In coal country, a show of solidarity takes root

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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) — Coal country is hurting, and the people who live there want everyone to know it.

Thousands of miners have been laid off this year across Kentucky, Virginia and West Virginia, many with little hope of getting their jobs back as power plants and the coal mines that once fed them shut down.

Now the families, friends and business operators who depend on those miners are planning a multi-state show of solidarity they hope will be heard in Washington, D.C.

If all goes as planned, huge crowds wearing miners' stripes and fluorescent "United for Coal" T-shirts will line up Oct. 13 along U.S. Highway 23 from Big Stone Gap, Va., through Paintsville, Ky., and toward Chillicothe, Ohio.

They will also stretch north on U.S. 119 from Pikeville, Ky., toward Williamson, W.Va.

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