News

No Man's Land

Jan 29, 2018

Hello, this is Daniel Helbert from Canyon, Texas. This installment of HPPR’s Radio Reader’s Book Club is about Michael Morpurgo’s War Horse—a novel that follows the journey of a farm horse named Joey who travels back and forth across the Western Front of World War I.

In what is unequivocally the central scene of the book, Joey has inadvertently wandered into No Man’s Land after being terrified by tanks, starved by the scorched earth of the battlefield, and mercilessly mauled by barbwire fortifications.

mollyktadams / Flickr Creative Commons

Texas may soon throw a monkey wrench into the works of a deal to save DACA recipients from deportation.

Some relief came last week for hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants across the United States who came to this country as children, as President Donald Trump said he would consider a deal to let these so-called “dreamers” stay in the country if Democrats meet his demands for a border wall and work to restrict future “chain migration.”

Kimberly Vardeman / Wikimedia Commons

Amarillo’s KVII recently traveled up to Spearman, Texas, to have a look inside the nation’s largest cotton gin.

The Adobe Walls Gin is by far the largest structure in the small Panhandle town of just over 3,000 people. The $15 million operation, which was built 12 years ago, gins out about 300,000 bales a year.

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The flu is taking a heavy toll on the state of Oklahoma this season. According to KFOR, 74 people have died from the outbreak since Sept. 1. Meanwhile, the state has seen over 2,000 hospitalizations resulting from the viral infection, which has been wreaking havoc across the U.S.

Oklahoma pharmacist Dani Lynch said medicine is becoming harder to find in the Sooner State.

Valerie Brown-Kuchera

I am an eternal pessimist.  I think that if you start every day expecting the worst, you may be pleasantly surprised a small, and I mean minuscule percentage of the time.  Joel and I are proof that opposites attract because he believes in the inherent goodness and beauty of all humanity.  I believe Murphy’s law is a pipe dream.

Whereas I create worst-case scenarios, Joel smiles and says, “What could possibly go wrong?” 

W. Kennedy/Wikimedia

After receiving scores of Presidents Day sale flyers in my mailbox and e-mail, I’m flashing back to childhood celebrations of Abraham Lincoln and George Washington’s birthdays. Keep in mind we didn’t combine birthdays fifty years ago. We turned February into one long party. We celebrated Lincoln on February 12 and then Washington on the 22nd. When you added in a Valentine party, February was a festive month for elementary students in the late fifties and early sixties.

Luke Clayton

Deer season is a done deal for this year so it's time to hang up the rifle or bow, but now is perfect the perfect time for breaking out the camera and "long" lens and taking some great photos. Camera equipment doesn't have to be expensive, an aftermarket 200mm or 300mm lens can be purchased for a few hundred dollars or ... a few thousand for the top-of-the-line professional lens.

WWI Comics and Poetry: A Fine Example

Jan 26, 2018

This is Denise Low, a regular contributor to HPPR.

Dear Listener, first a confession before I discuss Above the Dreamless Dead: World War I in Poetry and Comics, edited by Chris Duffy. I don’t like comic books. My mother forbade them when I was a child, except for Bible stories. So, what mixed feelings I had when I opened this World War I book of poetry about a gruesome trench war. The word “comics” suggests humor, but Above the Dreamless Dead is in no way a humorous book.

Flickr Creative Commons

The League of Women Voters will be hosting registration events in the Texas Panhandle Saturday reports The Amarillo Globe-News.

The events will be held at the United Supermarkets in Amarillo and Canyon, as well as the Amigos Supermarket in Amarillo, between 10 a.m. and two p.m.

Wallethub

The personal finance website Wallethub has released a list of the best and worst states for driving, and High Plains Public Radio states took the top three spots on the list.

To come up with their list, Wallethub compared states according to 23 key metrics, including average gas prices, share of rush-hour traffic congestion, and road quality.

Valarie Smith / High Plains Public Radio

Despite testimony about loved ones who have died in car crashes caused by distracted driving, a proposal to ban the use of cellphones for all Colorado drivers was rejected by the state’s Republican-led Senate committee Wednesday.

As The Denver Post reports, the measure would have prohibited the use of hand-held mobile devices for talking and texting without a hands-free device but failed in a 3-2 vote by the Senate committee.

Colorado State University

In the mid-1980s, when I returned to western Kansas after a sixteen-year absence, I was shocked by the changes irrigation had brought to our once dry-land wheat farm. Many of the wheat fields and pastures of my childhood had been replaced by irrigated corn. The water that made this more lucrative, but very thirsty, crop possible came from the vast Ogallala Aquifer, which underlies western Kansas and portions of seven other states.

Every High Plains gardener knows that moisture maintenance can be a trying task in the unpredictable weather patterns of our region--and that's as true for our wild winters as it is for the sweltering heat of summer.

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Oklahoma has had the largest increase in foster homes in the nation over the past five years, according to a new study.

As KFOR reports, the study—the first of its kind—was initiated to investigate the increasing number of foster kids in America each year and the concurrent decrease in foster homes.

National Centers for Environmental Informaiton / Public Domain

Last year was the second hottest year in recorded Texas history, reports The Texas Observer.

