Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia on June 23, 1974 · Page 5
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Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia · Page 5

Charleston, West Virginia
Issue Date:
Sunday, June 23, 1974
Page 5
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Page 5 article text (OCR)

WWDeplores 'Cruel' Evictions WASHINGTON - The United Mine Workers of America (UMW) has accused the Duke Power Co. or resorting to "cruel and inhuman 19th century coal operator tactics" in evicting eight coal mining families from company-owned houses near the Brookside mine in Harlan County, Ky. Residents are among 19 miners Duke officials say they will fire for having been convicted of violating a court orderlimiting the number of pickets at the struck mine. ; All have appealed their convictions. The company waited over a month after their sentencing, UMW officials claim, to announce the firings and evictions. ; UMW President Arnold Miller denounced the evictions as ·"one more vicious attempt on the part of Duke Power Co. to in- limidate the Brookside miners rather than negotiate a settlement. "Duke Power has denied these men the right to earn a living for almost a year. Now, Duke is trying to take their homes away from them. You'd think Duke Power would have some kind of feeling, for these miners as human beings, but evidently they don't." Coal Poverty Beats Fortune To Tennessee Portugal Puts Restrictions on Media Senu* LISBON - A eoatiauiflg war in Africa aad a faltering eeoaoBay led Portugal's aew government Saturday to*order severe restrictions on ail news media. Tbe restrictions, to be ad- by a committee of seven oilers «f the arcaed forces *e v «" -awe severe than was t^u " -ted =» few days ago. Incitt ~atit to strik . work stoppages aad demon- stratwas not authorized by the law are included among the jafraeikws. The aew regulations were approved Friday night at a eabiaet meeting aad will re- maia in existence aloag with the committee until a permanent press law is promulgated. The comrniUf'e will have authority over ifae press, radio, television, theater aad cinema, but its decisions may be appealed to the courts. The government declared that it wished to guarantee effective freedom of expression but wanted it done "without iateraal v-M*vulsioas that could affect the peace, progress aad well-aeiflg of the na- tioa." The government added that it wanted to avoid "perturbations of public opinion by ideological aggression" tha't hinder the execution of its pro- gram. According to the regulations, it is legitimate to discuss and criticize political and religious doctrines, laws and acts of public administration and the manner ia which they are carried out. New York Times Service PETROS, Tenn. - For decades this small Morgan County community in the mountains of east Tennessee, and many others like it have been known for the coal they produce and the poverty they harbor. Somehow, much of the fortune of coal mining never reached the multitudes of local citizens the way the poverty did. And in recent months a few of the reasons as to why have come to light. Coal and land are the largest commodities in the area. But until recently the coal landowners and coal mining companies paid very little into the local county tax purses in exchange for what they have taken away. Recent research into the ownership of land in a five- county area in this region of central Appalachia indicated that companies and corporations controlled 34 per cent of the land in those counties in 1970, but paid only 3.6 per cent of the property taxes. Half of the companies holding these large parcels of land are based outside the state of Tennessee -- one in Britain. The researchers, sponsored by a student health group in Nashville, also made two other important findings, which state and county officials have . not refuted. . First, despite a provision in the Tennessee Constitution stating that "all property, real, personal or mixed, shall be subject to taxation," minerals, such as coal, had not been taxed before 1972 by counties in this region of the state. Secondly, in many instances taxes were not being collected on all personal property (trucks, bulldozers and other mining equipment) of coal mining companies because incomplete tax reports were being accepted by county tax assessors without being checked for accuracy. This was attributed to understaffed county tax offices, tax officials with minimum expertise in this field and some alleged instances of looking the other way. Computer To Check Budget RIPLEY -- Beginning July 1, the Jackson County Board of Education will use the Wood County school system's computer. William Hamilton, assistant superintendent, said all conversion procedures are going well and everything will be ready by July 1. When the records are computerized, the board will be able to determine the exact status of its budget at any time during the year. Reports will give breakdowns as to funds committed from various accounts, but not yet expended. Currently he board does not know fund expenditures until the check is actually drawn. At times, all funds within an account have been committed by heard action, but the financial statement shows a large surplus because funds have not actually been spent, Hamilton said. A rather shocking example of this