Arts & Culture

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. 

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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.

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.


Vandalia Gathering
West Virginia Division of Culture and History

The Vandalia Award, West Virginia’s highest folklife honor, was presented to singer, songwriter and performer Roger Bryant last week at the 38th Annual Vandalia Gathering.

A native of Logan, Bryant is a musician whose roots are in the old-time and folk music traditions. He is the grandson of local folk legend Aunt Jennie Wilson and spent several years traveling with her, and accompanying her on his guitar.

Clark Davis

A new playground at Harris Riverfront Park in Huntington could serve as the beginning of a revitalized riverfront.

Huntington Mayor Steve Williams along with Greater Huntington Park and Recreation District officials opened the new playground yesterday morning. The $50,000 playground was paid for by the Greater Huntington Park and Recreation District. The playground is just one step among many that Huntington Mayor Steve Williams hopes revitalizes the park.

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.


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