"Final Families Wait Out Mining Town's Last Days"

"TREECE — Inside a small house in a rural area of southeast Kansas, 6-year-old Haden Woodcock struggles to put on his Cub Scout uniform.

His mom, Heather, makes dinner in the kitchen, while 4-year-old Ryan runs around talking about Autobots and Decepticons and his favorite Transformer toys.

It’s a scene that could be playing out in houses all across America, if it weren’t for the open mine shaft just yards from their back door that has expanded into a sink hole, plunging 300 feet into the earth below.

Or the fact that Rodney and Heather Woodcock’s sons have lead poisoning from years of being exposed to the piles of chat that surround their hometown of Treece."

Janet Reid reports for the Lawrence Journal-World December 13, 2009.

Monday, December 14, 2009