www.wvgazettemail.com http://www.wvgazettemail.com Gazette archive feed en-us Copyright 2017, Charleston Newspapers, Charleston, WV Newspapers Funerals for: July 28, 2017 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170728/OBIT01/307289980 OBIT01 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170728/OBIT01/307289980 Fri, 28 Jul 2017 00:01:00 -0400 Bays, Cynthia Renee 1 p.m., McCorkle Free Will Baptist Church, Sod.

Bird, Jerry 2 p.m., Bethel Baptist Church, Adonijah.

Buzzard, Burl 11 a.m., Roush Funeral Home, Ravenswood.

Canterbury, Betty Jo 1 p.m., Tyler Mountain Funeral Home,Cross Lanes,

Carroll, Donald 11:30 a.m., Leonard Johnson Funeral Home, Marmet.

DeLung, Larkin noon, Daystar Worship Center, Kilsyth.

Ferguson, Jimmy 1 p.m., St. John United Methodist Church, Scott Depot.

Fowler, Freeman E. "Jiggs" 11 a.m., Cunningham Memorial Park, St. Albans.

Hickman, Harold 2 p.m., Mt. Union United Methodist Church, Pliny.

Hoff, Paul "Wayne" 2 p.m., John H. Taylor Funereal Home, Spencer.

Keller, Roberta 1 p.m., Morris Memorial United Methodist Church, Charleston.

Rowe, Alga Denise 11 a.m., Friday, Family Gardens, Madison.

Toppings, Joseph 1 p.m., Koontz Funeral Home, Hamlin.

Vance, Wyatt 1 p.m., Akers

Dale Arden Blevins http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170728/OBIT/307289983 OBIT http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170728/OBIT/307289983 Fri, 28 Jul 2017 00:01:00 -0400 Dale Arden Blevins, 82, of Oak Hill, W.Va., passed away Wednesday, July 26, 2017, at CAMC Memorial Division, in Charleston. Services will be Sunday, July 30, at 2 p.m., at Tyree Funeral Home, Oak Hill. Friends may visit one hour prior. Cremation will follow. Online condolences may be sent at www.tyreefuneralhome.com.

Arrangements by Tyree Funeral Home, Oak Hill.

Bryan Ambrose http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170728/OBIT/307289988 OBIT http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170728/OBIT/307289988 Fri, 28 Jul 2017 00:01:00 -0400 Ambrose Bryan, 98, of Oak Hill, transitioned from this life, July 26, at Greystone Villages in Beaver, W.Va.

He was born in 1918, in Minden, to the late George Bryan and Lily Molyneux Bryan.

His wife of 73 years, Kitty Mae McMillion Bryan, predeceased him on June 11, 2015.

He is survived by his three children: Rowena Farrar, Gerald Bryan, and George Bryan (Deborah Jackson); grandchildren: Andrea Thompson St. Amand (Kalev Kruuk and his son), Kristina Bryan Ulloa (Gonzales and his three sons) and Kristina's four children, Amanda, Evan, Annalise, and Samantha. He is also survived by his loving niece, Cynthia Lynn Bryan Canterbury (Larry,) and other beloved relatives and friends.

He served in the U.S. Navy during WWII (1939-1945) in Miami, Fla., and North Africa. While in Miami he married his wife Kitty. Ambrose was an Aviation Radioman and discharged as a Navy Chief Petty officer. After his military service he worked for the New River Coal Company Machine Shop in Mt. Hope (1945-1960), and retired from the Bureau of Mines as a Glass Blower in 1978. During this time he obtained an Associate Degree from Beckley College.

He was an active member of the Oak Hill United Methodist Church and the Men's Bible class, the associations in the latter providing much enjoyment for him. He was a member of the MacDonald Warren Lodge 103 AF and AM in Mt. Hope, and American Legion Post 149 in Fayetteville for 54 years.

Ambrose lived a productive life, enjoying the outdoors (gardening, fishing, hiking, traveling); crafting, woodworking, quilting, playing games of all kinds; and helping others throughout life, particularly his children in their many projects. He had a love of learning and made sure he had the necessary information before proceeding on any new endeavor. He had a dry sense of humor, was an honest and trustworthy person, speaking the truth as he perceived it.

The children want to thank the staffs of the Summit in Oak Hill and Greystone Villages of Beaver, who provided loving care to our parents, and especially to our father who had to live without his wife at Greystone, alone for the first time in his life.

Funeral services will be 11 a.m. Saturday, July 29, at Tyree Funeral Home, Oak Hill, with Warren Volk and Reverend Williams Slates officiating. Interment will be at High Lawn Memorial Park in Oak Hill, with the Fayette Honor Guard conducting military rights. Friends are invited to call one hour prior to services at the funeral home.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions be made to the Fayette Plateau Food Pantry or the charity of one's choice.

Online condolences may be sent at www.tyreefuneralhome.com.Arrangements were made by Tyree Funeral Home, Oak Hill.

Helen Dalton http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170728/OBIT/307289999 OBIT http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170728/OBIT/307289999 Fri, 28 Jul 2017 00:01:00 -0400 Helen Dalton, whose cheerful face greeted customers at Dalton's Department Store for decades, died at 95 years of age on July 24, 2017, at CareHaven of Pleasants, Belmont, West Virginia.

