OPINION COLUMNS

There has been much discussion about voting rights and the need to ensure democracy in the United States. Important expenditure initiatives are also on the table as an effort to shore up the country’s basic infrastructure and provide essential social services.

For the first time in years, the working class might be valuing their time and life more than ever. Sometimes, that means quitting a job and starting a new one. Read more

On a beautiful pre-autumn day, her colors whip against the wind. Red, white and blue – flapping in the breeze against a cerulean sky dotted with fluffy clouds. It is Americana in her truest form, displayed on a flagpole in a front yard of a West Virginia home. Read more

Producing the resources that power the nation is an important part of West Virginia’s history. At the Beech Ridge Wind Farm in Greenbrier County, we are continuing that tradition. As the plant manager and a wind turbine technician working at the project, we have experienced firsthand the ben… Read more

The truth is, many can take a quick glance at folks in this part of Appalachia and be quick to judge. Usually, it’s a negative take with a side comment involving education, or the lack thereof, thrown in for good measure. It’s not pretty. It’s not nice. And with the pandemic and vaccinations… Read more

Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos might have it right. Pioneering in outer space can lead to survivability of people capable of escaping calamity on planet Earth. If the U.S. sets the standards for values that the world should observe, then this mission is grossly out of step.   Read more

During the lockdowns last year, 6 out of 10 Americans started new hobbies to keep themselves occupied – 35 percent of them with the intent of making a few bucks off of it. Entrepreneurship helped keep many families afloat and gave folks creative outlets in a time that notoriously frayed Amer… Read more

There is this one place where a select few people go. They usually meet in a long, echoey building with little eloquent decorations placed in every corner the eye can see. It’s usually not a show of wealth but rather only to make it seem like a little piece of home, making it easier to find … Read more

Some might question why people of faith should be speaking out about democracy reforms. It’s because, even with all its imperfections, democracy is the political enactment of an idea that all human beings have sacred worth. And so for us the right to vote is, at its core, an issue of dignity. Read more

I’m Ady Barkan. Five years ago, I felt like the luckiest person I knew. I was 32, had a brilliant wife, a perfect infant son and a fulfilling job. And then I was diagnosed with ALS, a mysterious neurological illness, and given three to four years to live.  Read more

It’s that time of year again.  The air smells and feels of the approaching fall.  Monarch butterflies are laying their solitary eggs on the undersides of leaves of milkweed species, and tiny caterpillars are hatching, preparing for the metamorphosis that follows.  Read more

How does it go? Darned if you do, darned if you don’t? Well then, welcome. It’s the theme of the decade. The 2020s and living in my 20s seem to have the same theme. ’Tis the end of the world as we know it. It’s on fire but we’re still smiling.  Read more

It was late at night. The hour when restaurants close and workers are buckled in their car, ready to go home. It’s also the hour when phone chargers break and parking close to a gas station entrance seems like the safest option to get what is needed and run back out within seconds.  Read more

As Afghanistan falls to Islamic fundamentalists, our sustained involvement with a haphazard withdrawal prompts the question, “Was it worth it?”   Read more

The Covid-19 pandemic presented an immense challenge for West Virginia. Of the state’s 55 counties, 54 are classified as, at least in part, health care shortage areas.    Read more

As schools across the state of West Virginia prepare to welcome their students back to school for the 2021-2022 school year, there continue to be many question marks for school districts locally and across the nation. In times like these, we must prepare for any number of scenarios and, ulti… Read more

It felt as if we were close to having a normal life again. People were getting vaccinated. We could see friends and family without fear of what could be. Times felt a lot less lonely and a little fuller of life.  Read more

West Virginia is home to rolling hills, roaring rivers, and vast forests that make our state Almost Heaven. Those same treasures make for rough terrain and communities that lack access to broadband and upgraded infrastructure. Across the Mountain State, 1,545 bridges and more than 3,200 mile… Read more

As a former delegate in the West Virginia House, I stand in solidarity with the Texas lawmakers who left the state to block dangerous and unjust voting restrictions. So many critical decisions about voting are made at the state level, and yet, they fly under the radar in the national discour… Read more

High school was a time I looked at those in school uniforms with envy. Though boring, they looked like high social class owning wealth with which I was not familiar. Those uniforms said “good grades” to me. Read more

