Community

Sadie James

BY Kathleen Flynn

Sadie James took care of people. Before Katrina, she was a health care aide for a woman in New Orleans. As the storm approached, Sadie left her rented house to stay with her mother, Irma, who was 74 and used a wheelchair.

Katrina Communities

BY Kathleen Flynn

As of today, Hurricane Katrina is the costliest natural disaster and one of the five deadliest hurricanes in the history of the United States.

Rodney Lomax

BY Kathleen Flynn

he emotional trauma of Hurricane Katrina took its toll. But life in New Orleans comes with a host of additional challenges for kids like Rodney Lomax.

Crime and Punishment

In God’s Name

BY Kathleen Flynn

Through the night, as he slept on the floor, they forced him awake for more. The sun had not yet risen over the Christian military home when Samson Lehman collapsed for the sixth time. Still, he said, they made him run. The screaming, the endless exercise, it was all in the name of God, a necessary step at the Gateway Christian Military Academy on the path to righteousness.

Culture

American Getaway

BY Brian Plonka

The strong cruise industry growth fuels continuing evolution of “ship hotel” vacation experiences. Over the years, lines and operators have expanded their itineraries and now include convenient embarkation ports and diverse ports of call.

Racing Strong

BY Brian Plonka

Overcoming his dad’s passing and racing on a shoe-string budget Terry Armstrong Jr., battles all odds to find the winner’s circle on the track and in life.

Old San Juan / A brief encounter

BY Brian Plonka

Puerto Ricans are by law natural born citizens of the United States and may move freely between the island and the mainland. However, as it is not a state Puerto Rico does not have a vote in the United States Congress which governs the territory with full jurisdiction.

Legacy of the Black Cowboy

BY Pete Marovich

The nation’s only touring African American rodeo, the Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo has brought bulldogging, roping, bareback bronco riding, bull riding, barrel racing and other events to cities across the nation for 27 years.

The Old Order

BY Pete Marovich

The farmlands of Pennsylvania, Virginia, Ohio, Indiana and Ontario are among the most productive in North America. Many of the farmers in these areas are different, but different by choice. They are Old Order Mennonites, sometimes called the “Plain People,” and they trace their heritage back hundreds of years.

Big Top Dreams

BY Pete Marovich

The Cole Bros. Circus was the oldest, American Circus performing under the Big Top. W. W. Cole, who inaugurated the Cole Bros. Circus title in 1884, began his circus career in 1871, amassing fortune and fame by bringing to cities and villages the most astounding marvels of the day. Cole Bros. stopped touring in 2016.

Shadows of the Gullah Geechee

BY Pete Marovich

When slavery was abolished in 1863, the Gullah Geechee people of the Sea Islands settled in the lands they once worked as slaves when plantation owners abandoned their property. They continued their traditions and created their own communities steeped in religion and African traditions. They are known as Gullah in North and South Carolina and Geechee in Georgia and Florida.

Economy

Searching for Dream Street – Clairton

BY Pete Marovich

Clairton, a city in Allegheny County, Pa., along the Monongahela River, is home to the United States Steel Clairton Works, the largest coke manufacturing facility in the United States. The city is still trying to recover from the decline of the steel industry.

Portrait of Santa Rosa

BY Adria Malcolm

Rural American towns fight to stay alive every day. Santa Rosa, a town of nearly 2,800, is hanging by threads as the community fights to resurrect the economy and the youth flee to discover the bigger cities in hopes for something more.

Rankin – Searching for Dream Street

BY Pete Marovich

The nation’s only touring African American rodeo, the Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo has brought bulldogging, roping, bareback bronco riding, bull riding, barrel racing and other events to cities across the nation for 27 years.

Searching for Dream Street

BY Pete Marovich

The suburban towns along its iconic three rivers, helped make Pittsburgh an industrial powerhouse, driven by an influx of foreign-born workers at the turn of the 20th century. Immigrants filled jobs in the mills, where steel was forged for the aircraft and battleships that helped win two world wars.

But as you drive through these towns today, it’s clear they have been largely forgotten. Once bustling shopping corridors are all but empty. The company homes where mill workers raised their families are showing their age, and residents still reminisce about the “good old days” before the mills shuttered.

