Roxy Todd

Reporter/ Producer Inside Appalachia

Roxy Todd is a reporter and co-producer for Inside Appalachia and has been a reporter for West Virginia Public Broadcasting since 2014. Her stories have aired on NPR’s Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and Marketplace. She’s won several awards, including a regional 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.

In 2017, she won first place in Public Radio News Directors Inc.’s (PRNDI) Nationally Edited Soft Feature category for her story titled “In Coal Country, Farmers get creative to bridge the fresh produce gap.” The radio show and podcast she helps produce, Inside Appalachia, won first place in PRNDI’s Long Documentary category for an episode titled “Hippies, Home Birth and the History of Birthing Babies in Appalachia.”

Roxy is a native of middle Tennessee. In 2005 she graduated from Warren Wilson College, where she studied Creative Writing, theater and education. 

Ways to Connect

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.

Roxy Todd


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.

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.

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.

Roxy Todd

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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%.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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