Logan County has taken it on the chin many times in my lifetime, from political corruption over the years, to the embarrassing worldwide viewed story of Megan Williams. In case you’ve put it out of your mind, like I’d like to do, she was the young black girl that was repeatedly raped and held captive in the Big Creek area. News organizations from around the world pounced on the courthouse proceedings, which followed the arrests of several individuals who were charged in the grizzly embarrassing mess.
So it is always with great pride when there is good news to share concerning my native county. From winning girls softball teams from Logan County to America’s Got Talent winner Eugene Landau Murphy to the recent naming of Logan High’s Zack Minnick as State Baseball Player of the Year — and everything in between — we seem to have had our fair share of winners over the years. Outstanding talents that some people may have forgotten about include Buffalo Creek’s all-pro NFL lineman Charlie Cowan, and Max Butcher, longtime pitcher with the Brooklyn Dodgers and other major league baseball squads, who also hails from the Man area. Chapmanville’s Danny Godby, who played with the Cincinnati Reds and St. Louis Cardinals, is another former pro ball player. There have been others that made it in movies and still more left Logan County and made it as musicians or entrepreneurs. Their stories can be told later.
For today’s purposes though, I wish to congratulate three of Logan County’s finest. The trio, which finished first, second and third in the West Virginia Trooper of the Year awards include Josh Honaker, Jared Brewer and Roger Glaspell. Honaker and Brewer, who were 1st and 2nd respectively, remain in the county. Glaspell recently left with his Logan County wife for the Clarksburg area to continue as a trooper. He was one of the easiest going state policemen I have ever met. Like Glaspell, Honaker and Brewer are prime examples of police officers who get the job done, but still demonstrate the good qualities of what children and others expect from the police. Other past winners of the award who either lived or still live in Logan County include former Sgt. Marty Allen in 1986, Sr. Trooper David Lemon in 1996, Timothy Krisik in 1995, Sr. Trooper Sean Wolfe in 1999, and Cpl. Charles Kuhn in 2012. I apologize if I have forgotten anyone.
Police officers are sometimes underappreciated, though they put their lives on the line on a daily basis. Too often we are reminded of this fact, when upon occasions; officers die in the line of duty. I’ve learned over the years that when many police officers graduate from the academy, several are sent to Logan as the county serves as a training ground for other parts of the state. The amount of crime, mostly drug related, and the number of arrests per capita, are alarming and require good police work from all agencies. And, yes, there seems to always be bad apples in all walks of life.
The award selection committee recently honored the three Logan troopers at their West Virginia Troopers Association Convention after reviewing and grading all nominations in a subjective manner. The award for outstanding overall performances during a specified year was for January of 2014 until January 2015.
Honaker received $1,500 for his first place finish, as well as a WVTA Trooper of the Year plaque. Second, third and fourth place winners received Trooper of the Year Achievement Awards and $250 each. While the monetary amounts may only be small tokens of gratitude, we, as Logan County citizens, should be thankful for the service of, not only our local police officers, but our armed forces as well. Sometimes, I believe we tend to take both of them for granted.
BITS AND PIECES
Well, it’s official, Logan Circuit Judge Roger Perry has retired and Logan Magistrate Jeff Lane will be leaving the basement of the courthouse June 30th for a truly HIGHER UP job on the third floor to a position of Probation Officer…..the rumor that Jeff is only leaving us because the third floor has windows and provides a better view may not be true…..at any rate, the ladies here will be putting on a going away party for the “musical’ magistrate on Tuesday, the 30th…..more about Magistrate Lane at a later date…..recently in Pikeville, Ky., I overheard a man telling another person that his son had been laid off from a coal mine there, and that the son had taken another job in Pittsburgh, Pa……the man said, “I don’t mind the drive there, except the part about going through West Virginia…..all I have to say about that is: each time I visit Pike County, Kentucky, I return to West Virginia feeling a heck of a lot more healthier and a heck of lot more intelligent…..I understand a longtime business located on Mud Fork is up for sale…..Leslie’s Market, owned by Leslie Bryant Jr., and before him, his father, is on the market for an asking price of $400,000, which also includes a car wash, rental properties and additional vacant land…..the store has been there for all of my lifetime, and that’s a long time…..the store, along with Baisden’s Gas Station/store, which now is Baisden’s Recycling, became our hangout, when the Island Creek company store closed at 5 p.m., and after it permanently closed and then burned…..Denver Mathis, who lived at 16 Mud Fork (Verdunville) as a child, recently told me the first company store there burned in either 1937 or 1938…..the 85-year-old veteran of the Korean War said he remembers when nobody had refrigerators and when fish were brought to the company store packed in ice…..he said when the fish were sold, store employees threw the blocks of ice out back of the store, where Denver retrieved the stuff in summertime to make ice water…..that story seems mighty fishy to me……he also relayed that people would place a sign in their windows for ice delivery truck drivers to see, and to know how much ice the resident wanted, 10 lb., 25 lb., etc…….and people think they lead hard lives today?…..I do not know what President Obama’s legacy will be when he leaves office, but so far about the best thing he has done in my eyes is to make it mandatory that foods that feature artificial trans fats be eliminated…..why they were allowed to remain in foods so long is perplexing…..heart attacks are expected to be reduced by 33% or more…..the importation of elk into southern West Virginia may turn out to be a good thing, I don’t know…..DNR employee Terry Ballard said the legislature has passed a bill that makes it a $5000 fee plus costs to illegally kill an elk…..I read where it will be 10 to 15 years before there will be enough elk population for the animals to be legally hunted…..since elk are more like cattle in that they like to graze, mountain top removal sites will serve them well—and make them easy kill since there are no trees there…..QUOTE OF THE WEEK: “A gentleman is someone who can play the banjo, and doesn’t.”—Mark Twain…..I always enjoy talking with older people, who can appreciate the past more so than younger folks who have full lives ahead of them; one such guy is Mill Creek’s Louie Chambers, whom I shall refer to as a person of great interest…..FINAL NOTE: I’ve never had to go to war and watch my fellow buddies die beside of me. I’ve never had to toil under mountains of earth or in water waste deep. But my father, like many others around here, did. My dad, who was a decorated World War II veteran, once told me, “Son, I want you to know that I named you after the General, not the President.” I guess that means things weren’t too good around here in the year of 1953 when I was born and when Eisenhower was President.