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Columnists

Slowing the pendulum swing

I normally steer clear of national politics in this space. I’m paid to pay more attention to West Virginia government and politics. But it doesn’t mean I don’t observe the national scene since actions by our federal government trickle down to the state. In two weeks, the Electoral ...

Catching the wave

I’ve now had a week to digest all the elections results and what they mean, and man, I’m still flabbergasted. It’s not that I didn’t think Republican candidates would do well. I don’t do predictions, at least not in print. I do sometimes privately talk to people about who I think ...

Thankfulness and hopefulness this holiday season

The best thing about this Thanksgiving is that it helps us to avoid thinking of all the doom and gloom that comes through the media and remember the good things we enjoy here and now. We are fortunate to be alive at this time and in this place with so many good people who work honestly to do ...

Don’t help the virus this holiday

No one wants to spoil the party. For that reason, Thanksgiving Day and the ensuing weekend will include big, traditional family get-togethers, just as they have for many years. Thanksgiving rivals Christmas as their favorite time of the year. It’s easy to understand. Christmas Day can be a ...

Like no other

Lacking a crystal ball to know the future, important decisions at a college are ideally based on all knowable facts, sound reasoning, and laser focus on what is best for the mission of the institution. During the summer of 2020, the administration of Davis & Elkins College worked ...

‘An Apple for the Teacher Tree’ program beginning

Kump Education Center is starting a new program called “An Apple for the Teacher Tree” to honor beloved school teachers. Beginning this fall anyone who donates $500 will be able to add a red wooden apple to our teacher tree in the learning lab at KEC. This red, four-inch apple will ...

Dangers of COVID-19 in nursing homes

We just can’t seem to keep COVID-19 out of our nursing homes, where men and women most vulnerable to the disease live. As of Tuesday, 19 nursing homes in West Virginia and 258 in Ohio were reporting COVID cases among residents. Most of the outbreaks were relatively minor. A few, such as ...

Women W.Va. voters trust can get elected

Female voters have been a major force in politics for many years. By some estimates, 53% of the votes for Joe Biden came from women. But what about real power? A century after women’s suffrage was adopted, what about running the show instead of merely picking the men who do so? In 2016, ...

Why words matter, especially in 2020

Listening to 2020 campaign rhetoric has made me think about the power of words to heal hurt feelings and develop understand so that people can work together to solve shared problems. I was listening Wednesday when Joe Biden was gaining electoral votes, and he said something that made me think: ...

Special Name

“What’s in a name?” asked William Shakespeare in Romeo and Juliet. Last week we honored a faculty and a staff member with two very special awards. Dr. Katherine Osborne, Associate Professor of English, had her class interrupted as I led a parade of several College employees carrying ...

Is it a conspiracy or not?

You have to wonder how long it took state Sen. Mike Maroney’s enemies to find Chapter 61, Article 10, Section 21 of the West Virginia Code. It’s not the kind of thing one just stumbles upon. It certainly isn’t common knowledge. Cpl. R.S. Marant of the Pleasants County Sheriff’s ...

Transitioning to online education

“This is not your father’s Oldsmobile.” Those my age or older will recognize and understand this phrase, even though its meaning is likely lost on most of today’s students. Nonetheless, the times are changing rapidly and “your father’s Oldsmobile” is no longer functional in the ...

Neither party is right all the time

This will come as a shock to tens of millions of Americans, perhaps to you: Neither Donald Trump nor Joe Biden is wrong all of the time. Neither of them is right all of the time, either. And — brace yourself again — the top priority of leaders in both the Democratic and Republican ...

Reporter’s Notebook: Political Potpourri

With just over a week from the general election on Nov. 3, early voting has continued apace with lines and enthusiasm. You still have until 5 p.m. Saturday to cast an early vote. You can still request an absentee ballot until Wednesday, Oct. 28. I don’t want to say it is too late to mail in ...

Learning how people can survive a pandemic

Last week when Randolph County turned orange on the “Active COVID Count” our schools had to close, and Kump Education Center leaders decided not to begin the Tech-Link Tutoring program until January. We decided to postpone beginning our tutoring program for several reasons. Teachers ...

Are justices dropping hints?

We’ve read and heard a lot lately about how U.S. Supreme Court justices are supposed to abide by the Constitution, the law and precedents in their rulings, regardless of how they may feel personally about an issue. The same is true of the West Virginia Supreme Court. But that doesn’t mean ...

Lasting legacy of Dr. Gloria Payne brings joy

The smiling face of Dr. Gloria Payne on the front page of The Inter-Mountain Tuesday reminded me of the old saying: “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine.” We think we are living through difficult times now with the pandemic, but Dr. Payne had a smile on her face through good times and ...

Crossing the digital divide in days of COVID-19

Tech-Link Tutoring will begin at Kump Education Center later this month if Randolph County does not turn Orange on the WV School Covid-19 Alert Map. We plan to initiate a new program designed to help underserved students deal with some of the challenges of online learning. Parents and ...

Just can’t game the system

All right folks, allow me to continue my weekly countdown to the 2020 general election. As of today, we are less than 30 days away from Tuesday, Nov. 3. By the time you read this, I will have written campaign profiles of every Board of Public Works race except for the governor’s race (I’m ...

Building a National Heritage Area plan

The Forest Festival usually dominates Elkins conversations during the first weekend of October; however, everything is different in 2020. The Coronavirus forces us to avoid person-to-person chatting. If we want to talk, we need to go online, and that forces us to contemplate the reasons for ...