By ALLISON CLARK
Economic Development Authority Director Mike Herron reported to the County Commission at Monday's meeting that more jobs will be coming into the county.
Herron said he has been in communications with a company that works with oil and gas companies and they are interested in coming to the area for a minimum of 2 years. This company will supply 600 people with jobs. Three hundred of those will be from the local population.
Along with the oil and gas industry bringing in jobs, iPacessetors has already hired approximately 180 people to fill more cubicles. The building where iPacessetors is located is currently under renovations. Once completed there will be 300 agents working per shift potentially.
Herron said that with the unemployment rate so low in the county, people from out of county will be coming to the area and the need for housing will increase.
Herron commented on how a year and a half ago iPacesetors was looking to close the doors and now they are a growing business in Lewis County.
"It's remarkable and it has been a success," said Herron.
Herron also reminded the Commissioners of the upcoming meeting at Roanoke Elementary School to answer questions of community members regarding getting water to Roanoke School and some residents in the area.
This meeting will be held on Oct. 30, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., at the school. This meeting is to address questions of parents and residents regarding the waterline.
In other news Barbara Volk spoke to the Commissioners about her concerns regarding Fracking in Lewis County.
Volk said that she attended the CONSOL public meeting. She said that this meeting was insulting and offensive due to not having a question and answer forum. Volk also claims that the representative from CONSOL lied about the number of wells going up in Lewis County.
Volk is a self-employed farmer who relies solely on what their farm produces. With the coming of the gas and oil boom she expressed concerns of the loss of clean water and the health of herself and her animals.
Volk said that she will not take route 18 anymore due to the large oil and gas trucks driving on the road. She also said she wished she could avoid route 33 as well but cannot.
Volk asked the Commissioners if they have seen the effects that oil and gas drilling has brought to Doddridge County and asked the Commissioners to go see it if they have not.
Volk also asked approximately how many jobs will this industry provide, what safety precautions are being taken, how they plan on protecting the provisions of homeowners and if there will be a public forum where a question and answer session will be held.
The Commissioners approved a budget increase of $45,979.
The Jail bill for the month of Sept. is $71,892.50. This is a decrease of $17,370.00 from the previous month. In recent months the jail bill in Lewis County has increased more and more, eventually it lead to the bill going higher than ever before in July with a total of $97,368.50.
"This is good news," said Commissioner Tom Fealy.
The Commission approved the transfer of ownership of Pioneer Cemetery to the Town of Jane Lew.
The next meeting of the Lewis County Commission will be held on Monday, Oct. 27, at 10 a.m., at the Lewis County Courthouse.
From C of C
By JOHN G. WOLFE
A large crowd was on hand for the 79th Annual Dinner of the Lewis County Chamber of Commerce held last Tuesday evening at WVU Jackson's Mill. The dinner serves as a night of recognition, with many awards given to deserving citizens, Chamber members and businesses.
Taking what is considered to be the top honor of Lewis Countian of the Year for 2014 was longtime Weston businessman Bob Piercy, owner of Piercy Auto Sales on West Second Street. He joins a long list of county notables dating back to Paul Fulks in 1978 as recipient of the award. His award was presented by Chamber Board Member George Whelan.
The Chamber Member of the Year Award, was presented to a business this year. The winner was Minnich Florist, with the award presented by Chamber Board Member Bob Ramsey, who also served as the dinner Master of Ceremonies.
The Chamber President's Award was presented by the Chamber President, Tracy Queen-Young to Chamber Board Member Greg Cunningham for his hard work on behalf of the organization.
WVU Jackson's Mill was recognized as the Chamber Business of the Year. The award was presented to Truman Wolfe by longtime Mill employee and Chamber Board Member Dean Hardman. Wolfe summonsed the servers of the night's dinner to accept the award with him.
Chamber Appreciation Awards were presented by Chamber Board Member and MC Robert Ramsey to Larry Bennett of Bennett Home and Auto Supply, Jay Hayes of CJ Products, the local company that designed and constructed and makes repairs to Weston's Christmas lights and Dave Weese of Weston Shop 'n Save Express.