With her husband Clyde Cecil Dalton Jr., Helen proudly owned and operated Dalton's Department Store in Clendenin and Clay, West Virginia, for three decades. Their January, June and September buying trips to New York's garment district were among Helen's most exciting moments, as they included the sights of the city from Radio City Music Hall to the Waldorf Astoria and Empire State Building.

The oldest daughter of Greek immigrant parents Thomas and Konstantina Darves, she was born September 20, 1921, in Charleston, West Virginia. Her parents founded and operated Coney Island Lunch restaurant in Clendenin, a family eatery where Helen and her siblings worked as soon as they could peer over the counter. Open for 27 years, Coney Island was beloved for its onion, mustard, and homemade chili sauce-slathered hot dogs, batter-dipped fish sandwiches, featuring fresh fish from New York City, and made-from-scratch pies.

Helen was a graduate of Clendenin High School and attended West Virginia Wesleyan, where she was a member of the national sorority Alpha Xi Delta. She remained exceptionally close friends with both high school and college classmates, and truly epitomized the Proverbs 17:17, "A friend loves at all times." The family and many friends of Helen would describe her as the personification of hospitality, kindness, thoughtfulness, and caring.

Devoted to her Clendenin United Methodist Church, in 1990 she was recognized as "United Methodist Woman of the Year." She served as President of the church's Merry Workers Circle for 10 years.

Helen was preceded in death by her devoted husband Clyde, cherished son Joseph Warren, her brother Fofo, who died at five years of age, and beloved brother Andrew.

Surviving Helen are the wonderful members of her family and extended family, whom she loved dearly: daughter Amelia Dalton; sister Georgia Darves Rollins; sister-in-law Frances Darves; special devoted niece and husband Jo Ann and Max Powell; granddaughter Sara Dalton and three great-grandchildren, Cierra, Charles III and Christian; namesake Lyndsey Dalton Gallian Madison; and godchildren Glenn Austin Summers and Carrie Summers Dysart.

She is also survived by nieces and nephews and their children: Dr. Thomas Rollins (Dr. Deborah Konitsney); Dr. Nita Rollins; Malania Rollins; Timothy Rollins (Jennifer), Elaina Georgette, Audrey Darves; Constance Darves Nester (Dr. Thomas Nester), Kara, Cameron; Andrew Thomas Darves (Janet), Anika Darves Mullins (Mark); Catherine Darves (Richard Rogers); Dr. John Westfall (Pat), Dr. Chad Westfall (Caitlin), Jack, Will; Dr. Lauren Veltri (Dr. Vincent Veltri); Helen Jane Westfall Kennedy (Kent), Keri Shamblin, Kati Skeen, Kristin Reed, John Kennedy; Jo Ann Powell (Max), Matthew and son Avery; Michael (Meghan), Georgia, Circe, Estella, Evangeleen; and Ryan (Rachel), Aiden, Axton.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Clendenin United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 686, Clendenin, WV 25045. (Email: clendumc@frontier.com)

Visitation will be held 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the Clendenin United Methodist Church. Funeral service will be at 1 p.m. Saturday, July 29, at the church, with the Reverend Scott Ferguson officiating. Burial will be immediately after the service at Koontz Cemetery, Clendenin, followed by a reception at the church.

Matics Funeral Home, Clendenin, is handling the funeral arrangements. Online condolences may be made at maticsfuneralhome.com.

Betty Jo Fortson http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170728/OBIT/307289992 OBIT http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170728/OBIT/307289992 Fri, 28 Jul 2017 00:01:00 -0400

Minister Betty Jo Fortson went home to be with her Lord, July 25, 2017.

Minister Fortson was preceded in death by her parents, Alex and Betty Fortson, and brother Richard Fortson, all of St. Albans. Minister Betty leaves to cherish son, Corey, Sister, Teresa, Brothers, Alex, Mark and Paul.

Visitation will be Saturday, July 29, at All Nations Revival Center in Dunbar. Viewing will be 1 hour before the 12 p.m. service, officiated by Pastor Frederick Hightower. Minister Fortson will be laid to rest at Cunningham Memorial Park, St. Albans.

Preston Funeral Home has been entrusted to handle arrangements.

Trump to hold rally in Huntington http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170728/GZ0101/170729638 GZ0101 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170728/GZ0101/170729638 Fri, 28 Jul 2017 12:28:06 -0400 Staff report By Staff report

President Donald Trump is scheduled to visit Huntington on Thursday evening for a rally.

According to separate news releases, one from his press office and one from his re-election campaign, Trump will be at the Big Sandy Superstore Arena at 7 p.m. Thursday.

The releases state visitors cannot bring homemade signs, banners, professional cameras with detachable lenses, tripods, monopods, selfie sticks, backpacks or large bags to the event.

The rally will be Trump's second visit to the Mountain State in recent memory. He made a national splash by delivering a politically charged speech at the Boy Scouts of America's 2017 National Jamboree on Monday in Fayette County.

