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.

Sydney Boles / Ohio Valley Resource

In a conference hall in Pikeville, Kentucky, this September, Gov. Matt Bevin led an eager audience in a countdown. When the audience reached “One!,” a map on the screen behind the governor lit up with the promise of a high-tech future.

Jesse Wright / WVPB

Vermont Senator and Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders will visit Kentucky and West Virginia just days after releasing his plan to address climate change.

Curren Sheldon

Curtis Cress sat in the gravel beside a railroad track in Harlan County, Kentucky. Tall and thin with a long, black beard, Cress is every bit a coal miner, or, he was until a month ago.

Sydney Boles / Ohio Valley ReSource

More than a thousand coal miners left unpaid by the abrupt bankruptcy of Blackjewel mining could soon be getting some – but not all – of the money they are owed. 

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Sydney Boles / Ohio Valley Resource

  Some coal miners left without pay by the bankruptcy of coal company Blackjewel LLC are protesting by blocking a coal train in eastern Kentucky. 

The stand-off began early Monday when five miners blocked the train from leaving the Cumberland, Kentucky, plant. Despite police asking them to leave, miners spent the night blocking the railroad to protest Blackjewel moving coal while miners have yet to be paid. 

Sydney Boles / Ohio Valley ReSource

Democratic members of Congress introduced legislation Tuesday to provide additional funding for coal miners suffering from black lung. The bills came as a contingent of Appalachian miners afflicted with the disease lobbied lawmakers for more support. 

Sydney Boles / Ohio Valley ReSource

Dozens of Appalachian coal miners plan to visit Capitol Hill Tuesday to ask lawmakers to bolster funding for the black lung disability trust fund, which miners depend upon when no responsible company can be identified to pay for needed health care. 

Courtesy of HOMES, Inc.

Joe Oliver and Tony Brown peered into the dark crawl space beneath a Letcher County, Kentucky, home. Already, they could see problems. The crawl space had been blocked off with just a thin sheet of plywood; the posts supporting the house rested on uneven blobs of poured concrete; the whole place reeked of mold. 

Adelina Lancianese / NPR

As Congress hears testimony on the epidemic of black lung disease among Appalachian miners, two labor leaders are calling on Congress and regulators to do more to protect miners.

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