HPPR Economy and Enterprise

Oil & Gas
8:01 pm
Thu July 25, 2013

NW Kansas: Oil Pipeline Construction Begins in August

Credit econintersect.com

An pipeline transporting oil from the Bakken production area of North Dakota and Eastern Montana to Cushing, Oklahoma cuts across Kansas.  A recent article in the Salina Journal said the purpose of the project is to transport domestic oil to domestic refineries. 

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Wind Energy
8:01 pm
Wed July 24, 2013

Wind Energy: Hereford Wind Farm Phase One Sold; Transmission Line Expansion in Oklahoma and Kansas

Hereford Wind Project, Hereford, Texas
Credit http://renews.biz/

EDF Renewable Energy agreed to buy the 200MW first phase of the Hereford Wind Project according to a recent ReNews article.  The purchase includes an option on the 300MW second phase. 

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Demographics
8:01 pm
Tue July 23, 2013

Immigration Destination: Garden City, Kansas Over L.A.?

Garden City, Kansas Welcome Sign
Credit wikimedia.org

Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, New York, and Miami are no longer the immigration points for Hispanics and Latinos coming to the United States.  Kansas State University recently reported new patterns have developed.  Matthew Sanderson, associate professor of sociology at Kansas State University, is studying why rural areas, particularly southwest Kansas, have experienced large increases in Hispanic immigration. 

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Natural Resources & Energy
8:01 pm
Tue July 23, 2013

In Texas, Oil Prospecting Could Be as Simple as Looking at the Ground

In Utah, sandstone researchers say is bleached from red to white by hydrocarbon microseepages.
Credit University of Houston

Texas crude may not be oozing to the surface, but scientists think they can find oil and gas deposits just by looking at dirt.

Scientists at the University of Houston are finding ways to use sophisticated analysis of satellite imagery to detect miniscule changes to the Earth' surface caused by mineral deposits below, StateImpact Texas reports.

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Texas Panhandle
8:01 pm
Mon July 22, 2013

Downtown Amarillo: New Development Project Takes Form This Fall

Downtown Amarillo Skyline
Credit www.city-data.com

Three jewels, totaling $113 million, will be added to the crown of downtown Amarillo. They are: a $69.3 million convention center hotel, $30.3 million multi-purpose event venue, and $13.4 million parking garage.  The Amarillo Globe-News reported they will be constructed in the vicinity of City Hall and the Amarillo Civic Center.

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Harvest Public Media story
6:12 pm
Mon July 22, 2013

A food fight over U.S. sugar program

Billboard promoting the beet sugar industry outside of the Great Western Sugar factory in Ovid, CO (1967)
Credit Colorado State University Libraries Archives and Special Collections

Sugar beet growing and refining was once a major industry in western Kansas and remains so in northeastern Colorado, southeastern Wyoming and western Nebraska.  But it’s an industry that’s been supported by government subsidies of one sort or another dating back to 1789.  This pits sugar users against sugar producers over whether preserving a U.S. industry and domestic jobs is worth paying twice the international market price for sugar.  Harvest Public Media has an update on the ongoing debate. 

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Harvest Public Media story
8:01 pm
Sun July 21, 2013

Metal thefts plague farm country

Mike Obermann was among the victims of a rash of metal thefts in rural Missouri. Since then, he has installed theft-protection measures on his farm.
Credit Payne Roberts/Harvest Public Media

In the countryside, there are fewer people – and some prefer it that way, especially thieves. The National Insurance Crime Bureau says that metal thefts have increased by 36 percent since 2010 – and that leaves farm equipment and machinery as easy pickings.

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Harvest Public Media field note
8:01 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

Want to invest in farmland? Join the crowd

Charles Polanco's company allows investors to team up and invest in farmland.
Credit Abbie Fentress Swanson/Harvest Public Media

The new company Fquare is bringing crowd-sourcing to the increasingly lucrative market of investing in farmland.

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Oil & Gas
8:01 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

It's About Oil: Pipelines and Spills

Credit flickr.com/photos/shannonpatrick17/

North Dakota has the most reported oil spills of any state.  Oklahoma ranks number two, but that may be a gross understatement.  State Impact Oklahoma says spill reporting requirements vary from state to state.  The Oklahoma mandate is ten gallons or more, Texas is five, and in North Dakota, it's one gallon or more. 

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Texa$
8:01 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

No Sales Tax in Texa$ on Back-to-School Items: August 9-11

The tax-free weekend could give Texans a $74 million break.
Credit Credit Todd Wiseman & Mikhail Popov, Texas Tribune

For the past 14 years, Texas has celebrated the return to school with a sales tax holiday.  KUT News reports this year the event is August 9-11.  Most clothing and back-to-school supplies under $100.00 are not taxed.

Estimated shopper savings is expected to be more than $74 million across the state.

Details about exempt items are available from the Texas State Comptroller's website.

