Cecelia Mason

Former chief Eastern Panhandle Bureau Chief, Inside Appalachia Host

Until her resignation from WVPB in July, Cecelia Mason was West Virginia Public Broadcasting’s Eastern Panhandle Bureau Chief. Cecelia worked in the Shepherd University bureau starting in December 1990 covering a variety of stories throughout the Eastern Panhandle and in Washington D.C. She could also be heard hosting Inside Appalachia.

Cecelia is a native West Virginian. She grew up in Fairmont where she graduated from Fairmont Senior High School and attended Fairmont State College for two years before transferring to Western Kentucky University where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism and Political Science.

Before joining West Virginia Public Broadcasting Cecelia worked in news departments at commercial radio stations in Bowling Green, Ky., Chattanooga, Tn., Knoxville, Tn., Wichita Falls, Tx., and Charles Town, W.Va. She also worked more than three years for a commercial television station in Lawton, Ok.

Ways to Connect

Cecelia Mason / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Many artists, crafts people and musicians have made Appalachia their home, contributing to the culture and economy. A Morgan County couple is working to document the local arts scene through an online video project called ArtVoiceWV.

Jack Kelly is a retired public television documentary filmmaker. He and his wife Marla Carr moved to Berkeley Springs a little over a year ago.

  A new school library in Wheeling, West Virginia, looks to the future.

Also in West Virginia town of Matewan revisits its violent history.

And an Appalachian couple gives us an inside look at artists and their work.

Office/Sen. Jay Rockefeller

West Virginia native Sylvia Matthews Burwell's nomination to head the U.S. Department of Health and

Human Services took one more step forward Wednesday when the Senate Finance Committee approved her as Health and Human Services Secretary.

Burwell testified during a hearing before the committee on May 14, 2014, answering questions on topics like  the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid fraud and whether she'll be responsive to Senators when they have questions or concerns about HHS.

The committee approved the nomination by a vote of 21-3.

Folk Society of Greater Boston

Appalachia has a rich culture and history with music and stories passed down from generation to generation. But sometimes it’s non-natives who are working to document that history so it can be passed on to future generations. This has been the life calling of two folklorists and musicians who now make their home in Elkins, West Virginia, Michael and Carrie Kline.  

Exploring the Natural Gas Industry

Sylvia Mathews Burwell
Jean Snedegar

The Senate Finance Committee will vote Wednesday on whether to approve West Virginia Native Sylvia Matthews Burwell as the next Secretary of Health and Human Services.

Burwell currently serves as Office of Management and Budget Director, a job she started last year after the Senate voted April 24, 2013 96-0 to confirm her nomination.

Burwell appeared at a Finance Committee hearing last Wednesday where senators asked her questions about how she would handle the HHS job if confirmed.

W.Va. Regional Jail and Correctional Facility Authority

The West Virginia Regional Jail and Correctional Facility Authority is taking a road trip so Authority members can get feedback from officials across the state.

The Jail Authority is conducting a series of meetings over the next several months at the 10 regional jails  to discuss jail costs.

Office/Sen. Jay Rockefeller

The Senate Finance Committee is expected to vote this week on whether to approve West Virginia native and current Office of Management and Budget Director, Sylvia Matthews Burwell, as head of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

If the committee approves Burwell the full Senate will take up her nomination.

Republican Endorsement

Burwell faced another round of questions Wednesday April 14, 2014 as the U.S. Senate Finance Committee considered her nomination to head the Department of Health and Human Services.

Carbon Capture Technology could be the key to using coal cleanly.

What impact do drugs in drinking water have?

A national organization tackles senior hunger in McDowell County, West Virginia.

And we revisit a famous West Virginia civil rights case.

Peggy Ingraham / National Foundation to End Senior Hunger

Much attention has been paid over the years to child hunger, but hunger and poor nutrition are also problems among the country’s senior population. The National Foundation to End Senior Hunger is hoping to change that and has created a pilot program in West Virginia’s poorest county that the organization hopes will be replicated across Appalachia and the country.

NFESH commissioned a study starting in 2008 that shows the incidence of hunger among the nation’s senior population. That first study showed that one in nine seniors, or about 11 percent, faces the threat of hunger.

Cecelia Mason / WV Public Radio


Shepherdstown is among the 64 towns vying for the title of Best Place to Live in America in Outside Magazine. 

The competition is broken down into four geographic regions of the US; West, East, Midwest, and South. Shepherdstown is one of 16 towns from the south.

