WVPB

Andrea Billups has joined the West Virginia Public Broadcasting team as news director, effective today.  

 

Billups, a native of Hurricane, W.Va., is a veteran national reporter, author, media consultant and educator. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Marshall University, where she was a 2018 inductee into the Marshall University Journalism Hall of Fame. She earned her master's degree in mass communications from the University of Florida. 

 

Sam Fonda pours a beer at Weathered Ground Brewery in Cool Ridge, West Virginia.
Janet Kunicki / WVPB

People in our region have made spirits for hundreds of years. Some even say Appalachians are among the best at making whiskey and moonshine, but this history is sometimes coupled with negative stereotypes. Outsiders have long portrayed Appalachians as dangerous, lawless moonshiners.

Betty Maney holds a small double weave river cane basket
Rachel Greene

The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians have been making baskets for centuries. While it is an old artform, basket makers are resilient -- adapting to changes not only in their craft, but their traditions too. 

West Virginia Public Broadcasting’s news team has earned three awards in the Radio Television Digital News Association’s 2020 Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards.

WVPB’s News Team won regional awards in the Region 8, Small Market Radio Division, competing with news agencies from throughout Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia. WVPB won the following categories:

Courtesy photo

Author Bonnie Proudfoot began working on her new novel “Goshen Road” nearly 25 years ago, but she said she had to get older before she had the confidence to finish it. The story follows two sisters growing up in northern West Virginia, beginning as teens in 1967. 

She described the book as women-centered Appalachian fiction, although she was quick to point out that not every chapter was told from a woman’s point of view. 

Jesse Wright / WVPB

With kids cooped up inside their homes and classroom instruction happening remotely, we thought it would be a great time to take another listen to an episode of Inside Appalachia that originally aired in 2019. We explore the power of getting children outside to learn, a topic that’s perhaps even  more important now than ever. 

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — In response to the economic crisis resulting from COVID-19, West Virginia Public Broadcasting has offered a series of free radio announcements to independent and locally owned restaurants and small businesses that are still open and following social distancing guidelines during the pandemic.

More than 40 small business responded. Each business that met the criteria received a three-week rotation of underwriting spots on the statewide WVPB radio network. Most are still playing in rotation.

Nicole Musgrave

Girls Rock Whitesburg in Whitesburg, Kentucky is a music camp for female, gender-fluid, non-binary, and trans youth. Over the course of a week campers learn an electric instrument, form a band and write songs. At the end, they perform in front of a live audience. While the camp focuses on electric music instruction, participants also learn how music is tied to social justice.


Nicole Musgrave

The coronavirus pandemic is affecting all of our lives, whether you’re working from home, worried for your health or unexpectedly out of a job. PBS’s beloved Mr. Rogers often quoted his mother saying to “look for the helpers” during a crisis. We’ve been looking and have found that there’s no shortage of those in our region.

Deep Mountain Farm

Just outside Fayetteville, West Virginia, there's a 42-acre farm that has just about everything -- chickens, lambs, sheep, produce and dogs. The latest addition is a litter of Great Pyrenees puppies, who will become guardian dogs for the sheep.

Christine Weirick owns and operates Deep Mountain Farm with her husband Chris Jackson and their two young daughters. 


Courtesy: West Virginia State Archives

Why was the Triangle neighborhood, once steeped in the richness of black music and culture, demolished in 1974 in Charleston, W.Va.? Why were some residents unaware that their neighborhood was being torn down until the bulldozers showed up? And why do some members of Charleston’s African American community today believe that this history could repeat itself in the city’s West Side neighborhood 50 years later, unless this history is reckoned with and remembered?

region1workforcewestvirginia.org

West Virginia has received two federal grants to help with infrastructure and workforce projects in the state.

More than $2 million was awarded to Workforce West Virginia through the National Dislocated Worker Grant for programs to help out-of-work coal miners.

Debra Williby-Walker

When Brady Walker first learned that some people go hungry, without a meal, he was four years old. And unlike most kids his age, he decided to take action.

Brady lives in Mercer County, W.Va., but he had a family friend named Ursula Candasamy, who has since passed away, in South Africa. So Brady began by collecting produce seed packets — some donated, some with his own savings — and he sent 910 packets to Ursula who distributed them to those in need. 

Brady, who is now eight years old, said he is motivated to keep sending seeds because, “people won’t be hungry, and I’m helping other people, and I like helping people.”

Amy Knicely

As the number of coronavirus cases have quickly grown across the nation, including in West Virginia, leaving the house has become increasingly discouraged. In fact, the White House Coronavirus Task Force recently recommended to either not go or limit trips to the grocery store to avoid large gatherings. 

