Small Town,

Summer 2017

Examining the challenges and opportunities of living and working in the small towns of Southwestern Pennsylvania.

Employees, families face uncertainty upon Butler County plant closure

What remains of a community when the main supplier of jobs disappears.

The workforce of small-town Southwestern Pennsylvania

Facts about the jobs and industries fueling rural counties and their residents.

Permitting without public input

Does Pennsylvania’s general permitting process provide adequate oversight for natural gas development?

Can dairy farms survive skim profits?

Flat milk prices force many dairy farmers in Southwestern Pennsylvania to adopt new technology or find a new industry.

“We put ourselves here. It’s our responsibility to dig ourselves out of here.”

Bobby Steele, from drug dens to CEO

Bobby Steele speaks to inmates about his criminal history and how he overcame it. His story exposes the lack of re-entry services for ex-cons, particularly in rural counties.

The right to ‘know what goes up your nose'

Shell still hasn’t committed to installing fenceline monitoring at the Beaver Country cracker site. How it worked in other communities and why environmentalists say it’s essential.

Facts you should know about the small towns of Southwestern Pennsylvania

Quick takes on population, jobs, drilling and the opioid epidemic.

If funds shrink, can EMS in rural Pa. survive?

Ambulance crews see shrinking funds and staffing, even as they are tasked with saving residents in an unprecedented epidemic of overdoses.

The dilemma of shrinking schools

In rural Pennsylvania, school districts are shedding students. Could consolidation save them?

Buying billboards to advocate for clean water

Heavy rain means raw sewage in this Westmoreland County community — on private land and in public drinking water.

‘Self-inflicted gunshot’

It’s suicide, not homicide, that drives gun deaths among white men, particularly in rural counties where gun ownership is high.