An architect estimated it will cost $122 million to meet Fayette's school construction needs. The county's bonding capacity is $67 million.
Phares was sympathetic. He is the former superintendent of Pocahontas County, which had 104 schools a century ago and has five today — with roughly the same number of students.
Transportation improvements aided consolidation. Communications improvements in the 21st century may eliminate the need for students to leave home.
Also, cross-county schools offer some promise if the taxation and representation issues can ever be resolved.
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PENSION promises are holding up the sale of Ormet Corp. to a subsidiary of Wayzata Investment. Ormet has an aluminum smelter in
Hannibal, Ohio, which is right across the Ohio River from West Virginia.
The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp., which
Congress set up in 1974, would have to cover Ormet's pension debts.
Ormet is in bankruptcy court, mainly due to its pension costs.
Congress set up the pension insurance backstop
39 years ago, making it easier for companies to make promises they couldn't keep.
Now the PBGC itself has a $34 billion deficit and the federal government has indebted future generations to the tune of $16 trillion.
Taxpayers are the ultimate backstop for both.
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EFFORTS to persuade West Virginia University students not to burn couches appear finally to be paying off.
An annual report from the Student Rights and
Responsibilities Committee showed students com-
mitted only nine malicious burning violations this school year, down from 21 the previous year.
Every school has its traditions, but this one is dangerous. It's good to see it gradually disappear.