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Kansas
8:00 pm
Tue August 27, 2013

Back in Kansas: Senator Pat Roberts

Credit kansasagnetwork.com

It’s the season.  Representatives are back at home, getting in touch with their constituents.  The Salina Journal reported Senator Pat Roberts, R-Kansas, was recently in Salina speaking about the gridlock in Washington, and sharing his stance on the following:

·        Immigration

·        Economic stimulus

·        The suicide pact

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Theater
8:00 pm
Tue August 27, 2013

End of Summer Bucket List Idea: Trip to the Drive-In Theater

Credit midatlanticnostalgiaconvention.com

Labor Day is the unofficial end of summer.  Here’s an idea to add to your end-of-season traditions:  the drive-in movie.  Remember?  The place with playground equipment under the big screen, the smell of popcorn on the breeze, and watching a movie under the night sky.   

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Texas Panhandle
8:00 pm
Tue August 27, 2013

Mike Fuller: A Glimpse Inside

Credit alamomusic.com

There are a few families that show me how love looks and acts.  The Fullers do.  What some might see as a burden, they see as a blessing.  Read Mike’s feature from the Inspire section of Amarillo Magazine to get a glimpse into how this grandfather sees his grandson. 

With Mike’s approval, here’s the song he wrote for Max, “Son of a Daughter.”

Mike performing "Son of a Daughter" live

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Playa Country Episode
8:01 pm
Mon August 26, 2013

Three Rivers Alliance, Colorado

Unharvested Playa
Credit Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism

This group's mission is to sustain vibrant natural and human communities of the Republican River Basin by promoting good stewardship of its land, water and wildlife. The group addresses three aspects of long-term landscape sustainability: economics, education and conservation.

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Kansas, Texas, and Arizona
8:00 pm
Mon August 26, 2013

State or Federal Government: Who Defines Voting Requirements? The Legal Posturing Continues

Credit dyn.politico.com

  Kansas and Arizona

Kris Kobach, Kansas Secretary of State, and Ken Bennett, Arizona Secretary of State, are joining forces to save laws requiring proof of citizenship when registering to vote reported the Wichita Eagle

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Weather
8:00 pm
Mon August 26, 2013

Amarillo: May Hailstorm Damage Total Is In

Credit spotted.amarillo.com

The hailstorm that hammered Amarillo on May 28 resulted in $500 million in insured losses according to Claims Journal.  The final figure was released recently by the Property Claim Services of the Insurance Services Office (ISO).  The ISO is responsible for tallying catastrophic weather losses across the country.

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Education
8:00 pm
Mon August 26, 2013

Texas Lawmaker Supports Blending Traditional and Online Learning

Credit spanglishbaby.com

State representative Ken King, R-Canadian, authored a bill to encourage a mixture of online virtual learning and traditional classroom learning reported The Texas Tribune.  King said he added language limiting the number of tuition-free online classes students can take to three per year because of concerns that the legislation might lead to more full-time online schools in the state.

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Ness County
8:00 pm
Sun August 25, 2013

Ness County Man Remembers His Roots and Leaves Entire Estate to Provide FHSU Scholarships

Credit hayspost.com

Lloyd Trauer spent a long time working in education.  Trauer recently announced that he is leaving his entire estate, worth more than half a million dollars, to provide scholarships reported The Topeka Capital-Journal.  According to his wishes, preference will be given to students from west of Salina, but the scholarships will be open to anyone in elementary education.

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Healthcare
8:00 pm
Sun August 25, 2013

Texas: Is Increased Funding for Physician Shortage a Solution?

Plastic surgery residents Dr. Kristi L. Hustak, left, and Dr. Surjit S. Rai, center, checking a patients skin graft with the Faculty Plastic Surgeon Dr. John Bauer, right, at UTMB's John Sealy Hospital in Galveston, Monday, August 19, 2013.
Credit Texas Tribune

Texas lawmakers increased funding to address the shortage of physicians reported The Texas Tribune.  The medical community has doubts the addition is a long term solution.  “Nobody wants to see this pendulum swing, where there’s money for this biennium and no money the next biennium,” said Dr. David Wright, chairman of the Texas Medical Association’s education committee. “There has to be a better, more stabilized funding mechanism for all of this.”

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Oil & Gas
8:00 pm
Sun August 25, 2013

If Texas Were a Country: it would be one of the top oil producers in the world

Credit State Impact Texas

If Texas were its own country, it would be one of the top producing nations in the world reported State Impact Texas.  When you take a look, almost the entire state has some degree of oil production. 

