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Local Columns

Find things for which to be thankful

The last several months have provided obstacle after obstacle for many of us. For me, the year started out difficult for a variety of reasons. I certainly didn’t anticipate the challenges we would be facing as the months progressed, with the spread of the virus, its impact on local ...

‘Somebody’ is always messing with our stuff

Life at our house is like a never-ending scavenger hunt. We’re always looking for something we can’t find, and clues rarely help in a cold-now-you’re-getting hotter-kind of quest for everything unlocatable. That would be everything from our car keys and our cell phones to even our ...

History in the Hills: A snowstorm remembered

Certain events in the life of a community seem to stick around. On a national scale I think that is common. For my grandparents, it was remembering where they were on Dec. 7, 1941, when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, or for my parents when JFK was assassinated in November of 1963, or ...

‘Tis the season to be careful when shopping

Whether you choose to mask up and wait in line at a brick-and-mortar store or shop online from the comfort of your home, it’s important to beware of seasonal scams. Scammers take advantage of increased consumer activity during the holidays. Every transaction is an opportunity for a ...

From the Pulpit: Ten truths for which we can be thankful

We are living in tumultuous times. We can be tempted to focus on the negatives we see all around us. But even when times are tough, there are still moments to be thankful for, the simple things in life that we can be grateful for in times of turmoil. 2 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says, “Rejoice ...

The emotional case for eating healthy this holiday season

As the days get colder and shorter, many Americans will experience what we call “seasonal depression.” Lack of vitamin C, personal interactions and social events are the root for many that experience this illness. It can cause folks to lose interest in activities, feel tired or even gain ...

The unsung heroes of free, fair and successful elections

As West Virginians reflect on the 2020 elections and look forward to a season of gratitude, we should be especially thankful to those who helped lead our state through another free and fair election. We should take pride in our leaders’ and fellow citizens’ willingness to work together to ...

Masquerades and tightrope walking

I wrote my column last week prior to last Friday’s expansion of the mandatory indoor mask executive order by Gov. Jim Justice. But it seems since that order came out and since the governor’s comments saying business owners can call the police on customers who refuse to comply, confusion has ...

Giving thanks for the gift of encouragement

At the end of every church service, our pastor references a particular scripture that sticks with me from Sunday to Sunday. It bears repetition. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18. “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ ...

The holidays are not about large festivities

It’s going to be a different holiday season this year. While many of the public decorations are up or in the process of being put on display, there are few community events planned (a topic I may address in a future column). There continue to be many uncertainties as a result of current ...

As much as ever, supporting small business is important

The pandemic has strained business owners, employees, and customers alike, making “doing business as usual” a challenge. In response, the West Virginia Secretary of State’s Office seeks to assist in any way possible, and we remain committed to serving businesses throughout our state. We ...

Don’t put off acts of love until it’s too late

As we come to Thanksgiving 2020, I would like to share some stories that have meant much to me in the past and others that told me they have enjoyed. This Thanksgiving will be different than any other. Some have said, “If you have a big family Thanksgiving gathering, you can also have a big ...

From the Pulpit: Storing our crops and goods (Luke 12:16-21)

In the Gospel of Luke, we hear about Christ’s parable on the rich man whose field yielded a great number of crops. This man had so much that he didn’t even know what to do with all his goods and riches and he built an even greater house to store everything in. He then says to his soul, ...

Thoughts on West Virginia’s COVID-19 resurgence

The one bad thing about the election season being over is now having to re-focus on COVID-19, which is finally starting to really balloon in West Virginia. It’s not that the coronavirus isn’t an important story. It very much is, but it’s also a story I’ve been on mostly non-stop since ...

Any chance you’ve felt kind of stupid lately?

Have you felt stupid lately? I did one day last week when I was grocery shopping. Now before I go any farther with this, let me make myself perfectly clear — my feel-stupid experiences are not limited to one per week. Or when I happen to be pushing a buggy to fill it with food and ...

Our area can go far with teamwork

It was a nice surprise to receive a text message from Pat Ford the other morning, offering to meet up while he was in town. Many of you will remember Pat as the previous executive director of the Business Development Corp. of the Northern Panhandle. He left the Ohio Valley a little over a ...

History in the Hills: Under a lot of history

Historic research is exciting to me. The thrill of the hunt, the discovery of the story and the sharing of it are something I look forward to every time I descend the historical “rabbit hole” following a lead to a great story. I fall victim to leads in history all the time. One story leads ...

From the Pulpit: Put trust in the Lord, his Word during these uncertain times

To say that we have had an unusual year is a huge understatement! We have experienced a pandemic that has altered our way of life and brought hardship, and financial difficulty to thousands, a campaign/election unlike any others in our history and are now facing a very uncertain future. What is ...

Catching a bigger wave than expected

I’ve now had a week to digest all the elections results and what they mean, and man, I’m still flabbergasted. It’s not that I didn’t think Republican candidates would do well. I don’t do predictions, at least not in print. I do sometimes privately talk to people about who I think ...

Chips, westerns good coping mechanisms

Everybody experiences stress of some sort, of one kind or another. How we respond to it is another story. I’d like to think I handle it well, but I don’t, truth be told, although I try. I’m probably a lot like my horse Thunder — uptight when normalcy takes a vacation. Last ...