Sydney Boles

Ohio Valley ReSource Reporter

Sydney Boles is the Ohio Valley ReSource reporter covering the economic transition in the heart of Appalachia’s coal country.

Sydney received her Master of Journalism from Medill School of Journalism, where she covered immigration and housing insecurity in Chicagoland.

Before her work in journalism, she studied oral history and postcolonial resistance strategies in Costa Rica, India, South Africa and Turkey.

Sydney grew up in upstate New York and enjoys baking, reading and exploring the outdoors.

CREDIT NED PILLERSDORF

The convoluted bankruptcy of coal company Blackjewel has hit another turn of events as the company’s former CEO moved to liquidate the company.  A federal judge granted a motion last week to convert the bankruptcy from Chapter 11 to Chapter 7.

Courtesy Bytemarks via Creative Commons

With hundreds of thousands across the Ohio Valley struggling to make ends meet, a suite of coronavirus aid packages, including rent and utility relief funding, eviction moratoriums, and expanded unemployment benefits, is set to expire at the end of December.

Adelina Lancianese, NPR

  The Mine Safety and Health Administration is not doing enough to protect coal miners from deadly silica dust, according to a new report from the Department of Labor’s Office of the Inspector General. The IG found that MSHA’s standards for exposure to deadly silica dust were out of date, and MSHA lacked the ability to issue fines when coal companies violate air quality standards. The IG also said the mine safety agency’s sampling methods were too infrequent to guarantee that miners were protected. 

Sydney Boles / Ohio Valley Resource

  Polls had barely closed in the U.S. when President Donald Trump falsely alleged voter fraud and claimed prematurely to have won the election, saying “We will win this, and as far as I’m concerned, we already have won it.”

Courtesy Devine Carama

This fall, Lexington, Kentucky, activist and artist Devine Carama launched a different kind of road trip across his home state. He visited a dozen cities and towns, from Pikeville, in the state’s Appalachian east, to Paducah, near where the Ohio River joins the Mississippi. He carried a sign that said “I’ll walk 400 miles if you promise to vote.”

Stephen George / WFPL

  Ohio Valley states fall short of international elections standards in several key areas, according to an interim report from international elections observers the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. 

Sydney Boles / OVR WFPL

 Environmental advocates worry a coal company liquidation plan will leave dozens of coal permits in eastern Kentucky unreclaimed, according to filings in the bankruptcy proceedings of Blackjewel L.L.C.

F. Brian Ferguson

  It wasn’t too long ago that Michael Farmer, a pastor in Charleston, West Virginia, received an email asking him a question that was already on his mind: “As a Black Southern Baptist pastor in West Virginia, what is my role in telling our stories?”

 

The email was from Ashton Marra, the managing digital editor of a news organization called 100 Days in Appalachia. Marra was inviting Farmer to be a part of a new project, the Appalachian Advisors Network. 

 

Sydney Boles

  Caravans of protesters drove Monday to the Washington home and Kentucky offices of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. The protesters, who were affiliated with the Poor People’s Campaign, say the Kentucky senator is blocking legislation that could help Americans through the coronavirus crisis. 

Still from CSPAN video.

  In 2016, then-candidate Donald Trump was all-in on the fossil fuel industry. In a 2016 rally in Charleston, West Virginia, the candidate proudly accepted an endorsement from that state’s coal association, donning a hardhat while he mimed digging coal. To thundering applause, he promised to bring back coal jobs to the struggling Appalachian coalfields. 

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