Arts & Culture

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

We continue a podcast series from the Northern Panhandle on this West Virginia Morning. The series is called What Happened to Weirton. In the third episode, titled As Goes the Mill, reporter Ella Jennings traces the town’s history as it slides from boom to bust.

Benny Becker/ WMMT

Our region has faced major economic changes and challenges in the past decade. But if you know our region’s history, this story of boom and bust, renewal and recession, is an all too familiar story. In this episode of Inside Appalachia, we’ll explore how these economic changes affect people, our friends, our neighbors, and how entire communities can be uprooted by the closing of a local factory, or coal-mine layoffs. 


Eric Douglas / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

When the Inside Appalachia team talked with West Virginia composer Matt Jackfert about new theme music, it seemed like a tall order. The team was looking for something that's true to the Appalachian roots but doesn't sound like a stereotypical tune. 

Jackfert, who is host of WVPB's Classical Music program, said that the theme music came to him after he woke up from a nap. He says he pulled from his experience as a native to come up with something that is new and fresh for Inside Appalachia.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, scuba diving and West Virginia are not often used in the same sentence. But Eric Douglas, Inside Appalachia associated producer, is a scuba diver and he brings us this next story from Summersville Lake in Nicholas County.

Click on this link to see a short video Eric shot while he was on the dive.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, the latest episode of Inside Appalachia focuses on some of the region’s waterways.

While the Mountain State is blessed with an abundance of beautiful streams and rivers, it’s not hard to find areas littered with trash, too. And rainy weather can easily wash these remnants into the waterways, contaminating the river ecosystems, and posing a health risk to people.

One man in Morgantown has taken it upon himself to clean up the trash in his area, sometimes using unconventional methods. Folklife reporter Caitlin Tan brings us the story.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we take a look at what Inside Appalachia has in store for us this weekend. The show explores explore some of the region’s unique aquatic destinations -- on the water, and beneath it.

About 150,000 people commercially raft a West Virginia river each year -- most on the New and Gauley rivers, which go through Fayetteville. Raft guides take most of those people down the river – professionals who are trained to know water, but also to know people.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, similar to West Virginia, Ohio has a law that can force landowners to lease their underground mineral rights to energy companies. The Allegheny Front’s Julie Grant takes a closer look at what happens when people there say no to fracking. It's the latest story in The Allegheny Front's series, Who’s Listening?

"Ambient music creates a world without a sense of time." 

Musician, composer and software engineer Peter Chilvers has worked with Brian Eno on several remarkable generative music apps for IOS devices, beginning in 2008 with Bloom. Such has been the success of these imaginary music applications that last year the 10-year anniversary was released:  Bloom: 10 Worlds.

Pope Gives West Virginia Diocese New Leader after Scandal

Jul 23, 2019
The Rev. Michael J. Bransfield, the incoming bishop of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, stands inside the Cathedral of St. Joseph, Monday, Feb. 21, 2005, in Wheeling, W.Va.
Dale Sparks / AP file photo

Pope Francis named Baltimore Auxiliary Bishop Mark Brennan to lead West Virginia’s Catholics on Tuesday following a scandal over the former bishop’s sexual harassment of adults and lavish spending of church money.

The 72-year-old Brennan replaces Bishop Michael Bransfield, who resigned in September after a preliminary investigation into allegations of sexual and financial misconduct.

For many, summer is often associated with camp and quintessential camp activities like swimming, making s’mores and telling ghost stories.

Last week, a group of nine students in Pocahontas County took telling ghost stories a step further, by learning how to make short, animated films at Monster Movie Camp.


A little over three months after Paris' Notre Dame caught fire, French officials say the cathedral is still in a precarious state and needs to be stabilized. Ultimately, they aim to restore the monument, a process that will take years.

When that work begins, there will be a new demand for experts who have the same skills required to build Notre Dame 900 years ago. In the workshops of the Hector Guimard high school, less than three miles from the cathedral, young stone carvers are training for that task.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, the U.S. House of Representatives voted Thursday, July 18, to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 dollars an hour by 2025, the first wage increase in a decade. One report predicts that in large portions of eastern Kentucky, southern West Virginia, and southeast Ohio, roughly 40 percent of workers would see some increase in wages. Becca Schimmel explains.

Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

After the 2014 Elk River chemical spill in the Kanawha Valley, the West Virginia Rivers Coalition created the Safe Water WV initiative. The idea is simple: to strengthen a community’s connection to their drinking water and encourage them to work together to better protect it.

A couple years ago, Jefferson and Berkeley Counties decided to build off that initiative in a unique way – using the conservation of farmland and Civil War battlefields as a model for drinking water protection.

Courtesy Photo: Sheila Redling

Best-selling author Sheila Redling, from Huntington, West Virginia, has written nine books under the pen name SG Redling. After losing her will to write, she is back on track and more books are on the way. In this interview she talks about the importance of protecting your ability to write and gives advice to writers.

Redling explained that after a fast start, writing several books, she burned out. 

