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

An Overview of Colorado’s Recreational Pot Market

Credit thecommonvision.org

Colorado is the first jurisdiction anywhere in the world to have a legal, regulated marked for recreational marijuana.  20 other states, and Washington, DC, allow the use of medical marijuana, but how does Colorado’s marijuana market function?  The Economist explains:

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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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Texas Panhandle
8:00 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

The End of the Line for the Amarillo Santa Fe Railway Museum Board

Santa Fe Depot, Amarillo Texas
Credit texasescapes.com

Challenges to create the Santa Fe Railway Historical Museum became too much for the board behind the effort, and they recently voted to disband according to the Amarillo Globe-News.

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Election 2014
8:00 pm
Sun January 12, 2014

Is the Third Time a Charm in Kinky Friedman’s Bid for Office?

Kinky Friedman
Credit Todd Wiseman / texastribune.org

Kinky Friedman, singer, humorist, novelist, and hawker of tequila, is trying to the third time to add “elected official” to the list.  The 69 year old has tossed his black cowboy hat into the ring to become agriculture commissioner according to an article in the Texas Tribune.

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Election 2014
8:00 pm
Sun January 12, 2014

Legislative Scorecards: Voter Beware

Credit motherjones.com

A recent article from the Texas Tribune offers a word of caution to voters.  Political scorecards are to politicians what consumer and auto review magazines are to car makers.  So voters, just like buying a car, it’s buyer beware.

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Harvest Public Media story
5:36 pm
Sun January 12, 2014

USDA one step closer to approving new Roundup resistant crops

Credit Monsanto.com

New herbicide-resistant corn and soybeans are a step closer to reaching farm fields in the U.S. They would help farmers control weeds that are no longer killed by the popular herbicide, Roundup.

Roundup resistant crops dominate corn, soybean and cotton production in the U.S. But the list of weeds that have evolved to withstand Roundup is growing, and as a result, farmers are using more chemicals to keep up.

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Kansas State Government
8:00 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

Two Highway 50 Expansion Options to Save SW Kansas Landmark

Of the two options presented by the Kansas Department of Transportation, the one with the 60-foot median is preferred by planners at the Kansas Department of Transportation. Both options include the sandstone-looking retaining wall.
Credit KDOT/Dodge City Daily Globe

The Kansas Department of Transportation has two compromise options that would partially protect the Point of Rocks formation on US 50 between Dodge City and Cimarron reported the Dodge City Daily Globe.

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Music
8:00 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

The Local Music Scene Continues to Grow in Amarillo

Singer/Songwriters are alive and well in Amarillo.
Credit KVII-TV

  It's hard to find a gig unless you're a cover band, but the demand for singer/songwriters is growing in Amarillo.  

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Prairie Ramblings Episode
8:00 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

Ode to the Public Library

Credit theguardian.com

Watching how much my toddler granddaughter loves books reminds me of a seven-year-old,  toothpick-legged child who thought she was a big girl when her momma handed her anallowance on Saturday mornings. Along with that shiny dime, that little girl’s mother permitted her to trek uptown-- first to the dime store and then to the library. The coin was spent in no time.  It took much longer to wander up and down the bookshelf aisles searching for the perfect three or four titles to carry home so she could escape into those well-turned pages for a week of exciting adventure.

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Oil & Gas
8:00 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

Texas Oil and Gas Regulators Hiring Siesmologist to Investigate Increased Earthquake Activity

Railroad Comissioner David J. Porter
Credit MOSE BUCHELE / StateImpact Texas

The Railroad Commission of Texas recently met.  Commissioner David Porter announced the search for a staff seismologist in response to the rash of small earthquakes that have sprung up throughout the state along with the boom in oil and gas production reported Mose Buchele for StateImpact Texas.  

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Water Conservation
8:00 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

The High Plains Irrigation Conference Is For Everyone Concerned About Water

Credit ga.water.usgs.gov

The annual High Plains Irrigation Conference is for everyone concerned about water.  Regional water issues, an update on Texas Water Board Programs, irrigation trends, best practices for irrigation, and risk management tools are conference topics.  A research panel will also debate the issues.

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Healthcare
8:00 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

Elimination of Planned Parenthood in Women’s State Health Program Leaves Texas Physicians Struggling

Credit forefugees.com

The exclusion of Planned Parenthood has left gaps in health care for women, especially low-income women.  Republican leaders pressured Texas state health officials to begin enforcing a provision to keep out Planned Parenthood, as well as any clinic, with organizational ties to abortion providers from the Women’s Health Program in 2011.  The program provides cancer screening, well-woman exams and contraception for low-income women.  

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Fauna
8:01 pm
Wed January 8, 2014

If You See This Insect, You Might Want to Keep it Around

Ensign Wasp
Credit bugguide.net

When most of us see bugs of any kind in the house, our immediate response is to grab the fly swatter or the bug spray, but there’s one insect you might want to consider having as a house guest.  

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Growing on the High Plains Episode
8:00 pm
Wed January 8, 2014

Making Scents Makes Sense

Credit redbubble.com

  Today we'll look at the therapeutic properties of scent and the results of recent studies in the treatment of some major diseases.  Practiced since ancient times, aromatherapy is currently being used with patients suffering from stress, headaches, inflammation, sleep disorders, indigestion, heart conditions and Alzheimer's disease!  Our Good Scents series will look at some specific plants that can work  to help create a 'healing garden' , a windowbox, or patio pot. 

