News

CC0 Creative Commons

According to recent polls, Texans are for the most part no great fans of President Donald Trump. But, as the online statistics blog fivethirtyeight.com notes, Trump’s abysmal polling numbers in the Lone Star State don’t necessarily signal a Democratic wave in Texas’s upcoming November elections.

Wikimedia Commons

A controversial new bill in Oklahoma would allow the state to chemically castrate sex offenders, reports TIME magazine.

The proposed law is being sponsored by Rep. Rick West, a Republican from the small southeastern Oklahoma town of Heavener. If the bill passes, sex offenders who are released back into society would be required to take drugs that lower testosterone and decrease sexual libido.

Courtesy

Several years ago, my husband went through a beef jerky stage.  Actually, it was more of a preserved meat stage, because he didn’t just eat beef, and he didn’t just eat jerky.   We had beef sticks, horseradish salami, summer sausage, pepperoni, turkey bites, steak strips, garlic infused pemmican, hot and spicy links, Slim Jims, barbecued bacon chunks, jalapeno pickled sausages, chili-mango pork nuggets.  Open our snack cupboard and you’d see the equivalent of Bubba Gump’s shrimp products in dried flesh in there.

Luke Clayton

In today's show, Luke talks about a recent hog hunt he enjoyed with his friend Jeff Rice on Jeff's ranch, The Buck and Bass.

Jeff's ranch is located on the upper end of Lake Fork in East Texas and is home to countless wild hogs. Luke connected with a fat 100-pounder and turned the backstraps into what he describes as, "The best pork I've even eaten".

Here's Luke's recipe: 

The Importance of Chapter 15

Feb 2, 2018
Library of Congress

Hello, my name is Luke Hamilton, I am a junior at Colby High School, and I will be talking about Michael Morpurgo’s book, War Horse.

In this story, war is narrated by a staunch and wholehearted horse named Joey. Like Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms, themes like death, duty, companionship, and war are outlined throughout. But in stark contrast to Hemingway’s downplayed and existential storytelling, War Horse gives a more emotional and positive perspective. Morpurgo wrote this way to show his readers the humanity and hope that can exist in war.

David Purser / Wikimedia Commons

Oklahoma is the number two producer of wind energy in the United States.

Yet, as The Christian Science Monitor reports, the Sooner State has recently soured on this form of renewable energy.

Due to the state’s crippling budget woes, in addition to pressure from the state’s powerful oil and gas lobby, Oklahoma has been phasing out the key tax incentives that had, in large part, been responsible for the booming wind industry in the state.

Jonathan Baker

A massive crowd gathered in a large dirt field in downtown Amarillo yesterday to witness the groundbreaking of the city’s new baseball stadium. Mayor Ginger Nelson delivered a heartfelt speech to the throngs who had amassed on a chilly February afternoon.

Mayor Nelson was joined by the team’s new general manager, as well as D.G. Elmore and his father Dave Elmore, owners of the group who are moving the new AA baseball team from its former home in San Antonio.  

Our Turn At This Earth: Full Speed Ahead

Feb 1, 2018
USGS

In the mid-1980s my father got a letter from the Kansas Water Office warning that, from then on, farmers who didn’t report their annual water use would be fined. This was long before our Groundwater Management District began requiring meters on irrigation wells, so we would have to extrapolate the amount of water we’d pumped that year from utility bills for the natural gas that powered our five well engines.

In a time when good news and brotherly love sometimes seems to be at a low ebb, it's nice to know there are brilliant ideas still soaring through the minds of gifted innovators. Today's Growing on the High Plains shares the story of a British aeronautics engineer that's exploring novel methods to provide food aid to those in need. Spurred by war or natural disasters, critical food shortages have become all too common in our troubled times, but this man's solution warmed my gardening heart.

reservoirhill / Wikimedia Commons

News of Oklahoma’s struggling public education system has now reached London, where the legendary news magazine The Economist published an analysis this week of the state’s pervasive and seemingly insurmountable school funding issues.

TexasExplorer98 / Flickr Creative Commons

On a recent report card comparing rural health care among states, Texas received a grade of D-.

The report card, published last month by researchers at Texas Tech University, compared several key metrics including mortality, quality of life and access to care.

Public Domain

Proposed legislation in Colorado would establish a pilot program that would allow for medical and recreational cannabis to be delivered to homes. 

As The Cannabist reports, a similar proposal last year caused Gov. John Hickenlooper to express concerns that marijuana delivery could be a hazard and draw fire from the federal government.

DAH-DI-DI-DIT DAH-DI-DAH-DIT DAH-DIT DI-DI-DAH

Jan 31, 2018
Wikimedia Commons

I’m Kathleen Holt speaking to you from my home in Cimarron, Kansas.  My maternal grandfather was a quiet man who lived several hours away, so I didn’t know him very well. He described himself to us when we were kids:  ”T.I. Spence, sitting on a fence, trying to make a $ out of $.15.”  

I didn’t know much about WWI either, since we rarely made it that far in the history classes of my childhood.

Pixabay / CC0 Creative Commons

The Texas oil and gas workforce has reached a seven-year low, according to The Houston Chronicle.

The news comes even as oil prices have stabilized.

When crude prices plummeted three years ago, after the economic glory years of the fracking boom, the Texas energy industry scrambled to find ways to produce more oil using fewer bodies.

CC0 Creative Commons

If you live on the High Plains, you’re likely familiar with grackles.

In Amarillo the birds can often be seen in prolific numbers, lurking in trees above strip mall parking lots, like an image out of a postmodern Edgar Alan Poe spoof.

