CELIA LLOPIS-JEPSEN / KANSAS NEWS SERVICE

Kansas Governor Sam Brownback effectively said goodbye last night in a State of the State speech that was short on policy recommendations but long on reflection. We get this recap from (KCUR’s) Jim McLean (of the Kansas News Service). 

Brownback’s self-described “swan song” to a joint session of the legislature was less political than his past State of the State speeches.

Kit4na / Flickr Creative Commons

In recent years, the number of deaths in Texas linked to pregnancy and childbirth has grown a staggering amount. By some measures, Texas now has the highest maternal death rate in the developed world.

Yet, as a new editorial in the Dallas Morning News reports, Texas has another, related problem: No one knows exactly how many women are dying.

Shelby Tauber / The Texas Tribune

  Texas Health and Human Services officials announced Monday that they are receiving $47.7 million to begin needed construction for existing state hospitals, some of which are more than a century old.

From The Texas Tribune:

Texas leaders are taking the first steps to make long-awaited fixes to state hospitals built in the 19th and 20th centuries that serve Texans who need mental health services.  

CC0 - Creative Commons

At a meeting with state legislators in Garden City Saturday, citizens questioned the Supreme Court's school funding decision. The legislators said they accept the court’s decision, but will at least consider amending the Kansas state constitution.

The meeting was Garden City’s first Legislative Coffee of the new year and was attended by three local lawmakers: John Doll and John Wheeler, both of Garden City, and Steve Alford of Ulysses.

CC0 - Creative Commons

After a Colorado farmer suffered a massive heart attack, his doctor gave him some unusual medical advice – to no longer talk about water.

As The Greeley Tribune reports, Harry Strohauer farms in Gilcrest, Colorado and Like dozens of farmers along the South Platte River, has suffered from the effects of curtailed well pumping, the result of legislation, a Supreme Court case and battles with surface water rights owners.

There is a wave of women running for public office in Texas this year.

As The Texas Tribune reported last week, about 50 women have filed to run for Congress. Patsy Woods Martin, the executive director of Annie’s List, says there is the same trend in races for the Texas Legislature.

Richie, Robert Yarnall / Flickr Creative Commons

Texas isn’t quite as special these days as it has been for most of this new century, claims a new editorial in the Dallas Morning News.

The state, notes the contributor Richard Parker, “has burned brightly since the beginning of the century.”

But now that bright Lone Star is cooling off. Parker is careful to note that the state’s changing fortunes don’s so much signal a downturn as “a leveling off.”

CC0 Creative Commons

Black babies in Oklahoma are twice as likely to die before their first birthday than white or Hispanic infants, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control.

Jeff Kramer / Wikimedia Commons

In 2018, Amarillo has already seen unseasonably warm and blisteringly cold temperatures. That’s no different from last year, when Amarillo set a number of weather records, according to The Amarillo Globe-News.

Parts of the city are still experiencing the longest dry spell in recorded history, and that drought comes after what was the city’s seventh wettest year ever last year.

High Plains, meet Korby Lenker.

If you listen to High Plains Morning, you've probably heard his music. If you follow what's new in US folk/Americana, you definitely know him. But if not, HPPR is happy to introduce y'all at our first 2018 Living Room Concerts! 

Live in Concert: TWO SHOWS! 

Pages

HAPPY NEW YEAR! HPPR's 1st Living Room Concerts of 2018!

Live in Concert: TWO SHOWS in February!

Amarillo: Friday, 2/9 + Garden City: Saturday, 2/10

HPPR Announces 2018 Living Room Concert Lineup!

NPR Headlines

Thai police toppled an accused kingpin in the global multi-million dollar wildlife black market, with the arrest on Friday of Boonchai Bach in Nakhon Phanom, near the Laos-border along the Mekong river.

At Boston's Mei Mei Street Kitchen, a small crew led by Ellie Tiglao rearranges tables, turning the Chinese-American restaurant into a pop-up Filipino banquet hall. About 30 people mill about, sticking with the groups in which they came. A line forms to buy beer.

Violent crime is down in America's big cities.

It may not seem so if you watch crime dramas like CSI, NCIS or Chicago P.D., but homicide, assault and rapes have decreased in big cities since the 1970s. Even Chicago had a 16 percent decline in murders last year, to 650. (In 1974, the city had 970 homicides.)

When the city of Brasilia was inaugurated nearly six decades ago, it was celebrated as a dazzling example of modernist architecture and as evidence of a young South American nation on the rise.

But Brazil's utopian capital has since acquired another feature on its landscape that's come to be viewed as a national disgrace and an embarrassing eyesore.

Support HPPR with a vehicle donation!