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From left, Mingo County Commissioners Thomas Taylor, Dianne Hannah and Greg “Hootie” Smith attend Wednesday’s County Commission at the Mingo County Courthouse in Williamson.

WILLIAMSON — The Mingo County Commission approved the hiring of two new deputies for the Mingo County Sheriff’s Department at their regularly scheduled meeting Wednesday, Nov. 6, at the Mingo County Courthouse.

Mingo County Sheriff James Smith recommended the hiring of former Williamson City Police officer Josh Tincher to fill in for Joey Ferris, who has been on medical leave and is going to retire.

The commission approved the hiring 2-0, with President Dianne Hannah abstaining due to Tincher being married to her niece. Tincher was approved to start working Nov. 16. He was most recently employed with the Logan City Police Department.

The commission also approved the hiring of Wyoming County native T.J. Justice after Smith recommended him to fill one of the Resource Officer positions, which are funded mostly by the Mingo County Board of Education.

The BOE collaborated with the Sheriff’s Office and the County Commission and Superintendent Don Spence announced prior to this school year that they have a deputy stationed at both of the county high schools for the 2019-20 school term. The resource officer positions are temporary and are dependent on the funds from the BOE.

The commission approved the hiring of Justice, who is currently a certified officer with the Oceana Police Department, pending the condition of his background check and drug screening.

Earlier in the meeting Sheriff Smith was also approached by Marcella Charles-Casto, assistant principal at Mingo Central High School, about possibly donating an out-of-service police cruiser to the MCHS Law Enforcement Program.

Smith agreed to donate the cruiser to MCHS for the use of the program, and the commissioners approved it 3-0.

Additionally, the MCC heard a presentation from Billy Carrico, the hub manager of the Pike County Teleworks USA Hub, as he discussed setting up a job fair inside the courthouse and potentially expanding into Mingo County.

Teleworks USA, which is a part of the East Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program, is a company that connects the local labor force with national, fortune 500 companies that offer work at home positions.

“What Teleworks does is we take national companies, and we’re bringing outside money in. Instead of all the years Mingo County and Pike County send money out, we want to bring money in,” Carrico said. “Companies approach us and they say ‘Hey, we need teleworkers.’ And they are looking at people to staff positions whether it is tech support, customer service, sales, billing and medical billing. Whatever it is, they say ‘Hey, we need 10 people,’ or they could need 500 people. And we provide them with those people.”

Carrico said the jobs are for inbound customer service positions and not outbound telemarketer sales jobs. Full-time jobs start off at $12 an hour. Employees must be able to pass a background check and provide their own equipment, including high speed internet.

The County Commission agreed to let Teleworks USA host a job fair inside the courthouse Thursday, Nov. 14. Teleworks USA staff will assist with job preparation, resume building, job application and place you in a job offer session.

The first session lasts from 10 a.m. to noon, and the second session lasts from 1-3 p.m. Seating is limited to 15 people for each session, and you must be pre-registered. To pre-register contact Carrico at 606-438-5335 or by email at

“We’re just a nonprofit here to connect national companies to our Appalachian people,” Carrico said.

Here is a summary of other business conducted by the commission on Nov. 6:

  • The MCC approved a noninterest loan of $50,000 to the Mingo County Airport Authority from the Coal Severance Economic Development Funds, to be paid back in full next July once funds are received from the FAA.
  • The MCC approved a noninterest loan up to $350,000 to the Mingo County PSD from the Coal Severance Economic Development Funds. The PSD and the Commission will agree to a payment plan for the funds to be repaid.
  • John Webster, external affairs manager with American Electric Power, discussed an AEP feasibility study that could expand broadband coverage in Mingo County. The WV Broadband Enhancement Council will consider the study and listen to any public comments at 10 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 14, at the WV State Capitol.
  • The MCC approved one-time $1,000 donations to the Delbarton, Wharncliffe and Gilbert volunteer fire departments.
  • The MCC approved a $1,000 donation to the Town of Gilbert CVB for their National Trailfest event.
  • The MCC voted to change the polling place in Precinct 23 from the Nolan Freewill Baptist Church to Sport Stop, INC., located just off U.S. 119 at Victory Lane.

Jarrid McCormick is a reporter for the Williamson Daily News. He can be reached by email at

Jarrid McCormick is a reporter for the Williamson Daily News. He can be reached by email at