News Painter

Begin your Halloween at the witching hour (Midnight CT) with Ryan Gottlieb on Carrying On - HPPR’s newest music program – which focuses on rock and blues. Immediately following Friday Night Blues (8 – 12 CT), Ryan has a rockin’ Halloween themed show planned with tunes from The Who, Dave Matthews, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Jethro Tull, and many more great artists. Get in the Halloween spirit this Friday night at Midnight CT on Carrying On!

Jonathan Baker

Author Dan Flores visited West Texas A&M this week to discuss his forthcoming book, Coyote America, which will be published next year. Over 180 people packed into a room Tuesday night at the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum to hear Flores talk about this beautiful and often misunderstood animal. Then, on Wednesday afternoon, Flores and WTAMU Western Studies professor Alex Hunt held a discussion on writing and publishing at the Cornette Library—another well-attended event. Following the afternoon discussion, Dr. Flores, Dr.

Bewitching Botannicals

Oct 28, 2015

 This week we'll look at some historical herbs that have reportedly been a part of witchcraft for centuries.  But many of the plants have both a good and bad side in history,  Modern medicine has adopted and adapted some of the plants from the dark side into treatments for various diseases, and today's gourmet table can feature food from plants once thought inedible.

Colorado Unemployment Rate Continues to Fall

Oct 28, 2015
Jeffrey Beall / Flickr Creative Commons

The employment situation in Colorado continues to improve, according to recent job numbers. The Prowers Journal reports that the unemployment rate decreased two-tenths of a percentage point last month, to 4.0 percent.  The increase in total employment combined with the decrease in labor force caused the number of unemployed to decrease by 6,800. The national unemployment rate remained unchanged from August to September, at 5.1 percent.

OK Earthquakes Could Pose Threat to National Security

Oct 28, 2015
Daniel Acker / Bloomberg

The largest commercial oil storage hub in North America is located in Cushing, Oklahoma, reports Bloomberg Business. In the wake of 9/11, concerns were raised about Cushing’s status as a potential target for terrorist attacks. The Safety Alliance of Cushing was formed as a result: an alliance of the FBI, state and local law enforcement and emergency officials.

Kansas to Preserve and Develop Lake Scott State Park

Oct 28, 2015

The State of Kansas has announced plans to preserve and develop Lake Scott State Park, reports Kansas Agland. During a ceremony held on Monday at the lake, Governor Sam Brownback and Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism Secretary Robin Jennison announced the formation of the Scott State Park Historic Preservation and Development Committee.

Slideshow: Scenes from a Kansas Family Tradition

Oct 28, 2015
Lindsey Bauman / The Hutchinson News

The Hutchinson News reported this week on an annual family tradition. The Drake family of Hutchinson has been holding a pumpkin carving contest for 15 years. This year the contest drew 19 family members to the garage of Richard and Toni Drake to compete.

“My kids are crazy-competitive,” Toni Drake said. “They go out for blood.”

Neighbors Gaylon and Sherry Gaines served as judges.

Creative Commons

Last week in Topeka, lawmakers launched a special committee to come up with a new school finance formula and to study student educational outcomes, according to The Wichita Eagle. The committee hopes to improve efficiency in Kansas public schools. The 15-person committee, made up of Kansas House and Senate members, is known as The Special Committee on K-12 Student Success. The group began by reviewing classroom expenses and teacher pay and benefits.

"Gunsmoke" Actor Had Kansas Roots

Oct 27, 2015
Public Domain

Kansas fans of the classic TV show Gunsmoke might have missed some interesting trivia this month in The Hutchinson News’s “Ask Hutch” column. Milburn Stone, who starred as Doc Adams on the show, was born in 1904 and lived east of Burrton, Kansas. He attended school there for a time, then his family moved to Frizell, Kansas, in Pawnee County. The village is now a ghost town.

AFP AFP / Getty Images

A Chinese investment company intends to purchase $1.3 billion in oil properties in Western Texas, reports member station KUT. The holding company signed a letter of intent last week to purchase the land through a limited liability partnership.

A Reminder That Texas Voters Must Show ID

Oct 27, 2015

Elections are just around the corner, and here’s a friendly reminder that Texas voters must show a photo ID to vote in Texas elections. The Canadian Record reminded Texans this week that registered Texas voters who do not have the required photo ID to cast a ballot in the upcoming election will have an opportunity to obtain and Election Identification Card in select area locations.

The following photo IDs will be accepted:

Diane VanLandingham owns ranch land near LaJunta, CO, and has permitted bird counters with Bird Conservancy of the Rockies onto her land to survey bird species and count their populations.

University of Michigan

What a difference a few months can make in the realm of public opinion. According to The Rural Blog, and The Guardian, the number of Americans who now accept global warming as fact rests at 70%, up 7 points from July.

Kansas Health Institute

Sen. Jeff King says private-sector expansion plan could help fix health care system that’s failing ‘hard-working Kansans.’

Kansas Senate Vice President Jeff King is taking issue with Gov. Sam Brownback’s reasons for opposing Medicaid expansion.

A Fine High Plains Collection on View in Liberal

Oct 26, 2015
L&T Photos / Elly Grimm

The new exhibit at the Coronado Museum and Dorothy’s House in Liberal, Kansas, is drawing a good deal of attention. The show consists of art and artifacts from the Rash family collection, reports and the Leader & Times.

