Showing posts tagged McDowell County.
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Ask me anything   Blog for Hollow, an interactive doc that examines the future small town America through the voices of Appalachians.
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    Easter Weekend Prep
An Easter pail that we donated to a family with five kids. It will also get a pack of 18 dyed Easter eggs.
—Shawn and Stephanie Penwarden (Northfork, WV)

    Easter Weekend Prep

    An Easter pail that we donated to a family with five kids. It will also get a pack of 18 dyed Easter eggs.

    —Shawn and Stephanie Penwarden (Northfork, WV)

    — 6 days ago
    #donation  #easter  #giving  #mcdowell county  #WV 
    Help us save Northfork High School gym to use as a community center

    Help us save Northfork High School gym to use as a community center

    Help save NHS gym!

    We want and need a community and recreational center for our district. We are petitioning for the rights to save the Northfork High School Gymnasium.

    We would like to continue this and convince our school board that it is more cost effective and will be more beneficial to the community to allow us to keep the high school gynasium.Historical Northfork High School is sitting as a deteriorating…

    View On WordPress

    — 1 month ago
    #appalachia  #basketball  #center  #community  #community action  #gymnasium  #help  #hollow  #hollow documentary  #mcdowell county  #old buildings  #petition  #residents  #save  #support  #tool  #volunteer  #west virginia  #WV 
    McDowell teen missing

    John Adam Church, 17According to a press release issued by McDowell County Sheriff Martin B. West, McDowell County teen John Adam Church, 17, was last seen Wednesday, March 5 by his mother.

    Church, who has brown hair and brown eyes, was last seen at his uncle’s residence on Honey Bee Road near Bradshaw, W.Va., at 10:30 p.m. Wednesday. He was wearing a tan jacket and blue jeans and a Size 13 brown boot.

    According to…

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    — 1 month ago
    #mcdowell county  #missing teen  #police 
    How many ways can you cook a potato?
McDowell County get those recipes ready. Today we received 25,000 pounds of Maine White Round…View Post

    How many ways can you cook a potato?

    McDowell County get those recipes ready. Today we received 25,000 pounds of Maine White Round…

    View Post

    — 2 months ago
    #appalachia  #five loaves and two fishes  #food bank  #linda mckinney  #mcdowell county  #west virginia  #WV 
    Halloween evening screening at Virginia Tech!

    Halloween evening screening at Virginia Tech!

    — 5 months ago with 3 notes
    #hollow  #documentary  #virginia tech  #west virginia  #mcdowell county 
    A Trial of Priorities & Will

    by Renee Bolden, McDowell native and Hollow participant

     

    Many McDowell County residents were in attendance to last week’s County Commission meeting, which was held in the courthouse annex courtroom, concerning a proposed 9% tax increase. This courtroom is the site of official court trials. It is now, however, the site of an unofficial one as well that consists of priorities and will. Commissioners Ray Bailey, Harold McBride, and Gordon Lambert appeared to be a three-judge panel seated at the front of the room and McDowell County residents crowded into the jury seats, the plaintiff and defendant tables, the observers seats, and yet, many were left standing.  

    Tensions were eased somewhat when county commission president, Gordon Lambert, stated, ”I appreciate all of you being here. I hate that the wrong information went out in the paper and on TV that there was going to be an increase, proposed increase of 9%.  What was looked at was .09%, not even 1%. …Since we see the turnout here today there won’t be any rate increase.”  Immediately, there were cheers and clapping.

    Following this statement, residents took the opportunity to question the commissioners on many different topics. The main issue of the day, however, was that of Sheriff Martin West’s budget. Sheriff West announced that his department was in much need of basic equipment: uniforms, guns, ammunition, protective gear, and vehicles. West brought to the commissioners’ attention a spending reduction and cost-savings plan that had been drawn up by County Manager Clif Moore. West stated, concerning the plan, ”He has about 12 things that he said would save the county money and that we wouldn’t be to this position today, that we wouldn’t even be talking about raising taxes in a depressed county, such as ours.”  Lambert responded that they had not adopted Moore’s proposal.  

    Sheriff West and residents mentioned the need for the county to get their priorities in order. In order to protect and serve the county, the sheriff’s department needs to be properly equipped and accordingly compensated. West and his deputies are battling the biggest enemy known to the county: drugs. If the county can keep more people off drugs, there will be more able-bodied workers within the county. This, in turn, will assist with county financials as they will be paying taxes within the county.  

