Molly Born

Molly Born is making the transition from print to radio reporting as a fellow with Report for America, an effort to strengthen local journalism in Appalachia and other undercovered areas. She's based in Williamson, W.Va., and will cover the state's southern coalfields.

A native of Marion County in north-central West Virginia, Molly attended Fairmont State University and Northwestern University. She spent six years at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, where she won multiple awards covering beats including crime, local government, and education. In pursuit of the story, she has spent the night at a palatial Hare Krishna commune, reported on location from the middle of a four-lane highway, and (politely) commandeered a passing car to hear the verdict in a murder trial.

Outside of work, Molly enjoys doing Zumba, reading and exploring new places.

Wharncliffe is a tiny community deep in the hills of Mingo County, in a rural corner of southern West Virginia. The road there is narrow with the signature hairpin curves of this region.

A Jeep SUV stocked with enough food to feed 50 kids makes the hour-long round trip five days a week from the nearby community center, over the mountain, to the local fire hall here.

Blair Mountain, the site of the storied labor battle in Logan County, again has a spot on the National Register of Historic Places.

The battlefield was named to that record in 2009 before it was removed months later. In 2016, a federal judge said the delisting was wrong in that federal officials didn't verify the list of landowners they claimed took issue with the designation. In her decision released Friday, Joy Beasley, the "keeper" of the National Register, called the removal "erroneous" and said the majority of those landowners hadn't objected to it at all.

For many teens the prom is the epitome of their high school experience. But for students who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and/or queer, it can be a challenge to feel like they belong. This year, some West Virginia students decided to start a new tradition: The Rainbow Formal, the state's first dance for LGBTQ youth.

Every October, Gilbert  -- population 475 -- swells with visitors as 5,000 people come for TrailFest, which markets itself as one the premier ATV events on the East Coast. The tourism surrounding the Hatfield-McCoy Trail has helped make the Mingo County town one of the fastest-growing in the area.

Having reliable Internet access here is critical to building the local economy, said Gilbert Mayor Vivian Livingood, who said described the service as "snail-paced."