Inside Appalachia

Karen Spears Zacharias.
Submitted Photo

The 2018 Appalachian Heritage Writer-in-Residence at Shepherd University is Karen Spears Zacharias. Zacharias grew up in a military family but spent most of her childhood in the hills of Appalachia.

During the Vietnam War, her father was killed in action, and his death left a major impact on Zacharias’ life and the lives of her mother and siblings.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morining, teachers gathered on the steps of the state Capitol Sunday, Sept. 16, to rally support for electoral candidates who say they will make fixing the Public Employee Insurance Agency a top priority. Kara Lofton reports.

Jim Antonini, an occupational health science researcher, fields a ball at shortstop for Chico's Bail Bonds. As team captain, Antonini is in charge of the always-entertaining game write-ups that recap the misery suffered by the Morgantown softball team.
Jesse Wright / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

As we head into the final weeks of summer, this week on Inside Appalachia we explore the impact of baseball throughout the region. We’ll learn about the history of early baseball in the coal camp towns of southern West Virginia, and go inside the legendary baseball bat factory — the Louisville Sluggers. And we’ll meet a man who went from living in an isolated timber town in Pocahontas County, West Virginia to being a professional umpire for the Cincinnati Reds.

Molly Born/ WVPB

This week on Inside Appalachia we're revisiting an episode from earlier this year, exploring issues in our region’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. We’ll hear from a teenager getting ready for an LGBT formal. We’ll learn how difficult it can be to access healthcare in eastern Kentucky for one gender nonconforming Appalachian.

Daniel Walker/ WVPB

This week on Inside Appalachia, we’re going on a road trip to meet people who are working in Appalachia to preserve American culture and traditions.

Emily Hilliard/ WV Folklife Program

This story is part of an episode of Inside Appalachia about Professional Wrestling in Appalachia. Click here to listen to the full episode. 

In Madison, West Virginia, All Star Wrestling draws hundreds of people to most matches. The crowd is no different than any West Virginia high school sporting event: Plenty of kids, small children to teenagers—and parents, grandparents, and others who you can tell by the skeptical  look on their faces, are not that into it. They brought their kid who loves wrestling and that’s the only reason why they are sitting in an audience surrounded by screaming fans with music blaring.


West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we’ll visit a plantation owned by a villainized African-American woman, and we’ll hear the latest on halted construction of both the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and the Mountain Valley Pipeline.

Carrie Neumayer/ KyCIR

This week on Inside Appalachia, we’ll learn about the life of  Kentucky politician and pastor Danny Johnson, and the investigation that exposed a long line of questionable actions that preceded his rise to power. 


Charles Kleine

A comedian, an actor and dog move from West Virginia across the country chasing big dreams. What could possibly go wrong?

On this week’s episode of Inside Appalachia, we’re talking about two things you’re likely to find on a supper table in Appalachia: Jell-O and mason jars.

Corinne Segal/ PBS Newshour

Marshall’s LGBTQ+ office is located in a central campus building, down in the small corner of the basement. There’s a comfy lounge area, with couches, books and a TV. The students meet here for occasional support group meetings, or just to watch movies and unwind. In a back room, there’s a walk-in closet with hundreds of dresses, suits, pants and shoes arranged on hangers and shelves. A full-length mirror hangs on the door. 


West Virginia University/ West Virginia & Regional History Center

Inside Appalachia is working on an episode about baseball in Appalachia. Many people who grew up in Appalachia remember playing baseball -- especially when coal was thriving. Company-sponsored teams were common throughout the coalfields.

What are your baseball memories?

A group of teens walks on the campus of West Virginia State University to the Rainbow Formal, the state's first LGBTQ prom.
Molly Born / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this week’s show, we’re exploring issues in our region’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. We’ll hear from a teenager getting ready for an LGBT formal. We’ll learn how difficult it can be to access healthcare in eastern Kentucky for one gender nonconforming Appalachian. We’ll also take a look at efforts in West Virginia to provide legal protection to people regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we’ll hear about a new program at Marshall University that aims to accommodate all students. It’s called the Trans Closet -- where students who identify as transgender can find clothing in a judgement-free zone. This story and more on West Virginia Morning.

Carol Guzy/ NPR

Can Trump bring coal jobs back to Appalachia? We’re a year-and-a-half into his presidency, and some people, like coal operator Barry Estep, are hopeful.

“Maybe this is a light at the end of the tunnel we’ve all been hoping for, to get things turned around and changed some.”

But others are not so sure that coal has a long-term future. 


