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. 

Courtesy of Fret and Fiddle

This week on Inside Appalachia we pay tribute to fiddler Joe Dobbs, who passed away September 21st at the age of 81. For 25 years he hosted a radio show, called Music From the Mountains, on West Virginia Public Broadcasting.

Andy Todd

Food deserts: it’s more than just an urban issue. Hey, we all have to eat. This week, we’re bringing you an encore presentation from the Inside Appalachia archives about Appalachian food deserts.  In Appalachia, where green forests grow abundantly, food is scarce for many. Throughout Appalachia, grocery stores are disappearing. This week on Inside Appalachia we're looking at some ways communities are resolving to take matters in their own hands.

AP Photo/Jeff Gentner, File / AP

Once he was considered untouchable, but next week former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship is scheduled to go on trial on conspiracy to violate mine safety standards and conspiracy to impede federal mine safety officials charges. Blankenship denies the charges.

Those charges stem from an investigation that followed the Upper Big Branch Disaster that killed 29 men in 2010. It’s a trial that folks in the coalfields never thought would happen.

In this episode, we take a look back at how we got here and talk about the significance of this case.  You can also hear part of a special investigative series of reports about outlaw coal mining companies, that keep operating despite injuries, violations and millions of dollars in fines.

A professional gambler named Abe Baach and his girlfriend Goldie Toothman, who owns a local brothel, are the main characters in a new novel by Glenn Taylor. The novel, called A Hanging at Cinder Bottom, is set in McDowell County’s “red light district” of Keystone during the turn of the 19th century.

courtesy Kaitlen Whitt

How do the wordsmiths of today describe Appalachians? The people who don't let a day go by without putting down on paper a song, or a rhyme, or a tale that they just had to get off their chest? What kind of worlds do they create in their writings?


You’re probably well aware that in places like southern West Virginia, it’s really tough right now for coal miners, their families and many communities. So many miners have been laid off these past few years, and those who have a job don’t have a lot of hope that they will be able to keep what they have for much longer.

Jesse Anderson

Across the country, there’s been sweeping change in the last few years in the way the law treats gay people - and how society in general feels about gay relationships. Here in Appalachia, the acceptance of this change has been mixed.

The Revivalist: Word From the Appalachian South

Appalachian culture is becoming pretty hip, says Mark Lynn Ferguson, the creator of a blog called The Revivalist: Word From the Appalachian South. He called it the Revivalist because he’s seeing a revival of interest in Appalachian culture - and he also wants to help introduce the joys of life in Appalachia to more people. "I think the cultural influence outside the mountains has never been bigger," said Ferguson.

West Virginia University, Douglas Arbogast

This time of year, it’s the perfect temperature for people to gather on their back deck, maybe over some drinks, to play music. So for this week's episode of Inside Appalachia, Jessica Lilly and Roxy Todd spent some time uncovering a few, shall we say, mysteries behind Appalachian music. We’ll also hear how young people are reviving this old time music.

Ashley Biega

Young people are leaving Appalachia — and they have been for years. We hear lots of stories of once-bustling boom towns in Appalachia. On this week’s episode of Inside Appalachia, we hear from people who moved away from Appalachia, share their stories about why they left and how they cope with longing for home.

Daniel Walker/WVPB

Have you ever heard of a pepperoni roll? If you haven’t, then you’re not from West Virginia.

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.

Malcolm Wilson / Humans of Central Appalachia

What happens when strangers with cameras go to Appalachia? It’s a complicated topic that many Appalachians have strong feelings about.

The Clarksburg Post

Updated August 18th, 2015 10:00 a.m.

Following widespread public outcry, the convenience store chain called Sheetz has found a West Virginia bakery that can supply pepperoni rolls to all of its stores in West Virginia. Home Industry Bakery in Clarksburg has been selected as the bakery that will replace Abruzzinos and Rogers and Mazza for pepperoni rolls sales to Sheetz, beginning September 12th.

Updated July 30, 2015 at 5:10 p.m.

After intense public outcry, the convenience store Sheetz has apparently reversed its decision to end sales of a West Virginia bakery's pepperoni rolls at its locations in the state.

In an interview Thursday morning with The Clarksburg Post, the convenience store's director of brand strategy Ryan Sheetz confirmed that decision.

It can be pretty tough to be a young person in Appalachia. There’s a lot of love for our region in the younger generation, too. So some younger people are making their own opportunities. Hear from people in their teens and 20s who are creating art and music here and listen to their ideas and dreams for Appalachia.

Roxy Todd

The 1930s, 40s, and 50s in Charleston- before the decline in mining jobs caused many African Americans to leave Kanawha County- those years were electric with music that could be found throughout the city on almost any night of the week. That’s what Hubert "Rabbit" Jones remembers.

LifeBridge AmeriCorps

In this story, we meet an AmeriCorps volunteer who helps veterans find housing, education and employment. AmeriCorps is an anti-poverty volunteer service program, like the Peace Corps, except members serve in the United States. They work on projects that range from tutoring children to helping restore flood damaged homes to helping people in need find healthy food. 

West Virginia History

The Appalachian South Folklife Center in Summers County is celebrating its 50th anniversary. The Folklife Center's founder, Don West, was a civil rights activist and educator. West is said to have blazed the trail for many people who work for and preach freedom and social justice throughout Appalachia.

Robert Sharpe Productions, Before the Mountain was Moved

Rewind to the 1960s: Many young, middle and upper class Americans of the 1960s yearned to do something more with their lives after college. They didn't want to settle for a prosperous, suburban lifestyle, so instead, many of them signed up to serve in a new anti-poverty program called VISTA, or Volunteers in Service to American. VISTA is a national service program that launched in December, 1964 by President Lyndon B. Johnson.

Roxy Todd

The summer break from school can be really tough for some children whose parents can’t always afford to buy food. Summer lunch programs across the country try to help feed those children- but lots of children still go without because they can’t get to the school to eat.