Saturday, October 02, 2004 comes to Roanoke

In this post from is discussed the photograph of the pregnant woman shown in the Roanoke paper smoking a cigarette and complaining about construction noise.

On your Hatfields, McCoys, Chamber of Commerce types

The Charleston paper has this interesting article comparing the Hatfields and McCoys to the Democrats who have gone over to oppose the re-election of West Virginia Chief Justice McGraw.

The article notes that a Hatfield-McCoy researcher found: "before the violent and disruptive influences of industry moved in, the Tug Fork area was pretty peaceful. People were not wealthy, but they supported themselves and their families on their small farms and local industries. They prospered, and their society was more egalitarian than in other regions of Virginia. People had faith in their local courts. As available land disappeared and the economy began to change after the Civil War, young men struggled to find their place. They vented their frustrations on each other, in arguments and fights that sometimes escalated into killings and retaliation. But the invading industries of railroads, coal and timber, while bringing jobs, traffic and commerce, also created this environment. Mountain people would learn to depend on outsiders for their living, instead of each other."

No defamation in calling a lawyer an idiot and a moron

Via this post from Denise Howell, has this article on a ruling in a defamation case brought by a lawyer in Pennsylvania.

Gov. Warner restores voting rights to 1,885 ex-convicts

The Norfolk paper reports here ("Gov. Warner has restored voting rights to 1,885 ex-convicts," 10/1/04) that Governor has "restored civil rights to more people than anyone else in Virginia’s modern history."

The report did not mention how many (if any) of these are Democrats or Republicans.

Turmoil in federal murder trial in Charlottesville

The Charlottesville paper reports here ("Shocking testimony at trial," 10/2/04) that a government witness testified that one of the defendants was responsible for another murder, besides the one that is the subject of the trial in Charlottesville. The government claims that the defendants were in the business of robbing drug dealers for drugs and money.

Allen firm settles with Virginia State Bar on bragging rights

The Richmond paper has this article ("Firm gets bragging rights up to a point," 10/2/04) on the resolution between the Allen firm and the Virginia State Bar regarding the language of some of the firm's advertisements, over the claim that some of the lawyers were cited in "Best Lawyers in America."

The article explained:

"Five of the Allen firm's competitors filed a complaint with the State Bar's Standing Committee on Lawyer Advertising and Solicitation in 2001 contending that the ads violated legal ethics. Ethical rules generally bar the use of such superlatives as "best."

The dispute led to three opinions from the committee and a fourth one from the State Bar Council, the bar's governing body. The fourth opinion wound up before U.S. District Judge Richard L. Williams, who barred the State Bar from taking disciplinary action against the firm.

The State Bar appealed to the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which asked the parties to mediate the dispute."

The parties agreed that it is not unethical for the firm to state correctly that its lawyers are listed in the book of best lawyers, and the rest will be litigated before the Virginia Supreme Court.

Bigfoot experts scoff at claims of Bigfoot sightings in Virginia

According to this article ("Bigfoot Stalkers on Forked Path," 10/1/04), the hardcore Bigfoot enthusiasts from the American West scoff at the notion of Bigfoot sightings in Virginia.

We look out at the woods from our kitchen table, but so far, we have seen no Sasquatches. (Probably the cows scare them off.)

Sex abuse case against priest and Richmond diocese dismissed on statute of limitations

The Richmond paper reports here ("Lawsuit against priest dismissed," 10/2/04), the Norfolk paper reports here ("Suit alleging sexual abuse by priest is dismissed," 10/2/04), and the AP reports here that a Virginia Beach lawsuit for sexual abuse against a priest and the Catholic Diocese of Richmond has been dismissed on the statute of limitations.

The Richmond article says:

"At issue in the hearing was whether Jeter's suit was filed after the deadline set by state law for personal injury lawsuits, generally within two years after a minor victim turns 18. In sexual-abuse cases, where victims may suffer suppressed memory, the law allows the two years to begin when a link is made between the abuse and the victim's problems.

The suit stated that Jeter did not recognize the connection between his anxiety and the abuse until counseling during the two years before the suit was filed in October 2003.

Roberts and Etherington argued that Jeter knew he was suffering the consequences of the abuse in 1996, when he first complained to the diocese."

