Arts & Culture

Updated at 10:30 a.m. ET

The Boy Scouts of America has filed for bankruptcy, a sign of the century-old organization's financial instability as it faces some 300 lawsuits from men who say they were sexually abused as Scouts.

The organization says it will use the Chapter 11 process to create a trust to provide compensation to victims. Scouting programs will continue throughout.

Caitlin Tan / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

In rural Preston County, West Virginia, potter Mel Sword’s house is located at the end of a gravel road, near a road called "Wildflower Way" and a creek that feeds into the Cheat River. His home nestles rolling fields of green grass, and behind that are mounds of dirt, clay that to Sword is half the reason he bought this property about ten years ago.

Courtesy Frank and Emita Stowers

Here at West Virginia Public Broadcasting, there is a man who works at our station who has become something of a legend. Frank Stowers is a part time host of our classical music programming. Roxy Todd sat down with Frank and his wife of 67 years, Emita Stowers, to hear their story. 


West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, West Virginia has long been known for its apple production. But apple farmers are struggling and orchards are disappearing.

We bring you a special report and discussion on the challenges faced by West Virginia’s farmers. We also bring you the latest news from the Capitol.

Courtesy photo

Community-based efforts can make a real impact in the fight against the opioid epidemic and could benefit from additional funding. One question, though, is whether money from court settlements against drug manufacturers and distributors will trickle down to community efforts. 

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, a new survey from APM Research Lab shows attitudes across the country toward immigrants shift depending on the makeup of our local communities.

Kirk Douglas, the self-described "ragman's son" who became a global Hollywood superstar in the 1950s and '60s, died on Wednesday. He was 103. Douglas was often cast as a troubled tough guy in films, most famously as a rebellious Roman slave named Spartacus. Off-screen, he was devoted to family and to humanitarian causes.

The Melungeon people of east Tennessee were isolated and discriminated against throughout much of their history. They began to be “othered” in the 1800s for being mixed-race Appalachians.

Melungeons are considered a tri-racial isolate, meaning they are a combination of traits from multiple ethnic backgrounds, thus, creating their own unique culture. Today we know the Melungeon are African, white European and Native American. 

Brittany Patterson / Ohio Valley ReSource

Stories about Appalachia tend to fall into two camps-- quaint stories about cultural oddities, or reports about grim health and economic statics that our region struggles with. And while those stories have merit, they aren’t the only stories that matter.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we’ll hear reports about natural gas, grocery store closures, and pirates – of the sporting kind.

Joanne C. Sullivan

On a sunny day in early September, hundreds of Wheeling residents, state lawmakers, and the Pride of West Virginia, West Virginia University’s marching band, all came out to Main St. in Wheeling to celebrate an important milestone in the city’s history: 250 years.


West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we’ll hear about the foster care system, and kinship parents – often grandparents – who are raising their children’s kids.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, energy and environment reporter Brittany Patterson spoke with Del. Bill Anderson, chairman of the House Energy Committee, and House Energy Committee member, Del. Mike Caputo on last night’s episode of The Legislature Today. They spoke about the role coal is likely to play in the future of West Virginia’s energy mix.

We hear an excerpt from the interview, taped live at the Capitol.

Weirton’s Serbian Heritage Is A Chicken Blast

Jan 21, 2020
Emily Hilliard / West Virginia Humanities Council

Every summer Wednesday since 1969, members of the Serbian Eastern Orthodox Church Men’s Club have gathered at the Serbian Picnic Grounds along King’s Creek outside of Weirton, West Virginia. In a long, cement block building, they mill about in the dawn light, eating donuts, drinking coffee, and reading the morning paper. They’re here for a weekly fundraiser they call a “Chicken Blast,” for which they roast 300-400 chickens and sell them to the Weirton community.


We look at the 2020 West Virginia Legislative session through the lens of civil rights and social justice on this Martin Luther King Jr. Day. We also bring you the latest news from the Capitol as we begin the second full week of the 2020 session.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, The Legislature Today host Suzanne Higgins speaks with Gov. Jim Justice, who appeared on the show last week. Their talk touched on a number of issues, but one they discussed at length -- the future of healthcare in West Virginia. We hear an excerpt from the interview, taped live from the Capitol building in Charleston.

