Columnists

2018 Barbour County Fair is offering family friendly fun

Hello from Barbour County! School and all of its activities are back in full swing! This is a busy time of year, with homework, sports, practices and after-school activities. The Barbour County Fair kicks off this weekend. Five young ladies will be competing for the title of Miss Barbour ...

Trial in the state Senate

Allen Loughry has to go. The man who wrote the book on political corruption in West Virginia has furnished plenty of material for the next one, if federal prosecutors are correct. It’s virtually certain that, within a few weeks, state senators will vote to remove Loughry from office. What ...

The great judicial conspiracy plot

It’s another Monday, and another day where I’ll be covering a legislative body dealing with the impeachment of the entire West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals. This time, it’s the state Senate’s turn. They’ll be considering the rules of procedure who how the impeachment trials for ...

Looking at heritage tourism in Italy

While we work on plaster, plumbing and heating at the historic Kump House, I often wonder if it is worth so much effort to save an old building. However, our recent trip to Italy allowed me to gain a little perspective on preservation tourism. If our generation tears down all buildings that ...

Trump’s foreign policy decisions

For most of his administration, Donald Trump has done the unexpected in foreign policy. His meetings with the leaders of North Korea and Russia demonstrated that he was willing to do the unorthodox. But recently he has shown that he is leaning toward the neo-Conservative position championed by ...

Justice, legislators can breath a sigh of relief

West Virginia state government may be out of the fiscal woods, as Gov. Jim Justice has been saying for some time. The state did end the previous fiscal year on June 30 with a $36 million carryover. And general revenue fund receipts for July, the first month of the new fiscal year, exceeded ...

Adjusting to Trump

Democrats have adjusted to the unexpected Donald Trump victory of 2016. In special election after special election, whether for state legislature, the U.S. Senate and Congress, as well as governors, the party has performed well. Stellar candidates like Conor Lamb in Pennsylvania have ...

Barbour County students will head back to school Tuesday

Hello from Barbour County! School will begin for students on Tuesday. Please be on the lookout for those big yellow buses, and give yourself extra time. They are carrying precious cargo, and everyone needs to arrive safely at their destination. I wish everyone a good school ...

Flagrant misuse of funds

How is it possible for five people to spend $114,788 on picture frames during a seven-year period? Ask justices of the West Virginia Supreme Court. They did it. Criminal behavior has been alleged by federal prosecutors. But the real corruption appears to have been perfectly legal. It is a ...

Summit lessons

Donald Trump’s summit with Vladimir Putin was less that than a “getting to know you” session. Nothing was signed or formally approved, although Trump appeared a bit dwarfed by the Russian leader. But, besides that which, after all, is in the eye of the beholder, the meeting probably had ...

Schumer and Blankenship

Chuck Schumer may have a new BFUN — best friend until November. He’s Don Blankenship. On the other hand, Blankenship has proven himself to be no friend to President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh. Blankenship, the West Virginia coal baron still running for the ...

Fighting opioid epidemic

The opioid epidemic is the challenge of our time. Far too many West Virginians have succumbed to addiction’s grasp. It has cost people their jobs, their families and ended with prison or death for thousands. Ending this cycle of devastation requires a holistic solution. We must fight ...

Russia is meddling, even in W.Va.

Virtually all the attention on Russian manipulation of Americans has focused on Moscow’s attempts to hack into politicians’ and election system computers. Very little has been said about the much worse damage being done by Vladimir Putin’s minions. Perhaps a few dozen people in this ...

Kavanaugh is fit to serve

On July 9, President Donald Trump announced his nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the United States Supreme Court, and in the coming months, the Senate will vote on this important nomination. As a senator, I take my responsibility to evaluate presidential nominees very seriously. That is ...

Hawaii at Kump Education Center?

Because Hawaii was the theme for this week at YMCA Day Camp, our Summer Science lessons focused on volcanos, flowers, and island weather. When two Country Roads busses brought 15 day campers to the portico at Kump Education Center, we had our Hawaiian shirts and were prepared to help campers ...

Wise Men

During the debate over whether or not the United States can alter its policy toward Russia, opponents of any friendly overtures have pointed to actions taken in 1947. Then the congress passed the National Security Act which established the National Security Council and the Central Intelligence ...

Preparations underway for the 2018 Barbour County Fair

Hello from Barbour County, where summer is almost over. How did that happen? School begins on August 14. Another sign that summer is almost over - the Barbour County Fair will take place August 25 - September 1. The Fair will be "Jam Packed With Family Fun" this year. Entertainment ...

Playing a bad hand

Donald Trump’s unfortunate tour of Europe and the United Kingdom revealed his inability to move stealthily. Because he blasted NATO and Prime Minister Theresa May, then tried to make amends by declaring non-success, he hurt the credibility of the presidency and the U.S. Moreover, much of the ...

Expensive energy in WV?

West Virginia, with mountains of coal and huge reserves of natural gas, is the 8th most energy-expensive state in the nation, according to a WalletHub study. How on earth did that happen? WalletHub puts out scores of comparison studies each year, on everything from “neediest cities” to ...

Wild beauty at the heart of W.Va.

A day trip to French Creek Wild Life Center and Holly River State Park was a great way to enjoy the wild heart of West Virginia with children. Remote country roads carried us away from our computer screens and slowed life’s pace as we drove south from Buckhannon on WV Route 20. Our ...