News

One of the dinner table’s most divisive vegetables gets some High Plains love. On today’s Growing on the High Plains, everything’s coming up broccoli. This notoriously-fussy grower has been the bane of many a gardener, but there are a few tricks about managing planting time and growing conditions to cultivate a successful crop, from stem to floret.

Andrew Whalley

A census question on citizenship could undercount populations in states with large numbers of poor and/or Hispanic residents — states like Texas. And an undercount would cut into the state's representation, and its federal services.

From The Texas Tribune:

Counting is one thing. Culling is something else entirely.

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When a Texas A&M University professor recommended to Kansas lawmakers that they increase school by 44 percent, it got some Texas public education advocates wondering how her study would play out in the Lone Star State.

The West Texas A&M University Distinguished Lecture Series will present Dr. Travis Langley in a presentation titled “Psychology of Superheroes” at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, March 29 in the Hazlewood Lecture Hall at Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum (PPHM). Langley’s talk will explore heroism and psychology in connection with PPHM’s recently opened PDr. Travis Langleyop Culture exhibit.

My Parents Would Be Terrified

Mar 28, 2018
U S Army Center of Military History / Library of Congress

This is Andrew Taylor, a 17-year-old junior from Wheatland High School coming to you from Grainfield, Kansas.  As a young, somewhat athletic male in the United States of America, I fit the mold of what the military looks for physically in their soldiers. If I were alive 100 years ago, I’d have surely been sent off to fight on the fronts in Europe.  My parents would be terrified for my life when every day the newspaper headlines would tell of especially bloody battle with dozens or hundreds of casualties. They would have to sit at home helpless and praying that the fighting never came too close to their son.

Unemployment Rates In Colorado And Kansas Hold Steady

Mar 27, 2018
Creative Commons 3 - CC BY-SA 3.0

Colorado’s unemployment rate held steady between January and February.

According to the Colorado Department of Labor, Colorado’s unemployment rate was unchanged from January to February at 3 percent, with the number of people actively participating in the labor force increasing by 7,600 over the month and the number of people reporting themselves as employed increasing by 7,800.

 

On Monday, the Ford County Farm Bureau, held a meet and greet forum with candidates for Kansas Governor at the Dodge City Community College.

In attendance were Democrats Arden Andersen, Carl Brewer, and Josh Svaty, Republicans Jim Barnett, and Ken Seltzer and Libertarian Jeff Caldwell. Governor Colyer sent deputy secretary of agriculture, Jackie McClaskey, as his representative and Kris Kobach’s running mate Wink Hartman attended in Kobach’s place.

Candidates were asked questions about western Kansas, agriculture, and the future of the state.

Large Portions Of West Texas Sinking At Alarming Rate, New Report Finds

Mar 26, 2018
Rafael Aguilera

Nearly two years after a pair of giant West Texas sinkholes gained national attention, new research in the area shows they likely won't be the last in the region.

report released Thursday by geophysicists at Southern Methodist University says a 4,000-square-mile area near the "Wink Sinks" is showing signs of alarming instability.

Lance Cpl. Scott Whiting

Child Advocates are charging Texas public schools with punishing the state's youngest students too harshly.

As The Austin American-Statesman reports, last year Texas passed a law saying that students in Pre-K through second grade could only be suspended if they brought a gun to school, or committed drug offenses or acts of violence.

Artist's Attempt To Know Others

Mar 26, 2018
Mars, 1918 / Public Domain

I’m Jonathan Baker, a writer in Canyon, Texas, and I’m the discussion leader for this month’s Radio Readers Book Club read, A Son at the Front by Edith Wharton. The novel tells the story of John Campton, a celebrated American painter living in Paris.

Jenny Inzerillo

A large crowd of marchers made their way through downtown Amarillo this weekend, in hopes of spurring action among lawmakers to tighten gun restrictions.

As KVII reports, Amarillo's March for our Lives protest was part of a larger worldwide movement, with the largest march happening on the mall in the nation's capital.

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A week ahead of their potential walk out, Oklahoma teachers have taken to posting pay stubs on the internet to show what they believed to be egregious financial treatment on behalf of the state.

As KFOR reports, the average starting salary for a teacher in Oklahoma is just over $31,000 a year, one of the lowest rates in the nation.

Valerie Brown-Kuchera

I live among thieves.  My teenaged daughter, despite regularly commenting on the utter hopelessness of my “old lady” wardrobe, sneaks into my dressing room and pilfers mascara, face cream, and hair accessories. Don’t even get me started on the criminal behavior that she exhibits now that she wears my shoe size.

My middle school son isn’t quite as bad, only occasionally giving in to his baser instincts to filch a few choice pieces of his little sister’s candy hoard. At least he has the decency to show remorse when caught in the act.

Luke Clayton

This week on High Plains Outdoors, Luke tells us about a couple of wild pigs he killed near his house last week. He prepared them "Old School", over an open pit, cooking with oak and hickory wood.

While bigger wild hogs are great eating, there is nothing in the wild that compares to the flavor of young pigs cooked slowly over coals. When making sausage or ham, Luke usually targets bigger hogs but for some awesome 'old school" BBQ, nothing beats a pig weighing 30-50 pounds.

This week on Songbirds,  host Valarie Smith shares the peculiar way she was introduced to the music of Patty Griffin.  Enjoy a little spoken word about stepping stones, right before we sink like a stone to The Bottom of the Sea with Sean McConnell.   We'll join Anais Mitchell with Why We Build The Wall and welcome the music of Martin Gilmore to the HPPR airwaves.   All that and much more this week on Songbirds, Saturdays at 1.

