Arts & Culture

Children and their families making grittibanz in Helvetia, W.Va. for the Feast of Saint Nicholas. Dec. 1, 2018.
Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

In Helvetia, West Virginia, Christmastime, like all the town’s events, is a community affair. On the Saturday closest to the 5th of December, the town celebrates their unique heritage with tales of Saint Nicholas, sweet treats, square dancing, a potluck dinner, and best of all… Swiss grittibanz, a special kind of holiday bread.

Hear this story on Inside Appalachia.

Rosettes Recipe

Dec 21, 2018
Jesse Wright, WVPB

1 Pint Medium Cream

6 eggs, well beaten

2 Cups flour

(Bourbon to taste. Not part of the original recipe, but added by Mike Costello.)

Beat cream, eggs and flour until light. Heat fat/oil very hot for deep frying. Rosette iron should be in the oil heating at the same time.

Dip hot rosette iron into batter, almost to the top edge of the iron. Put immediately into the hot oil and remove the iron as soon as the rosette slips off.

Brown on both sides (this is easier than it sounds and great fun).

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we get a sneak peek at this week’s episode of Inside Appalachia, where we’ll share some of our favorite holiday stories. We’ll take you to the tiny mountain town of Helvetia, West Virginia, which has a connection to the beloved Christmas classic, “Silent Night.” Eric Douglas and Molly Born report.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we hear an excerpt from the latest episode of Us & Them, in which host Trey Kay responds to a cyclical flare up of social media comments related to a “War on Christmas.” Hubbub over politically correct holiday greetings, or nativity scenes on government property, traditionalists and secularists are often at odds.

In this excerpt, Trey speaks with a childhood friend who worries the religious aspects of Christmas are being eroded from the holiday.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, health reporter Kara Lofton spent the semester working with fifth-graders at Valley Elementary school on a youth-reporting project. In the following audio postcard, we’ll hear from six of those students about how holiday traditions help them feel connected to their families and their communities.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, journalist and professor Bonnie Stewart joins us to talk about the recent 50th anniversary of the Farmington Mine Disaster.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

This West Virginia Morning, we have another segment in an occasional series called Recovery Stories –– conversations from the heart of the nation’s opioid crisis. Today, we hear a conversation between Dustin Aubrey and Bob Lloyd. They first met at a Dayton, Ohio, support group. Dustin’s in recovery. And Bob’s adult son struggles with substance use disorder.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

You might’ve heard Trey Kay, host of WVPB’s podcast Us & Them engage in a conversation during the past several weeks, in a series called “Red State Blue State”,  about the culture differences between West Virginia and southern California. In the latest episode of Us & Them, Trey finds kindred spirits in a trio of Latino comedians who call themselves "Culture Clash". Just like Trey, these comedians explore the space between cultural divides. We hear an excerpt of that episode on this West Virginia Morning.

Farmington No. 9: The West Virginia Disaster that Changed Coal Mining Forever

Nov 20, 2018
Jesse Wright / WVPB

In 1969, the world’s attention turned upward to the Moon, as Neil Armstrong took humankind’s first momentous step off Earth onto another world.

But that year also saw momentous federal legislation spurred by a disaster that riveted the nation’s attention downward, hundreds of feet below the Earth and the hills of West Virginia.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning… Vultures usually get a bad rap. But that hasn’t always been the case – find out why. And we hear a story from the Allegheny Front's Kara Holsopple about having tricky conversations over Thanksgiving dinner.

Courtney Hergesheimer

On a soggy autumn day in late October, a group of university students stood by the edge of an orange-tinted creek in the southeast Ohio village of Corning, a place built during coal mining’s boom days and now struggling amid a loss of jobs and population. As the group listened, watershed specialist Michelle Shively explained a plan to make the water here run clear: take the orange sludge and turn it into paint. 

The "Fallout Boy" stands in front of the West Virginia Capitol.
WV Tourism

Bethesda Game Studios' "Fallout 76" video game hit store shelves this week. West Virginia Tourism officials are hoping to promote the state to a wider audience with the game’s launch.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, seven of the nation’s leading causes of death are found at higher rates here in Appalachia compared to the rest of the country. But there is some diversity in these statistics.

When researchers analyzed all 420 counties in Appalachia, they found 42 outperformed the statistical odds. A team of researchers has been studying why these communities are outliers. As Roxy Todd reports, in all of the communities that researchers studied, they found a culture of sharing and volunteering. She visited one such community in West Virginia.

Coach Kellie: A Tiny West Virginia High School is Making Football History

Nov 12, 2018
Hannan High School head football coach Kellie Thomas speaks with players following their loss to Parkersburg Catholic.
Zack Harold / 100 Days in Appalachia

It took a few weeks for Hannan High School principal Karen Oldham to realize her school might have made history. She was so busy with the day-to-day grind of running the small, rural Mason County school that it didn’t cross her mind, until an elderly alumnus brought it to her attention.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, here are two messages you can read from the midterm elections: candidates in California were rewarded for opposing President Trump -- critics like California’s new Gov. Gavin Newsom won big. But in a red state like West Virginia, Sen. Joe Manchin was returned to office for, some say, embracing the president and siding with him on key issues. So how did we get here?

