Kansas Department of Agriculture

Representatives from the Kansas Department of Agriculture traveled to Japan on an agribusiness trade mission led by the USDA last month. The purpose of the mission was to strengthen the relationship between Kansas agriculture and Japan and to explore potential new markets.

Kansas was represented by Mary Soukup, KDA assistant secretary, and Chad Bontrager, director of the KDA agribusiness development division.

Soukup said the trip provided a chance to meet with government officials and companies that rely on agricultural products in their businesses.

Garden City To Host Governor Candidate Forums

Jul 3, 2018
Greater Garden CIty

The Garden City Chamber of Commerce will host a Republican governor candidate forum on Wednesday, July 11 and a Democratic gubernatorial forum on Tuesday, July 24. 

Republican gubernatorial candidates Secretary of State, Kris Kobach,  Insurance Commissioner, Ken Selzer, and former Sen. Jim Barnett have confirmed plans to attend the Republican forum, which is scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m. On Wednesday, July 11. Governor Jeff Colyer will not attend but is sending Lt. Gov. Tracey Mann in his place.

Ben Kuebrich / High Plains Public Radio

This last weekend, Dodge City was one of the hundreds of cities across the U.S. to hold “Families Belong Together and Free” rallies to protest against children having been separated from their parents at the border.

The event was organized by the Dodge City Catholic Diocese and featured speeches by religious leaders and songs and prayers in both English and Spanish.

Dennis McKinney, former Kansas State Treasurer, also spoke at the event. He said the border needs to be secured, but that there’s no need to split families.

Jonathan Baker

The small town of Canyon, Texas, will swell to the size of a small city this week, as it hosts one of the largest Fourth of July celebrations in the state

As The Amarillo Globe-News reports, the town of just over 13,000 will grow to a population of 40,000 or even 50,000 over the two days of the extravaganza. It all begins on Tuesday night, with an outdoor concert at the First United Bank Center, when the Josh Abbott Band will play.

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Last week, Oklahoma became the 30th state to legalize medical marijuana.

But, as CBS News reports, gun owners who want to smoke pot for medical reasons may be out of luck. The Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has confirmed to a local TV station in the Sooner State that the bureau will stand by a 2011 letter prohibiting any “unlawful user” of a controlled substance from “possessing firearms or ammunition.”

Valerie Brown-Kuchera

We’ve been talking about fears the last couple of weeks.  I’ve shared some of the phobias my teenager and my middle-schooler have inherited from their mother, who has more than enough to go around.  I’d be remiss if I left out my littlest child, Clementine.  I would say the jury is still out on her, since she’s only five.  But that wouldn’t be true.  I don’t think she fears a single thing.  

Luke Clayton

As a young boy growing up in northeast Texas, I would read the outdoor magazines and dream of one day fishing in the remote, pristine waters of Canada. There was something about this wild country that has always drawn me like a magnet. The cry of the loon on a still evening while casting for pike, walleye and lake trout in waters where the fish have never seen a hook or,  enjoying a noon meal of very fresh fried walleye or pike cooked over a campfire on an island surrounded by pristine water is something every angler should experience.

KANZA Society public meeting is July 28

Jun 29, 2018

High Plains Public Radio is governed by the Board of Directors of the Kanza Society Inc., the nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation that operates HPPR and holds its FCC licenses.  

The 2018 Annual Meeting of the KANZA Society Inc will be held on Saturday, July 28, 2018  beginning at 1 p.m.  The meeting will be at the HPPR studio located at 210 N 7th Street, Garden City, KS  67846.

All meetings of the KANZA Society Inc are open to the public. If you are interested in attending, please email 

Charles Edward Miller / Flickr Creative Commons

According to an editorial in The New Yorker this week, Tuesday’s Oklahoma primary elections “show the lasting impression of the teacher walkout.”

Marjorie Kamys Cotera / The Texas Tribune

West Texas A&M opened a simulated emergency operations center on campus to train student teachers on how to respond to crises, including active shooters and natural disasters.

From The Texas Tribune:

CANYON — In a college classroom in the Texas Panhandle this fall, student teachers will study more than how to plan lessons or manage a classroom. They'll learn what to do when a gunman attacks their school.

Our Turn At This Earth: Dream Women

Jun 28, 2018
Public Domain

In the dream, a little girl stands beside a row of women. The women are dressed demurely in dark dresses such as the ones my mother’s mother wore—navy blue with tiny polka dots or dark green bordering on black. They sit erect in straight-backed chairs, their hands folded in their laps. The girl moves from one woman to the next, asking, “Do you have any magic?” Each, in turn, smiles indulgently at the girl. “Oh my! Why no, dear.”

United States Senate

Amtrak may end passenger rail service through Dodge City, Garden City and destinations to the west.

The agency told a congressional delegation last week that it might shut down parts of the Southwest Chief route that runs across Kansas on its way between Chicago and Los Angeles. That news followed ongoing disputes about track maintenance and upgrades.

How might have Native Americans and early settlers washed up after a day in the Dust Bowl, in an age before shower gels and laundry detergent pods? The answer probably won’t surprise you, as the aptly-named native tree is the subject of today’s Growing on the High Plains.

A tradition that's almost a century old in the Texas Panhandle is coming to an end.

