Inside Appalachia- Sept. 28, 2013

Oct 3, 2013

States are getting ready for Obamacare.

One of this year’s Inspiring West Virginians is a businesswoman from Morgantown.

Kentucky’s Poet Laureate talks about his work and diversity in Appalachia.

And we visit a school in North Carolina where the Cherokee language is taught.

KY Obamacare: A major provision in the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, went into effect on Oct. 1, 2013. That’s when the public could start shopping on the health care exchanges that make insurance available for everyone. In Kentucky a group called Voices for Health worked with diverse organizations throughout the state to educate citizens about the new insurance marketplace, Kynect. Uninsured Kentuckians can use the exchange to begin enrolling in a health care plan. The executive director of Kentucky Voices for Health, Regan Hunt, says her group is crisscrossing the state, using a calendar of outreach events to explain the A-C-A and how it affects consumers and businesses. 

WV Inspiring West Virginian: For the fourth year West Virginia Public Radio has presented Inspiring West Virginians, a radio documentary with stories about people who have made a mark in their community, the state and even the nation. Starting today and over the next three weeks Inside Appalachia will feature profiles by independent producer Jean Snedegar of this year’s Inspiring West Virginians, beginning with the state’s current Small Business Person of the Year, Diane Lewis, an African American entrepreneur, who, despite growing up in poverty, has built a thriving business employing hundreds of people in multiple states.

WV The Butler Author: In most cases, a novel or biography inspires a film. But for journalist and author Wil Haygood, the sequence has been dramatically different.  A November 7th, 2008 article by Haygood in The Washington Post inspired the Lee Daniels film The Butler and then Haygood went back to write the book, The Butler: A Witness to History. West Virginia Public Radio’s Dave Mistich has more on the author, his subject, and the lengths he went through to tell a story that’s been captivating the nation.

WV Frank X. Walker: The West Virginia Library Commission is hoping folks across the state will read Kentucky Poet Laureate Frank X. Walker’s book, Affrilachia.  The book of poetry is this year’s choice for the One Book, One West Virginia common reading program. Walker, who is director of the African American and Africana Studies Program at the University of Kentucky, spent most of this past week as the Appalachian Writer in Residence at Shepherd University where he took the time to talk about his career as a writer and artist activist.

NC Cherokee Language: 229 million people speak English in the United States. Around 35 million speak Spanish, and roughly three million speak Chinese. But in the Smoky Mountains of North Carolina, there are only a few hundred people left speaking a language and dialect that was once heard across a wide part of the South. WUOT’s Christine Jessel reports the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians is struggling to preserve not just their language but their cultural identity.