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

Texas “Pro Life” Groups Disagree on Lawmaker Scorecard

State Sen. Donna Campbell, R-New Braunfels, explains the point of order she called on State Sen. Wendy Davis to end the Democrat’s 11-hour filibuster of anti-abortion regulations.
Credit Todd Wiseman / texastribune.org

Texas Right to Life creates a scorecard that gives lawmakers a grade based on anti-abortion and end-of-life issue voting.  The card holds quite a bit of weight with Republicans, and the way they vote reported Becca Aaronson for The Texas Tribune

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Harvest Public Media story
8:00 pm
Wed January 8, 2014

Beef herd poised for growth … and cheaper steak eventually

Even if the beef herd begins expanding again in 2014 it could take two years for the effects to show up in consumer prices.
Credit Grant Gerlock/Harvest Public Media

For the first time in nearly 10 years, the nation’s beef herd may be poised for growth, which could mean relief from rising meat prices. But with the fewest cattle in the beef supply since the 1960s, slow growth won’t cut prices anytime soon.

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Inside HPPR
12:32 pm
Wed January 8, 2014

High Plains Morning Top 10 for 2013

I love lists-- all kinds of lists. 

Best of lists, worst of lists, stuff you have to see/hear/do before-you-die lists.  I also love making lists, but that’s really hard for me to trim down my list to a manageable size.  Here’s my attempt at a 2013 list of some of the best things (in my opinion) you’ve heard this year on High Plains Morning.  This list is by no means complete, and it is in no particular order.


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Colorado State Government
8:01 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Colorado Legislative Session Opens Today Facing Guns, Schools, and Floods

People opposed to future gun laws, line the sidewalks for a rally last spring.
Credit denverpost.com

The Denver Post reported the Colorado Legislature will open the legislative session facing these issues:

  • Education.  How to finance education with the failure of Amendment 66.  With significant reserves in the state education fund, lawmakers could use this pot of money to initiate some of the bill's more popular elements, such as a rolling student count system rather than a single count day for purposes of school funding. A financial transparency website that tracks money to the individual school level also proved popular.
  • Flood recovery.  September's floods impacted 24 counties and killed 10 people. To date, millions of dollars in state and federal money have gone toward the disaster recovery.
  • Gun Battles.  Republicans will attempt to "reform, rescind or revise" some of the gun bills. 
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Transportation
8:00 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Will Southwest Airlines Continue to Stop in Amarillo?

Credit visitamarillotx.com

The Wright Amendment expired in October, meaning that Southwest Airlines doesn’t have to make stops in cities like Amarillo.  The airline can fly non-stop from destinations to hubs anywhere in the United States.

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Water Conservation
8:00 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Ogallala Aquifer Preservation Program Wins Big Award

Credit nwksgmd4.blogspot.com / USGS

The Ogallala Aquifer is life to the high plains.  The depletion of that resource moved Kansas State University, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service, Texas Tech University, Texas A&M University, and West Texas A&M University to team up and work together to preserve the vital resource according to the High Plains Journal.  

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Playa Country Episode
8:01 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

Benefits of Using Fire on the Landscape

Prescribed Burn
Credit Oklahoma Grazing Lands Conservation Association

Native Americans used fire to manage rangeland for thousands of years, but a 100-year burning hiatus followed settlement by Europeans of the North American heartland. Those decades of fire suppression allowed invasive plants to negatively alter the landscape. But rangeland researchers and managers are awakening to the benefits of burning.

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Genetically Modified Organisms
8:00 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

Lessons to be Learned from a Councilman’s Lonely Quest for Facts on Genetically Modified Crops

Greggor Ilagan initially thought a ban on genetically modified organisms was a good idea, until he did his homework.
Credit Jim Wilson / nytimes.com

Hawaii may seem a long way from the High Plains, but there are lessons to be learned from Greggor Ilagan’s quest to find the facts about genetically modified organisms.  

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Climate
8:00 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

Good News on the Colorado Drought Front

Credit http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/

Drought conditions have been downgraded for portions of eastern Colorado.  

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Kansas Election 2014
8:00 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

Kansas Election 2014: The First Governor’s Contest is April 26

Credit lp.org

The first contest in the race to be the next governor of Kansas is weeks away, but the Libertarian contest is off most people’s radar.

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Oklahoma
8:00 pm
Sun January 5, 2014

From Guymon to Poteau: The Biggest Oklahoma StateImpact Stories of 2013

Credit JOE WERTZ / STATEIMPACT OKLAHOMA

From the corners of Oklahoma, across the border into Texas; to the nation’s capital and even the U.S. Supreme Court, StateImpact Oklahoma team traveled about 10,000 miles in 2013, talking with Oklahomans about government policy and how it’s affecting their lives. 

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Demographics
8:00 pm
Sun January 5, 2014

Texas Panhandle: How are you going to keep them down on the farm?

Mike Skinner on Dec. 26, 2013 outside the farmhouse on the land five miles east of Spearman that he sold last spring. Three generations of his family had farmed the land.
Credit Stephen Spillman / The Texas Tribune

The only livestock Mike Skinner has these days are birds in a cage.  Skinner sold the family farm last spring.  Land he was once farmed, as did his brother, his parents, and his grandparents reported the Texas Tribune

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