News briefs – October 19
Dunmore, W.Va. – In today’s news briefs:
The United States Forest Service investigated a drug case which has resulted in charges against a Dunmore man. According to a press release from William J. Ihlenfeld II, US Attorney for the Northern District of West Virginia, a federal grand jury in Elkins indicted Archie Ray Arbogast, age 36, on two felony counts. The indictment, issued on Tuesday, charges Arbogast with one count of Possession of Material Used in the Manufacture of Methamphetamine and one count of Possession of Pseudoephedrine to be Used in the Manufacture of Methamphetamine on September 25, 2012, in Randolph County, West Virginia. If convicted, ARBOGAST faces up to 10 years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine on each count.
The West Virginia Department of Agriculture is investigating the possible spraying of herbicide into Knapps Creek. Pocahontas County Department of Highways officials told AMR News that trained personnel sprayed herbicide along Route 84 in August. In several areas, affected vegetation lies directly adjacent to Knapps Creek. Herbicide manufacturer instructions state that the chemicals are toxic to fish and should not be applied in areas where surface water is present. Knapps Creek is a reproducing trout stream and a popular destination for sport fishermen.
Terry Lauchart, regional supervisor with the Department of Agriculture in Charleston, notified AMR News last week that an inspector had been assigned to investigate the possible herbicide misuse.
The investigator is Abraham Jordan, with the Department of Agriculture’s Lewisburg office. Jordan contacted AMR News and said he would like to speak with anyone who observed herbicide spraying along Route 84. Anyone who witnessed the spraying in August is asked to contact Jordan by phone at 304-667-3247 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For photographs of apparent herbicide-affected areas, visit alleghenymountainradio.org.
What is killing the white pine in our area?
The investigation is underway on this mystery.
What is killing the white pine? This is District Ranger Patrick Sheridan from the James River and Warm Springs Ranger Districts. “What is killing the white pine in western Virginia?” was first asked by Virginia Department of Forestry forester John Wright approximately 5 years ago. Since then others have confirmed what John had observed in Highland, Bath, and Alleghany counties. That white pines, regardless of age, were declining and dying from an unknown cause. The cause is still under investigation, but a relationship between a scale insect and a fungus may be at the source. Many entomologists and pathologists are now involved in the mystery. Naturally occurring pure stands of white pine are rare in our area, but white pine exists as a noticeable component in most of our oak-hickory and other hardwood forests. A big concern is that any loss of the natural white pine growing in our mountains and valleys will lead to further issues with the explosion of non-native invasive species. For Allegheny Mountain Radio news, this is District Ranger Patrick Sheridan