News

Callie Richmond / Texas Tribune

Over the past 25 years over 100 men and women were wrongfully sent to prison in Texas, reports The Texas Tribune. To repair the damages caused by these wrongful convictions, those prisoners have been paid almost $100 million in taxpayer money.

Naveena Sadasivam / Texas Tribune

A new book by a member of a think tank in Texas insists that renewable energy creates “false hope,” reports The Texas Tribune. In a talk last week, Kathleen Hartnett White praised fossil fuels and called the advent of fracking “breathtaking.” White directs the Texas Public Policy Foundation’s Armstrong Center for Energy and Environment. While she spoke, protesters outside the event did their best to make their displeasure at her message known.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio

From the Kansas Health Institute:

Kansas officials have borrowed a record $900 million from the state’s investment fund but still may need to implement a series of emergency measures to end the 2016 budget year in the black.

John Moore / Getty Images

Inequality continues to grow throughout the United States, notes a recent editorial in The New York Times. A new study shows that inequality has risen in every single state over the past four decades. There has been a basic pattern that continued through booms and recessions: The rich have gotten much richer while everyone else has seen income stagnate or decline.

Shelby Knowles / Texas Tribune

Last year Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush fired the people in charge of running the Alamo, one of Texas’s most hallowed tourist destinations. The group, known as the Daughters of the Republic of Texas, had managed the monument for more than a century.

Josh Harbour / Garden City Telegram

From Kansas Agland:

For some in western Kansas, such yields are unheard of.

But some farmers, including those planting wheat on summer fallow ground, are seeing yields reaching 100 bushels an acre.

“All the berries filled,” said Jerald Kemmerer, general manager of Dodge City-based Pride Ag Resources.

cfah.org

Potter and Randall Counties in the Texas Panhandle have been making incremental improvements when it comes to overall child well-being. Even so, as Amarillo.com reports, both counties continue to rank at or below average when compared with the nation at large. A new report measured child well-being in four areas: economic well-being, education, health, and family and community. Texas as a whole is ranked 43rd in the nation.

Flickr Creative Commons

Last week HPPR reported on Texas’s plan to slash $350 million in funding for pediatric therapy services for children with disabilities. The idea was proposed by GOP lawmakers as a way to cut spending in the state. Now Democrats in the Texas House of Representatives have asked the federal government to step in and stop the cuts, reports The Texas Tribune

Texas General Land Office

It’s about to get a lot easier to remember the Alamo, reports KTXA. The Lone Star State has issued new license plates depicting the San Antonio mission and battle site. Texans can buy a plate for $30. $22 of that money will go directly to the Alamo to pay for preservation efforts and historical educational programs.

KFOR.com

The Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services is now in crisis mode, reports KFOR. The agency has fallen $20 million behind budget. But when you account for the fact that the agency lost out on federal Medicaid matching funds, the budget gap is more like $60 million.

Green MPS / Flickr Creative Commons

From the Kansas Health Institute:

Editor’s note: This story was updated at 6 p.m. June 16.

Kansas health centers will receive more than $2.2 million to improve access to oral health care — funding that is desperately needed, according to a Kansas dental health advocate.

Topeka Capital-Journal/AP

Sam Brownback is making some powerful enemies in his own state, reports The Topeka Capital-Journal. Four former Kansas governors have formed a political group to raise opposition to the policies of the current governor and his allies in the Kansas House and Senate. The effort is known as the Save Kansas Coalition. Former governors Bill Graves, Mike Hayden, Kathleen Sebelius and John Carlin have all sent out letters to potential donors to fund the effort.

Courtesy of Capital Concerts

A Capitol Fourth 2016

This July 4, America's national Independence Day celebration broadcasts live from the West Lawn of the United States Capitol. Hosted by Emmy Award-winning TV personality Tom Bergeron and NPR's Korva Coleman, the event features performances from some of America's best known celebrities and musical artists including:

4th of July Traditions

Jun 24, 2016

Add a bucket, crank, rock salt, ice, canister, milk, cream, vanilla, sugar, eggs, and arm strong power to take any summer celebration over the top. As a kid, I loved arriving at a gathering where men sat or knelt circled around a good size wooden or plastic bucket and each took a turn cranking a long metal handle. Oftentimes, a child perched atop the bucket to stabilize the turning device. I knew when I saw this, it didn’t mean the guys were just telling good stories. It meant we’d soon be eating homemade ice cream.

Luke Clayton

Join me this week and let's discuss catching and eating an often overlooked species of catfish, the bullhead.

