During the 2019 legislative session when teachers, school administrators, parents, regular citizens and some Democratic legislators were advocating for more wrap-around social services funding for our schools to address the deep and troubling psychological effects of the opioid drug crisis o…

A study by Johns Hopkins University of the abandonment of the needle exchange program by city leaders in Charleston last year should give pause to any public official thinking of following in those misguided policy footsteps.

In a long overdue step forward for the chemically contaminated Fayette County town of Minden, the Environmental Protection Agency has designated it as a National Priorities List Superfund site.

Yes, Rudy Giuliani, there was something wrong with the Trump campaign taking information from Russians – especially when their obvious ill intent was to influence our elections and subvert our democracy. And, no, Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, we are not ready to move on anytime soon.

Nearly three years into a flood recovery effort here in southern West Virginia, a number of officials at the federal, state and local levels have proven they are in over their heads administratively and that they do not possess the necessary compassion, will or know-how to get the job done.

While most discussions inside education reform hearings held around the state these past couple of weeks have focused on support services for children suffering from the trauma of growing up in broken homes, the benefits and drawbacks of charter schools and the advantages and disadvantages o…

We wish Byrd White III, the state’s newly anointed Director of Transportation, all of the luck and goodwill there is in the world. Having been handed the task of assembling, aligning and prioritizing all road repair projects across this wild, wonderful and mountainous landscape, he will need…

Sometimes we have to measure the success of a state legislative session, at least in part, by what lawmakers did not do, what bills they killed – usually by assigning bad legislation to a committee whose chair knows a thing or two.

For much of the debate this legislative session, policymakers are leaning on gut instinct rather than the due diligence that we expect of them. They should read up, consider expert testimony, consult research, study science and – God forbid – walk in the footprints of constituents.

What better way to stress the urgency and existential need for a national emergency than to wait until the third year of a four-year term in office to announce “I didn’t need to do this” before taking off to play a few rounds of golf over the holiday weekend.

We remain convinced that the omnibus education bill passed Monday in the Senate was pieced together by politicos with special interests at the controls, that education experts were not credibly included in its policy formation and, at the end of the day, the provisions inside the nearly 200-…

When politicians rush a massive bill through a piece of the legislative process in a single day, concerned citizens have every right to ask, “Why the hurry?” Or, better: “What are you putting in that sausage?” Natural curiosity and a healthy dose of skepticism trained by a history of politic…

We would hope that all of our legislators in Charleston, veterans and rookies alike, are informed, smart and capable, mindful of the needs of their constituents and faithful to their pledge to uphold the state constitution.

Earlier this month, in compliance with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and an August ruling from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, hospitals across the country … began publishing the estimated costs of their services.

Many a local man has spent decades digging coal in the dark, damp and dangerous mines of southern West Virginia, providing enough dirty black mineral to build and power a nation. And now, many of those men, tethered to an oxygen tank, are struggling to breathe.

With promises of another 5 percent pay hike for teachers in the upcoming legislative session and a $100 million temporary plug to address health insurance benefits for public employees, with a veritable wrestling match playing out publicly between the Higher Education Policy Commission and G…

If we had had enough qualified math teachers in classrooms across the state, we may have been better schooled on how to add up all of the statistics coming out of various legislative interim meetings this past week in Charleston. What became apparent is this: We do not have just an education…

We will give Gov. Jim Justice the benefit of the doubt about his stated conviction to fix the opioid drug crisis in West Virginia, but his words at a staged event this past week gave the impression of a boastful teenager wading waist-deep and unprepared into fast-moving waters — while comple…

In the weeks ahead, as Gov. Jim Justice weighs the qualifications of nominees to fill the Supreme Court of Appeals vacancy left by the resignation of Allen Loughry, we hope he steers clear of appointing yet another politician – as he did twice in his first and second runs at stacking the cou…

As an increasing number of young people turn away from the rural counties of southern West Virginia, it is not difficult to identify the factors at play. A recent report by the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy shows rural West Virginians have poorer health, lower educational attainm…

Without exception, politicians in this neck of the woods, regardless of party affiliation, align themselves hard and fast on the side of coal. That is the prudent place to be if election day is the concern. And, as they have shown us time and again, it is. The future can wait. Right now, the…

Dear citizens of the great state of West Virginia: It is best to remember in these final weeks before the mid-term elections that politicians — especially those who control the purse strings — will say and do most anything to win your vote. Happens every election cycle. A chicken in every po…

While Gov. Jim Justice has been boasting about how well the state’s economy is doing under his leadership, John Deskins, director of the Bureau of Business and Economic Research at West Virginia University, was filling statistical buckets of ice water to cool the political hyperbole.

