News

Last week analyst admitted that previous Kansas budget projections had been overly optimistic and agreed on a lower forecast that leaves a gap of $279 million dollars to be filled by June. It’s already a grim situation but an analysis by the Upshot from the New York Times contends the new forecast may still be overly optimistic. It projects this year’s remaining shortfall could be over $300 million dollars higher.

http://www.offthegridnews.com/

Rules that require more information on meat labels may be on the outs.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack seemed to signal for the first time Friday that the rules are not compliant with World Trade Organization standards and must be fixed.

“We’ve done a 360-degree look and I can tell you that we do not think there’s a regulatory fix that would allow us to be consistent with the law, which I’ve sworn to uphold, and to satisfy the WTO,” Vilsack said.

You might call it family counseling or therapy; you might call it brave and brutally honest, at times; you also might call it a brilliant idea.  Teddy Thompson managed to gather both of his parents Richard and Linda Thompson, his younger sister Kami, her husband James Walbourne, Teddy and Kami’s nephew Zak Hobbs and Jack Thompson, Richard’s son from his second marriage.  The result is ‘Family’, featuring songs from each member , and we will listen to it this week on High Plains Morning. 

Gambling wasn’t viewed as a moral issue in need of prohibition under the state constitution when Kansas joined the union in 1861.  It wasn’t until the Texas-to-Kansas cattle drives brought hundreds of cowboys to Kansas railheads in the 1860s and gambling became part of the colorful life of cowtowns such as Dodge City that it became a matter of public concern.  In 1868 Kansans acted to outlaw all games of chance for money.

Elise Hu / texastribune.org

Texas lawmakers filed 365 bills on the first day of pre-filing.  Panhandle representatives made a number of contributions.  

The Amarillo Globe News reported State Senator Kel Seliger, R-Amarillo, filed proposals to fund 64 construction and renovation projects at public universities, and address high-stakes testing at high schools.  State Representative Four Price filed three bills.  One requiring public colleges and universities to post mental health information on their website. 

mspbwatch.org

Same sex marriages have the green light in Kansas.  The U.S. Supreme Court is not going to block the marriages while the state’s lawsuit is in appeals court.  Earlier a federal district judge stopped the state from enforcing its ban.. staying in line with an a federal appeals court ruling that struck down bans in Oklahoma and Utah.

Witches Britches

Nov 16, 2014
dallasnews.com

I wish I’d paid closer attention to my high school chemistry teacher. If I had, molecules and their pairings might confuse me less. I could better understand polyethylene and other carbon polymer products. Despite my ignorance, intricacies of molecular interactions interest the poet in me. Niggling thoughts waken me in the middle of the night to wonder about the origin of the end product—plastic bags that decorate my landscape.

Luke Runyon / KUNC and Harvest Public Media

The showing starts inside an empty office building, the kind you’d see in any humdrum workplace sitcom, stripped of its cubicles and ceiling tiles, leaving just a bare, dusty shell.

Jason Thomas with Avalon Realty Advisors, a commercial real estate firm that deals with the marijuana industry’s entrepreneurs, shows off the building’s features: a fully operational HVAC system, fire sprinklers, heavy duty warehouse doors, equipped with locks.

It’s a blank slate for a marijuana grower, ready to be outfitted with thousands of lights and complex water delivery systems.

NPR

Starting Monday, November 17th, NPR will be making adjustments to the “clocks” for Morning Edition, All Things Considered and its weekend news programs.  These clocks are the detailed, second-by-second schedules for exactly what airs when during each hour of the programs, for example, when a newscast starts or a block of feature stories begins. 

Join us for Geography Awareness Week celebration on Silver Rails.  We have National Geographic Maps for your correctly answered questions.

Luke Clayton

Well folks, today I’m sharing my favorite wild game barbeque.  It’s mouth-watering good.

A bumper crop of “big data”

Nov 13, 2014
Quentin Hope

Farmers are racing to finish harvest, but corn and soybeans aren’t all they’re pulling out of their fields. Farmers are also pulling in bushels of data – yield data that can be mashed up with soil maps and climate records to make precise prescriptions next year for planting seeds, applying fertilizer, and spraying herbicides.

Michael Ciaglo / The Colorado Springs Gazette

Last year two Colorado lawmakers who supported stricter new gun control laws were recalled out of office.  This year is a different story.  The pair of pro-gun Republicans were defeated by Democratic candidates.  Analysts say the seesawing results are due to increased voter participation using a new mail-in ballot process reported the New York Times.

Join Debra and Lynn on Silver Rails as we celebrate Geography Awareness Week (GAW).  This year's theme is FOOD: The geography of food through traditions, regional specialties, history, farming, film, food systems and movements.  We'll have songs that weave food and geography together along with a geo-food quiz for prizes: National Geographic maps and more...