Searching for Dream Street – Aliquippa

BY Pete Marovich

In 1909, Jones and Laughlin Steel Corporation (J&L), which already had a mill on the south side of Pittsburgh, wanted to expand, so it purchased land along the Ohio River near the town of Woodlawn about 25 miles downriver from Pittsburgh. The company expanded the town, building homes and businesses to accommodate the workers of what would become the largest steel mill in the world, stretching for 7 miles along the riverfront.

Environment

Isle de Jean Charles

BY Kathleen Flynn

“The land we used to walk on is now just a waterway for our boats.” Chief Naquin said the changes in their homestead were caused by oil companies digging the canals and subsequently the hurricanes wiping away the compromised land.

Awakenings

BY Brian Plonka

Every fall the Inland Northwest is treated to a cloud of fluttery little gray-blue insects. Known as smoky-winged ash aphids, Prociphilus americanus, they are a nuisance, but harmless to humans.

Hurricane Katrina

BY Kathleen Flynn

As of today it is the costliest natural disaster and one of the five deadliest hurricanes in the history of the United States.

Drying Up

BY Adria Malcolm

As of June 5, 2013, New Mexico was considered to be in “extreme” drought conditions after a thirty-six month period of no precipitation. The widespread drought has forced ranchers to rethink whether one of the state’s biggest and most vibrant industries, cattle ranching, is still a viable profession for them and their families.

Health and Wellness

Uninsured in Rural America

BY Justin Merriman

Hours before daylight, hundreds of desperate people wait outside the gate. They hold pieces of paper with numbers, praying theirs are low enough to assure entry. They have traveled too far and endured too much to be denied.

The Long Road

BY Kathleen Flynn

New Bethany home for girls in Arcadia, La., operated from the 1970’s through 2001. State officials and law enforcement documented numerous confirmed reports of physical abuse of children who lived in the residential private christian home.

Nanny Goat

BY Adria Malcolm

In 2008, Nancy Hinz had recently finished rehab, the last of three attempts at becoming sober after years of alcohol abuse. After not even a year of sobriety, Nancy was suddenly forgetting appointments and losing her way around her hometown. She would pause to call one of her sisters for directions to their houses, which she had visited hundreds of times.

Healthcare Never Never Land

BY Pete Marovich

Remote Area Medical (RAM), is a nonprofit volunteer medical relief corps based in Knoxville, Tennessee, RAM provides free health, dental and vision care to people in remote areas of the United States and around the world.

Generations Under the Influence

BY Brian Plonka

Generations under the influence is an attempt to put faces on an issue that is so tightly woven into societyʼs tapestry that we often donʼt realize when it is causing our own lives to unravel. Alcoholʼs influence can be found be found in every ethnic and social economic corner of our world. That impact is not limited by age, and it persists from generation to generation.

Faces of Hunger

BY Brian Plonka

The economy may be improving since the Great Recession, but the recovery is still leaving many of Americans who were hit the hardest behind.

Immigration

The Border

BY Justin Merriman

Traveling across the United States border with Mexico, the story of immigration unfolds for both the undocumented migrants and the law enforcement entities that stretch across the more than 1,900 miles.

Roadside America

South of the Border

BY Pete Marovich

You can see the 200-foot tall Sombrero Tower from over a mile away as you cross the border on interstate 95 from North Carolina into South Carolina, but billboards have been announcing its sighting from as far away as Virginia. When you get closer you see Pedro, an almost 100-foot tall statue of a Mexican bandito and your host at South of the Border.

The War on Terror

The Field

BY Jeff Swensen

It was the stroke of violence there that brought terrorism to the front door of each home along every dirt road in Everywhere, America. “Flyover country” has its own Ground Zero.

ZIPCODE USA

15641 – Parks Township, Pennsylvania

BY Justin Merriman

Billie Thompson wears her poodle skirt in her living room at her home in Parks Township, Pa. Thompson came of age in the 50’s and reminisced about clothing styles and the way of life back then. She always wanted a poodle skirt and never had one until she went on a cruise and made one for 50’s night.