Arts & Culture

 


Athena!

I just found out that if I were a Greek goddess, I’d be Athena! A proud and insightful warrior.

Or if I’m not Athena, maybe I was a royal queen in ancient Egypt. And this is fascinating—it turns out my aura is blue! These revelations must mean something!

Just take a few, or fifty, Facebook quizzes and you, too, can learn just how fascinating you are. It’s easy. Answer a few inane questions such as what’s your favorite movie or actor and the answer is: you’re Marilyn Monroe or Ryan Gosling!

  A new school library in Wheeling, West Virginia, looks to the future.

Also in West Virginia town of Matewan revisits its violent history.

And an Appalachian couple gives us an inside look at artists and their work.

WVU Gets A Golf Coach

May 22, 2014
WVU Sports Communications / West Virginia University

Sean Covich will be the head coach of the men’s golf program. The golf team will start competing in July 2015, according to a news release.

Covich spent the last three seasons as an assistant coach for the Mississippi State University Bulldogs, a school in the Southeastern Conference.

Men’s golf was actually a varsity sport at WVU from 1933-82.

The reintroduction of men’s golf as a varsity sport will satisfy a requirement from WVU’s Conference, the Big 12, that a school must meet a minimum of six men’s and six women’s sports.

Bison
West Virginia Wildlife Center

The West Virginia Wildlife Center in French Creek has announced its newest resident: a female bison calf. The calf, born Friday, May 2, joins the many animals native to West Virginia that are on display at the Wildlife Center. 

“A bison calf can walk almost immediately after birth, albeit a bit wobbly,” said Rob Silvester, wildlife biologist for the Wildlife Center in a news release. “It will begin to nurse within minutes as well. The calf will nurse for four to six months before beginning to nibble on grass and grain.”

As part of the West Virginia Focus Magazine project called Turn This Town Around, experts with the West Virginia Community Development HUB are helping Matewan focus, pursue, and execute plans to revitalize the town.

Folk Society of Greater Boston

Appalachia has a rich culture and history with music and stories passed down from generation to generation. But sometimes it’s non-natives who are working to document that history so it can be passed on to future generations. This has been the life calling of two folklorists and musicians who now make their home in Elkins, West Virginia, Michael and Carrie Kline.  

Exploring the Natural Gas Industry

What's Next, West Virginia?

May 21, 2014

What's next for West Virginia? That's a question that will be posed to community members at meetings across the state in the coming months.  The West Virginia Center for Civic Life promotes local dialogue to challenge us to talk about problems and find solutions to better the quality of life here.  The center is holding its 18th annual Civic Life Institute at the University of Charleston on June 4 and 5.  The institute will train citizens from across the state to hold and facilitate local meetings to find out what's next for West Virginia.   Center director Betty Knighton and Catherine Moore, an Appalachian Transition Fellow assigned to the project, stopped by our studios to talk with West Virginia Morning host Beth Vorhees about the initiative.


Deer
Scott Baue / U.S. Department of Agriculture

  Voters in five West Virginia counties have restored the right to hunt on private land on Sundays.

Unofficial returns show the measure was approved Tuesday in Braxton, Calhoun, Nicholas, Webster and Wirt counties. Voters in Gilmer and Lewis counties rejected the proposal.

In 2001, lawmakers allowed counties to hold elections on whether to allow Sunday hunting on private lands. The following year, all 41 counties that put the question on their ballots voted to ban it.

Carbon Capture Technology could be the key to using coal cleanly.

What impact do drugs in drinking water have?

A national organization tackles senior hunger in McDowell County, West Virginia.

And we revisit a famous West Virginia civil rights case.

Peggy Ingraham / National Foundation to End Senior Hunger

Much attention has been paid over the years to child hunger, but hunger and poor nutrition are also problems among the country’s senior population. The National Foundation to End Senior Hunger is hoping to change that and has created a pilot program in West Virginia’s poorest county that the organization hopes will be replicated across Appalachia and the country.

