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HPPR Economy and Enterprise
7:27 am
Tue July 2, 2013

Rural Kansas Counties Buck Traditional Employment Trends

Credit ezilon

Typically, cities fuel job growth, but a recent article in the Wichita Eagle reveals urban employment levels in Kansas are level, while rural areas are experiencing growth.   Much of the rural improvements can be attributed to increased oil drilling, oil services, overall farming wealth increase, and government transfers like Medicare. 

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Special Programming
7:15 am
Tue July 2, 2013

Capitol Steps, Politics Takes a Holiday: July 4 at 11am

This just in:  The Gang of 8 has announced that in order to be a citizen of the United States, you have to listen to the Capitol Steps 4th of July special, "Politics Takes a Holiday!"

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Special Programming
7:02 am
Tue July 2, 2013

The Joni Mitchell Special: July 4 at 10am

Jian Ghomeshi in conversation with Joni Mitchell in her Los Angeles home.

Join HPPR for this hour-long special with the legendary and highly influential Canadian folk music icon Joni Mitchell.

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HPPR History
8:01 pm
Mon July 1, 2013

Sternberg Fossils Go Online in 3-D

Credit Hays Daily News

A joint project between the Fort Hays State University Sternberg Museum of Natural History and the Forsyth Library is bringing fossils into the digital age with 3-D technology.  The Hays Daily News reported Sternberg employees handle the fossils, while students photograph them at the museum.  Students return with the photos to the library to complete the 3-D process.  Scanning allows the viewer to rotate the specimen digitally, rather than looking at multiple photos.

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HPPR Economy and Enterprise
8:01 pm
Mon July 1, 2013

Texas Panhandle Farmers Participate in Water Conservation Project

A device that transmits information on soil moisture in a cornfield belonging to David Ford (standing) a farmer near the Texas Panhandle town of Dumas. He is participating in a water-saving demonstration project.
Credit Jerod Foster

Motivated by water district regulations and a falling water table, a handful of farmers in the Texas Panhandle are participating in a water conservation project.  Farmers like Harold Grall, are implementing technology and changing farming practices to reduce water use and remain profitable reported The Texas Tribune.  

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HPPR Government and Politics
5:58 am
Mon July 1, 2013

Fork in the road for the farm bill?

Credit BigStock image /Harvet Public Media

Déjà vu may be a lighthearted way of looking at it, but it feels like 2012 all over again for the farm bill.

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Playa Country Episode
5:54 am
Mon July 1, 2013

Lesser Prairie-Chicken's Aversion to Vertical Features

Credit okmag.com

Scientists researching the population declines of the Lesser Prairie-Chicken say the bird's habitat has been damaged by vertical structures and human activity like road-building and oil and gas mining. Vertical structures include mesquite and other woody invasives, which the bird is averse to nesting near.

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HPPR Environment
8:01 pm
Sun June 30, 2013

Texas Game Wardens: There is no normal day at the office

Part of the take by Texas Game Wardens from serving a search warrant on a Texas residence in April, 2013. The seizures included a collection of illegally taken wildlife mounts, a quantity of marijuana and $4,000 in cash.
Credit Texas Game Warden's facebook page

  If you work for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, a typical day does not exist.  The day could bring a drug bust, seizure of gill nets, or rescuing a youngster drifting from shore in the family's boat.  State Impact Texas recently featured a few of the more unexpected situations game wardens face on a "typical" day.  One tense incident occurred at Palo Duro Lake in the Texas Panhandle.

HPPR Economy and Enterprise
8:01 pm
Sun June 30, 2013

Fireworks Safety Tips

The Fourth of July is Thursday.  Many will celebrate Independence Day with friends, family, and fireworks. 

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HPPR Culture
11:21 am
Sat June 29, 2013

Indiana Jones Author Debuts Latest Work in Dodge City

  Max McCoy is a well-known and award-winning author.  The Dodge Globe reported that McCoy, a Kansas native and professor at Emporia State University, will launch his newest novel, “Of Grave Concern,” on Tuesday, July 2, 2:00 pm, at the Long Branch Saloon in Dodge City, Kansas.

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Prairie Ramblings Episode
8:01 pm
Fri June 28, 2013

Art on the Move

Frequently, I see ornate box turtles crossing a country road or highway. Because I like this home-carrying little reptile, I dodge these little speed bumps. While seeing them slowly lumber across the road triggers a smile, I hadn’t thought much about these Kansas state reptiles until recently.

This summer, I’ve been waking up early to enjoy the cool morning air as I water, weed, and pick veggies. A bonus of rising with the sun is meeting some of my yard neighbors that hide during the heat of the day.

