News

Yi-Chin Li / Houston Chronicle

Texans may soon no longer be required to get their vehicles inspected, reports The Houston Chronicle.

State lawmakers last week approved Senate Bill 1588, which would ensure that annual state safety inspections are no longer required for all personal vehicles. Commercial vehicles would still need to be inspected, however, and some cars in urban areas with smog problems will still need to pass emissions tests.

Luke Clayton

Larry Large enjoyed a very good career as a professional bass angler a quarter century ago and for the past couple of decades, he's been putting clients on big bass at Lake Fork in east Texas.

Large also discusses fishing other east Texas lakes that are often overlooked. Learn more about Larry's fishing and hunting at www.huntingeasttexas.com.

Troglodyte Miscue

May 5, 2017
LEARNER.ORG

Kids love to find words that get under the skin of siblings or enemies. This term gains power due scatological or other socially inappropriate connotations. For me, the word troglodyte, meaning knuckle-scraping Neanderthal, carried great import.. What could be more insulting?

Imagine my surprise to discover a word I secretly called my worst enemies was part of the scientific name of one of my favorite birds, the house wren.

Fire recovery meeting offered in Ashland

May 5, 2017
Sandra J. Milburn / The Hutchinson News

Creating a fire response and recovery plan is the focus of a two-day meeting scheduled May 9-10 in Ashland as the region continues to regroup after a massive spring wildfire.

The workshop will be led by Ranching for Profit owner Dave Pratt, a well-known consultant whose thought-provoking style has helped hundreds of ranchers think through and plan for a more profitable future.

Highway Patrol Images

According to Garden City Police, a 16-year-old male was taken into custody this afternoon based on information received during an investigation into reports of threats of violence toward Garden City High School students.

COURTESY / COADY PHOTOGRAPHY

The western Kansas horse running in the Kentucky Derby is described as a “handful” but one that could very will win the coveted race.

As The Wichita Eagle repors, McCraken, named for the Kansas town of McCracken, belongs to Janis Whitham of Leoti. Her son, Clay Whitham, describes the 3-year-old horse as a closer.

“He’ll hang back in the pack – and then, after that second turn, he’ll make a move," he said.

Travis Morrise / The Hutchinson News

It’s a rainy Tuesday in April, bringing local farmers to the Crazy Mule for a noon meal – which is located in a seven-year-old downtown that is nearly 80 percent full. Down the street is the two-year-old movie theater, which claims to have the biggest screen between Wichita and Denver.

Dixson, who was heading out of town for a funeral, said his wife, Ann, was filling in at the school where the grandkids attend. The countywide school, with its state-of-the-art technology and plenty of windows that bring in natural light, is only seven years old, as well.

amarillo.com

Amarilloans head to the polls tomorrow to cast their votes in city-wide elections.

According to The Amarillo Globe-News, early-voting turnout has been stronger this election than in the last three Amarillo elections.

Avery White / Oceti Sakowin Camp / Creative Commons

A bill is making its way through the Oklahoma Legislature that would result in stiff penalties for some activists who protest on state land.

As StateImpact Oklahoma reports, House Bill 1123 would outlaw trespassing on what the legislation calls “critical infrastructure,” a blanket term that includes dams, water treatment and chemical plants, to oil and gas hubs, petroleum refineries and storage facilities.

Colorado budget bill heads to governor's desk

May 4, 2017
50states.com

Colorado’s $26.8 billion state budget bill headed to Gov. John Hickenlooper’s desk Wednesday after the Senate approved the final version on a 33-1 vote.

As The Denver Post reports, the Senate approved the final version of the budget despite reservations about a move to balance the budget by cutting $264 million from hospitals – a move that is worth double that once federal matching dollars are added.

Courtesy / Nanci Pratt

Late spring blizzards in the High Plains aren’t very common, especially on the last day of April. Farmers and ranchers in southeastern Colorado, western Kansas and the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles are now dealing with the aftermath. They’ve been digging out, dealing with electricity losses and searching for missing cattle in snowdrifts, rain and mud conditions.

Farmers mad about wheat streak mosaic

May 4, 2017
Courtesy / Vance Ehmke

In one of the most severe and extensive wheat streak mosaic epidemics in untold years, western Kansas farmers are not happy. And they’re letting their attorneys, legislators and farm organizations know about.

With the first of May arriving this week, I thought it an apt time to pause and reflect on the historical traditions associated with the special day. From a Red Square affair to a celebration of weather fair, May Day has been associated with a variety of rites and rituals.

CC0 Public Domain

Legislation meant to protect farmers and ranchers from incurring unnecessary costs when protecting the value of their water right was signed into law by Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper last week.

STOCK PHOTO / NORMAN TRANSCRIPT

One prisoner of Kansas' El Dorado Correctional Facility, who has compared solitary confinement to the “gates of hell” is both praising and criticizing a move to limit the use of solitary confinement.

