Archive for March 2008

Inside Appalachia – March 29, 2008

March 31, 2008

Among this week’s segments: A conversation with Kathy Mattea about her latest album Coal, the Sago tragedy that inspired the project, and her recent environmental activism. Plus, farmland preservation in Pennsylvania, and a study on the health risks of living in coal communities.


Workers strike at Mountaineer Racetrack

March 31, 2008

By Keri Brown

More than 200 workers at Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack and Resort in Hancock Co. are hitting the picket lines. The strike began early Saturday morning after contract negotiations broke down late Friday.

WV has extension to comply with feds’ REAL ID rules

March 31, 2008

By Anna Sale

March 31 is the deadline for states to get extensions for complying with the federal government’s new REAL ID requirements. The new rules have been controversial among privacy advocates and states. Division of Motor Vehicles Commissioner Joe Cicchirillo says residents should not notice any changes while the state prepares for the new REAL ID deadline in 2010.

Collecting histories through listening

March 31, 2008

By Jean Snedegar

Michael and Carrie Kline of Elkins create audio series from interviews with individuals – people telling their own stories – of life, history, coal mining and farming. This story was produced as part of our series Aging with Grace and Dignity.

Is Wild Wonderful?

March 28, 2008

By Emily Corio

The Monongahela National Forest has five federally designated wilderness areas. A bill before Congress would add almost 50,000 acres of wilderness to the Forest, but not everyone thinks that wild is wonderful. The WV Division of Natural Resources worries a plan of the state’s congressional delegation would interfere with wildlife management, so they’ve proposed an alternative.

Kathy Mattea discusses latest album Coal and issues that inspired it

March 28, 2008

By Mona Seghatoleslami

On Sunday night, Kathy Mattea will perform on West Virginia Public Broadcasting’s Mountain Stage as part of a tour to promote her new album. The album is titled Coal, and is a product of Mattea’s own recently-formed label, which she calls “Captain Potato Records.” 

Mattea: “If you say may name over and over again, and you say it faster and faster, and then somewhere in there you have a couple of beers, somewhere in there it will turn to Captain Potato. It’s been a running joke for years, now.”         

Mattea grew up in Cross Lanes in Kanawha County, and coal mining is part of her family history. That history and her increased interest in coal-mining issues are certainly reflected in Coal. So is the influence of other West Virginians, including songs she covers by acclaimed writers like Billy Edd Wheeler and Hazel Dickens. 

Mona Segatoleslami spoke to Mattea about these songs, her recent environmental activism, and the Sago tragedy that inspired Coal.

Retroactive compensation for lawmakers sparks controversy

March 27, 2008

By Scott Finn 

When West Virginia lawmakers voted for a pay increase last month, they made it very clear that the pay increase wouldn’t go into effect until after the November election. But unknown to most of us, they increased their compensation in a different way – and they did so retroactively, going back to the beginning of this year…