Aerial photo of the town of Sassafras looking northwest towards Cordia in Knott Co., Ky., Wednesday, June 12 2013. Main St. is the road going through the middle of Sassafras. Pam Maggard's house is on Main St. and looks towards the area where surface mining has been proposed. Photo by Charles Bertram | Staff
Aerial photo of the town of Sassafras looking northwest towards Cordia in Knott Co., Ky., Wednesday, June 12 2013. Main St. is the road going through the middle of Sassafras. Pam Maggard's house is on Main St. and looks towards the area where surface mining has been proposed. Photo by Charles Bertram | Staff Herald-Leader
Aerial photo of the town of Sassafras looking northwest towards Cordia in Knott Co., Ky., Wednesday, June 12 2013. Main St. is the road going through the middle of Sassafras. Pam Maggard's house is on Main St. and looks towards the area where surface mining has been proposed. Photo by Charles Bertram | Staff Herald-Leader

Chapter 8: How a Kentucky school teacher stopped a 756-acre surface mine — for now

More from the series

50 Years of Night

In 1963, Harry Caudill of Whitesburg published “Night Comes to the Cumberlands: A Biography of a Depressed Area,” which shone a spotlight on the plundering of the mountains of Eastern Kentucky. The book forever changed Appalachia. On the eve of the book’s 50th anniversary, the Lexington Herald-Leader launched a yearlong look at the region’s struggles since Night was published.

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June 29, 2013 11:10 PM