLOSING NOTE: Recently, I visited the Whipple Company Store and Museum in Fayette County that was saved from demolition by a historical group in 2006 on the very day equipment arrived to tear the historical structure down. On the day I was there, a professor and his students from Berea College in Kentucky had already been there for a tour, as people visit the site from many places. I picked up one of many brochures there, and a few days later contacted a lady with the Preservation Alliance of West Virginia group concerning two Logan locations: the Don Chafin House and the Logan City Cemetery, both of which need to be placed on the state's endangered properties list. The nice lady I spoke with, Danielle Depresta, said the group had been trying for months to find out who to speak with concerning the Coal Field Jamboree building in Logan. She said they were wanting to place the former Logan Theater on the National Registry, which would make it eligible for grant funding. After providing her with the telephone number for Jackie Tomblin in regard to the building, further conversation led to plans for the group to come to Logan in order to "clean up" the City Cemetery,which also is eligible for the National Registry. The group plans on being here this fall to literally chemically clean the tombstones. The group provides its own transportation and supplies to do the work. The only thing asked by the people doing the incredible work is that lunch be provided for the workers, who often travel around the state doing such charitable labor. I am sure Mayor Nolletti and the town of Logan will be glad to provide a good lunch for these folks when the time comes.
Dwight Williamson is a contributing writer and a former reporter for The Logan Banner. He currently serves as a Logan County Magistrate.