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Kentucky black lung deaths to be memorialized by headstone

The Black Lung Association of South Eastern Kentucky is hosting the event in Whitesburg on Sunday.
Coal miners finish the final shift before closure at the Kellingley Colliery in Yorkshire, northern England, on December 18, 2015. The shutdown of the mine in Yorkshire in northern England closes a 200-year chapter of Britain's industrial history. AFP PHOTO / POOL / NIGEL RODDIS / AFP / POOL / NIGEL RODDIS (Photo credit should read NIGEL RODDIS/AFP/Getty Images)

WHITESBURG, Ky. (AP) - A Kentucky group made up of black lung disease sufferers and supporters is dedicating a memorial to miners who have died of the disease.

The Black Lung Association of South Eastern Kentucky is hosting the event in Whitesburg on Sunday.

They will dedicate a headstone memorial for miners who have died of the disease in Letcher and surrounding counties. The disease is caused by breathing coal dust, and rates of the disease have risen in recent years.

The dedication event will be at 2 p.m. at Riverside Park.

The association has been calling attention to a government trust fund that provides about 19,000 sickened miners or their surviving dependents with living and medical benefits. A tax that supplies the fund was cut in half at the beginning of the year.