Now More Than Ever

4 hours ago
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I’m Jonathan Baker, a writer from Canyon, Texas, and I’ve been asked to talk about this month’s Radio Readers book club selection, Edward R. Murrow and the Birth of Broadcast Journalism.

First, I just want to say what a ridiculously fun little read this was. I knew about Murrow’s role in putting an end to Joseph McCarthy’s red-baiting scare tactics. And I had even heard some of Murrow’s broadcasts from London during the German air raids of World War II.

High Plains Public Radio announces two changes to its weekend program line-up. Starting this Saturday, February 29, HPPR will feature the two-hour program American Routes, hosted by award-winning musicologist Nick Spitzer. American Routes covers a broad spectrum of American music: blues and jazz, gospel and soul, old-time country and rockabilly, Cajun and zydeco, Tejano and Latin, roots rock and pop, avant-garde and classical.

Courtesy / Permission granted by Amanda Wagner, Development Associate, Land Institute.

Often at meetings concerning the future of the Ogallala Aquifer, I have questioned the wisdom of using precious groundwater to grow corn. Farmers who make their livings growing that crop understandably take issue with this point of view. One time, a farmer told me point blank that I didn’t know what I was talking about.

“Flower of this purple dye, Hit with Cupid's archery, Sink in apple of his eye. “

—William Shakespeare

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Xcel Energy has set a single-year record by cutting carbon emissions by over 10%.

According to a press release from the company, over the past 15 years, the energy giant has managed to slash its carbon emissions by 44%.

"Radio is the most personal medium we have, because the human voice is so expressive. It's a storytelling medium and we all need storytelling." —Bill Siemering

I wanted to note for the record that today, February 26, 2020, is the 50th anniversary of the founding of National Public Radio—what we now call NPR. (The first broadcast wouldn't take place until April of 1971, but today represents the founding of the organization.)

Trusted News

Feb 26, 2020
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At a time when we listen to the news of the world on our news feeds of choice, a time when we can pick and choose what “facts” we want to believe or deny, a time when, at any given hour of the day or night, we are bombarded with instant coverage, it’s incredibly comforting to remember newscasters like Edward R. Murrow.

Chris Neal / Kansas News Service

GARDEN CITY, Kansas — The number of suicides in northwest Kansas increased by more than half in recent years.

Are You Satisfied?

Feb 24, 2020
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I’m PJ Pronger with the Radio Readers’ Book Club.

So, tell me this: on a scale of one to ten, how satisfied are you with the coverage provided by today’s news media? If you’re a regular listener of National Public Radio, I can imagine that part of the reason you’re here is you don’t like the way major news outlets present the news, and, in that, you would not be alone.

Jeff Rice

I first fished with my friend guide Jason Barber about 12 years ago while doing the leg work for a magazine article on Cedar Creek Lake. I remember asking Jason what species we were going to fish for. His replied with a question, “What do you wish to catch?"

Valerie Brown-Kuchera

Recently, I underwent a process called “biometric screening.” This process serves as a way to identify health risks and plan preventative actions. Also, it is a way for my insurance company to monitor the overall health of the population it serves. And third, it scares me healthy for a few months following the tests. A side effect is the humiliation I feel during the whole rigamarole.

What Difference?

Feb 21, 2020
DVD Cover

I’m Mike Strong from Hays for HTTP, Radio Reader’s Book Club. The book is “Edward R. Murrow and the Birth of Broadcast Journalism” by Bob Edwards 

From the late 1940’s newspapers were still the prime news medium, with radio news second. Television was just beginning. Only a few houses had a television, usually black and white. Color was just around the corner. I remember going to other people’s houses, or my grandparents, to view television. 

Today’s edition of Growing on the High Plains comes just after Valentine’s Day, and appropriately so. We’ll take a look at dicentra, which most of you might know as the perennial “bleeding heart.” Thankfully, this “hearty” plant —pun intended—does pretty well in our region, as long as you give it a little TLC (and a lot of water, shelter, and shade). As pretty as they are, you don’t want to eat your heart out as this lovely flowering plant is poisonous if ingested. Talk about a heartbreaker!  

"Reading" Biographies

Feb 19, 2020
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This is Leslie VonHolten of Chase County, Kansas, with another HPPR Radio Readers Book Byte. 

I’ll admit that biographies are not my thing. That chronological march through time, ticking off events big and small, then the crescendo to greatness, usually a war, followed by the fall from grace either through age or act, and eventually—the legacy that endures.

The 2nd annual Bad Poetry Competition is back, so I asked Dr. Matthew Harrison and WT student Haven Jock to stop in and share some insight and delightfully “bad” poetry. The contest goes down this Thursday night at 6 p.m., so start collecting and composing your most banal, smarmy and glib emotions into bite-sized prose for the masses.

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XCel Energy says it plans to refund nearly $40 million to its Texas customers this June.

