Cindee Talley

Regional Programming Director

As Regional Programming Director, Cindee develops and produces HPPR’s regional information and feature programming, including working closely with volunteer individuals and organizations from across the region with knowledge, experience and perspectives to share.

Cindee is a native of Western Nebraska and a graduate of the University of South Dakota who followed her love of public radio and passion for rural life to High Plains Public Radio.  She joined HPPR in August, 2010, assuming the role of Regional Programming Director.  Simply put, she strives to provide listeners a sense of the High Plains- in all its dimensions of environment, history, enterprise, and culture that stretch beyond geography.  

Location:Garden City, KS studios

Phone: (800) 678-7444 or (620) 275-7444

Ways to Connect

Governor Greg Abbott signed a number of bills that will spend a record breaking amount to provide security along the Texas-Mexico border. The issue was named one of Abbott's emergency items at the beginning of the legislative session. Abbott says Texas is a safer place because of these bills.

kansascity.com

Last week Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback signed a bill threatening to defund the entire state judiciary if it rules against a law he favors reports Slate.

The Huffington Post says Brownback has spent much of his tenure attempting to curb the Kansas Supreme Court and consolidate power in the executive branch. 

The outbreak began in mid-May, with three cases of the highly-contagious respiratory disease. Now there are 23 reported cases, according to the Reno County Health Department, in Hutchinson. As of June 2nd, 134 cases of pertussis had been reported in Kansas this year. Pertussis causes rapid and violent coughing, and the struggle to inhale while coughing sometimes causes a “whooping” sound. Pertussis most commonly affects babies and young children, and can be fatal—especially during the first year of life. The bacteria responsible for the disease are spread through the air by coughing or sneezing. Symptoms appear one to three weeks after exposure. The best defense against pertussis is vaccination. Protection from the childhood vaccination tends to wane over time, but a booster shot is available. Getting the booster shot can protect you, as well as vulnerable babies you might come into contact with. Those who’ve been vaccinated may still catch pertussis, but the symptoms will likely be milder than if you have not been immunized. Health officials are asking anyone who’s been coughing for two weeks without explanation to see a doctor.

Skyrocketing appraisal rates in some Texas counties could have homeowners paying more this year even with the increased Homestead Exemption. That’s according to analysis put together by the Texas House Ways and Means Committee on the last days of the session. Dale Craymer is a budget expert with the Texas Taxpayer and Research Association and says in areas like Bexar County where appraisal rates rose by almost 12-percent, you will likely pay more this year. Craymer says on average homeowners will still save $130 on their property taxes, but for those living in those more populated counties, that $130 is off of the thousands of dollars they may owe. At the Start of the session Governor Greg Abbott stressed to lawmakers that they pass some form of property tax relief and that its impact be long-lasting. But even Abbott says this session’s property tax relief effort was just a starting point to keep rates from skyrocketing in the future.

Egg imports from the Netherlands will be soon be allowed under a new decision from the U-S Agriculture Department. As Harvest Public Media’s Peggy Lowe reports, that’s because the huge outbreak of bird flu in the Midwest has hurt supplies.

Plaintiffs in a settled lawsuit say not enough progress is being made to improved the foster care system in Oklahoma. The Pinnacle Plan is a result of the suit claiming the Oklahoma Department of Human Services had policies leading to the harm of abused and neglected children in state custody. The plan contains a list of specific improvements to be met by 2017, complete with progress goals along the way. Plaintiffs have written a letter to program monitors asking them to push for faster change. A spokeswoman for the department says a written response will be given by today.

Pantex will soon have safety issues resolved says a top official from the National Nuclear Security Administration. The two program-related issues were revealed during a Code Blue review by the NNSA. A code blue review is similar to a safety review. The two issues are not related. One problem was about ensuring proper documentation required was complete. The other was related to weapons shipping container safety. Frank Klotz is a NNSA Administrator. He says these aren’t a safely issue for the public or for Pantex employees. He says the concerns are because they are ultra-cautious about everything they do, and becaue of the type of work they do.

Kansas Governor Sam Brownback is so in favor of the new tax plan, he was lobbying lawmakers by phone from the hospital where his first grandchild was born Sunday. Brownback says the budget has been thoroughly discussed and it's past time to get it done and move forward. The tax plan increasing sales and cigarette taxes, and rolling back some of the 2012 tax breaks for businesses was already passed by the Senate.

The Texas State Climatologist has declared the statewide drought effectively over. But, the main source of the Lone Star State's water supply hasn't recharged, and that's the aquifers. The biggest benefit of recent rains to the underground supply is less water is being pumped to the surface.

Today is the final day of the Texas Legislature for this session. Lawmakers worked over the weekend to get some bills ready for approval. There was consensus on Friday that the one bill they had to pass was the state's two-year budget.

The Texas legislation requiring state public universities to allow handguns in dorms, classrooms, and campus buildings is headed to Gov. Greg Abbott's desk. Abbott says he'll sign the measure.

Kansas Governor Sam Brownback will veto the reduction of any business income tax cuts says the Kansas secretary of revenue.

If a budget isn't passed by June 7, Kansas state workers will be going home without pay.

