A promising collaboration

There have been a few noticeable chances around our sleepy little town. We have not only a new mayor in office but there has been a changeover at the Clifton Forge clinic! Dr. Dallas Crowley has taken up the reins as Director, and now the two of them are teaming up to make Clifton Forge a healthier place to live.

Our reporter, Caspian Douglas, has sat down with each of them in order to give our readers an idea of what the future might hold for us. As Dr. Crowley describes it “The Clinic is up for some critical upgrades.”

With Dr. Dallas Crowley and Mayor Vishaal Khuran working together it looks as though Clifton Forge will have a bright future. Some of the plans they have in work involve facilitating funding through donations and government (state wide and federal). They hope to use these funds to accomplish multiple improvements within Clifton Forge such as:

  • Creating a cheaper and more readily available prescription program for much needed and life saving medications including: insulin, epinephrine, chemotherapy treatments, anticonvulsants, and steroids.
  • Increasing the mental health program availability to allow for more counseling services available for our citizens. Especially given the trauma our city has faced in the recent weeks.
  • Create a better rehabilitation program aimed at fighting opioid addiction and maintaining care during recovery. 
  • Creating a medical exchange program for expensive but necessary medical equipment such as needles.

Dr. Crowley was clear in pointing out that the health and wellbeing of this community’s inhabitants is of paramount importance to her and that she will go above and beyond to ensure that any needs shall be met. And, with the help of Mr. Khuran the future looks bright for those who need medical assistance within our fair city.

According to Dr. Crowley, an opioid program was started by her predecessor before she stepped into the role of director and she intends to pursue it. She’s also in negotiations with the insurance companies contracted with local businesses, working with them on implementing wellness programs that will allow for decreased premiums for enrolled members.

“As I said, sir, I take this job seriously and I consider it my personal responsibility to look after the health of those who call Clifton Forge, home. Whatever needs this community has, they will be addressed. Luckily for me, I happen to work with a Mayor who fully supports my efforts.”
-Dr. Dallas Crowley

I for one am excited to see where Dr. Crowley and Mr. Khuran are able to take us in the future and as a citizen of Clifton Forge I will do my best to assist them in reaching these goals. They are doing their best to build a brighter, healthier, future for us all and the Telegraph is behind them 100%.

-Caspian Douglas

Dr. Dallas Crowley and Mayor Vishaal Khuran /Photo: Otto Munch

Et tu, Gabriella?

The Roman party at the Sip’n Bite ended in a violent and bloody note when a mysterious woman, very in the spirit of the night, stabbed Doctor Selena Cain with what appears to be a short sword. The woman, identified by some as Gabriella Flores escaped before anyone could stop her. Later the paramedics mentioned that if it hadn’t been for the doctor’s friends and a few other guests taking part in the festivity who were able to stabilize miss Cain, the night would have ended in tragedy. Doctor Selena Cain was taken to the local clinic to be attended and the doctors hope she will recover soon.
-Jiriel Fenix

Image: Jiriel Fenix

In the service of our Lord

Our reporter Caspian Douglas has sat down with Father Ocampo of the local Catholic Church to talk about the state of our town, as well as many other intriguing stories. 

What our reporter assumed would be the normal routine of a priest enraged at the newly appointed mayor attending events where young women flaunt their bodies, as indicated by a proceeding phone call to set up the interview, turned into something with a bit more flavour. And although the wet t-shirt contest in question was indeed discussed, this motorcycle riding dog and cat loving Father of the church had so much more to share. 

Father Ocampo was transferred to Clifton Forge to restore the Christian Faith in our community three months ago, and confesses to only one sin. Over eating. Besides this sin, and the already mentioned love for animals, the priest, who has served for about twenty years at this point in time is perhaps best described as an old man with a young, vivid mind. He describes himself as a fan of Christian rock music, and, he points out, just a person like everyone else. This is what he wants others to see when he meets his congregation. Someone who is just like them. 

