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Kansas State Government
8:00 pm
Thu January 23, 2014

Kansas Home Inspectors No Longer Regulated

Kerry Parham warns homebuyers and sellers to verify certifications of potential inspectors now that a law regulating the industry has ended.
Credit Mike Hutmacher / The Wichita Eagle

The Kansas law regulating home inspectors expired in 2013.  Gov. Same Brownback vetoed a measure allowing the law to continue, saying he didn’t see evidence that large number of Kansans were being ripped off by home inspectors according to the Wichita Eagle.

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Growing on the High Plains Episode
5:12 am
Thu January 23, 2014

Rosemary: It makes good scents

Credit grangegardeners.wordpress.com

 Rosemary is one of the most versatile herbs as it plays roles in the kitchen, bath, or medicine chest.  The tangy scent and fresh green needles give the smell and appearance of evergreens. It has proven itself to have antibacterial properties and has been used to fight diseases from medieval times to the present day.  It has a colorful history, being a part of both ancient Greek mythology and the background of Christianity.  This tender perennial can grow on the High Plains, but it needs protection from winter weather.

Kansas Election 2014
8:00 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

Kobach Leads The Fundraising Race for Kansas Secretary of State

Jean Schodorf, left and Kris Kobach, right.
Credit cjonline.com

Campaign finance records show Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach has fundraised more than twice the amount of Democratic challenger Jean Schodorf according to the Wichita Eagle.

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Texas State Government
8:00 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

Failure to ‘Call Before You Dig’ Is a Big Cause of Texas Pipeline Accidents

Temporary sign marks where gas pipeline is buried along road under construction in Harris County.
Credit DAVE FEHLING / StateImpact Texas

Texas has the most miles of natural gas pipelines.  It also has the most accidents.  Federal pipeline regulators say Texas and Florida give the most exemptions regarding who has to notify a pipeline or utility company before digging according to StateImpact Texas.

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Texas Panhandle
8:00 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

Amarillo has a new—and Official—City Logo

The new City of Amarillo logo designed by Mitchell Tyler
Credit amarillo.com

The city of Amarillo unveiled their new logo this week.  The logo was approved by the city council, and designed by Tyler Mitchell according to a recent article in the Amarillo Globe-News.

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Precipitation & Drought
8:01 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

Early season snowpack looks promising for drought-stressed rivers

2014 hasn't brought much snow for the western half of the U.S. so far. But there are a few pockets on the eastern slope of the Continental Divide showing above average levels.
Credit PRISM Climate Group/Oregon State University

Midwest farmers that depend on recently drought-stressed rivers like the Platte, Republican, Niobrara, Missouri, Arkansas and Mississippi received some good news this week, along with Rocky Mountain skiers.

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Garfield County, Colorado
8:00 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

Study Links Natural Gas Drilling and Spills to Hormone Disrupting Chemicals

A drill rig in Garfield, County Colorado.
Credit Courtesy of Carol Kwiatkowski / Colorado Public Radio

Chemicals used in gas drilling work against our endocrine system, a network of glands and cells that release hormones into our bodies.  The chemical disrupters can effect fertility, sperm counts, cause breast and prostate cancer, compromise our immune system, and even contribute to obesity, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.  

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HPPR Government and Politics
8:00 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

Davis Claims Fundraising Victory—Republicans Question Math

Credit Laura Buckman / Bob Daemmrich / texastribune.org

The race to be the next governor of Texas is heating up, and this time the competition is about who has raised the most money in the last half of 2013.  Democratic contender, Wendy Davis claims to have raised $12.2 million, while Republican Greg Abbott reported $11.5.  Simple logic says that Davis won that lap, but the Republican camp is saying Davis is employing “fuzzy math” to inflate her total and create positive momentum reported Jay Root for The Texas Tribune.

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Texas Panhandle
8:00 pm
Mon January 20, 2014

New United Supermarket Location Brings 250 Jobs to Amarillo

Credit amarillo.com

The United Supermarket location on South Soncy Road will bring about 250 new jobs to Amarillo according to the Amarillo Globe-News.  The supermarket will be hosting a job fair from Jan. 27 through Feb. 7 at Redeemer Christian Church located at 3701 South Soncy Road.

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Texas Panhandle
8:00 pm
Mon January 20, 2014

Pantex: Water and Soil Cleanup Efforts Appear to Be Working

This Sept. 4, 1992 file aerial photo provided by Pantex shows the U.S. Department of Energy's Pantex Plant near Amarillo, Texas.
Credit AP Photo/Pantex, File / mercurynews.com

Pantex is the nation’s only plant for assembling and disassembling nuclear weapons.  The plant was added to the national Superfund cleanup list because of past site practices of burning chemicals in unlined pits, burying waste in unlined landfills, and discharging waste into on-site surface waters known as playa lakes in 1994.  The first five year review of the site was recently completed, and it appears efforts to clean up soil and groundwater contamination have been effective according to The San Jose Mercury News.

