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Who Cares about What Happens in Nebraska? We Do.

Aug 19, 2016
Kansas Memory, Kansas Historical Society

To write about life on the plains might not seem like much of a risk today, but, at the turn of the last century, Willa Cather knew what she was up against when she made immigrant farmers – people she knew as a child growing up in Nebraska—her central characters.

Flickr Creative Commons

Three out of five Donald Trump supporters in Texas would support the state seceding from the Union if Hillary Clinton is elected, according to a new poll.

As TIME magazine reports, 61% of Trump supporters would want the state to secede in the event of a Clinton presidency. Trump is leading in Texas with 50% of the vote. Clinton trails the real estate mogul by six points, sitting at 44%.

The death penalty is costing Nebraskans over $14 million annually, reports the Omaha World-Herald. The number comes from a new study commissioned by Creighton University.

Rich Sugg / Kansas City Star

Kansas is still combing through the aftermath of this month’s primary. The election ousted many of the state’s far-right legislators, replacing them with more moderate lawmakers.

Marc Nozell / Flickr Creative Commons

Donald Trump’s lead in Texas has dwindled to six points, according to a new Public Policy Polling survey.

Quinn Dombrowski / Flickr Creative Commons

A new Oklahoma liquor law is set to take effect in a little over a week. And, as KOKI reports, Oklahoma craft beer brewers are making final preparations for the shift.

Don't let chaos reign in your flower garden!

 Join me as we embark on PART TWO of our segment discussing those beautiful-and-beastly blooms: perennials. On today's show, you'll learn to parse out the "spreaders" from the "clumpers." 

Plus, just a few tips on digging up the mother plant, handling the root ball, and singling out which species might be invasive.   

  

9news.com

When pot was legalized in Colorado, supporters claimed the new law would add millions in tax dollars to the state coffers. Now many Coloradans are wondering where all that money is going.

News 9 in Denver decided to investigate. The truth is, marijuana is heavily taxed. And that money adds up.

In the fiscal year that ended in June 2015, recreational pot brought in a total of $129 million in state tax dollars. That’s nothing to sneeze at. It definitely helps.

Creative Commons

Kansas residents breathed a collective sigh of relief last month after the Supreme Court agreed to not shut down the Kansas public school system.

NBC11news.com

Colorado has a proposed single-payer health plan on the ballot in November. Amendment 69 would create a state-run health-care system, funded both by taxes and by transferring money out of various federal programs.

As KDVR reports, the money would go directly into the coffers of ColoradoCare, the state’s health program. The government-run health insurer would be the first of its kind in the country. The proposal is expected to cost more than $30 billion.

David Pike / Valley Morning Star/AP

Private prisons are less safe and secure than Federal prisons, according to a new report by the Justice Department’s Office of the Inspector General.

Novartis AG / Flickr Creative Commons

This week, a Texas resident caught Zika in Florida and brought it home, according to health officials in Texas. This means Zika's now spreading from state to state, reports NBC News.

This is just more evidence that, once the disease infects people in an area, it can easily spread. The traveler picked up the disease in Miami, where 30 cases have been reported. However, there's no evidence the virus is spreading in Florida like it has across Latin America.

Getty Images

Two anti-fracking measures could find their way onto Colorado’s November ballot. But that’s not necessarily good news for the state’s Democratic Party, reports Politico.

Morning Consult

Rural residents still aren’t using the internet as much as their urban counterparts, according to a new study.

Bill Blankenship / Topeka Capital-Journal

The Topeka Capital-Journal recently described the Kansas State Historical Society’s archives as “Kansas’s scrapbook.” In the society’s archive wing you’ll find 70 million pieces of paper. These include government records; unpublished letters, diaries and other materials; an extensive photograph collection with images from all of the state’s counties; and books related to Kansas history.

Alex Livesey / Getty Images

Texas athletes fared remarkably well during the first week of the Olympics, reports Texas Monthly. During the first seven days in Rio, Texans took home thirteen medals, eight of which were golds. As a matter of fact, a full one third of the United States’ medal count has been won by Texan athletes.

oklahomawatch.org

A Tulsa World story about rural poverty in Oklahoma has been garnering a good deal of attention over the past week and a half. Nationwide, poverty is more of an issue for rural dwellers than urban Americans.

