Felons, Fungus And Fiddles On This West Virginia Morning


On this West Virginia Morning, we have stories about an award-winning fiddler, a special kind of fungi housed at West Virginia University, and we hear from a Kentucky voter who previously had her voting rights taken away due to a felony charge.

An old-time musician from Clay County has been awarded a National Endowment for the Arts’ fellowship: The first West Virginian in 20 years to receive the honor. Caitlin Tan has more.

We also listen back to a story from last year that Roxy Todd produced about John Morris and his fiddle student Jen Iskow.

Folks throughout Kentucky held their state’s primary elections Tuesday. It’s a momentous occasion for some Kentuckians who have just had voting rights restored by executive order. Most states are like West Virginia in that voting rights are automatically restored to people who have served out criminal sentences. But until just recently Kentucky banned anyone with a felony record from voting. The Ohio Valley ReSource’s Becca Schimmel has this report about one woman who is savoring her right to vote.

During this pandemic, a lot of us are working from home. But some work just can’t be done from the couch. Many scientists across the country have struggled to maintain access to their research. That includes research that involves things like taking care of living collections. Living collections are like libraries of living things, and they’re usually housed at academic institutions.  

West Virginia University is home to a really important collection of living fungi. These little guys are especially helpful in West Virginia, because they can help us do crazy things like reclaim stripped land.  

Liz McCormick recently spoke with Matt Kasson, associate professor of plant pathology at WVU and the scientist who oversees this collection.

As of last week, Matt and his lab have been able to start fulfilling orders again for these special microorganisms after a decline in orders by 70 percent compared to this time last year.

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.

Listen to West Virginia Morning weekdays at 7:43 a.m. on WVPB Radio or subscribe to the podcast and never miss an episode. #WVMorning