MADISON - Boone County Magistrate Danny Moore Jr. is excited to serve the community where he lives, works and conducts business via his family business Danville Ready Mix, Inc..
"It is an honor to serve Boone County," he said. "I love the people here and I take a lot of pride in what I do as Magistrate."
Moore grew up in Sharples and was a 1991 graduate of Sharples High School. His mother, Sue, grew up in Ottawa and his grandfather was originally from Webster County. His father, D.B. Moore grew up in a small community outside of Sharples in Logan County. His grandparents from his father's side hailed from Martin County, Kentucky.
"My grandfather moved here in the early 1950s for work and worked here his entire life," he said. "They raised eight kids and there were five kids on my mom's side."
Moore, 46, has a younger brother three years his junior. His nephew Cole Moore stars for the Scott Skyhawks' boys basketball team. He gets to watch his nephew play home games while offering his services at the scorer's table.
He said that he is thankful for his parents and the guidance they have given him.
"When I ran for office, if your parents don't leave you with a good reputation, you're running behind the 8-ball immediately," he said. "My parents gave me the good reputation of my family. I left home with a good name. My grandpa always told me that the only thing I'll leave this earth with is my name so don't mess it up."
Moore jokes that he graduated seventh overall out of 27 in his tiny graduating class.
"I've had more than a few laughs out of that one," he said laughing.
Moore played basketball and baseball as a prep as it was he only sports the school offered. Moore said that in the days before the Internet, he spent his childhood exploring.
"Beyond sports, we ran the mountains," he said. "In those days, we took our shotguns to school and kept them in our lockers and went squirrel hunting after school let out. It was a different time and in some ways, a better time. We rode motorcycles through the mountains and I rode mine to school right down the railroad tracks."
After high school, he attended Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College and West Virginia Tech. It was when his father opened the family business, a concrete plant, in 1994, that he found a home and a career.
"I started helping him and I've been there 25 years," he said. "We've poured the concrete for Boone Memorial Hospital, the Wal-Mart in Logan and plants that were built in the mid-2000s. We're proud to have been a part of all of those projects."
Moore said the decline of coal has affected his business.
"Tremendously," he said. "We're way down compared to what it was up until 2010. It has been a steady decline since. It has been running at about 60 percent of what it once was."
Moore said the homes in the community that he has poured footers for bring him a sense of accomplishment.
"You get a sense of pride being a part of your community growing," he added.
Moore is married to the former Michelle Belcher of Man. Michelle works as a nurse. They have two children who are currently enrolled in college.
They were married in 1996 during the famed blizzard of that year.
"We have beautiful wedding photos, but Charleston is as far as we made for our honeymoon on our way to Snowshoe," he said laughing.
Moore said that his favorite memories as a father were those moments when things slow down and a parent can connect with a child.
"Laying on a trampoline while they jump and horseplay around you," he said. "Going camping and showing them new things at a museum or a zoo. The time that you get to watch them grow from a baby to a young adult is what it's all about. I believe that young productive adults that contribute to society start at home. Parenting is a big responsibility and we've always taken it seriously."
Moore said that his wife went back to school and finished her nursing degree and that he is thankful for the time she had with their kids when they were young.
"I didn't get to spend the time that I wanted to and I worked lots of long hours and the reason our children are what they've become is because of her," he said. "I gave them what I had to give in terms of time but I'm thankful for my wife's sacrifices for the betterment of our family."
Moore said that in his seat as Magistrate, he maintains a good relationship with his colleague and fellow Magistrate Neil Byrnside and his assistant Marcy Cook. He appreciates the work of his own assistant Karen Butcher and Magistrate clerks Janet Dent and Georgeann Cook.
"Being surrounded by good people always makes you better," he said. "My philosophy is pretty simple. I've always wanted to hold people accountable for their actions. That was my inspiration from the beginning."
Moore said that a quick and efficient process for what comes before him is always a goal.
"Everything that comes before me will be forthwith," he said. "When a worthless check comes before me I always think of the person who isn't getting paid that should be. I've been on the other side of that as a business owner. I'm not saying every check that comes before me is legitimate, but it needs to be handled in the court system accordingly and in a timely fashion."
Moore's first day in his seat was in January of 2017. His philosophy remains steady. He is working on an idea for legislation in relation to an early diversion program that, through a series of attainable requirements, could clean the record of a first time non-violent offender. He has approached Del. Rodney Miller for help.
"We want to divert people from committing felonies and we want to catch them before they start committing the big crimes through community service, drug testing and other criteria for six months before their case is dismissed," he said.
He said that approximately 80 percent of the cases he sees are related to drugs in some way.
"Not only theft to get drugs but a drug-related case that they don't pay the court costs and fines on and they lose their license," he said. "Sometimes you see people get on the right path and they are so buried financially that getting their license back and recovering is very hard for them. I always try to remember these things."
When asked what the most shocking thing he has learned since taking his seat, Moore was quick to answer.
"I'm shocked at how many people drive in this county without a drivers license," he said. It is staggering. We have a second chance program, they bundle all of their tickets together. Often, they can pay the fine but not the court cost. We haven't seen success with that program as of yet."
For the future, Moore looks forward to seeing his children graduate college and begin their careers in the work force.
"As a parent, that is what you want for your children," he said. "But we have to set that example."
Reporter Phil Perry can be reached at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter