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People of the Plains: Wings

1 hour ago

Tom Morris is a 97-year-old WWII veteran from Amarillo, Texas.

Starting out his life, he worked hard dedicating his time to the railroad when he decided to better himself and attend the University of Texas Law School. While enrolled in school the war started and he instantly knew that his time and talents were needed to help serve the country.

Public Domain

Determined residents and local officials have helped turn the tide on a declining population in a northwest Kansas community.

As High Plains Journal reports, the U.S. Census of 2010 reflected that Quinter, Kansas had experienced a 4.5 percent population decline and that Gove County’s population declined 12.2 percent since 2000.

Aubri Thompson has already had her share of challenges by age 21: She left the foster care system without a designated caregiver, lived without a steady home for more than a year and became a single parent before finishing college.

Thompson lived in the Kansas foster care system from age 14, when she was reported as a runaway, until she “aged out” at 18. During that time, she moved 21 times, staying in foster homes, group homes and mental health treatment facilities.

Former southwest Kansan's play headed to Broadway

Jun 26, 2017
Courtesy

A former southwest Kansan’s play is Broadway-bound.

As The Hutch News reports, 31-year-old Shane Howard grew up on the dry high plains of western Kansas, where he tapped a reservoir of inspiration for his play, “In Pursuit of Peace,” for the upcoming Broadway Bound Theater Festival in New York City.

Howard told The Hutch News the play has a western Kansas theme.

“This is a love story between a father and son, and how they deal with their relationship,” he said.

New truck stop coming to Lamar, Colorado

Jun 26, 2017
The Prowers Journal

Lamar, Colorado will be getting a new truck stop soon.

As The Prowers Journal reports, the franchise Pilot Flying J will begin construction on a Pilot Travel Center, which will be located on land just north of Avenida Colonia and to the east of Highway 50, some time next month. 

The Lamar City Council approved the needed annexation of the TL Tucker property and there was no opposition to the project at a June 12 public hearing held during the council’s regular meeting.

This story is part of the special Harvest Public Media series United And Divided, which explores the links and rifts between rural and urban America.

As Highway 30 enters Denison, Iowa, a city of 8,000, the national fast food chains stand next to Mexican groceries and restaurants. In this small city near the Nebraska border, waves of immigrants have been arriving since at least the 1980s.

Billy Hathorn / Wikimedia Commons

The Eastern Panhandle Farmers' Market will begin this Wednesday, in Wheeler.

As The Pampa News reports, the market will begin at three p.m. on the east side of the Wheeler courthouse. The Farmer’s Market will welcome vendors from Wheeler, Gray, Collingsworth, and Hemphill counties, and will run until about six p.m. Another market will be held on Saturday July 1, from 9 a.m. til noon, and farmer’s markets will continue through the summer every Wednesday and Saturday until October.

www.oldmeadecounty.com

Most families keep their black sheep a deep, dark secret. Following this unwritten code in the late 1880s and early 90s, Eva Whipple, sister of the notorious Daltons, didn’t announce to fellow residents of Meade, Kansas, that her brothers robbed banks for a living. However, a hidden tunnel between her house and nearby barn supports the theory her outlaw relations secretly visited her.

People of the Plains: Spiritually engaged

Jun 22, 2017

Theologians tell us there are three things in things in a Christian’s life that is going to affect them. Number one is the world, another is flesh and number three would be sin.  Those three things affect us and this is all a scheme of the one who is like a lion seeking those whom he may devour. The bible is not some fictitious mythical document rather there is truly a spiritual battle happening that many people would not advocate.

Scott Slusher / The Guardian

The world is changing rapidly, and it’s hard not to wonder what the future will look like for the High Plains cowboy.

Locating cowhands to help with branding and vaccinations has been a tough proposition in many communities for years now, and some ranching operations now employ helicopters and drone technology to increase profits.

Baseball is making a comeback in Amarillo

Jun 21, 2017
CC0 Public Domain

The boys of summer are back – well soon to be back - in Amarillo.

As the Amarillo Globe News reports, Elmore Sports Group announced Wednesday its plans to move its minor league baseball franchise, the San Antonio Missions, from San Antonio to Amarillo and to build a $45.5 million downtown stadium for the 2019 season.

The National Day of the Cowboy is being celebrated in Amarillo on Thursday.

According to a press release from the American Quarter Horse Association, the seventh annual event is being held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday at Amarillo’s American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame and Museum.  

Wikipedia

Social media users, join local photography sites to see what’s going on around the state. You won’t be sorry. Right now, a slew of oriole pictures: Baltimore, Bullock, and orchard,  fill scroll bars daily. Based on what I’m seeing, these pretty birds are everywhere. I love the captures of these saucy black and orange birds and reading photographers’ posts.

amarillo.com

Despite a slight drop in the rankings, Canyon is still one of the safest towns in Texas, reports The Amarillo Globe-News.

"I guess it’s fair to say that younger siblings follow their older siblings to college. There can be many reasons behind that. But, today I am going to tell you all why I followed my sister to college and how her journey affected my journey in ways that I would have never imagined."

Texas Standard

This week the radio newsmagazine Texas Standard asked a question that Panhandle folks have been wondering for years. Where exactly does West Texas begin? And why are those of us in the northernmost part of the state referred to as “West Texans”?

The answer, surprisingly , may have to do with oak trees.

