Tyson Fresh Meats plans to reopen the Holcomb, Kansas, beef packing plant partially destroyed by a weekend fire — it’s just not sure when.

Tyson said in a news release that it will recruit some employees to rebuild the plant, which processes about 5% of the country’s cattle.

News of the World Discussion Leader Leslie VonHolten

Aug 12, 2019

Leslie VonHolten lives in Strong City, Kansas, in the heart of the beautiful Flint Hills tallgrass prairie. Her writing interests are in the area of environmental art and culture.

“Our land, the weather, the seasons, and even the night sky dictate the terms of our lives,” she said. “No one knows that better than people who live and work in the High Plains. That’s why I love discussing books for HPPR. Our conversations  always expand my perceptions.”

The Spirit of Girls

Aug 12, 2019
Wikimedia Commons

I’m Leslie VonHolten of Chase County, Kansas, with another HPPR Radio Readers Book Byte.

She throws like a girl. She’s a weak sister. Hey, don’t be such a girl.

Come on. By now most of us know these are garbage colloquialisms, even though we still hear them.

Valerie Brown-Kuchera

Driving around England gave us the opportunity to try a lot of unique pubs and dining establishments. I wanted to be sure to eat some local foods. Though England is not known for its gourmet cuisine, I wanted the kids to experience as much of the authentic culture as possible.

Update: Fire At Tyson Plant Under Control

Aug 10, 2019
Holcomb Community Fire Department

A fire that started Friday night at the Tyson Fresh Meats plant in Finney County, Kan., was put under control mid-morning Saturday, according to the Garden City Police Department. However, officials are remaining on the scene in case there are flare-ups.


Approximately 1,200 Tyson employees were on the job Friday night when the fire started. There are no reports of serious injury.

High Plains Outdoors: Refried, Refried Beans

Aug 9, 2019
Luke Clayton

In this week's High Plains Outdoors, Luke shares one of his favorite camp recipes that actually can be prepared at home before the camping trip.

Refried beans is something that is often taken for granted, something served at a Mexican restaurant as a side dish to enchiladas or fajitas. And they often taste like, well, just mashed beans.

But seasoned properly and cooked to the right consistency, refried beans become a bit more than a side dish. 

Take a listen as Luke explains how he makes ‘em!  

Folks, we have a fantastic ol' timey jazz-folk duo for you. Their sound evokes a bygone era, so if you love tunes from the 20s, 30s, and 40s, as well as gypsy jazz and swing music, you'll dig the Paper Moon Shiners. They'll bust out some mouth trumpet, kazoo, enchanting vocals, and a lot of fancy pickin'. Mark your calendars, and we'll see you there!

TUNED IN: Get Your Fall Read On

Aug 9, 2019

  HPPR's Radio Readers Book Club's 2019 Fall Read began this week. The new theme is "Navigating Uncharted Waters — Past, Present, & Future." We’ll be exploring the ways in which our childhood and life experiences inform our worldviews. Are we products of nature or nurture? Many intriguing questions will be explored.

Get Your Books On!

Aug 9, 2019
Wikimedia Commons

Hello, Radio Readers! It’s here – it’s finally here: our Fall 2019 Book Club series! Time for us to get our books on! I’m Jane Holwerda, from Dodge City KS, and, oh man! Is this ever some set of books!  Are you ready? 

We’re starting off with novels set within our High Plains region! The first, News of the World, is a  True-Grit type of Western by San-Antonio based author Paulette Jiles. The story unspools in that tenuous transitional time between open frontier and settlement in Texas back in the late 1800s.   A veteran takes on the challenge of returning a ransomed girl to what he presumes will be her caring family. Will the girl remember her home language, her kin? Will her kin tolerate her tribal ways? Then it’s Brandon Hobson’s Where the Dead Sit Talking.  Set in Oklahoma in the late 1900s, native teens, unable to find within their troubled families any seeds of hope and inspiration for their futures, turn to each other and towards the ghosts that haunt them. Hobson, himself, is an enrolled citizen of the Cherokee nation of OklahomaDescribed  by Publisher’s Weekly as “a smart, dark novel of adolescence, death, and rural secrets,” Where the Dead Sit Talking was a 2018 National Book Award finalist.

Our Turn At This Earth: The Missing Loop

Aug 8, 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!

By lucky coincidence, my visit this May to the North Dakota farm of the remarkable soil health advocate Gabe Brown corresponded with a study being led by two other remarkable men. One of them was Abe Collins, who has spent most of his life raising cattle and sheep.

Cory Doctorow / Flickr Creative Commons

While Texas is still reeling from a mass shooting in El Paso where 22 people were murdered, the state has a plan to loosen gun laws.

As CNN reports, in about three weeks, a raft of new, looser gun laws will go into effect in a state that already has some of the laxest gun laws in the nation.

Today on Growing on the High Plains, I thought I would introduce listeners to the wonders of catnip. I don't mean a love bite from a feisty feline.


An armed suspect barricaded himself in a Cheyenne Wells, Colorado home yesterday, forcing road closures and a daylong standoff with law enforcement before he was arrested.

Public Domain via Pixabay

Texas has been fighting a war against wild hogs for decades. And the hogs appear to be winning.  

As reports, the Lone Star State has looked to a number of tactics to stem the tide of hogs. There are no regulations on how many hogs you can hunt, or when you can hunt them. You can do it at night, or from an airplane. You can even shoot them from a hot air balloon.

A big High Plains Morning thank you goes out to Texas novelist Natrelle Long for stopping by the studio with Eric Meljac of High Plains Poetry Project to tell us about the upcoming reading and Q&A this Thursday night from 7 to 8pm at Burrowing Owl Books (419 16th St., Canyon).

