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For the first time ever in Texas, charter schools will begin receiving state funding for leasing and maintain their properties and facilities, reports The Texas Tribune.

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As a teacher, I encourage students to incorporate sensory detail into their narratives and essays. If Mother Nature were in my classroom this fall, I’d have to give her an A+ for her efforts. She’s hammered one detail after another into golden perfection from the sights, scents, to sounds of autumn.

Luke Clayton

With big game hunting so popular these days, many youngsters are missing the sport and excellent eating provided by small game hunting. Back a few decades ago, before deer numbers rebounded thanks to restocking programs, hunting rabbits and squirrel was much more popular. 

With small numbers extremely high these days, why not spend some time and harvest some of the best tasting game meat imaginable? Rabbit or squirrel, first fried and then baked with gravy and rice is the stuff great meals are made of.

Radio Readers BookByte: Harper Breakfast -- or Not

Oct 6, 2017
Jason Harper / Hays, Kansas

Hello. This is Jason Harper in Hays, Kansas. Earlier this morning I was looking at the clock, waiting to take a work break, when I remembered something that happened a couple of years ago: "The Breakfast Bomb."

Last time we talked I mentioned how my wife May has said that before she met me, she was living alone in a bleak, dark, drafty apartment, working long hours at a law firm, and only ate ramen noodles every day because she was too busy with work to learn how to cook on her own.

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The uptick in seismic activity in Oklahoma is featured in an Oct. 2  National Geographic article that takes a look at the increase in earthquakes induced by such human activities as fracking.

According to the article, a recent study published in the journal Seismological Research Letters identified 730 sites where human activity caused earthquakes over the past 150 years.

Michael Stravato for The Texas Tribune

The Texas Water Development Board is crafting the state's first-ever flood plan, which will take a comprehensive look at flooding vulnerabilities across the state and the projects that might mitigate them.

The Texas Tribune reports: 

For 60 years, the Texas Water Development Board has been the keeper of a master list of projects that are supposed to meet the state's water needs for the next half century. But the latest list the agency is compiling is not about supplying water — it's about managing it.

'Tis The Season To Watch For Deer On Kansas Roadways

Oct 5, 2017
Flickr

It’s the time of year when deer/car collisions increase in Kansas and the Kansas Highway Patrol is offering drivers a few tips to keep in mind when encountering deer on the roadways.

As The Hays Post reports, almost half of the car/deer crashes in Kansas occur in October, November and December.

The Kansas Highway Patrol offers the following tips to avoid crashing with a deer.

While our lush, summertime greens fall into Fall, the High Plains often fades to wheaty yellows and golden browns. However, there are ways to keep rich, warm colors popping in your garden as the season's crisp chill creeps across the flatlands. 

On today's Growing on the High Plains, we'll reveal a showy shrub often called the "burning bush." It's easy to maintain in our region and serves a splash of color, from flamboyant fuchsia and ravishing red.  

Radio Readers BookByte: Edible Stories

Oct 5, 2017

Hello Radio Readers!  Now that we’ve explored the food described by Federal Writers’ Project authors in The Food of a Younger Land, and mulled over Joanne Harris’s novel of food, family, and a community caught up in the complexities of wartime occupation, Five Quarters of the Orange, it’s time to move on to the third book in our Food and Story series, Edible Stories: A Novel in Sixteen Parts

Mark Kurlansky, a noted food author with best selling books on salt, cod, and oysters, throws us a real curve with Edible Stories.  His mining of the Federal Writers’ Project depression era essays in our series opener, Food of a Younger Land, did not prepare this reader for the wacky, disjointed-but-not-disjointed series of stories he creates in Edible Stories: A Novel in Sixteen Parts.  I found these fictitious short stories (or are they chapters?) both delightful and baffling.  Kurlansky presents us with a parade of characters who are odd, to say the least.  He organizes this book with a motif of, yes, food, but in a most unexpected way.  Each of the sixteen stories bears the title of a specific food: “Muffins,” “Hot Pot,” “Orangina,” “The Icing on the Cake.”  The exception is the last story, titled “Margaret.” 

