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The Sunflower State’s wind power continues to grow.

As The Wichita Eagle reports, according to a first-quarter report from American Wind Energy Association, Kansas will reach 5,000 megawatts of wind power generation capacity this year, behind only four other states – Texas, Oklahoma, California and Iowa.

Wikipedia

Texas Governor Greg Abbott took to Facebook Live in an unannounced ceremony Sunday and signed a ban on sanctuary cities. 

As The Guardian reports, the measure allows police, during routine stops, to ask whether someone is in the U.S. legally and threatens jail time for police chiefs and sheriffs who don’t cooperate with federal immigration agents.

City of Garden City, KS

Two independent film makers are in production on a new documentary film focusing on Garden City.

According to a press release, film makers Bob Hurst and Tess Banion – in collaboration with lifelong Garden City resident and former mayor Nancy Harness - are exploring the history of Garden City, Finney County and the many immigrant groups that have come to call the area home over the last 100 years and beyond. 

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

New research suggests the strongest earthquake in Oklahoma history may have been caused by hydraulic fracturing that occurred years before the event itself, StateImpact Oklahoma reports.

Courtesy / Fort Wallace Museum

The history of northwest Kansas is rich with significance and in July, it will be on full display, as the Fort Wallace Memorial Association hosts a four-day event highlighting the history of the Plains Indian Wars and settlement of the region – an event that is expected to draw as many as 500 historians.

Elizabeth Brockway / Daily Beast

A new Texas bill could allow adoption agencies to reject potential new parents based on their religion or sexual orientation, CNN reports.

Lawmakers insist their bill does not amount to discrimination, however, because the measure requires that the rejected applicants be given choices from other agencies than the one that rejected them.

CC0 Public Domain

Kansas’ hard red winter wheat crop is projected to be around 281 million bushels – about 185 million bushels less than last year’s crop.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife

Legislation that would have given Colorado lawmakers the ability to increase hunting and fishing fees died in a Senate committee last week.

As The Denver Post reports, House Bill 1321 would have helped Colorado Parks and Wildlife raise money to  avoid reducing access to hunting and fishing areas, closing fish hatcheries, slashing license allotments and reducing conservation work.

COURTESY / COADY PHOTOGRAPHY

The western Kansas horse that ran in Saturday’s Kentucky Derby finished in eighth place.

As The Wichita Eagle reports, McCraken, owned by Leoti’s Janis Whitham, finished eighth after going off at 6-1 – the third best odds of the 20 horses that ran in the coveted race. 

After starting in the 15th gate, the three-year-old broke to the middle of the pack but never had a spurt to get to the front.

Farmers eye LEMA proposal to curb aquifer depletion

May 8, 2017
Kansas Geological Survey

There is an old saying “Whiskey is for drinking, water is for fighting over.”

It rings true in southwest Kansas, were a group of irrigators are fighting for the Ogallala Aquifer.

For years, irrigators and others have been sipping the region’s groundwater reservoir faster than it can recharge. Thinking of his nephews who are returning to the farm, Finney County farmer Dwane Roth is helping spearhead an effort to curtail pumping through a Local Enhanced Management Area – a program implemented in the past five years to help extend the life of the state’s water resources.

MyHighPlains.com

Amarillo held citywide elections this weekend, and according to myhighplains.com for the first time in 70 years, all incumbent candidates on the City Council were defeated.

Fort Hays State University will soon have a new addition, thanks to the generosity of two former students.

As Fort Hays State University News reports, Richard and Dolores Fischli recently committed $5 million to build a center for student success on the university campus – a facility that will be a convenient one-stop-shop for students to access academic, medical and mental health support.

COLORADO STATE UNIVERSITY

Colorado State University recently broke ground on a $20 million center for its meat science program.

As Colorado Public Radio reports, Greeley-based meatpacking giant JBS USA provided much of the money for the facility, which the company and university say will help “advance best practices in food safety, meat sciences and animal handling and welfare.”

CREATIVE COMMONS CC0

Colorado lawmakers Thursday announced Thursday an agreement to avoid massive cuts to the state’s hospitals.

As The Denver Post reports, the measure would reverse a planned $528 million cut to hospitals, while boosting funding to roads and schools.

Bob Daemmerich / Texas Tribune

A bill that would make it illegal for cities to refuse orders to arrest undocumented immigrants cleared its final hurdle in the Texas Legislature last week.

As The Texas Tribune reports, the controversial measure banning so-called “sanctuary cities” now heads to the desk of Governor Greg Abbot, to become law. Abbott is expected to sign it.

