By TERRY L. MAY
The Mingo Board of Education meeting was fairly routine Tuesday evening until a man asked to chain a BOE president Charles "Butch" West to Williamson High School.
During the Citizens' Input portion of the meeting, Ragland resident Johnnie Owens, addressed the board asking West if he remembered making a statement that he would chain himself to the doors of Williamson High School if the school was closed as part of the consolidation for Mingo Central.
West acknowledged the statement and Owens proceed to pull a chain and padlock from a bag. He told West he brought a "porch swing" chain because he could not find a logging chain.
"Can I chain you to the building?" Owens asked swinging the chain and lock in front of West in a mocking gesture.
West told him he would have no problem chaining himself to the building, "But, you (Owens) will not do it."
Prior to Owens' remarks to the board, BOE Vice President Jacqueline Branch and Member Stephen "Cheetah" Marcum had high praise for the new school.
Branch said the new Mingo Central High School is an example of the county moving forward and meeting the educational needs of Mingo County students.
"Overall, we put our children first," Branch said. "That is what we do as a county."
Marcum said he had recently conducted another visit to the school and was impressed.
"It is just beautiful," he said. "I know in my heart that we are going to succeed up there. I love it."
Mingo Central, located off a portion of the new King Coal Highway near Red Jacket, will open its doors to its first class of students when the new term begins in August. It will include students from Burch, Gilbert, Matewan and Williamson high schools.