News

There's a little place in the Texas Panhandle that was just named one of the 17 Texas barbecue joints you need to try before you die- Mike's BBQ Haven in Amarillo.

Oklahoma Conservation Commission

We examine Jan Minton's ranch, the family operation she took over in Floyd Co., Texas. It had been "farmed to death," she said, and two playa lakes were in poor condition. Bill Johnson, a U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service biologist, developed a restoration plan that involved silt removal, playa repair, and a native grass and forbs plant buffer around the playas' margins.

Amber Waves of Change: Rural Newspapers (Part 3)

Apr 7, 2015
(Photo by David Guth) / Kansas Public Radio

The struggle to survive for small town local media is in direct correlation to the dwindling population.

In the third installment of the four part series on issues facing rural America, from Kansas Public Radio, Professor David Guth addresses the apparent, imminent demise of rural newspapers. As well as what challenges rural publishers are facing, where the decline of subscribers and advertisers is equal to a slow march towards demise.   

RJ Sangosti / Denver Post

Colorado requires oil and gas companies to restore all sites completely to reduce erosion, loosen compacted soil, prevent dust storms, and control invasions of noxious weeds.  But, the state doesn’t set a timetable for getting the job done reports the Denver Post.

The land around about half of the inactive wells has yet to be restored, and 72 percent of these sites have been in process for more than five years.

Unlike many other states, Colorado doesn’t require companies to submit a reclamation plan prior to drilling.

If you’re factoring in property tax rates when choosing where to live, Hawaii has the lowest real estate taxes in the United States according to a survey from WalletHub

The series continues with a look at the current drought conditions in the High Plains Public Radio listening region. In this installment, the question left dangling over our heads is, "Will the days of the Dust Bowl return?"

Luke Clayton

This week, Luke takes us on a hog hunt in the Pineywoods of East Texas at his friend Mark Balette's ranch. Mark owns B & C Outfitters (www.easttexasexotics.com) in Trinity County and hosts hunters from all over the country on hog and exotic hunts.

On this hunt their good friend Bryan Shrum and Gary travel down from Tennessee to enjoy a couple of carefree days hunting hogs and catching bass and enjoying some great fellowship together. As Luke says, outings like this are "good for the soul".

A Colorado Legislator is taking issue with the high school mascot in the southeastern community of Lamar. State Rep. Joe Salazar, D-Thornton, finds the name “Savages” repugnant reports the Denver Post. Salazar is co-sponsoring a bill that would require schools with American Indian names or mascots to get approval from a panel of tribal members or face steep fines. If the measure survives the Democratic-controlled House, GOP members say it won’t make it through the Republican-controlled Senate.

Water- without it life ceases to exist. In the first of a four-part series, Professor David Guth takes a look at the struggle to find balance between water conservation and an economy based on water and agriculture.

Amtrak’s New Mexico route to stay on track

Apr 3, 2015
Amarillo.com

Amtrak's existing New Mexico route of the Southwest Chief passenger train will stay on track. This announcement marks an end to the two year debate about the route and if maintenance and upgrade cost would cause it to change.  

Kansans rally for repeal of Brownback tax cuts

Apr 3, 2015
Kansas Health Institute

About 100 people rallied Wednesday within earshot of Republican Gov. Sam Brownback’s office to demand the repeal of income tax cuts they say are crippling the state according to the Kansas Health Institute, reported by Jim McLean 

Kansas Health Institute

From Kansas Health Institute; a conference committee agreed Wednesday to adopt a budget bill that cuts $378,000 from a grant program that supports safety net clinics throughout the state.

“We’re greatly disappointed,” said Denise Cyzman, executive director of the Kansas Association for the Medically Underserved, an organization that represents the 43 safety net clinics in Kansas.

Doctor Shopping

Apr 2, 2015
Oklahoma Governor's Office

Oklahoma now requires doctors to check a new prescription drug database before prescribing certain addictive drugs. This is based on a new bill passed by the Oklahoma senate on Tuesday. The bill was later signed by Governor Mary Fallin, as the first bill of this legislative session. 

Aspen Tree “Heart Attack”

Apr 2, 2015
Colorado Public Radio

Drought is the key contributor to Aspen tree death in Colorado, according Colorado Public Radio reporter Grace Hoodmar. “A Carnegie-led team of scientists looked more closely at the relationship. Key to the study is how the lack of water damages the vascular system in aspens, which transports water throughout the tree.”

OKC Survivor Tree

Apr 1, 2015
pinterest.com

Regular listeners to Growing on the High Plains may remember last September's story about the Survivor Tree that resides at the 9/11 World Trade Center site in New York City.  This week we'll visit the middle of the country to talk about another heroic tree that survived the bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995.  Twenty years ago the tree was thought of as another casualty of that brutal and outrageous act.  But today the American Elm stands tall and graceful, spreading its limbs to provide shade and comfort to all who visit the outdoor memorial.  Join us to learn of the history and to pay tribute to this botanical hero.

