A Glimpse Into Kentucky Teen's Fight Against Racism, COVID-19's Impact On Tourism, Worship


On this West Virginia Morning, a group of residents in Letcher County, Kentucky confront a judge over a Facebook post in which he downplayed racism and accused protesters of heightening tensions. Also, in this show, we hear how religious leaders in West Virginia are responding to the coronavirus pandemic at their places of worship. We also visit some towns in the state to hear how the pandemic’s economic impact is affecting local tourism.

As West Virginia surpasses 2,800 positive cases of COVID-19, there have been several scares, hotspots and outbreaks, most recently in churches. Emily Allen spoke with several religious leaders throughout the state last week about how they’re handling the coronavirus pandemic at their places of worship.

Conversations about police brutality and racial equality are sending shockwaves across the nation, and rural communities are no exception. From our America Amplified Initiative, reporter Sydney Boles of WMMT takes us to Whitesburg, Kentucky; a tiny Appalachian town that recently found itself in the midst of its own racial reckoning. That came after the county’s highest elected official criticized Black Lives Matter protests in a Facebook post.     

In Appalachia, some communities that historically relied on coal have been reimagining themselves based on another natural resource — the great outdoors and tourism. But then came the coronavirus, threatening the emerging local tourism economies. Brittany Patterson recently visited some towns, where people are dealing with both coal’s collapse and the pandemic’s economic threats to local businesses.

West Virginia Morning is a production of West Virginia Public Broadcasting which is solely responsible for its content.

Support for our news bureaus comes from West Virginia University, Concord University, and Shepherd University.

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