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Oil & Gas
8:01 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Hydraulic Fracturing Linked to Earthquakes: Oklahoma Lacks Response

A Chesapeake Energy drilling rig in Ohio.
Credit GUS CHAN / THE PLAIN DEALER /LANDOV

Injection wells are linked to earthquakes in a handful of states like: Texas, Wyoming, Arkansas, Ohio, and Colorado.  Impact Oklahoma reported the largest earthquake connected to a disposal and injection well occurred on November 2011 in Prague, Oklahoma.  However, Oklahoma has not responded with significant regulations.

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Growing on the High Plains Episode
8:01 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Busy Bee Farms: Part Two

Our second visit to Busy Bee Farms in Kismet Kansas takes us for a tour of internal workings of the greenhouses that produce literal layers of tomatoes,  as well as lettuce, cucumbers and other vegetables. Pond plants and koi fish provide some tropical looking landscapes on our walk-through.  We'll also get the buzz on the insect population that helps pollinate and protect the produce and plants.

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Wind Energy
8:00 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

Government, Academia, and Industry Join to Create a Better Wind Farm

Texas Tech research wind energy research facility
Credit Texas Tech University

  What do you get when you combine resources from The U.S. Department of Energy, a private company named Vestas, and Texas Tech University?  A project with the goal of creating a better wind farm. 

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Healthcare
8:01 pm
Mon July 15, 2013

Affordable Healthcare Act: Study says it's better for states to run their own exchange

Credit Go Health

The Kansas Health Institute reported when it comes to the upcoming health insurance exchange, state-run is better than federal.

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Harvest Public Media series
8:01 pm
Sun July 14, 2013

Video Documentary: Aging of the American Farmer

At age 84 Bob Hawthorn I still working on his family’s fourth generation farm dating back to the 1870s.
Credit Ray Meints for NET News

Farmers are getting older.  They’re working longer, staying on the land later and continuing to do what they’ve done for decades: heading out day after day after day to work their land.

In 1978, the average age of the American farmer was just over 50. In 2007, it was creeping toward 60, at just over 57-years-old. What does that mean for the agriculture industry? Harvest Public Media went to answer that question by focusing on this massive demographic shift that affects not just rural America but the power and potential of an entire industry. 

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Communications
8:01 pm
Sat July 13, 2013

Silent Radio Celebrates 50 Years

Engineer David Andrews (left) and technician Robert Oase (right) are shown by the WWVB transmitter in 1963.
Credit NIST

Wired magazine recently reported, "the most important radio you've never heard," celebrated its 50th birthday.  WWVB, a station that broadcasts from the base of the Rocky Mountains, sends out a signal that keeps Americans on time.  Devices lock onto and sync with the signal.  This invisible piece of infrastructure, you've never tuned in and listened to,  has moved industries from entertainment to telecommunications. 

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Harvest Public Media series
8:01 pm
Fri July 12, 2013

Young dreams, huge obstacles

Eva Teague, 31, is trying to start her own pig farm but is having trouble breaking in to the business.
Credit Luke Runyon/Harvest Public Media

While the farming community continues to age fewer young people are filling the ranks, prompting the question: Do young people even want to farm anymore?

The quick answer is yes, just not in the same numbers as they used to. And surveys indicate many of them don’t want to farm in conventional ways.

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Healthcare
8:01 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

Western Kansas Clinics Receive Federal Grant Money

Credit shrm.org

Two western Kansas clinics received federal monies to help residents maneuver their way through the upcoming health insurance exchange.  The Kansas Health Institute reported the funds will be used to hire a total of 32 outreach workers in 14 clinics across Kansas.  The total grant amount was $1.6 million.

The two clinics are: 

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Growing on the High Plains Episode
8:01 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

Busy Bee Farms: Part One

Busy Bee Farmers Dannie and Suzan

Today we'll start a special three part series that began as a stop-over at Busy Bee Farms in Southwest Kansas.  I found out about this great place when I bought a little container of delicious tomatoes that sported the Busy Bee logo and implored me to 'buy local'. 

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Harvest Public Media series
8:01 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

Retiring to the farm anything but quiet

Jim Schulte and his wife, Rita, bought their 450-acre farm near Columbia, Mo., in 1991, but didn’t start farming full time until Jim finished working in the mortgage business.
Credit Abbie Fentress Swanson / Harvest Public Media

It’s not just lifelong farmers who feel the pull of the land as they get older. For some Americans, retirement is an opportunity to begin the farming dream.

“I wanted to be able to be active and have a pastime that ensured physical activity,” said beginning farmer Tom Thomas, who at 65 still has the physical fitness to wrestle and brand steers at his son’s ranch in Oklahoma. 

Thomas retired two years ago after teaching exercise physiology for 35 years and he knew what he wanted to do next.

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Havest Public Media series
8:01 pm
Tue July 9, 2013

Facing the family farm legacy

Father and son Jim and Tom Arganbright stand in a field that Tom planted with soybeans this spring. The older generation still owns the land, but Tom now rents it as part of his own farming operation.
Amy Mayer/Harvest Public Media

Driving out of the western Iowa town of Panora, the winding roads offer broad vistas of rolling hills. Many of the mailboxes along Redwood Road show the name Arganbright. Jim Arganbright grew up in this area, one of 10 children. He and his wife, Beverly, have eight kids.

