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Local Columns

Reporter’s notebook: Powering up the controversy in two states

My column is back after a much needed COVID-19/birthday weekend last week, and what a weird time to turn 38. ¯¯¯¯¯¯ Once again, the fact that Gov. Jim Justice hasn’t put the vast majority of his businesses into blind trusts is biting him on the behind as news of the charges against ...

‘Whether it’s cold or whether it’s hot …’

As I’m writing this column, it’s Thursday afternoon, and I’m facing one of the newsroom windows. It’s pouring rain (not that it would be pouring anything else, heaven help us), and I should have anticipated this for two reasons: My umbrella is safe and secure in the car where it’s ...

At least we have some sports, sort of

I typically don’t talk much about sports...for a variety of reasons. However, we are starting to see a few bright spots this year, and one of those is that several professional sports are returning, or already in the midst of their seasons. NASCAR has been on the tracks for a while now, ...

A big win for West Virginia’s economy, communities and nature

Outdoor spaces are often at the center of vibrant communities. Their critical role has been highlighted in even newer important ways in recent months, underscoring the need to conserve, maintain and improve access to these places. Protecting important natural spaces and investing in their care ...

History in the Hills: Holding the fort for the future

I have been very blessed to have worked at some pretty cool historic sites during my career in the museum field. From Civil War battlefields, to historic houses, to a ruined 19th century iron works, I have seen quite a bit. At all of these sites, there is a history of the commemoration of the ...

Despite best intentions, we all fail: Poor Bitsy

Please turn with me to our passage for today, 2 Cor. 1: 3-7. It reads: “Praise be to the God and father of our lord Jesus Christ, the father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ...

The transfer process can work up a thirst

Mimosa any one? Now who do you suppose would have that written on a fluorescent green index card and stuck inside an address/telephone book that’s seen way better days, way better years and decades, actually? I’m raising my hand here. Guilty as charged. “What’s that doing in ...

We’ve all been reacting differently

Those who have seen me recently probably feel I’m looking a little shaggy, to say the least. I typically get my hair cut every two months. My plans had been to go in mid- or late-March. Then, the virus began to spread and West Virginia ordered the closure of “non-essential” businesses. ...

We must stop the reliance on foreign suppliers

Over the past few months, people have become acutely aware of the problems with relying on foreign countries for vital products. The global pandemic has demonstrated that America depends on foreign suppliers far too much for products vital to our health, from masks to testing swabs to ...

“Defund the police” movement is deeply misguided

As we examine reforms to certain policing practices, we must also recognize the value of a properly-funded police force. The overwhelming majority of our police officers, deputy sheriffs and state troopers serve their communities with honor and enforce our laws above reproach, however, the ...

Despite COVID-19 and racial issues, love is never neutral

For the last 17 years, I have been blessed to take 60 to 75 kids, not including adults and junior counselors, camping. The majority of these kids are from kindergarten to the sixth grade. A number of them have never left the city and it is their first time camping. We enjoy seeing their first ...

Remember the Bible says creation will be set free

By THE REV. PHIL VAN DAM Brooke-Hancock Episcopal Ministries The second lesson this Sunday is from Paul’s letter to the Romans 8:12-25. In verses 18-23 Paul talks about how creation is groaning, as if in labor, and that it will be set free from bondage, and will obtain the freedom of the ...

Babysitting ‘grandcats’ a ‘purr-fect’ time

Babysitting animals — i.e. “grandcats” — requires special instructions, just as if you were entrusted to watch little humans. Give them this much dry food, and that much wet food, and not the same flavors for every feeding. Mix it up a bit. Remember litter box detail. Very ...

There is no one-size-fits-all solution

The beginning of the 2020-21 school year has become a major topic of conversation in the last few weeks. The last few months haven’t been easy for many, including our youth and their teachers, as the pandemic forced school districts across the country to close down their buildings and finding ...

Annual picnic another victim of pandemic

You can add the name of Ron Baker to the list of people who have to sit back and watch as events that have long been a staple of life in the Tri-State Area have been canceled. Baker is the president of the Weirton Steel 25-Year Club, and he and the organization’s members had been looking ...

History in the Hills: The Hub, gone but not forgotten

As we all know, this area has changed through the years. As someone who grew up at the very end of a very prosperous time in our valley’s history, I was reminded growing up of what once was, what was here and what we have lost. Not all of it, though, is based on local industry, although ...

Search: Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life

By PASTOR DAVE PARKER New Life Church The world today has filled our heads with so much information, we have technology at our fingertips and many opinions are polarizing our nation. It seems like things in life are speeding up so fast that we can’t even catch our breath. We have ...

Reporter’s notebook/A few thoughts on the end of the fiscal year

The Independence Day weekend and the week leading up to it is typically a boring time in state government. When it coincides with the end of the fiscal year, a year that had already seen lower-than-expected tax revenue have gasoline thrown on it by the coronavirus, it gets less boring. I told ...

Buying early can lead to second guessing

I bought two gifts a month or more in advance for a friend’s birthday, and I admit, I was feeling pretty confident about my efficiency. Truth be told, I was feeling a little smug, too, high-fiving myself and giving myself a pat or two on the back for a job well done. I was president of ...

Learning about leadership

Leaders will always be needed. The difficult situation will be finding the ones with the right skills for what we need. For more than two decades, the Weirton Area Chamber of Commerce has organized a couple of programs with that goal in mind. Leadership Ohio Valley and Youth Leadership ...