Roxy Todd

Reporter/ Producer Inside Appalachia

Roxy Todd is a reporter and co-producer for Inside Appalachia and has been a reporter for West Virginia Public Broadcasting since 2014. Her stories have aired on NPR’s Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and Marketplace. She’s won several awards, including a regional 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.

In 2017, she won first place in Public Radio News Directors Inc.’s (PRNDI) Nationally Edited Soft Feature category for her story titled “In Coal Country, Farmers get creative to bridge the fresh produce gap.” The radio show and podcast she helps produce, Inside Appalachia, won first place in PRNDI’s Long Documentary category for an episode titled “Hippies, Home Birth and the History of Birthing Babies in Appalachia.”

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/ West Virginia Public Broadcasting

It’s been a year since we started following six Appalachians as they grappled with whether to stay in their home state or leave for better opportunities. On this week’s episode, we’ll revisit those we profiled in our Struggle to Stay series– and reflect on what we learned as we helped them tell their stories.


Evan Vucci / AP Photo

The upcoming senate race in West Virginia has drawn a big crowd of Republican contenders who are vying to face off on May 8 in the primary races. They're competing for the Senate seat currently held by Joe Manchin, the long standing Democratic incumbent. A group of college students in a political science course at West Virginia Wesleyan College recently made their predictions for which Republicans they think will come out ahead in the primary senate race.


ASSOCIATED PRESS

In this week's episode of Inside Appalachia, we visit communities impacted by creation of flood-control lakes. In one, the Village of Lilly, about 40 families were pushed off their land along the Bluestone River in Summers County, W.Va., in the 1940s. Many of these families had lived there for more than 200 years. 


Kara Lofton/ West Virginia Public Broadcast

This week on Inside Appalachia, we'll learn more about how our reliance on coal and other extractive industries have affected our region’s economy.

Joey Aloi

A national campaign that aims to unite disenfranchised populations across the U.S. held events in Kentucky and West Virginia late last week.  Meetings are part of a two-month tour designed to highlight social inequity, and build on a movement begun 50 years ago by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

courtesy Charlie McCoy

In this episode of Inside Appalachia, we’ll talk about faith and music. We learn about Sister Rosetta Tharpe, one of the first great recording stars of gospel music, find out the story behind "Amazing Grace," and why it became an American icon, and hear the story of Nashville session musician, W.Va. native Charlie McCoy.


Kara Lofton/ West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Students at Mary C. Snow Elementary School on Charleston's West Side got to meet the school's new therapy dog Monday. Two years ago, the students said goodbye to their beloved friend Paca, who had been one of the state’s first therapy dogs to work at a school. Paca had to leave because her owner, the school’s librarian, took a job out of state. 


Lifebridge AmeriCorps

A former coal miner and veteran from West Virginia has been honored with the President’s Lifetime Achievement Award in volunteerism. Wayne McDonald has volunteered over 9,000 hours, over five years, helping fellow veterans through AmeriCorps & VISTA. 

McDonald is an Army veteran who served during the first Gulf War. He was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder when he returned to West Virginia. The local Ceterans center in Logan County actually helped him find medical care. Later, they approached him about joining AmeriCorps, through their VetCorps Program. 

West Virginia Department of Agriculture

This recipe is from farm-to-table chef and farmer from Harrison County, Mike Costello. He shared this recipe on a recent episode of Inside Appalachia.

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

2 lb fresh greens (turnip greens, kale or collards) rinsed and coarsely chopped

1 large onion, cut into ⅛” slices

3 cloves garlic, minced

4 slices smoked bacon, diced

3 Tablespoons maple syrup

courtesy Mike Costello

In this episode of Inside Appalachia, we’ll travel to the sugar shacks of Appalachian maple producers, and we’ll learn how to use syrup in everything from glazed greens to buttermilk ice cream – and even roasted rabbit. 

Kara Lofton/ West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Updated March 17, 2018 12:00 p.m.:

A West Virginia judge has granted Frontier Communications a temporary restraining order against its protesting employees. Roughly 1,400 Frontier Communications employees in West Virginia and Ashburn, Virginia, represented by the Communication Workers of America have been striking since March 4 after union leaders and the company failed to reach a contract agreement.

TYLER EVERT / ASSOCIATED PRESS

The nine-day teachers’ strike in West Virginia made headlines across the country, and some are wondering what the events mean for state’s political landscape. How did a widespread labor strike, a practice normally associated with Democrats, happen in a state that voted so heavily for Donald Trump?

We wanted to take a step back to explore how politics have been changing here over the past generation. West Virginia has been dubbed the heart of Trump Country, but politics here are anything but straightforward.

Kara Lofton/ West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Now that thousands of striking teachers across West Virginia have returned to work with a pay raise and a promise to fix their health care plan, how might their actions inspire others? It’s one of the questions we’ll explore on this week’s episode of Inside Appalachia.


