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Editorials

Transparency: Officials must not be allowed to work in secret

We suppose West Virginians ought to be grateful that we are reminded so frequently of politicians’ intentionally poor understanding of the word “transparency.” Another tipoff has come in regard to the RISE West Virginia scandal. Last year it was learned state officials were dragging ...

DOH Funds: Lawmakers should avoid project backlog

Give West Virginia Division of Highways employees credit. They have been working hard during the past few months to clear up a routine maintenance backlog estimated by some at about 10 years. It should be cut in half by next summer, DOH Commissioner Jimmy Wriston estimates. What then? Will the ...

Economy: Good things happening in Wood County

Forget about the “big deal” announcements that lead to nowhere, Wood County’s economy is not built on mega-projects funded by investors who take their profits right back out of the Mid-Ohio Valley as fast as they can. As West Virginia Commerce Secretary Ed Gaunch learned last week, much ...

Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

UP: To Artsbridge’s ArtCart program, coming into Wood County elementary schools for a fourth school year. Though only Jefferson Elementary Center has its own art teacher, this program ensures that fourth graders get free, in-school art instruction from the program’s four teachers. That kind ...

Transparency: Wood BOE must do a better job with agenda

Late last month, Wood County Schools Board of Education and Superintendent Will Hosaflook gave the appearance of having backed away from an opportunity to demonstrate the necessary courage to carry out a plan that just a few months earlier they said was absolutely necessary to avoid the ...

DOH Pay: Employees right to lose patience with agency

Repairing holes in the West Virginia Division of Highways pay schedule is just as important as filling in potholes, in the long run. Yet, despite being instructed nearly two years ago to do that, the agency has not completed the task. Attracting and keeping qualified, hard-working employees is ...

Infrastructure: Pass bill to repair our roads and bridges

Apparently, we in the Mountain State are not alone in our displeasure with the conditions of our highways and bridges. People in quite a few other states have similar concerns, to judge by a U.S. Senate committee vote last week. Members of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee ...

Inspired: Young women show entrepreneurial spirit

Starting a business can be an intimidating idea. The thought of taking such a risk put the brakes on most people’s ambitions. But a group of young women from the Boys and Girls Club of Parkersburg might have a leg up on the competition, after participating last month in the Envision, Lead, ...

Gov. Justice: Residency lawsuit should be expedited

Action in lawsuits often moves at the speed of molasses. One in Kanawha County Circuit Court ought to be resolved expeditiously, however. West Virginia House of Delegates member Isaac Sponaugle, D-Pendleton, has been attempting since last summer to pursue a lawsuit against Gov. Jim Justice, ...

Pensions: Lawmakers must act to help coal families

Retired coal miners and their families receive little enough from the pension program they and their companies supported for many years. Taking even that away as a result of government action ought to be viewed as unacceptable. Yet unless Congress acts, which many lawmakers have been unwilling ...

Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

UP: To City of Parkersburg officials who have been tackling projects that have been needed for quite some time, such as the Parkersburg Fire Department’s new and improved Fire Station No. 2 on the corner of 16th and Covert streets this week. The original Fire Station No. 2 was built in the ...

Education: Give teachers more flexibility in classroom

One reason private charter schools appeal to some education reformers is they are burdened with less bureaucratic red tape than public schools. A few charters may be coming to West Virginia, as a result of a bill enacted earlier this summer by the Legislature. Charters can act as pilot ...

Health Care: WVU pilot program may help rural residents

Many Americans living in urban or fast-growing suburban areas don’t even think about access to health care. It is just around the corner, figuratively and sometimes literally speaking. West Virginia is different. In most of our rural state, help from a doctor or nurse can mean driving for an ...

Challenge: State troopers set high bar to find the best

For 100 years, West Virginia state troopers have served and protected us, despite facing daily hazards difficult for most of us to understand. Certainly their job has not gotten any easier in recent years. But rather than seeing that kind of stress and risk as a deterrent, officials are likely ...

Jamboree: Welcome Boy Scouts from around the world

First impressions are lasting ones. Beginning last week and ending Friday, West Virginia is making a first impression upon tens of thousands of visitors. They are the 45,000 Boy Scouts and adult leaders in our state for the 24th World Scout Jamboree. It is being held at the 14,000-acre Summit ...

Power Boost: Aid for Pleasants plant best solution for now

By substantial majorities, both the state Senate and House of Delegates approved exempting the Pleasants Power Station from about $12 million a year in state business and occupation taxes. Other power plants do not pay that tax. Pleasants, because of its “merchant plant” status, was ...

Economy: Ethane cracker supports wariness of promise

It seems as though the dream of an ethane cracker facility on the former SABIC plant on W.Va. 892 — at least as far as Braskem is concerned — is dead. Members of the Joint Committee on Natural Gas Development were told last week the company has put the property to which so many Mid-Ohio ...

Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

UP: To lawmakers’ effort to extend the life of the coal-fired Pleasants Power Station past its 2022 closing date by giving it an exemption on state business and occupation taxes. However, Pleasants County officials and the folks at FirstEnergy Solutions should be careful not to simply kick ...

Night Out: Event brings kids, law enforcement together

Many children grow up understanding the law enforcement officers in their community are there to serve and protect them. Officers are on THEIR side — their friends. But for some kids it take a little more to communicate that relationship, and events such as the upcoming National Night Out ...

Pill Pushers: Hold execs accountable for role in opioid crisis

In 2012, after the addictive properties of opioid pain pills were known, drug companies shipped 12.6 billion of them to U.S. pharmacies. That works out to about 38 each for every man, woman and child in this country. No wonder drug companies involved in lawsuits over marketing of opioid ...