When it came to warm temperatures, 2017 ranks only behind 2012 in terms of hotness in Texas. Furthermore, six of the 10 warmest years on record have occurred in the 21st century.

bombcityfilm.com

On Tuesday night, 1,200 people gathered in Amarillo’s magnificent downtown Globe News Center for the Performing Arts for the premier of Bomb City, a film depicting the 1997 vehicular murder of an Amarillo punk at the hands of a popular “prep.”

The event was sold out, and the crowd consisted of an intriguing mixture of Amarillo’s elites as well as former and current punks, artists, and rabble-rousers.

Pintrest

I’m Jonathan Baker, a writer in Canyon, Texas, and I’ve been asked to talk a little about this month’s Radio Readers Book Club selection, War Horse by Michael Morpurgo. This spring’s Book Club theme is World War 1, but we decided to forego the novels on the conflict that you might have expected us to select.

You won’t find Hemingway or Ford Madox Ford or Erich Maria Remarque on our reading list. That’s mostly because anyone who’s interested in fictional recounting of the Great War has likely already read All Quiet on the Western Front and A Farewell to Arms.

Pixabay

The national Children’s Health Insurance Program, or CHIP, will live to see another day, meaning 800 pregnant women and over 75,000 kids in Colorado will keep health coverage.

As The Denver Post reports, CHIP, or as it’s referred to in Colorado, Child Health Plan Plus, provides health coverage to kids and pregnant women from families that make too much to qualify for Medicaid but too little to reasonably afford private coverage.

Céréales Killer / Wikimedia Commons

The Amarillo Independent School District has voted to shorten the name of Robert E. Lee Elementary School, reports The Amarillo Globe-News.

The school will now be known simply as Lee Elementary School. The school’s name had been a touch point in the community, where many parents felt that the school being named after a Confederate General would ostracize students of color.

Austin Lamar Allison / Wikimedia Commons

ABC News recently profiled the Texas town of Miami, calling the small West Texas hamlet “the most pro-Trump town in America.” Miami, a ranching community of 600 near Pampa, went all in for the New York billionaire during the 2016 presidential election.

Out of 550 who voted in the town, 524 went for Trump.

Eddie Seal / The Texas Tribune

The Texas Education Agency released a preliminary plan for reforming special education, addressing federal concerns about the state's failure to serve students with disabilities.

From The Texas Tribune:

The Texas Education Agency released a preliminary plan for reforming special education Thursday.

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The 2018 session of the Oklahoma Legislature begins in just over two weeks, and one particular bit of potential legislation is already garnering a good deal of attention, reports KFOR.

National Park Service

Lake Meredith—a recreation area that was once one of the most popular in West Texas but has fallen on hard times in recent years—may be on the rebound.

As The Amarillo Globe News reports, the lake near Fritch in the northern Panhandle had its highest number of visitors in over a decade and a half last year. In 2017, Lake Meredith National Recreation Area received 1.3 million visits-the most since the dawn of the 21st century.

Wikimedia

Some hunters believe that if a deer they hunt doesn’t appear sickly, then it’s ok to eat the meat.

As Colorado Public Radio reports, however, that reasoning could be risky when dealing with deer infected with Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD).

City of Garden City

Garden City is one step closer to having a major multi-sport athletic complex.

The Kansas Department of Commerce last week approved a Sales and Tax Revenue (STAR) Bond for the $30 million Sports of the World Complex, which according to a press release from the City of Garden City, will include indoor and outdoor facilities and a stadium that can accommodate ice skating, hockey, rugby and more.

Let's Be Honest

Jan 22, 2018
Pintrest

Hello, I’m Daniel Helbert from Canyon, Texas for HPPR’s Radio Reader’s Book Club. Joey, the horse who is the main character and the narrator for Michael Morpurgo’s novel War Horse is a spectacular and noble steed who has a noticeable emotional effect on humans that associate with him.

timlewisnm / CC0 Creative Commons

The number of adults taking and passing the GED exam in Texas has plummeted recently, reports the Jacksonville Progress. The General Education Development test serves as a stand-in for a high-school diploma, for students who dropped out or failed to graduate.

jpalinsad360 / Flickr Creative Commons

As of yet, the shutdown of the Federal Government is having a limited effect on the Texas Panhandle.

As The Houston Chronicle reports, the Texas congressional delegation was hard at work this weekend, trying to help broker a deal to end the shutdown.

Public Domain

Joel has a habit of leaving items on the top of the car and driving off.  Most of the time, it has been full cups of Dr. Pepper, but once we had to chase down a stack of mail that contained his paycheck, and another time Joel had to weave through Wichita traffic to retrieve some important registration numbers for the state track team he was coaching.  He even left Clementine’s car seat on the roof once!  Don’t worry, listeners, she wasn’t in it, but it looked bad, really, really bad. 

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The national men’s health and fashion magazine Esquire took an acerbic tone this week as it lambasted a “rising star” in the Sooner State’s Republican Party.

Ryan Dahm, a GOP State Senator from Broken Arrow, Okla., gained national notoriety this week after submitting a bill to the state Legislature that would officially designate Oklahoma’s wildlife as “the property of Almighty God.” 

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