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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Developing
11:24 pm
Sun January 25, 2015

Diesel Spill Taints Water for 12,000

Credit wvva.com

Lewisburg is asking its water customers to conserve water following a diesel fuel spill.

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Inside Appalachia
6:35 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

Inside Appalachia: Finding Love & Tolerance Instead of Racism & Homophobia

Blair Campbell (center) managed to find a smile the day after someone painted a racial slur on the side of her restaurant. Friends and neighbors pitched in to help her erase the graffiti from the Pretty Penny Cafe and launch a new campaign called "We are One". Photo by Brynn Kusic

Racism and homophobia, love and tolerance--none of these are new to Appalachia. Today, we explore the stories of Appalachians who are moved to spread love, not hate.

In West Virginia, a racist hate crime shakes a community to spread a message of tolerance.

And a Kentucky songwriter’s high lonesome tune is inspired by a gay coal miner’s true story.

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Arts and Culture
11:03 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

Haunting Banjo Tune Inspired by Coal Miner's Struggle

Sam Williams (formerly Sam Hall). Photo by Fairness, West Virginia

Songwriter Sam Gleaves was inspired by the story of Sam Williams, a former coal miner who was harassed at work for being gay. 

Sam Gleaves is a musician who grew up playing old time mountain music in Southwestern Virginia. His songs have a high lonesome, old-time sound. Their roots are deep in Appalachia, and the stories they tell explore some bitter truths about how hard it can be to be different here. I met up with Gleaves at his home in Berea, KY to talk about one song in particular.

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Community
11:18 pm
Sun January 18, 2015

Racist Hate Crime Shakes Hillsboro Community into Action to Spread Message of Tolerance

Blair Campbell (center) managed to find a smile that day, among friends, after they helped her erase the graffiti from the Pretty Penny Cafe. Photo by Brynn Kusic

In the middle of the night on January 6th, 40 year old Robert Ratliff drove along US 219 to Pocahontas County from nearby Greenbrier County. With green paint, he wrote two words on the side of the town's only restaurant, the Pretty Penny Cafe. To this town, those two words have had a ripple effect of emotions- from shock, to fear, to pain, and now, to love.

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Inside Appalachia
4:31 pm
Fri January 16, 2015

Inside Appalachia: Water in the Coalfields

Water Outages and Advisories Continue in W.Va. Coalfields

While the chemical spill in Charleston left more than 300,000 without usable water, it's a problem that folks in the coalfields deal with on a regular basis.

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Education
8:21 am
Thu January 15, 2015

West Virginia Board of Education Hears Debate on Science Standards for Teaching Climate Change

Four students from Marshall University spoke to the board- Caitlyn Grimes (L), Jenna Atkins, Jake Waldman and Matt Jarvis. The students are not science majors, but they are mentored by a group called CFACT and deny climate change as a proven scientific fact.
Credit Ashton Marra/ WVPB

The West Virginia Board of Education rescinded a proposal on Wednesday on teaching requirements for education science standards on climate change.

Over a hundred people flooded the board room at the state capitol, many of them because of a controversial addition to the science curriculum for k-12 grade students.

Recognizing their concerns, the board voted to place the proposal back on a 30-day public comment period.

The vote came at the suggestion of Clayton Burch, the Department of Education's chief academic officer. “It's important to get it right.”

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Inside Appalachia
5:56 pm
Fri January 9, 2015

Inside Appalachia: Remembering the Elk River Chemical Spill, Honoring Two Musical Legends

Lida Shepherd and her daughter, Lucia.
Credit Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

This week on Inside Appalachia, we’re marking the one-year anniversary of the Elk River Chemical Spill in Charleston, W.Va. that temporarily left 300,000 without water.

Remembering West Virginia Native, "Little" Jimmy Dickens

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Inside Appalachia
6:49 pm
Fri January 2, 2015

Inside Appalachia, One of 2014's Biggest Shows

This week we revisit an Inside Appalachia episode from 2014 packed with so much information we felt it’s worth sharing again.

We go back into the archives for the November 15, 2014 show. It includes an interview with Gary Quarles, who lost his son Gary Wayne Quarles, in the Upper Big Branch Mine Disaster in 2010. He spoke with host Jessica Lilly about Don Blankenship's indictment before federal Judge Irene Berger ordered a gag order against speaking with the media and more.

A seemingly fitting show since on this same day, nine years ago, loved one gathered in West Virginia as they waited to hear if their loved ones survived a mine disaster. In the end, they found 12 coal miners died.


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Shooting
9:33 pm
Thu January 1, 2015

Two Officers Shot in Greenbrier County, Two Suspects in Custody

Credit wikimedia / Wikimedia

On Thursday, January 1, 2015, at approximately 4:00 pm, two officers from the Lewisburg Police Department conducted a traffic stop on Interstate 64 West near the Lewisburg Exit.  A white Chevrolet SUV had a North Carolina license plate which was in NCIC as a stolen plate.  During the traffic stop, a red Chevrolet truck pulled over as well.

