Cecelia Mason

Eastern Panhandle Bureau Chief, Inside Appalachia Host

Cecelia Mason is West Virginia Public Broadcasting’s Eastern Panhandle Bureau Chief. Cecelia has worked in the Shepherd University bureau since December 1990 covering a variety of stories throughout the Eastern Panhandle and in Washington D.C. She can 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.

When she’s not covering news Cecelia teaches a news practicum class for Shepherd University’s Communications Department.

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Obamacare fallout
10:06 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

W.Va. Native Sylvia Mathews Burwell May Replace Sebelius as HHS Secretary

Sylvia Mathews Burwell at a April 2013 Senate hearing
Credit Office/Sen. Jay Rockefeller

Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), is resigning and President Obama is expected to replace her with West Virginia native Sylvia Mathews Burwell.

Senator Jay Rockefeller, (D-W.Va.) released the following statement about Sebelius’ resignation:

“For the past five years, I have marveled at Secretary Sebelius’s grace under pressure. She never backed down from the tremendous responsibilities of her position, which were of a magnitude no other cabinet secretary has ever had to face with regard to domestic policy.”

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Job Realignment
2:05 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

Some Employees are Upset About Job Change at Blind, Deaf School

W.Va. Board of Education President Gayle Manchin tours the Schools for the Deaf and Blind in Sept. 2013.
Credit Cecelia Mason / WV Public Radio

The West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and Blind is changing the job description and requiring more education for the house parents who watch children living on campus, a move that’s controversial but has the support of the West Virginia Board of Education.

The Schools have been undergoing many changes since the state Board of Education hired Lynn Boyer as superintendent. The campus in Romney had become dilapidated over the years and the curriculum hadn’t kept up with current educational standards. The Board charged Boyer with changing things.

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Inside Appalachia Podcast
7:00 am
Sat March 29, 2014

Signing Up for Health Care Insurance, Winning the Iditarod, Meet Farmer Joe Riley and More

As the deadline for getting health insurance approaches, learn what it’s like to go through the process.

A Kentucky basketball great is in a West Virginia federal prison.

A new school in Cabell County, W.Va., could be a model for the rest of the state,

And meet Joe Riley, a Pocahontas County, W.Va., farmer.

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Mercy Killers
4:38 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

New Play Delves Into Problems With Health Care System

Michael Milligan

As the deadline for signing up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act approaches audiences in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia will have the opportunity to view the issue of health care through a one-man play called Mercy Killers.

The main character in the play is Joe. He’s from southeast Ohio, works as an auto mechanic and is libertarian in his political views. Michael Milligan, the Juilliard educated stage actor, wrote the play and has been performing it for about a year now.

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Realities and Possibilities
9:19 am
Wed March 26, 2014

Conference at Marshall Will Explore Applachian Issues

Credit Appalachian Studies Association

About 800 people are expected to attend a conference at Marshall University in Huntington Friday through Sunday for the 37th Annual Appalachian Studies Conference.

Marshall University Education Professor and conference organizer Linda Spatig says the theme is New Appalachia: Known Realities and Imagined Possibilities.

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Inside Appalachia Podcast
7:00 am
Sat March 22, 2014

A Muslim Candidate in Ky., Bobtown, Pa., Reaction to Free Pizza, New W.Va. Rocket Boys and More

Kentucky could get its first Muslim lawmaker if one candidate is successful.

So what do folks in Bobtown, Pa., really think of those pizza gift certificates?

Pickens, W.Va., celebrates the maple syrup harvest.

And some West Virginia rocket boys put their skills to a test.

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Inside Appalachia
7:00 am
Sat March 15, 2014

More Snowy Owls, Southern W.Va. Water Woes, Groundbreaking Crayfish Research & More

This winter has brought a lot of snow, and snowy owls.

Some southern West Virginia residents almost always have unusable water.

We visit an old general store with a new purpose.

And learn more about the world of crayfish research.

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News
12:22 am
Fri March 14, 2014

Two New Trails Challenge Geocachers

Tim Eggleston and Laura Gassler
Credit Cecelia Mason / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Two new geocache trails geared toward tourists open this weekend in West Virginia.

The Cabell County/Huntington Geotrail will take visitors on a treasure hunt through Cabell County looking for 15 caches. The Cabell-Huntington Convention and Visitors Bureau web site says the trail will include various types of geocaches including traditionals, unknowns and multis. This is the first time Cabell County is offering a geocache trail.

Meanwhile, the Martinsburg-Berkeley County Convention and Visitors Bureau kicks off its second annual geocache trail.

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Arts & Culture
4:36 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

You Can Help Paint a New Picture of Appalachia

February 22, 2014. Rod at the Omelet Spot in Princeton, Mercer County, West Virginia.
Credit Nic Persinger / Looking At Appalachia

Fifty years ago President Lyndon Johnson declared a War on Poverty, and photographs taken at the time continued to define what Appalachia looks like for decades afterwards. Now one Appalachian photographer is working to modernize this vision of the region.

Roger May started a new project called Looking at Appalachia: 50 Years After the War on Poverty and He’s asking photographers from across the region to submit photos.

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Spring Break Immersion
11:07 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

California Students Learn About Natural Gas, Coal Industries

SkyTruth's David Manthos (standing) talks to students from the University of San Francisco about monitoring hydraulic fracturing sites through satellite imagery.
Credit Cecelia Mason / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Ten students from the University of San Francisco are in West Virginia this week, spending their spring break getting a first-hand look at the coal and gas industries.

