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Local Columns

Whatever your traditions, Merry Christmas

When my sister Linda planned to come home for a visit this fall, I had a request. I wanted her to show me how to make Moravian Christmas stars. This was one of our Christmas traditions when I was growing up with the stars used as tree ornaments. Each year when I unpack decorations and ...

A grab bag of news from Charleston

When I write this column every week, I usually plan to cover a multitude of topics, but only end up going on for paragraphs about one thing. This time it’s going to be a bit of a grab bag. ¯¯¯¯¯¯ First, a correction needs to be made. In last week’s column (some people call this an ...

Pining away to be that Pioneer Woman

I admit that I’m gullible, but watching one episode of “The Pioneer Woman” on the Food Network, and I’m thinking, oh yeah, baby, I want so badly to pull off a Pioneer Woman party in a Kiaski kitchen. I can do that, right? Well, in my dreams, maybe. Ree Drummond’s life seems ...

Voice thoughts on graduation proposals

On various occasions in recent years, West Virginia school officials have discussed proposals aimed at changing the state’s high school graduation requirements. While it may seem such requirements need tweeked in order to meet today’s world of college and business, such as with the ...

History in the Hills: Some Christmas memories

Christmas is a time to spend with family, friends and those closest to us. It is a time to come together and make new memories, traditions and reflect on what is important in our lives. Spending time with one another, going to special places and visiting those relatives we only see at Christmas ...

For unto us a child is born…

Come with me on a trip through time. Come with me to the time when God stepped out of eternity. Come with me to the perfect time for the savior of mankind to arrive as a human baby in His crowning achievement of creation. Come with me to the time when heaven opened up and angels from on high ...

The ‘Fairness Act’ still a political football

Last week I attended a rollout for the Fairness Act, which even before it truly gets out of the gate is already a political football. The Fairness Act is a new name for something old that has largely been introduced every year since 1993 (or as far back as the West Virginia Legislature’s ...

West Virginia could be a scientific hub

One probably doesn’t think about advances in science or technology when thinking about West Virginia. Hard-working people? Sure. Proud traditions? Definitely. Natural beauty? Absolutely. But being part of breaking the boundaries of established science? Probably not. We have connections, ...

From the pulpit/Christ is the path toward coming alive again

Back in July, there was a bad storm, and two trees were blown over in our yard. One of them is an invasive species called Tree of Heaven. It originally comes from China, and takes over an area quite quickly. If you cut one down, new trees will sprout up from the roots, kind of like a ...

She’s Toronto’s gingerbread lady

TORONTO — Today marks a one-time departure from traditional Valley Life stories you find on this Sunday section page. It’s different in two ways. For one thing, I’m writing it first-person style because I was involved in the story itself as a participant. The other difference is that ...

Your chamber and you

Ohio Valley Vision Center has expanded its reach by opening a second office located in Weirton. Ohio Valley Vision Center-Weirton provides the same full spectrum eye care as the Steubenville office, which has been serving the community since 1997. Services include routine vision exams, contact ...

Reporter’s notebook/The state’s employment by the numbers

Little did I know last week that a simple story about employment numbers would cause so much consternation in the world of social media. That’s exactly what happened last Monday when Gov. Jim Justice and Steve Roberts, president of the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce, touted an increase ...

Leftovers – you either love ‘em or leave ‘em

People either love leftovers or hate them. Sometimes I’m not sure which category I belong to, which side of the fence I’m leaning on. After we had our early Thanksgiving dinner last Sunday, and I gave it some thought as we were cleaning up, I’m still not entirely sure. Maybe I’m ...

There are many ways for us to celebrate

We have made it through Black Friday and Small Business Saturday, and will experience Cyber Monday (because, of course, that is a thing) tomorrow. The Christmas shopping season is in full swing, with only a few weeks remaining until the big day (or days if you have to split up time in order ...

Christ is the path toward coming alive again

Have you ever been to a place that was dark and dangerous and you couldn’t wait to get out of there? As believers in Christ, sometimes we find ourselves in a place spiritually where there seems to be darkness all around, with no light to be seen. We are either dead spiritually, or we are ...

History in the Hills: Community is our strength

At the Visitor Center, we are often asked what is special about the Upper Ohio Valley, and the answer is undoubtedly the community. We have been through a lot in this community over the years, but we stick together. That is one of the biggest reasons my wife and I came back, after all. An ...

Watching the Great Legislative Exodus

The 2020 races for the state Senate and House of Delegates have gotten more interesting due to the announcements by several senior lawmakers that they won’t seek re-election. House Minority Leader Tim Miley, D-Harrison, and House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Shott, R-Mercer, announced ...

Always thankful to enjoy a daily laugh

Given that our daughter has to work on Thanksgiving day, we’re having a little early holiday dinner today so we can have some feasting and gratitude time together. And that just goes to show you that you can stuff yourself and be thankful any old day of the year, whether it’s the official ...

It’s the season of giving and thanks

As this column is being written, I’m listening to the rain pounding on the roof of our building with the knowledge it is supposed to turn to snow at some point overnight. Snow is another reminder that we are quickly approaching the holiday season. Weirton’s Light the Night was postponed ...

Remember to support your local businesses

Some of the traditional markers that have offered a clear sign that the holiday shopping season has started are quickly fading. It wasn’t that long ago that Black Friday — the day after Thanksgiving — was the primary beacon that showed us it was time to get serious about our holiday ...