Dr. Raymond W. Smock is an American historian, currently serving as director of the Robert C. Byrd Center for Congressional History and Education at Shepherd University. The Observer interviewed him recently to discuss his career, the cottage industry of “Trump books” that has emerged in the last several years, and where his new book, Trump Tsunami: A Historian’s Diary of the Trump Campaign and His First Year in Office, lands in the context of this new literature.
It was a bill that would expand access to healthy, locally grown food. Co-sponsored by Senator Patricia Rucker (R-Jefferson), it was legislation that would help farmers preserve and add value to their produce. Senate Bill 27 passed the WV Senate unanimously and the House of Delegates 95-3, yet alcohol and politics killed the “Pickle Bill” in the final hours of the 60th day of the Regular Session.
A robust movement advocating for greater state tax credits for the rehabilitation of historic properties is spreading throughout West Virginia—and is picking up steam in the state’s legislature.
On November 8, Jefferson County voters, in addition to voting for their president, governor, and state and elected representatives, will be asked another question: “Shall the beginning hour at which non-intoxicating beer, wine, and alcoholic liquor be sold or dispensed for on premises consumption only in Jefferson County on Sundays be changed from one o’clock p.m. to ten o’clock a.m.” Simply put, can our bars, taverns, and restaurants start serving alcoholic drinks at 10am on Sundays?
The buzzword about Congress these days is gridlock: the left and right are too far apart to get anything done, and compromise (at least among some) is now a dirty word. Yet in December, the U.S. Senate passed a major overhaul of one of America’s most outdated environmental and public health laws, the Toxic Substances Control Act. This follows House passage of a separate reform bill in June. No one can claim that the chemical spill in Charleston’s Elk River two years ago last month triggered reform. But surely, a public health disaster of such magnitude couldn’t go unnoticed, even in the tone-deaf halls of Congress.