Welcome to Winter

Nov 12, 2014
Robert Jr. / Twitter

A cold front blowing across the High Plains earlier this week brought drifts of tumbleweeds.  It also created a haboob.  That's a dust storm that typically last about three hours with sand and dirt forming a “dense whirling wall” up to 3,000 feet high according to the American Meteorological Society’s glossary.

carolinafarmstewards.org

When Kathleen and Robert Fields moved into their home, the neighborhood was well-established.  The backyard was surrounded with ready made shade.  Kathleen quickly learned that leaves were great start for compost.  

"Great gardens begin with soil building," she says, "You can get a sick plant and bring it back to health if you have good soil."

Kathleen also believes in perennials.  She subscribes to this saying, "The first year they sleep.  They second they creep.  The third they leap."

commons.wikimedia.org

The keys to winning an election in Kansas when the pivotal issue is abortion are: voting guides in churches, fliers on car windshields in church parking lots, telephone calls, and knocking on doors.  

nathansnews.com

Revenue estimates for the state of Kansas are in, and the projections have a lot of red ink reported Stephen Koranda for Kansas Public Radio.  To balance the books for the current fiscal year, which is half over at the end of December, $279 million needs to be cut.  $435 million in reductions needs to be made to balance the upcoming fiscal year. 

Stephen Koranda / kpr.org

Secretary of State Kris Kobach says he’ll keep pushing for the power to prosecute voter fraud cases reported Stephen Koranda for Kansas Public Radio.

J.N. Stuart/Flickr Commons

Clay Cooper signed the first Lesser Prairie-Chicken conservation plan in Texas, through the Natural Resources Conservation Service "Working Lands for Wildlife" partnership -- an agreement with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

kirk.senate.gov

World War I was known as “The Great War.” It officially ended with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles on June 28, 1919.  Although fighting had stopped several months earlier when an armistice between the Allied Nations and Germany went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. That’s why President Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

wikipedia.org

Kyle Dillard, a Milnesand, NM, rancher is taking advantage of an NRCS program. He's a cow/calf man in eastern New Mexico - right in the middle of a large Lesser Prairie-Chicken population.

   HPPR’s Songwriter in the Round series continues on Friday, November 21!  This event will be at the Fibonacci, located at 3306 SW 6th Ave, at the home of Chamber Music Amarillo.  We’ll open the doors at 7:00, and the show will start at 7:30.  We’ll have the usual great coffee from the folks at Evocation Coffee Roasters and cookies from Kristy Fuller.  To make a reservation for this show, call us at 806-367-9088 or send an e-mail to music@hppr.org.

The Performers:

 Mike Borger

‘Plainspoken’ is John Mellencamp’s 1st release since 2010, and according to reviews, a very personal and moving record that stands along his best.  Arranged using mostly acoustic instruments, the songs continue the themes explored on his previous releases  ‘No Better Than This’ and ‘Life, Death, Love & Freedom’.  We will listen to ‘Plainspoken’ this week on High Plains Morning.

ivn.us

What drove the tide of GOP victories in Kansas and proved many pollsters wrong?  Political Science Professor Chapman Rackaway of Fort Hays State University believes the answer is simple -- Republicans just turned out in greater numbers.  

In an interview with Stephen Koranda of Kansas Public Radio, Rockaway explained that the GOP accomplished that by using sophisticated data models and tools that helped them contact the right people, in the right way, and get them to vote.

www.tmoutdoors.com

If you’re driving through southeast Colorado this fall, you might encounter a different sort of roadside checkpoint. It’s not for drunk driving or border security.  It’s for poachers. 

Last week two dozen Colorado Department of Parks and Wildlife (CPW) and law enforcement officials checked vehicles on Highway 50 at Lamar for hunting violations, as reported by Russ Baldwin in the Prowers Journal.

Weekend trips were my father’s favorite way to unwind.  One of his favorite getaways was a  ranch east of San Diego along the Mexican border.  Semi-arid and craggy, it’s mystique appealed to me as well.  It was a relief to escape the crowded Los Angeles basin to this uncomplicated ranch nestled amidst sage-dotted hills.  The land’s sparse vegetation and up-thrust boulders made it difficult for man or beast to inhabit. 

stripes.com

The V-A has begun mailing cards to veterans who may need medical care outside the V-A health care system. The cards are called Veterans Choice Cards.  They’re intended for veterans who live more than 40 miles from the nearest V-A health care facility—or who have faced excessive wait times for appointments reported Bryan Thompson for Kansas Public Radio.

Luke Clayton

So far, this has been an awesome year in Texas for harvesting trophy class white tail bucks. Today, a buck that makes the Boone and Crockett book with the minimum score of 170 BC has become almost commonplace, especially on well managed ranches, many of which are high fenced, all across the state.  I, and most veteran deer hunters, can remember not too many years ago when there were only a handful of ‘book’ bucks taken in the state each year. While visiting and hunting with my friend outdoor writer and TV show host Larry Weishuhn recently, we spent a good bit of time discussing the subject of the increase of big deer taken in Texas and across the country.

Carole Geier

Today we travel to the sandhills south of Garden City, Kansas to the home of Larry and Carole Geier.  The couple has created an oasis in the midst of sagebrush and sand. The location has perks like night skies filled with stars, and some burly neighbors who used to roam the prairie. 

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