News

United States Fish and Wildlife Service

A ConocoPhillips grant provided seed money to assist the state of Kansas purchase 160 acres of salt-marsh wetland in Lincoln County, Kansas, from an elderly landowner who wanted to preserve the land perpetually. Kansas state biologist Matt Smith dealt with owner Jim Gurley, helped Gurley achieve his goal, and says the process was a very satisfying experience. As it was non-federal funding, the ConocoPhillips grant got leveraged multiple times by increasing the amount of federal and state funding made available to the project.

The Prowers Journal

The Prowers Journal reports that historical preservationists have begun restoring the Camp Amache Japanese internment camp near Granada in Southeast Colorado, which held over 4,000 Japanese Americans during the Second World War. Workers have completed reconstruction of a water tower and a guard tower, and now work has begun on a barracks facility. The preservationists hope to accumulate 10,000 bricks in order to complete the project, and they are gathering as many used bricks as possible.

Elaine Thompson / Associated Press

Officials and researchers from states that have legalized marijuana or are considering making the substance lawful met in Washington State this week to evaluate the impact of the legislation, reports the Washington Post. The conference drew lawmakers from the legal pot states of Washington, Colorado, Oregon and Alaska, as well as Vermont and California—states that may legalize the substance in the future.

Corbis

This year commemorates the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, and the Wall Street Journal has reported on the similar careers of two of America’s most celebrated veterans of that war. George Herbert Walker Bush fought in the Pacific Arena and was shot down, and Bob Dole was wounded in Italy and left for dead on the battlefield.

Legislators from the Texas Panhandle were successful in getting many of their efforts passed this session. Sen. Kel Seliger filed about 75 bills, and the Texas Legislature passed nearly 20. In the House of Representatives, Four Price and John Smithee both fared well. Nine of Smithee’s 37 bills passed. As for Price, eight of the 27 bills he authored passed. He also sponsored nine Senate bills, and all passed.

Indigo Girls’ new release ‘One Lost Day’ is their 14th studio record since they began recording in 1987.  As I read through the reviews of this record, I began to see a common thread; they all mention that the songwriting remains as strong as ever, but the instrumentation has continued to grow and expand.  I have to agree- this release sounds familiar and new at the same time.  We will listen to this new batch of songs from Indigo Girls this week on High Plains Morning.

Kansas Legislators have finished the longest session in the state's history. The wrapped up their work late Friday and left Topeka. Lawmakers faced an $800 million deficit. They found a way to balance the budget. They will return to the capitol later this month for the ceremonial end to the 2015 legislative session.

As a self-appointed foodie, I often watch Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives for cooking inspiration. Guy Fieri’s success at seeking eateries with reputations for amazing fare motivates me to look for excellent dining on road trips. Because of my research, I have a list of favorite restaurants. However, none of these culinary institutions matches the quality or flavor of my all-time preferred place to eat, Grandma Lottie’s kitchen.

Supreme Court to Rule onTexas Voting Rights Case

Jun 15, 2015
Todd Wiseman

The US Supreme Court has taken up a Texas voting rights case, known as Evenwel v. Abbott, reports the Texas Tribune. At issue is whether Texas voting districts fairly represent their citizens.

iStockphoto

Obtaining a prescription for medical marijuana in Colorado may soon prove more difficult, according to Colorado Public Radio. Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper has called for more oversight of physicians, as the vast majority of the state’s 100,000 marijuana prescriptions can be traced back to about two dozen doctors, and legislators want to ensure that these prescriptions are not being written frivolously. Dr.

Andrew Burton / Getty Images

Because of an AP reporter’s determination this week, Kansas voters learned of several proposed statewide budget cuts that they would not otherwise have been made aware of, including the laying off of prison guards, cutting of public school funds, and reduced payments to health care providers and nursing homes.

Luke Clayton

 Howdy Folks!

Hop in the truck with me.  This week I'm taking you on a wild hog hunting adventure with Billy Kilpatrick and Terry Tate.  Billy and I are headed down to Terry's.  We're hoping Billy will be successful with one of Terry's big bore rifles.

Tomtato/Pomato

Jun 12, 2015
kplu.org

This week we'll look at some new doings in food production, as science makes the scene in both the garden and the fruit orchard.  A brief history of efforts to produce grafted tomatoes and potatoes brings us from the early 70's to today's promise of a single plant with tomatoes on the top and spuds beneath.  But this is nothing new to folks who have been grafting fruit tree limbs to produce tangelos, plucots, plumcots, and more.     

http://401kcalculator.org

From Kaiser Health News:

Even in Kentucky, which championed the 2010 health care law by expanding Medicaid and running its own insurance marketplace, about half of poor people say they have heard little about the Affordable Care Act, according to a Harvard University study published Monday in Health Affairs.

Lars Plougmann

In the waning days of the Texas Legislature’s  84th Session, House and Senate leaders proposed a constitutional amendment, to be voted on by Texans in November, that would dedicate a portion of all future motor vehicle sales taxes to  the state’s highway fund, starting in 2019.

Train Travel

Jun 10, 2015
www.usnavyseabeemuseum.org

This week we'll leave the garden and hop a train to the west to celebrate last year's Father's Day at the U.S. Navy Seabee Museum on the coast of Southern California.  My trip was the result of finding a final resting place for my Dad's World War II memorabilia, and then transporting the precious cargo on the same route the G.I.s took 70 years ago, when they fought the war in the Pacific. 

As the Kansas legislative session winds down, a late-session attempt to make Medicaid expansion a bargaining chip was sidelined by debates on a tax and budget plan. Expansion would have made all Kansas adults with incomes up to 138 percent of poverty eligible.

