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GMCN Architects

Tuesday, the Garden City Commission approved an agreement with GC Investments, Inc. for constructing the ‘Sports of the World’ facility.

As the Garden City Telegram reports, the non-binding agreement lays out terms for the first phase of the project and designates the master developer as GC Investments, which is owned by locals, Cecil O’brate and Amro Samy.

On today’s Growing on the High Plains, I’ll introduce you to a pair of donkeys who have captured my heart and brightened my commute along Highway 83 in southwest Kansas. The donkeys share a 15-acre pasture at the intersection of US Route 50, while providing a welcome bright spot where the fabled loneliest road meets the highway to nowhere.

Mick Jilg, a local artist and retired Professor of Art at Fort Hays State University, has contributed 25 paintings valued at $6,000 to High Plains Public Radio. You can claim one of these 9.5-inch by 9.5-inch framed paintings with a contribution of at least $240. [See the slideshow above.]

The works of art are on display at our Garden City studios (210 N. 7th St.) through August.

Emergency Grazing Begins In Drought-Stricken Kansas

Jul 18, 2018
USDA

Cattle producers in drought-stricken Kansas counties may now cut hay or graze on land normally set aside for conservation.

Seven Texas Republicans In Congress Just Got Outraised By Their Democratic Rivals

Jul 17, 2018
The Texas Tribune

Candidates for Congress recently filed their second-quarter fundraising reports. In some districts, Democratic candidates raised more than double what the Republican incumbents reported.

From The Texas Tribune:

Public domain

A Colorado couple is warning other parents after their 3-year-old was locked in a washing machine filling with water.

As The Washington Post reports, Alan and Lindsey McIver’s 2-year-old daughter Kloe was locked inside a washing machine last week. It is believed that the toddler crawled inside and then her 4-year-old brother Jace shut the door.

Public Domain via Pixabay

The Texas and Oklahoma panhandles will be experiencing sizzling sunshine and scorching hot temperatures this week, along with hazy skies. The reason? The deserts of Africa appear to be sending their dust in our direction.

According to USA Today, this week's hot haze is due to heavy winds in the Sahara Desert sending dust across an ocean, which is now settling across parts of Texas and the High Plains, and into eastern New Mexico.

THIS SATURDAY NIGHT!!! 

Don't miss this HPPR Living Room Concert from traveling Southwest singer-songwriters, BITTERSWEET HIGHWAY. This is their first show for our audience, so let's show them some love!

af.mil

In the wake of last year’s mass shooting at Texas’s Santa Fe High School, Gov. Greg Abbott released a plan to obviate future shooting by releasing a 40-page plan to keep schools safe.

Amarillo Globe-News

A legend in the world of High Plains journalism retired this weekend. Jon Mark Beilue’s first byline appeared in the Amarillo Globe-News 37 years ago, and the Groom native has been a steady voice of reason in the Texas Panhandle ever since.

Beilue began his career covering class 5-A football games for what was then the Amarillo Daily News, fresh off his graduation from Texas Tech.

Thanks so much to Amy Berry, Tour Leader for the African Children’s Choir, for speaking with High Plains Morning about the upcoming show in Amarillo. This group has been at it since 1984, aiding kids in Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, and South Africa. Their purpose is to help create new leadership for tomorrow's Africa, with a focus on education for all. The kids have performed for presidents, heads of state, and Queen Elizabeth II for her diamond jubilee; they’ve also played with Paul McCartney, Annie Lennox, Mariah Carey, and more.

Luke Clayton

TIME TO BEGIN PREPPING FOR BOW SEASON   

It’s amazing just how quickly seasons and, to an old hunter, HUNTING seasons, roll around. Whitetail archery season is less than three months away and now is the time to make sure all your equipment is in top-notch working order and that you can place that arrow where it needs to be when the moment of truth comes and that bruiser buck is within bow range. 

Public Domain

The windswept plains of West Texas have some of the highest solar power potential in the United States. Now, the Permian Basin region is taking advantage of that energy in a big way.

brownsranch.us

I love the wide-open, top-of-the-world feeling I get whenever I’m on the Great Plains. Last month, I was able to relish that feeling once again. After flying into Bismarck, North Dakota, I drove out to Gabe Brown’s 5,000-acre ranch and farm.

Gabe showed me to a chair on the porch of a one-room cabin he’d built for meetings with visitors. A prominent leader in the Soil Health movement, he told me that a group or an individual comes by almost every day to learn about his regenerative farming and grazing techniques.

“So tell me what you’re interested in,” he said.

I told him that until my family sold our western Kansas irrigated farm in 2006, we had done our part in depleting the Ogallala Aquifer, the largest source of groundwater in this country. That farm and others like it were continuing to drain the aquifer, which seemed wrong to me. For a long time, I’d been looking for some positive news to share about how the aquifer could be saved.

Ben Kuebrich / High Plains Public Radio

At a Republican governor candidate forum in Garden City, Wednesday, former doctor Jim Barnett said expanding Medicaid would save lives and communities – by keeping rural hospitals running. But he was alone in his support of the state and federal program that defrays medical costs for people with limited income and resources.

Other candidates decried Medicaid's cost and the management of Kansas’s privatized Medicaid delivery system, Kancare. Secretary of State Kris Kobach announced his intention to massively overhaul the system.

