Kevin Lamarque / Reuters

Federal officials expect over one million more people to sign up for Obamacare in 2017, according to the U.S. Health and Human Services Department. The feds estimate that almost 14 million people will sign up for coverage. That’s compared with fewer than 13 million this year.

As The Rural Blog notes, the agency estimated that “average monthly enrollment in 2017 is estimated at 11.4 million people, up from 10.5 million people in 2016.”

Public Domain

Kansas’s unemployment rate has risen for the fourth consecutive month, reports The Lawrence Journal-World.

The jobless rate in the Sunflower State rose to 4.4 percent in September as the state lost an estimated 2,100 private-sector jobs.

A Texas Panhandle teacher who gained attention as the 2015 National Teacher of the Year has joined the chorus of those calling for a rejection of Donald Trump’s candidacy for president, reports The Amarillo Globe-News. Shanna Peeples, a former teacher at Palo Duro High School in Amarillo, signed a letter along with many other teachers, including fellow “Teachers of the Year” from states like New York, Arkansas, Georgia, Utah, and North Carolina. The letter reads, in part:

This month, nearly 21,000 students in Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, North Dakota, South Dakota and Iowa celebrated National Farm-to School-Month by crunching into locally grown apples at school, reports The Center for Rural Affairs.

The event was part of an effort to draw attention to Farm-to-School programs, in which school cafeterias serve food to students that is sourced from regional farms and ranches.

This week's edition of Growing on the High Plains features a regional bird of paradise that's both easy to maintain and brilliant when in bloom: the bromeliad. With minor maintenance, this sturdy plant will continue to grow, gracing your garden with its glory. So it's a lot like public radio! Please help HPPR continue to "pretty up" your days on the High Plains. Donate today during our Fall Membership Drive.  

Peter Hancock / Lawrence Journal-World

A gathering of prominent political voices said this week that they believe moderate Republicans and Democrats may win a majority of seats in the Kansas Legislature next month, reports The Lawrence Journal World.

The Coloradoan

There’s a stereotype that every Coloradoan drives a Subaru. And judging by AAA Colorado's list of the state's 10 best-selling cars, the cliché isn’t far from the truth.

Five of the top ten selling care in Colorado are Subarus, with the Outback and Forester taking the Nos. 1 and 2 spots, respectively. As The Coloradoan reports, residents of the Centennial State like all-wheel drive Subarus for recreating and navigating snow.

Cori Duke / KJRH

A prominent Oklahoma geologist says, when it comes to earthquakes, the trouble could come from unknown quarters. Specifically, the director of the Oklahoma Geological Survey is worried about what scientists don’t understand about geology.

Oliver Contreras / Zuma Press

Despite the U.S. Supreme Court’s gay marriage ruling last year, Texas Republicans are not yet ready to give up the fight, reports The Austin American-Statesman.

Justin Haag / NebraskaLAND Magazine

The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission is seeking the perpetrators of the unlawful killing of big game animals in western and north-central Nebraska, reports The Lincoln Journal-Star.

Keith Bishop / Rural Blog

Representatives for the Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump campaigns recently clashed at a forum on agriculture and food issues, The Rural Blog reports.

Clinton was represented by Kathleen Merrigan, a former depuity agriculture secretary, while Trump was represented by Sam Clovis, a professor of economics at Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa.

The ironically named Liberal, Kansas, couldn’t be much more conservative, The Daily Beast noted this week.

Joe Shlabotnik / Flickr Creative Commons

Despite tightening polls in the Lone Star State and Donald Trump’s repeated complaints that the election, Texas elections officials will not be increasing voter security throughout the state,


Oklahoma’s ballot initiatives can be confusing to those who haven’t studied them. To help voters understand the measures, KTUL has published a guide. Here are some highlights:

SQ 776: Oklahoma Death Penalty

Voting yes supports protecting the death penalty in the state constitution.

Voting no opposes amending the Oklahoma constitution to protect the death penalty.

SQ 777: Oklahoma Right-to-Farm Amendment

The Denver Post

If a new Colorado amendment passes, taxes on a pack of cigarettes could go from 84 cents a pack to $2.59 a pack, reports The Denver Post.

