News

Look at How Lawsuits Shape Regulation

Apr 17, 2015
MARY ANN MELTON

There is still time for the public to comment on an Environmental Protection Agency proposal to reduce smog in Big Bend National Park and Big Bend State Park.

This haze is nothing new, a lot of it comes from coal power plants far away from Big Bend. State and federal officials have been trying to fight it for years, and most recently the EPA stepped in with its own proposal, reports State Impact correspondent Mose Buchele.

StateImpact Oklahoma

There are a handful of people still around who remember the darkness that feel over Oklahoma 80 years ago. Black Sunday was commemorated at the Oklahoma Capitol by Dust Bowl Survivors recently.

Survivor Pauline Hodges, who was only 5 at the time, recounts the onset of the storm at the Capitol, “It looked like night. There was so much dirt in the air and that made it so black.”

PECAN in a Nutshell

Apr 16, 2015
NSF, NOAA, NASA & U.S. Department of Energy

If you’ve spent any time in Southern United States, then one would expect you to be very well acquainted with the Pecan. However this rendition may be something completely new to you. The Plains Elevated Convection at Night, aka PECAN is a study aimed at understanding severe thunderstorms at night over the High Plains.

Looking to the Gulf to fill the Gap

Apr 16, 2015
Ivan Pierre Aguirre / The Texas Tribune

As the population of Texas continues to grow, the water level is dropping fast. Recently state lawmakers discussed the feasibility of utilizing the Gulf of Mexico as a water source for the state.

An alternative that is costly and fraught with controversy, however saltwater desalination could catch on in ways that groundwater desalination never did.

Kansas state budget cuts are prompting school districts to take steps to save money. The Smoky Valley school district is the third school planning on closing early to save money. The school will close a week early to save about $10,000.

It's east versus west says Fort Hays State University professor. Chapman Rackaway is a political science professor. He says it the Kansas Legislature has gone from trying to keep western Kansas to showing it the door.

Texas Panhandle No Longer High and Dry

Apr 15, 2015
Amarillo Globe News

Half of the dry counties in the state of Texas have been in the Panhandle; however this number has dropped significantly over the past decade. The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission began tracking Texas counties that allow alcohol sales in the late 30’s, back then only 8 out of the 26 counties in the Panhandle were “Wet”.

The number of rabies has doubled so far this year, and a K-State rabies expert says vaccinating your pets will help keep your family safe from the virus.

Medical schools try to reboot for 21st century

Apr 14, 2015

From the Kansas Health Institute:

Medicine has changed a lot in the past 100 years. But medical training has not.

Until now. Spurred by the need to train a different type of doctor, medical schools across the country are tearing up the textbooks and starting from scratch.

Most medical schools still operate under a model pioneered in the early 1900s by an educator named Abraham Flexner.

Carol Hillendahl / HPPR

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), which manages the grid for 24 million Texans, nearly doubled from 2009 to 2014. Wind power was responsible for over 10% of the electricity for Texas in 2014, that is up from 9.9 in 2013 and 6.2 in 2009 as per the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Vegetable study targets water savings in the High Plains

Apr 13, 2015
Texas A&M AgriLife Research

High Plains vegetable crops are being re-examined in a Texas A&M AgriLIfe Research Study to determine water saving alternatives to some cereal grain production.  "Everybody knows we are generally water short in the Texas High Plains and can no longer meet 100 percent of all crop water needs," said Thomas Marek, AgriLife Research senior research engineer for irrigation water conservation and management in Amarillo.

Texas Parks and Wildlife

Research indicates that a buffer surrounding a playa lake, consisting typically of native grasses and forbs, prevents migration of upland topsoil and farm chemicals into lowland wetlands such as playa lakes and rainwater basins.

kscourts.org

Many Kansans may not know the faces that sit upon the bench of the Kansas Supreme Court.  HPPR's Cindee Talley had the pleasure of speaking with Chief Justice Lawton R. Nuss.

Nuss is a fourth generation Kansan from Salina. As a senior in high school he never dreamed of landing a seat in Supreme Court. After graduation, Nuss served four years in the United States’ Marine Corp. After discharge he continued his education in law school at the University of Kansas and graduated in May 1982.

Ghost County

Apr 13, 2015
Kansas AgLand

I’m sure you’ve heard of a ghost town, but how about a ghost county? In 1887, the clash between Ravanna and Eminence for county seat was a heated one and left behind a number of unresolved issues.

Chronic Wasting Disease Found in Western Kansas Deer

Apr 13, 2015
http://jenniferajarrett.blogspot.com/2012/03/deer.html

Chronic Wasting Disease is a palpable threat to the wildlife of western Kansas; CWD is a transmissible neurological disease of deer and elk that is 100% fatal to the animal. At this point the disease has not been passed to humans or livestock; however it is related to mad cow disease and scrapie in sheep, as well as other diseases that can be fatal across the board.

