News

Texas Secessionist Movement Continues Its Push

1 hour ago
Glyn Lowe / Flickr Creative Commons

The Texas Nationalist Movement made trips to 31 Texas cities last week to drum up support for the state’s secession from the United States, reports Reuters. The group is attempting to gather the necessary 75,000 signatures to get the question onto the primary ballot next spring.

Amid Oil Bust, An Industry Thrives

1 hour ago
Mose Buchele / StateImpact

As oil prices continue to plummet, there’s one industry in rural Texas that’s booming: the repossession business. StateImpact Texas reports that repo men (and repo women) in Texas are thriving amid the bust.

A Peek into America's Unusual Culinary Past

2 hours ago
Di Qiu / Creative Commons

Of regional interest, Americans of the 19th century had some rather unusual eating habits, according to the History Department, an NPR project that takes a fresh look at American History.

Prickles and Stickles

16 hours ago
naturesongs.com

Though a far cry from cactus, today's weed entries definitely bring up some thorny issues.  We'll examine this sticky situation by defining the difference between grass burs and goatheads. And then we'll take a look at thistles that have come from other countries to make their home in the heartland.

Creative Commons

The Oklahoman recently published an editorial calling for creative solutions to the Oklahoma teacher shortage. The state currently has about 1,000 teacher vacancies. That’s even after the state eliminated 600 teaching jobs during the last school year. The state has seen large rallies over the past couple of years. Protestors decried the fact that Oklahoma ranks near the bottom nationally in average salary for teachers.

Texas Astronomers Discover Dying Star Bursts

Sep 2, 2015
ESA/Hubble, NASA, S. Geier.

Texas astronomers announced a new discovery this week. According to Marfa Public Radio, scientists in the Lone Star State recently found that dying stars display huge outbursts as they decay. This phenomenon, characterized by hot, bright flashes, hasn’t been seen in stars like these before. Most dying stars end up as white dwarves, which pulsate like a heartbeat or vibrate rhythmically like a ringing bell.

Future Uncertain for a Tiny Kansas Town

Sep 2, 2015
KAKE.com

In regional news, the future of the tiny town of Frederick, Kansas, is in jeopardy. According to Wichita news station KAKE, no one voted in the town’s recent election. Now, with no leadership, the town faces a rocky road ahead. Frederick is located in Rice County and only has nine residents. With no leadership and no budget, the town won’t have any money in the new year. Even worse, now the town doesn’t even have the option to dissolve.

The Oklahoma State Fair: What's on the Menu?

Sep 1, 2015
KFOR.com

In regional news, the Oklahoma State Fair is approaching. News station KFOR reports that fair officials have just released a list of foods that will appear at the fairgrounds.  

http://www.wtamu.edu/

Middle-class Texans hoping to receive college tuition aid from the state are increasingly out of luck, according to The Texas Tribune. And starting September first, the situation will grow more dire.

Sandra J. Milburn / The Hutchinson News

Kansas Agland has reported on the return of an old corn-popping method. The Atom Pop Corn Popper was invented in the 1950s, at the height of America’s science fiction era. Hence its resemblance to a flying saucer. The Atom Popper fell out of favor in the US with the advent of microwave popcorn. But in the small Kansas community of Bushton, the Orth brothers are trying to bring back the Cold War-era popping device.

JASON BAKER/TEXAS A&M AGRILIFE RESEARCH PHOTO

Many producers have converted to no-till, and now progressive farmers are learning to cover crop to keep soil covered after harvesting a cash crop. Ryan Speer is such a producer. He farms in central Kansas along the Arkansas River south of Halstead.

In Colorado, Auto Sales are Booming

Aug 31, 2015
Foter / Creative Commons

In regional news, Coloradans are buying more new cars these days than at any time in the last decade, reports Colorado Public Radio. The trend has lifted the spirits—and the profits—of the state’s auto dealers. Many of the state’s residents now feel good enough about the economy  to invest in big purchases such as automobiles.

High Plains States Tackle Water Shortage

Aug 31, 2015
Vonoth Chandar / Flickr Creative Commons

High Plains states are working to combat the water shortage, reports Beef magazine.  

Federal Government Squanders Food Safety Bill

Aug 31, 2015
Neil T / Flickr Creative Commons

We all remember the Blue Bell ice cream recall from earlier this year. But most don’t know that congress passed a White House bill in 2010 that would have prevented the deadly Listeriosis outbreak. However, according to a POLITICO investigation, congress and the Obama administration have yet to put the law into effect 5 years later.

Evil Edibles

Aug 29, 2015
greensmoothiesblog.com

Let's set the table and see what's on the menu, weedwise.  Today we'll discuss weeds that can function as spring tonics, or green and leafy vitamin pills.  And some of the things I commonly toss on the compost heap could become the makings of a soup or salad course.      

Luke Clayton

Another of my favorite recipes for wild pork is what I call “smothered” pork steaks. This is pretty basic country looking but is it ever mouth-watering good!

