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Local Columns

Funding Roads at County Level

West Virginia state government is just about out of money to fund big highway projects. But some counties, primarily as a result of gas and oil drilling and processing, are pulling in lots of property tax revenue. Other types of development are helping a few other counties. They can't use much ...

Winter Is For Children

The snow was deeper than my little sister was tall, but we managed to make our way to the neighbors' hillside yards to sled ride. It was the thing to do when school was canceled and suddenly an endless winter playground of white stretched out in front of us.Out came the boots, snow suits, hats, ...

Just Keep Smiling, Rocco

Rocco always has a smile for me. He never lets me down. After a rough day at work, the grin on his face can be a pleasant change.Usually, he has some words of encouragement, too.Gaaa, bft, dah, ooh.Yes, Rocco's a baby, one of my two beloved grandchildren. He's less than a year old, but, like so ...

Elected Officials Need to Obey Conflict Rules

It's only been a few weeks since ABC News Nightline's documentary on Lear Jet Justice in West Virginia. As you recall, according to Nightline, our Chief Justice didn't report the sale of her husband's $1.3 million jet and received over $37,000 in bundled campaign contributions from a ...

New Commissioners Have Long History as County Educators

When Stanley C. Stewart was named to fill the two-year unexpired term of Brian Schambach as a Marshall County Commissioner this past week, he joined another long-time educator Scott G. Varner, who was elected by the voters in November, and holdover member Robert Miller Jr., in carrying out ...

A Year As A Senator; Cheap Gas; and Parking Woes

Editor's note: Reporters are constantly surveying their surroundings, and in doing so often turn up many tidbits of news that don't make it into the daily newspaper.This space serves as a spot to aggregate and publish those items that otherwise would stay locked away forever in the reporters' ...

Going Big — But Not Too Big

Don't bite off more than you can chew, West Virginia Republican leaders. Your Democrat counterparts are hoping fervently that you do.Last fall's sweeping GOP election victories came as no surprise to some observers. As I noted just weeks before the Nov. 4 election, it is impossible to ...

Just Ask Emily

Everyone needs a neighbor like Emily. She the kind of gal who is always glad to see you even when you're not looking your best or the house is not quite picked up. When she appears at the door, she is rarely without a smile and a hug.Sometimes she is accompanied by the big, black ball of ...

A Christian Who Was Unbroken

We're talking about the wrong movie. Especially now, as many of us struggle to stay in the spirit of Christmas, we ought to be standing in line to see "Unbroken."For some time during mid-December, the news was about "The Interview," a Sony Entertainment film, which computer hackers, possibly ...

Using Context Clues to Define Unknown Words

In today's column, we are going to investigate clues "context clues." Your child can often determine what an unknown word means by its use in context, be it literature, mathematics, social studies, science, health, etc.But first, let me explain what context is in reading. Context is the ...

Patrolling the Streets; Famous Toys; and An Empty Chair

Editor's note: Reporters are constantly surveying their surroundings, and in doing so often turn up many tidbits of news that don't make it into the daily newspaper.This space serves as a spot to aggregate and publish those items that otherwise would stay locked away forever in the reporters' ...

Mason Set to Begin Final Meeting as Marshall County Commissioner

The Marshall County Commission will hold its final meeting of 2014 on Tuesday, it being the last for Don Mason.The Commissioners originally had not planned to have a meeting on that date. However, with Commissioner Brian Schambach having submitted his resignation this past Tuesday, ...

Children’s Deaths Raise Questions

Children being abused or neglected severely in their own homes need to be taken out of there - immediately. But that doesn't always happen, as The Associated Press revealed in a report we published about 10 days ago.AP investigators found that nationwide during a six-year period, 786 children ...

On Being Color Blind

"Someone call the cops!" "Help, please send the police ..." "Someone's breaking into my house, please, I need the police."Time after time we've heard those types of calls for help. And time after time, someone wearing a badge and carrying a gun hurries to answer the cries for help. Not all of ...

God Bless Them All, Every One

Welcome to my Christmas list, Noah Grigsby. And congratulations. You're the youngest person on it.My Christmas list has nothing to do with gifts, cards or holiday dinner invitations. It's a list I began years ago of the people who are one of the primary reasons I love the Christmas season.Noah ...

Other Wise Man’s Quest Was Success

As a child, my favorite Christmas story was a little volume, a gift from my mother, Henry Van Dyke's "The Story of the Other Wise Man."As Van Dyke related the story there were four Magi, not three, who set out to find the newborn King of the Jews - Caspar, Melchior, Balthazar and Artaban. Each ...

Even the Depression Could Not Keep Santa Claus Away

And finally it's Christmas.A time for remembrance of happy Christmas past; for enjoying happy Christmas present; for anticipation of happy Christmas future.Many years ago, Francis Church of the New York Sun wrote a famous editorial in reply to a letter from an 8-year-old girl, Virginia ...

Moral Superiority Has a Price

What if you were reasonably certain that by inflicting some pain, physical and psychological, on certain people you could keep children from being murdered? You would not injure anyone permanently.Would you do it? Many Americans would not. They consider that attitude a sign of moral ...

Make Someone’s Fondest Dream Come True

Christmas is an event that has emerged in bits and pieces from out of the mists of antiquity. The tradition of giving gifts at Christmas time dates back to a practice in vogue in pagan Rome. Each year, on Dec. 17-18, ancient Romans celebrated the festival of Saturnalia, honoring Saturn, the god ...

Actor’s Hometown Bears Some Similarities to Moundsville

Indiana, Pa., is like many communities whose permanent population is in the 10,000 to 15,000 range with one exception - that it is the hometown of actor Jimmy Stewart.There are some similarities to Moundsville, including both being the county seat. In fact Indiana has two courthouses, as when ...