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Monday, May 2, 2016

One more try

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Just when Sharp County citizens thought the back and forth battle was over, the Save Energy Reap Taxes (SERT) group struck back.

SERT has hired attorney Jeremy Lowrey of Sheridan to appeal Circuit Court Judge Phillip Smith's decision to remove the wet/dry issue from the November ballot.

In September, Yota Shaw and Morris Street filed against the petitions to place the wet/dry issue on the ballot. Judge Harold Erwin then filed a temporary injunction removing the issue from the ballot until a formal hearing was held.

During the three day hearing, Judge Smith heard both sides of the argument. Shaw's attorney, David Blair, said the petitions were not presented correctly and the people who signed them were misled.

Blair's star witness, Dawn Reed, who is a document examiner, testified that many of the signatures on the petitions shared common authorship. Common authorship, Reed explained, means she saw similarities in the signatures which led her to believe some of the signatures were signed by the same person.

In his ruling, Judge Smith determined that 461 signatures on the petitions were invalid. After removing the invalid signatures, the petitions fell short of the required 38 percent of signatures from registered Sharp County voters, requiring the issue to be removed from the November ballots.

Lowrey said the appeal will go straight to the Supreme Court. "Historically, the court has expedited this kind of case," Lowrey said. Lowrey is hoping for a ruling on the case before the November elections.

Lowrey said they have to wait on the transcripts and records from the hearing to be finished before they can file the appeal. The judge who handles the appeal will review the records and testimonies along with the evidence from the hearing and decide if he agrees with Judge Smith's ruling. Lowrey said, generally, there is no hearing held for an appeal.

The appeal was formally filed Oct. 3 with the Sharp County Clerk's office. Stu Freigy, a SERT member, said he feels there were many discrepancies in Judge Smith's ruling.

"Most everybody has pointed to me on this. I represent a committee," Morris Street said. "The committee voted to go forward with this and since only one person can file the suit my name was on it."

Street said he had not heard from their attorney that an appeal had been filed. "I will have to get together with the committee and start getting the money to support our lawyer for this matter," Street said. "We have come this far, we're not going to back down now."

Freigy said if people want to continue to live like it is still the 1920s that's fine with him but he wants the voters to have that choice. "If it goes to a vote and we lose, we're gonna hang it up," Freigy said. "We just want the people to be able to decide."

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In the 1920's the county was wet, so yes we do want to live like the 1920's.

Mr. Freigy needs to get a hobby, and quit pushing his will on the people of Sharp County, who do not want this.

-- Posted by rebelman on Thu, Oct 9, 2008, at 7:19 PM

Some of us do want it, and even if I didn't, I still want my right to vote on it. This county could sure use the taxes and besides, there is a "private club" within 10 to 15 minutes of most of us. There they go drink and drive home drunk, at least with sales within the county some of them will at least take it home to drink it.

-- Posted by raisen on Thu, Oct 9, 2008, at 7:33 PM

The people that don't want the county wet and say they will vote against it but yet complain because they feel like some kind of right to vote has been taken away from them are being very hypocritical. You are either for or against it. It is that simple. If you say you will vote against it then you should be a part of Keep Sharp County Dry and take on SERT along with Morris and Yota.

-- Posted by Jill.Dye on Thu, Oct 9, 2008, at 9:18 PM

Good point raisen. I hear what you are saying.

Jill.Dye, I also agree with you, and I did join the website,Keep Sharp County Dry, several months ago, and have not heard from them once, so I guess they do not want anyone's help.

-- Posted by rebelman on Thu, Oct 9, 2008, at 10:51 PM

I also do not think all of the private clubs should be allowed in a dry county either.

-- Posted by rebelman on Thu, Oct 9, 2008, at 10:52 PM

Rebelman, maybe someone from there will read your post and contact you. I agree with you about the private clubs.

-- Posted by Jill.Dye on Fri, Oct 10, 2008, at 4:18 PM

I also feel that there should be no liquor allowed on the golf courses. Is that not public intoxication? Then they drive home afterwards.

-- Posted by rebelman on Fri, Oct 10, 2008, at 10:52 PM

Instead of getting the county wet, law enforcement needs to control all of this public intoxication, and arrest all the ones who drive after this.

-- Posted by rebelman on Fri, Oct 10, 2008, at 10:53 PM

Someone needs to tell Ruth Reynolds this is not going to be voted on. She was sitting on the side of the road on Sunday near Dollar General in Ash Flat, holding up sign, Vote Sharp County Wet. What part of this is not going to be on the ballot, does she not understand.

-- Posted by rebelman on Mon, Oct 13, 2008, at 9:20 AM

I remember when Sharp County was wet. When WW2 ended, there were two bars in downtown Hardy. Drunks were staggering up and down the streets. As a youngster, I was afraid to walk down the sidewalk in front of one of the bars. I can personally attest to the evil's of booze. There was a time that I was addicted to it. I am so sorry for the pain and shame I brought upon my self and my family. I am so thankful that by the Grace of God, I no longer have that weekness. To vote Sharp County wet, would be making it more readily available to those addicted to the effects of booze. Please, let's not do this.

-- Posted by jphelps on Mon, Oct 13, 2008, at 11:24 AM

If Ruth Reynolds really felt so strongly about the environment and the harm she believes it does to it, then she would walk everywhere and not drive all over the county emitting gas that pollutes the air.

-- Posted by Jill.Dye on Mon, Oct 13, 2008, at 11:44 AM

In my previous post I misspelled "weakness". Sorry about that. Goes to show that a "spell checker" is not a "mind reader".

-- Posted by jphelps on Tue, Oct 14, 2008, at 7:13 AM

Rebelman just where are you from? It does not seem like you are an American since voting is the way we make things work here. Just because a county is wet does not mean everyone has to go buy a beer and drink it. It is called freedom of choice. So let Sharp County have a choice.

-- Posted by troutman on Thu, Oct 16, 2008, at 1:43 PM

Why do all the ones that are against the county going wet get accused of trying to take away people's right to vote? That is not the real issue here. Truth is, the ones that have been fighting so hard to turn it wet have had their pride stepped on just a bit and can't stand the fact that their bullying has been given right back to them in the form of a defeat (and done so lawfully). They never expected their petition to get challenged like it has and they sure never expected to have to invest in a lawsuit.

-- Posted by Jill.Dye on Thu, Oct 16, 2008, at 11:24 PM

It is now official. The issue will not voted on, even though it is on the ballot.

-- Posted by rebelman on Fri, Oct 17, 2008, at 1:30 PM

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