News

iti.illinois.edu

In today’s advanced world it’s important to ensure your business’s records and information are adequately secure. To that end, the Center for Rural Affairs has published a list of Cybersecurity Tips from the Small Business Administration.

Gage Skidmore / Flickr Creative Commons

Favorability ratings for the Republican Party continue to crater, and it remains to be seen how much that will affect the deeply conservative High Plains region in November’s elections.

According to a new Pew Research Center poll, the party is now the most unpopular it’s been in almost a quarter century. 62% of those surveyed now say they have an unfavorable view of the GOP. The favorability  number has dropped four points since October, reports GateHouse Media.

Grant Gerlock / Harvest Public Media

From Harvest Public Media:

Schools across the U.S. served more than 5 billion meals in the national school lunch program to millions of students last year. Each one of the meals has to meet federal rules for nutrition. Now, those rules are up for debate and Congress could impose changes on the cafeteria.

weather.gov/norman / KGOU

April’s weather was exceptionally aggressive this year in Oklahoma, reports KGOU. Despite early fears of a growing drought, the state saw the seventh-wettest April on record. Statewide, Oklahoma received more than six inches of precipitation during the month.

KHI news service

From the Kansas Health Institute:

The Kansas Legislature approved additional restrictions on people who receive government assistance but removed one proposal that would have required women to return to work shortly after giving birth.

The changes, passed late Sunday as part of Senate Bill 402, reduce the lifetime limit for cash assistance through Temporary Assistance for Needy Families from three years to two years. There is a one-year hardship extension.

woodlywonderworks / Flickr Creative Commons

From Harvest Public Media:

You’re about to start paying less for eggs at the grocery store because egg farms are recovering from last year’s bird flu outbreak a bit faster than expected.

StateImpact Oklahoma

Faced with increasingly strict federal emissions regulations, some energy companies that use coal to produce power have struggled to find the funds to meet the new criteria. One such company is Oklahoma Gas and Electric. The energy giant has twice before requested funds for a new coal scrubber project to bring their coal plant up to compliance. Now, reports NewsOK, it appears the third time is the charm. This week state regulators approved a half billion dollars to cover the cost of the scrubbers. 

Topeka Capital-Journal

Kansas brought in more tax revenue than expected last month, reports The Topeka Capital-Journal. The state exceeded projections by $2.6 million. However, the numbers should be taken with a grain of salt, as the state has scaled back projections twice during the current fiscal year.

teachmama.com

A Christmas gift from a friend inspires Skip to learn to try her hand at growing and processing her own supply of pickled beets.

Abby Livingston / Texas Tribune

US House Speaker Paul Ryan recently announced that he raised $17 million in the first three months of this year. What he didn’t mention was that twenty percent of that money came from one state: Texas. The Texas Tribune notes that the money will go toward the re-election for Ryan’s fellow GOP incumbents in the House.

Thad Allton / Topeka Capital-Journal

Walk into the Kansas state capitol’s rotunda in Topeka, and you’ll be confronted by four colossal statues of famous Kansans. In this hallowed room, Amelia Earhart, Dwight Eisenhower, Arthur Capper and William Allen White gaze down in silence at visitors to the capitol. The sculptor for these 2,000-pound statues is still going strong, reports The Topeka Capital-Journal.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma continues to support wind-generated electricity. But, as StateImpact Oklahoma reports, that support is drawing criticism as the state’s budget balloons and crude prices remain at historically low levels. 

A new study has found that one in seven residents of the Texas Panhandle struggles to put food on the table regularly. The report was compiled by a Chicago-based nonprofit group called Feeding America. The Map the Meal Gap study found that 16 percent of those living in the Texas panhandle are "food insecure," according to Amarillo.com.

Carlos Pacheco / Flickr Creative Commons

If you’ve ever wondered where Texas’s first barbecue joint was, Daniel Vaughn may have an answer for you. Vaughn is the barbecue editor for Texas Monthly. His research has discovered what might have been the first-ever barbecue location in the Lone Star State. The location was in Bastrop, Texas, reports KUT. At least, says Vaughn, this is the oldest documented barbecue site.

Grant Gerlock / Harvest Public Media

From Harvest Public Media:

Science’s hottest new tool looks like it will be coming soon to the Corn Belt.

Deb Oyler

The Radio Readers Book Club Spring Read concluded with a live two hour event on Sunday, May 1, 2016.  The panel discussed Kent Haruf's Plainsong, S.C. Gwynne's Empire of the Summer Moon, and Gail Caldwell's A Strong West Wind.  

