HPPR People & Communities

People

‐present day pioneers & innovators‐leaders‐veterans‐characters 

Communities

‐demographics‐in/out-migration‐community development‐community organizations & enterprises‐social capital‐social entrepreneurism

Pixabay / Creative Commons

Amarillo could soon become home to a professional soccer team from the United Soccer League, according to Soccer Stadium Digest.

As many High Plains residents are aware, Amarillo is in the process of building a new baseball stadium downtown, which will play host to the relocating Double-A San Antonio Missions. But what they may not know is that the stadium is also being designed to accommodate a United Soccer League team.

CCO Creative Commons

If you ask youngsters to name a wizard, they’ll immediately offer Harry Potter’s name. I have news for Harry fans. The real wizard lives in Wyoming, and he wears a cowboy hat. His wand happens to be a paintbrush. This is all true—I and other artists worked with him for a week to improve our use of light and shadow in our paintings.

National Park Service / Wikimedia Commons

A little-known fact about the Sooner State: Oklahoma is home to more historically black towns than any other state. Sadly, the Great Depression devastated many of these small communities of African-Americans.

But 13 of these black towns still survive, and they provide a fascinating glimpse into how communities shaped the early days of settlement in Indian Territory.

Pixabay / CCO License

As a teacher, I encourage students to incorporate sensory detail into their narratives and essays. If Mother Nature were in my classroom this fall, I’d have to give her an A+ for her efforts. She’s hammered one detail after another into golden perfection from the sights, scents, to sounds of autumn.

NOAA/CIR / Wikimedia Commons

High Plains energy workers are doing their part to support the largest power restoration effort in the history of the United States.

As The Amarillo Globe-News reports, 36 Xcel employees from Amarillo spent a week in Florida, helping thousands of families and businesses recover power in the wake of Hurricane Irma. The energy workers arrived in the state just after the hurricane had moved northward into Georgia. When the workers arrived, there were seven million people without power in the Sunshine State.

A rural hospital administrator in southwest Kansas has taken on the role of go-between for Kansans and immigrants from war-ravaged countries on the other side of the world.

CCO Creative Commons

Despite the hot temperatures that scorched yards and fields up until a few days ago, autumn is in the air. One reason for that involves behaviors of birds and insects. 

Marijuana Use Among Seniors On The Rise

Sep 27, 2017
iStockphoto

Marijuana use among adults aged 65 and older is rapidly increasing.

As Colorado Public Radio reports, the Centers for Disease Control found that marijuana use among adults over 65 increased more than 300 percent between 2002 and 2014.

And the number of seniors in Colorado holding medical marijuana cards has also risen with 21 percent being over 61 years of age.

NY - HTTP://NYPHOTOGRAPHIC.COM/

The process for immigrants wishing to become a U.S. citizen – or obtain legal status - can take decades.

Amarillo Makes Expedia's 15 Must-See Cities List

Sep 24, 2017
Expedia

Amarillo, Texas has made a list from Expedia of the top 15 list of cities to visit. 

In fact, Amarillo was the only Texas city to make the list, called 15 Under-the-Radar Cities You Need to Visit – coming in at the number one spot.

The description of Amarillo on Expedia’s Viewfinder travel blog website, reads as follows:

CCO Creative Commons

Wallace Stegner suggests specific landscapes speak to a person’s heart, and he’s right. Many have a favorite place that roots the spirit. Plants have a similar effect, and that preference is genetic at my house. Mom and I love clematis blossoms. We can’t grow too many or take enough photos of those blooming in our flowerbeds.

We’ve found we can cultivate them in western Kansas if we tenderly nurture them. That says volumes because this plant succumbs easily to heat and drought, natural elements of Kansas summers.

People Of The Plains: Seeds You Sow

Sep 21, 2017
Courtesy

Marshall Hanes had no idea that his life would be changed when he hesitantly took a position to be a youth minister nearly 30 years ago.

In the beginning, Marshall had no experience on teaching the word to other people. When an 8-year-old boy in his group took his life, it motivated him to study and pray harder more than ever before.

Ever since he saw the young boy’s final words tucked in his bible, “Thank you Marshall Hanes”, he knew it was his duty in life to keep ministering to youth.

