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CURRENT STORIES


Gun rally, music 'rave' don't worry police

by Jim Fisher

METRO EDITOR

CLARKSBURG -- Area police seem generally unconcerned about two local events, one featuring machine gun enthusiasts from across the country and the other a two-day electronic music "rave."

"Thunder in the Hills," a chance for machine gun and other automatic weapon owners to fire their guns, is scheduled today through Sunday at Salerno Brothers Quarry outside Shinnston.

The event's Web site also notes that attendees will be able to rent a number of automatic weapons to shoot. Despite the number of people and machine guns expected, police are not taking any extra precautions.

"We don't really have all that much information on it," said Harrison County Chief Deputy Albert Marano. "They had one last year and there were no reported problems."

Because there are so many federal restrictions on weapons capable of full automatic fire, the event's organizers are working in conjunction with a federally licensed manufacturer of machine guns.

Shinnston Police Chief Mike Secreto could not be reached for comment. State Police troopers were unaware of the event.

Police in Doddridge County also seem nonplussed about a weekend "rave" that is expected to draw about 5,000 people.

Phoenix 3 is a summer solstice festival planned for today through Sunday. It features about 100 disc jockeys on three stages and a laser light show.

The event hails itself as "rekindling the spark of electronic music culture and reuniting the region for an unforgettable event."

"I'm sure we will make our presence known over there when it's going on, but other than that, we don't have any extra plans," said Doddridge County Sheriff Denver Cox.

State Police troopers weren't even aware such an event was planned, according to a woman who answered the telephone at the West Union detachment.

Such events are sometimes linked to drugs, although they are not openly advertised. The festival flier specifically states "no weapons, glass containers, alcohol, drugs. ..."

In their fliers, as well as a pre-recorded phone message, promoters stress it's a fun-filled music weekend.

Raves usually feature electronic music, sometimes called electronica or techno, depending on the DJ's style. Techno has long enjoyed a wide underground following, but for the most part has not broken into the mainstream of rock radio.

While techno's roots are in early underground rap and "sampling," many DJs now prefer to follow in the style of European technopop that was extremely popular in dance clubs there in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Techno tends to have driving bass beats overlaid with heavy guitars, electronic sampling and digital sounds.

Metro Editor Jim Fisher can be reached at 626-1446 or by e-mail at jfisher@exponent-telegram.com