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October 3, 2012     Spirit of Jefferson Farmers Advocate
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October 3, 2012
 

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SIvlALL.. ]OWN I:::'t::W'E RS F.':I. 7 .f,4 CO]A ST :) 8.J ~5 ~+- c: ~ b .... '~" S H E L. "1" ('_) N W A ; = ...... '"" '" = of JEFFE N AND FARMER'S ADVOCATE Find us on II , i i ,..l|..,,qul i, iiimllllm]lnlill[llnllHlllllllfllil III II Wednesday, October 3, 2012 o:o 75 ,u,,ax> 1anti II II ilnllnllilllll]l .............................. : ........................................................... f-'[ .............. ,-,-,-,-,--, ._ www.spiritofjefferson.com Carter accused of embezzling $14 bOO BRYAN CLARK Spirit Staff CHARLES TOWN - Prosecu- tors have released a 134-count felony indictment against the former treasurer of Blue Ridge Mountain Volunteer Fire Com- pany, alleging that she embez- zled almost $14,000 in under two years. This follows past civil and criminal charges for similar acts. Susan Roxanne Carter has been charged by a grand jury with 114 counts of fraudulent use of an access device, 19 counts of forgery, and one count of embez- zlement. She is accused of using a Walmart credit card taken out in the Blue Ridge's name to pur- chase items that were not for use by the fire department. Analysis of the latest indict- ment shows one act of fraud was allegedly committed every six days between May 1, 2008 and April 12, 2010, with the total av- eraging $121 on 114 different oc- casions. Carter allegedly embez- zled a total of $13,793. These charges come in addi- tion to 52 previous felony counts Carter was charged with in May 2010 for related crimes, includ- ing 23 counts of fraudulent use of an access device, 14 counts of forgery, 14 counts of identity theft and one count of fraudulent scheme. Trooper J.M. Bush investi- gated the suspicious purchases, collecting receipts and security video from two Walmart loca- tions where the purchases had been made. Then-President Dave Withers, Treasurer Alicia Marcus and two others identified Cart- er from the video footage as the person making the purchases,.ac- cording to police reports. Several of the credit card re- ceipts had been signed "SWeav- er," imitating the signature of Blue Ridge's Secretary Suzanne Weaver, according to the reports. Carter was again identified on security video as the person sign- ing the receipts. Carter was originally alleged to have embezzled $4;204 from See INDICTMENTS Page A2 ROBERT SNYDER Jane Rissler of the Jefferson County Museum shows off a silver tea set, one of the items io be assessed by experts during Saturday's popular Antiques Appraisal Fair. The eighth-annual event serves as a fundraiser for the museum.. Saturday's Appraisal Fair to lure antique owners CHRISTINE MILLER FORD ~ , Spirit Staff eighth-annual event, to be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the museum, which is located on the CHARLES TOWN - The Civil War sol- ground floor of the Charles Town Library at dier's letter gathering dust in your attic; the 200 E. Washington St. candy dish passed down by your great Aunt Anyone is welcome to tote in antiques to be Hilda; that 19th century cookbook you picked evaluated by Grove and other appraisers. A ver- up at a yard sale - just how much are these bal assessmentcosts $5 per item. Those bring- treasures worth? ing in multiple belongings get a price break Your chance to hear an expert's evaluation - three items for $12, with each piece beyond /. on possessions such as these comes Saturday that priced at $3. as the Jefferson County Museum holds its an- Grove, who has recorded more than 10,000 nual Antiques Appraisal Fair. hours as an appraiser during 33 years in the "It's a chance to find out if your heirlooms field, also is a lecturer and a regular on the Vir- are in fact valuable right -'something like the ginia PBS show, "Chesapeake Collectibles." PBS show, 'Antiques Roadshow,' but right He formerly worked as an adjunct professor for here in Charles Town," explains Jane Rissler, appraisal studies at New York University. the museum's curator and the fair's organizer. His areas of expertise cover fields including "People can bring in their valuables, little trea- the Civil War, military artifacts, coins and pa- sures or big ones, and the museum brings in per money, Americana, books and documents, expert appraisers." fine jewelry, art pottery and textiles. Mark C. Grove, a certified appraiser based in Charlottesville and Fairfax, Va., will lead the See APPRAISE Page A5 BRYAN CLARK Spirit Staff See related column, A7 Two West Virginia ratepayers They should not have been scored an initial victory against charging these expenses to rate- electric companies associated payers," Newman' argues, point; with an abandoned electric proj- ing out that only "prudently