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WEST Virginia University tied South Carolina in this week's college football poll by the Associated Press. That placed it second

behind only Oklahoma in Big 12 football.

But WVU is dead last in Big 12 academics.

U.S. News & World ranked WVU as No. 164 in

academics among the 200 universities it rates.

The Big 12 is not exactly the Ivy League when it comes to academics. The University of Texas rated highest at No. 45.

Money may be part of the problem for WVU. Texas has an endowment fund of just under $2.6

billion, while WVU's endowments total $340 million.

Professorial salaries average $107,400 a year, which puts WVU in seventh place in the league.

WVU's graduation rate is low as well. According to the Dominion Post in Morgantown, only 33 percent of WVU freshmen graduate within four years.

That is well below the 54 percent rate at Texas Christian and 53 percent rate at Texas.

George Lynn Cross was president of Big 12

member Oklahoma for 25 years. He once said in frustration to a legislator, "I would like to build a university of which the football team could be proud."

Something to think about.

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CHARLESTON will host the 2014

National Marine Corps convention. Mayor Danny Jones, a Marine veteran of Vietnam, and Medal of Honor recipient Woody Williams of Barboursville, a Marine veteran of World War II, made the winning pitch in Mobile, Ala., last month.

The vote was 800-30 for Charleston. The competition included Washington. D.C., and Alexandria, Va.

"We just knocked it out of the park," Jones told City Council recently.

The Marines (there is no such thing as an ex-

Marine) will book 500 hotel rooms for seven days.

The city will host the 2017 conference of the

Enlisted Association of the National Guard of the United States.

The two military get-togethers will boost the city's economy by more than $3 million.

Jones has been aggressive about securing conventions. A great place to live has also turned out to be a nice place to visit.


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REP. Mike McIntyre, D-N.C., is in a fight for his political life as he seeks a ninth term in Congress. His opponent is state Sen. David Rouzer, R-Johnson.

McIntyre points to his seniority on the House

Agriculture and Armed Services committees.

But what he is not saying also speaks volumes. McIntyre has refused to endorse President Obama. In so doing, McIntyre joins Sen. Joe Manchin and other Democrats in West Virginia in trying to distance themselves from their party's leader.

There is just one problem with that.

If re-elected, voters aren't sure what they will do. Will they help the president advance the party's agenda, which now includes taxpayer-funded abortion and the continuation of Obamacare?

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LLOYD "Adam" Maxwell, 24, of Richmond, Ky., and two friends decided to rob Earl Jones, 92, of Verona, Ky., late one night.

Big mistake. Jones took out his .22 rifle and shot and killed Maxwell as he opened the basement door.

As states secure the rights of gun owners and homeowners to protect themselves, the number of justifiable homicides has risen from 196 in 2005 to 278 in 2010, according to the FBI Uniform Crime


At the same time, the number of homicides — both justified and unjustified — has fallen from 16,740 in 2005 to 14,478 in 2010.

While there are many factors that affect crime rates, the knowledge that a homeowner might defend himself or herself should be enough to deter a crime or two.

The Founding Fathers knew what they were doing when they drafted the Second Amendment.

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TRAVEL on the West Virginia Turnpike is as good an economic indicator as any. Thus far in 2012, the results are mixed. 

Turnpike officials reported that traffic was up 2.7 percent for the first seven months of 2012 compared to the first seven months of 2011.

But over the Labor Day weekend, traffic was down 1.77 percent from Labor Day 2011.

Officials cited record Labor Day gasoline prices and fears of storms from the remnants of Hurricane Isaac as reasons for the downturn.

Here is hoping traffic picks up. There is nothing like prosperity to solve what ails a nation or a state.

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IN their battle against childhood obesity, officials with New York City schools worked to create more nutritious meals for the 860,000 schoolchildren the schools serve every school day.

In doing so, the schools sometimes ran afoul of a 1994 edict by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, falling short of the minimum calories required in a school lunch.

What business is it of the federal government to decide what a school serves in school lunches?

The real obesity problem in this nation is the size of the federal government, which grows by the hour like a fat kid eating cheese doodles.



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