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

There could be changes on the horizon for the Beef Check Off program.

washingtonpost.com

The population in the United States is rapidly growing.  It’s expected to expand by 49 million people by 2030 reports the Washington Post.

More people along with Baby Boomers retiring will dramatically alter the age demographics of many communities, leaving some with larger burdens of social services and fewer workers to help fund them. 

Kansasagland.com

The Kansas Aqueduct Committee recently met in Salina to discuss the viability of taking water out of the Missouri river and diverting across the state to Western Kansas.  This report comes from Kansas Agland.

The conversation flowed smoothly until Committee member Tim Rhodd, expressed disapproval of the concrete-lined ditch.  Rhodd is the chairman of the Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska.  He says the project will push his region into the same water crisis facing the western part of the state. 

The Texas Tribune's Ben Philpott talks with experts to help make the Texas budget understandable.

Raising money to promote the beef business seemed like a good idea, so a law was passed, and everyone chipped in. Billions of dollars later, a couple Kansas cowboys are raising questions- and a commotion- about the program. Their cries are as old as the Boston Tea Party: "taxation without representation."

eia.gov

Have you ever wondered how much energy your state produces, consumes, and expends?  The U.S. Energy Information Administration has created a series of state level maps detailing these facts. 

Here are some quick facts:

COLORADO

wikipedia.org

Bonsai is an ancient, living art form that never is completed.  It requires focus, balance, and composition.  Bonsai live for a hundred years, so many times plants are passed from one generation to the next.  Bonsai are never centered, but always placed to one side or another.  The plants are trained to an asymmetrical balance. 

This kind of gardening teaches patience, introduces the glories of solitude, and opens the mind to thoughts about size and scale, and the importance of a single leaf or action.

MOSE BUCHELE / StateImpact Texas

The shock of lower gas prices has probably worn off by now, but have you noticed the small, unbranded gas stations are often the first to lower their prices?  Many of them stay competitive even when the name-brands cut their prices. 

KUT News is helping explain why stations offer different prices for essentially the same product by taking us on a trip from the pump back to the pipeline to see how gas is bought, sold and transported.

In about a year and a half, we’ll be electing a new president.  The Texas Tribune is off to a running start with a brand new presidential election page.  They’re tracking the candidates. 

Today, they’re featuring the Texas delegation’s reaction to the State of the Union speech.  Their responses were unsurprisingly split along party lines.

Here’s your link to the Tribune’s ongoing 2016 Presidential Election page.

KUT News

A national advocacy group ranked Texas as the worst state for nursing home quality last year.  The Texas Senate is taking action this session according to KUT News.  A bill filed would revoke the license of any nursing home with three or more violations.

State Sen. Charles Schwertner, R-Georgetown, is sponsoring the bill.  It requires the Department of Aging and Disability Services to revoke a nursing home’s license if the facility has three or more serious health and safety violations.

Topeka Capital-Journal

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback is proposing to ditch the state’s K-12 funding program reports the Topeka Capital-Journal. 

Brownback is recommending lawmakers abolish the K-12 funding formula and replace it with more than $3 billion in block grants while the Legislature writes a new formula.

Bruce Baker is a school finance professor at Rutgers University.  The former Kansan says it could be a legal maneuver to escape litigation.  Baker says giving something a new name, calling it a different formula, even when it’s not can be presented in court as an argument to dismiss a case. That forces plaintiffs to file a new lawsuit in a lower court because the formula specified no longer exists.

randallcounty.org

Texas Panhandle commissioners agreed to give a big tax break to Chermac Energy reports the Amarillo Globe-News.  Randall County commissioners recently voted to allow the proposed wind farm to pay about half of what it would in property taxes over the next ten years.

Chermac Energy gets a 100 percent tax abatement in exchange for paying $3.4 million over the same ten year period.

