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Children seem to experience a singular wonder when you put them in a garden -- something beyond the splendor of the grass, the blush of a plump pear, and the inviting smells and creatures. They also tend to tune in to what that garden says about its curator.

Today we'll take a walk through my garden, but please enter with a child's honest curiosity. As you survey the bean vines flanked with flowers, perhaps you'll see an unlikely shelter. I know I did. 

Sean Steffen / Amarillo Globe-News

This past weekend, young filmmakers in Amarillo participated in a harrowing competition. The effort was part of a nationwide contest called the 48-Hour Film Project. Actors, producers, directors and photographers from Amarillo raced around town, bringing their stories to life.

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A recent complaint filed with the NAACP alleges that Kansas community colleges discriminate against minority students, reports The Lawrence Journal-World.

Colleges in the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference still use a recruitment rule that was adopted during the segregation era. The rule limits community colleges to 20 out-of-state players on their football teams and eight on their basketball rosters.

Copper Neill / Texas Tribune

A familiar name could unseat Ted Cruz in the Texas Senator’s 2018 re-election bid, reports The Texas Tribune.

According to a new poll, former Governor Rick Perry would beat Cruz by nine percentage points in a head-to-head matchup for the U.S. senate seat. If the election were held today, Perry would get 46 percent of the vote and Cruz 37 percent. Eighteen percent said they were unsure who they would support.

AP photo

Colorado's job market contracted slightly in July, reports The Colorado Springs Gazette. As a result, the state’s unemployment rate inched up to 3.8 percent.

Their Stories Are Ours

Aug 24, 2016
Unknown

If you like watching Andy Griffith reruns, you might enjoy living in a small town in the listening area of High Plains Public Radio. Those of us who call these little burgs home enjoy a quality of life that is generally slow-paced, friendly, and satisfying on many levels. Life wasn’t always so idyllic.

KOCO

Oklahoma is struggling with a drastic teacher shortage, reports KOCO.

According to a recent survey Oklahoma districts have eliminated over 1,500 teaching positions since last school year. The state has also gotten rid of almost 1,400 school support positions. This amounts to a total of almost 3,000 education jobs lost in Oklahoma this year.

Last year, as a result of state budget cuts, Oklahoma school districts eliminated more than 2,000 positions.

fischerfotos / Flickr Creative Commons

The Oklahoma Supreme Court has rejected a change to a criminal justice reform question on the November ballot, reports The Tulsa World. The controversy has to do with the explanation of a law change voters will see on the ballot in November.

Alex Brandon / AP photo

Later this month, Jill Stein will make a campaign swing through Colorado, reports The Denver Post. Stein is the presidential candidate for the Green Party. Colorado overwhelmingly voted for Vermont senator Bernie Sanders at the 2016 caucuses. Stein hopes to appeal to Sanders’s former supporters.

Huffington Post

Yesterday HPPR reported on how pregnancy-related deaths in Texas doubled in the year after the state cut funding to women’s health programs. Now, as the Huffington Post reports, Texas is just an extreme snapshot of the United States’ bigger maternal mortality problem.

Center for Rural Affairs

Tyler Vacha grew up on a farm in Nebraska, and he learned a lot of valuable lessons there. In a recent essay for the Center for Rural Affairs, Tyler wondered if the important lessons he picked up would be foreign to children of the twenty-first century.

Tyler wrote that he’s recently become aware that he’d taken his experiences on the farm for granted. How, he wondered, will he teach his kids to be responsible without asking them to feed and water livestock?

Jonathan Baker

I’m Jonathan Baker, a writer in Canyon, Texas, and I’ve been asked to talk about Willa Cather’s My Antonia.

I have an addiction. I take photos constantly with my phone. Sometimes in West Texas, during a particularly epic sunset, I’ll instinctively start driving west, away from town, out where there are no buildings. Where the good views are.

Later, when I go back and look at my images, I often find I have no nostalgia for the day I snapped the photo of a particular sky. Because I was looking at my phone the whole time.

Brennan Linsley / AP photo

Colorado’s upcoming single-payer health care vote in November is dividing Democrats in the state, reports The Gazette. Amendment 69 would create universal health care in Colorado, essentially eliminating all premiums and deductibles and replacing them with a taxpayer supported system.

