Inside Appalachia- Oct. 26, 2013


Kentucky prepares to introduce new science education standards.

A report on the effects of natural gas fracking is due out soon.

And we hear from two West Virginia writers with books out just in time for the spooky season.

KY New Science Curriculum: Kentucky is among several states preparing to introduce new science standards in public schools. But there’s opposition from a vocal minority. Kentucky Public Radio’s Devin Katayama has more on the challenges that face Kentucky as it once again leads the charge in changing what and how students learn science.             

WV Frack Study: The Horizontal Well Control Act of 2011 requires studies be conducted to gain a better understanding of the effects of the natural gas drilling that’s sweeping northern West Virginia, Pennsylvania and other states. Those reports are coming due, and this past week legislators in West Virginia got a sneak peek from scientists who have been looking into the matter. West Virginia Public Radio’s Glynis Board reports.    

PA Chemical Plants in Gulf: Because of shale gas, the U.S. has become the cheapest place in the world to make plastic. This has led to more than $100 billion in investment along the Gulf Coast in colossal new petrochemical plants that take natural gas and break it into the raw materials to make plastic. Western Pennsylvania may get its own taste of these cracker plants if Shell builds one in Beaver County. The Allegheny Front’s Reid Frazier took a trip to the Gulf to see what the impact may be if the plant is built in Pennsylvania. This is the first story in a four-part series by The Allegheny Front in Pittsburgh, paid for in part by the Fund for Investigative Journalism.

WV Lumberjack Jamboree: The Lumberjackin’ Bluegrassin’ Jamboree was in full swing earlier this month at Twin Falls State Park.  As West Virginia Public Radio’s Brian Allen reports the annual event includes speed competitions, vendors, and of course, bluegrass music.

WV Ghost Story Book: Just in time for Halloween- a book of ghost and mystery stories by a West Virginia writer. John Douglas of Berkeley Springs is the former editor of the Morgan County Messenger newspaper and his new book is called A Fog of Ghosts, Haunted Tales and Odd Pieces. Douglas discusses his book with West Virginia Public Radio’s Cecelia Mason.

WV Short Story Book: In the tradition of the old dime store novels, West Virginia State University student Frank Larnered has edited and published a book of short stories. Hills of Fire: Bare-Knuckle Yarns of Appalachia features 12 authors that showcase Appalachians as heroes. Larnered sat down with West Virginia Public Radio’s Beth Vorhees to talk about folklore, monsters and horror that inspires this book and his work.