Roxy Todd

'I Would Rather Die Than be a Burden' - Colt Brogan's Struggle to Stay, Part Two

20-year-old Colt Brogan always found it easy to make fairly good grades in school. As a kid, he’d dreamed of being an architect. But that changed. Around the time when he was a junior in high school, Colt decided college wasn’t for him. “It felt too unpredictable. I thought, dealing drugs is safer than going to college. That’s the God’s honest truth,” says Colt.

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Melissa Thomas Van Gundy at the  Fernow Experimental Forest in Tucker County, W.Va.
Jean Sendegar / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

W.Va. Timber: Yes, Money Can Grow on Trees

Solar panels arriving in Fayette County
Colleen Laffey

New Appalachian Power Company President Chris Beam says the utility doesn't plan to build coal plants anytime soon and that electricity from renewable energy sources is what potential business customers want.

Beam tells the Charleston Gazette-Mail that Appalachian Power still relies on large coal-fired plants. But he says the company is working on plans to add to its wind-generation capacity in southern West Virginia.

Kara Lofton/ West Virginia Public Broadcast

Lawmakers from coal-mining states are pushing to extend health benefits for more than 22,000 retired miners and widows whose medical coverage is set to expire at the end of April. Last December, West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin and other coal-state Democrats won a four-month extension that preserves benefits through April 30. With lawmakers returning to the Capitol following a two-week recess, Manchin says the time for extensions is over and that more than a partial fix is needed.

Adobe Stock

It’s been about 20 years since the opioid epidemic first exploded across Appalachia, and now doctors are shifting away from prescribing opioids for long-term pain. 

But this shift away from pills has met resistance from some  doctors and patients.

In this episode of Inside Appalachia, we'll hear why addiction hit Appalachia so hard. We'll also find out what the medical community is doing to fight the pain pill epidemic.

Bubble sheet test
Clark Davis / WV Public Broadcasting

West Virginia Business College has had its permit to operate in the state revoked.

The West Virginia Council for Community and Technical College Education said Thursday the decision was made over the college's failure to gain accreditation for the 2017-18 school year and its inability to offer students financial aid. The revocation is effective June 30.

Alexandria Kanik / Ohio Valley ReSource

McKenzie Cantrell is an employment lawyer affiliated with the Maxwell Street Legal Clinic, in Lexington, Kentucky, where she works with low-income refugees and immigrants to uncover instances of wage theft and income disparities. She travels and gives presentations about employment law, wage theft and what workers' options are if they have problems with compensation.

Roxy Todd

20-year-old Colt Brogan always found it easy to make fairly good grades in school. As a kid, he’d dreamed of being an architect. But that changed. Around the time when he was a junior in high school, Colt decided college wasn’t for him.

“It felt too unpredictable. I thought, dealing drugs is safer than going to college. That’s the God’s honest truth,” says Colt.

Manchin Job Fair Huntington
Clark Davis / WV Public Broadcasting

Several job seekers from southern West Virginia traveled to Huntington Friday to explore employment opportunities.

Nearly 150 employers were at the Big Sandy Arena  in Huntington Friday, looking to fill job vacancies. United States Senator Joe Manchin’s office organized the three-hour job fair in downtown Huntington. Employers ranging from Wendy’s to state government were on hand, as well as local colleges like Marshall University that offered assistance for education options. Senator Manchin said he wanted to present job seekers with a variety of choices all in one place.

WVU Tech
West Virginia University

West Virginia University officials have approved an agreement that allows a nonprofit group to purchase several buildings at a southern West Virginia campus.

KVC Health Systems, which specializes in behavioral health care and child welfare, plans to convert the WVU Tech campus in Montgomery into a college specifically for children transitioning out of the foster care system, giving at-risk young adults a chance to earn two-year degrees at no cost to them.

Melissa Thomas Van Gundy at the  Fernow Experimental Forest in Tucker County, W.Va.
Jean Sendegar / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Editor's Note: This story is part of an occasional series from independent producer Jean Snedegar about the timber and forest products industry here in the Mountain State – from seedlings to final products.

One of the oldest and largest industries in West Virginia is the timber and wood products industry.  West Virginia is rich in this renewable natural resource, but the housing downturn that began 10 years ago hit the industry hard. 

e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia / West Virginia Division of Culture and History

Traditional musician Phoeba Cottrell Parsons was born in Calhoun County on April 21, 1908. When she was 10, she picked up her brother Noah’s banjo. She later recalled of that moment, ‘‘He didn’t want me to play because he was afraid I’d beat him.’’ She soon became accomplished not only at the banjo but also at singing ballads, telling stories and riddles, flatfoot dancing, and playing the fiddle sticks.

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Parts of Appalachia are bleeding population; the 2015 U.S. Census showed West Virginia was losing population faster than any other state. But there is a Struggle to Stay

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