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news9.com

One consequence of the deeply conservative nature of Oklahoma politics: It can leave the state’s voters feeling left on the sidelines.

As News 9 reports, both major-party presidential candidates have been focusing on the cares and concerns of the voters living in the eleven battleground states. And that can leave Oklahomans feeling forgotten.

The Wichita Eagle

The Republican Party is drawing criticism in Kansas for sending out mailers that feature an ISIS fighter holding an automatic rifle. In the background, an ISIS flag waves beside a rural windmill. The mailer reads simply, “Have you met the new neighbors?”

Clay Barker is the executive director of the Kansas Republican Party. He confirmed to The Wichita Eagle that the mailers are being sent out across the Sunflower State. “It’s a positive issue for Republicans,” he said.

Eric Gay / AP photo/Dallas Morning News

There’s been a lot of talk about how the presidential race in Texas could come down to the wire. But another fact has gotten lost among all the hype: On a smaller scale, Texas remains as red as ever.

Imagining America

Nov 1, 2016
blogs.loc.gov

In Sonia Nazario’s description of what draws Lourdes to take the treacherous journey north from Honduras to the U.S., she writes: “On television, she saw New York City’s spectacular skyline, Las Vegas’s shimmering lights, Disneyland’s magic castle.” (4) 25 pages later Lourdes’ son Enrique misses his mother and is also strongly attracted to the U.S. Nazario similarly expresses that “Enrique sees New York City’s spectacular skyline, Las Vegas’s shimmering lights, Disneyland’s magic castle.” (28-9). Little do Lourdes and Enrique know that Latinos make up almost 30% of New York City’s population. There is almost three times the number of Puerto Ricans in New York City than in San Juan, Puerto Rico’s capital. Additionally, there are about as many Dominicans in New York City as in Santo Domingo, capital of the Dominican Republic and home to almost 1 million people. New York is a dramatically Hispanic city.

oilprice.com

Texas’s crude oil output inched up in August to 2.4 million barrels per day. Analysts say this is the sign of a continuing—if hesitant—recovery in the Lone Star State.

All told, Texas is producing .5 percent more oil this year than last year. As a West Texas rigger might say, .5 ain’t much, but it’s somethin’.

KFOR.com

The Oklahoma State Board of Education has released its 2016 Report Cards for all public schools in Oklahoma. As KFOR reports, things appear to be sliding downhill.

This year, more schools in Oklahoma received a grade of F than were given an A grade. All told, 213 schools were given an F. That’s 17 more schools than were given an A. Compare that with last year, when more schools received As than Fs.

Party City/Rural Blog

Halloween is one of the most fun holidays for rural kids, but it’s also one of the most dangerous.

According to the childhood safety research group Safe Kids Worldwide, twice as many pedestrian children are hit by passing cars on Halloween than on any other day.

And, as The Rural Blog notes, rural areas often lack sidewalks or adequate street lights, and that can make trick-or-treating a dicey—and even deadly—activity.

Laura Skelding / Houston Chronicle

Reports have come out over the past few months that Texas is denying services to public school students with special needs.

Brueghel, 16th Century Belgian painting / Wikipedia

I sat, basking, recently, in the sunlight of this dying autumn season, a few butterflies flittered amongst faded zinnias and browning marigolds, a wasp sank sluggishly to my table, and I was thinking.   

The last few months…so tough…increased work demands, mounting pressures and expenses at home…a dying friend, my head cold. The shameful mockery of our democratic processes during this year’s Presidential campaign… The recent arrests of three southwest Kansans for plotting a terrorist attack on a Muslim-Somali community…. Then, the opening lines of WH Auden’s  poem, from the late 1930’s, came to mind:

About suffering they were never wrong,
The Old Masters; how well, they understood
Its human position; how it takes place
While someone else is eating or opening a window or just walking dully along….”

