HPPR People & Communities

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Communities

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From Texas Standard.

Defining violent crime can be trickier than it sounds. Mugging someone on a sidewalk or robbing a store with a firearm are obviously violent acts. But, what about stealing something from an unoccupied and unlocked home? Even the Supreme Court has difficulty making the call.

As the White House continues to expand deportations and push measures to curb illegal immigration, many Texas immigrants are forced to navigate the immigration system without the help of an attorney.

Valerie Brown-Kuchera

Welcome to Little Spouse on the Prairie.  Last week, we donated one dollar to HPPR for every new follower on the Facebook and Twitter pages. We’ve extended the promotion because I still haven’t searched the cushions on the basement furniture for loose change.  I’m very externally motivated when it comes to keeping house.  So, if you didn’t follow last week, be sure to go to one or both of those social media sites and pick it up this week so I can get started on the basement.

Valerie Brown-Kuchera

Joel’s a saver to the point that he will continue to wear shoes until they are not much more than a few strips of worn leather clinging to a sole.  I’m as budget-conscious as the next person, but when the bottoms of Joel’s work shoes are slicker than snot on a doorknob, as a friend of mine used to say, the hospital bills when he falls off a roof he’s shingling outweigh the cost of a new pair of shoes.  Besides, I’m not a fan of seeing his big hairy hammer-toes any more than I have to.

From Texas Standard.

One of the staples of elementary school library shelves across Texas is Hank the Cowdog – the dog who fancies himself the “head of ranch security” at the M-Cross Ranch in the Panhandle. Since 1983, Hank has solved mysteries, fended off coyotes, and pined for the affection of the ranch’s collie, Beulah.

Valerie Brown-Kuchera

I don’t like to cook.  I’m so glad there are people in the world that view cooking as an art because I do love to eat.  My husband, given the opportunity, would enjoy experimenting in the kitchen.  Joel loves to peruse cookbooks and magazines, and about every few months, he grandly announces that he’s going to start making one new recipe per week.  Not only that, he says going to eat healthier.  I guess along with the butter and syrup, he’s going to start putting fruit on his pancakes.

Valerie Brown-Kuchera

I live among thieves.  My teenaged daughter, despite regularly commenting on the utter hopelessness of my “old lady” wardrobe, sneaks into my dressing room and pilfers mascara, face cream, and hair accessories. Don’t even get me started on the criminal behavior that she exhibits now that she wears my shoe size.

My middle school son isn’t quite as bad, only occasionally giving in to his baser instincts to filch a few choice pieces of his little sister’s candy hoard. At least he has the decency to show remorse when caught in the act.

Julio Salazar

Sitting outside a coffee shop on the town square in Canyon, Texas, I spent yesterday afternoon talking with someone who has a lot to say about the controversy over the DACA program. Julio Salazar was brought to Amarillo before he started pre-kindergarten, and he has attended Amarillo schools his whole life.

Courtesy / Lee Richardson Zoo

Lee Richardson Zoo is happy to announce the first pregnancy of Juani and Cleo, the new breeding pair of reticulated giraffes.

Juani, the male and future sire, is nine years old and arrived from Indianapolis Zoo in 2011.  When he was transferred to Garden City, it was with the intent of contributing to the giraffe population through breeding in the future.  Zoo staff worked with AZA’s Giraffe SSP to identify a female that would be a good genetic match for him.  Cleo, the five-year-old soon-to-be mom, arrived in 2014 from Jacksonville Zoo.

PxHere

I never camped out as a kid.  My parents weren’t campers.  We didn’t even own a tent.  At the time, I felt righteously indignant.  What kind of childhood doesn’t include sleeping in a tent at the lake?  I swore, when I grew up and had kids of my own, I would never, ever, ever, put them through the human rights violation of NOT camping. 

Jason Boyett

A podcast about the Texas Panhandle has been gaining a good deal of attention in recent months.

Author Jason Boyett, who grew up in Amarillo, says he started the “Hey Amarillo” podcast for a couple of reasons. The project allows him to give back to his hometown, and it also provides panhandle residents with a chance to hear from people who live near them but aren’t necessarily like them.

