Recent editorials from West Virginia newspapers:
The Charleston Gazette on the West Virginia Supreme Court:
Never before has West Virginia suffered a bizarre experience like the destruction of the state Supreme Court. History is being made each day as justices quit or face possible imprisonment - their careers wrecked by financial boondoggles.
The current crisis is a wakeup call for every government department head: Misspending of tax money can bring nightmarish ruin.
When Justice Robin Davis resigned Tuesday, she accused the Republican-controlled Legislature of playing politics:
“What we are witnessing is a disaster for the rule of law, the foundation for our state and, indeed, our own society. For when a legislative body attempts to dismantle a separate branch of government, the immediate effects, as well as the precedent it sets for the future, can only be deemed disastrous.”
She charged that GOP lawmakers want to drag out impeachment proceedings until it will be too late for a nonpartisan special election to choose replacements - thus giving Republican Gov. Jim Justice total power to appoint justices. She called it a “mania among the majority party.”
However, the governor declared that a nonpartisan special election will be held - at least in the cases of Davis and Menis Ketchum, who have resigned from the Supreme Court - which will let voters pick new justices.
As the snowballing fracas ensues, it seems likely that all five Supreme Court justices might be ousted. It’s dismaying that trusted public figures trashed their careers like this.
Every state official is hereby on notice that misuse of state cars or expense accounts can be the kiss of death.
As we said, West Virginia history is being made in each day’s new headlines.
The Intelligencer Wheeling News-Register on a commission Gov. Jim Justice appointed to study higher education:
Big changes may be on the horizon for higher education in West Virginia - part of it, anyway. As for the rest, there are indications it may continue to be treated as the ugly stepsister of the state’s four-year colleges and universities.
We refer to the two-year community and technical colleges sprinkled throughout the state. An excellent example of their importance to Mountain State residents was provided last week, right here in Wheeling.
On Wednesday, West Virginia Northern Community College officials formally opened their new Industrial Technology Center. Appropriately enough, the “ribbon” they cut was made of steel. It was severed by using a welding torch.
As we explained, the center will provide training in various skills in high demand in the energy industry. Some of what will be taught, such as welding, opens up opportunities in many types of businesses.
WVNCC, with campuses in Wheeling, Weirton and New Martinsville, offers two tracks for students. They can obtain training and certificates that will take them directly into jobs, or they can begin educations that culminate at four-year institutions. For many, perhaps most, West Virginians, that type of higher education option is very appealing.
Yet a “blue-ribbon commission” appointed by the governor earlier this year, to study higher education and make recommendations to the Legislature, is focused only on four-year colleges and universities. There is no representation on it from the two-year schools.
By itself, that is not a terrible problem. The four-year institutions fill their own niche in higher education, after all.
But depending on what the governor’s commission recommends and the Legislature does, action on the four-year schools could have an impact on the needs for community and technical colleges.
Soon, then, Gov. Jim Justice should consider appointing another blue-ribbon commission - this one to study two-year colleges and their cousins, the technical education programs at many high schools.
The Dominion Post of Morgantown on WVU Medicine system hospitals being recognized nationally:
Ever get the idea that everyone ends up at J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital eventually?
Of course, that’s everyone who lives in the greater Morgantown area and throughout this region.
Yes, many of us may end up at another area hospital initially or be referred to one later. But Ruby is the hub for health and medicine in Morgantown.
It’s also the hub, or flagship hospital, for eight WVU Medicine system hospitals around the state, including United Health Center, in Bridgeport.
WVU Medicine’s stamp is also on scores, if not hundreds, of outpatient and specialty facilities from A-W statewide and out of state, too.
But some will argue that big doesn’t always mean anything is necessarily better.
However, in the case of this system it can let rankings by U.S. News & World Report do its talking.
This week, as part of its 2018-‘19 Best Hospitals in the United States, U.S. News recognized Ruby Memorial and three WVU Medicine system hospitals.
Recognized seems too polite of a way to describe how Ruby Memorial Hospital was ranked in three conditions among 4,500 medical centers nationwide. Those three rankings - 22nd in urology, 28th in diabetes and endocrinology and 38th in gynecology - are top of the line.
Ruby Memorial was also ranked as the top hospital in West Virginia. Furthermore, Ruby was ranked as High Performing in five specialties, including cancer and neurology and neurosurgery.
The three WVU Medicine system hospitals in Bridgeport, Ranson and Parkersburg also were awarded the High Performing rating in heart failure.
We applaud WVU Medicine’s achievements and especially its employees’ contributions, who provide this high quality health care. It’s clear that these ratings mean a lot to this health and hospital system and they should.
However, these honors also mean even more to this community and our quality of life. Though this quality of health care in our backyard is often taken for granted, from any perspective, it’s the greatest gift of all.
True, we are blessed with a dynamic local economy, the state’s flagship university, easy access to interstate highways, a picture postcard landscape and lots more.
Yet, despite any and all of that, your own good health and your family’s should always rank No. 1 in the best and worst of times.
Knowing that Ruby Memorial Hospital and WVU Medicine’s extensive network of facilities is nearby is no small comfort. Many will never give this news of WVU Medicine’s recent recognition a thought.
But one day you might and when you arrive there you’ll be glad to know you’ll receive top-rated care.
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