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Columnists

Urban wetland used as a classroom

Elizabeth Byers used the Kump Education Center wetland as a classroom to train her vegetation ecology students to recognize the plant life and soil conditions present in a healthy urban wetland. On Sept. 12 the old Kump pasture became a certified West Virginia wetland after Elizabeth and her ...

Engaging on a personal level

“Carve your name on hearts, not on tombstones.” These words of Shannon Alder came to mind as the faculty and staff of Davis & Elkins College recently gathered to recognize a retirement and celebrate a legacy of service. Our gratitude and admiration was for Robin Price who recently ...

Reporter’s Notebook: The Dunce Cap

I’ve spent the last few days pouring over the data from the second annual Balanced Scorecard report on the performance of West Virginia’s schools, and I’m really kind of appalled at the results for the students we’re pushing into college or the workforce. This weekend I focused on the ...

Does subsidization make sense

In recent years, our Legislature has placed an emphasis on moving West Virginia into the national mainstream. From legal reform to education reform, and everything in between, a common driver of our agenda has been to ensure that West Virginia is no longer ranked last in everything good and ...

Low school attendance statistics

“Good morning, Mr. and Mrs. Smith. Ms. Jones, your son’s fourth-grade teacher, here. This is your morning wake-up call to ensure that you get Johnny dressed and to the bus stop in time.” Ridiculous? Absolutely. It’s not the teacher’s job to get your child to school every day. It’s ...

Volunteers helped make statues walk

Reality often presents problems for people with creative ideas like having statues move. Basic laws of physics can make such movement a little clumsy sometimes. However, the clumsiness did not stop us from having fun testing the limits of moveable solid geometric construction for First Friday ...

Framing foreign policy

Perhaps no better example of the difficulty in framing a sound foreign policy was the canceling of the talks between the Taliban and the Afghanistan government scheduled for Camp David. President Donald Trump, pressured by his hawkish advisors, used a terror attack in Kabul as an excuse not to ...

Barbour County community recovering from tragic accidents

Hello from Barbour County! Another year of the Barbour County Fair is finished. I hope you all had a good week of fun. Congratulations to Barbour County Queen 2019, Jenna Swecker! Our hearts go out to the family of Trai Norris. Trai lost his life recently in a side by side accident. As a ...

Making a good first impression

You only have one opportunity to make a good first impression. This sage advice was taken to heart on the campus of Davis & Elkins College as the entering class of D&E Senators recently arrived to begin their collegiate journeys. As cars approached Myles Gate and Sycamore Street, they ...

Trump and Kennedy

America’s foreign policy since the end of the Cold War has seemingly been one effort after the other to impose its will on others. George W. Bush launched the Gulf War, Bill Clinton bombed Serbia and George W. Bush invaded Afghanistan and Iraq. Then Barack Obama, against his better judgment, ...

Dems’ foreign policy

For the Democrats, the obvious unifying principle is the necessity of removing President Donald Trump in November 2020 if not sooner. Domestic policy also partially unites the Democrats, with the Affordable Care Act as accepted or at least a minimum with Medicare for all an aspirational goal. ...

Garden Club, Mountain School align

This week Katy McClane and Bobbi Trimboli have been telling me about their new-found interest in gardening with students from the Elkins Mountain School. A few years ago the Emma Scott Garden Club adopted the idea that club members could share their knowledge of gardening with younger ...

How do we convince them to stay?

If we West Virginians can just find a way to solve the riddle U.S. District Judge John Preston Bailey put into words, we’ll be all right. Anyone want to take a shot at it? Bailey, of Wheeling, sat down for a long interview with the Wheeling newspaper. One question was why he has remained ...

Homelessness label problems

Words are powerful, and they have a particular power when it comes to public policy. As we talk about problems we face in our communities and propose solutions, we have a responsibility to use words precisely and responsibly to describe our world as it is. We’ve recently heard about the ...

Volunteerism still a virtue we teach

Freshmen started their orientation at Davis & Elkins College by volunteering to help improve community life in Elkins. Kump Education Center benefited from the energetic services of 15 new college students last Sunday. They arrived on a Randolph County School bus with math professor Dr. ...

Is Trump vulnerable?

Donald Trump’s re-election campaign is perhaps the weirdest exercise in messaging ever seen. In rally after rally, he emphasizes that you can vote for him even if you cannot stand him. By voting for him, he agrees, you protect your 401K and ensure prosperity. But other issues count and ...

2019 Barbour County Fair ready to kick off with pageant

Hello from Barbour County, home of the Barbour County Fair. Welcome to Fair Week. This year, the fair is bigger and better than ever. From old favorites, like the rides, food, parade, demolition derby, ATV races, 4-H exhibits and music, to the new adventures like the Dino-Roar and the lawn ...

Celebrate W.Va.’s successes and strive for more

Later this week, the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce will convene its 83rd Annual Meeting at West Virginia’s beautiful Greenbrier Resort. More than 1,000 guests representing small business, industry, higher education, health care, banking, the professions, manufacturing and so many main ...

Will Workman bow out?

Bet on Joanna Tabit. That’s the conventional wisdom among some observers of state politics — and even these days, when once-solid political assessments are being called into question, it’s probably the correct call. Tabit, a circuit judge in Kanawha County, is trying again for a seat on ...

Engaging engineering for education

Students at Kump Education Center will engage in a little Egyptian engineering for the final Main Street First Friday activity Sept. 6 from 5 to 7 p.m. We hope families will come to see what can be done with a three-sided Pyramid and a build-it-yourself Sphinx. We want students and parents to ...