Local Columns

Appointments and commissions

It looks like with several appointments last week that Gov. Justice has mostly a full deck to play with now. Anyone who has been reading my work knows the topic of having a secretary for the state Department of Commerce has been a focus of mine. In a state with an abysmal, but improving ...

The element of surprise is missing

The element of surprise seems all but gone these days in the world as we know it. This we lamented in the newsroom last week, the observation made not long after a lovely big box of assorted chocolate candy had arrived. The box was on the island in the center of the newsroom, the plastic ...

What are we waiting for this time of year?

We are now in the middle of Advent. Advent is a time of waiting. What are we waiting for? Are we waiting? There are myths that people used to be good at waiting. Some people think that people used to be good at waiting for Christmas to sing Christmas songs, or that they used to wait till ...

Remembering why we truly are here

Advent is a momentous time for the universal Church. Madonna students will join in the celebration in the solemnity of Advent through a number of different ways. Madonna students, as always, work actively within the community so that others’ Advent and Christmas seasons may be as wholesome ...

‘Tis the season to think about elections…again

Much like Christmas seems to start before October even ends, the next election seems to start as soon as the last one ends. The 2018 election was Nov. 6 and we’re just barely into December. Yet, people are either announcing their pre-candidacies or are starting to make the rounds across the ...

How about Christmas every four years?

Not everyone looks forward to Christmas or especially likes this time of the year. This is not really stop-the-presses headline news, much less fake news. Better Half and I were watching a “news” program recently where the panel of commentators were discussing Christmas. I’m not ...

Regaining some of my old discipline

About a week ago, I downloaded a fitness app onto my cellphone. I figured it would be interesting to track some of my movements throughout the day, but soon realized I have become more sedentary in my lifestyle in recent years. I’ve never been what one might consider athletic, or even ...

Faith, sports and community service are important

Madonna High School was created to help the youth of this area learn about Christ and His Church. During these times of the year, Madonna students are thankful for all that God has bestowed upon them. This was reflectionary in the time Madonna took off last week for the holiday of ...

Remember the greatest gift ever given

I was thinking about what Christmas gifts I might purchase for loved ones, when I was humbled by the impact of these words concerning the greatest gift ever given: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son ...” It quickly put things in divine perspective and filled ...

Impeachment is over (if you want it)

I’ve heard of Christmas miracles, but I think the state was witness to a Thanksgiving miracle of sorts. Last Wednesday, the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals told the state Legislature that there would be no reconsideration of its decision to stop the impeachment trials of Chief ...

Nothing quite like a whirlwind road trip

Four girls. One car. Less than 72 hours. Five hundred plus miles — one way. The plan for a girls’ whirlwind weekend road trip went on my November calendar back in September when the thought became the suggestion and then the absolute intention. A trip from Ohio to North Carolina ...

There’s lots to do this Christmas season

Thanksgiving is over and the Christmas season is officially under way. Several of our area communities have hosted light-up events, with Weirton’s attracting well over 200 residents to the intersection of Main Street and Pennsylvania Avenue last weekend to see this year’s community ...

The real Grinch who’s trying to steal Christmas

The transition between Thanksgiving and Christmas starts with an odd phrase identifying the Friday after Thanksgiving as, “Black Friday.” It is believed that this term originated because Christmas sales many times help businesses to end the year in the black, or making a profit. In 2017 ...

West Virginia can learn from the Wasteland

Normally, this space is where I brief you on the whispers inside the state Capitol, but this week is the Thanksgiving holiday and you’ll get enough politics around your dining room table on Thursday. Now it’s time for something completely different. For the last few weeks I’ve been ...

Students grow stronger in their faith

Weirton Madonna High School is a small member of the universal and worldwide community that is the Catholic Church. The staff at Madonna reminded their students of this close worldwide unity by inviting a missionary/ministerial group to host a retreat for the young Blue Dons. This retreat for ...

Homework assignment: Be thankful!

Better Half was helping me make a quick and convenient dinner the other evening, i.e. something relatively instant, given that’s my cooking forte. I was getting ready to throw some individual pot pies into the oven, paying heed to the directions that call for wrapping the crust edge with a ...

Start the tradition of giving this Christmas

We received our first measurable amount of snow for the season Thursday evening. I went ahead and took the opportunity to purchase my Christmas cards. A few gifts are ordered, or at the very least thought of, and others are asking me for ideas on what I want. Decorations are hanging from ...

Shop local this holiday season

We are faced with many choices when it comes to spending our money, especially this time of year, when the Christmas shopping season is ready to hit its full stride. With that in mind, it’s important to remember the impact that spending can have on the local economy. That’s the message ...

The power of giving thanks

What if we woke up today with the things with which we gave God thanks? This question would be a scary proposition for most people. We too often put our focus on the material things we don’t possess and complain about the valuable possession we have at hand. My wife asked the children at ...

Just a few post-election observations

We made it through Election Day, and I have the following observations I’d like to make. After covering the first state Supreme Court elects under the nonpartisan category, it’s my humble opinion that the experiment failed completely. I was for making judicial elections nonpartisan. I ...