News

Marjorie Kamys Cotera / Texas Tribune

Texan members of the GOP are gathering in Dallas this week for their state convention. And leaders have called on the Texas Republican Party to unify behind Donald Trump, reports The Texas Tribune. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick spoke to the GOP convention Thursday morning. “We must come together, he said. “We must support our Republican nominee for president: Donald Trump.”

Marjorie Kamys Cotera / Texas Tribune

Texan members of the GOP are gathering in Dallas this week for their state convention. And leaders have called on the Texas Republican Party to unify behind Donald Trump, reports The Texas Tribune. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick spoke to the GOP convention Thursday morning. “We must come together, he said. “We must support our Republican nominee for president: Donald Trump.”

Luke Clayton

The natural world is governed by cycles that repeat themselves in a pretty predictable pattern! We have learned much about the cycles or “patterns” of fish and wildlife. We know when to expect the whitetail rut or the crappie to move shallow. We fishermen have also learned when the time is right for catching trophy-size blue catfish or smaller fish better suited for the frying pan.

mdt.mt.gov

Does anyone else wonder what highway workers charged with stopping one lane of traffic during road construction think about as they stand in the elements and flip their signs from stop to slow eight to twelve hours a day? Whenever possible, I visit with these souls who brave extreme temperatures and irate drivers to see how their jobs compare to my inside work.

Megan Hart / KHI news service

From the Kansas Health Institute:

Kansas health advocates lauded the Food and Drug Administration’s decision Thursday to regulate electronic cigarettes, while those in the vaping industry pointed to harm to businesses and people trying to quit smoking.

Creative Commons

Eggs are a big part of many American’s diets. And evidence shows that, for the most part, eggs have high nutritional value. Just how good for you are eggs? There’s no question they’re the gold standard when it comes to protein, says the Salina Journal. Research shows a deficiency in protein can hinder your ability to produce antibodies. And high-protein breakfasts may be especially helpful in weight loss because they control appetite.

Theo Stroomer / New York Times

Llooking for something to do this weekend? Why not head out to southern Colorado and wrestle an alligator?  The New York Times recently profiled the Colorado Gators Reptile Park in the San Luis Valle. At the park, people of all ages engage in gator grappling.

Flickr Creative Commons

In honor of Mother’s Day this past weekend, the personal finance website WalletHub has compiled a list of the best and worst states for working moms. A couple of High Plains states fared well on the list, landing in the top 10.

KFOR.com

In light of the state’s $1.3 billion budget shortfall, Oklahoma legislators have been forced to find creative ways to climb out of the hole. This week, GOP leaders decided part of the state’s economic burden should fall on the backs of the poorest Oklahomans, reports KFOR.

To bring in new revenue, Oklahoma lawmakers have approved a bill that would do away with a tax credit intended to help the most destitute citizens of the state.

hungerfreecolorado.org

Colorado has an exceptionally low enrollment rate for people eligible for food stamps, reports Colorado Public Radio. And now, because of the lack of response, the state’s food stamp administration is receiving close scrutiny from the federal government. Colorado has even drawn sanctions from Washington for its low enrollment rate.

Hutchinson News

The campaign for a Kansas seat in the US House of Representatives is heating up, reports The Hutchinson News. U.S. Rep. Tim Huelskamp’s seat is up for grabs in November, and both he and challenger Roger Marshall issued statements last week accusing the other candidate of lying.

Natalia Contreras / Caller-Times

I

n rural South Texas there’s a cemetery with names on the headstones like Davis, Baker and Harris. That in itself isn’t so odd. What is strange, reports The Guardian, is the types of names you won’t see. There are no Garcias here, no Lopezes or Hernandezes. That’s pretty unusual for a county where half the population is Hispanic.

New hope for a struggling hospital in southwest Kansas

May 12, 2016
Bryan Thompson / KHI news service

From the Kansas Health Institute:

A southwest Kansas hospital on the verge of having to close its doors appears to have a new lease on life, thanks to a recent management contract with an Oklahoma company.

pinterest.com

There's a new kind of cherry that seems just right for our High Plains.  It's easier to harvest, sweeter, and by all accounts has great potential to be a cherry of a deal in an edible landscape.   

Sasha von Oldershausen / Texas Observer

The Texas border town of Presidio has an unusual problem. Last year, reports The Texas Observer, Presidio buried at least 300 horses at a loss of almost $200 per animal. The city charges $22.50 to bury a dead horse, though the actual task costs a good deal more. The council has discussed raising the fee to $150. But that notion alarmed the owners of local stockyard businesses.

