News

Ben Kuebrich / High Plains Public Radio

A proposal by the Kansas Department of Aging and Disabled Services (KDADs) to locate a halfway house for sexual predators in Dighton is drawing strong opposition.

Hundreds of residents attended a town hall meeting held by the state Tuesday night to voice their opposition to the project. The proposed reintegration facility would house up to 16 convicted sexual predators that have served their sentences, undergone rigorous therapy, and shown good behavior. Similar facilities already exist in Osawatamie, Parsons, and Larned.

Indians in WWI

Mar 14, 2018
Wikipedia

The results of World War I on Native peoples in the United States were profound, as the war led to citizenship and, slowly, to a greater participation in constitutional rights. During World War I, Native troops contributed to victory as soldiers and support staff. The Native-language code talkers provided invaluable intelligence services.

Wikimedia Commons

Oklahoma lawmakers are looking at expanding the state’s Stand Your Ground law to include places of worship.

As KOSU reports, the law known as Stand Your Ground gives people who kill or seriously wound someone in self-defense immunity from prosecution — even if they didn’t try to evade the danger first.

Legislators are looking to expand the law to cover churches, synagogues and mosques and any other “building, structure or office space … used for worship services.

AMY MAYER / HARVEST PUBLIC MEDIA FILE PHOTO

Updated March 13 with details of settlement — U.S. corn growers, grain-handling operations and ethanol plants will see a slice of a $1.5 billion settlement Monday in a class-action lawsuit over a genetically engineered variety made by Swiss-based Syngenta AG. 

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A school district on the edge of Amarillo is now allowing certain teachers to carry concealed weapons, leaving some to wonder if the rest of Amarillo’s schools may be next.

As The Amarillo Globe-News reports, the 900-student Highland Park ISD on Amarillo’s eastern edge has posted signs reading that the district, “has adopted policies that allow certain employees to carry concealed weapons on school property for the protection of our students and staff.”

National Archives

I’m Jonathan Baker, a writer in Canyon, Texas, and I’m the discussion leader for this month’s book club read, A Son at the Front by Edith Wharton. The theme for the Radio Readers Book Club this spring is World War I—which means the theme is really war itself. Some military historians consider the American Civil War to be the first “modern war,” as many of the elements of post-Industrial Age warfare were in place during that event. Yet World War I was the first conflict to use mechanized weapons on such a massive scale that the earth itself seemed to shake from the trauma.

darinrmcclure / Flickr Creative Commons

Oklahoma’s state employees announced this weekend that they will join the state’s teachers in a walkout early next month if lawmakers do not meet the teachers’ demands for increased pay and school funding.

As The Oklahoman reports, the Oklahoma Public Employees Association board of directors met on Saturday and approved a work stoppage plan if the state legislature doesn’t agree to $213 million in state employee pay raises by April 2.

Texas City Prairie Preserve / Wikimedia Commons

During the primary elections in the Texas Panhandle this year much was heard about a heavily funded far-right group called Empower Texans, and how the group was trying to meddle in Panhandle elections. Republicans like State Congressman Four Price and State Senator Kel Seliger were targeted by the group, who funded primary challengers to try to torpedo these lawmakers’ re-election bids.

This wasn’t just happening in the Panhandle, either—Empower Texans employed their hardball tactics in races across the state. And they came up mostly empty-handed.

Little Spouse On The Prairie: Of Mice And Men

Mar 10, 2018
Creative Commons

We live, as many High Plains listeners know, in a very old rambling house.  Living in a structure that some might call decrepit, though I much prefer the term, “historical,” does have drawbacks.  In addition to the astronomical heating bills, the six toilets to clean, and the ever-present sifting of dust from the 1930’s that shakes out of the lathe and plaster when the wind blows in Kansas (and the wind always blows in Kansas), we sometimes have to contend with mice.  

Luke Clayton

In today's High Plains Outdoors, Luke discusses planning a summer fishing trip to Canada. There is a wide array of options when planning a trip; everything from five-star lodges to "do it yourself" camps. Prices of these fly-in trips vary greatly.

