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Why Birmingham Is Thriving in a County That's Bankrupt

CityLab

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In Alabama’s largest city, a story of economic confidence in an unlikely place.

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Cooked, frozen, trucked: N.Y. facility churns out Boston school lunches

The Boston Globe

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Whitsons Culinary Group’s food-making center, in a bucolic town of 3,000, produces about 80,000 meals a day. It addresses the question of how to feed students in a school district where many buildings have no kitchens.

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Stories of Redemption in America's Coal Country

NationSwell

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After the downturn of the coal industry, 8,000 jobs were lost in Central Appalachia. While some counties are renewed with the help of federal assistance, others find ways to help themselves.

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Winning the War on Coal in One Chart

TakePart

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Burning coal is one of the dirtiest ways to generate electricity - although coal-fired power plants produce just 39 percent of the nation’s power, they emit 77 percent of the electricity industry’s greenhouse gas emissions, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. But production of ...

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How the Local Food Economy Is Challenging Big Food

Next City

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In an agricultural system designed for big-industrial growers, many farmers struggle to bridge the relationship between their produce and consumers, as well as strengthening local economies. The food hub is a collection of buildings that process and distribute the sale of local food. Eastern Mar...

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Rebuilding the Rust Belt

Politico Magazine

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For years, one of Cleveland's poorest neighborhoods seemed unalterable no matter how many government programs and well-meaning philanthropies got involved; a place where abject poverty, joblessness and crime reinforce the racism in a city long divided, and where infants still die at a higher rate...

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Another town's experience: Monmouth business contest sparks downtown growth

The Journal Standard

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A small town in Illinois came up with a plan for filling its empty downtown storefronts: a competition for entrepreneurs interested in getting their small businesses off the ground. They offered financial incentives like 6 months of free rent, and it worked.

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Can Raton rise again?

The Santa Fe New Mexican

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Raton, a town once surrounded by eight coal mines, now has a main street of boarded-up buildings. There is reason for optimism as the town diversifies its local economy, betting on "a mix of small manufacturing businesses, health care and specialty services, and hospitality for travelers" to endu...

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The One and Only Texas Wind Boom

MIT Technology Review

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To increase renewable energy from wind, Texas is the site of many wind turbines across wind farms, which not only produce energy but also provide income to farmers who own the land. There are still some problems but by deregulating the electricity market, making use of the open lands of Texas, an...

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News Flash: Progress Happens

The New York Times

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A look at several of the social programs featured here in 2011 that made progress in their mission to help others.

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