The 2014 Legislature needs millions in new revenue to fill a hole in the state budget. Well, lawmakers should slap an extra dollar onto the cigarette tax, which would raise the Mountain State's rate to the U.S. average, provide plenty of new revenue, and save thousands of West Virginia teens from becoming addicted to deadly nicotine.
Down in North Carolina, Duke Energy apologized to the public for its massive spill of toxic coal ash, and vowed to help clean up the Dan River. Has anyone heard such a decent response from Freedom Industries after its Elk River contamination that ruined the water service for 300,000 West Virginians?
Freedom Industries wrecked much of the state's water supply. Patriot Coal spoiled a Kanawha River tributary with toxic coal slurry. With such nationalistic names, maybe corporations like these should form a trade group called All-American Polluters.
If the sky is clear tonight, look upward at 7:44 p.m. NASA says the gleaming International Space Station will be visible over Charleston for two minutes as it crosses from northwest to south, about halfway up to the apex overhead. Tuesday evening, viewing will be better, with the ISS crossing at 6:53 p.m. almost directly overhead for six minutes.
Kentucky has a law against handling rattlesnakes in church, while West Virginia doesn't. Last week, a Kentucky pastor was killed by a rattler bite -- but it has been quite a while since West Virginia suffered this type of religious calamity.
***Here's another example of how the Internet is taking over many aspects of life: Music-lovers of all sorts can Google their favorite popular songs or classical pieces and watch free YouTube performances. Millions of people now expect cyberland to provide endless entertainment and information at no cost.