As the officers were conducting the traffic stop, the driver of the red truck pulled a handgun and shot at both officers.  Both officers were wounded.  One of the officers was able to respond to the threat with his department issued firearm, resulting in the suspect being wounded in the leg.  The driver of the white SUV left the scene.

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Inside Appalachia
2:11 pm
Mon December 29, 2014

Calls From Home Connects Family Members with Their Loved Ones in Maximum Security Prisons

Syliva Ryerson is part of a team of DJs that helps put Calls From Home on the air every Monday Night. Photo courtesy of WMMT/Calls From Home

For many families with loved ones who are overseas in the military or in the marines, the holiday season can be a very sad time, missing those who are far away. The holidays can also be hard on families with loved ones incarcerated. This is especially true for loved ones in maximum security prisons.

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Inside Appalachia
12:38 pm
Wed December 24, 2014

PA's Own Charlie Brown Christmas Tree, W.Va.'s Frosty the Snowman, and KY's Calls From Home

Former Coal Company Store in Itmann, W.Va.

We’ll hear some of the Christmas messages that were broadcasted into high security prisons this week on the Calls from Home radio program. The holidays often bring back memories of years past, and this is especially hard for those with a family member or loved one who’s passed away. And we’ll hear about a former marine in West Virginia who’s now helping people pull themselves out of poverty. You’ll find these stories and more this week, Inside Appalachia.

It Just Needed A Little Love: An Ugly Spruce Ties A Town Together

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News
4:20 pm
Tue December 23, 2014

All Aboard the Polar Express to West Virginia's North Pole

Over the last six weeks, 15,000 people rode the Polar Express train in Randolph County. 35 other Polar Express trains exist across the country. But the one in Elkins is the only Polar Express in the Mid-Atlantic region- so it's extremely popular. This themed train also supports dozens of local jobs- at least seasonally.

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News
8:47 pm
Mon December 22, 2014

A Panther Before Christmas

Last week, the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife found a 125-pound young and healthy mountain lion in Bourbon County. Officials are still trying to determine if the large cat was someone’s pet or wild. If it’s a wild animal, it will be the first one confirmed in Kentucky since the Civil War. 

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Inside Appalachia
6:47 pm
Fri December 19, 2014

It's Christmas in Appalachia, Stories of Goodwill Towards all People

Welcome to a special holiday episode of Inside Appalachia, featuring music by The Sweetback Sisters, with their album Country Christmas Singalong Spectacular, 2012, and Bob Thompson's More Joy to the World, 2007.

Hip Hop from the Hill Top / Calls from Home

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Inside Appalachia
6:23 pm
Fri December 12, 2014

Appalachian Holiday Traditions of Food and Spirits, With Recipes on How to Cook with Bourbon, & More

Credit Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

In this episode we’ll explore two holiday and Appalachian traditions: food and spirits. We’ll also hear about some female butchers who are leading a renaissance in local foods.

You’ll find these stories and more this week, Inside Appalachia.

Cooking with Bourbon:

In Whitesburg KY, each month, Jonathan Piercy and Jenny Williams host a live radio cooking show on WMMT called What's Cookin' Now, broadcasting straight from the Appalshop kitchen.

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Inside Appalachia
4:28 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

Affrilachian Poet Takes on Coal, History of Racial Tension in KY, UMWA Strike of 1984 and more

Credit Paul Corbitt Brown

W.Va. Poet: “Appalachian Blackface” Story of 2014 Election Cycle: Have you ever heard the term ‘Affrilachian?’ It’s one poet Crystal Good uses to describe herself, an African American who grew up and lives in Appalachia. Good is a native of St. Albans, in West Virginia’s chemical valley. Good’s newest poem, “Appalachian Blackface,” premiered this fall at the Summit on Race Matters in Appalachia held in Charleston.

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Inside Appalachia
2:41 pm
Wed November 26, 2014

Inside Appalachia Thanksgiving with a Turkey Egg "Secret Agent", Heirloom Apple Collector and more

Turkey Drive, 1900. Lewisburg. Courtesy of the West Virginia and Regional Historic Collection, WVU Libraries.

Thanksgiving comes in two parts “giving” and “thanks.”  

This week, we’ll talk to a man in North Carolina, who’s collected over 1,000 varieties of heirloom apples.

And Layuna Rapp shares her memories of raising turkeys on her family farm in West Virginia

And we also want to take some time to hear from two young women who know what it’s like to struggle.

Troubled Youth Thankful For Youth Systems Services: Glynis Board visits the Youth Services System in Wheeling, serving at risk children and young adults.

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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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