Local Columns

Tax Reform Doomed From Start

What went wrong? After spending something like two years formulating a tax reform strategy for West Virginia, state legislators have nothing — except, perhaps for bitter experience — to show for it. Blame the enormity of the elephant in the room. The centerpiece of lawmakers’ plan was ...

Red, White And You

There is a house I drive past frequently in my travels. It’s a quaint house on an Ohio County road, busier when classes are in session at West Liberty University than this time of year. You have to pay close attention when driving this road for its many twists and turns along an unguarded ...

Time Spent Being a Father Is an Investment

This year is a unique year for me because this year I turned 57 years old. Some tell me that makes me a senior citizen. I never thought that someone in their 50s was old enough to be a senior citizen. I told them that I believe that 50 is the new 40. So I have at least a few years to become ...

Safe Gas Pipelines Critical to Our Quality of Life

Many might not realize the sheer number of items they use on a daily basis that contain refined oil and natural gas. Just this morning, you probably used several products made with these ingredients: your toothbrush and toothpaste, shampoo, mascara, contact lenses, and ibuprofen. Even the ...

City Considers Allowing More Mobile Food Carts in Town

Food Carts Recently, members of Wheeling City Council and other municipal leaders held a discussion about allowing more mobile food vendors in the downtown area. City leaders said the main reason they do not generally allow food carts is because the owners of established brick-and-mortar ...

Salvation Army’s Lt. Gene Hunt Transferred to Bluefield

Lt. Gene Hunt arrived in the Ohio Valley a year ago to become the commanding officer of the Salvation Army headquartered in Moundsville. It would be his first assignment, as a few days prior he had graduated from the Salvation Army school in Atlanta, Ga. When a Salvation Army officer assumes ...

Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees

At one point during haggling over a new state budget, it was said spending on Medicaid might have to be reduced by $34.1 million. Because the federal government covers much of the program’s cost, that would have meant $100 million less from Washington, for a total cut in West Virginia’s ...

Yet Another Boy? Really?

My dad did not like doctors or hospitals. He avoided both at all costs when he could. So it was not surprising that when my mother would go into labor with one of the 12 children she would bear, my father often dropped her at the hospital door and went on back home. Of course those were the ...

Sunday School Christian

“Therefore let us leave behind the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity … .” (Hebrews 6:1. E.S.V. here and throughout.) As Christians, there are some very basic facts that we agree on. In the first instance, we begin with Christ. We understand that “Christ” is a ...

Are Picnics Becoming History?

Whatever happened to picnics? Have they gone out of style? Are they too much trouble? Is a fine summer afternoon parked in front of the television or with smartphone in hand more appealing? Or is there some angle of political incorrectness that my friends haven’t had the heart to tell me ...

Does anybody sin nowadays?

Does anybody sin any more? Whatever happened to sin? You know, it’s when you do something wrong. Well, that’s probably it. Nobody does anything wrong any more or at least wants to admit it. We know the culture these days approves of all kinds of immoral behavior. Lying is all right ...

Government, Private Sector Linked

It is entirely possible, perhaps even likely, that someone in our area has been eyeing empty space in the Robert C. Byrd Intermodal Transportation Center in downtown Wheeling, thinking that would be a great place to open a small store specializing in groceries. With the number of people in the ...

Code Words To Live By

A wise police officer once told me that families should have a code word or phrase to alert one another when something is wrong or someone is in danger. Say, for instance, your teenager goes to a party and is uncomfortable with what’s going on around him or her. The teen should be able to ...

Raceboats Back In Parlor City

Remember the old days? A friend from New Martinsville emailed me recently, asking if I remember Friday nights during late September in the ’60s, watching for the raceboats to come into town? Oh, my, do I remember. We were eager just to see the hydroplanes and, before we could drive, ...

Repealing ACA Would Harm Many West Virginians

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is not perfect. But repealing it without a better replacement would be devastating to 184,000 West Virginians, many of them children and seniors — who are enrolled through the ACA. One of the groups at greatest risk is children with autism, a neurobiological ...

Room a Bit Cozier Than the Office Cot on Capitol Hill

Congressman Gets a Room Upgrade U.S. Rep. Evan Jenkins, R-W.Va., stayed at the Springhill Suites in Woodsdale during his stop in Wheeling this week, and said the comfort there far exceeded his usual accommodations. When in Washington, Jenkins sleeps in his congressional office on a $99 cot ...

Fostoria Convention, Relay for Life, Concert Set This Week

Three events will be taking place this week in Moundsville —the Fostoria Glass Society of America’s annual convention, the Relay for Life of Marshall County at Monarch Stadium, and a free concert at Riverfront Park. The annual FGSA Convention will be a three-day event, Friday through ...

Getting Spending Under Control

Perhaps the most distressing aspect of the budgeting process in West Virginia is that, year after year, very few people in state government seem to find ways to economize. Even more unsettling is the appearance that after they leave state agencies, budget proposals don’t get much analysis ...

Something About Mary

Good morning. Let me introduce myself. My name is Mary. That’s right, Mary Heather to be exact. There are few among you who know me by any other name than Heather. I can count on one hand the number of times anyone has ever called me Mary Heather. Not even my mother or father ever called me ...

‘Boots’ Was A Good Teacher Of Life

For a long time now my Uncle John has wanted me to tell you about our farm dog, Boots. Boots was a typical hound with brown droopy ears and a cheerful greeting that made all visitors to the farm smile. Boots had that innate ability to trot up and make you smile whether you were having a good ...