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. 

Pages

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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Animal Shelter
5:15 am
Thu August 14, 2014

Why The Charleston Shelter Is Euthanizing Fewer Dogs and Cats

Patrick the dog is being fostered with Dog Bless
Credit Dog Bless

Summertime is always the high season at animal shelters, and many homeless pets end up being put to sleep. The Kanawha Charleston Humane Association is trying to buck this trend. In the last 5 years the shelter has cut the number of animals it’s euthanized by almost 95%.

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Homelessness
5:00 am
Wed August 6, 2014

The Story of a Man Who Was Homeless for 19 Years

David Sneade, outside the Union Mission shelter on Leon Sullivan way.
Credit Roxy Todd

David Sneade works as the director and minister at a homeless shelter in downtown Charleston. He was homeless himself, off and on, for about 19 years.

“I wouldn’t be afraid to say there’s at least 2,500-3,000 homeless people just in Charleston,” said Sneade, who has spoken with many of those people.

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West Side
5:15 am
Mon August 4, 2014

WVU's Division of Diversity Steps in to Help Revive Charleston's West Side

Dr. Gabrielle St. Leger is an educational consultant and serves as the Chairman of the WVU Diversity Social Justice Visiting Committee.
Credit Roxy Todd

The West Side in Charleston is one of the largest urban neighborhoods in the state. Within sight of the Mary C. Snow West Side Elementary School are vacant lots and abandoned buildings. This neighborhood is besieged with many problems like childhood poverty and high crime rates. It’s also a neighborhood that suffers from negative stereotyping—a place where good people and good projects are often overlooked.

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Block Historical District
7:41 am
Mon July 28, 2014

Speaker Gives Insight into the Heart of the Black Community

The first C.H. James Produce Company was located in downtown Charleston on Summers Street.
Credit courtesy of C.H. James III

The Block Historical District is a section of Charleston that was once the heart of the African American community. As part of a project to resurrect some of the history of this neighborhood, the West Virginia Center for African American Art and Culture has organized a series of lectures. About 60 people attended the second of these talks last week.  

Charles James III is the fourth generation in his family to own and operate one of the oldest family-owned businesses in the United States, the James company. James said that he remembers being invited to the local country club in the late 80's. But his father in an earlier generation was not asked to join until the 80's.

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Hunger
5:00 am
Thu July 24, 2014

Children Combat Hunger in West Virginia

Hannah McCune, age 11
Credit Roxy Todd

Tom Toliver has seen people with children who are hungry, searching for food in dumpsters in the alleys of Charleston. And he isn’t the only one. At the Union Mission where Toliver has been donating fresh vegetables, the president and CEO Rex Whiteman says hunger is on the rise throughout the state, and in Appalachia.

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Tanker Wreck
11:56 am
Wed July 23, 2014

Tanker Truck Wrecks in Bartow, Leaks Diesel Fuel into Greenbrier River

The tanker truck caught fire on Tuesday, July 23.
Credit Julia Bauserman

Megan Moriarty with Allegheny Mountain Radio reports that on Tuesday afternoon a tanker truck carrying 7,800 gallons of diesel fuel overturned at Hermitage Bridge in Bartow, West Virginia. The driver was uninjured but the truck caught on fire and some of the diesel fuel has spilled into the Greenbrier River.

The truck was owned by Petroleum Carriers, LLC, based in Richmond Virginia. A private environmental clean-up crew hired by the trucking company is now on the scene.

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Train Race
1:28 pm
Sun July 20, 2014

Steam Engine Wins Train Race at the Ghost Town of Spruce

Cass Scenic Railroad State Park - Shay Heisler 6 and Shay 11 are both pictured here pulling logs
Credit Shayfan via Wikimedia Commons

It's been called the NASCAR of train races, and it takes place at an altitude of 3,853 feet in Pocahontas County.

Yesterday a crowd of 250 people gathered to watch as two massive trains, one departing from Cass and the other from Elkins, converged at the wilderness ghost town of Spruce. The two trains raced side by side for nearly a mile.

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Barbecue
6:00 am
Thu July 17, 2014

BBQ, Soul Food, and Charleston's West Side

Sam Rivers manages the ribs and pork on the grill
Credit Roxy Todd

On a drizzling morning around 7:00, Sam Rivers has just lit the oak-wood fire for the meat smoker, and smoke is pouring over the sidewalk into the rain. The owner of Dem 2 Brothers and a Grill, Adrian Wright, stands behind him. Adrian oversees the entire operation, from the time when the ribs and pork begin grilling in the early dawn, until the spicy barbecue sauce is made each night.

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News
5:01 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

85-Year-Old Says He is Still in Good Health and Spirits and Will Continue to Fast

Roland Micklem (bottom right) was joined by environmental supporters at Haddad Park in Charleston on Wednesday, July 16th. On the far left is Mike Roselle, who is also fasting with Micklem.
Credit Roxy Todd

85-year-old Roland Micklem is still fasting at the West Virginia Capitol Building. He began his fast ten days ago to draw attention to the effects of climate change, and he says he will continue to go without food. Since July 7th, Micklem has eaten no food and has consumed only water, juice and coffee.

“My health is excellent. I am very much encouraged and motivated by the reception I've been receiving by the people we've run across. Everyone has been supportive and cooperative,” says Micklem.

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News
6:00 am
Wed July 16, 2014

Mapping Appalachia's Food and Farm to Table Destinations

Jennifer "Tootie" Jones raises grass-fed beef and sells to about 14 restaurants and retail shops across W.Va.
Credit Roxy Todd

Agri-tourism is not a new concept to Jennifer "Tootie" Jones. A fifth generation farmer, she raises grass fed beef on Swift Level Farm in Lewisburg. She was one of the farmers who attended yesterday’s event at the Capitol Market. She sells beef to 14 West Virginia restaurants and several retail stores, some of which are featured on a new online map, called Bon Appétit Appalachia, a project by the Appalachian Regional Commission. There’s also a print map, which lists 283 food destinations across the region, including:

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Agriculture
12:03 am
Mon July 14, 2014

Something New is Sprouting on Charleston's West Side

Stephanie Hysmith and Tom Toliver building the raised beds this spring
Credit Jaime Rinehart, of the WVSU EDC.

The first of Tom Toliver’s gardens is in what looks like an unlikely place—there’s a lumber mill across the street, a busy road without sidewalks, and the garden itself is nudged in between a pawn shop and a DeWalt tool center. Along 6th street, a mom and her two kids walk by carrying groceries from the nearby Family Dollar. Toliver also lives down the street. He believes that putting gardens in urban areas, like Charleston’s West Side, helps reduce crime and revitalize the neighborhood.

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