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Local Columns

History in the Hills: Our place in history

The place we live in is so important. It has the power to shape who we are and what we do with our future. The place I love and the place that has shaped me is the Ohio Valley. I grew up here, not during the boom years of the mills and factories, but during the so-called de-industrialization ...

Striving for the only acceptance that matters

Colossians 3:1-4 — Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your ...

Follow the Constitution, or bring our troops home

Some 1,600 years ago, in the year 410 AD, barbarian armies underneath King Alaric captured the ancient city of Rome, ransacking and pillaging the center of the Roman Empire. The fall of the once-great capital sent terrifying shockwaves throughout the Western world, triggering St. Jerome to ...

Placing the dunce cap on our schools

I’ve spent the last few days pouring over the data from the second annual Balanced Scorecard report on the performance of West Virginia’s schools, and I’m really kind of appalled at the results for the students we’re pushing into college or the workforce. This weekend I focused on the ...

Pretty cool having Aunt Betty as my neighbor

It’s pretty cool being next-door neighbors with Aunt Betty. That’s a definite perk of returning to my roots and living in the family homestead where my father was born, where Houts have lived continuously since the house was built in the 1880s, and where my dad lived in his adult married ...

We’re heading for several big changes

Change often cannot be easy. For some, in fact, it can be quite difficult and unwanted, but change comes whether we want it or not. The Weirton community has seen more than its share of change over the years, with the rise and fall of the local steel industry, recent investment in the natural ...

Where there is unity, there is peace

On September 11, 2001 I was working for the United States government. I was sitting at my desk when someone told me that the country was under attack. We were told that a plane had flown into the World Trade Center and that there were other planes headed toward other locations. There was total ...

Our Community Stars will be shining

There are many different awards programs and recognition events held throughout the Tri-State Area each year. And that’s a very good thing, because they all remind us that there are many people and organizations in our region who are doing great things and are deserving of praise. Our ...

Taking a look at the Democratic bench

So, it looks like U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., won’t run for governor in the Democratic primary in May 2020 after all. I should have stuck with my instinct months ago that he wouldn’t actually run just like he did in 2016. The problem is I think for a time he really was going to do it. ...

A week of communication discoveries

So this is how my week of discoveries went… Our landline phone in the kitchen decided it had had enough of us. Despite battery changes, wire jiggling and mild expletives, it refused to function. And that’s a problem, given the old-time “gossip table” I’d bought in recent months ...

We can’t forget the natural part of the world

One of the things we here in West Virginia are fortunate about is that, just about everywhere we turn, we are surrounded by nature. In other states, you might have to drive a couple of hours in order to find an area of seemingly unspoiled wilderness. We cherish our forested areas, our lakes ...

Continuing the efforts of reviving the small town church

“Anyone who is to find Christ must first find the church. How could anyone know where Christ is and what faith is in Him unless they knew where His believers are?” Martin Luther “Who has despised the day of small things?” Zechariah 4:10. The answer to Zechariah’s rhetorical question ...

Waiting for a possible showdown

We’re all waiting with anticipation, for as soon as tomorrow U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin might decide to hang up his congressional hat and try for a third term as governor of the great State of West Virginia. But Manchin’s decision might trigger the entrance of an unlikely candidate in the May ...

Being prepared always the best policy

For much of the last year, we have been reporting on discussions for the expansion of Weirton’s water and sanitary services. When word first came about, it was said officials had been approached by a potential business looking into the possibility of bringing its operations to the ...

Thought of retirement does cross my mind

On Labor Day, the thought of retirement does cross my mind. Actually, the thought sometimes crosses my mind when I’m writing this Sunday column some weeks, often because I’m thinking, did I already write about this last month or last year or a decade or more ago? Chances are your memory ...

Enjoy the day the Lord has made

Do you know there are less than 118 days till Christmas? I’m sure you needed to hear this but it leads me to my topic: How have you used this past year? Time is something we see go by but can never get back. We wonder where has the time gone by when considering our age, the ages of our ...

Grand Old Party unites behind Potter

I spent my Saturday at the Greenbrier Resort covering the West Virginia State Republican Executive Committee’s annual summer meeting. There were rumors of intrigue, of a coup against Chairwoman Melody Potter, of infighting among committee members. At the end of the day, none of these ...

Spicing things up in the kitchen brings results

They say variety is the spice of life. Well too much variety of spices can pepper life with problems. Such issues can be managed, even resolved, however, a lesson Better Half and I learned last weekend when we decided our “spice station” in the kitchen needed a new game plan. It was ...

A continued focus on growth in our area

Our area was visited Thursday by an individual who could be considered as among the upper echelon of political power in the state of West Virginia. Ed Gaunch has been the state’s secretary of commerce since January, taking the reins of a section of our state government which oversees West ...

Madonna is preparing for the new school year

By MADONNA FACULTY The Madonna High School administration, faculty, staff, and coaches shared its 2019-2020 theme throughout activities as they gathered to prepare for the upcoming school year: FORWARD TOGETHER “God will guide our steps.” Proverbs 3:6. On Sunday, August 11, 2019 ...