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. 

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Inside Appalachia
3:39 pm
Sat November 22, 2014

Coal Co. Operating Above the Law, Revitalizing Coal Country, 14-Year-Old TN Banjo Picker & more

Credit Courtesy of the Meade family

Perfect for your Thanksgiving road-trip: Fifty-one minutes of some great Appalachian stories, including: NPR's mine safety investigation continues. Where is the the mine with the highest delinquent fines in the U.S.? What happens when mines don’t pay their fines? And an update from the Appalachian Project, and how a financial adviser in Johnson City, TN decided to begin recording oral histories across Appalachia. These stories and more, in this week's episode of Inside Appalachia.

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Inside Appalachia
6:26 pm
Fri November 21, 2014

Coal Co. Operating Above the Law, Revitalizing Coal Country, 14-Year-Old TN. Banjo Picker & more

Credit Courtesy of the Meade family

Perfect for your Thanksgiving road-trip: Fifty-one minutes of some great Appalachian stories, including: NPR's mine safety investigation continues. Where is the the mine with the highest delinquent fines in the U.S.? What happens when mines don’t pay their fines? And an update from the Appalachian Project, and how a financial adviser in Johnson City, TN decided to begin recording oral histories across Appalachia. These stories and more, in this week's episode of Inside Appalachia.

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Law & Order
12:10 am
Thu November 20, 2014

New Lawsuit Aims to Settle Mystery of the Farmington Mine Disaster

Credit WV Division of Culture and History

Forty-six years ago today, 78 coal miners died in the Farmington Mine disaster in Marion County. Sometimes referred to as the Mannington Mine disaster, the tragedy was one of the instrumental forces that led congress to pass the 1969 Federal Mine Safety Law.

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Inside Appalachia
5:30 pm
Fri November 14, 2014

Former Coal Co. CEO Don Blankenship Indicted, Outlaw Coal Operations Skirting Penalties and More

Credit WV Division of Culture and History

Once considered untouchable, former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship was indicted on four federal charges in connection with the Upper Big Branch Disaster that killed 29 men in 2010. It’s news that folks in the coalfields never thought would happen.

In this episode, we’ll hear a special investigative series of reports about outlaw coal mining companies that keep operating despite injuries, violations and millions in fines.

And a new lawsuit has just been filed on behalf of the 78 coal miners who died in the Farmington Mine Disaster. We’ll hear memories from Sarah Kasnoski, one of the widows who lost her husband on that fateful date, November 20, 1968. 

Investigating Outlaw Mines That Keep Operating Despite Delinquent Fines

A recent investigative report has uncovered that some coal companies are working the system to avoid paying fines. The report also finds a connection between skirted financial penalties and injured coal miners: mines with more delinquent fines also have higher rates of injured workers.

NPR and Mine Safety and Health News sifted through citations, and documents for more than a year to find the connection. NPR’s Howard Berkes says it was no easy task. Each delinquent fine has a different start date, so tracking the injuries associated with the delinquent fines was complicated. In this episode, we hear the first three of these reports. We also talk with Berkes about mine safety and the development of these investigations.

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Inside Appalachia
7:23 pm
Fri November 7, 2014

Another Industry Moves into Appalachia, Hemp Farmers in Ky. & N.C., Remembering Our Veterans

Fred Curits Lewis co-founder of the Growing Warriors Project.
Credit Growing Warriors

This week, we’ll hear from farmer Peg Taylor,  who’s excited that Hemp is being grown in Kentucky for the first time in four decades. But some farmers in West Virginia, like Bill Gorby, say they’re concerned about what hydraulic fracturing could do to the water on their farms.

And for What’s in a Name, we’ll travel to a small town that’s famous for its unique hunter’s stew.

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Appetite Appalachia
5:56 pm
Fri November 7, 2014

Rattlesnake and Snapping Turtle Burgoo and Fresh Apple Pie for Dessert

Burgoo is a thick hearty hunter's stew
Credit Charles Hayes

 

On a an overcast, October day a crowd of 600 people gather in the little town of Webster Springs. Twenty cooks and 20 Burgoos. 

