Valerie Brown-Kuchera

Although I talked about nicknames a few episodes ago, I have an update. Joel’s new nickname for me is Large Curd.  I’m just about as impressed with this one as I was Val Movement from back in grade school.  Let me explain.

Oleander Valentine's Renewing of Vows

Feb 16, 2019
Lynn Boitano, Garden City KS

Folks, my sweetheart Iola Humboldt and I have eighteen grandchildren and twenty-three great-grandchildren. We keep their names, with their pictures, on our refrigerator.  Last month, Iola said, “We need a bigger refrigerator!”  We had just returned from another family wedding: one more picture and name to learn.

High Plains Outdoors: A New, Old Fishing Spot

Feb 15, 2019
Luke Clayton

Luke comes to you from the porch of his little hunting cabin, nestled in the oaks behind his house this week.

Tune in and listen to Luke tell about an old fishing camp he discovered while exploring some new hunting land this past week. 


A few days before the November midterm election, Alejandro Rangel-Lopez turned 18.

But before he cast that first ballot, local election officials moved Dodge City’s only polling location from the relatively convenient center town to its outskirts.

The move caused confusion, drew national criticism and raised questions about voting access governed by white elected officials in a town where nearly two-thirds of the population is Latino.

Baca County Sheriff's Office

A cigarette is believed to have caused a large fire near the Colorado/Oklahoma state line Wednesday afternoon.

According to a Facebook post from the Baca County Colorado Sheriff’s Office Thursday, officials believe the 3,800-acre fire on Highway 287 southeast of Campo, Colorado was started by a smoldering cigarette.

TUNED IN: ‘I'm In Love. What's That Song?’

Feb 15, 2019

Music To Fill Our Living Rooms:

Up first is Paul & Lezlee (of En Power & Light) on Friday, February 15 at the HPPR Studios—Garden City (210 N. 7th St.)

Show starts at 7 p.m. (Central).

Suggested Donation: $15 (Make life easy. Please bring cash!)

Investigator Eli Wilkerson Discusses the Osage Murders

Feb 15, 2019
Eli Wilkerson

Listen each Friday, from Feb. 15 through March 8, as Eli Wilkerson who grew up in Oklahoma and lives now in the Texas Panhandle, explores this disturbing true story from his investigator’s point of view.

Radio Readers BookBytes are heard at 7:45 a.m. during Morning Edition and again at 6:44 p.m. during All Things Considered.

Eli Wilkerson hails from central Oklahoma and is a U.S. Army veteran from the Afghan war. Before moving to the Amarillo area, Eli earned his Eagle Scout award from Boy Scout Troop #396 and was active with Police Explorer Post #2299 in Mustang, Oklahoma. He received a Bachelor’s of Science in Sociology with an emphasis in Criminology.

Killers of the Flower Moon - The Backstory

Feb 15, 2019

Hi y'all. I am Eli Wilkerson, a Certified Fraud Examiner and US Army Veteran (Afghanistan ‘10’/11). I have served 10 years in Texas Law Enforcement and earned a Master of Business Administration.

Take a trip with me back in time to the 1920s - to a time of booms and busts, to an era of glitz and greed, which built a powder keg of crime, corruption, and murder? We won’t even have to travel to Chicago.

Our Turn At This Earth: Full Speed Ahead

Feb 14, 2019

High Plains Public Radio will be re-airing the past year's episodes of Our Turn At This Earth beginning Nov. 22, 2018.

In the meantime, Julene Bair is working on a whole new set of episodes, so stay tuned!

In the mid-1980s my father got a letter from the Kansas Water Office warning that, from then on, farmers who didn’t report their annual water use would be fined. This was long before our Groundwater Management District began requiring meters on irrigation wells, so we would have to extrapolate the amount of water we’d pumped that year from utility bills for the natural gas that powered our five well engines.

As these long, dull winter days drag on, some of us High Plains gardeners get the itch for an early spring. They say patience is a virtue, but for those antsy to glance even the faintest stroke of color, I recommend the red twig dogwood. There's nothing as striking as the shrub's vertical chutes of warm crimson against the chilly monochrome of this season. Right now is when the bush's red twigs blaze brightest, a toasty tone of decorative bark.

Ivan Pierre Aguirre / The Texas Tribune

The former Democratic congressman and U.S. Senate candidate avoided talking about 2020 on Monday — but it was virtually unavoidable as he starred in a split-screen night with President Donald Trump.

From The Texas Tribune:

EL PASO — Beto O'Rourke didn't utter a word about 2020 here Monday night, but he didn't have to.

High Plains Morning wants to thank Mary Jane Johnson, the General Artistic Director of the Amarillo Opera, for stopping by the studio to chat about Lift Every Voice.

It's happening this Saturday night at 7:30pm at the Concert Hall Theatre at Amarillo College's Washington Street campus. This year, the show features: Chana Smith; Devlon Jones + his group UNITY; and Hood Mass Choir led by Donnell Hill.

High Plains Public Radio

Were you a Nancy Drew or Hardy Boys fan? Listen each Wednesday, from Feb. 13 through March 6 to hear HPPR’s Stephen Johnson explore these iconic mysteries with which many of us grew up.

Radio Readers BookBytes are heard at 7:45 a.m. during Morning Edition and again at 6:44 p.m. during All Things Considered.

