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Historic Flooding, Award-Winning Barbeque And Writing About The Opioid Epidemic

Severe Weather Appalachia
Brynn Anderson
FILE - Piles of debris and mud cover a road after massive flooding Aug. 5, 2022, in Lost Creek, Ky. Gov. Andy Beshear pointed to signs of progress Thursday, Aug. 18, as federal emergency personnel respond to requests for assistance in flood-ravaged eastern Kentucky, but stressed it is “still not enough” as people work to recover from the disaster that swept away homes and inundated communities.

This week on Inside Appalachia, we’re visiting the Hindman Settlement School in Kentucky, whose cultural archives were damaged by historic flooding.

Then we’ll head over to Pounding Mill, Virginia to learn the secrets behind Cuz’s Uptown Barbeque, an award-winning fusion restaurant.

We’ll also hear from Beth Macy, author of “Dopesick,” which became the basis for a Hulu miniseries. Her latest book, “Raising Lazarus,” continues the conversation about the opioid epidemic.

All that and more this week as we journey Inside Appalachia.

In This Episode:

  • Flooding Threatens Kentucky Cultural Center
  • Amid Wet Summer, FEMA And SBA Deliver Relief
  • Fusion BBQ Restaurant Inspired By Asian Cuisine
  • Dairy Birthing At The West Virginia State Fair 

Flooding Threatens Kentucky Cultural Center

Flooding in eastern Kentucky killed at least 39 people, and destroyed hundreds of homes and businesses. Some of the region’s cultural centers have been threatened, too. Like the Hindman Settlement School, which has preserved more than a century of Appalachian heritage. WFPL’s Stephanie Wolf takes us to Hindman for the story.

When Kentucky began flooding, Hindman was host of the Appalachian Writer’s Workshop, a longtime annual gathering of literary artists. Our producer, Bill Lynch, spoke with Robert Gipe and Amanda Slone, two writers who’d been at the workshop when the rains came.

Amid Wet Summer, FEMA And SBA Deliver Relief

Since those devastating floods hit eastern Kentucky, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Small Business Administration (SBA) have been helping with delivering aid. West Virginia’s also seen flooding this year, amid one of the wettest summers on record.

West Virginia Public Broadcasting (WVPB) News Director Eric Douglas spoke with Patrick Boland from FEMA and Laurie Dana from the SBA about what they’re doing to help provide relief in Kentucky.

Fusion BBQ Restaurant Inspired By Asian Cuisine

People love to argue over which barbecue sauce is most authentic — vinegar, tomato or mustard-based. But Cuz’s Uptown Barbeque in Tazewell County, Virginia is distinguished by something entirely different. For one thing, its food is inspired by Asian cuisine and local mountain specialties. You can find things on its menu like Morel mushrooms, cheesy egg rolls and country ham caprese. Folkways reporter Connie Bailey Kitts and her family recently stopped in at Cuz’s for dinner. Connie took this story to go.

Dairy Birthing At The West Virginia State Fair 

dairy pic.jpg
Randy Yohe
West Virginia Public Broadcasting
Dairy farm owner Remington Perkins with a barn full of pregnant cows ready to give birth.

Late summer and fall are prime time for county and state fairs. People come out for country music concerts, funnel cakes and a ride on the tilt-a-whirl. It’s also a place where folks can see traditional crafts and the biggest and best from local farms. WVPB’s Randy Yohe visited the West Virginia State Fair in August and brings us this story from one of the fair’s favorite attractions — the Dairy Birthing Center.

Hope, Justice And The Future Of America’s Opioid Crisis

Beth Macy_creditTomLandon.jpg
Tom Landon
Beth Macy is a long-time journalist of Roanoke, Virginia and the author of Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors and the Drug Company that Addicted America.

The Hulu miniseries "Dopesick" is a fictional take on the very real, and very devastating, stories of people affected by the opioid crisis — and the companies that helped create it. Nominated for 14 Emmys, the show is based on the 2018 book “Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted America,” by Roanoke, Virginia journalist Beth Macy.

Now, Macy is back with “Raising Lazarus: Hope, Justice and the Future of America’s Opioid Crisis,” which continues the conversation and examines ways people are trying to help — through harm reduction and needle exchange programs — and through attempts to hold drug manufacturers accountable. Macy talked with Jeff Bossert of member station Radio IQ for this story.


Our theme music is by Matt Jackfert. Other music this week was provided by Watchhouse, Chris Knight, June Carter Cash, Amythyst Kiah and Tyler Childers.

Bill Lynch is our producer. Alex Runyon is our associate producer. Our executive producer is Eric Douglas. Kelley Libby is our editor. Our audio mixer is Patrick Stephens. Zander Aloi also helped produce this episode. You can find us on Twitter and Instagram @InAppalachia.

You can also send us an email to InsideAppalachia@wvpublic.org or message us on Facebook.

Inside Appalachia is a production of West Virginia Public Broadcasting.

Stay Connected
Inside Appalachia Co-Host/Folkways Reporter, mason.j.adams@gmail.com, @MasonAtoms
Inside Appalachia Producer, blynch@wvpublic.org, @LostHwys
Kelley Libby is a Virginia-based public radio editor and producer. She currently edits for Inside Appalachia and its Folkways Reporting Project at WVPB. You can reach here at kelleylibby@gmail.com
Alex Runyon is a proud Huntington, West Virginia native. She attended Marshall University and earned degrees in creative writing and literary studies, dabbling in journalism, photography and women’s studies along the way. She worked as a freelance photographer and social media strategist before joining the Inside Appalachia team as Associate Producer. Alex enjoys writing and performing stand up comedy, hiking, screenwriting and playing board games. She lives in Huntington, West Virginia with her cat, Waylon Kittings. Follow her on Twitter @_AlexRunyon.