If the ham steaks I am using are from a larger hog, I use my meat tenderizer but with the slow cooking method, even the tougher cuts of meat usually become fork tender.

I sometimes use steaks from the back straps and these require no tenderizing other than a little time in the skillet. 

boyslife.org

Nothing is more enjoyable than sitting outside on a cool Kansas evening listening to live music and watching the sun set. That is until a couple days later when you realize chiggers showed up at the same party you attended. Over 48 hours, music and breeze-induced peace and relaxation turns into itchy torture. The hungry, invisible insect larvae ruin family picnics, exciting baseball games, plum picking, and a thousand other pleasurable summer activities.

In the Modern Workplace, It Pays to Be a People Person

Aug 28, 2015
Victor1558 / Flickr Creative Commons

The nature of the American workplace is shifting, and the change looks to be more beneficial for females than males. A recent article on the blog FiveThirtyEight.com noted that people skills are increasingly important in the modern world. While hard skills such as math and engineering are still valued, communicating clearly has never been more important. And women appear to be capitalizing on the shift.

At Horse Thief Reservoir, the "Glampers" Have Arrived

Aug 28, 2015
romantichomes.com

Spring rains have been a boon to campers at Horse Thief Reservoir in southwest Kansas. The lake level is the highest it’s ever been. And now the water is bringing a new kind of camper to the site. The Hutchinson News reports that the lake is seeing more and more “glamour campers,” or “glampers.” Glampers are visitors who travel in small, neatly appointed vintage campers.

Justin Dehn / Texas Tribune

a new Texas law may lead more schools to set up nurse's offices equipped to handle remote doctor visits. The program could save parents time and money. According to The Texas Tribune, the remote visits could begin at school nurses’ offices as soon as September 1st. Doctors will be able to communicate with children via a sophisticated form of video chat.

When Farmers Vacation . . . They Visit Other Farms!

Aug 27, 2015
Thinkstock / DCProductions

When farmers take a vacation, where do they go?  With so much daily work that needs to be done, it can be hard to justify a holiday. So often, farmers find themselves visiting another farm! And what do they find? Other farmers are trying to do the same things they are, but under different circumstances—and they discover some interesting differences. As reported on FarmFutures.com, recently Illinois farmer Maria Cox made the trek to Lucas, Kansas.

NASA Scientist Sounds Water Shortage Alarm

Aug 27, 2015
Robert Cianflone / Getty Images

A NASA scientist has sounded the alarm on America’s water shortage, reports Beef magazine.  In a recent TED talk, Jay Famiglietti called for a massive shift in the way citizens and governments manage water. Famiglietti suggested the need for more efficient irrigation and better crop selection, including more saline-tolerant and drought-tolerant crops. He also called for improved pricing models, and the institution of national and global water policies.

USGS

A recent Standard & Poor report maintains that Oklahoma will face sharp economic consequences in the future as a result of man-made earthquakes.

Food Security Supplement / Current Population Survey, 2013

According to a new study, rural children are less likely to take part in school lunch programs than their urban counterparts. As reported by The Daily Yonder, school-aged children in rural areas are 8 percent less likely to participate in the federal nutrition program, even though they qualify at the same rates as urban children.

In Oklahoma, Bees are Vanishing

Aug 25, 2015
Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma lost a greater percentage of its honeybee colonies than any other state last year. As a result, beekeepers, scientists, and farmers met in Oklahoma City this month to create a plan to help pollinating insects survive. As reported by StateImpact Oklahoma, the meeting  focused on ways to balance the use of pesticides with an understanding of the chemicals’ dangers to pollinators.  

Ohio Health Insuranc / flickr creative commons

A new study shows that rural Medicare patients are much less likely to receive follow-up care. They’re also more likely to end up in the emergency room, reports The Rural Blog. The study appeared in the September issue of the journal Medical Care. Researchers looked at the number of patients who had follow-up health care visits and emergency room visits within 30 days of hospitalization.

Cimarron National Grassland to Eradicate Salt Cedar

Aug 25, 2015
Public Domain

Residents of southwestern Kansas can expect to see some changes in the coming months. The Cimarron National Grassland will soon begin a project to eradicate salt cedar, reports Kansas Agland. The project will chemically treat 191 acres of the invasive species, also known as Tamarisk. The plants will be eradicated using nontoxic chemicals, by means of spray equipment, during September and October.

A how-to recipe from the Huffington Post on how to create a teacher shortage following the Sunflower State example.

USDA / NRCS

The Thompson Farm and Ranch straddles the Kansas-Nebraska line. Drought in this region is entering its fourth year. The Thompson family uses no-till practices to grow dryland wheat and corn and also run cows.

High Plains Residents Lack Access to Abortions

Aug 24, 2015
New York Times

When it comes to abortions, High Plains residents must travel farther than almost any other US citizens, reports the New York Times.  Amarillo residents must travel 234 miles to the nearest clinic. Many denizens of the Oklahoma Panhandle and Western Kansas must likewise travel over 200 miles to have the service performed. The national average outside Texas is 59 miles.

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