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Goodness, snakes alive!Goodness, snakes alive!

Last Tuesday, I was startled to see what looked like a copperhead snake crossing my driveway. In the shade of the walnut trees along the lane it was hard to discern the coloring within the snake’s markings. Still, a careful examination revealed a silver — not reddish — background on the snake’s back and sides. […]

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A view of heaven, from a tent

The urge to leave behind a perfectly comfortable bed and a bathroom down the hall seems like insanity, but sometimes a person just needs to follow nature’s siren song and go camping. And I don’t mean in an RV or a cabin in the woods. We’re talking sleeping bags on the hard ground and a […]

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More rain, muddy water and big brown trout

It’s been a wet, rainy summer so far in the West Virginia mountains. The forecast for this week is calling for a drying period with the heat and humidity finally making an appearance. On the news the weatherman said that until now we had a three week stretch where there was measurable precipitation every day. […]

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Governor, lawmakers scramble  to plug budget deficit

West Virginia’s 2012-2013 fiscal year for state government operations ended June 30 with a $90.6 million budget deficit. Many state officials claim a drop in severance tax collections on both coal and natural gas was the primary reason for this revenue shortfall. And since state law forbids a budget deficit, several steps had to be […]

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A village has to be pro-active to stay in place

I have the privilege of living in one of Jefferson County’s rural villages, Middleway. Diversity of employment, opinion, and economic status enhance village life and culture. Neighbors stroll and back-fence conversations are the coin of information. Garden patches are admired and compared, kids and grandkids bragged about, while differences of church and politics are put […]

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Tax cuts are job killers for W.Va.

The West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy is home to a fascinating group of policy wonks who do economic research in the public interest. Call them liberals, call them progressives, call them do-gooders, but by all means call them rigorous because, in an environment of often unsubstantiated rhetoric, the Center’s take on economic issues […]

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A century and a half after the birth of West Virginia, the Mountain State needs to take significant steps economically in order to reach its incredible potential. The challenges facing this state are great: sadly West Virginia consistently ranks near the bottom in almost all economic indicators, not the least of which is job growth. […]

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Pink is known for breast cancer awareness; yellow ribbons are recognized as veteran support; multicolored puzzle pieces represent Autism awareness. You might not have known that green is the official color for mental health awareness. The first step in understanding mental illness is starting the conversation. As we see growth in our community’s desire to […]

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Tractor-splitting bragging rights

I used to be fond of bragging that I “can split a tractor anywhere.” “Splitting” a tractor refers to separating the 2 halves of the machine and rolling these halves apart. In so doing, access to repair such things as the clutch, transmission innards and, in some cases, major hydraulic components is achieved. Nowadays, that […]

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It’s wild berry-picking time

June and July are berry-picking months. But you don’t have to drive to a local orchard to get them — just look for the tall canes in fence rows, along the side of the highway, edging a sunny field. There is an abundance of fruit just waiting for you. Around mid-June you will begin to […]

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