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Theodore Scott / Flickr Creative Commons

A battle over local power in rural Colorado could have national implications, reports the The Rural Blog.

A small electric co-operative in Montrose, Colorado, is battling its supplier over how much local power it should be able to get from sources other than the big power company. The Delta-Montrose Electric Association is one of 43 rural utilities in four states that buy power from the Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association.

Kansas City Star

A new poll by a GOP polling firm has found a big problem for Kansas Senate candidates this fall, and his name is Sam Brownback.

KFOR.com

Some Oklahoma drivers have grown concerned about the structural integrity of the state’s bridges after last week’s 5.6 magnitude earthquake.

Washington Post

A new Washington Post poll lists Texas as a tossup state in the upcoming presidential election. According to the poll published Tuesday, Texas provided the most unexpected results of any state.

That’s because, as the Post noted, “The Lone Star State has been a conservative Republican bastion for the past four decades.”

Wallethub

Community colleges were once disparaged as inferior to four-year institutions. But in recent years, two-year colleges have stepped up their game, sometimes even outperforming traditional universities. The personal finance website WalletHub has published a list of 2016’s states with the best and worst community college systems.

What I Did on My Summer Vacation

By Skip Mancini

It's back to school for kids across the High Plains, so I'd like to submit this audio essay about my summer travels.

As we revel in the centennial of the U.S. National Park Service, what better time to check out what Ken Burns's documentary calls "America's Best Idea?" Today's episode of Growing on the High Plains highlights our extraordinary trip to  Yellowstone National Park. 

The Wichita Eagle

For many, Kansas brings to mind the image of flickering wheat fields. But the state has had more than its share of celebrities and luminaries.

The Wichita Eagle has published a list of 19 famous people—and 2 animals—that spent time in Kansas. Military leaders on the list include Colin Powell, who was once deputy commander at Fort Leavenworth, and George Patton, who was stationed at Fort Riley before World War I.

Helen H. Richardson / The Denver Post

In today’s collaborative economy, communication is a valuable skill. So are traits like punctuality, problem-solving, and the ability to collaborate.

But, as The Denver Post reports, many Colorado businesses are having trouble attracting workers with these necessary “soft skills.” The trouble is largely due to Colorado’s tight labor market.  

Metrocosm / Washington Post

Immigration has been a hot-button issue throughout the 2016 presidential race. But, according to surveys, Americans actually know very little about the issue.

The Washington Post recently noted that it was “remarkable just how much Americans overestimate immigration in their country.” On average, Americans guessed that one-third of people in the U.S. are immigrants. That’s more than double the actual figure.

One Neighbor's Story

Sep 7, 2016
ANDREW REYNOLDS - Canyon TX

Hi, my name is Marcos Morales.I’m glad to share my story with the Radio Readers Book Club.  I have been here in southwest of Kansas since November of 2003.  I am from Guatemala from a little poor place. I came here because my dad brought me here in U.S.A.  He’s here with me.  I came here because I thought I had more opportunity than living in my country because when I was younger what I thought was to go to school to have a career, improve myself so that’s one of the reasons that I came.  And that’s what I am doing right now.

Alexa Ura / Texas Tribune

When it comes to police shootings, it’s rare for an officer in Texas to be disciplined or charged with a crime.

As The Texas Tribune reports, almost 900 officers were involved in police shootings in Texas’ largest cities between 2010 and 2015. Of those, only seven faced criminal charges for pulling the trigger. And not a single one has been convicted of a crime.

Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Texas has stopped helping poor families pay their electric bills, reports The Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Over the past years the Lone Star State ran a program called Lite-Up Texas. The initiative offered discounts to thousands of poor Texas families who were struggling to keep the lights on. But now the Public Utility Commission says the program has run out of money. The financial help ended on Aug. 31.

Getty Images

There have long been rumblings that Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper has a strong chance of leading Hillary Clinton’s Interior Department if she wins the White House. It’s a position that has often gone to popular lawmakers from the West. But now, as Politico reports, a blockade from the green wing of the Democratic Party could dash Hickenlooper’s hopes.

New York Times

People in rural areas are now 50 percent more likely to go to prison than people in urban areas, reports The New York Times.

Center for Rural Affairs

A recent environmental study got Brian Depew of the Center for Rural Affairs thinking. After mulling the info from the Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project, Depew penned a column on the rural development potential of transforming the energy sector.

Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

In November Oklahoma voters will decide on State Question 777. Supporters are calling the ballot initiative a “right-to-farm” bill, but opponents prefer the term “right-to-harm.”