Recent guests include Amarillo mayor Ginger Nelson, a DACA recipient, and an NAACP board member, and a young entrepreneur.

Derek Klingenberg of Peabody, Kansas is kind of a farmer celebrity. His Youtube channel which has over 70,000 subscribers, features everything from ag-themed pop-music parodies to trombone covers, but what really caught our attention was his cow art.

Tuesday, Klingenberg took his cow art to the next level, when he posted a video where he herded his cows to spell out the word “Hi,” and took a snapshot from outer space. 

Ben Kuebrich / High Plains Public Radio

A proposal by the Kansas Department of Aging and Disabled Services (KDADs) to locate a halfway house for sexual predators in Dighton is drawing strong opposition.

Hundreds of residents attended a town hall meeting held by the state Tuesday night to voice their opposition to the project. The proposed reintegration facility would house up to 16 convicted sexual predators that have served their sentences, undergone rigorous therapy, and shown good behavior. Similar facilities already exist in Osawatamie, Parsons, and Larned.

Little Spouse On The Prairie: Of Mice And Men

Mar 10, 2018
Creative Commons

We live, as many High Plains listeners know, in a very old rambling house.  Living in a structure that some might call decrepit, though I much prefer the term, “historical,” does have drawbacks.  In addition to the astronomical heating bills, the six toilets to clean, and the ever-present sifting of dust from the 1930’s that shakes out of the lathe and plaster when the wind blows in Kansas (and the wind always blows in Kansas), we sometimes have to contend with mice.  

'American Pickers' Coming To Kansas This May

Mar 7, 2018
www.history.com / History Channel

The show American Pickers is coming back to Kansas in a couple of months and is looking for leads about anyone with a collection of unique antiques and relics they can pick through.

As The Hays Post reports, the History Channel’s documentary series explores antique “picking” with Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz, two of the most skilled pickers in the business, as they hunt for America’s most valuable antiques.

Valerie Brown-Kuchera

To be honest, I may put on a show of indignation about my husband’s old-fashioned ways, but secretly, I am glad that Joel feels it is a “man’s job” to gas up the car, change the oil, and complete basic maintenance on our vehicles in preparation for family vacations.

Our Turn At This Earth: Big Daddy

Mar 1, 2018
Courtesy/Julene Bair

When I farmed with my father in the mid-1980s, I often expressed my concern that the water we were withdrawing from the Ogallala Aquifer, to irrigate our crops, would one day run out. My father, who was one of those hardy old-timers—a grandson of pioneers—said, “Don’t worry. Big Daddy will put the plug in before it’s too late.” By “Big Daddy,” he meant the government.

KANSAS GEOLOGICAL SURVEY

Researchers from Oxford University mapped out the continental US and the distance each town or city was from a metropolitan area with a population of more than 75,000 people.

As the Washington Post reports, the researchers found that America's most remote town, that had a population of over 1,000 people, was found Glasgow, Montana -- but, the high plain's Oakley, KS came in fourth place at 3.7 hours from the nearest metro area.

Immigrants in Texas are committing fewer crimes proportionally than natural-born citizens, according to a new report from the Washington, D.C.-based Cato Institute.

Researchers with the libertarian think-tank used 2015 data from the Texas Department of Public Safety to measure the criminal conviction and arrest rates of three groups: illegal immigrants, legal immigrants and native-born Americans.

Other men swear they will never drive a minivan.  Other men, as they add children to their lives, progress from a tough, extended-cab truck on to a four-wheel-drive SUV before succumbing to the humiliation of the dreaded van.   Other men, especially out here on the plains, where men are men and trucks are trucks, sure as hell don’t need some foreign-made vehicle parked in the garage.  Not my Joel.  Joel has harbored an unfulfilled longing for a minivan since he was in his early twenties. 

Public Domain

A tent city of homeless campers in Amarillo was told last week that they must once again shut down their camp and go elsewhere.

As KFDA reports, the Christ Church Camp must disband by the end of this week or the city of Amarillo will begin fining the camp’s homeless residents $2,000 a day for being on the site.