A well meaning and good natured, understanding man, the Father says that although he has met many Christians in Clifton Forge, very few actually come to visit the Church itself. Something he attributes to millennials and their way of thinking and using the internet to connect to each other, rather than to meet in a quote “Stuffy old building”. For these reasons, Father Ocampo has focused on meeting people outside of the Church as well. He gives as an example how he loves to debate with one of the young men working at Roady’s, and how he feels he in this way has a part in helping him sort out his life. He wants people to see that not only is he, but also god, there to listen, talk and debate, and points out that now more than ever does the Catholic Church need to listen to young people and work with them, more than to stick to their old ways and shun them. As long as it doesn’t harm others. 

The father wants to thank all of Clifton Forge for the love and prayers and all the donations and work put in to keep the congregation working, and to connect with the young people out there, suggests using the hashtag #prayforclifton , although our reporter, who is openly agnostic, remains to this date a little uncertain in what context. It might even have been an attempt at a joke by the jolly old man. But who knows, as they say God works in mysterious ways. 

After much talking, among which our reporter was kindly invited to come and visit the church, which he regretfully has not yet managed to do, some prayer and discussions of love the interview at last found its way to the topic of which the father had wanted to come and talk about. The state of the town and our new Mayor. 

After drinking some of the water offered by our reporter and clearing his throat, the priest went on to say this about our new Mayor: 

“Now about this new mayor, I find it troubling that while our own Clifton businesses are getting attacked. Including the lovely  Sumaya Abdi, who i will mention gave me the most amazing bath soap i’ve ever had. Has not once come out and made a public statement on these attacks. Instead he has been supported by nightclubs, and doing wet T-shirt contests. Spraying young women who had no intent to participate in it.  I have come here to beg our mayor, please your city needs you. Be a proper example, do what you said you would in your campaign, I have yet to see one public outing of you making Clifton cleaner. Yet when you said there was nothing out of the ordinary regarding the levels of crime in our city. Yet we have masked criminals still on the loose!” 

“For the rest of you out there. I will pray for you, and support you. We should all go visit Suds, and help a young business out while they are recovering from the damages to their store.”

As the interview was about to wrap up however, and talk turned briefly to the crime levels in town, it all took a turn toward the strange. With our reporter briefly mentioning an interview in which he spoke to Special Agent Alex Smith about the raid on the Tavola Calda, it seemed the priest was at once convinced of some sort of conspiracy against him, where actor Mr Hugo Weaving would be in town, made up as his character Agent Smith from the Matrix movie franchise. The priest did seem very excited about the prospect of meeting the actor and get his autograph, as well as to perhaps get to hear a line from one of his movies, in person. 

It turns out Father Ocampo is also a huge fan of the Matrix, and has even written some online fanfiction on the character Neo, and how he is very much like that of Jesus Christ. Unfortunately however our reporter could not offer the old priest the opportunity to meet neither Neo, Agent Smith or Hugo Weaving in person. But who knows, with events that are about to unfold in town over the coming month, who might show up? Of this can only be said, that God works in mysterious ways. 

Amen.
-Caspian Douglas

Notices:

The Sheriff’s department is currently seeking help from the community in finding out about a body that was washed up on the shore this weekend. They are looking for anyone who may be able to identify the person as well as anyone who may have seen anything that could shed light on the circumstances of their death. If you know anything, please contact or visit the station. 
-tCFT


According to local sources two separate shootings have occurred in the local park during these past two weeks. Perhaps the mayor and the local authorities need to look into the safety of the park in question and work out how to transform it into an area where citizens no longer have to fear for their lives?
-tCFT


Local bar owner Murphy Daughtery was recently bereft of her hand. If anyone knows its whereabouts or have seen or heard anything in regards to the perpetrator, please contact or visit the local Sheriff’s department. 
-tCFT

On the 28th of July, one man with a flamethrower attacked a group of people outside the local clinic. The brave Dr. Andonia Doll managed to bring her colleagues to safety while also alerting the emergency services. In the altercation, where one person in the group appears to have retaliated, one person was killed and another sent to hospital. 
-tCFT

Election special

It is near time for our town to select its new mayor, and the Telegraph’s reporter, Caspian Douglas, has sat down with both mayoral candidates, Vishaal Khuran and Edward J. Carpenter in discussions about their visions for Clifton Forge’s future. 

