No brainer: Correctional center
annex needs a security system installed
It's an adjective that was used in describing
the security situation in the correctional complex annex of the Harrison
Magistrate Mark Gorby was referring to a couple
of incidents in which weapons were confiscated from individuals after they
left magistrate hearings.
Our circuit court judges have the protection of
armed sheriff's deputies and a metal detector for those entering the courtroom.
But as for our magistrates; well, they seem to be pretty much on their
own. Essentially, anyone off the street can pay a visit to one of them
simply by walking up some steps or taking a ride on an elevator.
Given the nature of their work, this situation
seems particularly out of kilter. After all, the magistrates are the ones
who often see individuals at their "freshest" following their arrests.
That's especially true for those who work the night
shifts and must frequently deal with domestic situations, protective orders
and more, and with individuals who are often intoxicated. As Gorby pointed
out, "We see people at their worst."
Concern about our magistrates' safety isn't
anything new; there's already been a fair share of waiting-room fights
and attempts by individuals to get at the magistrates. But the whole safety
issue was brought to light by a knife attack last month on a Morgan County
Let's hope we don't have to wait for that
to happen here; a security system (however modest) needs to be put in place.
Those appearing before a magistrate aren't always the nicest and most
understanding people in the world. And as for those who have had past,
unpleasant experiences with magistrates, well, people have been known to
It's a no-brainer.
This editorial reflects the opinion of the Exponent editorial
board, which includes William J. Sedivy, John G. Miller, Julie R. Cryser,
James Logue, Kevin Courtney and Cecil Jarvis.
Telegram Editorial, Tuesday, March 9, 1999
Support small business; it's the backbone
of our country
Small business has helped to make our nation great.
Today, the future of small business is being threatened by corporate mergers,
super store retailers and E-commerce (the Internet). For many cities and
towns across the U.S., the decline in locally-owned "Mom and Pop" retailers
We believe the health of our region is tied to the
health of small business. It is for our own good that each of us support
local retailers so that they may prosper and, in turn, our communities
will prosper as well.
We share the following analogy to demonstrate our point.
T owns used to grow around sites of commerce, business
opportunities, if you will. It doesn't matter what the commercial attraction
was - agriculture, coal, industrial or manufacturing.
With the commercial venture came many needs: the
need for homes, thus the need for carpenters, masons, which meant there
was a need for a lumber yard, which required some form of transportation
to deliver the wood, to build the houses and other structures.
As small towns grew, other needs became apparent
Ñ the need for doctors and nurses, school teachers, ministers, grocers,
and on and on.
When towns were small they enjoyed some independence
and survived on interdependence. A dollar spent at the grocery circulated
to the shoemaker, the dentist, the drug store, Suzie the baby-sitter or
to the local bank. The local bank, in turn, lent it back out to finance
more homes and more cars, and to finance expansion at the lumberyard which
created more jobs, and more dollars to circulate.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce still maintains that
one dollar turns over seven times in any community- and that is healthy
for the economy.
But as small towns grew, things became more complex.
Interstates and superhighways were built. As the population became more
mobile, some of these dollars began to flutter out of small towns. Airports
were built and suddenly our world became a much smaller place. Computers
introduced new technologies like the Internet and now our town is in competition
with the global economy.
Something else occurred. With fewer dollars in circulation,
small towns began experiencing cutbacks in employment and in spending and,
like a garden without water, they began to wither.
Some could compare this analogy to that of Clarksburg
and north central West Virginia in the 1980s. However, due to strong leadership
and dogged persistence of area residents, our region has remade itself
in a manner that will allow it to prosper in this new high-tech economy
of the new millennium.
There is one area of our American dream that is
still at risk. It can be found along any Main Street or downtown in the
U.S.A., and that is the decline of locally-owned Mom and Pop stores. From
grocers to hardware stores, from dress shops to shoe stores, from furniture
stores to pet shops, from restaurants to drug stores, and so on.
Consider this: A merchant wants to start a new business
in a small town, but wonders if it would be a wise investment. The new
business would create jobs and more dollars for circulation within the
town. It would even support the local Little League team and school fund-raiser.
The merchant's major concern is whether the townspeople
will purchase his wares. Can he compete against the Wal-Marts of the world?
If you were the merchant, what would you do?
The moral of the story is that we all need each
other. The butchers, the bakers, the candlestick makers and so on.
This is why we all must support locally-owned small business. When
we do, we are really helping ourselves and securing the future of our small
Telegram Editorial Board member