OPINION

BITS & PIECES: We need to get back to killing weeds

Liz Beavers
Mineral Daily News-Tribune
Liz Beavers

I had a chance to sit down for a few moments with Attorney General Patrick Morrisey Thursday when he was in town for the National Day of Prayer program.

AG Morrisey, who lives in Harpers Ferry, has a special connection to Keyser. Not only is his consumer specialist Pam Krushansky from Keyser, but he says he always feels welcome when he comes to town.

He definitely gets the prize for being the state official with the most visits to Keyser, as he often stops by on his way home from Charleston.

During his visit this time he talked about several things, but one thing which struck me the most was the idea that, as the federal and state governments turned their attention to battling the COVID-19 pandemic over the past 14 months, as they should, there have also been some very important issues that got put on the back burner.

Like the raging drug epidemic.

He likened the situation to weeds. The government had been spraying “weed killer” on the drug epidemic, but when COVID popped up, they turned their attention to that problem … all while the original weed continued to grow at alarming rates.

We are definitely not done with the pandemic (or should I say it is not done with us?), but we also cannot afford to quit fighting this other epidemic which has also affected each one of us in one way or another.

I would be willing to bet just about anything that everyone reading this has at least known someone who has fought the demon of drug abuse.

And that’s scary!

And now for a few other “bits and pieces” for you:

 - The Piedmont City Council Wednesday unanimously approved the second reading of an ordinance raising its annual business license from $15 to $25.

The $15 fee has been in place since 1983, and has not been touched since.

The new fee becomes effective with the beginning of the new fiscal year, July 1.

 - Members of the Piedmont City Council are currently working on plans for a Backstreet Fest/Prayer Day, currently scheduled for June 19. Various activities will be held throughout the town, and officials are working with the Mineral County Health Department to determine what they can or can’t do due to COVID.

The next meeting is Tuesday, May 11 at the town park, and anyone wishing to help with the festival is encouraged to attend.

For further information, interested persons can call council member Paul Coleman at 304-813-5524.

I don’t know about you, but I for one am glad to see the fairs and festivals coming back!

 - The City of Piedmont voted Wednesday to erect a fence around the town’s water plant in order to deter trespassers.

Council member Greg Harvey said people have been riding 4-wheelers on the town property, and water plant employees have found used needles in the area.

Harvey said trespassers would be prosecuted.

Just a stark reminder that the drug problem is all around us.