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Editorials

In the Red: Be realistic in trimming next budget

West Virginia’s state government fiscal dilemma is illustrated well by the relief state officials exhibited last week when they learned, one-fourth of the way through the current fiscal year, the general revenue budget is only $29.7 million in the red. It could have been worse, to judge by ...

Kids Count: Children need economic improvement

Too often, those studying how to improve the lives of West Virginians conclude the answer is giving more of our hard-earned money to state government, to be doled out as officials in Charleston wish. Good for the West Virginia KIDS COUNT organization for coming to a different — and correct ...

Fitch Ratings: Responsible budget cuts send right signal

West Virginia officials — and taxpayers — got good news last week when Fitch Ratings announced it is continuing its “AA” rating of state finances. That is desirable because ratings such as Fitch’s are used to determine interest rates on bonds sold by the state. Fitch rates the ...

Hard Call: Wood County Board of Education made right decision

Last week, Wood County Board of Education members voted to close McKinley and Worthington elementary schools. It is likely they will again do the right thing Oct. 23 and vote to close Waverly Elementary School. But doing the right thing is not always easy. It does not always leave one feeling ...

Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

UP: To the revitalization of an area at the Parkersburg Art Center now known as Melissa’s Garden, which will be used by the art center as a children’s garden — a play space for ArtStart Preschool students, an outdoor classroom for Camp Creativity, and perhaps eventually event rental ...

Foster Homes: West Virginia must find a way to reverse alarming trend

West Virginians find solutions to tough problems. We always do. But one reported last week will be difficult. We have to do something — this one involves our children. Due in large measure to the substance abuse crisis, our state’s foster home network is terribly overloaded. The bottom ...

Opioids: Summary shows DEA did not do its job

“We found that DEA was slow to respond to the significant increase in the use and diversion of opioids since 2000.” This week the Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Justice released a summary of its look at the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s pathetic response to the ...

Storage Hub: Legislation should be a priority

For decades, the Gulf Coast has been the focal point of our nation’s petrochemical industry. Because much of the oil and natural gas produced in the United States came from that region, locating downstream plants there seemed to make sense. But, as three members of Congress from West ...

Public Water: Resources, not surveys, needed for improvement

According to a report published by the Natural Resources Defense Council, approximately two-thirds of West Virginia counties receive poor marks for public water systems safety violations, and approximately three-quarters of them are slow to get those issues fixed. It is difficult to understand ...

Investment: West Virginia must diversify economy

State officials are right to be pleased with improvements in West Virginia’s economy during the past few years. Unemployment, at a statewide average of 4.6 percent has not been lower in some time. But putting the number in context reveals this is a situation in which the grass really is ...

Stewardship: Wood County Board of Education taking necessary action

No one presented with the kinds of numbers heard during last week’s Wood County Board of Education meeting could have come away without the understanding something dramatic must be done (in fact, should have been done many years ago) to preserve the district’s financial stability. Wood ...

Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

UP: To those working as part of the Appalachian Region Prescription Opioid strike force, who were again able to take off the streets a significant number of contributors to the substance abuse epidemic in our region. The 13 arrests —including one right here in Vienna — were for alleged ...

Purchasing: West Virginia State Police must stop dragging their feet

West Virginia taxpayers have had more than their share of reasons to believe the folks in Charleston — particularly the bureaucrats — are not always good stewards of their money. Attempts have been made over the years to modernize and standardize purchasing procedures so the public has a ...

Painkillers: Irresponsible prescriptions help drive addiction

Easy access to prescriptions for opioid painkillers put many people on the path to addiction. That is known. But, thanks to drastic reductions in marketing of painkillers, they no longer are the major factor they were at one time, say some analysts. Not so fast. There may be some truth to that ...

Giving Back: State’s expats can always return with jobs

Perhaps there will be some advantage after all to the number of sharp young minds that have left West Virginia in search of brighter futures. At least some of them never forgot their homes among the hills, or stopped thinking about how to help it reach its full potential, too. In southern ...

First Ladies: Michelle Obama, Melania Trump perform good works

Whether the exquisite furniture in the Blue Room at the White House is genuine antiques or department-store reproductions is nowhere near as important as, say, the war in Afghanistan. And whether the wallpaper in the Red Room is refurbished or, at high cost, replaced has no effect on the ...

Budget Cuts: Lawmakers should start planning now

Mountain State lawmakers may be getting a bit nervous about the amount of money with which they will be able to play during the upcoming legislative session this winter. Despite Gov. Jim Justice’s assurances that in a few weeks we will see an uptick in revenue numbers reported for the month ...

Community: Rivalries put aside to support Miller family

When young life is taken from us suddenly, it shakes us all — and we yearn to comfort one another. Here in the Mid-Ohio Valley, our communities may indulge surface “rivalries” on the athletic field, but those imaginary differences disappear when someone is in need. A family and community ...

Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

UP: To West Virginia University at Parkersburg opening up its Entrepreneur Center to cosplayers and those in need of help with a Halloween costume, during the 2019 Makers Day Event. Technology such as 3-D printers, a laser cutter and engraver, a CNC milling machine, vinyl plotter, an industrial ...

Volunteers: Downtown Ambassadors program needs your help

When our outstanding local nonprofit organizations band together in a common mission, wonderful things happen. In the case of the Downtown Ambassadors program, volunteers from Recovery Point, in a project coordinated by the United Way Alliance of the Mid-Ohio Valley and Downtown PKB, spent more ...