Grant Gerlock / Harvest Public Media

Just over a year ago, Tracy Dethlefs learned she has stage 1 breast cancer. Since then, she estimates she’s charted some 10,000 miles travelling from her farm near Loup City in central Nebraska to area hospitals for treatment. Every surgery, round of chemotherapy and radiation treatment was a road trip.

“Radiation treatments usually (take) only about 5 minutes (on) a day that they have to see you,” Dethlefs said. “But for a week, for seven weeks in a row, you’re driving every single day to the cancer treatment. We’re about an hour away from cancer centers.”

Divide in the Debate: Americans on Fracking

Apr 12, 2015

  From recent data collected by a Gallup poll, reporter Art Swift reveals that Americans are split fairly evenly on the issue of fracking for oil and natural gas.

According to Swift, "Fracking has helped contribute to a substantial increase in natural gas and oil production across the U.S., and now in other parts of the world, and is credited with helping lower its price for the average consumer."

Gov Sam Brownback signed a bill into law that restricts the most common abortion technique. A similar bills looks like it will pass in Oklahoma. Missouri, South Carolina, and South Dakota has proposed similar bills.

Kudos for Pluto

Apr 10, 2015
Kansas Public Radio

Pluto has taken on new prominence this year in the northern Arizona city where it was discovered.  Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff has dedicated 2015 to celebrating one of its most popular attractions and the amateur astronomer who spotted it 85 years ago. 

A Tornado History Lesson

Apr 10, 2015
David Drummond / David Drummond Photography

On the Lookout for Sugarcane Aphids

Apr 10, 2015
Southwest Farm Press

 

A fresh threat to New Mexico crops is on the move, the sugarcane aphid that has been afflicting South Texas for two seasons now is heading west.

Drought Across Nation's Crop Region

Apr 9, 2015
Eric Luberhausen / US Department of Agriculture

 Drought conditions continue to expand across much of the Midwest, data released by the  shows moderate or worse drought conditions cover 36.8 percent of the US which is up nearly 5% from the week prior.

TownHall.com reports that things are looking up in areas like Iowa, Illinois and Kentucky who saw rain last week and can expect more in the near future. 

In Kansas, the Court of Appeals upholds the decision to grant a temporary injunction to limit pumping a Haskell County junior water right.

This provisional sanction effects the junior right holder, oil company American Warrior, owned by the Cecil O’Brate family. This will require that they abstain from pumping water from two wells while the case is still pending in the court system.

Bringing the Latest Cancer Treatments to Rural Kansas

Apr 8, 2015
Bryan Thompson

From Kansas Public RadioBryan Thompson reports. 

A cancer diagnosis is often the beginning of a life-or-death struggle. Patients want to go into that fight armed with the most powerful weapons available. In many cases, that involves treatments still in their experimental stages.

Amber Waves of Change: Homecoming (Part 4)

Apr 7, 2015
Photo by David Guth

What is it that keeps a community afloat in the face of dramatic population decline? In his final chapter on the concerns in rural America, University of Kansas Journalism Professor David Guth reveals that family ties and aggressive community planning keep the High Plains populous.  From Kansas Public Radio,  see how communities are managing to hold their own. 

A Buzz Over Bees

Apr 7, 2015
: Carol Hillendahl

The plight of our pollinators is a hot topic in legislature; political initiatives are in motion to protect the honey bee and monarch populations across the nation.

From the AG Journal, contributing writer Candace Krebs reports that “Pollinator health is one of three key legislative priorities the American Agri-Women organization decided to zoom in on this year, along with immigration reform and proposed clean water rules.”

Rep. Don Hill, a Republican from Emporia, introduced a bill last year that would have raised the state’s cigarette tax by $1.50 per pack.

The bill died in the House Taxation Committee, where the chairman, Rep. Richard Carlson, a Republican from St. Marys, did not deem it worthy of a hearing.

There's a little place in the Texas Panhandle that was just named one of the 17 Texas barbecue joints you need to try before you die- Mike's BBQ Haven in Amarillo.

Oklahoma Conservation Commission

We examine Jan Minton's ranch, the family operation she took over in Floyd Co., Texas. It had been "farmed to death," she said, and two playa lakes were in poor condition. Bill Johnson, a U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service biologist, developed a restoration plan that involved silt removal, playa repair, and a native grass and forbs plant buffer around the playas' margins.

Amber Waves of Change: Rural Newspapers (Part 3)

Apr 7, 2015
(Photo by David Guth) / Kansas Public Radio

The struggle to survive for small town local media is in direct correlation to the dwindling population.

In the third installment of the four part series on issues facing rural America, from Kansas Public Radio, Professor David Guth addresses the apparent, imminent demise of rural newspapers. As well as what challenges rural publishers are facing, where the decline of subscribers and advertisers is equal to a slow march towards demise.   

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