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Editorials

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UP: To local middle school students who participated in this week’s West Virginia History Bowl scrimmage in Vienna. Blennerhassett Middle School eighth-grader Olivia Raber said “I hope we learn a bunch from today.” Certainly everyone involved did, and is better prepared for regional ...

CTE Classes: Middle school proposal deserves consideration

Career and technical education — called CTE by some school officials — is an on-again, off-again emphasis in many West Virginia counties. Three state legislators — Delegates Lisa Zukoff, D-Marshall, Andrew Robinson, D-Kanawha, and Sen. Glenn Jeffries, D-Kanawha — think CTE offerings ...

Bail Reform: Lawmakers can learn from Ohio’s proposals

West Virginia lawmakers are joined by those in approximately 40 other states this year in jumping on the criminal justice/bail reform bandwagon. It is this year’s hot legislative item nationwide, which should give you a little insight into how politics works in our country. But here in the ...

Impeachment: Manchin, Capito must be impartial jurors

No doubt West Virginia’s U.S. senators, Republican Shelley Moore Capito and Democrat Joe Manchin, understood when they took office that they would be making critically important decisions, not just for our state but also for the nation, even the world, as a whole. Neither may have imagined ...

Voting: Kudos for expanding voting accessibility

Good for state senators for acting quickly on a bill that fills a need for a substantial number of West Virginians. It is SB 94, which passed the Senate by a vote of 33-0 (with one senator absent). SB 94 provides that disabled Mountain State residents who are registered to vote can cast ...

Honor Him: Martin Luther King Jr.’s work continues

Perhaps you have the luxury of spending a little more time reading this on a Monday morning because your place of business is closed, or you have stayed home to be with your kids because their school is closed today. Three-day weekends are nice, aren’t they? It is more important now than ...

Our Money: West Virginia treasurer is just doing his job

West Virginia state Treasurer John Perdue certainly deserves credit for prudent management of our money. It is OUR money, of course, because we all pay taxes in the Mountain State. But last week, Perdue was praised by Gov. Jim Justice for agreeing to transfer $20 million out of the ...

Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

UP: To a proposal approved by the West Virginia state Senate that would make shelter dogs the official state dog. “Just because a dog is at a shelter doesn’t mean that there’s something wrong with the dog,” said state Sen. Ryan Weld, a Republican. “That dog needs a second chance and ...

Rainy Day: Medicaid reserve fund idea makes little sense

State officials’ announcement that West Virginia’s Medicaid program next year will require $309 million less than had been anticipated earlier is good news, no matter how one views it. But keep one thing about the funds firmly in mind: It is not “found money” for state government. ...

Investment: Coal research company is a welcome addition

Though it may not be exactly what some economists had in mind when they stressed —over and over again — that West Virginia needs to diversify its economy, it is encouraging to read news that a Wyoming-based carbon technology company plans to build at least one facility in the Mountain ...

Bureaucracy: Is another office vital for flood relief?

Imagine for a moment you are one of the hundreds of folks still waiting for the help from state government that was promised as you try to recover from devastating flooding that happened three-and-a-half years ago. You hear there is another outreach effort by West Virginia Voluntary ...

Mark Horwich: Firefighter’s death leaves hole in community

It is easy for communities to forget, in their day-to-day, how much we owe the men and women who make up our volunteer fire departments. They aren’t members of the larger municipal departments, they don’t have the same resources, and they are not getting paid. But they run toward danger ...

Children: Governor’s proposals should be approved

We West Virginians — or, at least, our public officials — talk a lot about “investing in the future.” If there is a foundational aspect to that, it is ensuring our children grow up safe and healthy, both physically and mentally. Two proposals by Gov. Jim Justice, outlined during his ...

Right Stuff: Working together, not pandering, needed

While it is always entertaining to see which props Gov. Jim Justice will haul out for his annual State of the State addresses, his choice of a rocket ship (strikingly similar to one used in graphics distributed by West Virginia University, by the way) to illustrate the Mountain State’s ...

Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

UP: To a possible move by the Parkersburg Utility Board to consider using the Wood County 911 Center’s alert system for emergency notifications, rather than paying a private company an annual fee of nearly $5,000. “The Wood County 911 Center will do that for us at no charge,” Parkersburg ...

Revenue: Despite upturn, cuts in spending still needed

Gov. Jim Justice offered a late Christmas gift when he announced state revenue collections were good during December. As the legislative session begins, he and state legislators need to bear in mind that we are not out of the woods, yet. Going into the sixth month of the fiscal year, the ...

Crime Labs: Lawmakers must renew supplemental funds

West Virginia is among states that have made gratifying progress in reducing backlogs in laboratory testing of evidence in criminal cases. Unfortunately, there still are waiting lists for law enforcement agencies. As the Bluefield Daily Telegraph recently pointed out, the backlog of DNA ...

Jail Bill: Wood County’s efforts should be replicated

“We are probably the only county in the state that has really attacked the jail bill like we have,” said Wood County Administrator Marty Seufer, during a County Commission meeting Monday. During last week’s West Virginia Press Association Legislative Lookahead members of the media and ...

Population Growth: Legislators must spur job growth

If West Virginia legislators about to begin their annual regular session need any reason to pursue economic development initiatives, a new national population report provides it. From 2018 to 2019, the nation’s population increased by nearly 0.5 percent, or about 1.5 million people, the ...

Time to Act: We must tackle national debt

As we Americans celebrate the beginning of a new decade, we continue to allow a serious challenge to escalate to crisis proportions. It is the national debt — $23.2 trillion as 2020 began. Thoughtful Americans understand the perils of a big national debt. It can increase inflation. It ...