Growing Grapes on Stripped Land, Putting Frack Waste in Landfills, Finding Lost Poets and More


Some land in Wise Virginia has gone from producing coal, to producing grapes.

West Virginians debate whether frack waste should be dumped in local landfills.

Two long forgotten African American poets are recognized.

And we learn more about jazz pianist Bob Thompson.

From Coal Mine to Vinyard. As some see it, we need to look towards our future, to look back at our past. Before there was coal there was fruit, at least in Wise County, Va. Wise was once one of the top apple-growing counties in the state. And one determined family is bringing back fruit growing and finding a new use for land stripped of its coal. WMMT’s Rich Kirby has this report.

Should Frack Waste Go Local Landfills? In the West Virginia legislature the House Judiciary Committee heard thoughts and concerns during a public hearing about a piece of pending legislation that allows the disposal in commercial landfills of waste generated from fracking sites. West Virginia Public Radio’s Glynis Board Reports.

Restoring the Vote to Kentucky Felons. In Kentucky, one of out of every five adult African-Americans has lost the right to vote due to a felony conviction. A bill passed by the state legislature would place a measure on the November ballot to amend the state constitution to restore voting rights to felons. But as Kentucky Public Radio’s Jonathan Meador reports, critics say the very compromise that allowed for the bill’s passage in the Senate would trap many felons in a prison of taxation without representation.

Is Road Salt Bad for the Environment? The cold, snow and ice have meant a lot of work for road crews, trying to keep the streets clear for drivers. And that means a lot of road salt. The Allegheny Front’s Julie Grant looks at what all this salt means for the environment. 

WWI Through the Eyes of Two African American Poets. The nation’s first and only building memorializing African American veterans of World War One is located in Kimball in McDowell County West Virginia. Thursday night there was a Black History Month celebration at the Memorial highlighting the work of two previously unknown poets from the era. The two sisters from Beckley, W.Va, Ada and Ethel Peters, who at age 17 and 19 wrote an 83 page book that was published in 1919.

Jazzing It Up. Lovers of live music in the Kanawha Valley area of West Virginia are no doubt familiar with jazz pianist Bob Thompson. Thompson has had a long career that has taken him across the country and around the world. He recently sat down to talk to West Virginia Public Radio’s Beth Vorhees.