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Prairie Ramblings Episode
8:00 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

Gifted Armadillos

Credit superanimalwallpaper.blogspot.com

Sometimes you look at a creature and wonder how it evolved into the beast it is. The kangaroo and platypus come to mind, but they’re Australian, and who can account for animal adaptations down under? The critter I’m most curious about is one I see squashed all too often on the Texas and Oklahoma Interstates--the armadillo. Not long ago, I spied an immigrant armadillo flattened on I-70 in Trego County.

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High Plains Outdoors Episode
8:00 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

Elk Camp: A Typical Day

The place I'm headed. Can't wait to get there. See the elk?
Credit Luke Clayton

  Folks, I have to tell you, I have had enough of trying to teach Cindee to fish.  I'm headed up to the mountains of Colorado for the next three weeks for some peace and quiet.  My buddy Larry Large and I guide hunts, and I am looking forward to the trip.  Take a listen to the audio.  I called in and chatted with Cindee about a typical day in camp.  It might not be what you expect.  I'll be in touch.  

My Farm Roots
8:00 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

Still farming, despite disability

Despite suffering from Guillain-Barre syndrome, Steve Quandt still farms outside Grand Island, NE.
Credit Grant Gerlock/Harvest Public Media

One sign that you have strong farm roots is when your rural road is named for your family.

I met Steve Quandt on Quandt Road, north of Grand Island, Neb., on the farm that used to belong to his grandfather. It’s the place he remembers spending days as a kid, from morning to night, helping milk cows, work the fields and repair machinery.

He followed in his father’s and grandfather’s footsteps, building his own farming operation. But that path was suddenly interrupted nearly six years ago.

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Education
8:00 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

ACT Scores: lowest in five years

Credit citizenship-aei.org

ACT scores are the lowest they’ve been in five years reported Inside Higher Ed.  The composite average was 20.9, and the biggest drops were in the English and reading sections. 

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Oil & Gas
8:00 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Texas Leads the Country in Natural Gas Production

Credit State Impact Texas

State Impact Texas reported that Texas has about 23 percent of the country’s natural gas reserves.  Horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” has allowed more production than any other state.

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Oil & Gas
8:00 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Oklahoma: Does a booming oil industry need tax incentives?

Credit State Impact Oklahoma

As the oilfields boom in Oklahoma, so are the state tax credits for drilling reported State Impact Oklahoma.  

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Growing on the High Plains Episode
8:00 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

Lawn Lamentations

Credit jeinc.com

Although buffalo grass is still my lawn of choice for the dry and windy area we call the Southern High Plains, this summer it has been hard pressed to bounce back from our third year of ongoing drought and high temperatures.  As our area of the world seems to be turning more desert-like, even this native of the short grass prairie will need occasional water and maybe a shot of nutrients to do its best.  But it still offers the best alternative when planning a lawn that can stand up to all the challenges our climate has to offer.
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Transportation
8:00 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

Texas Roads: The oil boom has a price

A damaged portion of the IH 37 frontage road, south of FM 99 in Live Oak County, Texas on Friday, August 16, 2013. The road is on a list of roads that the Texas Department of Transportation has announced will be converted to gravel because the agency lacks funds to keep them maintained at a safe level.
Credit Eddie Seal / Texas Tribune

Next week 80 miles of Texas roads will begin the conversion from paved to gravel according to the Texas Tribune.  The oil boom has significantly increased traffic on many farm roads in South and East Texas.  The damage is extensive.  Dave Glessner, spokesman for the TxDOT says, “Since paving roads is too expensive and there is not enough funding to repave them all, our only other option to make them safer is to turn them into gravel roads."

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State Government
8:00 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

51st State: North Colorado Update

Credit ordinary-gentlemen.com

Weld County commissioners recently voted unanimously to place the succession issue of North Colorado on the November ballot reported the Huffington Post.  The ballot initiative will read, “Shall the Board of County Commissioners of Weld County, in concert with the county commissioners of other Colorado counties, pursue becoming the 51st state of the United States of America?"

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Healthcare
8:00 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

Area Hospitals Penalized for Readmissions

Credit gstaadlife.com

The Texas Tribune recently reported the federal government is working to pay for better performance, and penalizing hospitals that have the highest rates of Medicare patients who are readmitted within 30 days of receiving treatment for heart failure, heart attacks, or pneumonia.  As part of the Affordable Care Act, hospitals can be penalized up to 1% of Medicare payment rates for all procedures this year, and up to 2% next. 

