The Times West Virginian


January 24, 2014

Stay warm; stay safe; take care of each other as we wait for spring

Baby, it’s cold outside.

Thursday’s high temperature hit only 14 degrees, with a low temperature of 4. It’s not a record-breaking low, as that -3 degree day in 1977 made the record books. But is quite far from “normal” for our area, which should be a high of 39 and low of 21.

But nothing has been quite normal since a storm system dumped 6-8 inched on Marion County Tuesday. We had an unseasonably warm Monday before we were pummeled with snow Tuesday and then watched the mercury drop after the snowflakes stopped falling.

The result was a mess on the roads. It wasn’t just about scraping 8 inches off roadways, but a layer of ice beneath. When the snow stopped coming down, road crews were facing temperatures where salt just doesn’t work. A little snow left on the roads almost gave cars a little more traction during morning and evening commutes when temperatures were in the low teens.

We know it’s easy to be frustrated by the condition of the secondary and neighborhood roads, but we hope that residents will offer a little patience considering this is the most significant storm we’ve had in a few years.

And speaking of consideration, we also hope readers and businesses will remember to keep their sidewalks clean for pedestrians. These sub-freezing temperatures and low wind-chill favors are tough enough on those who have to walk to a destination without having to walk through 8 inches of frozen snow and large mounds left behind.

And speaking of being a good neighbor, we know this community cares about one another. We know that there are residents who shovel their own drives and then shovel their neighbor’s drive, too. We know there is always someone willing to drive an elderly neighbor to an appointment, to keep a child at home during a snow day for working parents, to pick up a few staples on a trip to the grocery store or any small act of kindness.

There’s not going to be much improvement over the weekend, as temperatures will stay well below freezing, and another system is expected to dump several more inches through Saturday.

So we offer these bits of advice. Stay warm. Stay safe. Take care of each other.

Spring will come soon enough.

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  • Unsung heroes handling calls in emergencies are appreciated

    Thankfully, we live in a community where help is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, just by dialing three numbers — 9-1-1.
    During this week, which is recognized as National Public Safety Tele-Communicator’s Week nationwide, we need to remember that on the other end of that line are the men and women here in this county who are always there in case of accident, crimes, medical emergencies and any other catastrophic event.

    April 18, 2014

  • Message to ‘buckle up and park the phone’ is saving lives

    A figure that we haven’t seen that much in recent years is the highway death toll for a given period.
    Is the death toll up, down or just about the same as it was?
    The West Virginia Southern Regional Highway Safety Program has announced there were 325 highway fatalities in 2013, the second-lowest number on record.

    April 17, 2014

  • State native Burwell can ‘deliver results’ as Health and Human Services secretary

    Sylvia Mathews Burwell might not be a name with which most people are immediately familiar.
    For the past year, she has run the budget office under President Barack Obama.
    Prior to that, she served as president of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Global Development Program and later the Wal-Mart Foundation.

    April 16, 2014

  • Marion scores well in recent health report but could do better

    When it comes to area-wide studies, especially on health, there’s usually good news and bad news.
    So was the recent report on the health of America’s counties released by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation recently. The nationwide county study evaluated health outcomes and health factors, and ranked counties accordingly.

    April 13, 2014

  • COLUMN: ‘Instant’ news not always reliable

    That little word has a pretty big meaning. With origins that date back to the 15th century, it means urgent, current, immediate.
    But think about how that word has developed over the past few decades.
    Instant pudding. Instead of slaving over a hot stove for a few minutes, you can now pour cold milk and with a bit of stirring, instant pudding!

    April 13, 2014

  • Decision to be an organ donor can save lives

    Chelsea Clair watched as her father died waiting for a bone marrow transplant.
    So when she met Kyle Froelich at a car show in 2009 and heard about his struggles to find a kidney that would match his unique needs, she never hesitated to offer hers to the man she just met.

    April 11, 2014

  • Volunteers continue to have priceless impact on community

    Chances are, you know someone who volunteers. Perhaps you’re a volunteer yourself.
    Marion County is full of volunteers.
    They read to our youth.
    They assist nonprofit agencies.
    They serve on boards and committees.
    And in 2013, they spent a day picking up nearly 10 tons of garbage that had been tossed out on public property around Marion County.

    April 10, 2014

  • Proposed school calendar lives up to letter and spirit of law

    West Virginia state law requires that students be in a classroom for 180 days.

    April 9, 2014

  • Strong Fairmont General Hospital badly needed to serve our region

    Mere minutes often matter when it comes to emergency health care.
    That’s why we need a strong Fairmont General Hospital.
    When patients need the services of health-care professionals, having family and friends close at hand is often essential, and their presence may even lead to a better outcome.

    April 6, 2014

  • COLUMN: Fairmont General Hospital vital part of community

    There’s nothing better than holding a newborn baby. It gives you a little feeling that not only is everything right in the world, but this perfect little human represents hope of a future where things will be better than they are today.
    I had that blessed opportunity to hold that hopeful future in my arms last week when I visited my dear friend Jen and her newborn son Tristan at Fairmont General Hospital.

    April 6, 2014

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