Middle-aged in 2021 – too young to know anyone who remembered the first decade of the 20th century; old enough to have lived through the panic that preceded New Year’s Day 2000. Read more

From lead pipes to dirty drinking water, West Virginians have been forced to put up with aging, unreliable water infrastructure for decades. Now, our communities are paying the price for years of inaction. Recent reports have shown that several children in Clarksburg have dangerous levels of… Read more

The drugmaker Pfizer recently announced that vaccinated people are likely to need a booster shot to be effectively protected against new variants of COVID-19 and that the company would apply for Food and Drug Administration emergency use authorization for the shot. Top government health offi… Read more

A man climbed to his roof to escape a dangerous flood.  He rejected offers to ride to safety in a rowboat, a motorboat, and a helicopter, responding “No thanks, I’m praying to God and he will save me.” When the man drowned and died, he asked God why he had forsaken him. God answered, “Come o… Read more

There has been much said about the shortage of workers in the post-pandemic period. Unfortunately, this may not be universally true nor a permanent sign that full recovery is around the corner. Read more

West Virginia is emerging from the economic slumber caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, our efforts to recruit new investment into our state undoubtedly must reflect how the world has changed, and we are seeing signs of progress. Our state is adding jobs and our unemployment rate is better… Read more

As Americans, we know that the foundation to every right given us in the constitution is our right to vote, but recently that right is under attack. We must understand if the right to vote can be denied to any citizen, it can be denied to all citizens including you and me. Thank God we have … Read more

There has been something creeping into big and small towns all across the nation. Some might pretend it’s a shadow, choosing to believe it’s not there. Other folks think it’s a nightmare that would rampage the city. Yet, others believe in its power and hold true to its promise. Read more

President Joe Biden spoke with unwavering clarity during last year’s presidential campaign, calling for an end to the federal death penalty, as well as incentives for states to abolish their capital punishment laws. Read more

Alittle after 6:30 in the morning, Kay pulled her purple Suzuki into the parking lot, ready to start another shift at the nursing home. She had just dropped off her two kids at her parents for the day. When the clocked turned to 3, it was supposed to be the end of the shift and time to get h… Read more

It is time again to celebrate Independence Day. America was established as “One Nation, Under God, Indivisible” and a destination that would provide justice for all. Miss Liberty smiled for those who came to our shores. Homeless immigrants from all over the world saw the Lady of the Harbor a… Read more

It’s nearing the time where masks will only be a memory of a horrible nightmare that we all had. It’ll be something that future kids will find hiding in the basement under old rusty computers and phones, wondering why there were so many. That’ll be the day when we sit down and tell the story… Read more

Newsrooms, long ago, were a pretty noisy, fast-paced environment, humming with activity, front to back, through the ranks and eccentricities of reporters and assigning editors, assistants and deputies, and back into the photo department – always located closest to the exit so they could grab… Read more

Governor Justice decided in May not to continue the enhanced unemployment benefits (UC) offered by the federal government. He believes that some are not seriously looking for jobs, citing as proof, signs in windows about job openings and complaints from employers having trouble hiring workers. Read more

House keys are important to take everywhere and so is pepper spray, but this time the lime green (probably expired) spray had to be taken off the keys and left behind. Not even that it’s useful for every day. In fact, it’s never been used. But after a few seconds, it finally unraveled from t… Read more

Not too long ago, this girl from somewhere in the Midwest was telling everyone that she was going on a date to a bluegrass concert. Usually, “Midwest” and “bluegrass” don’t typically go together. Surely, it wasn’t real bluegrass, the music of these hills.  Read more

The Peace Corps has its 60th anniversary this year. It was 1961.   President John F. Kennedy had come to the steps of the student union at the University of Michigan to announce the idea of the Peace Corps. I was a student and upon graduation, I joined to go to Africa, much to the concern of… Read more

President Joe Biden rode into the White House on a promise to provide economic relief for those Americans who were hardest hit by the Covid-19 pandemic. To get people back on their feet, he pledged to increase federal government spending on everything from secondary education to senior servi… Read more

Each year government leadership offers a new economic plan in hopes of improving the future of West Virginia. Read more

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