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Celebrating and sharing our heritage

West Virginia is a state with a story around every scenic turn, and our people are known for sharing tales of generations past from countries all over the world. West Virginia is a melting pot of diverse cultures and traditional heritage, and I can’t think of a better way to share our history than the variety of fairs and festivals held in the Mountain State each year.In the tiny town of Helvetia in Randolph County, a community comes alive each year for Fasnacht, where townsp...

11 hours ago | | | Email

Contemporary journalists and our war on terror

James Foley’s senseless death at the hands of ruthless kidnappers sheds light on two frequently misunderstood subjects: Contemporary journalists and our war on terror.Foley’s execution by Islamic State thugs once again reveals them as cagey criminals, not the faith-driven zealots they claim to be. Foley was held as a bargaining chip in ISIS’ assault on its own countrymen. Like their al Qaida predecessors, these killers cannot articulate any notion other than anarc...

11 hours ago | | | Email

Drug addiction affects nearly every family

She weighs maybe 90 pounds as she pitifully stands in the courtroom; her eyes starting to roll back into her head. There are remnants of what probably used to be a pretty girl. The young woman is in custody for prostitution and possession of a controlled substance. Having been arrested by the Logan County Sheriff’s Department, she is headed to the Regional Jail at Holden. She will soon become a very sick individual. She will likely wish for death as a result of the withdrawal pains she ...

1 days 11 hours ago | | | Email

Carter an honorary West Virginian?

So you thought Mingo County politics was bizarre?Last week, four West Virginia state senators and at least one staffer traveled to Plains, Georgia, to present former President Jimmy Carter with an award. The certificate, issued by Governor Earl Ray Tomblin, declared Carter to be an “Honorary West Virginian.”While one of the senators said the proclamation was issued in honor of Carter’s birthday, nothing on the certificate actually explained what the for...

2 days 11 hours ago | | | Email

Senate needs to fill its role

Dysfunction in Congress can damage the country in many ways, but none may be as serious as a failure to fill its role in the system of checks and balances set up by the U.S. Constitution.When Congress heads back to Washington after the August recess, members of the Senate face a serious test on whether they can assert control over the U.S. intelligence agencies.Late in July, just before senators and representatives headed for home, Central Intelligence Director John Bren...

2 days 11 hours ago | | | Email

The difference between fact and truth

I want to compare two words that are very similar to each other and try to explain the difference in those two words the way that the Lord has shown this to me. The first word is ‘fact’ – the dictionary defines the word ‘fact’ as “something that actually exists.” The second word is ‘truth’ – the dictionary defines the word ‘truth’ as “the true or actual state of a matter.” I want to use Romans 3:4 which says, ...

3 days 11 hours ago | | | Email

Replacing credit and debit cards with new chip cards

By the end of 2015, banks and retailers are expected to replace credit and debit cards with new chip cards, 575 million to be exact (that’s a little more than half of the cards issued in the United States).The effort is an attempt to curtail the hacking of personal information and account access by criminals around the world, which most recently has affected customers of Shaw’s grocery stores. Last holiday season, millions of Target customers had their card information ...

3 days 11 hours ago | | | Email

Times of trouble and terror

William Barclay was the great expositor of the Bible, known throughout the world. In Matthew 24:1-31, he writes and edits one of the Biblical passages about the second coming of Christ. When on the Mount of Olives with Jesus, His disciples asked Him about the end of the age and the signs of His coming again.Read that passage carefully and see if anything resembles the day in which we live. In verses six-eight, the scholar of Scotland translates, “You will hear of wars and rep...

6 days 11 hours ago | | | Email

Veterans act — a reward for failure

The $16-plus-billion emergency fix for the scandal-plagued Department of Veterans Affairs is designed to do a lot of things.It is intended to help hire more doctors and nurses; build more VA facilities; and make it easier for veterans to get health care from non-VA providers.What it won’t do is start to reform a culture that rewards liars, punishes whistleblowers and shields itself from scrutiny with a bureaucratic brick wall.That would require the abili...

6 days 11 hours ago | | | Email

Why Government Openness Matters

One of the fundamental lessons of the 9/11 tragedy was that our government carried a share of blame for the failure to stop the attacks. Not because it was asleep at the switch or ignorant of the dangers that Al Qaeda posed, but because the agencies charged with our safety did not share what they knew, either up and down the chain of command or with each other. The attacks were preventable with shared information.

7 days 11 hours ago | | | Email

Tobacco use in West Virginia

West Virginia has one of the nation’s worst smoking problems.But state government has been reluctant to take aggressive steps to reduce tobacco use, and we are paying a high price in both poor health and public health costs.That needs to change.The facts and figures were thoroughly outlined this summer in an article in the West Virginia Medical Journal. The state has the nation’s second highest percentage of current smokers, and while the smoking r...

7 days 11 hours ago | | | Email

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Too much?The death of comedian Robin Williams has many people upset.And that’s not the only thing.A substantial number of his fans are also angry over the way the authorities and the media covered the case.They don’t like that Marin County Sheriff’s Office released details of Williams’ suicide, including the method and a description of how his body was found.Nor are they thrilled that the media chose to publish tho...

8 days 11 hours ago | | | Email

If we’d just send Capito …

If we’d just send Shelley Moore Capito to Washington, the coal trucks would start rolling again.Oh … wait … we’ve already sent her to Congress and … well, coal is in big trouble.The lunacy of political campaigns would sometimes cause a sane person to crumble. Capito’s ads and campaign pronouncements make it appear her election to the U.S. Senate seat being given up by Jay Rockefeller would save West Virginia coal. I would sugg...

9 days 11 hours ago | | | Email

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More jobs being available, but paying lessTwo new reports are out this week that, taken together, provide a pretty good picture of how the U.S. labor force has fared since the economic recovery began in June 2009.On Monday, the U.S. Conference of Mayors released a report, prepared by IHS Global Insight, noting that U.S. payroll employment reached an all-time high this spring, finally surpassing the prerecession peak of 138.4 million jobs, reached in the first quarter of ...

9 days 11 hours ago | | | Email

Let’s start the school year right

It is that time of year when our children are returning to school to begin a brand new school year or even the first year of school for many of our younger children. With this thought in mind, I know that this is also the time of year that parents and grandparents become concerned for our children’s safety and well-being. We think about so many aspects of school, from the school bus ride to our children’s friends, classmates, and their teachers. We wonder if they are going to do w...

10 days 11 hours ago | | | Email

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