Pixabay / Creative Commons

A new report shows that big tax breaks may be causing significant harm to Oklahoma’s economy, reports KFOR. The study by a consulting group in Philadelphia reveals that one specific tax deduction alone has caused the state to lose close to half a billion dollars.

Oklahoma’s capital gains tax deduction has slashed tax revenue by hundreds of millions of dollars, while only creating an estimated $9 million in additional tax revenue.

Triffis / Wikimedia Commons

In recent years, trampoline parks have become a big favorite of kids. In fact, according to KHOU, trampoline parks have grown into a $300 million industry.

But in Texas, trampoline parks remain unregulated, and that could mean danger for your kids. Texas trampoline parks face no state-enacted safety requirements, no state inspections. And there are no penalties for setting up cheap or dangerous equipment.

Amarillo.gov

In her State of the City address this week, newly elected Amarillo Mayor Ginger Nelson praised the proactive spirit of the Yellow City.

“‘Get it done’ is part of the fabric of Amarillo,” Nelson said.

Radio Readers BookByte: Larger than Life

Oct 4, 2017
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Hi, Radio Readers – I’m Melany Wilks talking to you from my home in Colby, KS.

The book, “Five Quarters of Orange,” by Joanne Harris brought many different emotions and thoughts to me as I read it.  As the author talked about Les Laveuses being in a small town in France, she led us to understand that the Dartigen family and community may not have suffered such oppression as those in a city.  She shares the crop failures and natural disasters that came along with the invasion of an occupying force.  These events worked together to create circumstances that encourage Boise, Cassis and Reinette to deal with the enemy soldiers.  The book shares intrigue and caring between the three youth and a particular soldier.  It is a circumstance that will keep you reading!

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The United States Congress has failed to renew the Children's Health Insurance Program, better known as the CHIP program.

As The Texas Tribune reports, the failure to reauthorize the program means that 390,000 Texas children and pregnant women will now lose their health coverage unless action is taken to fix the issue. Nationwide, nine million children and pregnant women rely on the CHIP program to access affordable healthcare.

Augustas Didžgalvis / Wikimedia Commons

In the past, many Texans neglected to buy a gun because the licensing fee was too hefty. It appears that will no longer be the case, as the Texas Tribune reports. On Sept. 1., a new law went into effect, lowering the cost to get a handgun license in Texas by $100.

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Texas Sen. Ted Cruz says he, too, is frustrated with the inaction of the Republican Party in Washington, reports The Texas Tribune.

Senator Cruz spoke to two separate groups of Tea Party supporters this weekend, saying, “As frustrated as y’all are, I’m sitting there everyday!”

Cruz noted that the GOP has an historic opportunity, given that the party controls both houses of Congress, the White House and the Supreme Court.

www.oksenate.gov / Wikimedia Commons

One of the candidates for Governor of Oklahoma next year has some fresh ideas on how the state might address its massive budget shortfall, reports The Duncan Banner.

Last week at a Meet the Oklahoma Governor Candidate forum, Connie Johnson declared her support for the legalization of medical marijuana in the Sooner State.“

It’s a plant that God created,” she said. 

NOAA/CIR / Wikimedia Commons

High Plains energy workers are doing their part to support the largest power restoration effort in the history of the United States.

As The Amarillo Globe-News reports, 36 Xcel employees from Amarillo spent a week in Florida, helping thousands of families and businesses recover power in the wake of Hurricane Irma. The energy workers arrived in the state just after the hurricane had moved northward into Georgia. When the workers arrived, there were seven million people without power in the Sunshine State.

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The Colorado Legislature begins its special session this week – something Gov. John Hickenlooper said Republican lawmakers had turned into a “political circus.”

