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The Colorado Department of Agriculture is reporting the state’s first confirmed case of equine West Nile Virus this year.

As The Prowers Journal reports, a horse in Larimer County was diagnosed with the virus earlier this month.

AF.mil

The special session of the Texas Legislature is drawing to a close, and child advocates are concerned about a major issue that lawmakers have yet to resolve.

Two years ago, Texas legislators cut more than $300 million to therapy services for disabled children.

And now, as KXAN reports, educators and therapists worry that Texas may one day have a sizable number of disabled adults if lawmakers don’t take action.

Pixabay

Oklahoma’s efforts to plug its massive budget gap were dealt a serious blow this week by the state Supreme Court.

As Oklahoma Watch reports, earlier this year, the state Legislature passed a $1.50 per-pack cigarette fee that was supposed to bolster the state’s finances.

But last week, the state Supreme Court ruled that the fee was unconstitutional.

poplinre / Flickr Creative Commons

As the dog days of summer continue, the chances of encountering a rattlesnake on the High Plains remain elevated.

But, as The Sacramento Bee explains, rattlesnakes aren’t as dangerous as you may think. Attacks aren’t as common as some may believe, because rattlers aren’t aggressive. They generally only bite when they feel threatened.

However, humans sometimes mistakenly think a snake is being aggressive when it’s simply trying to find a cooler place to lie.

Teenaged Gubernatorial Candidate Appears On Kimmel

Aug 14, 2017
Courtesy

16-year-old Jack Bergeson may already have a leg-up in the Kansas gubernatorial race.

As The Topeka Capital-Journal reports, the Wichita high school student appeared on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” from his bedroom via video on Wednesday night, explaining his reason for running – that he is hoping to engage younger voters, even though he himself, cannot vote.

Radio Readers BookByte: Growing Tomatoes

Aug 14, 2017
Horticulture Newsletter / Kansas State University

Greetings, HPPR Radio Readers.  I’m Meagan Zampieri, the book discussion leader for The Food of a Younger Land , the first book in our 2017 Fall Read – Food and Story.  Actually the full title of the book is The Food of a Younger Land - A portrait of American food--before the national highway system, before chain restaurants, and before frozen food, when the nation's food was seasonal, regional, and traditional--from the lost WPA files. As I read the book, I couldn’t help thinking about the ways in which we talk about food. 

Wallethub

Among economically developed countries, the United States has the seventh highest rate of child poverty. Twenty-nine percent of the children in America live below the poverty line.

The personal-finance website Wallethub recently set out to find which states have the most child poverty. The site studied 21 key indicators to compile the rankings.

Gage Skidmore / Flickr Creative Commons

The national media was consumed this weekend by news of a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, that turned violent. The news hit close to home in Texas, which holds more hate groups than any other state.

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An abortion bill sponsored by an Amarillo Republican is close to becoming law, reports The Texas Tribune.

State Rep. John Smithee of Amarillo authored a bill that would require women to buy a separate health insurance plan to cover abortion.

Opponents say the measure hurts low-income Texas women, especially those who are experiencing fetal abnormalities or who have been the victims of rape and incest.

Mdnicholson42 / Wikimedia Commons

Rural school enrollment is on the decline in Oklahoma—and funding to rural communities is going down with it.

As The Tulsa World reports, small towns like the ones in Western Oklahoma receive a set amount of state funding per pupil. That means, when fewer students enroll, the schools and communities suffer.

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Many Texas Panhandle students will return to school this week.

As The Amarillo Globe-News reports, most school districts in the Panhandle have chosen to return from summer earlier this year, preceding by a week and a half the state-mandated start date of Aug. 28. Canyon ISD and four of the five Amarillo school districts will begin on Wednesday.

Living Room Concert: Adler & Hearne - Live in Amarillo

Aug 13, 2017

Don't miss Adler & Hearne, live in Amarillo, as they make their return to the HPPR Living Room Concert Series

Friday, September 1, 2017

Chalice Abbey (2717 Stanley, Amarillo)

Doors @ 7p | Show @ 7:30p

Suggested donation: $15

 

RSVP here, or call us at 806.367.9088 and we'll put you on the list. We can't wait to see you there!

This week on Amarillo Symphony Presents, we bring you music by "The Mighty Masters."

First, we'll feature Johannes Brahms with his "Variations on a Theme by Joseph Haydn," conducted by Jacomo Bairos. Next, Stilian Kirov takes the podium for Beethoven"s monumental "5th Symphony." 

SO SORRY, but we have to push this event into September. We will alert you as soon as we have a reschedule date. The rain was strong, so the trails are closed -- and the nature walk is what REALLY makes this event special. HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND, and we will do this in a few weeks!

MDT.MT.GOV

Does anyone else wonder what highway workers charged with stopping one lane of traffic during road construction think about as they stand in the elements and flip their signs from stop to slow eight to twelve hours a day? Whenever possible, I visit with these souls who brave extreme temperatures and irate drivers to see how their jobs compare to my inside work.

Luke Clayton

Many people think that for a catfish bait to be effective, it has to smell to high heaven. Not so! A few years ago, catfish guide Bradley Doyle began experimenting with a catfish bait that actually has a pleasant smell and... CATCHES CATFISH!

Doyle named the bait Catfish Bubblegum and began using it on his guide trip on lake Conroe in Southeast Texas.

It worked so well that he put the bait on the market.

