News

A Democratic representative is under investigation for comments she made in a committee meeting. Representative Valdenia Winn is accused to using "inflammatory" language according to the complaint lodged by nine Republican lawmakers in the Kansas House.

Child poverty in Colorado

Apr 1, 2015
Colorado Public Radio / Colorado Public Radio

  Child poverty is a major concern in Colorado, officials are contending with the issue by addressing teen pregnancies, food stamp use, and much more. In a report published last month government leaders can see the wide variety of concerns and take measures to alleviate the problem.

Playa lakes are effective vectors for groundwater recharge and water filtration, but that assumes they're in a healthy state.

Water, soil and habitat specialists discuss the causes of sedimentation and talk about playa restoration.

Walkers trek to Topeka hoping to get lawmakers and voters to pay attention to public school funding. This is the third year people have walked from Kansas City to the Capitol. The group wants increased education funding, not the newly approved block grant funding.

Americans Divided on Fracking

Mar 31, 2015
Gallup

From recent data collected by a Gallup Poll, reporter Art Swift reveals that Americans are split fairly evenly on the issue of fracking for oil and natural gas.

According to Swift, "Fracking has helped contribute to a substantial increase in natural gas and oil production across the U.S., and now in other parts of the world, and is credited with helping lower its price for the average consumer."

Technology Boom in Colorado

Mar 31, 2015
Luke Runyon / Harvest Public Media/KUNC

Colorado is leading the nation with innovation, in recent years Boulder and Denver have become as home to tech startup companies in an unlikely industry. Agriculture is where the money’s at in Colorado these days; growers are patenting new technology in irrigation, food science and plant genetics according to a report from NPR correspondent Luke Runyoon.

Big Texas

Mar 30, 2015
KUT.org / KUT.org

It would appear that the old adage "Everything is bigger in Texas" can now be applied to the Lone Star State itself. From NPR affiliate KUT of Austin Texas, Reporter Laura Rice, "Texas has gotten used to topping lists about booming business and population growth."

Data collected from the 2013-14 census indicates rapid growth across the state. "In a lot of cases, Texas leads a lot of the growth area statistics primarily because Texas itself is very, very large." U.S. Census Bureau Population Estimates Branch Chief Ben Bolender.

Eggs and Antlers

Mar 29, 2015

I hated leaving childhood and the annual Easter morning search for hidden goodies behind. Until I discovered shed hunting, the adult equivalent of a child’s egg hunt, I didn’t know grown-ups could still experience the thrill of finding well-hidden treasure, in this case antlers camouflaged by tall grass.  My husband introduced me to this spring ritual soon after we met. Discovering that first drop thrilled me the same way finding Easter prizes brightened my early years.

Eddie Sparks

Most readers of this column are within a few hours drive of Lake Texoma and some of the very best striper fishing in the state, probably in the southwest. Stripers are currently the heaviest they will be all year. They are voraciously feeding on shad, putting on weight for their annul spawning runs up the Red and Washita Rivers.

Farmers and ranchers have had a little more than a year to adjust to the Affordable Care Act. Some chafe against the requirement to buy health insurance, but others are starting to appreciate parts of the new law.

The Kansas House has given first-round approval to a bill that would allow most Kansans over age 21 to carry a concealed gun without a permit. Current law requires training and a background check before a person can carry concealed. The Senate concurred to the House amendments on this bill. That means it's now headed to the governor for consideration.

In a somewhat surprising move, the chairman of the state House Public Education committee says lawmakers will try to tackle the state’s school finance system this legislative session. That’s even while they await a ruling from the state Supreme Court on whether the finance system is constitutional.

A panel of House lawmakers discussed a proposal to change how marriage licenses are issued in Texas, giving that power to one appointed official.

Boat launch fees and permits waived at Lake Meredith

Mar 26, 2015
Michael Schumacher / Amarillo Globe News

In a story from Amarillo Globe News reporter Kevin Welch, fees and permits for Lake Meredith are to be waived for the next three years as of April 1st 2015.

According to a news release from the National Park Service; the fees, which were established decades ago for maintenance costs, are no longer necessary due to upgrades and decreased visitation due to drought conditions.

cookingwithrosetta.com

There are lots of reasons, pro and con, for living in California, but perhaps one of the best reasons for putting down roots has to do with a citrus treat called the Meyer lemon.  A cross between a lemon and an orange, they came to the U.S. by way of China in the early 1900s.  They have soft skins and lots of juice, and because of that they were never developed as a commercial lemon, capable of being shipped across the country.  Instead they became a homeowner's favorite, growing in backyards and providing flavorful fruit on nearly a year-round basis.  Rarely seen at inland stores and markets, they are one of many things that make travelling to sunny California so enjoyable.   