First out was Mr. Khuran, for the VoteVish Campaing. Vishaal is a young, passionate Ex Marine and receiver of the Purple Heart and Marine Corps Good Conduct medal, currently employed as a Forest Ranger in Clifton Forge. Besides rallies and speeches to promote his campaign, he has also been hosting clean up efforts at the local beach in the name of his campaign slogan “Clean up Clifton Forge.”

The second candidate to sit down with our reporter was Mr Carpenter of the Carpenter 2020 campaign. Edward is a NYPD veteran and former councilman Meza, Arizona. He is currently working as a bartender at the Sip n’ Bite in Clifton Forge. 

Read our separate pieces about both candidates to see how they performed when faced by our reporter’s questions, and then it’s time for you to decide whether to vote for the passionate, ambitious Vishaal, or the strategic and precise Ed.

-Amber Greene

Interview with Vishaal Khuran

The interview took place at the Telegraph office presumably in between two the busy candidate’s many meetings. Vishaal arrived at the Telegraph office in full campaign mode , wearing what looked to be a U.S. Forest Service Forest Ranger outfit with the U.S. Forest Service logo taped over on the left hand side, as well as a number of campaign buttons decorating his uniform. 

He seemed in good spirits, and eagerly set out to answer our reporter’s questions regarding his involvement with the LGBTQIA community, in light of Pride Month that has just passed, and his work for a more sustainable future. Vishal, who revealed himself to be a member of Planet Earth, as well as being an undisclosed part of the queer community expressed that matters regarding both issues were going to be of doubtless import even after having been elected mayor for Clifton Forge. 

But it wasn’t until asked further about his vision for our town’s sustainable future he became really passionate. “I am going to make sure the right incentives are there for people to transition to using renewable resources. I’ll provide subsidies, tax breaks, and we’ll ensure that we update our building codes to require solar panels and wind turbines to offset the need for power from other sources. I also make sure that our local power grid is updated so that it can accept power from alternative sources.” The candidate promised, and went on to urge every citizen as well as businesses in our community and communities across the state to work together so that we can become 100% green.

In making a comparison to Fredericksburg, which has made a commitment to become 100% green by 2035, Mr. Khuran ensures us that he is going to put together a commitment of our own that is both realistic and aggressive, and that if we band together as a community, he believes we can beat Fredericksburg on their date. His first action as mayor, he claims, is going to be to hire a sustainability export. So if any of you readers out there are up for the role, he urges you to get in touch with him. 

He turned once again to our readers to do their bit to make Clifton Forge cleaner, stating that he intends to create a city website with a handbook and a guide on how to become sustainable as well as hosting educational programs aimed at the public. However, he reassures us that although he will need the community’s help in meeting his lofty goals, it is ultimately him that is going to be responsible, and that if the goals aren’t met, he will be out of a job. And he is already aiming high, claiming that his next campaign slogan will be “Keep Clifton Clean” rather than the current one, stating “Cleanup Clifton”.

So there, dear readers, you all have something to hold this candidate accountable for, should he make the position as Mayor. 

The interview started to take a different tone as the subject changed to law enforcement, with the candidate seemingly somewhat losing interest in the topic. But, we will leave it up to you, our readers to decide whether he is right in his opinion that there is nothing out of the ordinary regarding the levels of crime in our city, if compared to any town of a similar size. However, he goes on to inform us that he has been in conversation with the local county sheriff, Mr Max Holden, who has promised to work with him on key reforms. 

We regret to inform our readers that the interview was cut short as the subject went on to equality, as Mr. Khuran began to seem agitated. He did however ensure us that he is committed to ensure that the city employs fifty percent women, and that he already has made a list of those he wishes to work within his own office. He was able to tell us that “In addition to focusing on issues of justice reform, we’re going to be looking closely at issues relating to homelessness and LGBTQIA outreach. We have a hostel and community center in Clifton Forge that is dedicated to helping address these issues but it’s not enough.”