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Kansas State Legislative Session 2014
8:00 pm
Mon January 20, 2014

Lobbyists Will Not Push For Kansas Ag Law Revision This Session

Ag law reform would effect ag transactions like The Ladder Creek farm site in Greeley County. The land was sold to Seaboard by farmer, Danny Peter. Ladder Creek is the largest hog-growing facility in Kansas. The operation is located due north of Tribune and east on 12 Mile Road. Seaboard recently applied to expand it to 200,000. If approved, that would make it the second largest hog-growing facility in the nation.
Credit Phil Cauthon / Kansas Health Institute

The Kansas Agricultural Growth and Rural Investment Initiative was introduced last session.  It’s goal was to allow any agricultural business to operate anywhere in the state, but lobbyists say they will not attempt to change the law this year according to The Kansas Health Institute

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CD of the week
4:52 am
Mon January 20, 2014

The Greencards' 'Sweetheart Of The Sun' this week on High Plains Morning

The Greencards are comprised of an Englishman and 2 Australian singer-songwriters who all met after moving to Austin, Texas.  After a brief move to Nashville, they have returned to Austin and have released Sweetheart Of The Sun.  The record is also a bit of a return to their earlier records in terms of style- a great blend of contemporary bluegrass and folk with an almost ethereal feel.  We will listen to this new music this week on High Plians Morning.

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Wheat Prices
8:01 pm
Sun January 19, 2014

Global bumper wheat crop brings lower prices

Countries like Russia, Australia and Canada are producing more wheat, leading to a global overabundance of the crop and subsequent lower prices.
Credit jayneadd/Flickr

Talk to any corn farmer and he or she will likely lament the dropping price of corn. But corn growers are not alone. Farmers who grow wheat are beginning to feel the same pinch.

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Agriculture
8:00 pm
Sun January 19, 2014

Expert Worries Current Conditions Will Destroy Oklahoma’s Cattle Market

Credit oklahomafarmreport.com

Oklahoma ranks number five in the nation when it comes to the number of cattle, but years of drought and high market prices are fueling a sell-off, and experts worry that the $4.5 billion dollar industry is in a downward spiral that will be difficult to recover from according to an article from StateImpact Oklahoma.

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Texas Panhandle
8:00 pm
Sun January 19, 2014

Drought and Extreme Cold May Have Damaged Winter Crops

Wheat plots, forefront, in the High Plains appear to have little to no damage from extreme cold temperatures, however oats, middle of picture, at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research trials near Bushland show damage.
Credit Jason Baker / Texas A&M AgriLife Research photo

While timely rains have the Texas wheat crop looking much better this year, however the drought and cold may have done some damage to winter crops reported AgriLife Today.

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Prairie Ramblings Episode
8:00 pm
Fri January 17, 2014

The Best Dining On the Plains is Found in Small Towns

Credit http://sf.funcheap.com/

City friends sometimes ask if I miss eating at popular chain restaurants. When I first moved to rural Kansas, I did miss running to Olive Garden or Red Lobster. Now days, I’m happy to wait until a local organization hosts a foodie fundraiser. I’ve learned that’s where you find homemade-by-neighbors fine dining. These cook’s reputations are on the line, so they don’t serve just anything.

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Kansas State Government
8:00 pm
Fri January 17, 2014

Brownback Tries to Back Off Supreme Court Justices in State of the State Speech

Gov. Brownback giving the State of the State speech.
Credit ksn.com

Governor Sam Brownback said the number one item in the state budget is education in his recent State of the State speech according to a recent article from the Kansas Health Institute.  

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High Plains Outdoors episode
8:00 pm
Fri January 17, 2014

Talking with Terry Tate: Air Rifle Designer and Builder

Terry Tate
Credit Luke Clayton

Luke talks with big bore air rifle designer and builder Terry Tate.

Howdy folks!

This week I have the pleasure of talking with Terry Tate.  If you recall, he's a designer and builder of big bore air rifles.  He's been giving me lessons before we go out hunting with the air rifles for wild hogs.

I can't wait!

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Sustainable, Local, Organic, & Natural Foods
5:57 am
Fri January 17, 2014

Retailers look to sell sustainability of food

On his farm near Rocheport, Mo., Bill Heffernan raises heritage St. Croix sheep, Red Poll cattle and American Cream Draft horses. He also sells his humanely-raised Berkshire and Duroc hogs to Chipotle and Whole Foods.
Credit Abbie Fentress Swanson/Harvest Public Media

Consumers are increasingly willing to pay more for foods they believe were sustainably produced, like free-range chicken, fair-trade coffee and pesticide-free wine. But what does “sustainable” actually mean?

