News

Stephen Koranda / Kansas News Service

Getting married and having your first child is stressful enough. Try making those life changes during a pandemic. As a teacher.

Luke Runyon/KUNC

Tracking coronavirus pandemic could soon be a bit easier because of one simple fact: everyone poops.

Around the world, wastewater plants have become unlikely sentinels in the fight against the virus, allowing scientists to track the disease’s spread at the community level. The practice of testing sewage samples is spreading across Western U.S. states as well, with programs currently running in Utah, Nevada, Arizona and California.

Shucks, it's already late in the season, so check out today's installment of Growing on the High Plains where we'll celebrate the welcome gold of late summer sweet corn. I'm lucky enough to have arranged a produce exchange with a northerly neighbor, swapping melons for corn. So when their crop is ready, I'm "all ears." Of course I have my own thoughts about how best to clean and prepare it, and it's a bit of a departure from methods taught to me early childhood methods.

Today, I caught up with community advocate and Amarillo United Citizens Forum representative, Melodie Graves, while she shared details about a city-wide Annual School Supply Drive & Giveaway going on through late August. The event will take place on Saturday, August 29th from 11am to 2pm CT at the Black Historical Cultural Center (901 N. Hayden), just off of Amarillo Boulevard.

CORINNE BOYER / KANSAS NEWS SERVICE

One western Kansas resident's recovery from COVID-19 was made worse by an unpleasant health care experience.

Stephan Bisaha / Kansas News Service

 

What happens when the coronavirus comes between your senior year and dreams of a state championship?

Celia Llopis-Jepsen/Kansas News Service

A first-hand account of what it's like to be hospitalized with COVID-19, and how a family handled the situation.

The term "essential worker" covers a wide range of jobs that proved especially vital when Kansans were hiding out at home from the coronavirus.

Courtesy of Braeden Bradforth's family

Just a few hours short of the second anniversary of his death, the family of a New Jersey teenager settled with Garden City Community College. The settlement ended a long, bitter and exasperating two years for the family of 19-year-old Braeden Bradforth.

"I'm sad every morning when I wake up, I'm grateful every night I lay my head on the pillow," Bradforth's mother Joanne Atkins-Ingram said thinking about her son's memory.

Image from WikiHow

Many cats long for the green, green grass of home...or anywhere they can get it, for that matter. Today on Growing on the High Plains, we'll talk about cat grass, which  many at-home pet owners have been growing during the pandemic lockdown. There are many varieties, and your homebound furry roommates might enjoy having a little taste of the outdoors. 

If you tuned in to High Plains Morning today, you got to hear my phone chat with a beloved folk music mensch and High Plains-adjacent neighbor often showcased on our station and at our Living Room Concert series: David Berkeley. He had a wild adventure at the onset of the international lockdown that led to a collection of raw, optimistic new songs that are all featured on his latest release, Oh Quiet World.

Nomin Ujiyediin / Kansas News Service

Besides the coronavrius, another urgent topic again surfaced this year: an end to racism.

The Wichita vintage store that Gabrielle Griffie co-owns had been open mere weeks before the coronavirus forced businesses to shut down.

And just weeks after it reopened, Griffie found herself focused on something entirely different, something she'd fought for in 2014 as a high schooler and would lead the fight for now — equality.

Corinne Boyer / Kansas News Service

GARDEN CITY, Kansas — For almost three months, people living in a mobile home neighborhood just east of Garden City’s limits haven’t been able to drink their tap water.

Residents could boil their water to drink and cook. But on June 30, a new health order advised households not to use the water for drinking, cooking, making baby formula or brushing teeth.

Brian Grimmett / Kansas News Service

Hair has been quite the topic during the coronavirus. For the first episode of My Fellow Kansans: People and the Pandemic, we spoke with a salon owner.

Montella Wimbley has owned a combination salon and barber shop in a predominantly Black neighborhood in Wichita for 34 years.

When Kansas shut business down, she had to put down her trimmers and pick up the phone — over and over again, taking weeks to get through to someone at the state’s beleaguered unemployment agency.

Thanks so much to aerial photographer Paul Chaplo for speaking with High Plains Morning today, sharing some insight and passion about his current photo exhibit on display at the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum (PPHM): Amarillo Flights: Aerial Views of Llano Estacado Country. Making its premiere at PPHM, the exhibit features Paul’s aerial photography of the High Plains of the Llano Estacado. It will be on display through January 23.

Keeping a garden going is a lot of work. Sometimes it would be nice to have a helping hand on the sidelines to do some of the tough and tedious tasks requires. When the sun grows hot, the time seems short, and the yard work feels endless, that's when I let my mind wander to the glorious prospect of getting a hired hand to whom I could delegate upkeep. Today's Growing on the High Plains is a reflection of sorts, and it makes me think of one of the legendary "hired hand": Shane. Who can forget that final scene: "Pa's got things for you to do...and mother wants you.

