The Struggle to Stay

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we hear the next part of our ongoing series, The Struggle to stay. For the past few months, we’ve met four West Virginians who are struggling to find a way to earn a living -- and debating whether the struggle is worth staying in Appalachia. Most recently, we’ve been hearing the story of Crystal Snyder, a mother of two who's working a new job with a program called Refresh Appalachia, which is helping her learn how to farm. Roxy Todd has been spending the past year and a half following Crystal and helping her document her story.

Kara Lofton/ West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Crystal Snyder is a mother of two who's working a new job with a program called Refresh Appalachia, which is helping her learn how to farm. About three thousand squash plants were grown from seed by Crystal and her co-workers in the summer of 2016. That summer she also returned to college. In this installment of The Struggle to Stay, we'll hear what it's been like to juggle work, school and taking care of her family.


West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we pick back up with Crystal Snyder, a single mother of two, who lost her job a couple of years ago. But she didn't lose hope. Roxy Todd has more of Crystal's story in this next installment of The Struggle to Stay.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Last week on West Virginia Morning, we met Crystal Snyder, a single mother of two who says she wants to stay in West Virginia, and raise her children here. As a single mom, it’s on Crystal to provide for her family, which is hard to do without a job. A couple of years ago, she lost her job at a T-shirt factory. That’s where Roxy Todd picks back up with Crystal’s Struggle to Stay story today.

stock photo

President Donald Trump's Commission on the Opioid Crisis recently recommended that the president declare the opioid crisis a national public health emergency. The commission said that such a declaration could free up money to fight the epidemic.

Back in April, we aired a special report about the opioid epidemic here in Appalachia. So this week, we’re going to revisit that story to remember how some Appalachians became addicted, and what a battle for sobriety can be like.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On the West Virginia Morning, shortly after taking office, President Donald Trump signed an executive order creating the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity. The 13-member commission is chaired by Vice President Mike Pence, but its vice chair — Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach — is doing a lot of the groundwork for the group.

Wood County Clerk Mark Rhodes was appointed to the commission, which held its first meeting in Washington, D.C., last month. Rhodes told Ashton Marra he doesn’t believe there is widespread voter fraud in West Virginia, or across the country, but he still believes in the commission’s work.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, communities in rural northern West Virginia are still cleaning up from and coping with the effects of flash flooding in July. A state of emergency was declared in eight counties. Glynis Board visited Hundred -- a small town in Wetzel County that was among the hardest hit.

Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

It’s nothing unusual to think about leaving your hometown after you graduate high school, but sometimes it’s not an option to leave, and sometimes, as we’ve heard, leaving can be difficult and expensive, too. The grass isn’t always greener on the other side.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we hear the conclusion to 20-year-old Kyra Soleil-Dawe’s story as part of our Struggle to Stay series. Yesterday, we heard that Kyra’s theater group, Whiskey Shine and Pantomime Productions, opened its third production to the public - William Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

Now, as we step back into Kyra’s story, we will hear more about Kyra’s family, and what a piece of sudden news will mean for Kyra’s Struggle to Stay.

We also hear more from Appalachia Health News about the effort to diagnose and treat hepatitis C.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, tens of thousands of Boy Scouts are making their way to southern West Virginia today for the start of their National Jamboree. Ashton Marra reports on the preparations that began long before a single Scout set foot on the site.

We also hear from the Ohio Valley ReSource's Benny Becker, who is reporting on the Appalachian Connectivity Summit in Marietta, Ohio, where the Federal Communications Commission heard from Ohio Valley residents upset about poor internet service in rural communities.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders held two health care rallies Sunday in Covington, Kentucky and Morgantown, West Virginia, telling attendees to put pressure on their state representatives to vote against the GOP health care plans.

Kara Lofton spoke with Sanders about his visits and what he thinks the proposed legislation would mean for Appalachia. 

U.S. National Archive Jack Corn

This week time travel back to your own childhood summer memories with the Appalachian storytellers.      

Kyra Soleil-Dawe, Kyra, The Struggle to Stay
Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Last week, we met Kyra Soleil-Dawe, a 20-year-old aspiring theater director and playwright who lives in Shepherdstown, West Virginia.

“And this place is so beautiful," Kyra said, "how would you ever wanna leave it? And I hope that I’m not the only one that sees that, I hope that I’m not the only one that sees that there’s something really incredible happening here.”

courtesy Crystal Wilkinson

Ever hear the word 'Affrilachian'? In the 1990s, a poet in Kentucky named Frank X Walker came up with the term. It refers to African Americans living in Appalachia. 

Kara Lofton / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

 


In 2014, when Kyra Soleil-Dawe was 17-years-old, they formed a small, theater company out of West Virginia’s Eastern Panhandle in Shepherdstown – a historic, artsy, college town just miles from Maryland, Virginia, and Pennsylvania.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, established in November 2014, the Mayor’s Office of Drug Control Policy in Huntington has been paddling upstream, trying to make a dent in the on-going fight against drug addiction in the city. City officials hope a new, two-year strategic plan can continue to help them make a dent in the problem.

We also hear one more chapter in Mark Combs and Cameron Elias Williams’ Struggle to Stay story, for the time being.

Cameron Williams

Last September Mark Combs and Cameron Elias Williams set out for California hoping to develop careers in the arts and entertainment industry. But once they reached Denver they found it difficult to get their lives financially under control. They also fought loneliness.

“It's been, it's been kinda tough to be honest. I didn't think I would miss people back home this much,” Mark recorded after a lonely Thanksgiving in Denver.

Unfortunately, things went from bad to worse.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we hear from Major General James Hoyer about rebuilding efforts in parts of the state affected by last year's flooding. Inside Appalachia host Jessica also speaks with Hoyer about what the National Guard learned from the flood.

We also hear more about our Struggle to Stay series.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, the battle over the state's budget continues at the Capitol. Ashton Marra brings us the latest from Thursday's late-night legislative session.

Mark Combs

Our Struggle to Stay series continues as we follow actor and Iraqi war veteran Mark Combs and his good friend and artist, Cameron Elias Williams. These young men took off from West Virginia hoping to land on their feet in Los Angeles - the land of abundant creative jobs - far from their economically depressed homes in Appalachia. But the target life in L.A. was harder to hit than expected. 


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