The panel was:  Jane Holwerda from Dodge City, Kansas; Alex Hunt, Jonathan Baker, and Michael Grauer from Canyon, Texas; former Kansas Poet Laureate Denise Low, and Lynne Hewes from Cimarron, Kansas.  

Brian Hardzinski / KGOU

Ty Judd and his friends recently went on an outing to round up rattlesnakes in the Oklahoma hills. Member station KGOU photographer Brian Hardzinski tagged along.

The snakes were delivered to Okeene’s rattlesnake roundup, one of five such festivals each year in Oklahoma.

KHI news service

From the Kansas Health Institute:

Chronic disease risk factors higher among minority groups, adults with lower education levels.

More than one-quarter of adult Kansans say they don’t have any of five major behavioral risk factors for chronic disease, but the picture isn’t so rosy for minorities, men or people with lower incomes.

msnbc.com

Texas looks to be the next battleground in the debate over whether transgender Americans should be allowed to use the bathroom associated with the sex they claim, rather than their birth sex. The Texas Tribune recently published an analysis of the political context surrounding the controversy.

Christopher L. Wood / allaboutbirds.org / Cornell University

This year, 2016, marks the centennial of the first Migratory Bird Treaty, which the United States signed with Great Britain on behalf of Canada. That treaty and the three that followed — with Japan, Russia and Mexico — form the cornerstones of our efforts to conserve migratory birds, like the Cassin’s Sparrow.

quotesgram.com

Philipp Meyer recently spoke at West TExas A&M University in Canyon, Texas.  Cindee Talley had the opportunity to talk with him on the phone, and get to know the man a little bit better.

cfrb.org

This week the Oklahoma legislature passed a resolution to ask the United States Congress to consider adding a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution. As The Claremore Daily Progress reports, the proposal requests that Congress convene a national convention to consider the measure.

politico.com

This week Kansas Governor Sam Brownback announced he’s pulling out of the federal government’s refugee resettlement program. The move comes after Brownback expressed repeated concern about the program for months. The governor said he had failed to get satisfactory answers, so the state is done, reports The Washington Post. The resettlement program has placed more than 2,000 global refugees in Kansas over the past four years.

Luke Runyon / Harvest Public Media

From Harvest Public Media:

The population of Northern Colorado is booming. People are flocking to the area and population numbers are on the rise.

The same thing is happening with dairy cows.

Jae S. Lee / Dallas Morning News

Borden County, in West Texas, has a population of only 676 people—and it’s possibly the most gun-friendly location in the gun-crazy state of Texas. More than one in five people over the age 21 in the county has a license to carry a handgun, reports The Dallas Morning News. That’s far higher than the rate in Texas at large, where only one in 20 has a handgun license.

Wallethub

Amarillo is one of the best cities in America for Hispanic entrepreneurs, according to WalletHub. The personal finance website conducted an in-depth analysis of 2016’s Best Cities for Hispanic Entrepreneurs. Amarillo just missed the top ten, falling at number eleven on the list.

Dayton Daily News

Just three years after Colorado enacted sweeping marijuana legalization legislation, a faction of lawmakers in the state are looking to overhaul the law, reports The Durango Herald. The group has expressed concern about certain aspects of the current legislation. The nearly 50-page proposal has been referred to as a “wish list” by many observers. The proposal is titled, simply, “Concerning Marijuana.”

Cindee Talley

Luke, 

Thanks for letting me share my Texas Bucket List adventure, but mostly thanks for being my friend and my tour guide.  This trip was great because of you.  

Three of us, my dear friends Rick and Kelly Reece, and I left Western Nebraska on Wednesday morning with a goal of experiencing two destinations: Mark Balette's ranch near Goveton, Texas; and the Gulf Coast.

Thomas Bougher / Texas Tribune

When Texas industrial plants break down or close for maintenance, they often spew tons of pollutants into the atmosphere. And they aren’t being properly held accountable, reports The Texas Tribune. A new report has found that 679 facilities from the Gulf of Mexico to West Texas emitted more than 68 million pounds of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, benzene and other toxic substances last year.

Amy Mayer / Harvest Public Media

From Harvest Public Media

Near Alexander, Iowa, on a cloudy spring Tuesday, Josh Nelson watches a bright red Case IH Magnum tractor pull a 24-row planter and crest a small hill, dropping corn seed at careful intervals. Nelson says his family farm dodged a weather bullet this week, but it’s just one of many hurdles this season promises.

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