MARTINSBURG – According to the Centers for Disease Control, opioid overdose deaths in 2015 killed West Virginians at the rate of 41.5 per 100,000 residents. Lost lives. Shattered families. An estimated millions of dollars in state, county and municipal debt thanks to the highest overdose rate in the country – one that’s three times the national average.
CHARLESTON – Leading up to and following the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia's decision in Leggett v. EQT Production Company, there was much attention given to the fact that newly elected Justice Beth Walker’s husband had held some energy stocks before the Court’s rehearing of the case. In response, Justice Walker notified the court that her husband had divested himself of ownership of shares of stock of any company engaged in the business of producing coal, oil, natural gas, wind, and solar energy.
MORGANTOWN – West Virginia’s political migration from blue to red means the Republican Party increasingly faces prospects of contested Primary Elections. Last week, West Virginia Wesleyan Political Science Professor Robert Rupp wrote, “As recently as a decade ago the idea of a contentious Republican primary was unthinkable given the weak state of the GOP state party.”
WHEELING – From ancient times until the late 1800s, physicians believed in bloodletting as a treatment for all kinds of diseases. Doctors and scientists thought that blood carried what they called “humours” that got out of balance in sick people, and that pouring out some of the blood would balance them and cure the disease. Sometimes leeches were used. We know now that this thinking was wrong and that intentionally bleeding a patient usually hurts and can even kill.
CHARLESTON – Recently, a West Virginia Department of Agriculture employee participated in Career Day at Leading Creek Elementary in Lewis County. Kudos to these teachers for setting forth the importance of introducing their students, at such a young age, to careers that fall under the science, technology, engineering and math initiative called STEM.
MORGANTOWN – The January 2014 water crisis following the Freedom Industries' chemical leak affected more than 225,000 Kanawha Valley residents, workers and businesses. People had to purchase bottled water to drink and cook and had to travel outside the area to bathe. Businesses were affected too, especially restaurants, medical offices, hotels and others that depend on safe, clean water for daily operations.
HUNTINGTON – When ordinary Americans need help with life’s big problems, the Legal Services Corporation is there. But its survival is threatened. That’s why it needs help from every resident of West Virginia. What does the LSC do to protect low-income individuals and families who can’t afford a lawyer? Here’s a recent story from Kanawha County.