Moundsville Gets an MRAP (For Floods and Hostages) — America Discovers West Virginia Town of Brad Paisley, George Brett, Lady Gaga — AOC, Julian Castro Weigh In — Armored Truck Highlights U.S. Overspending on Defense

You could be forgiven if you’d never heard of Moundsville, WV, pop. 8,400, until Jaime Baker of WTOV9 in Steubenville, OH, reported that the town’s police this week picked up a Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected truck, or MRAP. The machines cost up to a million dollar a piece, but Moundsville got its for free, thanks toContinue reading “Moundsville Gets an MRAP (For Floods and Hostages) — America Discovers West Virginia Town of Brad Paisley, George Brett, Lady Gaga — AOC, Julian Castro Weigh In — Armored Truck Highlights U.S. Overspending on Defense”

Are Ghosts Making a Comeback After Covid Quarantine? Check the Spirit-Filled Appalachians and Rust Belt, Say Paranormal Investigators — Haunted Relic Expo in Moundsville, WV, July 18 — Psychic: “I’ve Needed Self-Care” During Grief-Filled Lockdown

The Appalachians and the Rust Belt have a rich past, from prehistoric mound-building peoples thousands of years ago to the French-Indian and Civil wars, and, more recently, aggressive industrialization from 1880-1980, and now, de-industrialization and depopulation. That’s why the Ohio Valley is “a plethora of paranormal activity”, says Kristin Lee, a psychic medium and ownerContinue reading “Are Ghosts Making a Comeback After Covid Quarantine? Check the Spirit-Filled Appalachians and Rust Belt, Say Paranormal Investigators — Haunted Relic Expo in Moundsville, WV, July 18 — Psychic: “I’ve Needed Self-Care” During Grief-Filled Lockdown”

New Film: In ‘The Campaign of Miner Bo’, Laid-Off West Virginia Coal Miner Runs For U.S. Senate in 2018 — After His Own Political Trials, Bo Copley Empathizes With Clinton: “I Want To Help Find Common Ground”

Bo Copley got his 15 minutes of political fame as the laid-off West Virginia coal miner who challenged Hillary Clinton on a campaign stop during the 2016 presidential election, and then fought a quixotic battle for U.S. Senate in 2018. In a speech, Clinton had declared her support for miners who needed help and supportContinue reading “New Film: In ‘The Campaign of Miner Bo’, Laid-Off West Virginia Coal Miner Runs For U.S. Senate in 2018 — After His Own Political Trials, Bo Copley Empathizes With Clinton: “I Want To Help Find Common Ground””

Donut Heroes: Quality Bakery Shoppe Bakes All Night for Moundsville — 1,200 Donuts a Day — Owners Are Drum-Playing Baptist Preacher and Baker Wife — All 4 Kids Help Out — “People Are Supporting Local Businesses During Covid”

Every night at 10pm, a small team at Quality Bakery Shoppe in Moundsville gets to work rolling flour, butter and sugar into the 1,200 donuts the West Virginia town needs to eat every day, for sustenance and sweetness. One exception to the obliteration of main street businesses in America by Wal-Mart&co is the bakeries. They’reContinue reading “Donut Heroes: Quality Bakery Shoppe Bakes All Night for Moundsville — 1,200 Donuts a Day — Owners Are Drum-Playing Baptist Preacher and Baker Wife — All 4 Kids Help Out — “People Are Supporting Local Businesses During Covid””

What ‘Moundsville’ Got Wrong About Moundsville — “Sleep-Inducing” Writes 80-Year-Old Scholar in 6,400-Word Review — “Context Was Not on the Menu” — Where’s Brad Paisley?

An email arrived this week from William Sypher, a retired literature scholar in Barboursville, VA who grew up in Moundsville and spent his career teaching in the Middle East, including stints in Saudi Arabia and Iran. He didn’t like Moundsville and attached a charming and engaging 6,400-word review explaining why. “I wish I could praiseContinue reading “What ‘Moundsville’ Got Wrong About Moundsville — “Sleep-Inducing” Writes 80-Year-Old Scholar in 6,400-Word Review — “Context Was Not on the Menu” — Where’s Brad Paisley?”

Viewers of ‘Moundsville’ to Residents of Moundsville: We Love You

Dear residents of Moundsville, I know you’ve had different reactions to the movie, ‘Moundsville’. Some have enjoyed the journey into history, while others have described the movie as “too depressing” or “bleak”. I can promise you that, as we’ve shown the film in New York, Pittsburgh, West Virginia, and now across the country on PBS,Continue reading “Viewers of ‘Moundsville’ to Residents of Moundsville: We Love You”

‘Moundsville’ to Make PBS Debut on West Virginia Public Broadcasting Monday, May 25 in 9pm Prime-Time Slot

We’re thrilled to make our public television debut with West Virginia Public Broadcasting, after Moundsville’s acquisition by NETA. This story belongs to the people of Moundsville, Marshall County, and West Virginia. We’re getting the coveted 9pm prime-time slot, right after Antiques Roadshow. I hope people enjoy the story and that it sparks lot of goodContinue reading “‘Moundsville’ to Make PBS Debut on West Virginia Public Broadcasting Monday, May 25 in 9pm Prime-Time Slot”

No Actors? Try Cats

Google “cat videos” and you’ll get 4.8 billion views. We love these mini-movies because cats swing, Charlie Chaplin apex predators on acid, between manic zane and don’t-give-a-shit zen. And, as John Oliver at Last Week Tonight and Jason Gay at the Wall Street Journal, among others, have pointed out, the coronavirus lockdown is a peakContinue reading “No Actors? Try Cats”

Beautiful Mourning: What the Rust Belt Can Teach the World About Loss — ‘Pittsburgh’ Cartoonist Santoro Sees Off-Beat in Colors — “There will not be a resolution”

As we grieve the loss of restaurants and ballgames, I recommend a book: Frank Santoro’s graphic memoir, Pittsburgh. An initial print run of 4,000 has sold out, but you can still buy the book at CopaceticComics. Santoro is a 47-year-old author and cartoonist who grew up in a neighborhood of Pittsburgh called Swissvale, boomeranged toContinue reading “Beautiful Mourning: What the Rust Belt Can Teach the World About Loss — ‘Pittsburgh’ Cartoonist Santoro Sees Off-Beat in Colors — “There will not be a resolution””

Dad Handed Profession to Son, But Not Union Card — ‘We Do the Same Job’ — On May 1, Amid Walkouts, Americans Wonder: Can Unions Stage a Comeback?

For 30 years, Fred Wilkerson, Sr., 79, was a proud union glassworker for Fostoria Glass in Moundsville. He started as an apprentice out of high school in 1958 and never stopped, except for a stint in the Air Force, 1959-1963. He belonged to the American Flint Glass Workers Union, paying his dues and collectively bargainingContinue reading “Dad Handed Profession to Son, But Not Union Card — ‘We Do the Same Job’ — On May 1, Amid Walkouts, Americans Wonder: Can Unions Stage a Comeback?”