in- ect they say are seeking t'o sad- curred" expenses can be charged die customers with illegitimate to ratepayers. Newman said expenses when a federal agency many of the expenses PATH in- agreed to a hearing to examine curred were not prudent. the matter. Officials from FirstEnergy, one In 2011, Karyn Newman of of the PATH partners, declined to Jefferson County and Alison comment on pending litigation. Haverty of Calhoun County filed Newman and Haverty say they several challenges to the electric had to fight to be recognized as rates proposed to repay costs as- individuals with legitimate stand- sociated with development of the ing to challenge the rate calcula- since-abandoned Potomac-Ap- tions offered by PATH. palachian Transmission High- "They told me they wouldn't line, or PATH, project. The wom- respond to my discovery request en alleged that PATH accounting because I wasn't an 'interested procedures were insufficient, party,'" Newman said. that PATH was charging rate- But, in an order granting a payers for lobbying efforts and hearing on the matter, the Fed- fake grassroots groups, and that PATH had double-reported some expenses. See PATH Page A5 clerk faces milli plus lawsuit BRYAN CLARK - Spirit Staff CHARLES TOWN = A law- suit seeking more than a million dollars from the Jeffer- son County Clerk alleges she bonded an estate at a mere frac- tion of the statutorily Jennifer Maghan required val- ue, allowing a Washington, D.C. man to loot the estate and leave its heirs without a way to collect their inheritance. The civil complaint, filed by the heirs of John Warfield, claims that Clerk Jennifer Maghan only required the estate's administra- tor, James Packard-Gomez, to post a $90,000 bond on an estate valued at $2.3 million in 2008. Packard-Gomez, a former busi- ness partner of Warfield's and the owner of a failed Georgetown hair and makeup salon, was an out-of-state resident and so state law requires a bond of twice the value of the estate. The $90,000 policy that was posted was less than 2 percent of the $5.6 million bond the estate claims was legally required. Both Maghan and her defense lawyers, Tracy Eberling, said it would be inappropriate for them to comment on pending litiga- tion. See SUIT Page A4 MARIA PISCIOTTA $pirit Staff Back, in a big way , CHARLES TOWN --The brown haarmorated stink bug is back and in much bigger numbers than last year. "We started out with a very few stink bugs this season. Now we are seeing a six fold increase over last year," said Tracey Leskey, a research entomolo- gist at the Appalachian Fruit Research Station in Kearneysville. Leskey said last year's numbers Were mild due to unfriendly weather. "The weather pattems, tropical storms and such caused a lot of mortal- ity last fall," Leskey said. However, the early spring warm weather gave the bugs an early start. The insect has completed two gener- ations in the region. The nymphs go through five different stages to reach adulthood, but they do it in 30 days. "They are now pouring into homes looking for a safe haven until they can emerge next spring to lay eggs," Les- key said. Matt Rehberg, manager of Southern States in Ranson, said he has received lots of complaints about the stink bug. "We've been trying to control them in the fields by spraying the perimeter of the soybean crops, corn crops and along hedgerows," Rehberg said. The tiny bug caused $37 million loss to the apple industry in 2010. Leskey said the bug also eats peach- es, corn, soy bean, tomatoes, peppers, See BUGS Page A4 ROBERT SNYDER Founded in 1787, bucolic Gerrardstown takes its name from the Rev. David Gerrard, who lived here. He laid out the town after inheriting hundreds of acres of land from his father and encouraged settlers by offering plots for $150. The Hayes-Gerrard House was fully restored for the nation's bicentennial in 1976. It sits alongside Dominion Road not far from W.Va. 51, 3 miles from Inwood. Gerrardstown marks its 225th birthday this fall. CHRISTINE MILLER FORD Spirit Staff GERRARDSTOWN - A Bap- tist minister's stone home tucked into a hillside next to Mill Creek here drew the attention of none oth- er than George Washington, who made note of the structure in jour- nals he kept as a teenage surveyor for Lord Fairfax. When the future presi- WHAT'~ dent rode on his ,.in a .... past way from NAME? Winchester, Va., in the late 1740s, the small two-story house built by . preacher John Hayes was less than a decade old. It later would pass into the hands of another family of Baptist ministers, the Gerrards. Today, more than two centuries See GERRARDSTOWN Page A3 @ptO~li2hTnh; ~ff.lrnsco,n i! Bradley Grubb Brush with the law Courted for business =... " X - of Charles Town i nnnir-naintinn bounht i The Eastern Panhandle s . . ...... i. ...... i in Charles Town, W.Va : : ...... 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