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Editorials

Drug Crisis

The standard measuring stick for determining the human cost of the drug abuse crisis tends to be the number of lives claimed by it — more than 70,000 annually in the United States. As we have pointed out, that exceeds the total number of U.S. deaths in the Vietnam War (58,220). But an ...

Rising Costs

West Virginia University President E. Gordon Gee actually was being a bit modest when he spoke of affordability during his State of the University speech last week. “Only six out of 50 flagship (state) universities are affordable for most students, according to a recent Institute for Higher ...

Boos & Applause

Applause to the late Thomas H. Albinson for providing West Virginia Wesleyan College its single largest donation in the school’s 129-year history at the start of its Homecoming Weekend Friday afternoon. The gift in excess of $11 million comes from the estate of Albinson, a 1976 alumnus, and ...

Inaction

Last week’s decision by U.S. Supreme Court justices not to intervene in a squabble between the legislative and judicial branches of government in West Virginia puts the matter to rest — for now. While there is no reason to believe the issue will come up again anytime soon, it could in the ...

Right Decision

Many of us have been startled from time to time by revelations about people with whom we were close. We didn’t really know them at all. Simona Southall insisted that was the situation with her boyfriend in June 2017, Jonathan Brockman. The two, along with their son, lived in Fayette County, ...

Education

Members of the West Virginia Board of Education and state school Superintendent Steven Paine are in a no-win situation — at least in pleasing education “stakeholders.” So what? That is not their job. Their responsibility is to do their best to ensure that children get good educations, ...

Bad Ranking

Some West Virginians have become accustomed to muttering, with a chuckle, “Thank heaven for Mississippi, otherwise we’d be dead last in everything.” But there is nothing funny about a new state-by-state ranking. It involves the health of our children. West Virginia has the nation’s ...

Tough Questions

Our state’s economy has “a lot of uncertainty,” West Virginia University economist John Deskins noted during an economic outlook conference this week in Charleston. Deskins, director of WVU’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research, explained that, among other things, the ...

Boos & Applause

Applause to the marching bands from Phillip Barbour High School and Bridgeport High School, which were crowned Grand Champions of the Mountain State Forest Festival Band Field Show Competition at Wimer Field last week. Both bands are invited back to Festival City next year to play as Honor ...

Slow Payer?

West Virginia’s state government fiscal dilemma is illustrated well by the relief state officials exhibited this week when they learned that, one-fourth of the way through the current fiscal year, the general revenue budget is only $29.7 million in the red. It could have been worse, to ...

When to Tell

Most West Virginians are not the type to “rat out” our neighbors, especially if they are engaged in what we view as relatively minor infractions. But Medicaid fraud is far from a victimless crime. Those who lie about income and/or disabilities to obtain health insurance coverage through ...

Local Threat

Now it’s personal. Someone may have tried to hack into computers used in an election in West Virginia — our election. Most reports of attempts to influence politics and/or hack into electronic election equipment involve other states. But last week, West Virginia Secretary of State Mac ...

Inaction

More than 70,000 Americans — 974 of them in West Virginia and 5,111 in Ohio — died of drug overdoses in 2017. How many of them might be alive today if officials at the Drug Enforcement Administration had not been asleep at the switch? Fighting, then getting out of, the Vietnam War was a ...

Boos & Applause

Applause to the army of volunteers it takes to successfully present the Mountain State Forest Festival each year. The 83rd edition of the MSFF has been a rousing success, and we are grateful to the hundreds of people whose hard work made it happen. Kaitlin Marie Smith, who was crowned as Queen ...

Rare Earth

Mention gadolinium, ytterbium and praseodymium to a friend and the reaction is likely to be, “Huh?” Yet the substances and 14 others also classed as rare-earth minerals are important. They are used in a variety of manufacturing, including cellphones and television sets. Until the 1980s, a ...

Tough Problem

West Virginians have a tradition of finding solutions to tough problems. One reported last week will be a tough nut to crack, however. Still, we have to do something — because this one involves our children. Due in large measure to the drug abuse crisis, our state’s foster home network is ...

Natural Gas

Putting all of one’s eggs in a single basket usually is a bad idea. Yet we Americans have done just that with a vital industry. For decades, the Gulf Coast has been the focal point of our nation’s petrochemical industry. Because much of the oil and natural gas produced in the United ...

New Data

Even proponents of widespread access to abortions say they hope the practice is rare. Those who believe abortion is immoral would like to see it go away entirely. From either point of view, a recent study on abortions in West Virginia is good news, then. A study by The Guttmacher Institute, ...

Too Trusting?

Perhaps West Virginia State Police officials should reflect that what the Legislature has granted, the Legislature can take away. Most state agencies are required to comply with Purchasing Division guidelines when they buy goods or services on their own. The rules are meant both to ...

Much to Do

State officials are right to be pleased with improvements in West Virginia’s economy during the past few years. Unemployment, at a statewide average of 4.6% has not been lower in some time. But putting the number in context reveals that this is a situation in which the grass really is ...