is that on June 30 the board's financial statment will show a surplus of $38,000 for elementary and secondary teachers. In actuality, he said, $139,000 will be needed from these accounts to meet payrolls in July and August. This money is committed but does not appear on the books. The Jackson County Board of Education is having problems balancing its budget and closing out the books for the fiscal year due to a failure of people" to pay their personal property taxes. The administrative staff in the board office had been directed to check the county's tax books and report on the sheriff's efforts in collecting delinquent and overdue taxes remittable to the board of education. A great deal of the money due is from oil and gas operations during .1972 and 1973. * THE RESEARCHERS, headed by John Gavento, a Rhodes scholar, found nearly the same situations in each of Tennessee's five major coal- producing counties -- Anderson, Campbell, Claiborne, Morgan and Scott -- all situated in this upper east Tennessee area. Simitar research by the same group in Kentucky, Virginia and West Virginia coal mining regions found many situations similar to those in Tennessee -- centralized corporate control of large parcels of land, low property.taxes and environmental destruction. "If we can't get them to stop strip mining and stop tearing up the environment, then we want them to pay their way," said J. W. Bradley, v/ho lives in Petros. Bradley, 43 years old, was an organizer in 1971 of Save Our .Cumberland Mountains, a group that was started to protest what it described as the low taxation of coal land and companies as well as the devastation of the mountain country here. But in nearby Clinton, an industry spokesman differs with Bradley and his constituents. "We pay all the taxes that courthouse across the street tells us to," said Exter Raines, manager of the Tennessee Land and Mining Co., a landholding company. His company, owned ,by a Connecticut family trust, has more than 50,000 acres of land in four counties. Raines, who is also spokesman for the independent coal operators association of Tennessee, said coal landowners and mining companies are being "suppressed just like the colored people," and "unjustly criticized." "Everything would work out fine if people would just leave us alone and let us get our work done," he added. Strong seat edge, with firmer edge coils, border wire,locked edge. top buy on THE LAND company that has been criticized most is the American Assn. Ltd., which is based in London. Like other large landholding companies, American Assn. does not mine for coal but leases its land for mining by others. It owns about 50,000 acres of land in Claiborne and Campbell counties, and according to Dun Bradstreet its total landholding in the region is 80,000 acres. In addition to being a major absentee landowner in the region, American Assn. is alleged to be a major slumlord. In response to inquiries about criticism from local residents, A. E. Funk Jr., American's local general manager, rejected a request for an interview. "I've been interviewed for six damned years on this situation, on this same repetitious stuff, and you can just say I refused to be interviewed and I'm just damned tired of this stuff." he said. "We don't set the taxes." Funk added. "The tax assessor, the state tax office and the independent assessors set the taxes. You have a group of people who have been sent here from Brooklyn. London and all over who are just opposed to strip mining. It's always the same story and it has no validity whatsoever/' Tax records show that in 1970 the American Assn. paid $19,881 in property taxes on some 45,000 acres of land it owned in Claiborne county in Tennessee. That «$ less than 30 cents an acre: ·I SUMMER CERTIFIED *MLE Stearns Foster mattresses and box springs! Now is the time to take advantage of this quality buy from Stearns Foster and get the best night's rest ever! These sale pieces each contain all the quality features of Stearns Foster mattresses and box springs.. Hurry in for the best bedding buy ever! Offset coils, keeps coil from turning and increa- I ses resiliency of the unit ° TWIN MATTRESS REG. OR BOX SPRINGS 84.95 FULL MATTRESS REG OR BOX SPRINGS 94.95 QUEEN REG . 60"c80" set 289.95 KING REG. 77"x80" set 399.00 SALE 69.95 SALE 79.9 5 each SALE 239.95 set SALE 329.95 * Sleep Shop--Third Floor Inside cushion to 2"-3" of thick cotton felt quilt ing for'added comfort. Locked edge of cloth strip prevents filling frorr working into innerspring unit. 15% off storage units by Horner ... stretch your floor space save! Spacious storage units, sturdily built from Pecan and jeatures.brass pulls. All units feature Pecan backs and formica on drop lid of desk. All larger units 34" wide x 17" deep x 76" high. 15% OFF FURNITURE--Third Floor M A H U F A C T U 1 I N G C O . save $200.00 on this superb solid cherry bedroom! One of the most significant buys of our Summer Certified Sale ... from Crawford of Jamestown. Seven drawer 60" triple dresser, landscape mirror, five drawer chest on chest and full size headboard. Choose ... Solid cherry brandywine finish. Quantities are limited, so hurry in! 4-PIECES REG. PRICE 699.00 SALE 499.00 Optional cabinet night stand sale price FURNITURE--Third floor H.»5 V SUMMER t CERTIFIED I

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