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Dingle Images

Somewhere I saw this quote, “Life is a journey, not a destination.” I agree and add you’ll meet interesting creatures along the way. Sometimes those new acquaintances look like something from an intergalactic space bar.

Rani Arbo and daisy mayhem have just released their 5th record together- ‘Violets Are Blue’.  The New England- based quartet are now in the 15th year together; 2 members were also previously together in Salamander Crossing.  The new record is full of their signature mix of folk, bluegrass, swing and blues.  We will listen to ‘Violets Are Blue’ this week on High Plains Morning.

Wheat Crop Stronger than Expected, Despite Hurdles

Jul 12, 2015
Tanner Colvin / Salina Journal

Kansas Agland reports that many farmers have been pleasantly surprised by this year’s wheat crop—especially considering that this year’s crop was subjected to just about every threat imaginable.

Stephanie Paige / Ogburn/KUNC

From Harvest Public Media:

Food companies the world over are paying close attention to the groundswell of support for food transparency, the “know where your food comes from” movement.

JBS, the largest meat producer in the world, is beginning to take notice as well.

Rodeo Bullfighters Aren’t Clowning Around

Jul 11, 2015
Brian Seifferlein / Harvest Public Media

From Harvest Public Media:

 

Rodeo season is getting into full swing and at most rodeos, bull riding is the main event. But when the bull ride ends, the work begins for rodeo bullfighters, and a young bullfighter is making a name in the business by putting himself in the middle of the action.

Phil Zimmerman

In last week’s column we visited about my recent five-day fishing trip with Cree River Lodge to the remote waters of northern Saskatchewan. This week, I’d like to recreate a typical day up there, if there is such a thing as “typical” in the most awesome part of the world.

Rick Perry Speaks Frankly on America's Race Problem

Jul 9, 2015
Gage Skidmore / Creative Commons

Last Thursday, Rick Perry spoke before the National Press Club in Washington and surprised many by his frank remarks on race, reports The Washington Post. He began by recounting the horrific lynching of Jesse Washington in Waco, Texas, in 1916, before going on to address America’s difficulties in grappling with its racist past.

Derrick Ho / The Oklahoman

In the late 19th century, with rigid prohibition laws enacted in Kansas, cattlemen flocked to the thin strip known as “No Man’s Land,” now the Oklahoma Panhandle. When the Santa Fe Railroad arrived in the 1880s, it brought with it droves of cowboys looking for liquor and women, and Beer City was born. Among the entrepreneurs who   came down from Liberal to serve the needs of these cowboys was Nell “Pussy Cat” Jones.

nsmn1.uh.edu

A trip to Northwest Kansas introduced my husband and me to a wildflower I hadn't seen before.  Our destination was the Smokey Valley Ranch, a working cattle ranch in Logan County.  Owned by the Kansas Nature Conservancy, the day-long visit began as a volunteer work session, as we helped remove invasive red cedars and clear old fence posts and barbed wire.  But it also turned into a wonderful learning experience as we observed the flora and fauna of the native shortgrass prairie that is protected there.

University of Denver

Civil rights for animals may be the next frontier in the struggle for rights, reports Colorado Public Radio. Justin Marceau is the University of Denver’s first full-time animal professor, and he has been working hard to fight the so-called “Ag-Gag” law in Idaho, which makes filming inside of farms and slaughterhouses illegal. The litigation supposedly targets “extremists” and “agriterrorists.” But Marceau argues that the law would, in fact, prevent whistleblowers from exposing abuses in farms and slaughterhouses. 

A Poet Explores Her Relationship to Horses

Jul 8, 2015
Laura Spencer / KCUR

Member station KCUR in Kansas City has reported the charming story of the poet Lisa Stewart, who has traveled thousands of miles on horseback over the past few decades. Her recent series of poems is called The Points of the Horse, in which she explores various parts of the horse, like the jaw or the flank, giving each its own poem. Stewart has ridden horses throughout the Rockies and the Midwest. In 2012 she rode 500 miles through Kansas and Missouri.

Creative Commons

News outlets have exhaustively reported the wide field of Republicans who are running for president in next year’s election. But those organizations are, in fact, underreporting the numbers, notes Mother Jones. In reality, 448 people from around the country have filed the form to run for president. Along with various other, smaller party affiliations there are 118 independents, 100 Republicans, and 74 Democrats who’ve thrown their hats into the ring—and that’s a lot of hats.

Creative Commons

Oklahoma may be one of the first states to repeal Common Core and draft completely new standards, Public Radio Tulsa reports.  Meanwhile, after repealing the Common Core goals, the state has instituted new academic standards in math and English, that in some ways go beyond Common core requirements. For example, elementary school students will be expected to write research papers, and high school students will need to know the “why”s behind mathematical formulas.

Alan Vernon

They're not sport birds, but they are important to the ecological balance of range land. We look at the lives and habitats of the birds, and how conservation initiatives like Conservation Reserve Program helps these species.

PARTICIPANTS:

Tammy VerCauteren
Executive Director
Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory
Ft. Collins, CO

Matthew Bain
Smokey Valley Ranch Project Coord.
The Nature Conservancy
Oakley, KS

Bob Daemmrich / Texas Tribune

When it comes to gerrymandering, or the redrawing of political lines to favor a political party, Texas has come under fire over the past couple of decades. Republican lawmakers in Austin have consistently redrawn the map to ensure that Republicans would fare better in elections.