Several years later, he moved up and taught high school youth. He began to form connections and relate in more ways with them than he ever imagined. Along the way, Marshall not only preached the word of God to many, but also took in and raised several kids as his own. With the support of his wife, Tami and the great God above, Marshall grew to become the best teacher, father, and friend to hundreds of kids. This interview tells an incredible story about how he planted a seed in every kid he came across.

Creative Commons

Last month, Amarillo’s Jenkins Chapel celebrated its 91st anniversary. The little church was packed with visiting worshippers from nearby churches like Johnson Chapel and Mount Zion.

The maximum-security unit at Kansas’ Lansing prison was on lockdown on Friday afternoon following a fight earlier in the day in the prison lunchroom.

A fight between what state officials are describing as “two offender groups” broke out shortly after noon on Friday as inmates lined up for lunch.

A spokesperson for the Kansas Department of Corrections says there were no serious injuries in the altercation, which took guards about 40 minutes to bring under control.

Public Domain

Last week, Kansas took in a few dozen Texans who were fleeing Hurricane Harvey.

But, as The Wichita Eagle reports, these refugees were of the four-legged variety. In the wake of the devastating storm, three vans filled with bedraggled dogs and cats left Houston, heading for the Sunflower State.

The animals had been housed in Texas shelters. When the hurricane hit, they were basically left homeless. Some had been in the shelters since April.

Levin C. Handy / Public Domain

The Amarillo Independent School District has taken up the question of whether to rename Robert E. Lee elementary, on the city’s north side.

As The Amarillo Globe-News reports, the AISD Board of Trustees will meet with attorneys today to consider whether it might be time for a change.

Prairie Tayles: Control Is An Illusion

Sep 15, 2017
Lane Pearman

Humans are funny creatures. Some imagine we control much that happens in our world. Because technological advances during the last two centuries eradicated small pox and put men on the moon, it’s easy to accept this idea. Believing we direct our lives makes us feel safer. However, anyone who lives in Kansas understands our species doesn’t control of much of anything but putting satellites in orbit and operating a remote that allows us to picture what weather might do. With that little button and functioning electricity, we can react to nature but we can’t regulate it.

Incomes Continue To Rise, But Texans Of Color Still Seeing A Gap

Sep 14, 2017
Justyna Furmanczyk

Texas experienced modest economic improvement in 2016, according to new census estimates. But income inequality remains pervasive in the state.

By ALEXA URA AND ANNIE DANIEL

On the economic front, 2016 was a year of modest improvements for Texas residents. Incomes continued to creep up. Overall poverty slightly dipped. The share of poor children in some areas of the state with the highest rates of child poverty dropped.

People Of The Plains: A Lost Cause

Sep 14, 2017
Courtesy

Native Texans are generally associated with things like cowboy hats, southern drawls, and Sam Elliott-like demeanors.  While a diehard conservative, and while sporting the occasional southern accent for the sake of a few laughs (insisting that he “really talks like this” all the while), Jeff Caseltine does not epitomize the “traditional” native Texan. Instead, things that come to mind when describing Jeff are celebrity impersonations, socks and sandals, and a prevailing enthusiasm and heart for the kids he teaches. 

youtube.com

For decades, Tobe Zweygardt guided busloads and carloads of visitors through the Arikaree Breaks in northwest Kansas – an area reminiscent of a sort of miniature Grand Canyon.

As The Wichita Eagle reports, Zweygardt, who also welded and sculpted signs from old farm and implement parts and marked routes along the breaks, died Sunday at the age of 101.

Sidney, Nebraska, has prospered while many rural cities have struggled. For decades, the city has been home to Cabela’s, a major outdoor retail chain.

As Cabela’s completes a deal in which it will be bought by a rival, however, the future of Sidney’s economic engine is in doubt. As in other rural cities that have faced the loss or closure of major industry, the question is how the community will move on and grow in the 21st Century.

Kansas Ranchers Paying It Forward

Sep 10, 2017
Courtesy photo

As smoke from Montana and Wyoming makes its way across the High Plains, Kansas ranchers impacted by wildfires earlier this year are paying it forward.

