News

James M. Dobson / Garden City Telegram

With all the recent rains, farmers in southwest Kansas have a bright outlook for the wheat crop and summer harvest, reports The Garden City Telegram. Finney County farmer Jarvis Garetson called the April showers a godsend. “It changed our dryland crops from poor conditions to very good,” he said.

Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

In Oklahoma, the job of protecting the state’s beautiful rivers has long been the domain of the Scenic Rivers Commission. But on July 1st, reports StateImpact Oklahoma, the state will say goodbye to the agency. With a 1.3 billion budget hole, Oklahoma simply can’t afford to support the commission anymore.

On May 11 Gov. Mary Fallin signed a bill disbanding the small state agency.

Hutchinson News

If you live in Kansas and you’re planning to switch your party affiliation and vote in the August 2nd primary election, you’d better hurry. The Hutchinson News reports that the deadline for Kansas voters to change political party affiliation comes earlier than ever this year. Those who wish to switch must do so before noon on Wednesday, June 1.

sundgren.com

I recently overheard someone at an area coffee shop say, “The worst day of fishing is better than the best day at work.” I’m not sure I agree 100 percent, but any day with a baited hook tossed out, waiting for a nibble is a good day. You’re near water, catching sunrays, listening to birds twitter, and smelling that nose teasing scent of mud, water plants, and fish. If you happen to reel something in to put on the dinner table, it’s a bonus.

Luke Clayton

This week on High Plains Outdoors, Luke visits with Shawn Ballard, owner of Diamond Park Homes www.diamondparkhomes.com in Alba, Texas. Ballard's company builds tiny homes (399 sq. feet or less) and ships them all over the country. There is a boon in Tiny home living today. Tune in and learn all about this downsized way of living.  

CBS 4 Denver

Two High Plains states lead the nation in hail damage, reports The Denver Post. Over the past three years, Colorado ranks second behind Texas for the number of insurance claims filed due to hail strikes on homes, property and cars.

Mark Wilson / Getty Images

Most Americans want the government to pay for health care, a new poll shows. According to KRMG Tulsa, 58 percent favor replacing the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, with a federally funded health care program.

fieldsbh / Flickr Creative Commons

The world’s largest wind turbine manufacturer is coming to Texas, reports FuelFix.com. China-based Goldwind is planning to establish what will be its largest wind farm in the US, and has chosen the Lone Star State as the location.

Sandra J. Milburn / Hutchinson News

From Kansas Agland:

ST. JOHN – For about two months of the year, Stafford County farmer Jordan Hickel would run his pricey combine through wheat fields in June, followed by fall commodities like corn and soybeans.

Then the machine would sit silent in the shed, awaiting the next harvest season.

KHI news service

From the Kansas Health Institute:

Gov. Sam Brownback’s office announced Tuesday he has signed into law a bill allowing the executive branch to suspend indefinitely the water rights of Kansans who fail to file annual water use reports.

Ralph Barrera / Austin American-Statesman

Texas health officials have deemed Zika “the virus from Hell.” As summer approaches, efforts are underway to combat the virus, reports The Austin American Statesman. The state’s undertaking is focused on controlling the mosquito population.

Provided photographs / amarillo.com

Last week in Clarendon, Texas, a crew of cowboys passed through town on a historic journey. The men were delivering pen pal mail to school children from Missouri to Texas. Their task was performed in the same way it would have been done over a hundred years ago. But the unique part, notes Amarillo.com, is the method by which they transported the letters. The cowboys made the journey in an authentic 1880 Butterfield Stagecoach. This was the coach’s swan song.

Andy Marso / KHI news service

From the Kansas Health Institute:

Almost four years since new nutrition standards were introduced, many kitchens need updates.

Most Kansas school districts have moved to comply with stricter nutrition standards since the U.S. Department of Agriculture imposed them almost four years ago.

But many still lack kitchen equipment necessary to make the healthier school breakfasts and lunches appealing.

David Zalubowski / AP photo

The Colorado legislative session ended last week, and it was a period of missed opportunities, says Colorado Public Radio. The two parties agreed on what the problems facing Coloradans were. The trouble is, they couldn’t agree on the solutions. The result: the state’s residents still face many issues going forward.

wordsforworms.com

A card from a dear friend inspired me to think awhile about all the quotes about gardens.  

I was surprised to find some of my favorites were about weeds, like this one said by Eeyore, "Weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them.  

I've also been fond of Luther Burbank's, "Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful;  they are sunshine, food, and medicine for the soul."