Arbuckle Creek, Minden
Brittany Patterson

On this week’s episode of Inside Appalachia, we’ll visit Minden, West Virginia, where residents are asking the federal government to consider adding their town to an official list of places most seriously contaminated by hazardous waste. But this nearly 40-year-old program’s budget has faced repeated cuts over the past 20 years. We’ll learn about how that may affect cleanup efforts for communities that are designated as U.S. Department of Environmental Protection Superfund sites.

Brittany Patterson / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

UPDATE 6/1/18:

After this story was published, resident Annetta Coffman sent West Virginia Public Broadcasting a list including an additional 89 names of people in Minden who have had cancer or died of cancer. West Virginia Public Broadcasting reported earlier that according to an unofficial list compiled by community members, about 152 people have had cancer or died of cancer in this community of 250 residents.


Roxy Todd/ West Virginia Public Broadcasting

This week on Inside Appalachia we’re going to listen back to an episode we originally aired in 2017, about veterans who are turning to traditional farming, for therapy.

We’ll travel to Sugar Bottom Farm in Clay County West Virginia to meet Veteran Eric Grandon, the first veteran to go through the Veterans and Warriors to Agriculture program.


Last year on Inside Appalachia we aired an episode about Grandparents raising grandchildren. Our newsroom just won a Regional Edward R. Murrow Award for this series, so today, we’re listening back to this important story.  

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we hear from a young girl in North Carolina who shares her story of growing up in Appalachia; we hear about the new Voter ID law that went into effect this year; and the Ohio Valley ReSource brings us an update potential tariffs of steel and aluminum manufacturers.

courtesy Partnership for Appalachian Girls' Education

Our region has challenges, from the economic decline of the coal industry, to the opioid epidemic, there’s work to do in our communities. In this episode of Inside Appalachia, we’ll hear from several people who are trying to reinvigorate our region with opportunities for change. We’ll also hear from some younger voices in Appalachian, North Carolina about growing up in the mountains.

 


Roxy Todd/ West Virginia Public Broadcasting

It’s been a year since we started following six Appalachians as they grappled with whether to stay in their home state or leave for better opportunities. On this week’s episode, we’ll revisit those we profiled in our Struggle to Stay series– and reflect on what we learned as we helped them tell their stories.


ASSOCIATED PRESS

In this week's episode of Inside Appalachia, we visit communities impacted by creation of flood-control lakes. In one, the Village of Lilly, about 40 families were pushed off their land along the Bluestone River in Summers County, W.Va., in the 1940s. Many of these families had lived there for more than 200 years. 


Kara Lofton/ West Virginia Public Broadcast

This week on Inside Appalachia, we'll learn more about how our reliance on coal and other extractive industries have affected our region’s economy.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, President Donald Trump held a roundtable discussion Thursday in White Sulphur Springs that was originally billed to highlight the impact of last year’s federal tax reform legislation. But, at various points, Trump veered off course to address issues such as immigration, trade, energy policy and the race for U.S. Senator Joe Manchin’s seat. Dave Mistich brings us the details.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we hear from West Virginia high schools students gearing up for the March for Our Lives event in Washington, D.C.; a farmer and chef who uses maple syrup as a main ingredient in his recipes; a former coal miner and veteran who has been honored with the President’s Lifetime Achievement Award in volunteerism; and this week's Mountain Stage Song of the Week.

CREDIT COURTESY OF WV STATE ARCHIVES (WVSA), COAL LIFE COLLECTION

After a nine-day statewide strike, West Virginia teachers and school service employees are back to work with a hard-won commitment from lawmakers of a 5 percent pay raise for all public workers. Gov. Jim Justice also ordered the creation of a task force to explore long-term solutions to the public employees insurance program known as PEIA.

Katie Fallon

In honor of Valentine’s Day, this week's encore episode of Inside Appalachia features one of our favorite and most downloaded podcasts. We hear from writers Neil Gaiman, Ann Pancake, Carrie Mullins, Charles Frazier, and Nikki Giovanni sharing their love letters to Appalachia. It's a place that, while flawed, has been a source of inspiration and awe for them.


courtesy photo

This week on Inside Appalachia, we'll hear stories of women whose grit and determination changed their own lives - and changed other people's lives, too. We’ll hear from women who overcame a lot of challenges to succeed as students, musicians, entrepreneurs and educators.

oxycontin
Toby Talbot / Associated Press

Between 1999 and 2015, roughly 300,000 people in the United States died from opioid overdoses. And of the five states with the highest rates of drug overdose deaths in 2016, four were in Appalachia. The opioid epidemic is killing our friends and neighbors.

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