100 Days in Appalachia

Are Black Walnuts Ready to Boom?

Nov 12, 2017
The front door of Gerlach Farm and Feed in Wheelersburg, Ohio advertises the start of the black walnut season. Hulling stations earn a commission of $0.05 per pound of black walnuts hulled, providing a good incentive for them to get the word out in their
Eileen Guo / 100 Days in Appalachia

The first car arrives over two hours before the hulling station officially opens in Jeffersonville, Kentucky. By the time that Renee Zaharie appears and starts the hulling machine, four more vehicles have pulled in and are waiting under the darkening evening sky.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, October was black walnut season in Appalachia. It’s when these green, tennis ball-sized nuts rain onto fields, roads, and sometimes, people. They can be dangerous. And their inky juice stains everything they touch.

But for some Appalachians, As Eileen Guo reports, black walnuts are proof that, sometimes, money does grow on trees.

Coal Mining Jobs Are Down, Fatalities Are Up – Why?

Aug 29, 2017
Adobe Stock

At a time when we ought to see fewer deaths from coal mining, the number of fatalities has increased compared to last year. The greed of coal tycoons and politicians (who are sometimes one and the same) is the reason. 

Commentary: Rebirth of a Nation -- The Klan’s Long Shadow Falls in Charlottesville

Aug 14, 2017
A makeshift memorial of flowers and a photo of victim, Heather Heyer, sits in Charlottesville, Va., Sunday, Aug. 13, 2017.
Steve Helber / Associated Press

Hours after white supremacists' violent protests in Charlottesville, Virginia, in which a car plowed into a crowd of counter-protestors killing one woman and leaving scores hospitalized, President Trump read a strategically vague, equivocal statement from his private golf club in New Jersey.

A 40-year-old Federal Law Literally Changed the Appalachian Landscape

Aug 5, 2017
Kara Leigh Lofton / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Forty years ago, President Jimmy Carter signed a law that literally changed the face of Appalachia.

The Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 (SMCRA) was intended to replace a state-to-state patchwork of rules for strip-mining with a uniform federal standard. Four decades later, however, environmentalists say the law has fallen far short of its potential.

“Massive destruction, massive explosives -- and only 300 feet away from someone’s home,” said Thom Kay, legislative associate at Appalachian Voices. “What is SMCRA doing if that’s still allowed?”

As Key Vote on Repealing ACA, Capito Votes to Open Debate on the Bill

Jul 25, 2017
Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Despite West Virginia Sen. Shelley Moore Capito’s outspoken criticism of the GOP’s proposal to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which would leave millions of people — and hundreds of thousands of Appalachians — with no health insurance, the senator voted with her party today to begin debating how to do so.

The Associated Press

Reddit is a modern day canary in the coal mine for the people of Appalachia — a region of the United States being disproportionately affected by the opioid epidemic.

Since the presidential election, Reddit’s r/opiates has transformed into a lifesaving map for people with addiction navigating a minefield frequently filled with fentanyl, a synthetic opioid nearly 100 times more potent than morphine.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we go to Pikeville, Kentucky, where Dave Mistich reports on a white-nationalist gathering and rally, and counter-protest, which took over much of the town for several days this past weekend.

We'll also hear from Inside Appalachia producer Roxy Todd, who spent some at the Veterans Administration in Martinsburg, West Virginia, looking at how veterans are dealing with chronic pain and opioid abuse.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, over the weekend, Pres. Donald Trump will reach his 100 day mark in office. 

As a part of our series "100 Days in Appalachia," Beth Vorhees checks in with Dave Mistich, the managing editor of the project, about the stories they've shared in the first 100 days and what to expect in the future.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, Dave Mistich talks with Daniel Flatley, a Wheeling native and Columbia University graduate student, about his thesis “Patriot Coal: An American Bankruptcy” and Benny Becker reports from Pikeville, Kentucky where white supremacists are planning a march amid counter demonstrations.  

That’s on West Virginia Morning from West Virginia Public Broadcasting – telling West Virginia’s story.

Job-spurring Grants in Appalachia are Targeted in Trump’s Budget. Here’s What is on the Line

Mar 22, 2017
Courtesy Cassidy Wright-Hubbard

In 2015, Cassidy Wright-Hubbard was a seventeen-year-old sophomore at Southeast Community and Technical College in Cumberland, Kentucky. Raised in Harlan, she was dually-enrolled in high school and college studying for her art degree. But she needed an income and jobs in the area are few and far between. 

Update: 100 Days in Appalachia

Mar 17, 2017
West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, we’ll check in with Dave Mistich, the editor of our digital journalism project “100 Days in Appalachia” and Johnny Staats and Robert Shafer has our Mountain Stage song of the week.

That’s on West Virginia Morning from West Virginia Public Broadcasting – telling West Virginia’s story.

The U.S. Senate confirmed Wilbur Ross to serve as President Trump’s Secretary of Commerce on a 72-27 vote Monday night -- with U.S. Senator Joe Manchin, of West Virginia, voting against the billionaire businessman, citing Ross’ business dealings in the state.

Author Sees Link Between Addiction and Election

Feb 24, 2017
West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, Dave Mistich talks with the author of “Dreamland” about the opioid addiction that has ravaged communities in Appalachia and the Bottle Rockets perform our Mountain Stage song of the week. 

That’s on West Virginia Morning from West Virginia Public Broadcasting – telling West Virginia’s story.

Nancy Andrews / West Virginia University

The stories of the hardworking, blue collar West Virginians who looked to Trump as an outsider willing to change the political order in Washington have been told by both local and national media outlets, but the question now is whether he will stick to his word.

In Clay County, Trump's Inauguration Brings Hope of Coal's Revival -- Even for Youth

Jan 22, 2017
David Smith / 100 Days in Appalachia

Tears of hope welled in the young eyes of Dakota Vaughan as he watched Donald Trump officially become the 45th President of the United States.

Nancy Andrews / West Virginia University

It's clear many of the adults living in Appalachia are focused on what the new president can do for the economy here, but they're not alone. Young people also have their own concerns about Trump.

Students from Frankfort High School in Mineral County marched in the inaugural parade Friday in Washington, but before they left, they shared their thoughts about President Trump and their role in performing at his inauguration.