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1 'A Hidden America: Children of the Mountains' on Sun Feb 15, 2009 12:19 am

SSC


Admin
'A Hidden America: Children of the Mountains'
Diane Sawyer Reports on America's Children Living in Poverty in Appalachia
Feb. 10, 2009
www.abcnews.com

In the hills of Central Appalachia, up winding, mountain roads, is a place where children and families face unthinkable conditions, living without what most Americans take for granted.

Isolated pockets in Central Appalachia have three times the national poverty rate, an epidemic of prescription drug abuse, the shortest life span in the nation, toothlessness, cancer and chronic depression.

It's been 41 years since Robert Kennedy called on the rest of America to reach out and help the people of Appalachia. These are the descendents of Davey Crockett, Daniel Boone, Loretta Lynn and Patsy Cline and the families of legendary soldiers and pioneers who helped open up the treacherous mountain passes and create an American continent. They are fighters steeped in family, ferocity and faith.

For nearly two years, ABC News cameras followed four Appalachian children, each one facing unimaginable obstacles.

Shawn Grim, 18, an Appalachian high school football superstar, sleeps in his truck to avoid the thievery, alcoholism and despair of his family's life in the hollow in Flat Gap, Ky. During the course of Sawyer's report, Grim moves eight times. He is determined to be the first one in his family to graduate from high school and go to college. Will he be able to achieve his dream of a different life?

Courtney, 12, is one of those children whose face reminds us of the famous portraits of the Appalachian past. Her clothes are stuffed in a suitcase under her bed in the small home she shares with 11 relatives in Inez, Ky. Her mother, Angel, struggles to stay off drugs and hopes to give her four daughters a better life by getting her GED and becoming a teacher. With no car and no public transportation, Angel walks 16 miles roundtrip, four hours total, to her GED class.

Erica, 11, hopes to save her mother's life: "She's almost 50 and& if I don't get her out of this town soon, then she'll probably die any day." Erica and her mother, Mona, live in Cumberland, Ky., a once booming coal town. Mona battles addiction to prescription drugs and alcohol, her life ravaged by her struggles and despair. The region has a prescription drug abuse rate twice that of major cities like New York or Miami.


When his girlfriend becomes pregnant, Jeremy, 18, trades his dream of a life as an engineer in the military for a life underground in the coal mines. Sawyer travels down 3 miles to the dangerous working face of the mine to meet Jeremy and the other men who work nine to 12 hours a day, six days a week, with little sunshine in their daily lives. But despite the safety concerns, it is the best paying job in the region.

There are also heroes in the hills -- teachers, social workers, doctors and dentists reaching out to a population isolated by the steep hills and lack of transportation.

Nicknamed the Mother Teresa of Mud Creek, Eula Hall, 81, has spent 36 years transporting the sick out of the hills and into her clinic. Working with her is Dr. Anant Chandel, born and raised in India.

"It's hard to believe but yes& people are poorer in this part of the country than where I was in India," he said.

Another hero of the mountains is Dr. Edwin Smith of Barbourville, Ky. He used $150,000 of his own money to convert a truck into a mobile dental office. Dentists say Central Appalachia is first in the country for toothlessness. One of out 10 residents is completely without teeth and children as young as 2 already have as many as 12 cavities.

"A Hidden America: Children of the Mountains" is a continuation of Diane Sawyer's reporting on America's forgotten children. Sawyer won an Emmy for outstanding feature story in a news magazine for "Waiting on the World to Change," a firsthand account of poverty among children in America, which aired in 2007. The yearlong reporting followed the lives of children in one of the poorest cities in America who struggle daily to succeed despite horrendous odds.

gypsy


Moderator
Yes!! this is awful

I commented (Scoffed) on this once..>got some bad responses, from a certain person..put this same article/updated now.. My first donation to this cause,as a Kentuckian

SSC


Admin
Seems some of the stimulas should have been well spent on this sad happening.

gypsy


Moderator
Give it time..first things ,first..

after a year/four-- then evaluate~` Fair?

SSC


Admin
Tell that to these children and the thousands like them.

gypsy


Moderator
Maybe you should have commented to the last,8 selfish years

SSC


Admin
Here we go again..BUSH BASHING... what the hell is wrong with your state kicking up or asking for funding to help in a situation like this ??????????

gypsy


Moderator
nope~~ you bashed our prez /now.. I see nothing to help past pre,who helped~[

gypsy


Moderator
SSC wrote:Here we go again..BUSH BASHING... what the hell is wrong with your state kicking up or asking for funding to help in a situation like this ??????????

maybe you should back up (true()facts~

SSC


Admin
What the hell are you talking about...true facts ??? I basicially asked if your state had asked for assistance in this situation ? I have not yet begun to bash Obama, but if he keeps on the track he is now there will be plenty to bash on.

11 A "certain person" sez: on Sun Feb 15, 2009 6:08 pm

Guest


Guest
Sawyer is one of my favorites, but I'm not buying any of this crap. I saw the show. Ignorant,shiftless hillbillies doing what comes naturally: Drinking,drugging,and screwing like mindless rabbits. What they need is a functioning brain and a kick in the ass. Why are they so different than other successful "mountain" communities?

