West Virginia legislators cannot change the meteorological climate but they can change the business
climate by reducing taxes for everyone.
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A poll in March by the Pew Research Center found 56 percent of Americans believe the number of gun crimes is higher than it was two decades ago.
But a Bureau of Justice Statistics report showed that gun homicides fell 39 percent from 1993 to 2011, dropping from 18,253 in 1993 to 11,101 in 2011.
The gun homicide rate was nearly halved in that time dropping from 7 per 100,000 people in 1993 to 3.6 in 2011.
Non-fatal gun crimes fell by 70 percent in that time, dropping from 1.5 million gun crimes in 1993 to 467,300 in 2011.
The precipitous drop in gun crime and gun
murders is good news, and it's disturbing that so many Americans are out of touch with that.
It reflects poorly on American journalism. Perhaps we need fewer freeway chases and more unbiased information.
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GETTING kids who have difficulty reading to read aloud can be a challenge. Because they have difficulty reading, they don't want to do it, which is sad because they are the ones who most need to practice.
Enter Gingerbread the Shih tzu, a reading therapy dog owned by Jennifer Davies. When Gingerbread goes to the library, kids read to her.
"Most of our readers were excellent," Davies said, "but one boy struggled for every word. Gingerbread finally licked his ankle, and it was the first grin I saw since he'd picked up a book."
Gingerbread is one of three such dogs who listen to kids at public libraries in Martinsburg. They are part of a national volunteer program called Wags for HOPE, which also sends dogs to nursing homes,
assisted living facilities and hospices.
It's nice to live in a world where pet owners share with strangers the unconditional love their furry pals are so famous for. Government programs cannot
replace such voluntarism.