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Hoppy’s Commentary Archives

ThursdayAugust 26, 2021

Ethics Panel Charges Rep. Mooney Used Campaign Funds for Personal Expenses

West Virginia 2nd District Congressman Alex Mooney has run afoul of the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE). As CQ Roll Call reports, the OCE has determined that the four-term Republican has spent campaign money on personal expenses and failed to properly disclose campaign expenditures. “Overall, according to the OCE, ‘there is reason to believe’ lack

WednesdayAugust 25, 2021

WV Hospitals Take the Lead With Mandatory Covid Vaccinations

West Virginia hospitals are beginning to adopt policies requiring employees to be vaccinated against Covid-19.  WVU Medicine and Mon Health, both based in Morgantown, were among the first. They announced the decision to their employees Monday.  (Read more here.)  WVU Medicine is the largest private employer in the state.  It operates 21 hospitals, most in

TuesdayAugust 24, 2021

Greenbrier County Says ‘No’ to Justice as Boys Coach

West Virginia Governor Jim Justice believes he can expertly carry out the responsibilities of the state’s chief executive, navigate his family businesses through a financial crisis and coach the Greenbrier East girls and boys high school basketball teams—simultaneously. How to put this politely:  Justice does not lack for confidence. But that confidence is not shared

MondayAugust 23, 2021

Coal is Back… For Now

Coal is hot. Even as the United States and many countries around the world pledge to reduce carbon emissions to slow climate change, the demand for coal has increased significantly. The Wall Street Journal reported recently, “Coal use is surging in some of the world’s largest economies as electricity demand rebounds from the pandemic, illustrating

ThursdayAugust 19, 2021

Justice: To Mask or Not to Mask

West Virginia Governor Jim Justice has provided a steady hand at the helm during the pandemic.  He has listened to the right people and followed sound science in making the best decisions over the last 18 months to try to keep West Virginians safe. His choices have not always been popular, but that is expected

WednesdayAugust 18, 2021

Why Can’t West Virginia Be Home For Afghan Refugees?

Thousands of Afghans who worked for and with the United States are trying to get out of the country and find a new home, hopefully in this country. Why can’t West Virginia be one of the destinations? Typically, West Virginia receives only a few refugees each year.  According to Migration Information Source, their destination is

TuesdayAugust 17, 2021

Time Catches Up With the U.S. in Afghanistan

“You have the watches. We have the time.” That is the quote attributed to a captured Taliban fighter assessing the battle with U.S. Forces, and it speaks to the different objectives. Initially, the American mission was to take out Osama Bin Laden and the al Qaeda cells responsible for the 9/11 terror attacks. Then there

MondayAugust 16, 2021

Breaking Down the Data Drop from the Census

The U.S. Census has released a wealth of data from the 2020 survey.  Here are some characteristics about West Virginia that caught my eye: –West Virginia continues to lose people.  The state’s population dropped by 3.3 percent between 2010 and 2020, down to 1,792,147.   Two other states lost population during the decade, but Mississippi’s decline

FridayAugust 13, 2021

Covid-19 Sickbed Conversions

Covid-19 patients being treated at WVU Medicine J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown, who are the sickest of the sick, end up in the ECMO program. ECMO stands for extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. It is one of the most advanced forms of life support available to patients experiencing acute failure of the cardio-respiratory system.   Doctors use

ThursdayAugust 12, 2021

Pandemic Blamed for Tanking Test Scores

The 2020-21 school year in West Virginia was rocked by the pandemic, and new test results show just how much learning students missed. The Statewide Summative Assessment standardized test results, released Wednesday by the State Board of Education, show students lost substantial ground in core subjects. The test results for grades 3-8 and grade 11

WednesdayAugust 11, 2021

Governor Justice or Coach Justice. Pick One.

Governor Jim Justice loves kids, and he gets great joy from coaching high school basketball.  He coached both the Greenbrier East boys and girls teams from 2010 until 2017 when he gave up the boys, but kept the girls. Now Justice wants to take on the responsibility of the Greenbrier East boys team again.  The

TuesdayAugust 10, 2021

Bobby Bowden: One of Us

  Bobby Bowden, who passed away Sunday at 91, was a beloved sports figure in West Virginia, which is unusual when you consider the history. Bowden spent ten years at WVU, four as offensive coordinator and six as head coach, before leaving after the 1975 season to take over at Florida State. His record at

MondayAugust 9, 2021

WVU President E. Gordon Gee Has Strong Connections With ACC Leaders

When WVU was searching for an athletic conference home after the dissolution of the Big East, it came down to relationships, or more precisely, one relationship in particular: Former WVU football coach Don Nehlen and Big 12 Interim Commissioner Chuck Neinas. The two were close friends, dating back to Neinas’ long tenure as executive director

FridayAugust 6, 2021

Test Scores Will Show How the Pandemic Pummeled Public Ed in WV

The State Board of Education will receive data next week on test scores for West Virginia school children for the 2020-2021 school year.  These are the West Virginia General Summative Assessment results for students in grades three through eight. The news will not be good. The pandemic played havoc with instruction here and across the

ThursdayAugust 5, 2021

We Need More Shots in Arms

The Covid-19 numbers are ticking back up in West Virginia. The state Department of Health and Human Resources reported 382 new cases Wednesday.  That raised the current active caseload to 2,848.  The daily number was below 1,000 just a few weeks ago. Hospitalizations for Covid, which had dropped to 52 early last month, have climbed

WednesdayAugust 4, 2021

Reflecting on Dale Miller’s Retirement

Over the course of a long career in radio, I have written thousands of news stories and commentaries.   But what I wrote earlier this week was perhaps the most surreal.  It was the press release from West Virginia Radio Corporation that our president and CEO Dale Miller is retiring. Dale is 69 and, as he

TuesdayAugust 3, 2021

Bipartisanship Breaks Out in Washington on Infrastructure

On rare occasions the moon will block out the sun, a volcano erupts, you will catch a foul ball at a baseball game and, rarest of all, bipartisanship will occur in Washington. We are witnessing one of those cherished rarities now. The Senate is taking up an infrastructure bill that is a compromise crafted by

MondayAugust 2, 2021

West Virginia State University Deserves Better

The last year has been a rough one for West Virginia State University.  The land grant institution and one of the country’s Historically Black Colleges has had to, like every other college, deal with the pandemic.  But also, the school has suffered through a leadership crisis. That crisis came to a head recently when three

MondayJuly 26, 2021

I Wish That Once…

I’m off this week.  Dave Wilson is filling in.  However, I have an assignment for you.  Please complete the following sentence: “I wish that once, just ONCE, Hoppy would…” I look forward to reading your responses! (No, seriously, I do.) My best, Hop

FridayJuly 23, 2021

Delta Variant Triggers Increased Emphasis on Vaccinations

Conservative Fox News host Sean Hannity this week called Dr. Anthony Fauci “flip flop Fauci” for playing “word games” to, according to Hannity, escape responsibility for his alleged role in the Covid-19 pandemic. When Senator Rand Paul raised the allegation this week during a Senate hearing, Fauci said, “You do not know what you are