Callie Richmond / Texas Tribune

Providers of early childhood intervention programs in Texas are deeply troubled by budget cuts, reports The Texas Tribune. In-home therapy providers have been warning that the work they do for families and children could be in jeopardy because of severe budget cuts. The cuts were ordered last year by Republican lawmakers in the Texas Legislature.

Wallethub

Graduation ceremonies are happening this month, and employers are planning to hire 11 percent more college grads this year over last.

Wocintech Chat / Flickr Creative Commons

A new rule in Texas prohibits prisoners from having any access to social media, reports member station KUT. The order also families, loved ones, or advocates on the outside from maintaining social media accounts on their behalf. Critics say the rule goes too far in censoring inmates.

Washington Post

The US has, for the most part, recovered from the housing crisis that sent the economy reeling in 2008. However, as The Washington Post notes, the recovery has been deeply uneven. And the winners and losers tend to come down along race, income and geography lines. In many cities the housing market’s changes have deepened disparities between the rich and everyone else.

Tom Fox / Dallas Morning News

Last weekend The Dallas Morning News reprinted in full a New York Times article about what it means to be a Texan in the 21st century. The essay read, in part, “[Texans] believe that their way of life is under assault and that they are making a kind of last stand by simply being Texan.”

The Environmental Protection Agency has apparently made a preliminary finding that glyphosate is unlikely to cause cancer in humans, though the report isn’t yet available, says Politico.

Brian McGuirk / Flickr Creative Commons

The Wheat Quality Council’s annual hard red winter tour began last week across the High Plains, reports High Plains/Midwest Ag Journal. The event was founded in 1938 with the goal of improving wheat quality in the US. The tour posted a record number of stops this year—and finished up with some good news. 2016 showed the best day one yield result in four years.

USDA.gov

The US Department of Agriculture has launched a new fund that will invest millions in rural agriculture businesses, reports The Rural Blog. The Open Prairie Rural Opportunities Fund has the potential to pour as much as $100 million into rural food and agriculture. The fund also has high growth potential, the USDA said in a press release.

Wallethub

This week is National Nurse’s Week. In honor of the event, the personal finance website WalletHub has conducted an in-depth analysis of 2016’s Best & Worst States for Nurses.

Dustin Huntington/VIREO / National Audubon Society / audubon.org

This year, 2016, marks the centennial of the first Migratory Bird Treaty, which the United States signed with Great Britain on behalf of Canada. That treaty and the three that followed — with Japan, Russia and Mexico — form the cornerstones of our efforts to conserve migratory birds, like the Swainson’s Hawk.

Reuters

Planned Parenthood has filed a federal lawsuit against the state of Kansas over a plan to strip it of government healthcare funding, reports Newsweek. According to court documents released this week, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment plans to cut Planned Parenthood off from state Medicaid funds beginning next Tuesday. The agency is acting at the bequest of Governor Sam Brownback, who says no Kansas taxpayer money should go to Planned Parenthood.

Bloomberg News

Following Texas’s lead, Colorado’s Supreme Court has ruled that local municipalities in the state are not allowed to ban fracking, according to The Wall Street Journal. Cities like Fort Collins and Longmont had previously sought to halt the controversial drilling technique. But now the state’s high court has deemed those local laws “invalid and unenforceable.”

NDSU

Kansas’s winter wheat crop has received a timely boost from Mother Nature, reports The Garden City Telegram. After threats of a returning drought, recent rains brought yearly rain totals up past normal amounts for this time of year.

Center for Rural Affairs

In recent decades American life expectancies have been increasing. At least, that’s true for most of us. But for rural Americans, the story’s a bit different. According to The Center for Rural Affairs, new research shows a reversal of the life-expectancy trend for some Americans in out-of-the-way areas. If you’re rich, the data shows, it doesn’t matter where you live. But if you’re poor, where you live can determine how long you live.

Clifton Adcock / Oklahoma Watch

Oklahoma criminal prosecutors are angry over a recent ruling by the state’s highest criminal court, reports KGOU. The decision states that Oklahoma’s forcible sodomy law doesn’t apply when the victim is intoxicated or unconscious. The ruling goes against a nationwide trend toward stricter enforcement of sexual assault laws.

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