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Kentucky's Race to the Top, Photographers Asked to Document Appalachia, Fasnacht and More

Inside Appalachia

Kentucky launches a new education program with its federal Race to the Top grant.

Retired military members make a case for better climate change policy.

Calling all photographers! For help documenting Appalachia 50 years after the War on Poverty.

An Appalachian village ushers in the Lenten season West Virginia style.

Kentucky Begins Its Race to the Top. One of President Obama’s signature programs is Race to the Top, a competitive $4.3 billion grant program, designed to reward states with plans for rigorous improvement in student achievement, and for fulfilling certain criteria in their K through 12 education systems. And in December 2013, eastern Kentucky was selected as one of only five places across the U.S. to receive a race to the top grant. WMMT's Sylvia Ryerson has this report.

Kentucky's AG Won't Handle Same-Sex Marriage Appeal. Last month, U.S. District Court Judge John Heyburn ruled that the Kentucky’s ban on gay marriage violated the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution, effectively allowing out-of-state same-sex marriages to be recognized in Kentucky. In an emotional press conference Tuesday, Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway announced that his office would not appeal Heyburn’s decision, saying that to do so would be to “defend discrimination.” But at the same time, Governor Steve Beshear is seeking outside counsel to lead an appeal effort.  Kentucky Public Radio’s Jonathan Meador spoke with Conway about his decision and the reactions to it.

Ice Fishing Fun. It’s been a cold winter and many bodies of water have frozen over this year. Some fisherman and women are making the most of the frigid temperatures and the last few days of the ice fishing in Pennsylvania.  The Allegheny Front's Kara Holsopple joined some anglers on the frozen Allegheny River in Armstrong County to find about their love for the sport and the outdoors.

Photos of Modern Appalachia Wanted. Appalachian photographer and West Virginia Native Roger May is taking on a new project looking at the region 50 Years after the War on Poverty. May has set up a web site and issued a call to photographers to submit photos from any county in the Appalachian region. West Virginia Public Radio’s Cecelia Mason spoke with May about Looking at Appalachia.

A West Virginia Winter Tradition. To usher in the Lenten season New Orleans has Mardi Gras, Brazil has Carnival, and West Virginia has a pre-lenten celebration in its own little Swiss village in the mountains.  Every year Helvetia in Randolph County hosts a Fasnacht festival. Traveling 219’s Roxy Todd brings us this story.

Cecelia Mason is West Virginia Public Broadcasting’s Eastern Panhandle Bureau Chief. Cecelia has worked in the Shepherd University bureau since December 1990 covering a variety of stories throughout the Eastern Panhandle and in Washington D.C. She can also be heard hosting Inside Appalachia.