News

ku.edu

After issuing a health advisory for Lake Scott for elevated levels of E. coli bacteria in parts of the lake, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) and the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT)  are recommending the following precautions be taken:

U.S. Department of Agriculture

A bill aimed at improving the housing conditions of migrant farmworkers died in the Texas House late last week.

As The Texas Observer reports, because farmworkers relocate from harvest to harvest, they depend on housing provided by employers. Many are on “guest worker” visas that under federal law, require their employers to provide adequate housing, but nine out of 10 lack access to licensed housing and live in structures that lack running water, electricity and ventilation. 

Creative Commons CC0

The 2017 Colorado legislative session is being called by many as one of the state’s most productive, thanks in part to a coalition of moderates in the state Senate.

KXAN

Sending messages and surfing the web while driving may soon be illegal across the entire state of Texas, reports KXAN.

Advocates for a ban on texting while driving say they’ve brought enough lawmakers on board in the state legislature, and now they want Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick to bring the matter to the Senate floor for a vote.

KWTV

The Oklahoma Senate has passed a budget bill that lawmakers say will bring in $510 million dollars’ worth of revenue, reports News 9.

The measure would rescind tax breaks for the wind and oil industries, contributing to the projected income. Some of the money would also be generated by new fuel and cigarette taxes.

Since HPPR loves hosting brilliant artists who live in a van...don't miss HPPR's Living Room Concert Series as we present North Carolina's own folk-country dynamos, NIKKI TALLEY & JASON SHARP!

Saturday, June 17th.

Chalice Abbey (2717 Stanley, Amarillo)

Doors @ 7p | Show @ 7:30p

Suggested donation: $15

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NewsOK.com

According to a new study, life expectancies in some parts of Oklahoma are growing at a more rapid pace than in others.

NewsOK reports that the Oklahoma Panhandle has exhibited a marked increase in life expectancy since 1980, showing a gain of between four and five percent, one of the strongest surges in the state.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Department of Homeland Security)

The Texas Senate passed a bill last week that would license immigrant family detention centers as childcare facilities.

As The Texas Observer reports, Senate Bill 1018, which would allow prison firms to skip all the burdensome regulations that other child care facilities must follow, advanced Tuesday on a 20-11 vote.

CC0 Public Domain

A bill that will test water for lead in Colorado schools passed the Colorado Legislature last week.

As The Denver Post reports, after receiving bipartisan support, House Bill 1306 will soon become state law that will provide money for Colorado schools to voluntarily test for lead in drinking water.

Kansas City Star

Donald Trump has chosen Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach to co-chair his new “Commission on Election Integrity,” and civil rights groups are infuriated, reports The Kansas City Star.

Like the President, Kobach has produced headlines by making unsupported claims about illegal voting. Now Kobach will be partly in command of the investigation into Trump’s questionable claims that millions voted illegally for Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Lindsay Pierce / The Denver Post

The United Health Foundation has released its rankings of the healthiest and least healthy states for seniors, and the results show Colorado seniors to be much healthier than their counterparts in other states in the HPPR listening area.

NASA / Public Domain/Atlas Obscura

Feral hogs have been in the news as of late, as Texas continues to struggle with the scourge of millions of wild pigs and the damage they cause.

There was the so-called “Hog Apocalypse,” proposed by Ag Commissioner Sid Miller, who wanted to distribute poisoned bait across the state to kill the oinkers. Hunters and environment groups raised a ruckus, and the scheme has now been put on hold while a state district judge thinks it over.

okhouse.gov

An Oklahoma state Congressman is making national headlines with his controversial plan to make a dent in the state’s $900 billion budget hole.

Bob Daemmerich / Texas Tribune

Tensions in the Texas Legislature have been simmering this session, as the moderate leadership in the state House of Representatives has clashed with more conservative factions within their own rank and file, as well as the staunchly right-wing Senate of Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick.

WWW.OURHENHOUSE.ORG

Something’s been eating my strawberries. Yes, the luscious berries that we planted two springs ago and carefully nurtured so we’d have fresh fruit over our ice cream and cake or sliced to sweeten a fresh spinach salad. Since they first began blooming in May, I’ve harvested about 15 scarlet bursts of flavor that hip hop on my taste buds. Last week, I went to pick some for supper and discovered I’m not the only one that likes this spring treat.

Luke Clayton

Larry Weishuhn (Mr. Whitetail) talks to Luke about how a mother deer will conceal her young and the point at which they are most vulnerable to predators such as coyotes and bobcats. 

Larry hosts his  TV show "Trailing the Hunters Moon" on the Sportsman's Channel and is one of the most popular and visible of outdoor personalities.

Austin American-Statesman

The firing of FBI director James Comey by President Trump continues to dominate news cycles nationwide. The Austin American-Statesman took a look this week at how Texas politicians reacted to the director’s dismissal.