That’s me: I’m guilty. I’ve just been walking dully along. For one, I’ve not been as invested, as committed, to HPPR’s Radio Readers this fall as I could have been. But who can blame me? These books have been, well, hard.

Driverless Trucks, the Future of High Plains Highways?

Oct 31, 2016
agrilife.org

Could driverless trucks soon be driving along High Plains highways?

agri-pulse.com

Agriculture hasn’t exactly been the focus of this year’s presidential campaign.

Agri-pulse did their part to make up for that omission this week by reporting on how Hillary Clinton would approach agriculture policy in the event that she’s elected.

Vic Vela / cpr.org

As this election season geared up, there was much talk of Colorado as “a battleground” and a “purple state” and “contested territory.” But, as CNN reports, Colorado may actually be America’s newest blue state.

Hillary Clinton has maintained a steady lead in Colorado polls. In fact, her campaign is so confident they’ll win in the Centennial State that they ceased running ads back in July.

AP photo

The Kansas Supreme Court races are drawing an unusual amount of campaign spending this year, reports The Lawrence Journal-World.  

But no one knows the total amount or where the money is coming from. That’s because a loophole in Kansas election laws prevents the disclosure of donor names and dollar amounts.

Imagen Digital / Digital Image

Oct 28, 2016
Kathleen Holt

Today, I will read one bilingual poem from my book Conjuro.

Imagen Digital/Digital Image

“Naambo Kananfa Naambo, Guayé

Naambo Kananfa Yé

Nibela Yuku Yuku Labadiato

Naambo Sei Ta La Kananfa”

 

Buddhika Weerasinghe / Getty Images

Greenhouse gas emissions have reached a new height, UPI reports.

The last few years have witnessed growing support for an effort to combat climate change. Even so, a new World Meteorological Organization report finds rising levels of greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere. The report noted that, since 1990, there has been a 37 percent increase in the warming impact on the climate because of greenhouse gases like CO2, methane and nitrous oxide.

Adam Shrimplin / Reuters

The New York Times has published a full feature on the Somalis living in Garden City, Kansas, who were the focus of a white nationalist bomb plot earlier this month.

The Times noted that towns like Garden City are attractive to immigrants. Pay at many of the cattle yards and packing plants starts at $16 an hour and little English is needed to perform the work there. Many of the Somalis and Burmese, Mexicans and Sudanese who settle here see this as their shot at the American Dream.

KSN

The U.S. Attorney’s Office plans to monitor election complaints in Kansas, KSN reports.

On election day, a federal prosecutor will be on duty to respond to complaints of possible election fraud and voting rights violations in Kansas. A phone number is available (913-551-6730) for concerned citizens to call if they suspect election fraud on November 8th. Assistant U.S. Attorney Leon Patton  will be responding to voter concerns and complaints throughout the day.

NewsOK.com

With the news this week that Texas may be entering swing state territory, you may be wondering how much more unpredictable this election will get. But, as NewsOK reports, Oklahoma won’t be turning blue anytime soon.

The state has long held a reputation as one of the nation’s most reliably conservative, and that fact seems as true as ever.

Nathan Rupert / Flickr Creative Commons

Colorado wildlife officials are proposing killing more mountain lions and black bears in the coming months, reports The Denver Post. The move comes as the state has faced a dwindling deer population. 

Objects from the Borderlands

Oct 27, 2016
SUSAN HARGAGE PAGE, North Carolina / iah.unc.edu

In 2007 I began making yearly trips/pilgrimages to walk the border and photograph objects left behind by undocumented migrants crossing the U.S–Mexico border between Matamoros, Mexico, and Brownsville, Texas. My work takes an ever-evolving imagined space and concretizes it as a collection of specific objects, first as they are found and photographed in the landscape, then as they are re-photographed and archived, and, finally, as they are united in exhibitions.

Dallas Morning News

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is once again facing accusations of fraud from investors, reports The New York Times.

