222 episodes

We tell stories from the fault lines that separate Americans. Peabody Award-winning public radio producer Trey Kay listens to people on both sides of the divide.

Us & Them Trey Kay and WVPB

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.6 • 383 Ratings

We tell stories from the fault lines that separate Americans. Peabody Award-winning public radio producer Trey Kay listens to people on both sides of the divide.

    Us & Them: Locked Out Of Voting?

    Us & Them: Locked Out Of Voting?

    More than 4.5 million Americans cannot vote because of a felony conviction but only about a quarter are currently in prison. On the newest episode of Us & Them, host Trey Kay talks with people who support expanded voting rights for felons, and those who say people who’ve committed crimes should forfeit their rights until they serve their entire sentence, including any probation or parole. Felon disenfranchisement laws differ significantly from state to state and even legal experts say it can be difficult for someone to know their rights. In a few states a person can vote from prison, while in others, voting rights are restored upon release or completion of parole or probation. Despite recent trends to expand voting rights, some states are moving in the opposite direction. In Florida, voters passed an amendment to restore voting rights to most people with felonies, but lawmakers passed a new law requiring that people pay all of their court fees first. And in Virginia only the governor can restore the right to vote for someone convicted of a felony.

    • 39 min
    Us & Them: Another Small Town Paper Down

    Us & Them: Another Small Town Paper Down

    Our country’s divides often reveal themselves in our choices and habits, including how and where we get our information. As the economics of the media landscape have imploded, the economics of the industry have forced changes. In the past two decades, online sites have taken over much of the income stream from classified ads and general advertising. That has led newspapers and broadcasters to slash thousands of jobs. Many local news outlets have gone out of business and there are now more than 200 counties across the country with no source of local news. One of those is McDowell County in West Virginia.  Last year, publisher Missy Nester was forced to shut down the Welch Daily News  after a valiant effort to keep the paper running. Join host Trey Kay and reporter Todd Melby on this episode of Us & Them to see what happens when local news organizations stop telling the stories of a community.

    • 52 min
    Us & Them Encore: Dicamba Woes

    Us & Them Encore: Dicamba Woes

    There's a nationwide rift among farmers over the use of dicamba, a popular herbicide. A 2024  federal court ruling  has halted dicamba's use, but the Environmental Protection Agency has given the green light for farmers to use existing supplies this year. In this episode of Us & Them, we revisit a story from our archives that delves into the intense battle unfolding in farm country. Originally designed to help soybean farmers combat 'pigweed,' dicamba has proven controversial because it drifts from where it’s sprayed,  causing harm to  desirable plants. The legal fallout has reached a point where farmers and gardeners hesitate to speak out about crop or plant damage due to fear. On the flip side, those advocating for dicamba have taken the matter to court, challenging the authority over pesticide use rules in some  states. In a departure from the typical tight-knit atmosphere of rural farm communities, where issues are often resolved locally,  Arkansas is experiencing an un-neighborly atmosphere, with tensions escalating.

    • 54 min
    Us & Them: Navigating Post-Pandemic Medicaid

    Us & Them: Navigating Post-Pandemic Medicaid

    Our healthcare systems continue to struggle from aftereffects of the pandemic. The most recent example spotlights Medicaid - a joint federal and state program that provides health coverage for more than 90 million Americans with limited resources. After several years of continuous coverage, now everyone must reapply for eligibility. In the this episode of Us & Them, host Trey Kay reports more than a quarter of West Virginia residents rely on Medicaid for their healthcare. It pays for three-quarters of West Virginia’s nursing home residents; and nearly half of the state's school kids use Medicaid to pay for their annual checkups. However the application process is finding many ineligible because of changes in personal information and contact data that weren’t updated in the system. Join us as we look at the ‘unwinding’ of Medicaid, as millions of the nation’s most vulnerable struggle to maintain their health coverage.

    • 52 min
    Us & Them: The Geography of Abortion

    Us & Them: The Geography of Abortion

    State borders are the new front lines in the nation’s abortion battle. On this episode of Us & Them, host Trey Kay looks at the evolving geography of abortion. Since a 2022 U.S. Supreme Court decision overturned federal abortion rights, 21 states have either banned or restricted abortion access, including West Virginia. Meanwhile, West Virginia’s neighbor, Maryland, is one of 22 states that are protecting abortion rights and expanding access. Kay follows the decision of Women’s Health Center of West Virginia to move its abortion services from Charleston to a new clinic just over the border near Cumberland, Maryland. The move was intentional because western Maryland, like West Virginia, is a so-called abortion desert. The two regions have some deep political and cultural similarities. Western Maryland Republicans say they feel ignored by the overwhelmingly liberal, Democratic legislature in Annapolis. They say the new abortion clinic is not wanted or needed in their part of Maryland, and they blame the clinic’s presence on the fallout from Roe v. Wade’s defeat.

    • 33 min
    Us & Them: Expungement — Between Hope and Danger

    Us & Them: Expungement — Between Hope and Danger

    It’s estimated that more than a quarter of the adults in West Virginia have a criminal record. That includes cases with one arrest or more, but no conviction or jail time. Those records can still show up years later in a background check and make someone ineligible for a job or a place to live. On this Us & Them, host Trey Kay looks at the road toward a second chance. Nearly every state now has some sort of process to seal or expunge a record depending on the severity and type of crime, for people who want to take steps toward their future. In this episode, we look at the process which can be complicated and time consuming. Some say it has given them hope — while others suggest there are dangers in shielding potential employers from the truth about people they might hire.  

    • 51 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
383 Ratings

383 Ratings

cmcveigh23 ,

Five Star

This podcast continues to be one of the most informative and important on my playlist. I always feel like sharing episodes to ppl I know with the hopes of fostering good discussion and tending to our nations divi visions. So good and worth your time.

SequoiasOutBack ,

Glad to have found Us & Them

Not only is Us & Them very engaging and an interesting podcast to listen to, but I am surprised by the multiple ways of looking at the topics. It’s not just black & white, but in-between too. Even though it can be hard to listen to some of the guests, they exist and it’s healthy for us all to try to keep our minds open. Thanks Trey Kay for your great work!

Jcmaidens ,

So glad I found this

I am so glad to have stumbled across this podcast. It has a unique way of looking at both sides and them connecting them. We really aren’t all that different are we?

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