Can aging North Dakota resist change amid immigration debate?

Every other Wednesday at lunchtime, the Coachman Inn attracts what, in this sparsely populated part of the world, amounts to a crowd. They come for the kumla— the Scandinavian potato dumplings their grandmothers and great-grandmothers used to make.

It’s a lively scene that reveals a sobering demographic truth. The hands passing the pitchers of melted butter are weathered; the heads bobbing in animated conversation are mostly silver-haired. The kumla tradition is in danger of extinction. So is Cooperstown and many of North Dakota’s once-bustling rural crossroads.

By Kathy Kiely, USA TODAY

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