Normally, this daily commentary is about current events, what’s happening in Charleston or Washington that has an impact on our lives.

But as I prepare for these pieces, researching and thinking, sometimes other events take over, events that have nothing to do with traditional news, yet are enormously significant.

Two weeks ago, we at West Virginia Radio Corporation learned that one of our long-time employees, Lacy Neff, had been diagnosed with amyloidosis.  It’s a rare, serious disease where abnormal proteins build up in vital organs. In Lacy’s case, the disease has attacked his heart.

He faces chemotherapy, a bone marrow transplant and possibly a heart transplant.

Lacy, who is the program director of WVAQ in Morgantown, is a talented, positive and energetic guy, so when he stopped by the station last week to visit, he displayed his usual optimism.

“I had an eight-in-a-million shot of getting this messed up disease. My odds have got to be better of beating it,” he said. Lacy’s positive approach is inspiring to his many friends and loyal listeners who have been stunned and saddened by the diagnosis.

Lacy admits he has a “long road ahead.” Indeed he does, but he will not travel it alone.

Meanwhile, there is also reason for celebration in our company’s family. Saturday night, Kay Murray was inducted into the West Virginia Broadcasting Hall of Fame. For the last 35 years, Kay has hosted “Morgantown AM,” a popular morning talk show heard on AM 1440 WAJR.

Kay had a non-traditional career route. She was hired as a receptionist and never had a thought of being on the air. However, when the talk show position opened, station General Manager Dale Miller convinced Kay to give it a try.

More than 8,000 shows later, Kay is still at it, proving daily that the best radio is live and local. In these days of anger and conflict on talk radio and television, Kay is a firm, but gentle hand that reaches out to the community each day with compassion and empathy.

Kay also works with me on “Metronews Talkline” as my producer. She plays an important role in making sure guests are lined up and calls are screened.

Kay was thinking about retiring, but she changed her mind, and we at West Virginia Radio are thankful.  She still enjoys “Morgantown AM”—as do her many listeners—so why stop now?

So today, even though I’m keeping up with events that will shape the discussion on “Talkline” later this morning, I’m thinking about Lacy and Kay, and the news about them, which strikes me as more important.







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  • Ryno

    When I grow up, I want to be a message board troll....posting comments that provoke others to give me the attention that may make my pitiful life worth living. Maybe one day I can actually be that cool.

  • D.P.



    Wishing you the best Lacy and Congratulations Kay!!!

  • Gary Deavers

    Best wishes to Lacy and prayers for strength and recovery. I have known him since back in 1984 during his stint on the old WTCS Night Flight show. I knew then he was a great talent and would go far. The stories we could tell!

    Gary in Fairmont

  • mntrbob

    Congrats to Kay.
    Best wishes and prayers to Lacy.

    I believe that both of them would appreciate a knucklehead comment better than most. On a day when Hoppy decides that he will not carry the water for the right TD decides to bi*** anyway.

  • JJ


    Beyond classless. Not EVERYTHING is political. I find it amusing that you call Hoppy out for his "backing the insanity of the Republican Party" while you yourself constantly beat the liberal drum on this site. When Hoppy does a human interest editorial based on personal friends you STILL seize it to push your agenda. Maybe you should sit the next couple plays out.

    Congratulations to Kay and prayers for Lacy's recovery.

  • JohnnyG

    Yes TD, those idiots are going to destroy the nation's credit. I suggest you hop over to the Daily Mail website and read Eric Cantor's op-ed about Obama's absolute refusal to negotiate, failed leadership and imperialistic attitude. As one who professes to have cleaned up his own personal credit rating, don't you think it's hypocritical to cheer Obama on by putting the nation into even deeper debt with no offsetting spending cuts? I'll never understand what makes you economically-challenged liberals tick.

    • TD

      economically challenged? giving tax breaks to the wealthiest corps in the world, big oil, and to the wealthiest people in the country means we'll get more tax revenue? wishful thinking.

      Having a supply side mindset and telling someone else about being challenged? Go back and see when the gigantic debts started, Reagan, when we corrected it, Clinton, when we returned to it, George W.

