Simple Gifts | Sarah Smarsh Addresses the ‘Taboo Subject’ of Class

With equal quantities of truth and empathy, the book Heartland reveals the stories of the rural working class. But Sarah Smarsh isn't fighting for her tribe, she's building bridges across America’s wcultural and politics divides.... READ MORE

How Many Americans Misuse Opioids? Why Scientists Still Aren’t Sure

Getting accurate information about individual drug abuse is a difficult proposition. It's even harder when people don't understand terms on a survey or, worse yet, don't even read the question. A researcher shares some of the pitfalls of tracking the misuse of opioids in the U.S.... READ MORE

Airbnb Brings Renters and Regulations to Southwest Virginia

Tourist-cabin rentals in Southwest Virginia began long before Airbnb arrived. But the online service is part of the market now and may be one reason for increased regulation of the cabin-rental market.... READ MORE

Drug Addiction Tops List of Rural Concerns

More rural people in the United States list opioids and other drugs as the biggest problem their communities face, according to a new randomized poll of nonmetropolitan residents. But within their families, financial worries are the biggest issue.... READ MORE

Speak Your Piece: Journalism that Transcends ‘Us vs. Them’

Sara Schonhardt spent a summer reporting for the Rappahannock (Virginia) News, supported by a fellowship from a community journalism organization. She shares the lessons she learned. Two of the biggest are show up and listen.... READ MORE

Eating NAFTA: Obesity, Diabetes, and Free Trade

Anthropologist Alyshia Gálvez explains how a love of Mexican food led her to look at the impact of the North American Free Trade Agreement on community resilience and health. With our current international trade structure, nobody wins except corporations and billionaires, she says.... READ MORE

Potholes, Public Health, Politics: Try Your Hand at County Leadership

An online game shows players the promise and pitfalls of holding office in a county government. The game’s developers, iCivics and the National Association of Counties, hope some friendly competition will teach Americans about the challenges of sustaining successful local governments.... READ MORE

The Narrative of Renewal: ‘If We Can’t Mine Coal, What Are We Going to Do?’

In this excerpt from the book After Coal, documentary filmmaker Tom Hansell describes how his media work in the coalfields of Central Appalachia led to a different understanding about what might come next for coal communities.... READ MORE

Review | After Coal: Two Regions Share Lessons of Loss and Hopes for Renewal

Decades before Appalachian coal production dropped to its current lows, the coalfields of southern Wales were all but shut down by government decree. Tom Hansell's new book, After Coal (a companion to his 2016 documentary film -- trailer above) should be on the reading lists of any communities that wonder "what do we do now?"... READ MORE

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