"Coming Home to Coal Country"

"Ashley Funk looks back fondly on her days of playing in the black hills behind her Southwestern Pennsylvania house. But when she learned more about what those black hills were made of, it drove a wedge between her and her hometown.

When Ashley was a young girl the family lived in a house that had huge piles of dark dust behind it.

The piles were a really fun place to play. Funk and her twin sister would go out there and build things kind of like sand castles. They would come inside with the dust in their hair, on their hands and around their eyes. They didn’t know how dangerous it was."

Rebecca Hersher, Shannon Heffernan, and The Heat of the Moment Team report for WBEZ Chicago with photos by Stephanie Strasburg May 11, 2016. Part of an ongoing series.

Source: WBEZ, 05/12/2016