Inside Appalachia

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, lawmakers working on a tax-reform plan heard from Gov. Jim Justice. Ashton Marra s following budget negotiations at the Capitol and brings us the latest on discussions between the governor and legislative leaders.

We also preview this week's Inside Appalachia episode and Mountain Stage's Song of the Week.

Cameron Williams

Day One

Very early one fall day in 2016, Mark Combs set west from Morgantown, West Virginia, with lots of hope, California dreams, and as many belongings as he could fit into a small SUV -- including a few companions.

“I’m feeling really positive about the trip,” Mark said into a handheld recorder while stopped at a gas station somewhere in Ohio. “We started out very, very strong this morning. We’re still going strong.” 

He was traveling with his border collie Lily, a cat named Terror Czar (TC for short), and his good friend from theater school and fellow West Virginian Cameron "Elias" Williams -- a dancer, rapper, writer and like Mark, a comedian. Together, they’ve been planning this move West with similar ambitions.

Roger May/ Looking at Appalachia

In this episode of Inside Appalachia, we talk about faith and music. We learn about Sister Rosetta Tharpe,  one of the first great recording stars of gospel music, find our the story behind a song that became an American icon, and we’ll learn more about a project Glory that depicts images of Pentecostal style tent revival in Kentucky and West Virginia.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we hear about U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions's visit to Charleston. We also spend time with photographer Roger May, interviewed by Inside Appalachia host Jessica Lilly as part of this week's episode about music, religion and the song Amazing Grace.

We also feature a new tune from Mountain Stage's Song of the Week.

Courtesy Maria Marotto

“If you want to stay in West Virginia, then I believe you’re doing something right," Colt Brogan told West Virginia Public Broadcasting for The Struggle to Stay series. "I mean, cause it’s hard to want to stay here in my opinion. Cause it is so rough.”


West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On the West Virginia Morning, we hear our fourth installment of Inside Appalachia's Struggle to Stay series. Producer Roxy Todd reveals more of the challenges that Colt Brogan faces in his struggle to stay in West Virginia.

We also hear more from our partnership with Wheeling Middle School and we feature another Mountain Stage song of the week.

Here in Appalachia, thousands of young people are leaving each year, moving from their hometowns to find opportunities elsewhere.  In this episode, you will hear part of Colt Brogan’s Struggle to Stay in Appalachia.

It’s part of a series on Inside Appalachia called, “The Struggle to Stay.” This decision is different for each of us. While academic studies might provide a generalized view, the complexities are found in the individual journey as we try to find a place where we belong. 


Roxy Todd/ WVPB

Veterans are two times more likely than the civilian population to develop an addiction to opioids. The Veterans Health Administration, or VA, released a new set of guidelines in 2013 called The Opioid Safety Initiative, which concluded that opioids are not the best treatment for most types of chronic pain. Instead, VA doctors are encouraged to first advise their patients to try alternative therapies, like yoga, physical therapy, and chiropractic care.

Inside Appalachia's Roxy Todd spent some time at the Martinsburg VA Medical Center to learn more about the Mindful Yoga class— one of the alternative therapies they offer veterans who are suffering with chronic pain. 


Roxy Todd/ WVPB

It’s been about 20 years since the opioid epidemic started. Appalachia has been called ground zero for this crisis, and the Mountain State leads the country in drug overdose deaths. This episode of Inside Appalachia explores how the epidemic is affecting veterans, who are twice as likely to become addicted to opioids than the general, or civilian, population. 


Celebrating Beth Vorhees

Apr 28, 2017

WVPB news anchor and journalist Beth Vorhees is retiring today. We invite you to watch this look back on her three decades of excellence covering West Virginia public affairs:

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, we’ll hear again from 20 year old Colt Brogan of Lincoln County and hear more of his story on the struggle to stay.

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

There's a Wage Gap in the Ohio Valley Region

Apr 24, 2017
West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, Becca Shimmel with the Ohio Valley Resource reports on the wage gap in the Ohio Valley and we hear from people who experience chronic pain and the stigma that comes with it.

These stories on West Virginia Morning from West Virginia Public Broadcasting - telling West Virginia's story.

Adobe Stock

It’s been about 20 years since the opioid epidemic first exploded across Appalachia, and now doctors are shifting away from prescribing opioids for long-term pain. 

But this shift away from pills has met resistance from some  doctors and patients.

In this episode of Inside Appalachia, we'll hear why addiction hit Appalachia so hard. We'll also find out what the medical community is doing to fight the pain pill epidemic.

Roxy Todd

20-year-old Colt Brogan always found it easy to make fairly good grades in school. As a kid, he’d dreamed of being an architect. But that changed. Around the time when he was a junior in high school, Colt decided college wasn’t for him.

“It felt too unpredictable. I thought, dealing drugs is safer than going to college. That’s the God’s honest truth,” says Colt.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, we’ll hear the first in our series “The Struggle to Stay” with a profile of a young Lincoln County man and learn his story about choosing to stay home and make his living here.

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

Gov. Justice Vetoes 2018 Budget Bill

Apr 14, 2017
West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, host Beth Vorhees talks with producer Roxy Todd about the upcoming series of reports called “The Struggle to Stay” which profiles West Virginians who are considering whether to stay here or leave and Judith Owen is along with our Mountain Stage song of the week.

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

Emily Hilliard/ WV Folklife Program

Along Davis Creek, in Loudendale, WV, outside of Charleston, there’s a long green building on the side of the road with the words “Charleston Broom and Mop Co.” painted on the side. That building is the workshop of James Shaffer, who at age 87, is the last hand-made commercial broom maker in the state. He first learned the trade in 1946, meaning he’s been making brooms for 70 years.

Jessica Lilly

Coal mining has touched so many aspects of life in Appalachia. The coal industry has provided more than just jobs — it’s helped build towns, bridges and it’s even provided money for many Appalachians to go to college. We also have a deep cultural connection to coal and its history.

Still, there’s no denying the coal industry has changed the landscape of our mountains, and infected many miners with a deadly disease known as black lung.

Emily Hilliard/ WV Folklife Program

In this episode of Inside Appalachia, we take a road trip to explore stories of people who are reviving Appalachian traditions, like baking salt rising bread or making sorghum sweeteners.

Some folklorists, artists and educators are wondering what the future of traditional arts in the country will look like. On Friday, the West Virginia House of Delegates approved a bill that would eliminate the state's Secretary of Education and the Arts and reorganize several of the departments the position oversees. Most of those departments oversee cultural and arts programs like the state archives, the state museum, the annual Vandalia music gathering and West Virginia Public Broadcasting. The bill still needs to be approved by the state Senate to take effect.

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