HPPR People & Communities

People

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Communities

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City of Garden City, KS

A British national daily newspaper published an in-depth article this week about the foiled mosque and apartment complex bombing plot in Garden City lastt fall, sharing fears that Somali residents still feel even months after three southwest Kansas men were apprehended by FBI agents and charged with domestic terrorism.

NY - http://nyphotographic.com/

Citizens of Garden City, Kansas and Amarillo, Texas participated in yesterday’s “Day without immigrants” protest, intended to showcase the role immigrants play in the national economy.

As The Garden City Telegram reports, the absentee rate at Garden City public schools Thursday was higher than usual, with 18.5 percent of the district’s 7.713 students absent. And nearby Tyson Fresh Meats, the area's largest employer of immigrants, also reported higher absenteeism, did not provide specific numbers.

Mud blessings

Feb 18, 2017
Creative Commons CC0

Chinese philosophers are on to something with their Yin and Yang concepts. Light balances dark, silence/noise, joy/sorrow, and in our case, mud offsets dust.

Yes, mud. Icky, gooey, sticky mud. Like cat hair, it latches onto anything it touches, finding its way from roads, yards, and pastures onto shoes and pant legs and into homes. It finds its way into the oddest places—a speckle stuck to a grocery sack, a chunk dropped by the door, a smear on a purse.

City of Garden City, KS

In Kansas, some rural towns are booming while others are dwindling. Garden City, Kan., for instance, attracts people from across the globe. The population is young, growing, and extremely diverse.  And the large immigrant community provides the workforce that fuels the local economy.  None of this happened by accident, as the story notes.  Frank Morris reports.

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Kansas Magazine is asking people to share their favorite places to eat.

As the Dodge City Globe, the statewide magazine – a division of the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism – has a survey currently asking for state residents to nominate their favorite local restaurant.

Douglas Pancoast, HABS delineator

In celebration of the 150th anniversary of Fort Hays in its present location, a program about Buffalo Soldiers will take place from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday in the Historic Fort Hays Visitor’s center in Hays, Kansas.  

The program is free and open to the public and will be presented by Barrie Tompkins, a founder of the Nicodemus Buffalo Soldier Association, who has appeared in two TNT movies as a buffalo soldier – 1997’s “Teddy Roosevelt’s Rough Riders,” and 1998’s “The Buffalo Soldiers.”

Luke Runyon / Harvest Public Media

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

The bell signals the start of second period. A trio of young women take seats in English class, their attention quickly drifting outside the walls of the high school in Fort Morgan, Colorado, eager to talk about what they’re working toward.

“I want to become an FBI [agent],” says freshman Mariam Mohammed. “It’s my dream.”

Finney County removed from sanctuary county list

Feb 14, 2017
NY - http://nyphotographic.com/

Finney County Kansas has been removed from a list categorizing it as a sanctuary county

As the Garden City Telegram reports, the Center for Immigration Studies has officially removed Finney County from its list of sanctuary territories after a concerted effort by Sheriff Kevin Bascue and County Administrator Randy Partington.

Holly Bailey / Yahoo News

Amarillo saw something of the national spotlight in the wake of President Donald Trump’s controversial travel ban.

A Yahoo News story noted that Amarillo has long been a safe haven for refugees. For the last several years, Texas has led the United States in refugee resettlement and Amarillo accepts more refugees per capita than any other city in the state. Amarillo has, for the most part, provided a welcome home to these settlers fleeing terror in their homelands.

www.goodfreephotos.com

When I talk to friends who love to live in cities, they often wonder what we do for fun in our rural setting.  Even my former students who live in a nearby small town frequently asked, “Don’t you get bored in the country?  All you have to do is watch grass grow.” Anyone who reads my essays knows I don’t get bored even though we don’t have any neon lights or busy city streets lined with businesses that cater to people who just want to have fun.

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In an effort to improve rural eating habits, the Sunflower Foundation recently approved a statewide $120,000 pilot project focused on community-based strategies to address food access needs in rural areas.

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Weather forecasters have a miserable job. On one hand, they predict impending catastrophic weather and save lives. Think of residents if Oklahoma who made it to shelter before devastating F5 tornadoes bore down on their neighborhoods and businesses. On the other, these predictions are often wrong. A  cell fritzes out, leaving the audience to compare yesterday’s hero to the boy who cried wolf. It’s a dilemma.

Valarie Smith

A high school student in Garden City, Kansas has organized a rally for to show support for the southwest Kansas community’s diverse population in light of President Donald Trump’s executive orders last week to build a border wall on the Mexico border and the U.S travel ban for citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries.