Eric Gay / Associated Press

In Texas, the fight over abortion just grew more heated. The New York Times reports that state investigators showed up at Planned Parenthood centers in Houston, Dallas, San Antonio and Brownsville. The investigators asked the clinics to turn over private information about patients, including medical records and home addresses and phone numbers.

A Tour of a Meatpacking Facility with Temple Grandin

Oct 23, 2015
Rosalie Winard / The Economist

Much has changed in the American meatpacking industry since the publication of Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle 109 years ago. The Economist recently joined animal-welfare and autism-awareness advocate Temple Grandin for a tour of a Colorado meat-processing facility. The Fort Morgan facility is a massive operation; the plant employs 2,100 people and slaughters 4,600 cows every day.

Akash Ghai / NPR

For years, NPR’s Marc Silver has been trying to keep the memory of his mother-in-law alive by cooking up her old recipes on holidays. But this was no easy task, as many of Jan Dale’s recipes seemed to have died with her in 2005. That is, until Marc found her spiral-bound cookbook. The book was filled with notes and marginalia in Jan’s perfect 1950s handwriting.

Colorado Public Radio

We’ve been hearing for years about the benefits of having a bit of red wine with dinner. But now, according to Colorado Public Radio, there’s even more good news for those who enjoy a glass of wine in the evenings: A new study in the Annals of Internal Medicine reports that red wine drunk regularly and in moderation can help to prevent Type 2 diabetes.

Poncie Rutsch / Harvest Public Media

From Harvest Public Media:

Fort Morgan is a town of about 11,000 people tucked into the farmland of northeastern Colorado. Among its residents are people of Latino and European ancestry, and more recent immigrants, including refugees from eastern Africa.

In an impassioned plea, the editor of The Canadian Record took to her column today to shame lawmakers who refuse to stand up to pro-gun lobbyists. Laurie Ezzell Brown, the editorialist in the town of Canadian in the Texas Panhandle, let her anger be known, and the editorial was reprinted this week on The Rural Blog. Brown’s column reads, in part:

New Koch Book Yields Few Political Secrets

Oct 22, 2015
Bo Rader / Wichita Eagle

Readers who open Charles Koch’s second book hoping to find information about the CEO’s extensive political operation will be disappointed, reports The Wichita Eagle. Koch, along with his brother David, is one of the Republican party’s biggest donors and most powerful behind-the-scenes influencers. The Koch brothers’ efforts to impact elections nationwide have been the subject of much chatter among politicos and pundits.

Hispanic Population on the Rise at WTAMU

Oct 21, 2015

The Hispanic population at West Texas A&M University is growing, according to The Canyon News. And the university’s largest Hispanic organization, The Hispanic Student Association, is making itself known on campus and in town. Paola Duarte-Marin, reporter for Telemundo and freelance professor at WTAMU, says she’s proud of the work the organization is doing on campus.

A Look at the World's Windiest Communities

Oct 21, 2015
LatitudeStock / Alamy

High Plains residents are intimately familiar with wind. A recent post listed Amarillo, Texas, as the windiest city in the US. Some High Plains communities have discovered how to harness the wind’s power. For example, after Greensburg, Kansas, was destroyed by a tornado in 2007, residents rebuilt the town as a green energy paradise. Its wind now generates three times more power than the town uses.

Topeka Capital-Journal

Sam Brownback is concerned about the efficacy of various pre-kindergarten programs in the state, and the Kansas governor has set up a task force to investigate ways to more effectively prepare children for kindergarten. Dozens of public and private organizations operate early-education programs in Kansas, reports the Topeka Capital-Journal.

OK Capitol Removes Ten Commandments Monument

Oct 20, 2015
Sue Ogrocki / Associated Press

Late last Monday night, workers came to the Oklahoma Capitol Grounds and quietly removed a massive stone monument depicting the Ten Commandments, reports The New York Times. The move came at the 11th hour; the state was facing a court-ordered deadline of Monday to remove the monument.

James M. Dobson / Garden City Telegram

The horizon south of Garden City, Kansas, will get a new addition soon. Ground was broken last week on the $235 million Meadowlark dairy processing plant, reports The Garden City Telegram. Governor Sam Brownback, in town for the groundbreaking ceremony, was thrilled about the new facility, saying: “We’ve heard in the past from dairies interested in Kansas that a limiting factor is the proximity of a milk processing plant.

Cropland Prices Droop, While Ranchland Values Soar

Oct 20, 2015

Lower grain prices have caused Kansas farmland prices to slump this year, reports the ­Dodge City Daily Globe. The value of Kansas cropland was down 2.2 percent as of Aug. 15, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data. Experts expect cropland values to slide even further in the coming months as the agriculture sector continues to struggle.

Some landowners are wary of the motivations of technicians gathering bird data on their land. The more accurate data provided by the bird census program can benefit private landowners, who often shudder when there's talk a bird or animal might be listed as threatened or endangered because of land-use regulations such a listing can bring.

A Kansas Senator Returns Home to Dodge City

Oct 19, 2015
Mark Vierthaler / Dodge City Daily Globe

Pat Roberts, a native of Dodge City, returned home last week. For the US Senator from Kansas, coming home is an opportunity to recharge his batteries, reports the Dodge City Daily Globe.

During his visit, Roberts participated in a brick ceremony at The Depot. "It's always a blessing to be home in Dodge City," Roberts said. The senator added that coming home gives him a chance to hear what’s on the minds of his constituents.