Us & Them

On this West Virginia Morning, we hear from a pediatrician who weighs in on whether children should return to public school in the fall. Also, in this show, we hear an excerpt from the latest episode of Us & Them about the challenges of receiving mental health care during the coronavirus pandemic.

Lalena Price

COVID-19 forces big changes in our society and for our medical systems. When patients with mental health conditions are forced to stay at home isolated, the resulting social distancing can be particularly dangerous. Counselors and therapists are just learning how to use virtual care and teletherapy to support their patients. One group of disorders, eating disorders, can affect a person’s physical health. If they’re left untreated, these conditions can become fatal. We’ll hear how one doctor treats her patients virtually, and helps them stay healthy.

On this West Virginia Morning, we hear from Dr. Cathy Slemp, who was recently ousted from her position as the state’s top public health official. Also, in this show, we hear a report from Marshall University as the school voted to remove the name of a Confederate soldier from a campus building; we hear about a settlement paid to a Black woman from Charleston who was forcefully arrested last year, and we hear from author Jordan Farmer on his new book Poison Flood.

On this West Virginia Morning, we learn about a family-owned Black newspaper in Virginia that just celebrated its 80th anniversary. The publisher, Claudia Whitworth, is rejecting the idea that people only want to hear negative stories. Also, in this show, we hear an excerpt from the latest episode of Us & Them exploring whether the topic of abortion has become too heavily divided to discuss differences civilly.

Lalena Price

Chief Justice John Roberts sided with the liberal wing of the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down a Louisiana abortion law. The narrow decision may be a relief to abortion rights supporters, but political watchers speculate the ruling could ignite voters in November. It may bring out those who favor a presidential candidate determined to curtail abortion rights.

 

Kara Lofton/ West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Two award-winning West Virginia Public Broadcasting programs — Inside Appalachia and Us & Them — can each add a Public Media Journalists Association 2020 Award to their lists of achievements.
 

Forced Apart: Shadow Pandemic

Jun 25, 2020
Lalena Price

COVID-19 has forced millions to stay at home for months. Isolation can feed anxiety and depression and now tens of millions of Americans say that potent combination threatens their mental health.

Us & Them host Trey Kay speaks with mental health providers in West Virginia, as well as the people who've sought treatment during the pandemic or who'd like to get some help.

The Black Talk

Jun 19, 2020
Mitch Hanley

Much of the recent work of our Us & Them team has focused on our day-to-day experience as we live through a global pandemic. But we need to shine our light on the deadly consequences of police brutality. Racial inequality is America’s most toxic “us and them” issue.

On this West Virginia Morning, we’ll hear about a long-lost piece of music written half a century ago by Phillip Glass. We also hear an excerpt from the latest episode of Us & Them about how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting the country’s food supply.

WVU Department of Health Sciences and Lalena Price

It’s been about 10 weeks since the coronavirus pandemic shut down much of the country, including West Virginia. While state officials are now reopening businesses, the pandemic is far from over. Seventy-eight West Virginians have died due to COVID-19. Unemployment claims have reached 250,000.

But the pandemic has exacted another toll — it’s fractured many of our healthcare institutions.

Forced Apart: Same Pandemic, Unequal Education

May 28, 2020
Lalena Price

West Virginia’s 2020 school year, from kindergarten through college, is wrapping up unlike any other.  In recent years, Mountain State communities have been devastated by man-made crises and natural disasters, but nothing has affected the state’s education system like a world-wide pandemic.

On this West Virginia Morning, the coronavirus has put thousands of West Virginians out of work, but for many navigating the unemployment system has been challenging. We hear a conversation with WorkForce West Virginia, the agency administering unemployment benefits, on how they’re adapting in this unprecedented time. And we hear from one West Virginia teacher on how she is navigating distanced teaching.

On this West Virginia Morning, we hear from the co-creators of a new Off-Broadway play that honors the men who died at the Upper Big Branch mine disaster 10 years ago. Also, in this episode, meatpacking plants are being ordered to stay in operation, despite the sector being hit hard by the coronavirus. How are some plant workers across the region faring?

The Legacy Of The Upper Big Branch Disaster

May 13, 2020
Joan Marcus

Ten years ago, the Upper Big Branch Mine exploded in West Virginia. Twenty-nine men died and an investigation uncovered that a legacy of overlooked safety measures contributed to the disaster.