CREDIT COURTESY OF WV STATE ARCHIVES (WVSA), COAL LIFE COLLECTION

After a nine-day statewide strike, West Virginia teachers and school service employees are back to work with a hard-won commitment from lawmakers of a 5 percent pay raise for all public workers. Gov. Jim Justice also ordered the creation of a task force to explore long-term solutions to the public employees insurance program known as PEIA.

Adobe Stock

Loud dance music pours out of a historic church in downtown Bluefield, West Virginia, around 7 on a Friday evening. About 30 people are eating barbeque, beans and chicken at a newly formed support group for lesbian, gay bisexual, transgender and queer people. 

Kara Lofton/ West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission (HEPC) announced Tuesday it is extending the application deadline for Fall 2018 PROMISE scholarships to Friday, March 30, 2018.

Some students reported they had difficulty completing their PROMISE applications by the earlier deadline due to the statewide public school work stoppage, and legislators and the governor asked the Commission to provide relief, said HEPC Chancellor Dr. Paul L. Hill.

Adobe Stock

Health officials in the Ohio Valley are investigating outbreaks of disease associated with needle drug use in what is emerging as a new public health threat from the region’s profound opioid addiction crisis. 


Janet Kunicki/ WVPB

It isn’t news that Appalachia is struggling economically. If you’ve followed the boom-bust cycle of the coal industry, you know that we’ve been here before. 

Acts of violence and protests resisting racial integration were features in many American communities in the 1950s and 60s. A tiny town in the coalfields of South Central West Virginia appears to have been a notable exception.

Adobe Stock

A pastor in Fairmont has publicly supported a local human rights ordinance that would protect LGBTQ people from discrimination. But the endorsement could cost her church its spot in a local Baptist association and from the West Virginia Baptist Convention.


Benny Becker/ WMMT

For many years we thought that black lung was a disease of the past. But it has actually stricken a whole new generation of miners, and in some ways, it’s worse than before. 

CDC

The prevalence of obesity has risen dramatically in the U.S. A new study explores the economic cost of treating diseases associated with obesity.


Katie Fallon

In honor of Valentine’s Day, this week's encore episode of Inside Appalachia features one of our favorite and most downloaded podcasts. We hear from writers Neil Gaiman, Ann Pancake, Carrie Mullins, Charles Frazier, and Nikki Giovanni sharing their love letters to Appalachia. It's a place that, while flawed, has been a source of inspiration and awe for them.


John Nakashima/ WVPB

On a recent weekday, in a renovated building in downtown Huntington, 22-year-old Jacob Howell was among 20 people working at a laptop in a sunlit office. Senior web developers sat shoulder-to-shoulder with new employees at long tables. There wasn’t a cubicle in sight.


 

Howell, a Hurricane native, wasn’t sure where he might end up after graduating last year from Marshall University.

needles
Mary Meehan / Ohio Valley ReSource

A program that offers free needles to people who use IV drugs could be coming to Beckley, as a way to help combat the opioid epidemic and prevent the outbreak of diseases like HIV and Hepatitis. The announcement was made at a community forum on Tuesday.  Several solutions to combating these issues were discussed, including increasing the number of police officers in Beckley.


WVPB/ Janet Kunicki

Gwynn Guilford is a reporter for Quartz, a business news site. She specializes in writing about the economy. Guilford spent 10 months researching Appalachia’s economy for an article called “The 100-year capitalist experiment that keeps Appalachia poor, sick, and stuck on coal”. Guilford dug into the history of the region’s economic ties to the coal industry, and the long-term effects this relationship has had on the people who live and are determined to stay in Appalachia.

West Virginia Public Broadcasting reporter Roxy Todd spoke with Guilford about her report.


Janet Kunicki/ WVPB

When you picture the Appalachian Coalfields, you might think of those scenic photographs of mist rising from the mountains. But there are the less picturesque landscapes too -- views of mountaintops that have been stripped away from coal mining. Imagine if these barren landscapes were covered with purple fields of lavender.

courtesy photo

This week on Inside Appalachia, we'll hear stories of women whose grit and determination changed their own lives - and changed other people's lives, too. We’ll hear from women who overcame a lot of challenges to succeed as students, musicians, entrepreneurs and educators.

oxycontin
Toby Talbot / Associated Press

Between 1999 and 2015, roughly 300,000 people in the United States died from opioid overdoses. And of the five states with the highest rates of drug overdose deaths in 2016, four were in Appalachia. The opioid epidemic is killing our friends and neighbors.

Adobe Stock

On this week’s episode of Inside Appalachia, we’ll learn more about how children are being affected by the opioid epidemic and what’s being done to help them. 


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