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.

Courtesy Jessalyn Brown

 Jessalyn Brown met Kyra Higgins through theater. 

Peabody Energy, Inc. / Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 3.0)

  A federal bankruptcy judge has denied a petition from former Blackjewel coal executive Jeff Hoops to liquidate the company. The decision means the reorganization of the company will continue under Chapter 11 bankruptcy as former employees, creditors and state agencies seek to recover millions owed by the company.

Screenshot / Ohio Valley ReSource

Stay-at-home mom Sarci Eldridge has a big heart. So when Kentucky entered its second round of restaurant restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic, her first thought was for her favorite server, Jessica Carey.

Ned Pillersdorf

Allegations of financial misconduct by Blackjewel’s former CEO have surrounded the company’s bankruptcy case since it began last July. But a December 10 court filing lays out specific allegations against ousted CEO Jeff Hoops: webs of shell companies and secret royalty schemes that allegedly enriched Hoops at the expense of coal miners, the environment, and his companies.


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 The IG found that MSHA’s standards for exposure to deadly silica dust were out of date, and MSHA lacked the ability to issue fines when coal companies violate air quality standards.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.