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Local Columns

Christ’s presentation in the temple

Today, 40 days after the birth of Christ, Mary and Joseph take the young child to the temple as was required by the Law of Moses. They were to bring a young lamb as an offering but being poor they were unable and brought two turtle doves instead. However, they did offer a young lamb in the form ...

It’s time for a permanent ban on fentanyl analogues

In 2017, almost 50,000 Americans died from opioid overdoses. To put that number into perspective, the amount of American lives lost due to opioid overdoses is nearly three times the population of the city of Martinsburg. It is apparent that West Virginia has been particularly hard hit by ...

Taking a look at the primary ballot

As predicted, the legislative session has been quiet so far, though that might change now that the candidate filing period has closed. Saturday was the last day to file, and while there might still be some filings working their way through the mail (if they’re postmarked for Saturday, ...

Surprises make a bad week much better

Surprises make a bad week better. Not that it was an awful week, but there are those moments during most any work and extracurricular week when you’re inclined to think, great earth, the grass has got to be greener somewhere else. One sweet surprise arrived on the porch midweek, a box ...

Encourage reading, make an investment in the future

Being able to read is something many of us tend to take for granted, even though it is an integral part of our daily lives. Literacy is at the core of our world. Without it, we have difficulty communicating, learning, working, driving, shopping and other tasks and aspects of our everyday ...

History in the Hills: Our historic landscape

Over the years, I have been very fortunate to have worked at some fascinating places. One of my most exciting opportunities was being a seasonal park ranger with the Richmond National Battlefield Park in Richmond Va. I was responsible for interpreting Civil War battlefields around the city ...

Focusing on the campaign filings and drama

While the second week of the 2020 legislative session was going on upstairs on the second floor of the State Capitol Building in Charleston, on the first floor candidates were lining up to get on the May 12 primary ballot and the Nov. 3 general election ballot. According to the West Virginia ...

Eating my way through Christmas goodies

By the time you’re reading this column today, hopefully all of my Christmas cookies and goodies will be digestive history. Honestly, December and January are sugar-charged commitments to the nth degree. Our kitchen island has been a hub for cookies and candy and all things sweet, a pile ...

The journey is just as important

Setting goals can help us in a variety of ways. Whether it is reading a book, completing school, cleaning and organizing your bedroom, or completing some grand adventure, we create a process to follow in order to reach that milestone. It provides a sense of accomplishment, and then we come up ...

Why I believe the Bible is the word of God

Billy Graham writes: “The Bible was written by 40 writers, over a period of 1,600 years, in 66 books. And the great theme from one end of the Bible to the other is redemption.” In the fourth chapter of Hebrews, verse 12, it says: “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper ...

Week one at the West Virginia Legislature

Last week was the first week of the 2020 legislative session. Really, it was just three days, but I’m counting Monday and Tuesday since January legislative interim meetings started then. While it remains to be seen how the next 55 days of the 60-day session will go, this week was a bit ...

Five things you can still find in my house

I saw a post on Facebook about five things people don’t keep in their homes anymore. A roll of the drum here, ladies and gentlemen… and those would be DVDs, CDs, file cabinets, takeout menus and wall calendars. What??!! Lies, lies and more lies, was my initial reaction because all ...

Election season is about to kick off

As I touched on last week, the election season is upon us. We’ve heard of a few local individuals interested in seeking office, including in the Legislature and on the county levels. There also, of course, is a group of candidates with their eyes on becoming the state’s next ...

Beware of the false gods of our day

Leviticus 18:21 (KJV) — And thou shalt not let any of thy seed pass through the fire to Molech, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I am the LORD. The command of God here is simple: do not sacrifice your children to false gods. Molech was a pagan god of the Amorites, to which ...

History in the Hills: Back to the Roaring ’20s

It is really hard to imagine that the 1920s were 100 years ago. Obviously, I am not old enough to remember that decade, but so many stories and events that are important to me happened in those 10 years. They feel as if they were my own, no matter how distant they are in the past. We tend to ...

Focusing on a new era in the life of the diocese

For better or worse — mostly for worse during the past year and a half — the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston has been in the news. The media reports about former Bishop Michael Bransfield have gone national and international. Pope Francis, acting on a lay commission’s report, which he ...

Legislative session set to be a red yawn

The 2020 legislative session starts Wednesday, Jan. 8, and I’m struggling with what I can fill this column up with. Based on what media heard last week, this is not going to be a very exciting session. It’s understandable. It’s an election year, with all 100 House of Delegates seats and ...

Rediscovering all the wonders of duct tape

Less than a week into the new year, and I’ve discovered a few things or been reminded of what I already knew. That would include the wonders of duct tape. You might be inclined to give up things because it’s a new year, and that might be fine and dandy, but my advice is to never try to ...

Don’t count on many campaign stops

It’s 2020, which means many things to different people. For those of us in the news business, it means the presidential election season is in full swing. Of course, because of the nature of this beast, it seems as if the election has been taking place for at least the last year, but the ...

A brand-new year means fast changes

Wednesday is the start of a brand-new year, and if you thought 2019 went fast, expect the first half of 2020 to go even faster. There is a lot going on in a short amount of time, so I’m here to give you the important dates. Jan. 8: The start of the second session of the 84th Legislature. ...