According to the US Census Bureau and recent studies, there are 33 percent more households in West Virginia experiencing a lack of food, or concern that they may be unable to acquire enough food, than there was in 2007. Meanwhile obesity rates and rates of diabetes continue to rise. But some organizations are working to change those statistics and they say, this Thanksgiving season, West Virginians have a lot to be thankful for.
A recent study from the Federal Communications Commission finds that Central Appalachia is far behind in terms of broadband access. West Virginia has the largest underserved population proportional to its size.
Since the rise of book superstores in the 1990s and online booksellers like Amazon, people have been lamenting the death of the independent bookstore. But in the southwest Virginia town of Big Stone Gap, an independent bookstore has been thriving. The founder of this bookstore, Wendy Welch, has written about her experience in a new book, entitled “The Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap.”
Judy Byers, the director of the Frank and Jane Gabor West Virginia folklife center, knew at a very young age she would spend her life working in preserving folk culture. But as Ben Adducchio reports, she feels like her work is far from being completed.
After two decades of heading what is now the largest union in the state, Judy Hale has announced she’ll step down as the president of AFT-West Virginia. Hale shared reflections of her tenure at the state office of the American Federation of Teachers.