News

RedOrbit.com

When you think of dinosaurs you probably don’t think of the jitterbug. But a new study claims that the ancient creatures were, in fact, known to cut a rug. According to redorbit.com, dinosaurs danced to impress potential mates and as a way of scaring off enemies.

Nigel / Flickr Creative Commons

When America adopted the bald eagle as the national symbol in 1782, there may have been 100,000 nesting eagles. But the eagle population declined, in part due to pesticides. By 1963, with only 487 nesting pairs remaining, our national symbol was near extinction.

M. Spencer Green / AP photo

A Kansas senate panel has put forth a bill that would make it illegal for banks and other businesses to discriminate against gun dealers. But the law is drawing criticism, reports The Wichita Eagle. Critics are upset that the Kansas legislature would propose a bill to protect discrimination of gun dealers, when officials will not amend the bill to protect other groups that are frequently discriminated against.

Prowers Journal

Colorado’s unemployment rate decreased one-tenth of a percentage point in December to 3.5 percent, reports The Prowers Journal. During the same period, the national unemployment rate remained unchanged from at 5.0 percent. Two southeast Colorado counties—Baca and Kiowa—had the lowest posted unemployment percentages in the state. Otero County had an exceptionally high rate, at 6.7 percent.

“I was a little troublemaker growing up. I was raised right but I always had the urge to rebel, especially against the rules. Because of that I was always getting in trouble at school” - Elijah Lagafuaina. Elijah always had a passion and talent for football. He saw it as an outlet.

“The mentality and behavior of drug addicts and alcoholics is wholly irrational until you understand that they are completely powerless over their addiction and unless they have structured help, they have no hope.” ― Russell Brand.

Mario Anzuoni / Reuters

Three weeks ago the federal government took 121 people into custody. The raid was part of a multi-state roundup of Central American families, reports The Guardian. Now seven of those detainees, who are being held in a Texas facility, have written a letter to Barack Obama. In the open letter, the immigrants plead for mercy and freedom for their families.

KFDA

The Texas A&M University system dispatched representatives to Canyon, Texas, last week to announce their support for a new veterinary school. A&M plans to open a branch of their vet school on the campus of West Texas A&M, reports KFDA.

Sue Ogrocki / AP photo

Oklahoma state officials set out a couple of years ago to find which buildings in the state were most vulnerable to earthquakes. Today, lawmakers are no closer to knowing which structures would be most likely to collapse, reports NewsOK. That’s because the team of experts the state hired never performed the work requested of them. The team balked out of fears they might be held liable should their predictions prove wrong.

American Life League / Flickr Creative Commons

Houston found itself at the center of a political firestorm this week, when a grand jury investigating wrongdoing against Planned Parenthood instead indicted two abortion opponents.

Plainsong is a GOOD book

Jan 31, 2016
Kathleen Holt

I hope you are enjoying our discussion of Kent Haruf’s Plainsong. I am, by profession, a teacher of English, but with a few publications in print, I like to think of myself as a creative writer. I enjoy studying novels and poetry for craftsmanship.

So.  When I read a book, especially a GOOD book, one that really touches me, resonates with me, as Plainsong does, deeply, I like to learn something about the author’s writing process, the way that he or she sets about to write.  In an interview for The Wall Street Journal, Haruf  noted that he would first read a passage from a favorite author – Chekhov, Faulkner, or Hemingway—so as to remind himself  “what a sentence can be.”  While Haruf’s admiration of these earlier modernist writers is worthy of further exploration, what’s more important to us is to appreciate what it tells us to expect about his style – it’s spare—relatively free of detail and description;  unadorned—plain, common words; yet, indirect, asking us to infer meaning.

Bonsai Basics

Jan 30, 2016
wikipedia.org

The unexpected arrival of a beautiful bonsai gift caused me to look back to a previous program on the background and basics of this ancient garden art form.     

cope-preparedness.org

Elvis wasn’t the only the person to note a whole lotta shakin’ goin’ on. Lately, it appears that even more of it is taking place. Kansas residents have experienced plenty of recent unexpected movement as the earth repeatedly shifts under feet and houses. This messes with people’s equilibria and generates questions.

Luke Clayton

 Howdy Folks!

In this weeks version of High Plains Outdoors, Luke takes us to Lake Fork to fish for white bass with his friend guide Seth Vanover www.lakeforkcatandcrappie.com. Seth is usually fishing the Sabine River this time of year for spawning white bass but the river is currently almost out of it's banks which making fishing tough.

The whites at Lake Fork are in pre spawn mode and biting like crazy. Seth and Luke will show you what to look for on your graph when targeting winter "whites" and, how to catch them.

 White bass are in pre spawn and holding tight to bottom now. A small Rat L Trap or slab worked very slowly within inches of bottom is the ticket to some fast paces action.   

