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.

Byron Jorjorian / TNC

A conservation group chose Earth Day, April 22, to announce the purchase of a massive property in Appalachian forest to protect habitat and help wildlife adapt to the challenges of climate change.

Courtesy CVI

A congressional subcommittee will hear testimony Thursday in support of a bill that would help clean up and redevelop surface mine land. The bill enjoys bipartisan support, but still faces hurdles.

Sydney Boles / Ohio Valley ReSource

Maple syrup has been produced in the Ohio Valley for centuries. But now a new generation of farmers is tapping into that long tradition to grow a new kind of small business.

Sydney Boles / Ohio Valley ReSource

Automaker Toyota is planning to announce a major investment in solar and other renewable energy in Appalachia and the Southeastern U.S. The plan includes a massive new solar facility on an old surface coal mine property in Kentucky.

The Western Reserve Historical Society, Cleveland, OH

On the night of July 24, 1916, a natural gas explosion near Cleveland trapped workers in a waterworks tunnel beneath Lake Erie. Rescuers sent in to recover the trapped men were themselves felled by “noxious fumes.”

Courtesy EnerBlu

When battery manufacturer EnerBlu announced it would suspend plans for a new factory in Pikeville, Kentucky, the company used an intriguing phrase. “Unexpected geopolitical factors,” the company said, had soured the deal. 

According to a former executive at the company, those factors tied the rural eastern Kentucky development project to one of the world’s largest companies, the Saudi Arabian royal family, and the international uproar resulting from the murder of a prominent journalist.

Sydney Boles

Nancy and Rich Potter had the kind of marriage that made other couples jealous. He’d take her on spontaneous trips. She’d wear her Daisy Dukes just for him.

Joyce Birman said her late husband, George, made a terrible first impression. It was his apology for it that made her fall for him, hard.

Vickie Salyers’ husband, Gene, loved hunting and fishing, but he loved being a father and grandfather most of all.

Sydney Boles / Ohio Valley ReSource

With just days left before a Congressional deadline, advocates for black lung treatment are still pushing Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell to secure funding for miners’ benefits.

Courtesy of Marcy Tate

Central Appalachia is in the midst of an unprecedented epidemic of black lung disease, an illness that afflicts coal miners. There is no cure for black lung and, until recently, treatment options were limited. But, one coal miner’s daughter is showing that there may be some hope for relief.

Sydney Boles / Ohio Valley ReSource

On a cool but clear November day about a dozen residents from eastern Kentucky’s coal mining region crowded into the lobby of an office building in the small town of London, Kentucky. That’s where Kentucky’s powerful senior senator, Mitch McConnell, has his local field office.

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