Cherry Glazer of KCRW in California speaks with West Virginia Public Broadcasting’s Trey Kay in the latest episode of “Red State Blue State”, our weekly chat between Trump Country and the Blue Bubble.

Lodge in Cacapon Resort State Park, Morgan County, W.Va., May 2008
Brian M. Powell / Wikimedia Commons

Gov. Jim Justice’s office made two announcements Friday all related to infrastructure in the Eastern Panhandle.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, there are two constitutional amendments on the ballot in this year’s mid-term election. If passed, one would change language about how abortions are handled in the state constitution. The other would give the state Legislature some oversight of the Supreme Court’s budget.

Senior reporter Dave Mistich sat down with news director Jesse Wright to break down what each amendment means.

Harpers Ferry, Jefferson County, W.Va. played a pivitol role during the American Civil War.
Mark Frickett / Wikimedia Commons

Undergraduate students from any college or university in the United States can spend a semester immersing themselves in the study of the American Civil War here in West Virginia beginning next year.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, the shooting at a Pittsburgh Synagogue last weekend sent shockwaves across the country, and in West Virginia. Roxy Todd sat down with Victor Urecki, the rabbi at B’Nai Jacob Synagogue in Charleston, for his thoughts on moving ahead in the wake of the tragedy.

Jesse Wright / WVPB

Hundreds of people gathered at a vigil held at West Virginia University to honor the victims of the shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, and offer a message of both vigilance and healing to the Jewish community, both in Morgantown and around the world.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, hundreds of people gathered last night at a vigil held at West Virginia University to honor the victims of the shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. As Brittany Patterson reports, speakers at the event offered a message of both vigilance and healing to the Jewish community, both in Morgantown and around the world.

Jesse Wright/ WVPB

On this special Halloween episode of Inside Appalachia, we’re doing something a little bit out of the ordinary for us—we’re suspending our disbelief.

Telling and retelling stories is part of our Appalachian tradition. Long before TV or the Internet came along, a well-told tale was often how our ancestors entertained each other and kept the crisp chill at bay as the darkness of winter approached. 


Broom Maker Wanda Hott (center) with her granddaughters Shelby (left) and Kierra (right).
Daniel Walker / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

In 2017, West Virginia Public Broadcasting featured one of West Virginia’s last remaining broom makers; Kanawha County resident Jim Shaffer. The story ended with a question: would this dwindling art continue once Shaffer retired? Well, it turns out, a whole family in Hampshire County makes brooms together, and they were inspired by Shaffer himself.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, a West Virginia journalist recently received a MacArthur Fellowship, a prestigious award that comes with a stipend of 625-thousand dollars. Investigative reporter Ken Ward Jr. was one of only 25 people named for the awards that’s often called the “genius” award. The website said Ward was recognized for his work that reveals, “…the human and environmental toll of natural resource extraction in West Virginia…” Inside Appalachia host Jessica Lilly, spoke with Ward about his work.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, last year, West Virginia Public Broadcasting featured one of West Virginia’s last remaining broom makers – Kanawha County resident Jim Shaffer. The story ended with a question – would this dwindling art continue once Shaffer retired? Well, turns out, a whole family in Hampshire County makes brooms together, and they were inspired by Shaffer himself. Liz McCormick brings us the story.

West Virginia Morning is a production of West Virginia Public Broadcasting which is solely responsible for its content.

Female veterans in New York watch the grave-side ceremony for the formerly oldest living female Marine, Miriam Cohen.
Sgt. Randall A. Clinton / U.S. Marine Corps

A professional photographer from West Virginia who is an Army veteran is working on a project about female veterans from the state.

Stephanie Ferrell plans to photograph the veterans in their home environments. The Register-Herald reports the project is expected to exhibit in January.

Daniel Walker/ WVPB

The Inside Appalachia team is hitting the road and heading to Beckley for its first LIVE Listening Party the evening of Bridge Day. Join us for an evening of live interviews, videos, art and music. The event will be at the Raleigh Playhouse and Theatre in Beckley on Saturday, Oct. 20, at 7 p.m. -- and it’s free. Seating is limited, so don’t forget to RSVP.


WV Governor's Office

The award-winning video game publisher Bethesda Softworks is launching a new online game set in post-nuclear West Virginia, and the West Virginia Tourism Office is partnering with the company to promote both the game and the state.

Jacqueline Van Meter of StoryCorps leads her team in a discussion at a WVPB StoryCorps Listening Party in early October.
Lalena Price / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The StoryCorps MobileBooth just departed Charleston and is headed to its next destination in Athens, Georgia. Fortunately, the StoryCorps team left behind a sizeable collection of great stories for WVPB to share with audiences.

For a terrific sampling of the voices of Charleston, West Virginia, click the link below to hear a montage of interview excerpts prepared by StoryCorps facilitator Jacqueline Van Meter for a special listening party at the Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences in early October.

On this West Virginia Morning, we’ll hear about the growing culture around Appalachian food, and we’ll explore the latest happenings in politics with another installment of “Red State Blue State.”

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