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More Snowy Owls, Southern W.Va. Water Woes, Groundbreaking Crayfish Research & More

Inside Appalachia

This winter has brought a lot of snow, and snowy owls.

Some southern West Virginia residents almost always have unusable water.

We visit an old general store with a new purpose.

And learn more about the world of crayfish research.

Lot's of Snow and Snowy Owls: It's been a big year for snowy owls. People have reported seeing thousands of the magnificent Arctic birds, from Erie, Pennsylvania, to Washington, D.C., all the way to the island of Bermuda. Researchers say there are more owls this season than anyone has reported in fifty years. They call a population boom like this an eruption. The question for many people has been, why is it happening? The Allegheny Front's Julie Grant reports.

Geo-catching On: Two new geocache trails geared toward tourists open up this weekend in West Virginia. The Cabell County/Huntington Geotrail will take visitors on a treasure hunt through Cabell County looking for 15 caches.  This is the first time Cabell County has offered a geocache trail. Meanwhile, the Martinsburg Berkeley County Convention and Visitors Bureau kicks off its second annual geocache trail.Cecelia Mason has more.

Some Water Problems in W.Va. are More Permanent. While the chemical spill in Charleston, W.Va., created a temporary problem for customers of West Virginia American Water, some people living in other parts of the state deal continuously with unusable water. West Virginia Public Radio’s Jessica Lilly has been following the situation in Wyoming County and has this report.

Memories of an Old General Store: In the old days, every rural community boasted a general store. Traveling 219’s Roxy Todd found one of these old stores, which now has a new purpose, holds fond memories for some.

Pinch Yourself, This is a Crayfish Story. A new crawdad species has been discovered in West Virginia,Cambarus hatfieldi, from the Tug Fork River Basin. It’s actually one of three new crayfish species that’s recently been discovered and named. West Virginia Public Radio’s Glynis Board takes us to the magical world of crayfish research.

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.