Ferrell's Diner is gearing up for the population-multiplying crowd that's expected to swarm the town for August's solar eclipse. Photo by Terena Bell

Hopkinsville Plans Ahead so Solar Event Doesn’t Eclipse Small-City Charm

A small city in western Kentucky will achieve astronomical fame this summer as a premiere spot for viewing the August 21 total eclipse. Hopkinsville hopes to put its best foot forward for visitors while dealing with crowds that could quadruple its population. In other words, if you want to go out for lunch in Hopkinsville the third week of August, be prepared for a long wait.... READ MORE

Photo by Lance Booth.

In the Black: A Family Affair

Gary tries his best to ignore his dad’s decision to leave the family behind. But the arrival of Jack, a flesh-and-blood reminder of his dad’s complicated home life, makes that impossible. It’s so upsetting, Gary can’t even take pleasure in plotting how to get even with the section boss.... READ MORE

Newsroom of the Alliance Times Herald of Alliance, Nebraska. (Photo by Peter Crabtree)

Newsprint: Subterranean Hometown News

America's small-town newsrooms still crank out the local news for readers. Peter Crabtree captured the look and feel of these institutions as he traveled the U.S. We'll feature several of Peter's newspaper photos over the next few weeks. Here's one of our favorites.... READ MORE

The author wonders what would have happened if the Clintons had moved back to Arkansas after the President's term was up in 2001 instead of hunkering down in New York and DC. Photo by Diana Walker for Time

Speak Your Piece: Who Needs to Go North – or West or Anywhere — to the Big City?

A popular narrative in rural American is that you need to get to a big city as quickly as you can. But what would happen if we stayed in, or moved back to, the places we're from?... READ MORE

With an internet hotspot device, users are free to move about, untethered to the library or stationery internet provider. They may, for example, take time to sight-seeing the world's largest easel in Goodland, Kansas.

‘Borrowing’ the Internet: Library Program Lets Patrons Take Access Home

Families are getting online by borrowing simple cellular devices from their local libraries. After some initial success in big cities, researchers are testing the program in rural settings. The results show some promise.... READ MORE

The De-Na-Zin Wilderness is 30 miles south of Farmington, New Mexico, where Catt interned last summer.
Photo by Tamara Faust/BLM

Learning the Law and the Land

Law student Hannah Catt spent last summer interning in Farmington, New Mexico, thousands of miles away from her university in Maryland, helping her host organization work with locals on housing and domestic abuse issues.... READ MORE

Photo by Lance Booth.

In the Black: The Candle at Both Ends

After several days on the road with his band, Black Lung, Gary finds himself back at the mine -- late for work and smelling like booze. "Bentley, you going to be a coal miner or a musician?" the superintendent asks. It's a question that deserves an answer.... READ MORE

A crew from RS Fiber lays cable in rural Minnesota. The cooperative ran fiber to more densely populated parts of its service area, and used fixed wireless to get the network to harder-to-read areas quickly.

Mixing It Up: Communities Get Behind Hybrid Internet Systems

Fiber to the premises has been the holy grail of broadband deployment. Some smaller communities are finding that combining fiber with fixed-wireless delivery (either as an interim or permanent solution) can be more effective.... READ MORE

A scene at the Custer County Chief in  Broken Bow, Nebraska. Photo by Peter Crabtree, from his "Newsprint" series.

Viewfinder: Peter Crabtree

In 2015, photographer Peter Crabtree drove coast-to-coast-to-coast, documenting an institution that lies at the heart of many -- if not most -- small cities: the small-town newspaper. He came home with a portfolio full of these unique places and the characters that inhabit them.... READ MORE


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