News

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Arby’s recently began serving deer meat nationwide, and a hunting conservation group is objecting.

As Colorado Public Radio reports,  the Montana Wildlife Federation, which was founded by hunters, anglers and other conservationists, sent a letter to Arby’s earlier this month asking the company to reconsider serving venison and elk steak sandwiches because of concerns that marketing meat from bison, elk and other wildlife could potentially lead to extinction of those species.

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The Lone Star State has been attracting droves of new Texans each year, newcomers who are attracted to the state’s low tax rates and plentiful sunshine. Meanwhile, Texas has a lower percentage of residents moving away than any other state.

Jonathan Baker

In a VFW hall near downtown Amarillo, a group of former energy workers met to drink coffee and reminisce about their days working at the Pantex Plant, the nation’s primary facility for the assembly and disassembly of nuclear warheads, located northwest of Amarillo. Monday, Oct. 30, was designated the 9th Annual National Day of Remembrance for nuclear weapons workers by the U.S. Senate.

Radio Readers BookByte: Name that Character

Oct 30, 2017
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Welcome to the Radio Readers book club and the 2017 Fall Read.  We’ve been discussing our second Mark Kurlansky selection. 

Earlier in my chats about Edible Stories: A Novel in Sixteen Parts, I promised I would touch upon Kurlansky’s use of names.  While I don’t believe that Kurlansky chose every single name in the book for symbolic reasons, I do think paid close attention to this task.

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Texas lawmakers are considering changing the way the state punishes residents who default on payments for furniture and merchandise rentals.

As The Texas Tribune reports, the law currently allows companies to pursue felony charges against furniture rental defaulters.

That means not making your payments on that sectional sofa could land you in prison—and critics say that punishment is overly harsh.

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The State of Oklahoma’s health department is in the midst of a financial crisis, reports Oklahoma Watch.

The department laid off a number of employees this month and announced further job cuts in an attempt to shore up the unexpected cash crunch. The state has also requested a special audit of health department finances by State Auditor Gary Jones. The cash shortfall is so severe that the department has activated a state of emergency normally reserved for public health crises such as disease outbreaks.

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Three more coal-powered plants in Texas will be shutting down soon.

As The Dallas Morning News reports, this development means that Texas will likely be getting more of its power from wind than from traditional coal plants. The Trump administration has rallied to try and save coal operations, standing by its stance that coal is the victim of efforts by environmental activists to close the plants. In fact, the closures of coal facilities began a decade ago, after the price of natural gas plummeted.

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The Trump administration’s decision to end the DACA program could adversely affect the number of teachers available for schools across America, including schools on the High Plains.

As The Washington Post repor­­­­ts, there are an estimated 20,000 educators in America who came to the U.S. as undocumented children. In Texas alone, there are around 2,000 such teachers.

Luke Clayton

Luke gives an update on the whitetail rut and some tips on rattling bucks during early season. Whitetail bucks have started breaking away from the bachelor herds where they spent the summer months.

CCO Public Domain

Archeological training teaches students to look for human-altered landscapes. This includes out of the ordinary coloration, unusual shapes or formations that don’t match surroundings, or obvious construction such as cliff dwellings. Southwest Colorado’s sagebrush plain schools the eye to distinguish differing hues of greenery indicating soil disturbances or recognize mounds with donut-like collapsed centers. In western Kansas, students of vanished cultures work harder to identify signs of earlier occupation.

Radio Readers BookByte: Belons and Oysters

Oct 27, 2017
Kansapedia / Kansas State History Society

Hello Radio Readers!  Dana Waters from Fowler, Kansas, here.  When I read Mark Kurlansky’s Edible Stories: A Novel in Sixteen Parts, I found the oysters in the story titled “Belons” especially intriguing.  Wouldn’t it be fun to compare the Belons to the Portugaises, paired with a bottle of Sancerre of course?  I’m thinking a small Paris café, since Belons are probably not a High Plains specialty, right? 

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Despite uncertainty about the future of a federal program aimed at helping school districts across the U.S. pay for technology, superintendents across Kansas are moving ahead with the application process for next school year in an effort to keep classroom technology current.

Could Pot Be Closer To Legalization In Texas?

Oct 26, 2017
CHUCK GRIMMETT / CREATIVE COMMONS

Legalized pot has taken great strides in Texas over the past couple of years, thanks in part to a surprising ally – a conservative lawmaker and fundamentalist Christian who actually used the Bible to make the case for legalizing weed.

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Bernie Thiel, like many agricultural producers across the High Plains, has had to lower the acreage he plants to squash because of a lack of labor.

Gun Debate At Center Of Colorado's Gubernatorial Race

Oct 26, 2017
CCO Public Domain

Colorado’s debate over guns is set to play out during next year’s race for governor.