According to a press release from XCel spokesman Wes Reeves, the giveback is due to “a continued drop in prices for power plant fuel and the increased use of low-cost wind energy resources.”

Thanks so much to Mary Jane Johnson of Amarillo Opera for stopping by High Plains Morning today to share some info about their upcoming event. As you know, February is Black History Month, and Amarillo has been celebrating.

Murrow Style - Imagine This With Me

Feb 17, 2020
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This is PJ Pronger from Amarillo with an HPPR Radio Readers BookByte.

Edward R Murrow was a radio and TV reporter whose on-air style was unmistakable. First reporting from Europe in the 1940s, he had a no-nonsense, factual delivery that was devoid of hyperbole and personal opinion.

The influence that his style and his work had on the emerging field of broadcast journalism is the subject of our second book in this season’s Radio readers book club: Edward R Murrow and the Birth of Broadcast Journalism by Bob Edwards.

HPPR Radio Readers 2020 Spring Read - Radio Waves

Feb 15, 2020

Discussion of the second book in our 2020 Spring Read has begun!  Jump into Edward R. Murrow's biography written by NPR's Bob Edwards.  Listen for book leader P J Pronger's point of view each Monday at 7:45 during Morning Edition and again at 6:45 during All Things Considered.

Valerie Brown-Kuchera

I come from a long line of jokesters. I may be the only person in my direct line who did not inherit the desire to prank the people I love. In fact, my family members tell me that their desire to play tricks on me is evidence of their deep and abiding care for me. Nevertheless, I don’t get too tickled when my family members decide it’s time to dust off the ol’ squirting lapel flower just about the time I have my hair styled to perfection.

Luke Clayton

All good things must come to an end and so it is with hunting leases. Most Texas hunters lease the land upon which they hunt or, they are fortunate enough to have friends or family with land. Talk very much with veteran hunters and most can tell the sad story of, for one reason or another, them having to leave a piece of land that they have hunted for years and look for another lease.

Never Too Late To Be Awarded

Feb 14, 2020

In HPPR’s early days, hardly anyone had FM radios.  They were considered luxury add-ons in vehicles.  Most people on the High Plains hadn’t heard of All Things Considered or NPR. 

But still they gave, they worked and today, despite the ongoing challenges of sustaining operations, HPPR exists as an essential part of the rural landscape. Technically, we were the FIRST station licensed to a rural community rather than to a tribe or educational institution. 

Pxhere (CC0 Public Domain)

Last year, I bought a 2012 Subaru Forester with only 30,000 miles on it. A great deal – not exactly what I wanted, but I’d been researching cars for months. I’d given up on the notion that a car existed that could tow a hefty wagon, take me far off-road, and get good gas mileage. So I finally caved on the mileage point.

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The Amarillo City Council has unanimously approved a bond that would allow city residents to decide the fate of a proposed $319 million project to expand and renovate the Amarillo Civic Center.

As the Globe-News noted this week, the plan would include a massive overhaul of the huge facility on Buchanan Street in downtown Amarillo.

Thanks so much to Tina Brohlin of High Plains Food Bank for stopping by High Plains Morning this week to remind us about a great event that helps fight hunger in the Texas Panhandle.

The Amarillo Independent School District (AISD) is hosting an “Empty Bowls” event Feb. 14 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in each of its high school cafeterias to raise money for Kids Cafe, a Feeding America program that is offered by the High Plains Food Bank.

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As part of its Distinguished Lecture series, West Texas A&M will welcome Temple Grandin to speak on both autism and animal science on Tuesday.

Dr. Grandin first gained prominence after publishing a scientific article in which she presented the idea that livestock are sensitive to small details within their environments—and that tailoring their environment to feel less threatening can improve the lives of livestock, and in turn improve the taste of beef and other meats.

On today's edition of Growing on the High Plains, I'd like to reminisce about my experience with a peculiar plant I've known since childhood. It's one of those plants that's considered a "noxious weed." Some called it "witch's shoelaces," others called it "dodder," but we always called it "loveweed." This odd vampire has no roots, no leaves, and hardly any green chlorophyll.

Pioneer Who Shaped Broadcast's World

Feb 12, 2020
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Hi, I’m Valerie Mendoza talking to you from Topeka about Edward R. Murrow and the Birth of Broadcast Journalism by Bob Edwards. One of the selections for this season’s theme of Radio Waves. 

Michael Stravato / The Texas Tribune

After Democrats raised the prospect of delays in calculating presidential delegates on election night, the secretary of state's office has updated the system counties will use to report results on March 3.

From The Texas Tribune.

High Plains, this FRIDAY is Valentine's Day! (I know, right?) So if you have any FAVORITE LOVE SONGS, please let us know! Jenny wants to feature as many listener requests as possible on High Plains Morning (9a-12p CT). Please email her here to submit your request—and spread the word!