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. 

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Paw Paw
Joey Aloi

Those who’ve eaten a pawpaw before often say that the creamy, tropical fruit resembles a mix of a mango and a banana, or a mango and an avocado. They often can’t believe that the fruit is native to Appalachia.

early fall at Dolly Sods, WV
wikimedia / ForestWander

Updated on 09-29-16 10:35 a.m.

Two out of the five wildfires in the Dolly Sods Wilderness have been completely extinguished, according to the U.S. Forest Service team that is managing the Red Creek Fires. Three small fires are still burning, including one that was discovered Wednesday, September 29. An explosive safety specialist has been called in to inspect the area surrounding the fifth fire to make sure there are no unexploded ordinances nearby. During World War II, the Dolly Sods Wilderness area was used as a training ground for soldiers, and many artillery and mortar shells shot into the area for practice still exist.

Updated on 09-28-16 4:40 p.m.

According to the U.S. Forest Service, there are now five wildfires burning in the Dolly Sods Wilderness Area.  All of the fires are small, less than an acre in size.  Three of the five wildfires are 80-100 percent contained.  It has been determined that three of the five wildfires were caused by unattended campfires.  The cause of the fourth and fifth fire is still under investigation.  Fire suppression efforts continue Wednesday and rain is forecasted for the next couple of days, which authorities say should help their efforts to fight the fires.

The Big Stonecoal Trail, Little Stonecoal Trail, Breathed Mountain Trail, Rocky Point Trail and Dunkenbarger Trail all remained closed in Dolly Sods. A fire ban is in place throughout most of the Dolly Sods area.

Updated on 09-26-16 9:30 p.m.

This past weekend was the peak time for tourists to visit Dolly Sods to see the leaves change for fall. But some of these visitors left behind smoldering campfires, and now four wildfires are burning in the area.

The first fire was discovered two weeks ago on September 16th. That fire is still burning, as well as three more that were discovered last Thursday, and this past weekend. Unattended campfires are believed to have caused three of the fires - and the cause of the fourth is still under investigation.

courtesy Jeremy Harrison

Suicide is a major problem for veterans all across the country. But the problem is even worse in rural areas, according to the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA). On this week’s episode, veterans in West Virginia share their stories about what it’s like to return home from war, and what veterans are doing to help and support each other.

Courtesy Old Cove Press

It’s been about 15 years since the opioid epidemic first hit Appalachia. And now, there’s a whole generation of teenagers in West Virginia and Kentucky who have grown up with drug addiction strongly affecting their friends and families.

Novelist Carrie Mullins grew up in Mt. Vernon, KY. After spending a number of years in Lexington, she returned home in 2003.

CAIR/ Ikram Benaicha

How do Muslims living in Appalachia feel about increasing Islamaphobia in America? What role does the media play in creating such fear?

Roxy Todd/ WVPB

The USDA estimates that 6,000 West Virginia farmers suffered damage as a result of the flooding in late June. Farmers lost over $3 million worth of crops, livestock, and fencing. But more than the monetary cost- there’s also an emotional toll that’s affecting some of these farmers. One couple in Greenbrier County says they almost gave up after losing two dozen of their rabbits, and all of their vegetable crops, in the high water. 

Lance Booth

In this week's episode of Inside Appalachia, we hear about what it’s like to actually work in a coal mine. So often we hear about miners from environmentalists or people who proudly declare they are Friends of Coal. But so much about what we hear about coal mining these days is full of political agendas.

U.S. National Archive Jack Corn

On this week’s episode of Inside Appalachia, we talk about the American Dream and what it takes to reach it in Appalachia. We hear from JD Vance, author of the new bestselling book Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis, which is about his time growing up in a rust belt town in Ohio, and in Jackson, Kentucky. In this episode, we’re going to hear stories about the working class here in Appalachia and talk about some larger battles they’re fighting today.

