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PINEVILLE - Kevin Hedinger has worn many hats in Pineville and in Wyoming County.

The long-time educator and coach added another recently when he was appointed Municipal Judge in Pineville.

He replaces long-time Municipal Judge Thomas J. "Tommy" Daniels, who passed away Jan. 15 following a short illness.

Daniels, too, was a long-time teacher (math) and coach in the county and was municipal judge in both Pineville and Oceana at the time of his death.

Hedinger has been at his post for two months, since being appointed by city council.

"Mr. Daniels had done it for a long time and I think they had someone in there just helping out, a substitute judge," Hedinger said. "Mike Kodak, the mayor, told me they were going to take applications for it and asked if it was something I might be interested in or if it was something I might want to try."

Turns out, while he had never considered a position as a judge would be something he could add to his resume, it has, nonetheless, been interesting.

"I never thought I would do that, but it's not been bad," Hedinger said. "I would say it has been very interesting."

Most of the responsibilities, he said, deal with tickets and fines.

"There aren't a lot of tickets written in Pineville," Hedinger said. "I think the problem initially was getting things caught up, because we were a few months behind. What it is, is mostly traffic violations or things like garbage in the yards they might write tickets for."

Obviously, a municipal judge is not the same as a state or federal judge.

Hedinger said it is a mostly common sense job.

"That is exactly what it is," Hedinger said. "There are city regs (regulations) that you have to be aware of, and the fines can be anywhere from $100 to $500 (plus the court cost of $92). "We're poor here in southern West Virginia. You really don't want to burden the people more than you have to, but we do have rules in place for a reason."

And during the first couple of months, he has had cases where he knew the person in the court room.

"But there are also a lot of people from out of state," he said. "We get a lot of people who come in and ride the trails. I guess they think it might be the wild west or something."

He said the position is a little bit like many of the coaching positions he has held, including long-time assistant coach to Ron "Chief" Mayhew with the Wyoming East baseball program.

"You have to do things the right way," he said of those similarities. "And if you don't, there's going to be consequences."

While just getting started in the post, Hedinger said he would be attending more training at Stonewall Jackson Resort in August.

"It's not something you do for the money, that's not much, but it is, like I said, interesting," Hedinger said.

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