Today on Growing on the High Plains, I thought I'd plant a seed of history about a favorite feat of flair from a former First Lady. I'm talking about the Highway Beautification Act, passed in 1965, which was a visionary project of Lady Bird Johnson. 

Zorin09 / Wikimedia Commons

CNBC has released their scorecard on the economic climate in all 50 states, and Texas took the top spot.

The news network ranked states on more than 60 measures of competitiveness, including workforce, quality of life, education, business friendliness and cost of living. Texas ranked number one overall, also ranking first in infrastructure and economy.

CC0 Pubilc Domain

A new initiative would bar oil and gas extraction on more than 80 percent of non-federal land in Colorado.

As The Denver Post reports, over four out of five acres of non-federal land in Colorado would be off-limits to new oil and gas drilling if voters approve a proposed ballot measure this fall.

Kansas Wheat Yields Vary As Harvest Wraps Up

Jul 11, 2018
AGRILIFE TODAY / FLICKR CREATIVE COMMONS

Wheat harvest is close to wrapping up in Kansas and overall production is down from last year due to dry weather in some areas and hail damage in others. 

In northwest Kansas, as much as 1 million bushels of wheat were lost to hail.

Eric Sperber, manager of Cornerstone Ag LLC in Colby, told Kansas Wheat that the area was hit with another hailstorm on Saturday.

“We have had five hail events since June 19, and fields that were missed from the previous storms got hit this time. Overall, the crop has good quality; unfortunately, we lost fields due to the hail storms."

Marjorie Kamys Cotera / The Texas Tribune

To address a shortage of rural vets, Texas Tech plans to build a new vet school, which would be the second in the state. But A&M said doing so would detract state resources without solving anything.

From The Texas Tribune:

Public Domain via Maxpixel

If you grew up on the High Plains, you might have wondered in recent years where all the horny toads have gone.

The horned lizard is the state reptile of Texas, and for decades horned toads were a favorite plaything of High Plains kids. But these days, notes Texas Monthly, horny toads aren’t nearly as prevalent as they once were.

Bob is back, folks! This High Plains singer-songwriter has never been a traditional Texas country musician living the honky-tonk life, even though he's spent more than his share of time on the roadhouse circuit with some of the most colorful music legends in Texas. Bob Livingston's new album, Up the Flatland Stairs, has him traveling across the US -- and HPPR Living Room Concerts is pleased to announce he'll be playing for fans on the High Plains!

Public Domain via Pixabay

Oklahoma’s foster care system has been beleaguered by high rates of abuse and neglect for years.

And, as The Tulsa World reports, much of that child abuse is due to Oklahoma’s high levels of meth addiction, with the state’s opioid addiction struggles adding to the problem in recent years.

Public Domain

The Oklahoma and Texas Panhandles will likely soon suffer under the effects of Donald Trump’s various trade wars.

As The Dallas Morning News reports, the trade war will leave no part of Texas untouched. The Lone Star State has a greater number of exports hit by payback tariffs than any other state.

Valerie Brown-Kuchera

Recently, I began to notice that purveyors of print material and packaging designers have started using much smaller fonts than they used to.  This annoyed me, as any consumer study will clearly show that people don’t like to have to squint to make out instructions, recipes, and article content. 

One evening, as I was trying to read a major national newspaper, I made an offhand comment to Joel about this disturbing trend. 

Luke Clayton

As my fishing buddy Phil Zimmerman and I rounded the point and entered a small secluded cove on Iskwatikan Lake in northern Saskatchewan, Canada, we were both thinking BIG PIKE. Shallow shoreline water with standing vegetation dropping quickly into deeper water; this area had everything a big northern pike could want.

How High Plains States Could Be Impacted By China Tariffs

Jul 6, 2018
CC0 Creative Commons

The United States’ trade war with China could have long-lasting effects beyond the current growing season.

Today, China put tariffs on $34 billion worth of American imports in response to American tariffs imposed by the Trump administration.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce says Chinese, Canadian and Mexican tariffs will impact exports in High Plains states to varying degrees.

Creative Commons

With wildfires continuing to burn in Colorado, two laws are going into effect aimed at fighting and preventing them in the future. 

As The Denver Post reports, the penalties for leaving a campfire unattended or not fully extinguished in grasslands or a forest just became tougher under a new state law that went into effect Sunday. 

Under that law, violators will be hit with a Class 3 misdemeanor punishable by a maximum fine of $750, six months in jail or both.

Our Turn At This Earth: Soil Health Movement

Jul 5, 2018
USDA National Resource Conservation Services

I had read something about a Montana farmer who was using sweet clover as a cover crop in his wheat. The details are long lost to me. He may have been inter-seeding the clover with the wheat, or establishing it over a season or two, then turning it under before he planted his cash crop. Whatever his method, the clover, being a legume, fixed nitrogen in the soil.

CC0 Creative Commons

The number of earthquakes in Oklahoma of magnitude 4.0 or higher is up significantly for the year 2018. However, the overall frequency of quakes is still on the decline.

As The Tulsa World reports, through the end of June this year, the Sooner State saw almost 100 earthquakes of magnitude 3.0 or higher. But that’s down from almost 150 during the same period last year.

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