Following the speech, the President of the scouts issued a formal apology for those who took offense from it.

Doors open at 4 p.m. The event is located at 1 Center Plaza in Huntington. Reach Jake Zuckerman at jake.zuckerman@wvgazettemail.com, 304-348-4814 or @jake_zuckerman on Twitter.

Gazette editorial: When the party called, Sen. Capito fell in line http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170728/GZ0404/170729639 GZ0404 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170728/GZ0404/170729639 Fri, 28 Jul 2017 11:00:31 -0400 Over the past weeks, Shelley Moore Capito has been vocal about her problems with her fellow Senate Republicans' plans to replace the Affordable Care Act.

I didn't come to Washington to hurt people, she said. The bill is not the right fix for West Virginia, she said.

But this week, push came to shove. In two votes as close as they could be, Capito showed who she went to Washington to represent.

Bad news for the most vulnerable West Virginians who need health care: It's not you.

Bad news also for people with pre-existing conditions, or those whose businesses and household budgets thrive better when people have access to affordable health care and the future of the system is not in a constant state of uncertainty: It's not you, either.

Capito's vote Tuesday to advance the cause to undo progress made by the Affordable Care Act was bad enough. But the vote Friday for a "skinny repeal" of the health care act -- in the small hours of the night, after the bill had been available for only two hours and after practically every group with a stake in health care had come out against it -- may be the worst vote she's ever cast.

Friday's bill didn't have any of the funding to help West Virginians addicted to opioids, which Capito said was so important. She said if necessary, she wouldn't vote to repeal the act without a replacement in place -- and a replacement was nowhere in sight. No guarantee that the approximately 170,000 West Virginians who received coverage under the ACA's expanded Medicaid program will continue to have access to health care, or substance abuse treatment.

When the Republican Party leadership needed her, Capito abandoned all her noble words and meekly fell in line, voting with the majority of Republican senators for the bill. They said they didn't like the bill, and hoped it wouldn't become law, and they would fix it in consultation with the House of Representatives.

(Of course, that's largely what House Republicans, notably Rep. Evan Jenkins, said about their health care repeal bill they sent to the Senate earlier this spring: We don't like our bill, but we passed what we could get enough Republicans to vote for, and we hope the Senate will fix it.)

In recent weeks, Capito was grouped with Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska as moderate GOP senators who were standing firm against efforts to deny insurance coverage to poor people.

No one's putting them together now. Along with Sen. John McCain, Collins and Murkowski voted against Friday's terrible bill. Capito couldn't find it within herself. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell needed her. President Donald Trump landed in her state and called her out at the Boy Scouts' National Jamboree, and she went running to them.

In all this, let's not forget Sen. Joe Manchin, a conservative Democrat in a pro-Trump state who has said all along he wants to repair, not repeal, the Affordable Care Act and did not waver on that.

Capito's wavering, on the other hand, has prompted people to throw around some strong words for her, such as liar and hypocrite. She caught some of those same words from right-wingers as well, because she refused earlier to vote for a straight repeal of the ACA after doing so previously in the Senate (and dozens of times in the House), when she knew that then-President Barack Obama would veto those.

So maybe she was stuck.

But there's a way to avoid that situation. Pick a side.

This week, Capito did. And it was the side of the Republican Party in Washington, not the side of West Virginians.

Charleston Town Center Teavana to close http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170728/GZ03/170729640 GZ03 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170728/GZ03/170729640 Fri, 28 Jul 2017 10:24:35 -0400 Staff report By Staff report Starbucks has announced it will close all of its Teavana stores nationwide Thursday, including the location in the Charleston Town Center mall.

Starbucks said in a release that the decision came after the stores continued to under-perform financially.

About 3,300 people are employed by Teavana.

There are 379 Teavana stores nationwide, mostly located in malls. Most locations will be shut down by next Spring, Starbucks said. Teavana employees will be invited to apply for jobs at Starbucks locations.

There are two Starbucks locations in Charleston, including one in the Charleston Town Center and another on Kanawha Boulevard. There is also a Starbucks store inside of Target and Thomas Memorial Hospital in South Charleston.

Starbucks acquired Teavana in 2012.

Teavana is one of several stores departing the Charleston Town Center. Sears, Payless, Gymboree and Crazy 8 have all announced closures within the past six months.

West Virginia names prison substance abuse control chief http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170728/GZ0118/170729641 GZ0118 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170728/GZ0118/170729641 Fri, 28 Jul 2017 09:35:51 -0400 The Associated Press By The Associated Press CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - West Virginia prison officials have tapped a career law enforcement officer to crack down on illegal drug smuggling.

Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety Secretary Jeff Sandy has named Jack Luikart as director of correctional substance abuse control.

The department says in a news release that Sandy will target drug smuggling into prisons, jails and juvenile facilities, help train correctional officers and staff on drug prevention and investigations, and work with high-risk juveniles and young adult inmates.

Luikart retired in February from the Putnam County Sheriff's Office after 30 years of law enforcement service. Luikart focused on drug crimes for much of that career.