Sarah Nichols / Flickr

McAlister, Oklahoma, has had a ban on oil drilling within its city limits since 1974. But now Governor Mary Fallin has signed controversial legislation outlawing municipal drilling bans, and the mayor of this small town in southeastern Oklahoma isn’t happy, reports KOSU. In fact, he wrote a eulogy for the death of his town’s 41-year old drilling ban, referring to the ordinance by the name “Ordie.” The requiem  reads, in part, “Ordie . . .

Kansas could effectively lose Amtrak service if one section of the track in Kansas City isn't updated. The piece is owned by the Kansas City Terminal. Amtrak has a federal mandate to install positive train control across its tracks by December of 2015. The line runs daily between Chicago and Los Angeles, serves 33 cities, six in Kansas. They are Dodge City, Garden City, Hutchinson, Newton, Topeka, and Lawrence.

HPPR welcomes Claudia Nygaard to Amarillo for a Living Room Concert on Friday, July 17!  This show will be in our studios, located at 104 SW 6th Ave, on the NW corner of 6th and Polk in the heart of downtown Amarillo.  We are in the basement of Amarillo National Bank's Special Asset Center.  The doors will open at 7:00, and the show will start at 7:30.  We will have the usual great coffee from the folks at Evocation Coffee Roasters and cookies as well.  To make a reservation, give us a call at 806-367-9088 or send an e-mail to music@hppr.org.

If you’ve ever closely examined vintage Ellis photos, you know the town had even more big trees shading yards, parks, and walkways than exist today. Seeing old pictures made me think about trees growing around town. Fortunately, I didn’t have to look long before I found a history of local tree culture.

A Texan Weighs in on the Great Guacamole Debate

Jul 5, 2015
Nikodem Nijaki / Creative Commons

Last week The New York Times sparked a controversy about whether it was kosher to put peas in guacamole.

Creative Commons

Last week, Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky became the first major-party presidential candidate in history to accept money from the marijuana lobby. Now Colorado Public Radio has published a story reporting on where the various candidates stand on the issue of marijuana legalization.

Marjorie Kamys Cotera / Texas Tribune

Texas is hoping to attract more mental health care workers, and now the state is putting its money where its mouth is. In recent years, clinics in underserved and rural areas of the Lone Star State have had to get creative—touting clean air and low crime rates to bring in mental health professionals.

North to Canada!

Jul 3, 2015
Luke Clayton

 My longing to spend time in what I call the “North Country” began when I was a youngster reading accounts of hunting and fishing trips in Canada. This past week, thanks to the organizational skills of my friends Canadian outdoors writer Brad Fenson, Pat Babcock, owner of Cree River Lodge and the Saskatchewan Department of Tourism, my lifelong dream came to be. The fishing and scenery in this wild country was everything I had hoped it to be and… more!

Creative Commons

 The Huffington Post has provided an engaging overview of the Oklahoma Panhandle, otherwise known as “No Man’s Land.” The article details unique Oklahoma Panhandle events such as the Cow Chip Throwing Competition, held each April in Beaver, and the Posthole Digging Competetion, which takes place the first weekend in June each year in Boise City.

Federal Wiretaps on the Rise in Kansas

Jul 2, 2015
Flickr Creative Commons

Authorities are instituting more wiretaps in Kansas, a new government report has found. As The Kansas City Star explains, when the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts issued its annual report to Congress this week, it found that the number of wiretaps across the nation declined slightly over the last year. But in Kansas, the number of wiretaps authorized by federal judges last year jumped from 5 to 29. The number is higher than every year dating back at least to 2009.

Public Domain

Legends of America has published an interesting retrospective of Nicodemus, Kansas, the only Western town founded by African Americans after the Civil War that still remains. Nicodemus was established by ex-slaves, who had fled the South seeking of place to restart their lives. Founded by a land developer from Indiana and an African American clergyman named W. H. Smith. The first settler was another clergyman, the Reverend Simon Roundtree.

vcmga.org

This week we'll celebrate Old Glory by examining a popular way to 'plant the colors' in your yard or garden.  With roots in South America, the colorful petunia provides a basis for the three colors needed to recreate the American flag.  Though red and white flower blooms abound in our part of plains, blue blossoms are harder to grow successfully because they often need a more acidic soil than we can provide.  But petunias seem to fill the bill for that blue color, and their relatively low cost and successful growth record make them a good choice for patriotic planting.  

Missouri Shoemaker Invents Cowboy Boot Sandals

Jul 1, 2015

The website Mashable.com reports that a cobbler in Missouri has found a way to make cowboy boots more breathable for the summertime by fashioning cowboy boot sandals from old pairs of boots. These new boot sandals retain the top part of the boot—the part that surrounds the calf and ankle, but the lower part has been converted into a flip-flop.

Creative Commons

In honor of Independence Day, the website wallethub.com has completed a study to determine which US metro communities most resemble the nation at large. The website compiled data including age, gender and income as well as more complex measures such as household makeup and housing tenure.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

While the five-year drought has been broken in Oklahoma, the rain was too much and too late for many wheat farmers, says StateImpact, a reporting project of NPR stations. This year, the wheat crop was ready before the fields were dry. Though the rain was certainly more welcome than the alternative, many wheat fields were too soggy for combines and other heavy equipment to be employed.

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