Roxy Todd

Reporter

 Roxy moved to West Virginia in 2009 and has been hooked on the stories here ever since. Since 2011 she has been producing stories with Allegheny Mountain Radio and the Traveling 219 Project, and many of these stories have also aired on West Virginia Public Radio. Her story about Richwood’s Ramp Festival was featured on NPR’s Morning Edition. 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. She worked for Warren Wilson’s newspaper and contributed to the college’s literary journals, The Pulp and The Well

In 2006 Roxy and her friend Patrick Seick wrote a sci-fi rock opera called Osama Baby. The play was performed at the Montford Park Amphitheater in Asheville, NC. 

U.S. Senator Joe Manchin
Courtesy Photo

Sen. Joe Manchin says he will remain in the United States Senate and not run for Governor. He made the announcement today, after telling people he was seriously considering a return to the Governor's mansion because of gridlock in Congress.

Robert Sharpe Productions, Before the Mountain was Moved

In honor of National Service Week and the 50th Anniversary of VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America), this week we're looking back to the stories of some of the first VISTA volunteers who came to West Virginia.

Linda Tanner/ Flckr

The Monroe County Landmarks Commission recently submitted a letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC. The group opposes the latest proposed route for the Mountain Valley Pipeline, which cuts very close to a historic mineral springs hotel.


Stephanie Petersen

Volunteerism is a strong part of West Virginia culture- neighbors helping neighbors in times of disaster.

A new study released this month says  West Virginia has the 5th largest number of people signing up to join AmeriCorps. Those volunteers serve in West Virginia and across the country.  


Wendell Smith/Flickr

Here in Appalachia, it’s ramp season, and that means many small towns have their annual ramp feed to help raise money for their communities. This week we’ll travel to the Feast of the Ramson in Richwood, West Virginia, where we’ll meet 12-year-old ramp digger, Tyler McCune. And we’ll head to the Shenandoah Valley to hear a crowd of shape note singers. Although more and more people are leaving Appalachia, we will also hearing from some, like musician John Wyatt, who have returned home.

LBJ Library photo by Cecil Stoughton

It’s been more than 50 years since President Lyndon B. Johnson declared the War on Poverty. During the 1960s, the Appalachian region was facing economic hardships, partly because of mechanization in the coal fields. In 1965, President Johnson signed the Appalachian Regional Development Act of 1965, which created the Appalachian Regional Commission. 

Volunteer West Virginia

There are about 180 active AmeriCorps volunteers working in West Virginia. A new partnership between Volunteer West Virginia and the Red Cross is training many of these AmeriCorps to be ready to serve communities affected by disasters. Some of these volunteers have already been deployed in the last few weeks to assist residents affected by flooding and mudslides as part of a new statewide program called Disaster Corps.

NPS

In this episode: Appalachians who love their land and their mountain homes. But history reveals some unsettling stories about some Appalachians who were forced off their land in the 1930s to make room for the Shenandoah National Park. 

Roxy Todd

This past weekend, the community of Pickens, West Virginia celebrated the 31st annual West Virginia Maple Syrup Festival.

A few miles away from Pickens is the Blue Rock Farm, where, Don Olson makes maple syrup, most of which he sells during the festival.

But last week, there wasn't a lot of syrup being made at the farm. The sunlight poured through the sugar maple trees, and the temperature was in the 60s. The sap was hardly flowing.

Roxy Todd

In colder regions of Appalachia, the third week in March is maple syrup season. That’s right, maple syrup isn’t just for New England farmers. This weekend marks the 31st annual maple syrup festival in Pickens, West Virginia.

This week we’ve been exploring a series of reports about service dogs and therapy dogs that have been trained by prison inmates. A program called paws4people has been partnering with West Virginia state prisons for the last few years. For the final part of this story,  we learn about a service dog named Mason who was trained in a state prison in Mason County, West Virginia.

Daniel Walker/WVPB

St. Mary's Correctional Center is one of five state prisons in West Virginia where inmates help train service dogs. The program is a partnership between the paws4people foundation and the West Virginia Division of Corrections.

Roxy Todd

Paca is an English Black Labrador who works with elementary school students at the Mary C. Snow School on Charleston's West Side.

One of Paca's roles is to help children who are emotionally in need of some extra love.

photo courtesy Coal River Mountain Watch

In Charleston on Monday, about 200 people gathered in front of the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection headquarters to demand a moratorium on mountaintop removal mining permits.

Protesters cited several health studies that show a direct link between high rates of cancer and mountaintop removal mining. One of the six environmental groups that organized the rally was Coal River Mountain Watch. Vernon Haltom is the group’s executive director.

Christine Cover

Appalachia has certainly been stereotyped by many people in the media. But not all storytellers are the same, and the stories that are told about Appalachia are often complicated with layers of misunderstandings. 

Daniel Walker/WVPB

This week, Inside Appalachia is featuring some incredible stories about dogs that help people heal. Like Paca, who helps children overcome emotional trauma and even helps encourage them to read. And we'll travel to a special cemetery, reserved only for coonhound dogs.

Most of us are familiar with the concept of seeing eye dogs, but service dogs do plenty of other jobs to help people. Roxy Todd takes us on a journey with a few service dogs helping folks in unique ways.

photo by Cecelia Mason

Appalachia is no stranger to industrial or environmental disasters that affect our water. Because of crumbling water infrastructure in many coalfield communities, folks often turn to bottled water for regular use.

But not all bottled water is equal. At least that’s according to judges at the 25th annual Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting & Competition, which took place February 19-22. The competition judges the taste of bottled water, purified water, and municipal city waters from across the world were judged.

West Virginia and Regional History Collection, West Virginia University Libraries

Earlier this month in West Virginia, a CSX train derailed, causing giant fireballs to stretch hundreds of feet into the air and one home to be destroyed. Investigators are trying to figure out what happened to cause this derailment. February also marks the anniversary of other industrial accidents. On this episode, we'll hear from folks who have survived them, and hear why many people are concerned that more of these accidents could happen in the future.

Melissa Ellsworth

On Sunday, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration announced that its full-scale forensic investigation is now underway in earnest, following last week's train derailment.  

Federal Investigators say it could be weeks before we know what caused the CSX train to derail last Monday.

Glynis Board

On this episode, we’re learning more about Appalachian roots. Some industries are growing in Appalachia that aren’t really new at all, but new practices are building on traditional crafts. While these  changes develop across Appalachia, we inevitably want to hang onto our identity. Strong roots, after all, are one of the characteristics many of us take pride in.

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