Sen. Joe Manchin’s hopeful view of Congressional bipartisanship is going to be put to a severe test in the months ahead as big pieces of legislation coming from the Biden administration will wind their way through the sausage making to critical, narrow votes where our state’s senior senator …

Recently, there has been attention on the unionization effort by the Retail Warehouse and Department Store Union AFL-CIO at an Amazon warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama. Oddly, little attention has occurred on a major United Mine Workers of America AFL-CIO strike involving 1,100 coal miners 30 m…

The most prominent role of the U.S. Supreme Court is judging the constitutionality of laws. That role is not prescribed by the U.S. Constitution. It was not authorized by the U.S. Congress. The Supreme Court awarded itself that role in 1803 in the legal case Marbury v. Madison. Since the aut…

The next culture war is making itself known in state legislatures around the country, on one side strengthening vaccination requirements for school children.

One “legislative session wrap-up” wasn’t enough to cover all the issues folks care about! If your calls, emails, and questions at the grocery store are any indication, you are interested in more information on bills I didn’t cover in the last column. Hopefully, this helps.

There are those who believe there is a fast track to regain socioeconomic normalcy in the country. There are clear signals that this thinking has major flaws.

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.

Gov. Jim Justice had every right to call out fellow Republican governors for playing political football with mask mandates. And we are glad that he did because it was a good look for the state.

Every so often, someone in the West Virginia Legislature or elsewhere gets the idea that state and local governments should stop running legal advertising in newspapers. It’s an expense that can be done away with in the internet age, with no harm done to the public’s ability to know what’s g…

The carrot of a 60 percent cut in our state income tax might look juicy at first blush. But we might lose our taste for it each time we pay the consumer sales tax that would have to go up nearly 32 percent. The current sales tax would rise from 6 percent to 7.9 percent.

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…

Terry Crews was reprimanded for it and so was the character Jamal Wallace in the film “Finding Forrester” and so was I when, as an adjunct professor of English at WVU Tech, I challenged the department chair. It happens when we have the evidence to indicate that we’re, well, right. And each t…

In West Virginia, we still value a handshake and looking someone in the eye. West Virginians keep their promises; their government, not so much.

West Virginia elected officials — at the state, county, city and school board levels — must give local residents “public notice” about government actions, plans and spending.

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…

Children’s minds are like sponges, they absorb everything. So it’s important to expose them to ideas and practices that will help them grow up to be healthy, intelligent and caring adults. Parents and teachers are their main influences, of course, but even the Public Service Commission can p…

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. 


If Gov. Jim Justice were as excited about science, democracy and the truth as he is about the prospects of two vaccines to turn the coronavirus pandemic on its ear, he might then have an easier time convincing citizens to line up and take a couple shots for the greater good so that we might …

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…

Gauley Bridge Elementary was discussed at a recent board meeting. The common answer that is given when people explain why Gauley Bridge achieves at such high levels is, “they have smaller class sizes.”

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

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.

It’s Thanksgiving week in the United States. Since 1942 by act of Congress, and intermittently before that since the arrival of British settlers in North America, Americans have enjoyed a Thursday holiday around the end of November.

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.

President-elect Joe Biden Jr. delivered an address to the nation last Saturday night, the tone, tenor and content of which we, as a country, have not heard in a good, long while. Four years, to be exact.

Despite every last shred of evidence to the contrary, Gov. Jim Justice – supplicant to President Trump – says that he is not yet ready to recognize Joe Biden as president-elect of the United States. Well, we have a feeling the duly elected president, come Jan. 20, 2021, is not waiting on Big…

(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:

“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…

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.

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.

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.

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?

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…