Unfortunately, it seems that the pressure might have finally gotten to the young candidate, as he was barely finished assuring our reporter that he intents to set an example in the way he forms his own office, with a team that represents all walks of life from the community, before he decided to set an end to the interview by throwing the device it was being recorded on onto the floor.

The Telegraph has since tried to reach out to him to inquire about his well being, but has not been able to get a reply that can confirm how he is currently doing. We can only speculate that the busy campaigning schedule is starting to take its toll.

– Caspian Douglas

Interview with Edward J. Carpenter

Our reporter met with Mr. Carpenter at the patio belonging to the renowned Tavola Calda at the candidate’s wishes. His campaign consists of three parts, according to his website, and when asked what he saw as most important of these parts, he admitted to it being Public Safety. The other parts are Infrastructure and the delivery of necessary services, as well as promoting an environment that attracts and retains business.The retired police NYPD officer tells us that for him, “it all ties back into that: If we can give people what they need, good homes, work and a sense of community we are all better for it.”

Seemingly a fairly calm and collected man, at ease with answering the questions coming his way with what appears to be a great volume of data in his mind,  Carpenter is pushing for community policing programs and more training for our local law enforcement, planning to shift those allocated funds from things like tactical swat vehicles to outreach programs, needle exchanges as well as making counselling more available. 

The candidate seemed to take some amusement in our reporter calling his suggested method softer than the ways of policing currently in place, assuming they were being seen as easier. However, for clarification, in this case, softer means friendlier.

He warned that it isn’t going to be an easy change, to enforce his suggested new community policing act. And that it’s likely that people are not going to be happy to answer questions about their race and gender when a sheriff [or police officer] pulls them over. However, he is quick to point out that “It’s necessary to prove in plain english and numbers that people of color are being disproportionately targeted, and those numbers need to be recorded.”

Of course, with what is currently going on in our nation, and has spread across much of the world, our reporter saw it as important to follow up with questions regarding Mr.Carpenter’s plans for our local law enforcement in comparison to the Defund the Police Movement. This is his response: “ I wouldn’t say [it is] part of the movement. We still need law and law enforcement. But yes, I support defunding as a matter of public safety.” He later went on to specify how he wished to see some of the current spending being redirected to organized steering committees for each neighborhood comprised of pro-active residents. In his own words, “sort of a Social Outreach Worker.” 

Although this candidate’s main focus seems to be very much on the law enforcement side of things, as should perhaps be expected of an ex cop, he also shared some intricately detailed plans on his vision for Clifton Forge’s sustainable future, which unfortunately could not all be included in this article to ensure our readers’ attention remain with us. 

“Our environment plays heavily into my plans for supporting our local economy,  Nothing happens without money, and Clifton Forge is one of the most naturally beautiful places I’ve ever seen.” Ed, who is born and raised in New York, seems to have a very economical eye on the environment, and also expresses that his idea is to follow the governor’s lead in moving to green energy as a way to keep our natural spaces pristine and as a way to more effectively deliver Services and goods to our city. 

If elected, he intends to court Dominion Energy and Appalachian Power, in hope that they would consider building one of their new wind farms off our coast, stating he wants our people to benefit from the growth industry and jobs green energy offers.

Of course this sort of plan often comes with worries and questions from the public, one being a concern for the natural beauty of the area. But the mayoral candidate has told our reporter there is no need to worry, comparing the structures that need to be raised to implement his plans for a greener Clifton Forge to that of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, in that people were not in favour of it at first, but that it now is a major tourist attraction. However, we need to point out that the iconic tower was built as an entrance to the Exposition Universelle 1889 and was to be disassembled in 1909. It also never had any intended function besides that of a monument to art and engineering, which we hope isn’t the case with the wind turbines and solar stations the candidate is proposing for our town. 

