For the past 17 months, it’s been my great honor to serve on the local Covid Task Force. Local leaders from all walks of life — health care, business, government, non-profits, churches, first responders, and more — work together so that we can better respond to the real world effects of the …

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…

Gov. Jim Justice, somewhat belatedly, has come around to admit that the state’s vaccination effort has hit a wall and that, at its current pace, we will not reach herd immunity anytime soon.

Heading into the 2021 legislative session, we were unsure how much time would available for policy making here in West Virginia. Over the last year, Covid-19 had brought the state to a halt limiting our lawmakers’ ability to meet. This created a scenario with limited access, as well as added…

When I was growing up an ice cream cone was a nickel a scoop. Now, a single scoop cone at my local Baskin Robbins is $3. That’s 60 nickels. So far as I am aware, there is no shortage of cows or sugar.

The end of the session can’t come soon enough! We will finish at 11:59 p.m. on April 10. Until then, expect a furious pace of controversial bills. Here’s an overview of this week’s bills.

When I began writing this column nine years ago, I never suspected it would still be in print. Much less that it would be printed all across the state. It is my hope that the column will allow you as a citizen to look behind the curtain of the capitol. Here’s the inside scoop.

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People aren’t paying attention. That’s the conclusion I’ve reluctantly drawn, because I’m receiving far fewer calls, emails, and letters than usual. Visitors aren’t currently allowed at the Capitol. Very few people are tuning into the livestreams or our virtual meetings. The media isn’t pres…

One of the great things about living in the U.S. is that our city and county governments are required to keep their citizens informed about their actions. One of the ways they do this is through public notices – the informational notices that have been deemed to be of importance to local con…

Part of the Republican plan to rejuvenate the state as it emerges from the economic and social devastation of a year-long pandemic is to grow the population by cutting income taxes to zero. The conservatives at the Capitol believe that as soon as the state eliminates its personal income tax,…

The legislative proposals to raise the sales tax, tax food, and cut services that will hurt low-income and working families are unfortunate.

Former President Trump taught us more about American government than all of the college professors have in a century. That is not because the scholars were uninformed; it is because they lacked the stage setting that made Trump’s instruction a showstopper. I think we should be grateful for t…

First designated as a National River in 1978, the New River Gorge is composed of approximately 72,000 acres of land along 53 miles of one of the world’s oldest rivers – the New River – stretching from Bluestone Dam to Hawks Nest Lake. More importantly, it is home to hiking trails, globally-r…

As this Christmas season arrives, Gayle and I are reminded once again to reflect on how proud we are to be West Virginians, blessed with the riches of loving friends and family. 


We owe a huge debt of gratitude to all local officials responsible for running smooth and incident-free primary and general elections this year – especially given the political, administrative and public health pressures they were under from Day One while doing their duty to collect and coun…

I recently sat in on a Zoom session with some old (and new!) Fayette County friends who were on the losing side of the West Virginia elections. Losing is hard, but politics is a bit like baseball: failure is a big part of the game. Even the best players make an out three out of four times at…

Covid continues to dominate our lives. We seem more intent on fighting each other than fighting the spread of the virus. It’s winning; we are losing.

If our 2020 Thanksgiving is minimal, it doesn’t matter. Thanksgiving 2120, 100 years from now, does matter.

As the days get colder and shorter, many Americans will experience what we call “seasonal depression.” Lack of vitamin C, personal interactions and social events are the root for many that experience this illness. It can cause folks to lose interest in activities, feel tired or even gain wei…

Whether you choose to mask up and wait in line at a brick-and-mortar store or shop online from the comfort of your home, it’s important to beware of seasonal scams.

(Earlier this month), Governor Jim Justice announced that as students returned to WVU and Morgantown, he would re-open the bars there. Never mind that infections were rising in Monongalia County at an unprecedented rate (the previous) weekend, the governor had a reason for what he was doing …

Less than one percent of the nation’s population lives in nursing homes. But, residents and staff of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities account for 40 percent of Covid-19 deaths nationally.

As protests and riots spread like wildfire across the nation (last month) in response to the death of George Floyd and other Black people at the hands of white police officers, I couldn’t help but recall an old African Proverb:

On June 17, the Senate voted in favor of the Great American Outdoors Act, giving our wild and wonderful public lands a real boost. Now, the bipartisan Act heads to the House for consideration.

“I’ve occasionally encountered mass hysteria in other countries,” Nicholas Kristof writes at the New York Times. “In rural Indonesia, I once reported on a mob that was beheading people believed to be sorcerers, then carrying their heads on pikes. But I never imagined that the United States c…

Now that West Virginia is reopening, people are taking to the roads for summer activities, and the Public Service Commission’s Transportation Enforcement Officers are patrolling the highways to ensure your safety. They are always on the lookout for commercial motor vehicles that pose a hazar…

Leave it to the Rev. Matthew J. Watts to see the blessing in a crisis. Federal leaders have sent millions to all 50 states, telling state leaders to use the money to combat coronavirus.

This July is the 134th year of the Statue of Liberty. Homeless immigrants from all over the world saw the Lady of the Harbor as a welcoming symbol of a land of “milk and honey” and a better way of life as they fled oppression and poverty elsewhere.

Americans hope they will never be bullied by a police officer. A man or woman with a badge and a gun can be an intimidating figure. If a cop pulls you over and bullies you, what can you do? Americans are at the mercy of bad cops. Who hasn’t been afraid of a police officer at one time or another?

We are certain that, at the end of the day, the executive order President Trump signed June 16 to encourage changes in policing, including new restrictions on chokeholds, will not pass the test of time since it does not even meet the moment. It conveniently ignores centuries of racial injust…

City council members in municipalities across southern West Virginia who passed nondiscrimination ordinances to extend civil rights protections to members of the LGBTQ community can rest comfortably and walk more confidently knowing that they were on the right side of history as confirmed ea…

It is with bittersweet emotion that we see the retirement of Mr. Terry George, Superintendent of Fayette County Schools. My friendship with Terry did not begin or evolve through an educational venue but at Active Fitness in Oak Hill as we shared the common desire to improve our health and sl…

I am white and have two black sons. The matters of police brutality and white privilege are important to me. I’ve seen the All Lives Matter versus Black Lives Matter. I’ve seen the pictures of white men being detained by police officers with knees on their neck, in order to portray the fact …

NBC News reports that U.S. president Donald Trump is “furious” over “underwhelming”” attendance at his June 20 campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Only 6,200 of 19,000 seats ended up cradling Trump supporters’ butts. An optimistically pre-arranged overflow area went unused.

In these unprecedented times, people need certainty in the information that they receive so they can make the best decisions possible. To that end, we want to share some things our office has learned as we strive to maintain the rule of law, your constitutional freedoms and confidence in the…

I first met Anthony Ciliberti when he was an assistant Fayette County Prosecutor. In those days, I worked full-time as a Gazette reporter, and I covered many cases in Fayette County Circuit Court.

Election fraud is unacceptable. Plain and simple. Whether you believe voter fraud is rampant or rare, there is no denying that the possibility exists. So when it occurs, who should investigate allegations of these types of crimes? Municipal police departments, sheriff’s offices, state police…

You may have seen blue and silver pinwheels in the yards of homes and businesses around town this month and wondered why. Since 1983, April has been designated as National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Pinwheels are a symbol introduced by Prevent Child Abuse America as a reminder of the happ…