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Harvest Public Media story
8:00 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

Both ways for Buffet: GMO and Organic

Howard Buffett stands in front of a lab being built on his research farm in southeastern Arizona
Credit Peggy Lowe/Harvest Public Media

A Midwestern farmer with a well-known last name has set out to fight hunger on a global scale. Howard G. Buffett is the son of Warren Buffett, one of the richest men in the world. The younger Buffett believes that to help people, you must first make sure they can feed themselves. He has a 3,200-acre farm in Illinois and another in Arizona, where research is being done in hopes of learning how Africans can become better farmers.

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Livestock
8:00 pm
Tue August 20, 2013

Cattle Rustling: Oklahoma and Texas up 40%

Credit Steve Ritter

Cattle rustling is up almost 40% this year in Oklahoma and Texas.  State Impact Texas reported there are a number of reasons:

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Wind Energy
8:00 pm
Tue August 20, 2013

Texas Wind Energy Production: West Texas Leads

Credit State Impact Texas

Texas leads the nation in wind energy production, and a lot of that wind power comes from the panhandle.  A recent article from State Impact Texas features a map showing annual wind energy production by county. 

If you’d like to see wind energy production around the world, The Wind Power, is a wind industry website that maintains a database of all wind farms. 

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Harvest Public Media story
8:00 pm
Tue August 20, 2013

Doing More With Less Water

Tom Trout, a researcher at the U.S. Department of Agriculture who focuses on efficient and effective irrigation methods, checks sunflowers on a USDA research plot in Weld County, CO.
Credit Luke Runyon/Harvest Public Media

Hear the audio version of Luke's story.

The future of agriculture across the Great Plains hinges on water. Without it, nothing can grow.

Climate models and population growth paint a pretty bleak picture for water availability a few decades from now. If farmers want to stay in business, they have to figure out how to do more with less. Enter: super efficient irrigation systems.

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10:54 am
Tue August 20, 2013

Changes in Health Care Plague Rural Hospitals

Lead in text: 
There are a number of factors making it hard for rural hospitals to make ends meet. Colorado Matters explores those issues, as well as the effects of sequestration and the Affordable Care Act. Listen to the podcast.
Rural hospitals in the state are struggling to keep their doors open. Many facilties haven’t rebounded from the Great Recession, and now they’re dealing with federal budget cuts under sequestration. CPR's Elaine Grant talks to Colorado Hospital Association CEO Steven Summer. He says though the association welcomes the federal health care overhaul, it could could make it even tougher for small rural hospitals to make ends meet.
Playa Country Episode
8:01 pm
Mon August 19, 2013

Landowner Conservation Partnerships

Burrowing Owl
Credit U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Habitat conservation requires local support, collaboration and leadership. When landowners, community leaders and resource managers work collaboratively to conserve natural resources, that's when the majority of habitat work takes place. We examine what local conservation partnerships are - and why they're important.

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HPPR Government and Politics
8:00 pm
Mon August 19, 2013

Kansas' Hispanic voters: opportunity for state's Democrats

Juan Sepulveda, senior advisor for Hispanic Affairs for the Democratic National Committee
Credit 215mag.com

Hispanics are the fastest growing segment of the population in Kansas. Nationally their voting influence is being felt, as reported by the Wichita Eagle.  However, only 37% of the Hispanic population in Kansas were eligible to vote in 2012 compared to 77% of the state’s white population, according to a complete profile of eligible Hispanic voters in Kansas prepared by Pew Research.

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Texas State Government
8:00 pm
Mon August 19, 2013

New Texas Law: How timely will mandatory DNA testing be?

Credit texastribune.org

It’s too early to know the impact of the new Texas law requiring DNA testing of all biological evidence death penalty cases, but the New York Times recently reported there is concern about the timeliness of the testing.

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11:02 am
Mon August 19, 2013

Library Funding: Kansas has enough. Texas does not.

Lead in text: 
If you missed it this morning on Morning Edition, here's another chance.
Most Americans say public libraries are important to the community - but eight states don't actually support them. Texas has cut budgets drastically; in Vermont, local librarians must go hand in hand to town meetings every year. Neda Ulaby reports on the landscape of library funding across the U.S.
Harvest Public Media story
5:51 am
Mon August 19, 2013

Can government help grow rural towns?

Main St., Mendota, IL
Credit wayne's eye view/Flickr

We don’t like you. You caused our problems. You don’t care about us. Help us.

That might be a bit of a crass interpretation, but it encapsulates what a chunk of rural voters seem to think of government and their elected officials.

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