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Radio Readers BookByte: Edible Stories? Not so Much

Nov 8, 2017
Free Republic

What is edible about this book, Edible Stories: a novel in 16 parts?

Not much, really. A far cry from the Kurlansky selection we read in August, there are no recipes, no community stories… The most mouthwatering descriptions are of Orangina and caviar… Things already prepared for us, and placed on a shelf in a store for us to pick up.

We start this book with a lie. A man decides to lie rather than be embarrassed for a single moment… He pretends his entire life to everyone he sees and knows. It makes them wary of him; they stop trusting him. The people around him—his wife, his secretary, his boss and colleagues—they grow tired of his false front. They can’t connect to this persona.

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Oklahoma teacher Teresa Danks recently made national news when she began panhandling beside the highway to raise money for school supplies.

On average, American teachers spend $500 a year of their own money on school supplies for their students, but that number can be much higher in states like cash-strapped Oklahoma. American teachers are currently eligible for a small tax break of $250, to reimburse themselves.

Public Domain

The Texas Panhandle has a long tradition of going its own way when it comes to politics. Now that State Sen. Kel Seliger is in the midst of a pitched re-election battle, he may pay for his legislative independence. Last session Seliger voted with Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick 30 times, but he voted against the Senate leader twice. Those two “no” votes were enough to ignite the wrath of Patrick, according to Lubbock Avalanche-Journal columnist Jay Leeson.

istockphoto

Several varieties of medical marijuana, concentrates and edibles were recalled in Colorado last week, over concern they were grown with an unapproved pesticide.

As The Denver Post reports, state marijuana regulators recalled more than 50 varieties of medical marijuana, concentrates and edibles produced by Tree of Wellness in Colorado Springs, after the Colorado Department of Agriculture found the pesticide myclobutanil in product samples.

Fall Harvest Wrapping Up In Kansas

Nov 7, 2017
CCO Public Domain

As of the end of October, autumn’s harvest in Kansas began winding down.

As Kansas Agland reports, farmers reported a mixture of yields, depending on the location and the amount of moisture.

J Nguyen / Wikimedia Commons

West Texas A&M University in Canyon is working on a new campus blueprint, an effort to improve movement and accessibility across the campus.

As The Amarillo Globe-News reports, the $400,000 plan was launched under the direction of new WT president Walter Wendler.

CC0 Creative Commons

A charter school association in Oklahoma has brought a lawsuit against the state, in hopes of diverting more revenue away from traditional public schools and into charter school coffers.

As The Tulsa World reports, the Oklahoma Public Charter School Association's lawsuit hopes to do what similar suits in Colorado and Florida have achieved: sharing local tax money equally among district and charter schools.

Spencer Selvidge/Laura Skelding / The Texas Tribune

From The Texas Tribune:

"It has been a tough cycle to recruit candidates," former U.S. Housing Secretary Julián Castro said Sunday about the challenges for Texas Democrats in 2018.

With 36 days until the filing deadline for Texas' 2018 primaries, concerns about Democrats' statewide ticket are coming into public view.

CCO Creative Commons

Illegal marijuana operations have begun springing up in rural areas of Colorado following increased crackdown in urban areas, so the state is looking to put together a task force within the Colorado Bureau of Investigation for investigating black market marijuana operations.

Radio Readers BookByte: Control the Food - Control the Culture

Nov 6, 2017
Wikimedia Commons

There’s a certain possessiveness with art, even if we did not create it ourselves.  People love to be the “discoverer” of greatness.  I have this possessiveness toward books.  When I read an incredibly powerful book, I am torn between my desire to share the greatness with others so that we may talk and revel in the wonder of it together, and my desire to keep it to myself.  A part of me wants to own it and hoard it.  I realize this is completely irrational. 

Jacob Morin

People who live on the High Plains are resilient, taking negative events and turning them into positive ones.

There is perhaps no greater example of this than 33-year-old artist Jacob Morin of Amarillo, who in 2002, was shot in the neck following a drug deal gone bad.

“The bullet traveled through my neck,” Morin said, in a phone interview with High Plains Public Radio. “It changed my life completely.”

Jonathan Baker

The Indian community of the Texas Panhandle met this weekend for an evening of dancing, singing, and community. The event, held in the auditorium at Amarillo’s Caprock High School, was a celebration of Diwali, the Hindu festival of light, which is held every autumn. Children of all ages danced in traditional garb, and adults sang and danced alongside them.

CC BY-SA Nick Youngson

Oklahoma has become the poster child for a wider national trend of states experiencing budget problems, as reported on Governing.com.

The news site notes that Oklahoma proves that one-party states are not immune to major budgetary problems. As it stands now, Oklahoma Republicans are gridlocked about how to deal with a $215 million budget shortfall left by the collapse of a cigarette fee earlier this year. The $1.50-a-pack fee, a one-time fix which was supposed to plug the gap, was rejected by the state Supreme Court.

house.gov

Two more powerful Texas Republican lawmakers announced their retirements last week, reports The Texas Tribune.

U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith, the influential chairman of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee, announced he will not run for re-election, sparking a flurry of conjecture over who will run for Lamar’s central Texas seat. Lamar has been in Congress for over 30 years.

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Medicaid is failing children with disabilities in Texas, according to The Austin American-Statesman.

Medicaid services in Texas have steadily declined in recent years for children with the most severe disabilities. The decline is due to cost-cutting measures by congressional leaders.

