"Os Deaver and his nephew Jimmie Osbourne McElroy were ordinary men who ran an ordinary store in an ordinary Appalachian community in the late 1800s. We know about their lives today because each day, Deaver — with occasion help from McElroy — made an entry in a store diary, recording weather conditions, community events, births, deaths, accidents, crimes, visitors and other items of interest.Individually, the entries reflect the minutia of daily rural life. Taken together, however, they make an incredibly accurate, sometimes surprising, and historically significant record of life in western North Carolina from 1885-96."
"Originally from southern West Virginia, Eller has spent more than 40 years writing and teaching about the Appalachian region. A descendent of eight generations of families from Appalachia, he served for 15 years as the director of the UK Appalachian Center where he coordinated research and service programs on a wide range of Appalachian policy issues including education, health care, economic development, civic leadership and the environment."
"Growing up, we didn’t have much in a household made up of my mom, my brother and me. Even though we lived in the city, in Los Angeles, we always had a small garden in the back where I helped pick peas, string beans, tomatoes and green onions. No matter how small the size of the garden, it was a family event planting, growing and harvesting on our own. My brother and I were city kids that learned to appreciate fresh food. To this day, I rarely eat junk food because it simply wasn’t a part of my upbringing. More than 50 million Americans live in food insecure households. When I founded Grow Appalachia in partnership with Berea College in 2009, I was hoping to address to the problem of hunger in America but realized that the issue wasn’t simply a lack of food."
"Central Appalachia is certainly not the only region of the country that has ever faced an economic transition of the size and scale of the one we’re facing now. Almost all rural regions of the country are trying to figure out their best path forward. The lucky thing for Appalachia is, we can take a look at what other regions are doing, and have already done, and learn from their successes and failures."
"Successful businesses can now lend money to newer, smaller enterprises that want to either launch or expand, thanks to a statewide lending program called an angel investment fund. The West Virginia Angel Investment Network started on a small scale four years ago, but Vice Chairman Tom Heywood tells media outlets that it now has some $3 million and is ready to consider funding projects statewide. The network provides administrative support to West Virginia Growth Investment LLC, which deals directly with people seeking loans."
"James River Coal Co idled four more mines in Central Appalachia and temporarily laid off about 200 employees as the company looks to shore up its precarious cash position amid weak coal prices."
"There are a lot of reasons why America’s Appalachian coal country is suffering. Some point to the rise of domestic shale gas that is displacing coal at power plants, in what’s called coal-to-gas switching. But coal-to-coal switching is also hurting Appalachian coal country. It’s not just that power plants are switching away from coal completely, it’s that power plant operators have been sourcing their coal from Wyoming’s Powder River Basin instead of Appalachia for years."
"Sen. Rand Paul sees a 'depression' in Appalachia's coal country, and he says there's one man to blame for it: President Obama. The Kentucky Republican isn't alone in his fury over Obama's treatment of the coal industry. A bipartisan bloc of elected officials from across the region shares his views, including two influential West Virginia Democrats: Sen. Joe Manchin and Rep. Nick Rahall. The critics argue that by tightening rules on mountaintop-removal coal mining and imposing greenhouse-gas emission limits on coal-fired power plants, Obama and his allies are regulating the industry out of business—and putting legions of coal miners out of work. The president's regulatory push has left Obama and his party deeply unpopular across the region."
"The Central Appalachian region has been the heart of coal country for as long as anyone can remember. But in recent years, Kentucky and West Virginia's coal industries have been facing a painful decline — and that decline is starting to get widespread attention."
"Red states and blue states? Flyover country and the coasts? How simplistic. Colin Woodard, a reporter at the Portland Press Herald and author of several books, says North America can be broken neatly into 11 separate nation-states, where dominant cultures explain our voting behaviors and attitudes toward everything from social issues to the role of government."