Va. Code 8.01-249 provides: The cause of action in the actions herein listed shall be deemed to accrue as follows: . . . 6. In actions for injury to the person, whatever the theory of recovery, resulting from sexual abuse occurring during the infancy or incapacity of the person, upon removal of the disability of infancy or incapacity as provided in § 8.01-229 or, if the fact of the injury and its causal connection to the sexual abuse is not then known, when the fact of the injury and its causal connection to the sexual abuse is first communicated to the person by a licensed physician, psychologist, or clinical psychologist. As used in this subdivision, "sexual abuse" means sexual abuse as defined in subdivision 6 of § 18.2-67.10 and acts constituting rape, sodomy, object sexual penetration or sexual battery as defined in Article 7 (§ 18.2-61 et seq.) of Chapter 4 of Title 18.2.

Whoa, making a federal case out of citations for violating town ordinances

In CG6 Concrete Specialists, Inc. v. Dept. of Police, Town of Berryville, Judge Conrad of the W.D. Va. granted the defense motions to dismiss, where the plaintiffs brought suit claiming they should not have to pay a ticket they got for not having a business license because they operate in an area of the town that they claimed was illegally annexed in 1989.

The judge managed to dispose of these claims without saying flat out that they were just plain wacky.

Fourth circuit requires disclosure of documents from Earl Washington case

In Virginia Department of State Police v. Earl Washington, the Fourth Circuit, in an opinion by Judge Shedd, joined by Judge Widener and Senior Judge Hansen from the Eighth Circuit, held that Judge Moon of the W.D. Va. ruled correctly (for the most part) in ordering the unsealing of documents produced by the Virginia State Police pursuant to a subpoena as part of Earl Washington's civil case.

So, this appeal was mainly a contest between non-parties, the State Police and the newspapers - the Virginian-Pilot, the Richmond Times-Dispatch, and the Washington Post. Peter Neufeld argued the case for Earl Washington.

Scott County prosecutor to consider Wise County death case

The Bristol paper reports here ("Special prosecutor to look into coal-mining fatality," 10/2/04) that Judge Stump in Wise County has appointed the Scott County Commonwealth's attorney to investigate the death of the sleeping child whose home was struck by a boulder in the night.

This site has the following on Marcus, from his pre-law days:

"When Marcus McClung was in elementary school, his church youth group attended a football game at Virginia Tech. He told the group’s leader that someday he was going to play on that field. As a Spartan, he was First Team All-State in Football and a two-time First Team All-Coalfield Conference. In 1988, he set the single-season school record for tackles for the only Greenbrier East football team to ever play for the state title. By the way, in 1989, Marcus fulfilled his goal to play at Lane Stadium. He was a four-year letterman for the Hokies, was named Big East Conference Player of the Week on October 25, 1993, and was a member of Virginia Tech’s Independence Bowl Championship team. Marcus later signed as a free agent with the British Columbia Lions of the Canadian Football League. Following graduation from the Appalachian Law School, he lives in Gate City, Virginia."

Sniper prosecution in Fairfax County snared by Virginia's Speedy Trial act

The Washington Post reports here ("Va. Judge Dismisses Case Against Muhammad," 10/2/04), the Richmond paper reports here ("Sniper charge thrown out," 10/1/04), and the AP reports here on the dismissal of the indictment against sniper John Muhammad in Fairfax County for failure to bring him to trial fast enough to comply with the speedy trial act.

The statute, I think, is Va. Code 19.2-243.

The Circuit Court ruled that Muhammad was "arrested" for purposes of the Fairfax County case in January when the police faxed copies of his indictment to the jail where he was being held.

The AP reports here that later on Friday, the Commonwealth moved for reconsideration.

Friday, October 01, 2004

On Sharon Pandak for AG

Polstate has this note on the candidacy of former Prince William county attorney Sharon Pandak for the Democratic nomination for attorney general in 2005.

I'd say that she would be an interesting and well-qualified candidate, but who knows whether she can muster an effective campaign?

Groklaw wonders - why all those objections at depositions?

This post from Groklaw wonders, why all those objections at depositions. There are many bad reasons for objections at depositions and few good ones.

Thursday, September 30, 2004

What are the limits on the role of deputies of constitutional officers

This report ("Deputies' role in campaigns left ambiguous in rules," 9/30/04) from the Norfolk paper ponders what are the proper and/or legal limits on the campaign activities of deputies of the constitutional officers in the counties and cities of Virginia, acting to solicit votes in support of their bosses, the elected constitutional officers.

Protesters vandalize property of coal company involved with child's death

The Coalfield Progress reports here ("Vandals target coal company," 9/30/04) that protesters from an "international radical environmental group" vandalized property in Wise County of the coal company that is being blamed for the boulder that struck a trailer and killed a sleeping child inside.

