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Woman continues her visitation protest in front of courthouse

December 26, 1997

STANTON, Ky. (AP) _ A 67-year-old woman huddled on Christmas next to the Powell County Courthouse tree, chained to a historical marker in a dispute over a visit with her grandchildren.

Clara Reeves of suburban Atlanta began her protest Saturday after her former daughter-in-law refused to let her take the two children home for the holiday.

``I’m not giving up,″ she said, wrapped in blankets under plastic. ``There is no one can get me down about this. My grandkids have a right to see me.″

A court hearing on her visitation rights is set for Monday, but Ms. Reeves said she doesn’t expect the hearing to solve anything and refuses to leave her spot next to the Christmas tree.

Residents of Stanton have been wonderful to her, she said, bringing her soft drinks, a lawn chair, a sleeping bag, a propane heater and a faded Wonder Woman comforter.

Ms. Reeves showed up Friday night at the Clay City home of Deborah Baber, who divorced Ms. Reeves’ son, Anthony Baber, in 1995. She had expected to take 10-year-old Steven and 9-year-old Karen back to Marietta, Ga., for Christmas.

``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,″ said Ms. Baber, 26. ``But then she talked about keeping them for the whole week, and they’ve never been away from home for Christmas before.″

Powell County Sheriff Darren Farmer said he had no plans to arrest Ms. Reeves, who sometimes leaves her post to use nearby bathrooms.

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