News

Emily Deshazer / Topeka Capital-Journal

Over the past 18 years Kansas has been paid slightly more than $1 billion by tobacco companies, officials said Monday. As The Topeka Capital-Journal reports, the money has come from annual payments to compensate for the health consequences of smoking. The money came as part of a 1999 legal settlement to resolve claims by 45 states, including Kansas.

Luke Clayton

Howdy, Folks!  It's your ole buddy, Luke Clayton, and I tell you, if you were to tell me 20 years ago I'd be fishing on Lake Fork for sand bass, I'd say you were absolutely crazy.

But, time changes everything, and today that's exactly what I'm doing with my buddy, Larry Large.  So, grab a glass of iced tea, put your feet up, and jump in the boat with us.

www.goodlifegarden.ucdavis.edu

Picking and shelling peas is a labor of love, not practicality. After three evenings bent over knee-high vines finding and shelling full pods, I conceded the payoff—healthy calories—doesn’t match effort expended. Some folks might wise up and start buying canned or frozen peas at the market, but they’d miss what some researchers call the intangibles.

Swarm Season has beekeepers hunting for new hives

Jun 9, 2016
Brian Seifferlein / Harvest Public Media

From Harvest Public Media:

Late spring is swarm season, the time of year when bees reproduce and find new places to build hives. Swarms of bees leave the nest, flying through the air, hovering on trees, fences and houses, searching for a new home.

Ann Saphir / Reuters

Oil prices are creeping up, and that means energy companies are tentatively starting to drill again, Reuters reports. Many drillers are starting to be optimistic that this time they really are on the other end of the horrific two-year slump. The downturn has caused oil outfits to shed employees and hemorrhage profits. Now as wells in the West Texas Permian Basin are again becoming profitable, producers are finally taking baby steps to crank up output.

Shelby Tauber / Texas Tribune

With all the talk of third party candidates this year, the difficulty of such a proposition sometimes gets lost amid the noise. The Texas Tribune reported this week that a third party prospect would have to face almost impossibly high hurdles in the Lone Star State. The main obstacle: The deadline has already passed.

Patrick Michels / Texas Observer

There’s a major movement afoot in American politics, notes The Texas Observer, but it’s seldom mentioned by name. It’s known as dominion theology, or dominionism, and Texas is one of it’s main strongholds. It began as a fringe evangelical sect in the 1970s, but now dominion theology has grown to reach the highest levels of power in the Lone Star State. Dominionism fundamentally opposes the separation of church and state.

kshs.org

Today we'll talk with Anthony Zukoff.  He's an expert in Ecology, Zoology, and Entomology.  We'll get to know a little about the man, what took him from his roots on the East Coast to the High Plains of Southwestern Kansas.  

You can ask Anthony questions by searching for "Friends of Sand Sage Bison Range" on Facebook or by emailing him at: AZukoff@gmail.com

Joey Bunch / Denver Post

A women’s organization in Colorado has drawn the attention of The Denver Post for giving its highest marks to Democrats. On a recent scorecard of Colorado legislators, the Women’s Lobby of Colorado gave almost every Democrat a score of 100.

Paul Lowry / Texas Tribune

Slumping oil prices aren’t just hurting oil and gas companies. Many landowners see the effects when they visit their mailbox, reports The Texas Tribune. The energy downturn is eating into the monthly checks royalty owners receive for oil production on their property. However, while it’s little comfort, the slowing income can also mean their tax bills will plummet.

Shelby Knowles / Texas Tribune

The Texas Governor’s office seems to have a problem appointing replacements to state boards and commissions in a timely manner. According to The Texas Tribune, the state now has 336 holdover appointees. Those are people whose terms have expired but whose replacements have not been named.

Joe Amon / Denver Post

Cities on the High Plains that have been threatened by wild fires in recent months may soon be watching firefighters in Boulder, Colorado. The city of Boulder is testing a new app that could help fight natural blazes. The app is called the Android Team Awareness Kit, reports The Denver Post. The Boulder Fire Department hopes the new technology will help them better coordinate efforts to fight large wildland fires.

Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

Two years ago Oklahoma was experiencing a devastating drought. Then came 2015. Last year was the wettest year ever in Oklahoma. And the rain keeps coming. The state has breathed a collective sigh of relief since the drought’s end. But many climate scientists are now saying “not so fast,” reports StateImpact.

Living Room Concerts: 2016 Schedule

Jun 7, 2016

   

HPPR is proud to announce our Summer/Fall lineup for the Living Room Concert Series, with shows in Amarillo, TX & Garden City, KS. 

Orlin Wagner / AP photo

A week after the New York Times editorial board took Oklahoma to task for the state’s failure to avoid a $1.3 billion—thus leaving the poorest in the state holding the bill—the Times has now put Gov. Sam Brownback’s tax policies in the crosshairs. The paper’s editorial, “Kansas Schools, Victims of Bad Tax Policy,” minced no words.