The Division of Corrections, Regional Jail Authority and the Division of Juvenile Services operate 26 facilities housing nearly 11,000 adult inmates and about 280 juveniles.

WV woman sentenced for bank robberies in 3 states http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170728/GZ0118/170729642 GZ0118 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170728/GZ0118/170729642 Fri, 28 Jul 2017 08:50:12 -0400 The Associated Press By The Associated Press WHEELING, W.Va. (AP) - A West Virginia woman has been sentenced to more than four years in prison for robbing banks in three states.

Thirty-one-year-old Christine Joy Martin of Davisville was sentenced Thursday in federal court in Wheeling.

She pleaded guilty in April to robbing banks last year in Marion County, West Virginia; Washington County, Pennsylvania, and Athens County, Ohio.

The three unarmed robberies totaled $4,500.

WV man found guilty in the death of his 3-month-old child http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170728/GZ0118/170729643 GZ0118 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170728/GZ0118/170729643 Fri, 28 Jul 2017 08:42:16 -0400 The Associated Press By The Associated Press OAK HILL, W.Va. (AP) - A West Virginia man was found guilty in the death of his 3-month-old child.

News outlets report 28-year-old Michael T. Warrick was convicted Tuesday on charges of death of a child by a parent, guardian or custodian or other person by child abuse.

The child died at Plateau Medical Center on December 2015. Prosecuting Attorney Larry E. Harrah says the infant died as a result of shaken baby syndrome.

According to court records, an autopsy by the medical examiner's office found the baby had suffered traumatic injuries consistent with abuse. The medical examiner's report indicated the injuries occurred during the infant's last 24 hours of life.

The child's mother, 23-year-old Jade Rebeka Taylor Warrick, was also charged with death of a child by a parent, guardian, custodian or other person by child abuse.

ACA survives; Capito votes to repeal, Manchin votes to keep http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170728/GZ0101/170729644 GZ0101 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170728/GZ0101/170729644 Fri, 28 Jul 2017 03:11:31 -0400 Jake Zuckerman By Jake Zuckerman The U.S. Senate voted down a "skinny repeal" of the Affordable Care Act early Friday morning, with Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., voting in the minority.

A narrow 49 to 51 vote at roughly 1:30 a.m. knocked the proposal out of contention after a long day of debates, and a final bill going public just after 10 p.m. Thursday. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., voted against the repeal, known as the Health Care Freedom Act.

The legislation would have repealed certain provisions of the law, also known as Obamacare.

Along with Manchin, all 47 other Senate Democrats voted to save the Affordable Care Act, along with Republican Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and John McCain of Arizona.

When asked for a reaction after the vote, Manchin said now is the time to carry momentum forward with repairs to Obamacare.

"First reaction is, we have a chance to really fix it," he said. "If everybody gets their minds right - there's nobody gloating, there's nobody celebrating, I can assure you. What we know is we have a lot of work ahead of us in trying to save this thing and making sure people have a stabilized market."

Capito has said in the past she would not vote for a repeal of the Affordable Care Act unless she were confident in its replacement. When asked about this statement in reference to Friday's vote, Ashley Berrang, a spokeswoman for Capito, said it all comes back to Medicaid and subsidies under the ACA.

"Senator Capito didn't want to repeal the provisions in Obamacare that provide West Virginians with access to health care coverage, specifically the Medicaid expansion and premium subsidies, without a clear replacement that would allow individuals on Medicaid expansion or the exchange to access affordable coverage," she said. "The Health Care Freedom Act did not touch the Medicaid expansion or the premium subsidies, which is why she was able to support it."

Berrang also provided an emailed statement on behalf of the Senator.

"I voted on Tuesday for a measure to repeal and replace Obamacare; however, it failed to pass," she said. "The failure to pass legislation to repeal and replace Obamacare does not change the need to fix our broken health care system. As we go forward, I stand ready to work with my colleagues on bipartisan solutions that result in affordable coverage and expanded options for West Virginians."

McCain's vote proved to be the knockout punch for the bill. Manchin said McCain showed courage given Vice President Mike Pence's efforts to convince him to vote for repeal on the floor, and what Manchin suspects was a phone call between McCain and President Donald Trump.

"God bless John McCain, I mean I've seen profiles in courage, up close and personal," he said. "If you have the vice president on the floor working on him for 15 minutes to a half an hour, and then they take him to the back and put him on the phone with the president. I can only imagine the pressure put upon that gentleman. He truly is a patriot."

Not long after the bill passed, Trump offered his two cents via Twitter.

"3 Republicans and 48 Democrats let the American people down. As I said from the beginning, let ObamaCare implode, then deal. Watch!" he wrote.

According to analysis by the Congressional Budget Office, the Health Care Freedom Act would have removed both the individual and employer mandates from the Affordable Care Act. Additionally, it would have eliminated the Prevention and Public Health Fund starting in 2019, delay the implementation of the medical device tax, increase contribution caps for Health Savings Accounts, defund Planned Parenthood while increasing the Community Health Center Fund.

The bill also would have made it easier for states to waive requirements they cover certain essential health care benefits.