Joe Manchin might convince himself one day that he voted correctly in helping elevate Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, but the optics of holding his decision to the very last click of the clock this past week exposed his calculated decision-making as a cover to protect his flanks …

During her testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee last Thursday, Christine Blasey Ford said that she was “100 percent” certain that Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her, that he was the boy who tried to force himself on her at a high school gathering in the 1980s.

Nearly 40 years after PCBs showed up in soil samples taken from the Shaffer’s Equipment Co. site in Minden, decades after dozens of local residents had contracted one form of cancer or another while others were dealing with different health complications, and about 25 years after a botched E…

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In case you did not live through or study the Nixon Watergate years, in case you do not recognize the obvious signs, the nation once again has a constitutional crisis on its hands.

If you ever thought political calculations should not work every last gear of our state government, and if you were thinking it would be nice to take a vacation from partisan wrangling and have the state’s highest court free of political influence – well, sorry. That’s not the way it works i…

We are pretty sure that teachers and labor unions can defend themselves just fine against the attacks of Senate President Mitch Carmichael who, in recent rants in print and on social media, tore into the American Federation of Teachers, radicals, liberal values, leftist politicians and Democ…

“We are living in the land of the free, the land where anything is possible, the land of the immigrant’s dream, the land with the storied past forgotten in the rush to the imagined future, the land that repairs and reinvents itself, the land where a person can escape the consequences of a se…

Pardon us while we scrape our outrage off the ceiling after reading the 14 articles of impeachment leveled by the House of Delegates Judiciary Committee against not one justice on the state’s Supreme Court – but against the entire lot of four who remain seated.

In normal times under ordinary circumstances, the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump’s choice to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy on the United States Supreme Court, might have been a slam dunk. Elections, after all, have consequences and the occupant of the White House get…

Sadly, listening to the opening testimony in the State Supreme Court impeachment proceedings and, in the other ear, hearing the pitiful excuses and hollow promises rolling out of the state’s capitol about badly mismanaged flood recovery funds, we are only further convinced of a longheld noti…

Here is a fact: According to the most recent release of U.S. Census data (2016), West Virginia has a poverty rate of 17.9 percent. In other words, about one in every six households in this state exists somewhere at or south of the poverty line – $25,100 for a family of four.

We couldn’t care less where Gov. Jim Justice calls home at the end of the day or where he conducts the state’s business. It is the digital age, after all, where most anyone – especially the chief executive officer of the state – is but a cellphone call away. But Big Jim has handled the legit…

We remember when income inequality was a thing in discussions around our nation’s political dinner table. Back then, we were not distracted by the latest twitter storm from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, a humanitarian crisis on our southwestern border, Russia’s interference in our democratic ele…

Before we travel too far down the road towards congratulating President Donald Trump for an important, surprising and historic meeting with North Korea’s “Dear Leader” Kim Jong Un, before we completely let down our guard and take a breather from what had been a tense geopolitical showdown th…

West Virginians — citizens and their elected representatives in Congress and the Legislature — ought to pay attention to new research that shows gun suicides declined significantly in Connecticut and Indiana after lawmakers in those two states passed laws allowing police to temporarily confi…

Understatement of the year: With an initial cost projection to the state of $50 million to adequately fund the public employees’ health plan through the Public Employees Insurance Agency, a subcommittee of the governor’s task force assigned to find a solution to this big ol’ bag of problems …

With the decision this past week to bump tuition at West Virginia University by 5.7 percent for the coming school year at a time when the Legislature is sending more money to Morgantown via a 5 percent pay raise for all state employees, it’s time to sit down and figure out just how much high…

In his oft stated campaign to drain the swamp of special interests from federal government, President Donald Trump — to date — is apparently forgiving the ethical lapses, lavish spending of taxpayer dollars and outright administrative sins of Scott Pruitt, Environmental Protection Agency dir…

If West Virginia wants to seriously take a run at finding a cultural, educational and economic mojo that entrepreneurs and businesses can take to the bank, if it wants to shape a place with lifestyle options that younger folks would find attractive and inviting, then it will also have to add…

With a flurry of bill signings last Thursday, Gov. Jim Justice put a cap on Republican-controlled legislative efforts to shape policy for the betterment of constituents and the state’s welfare in 2018. You are forgiven but not alone if you were not overly impressed with their efforts as our …