Again, he points to the benefit for local industry and economics to implement green energy as well as a zero waste policy, claiming it will create more well paying jobs. And, as a last statement regarding his environmental policies, providing the business community buys into his plans, he hopes to be able to go fully green somewhere between 2035 and 2050, and sees that smaller goals, like coming up to emission standards, can be reached as early as 2035. 

And there, dear readers, you have an actual goal to hold Mr. Carpenter to, should you vote him in as the next mayor.

Mr. Carpenter’s social policies seem to heavily tie into those of public safety, and again points to a need for solutions that are indigenous to our neighborhoods and our community. We must bolster the programs we already have in place and give more hands to help. But he also states that to make this part of his scheme work, growth industries like green energy and tourism bring in a much needed cash flow.

The interview had to be cut short in the end, as Mr. Carpenter is a busy man and seemed in a hurry elsewhere. However, the Telegraph did manage to get a hold of him for a few final questions regarding his hiring policies and his stance on lgbtqia questions.

In regards to the queer comunity, he let us know that  “As a bisexual man I am my thought are never far from the protection and rights our community has fought so hard for.. I will always support our community in whatever  way I’m able, we’ve made considerable  strides towards equality. But we’re not done yet. ” And he went on to further claim that he has a fair mix in his campaign team and [that] if he is elected to office I will continue hiring people who can offer perspectives that engender equity.

Our reporter met with Mr. Carpenter at the patio belonging to the renowned Tavola Calda at the candidate’s wishes. His campaign consists of three parts, according to his website, and when asked what he saw as most important of these parts, he admitted to it being Public Safety. The other parts are Infrastructure and the delivery of necessary services, as well as promoting an environment that attracts and retains business.The retired police NYPD officer tells us that for him, “it all ties back into that: If we can give people what they need, good homes, work and a sense of community we are all better for it.”

Seemingly a fairly calm and collected man, at ease with answering the questions coming his way with what appears to be a great volume of data in his mind,  Carpenter is pushing for community policing programs and more training for our local law enforcement, planning to shift those allocated funds from things like tactical swat vehicles to outreach programs, needle exchanges as well as making counselling more available. 

The candidate seemed to take some amusement in our reporter calling his suggested method softer than the ways of policing currently in place, assuming they were being seen as easier. However, for clarification, in this case, softer means friendlier.

He warned that it isn’t going to be an easy change, to enforce his suggested new community policing act. And that it’s likely that people are not going to be happy to answer questions about their race and gender when a sheriff [or police officer] pulls them over. However, he is quick to point out that “It’s necessary to prove in plain english and numbers that people of color are being disproportionately targeted, and those numbers need to be recorded.”

Of course, with what is currently going on in our nation, and has spread across much of the world, our reporter saw it as important to follow up with questions regarding Mr.Carpenter’s plans for our local law enforcement in comparison to the Defund the Police Movement. This is his response: “ I wouldn’t say [it is] part of the movement. We still need law and law enforcement. But yes, I support defunding as a matter of public safety.” He later went on to specify how he wished to see some of the current spending being redirected to organized steering committees for each neighborhood comprised of pro-active residents. In his own words, “sort of a Social Outreach Worker.” 

Although this candidate’s main focus seems to be very much on the law enforcement side of things, as should perhaps be expected of an ex cop, he also shared some intricately detailed plans on his vision for Clifton Forge’s sustainable future, which unfortunately could not all be included in this article to ensure our readers’ attention remain with us. 

“Our environment plays heavily into my plans for supporting our local economy,  Nothing happens without money, and Clifton Forge is one of the most naturally beautiful places I’ve ever seen.” Ed, who is born and raised in New York, seems to have a very economical eye on the environment, and also expresses that his idea is to follow the governor’s lead in moving to green energy as a way to keep our natural spaces pristine and as a way to more effectively deliver Services and goods to our city. 

If elected, he intends to court Dominion Energy and Appalachian Power, in hope that they would consider building one of their new wind farms off our coast, stating he wants our people to benefit from the growth industry and jobs green energy offers.