The Congressional Budget Office estimated 16 million more people would be uninsured under the Health Care Freedom Act than otherwise under current law by 2026. It also estimated premiums would increase by 20 percent in the same period.

Before roll call on the bill, Capito also voted against a motion to send the bill to committee, which failed in a 52-48 vote.

Reach Jake Zuckerman at jake.zuckerman@wvgazettemail.com, 304-348-4814 or @jake_zuckerman on Twitter.

Dear Abby: Guilt mingles with grief after boyfriend's death http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170728/GZ0507/170729648 GZ0507 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170728/GZ0507/170729648 Fri, 28 Jul 2017 00:01:00 -0400 Dear Abby: My boyfriend died unexpectedly a few months ago, and it has been a struggle to get through my sadness. We had been through a lot in the year and a half we were dating, including some infidelities on my part.

Aside from my sadness and guilt, I'm struggling with the fear that I'll never live down my infidelities or be able to make it up to him. It is clouding the positive memories I have of him. I don't know how to stop my thoughts from going all over the place. Please help. - Sad In Sacramento

Dear Sad: Much as we might wish to, none of us can change the past. I assume that you have now learned that it's best to remain faithful in your romantic relationships. That's a step in the right direction. The next step is to resolve that in future relationships you won't stray, and if you are tempted to, you will discuss with your boyfriend what you feel is missing in your relationship.

As to how to disrupt the intrusive memories that keep flooding back, a technique many people use is to REMIND themselves to stay in the moment each time an unwanted memory pops up. The technique is called "mindfulness,'' and it works.

Dear Abby: I am wondering what the rule is for socializing at the gym. I work out twice a week with a friend, and we usually do part of our workout on the treadmill. While we walk, we will chat. We don't talk loudly, and we never use offensive language. It's just general chit-chat about kids, work, etc.

Twice, one woman (the same woman) has ordered us to stop talking because we "bother'' her. She wears headphones while she watches TV, but she says she can still hear us.

Abby, when I wear headphones (even on a very low volume), it tunes out almost everything. By her strong reaction, I am assuming this woman is unusually sensitive to noise, but this is a gym, not a library. We never monopolize the machines. I don't think I have ever been called rude in any other situation, and I always try to be pleasant and accommodating, so I would appreciate your thoughts. - Cheryl In Houston

Dear Cheryl: I do have a few. When people work out at a shared facility, they have to expect there will be other people there. Treadmills make noise, and sometimes it's necessary to speak in a louder than normal voice in order to be heard. If the woman complains again, suggest she move to a treadmill farther away or increase the volume on her headphones so your conversation won't disturb her. However, if that doesn't satisfy her, mention that she might be happier if she worked out at a different time when the place isn't as full.

Dear Abby: Most everyone appears to be fighting over politics these days, and there's even in-fighting within each side. Will it ever stop? - Baffled In The East

Dear Baffled: Perhaps. But it won't happen until people stop shouting (literally and figuratively), decide to bring civility back and start listening respectfully to each other.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

E.J. Dionne: The two threats to our republic's health (Gazette) http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170728/GZ0409/170729653 GZ0409 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170728/GZ0409/170729653 Fri, 28 Jul 2017 00:01:00 -0400 By E.J. Dionne By By E.J. Dionne

The news is being reported on split screen as if the one big story in Washington is disconnected from the other. But President Trump's lawless threats against Attorney General Jeff Sessions have a lot in common with the Senate's reckless approach to the health coverage of tens of millions of Americans.

On both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue, we are witnessing a collapse of the norms of governing, constant violations of our legitimate expectations of political leaders, and the mutation of the normal conflicts of democracy into a form of warfare that demands the opposition's unconditional surrender.

Trump's latest perverse miracle is that he has progressives - along with everyone else who cares about the rule of law - rooting for Sessions. The attorney general is as wrong as ever on voter suppression, civil rights enforcement and immigration. But Sessions did one very important thing: He obeyed the law.

When it was clear that he would have obvious conflicts of interest in the investigation of Russian meddling in our election and its possible links to the Trump campaign, Sessions recused himself, as he was required to do.

Trump's attacks on Sessions for that recusal are thus a naked admission that he wants the nation's top lawyer to act illegally if that's what it takes to protect the president and his family. Equally inappropriate are his diktats from the Oval Office calling on Sessions to investigate Hillary Clinton and those terrible "leakers" who are more properly seen as whistleblowers against Trump's abuses.

Our country is now as close to crossing the line from democracy to autocracy as it has been in our lifetimes. Trump's ignorant, self-involved contempt for his duty under Article II, Section 3 of the Constitution to "take care that the laws be faithfully executed" ought to inspire patriots of every ideological disposition to a robust and fearless defiance.

But where are the leaders of the Republican Party in the face of the dangers Trump poses? They're trying to sneak through a health care bill by violating every reasonable standard citizens should impose on public servants dealing with legislation that affects more than one-sixth of our economy. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan have little time for worrying about the Constitution because they are busy doing Trump's bidding on health care.

