Kentucky

courtesy Derek Akal

This is chapter four of Derek Akal’s Struggle to Stay. In the first chapter, we met a young man from Harlan County, Kentucky, who thought a college football scholarship was going to be his ticket out. But a serious neck injury led Derek to drop out and move back home.

Benny Becker/ WMMT

Derek Akal, 22, grew up in the famed coalfields of Harlan County, Kentucky. He’s a bit over six feet tall, he’s black, and he has an athlete’s build. Neat curls of black hair rise off the top of his head, and on his chin, he keeps a closely-trimmed mustache and goatee.

I first interviewed Derek in October 2016. At that time, he said he was trying to become a Kentucky state trooper, but also making plans to move to Texas to work on an oil rig. 


USDA/ Daniel Boone National Forest

In this week's episode of Inside Appalachia, we visit communities impacted by creation of flood-control lakes. Like the Village of Lilly, where back in the 1940s, about 40 families were pushed off their land along the Bluestone River in Summers County, West Virginia. Many of these families had lived there for more than 200 years. 

Inside Appalachia Host Jessica Lilly has deep roots to this community, as we hear in this episode. 

Coal Stock Pile
www.mine-engineer.com

A coal company run by West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice's family has sued two Kentucky regulators individually, claiming they're to blame for the company's reclamation delays that could result in $4.5 million in fines.

Fracking, Fluid
Baker Hughes

State officials have finalized an agreement with an eastern Kentucky disposal company that illegally dumped low-level radioactive fracking waste from West Virginia.

The state Energy and Environment Cabinet says it has signed an agreed order that proposed a $95,000 civil penalty for Advance Disposal Services Blue Ridge Landfill in Estill County. The agreement was proposed in October.

Roxy Todd. WVPB

Eating your fruits and veggies is good for you, but it’s not always an easy choice. On this episode, we explore some of the challenges, choices, and barriers to eating healthy. Sometimes it’s the cost, or poor choices, sometimes it’s limited access because they live in what’s called a food desert.

Malcolm Wilson / Humans of Central Appalachia

As coal jobs continue to disappear in Appalachia, some families are holding tight to the idea that coal will come back. Surprisingly, it’s not the pay that they miss about the work but the bond that comes with working in the mines. They often call it a 'brotherhood.'

Landfill
Ropable / Wikimedia Commons

Emails obtained by a newspaper show that it took months for Kentucky regulators to take action after getting a tip that low-level nuclear waste was being shipped to a landfill.

The emails, which were obtained by The Courier-Journal through West Virginia's open records act, give new details on how Kentucky officials first learned about the radioactive shipments and how they responded.

Prison Bars
Schavda / wikimedia Commons

Authorities in West Virginia have arrested a fourth suspect accused of impersonating narcotics officers during a Kentucky burglary.

44-year-old Philip Leonard Fortner of Huntington was arrested Wednesday in Cabell County on charges of first-degree burglary, unlawful imprisonment, fleeing and impersonating a police officer.

February 18, 1890: Ellison “Cotton Top” Mounts Hanged in Kentucky

Feb 18, 2016
The Story of a Mountain Feud, Munsey's Magazine Volume 24
e-WV Encyclopedia

On February 18, 1890, Ellison "Cotton Top" Mounts was hanged in Pikeville, Kentucky, for his role in the Hatfield-McCoy Feud. It was the only legal execution of the feud.

pills
Wikimedia Commons

A Kentucky woman has been sentenced after a Huntington police officer found more than 850 pills in her vehicle.

Acting U.S. Attorney Carol Casto says in a news release that 45-year-old Karen Sue Fields of Olive Hill, Kentucky, was sentenced to three years and a month in federal prison Tuesday.

Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

This week on Inside Appalachia, we’ll hear stories of Christmas past, Christmas present and even hope for Christmases in the future.

AP Photo/Jeff Gentner

There’s been landmark news here in the coalfields.

After 10 days of deliberation, jurors have found former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship guilty of conspiring to violate federal mine safety standards.

November 25, 1896: Athlete Clint Thomas Born in Kentucky

Nov 25, 2015
Clint Thomas
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia / J.E. Miller, K.C. via Library of Congress

Athlete Clint Thomas was born in Greenup, Kentucky, on November 25, 1896. Thomas was a baseball star in the Negro Leagues in the 1920s and ’30s, during the days of racial segregation.

Derek Cline/ Inside Appalachia

So how do you say Appalachia? This week, our episode is about the many different accents, and pronunciations, of Appalachia. Many of those interviewed for the show said they have very strong feelings about pronunciation.

Inside Appalachia’s host Jessica Lilly found six known pronunciations of the word Appalachia. Yes, that's right, six different ways to say it:

Mountain Stage/ Pat Sergent

In this episode of Inside Appalachia, we'll hear why Davis and Elkins College offers a unique type of scholarship for students who play traditional folk music. And we’ll hear about a new tourism music trail in West Virginia called The Mountain Music Trail.

courtesy Kaitlen Whitt

How do the wordsmiths of today describe Appalachians? The people who don't let a day go by without putting down on paper a song, or a rhyme, or a tale that they just had to get off their chest? What kind of worlds do they create in their writings?

 

It can be pretty tough to be a young person in Appalachia. There’s a lot of love for our region in the younger generation, too. So some younger people are making their own opportunities. Hear from people in their teens and 20s who are creating art and music here and listen to their ideas and dreams for Appalachia.

Lisa Sullivan

Ever since 'A Change of Tune' started, we've had a list of folks who we've wanted to talk #WVmusic (and pepperoni rolls) with. Last week, we had the pleasure of marking one of those names off our list when we chatted with the self-proclaimed "Redheaded Stepson of the Huntington Music Scene," Americana rocker Tyler Childers.

Roxy Todd

The summer break from school can be really tough for some children whose parents can’t always afford to buy food. Summer lunch programs across the country try to help feed those children- but lots of children still go without because they can’t get to the school to eat.

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