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, best-selling author Sheila Redling from Huntington has written nine books. After losing her will to write for a time, she is back on track and more books are on the way. Inside Appalachia associate producer Eric Douglas spoke with her about the importance of protecting your ability to write. And she has some advice for other writers.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, website, on average, about 14 people a day in the United States are killed while working. This weekend’s episode of Inside Appalachia explores how weak regulatory laws, and a failure to prioritize worker safety, may be contributing to more deaths, and a higher risk of workplace accidents. This morning, we’ll hear a preview of the episode.

Roxy Todd talks with investigative reporter Howard Berkes, who recently retired from NPR after working for nearly four decades reporting on worker safety.

Living in the mountains of Appalachia, the nature that surrounds us often becomes a mere backdrop. We expect it to be there, so we forget about it. 

In the new book Mountains Piled Upon Mountains: Appalachian Nature Writing in the Anthropocene, nearly 50 writers focused on the natural world of Appalachia using place-based fiction, literary nonfiction, and poetry. 


West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, living in the Appalachian mountains, the nature that surrounds us often becomes a mere backdrop. We expect it to be there, so we forget about it. 

In the new book “Mountains Piled upon Mountains: Appalachian Nature Writing in the Anthropocene”, nearly 50 writers focused on the natural world of Appalachia using place-based fiction, literary nonfiction, and poetry. Glynis Board has more.

The U.S. women's soccer team is still the world's best after dominating the Netherlands in the Women's World Cup final and winning 2-0. Throughout the tournament, the U.S. brushed aside criticism, complaints of arrogance and calls for the team to tone down their goal celebrations. All the team did was win. All seven World Cup games, in fact.

Dolly Sods, spruce trees, landscape of valley below
Chad Matlick / WVPB

“Montani Semper Liberi ⁠— Mountaineers Are Always Free” is West Virginia’s state motto, but it is more than that. It is a belief system that is not just true about the Mountain State. It rings true throughout Appalachia and even mountains on other continents. 

On this episode of Inside Appalachia, we'll take a look at how the natural environment has influenced our lives. 


West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, in nearly one third of Ohio Valley counties, low-income residents are paying 20 percent or more of their income in utility bills. Energy costs are making housing harder to afford in some rural places where incomes are not keeping pace with rising costs. As part of a series on rural housing, Ohio Valley ReSource reporter Sydney Boles takes us to eastern Kentucky, where the cost burden is among the highest. She found a community working to keep their old Kentucky homes affordable.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we have a story from our occasional series showcasing some of our youth writers. Elliot Jackson was a winner among fourth-graders in West Virginia Public Broadcasting’s 2019 writers contest. We’ll hear from more winners here on West Virginia Morning.

West Virginia's now-defunct film tax credit was around for ten years before being eliminated by the West Virginia Legislature in 2018. A legislative audit report found it provided "minimal economic impact" to the state.
Daniel Walker

West Virginia’s film tax credit was eliminated by the West Virginia Legislature in 2018 after a legislative audit report deemed the credit as providing only “minimal economic impact.” But people who work in the film industry don’t agree. An attempt to resurrect the credit failed this past session, but supporters are hopeful it will make it through the next legislative session.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, June is Gay Pride month across the U.S. and around the world. It’s a celebration of increased social acceptance and expanded legal rights for LGBTQ people. But Trey Kay, host of West Virginia Public Broadcasting’s show Us & Them, has learned that, despite all the change, there are still attitudes and even words that continue to cause pain.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, our most recent Wild, Wondering West Virginia question came from Wheeling resident Brian Joseph. He wanted to know about the Appalachian Mountains and their sister mountains, and how they shape who we are.

“Sometimes we forget. We think we are who we are, but remember even our state motto: Montani Sempre Liberi -- which is, Mountaineers will always be free,” he said.

Dolly Sods, spruce trees, landscape of valley below
Chad Matlick / WVPB

Our most recent Wild Wondering West Virginia question came from Wheeling resident Brian Joseph. He wanted to know about the Appalachian Mountains and their sister mountains, and how they shape who we are.

“Sometimes we forget. We think we are who we are, but remember even our state motto: Montani Semper Liberi - which is, mountaineers will always be free.”

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, homelessness is often considered an urban problem. But a recent NPR survey found a third of rural Americans say homelessness is a problem in the communities. In the first in a series of reports from the Ohio Valley ReSource Mary Meehan explores rural homelessness. Those working on the issues say it remains largely hidden, even as the region's opioid crisis pushes more people into need.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, mead is often associated with Vikings and medieval feasts. In the 1960s, it made a brief resurgence thanks to renaissance festivals. But in the last couple of years, there’s been a new revival in mead. According to the American Mead Makers Association, it’s the fastest-growing alcoholic beverage in the country. Brittany Patterson spent some time with some West Virginia mead makers and learned how the Mountain State’s unique charm is influencing their craft.

courtesy Still Hollow

Still Hollow Distillery isn’t close to any interstate exit. It’s in Randolph County, West Virginia, not far from the Pendleton County line, and it’s nestled in the high Allegheny mountains. You can only get there by driving curvy two-lane roads.  


Caitlin Tan / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Not everyone looks at the increased availability of alcoholic beverages quite the same way. Some people struggle with it. Alcohol is, after all, a socially acceptable, legal drug.

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