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Amber Sausen outlined plans Oct. 19 at the K.K. Berge Building in Granite Falls. The Minneapolis College of Art and Design brought together instructors, students and community residents to select a project. Teams pitched their ideas and participants voted on which project to pursue. Tribune photo by Tom Cherveny

Groups look for answers as changing economy, demographics leave empty storefronts across area communities

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APPLETON — From artists to bulldozers to the long arm of the law and volunteers with lots of zeal.

Communities in the Upper Minnesota River Valley are employing a wide range of strategies to contend with vacant buildings.


A changing retail economy and aging population are leaving open storefronts and empty school buildings in many rural communities.

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Tom Cherveny
Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.
(320) 214-4335