Arts & Culture

A freelance journalist is looking for folks to share stories about the heydays of downtown Princeton in Mercer County. The project launches during an annual street festival meant to “Celebrate Princeton”.

Organizers of the 9th Annual Celebrate Princeton street fair are hoping to mark a turning point for this year’s festival.

After hosting the Mercer County event for years, the Princeton Public Library reached out to volunteers with The Princeton Renaissance Project, which is working to revitalize downtown by restoring a theatre, and hosting events on Mercer Street.

Fond Memories of a Mountain Childhood in Appalachia

Jun 24, 2014
Submitted Photo / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

I want to invite you to walk with me through the woods and around the rugged hills of my home.

Our house was situated beside the community water tank, with a rock cliff behind it, and the mountains that rose high above the cliff…well, they were my mountains.  

We made a path around the side of the hill that led us to a garden spot which we tended annually, It was an open plot of ground, with good sun exposure and a natural spring flowed nearby. It was the perfect place for a fresh drink of water.

Cecelia Mason / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

One day you might be able to buy even more styles of 100 percent West Virginia-made beer. That is, if a current study shows the state is a good place to grow hops. 

Since the craft beer industry has taken off, West Virginia State University decided to study whether local farmers can benefit from the burgeoning beer industry by growing hops for the brewers to use.

West Virginia State extension agent Brad Cochran says the state agriculture department awarded a $23,000 grant for the project, which seem to be popular. He received 70 applications from folks wanting to participate.

CBS Television / wikimedia Commons

A campaign to erect a statue in Morgantown honoring the late Don Knotts has topped its goal to raise private funds for the project.

Beth Fuller tells The Dominion Post any additional funds will be used to maintain the statue and surrounding grounds.

Knotts grew up in Morgantown and graduated from Morgantown High School and West Virginia University. The actor died in 2006.

Moving Around, But Keeping Those Appalachian Connections

Jun 21, 2014
Sarah Lowther Hensley / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

 

When people ask me where I’m from – I tell them “West Virginia."

When they ask, “where in West Virginia exactly?...Where’s ‘home’?”…

Well…that’s a little tougher to answer.

You see, I’m a “PK”.

For those who don’t know, that’s a “Preacher’s Kid.”

Specifically, I’m a United Methodist PK.

United Methodist pastors are itinerant.

Meaning…they move from place to place.

Heroin could be replacing prescription pills as Appalachia’s biggest drug problem.

West Virginia is 151 years old and we look at the African American contribution to its culsture.

Efforts are underway to encourage farmers across the region to grow hops to support the brewing industry.

And we visit with Bridget Lancaster from America’s Test Kitchen.

West Virginia Music Hall of Fame

  Longtime "Hollywood Squares" host Peter Marshall is returning to his home state for a West Virginia version of the TV game show.

The Huntington native will tape four episodes of "West Virginia Squares" at the Clay Center on Monday and Tuesday as part of Charleston's FestivALL celebration.

The game show will feature questions about state music and history. West Virginia Public Broadcasting will film and distribute the shows to state schools.

Nyttend / wikimedia Commons

  The West Virginia Division of Culture and History is commemorating West Virginia Day with festivities in Charleston and Wheeling.

Officials say the free, public events on Friday will take place at the Culture Center in Charleston and Independence Hall in Wheeling.

The Culture Center will host a birthday celebration that includes educational activities, a speech on historic Charleston and cutting of the state's birthday cake.

Cecelia Mason

  A traveling exhibit on the role of sports in American culture is making its way across West Virginia.

The West Virginia Humanities Council is sponsoring a state tour of the new Smithsonian Institution traveling exhibit "Hometown Teams."

Officials selected six museums and cultural and community organizations to host the exhibit and provide public programs about their local sports culture.

M0nster0 / en.wikipedia.org

  West Virginia's 1972 Buffalo Creek disaster is being remembered in a mural.

Canadian artist Kevin Ledo began work on the mural Tuesday. His canvas is the outside brick wall of one of the few buildings in the Logan County community of Man still standing from before the flood that killed 125 people, injured 1,100 and left 4,000 homeless.

The flood occurred when an earthen dam along Buffalo Creek collapsed after heavy rain, sending 132 million gallons of coal waste into the community.

Capitol
Kristi George / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

    

Almost every year since 1936, a select group of high schools boys have attended Mountaineer Boys State, and since 1941 girls have attended Rhododendron Girls State. The week long camps, sponsored by the American Legion, focus on citizenship, leadership and patriotism. This year, Boys State focused on the nonpartisan, statewide initiative, What’s Next, West Virginia?  The young men at Boys State had a great deal to add to a conversation on positive change in West Virginia during a 45 minute discussion in Charleston.

Deer
Scott Baue / U.S. Department of Agriculture

  The Division of Natural Resources is shedding paper and moving to an electronic licensing system for hunters and anglers.

The change will be ushered in Jan. 1, according to The Daily Mail.

The division's chief of wildlife resources, Curtis Taylor, says West Virginia is one of a handful of states that still use paper forms. He says the division has a tough time finding a vendor who makes the forms.

