Charleston

Emily Allen / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

This story was updated on Tuesday, Oct. 8, to include more recent information on the estimated cost of the 2019 West Virginia Book Festival, and what organizers estimate they spent on speakers.

A long-anticipated speech from a controversial author at the West Virginia Book Festival this weekend left some participants wanting to find ways to make the event more inclusive. 

City of Charleston

The mayor of West Virginia’s capital city has canceled her upcoming appearance at the West Virginia Book Festival over a presentation by an author with homophobic views.

Emily Allen / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

When civil rights attorney-turned-filmmaker Jon Matthews agreed to start a film festival with his friend Tim Ward, Matthews said the title alone was the selling point. 

“He's like, ‘It's Appalachian Queer Film Festival,’” Matthews said. “I'm, like, ‘Done. You've got me. Sold.’ ... I never heard anything like those two words in the same sentence before, ‘Appalachian and queer.’”

Mountain Stage continues its production schedule this Sunday with episode #955 at the Culture Center Theater on the state capitol grounds in Charleston, W.Va. Tickets are still available online and at Taylor Books at 226 Capitol St. in downtown, Charleston.

September 24, 1930: Governor William MacCorkle Dies

Sep 24, 2019
William MacCorkle
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia

Governor William MacCorkle died on September 24, 1930, at age 73. He was the last of six Democrats to serve as governor over 26 consecutive years. This was the longest period of domination of the governorship by one party in our state’s history.

e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia

On August 11, 1958, the Congress of Racial Equality—or CORE—launched a sit-in movement at several Charleston lunch counters. Prior to this time, African-Americans in Charleston could order takeout food at many white-owned diners but were not allowed to sit down and eat.

Some tickets remain for Sunday's Mountain Stage taping in Charleston, but thanks to WVPB and VuHaus you can watch live online.

Doris Fields, also known as Lady D, West Virginia's First Lady of Soul, lead the Friday night vigil in song with 'We Shall Overcome' by Pete Seeger.
Emily Allen / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

As Ryan Brown stood outside the West Virginia Capitol Buidling on a breezy Friday evening, her husband Ali was in Guinea, the neighboring country to Sierra Leone where Ali’s originally from. 

 

July 11, 1902: Historian John P. Hale Dies

Jul 11, 2019
Hale started the first mechanized brick-making in the Kanawha Valley, helped found a bank, and formed Charleston’s first gas company and steam ferry.
E-WV

Historian, physician, and businessman John P. Hale died on July 11, 1902, at age 78. The great-grandson of the legendary Mary Draper Ingles, Hale was born in present Virginia before moving to the Kanawha Valley in 1840.

  

He earned a medical degree but decided that medicine wasn’t as lucrative as the booming salt business. By 1860, his salt works, located between Charleston and Malden, was possibly the largest in North America.

e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia

On June 30, 1904, the Kelly Axe and Tool Company acquired 53 acres of land along the Kanawha River on the West End of Charleston. It eventually became home to the world’s largest axe factory.

The company was founded in 1874 by William C. Kelly, who established his first factory in Kentucky before relocating to Indiana and then West Virginia. Kelly was attracted to the Kanawha Valley by the availability of abundant natural gas and good access to river and rail transportation.

June 28, 1943: Bishop Matthew Wesley Clair, Senior Dies

Jun 28, 2019
This Week in West Virginia History.
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia online.

Bishop Matthew Wesley Clair Sr. died in Covington, Kentucky, on June 28, 1943, at age 77. He was born in Monroe County to former slaves just months after the Civil War ended.

His family moved to Charleston, where Clair joined Simpson Methodist Episcopal Church. He graduated from college in 1889 and began a four-stint leading the Methodist Episcopal Church in Harpers Ferry.

Roads, Road, Highway, Turnpike
Seicer / Wikimedia Commons

The West Virginia Parkways Authority announced that State Farm is sponsoring the Courtesy Patrol program along the 88-mile stretch from Charleston to Princeton.

Courtesy of the Artist

It’s sure to be a busy summer for live-music fans in our area as the Mountain Stage schedule continues to grow with some exciting artist additions to our upcoming events.

Adobe Stock

The National Weather Service says it will be surveying storm damage in West Virginia.

News outlets report a storm system passed through the Charleston area Monday evening knocking down trees and power lines and leaving more than 20,000 Appalachian Power customers without electric.

May 5, 1923: Fire Destroys Luna Park in Charleston

May 5, 2019
Luna-Park
e-WV Encyclopedia

On May 5, 1923, an accidental fire started by welders destroyed most of Luna Park on Charleston’s West Side. The seven-acre amusement park had been built in 1912 on a former three-hole golf course.