Of course this sort of plan often comes with worries and questions from the public, one being a concern for the natural beauty of the area. But the mayoral candidate has told our reporter there is no need to worry, comparing the structures that need to be raised to implement his plans for a greener Clifton Forge to that of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, in that people were not in favour of it at first, but that it now is a major tourist attraction. However, we need to point out that the iconic tower was built as an entrance to the Exposition Universelle 1889 and was to be disassembled in 1909. It also never had any intended function besides that of a monument to art and engineering, which we hope isn’t the case with the wind turbines and solar stations the candidate is proposing for our town. 

Again, he points to the benefit for local industry and economics to implement green energy as well as a zero waste policy, claiming it will create more well paying jobs. And, as a last statement regarding his environmental policies, providing the business community buys into his plans, he hopes to be able to go fully green somewhere between 2035 and 2050, and sees that smaller goals, like coming up to emission standards, can be reached as early as 2035. 

And there, dear readers, you have an actual goal to hold Mr. Carpenter to, should you vote him in as the next mayor.

Mr. Carpenter’s social policies seem to heavily tie into those of public safety, and again points to a need for solutions that are indigenous to our neighborhoods and our community. We must bolster the programs we already have in place and give more hands to help. But he also states that to make this part of his scheme work, growth industries like green energy and tourism bring in a much needed cash flow.

The interview had to be cut short in the end, as Mr. Carpenter is a busy man and seemed in a hurry elsewhere. However, the Telegraph did manage to get a hold of him for a few final questions regarding his hiring policies and his stance on lgbtqia questions.

In regards to the queer comunity, he let us know that  “As a bisexual man I am my thought are never far from the protection and rights our community has fought so hard for.. I will always support our community in whatever  way I’m able, we’ve made considerable  strides towards equality. But we’re not done yet. ” And he went on to further claim that he has a fair mix in his campaign team and [that] if he is elected to office I will continue hiring people who can offer perspectives that engender equity.

-Caspian Douglas

Pride Month: A Rainbow Review

Every year, the small town of Clifton Forge comes alive in June for Pride Month. The rainbow splashed over the town, not leaving a single inch untouched. Excited energy could be felt within the air as the town prepared for what would be yet another spectacular Pride Month.

Kicking the celebrations off, the Sip n’ Bite hosted The Magic of Drag, an event that saw the gorgeous Mz. Direction as the hostess. With her sisters, Miss Lolo Lita and Miss Dyana Mite, the trio put on a spectacular show that had the crowd dancing right along with them under the glitter that rained down. The festivities ended with a costume contest that saw Mr. Damon Dark as the winner. Those that were able to catch the show were left with excited energy that certainly came from the drag sisters. Hopefully, we’ll be seeing that trio again soon!

As other local businesses got into the spirit of Pride Month, we were able to see that some were offering special sales, the proceeds going to local charities that help the LGBTQIA2S+ community. Known for its bath bombs and other self-care indulgences, Suds held a month long sale of rainbow products. That crayon box of colors that could be seen on any Pride flag were seen within Suds, the bath bombs highlighting the variety of flags that could be seen during the month.

While some businesses held month long sales as Suds did, others drew the public in, getting them involved. Held at the Rosery, there was a Grow Your Pride event where one could create a rainbow flower bouquet for free. Once putting the gorgeous arrangements together, a picture could then be taken within the photo booth that the Rosery had set up, adding yet another layer of excitement to Pride Month where people could come together and celebrate.

Joining in the local businesses that held events, the Lonely Dove held its own, a thrilling night that saw people wearing their best Pride gear and rainbow jello shots being passed out. Everyone seemed to be in a fantastic mood, partying the night away to the music that pulsed away within the popular pub.

