Opinion

Winter will lead us into the spring

Columnists

“In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan, earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone; snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow, in the bleak midwinter, long ago.” These words from the beautiful Christmas hymn aptly describe this present season in the majestic West Virginia ...

Valuable

Editorials

It ought to tell West Virginia legislators something that officials of the U.S. Social Security Administration view state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey’s office as a valuable partner in cracking down on fraud. How valuable? Last year, Morrisey’s office was key in spotting enough fraud ...

Finding light in the storm

Columnists

This past summer, my wife and I were blessed to visit Atlanta, Georgia. There are many great sights to see in that metropolitan city. It was our goal to see the sights referring to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. We were blessed to go to his birth house where we heard stories of how he did not ...

Tuition Bill

Editorials

West Virginia legislators seem to have adopted the philosophy that perfect is the enemy of good regarding an important proposal to make it easier for Mountain State residents to continue their educations past high school. That is appropriate this year in particular. It is likely that the ...

Protecting your backyard

Columnists

As your Attorney General, I have worked hard to keep the regulatory power of the federal government at bay, particularly as it creeps into the everyday lives of West Virginians. Our office successfully fought back and blocked the Obama administration rules at the U.S. Supreme Court that ...

Genuine racism is becoming rarer

Columnists

Wouldn’t it be nice to be around for the very last MLK March for Justice in Wheeling? The day on which a group of people gather for the event, talk for a few minutes, and conclude there’s no need to march — because the last bigot has passed away? Well, we can all dream, can’t ...

Transparency

Editorials

If West Virginians learned one thing last year, it is that there is a lot our government does not tell us. From spending our tax dollars for lavish remodeling of Supreme Court offices — remember the $32,000 couch? — to keeping it quiet that victims of 2016 floods were not being helped ...

Shutdown

Editorials

U.S. Rep. David McKinley, who represents our area of West Virginia in Congress, is absolutely right: “Enough is enough” in regard to the so-called “government shutdown.” Some agencies of government have been idled, or nearly so, since Dec. 22. That is a record for a standoff between ...

How could W.Va. have a teacher shortage?

Columnists

The nation will be short approximately 112,000 teachers by 2020 if current projections prove true. It is hard to imagine that a teacher shortage is a looming problem in West Virginia with our older declining population. Nevertheless, West Virginia University Dean of Human Services Dr. Gypsy ...

Master of the house?

Columnists

Since taking power in 2017 Donald Trump has suggested that he has a new vision for U.S. foreign policy. But, alas, his “policy has been a set of disjointed pronouncements that seemingly contradict his stated purpose. Presumably he wants to reduce America’s footprint in the world, eschewing ...

Budget season

Columnists

Annually the city must forecast expenditures and revenues for the upcoming fiscal year (July 1 — June 30). By law, a balanced budget must be adopted by Council in March and then submitted to the WV Auditor’s Office for approval. However, the budget is a fluid template, constantly monitored ...

Boos & Applause

Editorials

Applause to Patrolman Tanner Collins, who was given the Meritorious Police Duty Award by Chief Matt Gregory at Thursday’s Buckhannon City Council meeting. The patrolman was called to the emergency room at St. Joseph’s Hospital on Jan. 9 to help with a juvenile who was suicidal. Collins ...

Communities should accentuate the positive

Letters to the Editor

I love Elkins. Though I wasn’t born here, I’ve lived here long enough to consider myself almost a native. Our community has so much going for it. You can find camping, rock climbing, canoeing, hiking and backpacking opportunities all around. . . some of the best outdoor recreation on the ...

Senior centers need more state funding

Letters to the Editor

To Gov. Jim Justice, After talking to our legislators, we have learned that the West Virginia Commissioner of Senior Services, Robert Roswall, has been asking for the same amount in funding for the West Virginia Senior Centers for the past several years. If Mr. Roswall cared about this ...