Wikimedia Commons

West Texas is still reeling from a mass shooting this weekend at a Walmart in El Paso, which left at least 22 dead and dozens injured. in the wake of the tragedy, a number of Texas leaders have spoken out. Former US Rep. Beto O'Rourke, who is from El Paso, has appeared frequently in the national press in recent days, lamenting the massacre in his hometown.

Oleander On Fossils As State Symbols

Aug 4, 2019

Folks, some years ago, when I heard Kansans in the legislature were looking for a new State Symbol to recognize fossil life in Kansas, I was excited.  In fact, old fossil that I am, I thought I might be in the running. Then I found out Kansas lawmakers were thinking Cretaceous.  More specifically, the Tylosauras and the Pteranodon.

Public Domain

We don’t do it often, but every once in a great while, we decide to take a bigger vacation than our usual road trip in the U.S.  This summer seemed like the perfect time to do this, because my 16-year-old daughter had signed up for an international music tour.  We wanted to spy on her the entire time and make her teen life miserable. No, not really.  But, we did want to attend some of her concerts, and a couple of our own friends were interested in going along. 

High Plains Morning was thrilled to have Chip Chandler live in the studio this week to remind folks that this Tuesday, August 6th from 6:00 - 8:00 PM, Panhandle PBS will host a preview screening of Ken Burns’ anticipated new documentary series Country Music, which charts the genre’s evolution from its beginnings as “hillbilly music” through the Nashville neotraditionalists of the 1990s.

Thanks to Courtnie Stevenson for stopping by High Plains Morning to tell us about the upcoming fundraiser for 7 Star Therapeutic Riding Center: Touch-A-Truck Amarillo & Kids Bonanza 2019 kicks off this Sunday from 1 to 6 p.m. at John Stiff Park, 4800 S. Bell St., Amarillo.

It’s a family-friendly, interactive event for kids and the young at heart that gives participants the opportunity to touch, climb inside, and experience firsthand a variety of big trucks and vehicles.

High Plains Outdoors: Finding Fish Easier Than Ever

Aug 2, 2019
Luke Clayton

When I was a youngster, I remember my Dad using an old window weight tied on a piece of rope to determine the depth below our little 12-foot wooden boat. He had the rope marked in three-foot increments and simply lowered the weigh overboard and counted down until the weight hit bottom.

We did a lot of ‘trotlining’ and he always set his lines parallel to a creek channel. I remember spending hours bouncing that weight off bottom and marking trees that grew along the submerged creek channels.  Later the ‘flasher’ units became popular and fishermen bought them with relish.

This week saw a somber one-year anniversary in the High Plains.

On the evening of Aug. 1, 2018, Garden City Community College football player Braeden Bradforth died of heatstroke, according to an autopsy.

Sam Zeff, a reporter for public radio station KCUR in Kansas City, has followed Bradforth’s story since earlier this year.

Chris Neal / For the Kansas News Service

DODGE CITY — Kansas is bathed in shades of blue that stretch north to south, east to west. That’s not a reference to politics: It’s what the state looks like on the Federal Communications Commission’s Fixed Broadband Deployment map. 

Our Turn At This Earth: Nature Won Them Over

Aug 1, 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!

Just a reminder that HPPR's Radio Readers Book Club's 2019 Fall Read starts in August. The theme is "Navigating Uncharted Waters —Past, Present, & Future." Book leaders and texts were selected by HPPR Radio Readers Steering Committee, and they all explore the ways in which our childhood and life experiences inform our world views. Are we products of nature or nurture? Many intriguing questions will be explored. 

Here are the books to be discussed during the Fall Read of 2019:

Today on Growing on the High Plains, we’ll take a stab at the “sword lily.” That’s right, we’re talking about the gladiolus, a perennial flowering plant that normally lives in Asia, along the Mediterranean, and Africa – but if you try, you can also make them work in our region with a little care.

HPPR is thrilled to welcome The Singer & The Songwriter to the High Plains during our next HPPR Music Ambassador Tour. In October 2019, they'll hit towns across our region to perform live for our fabulous listeners and members. Mark your calendars, and SPREAD THE WORD. These two are fantastic in concert, and you'll be delighted  to share an evening of LIVE MUSIC with your friends and family. Find out more about Rachel Garcia and Thu Tran, also known as The Singer and the Songwriter. Thank you for supporting independent artists as they tour our region! 

High Plains Public Radio & the Amarillo Art Institute present the 4th Annual Chase the Sunset: Art & Music in Palo Duro Canyon!

On Saturday, August 10th, HPPR & AAI invite kids of the High Plains to CHASE THE SUNSET with a celebration of art, music, & nature to bid the summer a final farewell.

Public Domain via Pixabay

The first-ever Hey Amarillo Beer Festival will highlight local craft beer this Saturday, August 3, from 5 to 11:30 p.m. at Starlight Ranch Event Center, 1415 Sunrise Drive, Amarillo. 

Hosted by the Hey Amarillo podcast, this festival showcases Amarillo breweries—including Pondaseta Brewing Co., Six Car Pub & Brewery, Long Wood Spoon Brewing and The Big Texan Brewery—along with Lubbock breweries and craft beer lines from across the state of Texas.

I have a significant phobia of flying. My feet like being planted on the flat prairie earth, where they were either intelligently designed or evolved to stay. My husband claims that my fear of flying stems more from my inability to be a backseat driver to the pilot; regardless of the source of the fear, it’s there, it’s real, and it’s intense.