On Jan. 14, Elizabeth Warren released a “Plan to Cancel Student Debt on Day One of My Presidency.” Warren would use the U.S. Department of Education’s “broad legal authority” to cancel up to $50,000 of debt on behalf of up to 42 million borrowers.

For those of you wondering where Gov. Jim Justice was hiding while some imposter, a stunt double, delivered the annual State of the State address, we can assure you that the guy at the podium Wednesday night was, in fact, our governor – minus any big ideas on how to move the state forward.

It feels like the calm before the storm in Charleston. The opening week was the quietest I’ve ever seen. As of today, we’ve completed 4 of 60 days...and the ONLY thing the Senate has considered is a resolution to invite Frederick County, Virginia to join West Virginia. (I’m told they’re not …

(Last month), after four long years of uncertainty, Congress came together to permanently secure healthcare and pensions for our nation’s coal miners. With an end of the year deadline looming Congress had to act to save the healthcare and pensions of nearly 100,000 coal miners and their fami…

I am a resident of Raleigh County (17 years and counting), was raised in Greenbrier County and lived there almost 25 years as an adult, and spent the majority of my working career (33 years) in Fayette County. I was blessed to serve as a teacher, coach and administrator at Meadow Bridge High…

When I was sworn in as the United States Senator for West Virginia, I knew I had big shoes to fill. Senator Robert C. Byrd was a giant in the Senate, known for his work on the Appropriations Committee which brought funding opportunities and projects to West Virginia. Today, I am proud to hol…

A turn of the calendar calls for revision of individual ideals and new goals to avoid any complacency we may have fallen into over the holidays. Business organizations typically use end of the year to honestly reflect on the previous 12 months. For state agencies, we must continue to find wa…

As West Virginia has been called to account for a child welfare system that has put about 7,000 foster children at heightened risk of experiencing homelessness, mental health problems, incarceration and addiction, a cadre of social conservative lawmakers – who have the audacity to hoist a “p…

The legislative session begins Jan. 8, 2020. This will be my fourth legislative session, and I always say, “It can’t get any wilder than last year.” I will not tempt fate this year! Here are several major issues coming our way.

A new government report presented to the West Virginia Legislature recommends removing public notices from your community newspaper and placing them on a state government website to reduce state spending.

Thirteen American colonies, assembled as a congress, issued a Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. By the end of the year George Washington’s troops were in dire condition: Hungry, ill, mauled in battle, and poorly clothed, some with rags wrapped around their feet because they lacked shoes.

As 1914 drew to a close, Europe had been at war for months. On the Western Front, opposing armies faced each other across a stalemated front line running from the North Sea to the Swiss border. On December 24, 100,000 soldiers from both sides of that line decided to create some peace on Earth.

West Virginia’s children are in crisis, and that spells a future in crisis for our state. There’s no simpler way to put it. Recent reports from the state Department of Health and Human Resources are dire and demand immediate attention and action. More children have been placed in foster care…

You may have heard about the Trump administration’s latest attack on very poor Americans: A punitive new restriction that will cut SNAP benefits for 688,000 people. SNAP, formerly known as food stamps, is our country’s most popular and effective nutrition assistance program.

Pocahontas County, West Virginia is one of the counties that hosts the Monongahela National Forest, which welcomes more than a million visitors to our state each year. However, the Monongahela National Forest occupies over 50 percent of Pocahontas County. And, because the forest is federally…

The West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy (in late July) released a report on wage theft in West Virginia. Wage theft can be defined in many ways. Some examples are minimum wage violations, overtime violations, illegal deductions, employee misclassification, and tipped minimum wage violations.

Amazon is one of the largest companies in the world, boasting revenues of more than $230 billion last year. But last month the company sued the U.S. Department of Defense over a paltry potential $10 billion spread over 10 years.

As we gather around the dinner table this Thanksgiving, it is important for us to reflect on the great blessings we share as West Virginians and Americans. It is easy to forget how blessed we are to live in a country with the greatest liberties and freedoms in the world, but Thanksgiving is …

Some say that the Murray Energy bankruptcy filing earlier this month spurred a bipartisan coalition of politicians in D.C. to introduce a bill to secure the pensions for nearly 90,000 retired coal miners. There is urgent financial trouble afoot, apparently.

A wave of protests is roiling Moscow. Millions of people, young and old, have been crowding the streets in Hong Kong. In Britain, members of the Conservative Party took to open revolt over Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s move to sideline Parliament on Brexit. If democracy is dysfunctional and…

West Virginia is one of the most patriotic states in this great nation. During my time in the U.S. Senate, it has been my greatest honor to serve those who have served, and celebrate veterans and all they have given for our freedom. 

