Local Columns

What do you put on with the changing seasons?

Summer has officially ended, at least according to the calendar, even though we have been experiencing above normal temperatures lately. As the seasons change, the things we wear also change. Soon we will be wearing things like hats, coats, gloves, scarves, and boots. There are things in the ...

Faith through academics and community service

The Madonna circle builds and prides itself off faith in academics and faith in community involvement. The Madonna community always seeks out new ways to grow our family in union with Christ. This week, Madonna staff and seniors volunteered at the Table of Hope, Weirton Christian Center, and ...

Ensuring reliable and affordable power

In today's polarizing political climate, it may seem like there are few issues Republicans and Democrats can work together on. But on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, we are proving that is not the case. As the Republican chairman and an active Democratic member of this ...

Pro-growth policies pave way for PEIA aid

Last week, West Virginia’s Republican Leadership announced a $100 million funding commitment that significantly stabilizes and strengthens Public Employees Insurance Agency (PEIA), as well as a proposed 5 percent pay raise for teachers and state employees. When passed, this will be the second ...

The wheels of justice go round and round

I’ll be spending the month of October going from trial to trial it seems. Almost every day there is a new motion, response, or lawsuit. Last week I went from covering the impeachment trial of Justice Beth Walker of the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals, to covering the federal trial of ...

Family bids fond farewell to ‘Scary Larry’

Some women wear necklaces and earrings as outfit accessories. One look at my sister-in-law “Lala,” a.k.a. Antoinette “Toni” Kiaski Dempster, however, and I realized that’s not the case with all females, especially not her. Instead, Lala’s outfit accessory is typically a kitchen ...

The sights, sounds and tastes of fall

The leaves have finally started to change colors in the Upper Ohio Valley, and we’ve even had a few “jacket” days in the last week. The pumpkins are coming out and the autumnal decorations are being put up in front of houses and businesses. There are various celebrations in our area ...

Madonna values family and community

Weirton Madonna has always valued family and community above everything else. Madonna was created in 1955 to establish a good Catholic community for the youth of the Northern Panhandle. Madonna's mission from day one has been "to prepare its students for a successful future spiritually, ...

Where is the judicial restraint?

As we start the first impeachment trial in the West Virginia Senate this morning, I find it interesting the efforts some justices — one current and one former — of the state Supreme Court of Appeals are going to extract the court from the co-equal third branch of government it is supposed ...

Some odds and ends and observations

Some odds and ends and observations I bring to today’s column space, including a follow-up on wind chimes, those things that make mad music when a gust of air comes along. I had written in an August column about scurrying to find a set of wind chimes that had been sent to us as a gift this ...

The election clock is counting down

The November 6 general election is fast approaching. During the next few weeks, there are certain to be a series of events locally with candidates appearing, sending out information, campaigning through your neighborhoods and advertising. Some of those are beginning this week. The Hancock ...

Christ is put first in everything at Madonna

Weirton Madonna is a faith-based community, weaved together by a united love of Christ. We try to put this faith in Christ in all things we do as a school and community. This includes service projects, extracurricular activities, and sporting events. This week Christ was in our ...

Where should the emphasis be placed?

"Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he was not following us." One of Jesus' disciples complains to Jesus about an outsider who is doing exorcisms in Jesus' name. Some people get very upset about things being done the wrong way, or they get ...

Renewing conservation fund a wise investment

Fall is the most beautiful time in the Mountain State and, as tremendous amounts of residents and tourists travel through West Virginia this time of year, we are reminded how important our forests, streams and access to hiking and hunting opportunities really are. The beautiful places that ...

It’s time to put out a ‘help wanted’ ad

Last week, Gov. Jim Justice announced the appointment of John Myers, the secretary of the state Department of Administration, as the new director of the West Virginia Lottery. This is not a new role for Myers, who served as an interim lottery director earlier this decade and was formerly a ...

It’s confession time on some food issues

Today’s column is all about confession, much of it food related. I couldn’t even concentrate to write this column Thursday evening at home until after I’d spotted the first three things I could cram down my throat — a can of Progresso Hearty Chicken & Rotini soup (the contents, ...

Does America need political parties?

I look at some of the political battles we see today, and often wonder if they would happen if it weren’t for the existence of our two-party political system. We’ve already been treated to opponents blasting each other in print and over the airwaves, and it’s sure to ramp up even more ...

Madonna students are making a difference

Madonna High School thrives in helping our community. As part of our Catholic identity, it is required for each student to log a certain amount of service hours. This helps us grow in our Catholic faith and help those in need. Some recent projects we have contributed to in this past week ...

The political process of impeachment

We now have dates for the trials on the remaining justices of the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals — including a date for one justice who already resigned — but not before the impeachment managers for the House of Delegates confused everyone. The morning of Sept. 11 I was given a ...

Grill fired a new acronym on the menu?

Grill fired. After some hesitation and an unwillingness on my part to admit that I really didn’t know, I offered those two words to Better Half when we were scanning the menu at Hog Heaven, a restaurant in New Philadelphia. And I said them with authority. That always helps when you ...