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West Texas A&M University will welcome Brandon Stanton tonight, as part of its distinguished lecture series.

Stanton is known as the founder of the "Humans of New York" photoblog, which tells the stories of everyday New Yorkers, and has now expanded into a worldwide phenomenon. Stanton has traveled the globe, telling the stories of everyday citizens.

In a phone interview last week, Stanton said that he isn't interested in the opinions of his subjects, political or otherwise, but rather the core humanity beneath those opinions.

U S Army Center of Military History / Library of Congress

I’m Jonathan Baker, a writer in Canyon, Texas, and I’m the discussion leader for this month’s Radio Readers Book Club read: A Son at the Front by Edith Wharton. The novel concerns an upper-crust American portrait painter in Paris during World War I, who unexpectedly finds his son drafted and sent to the front.

As you might expect, this is not a happy novel. Yet, it is a quiet and contemplative one. Wharton wrote in a realistic style that has largely been lost in American literature, with an intense focus on observations and manners, and on the smallest mechanisms of thought and gesture. In this way, Wharton is like her friend Henry James, though she avoids the endlessly labyrinthine deep-dives into consciousness that can be found in James’s late novels.

Ammodramus / Wikimedia Commons

The City of Amarillo is following through on its threat to sue a local landowner for allowing a homeless encampment to reside on his property. As The Texas Observer reports, Amarillo officials announced last week that they would take Melvin McEwen to court over the homeless tent village.

Adavyd / Wikimedia Commons

Deep inside a West Texas mountain lies a clock.

The mechanical timepiece, which rests inside a peak of the Sierra Diablo mountain range along the Texas-Mexico border, is 50 stories high. It ticks once per year.

The clock has a century hand that advances once every century, and every thousand years a cuckoo emerges from the clock to mark the passing of another millennium.

Valerie Brown-Kuchera

I don’t like to cook.  I’m so glad there are people in the world that view cooking as an art because I do love to eat.  My husband, given the opportunity, would enjoy experimenting in the kitchen.  Joel loves to peruse cookbooks and magazines, and about every few months, he grandly announces that he’s going to start making one new recipe per week.  Not only that, he says going to eat healthier.  I guess along with the butter and syrup, he’s going to start putting fruit on his pancakes.

Luke Clayton

Just a few days ago, Texas adopted a regulation that allows airguns for hunting big game this coming fall/winter. For the past seven years, Luke has been shooting and hunting hogs/exotics with air rifles.

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

Opponents of Senate Bill 4 have asked a federal appeals court to reconsider a decision that allowed most of the controversial immigration enforcement law to go into effect. The case could eventually end up before the U.S. Supreme Court.

This from The Texas Tribune

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The Oklahoma Senate passed three bills that will help fund a teacher pay raise in Oklahoma.

As KOSU reports, the legislation increases teacher salaries an average of $6,000, and if signed into law by Gov. Mary Fallin, it will be the first teacher pay raise in a decade.

Included in the legislation is an increase in taxes on oil and gas production, cigarettes and motor fuel and a bill that limits itemized deductions for Oklahoma taxpayers. 

Conscientious Objector or Not?

Mar 30, 2018
Sam Willner Collection / Prints & Photographs Division, Library of Congress

I’m Kip Wedel from North Newton, Kansas.

Edith Wharton's 1923 novel A Son at the Front is not among her classics, so not being a regular Wharton reader, I didn't know much about it going in. Early in the novel, when her protagonist, John Campton, made dismissive comments about a war that, at that point, seemed imminent, I thought I might be reading an anti-war novel or even a defense of conscientious objection.

WyoHistory.org

I’m not sure why this never dawned on me when I was a kid, but not until well into my adulthood did I put two and two together and realize that Cheyenne County, just north of our Kansas farm, was—duh!—named after the tribe that used to live there. Indeed, the 1851 Horse Creek treaty, signed at Fort Laramie, Wyoming, had granted the Cheyenne and their allies, the Arapaho, the land where I grew up, along with all the land west from there into the Rocky Mountains.

One of the dinner table’s most divisive vegetables gets some High Plains love. On today’s Growing on the High Plains, everything’s coming up broccoli. This notoriously-fussy grower has been the bane of many a gardener, but there are a few tricks about managing planting time and growing conditions to cultivate a successful crop, from stem to floret.

Andrew Whalley

A census question on citizenship could undercount populations in states with large numbers of poor and/or Hispanic residents — states like Texas. And an undercount would cut into the state's representation, and its federal services.

From The Texas Tribune:

Counting is one thing. Culling is something else entirely.

Wikimedia Commons

When a Texas A&M University professor recommended to Kansas lawmakers that they increase school by 44 percent, it got some Texas public education advocates wondering how her study would play out in the Lone Star State.

The West Texas A&M University Distinguished Lecture Series will present Dr. Travis Langley in a presentation titled “Psychology of Superheroes” at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, March 29 in the Hazlewood Lecture Hall at Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum (PPHM). Langley’s talk will explore heroism and psychology in connection with PPHM’s recently opened PDr. Travis Langleyop Culture exhibit.

My Parents Would Be Terrified

Mar 28, 2018
U S Army Center of Military History / Library of Congress

This is Andrew Taylor, a 17-year-old junior from Wheatland High School coming to you from Grainfield, Kansas.  As a young, somewhat athletic male in the United States of America, I fit the mold of what the military looks for physically in their soldiers. If I were alive 100 years ago, I’d have surely been sent off to fight on the fronts in Europe.  My parents would be terrified for my life when every day the newspaper headlines would tell of especially bloody battle with dozens or hundreds of casualties. They would have to sit at home helpless and praying that the fighting never came too close to their son.