NFESH commissioned a study starting in 2008 that shows the incidence of hunger among the nation’s senior population. That first study showed that one in nine seniors, or about 11 percent, faces the threat of hunger.

CU Student Photos 'Urban' Side of W.Va.

May 16, 2014
Jared Kline

When pictures of West Virginia land in the national spotlight, it’s often the rural poverty stricken hollows and hills. Concord University art student Sterling Snyder wanted to capture a different, and often overlooked urban places in the state.

Cecelia Mason / WV Public Radio

 

Shepherdstown is among the 64 towns vying for the title of Best Place to Live in America in Outside Magazine. 

The competition is broken down into four geographic regions of the US; West, East, Midwest, and South. Shepherdstown is one of 16 towns from the south.

He's a One Man Wrecking Crew of Geography Knowledge

May 14, 2014
Submitted Photo

There’s a very important competition taking place in Washington D.C. next week. It’s the National Geographic Bee and West Virginia has a competitor who thinks he has the right stuff

Andrew Christy is an 8th Grader at St. Francis de Sales Central Catholic School, in Morgantown. He’s going to represent West Virginia, for THE THIRD YEAR IN A ROW, at the National Geographic Bee. He came up short on his first two tries, but now, it’s his final chance to bring home 50 thousand dollars in college scholarships and bragging rights to the Mountain State.

boating, fishing
Gentry George / U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

  Statistics released Wednesday by the U.S. Coast Guard show three people were killed in boating accidents in 2013. That's down from four in 2012, eight in 2011 and 2010, and 15 in 2009. All three fatal accidents in 2013 were drownings. Twenty people suffered nonfatal injuries in eight accidents in 2013. There was only property damage in another five accidents.

A competition on Concord University’s campus sprang folks into walking more than 42-million steps … the equivalent of going across the United States almost 6 ½ times.  The Spring Wellness Walking Challenge was organized by students, faculty and staff as a way to encourage more activity and better wellness on campus.

Wheeling Jesuit University
Wheeling Jesuit University

  Wheeling Jesuit University has received a $172,000 grant to show teachers how to integrate technology into their lessons.

The grant will be used to offer a professional development program called e-TechTeach.

In addition to using technology, e-TechTeach educates teachers on an instructional method called flipped learning. The flipped learning method involves presenting lesson material through video. Class time is spent working on activities that promote thinking skills.

Grafton Community Cleans Up To Turn The Town Around

May 12, 2014
Flickr Image

This morning we bring you another story in our series on how the towns of Grafton and Matewan are turning themselves around as part of a special collaboration. The transformation process for Grafton continued over the weekend with a chance for community members to not only clean up their city but to connect with one another, a crucial part of the effort.

The sculptures of West Virginia artist, Cherese Weaver, are quite stunning. You don't just look at them as much as you feel that they are looking at you. And when they look at you, it's like that person you meet who sees you for who you really are. That's how powerful these pieces are.

She has captured something primal, like lost civilizations, with a gallery of faces that may be the gods and goddesses of the mythic imagination of antiquity.

Two West Virginians by choice work to preserve Appalachian culture and foster dialogue.

An historic Virginia theater gets ready for a new season.

While an old West Virginia theater might get a new lease on life.

And we hear from an old farmer in Monroe County, West Virginia.

Anna Sale
Amy Pearl


“Talking about death, sex, and money is not news. It’s not news to say: ‘sometimes long term relationships are hard’ or ‘sometimes it’s embarrassing when you realize you’re not earning enough money.’ That’s not a news story. As a result, when we hear those stories, it’s often in the first paragraph in a story about health insurance coverage and then the rest of it is about policy. Or, the first paragraph in a story about tax revenues in a state, you start with someone saying ‘I’m not making as much as I used to make.’ My argument is those stories are worth their own time. It’s worth pausing and listening to what that experience is.”

--Anna Sale

Updated: Friday, May 23, 2014 at 8:35 a.m. 