A couple more steps have to be taken before the decision is final.  The county has to send notification of the agreement to other taxing entities, and then a final vote will be held.

kgou.org

The ban on same-sex marriage in Oklahoma was struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court last October.  Since then more than 3,200 marriage licenses have been issued reports KGOU.  About 2,200 of those have been issued in the state’s most populous counties of Oklahoma and Tulsa.  Another spike has been in counties bordering Texas.  

KUSA

It’s National Western Stock Show time on the high plains.  The stock show, rodeo, and horse show drew a record crowd opening day in Denver.  Over 47,000 people were in attendance.  That’s the biggest first-day crowd in the show’s century plus history reports 9 News.

The stock show was started by some forward thinking men with the goal of demonstrating better breeding and feeding techniques to area stockmen.  It’s the world’s largest according to Colorado.com.  It’s grown to be more than a stock show.  This year’s events include a parade in the streets of downtown Denver, including a herd of longhorns; daily rodeos, a western art exhibit and sale, and more than 15,000 animals competing for top awards.

texasescapes.com

The Amarillo City Council recently voted to purchase Roberts and Ochiltree county water rights for about $1.5 million reports the Amarillo Globe-News.

The final purchase price will be based on how much water is found says City Manager Jarrett Atkinson.

The 5,000 acres of water rights were sold by the McCattle Company and the M&D McLain Family partnership.

The council also voted to pay $116,000 to Lee Wilson & Associates to complete a hydrological survey of the property.

The city owns about 10,000 acres of rights near the proposed purchase. 

Several red-state governors have recently dropped their opposition to Medicaid expansion reports the Kansas Health Institute.

Utah, Wyoming, Montana and Tennessee are pursuing expansion options that use billions in additional federal Medicaid dollars.  The increase helps low-income adults purchase private coverage or create health savings accounts.

16 states, including Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas are not discussing the issue.

kansaspublicradio.org

The 2015 session of the Kansas House and Senate started this week.  Anxious members are uncertain how to resolve budget deficits driven by steep tax cuts reports the Topeka Capital-Journal.

The projected shortfall for the next 18 months totals more than $700 million.  Budget debates could escalalte if the Kansas Supreme court mandates significant state funding increases for k-12 schools.

Gov. Sam Brownback’s 50-year water plan is moving forward.  A statewide conservation panel is being selected.  The panel will investigate solutions for Kansas as a whole, while regional teams will look for local answers.

Hays is a success Brownback hopes to duplicate across the state reports the Kansas Health Institute.  The north central community’s wells went dry in 1991.  A comprehensive water-saving plan was developed.  Fewer, more efficient wells were dug.  Incentives for low-flow toilets, shower heads, high efficiency washing machine were provided by the city.  New construction codes changed to include water conservation mandates.  City leaders went into schools education the kids about water conservation.  Now the community of 21,000 people uses about the same amount of water it did in 1970 when the population was about 15,000.

texaschllicense.com

In Texas this session will be unremarkable.  All the new people at the top will get along, and those wringing their hands about change are manufacturing drama reports the Texas Tribune.

Of course, there is the other side where the mix of new personalities, the split in the Republican party, and a Legislature easily stampeded by noisy outside partisans will provide drama to keep the worriers busy.

Stephen Koranda / kansaspublicradio.org

Governor Sam Brownback highlighted what he calls a “crisis of the family” during his inauguration speech Monday reports Stephen Koranda for Kansas Public Radio.  

The governor was sworn in to office for a second term, he said building stronger families will be one of his main goals. Brownback says stronger families will lead to more economic growth and less poverty in Kansas.

oklegislature.gov

The Oklahoma Legislature has over 230 bills to consider at this point.  The proposed legislation ranges from a prohibiting agency heads from making new hires to the screening of emergency patients for transport reports KGOU.