Illustration of the Diamond Department Store at the corner of Capitol and Washington Streets in Charleston
e-WV Encyclopedia

On May 3, 1960, Charleston’s Diamond Department Store integrated its lunch counters. The Diamond was the largest department store of its kind in Charleston and one of the leading stores in the state. For years, it barred African-Americans from eating at its popular lunch counter.

Waiting for Justice

Apr 24, 2019
Wayne Casey

In Charleston, WV back in November 2016, William Pulliam, a 62-year-old white man, shot and killed James Means, a 15-year-old African-American boy. The case made national headlines. Reports say during his confession, Pulliam told police, “The way I look at it, that’s another piece of trash off of the street.”

April 6, 1938: Civilian Conservation Corps Establish Camp Kanawha

Apr 6, 2019
Wikimedia Commons / Andrew Springer

On April 6, 1938, the Civilian Conservation Corps established Camp Kanawha at the mouth of Shrewsbury Hollow, about seven miles south of Charleston. Over the next four years, CCC workers transformed the site, which had been heavily mined and timbered, into Kanawha State Forest.

Quilts hung in the Culture Center in Charleston during Vandalia Gathering 2018.
WV Department of Arts, Culture and History

Entries are being accepted for an annual quilt and wall hangings competition in West Virginia.

The state Division of Culture and History says in a news release it is accepting entries for the West Virginia Quilts and Wall Hangings Juried Exhibition until April 26.

March 29, 1973: Educator Fannie Cobb Carter Dies in Charleston

Mar 29, 2019
Educator Fannie Cobb Carter (1872-1973)
e-WV Encyclopedia / WV State Archives (WVSA)

African-American educator Fannie Cobb Carter died on March 29, 1973, six months after her 100th birthday.

She was born in Charleston in 1872, just months before the state’s new constitution prohibited black children and white children from attending school together.

After earning a teaching degree from Storer College in Harpers Ferry, Cobb returned home to teach in Kanawha County’s public schools. In 1908, she organized the teacher-training department at West Virginia Colored Institute, which is now West Virginia State University.

West Virginia Division of Culture and History / State Archives

Broadcaster Harry Brawley died on March 25, 1992, at age 82. The Charleston native was a polio survivor. He eventually learned to walk but struggled with it his entire life. After earning two degrees from West Virginia University, Brawley became a teacher. At Charleston High School, he had the novel idea of incorporating the radio into the classroom. In 1945, he became the director of public affairs for Charleston’s WCHS radio station and won an award for his “School of the Air,” a pioneering program for high schoolers.

NASA

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection is having an Earth Day celebration next month.

The event is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 23 at the Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences of West Virginia in Charleston.

March 14, 1974: Dr. I. E. Buff Dies at 65

Mar 14, 2019
Dr. I. E. Buff
University of Virginia Library

Dr. I. E. Buff died in Charleston on March 14, 1974, at age 65. Buff was the first physician to protest publicly that many coal miners’ deaths were inaccurately being labeled as heart attacks.

He argued that the coronaries were being caused by a widespread disease known commonly as black lung. He suggested that as many as half of West Virginia’s 40,000 miners suffered from black lung.

Courtesy of the Artist

Mountain Stage looks towards Spring as we finalize our upcoming shows in April and May. Browse our entire live-show schedule for details and more links, and be sure to purchase early before the show sells out, like our  April 14 event with Matt Nathanson, Stephen Kellogg, Carbon Leaf and others.

The Black Talk

Feb 13, 2019

How old were you when you first learned that police may think of you as a threat? You’ve never been told that? Chances are you’re not African American. In this episode, Trey Kay examines “The Black Talk,” which is the sober conversation that many black families have with their teenage kids – particularly teenage boys – about how they should conduct themselves when stopped by the police.

Courtesy of the Artist

You can be in the radio audience for performances by Leftover Salmon, Tim O’Brien’s Bluegrass Band, Matt Nathanson, Darlingside and more.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, one of the biggest battles in drug treatment and recovery is overcoming stigma. For our final segment in a series on the failed Charleston needle exchange, we take a look at how its closure has affected the community's perception of harm reduction policy. Kara Lofton reports that things like harm reduction, safety and crime have become as much about politics as public health.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we continue a series exploring best practices for harm reduction programs in the state.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, one of the byproducts of the opioid crisis is an abundance of needle litter. In a new series, we explore why the state's largest harm reduction program shut down and how perception, stigma and politics around that closure is impacting other programs around the state.

Rebecca Caridid

Mountain Stage with Larry Groce will kick off its 36th season of live performance radio with two January live events just announced.

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