HPPR People & Communities

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Lindsey Bauman / Hutchinson News

You’ve got to make an effort to get to Pretty Prairie, Kansas. It’s not located on a major highway or interstate. But the trip is worth the effort, notes The Hutchinson News.

Kansas Heritage Center/hpj.com

High Plains residents may recognize the name Herb Clutter as the patriarch of the family that was brutally slain in Truman Capote’s true crime masterpiece In Cold Blood. But for folks in Southwest Kansas, the substance of Herb Clutter’s life is of so much more importance than its unfortunate conclusion.

Barbara Damrosch / Washington Post

This spring folks on the High Plains might consider feeding their soil a seafood dinner. When we make soup, it might seem easier to just dump an envelope of dehydrated powder into the pot. But using real leeks and thyme isn’t hard, and it results in a richer and tastier meal. Your soil acts in much the same way, says a recent column in The Washington Post.

zippia.com

The career website Zippia recently crunched the numbers to determine the smartest states in America. The company compiles US Census data to determine the percentage of adults over 25 with at least a college degree and the percentage of current high school dropouts aged 16-19.  

ABC News

he troubles of Apple CEO Tim Cook may seem a world away to rural folks on the High Plains. But consider this: Cook grew up in the 1960s in rural Robertsdale, Alabama. And while this straight-talker and openly gay man is at the center of one of the world’s largest controversies, it’s worth noting that Cook’s ideas about right and wrong were forged in small-town America.

Office of Senator Al Franken / Minneapolis Star Tribune

Back in August a Washington Post reporter made a few snarky comments about a rural Midwestern county. Christopher Ingraham wrote, "The absolute worst place to live in America is (drumroll please) Red Lake County, Minn.” In response, the residents of Red Lake County invited Ingraham to visit.

amarillo.com

Last week the Amarillo Globe News remembered a man who had a powerful and lasting impact on the Texas Panhandle. Roy Turner died this month at age 88. Turner was one of the individuals responsible for helping create Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch. Founded in 1939, Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch has served area youth who otherwise would not have a home. In the 7 decades since its inception, Boys Ranch has become an iconic part of the Texas Panhandle.

http://www.chron.com

Folks in Groom, Texas, may have a spiritual bone to pick with the Texans down on the coast. For over 20 years, Groom has been home to the largest freestanding cross in North America. But if all goes to plan, one day Corpus Christi will be home to the largest cross in the Western Hemisphere, reports The Houston Chronicle.

Source: WalletHub  

American state capitals aren’t always the most exciting places in the nation. Often, these cities serve as seats of government, and not much more. Think Carson City, NV, or Charleston, WV. But the economic website Wallethub has found that many state capitals are, in fact, thriving—and they’re great places to live. The site has now ranked the best and worst state capitals to live in, and High Plains states did fairly well in the rankings.

In fact, Austin, Texas, is listed as the most livable state capital in the country, and Lincoln, Nebraska, came in second. Colorado cracked the top 15, with Denver coming in at number 13. Topeka had a decent showing, landing at number 20, just ahead of Oklahoma City at number 21.

dailymail.co.uk

Craig Cobb doesn’t seem to be too well liked on the High Plains. The man has been searching for a city in which to create an all-white enclave. And, as The Dickinson Press reports, he’s met the same response in Nebraska and Kansas as he did in North Dakota: Not here.

Alan Greenblatt / NPR

It’s Lent, and that means Catholics are looking for alternatives to their beloved beef. Sometimes, that can lead to interesting choices. Many Catholics abstain from eating meat on Fridays in observance of the season of penance between Ash Wednesday and Easter, notes SDPB radio. But the church has made sometime interesting exceptions at times, in some places.

Sandra J. Milburn / Hutchinson News

From Kansas Agland:

It begins in a pasture, just as the sun rises on a February morning.

This is where steaks are born.

Brandon Siemens found the black heifer lying in blanket of green rye near her mother. He gave it a tag number – 802 – and rubbed its sides, coaxing the newborn onto its wobbly legs.

“She must have had her this morning,” Siemens said as he got back into his pickup.

Houston Chronicle

Texas has more hate groups than any other state, reports MySanAntonio.com. These groups are dedicated to promoting anti-LGBT sentiment and racism, according to a new report from the Southern Poverty Law Center.

‘Water’ the chances for one individual?

Feb 11, 2016
Kansas Geological Survey

From Agland:

While probably the majority of the people in western Kansas would like to conserve our irrigation water supplies, can one man go it alone?

Almost 40 years ago, I was sitting in the office of Extension ag economist Don Pretzer in Waters Hall on the campus of Kansas State University talking about ways to conserve the Ogallala Aquifer in western Kansas. And he made a very good observation.

Gallup-Healthways

Gallup has released a new index, ranking all states according to the well-being of their citizens. Texas's index number is high compared to other states, reports KUT. Even so, Texans say they’re not as well-off as they were a year ago.