As The Amarillo Globe-News reports, the Tri-State Fair's board of directors has decided to end the parade that kicks off the nine-day celebration every year in September.

U.S. Representative Jared Polis won the Democratic primary and state treasurer Walker Stapleton won the Republican primary for Colorado governor Tuesday.

As Colorado Public Radio reports, Polis won the Democratic primary with close to 45 percent of the vote and Stapleton won the GOP primary with 49 percent of the vote.

democracychronicles / Flickr Creative Commons

Voters went to the polls in Oklahoma on Tuesday night, to decide on a medical marijuana law and to decide who the candidates will be in this November’s elections.

As CBS News reports, Sooner voters said yes to State Question 788, making it legal to grow, sell and use marijuana for medicinal purposes.

Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

Want to get to know Colorado’s gubernatorial candidates better ahead of the primary?

The Colorado Independent spent the past few months interviewing each of the four Republican and four Democratic candidates. Reporters also observed the candidates on the campaign trail, dug into their records and spoke with people who know them.

The Republican candidates include state treasurer Walker Stapleton, former mayor Greg Lopez, entrepreneur Victor Mitchell and banker Doug Robinson

Want to get to know Oklahoma’s large pool of gubernatorial candidates better before you vote in the primary?

The Tulsa World reported last week the 15 candidates' responses to questions about teacher raises and medicinal marijuana, which also appears on the ballot.

Roman Leal

Last week, the Texas Panhandle was abuzz about a billboard. The sign didn’t mince words, simply asking “LIBERALS" to "please continue on I-40 until you have left our Great State of Texas.”

In an editorial in The Amarillo Globe-News, Jon Mark Beilue called the sign, “childish and immature, noting that the sign only “add[ed] to the division in the country.”

After the backlash, the sign was promptly taken down.

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Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that states can now collect sales tax from online retailers. New estimates show that the move could be a major boon to the economies of the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles.

Robert Dauffenbach, director of the Center for Economic and Management Research at the University of Oklahoma, told The Oklahoman that he believes the additional sales tax income could amount to over a quarter of a billion dollars a year for the Sooner State.

Tod Baker / Flickr Creative Commons

Oil drillers in West Texas continue to face a quandary: How much of the natural gas they produce should be burned off?

As The Los Angeles Times noted this month, the problem has pitted producers against each other and set environmentalists and capitalists on a collision course. During the fracking process, extra natural gas is produced along with the oil.

Valerie Brown-Kuchera

Last week, I talked about how maternal fears impact offspring, even when those children haven’t been specifically conditioned to be afraid.  It’s almost as if they absorb their mother’s abject terror or ingest it in her breast milk.  It’s funny -- I’m not afraid of this program -- but they seem to be.  I would have no idea where they picked up that fear.  Surely their stepdad doesn’t fear it. 

Luke Clayton

Regular readers might remember an article I wrote about hunting eastern turkey up in Oklahoma at the vast 45,000 acres “Choctaw Hunting Lodge, located less than an hour west of Hugo, OK.  This past week, I made my second trip to this outdoor wonderland, this time with several great friends including Larry Weishuhn, aka “Mr. Whitetail”.

Kansas Farm Bureau Challenges FCC’s Cellphone Map

Jun 22, 2018

A Federal Communications Commission map suggests Kansas and other Midwestern states have near-perfect cellphone coverage.

The Kansas Farm Bureau begs to differ. And, in doing so, could help Kansas qualify for federal money to improve service.

Our Turn At This Earth: Finding The Right Words

Jun 21, 2018
Creative Commons CC0

It’s happened many times. There I’ll be driving innocently down a western Kansas road, and a stretch of buffalo grass will reach out and grab me, almost pulling me into the ditch. Often, I’ve had to stop the car and get out, as I did one February afternoon a few years ago.

This week, High Plains Morning spoke with the delightful Mollea Wainscott, Special Projects Coordinator for Housing at the Dodge City/Ford County Development Corporation. We were inspired by her passion for revitalizing abandoned, "blight" housing, making it functional and available for low-income families.

High Plains Morning was honored to host Tejay Adams, the founder of the Amarillo-based nonprofit Stand Against Suicide. He's hosting a rally this Sunday, June 24th, at 34th & Georgia in Amarillo from 2:00 to 4:01pm, to bring visibility to the public health crisis of suicide in our region. You can  RSVP here.

From grapefruit to Cadillacs, everything looks prettier in pink! And flower gardens are no exception. So what’s the preferred puce-petaled posy for High Plains planters?

On today’s Growing on the High Plains, we’re delving into the “pinks,” the quintessential cottage flower also known as Dianthus. From their humble origins in English gardens to the palette of 300+ species that exist today, the prolific Pinks have been providing a playful pop to garden perimeters for centuries.

Little Mazarn told us they were coming thorough Amarillo, and we had to make sure they'd pause and play us a few tunes. This Austin-based multi-instrumentalist Lindsey Verrill, accompanied by virtuosic sonic wails from Jeff Johnston on saw, blew our minds at South by Southwest 2018.

Flickr Creative Commons

It appears that the historic raise promised to Oklahoma’s teachers may be in trouble.

As The Guardian reports, despite promises made by state lawmakers to give Oklahoma’s educators a $6,100 a year pay increase, conservative activists in the state are circulating a petition to rescind the tax hikes meant to pay for the raises.