Hoppy’s Commentary Archives

FridayApril 19, 2024

Another tragic abuse and neglect case that raises familiar questions

The Boone County Sheriff’s Department made a horrific discovery when they were called to a house in the Morrisvale community this week to investigate a reported death. They found the body of a 14-year-old girl on the bathroom floor. The criminal complaint described the girl’s physical appearance as “shocking with an obvious emaciated, skeletal state.”

ThursdayApril 18, 2024

West Virginia’s childcare desert

A Talkline listener texted me this week about their problems with childcare. They work so they need childcare, which is their largest single monthly expense. But if they quit work to take care of their children, they wouldn’t be able to pay their other bills. That is a common conundrum, and it is from someone

WednesdayApril 17, 2024

Why hasn’t Charleston fired Tyke Hunt?

The City of Charleston recently announced that former Police Chief Tyke Hunt has been suspended and demoted from lieutenant to corporal. The action follows an internal investigation into allegations that Hunt ensured a woman applying to the force passed a polygraph test in return for sex. Chelsea McCoy has sued Hunt, and she said in

TuesdayApril 16, 2024

FAFSA mess makes it even harder for WV students to get to college

More education typically, but not always, leads to higher incomes. There is plenty of research showing that individuals with associate or bachelor degrees or higher end up with better jobs and higher pay than their counterparts with only a high school diploma. Nationally, about 62 percent of  high school (or equivalent) graduates go on to

MondayApril 15, 2024

How independent voters will impact the WV governor’s race

Earlier this year, the West Virginia Republican Party Executive Committee voted to limit the party’s Primary Election to only Republican voters beginning in 2026. That means the May 14th Primary is the last time West Virginia voters with no party affiliation will be allowed to play a role in who the Republicans nominate. Independents will

FridayApril 12, 2024

Democratic governor candidate Steve Williams throws down the gauntlet on abortion

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Steve Williams says wherever he campaigns, voters ask him about abortion rights. He said on Talkline this week that he has heard from so many women concerned about the issue that he has decided to try to put it before the voters. Williams has called on Governor Jim Justice to include on

ThursdayApril 11, 2024

WV student financial literacy will add up

West Virginia has joined the growing list of states that require high school students to take a financial literacy course.  The Legislature passed the law last year and the state Department of Education is finalizing the standards that will be implemented next academic year. A draft of the standards states the course “is designed to

WednesdayApril 10, 2024

Trump tries to balance the abortion issue

Former President Donald Trump announced this week that the abortion question should be left up to the states. “Many states will be different,” Trump said in a scripted video statement. “At the end of the day, this is all about the will of the people.” Trump’s reluctance to support a nationwide abortion ban has angered

TuesdayApril 9, 2024

April’s good life

  I have a whole list of possible topics for commentaries, but as I sorted through them, my thoughts kept returning to April Dowler. My wife and I, and about 200 other friends and relatives, attended a memorial service for her last Saturday at the Presbyterian church in Shepherdstown. April died earlier this month after

MondayApril 8, 2024

The other side of the climate change story

There are plenty of news stories about the impacts of climate change and how AI is going to change, well, everything.  Less common, but no less relevant, are stories about how to meet the growing energy demands for the future.  This country’s energy suppliers are predicting significant growth in the demand for electricity in the

MondayApril 1, 2024

I’m off this week

I’m out this week.  Dave Wilson is filling in on Talkline. The commentary will return Monday, April 8. Hop

FridayMarch 29, 2024

Some notes on Easter and religion as we begin the holiday

(Editor’s note: This is a reprint of a commentary I posted last Easter.) –West Virginians are among the most religious of any state’s population, but not the most religious. World Population Review reports that Alabama is at the top of the list with 77 percent of adults who say they are religious. West Virginia is

ThursdayMarch 28, 2024

Third party and independent presidential candidates rarely get traction in West Virginia

Now that Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has picked Nicole Shanahan as his running mate, the independent presidential candidate is turning his attention to getting on the ballot. So far, he is only on in Utah, with a court fight underway in Nevada. The Kennedy campaign has announced it will begin gathering petition signatures to try

WednesdayMarch 27, 2024

Let’s talk about the officiating in the WVU-Iowa game

The West Virginia University women’s basketball team came very close on Monday night to beating top seed Iowa and advancing to the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA Tournament.  It was a dogged performance by the Mountaineers on a prominent national stage and the conclusion of a remarkable season by first year head coach Mark Kellogg.

TuesdayMarch 26, 2024

WVU basketball looks to the future

The last 11 months have been difficult for the WVU basketball program and its fans. It began with Coach Bob Huggins’ homophobic, anti-Catholic slur on a Cincinnati radio station, followed by his DUI arrest and all things related to his unceremonious departure. Interim Coach Josh Eilert and his staff did an admirable job trying to

MondayMarch 25, 2024

The things government should not do

Our increasing government dependency means we now rely more than ever on elected representatives to fix all problems—large, small and even non-existent.  Once upon a time, the Republican philosophy was for less government, but the populist overtake of the GOP means the trend is now toward activism. We saw this during the recently completed session

FridayMarch 22, 2024

Tax Department Liens on Justice

The news that the Greenbrier Hotel Corporation failed to pay five months of sales taxes due the state last year is not surprising.  Hardly a week goes by that there is not a revelation or legal action involving debts, non-payment of bills or loan repayment issues involving one of the many businesses owned by the

ThursdayMarch 21, 2024

It’s all in the numbers

The U.S. Census Bureau has released population figures for individual counties in this country for 2023.  About 60 percent of the 3,144*  counties gained population from 2022 to 2023. The biggest gainers were generally in the South and the West—with a couple notable exceptions—while the largest population declines were in the Midwest and Northeast. Polk

WednesdayMarch 20, 2024

Justice should veto the vaccine exemption bill

The Justice administration is now deciding whether to sign or veto controversial legislation that would expand the vaccine exemptions for some school students. HB 5105 would remove the vaccine requirement for students in virtual public schools and allow private and parochial schools to set their own vaccination standards. Currently, the only exemption is for medical

TuesdayMarch 19, 2024

Manchin v. Blankenship? Possible, but not probable

West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin is leaving open the possibility—albeit remote—that he could run for the Senate as an independent. The veteran Democratic Senator announced earlier that he is not running for re-election, and he has ruled out a third-party run for President. Manchin says he wants to get away from Washington politics and devote