As StateImpact Oklahoma reports, right-to-farm is a divisive national issue that’s made its way to Oklahoma. The question has pitted pro-agriculture activists against environmentalists and animal-rights activists in a statewide battle for votes.

s_falkow / Flickr Creative Commons

Four former Kansas governors have leapt into the effort to retain Kansas Supreme Court justices, reports The Hutchinson News.

The aim of the former governors is to keep the justices around, in order to keep the court fair and impartial.

Creative Commons

Prices for pot are plummeting in Colorado, reports Business Insider.

Last October the cost of a wholesale pound of cannabis sat at around $2,500. Since then the price has been cut by $1,000, falling to around $1,400.

Michael Schumacher / Amarillo Globe-News

West Texas A&M University in Canyon has formally named a successor to departing president J. Patrick O’Brien. The new president, Walter V. Wendler, is the former chancellor of Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Wendler will start with a salary of over $335,000. As The Amarillo Globe-News reports, Amarillo-native Don Powell headed a search committee that recommended Wendler after narrowing a pool of more than 70 applicants.

Flickr Creative Commons

The State of Oklahoma reported a $141 million budget surplus this month, reports KOCO. The extra funds will be distributed to state agencies based on need, as determined by the 2016 fiscal year budget.

FrankieLeon / Flickr Creative Commons

The federal government has announced it will distribute $53 million dollars to 44 states and four tribes to help fight opioid addiction, reports The Rural Blog.

Imagining America

Sep 5, 2016
blogs.loc.gov

In Sonia Nazario’s description of what draws Lourdes to take the treacherous journey north from Honduras to the U.S., she writes: “On television, she saw New York City’s spectacular skyline, Las Vegas’s shimmering lights, Disneyland’s magic castle.” (4) 25 pages later Lourdes’ son Enrique misses his mother and is also strongly attracted to the U.S. Nazario similarly expresses that “Enrique sees New York City’s spectacular skyline, Las Vegas’s shimmering lights, Disneyland’s magic castle.” (28-9). Little do Lourdes and Enrique know that Latinos make up almost 30% of New York City’s population. There is almost three times the number of Puerto Ricans in New York City than in San Juan, Puerto Rico’s capital. Additionally, there are about as many Dominicans in New York City as in Santo Domingo, capital of the Dominican Republic and home to almost 1 million people. New York is a dramatically Hispanic city.

Gage Skidmore / Flickr Creative Commons

In Kansas, tax revenues for the month of August came in more than $10 million short of expectations, according to the Kansas Department of Revenue.

That means, notes The Lawrence Journal-World, in order to balance the state budget Gov. Sam Brownback may need to order more spending cuts.

Charles Bertram / Lexington Herald-Leader

A program in Kentucky could be used as a template for how to improve rural health care costs nationwide, reports the Lexington Herald-Leader.

A new initiative by the University of Kentucky has found that offering employees a share in a local farm harvest could impact health care costs.

Spencer Selvidge / Texas Tribune

A new study predicts that, within the next ten years, Texas will lead the nation in sicknesses linked to ozone-forming pollutants.

These pollutants are a byproduct of oil and gas activity, reports The Texas Tribune.

news9.com

When it comes to per-pupil spending, Oklahoma ranks 47th out of the 50 U.S. states and Washington, D.C., according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

The state spends less than $9,000 per student per year. That puts Oklahoma well below the national average of nearly $12,400. Oklahoma also spends less than its neighboring states on students, reports News 9.

Ted S. Warren / AP photo

Nationwide, more Americans are dying in car crashes recently. But that’s not the case in Kansas, reports The Kansas City Star.

From 2014 to 2015, the U.S. saw an increase in traffic fatalities of just over seven percent, the largest year-over-year increase since 1966. But the numbers in the Sunflower State declined at almost the same rate. Kansas highway fatalities fell 7.8 percent from 2014 to 2015.

Guatemala to the High Plains - Unaccompanied

Sep 2, 2016
ESTHER HONIG / KCUR 89.3

In the small, rural city of Liberal, Kansas, a neighborhood of old trailer homes sits just off the main street. The small trailer at the end of the block, with faded yellow paint and creaky front steps, is the place 17-year-old Diego now calls home.

nebraska.tv

Nebraska Senator Deb Fischer gathered a prestigious roundtable of telecommunication and agriculture leaders at the Nebraska State Fair this week, Nebraska.tv reports. The commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission even paid a visit.

Helen H. Richardson / The Denver Post

At one time Colorado was one of the nation’s biggest apple producers, on par with Washington state. Colorado’s apple farmers even won gold medals at the World’s Fair in St. Louis, back in 1904.

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