Big tobacco is making a big push to ensure that voters reject the measure next month. Tobacco companies have pumped millions into advertising and other get-out-the-vote efforts. Altria, the parent company of tobacco giant Philip Morris, has contributed over $16 million toward defeating Amendment 72.

Don't miss a phenomenal DOUBLE CONCERT for guitar lovers across the High Plains! Two GUITAR MASTERS perform at HPPR Studios in Garden City, KS on Friday, November 4th at 7pm. 

Hiroya Tsukamoto and

Adam Gardino, with special guest Kelly Champlin.

Click here to RSVP online or call 806.367.9088.

Rural Blog

Oklahoma is among the top ten in states with the most per capita gun violence, according to a new study by the Center for American Progress.

James M. Dobson / Garden City Telegram

“Garden City is small and peaceful,” Halima Farah, 26, told USA TODAY this week. “I love living here. I didn't think something like that could happen here.”

Farah lives in the apartment complex that was targeted for a mass bombing this weekend by a violent white-nationalist militia group. The men had evidently hoped to spur similar such acts of violence across the nation. But their foiled plan is having the opposite effect.

Jason Wilson / The Guardian

The alleged bomb plot by militia members in Garden City, Kansas, timed for the day after the election, is a sign of a deepening trend across the United States.

Shefali Luthra / Kaiser Health News

If you’re a low-income Texas woman, the state might now pay for you to have an IUD put in, reports The Texas Tribune.

A new book takes readers on a fascinating journey into the heart of the Texas Panhandle. In Walking the Llano: A Texas Memoir of Place, Shelley Armitage invites readers to consider the unique character and geology of the Staked Plains. The book is a treasure of photographs, anecdotes, musings, philosophical wanderings, memories, and historical facts, all told through Armitage’s engaging and heartfelt prose.

Andrew Harnik / AP photo

Hillary Clinton’s campaign is expanding its efforts to traditionally Republican states, including Arizona and Georgia—and now add the Lone Star State to the list.

As The Houston Chronicle reports, Clinton’s campaign has purchased a one-week ad buy in Texas, citing tightening poll numbers and an endorsement by The Dallas Morning News. The ad highlights the editorial by the Dallas newspaper, and will run in the state’s urban centers.


Sometimes it can be hard to know how your elected officials are voting on important issues. Now, a new tool has been created to clear up the confusion in Oklahoma.

Trey Ratcliff / Creative Commons

A coyote killing contest in western Kansas has settled a lawsuit with the Animal Legal Defense Fund, reports The Topeka Capital-Journal.

The settlement ends a legal threat that had labeled the contest “cruel and inhumane.” The Smoky Hill Calling Contest was held in WaKeeney, Kansas, in January. At the event, the hunter who killed the most coyotes was awarded $500.

Bryan Bihorel

On Sunday afternoon, a group of citizens in Garden City, KS gathered at the apartment complex that was at the center of a thwarted terrorist plot by three members of a Kansas militia group to attack Muslim immigrants and refugees.

The Denver Channel

’Tis the season for ghouls and things that go bump in the night. In honor of the spookiest month, The Denver Channel has posted a list of five public haunted sites in Colorado.

Hutchinson News

The severity and frequency of earthquakes in Colorado appears to be lessening, reports The Hutchinson News.

In the past three weeks, there has been just one quake of magnitude 2.0 or greater in the Sunflower State. Only one resident in the state felt that earthquake, which was centered underneath Anthony’s Forest Park Cemetery.

As the deadline to register to vote in Oklahoma rapidly approaches, Republican numbers appear to be surging.

Austin American-Statesman

Trump’s lead in Texas has shrunk to within the margin of error, The Austin American-Statesman reports.

Rural Blog

More than 80 percent of rural counties without a city of 10,000 or more people—lack psychiatrists, according to a new study.

These counties are called “non-core counties,” and they are in dire need of mental health care. Non-core counties average less than four psychiatrists for every 100,000 people. Compare that with more 17 psychiatrists per 100,000 in metropolitan areas.