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High Plains Outdoors Episode
8:01 pm
Fri June 28, 2013

Crappie: I guarantee that's good eatin!

Folks, you get a couple Texans together, fishin' on a pond, and I guarantee the thing they'll be talking about as they head to shore is cookin' what's on the stringer.

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Harvest Public Media story
8:01 pm
Fri June 28, 2013

My Farm Roots: A cowboy at heart

Once an average suburban Colorado kid, Trent Johnson spent years ranching and now owns storied cowboy outfitter Greeley Hat Works.
Credit Luke Runyon/Harvest Public Media

Trent Johnson didn’t grow up on a farm, but he was always enamored with the cowboy lifestyle.

He sure looks the part now. I visited him in his custom cowboy hat shop in Greeley, Colo. In a sleek black cowboy hat and blue western shirt, Johnson delivers the modern cowboy aesthetic.

During college he hung out with the urban cowboy crowd, which included concerts for country idols like Garth Brooks and Tim McGraw. The city kid, who’d spent part of his childhood on a ski team, decided he needed a change.

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Marijuana in Colorado
8:01 pm
Thu June 27, 2013

Pot Industry Not Welcome in Prowers County

Commercial marijuana cultivation operation

  At a recent Prowers County, Colorado, Commissioner meeting, The Prowers Journal reported unanimous approval was given to an ordinance prohibiting marijuana cultivation facilities, manufacturing facilities, testing facilities, and retail stores within the unincorporated portions of the county.

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Harvest Public Media story
8:01 pm
Thu June 27, 2013

Last call for wheat trading in Kansas City

Kansas City Board of Trade trading floor circa 1930s
KCBT

For 157 years, the price of most wheat grown on the plains has been set by the Kansas City Board of Trade. That will soon come to an end.

In October 2012, Chicago-based CME Group acquired the Kansas City Board of Trade. Operations move to Chicago as of July 1 – and the last call on the Kansas City trading floor takes place on Friday. Here's a look back at the long history of the Board of Trade – and the end of an era.

Deep roots in KC

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12:01 pm
Thu June 27, 2013

Public Shelter Policy in Oklahoma: Yes for Nukes, No for Natural Disasters

Lead in text: 
Oklahoma is the beating heart of tornado alley. State Impact Oklahoma reports community tornado shelters are closing because they are, "too popular." Listen to the audio feature.
When tornado sirens sound, Oklahomans are on their own. State leaders encourage people to stay put where they are. But that's a big change from days many Oklahomans can still remember, when community shelters were seen as crucial to protecting the public from a very different type of disaster.
Growing on the High Plains Episode
5:20 am
Thu June 27, 2013

Last Rites

I've finally given up the ghost in terms of trying to grow azaleas in a climate where they are not meant to be.  I don't really know why some of us who like to garden on the High Plains won't take no for an answer, and stick to the plants that are meant for our near-desert terrain and weather.  As I write this the calendar has just moved past the first week of June and the thermometer is edging above 104 degrees at early afternoon.  Azaleas are Southern belles, needing moisture, reasonable winds and more acidic soil than we have in Western Kansas.  If I want azaleas in my life from now on, they'll come in pots with foil wraps and big bows that put a touch of springtime on the Easter buffet table or a Mother's Day brunch.

Harvest Public Media story
5:11 am
Thu June 27, 2013

What you should know about the food stamps debate

Credit Beautiful Lily/Flickr

  The U.S. House defeated the farm bill last week, after the Senate passed its version of the bill in early June. Both bills include about $500 billion in spending over five years. Few pieces of legislation can produce such sharp divisions, even by Washington standards—but few could have such immediate, significant impact on so many Americans.

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Kansas Weather
8:01 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

Have You Experienced a Haboob? Video from SW Kansas

Credit Twisterfiddler.com

The storm chaser known online as Twisterfiddler posted video recently of an impressive dust cloud rolling over southwest Kansas.

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Kansas Education
8:00 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

K-State Extension Educating Kansans; Separating Obamacare Fact from Fiction

As the new health insurance exchange begins October 1, The Kansas Health Institute reported much of the Affordable Care Act will bypass Kansas.  However, some are working to educate Kansans about how the new law applies to them.

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HPPR Government and Politics
5:57 am
Wed June 26, 2013

Perry Vetoes Bill Enabling Small Texas Town to Control Its Water

Roy Thornhill Sr. (center) voices his concern as residents of the City of Blue Mound, Texas, gather at their community center, on Monday, March 4, 2013. The small North Texas City of Blue Mound held a town hall meeting on Monday, March 4, for its residents to sign a petition against what they say are unjustifiably high water rate increases.
Credit BRANDON THIBODEAUX/TEXAS TRIBUNE

State Impact Texas reported Governor Rick Perry recently vetoed a bill, that would have made it easier for the small town of Blue Mound, Texas, to obtain the right to control its own water system.   Water services are currently provided by a private company, Monarch Utilities. 

