Rock idiocy must stop

Published 10:12 am Thursday, February 5, 2009

If Ohio and Kentucky elected officials spent as much time working together on the region’s challenges as they have fighting over a rock, our region would benefit greatly.

Instead, a years-long squabble over a once-submerged rock in the Ohio River continues to drag on and waste taxpayer dollars.

The Kentucky Attorney General filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday suing the city of Portsmouth, that city’s former mayor and an Ironton man who was involved in removing the boulder, known as the Indian Head Rock, from the Ohio River.

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The historic rock bears numerous carvings of initials, names and a crude face and was once an attraction for locals. It had been submerged since about the 1920s until last August, when a historian in Ohio led a team to extract it.

Enough is enough.

Talk about frivolous lawsuits, this is the definition of the term.

Rather than working together to come to some common ground, Kentucky and Ohio seem to be in a childish tug-of-war over this stone that some believe is Native American artifact.

Shaffer’s attorney, Michael Curtis, says he will strive to delay this lawsuit until he has had the chance to defend Shaffer in the criminal case, set for August. Shaffer is facing a felony charge of removing a protected archaeological object.

The attorney general has offered to settle the case but all the proposals seemed to make little sense for Shaffer, including one that would have him serve three years in prison.

With all the challenges facing the Tri-State and the entire nation, the fact that two neighboring communities and their leaders cannot reach an amicable solution is embarrassing.