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If you’re a fan of Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys, The Oklahoma Historical Society just released a compilation of rediscovered songs from the personal transcriptions of Bob Wills. The original recordings were included in the Wills Family donation of Bob Will’s personal items. About 130 recordings of radio broadcast from the 1940s were discovered in the collection. The audio was deteriorating because they were only meant to be played a limited number of times. The work was restored and remastered. The initial run is 1,000 records pressed on 180-gram vinyl. The album features songs once thought lost to time, dust, heat and mold from one of Oklahoma’s biggest musical icons. The effort is part of OHS’s effort to tell more Oklahoma history through music, film, radio, television, literature, theater, and more.

Courtesy Ben Wheeler/Pheasants Forever and Nebraska Game & Parks Commission

Dave Hilfterty grows dryland winter wheat and irrigated corn in Perkins County, Nebraska. Dave had a challenge that was perfect for Wetlands Reserve Program assistance. Amongst his five irrigation circles there's a lagoon, which he got tired of trying to farm through.

In eastern Colorado, some farmers are breaking the law flying drones to pinpoint which parts of their fields need fertilizer, water, weed killer, or seed. Jean Hediger is one of the law breakers. The 60 some year old farmer says she has pure intentions, and preventing use of this technology is keeping farmers in the dark ages. Those who risk using the drones without permission from federal authorities could face penalties of thousands of dollars… up to 27 thousand dollars. That might change- soon. The Federal Aviation Administration proposed new rules in February allowing people to fly small unmanned aircraft for commercial reasons. Drone operators would have to be certified and keep their devices in sight during flight. Currently, the FAA allows farmers and other to apply for exemptions. About 300 have been granted, but the process is lengthy.. and there are about 1,000 people already on the waiting list.

The second to last Saturday in May people who were held at Camp Amache journey to the detention center in southeastern Colorado. The come to share what they remember about their time behind the barbed wire. Previously, busloads of former detainees have attended. This year there were only two who could make the trek- Bob Fuchagami, age 85, and Jane Okubo who was born at the camp. Fuchagami was 12 years old when his family of 10, were taken from their walnut and peach tree farm outside Yuba City, California to take up residence in two rooms in 7G. He says it wasn’t freedom to be swept up and have two suitcases of stuff, go to an area you’ve never known before with sandstorms coming through the cracks. There’s almost nothing left of the camp. A handful of buildings, shattered porcelain, exposed rebar, concrete slabs, an occasional ribbon of barbed wire, and very few survivors. Survivors say as they age and their peers die, their experiences are falling deeper and deeper into the footnotes of history.

Now that we’re used to seeing huge spinning blades across the high plains, there may be a new visual icon on the horizon in the future – enormous tall narrow poles that simply quiver in the wind. This report from Wired. They’re called Vortex Bladeless. Their purpose is the same: turning breezes into kinetic energy that can be used as electricity. But, that’s where the similarity to bladed wind turbines ends. Instead of capturing wind energy with the circular motion of a propeller, The Vortex uses vorticity. That’s an aerodynamic effect that produces a pattern of vortices. Whirling air patterns that are the enemy of architects and engineers, could now be have new purpose in renewable energy.

We all know the songs that JD has written or co-written by heart:  ‘The Best of My Love’, ‘New Kid in Town’, ‘The Heart of the Matter’, ‘I’ll Take Care of You and so many more.  His new release is called ‘Tenderness’, his first CD of new songs since 2008’s ‘If the World Was You’.  Produced by Larry Klein, it’s a great addition to his catalog.  We will listen to ‘Tenderness’ this week on High Plains Morning.

Jelly on the Bush

May 17, 2015

I've heard some folks refer to cattle as, "hamburger on the hoof."  With that reference in mind, I have been salivating about all the jelly on the bush that the current blossoms have been hinting at.  I was disheartened by the frost that took many of my sandhill plum possibilities.  As the summer progresses, I will rise to the challenge with our feathered friends to see who will be the first to the harvest.

AAFP

Federal officials estimate that more than 1.3 million Kansans now have private health insurance that includes preventive services at no out-of-pocket cost. Heartland Health Monitor’s Bryan Thompson has more. 

  This story comes from Kansas Public Radio.

MU Extension

Last summer was a bad one for pinkeye in this part of the country.  The million dollar question is can anything be done to prevent it this summer?  The High Plains Journal reports there are vaccination programs, but there are also numerous strains of the disease.

icancookthat.org

Cindee called me asking how to use up the frozen venison in her freezer.  I had a solution she hadn't thought of.  As a matter of fact, I made some BBQ venison in my smoker over the weekend, and here's how I cook it.

Blue Bell Creameries has signed agreements with health officials in Texas and Oklahoma requiring the company to inform the states whenever there is a positive test result for listeria in its products or ingredients. For one year, Blue Bell ice cream must first test negative for listeria before it can be sold in stores.

The Kansas Senate voted not to allow grocery and convenience stores to sell full-strength beer. The proposal failed on an 11-26 vote. The laws surrounded alcohol sales have been a contentious issue in the Statehouse this year.

Kansas lawmakers say they've reach a compromise that will bring the ride-hailing service Uber back to the state.

The increased sale tax solution to the budget woes of the State of Kansas has been rejected. Legislators will return Monday to work on the issue.

boe.ca.gov

There’s a new tax plan headed for debate in the Kansas House. A legislative committee has advanced a proposal that would focus on sales taxes to fill a budget hole of more than $400 million. 