KTRK recently published a few facts about the black birds, courtesy of The Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

Don't miss LIVE NPR COVERAGE of Trump's first State of the Union AddressTONIGHT at 8:00 p.m. CT on High Plains Public Radio. 

This live event will include commentary and fact checking by NPR political correspondents, and the Democratic response by Rep. Joe Kennedy III of Massachusetts will follow the address. 

For full schedule details, visit NPR.

wocintechchat.com / CC0 Creative Commons

After steady gains over much of last year, Texas employment growth appears to have stalled last month.

As The Houston Chronicle reports, the Lone Star State only added 400 jobs in December, after gaining nearly 54,000 in November and more than 67,000 in October. That puts the state unemployment rate at 3.9 percent, slightly higher than November’s record low of 3.8.

Public Domain

Millennials in Amarillo are buying homes at one of the fastest rates in the nation, according to a new study by the personal finance website SmartAsset.

In the site’s latest rankings of “Millennials and Homeownership,” Amarillo ranked 13th in the nation, tied with Oklahoma City.

In fact, HPPR States performed exceedingly well in general in the study, with Kansas, Oklahoma, Colorado and Texas cities making up seven of the top 14 cities on the list.

CC0 Creative Commons

The Texas Panhandle is in the middle of one of its longest dry spells ever.

As The Texas Tribune reports, the Amarillo area hasn't received measurable rainfall in more than 100 days. The Panhandle is the most severe example of a larger problem. According to the latest data from the U.S. Drought Monitor, 40 percent of Texas is now experiencing moderate to severe drought conditions. And things aren’t expected to improve anytime soon.

CC0 Creative Commons

The unemployment rate in Colorado and Kansas changed very little in December.

As Colorado Public Radio reports, Colorado’s unemployment rate increased by two-tenths of a percentage point from November to December - from 2.9 to 3.1 percent. But that’s actually good news because, according to the Department of Labor, the rate went up because more people entered the workforce.

No Man's Land

Jan 29, 2018

Hello, this is Daniel Helbert from Canyon, Texas. This installment of HPPR’s Radio Reader’s Book Club is about Michael Morpurgo’s War Horse—a novel that follows the journey of a farm horse named Joey who travels back and forth across the Western Front of World War I.

In what is unequivocally the central scene of the book, Joey has inadvertently wandered into No Man’s Land after being terrified by tanks, starved by the scorched earth of the battlefield, and mercilessly mauled by barbwire fortifications.

mollyktadams / Flickr Creative Commons

Texas may soon throw a monkey wrench into the works of a deal to save DACA recipients from deportation.

Some relief came last week for hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants across the United States who came to this country as children, as President Donald Trump said he would consider a deal to let these so-called “dreamers” stay in the country if Democrats meet his demands for a border wall and work to restrict future “chain migration.”

Kimberly Vardeman / Wikimedia Commons

Amarillo’s KVII recently traveled up to Spearman, Texas, to have a look inside the nation’s largest cotton gin.

The Adobe Walls Gin is by far the largest structure in the small Panhandle town of just over 3,000 people. The $15 million operation, which was built 12 years ago, gins out about 300,000 bales a year.

CC0 Creative Commons

The flu is taking a heavy toll on the state of Oklahoma this season. According to KFOR, 74 people have died from the outbreak since Sept. 1. Meanwhile, the state has seen over 2,000 hospitalizations resulting from the viral infection, which has been wreaking havoc across the U.S.

Oklahoma pharmacist Dani Lynch said medicine is becoming harder to find in the Sooner State.

Valerie Brown-Kuchera

I am an eternal pessimist.  I think that if you start every day expecting the worst, you may be pleasantly surprised a small, and I mean minuscule percentage of the time.  Joel and I are proof that opposites attract because he believes in the inherent goodness and beauty of all humanity.  I believe Murphy’s law is a pipe dream.

Whereas I create worst-case scenarios, Joel smiles and says, “What could possibly go wrong?” 

W. Kennedy/Wikimedia

After receiving scores of Presidents Day sale flyers in my mailbox and e-mail, I’m flashing back to childhood celebrations of Abraham Lincoln and George Washington’s birthdays. Keep in mind we didn’t combine birthdays fifty years ago. We turned February into one long party. We celebrated Lincoln on February 12 and then Washington on the 22nd. When you added in a Valentine party, February was a festive month for elementary students in the late fifties and early sixties.

Luke Clayton

Deer season is a done deal for this year so it's time to hang up the rifle or bow, but now is perfect the perfect time for breaking out the camera and "long" lens and taking some great photos. Camera equipment doesn't have to be expensive, an aftermarket 200mm or 300mm lens can be purchased for a few hundred dollars or ... a few thousand for the top-of-the-line professional lens.

WWI Comics and Poetry: A Fine Example

Jan 26, 2018

This is Denise Low, a regular contributor to HPPR.

Dear Listener, first a confession before I discuss Above the Dreamless Dead: World War I in Poetry and Comics, edited by Chris Duffy. I don’t like comic books. My mother forbade them when I was a child, except for Bible stories. So, what mixed feelings I had when I opened this World War I book of poetry about a gruesome trench war. The word “comics” suggests humor, but Above the Dreamless Dead is in no way a humorous book.

Flickr Creative Commons

The League of Women Voters will be hosting registration events in the Texas Panhandle Saturday reports The Amarillo Globe-News.

The events will be held at the United Supermarkets in Amarillo and Canyon, as well as the Amigos Supermarket in Amarillo, between 10 a.m. and two p.m.

Wallethub

The personal finance website Wallethub has released a list of the best and worst states for driving, and High Plains Public Radio states took the top three spots on the list.

To come up with their list, Wallethub compared states according to 23 key metrics, including average gas prices, share of rush-hour traffic congestion, and road quality.

Pages