News

Bureau of Land Management

The hydraulic fracturing process of extracting oil and natural gas—better known as “fracking”—requires that millions of pounds of sand be pumped down each shale well.

For years, Texas fracking operations have used Northern White Sand, mined in Wisconsin, for their wells.

But now, as Forbes reports, cheaper oil prices have producers looking for ways to cut costs, and many Texas fracking wells are looking for sand a bit closer to home.

Luke Clayton

On this week’s High Plains Outdoors, we'll talk a little elk hunting and guide David Hanson shares some camp cooking experience.

Prairie Tayles: Control Is An Illusion

Sep 15, 2017
Lane Pearman

Humans are funny creatures. Some imagine we control much that happens in our world. Because technological advances during the last two centuries eradicated small pox and put men on the moon, it’s easy to accept this idea. Believing we direct our lives makes us feel safer. However, anyone who lives in Kansas understands our species doesn’t control of much of anything but putting satellites in orbit and operating a remote that allows us to picture what weather might do. With that little button and functioning electricity, we can react to nature but we can’t regulate it.

Don't miss Oklahoma singer-songwriter HAVEN ALEXANDRA,with special guest, jazz/blues master MARK MONTGOMERY from Kansas City.

Saturday, September 30

HPPR Studios (210 N. 7th St.) 

Doors at 7p | Show at 7:30p

Suggested Donation: $15

 

RSVP online now, or call us at 806.367.9088!

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Kansas Department of Health and Environment

A southwest Kansas lake has been closed and two have been issued public health warnings due to blue-green algae blooms.

As the Topeka Capital-Journal reports, officials with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment announced Thursday that Hodgeman State Fishing Lake, in Hodgeman County, was closed and Lake Scott State Park in Scott County and Sam’s Pond in Hamilton County were each issued public health warnings due to harmful algal blooms.

Radio Readers BookByte: A Gustatory Home

Sep 15, 2017
Tom Averill

I’m Tom Averill, author of the culinary novel Secrets of the Tsil Café, and a “foodie” in my kitchen and in my library.

When I was writing my book, I became aware of how important food is to our identities as people, and how food memories shape us.  Cookbook writer Molly Katzen first learned the power of food at her childhood dinner table.  Her father had served in World War II, and while he was overseas, his mother died.  His favorite of all her dishes was tzimmes, a casserole dish of potatoes and onion and carrots often served at Rosh Hashanah.  Each year, Molly’s mother tried to replicate her mother-in-law’s recipe, and each year she failed—until the time her father tasted the tzimmes and broke down sobbing; his mother had come back to life in that dish.  Molly was 10 years old.  Perhaps all of us miss a person, along with the dish that person traditionally brought to the holiday meal.

CREATIVE COMMONS 3 - CC BY-SA 3.0

In a Sept. 7 blog, the Center for Rural Affairs, a rural advocacy group based in Nebraska, makes the case that Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals – or DACA – recipients stimulate the economies of small towns.

Incomes Continue To Rise, But Texans Of Color Still Seeing A Gap

Sep 14, 2017
Justyna Furmanczyk

Texas experienced modest economic improvement in 2016, according to new census estimates. But income inequality remains pervasive in the state.

By ALEXA URA AND ANNIE DANIEL

On the economic front, 2016 was a year of modest improvements for Texas residents. Incomes continued to creep up. Overall poverty slightly dipped. The share of poor children in some areas of the state with the highest rates of child poverty dropped.

People Of The Plains: A Lost Cause

Sep 14, 2017
Courtesy

Native Texans are generally associated with things like cowboy hats, southern drawls, and Sam Elliott-like demeanors.  While a diehard conservative, and while sporting the occasional southern accent for the sake of a few laughs (insisting that he “really talks like this” all the while), Jeff Caseltine does not epitomize the “traditional” native Texan. Instead, things that come to mind when describing Jeff are celebrity impersonations, socks and sandals, and a prevailing enthusiasm and heart for the kids he teaches. 

