Senator Manchin’s Staff Sees No Movement on Birthplace of Rivers National Monument

At the December 15th Pocahontas County Commission meeting, Senator Joe Manchin’s Regional Coordinator, Peggy Hawse, made an appearance and while there answered Commissioner Jamie Walker’s question about the proposed Birthplace of Rivers National Monument. First you will hear Commissioner Walker’s question and then Peggy’s response.

“The National Monument in the Cranberry Wilderness, do you know if there’s any movement on that?” asked Commissioner Walker.

“There’s no movement to our knowledge at all” replied Hawse. “Certainly the Senator has gotten letters from people for it, people against it. To his knowledge there has been no movement. And certainly I know you all have written letters as well, and he has received those. So he’s listening to what the people want, what you all are saying. Now what the President might do on his own…but no, going through Congress at this point, to my knowledge there is not.”

Hawse went on to say that before a new National Park is proposed, that has to have public hearings and be approved by Congress, but she did not think all that was required for a National Monument. She talked about how public opposition and Congress recently prevented a National Park near Seneca Rocks.

Cynthia Gurreri of the Pocahontas County Arts Council presented the Council’s report to the Commission. What follows is a small sample of her report.

“We want to start off by saying thank you so much for your support, even though it was a little bit less than we wanted; we got through the year and had some great projects” said Cynthia. “This year was our 24th annual Pioneer Days Art Show. That in itself tells you that we have been around awhile doing that, and we are very proud of that. When I started with the Arts Council about 12 years ago, that was the only public event we sponsored.  This year we sponsored that and three gallery shows in Durbin and one at the Dirt Bean Studio and Gallery that just  opened up on Main Street in Marlinton. In addition to these art displays, of course we have ongoing classes at the Little Yellow House; we have ongoing classes at Durbin; and when Dirt Bean studio opened up, of course we also have classes there.”

Cynthia also talked about how the Arts Council works with the schools, including an at risk program at Marlinton Middle School.

In other actions, the Commissioners approved a request from Sheriff Jonese to look around for a used vehicle which possibly could be bought for the Process Server to use.

They received the presentation from the County’s Farmers Market updating them on the 2015 season and plans for the 2016 season

Tammie Alderman presented the Day Report Center’s monthly report in which she indicated the Center saved the County over $25,000 in November.

The Commission’s Counsel, Bob Martin discussed the ongoing efforts to complete a contract with Snowshoe Mountain Resort for the Sheriff’s Department to provide full time Deputies to provide law enforcement services at the resort.

The Commissioners set dates for the 2016 Board of Review and Equalization Hearings. These hearings will begin the first week in February and will be set at 1:00 p.m., except the final one will be during the 5:30 pm Commission Meeting on Tuesday, February 16, when the hearings will formally adjourn.

The meeting ended following payment of invoices.


Story By

Tim Walker

Tim is the WVMR News Reporter. Tim is a native of Maryland who started coming to Pocahontas County in the 1970’s as a caver. He bought land on Droop Mountain off Jacox Road in 1976 and built a small house there in the early 80’s. While still working in Maryland, Tim spent much time at his place which is located on the Friars Hole Cave Preserve. Retiring in 2011 as a Lieutenant with the Anne Arundel County Police Department in Maryland, Tim finally took the plunge and moved from Maryland to his real home on Droop Mountain. He began working as the Pocahontas County Reporter for Allegheny Mountain Radio in January of 2015.

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