“Be Prepared” is a motto that we often talk about in my service with the Boy Scouts’ Buckskin Council, and it’s certainly one we live by at Appalachian Power. That’s why, when Appalachian Power was approached by The Education Alliance to be one of the first businesses involved in the WV Read…

Thanks to donations from the City of Montgomery, Mayor Greg Ingram and the Gambill Amusement Company, 48 children were given tickets for the carnival (last month).

"There continues to be meaningful public conversation about how we think about Tweets from world leaders on our service," begins a post at the micro-blogging service's non-micro-blog.

The holiday season is quickly approaching, and around this time of year, West Virginians may find themselves giving more to charitable causes. Helping those in need is part of the holiday spirit and who we are as citizens of the Mountain State. However, we must always be mindful of those who…

With hunting season just around the corner, hundreds of thousands of hunters in West Virginia are preparing to head into the woods. Hunting, obvious to any native West Virginian, has always been an important part of our culture here in the Mountain State. Many do this for sport, to connect t…

Once upon a time, having a job at a newspaper meant working in one of the most imposing buildings in town, inhaling the acrid aroma of fresh ink and the dusty breath of cheap newsprint and feeling mini-earthquakes under our feet every time the presses started to roll. For those of us old eno…

Freedom of the press, of speech, of religion, of assembly and to petition the government are woven, like stars in the flag, into the fabric of the First Amendment.

This week, we honor the memories of those fellow Americans we lost in New York, Shanksville, and at the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. We also remember the acts of heroism of America’s first responders, our armed forces, and average Americans.

INDUSTRIAL HEMP. If you’ve seen new crops that look like leafy vegetables in fields this summer, there’s a good chance it’s industrial hemp. Our region provides ideal topography for growing and hundreds of acres were planted this year. Growing industrial hemp is a risk/reward venture. If the…

When negotiations broke down and Alecto Healthcare moved ahead with mothballing the Ohio Valley Medical Center in Wheeling, Gov. Jim Justice took the opportunity to lambaste “this huge out-of-state conglomerate” that “cares very little for West Virginians.”

You may not be ready for next year’s elections, but in political time, they’re coming up fast. Even politicians who aren’t running for president are crafting their stump speeches. Which means that at some point you’re almost certain to hear someone announce, sternly, “I. Will. Not. Compromis…

The German war machine rolled over tiny Denmark in April 1940. With Denmark’s government under German control, the Danish ambassador to the United States assumed the authority to grant the U.S. the right to establish military bases on Greenland in 1941. The U.S. needed to move a lot of aircr…

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…

Where did the summer go? As Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote in 1860, “Time flies over us, but leaves its shadow behind.” Here’s a quick recap of several major issues facing our state which we cannot leave in the shadows.

We have two kinds of water problems: too much and not enough. The oceans cover 70 percent of our planet, and they contain 97 percent of the water on the planet. Samuel Coleridge in the Rime of the Ancient Mariner: “Water, water every where, Nor any drop to drink.”

As the state battles the ongoing opioid crisis, West Virginia’s institutions, communities and groups are being push to new bounds with many taking on expanded roles or missions. We have seen older generations push off retirement to replace gaps in the family structure. Food banks, once in se…

“Online communities like 4chan and 8chan have become hotbeds of white nationalist activity,” wrote the editors of the New York Times on Aug. 4 in the wake of a mass shooting in El Paso, Texas. Then: “Law enforcement currently offers few answers as to how to contain these communities.”

As a young boy in West Virginia, I loved being outside whenever I had the chance. Being a Boy Scout gave me the freedom to spend time outdoors and while I was there, I learned new skills, leadership qualities and gained friends and mentors that helped shape me into the United States Senator,…

It is abundantly clear that President Trump is going to run on our nation’s cultural differences in his bid to win re-election.

There is a bill collector at America’s door. Forty-five of the past 49 years, the U.S. Congress has spent more than the U.S. Treasury collected in revenue. Our national debt is now $22 trillion. To put that in perspective, if you were to spend a million dollars a day — every day — you would …

Multi-millionaire Jeffrey Epstein stands accused of sex trafficking and conspiracy to traffic minors for sex. On July 18, U.S. District Court judge Richard Berman denied bail, ordering that Epstein be confined until trial.

There are a lot of reasons why Congress finds itself hamstrung in Washington and discounted by the people it serves at home. These include long-term trends over which it has little control: The political polarization of the country; the oceans of money that get dumped into the political proc…

As we look forward to future elections, it is now more important than ever for state, county and municipal governments to remain vigilant in cybersecurity – especially on social media. In the age of Big Data, social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram dominate our culture an…