Arts & Culture

Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

At 3:18 a.m. on July 23, a fire started in the historic commercial district in downtown Harpers Ferry, devastating four buildings containing nine businesses.

Jesse Anderson

Across the country, there’s been sweeping change in the last few years in the way the law treats gay people - and how society in general feels about gay relationships. Here in Appalachia, the acceptance of this change has been mixed.

Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The college football season kicks off around the state this weekend with games in Huntington, Morgantown and around the Mountain East Conference. Marshall’s football team opens their season Sunday against Purdue.

A season after finishing 13-1 and being among the leaders in many statistical categories offensively, Marshall is beginning a fresh campaign with a new quarterback. Gone is four-year starter Rakeem Cato, replaced by James Madison transfer Michael Birdsong.  Thundering Herd Head Coach Doc Holliday said there are many similarities between the two quarterbacks. 

Ken Thomas / wikimedia Commons

A whitewater industry expert says a rock formation change could give experienced rafters a different ride through one of the Gauley River's most challenging rapids.

ACE Adventure Resort chief of staff David Bassage tells The Register-Herald that a car-size rock at the Class V Heaven Help You rapid on the Lower Gauley is gone. He says the rock apparently broke off.

Nooran Matties

If you take a second to look around, you can find hardworking West Virginians in the coolest places.

West Virginia University, Douglas Arbogast

This time of year, it’s the perfect temperature for people to gather on their back deck, maybe over some drinks, to play music. So for this week's episode of Inside Appalachia, Jessica Lilly and Roxy Todd spent some time uncovering a few, shall we say, mysteries behind Appalachian music. We’ll also hear how young people are reviving this old time music.

Bob Wise / Alliance for Excellent Education

A 423-page book chronicling the administration of former Gov. Bob Wise has been added to the state archives.

The West Virginia Division of Culture and History announced the addition of the electronic edition of "State Papers and Public Addresses of Bob Wise" on Friday.

WV Freedom School

A three day racial justice workshop will kick-off Friday in Charleston.

American Friends Service Committee will host the West Virginia Freedom School, a three-day racial justice workshop that runs from Friday to Sunday at the East End Family Resource Center on the East End of Charleston. Students from Clay, Kanawha, Pocahontas, Marshall, Logan, Boone and Mingo counties will attend the meeting. They’ll combine with college students from Wesleyan University, Bridge ValleyTech and West Virginia State University.

Harper's Ferry Fire

West Virginia University is helping Harpers Ferry recover from a fire that damaged four buildings and nine businesses.

WVU Extension Service program coordinator Chad Proudfoot is working to match local needs with the university's resources. He spends about three days a week in the historic town.

Martinsburg residents and businesses have lined up to oppose a planned downtown drug recovery center for men.

Media outlets report more than a dozen people spoke out against the proposed 60-bed facility before a Martinsburg City Council meeting Thursday night.

Jim Justice

Insurance underwriters claim they shouldn't be responsible for payouts to golf fans for two holes-in-one made during the PGA Tour's Greenbrier Classic because the shots weren't long enough.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports the tournament's underwriters filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday against The Greenbrier Classic's nonprofit financial arm, Old White Charities.

Chicken Wings
Clark Davis / WV Public Broadcasting

In conjunction with the Big Sandy Superstore Arena, Huntington Mayor Steve Williams announced a new food festival Tuesday.

In an ongoing effort to promote Huntington, a new chicken wing festival was announced for October. The Wing Fling. will feature more than 20 local restaurants competing to see who can serve up the best chicken wings. There will also be a wing-eating contest. Huntington Mayor Steve Williams says it’s part of an effort to provide a new event each weekend to attract attention to downtown Huntington. 

Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The 23rd Annual African American Heritage and Culture Festival took place in Jefferson County over the weekend. From a parade to live music, and a memorial walk to the original site of John Brown’s Fort – the festival offered a variety of events for visitors.

Julian Bond, a civil rights activist and longtime board chairman of the NAACP, has died. He was 75.

The Southern Poverty Law Center says in a statement that Bond died Saturday night in Fort Walton Beach, Florida after a brief illness.

Daniel Walker/WVPB

Have you ever heard of a pepperoni roll? If you haven’t, then you’re not from West Virginia.

Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Creating art can be lonely work, so a small group of artists in the Eastern Panhandle gets together every two weeks to critique each other’s work. These are people who work with paint, pencils, cameras, and clay. But why do they need each other?

Woodburn Hall, West Virginia University
Richinstead / wikimedia Commons

West Virginia University has opened a Chinese language, cultural and business center known as a Confucius Institute.

WVU opened the institute on Wednesday within the College of Business and Economics in Morgantown.

It’s well known throughout circles in West Virginia that the state’s public education system lags behind nationally, ranking 48th, according to the US Census Bureau. There’s also a lot of talk throughout the state about the need for re-education and economic diversification in the state for adults.

As coal miners continue to lose their jobs, some are looking to education as a tool for new opportunities. But starting from the bottom or starting over isn’t easy.

One adult educator, a former coal miner from Boone County, just wrote a book that offers guidance. While author David Greene says this book should appeal to adult educators, it’s also meant to help individuals outside of the classroom.

Yeager beside the Bell X-1 rocket plane Glamous Glennis.
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia online. / Chuck Yeager, Lockheed P-80, Charleston, Lincoln County, World War II

Record-setting test pilot Chuck Yeager and former astronaut Jon McBride are among eight people inducted into the West Virginia Aviation Hall of Fame.

The other inductees are former U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller, Kemp McLaughlin, Irene Crum, Bill Pancake, Donald Judy and Angelo Koukoulis.

Charlotte Sports / University of North Carolina Charlotte

Former Marshall University football standout and assistant coach Phil Ratliff passed away on Sunday.

The Charlotte 49ers, where Ratliff has been coaching the past three years, made the announcement Sunday afternoon.