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
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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Nature
4:23 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

Broad-winged Hawks Begin Their Fall Migration Through West Virginia

Volunteers at Hanging Rock
Credit Dan Schultz, Traveling 219

The third week in September is normally the peak season for broad-winged hawks to migrate through West Virginia. Hundreds of volunteers will also travel to Hanging Rock Raptor Observatory in Monroe County to help count the migrating hawks, eagles and falcons.

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Block Historical District
5:45 am
Tue September 23, 2014

Barbara Hicks Lacy Remembers Charleston During Segregation

Workers outside the Ferguson Theater, 1939. Lacy remembers that Richard Sonders, an usher, is the tall man to the right with an eye patch.
Credit Courtesy of the W.Va. State Archives, Bernidean Brown Collection

In Charleston, those who grew up during segregation remember a tight knit community in the downtown neighborhood known as The Block. During the 30's and 40's Barbara Hicks Lacy grew up in this neighborhood, and she's one of the remaining residents who vividly recalls The Block, which today has all but disappeared. The West Virginia Center for African-American Culture and Arts recently invited her to share her story at the West Virginia State Archives.

When she was a kid, Lacy's best friend, named Baby Sue, was white, and so they weren't allowed to attend the same school.

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Energy & Environment
4:13 am
Wed September 17, 2014

Jane Lew Meeting Leaves Some Wondering, and Some Concerned, About Future Drilling

CONSOL's proposed and planned wells for Lewis County
Credit Roxy Todd


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Energy & Environment
5:45 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Lewis County Lavender Farmer Worried About Fracking

Myra Bonhage-Hale owns La Paix Herb Farm
Credit Roxy Todd

At the end of a 2 and-a-half-mile, single lane road, sits La Paix Herb Farm. Owner Myra Bonhage-Hale is a retired social worker in her 70's. She and her son Bill live here, in a brightly painted, purple homestead that dates back to the 1800's. The house, formerly called the May-Kraus home, is on the National Register of Historic Places.

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Volunteerism
8:29 am
Fri September 12, 2014

AmeriCorps Celebrates 20th Anniversary

2013-2014 Appalachia Forest Heritage Area AmeriCorps members met for conservation training at Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge last September
Credit Stephanie Petersen

Friday marked the 20th Anniversary of AmeriCorps- a volunteer service program that works on a number of community development projects across the country. The ceremony was a rare opportunity for AmeriCorps members from across the country to come together—along with alumni and community partners.

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Arts & Culture
5:45 am
Mon September 8, 2014

Two West Virginians Join Artists Across the Globe to Reimagine Hubcaps as Art

Second Time Around: The Hubcap as Art on view in the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley, Winchester, VA, through March 1, 2015.
MSV photo by Ron Blunt.

Janice Summers-Young is one of two West Virginian artists who were selected for a new exhibit at The Museum of the Shenandoah Valley in Winchester, Virginia. The exhibit, called Second Time Around: The Hubcap as Art, features 287 artists from 36 different countries and opened yesterday.

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Music
5:45 pm
Wed September 3, 2014

West Virginian Uses Opera to Talk Mountaintop Removal Mining, Painkiller Overdoses

Nate May
Credit Roxy Todd

Composer and Huntington native Nate May recently finished production on an original two-person music-drama, called Dust in the Bottomland.

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News
5:25 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

A Neighborhood that Struggles with Poverty Has Helped Rehabilitate 50 Homes

Reverend Matthew J. Watts, standing in front of Mary C. Snow elementary school.
Credit PBS NewsHour/Sam Weber

We often hear about urban cities, like Detroit, that are dealing with abandoned, dilapidated buildings. But some communities in West Virginia are struggling with neighborhood blight too.

The WV Hub is working with partners across West Virginia to plan a three day event in Huntington this October. The summit will help people across West Virginia who are working to fix blighted, abandoned and dilapidated properties. Civic groups in Huntington have been collaborating on this type of work and have made great strides recently.

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Music
12:39 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

In Greenbrier County, This Country Music Dance Hall Takes Honky Tonk Fans Back in Time

Credit Dan Schultz

By Dan Schultz and Traveling 219.

It’s Saturday night and the dance floor of the American Heritage Music Hall is crowded with couples swinging, stepping, and shaking to live country and rock ‘n’ roll music.

The music hall is spacious and makes a perfect venue for live music. Its walls are strewn with banjos, guitars, and photographs of early country music stars.

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Local Food
6:00 am
Thu August 21, 2014

How Vacant Lots in Charleston Are Transforming Into a School for Farmer-Entrepreneurs

Meg Reishman (sitting), Kathy Moore (l) and Jenny Totten (r) are planning their mid-summer planting of vegetables for the garden.
Credit Roxy Todd

On a sultry summer evening, three women are killing harlequin beetles in an effort to save the greens at the SAGE micro-farm on Rebecca Street that they landscaped themselves.

Last year, Kathy Moore, Jenny Totten and Meg Reishman completed 18 agriculture and business classes through SAGE, which stands for Sustainable Agricultural Entrepreneurs. Kathy says she loves getting to take home an unlimited supply of fresh vegetables each week.

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Arts & Culture
1:24 pm
Fri August 15, 2014

Musician Who Couldn't Walk Created One of The Longest Running Bluegrass Bands in W.Va.

The Black Mountain Bluegrass Boys, taken in Cass, W.Va. Front Row, L-R: Richard Hefner, Uncle Dude Irvine, Dwight Diller, Back Row, L-R: Bill Hefner, Harley Carpenter
Credit Laurie Cameron

After contracting polio as a young boy, Glen Irvine spent most of his life in a wheelchair, but his mandolin almost never left his side.

Although he’s virtually unknown outside of Pocahontas County, West Virginia, Irvine--or Dude, as he was known--was one of the area’s most gifted musicians. One of the founding members of the Black Mountain Bluegrass Boys, Dude was a virtuoso, self-taught musician. Although Dude he passed away at the age of 52 in 1973, his bluegrass band continues to play all around West Virginia today.

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