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Good news, bad news in Supreme  Court’s redistricting ruling

Early last week came the bitter news that the U.S. Supreme Court had ruled against Jefferson County in its lawsuit over congressional redistricting. I’ve talked with many residents of our county who disagree with the ruling and few who like it. Sentiment ranges from disbelief to anger. I’m not a lawyer and I leave it to lawyers to analyze the legal aspects of […]

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Contract conflicts driving rift at DHHR

Recent developments in what can best be described as a soap opera situation have focused unnecessary media attention on a major agency in West Virginia state government. It centers on a dispute between top officials in the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources that has been fermenting for months. The most absurd aspect […]

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Pokeweed and inkberries

Poke Salad Annie-‘gator’s got your granny… from a song by Tony Joe White, 1968. I found myself spreading manure near a fencerow bountiful with fall wild flowers. Yellow coriopsis and golden rod, the deep purple of ironweed is complimented by the more subtle hue of purple red top or broomsage. Clusters of white asters glow […]

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Loving, not listing

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Loving, not listing

…I’m getting a little weary of everyone’s demand for kitchens with granite countertops and stainless steel appliances, of huge bathrooms with miles of tile to clean, and especially the “open concept” where rooms all flow together. My house and I have been through a lot together, whether it was the time I returned from vacation […]

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Do business tax credits lead to more hiring?

West Virginia legislators — usually at the request of other state officials — regularly provide business tax breaks to companies in an effort to provide more job opportunities for state residents. Unfortunately, information about the effectiveness of these tax breaks in terms of the number of new jobs created by each incentive is seldom identified. […]

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Pilgrimage to Northern Ireland: beauty, sorrow, violence and peace, Part 1

Every journey, the wise ones say, begins with a single step.The journey from Dublin to Northern Ireland also began on a bookshelf. The slim book had an attractive title: Sacred Living. The subtitle beckoned me on: “Practical inspirations from Celtic spirituality for the contemporary spiritual journey.” Opening it, my eye fell on page 47: “In […]

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Slow cookers: They’re hotter than ever (and that’s not good)

  KEARNEYSVILLE – Years ago, slow cookers cooked at much lower temperatures than the ones sold nowadays. Today’s cookers, even on low, run hotter than the old ones, which makes them not as great as they used to be. Many people were throwing frozen meats into their slow cookers (often sold by the namebrand, Crock-Pots) […]

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A new turf battle is already brewing for the 2013 session of the West Virginia Legislature, which doesn’t begin its work until next February. The opposing arguments to change current requirements relating to the relationship between physicians and nurse practitioners were laid on the table by advocates of each side during last week’s round of […]

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Impressions of Clearbrook

Remember old soldiers’ homes? I don’t — I’m about 50 years too young. The only reason that I even know of their former existence is through an article in a now defunct Civil War history magazine. These dormitories, for lack of a better word, were often adapted from old schools, factories, hospitals, mansions, even an […]

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Lower receipts could mean early belt-tightening

State officials have already made it clear that West Virginia will have to tighten its financial belt for the next fiscal year beginning July 1, 2013. But last week produced the first tentative hints that budget cuts in state government may be necessary as early as Jan. 1, halfway through the current budget year. These […]

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