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While living in New Orleans post-graduation, I stumbled into radio journalism during the aftermath of the BP oil spill. I went to the Salt Institute of Documentary Studies to learn the art of radio, and interned in the newsroom at WNYC. A chance opportunity to report in West Virginia kicked off my freelance career, and I've never looked back. In addition to producing stories for a variety of national and regional outlets, I've also produced and edited podcasts for The Week and Popular Mechanics.

 
 
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30 years have now passed since the onset of the AIDS crisis. An HIV diagnosis used to be a death sentence, but effective medication therapies have turned the disease into a chronic – but manageable – condition. Urban areas have born the brunt of the AIDS epidemic, but recent studies have shown alarming trends in the rise of the disease in more rural areas.

Right here in West Virginia, some feel like they are being left behind in the fight against AIDS. Despite having higher rates of poverty and prescription drug abuse - risk factors for contracting the disease - patients and health workers in southern WV have a hard time accessing even basic services. After all, what good is the best medication when you can’t get to a doctor?


The story of Eliza Sowers, a Philadelphia factory girl whose death sparked one of the first trials concerning the legality of abortion. Was it a crime? And if so, was a doctor who performed abortions a criminal?

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For decades there's been an argument about the existence of large black Panthers living in the woods of Kennison Mountain in West Virginia. The official story is that these big cats haven't existed there since the 1800's. That hasn't stopped reports of Panther sightings that continue to this day. It happens often enough to make you think twice about what the truth really is. There's a story that's been passed around the state for almost 60 years -- about the time an entire town West Virginia town saw a black panther, but it was all a lie.


Square dancing, once a pillar of small-town life, is making a comeback in West Virginia. A statewide project is trying to help communities preserve and promote this part of their cultural heritage.

Marlinton, W.Va., is one of the towns taking up the cause. Its square dances can gather a crowd, but residents still worry about attracting the attention of the next generation.

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