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James Ikie Brooks

The Chronicle of Higher Education: Ikie’s College Dream

January 12, 2017

How grit, determination, and community support helped one West Virginia student in a dying town that is struggling to come to terms with a coal bust and opioid addiction By Julia Schmalz See the full-size video here The empty coal train creaking its way through Madison, W.Va., captured the attention of residents on the streets of the once-prosperous community. Located in Boone County, the heart of coal country, townspeople hoped it was a sign that a coal mine was reopening — somewhere. Devastated by the opioid epidemic and loss of good-paying jobs, Madison once supported three department stores. But that…

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