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Local Columns

I’ll take a slice of this and a slice of that would do

True to any day, the thoughts in my head are as varied as they are disconnected and unassociated. This column will likely be proof of that. I was thinking, for instance, about inventions or more like, “Now why hasn’t anyone thought of this or done this before?” when I was grocery ...

It’s not about just the red and the blue

I’m still trying to process my thoughts following the events in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6. I know not everyone who attended the rally that morning of President Donald Trump were involved in the raid on and ransacking of the U.S. Capitol. I also know those individuals do not necessarily ...

History in the Hills: Relevant to rolling past

A recent donation to Historic Fort Steuben came rolling through the doors of the Visitor Center last month in the form of a four-passenger surrey. This great vehicle, fully restored, dates to 1909 and features plush seats and a top with fringe going all the way around. This holiday season it ...

Revelation 1: God with us — past, present and future

How do you brainwash someone? Edgar Schein was one of the first psychologists who studied brainwashing. He identified three stages, through which a person is kept unaware of the process and the converting activities are presented as friendly and lighthearted. Unfreezing: A person’s current ...

Lawmaking in the time of COVID-19

Happy new year everyone. It’s now 2021, and with a new year comes the beginning of Gov. Jim Justice’s second term and a new legislative session with two Republican supermajorities. The first thing to happen will be the start of the regular session of the West Virginia Legislature starting ...

A few odds and ends to start the year

We’re officially kicking off 2021, but as I’m trying to write this a little ahead of time to meet some of our early deadlines, I’ll pick a few rambling topics to, hopefully, provide some thoughts over your weekend breakfast. ¯ A thank you to Paul Lauttamus for inviting me to see ...

Being very predictable this time of the year

I’m so predictable at the end of an old year and the beginning of a new one. I wear my baggy clothes and enjoy what the holiday affords — some time to chill and indulge in food that’s bad for you, which explains why it’s so delightful. It wouldn’t be a New Year’s Eve time of ...

Commissioner Leonhardt: Goals and promises for 2021

The last year has been one of the roughest in recent memory. Mainly due to the pandemic, we as Americans have experienced loss, hardship and new challenges that haven’t been seen in several decades. As many of us try to leave 2020 behind, we can look towards the hope the new year will bring. ...

Picking ourselves up from a bad year

We’ve just completed our Christmas celebrations, which means the year will be coming to an end in just a matter of days. Many of us, I’m certain, are ready to put 2020 behind us, although, realistically 2021 is sure to provide challenges of its own. Much of the news of the last year has ...

Don’t be wiped out by 2020 — there is hope

I always say the best songs come on the radio when you pull into a driveway or a parking lot and have to be somewhere at a specific time and can’t listen to it and enjoy it. Life is ironic. I was running just a tad later than usual Tuesday morning and realized when I pulled in the ...

Energy and climate innovation a building block for the future

People love to say United States Senate is incapable of doing much of anything these days, least of all tackle tough issues like climate change. And yet, here we are, with the Senate passing the most significant climate and energy package in more than a decade. This is legislation that will ...

History in the Hills: A look Christmases past

Christmas this year may be different for a lot of us. The parties, big dinners and mountains of gifts may just have to wait until next year. Despite all the limitations of this year, however, it doesn’t mean that Christmas should be any less special or magical to us. It seems to many that ...

Final thoughts on 2020: It is well, with my soul

Well, this is the last Sunday of 2020. Needless to say, it has been quite a year. I’m hoping everyone had a good Christmas celebration and you enjoyed all the festivities of the day. Many will reflect on the restrictions of this year, as we draw to a close. What will you remember? Many will ...

A collection of Christmas odds and ends

Last week, I pointed out an angle of attack the Democrats could use in 2022 against Republican lawmakers and 2020 candidates who stood on the steps of the Capitol and pledged $1 billion for broadband expansion. Again, they got to that $1 billion number by including the up to $766 million the ...

A reminder to reflect and look ahead

We’re only a few days away from Christmas, and about 12 (or 13 depending on when you’re reading this) from the beginning of a new year. The last 11 months or so have shown us a lot about our nation, highlighting the divisions and the dangers we face and must work to overcome in the years ...

Million dollar holiday query — you ready?

As Christmas approaches this week, I don’t think anybody has asked me that million dollar holiday query. Are you ready for Christmas? That’s always the burning question in checkout lines or when you’re out and about running yourself ragged doing the usual holiday stuff under normal ...

It’s been a year for the record books in West Virginia

While 2020 will be remembered for its challenges, my office will always recall this year with pride in our accomplishments. When West Virginia voters blessed me four years ago to become Secretary of State (SOS), I employed top-notch managers energized to transform the office. For three years, ...

Help make someone’s dream come true this Christmas

Christmas is an event that has emerged in bits and pieces from out of the mists of antiquity. The tradition of giving gifts at Christmas time dates back to a practice in vogue in pagan Rome. Each year, on Dec. 17 and 18, ancient Romans celebrated the festival of Saturnalia, honoring Saturn, the ...

Some more potpourri from Charleston

Republicans might have swept the state legislative races, but they may have just handed Democrats some easy campaign ads for the 2022 midterm election. Last week, the Federal Communications Commission selected nine companies as winning bidders for broadband expansion projects as part of the ...

Getting overwhelmed by unwanted spam e-mail

Will Ohio suffer a cookie shortage this Christmas? Looking for energy efficient windows for your home? Last call for gingerbread syrup. Tell Gavin Newsom what you think! That’s just a small sampling of the subject lines in spam e-mails I’ve received in the last couple of days. It ...