As the Denver Post reports, activists on both sides of the debate are poised to magnify even the smallest differences among Democratic and Republican candidates in their stance on gun control.

Today's Growing on the High Plains digs DEEP into the hearty meat of the winter squash.

While many are taken aback by their thick skin, heft, and cloistered cluster of slermy seeds, these gourds are sweet, succulent siblings that enrich every seasonal table. So don't be afraid to chop hard and enjoy these winter treasures. 

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New job numbers were released this week for Oklahoma and Texas, and things appear to be moving along in both states at a steady clip.

As The Oklahoman reports, Oklahoma's unemployment rate in September remained unchanged at 4.5 percent. State employment officials say Oklahoma is showing especially strong movement in the private sector. One year ago, the jobless rate in the Sooner State was half a point higher, at five percent.

Bob Daemmerich / The Texas Tribune

From The Texas Tribune:

Texas House Speaker Joe Straus, a San Antonio Republican, announced Wednesday he will not run for re-election. He did not rule out running for higher office.

SARAH&BOSTON / FLICKR CREATIVE COMMONS

A new study by the University of Colorado has found more evidence that links earthquakes along the Colorado-New Mexico border to wastewater injection wells, similar to human-caused quakes in Oklahoma, Kansas and Texas.

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A study released yesterday by the Annie E. Casey Foundation has found that black and Hispanic children in Texas have significantly more barriers to success than white and Asian students. These barriers include poverty, health care availability, and access to a good education.

Radio Readers BookByte: City Food

Oct 25, 2017

Mark Kurlansky’s Edible Stories is an odd collection of strange characters and strange experiences. People fall into holes and go to baseball games and watch the stock market at the gym and argue with their neighbors. Throughout these braided stories of characters that criss cross one another is the food—pink salt, fattening muffins, wine—that punctuate misunderstandings and hurt feelings. It’s a book about people, mostly.

And yet the stories are about food. Food, really, in cities.

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The executive director of the Colorado Department of Corrections recently wrote a piece about solitary confinement featured in The New York Times.

In September, Colorado ended the practice of long-term solitary confinement, Rick Raemisch wrote, after he assisted the State Department and several United Nations countries in modernizing international standards for the treatment of prisoners, now known as the Nelson Mandela rules.

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Colby Kansas Farmer Lon Frahm is featured in a video from the Wall Street Journal about the future of farming in the U.S.

Frahm says technology has allowed him to do more farming with the same amount of people – nine to be exact, who help him farm 30,000 acres of corn and wheat. Thirty years ago, Frahm had 6,000 acres and four employees.

University of Nebraska at Kearney

In an effort to recruit more out-of-state students, the University of Nebraska-Kearney will offer in-state tuition to Colorado and Kansas residents.

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Texans will go to the polls soon, to vote on seven amendments to the state Constitution, and The Texas Tribune has published a quick guide to the measures.

The first proposal would authorize property tax exemptions for certain disabled veterans or their surviving spouses.

The second would grant Texans easier access to their home equity.

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Amarillo and the surrounding areas continue to be overrun with large numbers of feral cats and stray dogs. In fact, the ratio of humans to animals in Amarillo is larger than in bigger cities like Austin and Waco.

But now, as The Amarillo Globe-News reports, the Amarillo Humane Society has a plan to do something about the problem, and it could mean big changes in the way the local Humane Society operates.

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Researchers in Texas recently spent a year watching low income Hispanic kids engage with a new kind of classroom environment.

In this new method, kids are given much more freedom to decide who to work with and which projects to initiate, and they’re allowed to ask questions without raising their hands. The result? The kids scored 30 points higher on tests than students in traditional classes.

Seems like cause for change, right? Not so fast.

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Overall corn production is expected to decrease slightly in Kansas but increase in Colorado.

According to Kansas Corn, in its October crop production estimate, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is projecting Kansas corn production at 697 million bushels, down slightly from last year’s record harvest of 699 million bushels. NASS is predicting more harvested acres and a slightly higher yield.

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In September, Kansas’s unemployment dropped slightly and Colorado’s inched up slightly.

As The Topeka Capital-Journal reports, the jobless rate in Kansas dropped to 3.8 percent in September.

According to the Kansas Department of Labor and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was about a tenth higher in August.

HPPR’s Living Room Concert Series presents:

The War & Treaty - Live in Concert!

Saturday, October 28 

Fibonacci Space (3306 SW 6th Ave., Amarillo)

Doors @ 7p | Show @ 7:30p

Suggested Donation: $15

RSVP NOW online, or call 806.367.9088 so we can add you to the list!

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