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Want to get to know Colorado’s gubernatorial candidates better ahead of the primary?

The Colorado Independent spent the past few months interviewing each of the four Republican and four Democratic candidates. Reporters also observed the candidates on the campaign trail, dug into their records and spoke with people who know them.

The Republican candidates include state treasurer Walker Stapleton, former mayor Greg Lopez, entrepreneur Victor Mitchell and banker Doug Robinson

50states.com

Want to get to know Oklahoma’s large pool of gubernatorial candidates better before you vote in the primary?

The Tulsa World reported last week the 15 candidates' responses to questions about teacher raises and medicinal marijuana, which also appears on the ballot.

Roman Leal

Last week, the Texas Panhandle was abuzz about a billboard. The sign didn’t mince words, simply asking “LIBERALS" to "please continue on I-40 until you have left our Great State of Texas.”

In an editorial in The Amarillo Globe-News, Jon Mark Beilue called the sign, “childish and immature, noting that the sign only “add[ed] to the division in the country.”

After the backlash, the sign was promptly taken down.

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Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that states can now collect sales tax from online retailers. New estimates show that the move could be a major boon to the economies of the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles.

Robert Dauffenbach, director of the Center for Economic and Management Research at the University of Oklahoma, told The Oklahoman that he believes the additional sales tax income could amount to over a quarter of a billion dollars a year for the Sooner State.

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Oil drillers in West Texas continue to face a quandary: How much of the natural gas they produce should be burned off?

As The Los Angeles Times noted this month, the problem has pitted producers against each other and set environmentalists and capitalists on a collision course. During the fracking process, extra natural gas is produced along with the oil.

Valerie Brown-Kuchera

Last week, I talked about how maternal fears impact offspring, even when those children haven’t been specifically conditioned to be afraid.  It’s almost as if they absorb their mother’s abject terror or ingest it in her breast milk.  It’s funny -- I’m not afraid of this program -- but they seem to be.  I would have no idea where they picked up that fear.  Surely their stepdad doesn’t fear it. 

Luke Clayton

Regular readers might remember an article I wrote about hunting eastern turkey up in Oklahoma at the vast 45,000 acres “Choctaw Hunting Lodge, located less than an hour west of Hugo, OK.  This past week, I made my second trip to this outdoor wonderland, this time with several great friends including Larry Weishuhn, aka “Mr. Whitetail”.

Kansas Farm Bureau Challenges FCC’s Cellphone Map

Jun 22, 2018
FCC

A Federal Communications Commission map suggests Kansas and other Midwestern states have near-perfect cellphone coverage.

The Kansas Farm Bureau begs to differ. And, in doing so, could help Kansas qualify for federal money to improve service.

Our Turn At This Earth: Finding The Right Words

Jun 21, 2018
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It’s happened many times. There I’ll be driving innocently down a western Kansas road, and a stretch of buffalo grass will reach out and grab me, almost pulling me into the ditch. Often, I’ve had to stop the car and get out, as I did one February afternoon a few years ago.

This week, High Plains Morning spoke with the delightful Mollea Wainscott, Special Projects Coordinator for Housing at the Dodge City/Ford County Development Corporation. We were inspired by her passion for revitalizing abandoned, "blight" housing, making it functional and available for low-income families.

High Plains Morning was honored to host Tejay Adams, the founder of the Amarillo-based nonprofit Stand Against Suicide. He's hosting a rally this Sunday, June 24th, at 34th & Georgia in Amarillo from 2:00 to 4:01pm, to bring visibility to the public health crisis of suicide in our region. You can  RSVP here.

From grapefruit to Cadillacs, everything looks prettier in pink! And flower gardens are no exception. So what’s the preferred puce-petaled posy for High Plains planters?

On today’s Growing on the High Plains, we’re delving into the “pinks,” the quintessential cottage flower also known as Dianthus. From their humble origins in English gardens to the palette of 300+ species that exist today, the prolific Pinks have been providing a playful pop to garden perimeters for centuries.

Little Mazarn told us they were coming thorough Amarillo, and we had to make sure they'd pause and play us a few tunes. This Austin-based multi-instrumentalist Lindsey Verrill, accompanied by virtuosic sonic wails from Jeff Johnston on saw, blew our minds at South by Southwest 2018.

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It appears that the historic raise promised to Oklahoma’s teachers may be in trouble.

As The Guardian reports, despite promises made by state lawmakers to give Oklahoma’s educators a $6,100 a year pay increase, conservative activists in the state are circulating a petition to rescind the tax hikes meant to pay for the raises.