Sen. Ted Cruz threw his support behind the White House, saying he believed the move was justified as “Mr. Comey had lost the confidence of both Republicans and Democrats, and frankly, the American people.”

Creative Commons

Law enforcement can be a thankless job. Even so, there are almost a million cops in America, most of whom work diligently to protect their communities.

The personal finance website Wallethub has produced a list of the best and worst states to be a police officer.

Editor5807 / Creative Commons

A new reports shows that bad roads in Oklahoma are costing taxpayers $5 billion annually.

As News 9 reports, the study by the national transportation group TRIP finds that Oklahomans currently spend almost $2 billion dollars on fixing their cars. Another billion is spent on traffic accidents, and the state sees yet another $2 billion in lost productivity yearly, due to traffic jams and delays.

Texas Tribune

The Texas Legislature has been hard at work this month trying to come up with a budget. And among those watching the proceedings closely, says The Texas Tribune, few have more to lose than Texas’s colleges and universities.

Even as enrollments continue to rise statewide, many schools are likely to see funding cuts. That means less money for more students.

ALL RIGHT, High Plains! HPPR is thrilled to be hosting CARTER SAMPSON, live in Garden City, KS as part of HPPR's Living Room Concert Series. 

Wednesday, June 14th

HPPR Studios - Garden City (210 N. 7th St.)

Doors @ 7p | Show @ 7:30p

Suggested donation: $15

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KSN

This week, officers of the Garden City Police Department were called out to investigate a potential threat of violence at Garden City High School.

As KSN reports, this is the third Garden City arrest made in recent weeks, related to teenage bullying or threats of violence.

On today's Growing on the High Plains, we'll discuss one of my favorite -- and fleeting -- garden guests: English peas. 

When young, they're tender and refined, boasting a fresh sweetness few vegetables can match. (And in our house, given that they're one of my husband's most anticipated arrivals, they never last long.) 

Growing peas on the High Plains can be a bit tricky, but if you follow these pointers, you'll have a light crop of these pretty pods at your nimble fingertips each year.

Colorado Department of Agriculture

Industrial hemp is making headlines once again on the High Plains. The versatile plant—which lacks the levels of THC required to get a person high—still suffers from prejudice by association, and hemp growers aren’t able to access the same farm loans and insurance as other crop growers.

RJ Sangosti / The Denver Post

Colorado Republicans have now pulled the plug on a bill that sought to repeal the state’s health care exchange, reports The Denver Post.

Meanwhile, rural hospitals received a bit of good news. The Colorado Legislature has passed a bill preventing $528 million in cuts to hospital funding. Some conservative lawmakers opposed the bill, as they say it will only lead to more spending and debt. Instead, they said the measure should have gone to the voters.

Topeka Capital-Journal

The Kansas Legislature continues to struggle with ways to increase tax revenue and fill the state’s staggering budget gap of almost a billion dollars.

As The Topeka Capital-Journal reports, a tax committee appointed by the Senate has proposed a bill to raise the upper rate for income tax while reducing the rate for the lower bracket. The bill would also lower the state’s 6.5 percent sales tax on groceries to 6 percent in 2020.

ACLU / Twitter

In the wake of Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s signing of legislation making so-called “sanctuary cities” illegal, the American Civil Liberties Union this week issued a strongly worded “travel advisory” for those thinking of visiting the Lone Star State.

As The Hill reports, the advisory warns that potential travelers to Texas may encounter “illegal arrests,” “racial profiling,” and “demands to see your papers.”

Since HPPR loves hosting brilliant artists who live in a van...don't miss HPPR's Living Room Concert Series as we present North Carolina's own folk-country dynamos, NIKKI TALLEY & JASON SHARP!

Saturday, June 17th.

Chalice Abbey (2717 Stanley, Amarillo)

Doors @ 7p | Show @ 7:30p

Suggested donation: $15

RSVP online or call HPPR at 806.367.9088. We can't wait to see you there!

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US Drought Monitor

For only the fifth time since 2000, Kansas is entirely drought-free.

As The Wichita Eagle reports, the late-April winter storm brought more than two feet of snow to some parts of western Kansas and double-digit accumulation to a narrow band that stretched north to south in the western third of the state, erasing the final remnants of a drought that has been gradually receding during a remarkably wet spring.

By the end of 2016, nearly 83 percent of the state was experiencing some degree of drought.

Creative Commons CC0

Farmers and ag officials on hand for the Senate Agriculture Committee’s farm bill field hearing held in Michigan Saturday demanded more investment in international development, better crop insurance and a steady agricultural workforce.

As Politico reports, Senate Agriculture Chairman Pat Roberts made it clear that when they develop the 2018 farm bill, lawmakers will be forced to “do more with less.”

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