Kilgore 40, Kaine 35, Undecided 25, with 15 months to go

The AP has this report with poll numbers on next year's race for Governor of Virginia.

Fourth Circuit rules that Judge Brinkema went 0 for 6 in dismissing Virginia law claims

In T.G. Slater & Son, Inc. v. The Donald P. and Patricia A. Brennan LLC, the Fourth Circuit in an opinion by Judge Widener, joined by Judges Luttig and Traxler, ruled that the district court in dismissing all six of the plaintiff's counts for failure to state a claim was wrong on all six counts.

Since this is a Virginia law case, I expect it will get a lot of mileage in cases where plaintiffs are fighting off motions under Rule 12(b)(6). I'm not too sure about the discussion of the opinion dealing with fraud. The rules require that the circumstances of fraud must be alleged with particularity. The allegations cited don't appear to meet the standard from other Fourth Circuit cases dealing with Rule 9(b).

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Official haiku of SW Virginia law blog

From this David Giacalone post:

tonight's moon--
how many mountains resemble
the ones back home?

Some time ago, I sent David a link to a speech by President Bush at Yale, in which he said:

"I took a class that studied Japanese Haiku. Haiku, for the uninitiated, is a 15th century form of poetry, each poem having 17 syllables. Haiku is fully understood only by the Zen masters. As I recall, one of my academic advisers was worried about my selection of such a specialized course. He said I should focus on English. (Laughter.) I still hear that quite often. (Laughter.) But my critics don't realize I don't make verbal gaffes. I'm speaking in the perfect forms and rhythms of ancient Haiku. (Applause.)"

David's post about this speech is here.

Proposed USERRA regulations

Via this post from Jottings By An Employer's Lawyer, the Department of Labor has proposed regulations for the implementation of the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act. In this post, the efforts of DOL to educate returning soldiers is explained.

I have dealt with only one USERRA question so far, but I expect to hear more of them, as the men and women come back to Southwest Virginia and Northeast Tennessee.

FMLA quiz

Via this George's Employment post, here is an online FMLA quiz from M. Lee Smith.

There really is an M. Lee Smith, I met him one time at one of his outfit's seminars at Hilton Head, and I think he said he is originally from Northeast Tennessee. His company publishes the Tennessee Attorneys Memo, which is sort of like Virginia Lawyers' Weekly without a sense of humor. One way where TAM has it all over VLW is you can get the whole shebang delivered into your e-mail box, without paying separately for each member of the firm.

Virginia Tech supercomputer gets special Macs

This report says the Macs that are being used by Virginia Tech for its big supercomputer (No. 4 in the world) are made especially by Apple for the Hokies.

23 students arrested at the University for trespassing in the name of Edgar Allen Poe

The Charlottesville paper reports here ("23 UVa students, teacher arrested," 9/29/04) that two dozen fanciers of the macabre from the University community were caught trespassing in a creepy old building.

Imhotep for Heisman

This Cavalier Daily article promoting Imhotep Durham for the Heisman Trophy is surely deserving of the widest-possible distribution.

No constitutional claim against police officer for records search

In Phillips v. Bailey, Judge Conrad of the W.D. Va. dismissed the plaintiff's claims under 42 U.S.C. 1983, where he alleged that the defendant police officer had lied to get others in the town police department to pull up the plaintiff's DMV record and credit history. The Court concluded there was no constitutional protection against this information being accessed.

Close quarters at the Burrow re-trial

The Roanoke paper reports here ("Venue change affords attendees of Burrow trial unique opportunity," 9/29/04) that the re-trial of D-Day memorial fundraiser Richard Burrow has been moved to a smaller courtroom in Charlottesville, with the result that friends and enemies are cheek by jowl in the limited space, and since the case was moved from Lynchburg, they meet each other also in the hotels and restaurants near the courthouse downtown.

On appeal, you're stuck with the horse that brung you

Via this Matt Conigliaro post, the Eleventh Circuit in Access Now, Inc. v. Southwest Airlines Co. held that by shifting theories from the district court to the Court of Appeals, the appellant had waived the issues that were raised in the district court and the issues raised on appeal would not be considered because they were not raised in the district court, leaving nothing for the appeals court to decide.

Legislative proposals on privacy from the Joint Committee on Technology and Science

JCOTS is seeking public comment on these legislative proposals, which are mostly about consumer privacy, including misuse of Social Security numbers and other personal information.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Getting Little Ricky to sell dope for Daddy at the Piggly Wiggly

In Pruitt v. Com., the defendant was convicted of two counts of causing his 16 year-old son to assist him in distributing marijuana to a police informant at a grocery store.

