Appalachia

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This week Shepherd University is hosting the 20th Annual Appalachian Heritage Festival. Many of the planned festivities surround the 17th Annual Appalachian Heritage Writer-in-Residence.

Strangers with Cameras in Appalachia
Us & Them

I grew up in Appalachia.

Okay, I didn’t come from the kind of Appalachia that’s often associated with the stereotype of ignorant, welfare check-collecting “hicks” living “up the holler.”  I grew up in Charleston, WV, which is and was much like “Suburban Anywhere, USA.”

A professional gambler named Abe Baach and his girlfriend Goldie Toothman, who owns a local brothel, are the main characters in a new novel by Glenn Taylor. The novel, called A Hanging at Cinder Bottom, is set in McDowell County’s “red light district” of Keystone during the turn of the 19th century.

You’re probably well aware that in places like southern West Virginia, it’s really tough right now for coal miners, their families and many communities. So many miners have been laid off these past few years, and those who have a job don’t have a lot of hope that they will be able to keep what they have for much longer.

Daniel Walker/WVPB

This week, Inside Appalachia is featuring some incredible stories about dogs that help people heal. Like Paca, who helps children overcome emotional trauma and even helps encourage them to read. And we'll travel to a special cemetery, reserved only for coonhound dogs.

Malcolm Wilson/ Humans of Central Appalachia / Humans of Central Appalachia

What happens when strangers with cameras go to Appalachia? It’s a complicated topic that many Appalachians have strong feelings about.

Debate Over Drug Addiction Treatments

Jun 19, 2015
West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, reporters Ashton Marra and Jesse Wright team up for a story about the controversies surrounding medical treatment for drug addiction.  And in honor of West Virginia Day tomorrow, we’ll meet the performers with The Travelin’ Appalachian Revue.  These stories on West Virginia Morning from West Virginia Public Broadcasting – telling West Virginia’s story.


Derek Cline/ Inside Appalachia

Despite stereotypes, Appalachians don’t have a homogenous way of speaking. This week, we’re excited to share lots of Appalachian voices as we explore the complex aspects of the way we talk.

Atlanta Journal Constitution, John Harmon, October 1997

This week, we remember Jean Ritchie, who's been called the mother of Appalachian folk music.

Appalachian foodies will be interested to hear that the forests in Appalachia could be an ideal environment for growing mushrooms on logs in your own backyard.

The catch? It’s labor intensive, and if you want to sell your mushrooms to the public, you’ll need to show proof that your mushrooms are edible.

Still there are a handful of people in Appalachia who have been growing shiitake mushrooms for decades.

Credit Courtesy Of WV State Archives (WVSA), Coal Life Collection

This past weekend, over 500 people visited Matewan, West Virginia to catch a glimpse of a new museum that tells the story of a dark and bloody time in West Virginia’s labor history.

Coal Stock Pile
www.mine-engineer.com

Several federal government agencies are teaming up to send $35.5 million to help communities and workers adapt to the decline in coal jobs.  The grant is part of the  Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization  initiative, known as POWER, led by the Commerce Department’s Economic Development Agency.

Tax Foundation

Reforming the tax system is a major priority for the new GOP leadership of the West Virginia Legislature. Senate President Bill Cole has even floated the idea of eliminating the state income tax.

Like the cicadas, the issue seems to come up every few years, sometimes leading to changes, and sometimes not.

This week, The Front Porch gang debates whether West Virginia needs to change its tax system, and if so, who should benefit.

The Great Textbook War

May 1, 2015

What should children learn in school? It's a question that's stirred debate for decades, and in 1974, it led to violent protests in West Virginia. People planted bombs in schools, shot at buses, and shut down coal mines. This radio documentary was honored with Peabody, Murrow and DuPont/Columbia awards. 

From West Virginia Public Broadcasting, this is "Us & Them" the podcast where we tell stories from America's cultural divides.

http://photographyisnotacrime.com

Jesse and Marisha Camp were driving through McDowell County when they were confronted by angry residents who believed they were taking photos of their children.

Robert Sharpe Productions, Before the Mountain was Moved

In honor of National Service Week and the 50th Anniversary of VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America), this week we're looking back to the stories of some of the first VISTA volunteers who came to West Virginia.

Wendell Smith/Flickr

Here in Appalachia, it’s ramp season, and that means many small towns have their annual ramp feed to help raise money for their communities. This week we’ll travel to the Feast of the Ramson in Richwood, West Virginia, where we’ll meet 12-year-old ramp digger, Tyler McCune. And we’ll head to the Shenandoah Valley to hear a crowd of shape note singers. Although more and more people are leaving Appalachia, we will also hearing from some, like musician John Wyatt, who have returned home.

LBJ Library photo by Cecil Stoughton

It’s been more than 50 years since President Lyndon B. Johnson declared the War on Poverty. During the 1960s, the Appalachian region was facing economic hardships, partly because of mechanization in the coal fields. In 1965, President Johnson signed the Appalachian Regional Development Act of 1965, which created the Appalachian Regional Commission. 

What Happens to the Land Once the Coal is Gone?

Apr 3, 2015
West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, we begin a series of reports about coal’s decline in central Appalachia from our news partners at The Allegheny Front in Pennsylvania.  And our Mountain Stage song of the week features a performance by a long time friend of host Larry Groce.  That’s on West Virginia Morning from West Virginia Public Broadcasting – telling West Virginia’s story.


NPS

In this episode: Appalachians who love their land and their mountain homes. But history reveals some unsettling stories about some Appalachians who were forced off their land in the 1930s to make room for the Shenandoah National Park. 

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