Of course, what would Pride Month be without a Pride festival? At the end of the month, the small town got together, throwing a Pride festival that saw a number of other businesses gathering to participate. With glitter and rainbow colored powder, the party kicked off almost right away. Music from Forge Novus Radio could be heard throughout the festival, people dancing carefree to the tunes that were playing. Local businesses decorated their stalls with splashes of color everywhere. Past the stalls, if one wanted more excitement, they could enter the beer garden which had been sponsored by Douglas Workforce Consulting, Forge Novus Radio, and the Lonely Dove Irish Pub.

The festival seemed to be a huge hit, the entire town seeming to show up to show off all of their colors, celebrating the night away. If this is what Clifton Forge looks like every single Pride Month, then we cannot wait for next year’s celebration!

-Evan Keel

Conflicting views between Clifton Forge’s local law enforcement branches and the HSI

Following our last publication, our reporter was invited to sit down for a chat with Sheriff Max Holden in his office in Clifton Forge regarding the raid of the Tavola Calda some weeks ago. There seems to be a storm brewing between the different law enforcement agencies at work within our fair town, and in this edition of the Telegraph, we are taking a closer look at the issue, as seen from the local Sheriff’s department’s point of view.

Sheriff Holden, who is a happily engaged family man and proud father of a newborn son, is clear to point out from the very beginning of our interview that he is wanting to set the record straight in regards to the raid on the Tavola, as well as the rather sharp criticism his department, as well as the CFPD received from Special Agent Smith in our previous interview with him. He tells us that he considers it “ sad times we’re in when federal agents are throwing local officials under the bus and then using that as a platform to further their careers.” The Sheriff also seems to be questioning the entirety of Agent Smith’s motive, and there is room to speculate whether perhaps the HSI Special Agent is just trying to use our town for his own advancement on the political ladder.

The Sheriff claims, that Special Agent Smith, who was awarded a medal from the President only recently prior to moving to Clifton Forge, for taking down a human trafficking ring in Chicago, had made no attempts to contact his office or arrange any sort of joint operation before the raid. He states that he was not made aware of the agent’s presence in town by other means but by a chance encounter when a civilian, who happens to be an acquaintance to the sheriff himself, was called in for backup by Agent Smith when Sheriff Holden was present. He also states that if this had not been the case, and no contact had been made whatsoever, there was no telling how many dead bodies there would have been as a result.

Sheriff Holden goes on to explain that “I would like to say that I am shocked, but…whether it is HSI or just Agent Smith, from my own experience, civilian lives are just not as important as making the arrest, which is completely backwards from the oath I took.” And as one of those civilians who were present at the scene, and narrowly avoided ending up in the line of fire by escaping into someone’s private garden, our reporter wonders just how worried one needs to be about setting foot on the street with these forces on the move throughout town.

Throughout the interview, it becomes more and more clear that there has been a considerable lack in communication between the different departments and agencies, at least according to our sheriff, who besides our quaint little town is in charge of the department’s operations in our 400 square miles county. Throughout the seemingly insubstantial contact that has been conducted, Holden claims that Smith “never once mentioned he was investigating anyone in town, or that he was planning a raid on any local business” and furthermore adds that the first time he heard of the raid at all was when reading about it in the Telegraph.

He goes on to wonder whether in fact the federal agent is entirely aware of the nature of our town, how it as a community operates, and whether he has understood that the sheriff’s attention is also required outside of city limits, especially since the population boom has led to the forming of the CFPD. He lets us know that when he joined the department, they were the sole operating force, and there was very little crime in the area with no dead bodies to speak of besides those that can be attributed to wild animal attacks. But with the recent increase in population, and the rise in crime that has come with it, the picture is rather different. So different, in fact, that Sheriff Holden, who had planned to resign in order to spend more time with his young family, does not feel able to do so. He tells us his “plans have been put on hold until he knows that this community is safe” and that “I will always do my best to protect those in my charge, even if it is against others who took the same oath I did. I live here in Clifton Forge, with my fiance and we have a newborn son. I am deeply entrenched in this community, unlike these federal agents[…]This is my home.”