Thanks so much to Melodie Graves of the North Heights Advisory Association for chatting with High Plains Morning about the unveiling celebration happening today in Amarillo. Unveiling of what? Well, the group has been working with the City of Amarillo for a year to secure historic street markers for Amarillo’s North Heights neighborhood, designating the community as an important piece of the town’s past, present, and future.

After a chat with Amarillo Opera’s Carol Coleson, I was excited to have the opportunity to interview the full cast of an upcoming children’s production of The Billy Goats Gruff, playing four times this week across Amarillo. Based on the Grimm’s fairy tale, this story promotes an anti-bullying message focused on bravery, compassion, and true friendship.

Listen up, Dodge City! According to the Community Housing Association of Dodge City (CHAD), the need for affordable, single-family homes persists in the greater Ford County area. An organization at the forefront of advocating for prospective home buyers, as well as home owners, CHAD will host a series of no-cost home maintenance classes open to the public. I had the pleasure of speaking with Mollea Wainscott about this initiative.

Corinne Boyer / Kansas News Service

Kansas is one of 18 states that the federal government is calling a “red zone” because of increasing COVID-19 cases.

According to documents obtained by The Center for Public Integrity, the government classified states with more than 100 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people last week as “red zones.”

Despite that, three of Kansas’ 105 counties, have no reported cases of the virus.

Summertime gardening often means spending some serious quality time with your own thoughts as you tend the plants, forage the foliage, and pluck out your harvest. I find that there's no better place to ruminate than while hunting down leggy legumes in my bean rows. Today's Growing on the High Plains will share some insight about a common regional garden  success story: the green bean. Whether you prefer "string," "jade," or "snap," climbing beans can yield a hearty crop in our zones. So get out there!

Valerie Brown-Kuchera

I’m prefacing today’s sketch, “Fearful Symmetry,” with a couple of disclaimers.  First, I am an incredibly lucky person.  I understand that to be able to poke fun at minor everyday problems is a luxury few people are allowed.  And second, in this episode, names have been changed to protect the asymmetrical.

Luke Clayton

Making the most of any outdoor outing equates to a positive attitude and the ability to remain flexible. After all, we don’t always catch a limit of fish or shoot a big whitetail buck but if we take the time to truly relish our time spent in the outdoors, we benefit by returning home rejuvenated and refreshed.  A couple days spent last week with two great friends, Jeff Rice and Larry Weishuhn, aka “Mr. Whitetail,” is a good case in point.

Our Turn At This Earth: The Farm In The Girl

Jul 9, 2020
CC0 Public Domain

When I was sixteen, my family left the farm where I grew up and moved into town. The house, along with all of the outbuildings and the corrals and pastures that used to hold a thousand head of ewes, several horses, a few cows, and some chickens and pigs, were eventually torn down.

But that western Kansas farm still lives within me. It shaped my values. By “values,” I mean not only how I believe I should conduct myself in life, but what I most treasure and wish to preserve.

Today's Growing on the High Plains will put a familiar garden friend "on the spot." Obviously, we're talking about the polka-dot winged ladybug. They've been a staple helper on the High Plains for centuries, and they've even warranted a folk song often issued to warn them of forthcoming prairie burns. Always a boon among the garden leaves, these classy little friends not only add a speck of flair and elegance to the landscape, they also keep some of the more unsavory pests at bay. 

Corinne Boyer / Kansas News Service

GARDEN CITY, Kansas — Four Republicans and two Democrats are running for Kansas’ 1st Congressional District seat. It’s open because Republican U.S. Rep. Roger Marshall hopes to win the  U.S. Senate seat held by Pat Roberts, who is retiring.

Luke Clayton

In today's show, Luke talks about an exciting fishing trip to Lake Texoma with Striper Express

Stripers were chasing shad like there was no tomorrow and hitting a combination of topwater plugs, Sassy Shads and lead slabs.

Thanks to Jason Crespin for his time today. We chatted on High Plains Morning about the current streaming opportunity for HPPR listeners: Amarillo Little Theatre’s production of Annie.

Happy Fourth of July, High Plains. (Well, a little early, but IT'S ALL I GOT!) Today on High Plains Morning, I talked to Jill Bronaugh, the Public Information Manager for the Office of the State Fire Marshal for Kansas. She shared some great tips and reminders regarding safety for this year's holiday weekend. Not only do you need ot be mindlful of fireworks, but this year also has a lot of other risks due to the pandemic.

Today, I'll share my deep love for one of the signature soldiers of my summertime gardening . These "golden apples" often top the list of favorite veggies (even though they're technically a fruit). Enjoy today's installment of Growing on the High Plains as I reflect on these fragrant plants with an ode to the mighty tomato.

In case you missed The Final Hour this weekend, Kellen nailed the year 1980 to the wall with some medieval spikes. You have until July 10th to check it out on Radio Free America!

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