Big Pool's big mural featured in time-lapse video

Jun 14, 2017
Valarie Smith / High Plains Public Radio

Garden City’s Big Pool is featured in a time-lapse video by the Wichita Eagle, showcasing its recent transformation.

Garden City artist Justin Brown recently gave the Big Pool’s bathhouse a facelift of sorts, spending day and night spray-painting a multi-colored mural on the exterior of the building that includes an abstract lion and elephant, a bird that appears to be emerging from blue and purple ocean waves, as well as a brightly-colored beach ball.

GERALD B. KEANE

A travel website has named Dodge City – that’s right, Dodge City – as the most beautiful town in Kansas.

Creative Commons

Before my students read a section of Alvar Nuñez Cabeza de Vaca’s travel journal about his exploration of Texas, I had them write directions from their house to a nearby destination. It sounded like a simple assignment until I add these qualifiers. They couldn’t use man-made landmarks or addresses in their instructions, nor could they use vehicles or GPS systems. They were limited to foot travel, and they needed to depend on the sun and stars for directions.

People of the Plains: An Adjustment to Life

Jun 8, 2017

There are more lessons that we learned throughout our lives besides the ones we learned in school.

Samantha tells the story of Desha Hooks, her Resident Assistant in Cousins Hall student dormitory at West Texas A&M University. In Samantha’s first semester of college, Desha helped her break out of her comfort zone. Samantha says, “If it wasn’t for Desha, I would just be hiding in my room.”

KANSAS DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE

A southwest Kansas hospital is working with a local meatpacking plant to help immigrants in western Kansas get their driver’s licenses.

As The Topeka Capital-Journal reports, Kansas is launching a project that will help immigrants get driver’s licenses by offering them free translators while they are taking their exams.

CC0 Public Domain

A nostalgic essay about the good old days when all food was slow and TVs only received two channels recently caught my attention. It made me think about the differences between my childhood and my grandkids’.

www.kansastravel.org

What do General George Armstrong Custer, Elizabeth Bacon Custer, Buffalo Bill Cody and Wild Bill Hickok have in common?  They were all at Fort Hays in its early years and they will all be returning to help celebrate the 150th anniversary of Historic Fort Hays at the “Salute to Fort Hays, 150 Years Guarding the Plains” event on June 17 and 18.

Lindsey Bauman / The Hutchinson News

Forget that trip to Disneyland with the family this summer.

Instead, more people should try to see Kansas through Marci Penner and WenDee Rowe’s eyes.

These two Kansas promoters see every town as a unique theme park that folks can travel to this summer.

“For those people who have explorer attitudes, Kansas has an infinite amount of spots to go,” said Penner, director of the Inman-based Kansas Sampler Foundation. “Little things add up to a great adventure.”

Psychedelic garden guard

May 28, 2017
NATURE.MDC.MO.GOV

In the past week, I met a garden neighbor.  Apparently, this blue/green juvenile racerunner lizard moved from his burrow or wherever his last digs were into my 12 x 18 foot raised-bed garden.  Our hilltop is too rocky to support an in-ground garden, so we had to create our own little haven for tomatoes, peppers, onions, and okra.  Mr. Psychedelic must enjoy the insects that also call the Salsa in the Makings Ranch home, and he is now di ning al fresco under the tomato vines.

Anonymous Cow / Wikimedia Commons

When it comes to labor force growth and rates of certain crimes, Amarillo doesn’t measure up to similar cities, according to a new study reported by The Amarillo Globe-News.

The study, from a group called Avalanche Consulting, found that Amarillo has more violent crime and property crime than comparable cities like Lubbock, Chattanooga, and Rochester, Minnesota.

Country kid fun

May 19, 2017
CC0 Public Domain

Warm weather always reminds me that country kids know how to have fun. An eight-year old from the Denver area made me think about this when he entertained me with adventures he enjoyed at a trampoline and arcade business near his home. After he detailed hours of good times performing tricks and challenging friends, I wondered what my grandkids would remember about their country childhoods. Thank goodness, I spied two teens playing a crazy game of either hide-n- seek or paint ball war in between lined up hay bales along Highway 24.

WWW.OURHENHOUSE.ORG

Something’s been eating my strawberries. Yes, the luscious berries that we planted two springs ago and carefully nurtured so we’d have fresh fruit over our ice cream and cake or sliced to sweeten a fresh spinach salad. Since they first began blooming in May, I’ve harvested about 15 scarlet bursts of flavor that hip hop on my taste buds. Last week, I went to pick some for supper and discovered I’m not the only one that likes this spring treat.

City of Garden City, KS

Two independent film makers are in production on a new documentary film focusing on Garden City.

According to a press release, film makers Bob Hurst and Tess Banion – in collaboration with lifelong Garden City resident and former mayor Nancy Harness - are exploring the history of Garden City, Finney County and the many immigrant groups that have come to call the area home over the last 100 years and beyond. 

COURTESY / COADY PHOTOGRAPHY

The western Kansas horse that ran in Saturday’s Kentucky Derby finished in eighth place.

As The Wichita Eagle reports, McCraken, owned by Leoti’s Janis Whitham, finished eighth after going off at 6-1 – the third best odds of the 20 horses that ran in the coveted race. 

After starting in the 15th gate, the three-year-old broke to the middle of the pack but never had a spurt to get to the front.

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