Inside Appalachia- Nov. 2, 2013


How much mine-able coal is left in Appalachia?

An old coal company store in Southern West Virginia has some spooky history.

We revisit the story of the Greenbrier Ghost, through the voices of school children.

And learn how growing a garden benefits women in a Pocahontas County prison facility.

Mine-able Coal Study: A study released this past week says mine-able coal will run out much more quickly than expected. The report comes from an environmental organization and the author claims its science based and not politically driven. West Virginia Public Radio’s Jessica Lilly has more.

Houston Air Quality: Royal Dutch Shell may or may not build a plant in Western Pennsylvania that would create ethylene, a key component of plastic, from natural gas. The company is rethinking its plans in light of disappointing third quarter profits. If it’s built, an ethane cracker in Beaver County would have a major impact on jobs in the region. But what impact will it have on air quality in a region that has struggled for decades to clean up its air? The answer may lie in the city of Houston, home to the largest chemical hub in the Americas, and one of the smoggiest cities in the country. The Allegheny Front’s Reid Frazier traveled to Houston to learn more.

Haunted Company Store: Built during a time of labor strife in the southern coalfields, the Whipple Company Store in Fayette County, W.Va., is one of those buildings that just LOOKS haunted. Every Halloween, the owners offer haunted history tours. Producer Catherine Moore set out to do a fun piece about the reported paranormal activity at the store with a couple of local ghost hunters. Well, she got more than she bargained for and found out that there’s a lot more to the so-called hauntings and to the history of the store, than meets the eye. Now, here’s The Soul of a Company Store, a 20-minute documentary produced by Catherine Moore.

Prison Vegetable Garden: Grow Appalachia is an organization based in Berea, Ky., that promotes growing local food across four states, Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. The organization’s web site says, as of April, Grow Appalachia was working with more than 25 partner sites in 39 counties. One of those sites is the Denmar Birthing Center in Pocahontas County, W.Va., a facility for pregnant federal prison inmates. Allegheny Mountain Radio’s Megan Moriarty visited Denmar recently to learn more about the garden project and has this report.