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Taking Flight: Coalfield Students Have High Hopes For Drone Industry Jobs

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Student teams from across the coalfields of eastern Kentucky came together at the Knott County Sportsplex, bringing with them drones that they themselves had built. It was time for the climax of this year-long project. A basketball court had been separated with nets, and padded gates marked a circuit course for the little flying machines…. Read More

On Strike: Migrant Workers On Visa Program Claim Unfair Pay

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Workers on a tobacco farm in Garrard County, Kentucky, are entering the third week of a strike over claims that they have not received the pay guaranteed by a federal work visa program. The strike is part of a movement across the South and Midwest to organize migrant laborers who enter the country legally to… Read More

Coal Country Tech Job Program Heads For New Round

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Last summer Melissa Anderson was unemployed and trying to keep her Pike County, Kentucky, home from falling into foreclosure. “I built it,” she said. “And, you know, for me to lose that home would have been devastating.” Anderson was among more than 800 people who applied for a little more than 50 trainee positions with TechHire… Read More

Country Connection: Rural Residents Ask FCC To Improve Internet Access

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More than two million people across the Ohio Valley live in areas that lack any optionfor fast and reliable internet service. This week some of them had a chance to tell a member of the Federal Communications Commission what that means for their work, studies, and everyday life. The Appalachian Connectivity Summit in Marietta, Ohio, explored possible local… Read More

Without A Net: Rural Residents Band Together For Internet Service

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Nearly half of the people living in rural parts of United States don’t have access to broadband internet, the high speed connection required for common uses many of us take for granted. Government and survey data show that in 65 counties across Kentucky, Ohio, and West Virginia, the majority of residents don’t have access to… Read More

Black Lung Update: Federal Researchers Seek Allies In Appalachia

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Federal health researchers are visiting health clinics and medical schools in the Appalachian coalfields to recruit allies to fight a resurgence of black lung disease. The worst form of the disease may affect as many as 5 percent of experienced working miners in the region, and the researchers fear that rate could be even higher… Read More

Defunding Appalachia: Coal Communities Resist President’s Budget Cuts

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Danny Ferguson didn’t like what he saw happening in Lincoln County, West Virginia, where he grew up. The downturn in the coal industry had hit hard, and young people had few job options beyond some fast food places. “We don’t have nothing else for them to be employed,” Ferguson said. “Lincoln County is in bad… Read More

Troubled Waters: A Coalfield County Loses Trust In Water And Government

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On any given day in Martin County, Kentucky, the water system loses more water to leaks than it delivers to paying customers through their faucets. The water system is under a state investigation for the third time since 2002. Customers complain of frequent service interruptions and discolored water, and their bills come with a notice… Read More