Hands holding Oxheart tomato
Rachel Greene

In Appalachia, organizations like seed libraries and community gardens are helping to save traditional heirloom vegetables from being lost. Sometimes, the seeds are found in unexpected places like when Travis Birdsell visited the barn of an Ashe County farmer in 2017.


There, he found tomato seeds smeared on the side of an old grocery store sack.

 

“All the words said were 'Big Red,'” Birdsell said.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we talk with psychologist Carol Dweck on building resilience in ourselves and our neighbors. She compares the tradition of barn raising to emotional support we can offer each other, to not lose hope. We also take a look at the newly created West Virginia Narcotics Intelligence Unit and we bring you this week’s Mountain Stage Song of the Week.

The latest round of Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductions were announced today, and Whitney Houston is the only woman honored.

Caitlin Tan/ WVPB

A new grant program is taking applications for economic development projects in coal-impacted areas of Appalachia. 

Opportunity Appalachia is a collaboration between multiple non-profits and philanthropic organizations across central Appalachia. Project organizers expect to select 15 projects; each awardee will be coached by experienced business and development professionals. They value the support at an average of $50,000 per project.


West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, as we transition into 2020, we consider where the Ohio Valley has been in the last decade, what to expect this election year, and what it took to get here. We also hear how recent and upcoming elections are playing out in states across central Appalachia, and we hear a story on the centennial of the ratification of the 19th Amendment.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, West Virginia’s Mountaineer heritage hunting season begins this week, two weeks after most hunting seasons have closed. It’s the second year since its conception. And, most notably, it’s limited to primitive weapons -- like recurve bows and flintlock muzzleloader rifles. 

It’s meant to memorialize the state’s settlers, using similar hunting techniques and weapons. 

Our folklife reporter, Caitlin Tan, spent time with hunters who still make the vintage rifles.

Courtesy photo

Sometimes creativity requires breaking away from the normal routine and focusing on one’s work. Now in its sixth year, the New River Gorge Creative Residency at Lafayette Flats in Fayetteville, W. Va. allows writers and visual artists a quiet place to stay and make art. 


West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, sometimes creativity requires breaking away from the normal routine and focusing on your work. A boutique hotel in Fayetteville allows writers and visual artists a place to get away in the winter. 

Eric Douglas spoke to the owners of Lafayette Flats, Shawn Means and Amy McCloughlin, about the New River Gorge Creative Residency.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, the Ohio Valley has been known for having some of the highest rates of fatal drug overdoses in the nation for years.

Now, a nonprofit group is trying to shift the focus toward the region’s innovative solutions to the addiction crisis. The Ohio Valley ReSource’s Aaron Payne reports on programs using collaboration to expand addiction treatment and recovery.

One of the photos featured in WVU’s traveling exhibit, Appalachian Futures, featuring Nick Bowman’s study on Fallout 76. The screenshot shows two players playing a banjo and a steel guitar in the video game.
Bethesda Game Studios


Updated on Jan. 10, 2020 to include an extended version of the interview. Scroll below.

It’s been more than a year since the video game Fallout 76 was released. The game — one in a popular series created by Maryland-based Bethesda Game Studios — takes place entirely in a post-apocalyptic West Virginia. Players from around the world play together online to reclaim the land. 

New research finds the game may help forge new connections between those playing it and the Mountain State.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, it’s been more than a year since the video game Fallout 76 was released. The game takes place entirely in a fictional, post-apocalyptic West Virginia, and players from around the world work together to reclaim the land. The game is part of a series of popular video games created by Bethesda Game Studios based in Maryland.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we explore the concept of the West Virginia mountaineer. We’ll learn why the term isn’t just a sports mascot. We also bring you this week’s Mountain Stage Song of the Week.

This story is part of American Anthem, a yearlong series on songs that rouse, unite, celebrate and call to action. Find more at NPR.org/Anthem.

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