News

Tim Drivas / Creative Commons

A train-hopping runaway adolescent showed up in Dumas, Texas, this week, complaining that she’d run out of candy.

As The Denver Post reports, 13-year-old Adelie Rivera, a resident of Lubbock, was on vacation in Colorado with her family when she decided to shed the shackles of bourgeois life and hop a freight car to freedom.

Unfortunately, Rivera had failed to supply her hobo sack with a sufficient supply of Skittles.

Nothing dampens winter doldrums like that first purple peeper pushing up through your still-chilly garden or yard. (Or maybe she's white or gold?)

Whatever petals she's pushing, the first crocus remains an annual celebration of the hope and promise of the lush Spring to come.   

Today's installment of Growing on the High Plains takes a long look at these punctual pals. With their knack for tackling the gale-force gusts and dry climate of our region, there's no denying the mighty crocus will ever emerge triumphant -- especially in the hearts of the winter weary.

Austin American-Statesman

A new lawsuit filed by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton could open the door for nuclear waste storage in the Lone Star State.

As The Austin American-Statesman reports, Paxton is suing the federal government to force a decision on whether Texas can store high-level radioactive waste within its borders.

David Koehn / NET News

“For most of our trafficking victims this is kind of where we're going to start,” says Jamie Manzer, as she gives a tour of the SASA (Spouse Abuse Sexual Assault) Crisis Center, where she worked until recently.

SASA helps survivors of domestic and sexual violence. That includes women being trafficked: sold against their will for sex. Like a lot of social service agencies, the SASA office used to be something else, but they’ve made the best out of oddly shaped space and rooms.

Lindsey Bauman

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Tuesday that more than $6 million in funding is now available for those affected by the wildfires in Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas.

The funding, delivered through USDA’s Environmental Quality Incentives Program, will assist farmers and ranchers as they attempt to restore grazing lands, rehabilitate devastated landscapes, rebuild fencing and protect damaged watersheds, according to a news release.

Oklahoma Watch

While legislators in Washington are mired in the process of deciding whether to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, lawmakers in Oklahoma are devising their own plan that could affect coverage for hundreds of thousands of Oklahomans.

Conserving Water in Hays, Kansas

Mar 22, 2017
JASON RIEGEL / City of Hays, Kansas

Ogallala Blue, Water and Life on the High Plains explains how groundwater mining of the Ogallala has become a way of life. How much water do we urban folk utilize, and what can we do to reduce groundwater usage?  Fortunately, a modal to answer this question exists in Ellis County, KS, the only KS County having more than 15,000 population, too dry to rely on surface water supplies and lacking a substantial aquifer.

For the 20,000 citizens of Hays Kansas, located in Ellis County, retaining a quality life has meant water conservation.  Comparisons by USGS of City average per capita water usage in gallons from 2009 to 2013 measures Hay’s water efficiency: Colby 294 gpc, Goodland  283, Garden City: 204, Liberal 188, Dodge City 175 and Hays 93 gpc.

HPPR's Living Room Concert Series presents The DustJackets - TWO SHOWS! (Garden City & St. Francis)

Shows @ 7p ~ Suggested donation: $15

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FIRST SHOW: Friday, April 14 @ HPPR Studios - Garden City, KS

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The Oklahoman

Undocumented immigrants in Oklahoma have evidently become so frightened that many have stopped attending church, citing dread of being deported should they appear in public.

Members of the clergy recently told The Oklahoman that they’ve seen a drop in attendance since news of deportations have spread across the country.

foodsafetynews.com

Almost 75,000 pounds of beef products have been pulled from store shelves in Texas, reports KFDA.

The recall occurred after reports of E Coli in boneless beef products were received from Waco’s H & B Packing.

Ralph Barrera / Austin American-Statesman

Texas Legislators clashed this week in Austin over whether to raise the state’s minimum wage.

As The Austin American-Statesman reports, Republicans praised the current rate as an efficient entry-level pay rate, while Democrats called the hourly wage a “misery rate,” too low for anyone to live on.

KFOR

The Oklahoma Senate drew praise from Governor Mary Fallin this week, after passing several measures aimed at improving criminal justice efforts in the state.

As KFOR reports, the eight reforms passed this week were initially recommended by a task force convened by the Governor last year. In her State of the State address earlier this year, Fallin urged lawmakers to consider the proposals.

Stephen Crowley / The New York Times

President Trump unveiled his proposed budget last week, and some parts of America, like military centers, look to be big winners. But other areas, including rural regions that supported the President during his election last year, will be hit hard if the budget is passed.

Update: Fence rebuilding bill clears Legislature

Mar 20, 2017

Burned fencing lines U.S. 160 near Ashland on Thursday, March 9, 2017 following the March 6 wildfires in Clark County.Credit Lindsey Bauman / The Hutchinson NewsEdit | Remove

TOPEKA – A bill offering a state sales tax exemption on supplies and services to rebuild fences damaged by 2016 and 2017 wildfires cleared the Legislature on Friday morning.

salon.com

Perhaps no crime in American history has gotten as much national attention as the murder of the Clutter family in Holcomb, Kansas, which is once again in the national spotlight following the release of a memoir by one of the killers.

A Garden City toddler was hospitalized in Wichita Sunday after being left unattended in a vehicle.