Sometimes, if you want something done right, you just have to do it yourself. This has certainly been true for some of my more challenging garden endeavors, including Fall gardens. These pose many a hardship for those in our region. In fact, finding adequate seed options might be the biggest yet.

Radio Readers BookByte: Food to Five Quarters

Sep 14, 2017

In each of our Radio Reader series, we try to offer a variety of genre, and in keeping with that idea, we now move from a nonfiction book of essays about food in different regions of depression-era America, The Food of a Younger Land, to a novel about food in Nazi occupied France during World War II, Five Quarters of the Orange by Joanne Harris. 

Both these books present stressful historical eras in which people endured long lasting hardships:  The Food of a Younger Land recalls the Great Depression where people suffered deprivation of everyday necessities; Five Quarters of the Orange centers on World War II, where French citizens lived under oppressive Nazi occupation and coped with food shortages and loss of freedom. In both situations people struggled day to day to provide food for their families.  Both Joanne Harris’s characters and Mark Kurlansky’s essayists sought the comfort of food, steeped in the familiarity of their long-standing traditions.

supremecourt.gov

The State of Texas’s recent losing streak in Federal courts came to an end this week, as the U.S. Supreme Court decided that Texas does not need to redraw Congressional voting districts before next year’s elections.

Before You Tear That Old Barn Down ...

Sep 13, 2017
Creative Commons CC0

Barns are as much a symbol of the High Plains as the plains themselves and while many old barns are being replaced with metal sheds and outbuildings, there are ways to give barns a new shot at life.

According to the Center for Rural Affairs, financial assistance through state and federal tax credits may be available to help aid in the process of restoring an old barn.

There are several steps to be taken, however.

Wikimedia Commons

Relatives of undocumented immigrants are at risk for being charged criminally if they sponsor or take them into their homes.

As ProPublica reports, over 400 people were arrested this summer as part of what Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, calls a crackdown on guardians who pay human smugglers, also known as "coyotes."

youtube.com

For decades, Tobe Zweygardt guided busloads and carloads of visitors through the Arikaree Breaks in northwest Kansas – an area reminiscent of a sort of miniature Grand Canyon.

As The Wichita Eagle reports, Zweygardt, who also welded and sculpted signs from old farm and implement parts and marked routes along the breaks, died Sunday at the age of 101.

If you have not yet attended an HPPR Living Room Concert, you are missing some serious fun. Our station proudly hosts singer-songwriters, folk artists, and Americana masters from across the country as they travel through the High Plains. We also love supporting regional favorites, growing our station's community of live music lovers, as well as fans of public radio

Radio Readers BookByte: Food as Metaphor

Sep 13, 2017
Garland, Kansas / Kansas Memory, Kansas Historical Society

I was six years old when I realized that food can be dished up in two categories:  food that proves someone loves you, and food that proves someone doesn’t love you.

Let me explain.

Imagine that you go to your grandmother’s kitchen in the morning. Breakfast at your grandmother’s—crispy bacon, fluffy scrambled eggs, warm, tender cinnamon rolls—lets you know that the day will be good.  Life is good.  Someone loves you.

Ed Schipul / Wikimedia Commons

A prominent Texas legislator is taking four of his colleagues in the U.S. House of Representatives to task for their refusal to vote for a relief package to aid the victims of Hurricane Harvey. Mac Thornberry, the congressman who represents the Texas Panhandle, was one of the legislators who voted against sending a $15.25 billion initial aid package to the coast.

SHEPPARD.AF.MI

Friday was the official start of Colorado’s dove hunting season and because the Arkansas Valley of southeast Colorado is so vast, scouting for the birds is essential – at least according to two hunters.

Local Farmers Cash In On Corn Tortillas

Sep 12, 2017
Wikimedia Commons

Many in the High Plains region regularly enjoy the tortilla chips – an item more local than what might think - that, along with a bowl of salsa, typically precede Mexican meals.

