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.

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.

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 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.

(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.

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?

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.

You may have seen blue and silver pinwheels in the yards of homes and businesses around town (last) 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 ha…

As West Virginians prepare to embark on an ever-changing elections process, much of the information presented has been about the approach and expanded opportunity of absentee voting by mail.

A piece of research has been presented by “Data for Progress and the Justice Collaborative Institute” which shows that over 50% of Republican voters are in favor of a bill of Representative Rashida Tlaib (a member of AOC’s “The Squad”) which, if passed, would give every American a monthly “U…

Currently, the COVID-19 pandemic is putting a lot of strain on our country, as well as shifting society as we know it. Many of us are adjusting to “social distancing,” businesses are struggling to adapt and our daily lives are changing in ways we have not seen in a hundred years.

We tend to fear threats that we do not understand, and that may be prudent. But why do we not fear threats that we do understand? Influenza comes around every year, and it takes a toll as revealed by the information from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control cited below. The data is for seven…

In the old days, church pastors frowned on their church members staying home to watch television preachers Rex Humbard, Jerry Falwell or Robert Schuller. The sick and the very elderly were typically pardoned but that was as far as grace was extended.

It has been hard for a long time to say anything about politics that helps anyone with anything. If you say something to one side or the other, no one who might believe you needs to hear it; and no one who might need to hear it will believe you. Three-plus years of our politics has immunized…

It's 2020, and while most minds might be on the upcoming elections, there's another way you can have your voice heard and make a difference in government: take the census.

My parents always told me nothing good happens when you’re out late on the weekend. Point taken, but several important bills made it across the finish line just before midnight on the last night of the legislative session!

We tend to fear threats that we do not understand, and that may be prudent. But why do we not fear threats that we do understand? Influenza comes around every year, and it takes a toll as revealed by the information from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control cited below. The data is for seven…

There are three basic necessities for life: Shelter, water and food. Each is vital to survival, but food is at the forefront of our daily lives. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Lunch plans give way to debates between co-workers. Dinner is a time for families to bond. Regardl…

As of early March, there were fewer than 200 confirmed cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus in the United States. Nonetheless Congress passed, and U.S. president Donald Trump signed, an $8.3 billion “emergency funding” bill theoretically related to containing the disease.

On learning Russia had staged a massive disinformation campaign in the 2016 presidential election, schools across the country began adding digital literacy classes to their course offerings.

As you have seen in the news, COVID-19, otherwise known as Coronavirus, has arrived in the United States.

Wondering what’s going on in Charleston? Join the club! But seriously, several major issues are currently moving. Here’s a quick recap.

As state legislators, we are often asked what can be done to stop people from leaving West Virginia, to keep our best and brightest at home. We hear about it on the news, in the grocery store, and in our church pews – people are leaving West Virginia at an alarming rate and they are not comi…