Photo 3: Members of the communities surrounding Fort Leonard Wood gathered Tuesday to discuss the U.S. Army proposal to remove troops from the fort. Under the proposal, the fort could lose as many of 4,000 of its troops.Edit | Remove
Kendra Short (center) works with students on a dance number at her studio in Belleville, Kan. Short and her husband Shannon have applied for the Rural Opportunity Zone program in Republic County, and are building a house.
When the Homestead Act of 1862 made land in the Great Plains virtually free, people rushed in to settle rural Kansas. But 150 years later, the dust has truly settled. Between 2000 and 2010, more than half of Kansas counties declined in population — many by 10 percent or more.