Larceny by unpaid bar tab

In Wheeler v. Com., the Virginia Court of Appeals in an opinion by Judge Kelsey, joined by Judge Annunziata and Senior Judge Overton, affirmed the petit larceny conviction who ran up a $30 bar tab, when all he had on him was $8 and his wife's invalid credit card. When the guy didn't pay, the bar owners called the cops, because this had happened before.

And then, when the police arrived, the guy punched one of them, and was carried away in handcuffs, flailing and cursing.

The Court of Appeals granted an appeal only as to the guy's petit larceny conviction, on which Judge Kelsey declared: "Not paying a bar tab is not, by itself, stealing. But ordering drinks knowing that one cannot or will not pay is."

Trying to seat a jury in Charlottesville death penalty case

The Charlottesville paper has this account ("Murder trial jury selection starts," 9/28/04) of the process of selecting a jury for a federal capital murder case.

Virginia judge to Vermont judge - take this!

The AP says that in the same-sex couple custody fight, the Virginia judge has awarded sole custody to the birth mother in Virginia, according to this report.

The article notes that earlier this month, a Vermont judge held the Virginia woman in contempt for failure to abide by a temporary visitation order he entered some time ago giving some rights to the Vermont woman.

Latest talk of racism on the Grounds

Discriminations has this post outlining the latest racial controversies described in the Cavalier Daily.

In my day as an undergraduate at the University, one of the big controversies was divestment, to get the University to divest from companies that had something to with South Africa. "Shanties" were built on the Lawn as part of the protest. Delinquents came and tore down the shanties. Legend has it that this mindless destruction led to the discovery that two of the very serious-minded protesters were inside one of these shanties on the Lawn, having a snog, as Inspector Morse would say (or perhaps "a bit of nasty rumpy-pumpy"), which caused some commentary about how the protesters might be taken more seriously if they didn't have so much fun, but then we were all excitable kids in those days, passionate about one thing or another, and so maybe nothing has changed. There are controversies and protests, action and reaction, sense and nonsense.

Soldier brother of BTQ gives lowdown on Afghanistan

From one blogger's brother, this account of a soldier's perspective from having served in Afghanistan.

By the way, BTQ has me near the top of their blogroll, and for that reason or some other, more than a handful have clicked to this page from theirs (whoever they are).

UPDATE: This NewsMax story looks to say about the same thing.

The only soldier I know over there is the fellow we deposed at Fort Dix in February. Nothing would please me more than the chance to ask him about these matters, one of these days - here in Southwest Virginia.

Dickenson County courthouse and other photos

A reader sent me a link to his collection of photos online, which includes the courthouse in Clintwood and many other subjects.

Our next door neighbor

Next door to us here on Piedmont Avenue in Bristol is now the Southeast Culinary & Hospitality College.

Governor's daughter goes overboard has this account of the wild rafting trip down the James River of Governor Warner and his family.

Monday, September 27, 2004

Employee's discharge, interference claims, preempted by LMRA

In Freeman v. Duke Power Co., the Fourth Circuit in a per curiam opinion for the panel of Judges Widener and Shedd and Senior Judge Hansen from the Eighth Circuit held that the wrongful discharge, tortious interference with contract, and other claims brought by the plaintiff were preempted by section 301 of the Labor-Management Relations Act, because they were too close to the collective bargaining agreement.

Among the cases cited for this was the Covenant Coal case, decided by the Fourth Circuit in 1992, which more or less overruled Judge Williams' earlier decision in the Eastover Mining case, in which he had found jurisdiction under section 301 for a tortious interference claim.

The Hemingway mystique

From this report on the newly discovered Hemingway manuscript, quoting a colege professor about Ernest Hemingway: "All around the world, his image drives people to bars, and causes them to buy products like T-shirts or drinks."

That sounds sort of like, well, Spuds McKenzie in his prime.

Looking up Virginia crimes

The Virginia judicial website has this page to help magistrates find that special criminal code section.

Falwell gives law clinic for church leaders on how to politic from pulpit

The AP reports here that Jerry Falwell and his lawyer son and others gave a how-to session for ministers on where to draw the line when mixing religion and politics.

Hound heaven in Floyd County

The best things about Fragments ~ from Floyd are the dog pictures, like this one.

Sunday, September 26, 2004

We have another Chadwick Dotson reference

In this post, John at Commonwealth Conservative identifies the Commonwealth's attorney for Wise County as "Chadwick Dotson."

