Arts & Culture

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.

NPR fellow Leah Binkovitz reports on the increase of ATV tourism in West Virginia and concerns over safety and regulation in this report for WBUR's Here & Now.

WV Division of Culture and History

Middle School teams from across West Virginia were in Charleston at the Culture Center Tuesday to participate in the annual West Virginia History Bowl.

24 teams from 18 schools have been competing since about 9:30 a.m. in a double elimination tournament featuring questions on topics like the state’s history, culture, geography and heritage.

But in the end it came down to a match between Fairview and Moorefield.

The last question was: "What species of tree near Smithtown Monongalia County is the largest of its species on record in the United States?"

How Can West Virginia Keep Its Young People Here?

Apr 29, 2014
Ben Adducchio / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Editor's Note: We begin a series of stories looking into the issue of how to keep young people in West Virginia. This came about as part of a special digital project undertaken at West Virginia Public Broadcasting over the past few months, WVNextIn6.

We asked you to tell us what’s next for West Virginia in six words or less. Several posts had the theme “Keep our Best and Brightest here.”

According to a recent report from the West Virginia University Bureau of Business and Economic Research, West Virginia is facing a difficult road ahead in keeping people in the state. The state’s expected to lose about 20 thousand people through the year 2030, and could lose a congressional seat because of it. It all leads to a question West Virginians have been asking for years: How do we keep young people here? We asked our younger listeners on Twitter and Facebook to talk to us about their thoughts.

courtesy of Friends of the Cheat

Private citizens are stepping up to repair a Preston County road important to the whitewater industry there. The state doesn’t have the means to get to the Cheat Canyon access road, so Friends of the Cheat River are doing the work.

The road to the take-out for the Cheat Canyon and Big Sandy whitewater runs had deteriorated and outfitters in the area were considering cancelling trips because of the poor conditions.

“I am always doing what I cannot yet do, in order to learn how to do it.”
― van Gogh

Soft, watery, Impressionistic, veiled, implied, nuanced: these might be descriptions of the art of Sharon Lynn Stackpole.

She describes her style as "being all over the map" and indeed the pieces have a broad palate of styles. Still, there is a unity and a recognizable style to her work.

WVPublic

Each year for the past 17 years in Morgantown, WVU Hillel together with faculty and community remember the Holocaust by reading names of victims for 24 continuous hours. Students and community members get through about 10,000 names each year. At that rate, if they had access to all the names of the 11 million victims, the annual tradition would continue for about 1,000 years more. Organizers say they work to humanize the victims in an effort to remember the depths to which humanity can sink.

Pittsburgh makes progress in its battle against climate change.

New rules to prevent Black Lung Disease are announced.

Buttermilk and Bible Burgers are just two foods represented in Appalachia.

Another is ramps and they’re in season right now.

Kentucky's Food Gap Map. Hunger issues continue to complicate life for many families across Appalachia.  As WEKU's Stu Johnson reports, this reality is reflected in the just-released Map the Meal Gap Report.

It's official. Dr. Kendra Boggess will be Concord's next president. The West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission approved Boggess during a meeting on Friday. 

The Concord University Board of Governors has selected Dr. Kendra Boggess as the University’s 12th president earlier this week. She'll also serve as the  first female president. 

Boggess was one of three finalists for the presidency of Concord following a nationwide search. She is currently serving as Concord’s interim president.

 

Robert C. Byrd Center for Legislative Studies

I have a confession to make. I love the United States Congress. I don’t recall hearing that from anyone else lately; although I do know there are others who could say the same thing. If you can trust the latest poll only 6 percent approve of the current Congress and I doubt most in that group would go so far as to profess love for the institution.

West Virginia Morning on this Earth Day includes a report on healthcare in the state, considering some new technologies; also: Hippie Homesteaders and what they've brought to the state; and it's ramp season!

New Book Examines the Impact of 'Hippie Homesteaders'

Apr 21, 2014
Joe Chasnoff

They’re known as the hippie homesteaders. People who moved to West Virginia in the late 1960s and 1970s to live off of the land. Some considered themselves as hippies, but others just wanted to leave urban environments for rural America.

A new book by Carter Taylor Seaton, Hippie Homesteaders: Arts, Crafts, Music and Living on the Land in West Virginia, examines the impact these people had on West Virginia. 

 
 You can find out more about this book at this website.
 

For those of us who like to make up our own minds about who, what, and how we are, this is a strange country, where U.S. News and World Report, TIME Magazine and the Gallup Poll profess to know more about our human condition than we do ourselves.

According to those harbingers of happiness and taste, for example, I and my fellow West Virginias  are now served by (and, in my case, teach at) the nation's eighty-third best law school (up from ninety-ninth in a single year) and reside in its unhappiest, unhealthiest and most obese State.

Spring Brings Flowers, Sunshine and Fond Memories for This Mom

Apr 21, 2014

It’s spring and along with bunches of daffodils, robins, and ramp festivals, there is a feeling in the air of fresh starts and new beginnings.

After the winter we have had all I can say is “hallelujah!”

Ironically, though, it was a hint of autumn that made me think of new life this week.

As I drove by our elementary school, I noticed the sign in front heralding that the next day was “Kindergarten Registration Day.”

We are just about a year away from “High School Orientation”  but, boy, do I remember that earlier rite of passage.

In God We Trust: Finding The 'We'

Apr 21, 2014

What does the national motto, “In God We Trust,” mean to Americans today?

Dr. Daniel L. Anderson, Bishop Sandra Steiner Ball, James Haught, Imam Ehteshamul Haque, Monsignor P. Edward Sadie, and Rabbi Victor Urecki explore this topic with University of Charleston President Ed Welch in a panel discussion titled, “In God We Trust: Finding the ‘We.’”

The program will air at 2 pm Monday, April 21 on West Virginia Public Radio.

Tim Kiser / wikimedia Commons

  State historians say a proposed demolition project could threaten uptown Beckley's historic district.

Dan Bickey has proposed demolishing three buildings that he owns and developing the space for metered parking.

Only one property is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as a contributing resource to the Beckley Courthouse Historic District. But State Historic Preservation Officer Susan M. Pearce tells The Register-Herald that demolishing the buildings would significantly alter the district's viewshed.

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