  We here at HPPR love having guests in our studios.  This morning Maxwell Hughes and Edison stopped by to talk about their show tonight in Amarillo, and to play a couple of tunes for us. They are slowly working their way back home to Colorado after SXSW; you can catch them tonight-4/1 at the 806 Coffeehouse at 2812 SW 6th Ave in Amarillo.  There is no cover charge and the show starts at 9pm.  Listen to the entire interview below.

A Democratic representative is under investigation for comments she made in a committee meeting. Representative Valdenia Winn is accused to using "inflammatory" language according to the complaint lodged by nine Republican lawmakers in the Kansas House.

Child poverty in Colorado

Apr 1, 2015
Colorado Public Radio / Colorado Public Radio

  Child poverty is a major concern in Colorado, officials are contending with the issue by addressing teen pregnancies, food stamp use, and much more. In a report published last month government leaders can see the wide variety of concerns and take measures to alleviate the problem.

Playa lakes are effective vectors for groundwater recharge and water filtration, but that assumes they're in a healthy state.

Water, soil and habitat specialists discuss the causes of sedimentation and talk about playa restoration.

Walkers trek to Topeka hoping to get lawmakers and voters to pay attention to public school funding. This is the third year people have walked from Kansas City to the Capitol. The group wants increased education funding, not the newly approved block grant funding.

Americans Divided on Fracking

Mar 31, 2015
Gallup

From recent data collected by a Gallup Poll, reporter Art Swift reveals that Americans are split fairly evenly on the issue of fracking for oil and natural gas.

According to Swift, "Fracking has helped contribute to a substantial increase in natural gas and oil production across the U.S., and now in other parts of the world, and is credited with helping lower its price for the average consumer."

Technology Boom in Colorado

Mar 31, 2015
Luke Runyon / Harvest Public Media/KUNC

Colorado is leading the nation with innovation, in recent years Boulder and Denver have become as home to tech startup companies in an unlikely industry. Agriculture is where the money’s at in Colorado these days; growers are patenting new technology in irrigation, food science and plant genetics according to a report from NPR correspondent Luke Runyoon.

Big Texas

Mar 30, 2015
KUT.org / KUT.org

It would appear that the old adage "Everything is bigger in Texas" can now be applied to the Lone Star State itself. From NPR affiliate KUT of Austin Texas, Reporter Laura Rice, "Texas has gotten used to topping lists about booming business and population growth."

Data collected from the 2013-14 census indicates rapid growth across the state. "In a lot of cases, Texas leads a lot of the growth area statistics primarily because Texas itself is very, very large." U.S. Census Bureau Population Estimates Branch Chief Ben Bolender.

Eggs and Antlers

Mar 29, 2015

I hated leaving childhood and the annual Easter morning search for hidden goodies behind. Until I discovered shed hunting, the adult equivalent of a child’s egg hunt, I didn’t know grown-ups could still experience the thrill of finding well-hidden treasure, in this case antlers camouflaged by tall grass.  My husband introduced me to this spring ritual soon after we met. Discovering that first drop thrilled me the same way finding Easter prizes brightened my early years.

Eddie Sparks

Most readers of this column are within a few hours drive of Lake Texoma and some of the very best striper fishing in the state, probably in the southwest. Stripers are currently the heaviest they will be all year. They are voraciously feeding on shad, putting on weight for their annul spawning runs up the Red and Washita Rivers.

Farmers and ranchers have had a little more than a year to adjust to the Affordable Care Act. Some chafe against the requirement to buy health insurance, but others are starting to appreciate parts of the new law.

The Kansas House has given first-round approval to a bill that would allow most Kansans over age 21 to carry a concealed gun without a permit. Current law requires training and a background check before a person can carry concealed. The Senate concurred to the House amendments on this bill. That means it's now headed to the governor for consideration.

In a somewhat surprising move, the chairman of the state House Public Education committee says lawmakers will try to tackle the state’s school finance system this legislative session. That’s even while they await a ruling from the state Supreme Court on whether the finance system is constitutional.

A panel of House lawmakers discussed a proposal to change how marriage licenses are issued in Texas, giving that power to one appointed official.

Boat launch fees and permits waived at Lake Meredith

Mar 26, 2015
Michael Schumacher / Amarillo Globe News

In a story from Amarillo Globe News reporter Kevin Welch, fees and permits for Lake Meredith are to be waived for the next three years as of April 1st 2015.

According to a news release from the National Park Service; the fees, which were established decades ago for maintenance costs, are no longer necessary due to upgrades and decreased visitation due to drought conditions.

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