United for Coal rally set to unfold in Appalachia

WISE, Va. (AP) - Friends, families and business operators who depend on coal mining are lining up along highways in Kentucky, Virginia, West Virginia and Ohio.

Thousands of miners have been laid off across the region this year, and the United for Coal demonstration Saturday is a grass-roots effort to show solidarity for those who are struggling.

It's also intended to send Washington, D.C., a message that coal country is a political force to be reckoned with.

If all goes as planned, lines will form along U.S. Highway 23 from Big Stone Gap, Va., through Paintsville, Ky., and toward Chillicothe, Ohio.

They will stretch north on U.S. 119 from Pikeville, Ky., toward Williamson and Charleston, W.Va.

A free concert is set for Pikeville, where some 50,000 are expected.