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Thursday, June 5, 2008

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CONSOL Energy Vice President of Central Appalachia Operations Jack Richardson, second from left, presents Buchanan County Public Service Authority Director Darrell Cantrell, left, with a check for $300,000 representing a donation toward the Osborne Mountain water project. Also pictured are CONSOL Energy Land Agent Philip Lowe, second from right; and Buchanan County Board of Supervisors member Berlin Viars, who represents the Garden District.


CONSOL Provides $300,000 for Osborne Mountain Water Project

      CONSOL Energy has announced the donation of $300,000 toward the Osborne Mountain water project in Buchanan County.
      “We are pleased to help provide funding for much needed public water service to the Osborne Mountain area of Buchanan County,” said CONSOL Energy Central Appalachia Operations Vice President Jack Richardson.
     The funds will be used to initiate a project in the Osborne Mountain area which when complete will serve 33 homes, according to Buchanan County Public Service Authority Director Darrell Cantrell.
      “This is probably the best location for money to be spent on water service in the entire county,” Cantrell said. “Every customer in that area is without sufficient water.”
      Currently water is hauled to homes on the mountain and the project made possible by CONSOL’s donation will not only provide water service directly to homes there, but it also opens the area to future development.
      It is anticipated construction on the project will begin in mid-June. The project is expected to be complete in September.
      “This money enables us to get to an area of the county which otherwise would be hard to get to,” Cantrell concluded.

For more of the story, see the print edition of the Mountaineer, on sale at newsstands now.  To subscribe to the Mountaineer, call 276-935-2123 today.

Jury Selection Complete As RICO Trial Begins
Defense Attorney Likens County Officials to 'Mafia'

by Scotty Wampler
Staff Reporter     
      Twelve jurors were chosen from a field of 24 Tuesday as Buchanan County's RICO case against several parties involved in the Operation Big Coon Dog scandal got underway in federal court.
      Two plaintiff witnesses gave detailed testimony on the stand before the court adjourned for the day, including Joe Stephens and Terry Clevinger, both named as defendants in the original suit filed three years ago.
      Full coverage of this week's trial will be published in next week's edition of the Mountaineer.
      The county's RICO lawsuit seeks unspecified dollar amounts of damages stemming from the May 2002 flood at Hurley which caused some $30 million in damages and the subsequent actions of public officials and private contractors in a bid-rigging and bribery scheme which was the focus of a federal indictment.
      In his opening statements, defense attorney Timothy McAfee, representing Stephens, K.J. Stephens and Associates, LLC and Vansant Lumber, likened Buchanan County's attempt to sue for reimbursement of the flood cleanup effort money to mob tactics.
      "In this case, the corrupt organization is Buchanan County," he told the jury. "It acted just like the mafia. In this case, the geographical location of this mob is Buchanan County."

For more of the story, see the print edition of the Mountaineer, on sale at newsstands now.  To subscribe to the Mountaineer, call 276-935-2123 today.


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