As KWCH reports, the two-year-old boy was left in his family’s vehicle during church services a Garden City church Sunday afternoon.

davebloggs007 / Flickr Creative Commons

Last week Wyoming approved a plan to cut $35 million from the state’s K-12 budget. Wyoming is just the latest of several oil and coal states across the country, including Texas and Oklahoma, that have slashed funding for education, reports The Atlantic.

Last year, Oklahoma cut well over $100 million in public school funding, forcing some districts to move to four-day school weeks.

Courtesy photo / www.stopfowlplay

Which topic do you think today’s consumer would rather talk about: GMOs or sustainability in agriculture?

Surprisingly, ag leaders are being told that consumers don’t really care about GMOs but are very interested in talking about sustainability. When I hear "sustainability in agriculture," two things happen: First, I get angry because most equate sustainability with environmentalism, which will never feed a growing population, and secondly, my eyes roll into the back of my head because I cannot think of a more boring topic.

KVII

Sales tax receipts were down slightly in Amarillo in January, according to the latest numbers from the Amarillo Economic Development Corporation.

Creative Commons

Higher education tuitions have been rising lately in Texas. But financial aid packages haven’t been increasing to keep up with the hefty cost of college, reports the Texas Tribune.

Texas lawmakers say they understand that helping students obtain college degrees is vital to the state’s economic future. But the legislative evidence doesn’t seem to be backing up their words.

To our Crazy Beautiful fans in the HPPR area: 

 Due to restrictions on travel visas coming into the United States, Tommy & I regret that we are unable to travel to Amarillo, Texas for our 3/30 concert. It's truly beyond our control and we hope to reschedule for Fall. Please accept our apology for any inconvenience.    Peace, Tia

Full Circle or Not

Mar 20, 2017
SUSAN STOVER

Who owns the water, who speaks for future generations’ right to water and what comes after the Ogallala aquifer is gone? William Ashworth raises these questions in his book, Ogallala Blue, the High Plains Public Radio community read, as he ponders what a “post-Ogallala economy” will look like.

We likely won’t recognize the day when the High Plains states enter a “post-Ogallala economy,” as adjustments happen continually. Some changes are triggered when individual wells fail, producers age and get out of farming, or low commodity prices force hard decisions.  Other changes are being made by people with vision and opportunities to adjust their businesses to a long-term reality of less available water.  

KVII

Three airmen are dead after an aircraft crashed in Eastern New Mexico last week.

As KVII reports, the U-28A aircraft had taken off from Cannon Air Force Base in Clovis when it crashed outside Texico, near the Texas Panhandle border. It’s been several years since any aircraft from the Cannon base was involved in a fatality.

http://www.sandcreeksite.com/

The Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site and Bent’s Old Fort – both in southeastern Colorado – saw an uptick in visitors in 2016.

As The Prowers Journal reports, the Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site in Chivington, Colorado - the site of the 1864 attack by U.S. volunteer soldiers on a village of Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians that left 230 mostly women, children and elderly dead - hosted almost 1,000 more visitors in 2016 than in 2015.

Wikipedia

Three major dairy groups were in Mexico last week trying to repair strained relationships between the U.S. and Mexico on trade.

According to Farm Journal’s Milk, some Mexican dairy leaders question President Donald Trump’s recent policies on immigration and his desire to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement.  

STEPHEN KORANDA / KANSAS NEWS SERVICE

The Kansas House approved a bill last week that would offer up to $100 million in income tax credits over five years to investors throwing resources into job-creating business developments in rural areas of the state.

As The Topeka Capital-Journal reports, provisions of the bill, which passed the House by a vote of 97-22, would be implemented starting in 2020. The amount of the tax credits issued wouldn’t exceed $20 million annually and investment companies could begin applying for eligibility after Jan. 1, 2018.

Steve Sisney / The Oklahoman

The craft beer trend has hit Oklahoma in a big way, reports The Oklahoman.

A few years ago, Oklahoma only had one brewery. Now, the Sooner State boasts 15 breweries--and some of them are gaining national attention.

American Solera was recently honored with a “Best New Brewery in the U.S.” award. And, at February’s Best of Craft Beer Awards held in Bend, Oregon, Anthem Brewing Co. took home a number of awards. Meanwhile, in Europe back in 2010, the Oklahoma brewery known simply as “Choc” won several awards.

Luke Clayton

It's nice to have four walls and a roof over one's head when hunting, but getting the materials into some remote area and constructing a hunting blind can be challenging and downright hard work.

These easy to assemble blinds are idea for hunting remote, hard to get to spots. 

www.firstthings.com

Due to medical appointments and grandkid visits, I’ve spent several days driving across central and western Kansas the last few weeks. During that travel time, gusting north winds have shaken and tossed my silver Toyota like a terrier shaking a rat, leaving me to hope that spring weather lore is more than a wishful thought. Now that the beginning of the month is here and I have a few more journeys to make, that old saying about March, “In like a lion, out like a lamb,” appeals to me.

Honest Questions

Mar 17, 2017
JONATHAN BAKER / Canyon, Texas

I’m Jonathan Baker, a writer in Canyon, Texas, and I’ve been asked to talk a little bit about Ogallala Blue by William Ashworth, the latest selection in the HPPR Radio Readers Book Club. The book concerns the Ogallala Aquifer, the vast body of groundwater that exists beneath the feet of High Plains residents and is sometimes referred to as an “underground ocean,” though it’s more akin to a sponge made of permeable rock and silt.

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