Small Kansas towns struggling

Wichita EagleOctober 16, 2011 

HUDSON, KAN. _ Hudson is a sleepy little town buried in the heart of Stafford County. Like many rural towns in Kansas, it has already lost its school and its liquor store. Bauer's General Store, which served as a meat market, hardware store and the morning spot for locals, also has closed.

Now, the 125 residents are losing their post office.

"It's a psychological blow," said Hudson Mayor Pete Witt. "You don't want to lose your identity."

Call it a sign of the times.

All across Kansas, budget cuts and a sagging economy are dealing blows to communities that have for more than a century survived floods, droughts, dust storms and school consolidations.

You can see it with the closings of post offices, schools, grocery stores and sometimes even in the lack of Internet and cell phone services available in areas of the state.

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