A phone call brings Karen one step closer to becoming the oldest generation.

Luke Clayton

Luke discusses fishing reports this week and how best to "glean" reliable fishing information that will help you catch fish on your next outing. Luke also shares a bit of humor concerning a fishing trip earlier this week when he thought he "had em' figured out!"

Amy Mayer / Harvest Public Media

From Harvest Public Media:

The country’s top agriculture official, Tom Vilsack, is declining to comment on some of the largest  mergers the farm economy has ever seen.

Jim McClean / KHI news service

From the Kansas Health Institute:

The 2016 election could be a tough one for some Kansas lawmakers hoping to return to the Statehouse.

Polls, editorials and reader comments on news websites indicate that voters are paying attention to what’s happening in Topeka, and many don’t like what they’re seeing.


Summer is fast approaching, and that means it’s time to think about how to take care of our skin. Skin cancer is more common in the US than breast, colon, lung and prostate cancers combined. But some cities are more harmful than others. In some areas, the rate of skin cancer is lower, the air cleaner, the sun kinder, and treatment more accessible.

The US Department of Agriculture has been touting the recent expansion of the meat trade in the US. But the agency has only been highlighting the positives of the trade increase. As The Rural Blog reports, the nation has been importing more beef than it exports in recent months. In a recent column, two professors from the University of Tennessee said they understand that the USDA may want to put a positive spin on the situation.

Tantrums LLC/The Guardian

After losing her oil job when prices dropped below $50 a barrel, Houston’s Shawn Baker started a new kind of business, reports The Guardian. In a world where there’s so much simmering anger, she thought, why not let people pay to smash stuff? Baker started Tantrums LLC, a one-stop shop where customers can release their inner Incredible Hulk.

Jonathan Baker/HPPR

This month I've been sitting in on a different kind of college course. The class, led by West Texas A&M English professor Bonney MacDonald, consists of four hours of open discussion, Monday through Friday for two weeks.

Bob Daemmerich / Texas Tribune

Texas’s controversial “Top 10 Percent” college admission rule could be in jeopardy when the state legislature meets again in 2017. Gov. Greg Abbott has called for changes to the law, reports The Texas Tribune. The legislation, as it stands now, promises automatic admission into any Texas public university for all students who finish in the top 10 percent of their high school graduating class.

A new law aims to help the state of Colorado cut back on overdose deaths from illegal drugs, reports Colorado Public Radio. The bill was signed into law last Thursday by Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper. Many overdose deaths occur because when a drug user overdoses, the user’s friends don’t always call the paramedics. That’s because they’re afraid they’ll be arrested for holding or consuming illegal drugs.

Kristofor Husted / Harvest Public Media

From Harvest Public Media:

We all learned it as kids: Old MacDonald has a farm and on that farm he has a cow that says “moo.” But why? Why do cows moo?

Whenever I’m out reporting in the field I can tell many ranchers have a powerful connection with their cattle – they can almost understand them. But researchers today are trying to figure out exactly what cows are saying.

Nearly 90 percent of Coloradans with Hepatitis C are not being treated, reports Colorado Public Radio. The lack of medical care is occurring despite the availability of medication. Hepatitis C is a chronic liver infection. It’s transmitted when a person comes into contact with infectious fluids and secretions from someone else who is already infected with the hepatitis C virus. That transmission often occurs through tainted IVs and IV drug use.

My grandmother called them flags, they've also been known as "poor man's orchids," but this flower is hardy and just right for growing on the High Plains.

Kansas City Star

Last week was a rough week for Kansas Governor Sam Brownback. First, the governor was forced to slash another $97 million from the budget. Those cuts came on top of an additional $185 million diverted from highway funds. Brownback also had to delay a $100 million payment into Kanas public employees’ pension plans.

The Nation

The Oklahoma grand jury tasked with looking into the state's troubled executions released its report last week, and the contents were troubling. The study found that jail staff did not verify which drugs they were using for lethal injections before giving them to death row inmates. And after the wrong drugs were administered, staff remained in the dark about their mistake.

Ariana Brocious / Harvest Public Media

From Harvest Public Media:

Every spring farmers and ranchers intentionally burn their fields to jumpstart the natural process of renewal. But those fires can be dangerous. That’s why researchers in Nebraska are designing a new drone to start fires, which may help protect people and the environment.

