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Concerns continue to grow in Texas about the spread of Zika, The state has now documented its first baby born with a disease linked to the virus. The infant with Zika-linked microcephly was born near Houston, reports USA TODAY. The mother had arrived in Texas from Latin America, where she presumably contracted the virus. Officials insist there is no risk to the public, as neither the mother nor the baby are infectious.

Creative Commons

The Prowers Journal has published a helpful timeline to help Colorado voters understand important upcoming dates in the 2016 election.

Yesterday (July 14th) was the last chance for an unaffiliated candidate to file a petition for nomination. The final opportunity for a write-in candidate to do so is next week, on the 21st.

gohastings.com

I worked for Hastings for a few years, in college, managing the book department and working at the front counter. In one way or another, Hastings has always been there for me. The retailer is as much a part of my childhood as Palo Duro Canyon or Cadillac Ranch--more so, probably, given how often I shopped there.

Wheat as We Grow It

Jul 13, 2016
Kansas Agland

From Kansas Agland:

From the way it is grown, harvested and processed into flour, and the way it's entwined in the lives of the families who produce it, wheat's journey is an emotional one.

In a time where agricultural practices are questioned at every turn, it's important to look at what's being done to keep our food safe while conserving the environment while providing enough food for the earth's inhabitants.

healthcare.gov

From the Kansas Health Institute:

About 12 percent dropped coverage, close to national average.

Almost nine out of every 10 Kansans who selected health insurance on the federal online marketplace paid for at least the first month of their coverage this year, offering one bit of stability in the sometimes-turbulent marketplace.

thebrittanyfund.org

Two years ago Brittany Maynard, moved to Oregon so she could “die with dignity.” She had an aggressive brain tumor and was in extreme pain, and her story became international news and landed her on the cover of People magazine. In Colorado, some observers who had loved ones experiencing similar pain thought it deeply unfair that Maynard was able to lawfully end her torment while their family members continued to suffer.

Lauren Koski / amarillo.com

Wills Elementary in Amarillo has been harvesting produce alongside the brick buildings of the school. And now those fruits and vegetables are going to a good cause, reports Amarillo.com. The food will help refugee and low-income families feed their families. The program is part of a partnership with the High Plains Food Bank.

Nick Cote / New York Times

The West has changed a great deal since the days of thousand-mile cattle drives. Ranchers now employ drones to track livestock, and many have traded in their trusty horses for four-wheelers. But in Colorado and other parts of the High Plains, notes The New York Times, there’s one tradition that hasn’t changed: branding day.

Creative Commons

Pot opponents in Colorado had been gearing up to for a battle to try to force a vote on whether marijuana dealers in the state should require less-potent pot. Their proposed initiative would have also warned pot shoppers that the drug could cause brain damage and paranoia. But now these opponents have decided to give up the fight, reports Colorado Public Radio.

Backers of the measure announced Friday that they have been unable to raise enough money to advertise their plan.

Free State High School in Lawrence, Kan., a public school. Kansas has for years been the stage for a messy school funding fight that has shaken the Legislature and reached the State Supreme Court.Credit Mike Yoder / AP photoEdit | Remove

Texas Tribune

Last year advocates for the disabled in Texas became enraged when the state legislature instituted sweeping budget cuts to a state-funded children’s therapy program. Last week those advocates received some good news, reports KVUE.

On Friday the Texas Supreme Court delivered a temporary, last-minute victory to families of children with disabilities. The cuts were scheduled to take effect July 15, but the Supreme Court’s order will delay those cuts.

Brennan Linsley / AP photo

There are few divides in the United States greater than that between rural and urban places, Colorado Public Radio recently noted.

Kate Carlton Greer / KGOU

The State of Oklahoma’s Department of Corrections has leased a new private facility in far western Oklahoma, near Sayre. The state began moving inmates there last Tuesday, reports KGOU.

The new facility will mark the first time the state has utilized a private facility to house inmates, though state employees will run the prison. The facility is owned by Corrections Corporation of America.

Sue Ogrocki / AP photo

The number of earthquakes in Oklahoma has fallen 25% this year, reports The Wall Street Journal. The decline comes after the state’s efforts to curb the oil and gas industry’s practice of pumping wastewater from its underground operations.

Richard Carson / Reuters

Due to its large deposits of shale oil, the United States has more recoverable oil available than either Russia or Saudi Arabia, according to Reuters. The information comes from a new report by Norwegian consulting group Rystad Energy.

The study contends that the US currently holds an estimated 264 billion of barrels of reserves in existing fields, discoveries and yet to be discovered fields.

That’s eight billion more barrels than Russia has, and over 50 billion more barrels than the Saudis.

