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

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.'

Roxy Todd

There are 100,000 less sheep in the state of West Virginia today than during the 1970’s. Now, there are 36,000 sheep in the state. The demand for synthetic fibers over wool for our clothes and blankets is one reason for the sharp decline. One man from Upshur County is about to hang up his shears. After sheep shearing for 64 years, Calvin McCutcheon says he will retire next year.

At just under 80 years old, Calvin McCutcheon looks like a bodybuilder. His thick stocky torso is bent over while he wrangles a full grown sheep, trying to get it to lay still and stop thrashing.

When you think of Appalachia, hip hop isn't often the first thing that comes to mind. But because of the hard work of several generations of Appalachians, there is a growing hip hop scene here in these hills, complete with music festivals, political action, and youth development programs.

Andrew Carroll/ Davis and Elkins College

This week on Inside Appalachia, we're taking a look at Appalachians of all stripes who are retooling tradition to create a brighter future. We'll hear from a family of guitar makers in Virginia, members of Davis and Elkins College's first graduating class of its Appalachian Ensemble, an enterprising young reporter who's working to amplify #WVMusic, one of the few piano tuners in West Virginia, and a group of folks from Letcher County, Kentucky who are bringing square dancing back into vogue. 


Roxy Todd

What does a Cornbread Festival in Tennessee, a Paw Paw festival in Ohio and the Hatfield McCoy Moonshine Distillery in West Virginia all have in common? They’re among hundreds of destinations featured on a map called Bon Appétit Appalachia. The map features Appalachian restaurants, wineries, and festivals serving locally sourced food has just been updated with more listings by The Appalachian Regional Commission. The map has 62 regional food destinations in West Virginia. 

Courtesy: Southern Foodways Alliance

Biscuits, gravy, pepperoni rolls, fried chicken, and... salt? This week on Inside Appalachia, we're investigating the history and stories of some of Appalachia's most famous foods with the help of Gravy, a podcast produced by the Southern Foodways Alliance

We'll hear about the revitalization of West Virginia's salt production industry, the complicated history of fried chicken, and the growing popularity of Appalachian food in major urban centers. 

Steve Inskeep/ NPR

It's election season and we want to know what Appalachians are looking for in a new president. We’ll hear from a former coal miner from Whitesburg, Ky, Gary Bentley. We'll also hear from a veteran who lives in Bristol, Va., Ralph Slaughter.

Andrew Carroll/ Davis and Elkins College

Last week, Davis and Elkins College graduated its first class of students that includes members of its touring string band and dance ensemble. The Appalachian Ensemble works a lot like a college sports team- the players, in this case musicians and flatfoot dancers, earn scholarships.

 

You might have heard of this radio show called Mountain Stage. The show, produced by folks right here in Appalachia, has been featuring artists from across the world for more than 30 years.

Mountain Stage is one of the longest running live music performance shows on public radio.  It began in 1983 and has featured nearly 2,000 acts from more than 50 countries--and nearly every conceivable genre--for a catalogue of 871 shows (and counting).  

Jesse Wright / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

In Sutton on Wednesday, the Appalachian Regional Commission and Governor Earl Ray Tomblin will host a public workshop to discuss economic development opportunities for coal impacted communities.

The workshop will focus on the Obama Administration’s POWER Initiative. It’s a multi-agency effort to create resources to help  folks who have been affected by job losses in coal mining, coal power plants, and coal-related supply chain industries.

Rebecca Kiger/ Looking at Appalachia

On this week’s episode of Inside Appalachia, we’re featuring some of our team's award winning Appalachian stories from the last year.

There are a lot of things that can make you feel connected to home or your childhood, and many of those memories are probably filled with food and family kitchenware.

Kara Lofton/ WVPB

The rugged Appalachian mountains can create some interesting birthing situations and it’s been that way for a long time. It used to be that women typically gave birth in home-like environments. Today most women head to the hospital and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that across the U.S., one in every three mothers has a cesarean delivery.  

More and more women seem to want to reclaim this ancient rite of passage as their own by having their babies at home. A recent study in Oregon found that home births are riskier than having a baby at a hospital. The study was published The New England Journal of Medicine

Derek Cline/ Inside Appalachia

We all have a unique way of talking- and here in Appalachia, we have many ways of being understood..and misunderstood, because of our language.

An article in the University of Dayton Law Review defines Appalachiaism as discrimination based on the traditions and lifestyles of Appalachians.

Jesse Wright / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

There’s a growing trend across the country — folks are looking for more local foods. Here in Appalachia we’ve got a reputation for being able to survive. Many families have gotten by with a garden in their backyard.  Not everybody here makes a living mining coal. On this week’s episode of Inside Appalachia, we’re going to take a look at some of the benefits and challenges of farming.

Swimmerguy269 / wikimedia Commons

The chapters of two more fraternities at West Virginia University have been suspended.

Multiple news outlets report Sigma Chi's local chapter was indefinitely suspended by its national office and the WVU Office of Student Conduct due to an April 2 social activity that violated fraternity and university regulations.

The suspension is effective immediately, pending an investigation.

WCHS-TV

A judge says he wants more information before he'll approve a class-action settlement stemming from a 2014 chemical spill in West Virginia that contaminated drinking water supplies.

The case involves Kanawha Valley residents and businesses and two former top officials from Freedom Industries.

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.

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. 

Courtesy Eric Jordan

Hip-hop might not be the first kind of music you think of when you think about the mountains of Appalachia. We have our share of fiddles and banjos but we also have folks making other kinds of music, like hip-hop. On this episode of Inside Appalachia, we give voice to an often underestimated and overlooked group of folks…the Appalachian hip-hop artist community.

Pages