Also presenting awards at the dinner was the Mountain Lakes Convention and Visitors Bureau, with awards announced by MLCVB Chair Cassidy McCoy and presented by the MLCVB Director Elaina Massey. These awards were based on online fan votes at MLCVB Websites.
Capturing the Tops in Tourism Award was the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum. Winner of the Taste of Lewis County was the Main Street Grill and Café located in Jane Lew. Best Event in Lewis County honors went to the Spiker Family Bull Ride, an annual event that attracts hundreds to the county.
Featured speaker of the evening was Metro News' Hoppy Kercheval, who spoke about the changing political landscape in West Virginia. Kercheval emphasized that West Virginians were becoming more independent as fewer people were registering with either the Democratic or Republican political parties. "Since both parties have opened their primary elections to independent voters, there is not as strong a need to be registered as a Democrat or Republican," he said.
He also said that West Virginians tend to be conservative and have a hard time relating to the National Democratic Party as it has moved further to the left. The Democrats, he said, are also hurt by a dislike of President Obama and his policies in the state.
Kercheval said that the results of this year's elections would be a good indicator if the state was becoming less Democratic, as the Democrat Party still holds a 2-1 voter registration advantage over the Republican Party. Kercheval said that since the death of Senator Robert C. Byrd, the Democrat Party had been on the decline as no one was quite able to fill the leadership vacuum created by his death.
Many in the audience were upset that Kercheval spoke of politics at the dinner and voiced their opinion that another topic might have been more appropriate for the occasion.
Democrat Party office holders, candidates and party members on hand were particularly offended as there was no way for them to respond to what he said in his address. Metro News is part of the West Virginia Radio Corporation, owned by Greer Industries which is owned by staunch Republican John Raese. Raese, an often times unsuccessful candidate for state political offices in the state, is in effect Kercheval's boss.
Chamber Director Sherry Lambert indicated that Kercheval was instructed to "not be political," with his address, but evidently chose to disregard that request.
Early voting in the 2014 General Election will begin today at the Lewis County Courthouse Office of Voter's Registration. The office is located on the first floor of the Lewis County Courthouse, last room on the right. Voting by all registered Lewis County voters may take place during weekday hours between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. and on Saturdays, Oct. 25 and Nov. 1, from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Nov. 1 is the last date before the election that voters can take advantage of early voting.
Of course, voters may also choose to cast their ballots at their regular voting precincts on Tuesday, Nov. 4 between the hours of 6:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Lewis County Clerk Mary Lou Myers has announced that absentee ballots for county residents who will be out of county or who have a disability and are unable to go tot he polls on Nov. 4, Election Day, have been mailed. Applications for absentee ballots by mail must be made no later than Wednesday, Oct. 29 and the last day that absentee ballots can be mailed to voters is on the 29th.
Voters in the General Election will be choosing a U.S.Senator, member of the House of Representatives, State Senator, House of Delegates representative, Circuit Judge, Prosecuting Attorney, and County Commissioner.
Candidates for the U.S. Senate include: Shelley Moore Capito - R, Natalie Tennant - D, Bob Henry Baber - Mountain, John S. Buckley - Libertarian and Phil Hudok - Constitution.
Candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives include: Alex X. Mooney - R, Nick Casey - D, Davy Jones - Libertarian and Ed Rabel - Independent.
Candidates for the State Senate include: Michael L. Queen - R, Mike Romano - D and Patrick S. Smith - Libertarian .
Candidates for the House of Delegates include: James R. Atchison - R and Peggy Donaldson Smith - D.
Candidates for Circuit Judge include: Jacob E. Reger - R and Kurt W. Hall - D.
Candidates for Prosecuting Attorney include: Christina Flanigan - R, and Lea Anne Hawkins - D.
The sole candidate for Lewis County Commission is Patrick Boyle - D.
In the last off-year General Election, 5,339 voters cast ballots in the county for a voter turn-out percentage of 60.59%, among the highest in the state. It is anticipated that this year's election may draw even a larger number of voters due to the races for Circuit Judge and Prosecuting Attorney. As of Tuesday, there were 9,475 registered voters in Lewis County, 664 more that were registered in the last off-year General Election held in 2010.
For more information on the election or voting requirements contact the Lewis County Voter Registration Office by calling 304-269-8215.