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Eastern Colorado
8:00 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

A Photo Journal of Low Times on the High Plains

HASWELL, CO - JUNE 23: A tumbleweed races across what once was fertile farmland, but now looks more like a desert suffering from years of drought, June 23, 2013. A small rain storm in the background dropped some much-needed rain. It was a little too late to save this year's crops at a farm in Haswell.
Credit RJ Sangosti / The Denver Post

RJ Sangosti spent the past year in high plains communities of Eastern Colorado.  It is a time of struggle for the region.  Years without rain are pushing changes in agriculture, the region’s main industry.  Farms are getting bigger, pushing small farmers out.  Young people are leaving to continue their education, and not returning.  Corporate stores in nearby cities are strangling main street businesses.  Housing values are declining.  

But, a handful remain-the hardy and determined ones.  Enjoy this photographic vignette of life in Eastern Colorado by RJ Sangosti for the Denver Post by going here.  

Values
8:00 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Satanic Temple Shares Monument Design for Oklahoma Capitol

Monument design for the Oklahoma Capitol
Credit The Satanic Temple

The Satanic Temple started a campaign in December to place a monument of their own next to the Ten Commandments on the grounds of the Oklahoma State Capitol according to The Economist.

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High Plains Morning
12:46 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Guitarist Maxwell Hughes makes a stop in Amarillo on Southwest tour

Maxwell Hughes is an award-winning guitarist based in Ft. Collins, Colorado.  He is currently on a tour of the southwest headed for California.

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Growing on the High Plains Episode
8:01 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

The Good Scents of Lavender

Credit whatscookingamerica.net

Lavender is perhaps the most popular aromatic herb, and has a long history of being used as a part of soaps and bathwater, even as far back as the ancient Greek and Roman civilizations.  Amid the numerous types of this sweet-smelling herb, some of the most popular have taken geographic names.  English lavender is the most common, followed by Spanish and French lavenders.  Though a tender perennial, this fragrant herb can be very successful in High Plains gardens if some care is given to protect it from winter freezes. 

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Kansas State Government
8:00 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

Kansas Business Owners Say Taxes are Too High Despite Cuts

Credit ocpathink.org

Gov. Sam Brownback says Kansas has the best tax environment in the nation for small businesses, however 57% of business owners say state and local taxes are too high despite state tax cuts reported Bryan Lowry for the Wichita Eagle.

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Kansas Election 2014
8:00 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

Kansas Election 2014: Wichita Woman Throws Her Hat in the Ring for Governor

Credit forward-now.com

Jennifer Winn is a Republican and a co-owner of a family landscaping business in Wichita.  She also wants to be the next governor of Kansas according to a recent article in the Wichita Eagle.  

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Wind Energy
8:00 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

Google Invest in More Wind Power From the Texas Panhandle

Credit Kevin Welch / amarillo.com

Google recently announced it will be purchasing even more wind power from the Texas Panhandle.  The company’s goal is to be powered 100% by renewable energy.  Inline with that goal, the company invested $75 million  in the Panhandle 2 wind farm located outside Amarillo according to the Amarillo Globe-News.

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Water Conservation
8:00 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

Water Rights: Is contaminating your groundwater with waste water trespassing?

Credit earthyreport.com

If someone dumps trash in your garage is that trespassing?  Obviously, the answer is yes.  But, if someone dumps trash water and it contaminates your water, is it still trespassing?  The Texas Supreme Court is deciding that issue right now.

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Water Conservation
8:00 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

State Lines Would Be Much Different if Water and Topography Determined Location

How the states might look if their boundaries were drawn around water resources and topography.
Credit John Lavey / Sonoran Institute

State boundaries would be a lot different if a 19th Century idea would have been used to determine boundaries, and not railroad companies.  Colorado Matters recently explored the premise with John Lavey, a land use planner at the Sonoran Institute in Montana.

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Playa Country Episode
6:54 am
Tue January 14, 2014

Ranchers Rediscover Burning

2009 Burn--3200 acre pasture south of Clarendon
Credit Texas Panhandle Prescribed Burn Association

Biologist Peter Berthelson of Pheasants Forever took action to educate land managers how to burn and created burn trailers stocked with all the hardware required to safely conduct prescribed burns.

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Kansas State Government
8:00 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

What the Kansas Legislature Is Facing This Session

Kansas Statehouse at Twilight
Credit khi.org

Here are the issues facing Kansas legislature according to the Wichita Eagle:

  • Abortion.  State lawmakers have passed some of the most stringent laws, and there is little left to add without being in direct conflict with the Supreme Court.  The Wichita-based Kansas Coalition for Life is expected to push again for a law to outlaw abortion as soon as a fetal heartbeat can be detected, about five to six weeks into a pregnancy.
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