October 25, 2008 4:30 PM

In Kentucky, coal is one industry that isn't slumping

Misty Richardson spends nine hours a day following the path from a solitary light on her hard hat. When she emerges stiff and sore from the mouth of a coal mine, black dust is intertwined with her braided hair, caked under her neatly painted fingernails and streaked across her face. Mining is hardly the job the single mother of two pictured for herself, but with demand for coal high, radio ads in Eastern Kentucky beckon workers to the mines, where they get good health insurance, above average wages and regular raises.

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