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The 85th session of the West Virginia Legislature commenced on Feb. 10, 2021. Because of the restrictions in place due to COVID-19, those coming and going were severely limited as compared to the last session; however, the people’s work must continue.

Governor Jim Justice routinely lists all West Virginians who have died as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic during every update he presents. The first COVID death was announced on March 29, 2020. As of Wednesday, the death count had soared to almost 2,200 people. Among the most recent deaths…

Maybe it’s because I turned 65 today and, as a result, I have, in earnest, suddenly begun thinking and talking about very little else but getting older and reaching retirement age.

You know, and are probably getting very tired of, the necessary measures used to limit the spread of COVID-19: mask wearing; hand washing; physical distancing measures, which include routinely keeping a distance of at least 6 feet; quarantining if you’ve been exposed and isolating when sick.

A new statewide registry has been established for people wanting to receive COVID-19 vaccines and serves a two-fold purpose — to make distribution efforts more organized and to reduce the amount of work on already overburdened county health departments.

There is a great deal I could and want to say about this week’s events — particularly those that occurred on Wednesday in our nation's capital.

The governor has made new decrees regarding the importance of in-person classroom learning for the state’s students. To this end he issued a new mandate just before the New Year holiday that those classes be resumed mid-month.

For quite some time, it has become customary in our newspaper to use the edition either right before or right after the New Year’s to take a look back at the ending year and recount some of the big stories that made headlines.

If you listen closely, you will be able to almost hear a worldwide collective sigh of relief expended when the clock at long last strikes midnight on Jan. 1 and effectively puts the year 2020 in everyone’s rearview mirror.

The COVID-19 virus has lingered longer than anyone expected when the world was first hit with pandemic status in March. We are quickly approaching the end of the year and we are still being assaulted with ramifications of the ongoing crisis in a variety of ways.

The upcoming legislative session will have a different tone than any other in the state’s history.

Like everyone else, I suppose, I have many really good memories of the fall season — memories that are as deep-rooted in my mind today as when the events that formulated these remembrances took place 50-plus years ago.

While there seems to be a light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel with vaccines being readied for release in the next few weeks by three drug companies, the virus is making a strong comeback in the Mountain State.

The 2020 general election held many twists and turns, surprises and upsets, both on the local and national levels. And in Mingo County, the election cycle has not yet ended.

The 85th session of the West Virginia state legislature is just around the corner. The governor is slated to give his state of the state address on the second Wednesday of January 2021.

With the 2020 General Election now over, at least for everyone not named Donald Trump and Joe Biden, and with the victors moving forward into the historical limelight and the losers consequently fading into political obscurity, you might think this is going to be all about the election.

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Election Day is now five days away. The interest in this election, both locally and nationally, has been overwhelming. For the first time in my 41 years, we are seeing competitive races on a local level in the general election in Mingo County.

As has been a practice of mine whenever a succeeding occasion calls for it, I'll again be using an analogy I've used before.

Ten years ago, the Williamson Housing Authority hired David, one of its residents, as a maintenance mechanic. But he had a dream of growing his career and moving toward self-sufficiency. Today, he is a supervisor and a restaurant owner, often employing other public housing residents. In just…

With the 85th regular session of the West Virginia Legislature slated to begin in a few months, many variables and unknowns still exist as to how that process will work. The legislature will meet for one day in January to begin the session. There will then be a break until February 2021 to p…

There are many ideas of what exactly defines a newspaper. Those ideas are as varied as the people picking it up and reading it. To some a newspaper should be filled with investigative reports and expositions. Others want to see scandals, murder and mayhem. There are, yet, others who find com…

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It’s been a long time coming, but we finally made the move.

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Numbers, calculations, statistics and all types of algebraic formulas swirl around us everyday. We hear: “numbers don’t lie”  and “it is important to be counted.” The list of cliches about numbers are endless.

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Working our way through the COVID-19 pandemic is a work in progress to say the least. A constant throbbing headache or an aching tooth are more apt descriptions. And, we all live our daily lives somewhere in the middle of that spectrum.

It seems that 2020 continues to pelt the nation and world with one problem after another. The most recent in the chain of events is the landfall of hurricanes Laura and Marco on either side of the Gulf of Mexico.

While the regular session of the 84th Legislature ended on March 9, many of the bills which passed the Senate and House have been working their way through the process to either become law or to be vetoed by the governor. Many of the constituents have contacted me seeking clarity on bills wh…

We’ve plowed this ground before. And, to be quite honest about it, with the state of the world being what it pitifully is chances are good it won’t be long before we hitch up the mule and put him out in the field turning this otherwise worn-out sod again.

While the 2019 regular session of the 84th Legislature has been over for nearly one month, legislators around the state have been busy embarking on a series of listening tours to get a better understanding of what teachers, parents and administrators alike would like to see as part of educat…

I think I’ve mentioned some of this before. But with the return of warm weather and outdoor activities gearing up again, it needs mentioning again. So bear with me.

The regular session of the 84th Legislature has concluded. As many of you are now aware, a few of the more controversial topics and/or bills never made the transition to implemented law. Those include the Omnibus Education Reform Bill, Campus Protection Act, Intermediate Court of Appeals (wh…

If I asked you to name what you believe is likely the most common unearthly anomaly that people generally tend to see and report, what answer would you give?

The seventh full week of the 84th Legislature has concluded. These past two weeks have been the most eventful of the session. Two bills dominated the headlines (Comprehensive Education Reform and Campus Protection); however, many other valuable bills have passed from the House to the Senate.

As I’m sure you’re aware, we as a nation will soon be wrapping up another successful Black History Month.

The fifth full week of the 84th Legislature has concluded. While much of the focus has been on SB 451 (omnibus education reform), there have been numerous other bills of significance which have passed out of the House.

Stay with me until the end, for at the end you’ll understand why I asked you to take this “sugary” journey with me.

The third full week of the 84th Legislature is underway with several more notable bills advancing out of the House to the Senate for vote.  This past Friday, the House voted to pass HB 2005 known as the Broadband Act of 2019.  The purpose of this bill is to provide a special method for valua…

As of this writing, the government shutdown is still at an impasse. Trump remains doggedly determined to get a border wall built that, according to a very recent Harvard University poll, 80 percent of all Americans and even nearly 70 percent of Democrats think is necessary and want this coun…

The 84th session of the West Virginia legislative session got underway on Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2019 at the capitol in Charleston. This first week of the session is seemingly off to a good start. I’m optimistic that there seem to be issues on both sides of the isle we all can work together on t…

The list is incredibly long but not incredibly surprising. We’re only two weeks into the New Year and there are already more than a dozen Democratic presidential candidates either having already declared their intention to take on Donald Trump in 2020 or, as we speak, at least “putting out f…

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