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Letters to Editor for Web

A 'major' crime

that has not

been solved

I have been surprised by the fact that past Sheriff Ron Watkins has made a statement that all major crimes in Marion County had been solved by the end of his term. It should be noted that the investigation of one of the biggest robberies in Marion County is still open. Gress Equipment Co., in the Marion County Industrial Park, was robbed in July of 1999 of over $175,000 worth of tools, equipment and vehicles.

Even though a small amount of tools (one tool box and a few handtools) was recovered in a Carolina garage (which since has been torn down) and the new stake bed truck that was stolen was recovered off Davisson Run Road in Harrison County (burned), not one arrest has been made.

I would have thought of this as a major unsolved crime.

Tim Wagner

Clarksburg

Finding better ways to raise city revenue

The issue of using gray machines as a source of revenue for a city has been raised. If a city has exhausted its legal tax structure, it seems that the first place to seek relief is where to cut costs. Most cities are in this same situation. One city has reduced the working hours to avoid layoffs. Some reduce costs by reviewing the need for some projects.

Here, the issue of using gray machines as a source of revenue is under consideration. First, let us define what a gray machine means. Gray means bordering on black-market practices. (From Webster's Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary)

What does black-market mean? Black market means illicit trade in goods in violation of official regulations. (Same source)

Now these gray machines are designed just like the Las Vegas slot machines. They are strictly gambling machines. It has been found that when these machines are used by a community as a source of revenue, the morals or ethics of the community are diminished, i.e., the basic principles of right action are aborted.

How? It is a temptation to the homeowners -- they pay the taxes -- to gamble when they can ill-afford such a habit. They have to pay all taxes. It also has a negative influence on the younger generation.

It is an attempt by those in office, who have the responsibility to the people of running the city government, without placing it in debt, to resort to using gray machines. There are other ways that could be used. A study should be made to find such ways, other than gambling.

James Hood

Clarksburg

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