Famously, and as has been previously reported here, following the 2000 election, Virginia Lawyers Weekly looked for "chads" among the Virginia State Bar, and found none. Shortly thereafter, it offered the following slight correction:

"A Mr. Chad Dotson of Norton, a lawyer in that fine city, called up and told us that his friends had been egging him on to call us on the apparent omission. He also was getting really tired of all the Chad jokes.

So there's one. Sort of. Mr. Dotson's given name is "Chadwick," and "Chad," not surprisingly is his nickname. The Martindale search engine isn't geared for nicknames. So there you have it, the record set straight."

Speaking of names, I understand that the population of the Dotson household expanded earlier this year. My money was on "Goldwater" as the likeliest name for the newborn, but evidently they chose a more moderate alternative.

The Pig Bag

In our office, we have a few of those big briefcases litigators use, and the oldest, homeliest one mostly sits in my office. It used to have about a half-dozen of my business cards taped to it, from when I flew to Texas about 10-12 years ago and had a bunch of "confidential" papers in it and was paranoid those secrets of corporate America would be exposed and I would be blamed.

My newest colleague at the firm asked me about this briefcase (or more likely, I was telling her) not long ago and I tried to explain that it had taken on roughly the significance of "the Pig Bag" in A Civil Action. She had read the book, but did not recall the reference, so here it is:

"[Jerome Facher] carried it in a battered black litigation bag that was usually heavy with deposition transcripts, motions, and interrogatories from real trials. Some years ago the bag's leather handgrip had snapped under just such a load. Facher had twisted a coat hanger into a new grip and wrapped it with adhesive tape. He owned several other litigation bags, each identified by decals of cartoon characters he'd once found in a cereal box. This particular bag, which might have been a hobo's suitcase, was his favorite. It was known as the pig bag because it had a Porky Pig decal on it. In the years he'd carried this bag in and out of courtrooms, to home and to work, Facher had not lost a trial. Some trials required the use of several bags, but Facher always brought along the pig bag. 'You don't change your socks during the World Series,' he would tell young associates at Hale and Dorr."

Votelaw has more on the Virginia redistricting case

Votelaw has this post with comments from the lawyers in the Virginia case, where the Fourth Circuit upheld the redistricting in Virginia, to put more black voters in the Third District, where Bobby Scott is the Congressman.

The post suggests there is some possibility that the Virginia case will go up or be affected by cases that may go up to the Supreme Court of the United States.

No Nader appeal in Virginia

Votelaw cites the AP in this post, which says Ralph Nader will not appeal the decision to keep him off the presidential ballots in Virginia this November.

On Judge Arnold

An Arkansas paper has this obituary for Judge Richard Arnold of the Eighth Circuit.

Here, Judge Arnold answered Howard Bashman's 20 questions. A topic of this discussion includes the one thing I recall about him, as insignificant as it may be, that being his ruling in the Anastasoff case, also described here.

Checking out Cumberland Gap

This article describes what you can see and do at the Cumberland Gap National Historic Park, where Southwest Virginia, Tennessee, and Kentucky come together.

Going to Cumberland Gap is sort of like going to the Florida Keys. Driving south through Florida, you get to Miami and you think you're almost there, but you're not. Similarly, driving west through Virginia to the Gap, you get to Jonesville and you think you're almost there, but you're not.

Retro v. metro

The Richmond paper has this column and a Louisiana TV station has this report, and earlier this month, the Washington Post had this review on a book by some old guy named John Sperling (not to be confused with Gene Sperling) called The Great Divide, which separates the U.S. into "retro" and "metro" states, and asserts that the success of Democrats is limited to the "metro" sphere.

David Baldacci promotes writing at alma mater in Richmond

The Richmond paper writes here ("Prominent novelist returns to help VCU," 9/26/04) that David Baldacci, a lawyer turned writer with roots in Southwest Virginia, is supporting the creative writing program at his alma mater, Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond.

Baldacci explains his Southwest Virginia connection in this note about his novel, Wish You Well.

Roanoke doctor blames trial lawyers

Just in case you were wondering, some doctors like the one who wrote this ("Blame trial lawyers for the malpractice mess," 9/26/04) put more blame on lawyers than insurance companies for the rising costs of malpractice insurance for doctors in Virginia and elsewhere.

Why Boucher keeps getting re-elected

The Roanoke paper has this article ("Boucher uses his incumbency well," 9/26/04) explaining how Congressman Boucher is a popular incumbent in the Ninth District, in part by his conservative votes on a select number of issues.