Or these two that made me stop, and consider carefully what my garden says about me:

Jack Williams |  LIVE IN AMARILLO

Saturday, June 4th

@ The Fibonacci ~ (Chamber Music Amarillo)

3306 SW 6th Ave. ~ 7:00 p.m.

$15 Suggested Donation

JACK WILLIAMS returns to Amarillo! 

Kansas Highway Patrol / Topeka Capital-Journal

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback has signed a bill into law that aims to fill vacancies in the state’s Highway Patrol service, reports The Kansas City Star. As a result, Kansas motorists should expect to pay higher vehicle registration fees beginning in July. The extra fees will go toward providing funds for the Kansas Highway Patrol.

Urban Institute / KHI news service

From the Kansas Health InstituteBiggest gains found in states that expanded Medicaid eligibility for adults.

Bolstered by the federal health reform law, the number of lower-income children getting health coverage continues to improve, a recent study found.

Wikimedia Commons

An aviation company in Amarillo is in talks for a deal with the federal government that could bring as much as $100 billion to the region, reports Amarillo.com. Bell Helicopter could possibly soon begin producing as many as 4,000 aircraft for the United States Army. The deal hinges on Bell’s parent, Textron, beating out Boeing for the contract.

Prowers Journal

A wind turbine east of Lamar, Colorado, went offline last week, reports The Prowers Journal. The culprit? Metal shavings. Repairs are expected to cost about $300,000.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

The Oklahoma House of Representatives has chosen a new leader to take the reins next year, reports member station KOSU. Charles McCall is a Republican from Atoka in southeast Oklahoma. It’s hoped that he will bring a unique perspective on water to the capitol.

Corn planting in Princeton, Ill., last month. / Bloomberg News

Farmland values have fallen sharply in parts of America’s heartland, reports The Wall Street Journal. The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago cites the recent period as the sharpest drop in Midwestern cropland values in almost three decades. Over the past two years, farm incomes have steadily declined. Investors who had piled into the asset a few years ago have begun to retreat. As a result, low prices are weighing down land values from Kansas to Indiana.

Pew Research Center / businessinsider.com

Over the course of this young century, the gap in American cities between the haves and have-nots has continues to widen, reports Business Insider. The Pew Research Center recently analyzed Census Bureau data, looking at the state of the middle class in America's metropolitan areas.

Photo illustration by Todd Wiseman / Jason Unboun / Texas Tribune

Texas’s complicated method for funding its public schools has increasingly come under criticism in recent years. Last week the case finally reached the state Supreme Court, reports The Texas Tribune. The high court upheld the state’s public school funding as constitutional, but didn’t exactly praise the system.

Prowers Journal

The National Park Service recently offered to manage Camp Amache in Southeast Colorado. But the site’s trustees in Granada are still weighing the variables they expect to encounter with the deal, reports The Prowers Journal.

Camp Amache is a former internment camp that was used to incarcerate approximately 7,500 Japanese-Americans shortly after World War Two. The location has been listed as a National Historic Landmark. Yet little remains of the original camp. There is also a small museum depicting life at Camp Amache during the war on Highway 50 in Granada.

Nick Oxford / Reuters

As Oklahoma’s earthquake frequency exploded, so did the rates of insurance companies covering the damages. Reuters reporter Luc Cohen recently examined thousands of pages of documents from the Oklahoma Insurance Commission.

insidehighered.com

The United States is facing an increasing doctor shortage in the near future. But rural medical schools may be the answer, reports InsideHigherEd.com. Over the next nine years, the country will be short as many as 95,000 doctors, the Association of American Medical Colleges predicts.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

As fracking activity in Oklahoma proliferated, the frequency of earthquakes in the state began to skyrocket. And as the quakes increased, so did the tension between federal and state researchers about the causes of the rumbling. So StateImpact Oklahoma decided to take a closer look at that feud. What they found was unsettling, though perhaps unsurprising to many. As earthquake activity spiked, federal scientists with the U.S.

Conservation Colorado

During this Colorado legislative season, GOP and Democratic lawmakers found little common ground between them. But they did find one issue they could agree on. After years of debate, rain barrels are now legal in the state of Colorado, reports KDVR.

Wichita Eagle

North Carolina gained national attention this month for its transgender bathroom law. Texas has moved to support the Carolinians by passing its own bathroom law. But now, Kansas is looking to get in on the act, reports The Wichita Eagle. A new Kansas law would bar transgender people from updating the sex on their birth certificates. Currently, trans people are allowed to change the gender on their birth certificate after completing gender reassignment surgery.

Pages