BRADSHAW —  First the “Pride of West Virginia” West Virginia University marching band, and now, the state Public Service Commission ... the town of Bradshaw is becoming a go-to location for major events in McDowell County.

The PSC entered an order on Friday, scheduling two public hearings in the Bradshaw Community Room in town hall, 10002 Marshall Highway in Bradshaw at 1 and again at 6 p.m., on Wednesday Nov. 5, according to a press release from the PSC. The subject of the public hearings is American Electric Power’s request before the PSC for a rate increase.

“The commission did not find a hearing location that would accommodate more than 50 people in Iaeger, McDowell County,” according to the order. “The town of Bradshaw community room can accommodate 100-plus people for a public comment hearing.”

“In the meantime, anyone who wishes to write us with their concerns (can do so by writing): Public Service Commission of West Virginia, P.O. Box 812, Charleston, WV 25323. They can also file their comments online at: (www.psc.state.wv.us). Click on ‘Submit a comment,’” according to Karen Hall, public information specialist for the PSC.

The issue of PSC meetings in McDowell County emerged last week when State Delegate Clif Moore, D-McDowell stated in a letter to the editor of the Bluefield Daily Telegraph that Michael A. Albert, chairman of the PSC had told him that Albert “feared for his safety” at a PSC hearing in Iaeger following a prolonged snow event that left people in western McDowell County without electricity.

Moore related his version of the phone conversation with Albert, and in a letter to the editor published on Friday, Albert denied saying anything negative about the people of McDowell County in the telephone conversation.

“At no time did I degrade or criticize the people of McDowell or Mercer counties, nor would I,” Albert wrote. “None of the fiery language contained in the letter from Mr. Moore to the editor of this newspaper or in your Sept. 10, editorial came from me.”

Conversely, Moore stood by his original categorization of the content of his conversation with Albert in a telephone conversation Friday morning after reading Albert’s remarks.

In addition to the two public hearings in Bradshaw, there will be two additional public hearings on the same issue the following day, Thursday, Nov. 6, also at 1 and 6 p.m., but at the Mercer County Courthouse in Princeton.

— Contact Bill Archer at barcher@bdtonline.com

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