Trace Thomas / Texas Tribune

Some rural homeschool parents have suddenly found themselves making unlikely alliances with public school unions in Texas, reports The Texas Tribune.

Many homeschool advocates have traditionally been staunch conservatives. But now some are lining up against former allies like Senator Ted Cruz, to battle a “private school choice” bill that could pass this Texas legislative session.

Steve Sisney / The Oklahoman

A couple of new Oklahoma bills would consider questions that have occupied the Sooner State for decades, reports The Oklahoman.

One measure proposes to leave Sunday liquor sales up to the counties. If Senate Bill 211 passes, voters in each individual county could decide whether to allow liquor stores to open between noon and midnight on Sundays.

Meanwhile, under House Bill 1686, consumers would pay no sales tax on beer, wine and spirits. Instead, they would pay higher excise taxes.

Casey Richmeier

Last year’s Anderson Creek Wildfire was the biggest known wildfire in Kansas’s history, burning 390,000 acres of land in Oklahoma and Kansas, killing hundreds of cattle, destroying millions of dollars with of buildings and fences, and endangering the lives of hundreds of residents and volunteer firefighters.

And conditions are present that could make 2017 an even busier year for wildfires. 

Daniel Shaw AU / Twitter

In a virtual tribute to the actor Bill Paxton, star of the popular tornado film Twister, storm chasers and spotters spelled out the star’s initials on an online map that is used to track tornadoes Sunday, after hearing of the 61-year-old actor’s death.

Paxton, who starred in Apollo 13 and Titanic, played a veteran meteorologist and storm chaser in the 1996 hit movie Twister, an icon for many of the real-life storm chasers who took part in Sunday’s tribute.

Creative Commons

A north central Kansas filmmaker’s drone video of wheat harvest is premiering at a New York City film festival next month.

As The Wichita Eagle reports, Doug Armknecht’s video called Beauty & Bounty is about his wife’s family’s 2016 wheat harvest in Osborne County and will premiere at the New York City Drone Film Festival, which takes place March 17 to 19.

Last year's rains bring increased fire risk in 2017

57 seconds ago
Lindsey Bauman / The Hutchinson News

Spring is the optimal time for many people to do prescribed burns across Kansas, especially in the Flint Hills. It invigorates grass/crop growth, reduces noxious weeds, and eliminates excessive dead plant material. These materials, often called fuels, can be variable from season to season. If an area of land is never burned, fuels accumulate and pile up on the ground over the years, often falling over with winter wind and snow.

Luca Nebuloni / Flickr Creative Commons

A Texas man has garnered hundreds of signatures on a petition that would designate the taco as the official food of Texas.

As Vice.com reports, the current official food is chili, but taco aficionado Mando Rayo believes it’s time for a change. The chili designation officially occurred in 1977, with a state decree that began:

Medicaid Expansion Heads To The Kansas Senate

14 hours ago

In deep-red Kansas, state Democrats threw their most energized annual meeting in years in Topeka on Saturday, largely thanks to the featured speaker: Vermont senator and former presidential hopeful Sen. Bernie Sanders. 

The Ogallala Aquifer

15 hours ago
Janet Huelskamp - Fowler, KS

Ogallala Blue: Water and Life on the High Plains, by William Ashworth, is a High Plains Public Radio community read.  The book chronicles the development, management and possible fate of the Ogallala, the largest aquifer within the High Plains aquifer system.  At its essence, the book is about the people and the place that rely on the aquifer. I am Susan Stover with the Kansas Geological Survey, University of Kansas.   

The High Plains aquifer stretches from South Dakota to Texas and New Mexico. It supplies the water for nearly a third of our nation’s irrigated crops and has transformed the region into some of the nation’s most productive acreage with fields upon fields of corn, alfalfa, soybeans, wheat, sorghum and cotton.  The aquifer also supports the cattle, dairy and hog industries, meatpacking and milk processing plants, ethanol production, and communities.  It is a vibrant economy, one that runs on water.

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NPR Headlines

It's become an annual tradition for NPR to host a live band in our studios for a full day. This year, we upped the ante and invited around 70 musicians from Washington, D.C.'s National Symphony Orchestra to play the musical interludes between stories on All Things Considered.

The private company SpaceX has announced that it plans to send two passengers on a mission beyond the moon in late 2018.

If the mission goes forward, it would be the "first time humans have traveled beyond low Earth orbit since the days of Apollo," as NPR's Nell Greenfieldboyce told our Newscast unit.

The two private citizens approached the company about the idea and have already paid a sizable deposit, CEO Elon Musk told reporters in a conference call. These private individuals will also bear the cost of the mission.

A Minnesota police officer accused of fatally shooting Philando Castile in a St. Paul suburb last July pleaded not guilty to second-degree manslaughter and two other charges.

St. Anthony police officer Jeronimo Yanez entered his plea in a brief hearing in Ramsey County district court.

It's been five years since the death of Trayvon Martin — and the outrage that sparked the Black Lives Matter movement.

Martin — 17 years old, black and unarmed — was shot by George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer in Sanford, Fla.

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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