Inside Appalachia

By West Virginia Public Broadcasting

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Inside Appalachia tells the stories of our people, and how they live today. Host Jessica Lilly leads us on an audio tour of our rich history, our food, our music and our culture. Watch Inside Appalachia videos Follow the Inside Appalachia podcast on Soundcloud here . Subscribe to the Inside Appalachia podcast here or click the red button below. Inside Appalachia is a production of West Virginia Public Broadcasting with help from public radio stations in Kentucky, Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and West Virginia.

Episode Date
3 Men, 3 Lives, 3 Wishes for a Better Economic Future in Appalachia
Can Trump bring coal jobs back to Appalachia? We’re a year-and-a-half into his presidency, and some people, like coal operator Barry Estep , are hopeful. “Maybe this is a light at the end of the tunnel we’ve all been hoping for, to get things turned around and changed some.” But others are not so sure that coal has a long-term future.
Jun 15, 2018
From Flaming Bicycles to a Chicken Man- Three Tall Tales From W.Va. Award Winning Storytellers
This week, we’re listening back to a popular show we did back in 2016, featuring award winning storytellers — telling some whopping tale and lies. We’ll be featuring storytellers from the West Virginia Storyteller’s Guild , all of whom have competed and won prizes across the country.
Jun 08, 2018
Town Reckons With its Toxic Past, While Looking to the EPA for Help
On this week’s episode of Inside Appalachia, we’ll visit Minden, West Virginia, where residents are asking the federal government to consider adding their town to an official list of places most seriously contaminated by hazardous waste. But this nearly 40-year-old program’s budget has faced repeated cuts over the past 20 years. We’ll learn about how that may affect cleanup efforts for communities that are designated as U.S. Department of Environmental Protection Superfund sites.
Jun 01, 2018
In Appalachia, Some Combat Veterans are Turning to Farming After War: Here's Why
This week on Inside Appalachia we’re going to listen back to an episode we originally aired in 2017, about veterans who are turning to traditional farming, for therapy. We’ll travel to Sugar Bottom Farm in Clay County West Virginia to meet Veteran Eric Grandon, the first veteran to go through the Veterans and Warriors to Agriculture program.
May 25, 2018
Appalachia Has Highest Risk of HIV & Hepatitis in Nation. The Proposed Solutions Are Controversial
The 10 counties in the United States most at risk for an HIV outbreak are all in Central Appalachia, a ccording to a 2016 report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Compiled after a 2015 outbreak of the disease in southern Indiana, the report found that places with a combination of high poverty, low access to health care, and rampant intravenous drug were mostly likely to experience a similar outbreak of HIV and hepatitis C.
May 18, 2018
Grandparents Raising Grandchildren: Across Appalachia, 'Grandfamilies' Face Increasing Challenges
Last year on Inside Appalachia we aired an episode about Grandparents raising grandchildren. Our newsroom just won a Regional Edward R. Murrow Award for this series, so today, we’re listening back to this important story.
May 11, 2018
Children Share Memories of Growing Up in the Mountains, Puppy Pilates & More: Inside Appalachia
Our region has challenges, from the economic decline of the coal industry, to the opioid epidemic, there’s work to do in our communities. In this episode of Inside Appalachia, we’ll hear from several people who are trying to reinvigorate our region with opportunities for change. We’ll also hear from some younger voices in Appalachian, North Carolina about growing up in the mountains.
May 04, 2018
Giving Appalachians a Sense of What’s Possible
Several federally funded job-training programs have emerged in recent years designed to help revitalize coal country. In 2017 alone, the Appalachian Regional Commission, a federal-state partnership focused on economic development since the mid-1960s , approved more than $150 million in projects for the region. But how successful are these programs, and what are the challenges?
Apr 28, 2018
Revisiting the ‘Struggle to Stay’
It’s been a year since we started following six Appalachians as they grappled with whether to stay in their home state or leave for better opportunities. On this week’s episode, we’ll revisit those we profiled in our Struggle to Stay series – and reflect on what we learned as we helped them tell their stories.
