Wednesday, June 4, 2008

An Economic Upturn for a Tiny Upstate Town

This story by Fernanda Santos, from the Adirondacks in upstate New York, appears in tomorrow's NYTimes. It tells of a paper mill in Newton Falls that has been revived following a 2000 closure. Here's a vivid excerpt describing events after the plant closed:

Some families moved wherever they could find work. Others were stuck with homes they could not sell and long commutes over desolate country roads. The nearest gas station closed, the local hospital struggled to fill its 20 beds, and the volume of mail at the one-person post office shriveled by half, as if the place had been given up for dead.

It is a familiar story: industry leaves, jobs disappear, hardscrabble town is left adrift. Not Newton Falls. As if in a fairy tale, the shuttered mill has come back to life, thanks to a healthy dose of luck, a longtime paper executive’s willingness to take a chance, and the unbending commitment of two men to the place where they had labored for two decades.

Wikipedia reports Newton Falls' population at 400??; there is no entry for it on the U.S. Census Bureau's American Fact Finder site.

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