Sen. Joe Manchin

West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and his family are mourning the loss of his 91 year-old mother, Mary, who died Monday, May 12, 2014.

Mary Manchin, whose father was a Czechoslovakian immigrant, grew up in the small town of Rachel in Marion County, West Virginia. She attended Farmington High School where she played intramural basketball.

At Farmington she met her future husband, John Manchin. They were married in 1941 and had five children, John, Rock, Joe, Janet and Paula.

The Manchin’s ran a grocery store in Farmington that eventually expanded to include furniture.

“Today, the good Lord brought my dear mother home to rest in eternal peace next to my father," Sen. Manchin said in a news release. "Gayle and I, and our entire family, are saddened by the loss of my beloved mother who touched so many in her life, but we know that she is now in a better place. We ask that you continue to keep her in your thoughts and prayers.”

Two West Virginians by choice work to preserve Appalachian culture and foster dialogue.

An historic Virginia theater gets ready for a new season.

While an old West Virginia theater might get a new lease on life.

And we hear from an old farmer in Monroe County, West Virginia.

Sylvia Mathews Burwell
Jean Snedegar

West Virginia native Sylvia Matthews Burwell faced questions from Senators Thursday during her first hearing to become Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

A few republicans on the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions made their dislike of the Affordable Care Act- or Obamacare as they called it- known with questions about  last fall’s rocky web site rollout, whether the numbers of enrollees are accurate and whether the deadline for the individual mandate should be extended. But for the most part Republicans seemed to be receptive to Burwell heading Health and Human Service with North Carolina Senator Richard Burr giving an outright endorsement.

There’s a push to decrease the use of lawn chemicals.

An inside look at the struggle for political power at West Virginia’s Capitol.

This is the time of year when certain wildflowers make their brief appearance.

And quilters gather in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia, to hone their craft.

Former West Virginia Supreme Court Justice Dies

May 1, 2014

Former West Virginia Supreme Court Justice Elliot 'Spike' Maynard died Thursday May 1, 2014 at Charleston Area Medical Center. He was 71.

Maynard was born in Williamson on December 8, 1942. A 1960 graduate of Belfry High School, he earned his bachelor’s degree from Florida Southern College in 1967 and a law degree from West Virginia University in 1974.

Maynard served in the United States Air Force from 1961-1966 and was attached to a reconnaissance group during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

U.S. Department of Education

Two West Virginia colleges are on a list the U.S. Department of Education released Thursday that includes 55 schools under investigation for possibly violating federal law in how they handle sexual violence and harassment complaints.

Bethany College in the northern panhandle and the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine in Lewisburg are both on the list.

School of Osteopathic Medicine Director of Marketing & Public Relations Denise Getson in an email response to a request for comment sent the following statement:

Cecelia Mason / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Berkeley Springs is generally known as a spa and arts town, and right now quilts are the primary form of art on display. Quilt squares are hanging at the local art center, The Ice House, and at businesses throughout downtown.

Every year the Delectable Mountains Quilt Guild auctions off the squares to benefit a local charity.

Washington County Public Library, Abingdon, Virginia

Food often provides a universal connection across cultures. Think: President Obama taking part in a meal at a famous sushi restaurant on his recent trip to Japan.

For about 30 years now Greenville, Tennessee, native Fred Sauceman has been documenting Appalachian food culture through a class he teaches at East Tennessee State University as well as journalistic endeavors on television, radio and in print.

Sauceman’s newest book is Buttermilk and Bible Burgers: more stories from the kitchens of Appalachia.

WV Division of Culture and History

Middle School teams from across West Virginia were in Charleston at the Culture Center Tuesday to participate in the annual West Virginia History Bowl.

24 teams from 18 schools have been competing since about 9:30 a.m. in a double elimination tournament featuring questions on topics like the state’s history, culture, geography and heritage.

But in the end it came down to a match between Fairview and Moorefield.

The last question was: "What species of tree near Smithtown Monongalia County is the largest of its species on record in the United States?"

Courtesy Photo / West Virginia Secretary of State's Office

Early voting in West Virginia’s primary election begins Wednesday April 30, 2014 and runs through Saturday May 10.

According to the Secretary of State’s web site, voters can cast ballots at each county courthouse or annex during regular business hours and on Saturday between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Primary election day is Tuesday May 13, 2014.

The top of the ticket this year features races for one U.S. Senate seat and all three House seats.