Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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December 30, 2012

Fishing club off the hook

— Tom Cole had his annual Christmas party again this year. Cole asked party goers to once again donate to the Bluefield Union Mission. This year the event raised more than $20,000 to help the local charity.

Three local businesses — Grant’s Supermarkets, First Century Bank and Cole Chevrolet donated more than $10,000 and the rest came from other local businesses and individuals. These businesses give back to the community though the Union Mission to help those in need. Craig Hammond and the folks down there provide a wonderful service for our area.

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Tom Childress, member of the Tazewell Country Board of Supervisors, has pulled a hat trick for the Falls Mills Fishing Club. His persistence toward resolving the club’s problems has paid off.

On Dec. 18, Childress received a letter from Gary F. Martel, deputy director of the Bureau of Wildlife Resources, Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. Martel began his letter by stating that he hoped that he and Childress could work together to dispel some of the rumors that continue to occur. Martel emphasized that his department has no intentions of interfering with the ownership or operation of the club. The only item that will change in any way will be the enforcement of the requirement that anglers possess a valid Virginia fishing license.

 According to the letter, the “Catch-out Pond Permit that the club did possess is not intended for operations such as fishing clubs, and was apparently issued in error.” The deputy director did state that, “If the club chooses to stock fish, the department issues a ‘free’ stocking authorization which may be obtained from the Marion Regional Office.”

Martel noted, that “we may not even require this, dependent upon the species being stocked.”

It sounds like Childress has found a way to save the club and has gotten them, as they say, “off the hook.”

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My Uncle John Harris said that there are two things every man should have — a Henry Disston hand saw and a Plumb claw hammer. Henry Disston, an immigrant from England, began making the famous hand saws in Philadelphia is 1833. I think the famed handsaws are no longer manufactured.

At one time Plumb hammers were also manufactured in Philadelphia. The brand is still around but no longer made in the United States. The last Plumb hammers I saw were marked “Plumb since 1854 — made in China.”

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We enjoyed a Chinese Christmas. Some of the gifts were made in other foreign countries but China seemed to be dominate country of origin. I’m not so sure we make anything in the U.S. anymore. The famed Lionel trains since 1900 — you guessed it — now made in China. It’s time Santa rehired some American elves.

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Last year Sarah Brady, Ashley Cruise, Cody Hatfield and Nicole Gabe formed the anti-bullying group “Be Golden” at Graham High School. Bullying is an increasing problem in schools nationwide and the group encourages students to “do unto others as you would have done to you.”

Brady, now a senior at Bluefield High School, has formed another group on the West Virginia side and the concept has now spread to other schools.

Be Golden recently sponsored another noble effort. The group has asked many local folks to sign sympathy cards to send to the people in New Town, Conn. If you would like to sign a card, contact Alice Ann Sarver at AAKSarver@gmail.com. There is no doubt that the holidays have been tough for the people of New Town. A kind word may make a difference.

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“... All I can think of is thank God and Greyhound you’re gone ...” EPA chief Lisa Jackson has left the building and I suspect that coal people are singing the Roy Clark hit. I don’t think she would want to hear the encore.

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There you have it, a few comments on items of interest to the area. I wish you a blue sky New Year. We have lost a number of wonderful people in our area this past year — Marsha Mead, Steve Lilly, and many others. Good-bye — we will all miss you.

Wilson Butt, a resident of Bluefield, is a retired Department of Highways official.

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