Some of the other draft bills include: allowing victims of domestic violence to bring evidence from relevant cases; eliminating four government agencies; preventing family members or caregivers convicted of neglect, abuse, exploitation, or other crimes against the elderly or disabled from inheriting any portion of the victim’s estate; banning texting while driving; allowing multi-religious symbols in school for winter celebrations, and allowing legislators to carry firearms after completing a CLEET course.

cdc.gov

Already, flu and pneumonia have been a factor in more than 500 deaths in Kansas reports KPR’s Bryan Thompson.

 People older than 64 or younger than five are being hit the hardest. The CDC is advising people with chronic conditions, pregnant women, senior citizens, and small children to take antiviral drugs, such as Tamiflu, if they become infected. Dr. Mike Munger, at St. Luke’s South Primary Care, in Overland Park, says the drugs need to be taken within 48 hours of the first symptoms to minimize the severity of the flu.

When it comes to who wants to be the next president, all roads seem to lead to … Texas.

There are about two dozen serious contenders for the office.  And, an uncanny number have a legitimate Texas connection reports the Texas Tribune

Some have been in the Lone Star State for just a few months, often on a campaign job.   Others were born there.  Still others were educated or lived there for a job.

extension.purdue.edu

There is disparity when comparing broadband access in urban and rural America.  The gap gets even bigger when it comes to access on the farm reports Choices Magazine.

Data suggests 100 percent of urban residents have access to at least one broadband provider… compared to 78 percent of rural residents.

Take it a step further.  On the farm 70 percent of farms in 2012 had internet access, but it’s the level of service that varies.  Seven percent of farmers use dial-up, 13 percent satellite, and 13 percent mobile broadband.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

State finance official in Oklahoma are worried about the plummeting price of crude.  State ImpactOklahoma reports they are projecting budget cuts and potential job losses.

In the oil field, some energy companies are slashing spending while others try to weather what they hope will be a short downturn.

Gov. Mary Fallin met with top officials in December to certify tax revenues for state budget planning.  Estimates now show a revenue loss of about $300 million.  If oil prices stay low, state agencies could face steep cuts.

farmingthedream.com

Organic farming may be just as healthy for the farmers who practices it as it is to their consumers reports the Center for Rural Affairs.

Researchers at the National Institute of Health recently completed a 20 year study on the connection between pesticides and depression in farmers.

The Big Fat Surprise

Jan 7, 2015
wsj.com

The American Heart Association warns us eating foods containing saturated fats raises your cholesterol level… which in turn increases your risk of heart disease.  But, what if they’re wrong?

Nina Teicholz makes a compelling argument in her new book The Big Fat Surprise.  She questions if saturated fat is truly to blame reports the Economist

Her case is the vilification doesn’t hold up to close scrutiny.  She pokes holes in famous pieces of research pointing out the methodological problems and overlooked results.

kansasleadershipcenter.org

Americans, especially those in largely rural states, have little confidence in their neighbors, elected officials, media outlets, and schools reports Emily Badger for the Washington Post.

When it comes to public schools, Nebraska has the most confidence.  40 percent of Kansans have a great deal of confidence in the education system.

Residents of Mississippi talk about politics with their friends the most.  In the listening region, Colorado takes the top spot.

iraqenergy.org

The price of a barrel of oil is in a free fall according to KUT News.  The U.S. oil benchmark West Texas Intermediate fell below $50 early this week... matching levels of spring 2009.

The drop is linked to OPEC’s boosted production and a stronger dollar. 

OPEC member nations production increases are an effort to protect their market share and undercut American profits.  Both Iraq and Russia are producing crude at record levels.

The dollar’s increased value is at a nine year high against the euro.  Reasons for that gain are renewed instability in Greece and the possibility that the European Central Bank could introduce quantitative easing to stimulate the eurozone.

poandpo.com

The Chevron plant in Borger, Texas is under new ownership reports the Amarillo Globe News

Chevron Phillips Chemical and international giant, Solvay, announced this week they have completed a $220 million deal including Chevron’s Ryton plant.

The Ryton plant makes a component of plastics from chemicals found in natural gas.  Most employees of the facility will transfer to Solvay says a company spokeswoman.

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