Guest


Guest
SSC wrote:Here we go again..BUSH BASHING... what the hell is wrong with your state kicking up or asking for funding to help in a situation like this ??????????
What did you expect but an incoherent rant?

SSC


Admin
I hear ya Moon

gypsy


Moderator
meemoon wrote:
SSC wrote:Here we go again..BUSH BASHING... what the hell is wrong with your state kicking up or asking for funding to help in a situation like this ??????????
What did you expect but an incoherent rant?

BY fACTS:: I meant >>how do you know if my statehas/ hASN'T kicked up?

SSC


Admin
gypsy wrote:
meemoon wrote:
SSC wrote:Here we go again..BUSH BASHING... what the hell is wrong with your state kicking up or asking for funding to help in a situation like this ??????????
What did you expect but an incoherent rant?

BY fACTS:: I meant >>how do you know if my statehas/ hASN'T kicked up?

Well it is quite obvious if they had the situation would have improved, but since it doesn't seem to have improved then it would appear that the state has turned their back on these people.

gypsy


Moderator
no we haven't turned our backs, there is all kind of help being done, I will take a very long time to improve conditions there are no jobs and appalachians is not the only place in this country who is hurting and poor..

SSC


Admin
Never said they are the only place, but with aid being given out then why are they still keying in on the squalor there ? Your reply to most things is ...IT WILL TAKE AWHILE.. do you think some of these people can afford to sit and wait on bureaucratic fumbling ?I think not.

gypsy


Moderator
like i said it is not ObAMA,only.. there have been presidents before him,he has only been there a couple months, and with a big mess to clean up~ I think those people have been hurting a long time~ your expecting him to fix it over night?? is a bit farfetched~ why not complain about the past presidents, you are zeroing in on Obama only? hey that is your right, which is also my right to complain about the past years..

if you look it up you will see the help that is being done~and the concern..

Guest


Guest
SSC posted "Well it is quite obvious if they had the situation would have improved, but since it doesn't seem to have improved then it would appear that the state has turned their back on these people." /// Let's get back to the original charge about the "last eight years...". SSC, obviously,your statement about the stimulus bill, NOT KENTUCKY OR OBAMA, was met with the usual bush-bashing. Now the discussion has,as usual,been diverted to questions about what the state of Kentucky has/has not done for the people in the documentary. OK, did the people in N. Georgia fall apart when the gold mines petered out? Have the people in N. Alabama sunk to depravity now that the iron mines have shrunk to nothing? Did the people in Colorado start getting drunk and screwing their sisters when the silver mines dried up? Have the teeth fallen out of all those living around Sutter's mill? Of course not. I don't know or care about how much the state of Kentucky has "helped" the people in question. The state of Kentucky didn't make them the way they are, they did. The best thing Kentucky could do would be to buy them all bus tickets to places all over the country and get them the hell away from each other.

SSC


Admin
gypsy wrote:like i said it is not ObAMA,only.. there have been presidents before him,he has only been there a couple months, and with a big mess to clean up~ I think those people have been hurting a long time~ your expecting him to fix it over night?? is a bit farfetched~ why not complain about the past presidents, you are zeroing in on Obama only? hey that is your right, which is also my right to complain about the past years..

if you look it up you will see the help that is being done~and the concern..

Gypsy you are really confused here....I said maybe some of the stimulas should go to these people, not saying anything about your boy Obama. Yes I am sure this has been going on for years, and if you want to place facts that there is aid you bring them, since you contend there is aid for that area. Didn't say past presidents didn't drop the ball..again your words...Obama has been in office 25 days not a couple months...Please attempt to stay on track and not confuse the issues or avoid them.

gypsy


Moderator
I am fully on track, your the one who brought this topic to the board ,and the one accusing the Obama stimulus not helping the Appalachian people,
that Kentucky has turned their back on them, as i see it, the stimulus package is to help all the poor and working class~

SSC


Admin
gypsy wrote:I am fully on track, your the one who brought this topic to the board ,and the one accusing the Obama stimulus not helping the Appalachian people,
that Kentucky has turned their back on them, as i see it, the stimulus package is to help all the poor and working class~

Never made referance to Obama, check back in the thread, that was your way of getting another dig at Bush. I asked if your state had asked for aid..check back in the thread...as far as the stimulus it is a pork filled burden the taxpayers and future generations will have to pay dearly for. Now after you reread come back with something on track please.

gypsy


Moderator
who is forming stimulas package? Obama right?he is our president nowso your reference was why wasn't money given to appalachian people included in this package,as I said the stimulus is suppose to help all pooe/working class people right?

gypsy


Moderator
wouldn't this be referring to the now president? this was your post on page one


Seems some of the stimulas should have been well spent on this sad happening.

SSC


Admin
Jesus Christ do you think Obama all by himself came up with this financial fiasco, please tell me you are not serious !! Don't you know financial advisers, Senators and Reps. all put in their own pork . When would Obama have had time to put this together with his campaigning ?? But even better if he is solely responsible for this pork laden package that is an even bigger travesty.

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