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Local Columns

We need to continue building in order to grow

The outdoors certainly is a vital resource for West Virginia. We Mountaineers take great pride in our state parks and the natural beauty of our state, and, in recent years especially, strides have been taken in the hopes of sharing it with more people. The tourism industry is growing in an ...

What happens when you move downstairs

My daily “aerobics” workout has changed quite a bit. It used to be that my co-workers and I had three flights of 28 steep steps to climb to get to the second-floor newsroom, to make our way to our desks and our newspaper environment. And, no, there’s no elevator to take. Imagine ...

History in the Hills: Titanic local connections

It’s funny how some things from childhood stay with you into adulthood. I hear often folks talk about things they were into once upon a time, usually an activity, interest or book that brought them joy as a child but doesn’t seem to resonate any longer. I think that is natural. Tastes, ...

A few thoughts on the legislative session

As I write this Sunday, I’m still recovering from the end of the 2021 legislative session that ended at midnight Saturday. It was truly a 60-day rollercoaster and certainly a session for the history books. I’m going to highlight several things that happened this session, so bear with me. ...

We are shaped by people, experiences

In many ways, our lives are shaped by our experiences and the people who come into them. We have a tendency to learn, not only from books, school and other similar opportunities, but from what happens to us. You get burned on a hot surface, you learn not to touch it again. I’ve been ...

Will the condiment cops be coming after me?

I don’t think of myself as a “little packet condiment hog or hoarder,” but sometimes I probably am — not necessarily by choice or my own action. Sometimes I’m a victim. This accumulation/overabundance just happens, much like the weather. I did a little gasp earlier this week ...

The future of tax reform is unwritten

Here we are, the final week of the 2021 legislative session. Today is day 55 and lawmakers are prepared to power through until the gavel comes down at midnight Saturday, April 10. I feel somewhat redundant here, but once again all eyes are on House Bill 3300, the current vehicle being used to ...

Finding hope from multiple sources

For many in the Christian faith, this weekend serves as a reminder of the hope that exists in the world and the idea that all things are possible. Along with the natural blooming of spring, it is a time of joy, celebration and rebirth. There, of course, are other parallels to be drawn from ...

Needing that Saturday devotional experience

Although my Saturdays have their own rhythm and routine from which I rarely deviate, I still look forward to them just the same as a special day of the week. Part of that’s because I’m off on Saturday as a rule and that means I can have some leisurely morning time before I head down to ...

Don’t be an April Fool – Call before you dig!

April is full of surprises. Spring flowers pop up all around us. You may hear hungry little chirps coming from a nest near your porch. It’s time to find and fix the wear and tear that winter has left behind on our homes and vehicles. Spring cleaning always reveals needed repairs we weren’t ...

Fighting the battle against hunger in West Virginia

The last year has really taught us all a lot about ourselves. That we are resilient, giving and able to work together to make sure that the most basic needs of our neighbors — food, shelter, water, and clothing are met. In many cases, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought out the best in people, ...

History in the Hills: Sugar Camp Hollow

One of my favorite books growing up was a children’s book by West Virginia resident and Weirton native Anna Egan Smucker. Her book “No Star Night” was enchanting, and one I personally resonated with since it takes place in town. The book is still in print, and I encourage anyone who grew ...

Tax reform efforts seem doomed to implode

We are less than two weeks away from the end of the 2020 legislative session at midnight April 10 and already there is talk of a special session in the air. Gov. Jim Justice is furious that his bills are not moving in the House and Senate to cut the personal income tax rate by 60 percent and ...

Fighting an extreme case of writer’s block

It’s almost 11 a.m. Friday, and I should be wrapping this column up instead of just beginning. Compiling a cohesive thought on a single topic once a week isn’t always an easy task, especially when you are writing about various news events and reading about others. Whether it’s ...

A team approach to overcome opioid abuse

Opioid abuse is a blight that has impacted thousands of West Virginians — a deadly scourge so large that beating it will require a holistic, team approach. Every culpable actor must be held accountable. This includes the pharmaceutical supply channel, consulting firms and the government ...

Some odds and ends thoughts come to roost

Lots of odds and ends came to roost in my thoughts this past week before taking flight to settle elsewhere. Good old TV westerns from the 1960s and ‘70s were among them, mainly because I realized how much they make me laugh. Now they weren’t created to do that, I figure, but I can’t ...

Week six at the West Virginia Legislature

We are less than 20 days away from the end of the 60-day legislative session, or more than two-thirds through and what I predicted last week is happening. As the old saying goes, idle hands are the devil’s workshop. With really the only big agenda items left being Gov. Jim Justice’s tax ...

Learn from time and enjoy what we have

“Four days will quickly steep themselves in nights; Four nights will quickly dream away the time.” — William Shakespeare The passage of time has been on my mind quite a bit lately. It can play tricks on us if we don’t pay attention; make us question our memories and experiences at ...

A ‘Live and Let Die’ transport back in time

I’m driving along earlier this week to work, monkeying with the radio and on comes this song. “When you were young and your heart, was an open book .... You used to say live and let live ... you know you did, you know you did, you know you did ...” Instantly, I’m singing along, the ...

Making the difficult choices for West Virginia

As a fiscal conservative, I strongly believe government should strive to keep budgets in check, find efficiencies and use taxpayers’ dollars wisely in our efforts to keep tax burdens low. When governments act in good faith, markets can flourish, and the citizenry can be lifted into ...