Michael Schumacher / amarillo.com

Amarillo.com has published a fascinating glimpse into the life of an Amarillo transit driver. The driver explains what it was like to grow up in the Panhandle as a person of color. “I do remember having a lot of problems during high school integration back in 1967,” explains Clarence Bolton. He continues: “I went from Carver, over in the Heights, to Palo Duro High School. . . . There was a little racism going on as people tried to accept the integration. . . . We were the start of integration. .

salina.com

The High Plains has its very own Indiana Jones, and he’s alive and well, reports Salina.com. Bob Levin, a resident of Smith Center, Kansas, is an amateur paleontologist. He’s spent a lifetime hunting fossils. Over the years, he’s amassed a collection of 6,000 artifacts.

People of the Plains: Behind the Mic

Feb 5, 2016

During the Fall Semester, HPPR and a communications class partnered together to spotlight the people who call the High Plains home. Cindee Talley had the opportunity to sit down with some of the students and talk with them a little about their life, school, and the project. 

From the piece entitled, "A Nod to Creation", Tessa Davis, Natalie Andrews and Kaitlin Johnson discuss more about their project and their plans for the future: 

Cindee Talley and Andreana Guajardo and Maricela Leal about pushing past the limit, and discovering their future selves. 

Zitona Qatar / Creative Commons

If you want to be truly happy, says The Rural Blog, you might consider moving to Hawaii. The Aloha State grabbed the top spot in the 2015 Gallup-Healthways Well Being Index. The poll ranked states based on a 100 point scale for various elements of a happy life, including Purpose, Social, Financial, Community, and Physical wellbeing.

How Agriculture is Helping These At-Risk Teens

Feb 5, 2016
Boys Grow / Harvest Public Media

From Harvest Public Media:

A puppy races down the gravel driveway to greet Tyson Hicks-Garlington. The 17-year-old teen rubs its neck as he greets his mentor of several years, John Gordon, Jr. They walk past goats and chickens inside an enormous pen, and stop before lush fields, where Hicks-Garlington introduces himself for the interview with steady eye contact and a firm handshake.

Prayer of a Bandito

Feb 4, 2016

Aaron Keller was born and raised in Pampa, TX. He always seemed to have a passion for motorcycles. This passion led him to joining the Bandito Motorcycle Club. In the club, Keller found himself in the position of president for two different regions. Keller found the club contradictory to his Christian beliefs, but he continued in the club. Keller began feeling like the club was ruining his life and his marriage. His wife had filed for divorce without him knowing. Through his pastor’s support, and the prayers of many people, Keller was able to restore his marriage.

A Nod to Creation

Feb 4, 2016

 

Through an interview with the creators of the online magazine of Field and Bone, Brittany and Evan Kelly, and excerpts from the magazine itself, we learned a little bit about where they came from, how they began Field and Bone, and where they plan to go in the future.

“We hope that Field and Bone is a catalyst for Spirit, body and mind. The goal is to inspire, encourage and equip people to change their community and their world for the better.” Evan Kelly.

The Limit Does Not Exist

Feb 3, 2016

You know, there’s a particular line in Thoreau’s “Walden” where it says,

“I do not wish to be anymore busy with my hand than is necessary. My head is hands and feet. I feel all my best faculties concentrated in it.”

The Not So Normal Parenthood

Feb 3, 2016

Jennifer Sugg was a 16-year-old color guard when she found out that she was expecting a little baby girl. Unaware of what the future would hold, Jennifer was forced to face reality and make a decision that would affect the life of her as well as her sweet baby girl, Kaitlin. After months of Jennifer Sugg was a 16-year-old color guard when she found out that she was expecting a little baby girl. Unaware of what the future would hold, Jennifer was forced to face reality and make a decision that would affect the life of her as well as her sweet baby girl, Kaitlin.

Pushin' Paint

Feb 2, 2016

 

 

Three Ways to Draw Interest

Feb 2, 2016

Darrell Bledsoe was a figure in my life for several years.  He’s a good man who took time to teach me the guitar and work with the church I went to.  When this project came up, I decided to learn a little bit more about him to share with others, but more importantly, I wanted other people to look for similar figures in their lives.

This piece was performed and adapted by Keillan Johnson 

Ohana, the Story of Elija Lagafuaina

Feb 1, 2016

“I was a little troublemaker growing up. I was raised right but I always had the urge to rebel, especially against the rules. Because of that I was always getting in trouble at school” - Elijah Lagafuaina. Elijah always had a passion and talent for football. He saw it as an outlet.

From Kid to Punk to Man

Feb 1, 2016

“The mentality and behavior of drug addicts and alcoholics is wholly irrational until you understand that they are completely powerless over their addiction and unless they have structured help, they have no hope.” ― Russell Brand.

Christopher Connelly / KERA

Meteorologists say basements are one of the best places to take shelter during a tornado. But for some reason, Texas has a woeful lack of basements, according to KUT Austin. Some say the lack of cellars is due to the expansive soil in Texas. When Texas dirt gets wet, it swells. Then it shrinks again in the summer. That makes building basements difficult.

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