Unemployment Rates In Colorado And Kansas Hold Steady

Mar 27, 2018
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Colorado’s unemployment rate held steady between January and February.

According to the Colorado Department of Labor, Colorado’s unemployment rate was unchanged from January to February at 3 percent, with the number of people actively participating in the labor force increasing by 7,600 over the month and the number of people reporting themselves as employed increasing by 7,800.

 

On Monday, the Ford County Farm Bureau, held a meet and greet forum with candidates for Kansas Governor at the Dodge City Community College.

In attendance were Democrats Arden Andersen, Carl Brewer, and Josh Svaty, Republicans Jim Barnett, and Ken Seltzer and Libertarian Jeff Caldwell. Governor Colyer sent deputy secretary of agriculture, Jackie McClaskey, as his representative and Kris Kobach’s running mate Wink Hartman attended in Kobach’s place.

Candidates were asked questions about western Kansas, agriculture, and the future of the state.

Large Portions Of West Texas Sinking At Alarming Rate, New Report Finds

Mar 26, 2018
Rafael Aguilera

Nearly two years after a pair of giant West Texas sinkholes gained national attention, new research in the area shows they likely won't be the last in the region.

report released Thursday by geophysicists at Southern Methodist University says a 4,000-square-mile area near the "Wink Sinks" is showing signs of alarming instability.

Lance Cpl. Scott Whiting

Child Advocates are charging Texas public schools with punishing the state's youngest students too harshly.

As The Austin American-Statesman reports, last year Texas passed a law saying that students in Pre-K through second grade could only be suspended if they brought a gun to school, or committed drug offenses or acts of violence.

Artist's Attempt To Know Others

Mar 26, 2018
Mars, 1918 / Public Domain

I’m Jonathan Baker, a writer in Canyon, Texas, and I’m the discussion leader for this month’s Radio Readers Book Club read, A Son at the Front by Edith Wharton. The novel tells the story of John Campton, a celebrated American painter living in Paris.

Jenny Inzerillo

A large crowd of marchers made their way through downtown Amarillo this weekend, in hopes of spurring action among lawmakers to tighten gun restrictions.

As KVII reports, Amarillo's March for our Lives protest was part of a larger worldwide movement, with the largest march happening on the mall in the nation's capital.

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A week ahead of their potential walk out, Oklahoma teachers have taken to posting pay stubs on the internet to show what they believed to be egregious financial treatment on behalf of the state.

As KFOR reports, the average starting salary for a teacher in Oklahoma is just over $31,000 a year, one of the lowest rates in the nation.

Valerie Brown-Kuchera

I live among thieves.  My teenaged daughter, despite regularly commenting on the utter hopelessness of my “old lady” wardrobe, sneaks into my dressing room and pilfers mascara, face cream, and hair accessories. Don’t even get me started on the criminal behavior that she exhibits now that she wears my shoe size.

My middle school son isn’t quite as bad, only occasionally giving in to his baser instincts to filch a few choice pieces of his little sister’s candy hoard. At least he has the decency to show remorse when caught in the act.

Luke Clayton

This week on High Plains Outdoors, Luke tells us about a couple of wild pigs he killed near his house last week. He prepared them "Old School", over an open pit, cooking with oak and hickory wood.

While bigger wild hogs are great eating, there is nothing in the wild that compares to the flavor of young pigs cooked slowly over coals. When making sausage or ham, Luke usually targets bigger hogs but for some awesome 'old school" BBQ, nothing beats a pig weighing 30-50 pounds.

This week on Songbirds,  host Valarie Smith shares the peculiar way she was introduced to the music of Patty Griffin.  Enjoy a little spoken word about stepping stones, right before we sink like a stone to The Bottom of the Sea with Sean McConnell.   We'll join Anais Mitchell with Why We Build The Wall and welcome the music of Martin Gilmore to the HPPR airwaves.   All that and much more this week on Songbirds, Saturdays at 1.

An Only Son - Poems from Above the Dreamless Dead

Mar 23, 2018
Wikimedia Commons

This is Denise Low, a regular contributor to HPPR and 2nd Poet Laureate of Kansas. Above the Dreamless Dead: World War I in Poetry and Comics, edited by Chris Duffy, is one of the selections for this season’s HPPR book club. Today I want to look at some of the fine poems in this illustrated anthology.

Julio Salazar

Sitting outside a coffee shop on the town square in Canyon, Texas, I spent yesterday afternoon talking with someone who has a lot to say about the controversy over the DACA program. Julio Salazar was brought to Amarillo before he started pre-kindergarten, and he has attended Amarillo schools his whole life.

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A GOP proposal to allow people to carry concealed guns without a permit died in a House committee Wednesday.

As The Denver Post reports, Senate Bill 97 failed in the House State, Veterans and Military Affairs failed by a 6-3, party-line vote, after passing the Republican-controlled Senate.

Wikimedia

My cousin Mark Jones ranches in eastern Colorado on what were once the headwaters of the Arickaree, a tributary to the Republican River. Mark calls it the Ricaree. “Was there water here in the Ricaree when you were a kid?” I asked him.

“Oh yeah,” he said.

“Is there ever water in it now?”

“Hardly ever.”

Last week I shared my experience hunting down the elusive McFarland Juniper, so I thought this week I could offer a few more evergreen endorsements to round out your coniferous collection.

Today’s Growing on the High Plains will continue the conversation about landscaping with drought-tolerant evergreens. Gardeners, hedge your bets with a lovely Woodward Juniper perimeter, or perhaps rock out with a stunning, jade-hued Arizona Cyprus accent tree. Both trees are known to reach impressive heights, and neither require quite as much watering as you might expect.

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