As The High Plains Journal reports, Leon and Nancy Winfrey of Plains, Kansas own Southwest Tortillas – made with food grade white corn grown on their farm. The family sells fresh corn tortillas to restaurants in Kansas and Oklahoma.

CCO Creative Commons

Plans for the largest wind farm in the U.S. to be built in the Oklahoma Panhandle were recently announced by developers, but military air bases are pushing back.

As State Impact reports, the western part of Oklahoma is an ideal place for military flight training because of its wide open skies.

Radio Readers BookByte: What Else Are We Missing?

Sep 12, 2017
Victor Hugo Green, 1940 / Wikipedia

I’m Meagan Zampieri, your book discussion leader for this month. Our first Fall Read 2017- Food and Story is The Food of a Younger Land, edited by Mark Kurlansky and I chose to lead the discussion for this book because, well.

I travel a lot for my work.

That is an understatement. This year alone, I’ve crossed Kansas so many times I’ve lost count. I have gone to Texas, St. Louis, and Chicago, and I have a trip to Utah planned. Wichita tomorrow, Topeka on Tuesday, Lawrence the following Tuesday. Sharon Springs at the beginning of August, Dodge City at the end of August, Wichita again in a couple months… That’s outside of whatever meetings I might need to attend inside of the 12-county region I serve in my work with libraries.

Nyttend / Wikimedia Commons

More than half of U.S. rural counties have no hospital where women can give birth, according to MinnPost.com.

According to a new study by the University of Minnesota, over the past decade, the number of U.S. rural counties without obstetric units increased by 50 percent.

This means that rural women are at greater risk of birth-related complications than previously realized.

Wikipedia

The deer population in south-central Kansas is being tested for a fatal disease.

As The Wichita Eagle reports, two deer from Stafford County tested positive for chronic wasting disease – or CWD -  a contagious disease that’s always fatal to deer, elk and moose.

Pixabay

Long distances, rugged topography and scattered population centers are among several barriers to providing broadband Internet service to Colorado’s rural areas.

As The Denver Post reports, the state’s broadband map shows vast stretches of the state – especially on the Eastern Plains and across the mountains – with slow to no internet service.

Wikimedia Commons

Todd Lamb, the current Lieutenant Governor of Oklahoma, recently announced his plan to bring positive change to his home state. Lamb, who announced his plans to run for Governor in April, told KSWO that his vision for the state includes five steps.

Those steps are, in the Lt. Gov.’s words, “to reform and restructure state government, education priority, infrastructure, economic diversity and making Oklahoma work again.”

Celia Llopis-Jepsen / Kansas News Service

Lawmakers remain concerned about potential snags as Kansas wraps up years of work on migrating driver’s license records from an old mainframe computer to newer infrastructure ahead of a January launch date. 

Rep. Kyle Hoffman, R-Coldwater, a member of the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Information Technology, asked legislative auditing staff Friday whether the state might see a repeat of the technical woes that plagued the first phase of the same project five years ago. 

Tomas Castelazo / Wikimedia Commons

A new law in Texas would allow hunters to shoot feral hogs and coyotes from hot air balloons. But now, balloonists in the Lone Star State are refusing to offer the opportunity to participate in the activity, citing logistical problems.

The Texas Tribune recently spoke with many balloonists and insurers across the state, and they all said they hadn’t heard of anyone planning to hunt hogs from hot air balloons.

house.gov

United States Congressman Mac Thornberry, who represents the Texas Panhandle, was one of four Texas lawmakers who voted against sending billions in relief funding to those suffering in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.

None of the Texas lawmakers who opposed the bill represented coastal regions.

As The Texas Tribune reports, the House approved the $15 billion in aid to support the hurricane relief effort.

Creative Commons

Hurricane Harvey didn’t just devastate human lives; the storm likely killed thousands of head of livestock as well.

As Texas Standard reports, the full effect of the hurricane on the cattle industry in Texas won’t be known for some time.

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