The bill relies mostly on increasing the Kansas sales tax rate from 6.15 percent to 6.85 percent. It also reduces or eliminates most tax deductions. Republican Representative Kasha Kelley, one of the plan’s authors, would prefer more spending cuts but says sales tax is another option.

Certified Angus Beef

We’ve all heard the phrase it takes a village to raise a child.  The same is true with exporting beef.  From logistics to linguistics, the teams working to export beef add well beyond $300 to the value of each head of cattle annually reports the High Plains Journal.

Here’s a glimpse at the role of three people making it happen.

A judicial bypass is when a judge gives a minor permission to have an abortion without her parent or guardian's consent. The bill is authored by Democratic State Representative Geanie Morrison. She says she wants the judge to see the minor in person without exception. The minor would also need to show a government-issued ID, and would require more time to pass before the judge could consent to the procedure.

KHI News Service

The chairman of the Senate committee working on a plan to address the state’s projected budget deficit is confident that a tobacco tax increase will be a part of the final package.

However, public health advocates are concerned that the increase won’t end up being large enough to significantly lower smoking rates and reduce expenditures on smoking-related illnesses. They continue to favor the proposal that Gov. Sam Brownback announced at the beginning of the session to increase the cigarette tax by $1.50 per pack.

Kitchen Gardens

May 13, 2015
mountvernon.org

This year I'm making some changes in my vegetable garden layout, and moving some of it closer to the kitchen door.  On the way, we'll look at a brief history of the term 'kitchen garden' and find out what things usually grow there.  

image via C-Span2

Kansas Senator Jerry Moran has what amounts to a running feud going with the Department of Veterans Affairs. He says the agency is dragging its feet implementing a new law that’s designed to help veterans in rural areas get the care they need.  The new secretary of the VA – Robert McDonald – says Moran’s claims are baseless. We have two reports this morning, the first from Jim McLean of the KHI News Service, who recently sat down with Moran in his Capitol Hill office.

Moran tangles with VA secretary over program for rural veterans

Cattle prices and the possibility of a break in the drought has a Texas Panhandle family changing gears reports the Wall Street Journal. Rex McCloy and his two sons used to focus on growing cotton, corn, wheat, and soybeans. Now the family is betting the recent break in drought conditions will continue, and they’re investing in cattle. McCloy says three years ago there wasn't enough grass to feed a goat, let alone a cow. Now the family is building up the herd to capitalize on high cattle prices and lower feed costs.

The Texas Senate gave preliminary approval to a bill Monday that would protect churches and ministers from being sued if they refused to perform or host a same-sex marriage.

Kansas Legislators are considering undoing the elimination of business income tax cuts. The reductions were part of the 2012 tax cuts pushed by Governor Sam Brownback.

People from nine countries and seed librarians from across the country were busy sowing big ideas about tiny seeds during the first The International Seed Library Forum reports the Daily Yonder. The gathering was held in Tucson last week. The group shared ideas and inspiration for improving local access to diverse seeds. The conference also included discussion of climate change and the role agriculture diversity and seed saving play. Cary Fowler is an agricultural pioneer and a former executive director of the Global Crop Diversity Trust. He says in the past circumstances were adapted for the crops we wants to grow using things like irrigation and pesticides. He says in the future we’ll have to adapt the plants themselves.

A Kansas-based study comparing results on almost 30 years of winter wheat trials across the state points researchers to say global warming will cut wheat yields. Wheat demand is expected to increase by 60 percent by 2050 to meet population demands. A lead author of the study says one way of adapting the world to warming temperatures maybe be to shift wheat farming more toward the poles.

wsj.com

Western Kansas is a semi-arid region, with yearly precipitation at 17-19 inches. Progressive farmers understand their biggest challenge is capturing and holding every drop of moisture they can. A group of Northwest Kansas producers meets regularly to discuss production practices. These growers are firm believers in no-till and planting cover crops whenever it's feasible. While some producers say cover crops unnecessarily sap moisture, members of Living Acres Network are more likely to say that the careful selection of a cover crop leaves residue that helps build the soil for better precipitation infiltration.

North Carolina’s Mandolin Orange have just released their 5th record- it’s called Such Jubilee and it was written on the road over the last year.  Emily Frantz and Andrew Marlin say that this record is not actually about being on the road; it’s more about the things that you know are waiting for you at home when you finally get back there.  We will be listening to Such Jubilee this week on High Plains Morning.

HPPR's Songwriters in the Round series continues on Friday, May 15!  This show will be at The Fibonacci, located at 3306 SW 6th Ave, the home base of Chamber Music Amarillo.  The doors will open at 7:00, and the show will start at 7:30.  To make a reservation for this show, give us a call at 806-367-9088 or send an e-mail to music@hppr.org.  We will have the usual great coffee from the good folks at Evocation Coffee Roasters, cookies from Kristy Fuller and a great evening of original music.  Don't miss it!

About the Artists

Rick Branigan

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Scientists say oil and gas activity is probably responsible for the surge in earthquake activity in Oklahoma.  They call the phenomenon “induced seismicity.”  But, researchers are puzzled.  Oil and gas production is nothing new in the Sooner State, and why is there an increase in quakes in Oklahoma, or for that matter Texas, Colorado, and Kansas when it doesn’t seem to be happening in other major players like North Dakota?

musicfog.com

An Amarillo native is the official state musician in 2016.  Joe Ely was one of eight artists appointed by the Texas Legislature according the Amarillo Globe News.  Ely began his musical career in Lubbock.

Ely says he’s humbled, and as a songwriter has always felt extremely fortunate to have grown up in an inspirational place with such a rich, compelling history filled with some of the most fascinating characters in the world.

Ely will serve a one year term.

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