Arts & Culture

Carbon by Danny Boyd
Caliber Comics

West Virginia writer and filmmaker Danny Boyd’s latest graphic novel Carbon tells the story of an ancient race of people and their effect on the coal industry thousands of years later as an evil coal baron tries to mine a super form of coal. 

Liz McCormick

Theater has often been a means to convey a particular message. Since ancient times, it has been used to teach lessons, understand important events, tell stories, and provide entertainment for its audience, and one company comes to Charleston this summer to start a dialogue with West Virginia…about water.

Facebook.com

The United Mine Workers of America is joining the coal industry in a rare occasion to oppose proposed regulations meant to curb carbon emissions.  The industry worries the regulations will financially cripple coal’s economy, as well as West Virginia and everyone dependent on a coal job.

With 95 percent of the energy produced in West Virginia coming from coal fired power plants, many within the industry feel the state will be the hardest hit by the new proposal.

Roger Horton, a retired miner from Logan County paints a grim picture already evolving in coal country.

He sees an EPA ignoring its economic impact on countless coal mining families.

Efforts to combat black lung disease draw criticism.

Meet Kentucky banjo player Lee Sexton.

A look at efforts in Kentucky and Pennsylvania to save the birds and bees.

Glynis Board / WVPublic

Over the Memorial Day weekend in north-central West Virginia, a lot of skin was on display in one restaurant. But it might not be the skin you’re thinking about.


Concord University senior runner Shawnee Carnett claimed her sixth All American honor this past weekend. Although Carnett’s last steps in outdoor 800 meter came up a bit short of another national championship, her college track and field career makes her the most decorated athlete ever to hit the halls at Concord University, and Carnett defeated almost all of her competitors on someone else’s turf.


West Virginia Wesleyan College
West Virginia Wesleyan College

  Construction of a new welcome center and several renovation projects are underway at West Virginia Wesleyan College.

The projects are scheduled to be completed in August. The total cost is $7.5 million.

The Exponent Telegram reports that the projects include construction of the O'Roark Nordstorm Welcome Center and renovation of a residence hall and Ross Field. The college also is replacing the roofs on several buildings.

Cecelia Mason / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Many artists, crafts people and musicians have made Appalachia their home, contributing to the culture and economy. A Morgan County couple is working to document the local arts scene through an online video project called ArtVoiceWV.

Jack Kelly is a retired public television documentary filmmaker. He and his wife Marla Carr moved to Berkeley Springs a little over a year ago.

 


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.

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