Kentucky coalfields tense after spate of violence

The Kentucky coalfields were tense Thursday after a shootout that marked some of the worst violence so far in the four-week-old soft coal strike. Independent coal operators fearing a relay of Wednesday's violence between miners and truckers hauling nonunion coal asked state police to provide escorts.

George Farley, general manager of Mary Helen Coal, where the incident occurred, said state troopers witnessing the violence did nothing to help. State police reported no problems overnight and the situation appeared quieter Thursday with the Mary Helen mine closed.

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