KGOU

Indian tribes in Oklahoma are seeking skilled doctors and chefs to work and serve in their rural communities.

KGOU reports that tribes in Oklahoma have struggled to compete with more urban areas for highly trained workers. The problem exists despite the fact that the tribes offer competitive salaries and other incentives.

When it comes to doctors, many tribes even offer to repay student loans, undergraduate and medical school loans, as well as offering scholarships.

Twitter

A Texas Mosque that was burned down last week raised almost a million dollars for its rebuilding in an astounding show of support from well-wishers.

The New York Times reports that the Victoria Islamic Center raised over $900,000 on Saturday and Sunday, through an online fund-raising campaign and cash and checks from the local community.

Quilted treasures

Jan 28, 2017

I’d be the first to tell you I’m not a quilter and unlikely to become one unless catastrophe requires me to recycle old clothing remnants into blankets to warm me or my loved ones in the cold of winter. While I don’t have patience to construct such intricate coverlets, I admire those who do. When our youngest daughter learned to quilt in a high school sewing class, I was thrilled she’d continue a family tradition that has waned since my great-grandmother last sorted through her ragbag to come up with pieces to create a lovely blue and red star heirloom that my mother treasures.

Luke Clayton

The process of curing and smoking ham is easy and something than anyone can accomplish at home.

A boy’s life may have been saved by a recently added defibrillator at an elementary school in Wakeeney.

According to the Hays Daily News, the Trego Grade School received automated external defibrillators in July, after an instructor at Fort Hays State University approached the school district about applying for a grant to purchase the AEDs.

Misguided perceptions

Jan 21, 2017
http://www.cgpgrey.com/

Ask people from outside Kansas to describe our state and many would state definitely, “It’s flat.” A drive across western Kansas on I-70 or Highway 54 would support their idea of monotonously level terrain. What folks passing through don’t realize is that highway planners intentionally select the easiest route to turn into an interstate. It’s cheaper to build and easier to drive. Travelers who never travel the two lane black tops that weave one little community to another don’t have a clue about our river valleys and rolling hills.

Like many other professions, rural Kansas is falling short on teachers, but so are some urban areas in the state. A new program at Kansas State University aims to change all that.

As KCUR reports, K-State has developed a one-year, online program for those with undergraduate degrees to take to get a masters’ degree in elementary teaching.

Luke Clayton

Dallas - I’ve been attending the annual Dallas Safari Club (DSC) conventions for almost three decades now and I can truly state this annual “get together” of outdoorsmen and women is the greatest hunting show on the planet. It is that and a whole lot more.

Wikimedia Commons

Perhaps there is nowhere as welcoming as an old farmhouse, so it’s only appropriate that a women’s drug and alcohol treatment center in western Kansas would be located in one.

As The Hutch News reports, City on A hill, an eight-bed residential treatment center, is located on a dirt road 15 miles west of Scott City.

Luke Clayton

Texas has a large population of wild boar. There are more wild porkers in Texas than in any other state. Reducing their numbers each year is a must. 

Nick Oxford / The New York Times

Last week HPPR reported on a newspaper in northwestern Oklahoma that endorsed Hillary Clinton during the general election and received a harsh backlash.

After its recommendation—the first such endorsement by the paper in over a century—the paper lost two percent of its subscribers, and the paper’s editor was threatened with physical assault while out to dinner with his wife.

Kansas ranked fifth for most outbound movers in 2016

Jan 5, 2017
Wikimedia Commons

Kansas moved up a spot from last year in a ranking of the states most moved out of in 2016.

Ilana Panich-Linsman / Rolling Stone

In Texas, undocumented workers have begun to prepare for the arrival of President Trump.

As Rolling Stone reports, the United States is currently home to 11 million undocumented immigrants. Most are now worried that their families will be torn apart by the severe anti-immigration efforts expected to be instituted by the Trump administration.

Two local farming families from Amarillo and a non-profit organization partnered together to provide weekend snack packs for kids at risk for hunger across the Texas Panhandle and San Antonio a few years ago, and now feeds over 7000 students per week.

Wikimedia Commons

Mother Nature does a fantastic job of cleaning up after herself. Humans could learn a trick or ten from the efficient way natural processes clean water, recycle plants into humus, and tidy up dead critters lying on roadways. For each specific job, creatures abound to make sure nothing stinky lies around too long. Two of my favorite helpers include the roadkill eradication team: magpies and turkey vultures. 

Nick Oxford / New York Times

Oklahoma residents are having trouble forgiving an Oklahoma newspaper that endorsed Hillary Clinton during the election.

Barry Manilow and Bob Marley are two vastly different musicians who helped prove a point in an experiment –  that none of us are the center of attention that many of us think we are. 

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