To end our interview with Sheriff Holden, he wants to make it clear that he doesn’t know that big crime has in fact arrived in Clifton Forge, as Agent Smith Claims, but that the spike in recent crime can be put down to growing pains from an increased population. Furthermore, he believes the solution to the situation is better cooperation between branches of law enforcement, and he himself intends to try and reopen, as well as strengthen the lines of communication between his own department and the CFPD, to unify them in protecting the town and its residents.

Last but not least he has this parting statement for our readers:

“I urge the citizens of Clifton Forge to not fall into the trap of fear mongers, and remind them that they are our number one resource in fighting any crime in our city. As a community we can make our city safer, cleaner, happier[…] We just have to work together and that starts with them. If you see something, say something.”

Article by
Caspian Douglas

Tavola Calda Raid by HSI|ICE and federal agents.

The Telegraph has spoken to ASAC (Assistant Special Agent in Charge) Alex Smith, who was in charge of the operation on Saturday the 30th last month where one male suspect was apprehended and charged, and one female declared dead at the scene.


The operation was a coordinated project between HSI and Federal agents who carried out a warranted raid on behalf of the U.S Attorney after undercover operatives filmed large quantities of illegal narcotics being transported to, stored, distributed and produced inside that very establishment.

According to Special agent Smith, Mr. Rodriquez is being charged with a slew of offences, he has been criminally deported from the U.S three times by ICE and will now be housed at a federal prison for the foreseeable future. His primary charges are for distribution, sale, and possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance. Found on the location was: Crack cocaine, various opiates and meth.

Agent Smith goes on to explain that the point [of the operation] is to have autonomy over local law enforcement to prevent interference, like we see in other sanctuary cities. The raid is carried out in connection with a wider goal of cleaning up Clifton Forge. He explains that “We have our eye right now on several other local establishments to take customs enforcement action on, in accordance with U.S law. Clifton Forge is a relatively small city, but it is ridden with crime and corruption and /that/ is why we’re here in this tiny little town.”

The special agent tells our reporter that his bosses at D.C, and himself believe leaders of local law enforcement in CF have been asleep at the wheel, and claims that they are here to fix up the mess. However the agent explains further that he doesn’t view their actions as going above local law enforcements [heads], but that they came to the decision not to include them since Pedro Rodriquez, illegal immigrant and owner of the restaurant, was going to be standing federal charges.

At the end of the day HSI’s presence here is intended to return this beautiful city back to it’s quiet and calming roots, and to rid the city of people like Mr. Rodriquez who, in agent Smith’s words, preyed upon the fact that this city is seemingly too small to be on the federal radar; which he assures us is the farthest thing from the truth. In fact, he informs us, “We have our eye right now on several other local establishments to take customs enforcement action on, in accordance with U.S law. Clifton Forge is a relatively small city, but it is ridden with crime and corruption and /that/ is why we’re here in this tiny little town.”

When asked whether HSI had taken measures to ensure the safety of the public, agent Smith tells our reporter that since there had been no reported sightings of weapons on the premises from their undercover operatives they had no inclination there would be a firefight. To a later question, he did however respond that they deployed an armored vehicle which served as a ballistic protection device which shielded the adjacent hotel. Furthermore, when questioned, the agent admitted to not having been aware there would be a job fair going at the same time, only a block away.

When pressed further on questions regarding the safety of the general public in relation to these crimes special agent Smith tells our reporter that “We are unsure at this time the impact that Mr. Rodriquez has made on the local drug dealing market; and parents should always check in with their teens and educate them on the dangers of drugs and controlled substances. We are working closely with the DEA to monitor the ongoing situation.”

“We are investigating and will actively combat or prevent any form of retaliation. I would say crime is definitely on the rise […]The public should not be worried, the thing with organized crime is it’s not a matter of if they get caught, it is when. My agency has a plethora of resources in it’s arsenal; and D.C has given me complete autonomy to clean up this city. So, any criminal who wishes to continue to operate inside of Clifton Forge consider this your warning. Clifton Forge will no longer be a safe haven for crime because at the end of the day we have a blank check for funding, and we will always win.”

Article by Caspian Douglas