Arts & Culture

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.

Golden Horseshoe
West Virginia Division of Culture and History

  Nearly 230 eighth graders have been honored as winners of the Golden Horseshoe Award for their knowledge of West Virginia history and culture.    A ceremony was held Thursday at the state Culture Center in Charleston. Students from all 55 counties participated.

Capitol
Kristi George / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

West Virginia’s population is expected to drop by 20,000 through the year 2030, however, a recent Gallup poll shows a majority of West Virginians actually don’t want to move elsewhere. While many West Virginians value family and other aspects of life here, opportunities seem few and those who stay say they often feel stereotyped by those who’ve left.

But how can this problem be solved? In a radio series that aired this week, we've been examining this very question.

Tracy Toler

Editor's Note: Today we continue our series about keeping the state’s youngest citizens in West Virginia. We’ve previously looked at the reasons why some people feel compelled to leave, but today, we’re taking a more positive approach. There are many young West Virginians with ideas about what can be done to help people stay.

From 1990 to 2000, and then again from 2000 to 2010, West Virginia saw slight increases in population, according to U.S. Census figures. But there’s also some bad news when it comes to population stats.

The small town of Richwood, West Virginia once had a booming lumber and coal economy, but since the 1980s most of the jobs in town have left the area, as have 42% of the population. Every dollar is needed here, and the town relies on its annual Feast of the Ramson to help rejuvenate the local economy each April. Traveling 219′s Roxy Todd traveled to the Ramp Feed, and she talked to some of the younger generation about growing up in the Ramp Capital of the World.

Cecelia Mason / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Berkeley Springs is generally known as a spa and arts town, and right now quilts are the primary form of art on display. Quilt squares are hanging at the local art center, The Ice House, and at businesses throughout downtown.

Every year the Delectable Mountains Quilt Guild auctions off the squares to benefit a local charity.

Washington County Public Library, Abingdon, Virginia

Food often provides a universal connection across cultures. Think: President Obama taking part in a meal at a famous sushi restaurant on his recent trip to Japan.

For about 30 years now Greenville, Tennessee, native Fred Sauceman has been documenting Appalachian food culture through a class he teaches at East Tennessee State University as well as journalistic endeavors on television, radio and in print.

Sauceman’s newest book is Buttermilk and Bible Burgers: more stories from the kitchens of Appalachia.

Jocelyn and Matt Crawford

Editor's Note: Today we continue our series on how to keep young people in West Virginia. Yesterday, we looked at the struggle many people go through to find work in the state in their chosen fields. Today we examine the stereotypes young West Virginians who choose to stay in the state face from those on the outside.

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