Let it be said that two Republican senators will forever deserve our gratitude for insisting that a complicated health care law should be approached the way Obamacare - yes, Obamacare - was enacted: through lengthy hearings, robust debate and real input from the opposition party. In voting upfront to try to stop the process, Sens. Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski demonstrated a moral and political toughness that eluded other GOP colleagues who had expressed doubts about this charade but fell into line behind their leaders.

The most insidious aspect of McConnell's strategy is that he is shooting to pass something, anything, that would continue to save Republicans from having a transparent give-and-take on measures that could ultimately strip health insurance from 20 million Americans or more. Passing even the most meager of health bills this week would move the covert coverage-demolition effort to a conference committee with the House.

The Senate's unseemly marathon thus seems likely to end with a push for a "skinny repeal" bill that would eliminate the Affordable Care Act's individual and employer mandates and its medical device tax. But no one should be deluded: A vote for skinny repeal is a vote for an emaciated democracy.

A wholesale defeat for what might be described as the Trump-McConnell-Ryan Unhealthy America Act of 2017 is essential for those being served by the ACA but also for our politics. It was disappointing that Sen. John McCain's passionate plea on Tuesday for a "return to regular order" did not match his votes in this week's early roll calls.

But McCain could yet advance the vision of the Senate he outlined in his floor speech and rebuke "the bombastic loudmouths" he condemned by casting a "No" vote at the crucial moment. Here's hoping this war hero will ultimately choose to strike a blow against everything he said is wrong with Congress.

And when it comes to the ongoing indifference to the law in the White House, Republicans can no longer dodge their responsibility to speak out against what Trump is doing. They should also examine their own behavior. The decline of our small-r republican institutions can be stopped only if the party brandishing that adjective starts living up to the obligations its name honors.

E.J. Dionne is a columnist for the Washington Post.

Caitlin Cook: Congress looks to stifle one of our fastest growing industries (Gazette) http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170728/GZ0405/170729654 GZ0405 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170728/GZ0405/170729654 Fri, 28 Jul 2017 00:01:00 -0400 Caitlin Cook By Caitlin Cook

There's an untold story of success in our state and local economies. During the last decade, unknown to many, an industry -- one with good paying jobs and benefits - was gaining steam all across the Mountain State, and more specifically in rural areas where other industries have since left.

This industry has blossomed at a time when we needed it most - as our economy shifts and evolves into a more diverse one and as we continue to lay the groundwork for our new economy's infrastructure. But we stand to lose much of the gains this industry - health care - has made with a repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Since 2008, total private sector jobs in West Virginia have declined by 4.1 percent, while health-care jobs have increased by 9 percent, according to a recent West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy report. The health care industry accounts for over 10 percent of the state's Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and has grown five times faster than the rest of the economy since 2014, the report shows.

The health-care industry accounts for nearly one out-of-every five private sector jobs in West Virginia data from WorkForce West Virginia shows.

We are at a pivotal point. It is no secret that there are vast areas of improvements to be made in our nation's health care system, but repealing the ACA will have far reaching economic consequences in the Mountain State.

Under the current proposals - the House's American Health Care Act and the Senate's Better Care Reconciliation Act - our state stands to lose over 10,000 jobs and more than $1 billion in GDP. We simply cannot afford to stifle one of the fastest growing industries in our state. The health-care sector is projected to produce six of the top 10 occupations to add the most new jobs between 2012 and 2022, according to WorkForce West Virginia.

The ACA and its Medicaid expansion provision provided an unexpected and much needed boost to our economy. According to the West Virginia Governor's office, health-care industry GDP has grown five times faster than the state's economy as a whole, and has outpaced the mining and utility industries.

In 2016, West Virginia's average annual hospital employment was 40,254, with wages for those jobs totaling more than $2.1 billion. And according to the American Hospital Association, West Virginia's hospitals have a $9.8 billion impact on the state's economy.

The health care industry's impact in our rural economies is even greater. Between 2008 and 2016, Morgan, Boone, Doddridge, Wirt, Clay, McDowell, Wyoming, Mingo, Barbour and Raleigh counties had the largest increases in the percentage of overall private sector jobs generated by the health-care sector, according to the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy. During that same timeframe, Boone, Clay, Wirt, McDowell, Wyoming and Mingo counties all experienced a major decline in total private sector employment.

The center's report shows that the counties with the greatest concentration of health-care jobs are some of the least populated counties in the state.

While our state has great potential to recruit and grow new industries, it is overwhelmingly clear that we have a robust industry thriving right at home already: health care. Our Senators would do a great disservice to our people and economy by repealing the ACA and replacing it with either the American Health Care Act or Better Care Reconciliation Act.

The health care debate is also an economic one.

Caitlin Cook, a former Gazette reporter, is communications director of the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy.

Letter: Mooney staffer has West Virginia ties (Daily Mail) http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170728/DM0406/170729665 DM0406 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170728/DM0406/170729665 Fri, 28 Jul 2017 00:01:00 -0400 I'm responding to the article by Gazette-Mail reporter Jake Zuckerman about U.S. Rep. Alex Mooney choosing me, a sitting Maryland state Senator, as his chief of staff.

While I do live in Maryland and serve in that state's Legislature, I have strong West Virginia ties. I live in Brunswick, directly across the Potomac River from Harpers Ferry.