    Lambert recognized the work of the Sheriff by stating, “I think the Sheriff has been doing a great job.” This statement was followed with applause and proclamations of, “Yes, he is!” by the crowd. Sheriff West addressed the commissioners, stating, ”We’re asking y’all to back us, back the county, and do what’s right.”  Debbie King concluded, ”We should have people like this at every meeting, … We need to keep coming after them, not after them to be mean, but to speak up and to hang in there together.”

    The constituents of McDowell County expect the commissioners to work with them to better the county and to support the Sheriff.  During this trial, it was clear that the people desire to be heard. McDowell County is constantly battling poverty, health issues, dental problems, educational needs, transportation difficulties, teenage pregnancy, and drug addiction. We have faith that the commissioners will work with the people to overcome these stumbling blocks. This is a trial of will to overcome which seems to be growing stronger. 

    The jury members of this trial will deliberate for some time as we anxiously await what the future holds for McDowell County.

    — 1 year ago with 1 note
    #mcdowell county  #commission  #county commission  #local government 
    McDowell County’s racial diversity is unique in a state where 93% of residents are White. African Americans from the South came to West Virginia’s coalfields at the same time as immigrants from Germany, Hungary, Italy and elsewhere. That same diversity can still be seen across the county today where 72% of Keystone residents, 54% of Northfork residents, 19% of Welch residents and 35% of Gary residents are African American.
This evening I had the pleasure of interviewing Rose and Roland Henderson of Kyle, W.Va. The couple married 49 years ago after meeting at Elkhorn High School. Growing up in the coal camps of Kyle and Gilliam, Roland and Ruth say there was no differentiation between Black and White families. “When they all came out of the mines they were all black,” Roland said about his father and the other immigrants. 
The Black American couple told the story of their first experience with racism after moving to Louisiana. 

"We went to a movie together and we went in hand-in-hand," Roland said. "The man said, ‘You can’t sit here. You have to go upstairs and she has to go downstairs.’ And I looked at the man and said, ‘Wait a minute. Her body is just as black as mine and she’s my wife so wherever I go, she goes with me.’" 

It was at that point they realized their unified upbringing in McDowell was a unique experience not seen in the deep south.

    McDowell County’s racial diversity is unique in a state where 93% of residents are White. African Americans from the South came to West Virginia’s coalfields at the same time as immigrants from Germany, Hungary, Italy and elsewhere. That same diversity can still be seen across the county today where 72% of Keystone residents, 54% of Northfork residents, 19% of Welch residents and 35% of Gary residents are African American.

    This evening I had the pleasure of interviewing Rose and Roland Henderson of Kyle, W.Va. The couple married 49 years ago after meeting at Elkhorn High School. Growing up in the coal camps of Kyle and Gilliam, Roland and Ruth say there was no differentiation between Black and White families. “When they all came out of the mines they were all black,” Roland said about his father and the other immigrants. 

    The Black American couple told the story of their first experience with racism after moving to Louisiana.

    "We went to a movie together and we went in hand-in-hand," Roland said. "The man said, ‘You can’t sit here. You have to go upstairs and she has to go downstairs.’ And I looked at the man and said, ‘Wait a minute. Her body is just as black as mine and she’s my wife so wherever I go, she goes with me.’"

    It was at that point they realized their unified upbringing in McDowell was a unique experience not seen in the deep south.

    — 1 year ago with 4 notes
    #black experience  #african american  #mcdowell county  #diversity  #race  #racism  #West Virginia  #appalachia  #coalfields 

    What better use of an abandoned building in Welch than to use it for an airsoft game? One of the most interesting shoots I have had all summer. My mind was racing the entire time about how many paintball enthusiasts would pay to come and run around these old classrooms, hallways and auditoriums of Welch High School. Bottom photo is of James, 17, our GoPro videographer for the game.

    — 1 year ago with 3 notes
    #mcdowell county  #welch  #welch high school  #appalachia  #west virginia  #youth  #activities  #after school 
    Mary McKinney’s drawings of her “future McDowell.” Really inspiring documents here, folks. This is just a few examples of ideas for Keystone and Landgraff out of a whole package she gave me. I dare anyone to tell me the people of McDowell don’t have ideas for improving their communities. It’s time we take these ideas to those in power and make things happen in the coalfields.

    Mary McKinney’s drawings of her “future McDowell.” Really inspiring documents here, folks. This is just a few examples of ideas for Keystone and Landgraff out of a whole package she gave me. I dare anyone to tell me the people of McDowell don’t have ideas for improving their communities. It’s time we take these ideas to those in power and make things happen in the coalfields.