Our interactive story map and project recap is now available. Access the map to see some of our favorites from the project.

Original Post: Thursday, May 8, 2014 at 12:23 p.m.:

Why do you stay in West Virginia? Is it friends, family, work, recreation? Use Instagram and let us know.

Recently, we aired a series on West Virginia's predicted population decline and how some young people feel about their opportunities in the state (or lack thereof). Most of those we spoke to said they love West Virginia and want to stay--be it for family or other reasons--but feel there's few good professional opportunities worth staying for.

In addition, a recent poll from Gallup indicates that only 28% of West Virginians want to move to another state.

With this in mind, we're teaming up with public radio stations from across the country to find out what makes people stay where they are. But, we wanted to do it in a creative way. So, we're taking it to Instagram. 

West Virginia Focus

  

The small town with a population of less than 500 people already has a big history. During the 1920’s coal miners were fighting for equal pay and better working conditions. While dramatized, historians say the 1987 Jan Sayles film Matewan captures the atmosphere of the regional situation at the time.

While much has changed, the fighting spirit of Matewan is still alive and well. As one of the winners of the Turn this Town Around Project, the community has pulled together, yet again, in the last two months hosting community clean up days, and a community meeting which was standing room only.

Thomas Mionchella

It's peak season for morel mushrooms throughout Appalachia. One online site, "WV Wild Pickers" Facebook page is getting a lot of traffic of people sharing stories and photos from their adventures foraging.

Whipporwhill
Terry Sohl

UPDATE: The DNR is no long seeking reports of whip-poor-wills, but we'd love to you hear about your sighting! Please post them in the comments section below. 

The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources is looking for whip-poor-wills.

DNR officials are worried that the bird is declining in population and so they are reaching out to the public to get a better sense of Whip-poor-will presence throughout West Virginia.

The bird's really hard to spot since its grey, black and brown coloring act as a camouflage. But the call is unmistakable.

Business Wire

Two youth volunteers from West Virginia were honored in Washington, D.C. They were among 100 kids from across the country recognized for their services in their communities.

 

Some of the nation's most outstanding student volunteers were honored with a gala dinner and reception at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History and a chance to hang out with the Academy Award-winning actor Forest Whitaker. Each also received $1,000 dollars. 

 

Blennerhassett
Nyttend / wikimedia Commons

  A historic hotel in Parkersburg is kicking off a celebration of its 125th anniversary.

The Blennerhassett Hotel will hold a customer appreciation event Tuesday afternoon that includes a birthday cake and cupcakes.

Marketing manager Nicole Slattery tells the Parkersburg News and Sentinel that other events are planned through the remainder of the year.

Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The City of Clarksburg is looking to other municipalities across the state and around the country to aide in their endeavor to restore and rehabilitate a historic theater in the city’s downtown.

Clarksburg City Council voted in April to purchase the Rose Garden Theater, once known as the Robinson Grand, for $430,000 from C.J. Martin, James Lambert and David Rexroad, all of Upshur County.

Members said the city has been working to purchase the property since 2005, but the previous owner wasn’t interested in selling.

Essay: Pothole Season Has Arrived With a Vengence

May 5, 2014
Sarah Lowther Hensley / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

You know the drill.

Eyes trained straight ahead – glued to the patch of pavement directly in front of you – picking and weaving and bobbing your way along the street.

Yep.

Pothole season.

That perennial pox of problematic pavement.

Drivers miss a lot of beautiful scenery this time of year just because we have to focus our gaze straight down and straight ahead.

There’s a push to decrease the use of lawn chemicals.

An inside look at the struggle for political power at West Virginia’s Capitol.

This is the time of year when certain wildflowers make their brief appearance.

And quilters gather in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia, to hone their craft.

Austin Hoffman recently caught a 47.75-inch, 52.95-pound blue catfish—beating the previous state record of 43.9 inches and 44.5 pounds.

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