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Spirit of Jefferson Farmers Advocate
Charles Town, West Virginia
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April 18, 2018     Spirit of Jefferson Farmers Advocate
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April 18, 2018
 

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SPIRIT of JEFFERSON and FARMER'S ADVOCATE NEWS PAGE A3 Wednesday, April 18, 201S Deadline for 2018 W.Va. writing contest nearing SHEPHERDSTOWN - !/:i(!! 1 Shepherd University is look- ing for great original fiction from writers who live in West Virginia or are enrolled at a school in the state. The deadline for submis- sions to the West V'irginia Fiction Competition comes May 1. A committee at Shep- herd will review the entries and cull finalists and theni award-winning author Karen Spears Zacharias will select a winner this fall. Zacharias, a 61-year-old feature writer whose work has been featured in The Wash- ington Post, National Public Radio, CNN, The New York Times and other outlets, may be best known for her trilogy set in Christian Bend, Tenn. - "Mother of Rain," "Burdy" and "Christian Bend." "Mother of Rain," which won Zacharias the Weather- ford Award for Best in South- winner - the West Virginia ern Appalachian Fiction, has Fiction Competition also will been picked as the 2018 "One provide critiques of the final- Book One Community" com- ists' stories by Zacharias. One mon read for West Virginia. of last year's finalists called The book was published in that expert feedback "as ex- 2013. citing as winning first prize." Besides cash prizes - in- When Zacharias is in Shep- eluding $500 for the contest's herdstown in September, she will serve as the university's cept the Appalachian HerE- Appalachian Heritage Writ- tage Writer's Award. er in Residence and will ac- During her time on cam- LEFT: Acclaimed author Karen Spears Zacharias will choose the winner of the annual West Virginia Fiction Competition from finalists selected by a Shepherd University committee. The deadline to submit an original fictional story comes May 1. Her first novel, 2013's "Mother of Rain," won the Weatherford Award for Best in Southern Appalachian Fiction and is the state "One Book One Community" common read for West Virginia for 2018. pus, Zacharias's work will include helping to create teaching tools for West Vir- ginia teachers who will teach her books and serving as ed- itorial adviser for the latest "Anthology of Appalachian Writers." Joining Shepherd as the sponsor of the West Virginia Fiction Competition is the Li- brary Association's West Vir- ginia Center for the Book. Ethics Auditors noted that, in 2013, Loughry had one of the original desks used by justices when the East Wing of the Capitol opened in 1927, commonly called the "Cass Gilbert" desks, moved to his Charleston resi- dence. He had the desk returned to the court in November 2017, follow- ing a Gazette-Mail column specu- lat'mg about furniture missing from the court offices. "He took it home. He was not au- thorized to do so, but he kept it at his residence," legislative auditor Den- ny Rhodes told the legislative Post- Audits Committee on Monday. "The desk is owned by the state of West Virginia, and has been ap- praised at $42,000," the audit states. "Following a media inquiry regard- ing the propriety of having state property inside a personal residence, Justice Loughry returned the desk to the court." Loughry also had taken a leather couch that then-Justice Joe Albright had purchased for his court office in 2001. The couch had remained in the Capitol after Albright's death in 2009. Loughry also returned the couch, although it was unclear if it is state property. Despite claims that the court had a longstanding policy of allowing jus- tices to use state-owned furniture to fumish home offices, a Freedom of Information request by the Gazette- Mail found that there is no written policy, and no evidence that there had ever been a verbal policy permitt'mg such state-furnished home offices. According to legislative auditors, "Based upon the Ethics Commis- sion's prior opinions, it appears that Justice Loughry's use of state equip- ment for personal purposes could constitute private gain and possibly violate the Ethics Act." Auditors added, "The West Vir- ginia Ethics Commission has the jurisdiction to determine whether these uses of state property are a violation of the Ethics Act, and the Legislative Auditor has reported its concerns to the commission, and defers to its determination whether any violations have occurred." In addition to the desk, the audit found that, from January 2013 to September 2016, Loughry reserved one of three Buick sedans owned by the court for travel on 212 days. Of that, 148 days, or 70 percent of the reservations, had no reason given for use of the vehicle; Notably, the audit found, Loughry reserved vehicles for most of De- cember in 2013, 2014 and 2015. In two of those years, they were re- served through the Christmas holi- days and into early January. "The Supreme Court was in recess during all the December dates, and LEFT: State Supreme Court Justice Allen Loughry, 47, wrote the 2006 book, "Don't Buy Another Vote, I Won't Pay for a Landslide," about corruption in West Virginia starting in the 1860s. The Tucker County na- tive graduated from the Perley Isaac Reed School of Journalism at West Virginia University, then earned a law degree from Capital University Law School in Columbus, Ohio. no destination or substantiation is listed for any of these time frames," the audit notes. The audit also cites a 2016 court memorandum in which other jus- tices questioned whether Loughry was using the state car strictly for business purposes, "to which Jus- tice Loughry made it clear that in his view, he should not have to report a destination or a purpose. His posi- tion was, once he said he was travel- ing on state business, that should be the end of the inquiry." The audit also raises issues with Loughry's use of rental vehicles when he flew to out-of-state con- ferences, citing a "disproportionate number of miles recorded com- pared to the actual round-trip mile- age from the airport to the hotel." According to the audit, Loughry rented vehicles during trips to Mon- treal, California, Texas, Nebraska, Arizona and Massachusetts from 2013 to 2017. Each time, the mile- age on the rental car receipt exceed- ed the round-trip mileage between the airport and conference hotel by anywhere from 171 to 580 miles. The total additional travel of 2,874 miles cost the state $2,669 in unnec- essary expenditures that the audit concludes "appear to have been for personal use." "Based on this analysis, it appears possible that Justice Loughry or a travel companion allowed to use rental cars, vacationed on the state's dollar," the audit says. On March 28, the Legislative Au- ditor sent a letter to Loughry to deter- mine if he had made any reimburse- ments to the state for the personal use of the desk, the state vehicle or the rental cars, but did not receive a response, according to the audit. Legislative Manager Aaron Allred said that, before Loughry's removal as chief justice in February, he was uncooperative with legislative au- (See ETHICS PageA10) WWW.CAM I LLETTI FORJ U D G E. P~lt~ FOR 8Y IH~ C~10~ JAC K HEFESTAY - COMMISSION 2018 ~ No New Tares or New Fees ~ Preser~ Our History & Promote Tourism - Protect & Defend Our Constitutional www.hefestay.com Rights & Personal Properly pMd fbr by t i:e~;~stay4~*W Iorenzetl @earthlink.net AUTHORIZED 304-725-6263 County Commission LORENZET'rl has lived and worked within Jefferson County for 30+ years. LORENZETTI advocates for input of all county citizens for decisions made concerning the future of Jefferson County. Ralph wants to hear your views and has a reputation for fairness and willingness to listen. 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