Arts & Culture

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.

A Wheeling native who is a doctoral student studying Liberation theology will be the lead author of a new Pastoral letter in the works.

WVGhosts.com

WVGhosts.com is an archive of WV ghost stories, and they're looking for more submissions.

Jonathan Moore of Pax, W.Va. started collecting WV ghost stories nearly 15 years ago because, well, he kept hearing them.

“Neighbors would just be telling me about their stories, and stories within Pax and I decided to take those stories and gather more from other people around WV in order to develop an archive for WV, for other people to read and share their experiences,” said Moore.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

One state lawmaker says the balance of power in the state has been shifting toward the office of governor for decades as legislators slowly cede their powers to the office, and the tradition of salt rising bread in Appalachia is slowly being forgotten, but two Pennsylvania women are trying to change that. They're making sure people remember not just the history, but also the science behind the food.

Susan Brown and Jenny Bardwell

Salt Rising Bread is an Appalachian traditional bread made without yeast. It’s a baking custom that can be traced back to the 1800s. But not much has been documented about the bread or its history, so two women in Mt. Morris, Pa., began a quest to understand the hows and whys behind a tradition that seems to captivate anyone who catches wind of it. Bakers Jenny Bardwell and Susan Brown have been researching the bread for 20 years.

Boy Scouts sit under pipe at 2013 Scout Jamboree
Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Two West Virginia-based Boy Scouts of America councils are planning to merge.
 

Members of the Huntington-based Tri-State Area Council and the Charleston-based Buckskin Council will vote on whether to approve the merger on May 29.
 
Tri-State Area Council serves parts of West Virginia, Ohio and Kentucky. Buckskin Council serves the majority of West Virginia, and parts of Virginia and Kentucky.
 

Ben Adducchio / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

April is Celebrating Poetry Month across the nation. West Virginia’s had a great many poets find success, including Irene McKinney, Linda Goodman, and Tom Andrews. But there’s a young man from Fairmont who’s now also making a name for himself in the field of poetry.

Ian Williams is a 21 year old college student at Fairmont State University. He studies English Education and he dreams of becoming a college professor at some point during his life. But before that, he’s finding success as a poet. Williams recently won a national Poetry Award, in the National Federation of State Poetry Societies College/University Level Poetry Competition. Ian was one of two first place winners. He says he first got interested in poetry as a high school student in Fairmont.

West Virginia State University

A racial slur spray-painted inside the West Virginia State University Capital Center Theater is being investigated by federal authorities.
 
The Charleston Gazette reports that police received a report of the graffiti over the weekend. They forwarded the case to the FBI for investigation as a possible hate crime.
 

After some controversial vetoes from Gov. Tomblin, lawmakers, academics and citizens a like arequestioning the balance of power in West Virginia's Constitution and a 21-year-old Fairmont native is making a name for himself on the national poetry scene.

Glynis Board / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Work is underway to reset the headstones at Wheeling's oldest cemetery.
 
Most of the headstones at the city-owned Mount Wood Cemetery have fallen, either due to shifting land or vandalism. 

The Restore Mount Wood Cemetery project is being funded by donations to the Community Foundation for the Ohio Valley. Monument company Rock of Ages donated its time to reset four large obelisks.
 

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Two national conservancy groups have announced plans to turn the Cheat Canyon into a nature preserve and wildlife management area. West Virginia University celebrates the 450 birthday of William Shakespeare with an adaptation of Henry IV and a Michigan man traces his ancestry back to Cabell County and back to a slave owner with whom he shares a name.

Rebecca Glover / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Feagans Mill in Jefferson County W.Va. was recently added to the state’s Endangered Historic Structures list.  The structures on the list are at risk of facing demolition and neglect. 

Feagans Mill, a historic structure composed mainly of gray stone and a brick creamery to its side, rests in the woods surrounded by sycamore and cedars.  Some of its federal-style windows are now boarded up while others with broken panes allow the foliage to grow inside the crevices.

The Story of Feagans Mill: Then and Now

Tracking deer through infrared technology.

Bluegrass Musician Ricky Scaggs talks about his book “Kentucky Traveler: My Life in Music.”

Kentucky Poet Laureate Frank X. Walker discusses his work as a writer and activist.

Meet the first Future Farmers of America national office holder from West Virginia in 40 years.

"My Bike" Program Comes to West Virginia

Apr 7, 2014
Ben Adducchio / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

For young children with certain disabilities, it’s just about impossible to ride a conventional bicycle. So a children’s charity known as Variety, which began in Pittsburgh in 1928, along with several people who wanted to get involved, started a program called the “My Bike” program. It provides specialized bicycles, that are built to suit the special needs of the child.

Nearly 30 children received these specialized bikes at a recent ceremony in Morgantown with Variety.

Children in sepia-toned clothes with dirt-smeared faces. Weathered, sunken-eyed women on trailer steps chain-smoking Camels. Teenagers clad in Carhartt and Mossy Oak loitering outside long-shuttered businesses.

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