A new play called “Coal Country” focuses on the stories of the men and their families. It aims to put a spotlight on prejudice against the rural working class — to bridge a divide between city dwellers and those who work with their hands underground.

On this West Virginia Morning, we bring you our final story on how the coronavirus crisis is affecting small businesses in the state. Nearly all businesses in West Virginia are considered small, and research shows small businesses help drive change and innovation in the economy. We also bring you a special report from Us & Them host Trey Kay.

Nurse Eva Travels To A COVID-19 Front Line

Apr 30, 2020
Eva Crockett

The coronavirus pandemic prompts many reactions from people. Some people can be overwhelmed with fear and anxiety. Others step up to help where they can.

Us & Them host Trey Kay splits his time living in West Virginia and New York. A few weeks ago, he got a message from someone trying to help Eva Crockett, a West Virginian traveling nurse looking to help treat COVID patients in New York City hospitals.

On this West Virginia Morning, we explore the dark side of social distancing. The stay-at-home order has resulted in an uptick in domestic violence calls in West Virginia. Also, in today’s show we hear from one researcher who has studied how global pandemics have shaped our history.

Forced Apart: A Virus Creates New Divides

Apr 23, 2020
Lalena Price

A global public health crisis in the form of an invisible virus, now officially divides us from each other. We’ve learned to call it ‘social distancing.’ But the coronavirus is creating or reopening many layers between us and them.

 

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, criminal justice reform advocates are urging Gov. Jim Justice to do more to stem the spread of coronavirus in jails and prisons.

Us & Them: The Connector

Apr 8, 2020
Trey Kay

In many cities and towns, there are people in charge, and there are people who get things done. Joe Slack is an instigator for community change in West Virginia’s Upper Kanawha Valley. He sees the needs in his region, one that’s been hit hard by one economic disappointment after another.

But Slack is a self-described squeaky wheel. He connects people, helps identify realistic opportunities and then works to make things happen.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we’ll visit the upper Kanawha Valley where people know the inside of economic hardship, and we’ll learn more about how officials are trying to contain the coronavirus at a nursing home in Morgantown where 20 cases have been reported.

Trey Kay

Appalachia is a unique region of the country. Its namesake mountain range boasts a tangle of thick forests where the economy has relied on forestry, manufacturing and mining for jobs. The Kanawha River winds through West Virginia upstream from Charleston and was once a hotbed of mining operations and chemical plants.

 

Cameron Donohue

Trey Kay, host of WVPB’s program Us & Them, was a part of Marshall University’s 2nd annual TEDxMarshallU event on Saturday, March 14.

 

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

All over the country and in the mountain state, more and more people are learning what it means to cope with homelessness. That story and more on this West Virginia Morning.

Without A Home Can You Be A Good Neighbor?

Mar 11, 2020
Kyle Vass

Homelessness is one of the things that divides us in America. It’s an Us & Them issue that can spring from, and inform our views on other social topics.

The number of homeless people nationally has dropped in the past decade, but there was an increase between 2017 and 2018. A West Virginia man saw a need and is trying to help.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we hear from a woman who is reaching out to grandparents who are raising their grandkids.

Grandfamilies Of The Opioid Crisis

Feb 27, 2020

Chemical addictions and the opioid crisis have divided millions of U.S. families. An addicted parent can abandon responsibilities to their children. When a grandparent steps in to help, it creates a new kind of family structure. Some call it a grandfamily. Addictions can create a generational Us & Them divide in a household. It also spotlights underlying financial issues that cause a strain between parents and their adult children.

 

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we visit Paden City where citizens are concerned that years of poorly reported water contamination has led to clusters of disease and health hardships.

Us & Them: Diversity Divide

Feb 12, 2020
Rich Egger/Tri States Public Radio

There are now more students of color at some universities and colleges in the U.S. In the past decade at Western Illinois University, the non-white student population nearly tripled to one-third of the enrollment. The change helped fill classrooms and satisfy the school’s mission. But it’s part of what pushed the school’s first African-American president out of his job.

Us & Them: Should History Be Set In Stone?

Jan 23, 2020

When we learn our history, we see things that reflect our past. Paintings of famous battles and statues of men who were heroes to some. But how we interpret our legacy changes. Time can warp our notion of a once righteous cause.

There are examples around the world of ways we have edited our past. In the U.S., recent decisions to move Confederate monuments and take down Confederate flags. But the effort to cleanse the past is global.

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