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Local Columns

Medicaid Unit adds punch to attorney general’s fraud fight

West Virginia gained a huge advantage in its fight against waste, fraud and abuse with the transfer of the state’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. The unit’s move brings West Virginia in line with 46 other states, but perhaps more importantly, it creates tremendous synergies for the state. ...

Solar energy: West Virginia’s path to a brighter economic future

The time is now for West Virginia to seize the opportunity to capture some of the 240,000 jobs and the billions of dollars of annual investment in the United States’ growing solar energy sector. Surrounding states-from Virginia to North Carolina to Pennsylvania to Kentucky-have already taken ...

Odds and ends from the Legislature

As we head into the final two weeks of the 2020 legislative session, let’s take a look at various odds and ends. First, Sunday was the final day for bills to make it out of committee in the originating body. In other words, if you’re a Senate bill and didn’t make it out of a Senate ...

Coming to terms with some new car truths

This past week has been a time of coming to terms with some truths I’ve been hard-pressed to accept. This includes the reality that a new car becomes an everyday older car, no matter your effort to the contrary to freeze time. Consider that I’ve still got this glorified white paper mat, ...

Hoping for a smoother election process

By the time most of you are reading this, the Nevada Caucus is expected to be completed, and the results (fingers crossed) will be known. Nevada is the third state — following Iowa and New Hampshire — in the election schedule as our nation gets into the process of selecting its president, ...

SJR 9 is just plain bad for West Virginia

The West Virginia Senate, in an attempt to spur economic growth and attract manufacturing jobs to West Virginia, has introduced two misguided pieces of legislation that only harm our state; they don’t help it. They are tax giveaways to large, out-of-state businesses while hurting West ...

History in the Hills: Some presidential visits

This year marks an election year and despite your political affiliation, the decision on who to vote for as president is one that should not be taken lightly. The beauty of our system of government is that “we the people” have the power and responsibility to grant that office to the person ...

Distractions aplenty in the Legislature

Starting today there are three weeks left in the 2020 legislative session. After last week, this session can’t end soon enough for me. Last Tuesday was the last day for bills to be introduced in the House of Delegates. Today is the last day for new bills to be introduced in the Senate. ...

There is much growth in the Ohio Valley

Despite the naysayers, there is much to be celebrated in our Ohio Valley. There has been growth, even if it doesn’t seem that way to most of the people looking around. Hopefully, in recent weeks you have been picking up our newspaper. Through that, you will get a taste of exactly what has ...

Focus on both justice and righteousness

By THE REV. PHIL VAN DAM Brooke-Hancock Episcopal Ministries It seems that there is a major disagreement among Christians over time: some Christians believe that the gospel is only about what is outside of time, while others only apply the gospel to what is inside of time, or the here and ...

Capito Connect sees progress in Hampshire County

Can you hear me now? Good. In 2014, I met with community leaders in Capon Bridge about moving West Virginia forward. It quickly became clear that without proper broadband infrastructure, economic growth would slow and attracting businesses would be difficult. Broadband affects nearly ...

The difficulty of constitutional amendments

As you read this we are now on the 34th day of the 2020 legislative session and by the end of the week two-thirds of the session will be behind us. It’s kind of ironic then, given that one of the key pieces of legislation — Senate Joint Resolution 8, phasing out the business and inventory ...

A week that brings some extra sweating

Better Half sweats extra this time of year, not that the weather warrants it. It’s this thing called Valentine’s Day. February might be the shortest month of the year even during a Leap Year such as this with an extra day thrown in for good measure, but it generates the most angst, even ...

Tear down the walls that divide us

House Minority Leader Tim Miley, during Thursday’s Legislative Breakfast, I found interesting. He encouraged the state’s elected officials, and, in fact, all residents, to be honest about the condition of West Virginia and where we need to go in order to grow and thrive. “I think ...

West Virginia’s children must come first

As state legislators, we are often asked what can be done to stop people from leaving West Virginia, to keep our best and brightest at home. We hear about it on the news, in the grocery store, and in our church pews — people are leaving West Virginia at an alarming rate and they are not ...

History in the Hills: Our material culture

As you may have noticed throughout these recent articles, I am very focused on “place.” Our landscape, river, towns — the physical places we inhabit are very important and can tell our story in unique ways. But what of our material culture? The actual tangible object is often all that is ...

Transparency an important step forward for prescription prices

It should come as no surprise that many AARP members in the Mountain State and nationally tell us they can’t afford the medications they need, and are forced to make difficult choices as a result. In a recent survey of voters age 50 and older, four out of ten people responded that they did ...

It’s a mostly quiet legislative session

Thursday will mark the halfway point of the 2020 regular session of the West Virginia Legislature. As I predicted, it’s been a very quiet session. Case in point, as of this writing there are only four bills that have passed both the House of Delegates and Senate and are awaiting the ...

Happy Groundhog Day, Super Bowl Sunday

I can’t get too excited about today being a dual holiday of sorts, what with it being Groundhog Day and Super Bowl Sunday. What are the odds of that, huh? Even so, I’m not seeing any special reminders on my calendar. No gold stickers. No exclamation marks. No wild circles made with a ...

Stick to the issues, not the political theatrics

Thinking of ways to attract new residents has been a major talking point in our state in recent years. Most of the time, the topic is surrounded by discussion of economic incentives and job creation with the hope of attracting new jobs to West Virginia, and thus, people willing to move here ...