Though Jim Arganbright farmed here his whole life, three years ago at the age of 80 he started renting his cropland to his son Tom, the only one of his children who farms full-time. Now, all Jim Arganbright has to worry about is the livestock — and he doesn’t have too much of that.

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Harvest Public Media series
8:01 pm
Mon July 8, 2013

How long can you farm?

A young Bob Hawthorn runs the harvester through a field of oats. Hawthorn studied engineering and began a career working in the aerospace industry before returning to the farm.
Bob Hawthorn

Working beyond retirement is a fairly common refrain these days. In 2012, 5 percent of the U.S. workforce was beyond retirement age. But farmers seem to work longer than most. In the last Agriculture Census 25 percent of all farm operators were over 65 years old.

Why do farmers keep working? For one thing, modern machinery makes it easier to work longer.

“It’s more you use your mind rather than your back, so you can go longer,” said Mike Duffy, an agricultural economist at Iowa State University.

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Wind Energy
8:01 pm
Sun July 7, 2013

Texas Wins: Energy Dichotomy

Credit leadenergy.org

Texas.  Everything's bigger in Texas.  A recent piece by State Impact Texas, noted it not only applies to fossil fuel production, but also pollution.  The biggest polluter is also the state with the most wind energy, more than any other state, as a matter of fact, more than a lot of countries.  

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Harvest Public Media field note
7:51 pm
Sun July 7, 2013

Farm groups keep up farm bill pressure

Credit geringhoffusa.blogspot.com

  In an effort to revive the defeated farm bill, more than 530 organizations, including heavyweights like the American Farm Bureau Federation and the National Farmers Union, have signed a letter (PDF) that urges House Speaker John Boehner to bring the legislation back to the floor.

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10:04 am
Fri July 5, 2013

Hereford Beef Plant Fined for Safety Violations

Lead in text: 
OSHA inspection reveals plant failed to protect workers.
Caviness Beef Packing Ltd. in Hereford received 25 safety violations and faces $120,000 in fines after a January inspection by the Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration, according to an OSHA inspection report.Most of the violations were serious, meaning there is a significant probability death or serious harm could result from the hazard, according to the Department of Labor.
Healthcare
8:01 pm
Thu July 4, 2013

Parent Company of Western Kansas Hospital Agrees to Billing Settlement

Credit workingnurse.com

The Kansas Health Institute reported two companies agreed to pay the federal government $9.7 million.   The two are: Hospital Corporation of America, owner of Wesley Medical Center in Wichita, and Lifepoint Hospitals, Inc.,  owner of Western Plains Medical Complex in Dodge City.  The settlement is in regard to allegations that both billed over billed Medicare for an inpatient procedure that could have been done safely and more cost effectively in an out-patient setting.

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An orphan crop?
8:01 pm
Thu July 4, 2013

Who wants biotech wheat?

Nebraska farmer Larry Flohr, squeezes out a kernel of unripened wheat.
Credit Grant Gerlock / Harvest Public Media

Many farmers say they would like to grow genetically engineered wheat to help them feed a hungry world, but it’s not what everyone’s hungry for. And now, with the mysterious appearance of Roundup Ready wheat in a farmer’s field in Oregon a few weeks ago, consumer resistance may grow even stronger.

Most of the corn and soybeans grown in the United States are genetically modified, but GMO wheat has never been approved for farming.

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Western Kansas
8:01 pm
Wed July 3, 2013

2013 Wheat Harvest Isn't Good for Western Kansas

Kansas wheat harvest is nearing completion, and it seems to be a year of feast or famine. Western Kansas falls on the side of famine.  The Wichita Eagle says Highway 13 seems to be the dividing line.

8:51 am
Tue July 2, 2013

Two Texas Panhandle Banks Make Top 100

Lead in text: 
Happy State Bank and Amarillo National Bank made BauerFinancial's Top 100 Banks. BauerFinancial analyzes and reports on the condition of the nation's banks. Financial institutions do not pay for this rating, nor can they avoid it.
Two Texas Panhandle banks manage billions of dollars in clients' wealth, gold and mineral assets, landing them in some high-roller territory in the banking world.Happy State Bank, based in Happy, comes in at No. 55 on BauerFinancial's Top 100 Banks Nationwide for the sheer dollar volume of its fiduciary assets - $2.1 billion.Amarillo National Bank hits the list at No.
HPPR Economy and Enterprise
7:27 am
Tue July 2, 2013

Rural Kansas Counties Buck Traditional Employment Trends

Credit ezilon

Typically, cities fuel job growth, but a recent article in the Wichita Eagle reveals urban employment levels in Kansas are level, while rural areas are experiencing growth.   Much of the rural improvements can be attributed to increased oil drilling, oil services, overall farming wealth increase, and government transfers like Medicare. 

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