As The Hutch News reports, six months ago, Clark County rancher Steve Hazen was on the receiving end as truckloads of hay and supplies came from all directions to his hometown of Ashland.

KSRE.K-STATE.EDU

One of the best parts about grandchildren is seeing the world through their lens. Our youngest, a just turned one-year-old, visited recently. While her mom, dad, and gramps were organizing furniture and hunting gear, she and I wandered to the nearby park. Swings and slide held her interest for a while, but she most enjoyed toddling around, spying, and collecting last autumn’s sycamore balls. Due to the dry winter, most of them were still solid. In short time, she’d filled both tiny hands and the crooks of her elbows with tawny treasure.

Creative Commons

Earlier this week, the Trump Administration announced it would be rescinding DACA – the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that currently protects children of parents who came to the U.S. illegally from deportation

The majority of DACA recipients, more commonly referred to as “DREAMers,” are from Mexico, but according to Quartz, the remaining one-fourth come from all over the world, primarily El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.

Wikimedia Commons

Even though I clerked, waitressed, mowed, and lifeguarded to earn my way through college, I had only one career-- an English teacher. My husband’s path was similar. He worked first as a fish culturist for Wildlife and Parks, but when a game warden position opened, he applied and served in that field until he retired. Imagine learning during the last few years I taught that students currently graduating can expect to have 25 different occupations throughout their professional lives. How do you prepare youngsters for that?

Frankie Vallejo

I interviewed my grandmother Joan Tomlin about Alton Tomlin, my late grandfather. Alton was the most peaceful and loving person I have ever met. Not only could he make any person laugh but he took his time to give everyone attention. I think that is one of the reasons he was so loved.

The reason that he was the person I wanted to do my performance piece over is because once I found out that the performance was educationally based, he popped into my head. I thought of how much I learned from him and also, how much he loved to learn from others.

I was fortunate enough to sort of follow where my grandpa was living in his later years because while I was at school in San Marcos, Texas he was living in Leander, Texas, which is only about an hour and a half drive away. So I was able to spend good quality time before his sicknesses really started taking over.

Then he began getting really sick and they moved to Hereford and coincidently, I was moving back to Hereford, as well, because I was about to have a baby and wanted to be near family.

As long as I knew my grandpa, I can say that I have never met a person who impacted all of the people around him like he did. Not only that, but the way that he cared and loved my grandma was something that I could really look up to.

Hearing his story about coming from a single parent family to where he would end up and his journey along the way was inspiring and I also think that it was a good way to remember him and his life.

Julian Colton / Wikimedia Commons

Right now, Kansans who live anywhere near Wakeeney can only shake heads and wring hands. As they survey profound destruction wreaked upon homes and farms by gust-driven ice missiles the size of baseballs, they reveal the tenacity of prairie residents. They don’t lament, “Woe is me.” Instead, they count their blessings.

People Of The Plains: Learning To Love

Aug 24, 2017
Courtesy

Kristy Reynosa hired me to be her family’s nanny when I was a sophomore in high school.

I watched her daughter Molly, who was 11 at the time, and her granddaughter Tylee, who was 8.

Molly was this little girl who could do anything she put her mind to. You put a ball in front of her, and she knew how to make a point with it in whatever game it was. You told her to run a certain distance at a time and she did it five minutes under.

cookaa / Wikimedia Commons

Texas and New Mexico have entered into a contentious dust-up over ... dirt.

As ABC News reports, the “turf war” started when New Mexico accused road workers in the Lone Star State of crossing the state line to collect New Mexican dirt, in order to repair a dirt road in Hudspeth County.

Prairie Tayles: Dead Right And Rumble Strips

Aug 18, 2017
KANSASCYCLIST.COM

There was a time that I found rumble strips - you know, those zig-zaggy indentions down the middle and sides of highways - to be nothing but obnoxious. They make terrible sounding vibrations when crossed, regardless of whether drivers intend to pass over them or not. They remind me of a dentist using the big drill to grind out a chunk of old filling. My feelings about those asphalt irritations changed the day those rough-carved asphalt concaves saved not only my life but my mom’s. Since then, I’ve new respect for that once disturbing noise.

Pages