Rachel Zein for The Texas Tribune

From The Texas Tribune:

As part of his school and gun safety plan, Gov. Greg Abbott wants to explore a law that would allow local officials to take guns away from people if a judge declares them a danger — while also protecting Second Amendment rights. It's an issue that has previously gone nowhere in the Texas Legislature.

It’s become a common refrain after each new mass shooting: “There were red flags.”

Longtime listeners already know how High Plains Morning loves lookin' out for our own, so when we heard Oklahoma's own Turnpike Troubadours were slidin' through the Panhandle, we got one of them on the horn.

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The Trump Administration is threatening a trade war with its closest allies, and the move could hurt Texas Panhandle businesses.

As The Dallas Morning News reports, the White House has pledged to slap tariffs on imports from the Canada, Mexico, and the European Union, with those entities warning that they plan to respond in kind.

Valerie Brown-Kuchera

I have many fears - probably more than most people, I’m afraid.  Do I have more than most?  I do, don’t I?  I hope my kids don’t inherit this flaw.  They will.  Won’t they? 

Hey, my anxiety is justified!  Research shows children really do inherit phobias from their mothers. 

Luke Clayton

Lake Fork- Round up a foursome of still very active old guys, all a few months away from their 68th birthday and chances are pretty good they have some “stories”. After all, there is just under 300 combined years of living amongst this group, plenty of time to amass untold life experiences, many of which are just down right funny!

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According to a new survey in Amarillo, most residents of the city feel safe.

As The Amarillo Globe-News­ reports, more than 80 percent of the survey’s respondents said they feel “somewhat safe,” “very safe” or “neutral” in Amarillo.

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A number of abortion-rights groups are suing the State of Texas, in an attempt to overturn dozens of laws they say hinder the rights of Texas women.

As The Dallas Morning-News reports, six organizations and one doctor have brought a federal suit against the state, hoping to repeal several laws, including one requiring a 24-hour waiting period between having a sonogram and an abortion, and another that says parents must consent to a minor having an abortion.

Our Turn At This Earth: Nature Fix

Jun 14, 2018

Back in my late 20s, after my marriage had ended, I just couldn’t stand being in the city. I fled to the Mojave Desert every chance I got, because in the wilderness, with no people for miles upon miles, I felt less alone. That sounded crazy whenever I said it out loud, so I seldom did.

Last week we set the roots of our two-part tale of the mighty onion, peeling back the odorous history, health benefits, and cultural significance across the globe. On today’s installment of Growing on the High Plains, let’s bring it back home—to our own back yards! We’ll discuss the many layers of growing and harvesting from your onion patch.

US Fish and Wildlife

A fire in northwestern Oklahoma has consumed over 4,000 acres, with the damage stretching into northeastern New Mexico.

As KFOR reports, fire crews struggled to contain the so-called Porter Fire, which began in Cimarron County. The fire was attributed, like most of the recent fires on the High Plains, to “high temperatures and low-relative humidity.”

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The former Chase Tower in downtown Amarillo has a new resident bank and namesake. Going forward, the tallest building between Fort Worth and Denver will now be known as the FirstBank Southwest Tower.

As The Amarillo Globe-News reports, the institution that began as First National Bank of Ochiltree in 1907 will now, 111 years later, have its name stamped on the most prominent structure in the skyline of the largest city on the High Plains.

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The State of Texas has revealed a program that offers incentives to residents who purchase or lease cars that use alternative fuels. This state is offering a $2,500 cash back deal two Texans who decide to buy green automobiles.

Chera Miller

A poet from the Texas Panhandle has brought home one of the most prestigious poetry awards in the American West.

Chera Hammons is the winner of the PEN Southwest Poetry Award for her book, The Traveler’s Guide to Bomb City. Judge Allison Adelle Hedge Coke called Hammons’s book an “astute take on life on the Southern Plains,” adding “we are the better for [this book] being here.”

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Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper is being criticized by some for his veto of a pot bill that some think could boost the black market for pot.

As The Denver Post reports, Hickenlooper, a term-limited Democrat, vetoed a bill that would have opened up the cannabis industry to investment by public companies. Kristi Kelly, executive director of the Marijuana Industry Group, said help proliferate the black market for pot.

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Last week, Amarillo unveiled the first historic Route 66 sign along the famed route that traverses the city.

As The Amarillo Globe-News reports, State Sen. Kel Seliger and State Rep. Four Price were on hand to celebrate the sign’s reveal.

Dora Meroney is the president of the Old Route 66 Association of Texas, and she said she hopes to erect signs along the entire 178-mile stretch of the former highway in the panhandle.

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Oklahoma now has the highest incarceration rate in the world, reports to The Tulsa World.

According to a new study, Oklahoma recently overtook Louisiana as the state with the highest per capita number of citizens in prison.

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