Roxy Todd/ WVPB

This week, we've been hearing a series of stories from the Inside Appalachia team about the challenges that some Appalachian families face when trying to eat fresh food. Sometimes it’s the cost, or poor choices. Sometimes it’s limited access because they live in what’s called a food desert.

Seven months ago the Walmart in McDowell County closed, and this was especially difficult for the Five Loaves and Two Fishes food pantry, run by Linda McKinney and her husband Bob. They say the superstore’s closing has actually inspired their family to rethink how they get food for the pantry.

Roxy Todd. WVPB

Eating your fruits and veggies is good for you, but it’s not always an easy choice. On this episode, we explore some of the challenges, choices, and barriers to eating healthy. Sometimes it’s the cost, or poor choices, sometimes it’s limited access because they live in what’s called a food desert.

Chuck Roberts/ WVPB

Following the flooding in June, thousands of volunteers have been involved in recovery efforts in West Virginia. Long term, there will be more need for volunteers to help flood victims repair their homes and their communities. AmeriCorps is just one organization looking at training volunteers to serve flood victims.

The number of West Virginians signing up to join AmeriCorps has increased in the past year. People in this state sign up for AmeriCorps at a higher rate than 47 other states.

Glynis Board

This week on our Inside Appalachia podcast, we're revisiting some of the stories from our recent TV episode of Inside Appalachia. We hear stories of heroism and survival in towns like Richwood, Rainelle, and Clendenin. Residents and community leaders share their stories of loss and resilience.

Here's a link to the video:

flood
Kara Lofton / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Flood victims should be on the lookout for scammers claiming to be from FEMA or the state of West Virginia.


Dollar Photo Club

U.S. Senators from West Virginia and New Hampshire are asking the National Guard to provide more help fighting drug epidemics in their states.

U.S. National Archive Jack Corn

On Inside Appalachia this week, a look back at VISTA workers and the impact they had on our region in the 1960's. They were Volunteers in Service to America.  VISTA was started in December 1964 by President Lyndon B Johnson as part of his "War on Poverty". 

Reid Frazier/ The Allegheny Front

On this week's show, we hear how the natural gas industry is affecting communities in the region. We feature a special report by The Allegheny Front about environmental concerns surrounding the production and transportation of natural gas.  Hundreds of miles of new pipelines are in the works to move natural gas from the shale formations in West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio to markets across the country. 

On this week's episode, we’ll hear from a midwife who started delivering babies in the early 1970's. We find out what it’s like to deliver a baby at home. And we speak with one doctor about why she opposes home birth. We also visit a famous hippie commune in Appalachia that's said to be the birthplace of modern midwifery.


22-year-old Takeiya Smith is a student at West Virginia State University, a historically black institution of higher education. Takeiya says over the past few years, as racial tensions have become more visible across the country, she’s become more vocal about the importance of racial justice, but she didn’t always like to speak up.  

While she was in middle and high school in Putnam county, Takeiya says she did experience racism, but she mostly kept quiet because she didn’t want to cause any trouble. In this interview, she talks about some of her experiences.

Volunteer smiles as she talks about why she traveled for five days to help West Virginian flood victims
Chuck Roberts/ WVPB

More than 1,000 homeowners in 12 counties are reporting they are in need of volunteer support as they try to clean up their homes and rebuild following historic June Flooding.

Hundreds if not thousands of volunteers have already donated their time to help, 200 of them through AmeriCorps, a national service organization. 

Courtesy Amillio Blevins

Since Wednesday, a rockslide has covered a portion of Railroad Yard Road, blocking some residents in Iaeger from leaving their homes.

 

Updated Monday July 25th 3:30:

 

According to Iaeger Mayor Joe Ford, local coal operator, Eddie Asbury, is on the scene of the rockslide and is in the process of removing the debris.

 

Original Story:

 

McDowell County resident, Deedra Blevins, says she plans to climb boulders Saturday evening so she can bring supplies to her 70-year-old mother, Dorothy Frost, who is one of those trapped behind the slide.

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