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Drug trade affects us all

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  • Wider lens necessary for effective education

    Wider lens necessary for effective education

    Friday, July 25 2014 6:00 AM EDT2014-07-25 10:00:24 GMT
    We say it often, but if West Virginia is going to reach its enormous potential, we will need a dynamic, robust educational system that challenges and prepares our people for the rigors of life in the 21st century.
    We say it often, but if West Virginia is going to reach its enormous potential, we will need a dynamic, robust educational system that challenges and prepares our people for the rigors of life in the 21st century.
  • Can we be realistic on roads?

    Can we be realistic on roads?

    Friday, July 18 2014 7:00 AM EDT2014-07-18 11:00:54 GMT
    Building and maintaining roads should not be a political issue. In fact, it should be pretty straightforward. Potholes need filled, drainage ditches need cleaned, the highways need striped — while it might be painstaking and expensive, the overall concept is pretty simple.
    Building and maintaining roads should not be a political issue. In fact, it should be pretty straightforward. Potholes need filled, drainage ditches need cleaned, the highways need striped — while it might be painstaking and expensive, the overall concept is pretty simple.
  • Looking the other way perpetuates criminal politics

    Looking the other way perpetuates criminal politics

    Friday, July 11 2014 10:46 AM EDT2014-07-11 14:46:55 GMT
    Former Mingo County Prosecutor Michael Sparks has been sentenced to 12 months in prison for his role in a political scheme that has dominated headlines for nearly a year and shined a bright light on one part of the state’s tangled web of public corruption.
    Former Mingo County Prosecutor Michael Sparks has been sentenced to 12 months in prison for his role in a political scheme that has dominated headlines for nearly a year and shined a bright light on one part of the state’s tangled web of public corruption.

On the Aug. 11 edition of the State Journal's Decision Makers, we heard from those affected by the brutal killings of four people in Clarksburg late last month. Investigators say the shooting was directly related to the city's growing drug trade. Among those caught in the crossfire were Fred and Fred Swiger — a father and son delivering newspapers for the Exponent Telegram who were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. What we learned on Sunday's show is that our state's drug trade does not just affect those who use and deal. It affects the entire community. We heard from an elderly woman who barricades herself in her home. We heard from a mother who will not allow her children to play in the front yard. We heard from police officers who are doing all they can but are still overwhelmed.

As a state, we are better than this. These are stories for Detroit and Chicago and St. Louis, not for Charleston or Wheeling or Clarksburg or Beckley. However, we cannot address this situation if we refuse to acknowledge the truth. The drug trade is here, it's taking hold and, if we're going to take back our communities, we need stand up and say with one voice "no more."