In today's show, Luke tells about his trip last summer where cost, including float plane, lodging in a comfortable cabin, fish cleaning, and boat and motor was just under $1,000 US dollars.

Wikimedia

Windhorst, KS is one of those prairie communities that doesn’t exist anymore except for a lonely church and outbuildings.  Oh, there is a brown and white road sign pointing past a steep railroad track embankment over which the spire of the ornate church peeks 

I’m Kathleen Holt of Cimarron, KS and I’ve driven over that track to explore the historic church and outbuildings mostly because I am curious about the lives and dreams of those who built this impressive facility in – well, in the middle of nowhere it would seem.

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West Virginia teachers had a big win this week after state legislators met demands for a 5% increase for all educators and school administrators statewide.

Now, the next battleground in the teacher pay debate looks to be the state of Oklahoma.

As The Oklahoman reports, state lawmakers have three weeks to approve $800 million in additional public school funding, including money for teacher pay raises, or educators across the state are going to walk off the job.

Our Turn At This Earth: In Search Of Live Water

Mar 8, 2018
Julene Bair

I once read a beautiful definition of a spring:  “a place where, without the agency of man, water flows from rock or soil.” That water can just appear in this way, often in a very dry place, has enchanted me ever since I was a young woman, traveling and camping in the Mojave Desert.

In those miraculous places where water trickled through cracks in granite or up from an otherwise dry creek bed, life sprang forth as magically as the water. Fish weaved through clear pools, casting shadows on sand or gravel bottoms. Birds darted among willow shrubs and cottonwoods. Bees buzzed. Butterflies flitted from flower to flower. Invariably, I found places in the lush grasses where deer or antelope had slept.

The gift of live plants can be a welcome addition to any garden, but briars beware: it’s important to perform the proper due diligence of your recently acquired flora before you begin laying roots.

Today on Growing on the High Plains, I share a cautionary tale about my own personal experience integrating misidentified gifted plants into my garden, and the resulting siege that they aggressively waged against my existing vegetation. So gardeners take heed and head off any invasive maneuvers by properly identifying acquisitions before you plant!  

World Travel & Tourism Council / Wikimedia Commons

The dust continues to settle from Tuesday night’s Texas primary elections, and there were some expected results as well as a few surprises, both regionally and statewide.

As The Amarillo Globe-News reports, State Senator Kel Seliger successfully fended off challenges from former Midland Mayor Mike Canon and Amarillo restaurateur Victor Leal. Seliger just barely squeaked over the 50% margin to avoid a runoff, winding up with 50.41% of the vote.

50states.com

Colorado’s gubernatorial race is pretty much a free-for-all, based on Tuesday’s caucus.

As The Denver Post reports, a significant number of Democratic and Republican voters appeared undecided about their favorite candidates and remained split on which offers their party the best chance to win in November.

Caucuses are held across the state in places like schools, churches and community centers to give candidates the opportunity to qualify for the June primary ballot.

Creative Commons

A measure from the Trump administration that allows ICE to deputize local police officers has emerged as one of the most effective in cracking down on undocumented immigrants – especially in Texas.

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Texas has been fighting with New Mexico over rights to the water in the Rio Grande River for years.

This week, as the Austin American-Statesman reports, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Federal government will be allowed to intervene in the dispute. This ruling is seen as a big win for the State of Texas, as the state has long been asking the feds to intervene.

Kansas Highway Patrol

Heavy winds and low humidity yesterday were to blame for several grass fires across the High Plains, including one near Hays, Kansas resulting in the temporary closure of a portion of I-70, as well as one near McCook, Nebraska that prompted evacuations.

As KWCH reported yesterday afternoon, firefighters responded to at least 12 active wildfires across Kansas, after helping extinguish at least 19 fires. At least three fires were reported near Hays, resulting in the partial closure of I-70.  

'American Pickers' Coming To Kansas This May

Mar 7, 2018
www.history.com / History Channel

The show American Pickers is coming back to Kansas in a couple of months and is looking for leads about anyone with a collection of unique antiques and relics they can pick through.

As The Hays Post reports, the History Channel’s documentary series explores antique “picking” with Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz, two of the most skilled pickers in the business, as they hunt for America’s most valuable antiques.

