Is Donald Trump no longer president?
Yesterday and earlier today, other news sources told us that the president may have signaled a willingness to talk to the Chinese about trade, may have gotten information on Mueller’s questioning of Paul Manafort, criticized the Federal Reserve and General Motors, questioned the study on climate change, and delivered some angry attacks via Twitter. While these stories made the front page elsewhere, the Intelligencer ignored all of them – the only Trump reference I could find in the entire paper was one mention in a syndicated column.
I thought Ogden papers cared about tax revenues
When legalized sports wagering was being debated earlier this year, the locals published the state's tax projections. Unfortunately, while revenues are now improving, the casinos are way behind the projected amount. As Legal Sports Betting reported last week:
Regulators initially projected $5.5 million in first-year tax revenue from WV sports betting. That forecast came under sunny skies, though, assuming five sportsbooks plus statewide online/mobile wagering.
The state has realized less than $300,000 in taxes to date — on pace for around $1.2 million in year one. And the opportunity to capture peak traffic from football season is starting to run thin.
What’s the problem? The current numbers reflect, for the most part, what one casino in Charles Town has taken in since Labor Day. (The Greenbriar’s revenue contribution is limited by the requirement that bettors stay at the hotel.) What about the rest? Mountaineer has just opened and then there is the Wheeling Island Casino, owned by Delaware North, which originally said that they would open over the Labor Day weekend but is still not open. WTOV did a report on this last week and interviewed a Delaware North spokesperson who said they were waiting for a mobile app. The Channel 9 reporter didn’t follow-up with the obvious question: why not do site betting while the app is being developed as Charles Town and now, Mountaineer, are doing?
I realize that the word “investigate” is not a part of Ogden papers’ reason for existence but how difficult would it be to do a story (or even an editorial) on the delay at Wheeling Island and what it is costing the state in revenue? To answer my own question, page 5 of the Intelligencer features this AP analysis:
More States Weigh Sports Betting
No link but the title explains the article. (The article does not mention West Virginia.) The afternoon News-Register apparently liked the article so much that they published it twice – you can find it on the front page and again on page 5.
Why should the locals waste resources investigating anything when they can run the same irrelevant AP article three times in one day? (It’s called “newspapers on the cheap.”)
Former Wheeling mayor endorses the Health Plan
At first, Andy McKenzie’s page 4 op-ed appeared to be yet another column about the economic miracle that Trump and Republicans have supposedly brought West Virginia. (The first fourth of the article gushes Republican talking points.) It isn’t, however. Apparently, the Public Employees Insurance Agency will soon be deciding which company will cover West Virginia’s public employees. Four companies have submitted bids and McKenzie thinks that PEIA should choose the locally-based Health Plan.
I don’t understand the purpose of the column. Those insured by PEIA don’t vote nor do they have much influence. I also doubt that McKenzie’s opinion will influence the deciders so why was this published?
Perhaps McKenzie is trying to win points with the Health Plan. More likely, like the thrice-published article on sports wagering, it simply takes up space -- more "newspapers on the cheap."