Jim Beckel / The Oklahoman

It’s no secret that Republicans tend to win more elections on the High Plains than Democrats. But with the recent struggles in Donald Trump’s White House, the national media has been flooded with stories about how the GOP may be in trouble in next year’s midterm elections.

With that in mind, we decided to have a look at exactly what the balance of power looks like in our listening area.

Nick Youngson http://nyphotographic.com/

As the Texas Panhandle faces a rising number of foster children without homes, the Texas Legislature Monday passed a law that would turn away some prospective parents for religious reasons.

As ABC 7 Amarillo reports, there is a growing need for foster homes in the Texas Panhandle.

Sandra J. Milburn / The Hutchinson News

There’s an old saying that wheat has nine lives.

But in western Kansas, farmers have pretty much used all of them.

Yet, despite just about every plague imaginable that could strike this year’s stand – including snow, freeze and disease – farmers aren’t writing off the 2017 wheat just yet.

“I’ve been told my entire life – never give up on the western Kansas wheat crop,” said Trevor Witt, agronomist and sales manager at the Garden City Co-op who has been scouting wheat fields after the late April snowstorm.

Palmer amaranth and other weeds may develop resistance to common herbicides if they aren't successfully killed.Credit Amy Mayer / Harvest Public MediaEdit | Remove

Belt-tightening has been the trend for row-crop farmers in the Midwest for the past several years as corn and soybean prices remain low. Reducing application of expensive herbicides may be tempting to save money, but that’s a strategy that could result in severe economic consequences down the road.

Kansas Agland /

  A bill that would enable farmers to eventually obtain a license to plant industrial hemp has moved to the Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee.

The move is one hemp supporters wanted to help get the bill passed this session. The bill was referred to the committee on Thursday.

Meanwhile, hemp supporters are planning a forum from 6 to 8 p.m. June 5 at the public library in Coffeyville, said Kelly Rippel, who is with Kansans for Hemp.

Jim Beckel / The Oklahoman

Attempts in the Oklahoma Legislature to fix the state’s massive budget shortfall fell apart this weekend, reports The Oklahoman.

Both chambers had hoped to reach a last minute deal to avoid a special session. But by the end of Saturday it was clear that Oklahoma lawmakers were not going to find enough common ground to avoid working overtime.

Community After School Program

Many working parents in Oklahoma are having a hard time affording programs to occupy their children while they’re working, according to OklahomaWatch.

Both after-school programs and summer camps can be extremely costly, which means they sometimes aren’t an option for parents struggling to make ends meet.

R.J. Sangosti / The Denver Post

Following a home explosion in Firestone, Colorado last month, a petroleum company is conducting inspections on wells near occupied structures.

As The Greeley Tribune reports, a home in Firestone exploded on April 17 when an abandoned gas return line leaked methane and filled the basement with gas. Two men were killed and one woman was severely injured in the blast.   

Kansas Turnpike Authority

Drivers who use K-Tag transponders to pay tolls in Kansas can now do so in Texas.

At The Topeka Capital-Journal reports, the Kansas Turnpike Authority announced last week that drivers who use the K-Tag can also use their state’s toll transponders in Texas. The K=Tag is already accepted in Oklahoma.

Texas drivers can also use their state’s toll transponders in Kansas.

CC0 Public Domain

Kansas superintendents are calling on lawmakers to put more money into a school funding bill.

As The Topeka Capital-Journal reports, several superintendents traveled to Topeka last week to tell the Senate education committee to add more money to Senate Bill 251.

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The actor Sir Roger Moore has died at 89, after "a short but brave battle with cancer," according his family and his agent.

Moore played the role of James Bond between 1973 and 1985, and was knighted in his home country of England in 2003.

He was was one in a string of actors who have played James Bond on the silver screen, beginning with 1973's Live and Let Die. He starred in a total of seven Bond films over 12 years, ending with A View to a Kill in 1985.

Former CIA Director John Brennan testifies Tuesday — on Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election and Russia's use of "active measures" — before the House Intelligence Committee. Brennan is also expected to be questioned about the many leaks regarding national security issues since President Trump took office.

Brennan led the CIA during the Obama administration from 2013-2017. Prior to that, Brennan was a top counterterrorism and homeland security adviser to President Barack Obama.

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

Public support for the North Atlantic Treaty Alliance has generally improved in the U.S., Europe and Canada, according to a newly released poll from the Pew Research Center.

The uptick in support comes in the wake of the turbulent U.S. presidential race where then-candidate Donald Trump called NATO "obsolete," prompting European leaders to express alarm.

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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