|By Bob Weaver 2003|
Many will say the short-arm of the law is waiting.
As a public service the Hur Herald has prepared a list of helpful hints on how to be a better citizen.
An officer (2003) issued a littering citation to a woman who dropped a Kleenex on the ground after she urinated along Route 5 at 2 a.m. in the morning.
The DNR officer Apgar dutifully placed the napkin as evidence in a plastic bag to be used in magistrate court, along with a cigarette butt or two. The poor woman needed to relieve herself after a night of drinking.
The same officer issued a citation to another wrongdoer for illegal burning of wood, because the boards had paint on them.
The long arm of the law reached out and caught the wrongdoer, while the higher power ignores hundreds of citations issued to Massey Coal for dumping toxins in and filling streams with dirt. Their fines are banging one billion dollars, unpaid,
FANCIFUL TALES: BEWARE, DIRTY LICENSE PLATES (Reprint 2003)
Warning to Calhoun residents who travel east on State Route 5 through Glenville and
Gilmer County. If you have not Windexed your license plate, you could be an instant
lawbreaker and you could be in trouble.
Kevin Michael Tingler of Smithville was cited by Trooper J. E. Skidmore of the West
Virginia State Police, according to the Glenville Pathfinder, for "having a dirty license
plate." He plead no contest in a Gilmer magistrate court and was fined $115.
I can almost hear the officer say "You must keep your plate clean at all times,
otherwise we can not read your plate. This is for your protection. Do you understand?
This is serious business! No warnings for you Kevin Michael Tingler! We're taking you
After reading the account, I began to understand the severity of the problem.
person with a dirty license plate could be a bank robber in a stolen car, or maybe the
vehicle could be running on expired plates with no inspection sticker. This could be
A quick survey of parked cars in Grantsville found eleven dirty plates, some with days
of road film and others covered with red clay clods. Being a dutiful citizen apprised of
the law, I called 911. "Will you send the police down here now," I asked, "before these
people get out of town." The dispatcher was hesitant. "The chief just got in bed," she
"You don't understand," I said. "At least one of these people must be hiding
something or deserves to be punished, and besides, think of all the money it will put
in the coffers. You could fill dozens of potholes and build more jails."
She then said the fatal words
of disinterest, "I'll pass it on."
Filled with curiosity, I jumped in my car and drove up mud heaven, the right fork of
Crummies Creek, dirtying up my license plate real good, after which I took off for
"This dirty license plate thing could be just a sham," I told myself.
"Maybe its not true."
Parking all around Glenville, I waited and waited and nothing happened. I drove up
and down Route 5 by the police, who went their merry way, unconcerned.
was just a one-time thing in Gilmer County, this muddy plate arrest.
officers aren't taking the law to heart.
"I'll try another town," I said to myself. "How about Summersville?"
I couldn't wait to get there, stopping on Powell Mountain to dab more mud on my
plate. Moments after crossing the Summersville city line, I experienced new hope.
police cruiser with its wailing siren pulled from a tiny side road and came straight for
my vehicle, in hot pursuit. "These are dedicated law officers," I thought.
"Could we see you driver's license, sir?" the officer asked, as I handed it over. "I'm
glad you're out here enforcing the law, officer," I said.
"Do you realize you were driving 10 and one-half miles over the speed limit, Mr.
Weaver?" he exclaimed. "Well, no I didn't, but I do know I have a dirty license
"We're just concerned for public safety here in Summersville. People like you from out
of town are a threat to our community," said the officer.
"You're the 4,783rd speeder
through our town this month. And we're going to make you remember."
"But what about my dirty license plate?" I asked. "Oh, that's down in Gilmer County,"
HELPFUL TIPS TO PREVENT DIRTY PLATE PROBLEMS
1. Stay off muddy country roads.
2. Every time you stop for gas, clean the plate with a paper towel and Windex,
removing road film and mud clods.
3. If you spot the State Police, quickly pull to the right of the road, run to the rear of
you vehicle and Windex your plate.
4. If the officer stops and inquires, tell him you are a good citizen who always cleans
your plate every 25 miles. Smile.
5. If cited for the offense, grovel for mercy, tell 'em, "I was on the way to buy more paper towels and Windex."
HELPFUL TIPS TO PREVENT LITTERING PROBLEMS WHILE URINATING
1. Urinate before you get in your car.
2. Since the EPA has closed most of the rest rooms in country stores and service stations, you must carry a urinal with you at all times.
3. Use the urinal in your car, which must have tinted windows (or a different citation will be issued)
4. If you do get out of your car, you must pick up all napkins, toilet paper, cigarette butts and debris within 15 feet, and place them in a plastic bag. Then you can say you're working with the Adopt-A-Highway program.
5. Don't drink beer.
HELPFUL HINTS TO PREVENT CITATIONS WHILE BURNING DEBRIS
1. If wood has paint on it, sand the paint with electric sander, steel wool or sandpaper before igniting.
2. If wood has paint on it, sand the paint with electric sander, steel wool or sandpaper again, before igniting.
3. If wood has paint on it, sand the paint with electric sander, steel wool or sandpaper one more time, before igniting.
4. If caught burning wood with paint on it, tell the officer you work for Massey Coal.