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Editorials

HB 4737: Legislation would expand educational opportunities

Children taken from their homes in the midst of the substance abuse epidemic face plenty of challenges. Being told they cannot receive state or federal help to go to college should not be one of them. West Virginia legislators were told a few days ago the status of many children makes that a ...

Fresh Look: State superintendent should shake things up

Some degree of continuity is needed in public school supervision at the state level in West Virginia. But at the same time, things need to be shaken up. A look at measures of school quality, some adopted by state officials, makes that clear. Perhaps the most important job in the state’s ...

Education: Belpre City Schools’ project needs support

Belpre City Schools is moving in a new and potentially wonderful direction for students, if the steps outlined in Monday’s board of education meeting are followed. Voting to adopt “Portrait of a Graduate,” the board appears to understand yesterday’s approach simply does not work for ...

Public Notice: Proposal limits access to important information

Perhaps you have heard of the “death by a thousand cuts” torture. How about secrecy in government by a thousand acts of the West Virginia Legislature? Earlier this month we warned of a bill in the House of Delegates that was intended to alter requirements for newspaper publication of ...

Homework: Energy efficiency upgrades must be studied

Wood County Board of Education members took an important step last week when they voted to begin work on energy efficiency upgrades that would renovate or replace energy systems throughout the school system. A presentation by CMTA Energy Solutions a day before the vote detailed a $14.6 million ...

Census: Accurate data is vital to West Virginia’s future

West Virginia cannot afford an inaccurate assessment in the 2020 Census. According to the Associated Press, the Mountain State is more reliant on federal money than any other state. One study shows federal funding represents more than 16 percent of personal income here — in the form of ...

Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

UP: To the Belpre Tree Commission, which works to help keep that city’s tree population healthy. Last year they planted 15 trees, but perhaps just as importantly, removed 10. Those willing to donate more than 230 hours of volunteer time to the effort perform an enormous service to the city. ...

Wildlife: Solutions needed as funding sources dwindle

Though it does not seem matters such as big government, taxation and fees and bureaucracy would be much concern when it comes to our nation’s wildlife, it turns out we have a problem. “The wildlife in America belongs to everybody, but only about 10 percent to 20 percent are paying for it. ...

Safeguards: Money, resources needed for children

Children are a top priority in the minds of most West Virginians. Some legislators wonder whether they are a high enough priority in state government, however. During a news conference last week in Charleston, a bipartisan group of lawmakers suggested state government needs to do more to ...

Energy: Investment in renewables is vital to state’s future

West Virginians understand how much we owe the generations of coal miners who have kept our — and the rest of the country’s — lights on. Our emotional response to the idea anyone would want to “put a lot of miners and coal companies out of business,” sparked a political wave most did ...

Outcomes: Process casts shadow over Drake appointment

Lindsay Dennis was right when she said it seemed as though members of Belpre’s Republican Central Committee already knew the outcome for which they hoped, when they met to appoint someone to fill a vacant council seat. “It seemed like the decision was made before the meeting even ...

Compromise: Bipartisan effort needed for property tax bill

Regarding an important bill in the West Virginia Legislature, both Republican and Democrat lawmakers deserve credit for making their branch of government work as the nation’s founders intended. That is, without partisanship being the key to decision-making. A measure that would give some ...

Ethics Laws: Lax enforcement does not bode well

Surely West Virginians understand by now that firm, consistent enforcement of ethics rules for public officials is required in our state. Our long, sordid recent history of corruption makes that clear. Yet enforcement of the rules has not been consistent. Take the case of former state lottery ...

Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

UP: To news that a Route 33 bypass will finally be coming to Spencer — with a hoped-for completion date of November 2022. Mark Pauley, director for marketing and development for Spencer, is correct. “This hill, Scott Miller Hill, over the years, during bad weather, has unfortunately claimed ...

Education: Fired sexual predators must never teach again

Educators who betray the trust placed in them by victimizing children, particularly sexually, should never be employed again in schools — anywhere. Though that should go without saying, it does not. Too often, school employees convicted of sex-related crimes involving children find jobs in ...

New Strategy: Cohesive plan needed to fight substance abuse

Global conflicts such as World Wars I and II demonstrated that defeating a powerful foe requires not just an alliance, but a coordinated one. We West Virginians are battling a great evil now — and at least, it appears an integrated approach is on the horizon. Last week, three state agencies ...

Recovery: Trump should approve disaster funding

More than three-and-a-half years after devastating floods destroyed three schools in Nicholas County, there is movement in getting enough federal money to build new schools there. Federal Emergency Management Agency funding to the tune of $131 million has finally been approved, for ...

Tobacco: State failing to curb smoking

West Virginia is failing its residents when it comes to stemming the use of tobacco and tobacco products, according to the American Lung Association. Last week, the group released its “State of Tobacco Control” report, in which the Mountain State received very poor marks. Our state ...

Stepping Back: U.S. cannot continue as world’s policeman

The Associated Press reported last week that U.S. officials are considering reductions in the number of our military personnel in Africa, at a time when extremist violence is increasing on the continent. Such consideration is “a move that worries (U.S.) international partners who are working ...

Transparency: Hiding legal notices online keeps us in dark

West Virginia Delegates Brandon Steele, R-Raleigh; Tony Paynter, R-Wyoming; and Geoff Foster, R-Putnam, want to make it harder for Mountain State residents to receive the information that is required to be made available to the public through legal advertising. Rather than employing the method ...