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US Coal Country Falls on Hard Times

In early June, Tammy Mondrage lost her job as a registered nurse at Ridgeview High School in southwestern Virginia when the county school board eliminated more than 40 positions for budget reasons. Mondrage, in her late 40s, was the major wage earner in her family of four, and the news came as a blow. But she was not really surprised. “The budget cuts came because of the loss of the coal industry.  In the county, it hit the school system too. And that hit me too,” said Mondrage at...

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