There are three species of bullheads, the black, brown and yellow/, black being the most prevalent.

Topeka Capital-Journal

National rankings that show the well-being of children in all fifty states have been released, and Kansas has fallen four slots, reports The Topeka Capital-Journal. While last year the state was ranked 15th, this year Kansas fell to 19th. The slip in the rankings came amid diminished performance on health and education assessments. Kansas children also showed stagnation on economic and family measures.

John Leyba / The Denver Post

Back in April The Denver Post called Colorado’s Republican primary race for US Senate the “equivalent of an algebra problem with plenty of variables and no simple answer.” Things haven’t gotten any less complicated two months later, with the Post referring to the race

Alison V Smith / Texas Tribune

Some Lone Star lawmakers have more campaign cash on hand than the Republican Party’s presumptive nominee for president of the United States, reports The Texas Tribune. Last week Donald Trump revealed that his campaign had just $1.3 million on hand to fund their election efforts. Meanwhile his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton reportedly has $42 million in the bank.

Emily Albracht / Texas Tribune

Last year HPPR reported on The Texas Tribune’s five-part documentary series God and Governing.  The series provided a fascinating look at how the decisions of Texas lawmakers are dictated by their faith. Now the documentary has been given one of the country’s highest journalism awards. This week the Tribune was honored with a national Edward R. Murrow Award for God and Governing.

Skubasteve834 / Wikimedia Commons

Independence Day patriots rejoice! Fireworks go on sale today in parts of the Texas Panhandle, reports the Amarillo Globe-News. Law enforcement agencies are, of course, warning folks to obey local fireworks ordinances. That means possession, manufacture, storage, sale, handling and use of fireworks are prohibited within the city limits of Amarillo.

The Guardian

This week The Guardian posted an incredible timelapse video of a supercell storm developing in the skies over Kansas. Watch it here.

Health by Got Credit / Flickr Creative Commons

From the Kansas Health Institute:

Accenture faces $750,000 fine for incorrect reporting of application backlog.

News of a mistake that dropped several thousand Kansans from state Medicaid backlog reports has advocates and Democratic lawmakers questioning the state’s oversight of the contractor blamed for the error.

J. Scott Applewhite / STF

Several gun-control measures failed in the US Senate this week. The proposals included a narrowly-tailored compromise that had previously been put forth by Texas U.S. Sen. John Cornyn last December. In the wake of the Orlando mass shooting, Senator Cornyn decided to try again, reports The Houston Chronicle

Andrew Spear / New York Times

  The New York Times this week reported on groups of Christians in the heartland who have a new mission in mind: fighting predatory lending. Their main target is what’s called a “payday” loan: a high-interest loan often taken in a moment of financial crisis. The movement has united conservative and Evangelical churches with liberal ones.

Houston Chronicle

Today British citizens will go to the polls to decide whether to leave the European Union. The vote, as reported in The Houston Chronicle, has some Texas secessionists in a tizzy. Members of the faction would like to see a similar measure on the ballot in the Lone Star State.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife

If you’re in Colorado and looking to get back to nature this summer, head to your local library. Nearly 300 libraries across the state are now offering state parks passes for checkout, reports Colorodoan.com. It’s all happening through a new program launched on Monday called “Check Out State Parks.”

www.xerces.org

    

Today, Skip talks with Anthony Zukoff, and gets his list of favorite plants to put in your pollinator garden.  They are: blazing star, bee balm, golden rod, and milk weeds.

You can ask Anthony questions by searching for "Friends of Sand Sage Bison Range" on Facebook or by emailing him at: AZukoff@gmail.com

Aviper2k7 / Wikimedia Commons

The Kansas Legislature is considering removing the state Supreme Court’s ability to review and approve the state’s school finance laws. And one professor with the University of Kansas School of Law isn’t happy. This week Mike Hoeflich wrote a strongly worded editorial in the Garden City Telegram, calling the Legislature’s proposal the first steps toward tyranny.

fstop/Getty Images

From the Kansas Health Institute:

Doctors-in-training learn a lot about the workings of the human body during medical school and residency. But many are taught next to nothing about the workings of the health care system. One university in Washington, D.C., is trying to change that.

David Koehn / NET Nebraska

If you think sex trafficking only happens along the border or in major cities, think again. A recent report by NET Nebraska shows that sex trafficking is thriving in rural America. It’s believed that hundreds of people are sold for sex in Nebraska each year. And many of those cases occur in small towns.

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