Courtesy / Carroll Strategies

The six-week New Mexico Chinese Lantern Festival is coming to Expo New Mexico in Albuquerque, N.M., on Oct. 6 bringing with it hundreds of larger-than-life, fully-illuminated, lanterns, as well as Chinese cultural performances and special handicrafts.

For nearly 2,000 years, the Chinese New Year has been celebrated with lanterns and lantern festivals are quickly becoming popular across the country. Similar displays attract thousands in New Orleans, Philadelphia, Columbus, Norfolk, Spokane and more.

Radio Readers BookByte: Something to Chew On

Oct 1, 2017
Jason Harper/Hays Kansas

Hello, Radio Readers – I’m  Jason Harper, food and fiction connoisseur (as well as a solely self-proclaimed chef and author) coming to you from Hays, Kansas. I’ll be talking about High Plains Public Radio Reader's Fall 2017 theme – Food and Story, delivering the final segment of my four-part Book Byte about Five Quarters of the Orange, a novel by Joanne Harris.

Creative Commons

In Texas, when community college students are required to take remedial classes to get up to speed, those students often don’t make it far.

Now, as The Texas Tribune reports, the state is initiating a major overhaul of the community college remedial education system. The hope is that the new system will improve the odds of graduating for students who struggle in the beginning. The current statistics are dire. Only 15 percent of students who take a remedial math course end up passing a single college-level math class. 

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Oklahoma lawmakers are blaming President Donald Trump’s White House for rising healthcare premiums in the Sooner State.

As The Hill reports, officials are charging the administration with missing a deadline to approve a key waiver for the state under the Affordable Care Act.

Public Domain

President Donald Trump has appointed two Texans to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The Fifth Circuit is a federal court with jurisdiction over district courts in Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi.

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Last week marked the first week of Oklahoma’s special legislative session, which was convened by Governor Mary Fallin to allow lawmakers to deal with business left unfinished during the regular session.

Public Domain

A White House nominee to sit on the bench of the Texas Federal Court in the Eastern District is drawing fire for controversial comments.

Luke Clayton

Deer are in pre-rut and their feeding habits right now are pretty dependable. When the whitetail breeding season (rut) begins, the bucks will be on the move and more difficult to pattern. Find a good oak grove with acorns or a trail leading into or out of an agricultural field and you are well on your way to arrowing an early season whitetail.

Luke also gives some tips on how he sets up the sight pin on his hunting bows.

CCO Creative Commons

Despite the hot temperatures that scorched yards and fields up until a few days ago, autumn is in the air. One reason for that involves behaviors of birds and insects. 

Pintrest

This is George Laughead of Lawrence and Dodge City.  I grew up in Dodge, as did my father and my grandfather, who was on the first city commission.   My cookbook recommendation comes with a personal note.  I have a recipe in The New Kansas Cookbook: Rural Roots, Modern Table by Frank and Jayni Carey with beautiful illustrations by Louis Copt and published by the University of Kansas Press.  I’ll come back to that cookbook in a minute and explain why I have a Moroccan style recipe in it.

Food had always had a big effect in Dodge.  A lot of people had to be fed because of the Santa Fe Depot and all the buses that went through in the 1950s and 1960s.  There were probably 20 trains a day.  There was a lot of hotel space in downtown Dodge City.  It doesn’t have that now.  There were hundreds and hundreds of rooms.  The Harvey House set a standard and the women’s church groups were always a feature at each community holiday or event. There were thousands of travelers, so there were many restaurants, cafes, bars and grills. 

Radio Readers BookByte: Harper Breakfast -- or Not

Sep 29, 2017
Jason Harper / Hays, Kansas

Hello. This is Jason Harper in Hays, Kansas. Earlier this morning I was looking at the clock, waiting to take a work break, when I remembered something that happened a couple of years ago: "The Breakfast Bomb."

Last time we talked I mentioned how my wife May has said that before she met me, she was living alone in a bleak, dark, drafty apartment, working long hours at a law firm, and only ate ramen noodles every day because she was too busy with work to learn how to cook on her own.

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