Helping judge the best of these Burgoos is Tim Urbanic, chef and owner of Cafe Cimino.

 

“You got to love Burgoo. I really love the rattlesnake. And the snapping turtle. They're such heritage foods,” he said.

 

The crowd gets to choose a people's choice Burgoo too. Angie Cowger and Elissa Clayton are about to vote for their favorites.

 

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Election 2014
12:52 am
Wed November 5, 2014

Capito Wins U.S. Senate, Helps Tip Federal Balance to GOP

Senator-elect Shelley Moore Capito gave her victory speech at the Embassy Suites in Charleston.
Credit Roxy Todd / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A mere seconds after the polls closed across the state, national media outlets began calling the U.S. Senate race in favor of Republican Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito.

The seat is being vacated by long-time Democratic Sen. Jay Rockefeller who announced his retirement last year.

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News
12:29 am
Mon November 3, 2014

Boy Scout Honors Friend with Community Garden Project

Connor Haynes

It's November, and the growing season is over for most vegetables. But even with the frosts and the shorter days, not everyone has retreated indoors. 17-year-old Connor Haynes is spending two months worth of Saturdays building a shed and rain barrels in a community garden in Charleston. Connor is working on his Eagle Scout badge, and he's also using the project to honor his friend.

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Inside Appalachia
6:54 pm
Fri October 31, 2014

Is There A KY Bourbon Bubble? A New Album by a Folk Music Legend Alice Gerrard, and More

Steven Middleton visits the world's only ventriloquist museum, located in Kentucky
Credit Steven Middleton

This week's episode features Elizabeth Wells McIlvain helps employ 1,000 people in West Virginia, making Fiesta ware.And we learn that the number of jobs created by the Kentucky Bourbon Distillery industry has doubled in the last two years. We'll also explore some eccentric roadside attractions, including a Ventriloquist museum in Fort Mitchell, Kentucky.

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Appetite Appalachia
8:59 am
Tue October 28, 2014

These Groups are Reforming West Virginia's Food Economy

Credit wikimedia commons

The phrase “food-desert” might sound like a landscape of sagebrush and armadillos, but it's really a place where SlimJims, chicken nuggets and Slurpies count as dinner. A food desert can happen anywhere- we've all seen them. People who live in a food desert may be surrounded by food—fast food or convenient store hotdogs, instead of fresh, healthy food.

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Inside Appalachia
4:55 pm
Fri October 24, 2014

Celebrate Appalachian Storytelling with Tales of a Ghost Train, Wizard Clip & More

Credit Published by Constructive Publishing (Scanned cover of pulp magazine) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

This week, as we approach All Hallows Eve, we have dedicated the next hour to ghost tales and dark legends. Award winning writer, Scott McClanahan, remembers hearing scary tales while growing up in Greenbrier County, West Virginia.

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Inside Appalachia
5:45 pm
Fri October 17, 2014

W.Va. Coal Miner, Ky Distiller, Former NASA Astronaut, Mill Operator, Chef and more

In this episode, we hear from Larry Mustain, who grinds heirloom corn at his family’s mill in West Virginia.

And we'll learn more about traveling along the Bourbon Whiskey Trail in Kentucky?

We'll also talk with, Jordan Bridges, a coal miner in southern West Virginia who is worried as more and more mines are laying off workers.


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Appetite Appalachia
7:57 am
Thu October 16, 2014

Bloody Butcher Corn: From Field to Fork-Making Fresh Polenta at Cafe Cimino

Tim Urbanic's breakfast of Bloody Butcher Polenta (similar to grits), fried ham, cucumbers, and an omelet
Credit Roxy Todd

It's early morning around 6 am, and I'm standing with Chef Tim Urbanic in the kitchen of the Cafe Cimino Country Inn. Tim grew up in western Pennsylvania in a coal camp, and his mother, Julia Cimino, was a first generation Italian immigrant from Calabria.