Fifteen percent of the rural U.S. population lives in poverty, compared to 12 percent of the urban population.

I just received this incredible thank-you card from Sarai, my new buddy at the Canyon Public Library. She came in to drop off her registration for our Chase the Sunset event in the Palo Duro Canyon, and I got her to record a station ID for High Plains Morning. Thank you, Sarai! You'll never understand how VERY happy this makes a morning DJ!

  

Helen H. Richardson / Denver Post

An initiative to raise Colorado’s minimum wage has made the November ballot, reprts The Denver Post.

If the measure passes, the state’s minimum wage would rise to $12 by 2020. Supporters of Initiative 101 gathered many more signatures than the 99,000 needed to qualify for the ballot. Currently, Colorado’s minimum wage sits at $8.31 an hour.

Wikimedia Commons

In some parts of rural America, the shortage of mental health professionals has reached crisis level. Yet many states still refuse to support mental health through tax dollars. Experts say America today needs more than 30,000 child and adolescent psychiatrists. Yet the country has fewer than a third of that number, And the need is rising, reports The Rural Blog.

Kelly Colgan Azar / Flickr Creative Commons

One hundred years ago, the Migratory Bird Treaty was signed between the US and Canada. The treaty was intended to protect endangered birds, and allow them to travel unharmed. But, as StateImpact Oklahoma reports, one particular protected bird is causing a good deal of harm to Oklahoma farmers and ranchers.

AP photo

Oklahoma’s oil and gas economy is showing the first signs of growth in nearly two years. The good news comes courtesy of an energy index used to track movement in the energy economy.

As News 9 Oklahoma reports, data collected in May showed a three-point increase in the index over the previous month. Before May, the index hadn’t shown growth since October of 2014.

Kansas Memory, Kansas Historical Society

HPPR listeners thinking about the theme of this year’s book club--Borders and Becoming--need to keep in mind that borders change to meet the needs of those who live within them. Over the last two and a half centuries, the parameters of the United States changed repeatedly. A modern day description of the contiguous states would include Folksinger Woody Guthrie’s first stanza of “This Land Is Your Land.”

Patrick Michels / Texas Observer

After decades of being restricted, abortion access is on the rise again in Texas, reports The Texas Observer.

Rural Blog

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services recently drew criticism for releasing ratings of almost 4,000 hospitals nationwide. The hospital industry objected that the rankings were unfair and overly simplistic.

amarillo.com

Two hundred employees at the distribution center owned by Hastings Entertainment are saying their goodbyes this week. Tuesday was the last day for Hastings’ warehouse and customer service workers, reports Amarillo.com.

Earlier this week, 150 employees of the soon-to-close entertainment chain gathered for a job fair at Sunset Center in Amarillo. Businesses like Suddenlink and the Salvation Army were there to take employee applications.

Bob Daemmerich / Texas Tribune

Texas’s agriculture commissioner says he has joined Donald Trump’s ag team, reports The Texas Tribune.

caninest / Flickr Creative Commons

One of the world’s most famous wolf packs may be gone thanks to years of excessive hunting, reports The Guardian.

Alaska’s wolves were celebrated in novels by Jack London, and the East Fork pack has been studied for longer than any other collection of wolves on earth.

Lyrical Postcards in Willa Cather’s My Antonia

Aug 12, 2016

The essence of poetry is song, or lyrical feeling. How well Willa Cather understood the lyrical beauty of the Great Plains. She delights readers of My Antonia with poetic passages, like Jim Burden’s first look at Nebraska: “There was nothing but land: not a country at all, but the material out of which countries are made.”

Rural Blog

Last year, there were 640 oil spills in the US that affected groundwater or surface water in some way. As The Rural Blog notes, many of these crude oil spills go unnoticed and unreported.

In the last seven years there have been 2,500 reported spills. And that number is probably low due to underreporting.  Some oil and gas agencies don't even track spills at the state level.

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