Kara Lofton/ West Virginia Public Broadcast

In this episode of Inside Appalachia, we are listening back to a show that originally aired in 2018. It’s about poverty. Appalachia is not the only place in America where some people live in extreme poverty. But several communities here are among the poorest.

Poverty is an issue that we’re sure to hear even more about in the coming months, perhaps years, as our country grapples with the effects of the recession we’re currently facing as a result of COVID-19.

Liam Niemeyer / Ohio Valley Resource


Tina Ryan knows the hallways of East Calloway Elementary better than most. Besides working as a school nurse here for 20 years, Ryan, who is 55, was also a student here herself. 

“I’m probably one of the older ones here as far as staff and things. Or maybe the oldest one here,” she said with a laugh. “I was happy to know I was coming to East Elementary when I got the job. Because I was an alumni here.”

National Weather Service

The remnants of Hurricane Laura are expected to make their way across West Virginia late Friday evening and into early Saturday morning, according to federal weather forecasters. 


The National Weather Service said the storm, which made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane along the Gulf Coast in Cameron, Louisiana, is expected to be significantly weaker when it travels through the Mountain State. 


We had some technical issues yesterday morning so on this West Virginia Morning, we’ll once again hear about community health centers. And it’s our Mountain Stage Song of the Week.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Symphony Orchestra

The West Virginia Symphony Orchestra has announced it is canceling the first half of its season this fall due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The cancellation affects the concerts scheduled for October through January. The organization hopes to resume with programs scheduled for February through May if possible.

President Joe Tackett said in a news release the orchestra has received support from patrons, donors and corporate, foundation and community partners for 81 years but expects the cancellations will have “a tremendous impact on the finances of the orchestra.”

heliopix / Adobe stock

Seventeen West Virginia University students have been placed on probation for conduct violations related to the coronavirus pandemic.

Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Centers for Disease Control & Prevention

The toll on West Virginia's older population during the coronavirus pandemic kept mounting with the reported deaths Thursday of nine senior citizens from six different counties.

Aldarinho / Adobe Stock

The costs of treating COVID-19 patients are mounting, and they present a significant burden on the healthcare system in West Virginia, a state already hit by lost revenue from reduced visits to the emergency department and the canceling of non-emergency surgeries.

Nominations are open for West Virginia Public Broadcasting's Above And Beyond award, which recognizes and rewards excellence and creativity in teaching.

Beginning in October, a West Virginia teacher will be chosen each month to be surprised and rewarded for his or her ingenuity in — and in the case of potential coronavirus lock-down situations — out of the classroom.

The Appalachian Regional Commission with data from the U.S. Census Bureau

West Virginians who have not responded to the U.S. Census might have a field worker showing up on their doorstep within the next five weeks.

On this West Virginia Morning, we take a deep dive into how COVID-19 is affecting health and health care in the Mountain State.

Brian Blauser/ Mountain Stage

Iconic musician, songwriter and producer Nick Lowe returned to Mountain Stage flanked by surf-rock legends Los Straitjackets last Fall. They performed a legendary set, including tunes from their latest EP “Love Starvation/Trombone," and Lowe's most timeless song, "(What's So Funny About) Peace Love and Understanding."

Trey Kay

The coronavirus confronts every aspect of our society — with our health care systems front and center in the crosshairs. When hospitals canceled nonessential medical procedures at the beginning of the pandemic, it created an economic free fall.  U.S. hospitals have lost $200 billion dollars and laid off nearly a million workers.

Roxy Todd/ WVPB

Coalfield Development, a non-profit organization in southern West Virginia that works toward economic revitalization through new job training opportunities, is celebrating its 10-year anniversary.

Since 2010 the organization has trained over 1,200 people across the state.

The organization currently employs 34 full-time employees in West Virginia. It pairs on-the-job-training with time to pursue a college degree at a community college. Participants are also paid three hours a week to pursue personal development like life-skill training.

The West Virginia Public Broadcasting team, along with many of its great friends, will read the book Evelyn Del Rey Is Moving Away by Meg Medina to children across the Mountain State on October 29, 2020, as part of Jumpstart’s international initiative, Read for the Record.

Kelly Griffith, WVPB’s Director of Education, says she's looking to make sure there are readers in each of West Virginia’s 55 counties.

Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Centers for Disease Control & Prevention

Kanawha County is the latest to advance in the state’s color-coded map for community coronavirus spread in counties.

It moved into the orange zone from 9.7 average daily cases per 100,000 people on a rolling 7-day average Sunday, to nearly 12 on Tuesday.

Michael Durham / Bat Conservation International

This story was updated on 8/27/20.

If you look up into the sky, you might see low-flying planes over the mountains dropping brown pellets for the next couple of weeks.

Courtesy photo

David Joy is an award-winning author from the Appalachian mountains of North Carolina. His latest novel, “When These Mountains Burn,” is set against the backdrop of the 2016 forest fires that tore through the region, as well as the opioid epidemic that is still destroying communities around him. 

In the book, Joy looks at how different communities are responding to the epidemic, from the white mountain community where his characters live, to the nearby Eastern Band of Cherokee tribal community that takes a more supportive approach. 

Updated at 1:30 a.m. ET Thursday

Hurricane Laura made landfall at 1 a.m. ET Thursday with extreme winds and an expected "catastrophic" storm surge in parts of Texas and Louisiana, according to the National Hurricane Center.

On this West Virginia Morning, we hear from artists working hard every day to bring us beauty and perspective here in Appalachia.

Caitlin Tan / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Families welcomed home 138 members of the West Virginia National Guard at Laidley Field in Charleston Tuesday.

Reenactors in period costume at the recent Suffrage Centennial event at the West Virginia Culture Center
Janet Kunicki / WVPB

The 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote, is Wednesday, Aug. 26. Across the state, in-person and virtual commemorations will honor the day.

Congress passed the 19th Amendment in June 1919, with West Virginia becoming the 34th state to ratify it. It was added to the U.S. Constitution on August 26, 1920.

Courtesy of Bobby Balthis

The Mine Safety and Health Administration is declining to issue an emergency temporary standard that could protect coal miners whose jobs make them vulnerable to the coronavirus.

That’s according to an Aug. 14 letter from Department of Labor Deputy Assistant Secretary Joe Wheeler to West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin. MSHA can issue emergency temporary standards only when it determines that miners are exposed to a grave danger. It has only issued a handful of such standards, MSHA said, typically in the aftermath of large-scale mining disasters.

In the letter, Wheeler writes, “At this time, MSHA has determined it lacks evidence that COVID-19 poses a grave risk specific to miners.”

Fee Proposal Roils Small Ky. Food Producers

Aug 25, 2020
Sydney Boles / Ohio Valley ReSource

Small food producers in Kentucky aired their disapproval during a virtual public hearing  Monday for a proposed rule that could increase permitting fees for some producers by more than 1,000 percent. One Democratic state representative believes the proposed regulation could also clash with a bill signed by Gov. Andy Beshear this year to help local public health departments become more sustainable.

Joe and Jill Biden following the nominee's virtual convention address.
Courtesy DNC video


Democrats made their pitch to the American people during a largely virtual Democratic National Convention and addressing climate change emerged as a central tenet of the party’s plan. 


The party platform spells out a major investment in green energy jobs and infrastructure in order for America to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emission no later than by 2050. Environmental justice is a key component of the Democrat’s climate plan and it references ensuring fossil fuel workers and communities receive investment and support during this clean energy transition. 

On this West Virginia Morning, we’ll hear from award-winning filmmaker Elaine McMillion Sheldon, about her passion for shining a light on the resilience and strength of Appalachians. 

Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Centers for Disease Control & Prevention

An executive order from West Virginia’s governor will take effect Tuesday morning, adding some flexibility for nursing home visitations as the state continues monitoring more than 30 outbreaks in long-term care facilities.


West Virginia prison officials have identified three prisoner COVID-19 cases at the Mount Olive Correctional Center in Fayette County as of Monday.

The Latest On The Race For A Coronavirus Vaccine

Aug 24, 2020

Across the globe, the development of a coronavirus vaccine is in the works. In the U.S., public health experts are contending with the fact that at least at first, there won’t be enough for everyone in need. Officials at Johns Hopkins University released a suggested framework for distribution of the vaccine that prioritizes frontline health care workers.

Appalachia has many strengths and faces many challenges. Some of those are addressed in a new book produced by the Ohio Valley ReSource, a public media reporting collaborative made up of reporters from West Virginia, Ohio and Kentucky.