Remember The Hardy Boys

Feb 13, 2019

Hello, this is Steve Johnson. I live in Garden City, Kansas and host "Open Range" here at HPPR.  I'll be discussing the original Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew series as part of the Radio Readers Book Club Spring read, It’s A Mystery to Me.

The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew series were the creations of Edward Stratemeyer, head of the Stratemeyer Syndicate which dominated the market for children's and juvenile series fiction from the late 1890s to the 1940s.


Stacie Frobenius is a Crime Scene Investigator working in Kansas City, Missouri.

She was born and raised in a small western Kansas town. After a science teacher mentioned Forensic Science as a career option, she started reading any forensic science book she could find. 

Radio Readers - Our Take on BTK

Feb 11, 2019
Dani Stone

Hi, this is Stacie Frobenius from Kansas City with a BookByte about the book Bind, Torture, Kill - The Inside Story of the Serial Killer Next Door by Roy Wenzl, Tim Potter, L. Kelly, and Hurst Laviana.  I have with me Dani Stone, author, friend and fellow True Crime fan. 

Valerie Brown-Kuchera

The desk chair in our study is vintage.  It’s one of those old oak banker’s chairs with the vertical slats on the back, a scooped seat, and four casters.  It’s a beautiful piece to look at, made even more attractive by the fact that I paid ten dollars for it an auction.

In the last year or so, what the chair offered in visual appeal, was being overshadowed by how incredibly noisy the chair was.  It popped when I sat down, it squeaked when I leaned back, it groaned when I shifted from side to side, and it let out a very embarrassing noise when I rolled forward on the casters. 

Luke Clayton

This week, Luke comes to you from the porch of his little hunting cabin, nestled in the oaks behind his house, with the topic of mountain lions.

Earlier this week, a jogger was attacked by a juvenile 80-pound male mountain lion on Horsetooth Mountain in Colorado. The jogger managed to choke the lion to death, which in itself is an amazing feat. 

Some dude named Phil promises an early spring. In the meantime, enjoy this snowy scene of your favorite radio station.  


Valentine's Day approaches. (Psst. It's this coming Thursday, Feb. 14!) Looking for ideas on how to celebrate? We've got you covered.  

High Plains Public Radio wants to thank Tom McDaniel, Co-Founder and Chairman for the Songwriter Serenade, for his time this week. He joined me over the phone to share information about his exciting event, which takes place Saturday, May 4th in Moravia, Texas. (The contest is now open, though!)

Men and Women - Thrillers and Mysteries

Feb 8, 2019

Thrillers and mysteries have long been seen as split along gender lines, and for the first 70 years or so of the 20th century, they actually were.  But things have been changing.

Thrillers were originally written by, for, and about men. The earliest thriller, The Riddle of the Sands by Erskine Childer published in 1903, had not a single female character initially until his publisher forced Childer to add a minor woman character to the book.


In the mid-1980s, when I returned to western Kansas after a 16-year absence, I was shocked by the changes irrigation had brought to our once dry-land wheat farm. Many of the wheat fields and pastures of my childhood had been replaced by irrigated corn. 

Any High Plains gardener who tends an ever-shifting landscape and seasonal plots is intimately acquainted with the cycle of new life, harvest, and rebirth. Among the flora and vegetation, many like to adorn the space with stone structures, weatherproof trinkets, assorted doo-dads, and treasured tchotchkes that make it our own.

DMcDevit / Wikimedia Commons

There are few elements more important for sustaining life on the High Plains than playa lakes. Yet, these circular lakes are all-too-often misunderstood or ignored.

Don Kahl, Natural Resources Specialist with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, recently spoke with High Plains Public Radio about the importance of these unique resources, and about the Texas Playa Conservation Initiative.

Indie folk artist Shelley Segal, hailing from Melbourne, Australia, is in the Texas Panhandle for a show tonight, and she stopped by HPPR Studios for an in-studio set on High Plains Morning. Check out her new EP, Holy, and stay tuned to HPPR for more of her tunes. She’s playing tonight at the IC Gallery (1501 S. Washington St., Amarillo) at 7:30pm CT.

Sherlock - Science vs. Story?

Feb 6, 2019

I am fortunate to share a neighborhood block with three science professors. I’m a to-the-bone arts and humanities gal, and to say we have different world views would be an understatement.

Not surprisingly, we rarely agree on books. I am a fiction reader interested in the ways characters interact, those squishy emotional areas full of nuance and interpretation. Scientists, they like problems that can be solved—elusive but good, hard facts.

Wikimedia Commons

Texas Republican leaders promised to pass property tax reform legislation during this session, and it appears they’ve kept their promise—that is, if you live in on of Texas’s big cities or more populous counties. But if you live in a rural West Texas town, you may be out of luck.


Don't miss LIVE NPR COVERAGE of President Trump’s State of the Union Addresstonight at 8 p.m. CST on High Plains Public Radio. 

The Democratic response by Stacey Abrams, who recently ran for governor in the state of Georgia, will follow the address.

Deceased Mountain Lion Found In North Central Kansas

Feb 4, 2019
Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism

Bird hunters made an unusual find in north central Kansas last week.

According to a Facebook post from Kansas Wildlife, Parks & Tourism, a group of bird hunters found a deceased female mountain lion in Rooks County on Thursday.

As the Wichita Eagle reports, there is no breeding population of mountain lions in Kansas. The last confirmed sighting was in 2007 in Barber County and prior to that, in 1904, according to the wildlife department’s website.