LT. SETH FRIZZELL / HOLCOMB COMMUNITY FIRE DEPARTMENT

Kansas ranchers impacted by wildfires could receive more than $18 million in federal funds for fencing lost in the Starbuck wildfire, which began in Oklahoma and spread into southwest Kansas on March 6.

As The Hutch News reports, the fire burned over 660,000 acres in Kansas and Oklahoma and 500,000 acres in Clark, Comanche and Meade Counties making it the largest in Kansas history.

Radio Readers BookByte: City Cafe Special

Aug 11, 2017
Valerie Brown-Kuchera / Quinter, KS

Welcome to Food Friday, when our Radio Reader Book Club members share recipes, memories, and mouthwatering tidbits.  This is Valerie Brown-Kuchera, from Quinter, Kansas.  My mom, Eleanor Augustine, is a potato salad evangelist with, as far as I know, a 100% conversion rate.  Her latest convert is my husband, who insisted he hated potato salad, but now heaps his plate full at our family picnics. 

Banda Accepts Plea Deal, Plans Move to Washington

Aug 10, 2017
WICHITA EAGLE

Shona Banda of Garden City, Kansas, a well-known advocate of medicinal marijuana, has accepted a plea deal.

As KSN reports, Banda accepted a plea deal from Finney County on the child endangerment and marijuana-related charges against her in exchange for probation.

New Kansas Driver's License Causing Headaches For Some

Aug 10, 2017
Kansas Department of Revenue

The new Kansas driver’s license is causing frustration for some.

As the Topeka Capital-Journal reports, the “Real ID” is meant to comply with federal identification requirements for airport security purposes and will contain either a gold circle with a white star cutout proving the holder is lawfully in the U.S. and that it is acceptable federal identification, or the words “not for federal ID.”

Rabies Cases On The Rise In Colorado

Aug 10, 2017
Creative Commons CC0

Rabies cases are on the rise in Colorado this year.

As The Prowers Journal reports, the Colorado Department of Agriculture Animal Health Division sent out a release last week indicating the number of reported rabies cases in Colorado was on the rise in 2017.

Tyson / www.tysonfoods.com/media/logos

PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, sent a letter to the Finney County, Kansas attorney’s office Wednesday calling for an investigation into an allegation of animal cruelty involving a steer at Tyson Fresh Meats in Holcomb.

Today on Growing on the High Plains, I'll investigate the history of food fads. 

From gelatinous meats to Amazonian sweets, we'll explore a few consumable crazes from the American archives, as well as edible trends of today.

There's more behind these trendy treats than meets the tongue -- like the environmental impact and the politics of production.  

Wikimedia Commons

Earlier this year, the Oklahoma Legislature passed a law that would require special registration fees to be paid by owners of electric and hybrid vehicles.

But now, as The Oklahoman reports, the Sierra Club of Oklahoma is challenging that law in court. The environmental watchdog organization insists that the payment amounts to an arbitrary fee, that would require environmentally conscious drivers to pay more than their share for use of the road.

New Natural Gas Discovery Found In San Juan Basin

Aug 9, 2017
Wikipedia

A new natural gas discovery was made earlier this week by oil giant BP.

As The Denver Post reports, the company made the discovery in the Mancos formation of the San Juan Basin near the Colorado border – saying a new well it drilled averaged production of 12.9 million cubic feet of gas per day in its first month - the highest achieved by a well in that area in 14 years.

Pixabay

This Saturday, High Plains animal lovers will have an opportunity to celebrate some of the most majestic creatures on earth.

As The Amarillo Globe-News reports, Saturday is World Lion Day, and the Amarillo Zoo will be showing off its beautiful pride of lions.

The zoo will host a variety of special activities, along with crafts for kids and education exhibits. The lion party takes place from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.

runneralan2004 / Flickr Creative Commons

With seven days remaining, the special session of the Texas Legislature appears thus far to be a bust. Gov. Greg Abbott convened the session in hopes of furthering his own legislative agenda, after a contentious and mostly fruitless regular session.

But, as The Texas Tribune reports, not a single bill has made it through both houses and advanced to the Governor’s desk during this special session.

Radio Readers BookByte: Cross Country Recipes

Aug 9, 2017
Digital Commons / Massachusetts Commonwealth

Hello, High Plains Public Radio Readers!  I’m Paula Ripple from Dodge City, part-time cook, and lover of cookbook reading.  

Who doesn’t love reading cook books more than doing the actual cooking?  The Fall 2017 HPPR Radio Readers book choice, The Food of a Younger Land by Mark Kurlansky, takes us back to the 1930’s and the Works Progress Administration which provided work for writers.

Mike Mozart / Flickr Creative Commons

A new Texas law will allow shop clerks to decline a purchase if the shopper doesn’t show a valid ID when paying with a credit or debit card.

As The Texas Tribune reports, the idea behind the law is to reduce credit card fraud.

However, some merchants have contracts with credit card companies that disallow them from rejecting a sale based on improper identification. In those cases, the contract will supersede the law.

Pixabay

In the last three years, 3,000 Oklahomans have lost their lives due to the opioid crisis.

Now, as the Enid News And Eagle reports, state Attorney General Mike Hunter is doing his best to rein in the scourge of opioids.

But he’s got an uphill battle.

In 2014, almost 10 million prescriptions for opioids were filled statewide - the equivalent of giving everyone in the state 50 pills.

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