The Environmental Protection Agency proposed today on new quotas for the amount of renewable fuels blended in to our gasoline. The E-P-A plan would increase the total volume of renewable fuels at gas pumps. But it actually cuts the amount of ethanol made from corn.

In an ironic twist of fate, the building that once housed the seat of law and order is becoming the very thing that took some to face the judge In an ironic twist of fate, a distillery will call the courthouse home. The Dodge City Courthouse and old city hall is being renovated to become Boot Hill Distillery. Hays Kelman is a co-owner. He says whiskey will be the main attraction, but it takes a few years to age, so the business will also produce vodka, gin, white whiskey and red eye whiskey. Kelman is partners with his father and Chris Holovach. They’ll be using grain from their farms in Haskell and Scott Counties. Kelman says they want to keep everything as local as possible. A fall opening is planned.

KTWU

 The host of a long-running Kansas public television is leaving his position reports KPR.  Dave Kendall is the host of Sunflower Journeys.  He says he’s been part of producing the program about Kansas since 1987.

Kendall says the advent of new technology has made the program available to everyone online. 

Snack Pak explosion

May 28, 2015

Childhood hunger is one of the most overlooked and underreported problems in our region. An Amarillo couple’s volunteering experience with America’s Promise at Margaret Wills elementary prompted them to connect with Snack Pak 4 Kids. Today Snack Pak provides more than 3,700 weekend sack lunches for around 50 schools in the Amarillo ISD very week. Snack Pak provides more than 6,000 in 34 other school districts in the panhandles of Texas and Oklahoma. Dryon Howell says the program is making a difference. He’s been involved in Snack Pack for Kids since 2010. Howell says kids can’t learn if they’re hungry. And Snack Pak is making a difference… a measurable difference. Howell says 2/3 of AISD teachers surveyed in the last three years have seen an academic improvement because of the program.

Recent rains might have pushed the drought out of our minds, but climate scientists say the hot, dry weather is a glimpse into the future, and Oklahoma is a good place to study what adaptations will work.

Amarillo can use its red light cameras can keep for at least another two years because the Texas Legislature won’t approve a statewide ban this session. The Texas House Transportation Committee killed a bill that would have gradually phased out the electronic equipment photographing vehicles running red lights.

Kansas legislators put a $25 limit on the amount of cash welfare recipients can obtain. It's hard to overstate the significance of this action. Many households without enough money to maintain a minimum balance in a conventional checking account will pay their rent and their utility bills in cash. A single mother with two children seeking to withdraw just $200 in cash could incur $30 or more in fees, which is a big chunk of the roughly $400 such a family would receive under the program in Kansas.

Morning Edition featured a story that reminds us to take a moment to remember what this day is about. If you missed it, follow the link.

What is this three day weekend all about? What are the traditions of Memorial Day? Take the quiz from the Washington Post and find out how much you know about a holiday many will say marks the beginning of summer.

wikipedia.org

The past couple weeks have brought rain, rain, sorely needed rain.  It’s also saturated the ground and left some standing water.  That’s the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes.  This report from KGOU.

More rain and less warmth than normal is both a blessing and challenge to farmers. About 60 percent of corn is in the ground in the Texas Panhandle. Jourdan Bell is a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Agronomist. He says he’s concerned about fungal disease. Some seed put in the ground hasn’t germinated, and in saturated conditions you can see degradation and possible infection. Bell also says if the corn’s not planted by early May, there can be some pretty hefty yield degradation. That’s led to farmers considering planting grain sorghum. The moisture’s has a mixed impact on wheat. Bell says there’s been a lot of hail damage and very heavy disease pressure, but he thinks farmers will see a considerable boost in yields.

Texas lawmakers put the finishing touches on a $210 billion state budget last night. The budget now goes back to both chambers for a vote.

The Kansas House approved a bill that some legislators hope will improve voter turnout in local elections.

Federal regulators are requiring extensive renovations to make the Kansas State Hospitals safer for patients. The Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services Secretary says patients can't be housed in areas where the construction is being done. That means 60 beds have to be emptied. That's affecting the where patients are being referred.

This Lamar Town

May 21, 2015
Russ Baldwin / The Prowers Journal

Pick a highway.. any highway… here on the high plains… as you pass through small towns there are skeletons standing on main street, reminding you of another time, when the bare buildings were bustling business, the quiet streets were full of cars, there wasn’t a parking place to be found, and the sidewalks were brimming with people. 

One Lamar, Colorado resident shares a poem of longing for those days and hoping they return.  

Midwesterners rarely have the opportunity to hear the sound of the 17-year cicada, and this is the year. Some say it's annoying. Regardless of your assessment of the song, you won't get the chance again until 2032.

There’s a new eye in the sky in the Texas Panhandle, and it’s helping monitor the electric lines. Southwestern Public Service is exploring the use of drones. SPS’s parent company, Xcel Energy, has permission to use the technology. Wes Reeves is the spokesman for SPS. He says there are some clear advantages of drone use in the rough panhandle terrain. Reeves says air assessment also has distinct advantages in disasters like the 2014 Fritch wildfire. The Federal Aviation Administration approved Xcel’s request earlier this month. The company will use the drones to survey transmission and distribution lines, power plants, renewable energy facilities, substations, and natural gas pipelines it has in other regions.

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