    — 1 year ago with 3 notes
    #McDowell County  #West Virginia  #Elaine McMillion  #hollow  #documentary  #holler  #interactive  #new media  #plans  #future  #coal  #sustainable  #southern  #appalachia 
    Workshop 3 participants! These folks are working toward a more positive future for McDowell County.
(Left to Right back row) Shawn Penwarden, Tom Acosta, Brenda Goodson, Ron Serino, Mary McKinney, Gilbert Nash, Alan Johnston, Linda McKinney. (Left to Right front row) Michelle Miller, Matthew Goodson, Megan Bowers, Patricia Blevins, Renee Bolden, Elaine McMillion.

    Workshop 3 participants! These folks are working toward a more positive future for McDowell County.

    (Left to Right back row) Shawn Penwarden, Tom Acosta, Brenda Goodson, Ron Serino, Mary McKinney, Gilbert Nash, Alan Johnston, Linda McKinney. (Left to Right front row) Michelle Miller, Matthew Goodson, Megan Bowers, Patricia Blevins, Renee Bolden, Elaine McMillion.

    — 1 year ago
    #mcdowell county  #southern west virginia  #West Virginia  #wv  #WvA  #appalachia  #community  #Elaine McMillion  #Michelle Miller  #megan bowers  #media  #mount view high school  #hollow  #documentary  #interactive 
    Hollow documenting McDowell County's story →

    Washington Times

    By Lisa King

    "On the day I visited, the documentary makers were holding a story telling seminar to better enable the community participants to reflect on their lives in a way that would convey their experiences in McDowell County through its many ups and downs.

    Present was a wonderful mix of all ethnicities, including Irish, Italian, Indian, German, and African American that reflected the impressive array of people that came to McDowell County in the past seeking their fortunes.

    From ages 13 to 80, the participants all gathered in hopes of learning how they could convey their pride in their community and how to tell that in a format that would be available for all to enjoy.

    The more I talked to the people the more I realized they were all community minded, each holding at least one position in their community, if not more, that was directly responsible for insuring and bettering the welfare of the rest of the community.

    Participants were from law enforcement, health care, teaching, county government, and the local food bank, just to name a few. More importantly, they shared a real enthusiasm for the project that was obvious in their words and actions.

    As work on “Hollow” continues, I am left with this thought; they say one person can change the world. If this is true, we definitely have not heard the last of McDowell County West Virginia, because I recently met a room full of earth shakers there.”

    — 1 year ago with 1 note
    #interactive  #documentary  #mcdowell county  #west virginia  #appalachia  #news  #storytelling  #hollow  #elaine mcmillion  #mount view high school 

    I am so impressed with recent footage shot by community members, Jan and Simon. The Berwind residents captured the natural beauty of their surroundings and talked about their ideas for change and improvement. 

    Jan returned to her homeland of Berwind 6 years ago with Simon. Simon, who is originally from Sheffield, believes that the energy for our future runs through the streams of McDowell. 

    There’s more to life than coal. I come from a city that was built on coal and steel. We’ve moved on, it’s 2012. This is one of the most beautiful places in America that I’ve ever visited and it’s worth a damn sight more than what it’s getting now. The beautiful irony would be, that the place that provided the coal would be the place that provided the alternative to coal when the coal dries up. That we will be ahead of the game and again McDowell would be providing the power for America by the innovations that are done here in these creeks. So if you’re a micro-hydro company and you are looking for somewhere to invest, come to McDowell County.

    -Simon

     

    — 1 year ago with 1 note
    #energy  #west virginia  #appalachia  #mcdowell county  #future 
    Before and After: The 2001 Flood, 11 years later #WV #Appalachia #documentary
Last week, Renee Bolden submitted footage she had shot during the 2001 flood in McDowell County. Just over a decade ago, Renee filmed a house float past her mother’s porch. Today we went back to all of the places she had shot and reshot the areas. Many structures have washed away and some improvements have been made. 
The three forms of video—footage from 2001, Renee’s footage today, and my camera footage of Renee shooting and talking—will be an interactive feature on HOLLOW once we launch.

    Before and After: The 2001 Flood, 11 years later #WV #Appalachia #documentary

    Last week, Renee Bolden submitted footage she had shot during the 2001 flood in McDowell County. Just over a decade ago, Renee filmed a house float past her mother’s porch. Today we went back to all of the places she had shot and reshot the areas. Many structures have washed away and some improvements have been made. 

    The three forms of video—footage from 2001, Renee’s footage today, and my camera footage of Renee shooting and talking—will be an interactive feature on HOLLOW once we launch.

    — 1 year ago with 3 notes
    #mcdowell county  #pageton  #annawalt  #West Virginia  #appalachia  #renee bolden  #hollow the film  #hollow an interactive documentary