Shawn Dunbrack Named New 911 Director For Pocahontas

Marlinton, WV – Pocahontas County has a new 911 Director. County Commission President David Fleming made the announcement during the Commission meeting Tuesday night.

“All very good candidates, it was a very tough choice; that’s why it took longer than we thought it would” he says. “At this point we wish to extend the opportunity to Shawn Dunbrack to be the Director for 911. We’ll have more information on that as we work out the details.”

Dunbrack was one of four candidates interviewed for the job. The other three are Randy Stemple, Mark Jonese, and James Lewis. Dunbrack has been serving as the Deputy Director for the Pocahontas Office of Emergency Management under Director Melvin Martin. Current 911 Director Bill McLaughlin is retiring.

In other business, Commissioner Fleming presented a draft of a letter to the Bureau of Land Management. This follows a letter of response sent to the Commission from National Forest Supervisor Clyde Thompson, regarding the possibility of gas drilling on National Forest land.

“So I drafted a letter in accordance with Mr. Thompson’s response” says Fleming, “that essentially indicated that the Forest Service has jurisdiction over surface rights, but the Bureau of Land Management has jurisdiction over down hole drilling operations; and therefore the Forest Service has no jurisdiction in this matter.”

“That’s a way of just sort of passing the responsibility on down the line” says Commissioner Martin Saffer.

Thompson’s letter can be found at this website in the news archive. After reading the letter, Fleming made a motion to send it to Bob Abbey, Director of the Bureau of Land Management. The motion passed unanimously.

In a related action, the Commissioners also voted to send a letter to other County Commissions throughout the state urging them to assert their authority as county representatives whether they support gas drilling or not. Copies of both letters can also be found at this website.

Commissioner Martin Saffer says an expert in the legal ramifications of this issue will address the Commission next week

“The Commission’s going to have a special meeting with Professor Bob Bastress who’s coming from the West Virginia [University] College of Law to advise us on all the legal aspects of the Marcellus Shale” says Saffer. “And to advise the County Commission on its rights and authority, if any, that it might have and any actions it might take.”

That meeting is Tuesday, August 23rd at 9am. Dr. (See-la) Cyla Allison also gave the Commissioners a copy of the Memorandum of Understanding signed by the Monroe County Commissioners and Texas based Gordy Oil Company to drill for gas in Monroe County. She asserts that the document contains misleading information about the impacts of drilling on that county.

The Commission also took the following actions:
Approved the transfer of Milestone Communications to the Spruce Knob-Seneca Rocks Telephone company

Passed a motion allowing Prosecuting Attorney Donna Meadows Price to order an onsite storage unit to store overflow records from her office

Wrote a letter in support of Region 4 Planning and Development, and passed a motion to designate the county’s Safe and Secure Rural School funds go to the regional Resource Advisory Council for funding of county projects – Commissioner Saffer voted against both items

And authorized Commissioner Saffer to place advertisements in the local newspaper for the the sale of several storage tanks at the East Fork Industrial Park in Frank.

Story By

Heather Niday

Heather is our Program Director and Traffic Manager. She started with Allegheny Mountain Radio as a volunteer deejay. She then joined the AMR staff in February of 2007. Heather grew up in the Richmond, Virginia, area and now lives in Arbovale, West Virginia with her husband Chuck. Heather is a wonderful flute player, and choir director for Arbovale UMC. You can hear Heather along with Chuck on Tuesday nights from 6 to 8pm as they host two hours of jazz on Something Different.

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