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HPPR Government and Politics
8:01 pm
Tue June 25, 2013

U.S. Supreme Court: Ethanol Over Oil

The United States Supreme Court decided not to hear a challenge to the 2010 Environmental Protection Agency approval of the use of fuel containing up to 15% ethanol.  The challenge was from The American Petroleum Institute and several other groups.  Impact Oklahoma reported Tom Buis, CEO of Growth Energy, called the move, "a true victory for the American biofuels industry."  Bob Dinneen, president of the Renewable Fuels Association,  said the Supreme Court's decision, "ends a long and drawn out petroleum industry effort to derail the commercialization of E15."

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HPPR Economy and Enterprise
8:01 pm
Tue June 25, 2013

Kansas Insurance Commissioner Works to Provide Local Input to Affordable Care Act

Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger
Credit Kansas Health Institute

The Kansas Health Institute reported  federal officials will run the new health exchange for the state of Kansas, but Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger said she has been in discussions to have complex calls roll over to her department.  Her goal is to connect Kansas consumers with local experts who are familiar with insurance plans and regulations specific to the state. 

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At least the dirt's not blowing
7:17 am
Tue June 25, 2013

A poem for a hot day on the High Plains

Field of tumbleweeds under a sky with stray clouds. Wallace County KS, 2002.
Credit Quentin Hope

Poet Mary Lee Hahn offers a short poem that reflects on tourists eyeing the High Plains from I-70 and defines "a good, soaking rain".

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HPPR Government and Politics
4:33 am
Tue June 25, 2013

A New State? Reactions to North Colorado

Credit Huffington Post/Getty

Opinions and analysis abound after commissioners from Weld County earlier this month unveiled a proposal to break away from Colorado and form a new state.

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2:18 pm
Mon June 24, 2013

Mixed reviews on no income tax in Texas

Lead in text: 
A growing group of Republicans across the country are working to repeal their states’ income tax, using Texas’ economic success to make their case (e.g., Gov. Sam Brownback of Kansas proclaiming “Look out, Texas. Here comes Kansas.”). In Texas, however, the state’s tax system is not universally beloved as explained in this background article by Aman Batheja of the Texas Tribune that appeared in the Amarillo Globe-News.
When Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana wanted to sell his plan to replace his state's income tax with a higher sales tax, he pointed to Texas as the problem and the solution.Too many Louisiana residents are moving to Texas, because that is where the jobs are, he said.
HPPR Government & Politics
1:55 pm
Mon June 24, 2013

Kansas Cities, Counties, Schools Grappling with New Concealed-Carry Law

Credit salina.com/Salina Journal

As Kansas' new concealed-carry law goes into effect on July 1, many cities, counties and educational institutions across the state are choosing to operate under exemptions from the law.

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Playa Country Episode
7:10 am
Mon June 24, 2013

Managed Grazing During Times of Drought

As of early-2013, much of the High Plains region is under extreme or exceptional drought. Ungerer, Crouch and Hagen discuss the significance of enrolling grassland in the NRCS Lesser Prairie Chicken Initiative.

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Economy & Enterprise
4:00 am
Mon June 24, 2013

Amarillo Lodging Icon Joins World's Largest Independent Hotel Group

The Ambassador Hotel in Amarillo, Texas, is now part of the world's largest independent hotel group.  Karen Smith Welch recently reported in the Amarillo Globe that the Ambassador will, "fly the flag of Magnuson Hotels as the Magnuson Grand Hotel Amarillo."  

Dinesh Patel has owned the Ambassador since 2004.  He said he is negotiating to retain the Ambassador name, and he hopes the change will increase the hotel's internet presence.

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Harvest Public Media story
8:01 pm
Sun June 23, 2013

Redefining the co-op in ways big and small

A new grocery co-op opened in Elwood, Neb., this spring. The town went without a store for more than a year.
Credit Hilary Stohs-Krause/NET News

  The cooperative business model, long a staple of Midwestern agricultural communities, is being adapted to serve a broader range of rural needs.

For example, in the south-central Nebraska town of Elwood — population 700 — there’s a new grocery store.

“I get very emotional almost every time I’m in here, because I’m just so happy to have this store,” said Sharlette Schwenninger, who helped found the cooperative store.  The town had been without a grocery store for more than a year.

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