Governor Greg Abbott signed a number of bills that will spend a record breaking amount to provide security along the Texas-Mexico border. The issue was named one of Abbott's emergency items at the beginning of the legislative session. Abbott says Texas is a safer place because of these bills.

New Report Ranks America's Safest States

Jun 9, 2015

The personal finance website Wallethub has released a report on America’s safest states in which to reside. Massachusetts tops the list, followed by Vermont and Minnesota.  Mississippi was named America’s least safe state. Among High Plains states, Nebraska is ranked at number 17 and Colorado at number 25, followed by Kansas at 30, Texas at 38, New Mexico at 48 and Oklahoma at number 49.

kansascity.com

Last week Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback signed a bill threatening to defund the entire state judiciary if it rules against a law he favors reports Slate.

The Huffington Post says Brownback has spent much of his tenure attempting to curb the Kansas Supreme Court and consolidate power in the executive branch. 

The outbreak began in mid-May, with three cases of the highly-contagious respiratory disease. Now there are 23 reported cases, according to the Reno County Health Department, in Hutchinson. As of June 2nd, 134 cases of pertussis had been reported in Kansas this year. Pertussis causes rapid and violent coughing, and the struggle to inhale while coughing sometimes causes a “whooping” sound. Pertussis most commonly affects babies and young children, and can be fatal—especially during the first year of life. The bacteria responsible for the disease are spread through the air by coughing or sneezing. Symptoms appear one to three weeks after exposure. The best defense against pertussis is vaccination. Protection from the childhood vaccination tends to wane over time, but a booster shot is available. Getting the booster shot can protect you, as well as vulnerable babies you might come into contact with. Those who’ve been vaccinated may still catch pertussis, but the symptoms will likely be milder than if you have not been immunized. Health officials are asking anyone who’s been coughing for two weeks without explanation to see a doctor.

Skyrocketing appraisal rates in some Texas counties could have homeowners paying more this year even with the increased Homestead Exemption. That’s according to analysis put together by the Texas House Ways and Means Committee on the last days of the session. Dale Craymer is a budget expert with the Texas Taxpayer and Research Association and says in areas like Bexar County where appraisal rates rose by almost 12-percent, you will likely pay more this year. Craymer says on average homeowners will still save $130 on their property taxes, but for those living in those more populated counties, that $130 is off of the thousands of dollars they may owe. At the Start of the session Governor Greg Abbott stressed to lawmakers that they pass some form of property tax relief and that its impact be long-lasting. But even Abbott says this session’s property tax relief effort was just a starting point to keep rates from skyrocketing in the future.

Egg imports from the Netherlands will be soon be allowed under a new decision from the U-S Agriculture Department. As Harvest Public Media’s Peggy Lowe reports, that’s because the huge outbreak of bird flu in the Midwest has hurt supplies.

Jerod Foster

ConocoPhillips has teamed with Playa Lakes Joint Venture for more than 25 years to provide in-kind assistance and funds to provide conservation grants -- seed money to get conservation and habitat projects off and running. We talk about the importance of this non-federal source of money, which gets leveraged time and again by federal or state funds to make conservation/habitat projects happen.

Plaintiffs in a settled lawsuit say not enough progress is being made to improved the foster care system in Oklahoma. The Pinnacle Plan is a result of the suit claiming the Oklahoma Department of Human Services had policies leading to the harm of abused and neglected children in state custody. The plan contains a list of specific improvements to be met by 2017, complete with progress goals along the way. Plaintiffs have written a letter to program monitors asking them to push for faster change. A spokeswoman for the department says a written response will be given by today.

Pantex will soon have safety issues resolved says a top official from the National Nuclear Security Administration. The two program-related issues were revealed during a Code Blue review by the NNSA. A code blue review is similar to a safety review. The two issues are not related. One problem was about ensuring proper documentation required was complete. The other was related to weapons shipping container safety. Frank Klotz is a NNSA Administrator. He says these aren’t a safely issue for the public or for Pantex employees. He says the concerns are because they are ultra-cautious about everything they do, and becaue of the type of work they do.

Kansas Governor Sam Brownback is so in favor of the new tax plan, he was lobbying lawmakers by phone from the hospital where his first grandchild was born Sunday. Brownback says the budget has been thoroughly discussed and it's past time to get it done and move forward. The tax plan increasing sales and cigarette taxes, and rolling back some of the 2012 tax breaks for businesses was already passed by the Senate.

Eilen Jewell’s new release ‘Sundown Over Ghost Town’ is the sound of change.  Becoming a mother and returning to her home town of Boise, Idaho have instilled a sense of growth and maturity to these songs.  We will listen to 'Sundown Over Ghost Town' this week on High Plains Morning.  

Fawn Nurseries

Jun 7, 2015

Years ago our family tent-camped at Slough Creek Camp Ground, a primitive site at the north end of Yellowstone National Park where wildlife is abundant and close. That particular summer, the area’s fawn population had exploded. Does led babies to the stream bank directly across from our tent. While my husband fished, transfixed little girls and I watched the tiny creatures scamper and nurse while their mommas browsed and occasionally cleaned a baby. This is my fondest memory of camping with small children.

Luke Clayton

Well, howdy there folks!  It's big bass time on Lake Fork in East Texas.  As a matter of face, it's not just big bass time, but it's trophy bass time!  This week, I'm talking with guide Seth Vanover about the most effective method of catching trophy largemouth bass.   

Seth has perfected his method of catch and release.  He has Lake Fork Cat and Crappie.

Pages