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Columnists  »  News  »  Columnists

Statehouse Beat: Legislative auditing office limited only by size
Statehouse Beat: Legislative auditing office limited only by size

Among the proposals state Republicans have floated over the years are more frequent and thorough audits of state departments and agencies.

While the legislative auditor’s office does an exemplary job — the audit that uncovered...

Essays on Faith: Are you teachable?

Are you teachable? That question presented itself to me after fatigue encouraged a winsome thought, “Let well enough alone.”

We all have been teachable. It occurs as we grow up. However, most of us have experienced foot-dragging...

At Indiana University, misspelling is cast in bronze

It’s one thing to spell a word wrong when you work for a newspaper in a market like mine.

I’ve done it more than a few times over the years but I never fail to feel like a moron when a misspelling for which I’m responsible...

Statehouse Beat: Capito’s debate absence not surprising

Shelley Moore Capito’s campaign followed one of the unwritten rules of electioneering Friday: Incumbents and/or front-runners shall participate in a maximum of one televised debate per election cycle.

Thus, when West Virginia Public...

Steelhammer: Exploring new thoughts on Indigenous Peoples Day

On this day 522 years ago, Christopher Columbus arrived in the New World with three shiploads of out-of-season summer clothes and plans to introduce its native people to their first-ever Moonlight Madness sale.

Or something like that.

The...

Innerviews: Musician finds soul-stirring niche as composer  
Innerviews: Musician finds soul-stirring niche as composer  

He's a multifaceted, quintessential "Music Man." Mark Scarpelli has created music, in one form or another, for most of his 60 years. He plays piano, keyboards, accordion and drums.

His...

The rankings that rankle

So which is it, pollsters? Are we the best or the worst?

I’m unhappy to report that a number of newspapers across the country carried the results of a survey released last week by WalletHub, a personal finance site, that ranked West...

Of deer and the aroma of politics
Of deer and the aroma of politics

Roadkill connoisseurs take note: A bumper crop of tire-tenderized, locally grown, antibiotic-free, locally harvested venison will be available soon at a road shoulder near you.

According to State Farm Insurance’s annual “List of...

Statehouse Beat: Lobbyists rack up meal charges during legislative interims

Out-of-town legislative interim meetings in Bridgeport had a Charleston regular session feel when it came to receptions, according to the latest round of filings of lobbyists’ financial disclosures with the state Ethics Commission.

That...

Statehouse Beat: Helmick can’t get out of bill for Douglass’ retirement party
Statehouse Beat: Helmick can’t get out of bill for Douglass’ retirement party

There’s a new chapter in the saga of Gus Douglass’ retirement party.

As you may recall, upon taking office as agriculture commissioner, Walt Helmick was more than a little perturbed to find a bill for more than $8,000 from Embassy...

Scott Shalaway: Oaks and acorns

The concept of conservation, using resources sustainably over time, is relatively new. Early on we learned that even super abundant renewable resources can be depleted. In fact, the extinction of passenger pigeons just 100 years ago and the near...

Statehouse Beat: Lobbyist spending down over the summer
Statehouse Beat: Lobbyist spending down over the summer

Five lobbyists chipped in to host a reception and dinner Aug. 26 in Clarksburg for legislators attending out-of-town interim meetings in nearby Bridgeport, according to the latest round of lobbyists’ financial disclosures to the Ethics...

Remembering Tarzan’s visit to Charleston

One thing that makes the job of a bush league newspaper reporter worthwhile is the wide range of people you encounter in the course of a career. Well, that and the free coffee.

I’ve had the good fortune to meet everyone from...

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Phil Kabler

Statehouse Beat: GOP leader explains support for Manchin bill