Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Columns

May 4, 2011

Buckner files appeal with high court

Mercer County resident Gene Buckner has filed an appeal with the West Virginia Supreme Court in regard to the decision disallowing him a seat on the Mercer County Commission.

Buckner won the Noveamber 2010 general election for a vacancy on the Mercer County Commission, but was ruled ineligible to accept the position because he had moved from the district he was elected to represent. Buckner also lost a Circuit Court appeal.

In the appeal the Circuit Court ruled that Mike Vinciguerra was properly seated on the commission because he received the highest number of votes of properly qualified candidates on the day of the general election. The Supreme Court’s take on the case will be interesting.

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Some may question why Osama bin Laden may have been buried at sea. Vile wretches do not deserve remembrance among those who choose democracy and freedom over hatred and tyranny. Osama bin Laden will not be enshrined anywhere on the surface of the earth.

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I asked Margaret Phillips, a church secretary here in Bluefield, if she had enjoyed the royal wedding. With delight she replied, “I enjoyed it three or four times.” Margaret was born and raised in England and for her it was a perfect day in her homeland. I confess, I also enjoyed the event. It was a happy time and our countries desperately needed to share a happy moment, even if an ocean separates us.

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Bluefield was the host for the Scottish Rite Conference of West Virginia on April 30. Scottish Rite Masons from all over the state gathered at the Bluefield Shrine Center in South Bluefield to hold their annual conference. The day-long affair was hosted by Bluefield Valley of the Scottish Rite Southern Jurisdiction, Orient of West Virginia Scottish Rite. H. Jack Yost Jr., 33rd Degree, presided over the meeting. T.A. “Buddy” Warden serves as the president of the Scottish Rite Conference.

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My wife taught school in Tazewell County for a few decades. She had many students and she remembers many of them. Back when the little Falls Mills Elementary School was open and a very important part of the community, several of those youngsters made a lifelong impression upon her.

I recall the days when tales of a particular school day were related in detail at our supper table. Unbeknown to those kids, they were often a topic of conversation and entertainment at our evening meal. It was sad to hear that one had passed away at such a young age. My wife and I will always remember a little boy from Falls Mills who was full of life — and sometimes just a wee bit of mischief. We will all miss Andy Poshia.

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U.S. Rep. Nick J. Rahall recently, D-W.Va., spoke at the 2011 International Transportation and Economic Development Conference (I-TED) in Charleston. The congressman noted that earlier this year, two strange Washington bedfellows — the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the AFL-CIO — came together after President Obama’s State of the Union address to say, “Whether it is building roads, bridges, high-speed broadband, energy systems or schools, these projects not only create jobs and demand for businesses, they are also investments in building the modern infrastructure our country needs to compete in a global economy.”

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After mentioning that unlikely alliances are forming because many agree that a strong, reliable and consistent federal investment in our nation’s infrastructure will create American jobs and keep our economy moving throughout the 21st century, Rahall also said that, “Without a doubt, the surest pathways to opportunity and success are America’s railways, roadways and runways.”

He noted that, “Congress has long recognized the critical link between transportation investments and economic development. We know that for every $1 billion invested in transportation infrastructure, we create or sustain 35,000 jobs and generate $6.2 billion in economic activity. Simply put, these are investments in America’s future that create and expand economic opportunity today.”

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Tuscaloosa, Ala., young mayor, Walter “Walt” Maddox, has become widely known due to the chain of events that have occurred in the aftermath of one of the most severe weather related catastrophes in the history of the these United States.

Maddox was sworn in for his second term as Tuscaloosa’s 36th mayor in 2009. He earned his undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. The young Alabama mayor has exhibited an extraordinary ability to cope with the problems of the aftermath and render compassion and assistance to the suffering people. If his handling of the situation to date is any indication of his abilities, watch for this young man to rise in the political world

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There you have it, a few comments on items of interest to the area. Please have another blue sky day ... and if you happen to be lucky enough to spot a pink and white Lady’s slipper, Cypripedium reginae, please do not pick it, photograph the lovely blossom.

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

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