Who owns the water? Can you pump as much as you want? Can a private company pump groundwater from one city and pipe it to other communities? The answer could affect the entire Lone Star State.

You've seen the headlines, there are some things you need to keep in mind when it comes to Roundup.

There's a deadline looming for Kansas lawmakers. If a bill hasn't passed both chambers in some form, it won't survive the midweek deadline.

It's springtime on the High Plains, and in Texas that means it's wildflower season.

New data shows Oklahoma lost about 500 mining jobs last year reports KGOU. About 97 percent of these jobs are related to oil and gas drilling. Lyn Gray is the chief economist for the Oklahoma Employment Commission. She says this year could be worse.

Predictions that the drought is coming to an end in much of Kansas are getting skeptical responses from some weather officials reports the Wichita Eagle. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center indicates drought conditions will ease across the state disappearing in central Kansas and easing significantly in most of western Kansas. Janet Salazar is a hydrologist for the Wichita Branch of the National Weather Service. She says she doesn't know what’s driving the prediction. Larry Ruthi is the meteorologist in charge of the Dodge City branch of the weather service. He says he’s reluctant to declare the drought outlook is wrong. Jeff Hutton agrees if the present pattern continues the map is probably pretty close. The warning coordination meteorologist says even with near or above rainfall, the drought in southwest Kansas won’t be eliminated.

Stephen Koranda / kansaspublicradio.org

There's a push to repeal a program that allows more than 600 undocumented students to pay in-state tuition at Kansas colleges and universities, but a bill aimed at doing that faltered in a House panel. The bill failed to make it out of the House Education Committee after a debate Thursday. 

Dave Ranney / Kansas Health Institute

State officials told legislators Thursday that the state's share of Medicaid expansion costs could start at $100 million per year and increase from there, and those costs could double if the federal government required full funding of waiting lists as a condition of expansion.

One day after her predecessor testified in favor of expansion under the Affordable Care Act, Kansas Department of Health and Environment Secretary Susan Mosier provided neutral testimony that warned legislators of potential fiscal pitfalls.

Mosier said there were "moral implications" of expanding Medicaid to "able-bodied adults" while Kansans with disabilities were still awaiting some services, likening it to "cutting in line."

Texas lawmakers are considering a policy known as a “parent trigger” law. The goal of the legislation is to prompt parent involvement and quicken turnarounds at struggling schools reports the Texas Tribune. The bill allows parents of students at underperforming public schools to campaign for school changes. That includes hiring new staff, contracting with a charter school operator to take over management, or closing the school altogether.

The month of March

Mar 20, 2015
aimperfectreason.wordpress.com

If you live on the Southern High Plains and you like to grow things, then you know what a gamble spring planting dates are.  Just when you think you'll have some early goodies to gather in a few weeks, a blizzard can rear its ugly head down in the Southwest and sweep across our part of the world in nothing flat, leaving us with seedbeds under a foot or two of snow.  In our part of the world, March comes in like a lion and often leaves with another mighty roar.  

Brown Creeper Therapy

Mar 19, 2015

The months after Christmas until mid-to late March are the most difficult of the year in my opinion.  Spring and summer have always warmed my heart as well as my back as I bend over tomato plants in the garden or flowers in their beds. Over time, I have learned to love fall with all its color and pre-cold weather symphonies even though I know what comes next.  But winter—I struggle with.  It takes effort to celebrate long, colorless days.

kansasagnetwork.com

The declining Ogallala aquifer is front and center in the state of Kansas.  But one south-central farmer wants to make it clear that water woes don’t grip the whole state reports Kansas Agland.

John Janssen is a farmer in Kinsley.  He’s also a board member of Big Bend Groundwater Management District No. 5.  He says not to throw the whole state in with the Ogallala. 

When you think of Bonnie and Clyde, does southwestern Kansas ever cross your mind? The couple actually lived in Hugoton for several months using the aliases of Blackie and Jewell Underwood reports Kathy Hanks for the Hutchinson News. The two came to town in an old Model A drawn to the area because of the flourishing gas industry. Hugoton was a mecca in a time when the rest of the country was in the depths of the Great Depression.

A bill easing restrictions on carrying a concealed gun is making headway in the Kansas Legislature. The proposal would allow most Kansans over the age of 21 to carry a concealed gun without a license. Currently, training and a permit are required.

Robert Moser headlines list of 150 Medicaid expansion proponents from business, medical and religious realms. The former cabinet secretary says providers need it, and the people of Kansas need it.

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