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Editorials

Mystery Trip: W.Va.’s tourism office deserves praise

On a national stage, West Virginia does not always enjoy the greatest of reputations. Most people, if they understand there is a West Virginia at all, have a general idea of us as backward, poor, maybe drug-addicted and living in a land like something out of “Deliverance.” (That was ...

Alcohol: Middle school usage deserves study

Research a West Virginia University associate professor is conducting may not seem important at first glance — but it is. WVU researcher Alfgeir Kristjansson is investigating use of alcohol by middle school students. He and his team will be looking into how frequently about 2,000 West ...

Budget Cuts: Lawmakers must ask hard questions

“This is prudent behavior. Every household out here if they see their income is down would have the same behavior,” said State Senate Finance Chairman Craig Blair, R-Berkeley, upon hearing it confirmed that state agencies are being asked to cut $100 million from current spending AND prepare ...

Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

To the Belpre Chamber of Commerce’s celebration of 90 years serving its community and helping its economy diversify and grow. Keynote speaker Rebekah Mathis-Stump was correct when she said “The needs of a community change, and the Belpre Chamber of Commerce has continued to provide strong ...

Take Back Day: Dispose of prescription drugs during event

Law-abiding citizens get a little nervous of the thought that others could become aware they have certain prescription drugs in their medicine cabinets. Most patients these days, if prescribed opioids for pain management, for example, do their best to stick to the bare minimum of what doctors ...

Tobacco: Bill raising age to 21 should be enacted

State Sen. Tom Takubo thinks one reason his proposal to increase the age at which West Virginians can buy tobacco products failed earlier this year is that some lawmakers considered it an infringement upon personal freedom. Takubo, R-Kanawha, introduced a bill last year to raise the allowable ...

Charity Fraud: Know where your money is going

West Virginians are generous folks. When we are able, we give what we can to help our neighbors in need. But, while there are many responsible charitable organizations in our region, there are also those willing to take advantage of that generosity for their own benefit. That is why West ...

WVSOP: Volunteers bring music to MOV

Parkersburg may be “like their second home,” as West Virginia Symphony Orchestra — Parkersburg board of directors chairman Mary Ann Osborne put it, but the WVSOP delivers a first-class experience to music lovers here in the Mid-Ohio Valley. For 32 years, WVSOP has left its Charleston ...

Oblivious: Parole officer’s termination was proper

Many of us have been startled from time to time by revelations about people with whom we were close. We didn’t really know them at all. Simona Southall insisted that was the situation with her boyfriend in June 2017, Jonathan Brockman. The two, along with their son, lived in Fayette County, ...

Oversight: Cutting VA’s budget may wake them up

If allegations against the Department of Veterans Affairs are valid, Congress should take a hard look at the approximately $220 billion in taxpayer dollars the VA requested from this year’s budget. A department that cannot be trusted even to verify whether it is hiring people who are ...

Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

UP: To those who gathered this week during a public forum on the state’s Substance Use Response Plan. Among the important points made is that prevention efforts should begin much earlier than the middle school years. Wood County Sheriff Steve Stephens and others are correct that education ...

Traffic Deaths: Make good decisions to stay safe on road

Last year, Ohio saw a dip in the number of traffic deaths. But the improvement was short-lived. The number of traffic death so far this year is approximately 20 more than at this time last year, at 880, according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol. While the Ohio Department of Transportation has ...

Bureaucracy: Licensing requirements hindering opportunity

When Forbes reported on a couple of studies of West Virginia’s economy by the Knee Center for the Study of Occupational Regulation and published by the Cardinal Institute, many of the discussion points were familiar. Our geography is both a blessing and curse — we are a rural state, in ...

Justices: Impeachment impasse may return one day

Last week’s decision by U.S. Supreme Court justices not to intervene in a squabble between the legislative and judicial branches of government in West Virginia puts the matter to rest — for now. While there is no reason to believe the issue will come up again anytime soon, it could in the ...

Nutrition: Economic, cultural shift is needed

It has been centuries since obesity was a sign of wealth and status. That table has turned. Now, obesity affects the poor at a much higher rate —and here in the Mountain State, that means we have a problem. According to data released by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation last week — the ...

Economy: More workforce participation needed

Our state’s economy has “a lot of uncertainty,” West Virginia University economist John Deskins noted during an economic outlook conference last week in Charleston. Deskins, director of WVU’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research, explained, among other things, the uncertainty ...

Bless Her Heart: Cummings should embrace her roots

Poor Whitney Cummings. Never heard of her? She tried to boost her profile a bit last week by appearing on a late-night talk show to discuss her roots. Those would be here in the Mountain State, by the way. What she managed was to prove that often for celebrities it is more important to make a ...

Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

UP: To Wood County Board of Education members who have made a concerted effort in recent months to acknowledge accomplishments of students, teachers and schools, during their meetings. It is important to make time to talk about the good things happening in our schools — and there are a lot of ...

Impeachment: Investigation should not be rushed

It seems few days have gone by recently without some new revelation regarding the House of Representatives impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump. Clearly, the president and some of his allies used their positions in efforts to advance Trump’s political prospects. Whether their ...

Foster Care: Improvements made, but are they enough?

Nearly 2 percent of the children in West Virginia — more than 6,800 of them — are in some form of foster care administered by the state. Are we doing enough for them? A lawsuit filed against the state Department of Health and Human Resources last week argues we are not, to the point that ...