“The polenta was a staple in our family. This is a polenta that I've known all my life, since I was a little kid. We add to this Romano cheese, fresh butter, and then we use water for the base.”

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Appetite Appalachia
10:35 pm
Tue October 14, 2014

Bloody Butcher Corn: From Field to Fork

Larry Mustain, about to grind Bloody Butcher Corn
Credit Allender Stewart

In southern West Virginia, Reed's Mill has been stone-grinding local cornmeal since 1791. It's one of the few gristmills that has been in continual operation in this country, and it grinds a local heirloom corn that has been passed down for generations.

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Inside Appalachia
5:40 pm
Fri October 10, 2014

Wild Pawpaws, Gourmet Salt, Wild Ginseng, and a Biscuit Bake-off

Credit Lauren Stonestreet, of Elle Effect Photography

 

In this episode, we’ll travel to Maryland to forage- and eat- wild Pawpaws

And we’ll learn about Anne Braden, one of the early advocates for social equality in Kentucky.

We'll also hear about a new company in West Virginia that’s revived a historic salt-works -and why chefs are loving it.

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Appetite Appalachia
5:30 am
Thu October 9, 2014

Historic Salt Company Is Alive Again in Malden

Credit Lauren Stonestreet, of Elle Effect Photography

 

In 1851, salt from the Kanawha Valley was awarded the world's best salt at the World's Fair in London. Now, more than 160 years later, one of those old salt companies has been revived by brother and sister Nancy Bruns and Lewis Payne. Last weekend, the JQ Dickinson Salt-Works celebrated their 1-year-anniversary. I toured the salt-works and talked with Chef April Hamilton as she prepared food for the salt soiree.

 

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Inside Appalachia
5:37 pm
Fri October 3, 2014

How Appalachian Culture Is Connected to Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and Romania

'Thistle and Shamrock' host Fiona Ritchie and Warren Wilson president emeritus Doug Orr.
Credit University of North Carolina Press

This week we have a special episode of Inside Appalachia as we explore Appalachia through a multi-cultural lens, looking at how our culture connects to Ireland, Scotland, Wales and even Romania. We'll even visit a Hare Krishna Temple in West Virginia. And do you want to find out what Irish Road Bowling is and where you can go to see a game? Listen to the podcast to find out more.

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Arts & Culture
5:59 pm
Thu October 2, 2014

Musicians Explore Connections Between Romanian and Appalachian Folk Music

Student and teacher from Constantin Brailoiu Music and Arts High School in Târgu Jiu, Romania
Credit Clay Center

On Thursday at the Clay Center in Charleston, four Romanian high school musicians and three of their teachers met with musicians from Wahama high school in Mason County. The students are participating in a year-long project exploring the connections between Appalachian and Romanian folk music.

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Inside Appalachia
6:04 pm
Fri September 26, 2014

Rising Above Appalachian Stereotypes, Hiking the Appalachian Trail, African-American History in W.Va

Grandma Gatewood, the first woman to hike the Appalachian Trail
Credit wikimedia commons

 


Rising Above Appalachian Stereotypes: While it’s no longer politically correct to use racial, or gender-related remarks that stereotype groups of people, what about negative Appalachian stereotypes? And how do these stereotypes influence the pursuit of an education?

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Gardening
3:08 pm
Thu September 25, 2014

Fall Herb Festival at Jackson's Mill

Marica Laska will be teaching a workshop about medicinal Artemesia herbs, which include Sweet Annie and Mugwort
Credit W.Va Herb Association

It's fall, and for most gardeners it's time to finish harvesting plants and begin preparing beds for the approaching frosts. For those who grow garlic, this is the time to plant bulbs. It's also time to learn what you can do with some of the herbs you may have grown this year.

The Fall Herb Festival at Jackson's Mill begins Friday. Twenty-seven teachers will conduct workshops about making herbal honey, growing edible gardens, and making simple cleaning and skin care products. There will be a workshop, taught by a massage therapist, about doing herbal facials.

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