And even when people do go to the store the shelves are often sparse. Although the National Grocers Association assures there’s not a food shortage in the country, some people are preparing just in case. 


Courtesy photos

Can laughter be beneficial for our health? Research suggests that laughing can be therapeutic not only for our emotional well-being, but it can help heal us in a physical sense, too.

Caitlin Tan

In March, West Virginia saw 90,000 unemployment claims. In a typical month the state averages 5,000. According to the U.S. Labor Department, one of the industries hit the hardest nationwide is arts and entertainment — a sector that depends heavily on social events, something that is nearly impossible during the coronavirus pandemic.

We recently spoke with West Virginian artists to see how they are coping, and we wanted to check in with the Tamarack Foundation For The Arts, which directly supports nearly 2,000 artists in the state. They have recently promoted their interactive newsletter to help West Virginian artists still feel a sense of community.

We want to help. In response to the economic crisis from COVID-19, WVPB is offering a limited series of free radio announcements to the first 20 independent and locally owned restaurants whose owners contact us telling us how your services have changed due to the pandemic. To qualify, you must apply by midnight, April 14.

How Does It Work?

1. If you are a local, independent restaurant owner who has had to change your service due to the pandemic you are urged to apply for the WVPB Small Business Offer in the form below.

Susan Brown and Jenny Bardwell

Kerri Namolik lives in Shepherdstown, W.Va. with her husband and two daughters. She is an assistant professor for Blue Ridge Community and Technical College and is working from home because of the coronavirus pandemic. 

But like many parents, she has also found herself homeschooling her two girls – Scarlett and Lilah – and using baking as a way to implement some math.


e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia

American soul singer legend and West Virginia native Bill Withers has died at 81 of heart complications, unrelated to coronavirus, according to the Associated Press. In a statement released to the AP, Withers’ family said he died Monday in Los Angeles. 

Howard Berkes / NPR

Ten years ago, on April 5, 2010, 29 men who worked at an underground coal mine in Raleigh County, West Virginia, lost their lives. The Upper Big Branch Mining Memorial Group, Inc. has placed wreaths at the monument in Raleigh County on April 5 every year since. But this year, they aren’t encouraging family members to visit, due to the spread of COVID-19.

West Virginia Mask Army

Across the country, medical professionals fighting the coronavirus pandemic are struggling to get their hands on protective gear – things as basic as goggles, gloves and masks – and without federal assistance, groups of West Virginians are handmaking face masks at their own expense.


Caitlin Tan / WVPB

Usually this time of year marks the start of festival season. So many little communities throughout the region celebrate springtime in their own way. But things are basically on pause right now as the country holds its collective breath. 

On this week’s episode of “Inside Appalachia,” we check in with our friends and neighbors across the region, many of whom are hunkering down at home, trying to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus.

As schools in West Virginia close in response to the COVID-19 virus, The West Virginia Channel will provide a daily, five-hour At-Home Learning Service for students in grades 6-12.

Caitlin Tan / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

For the past two years, West Virginia Public Broadcasting’s Inside Appalachia team has been working on a folkways project that focuses on artisans and craftsmen within Appalachia.

For many of these people, their art or craft is their primary income, and a lot of them depend on social events, like concerts, farmers markets and craft fairs. In this new world of coronavirus and social distancing, that is proving difficult.

The nomination period for the Friends of West Virginia Public Broadcasting Board of Directors is open until 11:59 p.m. on April 17, 2020.

Every individual contribution gives supporters membership in the Friends of West Virginia Public Broadcasting, Inc., and entitles them to vote for members of its Board of Directors.

CHARLESTON, W.VA. — West Virginia Public Broadcasting will continue to provide essential news and entertainment across WVPB’s statewide television, radio and digital network throughout the duration of the stay-at-home directive from Governor Justice.

Kara Lofton/ WVPB

 

On this week’s episode of Inside Appalachia, we are taking a much-needed break from the news. We’ll explore ways we can continue to stay connected with each other, even when we’re self-isolating for health reasons.

West Virginia Public Broadcasting

For the past few months, West Virginia Public Broadcasting’s Inside Appalachia Folkways Project has cultivated a connection between two groups of people thousands of miles away — high schools in Lincoln County, West Virginia and in Merthyr Tydfill, Wales.


West Virginia Department of Natural Resources

The West Virginia elk reintroduction program is four years in, and the project is not growing as fast as expected; however, there is a herd in the Southern Coalfields that is slowly getting bigger. 


Office of Attorney General Patrick Morrisey

A contest deadline is approaching for West Virginia schoolchildren to raise awareness of prescription painkiller abuse.

The Kids Kick Opioids contest is open to elementary and middle school students. It can include poems, drawings, letters or anything that promotes awareness of painkiller abuse.  

Pages