Local Columns

Educating Kids For Their Lives

Several years ago, I was talking to a teacher about how many West Virginia schools handle vocational education. It’s almost an afterthought for many public school officials. Students who sign up for it are thought of as “the kids in the basement.” My friend asked how much I earn in a ...

Revenue Report Is Worrisome

Gov. Jim Justice continues to radiate confidence about state government fiscal affairs, but West Virginia legislators would be wise to tap the brakes on new spending initiatives. That may be a factor within the next few weeks, when lawmakers hold a special session to discuss improving ...

Troubling Questions Not Answered by Diocese

While Baltimore’s Archbishop Lori and the Catholic Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston (DWC) invoke “transparency” and “accountability” regularly regarding clerical sex abuse, they struggle to put them into action. Disconnects between Lori and DWC higher-ups versus our secular authorities ...

Wrestling, Cross Country Coaches Taking Retirement

Two longtime Marshall County athletic head coaches — one from John Marshall and one from Cameron — submitted their retirement papers to the Marshall County Board of Education this past Tuesday. John Marshall High School wrestling coach Ted Zervos is stepping down after coaching 32 years ...

Legislators Acted Wisely on Water Quality Rules

The work of the West Virginia Legislature to diversify and improve the economy for working West Virginia families is showing positive results. Seventeen thousand new jobs have been created in our state since May of 2016. Deliberate and thoughtful legislation has helped make progress possible. ...

Expect Roads to Get Worse

If you think the roads in West Virginia are bad now, you may not have seen anything yet. State Department of Transportation officials have released a draft of a report they’re required to file with the federal government. It is called the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program, or ...

A Welcome Evening Visit

Emily stopped by the other evening. I knew it was Emily before I opened the front door. She rarely uses the doorbell; instead, she knocks loudly. Opening the door, I am greeted by a grinning 6-year-old who is missing a few baby teeth. Emily doesn’t stroll in, she bursts in with the ...

Breaking the 11th Commandment

While the late President Ronald Reagan didn’t originate it, he is often credited with what’s called the 11th Commandment: “Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican.” Apparently for some state Republican activists, this does not apply to Gov. Jim Justice. I’ve been a little ...

Many Teachers Are Saints

While a friend of mine and his wife were eating dinner at a local restaurant the other evening, her cellphone rang. She’s a school teacher. One of her students was calling. He and his siblings were hungry, he told her. Aware of his family situation, she knew the children needed some help. ...

Commission Trying to Get State Attention on Roads

The “big” news in Marshall County this past week was the Marshall County commission members declaring the county to be in a state of emergency due to the continuation of significant deterioration of the roads in many of the rural areas. The ultimate goal of the SOE is to alert officials ...

Keeping Intruders Out of Computer Systems

The old saying goes, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” When it comes to technology, the new saying is, “Hack me once, shame on me.” That new saying isn’t entirely fair to technologists or technology users. Malicious cyber actors have continued to get more ...

Legislators Don’t Control Schools

What happens if the West Virginia Legislature, during the special session planned for the next couple of months, enacts a bill requiring big changes in public schools? You’ll have to ask members of the state Board of Education about that. They, not legislators, have the final say — ...

Just Cool Your Wheels

I’ve been accused, and once reminded, that I needed to slow down when behind the wheel. It only took one warning from a nice, young police officer several years ago for me to change my ways. I was driving east down Wheeling Hill, not paying much attention to the speedometer when blue lights ...

Using Proceeds Of Lawsuit

If West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey wins his lawsuit against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, he ought to put any damages awarded by a judge to good use, a local woman suggested to me last week. Morrisey filed the suit, naming the diocese and former Bishop ...

Is Attorney General Just Seeking Favorable Publicity?

It is a very dangerous thing when the government seeks to regulate or control religion for any reason. The First Amendment has long been construed by the courts to require “a wall of separation” between church and state. West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey has sued the ...

What’s Wrong in Wheeling?

Editor, News-Register: In all the years I have lived in Wheeling, over 60, I have never seen so much corruption, chaos and, sadly, death in all four corners of our city. With both hospitals trying to stay afloat, one battling a corruption crisis and the other a financial crisis, both of which ...

We Should Have Seen It Coming

While we were all banging and bouncing through potholes this winter, the West Virginia Legislature was cutting the Division of Highways maintenance fund by $50 million. Now, Gov. Jim Justice is poking around the budget in an attempt to find $240 million for secondary road repairs. Blame bad ...

Putting Best Foot Forward

I’m going to do it, I told myself the other day. I am going to put the winter boots away. Spring already arrived on the calendarl. In fact, I think I’m going to throw away a certain pair of boots that have seen me through several winter seasons. As I looked in the closet, I pulled out a ...

W.Va. Supreme Court Is Working to Rebuild Trust

Thomas Paine once said that “character is much easier kept than recovered.” Throughout 2018, events involving our State Supreme Court of Appeals rightfully shook our citizens’ confidence in the integrity of our State’s highest Court. However, 2019 is a new year and we have a new ...

DOH Meeting Was PR Stunt

I don’t know what I was expecting last Tuesday when Gov. Jim Justice brought every Division of Highways district engineer and county supervisor to Charleston, but I expected a lot more than a 15-minute speech asking for a list of bad roads. It is clear Justice’s communications staff ...