Lone Star State Lighter Shade of Red This Election

Oct 27, 2016
KQED

Texas, home to two of the country’s most recent Republican presidents, George Bush and his son, George W. Bush, and one of the most conservative states in the country, is a toss-up in this year’s presidential election.

Have you ever wanted s'more information about the origin of those squishy, sweet puffs we all take for granted around the campfire?  

Today's Growing on the High Plains peeps at the ancient origin of the marshmallow, and it's hiding in plain sight. Join us as we tap the root of the "mallow plant," commonly found around marshy wetlands. 

From mucilaginous medicine to confection perfection, this treacly treat goes WAY back -- and the story of its cultivation is more than just fluff.

Fort Worth Star-Telegram

This week, rumors of “vote switching” ran rampant across the Lone Star State. Stories were traded on the internet about how voters were going to the polls, only to see their selections switched to candidates from the opposing party.

Some of the most prominent reports came from Canyon, the seat of Randall County. The reports prompted the Fort Worth Star-Telegram to investigate.

The verdict? No, Texas’ machines aren’t switching votes.

The world wheat market is showing signs of life, despite recent struggles.

Wallethub

On average, Americans spend nearly $2,000 per year on energy bills. But that burden could be lighter.

Experts estimate that the U.S. could save more than $1.2 trillion if more energy-efficient measures were put in place.

FALLOU NDIAYE

Hi, my name is Fallou Ndiaye.  I am originally from Senegal, West Africa.  I currently live in Garden City, Kansas. My story of coming to the United States began when I worked at the Embassy in Senegal because Senegal is the long ally of the United States. The last three Presidents visited Senegal, so when I work there, they welcome you and greet you in a respectful way and give me visa to get my chance to come here in the United States.

When I came here, I learned that the opportunities are open to everyone – to everyone who wants to move up, they give you a chance to do it. So, every place since then, I work more than a decade. I was looking for a job and they give me that job, the same job they provide to everyone.  So, even if I don’t speak the language at that time very clearly to them, they help me.  They help me and guide me and train me as they train American people to do the job like everybody.

Say What?

Oct 26, 2016
NPR

The third book in HPPR’s Radio Readers Fall read bears the enigmatic title of What is the What.  A collaborative effort between novelist Dave Eggers and Valentino Achak Deng, the novel is set, primarily, in war-torn Sudan.  Both Eggers and Deng have said that they believed the book needed to be written to share and document Deng’s experiences as among the millions dead and displaced by the Sudanese Civil War.  Both men were committed to creating a work that would document the culture of Deng’s people, the Dinka.

As Deng talked about his life, Eggers collected vast amounts of material—a couple years’ worth of conversations-- then struggled to organize it in a compelling way, one that didn’t play on scenes of horror and brutality in prurient ways. He considered various titles for the book – one was It Was Just Boys Walking and another was Hello, Children. Those titles, as Eggers has said, suggested a focus on Deng’s experiences during the war and in refugee camps in Ethiopia and in Kenya. But, Eggers has said, eventually neither title seemed right for the book.  After all, in Eggers’ words, by the time he and Deng were collaborating, “Valentino had been a man for a long time…and he and the other so-called Lost Boys were tired of being known as boys. The story of Valentino's life would need to be equally, if not more so, about the issues he faced [as a man].”  Eggers began to explore ways that the novel/memoir might be crafted to convey questions about Dinka culture and ongoing conflicts in Sudan and Darfur

( http://www.vadfoundation.org/it-was-just-boys-walking/), and, it would seem, the story of Deng’s time in the United States.

AP photo

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper is among the top names being considered for Agriculture Secretary in the event that Hillary Clinton wins the presidency.

NEH.gov

West Texas A&M University in Canyon is celebrating the establishment of its new Center for the Study of the American West by hosting a lecture this Thursday evening. Award-winning Colorado historian Patricia Limerick will give the inaugural Garry L. Nall Lecture in Western Studies.

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