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Motocross track's dust irks residents

November 01, 1998|By DAVE McMILLION, Charles Town

GLENGARY, W.Va. - As motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles buzzed through a dirt course here Sunday, about 50 local homeowners stood across a stream and wished it would go away.

The residents complained about dust from the Hyper Sports track and all-terrain vehicles being driven through Back Creek.

Homeowners are also concerned that silt is washing from the track into the creek, which could choke out acquatic life in the stream, they say.

Patty Caudell, who lives beside her dad off W.Va. 7, said dust often rises from the track and drifts over their homes.

"I can't even see my dad's house it's so thick," said Caudell.

Although Jeffrey Howell said his motocross track meets state requirements, he said he plans to limit racing in attempt to satisfy the concerns of neighbors.

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Next year, Howell said he plans to limit practicing at the track to every other day instead of allowing it every day. Howell said he will also stop racing at 7 p.m. instead of allowing it to continue until dark.

Caudell and others organized a community meeting at the home of Gene and Joan Rowe to draw attention to Hyper Sports. They set up a large, three-sided bulletin board with aerial photographs showing the track's proximity to Back Creek.

Another photograph showed an ATV being driven through water.

The 1.2 mile course is located on the east side of Back Creek near the Lazy-A campground.

Several politicans and candidates for office came to the meeting, and expressed sympathy for property owners.

Berkeley County Commissioner Robert L. Burkhart said he is willing to help homeowners, but only within the confines of the law.

"The problem is, what's legal," said Burkhart.

Burkhart said he will look into any permits that were granted to allow the race track.

Howell said he was told by the state Division of Environmental Protection that a permit is not necessary for a motocross track if it is on less than three acres, such as Hyper Sports.

But Howell said he decided to get a permit anyway.

"I've met all my responsibilities," said Howell.

Race fans at Hyper Sports strongly defended the track, saying it gives kids something exciting to do. Racing motorcycles is good, clean fun, and it keeps youths off the streets, they said.

"That's all you hear, is give these kids something to do," said Leighann Bradley, who brings her kids to the track.

Racers pay a membership to Hyper Sports, which allows them to practice anytime. There are also races, which totalled about 13 this year, Howell said.

Howell said Sunday was the last race of the season.

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GLENGARY, W.Va. - A motorcyclist suffered broken bones in a wreck at the Hyper Sports motorcross track Sunday, according to officials.

The rider had a compound fracture in the arm and a comound fracture in the leg, said Jeffrey Howell, who runs Hyper Sports.

Howell declined to identify the name of the person.

Rescue officials said an injured person was flown from the track.

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