Illusive Photography / Flickr Creative Commons

Five years ago Texas slashed funding for Planned Parenthood and women’s health programs. That same year, a new study shows, the state experienced a sudden and dramatic spike in pregnancy-related deaths.

Hewlett Packard Enterprises

Kansas has signed a deal to upgrade the Medicaid computer system that tracks patient claims and payments to providers.

As member station KCUR reports, Hewlett Packard Enterprises has entered into a $215 million contract with the state to provide the system.

AP photo

While the U.S. at large gained workers at a healthy pace last month, unemployment in Kansas is on the rise again. Kansas shed 5,600 jobs last month, sending the unemployment rate up to 4.1 percent in July. That’s up from its level of 3.8 percent in June.

Wallethub

The U.S. is unrivaled worldwide in power and prosperity. Despite this fact, the U.S. has the ninth highest rate of child poverty among economically developed nations.

Nearly one in five American children live in poverty. The personal finance website Wallethub recently determined which states are the best and worst for underprivileged children.

Library of Congress

The Great Plains is its own eco-niche with distinctive plants, mammals, birds, weather, and history that constantly evolve. Its human population is as dynamic as these other unique factors. Those of us whose families have lived here for generations understand the world Willa Cather describes in My Antonia. Our families lived her stories. When we read them, we wonder how we got where we are today.

Ilana Panich-Linsman / New York Times

Last month a federal appeals court ruled that Texas’s controversial Voter ID law discriminates against black and Hispanic voters. Now, reports The Dallas Morning News, the Lone Star State is appealing the decision with the U.S. Supreme Court.

Tom Fox / Dallas Morning News

Oklahoma’s teachers are increasingly deciding to make the move to Texas, reports The Dallas Morning-News.

The teachers are being drawn away by better pay and a more appealing retirement system. For teachers from the two states, the differences are stark. Starting pay in most Oklahoma districts is just over $30,000. In several Dallas-area districts, the pay starts at over $50,000.

Gage Skidmore / Flickr Creative Commons

With 80 days until the US presidential election, Donald Trump has begun building his field operation in Kansas, reports The Lawrence Journal-World.

The Republican presidential candidate has hired a full-time state coordinator and opened an office in Wichita to coordinate his efforts in the Sunflower State. The operation is known as “Trump Team Kansas.” Trump’s campaign sent out emails Wednesday asking for volunteers to help with the effort.

Rural Blog

In rural counties across the U.S., the number of women being incarcerated has significantly increased in recent years, according to The Rural Blog. Four out of five of those inmates are being imprisoned for nonviolent crimes.

AP photo

Groups fighting the proposed anti-fracking ballot measures in Colorado are spending more than 35 times what supporters of the measure are investing, reports The Colorodoan.

Who Cares about What Happens in Nebraska? We Do.

Aug 19, 2016
Kansas Memory, Kansas Historical Society

To write about life on the plains might not seem like much of a risk today, but, at the turn of the last century, Willa Cather knew what she was up against when she made immigrant farmers – people she knew as a child growing up in Nebraska—her central characters.

Flickr Creative Commons

Three out of five Donald Trump supporters in Texas would support the state seceding from the Union if Hillary Clinton is elected, according to a new poll.

As TIME magazine reports, 61% of Trump supporters would want the state to secede in the event of a Clinton presidency. Trump is leading in Texas with 50% of the vote. Clinton trails the real estate mogul by six points, sitting at 44%.

The death penalty is costing Nebraskans over $14 million annually, reports the Omaha World-Herald. The number comes from a new study commissioned by Creighton University.

Rich Sugg / Kansas City Star

Kansas is still combing through the aftermath of this month’s primary. The election ousted many of the state’s far-right legislators, replacing them with more moderate lawmakers.

Marc Nozell / Flickr Creative Commons

Donald Trump’s lead in Texas has dwindled to six points, according to a new Public Policy Polling survey.

Quinn Dombrowski / Flickr Creative Commons

A new Oklahoma liquor law is set to take effect in a little over a week. And, as KOKI reports, Oklahoma craft beer brewers are making final preparations for the shift.

Don't let chaos reign in your flower garden!

 Join me as we embark on PART TWO of our segment discussing those beautiful-and-beastly blooms: perennials. On today's show, you'll learn to parse out the "spreaders" from the "clumpers." 

Plus, just a few tips on digging up the mother plant, handling the root ball, and singling out which species might be invasive.   

  

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