The Times West Virginian


March 20, 2014

Spring brings end to long winter and its problems

Spring! It is finally here! Finally.

We can’t recall any year within memory that the first full season of the year — spring — was any more eagerly awaited.

Not one.

It’s been cold. Very, very cold. And more than 50 inches of snow has fallen in the area this year. Those people whose job it is to predict the weather have been unusually accurate this winter, we are sorry to say (or are we glad because we have had ample warnings for most of these storms that have been dumped on us?).

The weather has played havoc with the quality of life for many of us. School has been called for almost 20 days thus far. Even West Virginia University and Fairmont State have cancelled classes this year — a rarity, indeed. We know that Marion County Superintendent of Schools Gary Price, and his counterparts in most other Mountain State counties, will be pleased when the last snowflake of winter ... err, spring ... has fallen. He is probably good and tired of awakening at 4 a.m. and deciding whether the roads are good enough for classes to convene. Many students have probably become more skilled in building igloos and snowmen than doing calculus.

Snow caused icy roads and icy roads bring numerous wrecks. We would hate to imagine how many fender bumpers there have been here this winter. The various garages probably have been overworked.

But the winter weather conditions have been felt over much of the U.S. — not just West Virginia. Swirling snowstorms have clobbered many major cities time and time again. Some metropolitan areas that haven’t had a major snowstorm for years have had several this year.

Many thousands of flights have been cancelled. Those people who rely on the airlines for travel have spent many days just waiting around for the planes to begin flying again. The weather has been exceedingly bad.

The evening newscasts have devoted much of their time to the weather on countless occasions. Sometimes the weather has dominated the news. That’s the kind of winter it has been.

And all the bad weather has left streets — here and all over the state — in terrible condition. A spokesman for the Division of Highways says that the damage done to area highways this winter is worse than it has been in decades. There currently is some $31 million in the funds to get the highways back in decent shape.

But, yes, we can bid good-bye to winter today and welcome in spring. At 12:57 p.m. to be exact. And if more extremely cold temperatures  come, well, maybe it won’t feel as cold. And perhaps any additional snowfall will be minimal.

Spring, are we ever glad to see you!

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  • State must convince parents, schools about benefits of Common Core

    It’s always nice to have a little bit of background information before diving into something new.
    So we have to agree with West Virginia Board of Education president Gayle Manchin when she says the state should have done a better job of explaining Common Core standards when they were first introduced.
    Those standards, part of a national educational initiative that sets learning goals designed to prepare students in kindergarten through 12th grade for college and career, will be fully implemented in every West Virginia school district next month.

    July 30, 2014

  • Time is now for Tomblin to support King Coal Highway

    U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., is asking Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin to add the King Coal Highway project to West Virginia’s six-year highway improvement plan. It is a logical request, and one that Tomblin should act promptly on.

    July 29, 2014

  • United effort to keep NASA in Fairmont is essential project

    The high-technology sector is obviously vital to the economy of North Central West Virginia.
    That’s why a strong, united effort to keep the NASA Independent Verification and Validation Program in Fairmont is absolutely essential.

    July 27, 2014

  • COLUMN: Calling all readers: Be heard

    I love to talk to readers.
    I love to hear concerns they have about stories we’ve written, things they think should be included in the newspaper and things they think shouldn’t be.

    July 27, 2014

  • Korean War veterans are deserving of a memorial

    NEEDED: A total of $10,000 for the Korean War Memorial this year.
    And a good man has been placed in charge of the funding. Charlie Reese, former president of the Marion County Chamber of Commerce, is now director of the Marion County Development Office. His task was to make a recommendation as to what steps are necessary to keep the project moving.

    July 25, 2014

  • Roll up your sleeves, give blood and you can save lives

    It takes up to 100 units of blood to save the life of someone who sustains life-threatening injuries in a vehicle accident.
    We’re hoping that the number of people who come to Fairmont Senior High School on Friday for and American Red Cross blood drive will exceed that amount.

    July 24, 2014

  • Vehicles and motorcycles must share the road safely

    The days are long. The weather is superb. There’s plenty of leisure time in these lazy days of summer.
    It’s the perfect time to take a long motorcycle ride.
    It’s also the perfect opportunity for us to take the time to remind not only riders but drivers of the need to share the road. And we feel compelled to mention it because just within the month of July, there have been two motorcycle-versus-car accidents within the City of Fairmont alone — one with severe injuries sustained by the motorcyclist and the other with less serious injury.

    July 23, 2014

  • Too many taking too few steps to protect selves from skin cancer

    July 22, 2014

  • Distracted driving: It isn’t worth fine or a life

    Today marks the day that police agencies from six states are joining forces to crack down on one thing — distracted driving.
    And they will focus on that traffic violation for a solid week, with the stepped-up effort to curb distracted driving wrapping up on Saturday, July 26.

    July 20, 2014

  • COLUMN: Are we people watchers or people judgers?

    Let me tell you about my little friend Robby. Well, actually, it’s more about his family and especially his mom. I didn’t get her name. I heard Robby’s name quite a bit, though, during a trip home from Birmingham, Alabama.
    I noticed the family in the Birmingham airport immediately. They were just the kind of family you’d notice.

    July 20, 2014

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