Setting Fire to Music, Art, & Culture

Mar 7, 2018
Wikipedia

Erik Kirshbaum’s book Burning Beethoven derives its title and its central metaphor from a deeply disturbing image: American nationalists setting fire to Ludwig van Beethoven’s sheet music during World War One. It is an incredibly shocking image for music lovers and book lovers alike.

As Kirshbaum argues in the book, such acts of tomecide (or book burning) were carried out in First World War America explicitly for the purpose of suppressing the people who practiced German culture.

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Craft brewers in the state of Texas are growing increasingly incensed at the way the state government has been treating their industry.

As the San Antonio Express-News reports, Brewers must face a labyrinthine set of laws if they hope to successfully run their businesses in the state. For example, if a craft brew pub wants to sell products from other beer makers, that's illegal. They can, however, sell wine or cider from other makers.

Creative Commons 2.0

The Arickaree School District in northeast Colorado is find ways that technology can help solve the state’s teacher shortage, which involves a collaboration with a Denver school.

As The Denver Post reports, a couple of times a week, teachers and students from the high-performing 1,800-student STEM School Highlands Ranch use video and teleconferencing know-how to reach across about 100 miles of prairie to the 100-student Arickaree School District in Anton, Colorado.

townmapsusa.com

The tiny Texas Panhandle town of Cactus is being featured in a Washington Post article that questions President Donald Trump’s claims that immigrants are taking jobs away from Americans.

In 2006, Immigration and Customs Enforcement conducted a surprise raid on the Swift & Co. meatpacking plant in Cactus that resulted in 300 immigrants being taken into custody.  

CC0 Creative Commons

As Texans head to the polls tomorrow morning, many of the nation’s largest news organizations are reporting on a massive Democratic surge in the Lone Star State during early voting.

In fact, as NBC news reports, through the first 11 days of early voting, the number of Democrats who had voted was up by more than 100 percent over the last midterm election 2014. This led NBC to openly wonder, “Can Texas Democrats turn the Lone Star State blue?”

Scared by the Government

Mar 5, 2018
National Archives

In previous comments about Erik Kirschbaum's new book Burning Beethoven: The Eradication of German Culture in the United States during World War I, I considered how wartime Americans were taught to fear one another and how that fear short-circuited their powers of reason. I also spoke of the role the press played in fomenting that hatred.

This time, I want to take a look at the government's role. I have often thought that if a government can scare people enough, they will throw themselves at its feet. World War I provides compelling evidence for that conclusion.

FutUndBeidl / Flickr Creative Commons

The Texas Primary election will be held tomorrow. Here’s what Panhandle voters need to know before heading to the polls. Major Texas political figures are on the primary ballot this year, including Gov. Greg Abbott, and nine Democrats vying to challenge him in November, such as purported front-runner Andrew White.

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick is also defending his seat, as is Attorney General Ken Paxton. In addition, voters will decide on the fate of embattled Land Commissioner George P. Bush, as well as controversial Ag Commissioner Sid Miller.

Understanding Colorado's Caucuses

Mar 4, 2018
50states.com

Want to understand 2018’s Colorado caucus better?

The Denver Post published an article Thursday explaining what a caucus is, who is eligible to participate and where to go for Tuesday’s caucus.

Colorado political parties hold neighborhood-level gatherings, known as precinct meetings, to start the party’s candidate nomination process and they are typically held at places like schools, churches and community centers.

Valerie Brown-Kuchera

To be honest, I may put on a show of indignation about my husband’s old-fashioned ways, but secretly, I am glad that Joel feels it is a “man’s job” to gas up the car, change the oil, and complete basic maintenance on our vehicles in preparation for family vacations.

Luke Clayton

Join Luke on the porch of his cabin this morning and he will walk you through a very simple but tasty method of making Kielbasa smoked sausage.

Rather than buying all the bulk seasonings, measuring and blending, Luke prefers to use a kit from Butcher Supply. This kit contains the proper amount of blended seasoning to make 25 pounds of very tasty Kielbasa.

Luke walks you, step by step, through the process in today's show. This is something that YOU can do and save some $$ in the process.

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