Inside Appalachia

W. Va. Senate Considers Tobacco Tax Increase Again

Jun 2, 2016
West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, statehouse reporter Ashton Marra has the latest from the special session of the legislature where there is no clear solution for the 2017 state budget.  And Inside Appalachia host Jessica Lilly talks with Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep about the program’s recent visit to the Appalachian region.   

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

Steve Inskeep/ NPR

It's election season and we want to know what Appalachians are looking for in a new president. We’ll hear from a former coal miner from Whitesburg, Ky, Gary Bentley. We'll also hear from a veteran who lives in Bristol, Va., Ralph Slaughter.

A Homestead Act for Appalachia

May 22, 2016
Appalachian Trail
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia / Kathleen Mallow-Sager

Appalachia, especially its coal mining region, is experiencing a revived bit of attention as shuttered mines, a rise in income inequality and longstanding poverty received flashes of concern from both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. 


You might have heard of this radio show called Mountain Stage. The show, produced by folks right here in Appalachia, has been featuring artists from across the world for more than 30 years.

Mountain Stage is one of the longest running live music performance shows on public radio.  It began in 1983 and has featured nearly 2,000 acts from more than 50 countries--and nearly every conceivable genre--for a catalogue of 871 shows (and counting).  

Rebecca Kiger/ Looking at Appalachia

On this week’s episode of Inside Appalachia, we’re featuring some of our team's award winning Appalachian stories from the last year.

On West Virginia Morning Ashton Marra profiles Darrell McGraw, a former state Attorney General and Supreme Court Justice who is running again for a seat on the high court and a personal story from reporter Roxy Todd.  She interviews her mother about The Farm, a birthing facility in Tennessee. 

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

Kara Lofton/ WVPB

The rugged Appalachian mountains can create some interesting birthing situations and it’s been that way for a long time. It used to be that women typically gave birth in home-like environments. Today most women head to the hospital and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that across the U.S., one in every three mothers has a cesarean delivery.  

More and more women seem to want to reclaim this ancient rite of passage as their own by having their babies at home. A recent study in Oregon found that home births are riskier than having a baby at a hospital. The study was published The New England Journal of Medicine

Derek Cline/ Inside Appalachia

We all have a unique way of talking- and here in Appalachia, we have many ways of being understood..and misunderstood, because of our language.

An article in the University of Dayton Law Review defines Appalachiaism as discrimination based on the traditions and lifestyles of Appalachians.

How Earth Day Got It's Name

Apr 22, 2016

On West Virginia Morning, we’ll explore how Earth Day got its name.  We’ll have a preview of this week’s edition of Inside Appalachia and We Banjo 3 is along with our Mountain Stage song of the week.  That’s all coming up on West Virginia Morning from West Virginia Public Broadcasting – telling West Virginia’s story.

Jesse Wright / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

There’s a growing trend across the country — folks are looking for more local foods. Here in Appalachia we’ve got a reputation for being able to survive. Many families have gotten by with a garden in their backyard.  Not everybody here makes a living mining coal. On this week’s episode of Inside Appalachia, we’re going to take a look at some of the benefits and challenges of farming.

Courtesy Eric Jordan

Hip-hop might not be the first kind of music you think of when you think about the mountains of Appalachia. We have our share of fiddles and banjos but we also have folks making other kinds of music, like hip-hop. On this episode of Inside Appalachia, we give voice to an often underestimated and overlooked group of folks…the Appalachian hip-hop artist community.

Jeff Pierson

Two artists that were featured on Inside Appalachia recently had their work recognized- and we think that's worth celebrating. So this week we're revisiting one of our favorite episodes from earlier this year- Inside Appalachia Road Trip: Art and Murals Across Appalachia's Backroads.

Young Syrian Refugee Makes WV His Home

Mar 22, 2016

On this West Virginia Morning, We get a first-hand look at the life of an 11-year-old boy who came to West Virginia six years ago to flee conflict in Syria.

CAIR/ Ikram Benaicha

How do Muslims living in Appalachia feel about increasing Islamaphobia in America? What role does the media play in creating such fear?

This issue has been heating up in the last year. As refugees from Syria have been arriving in Europe, some Americans, like Donald Trump,  have called for barring them from entering the United States.

Judy Sheppard, a dynamic West Virginia entrepreneur
Jean Snedegar

This week on Inside Appalachia, we’ll hear from women who overcame a lot of challenges to succeed as students, musicians, entrepreneurs and educators.

Major Changes Made To Religious Freedom Bill

Mar 2, 2016
West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we take a look at some changes that were made to the controversial religious freedom restoration act and Jessica Lilly brings us the story on the search for the new Mountaineer mascot for WVU.


West Virginia University will have a new mascot Wednesday evening. The selection process includes an application, interview and cheer off.  One of the - now four - finalists is Wyoming County native, Savannah Lusk. She's a coal miner's daughter and the first in her family to go to college. Lusk would be the third woman Mountaineer if she’s chosen.

Lance Booth

In this week's episode of Inside Appalachia, we hear about what it’s like to actually work in a coal mine. So often we hear about miners from environmentalists or people who proudly declare they are Friends of Coal. But so much about what we hear about coal mining these days is full of political agendas.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, Kara Lofton brings us the story on a service called “Help 4 WV”, which connects those who struggle with substance abuse or behavioral problems to already-existing programs for help and Ashton Marra brings us a story about Sen. John Unger dropping his lawsuit against Senate President Bill Cole.

Also, Liz McCormick reports on a debate among the Delegates over science standards, we hear a clip from this week's Inside Appalachia about Gary Bentley, who writes a blog about the life of a coal minor, and Drive-By Truckers bring us "Pauline Hawkins" for the Mountain Stage song of the week.

Malcolm Wilson/ Humans of Central Appalachia

Our roots with coal run deep here in central Appalachia. But the future for the people in the Appalachian coalfields is unclear.  Although coal will likely still continue to be mined, it doesn’t seem like jobs in this industry will ever come back, not like they once were. People in the coalfields are worried. Jobs are disappearing -- and there isn’t a lot of hope right now.