Oil prices dropped five percent last week after OPEC and non-OPEC producers agreed to cut oil supplies at a level less than investors were expecting.

Texas Legislature passes $217 billion two-year budget

10 hours ago
CC0 Public Domain

Texas lawmakers approved a $217 billion, two-year budget Saturday.

As The Texas Tribune reports, both chambers of the Texas Legislature voted to approve the budget, which will boost funding for the state’s beleaguered child welfare agency and avoid serious reforms to the state’s much-criticized school finance system.

The budget is shored up by $1 billion from the state’s savings account and $2 billion from a pot of funding intended for highway projects.

Hickenlooper signs Colorado budget into law

10 hours ago
Creative Commons CC0

With a stroke of Gov. John Hickenlooper’s pen, Colorado’s $26.8 billion budget that boosts school funding, averts cuts to hospitals and secures funding for a new state-led program to combat homelessness, was signed into law Friday.

As The Denver Post reports, the final version of the bill includes a $185 per-pupil increase in education funding and $15 million new spending on an affordable housing program aimed at helping the homeless,

Kansas Department of Corrections

Nearly 150 mental health inmates currently held at the Larned Correctional Mental Health Facility will be transferred to the El Dorado Correctional Facility, as part of plan to convert the former into a medium-security prison.

Gage Skidmore / Creative Commons

Lawmakers in Texas are fed up with educators having sex with students.

The number of teachers having inappropriate relationships with their students has been rising, and State Sen. Paul Bettencourt has even called the problem a “statewide plague.”

KFOR

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin is growing  frustrated with the slow pace of criminal justice reform in her state.

As KFOR reports, last week Fallin lamented the fact that 10 separate criminal-justice bill had failed to make it to her desk.

Kansas is on track to spend less than a third of what it did six years ago on cash assistance and to serve a third as many low-income people, according to a state budget office memo.

Those numbers have been falling steadily since Gov. Sam Brownback took office in 2011, when Kansas began incorporating work requirements for programs like cash assistance and food stamps in an effort to break what the governor described as “cycles of dependency.”

A new law will allow Kansas crisis centers to treat involuntary mental health patients for up to 72 hours, but it isn’t clear if lawmakers will fund it.

Gov. Sam Brownback on Wednesday signed House Bill 2053, which allows crisis centers to treat people deemed a danger to themselves or others because of a mental health or substance use disorder. The bill had passed the House unanimously and passed the Senate 27-12 after some amendments. 

Psychedelic garden guard

May 28, 2017
NATURE.MDC.MO.GOV

In the past week, I met a garden neighbor.  Apparently, this blue/green juvenile racerunner lizard moved from his burrow or wherever his last digs were into my 12 x 18 foot raised-bed garden.  Our hilltop is too rocky to support an in-ground garden, so we had to create our own little haven for tomatoes, peppers, onions, and okra.  Mr. Psychedelic must enjoy the insects that also call the Salsa in the Makings Ranch home, and he is now di ning al fresco under the tomato vines.

Luke Clayton

In a matter of days, Luke will be heading north to Iskwatikan Lake Lodge to join a few friends for five days of fishing, cooking and eating fish and enjoying the pristine wilderness country.

A trip to this area is well within the means of most people. Tune in and learn how to plan your trip of a lifetime!

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Annual Meeting

Living Room Concert: Nikki Talley & Jason Sharp

Nikki Talley & Jason Sharp ~ Sat., June 17th

Live @ Chalice Abbey, Amarillo ~ Doors @ 7p

2017 Living Room Concerts in Amarillo

NPR Headlines

Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh is considering the removal of her city's Confederate monuments, as New Orleans did just days ago.

Newly elected French President Emmanuel Macron and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, have a whole lot of ground to cover Monday: Between the long-standing conflict in eastern Ukraine, the six-year-old civil war in Syria and their own countries' tattered ties, the Russian president's stop at the Palace of Versailles promises plenty of difficult topics for conversation.

That's a fact Macron freely addressed in the days leading up to the visit.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Chelsea Beck/NPR

President Trump's Tweets, Annotated

President Trump tweets a lot. With tens of millions of followers on Twitter, Trump proposes policy, shares his latest actions and reacts to the news. But 140 characters rarely gives the full context. Here, we attempt to do just that for key tweets. Loading...

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