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The Fall Of AppHarvest, Inside Appalachia – West Virginia Public Broadcasting

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The Fall Of AppHarvest, Inside Appalachia – West Virginia Public Broadcasting


When the farming start-up, AppHarvest, launched in Kentucky, it promised good jobs in coal country — but some workers called it a grueling hell on earth.

We also explore an island of Japanese culture in West Virginia called Yama. 

And fish fries have been a staple in Charleston, West Virginia’s Black community for years. We visit one and learn a little about what’s made them so popular.

You’ll hear these stories and more this week, Inside Appalachia.

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In This Episode:


The Rise And Fall Of AppHarvest

When AppHarvest built its first greenhouse in 2020, it was touted as no less than the future of farming — and even Appalachia itself. The start-up would use cutting-edge technology and local workers to produce vegetables on an industrial scale. But then, last year, the company filed for bankruptcy.

Austyn Gaffney recently reported on the downfall of AppHarvest, in a story for Grist. Mason Adams talks with Gaffney to learn more.

Japanese Homestyle Haven In Morgantown

Staff member Ryoko Kijimoto serves up rich rice bowls and ramen in Yama’s diner atmosphere.

Credit: Min Kim

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High Street in Morgantown, West Virginia is a bustling strip. Tucked away off the main drag is a place called Yama, a cozy diner that’s been serving up homestyle Japanese food since the 1990s. Japanese students and staff share their language, culture and food. It’s also a place of comfort and connection for everyone.

Folkways Reporter Lauren Griffin has the story. 

Fish Fries, An African-American Tradition In Charleston, W.Va.

A man in a black jacket stands over a fryer frying fish.
Andre Nazario

Credit: Leeshia Lee/West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Signs for fish fries are pretty common in Charleston, West Virginia, especially in the city’s Black community, where they’ve become a tradition.

Folkways Fellow, Leeshia Lee, grew up in Charleston and says friends and neighbors frequently hosted fish fries, often as a way to raise money for community needs. Lee has the story.

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Remembering The W.Va. Water Crisis 10 Years Later

A woman with brunette hair and wearing a light blue blazer talks on TV screen in a news report.
Kallie Cart reporting on the January 2014 West Virginia water crisis.

Credit: Kallie Cart/WCHS-TV

Ten years ago, a chemical spill in Charleston, West Virginia’s Elk River contaminated the drinking water of hundreds of thousands of people. The disaster became a national story, about corporate distrust and community action.

WVPB’s Randy Yohe spoke with Kallie Cart, a former broadcast reporter who covered the crisis and went viral after one particular exchange.

——

Our theme music is by Matt Jackfert. Other music this week was provided by Chris Knight, Tim Bing, Amythyst Kiah, Jeff Ellis and Bob Thompson.

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Bill Lynch is our producer. Zander Aloi is our associate producer. Our executive producer is Eric Douglas. Kelley Libby is our editor. Our audio mixer is Patrick Stephens.

You can send us an email: InsideAppalachia@wvpublic.org.

You can find us on Instagram, Threads and Twitter @InAppalachia. Or here on Facebook.

Sign-up for the Inside Appalachia Newsletter!

Inside Appalachia is a production of West Virginia Public Broadcasting.

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West Virginia

Applications Available for 2024 West Virginia Make It Shine Statewide Spring Cleanup

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Applications Available for 2024 West Virginia Make It Shine Statewide Spring Cleanup


CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection has announced applications are now
available for the 2024 West Virginia Make It Shine Statewide Spring Cleanup.
This year’s cleanup will be held April 1st through April 14th.               
The Make It Shine program will provide resources such as cleanup materials, waste hauling, and landfill fees to community groups volunteering to conduct litter cleanups in state streams or on public lands.
Applications are due by Friday, March 8, 2024.
Applications are available online? at: https://apps.dep.wv.gov/ppod/make_it_shine.a5w
Once your project is approved, REAP staff will coordinate delivery of cleanup supplies, waste hauling and disposal. For more information, contact Chris Cartwright at [email protected]? or by phone at 1-800-322-5530.

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2024 WVSSAC Class AAA Girls Basketball State Tournament seeds/schedule – WV MetroNews

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2024 WVSSAC Class AAA Girls Basketball State Tournament seeds/schedule – WV MetroNews


MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Eight teams have qualified for the WVSSAC Class AAA Girls Basketball State Tournament. The five-day, 28-game event will begin on March 5 at the Charleston Coliseum and Convention Center. Radio broadcasts of all state tournament games will air on the MetroNews Radio Network and will be streamed at wvmetronews.com. MetroNews will also produce HD video broadcasts of the four championship games.

Class AAA State Tournament seeds:

  1. East Fairmont (24-0)
  2. Wayne (22-1)
  3. Nitro (21-3)
  4. Lewis County (22-3)
  5. Philip Barbour (15-8)
  6. PikeView (18-6)
  7. Keyser (18-5)
  8. Weir (13-10)

Class AAA Quarterfinals:

Game 1 – No. 3 Nitro vs. No. 6 PikeView – Tuesday, March 5, 9:30 a.m.

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Game 2 – No. 2 Wayne vs. No. 7 Keyser – Tuesday, March 5, 1 p.m.

Game 3 – No. 1 East Fairmont vs. No. 8 Weir – Tuesday, March 5, 5:30 p.m.

Game 4 – No. 4 Lewis County vs. No. 5 Philip Barbour – Tuesday, March 5, 9 p.m.

Class AAA Semifinals:

Game 5 – Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner – Thursday, March 8, 11:15 a.m.

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Game 6 – Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner – Thursday, March 8, 7:15 p.m.

Class AAA Final:

Game 7 – Semifinal winners – Saturday, March 9, 10 a.m.



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Education Unions Announce Planned Merger – West Virginia Public Broadcasting

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Education Unions Announce Planned Merger – West Virginia Public Broadcasting


Two of the state’s largest education unions are planning to merge. 

The West Virginia Education Association (WVEA) and the American Federation of Teachers – West Virginia (AFT-WV) announced Wednesday that they have unanimously approved a values statement for a new, unified organization 

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Dale Lee, president of the WVEA, said the merger will help ensure educators’ voices are heard and strengthened together.

“We saw in 2018-2019 that united and standing together, we were a stronger voice,” he said. “And with that, we’ve also seen a target on our backs in the legislature the last few years. So this gives us an opportunity to expand on the strength that we saw in 2018, 2019. And to really build something that members want and are going to be proud of.”

Lee said the proposal has received significant feedback from members of both organizations via special delegate assembly and a special convention to approve the value statement.

“We’ve gone to several counties across the state talking about this and answering questions so our members really know what’s going on,” he said.

Lee said the governing bodies of both organizations must approve the merger, but the goal is to have everything in place and have a new organization in place by September 2025. 

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In a press release, Fred Albert, AFT-WV president said, “one merged unified voice for education employees is an exciting vision for the future of education in WV.”

“By definition, a union is a merging of people coming together to use their collective talents and knowledge to improve the working conditions and circumstances for the whole,” he said. “While there is much work still to be done, I look forward to continuing to work with Dale and the leadership of both organizations to make this vision a reality.”



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