Local columns

‘Star Trek’ goes beyond in comics

"Star Trek" comics have been around almost as long as Trek television shows and movies, occasionally bringing the crew of the USS Enterprise into contact - and conflict - with other pop culture icons.Original adventures and adaptations of TV and cinematic stories have been produced since 1967 ...

The strength of education

Articles published last week in The Parkersburg News and Sentinel and other media outlets have highlighted that West Virginia's colleges and universities are operating on lean bank accounts, and some observers have since suggested that we should re-examine our investment in higher education.As ...

Joy in Alzheimer’s struggle

My wife has the "Big A" - Alzheimer's - the scourge of the Baby Boomers (just because we are the current generation getting to that age - my grandmother had "hardening of the arteries" - pretty sure it was the "Big "A" - it has been around for a while). Joyce has "early onset dementia, ...

WVUP has plan, but still seeking resources

Dear Friends,Since the West Virginia CTCS Board denied our request for a 15 percent increase in tuition, several people have called me wanting to know how this would affect our college's financial condition. I can assure everyone that we had planned for this possible occurrence and that our ...

Did Comey learn from Hoover?

For decades, the late J. Edgar Hoover led a charmed life as director of the FBI. In some ways he was the most powerful man in Washington.Hoover wanted people to believe he had files on everyone, most of them containing secrets powerful people didn't want to be revealed.Because the politicians ...

Wake up call for W.Va.

Two full sessions and one special session have come and gone since the 2014 elections, and a lot has been accomplished in Charleston. Indeed, there is a lot left to do. And what we do next is of vital consequence.We all know West Virginia is in a very precarious economic condition, so we must ...

‘Sand Sharks,’ a streaming movie review

Someone complimented kids who played trees and rocks in a school play. Now we can watch those full-grown children follow misguided encouragement into "acting" careers. Rightly so, they seem terrified over both their careers' trajectory and sand sharks. That's right! Computer generated sharks ...

Community pulls together

A group of women who work together at a local bank was one of many such groups making trips to flood-stricken regions of West Virginia over the past few weekends. Though I have not had a chance to talk with all of the many people who have helped, the desire to serve that radiated from these ...

Our future and climate change

Throughout human history our Earth's atmosphere has been in balance - until the last approximately 140 years. Rapidly increasing human populations, vast recent use of fossil fuels, and prolonged deforestation have started a change in the Earth's systems that may make existence untenable for ...

Summer is getting away

My heels are red and bruised! I have been dragging my feet and digging in my heels, trying to slow down the speed of this summer! It isn't working! How can it be almost the end of July when this month just started? We all are supposed to have the same number of hours in a day and days in a ...

Breakfast for dinner

Here are some favorites for breakfast anytime!***Broccoli-BaconQuiche1/2 package refrigerated pie crusts1/2 pound thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces1 pound fresh broccoli, trimmed1/2 cup vegetable stock3 large eggs1/2 cup heavy whipping cream1/2 cup milk1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar ...

Great summer reads for hot and hazy days

There's more great summer reads out there just waiting for you to find them!First from Shelley Shepard Gray is a new historical novel, "The Loyal Heart."In prison during the Civil War, a group of soldiers made a promise to take care of their loved ones if a member of their group cannot. And now ...

Back to school basics

Brace yourself. They're back. The rows and aisles of school supplies have started to line the store shelves. They remind us about the importance of educational readiness.Two solid suggestions that should be added to your back-to-school list are that of reading and routine. In all its ...

Books for naturalists

A summer vacation is a great time to relax in a hammock or beach chair with a good book. Here are some titles that should appeal to a variety of curious naturalists.I always enjoy a good thriller while on vacation, but natural history books rarely qualify. In recent years, however, there have ...

Sound is baffling

So, not only does this recent spell of hot weather (well, hot for me!) make sleeping somewhat difficult - even with the luxury of air conditioning - earlier this week we had a mysterious sound in the bedroom.It wasn't a 'spooky' sound or the soundtrack from a horror movie, just a puzzling ...

St. Joseph’s Hospital picnic planned

Carolyn Cunningham is looking forward to seeing a larger crowd at the second annual St. Joseph's Hospital employees covered-dish picnic from 4-8 p.m. Aug. 4 at the main shelter in Parkersburg's Southwood Park.About 150 former St. Joseph's employees, from all departments, attended last year's ...

Wharfboat symbolic of changes

Accident at the PointLast Sunday morning a week, a woman, whose name is unknown to us, was standing on the outside guard of the wharf-boat waiting for the Steamer Hudson to round in. The boat came around towards the wharf flying light, her guards high out of the water. She came against the ...

No easy solution to drug problem

As something that affects the state of West Virginia particularly hard, drug use is an everyday discussed issue in the news and our personal lives. Although accounts of drug abuse have reportedly declined, many schools have implemented random drug testing. By 2008, about 2,000 school districts ...

Hollow, feel-good culture

We Americans are $19 trillion-plus in debt. We have so many laws and regulations on the books no one can even keep track of them all.But what have we accomplished? Less than we may think. These days, it's more important to make ourselves feel good than to actually do something about a ...

Visitors are not alone in Moundsville prison

I am sure most people who seek out the unknown can remember their first true paranormal adventure. I am not talking about running out to a cemetery or a friend's house where they say things come up missing or they hear sounds in the night. I am talking about going to an allegedly haunted ...