Yi-Chin Li / Houston Chronicle

Texans may soon no longer be required to get their vehicles inspected, reports The Houston Chronicle.

State lawmakers last week approved Senate Bill 1588, which would ensure that annual state safety inspections are no longer required for all personal vehicles. Commercial vehicles would still need to be inspected, however, and some cars in urban areas with smog problems will still need to pass emissions tests.

Luke Clayton

Larry Large enjoyed a very good career as a professional bass angler a quarter century ago and for the past couple of decades, he's been putting clients on big bass at Lake Fork in east Texas.

Large also discusses fishing other east Texas lakes that are often overlooked. Learn more about Larry's fishing and hunting at www.huntingeasttexas.com.

Troglodyte Miscue

May 5, 2017
LEARNER.ORG

Kids love to find words that get under the skin of siblings or enemies. This term gains power due scatological or other socially inappropriate connotations. For me, the word troglodyte, meaning knuckle-scraping Neanderthal, carried great import.. What could be more insulting?

Imagine my surprise to discover a word I secretly called my worst enemies was part of the scientific name of one of my favorite birds, the house wren.

Fire recovery meeting offered in Ashland

May 5, 2017
Sandra J. Milburn / The Hutchinson News

Creating a fire response and recovery plan is the focus of a two-day meeting scheduled May 9-10 in Ashland as the region continues to regroup after a massive spring wildfire.

The workshop will be led by Ranching for Profit owner Dave Pratt, a well-known consultant whose thought-provoking style has helped hundreds of ranchers think through and plan for a more profitable future.

Highway Patrol Images

According to Garden City Police, a 16-year-old male was taken into custody this afternoon based on information received during an investigation into reports of threats of violence toward Garden City High School students.

COURTESY / COADY PHOTOGRAPHY

The western Kansas horse running in the Kentucky Derby is described as a “handful” but one that could very will win the coveted race.

As The Wichita Eagle repors, McCraken, named for the Kansas town of McCracken, belongs to Janis Whitham of Leoti. Her son, Clay Whitham, describes the 3-year-old horse as a closer.

“He’ll hang back in the pack – and then, after that second turn, he’ll make a move," he said.

Travis Morrise / The Hutchinson News

It’s a rainy Tuesday in April, bringing local farmers to the Crazy Mule for a noon meal – which is located in a seven-year-old downtown that is nearly 80 percent full. Down the street is the two-year-old movie theater, which claims to have the biggest screen between Wichita and Denver.

Dixson, who was heading out of town for a funeral, said his wife, Ann, was filling in at the school where the grandkids attend. The countywide school, with its state-of-the-art technology and plenty of windows that bring in natural light, is only seven years old, as well.

amarillo.com

Amarilloans head to the polls tomorrow to cast their votes in city-wide elections.

According to The Amarillo Globe-News, early-voting turnout has been stronger this election than in the last three Amarillo elections.

Avery White / Oceti Sakowin Camp / Creative Commons

A bill is making its way through the Oklahoma Legislature that would result in stiff penalties for some activists who protest on state land.

As StateImpact Oklahoma reports, House Bill 1123 would outlaw trespassing on what the legislation calls “critical infrastructure,” a blanket term that includes dams, water treatment and chemical plants, to oil and gas hubs, petroleum refineries and storage facilities.

Colorado budget bill heads to governor's desk

May 4, 2017
50states.com

Colorado’s $26.8 billion state budget bill headed to Gov. John Hickenlooper’s desk Wednesday after the Senate approved the final version on a 33-1 vote.

As The Denver Post reports, the Senate approved the final version of the budget despite reservations about a move to balance the budget by cutting $264 million from hospitals – a move that is worth double that once federal matching dollars are added.

Courtesy / Nanci Pratt

Late spring blizzards in the High Plains aren’t very common, especially on the last day of April. Farmers and ranchers in southeastern Colorado, western Kansas and the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles are now dealing with the aftermath. They’ve been digging out, dealing with electricity losses and searching for missing cattle in snowdrifts, rain and mud conditions.

Farmers mad about wheat streak mosaic

May 4, 2017
Courtesy / Vance Ehmke

In one of the most severe and extensive wheat streak mosaic epidemics in untold years, western Kansas farmers are not happy. And they’re letting their attorneys, legislators and farm organizations know about.

With the first of May arriving this week, I thought it an apt time to pause and reflect on the historical traditions associated with the special day. From a Red Square affair to a celebration of weather fair, May Day has been associated with a variety of rites and rituals.

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Legislation meant to protect farmers and ranchers from incurring unnecessary costs when protecting the value of their water right was signed into law by Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper last week.

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