Life on the Great Plains is anything but plain and simple but the Internet and Information Technology are making a difference.

"There’s enormous change taking place because of the Internet and information technology," says Eric John Abrahamson, a fellow at the Institute for Applied Economics and the Study of Business Enterprise at Johns Hopkins University who lives in Rapid City. "It’s affecting the Great Plains and all of rural America."

"It’s got to be better economically, even if it’s a gamble, than the continued slow-leak decline," Frank Popper says. "It’s got to be better than things like casinos, prisons and hazardous waste dumps. … What we’ve got is a Plan B for a region whose Plan A has been failing it for well over a century."

By Haya El Nasser, USA TODAY

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