Apr 20, 2018
Controversy and Mystery Still Surround Lakes Built by the Army Corps of Engineers
In this week's episode of Inside Appalachia, we visit communities impacted by creation of flood-control lakes. In one, the Village of Lilly, about 40 families were pushed off their land along the Bluestone River in Summers County, W.Va., in the 1940s. Many of these families had lived there for more than 200 years.
Apr 13, 2018
Appalachia's Deep Ties to Extractive Industries May be Keeping Region 'Poor, Sick & Stuck on Coal'
This week on Inside Appalachia, we'll learn more about how our reliance on coal and other extractive industries have affected our region’s economy.
Apr 06, 2018
Charlie McCoy, 'Amazing Grace,' and How Gospel Music Inspired Rock ’n Roll
In this episode of Inside Appalachia, we’ll talk about faith and music. We learn about Sister Rosetta Tharpe, one of the first great recording stars of gospel music, find out the story behind "Amazing Grace," and why it became an American icon, and hear the story of Nashville session musician, W.Va. native Charlie McCoy.
Mar 30, 2018
Sugar Shacks and Maple–Glazed Rabbit: Appalachian Cuisine Beyond the Stereotypes
In this episode of Inside Appalachia, we’ll travel to the sugar shacks of Appalachian maple producers, and we’ll learn how to use syrup in everything from glazed greens to buttermilk ice cream – and even roasted rabbit.
Mar 23, 2018
Could the West Virginia Teacher Strike Spark a Labor Movement?
Now that thousands of striking teachers across West Virginia have returned to work with a pay raise and a promise to fix their health care plan, how might their actions inspire others? It’s one of the questions we’ll explore on this week’s episode of Inside Appalachia.
Mar 16, 2018
Inside Appalachia's Labor History: Do You Know Where the Word 'Redneck' Comes From?
After a nine-day statewide strike, West Virginia teachers and school service employees are back to work with a hard-won commitment from lawmakers of a 5 percent pay raise for all public workers. Gov. Jim Justice also ordered the creation of a task force to explore long-term solutions to the public employees insurance program known as PEIA.
Mar 09, 2018
Economic Diversity: 8 Ideas with Momentum Inside Appalachia
It isn’t news that Appalachia is struggling economically. If you’ve followed the boom-bust cycle of the coal industry, you know that we’ve been here before. Coal production in Appalachia fell by almost half between 2005 and 2015. During the same years, coal industry employment fell by around 27 percent, and most of those losses were in central Appalachia. In the past year, the coal industry has rebounded a little, but most economists agree, coal alone is not the answer to the region's financial problems. But some people see these challenges as opportunities. This week's episode of Inside Appalachia features eight innovative ideas, created by Appalachians, for Appalachians. Using Coal to Blast Rockets into Space Coal has gotten a dirty reputation. There’s a strong push to eliminate coal mining, and the jobs that come with it, in order to lower carbon dioxide emissions. But coal can be used for more than energy. We’ll learn about one inventor, named Brian Joseph , who is using
Mar 02, 2018
Football as a Catalyst for Change in Mount Hope, West Virginia
Acts of violence and protests resisting racial integration were features in many American communities in the 1950s and 60s. A tiny town in the coalfields of South Central West Virginia appears to have been a notable exception.
Feb 23, 2018
The New Generation of Black Lung
For many years we thought that black lung was a disease of the past. But it has actually stricken a whole new generation of miners, and in some ways, it’s worse than before.
Feb 16, 2018
Four Trailblazing Women in Appalachia Who Helped Pave the Way
This week on Inside Appalachia, we'll hear stories of women whose grit and determination changed their own lives - and changed other people's lives, too. We’ll hear from women who overcame a lot of challenges to succeed as students, musicians, entrepreneurs and educators.
Feb 02, 2018
How One Sentence Helped Purdue Pharma Sell Billions of Dollars Worth of Opioids
Between 1999 and 2015, roughly 300,000 people in the United States died from opioid overdoses. And of the five states with the highest rates of drug overdose deaths in 2016, four were in Appalachia. The opioid epidemic is killing our friends and neighbors.
Jan 26, 2018