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…

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…

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…

We are certain that, at the end of the day, the executive order President Trump signed June 16 to encourage changes in policing, including new restrictions on chokeholds, will not pass the test of time since it does not even meet the moment. It conveniently ignores centuries of racial injust…

While West Virginians can take some satisfaction that they have been doing a commendable job of putting a horse collar on the spread of coronavirus in the state, and while we are seeing the first faint glimmer of hope at the end of this long, dark tunnel, we have a ways to go before anyone –…

Before the next legislative session rolls around – and trust us, we’re in no hurry – we think leaders in the House of Delegates and the Senate, along with the governor, when he is not coaching high school girls basketball, ought to outline what their priorities are, focus on a few transforma…

Because West Virginia has deep and perplexing issues that have been allowed to fester for years and now need all hands on deck if we are to turn this ship of state against winds of misfortune, because tax revenues are struggling to meet budget projections and because a fix for the mightier o…

When lawmakers in West Virginia introduced formal resolutions this year, inviting rural and conservative parts of Virginia to join our rural and conservative state, we thought it was a one-note story, good for a nervous chuckle and a shake of the head. We hoped the world at large would not n…

The United States is the only industrialized country that does not guarantee its citizens paid family leave. A proposed bill in the West Virginia statehouse could change that in part – at least for state employees here in the Mountain State.

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.

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…

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.

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…

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…

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.

We would not be the least bit surprised to learn that a whole bunch of people – when hearing the news – didn’t just shrug their shoulders, figuring there wasn’t much they could do, and went ahead and ordered a thick and juicy bacon cheeseburger at the takeout window. Super-size that drink, w…

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…

If only we could just talk about academics in our statewide conversation about education reform, K-12, and – with confidence – encourage students to work hard, have fun, make friends and learn. Shoot for the stars. Yes, pursue a college education because we, the adults, will make certain tha…

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…

Gov. Jim Justice, a big dreamer who won office as a Democrat before stepping across the political stage into the welcoming arms of President Donald Trump, borrowed campaign sound bites from both camps during his state of the state address, promising to spend a boatload of excess revenue doll…

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…

Now, even our federal government admits that the world is tumbling recklessly downhill toward catastrophic — perhaps irreversible — climate change.

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…

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.

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.

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…

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…

Despite making a campaign appearance in what, apparently, has become President Donald Trump’s favorite state (last month marked his sixth visit to West Virginia in less than two years), it had to be a lousy day otherwise for the nation’s chief executive.

“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…

Nearly a year ago, in October of 2017, President Donald J. Trump declared the opioid crisis a national public health emergency, telling an audience in the East Room of the White House, “We can be the generation that ends the opioid epidemic.” States began tapping a $1 billion federal grant p…