While media attention has focused on the plight of Syed Jamal, the Lawrence chemistry professor whom immigration agents seized last month and tried to deport, another area immigrant is facing a similar predicament. 

Valerie Brown-Kuchera

I like buying gifts and planning parties.  Themes are good.  A person can’t get too themey.  For my daughter’s Nancy Drew-themed party, we (and by “we” I mean “I”) made a cake shaped like a giant magnifying glass and hid clues in miniature envelopes throughout the house.  We (and by “we” I mean “I”) used invisible ink to write some clues.  Others were in code or mirror writing.  Yes, we (and by “we” I mean I) are the Da Vinci of theme parties.

Nell Johnson Doerr’s husband rolled her up in a carpet so she’d survive Quantrill’s 1863 raid on Lawrence. Lying alongside the limestone foundation of her house, she hears her husband’s murder but is powerless to help him.

Kansas writer Thomas Fox Averill’s entirely fictitious book, “Found Documents from the Life of Nell Johnson Doerr,” is rooted in the abolitionist movement, but the character of Nell begins to live and breathe while trapped in the carpet.Readers familiar with Averill’s work might recall that the protagonists of his novel “rode,” found a baby in a raided house near her dead parents. Nell Johnson Doerr is that baby.

Valerie Brown-Kuchera

We have trouble with pronouns in our house.  Oh, we are past the pronoun – verb agreement issues that plagued our early courtship.  Once I explained to Joel that I couldn’t, in good conscience, allow him to continue to say, “He don’t,” and “we was,” he eagerly eradicated those problems.  It’s only when he’s engaged in a particularly virulent argument that he regresses.

No, the pronoun issues we have now, relate to antecedents.  For example, Joel will walk in after teaching in another town all day long and say, “I was talking to him today and he said he is going to that deal.” 

Courtesy

Several years ago, my husband went through a beef jerky stage.  Actually, it was more of a preserved meat stage, because he didn’t just eat beef, and he didn’t just eat jerky.   We had beef sticks, horseradish salami, summer sausage, pepperoni, turkey bites, steak strips, garlic infused pemmican, hot and spicy links, Slim Jims, barbecued bacon chunks, jalapeno pickled sausages, chili-mango pork nuggets.  Open our snack cupboard and you’d see the equivalent of Bubba Gump’s shrimp products in dried flesh in there.

Jonathan Baker

A massive crowd gathered in a large dirt field in downtown Amarillo yesterday to witness the groundbreaking of the city’s new baseball stadium. Mayor Ginger Nelson delivered a heartfelt speech to the throngs who had amassed on a chilly February afternoon.

Mayor Nelson was joined by the team’s new general manager, as well as D.G. Elmore and his father Dave Elmore, owners of the group who are moving the new AA baseball team from its former home in San Antonio.  

Our Turn At This Earth: Full Speed Ahead

Feb 1, 2018
USGS

In the mid-1980s my father got a letter from the Kansas Water Office warning that, from then on, farmers who didn’t report their annual water use would be fined. This was long before our Groundwater Management District began requiring meters on irrigation wells, so we would have to extrapolate the amount of water we’d pumped that year from utility bills for the natural gas that powered our five well engines.

A humanitarian group that helps refugees settle in western Kansas among plentiful slaughterhouse jobs is shutting down its office in the region amid changing rules that welcome fewer newcomers to the country and the state.

The International Rescue Committee, or IRC, says a falling number of refugees prompted the agency’s plans to shutter its Garden City office at the end of September.

Kansas took in 580 refugees in the 12-month period that ended Sept. 30, compared to 914 the year before. IRC officials said they expect the drop-off to look even more dramatic this year.

Kimberly Vardeman / Wikimedia Commons

Amarillo’s KVII recently traveled up to Spearman, Texas, to have a look inside the nation’s largest cotton gin.

The Adobe Walls Gin is by far the largest structure in the small Panhandle town of just over 3,000 people. The $15 million operation, which was built 12 years ago, gins out about 300,000 bales a year.

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