Colorado’s jobless rate ticked up slightly last month. The number now sits at 3.1 percent. That’s still almost two and a half percentage points below the national average of 5.5 percent. The slight upward movement marks the first time the unemployment rate has increased in five years, reports Colorado Public Radio.

Bureau of Reclamation/NY Times

As the water crisis in the West grows more dire, many officials are realizing that the 20th century’s solutions are not sufficient for a 21st century problem. Many of the West’s big dams, reports The New York Times, are much less effective than once hoped. The massive structures have disrupted fisheries and left taxpayers saddled with debt. And—perhaps the worst part--these dams lose hundreds of billions of gallons of water each year to evaporation and leakage.

David Bowser / Texas Tribune

The Texas Tribune recently took a look at how the oil bust is affecting the town of Perryton, in the far northern Texas Panhandle near the Oklahoma border. This isn’t the first oil nosedive the residents have seen. For many the downturn brings to mind the precarious 1980s. Back then, in 1987, the whole town threw an “oil-bust bash” to lift their spirits.

Public Domain

A program in Colorado that helps teach low-income parents about proper diet and nutrition appears to be working, reports Colorado Public Radio. New research shows that the state’s childhood obesity rates are down for families taking part in the program. The federally-funded nutrition initiative is known as WIC, which stands for Women, Infants and Children.

Todd Wiseman / Texas Tribune

Health advocates cheered this week when Oklahoma officials announced they were considering expanding Medicaid in that state. Oklahoma has been missing out on millions of federal health care dollars with its decision to not participate in the Affordable Care Act. But with ballooning budget problems and rising health care costs in the state, opting out no longer seems viable. And that means Texas could be next, reports member station KUT.

Bob Daemmerich / Texas Tribune

Texas Governor Greg Abbott has a portentous new book out that tackles some of the biggest issues in America. Included a proposal for a convention of the states to change the U.S. Constitution. So, The Texas Tribune wondered, what’s the Texas exec up to? Abbott claims he’s not using the book as a springboard to position himself for higher office.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Last week Reuters found that Oklahoma state officials tried to protect oil companies from blame after earthquakes shook the state. Now StateImpact Oklahoma reveals via Reuters that the state’s fracking boom created new oil millionaires.

Just as the state of Colorado is embarking on a number of critical education initiatives, Education Commissioner Rich Crandall shocked the state by suddenly announcing his resignation last week. Crandall had only been on the job for four and a half months, reports

Jim Malewiitz / Texas Tribune

The election for Texas Railroad Commissioner is often a high stakes race. That’s because the agency isn’t just in charge of railroads, as the name indicates. The commission also regulates the oil and gas industry and gas utilities in the Lone Star State. But this year’s race has become especially rancorous, notes The Texas Tribune.

James M. Dobson / Garden City Telegram

With all the recent rains, farmers in southwest Kansas have a bright outlook for the wheat crop and summer harvest, reports The Garden City Telegram. Finney County farmer Jarvis Garetson called the April showers a godsend. “It changed our dryland crops from poor conditions to very good,” he said.

Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

In Oklahoma, the job of protecting the state’s beautiful rivers has long been the domain of the Scenic Rivers Commission. But on July 1st, reports StateImpact Oklahoma, the state will say goodbye to the agency. With a 1.3 billion budget hole, Oklahoma simply can’t afford to support the commission anymore.

On May 11 Gov. Mary Fallin signed a bill disbanding the small state agency.

Hutchinson News

If you live in Kansas and you’re planning to switch your party affiliation and vote in the August 2nd primary election, you’d better hurry. The Hutchinson News reports that the deadline for Kansas voters to change political party affiliation comes earlier than ever this year. Those who wish to switch must do so before noon on Wednesday, June 1.

I recently overheard someone at an area coffee shop say, “The worst day of fishing is better than the best day at work.” I’m not sure I agree 100 percent, but any day with a baited hook tossed out, waiting for a nibble is a good day. You’re near water, catching sunrays, listening to birds twitter, and smelling that nose teasing scent of mud, water plants, and fish. If you happen to reel something in to put on the dinner table, it’s a bonus.

Luke Clayton

This week on High Plains Outdoors, Luke visits with Shawn Ballard, owner of Diamond Park Homes in Alba, Texas. Ballard's company builds tiny homes (399 sq. feet or less) and ships them all over the country. There is a boon in Tiny home living today. Tune in and learn all about this downsized way of living.