The article notes: "He prefers news to NASCAR and political programs to country music on the satellite radio system in his car. He's a technophile whose expertise on the Internet and technology are well-known in Washington but rarely mentioned in his district. He is occasionally dubbed jokingly by both fans and critics as "Robot Rick," a reference to his voice and his seemingly scripted public speeches."

As for his conservative votes, the article notes: "Boucher has repeatedly received endorsements from the National Rifle Association, one of the most powerful lobbying organizations in Washington. He voted to limit court jurisdiction over the Defense of Marriage Act, thereby blocking federal courts from forcing states to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states."

Also, the article points out that Boucher almost never goes to the Democratic National Convention.

Cell phone users for Kerry?

My own experience causes me to doubt the premise of this commentary ("Pollsters missing key voter group?" 9/26/04), about how pollsters miss the people who mainly use cellphones. The people I know who mainly use cellphones are also broadband users who like to send e-mail of stuff getting blown up in Iraq - not likely Kerry voters, but that may just be the limitation of the circles in which I circulate.

He probably doesn't drink Coors either

A Republican candidate for statewide office has drawn criticism for the union bug on his bumper stickers, according to this report ("Opponent snipes at Bolling sticker," 9/26/04) in the Richmond paper.

The article notes:

"The union label flap has occurred before. Republican Jim Gilmore destroyed stickers with a union label when running for governor in 1997.

Democratic Lt. Gov. Richard J. Davis of Portsmouth, seeking the Democratic nomination to run for governor in 1985, destroyed bumper stickers that did not have the union label."

Growth of Virginia's inmate population not as fast as expected

The Roanoke paper reports here ("Expected growth spurt doesn't materialize," 9/26/04) that the growth of the inmate population in Virginia following the abolition of parole has not been as rapid as state authorities expected.

On the civil commitment of sex offenders in Virginia

The Newport News paper has this article ("Rapist fights state's plans," 9/26/04) with an update on the Commonwealth's use of the civil commitment law for sex offenders.

SC man prosecuted by Chief Judge Wilkins claims innocence

The State in SC has The this story of a South Carolina inmate convicted of murder in 1975, and who is getting another hearing this week after 28 years in prison.

The article quotes Chief Judge Wilkins of the Fourth Circuit, who was the prosecutor in the case, as saying: "I never prosecuted anybody I thought was innocent."

Reenactment in progress on the Overmountain Victory Trail

This week, a group of Revolutionary War re-enactors took off on foot from Abingdon headed for South Carolina, on the Overmountain Victory Trail.

The official website explains:

"On September 25, 1780, over 1,000 men "mustered" at the Sycamore Shoals of the Watauga River in current day Elizabethton, TN. From there, they crossed the high mountains and dropped into the Piedmont of North Carolina pursuing Major Patrick Ferguson and his Tory Army.

They finally caught them on the afternoon of October 7th atop King's Mountain, in South Carolina. When the battle ended every Tory soldier had been killed or captured. The battle became known as the turning point of the Revolutionary War."

The Johnson City paper reports here ("Overwater Men?" 9/26/04) that this year's Overmountain Men were temporarily thwarted by the high waters of the Watauga River.

National Storytelling Festival coming up in Jonesborough

This year's National Storytelling Festival is coming up, October 1-3 in Jonesborough, TN ("Tennessee's oldest town"). The Kingsport paper has this article ("With Ray Hicks gone, other storytellers to keep tradition alive," 9/26/04) on how there has been some changing of the guard among the storytellers.

Jonesborough is a good place to go, even when there is no festival.

Northeast Tennessee, SW Virginia group seeks recognition as Indian tribe

The Kingsport paper reports here ("Appalachian Intertribal seeks recognition as tribe," 9/26/04) that a group of descendants of Indians in Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia are seeking recognition as an Indian tribe.

On the subject of Indian heritage, I note the following, from this page on Melungeons:

"Under the column Purebred Indian group from Blackwater are the Minors. The Minors, a fighting people, show more of the Indian than any other Indian group in Scott County. They claim to be Portuguese Indian stock. They are of large stature, tall of black complexion and very strong. I believe the Minors are of three-quarters Indian and one-quarter Portuguese. They are of the type of people whose word is their bond. In Scott County some of them own large stock farms and have prospered."

Roy Jessee would probably say: I know Scott County Melungeons, I grew up with Scott County Melungeons, and Steve, you're no Scott County Melungeon.