Local Columns

Promoting literacy community-wide

In today’s world, being able to read is needed more than ever. It goes far beyond just being able to enjoy a book or magazine, or even this newspaper, for example. Reading winds through so much of our lives, from writing to use of computers to traveling to shopping and many other ...

Good news, bad news in state’s business climate

There's good news and bad news in West Virginia's business climate. First the good. The Department of Commerce, West Virginia University, and Marshall University just released their findings from McKinsey and Company's extensive analysis of the state's economy and future. The project, known ...

Looking for a few good community leaders

It’s a good idea to get an infusion of new blood into the fabric of a community every once in a while. New people can bring a fresh perspective, with new ideas and opinions on the direction we are going, a particular project or even just the way things are done in general. If you don’t, ...

The myth of good people

I frequently run into people who think that they are good, and then they talk about "those" people who are bad. They frequently follow this with the idea that there should be sermons against those people. The first problem with this is that such sermons would not help the person making these ...

Jumpstart the day — stay off my nerves

It’s a beautiful, sunny Sunday — bright blue sky and warmth, a bonus fall day way more like summer. Fabulous. Better Half and I are motoring along, on our way after church and our small group Bible study that’s always a great way to jumpstart the week. Terrific. We are on the ...

How far should we go into electronic markets?

I’ve been known to make the occasional purchase through an online marketplace. I’m sure most of us have. It’s especially handy for the Christmas season, or if I happen to be looking for a hard-to-get item I otherwise might not be able to find locally. Whenever possible, though, I ...

Is God in your blind spot?

Mark 6:48 “And he saw them toiling in rowing…and about the fourth watch of the night he cometh unto them…” Everyone who drives an automobile, sooner or later, experiences one of those “blind spot” moments — a time when you look in your rearview mirror and don’t see the car in ...

Two decades of special stars shining

Two decades is a pretty good stretch for an event to endure. That’s been the case for the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times’ Community Stars program that started way back in 1998, hard as that is for many of us staffers to wrap our brains around. Great earth! Where have the years ...

Politics don’t have to be involved in everything

It used to be we didn’t know what elected officials’ thoughts on an issue were unless they issued some sort of statement in a press release or interview. Now, with social media and the 24-hour news cycle, there are some politicians out there who feel it is necessary to comment on every ...

That would be 71 years, not 51 years

Better Half and I were sitting on the back porch when I mentioned it was Mom and Dad’s wedding anniversary. It was Sept. 20th, I pointed out. They would have been married 51 years. He gave me that look — very similar to the look I get when he is reviewing the checkbook, trying to make ...

Celebrity chef understands West Virginians

There is a pride in the people of West Virginia. It’s born in back-breaking labor, a connection with nature and a hard-scrabble lifestyle which hasn’t always been looked upon in the best light by the rest of the nation. Even with all the changes of the last century, we still have ...

Fall in love with fall in West Virginia

In #AlmostHeaven West Virginia, choosing a favorite season can be next to impossible. Each one seems wilder and more wonderful than the last. Snow-capped winter mountains give way to springtime blooms which transform into the deep and rolling green hills of summertime. But for many of our ...

Whose acceptance matters most?

A person may think their own ways are right, but the Lord weighs the heart. Proverbs 21:2 I recalled a moment in time when I was much younger and living in Minneapolis that will stick with me forever. I was newly hired into the world of finance. This was my first endeavor into the high stress ...

What you reel in when you fish for praise

We had pulled out of the driveway and were heading up the road, on our merry Kiaski way. But not before Better Half made an observation. “Boy,” he said with animated enthusiasm, “it sure does look nice over there. I wonder who takes care of all that?” I glanced over at “all ...

The seasons are changing, and I’m not ready

I walked out of my house about a week ago, and noticed leaves on the ground. Driving to work Saturday, there were different colors beginning to form in the neighborhood trees. The air is cooler in the mornings and the pumpkin-spiced everythings are hitting the store shelves. Autumn is ...

Stop fighting with your eyes closed

No one giving fighting advice would say close your both eyes and just start swinging and screaming, at best the person giving the advice is misinformed and at worst the person is working for the other team. People are faced with many different challenges. A few of these challenges are caused ...

Preserving our manufacturing heritage

On the front page of today’s edition, you’ll read about an art competition, hosted by the Hancock County Arts Council, with the goal of helping to preserve the imagery of the remaining portions of the Weirton steel manufacturing facilities. Once known as Weirton Steel, and for the last ...

If you invite them, they will come

How many empty seats are in the church you attend? Knowing our area, I would imagine more than are filled. Why is that? Whose fault is it? Some would say, it's the preacher's fault, others would blame the age of the congregation. There are myriads of excuses, but the real reason is simple. We ...

Vacation — a mandate to eat out

I made myself perfectly clear as I began what was a lovely, long stretch of vacation time away from the newspaper. (You missed me, yes?) I told Better Half that we would be eating out every day, that it was my vacation, and no way was I going to go near our dusty stove unless there was a big ...

Diversification needed in West Virginia

During a conference held Thursday at the Greenbrier Resort, WVU President Gordon Gee and other education and business officials discussed the importance of diversification in the state’s economy. Among the suggested areas are plastics and chemical manufacturing, cybersecurity, higher-end ...