Let's talk about the High Plains sense of place

Jan 29, 2016
Kathleen Holt

This is my first on-air, on-line book club, and I’m looking forward to exploring Kent Haruf’s Plainsong with you.  I currently serve as Division Chair of Humanities and English professor at Dodge City Community College where I teach, but the book club is my meeting you as a fellow reader.   

Admittedly, I am somewhat of a newbie to the High Plains having lived her for just over a decade, but in that time, I’ve driven to numerous small community for  Kansas Humanities sponsored book discussions or to vacation in a favorite small Colorado town very much like Haruf’s Holt. Traveling has given me a deep appreciation for the vastness of the High Plains as wel as its beauty – the muted palette, the skies – cloudy or clear--the panorama and for its temperamental weather.  More importantly, I’ve learned to ask, not “how many miles is that,” but “how many hours is that.”

David Zalubowski / AP photo

The number of eligible Latino voters will hit a record high this year.

Holly Schwarting / Kansas Agland

From Kansas Agland:

Many people assume nothing is going on with the alfalfa weevil during the winter months, or maybe that any eggs present will die during cold weather. That is not the case. Alfalfa weevils are cool-weather insects. Adults lay eggs in alfalfa fields in the fall or even the winter. Most of these eggs survive the winter, and continue to develop at temperatures above 48ºF.

Sean Steffen / amarillo.com

The number of qualified applicants at the Amarillo Police Department is dwindling each year, reports Amarillo.com. Changing societal attitudes toward marijuana and public furor over police-involved shootings are making it harder for APD to attract younger officers.

James M. Dobson / Garden City Telegram

Cremations are on the rise in southwest Kansas, reports the Garden City Telegram. In fact, some funeral home directors expect cremation may become the norm rather than the exception over the next 10 years.

Wikipedia / Creative Commons

Wind power is now cheaper than dirtier, conventional power.” The implication is that wind energy is now cheaper than coal and gas power nationwide. But that’s not exactly right, reports The Rural Blog. In most of the nation, traditional power sources are still cheaper, if only slightly.

Brett Deering / New York Times

An intrepid team of insurance counselors is stepping up efforts to enroll Oklahomans in medical coverage. They’re doing all they can before the Affordable Care Act’s open enrollment period ends on Sunday. But, as The New York Times reports, the group is facing massive resistance. Oklahoma is one of the most hostile states to the health law.

amarillo.com

The Department of Energy recently approved plans to ramp up production of plutonium “pits” at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. Pits are the cores that trigger nuclear weapons. The increase could lead to more warhead refurbishment work at the Pantex Plant northeast of Amarillo, reports Amarillo.com.

Texas Tribune

There’s a new law in Texas that makes it a felony to harbor undocumented immigrants, reports The Texas Tribune. In response to the legislation, a national civil rights group is suing the state.

KHI news service

From the Kansas Health Institute

A new computer system for enrolling Kansans in Medicaid and other public assistance programs will generate far less than the expected $300 million in savings, a Legislative Post Audit report found.

fivethirtyeight.com / American Museum of Natural History, Ken Carpenter

The Museum of Natural History in New York revealed its latest exhibit this month, reports fivethirtyeight.com. The exhibit features the gargantuan skeleton of a plant-eating sauropod. Many paleontologists think this is the largest dinosaur ever discovered. The dinosaur doesn’t even have a proper scientific name yet. It’s being called Titanosaur in the meantime. The skeleton is 122 feet long and 19 feet high, so big that its head pokes out into the museum’s elevator bay.

Wikimedia Commons

Another year brings another attempt to get evolution out of the classroom in Oklahoma, reports Slate’s education blog. State Sen. Josh Brecheen has been working tirelessly to promote creationism. Every year since his election in 2010, Brecheen has authored legislation aimed at skirting nearly three decades of court decisions that prohibit teaching creationism in public schools.

NewsOK

Oklahoma’s mental health system is fractured and underfunded. The system is “suffocating,” according to a new in-depth NewsOK report. Oklahoma has never made a sustained, significant investment in its mental health system. To quote the NewsOK story, “The majority of low-income, uninsured Oklahomans with mental illnesses and substance abuse disorders who need help do not get it.”

Topeka Capital-Journal

A Kansas state senator’s dress code for women who appear before senate committees has gotten him into hot water, reports WPEC. The senator’s rules prohibit women testifying on bills from wearing low-cut necklines and miniskirts. Sen. Mitch Holmes is a 53-year-old Republican from St. John. He is chairman of the Kansas Senate Ethics and Elections Committee. His 11-point code of conduct does not include any restrictions on men.

Creative Commons

From the Kansas Health Institute:

Agency says social work vacancies haven’t compromised safety.

Nearly one-quarter of social workers with the Kansas Department for Children and Families left the job in a yearlong period ending Dec. 1, 2015, and job vacancies increased by more than two-thirds at the same time.

Pages