Seth McConnell / Denver Post

There’s a new visitor overtaking Colorado’s front range this summer, reports The Denver Post. Black-tusked tussock moth caterpillars have spread across 25,000 acres of the state in a single year. Authorities have spent almost $300,000 on a helicopter chemical assault to stop them.

CNN/Texas Department of Public Safety/US Census Bureau

There are almost 28 million people living in Texas, and more than 1 million of them are licensed to carry a handgun, reports CNN. That’s one out of every 28 people. Dallas County has the third highest number of gun licensees in the state, following Harris (139,563) and Tarrant (71,504) counties.

Jolie Green / Kansas Agland

From Kansas Agland:

For the first time nearly 15 years, the price of wheat is so low that government loan programs have once again kicked in.

www.ourhenhouse.org

 Something’s been eating my strawberries. Yes, the luscious berries that we planted two springs ago and carefully nurtured so we’d have fresh fruit over our ice cream and cake or sliced to sweeten a fresh  spinach salad. Since they first began blooming in May, I’ve harvested about 15 scarlet bursts of flavor that hip hop on my taste buds. Last week, I went to pick some for supper and discovered I’m not the only one that likes this spring treat.

Luke Clayton

In this weeks show, Luke takes you with him to the wilds of northeast Texas on a hog hunt with Tim Smith, owner and publisher of Airgun Hobbyist Magazine www.airgunhobbyist.com and Tim's son Ben. Ben is an accomplished marksman but this was his first big game hunt. We were hunting Terry Tate's ranch. Tate makes the Professional Big Bore Air Guns www.pbbairguns.com. Ben was successful in harvesting two wild hogs, one with the .45 caliber PBB Airgun  shootine a Hunter's Suipply roundball and one with an arrow using a Sam Yang rifle designed to shoot arrows. Not that Ben has his first big game animal in the cooler, he's ready for a lifetime of hunting adventures...the journey has begun!

Ken Rofidal / Creative Commons

Kansas congressman Tim Huelskamp received a stern Twitter rebuke from elder Kansas statesman Bob Dole this week, reports The Hutchinson News.

Billy Hathorn / Wikimedia Commons

Clarendon College will soon offer grants to prisoners, reports Amarillo.com.

The small-town college is one of nine institutions in Texas chosen to participate in an experimental federal program offering Pell grants to prisoners. The initiative is part of the Obama administrations’ Second Chance Pell pilot program, which will provide grants to adults incarcerated in U.S. prisons.

From the Kansas Health Institute:

Insurer only MCO to report no expenses for Kansas legislator meals in 2016

For the second year in a row, UnitedHealthcare reported no lobbying expenses during the Kansas legislative session.

The insurance company remained the outlier among the three under contract to administer KanCare, the privatized form of Medicaid that Kansas adopted in 2013.

Robin Jerstad / Texas Tribune

School districts in oil producing regions across Texas have been struggling in the aftermath of the oil bust, reports The Texas Tribune in its new series “Rough Patch: How plunging oil prices are reversing fortunes across Texas.”

Drew Angerer / Getty Images

Every presidential election feels new, in one way or another. But this year feels altogether unprecedented in so many ways. KUT decided to compile a list of ways this election has been completely “off the map.” Here are just a few of their discoveries. For the complete list, click here.

In 2014, Jeb Bush announced his candidacy and put his family in line for an unprecedented third member in the White House.

Marjorie Kamys Cotera / Texas Tribune

Ken Paxton has been embroiled in controversy for months, but the Texas Attorney General doesn’t seem to be having trouble paying his legal bills. Paxton is facing federal and state securities fraud charges and is under multiple indictments. But, as The Texas Tribune reports, Paxton has received six figures worth of donations from “family friends” to help pay his massive legal debts.

Anthony92931 / Wikimedia Commons

Beginning in September 15, 2016 twice-daily flights will begin traveling out of Denver to Dodge City and back.

The service will be provided by PenAir, one of Alaska’s largest regional airlines, reports the Dodge City Globe. Schedules and fares are now available at PenAir.com. or by calling PenAir’s Central Reservations at 800-448-4226.

Laura Buckman / New York Times

A fringe group in Texas that would like to see a similar exit vote in the aftermath of the British decision to leave the EU, and now the story has reached the pages of The New York Times.

Abigail Wilson / KMUW

From the Kansas Health Institute:

To say that many educators in Kansas are fed up with state lawmakers would be an understatement. The Legislature has been putting a tighter and tighter squeeze on public schools in recent years. This election season, educators are trying to send some legislators packing.

wikipedia.org

Although apricots should be a stable staple of the fruit basket on the High Plains, the cantankerous spring weather often found in Western Kansas often gives skimpy rewards.  But sometimes just the sight of their early colorful blooms makes them worth the effort.   

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