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Editorials

Drug Tests: School program must be realistic and fair

As two local organizations announce a change in focus for this school year, Wood County Schools bears even more responsibility to run its own similar program properly and fairly. Parkersburg Drug Free Clubs of America at Parkersburg and Parkersburg South high schools and Drug Free Jackets at ...

Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

UP: To the creation of a Downstream Jobs Task Force meant to facilitate development of downstream manufacturing resulting from the production of natural gas — primarily chemical and plastics manufacturing. Frankly, one wonders why it took ten years from the start of our most recent “boom” ...

Oral Health: Affordability, access must be addressed

We’ve all heard the old “jokes” told mostly by those from outside West Virginia about the condition of our teeth. Nasty as they might have been, there was a grain of truth to them in terms of the need for better oral health for many families in our state. Progress has been made, but room ...

Blankenship: Fairness is vital to judicial process

After his 2015 federal court conviction, former West Virginia coal baron Don Blankenship maintained he had been railroaded by prosecutors. It turns out he was right — according to a magistrate judge. Blankenship headed Massey Energy in 2010, when an explosion at the firm’s Upper Big Branch ...

VA Deaths: Protection, investigation must be top priorities

Men and women who have served us in the military should not have to worry that they may be murdered if they seek treatment at a Veterans Affairs hospital. Federal authorities are investigating as many as 10 deaths at the Louis A. Johnson VA Medical Center in Clarksburg. At least one of those ...

Support: National Guard, families deserve our help

Conflict in the Middle East has taken on new meaning for West Virginians, as well as some of our neighbors in Ohio, North Carolina and South Carolina. Earlier this month, state officials were joined by hundreds of people in Charleston in a ceremonial send-off for more than 500 West Virginia ...

Gun Safety: Being irresponsible can lead to tragic outcomes

For one reason or another, a man in Nitro, W.Va., decided he needed to take a firearm with him when he left home several days ago. As he was getting ready to leave, he laid the gun down for just a moment or two. His 3-year-old son picked it up and accidentally shot himself in the head. The ...

Education: Drug abuse putting strain on foster care

Declining enrollment in West Virginia public schools is a concern, as state school Superintendent Steve Paine pointed out earlier this month. Much more worrisome is another trend he pointed out. Even as enrollment declined since 2000, the number of public school students in foster care nearly ...

Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

UP: To raw test scores that show (generally speaking) that Wood County Schools is improving in proficiency in most categories. According to Superintendent Will Hosaflook, the scores showed significant improvement from 2018 to 2019. The state will release results in September —tough ...

9-8-8: Three-digit suicide prevention line is worth pursuing

Last week, local groups working to prevent suicide got a little good news, as Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai agreed with them that there is a need for a three-digit suicide hotline, and said he plans to pursue adoption of 988 as the dialing code for a nationwide hotline, ...

Plenty of Good: Momma T and Warriors see opportunity to help

The term “community organizer” comes with a lot of baggage. Nevertheless, there is plenty of good to be said for someone who sees a need in his or her community, and organizes others to tackle the problem. In the case of Momma T and Warriors and their street ministry, this is no ...

Responsibility: ICE should target plant managers

Law enforcement authorities agree that one key to curbing certain types of crime is to sever the supply-and-demand link. Fewer drug addicts means less demand for pushers and thus, fewer of them, for example. Federal officials don’t seem to be doing a very good job of that in regard to ...

Good Deed: Vickers deserves praise for aiding National Guardsman

Gov. Jim Justice should proclaim that Charlene Vickers an honorary West Virginian. The Philadelphia-area woman has earned it by reminding us that while the news often is dominated by sick, evil human beings, we live among some truly kind-hearted neighbors. You may have heard the story of West ...

Epstein: Federal corrections could use some scrutiny

The apparent suicide of rich pedophile Jeffrey Epstein while in federal custody continues to make headlines. For a time, the murder of vicious gangster James “Whitey” Bulger at a federal prison in West Virginia was big news. But what about the other prisoners who die violently while in ...

Transparency: Vienna deserves praise for audit participation

Vienna residents and officials should be thrilled the city will be part of a pilot project with the state to improve transparency. West Virginia Auditor J.B. McCuskey’s Project Mountaineer will allow reporting and transparency software to work with the city’s existing systems to give both ...

Martin taught a generation how to be journalists

I imagine that all over the country right now there are journalists like me, trying to figure out how to put into words what I am also struggling to write. A woman who influenced a generation of West Virginia University journalism students left us earlier this month. To those of us who have ...

Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

UP: To the participants in today’s News and Sentinel Half Marathon and Two-Mile Race; and in tomorrow’s Kids Day races. It takes hard work and training, but also a little guts, to get out there and join thousands of other people in such an activity. But every year, the Mid-Ohio Valley (and ...

Dedication: Kern brings many assets to Vienna Police Department

Congratulations, to the newest member of the Vienna Police Department, Allyssa Kern of Williamstown. For the most part, the big news surrounding Kern’s swearing-in was that she is the first female officer in Vienna’s 84-year history. That is a big deal. “I’m very proud to stand ...

Kicks for Kids: Shoe drive can make a difference for a child

As part of back-to-school shopping this year, many parents are buying new shoes for their kids — to help them start the school year on the right foot, as it were. But any of those parents will tell you, shoes are not an inexpensive afterthought. They can take up a big part of the budget. For ...

Red Flags: Gun legislation must be weighed carefully

Two West Virginia legislators have said our state needs a “red flag” law to ban access to firearms by dangerous people. The most obvious concern with that is how “dangerous” will be defined — and who will decide if a person’s Second Amendment rights will be revoked. Mass murders ...