Central Dispatch moves closer to suing City of Sesser


The West Franklin Central Dispatch Board approved a recommendation to send one final communication to the city of Sesser before filing a lawsuit agains thte city. The Board met in continued session Wednesday night in Christopher.

The equivalent of a “Final Notice” was approved for delivery to Sesser over the amount that represents their share of monies owed to Central Dispatch. According to documents obtained by FranklinCounty-News.com, the city of Sesser is being billed for a total of $71, 480.32 representing past due and monthly funding for Central Dispatch.

The Board authorized a final letter that will be hand delivered to Sesser City Hall as soon as it has been completed. The city will have 14 days to make their account current. If this is not done, Central Dispatch attorney Rebecca Whittington has the Board’s approval to file a lawsuit against the city of Sesser on the Board’s behalf.

As FranklinCounty-News.com has reported in covering this story, Sesser is disputing the money owed. They have retained Harrisburg attorney Robert Wilson to represent them.

West Franklin Central Dispatch continues to meet obligations to the state and the federal government agencies that were owed money after major financial problems were uncovered. As the arrangement currently stands, the Board is still seeking its federal not-for-profit status as well while dealing with “clean up” of their financial mess.

In other Board actions:
  • Approval was given to purchase a time clock. The previous clock was damaged in an electrical storm.
  • A trainee telecommunicator was hired.
  • The board suggested an intergovernmental agreement with Valier that would cover other departments other than Police. This was suggested formally as a way to lessen liability for responders and maximize mutual aid opportunities.
  • The board reported that overtime excesses had been addressed with staff.

Franklin County Farm Bureau news for Dec. 7


We have just returned from the IAA annual meeting in Chicago. I always enjoy this meeting, but the only problem is that I have to leave home and go to Chicago to be there!

Our three delegates this year were Leon McClerren, Ralph Smith, Debbie Fisher and Michael Browning served as an alternate. These folks voted on every proposed resolution and represented Franklin County farmers very well.

The policies that they adopted are in a 118-page document that gives the organization positions on a host of agricultural issues. With these adopted policies, farmers can expect these issues to be guarded by the IAA board and staff to protect the interest of farmers as we labor to produce food, fiber and fuel. All of this for a $65 investment in our industry.

If anyone would like a copy of this document, we would be happy to provide them to you free of charge.

There are several issues that will be discussed and hopefully acted on in the General Assembly and Congress in the next few weeks but the cloud that hangs over our future is the financial cliff that is on the news everyday. Farmers could be affected negatively if nothing is done about the estate tax provision that will expire on Jan. 1.

We have been asking members to call their Senators and Representative to ask them to support the present position at the $5 million level rather than at $1 million. If you made a call, please let us know so that we can report to the IAA.

Ironically, all that we hear about is that offers have been made to increase revenue (tax increases) but no one is talking about spending reductions. Sixty-five percent of the federal budget is obligated to entitlements and that is where we must start to solve this problem.

The President is asking for increased revenue and increased spending not spending cuts. My calculator will not compute that into a more balanced budget. We are headed to a cliff whether it is the first of the year or at some later date.

We now have a debt that is greater than our Gross Domestic Product (GDP). What that means in terms of the common man is that you owe more than you produce in one year. What you produce does not equal or exceed your profit. Some people say that there is no concern about the debt problem and most of the rhetoric is simply to frighten the public. As a common man, I do not need a very sharp pencil to understand this dilemma.

We need to pray that common sense would pervade our halls of the Capital buildings and that old-fashioned economics would become the common sense of the day.

Remember we are farmers working together. If we can help, let us know.

Late Bloomer: Sesser woman embarks on writing career after retirement


Phyllis Pearson with her just-published book “For Better or Worse.”
(Photo by Jim Muir)


By Jim Muir

While some people look at the golden years of retirement as a time to relax, kick-back and watch the world go by Phyllis Pearson saw it as a chance to embark on a new career.

Clearly the most remarkable thing about her decision is the fact that it wasn’t just any old career that Pearson chose – at the age of 71 she decided to write a book.  And in a matter of a few months, “For Better or Worse” – 218 pages in paperback about a young girl named Maggie – was finished.

A native of Franklin County and a current resident of Sesser, Pearson said she prayed about a direction for her life.

“I prayed for guidance,” said Pearson.  “I am in fairly good health for a person my age and I sure didn’t want to sit and twiddle my thumbs until I died.  I was given this urge to write this story and this is where it came from.  I was led to write this book.  The Holy Spirit led and sometimes pushed me all the way through. To God by the glory.”

Once she started the words came easily, Pearson said.

“I started writing the book in mid August last year and I wrote the final word on Thanksgiving Day,” said Pearson. “Of course that was just the rough draft and we had to go through the editing process.  It was finally ready to go to print this July.”

Pearson is a widow and has two grown sons, Eric and Cleve, and is also a grandmother.

Pearson said she has no formal training as a writer but did “tinker around” writing many years ago.

“I jotted things down, sort of like a blog before anybody knew what a blog was,” she said. “I called it ‘my world as I see it.” I basically wrote about childhood memories.”

Pearson said the experience of holding her book is rewarding to her but she also hopes it serves as motivation for other retirees her age who might be struggling with a new direction in life.

“It’s been quite and experience and I’m proud of what I accomplished,” said Pearson. “I found something in me that guess I didn’t know was there. I hope others my age might find some inspiration from this.”

Pearson said she knew a vague beginning to her book but once she started her creative side took over.

“I didn’t know the complete story from start to finish,” Pearson said. “I knew what I wanted to do with the first few chapters but then as I got deeper into the book it just came to me. One night I couldn’t sleep until I got up and deleted a couple of pages I had written. It was that kind of experience.”

The book is about a troubled young girl named Maggie who Pearson said had a childhood far different from her own.

“The biggest problem I had was keeping Maggie in character,” said Pearson.  “I had a blessed childhood and I was writing about a child who was abused, ignored and whose needs were never met. And then later on that caused her to be such a closed-in person … which I am not.”

Pearson said the book is not based on any event or any person she has ever known but noted that she did use a few stories from her friends about their own childhood.

“I guess you could say it is a collaboration of some of the stories I’ve heard,” said Pearson.  “I’ve read a lot and watched a lot of Dr. Phil – about the impact that childhood has on us as adults.  Maggie was just a compacted version of all this.  She got the full load, poor child.”

Pearson said she has heard authors talk about fictional characters ‘coming-to-life’ on the pages of a book and said she didn’t believe that until her writing experience was completed.

“Maggie is real to me, she really is,” said Pearson.  “There was a time in my life when I would have liked to adopt a little girl 10 or 12 years old just to love her.  Maybe Maggie is that little girl.  She is just a poor little girl that you want to hug.  These weren’t just words on a page to me. The world is full of kids like Maggie.”

Now that she is published author Pearson is certainly not resting on her laurels.

“I have started my second book,” she said, “and I think it has more of my personality and more about experiences I’ve had in my own life.  I also have plans to write  a couple of mysteries too.”

Pearson said she is counting on good genetics to enhance her now-thriving writing career.

I’ve got the two mysteries book already written right up here,” Pearson said pointing to her head.“My great-grandma lived to be 92 so I plan on being like her so I can continue my new writing career.”

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