Where Facts And Controversy In The News Come Together In Truth

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

WV Coal Company Flexes Its Muscle To Block Family Cemetery Right Of Way

No Access To Graveyard Defies Families Rights And WV Law by, Jack Swint & Sam Webber WestVirginiaNews@gmail.com
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"Those are my ancestors buried on that mountain. Many think we West Virginians are poor simple-minded folk and can be walked on come what may. Cook blood runs through my veins as well as it does in the land in Boone County and in those grave sites on that mountainside. True West Virginians, unlike many Americans, hold on to their heritage and honor it"… spoken by Danny Cook, Boone County WV
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As first reported by the Coal Valley News in Madison WV… Danny Cook, of James Creek, tried to access his family’s historical cemetery dating back to the Civil War and found the road intentionally blocked. "This wasn’t the first time," Cook said. Back on June 30th, he had taken a photographer with him and they could not get through. This graveyard has been in their family since the 1800s.
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They discovered that the Coal Company, Horizon LLC, is responsible for the strip mining that has blocked the access road from James Creek to the family owned property.

Cook told the newspaper, "I talked to a guy from the DEP and a guy with Horizon on the 30th and they told me that they did have Lindytown-side open but had to keep James Creek side closed because of work on the strip mine." But, when he attempted to visit the graveyard from the Lindytown side it was blocked off too. According to Cook, "The only access road to the cemetery is through the mine site itself and the entrance to the mine site is at Wharton."
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"Those are my ancestors buried on that mountain" Danny Cook stated, "Many think we West Virginians are poor simple-minded folk and can be walked on come what may. Cook blood runs through my veins as well as it does in the land in Boone County and in those grave sites on that mountainside. True West Virginians, unlike many Americans, hold on to their heritage and honor it. Do I think coal mining is bad? Of course not. I am the son of a coal miner, as were both my grandfathers on the Cook side of my family and White side."
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Cook goes on to say that, "My father worked hard to support his family with the black rock." His grandfather, was one of the original "Red Necks" who fought for coal as a way of life. The Cooks helped shape much of that part of Boone County. "They worked the land with their own sweat and tears, farming and mining. But people tend to forget that. They even forgot about war hero's buried there like "Chappy" Cook, pictured to the left, a man brave enough to fight for freedom on the side of the Union during the Civil War."
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Has this state become so greedy that they have forgotten those who have built it. Or, maybe it’s the out of state miners who come in knowing nothing of West Virginian History. "I am here to tell you, I am not an ignorant hillbilly, I am well educated and what is being done is wrong. Anyone who thinks otherwise are the greedy fools. So blinded by the green in that little black rock they don’t care about what they do to others."
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"This country needs coal," according to Cook, "but at what price. My heritage? I THINK NOT! And those who mask their names and speak badly about others are cowards. If you were a true West Virginian you would not hide behind a disguise and speak wrongly against another."
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The only thing the family wants is adequate access to the graveyard. "They won’t let our families go up because of the blasting," he said. Cook and his family frequently visit the graves of his fifth great grandfather, civil war veteran William Chap, who is buried on the mountain.
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"My sixth great grandfather and four other relatives are buried about fifty yards from where the big cemetery is. I enjoy going to these cemeteries to take care of them and visit with my family and I have been blocked from doing this now." Cook says he is asking that the mining operation reopens and maintain the access road to these family cemeteries. "We want the company to open both these routes so people on the James Creek side and the Lindytown and Twilight side can get to the cemeteries where their loved ones are buried," he said.
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Horizon Coal Company did not return our calls. To date, they have not made any attempt to obey the state statute or families wishes…
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According to West Virginia State Law, article 37-13A-1, "Access of certain persons to cemeteries and graves located on private land. For the purposes set forth in section two of this article, the state recognizes that the owners of private land on which a cemetery or graves are located have a duty to allow ingress and egress to the cemetery or graves by family members, close friends and descendants of deceased persons buried there, by any cemetery plot owner, or by any person engaging in genealogy research who has given reasonable notice to the owner of record or to the occupant of the property or to both the owner and occupant. The access route may be designated by the landowner if no traditional access route is obviously visible by a view of the property."

In Closing, Danny Cook and his family only ask for what they have had for years, access to their graveyard and relatives buried there. Horizon Coal Company is defying their request, and WV law, just because they feel they can since strip mining makes tons of money and money outranks state residents.
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Officials and mainstream media need to step up and resolve this ASAP. Stand behind the people who have lived and died making WV their home.
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This article, and picture, was made possible by the Coal Valley News who first reported this story and are continuing to cover the Cook families ordeal.
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http://coalvalleynews.com/bookmark/3060559
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http://climategroundzero.org/2009/08/protecting-the-cook-family-cemeteries/
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End Of Story....
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Jack Swint & Sam Webber
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E-Mail Us At: WestVirginiaNews@gmail.com
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Recommended News Websites:
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The WV Examiner
http://www.examinewv.com/

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7 comments:

Anonymous said...

EXCELLENT! WAKE UP WEST VIRGINIA!!!!!

Anonymous said...

CLIMATE GROUND ZERO is covering the same horrible story. it is heart-breaking for so many including the tourists who love to go to West Virginia. You are destroying America.
Read ROBERT REDFORD'S pleas. GREED is destroying AMERICA.
WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE PUSHING IT?

R. Jones said...

If this is the same Horizon LLC company, theyre records at the WV Secretary of States Office looks like a few dummy corporations set up in Marmet WV under SYNERGY LLC which is really a company called PARKSTONE ENERGY which is owned by MERCED PARTNERS LIMITED in Minnetonka MN.

Guess who is at the root of it all?? Massey Coal Co

Anonymous said...

It may be so for "true West Virginians". However, the question is:

"IS EARL RAY TOMBLIN, PRESIDENT SENATE OF WEST VIRGINIA, A TRUE WEST VIRGINIAN?"

(May I use your quote?)

" I THINK NOT!"

Anonymous said...

This is pure destruction for money. It is extremely sad Obama is not controlling these politicians that are on the take with no conscience at all.
Green Planet? Not if Tomblin and his kind grab it fast enough.

jessica said...

The access route may be designated by the landowner if no traditional access route is obviously visible by a view of the property."
___________________
Jessica
No Credit Checks instant Payday Loans

Anonymous said...

That is insanity Jessica! If someone were to block your access to your Mother's grave, are you supposed to hike up your dress and carry your kids through the trenches to get there? Don't even talk about the dynamiting and explosions blowing your eardrums out. (how about some flying stones in the kids' eyes as well?)
Abusive, money-grabbing politicians. West Virginians or not, it must STOP!

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