Just how much is your vote worth? Quoting a great philosopher Cyndi Lauper, “Money changes everything.” Nothing in that proverb should be taken to heart more than the recent pay raises and health care promises made by Gov. Justice to state employees. Hundreds of millions of dollars to be spent with the understanding that money is a crucial determinant of whether or not a politician will be reelected. After watching Gov. Justice give his State of the State Address, I began wondering. Why couldn’t I sell my vote to another candidate?. I know it sounds like a silly question, but considering the numerous dubious aspects of West Virginia elections, why is vote buying confined to select special interest groups? I can’t tell you how ashamed I am of our politicians, and their failed policies. I didn’t think they could sink any lower. I was wrong. Elections in West Virginia has always meant a certain amount of vote buying would happen, undercover and shameful, but always present and always approved. Jim Justice just proved that it is possible to openly steal an election, if you know the right way to go about it. By bribing people two years in advance to heading to the polls to vote. The first vote buying I ever witnessed was in the small coal mining camp I grew up in. The price paid just a few pennies for a small bottle of liquor for the men and a candy bar for the women. And then as time went on, $5 and a ride in a big black car. The price of one bona fide registered West Virginian vote has always varied from place to place. But until now was rarely more than a few bucks. When Gov. Justice spouted that children are our greatest blessing, he was correct. They come into the world innocent and pure. As they grow, they look to adults for guidance. Unfortunately, children today are treated to the worst in human behavior. Every day they witness incivility, boorish behavior, man’s inhumanity toward his fellow man and a lack of integrity among leaders, who lie and use deceit to gain and hold onto power and prestige, country be damned. Folks, selling your vote might be considered something of a windfall, like an income tax refund, a small benefit that could be counted on anytime there is an election. Presumably, all that money will buy somebody an election. In reality, though, Lauper isn’t quite right. In a few years all that money will be woefully inefficient. Governor, if money is buying the next elections, you wildly overpayed for a race you were going to win anyway. All of this has implications for you and those future politicians. I recently read that more than half of all millennials would give up their right to vote in exchange for having their student loans wiped out. Mock them if you want, I bet most of us would sell that right for far less. Some might say that paying for votes is obviously and inherently corrupt. Period. However I think that is clearly only the case, if candidates used public money to buy votes. As Gov. Justice just did. The only thing the governor’s action advanced was his own personal brand of politics. It is well past time for all of our elected officials to stop playing politics with our children’s futures, start demonstrating leadership and ensure a child’s education isn’t determined by political whims. When you vote for a candidate promising you free stuff, you’re selling your vote. You’re stealing from fellow taxpayers and the future of our children and grandchildren to boot! I say this plan to legitimately rig the next election has to be stopped. It is not only time to encourage voters to say enough is enough and ensure that no matter what happens we are protecting our state by not allowing vote buying. Whatever your opinion; for me, no matter the situation, my vote is not for sale! Good Day! Robert Ware French Creek

Letters to the Editor

xQuoting a great philosopher Cyndi Lauper, “Money changes everything.” Nothing in that proverb should be taken to heart more than the recent pay raises and health care promises made by Gov. Justice to state employees. Hundreds of millions of dollars to be spent with the understanding ...

Rough Road

Editorials

Doing something about the many truly awful secondary roads in West Virginia is imperative. Many are so bad that we no longer talk about how many more flattened tires and damaged car suspensions it will take to get action on them —but rather, about whether someone is going to die in an ...

Upshur County levy is vital to schools

Columnists

As principal of Buckhannon-Upshur High School, every day I see the positive effects of the many added resources provided to our students through our county school levy. Our students are provided enrichment activities through fine arts programs like music, theatre and band. Our Prevention ...

Scrutiny Needed

Editorials

One of the primary responsibilities of governors and legislators in West Virginia is to avoid a return to the bad old days of unbalanced budgets. To that end, Gov. Jim Justice’s spending proposals require realistic scrutiny. For several years, before the Justice administration, revenue ...

Improving business practices

Columnists

“Moving at the Speed of Business” is the motto of the WV Secretary of State’s Business and Licensing Division. Advances in technology and a new user-friendly website have given our office the opportunity to communicate more effectively and respond quicker to the needs of the state’s ...

Tragedy

Editorials

Four precious little children died in a house fire Saturday night in Clay County. They ranged in age from 6 months to 8 years. Their deaths raise troubling questions about West Virginia’s protection of children placed with foster families. All four of the little ones were staying with a ...