My maternal grandfather, Earl Dilley, was born and raised in Buckhannon. My great grandfather was a coal miner. My paternal grandfather, John Hough, was born in Martinsburg and was raised in West Virginia's Eastern Panhandle.

Through my history and my family's history, I've grown quite familiar with West Virginia's 2nd Congressional District and the concerns of its people.

I am excited to have this position and look forward to helping Congressman Mooney serve his constituents.

Michael Hough

Brunswick, Maryland

Chief of staff for U.S. Rep. Alex Mooney (WV-02)

George F. Will: Slovenly institution that is Congress (Daily Mail) http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170728/DM0405/170729667 DM0405 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170728/DM0405/170729667 Fri, 28 Jul 2017 00:01:00 -0400 WASHINGTON - In January 1988, in Ronald Reagan's final State of the Union address, he noisily dropped on a table next to the podium in the House chamber three recent continuing resolutions, each more than a thousand pages long. Each was evidence of Congress' disregard of the 1974 Budget Act. Reagan fumed:

" ... budget deadlines delayed or missed completely, monstrous continuing resolutions that pack hundreds of billions of dollars' worth of spending into one bill, and a federal government on the brink of default. ...

"In seven years, of 91 appropriations bills scheduled to arrive on my desk by a certain date, only 10 made it on time.

"Last year, of the 13 appropriations bills due by October first, none of them made it. Instead, we had four continuing resolutions lasting 41 days, then 36 days, and two days, and three days, respectively. And then, along came these [three] behemoths."

Reagan might have been less cross if there had not then been Democratic majorities in the House (258-177) and Senate (55-45).

Today, however, Republicans have both political branches in their hands. How are they doing with the government's basic business - budgeting and appropriating? James Arkin, a congressional reporter for Real Clear Politics, recently wrote a four-part dissection of Congress' ongoing dereliction:

Neither the House nor the Senate has passed the fiscal 2018 budget resolution that the Budget Act of 1974 stipulates should have been acted on by April 15.

"Neither chamber has passed any of the 12 appropriations bills that are supposed to be passed by the Oct. 1 beginning of the fiscal year. On-time passage of the appropriations bills has not happened since 1996.

"Continuing resolutions involving 'hundreds of billions of dollars' worth of spending' that annoyed Reagan three decades ago have become continuing resolutions involving more than a trillion - not counting the two-thirds of government spending (e.g., entitlements, debt service) that happens without congressional involvement."

As Arkin's analysis was appearing, the Social Security and Medicare trustees projected the former's insolvency in 2034 and the latter's in 2029.

Remember all this while watching Republicans fumbling with the health care sector that is approaching one-fifth of the U.S. economy and is larger than all but four of the world's national economies.

Remember, too, Republican umbrage about the Senate auction by which the Obama administration threw money at the problem of cobbling together Democratic votes to pass Obamacare. Remember the "Gatorade" for a Floridian, the "Cornhusker Kickback" for a Nebraskan, the "Louisiana Purchase" for a Louisianan.

Legislative bargaining is inherently additive: 18 months ago, Barack Obama proposed $1.1 billion over two years for responses to the opioid crisis; the Republican Senate leadership's initial offer - the bidding is ongoing - is $45 billion over 10 years, which makes Republicans about eight times more caring, so far, than Obama was, as that virtue is measured monetarily.

Legislative bargaining can be addition by delayed subtraction: The Washington Post has reported, and Wisconsin Republican Sen. Ron Johnson says other senators have "basically confirmed," that Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told Senate moderates not to fret about the Medicaid changes that Senate conservatives want to begin years hence, because (in Johnson's words summarizing reports of McConnell's words), the changes "won't take effect."

McConnell's not-altogether-clarifying response to these reports was: "The Medicaid per capita cap with a responsible growth rate that is sustainable for taxpayers is the most important long-term reform in the bill."

The debate that began in the Senate Tuesday afternoon will reveal whether Republicans are, in the words of Pennsylvania Republican Pat Toomey, unwilling to enact a "slight curb" in the rate of growth, "in the distant future," of Medicaid, the entitlement "that is growing most rapidly, and is equal to 70 percent of our budget deficit."

America is sleepwalking into the most predictable crisis in its history, the demographically driven crisis of the entitlement state struggling to provide health care for an aging population.

And the Republican Party is led by a president who, as a candidate, pledged to guarantee the acceleration of the crisis by preserving the status quo.

Tuesday afternoon, the irascible John McCain made a plea in the Senate for that body to return to "regular order."

This was a response to the institutional slovenliness that exasperated an amiable president three decades ago. Congress's continuing self-degradation is writ large in a process that brought us to Tuesday morning, when most Republican senators knew only this: They would vote to begin consideration of a bill that they might have to pass in order to find out what is in it.

George Will's email address is georgewill@washpost.com.

Daily Mail cartoon: July 28, 2017 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170728/DM0408/170729668 DM0408 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170728/DM0408/170729668 Fri, 28 Jul 2017 00:01:00 -0400

Readers' Vent: July 28, 2017 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170728/GZ0407/170729679 GZ0407 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170728/GZ0407/170729679 Fri, 28 Jul 2017 00:01:00 -0400 It has been weird living in the world according to President Trump.

