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Granny Spending Holiday in Chains

December 25, 1997

STANTON, Ky. (AP) _ Instead of spending Christmas with her grandchildren, a 67-year-old woman upset over visitation rights is spending the holiday chained to a historical marker in front of the courthouse.

Clara Reeves, who is in a dispute with her former daughter-in-law about visiting the children, chained herself to the marker Saturday and has stayed there since.

``I’ve been to see just about everyone (official) in this county, asking them to help me,″ Ms. Reeves said late Wednesday as she huddled under plastic and blankets next to the Powell County Courthouse Christmas tree.

``I’m not going anywhere, not until I get to see the kids,″ she said.

Powell County officials say they are confused about Ms. Reeves’ actions, particularly since a hearing on the visitation rights is scheduled for Monday.

But Ms. Reeves said she doesn’t expect the hearing to solve anything, and refuses to leave. Residents have been wonderful to her, she said, bringing her drinks, a lawn chair, a sleeping bag, a propane heater and an old, faded Wonder Woman comforter.

Deborah Baber, the children’s mother, said her former mother-in-law is confused about visitation rights she was given in 1995, when Ms. Baber and Ms. Reeves’ son, Anthony Baber, were divorced.

Ms. Baber, 26, said Ms. Reeves showed up Friday night, expecting to take to Steven Baber, 10, and Karen Baber, 9, from Clay City to Marietta, Ga.

``I was going to let them go with her for the weekend, even though it wasn’t her turn, because they wanted to see her,″ Ms. Baber said. ``But then she talked about keeping them for the whole week, and they’ve never been away from home for Christmas before.″

Sheriff Darren Farmer said he has no plans to arrest Ms. Reeves.

``She’s not hurting anything out there, I guess,″ Farmer said. ``Just messing with the scenery a little bit.″