Chris Neal / Kansas News Service

The union that represents Kansas meatpacking workers has launched a nationwide push to convince more of its members to get vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus. The campaign teams virtual town halls with in-person outreach targeting Latino workers.

Burma Remains Under Siege Since February Coup

May 7, 2021

This week on a special edition of Wildcard, KVNF's Kate Redmond interviews a Colorado woman just evacuated from Burma, and a Delta resident from Burma's Karen State.

David Condos / Kansas News Service

HAYS, Kansas — A few years ago, Stuart Beckman drove 65 miles with a neighbor to attend a wedding in Saint Francis in the northwest corner of Kansas.

The two farmers weren’t particularly welcome. 

“They found out where we were from,” Beckman said, “and they just about ran us out of there.”

Not surprisingly for this part of the High Plains, the trouble started over water.

Just as the seasons are rapidly changing, so is the modern age. Thankfully, we have some guidance on how best to deal with our future-forward present from Texas-based, folk-rock songwriter Vanessa Peters . On her new album, Modern Age, she explores the pressures of living in a difficult "now." Though normally based in Dallas, this album was recorded in Italy where she and her band were located throughout the pandemic.

What a Difference a Year Makes In Colorado’s Case For A Public Option Plan

May 4, 2021
Wikimedia Commons

DENVER — Before the pandemic, Colorado looked set to become the second state to pass what’s known as a “public option” health insurance plan, which would have forced hospitals that lawmakers said were raking in obscene profits to accept lower payments. But when covid-19 struck, legislators hit pause.

As April rolls on, American Red Cross marks its designation as National Volunteer Month with a blood drive scheduled across Kansas.

It feels odd to even say the sentence, but it seems to be true: live music is BACK! Today on High Plains Morning, I had a blast visiting with Nate Green, owner of the Starlight Canyon Bed & Breakfast, about their new music series, Concerts in the Canyon.

Thanks to Babji & Devi Yalamanchili of Keep Amarillo Clean for stopping by HPPR on Earth Day(!) to remind us about their Clean-Up Day this Satruday, April 24th from 9a to 12p CT. It's happening across Amarillo, and all you have to do is clean up trash from around your neighborhood.

Today we celebrate more than half a century of Earth Days, so I thought we’d spend some time with the history of this national observance for our dear Planet Earth. The origins of this holiday go back to the hippie era, but it might surprise you that the “flower children” had less to do with it coming about than a politician from the northern US. Tune in for this week’s Growing on the High Plains as we reflect on the environmental activists that sparked a revolution for conservation and preservation of clean air, water, and land across the globe.

While the pandemic seems to have thwarted most live performances scheduled for last year, it’s refreshing to see some arts organizations emerging on the other side with their postponed productions across the High Plains. This weekend, Amarillo Opera will have three performances of the Michael Ching show, Remove Shoes Before Entering—a collection of vignettes spanning a scale of human emotion and touching on various challenges of living in our modern world.

Goodbye to Cultures in a Common Land

Apr 21, 2021

Hello, Radio Readers. I’m Jane Holwerda from Dodge City, Kansas, with the sad news that it is time to wrap up our  2021 Spring Read “Cultures in a Common Land.”  To think of the people, places, and ideas we’ve experienced by reading together since January through April is impressive.  I’ve been thumbing through the books and listening again to the Book Bytes on HPPR’s website, and I’ve recognized some personal growth, as I seem to experience, whenever I return home, after a good travel.

Power, Language And Stars In The Sky

Apr 19, 2021
Michael J. Bennett, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Thank you for joining us on the High Plains Public Radio Station. My name is Jessica Sadler and I am a Science Teacher and STEAM facilitator in Olathe, Kansas. I am here with the other book leaders to discuss Neither Wolf Nor Dog: On Forgotten Roads with an Indian Elder by Kent Nerburn. This is a powerful story written by a white man, with the content supplied by a Native Elder. Their journey takes place by traveling to many different locations enlightening the author and reader along the way.

Mike Strong, Author’s Collection

I’m Mike Strong from Hays for HPPR, Radio Reader’s Book Club.  The book is “Neither Wolf Nor Dog” by Kent Nerburn. On occasion I think of this book as “The Excellent Adventures of Dan and George - with Nerburn.” Kent Nerburn, the author, tells his own “swimmer out of the swimming pool” story as he is educated by Dan and George in Native representations.

Dan, in particular is instructing, Nerburn, a writer who is not of Dan’s nation, how to think about and see Native America.

This Friday night, we’ll all get to tip our communal cowboy hat to the South Plains as Texas Tech University hosts the 6th annual Lubbock Lights concert, an evening celebrating the musical heritage of the region. And this year, they’re welcoming home some hometown heroes to take the virtual stage: Flatland Cavalry.

Today on High Plains Morning, we caught up with Dr. Lori Muntz at Seward County Community College about the recent SCCC Poetry Contest, as well as their Celebration of Creative Writing event TONIGHT, Thursday, April 15 at 7:00 pm CT, live streamed on their Facebook page.

This week, we checked in with High Plains hero Joyce Knight at the Catholic Charities of the Texas Panhandle. Tonight, they host their Annual Salt & Pepper event (which is usually a luncheon, but it’s going virtual for 2021).

Today's Growing on the High Plains creeps up on you like a sudden spring shower as we take a look at some lovely vines that entwine. Tune in for a few musings on the deep purple, star-shaped blossoms of clematis

Miguel Gutierrez Jr./The Texas Tribune

By Jolie McCullough, The Texas Tribune 

"Texas Senate approves bail bill that would keep more people in jail if they can’t post cash bonds" was first published by The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.