My Plates press release

Seventeen years ago, at the dawn of the new millennium, the State of Texas scrapped its traditional white license plates for a more graphics-heavy design.

The 2000 plate, with its cowboy and space shuttle and oil derricks and moon and stars, gained popularity among some but was lambasted by others who saw the design as an unfortunate departure from the clean design of the past.

If you fall into the first group, then you have cause to rejoice this month as the state has announced that independent contractor My Plates is bringing back the millennial design.

Prairie Tayles: More Than A Thorn

Nov 3, 2017
U.S. National Park Service

As I mulled writing about devil’s claw plants for this column, my thoughts skittered across a dozen bunny trails. So, hang with me. Folks who grow up on the plains frequently re-purpose seemingly unrelated items into functional uses. Stephen Ambrose noted this ability in his book Band of Brothers. He praised the ingenuity of American farm boys who welded metal to fronts and undercarriages of tanks and other military vehicles, permitting them to plow open centuries-old hedgerows. Their problem-solving saved lives and permitted the U.S. front to advance across Europe.

Luke Clayton

November marks the beginning of trophy blue catfish season on many lakes. Guide David Hanson says about the time the whitetail deer begin their annual rut, the big blue catfish turn on at Lake Tawakoni, where he has been fishing and guiding for most of his life.

Radio Readers BookByte: Memama's Sweet Roll Dough

Nov 3, 2017
Lynne Hewes / Cimarron, KS

Every year at Thanksgiving, I spend quality time with my grandmother, a wonderful woman who died about 40 years ago.  Together, early each Thanksgiving morning, she and I pour a cup of coffee, dig out a handwritten recipe card, peel, cut up, and boil one large potato, and set about creating “Memama’s sweet roll dough.”

WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

Farmers, lured by the promise of an easy, steady paycheck by raising chickens are told if they just keep the birds healthy, industrial poultry processors will take care of the rest.

As The Texas Observer reports, however, after growers sign an exclusive contract to build several 24,000-square-foot chicken houses, the companies that process the poultry sometimes require expensive improvements be made to the chicken houses that many growers can’t afford.

Valarie Smith / High Plains Public Radio

A package of bills to improve and reform livestock disaster programs have been introduced to the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate, respectively, by Congressman Roger Marshall, R-KS, and Sen. Jerry Moran, R-KS, respectively.

This from the High Plains Journal.

Are You Ready To Vote Tuesday?

Nov 2, 2017
CCO Creative Commons

Texans will be deciding on seven state propositions in Tuesday’s election, while local elections will be taking place in other High Plains states.

According to Ballotpedia, seven propositions will appear on Tuesday’s ballot in Texas, including two that authorize tax exemptions for partially disabled veterans and surviving spouses of first responders, as well as propositions related to home loans, banking and gambling.

CCO Creative Commons

INMAN - It was over a bowl of popcorn on a winter evening last year that McPherson County farmer Dwight Baldwin began thinking of an alternative.

He had recently sifted through one of his latest farm publications, which touted alternative crops. However, like most of his neighbors, he and his son, Adam, have grown wheat, milo, soybeans and corn on their ground near Inman. Yet the farm economy centered around those traditional crops was struggling.

For part two of our winter squash series, we'll get into the guts of a tender, lovely little fellow you might find much easier to handle and prepare for your harvest table. 

High Plains, meet the delicata! Its skin is edible, and the food scientists have perfected the bush variety so it resists the issues many other varieties face.  

We hope you enjoy today's Growing on the High Plains and are inspired to grow delicata squash in YOUR fall garden.

Public Domain

The head of Oklahoma’s state health department has resigned amid questions about mishandling of funds.

As Oklahoma Watch reports, the Oklahoma State Board of Health accepted the resignations of Health Commissioner Terry Cline and his top deputy late Monday night.

CC0 Creative Commons

If you don’t have health care, this week marked the beginning of the open enrollment period on Healthcare.gov. If you plan to get care on the Healthcare.gov exchanges, you only have until Dec. 15 to find coverage.

When it comes to having a high ratio of doctors to citizens, the State of Texas ranks near the bottom. In fact, as The Dallas Morning News reports, 43 states have a higher proportion of primary care physicians to residents than Texas.

TOPEKA — Daylight Savings Time begins Nov. 5, and as communities prepare to “fall back” one hour, the Office of the Kansas State Fire Marshal (OSFM) is urging residents to practice fire safety by testing their smoke alarms and changing the batteries. Alkaline batteries should be replaced at least once a year, and a good rule of thumb is to change the batteries when you change your clocks.

CCO Creative Commons

A panel of bipartisan lawmakers in Colorado are proposing a package of bills aimed at curbing the state’s opioid crisis.

As The Denver Post reports, the panel is proposing limits on some prescriptions and more money for treatment and prevention programs in legislation that represents the state’s most extensive response to a dramatic increase  in drug overdose deaths in recent years.

Radio Readers BookByte: Food and Common Ground

Nov 1, 2017
Jason Harper / Ft. Hays State University

Today my focus is on Mark Kurlansky's Edible Stories, and how food is one of the many bonds that people find as common ground.

This common ground through food is true in fact, fiction -- and in teaching. Years ago, beginning in 2006, I taught college composition courses in a partnership program between Pittsburg State University and a university in Asunción, Paraguay. Then, a year later, I was teaching for partnership between Fort Hays State University and a university in China. 

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