As The Topeka Capital-Journal reports, the state of Kansas has been reorganizing its largest facilities to curtail solitary confinement.

New high-paying jobs could be on Amarillo's horizon

May 3, 2017
FINDYOURSPOT.COM

Amarillo’s economy is set to get a big boost.

As ABC7 Amarillo reports, hundreds of high paying jobs are likely headed to Amarillo, following approval by the Amarillo City Council Tuesday of an incentive package for Maxor National Pharmacy Services to create positions.

CC0 Public Domain

Farming isn’t getting any easier given low grain prices, rising costs and unpredictable weather, yet many young people in southwest Kansas are staying on the family farm and statewide farming groups are working to further cultivate the younger generation’s interest in agriculture.

Texas Tribune

This week the Texas Senate gave the nod to new legislation known as the Sandra Bland Act, named for the black woman who was found hanged in a cell while in police custody two years ago.

amazon.com

A new book about a troubling episode in Oklahoma’s history is drawing a good deal of attention from critics. Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI is an incisive investigation into the mass murder of Osage Indians in Oklahoma—natives who were put to death so that their oil could be confiscated by white speculators.

STEPHEN KORANDA

Kansas House leaders have delayed a vote on a tax proposal after some members of the chamber had questions about the bill. The plan would reinstate a third income tax bracket and raise income tax rates. The bill would also reinstate income taxes for thousands of business owners.

High Plains Public Radio is thrilled to present THREE AMAZING FOLK MUSICIANS, live at the HPPR Studio - Amarillo (104 SW 6th Ave., Basement). 

This exclusive, first-ever pop-up showcase features three Oklahoma-based folk singers: LEVI PARHAM, LAUREN BARTH, & JESSE AYCOCK!

HAPPY HOUR! Tuesday, May 9TH ~ 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM CDT ~ HPPR Studios – Amarillo (104 SW 6th Ave., Basement)

Suggested donation: $15.

City of Garden City storm clean-up update

May 3, 2017
Valarie Smith / High Plains Public Radio

Cleanup work is underway after a winter storm dropped heavy snow on Garden City, bringing down trees throughout the community. Lee Richardson Zoo and Finnup Park are closed until further notice as City crews work to remove downed trees and make the area safe for visitors.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

A new study has found that the most practical way to deal with leftover wastewater from fracking sites is to reuse the water rather than simply disposing of it. As StateImpact reports, the report from the Produced Water Working Group suggests that wastewater injection can be reduced by reuse.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr / KUT

A recent poll found that, in a head-to-head matchup, sitting U.S. Senator Ted Cruz would lose to Democratic challenger Rep. Joaquin Castro if the election were held today.

Now, as POLITICO reports, that scenario appears to be an impossibility. Castro announced this week that he would not run for the Senate, instead remaining in the House to focus on national security issues.

Justin Gilpin / Kansas Wheat

But the electricity is out at his Stanton County farm, where at least 14 inches of snow blankets his wheat fields.

Amid a slumping farm economy, it might seem like a disaster with harvest just weeks away. But Sipes has seen wheat weather many calamities.

“I never count wheat out,” he said.

It will be a week to 10 days before western Kansas farmers know the outcome of the weekend snowstorm, which closed highways and canceled schools.

Courtesy / Lamar Utility Board

While western Kansas bore the brunt of the late-season winter storm over the weekend, portions of eastern Colorado were also impacted.

As The Prowers Journal reports, areas of southeast Colorado, like Springfield and Campo received 7.5 to 10 inches of snow. About four to six inches of snow fell in the Holly area and Lamar received only some accumulation, but 50 mph winds caused some power outages.

Holly, Bristol, Granada and Hartman suffered the most outages, along with areas south of Lamar.  

CULTURA RF / Getty Images

When one things of cattle rustling, images of the old west come to mind, but it’s happening in Oklahoma even today.

As National Geographic reports, roughly one percent of the Sooner State’s millions of head of cattle – worth from $1,200 to $1,500 per head - are stolen every year, mostly by drug addicts who take them to legal markets to sell them.

Kansas ranks as not-so-fun state

May 2, 2017
kansas.gov

While many who actually live in Kansas would disagree, a new ranking has found that Kansas is not a fun state.

As the Wichita Eagle reports, according to a ranking of the “most fun states in America” released by personal finance website Wallet Hub, Kansas ranked 43rd behind Virginia, Indiana, Arkansas, Kentucky, Alabama, West Virginia and last-place Mississippi.

It’s time to start growing hemp

May 2, 2017
Jason Probst / The Hutchinson News

Industrial hemp shouldn’t really be something we’re talking about in Kansas.

Yet we are, because of an archaic bureaucratic decision in the 1930s that lumped the inert plant – useful in the manufacture of a variety of products such as paper, rope and plastics – with other drugs, which made it unlawful to grow and use the plant commercially.

Marion Doss / Flickr Creative Commons

In recent eras, America’s big cities grappled with large numbers of young people who weren’t in school and didn’t have jobs.

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