Lost Reverence

Apr 14, 2021
United States Department of the Interior, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Hi, I am Phillip Periman from Amarillo, Texas and I am one of the discussants for the HPPR Reader’s book club. This spring we are reading “Neither Wolf nor Dog” by Kent Nerburn. This is a book I would never have bought except that it was chosen for this year’s read. Once I started reading it, I could not put it down. Nerburn provides a griping poignant look into the mind and heart of the American Indian. In doing this he shows us a rich and meaningful culture and tradition that we destroyed and lost as we settled and took the country away from its original inhabitants.

Last week on High Plains Morning, we had a delightful visit from Marcy McKay, an Amarillo-based author and regular HPPR Radio Readers Book Club contributor about her latest book, When Life Feels Like a House Fire: Transforming Your COVID-19 Stress.

Last week on High Plains Morning, I had the supreme honor of speaking with a beloved Texas songwriter that features heavily on our station: Jaimee Harris. From needing roadside assistance to a cozy Zoom room, our chat took a fun turn from concept to execution. Thankfully, the Waco-native/Nashville-émigré buckled in for roller-coaster ride of a conversation, covering everything from her latest acoustic EP, The Congress House Sessions to her beloved andogynous, bovine plush. (#Horns&Udders) Over the course of her career, Harris has developed an impressive and lengthy résumé as an accomplished singer-songwriter, as well as a musical collaborator. So we also mined her extensive knowledge of some HPPR favorites like Jimmy LaFave, Gretchen Peters, Malcolm Holcombe, Mary Gauthier, Emmylou Harris, Townes Van Zandt, Eliza Gilkyson, Ray Wylie Hubbard & more. Plus, listen in to hear her slay my ridiculous lightning round (which I"m SO glad i didn't edit down for time).Hear the full interview on the link below, and check out The Congress House Sessions online.  

High Plains Public Radio has an exciting new perk for our station's members!

Spring is upon us across the High Plains, and surely all your veggie cultivators have been busy in your beds—garden beds, that is. Today’s Growing on the High Plains take a look at an easy-to-grow root vegetable that, despite its name, is neither from Jerusalem nor an artichoke. While alternate names like “sunroot,” “sunchoke,” and “earth apple” often get used in lieu of “Jerusalem artichoke,” it’s one of those tubers that you won’t easily forget once you’ve eaten it. They look a bit like a ginger root, though their texture and flavor is more like a potato or water chestnut.

Why Fill Up The Silence

Apr 7, 2021
National Park Service; Photographer: D. Luchsinger, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Hi, I’m Valerie a radio reader from Topeka and I’m in the middle of reading Neither Wolf Nor Dog: On Forgotten Roads by an Indian Elder by Kent Nerburn. This book is part of HPPR’s radio readers book club with the theme cultures in common.


LIBERAL, Kansas — Una mujer piensa que la pandemia de la COVID-19 fue planeada, hecha por el hombre.

Un hombre no se inocula porque sospecha que otros países usan a los estadounidenses como sujetos de estudio para sus vacunas.

Tres cuartos de este grupo de enfoque que se reúnen en un centro comunitario en Liberal, habían oído que las vacunas podrían contener microchips para que el gobierno pueda rastrear a la gente, a pesar de que la mayoría dice que ya no creen en ese mito.

The Indian Way

Apr 5, 2021
Gen. Quon, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

This is the High Plains Public Radio Reader’s Book Club, and my name is Freddy Gipp.

I am born and raised in Lawrence, KS and currently head a small community development firm called Lead Horse LLC. I am an enrolled member of the Apache Tribe of Oklahoma, my Indian name is “T’san T’hoop A’hn, meaning “Lead Horse” in the Kiowa Language, and I graduated from the University of Kansas in 2016 with a degree in strategic communications from the William Allen White School of Journalism.

Chris Neal / Kansas News Service

Amtrak plans to restart daily passenger service on its Southwest Chief route across Kansas beginning May 31.

In October, Amtrak cut the line’s daily service down to three days a week because of the pandemic. But the company says new federal COVID-19 relief funding will allow it to restore daily service on the Southwest Chief and 11 more of its long distance routes over the next few months.

Don't Listen To Them About Women

Apr 2, 2021
Maria Melendez Kelson

Hello Radio Readers. This is Maria Melendez Kelson, a writer and writing teacher at Dodge City Community College in southwest Kansas. The parts of the book Neither Wolf Nor Dog I got most excited about are where women show up and seize the spotlight. This doesn’t happen often.

This 1994 book based on true events is by a man, writer and teacher Kent Nerburn, about a man, a Lakota elder who simply goes by Dan, who has asked for Nerburn’s help to write up his recollections and impressions about life as an Indian in contemporary America.

Discovering one’s identity has never been not a simple task. Emerging singer-songwriter Raye Zaragoza has been using her voice since 2015 to express internal conflicts that many face—conflicts that are worldwide. The New York native, now living in Los Angeles, uses her music to showcase the struggles inherent in embracing one’s identity, as well as speaking for aggrieved people and giving them the courage to take a stand.

This Spring weather certainly keeps residents of the High Plains on our toes. Some evoke lions and lambs, but it seems our recent Aprils have brought forth entirely different menageries. First it's cold, and then it's hot, but then there's a blizzard that melts in the summery sunshine...and soon rain, wind, and repeat. Thankfully, most of us longtime "Plainspeople" have adapted to these fickle fluctuations and accept it as normal. Today's Growing on the High Plains will explore some of the poetic musings on this time of year, whatever it might bring.