Bill Lynch, Mason Adams, Kelley Libby, Chris Schulz, Caroline MacGregor, Margaret McLeod Leef Published

The Reign Of ‘King Coal,’ Inside Appalachia

A young woman works on a taxidermy bobcat.
Taxidermist Amy Ritchie is sharing the love of her craft with other enthusiasts.
Margaret McLeod Leef/West Virginia Public Broadcasting

This week, a high school football game, a street festival, and a kids’ classroom are all settings in a new film about how coal mining shapes Appalachian culture.

We also learn about the results of a new survey showing alarming mental health trends in Appalachia’s LGBTQ community.

And we meet a taxidermist in Yadkin County, North Carolina who was just a teenager when she found her calling.

You’ll hear these stories and more this week, Inside Appalachia.

In This Episode:

Conversing About “King Coal”

Lanie Marsh in the Cranberry Backcountry filming for “King Coal.” Courtesy

Elaine McMillion Sheldon is best known for the academy award nominated documentary “Heroin(e),” which highlighted the opioid epidemic in Appalachia through the city of Huntington, West Virginia.

Her latest film is the visionary “King Coal,” which is a kind of hybrid documentary that explores Appalachia’s relationship to coal.

Host Mason Adams spoke with Sheldon, co-producer Molly Born and breath artist Shodekeh Talifero.

The Troubling Toll Revealed In The Trevor Project

The Trevor project is a national non-profit organization that focuses on suicide prevention among LGBTQ youth. In May, the project released the results of a survey about mental health and the LGBTQ community. It revealed some concerning numbers.

Chris Schulz brought us the story. 

Inside Allergies In Appalachia

If your allergies are making you miserable this spring, you’re not alone. Caroline MacGregor talked to a West Virginia allergy specialist who confirms this year is a particularly tough one for seasonal allergy sufferers.

I Was A Teenage Taxidermist

A lot of people are fascinated by taxidermy, but we tend to be a little uncomfortable with the process that goes into making these animal mounts. The preservation and mounting of dead animals has been around for centuries.

Folkways Reporter Margaret McLeod Leef has the story of one expert practitioner in Yadkin County, North Carolina.


Our theme music is by Matt Jackfert. Other music this week was provided by Tim Bing, John Blisard, Erik Vincet Huey and Little Sparrow

Bill Lynch is our producer. Zander Aloi is our associate producer. Our executive producer is Eric Douglas. Kelley Libby is our editor. Our audio mixer is Patrick Stephens.

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You can find us on Instagram and Twitter @InAppalachia. Or here on Facebook.

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Inside Appalachia is a production of West Virginia Public Broadcasting.