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Local Editorials

Democrats must offer viable choice to public

Things are about to get very real in the next month for Democrats who are looking to choose a presidential nominee. A huge slate of delegates is up for grabs in many states in early March on Super Tuesday. We hope those who are interested in the process and future of the country step ...

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Tax proposal hits snag The city of Fairmont this week earns some frowns for news about its possible half-cent local option sales tax to pay for better streets. Because the city rushed the process to get its plan to the Legislature, the whole proposal is now in serious doubt. While city ...

We all must do what we can to help police

Within just a few days, four police officers — two in New York City and two in Forrest City, Arkansas — were shot by gunmen. A grim fact of life for law enforcement personnel is that by the time you read this, it may be outdated. Attacks on police officers and sheriff’s deputies have ...

U.S. must take seriously international cyber war

Some other governments spare no effort to gain advantage over U.S. businesses and consumers. Trade barriers and unreasonable restrictions in the name of product safety are examples. But some — including China — are involved in all-out assaults on Americans. Theft of U.S. companies’ ...

What happened in Iowa offers warning to others

These days, it seems as if there is an “app” for everything. But the fiasco last week with the Iowa Democratic Party’s presidential nominating caucuses is a reminder that the appeal of new technology needs to be tempered by concern over reliability. Iowa’s caucus process is the first ...

Fears of new virus? Old one plenty scary

So ... getting more worried by the day about the coronavirus epidemic center in China? Officials report more than 560 deaths among the approximately 28,000 patients with the disease, which has spread to 25 countries. Indeed, a few cases of panic have been reported. In one case, a man ...

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Study tackles housing We extend kudos to the city of Fairmont and economic development director Linsey Preuss in the wake of a local housing study released this week. Preuss is facilitating use of the study with local stakeholders, and seeking the input of these experts. They say the study ...

Terrorism convicts need to be special category

Concern about overcrowded jails and prisons, combined with a laudable desire to give people who have made mistakes second chances in life, have prompted many Americans to rethink sentences for criminal offenses. That is occurring at the local, state and federal levels. But mistakes already ...

Low-yield weapon vital to U.S. national security

For generations, the U.S. nuclear arsenal was viewed as the ultimate deterrent. No one would dare attack us, we thought, out of fear of massive retaliation. But deterrence requires that a potential foe believe we might use powerful weapons. The strength of some nuclear devices makes that ...

Discussions may help, but problems run deep

The Fairmont City Council held a work session this week to try to take on some of its dysfunction. It was a good idea, and council members seemed to respond positively to talks with a collaboration and mediation manager. They hope to meet with her again in the future. Through further ...

Disturbing aspects to death row conviction

It may be impossible to devise a foolproof safeguard against bias on the part of jurors in criminal trials. Last week, Keith Tharpe reminded us why we need to keep trying. Tharpe, 61, died last week in a Georgia prison — still under a death sentence dating back to 1991. He was convicted ...

Emerging diseases demand more attention

We are told frequently that we ought to be worried about the seas rising, because of climate change. But another type of sea — of viruses and bacteria — also is rising. At this writing, Chinese officials had said the death toll in a viral epidemic there had risen to 213. Nearly 10,000 ...

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Totally understandable A Fairmont City Council member this week said he would like to rehire former city administrator Mike Humpal, whom the councilman — Bruce Peters — never wanted to see leave. A majority trio on the council pushed Humpal out last year, and the city has since hired a ...

U.S. cannot continue to defend all who ask

The Associated Press reported this week that U.S. officials are considering reductions in the number of our military personnel in Africa, at a time when extremist violence is increasing on the continent. Such consideration is “a move that worries (U.S.) international partners who are working ...

World must remember horrors of Holocaust

Monday was Holocaust Remembrance Day, marking the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp in German-occupied Poland by troops of the Soviet Army. Auschwitz has come to be the biggest symbol of the Holocaust, the program Nazi Germany undertook during World War II as the ...

What we really need is reform of tort laws

Does anyone have any doubts that our society has painted itself into a corner with our tort laws and the incentives they have created for people to try to sue to gain satisfaction? We have absolutely handicapped ourselves and made life far more difficult than it has to be. The Fairmont City ...

Massive project will require residents’ help

Fairmont Public Utilities is undertaking an enormous project this spring that will require the assistance of city residents. We hope they take note and lend their cooperation. The city is going to replace all of the electric and water meters in town over a period of five years. Load ...

U.S. should support Puerto Rican leader

Puerto Rican Gov. Wanda Vasquez is fighting back against the corruption and inefficiency that has hindered efforts to help hurricane victims on her island. Good for her. U.S. officials should provide all the support at their disposal. On Sunday, Vasquez fired the heads of two government ...

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Troubling crime stats Martin County Attorney Terry Viesselman this week shared some discouraging news. Major crimes increased 66 percent in the last decade in the county, with Viesselman pointing to drugs as a major cause. Drug use also tears at families, with Viesselman noting that the ...

Whose side was he on? It couldn’t matter less

On occasion, politics in our nation becomes an exercise in confrontation. Harsh words are exchanged. Voices are raised. But most of the time, people who disagree keep their distance, recognizing that the First Amendment is no excuse for violence. Last week, a judge in Cincinnati sentenced a ...