“Danville (above) is one of a handful of American communities where men and women are living shorter lives,” begins a forthright editorial published in the Register Bee, the Virginia town’s daily newspaper. “By almost every statistical measure, Danville has problems.”

Danville has “old problems,” says the editorial. Population has been stagnate for 50 years. People are living shorter lives because of AIDS and homicides and because too many people are without medical insurance. See this Yonder story on rural longevity.

“The best long-term solution is raising education levels and worker skills,” the editorial says, but the underlying problem is the “long slumber that Danville has only recently started to awaken from. If we understand how we wound up with these problems, it’s easier to get started on the solutions.”

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