Appalachian Economy

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, as the Ohio Valley suffers some of the nation’s highest rates of addiction and overdose deaths, a growing movement shows promise for those in recovery. Many are finding employment and support in food services and farms that specifically hire people who are recovering from addiction. Brittany Patterson has the story.

Eric Douglas / WVPB

West Virginia is home to numerous beverage companies that brew beer, distill spirits and syrups and press cider. The state also boasts farmers who produce fruits and grains those bottlers could use.

The problem is the two groups are often disconnected.

The “Craft: Farm to Bottle Summit” in South Charleston earlier week this aimed to address that gap, bringing the two groups together and helping each understand the other’s needs. The Robert C. Byrd Institute (RCBI) in Huntington organized the summit. More than 100 people attended.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Moring, we reported earlier this year on an economic development project to grow lavender on former strip mines in West Virginia. After the story aired, we heard from a number of students involved in the program, saying they were disappointed and felt misled by the outcomes of the project, called Green Mining. Roxy Todd revisits the story to find out what happened, and if the project is still going as expected.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, The Legislature Today Executive Producer Suzanne Higgins speaks with the director of the Oscar-nominated film Heroin(e) and two women featured in it. We bring you an excerpt with one of those women: Patricia Keller, family court and former longtime drug court judge, who discusses the work she’s doing in Huntington to fight the opioid epidemic.

WVPB/ Janet Kunicki

Gwynn Guilford is a reporter for Quartz, a business news site. She specializes in writing about the economy. Guilford spent 10 months researching Appalachia’s economy for an article called “The 100-year capitalist experiment that keeps Appalachia poor, sick, and stuck on coal”. Guilford dug into the history of the region’s economic ties to the coal industry, and the long-term effects this relationship has had on the people who live and are determined to stay in Appalachia.

West Virginia Public Broadcasting reporter Roxy Todd spoke with Guilford about her report.