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Columnists

The unelected versus the elected

In this day and age, we’re often forced to pick between two opinions, but I believe some issues are nuanced and can result in having two seemingly opposing opinions in one’s head. For example, one can believe in the ample scientific evidence showing schools are safe places for students ...

Internal threats to American democracy

The peaceful transfer of power has not always been so peaceful in these United States, but it still offers the best path to becoming a more perfect union with liberty for all. Over the last few weeks The Washington Post has included several stories about attempted assassinations and general ...

Impossible to please everyone

For two weeks straight, Gov. Jim Justice lambasted West Virginia media outlets for not reporting more positive stories about the state’s vaccine distribution. So far, I have not seen a quota for how many stories one must write in order to not earn the Governor’s wrath. I’m the primary ...

Starting new services during a pandemic

We have been scrambling to get the Kump Education Center Altice Learning Lab ready for in-person tutoring in an environment where tutors and students will be as safe from COVID-19 as possible during the spring semester and summer school. We will still need to follow rules for social ...

Jan. 6: An epiphany for our democracy

Jan. 6 is the last of the Twelve Days of Christmas, and it is called Epiphany in the Roman Catholic tradition. It is the celebration of the day when the three wise men found the baby Jesus, and the coming of the savior was made manifest to the Gentiles. This revelation changed the world for ...

Lawmaking in the time of COVID

Happy new year everyone. It’s now 2021, and with a new year comes the beginning of Gov. Jim Justice’s second term and a new legislative session with two Republican supermajorities. The first thing to happen will be the start of the regular session of the West Virginia Legislature starting ...

Collectively achieve greatness

Our nation wasn’t built by the people whose names you see in the history books. It was the invention of your great-times-six grandmother who raised children in a wilderness, the great-times-four grandfather who died preserving the Union, the elderly uncle who worked in the steel mill and the ...

Leonhardt shares 2021 goals

The last year has been one of the roughest in recent memory. Mainly due to the pandemic, we as Americans have experienced loss, hardship and new challenges that haven’t been seen in several decades. As many of us try to leave 2020 behind, we can look towards the hope the new year will bring. ...

Our educators are essential workers

The COVID-19 pandemic has made us realize many things that should have been obvious years ago, but we tend to ignore inconvenient truth as long as possible. The fact is that teachers and most school personnel are essential workers because schools are designated places where all other workers ...

Religion and politics

Often, I use this column to write about politics. But this is Christmas week. What on earth does Jesus Christ have to do with politics? Quite a lot, actually. We Americans have a tradition more than two centuries long of bare-knuckle politics. Too often it seems that winning office and ...

Christmas odds and ends

Last week, I pointed out an angle of attack the Democrats could use in 2022 against Republican lawmakers and 2020 candidates who stood on the steps of the Capitol and pledged $1 billion for broadband expansion. Again, they got to that $1 billion number by including the up to $766 million the ...

Holidays bring return of light and hope

By Dr. Heather Biola Kump Corner This Sunday will be the fourth and last Sunday in Advent, and many Christians will celebrate by lighting four candles on an Advent wreath. The candles often represent Hope, Love, Joy, and Peace. In 2020 we need these signs of hope during the Covid-19 ...

Will charities suffer this year?

I met Santa Claus on Saturday. Not the Santa’s helper who sits in some stores, posing for pictures at a safe distance, but the real one. My wife and I, with our two grandchildren, were Christmas shopping in a local store. During a couple of trips up and down the aisles, I’d noticed a ...

Broadband funding raises issues

Republicans might have swept the state legislative races, but they may have just handed Democrats some easy campaign ads for the 2022 midterm election. Last week, the Federal Communications Commission selected nine companies as winning bidders for broadband expansion projects as part of the ...

Festivals of Light inspire universal hope

The Winter Solstice is the astronomical event that has inspired ancient festivals of light all over the world. At the end of the shortest day and longest night of the year, ancient people could conquer their fears of the darkness because they knew warmer weather would come again. ...

It’s a very Bezos Christmas

Here’s an idea: Let’s call billionaire Jeff Bezos at his Beverly Hills, California, home and ask him to hire a couple of Wheeling residents to work remotely for his online Amazon empire. While we’re at it, let’s ask Jeff for a donation to the youth baseball program in St. Clairsville. ...

Simple math with the state budget

It’s the job of a reporter to explain why things are happening, but sometimes in our effort to simplify something we lose a bit in the explaining Take the state budget, for example. West Virginia released the November General Revenue Fund tax collections, which once again came in above ...

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 ...