Arts and Culture

Sara Mourner

This week, "A Change of Tune" host Joni Deutsch interviews The Ericksons, a Minneapolis-based indie folk band comprised of sisters Jenny Kochsiek and Bethany Valentini. After a number of family losses, the two women finally came together to channel their love and grief into achingly beautiful folk music, as seen with the band's newest release Bring Me Home. Check out the interview below to find out more about The Ericksons' history, the band's connections to folk visionaries Justin Vernon and S.

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.

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.

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.

One Marshall University football player has found a unique route to a professional career.

Chip Hitchcock / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

There’s a new novel out from a West Virginia native about a place that’s very special to her. The book is a collection of family stories about life in Appalachia. 

Laura Long lives in Charlottesville, Virginia now but she grew up in West Virginia. She recalls going to visit her grandmother while traveling from Buckhannon to Clarksburg. Her grandmother lived near a place called Peel Tree. She says the image of that place stayed with her for years, until she was ready to write her first novel.

Vandalia Gathering
West Virginia Division of Culture and History

The Vandalia Award, West Virginia’s highest folklife honor, was presented to singer, songwriter and performer Roger Bryant last week at the 38th Annual Vandalia Gathering.

A native of Logan, Bryant is a musician whose roots are in the old-time and folk music traditions. He is the grandson of local folk legend Aunt Jennie Wilson and spent several years traveling with her, and accompanying her on his guitar.

Clark Davis

A new playground at Harris Riverfront Park in Huntington could serve as the beginning of a revitalized riverfront.

Huntington Mayor Steve Williams along with Greater Huntington Park and Recreation District officials opened the new playground yesterday morning. The $50,000 playground was paid for by the Greater Huntington Park and Recreation District. The playground is just one step among many that Huntington Mayor Steve Williams hopes revitalizes the park.

International students at Marshall are taking advantage of a new partnership that helps them better learn the English language.

Akira Uchida is an international student at Marshall from Japan. He’s taking advantage of dialect lessons in the Marshall University Speech and Hearing Center.

“One class we do is, we go into a classroom and we learn some slangs, not bad slangs, but what American students use to communicate and how to take an order to a restaurant when you go to a restaurant and those kinds of basic things,” Uchida said.

One professor at Marshall University has a story to tell you….and an award winning story at that. Dan Hollis- a professor in the W. Page Pitt School of Journalism and Mass Communications has started a tradition, for producing award winning videos.

Marshall University’s Athletic Director Mike Hamrick introduced Dan D’Antoni as the new basketball coach at a press conference Friday on Marshall’s campus.

Marshall University’s men’s basketball program finally has a new

   leader, in Dan D’Antoni. The Los Angeles Lakers’s assistant coach will lead the school that he once played for from 1966 to 1970.  Dan is the younger brother of Mike, the Head Coach of the Lakers.

Dan D’Antoni says he’s ready for the opportunity.

Marshall Athletic Director Mike Hamrick announced this afternoon a Dan D’Antoni will be the new head coach for Herd Men’s Basketball.

Marshall University has announced that Los Angeles Lakers assistant coach Dan D’Antoni is the new head basketball coach at Marshall. Dan is the younger brother of Mike, the Head Coach of the Lakers.

Two Men Indicted for Museum Break-in

Apr 24, 2014

A Cabell County grand jury has indicted two Beckley men on charges stemming from a 2012 break-in at the Huntington Museum of Art.

25-year-old Remington Wright and 26-year-old Deon Staunton are each charged with destruction of property, attempt to commit grand larceny, conspiracy and entering a building other than a dwelling.

The men are accused of breaking into the museum on April 14, 2012, and attempting to take silver antiquities.

Police disrupted the break-in after an alarm company notified the museum's director.

The Appalachian Institute of Digital Evidence is holding its 5th annual conference this week in Huntington and Charleston.

A man wanted for questioning in relation to three unsolved slayings in Alexandria, Va., over the last decade has been ordered extradited to Virginia on an unrelated weapons charge. 

A West Virginia judge on Wednesday ordered 53-year-old Charles Severance extradited to Loudoun County, where a warrant has been issued on a firearms charge.

Flying High!

Apr 17, 2014

Milwaukee Public Television's production of the Milwaukee Ballet's wildly popular production of Peter Pan will play to a national primetime television audience in spring 2014.

The original adaptation of J. M Barrie's classic story is scheduled to premiere on MPTV Friday, April 18, 2014 at 9 p.m.


Theatre West Virginia is preparing to return for its 54th season following a shutdown caused by financial problems.

This winter has brought a lot of snow, and snowy owls.

Some southern West Virginia residents almost always have unusable water.

We visit an old general store with a new purpose.

And learn more about the world of crayfish research.