Michelle Kidd

An original children’s theater show debuts this weekend in Morgantown. The production comes from the Mountain State Rep, the professional summer theater company out of West Virginia University’s School of Theatre and Dance.


Matewan Hoping to Use Grant Funding to Make Change

Jun 18, 2014

This morning we take a look at the Turn this Town Around Project in Matewan, where they too found out about possible grant funding for the community. They hope the available funds are the key to revitalizing the town.

This is part of our continuing series on how the towns of Grafton and Matewan are turning themselves around through a special collaborative project between West Virginia Public Broadcasting, West Virginia Focus magazine and the West Virginia Community Development Hub. 

Flickr Image

The Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation has announced it will give $150,000 to two West Virginia towns participating in the Turn This Town Around Project.

Leaders in Grafton and Matewan will be given the money for projects they develop to revitalize their communities.

This is part of our continuing series on how the towns of Grafton and Matewan are turning themselves around through a special collaborative project between West Virginia Public Broadcasting, West Virginia Focus magazine and the West Virginia Community Development Hub. 

Ken Thomas / wikimedia Commons

  More than 600 acres in the Gauley River National Recreation Area will be protected from development.

The West Virginia Land Trust said Monday that it has acquired 665 acres from Bright Forestland Properties, Larry Deitz, and the Anne E. Deitz Trust. The property is an area known as the Gauley Canyon downstream from the river's confluence with the Meadow River.

The land trust says in a news release that the gorge provides rafting, kayaking, hiking, fishing and other recreational opportunities.

Deer
Scott Baue / U.S. Department of Agriculture

 Hunters can apply for a controlled deer hunt at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory site in Green Bank.

The Division of Natural Resources says a drawing will be held for the hunt, which will be conducted in four areas on Oct. 17 and 18. Applications are due by Aug. 1 and are available at DNR district offices or at the observatory.

The hunting areas will be designated for bow, muzzleloader and shotgun, or muzzleloader only.

If you see a body of water with an orange hue, it’s likely the result of acid mine drainage. This pollutant is left behind from abandoned mine shafts coming in contact with the water and it can harm aquatic life.


Liz McCormick

In September 1958, The Blob, an independent horror, science-fiction film was released by Paramount Pictures and Umbrella Entertainment. Starring Steve McQueen in his debut role, the film left a permanent mark in Americans’ minds, and in 2006, Charleston’s Contemporary Youth Arts Company took the film a step further, writing their own adaptation of the classic film in the form of a musical.

Tennis Great Tracy Austin Returns to West Virginia

Jun 12, 2014
Tracy Austin
Rick Vorhees

Tennis Pro Tracy Austin returned to Charleston this week. It was her first visit since winning a tournament in West Virginia's capital city in 1978.

The U.S. Open champ returned to stadium court at the Charleston Tennis Club.  She remembers being here as a teenager playing the Sweet 16 National Junior Women's Tennis tournament.

"I remember the club, you know, just coming in I'm feeling a bit nostalgic," Austin said.

Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort is seeking state approval to reduce its horse racing schedule.

The West Virginia Racing Commission will hold a public hearing on Mountaineer's proposal on June 23 in Weirton.

John W. Baird is president of the Mountaineer Park Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association. He tells The East Liverpool Review in Ohio that the proposal would eliminate 14 racing days.

West Virginia Public Theatre Enters Its 30th Year

Jun 9, 2014

West Virginia Public Theatre is getting ready to open in Morgantown, for its 30th season. This non-profit theatre has had quite a story.

It began because one man who moved to West Virginia saw a lack of professional theatre companies when he came here. Founder Ron Iannone talked to Ben Adducchio about the theatre, what it has tried to accomplish, and how he wants to be remembered when he decides to walk away.

To learn more about the season, you can find information here.

Close your eyes for a moment and imagine what you would do with seventy-five million dollars. Better yet, close your eyes again and imagine how much suffering, how much disease, how much poverty and homelessness, how much gross inequality, that seventy-five million dollars might relieve.

Now open your eyes and go take a look at WVU's Milan Puskar Football Stadium. Because that's where-- with the recent approval of the WVU Board of Governors-- those $75 million are about to go.

WVGLCC

There are several organizations in West Virginia that advocate on behalf of the lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender community. Now, a new center in Beckley hopes to encourage communication between them and the gay population of the southern part of the state.


Jared Kline

For the third year in a row, the American Power Boat Association (APBA) hosted its annual Junior North American Championship and Pro Eastern Divisional in Hinton, West Virginia. Boats raced for their chance to participate in a national championship. Participants came from as far away as Georgia and Michigan for the event.

John Benson/ ibrn4381

The Division of Natural Resources says West Virginia hunters bagged 9,017 bearded turkeys this spring, down 19 percent from the previous year.

DNR wildlife resources chief Curtis Taylor says most of the state's districts saw a harvest decline from last year during spring gobbler season.

Top counties for 2014 were Preston, with a take of 344, Mason with 297, Jackson with 294, Wood with 268 and Harrison with 264.

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.

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