An Only Son - Poems from Above the Dreamless Dead

Mar 23, 2018
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This is Denise Low, a regular contributor to HPPR and 2nd Poet Laureate of Kansas. Above the Dreamless Dead: World War I in Poetry and Comics, edited by Chris Duffy, is one of the selections for this season’s HPPR book club. Today I want to look at some of the fine poems in this illustrated anthology.

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A GOP proposal to allow people to carry concealed guns without a permit died in a House committee Wednesday.

As The Denver Post reports, Senate Bill 97 failed in the House State, Veterans and Military Affairs failed by a 6-3, party-line vote, after passing the Republican-controlled Senate.

Julio Salazar

Sitting outside a coffee shop on the town square in Canyon, Texas, I spent yesterday afternoon talking with someone who has a lot to say about the controversy over the DACA program. Julio Salazar was brought to Amarillo before he started pre-kindergarten, and he has attended Amarillo schools his whole life.

Wikimedia

My cousin Mark Jones ranches in eastern Colorado on what were once the headwaters of the Arickaree, a tributary to the Republican River. Mark calls it the Ricaree. “Was there water here in the Ricaree when you were a kid?” I asked him.

“Oh yeah,” he said.

“Is there ever water in it now?”

“Hardly ever.”

Last week I shared my experience hunting down the elusive McFarland Juniper, so I thought this week I could offer a few more evergreen endorsements to round out your coniferous collection.

Today’s Growing on the High Plains will continue the conversation about landscaping with drought-tolerant evergreens. Gardeners, hedge your bets with a lovely Woodward Juniper perimeter, or perhaps rock out with a stunning, jade-hued Arizona Cyprus accent tree. Both trees are known to reach impressive heights, and neither require quite as much watering as you might expect.

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Recent radar imagery shows a large portion of West Texas, near the New Mexico border, is sinking at alarming rates.

Two massive sinkholes are heaving and moving near Wink, Texas, according to a geophysical team from Southern Methodist University. The sinking is occurring across a 4000-square-mile region. Some areas have sunk as much as three and a half feet in a little over two years, reports phys.org.

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Credit rating agencies recently sent a warning to the Lone Star State: If Texas doesn’t get its spending under control, including its overstretched obligations in the areas of public education, pensions, transportation and health care, then the state’s credit rating will be downgraded.

Wake Up, Campton!

Mar 21, 2018
Von Holten

What to do with John Campton? The famous painter at the center of Edith Wharton’s novel, A Son at the Front, is a perplexing gent. An American expatriate living in Paris on the eve of World War I, Campton is likeable and sympathetic in many ways—his love for his son is sincere. His confusion about war in such a civilized society is sympathetic. And we see him work to understand George, whose idealism diverges dramatically from his father’s. Campton is soulful, elegant, and sophisticated.

And yet. John Campton is also prickly, small-minded, and vengeful. We learn that he abandoned his family to paint in the countryside. After his wife divorces him, he continues to pursue painting, and not provide for his son, while George’s wealthy—and by all accounts, doting—stepfather supports and raises him. This mercy is met with contempt throughout the novel.

COLLECTORS! MUSIC LOVERS! VINYL HOARDERS! AGING HIPSTERS! LISTEN UP! Across the US, vinyl enthusiasts celebrate RECORD STORE DAY on April 21st. This year, join High Plains Public Radio for our first-ever POP-UP VINYL SWAP at HPPR Studios—Amarillo (104 SW 6th Ave, Basement).

Leslie Boorhem-Stephenson / The Texas Tribune

Texas is among several states that will bar teachers, dentists, nurses and other professional license holders from renewing their licenses if they are in default on their student loans. Critics say the practice is counterproductive, since it impedes Texans’ ability to work and pay back those loans.

From The Texas Tribune:

edwards.af.mil

The arrival of spring break didn’t stop teachers in Oklahoma from pursuing their quest for higher pay.

As KFOR reports, this week many teachers traded in their vacations to instead visit the state capitol, in hopes of convincing Oklahoma lawmakers to raise their compensation and staving off a statewide walkout on April 2nd.

Courtesy / Lee Richardson Zoo

Lee Richardson Zoo is happy to announce the first pregnancy of Juani and Cleo, the new breeding pair of reticulated giraffes.

Juani, the male and future sire, is nine years old and arrived from Indianapolis Zoo in 2011.  When he was transferred to Garden City, it was with the intent of contributing to the giraffe population through breeding in the future.  Zoo staff worked with AZA’s Giraffe SSP to identify a female that would be a good genetic match for him.  Cleo, the five-year-old soon-to-be mom, arrived in 2014 from Jacksonville Zoo.

Jonathan Baker

Several fires burned throughout the Texas Panhandle this weekend, on a Sunday that was windy even by West Texas standards. One fire near the northwest loop of Amarillo ultimately burned 400 acres of grassland before being conquered by firefighters from Potter County Fire, the Texas A&M Forest Service, and the Amarillo Street Department.

50states.com

Last week, a bill that would raise hunting and fishing fees in Colorado passed the Colorado Senate.

As The Denver Post reports, the Senate unanimously passed the measure, which would allow Colorado Parks and Wildlife to raise fees – as well as the price for park passes - to support conservation programs and chip away at a $45 million maintenance backlog on 11 dams owned by the division.

Kansas Fire Service

State officials said yesterday that the recent rain helped emergency responders across Kansas put out the latest wave of wildfires. Sixty-two wildland fires burned more than 17,000 acres between March 14th and 18th. The wildfires initially broke out in Rice county but were followed by fires in eight other counties -- including Barber and Reno, which were affected by fires earlier in March as well.

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