      Then tell me you have something worth listening to about deficits. Until then be quiet and watch as your latest Republican representatives try to ruin our economy, AGAIN!!!

      • Charleston,WV

        Also: For the first six years of the Reagan presidency (1981-87) The Republicans controlled the Senate, and the Democrats the House of Representatives

        In 1986, the Democrats recaptured the Senate (while retaining the House) and thereafter remained in control of both chamber until losing both in 1994

      • Charleston,WV

        Republicans controlled the House of Representatives and Senate from 1996-2001.

      • WVWho

        I think TD is upset his EBT card didn't work on Saturday.

      • Shadow

        You must have missed that part of 6th Grade that spoke of compound interest and that you will find an amortization chart on the wall in a

  • David

    My heartfelt best wishes to Lacy Neff, and sincere congratulations to Kay Murray.

  • Jim N Charleston

    More Kay.
    Less Skippy.

  • Steve

    I look at this site daily to see what thought provoking article you may write for the day. I appreciate these non-political aritcles. Family is first and anyone with a job knows your work family is important, as you are with them day in and day out.
    It is too bad that some can't let go of politics for a day to support a group that puts out a good product to keep up informed about nationals, state and local issues as well as leading us to debate the many issues you write about.
    Best wishes and prayers to Mr. Neff and his family and well deserved congratulations to Kay on a great career accomplishment.

    • Charlie

      We'll spoken Steve .

    • CaptainQ


  • TD

    We can always tell when even Hoppy can't muster the will to back the insanity of the Republican party. A story about Cedar Lakes on Friday, a touching story about co-workers today, a day when the country is 4 days away from completely unnecessary financial disaster. Don't worry Captio or Mckinley, Hop won't call you out on your going along with dragging the country to the edge if not over the cliff.

    • DonaldH

      I give you TD; living proof of everything that proves that the moniker of "Ugly American" isn't just an unfounded stereo-typing from the global populace... His bulletin board personality is his "real personality"

    • Shadow

      You must live a very unhappy life as you have never put a positive comment online. Cheer up, things are looking better.

    • Wowbagger


      Your slams are totally uncalled for!

      GET A LIFE!

      I don't always agree with Kay, but it is obvious she is a wonderful lady.

      Wishing Mr. Neff all the best!

      • TD

        I'm sure Kay is a terrific lady and radio host, I can't listen to her program where I'm at, plus I don't give a hoot what happens in Morgantown. As for Mr. Neff I wish him the very best, he has insurance where he works which will give him a fighting chance. My point is that we are potentially facing a national crisis that could have a huge impact and Hoppy, who has carried the water for these people the past 20 plus years, gives them cover. It's not an accident WV has turned into a Red State and much of the credit (or blame) goes to Hoppy and the company he works for. Now that we see what they're all about he conveniently goes off topic at a time of real danger? How many billions will this cost us? Getting your credit downgraded isn't free as I can testify to from personal experience. I've worked very hard to get mine from poor to excellent, these idiots are going to destroy the nations credit and it's going to cost dearly! But hey, Cedar Lakes might close.

        • Mark

          TD you are an ass

        • Joe

          Totally out of line comment on Lacy Neff. You remind me of that line made by Michael Douglas in Wall St......."That's the thing you need to remember about WASPs. They love animals.....can't stand people.

        • Bean

          I thought the commentary was a nice change. It feels good to get away from the madness once in a while. I should have known someone would screw it up.

        • WVWho

          Low Class is a phrase that comes to mind for your sir. Our state now being "red" has nothing to do with the fact that our state is last or nearly last in nearly every statistic in this nation. You can't spend more than you make whether it's your little mind or the entire country's pocketbook. Back on topic, Prayers for the Neff family as he has been nothing but a positive, cheerful individual serving Morgantown for many, many years.

          • Red Dwarf

            You can always count on TD to say something classless and out of line. Hoppy presents a commentary with faces and names of real people with real hope and good news, and TD can only TRY to ruin it. My grandmother would call him "the fly in the cream".

          • WVWho


  • Bean

    Thanks Hoppy. Hope all goes well for Mr. Neff.