What does the GOP have against women? They want to take away women's rights and they did not include them in the health care reform writing. We are over 50 percent of the population. We gave birth to you. You married us. What is your problem with women?

Sen. Capito needs to vote with President Trump or get out of Washington, D.C. Quit worrying about those drug addicts. You are never going to cure those people.

Why can't the state do something about the rough road on Interstate 64 between Institute and Cross Lanes? It has worn the whole front end out of my car.

Why would a man work so hard and long, with many sacrifices and much money, to become a doctor and then go into politics?

"Clean" is to coal as "sanitary" is to sewer.

The news media completely missed the point of President Trump's Boy Scout speech. It was all about momentum. Something that West Virginia has not had for quite a while. Momentum people. Momentum.

When someone has babies it is not the government's place to provide food and care. Parents must be responsible.

The president of the United States comes to West Virginia to address a group of Boy Scouts. They are not old enough to vote and he gives a campaign speech where he also curses. Deplorable.

With today's technology there is no reason why deceased people and people who leave the area cannot be removed from the voter rolls. That is the county clerk's responsibility. They have the manpower to do this.

Does Marmet not have a street commissioner? If so, why don't they do something about the mess of leaves and grass in the 8300 block of MacCorkle Avenue. It is a mess.

Rep. Jenkins ought to save his money and not run for senator. Sen. Joe Manchin will be a hard one to ever beat in that position. I really believe Manchin has the state of West Virginia in his heart. Go Joe.

Regarding the comments of Garrison Keillor. I love listening to him on the radio and especially love his editorials. To me he is our contemporary Mark Twain.

The 14,000 acres of usable land that the Boy Scouts use would not be available if the coal companies had not extracted the coal and leveled the property. You people need to realize that coal is a valuable asset and we need to utilize it. You need to ask the teachers of Boone County what happened to their salaries when the coal companies left.

What does it take to get the DOH realize that simple maintenance, such as dredging ditch lines, will prolong the life of the road it parallels?

Gov. Justice is right. $100,000+ per bathroom remodeled in the Capitol is obscene.

Out of $600 billion annual budget the U.S. military spends $45 million on Viagra, yet President Trump thinks we can't afford transgender soldiers. We could easily save $45 million by getting rid of those soldiers that require Viagra.

I say let Obamacare fail. Let the Democrats and, for that matter, Sen. Capito own it. Remember this when you vote.

I welcome the refugees to Charleston. They are not coming for a hand-out. They are coming to work and will enrich our community.

Well, a $10 billion FOXCONN factory is going to Wisconsin. A few minutes outside West Virginia's borders in Sparta, Kentucky, sits the largest Toyota plant in the world. So close yet so far. I wonder why there's never a big announcement for jobs in this state. Could it be over-taxation or the stigma of a useless, drug addled workforce?

Liberals aren't mad because President Trump talked politics to the Boy Scouts. They're mad because he talked politics they don't agree with. If it had been former president Obama or Hillary Clinton on that stage. The ground would be shaking with all the leg tingles.

We are beginning to see the inevitable results of the state budget passed by our worthless Republican legislature. The devastating results of their show of power will continue to hurt our state on many fronts.

Things to do today: July 28, 2017 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170728/GZ0120/170729681 GZ0120 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20170728/GZ0120/170729681 Fri, 28 Jul 2017 00:01:00 -0400 NORA JANE STRUTHERS and GYPSY RHYTHM: 6:30 p.m. Free. Live on the Levee. Haddad Riverfront Park, 600 Kanawha Blvd E. Call 304-348-8000.

SOUTHERN COOKIN' with STEVE MULLINS: 7 to 10 p.m. Cover $5. Elk River Community Center, 1047 Main St., Elkview. Call 304-965-3722.

"ANYTHING GOES": 8 p.m. Tickets $20. Charleston Light Opera Guild production of Broadway classic. Features songs like "De-Lovely," "Anything Goes" and "I Get a Kick Out of You." Charleston Light Opera Guild Theatre, 411 Tennessee Ave. Call 304-342-9312.

"THE HOBBIT": 8 p.m. Adults $15. Students and seniors $10. Stage adaptation of the J.R.R. Tolkien fantasy book. Alban Arts Center, 65 Olde Main St., St. Albans. Call 304-721-8896 or visit www.albanartscenter.com.

BALLROOM DANCING LESSONS: 7 to 8 p.m. 8 to 10 p.m. open dancing. Donations accepted. Ballroom, social and Latin dancing. 2805 Kanawha Blvd E. Call 304-552-1456.

OPEN MIC: 6:30 p.m. Cover $5. West Side Jamboree, corner of Tennessee Avenue and Randolph Street. Call 304-419-1902.

"THE CINEMA TRAVELLERS": 7:30 p.m. Adults $9. Students $5. Cannes Film Festival winner Special Jury L'Oeil d'or Prize (documentary) about keeping the last traveling cinemas alive. Underground Cinema, 226 Capitol St. Call 304-342-1464.