Roxy Todd

Reporter/ Producer Inside Appalachia

Roxy Todd is the producer of Inside Appalachia. In 2010 she began an oral history project called Traveling 219 as an AmeriCorps VISTA with Allegheny Mountain Radio. She began producing stories from her interviews with clock makers, farmers, musicians and storytellers who live up and down US 219 in West Virginia. You heard many of these stories on West Virginia Morning Radio and Inside Appalachia. She began working for West Virginia Public Broadcasting in 2014. Her story about Richwood’s Ramp Festival was featured on NPR’s Morning Edition. Her story about pepperoni rolls was featured on Marketplace. In 2015 Roxy received an AP Award for best feature radio story, and also two regional Edward R. Murrow awards for Best Use of Sound and Best Writing for her stories about Appalachian food and culture. The Traveling 219 Project that she helped create was awarded a national award of merit from the American Association for State and Local History.

Roxy is a native of middle Tennessee. In 2005 she graduated from Warren Wilson College, where she studied Creative Writing, theater and education. 

Ways to Connect

Roxy Todd. WVPB

Eating your fruits and veggies is good for you, but it’s not always an easy choice. On this episode, we explore some of the challenges, choices, and barriers to eating healthy. Sometimes it’s the cost, or poor choices, sometimes it’s limited access because they live in what’s called a food desert.

Chuck Roberts/ WVPB

Following the flooding in June, thousands of volunteers have been involved in recovery efforts in West Virginia. Long term, there will be more need for volunteers to help flood victims repair their homes and their communities. AmeriCorps is just one organization looking at training volunteers to serve flood victims.

The number of West Virginians signing up to join AmeriCorps has increased in the past year. People in this state sign up for AmeriCorps at a higher rate than 47 other states.

Glynis Board

This week on our Inside Appalachia podcast, we're revisiting some of the stories from our recent TV episode of Inside Appalachia. We hear stories of heroism and survival in towns like Richwood, Rainelle, and Clendenin. Residents and community leaders share their stories of loss and resilience.

Here's a link to the video:

flood
Kara Lofton / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Flood victims should be on the lookout for scammers claiming to be from FEMA or the state of West Virginia.


Dollar Photo Club

U.S. Senators from West Virginia and New Hampshire are asking the National Guard to provide more help fighting drug epidemics in their states.

U.S. National Archive Jack Corn

On Inside Appalachia this week, a look back at VISTA workers and the impact they had on our region in the 1960's. They were Volunteers in Service to America.  VISTA was started in December 1964 by President Lyndon B Johnson as part of his "War on Poverty". 

Reid Frazier/ The Allegheny Front

On this week's show, we hear how the natural gas industry is affecting communities in the region. We feature a special report by The Allegheny Front about environmental concerns surrounding the production and transportation of natural gas.  Hundreds of miles of new pipelines are in the works to move natural gas from the shale formations in West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio to markets across the country. 

On this week's episode, we’ll hear from a midwife who started delivering babies in the early 1970's. We find out what it’s like to deliver a baby at home. And we speak with one doctor about why she opposes home birth. We also visit a famous hippie commune in Appalachia that's said to be the birthplace of modern midwifery.


22-year-old Takeiya Smith is a student at West Virginia State University, a historically black institution of higher education. Takeiya says over the past few years, as racial tensions have become more visible across the country, she’s become more vocal about the importance of racial justice, but she didn’t always like to speak up.  

While she was in middle and high school in Putnam county, Takeiya says she did experience racism, but she mostly kept quiet because she didn’t want to cause any trouble. In this interview, she talks about some of her experiences.

Volunteer smiles as she talks about why she traveled for five days to help West Virginian flood victims
Chuck Roberts/ WVPB

More than 1,000 homeowners in 12 counties are reporting they are in need of volunteer support as they try to clean up their homes and rebuild following historic June Flooding.

Hundreds if not thousands of volunteers have already donated their time to help, 200 of them through AmeriCorps, a national service organization. 

Courtesy Amillio Blevins

Since Wednesday, a rockslide has covered a portion of Railroad Yard Road, blocking some residents in Iaeger from leaving their homes.

 

Updated Monday July 25th 3:30:

 

According to Iaeger Mayor Joe Ford, local coal operator, Eddie Asbury, is on the scene of the rockslide and is in the process of removing the debris.

 

Original Story:

 

McDowell County resident, Deedra Blevins, says she plans to climb boulders Saturday evening so she can bring supplies to her 70-year-old mother, Dorothy Frost, who is one of those trapped behind the slide.

Roger May

  This year marks the 60th anniversary of the publication of a series of novels called The Beulah Quintet.  The novels are by the late Mary Lee Settle, a writer who set out to capture moments in West Virginia history when a revolutionary change was at stake. Today's economic uncertainty here in Appalachia has many people wondering whether we are also living in the midst of a transition.

A month after the flood, businesses in the communities affected by the home are struggling. Some businesses in affected towns have reopened, but others say they are closing their doors for good.

Daniel Walker/ WVPB

As the coal industry in Appalachia continues to decline, more and more families are struggling. Poor job prospects throughout the region are causing a lot of anxiety in families. And mental health expects say that kind of stress can accumulatively lead to mental illness. What can parents do to help their children cope with stress?

Megan Meggers Ramsey

A grapevine clipping from the home of Pearl S. Buck, a world renowned author with West Virginia roots, just arrived in Michigan and soon will be planted at a high school literary garden.

It began as an idea last summer. Jennifer McQuillan teaches literature at West Bloomfield High School in Michigan, and she wanted to give her students something that would get them off their phones- and become better connected to the writing in decades old books.

flood
Kara Lofton / West Virginia Public Broadcasting


After floods ravaged central and southern West Virginia on June 23rd, some residents are wondering how can we rebuild? And can communities bounce back- after a devastating disaster?

Aaron Shackelford / WVPB

On Thursday June 23, massive flooding swept across most of West Virginia. It began with a rare event- a tornado touched down in Nicholas County, West Virginia on the afternoon of Tuesday, June 21. Regional rain storms followed but nothing like what started to fall throughout a 22-county region on Thursday, June 23.

Rainelle, Flood
Roxy Todd / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The town of Rainelle, a town of about 1,500 people, was largely evacuated last Thursday because of the flood. Water rose about 5 ft. in parts of the town, damaging businesses, homes, and the library. Fred Fryar was one of the evacuees. He’s the pastor of Sewell Valley Baptist Church. Two days later, he was working on cleaning his home.

Roxy Todd. WVPB

Norma Henasey came back to West Virginia a few years ago to help take care of her mother. She was staying with her on Thursday when the flood came, and she couldn’t get back into Rainelle to go home. The entire downtown was submerged in water.

Malcolm Wilson / Humans of Central Appalachia

As coal jobs continue to disappear in Appalachia, some families are holding tight to the idea that coal will come back. Surprisingly, it’s not the pay that they miss about the work but the bond that comes with working in the mines. They often call it a 'brotherhood.'

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