This immersion trip is taking place through Wheeling Jesuit University’s Appalachian Institute. It began in Wheeling with an orientation then the group traveled to the Morgantown, W.Va. and Washington, Pa., area to visit the Center for Coalfield Justice and spend time with the Friends of Decker’s Creek collecting water samples.

Becoming Frack Finders

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Inside Appalachia Podcast
7:00 am
Sat March 8, 2014

Kentucky's Race to the Top, Photographers Asked to Document Appalachia, Fasnacht and More

Kentucky launches a new education program with its federal Race to the Top grant.

Retired military members make a case for better climate change policy.

Calling all photographers! For help documenting Appalachia 50 years after the War on Poverty.

An Appalachian village ushers in the Lenten season West Virginia style.

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Health & Science
11:12 am
Thu March 6, 2014

West Virginia No Longer Fattest State in the Nation

Credit Gallup

From 2010 to 2012 West Virginia was ranked the most obese state in the country according to Gallup’s Well Being State of the States report.

This year Mississippi bumped West Virginia out of the bottom.

The report says Mississippi’s obesity rate is 35 point four percent, while West Virginia’s is 34.4.  The national rate is 27.1 percent, which is 1.6 percentage points higher than the year before.

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Tourist Draw
2:35 pm
Mon March 3, 2014

Two National Parks Boost West Virginia's Economy

Credit Cecelia Mason / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The National Parks in West Virginia generated $63.4 million in visitor spending in 2012 with more than 1.5 million recreational visits.

West Virginia ranks 33rd among all states in national park visitation.

The U.S. Department of Interior released a report Monday showing the number of visits and the economic impact at more than 400 sites across the country in the national park system.

The two West Virginia sites listed are Harpers Ferry National Historical Park and the New River Gorge National River.

Harpers Ferry:

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Inside Appalachia Podcast
7:00 am
Sat March 1, 2014

Same Sex Marriage Debate, A Unique Outdoor Classroom in Va., The Tygart Valley Homestead and More

Same sex marriage makes headlines again this week across the country and in Appalachia.

An outdoor classroom in Virginia addresses watershed issues.

Tourism professionals aren’t worried about the water at a conference in Charleston, W.Va.

And Traveling 219 makes another visit to the Tygart Valley Homestead in Randolph County W.Va.

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News
12:23 am
Sun February 23, 2014

And The Winner Is...International Water Tasting Results Are In

24th Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting competition, Berkeley Springs, W.Va. Feb. 22, 2014

  The 24th Annual International Water Tasting took place Saturday in Berkeley Springs, W.Va., and a Canadian  town walked away with the trophy for Best 

  Municipal Tap Water.

Among the judges for this year's competition was West Virginia Public Broadcasting Executive Director Scott Finn, who documented the event including a popular activity after the winners are announced, the "water rush" where members of the audience get to grab as much free bottled water as they can carry.

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Inside Appalachia Podcast
7:00 am
Sat February 22, 2014

Growing Grapes on Stripped Land, Putting Frack Waste in Landfills, Finding Lost Poets and More

Some land in Wise Virginia has gone from producing coal, to producing grapes.

West Virginians debate whether frack waste should be dumped in local landfills.

Two long forgotten African American poets are recognized.

And we learn more about jazz pianist Bob Thompson.

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History & Culture
2:10 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

Forgotten Black Poets of WWI Era Featured on New Website

Jean Barnes Peters talks to WVU Professors Dr. Joel Beeson and Dana Coester in 2010 at the opening of the Soldiers of the Coalfields exhibit at the Kimball War Memorial.
Credit A.J. Lawson / WVU School of Journalism

The nation’s first and only building memorializing African American veterans of WWI is located in Kimball, W.Va. and Thursday evening a celebration of Black History Month will take place there that highlights the work of two previously unrecognized poets from the era.

The two poets were sisters from Beckley who at age 17 and 18 attended the West Virginia Colored Institute, which is now West Virginia State College. An 83 page hard back book featuring their poetry was published in 1919.

Discovering the Book

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Distribution Center
5:09 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

New Jobs Coming to Berkeley County

Credit Submitted Photo / W.Va. Dept. of Commerce

The Berkeley County Development Authority has announced Rust-Oleum Corp. will open a distribution center in Martinsburg.

Development Authority Executive Director Stephen Christian says the company will lease about 630,000 square feet in the Shockey Commerce Center.

Christian said the Authority has been working with the company since April to find a location.

Rust-Oleum is headquarted in Vernon Hills, Ill. and manufactures protective paint and coatings. Between 80 and 100 people will work at the facility.

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Rally
3:12 pm
Mon February 17, 2014

Senior Groups Rally at West Virginia Capitol for In-Home Care

A rally took place at the West Virginia State Capitol Today to draw attention to issues with in-home care services.

A coalition of groups including the AARP, West Virginia Partnership for Elder Living and the Alzheimer’s Association sponsored the rally to highlight the freeze on a program that allows seniors and the disabled to receive care in their homes.

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Inside Appalachia Podcast
7:00 am
Sat February 15, 2014

Report Says More Solar Needed in W.Va., Sen. Rockefeller on the Water Crisis, Snow Fun and More

A new report says West Virginia can do more with solar power.

Sen. Jay Rockefeller expresses his opinion about the West Virginia water crisis.

A Marshall University student is watching the winter Olympics with extra special interest.

And for Jessica Lilly all this snow is a slippery slope.

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