Tanner Colvin / AP photo

Roughly fifty tornados were sighted in Kansas last week, according to The Wichita Eagle. The most powerful was an EF-4 that grew to a half-mile wide. The twister was on the ground for 90 minutes and its roar could be heard two miles away. This sort of activity is par for the course in Tornado Alley. Bryan Baerg, a meteorologist with the Topeka branch of the National Weather Service, explained: “It’s late May, so it comes with the territory.”

noaa.gov

The Washington Post recently published this video of a Haboob descending on the airport in Lubbock on May 29.

A haboob is a massive and intense dust storm.

Watch here:

Colorado Ski Country USA, Jack Dempsey / AP photo/ CPR

Though it may seem like summer to most, in the mountains of Colorado it’s still winter. Two prominent Colorado resorts have extended their ski seasons well into June, reports Colorado Public Radio.

About 120 acres of terrain will be opened to skiers and snowboarders this weekend at Aspen Mountain. Aspen also offered bonus skiing on Memorial Day weekend.

Dave Hall / The Guardian

An editor for the British news site The Guardian recently went on a trek with a team of Oklahoma stormchasers. His expectations were low—he knew seeing a tornado was rare, even for these intrepid weather watchers.

Andrew Burton / Getty Images

Vox.com reported on an interesting paradox concerning the college admission process known as affirmative action. Since the program’s inception, white women have benefitted more than any other segment of the American population. Yet they are among its most fervent opponents. The irony lies in the fact that the program gained national attention when Abigail Fisher, a white woman from Texas, sued the University of Texas for not allowing her admittance.

Megg / Flickr Creative Commons

From Harvest Public Media:

Expansion in the country’s beef cattle herd is bringing cheaper meat prices to the grocery store just in time for the summer grilling season, but those reduced prices might get some scrutiny on Capitol Hill.

U.S. Department of Agriculture data show the price of ground beef is down about 30 cents per pound compared to last year.

USDA / Rural Blog

Many rural areas in America are becoming less reliant on agriculture and more oil and gas dependent, reports The Rural Blog. According to the USDA, over the last ten years the number of farming dependent counties in the US has dropped. In that same period, the number of mining-dependent counties grew by 60 percent.

Lindsey Bauman / Hutchinson News

From Harvest Public Media:

The blue bus is still going.

Once wheat harvest swings into operation around Lane County, probably by mid-June, the bus will rumble down dusty county roads.

In an earlier life it had been a school bus. But it was transformed long ago into a makeshift kitchen that often was filled with the sweet aroma of freshly baked oatmeal cookies.

bikeprairiespirit.com

Rural High Plains residents know the benefits of living in wide open spaces. But they’re also familiar with the drawbacks. One pitfall of rural living: It can be hard to access good places to exercise. Rural mothers rely on outdoor activities to promote health and well-being for their families, notes The Rural Blog. But they often struggle with the long distances they have to travel to find outdoor exercise resources.

David Zalubowski / AP photo

Pot profits are working to better the lives of Coloradans of all stripes. The third largest city in Colorado has announced that it will divert $1.5 million in marijuana tax income toward helping the homeless. The city of Aurora has now designated a number of groups to receive the funds, reports The Huffington Post.

Amy Mayer / Harvest Public Media

From Harvest Public Media

A weathered wooden shed that holds wheelbarrows, hoes and other basic tools is the beacon of the Student Organic Farm, a two-acre swath within the Iowa State University Horticulture Research Farm. On a warm spring evening, a half-dozen students gather here, put on work gloves and begin pulling up weeds from the perennial beds where chives, strawberries, rhubarb and sage are in various stages of growth.

Gage Skidmore / Flickr Creative Commons

If Donald Trump is elected president, how will it affect the energy industry? The presumptive Republican nominee has said he wants to relax the rules on oil and gas drilling. He would also encourage energy development and cancel the recent multinational agreement to fight climate change. In addition, he says he would revive the Keystone XL pipeline and restore lost jobs in the coal mining industry.

woodlywonderworks / Flickr Creative Commons

After a stern editorial scolding from The New York Times last week regarding its staggering budget crisis, Oklahoma appeared in the pages of The Economist this week. The British publication noted that, 98% of Oklahomans support pay raises for public school teachers.

Amy Mayer / Harvest Public Media

The 21st century farm has come a long way from a simple matter of sowing and reaping. To keep up with the future, notes NetNebraska, many farmers are employing business school techniques. For example, David Muth of Ames, Iowa, breaks down his farm operation into individual one-acre datasets.

Sandra J. Milburn / AP photo

The largest electric utility in the state of Kansas has been sold, reports USA TODAY. In a deal worth almost $9 billion, Westar Energy will be acquired by Kansas City-based Great Plains Energy.

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