Vacant lots are a problem for towns throughout Appalachia, but in Radford, Virginia, city leaders have brought life back to two empty pockets of the community. The Carson’s Drug Store building stood in the heart of downtown Radford for nearly a century. A fire in 1992 turned the site into a heap of burned-out debris.… Continue Reading Season Six, Episode Six
Ann Taylor Wright realized that spending a few hours each week selling meat products to farmer’s market customers wouldn’t keep her sixth-generation family farm afloat. She approached leaders in the nearby town of South Hill, Virginia, with the idea of creating a food hub – a place where meats and produce could be processed and… Continue Reading Season Six, Episode Five
Confronted with railroad layoffs that all but demolished the local economy, Erwin, Tennessee, took a sordid event from its past and created a new selling point for the town. Once the site of unspeakable cruelty, Erwin now brings in tourists and raises money for The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee. Also in the episode, viewers will… Continue Reading Season Six, Episode Four
A new idea for an old mountain road is lighting an economic fire in Tazewell, Virginia. The town, whose fortunes had fallen with the coal industry, now is a destination for motorcycle and sports car enthusiasts from around the world. Speaking of roads, the Small Town Big Number segment takes a jog down memory lane,… Continue Reading Season Six, Episode Three
Fincastle, Virginia, hadn’t changed its boundaries since 1772. But when elected leaders first attempted to expand acreage and population a few years ago, the effort stumbled. Can they create enough unity to bring growth to the town of about 300 people?
Up-and-comers in Wytheville, Virginia – in search of bold ideas – weren’t happy with how things were playing out at Town Hall. See how a younger generation of leaders made their voices heard and began to change the face of downtown.
In Southside Virginia, the departure of textile manufacturers and other industries devastated communities, including Danville. There, city leaders decided to take drastic action. They aggressively invested in workforce training and found ways to make the Dan River a key part of a new downtown.
Emergency responders couldn’t get to some residents fast enough to prevent deaths during the devastating floods in 2016, and city leaders in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, weren’t prepared to cope with catastrophe. But city hall mobilized to deal with 75 destroyed homes and other devastation.
Bedford is the first town in Virginia to devote public land to a solar farm. As power from the 10,000-panel farm feeds through the town’s existing grid, the Example of Awesome story shows how Bedford’s commitment to renewable energy is paying off. Then our Small Town Big Number takes a bird’s-eye view of the Mountain Valley… Continue Reading Season Five, Episode Four
Christiansburg, Virginia, bets on a high-priced, high-stakes asset to make a big splash and Marion looks at a winning scheme to pump up its downtown. Plus learn where to find billions of dollars in USDA money and get an expert tip from the Appalachian Citizen’s Law Center.